Tuesday, 2 December 2014

Things I'm looking forward to: December

So this is a tiny bit late because I flew into Chicago late on Saturday and have been working since then and also dealing with dodgy wifi and a fair whack of jet lag but here it IS! December's list of things I'm looking forward to :)

1. Christmas!!!

I'm so excited. I have my Christmas playlist on repeat on my iPhone, my gift list is almost complete and my Christmas party plans are well and truly in hand. It's one of my favourite times of the year, full of sun, beach, prawns and Christmas ham and naps in the air con after far too much food :)

2. Presents

I love giving gifts, especially when they're a surprise. My sister, for example, has no idea about the piece of jewellery my mother and I are getting her. My mum does know about the very special oil painting I'm getting from one of her favourite artists (think it's hard to do surprise 'art', what if the recipient hates it?).

M however is impossible to surprise. He's very picky and hates wasting money so I kind of have to run presents past him before I actually take the plunge. Worst gift-receiving trait ever. However, this year I have managed quite the coup: he is getting a new iPhone 6 with his stamp of approval however I have also managed to pick out a little surprise something for him

I received a 100GBP  gift card from the lovely people at Net-a-Porter to spend at Mr Porter. It came quite out of the blue and I was immediately intrigued. I haven't spent much time on Mr Porter since it launched (M is not exactly a fashion hipster so there's precious little point trying to buy him clothes there).

Given I had 100 pounds to spend, I thought it would be a great opportunity to buy a little surprise gift for M - something that he will enjoy but that I'll also enjoy giving him because he has no idea about it.

I was a little anxious about the exercise, given Net-a-Porter's general luxury price range: would there be anything there that was a suitable 'stocking-filler' type gift?

Honestly ladies, I was very pleasantly surprised. There are obviously some really extravagant items (Dunhill Poker set anyone?) but also some quite fun and relatively inexpensive gift ideas.  I dithered for a while over a bluetooth speaker which you can sync with your phone to play music when you go on picnics...but then we don't picnic #fantasylife #reelitin

In the end, I went with Monopoly and Cluedo vintage box games:

I'm quite excited to bust these out come Christmas Day: the perfect time-passer for the afternoon while older relatives get their nap on...

3. Christmas dinner party

We have a group of friends coming for dinner on Saturday night after I return from Chicago - it's a great opportunity for everyone to catch up and share some Christmas cheer before we all scatter for the break.

I've got the menu mainly sorted: classic French Tarragon roast chickens with roasted carrots and onions and a witloff mustard salad. I'll probably do some smoked salmon and dill creme fraiche canapés to start with, and a cheese board with fruits and Viennese almonds to finish (if it was just M and I, I'd wrap the meal up with a litre of connoisseur ice cream and two spoons but my friends are a bit 'no dessert for me, thanks')

I love the idea of a little Kris Kringle-type gift to hand out randomly to my guests and I found these Luxe City Guides on Net-a-Porter.

4. Making jam

My Christmas gifts this year include amazing homemade raspberry jam courtesy of the domestic goddess herself, Nigella.  I've bought about a thousand jam jars from Wheel & Barrow and am so looking forward to a weekend of jam-making somewhere in the time between now and Christmas...

5. The best vanilla malt milkshake ever - Ribs and Burgers - James St

One thing I am really looking forward to when we get back to Brisbane is a fabulous vanilla
milkshake from Ribs and Burgers on James St...

This beauty awaits me back in sunny Brisbane :) 

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