All posts filed under: Useful Tricks

Origami bow: Having fun with gift wrapping

Most people dread gift wrapping. I get it – it’s much more fun selecting a gift than figuring out how to wrap it.  Took me a while to make my first decently-looking bow out of a silky ribbon that’s just not meant to stay in place (use two knots, not one), or to cut wrapping paper straight (there’s still no magic solution there!). But, it can be fun! If you have a bit of time (and if you like YouTube tutorials) – read on. This was my first attempt to create an origami paper bow. For that, I found some double sided wrapping paper (from Waterstones on Piccadilly, sadly they don’t sell it online) in funky summery colours, bright green and raspberry pink. You can happily use standard one-sided paper too, but having both sides gives you a bit more wiggle room to be creative. I didn’t take pictures of my progress (I was concentrating too hard on the task itself), but here’s the video that shows it perfectly step by step. For the extra …

V&A Museum Shop: Treats for your jewellery box

I have a peculiar relationship with my jewellery boxes. There is a small leather box on my bedside table for things I wear daily, like diamond studs and a few pendants. But then I own a “secret” (and rather large!) brightly-coloured wooden box, hidden in my wardrobe, dedicated to different pieces I purchased during my travels or while out and about in London. I open it from time to time to simply relive those happy moments. And despite not wearing these “secret” jewels very often, I like looking at them and knowing they belong to me 🙂 My girlfriends also have similar hidden treasure boxes, so I’m not alone – I remember spending entire evenings dressing up together and sharing stories about our possessions during our teenage years (well, back then those were mostly plastic bracelets and an occasional silver necklace from grandparents). The one place I come back over and over again to get inspired and buy something new for my collection and as gifts for my girls is Victoria & Albert Museum. Known …

Christmas Gift Wrapping: Useful Tricks

If you are in London, consider yourself lucky – I’ve done all the legwork for you! After spending a solid few hours browsing for the best gift wrapping paper, I’ve narrowed it down to two winners: Selfridges and Harrods (sorry, John Lewis, you are my biggest disappointment this festive period so far…apart from the penguins!). Unlike birthdays, when you can pretty much go with any colour and texture, Christmas gift wrapping tends to be on the conservative side, with silvers, greens and reds dominating the scene. And you know what – I actually don’t have any objections whatsoever! After all, Christmas is a traditional holiday, and traditions are a lovely way to bring us together for some festive fun. Anyway, let me not lose the plot and end up with a philosophical post about the value of Christmas – back to gift wrapping. I would highly recommend avoiding anything too glittery. Even the most luxurious department stores seem to be obsessed with all things glitter this year. Here are the worst offenders: It does add …

Black Friday Survival Guide: Gifts You Do/Don’t Need

Black Friday is approaching, and we are preparing our wallets (read: credit cards) to suffer one of the biggest spending sprees this year. Readers in the U.S. are probably savvier than their European counterparts, as this shopping extravaganza arrived here relatively recently. I can’t guarantee my own card’s safety this weekend, when my urge to overindulge will be stronger than my willpower. What I can do is attempt to put some order into this chaos of undoubtedly amazing discounts. Browsing in advance is always a good idea – big stores started promoting their offers days ago. Spend some time picking your favourites, save the links in a separate ‘Black Friday 2014’ folder and establish a maximum amount you are willing to spend in total. This way, you won’t experience the rage of a latecomer, when you try to snap up every item, thinking that everyone else in the entire world wants the exact same pair of headphones! I will leave it up to you to decide which items you need personally, but in terms of …

Sali Hughes is ‘pretty great’ at gifting – here’s why!

Sali’s new book, titled ‘Pretty Honest’, has been thoroughly reviewed by various beauty bloggers (see here, and here…and here), but they all focus on her beauty tricks (which are totally ingenious, by the way). I admit to being a mild beauty junkie, but what impressed me the most was the chapter on beauty gifts. It’s so rare to find a famous person speaking about personal gifting habits (personal grooming and private life seem to come up a bit more often in interviews; shame on you, journalists!) , that I had to re-read it twice just to believe it. I’ve compiled the best bits here, alongside my comments, in case you are not planning to buy the book. Sali follows the same magic mantra that I’ve been sharing with everyone who would listen – size matters in gifts, but most often than not, it’s the other way round. It’s always safer to go with the smallest item within your budget, as it would increase your chances of getting a decent thing. Let me illustrate this, using …

How To Wrap The Perfect Gift

Now that you’ve found that perfect gift (see my previous note), how do you actually present it? Mmm…don’t underestimate the power of presentation! I do it for a living, so I know very well, that the way you package something sets the mood and helps “close the sale”. In short, you need to stretch your organisational skills a bit further and come up with a decent plan on how to wrap your gift. Here is my step-by-step manual: Find a box Oh, that’s the easy part. Most retailers realise that a product with a decent box has higher profit margins, therefore, gift-worthy things tend to come nicely packaged. Include the killer add-on Everyone expects a gift for their birthday. The surprise factor kicks in when you get that one little extra, which would make them jump :-). In my case, a cigar my boyfriend dreamt about for a while but was struggling to justify. Really, remember this trick! Excite them What was your favourite part of the Christmas morning experience? By miles (unlimited sweets aside), …