Christmas Countdown : 2 Days

As easy as they are, I am not a fan of gift bags. Part of the fun of giving gifts is wrapping them up to look just perfect. Have fun playing with colors other than red and green or blue and silver. Why not wrap everything in matte black paper, tie it up with white ribbon, and write the recipients names with chalk? However, wrapping gifts doesn't mean you need to go out and buy expensive paper or ribbon every year. Your gifts can look simple, elegant, and just as full of Christmas joy in plain brown packing paper. Just add details like red or green ribbon or even baker's twine, and maybe a spring of evergreen to top it off.

brown paper packages tied up with strings

brown paper packages tied up with strings

And for the wrapping paper challenged among us, Lauren Conrad was kind enough to make a perfect gift wrapping how-to on her blog. Check out her instructions below, then get wrapping!

image via

image via


Christmas Countdown : 5 Days

With less than a week to go until Christmas, it's time to break out the DIY gift ideas. Handmade gifts are actually frequently the best kind of gifts. They are one of a kind and made specially with the recipient in mind. What says "I love you" more than a personalized gift? And no one does DIY (in my opinion) better than Geneva Vanderzeil of a Pair & a Spare.

Here are links to some of her most giftable projects like a tulle skirt for your little sister, an embroidered trip map for your travel buddy, a hardware clutch for your BFF, a vintage style frame for your brother, and hanging baskets for mom. For more inspiration you can check out all Vanderzeil's projects here.

However, if you are really strapped for time or cash there is one DIY project you're bound to already have the supplies for. Thought up by my brilliant sister Liz, these tampon ornaments are sure to be the hit of the day. Or at least they were for us. I don't recommend making these for your man friends, but your lady friends and family will find them just as charming as we did. All you need is a box of tampons, felt, embroidery thread or yarn, googly eyes, a sharpie, glue, and scissors. 

Just loop the pull and attach it to the top of the tampon with glue, along with embroidery thread for the hair. Next add on the eyes (which you can obviously do with a sharpie if you don't have googly eyes), mouth, and other extras like glasses. If you really want to get fancy you can add clothes like my sister did in the wedding ornament version she made for her and her husband. If I remember correctly the mini wedding dress came off a 3D card and the tux is made of construction paper. Lastly, write the names of the recipients on the back in either a colored sharpie or glitter paint if you have it. And voila! A one of a kind ornament sure to at least give your friends a good laugh.

see more DIY gift ideas on Lady Gray here, here, and here.


Christmas Countdown : 11 Days

With only eleven days to go, you really should be finished shopping for gifts. But just in case you're a procrastinator here are eleven last minute gifts from ASOS guaranteed to make it in time for the big day! That is, if you order them by December 16th. Really, you should get going on this...

As an extra bonus, check out ASOS Premier. As a member you get free 2 day shipping all year long! Perfect for those os you who like to wait until the very last minute. Hey, it happens.