Archive of ‘Tips & Tricks’ category

A Christy Christmas: Furoshiki

In a world where it’s becoming evermore important to be environmentally friendly, we wanted to take today to speak about a long-standing tradition which is perfect to start implementing around Christmas – furoshiki.

Furoshiki refers to Japanese wrapping cloths used traditionally to transport a variety of goods, as well as being used as a technique to wrap gifts.

In essence, if you have old bedding you no longer like as much, you could cut it up and use it in the same way – upcycling the linen whilst also making your presents look even more special and unique!

The example we have here is a single-knotted furoshiki, and here’s a simple step-by-step if you’d like to give it a go for yourself!

Step 1. Lay out your furoshiki diagonally with the gift placed right in the middle of each corner
Step 2. Pull the top corner of the material over the gift and tuck it underneath
Step 3. Fold the bottom corner over the gift and tuck under itself on top
Step 4. Gather and tie the two side ends together which haven’t been folded yet
Step 5. Knot the ends until you’re satisfied with how it looks, you can even change it up by tying a pretty bow into the knot if you’d like!

Let us know in the comments if you’ve given this a go, and be sure to tag us on social media if you’ve used old Christy products for your furoshiki using the hashtag #MyChristy, we’d love to see how it looks!

 

A Christy Christmas: The Perfect Cosy Night-In

At this point in 2020, it’s safe to say that the majority of us are getting a little fed up of nights spent solely in the house. We wanted to give some little tips and tricks to help change this so you have the perfect, cosiest night-in possible.

A Nice Mug of Hot Chocolate

Hot Chocolate is the perfect sweet, hot drink to have during the festive period because you can make it either as simple or extravagant as you wish!

We’d recommend a topping of many mini marshmallows to give it that extra something, you could even add a flake in there so that you get maximum chocolate from it!

Christmas Tree/Fairy Lights

Lighting can make all the difference when it comes to relaxing at home, so going for low lighting through Christmas or fairy lights can be an excellent choice.

Add in some candles for a nice scent to please your nose as well and you’ll have a lovely, relaxing mood in the room.

A Throw

At Christy, we love throws. We’re biased, that’s for sure, but there is little better than the feeling you get being snuggled up in thick, cosy wool.

Our Agnes collection contains a cosy, knitted throw made from a luxurious yarn blend, including Alpaca, helping it to be super soft and perfect for snuggling into.

The Throw Alternative

If you don’t have a nice, warm throw to hand then you can always layer up with a dressing gown or fresh bath robe.

Texture is key to feeling as comfortable as possible, so we’d recommend our Super Soft Cosy Robes so you feel as relaxed as possible.

Treat Yourself to a Takeaway

Start your evening off as stress-free as possible by freeing yourself from the strain of having to cook a meal for your household, order a takeaway from your favourite local restaurant and let yourself relax instead.

Choose a Heart-warming Film

Christmas is the perfect time to find heart-warming films to watch, especially if you have streaming services such as Netflix, Prime Video and so forth.

Pick a classic such as Home Alone, A Miracle on 34th Street, grab some popcorn and a box of tissues (just in case).

Video Chat

One thing that could make your evening even better is getting a video chat set up with friends or family. You could start the chat before watching a film and even all watch the film simultaneously if possible then discuss it after!

 

10 Ways to Make Your Bedroom More Relaxing

Our bedrooms are the main places we go to relax, rest up and feel better for the next day. But, with the vast amount of lockdown time this year you may be starting to see it in a different, not-so-great light.

It’s important to look after how we view our bedrooms though to make sure that we’re getting the best rest possible, eliminating the chance of having a bad night’s sleep.

Here are some top tips for how you can recreate your bedroom as a fantastic place to chill out again.

A Dedicated Working Space

This year has made working from home a standard for many, and if you are having to do so without a study/office then there’s a chance you’re currently sat in bed on your laptop working.

Try to make sure that you have a dedicated area away from your bed to do work at though, just the simple act of getting out of bed in the morning and sitting elsewhere with help with stopping to associate the bed with a place of stress.

Tidy Up

As the saying goes, ‘tidy home, tidy mind’. Now it’s more important than ever that your bedroom is free of any mess. If you’re working from the bedroom, it’ll just distract you. Vice versa if the room is clean and tidy you can admire the items in it a lot easier, and it’ll be a much warmer welcome at the end of the day.

Treat Yourself to New Bedding

The right bed linen set becomes a comforting thing to see at the end of the day, but changing it up every so often for fresh, new bedding can be exciting.

Christy Sakura Bed Linen in Buttercup

Psst… we have some beautiful new bedding we’ve recently released as part of our Winter 20 collection, check it out on the Christy site here.

Redecorate your Walls

Sometimes something as simple as just a new colour on the walls, or going over a colour which might be starting to fade, can help you see your bedroom in a totally new light.

Maybe try a yellow-toned colour over the Autumn/Winter period to help lift your spirits and remind you of sunshine.

A Bedroom Companion

Now, you can interpret this however you like because new family members in the way of pets are incredibly helpful for decreasing stress levels, but if you can’t have a dog or cat for any reason then try to keep a living plant in your bedroom.

Not only will plants be a great aesthetic touch but they can also help with purifying the air in your bedroom, which could help you get a much better sleep.

Christy Marrakesh Bed Linen in Blue

Lighting Candles

A fragranced candle will both make your bedroom smell lovely and also add a great atmosphere late at night. It’s a perfect little trick to help you get some sleep, especially if you try out some lavender scented candles. (But make sure that you don’t fall asleep with them lit!)

Choose the Right Lighting

When it comes to lighting for your bedroom, one key thing to consider is that you have the right amount of light in your room. Of course, late at night when you’re trying to sleep then blinds or curtains to block out light from outside are fantastic, but if you’re trying to look for something in your room it might be best to go for LED soft white light bulbs. Additionally, investing in bedside lamps is a must for making sure the room isn’t too bright just before bed.

Keep Electronics Out of the Room

Getting yourself an actual alarm clock for the mornings can be a big help for making sure you get to sleep as soon as possible. If you only have your phone to rely on, there’s a big chance you’ll think about having a quick scroll through social media which can easily turn into hours if you get carried away.

Likewise, if you keep your laptop out of the room then that will help with disassociating the bedroom with work late at night.

Make your Bed in the Morning

A pretty simple way to make sure your bedroom keeps feeling cosy and relaxing, making your bed at the start of the day not only helps to keep it looking tidy (especially if you’re in the room working throughout the day) but also helps to make it look inviting at the end of the day.

Mix Things Up a Little

If you have the same prints up on your walls all year round, it might be a good idea to try switching them up with prints from elsewhere in the house for a little change of scenery. Even just swapping prints, cushions or just decorations from the bedroom with ones in the living room could just give your bedroom an extra something to help you appreciate the room a little more.

Christy Nikko Bed Linen in Cerise

There you have it, ten ways to help your bedroom become a more relaxing place to end up at the end of the day, regardless of whether or not it’s also your work space.

 

Top Tips for Keeping Warm Over the Colder Months

December onwards can be difficult if you’re someone who craves heat, and even if you’re working from home it doesn’t necessarily make it any easier to stay warm and cosy.

Read on for some of our top tips of how you can try to stay as warm as possible.

1. Regular Hot Drinks

It’s a simple fact that most people love to get their day going with a nice hot cup of tea or coffee, but if you’re not a fan of either of these then it can be difficult to consider starting your day by turning the kettle on.

However, considering everything that’s happened this year, this winter is the perfect time to decide to start treating yourself with a warm cup of hot chocolate. Not a fan of hot chocolate? Then if your aim is just to keep yourself a bit warmer there’s nothing wrong with simply boiling some water to drink.

Bonus warmth – the mug itself will heat your hands up a great amount!

2. Use Your Curtains

When it’s light outside, make sure to keep your curtains and blinds open to let in any heat. Of course, in these long, dark days that might not be for long but when it does go dark make sure you’re still using the curtains to your advantage – shutting them will add another layer of insulation and keep the warmth in your rooms.

3. Invest in a Good Throw

During the cooler months, it can be easily argued that nothing beats being in your warm, cosy bed. But having just bed linen without a throw can still be far too cold, especially in the peak of winter.

For this reason, we recommend investing in a good throw. Not only will it keep your bed warmer in general but the right throw can make any bed set look all the more fancy. (And you can even use it for some extra warmth whilst working).

Christy Agnes Throw
Christy Agnes Throw

At Christy, we have a range of beautiful throws that will add both warmth and a touch of style to your bedding, including our Christy Agnes Throw.

4. Make/Buy a Draught Excluder

Any gaps in doors can cause cool air to enter a room and can take away precious heat that has built up. So, one of the most important things you can do is make sure that any gaps are filled up to stop this. Draught excluders can help to combat this issue, and if you’re looking for a weekend project to have something to do then you can follow this guide here from Ovo Energy to make your own super cute sausage dog draught excluder!

5. Swap out your Sandwich for a Hot Lunch

Similar to making sure you have a hot drink, having something warm for lunches is a quick-fire way to warm yourself up for the rest of the day. Trade in your salad or sandwich for a nice warm bowl of soup instead.

6. Layers

Adding layers to your bedding is important for keeping your bed nice and warm at night but it is also a must that you make sure you yourself are wearing enough layers on a day-to-day basis. It’s especially important if you’d rather not end up spending a large amount on your heating.

If a dress code isn’t an issue, we recommend our Supreme Velour Bath Robes. Not only do they feel nice to touch but they’ll warm you up in no time if you just use them like a dressing gown!

Supreme Velour Robe in Raspberry
Supreme Velour Robe in Raspberry

Additional bonus – in Raspberry it’s a perfect festive-themed colour!

7. Fingerless Gloves

Fingerless gloves are perfect if you suffer from cold hands a lot, as it can be extremely frustrating when your hands start to seize up from being too cold whilst you’re trying your hardest to write anything. Fingerless gloves are particularly useful, they’ll keep your hands nice and warm whilst still letting you type as if you didn’t have gloves on.

8. Move More

Don’t worry, we’re not suggesting that you start going on marathon runs for the first time or anything in the middle of winter! Just a little extra movement can go a long way by moving more muscles and warming you up. Try moving your legs more often when you’re sat down.


And that’s our top tips for keeping warm in the cooler months! If you have any other ideas, let us know in the comments below!

 

Sleep: How does this affect you?

March, one of our favourite times of year. Spring is on the brink of fully blossoming – that’s right, more daffodils and baby lambs will be greeting you soon! It is also a particular favourite time of year for Christy HQ too, as this is the month of celebrating sleep.

National Bed Month* takes place between the 1st and 31st March annually. Founded by the Sleep Council, an organisation dedicated to improving peoples quality of sleep, this campaign encourages you to reflect on your nightly routine. Yes, that’s right, this is a month dedicated to improving the relationship between yourself, your bed and rest. Amazing.

Okay so this is not an excuse to ditch work for a month and sleep all day everyday (we can wish upon a star for that time but it doesn’t look like human hibernation will be a trend anytime soon). But, this is a good time for you to reflect on your routine, your well-being and ways to improve both.

Sleep is an imperative part of everyday life – we can instantly tell when we have not had enough sleep. We feel groggy, distracted, short-tempered, dazed, sluggish, we could go on…

Inspired by National Bed Month and our dedication to helping you with your sleep as much as possible, Christy decided to create an online survey to learn more about how sleep affects your day-to-day lives. The results that we found were eye-opening:

  • 59% of total participants struggle to get a good night’s sleep, 65% of the total were women and 47% of men respectively.
  • 35% of total participants found that sleep deprivation was as result of Stress.
  • 26% of total participants referenced Discomfort, and 25% of participants referenced Temperature (too hot and too cold) as a form of sleep hindrance.

Comfort, Stress, Temperature. Three important factors that influence sleep. Three things that you can change. Three things that you have an element of control over.

At Christy, we are dedicated to helping you as much as we can. Our products are designed with you in mind, and so is the information which we provide.

On that note, we would like to share with you some top tips on how to make your bed cosy, comfortable and a balanced temperature from our experts in the design department. Take a read below!

Lucy Ackroyd, Christy Design Manager: “If you love the feeling of crisp clean sheets in a smart hotel then you’re already realised the sensory benefits of pure cotton, high thread count bed linen  You may not know why they feel so good though. Firstly 100% cotton products are naturally breathable so they help to regulate your temperate and also moisture levels, stopping the clammy feeling you can experience with synthetic fibres. Secondly high thread count fabrics are smoother against the skin so as well a being much more comfortable you are less likely to feel tangled up or trapped by rougher fabrics that cling, especially to nightwear. The good news is also that superior quality cotton products have great durability and lifespan too making them a really worthwhile investment. Your sleep is worth it!”

Julia Galloway, Christy Design Manager: “Most of us, at one time or another, have suffered with stress in our lives and whilst there is no quick fix, there are a few things that we can do to help with our everyday mood.  Playing with colour is such a way and has been proven to have an effect on the way we feel.  Chroma Yoga and light therapy are becoming more and more popular as people start to look into mindfulness techniques in their own homes.  One quick way to add some colour is with a change of linens in your bedroom and bathroom, both of which should be a sanctuary and a place of rest when stress takes a hold of our lives.   As a guide, we’ve added some key words to help you understand how certain shades will affect your mood:

  • Soft blues can be calming, serene and tranquil.
  • Yellows can be stimulating, happy and energising.
  • Greens can be harmonious, refreshing and renewing.
  • Soft pinks can be soothing, calming and balancing.
  • Purples can be relaxing, inspiring and spiritual.
  • Greys can be grounding, calming and balancing.”

*The Sleep Council, founders of the National Bed Month campaign, is an organisation which investigates how sleep affects your health and well-being, and provides brilliant tips on how to get more of it. More time for dreaming and escaping to a paradise.

 

#ChristyLovesWimbledon: Cocktail Making with Lanson, with The Ana Mum Diary

Strawberries and champagne – two Wimbledon must-haves that are the perfect accompaniment for an afternoon of tennis and sun.

Luckily, our lovely friend, Amanda, from The Ana Mum Diary is here to share her perfectly simple yet delicious champagne cocktail recipe that only consists of three ingredients. Where do we sign up?

For this recipe, all you will need is:

  • 1 punnet of strawberries – approximately 400g
  • 2 mint leaves
  • 1 bottle of Champagne

Amanda’s top tip: “if you can buy or grow wild or Alpine strawberries, they taste amazing.”

Firstly, take your punnet of strawberries and pull off the green stems and leaves, then add to a blender with two mint leaves for a fresh kick and blitz these up until they make a puree.  

If you have a particularly sweet tooth or your strawberries aren’t in season, feel free to add a little sugar syrup, but if the strawberries are ripe (which they should be in July), your puree should be sweet enough from the natural sugars in the fruit.

Next, add a three teaspoons of your puree into a champagne flute, and top off with ice cold champagne. Et voila, the perfect summer cocktail to accompany an afternoon of spectatorship.

Amanda says: “This should make enough for one or two bottles of champagne depending on how strong you want the strawberry taste to come though. If you’re feeling daring, a slight variation on the recipe would be to add a teaspoon of brandy to each champagne glass too.”

Enjoy!

 

 

#ChristyLovesWimbledon: Wimbledon Crafts, with Along Came Cherry

Wimbledon is now in full swing which means that in Britain, summer has officially arrived. If you are planning any Wimbledon themed parties or BBQs then our friend, Jess, from Along Came Cherry, is here with some Wimbledon inspired crafts this Summer. We’ve got our scissors at the ready…

First up, is this impressive- looking tennis racket garland that may look complicated, but is actually rather easy to master.

For this garland you will need:

  • A small scrap of cardboard
  • 1x glue gun
  • 1 roll of white yarn
  • 1 metre of felt (Jess has used white and grey but you could use any colour you wish)
  • 1 pair of scissors

To start, take your cardboard and cut the outline of a tennis racket shape out of the cardboard, ensuring to cut a hole in the middle for your racket wire. This should be cut to the size that you want your rackets, but we would recommend 10cm x 5cm.

Next, take your cardboard template and use this to cut out racket shapes in the felt until you have 15 or so rackets to hang on your garland.

Then, cut small strands of yarn to fit inside your rackets. About 4 pieces of yarn per racket should make it look detailed enough. Then (carefully) use your glue gun to attach the yarn to your felt in a lattice fashion.

Finally, cut a piece of yarn to the desired length of your garland, and use the glue gun to attach your completed rackets to the string. Once fully dried, hang up over your fireplace or attach each end to a tree for the perfect Wimbledon decoration.

Now, what would a Wimbledon party be without a celebration of Strawberries? This next garland will ensure that once all your guests have snaffled the strawberries, you’ll still have motifs of the fashionable fruit dotted around your Wimbledon party.

For the strawberry garland, you will need:

  • 1 metre of red felt
  • 1 metre of green felt
  • Needle and thread (in green or red)
  • 1 pair of scissors

Start by cutting a strawberry shape (similar to a heart shape) out of the red felt until you have around 15 strawberries. Next, take the green felt and cut out the foliage to sit on top of the strawberry.

Then take your thread and stitch the foliage to the strawberry. Once you have stitched them together, leave around 10cm of thread and stitch the next strawberry together. Not only will the thread attach you two pieces of felt together, but it will also provide the integral structure for your garland. And you’re finished!

Not only are both garlands really simple to make, but they provide you and your family with a great afternoon of activities and some fabulous handmade decoration for the sporting party of the year.

 

#ChristyLovesWimbledon: Bringing Wimbledon In To Your Home, with Love Chic Living

As you may have already guessed, the team here at Christy HQ can’t get enough of Wimbledon this year, and like a lot of people, we eat, breath and sleep tennis at this time of year.

By why should it just stop at the odd Wimbledon-themed party once a year? Why not take some inspiration from the court and bring it into our homes for the ultimate summer upgrade?

Luckily, our friend, Jen, from Love Chic Living, is also an avid Wimbledon fan and is here to help discover the ultimate in tennis-inspired home décor.

Upcycling Tennis Racquets

Credit: Houzz

This first idea is a nifty DIY project that will transform a vintage tennis racquet (these can be found online or in most charity shops) into a fabulous multi-purpose addition to your hallway.

Jen says: “As above, you can turn them into great wall hooks in the entrance hallway, or use them in a wall collage or display, or even add a few little hooks to them to store your jewellery.”

We think it’s a must for any tennis lover. What would you use yours for?

Tennis Wallpaper

Credit: NOTHS

Next up is this beautifully intricate tennis-motif wallpaper from Cazalet Designs. It features a delicate design on a lush green background which makes the piece simultaneously bold yet subtle. It’s fun without being too quirky and wouldn’t jar with other décor pieces.

Jen adds: “Coordinated as in the picture with bright contemporary décor, it looks cool without being kitsch. This would be ideal as a statement wallpaper or even an all over pattern in a smaller room.”

Towels

Now, how could we mention tennis-inspired decor without including our beautiful range of Wimbledon textiles? Possibly the easiest way to incorporate the sports-luxe look into your home.

Jen’s favourite is the Wimbledon Sports Towel in white. She says: “With just a nod to the tennis scene, this is a bang on-trend way to add some tennis-inspired interiors to your home”.

Vintage Wall Art

Credit: Etsy

If like us, you can’t get enough of the industrial interiors trend that is everywhere at the moment, this next piece from Etsy will be perfect for you.

A fan or the piece, Jen adds: “I just love this piece, it’s so different, stylish and not obvious at all. For the diehard tennis fan, a piece like this is a must. Perfect displayed on its own or as part of a larger wall display, maybe even with the upcycled vintage tennis racquets we mentioned earlier.

 

#ChristyLovesWimbledon: Guide To Wimbledon Etiquette, with William Hanson

Also known as The Championships, Wimbledon is arguably the most prestigious tennis event in the world and has been held in the London suburb of Wimbledon since 1877. This year, the two-week event starts on the 3rd July and to ensure that you’re properly prepared, we spoke to William Hanson, the UK’s leading etiquette coach and expert,  who gives his advice for those attending Wimbledon for the first time. Follow his advice, and in no time you’ll be sipping on Pimms on the Centre Court in no time.

Dress code

William Hanson says: “Although there are no hard-and-fast rules for spectators (they need not wear all white) “It is generally acknowledged that Wimbledon is an ‘occasion’ and should be treated like such and so smarter dress is worn.

“Panama’s for the men and large brimmed sunhats for women are a good idea, as indeed a good pair of sunglasses.”

Advice for spectators

If this is your first time at Wimbledon, there’s a few things to note to avoid any potential scowls from fellow attendees.

  1. If you’re inside a court watching a game, your phone must be switched off
  2. Similarly, chatting is kept to an absolute minimum
  3. No flashlight photography
  4. No selfie sticks

William adds: “For first-timers, it is important to know that you cannot leave or take your seats whilst a game is in play. Wardens control the spectator entrances and exits and sometimes you can wait anything up to fifteen minutes before the game is completed.”

Celebrations and commiserations

When it comes to cheering on your favourite player, William says there is definitely a right way and a wrong way to show your appreciation: “I would suggest that spectators do not make a song and dance about any British sporting prowess or success that Mr Murray may have: flag waving and nice cheering (not during actual play, mind you) is preferred – there’s no need to go overboard.”

Similarly, if the player you’re routing for doesn’t win, keep that classic stiff upper lip that us Brits are famous for. William says: “If Murray does not do as well as hoped, one should remember to be gracious in defeat. Congratulate the victor and do not sulk churlishly or lash out.”

 Get the perfect selfie before heading to Wimbledon and we’ll see you court side.

Love, Christy

 

Feels Like Home: 3 Steps to Eating Well at Home

Feels Like Home: 3 Steps to Eating Well at Home

By Julie Montagu, The Flexi Foodie, http://www.juliemontagu.com

Eating well at home

Eating well at home is a concept that many people over-complicate due to the endless amounts of health and dietary advice in existence. Getting back to basics is undoubtedly the best way to dramatically improve your eating habits and get on track to optimum health and wellbeing.

Maintaining a healthy, happy atmosphere in the home is a brilliant way to motivate yourself and your family to fill the kitchen cupboards with nothing but goodness. This is one of the core concepts of the COTTON USA & Christy ‘Feels Like Home’ Campaign of 2016. Here are my top 3 tips for eating well at home.

1) Go Organic

Shopping organic is a good way to eradicate harmful pesticides from your home and your dinner table. Pesticides are used during the production of many foods but can actually disrupt your hormones and cause ill-health. Growing your own food is arguably the best way to be sure that you are avoiding pesticides, but opting for organically grown produce will also keep these harmful chemicals at bay.

2) Be Natural

Removing all packaged and processed foods from your shopping list is an incredibly positive step towards always eating well at home. These foods can contain incredibly high amounts of fat, calories and additives, and not a lot of the good stuff! Opt instead for a wide variety of plant-based foods and natural whole grain products. In doing so, you will flood your home and your body with healthy, antioxidant rich foods that will boost your overall wellbeing.

3) Get Together

Bringing your family together every night for a meal is a great way to encourage healthy eating habits in the home. Many people find that they have much more motivation to cook a deliciously nutritious meal when they are going to be sharing it with their loved ones. Gathering around the table to eat dinner is also the perfect way for the whole family to unwind after a busy day.

As you can see, eating well at home is simple and effortless when you indulge in a little forward planning. By making slight alterations to your existing routine and choices you can quickly create a healthier, happier home! Christy Supreme Hygro® towels carry the COTTON USA international trademark for quality U.S cotton-rich products. They are a great choice for creating a traditional yet stylish look in your home! You can win your own set of towels by entering this home makeover competition: http://www.christy-towels.com/win-makeover-feelslikehome or take a look at how to fold the perfect towel for your guests in this video.

 

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