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Tag Archives: Christmas

All I want for Christmas! Our Top 20 Treats List

All I want for Christmas….! We’ve put together a bunch of delectable delights (mainly ‘for her’ of course!) of our top 20 needs and wants for Christmas this year, in no particular order. Any one of these would make a totally luxe gift for any special lady in your life, Chanel nail polish for your best friend, stylish Liberty stationary for your colleague, Charbonnel et Walker chocolates for your mum… there’s so many beautiful gifts to choose from but these are our highlights at Cute Maps this year, so if any of you are stuck for ideas – I put this list together (hint!)

 

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 Above: 1.Chanel Nail Polish £18

2. Chanel Noir Perfume £106 for 100ml

3.Chanel Rouge Coco Lipstick £25

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Above: Liberty 2015 Navy Leather Diary £60 – Also available as a note book

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Above: Emma Bridgewater for Liberty Mug £24.95

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Above: 1. Liberty Fudge £7.95

2. Liberty Scarf £65

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Above: House of Hackney Velvet Cushions £145

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Above: House of Hackney Set of Three Notebooks £14

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Above: 1. Christian Lacroix A6 Notebook £12

2. Fortnum & Mason Biscuits £25

3. Fornasetti Candle £99

4. Diptyque Candle £45

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Above: The Jewel Box by Prestat £24.95

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Above: Charbonell et Walker Truffles £12.95

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Above: Pierre Hardy Pouch £135 (small) £160 (large)

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Purple Trim Phone Amazon £19.99

That should do it!

Present Wrapping Ideas and Inspiration

26_7148075_origIt’s that time of year again… lots of money is spent, lots of things are bought, and we only hope that our loved ones are going to love and appreciate what we have spent so much time and effort on over the last few weeks. This year I’m concentrating on small but meaningful, less expensive but well thought out pressies for the family. And with the ever growing group of friends, Secret Santa is always great idea as it definitely saves a few pennies! I really do believe though that a well wrapped present, wrapped with effort and time, love and a hint of creativity really makes the difference to the look of a present, especially if you’re like me this year and ‘trying’ to pull back on overspending.

My family love their food and being half Sicilian we love our Italian delights! I’m planning on heading to the Manchester Christmas Food Markets and stocking up on Italian biscuits, cakes, and these huge round ‘cakes’ which are entirely made out of chocolate and cut into slices which look like crazy lush soaps! I like the idea of wrapping them in clear cellophane so you can see the colourful nutty beauties that sit within, sealed off with an abundance of colourful ribbon and name tagged with a funny photo of them – which is also a little extra pressie. Or, place them in a Kilner jar which would be great to keep them fresh, and write their name and a little message with a glass pen on the front. This could also double up as a great biscuit/coffee/tea container of the future!

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For more ideas on bespoke tags and custom Christmas cards and gifts made with love, why not head to the Cute Maps website: http://www.cutemaps.co.uk/cutechristmas.html to check out our first EVER Christmas Shop? There’s still plenty of time to order and just drop us an email with any weird and wonderful queries! See below for a little teaser!

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Here are some great ideas to give you some wrapping inspiration… and it really doesn’t have to cost much, just a little bit more time and effort maybe, but it is Christmas after all!

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Cute Maps Christmas Shop Launch!

This is really exciting for us, as you can imagine! Our first EVER Cute Maps Christmas shop where you can purchase not only two wonderful personalised Christmas gifts: the Gift Map and Customised Calendar, but for the first time ever we have launched Custom Illustrated Christmas Cards and Gift Tags. Check out our new page here http://www.cutemaps.co.uk/cutechristmas.html

Our Cute Maps Gift Map is a truly wonderful personalised Christmas present. We are accustomed to receiving many weird and wonderful map concepts from ‘Our Journey Together’, ‘Our World Trip’ to ‘Our Road Rally’, so how about ‘Our First Christmas’? We’d love to hear your ideas, so if you have something in mind just get in touch! We recommend up to approximately 5-6 locations on your Cute Maps, if you require more, just get in touch for a custom quote, we are very accommodating! Prices start at £120 for black and white or one colour, and order by the 8th December for delivery in time for Christmas. Click here to see more info http://www.cutemaps.co.uk/giftmap.html

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Another delightful option is our brand new Custom Illustrated Calendar, what better gift to keep your family and friends organised for 2015! A super cute bespoke custom illustrated calendar sitting pretty on its very own wooden easel! Each calendar consists of 12 individual postcards for each month, printed with illustrated head shots of your friends, family or pets on high quality textured card. The back of each card hosts a section for your personal notes. Each calendar can cater up to 6 characters including pets… what a great personalised pressie! Prices start at £13.00 for one. As a special treat we also have an amazing FREE SHIPPING offer on this item, which is usually £7.00, all you need to do is select ‘No Shipping’ from the delivery drop down box at the checkout page. Order ASAP to get your Christmas cards in time, but the last day to order for Christmas delivery on your cards is 10th December. Click here to see more info http://www.cutemaps.co.uk/calendar.html

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Continue the personalised theme by greeting your friends and family with Cute Maps Christmas cards including an mini illustrated you! Each of these cute cards can feature up to 6 custom illustrations of your family, friends or pets! All you have to do is send us photos of whoever you’d like to include with your order to info@cutemaps.co.ukand we will design away! Prices start at £18.00 for 20. Order ASAP to get your Christmas cards in time, but the last day to order for Christmas delivery on your cards is 10th December, FREE SHIPPING is also available on this item. Click on this link for more info http://www.cutemaps.co.uk/christmascards.html

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Why not match your special bespoke Christmas cards with personalised Gift Tags?! Make tagging your presents cute and easy with these custom Christmas tags. Each tag can feature a motif of your choice. All you need to do is view the pictures in the gallery to pick one, or why not use one of the characters that you’ve had previously designed from your custom calendar and Christmas card? Prices start at £8.00 for 24. The last day to order your tags is 16th December and FREE SHIPPING once again! Have a look at this link for more info and images http://www.cutemaps.co.uk/christmastags.html

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If you have any questions, just send us a little email and I’m sure we can put something great together for you… Merry Cute Christmas to all! And for more info just click here http://www.cutemaps.co.uk/cutechristmas.html

Winter Wedding Styling Ideas

When we think of winter weddings we immediately think of thick white powdery snow photo shoots with brides dressed in sparkly gowns and fur throws, (handy image to the left) however, the case is probably more likely to be a dull rainy day! (well, in Manchester is it.)

Here are some realistic down to earth DIY ideas to add some extra winter sparkle, warmth and cosiness to a winter wedding day. We love the idea of a hot chocolate bar, think luxurious, decadent thick hot chocolate with an alcoholic option (Bailey’s please) and lots of marshmallows and sprinkles.

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This idea could be developed into quirky little favours – hot chocolate in a jar? ‘Make your own chocolate cake’ in a jar. Typical me to go down the chocolate route, I suppose when I think of winter I do think of indulgence, therefore chocolate!

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Other ways to inject a hint of winter wonderland are to use an abundance of candles, maybe try all different sizes, from huge church candles to tea-lights, and also rows and rows of fairy lights.

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Using woodland props like bark, twigs and mini tress as centre pieces would help create a fairy tale like theme, but also very organic, natural and tasteful. A bauble or two may not go a miss either!

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Real Life Wedding, Ann-Claire and Gerard

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Happy Friday everyone! Hope you are all looking forward to the weekend ahead, definitely well deserved I think! I have a stunning wedding to share with you today, an absolute classic, filled to the brim with old style glamour. Ann-Claire and Gerard got married in December, and I love the festive touches they have incorporated into their day; it fits perfectly with the grandness of their theme. Their venue is simply stunning, complete with incredible Christmas tree; ideal for wedding photos! Enjoy these glorious images brought to you by Patrick Ryan Photography.  https://www.facebook.com/PatrickRyanPhotography  

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Names: Ann-Claire Rochford and Gerard Reynolds

Wedding Date: 20th December 2013

The vision for the day: Black and Gold elegance

The Planning Process: We got engaged in March 2013.once we found an available date for December 2013 from our church and venue it was straight into the planning process. I found etsy.com and pinterest great resources. I went with the black and gold theme based on a ball gown I had seen, this ended up being our bridesmaid dress. By May I had chosen our invites and my dress. During the summer months I met with my florist and” finesse weddings” to discuss church and ballroom decor.

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The Venue: The 5 star Heritage golf and spa resort Killenard, Co. Laois, Ireland. It is a distance of 10km from our church. We had to factor in December weather for guests and what it may be like to travel on the roads, therefore we choose a venue close by that we both were very familiar with.

The Dress and Accessories: I got the dress in May at Ronald Joyce, it was a “light gold Blanch” gown, from Amarra bridal,Co. Kildare,Ireland. My shoes -Jimmy choo “Vamp”- were a wedding gift from my sisters. As there was a lot of detail on my dress I just wore earrings and a hair piece under my veil. I wanted a vintage veil in a very off white colour to match the dress. I finally found one on etsy.com it was cathedral length “Juliet capped” champagne vintage veil.

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Grooms Attire; Gerard said from the start that he wanted no tails on his wedding attire so suits were the only option and the men looked really smart. Gerard’s suit was purchased locally (in Eamon Brackens menswear) while the other 8 were hired also in Eamon Brackens, Portarlington, Co. Laois. All 9 men wore black and gold cufflinks, brown shoes, white shirts, gold tie pins, black and gold ties and matching a matching black and gold handkerchief.

The Readings : I picked the readings myself from a book my sister had given me when she visited Knock, Co. Mayo during the summer of 2013. The first reading: A reading from the book of Genesis 2:18-24 was read by my brother Mark. The responsorial psalm was Ps 32:12. 18. 20-22. R v.5 read by my friend Annie.The second reading: A reading from the first letter of St Paul to the Corinthians 12:31- 13:8 was read by one of Gerards sisters, Sinéad. We had a selection of cousins and friends read the prayers of the faithful and Gerards sister Mary read the communion reflection “Perhaps love” by John Denver.

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Beautiful Bridesmaids; I ordered the first bridesmaid dress in April and once it matched the online version I went ahead and ordered the other girls dresses. I loved the black and gold polka dot corset and black gathered skirt.

Music ; My cousin Joseph sang in the church and was accompanied by the very talented musician Owen Lynch. A family friend sang A Capella after communion in the church. Arrivals music in the hotel was provided by the hotel; a pianist on a grand piano in the foyer. Our band were fantastic they were called the The Pearls, they had everyone out on the dance floor from the word go.

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Our First Dance; This was a Christmas song the “Fairytale of New York (Christy Moore version) it is a favourite of ours and reminded Gerard of absent friends. R.I.P.

The Food: The food was all provided by the Hotel and was plentiful and tasty. The arrival food was mini goats cheese tartlets, filo pastry prawns and spring rolls served with mulled wine and prosecco. The main meal consisted of : chicken and mushroom vol au vent, butternut squash soup, turkey and ham or beef or a vegetarian option, and a trio of desserts: pistachio Crème Brule, apple pie, meringue nest.

The cake: This was a fruit cake made by my Mum. It was almond iced and decorated with white icing that had been placed in a lace mould. . I also made Cadburys chocolate biscuit cake for the guest wedding cake boxes and for afters food on the night.

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The flowers: I wanted generous looking flowers everywhere and my florist certainly delivered. We had sweeping bouquets of red, orange, (arum lilies) hints of purple and lush green foliage.

Your Photographer: Our photographer was a local guy called Patrick Ryan, from Portlaoise, Co. Laois. Though only in his twenties Patrick has been practicing as a photographer for over ten years now. Starting out his career as an assistant to one of Ireland’s most renowned and highly decorated portrait and wedding photographers, Theresa and Brian Redmond AIPPA of Redmond’s of Roscrea.   https://www.facebook.com/PatrickRyanPhotography

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The Details and Décor: I was very interested in having small details at the wedding. For the wedding car we had personalised ribbons with our name and date on them. In the church we had tones of flowers, our aisle stands and lanterns were supplied by Finesse weddings. On arrival at the hotel we had black and gold cake boxes for guests with the date and event on front. My cousin Martin made a beautiful candy cart placed in the foyer of the hotel. It had personalised black and gold stickers on the sweet jars “AC and Gerard 20/12/13”. We also had a personalised “hot air balloon guest book” for guests to sign their name on, it was on an easel in the ballroom. In the ball room, provided by Finesse weddings we had purple and peach coloured up lighting and we also had a fairylight backdrop behind the top table. At each individuals seat we had black and gold picture frames as guest favours from etsy.com. After the main course we had a singing chef and waitress to entertain guests. During the band interval we had Irish dancers to entertain.

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The Honeymoon; We are saving again and planning on travelling in the summer of 2014 to around the world trip.

Memorable Moments: Seeing the congregation through my champagne coloured veil. Saying our vows.

Advice for other couples: We were lucky to have a short engagement and it added to the excitement of the year. Pinterest is incredible for DIY ideas. Keep track of gifts by writing in small writing on back of guest cards.

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Credits: All credit goes to Goldlink stationery for our fabulous invites, http://www.goldlinkstationery.com/. Cute Maps for the beautiful quirky maps, http://www.cutemaps.co.uk. Our families for all their support, Lena in The heritage golf and spa resort for her hard work, http://www.theheritage.com/. Mary at Finesse weddings for all the behind the scenes work,  http://www.finesseweddings.ie/home.php.  My florist Liz and the priests who helped make the ceremony beautiful.

Real Life Wedding, Victoria and Brendan

I hope you are all having fantastic festive seasons and are enjoying all the post Christmas relaxing as much as the pre-Christmas partying. There’s still lots of turkey to eat, movies to watch and mulled wine is definitely appropriate until March! (promise). So while you are enjoying this extended nap time, we have another incredible real life wedding to share with you. Brendan and Victoria got married in November 2012 and they did it in style. The whole seamless elegance of the day is so apparent, a beautiful occasion captured by the talented Matt Bishop(www.mbishopphotography.co.uk) so curl up on your Christmas couch and have a read.

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Names: Brendan and Victoria

Wedding Date: 24th November 2012

The vision for the day: Elegant and English Rustic with a hint of vintage glamour

The Proposal: Brenden proposed to Victoria in the Jardin du Luxembourg in Paris on an Easter Break in 2012. We have been to Paris every year since we met so it is a place which holds many happy memories for us both.

 

 

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The Venue: Ceremony at The Lanesborough and food at The Bull and Last. We specifically wanted two different styles of venue – somewhere elegant for the ceremony and somewhere relaxing for the evening. Both venues had to meet our high standards of quality for food and drink.

The Dress and Accessories: Firenze wedding dress from Phase Eight, I wanted a cream coloured vintage-style dress with embroidery over the dress I accessorised it with Vintage-style earrings and bracelet from Fur Coat No Knickers, Shoes from Manolo Blahnik (bought on my hen weekend in New York), diamond necklace was borrowed from my sister, a silver-jewelled hairpin to wear in the evening when I removed my veil.

 

 

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Grooms Attire: GiorgioArmani navy blue suit. Tie by Penrose

Music: Brenden chose the songs that the pianist played at The Lanesborough. At the Bull and Last we played Horace Silver (jazz) from an ipod.

The flowers: At the Lanesborough in the ceremony room, on every other pew end, there was a small posy of roses tied with cream ribbon. In the reception area there were small silver goblets arranged with roses. These flowers were then carried by friends to the Bull and Last where they were placed in silver tankards to put on the tables at the pub.

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The Cake: Cupcakes from Primrose Hill Bakery to take away

Your Photographer:Matt Bishop, www.mbishopphotography.co.uk

The Details and Décor: Tea lights on the mantelpiece in the ceremony room and around the statue at The Lanesborough during the drinks/canapé reception. We had a table outside the ceremony room with photos in vintage frames of family weddings and Brenden and Victoria when they were young. Other than that we did not feel that any additional decoration was required as the venues carried themselves perfectly.

 

 

 

 

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The Honeymoon: We went on a road trip to California working our way down Highway 1 from San Francisco to LA for a month over Christmas and New Year.

Memorable Moments: Brenden’s speech. Standing back from our guests and seeing them all having a good time.Victoria’s father ordering a brandy to calm her nerves before the ceremony and then proceeding to drink most of it himself.What made our day truly special was all the people closest to us in our lives being in one place at the same time helping us to celebrate our wedding.

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26_1280149Advice for other couples: Focus on what is important to you when planning your wedding. Do not conform to preconceived notions of what a wedding should or should not entail.

Credits

Venues:Ceremony and drinks/canapé reception, www.lanesborough.com, Charlie Williams at The Lanesborough email: cwilliams@lanesborough.com. Evening Reception, www.thebullandlast.co.uk, Sarah at The Bull and Last email: thebullandlast@googlemail.com. Wedding Night for Bride and Groom,www.deanstreettownhouse.com

Photographer: www.mbishopphotography.co.uk

Brides outfit: Wedding dress: www.phase-eight.co.uk. Wedding dress alterations:www.deisgneralterations.com.

Accessories: Short sleeve marabou cream fur (fake) jacket: Biba at House of Fraser. Earrings, bracelet and vintage compact: www.furcoatnoknickers.co.uk.

Shoes: Silver Sedaraby pumps purchased at the Manolo Blahnik store in New York. These can be bought at Liberty in London. Necklace: borrowed from my sister Catherine.

Veil: modelled on Kate Moss’s wedding veil and made by Arin Hopkins email: vegasveils@gmail.com who is a US-based supplier that I found on Etsy. Bag: www.vintagebridalaccessories.co.uk. Hair pin:www.libertyinlove.co.uk

Hair and make-up: Hair: Grace at Charles Worthington in Percy Street www.charlesworthington.com. Makeup: www.sadafmakeup.comSadaf Ahmad email: sadaf@sadafmakeup.com

Groom’s outfit: www.selfridges.co.uk, Armani at Selfridges.

Wedding cake: Wedding cupcakes and boxes, www.primrosebakery.org.uk

Flowers: www.chivers.co.uk, Robyn at Chivers in Charlotte Street email: sales@chiversflowers.co.uk. Flowers the The Lanesborough which were taken to The Bull and Last were prepared by the in-house florist

Transport: London Bus, www.timebus.co.ukTimebus Travel email: book@timebus.co.uk

Stationery: Wedding Invitations: www.piccolopress.co.uk.

Wedding Map + Information: www.cutemaps.co.uk. Sheree Willis email, info@cutemaps.co.uk.

Calligraphy for addressing invitations: www.calligraphycompany.com, Angelo Meola email, angelo@calligraphycompany.com

Entertainment: Pianist at The Lanesborough – John Pickup, www.johnpickup.org

Catering: The Lanesborough and The Bull and Last

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What to Wear to a Winter Wedding

It’s the time of year when my main goal is to stay warm. At all times I need at least 60000 layers, ideally a hot water bottle and a plethora of hot drinks to choose from. Winter hibernation is not just for the squirrel my friend and the only acceptable reason to go out is the promise of mulled wine, a fire, hot chocolate or baileys…or to guarantee my presence all of the above. So WHAT am I meant to do for a winter wedding? Is a fleecy blanket an acceptable cover up? Do slipper socks go with those shoes? All important questions. Winter weddings are becoming more and more popular, and it’s not hard to see why. Beautiful crisp days, festive merriment, holidays and perhaps even a sprinkling of snow. In fact given the British ‘summer’ doesn’t exactly lend itself to summer dressing, planning for your wedding to be cold and preparing your guests (and yourself) for practical clothing is a genius idea.

Thankfully help is at hand! Fashion can sometimes be cruel but thankfully in this instance she has delivered beautifully giving us lots of practical and beautiful options for formal winter occasions.These beauties could also see you through many a Christmas party; Beautiful, chic and warm, it can be done!

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