It is mid-December and the countdown is on! Amidst the magic, sparkle and Christmas elves; a lot of us find that the festive period is met with an overwhelming amount of demands on our time from work, friends & family. You have deadlines to meet, you have probably over committed to too many Christmas parties, work events are at full throttle and your children’s school is hosting a myriad of carol concerts & nativity plays and somewhere you have to cram in your own Christmas plans…… so even the most energetic and ‘together’ of us may be starting to feel weary and bedraggled and wondering how can we physically make it to the end of year?!
Well help is here! This edition STORCX is dedicating it to YOU and offering our guide on how to survive the Christmas season. We have the fantastic Kelly Eastwood aka The London Chatter, giving her thoughts on The Party Season and how to keep on going whilst looking and feeling fabulous!
Kelly was one of the UK’s first professional fashion and lifestyle bloggers, and has a regular monthly columnist at Hello! Fashion Monthly. Engaging and passionate, Kelly is a keen conservationist, using her platforms to share awareness for endangered wildlife, and to work with young British designers to create popular ‘Buy to Give’ designs, donating 100% of the profits to wildlife projects across Kenya, where she grew up.
PARTY SURVIVAL SEASON TIPS…
S: YOU HAVE AMAZING ENERGY AND ZEST FOR LIFE, HOW DO YOU KEEP THIS GOING WITH YOUR BUSY LIFESTYLE?
KE: My weekdays are so full on, both during the day and night, so I literally live for the weekends, where I lay like broccoli (Vivian reference, anyone? ANYONE?) and catch up with sleep, exercise and Netflix.
S: IN THE COLDER MONTHS WE ALL STRUGGLE WITH THE CLIMATE CHANGE, HOW DO YOU KEEP YOUR SKIN LOOKING RADIANT?
KE: I have really sensitive skin so mainly stick to my Sisley Paris, tried-and-tested skin routine, but with the addition of their new Velvet Sleeping Mask in the colder months, which I leave on overnight. It’s really soothing and restorative and, alongside recently discovering a nearby Face Gym, my skin feels more Winter prepped than ever before. I was however, recently sent a sparkly cashmere balaclava by Cashmere in Love, so if all goes to hell with my skin in the next few months, at least I won’t be scaring the horses (just maybe just a few bank clerks.)
S: WHAT IS YOUR GO TO OUTFIT FOR AN AFTER-WORK DRINKS PARTY?
KE: A maxi dress covers a multitude of sins, and luckily, also trainers! After a day or running about in town, a quick change into heels, with a 5-minute bathroom make over (cat eye flicks, a dark lip, a Simone Rocha hair slide, and a spritz of my handy sized Sana Jardin ‘Tiger by Her Side’) and we’re back in the game. Carrying a smaller, more evening-friendly clutch in your larger day-time handbag that you can check in also proves useful.
S: MULTI-EVENTS IN ONE NIGHT… HOW DO ACCOMMODATE CASUAL TO EVENING GLAM?
KE: A velvet jumpsuit, every time. It’s the cool-cat option; Just as smart as a cocktail dress, but infinitely sassier and more adaptable. My favourite is an old mustard yellow one I picked up at Topshop, but this season LK Bennett have a brilliant blue one, Temperley a stunning dark green, and Racil a crushed black velvet.
S: YOU TURN UP TO A PARTY AND YOU DON’T KNOW ANYONE EXPECT THE HOST(ESS), HOW DO YOU STRIKE UP A CONVERSATION WITH A STRANGER?
KE: I spill my drink on them. Ok, I don’t… I ask the first person who smiles at me how they know the host, hopefully leading to a conversation where I can then ask more questions about themselves. I’ve never been someone that needs to arrive at a party or event with a wingman to feel confident, as you may have guessed from the name of my blog, I love chatting and I see everyone as a potential new pal.
S: TO GIVE OR NOT TO GIVE? WHEN DO YOU BRING A GIFT FOR THE HOST(ESS)?
KE: I take a gift whenever I stay with someone, and my ‘go to’ is always a Jo Malone candle and a wooden box of Daylesford caramel hearts, or if attending a dinner or party, a bottle or two and some flowers, both wrapped in brown paper with a ribbon.
S: WHAT ARE THE BEST GIFTS YOU HAVE RECEIVED?
KE: A vintage Cartier watch, identical to my mother’s found at Burlington Arcade, from my parents, and my grandmother’s aquamarine cocktail ring she used to wear in the 1920’s in Kenya. The swing-bed my father had made for me one Easter back home in Kenya however, has definitely proved to be the gift that has kept giving – my ideal nap zone and I miss it a lot when in London!
STORCX GUIDE TO THE SILLY SEASON
1. DON’T OVER COMMIT
It’s easy to get over excited in the run up to Christmas and agree to go to every party you are invited to, the reality is when the evening in question arrives we wonder why on earth we agreed to it and how are we going to squeeze it in and manage 5 nights out on the trot!
Our advice here is to pace your RSVP’s… Wait until you have a few in hand and then really pick and choose the 2 or 3 that you either really want to go to, or that you have to go to!
2. LIMIT YOURSELF
At most Christmas parties you feel as though you are constantly foisted a drink in hand and sometimes you don’t want to say no to be deemed a scrooge or party pooper! Our advice is to stick to a 2 drink limit, or if you want to avoid alcohol all together with no-one suspecting, subtly and sneakily change drinks by swapping with a friend who may be only too eager to pass you their drained glass for a fresh one!
3. WHAT TO WEAR
With a sudden increase of evening events and a limited number of sparkly outfits, dress smart when planning your office to party wear! This is the one time of year you can go totally bananas! Sequins, diamante, sparkles and glitter! You can keep outfits fresh by adding a festive or sparkly accessory, a change in flats to heels or just putting on a bright red lipstick for the evening!
Don’t under estimate the power of exercise even if you have had a bit of a jolly one the night before and your body feels like a duvet day. Shake it off, drag yourself for a run, a dog walk or out the gym and sweat it out! You will feel ready for anything after working off those Christmas canapes and eggnog!
5. PLAN YOUR PRESENTS EARLY
If you have not done this already you are reading this guide far too late! The best trick to be organised and keep your cool at Christmas is to have all your presents locked and loaded, wrapped and ready to go by end of November. That way you avoid the crowds and the panic!
6. ORDER FOOD EARLY
Again, if you have not done this – do this NOW! Keeping your family’s tummy’s happy over the holidays is key to a happy Christmas; and with strange shop opening hours over the various bank holidays you do not want to be left with an empty larder!
Whichever way Christmas affects you Storcx is here to lend a hand. If you are thinking presents and gifting, think Storcx. It is the easiest way to money-pool and group gift and reduce any Christmas panic, even for the most seasoned organized Christmas shopper.
Whether this is for grandparents, godchildren, teachers, a boss or colleague simply go to Storcx.com and chip in with others, for one large gift this Christmas that the recipient will never forget. Don’t forget you can also use Storcx to organize a Christmas Party, invite guests to a lunch, dinner or carols by candlelight and use Storcx to collect the funds!
DECEMBER GIFTING GUIDE
ROYAL OPERA HOUSE
AISHA & ABHAYA
TICKETS FROM £3.00
PHOEBE DICKINSON PAINT WORKSHOP
VILLA CETINALE APRIL 17- 23RD 2020
LE TOY VAN
PALACE DOLL HOUSE
LARGE ZIPPED TOTE
WOOL TWEED & GOLD-TONED METAL
PITTI WOOL COAT
CHRISTMAS IN LEICESTER SQUARE
8th November to 5th January
Experience a magical Christmas market in Leicester Square, plus unique Christmas shows for all the family
HOGWARTS IN THE SNOW AT
WARNER BROS. STUDIO TOUR LONDON
16th November to 26th January
Travel on a magical adventure through the Warner Brother set of Harty Potter.
21ST November – 6TH January
London Hyde Park
No December is complete without a visit to the magic and excitement that is Winter Wonderland. With rides and games for ALL the family, WW kicks off the Christmas season with style and energy!
WINTER AT THE SOUTHBANK CENTRE
8th November to 5th January
London Southbank SE1
Fun-filled family shows, festive goodies at our markets and pop-ups, twinkling lights, dazzling comedy and cabaret – with more seasonal delights than you can shake a stocking at, Southbank Centre in winter is truly magical.
CHRISTMAS AT KEW
20th November to 5th January
Kew Gardens TW9 3AB
Enjoy an exciting tour around Kew Gardens in the dark under the twinkle of the stars filled with sparkling Christmas lights and magical illuminate paths.
LONDON NEW YEARS EVE FIREWORKS
Thames Riverside, Central London, SE1
Enjoy one of the world’s most famous NYE celebrations full of unmissable moments and staggering fireworks!
Remember Keep Life Simple – #storcxit xx