HBO Gift Wrapping Masterclass – Blogmas Day 23 – Take 2!

TV Series, Box Set , Wrapping, Christmas, Presents, HBO Christmas Gift Wrapping, Christmas, Presents, Gifts, Blog A Book Etc, Fay
A couple of weeks ago Catherine and I were invited to the offices of Premier for a HBO gift wrapping masterclass. As I LOVE anything to do with Game of Thrones (geeky I know!) I jumped at the chance to see an expert at work wrapping a present that I would be ecstatic to receive as a gift (did the subliminal messaging work there guys?!). And yes that is a condom in the above picture! The TV series of Girls is quite raunchy in places but playful with it and the wrapping above perfectly portrays such characteristics. Personally I wanted the pouch for a clutch bag but sadly that isn’t possible.

HBO, Gift Wrapping, Expert Wrapping, DVD Shelf, Blog A Book Etc, Fay

Arona Khan is an international gift wrapping expert known for her scintillating methods that will make you want to actually preserve your wrapping paper this year rather than just ripping it off to get to your present. From Game of Thrones to a bottle of wine this lovely lady has a whole host of handy tips for us mere mortals of the wrapping world to jazz up our run of the mill gifts and make our recipients awestruck at our new and wonderful techniques. A big bow here and a little bauble there and poof the job is done!

Check out a couple of videos made by the lovelies at Premier for the afternoon session we attended.

How much do you want to snuggle under that lovely piece of fur.

GOT, Game of Thrones, Wrapped, Faux Fur, Fur, Feathers, Jewels, Joffrey, Crown, HBO, Box Set, TV Series, Blog A Book Etc, Fay
As I have already (badly) wrapped my gifts next year will be the time that I test out this wonderful technique unless of course I bust my new moves for someones birthday – we shall see!

True Detective is a show that I have yet to watch, however that does not stop me loving this nifty idea of wrapping and all from scratch – Handmade wrapping right!

True Detective, HBO, Gift Wrapping, Wrapping, Christmas, Presents, Box Set, TV Series, Blog A Book Etc, Fay

Arona has been kind enough to put together her five top gift wrapping tips that should see you through any tricky wrapping situation that comes your way. Just remember tips for life not just for Christmas!

The one thing I always have an issue with is making bows as like most I do not possess the power to grow tentacles in order to wrap well. Arona of course had a solution that consisted of making many loops and a small twist. Check out her webpage for some handy hints but for the process in motion check out this picture of Arona showing me how its done.

Christmas, Gifts, Presents, Wrapping, HBO Gift Wrapping, Bows, Ribbon, Blog A Book Etc, Fay

Since passing the legal drinking age many years ago a present that seems much appreciated by myself and friends is a lovely bottle of alcohol (I would say wine but that isn’t always the case!). Wrapping said present is always an issue as it is not an easy shape to navigate. Of course Arona was on hand for such troublesome wrapping.

Bottle, Wine, Wrapping, Christmas, Presents, HBO Christmas Gift Wrapping, Christmas, Presents, Gifts, Blog A Book Etc, Fay

Whilst watching Arona at work the ladies at Premier supplied us with coffee and mince pies.

Mince Pies, Christmas, HBO, Gift Wrapping, Blog A Book Etc, Fay

Not being hungry at the time I did not indulge in a mince-pie but Catherine was happy with hers so they must have been very tasty.

Bottle, Wine, Wrapping, Christmas, Presents, HBO Christmas Gift Wrapping, Christmas, Presents, Gifts, Blog A Book Etc, Fay

How awesome is the finished product – a little tip that Arona gave was to put tissue paper inside the cellophane so the actual contents isn’t obvious to the recipient.

HBO, HBO Christmas Gift Wrapping, Christmas, Gift, Present, Wrapping, Festive, Arona Khan, Blog A Book Etc, Fay
I would like to take this chance to say a massive THANK YOU to the lovelies at Premier and Arona Khan for her expert advice also to wish you all a very Merry Christmas!

HBO Christmas Gift Wrapping, Christmas, Presents, Gifts, Wrapping, Box Sets, TV Series, Game of Thrones, True Detective, Girls, Wine, Bottles, Cellophane, Faux Fur, Bows, Ribbon, Twine, Holly, Twigs, Blog A Book Etc, Fay


Cracking Christmas

Cracking Christmas, Christmas Crackers, Crackers, Christmas, Decorations, Table Decorations, Table, Moet et Chandon, Moet, Champagne, House of Fraser, Asda, Selfridges, Luxury, Shopping, Polyvore, Blog A Book Etc, Fay
This Christmas why not go all out with some amazing Christmas Crackers. From Champagne to Candy Kittens these crackers have an array of gifts that will have the adults at the table grinning like a cheshire cat. Great statement pieces for the festive table. The range goes from the cheaper end of the spectrum at Asda to a higher price range at Selfridges however they all boast some great novelty gifts for those around you to share the festive cheer.

Favourites of the Bunch

Candy Kittens, Christmas Crackers, Christmas, Decorations, Christmas Table, Candy Kittens, Candy, Blog A Book Etc, Fay

Not only is the inside tasty but there are a couple of other novelty items included like the Candy Kittens Lanyard and Keyring.
For £9.99 at Selfridges (Exclusively) you can grab one of these.

Moet et Chandon, Moet, Champagne, Alcohol, Christmas Crackers, Christmas, Crackers, Table Decorations, Celebrations, Blog A Book Etc, Fay

Champagne is a great addition to any table and especially at Christmas.
Why not treat yourself to some luxurious bubbles whilst enjoying the festive season.

For £15.99 at Selfridges it is all yours.

Christmas, Zara, Zara Home, Christmas, Christmas Decorations, Baubles, Stars, Silver, Glitter

How cute would these look hanging on the tree.
So beautiful and sparkly and when they catch the light you have your own little light show.

Yours for only £9.99 at Zara Home.

How are you starting to decorate your place?

Elizabeth Gilbert the Coyote

Elizabeth Gilbert, Coyote Ugly, Coyote, Bar, Alcohol, Drink, Night out, Blog A Book Etc, Life

Photo credit to Ronald Andren

From a Coyote to a world-renowned Author. Elizabeth Gilbert wrote an article in GQ a while back now about what it was like to be a real Coyote. Now after the film Coyote Ugly was released I am sure there were hoards of girls wanting to don their cowboy boots and low slung denims up on a bar shaking their money-maker. And yes ladies and gents I was (and still am!) one of those!

So, in my search for the real Coyote bar I clicked on a link to the founders history sheet and nestled within the deep secrets of Liliana Lovell was a passage about the woman herself Elizabeth Gilbert. Not only was it a surprise to find out about dearest Liz BUT Liliana herself has a link to my past. Maybe not in this particular country but the name of Ursuline High School is definitely widely known.

Check out the site and Liliana’s history – it is pretty cool and will make you want to book the next flight out to your closest saloon!

Coyote Ugly Saloon, Coyote Ugly, Bar, Alcohol, Night Out, Blog A Book Etc


As we arrived at London Heathrow via the swift services of Addison Lee our bags were decanted to two trolleys and we made our way to the designated Virgin part of the terminal. Due to the heavy winds and general bad weather people were camping out with pillows and blankets provided by the lovelies at Virgin. With a mixture of delayed flights and those that were just arriving with fingers crossed and hopeful faces that their flights were not cancelled we made our way to our designated check in desk and handed over our luggage. Check-in was no mean feat as it was done online the night before.

As we entered the vast expanse that was the Virgin Clubhouse for Terminal 3 London Heathrow we were greeted and alighted of our coats and bags. Coat check tickets in hand myself and the mother headed to the spa whilst pops collected a selection of newspapers and headed for the bar.

With our appointments booked we joined dad and got a drink to start our trip together. Champagne in hand we toasted and ordered breakfast.

breakfast at clubhouse

With no expectations from not being in this particular lounge before the breakfast was exquisite as was the service. Myself and mum were called to our pampering appointments. With a Dr H facial and O.P.I. manicure done and dusted my next port of call was a repeat bar visit prior going back into the big wide world of the real airport. Suitably loaded with a Breakfast Martini myself and mum made our way out to the shops to purchase some duty-free. Surprisingly the only thing on my list was the O.P.I. varnish just used on my nails.

opi lincoln park after dark

A visit to Boots Pharmacy, Zara and a couple of other outlets during the Christmas rush of unhappy customers had us practically crying to get back into the peace and quiet of the Clubhouse. Now I understand how snobby this must sound but after having about 3 hours sleep and no coffee it was more of an appreciative cry of thanks to get back into the lounge. More Alcohol? Food? No! Time to fly!

virgin flights plane from lhr to iad

With the final boarding call going out for our plane a variety of people made their way to the appropriate departure gate and boarded the plane. Welcome by Christmas jumpers, glasses adorned with antlers and the cheeriest staff I have experienced in a while we found our seats.

champs and choc

Comfort is a mild world for our future flight surroundings. Leather, alcohol, scrumptious food and up to date technology with a cumbersome selection of plugs for a plethora of gizmos and gadgets were set in front of us. I was one happy camper. The announcement was made that the plane was ready for take off. Looking around there were barely any people in the cabin and my smile just got bigger.

water and cake on the plane

The cabin crew were helpful above and beyond their call of duty and even had time for a little natter with myself and some other passengers. Such a personal experience is a rarity and one that is much appreciated when it happens. With the Christmas swing in full swing and decorations for the cabin going up we were well on our way to our final destination of Washington.

Headway was made on my current read although I was unable to finish it as the movie selection popped up and Gru with his delightful minions captured my attention for the rest of the flight.


 This year I have been pretty lucky with my travel opportunities and the transport has been second to none. So … A BIG thank you to Virgin and all of their staff and I hope you all have a wonderful Christmas and New Year.