twenty sixteen holiday gift guide

it's that magical time of year that we all know and most of us love, the weather is getting hotter, the days are getting longer and you spend your free time wondering where the year went. the shops are getting busier, and there's heaps of festive merchandise everywhere and you start to think to yourself 'i really should get my chrissie pressies sorted'. but you know it's only november so you tell yourself you still have time to get things sorted, the days are longer now you see, there's plenty of time to sort things out. besides you need to give it some thought because you know that soap on a rope and a box of favourites for the third time in a row just isn't going to cut it.  next thing you know, it's december 24th and you're freaking out because you've completely run out of time - or so i've heard someone tell the story. *the 'you' in this frightening tale may or may not be me

well i've got news for you with the holiday season fast approaching, it's time to get those pressies sorted and i'm here to help you do it. this shoppable gift guide features gifts inspired by twenty sixteen's trends and colours and the brands that i have discovered and grown to love this year. i've created this virtual lust list to inspire you to get your chrissie shopping started and hopefully help you discover some fabulous gift options for your loved ones this holiday season.

what's your favourite gift you've ever received or better yet given? are you an organised gifter or do you leave it to last minute too? tell me all of the things in the comments below.

do it yourself: emergency chocolate stash

*everyone rolls their eyes*

seriously? d-i-why??

*i clear my throat*

look, it's christmas - and a box of chocolate's simply isn't going to cut it!!

for reals, i get it - being told to do something yourself is seriously the pitts. and if i'm being completely honest there's nothing i love more than cutting corners, or paying someone else to do things for me, but... christmas is a time of giving - of giving gifts (duhh), giving of yourself, and of your precious time to make others happy and show them your love. but seriously, this diy takes literally minutes and costs you like $20 and you can find everything you need to make it at good ole Kmart!

diy emergency chocolate | mrtimothyjames | one
diy emergency chocolate | mrtimothyjames | two
diy emergency chocolate | mrtimothyjames | three
diy emergency chocolate | mrtimothyjames | four
diy emergency chocolate | mrtimothyjames | five
diy emergency chocolate | mrtimothyjames | six
emergency chocolate stash

you will need. a shadow box photo frame, peanut m&m's, liquid chalk and a gift box.

step one. take the back off the frame, and remove the insert. 

step two. on the glass front of the frame, using the liquid chalk, write 'in case of emergency break glass' (or your desired sentiment).

step three. once the chalk is dried, flip the frame over, and fill with the recipients fave m&m's or other lollies. 

step four. replace the back of the frame and secure.

step five. wrap your gift and surprise your loved one with a thoughtful gift. 


you can find shadow box photo frames at kmart, spotlight, or online.

you can wipe down the inside of the frame with vinegar before filling it to make it food safe.

liquid chalk is not permanent, it will brush off easily if not treated gently. for a more permanent solution, try a sharpie or a white paint pen.

a 440g box of peanut m&m's filled this 6x8inch shadow box nicely, you may need less or more based on the size of your frame.

mrtimothyjames does not recommend actually smashing this frame, because... glass, mess, danger, etc. this is merely a cute and creative way of gifting chocolates.

mrtimothyjames loves sturdy gift boxes like these from Domayne for this gift because they allow space so that the liquid chalk sentiment will not get brushed off.

if you make this gift for someone, i'd love to see how it turns out, share it with me on social media use the hashtag #mrtimothyjames

ever made someone a diy gift? in case of emergency, what is your go to chocolate? tell me all of the things in the comments below.

happy diy'ing love timothy xx

sugar cookies - xmas edition

so we all know sugar cookies are delicious, and maybe we even have the bodies to prove it - so given that xmas time is a free pass to eat whatever you want time to indulge, why not bake up a batch of happiness. i truly believe that sugar cookies are one of life's simple pleasures, they aren't anything fancy, and they don't pretend to be either - they're honest... as in honestly delicious.

sugar cookies are super fun to decorate and they look super impressive as a gift too - this is the perfect time for the kids to earn their keep have fun on their school holidays ;) but seriously kids love decorating cookies, just be aware that a few will go missing, oh and they kids will probably sneak a couple too haha!

xmas sugar cookies | mrtimothyjames | one
xmas sugar cookies | mrtimothyjames | two
xmas sugar cookies | mrtimothyjames | three
xmas sugar cookies | mrtimothyjames | four
xmas sugar cookies | mrtimothyjames | five
xmas sugar cookies | mrtimothyjames | six

the recipe

makes roughly two trays of cookies (varies based on cookie size)

cookie ingredients
decoration ingredients


in the bowl of an electric mixer, with a paddle attachment, beat the butter on high speed until pale and fluffy. add in the icing sugar and mix on a medium speed until combined, turn the mixer down to low and add the egg beating until combined. then beat in the extracts. with the mixer on the lowest speed, add the flour gradually until the mixture forms a dough. add the salt and continue to mix on low until the dough forms a ball. divide the dough into 2 equal portions and wrap each in cling wrap, refrigerate for 1 hour. roll out the dough between 2 sheets of baking paper until it reaches a thickness of ½cm or the desired thickness. place the sheet of dough onto a baking tray and refrigerate for a further 30minutes. once chilled, remove the top sheet of baking paper and use it to line the baking tray, cut out the desired shapes from the sheet of dough and place them onto the baking paper lined tray. chill the cookies (tray and all) in the freezer for 15minutes. at this stage preheat the oven to 160oC / 140oC fan-forced. once the cookie cut-outs are semi-frozen, place the baking tray (straight from the freezer) directly into the oven and bake until lightly golden brown around the edges. (baking time will vary based on the size and shape of the cookies, time will vary anywhere from 10-35minutes) 


on a clean bench top or kitchen surface, sprinkle some cornflour to stop the fondant from sticking. knead the fondant for a minute or so to ensure it will roll out smooth. once kneaded, shape the fondant into a disc, sprinkle with some more cornflour and roll out the fondant to be half the thickness of the cookie or less. cut out the same shapes from the fondant sheet as with the cookies. using a clean dry paintbrush, remove any excess cornflour off the fondant cut-out and use a little water on the backside to adhere it to the cookie. using another clean dry paintbrush, brush on the powdered food colouring to achieve the desired look.

remember less really is more when it comes to decoration - enjoy.

grab the printable recipe for all the inside tips and tricks on how to make these sugar cookies like a pro!

mrtimothyjames loves these copper cookie cutters from peter's of kensington - shop the trees here & the stars here.

i'd love to see your creations, if you make these delicious sugar cookies share them with me by using  the hashtag #mrtimothyjames on social media.

on a scale of meh - super keen, how excited are you for christmas? do you wear a couple sugar cookies on your body now too, or am i alone? tell me all of the things in the comments below!

happy baking love timothy xx