Ellf Christmas

The Fourth Day of Romance

today's theme:

ellf actuallly 

a note from eLLf Christmas's sponsor, Lauren Layne


Hi everyone! Thanks to everyone who warmly welcomed Jessica Lemmon as our first guest host yesterday! 

Today’s theme?

eLLf Actually

As a nod to one of my favorite Christmas movies (Love Actually), we’ll be celebrating all things Love and Christmas. Much in the way the movie’s all about all different types of love, today’s post is about all different types, of well … stuff. Just go with it.


the Christmas eLLf 


Christmas-themed romantic comedies

(that are available on Netflix!!!!)

What’s better than a romantic comedy? A holiday-tinged romantic comedy, of course!

Bonus, you can watch all of these streaming on Netflix (at least as of December 8, 2016 -- keep in mind Netflix refreshes their movie selection frequently!) 

Classy DIY Christmas Decor on the Cheap!

Anyone else get it in their head that THIS is the year they’ll up their Christmas decorating game, only to find you’re dragging out the same stuff that was tired five years ago, while lusting over the more elegant decorations they see on Instagram or Pinterest?

We’re loving this easy centerpiece idea that can be created using “extra” stuff you may already have at home, or can be bought “on the cheap” on Amazon, IKEA, Target, etc …

Step 1

Find an extra vase or large glass bowl

Step 2

Fill it with extra Christmas balls 



For real though, look how simple and pretty (all photos from Pinterest):



- For the most elegant/classy look, don’t put more than three colors together or it’ll look busy. 

- Are all of your ornaments on use on the tree? Amazon Prime has affordable ornaments in just about every color.


 Need some color inspiration? 



light pink & white 

• • •


teal & silver

• • •


green & red

• • •


red and gold 

• • •


purple & teal

• • •


black & white

• • •

Country Chic

brown & green 


Those of you’ve been following Lauren Layne for awhile have already seen this, but for anyone who hasn’t yet done their Christmas cards and are wanting to do something fun and different, might we suggest styling your card after the Love Actually poster? 


(Yes, that font is hard to read. To see the FULL card, click here)

Fun, right? 

And okay, admittedly the above took a bit of design prowess, but good news! 

You can create something similar (won't be exact unless you've got some design skillz) on the cheap using canva.com (FREE!) 


  1. Figure out which 10 photos you want to use on your card, and put them somewhere on your computer where it’s easy to upload. Note, “landscape” photos work best for this card, avoid “tall” photos to avoid funny cropping. 
  2. Create a Canva.com account 
  3. Create a Design, and then select Use Custom Dimensions (upper right corner)
  4. Width = 5 inches Height = 7 inches. Note that it defaults to pixels, so be sure to change it to INCHES or you’ll have a tiny card! 
  5. From the “Layouts” section on the left, find the column of 5 photos in a column, and resize to fill left half of your card. Repeat the process with the right side of the card, so you have a total of ten image “slots.” Leave a white space at the bottom if you want to add “Love Actually” text.
  6. Go to Uploads, and upload the 10 photos you selected.
  7. Drag and drop into the spot that you want them.
  8. At the top of the “uploads” window there’s a search bar. Search for “red bow.”
  9. There aren’t any that are an EXACT match for Love Actually poster, so pick one that works best with your design (be aware that the nature of this card design is that the bow WILL cover some of your photos, so select your pictures accordingly!) Also, be aware that the bow element costs $1 to use. It’s the extent of your Christmas card design cost though! 
  10. From this same search results, there are a couple of white tags with red ribbon. Add one of those if it works with your photo, 
  11. To add text to the card, select TEXT from the left side of the screen, and drag the text box onto the white card (you can change the style of the font in this screen as well) 
  12. Add another text box, this time to the bottom of the card. Type your last name, and change the font to red. 
  13. Add another text box, type “Actually” and move it next to your last name
  14. Optional: Add a caption above your name, as in the “The Ultimate Romantic Comedy” style
  15. Download your design, either as a png if you plan to upload it to a card-printing service such as Kinko/FedEx or use as a digital card, or download as a PDF if you plan to print yourself. 
  16. Note :: It will ask if you want to buy the bow (and/or card if you added one). Each element costs $1 each, for a single use. Say yes, or … skip the bow if you want a free card.

You’re done! Love actually is all around us. 

But wait, there's more!

We created a quick video walking through how to do this. Note, there is no sound, no vocal guidance, we just captured the screen of us going through the process to assist with the above. It's also HIGHLY imperfect. If we were doing this for our real card, we'd take a bit more care. But it'll give you the idea of how easy it is!



Holiday Cocktails 


Confession. We sometimes wish we lived in an era where women didn’t leave the house without their lipstick, where the rat pack reigned supreme, and where cocktail hour was a way of life.

And when we say cocktails, we’re not talking sugary nonsense. We’re talking elegant, sipping beverages that take a bit of care to prepare and are meant to be savored slowly over excellent conversation next to a fireplace. 

As always, The Fashionable Hostess knows what we’re about, and has two cocktails that perfectly fit our dream scenario.

The first is the Holiday Old Fashioned, for the bad-ass women who drink whisky, as well as the gentlemen of your group who are skeptical of “fancy” cocktails. This is the best of both worlds—bracing enough for the guys, but pretty enough for your Instagram.

Not a whisky/spirits fan? We’ve got a lovely champagne cocktail for you that’s equally elegant (note: the recipe calls for Piper-Heidsieck which is amazing, but pricy! Wonderful for a special occasion, but for something a bit more affordable, our favorite sparkling rose is Crémant de Bourgogne "Oeil de Perdrix," Dom. Cholle. 

Since that’s not always easy to find, you may have more luck with Mumm Napa Brut Rose.

And lastly, if you can’t find a sparkling rose in your area or your price range, we have it on good authority that a cheap Prosecco works just as well! 


So. Your Christmas card is done, your home’s decorated, you’ve got your delicious cocktail … what will you read?!


We’ve got a few romance favorites, both new and beloved that make the perfect winter night companion.


• • • 


Perfect - Judith McNaught


Honestly? It’s a tiny bit dated. But it involves a Hollywood movie star, lots of snow, and the best love letter ever written.



Losing It - Cora Carmack


Not the first New Adult book we ever read, but the first we ever loved. Sexy, sweet and wonderfully witty.



Devil in Winter - Lisa Kleypas


If you’re at all a fan of historical romance, you’ve likely at least heard of this book. It’s absolutely one of the greats. St. Vincent is the tortured bad boy of the Regency era.



White Lies - Linda Howard


It’s from the 80s, and a bit campy, but it’s also sort of like book-crack. Think remote cabin + amnesiac hero + woman who thinks the man is her ex-husband, but isn’t quite sure …



Practice Makes Perfect - Julie James


Julie James is a contemporary goddess as far as we’re concerned, and this antagonistic workplace romance has warranted multiple rereads. In fact, we’re thinking we’re due for another …



Royally Screwed - Emma Chase

In the mood for a modern fairy tale? Look no further than Royally Screwed, Emma Chase’s excellent take on a prince falling for a commoner …  


loving ellf christmas?

Join the Facebook group where we talk about all things romance and holidays! 



On the fourth day of romance, eLLf Christmas gave to me ...

champagne flutes

You know what's more important than the bubbles?

What you serve them in. Winner will receive four glasses in the style of their choice from Crate and Barrel (our favorite styles pictured here!) 

•  •  • 

contest closed

(closes on December 9th with the launch of The Fifth Day of Christmas)  

To be eligible to win, all you have to do is be signed up to the eLLf Christmas community! (note, if you've signed up previously, you're all set! You're automatically eligible for each day's prize!

The Fine Print

If the winner lives in the US, eLLf Christmas will be in contact to facilitate your preferred style and shipment directly to you. If the winner lives outside US, prize will be awarded in the form of a Crate and Barrel gift certificate, in the amount of the four glasses excluding taxes and shipment cost.