Saturday, 31 December 2016

2016 - A Personal Review

I've started writing this post a few times and then deleting it each time. 2016 has been a difficult year - both for me personally but more importantly for the world. Tensions are high and although I'm seeing messages across social media that people are very happy to be waving goodbye to 2016, I think we're all wondering what 2017 will hold. It's hard to write a retrospective of 2016 without acknowledging the world events that are probably going to shape years to come, and the deeply sad losses of some very talented people - but that then leads me into a negative spiral which achieves nothing!

Sooo...instead I've taken a step back with a little bit of help from my Happiness Planner (more on that to come) and have realised that there have been some seriously lovely personal moments through 2016, and that I've learnt a lot about myself - which is always a good thing!

Some of my favourite moments this year...

These photos were all taken this year and capture some really lovely memories. We've had some beautiful days out - two of my favourites were The Lost Gardens of Heligan (bottom left picture) and Trelissick (top middle picture). 2016 has definitely been the year of 'outdoors adventure 'for me, and I've loved it. I've seen some really beautiful things this year that I don't think I'll ever forget.

My husband also took part in #wearehere - a modern memorial of The Battle of the Somme led by Turner prize winning artist Jeremy Deller. It was a really emotional day and I couldn't have been prouder of him (bottom, middle picture).

I've also really enjoyed some of the smaller moments - tea with friends, a chai latte with hubbie, and a gin festival with a good friend - happy times.

This little guy has also brought nothing but happiness my way. He's a hilarious comedian in disguise as a little teddy bear/ ewok, who knows when I need a good laugh, or when I need a snuggle. I can't begin to talk about some of the adventures we've had this year, but I'm so happy we found the perfect doggy addition to our family. Having a dog has definitely encouraged us to explore more places, and one of my blogging goals for 2017 will be to share more of that here.

So what have I learnt about myself this year?...

I think I've actually re-learnt some things about myself that I'd forgotten. Nothing earth-shattering, but I've remembered that although I'm a bit of an introvert by nature, I actually feel better when I push myself out of my comfort zone and meet new people. I can also have ostrich-like tendencies and bury my head in the sand when it comes to certain issues. A big challenge for me moving forward will be to keep my inner-ostrich at bay, and make sure I do the things I need to do. Maybe resisting the urge to procrastinate is a goal for 2017.

An important lesson I've learnt is to give myself time to do the things I enjoy. It's a blindingly obvious lesson, but one it's taken me until December to learn! So that's a huge goal for 2017 - be it outdoor adventures, time with loved ones, crafts or blogging - I'm going to make sure I do the things I enjoy!

I hope 2016 has brought some moments of happiness your way, and I look forward to sharing more thoughts, ideas, projects and adventures in 2017.

Bye for now - see you next year!


7 Days of Sales Day 6 - Not on the High Street

I was spoilt for choice for sale items on Not on the High Street - so many beautiful items still available! Some of the discounts aren't huge but on items this lovely I'm still very tempted!

This penguin cushion quite honestly couldn't be any cuter - if you have friends or family with an anniversary any time soon I think this would be the loveliest present (as long as they don't have a fear of penguins - then it would suck). Reduced from £30 to £21.

After visiting a gin festival recently I've become fascinated with botanical gin and the different flavours it can pick up (and must try them all...naturally). This set looks perfect for starting to try and make my own infused gin. Reduced from £16 to £12.80.

I don't think this print needs an introduction - it's cats wearing glasses. 'Nuff said. Reduced from £13 to £10.40.

I'm still in love with all things triangular and these necklaces are no exception - so pretty! Reduced from £22 to £17.60.

And lastly - I literally love this backpack. I think I'd feel really organised and ready to go back to work in the New Year if I had this on my back. Reduced from £68 to £54.40.

You can view all of the gorgeousness that is the NotHS sale here.

Happy Shopping!

Friday, 30 December 2016

7 Days of Sales Day 5 - Tatty Devine

Tatty Devine is my sale venue of choice for today. I love their designs so much - if I could afford if I'd definitely collect their pieces. Here are a few of my favourites from the current sale range (all photos from Tatty Devine).

Love the colours of this flower necklace - perfect for adding some colour to an outfit. Reduced from £55 to £27.50.

I'm a sucker for a dog brooch - I think because my mum had one in her jewellery collection which I used to be in love with as a child. Reduced from £55.00 to £25.50.

I love all of the zodiac birthday necklaces in the sale, but would have to pick this one as Virgo is my star sign. Reduced from £35.00 to £24.50.  - 35 to 24.50

And lastly - I love the design of this kite necklace - I'd definitely love to wear this in the spring with a 50's style dress. Reduced from £50.00 to £35.00.

You can view the full sale here.

Happy Shopping!

A Plan for a Relaxed NYE

Despite my post yesterday with ideas for last minute New Years Eve planning, I don't have plans to party on NYE. Before and after 31st, yes, but on the night? Nope.

My NYE grinch-like behaviour comes from a few years of truly awful experiences. Generally fuelled by too much pressure on one night and too much alcohol, they've just been an absolute disaster. So for the last few years we've stayed at home and it's been lovely. Waking up on the 1st without the headache from hell and regrets is also a much nicer way to start the year.

I think we've perfected the art of the chilled NYE, so I thought I'd share a few key ingredients:

Adorable Chinese Food Necklace from jazlenecollection on Etsy

1. Take-away food - we very rarely splurge on take-aways, but NYE seems like a good excuse. We always go for Chinese take-away - it's our favourite - but as long as it's super tasty and means you don't wake up on NYE to loads of washing-up then any take-away will do!
Pajamas All Day Print from LuciaandLuciana on Etsy

2. Yep - as the print says - its all about pajamas (or pyjamas as I normally spell it!) all of the time - day, evening - whatever - maximum comfort is what it's all about - none of that little black dress and strappy heels nonsense. It's all about being about as snuggly as it's possible to be.

3. Film marathon - Put together a list of your favourite films and just start working through them. What's that you say? It's going to take until the early hours to watch them all? Well that's ok - it's New Years Eve. Oh - and if you live in the UK, periodically pause the film just to check whether anyone good is on Jools Holland.

4. Get you game on - yep - dig out those old board games and play them while watching the films and eating your take-away. Just be careful not to drop a vegetable spring roll on the board.

Planner and image from The Happiness Planner

5. Get Planning - This is my favourite NYE activity now - sitting and planning for the year ahead - what do I want to do and what do I want to achieve. It's so great for going into the next year feeling motivated and positive - I can't recommend enough setting a bit of time aside to do this. It doesn't matter what your planner looks like - and it could just be a plain notebook - as long as you use it to write some goals and make some notes about:
  • what 2016 has brought
  • what you hope 2017 will bring
  • and what you will do to try and make it happen. 
I've ordered my planner and it hasn't arrived yet so I'm keeping my fingers crossed it will arrive any minute!

So that's my NYE in a nutshell. Although this post is a little bit 'tongue in cheek' and I know that it's probably a lot of people's idea of hell, it works for me and it's what I'm sticking with.

Whatever you do - have fun, and stay safe! 

Thursday, 29 December 2016

7 Days of Sales Day 4 - Ohh Deer

It's time to feed our inner stationery addicts today with a browse through the sale items on the wonderful Ohh Deer. There are lots, and lots, of bargain cards to be found on the site, but I thought I'd focus on some of the other items for this post. 

This level arch file features one of my favourite designs from one of my favourite artists - Gemma Correll, so just had to feature in this list (this design is absolutely me trying to get up to go to work every day). The only thing to note here is the disclaimer on the site that there's a bit of an issue with the manufacturing of the folder and A4 paper sticks out of the top! But for £2.95, reduced from £8.95 it's still a bargain. 
- £8.95 to £2.95

This mint daily journal is so pretty - writing in it every day would be a joy! Reduced from £16.00 to £10.00. 

Another Gemma Correll design - this sloth to-do pad would certainly support my procrastination of annoying little jobs! Reduced from £5.95 to £4.50. 

I think I'm officially past the age where I can get away with wearing patches (although when I was younger I rocked the denim jacket and patches look..oh yeah) but that doesn't stop be collecting the odd one or two when they are awesome...I'm thinking of trying to do some embroidered designs with them...and I love this 'Bite-Me' Watermelon iron on patch to go in the collection. Reduced from £4.95 to £2.50.

You can view all sale items on Ohh Deer here.

Happy Shopping!

Last Minute NYE Ideas on Pinterest

With New Years Eve fast approaching I thought I'd share some last minute party ideas just in case you've been so busy planning for Christmas that you're NYE planning has fallen by the way-side (not that I would do that, no sir, not me). I'm not doing anything at my house on New Years Eve (more on that tomorrow) but do have a gathering of friends to plan for on another night and so have been scouting for last minute ideas. There are lots of fun NYE printables and easy DIYs on Pinterest and so have pinned them for future reference. If you are planning for a big NYE party - good luck and have lots of fun (and much champagne)!

Wednesday, 28 December 2016

7 Days of Sales Day 3 - DotComGiftShop

I always love the dotcomgiftshop sale - there are always some crazy bargains to be had, particularly for homeware, and this year is no exception. Here are a few of my top picks:

The reduction on this green metal herb garden makes it a completely affordable (and seriously attractive) way of growing some herbs indoors - perfect! Reduced from £29.95 to £6.95!

Another huge reduction on this set of retro weighing scales - perfect for a vintage-look kitchen - reduced from £49.95 to £9.95.

I love the colours on this very pretty stoneware tea cup - perfect for some afternoon tea. Reduced from £5.95 to £2.95.

And lastly - because I love it's incredibly cute and vintage feel - this little sewing set - perfect for a handbag - and now ridiculously cheap! Reduced from £2.95 to £0.39p...39p - it's like it's also got a vintage price!

For more bargains the dotcomgiftshop sale can be found here. Happy shopping!

Carrie Fisher

Photo from Elle

2016 has seen the loss of so many amazing and talented people that have left many of us shocked and sad. It's not something I'd normally post about but none have hit me quite as hard as the news yesterday that the most wonderful Carrie Fisher has passed away. The world needs more intelligent and wry women who speak their mind and don't quite honestly give a shit about the rules of how women should speak and look, and losing Carrie is just so sad. My thoughts are 100% with her loved ones who must have been going through hell this Christmas.

I've grown up with Carrie as a bit of an idol. I'm a Star Wars geek through and through, and Princess Leia was a character I looked up to when I was younger. As I grew older I began appreciating the person outside of the character and the difficulties in her life, and my idol became the woman herself, not a character with a white dress and a rockin' hair-do.

If you're new to the wonderful world of Carrie, or would like to learn more about her I'd recommend starting with some of her best quotes - there are lots of sites with them listed, but Elle have done a nice overview here.

Wishful Drinking provides a wry insight into Carrie's fascinating and difficult life - a brilliant read. Available on amazon here.

...and I think 'painfully funny' is a good way to sum up Postcards from the Edge - a novel which is clearly drawing on Carrie's experiences of celebrity. Available on Amazon here.

For now I'm going to go and watch some Star Wars and start stitching a Star Wars cross stitch pattern I bought at the beginning of the year. I think I'll have a re-read of Postcards from the Edge too.

Rest in Peace Carrie, you amazing lady.


Tuesday, 27 December 2016

7 Days of Sales Day 2 - Cath Kidston

Now today is where this little blog series of mine becomes dangerous. Cath Kidston. My Achilles heel. I've just finished surfing through the sale and am already justifying in my head why I need a few of the items. Not 'want' - for these are surely essential life items - but 'need'. Perhaps it's lucky that a lot of the sale items are already sold out .

Here are four of my favourites which I must resist...

These Highgate Ditsy Wine Glasses are so pretty! I genuinely am looking for some new wine glasses at the moment, so really it just makes good sense to buy them...right? Reduced from £8.00 to £5.50.

My camera strap suddenly looks rather boring. This Rosemoor Ditsy Camera Strap is reduced from £12.00 to £8.50.

I really love the subtle colours in this very pretty Forest Rose canvas bag - reduced from £48.00 to £30.00.

And lastly - this gorgeous Ashdown Forest Cotton Raglan Dress - I've drooled over this dress in the past, and the fact it's in the sale isn't helping my desire to own it! Reduced from £75.00 to £55.00.

All of the Cath Kidston sale can be found here. Happy shopping and I'll see you tomorrow!

Monday, 26 December 2016

7 Days of Sales - Day 1 - Oliver Bonas

My first choice for the 7 Days of Sales post was Oliver Bonas. Largely because I flipping love the home-ware and accessories they sale...and sometimes find they can be a bit too much of an extravagance to be able to justify buying them. I'm trying to stay strong and not buy anything in the sales this year (honestly, I give myself a day before I cave in and fail), but if I was to shop then these would definitely be in my basket by now (all images from Oliver Bonas)...

Reduced from £18 to just £5 - these Cat-Eye Sunglasses are seriously retro and will be perfect for when the Spring sunshine arrives

I'm in love with most star/ constellation themed prints at the moment and this starry night scarf is no exception. Reduced from £45 to £35.

If your life needs more geometric shapes in it...perhaps while serving tea...then look no further than these very cute geo-teaspoons - reduced from £19 to £12. 

And last, but possibly my favourite, is this gorgeous travel purse. I love the mint and grey together and think I'd feel super organised if I used this on my travels. Reduced from £28 to £20.

So those are my top 4 items, but you can see all of the sales items by following this link: Oliver Bonas Sale.

Happy Shopping!


Christmas, Apologies and Shopping

Hello Beautiful People!

I hope you're all having a lovely December. If you celebrate Christmas, I hope it's been a magical one. Christmas in my little home has been really relaxed and exactly what I needed.

Now for the awkward bitI feel like I need to acknowledge my long absence. I've had some 'life stuff' going on (well isn't that just annoyingly vague) and had to do a quick check on where I was putting in energy. Unfortunately blogging, crafting and online surfing have been casualties in this review while I got things sorted. Things aren't completely resolved yet, but they are hopefully heading in the right direction. Which means I have a bit more energy to put into the things I love doing... Hurrah!

Today is Boxing Day in the UK which means it's the start of sales in pretty much every shop, everywhere.

In previous years I've fallen into the trap of buying items just because they are a bargain, without really needing them in my life. In my continued efforts to de-clutter my life I'm going to try to resist this year. However...that doesn't stop me partaking in a bit of daily browsing to see what's out there.. I think it's fair to call it some online window shopping.

To celebrate this sales season I'll be posting a daily '7 Days of Sales'  to share some of the best sales finds. I'll be highlighting a different online shop each day and I'm a little bit intrigued to see if I can still find some beautiful bargains by day 7.

I'll be back soon with day 1!

Bye for now (and it's lovely to be back!)