Wednesday, 6 December 2017

Collection Crush - Christmas at Thornback and Peel

We will be away from home for Christmas this year, but I'm still looking for an excuse to buy some of the truly beautiful Christmas tableware from Thornback and Peel. I thought I'd live vicariously by sharing their 2017 Christmas prints. It may be a good thing that we don't need anything this year - I'd be hard pushed to choose between these prints.

If you'd like to treat yourself (because it is the season and all that jazz...) you can find them here:

Christmas Tree Tableware Set

Robin and Holly Napkins

Stag and Mistletoe Placemats 

Turkey and Sprout Napkins

The ranges include napkins, placemats, crackers and trays. Basically everything you need for a gorgeous table this season (I love the designs of Thornback and Peel...can you tell?).

Tomorrow I'm going to try to get all my Christmas shopping done - wish me luck!

Bye for now

Tuesday, 5 December 2017

Mr Blog Face - Grooming Gifts for Him (Me)

Hi everyone, it's Mr Blog Face here with what is hopefully the first of many guest appearances.

This week, I'll be looking at some of my favourite grooming items, some of which may make excellent stocking fillers, cough cough. So without further ado, let's take a look at some things.


I love Mancave products, they're made from natural ingredients and they're all cruelty-free and vegan, so you can feel good about using them. They offer a wide variety, ranging from shower gels, to deodorant, to shampoo, and no matter what the label says I will always believe that they smell of rich mahogany.

Here are a few of my favourites:

Their caffeine shampoo smells great, and the unproven pseudo-science of caffeine shampoo suggests it may possibly stop your hair falling out!

I have to admit, the thought of trying a deodorant that didn't include a reassuring amount of chemicals had me worried, and while I've had the odd day where I might have felt that was true, overall I've been really impressed by this. It's a little more expensive than a can of Lynx, but it also lasts a really long time. I've also tried some of Marks and Spencer's own brand deodorants recently (they are also cruelty-free), and this definitely works better than them.

Another thing I've been trying to get back into recently is wet shaving, and thanks to my favourite podcast, The Weekly Planet, I found out about Harry's Shavers. There seem to be a lot of these razor blade subscription services around at the moment, but I've been really impressed by Harry's. They're very flexible about how many blades you're subscribed to (because there are thirteen year olds with more consistent beard growth than me), and they do a free starter set where you just pay for postage.

They have a couple of special gift sets available for the holidays, including this incredibly handsome set for £28:

My set came with their shave gel, which through what I can only imagine is some kind of witchcraft, expands from a tiny blob into a giant foamy covering. I accidentally ate some after it got in my mouth, and can report that it is definitely better used externally.

It may or may not work in the UK, but Weekly Planet listeners get $5 off, so why not give their link a go at

Anyway, hopefully that's been helpful, and you can join me again this time next week for more barely coherent ramblings!

Sunday, 3 December 2017

Sunday Best - The Christmas Card Edition

I know it's a cliche to say this in December - but how has another year gone by? I can't believe it's time to write Christmas cards, wrap presents and eat my weight in Christmas spiced nuts (oh yeah, can't wait!).

I have performed my usual trick of losing last year's unused Christmas cards, and so I'm shopping around for some and thought it would make a perfect Sunday Best. I don't send many cards any more (I know, what a Grinch) so I can shop around, spend a bit more and buy some more individual cards. Etsy is perfect for that, and I could probably write 10 posts from the amazing designs I've found on there!

So here are some of my favourites...

These Starry Night Christmas cards from StudioFactotumUK are just so pretty. I've only just stumbled on this Etsy shop but I think I  may have found a new favourite - gorgeous art work.

These animal illustration cards from RAillustrates are beautifully designed and perfect for animal lovers - I think I'd find it hard not to keep the llama card for myself.

..and don't even get me started on the cute Christmas Furry from BlankInsideDesign. I used to have a Himalayan Cat and they always have a special place in my heart - I know some family members who would love this cute card.

A felt sloth, and a pun? I'm sold on this adorable sloth card from Mombi and Ted. 

And last (for now) is this card from InkIncIllustration. Any card that combines gin, tortoises and a play on words is worthy of my loved ones - amazing.

Searching for some cards has opened my eyes to some of the amazing artists still selling through Etsy. I haven't browsed Etsy for presents for a long time, but I'm going to do some shopping now - it's such a perfect way of finding unusual gifts for Christmas, and supporting some truly awesome creative businesses.

Bye for now...I'll be back with some more Christmas loveliness very soon.


Saturday, 2 December 2017

Getting Organised with Planners

While waiting for my train yesterday I popped into Paperchase (any excuse). After cooing over their Christmas goodies I found a display of lots of different planners and journals, and two caught my eye.

The first planner I found in my basket quicker than I could blink was the 'Bossing it' planner - which is apparently for 'Goal Diggin' Girls (honestly - if I'd read that tag line first I probably wouldn't have bought it - I'm way out of the 'girl' age group, and also - I have no idea why it needs to be gender specific). However - there are some useful parts to this planner, which is aimed at people trying to start their own business - space to write out ideas, pages to support in finding clarity regarding the key focus of the business (I've found these particularly useful), and weekly planning pages to track goals.

I started using this planner today and found it really effective in helping me to focus on what I want to achieve from my business ideas, and what I need to do, to make it a reality. I've had lots of creative business ideas floating around for so long and I think this planner will help me focus them and move forward.

The second item I picked up is The Blogger's Journal. In the past I've tried to use online calendars and tools to manage my blog posts but there is something about having a pen and paper planner which I can pick up any time and sketch out ideas in, that really appeals to me. The journal has lots of blank pages for writing out ideas, pages to track followers, and goal setting pages. I used this journal straight away - sat on a train writing out some ideas. I've loved using it so far, and it's helping me focus more than an online calendar or a blank notebook can.

Paperchase have lots of different journals in stock at the moment - they're all super affordable and would be lovely Christmas presents for anyone in your life who likes to write out ideas. When so much of life is now sent looking at a screen I still really enjoy being able to write things out, so I'm sold on them so far - let's see if my blog and business ideas evidence that they are working!

Sorry for the lack of photos - I definitely need to sort out a lighting set-up for taking blog photos during dark evenings, but you can find The Blogger's Journal here and the Bossing it Journal here.

Friday, 1 December 2017

That Friday Feeling - The Return!

I think I'll avoid the embarrassed apologies for the length of time since my last blog post.

Suffice to say there's been some things happening out there in that lil ol' place we call 'life' which have been filling up my days...and mind. I learnt a while ago to just give into times like that. Fighting them generally leads to internal combustion.

However - today is the 1st December which is a good fresh start day for me (way better than the overrated 1st January) and I'm writing this from a train travelling home from a meeting in London. The journey takes over 3 hours which is providing me with more than enough time to reflect in how much I miss this little blog.

So for my Friday feeling this week I thought I'd share what I've been missing in recent weeks, as a way to refocus on doing the things I enjoy...

 So the things I've been missing recently and commit to getting back to this month are...

1. Crafting - I haven't made anything in sooo long - and have committed to making Christmas presents this year - so I think it's time to get started!

2. Long walks - chilly but sunny winter days are my absolute favourite - time to get back out there!

3. Goal planning - I find it really easy to lose sight of my goals and ambitions so want to get back to making some exciting plans

4. Clear out more 'stuff' from home - aka my permanent and ongoing mission to de-clutter my world!

5. Blogging - I think that's a given!

So that's my plan for December (in addition to having a rather lovely time in the holidays of course!).

If you have a moment to yourself, be it on a train, before bed or in the loo (a legitimate place for doing some thinking) use it to make a list of the things you love to do but haven't engaged with in a while...then try to find the space - even if it's just one little thing (on reflection I think enjoying a G&T - that should be on my list!).

Have fun and let me know how you get on!

Bye for now


Monday, 28 August 2017

24 Projects in 24 Weeks - Week 6 Update - Unicorns Don't Care

Here's my project for last week - a day late! Oops!

I've had a summer cold this past week, which means that life has been spent either at work feeling sorry for myself, or at home curled up with tea and cross stitch.

The style of this kit was a little different for me - but I loved the retro font - and the Unicorn attitude of course! It's another one from The Geeky Stitching Company. I'm finding them to be the most relaxing projects ever. I've got another three kits stored up to complete, and about another 10 designs on my wish list!

I've been doing lots of thinking whilst stitching this week - about priorities, goals, what I want to do next with life - you know - the little things.

I do love crafting for providing some decent thinking time. I find that I never worry while I craft - instead I tend to quite calmly work through things in my head.

I haven't decided what project to complete for this week. I'm working through the rooms in my house at the moment and doing little bits of DIY and tidying/ turning out as I go. I'm hoping that will give me some inspiration on what to make next.

A friend has also lent me her sewing machine - so I'm going to be brave and try to use it. For all the crafts I've tried, sewing machines still terrify me!

Whatever your week brings, I hope it's a happy one. And remember - if you feel stressed - be like a unicorn.

Bye for now.

Sunday, 20 August 2017

Sunday Best - The Black Cat Edition

Thursday 17th August was Black Cat Appreciation Day. I definitely appreciate my little black cat, Bob, who loves sitting in cardboard boxes. He hasn't been very well for the past week (which involved a visit to the emergency vet last Sunday (ouch...expensive but worth every penny!). He's much better now though, and is getting lots of love and adoration.

Apparently animal rescue centres struggle to home black cats which is such a shame. Bob is my third black cat and I absolutely adore them. They all have amazing characters and life is a much better place with a little black moggy wandering around the home.

In honour of these amazing felines here are five of the best black cat items on Etsy at the moment...

Kate Broughton is always a favourite for me - and these black cat nail transfers are no exception.

This absolutely adorable pin from GlitterPunkJewellery  is on my list of pins to buy (I'm rationing myself to two per month - it's a killer).

The ilikeCATSshop is another regular favourite of mine on Etsy. I love the style of this print...and the combination of flowers and vegetables is just extra amazing.

Black cats are definitely lucky - and this hoop by CrimsonPins is a gorgeous way of celebrating that fact.

And lastly, this print by PrintsofHeart is so cute...and so right...I've had kitties of all different colours in my life...and the black cats have definitely always had the most chilled and cool little personalities.

I hope your Sunday has brought with it some loveliness. I'm full of a cold so I've used it as an excuse to hide under a blanket and craft while watching my way through the Star Wars movies in order (still not finished...I have a feeling it may carry over to next weekend!).

Bye for now


24 Projects in 24 Weeks - Week 5 Update - The Cactus Cushion

Soooo...I'm not so sure about how I feel about my project for this week. I've felt a bit like giving up on it a few times, which probably isn't a good sign. My project for this week was an embroidered cactus cushion, which I made using a kit from Flying Tiger Copenhagen (I bought this kit a while ago so I don't think it's in store anymore...sorry!).

The kit itself was easy enough. The instruction were some super-vague pictures, but with a tiny bit of embroidery experience I could work my way through what I needed to do.

My biggest gripe was that I ran out of both of the green threads so had to raid my stash for something similar. I found an okish match, but it's always going to bug me that some of the cactus spines are a different colour to the rest!

My hand-sewing skills to sew the two sides together were also slightly lacking so it's ended up a weird shape at the top! I'm always really really critical of my own work but for this challenge I'm trying to silence my inner critic and post the projects anyway!'s not keeping my parrot cushion company in my snug. Although my dog has taken a bit of an interest in it may end up being a dog toy!

Anyway...back to cross stitch this week I think...or maybe an embroidery hoop project. Decisions, decisions!

What are you making at the moment? Is it too earlier for Christmas crafts? I'm seeing them pop up everywhere and am so tempted to start know...Christmas.

Bye for now!


Sunday, 13 August 2017

24 Projects in 24 Weeks - Week 4 Update - Succulent Cross Stitch

Life is keeping me busy at the moment.

To help me relax and give my brain time to download each evening I've been keeping up with my crafting and I've loved getting back into cross stitch so much. It's definitely my go-to craft.

My project this week was another kit from Geeky Cross Stitch. It was a joy to stitch and for such a simple pattern the final effect is gorgeous. Oh, and don't even get me started on that pompom trim (which comes with the kit) ... amazing.

I know succulents are the go-to trendy plant now, but my love affair with them started at age 10 - when I realised they were the only plant I could keep alive! I loved stitching this pattern to celebrate their amazingness.

Geeky Cross Stitch have a couple of other succulent themed kits - and I've ordered both of them - they're just too lovely, and will look amazing as a set. The presentation of the kits, and ease of use was just perfect - and they come with your own personalised sticker, which is so cute.

So my goal for this week is to keep crafting...but also get back to blogging! I have a day off work and think it might involve lots of tea, some mellow tunes and some serious catching up in the blogosphere!

Whatever you are doing, I hope you have a lovely week ahead and don't forget to keep making time to do the things you love!

Bye for now.


Sunday, 6 August 2017

24 Projects in 24 Weeks Week 3 Update & Geeky Stitching Club Review

To say that my project for this week has been a joy to stitch would be an understatement. The weather where I live has been terrible, and so stitching this pattern was like stitching a bit of sunshine back into my week (which was a week off work - I really know how to pick them). The fact that I do love stitching a good pun also added to my enjoyment of this kit. Aloha Beaches. Brilliant.

I received this pattern as part of the Geeky Stitching Club , which is organised by the Geeky Stitching Company. I found the club through facebook and was quickly in love with the cure and quirky designs so decided to sign up. This was my first geeky stitching club box and it was really fun to receive and make.

Here's how the subscription box looks when you open it - super cute graphics and pretty colours (and a sweet) - so it definitely won my heart.

Inside the box was everything needed to complete the main pattern - a hoop, fabric, needle, threads, instructions and the pattern itself (which was super easy to follow). I've been travelling around a bit this week and being able to just pick my kit up in the box and carry it around with me was perfect.

There were also some extras in with the kit - two bonus patterns, a piece of fabric (which is so pretty - t had dots!) and a skein of thread for future use.

I'm definitely a fan of this subscription box - the presentation of everything, cuteness of the designs and how flipping easy everything was to follow (right down to having the skeins of thread pre-organised on a card in the order the colours are listed on the pattern) really did mean this kit was a joy to make. I'e ordered a couple of other kits (themed around my favourite plants!) so there will be more to come as part of my 24 projects, I'm sure!

Have you finished any projects this week? I'd love to hear about them if you have.


Wednesday, 2 August 2017

Collection Crush - Wrendale Designs

So this isn't the first time Wrendale Designs has featured on my blog, and honestly - it won't be the last. I think I'd buy pretty much anything and everything if it featured the gorgeous art work of Hannah Dale.

I'm very happy that one of the latest releases has been a collection of scarves as now I can wear my love of adorable creatures with pride. My only issue is which design to buy (

I've picked my four favorites above and if you'd like to see some closer images check them out at the links below (clockwise from top left)

Pink Ladies Flamingo Scarf

A Waddle and a Quack Duck Scarf

Some Bunny Scarf

A Dog's Life Scarf

I can see at least a couple of these featuring in my autumn wardrobe.

Bye for now.


Tuesday, 1 August 2017

...Hello August

I'm looking forward to August. For the past few weeks I've been in a really negative headspace and I've lost touch with the things I need to do in order to be able to focus positively on situations. Positive thinking is something that doesn't always come naturally to me - I'm definitely a bit of a pessimist - so it's something I need to be aware of, practice and learn from the times when I can't see the wood for the trees.

I've got some plans for some little crafty projects for the month ahead, and to focus on family, friends, my health and home. I thought I'd share the goals I've set myself for August to try and keep myself on track.

1. Meditate every day - I feel about a thousand times calmer when I take a few minutes to meditate each day - it really helps calm the pessimist in me and to focus on what is important. I've resubscribed to Headspace so I have no excuse. I'm going to re-start with their beginners programme from today so I'm interested to see how I'm feeling in my post at the end of this month

2. Walk 70,000 steps each week. This is fairly self explanatory - my aim is to get out and about walking more often, and to take photos as I go.

3. Finish 4 crafty projects - because I'm loving the sense of calm I get when I craft - and the accomplishment of finishing a project (no matter how small!).

4. Spend less time on social media and more time with the people I care about - I think that social media - particularly facebook - is kind of bad for me. I'm going to stick to just looking at instagram for August and see if being away from Facebook helps to free up some time for far more important things.

5. Get organised at home - my home is in desperate need for some organisation, and some low-scale DIY projects at the moment. August is definitely the time to get started on them.

Have you got any goals for August? Whatever the month holds for you I hope it includes doing lots of things that bring you happiness - whatever they may be!

Bye for now


Monday, 31 July 2017

Goodbye July...

I'm not sure how I feel about the past month. It definitely brought some happy times my way, and some achievements, but it has had some difficult times and I'm leaving the month feeling tired and like I need to take a step back and re-prioritise things.

So...that is what August will be for - recharging and refocusing.

I thought it would be nice to note some of the good things July has brought before I flip it the bird and skip into August.

Watching Movies...

...I have watched a lot of movies this month. More than I have in a very long time. Some have been good. Some...not so much.

This is a screenshot from my favourite film of July - Get Out. It stars Daniel Kaluuya who is just an amazing actor. He plays Chris - a man who goes to visits his girlfriends family for the first time. Look at those smiley faces. What could go wrong?

The answer is..a lot..although not necessarily for the reasons you might expect. The film is creepy, sinister, funny, horrific and tense - all at the same time. I can't say much because I don't want to spoil it - but just watch it. It's fantastic.


July is the month I started to get my crafty mojo back. I've finished two little craft projects so far, and am working on project three at the moment. I've loved making things again - and it's definitely something I want to keep focussing on.

Spending quality time with the people I love...

Yep - it should be a given that this is something that it is good to do. In July I've spent some quiet time with some of my most loved people and have really treasured that time. I often but myself under pressure to make everything perfect, but I've tried to shake that off - and just enjoy the moments.

The photos above are from a stay in a lovely country hotel. It was just for one night but it was so relaxing it could have been a week away. I'm definitely going to try to plan more times like that in the month ahead.

Linked to the quality time - I've also really grown to understand just how kind and amazing people can be. Sounds super fluffy I know, but my heart has been warmed by the kindness of others many times over in July, and that's kind of amazing.

...and that's about it for July. I'm going to sleep on my thoughts about July and plan some goals for August.

How was July for you?

Bye for now


Sunday, 30 July 2017

24 Projects in 24 Weeks - Week 2 Update - Foxy Cross Stitch

Hello to all the crafty people in the house! I've achieved week 2 of my challenge to complete a crafty project each week. Hurrah! I've found cross stitch to be really helpful this week. My brain has been so tired each evening (hence the silence on sorry my lovely blog readers) that following a pattern has given me something to do that doesn't involve sitting around and worrying, but hasn't overly taxed my poor confused brain!

So here's the finished item. It was from a kit that came as a free gift with the September 2017 issue of Cross Stitch Crazy Magazine. I have such a stash of free kits to work my way through, but I couldn't resist this design - so pretty.

The kit comes with a pink plastic hoop as well, but I am trying to build a collection of embroidered designs in wooden hoops for a hoopla wall I want to put together,  so I used a small wooden one instead.

Here's a close up to show the detail of the design. I was so impressed with this design coming as a free kit.

If you'd like to stitch your own little fox family the magazine should still be in the shops.

I have a sneaky suspicion next week's project is also going to be cross stitch related - but more on that next weekend!

Have you completed any projects this week? I'd love to hear about them if you have!

Bye for now


Monday, 24 July 2017

Subscription Box Review - The Sugar Box

My love of subscription boxes continues this month with this little box of prettiness. This was my first 'Sugar Box' - the subscription service from one of my new favourite jewellery shops Sugar Oh Honey Honey (previous review here).

Here's a bit more detail regarding the contents of the box (spoiler time...everything is super pretty).

I loved that the contents were all wrapped - the box arrived on a very crappy day, and it was lovely to have some little treats to unwrap. Here are the contents of the box...

The strawberry is a lovely summery brooch, and the bow is a pretty hair clip. 

My favourite is this bracelet. I feel so lucky to have received this one (they all contained quotes or art from British authors) and this quote from CS Lewis is a favourite, and literally perfect at the moment.

Courage dear heart. 

So all in all I'm very happy with this subscription - I'll use/ wear everything and I can see that it would be a perfect way of building up some pretty presents for loved ones as well.

If you're interested in the subscription you can find out more here. There are a few different subscription/ payment options available - I opted for a 6-month subscription which is £12.50 per month. Really good value for the number of items.

I have a sneaky suspicion there will be more subscription box posts to come...(must...stop...addicted suprises).

Bye for Now!


Sunday, 23 July 2017

Sunday Best - The July Enamel Pins Wishlist

I've been bitten by the enamel pin bug and now there is no turning back. I used to collect badges as a kid and I think this is an extension of that...with the added bonus of the fact the enamel pin market seems to be filled with some truly amazing artists.

Here are a few from UK designers on Etsy which I'd love to buy as I think they represent little parts of my life at the moment...

This Avocado on Toast pin  by Octarine Dreams is too cute and represents my addiction to this combination for my breakfast. It symbolises Sunday morning breakfast cooked by my husband, and I'd love to buy this as a little memento of happy mornings.

This pin from Fable and Black pretty much sums up one of my major loves in life...reading...and the fact I absolutely need to do more of it.

I want this pin for no other reason than the fact it is amazing. Frida Kahlo by Prints by Pippa (the whole shop is amazing!).

My love of gin isn't diminishing and I'd like to wear my gin adoration with pride through wearing this gorgeous pin by Kate Pillenger Designs. 

I think this pin from Katie Abey Design speaks for itself. My jar really does feel quite empty at the moment.

I think I'm going to try and ration myself to two pins each month...we'll see how that goes!

I hope your weekends have been the best they could be and that your week brings good things - and if it doesn't then there's always the jar pin to comfort you!

Bye for now