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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
xx








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.

Mancave

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 www.harrys.com/weeklyplanet

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.

xx





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

Xx

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

xx