Friday, 5 February 2016

Valentine’s – what counts, the thought or the price tag?‏

I've never really been one for celebrating Valentines Day, I spent the day with Sarah last year and will be doing the same again this year (sorry Martyn). I don't need a designated day to show my love for someone but I did enjoy getting into the spirit of things by making my home nice and cosy ready for a night in with a good movie, a slice of cake and my loved one this weekend. 

You don't need to spend a fortune to get something lovely and thoughtful for your partner or create a special night in. Two dine in for £10, get cosy under a blanket in your PJs ready to watch your favourite movie and voilà, you're sorted. Well that's what I did anyway...

My PJs and pretty lantern were both from Matalan who have created a Valentines Gift Guide with plenty of budget ideas. The sponge recipe is super simple and can be found here, I just added some jam and coconut because it is much easier then trying to ice a cake. I didn't want to be getting worked up about piping icing when I was supposed to be having a relaxing evening in.

Why not gift something or plan something a little bit different this year? I would say go on a picnic but Storm Imogen is approaching the UK and a picnic would be a total wash out but why not try one of the following: go to a gig, plan a road trip, create a scrapbook filled with special moment or just take some time out from a busy working week to be alone with someone you love for  few hours with no distractions(turn your phone off!)?

I hope you all enjoy February 14th no matter what your plans are, single, married or totally against the whole thing. 


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Tuesday, 19 January 2016

Winter Walk with Jones Bootmaker - Beechwood Park

I decided to make the most of my day off and head out for some fresh (but chilly) air. I went to my local park which is only a 5 minutes walk from my house. Beechwood Park has a tennis court, bowls lawn and some rather lovely views of the Transporter bridge and the Bristol Channel. 
Beechwood House (pictured above), a Grade II listed building, was built in 1877-78 as the private residence of George Fothergill, a tobacco manufacturer and former Mayor of Newport and the 30 acre park originally formed the private grounds. In 1900, Newport Borough Council bought Beechwood House and the grounds were opened up as a public park. During the World War I, the house was used as a convalescent home. Beechwood House was occupied by American forces during World War II and then had a number of uses including a hospital for the treatment of tuberculosis, an open air school and a model railway club. Pretty interesting, ey?

Hat: River Island - Dress: Matalan - Coat: F&F - Scarf: New Look - Boots: Jones

It was soooo cold when I headed out for a walk. My look was more cosy than high fashion as I donned my duffle coat, beanie hat and scarf. I was looking for a pair of leather ankle boots as my winter boots of choice this year but opted for this pair of suede look ones instead. These ones from Jones Bootmaker have have a pre worn look which meant I didn't mind getting a bit of mud on them in the park and the felt like a trusty old pair of boots the moment I slipped them on. they are comfortable and warm which make them perfect for a walk.

Have you been out for a winter walks recently?

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Sunday, 3 January 2016

Farewell 2015... Hello Future

The 2012 single girl, party all the time version of me would never have guessed that 2015 was the year that I would start viewing houses and taking the big steps to owning my own home. I would also never have guessed that I would now be engaged and not living at home with my mum and dog. It still baffles me that someone wants to live with me and I'm their 'forever' person. Very odd.

2015 has been pretty mixed, I made the huge step to leave the world of the library and information sector which I had worked in since university and have moved to the transport sector. Some days I miss my old team and long for the familiar and reassuring tasks my old job involved. My new team have been welcoming and fun and the railway industry throws new challenges at you every day with signal failures and extreme weather halting services. No day is the same and I'm glad that I challenged myself and moved to an entirely new sector but it can be really tough.

I've been on some wonderful trips to Austria, Aberporth and York, close friends have had beautiful babies and I can't wait to see what fun 2016 brings. I have to admit it is pretty exciting and daunting to know that being a wife and homeowner is on the cards. I'm suddenly feeling very grown up and a little sorry for Martyn, does he know what he's signed himself up for?

I think I've got a year of pinning home interior inspiration and wedding planning ahead of me. Happy New Year everyone! 

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Sunday, 20 December 2015

Christmas Day Dress

Dress: c/o Bon Prix - Necklace: Punky Pins - Shoes: New Look

Even though I spend Christmas at home and don't really have visitors I still like to make a bit of an effort and wear something fun. I'm in work most of the time and don't really go on nights out anymore (much prefer a night in with some tea and a movie in my old age) so it's nice to have a reason to get dressed up. This year I'm going to be wearing this lovely dress in festive red with some added sparkle from the Bon Prix party wear range. It's available on next day delivery so still time to get one for yourself before Christmas but I recommend sizing up if you're full across the top. I've also spotted Perelandra wearing a shimmery Bon Prix number and looking smoking hot. 

Do you like to get dressed up at Christmas or do you spend a whole week in your PJs?

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Thursday, 10 December 2015

Bathtime bliss gifts

When you think about receiving bath gift sets for Christmas it conjures up memories of being gifted  Lavemder scented sets or Lynx is always a go-to set for teenage boys. They inevitably end up at the back of your bathroom cabinet or a shelf in a charity shop in January. Does anyone ever use the body crème or bath salts that come in the gift sets we get? How many body puffs do you actually need? 

I think I'm right in saying most of us would prefer one really good quality gift over a 3 for 2 Boots deal, some chocolate and some slippers. You can ditch the gift sets with a lip gloss and flannel that nobody ever uses and pick one top notch gift this Christmas which will earn you a wide smile from whoever your cherished recipient is.

You could opt for one big gift like a robe which will be soft and warm to wrap up in when you leave the bath or a radio with batteries so it can be cable free in the bathroom. You could even make your own hamper filled with all of the recipients favourite things. I'm going to be doing this for my brother this year (Sorry if you're reading this Geraint. Surprise!) and pick and mix from all of their favourite brands. Wilko sell small baskets and the clear wrap to cover them and tie up with a bow. Voila, perfect present. If a gift is bespoke or well thought out you know won’t get forgotten about or even worse – re-gifted!

Here are some of my top picks for gifts which will brighten up bath time this Christmas or look great in a hamper:

  1. Yankee Candle, Warm Glow - A crisp scent of frosted leaves on snow-covered trees in the cool air, all warmed by golden amber sun rays. Doesn't it sound divine? A perfect what to create a relaxing bath environment. 
  2. Cath Kidston floral robe - Perfect to slip on when you applying your post bath body butter.
  3. Father Christmas Bath Bomb, Lush - A perfect stocking filler for £3.65
  4. This pastel radio would love lovely in a kitchen but works with batteries as well as being mains powered so it can travel to the bathroom to provide a musical accompaniment 
  5. If you're going to have a properly luxurious bath a glass of fizz is essential, this mini bottle is perfect for one. 
  6. Cole & Co Fig and Cassis Soap - I had to include something Welsh, I do go on about Wales aaaall the time. This soap is handmade on the island of Anglesey and with a fruity and woody scent is perfect for both the guys and girls in your life. 
  7. Lindt chocolate - Lidlt chocolate is my all time favourite, I want this gift myself. Someone run me a bath right now, pop a bath bomb in and leave these chocolates on the side!
  8. This Bath Pastille set from Miss Patisserie is great for your Vegan and animal loving friends as it is completely cruelty free but also paraben free.
  9. If you're going all out and aiming to impress the Origins Superstars Mini set is ideal. They fit in an overnight toiletries bag or a handbag and are a good way to see what products suit you before buying the full sized ones. 
What is the worst gift you have ever received? I know you you guys are not ungrateful but I bet you have unwrapped some hilariously bad presents at some point. My nan is fond of finding a bargain in a charity shop and once gave me a Bros watch about a decade after Bros were a thing...

*This post was written in collaboration with Mira Showers

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