147 weeks and 1 day | Me and Mine {December}

Another year over. Tomorrow morning we’ll be waking up and it will be January. Two thousand and sixteen. Sounds really space-age does’t it?! Particularly as we’ve now passed the date that Doc, Marty and Jennifer went back to, in the film Back to The Future. That date seemed like light years away, in the late 1980s. A whole lifetime ago, come to think of it. I thought that I’d finish this year with my final Me and Mine diary entry — just as I did last year. Such a difference 12 months makes; this time last year my dad had been rushed into hospital — just 5 days before — and was recovering from life-saving surgery. Everything was in a weird state of limbo — we didn’t know if he was going to pull through — he had been on life support for 48 hours after the op and things were very much still in the lap of the gods. Thankfully he did pull though and made a full — if not speedy — recovery. Following a rocky start, this year gave us so many lovely things. We had a little family holiday at Bluestone in Wales. Our first proper holiday as a family. And even though it was only for 4 days,… Read More

New year, new bed

Before Christmas, I wrote about preparing for overnight guests and creating a little welcome basket for visitors. Although we gave one of our guest rooms a little makeover recently — with some lovely new wallpaper and bedding — one of the things that the room still desperately needs is a new bed. People used to come and stay with us and would often comment on what a good night’s sleep they’d had. But recently there have been more grumbles and moans, than compliments. Possibly — due to the fact that the mattress is now 20 years old and has had to endure 4 house moves. I think the poor old thing had come to the end of it’s life and really needs replacing. Thankfully, the January sales are in full swing already and this is the perfect time of year to snap up a new bed or mattress! If you’re going to invest in a new bed, this is definitely the time to do it; I was having a little look at the Furniture Village website yesterday and they’ve got some gorgeous looking beds and divans for really reasonable prices. Plus they’ve been running a Christmas Countdown.  It features a cool, interactive, animated house which gives lots of handy ‘homestyle’ tips and also the opportunity to win lots of… Read More

A ‘Cookson Christmas’ on Drama | The Cinder Path

When I was younger (approximately 3 years younger — i.e. before I had the boys) there was nothing I liked more than curling up in an armchair, on a lazy weekend, reading the latest bestseller or a much-loved classic. I used to read loads too. Crime novels, fiction, biographies, autobiographies — there was nothing I enjoyed more than immersing myself in the pages of a good book. Period stories were also a bit of a favourite too, particularly by Emily Bronté, Jane Austen and Catherine Cookson. These lovely novels are guaranteed to transport you to a bygone era and whisk you away to another time. Sadly, these days, there just isn’t enough time to read as much as I’d like. I steal the odd 5 minutes to look at the paper — snatch a lunch-break to flick through the pages of my favourite magazine — but my books sit untouched and my Kindle lies unloved on my bedside table. Happily this Christmas, the folk at Drama have solved this issue for me and are running a ‘Cookson Christmas’ during the festive period; from December 20th to December 31st. Meaning I get a fix of my beloved period classics without having to lift a book! Hurrah! Dame Catherine Cookson is one of the word’s most noted authors.… Read More

Colour Your World | #16 Pantone Lavender Herb

This is the last post in my Pantone series for 2015! So funny to think that, when I started, I had no idea that it would take me nearly a full year to complete the 2015 palette. I’m really looking forward to exploring the SS16 Pantone colour report and looking at all the new shades that have been selected for next year. It’s been so lovely looking at all the different colours for 2015 — and finding product to fit the shade. Sometimes it’s been really tricky — the last two in the palette have been fairly tough — particularly this last one. The last colour in the series for this year is Pantone Lavender Herb. I think I found this really difficult because it’s such a summery shade! To think about pale purple in the midst of winter doesn’t really sit well with me. This kind of colour conjures up warm breezes, summer dresses and lavender fields — not dreary, wet skies and Christmas decorations. But hey. I thought I’d challenge myself so for this last Pantone post of the year, I thought I’d pull together a selection of wintery fashion and accessories, in tones of Pantone Lavender Herb. Colour Your… Read More

145 weeks and 4 days | A mini bathroom makeover

I’ve spoken about our ensuite bathroom before and how I was desperate to give it a makeover. Although it’s a nice sized room — with a lovely, old cast iron, roll-top bath — it was fairly bland and uninspiring, to say the least. It certainly wouldn’t be winning any prizes for the most attractive bathroom award, that’s for sure! The base of the bath looked like it hadn’t been painted for years (and probably hadn’t, to be fair) and the sad old carpet has seen better days too. As ever, time and money (or lack of it) have got in the way and the bathroom has remained untouched — and pretty low-down on the ‘to-do’ list. I was in the bath a few weeks ago, thinking how lovely it would be to have a shelf at hand — to have candles and somewhere to put the shampoo — but due to the fact there is a radiator running alongside the bath, it didn’t seem very feasible. Lying there in the bubbles, mulling over what we could do to improve it, I had a little brain- wave and decided a radiator cover would be the perfect solution! We popped to our local Homebase, where they’ve got a fab selection. They’re available in all kinds… Read More

145 weeks and 2 days | Siblings in December

The last Siblings post of the year — and a little bit later than originally planned too. Our two little twin siblings in December — what have they been up to? As ever, this time of year is so ridiculously frantic. My mind has been all over the place; I’ve been designing new papercuts for my shop, finishing off orders for Not On The High Street, whilst trying to get organised for Christmas. The blog has had to join the queue, in order of priorities, so things have slid a little. Everything seems to be a priority at the moment — the deadline to get most things done is next Monday — there just don’t seem to be enough hours in the day! As ever, these photos were taken on 13th. Even though I haven’t managed to put them in a blog post, I haven’t missed the monthly photo — taken on the same day each month — since they were born. That said, they’re very grainy! I almost forgot what day it was and only remembered at around ten-to-four, in the afternoon. The light was all but gone, so the quality is pretty awful but, as ever, quality aside, they do give a clear(ish) pictorial reference of… Read More

Home Etc #31

The final Home Etc of the year! Jess and I have decided that we’re going to have a couple of weeks off over Christmas so we can start afresh in 2016. We have both really enjoyed hosting this little linky — it’s brought together such a lovely little community of like minded folk. Thanks so much to everyone who has joined in over the past 6 months. Amazing to think that we’ve been going for that long. The first Home Etc was on 20th May and we have had so many fabulous blogs linking in week after week. Thanks too to our generous sponsor — HomeSense — for providing the monthly prize! :) Home Etc is a weekly blog hop for like-minded folk to share any posts that include interiors, DIY, garden or allotment, crafting and up-cycling; basically if it’s at all home related, we would love you to come and link up with us! Our favourite posts from last week came from: Rachel at The Ordinary Lovely. We loved her quirky ‘home coffee bar’ idea. Beautifully styled — as ever — and full of festive cheer! The perfect gift ideas for a caffeine addict. And I can say with some certainty that the syrups are AMAZING!… Read More

144 weeks and 6 days | It’s beginning to smell a lot like Christmas

As well as decorating the house for Christmas, I’ve been burning some amazing scented candles recently so, as well as looking festive, it’s beginning to smell a lot like Christmas too. Orange, nutmeg, cinnamon, clove — these are the kind of aromas I associate with this time of year. The sweet fragrance of mulled wine, gingerbread and zesty clementines are a dead giveaway that Christmas is just around the corner. The candles I’m burning at the moment are by a company called Beefayre; I came across them in the summer and they have some really lovely things. As their name suggests, they produce products for the home and body inspired by bees and nature. Their candles are made with natural plant wax — rather than petroleum based — and blended with pure essential oils. They’re all sold in little glass votives too — everything from tiny tea-light sized ones to  a chunky 3 wick version. I can’t quite put into words just how amazing they smell!! They give off such a pure, fresh scent, that quite literally fills the house. It’s not cloying either, like some scented candles I’ve had before. The ones I had in the summer were infused with Rosemary and Neroli — they were absolutely lovely — but these ones I’ve been burning over… Read More