Category Archives: Three things I’m loving this week

Three things I’m loving this week

Vintage silk scarves

It’s the first official week of autumn! Cue much excitement from me. That seasonal magic gets me every time. This week I’ve been loving all the little signs that autumn has arrived: colder evenings, gorgeous produce and getting a spider’s web stuck to my face every time I get my bike out in the morning.   

Here’s what else I’ve been loving this week…

Vintage scarves. Those beige and brown silky little scarves from the 1970s are finally having their moment again. Ten a penny in the charity shop and so useful for adding a little autumnal hint to your jeans and tees. Mine was £1.99 from Oxfam, and there were loads to choose from. They go pretty well with a teddy coat too, mine is by New Look.

Vintage silk scarves and teddy bear coat

English rose cleansing balm by Marks and Spencer. I’ve been using cleansing balms for most of 2018 and I much prefer them to cream cleansers. Massaging a balm into your skin feels like such a nourishing way to cleanse your skin, leaving it feeling soft and plump. This cleansing balm from the Marks and Spencer Pure range has a very pleasing consistency, a little like lemon curd. It’s a pleasure to use. I have combination skin and this seems to keep my dry skin at bay, whilst not causing any unnecessary sheen on my nose and chin. Plus it smells amazing.

Marks and Spencer Pure English rose cleansing balm

Pumpkins. Forget conkers, I really know it’s autumn when I buy my first mini pumpkins from our local veg stall. I feel stupidly excited when I see them and buy lots  – mainly just so I can stroke them and put them on various windowsills.

Mini pumpkin

Three things I’m loving this week

Primark Dress

Hello! I hope you’ve had a great week. The boys are back at school and we’re starting to settle into our autumnal groove. I’ve been reading a lot and savouring the changing seasons. Here’s what I’ve been loving…

Hidden Lives, a family memoir by Margaret Forster. This is a truly excellent read. I’m going to gush about it in the hope that it’ll make you read it too. It’s the autobiographical story of Margaret, her mother and her grandmother. Three generations of women – one born in the nineteenth century, one in the early twentieth and one in the thirties. It’s a beautifully written examination of how women’s lives and expectations have changed dramatically during that period. The book takes us from giving up work when you married and back-breaking housework to the scandal of children born out-of-wedlock – and then onto Margaret’s liberating coming of age at university in the 50s. Find it here.

Hidden Lives by Margaret Forster

English apples. September heralds the reappearance of English apples. I like the to buy them from Ely Markets, who have some delicious early cropping, local varieties. The taste just blows you away – nothing like boring imported apples.

English apples

A new dress. I called into Primark to buy pants and came out with a new dress too.  Primark isn’t online, but this is £15 and there seemed to be plenty in store. As always, the sizing isn’t great – I had to go up two whole sizes! I’ll forgive them though as I love the colour and vintage look. I can’t decide if it looks more 1930s, or 40s? Maybe even 50s? Anyway, I love it.

Primark Dress

What have you been loving this week?

Three things I’m loving this week: the new Ivy Cambridge Brasserie, cute cat collars and the seaside

Pink hyacinths and tulips

It’s officially spring tomorrow, but the weather’s not playing ball is it? Last week I spotted my first blossom…but now there’s snow on the ground again and temperatures are below freezing. Come on spring, it’s time to spring into action! The cold is really getting to me – it’s so suffocating, don’t you think? So, to blow the blues away here are three new discoveries I’ve made recently. They’ve cheered me up, and I hope they’ll inspire you too.

The Ivy Cambridge Brasserie

Breakfast at the new Ivy Brasserie, Cambridge. I love living so close to Cambridge. Mostly because I find its combination of new and old completely irresistible. Amongst all the beautiful colleges and spires, there’s constantly something new popping up. It keeps the city feeling fresh, and means there’s always something new to try.

The Ivy Cambridge Brasserie

The latest newcomer is the Ivy Cambridge Brasserie, on Trinity Street. Its sophisticated blend of Art Deco style and classic service – all with a bright, quirky twist – is a perfect fit for Cambridge. It’s open all day for breakfast, lunch, dinner, afternoon tea, cocktails and anything in between.

The Ivy Cambridge Brasserie

I was lucky enough to get a sneak preview of their breakfast menu and it’s bliss. Fluffy pancakes, perfect Eggs Benedict and shiny silver teapots – it’s quintessentially British and a perfect place to start your day in Cambridge. Worried it’ll be booked up? There’ll always be some tables available on the day – but I’d always recommend booking if you’re making a special trip.

The Ivy Cambridge Brasserie

Kitty-cats with bells around their necks… Mog and Tabby are delighted to have received their first blogger mail. Supakit were kind enough to send the girls some of their super-soft, pastel-coloured Italian leather collars. They’re now undoubtedly the cutest cats in the neighbourhood and make a pleasing jingling sound wherever they go.

Tabby in her Supakit collar

A mini break in Cromer… We’re just back from a short break in this Norfolk seaside town. It’s famous for its crabs, lifeboats and an impressive pier. The weather was arctic, but I fell in love with this quirky little town.

Cromer Pier

It’s full of pastel houses, second-hand bookshops and bakers selling sticky buns as big as your head. Getting away for a couple of nights did us all good and I’d highly recommend it. It doesn’t have to be far from home – Cromer is only a couple of hours away from us and it made such a refreshing change.

Cromer beach

What have you been lovely lately?

Disclosure: Mog and Tabby’s collars were a gift and The Ivy Cambridge Brasserie paid for my breakfast. 

Three things I’m loving this week

Heather McLennan Cushion from Contempo Stirling

Well hello! Things have been a bit quiet around here thanks to a combination of half-term and flu. But I’m pleased to say I’m back – and I have some lovely things to share with you this week…

Heather McLennan Cushion from Contempo Stirling

A beautifully Scottish cushion… I live in flat Fenland which is a very long way from the rugged beauty to be found north of the border. So I was delighted when Contempo got in touch asking me if I’d like to try one of their gorgeous cushions featuring the designs of Heather McLennan. The jewel-bright colours are simply stunning – it’s a little bit of Scotland in my sitting room. And, even more excitingly, it’s made from sumptuous vegan suede which feels so luxurious! Click here to view the full range of Heather’s cushions, which are available exclusively online from Contempo, an independent shop in Stirling.

Heather McLennan Cushion from Contempo Stirling

Cold cures have also been on my mind this week… I put out a plea for remedies on my social media and received so many replies. Top of the list were the traditional hot lemon, ginger and honey – plus a rather more exciting beetroot and ginger smoothie. I’m officially sick of germs so I’m hoping that drinking my body weight in the above will see me through to the spring.

Cold remedies and Oh Comely magazine

Spring blooms to beat the decidedly un-springlike weather… The weather has been gross this week – we’re talking non-stock mizzling drizzle. You’ve got to find comfort where you can. For me that’s a carpet of purple blooms on the first sunny day in at least a hundred years.

Purple spring blooms

A big thank you to Contempo Stirling who sponsored this post. Ongoing support from lovely brands big and small makes this blog possible. 

 

Some festive things I’m loving this week

This was the last full week of school and work before Christmas. How did that happen? It’s been so busy. We’ve seen a ballet, listened to Norwegian folk music and generally put our festive hats on. Here’s what else I’ve been loving this week…

Snow! I have to mention it. Last weekend we had proper snow in the UK and it even stuck around for a few days. Sunday was a dream-day. We made the most of it and raced out with our sledge as soon as we’d eaten breakfast. Our local park was transformed into a winter wonderland and the whole city was looking gorgeous and sugar-coated. Some brave stall holders were gathered in town for the Sunday market. We made the spontaneous decision to buy our Christmas tree from one of the stalls and pulled it home on our little red sledge! And it’s not often you can say that, is it?

Snowman

Christmas at Kiehl’s. A couple of weeks ago I went to a lovely Christmas event at the Kiehl’s store in Cambridge. I’m new to this skincare brand, so this was the perfect introduction. They do Christmas particularly well – with beautifully designed seasonal packaging and skin treats galore. While there I invested in some pretty soap and came away with a big bag of samples to work my way through. So far, I’ve fallen in love with the Midnight Recovery Oil and the turmeric and cranberry seed face mask.

Christmas at Kiehl's

A bit of fluff. While out Christmas shopping this week I did a little bit of self-gifting. This furry scarf is a fabulous Primark find and is yours for the princely sum of £8. It’s the perfect thing to smarten yourself up on a festive walk.

Faux fur scarf from Primark

My first mince pie of the year. It always tastes the sweetest. Not sure how I held out so long. I’m a stickler for tradition, I suppose. I’m also a stickler for all-butter pastry and a boozy filling.

Mince pie

A crate of clementines. These beauties came from our local market. I can’t decide what’s nicest: the oranges, or the cute little crate? Either way, it’s just another one of those little December pleasures.

Wooden crate of clementines

What are you loving this week?

Three things I’m loving this week…

Winter bouquet

The weather’s turned wintry, and everything’s beginning to look decidedly twinkly. What have I been loving most this week?

A slightly festive jumper… I’m not ready for reindeer and snowmen quite yet, but cheerful sequin stars? Yes, yes and yes. This gorgeous jumper by Peacocks* is sparkly and pretty in a low-key way that’ll take you from late November all the way to Christmas Day. I’ve already worn mine at a couple of early festive events and it struck just the right note. It also looks and feels a lot more special that its £20 price tag would lead you to expect.

Peacocks Christmas Jumper

Some handbag-shaped self-gifting… All the discounts currently floating round the shops are tempting. I never find them all that useful when it comes to actual Christmas shopping, but self-gifting is another matter. I didn’t really need a new handbag, but I couldn’t resist this one from New Look. It’s not actually on offer anymore, but it’s still under £20. It fits loads in and I keep receiving compliments on it everywhere I take it. Burgundy is a great winter handbag colour – it seems to match everything!

New Look Satchel bag

Gloves… Because it feels like winter’s really here now. Forget them at your peril!  I’m loving all the shearling gloves and mittens around at the moment. I’m not investing in expensive ones that I’ll leave on a bus. Instead, these soft and cosy faux shearling gloves from New Look are keeping my hands incredibly cosy on the school-run.

New Look Shearling Gloves

What are you loving this week?

*A big thank you to Peacocks for sending me one of their Christmas jumpers to try! 

Three things I’m loving this week – the Cambridge edition

Cambridge bicycle

This week’s Three Things list is a little different to usual. It’s focused on one of my favourite cities, Cambridge. It’s a great place for an autumnal day trip – whether you want to find delicious food, cultural delights or start some early Christmas shopping. Here are a few things in the city that I’m loving right now.

Chelsea Buns at Fitzbillies

Fitzbililes has been a Cambridge institution for a long time. Their Chelsea buns are famous. My husband remembers his fellow students buying them on the way to lectures twenty years ago – and they’re still just as delicious.

Chelsea buns at Fitzbillies

Cambridge always manages to be one of the coldest places on the planet at this time of year. So, if you’re planning a trip to the city you need somewhere to hunker down and drink good coffee and eat a sticky bun. Choose between the original location on Trumpington Street, or the slightly more informal cafe on Bridge Street – where you can sit in the window and watch the punts come and go. They also sell wonderful picnics for taking punting.

Find Fitzbillies at 52 Trumpington St and 36 Bridge St.

Fitzbillies on Bridge Street

The new menu at Pint Shop

Pint Shop is a relative newcomer to Cambridge, but it has quickly become an institution too. And deservedly so. It’s the perfect place for an informal, but utterly delicious meal in the city. It’s housed in a beautiful old building – E.M Forster once lived there – which has been simply restored.

Pint Shop, Cambridge

The upstairs dining rooms are light, airy and always bustling with life. Every item on the menu is basically delicious, but my favourites are their cheese and meat platters and hot scotch eggs. Oh, and their ever-changing selection of beer and gin is fabulous.

Find Pint Shop at 10 Peas Hill.

Pint Shop, Cambridge

Ark

An emporium of wonderful gifts. I’ve been shopping there for many years, and it’s always one of the first places I start my Christmas shopping. It’s always a riot of colour – perfect for magpies like me.

Ark, Cambridge

I like to buy stocking fillers for my boys and gorgeous treats for the rest of the family. It’s very difficult to leave Ark empty handed!

Find Ark at 1-2 Peas Hill.

Ark, Cambridge

There’s so much to love in Cambridge. I think I’ll have to be back soon with a considerably longer list! 

 

Three things I’m loving this week

Hello! It’s currently the autumn half-term holiday, so I’m spending time with my family, kicking through leaves and searching for the perfect pumpkin. All good fun. But there’s still time to call in here and tell you about some of my favourite things this week… 

Italian red leather journal by Central Crafts

A beautiful new journal

Whenever I’m planning something I always start with a notebook and pen. Scribbling down words and ideas always awakens my creativity in a way that computers never can. My favourite notebook right now is this beautiful Italian red leather journal from Central Crafts. It looks, feels and smells wonderful.

Italian red leather journal by Central Crafts

It’s sometimes a bit scary committing to writing in such a beautiful notebook – but that’s not a problem with this journal as it’s refillable. It’s stamped with my initials and I’ll treasure it. Looking for a special present? Central Crafts sources beautiful, ethical products from all other the world – all hand-picked for their quality and individuality.

Peacocks leopard print skirt

A little bit more leopard print

A few weeks ago I shared my love for a hint of leopard print. I’m back now to share another brilliant find. This skirt by Peacocks is not only a lovely example of subtle leopard print, it’s also incredibly soft, warm and thick. Not bad for £16. Plus, A-line skirts are one of the most flattering trends you can get on board with right now.

Peacocks leopard print skirt

A pair of new boots…

I can’t live without a pair of comfortable, flat ankle boots. I usually stick to brown ones, but after last week’s foray in coloured footwear, I decided on a new pair in navy. They’re by Marks and Spencer and cost less than £30. They are so comfortable, which is a real win!

Marks and Spencer navy boots

What are you loving this week?

This post was written in collaboration with Central Crafts

Three things I’m loving this week

Breton and dungarees, with acorns

I feel like I’m really getting into the swing of Autumn. The children are pleased to be back at school and I’m back to work – which makes me happy because I love what I do. I’m also feeling lots better too and able to do more each week. Life feels good.

What have I been loving this week? Apart from conkers and autumn leaves, here’s what’s made me happy this week…

The Botanical Candle Company

The Botanical Candle Company 

I’ve followed Amalia on Instagram for a while. Her feed is swoon-worthy and I absolutely love her style. She makes beautiful scented candles. Some are in glass jars, others are in lovely reclaimed containers – like marmalade pots and old glass jelly moulds. I ordered some candles in Green Fig and Tinderbox, which are both gorgeous scents for autumn.

Keep Going pin badge, by Goats and Totes

A motivational pin-badge

I ordered this beauty from Goats and Totes when I got out of hospital. Keep Going…it’s such a great mantra and one I always try to stick to – even when life throws you a curveball!

Boden floral breton

A new Breton 

Because a girl can never have too many. This Boden one has sleeves printed with flowers in autumnal shades. I like the fact that I can cover them up, or nor, depending on how flowery I’m feeling!

I have also enjoyed…

Watching… the return of Jamie and Claire in Outlander season three. Available now on Amazon Prime.

Going to… the Lucky Things Cambridge event organised by Sunita Harley. We had a really motivational pep talk from Sunita, plus I met lots of lovely people.

What have you been loving this week?

Three things I’m loving this week

Three things I'm loving this week

Recovering from my recent surgery has certainly made me appreciate the little things. Cups of tea in bed, cat cuddles, flowers from friends and the excitement of getting new things through the post.  If you’re stuck in bed, then the sound of a parcel hitting the doormat can be the highlight of your day!

Ban.do schedule

The joy of new stationery

I love a good diary, and the Ban.Do I Am Very Busy Schedule is possibly the best I’ve ever owned. It shiny and pretty, but also highly practical at heart. It has enough space for lists and day-to-day planning – plus, plenty of stickers on the days I need to reward myself for getting out of bed. I ordered mine from ASOS and yes, at £20, it’s a little pricey for a diary. My purchase was to celebrate finishing an important bit of work, and I was happy to justify the price tag – however, there are also smaller notebooks and sticky notes in the range if you’d prefer to tart up your current diary.

Ban.do schedule

My new kindle 

I used to be a bookseller and I swore I’d never, ever, buy ebooks. But after a holiday in which I lugged four paperbacks down to the south of France, plus a highly tedious stay in hospital without my book collection, it was time to rethink. They’ll always be room in my heart for beautiful books, but from now on I’ll be reading large, heavy books on my kindle – plus the soft and goey romances I need at times, but don’t particularly want gracing my shelves. So there you go, I’ve gone over to the dark side, but I do feel quite good for it. Mine is a Kindle Paperwhite with a pink case.

Kindle paper white with pink case

The little bit of luxury 

I was lucky enough to be treated to a gorgeous gift-by-post by Liza and Markus, the co-creators of Postboxed. Their clever little gift boxes are designed to fit through letter boxes – perfect when you need to send a present by post. It’s a great time-saver, especially when you’ve left things till the last-minute. They pack everything up beautifully and send it with a message to your chosen address.

Postboxed signature gift box for women

It’s amazing how many lovely things they can fit in such a slim little parcel. I received the Signature Gift Box, which includes a notebook, earrings and chocolate – but there are options to suit men, women and children, plus every budget and personality. I’ve already ordered another one for a birthday present and will be back again for future gifts.

Postboxed signature gift box for women

What have you been loving this week?

Disclosure: I was sent the Postboxed gift box to review for free, but I will only ever recommend products that I genuinely like and enjoy.