Category Archives: Three things I’m loving this week

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. 

Three things I’m loving this week…

Hands holding flowers

Getting the summer holiday balance right, and accepting compromises

Working from home allows me to have fantastic flexibility during the school year. It gets a little harder in the holidays – combining fun, work and chores is a real juggling act. This week, it feels like we’ve got the balance right. I’m not saying it’s all been peachy, but as first weeks of the holiday go, it’s been a good one. The kids have had fun, been to few places and seen friends – and I’ve managed to get work done in my spare moments. Not as much as usual, but enough.

The main compromise is that the house looks like a pigsty – I don’t know how anyone maintains a tidy house in the school holidays. However, I doubt the boys will look back in a few years and say, “hey, remember than summer when the dishwasher didn’t get emptied and there was cereal on the floor everyday? Gosh, that was a big disappointment, wasn’t it!”

Rainy day baking

Spending time in the city

This week my eldest son has spent several mornings at a summer club in Cambridge. Which has meant we’ve spent more time in the city than usual – which has actually been the prefect fit for a week when they weather’s been more than a little unreliable. We’ve popped into museums, had lovely lunches out and visited all our favourite shops. Ok, well, mainly just Tiger. The boys love it in there because their money goes a long way. And I just can’t resist the lure of bright shiny things.

We’ve invested in some brilliant things to take on our summer holiday. We’re traveling through France by train, so we’ll need plenty of things to keep the kids amused on the journey. As usual, Tiger have aced it with their offerings!

Travel supplies from Flying Tiger

Jewel-like flowers in my garden

We haven’t spent much time in the garden this week as it’s been very wet. However, while we’ve been shut indoors, the garden has been putting on it’s most colourful clothes. The pretty pastels of early summer have now given way to bright yellow, orange and magenta. In between the showers I’ve been out there gathering these treasures to brighten up the house. When it rains, you have to make your own sunshine.

Jewel bright flowers

This week I’ve also been…

Cooking… from Hugh’s Three Good Things – a book full of delicious meals that are great for those of us who like simple shopping lists.

Reading… a most intriguing book called Some Kind of Fairy Tale by Graham Joyce. It’s really very good and I’d highly recommend it.

Watching… In the Dark on the BBC and the Handmaid’s Tale on Channel 4. Both gripping stuff.

What have you been loving this week?

Three things I’m loving this week

Sarah Raven Flowers

Have you been enjoying the heatwave? This week has been all about ice lollies, eating outside and long balmy evenings. Sure, it’s got a bit too hot at times, but I love the way it makes life feel so different – it’s like being transported to the tropics in the comfort of your own garden.

The days take on a completely different hue. There’s something so joyful and timeless about watching your children’s faces as they run through the sprinkler; or the chilled-out feeling of watching the sun go down on the longest day of the year.

So, what have I been loving during this most tropical of weeks?

Working from home

Summer is definitely one of the times that working from home comes into its own. My house is cool and I can have the windows open. My commute is whizzing back from the school-run on my bike, the breeze cooling my face. When I take my coffee break, I get to potter round my garden picking flowers. This week I’ve been feeling incredibly lucky that I have the opportunity to do this. Making freelance writing and blogging my job is a dream that’s been a long time coming.

Cats, flowers and window

Being a mermaid 

During a heatwave I love having a really cool bath – it’s so soothing and calming after a long hot day. This week I’ve been trying the lovely bath soak from Living Sea Therapy*. It’s made with Cornish seaweed and minerals and smells amazing thanks to twelve essential oils –  including mandarin, ginger and eucalyptus. It’s been perfect this week!

Living Sea Therapy

Living Sea Therapy

The cold shoulder top 

This is a new style for me, and every time I wear it I have that Adele song stuck in my head. Sales are a great way to try a
new trend and I picked up this lovely top  in Oliver Bonas – reduced from £45 to £15. I really love it – it’s laid-back but feels more special than a tee.

The cold shoulder top

This week I’ve also been…

Watching…. Girl Boss on Netflix. Loved it!

Reading… Harry Potter (the Half Blood Prince), perfect escapism for crazy times.

Drinking… Adnam’s Ghost Ship and Camden Hells Lager – both perfect for hot weather!

What have you been loving this week? Do you wilt in the heat, or lap it up?

* Living Sea Therapy kindly sent me this product to try 

Three things I’m loving this week

English peonies

The second week of May has been a bit hit and miss, hasn’t it? At the start of the week the weather was still disappointingly chilly, and the news is so hopelessly gloomy (the image of Teresa May driving the country over a cliff springs to mind).

Anyway, you have to find your happiness where you can, don’t you? The other Ms May, pulled her socks up by the middle of week and gave us a few days of warm sunshine. So, I’ve been smiling whenever I can and enjoying these simple pleasures:

Finally getting to wear a new pair of sandals

The first day of sandals always feels the start of good things to come. I always go to my local New Look every spring and choose something new – they do the best range of affordable sandals and never disappoint! Here’s this year’s choice! I’ve just seen online that they’re also available in shiny pink and blue. Very tempting.

Silver sandals

Going crazy for peonies

I love watching the seasons change through flowers. I always buy mine from the market every Thursday and it’s always a pleasure going along to see what’s new. This week I bought my first bunch of English peonies and have eagerly followed their progress – from tight, enigmatic buds to a puddle of petals on the table.

English peonies

Eating asparagus from Norfolk

Another simple pleasure provided by the market. I recommend it with a poached egg and smoked mackerel for a delicious lunch! Like the peonies, enjoy it while you can.

Norfolk asparagus

What else have I loved?

Listening to this album by Flo Morrissey and Matthew E. White on repeat.

Reading The Improbability of Love by Hannah Rothschild

Watching the second series of Versailles on BBC2. Guilty pleasure.

What have you been loving this week?

And one last thing…It would totally make my day (year?) if some of you lovely people would like to nominate me in the Inspire category of the Britmum’s Brilliance in Blogging Awards 2017!

Three things I’m loving this week

Crab apple blossom

According to the weather man on my radio this morning the weather this week is going to feel more like January than late April. The news is pretty dreary too. Whatever. My internal barometer is still firmly set to spring.

So, let’s not talk weather or politics (for now), let’s embrace the sweetness and light. 

T-shirts that do the talking

I haven’t worn a slogan t-shirt since the 1990s. And until recently I wasn’t in a hurry to wear one again. But there’s no denying they’re having a bit of a thing at the moment. I snapped up this gorgeous grey t-shirt from Joanie Clothing, which is perfect for spring. It makes me think of coffee, pancakes and sunny weekend mornings.

Joanie clothing t shirt

Fresh new scent

While I was (child-free) at the airport the other week I bought a bottle of Earl Grey and Cucumber cologne from Jo Malone. It’s really fresh and summery – sweet, but not cloying. It’s quite light, so I’m enjoying squirting clouds of it over myself at every opportunity. I prefer the smaller size bottles as I can never commit to choosing a huge bottle.

Jo Malone Earl grey and cucumber cologne

The sweetness of apple blossom

The cherry blossom may be blowing off the trees, but the fun isn’t over yet. Now it’s the turn of all the apple blossom. It doesn’t just look splendid, it smells it too. Go sniff a branch, it’s the essence of spring.

Apple blossom

What are you loving this week?

Three things I’m loving this week

Spring blooms

I think we can now say that spring has sprung, can’t we? I’m sitting here typing with the window open, birds singing outside. When the sun comes out it actually feels warm – it’s a tantalising glimpse of things to come. 

The prettiness of early spring has inspired me to shrug off my winter clothes and buy a few new things. Perky little purchases, that don’t cost much but make me feel really happy.

These rose gold trainers are a case in point. They’re shiny, bright and cheerful. Feeling unsure about the current gold trend? At £12, these trainers are a great way to dip your toe into the water.

Rose gold trainers by Peacocks

Spring is also a great time to try a new fragrance. As the days get lighter, I like my perfume to feel brighter and fresher. I’ve recently discovered Liz Earle’s botanical fragrances. I was given a set to try for Christmas and they’re great for layering over each other. I struggle to find perfumes which are light, but last all day. These do. My absolute favourite is Botanical Essence No9. It’s hard to explain a fragrance, but I’d recommend you go and try a sample in John Lewis.

Liz Earle fragrances

This week I’ve also been brightening up my brain with a bit of matcha from teapigs. Try swapping your normal latte with a matcha one and see the effects. Matcha powder is made from ground up green tea – so you’re getting all the intensity in one cup. Imagine the kick you get from coffee, times 10. It’s an acquired taste (better when sweetened with honey) and I find it’s best to make a small cup with milk and down it in one. You can find out more here.

Teapigs matcha

I’ve also enjoyed… 

Watching The Replacement on BBC1

Reading W Channel’s wonderful interviews for International Women’s. Including my own!

Drinking Adnam’s Mosaic pale ale – a great beer for spring.

Teapigs were kind enough to send me some matcha to try, but all photos and thoughts are my own. 

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Three things I’m loving this week

Three festive things I'm loving this week

It’s ten days till Christmas and things are starting to look pretty festive round here. Everyone’s been in a nativity play and carols have been sung in the market place. Most Christmas cards have been posted, although I’ve still got a to-do list as long as my arm!

Here’s what been ringing my (jingle) bell this week…

Wreath making at the W channel Christmas party

Wreath making… on Monday I went to a Christmas party organised by W channel. Whilst sipping sloe gin topped up with prosecco, I was lucky enough to be able to make a really beautiful and original wreath. I usually go for simple, informal arrangements (see here), but it was really inspiring to try something very difficult. I swapped my usual holly and ivy for succulents, silver pinecones and twinkly lights. Who’d have ever thought of a succulent on a wreath? But it really works!

Succulent on a Christmas wreath

Christmas books… I love getting out the Christmas books to read to the children every December. This year our favourite is Mog’s Christmas (how could it not be when we now have our own little Mog?). I also love The Christmas Eve Tree and this collection of fun Christmas tales by Enid Blyton.

Favourite children's Christmas books

A new stripy top to add to my collection… I bought this lovely rust coloured breton from the Seasalt shop in Bury St Edmunds. It was my first ever visit to a Seasalt shop (I always shop online) and it was brilliant to see all the clothes and coats together. A lovely shop with great staff and a really nice atmosphere. I’ll be back!

Orange Seasalt sailor top

What are you loving this week?

Three things I’m loving this week…

Wooden heart decoration

Anyone else feel like life is on fast-forward at the moment? I wish I could slow the month down a bit.

This week my eldest has been performing his Christmas play in the evenings and we’ve also managed to squeeze in all sorts of other things like Beavers, haircuts and twinkly light shopping.  I’ve also been whizzing round the house trying to get everything tidied and clutter free before we get the decorations out. But I love Christmas, so all the running around is for a good cause!

Here are three things I’ve loved this week…

Frosty mornings… it’s been quite mild here for the last few days, but back at the beginning of the week we were treated to some beautiful winter scenes. I never grow tired of bright, cold mornings – when every hedge, branch and leaf glitters with frost.

Frosty hedge

History lessons over breakfast… a proper breakfast is so important and the boys have been enjoying Alphabites by BEAR this week. They taste great, but my boys particularly love the cards you get inside the box, which are packed with random historical facts. So far this week we’ve discussed Guy Fawkes, the internet (yes, I’m afraid that is classed as history now) and the bubonic plague. All before 9am!

BEAR Alpha Bites

A little bit of Christmas creeping into the house… We haven’t got a tree yet, but I’m enjoying watching little festive bits creep into the house. Christmas cards, a bright red poinsettia and twinkly fairy lights.

Fairy lights

What have you been loving this week?

Three things I’m loving this week

dscf9732

I’ve had a really busy week – with visits to Norwich, London and Cambridge – and barely had time to draw breath. I’ll be sharing more about what I’ve been up to on here next week, but for now, here are a few things that have made me happy this week.

A mini-splurge at & Other Stories. This is only the second time I’ve visited & Other Stories as my nearest one is in London. This week I had a browse in their lovely store on Argyle Street (just off Oxford Street). The clothes are nice, but what I really like are their beautiful selection of make-up, jewellery and beauty products.

A mini splurge at & Other Stories

The fragrances are wonderful and – bonus –  I can actually afford them. I bought the Fig Fiction body mist (£5), a tinted lip balm (£7), nail varnish (£5) and some really pretty earrings (£10). This week I re-pierced my second ear piercings (a bit ouch, but worth it) and these new ones look great paired with simple studs.

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Hugh the Christmas bear. This week we’ve all fallen a little in love with a very lovable bear called Hugh. His arms are wide enough to give you proper bear hug, and his festive knitwear is very snuggly.

Hugh the 2016 Harrods bear

Every year Harrods bring out a new bear for Christmas. It’s a bit of a tradition and I’m sure he’ll be loved in this house for years to come. Find your own Hugh here.

Hugh the 2016 Harrods bear

Tea and cake. This week I had a wonderful, traditional afternoon tea at the Assembly House in Norwich. The service was impeccable and the food was delicious. I ate far too many sandwiches, cakes, scones – but it was delicious. It would have been a crime to leave any. I’ll be back for more soon!

Afternoon tea at the Assembly House, Norwich

One last thing: don’t forget it’s Stir-up Sunday this weekend! I’ll be making the same cake as last year. 

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A big thank you to Harrods for sending Hugh to live with us.