Category Archives: Three things I’m loving this week

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. 

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?