Hello chums, how are we all? I’m finally settled on the sofa after a morning of Christmas shopping at Etsy Christmas Market in Leeds and an afternoon catching up with the brother-in-law. I might open a bottle of port and get the Christmas shenanigans started; can you believe it’s December already?! Anyhoo, I thought I’d have a ‘Good Vibes Only’ catch up with you before December runs away from us.
OH’s birthday | It goes to show you don’t need much money to enjoy yourself. We were absolutely skint during Ste’s birthday weekend, but turns out you just need each other, a dog and a cheap round at your local pub (mulled cider only £2.50!). Oh and a couple of days off work for the both of us too, that’s always a treat. Happy birthday Mr.
The bathroom | It’s a Christmas miracle but our bathroom is finished. What was meant to be an easy wall and floor tiling job turned into a bit more. Lots of walls, flooring and the tiler himself needed repairing (a trip to A&E after cutting his wrist with the plasterboard cutter!) before the tiling could be finished. But all those extra pennies spent were worth it and the bathroom looks gorgeous. More on the blog next week, I can’t wait to share the pics. P.S The tiler is fine by the way!
Nigel Slater | His new book, The Christmas Chronicles, is absolute perfection. He loves winter as much as I do but he describes it in a way that would make the most ardent summer lover fall for winter’s charms. If you need a pick-me-up during the winter months I wholeheartedly recommend buying this book as a treat before Christmas.
Speaking of pre-Christmas treats, the lovely team at Hamper.com sent me a Christmas Hamper to enjoy. We chose the Luxury Gourmet Christmas Hamper to sample goodies that we might not have tried before. Needless to say the wine was fine (notice there is a glass of white missing from this photo). It was meant to be in the shot but I drank it…oops. We’ve yet to eat all the goodies in this hamper, saving the Christmas Cake and Pudding for nearer the time. But the chilli and fennel mixed nuts, duck and orange paté and the box of Belgian chocolates all got the thumbs up from us.
If you’re looking for gift ideas for someone who’s difficult to buy for, a hamper is always a great idea. My mum and dad are not very adventurous when buying food and drink so I love that hampers like this offer the opportunity to discover new brands, and be reaquainted with old favourites too; hello Grandma Wilds. Thank you Hamper.com for treating us over the OH’s birthday weekend, it was very much appreciated!
Forever is composed of nows | More than ever, probably because of my dad’s dementia, I’m more aware of appreciating the moment, letting work and stress go at the end of the day, and simply living in the present. I’m only human though, and sometimes need reminding (I might have cried over a broken oven last week!). So when Personally Presented offered to send me a personalised product of my choice I decided to choose something that I would use daily. This timeless Elie Beaumont watch (£59.99 including engraving) came beautifully packaged in a leather pouch and gift box, and it can be personalised (up to 5 lines) too. Instead of the usual names and dates that I could have added, I decided on a quote by my favourite poet:
“Forever is composed of nows” Emily Dickinson.
So that every time I look at the time, I’m reminded that today, now, is to be treasured. The good days, the crappy days and everything in between.
Take a look at the website for great personalised gift ideas for Christmas (the gift arrived really quickly by the way but I’ll double-check when the last posting date is for engraving in time for Christmas, then edit this post). P.S I’ve just spotted the PERFECT anniversary gift for the OH on this site (10 years on NYE) and now I’m super excited! That’s the sign of a great gift, right?
Photo by Martyn Boston
Roller Derby| Due to my foot injury a few months back I missed out on a couple of Bruising Bandita bouts but I finally played my first Roller Derby bout last month in Nottingham (I’m Dolly Vicious in black). I finally feel like I play Roller Derby at last! Big thanks to my team mates for being awesome that day and supporting me over the past 2 years.
I was lucky enough to be asked to help photograph a couple of local designer/makers products last month. First up, is Modern Alchemy who makes minimal and timeless jewellery, perfect for everyday wear (and for ‘fancy’ as my mum would say). And Julia Ogden (below), local painter, printmaker, teacher and general Wonder Woman! Go visit their sites for more gift inspiration!
Other highlights; sparkly clothing details (I’m ready for the Christmas do’s!), putting up the Christmas tree whilst listening to Billie Holiday, watching Hookworms at The Trades Club, our first fire of the season, cinema trips with my sister and drinking that fine wine (worthy of another mention!).
Happy December all!
Disclosure: Gifted products included in this post. Thank you for supporting the brands that support my blog.