I seem to have left all my Christmas shopping until the last minute this year. I think it’s because I’ve been having such good fun baking. Thank goodness for the interwebz where you can still find loads of last minute gifts for teenagers, with something to suit even the pickiest teen. And if, like me, you’re going to struggle to afford a brand new PlayStation 4 Pro (basically the only thing on Sam’s Christmas list this year, but at £350 not going to happen, unfortunately), I’ve hunted down some great gifts that will keep any type of teenager happy.
Our new kitchen/diner space is finally finished, and I’m absolutely loving having another space to decorate. Let’s face it, the kitchen is where I spend most of my time, and having the tree and decorations in it has made the space even more special. If you saw our simply hygge Christmas dinner party (DO make that slow roasted lamb in sloe gin – it’s delicious), you would have seen some of the decorations. I just wanted to do a bit of a roundup and recommend a few things to you. If you’re doing your decorating this weekend, have a look at the Christmas decorations from Next. Honestly, they’ve got so many lovely quirky things – you won’t be disappointed
Ahh, Miss Lyra. What would I do without her? She’s such a constant in my life, getting me up and about every day (I can usually get to about 9am before the first moaning starts, nagging at me to go walkies), keeping me company all day while I’m working, listening patiently while I chat to her about work issues and complain about unpaid invoices, hiding behind the sofa when we argue, and generally making my life a lot happier (there’s the rolling in fox poo and getting the bin out all over the kitchen floor, but we’ll skim over those bits). So what better way to show your appreciation for your four legged friend than a little gift or two? Here are a few suggestions on what to buy your dog for Christmas.
This was going to be an October home update, but real life kind of got in the way. It’s been all go recently, what with the boys now back studying, Sam getting a part time job IN A WINE SHOP (hurrah!), and Mr E being all busy and stuff flying celebs around and not telling me, and then me seeing him in the Daily Mail opening the helicopter door for some hugely popular celeb (this really happened!). It’s lovely to be home after a long period of travel, so I really feel myself nesting and enjoying cooking, baking and everything home-centred again. Here are some lovely bits I’ve found and really wanted to share with you this month:
One of the things we absolutely loved when we were in Boston were all the autumnal home decorations. People everywhere decorate their porches and front doors with all sorts of beautiful, glowing wreaths, floral displays and, of course, pumpkins. The family houses were swathed with spooky skeletons, witches and spiders, but we noticed that nearly every home had at least a pumpkin and maybe some pretty orange flowers in pots, and some had gone all out with the most gorgeous decoration:
Since Mr E’s redundancy, our kitchen refurbishment has kind of stalled. The main work is finished, but the floor isn’t done and we need various other little bits like window blinds and skirting boards. The biggest problem, though, is that since the building work, we’ve obviously lost the wall between the kitchen and dining room – and all the cupboards that were on it. This means that I’m really struggling with storage. I think eventually I’ll probably have to buy some kind of big cupboard, but at the moment we’re just having to be creative.
One of my favourite places to shop is upstairs in our local T K Maxx. I’m not massively keen on the clothes, but I love all the kitchen stuff, gifts and candles. We recently discovered their new shop on our way to Lidl in Aylesbury (I think I mentioned it here), and Mr E and I recently went back for a proper look around and ended up having a really lovely Christmassy afternoon of shopping. Here are my favourite discoveries:
So we’re cracking on with our plans to freshen up our house. It’s basically had nothing done to it except for basic maintenance for quite a few years as it’s been rented out, so it’s looking a bit tired. We started by going round the house with a notepad and pen and listed down every single thing that we think needs doing – new bathrooms, new carpets, new kitchen, flooring… Then we went back over the list to see what we can afford to do now, what will have to be put on hold until budget allows us to start work and how we could freshen up bits and pieces until they can be replaced.
I can’t believe we’re finally going to refurbish our house! I’m so excited and seem to be spending hours (okay, more hours than usual) on Pinterest and various home websites, planning and plotting and dreaming about how our home could look.
Mr English and I are currently house hunting. We spent this weekend in a blur of visits, offers, exhilaration, anticipation, despair and frustration. We are the classic home buying couple, with me dreamily imagining candles on fireplaces and fairy lights draped across gardens, and him pacing out the sizes of rooms and eyeing up double glazing and central heating (I suspect it’s just as well that one of us is practical).
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