If you love hush as much as I do, you’ll be delighted to know that they’ve just announced an exciting 20% off flash pre-sale on their summer stock. This is quite rare so if you’ve had your eye on anything for a while, it’s time to log on and grab it now! The flash pre-sale at hush only lasts until midnight on June 30th, so don’t delay!
So in the spirit of my positive life plan, I thought I’d have a few words about the dreaded b-word, and why we ALL should be wearing one if we want to. I’m no expert, but here’s my 40-something guide to feeling fab in a bikini, and why I won’t be rolling out the swimming costumes any time soon!
Last year, Boden released a limited, special edition collection called Boden ICONS. The capsule collection of cool British premium items was snapped up quickly, so I was delighted to see it back again this year. I’d seen little snippets online but the full collection is utterly breathtaking. If you want one of the pieces, flex that credit card and get over to Boden’s website stat. These pieces won’t last long. Read more
See what I did there?
On Tuesday, I hot footed it to High Wycombe to attend the opening of the new Dunelm store in High Wycombe. If, like me, you’ve mostly used Dunelm in the past when you needed a new doormat or washing up bowl, you won’t believe the difference. Existing Dunelm stores are having major refurbishments done, and new ones are light, bright, modern and user-friendly.
January sucks, doesn’t it? One thing guaranteed to make it better, though, is to land yourself a steal in one of the sales, many of which start today. Regular readers will know that I’m obsessed with hush, and the hush sale is always one of the best. Here are my top picks for things you should grab before they’re gone!
If you’re a ‘last minute Larry’ like me, there are still plenty of wonderful things to buy, and often, if you hang around for a bit before ordering, you’ll find there are quite a few deals to be had. First things first, though, you need a mince pie and a glass of fizz….
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:
The best thing about winter when you work from home is being able to snuggle up in a lovely warm jumper, light a candle that smells of Christmas pudding, make yourself a hot chocolate with extra marshmallows and sit in front of the fire all day, with a warm whippet for company. Unfortunately the aforementioned whippet also needs to stretch her legs, so my day is broken up with a couple of frosty walks, which actually I don’t mind, as long as I’m well wrapped up.
I’m SO excited about all the new autumn/winter 2015 collections I’m seeing. It’s funny isn’t it, how after thinking of nothing but bikinis and straw bags for weeks and weeks, all of a sudden we just turn our backs on it all and start oohing and aahing over coats, chunky leather boots and gorgeous knitwear.
I think really good basics should be the foundation of everyone’s wardrobe. A well-fitting tee is just so effortless. I love the hush summer sheer crew tee. They’re so soft and drapey (that’s a word, right?) and look fabulous on (I’m about a size 12 and go for the s/m size). The silver is such a lovely colour and seems to go with everything. A great basic (£35):
Happy Sunday! I hope you’re having a wonderful weekend. We’ve mostly slobbed around, eaten cake, signed the contracts ready to exchange on our house (YAY!), splurged in Majestic Wine (this Stag’s Leap ‘Karia’ Chardonnay was buy two, save £10), stroked our gorgeous little furball family and started prepping for our next painting project: Sam’s bedroom (feature wall dark grey, other walls silvery grey).
I’ve got my first trip coming up very soon, a cruise on the gorgeous Disney Dream – one of my favourite ships, so I thought it would be a good time to stock up on some of the summer stuff that’s inevitably in the sales:
So next on our wonderful trip to Florida, we hopped back into our amazing Mustang and headed down to Sarasota, to the brand new Mall at University Town Centre (UTC for short). The brand new Macy’s there is utterly fantastic, and very state of the art. We joined store manager Kerry Yelle for a tour of the store. She’s understandably pretty proud of the place and pointed out several really cool features that are unique to this ‘smart store’. The lighting, for example, has been designed to be sustainable and the lamps don’t need replacing, plus the changing rooms have lights that only come on when you enter, to save energy.
So with news that the House of Bodily Fluids could soon be ours (I guess we shouldn’t totally get our hopes up until we’ve actually exchanged contracts), we’ve started doing that nesting thing where you go out window shopping for things you’ll never really be able to afford but you’d buy if you had unlimited funds (known as ‘champagne lifestyle, lemonade budget’ in our house).
We’re so lucky where we live to have an amazing choice of food shops – I shop all over the place: our lovely local farm shop, several different supermarkets and sometimes at a local, but quite small M&S Simply Food. We love M&S food and wine, and we often pop in, especially if I’m going to be away, to stock the boys up on their pizzas, which are amazing, and their meatball pasta sauce, amongst other things. Plus, of course, I need to keep myself stocked up with Penny Pigs. My fave.
I’m very lucky, and the postie often brings me all manner of yummy bits and bobs (he doesn’t miss out – he’s got a bit of a thing for blue cheese, which I’m not massively keen on, so he’s often rewarded).
Here’s the latest bunch of postal bounty that we’ve loved:
Abra-ca-debora pancakes made me my very own pancakes in time for Shrove Tuesday – isn’t that amazing?
But pancakes aren’t just for pancake day – these beauties are the perfect storecupboard ingredient all year round – fill them with creamy chicken and spinach, or roasted veggies in tomato sauce. Scrummy.
Steenbergs Organic were established in 2003 and are based in North Yorkshire. They sent me a fabulous selection of products from their amazing array of fairtrade and organic goodies. The spiced chai sugar is absolutely gorgeous, and the flavourings are incredibly good quality. Check out their website as I can’t even begin to list all the stuff they sell.
We’ve been drinking a ridiculous amount of this delicious Villa Maria Gewürtraminer. It was on spesh at Majestic but is sadly back up to £9.99. I’ll be watching out for the next time it’s on offer.
Cawston Press brought out a range of ‘grown up’ fizzy drinks (just in time for my failed attempt at alcohol free January): the sparkling apple & rhubarb was my favourite, closely followed by the sparkling lemon and lime (which tasted sublime with a dash of gin).
Lovely Sophie at Mullion Cove makes traditional Cornish fairings. They’re gorgeously soft and spicy, and the fig and ginger had us all fighting over the last one. Oh, and apparently the word ‘fairing’ comes from the fact they were sold at Cornish fairs and feasts and in Victorian times they were brought by a gentleman to give to his sweetheart as a love token!
French’s have brought out some new products this year: our faves by far were the Jalapeno Tomato Relish and the Sweet Onion Relish (scrummy on hot dogs, but I’ve taken to putting it in toasted cheese sandwiches too). I’m not keen on mustard, but English Dad insists that the new Smooth & Spicy version of their original yellow mustard is fabulous too.
Elizabeth Shaw have brought out two new scrummy new flavoured bars: Pear and Almond and Blackberry and Ginger. We liked them both, but I would have liked to see larger chunks of nuts in the almond one that came across as slightly gritty. I was, I admit, in the minority in this view, though, and they were both scoffed in seconds.
The lovely chaps at Farmison sent me an ENORMOUS British artisan cheese box. Really well packaged, with lots of ice packs to make sure the cheese stays in perfect condition, the selection was varied, interesting and creatively put together. The Caboc Highland Cheese, which is covered in oatmeal, I think, was especially delicious (just as well as there were two of those in the box), and my other favourite was a sharp, but still creamy Keens of Wincanton Traditional Cheddar. For blue lovers there’s a hand-made Yorkshire Blue and a seriously strong Colston Bassett. The quince paste and water biscuits are delightful extras. The whole box would make an amazing present for any cheese lover.
Wagamama‘s new chilli, coriander and ginger dressing is fab on salads and in chicken wraps, but SUBLIME on avocados, mushed into rye toast. Don’t question me, just do it. We also tried Nando’s Smokey BBQ marinade which is lovely with chicken, sausages, ribs and any chunky white fish.
I think that’s it. Go forth and get shopping!
- A night out at the Gourmet Picture Company, Marlow December 10, 2017
- Weekend wishlist: festive fun with Love Layla Designs December 9, 2017
- Christmas crumble muffins with the Kenwood Chef Elite December 7, 2017
- Christmas gifts for the man in your life December 6, 2017
- Shopping and pampering with Trainline’s new voice app December 5, 2017