Posts tagged ‘Christmas’

January 16, 2014

REN Rose Otto Bath Oil

Like many of you, I was given beauty products as Christmas gifts. Luckily for me, the people who bought them know my taste and so there’s nothing that I don’t love.

REN Rose Otto bath oil tops my list of the best beauty gifts ever. (Thank you to my lovely boyfriend!) The smell is incredible, and because it’s an oil, it moisturises so well that there’s no need for any additional post-bath moisturiser. REN make wonderful products, without many of the nasties such as parabens, sulfates or mineral oils. The base oil for this product is sesame, and the fragrance is based on the Rose Otto and Palmarosa oils it contains. I’ve been feeling ill for a week now, and bathing in this oil has helped relax and soothe my poor body like nothing else.  The bottle is glass, so can be recycled, although I tend to keep mine and reuse them as tiny posy vases.

As you might imagine, I’ve been using this oil quite a lot since Christmas. In fact, I’m about a third of the way down the bottle already. Many Christmas beauty and fragrance gifts will now be still unopened, as people wait for special occasions to use them. My advice to you? Open the packaging and use the products. Be lavish! My mother is notorious for keeping special beauty and fragrance products for ‘best’ – and so many times the products have spoiled before she’s even had the chance to use them. Shelf lives for ingredients are not indefinite, especially when it comes to natural ingredients like essential oils. They need to be stored appropriately and used within a certain time.

And, the best day of your life is today. It’s the only day of your life. What’s already gone is history and who knows what the future holds. So, open your special beauty products and enjoy them today. And while I’m on the subject, wear your favourite clothes too. Put your best shoes on to do the school run. Wear your favourite dress to the cinema. Or just to potter around the house. If your favourite things make you happy, you should make today a great day and use them…

REN Rose Otto Bath Oil (image from REN)

REN Rose Otto Bath Oil (image from REN)

December 23, 2013

Happy Christmas!

Well, 2013 has been an interesting year, to say the least. I’ve gone through huge life changes, only some of which I’ve shared here. Life today is pretty good. I’m writing this in a fairy-lit sitting room, while my children sleep peacefully next door. I know that I’ve got some wonderful relationships and lots to look forward to. But I’m tired too. In need of a little break to re-charge my batteries a bit.

And so, I’m taking the advice of Luci at ‘Mother. Wife. Me‘ and having a blogging break until the New Year. A year that I have many plans for. Cycling, yoga, gardening, micro-adventures, maybe a bit of luxury, some volunteering and a lot of learning. I’m hoping to spend some time rebuilding old friendships and creating new ones. I’d like to see a bit of the world I’ve never been to before. I shall play games with my children and go on dates with my boyfriend. It will be a good year. I feel it in my bones.

I’m hoping that this blog will grow too. I have lots to improve and I’m going to state my intentions here and now to join the Big Blogging Bootcamp hosted by Elizabeth at Rosalilium. I know that it will be the kickstart that I’ve been looking for and I’m very much looking forward to it.

So, for now I wish those of you who are celebrating, a very Happy Christmas, and a wonderful 2014 to you all! I’ll catch you in a couple of weeks.

Love from Liz

Potted Christmas Tree

December 17, 2013

Home-made Christmas decorations

We’re starting again with Christmas decorations in our flat. So everything we have this year has either been bought from the Country Living Christmas Fair, given to us by generous relatives or made at home.

We have the two decorations bought at the Country Living Christmas Fair (not shown is a Christmas Pudding fairy, a gift from my lovely mum) on the tree. Alongside those are three knitted characters – Father Christmas, an elf and a snowman. Thanks to my lovely Grandma for those. Then, there’s the decorations we made with the kids. Felted baubles, made with wet felting, are strung onto the tree individually. I also hope to do a felted bauble garland. There’s the wet felted star, made by my daughter, using the same technique as the baubles, but pressing it down flat, then cutting a shape out. I’ve strung pine cones onto fine cotton, attached ribbon bows to the top of each and put them on the tree. And lastly, we have the loo roll fairy, made by my girl without any help at all, who is now sitting on the top of the tree!

Home made christmas decorations

September 10, 2012

Burgon and Ball Trowel: a review.

Since spending more time on the allotment, I’ve come to realise that gardening tools are a bit like kitchen tools. There are a lot of fancy gadgets to spend your money on, but you’re more likely to rely on a few well-made and carefully chosen pieces of kit.  My beloved Felco secateurs definitely fall into this category. I never go to the allotment without them. I’ve been a bit short on other tools though, and so I’m really grateful for this beautiful new trowel courtesy of

Designed by Sophie Conran for Burgon and Ball, it’s one of a complete range of hand tools designed to fit women’s hands – they’re slightly smaller, with a slimmer handle.  It has a curving back, which just looks like a design, but actually it really helps stop you losing soil off the back of the trowel, so it’s practical too. It’s reassuringly weighty (but not overwhelmingly so), demonstrating its nice quality. I’m already really enjoying using it, and look forward to the  beechwood handle developing the warm patina of many years of use. All the tools in the range come individually packaged in a lovely blue box, and would make such a nice gift.

Photo from

I’ve been really impressed with‘s range of products. They have an extensive range of gifts for all the different people in your life, many of which are hand-made in this country by craftspeople; a great way to support small businesses. The standard is really high, I’ve loved everything I’ve bought from there in the past, which has mostly been jewellery as gifts. In fact the only problem with the site is the amount of choice, which means it takes ages for me to decide!

Now that the Autumn term has started at school, my thoughts are already turning to Christmas (there, I said it) and it’s the perfect place to look for unusual, often personalised, presents. I’ve already seen a few things that would be great for my kids so I’ll be back soon.

With many thanks to for providing me with the gorgeous trowel to review.

December 19, 2011

All I Want for Christmas (That Money Can’t Buy)

I’ve been tagged by the lovely folk at More Than a Mum to write a list of things that I would like for Christmas that money cannot buy.

It’s a very timely request because I’ve been thinking about this for a while already. To be honest, by the time Christmas actually gets here what I might need is a lie down in a darkened room, such is the stress of school, pre-school, work and home stuff all leading up to the big day. From outfit requests for Nativity to Secret Santa at work, it’s one long ‘to-do’ list and I’m exhausted. And that’s before I’ve even thought about paying for everything on a pretty strict budget. I’d make more things myself if I could, but at number one on the wish list of every working mother is the gift of TIME, so in truth, although I have lovely images of self-created gifts, it would probably have caused me more stress than it solved!

Anyway, that’s my whining over with. Here are the ‘money cannot buy’ gifts I would wish for this Christmas:

1: Happiness for my friends. So many of us are struggling with problems, whether they are physical, emotional, financial or something else. My friends, scattered around the world as they are, mean so much to me. They have seen me through highs, lows, bad dancing, near-death experiences, quick drinks-after-work that lead to being thrown out at closing time (after putting the world to rights, obviously) , long distance travel, parenting and everything else. I love them dearly and would like nothing more than to be reassured of their happiness this Christmas.

2: I would love to be able to slow my children down a bit on Christmas Day. A pause button would be handy. They’re so excited at the moment, they cannot sit still for a second and I know that in the flurry of excitement on Christmas morning, they will be tearing the paper off carefully chosen and wrapped gifts with utter abandon. I’d like to get them to slow down. To appreciate each gift (even if it’s clothes!) before turning to the next. They are so fortunate and blessed to be loved by so many people. I know that they’re only little, so this really doesn’t cross their minds at all. I just want the feeling of joy and appreciation to last as long as it can.

3: In the same vein, I’d love for peace. On a global scale, if I can have it, but if not, then just between my children would be perfect. They do fight quite a bit – when they’re tired, over-excited, or when they’ve just been stuck indoors too long. Like racehorses, they need daily exercising! Last year, Father Christmas was a bit silly and put quite a large packet of sweets into each stocking. Which ended up being secretly eaten for breakfast. Which then led to a huge burst of sugar-fuelled excitement following by fighting and then keeling over. Anyway, I’ve had a word with him and this year, he’s only going to put a tiny chocolate into each stocking, so the kids are hungry for normal breakfast, which will hopefully mean they’re less likely to go crazy. We’ll see, I suppose. I may end up making them run around outside for a bit. Even if it’s snowing. Actually, while I’m here, I’d quite like the gift of snow on Christmas Day too – enough to make it worth sledging in (due to pink birthday sledge which, as yet, is unused) but then for it to magically disappear after Boxing Day without turning into that horrible grey sludge stuff. That’d be ace.

4: I would love the gift of optimism. They say, where there is life, there is hope. But it’s been a difficult year for us; for the world. I’d like to be optimistic for myself, for my plans for 2012, and for my children’s future. Otherwise, I’ll be spending Christmas under the duvet. Come and get me after the next General Election (but only if it’s good news…)

5: And finally, I have two dear friends who are in the late stages of pregnancy, and so I wish for a safe and healthy birth for them.

Now, I have to tag someone else to do their list and so I’m going to tag my lovely Twitter buddy, The Last Slayer . It may be a bit late though (and I know she’s really busy) so this tag may end here.

I hope that you all get what you wish for this Christmas.

November 25, 2011

I’ve Been VERY Good…

A Christmas Wishlist.

Alex Monroe jewellery is just so beautiful.

Alex Monroe necklace


Because if anything will get me knitting, it’s this…

Wool and The Gang


This necklace would go with EVERYTHING!

DAY Birger et Mikkelson necklace


This lovely cocktail ring would help me channel my inner Kirstie Allsop.

Chan Luu ring


The ultimate luxury bag. I love it and I’m never likely to buy myself one…

Chloe 'Marcie' bag

And finally, it’s that Markus Lupfer badge again.

Markus Lupfer badge

PS – to my lovely family, anything from my Amazon list would also be perfect 😉

All items available from Net A Porter.