Hello! How’s your week treating you? I’m not going to lie, all I want to do at the moment is knit! It’s something to do with the change of season – I’m getting ready to hibernate! As I’m feeling all creative, finding sources of inspiration online is giving me a real boost. This week, Tea and Kate appeared in my Twitter timeline and I’m so pleased it did. It’s a beautiful online store that sells beautiful, beautiful things. I think I’m a little bit in love with it! One of my favourite things on the site is this lovely duvet set.
I can just imagine having a lazy Sunday morning lie in, with a brew and Poppy curled up by my side in this duvet set! See – hibernation! I can already tell that I’m going to be a regular at Tea and Kate, especially as we’re focusing on redecorating our offices and bedroom over the coming months. I need inspiration, storage and pretty things in spades! Love autumn!
I have to admit, my healthy eating went completely out the window over summer. It was either too hot to bother or I was feeling too lazy to plan, shop and cook. Plus I ate all the ice cream and barely moved, with the exception of walking Poppy. Oops. So I needed to get myself sorted, shopping for and cooking healthy meals, moving more and generally getting myself organised. The only way this was going to happen if I planned my meals and prepped them ahead of time. I started planning my meals on A4 paper, but as you can see, it’s a little messy so I made a menu plan template, which looks a little neater.
To make my life a little easier, I’m going to rotate these plans every four weeks, swapping out seasonal foods where possible. By the end of September, I’ll have plenty of healthy meal options, which can all be made very easily or ahead of time, essential in my book and I’ll have all of the ingredients in my favourites in my online shopping list. Ordering takeaway is always going to be easier, so I need to make sure I make healthy eating as easy as possible or I just won’t do it.
I get most of my meal ideas from Pinterest. I don’t know where I’d be without it, though my iPad screen would be a lot cleaner! It’s such a great place to find healthy meals and lunch inspiration, so that I don’t get bored. I’m also doing the 30 Day Shred throughout September to get myself moving and I’m already thinking about exercise I can do in October. I think I need to mix things up or I’ll get bored and stop.
I’ve been eating healthily for over a week now and feel good. The focus has been wholesome foods, cooked from scratch where possible, lots of fruit and veg. We’re lucky to live near Modern Baker so that we can still enjoy a cake while we watch #GBBO, but not ruin our healthy eating. So far, it’s going really well and I can definitely feel the difference.
What are your healthy eating tips? How do you make sure you’re not calling Dominos everyday?! If you think the meal plan I made would be helpful to you, feel free to download away!
Recently, I’ve been getting my make on. I’ve taken a long break, for no particular reason but I’ve felt that call to make things again. I’ve reopened my Folksy shop, started knitting ear warmers (needed one this morning!) and have bought more tools to widen my range of silver jewellery. I’ve also bought a Lightcase to help improve my photos, because at the moment, they aren’t great!
In my wildest dreams, I would love this to be my day job! And at the moment, it’s all I can think about. I’m also toying with a few postcard designs, but I’m really nervous about showing those! If you’ve got any tips or advice on stationery design, I’m all ears!
It feels great to be making things again. I just hope people like them! What would your dream job be?
A few weekends ago, on a damp Sunday morning, we were looking for somewhere new to walk Poppy that could also provide us with a little refreshment. My OH suggested we go to Hogacre Common in Oxford. I love finding these little hidden gems around Oxfordshire, so off we went.
We weren’t quite sure what to expect, but parked up on the road and headed off down a little lane. At the end of the lane we came across train tracks and had to climb the bridge over it, which made for great views and a wave from a train driver! Over the other side, we found Hogacre Common. It’s real gem. Located on unused sports ground, which is leased from Corpus Christi College, it does look a little bit like a scene from a post-apocalyptic film! The main focus of the common is that it is a biodiverse community space. And it looks amazing!
It’s a lovely area to visit plus we saw not one, but two green woodpeckers! It’s the perfect place to get your nature geek on – they’ve got their own bees, they grown their own food and have events from time to time so well worth checking that out. Plus, if you can get to the cafe, then do and I can heartily recommend the vegan chocolate cake. It was the best chocolate cake I’ve ever had (and I’ve had a lot!)
The Walk: The walk around Hogacre Common is quite short, so we teamed it with a walk around the playing field near where we parked.
Cost: Completely free!
Car Park: There isn’t a dedicated car park, but there are some streets nearby which are have parking. However, you will need to check the time restrictions carefully, as there was a traffic warden doing the rounds while we were there on a Sunday.
Refreshments: The Hogacre Cafe is open on Sundays from 11am-5pm, though they will be closing for winter so worth checking before heading out.
Toilets: There are some in the cafe.
Well I don’t know about you, but I am looking forward to Autumn. I like living in a country where the seasons are so different. I enjoyed the warm summer days we had in July and am glad that, while Autumn is on its way, there are a few of these lovely days left. What’s even better, is when you find little hidden gems to enjoy them.
We found this little hidden gem while walking around Radley Lakes in Abingdon a weekend or so ago. The weather was surprisingly warm considering it’s been such a cold August – I had to take my coat off, it was that warm! We had a lovely walk around the Lake then went off on a bit of tangent in search of the Thames path. We found this gorgeous lake, that had beautifully clear water, which Poppy paddled in, some fish, ducks and even a kingfisher! I’ve never seen one before, so was really thrilled to see it. (I like to get my nature geek on occasionally, as long as nature keeps a respectable distance!) Having lived in Abingdon for nearly five years, I’m amazed at how much of it I don’t yet know. This little gem is a definite keeper for dog walks. Love it!
I have been decluttering Crafty Chai towers like it’s going out of fashion. Not sure if it’s just because I’m fed of having so much stuff or if it’s because I’m getting ready to hibernate, but either way, all those annoying little jobs on my list are getting done.
I’ve taken bags upon bags to the charity shop, recycled and sold lots of unwanted items (If you’re in the market for an espresso machine, check out my Gumtree ad!) and done a lot of reorganisation. For example, saucepan lids. Everytime we wanted to use one, we had to dig around in the back of a kitchen cupboard and empty half the contents onto the floor. It was mega annoying. Our little house doesn’t have much storage, and what there is isn’t really fit for purpose e.g. our ‘wardrobes’ won’t shut properly, which often means I have to dust my shoes before I wear them! Needless to say, sorting better storage is on my list!
One thing we have achieved recently is setting up an airing cupboard (pictured above – please excuse the poor quality picture!). Previously, bed linen and towels were all over the place, in cupboards, drawers, squirreled away, getting creased. I do like the feel of ironed sheets so always iron them. Therefore it’s really annoying when you get them out of the cupboard and they’re all creased! I desperately wanted a airing cupboard. So we decided to transform one of the cupboards in the spare room. Short on time and budget, my OH used some leftover paint to freshen the cupboard up and bought a cheap shelving unit to save us having to drill into the walls. Someone along the years has done some questionable DIY to this house. We don’t want to make it worse but we are still on a very tight budget. I really like the shelves. They’re easy to keep clean and I’m going to add some vinyl labels using my Cricut Explore, which can be easily removed in the future. We also packed spare duvets and pillows in vacuum bags (so much fun!) to save a bit of room and keep the bugs off.
The good news is that everything is tidy and in one place, including the ironing board and the airer, which fits in nicely in the front. No longer will it fall out on me or terrify Poppy as I struggle to get it in the cupboard! It’s so satisfying knowing that this is sorted. My OH & I have also swapped home offices, which means redecoration and reorganising so we’ve got plenty of jobs to do to get us through until next year!