During the week, my alarm goes off at 6am. 6am. It makes me feel a little bit tired just thinking of it! But that does mean that anything beyond that, even 6.30, is classed as a lie in. So on my day off or at weekends, it doesn’t take much for me to have a lie in and I’ll take them as often as I can get them, especially with this little monkey by my side.
The moment my alarm goes off Poppy is awake and is eager to get up and have her breakfast. By eager, I mean she’ll come and lie right on top of me, poking her nose right in my face. Once she’s had her breakfast, she’ll go right back to sleep, especially if she can curl up by my tummy or in the crook of my knees. This is the best thing ever in my book! There’s something incredibly relaxing about dozing with a sleeping dog next to you. Before long however, she’s stretching out, pushing us both out of bed. That’s when you know it’s time to get up. Roll on next weekend!
Did you know that we’re in the middle of Fairtrade Fortnight? Not only that, it’s twenty years since the first Fairtrade Fortnight – can you believe it?! That makes me feel old. Fairtrade is so important. It’s not just about fair trade terms for farmers and workers, but also decent working conditions and better prices. In order for something to be Fairtrade, it has to meet social, economic and environmental standards. Not a bad thing at all.
As consumers, we have the power to demand more Fairtrade. I try, as much as possible, to buy my clothes from ethical shops and People Tree and Seasalt are two of my favourite ethical clothes shops. Here are a few things that I’m currently coveting right now:
|| Charlotte Jersey Cardigan – People Tree || Lombard Jumper – Seasalt || Petra Pencil Skirt – People Tree || Four Winds Top – Seasalt || Tabitha Colour Block Dress – People Tree || Seafolly Jacket – Seasalt || Bardot Breton Top – People Tree || Pordenack Point Skirt – Seasalt || Rowena Short Sleeved Jumper – People Tree ||
[Images via their respective sources]
I’m pretty impressed that I only included a few stripey tops! Gotta’ love those blue stripes! Fairtrade and ethical fashion is an easy way to shop sustainably. There are so many great clothes that’ll last beyond one season.
Want to treat yourself to something from People Tree and help support Fairtrade? Get yourself a 10% discount with the code CHAI10 and help make a difference to farmers and workers lives.
For me, something the exudes luxury and ‘me time’ is having a spa treatment. When I was teaching before, it was something that I got into the habit of doing regularly as it’s a great way to destress and relax. Since then, it’s been a luxury that I’ve not been able to afford. The first thing I knew I needed to do at half term was to get a back massage. Not because I felt stressed, but because it’s important to make time to relax and I want to make good habits.
I thought I’d try the spa at the Randolph Hotel in Oxford. I’ve never been there and thought it would be lovely because, you know, it’s a fancy place! As soon as you open the door to the spa, you get that lovely spa smell – all oils and tranquility. I arrived a little late, and went straight in for my treatment. I filled out the usual forms and settled myself on the table. When the masseur returned, she asked if there was anywhere in particular that was particularly tense. My shoulders, especially my left one, seem to carry all my tension and I think my posture is pretty awful so I asked that she focus on those. Boy did she! By the end of the massage, which went way too quickly, my shoulders were quite painful, but the day after, there tension free!
I think next time I book a spa treatment, I’ll go for a morning at the spa, rather than just one treatment. Pretty much as soon as my treatment was done, I was back out on the cold street. I would’ve preferred some time to sit and relax a bit more, which is probably what I could do if I was spending the morning at a spa. Plus, you know, all the relaxing, which would be awesome!
Despite living in Oxfordshire for quite a few years now, I had never been to Otmoor RSPB reserve before. If you’ve never heard it, it’s an excellent place for twitchers and nature nerds, like myself, to see lots of different birds and wildlife. There’s even a board in the carpark, where you can see what birds have been spotted recently. Make sure you bring your binoculars!
When we were driving there, it did feel like we were driving into the middle of nowhere, but when you finally arrive at Otmoor, it’s well worth it. One of the first things we saw when we got there, on a very cold Sunday morning, was a fox. It was sitting in a field, watching some birds, trying his luck. I’ve never seen a fox in the day before! Amazing!
Naturally, there are lots of birds to stop and look at but that means ample time for dogs to stop and sniff. Poppy loved being out in the countryside. There were so many different places for little critters to walk and live that Poppy wore herself out sniffing and exploring the grass.
We didn’t realise before we went that there are some restrictions for dogs on the reserve. It’s no big deal, as there’s plenty of things for dogs to sniff and explore. This time, we didn’t go the whole way round (it was way too cold and I needed a chai) but we’ll definitely go back. Maybe in the spring and we can spot different birds that are visiting.
The Walk: There are a number of walks you can do, including a circular walk. Take a look at the map on the RSPB website to plan your walk. Warning – You will need wellies, especially if it’s been raining before your visit! Also, there are some restrictions for dogs on the visitor trail and they aren’t allowed in the hide. It’s well signposted where they can and can’t go so no worries.
Car Park: Yes and it’s free.
Refreshments: No, but there are places to sit and enjoy the view, so pack up a thermos and a pack of biccies for a mid walk refreshment.
So this week is half term. I had loads of lovely things planned, like chilling out, watching Gilmore Girls in front of the fire, getting my knit, walking Poppy in lots of lovely places, taking lots of pictures and lots of blog writing, as well as the obligatory day of school work. However, my body had other ideas. Pretty much as soon as the school bell rang on the Friday before half term, my body gave up the fight to all the school germs. The hour stuck in traffic on my journey home didn’t help, nor did the driving around looking for somewhere to park when I finally got home. Since then, I’ve coughed and sneezed my way through half term, doing as little as I can. I should be well enough ready for school on Monday. Brilliant!
I have managed to get a back massage (essential!), and my OH and I did venture out for a bit of breakfast and shopping at Burford Garden Centre (before I lovingly gave him my cold!). They do a mean veggie cooked breakfast and I managed to find some new wellies. No more wet socks for me! While we were out for the day, Poppy spent the day in dog day care and had a whale of a time! It was her first full day and she loved it, although she didn’t love being dried by a hairdryer after getting caught in heavy rain on one of her walks! I bet she sulked all afternoon!
Now all that’s left to do is some school work and get everything ready for school next week. Not exactly the week I had planned – pesky germs!
Calling all stationery geeks! There’s a new monthly paper club in town. I have been a long time fan of The Green Gables, so when I heard that she was starting up a monthly paper club, I knew I had to have one!
Each month, subscribers will receive three pieces of The Green Gables stationery, an inspirational quote postcard and something designed just for the Happy Paper Club. You can sign up for a taster box, a six month subscription or a rolling monthly subscription. If you choose the rolling monthly or six month subscription, you’ll be treated to something lovely on your birthday as well as a discount card to spend in The Green Gables. What’s not to love about that?!
The club launches 1st March so put the date in your diary to make sure you don’t miss out!