Tuesday Treat – Lush Bath Bombs

Lush bath bombs are nothing new, but they remain a firm favourite for me. There’s nothing quite like running a hot bath after a long day and a cold dog walk around the park, throwing a Lush bath bomb in and letting your troubles melt away. Add in a cup of tea and the latest episode of Scandal on the iPad and that’s pretty much heaven right there.

Big Blue Bath Bomb

 

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I was lucky enough to receive a massive Lush haul for Christmas, including one of their shampoo bars, which I’ll right about another time. This also means my room smells like Lush, which is pretty, lush! For me, it’s a great way of warming up, relaxing and getting my head together after a mega-hectic day at school. Ideally, it should be followed by warm pyjamas, a delicious dinner and cuddles on the sofa with Poppy in front of the fire. Perfection!

Dog Walks in Pembrokeshire – Bosherston Lily Ponds

There’s nothing like a long walk during the winter to blow away the cobwebs and make room for some more tea and cake. While we were in Pembrokeshire over Christmas, we went for a lovely walk around Bosherston Lily Ponds and Broadhaven South (not to be with the ‘other’ Broadhaven… which I did.) It’s a great walk that can be extended or shortened, depending on what you’re looking for/what the weather’s doing.

Lily Ponds Lily Ponds Dogwalk The Lily Ponds

We were very lucky with the weather when we went. It was dry, slightly cold and the sun was out, which is when Pembrokeshire is at it’s very best and you can understand why it’s such a popular tourist destination.

BosherstonBosherston rushes

Half way round the ponds is the entrance to Broadhaven South beach, which is well worth visiting in its own right. It’s a gorgeous beach, which Poppy absolutely loved.Broadhaven Bosherston Bosherston Lily Ponds Poppy at BosherstonBroadhaven SouthBroadhaven Dog walkLooking at these pictures now, you’d think we were there in the height of summer! I imagine this beach would be packed then, but we’ll have to go back to find out. Whether you decide to do visit the beach as well or just the lily ponds, it’s a lovely walk, whatever the weather. There’s some great wildlife to be seen too.

The Walk: The walk around the lily ponds is circular and you can find out more here on the National Trust website.
Cost: Free
Car Park: There is a car park for the lily ponds in Bosherston, which is where we parked. There is a fee, but we didn’t realise and the booth wasn’t manned when we were there so we didn’t pay anything. Oops! I’ll make an extra donation to the National Trust next time we’re near one of their places – promise!
Refreshments: There’s a lovely little tea room in Bosherston itself, which does a superb cream tea and serves it on the front lawn.
Toilets: There are toilets in the car park.

 

Tuesday Treat – Orla Kiely Birdwatch Dress

So a few weeks ago, I started a part-time teaching job, back at my school. I am loving being back in the classroom, having missed it terribly for quite a while now. Yes, it’s still exhausting, but incredibly rewarding. One thing it has flagged up is how awful my wardrobe is! Not only have I been living in jeans for the last few years, but almost all of my clothes are worn out. In my bid to buy as many of my clothes from sustainable shops as possible, as well as smarten up my wardrobe, I’ve been trawling websites such as Fat Face, Seasalt and People Tree. This little beauty from People Tree really caught my eye.

Orla Kiely Birdwatch Gathered Dress

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Dressing for school takes a little thought. Tops can’t be low, so I generally avoid v necks, skirts can’t be short and I have to be able to layer – bus duty can be incredibly cold! Plus it needs to be smart, but I’ll never wear a suit, as I hate them! Comfort and warmth are also essential. So many clothes that I like might not be appropriate – too casual, too short etc. But this dress ticks all the boxes. Plus, it’s got a supercute print and at £78 it’s not too expensive. It’s also fair trade and made with organic cotton, ticking the sustainable boxes. I might just have to treat myself, come pay day!

Redecorating my Home Office

At the end of the summer last year, my partner and I swapped rooms for our home office. This meant that we both needed to redecorate. As I had more stuff/junk, we decided to do mine first. It took us ages, for a number of reasons but we finally finished it before Christmas and I’m really happy with the way things turned out.

redecorating my home office

Our house is over 150 years old and it’s had a lot of DIY done to it over the years, some good, some bad, some very, very ugly. (Artex, I’m looking at you). All of this means that every bit of work we do on our house causes us a real headache and generally takes twice as long as it should.

In my office, we took down part of a built in cupboard to make way for some shelving and to increase the space in the room. We repainted the walls, ceiling and woodwork, including the remaining built in cupboards and we swapped the curtains for a new blind.

One wall was in a bit of a mess. It was the original wall and was pretty uneven. We probably should’ve had the walls replastered, but as we were on a budget, we decided to try the Polycell Smoothover instead. It’s not an easy task, but it is definitely worth it. While it isn’t as good as having the wall plastered, it is a lot quicker and easier. While stripping the wallpaper, part of the plasterwork came off the chimney breast, right down to the brick work underneath. To repair it, we used the Polycell Deep Gap Polyfilla. We didn’t do anything fancy to it, other than layer up the Polyfilla. It worked a treat and we were able to finish it off quite nicely, without any fancy tools. Then it came time to paint.  We repainted half the room and then I decided that I didn’t like it. It was too blue and I wanted a grey colour. In the end, I went for Dulux Night Jewels 5 and I love it! It’s really calming. We painted the woodwork using Milk White and it really compliments the grey.

Dulux Night Jewels 5

One thing I did learn, after painting the entire room using a satin paint, is that if your walls have imperfections, then you should you use matt paint as it’ll help to hide the imperfections. To be honest, there are so many imperfections in the walls that I don’t think any type of paint would hide them!

Fortunately, the office my partner now uses doesn’t need this type of work, as we had the walls replastered when we moved in, though we’re not redecorating that just yet. I need to get over doing my office! Do you find redecorating completely exhausting? Or is that just me?!

#PaperHaul – A subscription box for Paper Lovers

I don’t know about you, but the only post I seem to get is junk mail, bills or for someone else. (Poppy gets more happy post than I do!) For this reason, I’m a huge fan of subscription boxes. Previously, I’ve tried Not Another Bill, Crafty Fox Box, Graze and a coffee one, though I can’t remember which one. So when I heard about #PaperHaul, I was really intrigued and I signed up.

PaperHaul Travel themed paperhaul

In the box: 2 postcards, 2 sheets of printed paper, 2 greeting cards, 3 gift tags, a sheet of stickers and a roll of washi tape.

The cards are really unusual and are high quality. They’re perfect for sending a little inspiration to your best friends throughout January! You can never have too much washi tape in my opinion, and I love the car themed tape. It’ll be perfect for adding to envelopes, postcards from holidays later in the year and wrapping birthday presents. (I’m haunted by my poor effort this Christmas and need to step it up this year!)

If one of your resolutions is to write more and send your friends and family some happy post, then you’ll need #PaperHaul in your life. It costs just £10 a month (plus P&P), it’s delivered right to your door and for every #PaperHaul box sold, 10p is donated to the UK charity, PostPals. You can also give the gift of #PaperHaul to a paper addict in your life as they’re also available for 3 and 6 month gift subscriptions – perfect if you’ve got a January birthday present to buy!

I plan on trying a few others this year. What are your favourite subscription boxes?

Disclosure: I was given a discount code for this box, but all opinions are my own.

Tuesday Treat – Goal Setting and Starting Afresh

I don’t know about you, but I am pleased to be getting back into a routine. Personally, I struggle with Christmas & New Year. They’re not my favourite celebrations, for various reasons, but the fact that my routine disappears doesn’t help. I get up later, stay up later, healthy eating and exercise goes out the window and everything feels difficult. The one good thing about one year ending and a new one beginning means that you have an opportunity to make the changes you’ve been thinking about for a while. Resolutions rarely last beyond the second week of January, so I’m setting myself goals for the year, things I want to achieve and good habits I want to adopt.

Setting Goals

Last year, I worked on improving my fitness and healthy eating. Sadly, it didn’t last to the end of the year. And I’m suffering for it now! I feel sluggish, uncomfortable and in pain. So we’re back on the healthy eating wagon, am exercising three times a week and taking Poppy on some longer walks. One big thing I want to do is to finally get to grips with my money, making sure I’ve got a decent savings plan. I’m going to need a new car soon so need to work on saving for that too. I also want to take Poppy on as many new walks as possible. She loves going to new places, as do I and there are so many great places to walk in and around Oxfordshire. There are some redecorating jobs I want to do around the house, though none as massive as redecorating my study, which was an epic, epic mission! In my head, I’m starting to think of our next house, so want to get this house all sorted asap.

How about you? What are your plans and goals for 2015?

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