So you might have guessed from my previous posts that I love shopping. But I’m at my most happiest when I’m shopping for the house. One of my favourite shops in Oxford is Comma Shop on Iffley Road. It’s such a funky place to visit & I cannot leave there without spending money. You’d be amazed at the massive electic mix in this shop. It ranges from beautiful stationary, cards & gift wrap to mugs, cushions & artwork to all kinds of vintage ware & very cute badges. They even stock pieces from Gemma Correll, including a wicked mural that Gemma painted on the wall. They also sell To Dry For tea towels and this is because they are run by the same people (it took me a little while to figure this out!)
Therefore when I popped there the other day, I made sure I bought as many crafty & handmade bits as my bank account would allow. The beautiful picture below is one of them. As soon as I saw it I knew it needed to be in our home. In our hallway, we have three little alcoves. This picture is in the end one & fits a treat.
If you do visit Comma Shop (& you should) and you need a sit down after all that spending, you are lucky enough to be very close to two excellent pubs. One is The Rusty Bicycle. My OH & I shared some lovely baked camembert on a wet February lunchtime. The other amazing pub is The Magdalen Arms & it has an amazing feel. You can spend some very relaxing time in both these places & I recommend that we all do this much more often!
I love it when a plan comes together. I have been searching for a few final pieces to complete my study. One thing that was proving quite difficult was a lamp stand to go with this beautiful shade from Melin Tregwynt that I received as a Christmas gift from my Mum. This is an amazing company based in Wales, near where I’m from. So, naturally, anything that I can do to support my home peeps, then I’m gonna! Especially if it means I can have something that most people I know don’t. However, finding a stand for it to go on has proved to be very difficult. Until I went for (another) mooch about Yarnton Antiques Centre today. This is a gem of a place & if you haven’t been, it is well worth a visit. There’s a real mix of stuff here. Some bargains. Some expensive pieces. But there is so much here & the staff are always really helpful. This stand was a real bargain. £20 & I got to keep the light bulb! Best if all it’s plain so I can style it up so that it really will be unique. For the moment, I’m just glad of some extra light.
I also bought a little book so that I can use the paper. I’ve been really inspired by all the people out there recycling old paper & making some really beautiful things with it. I am going to experiment with the paper from this book & see if I can make something that will go around the edge of my very cheap notice board. Will keep you posted.
And finally my new chair. This is one of my best buys ever and been bought with my ‘Nana money‘. It really adds something to my study & is so comfortable. Plus, like most bits & pieces in my study, it won’t be in homes up and down the length of the country. This is what I like the most about it. It is old & was a bit tired. Now it is having a new lease of life – with me in my lovely home. I feel really blessed to have it & feel really lucky to be able to buy it. Thanks Nana x
Over the last week we’ve been having our boiler replaced. Dull. It also meant my sanctuary was out of bounds due to pressure/pipe issues *yawns*. Anyhoo before all of this happened, I managed to get in a few cheeky on-line orders. Having recently discovered Etsy (& even got my OH shopping on there) I have a whole new place to get overdrawn!
My first order was with Gemma Correll. My OH & I are obsessed with pugs. I can’t explain it but we love them. Not that we have one but this bag was our third pug-related purchase in as many months! I hadn’t heard of Gemma’s work until I received a ‘Pugs not Drugs’ anniversary card recently from my OH. As soon as I could I visited her Etsy page & spotted this. It arrived super quick & with a few little postcards & a badge. This is what I love about Etsy & Folksy. The attention to detail. It makes you feel unique & that your custom is appreciated.
It is already full of eBay parcels ready to take to the Post Office on Monday. I know for sure that this is one bag my OH won’t winge about carrying. Who could? It’s the cutest & funniest bag in the world. Ever. Fact.
My second purchase of the week was from the lovely ‘The Green Gables‘. I have been looking for an excuse to buy something from here & when I saw the offer of a £5 discount via Daisy Green Magazine I knew I had to use it. (Love a good discount!) So I went for the red heart recycled paper bunting with jute string. There are so many colours to choose from & the option of it being joined together with satin ribbon I was umming & ahhing for ages. But this is what I’ve got. The picture shows it in a bundle as I’ve yet to decide where to put it. Draped over my notice board? Above my new mirror? Over my bookcase? No idea yet. But as soon as it’s up, I’ll let you know. For the moment, it is on my desk in this elegant bundle. Thank you Green Gal.
Even though I love eating I do not enjoy cooking. Even though I love spending money I do not enjoy working. If I can combine these two loves then I am a very happy girl! So imagine my joy when, in a bid to help support the wonderful world of Jericho in Oxford (another of my great loves), my OH suggested we go for some tapas at Al-Andalus. Excellent, I cried. I love this place.
If you are in Oxford and you want tapas, this is the place to go. Accept no imitations. The veggie food is wonderful & I always have the Patatas Bravas & the Fritos de Queso de Cabra a la Miel (deep fried goats cheese with honey). These two as a combo are making my mouth water as I type this. Lush.
I thought I’d try something different this time & also ordered the Brochetas de la Huerta. This is basically aubergine, cherry toms & courgette on a skewer. It totally works. Simple, effective. My final order was Espinacas a la Catalana, which is spinach & pine nuts in a garlic & tomato sauce. This worked well with all my other dishes. It filled me up quite nicely while leaving enough room for some pudding – Crema Catalana. This is a Catalan version of the Creme Brulee, which is my ‘go-to’ pudding. I will always have this if it is on offer!
All of this was washed down with a few glasses of the very delicious Otoñal Tinto Rioja wine. A fab evening, only let down by the very loud music that was played during the Sevillina dancer’s routine. I’m sure that kind of thing is great for the tourists (of which there were plenty) but I just want to eat my food & chat with my pals. Ta muchly.