Pretty things…

I’ll never live in one of those perfect show homes. I hate the idea of constantly redecorating, I’m messy and I like too many random bits. When it comes to interiors I tend to sod the rules & just do my own thing.

I call it homey. I’m sure others may have other adjectives. As usual, I couldn’t care less. It all feels like me and that’s a thing I wanted to carry that onto my walls. Amongst the many photographs I want to hang art that means something to me. The best way to accomplish that is buying from independent artists. Not only do I get a special piece, but I can support talented & amazing people too.

Home is a feeling in a background of multi coloured bubbles

My latest is from the gorgeous Robyn Boyle. A beautiful artist & person, Robyn was offering a limited number of reduced price portraits to raise funds for art activism. I snapped one up and was amazed when she produced this stitched drawing. The frame I ordered has been delayed, but I couldn’t wait any longer to share this.

Portrait of man wearing glasses.  Black thread on white paper

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The first noel…

Now I know a lot of people feel it’s too early to be mentioning the C word. I mostly agree. I don’t want to put up my decorations or see Christmas dinner on the menu in pubs. However, I have a lot of gifts to buy (plus a tonne of December birthdays too), so I have to be organised. I started weeks ago, but I know lots of folk are about to get stuck in. It is for those ‘cannot wait til last minute’ people that I present my early Xmas gift guide.

I’m a bit mixed up when it comes to the festive season. I love some of the old traditions; I still send cards, I do not want pink trees & I’m definitely into a stocking bursting with fillers. On the other hand I have no time for gendered gift guides or waiting to open presents. Be assured if you give me a pressie before the big day, I will absolutely open it immediately.

With all that said here are some pretty picks with which to treat your loved ones. I have tried to cover all budgets whilst hopefully stretching across a range of demographics. I may also have thrown in a few items with a Scottish flavour.

Shall we start with the crimbo must haves? I think so.

I’m a fan of making my whole house smell like a cross between a Dickensian Xmas party & that stable the baby Jesus slept in. Fortunately M&S create those fragrances, package them up pretty & even stick a 3 for 2 deal on them. The sprays make a home smell divine. The pot pourri have equally delicious scents & also make great gifts.

M&S Xmas fragrances

In my opinion you can’t have a proper Xmas without a little booze or a lot of chocolate. My seasonal tipple is the delicious winter Pimms. I mix it with some ginger beer, but many yummy cocktails can be created with it. For chocs this year I’m looking to Fiars for their gorgeous vegan advent calendar & exquisite vegan boxes. I’m also very excited to try Vegan Byrd’s new walnut whips.

Vegan burd walnut whip, friars vegan crocs

Next up are recommendations for a cosy cute Christmas. We all know there’s nothing better than slipping on some jammies & snuggling up to admire the sparkly tree. All of these festive comforts also make lovely presents.

Festive comforts

Stag duvet, Asos Safari Pyjamas, Primark Grinch Boxers, Star slipper boots, M&S Velour Pyjamas.

Plus a little something that will make that tree really special

Bonnie bling still game de s

Bonnie Bling

Christmas is party season & everyone likes a bit of sparkle. Whether that’s to complete a glam look or soak in after one too many nights out, you can’t go wrong with beauty gift.

Lush is always a safe bet for smellies. This year they have some fabulous Xmas special editions. From minty fresh skin conditioners to decadent cognac infused bombs everything looks wonderful.

If you’re looking for something more personal I highly recommend Inara Candles. All hand

poured & using only soy wax they have some unique scents. They also offer a personalisation service, meaning you can add messages, intials etc to the candle label. Such a nice touch.

Inara candles

I’m looking to my old fav BarryM for a touch of shimmer with their amazing Unicorn Beauty Elixir & Liquid Glitter. Both can be used alone or mixed with other products to give anything from fresh glow to dazzling glitter. Then there’s the new kid on the block, Inglot. This is Jlo’s cosmetic range. As expected there’s a lot of highly pigmented products. One of the most Xmas gift appropriate is this vivid red liquid lippie with just enough sparkle.

BarryM & Inglot

Music & books have long been gifts I have enjoyed giving & receiving. It’s nice to have something to unwind with once the craziness of Xmas is over. These beauties are guaranteed to cheer up a dreary January.

Saltire Comic Book, Lily Allen’s No Shame, Challenge Accepted by Celeste Barber, My Thoughts Exactly by Lily Allen, The Beta Band’s 3 EPs.

I raved about Spunkrock Star before & I am sure I will continue to do so. Her sublime erotic art is perfect for any kink lovers in your life. Her beautiful portraits are also really smashing present.

Spunkrock star

If you want to make someone feel extra special this Christmas time I think Jewellery is the way to go. Rather than focusing on expensive fancy brand names I think you should check out these independent jewellery designers. They’re each creating breathtaking handmade pieces. What’s more your paramour will be donning something much more exclusive than anything you can source from the high street.

Oh Gosh Silver produce simple & timeless pieces.

Oh gosh silver

Chalso offer delicate beaded jewellery and silver work. Clean lines & skilful use of colour combined to make lovely pieces.

Chalso jewellery

Last, but the exact opposite of least is Kracken Jewellery. I have one of their pieces & I cherish it. Kracken have an eclectic range of designs. The incredible Gaudi inspired silver pieces are guaranteed to start conversations. Whilst the brightly coloured laser cut plastic rings will definitely brighten your days.

Kracken jewellery

I should be so lucky…

My annual Xmas illness  has reared it’s head. This time it’s a chest infection, but I caught it early & am hoping to get off lightly.  In my search for a silver lining I have come up with the fact that my affliction allows me to stay home & enjoy the festive no man’s land. 

Cosy jammies, Christmas specials on the tv & non stop snacking instead of real meals works for me. Add to that being able to admire all my lovely presents & you have a happy (if coughy) ly. As is my blogger duty, I will now share these delights with all of you. 

My sister gives good gift. She never fails to charm me on Christmas Day. This year was no different. This handmade necklace & earring set is exactly the kind of thing I love; quirky & cool. She also found these amazing pins that I have been coveting for months. They pretty much sum up my current philosophy. She clever sis knows me so well. 


Jennifer Lemon Designs 


Hand over your fairy cakes. 

Next to hit the Xmas home run is my dear old mum. This year she almost single handedly restocked my winter wardrobe. Displaying her flawless style with these picks. 

I can’t get enough velvet. I am buying up as much as possible whilst it’s on trend, so that I can wear it for evermore. This crushed velvet skater was the perfect Xmas day dress. All it needed was a little sparkle provided by my gold high tops (a gift from the mother last winter). She also came up trumps with a 90’s inspired slip, faux fur cardi coat & floral blazer. 


Pink Clove, Marks & Pencers, Joanna Hope. 

She also utilised her crafty skills to make me these adorable cushions.

My favourite,(ok, only) brother in law came up trumps again this year with this shiniest of shiny Kiko lipgloss & cheery notebook with thick, crisp paper. The toy boy rather originally opted for creepy death chocolate plus a rainbow array of incense. Both of which are entirely vegan & fetching. The lovely Lisa surprised me a goddamned perfect mirror for my handbag & books aplenty found their way to me. 

I have also been lucky enough to have received an obligibly fat envelope, delicious meals, fizzy cocktails, amazing company & a number of other things not easily photographed. I am, as my niece would put it, a lucky duck. 


And, so, I am thankful & hope that you are similarly blessed. QUACK. 

Song of home…

I am a bit of a homebody & a big believer in making ones home an extension of oneself. With that in mind I am finally getting around to some decorating. Chronic illness can slow the pace on big projects like this, but I am making headway. 

My interior style is (as might be expected) is a hodge podge with books, photographs of loved ones, candles & 2nd hand finds taking centre stage. I have some gorgeous pieces of antique furniture which I have just added a perfect little drop leaf table to.  

I am focusing my decorating zeal on my most used rooms. First up being my living room. I am keeping most of my walls neutral & paying homage to my one true love with this awesome library wallpaper.

  
I am running with the literary theme with these booky cushions.  

And giving a nod to some other passions with these playful additions. 

  
The rainbow feminist cushion is going to pair perfectly with the blanket my darling mother hand crocheted just for me

  

I’m keeping curtains simple & illuminate the room with this quirky lamp.

  

My main light shade will remain unchanged. To be honest I inherited this & was not originally a fan. However adding a halogen light bulb basically turned this fixture into mood lighting. Observe & admire.

  
In my bedroom I really want to shift gear. It’s currently sporting a vivid red wall, which whilst kind of sexy; needs tamed. I’m hoping to create a sanctuary. With that in mind I’m opting for great tones on the walls. I think grey is a much maligned shade, in it’s softer shades, I find it very soothing. I plan to lift the greys with copper light fighting & frames. Finally I will indulge my deep & abiding affecfion for flamingos. I feel a certain kinship with these birds as love or loathe them, you will notice them. I too am a creature who tends to stand out. 

  
  
  
  
Again I’ll keeping window dressing minimal, my beloved black out blind will be flying solo. I’ll be dipping my toe in the artistic pool & attempting to create some art ;taking inspiration from some favourite lyrics, in this case the Beatles’ across the universe. 

Last, but not least what bedroom would be complete without a nod to its intimate nature.

  
I’ll be sure to update you with pictures when the work is done.

Saturday night at the movies…

Being cooped up feeling rotten was really starting to get to me by Saturday. My darling sis came to the rescue & accompanied me to any early  movie. We were still enjoying a taste of summer at the weekend and my outfit reflected this. Colourful, slouchy, light & oh so comfortable. 

 

The treggings are a new & perfect addition. Up close the look like tapestry, which is all kinds of awesome. I can see me teaming them with everything.  

   

Treggings – Asos Curve

Dress – H&M

Cardigan – John Lewis 

It’s no secret that I love my city & I honestly can’t stop help myself from snapping away at its streets. This is one of my favourites taken en route to the cinema.

   

Oh & our evenings entertainment was ‘The Duff’ a trashy feel good teen comed because sometimes you want to laugh not think.