January 02, 2015

This is a post unlike my usual ones, but I wanted to write - and it is apt at this moment in the year - about how I achieve things. Big or small, we are all achieving things every day/week/month.. however I find it really hard to not get swept up in the day to day. Suddenly it will be the spring and I won't have much to show for the first few months of the year as I've just had my head down the entire time.

In a bid to look at the bigger picture more, last year I started setting myself 'quarterly objectives'. I now have work objectives (of course, set by my boss) and personal objectives. They keep me achieving in areas of my life that would otherwise not get a look in. It's worth saying that sometimes these objectives are daft or silly, and sometimes they're important things. But the key is that they're the things that just slip off your radar if you don't pay attention to them.

I want to share some of them from last year to give you a gist… I won't share all of them as some are very personal.

- Reach 10k Instagram followers (why?! No idea)
- Put aside a weekend in September to go away with my boyfriend
- Have my smear test
- Learn to cook a new dish
- Read the 7 Habits of Highly Effective People
- Do exercise at least once per week

Going into 2015, my first quarter's objectives look a little like this.

- Continue to do exercise at least once per week (I'm currently doing three times a week)
- Get to grips with my 'capsule wardrobe'
- Floss every day
- Finish reading The Fault In Our Stars
- Learn to cook a new dish

As you can see, some are really daft! Some also might not seem important to you. I don't read for pleasure at all so finishing 7 Habits and hopefully finishing TFIOS is a big deal for me. I have a very active mind and struggle to switch off long enough to concentrate. I also don't cook. I'm lucky that my boyfriend enjoys cooking and is much better than I am - so I have to push myself to learn new dishes.

In terms of fitness, I've found something that suits. Rather than sign up to a gym (ugh) I've started going to Frame. I do pilates, a cardio class (bouncing on a tiny trampoline) and a muscle building class each week at the moment. It's expensive but once I've committed the money by booking in, I feel obliged to go and I feel so great afterwards. For once the driving factor isn't how I look but how healthy my body is (I'm getting old y'know) and it makes all the difference. Just as much about physical health as mental health - pilates makes me totally zen.

We've also banned all electrics from our bedroom. Before heading to bed, I put my Yawn pyjamas on, have a cup of sleepy tea, put my This Works Deep Sleep candle on and spritz my pillow and try to chill out. It's such a simple thing to change and it means my boyfriend and I wake up in the morning and actually chat rather than just stare at our phones until we're forced to peel ourselves out of bed.

Overshare over. I've loved reading everybody's 'new year' blog posts. Link me yours below, I find them very inspirational.


December 06, 2014

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When it gets chillier, as it has done in the last week in London, a duvet just won't cut the mustard. I need a secondary blanket. My old White Company throw, which I love dearly, has now got a hole in it. It's been well used but I think it's a little past it's best. I figured it was time to get a new bed throw and relegate the White Company one to the sofa for chilly evenings watching TV.

I picked up the Secret Linen Store laundered throw in graphite grey (of course). It's such good value for a beautifully made throw. I also adore their knitted cotton range. I can see myself buying a couple of those cushions.

Have a look at Secret Linen Store - I absolutely love this style of throw. I might have to get another. The guys at Secret Linen Store have given me a code which will give you 12% off their bed linen when you get to the basket (valid until 31st December) - LUCYLOVESSLS. Let me know if you buy one!


December 03, 2014

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Never have I ever owned such a luxurious candle as the Acqua di Parma Silver Gem Limited Edition Christmas Candle from Harrods. It is pricey, but wow is it incredible.

It was almost a travesty to burn it - just look at the Harrods site to see how beautifully encrusted it is. Fortunately it smells so warm and rich and Christmassy but in a way much more sophisticated than most Christmas fragrances, that I can forgive myself for lighting it.

I've been burning it every night for the last fortnight and it's going strong. Given the rate at which I get through candles, this is something of a miracle. I can't wait to go and check out Harrods luxury Christmas decorations - department stores at this time of year are my favourite!


November 28, 2014

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A new website called Oates & Co. got in touch and asked if I'd like any of the homeware they had on offer - I must say, I've never been quite so taken with a homewards website before. Everything is absolutely beautiful and I really struggled to decide what it was that I thought would make a great addition to my home.

I ended up picking out some bits for my new dining table. I've been looking for a salt and pepper grinder that I love since the beginning of August and have really struggled to find something modern and chic. These ones are by Menu, which is a brand I hadn't heard of until now and I think they're perfect. There's a blue set too which is just as gorgeous.

Increasingly into my red wine (love a Malbec), I spotted this beautiful decanter. What I didn't realise was that it comes with a special attachment which allows you to 'breathe' your wine. I didn't even know I needed to breathe my wine. We've been breathing and then storing a bottle of red in there at all times. The design is just so simple; I adore it.

I've definitely found a new favourite in Oates & Co. If your taste is anything like mine then I know you'll love it, too.


November 08, 2014

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I popped this little snap up on my Instagram and Twitter today and figured I should share it on here too. My home is so important to me and I love it so much.

It's taken three and a half months to finally get a new sofa cover. The sofa was here when I moved in and it's a now-retired design from Ikea called Ektorp Pixbo. It's a huge sofa bed which is brilliant and why I didn't just want to replace it. After lots of stalking on eBay I finally managed to find a new cover for it which was brand new and cream. I thought it might never happen!


October 18, 2014

I've got some new bedding and I couldn't not show you. It's too pretty.

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It's the new Chantilly Cream range from Christy and it is just so beautiful. Every little inch is embroidered - at first glance it just looks like plain white bedding (which you know I love) but the closer you get the more amazing you can see it is. I've topped it off with the Christy Sumatra Charcoal cushion which is so me; a gorgeous ombre grey cushion.


October 15, 2014

My boyfriend is very much a man's man. He has a beard, he plays rugby and he drinks rum. Needless to say, when I met him, he had no idea what a skincare routine even was, never mind actually owning any products. Oh how things have changed with me in his life!

The lovely folk at Kiehl's kitted him out with a full regime that looks a little something like this.
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Face wash and scrub for the shower, a lot of moisturiser and an eye treatment. His eyes in particular are really crepe-y in texture so although he's more reluctant to use the Eye Alert, I keep trying to force him into it, knowing he'll thank me in a few years' time.

Four products for a man is actually quite a comprehensive skincare routine, as far as I can gather from my friends' boyfriends. But it does make me laugh seeing his skincare shelf vs my skincare shelf.

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I'm a huge Kiehl's skincare junkie, as you can probably tell and probably already know. Thus the majority of my skincare does come from there. I just love it and think it does a great job without being over fussy. My absolute hero product is the Midnight Recovery Concentrate which I think is wholly responsible for my current clear skin. In terms of additions, I've got a new pot of the Emma Hardie cleansing balm (love!) and I've started trying out the Origins Spot Remover after seeing so many beauty blogs raving about it and never having tried it.

Just thought I'd share! Does the man in your life bother at all or does he secretly delve into your skincare stash when you're not looking?


October 12, 2014

Last weekend, my boyfriend and I left work and jumped on the tube to Kings Cross, off on a weekend adventure. Sometimes I do feel a little like I need to escape London and I really relish little weekends away. The more the merrier, I say. We jumped on the Grand Central train to York (first class, swish) to begin our weekend of R&R at Jollydays.

By the time we arrived at our destination it was pitch black. And this wasn't a hotel in York, this was a tent in the woods, so when I say pitch black I mean pitch black. Our cab dropped us off at Buttercrambe woods and we found a wooden hut with a sign in the window saying sorry that they had missed us but to collect our matches and firelighters from the neighbouring tent. We managed to find a basket with my name on using our iPhones for light and head off in search of our place for the weekend.

We eventually found our tent and I set to work lighting all of the tea lights I could possibly find to give us some much needed light. James got the fire going and I prioritised food and hot water bottles.

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I'd put in an order a few days prior for a pheasant pot on our arrival. I have to say the food provided was the absolute highlight of the whole weekend. It was superb and I'd urge you not to take your own food but to fork out for the good stuff because it's worth every penny. We received pheasant in the most gorgeous sauce with a loaf of freshly made bread and homemade butter. Whilst I prepared the dinner, James made the gins.

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We curled up on the sofa in front of the fire chatting until we crashed into bed.
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October in Yorkshire is not warm and with no central heating, it's worth popping a few hot water bottles in your bed or pulling the duvet over to the sofa. You need all the heat you can get. It made the whole experience so cosy and a little festive (too early?) - I loved it.

We woke up in the morning.. just about heaving ourselves out of the four poster bed. Whilst James entertained himself, I got to making breakfast. We'd also ordered a breakfast basket for each morning - fresh bread, fresh butter, eggs, bacon, sausages, mushrooms and tomatoes. Divine.

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Rather than have a shower, I took full advantage of the roll top bath. We don't have a bath at home so this was something of a luxury - even though it was in a shed inside a tent. Bizarre experience!

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We spent the day in York picking up bits and pieces, enjoying a cheeky cocktail and wandering through The Shambles before returning.
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Arriving back at the tent, we found this on our doorstep as well as another breakfast basket.
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Without doubt, this is genuinely one of the most delicious meals I've ever eaten. We had duck which had been marinating for 24 hours with potato and onion skewers, all cooked by James on the BBQ. There was of course another freshly made loaf and a jar of local 'boozy chutney'. I was thoroughly impressed. We finished with baked pears and cream.
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I didn't wear make-up all weekend and it was so lovely.
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Waking up on Sunday morning, and having to go home was a little bit sad to be honest. We decided to go for an exploration around the forest. With a cup of tea in hand, of course.
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The most relaxing and enjoyable weekend I've had in such a long time. I can't recommend Jollydays enough. They're closing shortly for the winter months but put a trip in your spring plans - it's ever so good for the soul. I will be heading back as soon as I can.