Friday, 30 December 2011

The Joy of Swapping ♥

This Christmas I took part in two very exciting swaps!

Lakota’s Faith Hope and Charity Swap and Ellie’s Pretty Much Penniless Second-hand Secret Santa.

A big and warm thank you to these two special blogging friends for organising the swaps and ensuring everything ran smoothly.
And here is what I kindly received:

My swap package from Susan at Tea Diary.

I was delighted to find this charming Alice in Wonderland charm bracelet! Alice by name, I am always touched to receive anything wonderland themed.

She also managed to track down these lovely shabby chic salt and pepper shakers, which match my shabby sweets jar I picked up a few months back.

I was also absolutely thrilled to receive these adorable handmade and wooden decorations. I just know I will go on to treasure these for years to come.

Thank you Susan ♥

My Second-hand Secret Santa was a wonderful surprise. I wasn’t quite sure what to expect, as knowing my parcel was anonymous had me guessing what I would receive.

Given my love and devotion to children’s fiction, my parcel contained two children’s classics in Mog the forgetful cat and the dragon that squeaked. I was also thrilled to see the taped version of Mog the forgetful cat attached, I don’t actually own a cassette player, but sure will be looking out for one at next year’s car boot sales.
I always think handmade gifts make for the best presents, as the time and love that has gone into making them always outshines those mass produced.

This framed A embroidery sure did enchant me and it’s sure enough found a home in my craft room. And the handmade salt dough heart decoration was a welcome treat too.

Thank you Jes ♥

Wednesday, 28 December 2011

Spoilt Rotten

I’m a girl with a love all things pretty and my loved ones sure do know how to treat me when it comes to gifts.
My boyfriend sought out Cath and Kirstie – my two favourite ladies.

A watch pendant has me written all over it. You know I’ve always romanced with the idea of having a pocket watch casually dangling around my neck. Being able to check the time at any given time sure is a novelty. The fact it’s Cath Kidston only cements my love for a brand I will forever admire.

To satisfy my crafty needs, inspiration a plenty via Kirstie Allsopp Craft and The Liberty Book of Home Sewing -yes please!

Kirstie Allsopp at M&S is always going to be sure a winner; after all I could quite happily own the entire collection given the chance.
My Mum always manages to pull out all the stops, and this year was no different. I just adore this Welsh Tapestry purse, it really is quite sweet. The fact she will have tracked this down on one of her second-hand travels makes it all the more thoughtful.

My Harajuku wish came true in the form of Jingle G! She really is a cutie and is of course a welcome addition to my Harajuku scent collection.


Monday, 26 December 2011

Sweet Like Chocolate

This quite possibly has to be the sweetest gift ever!
I was born in 1989. This means I was a typical 90s kid in essence. Adidas tracksuits, The Spice Girls and all round bad fashion, oh yes I lived it. But if there is one thing that remains a fond and joyous memory it has to be that of the Cadbury chocolate money box machines.

My Mum would bring them out every year and they always were a sure sign it was Christmas time. I loved the fact that they were much more complex than say a selection box, the thrill of inserting a coin and in return receiving a single miniature piece of chocolate sure was a necessity. And then when Christmas was over, it was all the more fun opening the back up and counting up the pennies saved.

When we opened this gift yesterday morning, both mine and the Mr’s heart skipped a beat; for he too has his own childhood memories of these. I’m not quite sure about the price increase per chocolate, but hey it’s little surprise with the economy the way it is, we are now paying 10p per chocolate instead of 2p.

For the pure nostalgic thrill this is simply genius.
Come on, hands up, who else had one of these?

Wednesday, 21 December 2011


Christmas has rapidly snuck upon us, I sure am going to relish the time I have to enjoy the festivities. I really do wish I had had more time to put together more thoughtful and decorative cards, parcels and posts, but time has been precious, especially over the past few weeks. Blogging has been a little bit haphazard for the above reason, but please know I’m still here. And will always find my way back.

This year it has been so lovely receiving so many cards from such lovely bloggers and friends. I really do appreciate the gesture of a card and sure do love filling my fireplace with them. I’m a total letter/card junkie so it’s been great receiving so much post lately!

It’s been quite hectic at home, we are without a tree this year, which makes me a little sad- but space wise it’s a nightmare (You know all those books I keep buying, the bookshelf that homes them unfortunately took the place of our tree). Instead I very naughtily invested in the larger version of my Ikea goat, he sure is a charmer!

Presentwise, I am just about sorted, admittedly the large majority of it was done online, I avoid the shops at this time of year the most. I am hopeless at crowds and loathe last minute shopping. As lazy as online shopping gets, I do think it’s easier to pinpoint exactly what you are looking for.

I was so overjoyed to receive my Second-hand Secret Santa parcel! I had anxiously been awaiting its arrival, and cannot wait to see what I have been kindly gifted. Ellie has always been such a fond blogger, and she always manages to engage with her readers so well, lots of love and admiration for this lady.

My Royal Doulton plate my mum bought me last Christmas has come out, and I am totally smitten. It makes for the perfect nostalgic thrill. The Noel sign cost one pound in this year’s January sales, I’d actually forgotten I’d bought it, so it was quite a pleasant surprise.

Happy Holidays All. Love and happiness this Christmas time.

Tuesday, 13 December 2011

Let's Go Shopping.

I really do love Christmas time the most and my lovely friend Nicola was kind enough to send me the cutest little treat in the post recently. I am so spoilt!

This adorable Miko Cat Let’s Go Shopping! Coin Purse has been on my wish list for quite a while, it’s pretty much my taste and style summed up in one. The adorable detailing is just the cutest. It’s actually from the childrens' range at Boots, but I don't think that matters when the aesthetic makes for the perfect gift for us crafty/folky types.

Often on my second-hand travels I don’t tend to lug around my proper purse. I never take my debit card to car boot sales, simply because it’s not the sort of place where you are going to find a cash machine. And I always try my best to have plenty of loose change when shopping in charity shops and the like, as it’s a lot more convenient and polite to have smaller amounts when paying.

So this dinky knitted clasp purse is the perfect addition to my lifestyle and will most likely become a firm favourite of mine in no time.
I was also absolutely thrilled to receive my swap parcel in the post from the lovely Susan from Tea Diary. This is the first time I’ve taken part in a swap and I am so excited to see what I have been gifted. I sure do love a surprise!

I am so lucky to have met so many wonderful people through blogging, and it is times like this I realise how much I appreciate this opportunity.

Sunday, 4 December 2011


From the moment I caught a glimpse of these new Lindt bears, I was quite simply besotted. The idea of my favourite chocolate in bear form captured both my heart and love of all things cute.
Like a child on Christmas morning I was so ridiculously excited to find a bear of my own. Of course I got a little carried away, when I saw these were on special offer. I ended up purchasing two full size bears and three miniature ones.

Spoilt me?

The delicate heart pendant around the bear’s neck is sure a necessity. It certainly gives Yogi a run for his money. Keeping with the traditional Lindt theme, these are quite the high end treat.

Although I know sadly these are not meant for keeps, and one day (Christmas Eve perhaps) I will have to eat my milk chocolate bears. As unfortunate as it may be, I have a little keepsake to remind me of such glorious design...

This free key ring is seriously the sweetest little addition to my collection. Nothing quite beats a free gift as cute as this!


Friday, 2 December 2011

Retro Chic

It’s no lie Wilko (or Wilkinsons) is one of my favourite budget shops when it comes to stocking up on toiletries, domestic supplies and home furnishings. It’s one of those shops I will forever find myself going into when passing. It’s cheap and cheerful, and there’s certainly no shame in shopping there.

I’m a stationery addict, there’s no denying that. There is always room in my life for an endless supply of notepaper and pen. Therefore I’m like a magpie when it comes to spotting a new range. Whilst wandering up and down the aisles, I was drawn towards this stand…

Instantly I felt a little taken aback, almost as if I could have been somewhere else. On closer inspection I was keen to check out the product range itself. Now yes I admit these are pleasing for the eye, I certainly have my own eye on that chunky floral journal, but what troubles me is that I feel a little cheated.

Admittedly the pricing is more than reasonable and more so affordable, but what concerns me the most is the quality. The photo album I picked up (and actually considered purchasing) was very poorly made, but at little more than a pound is that all you can expect?

The true essence of retro comes with the fact it’s from a generation gone by, and usually has proven the test of time with regards quality.
I really love the kitsch vibe and floral theme, but part of me feels almost as if retro has become trendy and mainstream, which makes any long-time lover a little bit sad.

What do you think?

Sunday, 27 November 2011

Young at heart.

I quite possibly have the heart of a child. I love anything remotely tacky, colourful or generally aimed at children. This being said, my latest purchase can only be described as rather childish.
I absolutely adore children’s fiction and love the art of illustration, combining my love of both: cue Charlie and Lola. I’m a little bit lost in this one, and when I stumbled upon these adorable gifts in The Works bookshop, I just couldn’t quite resist.

Discounted in price and packaged in the most beautiful way, this range is completely after my own heart...

The 4 piece Breakfast Set is pretty quirky and perfect for little tummies. My porcelain plate and mug have found a home in my craft room, storing trinkets and keepsakes.

The bowl and egg cup however have rightfully found a place in my kitchen- where they belong. Here’s hoping for an egg and soldiers breakfast sometime soon.

My other purchase was this cutesy Money Box, typically whimsical and perfect for rainy day funds. I love the text; it’s full of charm and character.

These little treats have ignited my love for Charlie and Lola that little bit more. I know these would make the perfect gifts for children and anybody with a similar love of all things cute.


Sunday, 20 November 2011

Oh Orla!

You know when you stumble upon something and have to pinch yourself to make sure it’s true?

I seriously couldn’t quite believe my eyes when I saw the price on this book on It’s condition was listed as like new, but I was a little anxious of what to expect at a mere £1.69, after all this book retails for a lot more.

It arrived within days and is in what can only be described as near perfect condition, which makes me wonder if it’s even been read before.
Wow. Just wow. This is the epitome of coffee table chic. I don’t think I’ve ever quite fallen so deeply in love with a book before.

As expected, the content is visually pleasing and tells of such an inspirational career. One I cannot wait to learn more about and be captured by such charming design.


Friday, 18 November 2011


Opinion may be divided on Primark quality, but one thing is for sure that it is always possible to come home with a sweet bargain.
I always do wonder what they do with all that reduced stuff, cluttering up the place... You know those 50p sunnies have surpassed there sell by date when there still on the shelf come winter time.

I couldn’t quite resist a few of these 50p necklaces. If only for the charms and nothing else, I am always partial to the odd bit of high street tat. I just know these lovelies will find a home in my collection, the miniature Eiffel Tower being my favourite.

Tuesday, 15 November 2011

Better Connected.

I am far too behind on times admittedly, and therefore I am hopelessly trying to devise my way around Twitter. I am a little bit more connected now, thanks to a new laptop (as ever aesthetics got the better of me) maybe just maybe it’s time to move forward with the times.


Sunday, 13 November 2011

Buried Treasure

It was last weekend out and about we passed a car boot sale we often frequent in the summer months, to our complete shock we were greeted by signs advertising a very sale that morning. My heart skipped a beat, I was pretty sure I had seen the last of the 2011 boot sales.

The problem being it was now 11:30am, we were three hours too late.
A field half empty and not a steward in sight, we did not let this deter us, as after all there was still a slim chance of finding something.
As predicted, most stalls were packed up and driving away as we were coincidently driving in, but there were still a couple of dozen stalls still standing and I held out a little bit of hope...

Discarded on a stall, I found this cream ‘sweets’ jar which looks to be unused, I couldn’t quite resist its shabby charm and wondered why nobody had failed to snap it up all morning at 50p. As tempting as it may be to stash it full of sweets, I will probably rehome it in my craft room.

I then approached a woman in midst of packing up her stall, and knew she would be more than lenient on prices. I picked up this empty picnic basket, straight away I began thinking of ways I could put it to use. So when she told me I could have it for 5p, it would have been rude not to take it off her hands.

It may have been a flying visit, but the wise lesson learnt here is that you don’t always need to be the early bird at the boot sale. Those bargains you think will be snaffled by sunrise, are sometimes the ones sadly overlooked and left behind.

Total spend: 55p

Wednesday, 9 November 2011

Here’s one I made earlier…

I’m going to admit it now, I’m a cheapskate. Anything that costs little to nothing to make provides for the bigger thrill when it turns out pretty okay.

A simple pastime of mine is covering books. I remember the initial excitement of being given a book per subject at secondary school and being told to simply ‘back it.’ I loved hunting down some funky wrapping paper that would stand out from the crowd and being able to produce my newly backed books at the start of next lesson.

The same idea stayed with me through college, I loved covering/adorning my sketch books with covers that expressed my taste and style.
It’s such a simple concept and something that takes so little time.

So when I spotted these notebooks reduced to 64p in Wilko, I couldn’t quite resist. Unlined paper, which means it will make for a great journal (I hugely dislike lined paper).

It was when in a DIY shop I spotted a lovely floral wallpaper print, now I know I shouldn’t be encouraging stealing of any kind. But you know how there’s always sample rolls to tear off a piece to match against your room when you get home. Truth be told I’m not going to be spending £40 a roll and plastering my whole living room with it, but tearing off a small sample of a roll that has already been opened for this purpose really doesn’t hurt anyone.

You can’t go wrong when backing a book, as long as you make sure you have plenty of backing to cover both sides and a little extra to tuck inside. You can use glue and/or sellotape to stick it together, and I’ve added some Peter Rabbit paper on the inside to cover where the paper tucks over.

And voila! a brand new journal for me to treasure.

Sunday, 6 November 2011

Long live Ikea.

I have spoken about my love for Ikea before. Love it or loathe it, it is a brand that knows it’s USP like no other and will continue to thrive even in the toughest economic times. What makes it all the more special for me is the fact we only ever visit a handful of times throughout the year, so the feeling of new never wears off, and come a new season the store is always guaranteed to be bursting with new stock.

So if anything our latest trip was very much overdue.
I can’t help but deny the fact I am obsessed with interiors. I love pattern, print and colour the most, I’m always on the lookout for something a little bit quirky.

Furniture aside, I leave the flat pack stuff to the Mr. It is always about the market place for me...

On arrival, the store has quite literally been hijacked, by the cutest teddies. At 99p these little chaps help raise money towards UNICEF and Save the Children. I would be surprised if anyone didn’t leave without one.

These magazine racks are just what I needed to sort out my collection and manage to make a piece of cardboard look attractive, at £2.29 for a pack of four.

This cute dining bowl suits my bedroom more than my kitchen, and makes for a great trinket holder at £1.59.

As far as Christmas goes, this dinky straw goat was far too adorable to leave behind, and I just know he’s going to make a welcome addition this Christmas time. I did admire the larger version, but sensibly decided upon the smaller one for £2.49.

And last but certainly not least this octopus hanging dryer, now surely that’s going a little too far? But hey I’ve always loved a bit of tack. He was £4.49.

Above all Ikea always manages to inspire and excite me, which fits the budget and always surprises me, with such innovative and contemporary design.
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