Bucket list…

This is kind of an American concept I think, at least the name is; the ‘Do Before I Die’ list has been around for a long, long time. I’m just getting to the stage in my life when I want to do amazing things that I had either dismissed or never even considered before now.

Here are a few…lantern valentine car  body paradise thai butterbeer chanel dance canyon vegas 1 class sistine yacht kissing lotto1 taxi book2 NY times square tiffany liberty cuddles hotel tattoo tower ikea cali polish shirt owl Hogwarts2 pisa balloons fmae book paper spa limo heels hair pink soldier Roadtrip 1 Platform Hogwarts Puppy Photo US states Glitter NY live NY Kiss NY Xmashappily ever after

You know, just a few things… There are many more.

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What next…?

Christmas has come and gone. New Year has flashed out of sight. It feels like all the many months in between stretch before us in never ending monotony and dreariness.

January is pretty much the month of letdowns. Deflation. Anticlimax. We get our credit card bills and hope they got the name, address AND reference number wrong at the top of the page with big numbers on… The sad and partially eaten-by-the-cat Christmas tree comes down. The house looks empty. We go back to work. It feels like we never left. Life has not miraculously changed. We give ourselves Resolutions for the New Year. Things we know we should do but also know there’s not a snowball’s chance in Hawaii that it’d ever get done.

It’s funny, that. I sat in assembly next to my year four class and the headmistress asked what all of our resolutions were. The teachers all said the same thing- “healthy eating/living/gym/personal trainer/swimming pass”. Very nice teachers. Well done. Even if you never try to change or if you sack your personal trainer due to “other commitments”. Uh huh. Yeah. Sure.

You know what my kids said? “I’m going to read to my little sister when I can remember.” “I’m going to be kinder to my Mum. She does so much for us.” “I’m going to try to tell my family I love them. Even when they annoy me”.

Brutally honest some of them were. But the thing that made me proud was the way they wanted to change for the benefit of people they loved. Not all of them. Don’t get me wrong, kids can be selfish too. Even if they never do these things. The way they considered someone else for that moment, thought about how lucky they were to have them, just made me smile.

We could all do to listen to childish innocence once in a while. Think, even for just that moment, about someone other than yourself. The teachers responses didn’t surprise me. That whole ‘look out for number one’ mentality seems to permeate the boundaries of home. I don’t like that and it makes me sad to think my family have to cope with my selfishness.

So my resolution is going to be the same everyday, for every new year we enter. I am going to be more aware. Awareness for me means not taking OH for granted. He does the cleaning, the washing, tidying, cooking, basically everything, and he does it so quietly that I have been completely selfish and unaware of how little  I bring to the workings of our home and relationship. I am going to be more aware. I am going to text my brother more, just to let him know I’m thinking of him. Awareness. I am going to call my Dad as much as I call my Mam. Awareness. I’m going to consider WHY a child says/does things before I dole out the aftermath of judgement. I’m going to be attentive to Jethro, my little guardian angel, because he gives me so much joy, I feel I need to give more back.

That’s really the key here. Giving.

Awareness for me is knowing what I’ve got, being grateful for it and giving it back.

Yankee Candles

I love me a good smelly candle and have gone through quite a few with my little obsession (as you know I have many) but apart from the surprisingly fabulous quality of IKEA scented candles my firm favourites still remain Yankee.

My Mum first bought me a Vanilla Lime a couple of Christmases ago. Yankee say the fragrance is ‘Smooth and refreshing… the creamy richness of vanilla with sweet cane sugar and a zesty lime twist.’ And they are so right. You wouldn’t expect the mix of vanilla and lime to work but like the description says, the sweetness is the main focus with a nice sharp zing in there for good measure and to take sweet-and-sickly to a sweet-you-could-eat aroma.

I ADORE Autumn and Christmas smells. Cinnamon, apple and orange pomanders, gingerbread, cinnamon, caramel, cookies, peppermint, vanilla, spices, cranberry, cinnamon, so Yankee’s Christmas scents definitely make an appearance on my Christmas list.

Here are some of my favourites…
Apple Pumpkin- ‘Cultivated with care . . . home-grown apples and pumpkins blended with ginger and clove’
Caramel Pecan Pie- ‘A mouthwatering invitation . . . serve up a buttery slice of gooey goodness with this scrumptious recipe of walnuts, pecans and creamy caramel’
Apple Cider- ‘A welcoming aroma of hot cider spiced with cinnamon, cloves and nutmeg’
Christmas Cookie- ‘Buttery rich, vanilla scented, holiday sugar cookies’
Cinnamon Stick- ‘The fragrant mystery of imported cinnamon bundled with cloves’

Cranberry Chutney- ‘Fresh cranberries, orange zest, rosemary, raisins, and a touch of golden honey’
Kitchen Spice- ‘This modern blend of sweet orange, clove, ginger and cinnamon is a new take on pantry favourites’

And a few new for me to try…
Mountain Lodge- ‘A luxurious retreat in front of a cozy hearth, warm with the aroma of cedarwood and sage’

2×4- ‘The warm, unmistakable scent of freshly planed wood and sawdust evokes a sense of confidence and quality’
Autumn Leaves- ‘A vibrant medley of birch and maple leaves with pomegranate, juniper berry, and orange blossom’
Blueberry Scone- ‘The delicious aroma of English quickbread with sweet blueberries, rich cream and a hint of vanilla’
Green Grass- ‘Nothing says summer like the familiar, heady scent of a freshly cut lawn’
Hazelnut Coffee- ‘A full-bodied blend of java suffused with macademia nut, vanilla, and cocoa bean’
Home Sweet Home- ‘A heartwarming blend of cinnamon, baking spices, and a hint of freshly poured tea’
Cherries on Snow- ‘An enchanted, sparkling blend of bright, juicy cherries with sweet almonds and an icy freshness’
Christmas Eve- ‘Traditional holiday scents of a warm hearth, sugared plums, and candied fruits’
Christmas Tree- ‘Like going out in the snow to find that special tree… fresh, familiar pine with crisp eucalyptus’
Macintosh Spice- ‘Simply delicious… crisp, slightly tart apple slices sprinkled with freshly ground cinnamon’
Moon On Their Wings- ‘The warm glow of night air … a tranquil blend of bergamot, pepper, dray sage and a touch of cedar’

Orchard Pear- ‘Ripe, succulent pears, fresh from the tree, warmed with notes of jasmine and cognac’
Pink Dragon fruit- ‘Colourful and intriguing… there’s a lure of adventure in the sweet aroma of this tropical fruit’
Red Apple Wreath- ‘A happy holiday homecoming with the festive aroma of sweet apples, cinnamon, walnuts and maple’
Autumn Wreath- ‘There’s a cheerful fall welcome in the spicy warmth of autumn leaves and cinnamon apples’
Sparkling Snow- ‘The crisp, naturally fresh scent of gleaming, snow-covered pines with hints of patchouli and fruit’
White Christmas- ‘There’s a quiet holiday beauty in this blend of woodsy evergreens and cool, freshly fallen snow’
Winter Wonderland- ‘So real you can almost hear sleigh bells – the tingle of a frosty breeze blowing through icy pines’

With my FAVOURITE this year being the beautiful sweet aroma of Pink Sands- ‘It’s an exotic island escape in the beautiful mix of bright citrus, sweet florals and spicy vanilla’

So try these out, or at least, get to a store where you can smell them for yourself! In the UK there are many new independent merchants as well as Yankee being stocked in many of our bigger department and chain stores as well as card shops.

Gotta ❤ Yankee!

Spare Room Decor

Jethro and I are sat in the spare room in the only true amount of sunshine this house gets. The spare room is actually my favourite in the whole house. It has an en-suite which, considering the master bedroom doesn’t have one, is a bit of a luxury and oddity at the same time. It is a fairly dinky little room in comparison to the nice big rooms and open plan feel of the rest of the house but I don’t mind. It is probably the only room I feel is mine.

OH completely owns the front room/dining room (his by design), the kitchen was my brainchild and the new large bathroom downstairs (remember we’re in a little mid terrace) is my design but completely His. So I feel I’m owed a room. He can have the master bedroom, as long as I get the spare and the en-suite to go with. That way, we’re even. Three all.

So I’m considering decor for my little room. The bathroom en-suite will have to wait until we have the cash along with all new carpets upstairs after all of the upstairs ceilings are skimmed smooth. OH hates Artex patterns. I felt there were more important things to spend money on but alas, he proved his point when we had ceilings skimmed downstairs. By golly it makes the rooms seem SO much bigger. So, my little bathroom will have to wait. But I am still considering spare room furniture and decor. Unfortunately, looking for furniture so early means if I fall for anything I have to wait to buy it. It pushes all my ‘quick buy it now before it runs out/sells out/gets retired etc’ buttons. So I’m being really good.

This is what I’ve fallen in  love with so far…

The ISALA range at the wonderful Swedish giants IKEA… Here, the cabinet.

And the laptop table. I can’t decide if I’d rather have this (above) or this (below)…

The sideboard to go with…

And yes, they are two slightly different colours. One heather grey and the other a lilac. They fit together well so I’m quite keen to see the two together in my spare room although I do not have space enough for the three (or so OH will tell me.) We do have bedroom furniture but all of our things do not fit so the cabinet and the side board in the spare room/dressing room would be a welcome storage addition.

I’ve also found some other things…

I’m really going to have to have fitted shelving as well…

All of these itms can be found online at H&M Home, Wilkinsons, IKEA, Achica, Not On The High Street and Amazon.