Wednesday, 29 October 2014

5 Steps to Simple, Unrefined Bliss...

Happy Hump-Day everyone!! I know, I know, before you start moaning at me for jumping on the Christmas band wagon in October... Just hear me out. Take a look at my list below of 5 simple seasonal pleasures that I'm loving right now, helping me on my way to understanding the true meaning of simple, unrefined bliss...and I'm sure you'll all be feeling warm, fuzzy and festive in no time.

1. The clocks going back. Not only does this mean that I get yummy October sunlight filtering in through my bedroom window a little earlier than usual. It also means that the nights are starting to draw in, and by the time I arrive home from work I am in full on hibernation mode. The fairy lights in the kitchen go on, the Radio does too (The Archers at 7pm, anyone?) and I settle in for the night, splitting my time between the kitchen and the living room, which are the warmest rooms in our draughty little flat.

2. Warm spiced flavours. Cinnamon on my porridge, nutmeg on my latte, and ice cold ginger beer are my faves at the moment. Those smells just instantly transport you back to childhood Christmases, and I love every last waft of it. Not to mention cloves and clementine peel. Oh my goodness, I could get high on those smells like a cat on nip.

3. Candles. From plain unscented tealights that bring comfort and warmth to Christmassy smelling concoctions that make my living room smell like an apothecary. I cannot get enough of candles at this time of year. They're the perfect way to keep cosy and warm as the temperature outside drops, and such a simple low budget way to bring the homespun lifestyle to your home.

4. Lists. Well, I guess that's not much of a surprise, given the nature of this post. But lists are a brilliant way of getting all my ducks in a row, leaving me time to be creative and spend time with the Mr. I usually have several different types of lists on the go at any given moment, the standard magnetic pad which sits on the fridge for day to day (shopping lists, and the like), the Emma Bridgewater weekly planner pad (given to me as a wedding organisation tool but, I love it so much it's still going strong now) for writing down my shifts throughout the week and fitting in chores and blog posting around them, and my sticky note app on my mobile phone, for when an idea pops into my head and I simply must write it down before it dissappears again. I can be a bit of a butterfly brain, you see.

5. Christmas. Yes, I said it. The C-word! I am unashamedly one of those people that gets almost as excited about Christmas as a small child does, if not more-so. I start thinking of Christmas back at the end of September. Once my husband's birthday has been and gone, and the days start to get shorter, my mind starts to wander towards seasonal fare and Christmas list, and gifting for my family. I come from a big family so planning things in advance is a must, and I relish in every minute of it. A bag of chocolate coins here, a tub of candied peel there. Little by little, I begin to piece together our family Christmas so come December, I can truly enjoy all the festivities and not be found rocking back and fourth behind the kitchen table, traumatised because I forgot the cranberry sauce.

What are your favourite seasonal things, at the moment? Any that I haven't mentioned? Or something that is truly unique to you or where you live? I'd love to hear from you all.

Until next time,
Hannah. xx

Friday, 24 October 2014

Autumn Musings...

It's a miserable drizzly day here in Cardiff, and I'm huddled on the sofa with my second cup of coffee of the morning. This time of year always makes me feel particularly inspired, as it is brought to our attention the fascination of the seasons and how, even in a technology driven modern society, we are still ruled by mother nature and her ever changing temperament. The leaves have fallen from the trees in colourful mulchy piles of burnt yellow, and ochre, and rich reddy browns, piling up in the gutters right outside my front door. Just like that, Autumn is here.

Like a slow burning log fire, it has burst into life with sudden drops in temperature, and grey clouds looming over the city threatening with a downpour at any moment. Chilly foggy mornings, that burn through into mild sunny afternoons with thick coats being hastily discarded and slung over a bent elbow... these days are long gone. There's only drizzle and a slight chill on the air now, bringing with it the anticipation of frosty mornings, incredibly coloured sunrises and maybe even a little snow.

The winter duvet has finally been laid out on our bed, and piles of blankets are beginning to emerge on every available armchair in the house, ready for cosy evenings in our drafty little flat. Chunky bed socks and brushed cotton pyjamas toasting gently on luke warm radiators are a regular occurance too.

Even the city can be attractive in Autumn if you catch it on a good day. When the rain subsides for just a minute and the sun cuts through the clouds. The pavements are illuminated. Sunlight bouncing off of puddles, bringing everything to life, if only for a few seconds.

An Autumnal picnic is a must if you can catch the weather on a good day. My picnicing spot of choice is at our local open air museum, on the green infront of the Victorian shops. Sat at a rickety old picnic table, we un-pack flasks of tea or hot-chocolate and little tubs of stew which erupt with steam. These are all polished off in great hunger, and completed with warm Welsh cakes, gritty and sweet with their coating of sugar. Yum!

Hoods are pulled tight, and layers of knits and scarves adorned as the first thought of Christmas shopping begins to creep into my head. I wander in and out of the shops, collecting ideas and a few gifts here and there, to be squirelled away on top of the wardrobe, and ideas are quickly jotted down in my dog-eared notebook which takes up constant residence in my satchel these days. A pinafore for my 2 year old niece, some chilli chocolate for Dad, and a new pair of mittens for me, to replace the ones I bought last year which are now bobbled and moth eaten, scalding myself to take better care of my new ones.

Then just as the rain is about to descend again, and ruin our walk home through the park, we arrive at our front door. Rosy and warm from central heated shops and the in-car radiator, we discard our soggy boots at the doormat and traipse into the house in our socks. The pyjamas are ready and waiting for us to dive in before their warmth dissipates. The kitchen is filled with the billowing smell of lamb in the slow cooker. And before you can say “All Hallows Eve” we are settled. Curled on the sofa with blankets pulled over our laps and bowls of lamb and vegetables in our hands, a comforting film on the telly, I think to myself... Do not disturb until Spring!

*All these images have been taken from my Pinterest page. If you're looking for a bit more Autumn inspiration then why not take a look.*

Wednesday, 15 October 2014

Change is afoot...

I wasn't planning on writing this blog post. I was planning on getting ready for work, and editing a few images to show you from our honeymoon in the Lake District, and Cardiff Country Fair which we recently attended on a little birthday outing for the Mr.
Somewhere along the way I've got lost, and the time has just run away with me, and before I know it, it's mid-October and I still haven't posted up any wedding photos, and I still haven't begun to upload the ones from the country fair.

But, change is afoot. These first few weeks of married life have been a rollercoaster to say the least and I'm hoping it'll slow down into a nice,gentle meander down the lazy river real soon. 
I'm trying to decide about the direction in which I would like to take this blog. I've made a few small changes, and a couple of really big ones in my life recently which will hopefully allow me some time to be a bit more creative and actually start taking this blogging 'lark' seriously.

I hope, if there's any readers still out there, that you will continue to come along on the ride with me. After all, isn't that what this blog is all about? Muddling my way through life, whilst I try to slow down a bit and appreciate the good things we have infront of us. And I am certainly taking steps towards doing that. Just bare with me whilst I get used to this re-adjustment period and I promise, you won't be disappointed.

Special Thanks also need to go to my lovely friend Miss Charlotte Wall, for the inspiring quotes board on her Pinterest. Whenever I can't find the words for something, guaranteed, she will have a pretty and inspiring graphic that will hit the nail on the head. Thank you!