Is it me or is Valentines day on steroids this year?
I happened to go shopping this weekend and everywhere I turned it seems the Valentines day factory had come to town. Not just chocolates and flowers and gifts but Valentines outfits and foods and everything.
I know lots of people hate it, and I must admit, Pete and I don’t really celebrate, settling for a card and usually a night in with some good food and wine, but I like Valentines day. I like the idea of spending time with the one you love and more than that I like the idea of little gestures and sweet surprises that make people smile, friend or stranger. (Last year I filled our living room with heart shaped balloons.)
So as is tradition I’ve rounded up a few V-day ideas that caught my eye. Most of them are food related admittedly and I might well make some valentines biscuits for work. Why not spread the love?
One of the things I am terrible at doing is printing my photos. I’m pretty sure last year I intended to print some and when I got my new job I decided to print some for my walls, needless to say I haven’t done either of them. One thing I did do however was make a calendar and I reckon it’s one of the quickest and easiest things you can do to make use of your pictures and get enjoyment out of them every single day. It’s a start right?
Last year, I used Keepsy – not a cheap way to do it I hasten to add but at the time the only way I could find to make a calendar with my Instagram snaps. For each month I chose images format he previous year in the same month. It was so much fun looking back at where we had been this time last year and of course there were special images of people and things that represented that time, like my 30th birthday and our anniversary.
This year, I have decided to make a few different calendars – I have one in the kitchen, one in the study and one at work. I’ll be making the main one for the Kitchen using a medium calendar template from Photobox for the A4 wall calendar but I also saw this fab download that I had to share from Going Home to Roost. Just click though to download the template to make your own using the template pictured below.
I prefer to have lots of boxes below my pictures to add all our activities into, but a template like this is a simple and budget friendly way to make a calendar that is more for reference and checking dates (like I do at work.)
So, before you commit your photos to another year on your hard drive and never look at them again, give them an airing on your wall for a change and make a calendar!
GIVEAWAY NOW CLOSED, FURTHER ENTRIES WILL NOT BE COUNTED. 07/01/14
So tell me, when did you last have a girls night in with your bestie?
When Jess and I lived together and then sometimes in the years after we used to have regular nights in. We would open a bottle of wine, give ourselves a manicure or facial and sit in our PJ’s watching chick flicks. It’s the sort of thing you don’t do as you get older, instead you end up sitting on the sofa with your man and in my book, that’s a travesty. A couple of weeks back Jess and I decided it was high time we did it again some time and it seemed like a perfect way to kick off the year.
So when the nice people at Hush offered to do a giveaway, it seemed like the perfect time to put together some of my must have essentials for the perfect girls night in.
As it’s January and no doubt everyone is feeling a little bit glum, how about a little treat? Hush are giving away a £50 voucher to one of you lucky readers. All you need to do is leave a comment saying what you would do on your perfect girls night in and I’ll randomly select a winner on Sunday evening.
And do plan that girls night readers… remember how fun it used to be?
It’s that time again readers! Time to reveal #JanuaryJoy 2014! I’m super excited to get going and make January a lot more joyful than dreary December was!
A little bit of background in case you’re new to January Joy…
The numbers in the image above correspond to dates. As per usual here at FF, there will be no weekend tasks. You don’t have to sign up to do everything and you don’t have to do them in order. Dip in and out as you like.
If you would like to follow along with January Joy feel free to spread the word on your own blog (and use the image above,) or tweet about it using the tag #JanuaryJoy. You can even post it (and hashtag) on Instagram!
So let’s get excited about 2014! See you tomorrow!
Today I’m moving onto the mini-me’s. It can be hard to buy for the little ones and that old cliche about the cardboard box being more interesting than the present really does ring true. I also find that toys veer far too much down the plastic-fantastic route and try my best to steer well clear of those, preferring instead to buy choices I know the parents of any little one will love just as much as the little one themselves, if not more.
For those of you who are last minute shopping, we have a slew of gift guides this week for you and a couple of festive treats from my contributors. Hold onto your Santa hats!
Although I love the festive feeling of towns all dressed up in their twinkly lights, I must admit I have a real aversion to shopping when it’s incredibly busy. Brings me out in a cold sweat. So I tend to do the bulk of my shopping online from the comfort of my own home.
And with a really varied range of people to buy for this year my finds are quite an eclectic mix, so I’ve split them into a few gift guides which Rebecca is kindly sharing with you readers throughout the week.
First up is the stylish homemaker… we all have a friend who loves her home and gets excited about paint and wallpaper samples, well these are the perfect gifts for her (or him!). This one was pretty easy for me to put together as it’s basically everything I already want.
6. This has long been on my list and I’m hoping will be under my own tree this Christmas Decorating with Style Abigail Ahern
7. This may seem like an off choice of present but seriously I would love it if someone bought me these, they’re hard to track down and it’s one of those items I covet and never get round to buying Heals Plumen Bulbs. A stocking filler perhaps?
In my family, it’s customary to have a main christmas or birthday present, and also some small presents too, which is lovely to receive but tricky to accomplish sometimes. It’s hard to find stocking fillers that are both ‘wanted’ and also within budget as they can easily add up. I’ve rounded up a selection of my favourites here for girls and guys (although of course some you might disagree with me – cheese lovers I’m looking at you! )
Today’s gift guide is from Esme, who is bringing us a list of pampering and spoiling suggestions for new mums and in fact, mums everywhere of all ages. Hint: Forward the link to your OH and thank Esme later
Those of you who have been here for more than 12 months will remember that last year I participated in #ShareAdvent, championed by Anna from Skin and Blister. The idea behind the whole project is to make sure that at such a busy time of year you don’t lose sight of the little and simple things that make Advent so special. Family activities, appreciating the small things and making time to enjoy it all. I’m going to be doing as much as I can – would you like to join Anna?
As you can see the prompts are quite ambiguous which leaves plenty of room for interpretation and you don’t have to do them all. I’m so glad Anna has put Share Advent together again – Thanks Anna!
Don’t forget to blog, Tweet or Instagram using the hashtag #ShareAdvent!