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A Winter Cocktail

Life changing magic

Life changing magic
The Life Changing Magic

Gift Guide - Snow Bunny

Buying snow gear is one of my favourite activities. I love it. Even if I don't have any trips planned I can still spend hours looking at new gear. Buying cosy mountain clothes and accessories can never get old, and no matter what Jim tells me you really do need different beanie and pair of goggles to match your outfits.  

1. I adore these SunGod Googles. There are loads of options to customise them which means you can get them in the best colours to match your outfit. Yes. That's what people do. They match their googles to their outfits! 2. Awesome thermals are a must. The key to being happy on the slopes are layer layers layers - and afternoon beers and mountain snacks. 3. To keep the mountains and the snow with you all year round these hand embroidered hoops are just adorable. 4. I need to confess something - I have a beanie addiction. The more beanies, the better in my eyes. I love this colour combo on this beanie. Its so 80's Pony trainers! 5. If you go near the snow then you need a pair of these bad boys. Yaktrax are so functional you might not want to gift them but they are awesome and as we got them as a gift, we both have a pair. You pop them over your shoes and you can still wear your completely snow inappropriate Converse no matter how icy the floor might be.

If you've got a snow lover in your life, what are your must have gifts for them?
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Gift Guide - The Bar Fly

In our house our bar corner is one of the most used bits of the house. Jim is an awesome cocktail maker, his Amaretto sours are just the perfect amount of sour and a little sweet, his Zombies are lethal and he's always raving about his Old Fashioned making skills. I am more of a gin and t maker or prosecco pourer, but I like to make sure that the corner is always stocked and looking pretty. The important stuff. I am the one that makes sure we have drink appropriate glassware and accompanying embellishments. 
So I bring you the gift guide for others who place as much importance on a beautiful bar area as we do!
1. We're a big fan of Pop Chart Lab posters in our house and this constitution of classic cocktails poster is so detailed and awesome, it'd be a great addition to any bar area. 2. If you're serving good gin then the last thing that you should be doing is ruining it with cheap tonic. I love 1724 tonic as it lets the gin shine through! 3. Bitters are one of our must have bar items and I love that these Crystal Bitters won't ruin the look of your clear drinks - or discolour your fizz. 4. Talking fiz, don't you think a champagne coupe is just more glamorous than a flute, and I'm not really down with the whole rose gold thing but I adore these and think they would be beautiful out on show. 5. Another G&T must have - botanicals to bring out the flavours of the gin. It's amazing how adding botanicals can enhance the gin. 

These are just a few of my picks for the bar fly in your life - what would you add? 
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Gift Guide - Puppy Lovers

We all know there are about a thousand cute things you can buy for your dog but there are loads of great things that the dog lover in your life might love too



If you're like me you've got bags of dog food all over the house but this Dog food store is pretty enough to keep on show in the kitchen. 2. Just as you have festive treats in store for human guest popping round during Christmas, make sure you have some puppy mince pies in for furface visitors too. 3. Is there anything better than a book of dog selfies? Nope, there isn't! This is the best book ever and a great stocking filler! 4. This hair of the dog hip flask, once full, will hopefully keep you warm on your walk, and maybe help with the festive hangovers too! 5. I'm a big fan of a good pair of wellies but lets be honest they aren't exactly comfy to wear or, well, all that warm in the winter, so a decent pair of walking boots are a must for frosty, cold, muddy, dog walks - and these ones look good too.
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Gift Guide - Some DIY gift ideas

If you're planning a handmade christmas then you still have some time to get your craft on and I thought it might be nice to round up some of the gifts that I have made for people that are easy to replicate and you can start on today. 

Gittery Gem Soaps
These went down an absolute treat - they are glittery, pretty colours and in the shape of precious gems - what more could your recipients want? Find the DIY here!

Mountain Cushion DIY


I made this mountain cushion for a friends housewarming as she is a snow bunny but it would be great for the mountain lover in your life. And it was super simple to make. The DIY details are here.

Hot Chocolate Stirers
I make these as small extra gifts for people as they are so easy to do and everyone loves hot chocolate. There are two versions of them in my DIY's - one is PG rated and has a white chocolate recipe and one contains boozey pipettes.   

Dog Treat Jars


Here's a simple and super easy to make gift for any dog lovers in your life. You can probably find all the ingredients in your cupboards so you just really need a jar! Find the instructions to make them here

Lemoncello


If you get started now then your lemoncello will be ready to give come Christmas so if this one takes your fancy get to the shops today and buy some vodka and lemons. After spending our Christmassy in the Italian mountains and having lemoncello warmers for me it's the perfect winter drink, especially if it snowing! 

Amaretto Truffles


This was one of my very first Christmas DIY gifts. My old housemate and I made these Amaretto truffles one night and we really were not expecting to get as covered in chocolate as we did. But take heed, they are super rich so don't eat too much of the mixture! 

Wedding Christmas Tree Baubles


If you have friends who have been married recently then these are the perfect idea as a gift for their first Christmas as a married couple. Festive wedding baubles are the so sentimental but pretty! 

Vanilla Essence


Not the greatest picture - I'm sorry - but everyone who goes near the kitchen needs vanilla essence. Its so easy to do and once you've started you'll wonder why you pay so much for it. I make it in a big bottle for myself in the house, but you can get the instructions here.

Christmas Cookie Pots


A great gift to have in the house for surprise visitors or people you know love baking. You could have them for any occasion but by adding the labels and festive cookie cutter gives it a holiday touch. The instructions are here

So what are you making people for Christmas? 
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The perfect Christmas gift for the person who has everything & the best Lemon Olive Oil Cake ever!






You can thank me now or just send me prosecco at your earliest convenience because I have solved the problem of what to buy for the person who has everything and I'm giving you a delicious recipe to go with it. 

I know that there is that person in all our lives who quite genuinely has everything and is a pain in the ass to buy gifts for - I know there is. For us, it's our parents. They buy themselves everything they can possibly need, even the things they decide they want in December.

But I have the solution - An Olive Tree. Now don't worry if your recipient isn't the green fingered type, this isn't an olive tree they have to care for, this is an olive tree from a company called Nudo. Nudo lets you adopt a tree in a grove in Italy, a tree that someone else looks after for you, and most importantly presses the olives it produces into olive oil for you and delivers straight it to your door throughout the year.


We discovered Nudo through a friend last year and immediately I knew that an olive tree would be the perfect gift for my dad and Jim's mum. And it was. Nudo sent through an adoption certificate to us and we also bought a can of oil and a gift tin to wrap up and put under the tree too. And as a gift it went down amazingly. My dad raves about the oil - saving his deliveries for 'good' meals and Jim's mum took a trip to Italy to visit her tree.

So when I was given the chance to try some of the Nudo oils myself I couldn't say no. I mean I've tasted them at dinner, but I've not had the chance to have any at home to use. The set I received, the Three Tenors Gift Box, included chili oil, extra virgin olive oil and lemon olive oil. Jim is obsessed with the chili oil. He pours it on pasta, swirls it in soup and I think he'd bath in it if he could. Me, I use the extra virgin oil for dipping with some herbs and a bowl of balsamic. But the lemon oil I wanted to use for something special. Something different. Lemon Olive Oil Cake.


This was my first time baking with olive oil and it was a great experience. The cake was light and fluffy and really moist. My only thought was my lemon zest - maybe it wasn't grated enough as there were still quite big bits in some of the cake.

What you'll need:
  • 1/2 cup lemon olive oil
  • 4 large eggs
  • 225g sugar
  • 2 1/2 tbsp lemon juice 
  • 140g plain flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp lemon zest
  • 40g icing sugar to decorate

What you need to do:
  • Preheat your oven to 170c and grease cake or cupcake tin. 
  • Beat the eggs and sugar on high in a mixer until they are fluffy and have at least doubled in size. 
  • In a seperate bowl mix together the flour, baking powder and lemon zest. 
  • Fold the lemon olive oil and the lemon juice into the egg and sugar mixture with a rubber spatula. Then fold in the flour mixture until the flour disapears. Be carefult to not mix it too much to make sure the eggs stay fluffy. 
  • Pour the cake mix into the prepared tin and make sure you tap it a few times to get rid of any bubbles. 
  • Bake for 15-18 mins for small cakes or 40-45 minutes for a cake pan. 
  • Let the cake rest for 10 minutes before turning out of the pan - you might have to run a knife around it to loosen it. 
  • Dust with a little icing sugar before serving. 
  • Enjoy.  

So now I have told you the secret behind my gift for the people that have everything, tell me yours. I still have parents to buy for and they've renewed their tree subscription themselves! Damn it.

*I was sent the olive oil to sample but all the words and views are my own. We bought the tree subscriptions before Nudo got in touch so they had nothing to do with that!*

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Woodlands walk with Flash

One of the best things about having some time working from home on my own things is that Flash and I get to spend loads of time going for walks and adventures. Mostly I just throw my phone, some treats, a ball thrower and some poop bags in my pocket and we go but sometimes I remember to take my camera out and have some fun snapping the places we go. So indulge me if I share some of them with you. 
So apologies if there suddenly becomes an abundance of Flash walking posts. It's not my fault. Honestly.  
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Pooch Package - The Festive Edition!


You might remember back in April, Fay and I put together a little swap for dog owners- #poochpackage. Well, it's back. For a festive edition. Because which self respecting dog doesn't need extra Christmas presents?

As it was last time, the swap is open to anyone with a dog, but if you do have a blog, Instagram, Twitter or Facebook account we’d love it if you’d share your swap stories with us on #poochpackage. We’d love to see how much your dog loves their gifts!



All you need to do is fill in the questionnaire below and tell us some bits about your dog. We’ll be matching people up with other fun dog owners around the country so once you have their details it might be worth checking them out and finding out a little more about their pooch!

Once again, we’ve set a spend limit of £12 – we don’t want people to feel like they have to spend the earth on their swap, but we figured you could get some awesome treats for £12!

The swap timeline;
  • The sign-up will be open until the 30th November.
  • We will assign you your swap partner by the 2nd December.
  • You have until the 16th December to send off your package to your swap partner. 
  • If you have a blog/Instagram/twitter account- please share your #poochpackage with us by the end of December so we can see what you received (and maybe what you sent too!)
Signing up is easy – just fill in the form at the bottom and we’ll start matching you up with a puppy pal! 



So if you're a puppy dog owner and you'd like to get involved in #poochpackage fill in the form. You've got until the 30th April to sign up and then we'll send out your swap partners details! Oh, and invite your friends - the more the merrier, eh!



We can't wait to see who signs up and what you all send each other!
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Dream Home: A Shower Room Make-over.

Last week, after a particularly heavy day of rain I woke up to the depressing sound of a drip. A loud, heavy drip that put a fear in to my heart as it was coming from the bathroom area. 

Luckily for me, well, not lucky as we still had a drip to contend with, but luckily it was coming from the small shower room we never use rather than the newly decorated main bathroom. But still, the heavy rain had it seemed been too much for the roof to cope with and we had a mini cave in! So now we have the start of a skylight in the shower room, and a wonderful excuse to move the redecoration up the list! 

The rules we had when I started decorating the main bathroom was I got that one and Jim got the shower room. To start with he wanted to create a full wet room but it turns out the room is on a slight slant and the bathroom fitter we had come to have a look at the room said it wasn't possible so his plans have changed to include a walk in shower enclosure that feels roomy and some low profile furniture that won't take up much space as the room is tiny! 

Here's a basic mock up of the idea that we have for the room but we're struggling with a window and a door that take up precious space. So the plan is to turn the end of the room into a big shower space and use the space behind the door for the low profile toilet and sink. 


I had plans for the room to be grey and turquoise (I don't feel we have enough turquoise in the house you see) but Jim has other ideas and wants a more natural colour scheme for the room. 


1. follow the natural colour scheme Jim wants, these large Bali Ceramic Tiles, are the perfect shade for what he's after. 
2. Because the room is so small we have to go low profile with the sink and toilet, but we also need some storage in the room for things that Jim doesn't know exist like cleaning products. I think something like this combo unit would be perfect. 
3. As I mentioned, we can't turn the whole room into a shower room, but something roomy like this Walk-in Shower cubicle is the sort of thing that Jim is after. 
4. A big rain shower head is what I'm after for the room and this Leoni Shower Head is the sort of thing I'm after, plus all the fancy hotels have this sort of shower. 
5. As Jim wants to down the more natural route it seems perfect to me to add some wood into the mix. I'm thinking of bringing wood into the mix in the form of the mirror, and the other accessories like this wood and ceramic tumbler. 6. Talking of accessories, especially as they are the thing that Jim doesn't think of, I need there to be matching tiles for the room. (Maybe not for us but definitely for guests) I love the texture of these 'Bling' Towels and the colour is a perfect match too! 

The thing we have to do now is figure out just how much this is all going to cost to get someone to fit it and get me to reign in my spending on accessories! What do you think is a shower room essential?

*This is a collaborative post but all the views are my own*
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BEDN 9 - A Stylish Pooch

Sometimes I get a bit carried away with buying treats, toys and dog paraphernalia for Flash. Well, maybe not sometimes. It's pretty much all the time if I'm honest. I just can't resist picking up little fun things for him. It's got to the point where I'm not sure that I should be allowed in certain shops alone because I always leave with something for him. Whether its a new toy that will be destroyed in a matter of minutes, a new coat I know he'll hate but need come winter or something that's really more for the house than him - I can find something for him at every shop. 

And my pup shopping isn't restricted to when I'm out at the shops. There are Instagram boards dedicated to things he might like, there are lists of things to google, and there are online shops I visit regularly to see what's new that we might just need!

Here are just a few of the things that I have a feeling might end up in our home this winter, whether Flash needs them or not; 

1. Flash has a habit of snuggling down under blankets and duvets. His basket is covered with them. This snuggle bed might be the answer to his snuggling dreams. I bet he'll still want to take up 80% of the bed at night though. 
2. As Flash is king around these parts I think he would love his food presented to him like he's getting it on a platter. This bowl from Love the Sign, with it's cover, is adorable too. 
3. This Lumberjack shirt from Houndsworthy is just the right amount  of cool for our little pooch!  
4. And since red is his favourite colour (or more like our favourite colour on him) a collar to go with it wouldn't go amiss! 
5. And to make a matching pair with the bowl, I just love the little dog nose sticking up in the air on this treat jar.  

Dog owners, tell me what are your must have puppy purchases these days? 

*This is a collaborative post but all the views are my own*

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BEDN 6 - Lust List - Winter is coming

Don't hate me but winter is my favourite time of the year. It's the promise of snow, and the ability to wear beanies without over heating, nights in watching movies without feeling guilty, and the fact that it's nearly snowboarding time too. 


1. I'm obsessed with these Magni mountain rings from Bloody Mary Metal. I l'd totally choose the silver ones but I love the fact that you can have colour options. 2. It's winter which means it's sloe gin time. I totally missed sloe picking season but this Bathtub Sloe Gin is an awesome substitute for home made. 3. Short days, dark nights. This Burton t is such a great winter shirt. 4. I adore this planner. I'm forever looking for the best way to stay organised and maybe silver and black number from Marjolein Delhaas is the way? 5. What's not to love about these bronze Nikes? Nothing right? (And on a practical winter front they are so muddy walk low maintenance!) 

What's on your must have winter lust list?
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BEDN 5 - Fireworks Night

Before Flash Bonfire Nights were always spent in the park, with sparklers, bonfire toffee, usually a hot cider or two and a trip to the pub afterwards. Bonfire Night was the night we discovered Winter Pimms. It was a night for big coats and hats, wellies and gloves. 

But post Flash it's a different story. Not that I'm a crazy dog lady but I somehow think it's a bit more important to make sure that the fur face in the house is ok. To be fair to Flash, it's not that he's scared of fireworks, more he likes to shout louder than the booms in the sky. He likes to run around the house chasing the noises down, unless we distract him in some way. 

So this evening (and most of the week - why do people insist on setting off fireworks for weeks around bonfire night) is being spent dispensing treats, with the TV turned up load, playing with balls indoors (which we try not to do any more) and many many cuddles.

What are your bonfire plans? And how do your keep your furfaces calm? 
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BEDM 4 - I love photo's!


I think I fell in love with having photos as a teenager. I was always the one with a camera. Always taking snapshots of our holidays, trips away, nights out and birthdays which has left me in a great position now as I hold all the incriminating pictures of our drum and bass clubbing years, of all the bad hair cuts and ridiculous fashion choices. All the things that shouldn't have been captured on film, and all the things that will stay in a photo album and not be published on the internet! 

And as much as I love social media now, I honestly can't begin to tell you how happy I am that my formative years were spent without Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. Without digital cameras in our phones ready to capture every embarassing moment. Without the need to worry that the whole world would see just how bad my hair was in the days prior to GHD's. 

But we do live in a world of picture sharing and now I'm past the days when I'd worry about what people saw, I love that we have social media. I love that i can show you what I had for lunch, and my new purchases for the house and Flash. Mostly I love that I can show you Flash! 


But I also love that I can see into other people's worlds too, and here are a few of my favourite Instagrammers. I love them for their beautiful pictures, for the puppy pictures, for the fact that I just like spying on their lives. I hope you discover some new people to insta-spy on too; 



Right, so who are your favourite Instagrammers? Who should I be following? And if you're on Instagram - leave me your details........ 
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BEDN Day 2 - Hello Monday. Hello November - A look back at October and some Goals for November.


I'm not sure when Monday's got given such a bad rap of the week. I much prefer to dislike Tuesday's. Tuesday's are so much worse than Monday's. Monday is the day we should be planning all the things we'll achieve this week. Planning our fun weekend activities. Planning how we'll change our lives. They're a start over every week. And this Monday we get to start a fresh new month too. But first a look back at October. 
October was a month of big changes for me, it was about trips with friends to Berlin, we met our nephew, Daniel, I spent a lot of time walking in the beautiful autumn colours with Flash, of checking out new bars and finding new favourites. Of spending time with friends. Of celebrating Back to the Future day, and of a few fun bits of baking.   


It's going to be a good month. For one, it's nearly Christmas (it's after November 1st, the adverts are on the TV which means I can mention it now doesn't it), which means there is crafting to do. Lots of it. We're on the hunt for a little puppy brother for Flash now I have some time to help him acclimatise to our home. My dislocated rib is back with a vengeance and the last hope is fixing it through being bendy. Lets hope it works because I need to sleep. And the kitchen needs a bit of a makeover. Well, a lot of one. Fist off - I need to choose a colour, then everything can go from there! 

What do you have planned for the month? 
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BEDN Day 1 - Somethings about me


I've been taking part in Elizabeth's Blog Every Day challenges for a few years now. I never fully complete the series, and I know that I won't this time. For one, there are a few posts I already have no intention to complete, and there are some posts already scheduled in. But it's always fun to take part in and there are always great new bloggers to meet through it. 

Today's challenge is to tell you something new about me. Or somethings. So here we go. Maybe you know these things. Maybe you don't. Maybe you're new here and so it'll all be new information:
  • I have lived in 8 different cities or towns and 3 different countries in my adult life - including places in the Alps, the south of France and California. I'm not sure this is enough places. I never traveled like maybe I should have. I just went places and stayed there.
  • I truly believe that I ought to be living in Vancouver. I'm like a broken record in the fact I want to move there but just can't seem to get up the courage to take the plunge. Sorry about that! 
  • I am 100% sure that my heart is brim full of love for my dog - I worry that there is no space for anything or anyone else. I know this makes me a little crazy. 
  • I hate pictures of myself. That's why this one is super blurry. Pictures of me never look like the picture of me I have in my head. But this was the most recent one I have. 
  • As a child I thought I would grow up to write novels. I started and started short stories over and over again but somewhere around 15 I stopped telling stories. I am considering taking on nanowrimo just to prove to my childhood self that I can do it. 
  • I hate coriander. It ruins food. 
  • Jordan Catalano ruined guys in the 90's for me. I assumed all boys would be that dreamy. But less douche-y. I also assumed if I hate hair as red as Angela Chases I would get my Jordan. None of it worked. 
  • I used to wonder why, as a fully functioning adult, my dad used to say he had no idea what he wanted to do when he grew up. He was a grown up. He had a job. Now I'm a grown up, I understand. I've no idea what I want to be when I grow up. Besides living in Vancouver with Jordan Catalano. Obviously. 
So, there you go. Tell me something new about you, won't you? 
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