I am a huge tea addict, in fact my tea collection is getting a little bit out of control! As much as the beverage itself is important, I also think choosing the right cup or mug is definitely part of the experience. I own lots of lovely tea cups, but mostly when I’m at home in need of a cuppa, I opt for the biggest mug possible!

I thought it would be fun to share some of my favourite cups and mugs on here. I already owned a lot, but my friends and family know we far too well and bought me lots of new ones for my birthday and Christmas, so the collection has grown a lot recently. In fact I’ve even been given two new ones this week, which I will have to include in a future post!

Emma Bridgewater Bath and London MugsTwo recent additions to my mug collection, are my London and Bath Emma Bridgewater mugs. These were a Christmas present from rob and the girls. I absolutely love Emma Bridgewater designs, I also love that they are handmade in England.

Emma Bridgewater City Mugs Bath and LondonRob chose this two because London and Bath are my two favourite cities. The Bath one was quite hard to find as it is a limited addition and only available from No1 Royal Crescent in Bath, so he gets extra points for effort in getting this one for me!

Cath Kidston Pet's Party Breakfast Tea Cup and SaucerMy next choice was a birthday present from my mum. The Cath Kidston Pet’s Party cup is absolutely huge and hold loads of tea. This is one of my favourite Cath Kidston prints and matches my Pet’s Party dress.

Laura Ashley Fox MugYou may have seen quite a lot of my Laura Ashley Fox mugs over the last few months. I absolutely love them and use them to make hot chocolate for the girls, or to serve soup in. I also love the orange and blue tones of this giant tea cup that I bought in Tesco. I always drink my chai tea in this one.

Gold and Cream New Look Initial MugLast year I collected lots of things that were cream and gold. I got this huge initial mug from New Look and its perfect for a luxurious hot drink, while I’m having a pamper in the bath. The other mug is from Sainsburys. I bought it for Fay and she drinks out of it, when she comes to my house.

Disney World Mickey and Minnie Leg MugsMy Mickey and Minnie mugs are from Disney World, I bought them when we went to Florida a few years ago. They remind me of an amazing family holiday. I don’t use these very often, but they live in a special cupboard with all my other Disney mugs.

Primark Disney Beauty and The Beast Chip MugsWhen everyone went crazy for the cute Chip mugs in Primark, I missed out on getting my hands on one. Luckily when they restocked I managed to pick up two of them. Beauty and the Beast is my favourite Disney film, so I love these a lot!

Cath Kidston Disney Tinker Bell Tea Cup and Saucer and MugAs you probably know I’m a but obsessed with the Cath Kidston and Disney collaborations. I kind of regret not getting all the mugs from the different collections now, but I did get a couple of the Peter Pan range. I bought myself the Tinker Bell cup and saucer and my brother and his boyfriend got me the Tinker Bell mug for my birthday.

Cath Kidston Mum MugsAnother two of my most precious mugs are these two from Cath Kidston. These were gifts from the girls for my last two mothers days. I’m hoping to get another one this year! I love the pretty designs.

Disney Cath Kidston Minnie and Mickey Stackable MugsLast these stacking Cath Kidston Mickey Mouse mugs were a birthday gift from my friend Holly. This was one of my all time favourite prints and I’m just go sad they didn’t do a dress in this design. At least I can enjoy a tea in these lovely mugs though!

Which is your favourite mug from my collection. Do you have lots of different ones?

For more tea related posts, check out the Tea section of the blog.

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I can’t believe we’re nearly half way through January already! So far it’s been a busy, but very successful month for me. I’ve not done much blog work (I usually take a step back during January), but I have already started to achieve some of my other goals for the year. My goals are all the obvious ones, but they are all things I’ve been focussing on for the last few months and want to continue through the next year.

One: Look After Myself

Since I got unwell last summer, I’ve had to focus on looking after myself a bit more. Around that time I had got into the habit of pushing myself too hard and working non stop. On top of being a mum and looking after my home and having a social life I was stretched far too thin. Over the last few months I’ve been much kinda to myself and taken a lot of the pressure off. I still need to work on this though, sometimes I still do over do it. I’m working on not striving to be perfect and to know my limits and to say no to things, that I can’t manage.

I’ve also been looking after my body, my doctors recommended losing a little weight as it can help with Intracranial Hypertension and make symptoms go away. This is a hard one for me, as I’m quite body confident and my weight is not something I worry about too much. I want to go into a bit more detail about this in another post. I have been going on long walks and have really hit the gym recently, as well as going to Yoga classes. I’m absolutely loving all the exercise and feeling great. I’m also trying extra hard to eat well and cut down on caffein and other things that aren’t good for me. This is definitely a big goal for me in 2018.

Another way I’ve been looking after myself is getting more sleep. Like most workaholics I used to stay up way to late, to get that little bit extra done. Finally at the age of 32, I’ve broken this habit! I now aim to get to sleep by 10 and get up at 6, so that I get 8 hours every night. It’s definitely stopped me burning out and getting exhausted and I feel so much better for it. I’m definitely aiming to keep this up in 2018.

Two: Being Happy and Spreading Happiness

I’m pretty good at doing things that make me happy and personally I feel like I manage to enjoy life at the same time as being very busy looking after my friends and family. This year I want to do this even more. I’ve started keeping a journal and including positive things that happened in the day. These can be really simple things like a nice bath or a lovely walk. Taking a m moment to appreciate things really helps to keep me feeling positive even after a hard or long day.

One thing I really want to do more of, is spreading happiness. Making more of an effort top smile at people, be helpful or just do something kind every day.

Three: Getting on Top of Work

When it comes to work, this is the area that needs the most work! Things got a bit crazy last year and there were quite a few times that I needed to take a step back from work and look after other parts of my life. Now I feel a bit more settled I want to get reorganised and get on top of everything. Not by over working myself, but by picking out the most important things and getting them done.

This year I want to put lots of time into my Etsy shop and selling vintage again. I enjoy this so much and I enjoy finding nice things to sell, cleaning and repairing them and sending them off to their new homes.

As for the blog, I want to keep on top of all the back of house stuff more. Things like emails and accounts all take lots of time and if you get behind it’s a total nightmare. So this year I am going to spend 3 mornings a week doing all my admin and being organised.

The most important things of course, is actually writing the blog. I have so many ideas and this year I want to get lots of them done. For now I am going to aim for between 2 and 4 posts a week and no more than that. I used to blog nearly every day and it takes up more time than I have. By setting manageable targets I’m hoping to enjoy blogging more this year.

Four: Finish My House

Home improvement has been one of my biggest hobbies since I was really young. In fact I always wanted to be an interior designer when I was little! I’ve now been in our current house for 6 years and I love it so much. When we moved in, we did a full renovation and since then we have redecorated a few times. There always seems to be a house project on the go. This year I want to be more focussed and take each room one at a time and get it to exactly where I want it to be. So expect much more interior content on the blog this year. I’m currently completely redecorating Lila’s room and I have lots of DIYs I want to share with you.

So this year is all about small changes that will make a big difference. I’m feeling so motivated and excited about the year ahead.

Have you got any intentions or resolutions for 2018?

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For the last couple of years I’ve done a round up post of all the books I’ve read over the last year. We’re now a week into 2018 and not only have I not done my book round up, I’ve also not posted at all yet. So first up I just want to wish you all a very happy new year. There will be more on New Year related stuff soon, but as usual I need to catch up first!

This year I’ve done a lot more listening to Audible rather than picking up a physical book. This is partly because I’ve been super busy and listening on the go is super handy. It’s also because my eyes haven’t been very happy this year due to my Intercranial Hypertension (more on that maybe one day). Anyway on to last years reads…

I started the year reading lots of Daisy Dalrymple mysteries by Carola Dunn. There was a lot going on at the beginning of the year and having something light and cosy to escape to was great. I also got through some books by my favourite chick lit authors, like Jenny Colgan.Lucy Diamond and Katie FForde.

I re-read a couple of Jane Austen’s books. I’ve read them all so many times I lose count! Having watched Decline and Fall on TV I decided to read a couple of Evelyn Waugh Books. I’ve read a couple of his books before, but not Brideshead or Decline and Fall. I really enjoyed both of them.

Long term readers will know I love biographies of interesting women so Coco Chanel – The Legend and The Life was a great choice for me. I wrote a review of this one for the blog, which I haven’t got round to publishing yet. I’ll try total some pics and get that up this week. I also re-read Take Six Girls, a book about the Mitford sisters that I read last year. It’s a really good read and absolutely fascinating.

Having read about the Mitford sisters I had to then re-read some of my favourite Nancy Mitford novels. I lover her writing so much, I can’t help going back to these a lot!

One of my favourite books of the year was Wilde Like Me, by Louise Pentland. It explores motherhood in a way I can really relate to and it’s generally just a really fab relatable read.

I really enjoyed The Husband Hunters by Anne De Courcy, she’s an amazing social history writer and this book which explores marriages between American women and members of the British aristocracy was absolutely fascinating.

My favourite book of the year would have to be Lucy Worsley’s Jane Austen At Home. This is about as good as biography gets I just couldn’t put this one down. It’s a well researched, beautifully written look at one of my favourite authors and I couldn’t recommend it enough.

I was also excited to read new books by two of my favourite authors. Ben Aaronovitch’s new book was as good as expected and The Book of Dust – La Belle Sauvage was every bit as good as you’d expect from Phillip Pullman. I absolutely cannot wait for the next instalment.

Another highlight of the year was The Essex Serpent by Sarah Perry, this unusual and mysterious novel was one I really enjoyed. I also re-read Murder on The Orient Express rather than watching the new film!  I finished the year with some festive chick lit and a very interesting book about the OJ Simpson trial by prosecutor Marcia Clark.

I always love looking back at the mix of books I’ve read over the year and it always makes me want to devour even more books this year. Do you have any recommendations for me?

See what I read in 2016 and 2017. Find more posts and books reviews in my Books section.

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2017 was a weird for me blogwise. There were times were I enjoyed it more than anything and felt really driven to keep creating great content. Then there were time where I didn’t even want to think about blogging. Then there were the worst times of all, where I didn’t feel well enough to blog. Something that was new too me this year and not easy to deal with.

I think this last year I’ve produced some of my best content. There are so many outfit posts that I’m super proud of, and I really enjoyed doing my Week in Pictures posts in the summer. As for Blogmas, I just wasn’t feeling it this year. I needed up just enjoying the festive season without documenting it all and thats fine. I also have a whole month of Christmas posts planned which I can just use next year. I’m even thinking of writing and scheduling it super early this year so that I’m over prepared next December!

In March the blog will turn 6. Thats a long time to keep going with something and there have certainly been times this year when I’ve wondered about when to stop. Luckily I’m anywhere near that stage yet and I know I have a lot more blog posts left in me! I think it’s great to go into the new year with some goals and here are a few of mine.

ONE: I’d like to get back to taking regular outfit photos and sharing them both on here and on Instagram. It’s something I’ve always been pretty consistent at and I’ve fallen behind recently. I love getting creative with my clothes and having recently reorganised my wardrobe I have lots of ideas. I’m not a big fan of winter outfits, so I always fine it a bit harder at this time of year but there’s nothing wrong with a challenge!

TWO: I’d also really like to do more Week in Pictures posts. They’re the ones I love going back and reading. They’re easier to do in the school holidays, as I do m ore when the kids are off. I find it quite hard on normal weeks, because most of what I do is just work and cleaning! I do always try to do a couple of fun things though and I’m sure I can find a way to make it work. It might even encourage me to fit in more interesting stuff!

THREE: An important goal for me right now is to pace myself and one important goal for next year is to just stop when I need to. I can be quite hard on myself when I need a break, but its something I’m working on. First and foremost the blog is something I enjoy doing, so it should never become a burden.

FOUR: One of the most common bits of blogging advise I see is to write for yourself. This year I’d like to write more about everything. Yes I love fashion and baking, but also walking, music, doing stuff with the kids. The blog has always been a bit of a mash up of topics, and I’m hoping it will be even more so this year!

FIVE: Another goal I’d like to think about is looking back at old posts on the blog and some of the things I used to do, but don’t anymore. I know you used to love my charity shop hauls and I hardly do them now. In fact I’d like more vintage themed content in general as there’s not been nearly enough of that recently. Sometimes it’s great to go back to basics.

SIX: My last goal isn’t really a blog goal, but I thought I’d include it anyway. I’d like to start working harder on my Etsy again. I love selling pretty vintage things, I’ve been doing it far longer than I’ve been blogging and it’s something I enjoy massively. It also give me a good excuse to go out hunting for pretty vintage things, which I don’t do nearly enough anymore! So watch this space, the shop is going to get a lot better over the  next few months.

What are your goals for the next year. I have lots of personal ones that I might do a post on, if I get time. If you’re a long term reader or just a new arrival, I’d love to know what you’d like to see on the blog. What are your favourite types of posts and is there anything new you’d like me to try?

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This week I worked on a post for the Laura Ashley blog, with some of my favourite last minute Christmas stocking fillers. I’m a bit of a last minute shopper myself so I find gift guides really helpful. I picked some lovely pieces from Laura Ashley that would make great presents for friends and relatives.

I like gifts that can be used, so candles, make-up bags and scarfs are great choices. I love choosing pretty thanks with designs and patterns that suit the person I’m giving the gift to. Luckily Laura Ashley has lots of choice.

My first pick, is this lovely set of floral socks. I chose these ones because the colours are so pretty and the vintage style roses are gorgeous.

As I mentioned above, I love presents that people can use. Candles and reed diffusers make great gifts that can be enjoyed for months after Christmas. Laura Ashley has a wide range of fragrances to choose from. My favourite is the No1 scent 

A scarf is also a gorgeous gift, I love this floral vintage style one. I also really like some of Laura Ashley’s knitted and velvet scarfs, perfect for different occasions and outfits.

 I have absolutely loads of vintage jewellery and I really enjoy finding new ways to display it around the house. I love the adorable bird trinket dish and think it would make a charming stocking filler.  

For larger pieces of jewellery like brooches the heritage jewellery box would be perfect. Its like a lovely little treasure chest. This would be a lovely present with a little piece of jewellery inside as an extra thoughtful gift.  

Another lovely gift for someone with lots of trinkets, is an antique style glass trinket pot. This would look splendid on a dressing table and makes an excellent small Christmas gift.  

I often get purses and make up bags as stocking fillers. They are another gift that will always come in handy. There are lots of different prints, sizes and designs at Laura Ashley. I chose the Highland Heather print, as I love the opulent winter colours. I think it mixes and matches really well with the velvet purse. These would make a gorgeous gift either together or separately.  

My final gift is the pretty Iona cup and saucer. This would be a great gift for a tea drinker and I really like the classic vintage look of this set. There are lots of lovely tea sets to choose from at Laura Ashley. If the person you’re buying for prefers coffee, a ceramic take away coffee cup would be a lovely present too.  

To get in time for Christmas, visit a Laura Ashley shop. You can find the full list here. If you’re looking for something nice for yourself, the Laura Ashley sale is in full swing.

Have you still got gifts to buy, or are you wrapped and ready to go?

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