Tiddler and Fox News
This has to be my favourite time of year, its a time to slow down a touch and prepare for winter, rejoice in the changing seasons and the changing colours. The air is fresher and seems full of life to me.
I love the promise of chilly weather, lighting the fire and settling in for those long winter evenings. I find I'm more productive and happier to be on the sofa making something, writing a newsletter or whatever needs doing each day without the pressure to be off somewhere as I do on summer evenings.
I still walk as much as possible, I walk all year round and prefer it in the colder months as I don't get as hot and sweaty! Much more pleasurable.
For me, its a time to get the crockpot out and try a few new recipes, I just love the smells radiating around the house all day. The simple pleasure of looking forward to a healthy and hearty meal that has taken little effort but after 8 hours of cooking tastes amazing.
I've added a few new autumnal recipes to my Pinterest Autumn board to try, let me know if you try anything new this season, as I'm always looking for new and exciting things to eat.
Now is the time to read all those books and magazines that have been piling up and catch up on blog posts that I haven't had time to read.
This is also a busy time for retailers and I'm busy behind the scenes preparing for Christmas but making sure I slow down for a bit before the rush begins!
There is one thing that make autumn just the best time of year though....no more flies or midges!!
Let me know what you love about autumn and if you look forward to winter. Until next time x
I'm not usually one to bang on about the things I get up to (mainly because its not much!) but having just been on holiday with my family, I thought I would do a quick post on the wonderful week we had on Tresco, in the Isles of Scilly.
It's one of those places that although its only 25 miles or so off the coast of Cornwall, it is easy to feel that you are a million miles away. What with the interesting journey to get there (car, plane, minibus, jet boat, mini van) it feels as if you have travelled halfway around the world so it's no surprise that when you arrive you feel that you definitely made a switch from real life to somewhere otherworldly. Yes the water really is that colour #nofilter.
As a family we have been many times as my parents own a time share on the island and have done for about 15 years, so its a place we know and love and it never fails to get us to relax and enjoy just 'being'.
My nephews have only been once before but they love being outdoors and there is no better place for small boys with boundless energy, to be. The beaches are sublime, very clean and allow for games, swimming and lots of treasure hunting (half a ton of sea glass and shells later...). Throw in a morning's kayaking, visiting the Abbey gardens, lots of walking, chatting and reading and we were very content.
On an island that is 2.5 miles long by 1 mile wide, there is obviously not going to be lots of shopping, but worth a look is the gallery and Lucy Tania gift shop, or places to eat and be entertained....but that is the point. It's a return to a simple existence where, to be honest for the Goymer family, we spend most of our time trying to decide what to do in-between meals!
We love the quiet pace of the island and the dark starry skies at night, the walking and the great food to be had in the Ruin Beach Cafe and the New Inn pub, both of which we ate at throughout the week plus homemade meals at the cottage. Plenty of wine and beer and we are happy bunnies.
So, if you are tempted to go, the best place to find all the information you will need is on the Tresco Island Estate website. You'll find out how to get there, where to stay and eat and all the things that there are to do on the island. Plus how to get to the other beautiful islands if you fancy a day trip to explore.
Bryher has the wonderful Hell Bay Hotel which serves some of the best crab sandwiches you'll ever taste, for starters, plus they have their own gin!
But for now I'll leave you with more photos of our stay...with a caveat attached that without a doubt we had the best weather we have ever had there with wall to wall sunshine all week - but thats rare!
I've recently started a series on my Instagram account entitled The Best Things In Life, (we are only on number 2 by the way but there are plenty more to come!) and I've received quite a few responses already.
The idea is that the best things in life are the really simple things, not the big gestures and things that cost a lot of money but stuff that does actually make you smile more often than not, things that can make a difference to your day with no money expended - number one in the series was: skirts with pockets.
Plenty of people agreed with me on that one - I'll basically buy any skirt that has pockets as it's just such a delight to find them! Number two was: the sound of the cork coming out of the wine bottle....again, many agreed.
It's the promise of a relaxing evening to come, of good company, or just a quiet evening at home enjoying wine and a film. When I started to think of things to add to the list, it was difficult at first to come up with ideas - the skirts with pockets thing just popped into my head one morning and that got me to thinking about these things. Once I got going though, the list was easy to write.
I have spent a lot of my life looking for fulfilment in all the wrong places when actually its the simplest of things, experiences, food, company you keep and so on that make the biggest difference to our lives and we often find happiness in the smallest and least likely places. It's important to recognise when we do have those moments and to savour them. They can add up to real contentment if you allow them to.
Number three in the series (to be posted soon) is: an unexpected gift from a friend. And that is because I've had a few recently. Lovely things from lovely people when I least expected anything, and boy does that make my day and even my week!
How awesome to know that people you care about, care about you and want you to know that. Special bonds are created that way and I do make sure that I return the thought and am often looking out for little things that I think my friends will like, or even just sending them something I've seen on Pinterest or tagging them into a Facebook event that I think they would be interested in going to. Small gestures but with a big impact.
How do you find contentment in life and what are the small things that make the biggest difference to you? Let me know in the comments and follow along on Instagram too and let me know if you agree with my list!
Until next time (I'm off to smell the roses in the garden!) x
Each year I have weird and wonderful ideas on how to wrap my Christmas presents, thinking how the recipient would like to see their gift under the tree, what could I add to the wrapping to make it extra special and add to the sense of anticipation on opening....and every year I end up buying nice wrapping paper and tying a simple ribbon on it!
Despite all my best intentions, they seem to look the same each year. I always re-use last years Christmas cards as tags, doing my bit for recycling, I only use the best cards as labels but this year I have vowed to do something different.
So, still not quite able to go as far as some (see my Pinterest Board for some simple ideas and some amazing ones too!), I will probably wrap presents something like this:
I love the simplicity of brown paper and the fact you can then add anything you like to the parcel to make it special. Here I've used different ribbons and twine to add texture and colour, fake flowers and of course, my hand painted Christmas hearts. Lovely wooden hearts that have a gorgeous rose image on one side and is blank on the other, perfect for writing messages.
I've sold quite a few already and all my lovely customers have said what a great idea it is to use such pretty tags, which then serve as an extra gift as they can be used afterwards. I love that idea...that you can add a special something cheaply and easily but one that can be treasured.
You can use anything you like to embellish gifts, I simply used ribbon I already had that isn't necessarily festive but can still look lovely, plus the fake flowers and pale rose heart aren't immediately Christmassy but I hope you agree that it makes the present look very special indeed and perfect for a vintage look to your gifts.
Tying baubles, greenery, berries or pine cones onto a gift is also a simple but effective idea and you can raid your decorations box for old decorations to use in a creative way or simply cut evergreen branches from your garden, nothing needs to cost a fortune. I also love the idea of adding sweets or candy canes to the wrapping, an edible present wrapping?! Yes please!
Doilies, lace, scraps of fabric, ribbon, twine, buttons, feathers, glitter, mini bells, photos; they can all be used to dramatic effect but are cheap and easy to source and brings back the idea of making do with what we already have and re-using and re-purposing.
Sometimes too, all you need is a colour theme, say grey and gold or red and green to bring a sense of coordination to your tree once all the gifts are under it. It could be the paper or simply a huge bow or thick ribbon that adds the colour, like this simple but stunning idea:
As mentioned above, I have put together a Pinterest board for more ideas, like the idea of simple ribbons but also colour combos and much more.
I also love the ritual of sitting down to wrap the presents. I usually wait until I have everything and then make a very special afternoon of it.
On goes the film; Muppet Christmas Carol, the fire is lit and there will probably be plenty of Christmas cake or stollen and Baileys coffee, it all helps me get in the festive mood and makes something that could be a bit tedious, a really enjoyable time and I think more love and attention goes into the wrapping which will be obvious to the recipient.
Let me know how you get on this year and how you make the occasion of wrapping that tiny bit more special and enjoyable.
Did you know it's Positive Thinking Day today? Well you do now! I try to live each and every day this way and hope that my positivity helps those around me and doesn't make me an insufferable bore, but I have been thinking about how we can all add a bit of positivity to each day in small and simple ways but steps that could have a big impact on our lives.
I wasn't always this positive and have experienced long periods of my life that have been anything but and I can testify to the fact that it is hard to maintain a level of positivity each day when you are going through tough times. But there are ways to manage those less than great days. We have all seen those motivational quotes on Pinterest, Twitter etc (I post them all the time too, and here's one for you below!) and sometimes one or two will strike a chord with us and is something we can relate to.
But how long does that feeling of belonging or empathy last and does it really help us to be more positive in the long run? Personally I have found that failed fertility treatment, divorce, redundancy and endless moving house have all worked to quash any negativity in me as I was determined to not live my life being bitter or sad or endlessly crying. It was a long hard road to travel but I'm so pleased that all those things happened as it made me the person I am today. But those are not exactly the life experiences that I would advise for others if they are looking to be more positive!! ....So what am I suggesting?
Well, there are ways of injecting a little bit of positivity into each day in simple ways:
1. Being grateful. Ideally write down each day what you are grateful for. I do this and it is a good reminder that life is pretty good actually. Doing this regularly will help you realise just what you DO have rather than focusing on the what you don't have.
2. Don't sweat the small stuff. Easy to say as we all have different tolerance levels but taking a step back and asking yourself, if something really is that important. This will help you put things in perspective.
3. Exercise and fresh air. Its a no-brainer, I don't need to explain how many studies show the positive effects of sunlight, fresh air and exercise to know that its good for you!
4. Enjoy small successes. We often forget to celebrate small wins but why shouldn't we? It's not always about the big stuff like getting a new job but sometimes just the fact that we managed to get through the day without losing it!
5. Be kind. That includes being kind to yourself and ignoring the negative self talk that most of us have rattling around in our heads. Being kind to others can be hugely beneficial to our wellbeing and can make a huge difference to your day as well as to that of others.
So give it a whirl, just small changes to the way we think each day, (plus gallons of coffee) can be all we need for a more positive life. Happy Day!
I've just seen a post by a friend on Facebook saying goodbye to the last bank holiday of the year and hello Christmas. Well, I've already been guilty of talking about Christmas this year and it's very much on my mind as I'm in the planning stages now, but this week definitely does herald a change. Not only in the fact that kids go back to school but that autumn is just around the corner and a whole new season is about to start.
Retailers are already advertising and stocking their autumn winter ranges and although its about 24 degrees here I'm looking forward to getting the boots and jumpers out again and lighting the fire. Good excuse to stay in and drink wine too....!
So I thought I would have a little look back over the summer (what we've had so far, you never know, it might have some mileage in it yet!) and all the things I've been up to. It's easy to forget the good stuff when you are looking forward all the time, which I tend to do, in a very positive way; I'm always moving forward. And I thought I would share a few photos taken today in the garden, I wanted to make the most of the flowers that are still going strong and the sedum which is now in coming into flower and being appreciated by the bees.So, I've met some amazing customers and fellow traders after 11 craft fairs, markets and family events attended since the start of June (plenty more to go, see this page for a full list) and I always come away having learnt so much from those around me, what products to stock, how much better I could be at selling, how we should be erecting the gazebo....and the list goes on.
There has been auctions and networking meetings, coffee with friends, family and friends to dinner and lunch, friends to stay and children running round the garden. A fab spa day with a friend (so good!), dinners out, a lot of early morning walks in the all the lovely sunshine we've had. A trip to Cornwall, a beer festival and a trip to Fleet Air Arm Museum. Phew!
When you look back you realise just how much you have done, when it is easy to think that actually you've done nothing and been nowhere...simply not true!
And looking forward? Well, we have a few days away with family to Devon in September, so a dry spell then would be great as it means my nephews will be happy pottering on the beach. More fairs and markets, with a break in October so I can be fully prepared for Christmas (there's that word again!), more networking and auctions to go to, furniture to paint and I'm moving into a new Emporium too - details to follow!
But the best thing about the change from summer to autumn is being able to get cosy at home. Appreciating the comforts of home and family, having a comfortable space full of people and things we love, a roaring log fire to warm up by and hot drinks and lovely comforting dishes to eat. I love getting out my wintery recipes and having stews and casseroles made in the slow cooker, yummy roasts, lots of winter veg, hot chocolate, Baileys coffee, I'm already feeling hungry but now I'm starving!
I hope its not just me that loves the simple things in life and gets a great deal of joy and satisfaction from being able to provide lovely meals for family and providing a safe and cosy home too.
Autumn also brings with it harvest festival, Halloween and Bonfire Night, all great celebrations and time for family to come together to share food and drink. Really looking forward to making a 'Bonfire Cake' this year for my nephews and I always have a go at carving a pumpkin for them too. Thanks to Pinterest there are always great ideas for that. I will share my creations with you, just don't laugh!
So what are you looking forward to most this autumn, let me know in the comments.