Sunday, 20 December 2015

Cosy Christmas Time

How is it possible that Christmas is less than a week away? While I have (for once) finished shopping, shipping, crafting and wrapping all the presents in plenty of time, it seems this time of the year gets no less stressful. Working in retail may have something to do with this — while I knew this time of year was particularly busy in shops, I never expected the level of exhaustion that hits you when you get home from work. Needless to say, first thing I do when I get in through the door is change into my PJs. Cold weather and dark evenings have always made me partial to a cosy night in, but this year particularly so.

Luckily, Fat Face got in touch and asked me if I wanted to discuss some of my cosy Christmas plans and traditions, featuring, you guessed it, PJs. Yes please. You can check out their women's sleepwear range here, it's definitely worth a peek!

So, what are my plans and traditions around this time of the year?

Traditionally, back home in Finland, we would only decorate the tree on the morning of Christmas Eve, but this year I was happy to go along with the British way of things and get our tree fairly early in December. I love the twinkle of the lights in a dark room, the smell of a real tree (an absolute must for me, no matter how many needles I need to hoover up!) and choosing the decorations. The latter was particularly exciting this year, as it's the first time I've been able to get a tree of my own (shared with the boyfriend, obviously) and decide on the decorations.

I burn candles all year long, but especially now that it's dark and cold. Extra points for Christmas scents and wooden wicks.

And of course, as you can see on the foreground, another Christmas essential is Quality Street!

Green triangles are where its at. Quality Street was always something of a special treat back home when I was younger, since it's a fairly expensive (being an import) and only available during Christmas, and it has kept its status as the Christmas chocolate in my head.

Cosy evenings in will generally also involve books. Of course, in my case books are an all year round thing, but it's particularly during Christmas when I feel I can curl up on the sofa for hours and hours, and lose myself without feeling like I'm procrastinating.

Any time spent indoors (or out, to be honest) should also involve tea, or hot chocolate. I tend to buy a fair few festive teas around this time of year and love to warm up with a cinnamon-scented brew multiple times a day.

Look at these slippers! Don't they just look like the cosiest and warmest thing in existence? Because they are. They might look a little over the top without being covered by the bottoms of the PJs (i.e. absolutely humongous on my feet), but I absolutely love them. My toes are always freezing no matter what I wear, but these actually do a good job of keeping my feet nice and toasty.

A word of praise for Fat Face sleepwear; the level of detail is amazing, and the fabric of their bottoms is lovely and thick, which is a massive bonus for someone like me, who is always cold. Plus, they make perfect gifts — I've bought their PJ bottoms as gifts before and they've been very well received! For those of you who are still needing to make some last minute Christmas purchases, do have a look at the Fat Face gift guide they've put together over here! You can order until 4pm on the 23rd for Christmas Eve delivery, which is pretty impressive!

I'm wearing Herringbone Check Lounge Pants in Nightshade*, Lurex Yarn T-shirt in Fresh Snow* and Shauna Sheepskin Moccasins*

What are your plans around Christmas? Have you finished shopping and currently enjoying some well-deserved rest, or are you more of a last minute shopper?

Feature in collaboration with Fat Face. No financial compensation was received for this post. All opinions expressed are my own.

Wednesday, 9 December 2015

Still Alive!

I had great intentions for today, which included ambitions about writing up two(!) blog posts to accompany the images I've had waiting for about a month. Sadly, I woke up at 2.41am last night and spent the following hours in agony, lying on our bathroom floor with a blanket and a pillow. In other words, not feeling creative at all right now.

Though I'm slightly more recovered now, I'm left utterly exhausted. What a time to be ill! It's the busiest week of the season at work for me as well, so I'm slightly dreading both the possibility of going to work (a single temp left alone to deal with the workload that requires two staff members running at full-speed all day can definitely lead to a disaster) and the possibility that I might not be able to go tomorrow either (because I know I am needed and will have to deal with the backlog when I get back).

Our first Christmas tree, which we decorated last night!
I'm going to be spending the rest of the evening wrapped in a blanket, wrapping up the remaining Christmas gifts for my UK friends and extended family (Finland bunch has now been sent off!). I'm quite sad about not being able to go home for Christmas, as working in retail means I can have very minimal time off during this period. However, I'm loving the opportunity to do all the pre-Christmas things like tree decorating, gift shopping and wrapping, baking and planning with Nick at our first home together. We've also booked tickets to go to Finland at the end of January, so I'll hopefully get to enjoy all the wintery things I love from home, in addition to seeing my friends and family there.

Snowy Finland from last year
There's some exciting content coming up, when I have the energy and time to create it — watch this space! I'm determined to document the creation of my gingerbread house this year, among other things.

Wednesday, 28 October 2015

Design your Dream Wellies with Joules

It's autumn. The season of pumpkin spice lattes, coloured leaves, candles and all the Halloween fun. And rain, particularly here in the UK.

Generally, the thought of rain mostly fills me with dread. Water droplets on my glasses, wet feet, cold, and either hair plastered to my head or desperate balancing of an umbrella with whatever I'm carrying at the time. But if there's something that makes rain, if not enjoyable, at least manageable, it is a good pair of wellies. Mine are Joules, and they tick all the boxes for me. They're comfortable, they keep my feet dry — and they even look nice!

My wellies make me jump in joy. Even back in 2012.
Joules has launched a fantastic competition inviting everyone to design a pair of Joules wellies. The winning design will be put into production, with all the proceeds going to CHARITABLYJOULES. Sounds great, doesn't it? But that's not all! The winner will also win a luxury Forest Holiday worth £5000, and the 10 runner-ups will receive a £250 Joules voucher each. Not too shabby, eh.

If you'd like to enter (and I'm sure you do!), head over to the entry page: The process is super simple and fun (no need for drawing skills, in case you're worried!) — I've already entered mine!

The closing date for the competition is 4th December, and the winner is announced on the 23rd December. Good luck to everyone who enters!

Post in collaboration with Joules (my love for wellies is all my own though)

Wednesday, 14 October 2015

Outfit: Hues

How do bloggers deal with passers-by when taking photos in public? I mean, if I have someone taking photos, cool. But alone, with a tripod? After taking photos in the spot above, I noticed an old lady staring at me out of a window and fled in embarrassment. She must have thought I was doing something suspicious, camera clicking away at a quiet street out back...

Not that I was too upset about changing my place after I came across this utterly gorgeous tree! The perfect autumn backdrop, don't you think? Sadly, I was quite badly out of focus with pretty much all of the shots in this spot (hence the inclusion of the previous photo).

Scarf: ASOS (similar) | Leather biker jacket: TKMaxx (old) | Shirt: H&M (similar) | Necklace: Oliver Bonas (on sale!)
Ring: Forever 21 (old) | Nails: Barry M Berry Cosmo | Bag: Vinted | Corduroy skirt: Primark (old) | Boots: Primark 
Who else loves oversized scarfs? It's basically like wrapping yourself in a cosy blanket, but socially acceptable in public.

Wednesday, 30 September 2015

Let's Talk Books (or, a Book Haul)

As you may, or may not know, I did my degree in English, and currently work in a bookshop. It is also my dream to some day work in publishing. In other words, I love books. In fact, I am a full-blown bibliophile. Due to the very happy combination of being in full-time employment (i.e. being paid regularly) and getting a rather nice 50% off books at Waterstones (where I work), I've lately made "some" (read: embarrassingly many) additions into my bookshelves — so I thought I'd say a few words (or more) about my newest purchases! 

So, the first four are...

The Sleeper and The Spindle by Neil Gaiman (one of my all-time favourite authors), which is a retelling-of-sorts of Sleeping Beauty. It's absolutely gorgeous, and the story did not disappoint either.
Aesop's Illustrated Fables, which is actually something I bought for my boyfriend who really wanted it. I've never actually read Aesop's Fables — my boyfriend was shocked.
The Art of Eating Well by Jasmine and Melissa Hemsley. I admit I was lured in purely by the prettiness of the book and the fact that this was the last signed edition at the shop. It features so many lovely recipes, but I must admit that I'll probably pass on making the bone broths.
Love at First Stitch by Tilly Walnes. The craft fever is real, and the crafts section at work does nothing to help, bursting as it is with numerous inspiring tomes full of crafty creations. I want to get back to sewing, but have no patterns so I felt like this was a nice start. Plus, I can see myself making and wearing every single one of the garments in the book. Think very wearable, customisable and vintage inspired.

The Sleeper and the Spindle has been on my wishlist since it was released, and seriously, just look at how pretty it is! Chris Riddell is one of my favourite illustrators, and he definitely did not disappoint with this one either.

I swear I don't just read teen fiction and fairy tales — somehow most things I picked just happened to be in that section. Can you also spot the colour scheme? I always tell myself I won't judge a book by its cover, by I seem to be invariably most attracted to books with blue covers. Fancy that! But on to the books themselves.

Northern Lights by Philip Pullman, which I finally picked up! I have no idea why I hadn't read him before —I loved it and finished it so quickly!
I Capture the Castle by Dodie Smith is, I am told, a classic and I liked the blurb so I picked it up. It is also shelved in adult fiction, but I preferred the teen cover.
Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier, which I also got in the teen cover, as I preferred it to the adult one. It's been on my reading list since early this year, when my friend (who did her dissertation on it) told me that I would love it. I have now finally started it, and I do indeed very much enjoy it. I'm not far enough in to say whether I love it yet, but I have high hopes.
The Rest of Us Just Live Here by Patrick Ness was an impulse purchase based on the cover (and later, a recommendation from a colleague) and the fact that so many people seem obsessed with Patrick Ness that I just had to give him a try. After about 24 hours, including one night of sleep and a full day of work, I'm about 200 pages in. It's quick, it's good and I can definitely see why people like it. Easy to read and keep up with, which is something I enjoy for commuting reads.
The Art of Being Normal by Lisa Williamson is a review copy from work, which I picked up based on a colleague's recommendation. It's about a transgender teen, and that's all I know for now. Really looking forward to picking this up!
And finally, this gorgeous copy of Alice's Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll, illustrated by Tove Jansson (Moomins!). I love Alice in Wonderland, and I love love love Tove Jansson's illustrations. Certainly very different from the traditional illustrations that people associate with Lewis's work, but perhaps that's the charm for me. I absolutely had to get this.

Just look at it!

In addition to buying books, I've also got a few titles as reading copies through work, as we get a lot of proof copies sent to us and can request review copies of selected titles (I actually got another two today, but I'll share them next time - when I've hopefully also read them!).

These ones are proof copies, so their actual covers are a little prettier. Here's what I took home!

Lorali by Laura Dockrill, which teen fiction and tells a story of a mermaid washed ashore. I've saw a couple of book bloggers talking about this when it came out and was intrigued. I doubt it'll be mindblowing but certainly something to entertain me during the commute.
The Next Together by Lauren James has also got some attention and it is, like Lorali, teen fiction. The two main characters are lare destined to die and be reborn, falling love each time. The blurb on Goodreads sounds interesting, so I'm looking forward to picking this up! The last one,
Prisoner of Night and Fog by Anne Blankman, wasn't a title I'd heard of before, but again, sounded intriguing. The book is set in 1930s, and its main character, Gretchen, is close to Hitler during her childhood, and as she grows up and meets a Jewish reporter (and "unexpectedly" finds herself attracted to him), she starts to question what she's been taught all her life.

Congratulations if you made it this far! I know this was a rather lengthy post, but I imagine the list will be a little shorter next month. Or so I hope (or my bank balance will cry, even with 50% off).

 Do let me know if you've read any of the books I've picked up, are planning to or if you have any recommendations!

PS. While I know that Amazon is super tempting with its low prices, if you can, please support your local bookshops (be it chain or independent), charity shops and second hand bookshops whenever you can! Bookshops are a dying breed, and the longer I work in one, the more I appreciate the fact that we still have them on our high streets. Also, show some love for your local library!

Monday, 28 September 2015

Outfit: Hearts

We snapped these (very quick) outfit photos on the way to my boyfriend's grandma's birthday dinner a little while ago.

I wanted something comfortable after a long day at work, so I donned this old heart-printed Dahlia dress and paired it with my (even older) mint-coloured heels. I love the colour, shape and height of the shoes, but sadly they're just not that comfortable. I'm just unable to let them go because they're so cute.

Am I the only one who loves the combination of bright red and pastel mint green? I need more mint green in my wardrobe!

Thursday, 10 September 2015

Outfit: The Mickey Mouse Club

I've been going back and forth about whether to post these or not since all my standing photos were unpublishable (and therefore there's not any proper 'outfit photos' in this post). I just miss my straight fringe and old glasses so I'd post them after all. My shoes were of no interest and I can tell you that the perfect polkadot skirt is knee-length (being perfect).

Earrings: Dorothy Perkins | Top: Primark | Skirt: Vintage (via Kristabel at Bloggers' Market)

Tuesday, 8 September 2015

What Happened to August

It's been a month since my last post, and while I don't want to apologise, I figured I should write a word or two before my followers think I've abandoned this corner of the internet forever (spoiler: I haven't).

Since my past post, I've turned 24(!), been offered a new full-time position at Waterstones and visited Finland with my boyfriend to see family and friends, with a little cruise to Stockholm (from Helsinki) to finish off the trip. Halfway through our visit to Finland, however, I started suffering from muscle pain around my neck/right shoulder. This has since gone from bad to worse, and is currently absolutely excruciating to the point where I can't actually function without heavy painkillers. I wake up at night because my painkillers stop working and I'm dizzy most of the time. Most recently, today, I also started crying in the middle of Sainsbury's because the pain was too much to bear, despite the painkillers I'd taken less than an hour ago. I had to take my jacket off because it's weight was too much, and I had hard time lifting my arm up. Before you ask whether I've seen a doctor — I have. They told me to take Ibuprofen regularly and consider finding a chiropractor.

A nice sob story, I'm sure you'll agree. But how does this affect my blogging? The honest answer is that I just don't have the energy to take photos and organise the flat when I'm in so much pain. Writing content is mostly fine, but I know that blog posts without photos are a little dull (which is why this post also has a random blurry photo of my face from an outfit shoot I wasn't happy with). Especially considering the topics I tend to write about.

Finally, thank you all who have stuck around through the silence. I hope to be back blogging regularly soon. Until then, I'll be here with my painkillers, planning all the posts I'd like to be doing.

Friday, 7 August 2015


A couple of weekends back my boyfriend and I had the pleasure of attending a wedding between two of his friends. Despite the downpour the day before (and the day after), the special day dawned beautiful and sunny, to the great delight of everyone involved. I don't have photos to share (nor do I really want to), but I thought I'd post a quick snapshot of my outfit which we took just before running out of the door.

I wore this sweet citrus print dress from H! by Henry Holland at Debenhams (for those interested, it is currently 70% off at Debenhams, you lucky things!), having had my eye on it for months before the event. I paired it with lemon clutch from New Look (also on sale now, with 50% off!), a silver bracelet and a pair of nude heels (which I ran to buy on the morning of the wedding when I realised I had no shoes that went with them), also from New Look (not available on the website, but were £9 in store).

Tuesday, 4 August 2015


I visited Blenheim Palace with my boyfriend earlier this summer and had a lovely time walking the grounds. 
After this visit, I will always remember why noon is a terrible time for photos (all the squinting and overexposure).

Denim jacket: Vinted (Topshop) | Top: Primark | Skirt: TKMaxx
Bag: ASOS (old) | Shoes: H&M (old)

Looking at these photos reminds me that there are a lot of places in Oxfordshire (and surrounding areas) that I need to go out and explore. I think I need to start compiling a list — any suggestions?