Grown up Halloween Home Decor

Grown up Halloween decor flower arranging pumpkin

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This year I wanted to upgrade our Halloween decor a little bit to something a bit more grown up but still fun. As you may have noticed from previous posts (including the last one) I LOVE decorating our house for each season.  It gives me the chance to get a bit creative with crafts, flowers and just lifts our house/our moods a bit too. Decorating isn’t just for Christmas (although it remains my favourite time of year to decorate for!)  So below I have shared with you what I have been up to in the Shire on the lead up to Halloween! Read on if you dare…. Continue reading

Decorating your home for Autumn

Autumn Fall home decor

I love Autumn, even though the days are getting shorter and evenings darker, I love to feel the seasons click, watch the leaves turn and start to see my breath on crisp days. I am also much more of an Autumnal clothing gal, I like warm and snuggly clothes and huge jumpers. However, one of the things I love the most is introducing autumnal decor to our cottage. I like to change things up in the house for each season but Summer is always a bit of a creative/decorative slump plus with warm evenings it has been time to be in the garden this year! In this post I am going to share some of the things I’ve been putting together for the cottage.  Continue reading

A few of my favourite things

Brand collage

As you may know if you have read my blog for a while, I work in comms/PR. Therefore, you may have guessed, I love brands. Not in a “I only wear labels” way, ick. Rather in an, obsess over packaging, font, presentation, design way. Having recently returned from a visit to the US and indulged in a spree in the shops of one of my latest brand obsessions so I wanted to share the design aspects of “stuff” that makes my little heart sing :).  Continue reading

One great holiday and reflections on 30!

bday collage

We have just got back from a trip to Florida for my 30th (eeek, actually not so scary) birthday. We had a fab time and I thought I would share some snapshots of that holiday and a reflection on 30!

These are just a few pics from our trip. One day we had a breakfast in the Crystal Palace in the Magic Kingdom with Winnie the Pooh and friends, as it was my birthday trip they brought me a card and a birthday cupcake! How cute – bit emosh! Stuart, my husband, had also ordered me a wonderful cake for my actual birthday, right on theme too. What a guy. On my actual birthday we had an excellent meal at one of our favourite restaurants in the world, not just Disney World, and our waiter sang me happy birthday and brought this cute dessert. So kind. The main pic is me and Stu in Hollywood Studios – being photobombed by my dad! It was such a great trip and a really good way to spend the last days of my 20’s and the first days of my 30’s.  If you want to read more about our WDW holiday then you can check out my trip report on the Disney Tourist Blog forum here. In the end turning 30 wasn’t such a big deal and it has made me reflect recently on all the stuff I will be happy to leave in that last decade… Continue reading

My tips for planning your Walt Disney World holiday

 

Walt Disney WorldDisney vacation planning tips. How to plan your Disney vacation from scratch whether you're a first timer or repeat visitor| NotesFromTheShire.com #Disney #WaltDisneyWorld #Disneyholidayplanning #Disneymoon #Disneyhoneymoon #disneyvacationplanning

If you have never been to Walt Disney World  (WDW) before but are planning your first trip or if you’ve been a few times but can never get those dinner reservations or come away and then hear people talking about “must dos” that you had never heard of then this is the blog post for you.

I love Walt Disney World and I love planning things so a Disney holiday is pretty much the perfect holiday for me. WDW has changed a lot in the last ten years and changed massively in the last 20 years so if you are thinking of going back after a hiatus you should know that there is now a lot more planning involved!  As an example there are certain restaurants that you just won’t get into if you’re not on it 6 months out to book your table – nope not kidding. And if you have never been before then you may not have thought about dining experiences as something you’d get on a “theme park” holiday.

Here are (some of) my (many) tips…  Continue reading

How to cook quinoa perfectly every time

How to cook perfect quinoa every time, ten tips for cooking quinoa | NotesFromTheShire.com #quinoa #howtocookquinoa #eatclean #healthyeating #cooking #mealprep

If you are into eating healthily, eating clean or have done any research into the two then you can’t have failed to read about quinoa. The super grain is full of protein, is very filling and has a higher nutritional value than brown rice. Where’s the but? But it is a bit of a pain to cook! When I first started eating quinoa (which I then discovered wasn’t called kin-o-ah but keen-wah) I almost gave up first time as it turned into one big mushy mess and nowhere near the fluffy grains I had seen others prepare! But I did some research, I experimented and by trial and a lot of error this is my foolproof method to cooking perfect quinoa.  Continue reading

Meal Prep 101

Food prep

If you follow me on instagram you will know that I am all about packing my own lunches and prepping my meals and snacks for the week on a Sunday so they are all done and dusted and I can just lift them out of the fridge at 6am before hitting the gym. I had always done this but since starting Kayla Itsines’ BBG programme I have been properly dedicated to the cause. I will post more about BBG soon but I’m now on week 14 of Kayla’s guides and love them. If you put in the work you can definitely see results, plus the BBG community is great, very supportive!

First of all, why is meal prep important? Well, ever heard the expression “abs are made in the kitchen”? It is true. You can work out and do all the crunches you want but if you aren’t getting your nutrition right – I definitely wasn’t before – then you’re just going to get frustrated – I did! I’m also willing to bet that very few of you have a full service kitchen at work so taking your food with you is pretty important. Not to mention that it will save you a fortune and buying processed/”ready meal” food is going to be full of hidden, abs destroying ingredients. It’s not just lunch either, offices are hot beds of unhealthy snacks so you’re going to need your own snacks to both look forward to throughout the day and help you avoid the biscuits, chocolate and sweets!  So these are my top tips for meal prepping that I have learned whilst doing BBG.  Continue reading

How to upcycle your finished Yankee Candles

How to upcycle your Yankee Candles

 

So I told you I would be back with a little craft post and here it is. I don’t know about you but we love candles in our house and I joke that our candle choice falls in to two seasons Yankee Candle (Autumn and Winter) and Jo Malone (Spring and Summer)!  This post is a tutorial on how to upcycle your Yankee Candles once the wick has burned right down but there is still a good inch and a bit of wax left.

We love the Yankee Candle jars and they last forever – these are two we actually bought in the YC outlet in Florida on our honeymoon in Sept 2014 so they have done very well.  Not only do the candles smell great but the jars are super useful too – so how to get them clean and get the remaining wax out/what to do with it?  This is a pretty much free solution too, the only thing you need are glass votives (we already had loads in the house) and some new wicks – you van get these on Amazon for a couple of pounds.  Continue reading

Updates from the Shire

NotesUpdate

I’d taken a short sabbatical from the blog but I’m back! I’ve been over on Instagram though so you can follow me there. Anyway I have quite a few updates including, a Fabletics review, an update on my bikini body mission, what I’m reading, some craft ideas that I’ve put together/done in the cottage and some recipes – just finding the time to get it all in the blog!

This is a super micro-blog but above are a few things I have been up to recently, Christmas with our families, working out, stacking logs and skiing!