I've been to the shops...

Last week I headed over to Canary Wharf one night after work, as MOH had promised to buy me dinner, and well he knows me well. He's been putting the hours in lately and if he's buying dinner then I'm there. After hitting the shops, we ate in Sticks'n'Sushi, which was brave for a fish-phobic like me. 

It was nice though, we took the guess work out of it and ordered a platter, the Table for Two. And enjoyed it all. Even MOH who normally says sushi doesn't fill him up, was full. I'd looked at their picture menu before our visit, and well, usually I'm not a fan of picture menus but this one worked. But that wasn't the point of this post, i thought I'd share what I bought that night, along with another recent purchase.

1. Being seen at night

I still haven't got around to cycling to work and now the evenings are getting darker, I've been using not having the right clothes as an excuse. MOH offered to lend me some of his neon cycling gear and that's when I knew it was time to buy my own. So I'm now the proud owner of a neon yellow and cerise trimmed lightweight top. It's quite bright, but as that's the point that's ok. 

A neon top and snazzy leggings

It's lightweight as I don't feel the cold (thanks overactive thyroid!) and cycling uphill is going to warm me up anyway isn't it! To complete my outfit I also bought some black, white and grey very snazzy leggings. They've got some reflective strips, so there'll really be no excuses. 

2. Four candles

And two candlesticks. My plan was to position the two candlesticks together so they looked like one complicated structure. They look great on the table and remind me of one of those games where you have to move a wand along without touching the metal parts, to avoid it buzzing. 

Four candles
interlocking candlesticks
four candles

These are part of the Loop Maison range by black+blum and available in John Lewis, we eventually settled on the shiny chrome finish over the matt version and some dark grey candles to use with them. I'm very pleased!  

It's only since then that I've realised they're by the same people as the iconic James the Doorman. And there's a whole Loop range, which could be dangerous...

Seriously though these are a great design, look fab and where just what we were looking for - although had you asked me beforehand I wouldn't have known what that was.

3. Sycamore cheeseboards

I bought these on my recent visit to Woodfest at Wisley from a local craftsman. And they are so, so smooth. They're very reasonably priced too, with the smaller boards at £5 each and the larger one a little more at £7.50. 

And they have a story, which I like.  

Three sycamore boards

These boards originate from a felled sycamore tree in Nonsuch Park, Surrey. Some of you may recognise that as a well known netball venue from years gone past, or my years gone past at least. It backs onto the Nonsuch School for Girls which is where I played my first Surrey County netball game, and was somewhere where I've played a lot of netball. Occasionally parking in the park and nipping into the school through the side gate, but rarely actually venturing further than the car park, sadly.  

Now, I wonder why, but of course at the time I was probably running to get on court. But now, I like to think I'd have more appreciation for the surroundings. I'd probably still be running late or cutting it fine as I prefer to call it, but maybe after the game. And so, it's nice to have these boards, especially with our shared background as I'm pretty sure I've fallen over many times in that part of Surrey too!

These sycamore boards are from a tree felled in Nonsuch Park
Three wooden boards, ideal for food

They are the creations of Dr Tim Lawson, who after the 1987 storm retired as a GP to became a wood turner. I saw Tim and his wife at Woodfest earlier this month and it was great to talk to him about what is clearly his passion. Tim sells his products through some National Trust shops and on his Stormwood 87 website. They are stunning, and beautifully crafted and I knew I wouldn't be leaving Wisley without something from his stall.

These boards are suitable for culinary use, and despite the fruit on them in these pictures, I bought them for use with cheese. One is purposefully larger so it can accommodate those larger pieces of cheese without it melting over the edge. But like cake, cheese in this house doesn't last as long as fruit, which I think is normal, right?

And half-eaten pieces of cheese wouldn't make for such a pretty picture!


So quite different purchases, but each of them make me happy and fill a different need. What have you found in your shopping basket recently?

Christmas decor with TK Maxx and Homesense

Yes, I know. It's only October and I just said the C-word. Christmas. There I said it again. It is early to mention it, but I'm going to anyway. You see I've been sitting on these lovelies - not literally, obviously - since July. Yes July, that's when the lovely people at TK Maxx and Homesense invited me to their Christmas in July event up in town. It was in the very cool Ice Tank Gallery near to Shaftesbury Avenue, a great blank space, but as I later discovered not necessarily quite so good for photos. 

But I did want to share with you some of the glitzy gems I discovered, and am now seriously considering. I loved the bugle covered bauble, with its geometric designs. The other thing I think you'll be seeing more of are the sparkly word decorations, whether that's Joy, Hope or Peace.

A beaded christmas bauble
A joy Christmas bauble

There were also more warming and traditional reds. Everyone needs a stocking don't they, and candles. The scented candle, full of spices and richness is just made for Christmas isn't it?

A Christmas stocking
Scented candles

There were wreaths with feathers and fruits, and a mantelpiece full of candles, stars and a snow dome. Hands up, and top marks, if you've already got a snow dome.

A christmas wreath
Every mantelpiece needs a snow bomb

The tableware had a metallic theme too. And I loved the plate that told me to "Save room for dessert." It's good advice and something I always aim for. At least once. Sometimes twice. Yes it has been known. But occasionally that's ok.

modern metallics table setting
Save room for dessert is always good advice

I think you'll see lots of feathers this year in Christmas decorations if the TK Maxx and Homesense ranges are typical of other stores. And that's really no bad thing. Especially if they've got a touch of the metallics at the same time.

A close up of the feather wreath
silver and glass

The thing that'll be going on my Christmas decor wish list, is the jingle bells. I don't know how I've managed without them for so long. That's a cue for MOH to roll his eyes, and no doubt he will. But it's ok, I'll tell him you all said it was ok. That's a deal, right?

Jingle bells and baubles

So to me, I think this year our Christmas trees, tables and more will have the metallic look. And I think that's ok, as we all need some sparkle in our life.

Have you started to think about Christmas yet, or are you very much a Christmas is in December kind of person? Leave me a comment and let me know.

* With thanks to TK Maxx and Homesense for inviting me along to see their Christmas ranges.

Post Comment Love 21-23 October 2016

Welcome back to another Post Comment Love and I'm convinced that Friday's come around the quickest of any weekday. It's not so bad though as Fridays bring a chance to catch up with all of you lovely lot, and that can never be a bad thing. If you're new here then #PoCoLo is a friendly linky where you can link up any post you've published in the previous week that needs some extra love.

This week for me has been a busy one and started with celebrating my in-law's golden wedding anniversary with a scrumptious afternoon tea. And it was there that my photo this week was taken. The acorn looked quite forlorn on the steps, but I couldn't help but notice that it matched the straps on my favourite shoes of the moment. And then I noticed the patina and texture of the steps and I knew my phone camera would be out.

It struck me that in one moment I'd switched from being an advocate of looking up to being one for looking down too!  So maybe now I'm just an advocate for looking all around us and enjoying what we see by really looking. Who knows, but it's not a bad place to start.

an acorn and my favourite shoes

Something new, coming soon...

We don't have a #BloggerShowcase this week but Morgan and I do have something up our sleeves which we'll reveal soon. There's something familiar and there's something new too, and we're hoping you'll get involved because it should be fun. I know that's a bit cloak and dagger but pop back next week to find out more.