Friday, 24 February 2017

My Search For The Perfect Country Home

There have been a lot of changes in my life over the past eight or so months and saying goodbye to my old life has been a real challenge.  But through it all my dream still remains the same.  I'm craving the country lifestyle.  I miss the countryside views, the little hedge lined, windy lanes, regular sightings of tractors and wild foul.  I miss it, but if anything it makes me feel all the more determined to find the perfect country retreat.

I actually viewed a property last week.  It was perfect and I fell in love.  Walking around the empty rooms I felt at home, and I could totally see myself living there, envisioning all my belongings around me.  But and there is always a but, there was something that just didn't feel quite right and because of that I turned it down, whether it was the right decision, I really don't know.

Looking for a place to live, a home, is a really big and important job and it has to be right.  Having recently moved I don't intend on it being a habit or to become part of a routine.  I want to move and be able to stay there for a long time and with that in mind where I move to has to be completely and utterly perfect for me. 

I know the perfect home is out there.  The chances are, it won't necessarily be my next home, but I will find it.  It is out there somewhere waiting for me.  I'm searching for you forever home, honestly I am and when I find you we will live happily ever after.

~ Gem x   

Friday, 10 February 2017

A Few of My Favourite Things #2

I've written a couple of these posts before, the first one a general list of favourites and the second inspired by Center Parcs, but you can never have too many favourite things so I figured I'd write another one and share some more of my loves with you all.

* Lazy weekend mornings spent in my pj's while I decide what to do with the rest of my day.

* The smell of a coal fire whilst out for a country walk or drive.

* Looking through old photos and reminiscing about times gone by.

* Waking up to a frosty morning and getting to enjoy it's beauty from the warmth and comfort of the sofa wrapped in a blanket with a hot cup of tea.

* Cinema dates at the new local Everyman Cinema.

* Receiving hand written letters from friends in the post.

* Ben and Jerry's ice cream (I still can't decide on a favourite flavour).

* The sense and feeling of a new beginning.

* The scent and taste of rose, I just love it.

* Bakewell flapjacks ~ a new discovery but oh my gosh they are amazing.

* Making plans.

* Pretty notebooks (you can never have too many).

* Visiting gardens and soaking in all the beautiful flowers within it, they are always my favourite part when visiting National Trust properties and similar places.

* The feeling of freedom you get when out for a walk by the coast or through the countryside.

It makes me realise that there are so many things that make me feel grateful for all that I have and sometimes it is the little things that make all the difference.

~ Gem x

Wednesday, 8 February 2017

Shopping for Homewares With Homesense

Given a choice of what I prefer to shop for, homewares wins hands down every time.  I love seeking out new little trinkets and soft furnishings for the home and in my opinion they are the things that really help to make a house a home. 

Having not long moved out of my little piece of countryside paradise and into a flat with someone else, I have had the challenge of fitting my belongings in amongst theirs and working at adding my own touch to the place without taking over.  Allowing our styles to complement one another and creating a home for the two of us. Thankfully for me they are happy for me to take the reins on the styling element of things, but it hasn't been easy.

I've been able to use a lot of what I already had but there have been a few new purchases along the way.  This is where places such as Homesense really come in handy.  It is one of my favourite home stores, purely because you literally never know what you are going to find and you immediately find items that you never realised you actually cannot live without. 

With a wide selection from kitchen utensils and crockery to bedding and cushions, the store is stocked to the rafters with everything you could possibly need in your home.  I especially love their range of faux flowers, they are all so beautiful.

I was lucky to be able to visit the store the day before opening to have a mooch about and have to say I have visited on a fair few occasions since then, purchasing all sorts from notebooks (oh my gosh their range of notebooks are incredible) to ornaments. It is definitely up there as a firm favourite of the homeware stores.   

The thing I love the most is the fact that the stock changes regularly so you can guarantee that each time you visit you are sure to find new treasures and be able to pick up a bargain, as all the products are reduced from their RRP.  If you have a store local to yourself, I'd really recommend a visit.  Let me know what you think, I'm sure I'm not their only fan.

~ Gem

** This post was written in partnership with Homesense as part of a bloggers event they were hosting.  All words, images and opinions are my own **

Monday, 6 February 2017

Southend Pier

I don't know about you but I find it really difficult to think of places to visit and things to do at this time of year.  A lot of places close for the winter which seems such a shame because on days like we have had this past Sunday it is good to get out, and although the temperatures are still bitterly cold the weather is good.  I can't help but feel that options for outings are limited (unless I'm missing something in which case please tell me if I am).

Like I said the weather was good yesterday and it didn't seem right to be spending it cooped up in the flat.  After wracking our brains for something to do for what seemed like hours we decided to drive to Southend to take a wander along the seafront.

It seemed fairly busy although in comparison to summer months in Southend it was quiet.  Instead of the original plan to walk along the seafront we headed instead for the pier (the longest in the world apparently). I don't ever remember going to the end of the pier before, I may have done as a child but I honestly can't recall it.  Either way, I was doing it today.

It was talked about whether we would get the train or walk the journey.  It was cold and we figured it would feel even colder walking out into the sea so the train it was.  It didn't take long and the view back to Southend was pretty good from the end of the pier.

For the return journey we decided to walk.  It didn't feel as cold as we thought it would and the walk would do us good, especially being in the fresh sea air.  So armed with hot drinks from the little cafĂ©, we started the walk back to the seafront.

I'm so pleased we walked it.  It's 1.34 miles long but it really didn't feel like much at all.  We even had the bonus of watching a seal swimming along beside us for a short part of the way too which really was incredible.  It brought a smile to my face for sure.

So after not being able to decide what to do the day turned out quite well, but if anyone can suggest any other places of interest to visit during the winter months I'd be grateful as I'm drawing blanks over here.

~ Gem x   

Wednesday, 1 February 2017

February 2017 Bucket List

Although Christmas and New Year feel like ages ago, January seems to have whizzed by and we are already in February. 

I didn't quite get round to ticking everything off January's list, but I managed most of them so all is not lost.  I'm still determined to make this year an amazing one so am making sure I make the most of my spare time.  This month as well as hoping to complete what I didn't manage last month, I'm also wanting to:

* Celebrate Pancake Day - because who doesn't love pancakes?

* Send a Valentine to five friends - it's time to share the love.

* Go out in search of Snowdrops.

* Build a movie fort - I'm talking about proper Pinterest stuff right here.

* Create my own Hot Chocolate or milkshake bar - perhaps even an alcoholic version just because.

* Plan a break away somewhere.

They should give me something to focus on for the month.  How about you, do you have any plans for February?

~ Gem x