Sunday, 4 December 2016

Christmas Gift Guide 2016

I'm one very excited twenty six year old because Christmas is almost here! To get into the Christmas spirit and to distract from my Lyme disease treatment I have created a Christmas gift guide featuring mostly independent shops and designers because I think it's so important to support smaller businesses at Christmas and a great way to find unique gifts. There are still a few high street gifts included. Links to all items can be found at the top of each description. I hope you find something that you like.

Flying Robin necklace by And Mary £30
Sitting Schnauzer necklace by And Mary £30
Baby Pickle The Penguin necklace by And Mary £27
Sleeping Squirrel necklace by And Mary £30

And Mary have featured on my blog before back in summer. They are another independent shop based in Scotland selling beautifully painted and well made porcelain jewellery, accessories and door knobs. The designs are very nature based focusing on all kinds of animals. It's so hard to show you just how beautiful they are through photos. All these necklaces have so much detail not just on the front but on the back too. The Robin for example has every feather painted in on the back of its wings to create a life-like effect. 
The same could be said about the Sleeping Squirrel which is hiding away in a little acorn. Turn over the necklace to wear a beautifully painted acorn - a two in one necklace. The penguin and schnauzer are so adorable and perfect for Christmas!

Fox Note Books by Papio Press £5 for two.
I found Papio Press on Instagram last year, they are an independent shop selling all sorts of things illustration with woodland, animal and floral prints. If you like Rifle Paper Co then you will love Papio press!

Woodland Hare brooch by Layla Amber  £10.00
Layla Amber is an independent designer who works with wood to create beautiful jewellery. I purchased this brooch a few years ago for my Mum who loves it. The detail is so beautiful. My Mum always receives so many compliments on it.

Crazy Cat Lady pin by Morgane Carlier £7.08 

Morgane is an independent illustrator from France. She created all sorts of pretty things, from custom blog designs, avatars and portraits to pins, mugs and totes. Morgane is one of my favourites on Instagram. She's such a lovely person as well as a super talented artist. This pin was a gift from a friend, but one I've had my eye on for some time. It comes in white or black. A purrfect (see what I did there?!) gift for a cat lady.

Fairy lights - by Paperchase
The woodland fairy lights brighten up dull, cold winter days and add a cosy feel to your home. My set were a birthday present from my best friend. They've been in constant use since October will be throughout Christmas and into the new year. Unfortunately I can't find them online this week but I have spotted some other amazing lights by Paperchase.
Pinecone lights £12
Cookie cutter lights £12
Ginger bread men £12

A Dash of Magic tea cup by George at Asda. £2.50 

Can you believe the price of this tea cup?! It's bigger than your usual tea cups making it perfect for a good strong cuppa. Fill it with chocolate coins and box it up for a perfect low cost gift.

Winter Wonderland patterned mug by JillyJilly £9.00*
Winter Bunny stud earrings by JillyJilly £8.00*
Winter Wonderland pocket mirror by JillyJilly £3.50*
Winter Wonderland pins by JillyJilly £1 each*

JillyJilly is another independent business run by Jilly and her husband in Scotland. Together they make beautiful prints, mugs, jewellery and stationery as well a very lovely personalised range.
Last year I featured a personalised JillyJilly Marshmallow World mug.
I really love the Winter Wonderland range and think they would make great gifts. Everything from JillyJilly is wrapped so beautifully which is also handy for those less fortunate with the wrapping paper!

Ginger Fox Ballerina Slippers By Next £12.50

These cute foxy slippers are super cosy with their soft furry lining. I've purchased myself a pair as well as for a family member.

Perfect Alignment Solar System necklace by Eclectic Eccentricity £55*
Starbuck Star Bracelet by Eclectic Eccentricity £17*

Starting from £5 and up there is something for everyone in the Eclectic Eccentricity range. From the cosmos to gem stones they have so many things to choose from. I adore this solar system necklace and star bracelet and think they are great additions to a party dress.

Vanilla Chai 
Shower Gel by The Body Shop £5
Vanilla Chai Body Butter £14

The smell of the Body Shop's Vanilla Chai range is amazing! It's a perfect Christmassy scent to get anyone in the festive spirit. Also not featured, the Spiced Apple range is a must for Christmas.

Green People starter kit by Green People £25

This is the gift for anyone who is into natural non-chemical, organic products. I bought this a few months ago as I'm trying to cut down on my chemicals use while I'm having treatment so at the moment they are my go to essentials. The scented ones smell amazing.
Box contains - fruit scrub 30ml (microbead free), Vita Min Fix 24 hour moisturiser 30ml, Intensive repair shampoo 30ml, Neutral scent free shower gel 30ml, Scent free Sun lotion SPF30 30ml.
These minis come in a blue gift box. The face scrub is my current favourite. Made with apricot kernel powder instead of micro beads so it's ocean friendly as well as cruelty free.

And that is it folks! That's my 2016 Christmas gift guide, I hope it has been helpful. I've really enjoyed creating it. All the gifts in this guide I've bought past and present, gifts I've been given recently for my birthday and PR samples which are marked with a *.

Happy shopping!

Emma Xx

Wednesday, 9 November 2016

A Little Autumn Treatment Update

Watch - Jord, Original illustration - Sara Rocha, Chocolates -Hotel Chocolat. Photo Emma Anderson 2015.

This year I've seen so much more of Autumn than I have for a long time. Every day since the start of October I have been traveling to the clinic where I have been having treatment for Lyme disease. At the start all the leaves were green but everyday I've watched them through the passenger window of our car change from green to yellow, orange and red.

So far my treatment is going ok, I'm managing really well and feel a sense of relief to finally be on the right track and to be getting the help I need. It will take a long time to get better and I've only seen one or two tiny improvements so far - although massive to me! So I'm feeling very positive about this and what's to come over the next few years.

While the last month has been intensive and demanding on my body, I've really enjoyed my Autumn. I never expected to meet so many lovely people or to cry with laughter while hooked up to an IV infusion, but I have. Most days I would rest for the first hour in a private room and then on days I felt stronger I started joining the other patients after my rest if the clinic wasn't too busy. We talked about all sorts of things; it was surreal because I felt so normal, so understood by these people who also suffer with Lyme and chronic illnesses. The luxury of not having to explain my illness or having to deal with the sense that I'm being doubted gave me a boost in confidence. Fortunately we all get it, we all understand and there was a mutual admiration for each others' bravery in dealing with this illness. It's sad that we have found ourselves in this predicament, that the NHS is so ill-equipped at treating us that we all felt we had no other option but to embarking on private treatment.  

I'm now on the next stage of treatment and I don't need to be at the clinic everyday. In fact I don't have to go for a few weeks now. It's bitter sweet to finish this intensive month, I'll miss the other patients so much, I didn't realise how much I miss social interaction. The whole experience has shown me just how isolated I have been. I'm happy though to get some much needed time to rest as well as hopefully getting out a little more to enjoy the last of Autumn.

Thank you to everyone who has donated to my Go Fund Me page, you have helped make this treatment possible. I feel so thankful for this kindness and I don't think I could ever fully express my gratitude. We've raised over £5000 so far which paid for most of the IV treatment, oxygen and medications I've needed over the last month. Without this help IV would not be an option, so thank you for helping me get the best start to my treatment. 

I hope so much go get back into blogging soon, I feel so rusty as I type this but I have a few ideas that I want to share on here. 

I hope you're enjoying this vibrant season as much as I have been. I won't be forgetting this one for along time. 

Emma Xx 

Sunday, 11 September 2016

And Hobbs Flower Crown Workshop

 Autumn is just around the corner but as usual I'm hanging on to what's left of summer. It's not been the summer I expected, cancelled holiday plans and hospital appointments almost weekly didn't leave me with much energy to enjoy it as much as I hoped but I did manage a few days out and for that I'm really grateful.

One of these days out was to the opening of And Hobbs; a little boutique shop in the small village of Shere, full of creative finds and items from independent makers.

To celebrate the opening of the shop the lovely owner Libby organised a flower crown workshop with local florists from the Kingfisher farm shop.

Despite not knowing if I would be physically well enough to go on the day, I signed up to the workshop as soon as I heard about it. Learning how to make a flower crown has been something I've wanted to do for years and on the day I was lucky to be well enough to make it to the event in the evening.

After looking around the shop I  headed outside behind the store to a courtyard space with long bench tables and a string of lights hanging overhead. There were buckets of all kinds of beautiful flowers ready and waiting to become crowns. The atmosphere was magical. It was the perfect place to spend the evening.

After the lovely florists told us how to get started we chose flowers and foliage and got to work. I found the workshop very easy to do and very therapeutic. I chose pale pink and white roses, blackberries and accent foliage. My mum who accompanied me chose bright pink Gladioli, phlox and lavender. I think both turned out well .

Sadly fresh flower crowns don't last long, a few days at the most. So after all the work and effort that went into creating my crown I couldn't just let it sit around and not take photos of it! The next day I was feeling a little worse for wear as expected. However I did attempt to take some outfit photos but I felt too ill and needed to stop and think again. There's that old saying - where there's a will there's a way. And after a rest I came up with the idea of creating a flat lay of photos to share on here which was much easier for me to do.
So here are our crowns, team up with my favourite summer wedges and stilettos both by Kurt Geiger.

I really enjoyed my time being creative at And Hobbs. For those in Surrey you might like to look out for future events happening over on the website hereThere's another flower crown workshop taking place on the 16th of September.

Emma Xx