As 2018 draws to a close, I thought it was a good time to try and count my blessings and review a bit of the good stuff. I’m also resurrecting my neglected Happy Lists, which I haven’t written for over a year. I’ll try to do better in 2019 but for now, here are some of the things I’ve been liking and loving lately.

Outfit details: Coat & shirt: Boden (old) / Cords: Toast (current season) / Boots: c/o Jones Bootmaker / Bag: Primark (old)

Well it’s a cliche I know but I’m going to say it anyway. I’m enjoying winter. Actually, the cold crisp days are better than the soggy ones but I’ll take any opportunity for wearing my favourite coats and boots. 

I’ve just finished the autumn term of my MA in creative writing at York St John university. Next year I will be writing my dissertation, the final component, and then it’s graduation time. Gosh, how can two years go so quickly? As a little update on that score, I’m now working on a second manuscript (I wrote a novel last year but I think that was just a practise run). This one however feels a little different and I’m quietly hopeful it *might* see the light of day eventually. Who knows, but it’s been a great learning curve and to be able to say that I’ve written not one but two novels is a real achievement for me.

Starting a new part time job. I recently became a part of the team at my local branch of Toast in Harrogate and I’m loving it. It’s a real privilege to be working for such a fab brand and with such a great bunch of people. And, after years of freelance, I finally get a work’s Xmas do – hoorah!

Rediscovering my love of charity shopping, especially for home and interiors finds. Recently I thrifted a handmade ceramic candle stick holder and a large woven straw tray that’s made a great centrepiece for the kitchen table.


At the cinema – On Chesil Beach, The Little Stranger, Bohemian Rhapsody, Fantastic Beasts – the Crimes of Grindelwald

On TV – Mrs Wilson, Strictly (have lately rekindled my love of this show), Lego Masters (my daughter loves it and wants to go on the next series!).


I should really devote a whole post to this but here’s what I’ve been reading over autumn / winter (not including MA texts) – 

An Unremarkable Body by Elisa Lodato, How to be Human by Paula Cocozza, The Little Stranger by Sarah Waters, Bitter Orange by Claire Fuller and Black Rabbit Hall by Eve Chase.


These beautiful leather ankle boots, which were a gift from Jones Bootmaker. I’ve been on the hunt for something like this for a while, with the look of a brogue that work well with cropped trousers and dresses. These have a handy side-zip so they’re quick to pull on and off and felt incredibly comfy from the start so I didn’t have to break them in.


New podcast finds include How to Fail with Elizabeth Day, Simon Mayo’s Books of the Year and Toast’s newly-launched series which profiles different creatives from artists and writers to musicians and gardeners. Search them up on the Apple podcast app or however you listen/subscribe.

Taking all the baths, now that winter is really here again and finding lovely new things to pamper myself with. My latest discovery is Kate Humble’s new range, in particular her Rose & Frankincense Bath Honey. You can pick it up at Waitrose when you’re doing the food shop. 

Becoming a dog owner. A couple of months ago, we finally took the leap and got a Westie pup (another lifelong dream of mine). Wilfred (Wilf for short) has turned our world upside down but it’s all worth it. I’m not sure our two cats, Maggie & Talulah, are quite so keen but the kids are besotted and so am I – he’s basically my fourth child and I’m not ashamed to admit it!

Remembering how delicious mince pies are. I’m off to meet the bestie for our traditional festive treat at Betty’s tomorrow and I can’t wait for one of their mulled wines and mince pies – they’re so good.

On that note, I’ll leave it there and take this opportunity to wish you all compliments of the season and a very happy new year.


Bye for now,




Natasha //

So pleased to see a Happy List – I’ve missed them! You look so stylish and happy and I loved reading about your MA, Toast staff party and other adventures. I hope you have a fabulous Christmas. See you in 2019! xx

Jenna //

So glad to see the happy list back. I am absolutely loving the winter weather. Even some of the rainy days if I get to stay inside. I cannot tell you how happy I am to hear you’ve been thrifting again. I hope you post some Instagram pics of these wonders or maybe treat us to a blog post on them? Your boots are absolutely gorgeous. I am still on the hunt for some winter boots. I need something hard wearing but stylish. With a bit of waterproofness. So difficult to find something that ticks all the boxes.

You are doing so well with your MA and I cannot believe you actually wrote a novel. Maybe one for book club???? You should be so proud.

Wilf is the cutest little fluff ball and if you ever need a dog sitter you know where I am xxxxx

Here’s to hoping 2019 contains many coffee chats together xxxxx

Kathryn //

Aw Jenna, thanks for such a lovely comment! It feels like this year is ending on a good note with lots of good stuff to be happy about. I will keep the Happy Lists up I promise and yes will definitely try to snap some thrifty finds. Have a wonderful Xmas darling xxx


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