In amongst all of the outfit posts, reviews and giveaways up on the blog at the moment (I apologise if those bits aren’t your favourite to read, I know it’s all been a bit full on in the run up to Christmas but I wanted to share things before I go away for family time), I’ve also been doing lots of other bits here and there and so I wanted to do a little catchup post to share some of my adventures and photographs. The title of this post is inspired by the fact that I was excited to discover that lots of Led Zeppelin albums have been added to Spotify so I’m listening to all of my favourite songs and falling in love with them again (of which Ramble On is one of them).
One little snippet of news is that we’ve now booked our wedding venue, which is really exciting and it’s definitely starting to feel much more real now we’ve got a date in the diary. We visited the venue again with my parents the weekend before last and they fell in love with it too which makes me feel even more certain that we’ve picked the right place. We’re just waiting for our photographer to return from holiday and then we’re going to book her, then all we have to do is book the caterers and we can start to relax a bit and give the other bits some thought in slower time. I still can’t help but get ahead of myself about what I consider to be the really exciting elements however – we spent a good amount of time with Emma and her husband Nick last Thursday eating pizza and talking about all of the places we have to visit when we’re on honeymoon (we’re thinking about taking an American road trip, something they have lots of experience of doing!) We’ve already decided that we’ll be hitting them up for extensive advice on where to get the best American barbecue food and where to stay in San Francisco, which is right at the top of our ‘to visit’ list. I’ve also asked two friends to be bridesmaids, and luckily for me they both said yes!
I didn’t take any snaps of the inside of the wedding venue when we visited as they had people setting up for a wedding the following day, but this is just outside the venue, it’s in such a lovely setting and the views from the top floor of the venue are stunning.
Just before we visited the venue we had a really lovely lunch with my parents in The Housemartin, a Hall and Woodhouse pub near us in New Milton. I love all the Hall and Woodhouse pubs as they often have the same menus so I know I can always order my favourite things! When there were all the floods and storms on the east coast Tom was sent away from home for a couple of days to advise on rescue – I arranged to see my parents so I wasn’t on my tod on the Saturday but luckily he was home in time and joined us. The most exciting part of the meal was Tom’s fiery brulee!
My hot dog was pretty darned special though.
As was my salted caramel sundae, which had pretzels in it! Definitely going back there ASAP for another one of those!
The weekend before we enjoyed some more family time, this time with Tom’s Mum and Dad and their dog Jake. We went for a lovely walk in the forest in Lyndhurst and then for another delicious pub lunch afterwards. The forest is so beautiful at this time of year and the dogs thoroughly enjoyed a good run around (Bodhi managed to run into a bog that was a lot deeper than he originally thought and spent the last half of the walk being a brown dog rather than a white one!)
The last couple of weeks have been pretty non-stop. We’re in a few different places over Christmas so I’m trying to get everything finished so I can go away with an empty to-do list (isn’t that the stuff dreams are made of?) I’ve turned our dining table into a ‘wrapping area’ and have been non-stop present wrapping at the weekends, I absolutely love adorning pretty paper with decorations, string and ribbon. This was an early Christmas present for my Mum – I bought her a Christmas teatowel and cushion cover and it seemed silly to wait until Christmas so I gave them to her early so she could have them out over the festive period.
A few weeks ago my friend Kate and I decided we wanted to organise doing something for a local charity in the run up to Christmas. We settled on a very worthy and deserving cause in our local women’s refuge, run by the Bournemouth Churches Housing Association, and contacted them to find out how we could help. Our idea was that we wanted to make up Christmas presents for the women who face spending their Christmas in a refuge. Luckily the charity were really on board with our idea and we’ve arranged to take the presents in this week. We asked people at work for donations and they gave very generously, which was absolutely lovely. The charity told us that they get gifts given to them to give to the children who might be spending Christmas at a refuge, but people often forget the women themselves. We collected treats like beauty and skincare products, chocolates and other gifts.
We wrapped them in cellophane and put ribbon around them. I really hope they like our little gifts, I know that nothing can change how utterly devastating it must be to be in a refuge at Christmas time but if just one of our presents brings a smile to someone’s face it will be worth it.
What has the run up to your Christmas been like? Are you feeling festive yet?