I know we’ve only got a couple of days until Santa comes, but if you’ve got some time on your hands and you want to make the big day that little bit extra special I’ve pulled together a few of my favourite DIYs from some of my favourite blogs to give you a bit of inspiration.



Want to make your space even more festive? Well, here are just a few ideas of things you can make yourself at the last minute.

  1. Wit & Delight has not one, not two, but ten really lovely (and easy) DIY decoration ideas you can use to spruce up any room
  2. These mini paper trees aren’t just good for decorating cupcakes, you could put them on just about anything you serve in the next few days
  3. The Merrythought has the perfect table garland for your festivities



If you’ve still got some wrapping left to do here are a couple of DIYs you might like.

  1. The lovely Hollie Arnett’s printable gift tags are as wonderful as all of her work if you’re looking for some labels
  2. Furry little peach, Sha’an d’Anthes has the best DIY gift wrap ideas in video form including using homemade rubber stamps and some abstract painting, both of which are super fun and come out with great results



Does food count as a DIY? Never mind, if you’re cooking Christmas dinner this year or you’re looking for a little something to take with you to some one else’s here are a couple of my favourite things:

  1. My mulled wine recipe is great for any and every festive occasion
  2. Oh lady cakes’ gingerbread folk are the perfect sweet treats and super easy to make, plus they’re vegan
  3. Sweet, salty and simple, Katie Wahlman’s curry and brown sugar holiday snack mix is a great option for helping cure the pre/post-Christmas dinner munchies

I end up watching a lot of YouTube monthly favourites videos, the consistency of them is kind of soothing, and sometimes I genuinely do stumble across something I want to try. While, I’m not going to be doing monthly favourites – I don’t think I could ever buy enough to do that – I do want to share my favourites from the year almost gone with you.

This blog & my new portfolio

I know it’s a bit cheesy but this blog and my updated portfolio and store have been a real labour of love over the year, and it would be a real shame if they weren’t my favourites after all of the hours I’ve poured into them. They’ve offered me so many opportunities. But even if they hadn’t I’m so proud of the work that they hold, and the progress they evidence in my making.


I’ve mentioned them before, but I’m mentioning them again now because this is a list of my favourite things this year and I’m not sure anything I’ve bought has brought me as much joy as my noise cancelling headphones. They have honestly changed my life a little bit. As someone who gets easily overwhelmed they’re the perfect way to help me focus, and also to block out the sound of the children next door murdering their piano.

Elizabeth Suzann Trench

I think I might have technically bought this jacket last year, but it only arrived in January so I think it still classes as a new favourite. From about March to October I wore this jacket every single day. It’s the perfect between weathers style and it really adds something special to whatever you wear it with. Plus, it has the most epic pockets you’ve ever seen – it’s like having 2 Mary Poppins bags in your coat.

 Illustrated Room Tour


If you read any of my home design mini-series you’ll know that the journey to me finding this armchair was a long and tricky one, but I’m so glad I waited until I found something that was right. It has been such an improvement not to have to sit on the floor to watch TV. Plus, I can imagine taking it with me wherever my home may be.

Book Club #3: Solar Bones by Mike McCormack alternative cover design

Solar Bones

Mike McCormak’s Solar Bones remains my favourite book of the year. It was featured quite early on in my book club – so if you want to find out what it’s about head over to my full review. But despite finishing it in February I still think about it from time to time, which for me is the sign that it’s going to be a personal classic. It’s one I can see myself going back to again next year for a re-read.


This year I realized that dairy doesn’t love me quite as much as I love it. So Oatly (and Rude Health’s Almond Drink) has been an absolute savior. I think I actually prefer it to cow’s milk on my cereal and in my tea now. I do still miss cheese though – if anyone has any good non-dairy/vegan halloumi alternatives please let me know!


I’m a big jewellery person, but I’m very picky. I don’t own a lot of pieces but the ones I do have to be just right, because I’ll probably never take them off. As well as adding to my Datter ring collection, this year I bought a lovely vintage opal pendant. After seeing La La Land (yes, this is another favourite for the year and yes, I can be that easily swayed) I really wanted a pendant, but it took me about 5 months to find one that really suited me. It’s a teardrop shaped opal (my grandma used to wear an opal ring I absolutely loved, because it seemed so plain until the colours caught the light) in a roped gold surround, and it makes me feel so fancy.

 hamish and andy podcast poster

Hamish & Andy

If you’ve read any of my podcast write ups, you’d know that I love Hamish & Andy. I’ve spent almost a decade listening to their podcast, and this year marked the end of their radio show (and so the podcast for all intents and purposes). They’ve been constant companions. I genuinely feel like I know them now, and the number of instant friends I’ve made when I’ve mentioned them and got a “oh wow I love them too, I had no idea anyone else in the UK listened” really shows the power of that bond. It was an incredible laughter filled final year. This one’s a bittersweet favourite.

Mechanical Pencil

This year I bought my first mechanical pencil and I fell in love. I’m now a complete Rotring convert. I love the consistency of the line. I love never having to bring a sharpener with me. I just generally love this pencil, I love it so much in fact that I now own 3.


Make up

In general, this year I feel like I’ve really enjoyed the make-up I’ve been wearing, whether that has been finding a base that really suits me or finally working out what to do with my eyebrows. But the hero product of the year, and it came in quite late, is the Glossier Generation lipstick in Zip which I have been wearing for any and every festivity I can. I would normally shy away from a bold red colour but this one is so easy to apply and because it’s a little bit sheer never feels too dressed up.

I love Christmas movies. I know it’s a shocker! Who would have thought that I, a chronic questionable TV binger and not so well closeted romantic, would love Christmas films? But I do.

So, I wanted to share three of my favourites with you. This is by no means an exhaustive list, I just don’t have the elf-like superpowers needed to write about all of them. Taking inspiration from my podcasts posts I’ve also done some illustrated character portrait covers for all of them, because why not?!


I almost didn’t put Elf on this list, but when I thought of the Christmas movies I’ve seen the most and that I want to see again this year I realised I couldn’t skip it. This is the one Christmas film I can get my dad to watch and it always has my whole family in stitches. Buddy embodies the amount of Christmas excitement I try to hold in, just with a little less sugar. Plus it’s given birth to so many great memes.


White Christmas

This is my mum’s favourite Christmas movie, so I’ve seen it so many times that it’s become one of mine too. There’s a reason Bing Crosby’s voice is the sound of Christmas and this is the piece of festive nostalgia. They really don’t make Christmas films like this anymore.


Miracle on 34

The 90s Miracle on 34th Street was the first Christmas movie I fell in love with as a child and so it still occupies a special place in my heart. It’s sweet and lovely and always leaves me with a big grin on my face. For me, it really captures a lot of the spirit of Christmas plus Richard Attenborough is Santa in my mind. Susan Walker has the kind of Christmas any precocious little girl dreams of, including me, and sometimes at Christmas, you just need to remember those childhood dreams.


Mulled wine is one of my favourite festive treats. I’m not generally a big drinker but there is something a little bit magical about a warm mug, glass, or tankard of steaming mulled wine. Not only is it delicious, it’s also the ideal way to warm your cockles in after being out in the cold. Plus, there’s the added benefit of it filling your home with the scent of all of those classic Christmas spices if you make it yourself. 

So, for today’s post I thought I’d share the recipe I’ve been using (quite a lot) and loving this Christmas.

  • 2 oranges, sliced into rounds or half moons
  • 1 vanilla pod, split lengthways
  • 4 cloves and 4 allspice berries (or 6 cloves)
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 2 star anise
  • 150g caster sugar
  • Bottle of red wine
  • 100ml brandy (optional)

Mix it all in a large pan and then heat over a low heat for at least 20 minutes.

If you’re looking for something equally festive to go with your mulled wine, last year I shared my lebkuchen (German spiced cake/biscuits) which are my favourite accompaniment to pretty much everything at this time of year.


Throughout the year I’ve been sharing an outfit illustration every Saturday over on my Instagram in an attempt to feel like I could have been a style blogger (or even have style) in an alternative life. They’ve been some of my favourite illustrations to do, and by the looks of my engagement they’ve been some of your favourites too. Plus, I’m a definite cold weather baby, and I love getting to wear all of the knitwear and as many layers as possible. Right now is about as confident as I’m going to feel in my fashion. So, I wanted to do a whole post dedicated to them and some of my favourite winter outfits.


My uniform when the weather turns is jeans and jumpers, more specifically at the minute straight leg jeans, high neck (vintage cashmere) jumpers, and a pair of sensible boots. It’s warm and practical and that’s pretty much all I’m looking for in an outfit. In fact, it’s a look I love so much that I’ve engineered another trip to Edinburgh purely so I can pick up a few more knits.

I’ve had this camel coat since I was 19 and it’s probably the most grown up item I own. It really pulls together an outfit, and has remained timeless. I always feel really chic when I put it on, no matter what I’ve thrown it on top of, and I mean no matter what because I will put it on with jogger bottoms and trainers.


My other coat is an all-black number from COS. It’s a bit more practical than my camel coat because it zips up, so it’s the one I turn to when it’s really nippy outside and I need to wrap up in my scarf and hat as well. I only started wearing a woolly hat last year, in part because I used to think they looked silly and in part because I used to be a hardened northerner and now London has turned me soft. In a nod to that past I still never roll down the sleeves on my coat – I have a weird thing about not liking my forearms to be covered so I’m a sleeves rolled up at all times kind of girl.


I couldn’t do a winter favourites without mentioning my Christmas jumper. I picked this one up last year from Warehouse and I still love it. It’s just fun enough (100% the most multi-coloured item I own, not that you can tell here – there’s a colourful version on my insta) to work for novelty jumper day at work, but still wearable enough that I can pop it on to go to the shops in. It makes me feel like a Christmas tree a little bit with all of the bobbles.


But ultimately my favourite winter outfit is my pyjamas. It’s my favourite outfit year-round, but especially when it’s cold out and I can add some fluffy socks and a big jumper, and maybes a blanket on top too.


If you’d like to see some more of my style based illustrations, head on over to my portfolio where you can see some of my favourites as well as a couple of cool commissions I’ve done over the past few months.