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Checking Out

Tuesday, 16 December 2014

Things are getting a bit busy around these parts in the run up to our trip so I'll be signing off for a few days now until we land stateside and settle into our holidays in Colombia.

I'll be checking in over the Christmas period and you can catch me on Instagram too.

Whatever you're up this festive season, have a GREAT time ~ relax, reflect and most importantly ENJOY! See you again soon ♥


Weekend Picks

Friday, 12 December 2014

So we've reached the time of too many mince pies, chocolates and oh yes, the odd cream tea...!

I feel a bit in limbo land at the moment ~ most things are now in place for our move in January, but in between there's a flurry of Christmas parties and a trip across the Atlantic for the holidays.
I'm so looking forward to some rest, relaxation and time for reflection...

Links from this week:

: : Shoot
Find out why time of day is important in this photographing Christmas lights tutorial

: : Wander
101 reasons to love Colombia, oh yeah!

: : Nourish
When all the Christmas food begins to get too much, these butternut squash mini pizzas might make a nice change?

: : Nest
We're leaving our wardrobes in the flat when we rent it out, so I was interested to read about these alternative ways to store clothes without a closet. We might need some of these ideas until we sort ourselves out with new bedroom storage...

: : Inspire
I'm taking a copy of Susannah Conway's Unravelling the Year Ahead 2015 with me on holiday ~ can't wait to get stuck into the reflecting and planning process

Have a great weekend ~ I'll be shampooing carpets at the house, hopefully with a clear head after tonight's work Christmas do!


How to Sleep on a Plane Part I: Before

Thursday, 11 December 2014

We're off to Colombia soon to spend Christmas with Mr DI's family. This will be my 8th visit and my 4th Christmas, so I'm pretty much familiar with things over there. We're looking forward to a big family Christmas, plenty of good times and great food!

There's one difference this year though ~ direct flights. Yes, those 8 trips have all been at least 15 hours slogs via Europe or the US (oh, apart from the time when the plane had to return to Germany due to a technical fault and the whole journey took 42 hours ~ I kid you not). In short, not the most pleasant of trips to be making, even if it is just once a year.

So when Avianca, Colombia's national airline, announced that they were starting direct flights to Bogota from Heathrow, we held our breathe in anticipation. As soon as it was confirmed earlier this year, we booked our flights for Christmas. One journey each way of 10 hours. I can't tell you how great it's going to feel getting on the plane in London knowing that when we get off we will be there. Job done.

The only teeny, weeny downside to all this is that both the flights out and back are overnight. Previously we have always travelled over during the day and back overnight. Sadly I'm completely hopeless at sleeping on planes, always have been. And don't even talk about how grumpy I am when I've missed a night's sleep and I have jet lag...

So knowing that we'll be doing these two overnight journeys now every year I thought it was high time I faced up to my plane insomnia and got myself prepared to get some proper rest in the air.

These are my plans so far. I'll write an update post once we've arrived in South America and let you know how I got on.

First of all, I asked as many people as I could how they manage to sleep on planes. I was amazed that at least 90% told me they take some form of sleeping tablet. That's not really my style, but as you'll see I've even taken on board this advice to a certain degree. That is the extent of my determination!

Next, I got online and did some research. The key points to nodding off at 30,000 feet seem to be comfort, warmth and relaxation. I looked at various products and this is now my arsenal:

1. Neck Pillow
This model is generally only available in the US, but Proidee supply the UK. It's made of memory foam and comes with a small compression bag that squashes it right down for easy carrying in hand luggage. I've read rave reviews about this pillow ~ apparently the key is in the fact that you can turn it around and wear it backwards to stop your head rolling forward...

2. Eye Mask
Yep, it looks like a bra ~ we had some fun in the office with this one! I've previously tried the fabric/free ones you get on some airlines, but have mixed feelings about them. This one is moulded so that the mask doesn't come into contact with your eyes, allowing them to move around as you sleep, I suppose disturbing you less? The whole thing is super soft so I'm hoping for some success here!
From Amazon

3. Ear Plugs
I've always hated the foam ones that you have to poke into your ears. They either hurt or fall out. So this time I'm trying out these wax ones, meant for swimmers...
From Amazon

4. Herbal Sleeping Tablets
I've been testing these out at home recently and they really do seem to help me relax enough to nod off. I'm not yet ready to go the full hog with chemical tablets, so let's see how these go when I'm in the air...

5. Fleece, Warm Socks & Airline Blanket

6. Positive Mental Attitude

So there you go. Yes, I'm going to look completely bonkers, but I *might* just be able to get a decent enough amount of shut-eye to keep me on the better side of grumpy when we land (at 4.40am with a whole day full of excited relatives to get through!)

Can you sleep on planes? Do you have any good tips which might help me? I'd love to know!


Mid-week Inspiration

Wednesday, 10 December 2014

So why not just do it?!


#1day12pics December

Tuesday, 9 December 2014

We spent the weekend in lovely Gloucestershire with my family ~ our little pre-Christmas get-together as Mr DI & I are going to be in Colombia for the holidays this year.

So for the first time in ages, I had a lot of nice things to take pictures of for this month's #1day12pics challenge!

1:: Painswick

This is the view from Mum & Dad's house. A bit frosty here!

2:: Toy Dresser

My Dad bought this for me when I was a child, I think on a business trip to Austria. I thought it was quite dull when I was younger, but now I love it and it sits in the room I stay in when we visit my parents.

3:: Chocolate Log Cake

My Mum's chocolate log cake is legendary and one of Mr DI's favourite things about Christmas here in the UK. It's a recipe she got from her mother, which she makes in October to allow the fruit cake enough time to mature.

4:: Frosty Leaves

We went for a walk in the afternoon. At this time of year the sun doesn't rise too far over the hills on each side of the valley so frost can linger for days...

5:: Golden Woods

Winter sun reflecting on the trees as we walked through the woods...

6:: Painswick Beacon

This was our destination: an Iron Age hill fort with incredible views right over to Wales

7:: Holly

We saw a lot of holly with berries, which is pretty unusual. Perhaps it's the warm autumn we had this year?

8:: Mince Pies

Post walk refuelling!

9:: Celebration

Toasting our new house with a glass of Prosecco!

10:: Early Christmas Dinner

Candles, crackers and all!

11:: Advent Candle

We burn the candle a little each night throughout the weeks leading up to Christmas...

12:: And...relax!

Bunny slippers and the papers ~ bliss!

See what others got up to during the challenge here.


Weekend Picks

Friday, 5 December 2014

Woot, woot! This week we finally completed the purchase of OUR NEW HOUSE!!
*Happy, happy dance*

We'll be moving in next month and starting renovation works not long after. Watch this space...

In the meantime, some nice links for our weekend:

: : Shoot
Handy if you're on the move a lot: Post-Processing on an iPhone

: : Wander
10 ways travel can add to your happiness ~ I'm always up for a bit more happiness!

: : Nourish
Start cranking up the Christmas vibe with this festive cranberry chutney

: : Nest
I know I'm going to be all over design blogs and Pinterest next year as we start working on the house ~ this black & white pad seems like a good enough place to start!

: : Inspire
I've been thinking quite a lot about direction recently. These 5 signs that you're on the right path are quite reassuring...

We're off to the countryside this weekend to see my family before we head to Colombia for Christmas. Looking forward to celebrating with them and finally being able to take a breath after a few crazy months.

Whatever, you're up to, enjoy! See you back here next week


Mid-week Inspiration

Wednesday, 3 December 2014

Sometimes the best things are worth waiting for...