Category Archives: Gifts

www.nelliepompoms.co.uk

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It’s all change!  I have recently started a website www.nelliepompoms.co.uk and am   s l o w l y   but surely moving the blogs from here across to there.  Huge thanks to Gabriella Buckingham who designed my original logo and Sarah at Studio Spence who has put it all together for me, if you’re looking for a website then do get in touch with Sarah, she’s very clever (and patient!).

The website has been an idea of mine for ages.  Drawing on my many adventures and journeys, shopping experiences and personal recommendations I have brought everything together and popped it all in one place.  It’s where you will find food and drink suggestions, recent book reviews, the Instagram feed, Twitter timelineNellie Pom Poms Facebook status updates, blog and shopping inspiration from some very lovely people and businesses like Common Farm Flowers, Myddfai, Bowlovers, More-Hall, Bodlon, 2 Little Boys, Hunter Gatherer and more!

So, this blog post is short and sweet (much like myself!), but I do hope you will bookmark www.nelliepompoms.co.uk, sign up to the blog on the website and tell your friends.

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Halen Môn – Anglesey salt

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We’ve just returned home after 3 days on Anglesey and I’ve done the washing, removed sand from pockets and put the salt away. Not just any salt! Halen Môn salt. THE salt of Anglesey!

On Thursday we nipped into Halen Môn to pick up some salt for gifts and of course me, and I could have bought plenty in their beautiful shop that is stocked with salt, salt products like Nom Nom chocolate (delicious I tell you), oils, vinegars, sauces, home wares and stationery and much more!

  
The shop is spacious, beautifully stocked, well presented and lovely staff to boot. A beautiful shop!  When I say it’s a beautiful shop I really mean it, so I’m going to award it a Nellington Pom Poms pom pom of excellence! 

  

Making a statement with stationery from Two Little Boys Ltd

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Have I told you I love stationery?  Well “I love stationery” I’ve said it before and I will say it again “I love stationery“.  Really I do and luckily everyone knows I do so they send me funny cards and notebooks – just because.  One of my very daft friends bought me something for my birthday a few years ago and said “it jumped out at me and I knew it had to be yours” – my friends know me so well!

I met Sarah of Two Little Boys at Spirit of Christmas last year and bought a little book to keep the younger ones entertained at mealtimes during the festive season, well it was such a hit with both children and adults I might have to stock up this year!  Funnily enough during one of my ‘moving furniture around moments’ I had a look through a box which was very festive and reminded me of the fun we had at mealtimes so of course I then had to look through the website again!

Two Little Boys offers a wide range of stationery to fit all moods, events and circumstances as well as their fantastic How to range.  I really like the I’m going to be the boss and this is my plan folder and as I have some exciting plans for Nellie Pom Poms the folder fits so well.  I showed it to a friend of mine whose son is off to university and she is going to be ordering the How to survive university ring binder which she has said she will fill with recipes and washing instructions, another friend is on a mission and this is ideal!  To be honest there’s something for all of my friends!

I can remember getting pencils with my name on when I was younger and these pencils are now my grown up pencils, I’m not a connoisseur of pencils but these ones don’t crumble when you sharpen them which is a great big fat bonus in my book!  They also don’t bleed as some pencils do and were easy to rub out, these are all important issues when filling in a new diary!  The pencils would make ideal birthday gifts or new term stationery purchases.  Gone are the days when my lot want pink and girly, now they want something that not everyone has but wants

Speaking of children there’s also a selection of games and books, I’ve yet to use the full set of IOUs but there are some that I will reward myself with!  Thinking back to our wedding and our young pageboys they would have loved the range of Wedding Gifts for Children, we had disposable cameras that they took charge of and when the photos were printed it was like an album of out of focus Mix & Match.

There’s a notebook for every occasion and when I posted a photo of my new notebook recently lots of people asked where I had got it …… there’s a whole heap of Things and I probably need them all!

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Thanks Sarah for sending me a box of goodies, they’re all great and I will be adding the website to my favourites.

Myddfai Luxury Welsh Toiletries : Review

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During a recent visit to Wales I tried out the products in the bathroom as you do (well I do as I always tend to forget something!) and made a mental note to remember the name of the bubble bath and shampoo so that I could take a look at the website.  Iona told me that the products were from a social enterprise called Myddfai (pronounced muthvi) based in Wales which kind of sealed my resolve to learn more about them.

After having a good look around the website I rang Mike at Myddfai to say I had been introduced to the products and was very impressed.  During the conversation I said I was always on the look out for different gifts and mentioned it was my birthday so so was delighted that a parcel arrived around that time which I saved until the actual day.  I was in for a treat!  The box contained a Sea Breeze Travel Set, a Warm Ginger Travel Set, Foot Scrub, Foaming Sugar Scrub,  Whipped Shea Butter and various oils.  We were in for a treat!!

The Warm Ginger range is as the label suggests warm ginger, the scent is not too heavy and there were no complaints when the shampoo got in Laree’s eyes.

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I think the Sea Breeze range wins as my favourite though, oh hold on I like the Warm Ginger too!  OK I can’t choose!!

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The Foot Scrub is superb!  With warmer months and summer toes emerging it’s never too early to treat your feet and this scrub was like a mini massage.  My feet were left soft and refreshed and ready for Slinks!

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I particularly loved the Foaming Sugar Scrub and as a keen exfoliator I have tried plenty of scrubs.  It wasn’t gritty or overly rough and my skin felt soft and refreshed afterwards.  The smell is divine and I am trying to think where I have experienced the scent before.  I can’t think so I will just have to carry on using it!

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The Whipped Shea Butter is just like whipped butter (and so it should do having been whipped over three hundred times) with a subtle scent, it goes on easily and is absorbed into the skin leaving no sticky residue.  (I always rub my hands to warm them up before using any creams or oils following a handy tip from my late friend Tracey Malone).

Where to start with the oils?  Love them all!  With 3 face and body oils I could choose which one suited best and with names for face oil as Balance, Hydrate and Nurture I felt my skin was balanced, hydrated and nurtured.  The body oils Refresh, Relax and Restore did as they said on the bottle.  As I have been gardening a fair bit recently I have been using the Restore which has certainly helped and having been exposed to the sun I have used the Refresh to moisturise sun kissed skin.  The Relax is ideal after a bath, made all the more perfect when curled up in clean sheets and a good book!

The packaging is very distinctive and all the bathroom ranges are paraben SLS/SLES and cruelty free.  The labels are in Welsh and English (so I am teaching myself Welsh, OK the pronunciation is a bit hit and miss, actually it’s more miss than hit but Big Welsh corrects me!).

As well as bathroom products they also make Welsh Herbal Tea which is next on my list to try!

From top to toe we were left feeling clean, relaxed, restored and refreshed!  What more do you need?

Disclosure:  I was sent some products to try, we tried them and loved them which I am sure you will see from this blog!

Thanks Mike, great to chat and hear more about the lovely range and a very large thank you for sharing your products with us!

Clothing finds at Country Living Fair

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Oh I had such a lovely time on Wednesday at the Country Living Spring Fair with Georgie of Common Farm Flowers and have spent much time admiring my purchases, checking out websites and kicking myself for not buying something when I saw it.  However in reality I had more than enough bags so will just have to do some online ordering unless I can sneak up to Islington tomorrow!  There’s so much to share with you but here’s a glimpse at the wardrobe edition!

If you are visiting the Country Living Fair this weekend then have a read of Georgie’s survival guide and do by all means have a look at my blog post about Wednesday but I make no apologies if you find you are led astray!

Stepping into the Business Design Centre you will be met by a stunning garden display by Lucy Summers Living which you will gasp at and stare at I tell you.

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Who said gardening can’t be glamourous?  GardenGirl is a Swedish company producing comfortable and practical ladies gardening clothes and accessories.

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Wow!  I love this range of rainwear from Blaest and had a good chat about the range whilst mentally choosing which colour!

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Now this pinny from Pinny Pockets is a natty little thing!  How useful to have detachable oven mitts as I always lose mine!

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I love the bags from Emma Cornes and her about page!

If you’re looking for stylish shoes then head to Its got soul who I have a great affection for, their shoes are so comfortable and in a wide range of colours.  I’ve got the pink brogues but I am going to add to my shoe collection very soon, oh so very soon!IMG_5178

As for the socks at Pittch, well I love them all!

Since buying a green Foxglove jacket from The Linen Press I have been wearing it daily and have had so many nice comments about it, I feel I might need to browse a bit more!!

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There really are so many temptations – these were just a few!  Don’t delay – get your tickets today!

Gifts for mother’s day (and my birthday)

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My mother likes to remind me that I was born in the late afternoon on Mothering Sunday and chastises me still (at very nearly 46) for keeping her waiting.  All day!  Well back in the day there wasn’t much on the telly box and maybe I wanted to appear in time for a nice cup of the and a sandwich spread samwich!  So arrive I did and as well as having my official birthday I also feel that I own a little bit of Mothering Sunday as well!

The lovely children of the house have been asking me what I would like for my birthday and I have to admit I am a little bit stuck between deciding what I would quite like and what I really need.  So far I have come up with a watch and a docking station/charging/alarm clock combo but there are some things that I do like and I am sure that some of these ideas could be on any mother’s list.

I could really do with a new blender as mine is groaning under the weight of hearty soups I have recently been making, a whizzer or chopper would cut down on the time I chop but would involve more washing up and I would probably lose the whizzy bit so I will shelve those ideas for another time.  Besides Big Welsh has a birthday in a few months and maybe he would like them?  The wok I bought him for Christmas was a great success after all!

Mook asked whether I would like some flowers from Georgie, well yes of course!  Doesn’t everyone want flowers on their birthday?  I particularly like Georgie’s creations because she grows most of them herself, Common Farm Flowers is a small British business with a big heart and I do like to support my friends.

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Having just spent the evening at Nirvana Spa with my stepsister as an early birthday treat I would thoroughly enjoy a day of pampering and relaxing, there are so many treatments to chose from and to be honest who wouldn’t want to float around all day in a nice big bath robe wondering which lounger to lie on!

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I’m not really a bag person.  I’ve yet to find a bag that I will actually use and use and use but I am rather partial to the bags at Pioneros and Cloudberry who I found via Country Wives.  My Mulberry purse is now 15 years old and is looking tired so maybe a new purse?  But saying that I do have a lovely green Ted Baker one with bobbles somewhere and I can’t for the life of me remember where it is and it does contain my Cath Kidston family and friends discount card so I must make an effort to find it as I am rather partial to the bedding!

Notebooks are also another favourite of mine and my very clever crochet friend Prettybea has sent me some notebooks from Bread and Jam which I love, Katherina from Ella’s Kitchen Company gave me a notebook which I also love and I do enjoy perusing stationery companies.

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Jewellery is always a nice gift, I particularly like Rococo in Wokingham and often nip in to see Juliette and ooh and aah over the displays.  Despite having my ears pierced years ago I don’t wear earrings much but I do like the simple ones from JojoJewellery.

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Sending a food gift is always a winner!  I am more than partial to Gower Cottage Brownies, to be honest I don’t know anyone who isn’t – they’ve just not found them yet.  Kate is THE Brownie Queen.  Fact.  As it’s mother’s day the rule is that the mother should be treated to mugs of coffee at regular intervals to go with said brownies.

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Then maybe a little glass of something with a fizz.  Last year Tiffinie came over for a fundraiser for The Brain Tumour Charity and HeadSmart and we sipped a dash of her Wiltshire Liqueur Blood Orange with Prosecco in the garden.

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Or how about a fizzy red, yes you read it right fizzy red, I like the Vultu from Zotta Deli.

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I’m very fond of the Gordon Castle Gin and Angus has suggested mixing it with Fever Tree tonic – what’s not to love?

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I love giving books to people and equally love being given books.  As a supporter of small local independent book sellers I don’t mind being given a book token so I can go and choose a book myself.  I am not averse to vouchers as they are such a convenient gift to send and can bring hours of pleasure perusing and choosing what you would really like.

Books really are my thing and when I see a book I remember where I was when I was reading it.  Another way to hold memories is with a Treasure Pod from the amazing Jane Rafter.  I have one with a birth stones and charms.  What would you choose?

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Smellies and candles are another firm favourite and the world is full of gorgeousness.  I love Jo Malone MBE’s new range Jo Loves and the fragrance discovery gift experience is an ideal gift, it is easily wrapped up and can be put in a pretty padded envelope from Hunter Gatherer.  I was fortunate to have facials over the years from Tracey Malone who started her own business called Lubatti which has the most glorious bath oils and skincare range.  Last year I found Noble Isle who have a delicious range of products that I am also fond of.

Being a spring baby I obviously feel the need for people to wrap up so have given a number of friends bobble hats from Forage Somerset as well as Powder gloves available from Ty Cariad in Brecon.

Of course keeping hands warm also looks after hands so I use Niki’s Warming Balm which is quite frankly gorgeous smelling and warming.

But what I love most about Mother’s Day and my birthday is that I get to spend it with the most precious people in my life

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and I know that come what may I will always be there for them, laughing with them

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and even though I might embarrass them

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I will always love them and I will always be their Mummy.

Early birthday treat

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IMG_4837This year for the first time in the 25 years since I have known the girl who was to become my step sister we have both been in the same place relatively near our birthdays.  I would like to point out that she is 6 days older than me and so for 6 days she is a year than me!  I of course don’t let her forget this and I can’t stop myself from telling her she is much older than me, when it’s my birthday she reminds me that we are now both the same age!

Luckily for us she was over from Australia on a flying visit to see her mum and brother in Pembroke (which she will insist on calling Pem broke) and as we are conveniently close to Heathrow she stayed with us when she arrived from Oz and on the way home.  Life in our house can be rather boisterous (rather?) and we wanted a chance to have a long natter so I said I would treat her to an evening at Nirvana Spa where I have been a member for years.  She of course looked it up and said ooh that’s very nice.  I then decided that what she really needed was a floatation and duly booked her said treat.

After making sure that everyone was back from school, college, sent off to football training, there was food in the house and we had a pound for the locker we headed off for an evening of relaxation and chatter.  She was all dressed up for winter and I was still rebelling and wasn’t wearing socks.

Incase you’ve never been to Nirvana Spa then here’s how Tars’ first visit went (I say first visit as she is intending to come back to the UK next year and she has already said she wants to go back to Nirvana!).

On arrival the receptionist handed Tars the questionnaire form and handed over a robe & towel and a card to charge things to before we headed off to the changing rooms.  I then showed Tars around and she oohed and ahhed appropriately!  I have floated heaps of times before and I fancied a massage instead so as the time for her float approached she headed off to float into a relaxed state of mind whilst I made my way to the Crystal Treatment Room for my Swedish back massage.  Delighted to report I didn’t snore or overshare!  My massage was lovely and I was very relaxed.  Afterwards I sipped a glass of water watching the crystal change colour whilst I read some of my latest review copy of Patrick Gale’s A Place called Winter.

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After twenty minutes or so I wandered slowly back to meet Tars who was totally spaced out and relaxed!  She said that she had never experienced anything quite like the float and was very glad she had taken my advice when I suggested she shouldn’t shave for 24 hours before.  She admitted it was very strange getting into the pool and bobbing up, but she soon found herself comfortable and relaxed.  She was concerned about falling asleep and not being able to wake up but was surprised that she woke up gently when the lights came on and she didn’t feel rushed.  Apparently the water is soft here compared to Australia so she took for ever to rinse the conditioner out of her hair.

She was keen to relax on the ceramic loungers so off we trotted (well I say trotted off but it was more of a sleepy saunter!).  It was so quiet and warm and relaxing and you couldn’t hear a pin drop, but I could feel the pager for our table so we headed off to study the menu and admire the salad bar! Admire it we did!  There is such a fantastic array of colours, smells and flavours that we were undecided what to have first so instead of piling the plate high (like you do at a salad bar, or is that just me?) we took our time and had salad first and then the hot dish which was a very tasty cod risotto.

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After that it was time to relax a little bit more and so we dragged our relaxed bodies with full tummies and very slow brains off to the pool where we might have found space for a hot chocolate and a slice of lemon drizzle cake.

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We were so close to the water’s edge but didn’t manage to get in, well we would have sunk and that would have ruined the evening somewhat!

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All too soon it was time to get back into our clothes and head home, not before admiring the murals on the walls.

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So that was that!  A relaxing evening with my step sister celebrating our birthdays.