2014: The year that was….

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I have to say, 2014, you were pretty flippin’ brilliant.

It’s been a busy and eventful year, and probably the most memorable yet for me. I even stuck to my new year’s resolutions…although more on that another time.

I was a great start to the year….our new baby niece arrived, I had stacks of Valentines orders, there was heaps of crafting to do ahead of a certain event, as well as LOTS of planning….all leading up to the 3rd of May when I got to marry my best friend, not to mention the 24th May when we had a huge celebration with our friends. After our two-part wedding it was an amazing honeymoon in Bali, Indonesia, then more wedding shenanigans, including the wedding of my dear friend Claire for whom I was Bridesmaid.

There were more adventures as we made the brave move from Hitchin to Yorkshire. It’s been non-stop since we arrived, but we’re finally settled in….and have actually decided where gets to keep us as we found a perfect new home for us, and have had an offer accepted on a wonderful house!

As you can imagine, I’m pretty excited for next year now too….not only will we be buying our first house together (fingers crossed!) but we have lots of other things to look forward to as well.

I’d like to thank all my lovely friends for being just that….all of you who read my little blog, and get involved in commenting etc to make it so rewarding….my family (and the new extensions of that!) and of course my new husband, who I think is really rather splendid. Thanks for helping to make 2014 such a great year!

I hope you all have a fabulous New Year’s celebration, whatever it is you’re doing (cocktails and board games with friends at home for us!)….and I look forward to seeing and hearing from you in 2015!

Big loves,

Ems x

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It’s snowing again…. Thank goodness for Heat Holders!

Way back a hundred years ago at the start of winter, I shared some tips and favourite products to help you through the seasonal chill. I raved on about Heat Holders‘ wonderful thermal socks, and as a result the lovely people there sent me a whole load of their other products to try out! I was delighted to receive two big parcels full of their super-warm treasures, many of which I had very much wanted to try out already!

I’ve been putting the various things through their paces ever since….during our several cold snaps here in the UK, whilst on my trip to Vienna, and now that it’s snowing again….in honesty though I’ve hardly gone a day without wearing the lot! I have to say, I’ve been delighted with each and every product I was sent, and truly impressed by how warm they’ve kept me. I have totally rubbish circulation and really struggle to keep warm from September onwards, especially my hands and feet…..but the Heat Holders gloves, socks, base layers and hat have kept me cosy and warm, and I wouldn’t be without them now!

Also known as ‘The Ultimate Thermal Sock’, these beauties are for us hard-core coldies…. they have a tog rating of 2.3 (I personally find it impressive simply that they *have* a tog rating!) and come in Ladies, Gents and Kids sizes, as well as in longer versions and wellie or skiing options. They also come in various colours, and I personally would recommend having a few pairs! They’re a bargainous £6 for the Ladies original socks, and worth every penny. One word of warning though….they are super thick and you may struggle to get them into some shoes and boots, but their snuggliness is worth the effort of putting on a big pair of boots over them.

The Heat Holders gloves and hat are just as thick and snuggly as the socks, so you won’t be using your smart phone or keeping you posh hair-do neat whilst wearing them, but again they offer unparallelled warmth. These boast a tog rating of 2.7 and 2.9 respectively, and have kept the chill off even my fingers and ears! They’re both available in bright pink and black at £10.

It may still seem a bit much to be wearing thermal underwear so religiously, but this Spring thing just isn’t happening fast enough and I sure need the extra layers! The Heat Holders underwear is just brilliant, and I’m so glad I’ve found it. The long sleeved vest and leggings have been a God send to wear underneath every outfit….they are really quite fine so don’t bulk out what I’m wearing, whilst they still offer 0.39 togs of warmth. They have a soft brushed inner which traps extra air next to your skin to keep you warm, whilst the cotton blend ensures you don’t get hot and bothered at the same time. They are both just £15 a pair.
Perhaps the best find though has been the tights and leggings. These are 0.63 togs and finished to look like regular opaque tights and leggings, so they’re ideal to wear on their own as outer wear (or even on top of each other in my case!). They have super soft brushed linings to lock in the warmth, whilst they’re still breathable and comfortable enough to wear all the time. I’m usually incredibly fussy about my tights and leggings becuase I so hate when they wrinkle around the ankles and when the waist band slouches down….but these are about the best tights and leggings I’ve ever owned. The waist band is strong enough to keep everything up, whilst not irritating my skin or cutting me in two, and the legs are stretchy enough to fit perfectly without ever wrinkling. I’ve happily worn the tights into the office, and even had the leggings over the tights when it’s been really cold. They have bobbled a bit after washing, but their matte black finish has remained smart enough to wear with little dresses and heels. What’s more is that they are ridiculously good value….the leggings and tights are just £8 a piece and last really well (I’ve caught them on extremely vicious thorn bushes and they show no signs of even a pluck, let alone a ladder!) so definitely a worthy investment!

You can currently buy Heat Holders online, directly from Sock Shop, but I have been noticing more and more stockists locally….our fab little hardware store in Hitchin, Brookers, sells the socks, as do some of the garden centres. However, shipping to UK addresses from Sock Shop online is only £1.95 for orders up to £10, and is free on orders of £30 or more….so I’d buy one of each if I didn’t already have them!

Ems x