Although I don’t go out much in the evenings anyway (two kiddos, plus a husband who works reeeeeaally long hours make it virtually impossible), I always look forward to nights on the sofa once the weather gets colder. Snuggling under one of my charity-shop-bargain crochet blankets with a boxset on the TV and a crafty project on my lap is my idea of heaven, so I thought I’d do a little post on my essentials for a cosy night in. Pyjamas mandatory!
1. Pyjamas at Toast, £75
OK, so these might be a teensy bit (read: massively) out of my budget, but the pattern is so amazing that I couldn’t leave them out. Pyjamas are the number one ingredient for a good night on the sofa; the softer, bigger and cosier the better.
2. Orla Kiely Mug at Wayfair, £11
Whether you like wine, tea or hot chocolate in the evening, you need something to put it in, and this Orla Kiely cup is perfect (OK, possibly not for the wine…) It’s a good size, the pattern is amazing, AND it comes in three colours, one of which is mustard. Yum.
3. Festive Socks at Boden, £25
I get really cold feet in the winter, so I’ve always got a good supply of socks on the go – these ones from Boden are pretty much the ultimate in foot-warming. They’re a bit pricey, but they’re 80% wool and they’re so thick that you could ditch the slippers completely.
4. Ethnic Cardigan at Esprit, £45
A lot of people like dressing gowns and robes to huddle in on the sofa, but personally I prefer a nice, big cardigan – there’s less fabric to get tangled up in, and they always just seem that little bit cosier. This one from Esprit ticks all the boxes; oversized with an amazing geometric pattern (you know I love a good geometric!), it’d be perfect for a night on the sofa or a morning at the park.
5. Soap and Glory Fab Pore 2-in1 Facial Mask at Boots, £10
I turned 31 this year, and the years I spent existing on coffee, cigarettes and alcohol, staying up all night and basically taking the right piss out of my skin have caught up with me. My pores are like craters, I have more wrinkles than an old shoe, and the dark circles under my eyes make me want to put a bag on my head. While I can’t turn back the clock, I’m hoping I can slow it down a bit with some clever beauty products – when I mentioned my pores, someone recommended Soap and Glory, which was a brand I’d never really bothered with. I tried this mask last night, and while my pores haven’t disappeared in a puff of smoke, my skin feels soft and a bit…. zingier. I popped it on before Homeland started, and then washed it off in the first ad-break – no mess, no fuss, and the perfect addition to a night in.
6. Debbie Bliss Cashmerino Yarn at John Lewis, £4.95 per ball and Alarm Radio Sewing Basket at Cath Kidston, £49.30
A night in isn’t a night in for me unless there’s some kind of crafting involved; I do a lot of making for work, so when I’m trying to relax, I pick up some yarn from my stash and make simple granny square blankets or pot holders. A lot of people love Rowan yarn, but I really like Debbie Bliss, and it’s a way friendlier price point as well (although currently I’m on a Stylecraft budget…).
7. Jo Malone Lavender and Lovage Scented Candle at John Lewis, £40
I am really, really into candles, to the point where the Husband is eternally frustrated by how many we have. A lot of people rave about Diptyque, but I really like Jo Malone – I’m currently burning a
Blue Agava and Cacao scented one that my lovely friend bought me, and I love how they fragrance a room but not in an overpowering way. That said, I get ridiculously excited by those Glade winter candles that come out every year – it’s not Christmas until you’ve got one of those on the go!
8. Rimmel Salon Pro by Kate Nail Polish in Punk Rock and Rimmel Velvet Matte in Sumptuous Red, both at Boots, £4.49
I’ve recently got quite into painting my nails, and I know lots of bloggers rave about Barry M nail polishes, personally I prefer Rimmel; the Salon Pro ranges are really hardy and usually last a good few days, and they have super wide brushes making it easy to get a nice even finish. I’m quite into matte finishes at the moment, so I’m hoping some of the new velvet matte polish turns up in my Christmas stocking (OK, it’s only October, but I like to think ahead!).
9. Essie Quick-e Fast Drying Drops at Boots, £8.99
One of the reasons I’ve never spent much time painting my nails until now is because, put simply, I’m a clumsy smudger. I get them looking great, with a nice shiny top coat, and then 99.9% of the time forget they’re wet and fiddle with my hair / shove my hand into the biscuit tin / go to the loo and wash my hands. Then it’s smudge-city, and I end up getting cross and taking the whole lot off. If I could recommend one beauty product to anyone, ever, it would be the Essie drops – gone are the days of waving your hands around for an hour to dry your polish, these speed things up a LOT. When I opened them, I just couldn’t fathom how putting some sort of oily stuff over tacky nails could possibly work – but it just does. It’s like some sort of magic-science-wizardry.