Posted in Christmas, Lifestyle

Eco-Conscious Christmas – Handy Tips

First & foremost, Happy December! The Festive month is upon us and I can’t wait to get stuck in to all things Christmas. Have you decorated your house yet? I think we are doing it tomorrow! I have lots of festive content planned throughout December… But, I wanted to kick-start the month with some eco-conscious and sustainability at Christmas posts. Nothing drastic, just little changes you can make/things to be aware of whilst you are planning your celebrations & buying your presents.

eco-conscious christmas lila bailey blog

Christmas Trees

In the UK alone, around 8 million Christmas trees are bought each year. That is potentially a lot of waste. On the flip side, artificial trees (whilst they last longer) are made of mostly plastic, and use a lot of energy to manufacture. So is there a right or wrong?

Honestly? Not really. But there are a few things you can do to be a bit more eco-conscious with your tree this year. Firstly, if you have an artificial tree, look after it best you can. Make it last as long as possible. Fix any broken bits and spruce it up rather than just tossing it to one side & buying a new one.

eco-conscious christmas lila bailey blog

If – like me – you love a real Christmas tree, then try to buy it from a local supplier. In the West-Country we are lucky enough to have many independent places selling trees grown on their own land. Or – if you have the space – you could even grow one (bit late now, but worth thinking about). Of course, not everyone is lucky enough to be surrounded by local tree-growers. But if you are then please do!

You can also look out for trees with FSC certification. And make sure you recycle your tree come January!

eco-conscious christmas lila bailey blog

Christmas Gifts

This is two-part. Firstly, wrapping your gifts & reusing your cards. Secondly the gifts themselves (which I will come onto in a different blog post later…).

Last year (in the spirit of being eco-conscious) I ditched the very tempting Christmas wrapping paper. Instead, wrapped all my presents in brown paper & string. Most ‘normal’ wrapping papers cannot be recycled, whereas brown paper can. Plus, if you’re savvy you can find brown paper that has already been recycled – win win! Doing this also allows you to get creative with gorgeous ribbons & extras (but remember to keep hold of them for reusing next year too!).

eco-conscious christmas lila bailey blog

Another point about gifts… Don’t buy for the sake of buying. And if you have to buy, maybe try consumable products instead. Everyone always ends up with presents each year that they are never going to use. These presents either get left in a cupboard or thrown away. If you feel like you have to send someone a gift, but don’t know what they like, go for chocolates/cheeses/wines/hampers/sauces etc etc – things they can eat! That way we can cut down the mass-production of pointless and unused gifts. And if you can get away with not buying too many gifts, or perhaps donating to a cause instead, then do that. The less we buy, the less is produced, which in turn reduces our carbon footprint massively (and the footprint of the world!).

red wine christmas gift lila bailey blog

Christmas Cards

Personally, I love sending & receiving Christmas cards but I know they are not the most eco-friendly of items. Most people throw away their Christmas cards (1.5 billion in the UK alone each year – wowza), which is of course a huge waste. Instead, why not keep them in a box for the year and use the fronts of them as gift tags for next year? My granny used to do this and I think it’s a great way to reuse beautiful cards!

Alternatively, you could always send e-cards (which I think is the direction we’ll end up going in), and there’s always the option of getting creative & making your own (using recycled materials, obvs). Or – of course – not send any at all (but I don’t like this idea much – I’m a sap for tradition!).

eco-conscious christmas lila bailey blog

General Eco-Conscious Awareness

At the end of the day, the best thing you can do it to just be aware of having an eco-conscious Christmas. When it comes to your food shop, buy locally as much as you can (especially your meat!), which not only cuts your carbon footprint but also supports local businesses at this expensive time of year. Be aware of where your items are coming from/being made etc, and maybe think twice about buying them if they have been shipped from the other side of the world.

Christmas is such a hectic time of year, but it’s also a time when we experience the most waste. So if everyone could do just a small thing to try and help reduce the waste/carbon footprint and be a bit more (yep, you guessed it) eco-conscious, we could make a huge difference!

eco-conscious christmas lila bailey blog

*All pics in this post are from previous years… I haven’t decorated my house just yet!!*

Next up, I’ll be chatting about some sustainable gift ideas, so keep your eyes peeled for that! You can also find some more sustainability content & other Christmas content in the posts below…

Shopping Locally

Festive Decorating

Christmas Soiree

Posted in Travel

Champers in Épernay – 30th Birthday Celebrations Part 2

So, part 1 of Euan’s birthday celebrations was a weekend exploring cocktail bars in London (you can read more about it here). Part two is all about drinking champers in Épernay!

Champers in Épernay Lila Bailey Blog

I’ve come to realise I don’t like doing things in half. Such is the case for birthday celebrations nonetheless! My aim was to completely, utterly, and wholly surprise Euan with a trip away for his 30th. Mission = accomplished. He genuinely thought we were going back to Tavistock over his birthday (as if!). No siree, I had other things in mind…

But instead of a step-by-step of our time in France, I thought a bit of a ‘pointers’ blog post would be more useful. Amongst some pictures and anecdotes of our trip, obvs…!

Hotel Jean Moët

There are no words to express how wonderful our stay was here. From the moment I booked, they were so attentive via email. Answering my many questions about the area & what to do, plus organising a birthday cake for Euan on my behalf and letting me decorate the breakfast table! (And – more to the point – clearing up afterwards!). Whilst at the hotel, the staff were incredibly friendly and asked lots of questions about what we were up to etc, taking a genuine interest in our time in Épernay.

They even gave us a glass of champagne each on Euan’s birthday as a celebration – simply fabulous.

Champers in Épernay Lila Bailey Blog

Our room was stunning – modern but comfortable and we felt very, very fancy! (Always find myself judging a hotel on whether they provide Nespresso machines in the rooms… Yes, I’m a loser. But what a brilliant touch!).

Champers in Épernay Lila Bailey Blog

An absolute must if you are staying in Épernay – I couldn’t find a single fault!

Food & Drink in Épernay

France did not disappoint on the restaurant front. Searching online was tricky as nothing looked any good, but I asked our hotel for some recommendations and trusted what they had to say. And I was right to do so! We had a wonderful spontaneous meal on our first night in beautiful restaurant in the centre of Épernay. Not drinking with your meal is most definitely not an option in France, so champagne for two it was!

Champers in Épernay Lila Bailey Blog

The next day was Euan’s actual 30th birthday and (amongst champagne tours) I had booked lunch at a restaurant which came highly recommended (though didn’t look like much online) called Le Théâtre. I bit the bullet and said no to any alcohol with my meal (we had just been to a champagne house after all!), but Euan enjoyed even more champers in Épernay…

In the evening we dined at the ‘hot spot’ of Épernay’s cuisine scene, La Grillade Gourmande. It. Was. Amazing.
A family run restaurant where you were greeted by the head chef upon arrival, introduced to the wine bible (it probably weighed more than a baby elephant – it was enormous), and treated like royalty throughout.

Champers in Épernay Lila Bailey Blog

Their sommelier took our wine order which is always the sign of a sophisticated establishment. And the food was absolutely divine. I didn’t feel like eating much, but I still managed to because it was just too bloody good to not! From start to finish, it was the perfect evening. And – more importantly – the perfect way to end Euan’s 30th birthday.

Champers in Épernay – the Tours

Now, the reason we went to Épernay in the first place… The champagne tours! We kick-started Euan’s birthday with a 10am private tour of Champagne De Castellane, and it was incredibly informative & interesting. Especially for Euan who loves facts about wine/champagne.

We visited the cellars, private collections, and were shown where the magic happens. At the end of the tour we had three (yes, three!) glasses of champagne each. Two Bruts and one Rosé, all of which were sublime (even at 11am….). Whether you’re a champagne enthusiast or not, I would definitely recommend this tour. After all, you’re surely only going to be in Épernay for the champagne anyway!

Champers in Épernay Lila Bailey Blog

After lunch, we visited a slightly smaller family-owned Champagne house and learned a bit more about the variations of champagne making (not that there are many – there are so many rules!). And then drank even more champagne…

Champers in Épernay Lila Bailey Blog

There are many champagne houses you can visit in Épernay, including Moet & Chandon. However I wouldn’t necessarily just go for the champagne houses you have heard of. We hadn’t heard of either of the ones we visited and I really enjoyed seeing more of the less commercialised places!

Travelling in France

We flew from Heathrow to Paris which was super fast & easy (plus we love an airport G&T!). The Eurostar is far more eco-friendly, and probably takes less time when you consider the airport malarky. And in normal circumstances I would’ve gone for that option, but as it was a birthday surprise I thought flying to France was more impactful!

We did, however, travel by train a lot when we got to France. Épernay is around 90 miles from Paris and much quicker to get there by train than car. Paris CDG airport is a little way away from Paris centre, so whether you’re thinking of visiting rural France or just sticking to Paris, you’ll still need to get yourself to central Paris either way.

It’s super simple, if you know what you’re doing. But you can’t pre-book tickets, so you’ll need to leave enough time to collect tickets from the airport. Signposts are everywhere, but you’re basically looking for the RER B train which will take you to Paris Gare du Norde.

paris RER B train lila bailey blog

From Gare du Norde you can get the Metro to where you need to be inside Paris. Or for farther locations you will probably need to get to Gare de l’Est station, which has local and rural trains going to most places. (This is where we got our train to Épernay from).

Champers in Épernay Lila Bailey Blog

I make it sound like I’m an expert, but I’m really not! In fact, my cousin’s boyfriend, Nick, recommended an app called Citymapper and it is honestly life changing. Especially in a foreign country! It makes knowing which signs to follow soooooo much easier, and gave me the confidence that we were on the right train (even when I knew we were – always good to have confirmation haha!). If you are travelling anywhere, you absolutely must download this app!!!

The train services in France were generally speaking really smooth & efficient, even when trying to navigate central Paris! Travel is always stressful, but we did amazingly well and luckily absolutely nothing went wrong!

Conclusion

So there you have a slightly long-winded review of drinking champers in Épernay, some recommendations, and a few top tips!

As December is nearly here, I am going to be all over the Christmas content for the next couple of weeks… Watch this space!

Champers in Épernay Lila Bailey Blog
Posted in Lifestyle

Happy Halloween! End of October & Hello November

Happy Halloween! Ah, the 31st of October is upon us, and what a month of autumnal/halloween inspiration it has been! Do you have some spooky plans tonight? (I don’t, and I’m very sad about it!).

This month has been a really, really tough one for me. And it’s not a month I ever want to have to relive again, I can tell you that much! I’m not going to go into it now, but what I will say is I’m staying positive and very much looking forward to seeing what November brings. I’m feeling quite daunted as there is a lot going on over the next couple of months, but at the same time I’m insanely excited too!

I have a feeling you’re all going to be treated to some sort of ‘reflecting on 2019’ post towards the end of the year, but I’m not quite there yet. Anyone else look forward to reading those sorts of posts? I personally love seeing an overview of people’s years, so watch this space y’all.

Happy Halloween!

But, for now, here are a few Happy Halloween (literally) pictures of my ridiculously cute munchkins in their pumpkin house (as seen on my Instagram page).

happy halloween blog post lila bailey blog munchkins in pumpkins
happy halloween blog post lila bailey blog munchkins in pumpkins
happy halloween blog post lila bailey blog munchkins in pumpkins
happy halloween blog post lila bailey blog munchkins in pumpkins

Previous Post

Did you catch my last post? All about my workbag essentials…

What’s in my Work Bag?

Posted in Lifestyle

What’s in my Work Bag?

A question I’m sure you’re all dying to know the answer to… Truth is, I absolutely love knowing what people have in their handbags/work bags… Is that weird? Anyway, I thought – since I love others doing this so much – I’d write a what’s in my work bag post!

I haven’t written much over the past couple of weeks, so wanted to write something fun & lighthearted today (to help get back into it more than anything else).

So, seriously, what’s in my work bag?

I hate packing my work bag before work, so I try and keep it as simple as possible (as well as not taking too much out of it). Here we go…

  1. My diary. I am stationery obsessed, and a yearly diary is a must have Christmas present for me. In recent years I’ve got the ‘Perfect Planner’ from the Busy B online stationery shop (aka the place of dreams). Although for 2020 I’m thinking about mixing it up, and going for one of their other diaries… #rivetingstuff whats in my work bag diary lila bailey blog
  2. Notebooks. My notebooks of choice tend to vary depending on where I’m going/what I’m doing. But this is my blogging/business notebook and I love it. I’d also be totally lost without it as I write all my ideas/plans/goals/etc etc in there. blog notebook lila bailey blog
  3. Lipsticks, naturally. I mean, you’ve always got to have one handy, right!?lipsticks whats in my work bag lila bailey blog
  4. Pencil case. Really, I’m still 11 at heart… I bloody love a pencil case! Highlighters, pencils, and an assortment of different colours pens are all must-haves for my work bag.
  5. Perfume – always. Work days are long and I always like being able to freshen up if I need to (especially when I have client meetings!).perfume lila bailey blog marc jacobs

I also have various keys, plasters, pain relief, wet wipes, tea bags (herbal, obvs), plus snacks/lunch/water (which always weighs my bag down…). Somehow I never use everything in one given day, but always keep it all with me because you just never know!

Previous Post…

Whilst I get caught up on blogging, have a read of some of my previous autumnal posts. May as well make the most of autumn whilst it’s here! And I shall see you soon with some more fascinating blog content…..!

Devon Days Out

Autumn Faves

Autumn Outfit Inspo

Autumn Home Decor Inspo

Posted in Lifestyle

Royal William Yard & Saltram House – Devon Days Out

Royal William Yard & Saltram House… I’m lucky enough to live in such a gorgeous part of the world, and I love finding new things to do/ideas for days out in the area. And I thought, why not share some on the blog?! Obviously if you’re not local to Devon, this post might not be as helpful to you. BUT, it might just inspire you to come down for a holiday!

Royal William Yard is one of my favourite places to go for food/drinks (and probably the only part of Plymouth I actually like…). We always have such a lovely time down there, and our day out at the end of September was no exception.

We also visited Saltram House which is just outside Plymouth. Somewhere I’d never been to properly before but what a hidden gem it is! So here is a short overview and a few pics of both…

Royal William Yard – Wagamamas & Cocktails

We almost always go to Wagamamas when we go to Royal William Yard – I mean, it’d be rude not to, wouldn’t it?! I love the food there, and they are sooo good with allergies which is such a blessing!

wagamamas devon days out lila bailey blog
wagamamas devon days out

We had a main each plus a couple of sides. And their cocktails are so inventive too – I went for the Jasmine Bellini and it was wonderful.

You absolutely must have a stroll around (even if it’s terribly windy!!) if you visit. The buildings are amazing, and I think they’re doing up another section which is exciting! We also visited Seco Lounge, and although didn’t stop in this time, I highly recommend Le Vignoble.

royal william yard wagamamas devon days out lila bailey blog
royal william yardwagamamas devon days out lila bailey blog
Royal william yard wagamamas devon days out lila bailey blog

Saltram House

After Royal William Yard, we headed out to Saltram House as it is somewhere we’d never been before and only about 20 mins from central Plymouth. The gardens/woodland there are enormous – so much exploring to be done! We of course got some autumnal pics before heading inside…

wagamamas devon days out lila bailey blog
saltram house devon days out
saltram house devon days out lila bailey blog
wagamamas devon days out lila bailey blog

You could definitely make a whole day of it at Saltram House, but we just went for a quick afternoon stroll and popped inside too. The house itself is stunning, and everything inside is original to when the family actually lived in it. Pretty cool – and had us dreaming about one day living in a house as beautiful!

saltram house devon days out
saltram housewagamamas devon days out lila bailey blog
saltram house wagamamas devon days out lila bailey blog

(I didn’t take many pictures inside out of fear of being rude!).

The End

I’ll hopefully make a few more of these posts, as and when we do interesting things in Devon worth sharing with you! So if you’re in Devon and at a loose end, remember to have a check of my blog to see if I’ve written anything new!

And for something a bit more wedding-related, check out my last post.

Posted in Lifestyle

Autumn Faves – Beauty & Home

Well we couldn’t start October off without some autumn faves now could we?! Today I thought I’d write about a few items I’ve been using a lot over the past couple of weeks. Not necessarily ‘autumnal’ items, but we’ll go with it…

Autumn Faves – Beauty/Bath

First off, the shampoo that dreams are made of…! I change up my shampoo & conditioner quite frequently, and always have a couple on the go. But when the weather starts to get a bit colder I find my hair needs something to give it a bit more moisture. Enter… Coconut milk!

autumn faves lila bailey blog

And in autumn, who doesn’t love a bath? (I bloody love a bath). These bath tea bags are from a gift shop in my town, but I think you can find them (or certainly ones similar) pretty much anywhere. I love a bath bomb too, but find these are more subtle but really leave your skin smelling glorious afterwards.

autumn faves lila bailey blog

And, something I haven’t actually used yet because it’s too darn pretty… This amazing soap cupcake that I bought at the Yorkshire Soap Company in Harrogate (check out my Harrogate recap post to learn more). Surely I’m not the only one who thinks it looks too good to use?!

autumn faves lila bailey blog

Home & Office

Also from the Yorkshire Soap Co is this amazing candle that I genuinely can’t get enough of. I wanted an autumnal smell and the lady in the shop suggested this one. What a dream it is! Can’t have autumn without a few new candles now, can you?

autumn faves lila bailey blog

Finally, the thing that I don’t think I could live without… My giant planner! I bought this at the end of August so I could get a bit more organised with my blog posts & content. It has been a miracle, and keeps me totally on track. Plus, I am an actual stationery geek so any excuse to buy something new!

autumn faves lila bailey blog

Next Up…

So there you have a few of my autumn faves. And for more autumnal vibes, check out my last two posts! Next up on the blog, it’s back to weddings with some wedding decor inspiration that I’m having at my own wedding.