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  1. Have a Happy and Hand Picked Christmas

    Here we are once more, slap bang in the middle of the festive season. It’s perfectly acceptable to belt out Christmas hits any time you’re out and about in the car. Or, if you’ve been partaking of the mulled wine, any time you’re out and about, full stop. Is your tree up yet? Or has it been in pride of place since the start of Advent? And are ‘the stockings hung round the chimney with care, in the hope that St Nicholas soon will be there?’

    Wishing You Christmas Cheer

    You’d better not shout, you’d better not cry; you’d better not pout, I’m telling you whyyyyy… Santa Claus is coming to toooowwwwwnnnn… It’s true you know; Buddy the Elf was right. The best way to spread Christmas cheer IS singing loud for all to hear!’

    It’s true though. Singing is a brilliant mood lifter (probably avoid Adele. Or the Smiths. Eighties dance tracks are always a winner, when it’s not Christmas anyway) and if you get up and dance a bit, so much the better. Everyone’s stress levels

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  2. Hand-Picked High Days and Holidays

    Hand-Picked High Days and Holidays

    School’s out for Summer! After an almost-normal school year after quite a few extra-ordinary terms, it’s time for a well-earned, long, hot Summer.

    Summertime and the Living is Easy

    Have you got holidays planned? A staycation, perhaps? A lovely family time at home with some days out and picnics? Some time has passed (I know, quite a lot), but I still remember the pure, unadulterated joy of breaking up for Summer. Oh, those weeks and weeks of freedom and possibility stretching endlessly ahead.

    And, you know, looking back, we didn’t go on exclusive all-inclusive holidays or to scarily expensive UK activity centre breaks. No. Just picnics by a stream, fun days in local parks, swimming, maybe trips on the train to Manchester or Buxton. And yet we remember those days as idyllic and happy. There’s a lesson there.

    Making Memories to Treasure

    Cliché or not, it’s fair to assume you’ll be making memories, so make them good ones. Fill your days with f

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  3. Jellycat Cuddles and More!

    Jellycat Cuddles and More!

    JellyCat Cuddles and More, Hand Picked by Henrietta Is there anything more lovely than a JellyCat cuddly toy? Delightfully soft, reassuringly ragdoll-like and just, well, irresistibly adorable. Bedtime Stories and Bestest Bears Traditional teddies are all well and good, and we all have our old favourites, don’t we? Maybe we even still have them, sitting on a shelf somewhere, a little threadbare, but loved to bits. Literally, sometimes. And did anyone else love the Mick Inkpen book, Threadbear? Oh, how I miss those days (well, nights) of bedtime stories. Mick Inkpen books were favourites, along with Percy the Parkkeeper – and not forgetting Little Nutbrown Hare, of course. All those characters made it into beany toy tributes, too. Who was your favourite? And your children’s of course… Everyone Loves a JellyCat Cuddly But JellyCat cuddlies are that little bit different. They’re not your common or garden teddy bear (lovely though common or garden bears can be). They just LEND themsel

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  4. Hearts Flowers and LOVE to you too

    Hearts and Flowers and Love You Too Helloooo! We’re in February! HOW did that happen? It’s still light at 5pm, snowdrops are popping up and even crocuses. Spring is on the way… Hope the Year’s Still Happy
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  5. Winter Warmers and Happy Newish Year

    Winter Warmers and Happy Newish Year

    Winter Warmers and Happy Newish Year How was your Christmas? I hope it was merry and bright, and chock-full of sparkles and fairy lights, friends and family. It was said to say goodbye to the tree and the decorations – somehow, they add instant warmth and cosiness, don’t they? – but once they’re down, we’re ready for a fresh new start. Plus, the house always seems a little bigger. Why not add a few pretty things from our website? We LOVE these East of India vases, especially with their inspiring, hopeful messages. Just the ticket for some bright and pretty flowers to ease us towards Spring…
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  6. Charity Begins at H…Hand Picked by Henrietta

    Charity Begins at H…Hand Picked by Henrietta

    Charity Begins at H…Hand Picked by Henrietta

    Ah, the old proverb, 'Charity Begins at Home'; so often misunderstood, even misused. Our first responsibility is to our own family, our people. Extend that to our community. Then take it further. Our country. Our entire planet. Also, maybe it begins at home because we should LEARN it at home? Be nice, don't be unkind.  And a personal favourite: "if you can't say anything nice, say nowt". Yep, charity BEGINS at home,but please don't ever let it end there. Compassion is GLOBAL.

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  7. Birthdays Are For Life - Even Near Christmas

    Birthdays Are For Life - Even Near Christmas

    Birthdays Are for Life – Even NearChristmas*

    *With apologies to Dogs' Trust for bastardising their phrase. A dog is for LIFE, not just for Christmas. Never forget that. However, I'm compelled to point out that ALL birthdays matter. That's for a friend who has a December birthday. Yep, even when you're in full Christmas shopping mode.

    As for October, birthdays are a bit like buses chéz Henrietta. They all seem to arrive at once. Do you have a month like that? In one week, we have my birthday and my son's, then my brother-in-law's half-century the following week, and my niece's birthday after that. Fortunately, everyone's guaranteed a beautiful card and gift because, well, Hand-Picked by Henrietta…

    I Like Big Birthdays and I Cannot Lie

    I like birthdays, even when there's

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  8. Spread Your Sparkle with Hand Picked by Henrietta

    Spread Your Sparkle with Hand Picked by Henrietta

    As the motivational saying goes, ‘Never Let Anyone Dull Your Sparkle’. It’s right, you know. Everything’s better with a bit of sparkle. Sunlight glistening on the sea. A glint in the eye. Prosecco. Life is just better sparkling. Try and spread a little sparkle wherever you go…
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  9. Seasonal Scents and Autumnal Offerings

    Seasonal Scents and Autumnal Offerings

    The change of season from summer into autumn is often quite distinct. Sure, the blackberries have been ripening slowly since August and the trees beginning to turn those incredible golds and russets, but they’re more of a slow-burn, a gradual shift. Suddenly, around about now, it actually starts to FEEL like autumn. There’s a marked chill in the air. An unmistakable crispness to the evenings. The crunch of fallen leaves underfoot. Maybe you’ve even considered putting on the heating. You’ve definitely thought about being enveloped in oversized, woolly jumpers and Uggs. Or fluffy slippers, if you’re working from home…
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