Sniff……Scented candles for Christmas

It’s not exactly an addiction, but I LOVE scented candles.

I’ve spent many a time ensconced in Diptyque or Jo Malone with my nose stuck in a candle jar for probably a few moments longer than I should.

It’s at Christmas though I love to fill the house with festive smells, often burning two together to combine different scents.

Here are a few of my favourite Christmas candles ………


Diptyque Pomander ……

Diptyque candle

Did you ever stick cloves in oranges as home made Christmas decorations? Well this candle definitely hits that memory  nail on the head.  A warming spicy aroma – Clove, orange, cinnamon.  Delicious.


The White Company Fir Tree……

White Company Fir Tree candle

This could be one of the finds of the season.  It is a true scent of the forest smell without smelling like disinfectant.  A fresh, woody scented candle with hints of pine, eucalyptus, cedar and moss.  I bought the three wick candle which at £65.00 is a lot of money, but its definitely long-lasting and fills my hallway with this gorgeous scent.


True Grace Burlington Christmas Classic Candle ……

True Grace Candle

This candle has a slightly musty, smokey smell.  One of True Grace’s classic candles. The official True Grace blurb describes it as ‘A Christmas in London with a miscellany of scents”  Not too sure what that means, but a wonderfully warm scent perfect for a snug or tv room.  Also available in different sizes and room diffusers.


Jo Loves Christmas Tree……

This may be the  glamorous big sister of the White Company Fir Tree candle.  A very similar scent, but with undertones of lavender, incense and amber.  Beautifully packaged as always, this candle fills the house with memories of Christmas trees when they really did smell of Christmas trees!


Wild Planet Warm Hug……

Wild Planet Candle

My last candle, I found at Spirit of Christmas this year.  Wild Planet,is a small home fragrance company based in Kent. I chose Warm Hug for its heady blend of earthy notes reminiscent of old leather books, tobacco and warm firesides. This is a perfect accompaniment to some of the fresher pine based candles.


So I think you can see a pattern in my candle buying.  I love the Christmassy scents of pine, eucalyptus, cedar and moss.  But also the earthy woody tones in some of the more unusual smoky candles.  I love to move from room to room picking up the different scents as I go.


And now for the best piece of entertaining advice anyone has ever given you.  At Christmas time do you fill your house with tea lights only for them to run their course half way through the evening? Look out for these long lasting 8 hour night lights by Price’s. You can buy them in Robert Dyas or on Amazon of course.  They will twinkle and flicker away until bedtime.


I hope you have enjoyed my candle suggestions.  Of course there are many, many more.  What are your favourites?


Have a lovely day,




Jo Loves

The White Company

True Grace

Wild Planet






Christmas Wreaths – Decorate Those Doors……



I was itching to put my Christmas decorations up, but had to show some restraint until at least the middle of December, otherwise I’d be itching to take them down on the 26th! I would however be happy to keep a wreath on my door all year round.

One of  the joys at the beginning of the month is making the wreaths for the front and back doors – however it must be said that my efforts often show very little sign of skill or finesse. They look ok – how can you go wrong with some greenery and twinkly lights?…… but this year I thought I’d learn how the experts do it and enrolled in a Christmas Wreath workshop at loveflowers in Hertford. We met at their gorgeous shop in Market Street and as I was little early I spent a few minutes checking out the inspirational flowers, vases and various other objet – much of which I could quite easily taken home with me.  But that’s for another time.

I’d never made a wreath from scratch before.  Other workshops had given us a ready made wreath to add foliage and decoration to, so it was a pleasant surprise to discover that we were to start by adding moss to a wire frame to make the base of our wreath.

The next step is to build up the shape – adding an abundance of blue spruce, pine and plenty, plenty eucalyptus. Wrapping florist wire to keep the greenery in place, (there was an obvious knack to this, and our tutor made it look very simple), but we all managed and with lots of offers of mulled wine, mince pies and tea and coffee to keep us going – we were keen to move on to the next stage – decoration.  We could choose from an array of fragrant dried fruits and seed heads, feathers, berries and flowers, but I kept mine fairly low-key, adding just a few bits of decoration to the lush green base.

At the end we left the florists clutching our wreaths as proud as schoolchildren on our first day of school.  It truly was great fun and my wreath now holds pride of place on my back door, which is the door that everyone uses and so will see my handywork.

There are some beautiful wreaths around and here are some found on line for inspiration……



christmas wreath

Photo by Jez Timms on Unsplash




picture of wreath with deer



front door wreath



I hope you enjoy decorating your doors as much as I did.

Have a lovely day,





…..And Breathe……


At this time of the year……

When each hour only seems to have fifty minutes……

And each day seems shorter by a few hours……

When our homes are being decorated to within an inch of their lives……

And we turn cooking and shopping into an Olympic sport.

Just stop……Breathe and take a minute to appreciate some of the simpler things in life……


Climbing into a freshly laundered bed……

picture of comfortable bed


Candle light……

picture of wall candle sconce


The wonderfully evocative scent of Paperwhites……

picture of paperwhites

There’s still time to plant these for a showing at Christmas.  Narcissus can be bought readily in all garden centres or on line.  Paperwhite is the name of the species.  It is highly scented with multi headed daffodil shaped  white flowers – an interior designers dream flower.

To plant simply place the  bulbs in a pot or dish on some pebbles or marbles to anchor the roots in place and keep topped up with water. They can also be sat on soil (but it isn’t necessary to plant completely).  Again keep watered.  It should only take about three weeks for them to bloom.  Or stagger planting so you have plenty of blooms throughout dark winter days.


Your favourite hat on a chilly day……

picture of girl in pink hat


There’s something about lights on a string –  the more the better, and an all year feature  in my own home now……

girl with fairy lights


And the silence of a snowy scene from the comfort of your own home……

picture of snowy scene


I know it’s easier said than done, but before the madness begins, lets try to enjoy the simple things.


Hope you have a lovely week,





Write a blog……How Hard Can It Be……Part 2



So, where were we?

Oh yes, this is part 2 of my adventures in setting up and writing the best blog in  the world (I’m joking).  Part 1 can be found here .

The name Onegreymonday came about One Grey Monday on holiday.  i’d spent a great deal of time thinking about a name that could represent many aspects of modern life, but with a twist that might appeal to a, shall we say more mature reader.

The hard part of choosing a name is a) finding a name that no one has used before, and b) finding a name that can be used across all social media platforms.  This apparently is de rigour in  this modern blogging world. Eventually I managed to tick all four boxes – Blog, Twitter, Instagram and Facebook, and I was off.


My research had told me that I had to find a blog hosting site, and the one to use is WordPress.  It is sooooooo easy to use.  NO IT’S NOT!!  My middle name is not Zuckerberg, and I could not be less technologically challenged if I tried.

Installing WordPress onto your computer is not difficult.  Making your site look like a glossy blog proved to be a little more complicated, so I decided to enrol on a WordPress for beginners course.  I chose a course by  that just happened to start within a couple of weeks of starting to set up my website as my frustration was mounting.  A days course in London went over the basics of using WordPress.  Luckily, as I’d been fighting with my blog for a little while a lot of it wasn’t too confusing, I just needed a bit of reassurance.  As the tutor said a lot of WordPress is quite self explanatory and falls into place with a little practice and knowledge. I think thats exactly what i need though – knowledge and practice.



In an effort to learn as much as possible, I also attended a “Blogging for Beginners” course held by the lovely Antonia of Tinker tailor online.  Here we discussed our ideas for blogging, how to put them into practice, snippets of valuable advice and practical knowledge as Antonia has been where we are and now she is a very successful lifestyle blogger.  But you know the one thing I took away from Antonia’s course was her absolute faith and confidence that WE could do it too.  As one who doesn’t always think I can do something this was huge.  Thank you Antonia.  Oh – and visiting her shop is well worth a visit.


So, where am I now?

I’m aiming for the title of the world’s slowest blogger.  I  still have a love/hate relationship with my website.  It still doesn’t look the way I want it to, but I guess it’s always going to be a work in progress.

I’m starting to connect with  other bloggers and am dipping my toe into the world of Instagram. Facebook is still a mystery, but one step at a time.


If you’re reading this, thinking about starting a blog, if I can help, get in touch.  If I can get this project up and running (and trying to do it without help!!) I absolutely promise you anyone can.  And if you’re a seasoned blogger having stumbled across my beginners ramblings, I’d really appreciate any (kind) criticism.


Hope you all have a lovely day,






Write a blog……How hard can It Be?……Part 1



Sitting on my iPad one recent rainy holiday, I stumbled again on the wonderful world of blogging.

“Do you know” I said to Mr Monday, “I think I could do that – How hard can it be?”


Ha!……How hard can it be?……

I like writing, and I send killer texts to my friends.

I’m always taking photographs on my iPhone.

I’m interested in lots of things I’m sure the rest of the world would be interested in. And, I love being at home, with visions of wafting round the house in my cashmere tracksuit a la Anna Wintour perfecting my art. Do you think she wears a tracksuit , ever?  No, me neither!

I have also dabbled with a blog a few years ago – basically lifting other peoples pictures and writing a few words round them.  But things have definitely moved on since then.

I am also, since giving up work in 1991 to have my children, probably unemployable.  So how wonderful to find something I believe I might be able to do – And – could I, could I make a small amount of money from it?


A clue to my first obstacle is the fact that I haven’t worked for over 25 years.  I am when it comes to the online world, technologically challenged.  Online shopping, school emails and the dreaded Daily Mail is as far as it gets.  Having a family that very much lives in the 21st Century, I have been very happy to let everything pass me by.

I am very much an old fashioned girl!


picture of a vintage keyboard


So……Where to start……

I should say that a few eyebrows were raised when I foolishly stated that I didn’t need/want any help setting up my blog.

How hard can it be, right?……

If you’re reading this you are probably completely au fait with how to set up a blog.

Choose your name –

Register and get hosting for your blog. Get online.

Customize your blog and make it look attractive and readable.

Write and publish your first post.

Promote your blog – use social media to get more people to read your blog.

Woah…… There’s that first hurdle again.

In part 2 I’ll tell you the how I fought and hopefully won over this mine field of setting up a blog.  It has been very slow and definitely not pretty, has involved a lot of tea and swearing,  but hopefully I’m getting there.


Have a lovely day,