Friday, 23 August 2013

Sweet Steps

I have that feeling.  The Sunday night one.  The kind you used to get when you were little whilst sitting with damp hair before bed.  The feeling of just knowing that you would struggle to sleep because 'you knew you had to get up early tomorrow.' This is most confusing to my little self since it is in fact Friday and the start of a bank holibob of fun and frolics for most.  I am back at work tomorrow after being off since Tuesday.  It hurts. Especially since we have had the LOVELIEST time of galavanting here there and everywhere and spending time JUST US. Just us with nowhere to be, nowhere to be going and no one to bother but US.  We filled our cases and headed to Harrogate for a few days exploring and wandering.
 We had decided on Harrogate a little while ago.  For the couple that struggle to decide what to eat for tea most nights, this was progress.  We couldn't however find anywhere to stay that we both liked and that didn't cost a million pounds.  Then at 11pm the night before we were going, we found THIS gem. It was essentially a pretty little B&B, with the luxuries of a 5.5 star hotel and more.
 We arrived to homemade CAKE (chocolate and Guinness!)and shortbread in our pretty PURPLE room - i was already mentally planning our next trip..
 A little tea, SUNSHINE and shortbread break before heading into town for somewhere delicious to eat.
Day two's CAKE - Carrot and walnut.  Accompanied naturally by even more homemade shortbread. 

Falling in love with the beautiful Valley Gardens: watching squirrels play in the trees, baby ducklings hiding in a secret pond and even making a wish in a wishing well.  And watching the prettiest SUN on its way to bed.

Wandering the pretty hanging basket filled streets before tea…

And wandering the even more pretty streets after tea in a hopeless effort to walk off all the delicious treats we had just munched through before cake and tea in bed.

We even squeezed in a trip to York and couldn't go without walking miles around its pretty, cobbled and slant-y housed streets; and without saying a little hello and how do you do to York Minister.  

I admired and wanted to stop and take a picture of everything nearly every HOUSE we passed because every single one was more pretty than the one before.  I also wanted to buy all the vintage trunks and suitcases and several old and very sad bicycles from the pretty vintage shops.

I fell in love with the pretty little road side 'help yourself' gardens.  Although after spotting these baby SALAD leaves i do hope nobody depends on them too much or they might be going a little bit hungry! 
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I didn't want to come home.  I wanted to stay always and live in a pretty Mews, have cake in my room everyday and cycle Willow through all the pretty cobbled streets all of the time.
Hope i find you all tip top and i am wishing you all the most stupendous Bank Holiday weekend!  

Sunday, 18 August 2013

Paper and Scissors

It's Sunday.  Officially the best day of the whole and entire week.  Working in retail means weekends don't exist so much (SHORT STRAW) but i only work one in three Sundays and so they are to be treasured! There is no better feeling than turning that alarm off just before my head hits our pretty mountain of pillows and cushions; knowing that I can sleep until I like (OR USUALLY UNTIL THE CATHEDRAL BELLS DING DONG AT TEN O' CLOCK!).

Today has been even lazier than usual (IF YOU CAN BELIEVE IT!) and solo-shaped as the Mr has been away galavanting in York for a dear friends birthday.  The best thing about Sundays is that i can curl up on the sofa with all the cushions and all the blankets and a sizeable cup of lady grey and wake up nice and slowly.  
Today i decided to finish a few of my latest mood boards that i have been pottering along with.  I love to cut up inspirational pictures from anywhere and everywhere and use them to inspire myself on a day to day basis.  There is a special place for all my current ones if you click on the 'Mood boarding' section at the very top of the page.
This is rather black for me! Its inspired by heavier fabrics - black tweeds; thick itchy wool coats; black opaque tights with shiny shoes; oxblood lips with anything and everything (I AM ON THE SEARCH FOR THE PERFECT SHADE OF OXBLOOD LIPSTICK AND I THINK I HAVE FOUND IT!); being more pulled together - a white collar peeping from under a tea dress; dark florals; a really blunt fringe.  It's all a little bit Sixties, but a bit grungier.  
This is one of my favourites! Its all hippy, but with an Autumnal (SSH) slant.  Its long, long - the LONGEST hair imaginable - its waved, not curled (MAYBE SLEPT IN CURLS?); its mixing bold prints - brighter more primary colours; billowing skirts and dainty printed blouses worn tied in a knot.  Its wearing Summer's maxi dresses with an oversized cream chunky knit cardigan and tasselled boots with socks. It's not tights! Its feeling warm and happy and surrounded by warmer colours and intricate print and lots and lots of texture.  
*  *  *    
I have been inspired lots by two of my oldest mood boards lately also.
Whenever im sleepy i find this little collection nice to look at! I love to sleep in old silk smocks that have been too worn and loved to be deemed appropriate for day wear anymore. This board is sort of inspired by that.  Sleepy heads, soft natural cottons and silks and the prettiest bras and knickers.  A pale pink and cream palette with only the softest most delicate hint of  a print.  Barely there make up and just blusher and rose salve.  Heaven!
The second is a Cath Kidston, Liberty and scandinavian inspired collection of images and bits and bobs.  I think this is the board i look at most.  If i could look like and own every single little bit of something on here then i would be a Print-cess in a castle of loveliness!  This is just about being brave and wearing it all at once!

The rest of today has been about wearing socks and shoes and still hanging onto bare legs..
And for catching up on inspirational peoples ramblings elsewhere, whilst being tucked up in our little office of sky, flowers and candles.
Tonight is for catching up on missed cuddles, for lots of tea and for a pizza as big as our heads with lots of beetroot and rocket piled on top.  Because that is the very perfect way to spend a sunday evening if you ask me!

I hope you have all had the LOVELIEST weekend too!

Wednesday, 14 August 2013

I'm so Ditsy

I fear that my love of PRINT is almost teetering on the edge of lunacy.  It doesn't matter what it is, but if its beautifully printed then my heart just skips a beat and i start imagining where it will go, what i will put with it and how seamlessly it shall fit into my already crazy colourful life.  I find it hard to walk away.  I flip through magazines and whilst i marvel at beautifully cream, minimal and thoughtful interiors, i just cannot compute living like that.  For me all that is calm comes from intricate, beautiful colourful prints that make my little heart sing. 
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Recently there have been two new additions that have slotted particularly  seamlessly into an already haphazard collection. First being my our new little pouf..

It was a rare and amazing find in Tk Maxx - one of my favourite 'grab a take out coffee and have a wander' sort of shops.  I struggled with said coffee, satchel and my lunch en route back to work with this baby, but  i made it in one piece.  Isn't she a dream?! She now sits on our pretty wooden floor boards in the hallway, underneath my V&A print and, as the Mr put it:   'In a prime shoe putting on spot.'  I suspect this might be code for 'its hideous and can go in the hall so i dont have to look at it.'  I think it's wonderful.  
And second up is this pretty little SUNDRESS from Topshop.  I already own the exact same dress in a different print from earlier on in the year and i have worn it to death.  When i spotted this one in the sale i had to have it!  I have worn it a lot recently.  In fact until i was flipping and flopping through photos last night i hadn't realised quite how much!! So much so that i even bought roses to match it the other day.  Completely by accident.  Now that is print lunacy! It seems it has all been about the ditsy dotsy florals here…
Feeling (AND ENJOYING) that early morning chill on my day off on Monday.  See how beautifully this pretty little specimen of a dress goes from summer to autumn in but a flash of a chunky oversized cardigan, neutral brogues and willow coloured cambridge satchel?! (KEEPER).  I am holding onto bare legs for as long as can be but i am excited for Autumn.  Beyond.  Belief.  I have got my eye on the softest angora burnt orange jumper to throw over this little dreamboat of a dress.  

Getting stranded.  Despite being gloriously sunny when i left the house on Monday, the heavens decided to open on my second lap of the park.  I took shelter here and watched the rain and sung to the music in my ears.  The sun on the damp grassy embankment smelt beautiful.  Even if on leaving my hair felt twice its usual size.  
PRINT over load.  Its slightly unusual how much i love this photo.  I almost wish it was a duvet.  One that i imagine to bring the best 'zzz's.'  One of my very best friends has recently had a little baby boy, so the other day was present buying day! I couldn't resist this beautiful card.  For me.  Whilst i have plenty of lovely people i'm sure i could find something to say thank you very much for;  this card is already on my current mood board which i am hoping to share soon.  Its Caroline Gardiner.  Aren't her prints divine? I have a diary which i love, and a back log of her wrapping paper squirrelled away for pretty present wrapping.  

Just LOOKING. A little rest pre-cappucino.  Sometimes its nice to just sit under a tree and admire the pretty flowers.  If i could get away with it (AND IT DIDNT KILL OR SQUASH ABOVE FLOWERS) i would love to do a little snow angel in these flower beds.  Imagine what a pretty picture that would make? From a helicopter?! Would you even see me?!
Is there such a thing as too much?  One cannot decide.  More Loony than Lara? We'll see.  
Currently MUNCHING this.  Always.  An accidental thrown together sort of salad i have had two days running now. Torn up chicken breast, fine egg noodles, rocket, raw runner beans and edname beans and a squeeze of lime. I added toasted sesame seeds and torn up coriander to todays.  It was even better (IF YOU CAN ADAM AND EVE IT).  
*    *    *  
Tonight we are making sausages and mashed potato with leeks and green beans and delicious yummy onion gravy in an attempt to hurry along Autumn.  I didn't just say that.  I like to treasure the change in seasons and i know that i shouldn't 'wish my life away' (SORRY MUM!) but oh i cannot wait for layers and jumpers and early nights in bed with candles and cardamon spiced hot chocolate…

Right now i am off to buy a liberty printed bow tie to wear with my printed blouses.  I think that could be my thang for AW13.  

How do i find you all?

Thursday, 8 August 2013

Blue Drops

I have never harboured a love for one particular colour over the rest.  My peepers are far more likely to be drawn to a beautiful print than just one colour.  I mean how do you choose? Why not have them all?!  Having said that i have been noticing lately that i am drawn to things with a much BLUER or GREENER print.  In my slightly stress-y worrying frame of mind this last week or so (LONG STORY), i am finding this palette calming, relaxing and sleep inducing.  

I treated us (WELL ME I SUPPOSE SINCE THE MR WONT REALLY NOTICE) to a new duvet last weekend and i am far too excited to go to sleep tonight.  For calm, relaxing slumbers in my our new navy blue polka dot duvet and too many cushions and pillows.  In other news… 

Lately has been a lot about smells.  Freshly cut damp grass in the morning smells beautiful.  It's Summer in one single sniff with out a doubt.  The gentle perfume of wet FLOWERS on an early evening bike ride, after the rain has stopped.  Its so very hard to buy flowers that smell of anything anymore and because we don't have a garden; smelling that damp floral scent is heaven. It reminds me of being little.  When after tea playing in the garden seemed to last forever and all you could smell were sweet peas and grass.  
The best START to the days.  Toasted bloomer with lemon curd and squashed fresh raspberries. Divine!

The best MIDDLES to the day.  Fresh coffee in the prettiest William Morris cup, wearing the prettiest printed dresses.  Late afternoon pick me up's of Bluebird Tea Company VICKY'S SPONGE CAKE TEA and a sneaky slice of victoria sponge and fresh raspberries.  There are no words for how beautiful this delicate little tea tastes.  And i can confirm it also goes just perfectly with custard creams.  I am excited to try it with jam roly poly and custard when those nights are a little bit cooler.
  The best ENDS to the day.  Treats of the beer-y kind.  I have never been much of a beer drinker; often opting for a PIMMS and GINGER beer or a RASPBERRY mojito in the summer time.  This beer was unusually addictive.  It was a bit spicy, with hints of strawberry and rose petals.  Delicious ice cold after burgers and french fries.  

My week in CLOUDS.  Sunday's blue skied drive into clouds that just went on and on and were nestling in the prettiest blue sky.  Angry out of the blue kinds of clouds chasing me and Willow back from the park. We arrived home just before the heavens did their thing. The most perfect end of the day clouds.  Just when i think i have found the prettiest clouds imaginable, i fall in love all over again.  This was just as i was closing the window and putting my pyjamas on before munching on chocolate ginger biscuits and chai tea before bed.   I am so in love…until next week. 

The LITTLEST things.  I love underwear, i love print and i love jam.  These Whitestuff printed cotton knickers presented in a sweet little jam jar are PERFECT

It's worrying how very excited i am for clean bedding, freshly washed but damp hair, new underwear and sleeping with the window open still.  Im too easily pleased sometimes...

What has made everyone else's week lovely?


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