Friday, 29 November 2013

Gold n' Cold

Despite that this week has been the first week that i have started to get the hint of frantic retail type Christmas stress at Monsoon Towers; i have rather enjoyed myself.  This year i am going to make an extra EFFORT to not fall too far into the stress and try to see the bigger picture (ie that huge and lovely Christmas dinner at my parents with the Mr) and to see everyone's lovely faces when they open the presents that i have not yet got them.

But don't worry.  I have my Christmas CARDS and all of my wrapping paper and 'bits' and so whatever those i love and care about get, be sure to know it will look BEAUTIFUL.  I exaggerate a bit as i do have a few odds and ends but i do feel like i really need to up the ante and not be doing the usual Tasmanian devil type 'sweep' i always do on christmas eve.
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That said, this week has been jolly okay you know.  I feel like Winter might play fair this year.  We are teetering on the very edge and this week saw a bit more of a tease and tickle of frosty mornings, so so bright skies and a hint at what i hope will shape up to be a flipping freezing, dry and BRIGHT Winter please…

If you pop by here ever so often you will no how much i love my BREAKFASTING.  Breakfast is always something i have to set aside time for.  Even when i am working and time in bed is precious, nothing breaks my heart more then the thought of skipping breakfast or not devoting the time to it that it deserves.  If i am working, everything else in the world gets done ultra fast - make-up, hair, clothes and more thought goes into what i put onto my TOAST than what i wear.  I also have to allow at least half an hour to sit and munch.  Anything less and my day feels unsettled.  When i am off, i make breakfast stretch as long as is humanely possible, often enjoying several cups of tea and two smaller breakfasts popped together.  Sometimes i even allow myself a second breakfast, for lunch.  I know i am wild.  I know how to live, what can i say.  

Early bike rides on my day off this week were the CRISPEST i have seen so far this year.  I layered two tops, a jumper, extra wooly blue tights and a tweed kilt up so much that i could barely cycle.  You will be pleased to know that i wasn't cold though.  I love how the air feels as it hits your LUNGS when it is this cold.  I am weird like that.  I love how warm and cosy my mittens keep my hands and how icy my little red nose gets and despite how silly i probably look, a day like this one makes you just feel so good and healthy inside and out that i don't care.

Each time i go cycling my usual route i fall in LOVE with it more and more and at the moment it changes so much in just a short space of time.  You can see the last few leaves holding on tight, the stubborn ones that wont give into Winter.  They are so bright and golden that staring at them too long hurts my eyes.  Its almost as if they hold all the sun and loveliness that our long warm summer brought.  They are such a huge contrast to how cold and icy i feel that just looking at them warms me right through.  How can you not want to be outside when it looks this damn lovely?!
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In other less descriptive news:  My third column for Carlisle Living is out now.  So if you live locally to me you can grab yourself a copy and get a bit lost in my Christmassy ramblings.  I think this might be my favourite piece so far and i am loving WRITING for them so very much 

 * This week saw the end of my summer perfume.  I need a new winter perfume as my usual wintery scent (PHILOSOPHY 'FALLING IN LOVE')  has been snaffled by a few people i know and it has started to remind me more of them than me.  I don't like to follow the crowd but i am thinking of dipping my toes in the Jo Malone pool. Thoughts? 

*  I wrote a little guest post for the BEAUTIFUL Beetas' blog this week.  I am quite a new reader to her little space and have really fallen in love with the way she writes.  She is now firmly at the top of my favourites.  Go and say hello  HERE as she has been under the weather recently and you would make her day.  

*  It is my birthday on Monday of next week and i am really struggling with knowing how i want to spend my day.  I shall be twenty-nine.  Except i don't feel like i should be allowed to be that age as i am a little bit of a dizzy donut and struggle to think of myself as a 'grown up'.  The Peter Pan inside me still thinks i can survive on no money and that it is okay to blow a lot of money on something if its beautiful enough.  This year might be the year i get a grip.

Tonight i am excited for pea-shoot stirfry with duck spring rolls and noodles, and also the fact that we have the best cookies to dunk in Lady Grey before bed.  See? One needs to get a grip.  Tomorrow evening, the Mr is out playing and so i have a hot date with a LUSH bath bomb and i am going to try and concoct a ROSE G&T to keep me company.  

But for now, the spring rolls are a callin'!
Have the most splendid of weekends dear readers!

Friday, 22 November 2013

Sky Diver

For someone like me who is a bit of a wimp when it comes to heights, it is a little ironic that i feel like i have spent most of this week (dangerously) 'ooh-ing' and 'aah-ing' at various cloudless, cloudful and just down right stunning SKIES recently.  I would like to say i am not going to bore you with the pictorial evidence, but then i would be telling pork pies and if you stop by here often, you will be well accustomed to the sky action by now.

I am sat here with a tummy full of carrot and swede mash and all the goodness of cottage pie lovliness. You will be relieved to know i have managed to squeeze in a little CLEMENTINE though.  You know CHRISTMAS is on its way when the oranges are good and everywhere you turn.  Life is pretty sweet.  I have plans for a hot Lush Snow Fairy filled shower yet, and i am sure i shall need a biscuit to dunk in my tea before i rest my little head.  But let us not get carried away with Now as this week has been a delight too…
MORNINGS have been all the more manageable when they are as BRIGHT and beautiful as the ones we have had up here this week.  Waking up in the dark is a miserable existence, but watching the sunrise over frosty rooftops with a hot cup of Lady Grey; and CRANBERRY and raisin bread toasting away is a little bit special.  I get by. Wearing the softest pastel brushed cotton pyjamas right until the very last minute before leaving the house is also a talent i have become quite accustomed to recently.

Being out in fresh air when the skies are so flipping flopping BLUE you could forgiven for mistaking it as a summer's day.  Catching the most perfect LIGHT at just the right moment.  Golly gosh how i love to take pictures.  Looking up (again) and realising that the branches are baring and the wind is burning the back of your throat. WINTER is coming and she is going to be a stunner.

White skies, bare branches and BERRIES.  Frosty bike rides, bare hands and forgetting 
mittens…brrr! Being a russian hippie when layering goes too far - two pairs of tights, T-shirt, dress and jumper.  Oh and a little tweed blazer.  I should be pacing myself! What was i thinking?!

Playing with stars because, well why not? Perfectly PINK and AMBER sunsets to watch, sat on the floor with back against the radiator and the cosiest socks and oversized knit for good measure. It doesn't get much better than this.
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This weekend i am working both Saturday and Sunday so we shall mostly be having lazy nights all curled up under a big blanket with chocolate digestives and lots of tea.  Tomorrow night we are watching The Great Gatsby (MY CHOICE), which will certainly beat the endless episodes i have had to endure of Walking Dead this week.  I am also considering my first mulled wine of the year too.  If not at least a really fabulous hot chocolate made with melted Green and Blacks Maya Gold and a cheeky slug of whisky.  Either would suffice.

What's everybody else up to?

Wednesday, 20 November 2013


For over a million years (okay that is a slight exaggeration) i have been a little bit 'anti Pinterest'  Don't judge.  I think for someone like me who spends many an hour lay on her tummy on the rug, CUTTING and STICKING and WRITING quotes to form real life mood-boards, i felt a little like i was cheating on my creations by dallying in such sites. 
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One day i thought i would see what all the fuss was about and here we are.  I know i am a little more than fashionably late to the PIN PARTY so i hope i am forgiven but i thought i might start updating you on what's currently floating my online boat, with a little bit of stuff and nonsense to explain why.  You can find me on Pinterest HERE.  
I have no idea where my obsession with all of the above began or which pin started it all off, but lately i have been in LOVE with softer, vintage, ROSEY-POSEY palettes of muted lilacs, pale peaches and the sparkliest golds imaginable.  When not wrapped up in a million layers, and with hands that are mittened-to-the-max, at home i have been rocking the oldest softest blue skinnies, old and crumpled silk and cotton smocks and oversized cream and rose angora cardigans.  And messy post-top knot tresses a plenty. 
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 I love the idea of smudged GOLD lined eyes, messy slept in hair and dotting little gold stars on your cheeks. I also recently had a bit of a LILAC dylon dye spree and gave a little bit of new life to some old white tees and cotton blouses and even decided to use some to sleep in.  These colour combinations are perfect company for cups of lavender earl grey, painting your nails with Barry M ROSE quartz glitter and listening to THIS.   Tomorrow i am planning on starring up my own pink cheeks for work and i am far too excited!

Monday, 11 November 2013

Just Flapping

Is it just me or has CHRISTMAS just dropped out of the sky from nowhere?! I feel like HALLOWEEN and BONFIRE Night have gone in no more than a whizz and a bang and suddenly M&S are playing Christmas music, everyone's drinking some kind of beverage with cinnamon, gingerbread or salted 'something' in and i am nowhere near as organised as i need to be.  

I say this.  I have pretty much decided what sort of wrapping 'scheme' i am going for this year (THIS IS IMPORTANT) and sort of got an odd present or two…ish.  And i think i know what i am getting the Mr (which is task and a half alone) but, i just feel a little panicked.  And feel as if i have several thousand lists in various places all over the shop.  And as if i might go bankrupt.  If i haven't already since i didn't really require the new Topshop dress i have just purchased.  More on that another time.  Despite my recent frantic list making and general flap over all things Christmas, our weekend was a nice one.
Inside this cheeky little CROISSANT hid lots of melted butter and STRAWBERRY jam.  I am quite the healthy bean during week day breakfasts and because well, i could eat breakfast for each and every meal, the weekend variety tend to be a little more indulgent.  And largely pastry based.  I chose jam, the Mr chose nutella.  I could have eaten another if i am honest. 

 BRIGHT LAYERING and clumpy boots and the softest, cosiest fur cossack hat for tramping around the shops before lunch.  I sometimes feel as if i dress brighter in the winter to compensate for the minus temperatures.  If that is possible.
 The clearest brightest (AND COLDEST) autumn skies and present pondering in the sweetest (and my new favourite) gift shops.  Shops like Ashbridge and Brown are so few and far between in bigger towns and cities.  This little gem is packed to the rafters with so much lovely stuff that it is hard to focus on the christmas shopping task in hand as i could quite happily buy the lot just for me.  The icing on the cake is the friendly, cheery and genuine service i always receive in this sweet little place which puts some of the bigger retailers out there to shame.  I wish the British hight street could be filled with these sort of lovely independent businesses like it used to be, they are so much more pleasurable to shop in.

Making the effort to make loose leaf Bluebird Tea in my pretty tea strainer always reminds me of making tea at home in a huge pot, with a tea cosy.  Putting the kettle on was always a bit of a ritual and making tea for five fussy tea drinkers at home was definitely always a challenge.  There was always a sense of achievement if you got everyone's right.  It's a bit sad how now its more of a 'shove a bag in a cup' sort of an affair.  

Perfect autumn SUNSETS watched from our huge windows, wrapped up in a big blanket and with a copy of Simple Things magazine for company.  I can't get enough of all the Christmas-sey editions of magazines and look books about at the moment.  I may or may not have a Christmas themed mood board on the go already….

Friday, 8 November 2013

Raindrops and Poses

On MONDAY morning whoever lives upstairs thought it was the right time to switch on WINTER.  I think i agree.  I awoke to thick fog, frosty rooftops and a particularly cold wooden floor.  I crept to the wardrobe for slippers and the hugest softest jumper to throw over my pyjamas and then stood and watched next doors cat try to negotiate a rather frosty topped fence, whilst the kettle boiled for my first Lady Grey of the day.  

The weather has certainly felt much colder on the days when Mr SUNSHINE neglects to show his handsome face and i am not ashamed to admit to taking a hot water bottle to bed for at least the last week.  The mittens are out and layers are the way forward with socks over tights in boots being a particular favourite.  And you know it's not even that cold.  I don't like to think about how i shall cope when it gets really icy out there…so at the moment i am okay with a bit now and then.
Temperatures of the ZERO kind and pretty condensation droplets on the windows calls for climbing back on the porridge bus.  A big blue bowl of porridge with mashed blackberries, nutmeg and a good drizzle of runny honey. 

GOLDEN afternoon by-the-river- bike riding when tweed, mittens a fairisle snood and crazy pink bobble hat are essential.  These colours melt my heart, these pictures do not do it justice whatsoever.

LOOKING up and spotting little signs that SANTA is on his merry way.  I barely feel ready, at all.  I know exactly how i am going to wrap presents this year (one of the very best parts of xmas in my opinion) but i have bought only one.  I am determined to get myself into gear this year and not leave it too late.  We shall see!

Frantic SHOWERS through SUNNY skies bringing the prettiest RAINBOW and a perfect excuse for a hot gingerbread latte and wander in the fresh air, all bundled up and cosy.

Evenings spent lay on my tummy cutting and sticking down AUTUMN with hints at WINTER and Christmas, with chai tea and chocolate ginger biscuits for company.  I am currently feeling inspired by TARTAN and plaid checks with traditional tweeds and William Morris florals, and just a nod to the nineties.  I keep getting winter and xmas look books through our little letter box and they are always filled with the sweetest pictures.  I feel like i have mentally gone bankrupt a million times over in the last week alone with new pieces from Cath Kidston, Joules and Boden all finding their way into my mood-boards.  Its a little bit like heaven. 

 If you would like to have a nosey at more things that float my little boat, you can find me on Pinterest HERE.  

What has everyone got planned for this weekend? I have managed to bag myself the next ten days off work and so our little somewhere has never been so clean and lovely.  Tonight is clean sheets and clean hair and then WALNUT toast for breakfast tomorrow.  How will i sleep?! Right this very second i have THIS song on loop and have done for at least the last hour. SO good and great and such a bum wiggler!


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