Thursday, March 29, 2012


Tomorrow I'm off to Norfolk for a week - so next week's posts will be from the seaside!  I really can't wait for  some time out of London.  We have booked a converted barn that is large, airy, open plan and full of all the mod cons as well as character.  It has a log burner, two wet rooms and a beautiful garden so all weather catered for! My family are joining me, as is a very old friend, so it'll be noisy (5 children aged 20-6) and no doubt on occasion a few tempers will fray, but most of all it'll be fun, with plenty of built in R&R; time to sleep, read and lie in front of the fire (the forecast unreliably reliably tells me it's going to get cold again!).  Anyway, in the meantime, here are some things that are currently inspiring me...
Watch -come-bracelet in coral

Lazy days ahead, coffee and the papers

Chic hair-do for dressed-down glamour

Gorgeous dress-up/down shirts

and just because I love this..what happens next...?
Photo's here

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Chocolate heaven

I cannot contain my excitement!  I am not really a chocolate lover BUT I am a salted caramel devotee and it has come to my attention that for Easter this year Prestat have brought out a dark chocolate sea-salt caramel egg!  I mean!!!!  This I HAVE to taste - can I shout this any louder to anyone who is thinking of buying me an Easter present this year?  I haven't yet found anything that quite beats the sweet-salty pleasure of salted caramel - have you tried it?  Apparently it constitutes a dark chocolate shell made with Prestat’s finest bean couverture with added sea salt nestling inside Prestat’s new Easter Parade box. Inside the egg are Prestat’s luxuriant and more-ish sea salt caramel mini-eggs.  I tell you... Heaven!

What's your favourite Easter treat?

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

H&M Home

I've always loved H&M clothes;  partly because I can get a lot for not a lot (of money!).  They keep up with the fashion and you can always rely on them to provide a pop of colour with something more special, as well as providing the basics.  I recently bought these

and now H&M have brought out a home line too.  It features the same value-for-money, on-trend accessories that we have come to expect from them and is available on-line too, for those that can't get to a store.  I especially like their cushions and storage - take a look at these:

So now tell me you aren't going to hot-foot it down to your nearest H&M home store and treat yourself to a few home goodies!

Monday, March 26, 2012

Glimpses of the Weekend

It's been a hectic couple of weeks, of that there is no doubt, and I can feel I'm close to shutting down/out and this weekend hasn't exactly helped; it was ridiculously busy but I did find time in all the running around to sit for a brief warm moment in the sunshine - aaaah! Quick shot of vit D to get me through the week..  Here's a few snapshots of what I got up to this weekend

Friday night drinks on a friend's rooftop terrace watching the planes come in on the Heathrow flight path as the sun went down.
Tale of two cities - London 9am, Saturday, as I drove over Waterloo Bridge and Durham Cathedral looming through the early morning mist

Final destination - Newcastle (6 Bridges in this photograph, inc the one I'm on) and the magnificent ceiling at Trinity House, Newcastle Quayside

Shopping for groceries at the super lovely Bayley and Sage on Sunday

Aliums and blossom, cheese and rhubarb! What more could a girl want?! (apart from the Louboutins!)

Hope your weekend was full of sunshine and good things x

Friday, March 23, 2012

Lust Have

                                                        Love, Love, Love; What's not to like?

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Ice-cream chic

Well, still on the theme of holidays, let's talk about the new Mulberry Spring Collection.  It takes its cue from the good old British seaside, complete with ice-cream shades and pavilion atmosphere.  The fabrics may not always be suited to the British summer, but they come with the promise of sunshine at least!  I love the way sheer fabrics in lemon and cutsey pink have been paired with heavier sage green.  I've always been a fan of their bags( having bought my first Mulberry bag with my first-ever pay-packet when I came to London 25 years ago..and it's still going strong and coveted by my 16-year old daughter!)especially the Alexa and the Bayswater and they've updated these classics with neons and detail whilst still keeping the classic design.
By the sea

Old favourites with new detailing

I love the wispy unstructured skirt with contrasting heavier knit

and fresh new colourways

Although 'It' bags are not so PC in these days of recession, there is still something to be said for paying the most for the items you use the most - known as value for money!!!!  However, I guess that only applies if the 'it' item isn't then thrown to the back of the closet the next season in favour of the next 'it' product.  Given that I bought my bag 25 years ago and I'm still using it, I think that counts as fantastic value for money and means it's high time for a new investment..hmmmn, green or tan?  green or tan?

For another Mulberry 'fix' check out their video here..

What's been your best investment buy?

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

I'm dreaming

It's that time of year when I start panicking about holidays - haven't booked one, and everything I look at is booked for the week I have free!  I'm sure something will crop up - it needs to be somewhere warm (France/Greece/Italy/Spain), have a pool, be solitary (can't do the shared house bit, or town bit or anything that involves people nearby!) That makes me sound really antisocial doesn't it?!  I'm not, but when I'm on holiday I need to recharge and I can't do that without peace and quiet.  Anyway, here are some places I'm dreaming about...

Any suggestions for breaks?  Where are you all going for your re-charge?

Monday, March 19, 2012

A very British habit

Tea and it's accompanying ritual, I am beginning to see, can be a calming and relaxing way to unwind.  When I say making tea, I don't mean dunking a bag in a cup, I mean the loving ritual of warming a proper teapot, deciding which tea is going to be the most restorative, measuring it out, steeping it, pouring it and only then, savouring it - hopefully in a delicate bone china teacup.  When I was small, we always went to my Granny's for afternoon tea where each grandchild had their own china tea-cup and matching plate.  There were sandwiches and cakes and lots of chat.  My other grandparents were equally into their tea:  some of my clearest memories of them involve tea on their vicarage lawn - deckchairs, a silver cake tier, silver tea-pot and green teacups and plates.  There were always paste sandwiches and rockbuns - or in winter it was crumpets toasted on the fire.  Fastforward, and there's no doubt that today it's become a very 'in' pastime - I don't know how many weddings I've been to where 'tea' hasn't been a major attraction.
Heart-shaped tea-cups

The British have always been very into their tea; "fancy a cuppa?", "I'll put on a brew", "tea?".  I don't know many occasions where a cup of tea isn't offered, usually as a comfort, from the break-up of a relationship to the traditional wake.  However, recently, 'tea-time' is taking on a new level of chicness.  Tea at the Ritz was always meant to be special, but more and more people are using 'teas' to raise funds for charity; or hen do's begin with a 'tea-party' and families have them as celebrations instead of a drinks party.  I like it!  I like the look of a mish-mash of cups and saucers; the prettiness of the cakes and the 'sharing' that seems to be lacking when it's just a drinks do.

For the newcomer to the tea scene the choice of teas can be overwhelming - black teas, white teas, oolong teas, herbal, fruit infusions and then more choices within that type of tea!  For me, tho', it just has to be breakfast tea every time.  What's your favourite cuppa?

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Wild Geese

I've always loved this poem by Mary Oliver.  It somehow encapsulates loss, grief and hope by drawing on the eternal call of nature.  I'm going to give it to my friend, maybe it will help.

Wild Geese

You do not have to be good.
You do not have to walk on your knees
For a hundred miles through the desert, repenting.
You only have to let the soft animal of your body
love what it loves.
Tell me about your despair, yours, and I will tell you mine.
Meanwhile the world goes on.
Meanwhile the sun and the clear pebbles of the rain
are moving across the landscapes,
over the prairies and the deep trees,
the mountains and the rivers.
Meanwhile the wild geese, high in the clean blue air,
are heading home again.
Whoever you are, no matter how lonely,
the world offers itself to your imagination,
calls to you like the wild geese, harsh and exciting --
over and over announcing your place
in the family of things.

and here she is, reading it herself...

Do you know of any good poems/words/images that help with grief?

Saturday, March 17, 2012


I'm in the market for anything that gives me escape from current situations,anything that takes me to the more pleasurable stomping grounds of the mind, even if only for a moment: these are doing it for me today...
because I love the promise that Easter brings - the spring colours and pretty pastel eggs

French shutters making a unique headboard - where do I get some of these!!!

This picture just takes me somewhere else!

I've always been fascinated by the mythical unicorn, ever since I read The Little White Horse by Elizabeth Goudge.  The unicorn traditionally represents  power, purification, healing, wisdom, self-knowledge, renewal and eternal life, all good things; but for me the unicorn is an escape route to a wonderful journey of the imagination where anything is possible...

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Comfort (Food)

Sorry for lack of posts...It's been a very difficult week due to the sudden death of a close friend's husband, and in amidst all the trauma I haven't really managed to eat properly - too much to do and when I'm under a lot of stress I forget to eat, don't have time to eat, or eat all the wrong things at the wrong times!!!  Does this sound familiar?  So, although today is a beautiful, warm, sunny spring day, I'm craving comfort in the form of stodgy food!  No salads or light snacks for me today as I'm planning on cooking up a treat in the form of Cauliflower Macaroni Cheese.  I know - cauliflower is a bit of a love it/hate it vegetable, but cooked right and with the right spices/sauces I really love it and this recipe ticks all my boxes:  I'm not going to write out the recipe but if you follow this you'll be able to make it yourself.  I hope you enjoy it as much as I do!

Any tips for surviving the difficult times?

Monday, March 12, 2012

Chanel, Spring 2012

When I saw the pictures of the Chanel Spring collection from Paris earlier this month, I was totally captivated.  Lagerfield had put his genius towards a sea-themed extravaganza, full of mermaids and pearls, organza and aqua.  It really was something from a fairy-tale; beautiful and ethereal, romantic and captivating.  Karl Lagerfield recast himself as Prospero, conjuring a magical underworld from the raw stuff of fashion.  The Grand Palais was transformed by huge, blinding white sea shapes, corals, shells, seahorses and stingrays.

Lagerfeld said he wanted lightness. He'd used new fabrics even he didn't know how to define. They brought an iridescent mother-of-pearl shimmer to the collection—the lightness literally shone through. That was also why Lagerfeld strung pearls, instead of belts, around waists. And Sam McKnight dotted pearls through the models' slicked-back hair, too.

Even the purses were reminiscent of shells, the folds cleverly designed as hand-holds
I absolutely LOVE this ring

and this shell-like clutch

The models were exquisite in their pastel pink and blue tulle and even the back view was in keeping

as tiny pearls were literally glued to the models backs and wound round their waists in strings. 

If you'd like to have a go at replicating the Chanel pearl-studded hair you'll need:

pearl beads, thin gold wire and golden bobby grips and this tutorial.