Sunday, 13 April 2014

Home

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We touched English soil at 11:30pm and I arrived home at 2:15 Wednesday morning. I went to work as usual, came home and went to some house viewings. I did a food shop, a load of washing and Thursday and Friday were pretty much a tired blur. Yesterday we went home to my parents to celebrate a few birthdays and an early easter too, and it was lovely. Ever since my trip to Rome at the end of March I haven’t really felt like I’ve touched the ground. With my trip to Gambia being only a week later and it being such a busy, working holiday I am feeling pretty tired. But I’m a homebody, and being home feels good. I’m looking forward to our long weekend coming up - some R&R is definitely in order. The sun will be shining this week and that will definitely help – I got quite ill in Africa and I’m still not feeling 100% so I’m hoping the weather will help me recharge – it usually does.

I have so many ideas and plans but sometimes you just need to take some time and get things sorted before you rush in to the next thing. I want to sort a lot of the flat out and tidy up; spring is the perfect excuse and I want to really get organised, but I don’t want to push myself too much whilst I’m still not feeling great. That’s the problem with me; I write very long to do lists that I try and achieve in a too short time-span and the pressure isn’t good for me, and I don’t get much done and feel bad about it. I’ll be trying to find a balance for the next month and take things as they come. But gosh, it feels good to be home.
Posts coming soon about my trip to Gambia and some travel tips for Rome

Thursday, 27 March 2014

House

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The next few months will be full of house hunting for me and Gray. I've always been the person that is constantly looking on estate agents website despite the fact we have no intention of moving... but not any more! I am so excited about the fact that we will have a house - a whole house! - and not a little flat anymore. My imagination is going crazy at the idea of decorating and furnishing, and of course I am looking for pieces to fill our future home already, despite the fact we've not actually found one yet!

We'll be moving from a one bed flat, so the space is going to be far bigger than what we have now. Guests wont have to sleep on our sofa bed anymore, and our lounge won't have to double up as our office. We don't own enough furniture to fill a house yet, so I'm keeping my eager eyes peeled for bargains and beautiful pieces. I always find myself browsing John Lewis for good quality furniture and the image at the top of my collage is their 'Says Who' range. I think I am most excited about the fact I get to buy a new dining table and to have chairs that match and, most importantly, enough seats for all our family! We might not get a whole room for dining, but a kitchen/diner would be ideal and I would love some scandinavian inspired pieces to fill it out.

The rest of the images up there are from my Pinterest, and I know for sure I'll be pinning a lot more in the next few months. I'd love a house with huge windows - I'm a big fan of natural light and sadly, our current flat doesn't have as much as I'd like. A lounge with a white fireplace, a bedroom with wooden floorboards...
I have the perfect image in my head, but whether we find somewhere to satisfy my daydreams is another matter! I'm certainly not afraid of some DIY and paint jobs though, so I reckon I can dream away til my hearts content. Let's just not mention budget! xo


Photos
See my Pinterest 'House' board for links for all photos featured
Post contains sponsored content

Tuesday, 25 March 2014

Jetset

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I am home from my adventure to Rome, and as expected, it was amazing! We really lucked out with the weather – highs of 24, a lot of sunshine, a little of sunburn, and it only rained when we were heading back to the airport! I have lots of tips to share with you all soon because I think they’ll be handy if you’re heading there – but I am a busy bee and they probably won’t be up until mid April. I’m super lucky to be going on a work trip next Tuesday to The Gambia for a whole week, so there’ll be a temporary absence! Internet in The Gambia is rather temperamental, so I’m hoping to use the week as a break from the world wide web and unplug. I’ll be very busy in the day, working and carrying photography equipment in the heat and, with it being my first time to Africa, I really have no idea what to expect! Either way, it will be an amazing experience and I’m trying to calm the butterflys in my stomach and just let go and see where the trip takes me. I’ll take lots of pictures of course, and hopefully I might come back with a tan! Anyway, here are a few photos from my little trip to Rome; I just thought I’d pop in with a life update before I head off! There will be another home interiors post this week and maybe a travel/fashion type post if I have any time to squeeze in to my busy evenings! Give me a comment and let me know what you’re up to in April, I can’t believe we’re in the last week of March! xo


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Photos
Above - In the Roman Forum
Below - In the Vatican Gardens

Monday, 17 March 2014

Calluna

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I've been really getting back into sewing recently and here is my first successful sew. I'm really happy with this skirt; it fits really nicely and I love the colours. The lovely main fabric is called 'Calluna' and is the perfect fabric for spring. I was sent a 1m square piece of fabric as part of the Hillarys Blinds Country Craft competition that I found over on Caroline's blog. I also visited my Grandma last weekend who, lucky for me, was organising her craft stash so my cupboards are now full of lovely fabrics! This one just went perfectly with 'Calluna' and I knew I wanted to make something to wear!

For the skirt, I used the Chardon skirt pattern from Deer and Doe. There were a few moments where I had to unpick (the pockets! Twice!) and I think the instruction booklet could do with a few more steps for complete beginners like me but otherwise it's a simple pattern and creates a really nice pleated, fitted skirt. I installed my first ever zip aswell as the added detail of the little bow at the back!

If you fancy entering the competition yourself (and a chance to win an amazing prize) then today is the last day to enter to recieve your fabric. Then, you have til March 17th to publish the post!
With the wonderful weather we had at the weekend, I took it out for it's first spin on a bike ride to the park, with no tights! I think it's perfect for spring and summer, what do you think? xo


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Outfit details
Top - Primark
Skirt - Handmade
Fabric from Hillarys
Shoes - Primark
Hat - Sainsburys

Thursday, 6 March 2014

Easy flapjack recipe

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I always like to think flapjacks are healthy. I know, I know; the amount of sugar and butter packed in there certainly doesn't warrant them as healthy. Heck, the amount of chocolate I like to drown them certainly doesn't either! So I guess the only part of healthy is the oats! I just don't think you can have a flapjack without chocolate ;)

These ones are super easy to make, take hardly any time and will go down a treat! I know we've just gorged ourselves on pancakes, but these are a good snack for mid-morning and fit handily in luncboxes for work. Let me know if you try this recipe and if you're a flapjack lover like me! xo


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Recipe
250g Porridge Oats
125g Butter
125g Brown Sugar
3 tbsps Golden Syrup
Bake for 20 minutes

Sunday, 23 February 2014

A rainy week in Kent

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A few weeks ago, Graham and I headed off to Kent, back to Gray's home county, for a well needed break. Granted, it wasn't the best time of year to go for a mini holiday considering the weather, but a good week to relax and rest up.

Obviously, we chose the worst days to head on day trips thanks to the untrustworthy weather reports which meant we were mostly wet and thoroughly cold. Our trips to Canterbury and Brighton weren't as photo worthy as when we visited last April and sadly, thanks to the weather, I wasn't as inspired or enthused as before either. The train ride to Brighton was a little scary, with trees on the line and views out of the window being full of the rough sea and waves looking as if they'd lap up right next to the carriage.

As someone who is a huge foodie, naturally, most of what I remember about these days was our lunch. We took shelter in Gourmet Burger Kitchen when in Brighton, and the trendy resturant was a huge welcome to us as we ran in before the hit of a huge hail storm. We sat by the window and felt rather smug as we watched umbrellas turn inside out and people running in the rain; whilst we happily tucked in to some delicious burgers, chips and huge pints of milkshakes. As hard as we tried, we couldn't stay on our cosa sofa forever and managed to heave ourselves out as we half ran through rainy Brighton back to the train station. We managed to make the most of the morning's dry weather wandering through the lanes, but sadly inbetween the drizzle and puddles, it had lost a bit of magic. I'm sure we'll be back soon enough to make up for that trip and add a wander down to the pier on the agenda too - this time without the worry of being blown away.

Canterbury meant a lunch in a quiet Chimichangas - a mexican restaurant that I'd heard of but never tried. We loved the food and are happy to discover one in our hometown too, so I'm sure I'll be full of burrito again very soon. We strolled around Canterbury in the hats we had brought earlier on as we had naively set off without them. A few purchases in H&M, Next and a quick visit to the designer Outlet in Ashford, I was pretty happy with my new purchases. We spent a lot of the week at the house but made sure to take walks and photos of local scenery and abandoned churches.

It was a much needed week off work and although the drive home in the horrendous weather and the impending chores of unpacking, washing and cleaning to do before Monday morning - which puts a dampener on the end of most holidays - I could sleep easier and my body felt less stressed. My next holiday in about a months time will be a world away from damp Kent, as I run off for a long weekend with my sister to sunny Rome. I've picked up an Italian phrasebook, am trying to roll my R's (and failing) and preparing my stomach for a mountain of superb italian food. If you have any tips of places to visit during our stay, please do let us know in the comments! xo


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Photos
A slow train journey to Brighton
Gourmet Burger Kitchen in Brighton, chunky & skinny fries!
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Waiting for the train
An old church in Kent
Action shot - looking pro?!

Saturday, 15 February 2014

Winter Wardrobe Essentials

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I noticed whilst packing for a our mini-break away last week that I've slipped in to a casual clothing rut. During the week at work I often wear dresses and tights but when it comes to the weekend (and dress down Friday) you'll find me wearing the above. Considering jeans are far too casual for the working week, I usually throw on a comfy pair, together with a chunky knit (cardigan or jumper), a thick scarf and some boots. I've been living in these staples practically every weekend this winter because of the warmth and comfort they bring - and judging by the weather, probably a few months more too.

I never used to be a 'scarf' person but I have totally fallen for thick, soft scarves this past year. I never used to see them as an accessory, but these ones are my favourite three and they are a godsend for keeping warm. Paired with a simple patterned top - I've noticed I'm drawn to plain, neutral colours and stripes, polka dots and hearts feature heavily. I think the greys and blacks tone them down so they're cute but not too young either. As mentioned above, jeans are a definite yes and I think my favourite pair have to be the dotty light wash denim from New Look. Finally, with a heeled boot for errands and the military boot for adventures, I'm set for the weekend. Of course, not forgetting some good wooly socks, a warm coat and an umbrella!

What fashion staple can you not live without on the weekend?
L-R
Scarves - Gift, H&M, Roman
Tops - H&M, New Look, Matalan
Jeans - H&M, New Look, Primark
Boots - H&M, Ebay, New Look