The Blush Edit: Cox and Cox

With spring in the air, blush and pink tones are everywhere, and Cox and Cox’s new collection is no exception! Blush works well as an accent colour. It is especially effective when combined with neutral wood tones, creams and soft silvers and greys…

The Blush Edit: Cox and Cox

Here’s a few ideas from Cox and Cox to tempt you to add a touch of blush to your home this spring…

Blush Dipped Vase

Made from high quality earthenware with a dip-glazed finish, this block vase has a textured unglazed base and a speckled finish blush top. Fill with a singular bud and sit on your mantelpiece, shelves or windowsill. It will really add a hint of colour to your home this spring.

Blush Dipped Vase

Rustic Candles

Set the mood for any occasion with this set of ten unscented candles, coloured in a soft shade of blush pink. Made using high quality wax that achieves a burn time of up to 8 hours per candle. Each bundle is tied with simple jute string.

Blush Candles

Six Faux Peony Stems

Displayed in a Teardrop Recycled Glass Vase, this set of six artificial peony sprays have attractive large blush pink flower heads and dark green leaves on long stems. These beautiful, oversized peony’s will add a fresh botanical feel to your space. I’m a great lover of real flowers, and I love peonies. However, peonies have a short life and their petals drop quickly! These artificial ones are simply beautiful!

Blush Peonies

Glass Accessories

Crafted from coloured glass with brass accents, this collection of blush pink bathroom accessories works beautifully with a monochrome or industrial look. Part of an exquisite collection sourced from Denmark, this style is available as a small storage pot, toothbrush holder and toilet brush.

Blush Glass Accessories

Soft Wool Throw

This Soft Wool Throw is made from pure wool in a subtle shade of dusky blush pink. It is handwoven in the UK. Finished with elegant cream fringing, it drapes beautifully in your home. Perfect for warming cold shoulders on chilly spring days and evenings too!

Blush Throw

Happy blush shopping!

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Images from Cox and Cox

The Butterfly Dance: A Review

Keeping with my recent ‘Spring’ focus on the blog, I thought I’d share a beautiful new book which I received from Bloomsbury this week! My daughter, aged 6, fell upon it as soon as I took it out of the envelope! She somewhat prematurely thanked me for treating her – such was her enthusiasm for this beautifully illustrated book!

The Butterfly Dance: A Review

 

The Butterfly dance by Suzanne Barton - A review
 

Caterpillars Dotty and Stripe do everything together. They play, they eat leaves and do all sorts of caterpiller-y things. Then one day, after spinning themselves into snuggly cocoons, they wake up as beautiful butterflies! But soon they realise that, for the first time ever, they look different. Should Dotty only play with butterflies that look like her? And Stripe only play with butterflies that look like him?

This is a stunningly illustrated story about friendship and and being happy with who you are. It is by Suzanne Barton, the author/illustrator of Waterstones Children’s Book Prize shortlisted The Dawn Chorus.

Suzanne’s artistic influences include Japanese prints and illustrators she remembers from her childhood. Her artwork is a beautiful combination of collage, drawing and painting. With a love of patterns and prints, Suzanne often searches through vintage paper shops for inspiration.

My daughter loves all things butterfly related, and she is also very creative and artistic. The appeal of this book lies in the fact that so many of the images on this page could be mounted and framed. The story itself also contains some important messages about the nature of friendship.

Please see the Amazon link below to order your copy of this beautiful book!

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Spring Styling for your Home

Having recently read and shared Decorate with Flowers by Holly Becker, I’m definitely in the mood for a little spring styling! February is a tricky month to navigate! Some days tease us with a definite glimpse of spring, and others plunge us right back into winter!

Spring Styling for your Home

Spring is definitely around the corner though, and with this in mind I thought I’d share a few simple yet effective spring styling tips!

1. Treat Yourself to some Flowers

Fresh flowers are a joy at any time of the year! Now’s is the time to bring them back into your home! Give your vases a good wash to make them sparkle again, and choose spring pastels to give that seasonal appeal!

Cut flowers need fresh water daily, and a drop of bleach added to the water will maintain  freshness. Also, when you’re arranging flowers, strip the lower stems of leaves as submersion in water will turn them into a slimy pulp.

2. Style a Vignette

Apartment Apothecary launched ‘styling the seasons’ a few years ago and advocate setting up little vignettes around your home! Whilst having a spring clean you might come across a few items you’d forgotten you had (vases, candlesticks, holiday mementos, photo frames etc).

Use these to create a display on a shelf, mantelpiece, coffee table or any suitable space. It’s great to show off your treasures, get creative and style your home.you can have added fun by changing the look every few weeks too!

3. Change your Accessories

Sometimes it’s the smallest things which can make a big difference to a room! Simply changing the accent cushions or adding a new table runner can make a real difference! Maybe your plants need potting up with fresh compost and a new pot to show them off? maybe a new home fragrance diffuser or new candles will make you feel that a change of season is on the horizon!

None of these tips require a huge financial outlay, yet all of them can add a little freshness and colour to your home and help banish those winter blues!

Happy styling!

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Picture credits – flowers in bottles photo from Decorate with Flowers, throws image from Cox and Cox

Decorate with Flowers by Holly Becker: A review

What better way to cheer up a grey day than to think about decorating your home with flowers?! I have been meaning to write a review of Holly Becker’s Decorate with Flowers, for ages – and today I’m going to share this gorgeous book with you!

Decorate with Flowers by Holly Becker: A Review

This beautiful book starts with an introductory section covering trusty tools and equipment, and an overview of how to choose and prep flowers and herbs. This is followed by advice on choosing containers, and demonstrations on creating three step-by-step floral arrangements. These range from posy to big and blowsy in size!

There are then eight ‘flower stories’, which take you through a variety of home styles, showing you how to use blooms in every interior:

Natural – Evocative of a simple and relaxing day in natural country of tones of white, yellow and lilac.

Pastels & Neons – Feminine pastel shades with colour pops of dynamic neon.

Market – Floral prints and a colourful palette with a busy and zesty feel.

Happy Brights – Vibrant and contemporary styles with retro touches in geometric and bright primary hues.

Coastal –  Bright whites and cool sea glass tones, yellows & cream for a breezy and sun-kissed feel.

Neutral Pop – Chic urban designs in beige, with shades of lush classy purple.


Girly Glam – Fresh and flirty with a flair for mid-century vibrant glamour and gold.

Black & White – Textured and layered with a nod to Scandi chic, white and graphic black softened with natural greener tones.

The appeal of this book lies in the accessibility of the floral designs. However skilled or un-skilled you are at flower arranging, Holly and Leslie show you that it can be so very easy-to-do. They inspire confidence and demystify the technical aspects of creating designs.

Their enthusiasm and passion for all things floral leaps from the beautiful images within this book.

Happy decorating! You can click on the link below to purchase this book on Amazon.

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NB: This is not a sponsored post and no products or payments were received. 

A Guide To Finding Your Dream Duvet

I spend quite a lot of time in our bedroom as we have our home office in one area of the room. Once I’ve finished my computer work I often sprawl papers and books on the bed for a ‘wind-down’ read, sometimes sneakily climbing under the duvet for a few minutes too!

I love a huge comfy bed and think there’s nothing better for you than a great nights sleep! We all lead such busy lives and yet if I’ve had a good nights sleep I feel I can cope with almost anything…

A Guide to Finding your Dream duvet
I have recently started re-designing our master bedroom, and after buying some new bedding I decided to treat myself to a new duvet as well. The initial choice was bewildering and it took a while to come up with the one which felt right for us!

A Guide To Finding Your Dream Duvet

It’s great to feel warm and cosy when you get into bed, but over-heating will mean a poor night’s sleep, and feeling cold will more than likely prevent any sleep at all! The secret to buying the right duvet is to consider the tog and filling which works best for you.

What’s a tog?

Duvets are available in a variety of ‘togs’. Togs basically tell you how warm you will be when sleeping under the duvet. The lower the tog, the cooler you’ll be. So you need a lower tog for Summer (4.5 tog) and a higher tog in Winter (13.5 or 15 tog). If you prefer to stick to just one duvet all year round (as we do) choose a tog rating of around 10.5.

Remember to choose low togs for young children as they get warmer quicker than adults and older children.

Choosing a Filling

We purchased our new duvet from Slumberdown, and were super impressed with the quality, feel and comfort it provided. They offer a range of fillings including Hollowfibre fillings which are soft and comfortable and will add more than a touch of luxury to your bed. A Memory Foam filling tends to be super supportive. Climate Control duvets cleverly regulate your temperature so you don’t get too hot or too cold through the night. We actually chose Climate Control, and couldn’t be happier with our choice!

Feather filled duvets are naturally lightweight and wonderfully comfy. Plus they’re one of the best fillings at keeping you cool in summer and warm in winter. Finally, anti-allergy duvets inhibit dust mites, bacteria and fungus, some of the major triggers of night time asthma and allergies.

Our new Slumberdown Climate Control duvet is the best we’ve ever had! Now to consider some matching pillows too!

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NB: This is not a sponsored post and no products or payments were received.

La La Land Yellow

I recently had the opportunity to go and see ‘La La Land’, and have to say I absolutely loved it! I was somewhat apprehensive though as this film has received plenty of critical acclaim and many awards. Would my expectations be too high and would the film would disappoint? It didn’t!

La La Land is a musical… A glorious old-fashioned but curiously contemporary musical! It is a wonderful feel go film with many layers. I left the cinema with songs in my heart, and a few tears in my eyes! Colour played a vital role in the film, and everyone is talking about La La Land yellow.

La La Land Yellow

Posters for the film show Emma Stone dancing in a much-talked-about retro dress in a shade that we’re calling ‘La La Land Yellow’. Later, she is also seen carrying a yellow handbag too, and somehow this colour reflects her optimism and tenacity in world in which she lives. Hollywood is famous for it’s knocks, and Emma’s character has a fair few to deal with!

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In our real world, psychologists acknowledge that injecting a little yellow zest into our wardrobes is good for us, too.

Yellow is seen as an optimistic, life-affirming colour. It reminds us of sunshine and stimulates our mind, body and emotions. Yellow arouses the brain and help memory. so, with that in mind, here is my idea for injecting a little yellow into your daily lives too!

Whistles Matte Croc Leather Small Clutch Bag

Crafted from pure leather with a shiny croc texture, this yellow clutch features a chunky metallic zip top fastening to keep valuables safe whilst on the go. Ideal for storing your essentials, pair with day or evening outfits to instantly brighten your look.

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There is a larger version too, perfect for packing those extra essentials! This clutch is definitely going on my wish list, especially as the medium size is a very reasonable £65.00!

Happy shopping!

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Beautiful January Blues

Having previously suggested ways to banish those January blues, today I’m celebrating them! Yes, todays post is all about beautiful January blues to enhance your home!

The trend for using blue accessories for the home shows no sign of disappearing, blue is here to stay!

Beautiful January Blues

A few designs and ideas to tempt you to add a touch of blue to your home…

Geo Bright frame – Oliver Bonas

Designed in-house, this navy blue frame features a geometric tile print on a distressed wooden frame. With a washed brushstroke paper insert, this photo frame can be used to display your photographs or as a piece of wall art. Mix and match with other frames, multi-frames and mirrors from the Geo Brights Collection. Price £14.00

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Beaudesert Kitchen Napkin Set – Anthropolgie

Printed cotton and machine washable napkins with a super pretty pattern. Available as an apron, tea towel and set of 4 napkins. Price £32.00

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Karin Cushion – Grace and Favour Home

A modern, geomtric cushion made in Karin fabric with a white design on a striking blue background. This fabric is part of the ‘Gilda’ range, taking inspiration from Moorish tiling patterns.

This collection combines geometric and hand drawn elements to create a strong, yet calming look for the home. With a palette of soft grey and blue with pink highlights, it will fit in most colour schemes. This printed cotton cushion has been made in a Devon workshop.
Available in two sizes 38cm by 38cm or 43cm by 43cm. Price £35.00

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White and Blue Porcelain Bowls – Lilac Coast

Set of three white porcelain bowls with beautiful intricate blue flower design inside each bowl. Each bowl has a different  floral design.The bowls are sold as a set of three. Diameter 15cm by height 5cm. Price £28.50

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If you can’t beat the winter blues, embrace them!

Happy shopping!

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Eating for Health and Pleasure with Amelia Freer

I have already written about my dislike of New Year Resolutions. My preference is to have a ‘Word of the Year’. My word is mindful, and I’m hoping that during 2017 I can eat a little more healthily. I aim to be more mindful of what I eat and how much I eat. This will hopefully have a positive affect on my health and well-being.

Eating-for-Health-and-Pleasure-with-Amelia-Freer

The wonderful book Cook, Nourish, Glow has me super excited! This book is packed full of healthy eating inspiration. Boy George, James Corden and Kirstie Allsopp have all lost weight thanks to Amelia Freer’s dietary advice!

Eating-for-Health-and-Pleasure-with-Amelia-Freer

Eating for Health and Pleasure with Amelia Freer

The philosophy behind the book is simple…

Our relationship with food is complex. Food is packed full of complex, biologically active molecules that have an immense impact on our health. There are no truer words than ‘we are what we eat’ – the food we eat defines the life we lead. As an experienced nutritional therapist, Amelia’s recipes will guide and support you through your journey towards optimal health and peak condition.

Eating-for-Health-and-Pleasure-with-Amelia-Freer

I’m looking forward to trying some of her recipes, starting with a few warming and hygge friendly evening meals. My favourite ones for me and/or the family are:

  1. Broad Bean Salsa with Salmon.
  2. Chicken Nuggets with Mango & Avocado Salsa
  3. Turkey, Carrot & Parsnip Quiche
  4. Vegetable Fritters

Eating-for-Health-and-Pleasure-with-Amelia-Freer

I can’t wait to delve into her ideas for soups and breakfasts too! Amelia’s book is available to buy from Amazon, see link below! There will also be a new book out this Spring to look forward to! Nourish & Glow: The 10 Day Plan will be published in March. I can’t wait!

In the meantime, if you have tried any of Amelia’s recipes or can make any recommendations, please do let me know!

Happy healthy eating for 2017!

NB – Images courtesy of Amelia Freer, no payment was received for this post and Amelia’s book was given to me as a gift by a family member.

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How To Banish Those January Blues

I’ve always found January a really difficult month to navigate! I think it’s largely because it provides such a stark contrast to the hustle and bustle, twinkle and sparkle of Christmas. It’s odd really as I often find Christmas pretty crazy and actually like the peace and quiet which immediately follows Christmas. The house is calmer and clutter free and we get back into some semblance of routine.

How To Banish Those January Blues

January itself though seems to stretch on for an eternity and so this year I’ve come up with some strategies to get me through it and embrace all it offers… I hope you will find a few helpful ideas here too!

1. Plan for New Opportunities

January is about being kind to yourself. I’m not advocating you sit down and challenge yourself with formulating major or action plans for your life, business etc… It does, however, provide a new beginning and new possibilities. I intend to use some of January to ‘map out’ the things I hope to do and to achieve in the year ahead. A ‘Word of the Year’ is a good starting point if you feel in need of some focus!

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2. Find your ‘Hygge’

I know lots of people have jumped on the ‘hygge’ bandwagon, but the principles of hygge seem especially appropriate for those grey January days.

the-little-book-of-hygge

Hygge is essentially about taking care of yourself and giving yourself some cosiness, comfort and attention – what better way to start the year! I treasure my Little Book of Hygge (see Amazon details below) and will be turning to it for inspiration in the coming weeks.

january blues

3. Embrace Nature

Yes, January can be grey and cold, bleak and dull! It can also bring wonderful bright, crisp and sunny days and spectacular snowfalls in certain parts of the country. On those bleaker days it’s fine to embrace being indoors, cosy and comfortable. However, don’t forget to enjoy the beauty of a frost or snow covered landscape if we are ‘lucky’ enough to have them! Connecting with nature is a great way to put things in perspective!

how-to-banish-the-january-blues

Whatever you have planned for January, and however you approach it – I hope it brings you joy! Together we can banish those January blues!

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NB: Slipper image courtesy of The White Company

Word of the Year 2017

I am one of those people who find the whole concept of New Years Resolutions extremely tricky!

Generally I have always made resolutions largely because people around me tended to, and sometimes I’ve found myself trying to magically think them up as ideas didn’t always come naturally! I guess at the time I thought it was the right thing to do and that basically I was at least fitting in with the rest of the planet!

Word of the Year 2017

Many people are now using the concept of a word for the year, and I have found this to be a much more powerful concept. I first came across it on the Makelight Blog. By choosing a word for the year ahead I am able to give myself a theme to work towards. As a result I have an intention and a way of focusing on how I want the year ahead to flow. It works brilliantly and removes many of the stresses associated with trying to keep and not break New Years Resolutions!

When you start to choose a word you initially might find this a little tricky! I usually find the easiest way to do it is to focus on what I want to achieve in the year ahead. I then play around with words which might lead me to achieve my goals. Here’s the steps I take to choose my word:

1. Make a Word List

What do you want to do, to achieve or have in the next year? Simply list random words which come to mind. Take your time with this, and go with the flow… No analysis or judgment, just write them down!

2. Look for a Theme

The list of words will then need to be reviewed, and you can begin to highlight any which are similar or related…

I identified focus, embrace, connected, explore, think, create and meaningful and ultimately chose ‘mindful’ as my Word for the Year 2017! Remember, a chosen word doesn’t have to fit every word perfectly. It should help you think about what’s really motivating to you right now. For 2017 I want to pay more attention to the present moment – to my own thoughts and feelings, and to the world around me. I want to live in the moment and enjoy the moment… I want the clarity which that will hopefully bring, along with a reduction in stress and an awareness of when I need to stop and slow down!

img_5462 Once you have decided on your word, keep it really visible…

3. Remind Yourself Daily

You will need a reminder of what you’re working to create and achieve in the year ahead. You could create a mood board with images to represent how you’d like to see this word come to fruition in your life. The more visual you make it, the better. You could write in in the front of your diary, on a post-it note on your desk, on your calendar. Write it everywhere you will see it!

When you have your chosen word, be sure to share it with me here! I’d love to support you by holding a place on my blog for you this year. What will your Word of the Year 2017 be?

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The Moshulu Winter Hygge Edit

Having blogged about my enthusiasm for all things hygge, I thought for my next hygge post I would look at the gorgeous Winter 2016 offerings from one of my favourite companies, Moshulu.

The latest new and fascinating Danish import is a concept which you’ll hear lots about in the months ahead – hygge (pronounced hue-gah!). Hygge is an approach to living which encompasses those qualities of life we all aspire to – warmth, cosiness, peace, tranquility, togetherness and contentment. It’s about creating an atmosphere and an environment where those qualities can be promoted and developed wherever you are – at home, at work or out and about.

Hygge isn’t uniquely Danish, it’s there for everyone and approaches comfort and warmth in the same way we traditionally reach for ‘a nice cup of tea’ when we need cheering up, or arrange a social time with friends, some pampering, or five minutes away from our busy lives. Hygge is a way of life and of design which works all year round but seems particularly relevant as we approach winter…

The Moshulu Winter Hygge Edit

It was almost impossible to choose, but here are just a few ideas for The Moshulu Winter Hygge edit… Items which encompass hygge are often promoted as being neutral in tone and colour, but what I love, and have always loved, about Moshulu is their celebration of rich, vibrant yet warm and comforting colour palettes! Here’s a few of my top winter selections for a colourful and hygge inspired season…

1. Aromel  – When wrapping up for the winter months, this super soft acrylic, cable knit bobble hat is totally hygge, and it really oozes cosiness and comfort! I am in love with the deep, rich cranberry marl (I’m wearing it constantly!) and it is also available in a gorgeous indigo marl. Matching items are also available.

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2. Blanc – Designed with a fine gauge wool mix and incorporating a super stylish and very contemporary Moshulu fairisle design, this gorgeous scarf is a ‘must have’ and is perfect for a winter stroll. Matching items are also available.

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3. Alaska 2 – Designed to add comfort and cosiness to every day, these beautifully soft and colourful slippers are luxuriously lined with faux sheepskin. Lovely winter colours, softest suede and lightweight soles are a winning combination to enjoy wonderfully warm toasty toes!

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4. Finally, Snow Angel – New and wonderfully soft and luxurious bootie slippers are a Moshulu must-have for adding a little hygge appeal to the winter season. Think warm and cosy nights snuggled up in front of the fire! You can choose from 3 great colours all with snuggly faux fur linings, lightweight EVA soles and soft suede uppers. Heel height 2cm

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Happy hygge shopping with Moshulu!

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Debi Gliori Autumn 2016 Bloomsbury Publications

Debi Gliori is the creator of many wonderful books for children, including the Mr Bear series (with Orchard Books), Bloomsbury’s publication No Matter What, The Trouble With Dragons (nominated for the 2010 Kate Greenaway Medal) and Stormy Weather. Debi lives in Haddington, East Lothian, Scotland and she has twice been writer in residence in the Shetland Isles.

This autumn saw the publication of two new Bloomsbury books, both completely charming and captivating!

Goodnight World

Goodnight ice and goodnight snow.
Goodnight lights above, a-glow.

As soon as you start to read this book you’ll want to join in the list of important things to say goodnight to – ships, animals, plants, toys and, of course, the sun. This is a beautifully illustrated rhyming text, and seems to magically induce calm and comfort after a busy day – just perfect for a cosy bedtime story! The final page of the book shows a small child tucked up next to mummy, who is clearly expecting a baby. It’s very cleverly left to the reader to decide who is the narrator, ‘curled around her heart’.

Debi Gliori  

Little Owl’s Egg

I’m your baby owl. You don’t need a new one.

Little Owl isn’t pleased to hear that there’s a baby owl in the egg Mummy has laid. So Mummy pretends it might be a baby penguin … or crocodile … or elephant. In the fun of imagining different kinds of siblings, Little Owl realises that a baby owl might just be the best thing of all.

A gentle, lovely story about the arrival of a new sibling (in many ways a perfect compliment to Goodnight World), addressing fears that a Mummy’s love will stop. Beautiful, simple -and as a family of owl lovers, irresistible!

Debi Gliori  
Happy reading!

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