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.

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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!

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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.

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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

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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.

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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.

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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!

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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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Hygge with a Biscuit on a Plate

Today I thought I’d continue my feature posts on all things ‘hygge’, especially as the colder weather seems to be here at the moment and winter also seems to be fast approaching…

Tricky to translate into English, hygge is a Danish word which describes the feeling that comes from having a cosy and comforting time with people you love, including feasting on good food and drink. It is about being calm, present and happy. You can read more about hygge here

I’ve previously written about how to achieve hygge with candles and also blogged my White Company Hygge Edit, and today I wanted to shift emphasis to hygge food!

Hygge with a Biscuit on a Plate

In Denmark autumn days tend to be very cold and damp, so when you return home you will long for something warm and soothing. Autumn is the season for soup, stews and home-baked bread  – and sharing soup and bread with family and friends is totally hygge!

I’ll save those recipes for another blog post, but in the meantime just the act of having a hot drink and a treat such as a biscuit is a quick and very easy way to achieve a little bit of hygge in our everyday lives. Some writers have even gone as far as describing the British preoccupation of ‘having a nice cup of tea’ as our equivalent of hygge.

Artisan Biscuits

I recently discovered Artisan Biscuits and they have a wonderful selection of delicious biscuits made by real people.

They kindly sent me some boxes of their Elegant and English® biscuits, and they really are wonderful! Elegant & English® are refined all-butter biscuits, each with subtle and interesting infusions of two natural flavours that ebb and flow on the palate.

Hygge with a Biscuit on a Plate

Slim and crisp – and the perfect complement to a cup of tea or any warm and comforting drink at any time of day! The range is as follows:

CHOCOLATE & RASPBERRY – The classic marriage of raspberry fruitiness and chocolate richness. (This was my absolute favourite!)

HONEY & ALMOND – Subtlety and nuttiness of almond with the warmth of honey.

VANILLA & CREAM – Clotted cream richness with vanilla fragrance.(A winner with my husband!)

GINGER & LEMON – Their signature biscuit. Winner of “Outstanding Cookie” at NASFT Fancy Food Show, New York 2007.

Do pop over and have a look at their gorgeous selection of biscuits on their website, there’s lots of ideas for sharing some much needed winter hygge this Christmas and winter! I’ll be placing my order very soon!

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This Perfect Moment Hashtag October 2016

I’m actually super pleased that this month all my good intentions to keep up-to-date with my blog posts are coming true! I’m hoping it won’t be a case of ‘famous last words’, but at least my #thisperfectmoment post is going up within the first week of a new month! Now if only I can keep up this momentum until Christmas!

This Perfect Moment Hashtag October 2016

It is lovely to see even more of my Instagram friends and followers starting to use the hashtag with me, not to mention some new and gorgeous accounts which have been a revelation to me! How I love Instagram and its’ infinite variety and inspiration!

Capture by Lucy

I must admit I found the variety of images amazing this month completely overwhelming, but I’m using that as an excuse to break with tradition and focus on one of my favourite bloggers and her Instagram feed. Lucy from @capturebylucy has an absolutely gorgeous account, and her photos always encapsulate #thisperfectmoment.

She has a terrific eye for beauty and colour (I love her hashtag #capturingcolour) and yet always posts honestly and with great integrity. We have met only once yet she welcomes you into her world and shares so many special moments with you so that you can’t help but think of her as a friend… I couldn’t resist this image for simply summing up what I want #thisperfectmoment to be about!

this perfect moment october 2016

For a long time Lucy’s blog posts and Instagram photos have been an automatic follow for me, made even more delightful by a shared love of family (our two children are the same ages!) and photography. If you haven’t discovered her account then do take a look, you’ll be in for a treat! Thank you Lucy for being you and providing so much inspiration!

Happy November to you!

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The White Company Winter Hygge Edit

Having blogged about my enthusiasm for all things hygge, and especially of my love of candles, I thought for my next hygge post I would look at the gorgeous Winter 2016 offerings from one of my favourite companies, The White Company.

The White Company Winter Hygge Edit

It was almost impossible to choose, but here are just a few ideas for The White Company Winter Hygge edit…

1. Large Porto Stoneware Heart Oven Dish (White Grey)

This new oven dish is perfect for cooking hearty and hygge inspired ‘comfort food’ such as shepherd’s pies and lasagne. The family sized dish is made in Portugal from a special robust clay that’s resistant to scratching. It features a hand-painted pale grey trim. It’s also dishwasher, microwave and freezer-proof.

The White Company hygge edit

2. Ultimate Cashmere Pom Pom Shawl (Cloud Marl)

An ultimate piece for a reason. The very definition of a luxe and hygge inducing Winter warmer, this shawl is made from the softest cashmere, sourced from Inner Mongolia and extensively combed so that only the purest fibres remain. Even the pom-pom trims are 100% cashmere.

Hygge cashmere shawl

3.  Stitch Detail Blanket Wrap (Cloud Marl)

Forget throwing a blanket over yourself to keep warm, wintry weekends were made for blanket dressing with this new woollen wrap – made from a deliciously luxe blend of wool and cashmere. Criss-cross stitch details along the hem add interest, while the cocooning shape is just perfect for curling up in front of the fire.

Hygge blanket shawl by The White Company

4.  Feather Pom Ballet Slipper – Ash Rose

Gorgeous Feather Pom Ballet Slippers are a real pleasure to slip into at the end of a long day. With a cosy faux-fur interior to hug tired feet, and faux-suede outers, the feather pom pom on the toes adds a feminine flourish.

Hygge Pom-Pom slipper

5.  Elgin Wine Glass – Clear

Finally, this wine glass, which is suitably rustic and weighty, would be perfect to round off your day with a warm glass of mulled wine! Designed in a simple goblet shape, with a soft rounded rim, its so easy on the lips.

Hygge wine glasses by The White Company

Happy hygge shopping with The White Company!

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Candlelit Hygge

Having previously written about the absolutely lovely danish concept of hygge (pronounced hue-gah!), I thought I’d start a series of posts on how to achieve those qualities of life we all aspire to – warmth, cosiness, peace, tranquility, togetherness and contentment.

Today I want to focus on an inexpensive and very easy way to achieve a little hygge cosiness in your home this autumn – candles!

Candlelit Hygge

For the Danish hygge lighting and design are especially important, lights (including candlelight) are used to make spaces feel relaxed and warm, and the Danes have fully embraced the trend of low-slung hanging lamps in kitchens and over dining tables! Candlelight in particular is very flattering, bringing a warm peachy glow to a room – and everyone in it!

Scented candles add another dimension, creating an extra layer of warmth and cosiness in any room in your home. I know many Danes work with a scented candle on their desks. They change the scents to improve their productivity by encouraging creativity, clearer focus or even to de-stress – what a great idea!

A couple of weeks ago I was lucky enough to receive some candles from Shearer Candles – they are a complete joy to behold, and smell!

Founded in 1897 by Mr Shearer and Mr Harvey on the outskirts of Glasgow, Shearer Candles is the UK’s longest established lifestyle candle company. Their best-selling Amber Noir candle is amazing, and reminds me of a lovely Caron perfume I used to wear! It contains the essence of tuberose, violets and amber, and is warm, sensual and mysterious. Hygge in a jar! The packaging is luxurious and will add a splash of dramatic colour to any interior!

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Amber Noir – My favourite!

 

I also love their Cranberry and Ginger tea lights – perfect for winter hygge, and I’m sure they’ll be finding a place in a few Christmas gift bags this year! Think festive red berries with a splash of orange liqueur and a hint of fiery ginger spice…

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Cranberry & Ginger Tealights

 

So, if you want to give yourself or your friends a little winter hygge treat, why not pop over to the Shearer Candles website, it’s filled with tempting purchases to create candlelit hygge!

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This Perfect Moment Hashtag September 2016

Where did September go?! Wow, the summer holidays seem to be a distant memory, and the familiar school routines are well and truly embedded! I’d forgotten how hectic the autumn routine can be, so apologies for a much later than planned summary of #thisperfectmoment images from September 2016.

It is lovely to see even more of my Instagram friends and followers starting to use my hashtag with me, not to mention some new and gorgeous accounts which have been a revelation to me! How I love Instagram!

I must admit I found the sheer variety of images amazing this month, but that also brought with it a few challenges, as there were so many themes I could have gone with!

This Perfect Moment Hashtag September 2016

For September I opted for a stunning image by Wendy Cook of @modernandvintage  – I loved it, a beautiful yet simple styled image! It reminded me that I need to get back to styling a few flatlays, and I loved the theme as my working week is so busy at present (not entirely through choice) that I really do identify with ‘that Friday feeling’…

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Wendy has a gorgeous bright pastels feed and I love her photography style. If you want to follow her you can find her on instagram here.

We’re now truly in one of my favourite seasons of the year for photography, when everything is bathed in the gorgeous autumnal golden light, and lots of hygge inspired images are starting to appear to counteract the dull days which creep in every so often!

Finally, I can’t wait to see your images for October’s #thisperfectmoment, and thank you to everyone who joined in with This Perfect Moment hashtag September 2016.

Have fun!

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Hello Hygge!

There is no doubt that we have all become a little obsessed in recent years with all things Danish and Scandi, especially when it comes to home decor! The Danish seem to have an inherent sense of style and simplicity and a lifestyle which seems rooted in calmness and positivity – pretty good going for a country which has just eight hours of daylight for several months of the year!

The latest new and fascinating Danish import is a concept which you’ll hear lots about in the coming weeks – hygge (pronounced hue-gah!).

Hello Hygge!

So what is ‘hygge’? Essentially it’s an approach to life 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, especially in the home. It’s a way of life and of design which works all year round but seems particularly relevant as we approach winter…

Hygge is simple and easy to achieve, and I’ll be giving you some tips during the next few weeks to show you how you too can bring a little hygge into your family home over the coming months! 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, a social time with friends, or five minutes away from our busy lives. Hygge is about living in the moment, making time, celebrating precious times and making something ordinary special, spiritual and simple. Everything about hygge is simple, gentle and achievable.

The Little book of Hygge
 

If you are as fascinated by this concept as I am, then you might find The Little Book of Hygge the perfect starting point, great for beginners and plenty of ideas! It’s currently an Amazon bestseller at only £7.99! Click on the image below to take you directly to the Amazon website!

Watch out later this week for my first hygge post, and in the meantime take a look at my hygge board on Pinterest.

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