Monday, 29 July 2013

Five Favourite Things....Songs To Make You Smile

A make-you-smile-and-have-a-boogie playlist.

Is it just me or did we have a long winter this year?
It felt like forever until sunshine hit our shores! Thankfully when it did it was utterly fabulous, I don't remember the last time we had such a prolonged spell of warm dry weather. It definitely made it a lot easier to get up in the morning, get things done and then go have some fun. Sometimes I find it really difficult
to get motivated when its grey and gloomy outside.

These photo's were taken on a walk around our local park.

We joke that our dog Fudge is solar powered because he just loves the sun. 
We let him loose in the dog run and he just wanted to sunbathe!

These pretty flowers are from my Grandfathers garden. 

Sadly Little Miss Sunshine has disappeared and we have crazy thunder, lightening and torrential rain in her place....agh! Makes me want to hide under the covers all day long.

 So until the sun comes back to visit us (please let it be soon) the best way I know to get rid of a funk and put a smile on my face is to put on some music and turn it up loud.
 (There may also be dancing around the kitchen....
and the living room
....and possibly a shimmy up the stairs.)

So here are my five favourite songs right at this moment that bring a little sunshine to my world. 
Some are new-ish, some not so much, all are awesome. Enjoy!

Saturday, 27 July 2013

What I'm Wishing For...

A Pretty Blue & White Kitchen

So the hubby and I are currently living in a rented three bed semi-detached house. It's a lovely little house with plenty of light, a big back garden for our yorkie Fudge and a pretty good sized kitchen. With it being a rented house we aren't allowed to go crazy with the walls. We are allowed to paint but we have to paint it back to white or cream before we leave (way too much hassle). So far we have only put colour on our fireplace wall and have elected to keep the rest of the house neutral, adding colour and interest with accessories.

With that in mind, we want to re-do our kitchen. Right now its kind of a mish mash of stuff, mostly mine from before we got married, and some things we got as wedding presents. 
These are some things we (okay okay, not we...I ) have been drooling over.

Sources... 1 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5 / 6 / 7

What we've got....

A great table, like seriously great. It was my grandmothers and it is beautiful and super sturdy. It seats six and also has an extra leaf so you can seat eight comfortably, ten at a push. I think I want to refinish the top (probably paint it white) since the top has a bunch of marks on it from many, many years of abuse love. I'm going to leave the legs the beautiful oak wood that they are. 

We also have a pair of curtains that I love the colour of, a kind of pale teal or dark duck egg blue. We'd like to incorporate more of this colour into our kitchen. Since we want to paint the whole room white we think the blue would add splashes of colour and stop it from looking too stark. 

One of our favourite wedding presents is a beautiful wooden Newgate Pluto Starburst clock, a design classic that I have always loved. We would like to bring the wood tones of the clock into the rest of the room to give it some warmth. 

What we would like...

New Chairs...*sigh* Oh how I love these chairs. These are reproductions from Cult Furniture, a great place for funky furniture and design led pieces. These are a design classic for a reason and will go with any kind of décor that we might have in the future. Definitely the big ticket item in our relatively cheap kitchen re-do since we will need six of them.

A New Rug....I love the colour and pattern of this rug from Urban Outfitters, we already have the black and white version in our bedroom! I'm not entirely sure how well it will stand up to the rigours of kitchen life though, alas this may be something that we will have to forgo in favour of something a little more durable.  

Some Great Accessories...

I adore these salad servers from Zara Home. Beautiful and useful, what's not to like?!

I love that this bowl, also from Zara Home, encompasses both of the elements that we wanted to bring into our kitchen, a beautiful pop of blue colour mixed with natural wood tones.

These glasses from Next would look fantastic on a white shelf against a white wall, the colour would really stand out. 

I'm a big fan of wooden kitchen items, especially bowls and trays. Food always looks so beautiful when laid out on gorgeous wood. This tray is from and is really affordable.

Gorgeous colour and funky pattern, these placemats are from John Lewis and are reversible, which is such a great idea! I love the idea of a white table with these adding splashes of colour on top. 

So there you have it, our plan to turn our sorta-kinda-ok-ish kitchen into something blue and bright and beautiful. We plan on getting it done soon (or at least started soon) so I will take some before pics and keep you updated on the makeover as we go along. 

Is anyone else out there redoing a kitchen this summer? Anyone with any ideas about how to add character to a rented home? What would be on your ideal kitchen wishlist? Drop us a line or leave a comment.
We would love to hear suggestions!

Friday, 26 July 2013

Pineapple Delight Cocktail

My treat on this lovely Friday night...  its some pineapple yumminess, Im not sure that's a word but Im sire you understand.  I thought Id show you how to make it for yourselves.

Pineapple Delight (makes one)
250 ml of pineapple and coconut juice
1 shot of vodka
1 shot of Cointreau
and a glass of ice

After that its as easy as blending it altogether

 and serving in a pretty glass.

Then enjoy!

Have a great weekend

Wednesday, 24 July 2013

Currently...a little snippet of life around here lately.


The Simple Things...a fairly new magazine filled with beautiful pictures and inspiring words. I really like the ethos of this magazine and the notion of embracing a simpler way of life, finding daily beauty and cherishing the moments that really matter.

The new season of Mad Men....who doesn't enjoy a little bit of Don Draper?! I'm totally coveting Megan Draper's fabulous 60's wardrobe this season. 

to Peter Gabriel's 'In Your Eyes' from John Cusack's 1989 film 'Say Anything' (worth watching for the boombox scene alone), one of my absolute favourite date-night movies. Am I alone in being more than a little bit in love with 'Lloyd Dobler'?

a kitchen makeover...much to my husbands dismay. I have plans to paint my kitchen table and add a gallery wall using Ikea's Ribba picture ledge shelves. Sometimes I really love the planning stages of decorating, so much more fun than all the hard work that follows!

learning a little bit more about plants and gardening, I've made it my mission to incorporate more houseplants in to our home this year. I'd also like to learn a bit more about container gardening in an attempt to beautify the outdoor spaces of our rental home. I'm considering buying The Balcony Gardener by Isabelle Palmer to get me started. Has anyone read it? Any other container gardening book recommendations or other resources out there?

Inspiration for our kitchen makeover...       
...and some pretty macrame style hanging plants. Love the neon pink!

What has everyone else been up to lately? Any new tv shows on the horizon?  Has anyone actually tried make one of those macrame plant hangers? I would totally love to try!!

Monday, 22 July 2013

A place to eat...

When we moved in to our new home, we were very lucky,  family members donated pieces of furniture until we could buy our own.  The only problem being that it was a little small, we have a kind of open house at meal times and it just wasn't big enough.  Ill also confess I'm already thinking about Christmas!  I do like to plan ahead...

I love something like this but its much to big for our dining room

Im pretty sure my husband would choose this one if given a choice 
Dining tables by Kingswood Leisure

However the one we ended up going for was this one.  Its from Harveys,  and we felt it was perfect for us,  it doesnt look to big in the smaller dining room put it happily sits 6-8

I love it so much, the seats are so comfortable. It also extends out in the middle so that we can sit more people if we need too.

Saturday, 20 July 2013

Easy Caramel Sauce

Do you love caramel sauce?  You have to try making your own.  I made this tonight and could not believe how easy this was to make.

Caramel sauce includes only three basic ingredients, sugar, water and cream. Then you can add any flavouring that you want to try.  Suggestions include vanilla essence, bourbon, salt.

Although I wish someone had told me that this will look like a grey mess for the first 5 minutes.  It's suppose to so don't worry.  All of a sudden it will turn deep amber and its time to add the cream.

Serve with ice cream, as I did for a sweet treat, use to make a hot caramel sundae, add to your coffee, try dipping apple slices into it or just eat with a spoon! It tastes delicious.


1 cup of water
I cup of sugar
1 teaspoon of butter
3/4 cup of cream


1.  Mix the water and sugar together i na saucepan and bring to the boil,
2.  Let this simmer..... do not take your eyes of it!!
3.  When it has turned a deep amber, remove from heat
4.  Add butter and cream, keep stirring until smooth
5.  You can return to the heat to melt any lumps

Once cooled you can store the sauce in the fridge and enjoy any time.

Let me know if you try it

Friday, 19 July 2013

Granny Stripe Blanket

Last year I set myself a challenge of learning a few new things. I wanted to learn how to make some good food from scratch, how to use my dslr and I really wanted to learn how to crochet!

I already knew how to knit (badly I admit) so I started there and improved my knitting skills first, I made a few scarves and some baby blankets which I loved doing. Then I started looking around the net for crochet tutorials and came across the most beautiful, inspiring blog - Attic 24
Lucy is amazing and I immediately fell in love with her granny stripe blanket. I ordered the Stylecraft Lucy pack from Deramores and could not wait to get started!

Now admittedly taking on the task of making a huge blanket for my very first crochet project was perhaps a little nuts! However Lucy's instructions were awesome and after a few practice rows I just jumped right in went for it.

The foundation chain was torturous and the next couple of rows were fiddly and slow but I soon got the hang of it. I left out the red colour from the pack (I knew I wanted to do a purple border and it seemed to clash) but used the rest of the colours pretty evenly. 

This is how mine turned out.

It took me five months!! About four for the blanket and one for the edge. I didn't work on it every day, and there were weeks I didn't touch it at all (though only a few) but I was so proud of myself when I finished it. After a wash in the machine it became all soft and drapey and I fell I in love with it even more. 

Right now I'm working on my second blanket, in various shades of blue and a few green. 

I think I might do a dark blue or navy border. What do you think? Or maybe the sage green? I also decided to do varied width stripes just for a bit of variety since there aren't as many colours.

I'm crazy about crochet now and that's partly due to Lucy's great tutorials so I owe a huge thanks to her! If you haven't checked out her fabulous blog yet make sure you do!

Has anyone else made a granny stripe blanket? 
Or any of Lucy's other crochet goodies? 
I'm always on the lookout for new blogs to read 
so if you know of any good crochet/knitting/yarn blogs let me know!

Thursday, 18 July 2013

Five Favourite....Books

A trip down memory lane....

I have a confession to make. I love children's books! I love curling up on the sofa with a good book.  Children's books can capture your imagination in a special way.

The Harry Potter Series

Whats not to love!
 Its got romance, drama, fight scenes and magic!

The Twilight Series

I was hooked on this and yet I'm not even sure why, its completely addictive!

The Famous Five books


I think its a love or hate thing, I love these books, 
they are simple, child-like and make me feel like I'm five again.  

Nobodys house

I read this book when I was still in primary school, I was about eight.  
One night when my husband and I first started going out
 we were talking about childhood books and I said I had never seen this book since.  
Turns out it went out of print years ago but he hunted one down for my birthday.
 It's still one of my favourite gifts. Every time I look at it, 
I'm reminded how much he will do to make me happy.


Its very simple why this is in my top five! It's a classic.

So does anyone else still read children's books?
 Have you any recommendations?

Hope you enjoy my list!

Monday, 15 July 2013

Lovely Links...Photography Tutorials

I am one of those annoying people who constantly has a camera in her hand and a lens in your face. Yup. I'm that person.

 Since teenagehood (is that a real word? should be) I have never been without a camera, graduating from a point-and-shoot to a bridge camera and, finally, to a Canon Eos 1100d, an entry level DSLR. I am really new to the world of dslr's. We had our camera for a over a year but its only since the start of this year that I have started to get to grips with it. I am slowly learning to shoot in manual mode and I'm loving it! We have the basic 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 lens that came with our camera and have added a 55-250mm f/4-5.6 zoom lens and (my new favourite) a fabulous 50mm f/1.8 fixed length prime lens that I got for my birthday.

Then I went a little nuts a few weeks ago and bought a brand new Canon Eos 700d, Canon's newest addition to their beginner DSLR range! I bought it 'body only' since I already had a couple of lenses. However as I sold our 1100d and the kit lens that came with it, I needed a replacement for that focal length so I also bought a Tamron 17-50mm f2.8  lens. Its a fantastic little lens for the price and I'm really enjoying it. 

Since I am trying to learn more about photography I thought that I would share some of my favourite tutorials with you for this Lovely Links post.

Firstly, this post on Photography Awesomesauce taught me so much about manual mode. Informative and interesting without being overwhelming.

Again, this post by Kristen Duke explains the basics in an easy to understand way.

Lifehacker has a great guide to lots of different aspects of photography all broken down into fairly easy to understand steps. Tons of information to be found here. 

Once I got the basics down I found a ton of tips and tutorials from two of our favourite bloggers Elsie and Emma over at A beautiful Mess. So inspiring and really motivated me to get snapping and record our daily life a lot more than I did before. 

Finally, Pinterest is a fantastic source of information and tutorials, not to mention all the beautiful and inspiring pictures! Find our photography board here.

So thats it, a quick round up of my favourite online photography resources.
Does anyone have any other tutorials they can recommend? Or any great photography blogs?
 Drop us a line or leave us a comment below. We'd love to hear from you!

Saturday, 13 July 2013

Summer Accessories Wishlist

Spring to me means yellow, the colour of early morning sunshine and buttercups. 

Summer however just screams coral. I love every shade of orange from hot tangerine to pretty peach but it is coral that has really stolen my heart over the past few years. Its strange, I used to hate orange...I think having naturally ginger hair made me somewhat rebel against it, especially in my teenage years. 
These days coral is everywhere, from the catwalks to interior décor and even in our beauty bags. 

As I was browsing around and window shopping for a few summery bits and bobs I realised pretty much all of it was coral. Totally unintentional but there you go, that's my odd little brain for you. 

So without further ado I present my (rather coral) Summer Accessories Wishlist!

1 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5

  • These sunglasses from Asos are a really cute spin on classic tortoiseshell wayfarers, I love the subtly rounded frames. 
  • By far the cutest case I have ever seen! I am completely in love with this case from River Island. Totally perfect for a few days away.
  • I sometimes feel that my usual watch doesn't really fit with the slightly more casual vibe of my summer clothes. This one, also from Asos, is perfect for summer, it has a whole friendship bracelet kinda thing going on and it comes in a bunch of different colours. I love the orange version (naturally) but I also think that the white version is beautiful too and will go with just about anything. 
  • These are my favourite summer shoe. They are Bensimons, a french tennis shoe that has been around for decades. Simple, chic and oh-so-comfortable.
  • Nail polish is a great way of adding colour to any outfit and bright polish never fails to lift my spirits. This has been one of my favourite polishes for a few years now. Rimmel's Coralicious is the perfect antidote to the grey skys of a typical British summer. 

Is anyone else as obsessed with coral as I am? (no? just me?)
Any favourite accessories that just scream summer?
I think I may just have to raid the penny jar and see if that watch would like to come and live with me...I'm fairly certain it would :) 

Friday, 12 July 2013

Flower Power

Since this blog is about the little things that can add beauty to your everyday life, I thought I'd share something that makes me very happy.  I love fresh flowers.  I know some people think its better to have plants around and I have lots, but there is something special about a few perfect blooms in a vase.  They don't have to be very expensive and it only takes a few to brighten up my day.

My favourite at the minute are Peonies, they last for ages, have huge blooms and smell amazing, what more can you ask for.

My husband has very quickly learnt that buying flowers earns him a few bonus points so I got presented with these the other day.  Sooo pretty!