Monday, 31 October 2016

Tea Dress Delight Ft. Cath Kidston

I think it is fair to say we all love a pretty dress when we see one. One that in its own right is just perfect for those occasions that require something a little smarter or even a litter girlier than everyday wear. Recently I have had a thing about little dresses. Just simple ones with detail too perfect for just allowing only the house to see. This Blossom stripe dress by Cath Kidston is a perfect dress for those occasions where you want a little more prettiness! 
Apart from the lovely flower print running in stripes along the dress, the simple button up to collar finish is somewhat wonderful. I might advise buying up a size just as I have found my usual size across the shoulders is tight so for longevity and comfort just think about that when purchasing, I prefer the look a little looser if I am honest. However, that said, I feel this is a perfect tea party dress and a great addition to your wardrobe.


*Post in collaboration with Cath Kidston

Saturday, 29 October 2016

Our Saturday In Pictures; The Most Colourful Parade!

Celebrating Halloween is always a funny one for me. I am not big into it, but I do enjoy following certain aspects of it. I think it was last year that we got into celebrating Day Of The Dead a bit more, the Mexican tradition of Dia De Muertos; when departed loved ones are remembered.
What is lovely is being able to have these cultural experiences close to home as well and this year a small group of actors spent a few days in town putting on a little craft workshop for children to make headbands and then lead them in a little parade around the old market area in Lincoln.
It was only a small thing but the team were great and had some fantastic music accompanying the procession. All very Hispanic and all with their fab costumes, it really was an enjoyable Halloween experience. 
As it was only on for a short period of time I just thought I would share loads of the pictures I took as they were wonderfully colourful and it was a really great event!


Wednesday, 26 October 2016

Pure Light By Keeping It White FT VQ Radio

If you have read our blog before you will know that we have worked with VQ Radios a few times now. I must say though, it is because they 100% don't disappoint us. You may be thinking, "yeah, but you're given a radio, you have to say nice things". Not true, I wouldn't keep sharing their products if they were no good. 
VQ continually lead the way in terms of style, simplicity and elegance. Their radios not only offer good sound quality on their DAB frequency and Bluetooth connec but the look of them is so good that they just can complete a room. 

Now I am all for classic looking pices, their Retro Mini is probably my favourite shape, I love the colours of them and they have such a simple front design which makes the colours or Emma Bridgewater prints pop! Their Hepburn is larger and sleek and has fantastic sound quality, which I love and everything that comes out of it is beautifully clear. Now we have the opportunity to try their award winning Christie. I have looked at this radio before with a mind to buy it as a present for Rob. I love how it can sit horizontally or vertically on a side as it has a rotating screen. It can have a battery pack, meaning it can be taken either around the house or outside to give you your playlist anywhere. I also love that it has a leatherette surround meaning that once again, matching radios to you decor is that easy!

For me, the Christie just looks cool. It looks a bit more techy than some of their other radios and the fact that you can have it in cream really means that for our very white living area, this fits in amazingly. In fact, it is just what I wanted for the side as my other radios are so coloured, I felt it was too much to have against my simplistic decor. 

Once again the style input from VQ has gone totally noticed, and everyone asks what it's like when they see it. Having been the WHICH? Digital Radio winner 2015 it is safe to say that this radio speaks volumes in terms of technology, but also in looks, usability and just generally perfection!


*Post in collaboration with VQ.

Autumn's Treasures - A Day At Grandma's

Once again I feel like I am bragging about the weather in Lincoln. It seriously delivered a very good summer and now autumn is turning out to be pretty perfect too! In fact it would only seem in the last week that I felt cold on the school run and that I genuinely needed a coat. That all said, my Autumn has been so full of colour and stereotypically autumnal things and this year, more than ever, I really feel like I have noticed it which I love. 
When we were out at my parents' house recently we all got a real taste for a perfect autumn day. 
My parents have an orchard; some may see this as a fruitful (quite literally) blessing, but I, having spent most of my childhood having to pick and eat a lot of apples, wouldn't say it is my favourite thing to do, but those apples need harvesting, and one day doing it compared to many as a child is quite satisfying really!
Anyway from picking apples to collecting a basketful of conkers, our day was really rather special.

I feel what is most important to recognise is that autumn is quite simply wonderful. I took a wander just down to the pond and around the house and couldn't quite get over just how lucky I am to have such beautiful family grounds that represent the seasons so well. Having 36 apples trees, half a dozen other fruit trees, ivy, creeper, conker trees and hidden rosebushes, what was for so long my home really reflected the wonder that is autumn. Maybe this year, more than ever, I appreciated it, as the blue skies were bright and as the sun poured down it truly highlighted this space where I had grown up.

I think Mum and Dad would both agree that when they first saw the house all of 22 years ago they had no idea that moving their 5 children from up north would give us all such an amazing upbringing. The space to run around, being in the middle of the Lincolnshire countryside and having no bother than that of tractors from the farm yard next door. This space houses so many vital parts of us all. 
I think it was watching Rob and Raph up the apple trees that made me think about how long it was since I had maybe climbed one, or even played properly in the garden. Thinking about getting tennis rackets out and hitting rotten apples at siblings or just helping collect barrowfull after barrowfull that would be piled up, peeled, stewed and shoved into the freezer ready for a winter of apple crumbles. 
It is funny what you don't think about until you are reminded of such events.

Having that Saturday just outdoors, then enjoying the cups of tea and company really satisfied me. My Mum and I went out on a walk as well and just viewing the miles of muddy fields after they have been plowed and readied for the next year of growing just seemed like a perfect autumn, Lincolnshire day.

Our harvest indeed was very bountiful and the happiness it brought me was immeasurable!


Friday, 21 October 2016

Living The Hygge Life #2

I have found myself trying to make our life more 'Hygge' recently. Trying to really think about creating a cosy home atmosphere is easy as our season changes and it gets cooler. We are all very good at hibernating somewhat so this hasn't been difficult. 
If you are new to this philosophy, Hygge is why it is presumed that the Danes and other Scandinavian countries are so happy. Yep, this conscious choice to make life more Hygge is indeed translated into into making life more cosy. But this is not just cosy as in a blanket, no, this runs much deeper and is almost a soul satisfying act that actually brings about true happiness in life. 
Now I am only learning as I go, picking up and reading from The Little Book Of HyggeHygge: The Danish Art Of Happiness and How To Hygge and using what I know already that makes our life more Hygge or in fact more cosy.

Being more Hygge is simpler than you think. From what I read, I discover more and more that we are not too out of line from how the Danes would describe Hygge, we are already doing so much. Lighting candles, having a fire, creating that comfortable, homely environment is something lots of us would quickly say we do already. And it's true. I think us Brits are great for embracing seasonal change well and I would happily say that I know lots of people who quite simple adore autumn and the beautiful opportunities it brings. Not only is it the chance to embrace the outdoors and explore nature's beauty that it brings, but it is also a time when we begin to create that home warming environment. We quickly get the blankets out on an evening and serve more hot drinks than before. If you are like me you might start baking more and suddenly family meals start to have stews reintroduced. This is all Hygge and those moments when you bake with apples taken from the tree, rather than from the supermarket is a perfect example of the action. That getting close to nature and feeding with its goods is what it's all about. The simplicity in the action from dirt to comfort and all in one day is what would be described as Hygge. It would definitely be my Hygge anyway. And that is another thing that is interesting; we all have our own individual form or variation on Hygge which makes it so personal. For some, an afternoon walk, a meal with friends, playing a musical instrument would all be classed as either Hygging or Hyggelig (by oneself or with something having a hyggelig time). It is just your own way that you make yourself truly happy. You find that thing and you should do it often.

Since my last Living The Hygge Life post I have really been using light at home to create the evening atmosphere I want. I have made a conscious effort to go into the kids' room and draw the curtains and turn on their lamps before they go in there on an evening, I always love walking into a lamp lit bedroom and having the covers ready to jump into. I also think it helps calm them down ready for story time. I have also bought myself some nice wire fairy lights to have on our mantle meaning that on an evening we have one big lamp on and the fairy lights which, as we all know, make everyone happy. 

Our beautiful Stove from Ignite is a new feature since I last wrote and having a roaring fire on an evening has become almost like a religion. We sit around it praising its heat (gosh I'm a hippy) and are really enjoying that kind of cave man ''Man make fire'' syndrome. It is such a wonderful thing to have. 

Also being conscious of seasonal changes and sharing that round the house is making all for that Hygge autumnal atmosphere. 

With half term this coming week, I am now just thinking about getting the kids outside. After reading an extract from How To Hygge, I could feel my heart warming with happiness for the moment the writer experienced and just wanted to end with sharing that with you. I think it really sums up why getting out into nature is important and the beautiful moments we can give to children as parents.

"But just to keep alive is not enough. To live you must have sunshine and freedom, and a little flower to love." Hans Christian Anderson

'Come on,' Papa Johansen said one late May evening, interrupting my mewling about how much I hated revision for exams, 'let's go pick some lillies of the valley.'
Off we went to a nearby woodland, just up the hill from our house in Oslo. It wasn't the most accessible of slopes to pick flowers. I recall clambering my way up from a distant main road, sturdy hiking boots squelching flatulently underfoot as we ventured deeper into the woods, trying not to fall over (a common occurrence  - I am extremely clumsy).
Like any surly, boarderline histrionic teenager facing the battery of exams that week, I was experiencing that crushing sense of impending doom about life, and resented my dad for badgering me into such a frivolous trek into nature. What a waste of time when I could be revising algebra!
Being the diligent forager my father is, he'd sniffed out this woodland a few years previously and every May he would return to pick flowers.
Yet as soon as we saw the thousands of delicate lily of the valley plants, all that exam stress vapourised into thin air. Bright little scented flowers as far as the eye could see, half shaded by the overhanging canopy of trees, the occasional dapple of twilight sunshine to illuminate their long leaves and pretty snowdrop shaped flowers. Dad and I just looked at each other giddy with glee and spent a good half hour picking as many flowers as we could carry. The field was so abundant with them that we could have decorated our entire neighbourhood with lillies and there still would have been plenty left over.'

Could you just imagine? Now that's a Hygge moment!

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