it’s just a hedge thing…


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It had to be said, my hedges needed a damn good trimming and it was so time to call my trusty team from Jenks Wokingham, Nathan and Stuart – the most experienced, trustworthy and attractive Arboritists in the land. By a long shot.

Hedge Trimming

They pop over, have a little look and post me a quote for pruning and trimming my overgrown foliage – clearly I approved. On this occasion however, I requested an old pine be chopped down and the stump to be styled into a table – this was absolutely no trouble…in fact, why not sculpt a couple of chairs and toadstools while they were at it from the remainder  of the tree – you know, for the kiddies…this added extra time onto their schedule. No trouble at all I said, (wide eyed and slightly dumbstruck)…

toadstools and chairs

Anyway, as you can see from the following pics, they did an incredible job – they are firstly and foremost brilliant at what they do. I call on them because I trust them completely – they’re not the usual cowboys who throw a leaflet through the door claiming that they’re already in the neighbourhood and would I like them to pop over for a reduced rate, which has happened and boy did I learn a lesson – after overpaying said cowboys, who did cut down the wrong tree, hacked unecessarily at the other mature apple trees left in the garden and brought all their dodgy looking mates through my house who looked at my valuables while I was on my own with a small baby, (never again) – I therefore cannot recommend Nathan and Stuart highly enough. If you are based in Buckinghamshire, Oxfordshire, Hertfordshire or Berkshire, are on your own during the day and need a team who are not only qualified, but are totally trustworthy and actually care about the way your garden looks…oh, and um…ehem…are a little easy on the eye *cough* – well you know who to call

hedge trimming collage

 

yoga connections…


yoga lotus

Sometimes something new and amazing appears in my life, and then I wonder how on earth I ever lived without it before – recently I’ve fallen in love with the ancient practice of Yoga. It’s something I’ve always looked on with deep admiration for others who practice every day and can bend in all sorts of positions, but it never really appealed to me. I love the freedom of running or the exhausting but exhilarating feeling after a good gym session. It kind of crept up on me, and before I knew it – BAM, I’m addicted and am starting to plan all sorts of retreats.

I think I can blame my friend Mel, a total yogi and wouldn’t be without her Monday/Tuesday/Wednesday sessions – she invites me with her, luring me into blissful classes, connecting me to some incredible teachers, (in Marlow we have two amazing girls, Sarah Carter and Joelle Pettitt) – I dabbled years ago in my 20’s, but never really connected with anyone, they all seemed so serious…and I’m so not – I realise now it’s important to be able to connect. Now after each session, I’m either in fits of giggles or an emotional blubbing mess…again, I can’t explain this…it may be due to the fact I’m a little strange!

It’s such a peaceful experience, especially after organising two small people, (or at least trying to), working  and endless crazy weekends – my sanctuary is the mat now and I can’t recommend it highly enough – even my girls do it after school and they love it. I heard it can sometimes open you up spiritually – I really didn’t believe it before, but I absolutely do now…I’d love to hear about other experiences…

Chelsea Flower Show…


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This year was Chelsea Flower Show’s centenary, and what a show. I’m incredibly lucky to be able to attend, and I have to thank Heather from Indian Ocean for allowing me to use her very rare Press Day tickets – it’s a complete honor to attend the day before the public view the Chelsea Show, and also the most exciting…this is down to so much amazing talent and the sheer turnout of complete legends. It’s celebrity land, you literally cannot move without bumping into them, so I took full advantage while viewing the stunning gardens and snapped away – please note, I did not stalk David Gandy, he was merely in the way of my camera while I shot one of the gardens…no really! (If not familiar with the impossibly handsome DG, please Google his name…you’ll be in for a lovely surprise)…

David Gandy Collage

We tried to have a quick shot with Davina, but she was having none of it and ran away from me, as did a few others…I’d make a hopeless papparazzi!

celebrity collageAnyway, I’m sure you’d like a little inspiration for your own gardens or outdoor spaces, there’s so much talent at Chelsea Flower Show, I just wish I could afford my garden to look like some of these amazing designs…

African garden

Cornish garden2

Garden1

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cornish gardenI was looking out for gorgeous blooms from Blackmore and Langdons in the pavillion; they’re friends of my parent’s friends and they came to our wedding, sadly I couldn’t find them, but I did find some fabulous Alliums (featured heavily at my wedding)

AlliumsIndian Ocean’s stand was opposite the beautiful First Touch Charity Garden, they had the best ambassadors Ortis Deley and Chris Jarvis who were there supporting such an amazing charity for premature babies – A friend of mine had her little girl at St Georges in the premature baby unit at First Touch, she was there for 5 months and they performed miracles for her – amazing charity, please check it out.

Ortis Deley & Chris JarvisIndian Ocean’s stand was stunning as ever – they do beautiful outdoor furniture and they’re the reason I decided to start my own business, sometimes I feel like someone is spoiling me somewhere!

Indian OceanThe best bit had to be bumping into so many friends, namely EmilyJohnathanLisa, Danners, Clare and Rhoda – I was a bit late for school pick-up after all our funny chats.

And of course, Chelsea Flower Show wouldn’t be complete without a Chelsea Pensioner mention – don’ t they look smart…..

chelsea pensioners

geeking around…


Cybher illustration

 

So it’s nearly that time of the year again – June madness ensues and one of my favourite events is about to happen. I am of course talking about the fab blogging event CYBHER on the 1st June. Founded by the inspiration that is Sian To, Cybher is the chance to inspire, improve and celebrate all that is blogging.

I’m helping along with others and am incredibly excited to be part of this event – it’s the perfect place to network with experienced and new bloggers, swapping and sharing experiences, learning and creating and finally meeting lovely new friends … I’m also very much looking forward to a few cheeky after-show cocktails, sponsored by Collective Bias…neurofen at the ready for the morning after!!

If you’re going, please please say ‘hi’, I’ll be the one looking confused, being bossed around by preggers Claire,  filling goodie bags and chatting with the Mollie Makes and Home Barn teams – ooh, and if you’re feeling creative, why not try your hand at designing them, you need to be quick though as the deadline is midnight 20th May (nothing like a little notice beforehand) – visit the Cybher Blog and download the template.

Lots of love to you and thank you for still following me even though I’m not the most consistent blogger…it’s been busy again xx

goofing around at Disneyland Paris…


Goofy & girls

 

It all started with a prayer. Literally. We had a school service at our church for Epiphany, and my eldest is a worship leader (!) – so each worship leader was asked what they’d like to pray for – first child mentioned saving the poor, sick and dying, a second wanted to save nearly extinct animals…my child? Oh, well she prayed to go to Disneyland! Let’s just say God was on her side on this occasion.

So the enormously expensive tickets for both Eurostar and the Disney Hotel New York were bought, during the Easter hols and with friends thankfully, as the idea of three days in Disney alone scared us. My husband needed his bromance with him as backup – so off we went with hope in our hearts, and slight fear of the unknown and unreal.

The journey there was made bearable due to a quiet train and an edible breakfast, we also left mid-week which helped I think. Oh and the weather was still cold, which in hindsight was great for the ques. We arrived about midday, dropped our bags at the hotel, which I have to say needed a bit of an update (apparently the cheaper hotels are in much better nick), and made our way down.

Our first ride was in the Walt Disney Studios bit. We accidentally went on the Tower of Terror. We quickly went to the Park after that. Dumbo and It’s A Small World didn’t really cut the mustard after that experience, and my 4 year old quickly became an adrenalin junkie so we were on Thunder Mountain in no time holding on for dear life. Quite liked it actually.

Disney Collage

I know a couple of people who are going this year, and these are my top tips:

– Go mid-week, we quickly learned at the Weekend it’s a whole less pleasurable, especially when it’s sunny – rain keeps the crowds away and the popular ride que times were much shorter

– Essentials have to be snacks, plasters and wipes – midday winging, falling off the last step of the Dumbo ride and spilled sauce were taken care of by these. I was the one who needed the plasters by the way. Still have the graze from that little fall

– If you have girls, book the princess dinner before arrival. We were sure this wasn’t going to be yet another Disney expense we were going to fall for. We fell for it. It was fab and all our girls met Cinderella and her mice, Belle and her incredibly camp Beast and Aurora – the princesses were absolutely lovely and our girls were spell bound. The meal itself was actually really good, and clearly our boys were kept sweet by the view!

– The light show was incredible, but make sure you turn up 30 minutes beforehand, same goes for the parade. We saw that twice though, second time by mistake and we walked with it which was so much fun

– Fast Track tickets are well worth the investment. We were incredibly lucky and this lovely chap with his son gave us his for free. If we’d known how brilliant they were, we would have also invested in this for a full day

– Take a pad and pen for character autographs. It seemed so ridiculous before we did it, but then it became quite a fun game spotting them!

All in all it’s magical and fun – sharing the experience with friends is brilliant, we shall always have these memories together which is priceless..

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a snowy New York Fashion Week…


Rebecca Minkoff Fall Collection 2013
Rebecca Minkoff Fall Collection 2013

Feb’s been a funny old month, namely due to the crazy amount of work which has seen some fantastic opportunities over the last few weeks – one of which I must mention here because it’s just a little too fabulous.

I was recently invited to New York, to meet with a few people and attend New York Fashion Week. Most of the shows are held at the Lincoln Centre, but we were here for just the one, Rebecca Minkoff.

Just a few photographers

We were treated to a few live sets from the band Wild Cub, while models worked the catwalk. Strangely the front row were in the middle, so the models had to do a circuit around them, I thought this was a bit odd as it looked a little like an incredibly stylish version of ‘musical chairs’!

Rebecca Minkoff Fall13 Show

The set was almost identical to London Fashion Week, minus the crazily dressed – I noted New York style was far less ‘out-there’, more classic in their style. And the collection was stunning, very structured and hugely glamorous, Rebecca does not skimp on the glamour. I loved the coat featured in the headline image – just stunning.

A snowy NYFW
A snowy NYFW

I’m very lucky sometimes, I was with fantastic company and it all seems a little like a distant dream –  I so heart NY x

the contemporary, the kooky and the downright crazy…


Tori Murphy Textiles

It’s that lovely time of the year, while the snow softly drifts across the UK, wrapping up warm, making excuses that because it’s cold outside one must fatten up with hot chocolate, hearty roasts, soups and other gorgeous and naughty things (clearly I speak for myself here…I’ve been running though to burn off said indulgences…yes, even in the snow…*smug face*), but there’s another less known little happening at the moment for those in the know for all things interior and lifestyle – home exhibitions which I thought I’d share.

The easiest one for me to attend is Top Drawer at Earls Court, (a lovely show for gift shop and lifestyle store owners), this has a joining show called Home where I spent most of my time. There were beautiful brands I haven’t noticed before (apologies), but thought I’d offer a little shout here on my blog because they really pulled at my heart strings…or purse strings more like!

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I’m delighted to introduce a little known British brand Betty & Walter – you may have seen this fab little collection over the festive season in Boots, inspired by Lisa Levis‘ Great Aunty Betty and Uncle Walter – her fab retro inspired prints are featured on her bags, accessories and textiles. Keep your eye out for Betty & Walter, I have a good feeling about this one…

Tori Murphy Ltd Woven Textiles

Tory Murphy creates beautiful British designed & made and STUNNING woven textiles…some of which I will definitely be buying for my next home project (the bedroom) – the team are brilliant fun and I wanted to stay on their stand all day talking interiors, however, school pick-up beckoned!

Sarah Heaton

I love ceramics, I love retro, I love anything with a mushroom on it – so I was delighted to stumble across (thankfully not into) Sarah Heaton’s British Made ceramics – her latest designs feature a simple 60’s inspired design called Toadstool Blooms, so pretty…

And finally, who loves stationary?….me…me…MEEEEEEEEEE!!!! And I LOVE Archie Grand note books – namely the crazy colourful notebooks, of which I use every day…and he had the most bonkers stand at Top Drawer – Archie was there cutting his books with a chainsaw…I love that kind of behaviour – nuts for no reason! I already own BLOGGERS I MET AND LIKED, SHOPAHOLICS I MET AND LIKED, FAUX PAS I MADE AND LIKED and JOURNALISTS I MET AND LIKED, the list goes on. Well worth a visit for that stationary fix!

I’d also like to attend Maison & Objet, Paris one season, (childcare permitting), everyone who visits this show always have something amazing to report back, especially the trends – this week also sees Interiors UK – Kate Watson-Smyth of Mad About The House, Katie Treggiden from Confessions of a Design Geek and Will of Bright Bazaar will be part of a seminar all about interior blogging on Tuesday 22nd Jan at 3.30pm – being slightly busy recently has meant I missed this completely and hope that there will be some sort of Live Streaming…I really really hope so, as these are the cream of interior blogging x

brown paper packages…


make & do wrapping

 

I’m writing this the day after a completely over-indulgent Christmas Jumper Party – I was dressed as a furry, lit-up fool…I stop there about the party, I have family reading this post!!

So Christmas wrapping….don’t you just LOVE it? No? I do – some see it a chore, and I can see why – it’s just another task on top of all the other Festive Madness we endure at this time of year. But for some reason  I immerse into some sort of creative trance when I do mine. I need to be in the ‘Wrapping-Zone’, which means there needs to be some sort of last-minute pressure, coupled with some inspiration.

Toppers

I’m inspired daily with my work and other amazing lifestyle bloggers, (my friend Caroline Davis with her blog Trend Daily for one), I decided to make more of an effort than usual this year, and so popped out to Hobby Craft for some stamps, ink and labels, then to V V Rouleaux for some gorgeous Stag Head ribbons…the Post Office for some brown craft paper and string…although I did look for some white originally but couldn’t find any. I also raided some old Christmas pot pouri for dried oranges, cinnamon sticks, berries and bay leaves, and snipped off some branches from our Christmas Tree, et voila – home made wrapping with a spicey aroma.

wrapping presents

Happy Christmas everyone – I really hope you have an amazing time and that 2013 is the best year yet for you. Apologies to friends and family reading this and for not sending any cards again this year…some things never change…

pre festive party shopping with Stella & Dot


stella & dot CollageA life full of work, London meetings, school pick-ups, after school activities and racing up to Staffordshire from Bucks and back for my father recently, has taken its toll on the old social life – I literally hadn’t seen any of my friends for ages, so what better excuse for a coffee morning than a Stella & Dot coffee morning…no seriously…how could it be more perfect….cakes, friends and jewellery – need I say more?

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We all need to make time for our friends, they’re so important and I love mine to pieces. Which is why I was so pleased we had our little jewellery gathering at a friend’s house the other day. I walked away from this little party with a few fab Christmas gifts for my family and a smile…happy festive days…