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30 December 2015

Christmas 2015 - Head Explosion!

Hello all, I do hope you are all well, full and happy following the festive season. Christmas is a bit of a funny one for me, not for any particular reason, no bad memories have marred the occasion but I just don't seem to enjoy it anymore. I think maybe I get a bit maudlin as its the end of another year and there is this obsession with being joyful all the time!!!! I am a bit of a miserable bugger truth be told!! However this year I made a massive effort to banish those feelings as I can feel a bit of an epiphany coming on...... 

I have to say Instagram has definitely changed my life! This may sound odd to some of you, after all its just an app isn't it? Well yes it is and when explaining to someone who doesn't use it just how amazing it is I find myself struggling to sell it. Since I started my blog in January and making a concerted effort to use Instagram daily it has opened so many doors to me. I have met so many lovely people, people whom I would never have had the pleasure to meet. I have won stuff!! Always love winning stuff, I have been involved in hashtag projects like #stylingtheseasons, #thisjoyfulmoment, #RMStuesdaytreats and #aquietstyle and this has given me a direction, a real sense of purpose away from my everyday life. I hope that this is a taste of more things to come for 2016 and beyond. In January I am really excited to be attending a photography workshop run by Emily Quinton which I won by entering the #stylingtheseasons makelight competition in November. I can't wait and I'm also going to be lucky enough to style a couple of venues for some lovely events. I'll show you results I promise. 

Christmas this year has been centered around making our home beautiful for us all to enjoy and for other people to get enjoyment out of. I have styled our home in different ways and used the wonderful inspiration that I find on this online community to shape my style for the better. As with many things if you look back to the way you used to do things you often cringe, but thats just change for you. I mean I would never have a perm again - or would I?!!! 

So this post is a little look back on Christmas and a bit of a opportunity to share with you my hopes for next year. The title of this post is Head Explosion - why? Well because I actually have so much going on in my brain, so many ideas I don't know what to do with them. What I do know is that 2016 has to be the year that I make a change ( I am going o be 40 you know!!) and with hard work and determination I've got a feeling its going to happen....... I for one am excited and I hope that you also have a wonderful time too. xx

Happy New Year x

21 November 2015

November Styling the Seasons - Feeling Festive Flatlay

So it has happened! The twinkly lights and wrapping paper has got the better of me and though I hate to admit it the festive season has started to appeal..... nothing to do with the prospect of two weeks off work!! I am a sucker for pretty things and Christmas has that in spades, its also another great excuse to spend money and while I shop online something always seems to fall into the basket for me so its a win win situation! (insert the thumbs up emoji)

When I read about the new challenge for this months Styling the Seasons I was really excited at the thought of doing a flatlay image. Emily Quinton was one of the very first people I started following on Instagram and I have really enjoyed watching her beautiful floral images change and alter with the seasons. The idea of gathering all of my favourite pieces together to represent November is a lovely one but I wasn't really sure what theme I would take. The first part of the puzzle happened when I was given some gorgeous grey velvet. Velvet to me sums up this cozy season and I knew I had to use it somehow in my images. Once I had the colour scheme the rest was easy. The blue faded Hydrangea went perfectly and one of my most favourite things as Christmas approaches is wrapping presents in a creative way so I use lots of pretty tags and string. The glass bauble actually never gets put away because I think they are lovely throughout the year and finally my new copper string lights from are so delicate they fitted perfectly. If I told you that the heart shaped stone was given to me by my husband and the spotty ribbon tied up my wedding bouquet you would think I was soppy, so I won't tell you that. 

I am really happy with the results, I love how it is still pale but feels warm and it has helped to lift me out of my bah humbug mood! 

As usual you can enter into the seasonal spirit every month by playing #stylingtheseasons and this month fingers crossed to win a place on one of Emily's photography workshops #STSxMakelight @lottsandlots @aptapothecary @ruthgarner @emilyquinton 

Good luck everyone and happy wrapping xx

9 November 2015

Jackdaw Rooms review

Hi all, I do hope you are well and getting yourself all prepared for Christmas?!! Well that's what we are supposed to do isn't it, buy presents throughout the year and get our Christmas cards in the sale!!! Haha, anyway I thought I would share a gorgeous new shop that I found recently that has in fact not long opened and maybe your Christmas gift buying or receiving prayers could be answered.

At the lovely Curborough Hall Farm countryside centre on the outskirts of Lichfield in Staffordshire there is the Jackdaw Rooms. I found this via word of mouth from a friend who lives locally and heard that it was opening. Specialising in unique one off pieces of up-cycled and vintage furniture and quirky gifts. The owners have renovated the barn space beautifully and the layout is perfect for browsing. I obviously purchased a few items - well it would be rude not to! As well as the loveliness to buy they are also going to be running paint workshops in the new year and I also noticed a few Prosecco/shopping evenings looming which sounds like a winning combination to me!!

I took a few snaps of the stunning interior and some of the items for sale. If you live close by and like to find things a little out of the ordinary then you really should give it a go.

Happy Christmas shopping xx

18 October 2015

October Styling the Seasons - Pastel Pumpkins.....

Not only is it October its also nearly the end of October, I mean how did that happen? Now, not being a lover of all thing autumnal as you know, and feeling slightly apprehensive about all things orange and halloweeny I was a little unsure about what my Styling the Seasons post would end up like. I needn't have worried however as I was soon to discover that pumpkins don't only just come in orange they also come in white and duck egg blue!!! Who knew?? So I went on a little adventure this morning to try and find such things and to my dismay this wasn't as easy as I thought. Oh no, a sea of large orange squashes awaited in every place I tried and some of the staff in farm shops and garden centres didn't seem to understand my need for smaller more prettier pastel coloured veg. Luckily however the last farm I tried had a huge variety and I found some lovely blue ones. I didn't get lucky with the white variety and so the only thing to do was to paint it, needs must and all that!!

Anyway, aside from the fact that my post is centred around pumpkins, October is also the birthday month of my first born and so I wanted my scene to be fun and bright. Pastels colours are also what make up our house and my Instagram gallery and I feel like this really goes well. The pretty shades of the faded Hydrangea help with the Autumn feel too and of course it wouldn't be right to not have one of my favourite vintage cups.  

This month's Styling the Seasons has really added a different element to our bedroom, a room that is often forgotten when I am styling so I'm really happy with the results. I will also be able to use the pumpkins to dress the dining table too.

October, you are ok really!! xx

Happy Halloween!! x

Join in with Styling the Seasons and see where your imagination takes you with
@lottsandlots @aptapothecary

26 September 2015

September Styling the Seasons - Bringing the outside in.......

I can't believe its nearly a month since my last post when I was moaning about Autumn! Don't worry I have got over that now and I promise I won't moan anymore, I mean I can't stop time. Can I? No? 

Anyway I digress, a couple of weeks ago I finally got my hands on some Eucalyptus, I have been looking for some for ages and as I don't live in a big town or have many florists nearby it wasn't as easy as I thought. I don't think I realised how lovely it was and what a great smell it filled the house with. It gave me an idea for my Styling the Seasons post and what September means to me. As Katy and Charlotte asked for this month to include a vintage item I decided to bring some of my vintage fair finds into the styling too. My house is pretty full of nik-nacs anyway so I knew that wouldn't be a problem, I think I have a problem! 

The colours of the foliage in my enamel jug made me think about my last Vernon Ward picture purchase and I think they go really well together, I have lots of old books that I like to use as props and these 2 were found at an antique market in Barcelona. 
After enjoying having the Eucalyptus in the house it made me think about why I don't bring more of the outside in, after all September has mainly been about keeping the garden going and replanting lots of things to keep it pretty. I love our garden and its a shame to not enjoy the lovely plants out there when the weather isn't playing ball. I decided to dress the dining room table for Sunday lunch using some of my pansies and lavender planted in a vintage tin and bucket. I was really pleased with the results and it made me happy to think that although its officially Autumn  I can still enjoy the garden even when its miserable outside. 

I love #stylingtheseasons and you can join in by styling a part of your home to reflect what that month means to you and tagging @lottsandlots and @aptapothecary 

Happy Autumn xx

31 August 2015

August Styling the Seasons - Bring back summer......

  August seems to have gone in the blink of an eye this year and while it isn't my favourite month          ( July is! ) I still have a sense of sadness when it is gone. You see I absolutely love the summer - the sun, the time with the kids, holidays, wearing flip flops and faffing around without a care in the world. Now if you live in England and are reading this you will be thinking, but Katie, August was full of rain this year what are you talking about?? Well I still think of it as Summer and the minute we get into September people start talking about Autumn and god forbid Christmas!!! I'm really not an Autumnal kind of person, I hate Halloween, I loath brown and orange together and as for Christmas - well thats another blog!! Just call me Scrooge.

I apologise for my rant! I will get back to the point of my Styling the Seasons post. I am really pleased with my new little reading corner and I wanted to style it up to make the summer stay a bit longer!! When I purchased my cute little blue churn last weekend I knew this would play a part in my post as the blue is just lovely and reminds me of summer. Putting the blue and white together and bringing in the faded roses in my favourite french jug just made me want to go back on holiday and wear flip flops forever!! Lavender just makes me think of France so when I bought the french enamel bucket yesterday I knew I had to plant some up for the house. After a conversation with someone on Instagram about keeping old catalogues I decided to find out all of my old Cath Kidston ones and they are still lovely even though they are 10 years old, proof that good styling never ages. 

I suppose I'm just in denial and I suppose I will be there for a while. So while I look through all of your lovely pictures of open fires and fallen leaves spare a thought for me sat here dreaming of summer days, probably still wearing my shorts, looking at my faded tan! 

Happy Autumn everyone! x

Don't forget you can join in with #stylingtheseasons on your blog or Instagram with the lovely @lottsandlots and @aptapothecary 
Show us what that month means to you.

14 August 2015

Pastel French Chic......

Ok, so if you follow me on Instagram or Pinterest you probably know that I have this thing for France. I have always loved it even before I actually went! Our first trip was to Banon in Provence. This was an amazing area but not to everyones taste as quite isolated, I on the other hand fell in love with all that was around me, the colours, the buildings, the people and I have never lost the appreciation for this wonderful country.

Going to France for a family holiday is great and we have done it quite a few times now, we do try to visit somewhere different each time just so we can get a different perspective on the place and see new things. The decision to visit Perpignan and the surrounding areas was purely down to weather! Being close to the border of Spain we hoped that the sun would be in abundance and we weren't disappointed.

The town we stayed at was Argeles Sur Mer, a beautiful big beach, funfairs and cycle tracks meant that we could explore easily. Whilst the Central Plage was lovely it was a little bit tacky. Not my idea of shabby chic french style - I needed shutters!!!! The village at Argeles was much more like it and not so busy, this is where we spent most evenings and we were lucky enough to find a wonderful restaurant La Gamate. I would highly recommend this for excellent fresh food and great prices. The scallops were divine.

I have to admit most of our days were spent around the pool soaking up the sun but we did a trip to the next town of Collioure, a Catalan port. Oh my goodness it was absolutely amazing. The minute the bus pulled up I was out taking photographs of the beautiful buildings. After a little bit more exploring we discovered the castle, the beach and the prettiest winding streets in all the colours of the rainbow and balconies and shutters to die for!!! I was in French amour. The town was a haunt for painters such as Mattise, Picasso and various others who all used Collioure as a source of inspiration for their paintings, its easy to see why.

My only disappointment of the whole holiday was that I didn't buy anything! Not a single thing, I was desperate for a brocante or flea market but to no avail. It seems I will have to return and ensure this time that our accommodation is better placed for spending money!!


Au Revoir 
jusqu'à ce que nous nous reverrons