Friday, 30 November 2007

Shabby Chic New York

It would appear my blog relating to the Shabby Chic New York store has appeared after my last post so please find it here if you don't find it by scrolling down or think I haven't posted it.

Is there a way to prepare a blog in draft and have it appear as your most recent post and not when you were drafting?

Thursday, 29 November 2007

Out to play

Thankfully before bed last night I managed to bring things to some sort of order... and by order I mean have just one big pile in one corner!

Tonight I'm off to the cinema with my sister so the real work will have to wait till the weekend....

Before I go I'm putting the finishing touches to my blog on Rachel Ashwells Shabby Chic store in New York and hope to publish tomorrow for you all to see.

Wednesday, 28 November 2007

Shabby Chic New York

At last as promised here are my photos from Rachel Ashwells Shabby Chic store in New York

I just LOVE this armchair and cushion...

Vintage Christmas Tree

I really wanted to buy one of the silver bauble wreaths but without any boxes I don't think they would've arrived home with me in one piece so I'm going to try and make something similar.

My mum even got in the spirit of things and made me take this photo as she says we can make something similar

Wouldn't these dresses have been perfect for Natasha's prom last week

My favourite... pink of course!

I look kinda scared here as my items are been rung up!

And here's me all finished posing outside the store with all my purchases!

Unfortunately I packaged all my finds away and sent them away to be stored in a friends loft before I had the opportunity to photo them for you ladies but I did manage to get these cute matches

I hope you enjoyed the photos and the journey inside the store via blogland.

My Room My Mess

Why the sad face you may ask?

My bedroom is my sanctuary, my home within a home as I'm still living with my parents, unfortunately at this moment in time it is not the sanctuary I enjoy.

Following my return from NY this is the view as you look into my bedroom,
As a neat freak this doesn't go down well, I can't even sleep with a door or draw ajar... and it gets worse on the other side of my bedroom,
A corner of the room hiding my magazine and book purchases and a chair covered with Christmas party gift items,
And it would seem no surface is safe....My window sill piled with Christmas card and notelet purchases and some vintage decorations thrown in for good measure!

Whilst I sit and chat to you ladies the items have all been moved on to my bed which is going to cause some problems when I want to get in it later!

I just hate mess and need everything to be organised and I just know I will not get time to sort my room out before the weekend. And all these items don't include a large box of homewares I brought and have already been boxed off to a friends loft until my home is purchased. Nor the smaller box of bakeware that is sitting in the kitchen.

I shouldn't complain as a lot of these items have brought me great pleasure and many are Christmas gifts and I will tell you more about them this week (when I should be tidying them away!).

Well blogging about the mess has given me itchy fingers to go and sort out my mess so til tomorrow....

Tuesday, 27 November 2007

Home Sweet Home

As much as I love my holidays there's nothing better than returning home and I cannot wait to sleep in my own bed this evening.

I can tell you that I had a lovely time, spent lots of money on fabulous things and more importantly was able to visit Rachel Ashwell's Shabby Chic store and see her Vintage Prom Dress collection (see for yourself here).

I took many photos inside the store and will add them for you to browse at some stage this week. I also got to visit a flea market and brought some vintage christmas tree baubles which again I will photo and add for you in due course.

The gingerbread bubble bath is run and is calling me so I'll be off.

Tuesday, 20 November 2007

Happy Thanksgiving and goodbye for a few days

Ladies the time has come for me to say goodbye for a few days whilst I journey to New York so all that is left to say is Happy Thanksgiving to those who are celebrating and I will catch up on my return

Hello Nigella and Goodbye Boots

Yesterday saw the end of these faithful boots of mine. I’ve had these boots years and just couldn’t bare to part with them. They’re nothing special, they just get me to and from work each day but despite the evil looking heel they are very comfortable and I just hate having to break in new shoes.
I suppose some of my attachment to them comes from the day of the 7/7 bombings on London Underground. These boots were what I was wearing when I had to walk home from work when the transport links were closed. Hours I walked in these but they never let me down, I wonder if I should I keep them and package away to tell the story to my grandchildren?

Everyone looks at the heel and asks “how do you walk in them” and I tell them the story of my walk home that day.

Good news today was I met (if not very briefly!) Nigella Lawson who was signing copies of her book Nigella Express.
It took an extended lunch break, an hour and a half standing in queue in the cold and rain but was worth it to get it personally signed and see the lady in the flesh. She appeared a lovely lady and very sympathetic to the people that were not going to get seen (I was practically the last person!).

Here’s her dedication,

This is a short post for this evening as I'm frantic preparing for my trip to New York. You would think I was emigrating for the carry on I'm having! Tomorrow is my last day at home as we'll be staying at Heathrow on Thursday evening straight from work so everything needs to be in order (I'm sure I'm making up things I need to do).
Biggest problem I currently have is clothing/weather.... some reports say snow....
....and others sun
I'm hoping a friendly local on Tripadviser will be able to give me some indiction on what weather I can expect.

Sunday, 18 November 2007

Shopping... Some Old, Some New

I love's the last day of the weekend and if I'm going to forget about returning to work the following day I need to keep busy.

Saturday was spent doing a bit of shopping and with a friend but I don't know about you but I always shop better alone. I spent today going back to the shops buying what i'd forgotten yesterday!

I started in TK Maxx and picked up this gorgeous broom....
as I may have told you ladies I'm in the process of saving for my first home so i've started on my "bottom draw" and I couldn't resist this floral number, it might even make sweeping a pleasure!

I also managed to get some Halloween items, a gorgeous pumpkin Yankee Candle,
and this plate just perfect for display.
I think went to my favourite and faithful charity shop and picked up this floral jug and glasses set for £3. There was 6 glasses in total and I think this will look lovely on a Summer table.

Anyway I've got a list of things to get through before I take myself to bed and begin another week of work... well actually it's only 4 days of work and then it's off to NEW YORK!

Saturday, 17 November 2007

Coffee & Walnut Cake

Well I'm off to bed after a nice day of a little Christmas shopping and cake but not without telling you about it first of course.

A friend had put a request in with me for a Coffee & Walnut cake. I found a recipe at Delia Online that I seem to remember making some years ago.

I started with toasting some walnuts....
Here's the mix....
And the finished product... was quite pleased esp as it looked a little thin when i got out the tins

I was glad that my friend gave it the thumbs up, even going back for second helpings. I found the frosting a bit too "coffee" for me but the cake itself was pleasant, maybe add some more sugar next time to sweeten up?

It's also worth knowing I made the cake Friday night and iced this afternoon so good to know (as we ladies love to be prepared) that it can be made up the night before.

Anyway sleep beckons... till tomorrow....

Friday, 16 November 2007

The Brocante Home Puttery Treats Challenge

I am pleased to announce that Alison over at Brocante Home has extended the deadline for her Puttery Treats Challenge which means… I can take part!!

The rules are simple… blog about your favourite Puttery Treat ensuring Alison’s descriptions are included in full.

I have taken the liberty of choosing 3 to write about today but I think they all lend to each other so well I could resist and I hope you agree.

So I start here;

Allocate a fabulously snuggly jumper or cardigan as your house jumper. Leave it folded in the basket next to your armchair for long cold nights. Men’s oversized jumpers work best. Go root through his wardrobe now. In kids rooms dig out winter jumpers and hang on their wardrobes as a visual reminder of seasonal change. Change lightweight dressing gowns for snuggly flannel, and tartan jamies and slipper socks.

When I read men’s oversized jumpers and tartan jamies I couldn’t help but chuckle as this is exactly what I feel happiest in when in the comfort of home. The minute I return home from work I run to my room to change from my work “uniform” of suit and heels into my cosies and immediately feel calm! Work is behind me now.

How I came about my jumper and tartan is a story in itself. The jumper belonged to my brother, nothing special, just a grey hoodie that he left behind when he moved home… if I’m honest I have 2 of his hoodies and a t-shirt and I don’t know why, I’m usually very much an everything must match girl but wearing this concoction makes me feel at ease. Whenever he pops round and I’m wearing them he comments “nice jumper”.

The tartan bottoms I wear were another act of “theft”. Staying with a friend one evening she handed me some pj bottoms to sleep in, the next morning I returned home in them and the love affair began. She was happy to pass them onto me as they made me so happy; the only problem was they belonged to a former boyfriend of hers.

He’ll forget about them” I said confidentially but typically he didn’t. When I saw him next he questioned me on them “but I love them” I said. It’s unspoken but these are now mine, he will still regularly joke when I see him, in much the same way as my brother, “where are my pj’s” and with a smile I say, “I’m looking after them”.

I love pyjama’s and have a whole draw devoted to them though these items are still my favourite, my comfort blanket maybe, I take a cup of tea to bed, climb in with hoodie still on and when I feel the warmth enveloping me I can remove it and snuggle down (and yes, i'm wearing them now!).

Of course if it’s the weekend and I’m wearing these clothes they can lead onto another Puttery Treat…watching old movies. I love them, I always say I was born too late for my time and these movies can transport me back to places and times I wish I’d lived through.

Alison says;

Old films just smack of cosy afternoons curled up on the sofa. Go through your collection and choose a little pile you haven’t watched for a while, or better yet, sign up to one of the online DVD hire companies and get old films in the mail, as and when they unexpectedly arrive. Failing that choose a deliciously old fashioned radio station and listen to the afternoon play as you potter around the house. I use Sky radio (on the tv) to select from a variety of BBC radio channels most afternoons…
Thankfully Audrey Hepburn is my idol, she decorates my bedroom and her DVD collection is on the book shelf, do I start with Breakfast at Tiffany’s, (Moonriver anyone?) or Sabrina? Want to hear a secret? Once or twice I’ve tried talking like her! Crazy I know but them clipped tones, she just sounds fabulous and elegant, and I want a piece of that!

If I have a few hours with no interruption it’s Gone With The Wind….. Rhett Butler might not give a damn but I sure do…. The colours… the clothes…. I could go on and on…..

Has anyone seen the new Marks and Spencer’s advert? Doesn’t it just make you nostalgic (aren’t us girls always feeling that way??)

And of course that brings me to Christmas, last year a friend and I started a new tradition of Christmas film watching over the weekends, Miracle on 34th Street, It’s a Wonderful Life, Santa Claus the Movie and we add a new one each year. She’s just brought Home Alone (although we’re worried about giving her daughter ideas!!) and I’m thinking what my contribution should be – any suggestions?

So on that note I need to follow Alison’s advice and;

Dig out all the Christmas cds and DVDs you own and put them in a basket near the TV, for impromptu festive viewing….
If I’m honest I’ve already had my Christmas cd playing in the car for the past couple of weeks!!!

Good luck to everyone else taking part and hope you enjoyed reading as much as I enjoyed writing.

Tuesday, 13 November 2007

Bedtime Reading

Ladies you can imagine my pleasure when 2 copies of Romantic Homes were waiting for me when I got home from work this evening.
The kettle is boiling and I'm off to bed with a cuppa and these lovely magazines.
Hope you're having an equally fun night x

Monday, 12 November 2007

Keep Positive!

I was all ready to start today's blog complaining about Mondays, how I have all these things to do when I thought why don't I just get on with them and finish the day with an upbeat blog!
One of my tasks was to create some invitations for my friends for a Christmas party we're having. We're creating a full Christmas Day experience, Secret Santa, the turkey dinner all as if it were 25th December.
Being the organiser of the group I'd been selected to make arrangements and suggested I "make" the invitations! I must confess my crafting skills are amateur at best but they say practice makes perfect.
I started with this Anna Griffin kit from QVC which had everything I needed to make some simple invites.
Next I selected the elements I wanted to use....
And the finished product was this....
I am continually proud with anything I've made so far (2 scrapbooks and these invites) as it's just so rewarding. I cheated and did print outs of the party details which I simply stuck inside the cards.Mum is now asking me to make something similar for her friends invitations as she does the same thing every year at our home.
Every time I make something I get a little braver and want to try something different and keep going and adding a bit more of this and that.
Anyway ladies there's a cup of tea waiting for me and my bed.... I think I'll make the menu to go with these tomorrow!

Saturday, 10 November 2007

Spirit of Christmas

Mum treated me today to a a trip to the Spirit of Christmas Fair at Olympia in London. A lovely day if not a little pricey, £17 for a ticket and that just gets you inside what is essentially a showground for companies looking to sell you something!

We were quite restrained as we're off to NEW YORK in under 2 weeks to do our Christmas shopping but I did manage to pick up this wooden V which will look lovely painted up and this cute little book of sayings about the house and home... well you have to get something don't you!

Lastly thank you very much for all your wonderful and enouraging comments on my first post. As this is my second already I think it's safe to say... I'm hooked!

Friday, 9 November 2007

First Time

Well here it is ladies, after spending the past month browsing happily through your inspirational pages I’ve decided to take the plunge and give it a go myself and hope I can bring some of the same enjoyment I’ve experienced to you.

Alas I am still waiting for my own home to create a vintage oasis but that doesn’t stop me from buying treasures along the way (which i hope you don't mind me sharing with you!) that I hope to use in the future and here are some recent purchases.

These ladybird books I had as a child and for 20p I couldn’t ignore reclaiming some memories and thought they would be useful for scrapbooking as would the dictionaries I was specifically looking for (I have some ideas to play with). I wasn’t sure about this rose’s book until I saw this picture of the elegant lady and had to buy it, again I’m sure it’ll become useful in a project somewhere.

The glasses I’m sure I’ll use for some occasion and I can never resist a piece of china decorated with roses and florals!The heart shaped plate I love and can see it being part of some Valentines fun... maybe some cute cupcakes decorated with icing sugar from this beautiful glass shaker