Thursday, 30 July 2009


Whilst perusing flickr I came across these gorgeous images by Hanna Lee. They have a very Alice in Wonderland vibe (speaking of Alice in Wonderland, I'm so very excited for the upcoming Tim Burton version of the film. It's going to be fantastic and dark and weird and wonderful. You can see a trailer for it here).

Wednesday, 29 July 2009

back from the green fields

Many apologies for my recent lack of posts and comments and general presence in blog land. I've been back at my parents farm for the past week, sorting out all things wedding related and steadily ticking them off our huge to do list. And in between writing the ceremony, finalising the readings, meeting with the florist and a million other things, this little lady above has been keeping me very busy racing around outside in her new wellies (possibly the dearest, smallest wellies I have ever seen).

We have been taking deep breaths and savouring the fresh, clean country air, taking the dog out on long walks and enjoying some wonderful home cooked meals. Bliss. The only thing that was missing was Curt (or in Lila's words 'Da-da') who unfortunately had to remain down in London working. I really needed the chance to get away from the big smoke, clear my head on a few issues and come to a few realisations.

I've had a strange month where I've just been feeling very odd about everything. I think the best way of describing it would be a mild quarter life crisis! Just a vague feeling of dis-satisfaction with life on a very personal level...

Of loving all the people around me so much but feeling unfulfilled creatively within myself. Of waiting for the future and for life to start and things to happen instead of living in the present and treasuring every second. Of putting too much pressure on myself and setting unrealistically high expectations. Of comparing myself to others with seemingly perfect lives and wanting it all. Of desperately craving material posessions and objects that will very probably not be the answer to anything all. And this is from someone about to be married to a man they adore, with a beautiful daughter, a wonderful, supportive family and everything in the world to be thankful for!

Sometimes it's easy to get overwhelmed by it all and I'm glad I've managed to take a step back and get all these crazy thoughts running through my head into perspective. Does anyone else ever feel like this? Poor Curt has had to deal with all sorts of mood swings and erratic behaviour so no doubt he'll be glad that I'm feeling more like myself again. Sorry for this shamefully self-indulgent post that I clearly needed to get off my chest and here's to living in and loving the moment and counting your blessings :)

Oh and for anyone who actually persevered through all that rambling to get this far down the page, these polaroid images are all courtesy of a totally awesome downloadable application that my friend Kathryn alerted me to today called poladroid. So these are infact just ordinary photos taken by me and Curt which I've put into the poladroid application and seconds later they've come out the other end as these beauties. Very cool I think you'll agree.

Friday, 24 July 2009

once upon a time...

Just stumbled across a stunning photo shoot of the actress Emma Watson (Hermione Granger in the Harry Potter films). Wow. These photos were taken by photographer Mark Selinger and appeared in Vogue Italia in October last year. I've clearly been a bit slow on the uptake here and this is old news as no doubt they have already been posted all over the internet and blog world but I couldn't resist posting them as I love the decadance and the fairytale, fantasy inspired vibe of them. Who knew that she had it in her?!

Monday, 20 July 2009

it's pretty good

Wanted to share a recent find, the beautiful blog called it's pretty good by Mary Swenson. It features Mary's stunning photographs of little pieces of beauty from her everyday life which she then adds snippets of text to. The result is these gorgeous, uplifting images. Oh and there's also recipes scattered throughout so you can recreate some of the amazing looking food she makes. Love it! These are some of my favourites. Visit her blog to see many more.

Thursday, 16 July 2009

advice for life

I heard a song on the radio the other day which took me right back, back to the year that I finished high school infact. It was a big hit at the time but it was interesting to hear it again now, 10 years later and recall just how true and apt the words are- though it's fair to say I probably have more appreciation of them now. I thought I'd share the essay that the song (by Baz Luhrman) was taken from.
All images are by Celeste Photography on Flickr.

Everybody's Free (to wear sunscreen)
by Mary Schmich- First published in the Chicago Tribune

Ladies and Gentlemen of the class of '97... wear sunscreen.

If I could offer you only one tip for the future, sunscreen would be IT.
The long term benefits of sunscreen have been proved by scientists whereas the rest of my advice has no basis more reliable than my own meandering experience.

I will dispense this advice now.

Enjoy the power and beauty of your youth. Never mind. You will not understand the power and beauty of your youth until they have faded. But trust me, in 20 years you'll look back at photos of yourself and recall in a way you can't grasp now how much possibility lay before you and how fabulous you really looked.

You are NOT as fat as you imagine.

Don't worry about the future; or worry, but know that worrying is as effective as trying to solve an algebra equation by chewing bubblegum. The real troubles in your life are apt to be things that never crossed your worried mind; the kind that blindside you at 4pm on some idle Tuesday.

Do one thing every day that scares you.


Don't be reckless with other people's hearts, don't put up with people who are reckless with yours.


Don't waste your time on jealousy; sometimes you're ahead, sometimes you're behind. The race is long, and in the end, it's only with yourself.

Remember compliments you receive, forget the insults; if you succeed in doing this, tell me how.

Keep your old love letters, throw away your old bank statements.


Don't feel guilty if you don't know what you want to do with your life. The most interesting people I know didn't know at 22 what they wanted to do with their lives, some of the most interesting 40 year olds I know still don't.

Get plenty of calcium.

Be kind to your knees, you'll miss them when they're gone.

Maybe you'll marry, maybe you won't, maybe you'll have children, maybe you won't, maybe you'll divorce at 40, maybe you'll dance the funky chicken on your 75th wedding anniversary.
Whatever you do, don't congratulate yourself too much or berate yourself, either. Your choices are half chance, so are everybody else's.
Enjoy your body, use it every way you can. Don't be afraid of it, or what other people think of it, it's the greatest instrument you'll ever own.

DANCE. Even if you have nowhere to do it but in your own living room.

Read the directions, even if you don't follow them.

Do NOT read beauty magazines, they will only make you feel ugly.

Get to know your parents, you never know when they'll be gone for good.
Be nice to your siblings; they are your best link to your past and the people most likely to stick with you in the future.

Understand that friends come and go, but for the precious few you should hold on. Work hard to bridge the gaps in geography in lifestyle because the older you get, the more you need the people you knew when you were young.

Live in New York City once, but leave before it makes you hard; live in Northern California once, but leave before it makes you soft.


Accept certain inalienable truths, prices will rise, politicians will philander, you too will get old, and when you do you'll fantasize that when you were young prices were reasonable, politicians were noble and children respected their elders.

Respect your elders.

Don't expect anyone else to support you. Maybe you have a trust fund, maybe you'll have a wealthy spouse; but you never know when either one might run out.

Don't mess too much with your hair, or by the time you're 40, it will look 85.

Be careful whose advice you buy, but, be patient with those who supply it. Advice is a form of nostalgia, dispensing it is a way of fishing the past from the disposal, wiping it off, painting over the ugly parts and recycling it for more than it's worth.

But trust me on the sunscreen.

Sunday, 12 July 2009

wedding update

Thought it was about time for an update on how our wedding plans are all coming together as the day is now approaching at extremely high speed...only 6 weeks to go now (eek!) Firstly, above is a design incorporating elements of our invitations that my very clever sister created for us which has now been made into a stamp ready to decorate the paper bags for our candy buffet of old-fashioned sweets. I'm sure we'll also incorporate it into many other details of the day such as the menus. (Now having a mini panic that we haven't even thought about printing out the menus yet, or making place cards. Or sorted out a table plan...gulp).

We have however found a lady who makes very lovely and tasty cupcakes who will be creating our cupcake tower (which we've opted for instead of a traditional wedding cake), so I have been collecting inspiration images for her as to the kind of decoration and icing we'd like. Here are a few of my favourites cupcake inspiration pictures below- all images from Cupcake Land by ShamsD on flickr.

Small confession to make here- although I saw 'we' with regards to all matters of planning our wedding I have shamefully ploughed ahead and sidelined poor Curt on more than a couple of matters where my own personal ideas of taste and decoration have run away with me, combined with a flat panic that we now need to get things done as soon as possible which leaves no time for lengthy discussions or debates over alternative options. Which is really a load of rubbish as there is always time for making a joint decision, especially when it concerns such an important day as your wedding. And I am truly sorry for it. Smack on the hand for me! There'll be no more of that bridezilla behaviour here on in!

Anyhow, now I've got that off my chest, onto matters of the floral variety. I am making a trip back to my parents farm (the wedding venue) next week for a wedding related frenzy with my mother for five days where I'm hoping we'll manage to get some of the loose ends tied up. Chief priority is meeting with our floral designer and deciding what the heck we're going to do about flowers. Below are some images which caught my eye on a quick persusal of flickr.

Pretty display by cirasphotography

Gorgeous bouquet image from laura hanson

Another beautiful bouquet, this one from mamawolf111

One thing we can now tick off the list is sorting out the gift registry. This was really tricky for us because as I may have mentioned already, we are hoping to up sticks and leave the UK at some point next year (hopefully heading for Australia though this does seems a million miles away from actually being a reality right now). So, although to Curt's eternal dismay I reign supreme as the ultimate queen of clutter, I didn't seem wise to accumulate many more pots and pans or large items of furniture that we'd then have to ship overseas.

Our solution to this was to request monetary donations to our 'Making a New Life in Australia Fund' and for those friends and family members not keen or a little uneasy about the idea on writing us a cheque or handing over cash, which is of course totally understandable, we set up a small registry on the very lovely online site
Not on the high street. Our wish list mainly consists of small(ish), decoorative items which shouldn't prove too much of a bother to take with us wherever we should end up. Here is a small selection of some of the pretty things that we chose.

Crown embellished milk jug and sugar pot

Children's Suitcases- cute storage idea

Wood & chalkboard herb planter

Another exciting thing that we have recently sorted is our honeymoon. After literally months of deliberation (along the lines of, can we really afford a honeymoon right now?....If so, where should we go? etc..) we finally decided we will leave Lila in the hands of my wonderfully co-operative parents for a week, and two days after the wedding itself, head off to the beautiful island of Koh Samui off the southern coast of Thailand. We'd been throwing around destination ideas including the Maldives, Morocco and Bali but then came across the wonderful Centara Villas on Koh Samui and that pretty much had us sold.

I've been to Thailand before during my pre-University travels but Curt has never been so I'm really excited for him to experience it. Koh Samui can be a very busy, touristy place but we are staying on the quietest end of the island, away from all the hustle and bustle. According to the website, the villas "Cascade down a gentle hillside to the beach and oceanfront" and are "An idyllic vacation spot for the modern traveler seeking to get away from it all." Bring it on! Here are some pics below- if it does actually love up to these pictures then I will be one supremely excited newly-wed!

lady with a camera: sarah maingot

The work of photographer Sarah Maingot takes me to another place. These images have such a nostalgic air to them which I just can't get enough of. Not to mention how unbearably adorably that dear little rabbit is above (just wait til you see the teddy bear below too!)

They seem to conjure up days gone by, a forgotten era, and highlight the simple pleasures in life. At the risk of sounding hideously cheesy, they really do give me a warm, cosy feeling inside. Despite it being the height of summer here in London, they are almost making me look forward to autumn and the cold winter nights drawing in. And I am totally, definitely a summer not a winter person so that says a lot! Oh and how amazing is that tipee...

Friday, 10 July 2009

bits of my birthday

...beautiful orchid from my friend Jo...

...much coveted heart pendant from Curt, woven chunky bangle from my friend Kathryn and turqouise and bronze necklace from my work...

...a copy of my favourite magazine sent over from Australia by my sister Jo...

Not one but in fact two cupcake recipe books from my from Natalie and one from Katie. So it's no secret that I like cupcakes then!

...inside the pages of my cupcake books...

...very happy sunflowers from Curt...

All in all a most wonderful day, celebrated with a relaxed evening picnic in our garden, some strawberries and cream and a few glasses of wine.

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