Saturday, 31 October 2009

just a minute in...october

Gorgeous photos above by whynat on flickr

I thought I'd join in on this for a bit of fun...Liss from Daydream Lily (one of my very favourite inspirational blogs) has been doing it for a while. Click over to her post to read a bit more about 'Just A Minute' and where it originated from. If you're a blogger feel free to join in too, coz it's always fun to hear about what's rocking other people's worlds! Comment and let me know if you do and I'd love to come over and see.

Reading... Hmm, mainly magazines. My mother has a suscription to Vogue and she saves them all for me so whenever I go back home for a visit I settle myself down in the evenings for a blissful catch up on all the ones I haven't read yet. I've also been eyeing up the latest issues of Lula, Elle Decoration and Nylon but have sadly been without the necessary funds to purchase them. Sigh. Lungs by Florence and The Machine. I have this album in my car so everytime I drive anywhere I can usually be found singing along to it at the top of my lungs, generally hideously out of key.

Watching...the X-Factor, religiously. It's my guilty pleasure. At least now I am a mother I have a valid reason for staying in on a Saturday night (who am I kidding, I would so stay in to watch it anyway).

Buying... Very little! Thank goodness today is pay day as I've been scaping by with literally pennies for the last two weeks. I blew my budget in the first half of the month doing fun stuff when my Canadian friend came to stay. I did however purchase a a high waisted, tulip shaped floral skirt that I am very in love with.

Loving... Being a's all been peachy so far! Also, my Matthew Williamson perfume, my red check flannel shirt, Lila's new words (night night, lovely, and bath time) and our official wedding pictures- I'll share a selection of them soon.

Wanting... To constantly eat sweet, delicious, comforting things. Food is never far from my mind but this month I've been craving all the bad things-cakes, chocolate, anything with ridiculous amounts of cheese involved. Arghh, must stop eating! I blame it on the change in seasons.

Thursday, 29 October 2009

lady with a camera: gen kay

It's been a while since I featured an awesome female photographer in my 'lady with a camera' series so I thought it was time to get back on the program and share the work of the very talented Australian fashion photographer Gen Kay.

She started out her career in Japan, making a name for herself there and then in her homeland, shooting for magazines including Vogue Japan, Nylon Japan and Lula. She has recently started to focus on shooting short films with a super 8 camera. Check out her website to see more of her work.

Monday, 26 October 2009


Our weekend involved a long walk through the woods in the crisp, sunny autumn air and baking again, which was needless to say followed by mass consumption of the delicious results. This time it was the turn of cupcakes (my birthday gifts came in very handy here). I eventually decided on what seemed the healthiest option, as the recipe didn't actually require any sugar and guilt free cupcakes are always a winning plan. They turned out to be so good- Curt described them as tasting like a cross between banana bread and carrot cake- that I thought it would only be fair to share...

Honey, Banana & Pecan Cupcakes

Makes 32 (mini ones)

100 g (3 ½ oz) unsalted butter, chopped
350 g (12 oz/ 1 cup) honey, plus extra to drizzle
250 g (9 oz/ 2 cups) self-raising flour
1 teaspoon mixed spice
150 g (5 ½ oz/ 1 ½ cups) coarsely grated carrot
1 ripe banana, mashed
70 g (2 ½ oz/ ½ cup) chopped pecan nuts, plus extra to sprinkle
2 eggs, lightly beaten

Preheat the oven to 180°C (350° F/Gas 4). Line 32 mini muffin holes with paper cases.

Melt the butter and honey in a small saucepan, stirring until combined. Allow to cool.

Sift the flour and mixed spice into a large bowl. Add the carrot, banana, pecans, eggs and honey mixture, stirring until the mixture is just combined and smooth.

Divide the mixture evenly among the cases, and sprinkle the tops liberally with extra chopped pecans. Bake for 8 minutes, or until a skewer comes out clean when inserted into the centre of a cake. Transfer onto a wire rack to cool.

Drizzle a little honey over the cakes before serving.

Recipe adapted from this book (which uses macadamia nuts instead of pecans, but I couldn't get hold of any, and pecans actually worked out brilliantly).

Sunday, 25 October 2009


The Rebecca dress

I'm very excited to announce the launch of a new London fashion label, EIGHT-LONDON, which has been masterminded by two very talented young ladies (one of them being an extremely good friend of mine...I'm so proud!)

Their first collection consists of twelve designs, all expertly crafted with the most exquite, gorgeous fabrics. I was lucky enough to attend the preview evening at the stunning location of Somerset House in central London, amidst an exhibition of the iconic black and white images by the legendary fashion photographer Norman Parkinson.

Be sure to check out their website to see the full range and for more details and prices. If you'd like order one of the beautiful, unique items, it will be custom made to your measurements and you can rest assured in the knowledge that you won't be walking around in the same Topshop dress as everyone else. Perfect.

The Claire blouse & the Jennifer skirt

The Liberty blazer

The Louisa dress

The Zoe dress

The Laelia dress

Friday, 23 October 2009

anthropologie in london town!

Yay! Today is a very exciting day, the first Anthropologie store on this side of the pond is opening its doors on Regent Street in London. On the downside it will probably lead to me drowning in a sea of debt as I struggle to rein myself in when I set foot inside. I can't wait to loose myself among all the delights I know will be waiting within those walls. For anyone who is not already aware of Anthropologie, take a look at their US website to see what they are all about. Think gorgeous, inspirational clothing, accessories and home decor with a crafty/handmade, vintage aesthetic.

The brand is owned by Urban Outfitters and there are definitely crossover elements between them but where Urban Outfitters is young, hip and edgy I would say that Anthro is more feminine, sophisticated and aspirational. If there are any UK residents wishing to check out this new palace of general awesomeness and beauty, here is the address of the store:

158 Regent Street
London, W1B 5SW

A second store is also due to open on the Kings Road in Chelsea in early 2010. Be still my beating heart!

The images above are of the Anthropologie stores in America- via their website.

Tuesday, 20 October 2009

dream wheels

Image by scuba dooba on Flickr

I heart this car! All hail the Nissan Fiagro, the most beautiful car on the road. Despite the fact that it has little wheels which mean it can't reach speeds above about 60mph, and a tiny backseat which would in no way fit Lila's car seat. Not to mention the incredibly small boot that could never hold the improbable amount of stuff we now have to take everywhere with us due to the aforementioned diminutive, loud and messy member of the family. Oh but they are just so pretty.

Yes, totally impractical but I can still dream. There is a garage near to us which sells them and every time I drive past it and see them lined up in their candy colours I decide which one I would choose. But then I always change my mind (at the moment the blue one is my favourite but the pale pink version will always hold a special place in my heart, though I do wonder if if might make one feel a bit like Barbie!)

Image by NWT 2005 on flickr

If I were a princess...

...I would like to live here.

Sorry for the lack of posts over the past week. My friend Stephanie came over from Canada to visit me so we had a very enjoyable time in both London and Cheshire (at my parents farm), seeing the sights, relaxing, shopping and generally catching up. We went on a day trip into North Wales to visit this beautiful castle. It is called Penryhn and has a spectacular location on the top of a hill, overlooking the sea and surrounded by rolling green fields and mountains. The weather totally surprised us with picture perfect beautiful blue skies.

It truly is an enchanting, fantasy, Norman style castle and it was built in the 19th Century between 1820 and 1845 for the wealthy Pennant family, who made their fortune from Jamaican sugar and Welsh slate. Today it is open for visitors and you can take a peek inside some of the stunning, decorative rooms and imagine what it felt like to swan around as the lady of the house wearing a beautiful dress with an army of servants at your disposal!

Unfortunately taking pictures inside is not allowed but the interiors took my breath away. The huge four poster beds with ornate canopies and walls covered with intricate Chinese hand painted wallpaper were something else. The grounds and gardens are equally impressive and in particular I loved this walled garden with its pebbled pathways, stone pavillion and lily pond.

Below is a shot of the ceiling looking upwards from one of the carved stone staircases inside the castle. (Ok, I did manage to sneak a couple of shots while I was in there).

Thursday, 15 October 2009

hair decorations update

Some exciting recent news is that selected designs from my Talking to Unicorns hair accessory range are now available to buy in the online shop of a website called Marry Me in France. In addition to the gorgeous shop, the site offers wedding planning services and the founder Imogen describes it as 'Everything you need for a dreamy occasion in the Mediterranean'.

Even if you aren't planning your wedding, the shop is a great place to find a beautiful selection of handmade, carefully selected items including jewellery, and accessories and decorations. All of which are well worth a browse.

Below are pictures of a couple of my designs which are for sale on the site, click here to see the full range on in the Marry Me in France shop.

Friday, 9 October 2009

things to love about the colder months

...Putting on a pair of wellies, jumping about and crunching piles of fallen leaves in the park...

...Sneaking away to relax in steaming hot bath with a pile of soft fluffy towels at the ready...

...Snuggling up on the sofa with a blanket and warm socks on when the night is drawing in and it's raining outside...

...Mugs of freshly ground coffee, hot chocolate with cream and marshmallows, and endless pots of lovely comforting tea...

...Halloween and toffee apples, telling scary ghost stories and carving pumpkin lanterns...

...Holing up inside the warm house and spending the evenings immersed in scrapbooks, sewing projects and making pretty things...

...Bonfire night, beautiful fireworks and trying to write your name with sparklers...

...Home baking, cinnamon and spices and apple crumble just out out the oven...

...Long walks on clear, crisp days, wrapping up in hats and scarves and collecting conkers...

....Curling up in bed early and hiding away under the covers with a good book ...

All images are from the online portfolio of the brilliant London based interior stylist Twig Hutchinson. See more of her work on her website and she also styled the images featured in one on of my previous posts here.

Wednesday, 7 October 2009

lila lately

"A baby will make love stronger, days shorter, nights longer, bankroll smaller, home happier, clothes shabbier, the past forgotten, and the future worth living for"
- Anonymous

Oh so true...I love those words. Ok, so I know she's not really a baby anymore (though of course she'll always be my baby), but I just thought I'd allow myself to be an indulgent parent and share some recent pictures of the little lady.

It's scary how much of an independent, strong-willed little person she is now and so sure of her likes and dislikes already. More than anything in the world, she loves to dance. She will dance as soon as she hears music, no matter where she is or what she is doing.

She adores sweetcorn but hates tomatoes.

She likes nothing more than running around outside and and pushing her 'bebe' around in its very own little pushchair. It's touching to see her offer her doll her food before she eats it and so carefully wipe its face.

She is picking up new words every day and no doubt will keep on continuing to surprise us. There are good days and bad days, the good ones make us smile and when the bad ones happen we just pick ourselves up, take a deep breath and carry on.

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