Wednesday, 20 May 2015

april (and most of may!) in pictures

Most of our time through April and May has been taken up with work and DIY, so there's not been a huge amount of picture-taking going on lately - and if I'm honest, I've not felt much like it. Parenting Ben has always been a challenge; most of you know he's autistic (high functioning), which comes with it's own set of hurdles, but lately we've also descended into toddler-hell with Daisy. I've always practised attachment parenting, and tried to make positive reinforcement instead of negative discipline a thing, but lately nothing seems to work - I love her to pieces, and wouldn't change her spirited nature, but I'm at my wits end!

We did manage to do a few nice things lately though; the weather has been (until this week!) really lovely, and we spent some time over Easter out and about exploring local country parks and nature reserves. I always find bedtime is far less of a drawn-out battle if the kiddos have been racing around some wide open spaces during the day! We also tried a new cafe, called Home, which does very tasty cakes and gave me severe tile envy, and where I spotted a tea-cosy made by my very talented friend Louise. Apart from that, it's been all about the flowers - I bought some individual stems from our local florist, received a beautiful bunch of tulips from my oldest friend, and have brought home more foraged blooms than I can remember. What can I say, I love me a good flower! We also fitted in a trip to Durleighmarsh Farm last weekend; there's a really good tea room there, and they sell all sorts of amazing organic produce - and there are masses and masses of PYO fields as well, with everything from gooseberries and strawberries to rhubarb and carrots. I went home with two pots of sweetpea seedlings and a Hollyhock for the garden - although everything seems to be moving really slowly out there at the moment. I can't believe how chilly it still is!

Oh, and I also went to Grand Designs Live, which was AMAZING, and has made me even more interested in the concept of building our own eco-house one day. More on that soon!

Friday, 15 May 2015

castle road

Crikey, I've been a right rubbish blogger lately - one post in over two weeks; sorry about that folks! In my defence, I've started a new job, and when I'm not working we've been out and about - so I've had plenty to share but no time to actually blog about it!

These photos are from a few weeks ago (the Easter holidays actually, and it's half term next week.... ahem); it was the last day, and the weather was so beautiful that we decided to just spend the whole day out in the sunshine. I love where we live; OK, so where our actual house is isn't that great, but travel a few miles in any direction and you've got beautiful beaches, rolling countryside, market towns, independent shops... I realise I sound like the Tourism board for Portsmouth, but I really do love it!

Castle Road is one of my new favourite places; some great shops have popped up, my lovely hairdresser is there, and it's a stones throw from the beach and a pretty good park. On the day we went, they had a street festival on; plenty of vintage clothes, crafts, an artisan pizza stall, vegetarian and vegan streetfood (and an entire stall dedicated to cheese toasties - heaven!) and live music; although there were plenty of littluns around, mine weren't in the slightest bit interested so we didn't stop, but it's definitely something I'll be looking out for in the future.

I did manage a quick wander around the fabulous Revive Interiors though; packed full of vintage and rustic homewares, and with a REALLY good clothes section, it's the type of shop I could happily spend ages in, just pottering about. Looking at these photos now, I really regret leaving that enamel teapot and saucepan behind!

Tuesday, 12 May 2015

found: love the sign

When I was younger, I was obsessed with clothes, and while I still love a good rummage in the charity shop or hunting around vintage markets, interiors have pretty much taken over as my main shopping love. I'm pretty drawn to the whole modern rustic thing; light, bright spaces with lots of wood and Scandi influences, plants and flowers jostling for space on shelves and tables and plenty of print and pattern dotted about to finish things off. So when I stumbled across Love the Sign, an Italian-based online retailer that stocks everything from furniture and storage to beautifully finished chopping boards and sumptuous cushions, I got a bit excited.

One of the things I love most about the site is their inspirational lifestyle shots; I could have quite happily spent a good hour in a pinning frenzy - even if you're not in the market for actually buying anything, it's a great source of ideas.

Stocking several different brands, prices range pretty widely; the table in the collage below costs over £1,000 (ouch!) but the amazing Pantone coffee maker is only £33 - and look at the glorious colour! They also hold regular promotions which offer customers the opportunity to make some pretty impressive savings - they change regularly, so it pays to keep an eye on them in case something you've been watching comes up!

1. One Step Up Bookcase
2. X-Four Chair
3. Pantone Coffee Maker
4. Sky Planter Ceramic
5. Oval Pot
6. Nord Table
7. Coat Hooks
8. Wire Fruit Basket
9. Mob Table Lamp
10. Framed 'Plume' Print

This is a collaborative post.

Friday, 1 May 2015

may day

Hurrah, hurrah, May has arrived - surely this means that the weather will take note and warm up now? *Peers out of window* Well, maybe not, but it does mean that flowers are starting to pop up all over the place, which means it's FORAGING TIME AGAIN! I wrote a post last year on creating frugal floral displays for next to nothing, and I'm so so SO pleased that it's that time of year again - I'm not that great at houseplants, but I'm great at picking things off of bushes nonchalantly.

I decided back in March that I was going to do something for May Day, and I had grand plans to write a ground-breaking post about great things to do to celebrate - but unfortunately life took over as usual, and I found myself scrabbling around in the undergrowth on the way back from the school run this morning, collecting things to shove in a vase.

The basic premise is something along the lines of, 'look for flowers. Tie flowers together with twine. Put in vase. Display.' Traditionally, May Day posies are supposed to be given to friends or loved ones, but you could just as easily make it a gift for yourself. Because, you're ace!

At the moment, ours is hanging on our new bedroom door (we've recently swapped with the kids, and it's still utter chaos) in my lovely vase from Wayfair, but I think I'm probably going to give it to my Mum as a little present.

If you want to see May Day blooms done impressively, hop over to Seeds and Stitches and Little Green Shed, where the lovely ladies are creating all sorts of floral wonders.

Monday, 27 April 2015


We couldn't have asked for better weather for Daisy's birthday; we didn't do anything particularly thrilling or out-of-the-ordinary - we asked her what she wanted to do and she replied, "go to the park!" 

So off we went. Hours of racing around with the wind in her hair followed by pasta at Jamie's Italian, a Minion birthday cake (not even homemade, and there wasn't any bunting on top either - bad blogger!) and being made to feel like the Queen for a day all meant she was asleep in my arms by 6.30pm. 

Happy birthday baby girl, we couldn't love you more.
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