30 October 2015

A DAY IN BATH

On Wednesday Joe and I popped out of town to visit Bath. I thought I would just share a few pictures of the day with you today. We were lucky with the weather and had a nice blue sky for the majority of the day so we managed to do all of the things we had planned without getting soaked through, always a bonus! 

On the top of our list was visiting an exhibition by one of my favourite (Cornish) artists, Kurt Jackson, who rarely shows work anywhere local to us, so we were excited to see some of his latest pieces from a collection titled 'Place'. I have adored Jackson's work for almost ten years now and seeing it in the flesh always sparks fresh inspiration for my own creativity.

Before wandering round to the Victoria Art Gallery we sat outside a coffee shop, enjoying hot drinks (a mint hot chocolate for me and a black coffee for the hubster) and watched the world go by, which is, by far, one of my favourite things to do as I hate crowds of people and would much rather be spectating then walking amongst them. In all seriousness though, I really enjoy just sitting back and watching everyone go about their day; the tourists, the frustrated locals, the tour guides and the street entertainers, all with their own agenda, it is fascinating stuff and something I could pass many hours doing (perhaps I should be a spy?!).

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^^'Smile!...Don't pull a face, you looked nice until you pulled a face!' Gee, thanks hubby!^^

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^^We have had worse views from a coffee shop that's for sure^^

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^^I couldn't stop perving over this chandelier, it was so sparkly!^^

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^^We made the decision not to go and visit The Roman Baths as a) it was fairly pricey and I was on the very wrong side of pay-day and b) we were more interested in the abbey just next door^^

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^^A rather beautiful sight don't you think?^^

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^^Autumn sure knows how to be utterly gorgeous doesn't it? The colour of these trees contrasted with the city was stunning^^

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^^The Royal Crescent. We didn't venture too far round because it was beyond heaving with people, but it is something to see for sure^^

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^^Bath Abbey. There is something about churches and abbey's that I cannot resist, perhaps it is the peacefulness they exude. This one is up there with the most beautiful I have visited^^

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^^I hope the gentleman in this picture doesn't mind being featured (a bit late now I guess), I just love this image of him reading peacefully^^

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^^My obsession with stained glass windows continues. This is one of the most impressive I have seen I am pretty sure. It is incredibly intricate and wonderful to see in real life^^

Stay tuned for a bit more on Bath, and this week generally, as I am in the process of editing a vlog, so may get that put up in the next few days :-)

Have a fab weekend everyone xx
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16 October 2015

FIVE THINGS I AM GRATEFUL FOR THIS WEEK #33

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^^All the reasons in the world to be grateful^^

I'm sure you guys know by now that this space of mine (*points at screen and waves hand about at blog*) is not somewhere to come if you want to see life-perfection and you (hopefully) know that I am always honest about things and won't post for the sheer hell of it? On that note I didn't post a 'Five Things...' post last week because I just felt to overwhelmed by life. I've felt similar this week, but slightly more capable, so I am here and am writing this to remind myself that there is always something to be grateful for.

1. Lazy pizza-eating afternoons. I seem to be writing a lot about treat meals on here. I am so grateful for treat meals! Last Saturday Joe and I decided to utilise a voucher we had seen for a pizza in Salisbury. I hadn't eaten pizza in forever, as once I start I can't stop, but it was so yummy and so lovely to sit in a quiet restaurant and enjoy the company of my best pal and my husband (see what I did there? Never mind!). I may have also treated myself to a couple of new jumpers from H&M including this turtle neck one (I got a lighter grey) :-)

2. My office space. The room I have for my studio space/office space is somewhere I find so calming. I am one of those people who will walk into a room and get a 'feeling' from it, which I know annoys some people as it is a bit woo-woo! Luckily, our whole house feels lovely, but my office space specifically feels so calming and relaxing. It is somewhere I will just go and sit if I feel upset or stressed and is heaven to work in. I am so grateful to have somewhere I enjoy being and cannot wait to get more time in there.

3. A delivery of a new diary. Generally I am not too fussy about notebooks and paper for blog scribbles but what I am super fussy about is what type of diary I have. This week I bought myself a new Moleskine diary. My current one is a bit bedraggled and as I managed to find one starting from this summer all the way through to next December I quickly picked it up (for the bargain price of £8.99). I got the extra large weekly planner, which I love because it has the week on one side and a notes section on the other. Why am I so hung up on Moleskine diaries? The paper is ridiculously fabulous to write on! I will use it so much more because I enjoy the experience of writing in it.

4. Rediscovering a cute little wintry bracelet Joe bought for me last year. I remembered I had put it somewhere safe and when I saw it I was so happy to have it back on my wrist! It is a cute, very fine gold chain with a teeny-tiny squirrel on it. We got it in Joules last autumn and I just love it!

5. Yesterday someone I follow on Facebook shared this little video (I couldn't find a direct link but hopefully you will be able to view it if you are on FB). It is a short video about being creative and encouraging women to believe in their ability and to keep pushing on, regardless of the outcome of what they are making or doing. It is simple, but oh so inspiring.

In other news...
I have been making an autumn playlist in Spotify full of old songs that I love (I am listening to it right now actually!) - are you on Spotify too? Let me know below so I can follow your playlists! / Following three attempts at blood-taking by a nurse I looked like I had been beaten up all of this week, the bruises are just going on my wrists...thanks a lot nurse-lady! (To be fair, getting blood from me is quite literally like taking blood from a stone!) / I listened to this Being Boss podcast on my way home yesterday all about social media and newsletters - it was definitely useful so I thought I would mention it! If you blog and are struggling to keep up with social media or can't decide which channel to concentrate on then give it a listen, those ladies are so awesome!

I hope you have all had a brill week. Enjoy your weekend xx
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11 October 2015

AUTUMN WISH-LIST

Having had the biggest wardrobe clear-out I think I have ever had, I have been day dreaming about what bits and bobs I could add in to turn my clothing frown upside down! Whilst I most definitely cannot afford most of the things below, a wish-list is just that, a 'wish', so let me pretend for a while...although, may I just add, that I would give my cat to have this lot, actually, that's not true...just my husband ;-) *
*Joe, if you're reading this, I am only kidding of course :-)
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::1 Skinny jeans | Boden
I had quite a few pairs of jeans but most had worn out so much that I just had to get rid. I am now on the hunt for a well-fitting pair of skinnies to wear with boots in the winter and have had my eyes on these for a long time.
::2 Boyfriend style shirt | Boden
I have a long-line white shirt which I love, but this blue one would definitely be a welcome edition. It would team up well with a few items that are currently still living in my wardrobe and is also a classic piece to wear for work too. An all round good egg really!
::3 Coatigan | Boden
It is pure coincidence that the first few items are Boden but, what can I say, I adore 80% of their new catalogue so it really cannot be helped! This 'coatigan' is something I would get so much wear out of. It is perfect for wrapping up warm with a hat and a scarf, when it isn't quite coat weather, but would look equally good over a dress or skirt. It comes in three classic colours too (is it wrong to want the lot?).
::4 Ankle boots | Hush
Having been on the lookout for some brown ankle boots for a while I was over the moon to see these. They look like they have the perfect heel height for work or for going out and the shape of the boot itself would look fab with dresses or jeans. 
::5 City bag | Zara
Every girl and her cat seems to own a Zara city bag but I have never jumped on that specific band-wagon...however (!) these days I don't travel light (mum, you know that's true) and my handbag only has the one compartment, which can be utterly frustrating. This bag would just make my life better :-)
::6 Breton top | Boden
This is a stripy top, I love stripes. That's all!
::7 Grey cowl neck jumper | Marks and Spencers
Long jumpers with skinny jeans and boots are a bit of a winter uniform for me and I love the look of this one from good old M & S. I saw it in store about a month ago and should have got it then as I don't often see ones I really like. I will be hunting this one down soon.
::8 Long-line pine-cone necklace | Hush
I don't own any longer necklaces but this one is adorable and would look so pretty with a plain t-shirt or dress. It's not often I fall in love with jewellery but this is beautiful.
::9 Nail polish | Autograph by Marks and Spencer
I thought both these shades had autumn/winter written all over them. I haven't seen anything quite like the grey/silver shade before so will certainly try and pick that up soon.
::10 Cardigan | Boden
Oops, another Boden one. This 'off-duty' cardigan looks so up my street. Oversized? Check! Bright? Check! Cover all lumps and bumps? Check!
What is on your wish-list this autumn? Mine is not overly exciting but I know what my 'style' (I use that word loosely!) is these days so I know I would wear all of these things to death. I have gone past just buying a shit-ton of stuff and have it just sitting there gathering dust. So, Mr Boden, if you could kindly do a 90% off sale I would really appreciate it! (They actually have a sale on right now peeps - head there now...just not enough money off my list unfortunately!).
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9 October 2015

AN AUTUMN MORNING

Last weekend the husband and I, being all grown up and having a National Trust membership now, hopped in the car and travelled back to one of our favourite NT places near our home, called Mottisfont. I did a post about it earlier on in the year, which you can find here. When we first visited the beautiful (and ever so grand) 800 year old house, with it's magical walled garden and welcoming atmosphere, we instantly fell in love with it and knew it would be somewhere we would be returning to over and over.

Having been there in June I really wanted to see it when the beauty of autumn was taking over, so we went back for a morning amble around the gardens and to see an exhibition about one of my favourite parts of nature: trees...

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^Leaves before they turn all wintry and mushy are my favourite^
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^It is amazing to think that parts of this beautiful house have stood for 800 years...if walls could talk!^
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^The story is that James Bond writer, Ian Flemming, came up with the character in these very walls^
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^I find the servants quarters the most interesting as their whole worlds were crammed into one space^
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^If you get a chance to visit first thing in the morning head straight for the gardens, it is incredibly peaceful^
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^Not sure who these two are...^
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^If you have the time you can stroll along the little stream right out into the wider landscape and see the house from far away...it looks gorgeous at every angle^
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^Reflections^
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If you get a chance to visit then I would highly recommend it, it is seriously stunning. Plus, they have a beautiful gift shop (always a winner with me!). Let me know in the comments if you have been - also, tell me what your favourite historic location is too - Joe and I like a good old road trip to visit some place new :-)
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2 October 2015

FIVE THINGS I AM GRATEFUL FOR THIS WEEK #32

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^^I had to pop this picture up because it is so beautiful. Joe took it one evening this week outside our house and I love it. You can't beat a clear autumn evening^^

Oh guys, October is here, and I couldn't be more pleased! I love October so much, what with the promise of bright days with chilly breezes and pumpkins appearing in the supermarkets (specifically those really cute mini ones!) - I just cannot get enough of this month!

The down sides to this time of year are the dreaded spiders...everywhere. Our garden is filled with garden spiders right now, highlighted even more on a slightly colder morning, when the dew catches on each little home and slightly freaks me out. But, I am a believer in leaving them alone, and would never be found jumping on one or squishing one. That said though, we occasionally have to  use a stick to take down a web or two, carefully relocating the owner into a tree as Gizmo will not walk through certain areas when there are webs...she is scared too!

Back on topic then and to the things I am grateful for this week...

1. Being gifted an album on iTunes. I saw L on Sunday and we were chatting about Taylor Swifts album, like you do, when she mentioned Ryan Adams had covered it. L is into a bit of Ryan (oo-er!) but I don't really know much about his music (I am more old school Bryan Adams myself!). Anyway, L was saying how beautiful the cover album was and when I got home I had received and email to say it had been gifted to me. I have to say that I really love it. It is so much more chilled out, perfect for having on in the back ground when I am working. Thank you L, so sweet of you xx

2. Coming home to a cuppa and a steak for dinner. Wednesday evening I came home feeling poorly...again (I need a holiday!) so my lovely husband popped out to the shops to be a hunter gatherer and returned home with a steak. It certainly hit the spot. He is a keeper ladies.

3. Speaking of the hubby, he really is building up his man-points this week. He decided we needed a night away soon and booked us a night in Bath for later this month. Yesterday he called me at work to say that he had also checked Gizmo in to her little cat-hotel too. What a man I have. He is just the best. It is so nice to have something to look forward to because we don't do stuff like this very often all. I can't wait!

4. A giant nutella delivery. It is safe to admit that this week has not been the best, but a slightly bonkers (and very lovely) colleague of mine managed to cheer it up very quickly yesterday. I usually spend the first hour and a half of every day out of my office to deal with a job at reception. When I returned yesterday morning there was a colourful gift bag on my desk. It contained a 1kg tub of nutella, a lovely card and a packet of plastic spoons (in case I needed to delve straight into the jar!). C, thank you, you are wonderfully mental xx

5. A trip to the cinema. Well, technically, this was last week as we went on Saturday evening, but I have to mention it because it was an amazing film. Last time we went to see a movie was a year ago as we only go when there is something we really want to see. When I watched the trailer for 'Miss You Already' I was desperate to see it. Guys, seriously, you have to see this film, it is gorgeous. Obviously the story line is ultimately sad, but it is funny and emotional and frustrating and beautiful all at once. We both enjoyed it. Top tip ladies, wear waterproof mascara. Let me know if you have seen it in the comments.

This weekend we don't have many plans, other than the exciting task of running to the post office to send back a Boden dress that made me look like I was smuggling tyres under it... *insert grumpy face here*. Whatever you guys are up to I hope it is a good one. Come and say hi over on Facebook or Instagram if you fancy!

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