Friday, 27 September 2013

Something New

I am doing it again, that 'thing' i always do.  Never content with just 'now' it seems i am always 'looking forward to' or 'counting down the days until..' or even 'wishing it was..' something-or-other.  And now is no exception.  Now i am wishing it was cold.  I am mostly wishing it was cold because i have SO many pretty autumn-y or winter-y items i want to wear! 

When the Mr came back in from getting his hair cut a shade after  nine o' clock this morning, he said 'Brr it's cold out there this morning!' to which i said 'yesss!', punched the air and would have 'hi-fived' him too were not for the fact that i knew he wouldn't have shared my  enthusiasm.  So, whilst i wait for the cooler temperatures and because, well i am an impatient gal at the best of times; i decided to do some more work on my autumn-inspired mood boards, order a kilt (BODEN INCASE YOU WERE WONDERING - ITS HEAVEN) and get all my haircut off.  Its been a busy week…

 For me autumn is falling into two very distinct camps:  Ladylike and Grunge-y.  None of this is rocket science if you have been anywhere near a high street or fashion magazine in the last two months.  I like to think that i will land somewhere in between the two.  I am not ladylike enough to fully represent the first moodboard; but i am also not trendy enough to fully embrace the second either.  
I love the idea of the faux fur tippets and wore mine over anything and everything last autumn/winter from sweatshirts and cable knits to my trusty tweed blazer. I also love that there is more tartan out there this season, and there is so much of it on the high street as well.  TARTAN, tweed and wool are among my favourite fabrics and there is definitely something typically British about all three that i also love.  I am excited to wear my new kilt with a matte red lip, nude brogues and one of the Mr's jumpers.  
I love the edginess and undone look of the whole 'Urban Grunge' meets Nineties board above but i think i shall be dipping my toes in elements rather than the whole lot.  I love a messy bed-head and i am excited to toughen up my tweeds and wools with the addition of some flat chunky black boots and a smudge of oxblood lipstick.  I shall be steering clear of anything pointy or spiked though.  
 

I am not really sure where my urge to go for a dramatic three or four inches off my MESSY MOP came from.  It is quite a revolutionary move for the girl who has famously been 'growing my hair' for at least the last two years.  I think since looking after it a bit more, it has grown so much and so much more quickly and it was becoming a real chore to wash and dry.  I love  the simplicity of my new 'do' and can imagine it looking rather good a bit more roughed up and slept in as well.  And as i know it does grow now, well it wont take too long to grow back.  At the moment I am even thinking i may go a tad shorter.  Then i remember i don't live in PARIS and cant wear a red lip every day without looking like i'm in the circus.  But we shall see…




The rest of the week has been spent delightfully.  Despite the mild weather and the fact that i have been in short sleeves for most of the week, i have so enjoyed seeing the changes around me that the pretty autumn season is treating us with:  CONKERS, ACORNS and pretty amber leaves GALORE.  My usual cycle route is  beautiful at this time of year and these are only a fraction of the pictures i took on an early morning bike ride this week.  

Tonight i am off up to the parents in Scotland (PROBABLY WEARING MY KILT - THE REAL SCOTTISH PEOPLE ARE GOING TO HATE ME UP THERE) because well i'm too excited not too.  I am looking forward to some lovely food and a nice big catch up with those people i should really make time to see more often.  Wearing my kilt.  I love it.  

But now there is a whopping great mug of Lady Grey with my name on.  There might also be walnut whip too…

How is everyone else spending their weekend?

Sunday, 22 September 2013

Bricks and Leaves

I have bought three spectacular jumpers and two oversized super soft and slouchy cardigans in the last two weeks.  Even for me this is excessive.  It might be considered even more loopy due to the fact that the only time i have really been able to wear them is when it has been dark.  I'd also be telling a big fat fib if i told you it wasn't with my pyjamas.  I'm Sally and i have a KNITWEAR addiction and i thats why i am sneaking around in my pyjamas.

The truth is that it's actually not quite cold enough for the full on cable knit-oversized jeans-tucked into boots type of get up i look forward to rocking come AUTUMN.  I feel like AUTUMN is being dangled in front of us all.  It's teasing us.  The signs are all there.  Shops and websites filled to the rafters with all manner of knitted apparel and fur-lined somethings, and pretty amber leaves beginning to litter the pavements. The weather on the other hand (OR CUMBRIAN WEATHER AT LEAST) isn't playing ball.  But don't worry, i am getting by and i'm more than managing with those little glimpses of what's to come…
I am not sure why but the start of the colder half of the year always makes me appreciate the older more industrial parts of the city i live in.  Somehow all the green and vast landscapes of the Lake District really come into their own in the Spring and Summer sunshine; whilst our pretty cobbled streets really look beautiful all damp, grey and full of character and years and years of history.  They are lovely to cycle and wander when the rain starts to pour.  Sometimes being miserable is beautiful and inspiring all in one go.  

Dry days have been an excuse to wear tights for the very first time (THERE WAS A DEFINITE NIP IN THE AIR I PROMISE) and to road test my beautiful new and massive GREEN and RED tartan scarf.  A coat was not needed but i am excited at the prospect of pairing this beauty with my tweed blazer and fur cossack hat when the cold creeps in…


Mornings have DEFINITELY been cooler and perfect for early morning cycling wearing matching socks (NOT INTENTIONALLY) and gathering conkers to fill up the sweetest wooden bowl.  

One of the best things about Autumn is how much richer, warmer and deeper everything feels.  I recently filled up on reams and reams of ribbon for weaving through messy ponytails and plaits and finally received the candle that inspired my last post.  It doesn't disappoint. It fills our somewhere with smells of Autumn MEADOWS, of PINE and hints of LAVENDER and sweet HONEY and HEATHER.  It might be my favourite smell yet…(IF YOU DON'T COUNT TOAST, COFFEE OR FRESHLY BAKED BREAD).  

I have been falling in love with loose leaf all over again recently.  And that nip in the air gives  even more of a reason to put the kettle on.  I have also been treasuring time with the face above.  Sometimes life feels so busy and moves so fast and you realise you've barely achieved anything other than a goodbye and and a good morning kiss.  A long and lazy Sunday breakfast this morning was just what we needed.  I often think i would much rather be taken out for breakfast over dinner any day. What can i say? I am a cheap date.  More on that another day.

Lastly and very not least-ly - the best endings to busy days.  Sunset cycles round and round the park and sharing Tunnocks' Teacakes and tea before bed and the end of another day when it's not quite Autumn but it's not quite Summer either.  

At least when the inevitable cold comes comes i know i'm prepared…….

Tuesday, 17 September 2013

Heather and Honey

INSPIRATION hides in the most peculiar of places.  You very rarely look for her.  Instead she is a crafty little madam and always catches you by surprise. With just one word, one colour or one feeling, she has you in her pretty grasp and you can lose hours (DAYS IF YOU'RE ME) of your time.  
*    *    *  
When the seasons are changing, its hard not to be inspired by anything and everything around you.  Whilst i am a print girl;  you can't deny that hand in hand with print comes colour and well, that's almost Autumns middle name.  It's never just one colour that gets me though, it's colour combinations. The more unusual they come, the more i love them.  Colour has such a power that we often overlook.  It can stir you up, make you angry, make you feel energised and make you feel comforted. And what is equally magical is that what one colour makes one person feel, can be a world away from how the person sitting next to you on the bus might feel.  

Meet my current colour crush and seasonal inspiration which started with a candle.  A candle of all things.  I burn the pretty little critters all year round.  I am a sucker for a sweetly scented room and the start of a new season always has me on the hunt for a seasonal scent to fill our little home.  Can you think of anything more pretty and perfect than having your everything smell of HEATHER and HONEY?!  Little Miss Inspiration didn't just leave me at that beautiful candle though…
I swapped our usual blooms and went for bundles of HEATHER in little jars dotted around our little somewhere.  Its so beautiful.  It smells of forests and green; of everglades and wide open spaces with the freshest air.  It's gentle and delicate little buds of purple loveliness and it is fast tracking up my favourite blooms list.
 With HEATHER comes LAVENDER, all heady, sweet and wild.  Its honey yellow bracken flowers hiding on cool Autumn bike rides, all damp from buckets and buckets of rain the night before. 
 

It's sweet HONEY yellow berries and the brightest delicate SYRUP-ey blooms smiling in the last of the sunshine on an evening jaunt.
It's the most magical part of the day.  It's the last and prettiest light of an unmistakingly Autumn day.  A richer, deeper AMBER sunlight burning through turkish delight clouds, just willing the leaves to fall.



  Finding comfort in the the softest woollen HEATHER and HONEY jumper with a windswept barnet to match. And finding the prettiest velvet covered ivy to camouflage in! 
 
Being on the right side of the window when it feels like the RAIN wont stop and the wind might blow you away.  Snuggled up with soft blankets and both feet on the radiator, with the smell of freshly washed sheets and towels tickling my nose.  Figs to roast with honey and sesame seeds; and nutmeg to dust over warm oats.  And not forgetting the prettiest pale rose pink lace ribbon for messy ponytails, when twenty minutes extra under the quilt wins hands down.

INSPIRATION is a slippery slope my friends.  A pretty one, but a very slippery one indeed… 

What's inspiring your lovely faces?! 

Sunday, 8 September 2013

'S' is for Sunday

It has felt so very long since i truly appreciated and enjoyed a SUNDAY.  It's the one day we can all be excused for moving a little slower; being a little lazier and treasuring every single thing we do.  I am often annoyed when i wake up early on a SUNDAY morning.  That sort of  'i'm awake awake and past the point of returning to my slumbers' kind of wake up where the best action is just to admit defeat.

This morning was exactly that.  An 8am disturbance of the cosiest most needed sleep, after a particularly late night too. I can only blame a seagull.  Or possibly a cat.  But either way it was an excuse to curl up for a cuddle before braving anything over and above the huge duvet and too many cushions. 
 Somehow on a week day i can throw myself right into tea, breakfast and getting ready as soon as i stand up.  I'm proud of my ability to wash my face; apply moisturiser and get breakfast 'on the go' in the time it takes for the kettle to boil.  SUNDAYS are different. This morning i wrapped myself in a big blanket and stood and watched outside for a little while.  In the distance i could hear the cathedral bells singing their merry wake up song and it felt cosy and nice to just stand still, all bundled up; even if just for a minute. 
Then, still wrapped up, i made a big cup of Lady Grey tea and some Earl Grey for the Mr (WHO LIKES TO WAKE UP IN BED) and settled myself with all the correct cushions in the right places, into the most comfiest space on the sofa.  Then we had warm raisin pastries and debated not moving all day.  
*   *   
As it was just me today, i decided to spend the day cycling chasing away the last of the Summer and  being just a little bit Autumnal.
 Today was a dark clover print jeans; printed silk blouse and willow green Cambridge satchel sort of a day.  With further exhaustion of a very battered a bent (BUT VERY LOVED) silk flower crown too.  No coat yet…but most certainly an excuse to wear pretty and thoughtful socks.  It's quite worrying how excited this makes me.
I am falling in LOVE with the changes out and about already, and Autumn has barely stirred. Cycling was blustery - the sun was cool and the ground is slowly s-l-o-w-e-l-y becoming littered with the first leaves to drop.  I spent a few moments trying to name them, just like we used to at school.  It was always easy to pick out the acorn and sycamore leaves first.  

Trundling home by the castle i spotted my very first ROSE-hips.  I can't believe how quickly these little devils have appeared! It seems only days ago these hedges were filled with the sweetest smelling pink roses.  I have stopped countless times to jostle with the bees in an effort to stick my nose anywhere near; just to smell the sweet heady aroma.  ROSES you buy in the supermarkets of florists don't smell anymore, which is a little sad. 



 The rest of today was spent digging out Autumn florals and eating scrambled eggs made from eggs which looked fit for a Queen.  I settled upon the softest rose pink oversized cardigan, a super soft and slouchy breton T-shirt and my old old vintage floral trousers.  I love these colour combinations so much. When Autumn finally comes i jump head first into burnt ORANGES, OXBLOODS and the richest PLUMS and NAVY blues. But for now i am content and cosy in deeper florals, richer pinks and the most perfect olive green tones.  
 This cheeky chap found last week has been sat sunbathing on our kitchen windowsill by a big jug of purple heather.  It's just starting to open now.  I'm excited to fill a huge and pretty old china bowl with CONKERS, dried LAVENDER and heather flowers when the time is right.

After hand-washing some new silk treats in Lush bath bombs, i spent the rest of the afternoon curled up with chai tea and new September magazines - trying not to turn over too many pages or fall in love with too many new shoes…coats…bags and other everythings. I love the start of a new month and even more so the start of a brand new season.

How has everyone's SUNDAY been?!

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