Our bedroom is a mess. In fact, it’s such a mess that I no longer feel I can yell at the boys to clean up their bedrooms – ours is almost as bad as theirs. Bedrooms should be a retreat – a comfy oasis of calm to escape your busy day. Our is so chaotic, it’s actually worse than staying downstairs and suffering the ongoing building work!
So it looks like the messy bit of the kitchen/dining room refurb (the wall smashing bit) might be happening soon. Next up, when we can afford it, will be planning the actual kitchen. But what do I really love? I looked at my Pinterest, and in my cupboards. I wandered around my kitchen, really trying to notice everything, I jotted down any themes, or things that seem to catch my eye frequently. And here’s what I noticed:
So I’m off on my travels again this week. First, to Texas (I KNOW!) to have a nose around, and then joining the beautiful Carnival Freedom to be whisked off to various places including Grand Cayman, Jamaica, and Cozumel, Mexico. I promise it’s work (I know you don’t believe me) and lucky Charlie gets to accompany me as it’s the Easter holidays.
And so to packing. I’m determined to become more clever at the dreaded packing. I always end up taking loads of things that don’t go with each other, or don’t even get worn. What a waste. Ages ago, I had my ‘colours done’ and the lady told me to stick to the softer versions of colours (so instead of black, grey and instead of navy, softer blues, plus peach instead of pink, etc, etc) and I’m only now really learning to wear those colours, and realise that she was right, they do suit me.
I’m also trying to remember that it’s NOT A CRIME to wear a dress more than once at dinner, for example, but maybe change up the shoes or the accessories (especially important on a longer trip like this one).
Here’s what I’m thinking of taking:
hush’s boyfriend jeans – soft, comfy, loose and perfect for travelling…
… although I might splash out on some new Converse. I quite like these charcoal ones (charcoal’s neutral, right?):
For everyday wear, you can’t beat denim shorts, and again I’ve gone for the hush ones as they’re just the right amount of loose, just the right amount of worn-in, with no baggy bottom and a turned up hem that stays up:
And because I’m just IN LOVE with this gorgeous print, I’ll be throwing a pair of these soft tropical print loose shorts in too. They have a really comfy, wide smocked waist and are perfect to throw on before heading to the beach (I love the trousers too but it seems so does everyone else as there’s a bit of a wait):
For t-shirts, I love Gap stripy t-shirts, the soft cotton slub hush ones, and I’m also a bit obsessed with these soft tees from New Look that have a split back with a chiffon layer underneath. They drape beautifully and are an absolute bargain – just slightly more interesting than a normal tee (nice bit of bum cover if you’re self conscious too):
I’m still obsessed with everything Allium B and will be taking the superbly fitted and incredibly flattering Eliza dress with me (there’s something about the cut of these that is both figure hugging, flattering AND comfy – how do they do it?):
By the way, if you’re also a fan, I have an exclusive Allium B 20% off discount just for you. Just add the code: ENGLISHMUM at checkout to get the discount!
Sticking with the blues, I’m adding this soft, easy to wear Fat Face Tenby dress (mine’s actually in the Batik print – you can see the print here on their lovely, inspirational ‘Love Blue‘ page):
Shoes-wise, I have a pair of metallic go-with-everything wedges. Mine are last season from Boden, but very similar to these:
And continuing with my obsession with all things metallic, I’ll also be packing these ridiculously comfy and utterly beach-blingy Carvela espadrilles:
I’ll be adding my old faithful Birkenstocks, sunglasses, my super-flattering Boden Sorrento swimsuit (eagerly awaiting the new hush beachwear too) and a hat. Oh, and my last airport purchase, this lovely soft beach cover up from Accessorize, which is the most beautiful sea green colour, and squishes easily into the corner of a beachbag:
What do you think? Did I miss anything? Will I survive for ten days (I AM packing underwear and toiletries too)? Keep an eye on my social media to find out! x
Not being one to moan (ahem) I’m trying to remain chipper, but HOW DIFFICULT is it to get a builder to come and do work on your house? Our kitchen/diner plans have completely stalled as the builder we thought was the best one is really busy (and also much more expensive than the others). I understand the whole paying more to get good quality thing, but it seems everyone else does too as he’s rather in demand.
As usual, while I should be working, I’m actually internet shopping but this time it’s because there are loads of mid-season sales and lovely new pieces about.
So this week, I was lucky enough to head up to London to the very stylish hush homewear offices to rummage through their gorgeous new spring/summer 2015 collection AND to sneak a top secret look at their high summer beachwear collection (their first ever foray into swimwear) – more of this soon! I adore hush. I love that fact that the clothes are beautiful and comfortable, plus on-trend without trying too hard. I think as you grow up, you feel more comfortable finding your own style, rather than slavishly following fashion. I always find that hush clothing really reflects this philosophy.
My lovely mum, English Grandma, has got a bit of a thing for lemon curd, so when I invited her over for a Mothers’ Day cuppa, I thought I’d treat her to some lovely lemon curd and strawberry fairy cakes. I use a standard ‘pound cake’ recipe for fairy cakes, weighing the eggs, then adding the same amount of the other ingredients. This one had a few squished up strawberries added too, and a lemon curd filling, topped off with a strawberry buttercream. Here’s how I did it.
I think your parenting style changes as your children go through different life stages. I’ve been thinking recently about how my parenting has evolved as the boys have moved into their older teens. Our household has always been pretty laid back, but a few wobbles recently have made me fall back upon the rules that I’ve always leant on to give the boys boundaries. Here are my current thoughts on my very own ‘best practice’.
So I’m still suffering from hideous jetlag after our recent trip to the Bahamas on the Disney Dream (much more of this coming up). We got a night flight back from Orlando and it was practically empty, which meant we could all spread out and I spent most of the flight spread out across a row of four seats, snoozing blissfully, and only woke up when they started opening up the blinds and tidying up ready for landing. Still, I’m now suffering that weirdness that crossing timezones always seems to bring – for me, this means an increase in my usual clumsiness, a general heavy tiredness, and a craving for junk food.
We LOVE Pancake Day (Shrove Tuesday this year falls on February 17th). Forget dinner, we waive it completely and go straight into pancakes. Of course, in order to do it properly, you’ll need some fantastic equipment. For perfect pancake preparation, here are my recommendations. You’ll need:
I’ve never been good with money. It’s one of the things we’ve tried really hard to talk to the boys about because (and I know you’re not supposed to do this but, hey…) I don’t want them to make the same mistakes we made.
We were married with a child by the time I was 25 and, back then, it was pretty easy to buy a house with two incomes. It makes me realise just how lucky we were. My parents were generous with their help and by the time Charlie came along, we’d moved into a bigger house that needed some work and were slowly doing it up.
I’m SO glad that January’s over. It’s always such a long, miserable month, and with added cold weather and post-Christmas cashflow it can make you feel really low.
Happily today it’s February! My first trip of the year (on the gorgeous Disney Dream) starts next week so I’ll be getting some sun, and we’re carrying on with a few bits of house refurbishing. It’s amazing how much difference little things make.
So before Christmas, I told you that I was going to be trying out Seven Seas new Perfect7 Woman – it’s a blend of Omega-3 rich marine oils, and vitamins and minerals especially formulated to provide benefits for women in 7 key areas such as skin, nails and air, as well as supporting hormonal activity, brain function, vision and heart health. So how did I get on?
Happy Saturday! One of the things I promised myself that I’d do every so often this year is share a few things that have made me smile. As it’s Saturday and you’ve hopefully got a bit more time on your hands, sit back, grab a cuppa and have a look at the things that have floated my boat:
Happy Monday! Hope yours is going well. I spent most of the weekend dreaming and drawing and planning (oh and making yummy barbecue pulled chicken too). We’ve been working and saving really hard for our upcoming kitchen refurb and it’s lovely to think that this is the year that we’ll actually be able to start making our dreams become a reality. I spend so much time in the kitchen, it’s one of the places that I’m really looking forward to starting work on. We want to knock the wall down between the kitchen and the dining room to recreate a larger, more sociable space – something that really hit home to me during our New Year’s Eve party, when I was stuck at the sink clearing plates between courses, listening to everyone having fun in the next room.
My friend Taralara does this lovely photo gallery every week, where she sets everyone a theme and challenges them to find a suitable photo. This week, the theme is ‘Me’. This is one of my favourite photos of us, from Brittany a couple of years ago. I love it because it seems to reflect everyone’s personality so well.