SALE time!

Good morning readers!

Thanks for bearing with me over the last couple of days. We are having a bit of a nightmare in the house. Having decided to re-do the lounge in time for Christmas (in October, so not that last minute!) we were so close on Tuesday when the fire fitter, joiner and decorator were all starting or finishing off. We haven’t even got a tree up yet and the house is a mess with new furniture stacked all over the old stuff. Disaster struck and the totally incompetent fire fitter (who clearly didn’t know how to work with marble,) cracked the marble hearth completely in two, meaning we couldn’t get it done. He then disappeared saying he was getting a new one and texted the next day to say he wasn’t coming back. He says he’s going to pay towards a replacement but I’m not holding my breath. We have now got someone to do the job but it will be on Monday so Christmas remains on hold; I’m taking until next week to get straight and try to enjoy what’s left of the Christmas build up. Plus I want to enjoy Bea after ignoring her for days whilst trying to organise builders etc and feeling like the worlds worst mum. :(

In the meantime, the sales started today! Here’s a few bargains to get you started! (Shop quick and you’ll still get them in time for Christmas!)

Kurt Geiger: Sutter UGG boots £169 (from £240) plus lots of party shoes!

Anthropologie Sale!

The Whistles sale started this morning.

There’s 35% off on Christmas finishing touches at Cox & Cox.

The Mama’s and Papa’s sale is on too.

Happy shopping. Have you finished all of yours yet?

Love,
Rebecca
xo

Five on Friday…


Image from the Free People blog

Pretty free Christmas downloads for your table by Kelli Murray on the Free People Blog.

When I’m photographing my house as each room gets improved, I’m often despairing that it doesn’t look as good as I imagine on camera, or compare to the home tours captured around the interwebs. This post by Emily Henderson shows comparison images of her home photographed AND photoshopped for Domino! Who knew they even did that for house tours? Well, I feel a whole lot better now!

Loving the weather inspired goods made by PygmyCloud on Folksy (found via 91 Magazine – did you know you can get a yearly subscription for £7? A perfect present for a crafty friend.)

I’ve been reading lots about sleep patterns lately after a pretty fraught week with Bea (Growth spurt? Wonder week? Sleep regression? Who cares. It’s passing!) and this site has lots of useful information.

I’m more interested in planning the decor of my Christmas table to be honest than the food on it and I’m more than tempted by the lovely decorations and candleholders or sticks from Rockett St George, plus some of them are already in the sale!

Also, don’t forget #FFfestivefun! I’m so enjoying seeing all your tagged photos’s – check out the prompts here and keep joining in!

Happy weekend readers!

Love,
Rebecca
xo

It’s time for some Festive Fun!

Hi Everyone

Since we are almost at the start of December, to get us all into the spirit of things, I thought I’d set up a little challenge for you all.

This started as me thinking about it as a “style challenge”, as I know those prompts help me to plan what I’m wearing on a daily basis, but this is going to be much more about the upcoming Christmas season, and the fun that’s about to be had.

Welcome to #FFfestivefun!

Above you will see some prompts we’d love you all to get involved with – either by way of a style challenge (this is how I’m going to approach it) or by interpreting them in other ways so you can join in anyway ;)

Rebecca has created this kind of thing in the past with #JanuaryJoy so it won’t be new to you, but as a reminder, the numbers in the image above correspond to dates. As is the norm here on FF, there will be no weekend tasks.  You don’t have to do every single one – just share what you can. I’ll even do a round up mid-month of what’s been going on :)

If you would like to follow along with Festive Fun please feel free to spread the word on your own blog (and use the image above,) or tweet about it using the tag #FFFestiveFun. It would also great if you can post pictures on Instagram using the same hashtag.

I can’t wait to see what you will all be doing! Roll on Monday… ;)

SEASONS GREETINGS!

Erin xx

 

Would you… wear your baby?

Since having a little one I’ve been slowly getting to grips with getting around with a baby and all the stuff they require. Because we live somewhere so handy for those with children, the few weeks I spent not driving weren’t a hardship at all and I pushed the pram out often when we went on walks or for coffee or visiting local friends. When we drove I had Pete acting as Jeeves, which included getting the bags buggy. However, when by myself I quickly realised that lugging a pram around can be a royal pain in the behind and often opt to use our baby carrier. (This isn’t strictly news to me – I anticipated I would feel the same about being hands free and more mobile as I’m quite a ‘busy’ person.) Quite a few of you have asked so I thought I’d share my thoughts and ask your opinions on baby wearing too.

For this of you who haven’t heard of it, baby wearing is simply the practice of carrying your baby or child in a fabric or specially made sling or baby carrier. They range from technical contraptions to simple stretchy wraps and costs vary hugely. It’s a centuries old practice and women around the world wear their babies, with well known and accepted benefits to both baby and the adult carrying them. In short, babies are happier and cry less. Parents are more confident as a result and less frazzled as they can get on with their daily lives. Sold? I was.

We opted for the Ergobaby 360 – a new carrier on the market by Ergobaby and had to wait for it to come out. It’s not cheap – £139.95 at John Lewis and we had to buy the infant insert to make it suitable from birth too, for an additional £20. However we justified it with the knowledge this allowed us to carry Bea (and any future babies) right through to toddler and beyond as it allows baby to be carried facing inwards or outwards on the front, on the hip or later on on your back. We chose it over a BabyBjorn as it is supposed to be better for hip development by seating baby in an ergonomic frog leg position.

Once I started using it I loved the freedom, just like I expected. On my first excursion out of Chorlton on my own I took Bea in the Ergobaby on the tram (super easy not having to find space for the pram) to the sling library in Sale (most places have local sling libraries where you can try and rent out slings before buying your own and meet other mums too,) and back. The best thing about it is how convenient it is and that she sleeps in it much of the time she’s in there (much like a car seat,) due to the movement and her being all snug and cozy next to me. We have only used it front facing inwards as thats the only position suitable for her age right now, but it feels secure, brilliantly made and even at this stage is flexible to allow for her position and size.

The major downside for me is the weight of the actual Ergobaby itself – I do get backache wearing it, though I’m not sure if that is due to my ligaments still being stretchy post pregnancy. The Ergobaby has a waist strap and shoulder straps much like a large rucksack you would use for hiking or D of E in school and so the weight is well distributed and it’s comfortable otherwise. I don’t see this as a major negative as we bought it mainly for Pete to wear and for us to use when going places where it wasn’t convenient to take the buggy, and it’s perfect for that as well as the future hopefully.

The other negative I felt was it’s bulk and as Bea woke up out of her newborn haze, she started to get less keen on being put down unless she was in just the perfect stage of deep sleep. One thing that kept her happy of course was being held and I started to get frustrated that I couldn’t get anything done, particularly when Pete went back to work and I had to get on with normal life. I decided to look into a wrap style (this site was a really useful resource in finding more about the different types, as was the site of my local sling library,) to keep her close and happy whilst being light and cheaper, given our initial Ergobaby outlay.

After looking into the various wraps I chose a Victoria Slinglady, (very similar to Moby or Karime wraps), mainly because it’s brilliantly priced (£14.95 on eBay). Baby carrying is very individual and there are loads of different wraps out there but this was perfect for me and I have used it loads since. I did look into DIYing a stretchy wrap (there are lots of tutorials online) but the cost of the jersey was more than this ready made one and as the sling library helpers pointed out, this way I know the fabric dyes are safe if she starts chewing them. Since then we have been out for dinner using it and this post was written with her in it too. I love having my hands back and having her so close!

So, have you got a baby carrier. Do you use it? Or has it always seemed a bit hippyish for you to try? I’d love to hear your thoughts on baby wearing and reviews of the various options and types available…

Love,
Rebecca
xo

Resources:
Little Possums sling shop
Sale Sling Library (also known as Harmony Babywearing)

*This post is the beginning of a new series to encourage discussion and promote the sharing of opinion on a wide variety of motherhood subjects. Please share your thoughts and knowledge in the comments!

Recommended: Wilderness Festival

Florence Finds, Michelle Kelly, Pocketful of Dreams

Today the very lovely and stylish Michelle from Pocketful of Dreams is taking over the blog with her review of Wilderness Festival. If you happen to be a festival aficionado or just like to see how other people get their groove on, then you’re in the right place as this particular one looks EPIC…

I seem to be the only 30-something in the land never to have attended a music festival. Madness I know, particularly given the fact that I plan events for a living. But all that has now changed and last weekend I popped my festival cherry with the one dubbed ‘Poshstock’ otherwise known as Wilderness Festival.

Held in a tranquil lakeside setting in the Oxfordshire countryside, this festival, I imagine, is the antithesis to all other festivals. Magnificent curiosities abound and you would never find yourself short of something to do at Wilderness, from the sumptuous wood-fired hot tubs lining a lake filled with brave swimmers, to the gourmet banquets and food trucks galore and the plethora of workshops, talks, activities and live music taking place across the weekend. It’s a culture-seekers delight, a little too try hard at times, but a lot of fun nonetheless.

My attendance at the festival was a totally last minute affair, I was gifted the tickets just last Monday by clients of mine as a thank-you for planning their own festival wedding, and by Thursday we had packed up the car and headed South. This spontaneous adventure meant we were attending with a totally open-mind and lack of preconception about what was in store. It also meant we’d well and truly missed the boat when it came to trying any of the fantastic activities in offer, everything from the yoga sessions, to the hot tubs to the gourmet banquets was fully booked and despite asking at the elusive ‘info tent’ on arrival the only way we could get in was to keep calling back 10-minutes after each thing was due to start to see if there’d been any no shows, needless to say we opted out of that kind of to-ing and fro-ing.

It was slightly disappointing to not be able to try these things out and I think we’d have had a very different and more rounded experience had we been able to sample a little more, but we still had a great time and saw a lot. Here’s some of my highlights and observations about the festival for those thinking of going next year…..

WILD SWIMMING & WOOD FIRED HOT TUBS

Perhaps something everyone should try at least once in their lifetime is wild swimming, the lake was pretty much always full of swimmers in the daytime, with many taking their pew along the lakeside to catch some rays (whilst the sun was out that is). It was reminiscent of childhood summer holidays in the alps and you couldn’t help but to feel adventurous and carefree even if not partaking in the swimming yourself.

Although we didn’t manage to enjoy the hot tubs at Wilderness we have seen these in action having booked the very same ones for our clients festival wedding earlier in August. By Bathing under the Sky, these beauties are divine and pure luxury, the staff are superbly attentive and really what better way to spoil yourself than in a hot tub in a beautiful forest, champers in hand?

FOOD AND DRINK

Wilderness is without a doubt a foodies delight and we were spoilt for choice when it came down to dining. From the breakfast trucks in the camping area we enjoyed toast, bacon rolls, tea and freshly brewed coffee. For a slightly more relaxing breakfast we headed to the Sanctuary to a lovely little pop-up restaurant (name eludes me) with red and white checked tablecloths enjoying Huevas Rancheros and a chilled coconut water, delish.

There was such a vast selection of food trucks serving a multitude of foods: burgers, hot dogs, pulled pork, curry, smoothies, ice-cream, fish and chips, paella, duck, lobster rolls, tacos, you name it you probably could have found it. For lunch I opted for a freedom Gyoza box from Rainbo which included a chicken and miso Gyoza with fresh slaw and edamame beans…..delicious, healthy and colourful. We also tried the wood-fired pizzas from Pizza Tabun which were so delicious we ended up back there again the next day. The food at Moro looked delicious too.

Drinks-wise there were a few bars onsite serving the standard spirit and mixer, priced around £5, we sampled a glass or two of the wine also but soon gave up as it was revolting AND warm. We were also a little disappointed by HIX as it looked fantastic and I’d heard great things, they had a cute outdoor chill-out section under a canopy with vintage furniture that looked so inviting, so we thought we’d enjoy a bottle of champagne and watch the afternoon unfold in front of us from the comfort of their lounge. Unfortunately though they didn’t offer ice buckets or any facility to chill it for us once purchased so we gave up and headed back to the Laurent Perrier Champagne Orangery for the second time since we’d arrived. This place was a little slice of refinement in the otherwise madness of the festival. I enjoy getting down and dirty at an event but sometimes you just want a cold drink and a comfortable seat.

Another favourite was the Zubrowka Bison grass vodka pop-up, a welcome respite from the rain on Friday evening with delicious cocktails, plus some pretty cool styling. Moro provided us with delicious white vermouth cocktails, refreshing and zingy.

FASHION

I could have sat for hours people-watching, everyone made such an effort with their outfits, even the kids with their face paints and funny tails. The festival themed each day with Altered States Friday, Disco Renaissance Saturday and the Cosmos on Sunday. And so ensued an explosion of glitter, sequins, spandex and feathers, with a few masks thrown in for good measure. Personally with little time to prepare it was a case of whatever we could get our hands on so I dug deep into my closet and picked out a few outfits, diy-ing a disco cape from some party decor I had knocking about my studio and buying a glittery cat mask online. Although we could have just turned up and headed to the various vintage and dressing up emporiums (so many) and found some outlandish outfits to wear.

I had a wander round a few and ogled the shiny delights on offer: Secret Emporium was like a party within the party and where I had my face painted by In Your Dreams, Rosa Bloom had some divine feathery and sequinned capes, Violets Box had a fab selection of outfits too.

It was clear this festival was a fashionista’s paradise and we saw so many fashion bloggers and fashion media strutting their stuff with plenty of street-style photographers snapping the action too. My only advice when it comes to dressing is to take lots of layers and flat shoes only, I ended up wearing mainly cut-off denim shorts with bodies and a variety of cover-ups, my anorak quite a lot as the rain was so sporadic and my hunter wellies.

THE DECOR

As a wedding and event planner I am always looking at how brands style and market themselves at events so for me it was like an being in an aladdin’s cave of inspiration. Colourful bunting as far as the eye could see and cute little styled spaces to interact with.


Some of my favourites included the Mulberry craft tent (annoyingly booked up all weekend so I didn’t actually get inside) and the Accessorize tent which had a cool wishing tree with colour-dipped feathers. I also saw lots of fashionable ladies walking around the site with their gold Mulberry balloons and branded picnic hampers, only to find out later that Cara Delevingne had been there to host a private picnic – my invite had clearly got lost in the post.



And as mentioned above the Zubrowka space with its forest-inspired teepee and 3-D paper art installation hanging from the ceiling was definitely one of my favourites and the most thought through design-wise, it looked like a mystical magical space that had literally grown amongst the woodland.

The Laurent-Perrier tent also looked beautiful with a gorgeous string installation over the bar – but I had already spied this on pictures from a previous year so was surprised they’d not done something fresh.


Oh how I’d love to design one of these spaces one day….brands take note.

ENTERTAINMENT

The music side of things, I felt, was quite average, and this comes from someone with hardly a passing interest in current music. It did seem that this element really took a back seat to everything else going on and I rarely saw the stages fill up with the kind of crowds we’ve all seen at the likes of Glastonbury et al. We watched a couple of sets on the main stage but couldn’t even tell you who.



For us the highlights were the late night revelry acts in Pandemonium, an amphitheatre in the valley which came alive at night. We had such a blast dancing our masked faces off to Horse Meat Disco, Greg Wilson and Futureboogie, the sound and lighting was immense topped off by a theatrical acrobatic performance by The Box. The Styx stage was another cool highlight, held on a carousel, as was the burning of the effigy which we watched from Pandemonium. Finally the hidden gem we found was the Artful Badger tent, a tiny space with fabulous music.

ACCOMMODATION

And now for the more practical elements which is where I feel Wilderness fell a little short of the mark and I guess this is the events organiser in me that has little tolerance for poor organisation.

With your ticket you also get access to general camping which allows you to pitch a tent in the main campsite. It has a few different sections including a Quiet Camp for those who actually want to sleep, a Family camp for those with kiddies and the free-for-all general area. There are food trucks close-by this area, plenty of toilets, showers etc and also the big green lockers should you wish to keep things secure (which are actually tiny and just fit your phone and wallet in them ), but definitely worth paying £25 for a weekend pass as you can also charge your phone in them.

This is where my experience was marred slightly with an unfortunate incident occurring on the Friday morning when we were abruptly awoken by a team of security guards telling us to move our tent as we’d pitched in a fire lane, along with about 100 other tents. Annoyingly when we’d arrived Thursday evening, after our 5-hour drive it was pretty dark, there were no maps and limited signage to direct you where to go. The campsites seemed pretty full and and were spilling out into the area we ended up camping in. We checked with the stewards and security manning these areas and we’re told it was fine to camp there so felt pretty irate when told we had to move the next day, particularly as the campsites were full to bursting by this point. Several hours later we’d managed to pack up, repitch the tent and unpack again but it left a pretty sour taste in the mouth. We actually ended up in the Quiet Camp which was anything but, the stewards tried to keep noise levels to a minimum but failed miserably resulting in quite a few sleepless nights.

Overall the camping facilities seemed to be badly organised and we heard many people complaining about it over the weekend, it seemed they had not anticipated the capacity with some reporting 30,000 people this year compared to 15,000 last year. If I attend again then I’ll definitely be glamping or staying offsite.

TOILETS AND SHOWER FACILITIES

This was the part I was dreading the most but I needn’t have been concerned, there was an abundance of toilet areas both in the main arena and across the campsite and I never once had to use my own loo-roll as they never ran out. The queues were pretty much non-existent apart from key points in the day, mainly mornings and early evening as everyone started to get a little inebriated but even then I never queued for longer than 5 minutes.

The showers were clean and HOT, but annoyingly were only working one out of the four times we tried to use them on both the Friday and Saturday. I imagine we were probably cleaner than most festival goers having showered and washed whilst there, but still, if you promise hot showers at least make sure they are working!!

MAPS AND SIGNAGE

Again another element that needs improving, finding your way around is difficult and no-one knows what’s going on when you ask them. You don’t get any kind of map when you arrive and have to pay £8 for a programme containing one which then doesn’t tell you the various food trucks on offer so for me was a waste of time.

It would have been much better with large maps dotted around the site or at least having something online that you can print yourself and /or work things out before you get there.

Despite all the above it was an incredible first festival experience and even though I was terribly sleep-deprived and had to pack up our tent in the midst of a hurricane I look back now with only fond memories of my experience. Roll on next year, who’s with me?

Michelle x

You can find Michelle at www.pocketfulofdreams.co.uk, an experienced events organiser planning individual and spectacular weddings and parties for clients across the UK and Europe.

Florence’s Food: Monkfish and Chorizo Skewers

Today’s guest post has been sent in by Lynsey and looks like the perfect summer dish for light eating or special enough for entertaining – I reckon these could even go on the BBQ. Thanks Lynsey and if you have anything you would like to contribute to help me while I am on maternity leave, click here to find out how you can get involved (scroll to the end of the post.)

Monkfish and Chorizo Skewers:
400g monkfish
200 g chorizo sausage
2 red peppers
1 tsp paprika
juice of 1 lemon
1 clove of garlic, crushed
1 handful of fresh parsley, chopped finely
2 tbsp olive oil
salt and pepper to season
8 wooden skewers

  • Start off by trimming the monkfish – make sure to remove any skin and grey flesh, and cut into dice approx. 1 inch in size. Monkfish can be quite expensive / tricky to find at the supermarket, but this dish works equally well with chicken. Peel any skin from the chorizo, and cut into smaller dice. Chop the pepper into neat squares. Aim to have approx. 24 dice of each ingredient to make 8 skewers.
  • Mix the olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, paprika and parsley together, and season with salt and pepper. Add the monkfish, and toss thoroughly to coat with the dressing. Leave in the fridge for at least 30 minutes to marinade, and let the flavours infuse into the fish.
  • Once marinaded, thread onto the skewers – alternating with the diced chorizo and pepper. Cook in a frying pan / under the grill / on the BBQ if the weather allows (!) for about 10 – 15 minutes, or until the fish is cooked through and the peppers are starting to blacken slightly. A good rule of thumb is 3 minutes and turn, repeating this about 4 times. I used a George Foreman for mine, as my grill decided to break as soon as I started preparing the fish…, so it really is a versatile dish.

Tabouleh Salad:
200g plain cous cous
20 cherry tomatoes, halved
1/2 cucumber
3 handfuls of fresh parsley, chopped finely
zest and juice of 1 lemon
1 handful of fresh mint, chopped finely
1 small red onion, chopped roughly
2 tbsp olive oil
salt and pepper to season

While the fish is marinading, you can get started on the salad. Cook the cous cous according to packet instructions (usually equal parts boiling water to equal parts cous cous, cover and leave for 3-5 minutes), fluff up with a fork and stir through the olive oil. Place all the chopped vegetables and herbs in a large bowl, add the cous cous, season and mix together well. Serve alongside the skewers and enjoy!

Lynsey

Isn’t she lovely…

20140722-094530-35130616.jpg

Beatrice Evelyn Norris arrived yesterday at 11.14am and weighed 6lbs 5oz!

She is super cute, feeding like a pro and we are all totally blissed out. And I’m doing fine post c-section.

We will be spending some time as a family this week but look out for some sporadic posts from next Monday and an update if you’re lucky. ;) Oh and keep an eye on my Instagram for lots of updates!

Love,
Rebecca, Pete & Bea
xo

The Master Bedroom : Version 1.0

I’ve realised that I’m very good at telling you all what I’m planning in the house but actually showing the finished article is happening a lot less. That is partly because nothing is yet ‘finished’ – or what I would call finished anyway, as I don’t feel done with a room (actually, am I ever done with a room?) until all the finishing touches are complete too. In the case of our grey bedroom, in some ways it is finished – the decorating is done, we’re back in there and it’s functioning, but in others it is very unfinished. We don’t have a door handle for example (just a small matter,) the walls are pretty bare, the bedding is less than perfect and the walk in wardrobe is still something of a dumping ground with a solitary rail, Billy book case and shoes all over the floor.

However, it’s going to be a bit of a wait before we get it exactly the way I want it and I’ve been asked before how I approach decorating a room so I hope this will give you some insight into my thought processes. Here’s the finished bedroom Version 1.0 :)

As you can see, we’re sticking with the white bedding, a perennial favourite of mine, but I’m still struggling with the perfect combination of cushions. I’m totally torn between the modern geometric look and the more subdued pink and grey. The problem is that the coral and mint tones in the geometric pattern are just not sitting quite right to my eye with the lilac and slate in the curtains or the perfect pale pink I found at H&M.

There’s also the matter of getting the right size/shape combination going. I can see there might be some re-hashing of the covers I have bought, particularly the cheapo H&M ones. At less than £10 each, I don’t mind taking some scissors to them. They are also on our old bed which we plan to replace, (this one will go in another bedroom elsewhere,) but again are just waiting for the cash to materialise!

This lamp is totally wrong… the base I could live with, but it’s one of a pair so they will probably be utilised elsewhere together. It’s the yellow shade that is throwing a lot of the room off I think, but I haven’t seen a suitable base or shade to replace this one. The plan for bedside lamps is to have wall lamps above the headboard and I’ve seen the ones I want, they’re just not in the budget right now. While we are on lighting, the capiz shade was an old bargain in BHS lighting dept from our old bedroom, but we have plans to replace this with something a bit more ‘design-y’, if that’s even a word.

One thing I am really pleased about is the art in here. I bought Pete the surfers print a couple of years back and went back for the print of Rincon Island off the coast of California just recently as the peachy pink tones were the kinds of accents I wanted to bring into the room. They both remind me of our travels on the West coast and a lovely afternoon we spent in Miami watching surfers on South Beach and I’m really happy with everything about them apart from the fact they are crooked after being put up approximately 2 minutes before I took this photo, by Pete mid-argument, as we were late leaving for something! ;)

I had also been lusting after a Lulie Wallace print but she only releases prints (instead of original artworks) a few times a year and none had come up int he right colour combinations until this spring when this grey pink and peach tones print called ‘Flowers for Hope’ popped up and I snapped it up.

The doors to the walk in wardrobe are bifold and so slide right back allowing plenty of space and I’m really happy we chose them. What’s behind them is not so pretty and whilst I could have tidied it to make it look presentable, I really didn’t have the time or energy so this is as much as you’re seeing!

The curtains were bought before we even moved out of the room. Because of the height of the ceilings and windows, we have to have custom curtains made, but thank goodness, I have been using a place in Southport for curtains for years. If you happen tot be local or around the area, it’s well worth a trip – the fabric is ridiculously cheap (and often John Lewis, Prestige or Sanderson,) and the making up is also cheap. To give you an idea, these were £300 for a 3m wide bay with over a 2m drop. The equivalent in JL, for something in their own range, mid price point fabric, would have cost at least double. They are black out lined which is essential and has been amazing as it’s an East facing room and very sunny in the mornings.

As you can see, we also have the stained glass back in now which was taken away when we replaced the windows and encapsulated or sandwiched into a triple glazed panel. Unfortunately the glazier who did the work was taken ill, hence the 6 month delay but they were worth waiting for.

The carpet is the same one we had in the lounge in the last house. We searched high and low for the right pale grey that didn’t look ‘silver’ and it wore really well in the last house too so we just ordered the same again. It also has a subtle fleck of naturals in it which hides a multitude of sins (mainly cat hair,) that a monotone carpet wouldn’t.

So, I think that’s it for now. I hope you like it or if not, at least found the process and sources useful – I have put a comprehensive list at the end of the post for you. I might do another one soon with some finishing ideas that we’re yet to purchase.

Happy Monday readers,

Love,
Rebecca
xo

Where did you get that?
Walls: Cornforth White, Farrow & Ball
Woodwork: Brilliant white (eggshell)
Glass Wardrobe door handles: John Lewis
Curtains: The Fabric Shop, Southport (open at weekends but the warehouse is only open Mon-Fri)
Reproduction Eames RAR rocking chair, Redbrick Mill
Geometric Cushions: Conran at M&S
Pink and Grey cushions: H&M Home
Velvet cushion: The White Company (old)
Bedding: Linea at HoF
Mirror: Next
Photographic prints: Ian Baguskas, at 20 x 200
Flower art: Lulie Wallace
Frames: Ikea Ribba (with custom mounts from a local art shop for £5.)

What I have learned: About Marriage [5 years on]

Almost five years into our marriage, in someways, nothing has changed between Pete and I, and in other ways, everything has. Five years down the line I feel qualified to reflect on that, although of course I also hope I have the chance to reflect again in ten, twenty and fifty years time of course! I always wanted to be married to Pete and I knew he was the done for me only weeks into our relationship. Looking back, it was about security, feeling he would never leave me, even though realistically I never expected that he would leave me married or not! So 3 days before our wedding anniversary seemed like a good time to reflect on how I now feel about marriage and I’d love to hear what you guys feel, if you are married, (or even if you’re not and think it’s a waste of time!)


At a black tie dinner in June 2013

So here are my thoughts…

Things do change when you get married.
Before Pete and I got married, we were like many other couples these days. We had owned our own home together, been together a long time (8 years by then) and were in what felt like an extremely stable and happy relationship. There will always be those who say that marriage is just a piece of paper and maybe for some people it is, but for me, it wasn’t. We felt differently straight away, more bound together, like a special team. We privately refer to ourselves as Team Norris, not least because together we are pretty forceful at getting things done, but in a more metaphorical sense, it’s that feeling that someone is always on your side.


Bude, Cornwall, 2013

Marriage changes with every passing year.
Although things felt different straight away, the change hasn’t really stopped and our marriage grows and changes with every passing year and challenge or triumph. We know each other better and love each other more as time goes on and if that’s sounds schmaltzy, it doesn’t mean the little things that annoy me don’t annoy me even more too. ;) In the early days of our marriage we had somewhat of a (traditional) role reversal and it was Pete that kept house and home together as I was blogging. He really showed me what it was like to have somebody who always has your back, and whilst I started out wanting to preserve my independence (not changing my name as an example,) my feelings changed as I realised I should be proud to be part of his team.


Outside our old house, on an emotional moving day, Sept 2013

Your marriage doesn’t have to be like everybody else’s.
Pete and I were 27 when we got married, 25 when we got engaged, amongst the first of our friends to get married, (the third couple,) and relatively young for our friendship group too. Of all the friends who went on to marry after us, the vast majority had babies by the time their first anniversary rolled around and we couldn’t think of anything worse at the time. We are still more independent of each other than a lot of the couples we know, with separate friends and pastimes, although of course I think a lot of that stems from the fact that we don’t have children yet so are relatively free to do as we please. It’s easy to look at other peoples marriages and struggle to understand how they tick along, but as long as yours works for you I think it’s important not to hold others up as comparison.


In Barcelona, March 2014 (22 weeks pregnant)

This year has been a crazy one for us, with the usual roster of holidays taken over by moving, saving and the first 7 months of a new chapter, my pregnancy with baby Norris. It’s been frustrating at times, not much fun at times, but also joyful, as we work towards our family and family home.

So readers, what do you think? I’d love to hear your thoughts on this…

Love,
Rebecca
xo

PS. Previous anniversary reflections:
4 years: Never go to sleep on an Argument
3 years and Counting…

Barcelona Day 1

I promised after asking for all of your Barcelona tips that I would share what we did on our Babymoon back in March.

We stayed for 4 nights at the RoomMate Emma for about £300 and I would definitely book again. The breakfast was amazing and the staff were lovely too. We were woken up one night by screaming European teens but that can happen anywhere and the reception sorted it straightaway. The room was clean and modern, the only thing lacking was an exterior window. We were offered a very cheap upgrade when we got there which we normally would have taken but figured we wouldn’t be in the room and it wasn’t worth it. In fact I wish we had, as we banked on staying out for evening drinks as we would do normally and felt obliged to because the room was a bit dark, but really given how tiring the sightseeing was, it would have been nice to have some downtime back at the hotel in a slightly nicer room. Don’t get me wrong though, it was still great, cheap or not.

So what did we do?


Our walking tour day 1 – Port Vell, Port Olympica, Barcelonetta, Parc Ciutadella and the beach. Click here to view an interactive version of the map.

Well, the answer is a lot of walking. Normally when we’re on a city break we do everything, but this time we didn’t want to go into museums, enjoying the sunshine instead, so we saw everything from the outside while walking. The first day was predicted to be the best weather, so we got the underground metro to Port Vell and wandered around looking at the boats and enjoying the weather.

We walked though Barceloneta which was cute in parts and quite run down in others so we kept going. It didn’t take us long to get to the beach so and we carried on all the way along until we reached Port Olympic, and then walked on to Parc Ciutadella. The fountains and space there was great. If we hadn’t been going to the beach later I would have parked myself on the grass there to read and enjoy the sun.

By then we were starving and headed onto El Born, where we ate a tapas lunch at one of the places on Placa des les Olles before heading back to the beach where we just lay on the sand for a couple of hours and read. Bliss!

Once we were ready for home, we headed in to the atmospheric gothic quarter and stopped in Placa Reial for a drink. I loved this square – there aren’t that many in Barcelona which are big enough to hold the sun into the evening, particularly in March but this one is so pretty and great for people watching.


I was so exhausted that night after walking so far that we ate at an Italian just down the road from our hotel and collapsed into bed early.

I’ll be back with Days 2 and 3 soon!

Love,
Rebecca
xo