Dream Destination: One World Observatory

When we visited New York recently we planned to visit the World Trade Centre site and museum but I hadn’t realised that there was a new viewing deck at One World Trade Centre and after seeing the promotional video we decided it was worth the trip. It remains the highlight of our visit now and I would unreservedly recommend going out of your way to stop by, it’s just breath taking.

Tickets are $32 (£20) for adults and can be bought in advance with a timed entry slot. We decided we wanted to go with the best weather so walked down one morning thinking if it was full we would book for later in the day, or another day. In fact when we went to buy some tickets we were told we could go now and so headed straight in.

I was a little nervous of going up there. Totally ridiculous I know, but I couldn’t help but think of the past. Stepping inside the tower is incredible though, its completely white as you descend (the photos here are of the PATH station below the tower,) and feels monolithic and permanent, making me finally understand why those poor souls in the towers on 9/11 didn’t flee instantly when the planes hit – the though of anything taking this down was unimaginable.

Although it was hard for me to forget at first, the OWO experience is very much geared towards the positive with no mention of the twin towers, just the pride this new building has become to New York. It starts a floor below, moving through a multimedia space with those involved in the planning and build taking about their experience then takes you in a ‘sky pod’ lift with video projected on all 4 walls. As the lift ascends it is as though you are moving through time, starting looking out over the swamps that NYC was first settled on then the early city and to more recent times with skyscrapers growing all around you as you arrive on the 102nd floor in less than 60 seconds.

Stepping out felt like being at the cinema, dark with an air of suspense. We were ushered into a gallery type area with the ‘See Forever’ theatre screen of New York scenes then without warning the screen lifted and the view out across manhattan was revealed. It was truly breathtaking.

The tour then moves through a small cafe and down to the main 360 viewing deck. There is a ‘Sky Portal’ which shows real time video footage of the street below, under a large glass area of floor, just as if you are suspended above the street. I also loved the 2 large ‘City Pulse’ view points with guides who stood and gave snapshot presentations on New Yorks history and neighbourhoods with local insight – it was a really nice touch that you didn’t have to participate in but I loved.

Of course the star of the show is the view and I was totally wowed. We had great weather which helped but it was amazing looking out there in so many directions, with helicopters buzzing around you and so many iconic buildings and for me, memories of trips past. As you can see, Bea loved it!

If you happen to be planning a trip to New York this was my absolute favourite (tourist) experience there – definitely do it! Find out more here: One World Observatory


PS Theres a fancy cocktail bar and restaurant up there too – if you go childless or just don’t mind taking yours in, that would have been the icing on the cake ;)

On Vacay…

iPhone photo taken from the High Line looking over the Hudson River towards Newark.

I’m taking a little break until next week while we spend the last days of our holiday in New York. If you’re lucky, Erin may be popping up later in the week with Octobers ‘What to Wear’, mummy commitments permitting!

If you want to see what we’re up to and where we have been, head on over to Instagram online or follow me @rebecca_norris. We are having an amazing time and Bea is doing brilliantly :)

See you next week!

Rebecca xo

The big Autumn list…

I usually like to write these posts around the official calendar start to the season but holidays and warm weather in the UK took my mind off the impending season. Now we are in full ‘fall’ swing over here in the US however, I’m ready to think beyond our trip, but not as far as the Christmas madness ahead.


As is tradition, here is my list of things I plan to do to fully appreciate the season and some general life cleansing that needs to happen.

1. September shape up was a wash out for me, as after a busy couple of weeks I came down with a disgusting cold that put an end to breathing through my nose, never mind running. I still managed to get down to 1lb off my pre-pregnancy weight but am really feeling the lack of exercise. I suspect that will be even more of an omnipresent thought when we get back from 2w of American food, so I’ll be getting back to running and healthy eating, hoping to shed another half stone before December.

2. It’s bulb planting time and I love nothing more than crisp sunny autumnal afternoons in the garden – clearing leaves, planting bulbs and generally tidying, with a roast dinner filling the house with welcoming and warming smells for when the evening draws in.

3. I plan to use the longer evenings to get some personal projects done, instead of just collapsing in a heap on the couch. Most pressing are some photo books, I have all the images collated for a 2014 book but need to tackle arranging them into the book itself. After that there’s the mammoth task of documenting Bea’s first year and some big holidays we have taken over the years that deserve a book to themselves.

4. The house renovation continues and with limited budget post holiday and limited time pre-Christmas, we have to make some decisions about how best to proceed. In the offing are Bea’s playroom, the dining room or our dressing room, so I need to decide which and get a move on.

5. It’s also time we did some serious clearing out. With the upstairs bedroom being made over and the playroom pending we have moved a lot of stuff around and are slowly making usable rooms from neglected spaces that were just accumulating junk. There are cupboards full of stuff I haven’t opened in 12 months so I plan to be ruthless and start clearing out at least one, or even two of the rooms.

6. Autumn always feels like a time for comforting foods like sausage and mash or pies and stews but this Autumn I’d like to find some healthier yet warming options that don’t leave me bloated and in need of a lie down.

7. Given the list above this may be ambitious but I want to start incorporating something for me. Pete plays footie twice a week yet I struggle to get out on a regular basis. It’s starting to feel like I need the me time and yoga is so emotionally balancing that I want to make it a regular part of my week.

So readers, what do you think? Please share your seasonal to-do list in the comments, be it goals or simply a seasonal bucket list. I always love reading your thoughts. 


Rebecca xo

What to Buy: August

Morning Readers!

So far August has been a bit of a disappointment weather-wise. I guess the typical British Summer is “shining” through although we do have the promise of warmer weather in the coming week. Fingers crossed!

The cooler days though have got me thinking about the Autumn and with it the drops of new season stock that are coming into the shops.

The items on this months list consist of some that I’ve posted before (but are still great buys if you haven’t indulged yet) and also some final sale buys which will see you into Autumn.

The Boyfriend Shirt

 Topshop / Boden

Specifically in blue, these shirts feature heavily on press images into Autumn. Worn over slim trousers to balance out the volume or easily tucked into a skirt, their versatility is great. I love the pale blue versions and the Topshop one here has added interest with a hip pocket. I’ll be wearing with Skinny trousers and flats.


 Leather / Black

Huge for this current season, the culotte is a modest way to wear a skirt – no flashing here!

A leather pair like these Autograph ones will see you nicely into the Autumn but are equally wearable now with sandals. The Warehouse pair are a bargain. Limited quantities on line but plenty of sizes in store at both Warehouse and John Lewis. I’ve also seen them in House of Fraser for £15. Still a deal at under £20 and the weight of the fabric is just right.

For something a little different and a bit more for now, this jumpsuit is a find. Lovely fabric and print, and very easy to wear.

Suede Skirt

 Jaeger / M&S

This trend isn’t going anywhere and I am still favouring the Midi style. The M&S version is my go-to here but there are other versions to be had. The Jaeger one above is good for the discounted price.

For something even more achievable and for a nod to the trend in a different way, this New Look button through version is great and comes in three colours. Size up to get the fit right so the buttons don’t gape. This style reminds me of being in Year 10 (or Fifth Year as it was called when I was at school). I had a black version back then ;) I know it may be tempting but do try and get a real suede version. The faux one can end up looking a little cheap.


 Sequin Jacket / Skirt / Coverup / Shirt

You may think that embroidery needs to be kept just for summer. By and large this is true but I’ve spotted some very grown up, autumn appropriate embroidery in the shops. Whilst the White “jacket” from Zara above is a summer piece, there’s hope we may have an Indian Summer so this would act as an excellent coverup. The colours are stunning. For true Autumn though, the H&M Trend skirt is lovely – K.I.S.S (can you tell I’m a marketer?!) it with a black polo and boots (the jacket in this sold out immediately!) The magpie in me also loves the Sequins on the Mango trophy jacket. Again, something to throw over even the simplest of outfits for that WOW factor.

Statement Flats

 Studded / Snake / Red

Hurrah! The flat shoe is big for A/W15 and the more statement the better. Here are some that are a nod to that trend in that they can multitask for you – not too out there but still something a little different. I like the Aldo ones as a nod to the Valentinos I covet every year. Another good option are the Russell Bromley Chester Loafers. I picked up a multi-coloured suede bargain in the sales after covering for ages and can’t wait to wear them!

Enjoy the rest of your Month readers. Do share any purchases you happen to make!

Erin xx

Secret Linen Store

Happy Monday readers! Now who is up for some bed linen inspiration, and interior style with a discount to boot? I thought so, read on!

Artichoke in Navy

Secret Linen Store were recently kind enough to send me some of their Navy Artichoke bedlinen for my bedroom. When I wrote about the yellow room which featured the Dotty Coffee spot bedlinen, I was a little sad it would only get used by guests, ;) so I am thrilled to have some to use myself. It’s breaking the habit of a lifetime for me to not have white bedlinen, so it’s different, but it’s so luxurious in feel I can’t help but love it. (You can see it on my bed here.)

Coastal Stripe in Navy

It seemed like a good time to share some of the current collection as the room sets themselves are rather inspiring, as well as the bedding!

Teasels in Dove Grey

Aside from the quality and feel, I think Secret Linen Store have really nailed the balance between style and colour. The designs are modern, fresh and stylish yet won’t date easily because of their timeless feel and classic choices like the coastal stripes. I particularly love the abundance of chic grey designs! ;)

Graphite Ferns

Giant Purple Artichokes

Coastal Stripe in Natural Linen

So if you are looking to update your bedlinen for summer, you’re in luck!I have collaborated with Secret Linen Store to give a reader offer of 10% off everything with the code SLEEPY at checkout! Offer ends on the 16th of August ;)

Luxury 600 thread count white bedlinen

And there’s still all white if you’re a die hard white bedlinen fan ;)

Happy shopping!


PS! A Cow Parsley Attic bedroom

Spotted: Secret Linen Store Kids!

You all know I love the Secret Linen Store. Modern designs and great quality at competitive prices. Now I’m very excited to say they have extended their talents to kids bedding and it’s just as inspired as the original range.

We’re not yet at the stage of needing ‘big bed’ linen but when we do I have already shuddered at the thought of character emblazoned kids bedding or pretty pretty ditzy florals and cliched cars and space ships. These designs feel fresh, modern and on trend enough to keep stylish parents happy, while in bright and striking colours that kids will love too!

I love the stylish grey stripes and fun teal bubbles!

What do you think readers? Would your big kids like these?


#JanuaryJoy – Plan a project

Good morning readers!

I’ve left some of the prompts for this years #JanuaryJoy deliberately vague to allow as many people to join in as possible and whilst this particular prompt could encompass many things, for me it will be a house project. We’ve got quite a few things planned this year, big and small, from whole rooms to finishing touches. I’m keeping it small for now as I want to enjoy the remainder of my maternity leave dust and stress free, so I thought I’d share a couple of the projects I have in mind for this month.

Alcove storage // Peach and grey alcove

A Nursery wardrobe.
When we planned the nursery (which I will share soon, I promise!) I was convinced I was having a boy and didn’t give any thought to wardrobe space. We have a huge chest of drawers in there but since having a girl I’ve realised I need hanging space for dresses. The best place for the storage is in an alcove to the side of the chimney breast but it’s proving difficult to find a pice of furniture as it’s an oddly sized 66cms wide, so I’m having to think outside the box. I love the idea of being able to see Bea’s tiny clothes and so I thought some kind of open storage might work and hopefully won’t look too untidy as she doesn’t have that many clothes and I can still keep the majority folded in the drawers. Or do I do some kind of IKEA hack with something like this?

Garden design by Tom Stuart-Smith.

Deck planting.
When we built our deck outside the kitchen last year we added some raised beds made of sleepers, half the height of the deck. They’re pretty big and the idea is to plant them with tall perennials that will surround the deck with foliage so it doesn’t seem separate from the garden. So the first job is to order some topsoil to fill them as they have stood empty since we built them, and secondly to plant them up with appropriate plants. I’m going for delicate drifting styles, in shade loving plants for one of the boxes on the north facing side and pretty flowers for the other west facing side which gets lots of sun.

Bathroom via

Bathroom revamp.
Our bathroom is perfectly adequate and not on the agenda for change for quite some time… if we did change it, it would be part of quite a major reconfiguration of the first floor so we need to give that serious thought. In the meantime, I think I can make it a lot more us, with some simple additions. A new mirror, new light fittings, a bit of paint and some new hooks should make a big difference and it’ll be fun to change a room without all hell breaking loose in the house for a change. ;)

So what projects are you planning this January readers? (It doesn’t have to be house related!)


Star Finds of 2014

I often want to write about something that I really love but since blogging less I lean towards the meatier posts. I thought it would be fun to share the things I have consistently loved throughout the year – that stand the test of time and I use and go back to again and again. Here’s my list, have you got any stand out items from 2014?

Boots Sanctuary Spa long lasting hand lotion £5.50
I mentioned this hand cream when I did a review of several Sanctuary products a while back. It was an immediate standout and has continued to be so pleasing that I have replaced my own and bought it as gifts for other people. It restores my dry hands even after all the hand washing associated with looking after a small baby and after all the diy my hands have been involved in this year.

Burts Bee’s Mama Bee Nourishing body oil £10.99 but currently on offer ⅓ off! (and Baby Bee range.)
I never particularly liked Bio oil and whilst I didn’t always apply oil to my bump to prevent stretch marks (Bad news folks, if you’re going to get them, nothing will stop you, it’s a skin-type thing;) I did use it religiously after giving birth. This mama bee oil smells amazing (citrusy) and made me feel as though I was improving the elasticity of my skin and I still use it all over now. We also use the Baby Bee products at Bea’s bath time and she smells delicious as a result. ;)

Lush Ultrabland £7.25 for a small pot.
I started using this as a cheap alternative to Eve Lom in March this year and haven’t gone back. My skin has never been better and whilst that may be partly due to pregnancy, 5 months later it’s still great. I’m a huge advocate of oil based cleansers balancing problem skin and I think for the price anyone with troublesome skin should try it. Massage into dry skin (I use it to take my makeup off in one step too as I’m rather lazy like that…) then remove with a toner soaked cotton pad or two.

Lakeland mop
I never thought I’d write about a mop being one of my favourite things of the year, but this one has saved my sanity. Whilst having 2 walls knocked through, one door moved and 3 sets of new windows, you can imagine the almost constant dust for the last 12 months. In our hallway particularly the dust settled on wood floors and when we mopped (after brushing and hoovering,) it just pushed the dust around and created dull still-dirty floors. Then I found this triangular mop with a velcro-on microfibre head (replaceable) which you dampen in your floor cleaner then attach and use. I can get round the kitchen and hallway without needing to rinse it under normal conditions and it removes all the dirt or dust. I love microfibre cloths. Don’t get me started on using them for cleaning! (I couldn’t find the exact mop but this one is very similar.)

I’m an Instagram addict, sharing behind the scenes goings on while we renovate and try to enjoy normal life too. It’s also the place where I most enjoy engaging with my readers. If you want to follow me I’m here, do say hi!

Following on from Instagram I also love the images it produces – often pictures of Bea I’ve snapped when my proper camera isn’t to hand. A lot of the Instagram printing companies are American but this one is British, well priced, ecofriendly and quick to deliver. I’ve used them twice for pictures of Bea to put in thank you and Christmas cards and will definitely be going back for more. They even have an app to order directly from your phone.

The local library.
Since Bea’s arrival was approaching I’ve started to use our local library more and more. There are so many parenting books out there that it could cost a lot to buy them and often be a waste as one mothers favourite recommendation is a red rag to another mother bull. Instead I loan them from the library and decide what would be helpful to buy and keep – I’ve done this with pregnancy books, baby books, sleep books and now am doing the same with weaning books and I reserve them all online first so there are no wasted trips. Support your local library!

Gel nails.
The last revelation of my year, just before Christmas I had my nails done (first time since Bea was born!) and knowing they wouldn’t make it to Christmas with all the DIY we had left to do and food prep, I opted for a gel manicure. 11 days later they are absolutely pristine, despite me picking screws up off a bare dusty floor, painting, peeling veg and having my hands in dish or bathwater constantly. I would highly recommend them to any mum or just those who can’t make a manicure last. ;) I go to Nailista in Manchester for mine.

Have you got any great finds for 2014?


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?