Friday Finds… Back to School!

Well, it’s September now, which means back to school time. The roads are busier and the leaves are turning which so it’s time to treat yourself to some properly grown up stationery. I’ve spotted a few bits recently along with some old favourites here. The best part about this little treat is that you can kit your pencil case out without breaking the bank. 🙂

Book worms and English Literature students take note of this fab print – The entire text of Charlie and The Chocolate factory to celebrate the books 50th anniversary. So clever!

Happy weekend readers!

Love,
Rebecca
xo

Spotted: Copper home accessories

I’ve been totally obsessed with copper as a home decor accent for some time now and I love it paired with cooler tones like greys and concrete so I can’t wait to incorporate some touches into our home and the new kitchen. I thought I’d do  little round up today of some of the loveliest things to bring a touch of warm copper into your home and stay on trend this season.

Have you tried any copper accents in your home yet?

Love,
Rebecca
xo

Florence’s Gift Guide #6: Newborns and New Mums

This morning, Becky is back with a gift guide that although it’s timely, will remain useful to you guys 365 days of the year. When my friends have babies I’m always unsure what to buy. I want to buy them something practical and I usually want to spoil mum too. I was pleased to see many of my favourite purchases on this list that Becky has complied with the aid of her new mum friends. I hope it also gives you confidence to give the ultimate gift, that of time, whether it’s helping out at home as Becky suggests or spending time cooking something lovely for them.

Before I had a baby, I never knew what would be the most useful and appreciated gift to buy friends with newborns. Now I know, and as it’s the season for gift giving, I thought I’d share some present ideas with you.

To assist me with this post, I asked my trusted group of new mum friends for their suggestions. Everything comes with a personal recommendation.

For Baby

  • Clothes are always much appreciated but it seems most people give 3-6 month sizes. It’s nice to receive newborn basics too. Vests and sleepsuits with built in scratch mits are very useful and difficult to have too many of. If you’re going to buy for when the baby is a little older, make sure you consider the seasons. Cardigans are essential for a winter baby but not a summer one. And ‘Sock Ons‘ are an essential accompaniment to any pair of socks
  • Baby Bundler – Great for quick, popper free night time nappy changes
  • A bouncy chair or musical cot mobile – essential for Mum to grab a shower. The mobile also helps to calm during nappy changes.
  • A fleece wrap or footmuff for a car seat – saves having to wake a sleeping baby to put a coat on
  • Ewan the sheep lullaby soother
  • Grobag 
  • A music box – can act as a distraction for nappy changes
  • Extra large muslin wraps – indispensable for spillages, swaddling, and great for your modesty if you’re breastfeeding in public
  • A Cuddledry bath towel can help to make bath time a little easier
  • Most Jellycat toys are suitable from birth and have been very popular
  • Sophie the giraffe – for when they start teething
  • Beautifully illustrated classic books make great lasting gifts for children as well as providing pleasure for parents.
  • Baby hand and footprint ink set
  • Tommee Tippee Closer To Nature Healthcare And Grooming Kit 

For Mum

  • A homemade dinner in a disposable container (pies, casseroles, and pasta bakes are great options) or a homemade cake
  • A good book or magazine accompanied by a clip on book light – great for those lonely night time feeds
  • A scented candle
  • A luxurious bath or shower treat that can be enjoyed in 5 minutes off
  • A pedicure – it doesn’t have to be professional, a home pedicure from a friend would be equally appreciated
  • The offer of help with the housework

So readers, I’d love to hear what your favourite newborn/ new mum gifts are for giving and receiving.

Wishing you all a very Merry Christmas, and the happiest and healthiest of New Years.

Love Becky
Xx

Real Rooms: Bex’s Study ‘refresh’

This afternoon it’s an office make-over for a newly married couple, which cleverly combines the colour of the moment grey, with holiday ‘finds’ and subtle splashes of orange. I love how it has all come together and I’m looking forward to hearing what you all think of it!

Take it away Bex!

This room was a bit of a dumping ground for a long time since moving in here three years ago, even more so with all of the ‘wedding stuff’ we had to store (boxed vases being the bulkiest items). We never really used this room to its full potential, especially given its good size. It had always had a daybed for extra guests, (useful when both sets of parents came to stay) and a desk for Nik’s computer, bookcases for all his textbooks and notes while he was still a student and a wardrobe which contained overflow from my own, oops, and some fancy dress items! The room was then added to with coats, wellies, boxes of things waiting to be sorted, a very underused exercise bike (aren’t they all!) and all the other bits and bobs we unceremoniously shoved in there whenever we had to tidy up the rest of the flat if guests were coming. It also housed my collection of framed prints that I used to sell at craft & design fairs around Scotland but have recently had little time for. (These have been re-homed for sale in a local cafe.)

All of the above resulted in this ‘before’ monstrosity…


All images courtesy of Bex Photo

Surprisingly, the plan to tackle this room was something I decided on honeymoon, where I was inspired to re-decorate using some of our African souvenirs as a starting point. This spurred me on through the boring sorting and organising of all that stuff as I started to think of how we could make the room useful and look nice, somewhere we would actually like spending time. It actually became the perfect project to keep me busy after all the wedding frenzy of the months before!

We had a few items from our honeymoon which gave me the basis of what kind of style we wanted, including framing some of my own pictures taken on safari, so I started a Pinterest board for ideas and colour schemes (which inspired the grey walls/white furniture plan). We decided we wanted a modern room with white furniture to match the existing Hemnes Daybed and to set if all off against grey walls. We didn’t want to go too dark on the walls as the window is tucked into a corner and we didn’t want it to end up ‘dingy’. Moving the mirrored wardrobe helped to reflect some of the light back into the room rather than being wasted in the corner. We decided on a Valspar colour, Windswept, from B&Q. Since the room has been finished, I have also made a Pinterest board detailing some of the items in it and where they were from if you like the look of anything.

So here is the ‘after’ with our stripped back room…


All images courtesy of Bex Photo

I tried not to go for green accents again, as in most of our other rooms, so we decided to mix it up a bit more and we had a multi-coloured painting from the Masai market in Nairobi. We also purchased a Masai beaded necklace so I thought I would incorporate more orange into the room with some sunset pictures.


All images courtesy of Bex Photo

Luckily the orange colour worked well as most of the African safari pictures had an orange tint to them anyway. I really liked the thought of having them all black and white but decided to make it a bit different by leaving three of them in colour.


All images courtesy of Bex Photo

The frames were Neilson frames from Hobbycraft and were £17.99 each so it was pretty pricey all together but I’m really pleased with the overall result! Mounting and printing them ourselves saved money so it was approx £174 in total. I love the fact they look good but also remind us of our amazing time on safari on honeymoon.


All images courtesy of Bex Photo

The cushions were from M&S, The White Company (15% off thanks to FF!) and Slumber Slumber. Nik sold most of his old books and recycled his notes so we could downsize in the bookcase department. We replaced 3 bookcases just one from Ikea and filled the bottom shelves with cupboards to try to make it look less square and boxy, and to hide some of the uglier books. I took the old lime green file boxes my Mum had donated when she moved and painted them grey with left over wall paint.


All images courtesy of Bex Photo

The unusual string balls were bought by the side of the road in Nairobi and were the main inspiration for re-doing the room. Nik’s conditions when agreeing to buy three was that we had to know where we would put them and I convinced him on my ‘African honeymoon study’ idea. They’re supposed to be light-shades but I just removed the metal hangings from inside as I liked the way they were hung from the trees in bunches like this in Kenya.


All images courtesy of Bex Photo

I finally got round to framing our degrees and diplomas to keep them safe and out of the way. We didn’t want them to be too ‘in your face’ so we hung them high up along the ceiling. In retrospect I wish we had stuck the map a little lower but it’s difficult to judge when one of you is holding up a huge sheet of plastic to the wall.

The amazing map of the world wall sticker is also from notonthehighstreet.com and came with coloured dots to mark the places we’ve been. We now want to try and go to more places in the middle of the big black areas to make the dots more obvious and spread out – probably not the usual way to choose places to travel to but it could be fun! We’ve mostly stuck to the coast before due to our love of scuba diving but would love to try travelling in more different places in the future.

I hope you’ll agree it was quite a transformation! We now spend so much more time in there, I particularly love my new snug corner on the daybed where I can curl up under my knitted throw with a good book while Nik’s working on his computer.

I have been dying to share this with the Florence Findettes because I need a little help. We have decided to keep and display our large apothecary jars we used at our wedding but have no idea what, if anything, to put in them. Please help!

Great job Bex – I particularly love how you have managed to make all this things I always want to buy on holiday that then look out of place in cold grey england work so well together, particularly the safari photos and cohesive splashes of orange. The map is a great way to nod to the travel theme in a chic way and I love your certificates placed so high like that – genius idea!

Do leave Bex a comment if there’s something you like or if you want to ask her anything, I’m sure she’ll be around to help you out!

Love,
Rebecca
xo

PS You can find Bex at her blog The Olive Dragonfly and on twitter @OliveDragonfly. You can also see more of Bex’s stunning photography on her photography website: Bex Photo.

Florence’s Gift Guide #3

Ok, so today it’s time to tackle the men in your life. I’ll be honest, in that this post has filled me with dread. You guys may think I’m some kind of shopping oracle, but in fact buying for the men in my life is ridiculously difficult for me too! I’ve gone with my gut here – the things I love to buy for the men in my life, young and old, and the things they love to receive. I’ve also included some mens gifts I’ve stumbled upon along the way and thought were genius ideas, so I hope they offer some inspiration for you!

  • Plaid PJ Bottom – GAP. (I also always buy men 100% Wool socks from GAP, perfect for inside walking boots or wells when the snow comes!)
  • The obligatory magazine subscription (to Top Gear in my family’s case) but how about BBC Good food?
  • Scarf – GAP
  • Wool and Cashmere lined leather gloves – Banana Republic
  • If he doesn’t have a DAB digital radio yet, make it a Roberts solar radio from The Handpicked Collection. It covers everything from football on Radio 5 Live to The Archers, the shipping forecast to The Live Lounge! 😉
  • Olympics fanatic? How about this cord bracelet make especially for London 2012 at Links of London.
  • They were everywhere last year but really have been one of the best gifts I ever bought Pete. Bring out the big kid in him, whatever his age, with a remote controlled helicopter – a selection can be found on Amazon.co.uk

So have I helped at all with your dilemmas?

Please drop a comment in the box below to tell me if you have found something here, or if you have a recommendation to make for a mens gift your loved ones have enjoyed…

Love,
Rebecca
xo

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