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Monday 16 December 2013

Gift Guide for that cute little baby or that crazy toddler of yours!

This is the third post on this series (woophoo I am doing quite well having not posted for months before that!!).
So here is a two part gift guide that might give you some last minute idea for you baby or toddler.  I am fully aware that I am biased here having had a boy last all my ideas seem to be geared more towards boys' pressies rather than girls'. But I am sure you will forgive me:)
Here we go:

1. I used to have a wee Fisher Price wooden dog when I was young and loved him. This dachshund is perfectly cute for a wee baby.
2. How can you go wrong with this colourful shape sorter? E loved his when he was younger, he sometimes still plays with it and proudly looks at me as he can sort the shapes out in no time:)
3. This is awesome classic from Fisher Price. The vintage version is much better than the new one as it operates like an music box. We bought one last year for Christmas on Ebay and when it arrived it was working but was very slow. A found this crazy step by step tutorial on how to restore it and now it sounds really good. E loves it!
4. Cute puzzle, can't have too many.
5. I love cuddly toys and this raccoon is really sweet.
6. I have actually bought this book for E's Christmas. I love the illustration and I am sure both babies and toddler would love this colourful book.

1. A cool wooden garage/car park will amuse boys for hours.
2. I love love love this mini piano, somehow it reminds me of Charlie Brown even though isn't a mini grand piano:)
3. Super funny hand tattoos
4. For a rock and roll vibe a really funky ukulele will be the best pressie ever, E has a red one but I do love this one in green.
5. A classic London bus, it might not park in the car park but it is so pretty!
6. E and I have been playing a memory game and oh my that boy is good, he beats me hand down every time!! I love this one with its super cute wild animals:)

Monday 2 December 2013

Gift guide for Him

So after the last post about what we, well I might like, I thought it would be a good idea to do a post about what our lovely gentlemen might like.

1. This wee speaker is amazing. It is small and easily moved from one room to another. It is wireless but comes with a cable if you need to recharge it and it has bluetooth so again no need to plug in anything. The sound is really good as well. I bought for £49 on amazon but it's now up at £99 - something I don't get with amazon prices constantly change!! A loves his as he is always listening to podcast while cooking.

2. A few weeks back A and I bought Adrien Tomine's Scenes from a impending marriage in a second hand book sell for £1! We had a good laugh over as we are getting married next year there were lots of scenes we could relate to. A already owned Shortcomings but the reviews for Sleepwalk seem really good so it is one that both of us would enjoy.

3. A actually suggested that one he particularly liked the fact that both Keith Richards and Johnny Depp spoke on this audio book.

4. This stand is beautifully simple. It comes in different wood but I like the black walnut.

5. This is a really cute gadget. Projecteo is a tiny Instagram projector. You select your favorite Instagram photos to be printed on the mini wheel and that's you, you've got your very own mini slideshow at home.

6. A loves  Graniph's  t-shirt but after looking on their website I really like their knitwear too. This bike jumper is pretty cool. It also comes with a skateboard which I really too.

There you are! Gone are the days of rubbish presents for our lovely boys at Christmas:)

Saturday 30 November 2013

Christmas Gift guide for Me oops Her:)

Tomorrow is the 1st December and I am so excited: I LOVE Christmas...funnily enough not for the presents, but for everything else the decoration, the food, the drinks, the time spent with family and friends. However, the gifts are a nice plus and I always enjoy reading gifts guides on other blogs so here my take on also means that I am subtly telling my family what I would like:)

I love origins and there are a few products I need/want. One of them being the Ginzing mascara. I also love their coral blusher. I went to the Origins stand in Debenham's a few months back and the girl there was great - midly over the top with her compliments but great nonetheless - she did my make up as I was looking for a new foundation and used a coral blusher and lip gloss on me. She picked a shade I would have never chosen myself and I was totally amazed. It looked really nice on.

I have been following Mini Eco's blog for a while now. I love everything she makes so I was pretty excited about her book coming out. Last year Allen and I used her template to make our own Christmas crackers and it was very straightforward so I am sure this book will have tons of doable projects to keep me busy!

How nice is this calendar? For the last few years I have been wanting to buy the Stendig calendar but always felt it was too dear.It is also pretty big and I was never too sure where it would go. This one is the perfect size and looks amazing. You can buy it from Coco Lapine's shop on the Big Cartel.


This cute Jonathan Adler's tortoise...Actually let's just rewrite this and say anything from Adler's collection I would be happy with...I know it is never going to happen as they are pretty expensive but you never know!

I am a sucker for a succulent...and I love these mini terrarium they are so cute...unfortunately this etsy shop does not ship to the UK...not happy:(

Beautiful phone cover from A skulk of Foxes

Cute necklace from an Etsy shop called Apple Latte. There are quite a few necklaces I have eying on etsy many good designers!!

Well voilà my list of things I would like. It might give you ideas of what to get your loved ones as well. I would also check Door Sixteen post on gifts from local and independent artists as well as Creature Comfort's one with her list of top Etsy seller. You can also follow me on Pinterest I have a christmas board with all the items I have been eying up lately.

Top photo from Sarah Louise Matthews

Thursday 19 September 2013

Dining Room Inspiration

Sorry it has been so long since I last posted. I was full of good intentions and was planning on doing a post a week but the summer holiday started and my whole routine was changed. We went on holiday to France for 3 weeks andwe had a fantastic time but it meant that I was completely distracted from my blog:(( oups!! Nevermind I am back now and hopefully will keep posting regularly.

Anyway, I am super excited about next week. A guy is coming to sand the floor in the dining room and I can't wait. At the moment it is carpeted and it looks pretty dire. If you can't remember what it looks like here is a reminder:

This is my idea of hell: weird colour carpet, check; dogdy fireplace, check; thick heavy horrid colour curtain, check, tons of different kind of wood: check. This photo was taken before we moved in so thankfully all the furniture has now gone.
I have been painting the walls and did a fireplace makeover so I am very excited that the carpet is going and we will have floors that we can mop and brush!!!

After that it is all going to be about decorating, how exciting! I have a few photos I have been saving in my pinterest board. I do like the black and white interior but think I need some colour.

from a blog I always go to for inspiration: door sixteen
 I really like the painting in this one just adds a pop of colour. We have the same table as these pictures
found on this blog but I don't know the actual source:(
 Although I am not a big fan of the table itself I like the pops of colour against the grey wall.

from the graham and green catalog
Will keep you posted once we have made a bit more progress!

Thursday 20 June 2013

Birthday Giirrrrllll!

My lovely daughter turned 12 last week. 12!!!! It's crazy how fast time flies. I can remember cuddling her when she was a newborn baby like it was yesterday! Zoë was 3lbs15 (1kg786) when she was born, she just looked like a tiny doll but looking at her now you wouldn't know!


To celebrate her 12th birthday Zoë, being the laid back kid that she is, asked for a piñata cake. That's right a piñata cake!! I said "Of course my Highness I shall get to it straight away"....well kinda I had to do a bit of research and found a few blogs of piñata cake attempts, disasters and successes. This is one stood out so I decided to go for it. I didn't use the same recipes as A Subtle Revelry did as I didn't want to chance it and try a new recipe and then it doesn't work (although her cake and butter cream look delicious so I might give it another when I am under less pressure from my Highness) so I stuck with tried and tested recipes I knew tasted yummy.

First I bake two rounds hot milk cake from the Miette cookbook. If you have never heard of Miette I highly recommend their book. Miette is a beautiful bakery in San Francisco and I have been begging Allen to go and try their cakes on my behalf every time he is there but he supposedly never has time:((  The recipes are a bit more advanced than box standard ones but all the cakes I have made from this book so far have turned out beyond amazing.
I made sure i weighed the batter and divide into two equal ones as I really wanted my cakes to be the exact same. I used a mould I had bought in Ikea. I have to say as much as I love Ikea it wasn't the best of mould, even with tons of butter and flour the cake stuck a bit and was difficult to unmould. Once they were nice and cool I carved out a circle in each of the cakes.

 I filled one of the cakes with sweets. and then I put some vanilla buttercream on the edge of both cakes. and assembled them together so that it looks like a dome.

Once that was done I did a first crumb coat with the buttercream. Once again I used one from the Miette book as it's light and not sickly. By that point I was caked out so I was glad that thing was going in the fridge for an hour!

Elliott 'helped' me throughout the hole assembling stage and was high on sugar by the end of it. I have a series of photos of him grinning next the cake. You can tell form his eyes all he wants to do is grab the whole thing and shuve it into his mouth:)

I ended up giving it three coats of buttercream and I think it could have done with four for a smoother finish but by that point I was over it!
However it was all worth and Zoë and her friends watch me cut through her cake. They couldn't believe it was filled with sweeties!! That totally made it all worthwhile. And then they stuffed their cute little faces on cake and sweets, had tons of coca and were completely hyper for the rest of the afternoon....

Sunday 26 May 2013

Summer Wardrobe

Finally the sun is out!! Although in Scotland we never now for how long. Nevertheless, I am already in summer mode. I love long evenings and afternoons in the park having picnics. We did have a picnic a few weeks back with Elliott and he loved it. He was just so happy, that's all he talked about for the next week or so.

Now the sun is making an appearance I am starting to get my summer items out of my wardrobe. Last year I decided to invest in a few key items that I knew i would be able to team up with pretty much anything in my wardrobe. One of these items was a light denim jacket from Zara. I love it! Here's an example of y perfect summer outfit - cute dress, denim jacket and nude gladiator shoes. What's your perfect summer wardrobe?

1. Cute bike dress from Anthropologie (sold out) but this one is another cute one.
2. Denim Jacket - Zara
3. Triangle necklace - Urban Outfitters
4. Eila nude gladiators - Shoemint . Clarks has a pair I like as well.

Et voilà....

Saturday 11 May 2013

Our favorite books

 I am going to try to make this a regular feature ( I know I haven't posted in ages but things have been a bit chaotic at home lately!).
We LOOOOVE books in our house, especially kids' books. Zoe loves reading. She could read an adult size book in an evening if we let her...On the opposite spectrum I haven't read a proper book in years. I get far too involved in the book and end up forgetting everyone and everything else and next thing you know there are no clean dishes, no clean clothes and everyone is eating beans on toast because I forgot to cook or even buy food:(
Elliott enjoys being read stories and asks for three books to be read every night before he goes to bed.
This post is just about books we have enjoyed reading with the kids. I think Zoe will do her own post on books she has enjoyed- it will be on her blog.  I will post the link here once she gets round to it.
The first part of this series is books we've loved to read to Elliott and Zoe when they were babies, they are definitely some old time favourites in there and others that were new to us when Elliott came along:
 1. I am a sucker for good illustration and bought this one mainly for that but I still love the story of the dog wanting to eat a pie.
2. Cute French book about a teddy who lost his teddy. The twist at the end is good:)
3. A classic. Both Zoe and Elliott loved this book and so did we:)
4. Again awesome illustration. This book is part of a series to introduce babies to classics! How cool does the Sherlock Holmes one look!
5. Another classic. I do like interactive book for babies, lots of action things to do with the page etc. That one Elliott decided to show the caterpillar how it's done and actually chewed most of the book:(
6. Elliot got a set as for his first Christmas from nursery and he loved them. Perfect for babies, repetitive with some touching action, love it!
7. Another classic we loved reading this to the kids as babies.

There are so many other books that we loved but what about you guys? What are your favourite baby books?

Thursday 25 April 2013

Project I am bored! Part 2

It took a few weeks to get to this stage!
Following the book I was lent to the letter I attempted to tie these springs. Oh my god, it was farcical! It telles you to use your forearm to push the springs down as you are attempting to tie them. Everytime I tried they kept popping back up I would get it in the face etc. So I gave up then came this guy on youtube. He made it look effortless well it wasn't... I tried my best and this is what I ended with ( I did get fed up half way through and ended up making my own version)

It isn't perfect but at the same time I was quite proud. Now I wish I had followed this blog post from the start! It is so clear and detailed it would have my life a lot easier. But by that point as you can see I had stapled the hell out of that chair and wasn't too keen on removing them all not because I am lazy but because I was worried it would weaken the fabric of the chair! Anyway it really should have looked like this picture but hey nobody's perfect!
Design Sponge
By that point I had vowed that will follow their instructions to the letter... until I got bored again:)

The next step is to cover the spring with burlap and my chair looked like this:

After that I used spray adhesive to glue some strips of burlap onto the foam, this would make it easier to staple the whole thing to the chair. I never used edge roll like they recommend in the blog simply because I didn''t have any!

It really started to feel good, the chair was taking shape, Zoe even had a good and sat on it. She said it was comfy but for me all I can see if that back spring being slightly higher than the others!!!
After that you cover the whole thing with Dacron (such a weird word! can never remember it). It smoothes out your seat and kind of get rid of imperfections.

Voilà:) Next step is to staple the fabric and make the double welted cord  - not too sure how this is going to turn out my sewing skills are pretty rubbish but we will see...
You also got a sneak peak at the fabric I am going to use as I was too eager to see what it would look like and already stapled it to the back of the chair!

Tips for projects like this:

  • research what tools you will need before your start- I really like this site
  • try to get the correct accessories you need - my cord for the springs wasn't very good at all and I don't think helped me in the long run also my bog standard staple gun wasn't great for hard to reach places and was quite painful to use. Now I dream of this bad boy...
  • Set enough time aside to do this without rushing

Thursday 11 April 2013

Print Envy

undo by Clare Elsa Esser

Small post today about a few things I have on my constantly growing wish list.
I have always loved illustrations but lately I have been trying to look at other type of 'art' we could have in the house.
Here's a small selection of posters I have been wanting for a while as well as some other pieces that  I really like. I don't know anything about art but I tend to be attracted to abstract. What does that say about me? Not sure:)

Cat Girl

Saturday 6 April 2013

Project I am bored! Part 1

I bought this chair about 10 years ago in France. We've never been able to use it as the legs were broken and the seat was completely wonky! I always said at some point I will attempt to re-upholster it but could never be bothered and wasn't too sure where to start.
After having read a few posts about re-upholtering (little green notebook is great for how to staple the fabric properly and this blog too if like me you have a chair with springs) I decided I should really have a go - worst case scenario I make it worse - if that's possible.

Saturday 30 March 2013

Fresh Start- Zoe's bedroom update

As I had already mentioned here Zoë's bedroom was a mess. Our priority when we got the keys was to make the bedrooms habitable first and then we would deal with the rest once we had moved.  The room had been painted green and it took about four coats to finally get it white.

My friend Lucy, who had very kindly volunteered to help me, and I thought we would never get rid of that green! Every time the white coat dried the green came back up, I dreamed of green for about three days after that!!
Once the room was all whire, it really made a big difference. There is something so lovely about a freshly painted bedroom, especially in white, it is so fresh and clean.

Thursday 21 March 2013


Easter is fast approaching and I love what it represents for me: Spring, holidays, some time with my family and chocolate:)
Talking about chocolate I have been looking at the best Easter eggs available out there.
First is a selection that's clearly for adults (might have a look at kids' options later):

From the top clockwise:
Pierre Hermé -Dar chocolate egg with different pebbles with Hermé's signature flavours
Ladurée - Treasure Egg: dark chocolate egg with a macaroon pyramide in the centre
Artisan du Chocolat  -  Beautiful Columbian Jungle Egg
Pierre Marcolini -  Mini chocolate egg selection

Easter wouldn't be complete without some kind of baking project. Here are a few that i have caught my eyes when I was researching Easter eggs.

A beautiful chocolate mousse filled egg recipe by OUR KITCHEN

 DIY Speckled Egg Cake by The Cake Blog

Easter Bunny Macarons by Raspberri Cupcake

 Cute tutorial by Present&Correct via Poppytalk

Friday 15 March 2013

High Tea

The other week I invited my mum, my mother-in-law and my Zozo for High Tea. It was a pre-Mother Day's treat as my mum was over from France. I took them to the Hidden Lane Tearoom as I knew they would all love it. For me it represents everything I adore: cute mix and match vintage tea set, beautiful cakes, amazing selection of tea and just a friendly relaxed atmosphere. It just feels cosy and perfect for a Sunday afternoon.

On that particular day we decided to have the High Tea. We only ordered two for the four of us as we felt it would probably be enough. And it was perfect. There was plenty to eat and everything was delicious. We were completely full by the end of the afternoon:)

  Some beautiful scones, yum:)

 Last time I went was with two very pretty ladies! It was so nice to catch up over a good slice of cake:)

 I do love a vintage tea cup!

There is even old vintage board games if you want to have a wee game with your friends! 

Sunday 10 March 2013

Zoë's Bedroom

When we moved into our new house, Zoë's bedroom was probably the worst room out of the lot and was our priority. All the other rooms were liveable, hers was pretty bad. There was a section of carpet missing, the walls were really dirty and it just looked horrendous. It was green, very green: green curtains, green walls, green carpet. Green used to be my favourite colour before we moved here, now I am not so sure! Sometimes I wonder if the landlord didn't just buy one big giant 10 litre pot of green paint and randomly painted the house with is literally everywhere!

Thursday 7 March 2013

Mother's Day Gift Ideas

So Mother's Day is round the corner - Sunday 10th March! Although it can be seen as just another commercial event I love the fact that mums are getting a day just for them. We deserve it!!So here are a few things that I have had my eyes on lately! ( Hint Hint...)

1. BoConcept Candlesticks / 2.UO necklace / 3. Oana Befort Lion print / 4. Indeeb Labs Eye Rescue