Boring walls: a problem and a solution!

Happy Sunday one and all, how are you all? I’m away this weekend in the stunningly beautiful Peak District with the family so hopefully I’m having a whale of a time. I will obviously update you all as soon as possible upon my return to London – you lucky lucky things! Anyway back to today’s post, let’s talk about art. For a while now I’ve been wanting to do something more interesting with my bedroom walls as they feel a little bit unloved. Don’t get me wrong they’re not bare, I do have stuff on them, lovely stuff in fact – but it’s all a bit higgledy-piggledy and things have been put up without thought. So this needs work.

I just wasn’t sure what to do until I saw a recent post by Will at Bright Bazaar’s recent, which got me all excited. As a gallery wall is most definitely the answer to my boring bedroom wall problem. The only problem is that I only have a couple of pictures in my room  – this one and a landscape picture of the wonderful Moreaki Boulders in New Zealand. So what I need are a few more frames to work with, so of course that means I’m on the lookout for some gorgeous works of art! Current faves are below and weirdly I seem to have headed towards brilliant quotes (let’s be honest we knew there’d be a Potter one in there somewhere didn’t we) and skylines/maps. Not sure what that’s all about but I must find both things fairly inspiring, which to be fair isn’t the worst idea for my bedroom wall. Surely waking up to lovely inspirational quotes is a good plan – won’t it just mean I’m taking the inspiring words to heart and doing more? Who knows! But maybe I should buy all of the below and see!

Wall inspiration

Dr Seuss quote / Albus Dumbledore quote / Bookshelf picture / Edinburgh Skyline / Always Remember / Life is too short / Hope quote / World Map / London Skyline

What’s your favourite quote and would you ever pop it on your wall? Any suggestions about what I should be adding to my wall, all ideas/suggestions/thoughts welcome. I’m clearly in dire need of help!

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My Debenhams dream bedroom

So I love a good competition and I love a bit of window shopping, so when I stumbled across the Debenhams dream bedroom competition I was obviously going to give it a whirl, right?! So over the weekend I spent a couple of hours snuggled up under my cover on the sofa with a cup of mint hot chocolate and my laptop and went window shopping for my dream bedroom. The below are my top picks, as you can see it’s all about the vintage and shabby chic with a lot of emphasis on the snuggling up. We’re heading into the winter so that seemed logical to me plus I just couldn’t say no to the animal printed cushions, clearly that’s my achilles heel!
My Debenhams Dream Bedroom

So let me take you through my choices. First up we have a gorgeous white metal bed frame (1), I love this so much. It would look absolutely perfect with a stupid number of multi-coloured fairy lights wound around the metal bars and then with my many colourful scarves hanging off the bottom of it. So it would have multiple purposes and also look pretty, I’m a genius I know! On the bed I’d have to have beautiful flowery bedding (3) as it looks totally snuggley. I can imagine lots of lovely days spent snuggled up in that cover over the winter. As soon as I saw the above gorgeous chest of drawers (6) I knew it would go in my dream room as it’s just beautiful, not only the colour but the shape – talk about adoring a piece of furniture. Plus it matches perfectly with my chosen bed linen.

So that’s the big bits of furniture out-of-the-way and now it’s all about the accessories – my favourite bit. The glass jar would sit with another three on top of the chest of drawers to hold all my bits and bobs, everything from jewelery, hair bits, sunglasses, cotton wool et al. Who knows maybe they’d make me more organised? I love a cushion or five, so couldn’t ignore that part of the room – so the pillows above (5 & 8) would be artfully arranged *read thrown haphazardly* on the bed and whilst I know they don’t ‘go’ perfectly with the rest of the ‘look’ I’d have no choice as they just cheer me up so have to be part of the room! I mean hello glittery moose and cute dog! As for the wall I love these wire birds (9) so they are a must and I love pictures of my family and friends around me so the aged wooden frame is perfect (2). Finally I would need hooks for all my necklaces and coats, so stag head hooks are the final thing that I’d add. So I’d throw in four or five of the ones above (4) and then I think I’m there with my perfect room.
Oh how I wish I could own this room I feel so relaxed just looking at it – let alone being allowed to life in it. Who knows one day! Anyway what would be in your ideal room and what feel would it have, glossy and glamorous or something more vintagey? I’d love to know.

Peace, culture and good reads

Smiley_Happy_Things

Hello my little blog readers, how are you this Monday afternoon? I hope your week has started how you would like and long may it continue. Over the last week I had the below things in my world and they really made my week! Somehow they were the beacons of joy interspersed with the bad stuff. What about you, what are the things that really made your last week?

  1. New books – no matter what’s going on in my life new books cheer me up. So having a bit of a spree in Waterstones on Saturday was wonderful, these four books all sounds wonderful so I can’t wait to get stuck in to them all. Hooray.
  2. Half an hour to just do nothing – I was at a conference on Thursday which was fascinating (and apologies if you saw all my tweets about there’s the possibility I got a smidge carried away!). It was also good because it meant I could have a calmer start to my day than usual. Before the conference I managed to slot in forty minutes prior to the conference for a quiet breakfast, pick me up coffee and a read of the latest Simple Things magazine. It really was wonderful.
  3. Shakespeare how it ought to be viewed – I was lucky enough to watch Macbeth being performed at The Globe on Tuesday last week and it was phenomenally good. I really cannot explain how brilliantly good it was. The actors were all amazing and the director and staging team had done a phenomenally good job at making it even more brilliant – I highly recommend it.
  4. Baking – I’ve baked quite a lot of stuff this week (pinwheels, oat and banana bites and triple chocolate cookies) and it’s often the best medicine for a bad day or a moment of crazy. Plus all the things I made were scrumptious, which always helps!
  5. Supportive people – Last on the list but most definitely not last in my eyes as they have been so wonderfully great this week. Everyone in my life has been amazing this week, both friends and family. Many of them have gone above and beyond on the support and kind words and really have made me so much more confident, happy and able to make a big decision which now it’s made I fell 100% better than I did before. I promise that as soon as I can explain more I will, but its super top-secret at the moment – annoying blogger moment I know.

Wow I’m actually quite surprised! aka September’s budget

Happy September budget day everyone – how are you all? Welcome to the latest addition of budget blogging where somehow I managed to have a good month! Once you’ve picked yourself up off the floor in shock, we can continue! I honestly felt like I had a dreadful clothes month so I’m frankly quite shocked by this amazing piece of news! I don’t know how this happened to be honest, I think it helped that I got given a lot of clothes as gifts this month and that I was on holiday for a week, but even so I feel like I’ve spent loads, perhaps I’ve miscalculated and actually missed off a few things – it is possible I suppose…
Anyway the verdict is that I’ve spent £92.75 in total and I actually earned £30 (selling shoes and other items on eBay), so in the end I only spent £62.75. Which is like 50% less than I said I would – wowzers. Big pat on the back to me then. So enough about the money, let’s get to the good stuff, what I actually bought!
September budget 1

1. Always Skinny Jeans, Gap, £30 (price with 25% off code) – I can’t seem to say no to Gap at the moment so when there was a 25% off code AND free delivery on the site I was all over it! I love my current skinnies so I thought some new ones were in order. These aren’t quite as comfy as the ones I already worn (maybe because I need to wear them in…) but they look great on and will be perfect with boots this winter.

 

2. Shorts, Fat Face, £29 (price with £6 off) – These shorts were an impulse buy at the airport before my flight to Portugal as I frankly just needed some shorts for the trip. I didn’t have any shorts that fitted so these were a lifesaver – they’re super comfy, finish below my fat thighs and were worn pretty much the entire trip. so essentially I’ve already worn them enough to justify it!

 

3. Ugg Boots, Free! – My lovely Mum and sis came back from Australia earlier this month so I was gifted lots of lovely things – the first ones were these gorgeous boots. I did specify that these were the ones I wanted, but I didn’t expect them to get me the ‘proper’ ones, they are just to kind. These boots fit perfectly and are so comfy. I’m definitely going to be wearing these a lot over the next few months!

 

4. Slobbing Trousers, Cotton On, Free! – These trousers are amazing, so comfy and perfect for slobbing round the house or popping out to the shop in. Yet another item from the Australia trip peeps, aren’t they kind.


september budget 2

5. Heather grey v-neck Tshirt, Gap, £7.50 (price with 25% off code) – I’ve been living in my bright pink version of this so I jumped at the chance to get more when the latest Gap sale occurred. Since it arrived I’ve worn it constantly with a succession of bright necklaces and my skinnies. Definitely a top that is super simple and easy to pull off but that looks more exciting for the effort you’ve put in!

6. Dotty Dress, Cotton On, Free! – This dress was picked up by the relatives on their Aussie trip and I absolutely love it. It’s just so me and again easy to wear and it looks more special than the effort I put into it. I think this dress proves my family know me so well as I would totally buy this had I been out in Oz and people at work assumed I’d had it for ages as it was just so me. That makes me smile!

7. White v-neck Tshirt, Gap, £7.50 (price with 25% off code) – A white version of the heather grey t and another wardrobe essential – you’ve gotta love a Gap basic.

8. Pointelle Sweater, Gap, £18.75 (price with 25% off code) – This was a total impulse buy in the Gap sale. I couldn’t say no when I saw it as I liked the pattern and I adored the cobalt blue colour and I’m just so glad it fitted perfectly when it arrived. A perfect jumper for this Autumn, I can’t wait to get wearing in on a weekly basis!

So there we have it my monthly budget, not something that will set the world on fire I know but definitely a set of essentials that I’ll wear constantly for the next few months and I saved myself a bundle too – woop woop! What about you, how did your budget fare this month? Was it a good or bad budget month?

Oh and of course as per usual I’m linking up with Franish and the rest of the lovely budgeting bloggers.

Wise Words #1 – Ralph Waldo Emerson

RWE_pic_quote

Greetings chumlets, how are you all today? I wanted to share this lovely image (humble aren’t I!) that I created using the wondrous site that is PicMonkey. Can I just say this site is totally revolutionising my life right now. I’m having such fun using it! Check out my first image over on the latest ‘Smiley Happy Things’ post, as you can tell I was inspired by a school chalkboard! Anyway whilst playing around I created the above image using one of my photos from a recent Portugal trip. I’m quite proud of it to be honest!

Anyway back to the actual sentiment behind the above image. I stumbled across this Ralph Waldo Emerson quote last weekend and it really made sense to me and captured exactly what I’ve been trying to channel recently. I like the idea of putting the past behind you at the end of the day and just focusing on the positives before starting the new day with optimism and enthusiasm. After all optimism and a positive outlook never killed anyone and looking on the bright side of things can’t hurt anyone. This quote also reminds me a little of the sentiments in The Silver Linings Playbook, which is about there always being a positive side to things, no matter how small. So really I just wanted to share this image with you as a reminder that we should take each day as it comes, face it with enthusiasm, give our all and then at the end of the day put the bad bits behind us and learn not to dwell on things.

Phew, that’s a lot of waffle for one day, especially for a Friday! Go forth and enjoy your last day of this work week and have an epic two-day weekend, huzzah!

Coogee to Bondi Coastwalk, Australia – Travel Tuesday

Afternoon lovely blog readers, I hope you’re having a fruitful day full of lots of lovely things and if it’s been a bit rubbish so far, it’ll get better soon I’m sure. If it doesn’t improve by tonight then I would prescribe hot chocolate and digestive biscuits – always a winner in my book!
Anyway back to today’s Travel Tuesday link up with A Compass Rose and Found Love, Now What? Today’s travel post takes me to one of my favourite countries: Australia. I’m lucky to have been to Aus a few times, one of the perks of having family dotted all over the east coast I guess, but today we’re jumping into the TARDIS and revisiting my last trip there, back in April 2012.
I spent the majority of last year’s trip visiting family, but we also managed to visit one new place – the beaches of Sydney (yeah I can’t believe I’ve not been before either – ridiculous!). Rather than lazing on the beach all day we decided to walk the coastal path between Coogee Beach and Bondi Beach, which is absolutely stunningly beautiful. The walk in its entirety takes about two hours of ambling to complete via the boardwalks that take you via Bronte and Tamarama beaches as well as some lovely green parks and even a cemetery. It really was a lovely way to spend a morning and I highly recommend it for anyone that has a spare day to get out of the city.
Coogee beach
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Coogee Beach from above
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The view from Sesquicentenary Boardwalk
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IMG_1993  IMG_1994The sprawling Waverley Cemetery
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Bronte Beach
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Bondi Beach
A Compass Rose

Brilliant supporters, neon and giggles

Happy Monday you lovely beans, how is the world treating you this fine and furry morning? I don’t know about you but my past week hasn’t been the easiest. I suppose any week post holiday will be tricky but this week has been made infinitely worse thanks to an epic amount of work stress, big life decisions, food that disagreed with me and the stinker of a cold that I’ve STILL not shifted! So yes a bit of a rubbish seven days in all honesty. But let’s not dwell on the bad, this post is meant to be about the good stuff. And thankfully there were some lovely things that made this week so much better. I’m not sure how I’d have handled this week without some beacons of joy mixed in. So this week I’ve been cheered up no end by this week’s…

Smiley_Happy_Things

  • Lovely lunches with brilliant friends – twice last week I was joined by good friends for lunch and it was lovely. Sometimes you just can’t beat a good old gossip.
  • Coffee and catch ups – More lovely friends this time teamed with good coffee. Ideal during a hectic day to just take ten minutes for a good dose of what’s actually important.
  • Someone going above and beyond – Sometimes people do far more than they need to and this week one such lovely person did that for me and whilst we didn’t resolve the problem I am really and truly grateful for that extra bit of love
  • Hysterical laughter  – What can I say that’s one of the best things that can happen. Laughter that turns into hysterics with a good dose of tears!
  • Making a breakthrough on one element of a campaign – That feeling you get when you hit on the idea that solves that one problem you’ve been stuck on for weeks, what joy!
  • Celebrating with family – It was my Dad’s birthday last week and it was a joy to catch up with my family and natter away, giggle a lot and eat scrumptious food. Baked avocado is my new favourite thing.
  • Surprise American sweets – My lovely friend surprised me with dark chocolate peanut m&m’s from a recent trip to NYC. What a star she is, so kind!
  • Appreciation at work – Most work places are a bit rubbish at showing appreciation so it was lovely to get some brilliant feedback this week on one project that appears to be taking over my life – very rewarding and almost worth all the pain
  • Comedy trailer footage – My Thursday was made infinitely better when I watched footage for an upcoming work trailer – the footage just cracked me up.  Sometimes my job is aces.
  • Two more new neon necklaces – no more explanation needed!

Oh why doesn’t money grow on trees?

The above is something that I’m always wondering about as if it did my life would involve far fewer wishlists and have far more cupboards crammed full of stuff. I appreciate it might not make life 100 times better but it would be nice to be able to splurge on some of the lovely things that I see all over the place. Anyway until scientists work out how to make money grow on trees or I win the lottery I’m going to have to settle on multiple wishlists, so I give you my current wishlist of house loveliness.
house stuff I love
house stuff I love #2
1 – ‘Today is the Day’ Mug, £8.50 This mug would make me smile as I sipped my morning coffee from it as I love the positive message. It’s likely to be the complete opposite from what I’m thinking that early in the morning!
2 – Fox Cushion, £9 A fox cushion is surely a must for everyone in the world, right?! And this is one of the cutest and best value ones I’ve seen. This would look so lovely on the new look sofa I’m planning on getting sooner.
3 – ‘Bring me coffee at once’ print, £25 My love for coffee is a recent occurrence, but it’s definitely a full on obsession – so this bright blue print definitely calls to me. One day this will live on my kitchen wall.
4 – Ceramic Owl, £3 Now this doesn’t appear to have any purpose, but its super cute so I need it in my life.
5 – Mini Milk Bottle Vases, £3.50 Something else that’s super cute! I can think of lots of things I’d do with these, from using them as miniature vases and storing bits and bobs to sipping fancy juices out of them on a summer’s day. Cuteness in glass form if you ask me.
6 – Hurricane Lamp, £16 – This lamp is such a lovely shape and would go perfectly in my seaside themed bedroom. I love the colour too.
7- Dotty Crockery, from £1.50 – I don’t need new plates or mugs, my bulging kitchen cupboards are testament to that, but this pastel dotty stuff is cute that I can’t help but want them. Maybe I can justify one or two items though?
8 – Reindeer Throw, £42 – Oh my wow this is amazing! I could definitely enjoy using this in the upcoming winter months. And when I wasn’t using it, it would look rather lovely on my sofa. Reindeers on house stuff is always a win if you ask me.
9 – Cotton Ball String Lights, £36 These lights are lovely and would brighten up any room in my flat, sadly I don’t think I can stretch to over £30 for a type of fairy light.
10 – Alphabet Illuminated Canvas, £14.95 Now this I’m impressed by, only £14.99 and so pretty at the same time. I think my only problem would be choosing a colour!
11- Turquoise Saucepan Set, £8 for a pair Turquoise saucepans would make a nice change from the bog standard silver ones, and I think they’d contrast perfectly with the bright pink walls of my kitchen.
12 – Owl Candle Holder, £21 Expensive for what it is yes, but it’s a cast iron owl candleholder, so what’s not to love?!
13 – Blackboard Charms, £0.95 These are meant to be used as wine glass charms, but I’ve never understood the point of those. Instead I think these would be lovely to label jars of pasta, rice, etc in the kitchen.

Jolly jumpers

It’s probable that by the time you read this lovely blog post about cosy clothing I will be sat on a beach reading a book and (hopefully) sipping a cocktail, so you might thing that a blog post about cosy jumpers is a little absurd. But in my defence it was rather grey and miserable before I got on the plane and if I’m honest I’m bored with the warm weather. Yes I said it, I’m not a fan of the Summer, at least not right now. *runs and hides* I’m fed up of the crazy weather, of sweltering in the office and not being able to enjoy the sunshine. I’m ready to enjoy choosing clothes in the morning without having to worry about what the weather will do. Also in my lazy early morning state I’d much prefer be able to bung on a dress, tights and boots or skirt, jumper and tights than spend fifteen minutes changing three times and then rushing for the bus only to find that my clothes are inappropriate because it’s too hot/sticky/wet/windy/humid [delete as appropriate].
jolly jumpers
1 – £45 from Joy        2 – £22 from Asos           3 – £38 from Oasis
Anyway whilst I’m sunning myself on a beach I thought I’d allow you to see my current jumper wishlist, aren’t they all amazing? I want to own them all and I’m incredibly jealous of the models that get to wear these jumpers for a living – these lucky, lucky people!
Where to start with this luscious list? Well I seem to be having a grey jumper obsession if the first three are anything to go by! But I’m sorry how could you say no to any of them? number one has a unicorn, so enough said, the second features hearts on the elbows, which I believe is freaking genius and the this grey one? Just when you think it couldn’t get any better you see a grey jumper with a leopard print fur collar. A-MAZE-ING. Totes adore this! The other three, surely need no explanation either. We’ve got spots, birds and stripes on these. That’s essentially the holy trinity of jumper designs, yes?  [Also how abouts we just ignore that price tag on jumper number 6 – I meant £116 what the actual hell is that about?!]
So what Autumn lovelies are you lusting over, or is that just me?!

Star Shop #7 – Tiger

It’s been a while since I’ve shared one of my favourite shops with you all, so as today’s Blogtember prompt is to share your favourite shops, I thought it was a good time to talk about Tiger. Tiger is one of those shops that you go into just for a browse and no need to buy anything and you leave twenty minutes later with a whole load of stuff. The products are all really decently priced and there are lots of lovely colourful bits to cheer you up. Whether you need you’re bound to find it in there even if you didn’t know you needed it! I’ve got boxes, utensils, stationery, toys, art supplies, crockery and even food from there in the past and when Christmas comes along I’m always very pleased I have one near by. As it’s absolutely perfect for little treats or stocking stuffers.
Below are some of my current favourite products. They are so cheap that I’m pretty sure I can justify getting everything, yes?
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More lovely stuff from Tiger
*Yes I know this it’s only one shop and also not an online shop at that. So I’m not strictly in line with the prompt BUT I love this shop it’s one of my favourites so I thought I’d share some of the love. Also if I hadn’t you’d have missed out on the joy that is the above set of scales. Travesty I tell you, a travesty!



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