30 Days No Shopping Challenge

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Stop press: I have decided to join the fabulous Fashion Huntress on the 30 Days No Shopping Challenge. A daunting prospect for someone like me who is prone to a few weekly purchases, but now seems like the ideal time to embark on a challenge like this:

  • We’re in the middle of school holidays and the thought of going shopping with three kids in tow is quite frankly unappealing.
  • I definitely don’t need any more summer clothes.
  • I have already bought a few pieces for Autumn/Winter (remember those knits?) and the rest can wait until September/October when I have a better idea of what I need.
  • Hopefully it will save me some money that I can put towards my A/W wardrobe!

So, if any of you want to join me on the challenge, the rules are pretty simple: No shopping, unless it is for essentials, for one month.

Things that qualify as essentials in my book:

  • Groceries
  • Basic toiletries such as shampoo, toothpaste and deodorant. Frivolous items like make-up, perfume and hairstyling products are not included (no matter how cute the packaging or how many enthusing reviews of said item by my favourite beauty bloggers)
  • Things for the kids, such as school uniforms and other essentials (e.g new shoes, underwear etc). It does not include the sparkly pink magazines that Clemmie is seemingly addicted too (she is her mother’s girl that’s for sure!) or more Rainbow Loom bands for the boys.
  • Our holiday will take place during these 30 days so obviously there will be extra spending such as entry to theme parks, ice creams, eating out etc which I will also include as essentials. I think it is OK to spend money on things that count as experiences but not on useless tat to bring home.

What do you think? Will I be able to stick to it? And, more importantly, will you join me?

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Currently Coveting #26: Alex Monroe Dragonfly Necklace

Alex Monroe Dragonfly

I absolutely love this dragonfly necklace in silver by Alex Monroe. It is the perfect whimsical, yet sophisticated, jewel to set off a summer outfit, whether casual or glam. Renowned for his irresistible nature-inspired pieces, the British jewellery designer’s collection also features bunnies, foxes, feathers and, of course, the iconic bumblebee. The latter is almost too life-like for my liking so I prefer the more ethereal dragonfly motif. I don’t often buy expensive jewellery (ie not costume jewellery) for myself but I may have to make an exception for this one…

Alex Monroe’s jewellery collection is available from Liberty

A Nice Day for a White Wedding

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They say that a change is as good as a rest and I certainly feel refreshed after our weekend mini break in Cambridge. We were only away for one night but the change of scenery and some quality family time did us the world of good. On Saturday we attended my husband’s cousin’s wedding, held at one the many colleges of Cambridge University. Glorious weather, a stunning setting, beautiful ceremony, good food and wine all did their part to ensure that it was a great day. And I was a very proud mummy indeed after many of the guests complimented my children’s good behaviour (it’s nice to know that they can do it even if I don’t always see that side at home!). It was their first wedding and they all did very well to sit still at the ceremony in the chapel and during the speeches. My eldest was happily chatting away to the guests at the dinner, impressing them with his knowledge of Henry VIII and all his wives.

The only downside was the sleeping arrangements. We had a family room in the hotel where we stayed, with one double bed and two singles. After the requisite arguments about who should be sleeping where, we ended up playing musical beds for much of the night and I don’t think anyone woke up in the same bed they went to sleep in. On Sunday we strolled around Cambridge, taking in the sites, along with the sea of other tourists, and stopping for ice cream at one of the many cafes. We decided against punting on the river as my husband was feeling rather delicate from the previous night’s excesses!

Now we’re back home with just over a week to go until our main holiday. Hope you’ve had a good start to the week. X

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{The boys looking handsome in their new suits.}

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{Clemmie looking cute in the stunning grounds of Trinity College.}

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{A cheeky selfie in the chapel}

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{I love the little touches that the couple did to personalise their wedding such as using second hand books as place settings.}

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{Kings College in the centre of Cambridge}

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{Bicycles and beautiful old buildings were everywhere.}

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{We will leave the punting for next time!}

Five on Friday

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{It’s mine! I finally got my hands on the Marc Jacobs Daisy Dream perfume – it smells so lovely and the bottle looks fab too.}

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{Another great purchase was the ‘family size’ paddling pool we bought this week. Hours of fun in the garden and keeps the kids cool in this hot weather.}

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{Long sunny days and evenings really are a balm to the soul. Last night I ate my dinner outside with a book for company while the rest of the family were glued to the Commonwealth Games on the TV.}

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{When my parents moved house they gave us their lovingly cultivated tomato plants. This week the tomatoes were finally ripe enough to eat and I have to say that they taste so much nicer than the ones from the supermarket.}

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{All packed and ready to go! We’re off to a wedding in Cambridge tomorrow so tonight has been spent getting all our finery ready. Dress from Asos (bought for Clemmie’s Christening three years ago), shoes and fascinator from John Lewis and clutch by Mulberry.}

Hope you have a fantastic weekend! X

 

School’s Out For Summer!

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{Woohoo! Finally the summer holiday is here and we celebrated by buying a family sized paddling pool! Still in its box so no pictures yet but planning to get it out tomorrow}

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{Who’s ready for sun, sea and ice cream? I really hope the glorious weather stays put for our holiday in two weeks’ time.}

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{No need to call social services, I won’t go quite that far but it will be nice to take a more relaxed approach for a few weeks!}

Three hundred posts!

This is my 300th post on A Spoonful of Style and I had wanted it to be something special but lack of time and inspiration means that a quick update will have to suffice. It is a struggle to keep up with the blog at the moment but I hope you will agree that something is better than nothing! This week (and last) has been a whirlwind of leavers assemblies, teacher presentations and class parties, and to top it all off Clemmie has not been very well. She developed a temperature and scaly rash at the end of last week – the doctor put it down to a virus so I guess we just have to wait it out. Tomorrow is finally the last day of school and I’m looking forward to no school run, homework or after school activities for five and a half weeks, although I’m sure that by end of August I will be counting down the days until they go back.

A quick update on life lately:

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{The spa day was just as fun and relaxing as I had hoped it would be. There was a no phone policy inside the building but I managed to snap a quick pic of the traditional phone box in the garden that one could use to order drinks.}

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{Which of course we did! After swimming, steam room and facials/massages we were in need of some prosecco.}

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{On Sunday we celebrated my in-laws’ wedding anniversary in their beautiful garden. The glorious weather is still here and looks set to last for at least another week. I don’t want to complain but the afternoons are a bit stifling so a paddling pool is next on my shopping list!}

 

 

 

Five on Friday

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{Some new beauty purchases – as usual every product ran out at the same time! I love my new nail polish by Essie in Cute as a Button.}

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{Daddy took Clemmie to the golf course this week (and got her dressed – note winter boots and inside-out skirt!). Soon I will be the only non-golfer in the family.}

Carmen Edge Clutch

{OK, so I don’t really need any more bags but this Carmen Edge clutch by Becksondergaard was too cute to pass up.}

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{Nothing like a bit of me time with a latte and the latest copy of Vogue.}

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{Except maybe packing for my spa day with the girls tomorrow. A whole day of doing nothing but relaxing – I can’t wait!}

Hope you have a fantastic weekend! X

New Knits

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{Misty Trapeze Knit and Colour Block Rib Knit - both from Whistles}

With most of the UK basking in a heatwave and temperatures set to soar to 30 degrees, what on earth am I doing buying knitwear?

Fear not, I assure you there is method in my madness. I know from previous experience that I will spend  most of this year’s clothing budget on Autumn/Winter pieces as knitwear, coats and heavy boots tend to be more expensive than shorts, sandals and cotton dresses. Also quality, in my opinion, is paramount when it comes to these items – a cheaper, synthetic jumper may look appealing on the hanger but give it ten washes and I can almost guarantee that the initial allure will begin to fade.

So, this is where the summer sales come in. If you can force yourself to think about the darker, colder months that lie ahead, it is the ideal time to invest in some quality pieces at a fraction of the original price. Both these Whistles jumpers were reduced from over £100 each to £35. Hopefully they will stay hidden in my wardrobe for a good few months, but come mid-November, I will be thankful for my forward planning.

Next on my list are a pair of classic biker boots as my old pair have literally been worn to death.

What do you buy in the sales? Do you think ahead to the next season or do you prefer to concentrate on the here and now?

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Raspberry Jam Biscuits

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These biscuits are a real favourite of mine. In Swedish they’re called Hallongrottor which translates to ‘raspberry caves’ and they remind me a bit of jammy dodgers although they’re much nicer than the shop bought ones. They also freeze really well so I like to whip up a big batch and keep for impromptu coffee mornings.

Ingredients:

200g butter at room temperature

100ml caster sugar

1tbsp vanilla essence

450ml plain flour

1tsp baking powder

150ml raspberry jam

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Method:

1. Preheat the oven to 175 degrees

2. Stir together the butter, sugar and vanilla until smooth and light. Mix the flour with the baking powder in a separate bowl before working in to the dough.

3. Divide the dough into 20 pieces of equal size and roll into round balls. Place in muffin cases and, using your finger, make a small indentation in the middle.

4. Fill the indentations with raspberry jam and bake in the oven for 12-14 minutes.

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A Weekend of Two Halves

Saturday: Hampton Court Flower Show in soaring temperatures.

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{I didn’t buy any plants but I did manage to find a hat!}

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{A seafood platter and a glass of chilled rose hit just the right spot}

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{So many lovely flower displays to admire. From rustic country gardens…}

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{..to the more exotic orchids.}

Sunday: The final installment of Clemmie’s birthday celebrations, a garden party with grandparents and a few friends. Again we were very lucky with the weather.

Present opening

{More presents to open.}

Boys party

{My lovely boys spent most of the time playing football and badminton with their friends.}

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{Clemmie in her new dress from No Added Sugar.}

Party 3

{A very tired girl at the end of the day!}