Happy Halloween!

Pumpkin

From all of us to all of you: A Very Happy Halloween!

So Halloween has finally arrived and the excitement is running high in our household. The pumpkins have been carved and we have finished putting up the decorations in preparation for a little tea party for six of the children’s friends which will be followed by trick-or-treating around the neighborhood.

The boys have then requested a ‘scary movie’ so I think we will watch ParaNorman or Aliens in the Attic while they eat some of their sweets. If past years are anything to go by, they’ll each end up with a whole bucket full of candy so I will stash most of it away in the top cupboard to avoid complete sugar overload.

Here are some pictures of our Halloween decorations:

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Bat

Fireplace

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The Beauty Edit: A Touch of Pink

Chanel Blush

If you’re pale skinned like me, then a good blusher is essential to avoid looking washed out in the winter months. So let me introduce a new beauty favourite of mine: Le blush créme de Chanel in shade 64 Inspiration.

The creamy texture glides on beautifully and it’s the perfect shade of cold pink to add that ‘I just went for a walk in the park’ glow to your face. It works equally well for day and night and I can see myself using up this compact well before winter is over.

What’s your staple beauty product? Does it change with the seasons?

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Blonde Ambition

{Two of my favourite hair products for keeping those highlights gleaming: Paul Mitchell 'Blonde'

{Two of my favourite hair products for keeping those highlights gleaming: Paul Mitchell Forever Blonde Dramatic Repair and L’Oreal Professionnel Gloss Protect System in Silver.}

Apart from a rather unfortunate encounter with a bottle of red hair dye in my late teens (my hair was a gorgeous vibrant red for two washes and then a horrible light orange hue for months), I have always been blonde. These days my natural colour is definitely at the mousy end of the spectrum, thus requiring a helping hand from either the sun (unfortunately rarely seen on these shores) or a tinfoil wielding hairdresser to restore it to the shade of blonde I was blessed with as a child.

At the moment my tresses are in dire need of some TLC. I’m almost ashamed to admit it, but I haven’t visited a hairdresser since the end of July (before we went on our summer holiday..) and three months between haircuts is far too long. Part of the reason why I haven’t made that call and booked an appointment is that I just find it such a bore. I’m fine for the first hour or so, having a cup of coffee and reading magazines, but I resent having to give up the two or three hours it takes to have a full head of highlights, cut and blow dry.

But today when an email offering 50% off all colour treatments landed in my inbox, I finally took the plunge and booked an appointment for Friday. I had been toying with the idea of going slightly darker but I think I’m going to stick with my regular colour. Length-wise I’m afraid there’s nothing much to get excited about either as I like my hair to be at least shoulder length so I can tie it up and wear it wavy or straight.

I am tempted by this picture of the always perfectly coiffed Jennifer Aniston, It would mean chopping a few inches off but I suspect my hairdresser will recommend that anyway to get rid of three months of split ends…

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Here are some other inspirational pictures from my Pinterest board Hairstyles:

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This Week’s Favourites

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Wow, two parties in one day! First the Maison Bentley Style Blog Party hosted by the fabulous Kate – such a great idea and I met some lovely bloggers. Thank you so much to everyone who stopped by A Spoonful of Style – I really enjoyed spending time with you all and look forward to following your blogs.

Then, it was time for Casper’s seventh birthday bash, a swimming party for 12 of his friends at our local gym. All the kids were exhausted and high on sugar (should be an impossible combination but believe me it is not!) by the end of it so I think we can safely say it was a huge success.

I’m pretty tired now myself but feeling cosy wrapped up in a blanket on the sofa with candles lit on the mantlepiece as a big storm brews outside. So here’s just a quick recap of the week that once again went by in a flash:

1. On Tuesdays and Fridays when Clemmie doesn’t go to preschool my husband takes the boys to school so we can just chill out at home.

2. I am quickly becoming addicted to the Pumpkin Spice Lattes at Starbucks and looking forward to the Gingerbread Lattes appearing on the menu in the run-up to Christmas.

3. We went shopping for Halloween costumes and Clemmie decided she would rather be a princess than a witch. Fine by me, the only problem is that the costume sheds glitter EVERYWHERE – the floor, the sofa and my clothes are covered in it.

4. This scary zombie (also known as Cameron) had a great time at his school Halloween disco.

5. A birthday party means lots more presents and an insane amount of Lego sets to build. It will keep Casper busy over half term!

6. Halloween is fast approaching and this morning we went to a nearby farm shop to get our pumpkins. We will be hosting a Halloween party for a few friends on Thursday before we go trick or treating around the neighbourhood.

Next week is half term so all the children will be at home but hopefully I should be able to find some time for blogging as well.

Have a great Sunday night. X

Welcome to the Maison Bentley Style Blog Party!

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Welcome to my blog! At A Spoonful of Style you will find posts about
fashion, beauty, interior and recipes, with a healthy dose of family chaos thrown into the mix.

Please help yourself to a glass of champagne, feel free to have a look around and if you leave a comment with your blog URL I’ll be sure to check it out.

Thank you so much for stopping by and a huge thanks to party organiser extraordinaire Kate over at Maison Bentley Style.

Right, I’m off to mingle with some of the other party guests. Cheers! X

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Weekend Photo Challenge: OOTD and Posing :)

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{OOTD: I’m wearing my new (ish) Odd Molly dress and keeping my Autumn resolution of not just reaching for my jeans every day.}

For once I’m actually early (OK then, on time at least) with my Weekend Photo Challenge post. We have had a quiet weekend so far (for a change) and this afternoon my husband has taken the boys off to the golf course, leaving Clemmie and I to relax at home. I have to prepare dinner in a little while but I’ve got time for a quick post. This evening I’m going to the movies with a friend to see the new Woody Allen film, Blue Jasmine. I’m not a huge fan of his but it has got good reviews so fingers crossed it will be a good film. Have any of you seen it?

The second part of this weekend’s challenge was a picture of your child posing. Well, that was easy! When it comes to our family there is no contest: my eldest son has got the posing down to a fine art:

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Sunshine Award – Keep Smiling, Keep Shining!

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The lovely and hugely inspirational Donna over at Donzwebb (if you haven’t yet checked out her blog I urge you to do so now) nominated me for a Sunshine Award almost a week ago. As you can see in my little ‘About Me’ snippet in the sidebar one of my objectives for writing this blog is to hopefully brighten up my readers’ day, so I was over the moon to receive this award!

I’ve only been blogging for a few months but I really love it and am humbled and inspired every day by all the amazing bloggers out there.

Now it’s time to spread the sunshine!

The rules are:

1. Include the Sunshine Award icon in your post
2. Link to the blogger who nominated you
3. Answer 10 questions about yourself
4. Nominate 10 other bloggers to receive the award
5. Link to your nominees and let them know you nominated them.
6. Answer the 10 questions at the bottom and create 10 questions for your nominees to answer.

10 Questions about me:

1. What’s the most difficult thing you’ve ever experienced and how did it change you?

My eldest son being diagnosed with juvenile arthritis at the age of two. Seeing him in horrible pain and unable to walk or even bring a spoon to his mouth was heartbreaking. Eight years on, he still has arthritis although it is managed with medication and there is a small chance he will grow out of it. Having a child with a chronic condition has taught me not to take anything for granted but I am also incredibly grateful for modern medicine and we take part in all the research projects run by the hospital to establish the cause of JIA (and hopefully one day find a cure). Thirty years ago my son would probably have been confined to a wheelchair but today the advances in treatments mean that he can run around, jump and play sports like his peers.

2. What’s the number one thing on your bucket list?

I would love to travel across America (East to West) with my family one day.

3. Why did you start blogging?

I trained as a journalist and while I still do freelance occasionally I was looking for another creative outlet for my writing. I started writing for a website called Mummy’s Own just over a year ago and then eventually plucked up the courage to start my own blog.

4. If you could witness any historical moment, which would you choose?

I’m re-reading The Great Gatsby at the moment and I would love to be transported back to the 1920s – such a glamorous and decadent time in history.

5. If you could meet one person in the world who would it be and why?

It’s not just one person but it would be really awesome to meet some of the friends I’ve made in the blogging world in real life one day, over a cup of coffee or glass of wine.

6. What sound do you absolutely love?

The sound of my three children laughing together while they are all absorbed in a game of make-believe.

7. Best book you’ve ever read?

I’m not sure it’s the best book I’ve ever read but the one which stands out is The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath. I was obsessed with her as a teenager and used to carry her poetry books in my school bag. Pretentious moi?

8. If you won the lottery today, what is the first thing you would do?

Buy a bigger house so we wouldn’t have to go through the hassle of having an extension built next year.

9. Favorite vacation spot?

Do I have to pick just one? New York for a long weekend break, Majorca for a family holiday, Italy for the food and Sweden where I grew up for that ‘going home’ feeling.

10. What was the last movie you watched that made you cry?

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Here are just some of the bloggers who always brighten up my day:

4 Mothers

Reverse Commuter

Cupcakes Cocktails and Kids

Evelenmargaret

The Blackberry Boys

Escaping Elegance

Journeys of the Fabulist

Fashion is All That

Sweet Wildflower

Mid-day Spritzer

More Food Please

Sixty Payments

And here are my ten questions:

1. Who would play you if your life was made into a movie?

2. Where in the world would you most like to travel?

3. What is the best thing about blogging?

4. What is your secret indulgence?

5. If someone handed you £1000 tomorrow what would you spend it on?

6. What do you never leave home without?

7. What’s your favourite meal of the day?

8. What makes you laugh?

9. Who would be your ideal dinner party guests?

10. What was the last thing you Googled?

Currently Coveting #11: French Chic

From Catherine Deneuve and Emmanuelle Beart to Josephine de la Baume and Lou Doillon, French women have captivated the fashion world for decades with their unending chic and seemingly effortless style.

A new book out this month entitled ‘Forever Chic: Frenchwomen’s Secrets for Timeless Beauty, Style and Substance’ promises to reveal how our Gallic counterparts acquire (and maintain) that certain je ne sais quoi that doesn’t seem to diminish with age. Fashion journalist Tish Jett who also writes the blog A Femme d’Un Certain Age has lived among the French for years and studied them to learn the secrets behind their wardrobe, beauty, diet, and hair rituals.

While I’m mulling over whether or not to buy the book, I’m happy to get my French style kicks from the new A/W 13 collection by Comptoir des Cotonniers. Under new creative director Amelie Gillier, the label has been given a more modern feel, whilst still retaining an urban twist and feminine edge. The result is a contemporary rock ‘n’ roll inspired collection that bears more than a passing resemblance to Zadig & Voltaire, the cult fashion label that Gillier co-founded when she was just 21.

Here are some of my favourite looks:

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The Fashion Clinic #7: Back to Basics

As we had our wardrobe redecorated this week (there was mould on ceiling that had to be removed…yuck!) I was forced into a long overdue clear-out of its contents. Seeing all my clothes laid out on the bed made me realise that, for want of a better analogy, my wardrobe consists of too much icing and not enough cake. Or, if you prefer, my shopping habits definitely veer towards choosing style over substance. I have plenty of lovely tops and delicate little dresses but only three pairs of jeans that I actually like and I wear jeans on an almost daily basis. Makes sense? No, me neither. I also have twelve pairs of black boots (in different styles but even so) and umpteen cardigans and knitted jackets.

What is woefully lacking though are the everyday essentials that pull all the statement pieces together into different outfits. As we all know good basics are the backbone of a wearable wardrobe and mine is certainly crumbling on that front. I don’t know about you, but plain white vests and T-shirts don’t really set my pulse racing in the same way as leopard print and sequins do, but if I’m going to be buying any clothes at all over the next few months I need to make sure they fall into this category.

Here are some of the best basics I’ve found so far:

Gap vests2

Gap’s Pure Body range is all about basic pieces and, in my opinion, represents what this retailer does best. Just no frills, good quality essentials in super soft cotton that will last and last. At the moment there is an offer on where you get 25% off when you buy three or more camisoles.

H&M basics2

A white (or grey or black) T-shirt in a flattering fit is a true wardrobe staple but you don’t always have to pay through the nose. I bought three T-shirts in white, black and pale pink from H&M over the summer and they have lasted really well. With prices starting from £3.99 you can afford to stock up.

American Vintage3

American Vintage is one of my favourite labels for basic pieces in the softest lightweight Supima cotton that are just made for layering. The Jacksonville is the perfect slouchy shape and comes with long or short sleeves in an array of colours. I have one in gray and one in navy but could definitely do with investing in a couple more.

Rosamunde

Basic doesn’t have to mean boring. These cute vests from Danish label Rosemunde have pretty lace detailing around the neckline and come in 26 different colours from neutrals to brights.

This Week’s Favourites

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{The walk to school takes twice as long when it’s been raining and there are puddles to jump in}

‘Swoosh’ it said and yet another week went by! Seriously, I’m beginning to think that time really does speed up when your kids start school. The seven weeks between the start of this school year and half term (which is this Friday) have gone by so much quicker than the summer holidays did. It has been a quiet week, mainly spent catching up on things that were were put on hold while preparing for last weekend’s party, like completing my tax return and buying the last of the boys’ birthday presents.

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{Clemmie chose her winter hat when we went into Gap during a shopping trip earlier this week. Leopard print is a firm fave of mine as well – like mother like daughter!}

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{I am one step closer to creating my dream home office after buying this print}

The highlight of the week was undoubtely Casper’s seventh birthday today. My youngest son is very much an old soul – wise, thoughtful and kind but, boy, can he throw a tantrum when that way inclined. Today, however, he was all smiles when we woke him up at 7.30 with presents and cake. As both he and his sister had birthday parties to go to today we’ve delayed his party until next weekend. Then the following weekend is my eldest son’s birthday – a busy month but that’s the way I like it!

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{Big brother helps out with the present opening.}

Casper present

{A very happy boy. Judging by the smile, I think we got the present right!}

Casper cake

{It was a bit of a squeeze to fit seven candles onto a very small cake. There will be a bigger one at the party next weekend.}

Clemmie cake

{Someone is enjoying having cake for breakfast}