Interior Inspiration: Scandi Chic

Small but perfectly formed, I love the colour scheme in this Stockholm apartment. The furniture has been kept in black, white and grey tones and beautiful pastels are added through cushions, pictures and books. Framed posters are a great way to incorporate stunning art works into your interior design scheme without breaking the bank. And the Swedish ‘kakelugn’ (fireplace) in the last picture is the Pièce de résistance in my humble opinion.

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Source: Alvhem

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Linked In

Links Collage

1. Best Workout Tips – 30 Fitness Commandments to Live by: Elle.com

2. I would love one of these in my house. Maybe I need to drop some hints before our next anniversary! Personalised First Dance Song Lyrics Print: Not on the High Street

3. I just booked my tickets for May 2015! Alexander McQueen Savage Beauty is coming to London next year: Victoria and Albert Museum

4. I’m seriously thinking about cutting my hair shorter for the summer. Here are the key questions to ask before going for the chop: Byrdie.com

5. How to Stay Motivated Around the House – Six Steps to Accomplishing Your Goals: Apartment Therapy

Mission Clutter Control

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{Picture Source}

Any illusion that I am nearing a more minimalist clutter-free way of life were brutally shattered over the weekend when we embarked on mission Loft Clearout. There is an NCT sale* in our village next weekend so my husband and I decided that, now that the baby days are behind us, it would a good opportunity to sell some of the toys and clothes that have been lurking in the loft for far too long. Only I hadn’t realised just how much stuff was residing up there – seriously, it is a wonder the ceiling hasn’t caved in under the weight of it all. So there we were, the children and I, standing on the first floor landing while my husband chucked down bags and boxes through the loft cavity for us to catch. At first it was kind of fun seeing all these long forgotten things again, but when the bags and boxes just kept on coming, I started to feel slightly alarmed – I know a good clear out has been long overdue but this was something else. Before long the kids and I were standing on the only small patch of clear flooring left, pushed up against the ladder with boxes and zip-up bags, as well as big bulky plastic toys, a rocking horse and a travel cot, taking up the rest of the space and blocking all the bedroom doorways. It was dusty too, as would be expected since no one ever cleans the loft. In the end, we counted 12 zip-up bags crammed full of baby and toddler clothes, five big boxes of toys and all the other bits, including no less than five cot mobiles (all in good working order so why we have so many I have no idea!).

Now I am faced with the mammoth task of dividing it all into three different piles for selling, giving to charity or keeping (only those very special pieces that I can’t bear to part with – I plan to whittle this down to one smallish box – wish me luck!). Upstairs is still a mess – to clear the landing so we can actually get into our bedrooms I have moved everything into our room and the boys’ rooms so the poor things now have to climb over umpteen boxes to get to their beds. I never thought of myself as a hoarder but now I am not so sure. I guess it’s true that however much space you have, the tendency is to fill it up. It was easier to just send everything up to loft to be dealt with at some later stage – out of sight, out of mind! – so the boxes kept on accumulating. Now that we’re planning to convert the loft into a bedroom, we will have to think a lot harder about what we hold onto, and frankly, I’m pleased. There is something about having so much stuff that you don’t use or plan on using in the near future, that makes me feel very uneasy.

My eldest son is ten years old now and while lots of clothes were passed down to his younger siblings, his brother was a bigger baby and his sister was born in the summer so some of the items had not seen the light of day for over a decade! If I leave the next clear out for another ten years, he will probably have left home by the time I get around to it. So I’m determined to try and stay on top of it and the trick seems to be little and often when it comes to decluttering.

*Any UK mums will probably be familiar with these ‘good as new sales’ run by the National Childbirth Trust.

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As I am obviously in no position to offer tips myself here is a useful guide that I found on the blog We Only Do This Once – to read the full article click here.

Start small – Pick one small section of a room to start with, whether it’s a chest of drawers or a kitchen cupboard

Stay motivated – If you declutter consistently it will become a habit. Don’t get obsessive, try to keep it to 15 minutes a day

One area at a time – Tempting as it may be, don’t move onto another area until the first one is finished

Limit your time spent – Set the timer and give yourself half an hour to clear out one small section

Make it a routine – Set a regular schedule for decluttering that works for you and your lifestyle

Make piles – As you go along sort the stuff into piles for keeping/giving away/garbage/selling etc

Organize – Once you’ve whittled down your possessions make sure each one has a home

Take breaks often and stay chill
 

Five on Friday

Easter flowers

{The lovely flowers that my parents brought last weekend are still going strong and brightening up the house on grey, rainy days.}

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{I am determined to improve my photography skills and to that end have invested in two ‘female friendly’ books: The Busy Girl’s Guide to Digital Photography by Lorna Yabsley and A Beautiful Mess Photo Idea Book by Elsie Larson and Emma Chapman – the sisters behind one of my favourite blogs.}

Beautiful Bruges

{I’m off to Bruges for a weekend with some girlfriends in a couple of weeks and I can’t wait. I’ve never been before so if anyone has any tips on what to see/do apart from eat cake, drink coffee/wine and sleep I would be most grateful.}

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{I’m not overweight but like many of us I could do with losing a few pounds before bikini season is upon us. I generally eat quite healthily but I have a sweet tooth and can often be found raiding the biscuit tin at 4pm to satisfy those afternoon sugar cravings. I’ve heard good things about the 5:2 diet so thought I would give that a go for a few weeks.}

Clemmie Golf

{Like father like daughter. Not satisfied with having got the boys into golf, my husband came home with a club for Clemmie this week. Looks like I’m destined to be the only non-golfer in our household!}

Happy Friday to you all! Hope you have a fantastic weekend. X

 

The Beautiful Blogger Award

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The wonderful Lydia Devadason who writes the eponymous blog with the subtitle An Idiot’s Guide to Parenting has very kindly nominated me for a Beautiful Blogger Award. If you haven’t read Lydia’s blog yet check it out here. I love reading her hilarious and insightful anecdotes on parenting. It’s nice to know that I’m not the only one who sometimes feels like I’m stumbling around in the dark when it comes to bringing up my children and that there aren’t always textbook answers to the situations we are confronted with.

The rules of the award states that I have to select seven blogs and write a short description for each, so here are some lovely blogs that I have recently added to my WordPress Reader.

1. 2 Getting There – With the tagline ‘leaping through life one faith at a time’ follow her inspiring journey to a healthier lifestyle and improving the 3Ps – physical, personal and professional

2. Zen Sophie – Like an oasis of calm this blog is about the road to a more authentic lifestyle through yoga, meditation and mindfulness, with a healthy dose of beauty food and books thrown into the mix

3. Family Answers Fast –  I’ve been following this blog for a while and it’s a firm favourite of mine. Angie Mc’s  family centered approach is super inspiring and I love her calm and wise approach to parenting.

4. Elese, Aesthete – This New Zealander has the lowdown on all the best beauty and skincare products out there. Lovely photos and I adore the product reviews.

5. Less 2 More – As someone who strives for a more minimalistic lifestyle I love this blog about living a life with fewer material possession but rich in the things that really matter.

6. Alifemoment – One of my favourite food blogs with lots of yummy recipes accompanied by colourful, mouthwatering photos

7. Put the Kettle on – Reading this blog is like sitting down and catching up with a friend over a cup of tea and a plate of biscuits.

Recipe: Apple Crumble Pie with Salt Flakes

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With Easter’s chocolate egg overload just behind us, I’m sure the last thing on anyone’s mind is more sweet treats. But I couldn’t resist sharing the recipe for this apple pie which I made for pudding when my parents came over for lunch last week. Trust me, it’s definitely one to file away for a rainy day: along with cottage pie and grilled cheese, apple pie/crumble must be one of the ultimate comfort foods. And don’t be alarmed by the salt flakes specified in the recipe – they provide a beautiful contrast to the sweet crumble topping and tart apple. And the secret to getting a really yummy caramelized topping? Drizzle some golden syrup over the pie before it goes in the oven.

Apple Crumble Pie with Salt Flakes

Filling:

approx 800 g apples
1 tsp cinnamon
2 tsp sugar
1 pinch salt flakes

Crumble topping:

125 g cold butter
140 g plain flour
25 g rolled oats
125 g caster sugar
1 1/2 tsp salt flakes

Golden syrup

Method:

Pre-heat the oven to 225°C and grease a pie dish (approx 28cm in diameter). Crumble topping: cut the butter into pieces. Pinch together butter, flour and oats to form a crumbly mixture. Add the sugar and salt flakes. Peel, core and cut the apples into thin slices before mixing with the cinnamon, sugar and salt. Put the apple slices in the bottom of the prepared pie dish and sprinkle the crumble mixture over the top. Drizzle some golden syrup over for a tasty toffee-like finish. Bake in the middle of the oven for 20-25 minutes. Let it cool slightly and serve with whipped cream, custard or ice cream.

NB: As my husband can’t eat gluten, I made this crumble with gluten free flour and oats. It worked really well.

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Currently Coveting #23: Kate Moss x Topshop

Kate Moss is the undisputed British style icon of the last two decades, topping virtually every best-dressed poll going and earning herself a legion of copycat fans. After a three-year hiatus she is back designing a collection for another British icon – high street store Topshop.

As with the pair’s previous collaborations, Kate looked to her own wardrobe for inspiration to create a collection which reflects her boho-luxe, laid-back style. The supermodel is renowned for her love of vintage so it’s no surprise that there are lots of 70s inspired pieces, from fringed suede jackets to jumpsuits and maxi dresses. Released on April 30, just in time for festival season, the collection will be available online and in Topshop stores. A small selection will also be sold by Net-A-Porter.

Working together with Topshop’s creative team, Kate has upped the luxury factor on the collection with beautiful fabrics and hand-finished detailing. While much of the collection will be sold at affordable prices, there are more expensive pieces like the scalloped blue satin maxi, which will retail for £295. The most expensive dress, a densely hand-beaded number, will be exclusive on Net-A-Porter for £600, with only 50 available.

Here are some of my favourite pieces from the collection:

We are going to a wedding in July and I think any of these dresses would be perfect:

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I am picturing this starry top worn with faded denim shorts for a laid-back vibe:

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A beaded jacket to add a luxe touch to any evening outfit:

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Happy Easter!

Happy Easter Collage

{Some of the Easter decorations in our house including the Swedish style Easter eggs which are now filled with sweets and little toys}

The children and I are going on a little egg hunt with the neighbours before lunch with the in-laws but I just wanted to wish you all a very happy Easter Sunday. I hope the Easter Bunny is very generous! X