Currently Coveting #28: Patterns for Spring

My blog posting has been very sporadic to say the least since the start of this year due to both a lack of time and a lack of inspiration. January and February are not my favourite months and I’ve had no urge to do anything other than curl up on the sofa in front of the TV once the kids are in bed. But spring is finally in the air and with the warmer weather and lighter evenings comes a renewed sense of energy and a desire to start blogging a bit more again.

Last weekend I also did a mini clear out of my wardrobe to make sure it is spruced up for spring. Recently I have been really inspired by bloggers who embrace the concept of a capsule wardrobe and a more minimal lifestyle and while I am not wholly there yet I have slowly been ridding my closet of things I no longer wear.I’m happy with most of what is in there now but a couple of new pieces for spring wouldn’t go amiss. Last spring was all about stripes but this season I’m drawn to bolder prints on blouses and shirts that can be paired with my trusty jeans (current favourites: Topshop Leigh jeans in black or distressed grey) or cropped trousers. Add a pair of ballerinas or Converse and I’m good to go.

Patterns for Spring

{Any of these pretty tops from Anthropologie would fit the bill but if I had to choose one I’d probably pick the short sleeved top in the middle of the top row.}

For a slightly subtler take on the patterned trend I also love these two tops from H&M:

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What’s your must have item of clothing this spring?

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Five (or more!) on Friday

It’s that crazy busy time of year again as Christmas approaches at seemingly lightning speed. Only six days to go now folks! I am pleased to say that I have finished all my shopping, written all my Christmas cards and even started on the wrapping (unheard of until now as I can usually be found wrapping the last presents at 1am on Christmas Day!) It’s so easy to get carried away with the stress of it all but this year we decided to keep it fairly simple, limit the number of presents we give and just concentrate on enjoying having quality time together.

The only thing I still want to do is find the time to bake some traditional Swedish saffron buns and gingerbread biscuits with the children. I ordered some ready made gingerbread dough so hopefully it shouldn’t be too taxing. Today is the last day of school so we are planning a trip to the park this afternoon followed by pizza. A great way to start the holidays!

Here are a few pictures from the last week or so, via Instagram:

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{I went into town to finish off my Christmas shopping last week and started my three hour shopping session with a gingerbread latte and croissant at Starbucks}

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{A lovely night out with my very best friend from school who came over from Ireland to celebrate her birthday at Zuma in Knightsbridge. Lots of bubbly, yummy Japanese food and great company – life doesn’t get much better!}

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{The festive countdown continued with a Christmas concert at Casper’s Beaver Scout group where he played a wonderful piano solo…}

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{..and a very sweet Christmas show by Clemmie’s little ballet class}

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{The tree is finally up. I tried hard to curb my OCD tendencies this year and put the kids in charge of the decorations. OK, so maybe I moved one or two baubles but I think it turned out OK!}

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{The Christmas cards have all been written…}

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{..and the Swedish Christmas food order has arrived safely}

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{We even had time for a trip to the park last weekend to make the most of the dry weather.}

Hope you have a wonderful weekend whether you’re doing some last minute shopping, preparing for the Christmas feast or just putting your feet up and enjoying the festive mood! X

Currently Coveting #27: The Liberty Christmas Calendar

Liberty Christmas Calendar

 

With only 36 days to go until Christmas Day, the festive countdown has well and truly begun. In a few days’ time I will have to go up into the loft to hunt down the children’s wooden advent calendar and put it on the mantlepiece, ready to be filled with chocolates on December 1. This year though I rather fancy an advent calendar of my own and, as much as I love chocolate, my sights are set on this beauty calendar from Liberty. With a gorgeous picture of the iconic Regent Street store on the front, inside each Liberty Print decorated box hides a decadent beauty treat, from skincare to scent and everything in-between. If you’ve ever visited Liberty’s Beauty Hall you will know what a fabulous selection of must-have beauty buys there is to choose from.

Liberty Christmas Calendar 2

Winter Warmers

Winter Warmers Collage

The temperature has dropped in the last week or so and snuggle season is finally upon us. The temptation is to stay in, with the heating on and the fire lit, and get cosy on the sofa with a good book and a cup of hot chocolate. To make sure my feet stay warm I would ensconce them in the super soft cashmere bed socks from The White Company – a pair in every colour would do me just fine! Scented candles are a must at this time of year and, if Santa’s reading, the new vanilla candle by Diptyque is on my Christmas list.

But we all have to venture out into the cold at some point and for me the emphasis is definitely on staying warm. My children may be happy in short sleeves (and crocs if I let them get away with it!) even when the thermometer is showing single figures but I will be wrapped up in these cosy winter warmers. The Topshop padded parka jacket with borg lining is winging its way to me as we speak and I’m also contemplating ordering the cute pom pom knit beanie from Anthropologie. Add a pair off Uggs (if I didn’t already have a pair, I would invest in these boots with extra bling) and a cashmere snood like this one from Brora and I’m good to go.

I don’t know about you, but I’m hoping for snow this year!

New In For Autumn

Fall fashion

{Top row l-r: Fake Fur Gilet, Jumper, Jeans all from Topshop. Bottom row l-r: Dress from Topshop, Jacket and Jumper from Anthropologie}

This week the weather took a distinctly autumnal turn with some crisp sunny days but also plenty of rain and wind. Personally I don’t mind one bit as it is a great excuse to stay indoors, light some candles and cosy up on the sofa. Soup is the perfect food on chilly days and today we had this delicious fish soup for dinner. The colder weather has also spurred me on to update my wardrobe for fall. I know one of my autumn resolutions was to stop spending but the best laid plans as they say…

Added to my existing wardrobe, these six pieces should see me through the next few months. Maybe just a pair of knee high boots and a new winter coat and then I’m done!

 

Five on Friday

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{The boys went back to school last Tuesday. For one year they are at the same school, before it is time for Cameron to move on to secondary school.}

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{Clemmie didn’t start school until today so she and I went to Sweden for three nights last weekend to see my sister and her kids. We had loads of time at the airport before our flight so I treated her to an Anna from Frozen doll. Traveling with just one child was so easy and we had a great time.}

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{Today was a big day for Clemmie but she loved putting on her uniform and going into school. Some of you may remember that I was less than thrilled about her starting school so young but after several chats with the headteacher I felt reassured that the focus in this first year is very much on play.}

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{Some new beauty buys: A Rodial bee venom serum that I bought on the flight back from Stockholm and I also managed to get my hands on the much-hyped Multi-colour Les Beiges by Chanel. I feel a beauty post coming up soon!}

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{I am a self-confessed knitwear fanatic and these two jumpers from H&M and Hunky Dory are new purchases for the coming season along with a pair of boots, also from H&M. I love the zip detailing on all of them.}

Now that all three children are at school, I hope to have some more time for blogging. I have so many ideas but time has been very scarce over the summer holidays. Thank you to all of you who kept reading and commenting despite the rather patchy updating.

This weekend we’re going to Bristol to visit an old friend of mine. Last time we went it took us over four hours to get there so I’m keeping my fingers crossed that the traffic will be light. Hope you have a fantastic weekend whatever you’re doing. X

Five on Friday

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{Clemmie was happy to be back home with all her toys. She and I are off to Sweden again in two weeks’ time to visit my sister and her family.}

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{I’m still on a shopping ban but the kids desperately needed some new clothes for autumn so I went slightly mad in Zara Kids this week. They really have some fabulous stuff for both boys and girls.}

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{Now that Casper is moving up to the junior school, both boys needed new backpacks and school supplies like pencil cases, pens and water bottles etc. I still LOVE shopping for back to school things just as much as I did as a child.}

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{OK. so I’m not allowed to shop but I can still look, right? The planning for my A/W wardrobe is well underway and this jumper from All Saints is top of the list along with a new pair of ankle boots and winter coat.}

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{Two weeks of pizza, ice cream, chocolate, cinnamon buns and wine (not necessarily all together) have left their all too visible marks. Time to switch up the healthy eating a gear with the help of recipes such as this delicious-looking one for salmon and chickpea salad. More food inspiration can be found on my Pinterest board.}

Hope you have a fab weekend. It’s a three-day one here in the UK and we intend to make the most of it with plans to go to a food festival and to Ikea to check out new kitchens. What are you up to? X

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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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

 

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?

IMG_7616 Whistles Knits