Friday, 31 October 2014

A little bit of gold and white... and some rambling thoughts

Ahhh it's Friday. Can you hear the collective sigh of everyone everywhere? Yep, me too. So today, I just thought we'd have a little look at some pretty gold and white accessories I recently purchased because as you know, I'm pretty much obsessed with gold and white.

And in between, I'm just going to write whatever comes into my head.

Oh first things first, if you joined Sarah and I last night for our webinar, I just wanted to say a very big thank you for joining us. It was the first time either of us has ever run a sort of 'live' workshop so I hope you enjoyed it. It ran a little later than we'd intended - I think we both just like to talk and we could have easily talked for HOURS over every single point so apologies for that - we were clearly over excited ;) But nonetheless, it was really rather enjoyable and we're hoping to do more in the future. For those that couldn't make it, the session was recorded so let me know if you'd like to see it (just pop a comment below) and I'll send you the link. If you have suggestions or comments on what we can do to improve, then please do just fill out the little survey that will be arriving in your inboxes if it hasn't already.

Tomorrow, my lovely bloggie mate Carole and I are heading to the Peak District to do a little photo shoot which I'm really looking forward to. One of the benefits of living oop North? GORGEOUS COUNTRYSIDE EVERYWHERE.

That said, next week I'm heading off to London for the Amara Interior Blog Awards which I am so so excited about - not because I am expecting to win anything but because I get to see friends, old and new, that I've made in this fabulous blogging community. I have purchased about 3,576 frocks and have decided to just wear the first one I bought. Always the way. 3,575 frocks are on their way back to ASOS (sorry ASOS returns people - you probably hate me. It's okay. I kind of hate me too.) My only issue with this particular dress is that my boobs look huge. I mean, I have big boobs, I know this and I'm fine with it but still. I just think they may enter the Rosewood Hotel about 10 minutes before I do in this dress. Yeah. That's your warning.

Anyway, the gold and white stuff - that cute little notebook is from Fox & Star which is my new favourite place for pretty stationary.

The cushion covers you may remember from my Bon Fire Party post - they are from H&M and remind me a little bit of Caitlin Wilson's designs (except like 1/10th the price). And the candle is also from H&M - I absolutely adore the pattern. And finally, I bought some room fragrance which I KNOW is so contrary of me considering I've been making my own but I had a voucher for Achica and I wanted to use it and I had a Volupsa candle in this fragrance a while ago that I loved so I figured why not - and yeah, it does smell freaking amazing. So yeah, go ahead and judge if you must. I can take it.

How's your week gone? Any cool plans for the weekend? Visited the countryside lately? Have any boob related woes you'd like to share? Oh go on then. We're all friends here.

Don't miss a thing!

Wednesday, 29 October 2014

Shop in the Spotlight: Bianca Hall's Tropica Collection

I want to introduce you to my very talented friend, Bianca Hall. She's not only funny and cool, embraces colour with reckless abandon and has a brilliant blog called French for Pineapple but she's also an incredibly talented designer. Plus, her home (as seen below on at {mine}) is freaking awesome. Oh and she likes pineapples as much as I do.

I mean, there's not much not to like here.

However, what I wanted to tell you about today is her new collection called Tropica. And just as you would expect, it is bursting with juicy colour and pattern that will take your breath away.

Beginning with delicate papercuts inspired by the traditional textiles of Mexico, Hawaii and Panama, the hand cut patterns were then worked digitally into repeats and finally, hand screen printed onto cotton.

The collection includes napkins that would dress up any table as well as cushions with thick fringing in an eclectic colour scheme.  There are four bold patterns - Ipanema, a lattice-type pattern which has a hint of a palm tree motif, Maui which includes Biana's signature pineapple, Bahia which has a more tribal feel and finally Panama which resembles splayed palm leaves.

I can't possibly decide which I love the most, they are all rather delicious! Doesn't it all just make you forget it's Autumn and transport you to sunnier climates? If yes and you want to purchase Bianca's fabulous cushions now, you can check out her site here. Napkins will be coming soon so stay tuned!

Don't miss a thing!

Photography and styling of products by my other talented friend Carole Poirot. Seriously, these girls are just making me look bad now.

Monday, 27 October 2014

Bonfire Fun: My Fireworks Party!

While in the US, the 4th of July is celebrated with fireworks in the balminess of the summer, here in the UK, we celebrate Guy Fawkes Day - a tradition that started because some guy tried to blow up the Houses of Parliment and the government stopped him. Sort of an early version of a thwarted terrorist attack. So they named a day after him and today, people gather round in the freezing cold and rain of early November to light fireworks in their gardens, eat, drink and generally enjoy loud noises and lit up skies that smell of burning sulfer. It's a good time, promise.

So when Homebase contacted me to see if I'd like to try out some of their products for my very own Guy Fawkes Day fireworks party, I thought, sure, why not. I mean, everyone loves a good party, right?

Homebase sent me a few things to get the party started so to speak - a firepit with logs and a few toasting forks to keep warm, sparklers and a bunch of really incredible fireworks. The rest was up to me so I headed to my local Homebase and loaded up on some autumnal plants in reds and oranges to pretty up the decking and a couple of folding chairs from Habitat and decorated with solar string lights and a few glittery pumpkins.

You'll note the rain on everything in these pictures - yes the day started out by absolutely tipping it down - I was panicking as I was afraid all day I wouldn't have enough time to get everything set up before it cleared but thank goodness, the weather gave me a little bit of a reprieve about an hour before everyone was meant to arrive and then by the time everyone got here, it was a lovely clear evening!

The selection of plants I purchased really just dressed the space a bit - I loved the firey reds, plums and oranges and they really brought a bit of an Autumnal look outdoors.

Now my nieces (I have 3 of them ranging in age from 2 to 10) do love fireworks so we decided to make it a (Wayne's) family affair and just have a small crowd to accommodate our equally small garden. I created a cosy seating area with a faux fur throw on our bench...

... and a little 'sweets' table with all manner of sugar to keep the kids awake well past their bedtimes (I'm sure their parents loved us for this).

I also set up a little makeshift area near the firepit to bring an American tradition to the party - good old fashioned s'mores. Of course, we don't have graham crackers or Hershey's chocolate here so I substituted with Digestive biscuits and inexpensive chocolate bars. I don't think anyone really minded to be honest!

Wayne cooked up seasoned roasted chicken thighs and drumsticks as well as a fantastic pulled pork and his sister brought an amazing chilli with chorizo and thick melt-in-your-mouth beef chunks. Let me tell you - there wasn't a bit of 'proper' food left over.

The kids were dizzy on sugar and had a fantastic time watching pale pink and white marshmallows turn into a gooey crispy mess before their eyes.

My night time photography was pretty atrocious so forgive me for not having more of the actual family and friends in attendance. And in this one, my neices look as though they wouldn't dare touch the chocolate. Trust me, this didn't last very long.

Of course, sparklers are always fun too. Don't worry, the kids wore gloves but I'm a risk taker clearly who has no proper regard for safety (ie., don't try this at home).

I have to tell you as well - the firepit was SO good. I don't know why we haven't ever considered one previously but it kicked off such a nice amount of heat - the logs lasted for hours and as the night got colder, we huddled around it chatting and drinking beer (the adults of course, I'm not an animal) until late. I have no doubt that we'll be bringing it out for future garden parties.

The fireworks were absolutely incredible. I mean, proper fireworks with big bangs and spectacular lights and everything.

Here's a little video I made sharing what they were like in my tiny little garden, accompanied by very regal music...

All in, it was a great night! Big thanks to Homebase for making it happen.

Don't miss a thing!

Disclaimer: This post is in association with Homebase who supplied fireworks, sparklers, the firepit, toasting forks, Habitat chairs and plants for free. Thanks so much for supporting the companies that allow me to create original content for Swoon Worthy.
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