Lazy days.

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Lazy Sundays are what life should be about. Ok, obviously life is more than that, but sleeping in? So good! So underrated! Most days I am up by 5.30am and out of the door by 6am for work, so you can imagine that my morning routine is far from relaxing and in any way ideal!

When I have time, though, I love slow starts. In fact, most weekends, I am in my pyjamas for about half the day (haha!), unless I’m running out of the door to a market or antiques fair! Eventually, when I can be bothered, I jump into the bath (a real treat as I’m usually a shower person!), and then maybe laze around with a book. So good.

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The beautiful silk nightshirt I am wearing is from Derek Rose. I discovered them on Instagram and instantly wanted one of their nightshirts. The 100% silk night shirt features the ‘Toile de Jouy’ print, which is inspired by the dreamscapes of Oscar Wilde’s ‘The Young King’, about a Prince wandering through enchanted woods as he sleeps. Do check out their other beautiful kimonos and pyjamas, at https://www.derek-rose.com.

 

Images: Courage & Dash (not a sponsored post!)

 

 

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Burberry A/W’16

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Sometimes in life, you get thrown a golden acorn (you can quote me on that), and you find yourself on the front row of Christopher Bailey’s A/W’16 show for Burberry. Work does sometimes bring some jollies alongside the stress (and last week was stressful, to say the least)!

I’ve never been to a runway show like this before – having the models walk through the crowd to the sounds of Jake Bugg (ahhh, that voice) – and it worked a dream. It helped that I got to spot a couple of familiar faces too (sadly I didn’t get to take a photo of Nicholas Hoult of X-Men fame but I did walk past him!); so much fun.

As far as my (un)fashion-savvy brain can tell, clunky work-style boots, buckles, and florals are all the rage for this autumn-winter season. Lucky for us, Burberry has decided to drop their collection in their Regent Store now so you can get your hands on it. Thank you for the invite!

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Images: Courage & Dash

Sweetly feasting.

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I know Christmas is over, but I just remembered I haven’t shown these to you! One weekend in December, Xin, from Pudding Pie Lane, baked up a storm and we spent all of Saturday catching up, giggling, getting far too sugar high, and playing with Christmas decorations. So much fun! If only we could do this all the time?? Sadly, I am back to work on Tuesday (I know lots of you are too, so we shall be mournful together!), and so no more feasting and lazing. Christmas season is, alas, over (although technically speaking, it’s not over until 12 days from December 25, no?)… for me at least. Until 2016.

Hang in there folks… 3 more working days until the new year.

 

Images and styling: Courage & Dash; Food: Pudding Pie Lane

Nearly there.

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So it’s nearly the end of 2015. Where has this year gone?? So many people I have spoken to have said this year has just flown by. There was a time in which I used to alternate between awesome and dud years – but I’ve lost track as life has gone on. This year has seemed to be one of those with plenty of ups and downs, which I am beginning to realise is just how life is. In the context of all the darkness we have experienced this year (on a global, macro scale, and also on a more micro, personal level – friends who have lost family members, for example), life this year has seemed somewhat tentative and something to be all the more appreciated. This year I have been better at telling those whom I love that I love them, and at holding close those who are dear. I hope I remember to do more of that in 2016.

In light of new beginnings and new growth in the new year, I spent some time reflecting and planning, whilst playing with my new succulents (courtesy of Flowercard) on my lazy Christmas day. I am hoping that 2016 will be a much better year for not killing my plants (see here), by the way, as I am prone to (through no intention of mine!!). We already had some cacti and a couple of succulents, but now that floral gifting service, Flowercard, has given us a whole boxful (which came in a personalised tin – thanks!), hopefully some will last until the end of 2016? One can only hope! I have no idea why I am so bad with plants – any tips and tricks will be much gratefully received!!

 

Images: Courage & Dash

Succulents pictured from Flowercard, all opinions my own!

Winter is coming…

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If I have spoken to you recently, you will know that I have been desperate to use the phrase “Winter is coming” legitimately, either as a title to something or in conversation about the weather. I am not well-acquainted with Game of Thrones (either the books or the television series), much to my embarrassment (everyone seems to have seen/read it!), but I just really rather like the motto. I tried to explain it to my boss last week, but as you already know, I don’t actually know the plot of the series at all, and so failed pretty much as I started.

On a cold and rainy day during our Scottish holiday, the husband and I decided to have a really lazy and slow day. When we woke up, the sky was grey, and light rain was pattering against the skylight. I cannot tell you enough how much I love rain whilst indoors, tucked under a warm duvet with fluffy pillows I can sink into. It was fab. After a hot brunch, we decided we really ought to get the fire going, and so the husband was dispatched to make some kindling, which I duly built a fire with.

By a stroke of luck, a couple of Produce candles landed on our doorstep that morning, courtesy of I Love Produce Candles – perfect timing for a cosy day in! In fact, it was exactly the right candle for our pastoral, farmyard surroundings. I first discovered Produce candles at Top Drawer, a home+gifts trade show – they smelled divine, like freshly grated vegetables or gently frying herbs (they are also aptly named things like “rosemary”, “honey”, “sage” and “radish”). These beautiful candles are hand-poured in Charleston, South Carolina (possibly one of my favourite southern cities, and where Frank Underwood from House of Cards went to university) – and now they are being sold in the UK by I Love Produce Candles. Hurrah. I think I want to try Wildflower next (I was sent Rosemary and Fig), and possibly Coriander.

We spent the rest of the day lazing by the fire, eating cake, reading, and dozing. I think I am a true champion when it comes to sitting around and not doing anything!

 

Images: Courage & Dash

Beautiful Living

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How beautifully set up is this home? The first time I saw Natalie’s photos on her Instagram account, Laid Back Farmhouse, I fell in love with her style. It’s so airy and light and calm. You can imagine how delighted I was that Nat agreed to let us peek into her home – it’s impressive how uncluttered the space is, despite Nat’s large collection of vintage things – there is yet hope, despite my husband’s insistence that mess is synonymous with vintage hoarding. Over to you, Natalie!

“I’m Natalie Woods, I’m 34 and work in travel – you’ll often find me in either Covent Garden or Southampton.

“Five years ago, my husband and I moved back into the country, this time to West Sussex to a little converted barn that needed (and still does) some love. I grew up on the Shotley peninsular in Suffolk, so country living is deep in my bones.

“My whole life I’ve loved vintage items and very little in my house is new. My favourite pieces are Provence farmhouse inspired, as I aspire to live in rural France one day!

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“I’m still collecting and my favourite places to go are Hill & Co Grayshott and Haus Haslemere. In fact, I go there all the time. Annie & Bill @ Hill & Co often travel over to France and source the most fantastic items. I could spend hours in their lovely shop (and often do). They are incredibly friendly and passionate about antiques and also source from all over the UK. The shop has a French farmhouse feel and I know I will always find something quirky and original – my signs, apothecary drawers and glassware are all from there.

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“Stephanie @ Haus Haslemere has impeccable taste and her shop is incredibly chic. One half is a bright, Scandi/French look and through the door to the other half is an industrial/utility feel. There’s lots of beautiful vintage items and I guarantee you will want to buy everything.

“I love visiting France’s flea markets and Brocantes. My absolute favourite is Villneuve Les Avignon. It’s full of provincial items and is reasonably priced. The market setting is very beautiful.”

 

Images and styling: Natalie Wood

An Indian Summer with Jennifer’s Paper

Ok, everyone. It’d mid-week, you’re tired, you’re wondering where on earth Friday is and if this week could have gone any slower. And why is it so dark?? What’s that about? Is it October already? I mean… COME ON LONDON!

Well, I’ve got just the cure for you… a Courage & Dash bespoke party suite from Jennifer’s Paper! It’s so beautiful, bright, lively, vibrant… I just can’t stop staring.

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Jennifer Curulli hopped across the pond to our lovely isles, and founded Jennifer’s Paper. She gets a buzz from telling each person’s story through stationery design, and loves details from font to colour to envelope style to pattern. You can tell from this beautiful set she designed!!

When Jen is not busy being featured by Style Me Pretty, she’s working with soon-to-be brides and parents, or designing colourful, tropical soiree suites for Courage & Dash. Aren’t we lucky?? We are so lucky Jen agreed to work with us when I reached out to her. Check it out…

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When Jen and I were discussing this party, we went through different ideas from Portuguese-inspired afternoon lunch, to American BBQ, to girls’ French-inspired brunch. Jen sent over her initial thoughts and an early inspiration sketch, before we narrowed down her ideas. I knew that I wanted something fun and almost frivolous, so Jen took our discussions and put them into a mood board with objects (naturally there were pineapples) and shades (BRIGHT) that would ultimately find their way into this suite. Jen knew that having a cohesive ‘brand’ for the event would be important, so she worked on details from the invitation, to the placecard, to the  menu, and even the little straw flags. LOVE!

Sadly, we don’t have any upcoming weddings or birth announcements or christenings, but if you do, check out Jennifer’s Paper. Jen was absolute dream to work with (this is not a sponsored post!) and so fun and collaborative – not intimidating at all.

For more, visit Jennifer’s Paper at http://jenniferspaper.com/.

 

Images and styling: Jennifer Curulli (Jennifer’s Paper)