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)

Colourful crockery in a medieval town on a cliff…

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Rocamadour, in the Dordogne region in France, is listed with 4 stars on the AA map, and noted as an area of impressive natural beauty. I was truly blown away as I first laid eyes on the beautiful medieval village built into the side of a mountain. At Overlooking the village and the surrounding valley is a cluster of Christian buildings (shrines/chapels) called the Cité Religieuse, at the top of the mountain. The site is a destination for Christian pilgrimages, and remains a key attraction. Famous pilgrims include Henry II of England and Louis XI of France. There were signs explaining the different points of reflection for the pilgrims, and if I read correctly, the journey to the top of the cliffs was often done on one’s knees! It was a fairly long way to the top – today there is a funicular and lift to take visitors up to the site.

The village is small enough to spend a day wandering through, although there are other prehistoric/Gallo-Roman sites just beyond. We were lucky to have such beautiful weather when we went, so we were able to enjoy ice creams in the sunshine and escape into the cool of the chapels. It felt very much like the village portrayed in Disney’s Beauty and the Beast! As Rocamadour is now a tourist destination, there were many shops selling soaps, pottery and various souvenirs. They were fun, but the main attraction for me was a shop selling colourful, patterned crockery in all styles – from Japanese tea cups to Polish plates. It was called Petit Pot, but there sadly isn’t a website or anything like that at all.

Have you been to Rocamadour or its surrounding region?

Images: Courage & Dash

Why You Should Have Plants at Home…

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If, like us, you live a hectic life, we have the solution for some regular, fuss-free destressing: House plants!

Having potted flowers at home is the simplest way of bringing some zen and green indoors, especially if you live in an urban environment. We have found our flat to be more energised since The Joy of Plants kindly gave us a new yucca (funny story, see here!) and now, these beautiful Royal Pelargonium pots. It’s lovely having some of that wonderful, healing nature at home (and in the middle of busy London) – and it’s a bonus that the Perlargonium flowers are so colourful!

Here are some top tips for caring for the Royal Pelargonium:

1. Keep the plant in a light place

2. Water it regularly, directly into the pot and not on the plant itself (we found these to be fairly thirsty plants!)

3. If you remove dead flowers, the plant will continue to grow new ones

4. After it has flowered in your home, the plant is happy to be placed outside and will add some colour to your balcony or window box until late autumn

5. In the winter, place it in a cool room and give the plant limited water

Have fun!

 

For more, visit The Joy of Plants

http://www.thejoyofplants.co.uk

 

Images/styling: Courage & Dash

Real Homes: A Grotty Rental Turned into a Magazine-Worthy Home

Cat from Take Courage Blog is possibly my favourite blogger of all time. Not only is her writing entertainingly witty, her photographs are also unbelievably well-shot.

I was absolutely delighted when Cat agreed to let us feature her beautiful home on Courage & Dash. When Cat and her partner, The Texan, found this flat, it was pretty grim – it didn’t look loved, and the bathroom, from her descriptions, was beyond gross.Cat is an aspiring interior designer (whilst also being a corporate lawyer during the day – how she does it I shall never know!), and has done a fantastic job with her home. I love the mix of old and new and splashes of colour. Take a look at what they have done with this flat and don’t miss their balcony currently on her blog!

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Images: Cat Greenwood

Friday Inspiration: Cakes So Gorgeous, You Won’t Be Able to Look Away

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Hello Friday! It’s felt like a long week even though we were on holiday Monday – Tuesday, but jet-lag is pretty vicious! We thought a bit of Friday inspiration for your next party might be in order. It is beginning to dawn on us that there is a lot of talent in Canada which we haven’t yet discovered (remember Confetti  & Co.?)… and Jenna Rae Cakes is another one to add to our little black book.

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No one does pretty better than Jenna Rae Cakes. It’s hard to imagine that Jenna Rae is a self-taught baker and cake designer, given that her cakes and biscuits are stunning works of art and oh-so-stylish! Unsurprsingly, Jenna Rae quickly built a name for herself after she launched Jenna Rae Cakes in 2010 in Winnipeg – her custom celebration cakes are widely sought after by brides/grooms, event stylists, even local celebrities.

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Ashley Nicole, Jenna Rae’s twin sister, joined shortly after, bringing her graphic design eye to the business. It’s incredible how much good taste these two sisters have, not just for good food but also for styling, packaging, and cake design!

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Just last year, Jenna Rae opened a boutique bakery making her beautiful baked designs, typically only custom made for special events, available every day. Expect to find macarons and gem-shaped chocolate-covered cakes in gorgeous, delicate colours, adorned with gold flakes and in interesting flavours.

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We cannot get enough of Jenna Rae Cakes! Make sure you follow them on Instagram for all the eye candy you could possibly need. Thanks for having us!

Jenna Rae Cakes
http://jennaraecakes.com/
580 Academy Road, Winnipeg, Canada

Images: Jenna Rae Cakes

So pretty, you’ll want it all…

It’s Christmas eve! Today is officially the start of the Christmas celebration – as a family, we watch The Snowman, Father Christmas, and A Christmas Carol together, before adding the remaining presents to the pile of gifts under the tree that had been growing steadily over the past week. We also eat more family Christmas cake, play some silly games, and spend plenty of time laughing lots in preparation for more fun and festivity the next day. After all, it’s not every day you get to remember the birth of Christ! What are some of your traditions?

Thinking of Christmas reminds us of the Magi – the wise men of the Orient who brought three gifts to the baby Jesus in his manger – and in turn reminds us of talented gift-makers, Birch & Goldberry. The company, which we first discovered on Design Love Fest, makes limited edition collections of hand painted wrapping paper, colourful soaps, fragrant soy candles, and small greeting+holiday cards. We adore the whimsy, invigorating mix of colours and swirls in their products.BundleExample_o

Birch & Goldberry is Elizabeth Burnham, Hillaree Hamblin & Stephanie Hamblin. They all studied Painting at the University of Houston, where they bonded over shared styles and visions; in Sept. 2013, the triplet launched the company, and have since taken part in pop up shops and markets.

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Image above: Bri Emergy, Design Love Fest

We love that Birch & Goldberry products are a labour of love. As all three founders have creative backgrounds and formal training in fine art, the packaging and design of the collections are well thought out and diligently created, including the rolls and rolls of hand-painted wrapping paper!

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We can’t get enough of the vivid colours and bold pattern in Birch & Goldberry products. To be honest, we’re not sure we’d want to wrap anything in their wrapping paper – would feel far too decadent to do so!

Have a happy Christmas eve; may you have a wonderful time with your loved ones and your festive traditions.

For more Birch & Goldberry goodness, see them at: http://cargocollective.com/birchandgoldberry.

 

Images: Birch & Goldberry (unless otherwise stated)

Stationery heaven…

I don’t even know where to begin, but Mac & Murphy is a stationery shop to die for. I mean…!!!! No words. Their paper goodies are absolutely delightful and so invigorating.

But first, the bad news: Mac & Murphy is in South Carolina (~4,068 miles from London) 😦 The good news is, however, that there is this wonderful thing called the Internet and all her related social media feeds. You’ll be fine. We hope.

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Mac & Murphy is located in the historic Cannonbourogh neighbourhood of Charleston, SC. Most of my favourite American interiors-related imports are from Charleston, so I’m really not surprised at all that M&M is also a local to that fantastic city. There is something of a Southern trendy vibe going on there – it’s most certainly not hipster, and it combines my two loves – olden charm and modern design. Stationery is, to my mind, a quick and easy way of injecting colour and style into your home – a jar of multi-coloured pencils/pens on the desk, a clever print on the wall, a stack of notebooks on the shelf, and your home looks magazine fresh!

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M&M stock some of the coolest stationery designers ever, so you won’t be surprised to see Rifle Paper Co. tucked amongst the beautiful merchandise displays (check out our favourite Rifle Paper Co. products here, btw). There are also plenty of locally sourced prints, wrapping papers, cards…

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One of my favourite things about M&M is the playful sense of enjoyment and mischief the store (and the owners) manages to have – even the online store on the website captures that same quirky and fun feel. Will make you smile while browsing.

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If you are a bit of a stationery fiend (like us), M&M have a monthly card club where you get 3 greeting cards delivered to you each month – cards includ occasions like birthdays, thank yous, and something sweet or witty. Hop on over to their site to have a look!

Visit Mac & Murphy at http://www.macandmurphy.com/.

74.5 CANNON STREET
CHARLESTON, SOUTH CAROLINA
29407
USA

 

Images: Ashley Warnock via Mac & Murphy