Cowparsley and doilies...

posted on: Wednesday, 30 June 2010

Firstly, I must admit, I am feeling sorry for myself. I had a dental procedure today and now the novacaine has worn off...it's really, really sore. Trying to take my mind off things, I scrolled through my blog list and happened upon Cowparsley. If ever you wished for a calming mental meander through some beautiful images, oozing with a certain 'Britishness', this is it...





images via Cowparsley


This week wages on, and ever so slightly wearing it is. I shall be very pleased when the weekend arrives with the hope of more summer fun; the beach hut, sandy toes, no cares in the world...

Secondly, OK, so I know I have been a tad wedding-crazed recently...I wanted to follow up on the lots of comments I was left about that dreamy doily wedding dress! Heart-stoppingly lovely. Love the green. Love the shoes. I have found out where the images came from...here...

It's funny when I saw the whole wedding feature, I kinda wanted the dress to be full-length and was surprised that it wasn't. However, the vintage style of it and the wonderful green...you can't help but love it for it's quirkiness.





Busy bee...

posted on: Tuesday, 29 June 2010

In recent months, one could say I have taken on too much. Work-wise I've taken responsibility for things that really aren't my remit, I've accepted too many school-related additions, I blog pretty much every day (which I love, by the way). Trying to cram in extra things, a few weekends away, nights out, days too. Grasping life and saying 'yes' to everything that comes our way. However there seems to be a price. On the one hand, we must live life. Make the most and best of things. Never turn down an invite, always invite people back. Stop caring if the house is a tip. Create the fantastic menu. Make the effort. As it's always worth it.


I have to say to myself 'get a grip Louise; see friends, live your life!' And I do. But sometimes the cracks start to show. Things get overcomplicated. Things get missed along the way. At the moment my brain is so full of 'to dos' that I simply forget stuff.

Prime example yesterday: I told my friend I could not pop round for coffee as I was awaiting a delivery. Half an hour passed, I decided I would pop round for a coffee. I get there and start complaining that my phone is ringing off the hook on my non-working day. I miss three or four calls. We agreed I should cut myself some slack. She eventually picks my phone up and pretends to be my secretary. It's the delivery driver; he's waiting outside my house! Arrrghhhh, I hot-foot it home wondering how my kids ever get collected from school on time with my sieve-like brain...

Life can be so full and lovely. I wish there was a way to fit everything in...

via are so happy

Wedding loveliness...just a little more...

posted on: Monday, 28 June 2010

The wedding we attended this weekend was literally just like something out of 'Four Weddings and a Funeral'. Uncannily so. It shows has acutely well-observed that film is as English country weddings do, charmingly,  follow such a form; nervy Vicar, nine hundred year old church, confetti in the summer sun whilst the church bells ring. Even a few quirky aristocratic guests. It really was an idyllic day. Men in morning suits and women in hats, with feathers and many-a-fascinator worn. The white marquee stood on the lawns of the couple's house, pink roses everywhere.


A tangle of pink roses and lady's mantle...


The bride wore an Amanda Wakeley dress which was exquisitely simple and elegant...her 'something borrowed' was a raindance necklace from Boodles... stunning.


The tables in the marquee were themed by different herbs; we were 'sage'...


There were many frightfully elegant Manhattanites (a species all their own...). The bride, my friend, is a lawyer so there were lots of lawyers in attendance - always makes for interesting small talk; I like lawyers! The couple had only recently met and so the only element that felt slightly strange was that hardly anyone knew anyone amongst the friends and family. There were many of those 'bride or groom?' conversations to place and position people. I noted all of those traditions associated with weddings...one delightful American I met just could not get why the meal was called the 'wedding breakfast' and I found that I couldn't even explain, except to say 'it's tradition!'

By the end of the day my calves ached from standing as if on tip-toe all day; high heels and grass don't mix ;-) But it was a slice of wedding loveliness...

via once wed

Things of beauty...

posted on: Friday, 25 June 2010

We are off to a wedding this weekend...I love a good wedding! Especially in June. Especially when the sun is shining like it is this week. Especially when it promises to be the perfect English country wedding - the ceremony in the village church, a stroll to the Manor house for the reception. How lovely to be able to stroll from the church! There is not enough strolling at weddings I feel... (can you tell my guilt is being replaced by excitement?!)

So indulge me some wedding loveliness in this post, but weddings are like beauty in a bottle...

I found this image of a doily wedding dress which I think is wonderful...and those shoes...


Bride and groom...in a hurry to start their married life...

via Hey Gorgeous
Beautiful, dramatic glassware...

by Mikkel Vang
The gorgeousness that is Christy Turlington...

by Steven Meisel
Dreamy, floor-skimming chiffon...


Sea shell prettiness...


Ridiculously stunning Russian...


I so missed a trick with my wedding shoes - mine were plain cream satin, low heeled as I am taller than my husband! Oh to have some beauties like this...


Andre Derain’s 'Arbres a Collioure' sold for a record £16.3 million at Sotheby's this week...


I think this fascinator looks wonderful...I was going to wear one this weekend but then in the end thought...err, maybe not...

it's mary ruffle
Vintage chandelier table dressing...round dinner tables are so much more friendly...


I just think this outfit is the bee's knees. Giovanna Battaglia, a simple dress, beautiful heels, adorable little gold clutch...makes me want to shop.


Strong-faced, down-to-earth Kate Winslet...up close...


Symmetry and wood on wood...

Counting down to my annual summer 'read-a-thon'. For some reason I find reading books really hard all year round, then it gets to summer and I manage to read one after the other. It's like I save it all up. Love to read...


Quirky vintage pendant over antique lace...


Happy weekend...!

via decor8

Remarkable things...

posted on: Thursday, 24 June 2010

Remarkable things about this week...

I went to the memorial of the colleague of mine who died recently. This explains my very pensive mood this week. It seems you never really know the people you work with...I met his lovely, admirably stoical wife, who was a rock of strength that day. It turns out they had this wonderful love story in their past. She was American, he English; they met in a bar in New York, just by chance one day. They never had kids but filled their life together with other wonders like travel and mutual interests and hobbies. So very sweet and so very tragic.


I took the kids to the beach hut after school yesterday and had the most gorgeous time. Even their Daddy made it back from meetings in London to join us and they swam whilst my Mum and I sipped our earl grey tea. So utterly civilised to have tea on the beach!


My son has decided that being polite gets him a cute vote from anyone he comes into contact with. So he has started saying 'Please may I...?' before every request and more pleases and thank yous than I have ever heard from one child. Imagine blonde curls and please may I. It works every time.

We have pale ticking curtains in our bedroom so every morning the sun streams in and wakes us at 5am. Lovely...really...but I feel like I am robbed of sleep every morning. Meanwhile the Boos, who have black-out blinds, can be wakened...

Don't worry Boo...

posted on: Wednesday, 23 June 2010

I seem to have inadvertently created a mini-me...but of the less-than-ideal variety. Boo, aged just 9, has some of my strongest emotional characteristics. By some sort of mother/daughter osmosis, despite my best efforts to stop it, she has inherited my worst worry tendency. Oh no...now there is something else to worry about... ;-)


I have well and truly jinxed myself following this post, (bordering on the pious) about attending school events, I now find that inexplicably i) it's school sports day this weekend and I got the date wrong and ii) my husband and I are at a wedding instead. Absolute double-whammy. So Boo is distraught that we will miss her moment of sporting glory and is worried in equal measure that we will be away overnight.

So the worry begins. What time will we leave? Where is the wedding? Do we have to go to the wedding? When will we be back? Will Nanny (my Mum; designated babysitter) know what to do with sports day prize giving? Too many questions in her little mind. I can't restore order to her jumbled thoughts, no matter how soothing I try to be. I find myself using that awful tactic of attempting to solution every objection she makes. That overwhelming parental urge to make it all better. Maybe all she needs is a cuddle? What do I want when I worry? I want the thing I am worrying about to go away, of course!

But in this instance, I can't make it go away; she will have to do her best without us, for once. I'll be the one at the wedding, sipping champagne and enjoying the day but with a little burden of guilt on my shoulders. Mental Note: get better at noting down future events on the calendar!


The simple things...

posted on: Tuesday, 22 June 2010

Ridiculously grateful, I am. My blog friend Jeanne left me a comment yesterday that i) completely summed up her very cool approach to life and ii) really resonated with me. She said 'it's the simple things that are the most fun for me'. Now this is hardly rocket science (no offence, J!) but still it takes someone to point out the obvious to make me stop and think.

Yesterday, I collected my son from an after-school birthday party at the beach; I arrived to see nine stripped-off 5 year olds jumping in the sand, chasing bubbles. This made me have a surge of pure gratefulness (is that even a word?!), for where we live, near the sea, for him, for happy times.

Yesterday I belatedly read the heart-wrenching piece in The Sunday Times by the actress Natascha Mcelhone, whose husband tragically and suddenly died when she was pregnant with their third child. I howled as I read it. She writes beautifully, but the rawness of her grief...to me, it's unreal. It made me grateful that my husband came home last night.


A friend of a friend, I heard, has breast cancer...she had her operation last week; the loss of so many things, be it anatomy, femaleness, to the life she once knew. Makes me grateful for health, beyond belief, but also so, so sympathetic.

The thing is, getting this down in a blog is tantamount to gushing about one's life in a way that surely makes others recoil. Life is a strange thing. It's the simple things that make life relevant to others. That spark of recognition to think 'yes I know.' The simple things that count. The simple things that kids remember.

So it's the simple things I will think of today...

via are so happy

Monday muse...

posted on: Monday, 21 June 2010

I have had a wonderful weekend spent at garden parties and barbeques with old friends and new. June at its best; although if I am being absolutely honest, it could have been a tad warmer!

In my little world today:

...waiting for the pink roses to start entwining around the trellis on my new white picket fence. I could be some time!
...clearing the mess that was accumulated after a concerted effort to spend the whole and entire weekend NOT tidying up.
...getting ready for the summer wedding we are going to on Saturday.
...baking after-school treats.
...catching up, catching up, catching up!
...trying to keep the weekend's 'happy feeling' as a Monday muse.


I am guest posting on The Bottom of the Ironing Basket today. When I first started blogging, Simone was one of my earliest followers, always there with insightful comments and words of support. Simone is a treasure... as is her gorgeous blog, so I was delighted/quite chuffed/slightly scared to step in and help when she found herself without computer access this week! Go and see...did I do OK?! ;-)

Things of beauty...

posted on: Friday, 18 June 2010

What to say about this week? I am, I must admit, LOVING my days off work when the children are at school. There is something utterly precious about dropping them off knowing that I have a few hours to go til I collect them. I swear it makes me a better Mummy to have those hours...I fiercely guard what I do with that time, so I am ready to collect them with a 'wholesome' snack and smiles and kisses and 'what did you learn today?' chats. It's bittersweet though as I the school holidays are lovely too - lie-ins and chilled out summer days.

I have had some lovely, humbling and thought-provoking comments this week, thank you. I now know I can rely on you to set me straight, walk me through, hold my virtual hand...it's a lucky thing for sure.


Must find a way to feature yellow in my house...


This is Uma Thurman; all 6' of her...I love the sprawl of city behind her and the summer decadence of bikinis and cocktails...


'Mother and Child' sketch by Pablo Picasso...


Doesn't this cake just look soooo good? It has such a village fete feel about it. There was a coconut shire at my children's school summer fair last weekend - we won two coconuts (my husband has a good bowling arm)...


South Sea pearl ring by Astley Clarke. My Mum used to have a ring like this...just one pearl sitting proud. Made me think of her to see this. Classically beautiful...


January Jones from 'Mad Men'. I must catch up on my viewing...the period styling is just to die for - retro heaven.


 For all the dog lovers - Tania, that means you - how cute is this pup? Boo is desperate for a puppy; I am staunchly resisting. We have a (crazy) cat, I don't want another thing to have to provide care for. We can barely keep tomatoes alive in the greenhouse...


Is it just me who has a slight crush on this chap? Bradley in a bath...


A wonderful fluttery wedding dress, ready for the main event...I always like to see dresses hung up like this; makes me smile.

via 100 Layer Cake
A good friend of mine has lost her computer access this week (pesky gremlins!) so this is for Simone...in the absence of Friday Fabulousness!

via The Bottom of the Ironing Basket
Yellow roses...gorgeous.

via it's mary ruffle


Eames rockers...my enduring love...


Here's to casual but groomed ;-) weekend dressing...


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