Things of beauty...

posted on: Friday, 30 July 2010

Here we are again! Seriously these Friday posts come around so quickly, it astounds me. 'Life moves pretty fast'...so they say. This week, the Boos have been in summer camps which has afforded me a moment or two of pause. I have decided I am in need of some life laundry; as ever I get that distinct feeling that there is too much stuff in my life and I need to edit out, net it down and then regroup.

I posted this week on models and motherhood and bringing up girls and had some inspiring comments and snippets of advice. I love this element of blogging; that tentatively putting your thoughts out there can result in some wonderful responses, some pearls of wisdom that genuinely do help me make sense of things. So thank you... x

Still dwelling on the summer loveliness that we have been having; not for years can I recall a summer where the weather actually plays its role. This weekend, time with family, taking it easy. So some things of beauty along the way...enjoy!





SJP in those Louboutin shoes...'hello lover!'...


Beautiful and simple Bvlgari diamonds...for my friend E.


'A Pink Nude Seated' by Henri Matisse, painted in 1935.


Here's to laundry days with summer breezes, open doors, curtains gently swaying...

via oh you pretty things


SJP in two-tone satin...


I absolutely love this quote which I saw here...I should always pause and consider this advice when things seem trying...


Cycling with beers on-board!


Vintage french ticking linens...

Country Living


I could not resist - for a certain friend of mine, Amanda who loves Molly Ringwald...best, best bit in 'Pretty in Pink', when she re-works the prom dress. Just classic 80's...


Sumptuousness in pink...


Gwyneth Paltrow in her Oscar-winning year in a pink dress by Ralph Lauren...


Plum Popsicles...summer fresh...

Country Living

I love this retro style fridge...we have one, but it's about to give up the ghost...




Ruffled, pink loveliness...


Have a lovely glamorous weekend!

by Chris Nicholls

Comment away...

posted on: Monday, 26 July 2010

So, the very lovely Christina who writes Fashion's Most Wanted gave me a Super Comments Award. Thank you! A few more snippets of me to expose...

Why do you blog?
It's a mental outlet for me.
I like to write.
A place to store stuff that I like to look at; a virtual pin board.
I feel the need to make some commentary about life!


What are your three best memories?
Being about 4 or 5 years old, wrapped in my Mum's softest sarong at the beach, with the smell of Delial suncream. I associate absolute and utter safety with this memory.

Our wedding day in 1999 - that moment when I saw him, even with all my nerves and the grandeur of the venue, that moment I knew.

Countless stolen moments on holidays and trips...you know when life hands you a moment and you are there almost observing from the outside. I looked around and thought 'yep, this is pretty cool'. Treking in a rainforest in Hawaii. Swimming laps in a swanky rooftop hotel pool in San Francisco. Kids playing on a certain beach in Portugal. Floridian sunsets. Snowy drive through Vermont with friends. First time in NYC. Hotdogs on a street corner in Copenhagen. Awe-struck by the Pantheon in Rome. That deserted beach, after a storm in Antigua...

If changed your name what would it be?
Audrey.

Five things couldn't live without?
Family, friends, loved ones (that's a given isn't it?).
Earl Grey Tea.
Computer.
Lip balm and under-eye concealer.
Pretty dresses.
My bed.


Four best books?
I find this really difficult. I was always a real book-worm. I studied English Literature at university so I read and read and read. And then I read some more. At high school I had this incredible, inspiring, seize-the-day English teacher who just changed my world when it came to books. So now - listing just four is almost impossible.

I do love one book no matter how many times I read it, and things from it come back to me most days. It's 'Couples' by John Updike. This may be because I am living a similar life right now (bar the raging infidelity that occurs in that book!) or because it reminds me of my parent's era as it is set in 1963. I think John Updike is a genius when observing the complexity of human emotion.

A unique and interesting fact about yourself?
As of today...having seen the Maxillofacial surgeon this morning, it's not a teeth issue after all - it's a stone in my salivary gland...WHAT?! Yep, exactly what I thought!

What do you love best about yourself?
Physically - my legs, oh and I have good feet.
Mentally - whilst it may seem to have a strangle-hold on me, I do love how my mind works.
I am thinker.

The best movie ever made?
Again almost impossible to answer. I love different films for different moods. The easy answer is I am always partial to anything by Cameron Crowe ('Jerry Maguire', 'Elizabethtown' I have a real thing for small-town America), Richard Curtis ('Love Actually', 'Notting Hill') or Nora Ephron ('Sleepless in Seattle', 'You've got Mail').



But I also love 80's classics like 'Splash' or 'Tootsie' or 'The Jazz Singer'. 'Working Girl'...infact most Harrison Ford films, I think I grew up watching Harrison Ford. 'Out of Africa' - Streep's Danish accent is spot-on.


If It were Freaky Friday who would I change with?
If I answer this instinctively I would say Marilyn Monroe, whose life fascinated me when I was a teenager.

Best thing about being a woman?
In no particular order:
Wearing high-heeled shoes. Crying freely at adverts. Having long hair. Motherhood. Make-up. Best friends. The complete girly-girlness of some elements of life that you can just immerse yourself in.


I have one commenter/blog friend whom I would like to pass this to and it's Leanne from Mrs A in the Cove. Leanne always leaves me wonderful little gems of wisdom, I was led to her blog through my other good friend. Leanne makes beautiful party spreads for her three gorgeous girls and I just wish she lived nearer to me so I could pop round for a cuppa tea and admire what she does...


Things of beauty...

posted on: Friday, 23 July 2010

The first week of summer holidays, so far so good; the entertainment machine has taken effect, grandparents and friends, walks and cinema visits, bike-rides and shopping trips. It's nice to blog for some serenity!

We have friends coming for Friday night curry, the event that signals the end of another work week. It is my nephew's christening this weekend, always love a family get-together...

Things of beauty...weaving from boater hats to breton stripes and lots in between.

American Vogue

'You had me at hello'...Cameron Crowe's inimitable 'Jerry Maguire'....



Martha Stewart



How pretty and dreamy does she look?


Milk and cupcakes, a perfect combination...


This summer weather calls for a gazebo...wouldn't it be lovely to sip a long drink in this little place?

Country Living
Dream-like models in boater hats...


‘Louis Ghost’ chairs designed by Philippe Starck...


Nautical stripes...


The beautiful Heidi Klum for Vogue...


Lavender bundles in Provence...


Utility chic...enamel ladles from Labour and Wait...




I love the milky green accents in this...and open shelves...


'Interior with the Artist's Mother' by Danish artist Vilhelm Hammershøi painted in 1889.


A Fred and Ginger-esque pose...and to think she did it backwards and in high heels ;-)

Soft and mellow white...

via 100 Layer Cake
Here's to candle-lit summer nights and relaxing...

The baby stage...

posted on: Wednesday, 21 July 2010

I have a confession. I did not like the baby stage of motherhood. It's taken me a while to be able to say that comfortably. I had my babies when I was, comparatively speaking, quite young. I was not well prepared. Of all my friends, I pioneered the way, being the first. At the age of 26 when I had my daughter, I don't think I had ever changed a nappy or really even cared for a young baby. Yet there I was, discharged from hospital with this tiny bundle.

At that time my husband had taken a new job as an Executive Assistant or 'EA' - in corporate speak this is the guy who is assigned to an Executive to basically be there every minute of the day, learning the ropes, preparing presentations, meeting the right people. A 'bag carrier' if you will. This meant almost constant presence required in the office, which incidentally was located about 50 miles from where we lived. Let's just say he wasn't home as much as he'd have liked.

I was blue. Soon after the joyousness of having a newborn wore off, and everyone returned to their lives, I was there with a new baby, very few friends in the same position, no sleep and in a state of some anxiety. I marvel at how some new mothers sail through this time. For me it was like being on the choppiest of seas; I was no longer comfortable in my own skin, or in my own presence. Everything I ever knew was turned on its head. It's amazing how such a little addition can change so much. Some say that your relationship with your first-born child is the most complex, as that child is the one who changes you. For me and Boo - this might just be true.

Over time I found my feet, but the blue feeling persisted, as all of the hurdles of new motherhood crept up on me. Breastfeeding a disaster. Sleep-pattern non existent. In fact sleep was non-existent. Meeting like-minded mothers...a gradual, awkward, pain-staking process. Completely absorbing and heavy reliance on the medical profession/self-help books for 'how to do it'. Zero self-assurance. Limited instincts that it was all going to be OK. I think I genuinely felt that those early months would define my life forever. I had no concept that it would get easier.

Of course it did...but the experience did mean that it was four years until I had another child. Having your second child is a whole different ball game, and I knew what to expect when Boo 2 came along. Nevertheless, those blues did make an appearance and I got through it, surrounding myself with strong and patient support.

I now see as we emerge completely - all that remains is an attic full of redundant car seats and baby clothes I can't bear to part with - that the baby stage is just a drop in the ocean of motherhood. It's just one little part of a much, much bigger picture. Looking after and nurturing my children is the most wondrous thing I have ever done and will ever do. I love them all the way to the moon and back. Would never change it. But my goodness those baby days were hard for me. And finally now I see, that's OK. I forgive myself.

Homage to The Sartorialist...

posted on: Monday, 19 July 2010

I read an article in UK Vogue many moons ago about Scott Schuman and what he did with his phenomenal blog, The Sartorialist (currently nearing 20,000 followers and counting). At that point in time I had never really considered looking at blogs, had no idea of the breadth and scope of blogging - from photography, to diarists, to crafts, to cooking, to fashionistas, to mothers...honestly I had no idea.

Anyway, I logged on to see what this 'street photographer' did and was literally, instantaneously hooked. I spent that afternoon hitting the 'scroll down' button and looked at every image. It was also around the time Scott Schuman's book was being published; I ordered that too! Maybe it's strange to say, when describing what is ostensibly a fashion/style/outfit blog, but I was moved by the humanness of it. I told all of my friends about it, I made them log on just to see what I had seen. I even wrote to Scott saying that what I had seen had lifted my spirits so much!  Scott wrote back...he said:

Hi there,
Thanks for the thoughtful email.  I'm glad you enjoy the site.
- S

OK so he is a chap of few words, but still!

The thing is - for all that people say that fashion is vacant and unnecessary; that there is deeper meaning in life, that what counts is what is on the inside and not the outside...I say I agree in principle, but then I turn to 'The Sartorialist'. The point I am always grappling with is that what people choose to wear is Important with a capital 'I'. Not every day for sure, sometimes only pyjama days will do. But at least every now and then...

It's not about money as his pictures will attest. It's about style and effort and quirk and different seasons. It's about elegance and appreciation and aesthetics. It's about beauty in all things, not just the conventional. Here are some of my favourites...




If ever there was laid-back summer easy elegance...


This one really caught my eye - love clothes with detail on the back...I like to think she is on the phone, idly wondering whether to purchase that red bra! Yep...I would...


I love how this polka-dot tea dress looks so modern and fresh, especially with the contrast to the 'suits'...


This one is from Sydney, I think she looks so stylish for an office day...


London girls...great picture...and that BAG! It's from here - I had to track it down!




Effortless...and possible for Mummies to emulate!


all images from The Sartorialist
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