Things of beauty...

posted on: Friday, 29 October 2010

Today Boo is doing her first ever horse riding competition. It's dressage which means she has to have the outfit. This is so me. It's all about the outfit. With plaited hair and a velvet hat, riding jacket and fresh new jodphurs I will send her off. I am just about to bust with pride and if she comes home with a rosette, all the better.

And so to a general wondering; in the words of Robert Frost:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I -  
I took the one less traveled by.
Do you think it's better to take the road less travelled? I refer to career choices, when a 'career' was not meant to be the priority for me, it's hard to tell whether to take a leap or to stay safe and known. I need your counsel...

Palest blue's Nutcracker ballet season coming up...

Let the madness begin; every year, my lusting after a very luxe MaxMara Cube coat, complete with collars and cuffs.

This amazingly pretty image was taken by my good friend Natasha from 'She Left on a Monday'...from her first wedding shoot; the lawyer-come-fledgling-photographer...

If only...Valentino studded shoes...YUM.

via The Sartorialist
I have dressage on the brain...I don't ride horses, but how exquisite is this?

by Mario Testino for Vogue

via tinywhitedaisies
Love her posture...and the halloween legs!

These are my 'I got new boots' friend N said they make her think of Nanny Mcphee and my friend D says they make her think of Mary Poppins...thoughts please?!! I love 'em.

by Belle and Boo

Watching re-runs of SATC, I found an episode I had never seen; where she dances with 'The Russian' in an Oscar de la Renta dress in Macdonalds. Inspired...

Keira in vintage print.

Sumptuousness from Elie Saab...

I think it might be a great weekend...


posted on: Wednesday, 27 October 2010

Something work-related has made me so cross I find myself wandering around my house in a grump, thinking grrrrrrrr.... This is one of the few issues with being part time. This constant splitting of my attention; it never feels quite sufficient in either home or work camp. Even on days off my laptop is there, glowing away with new additions to my inbox; it's the gift that keeps on giving. When things blow up at work it's generally on the days I don't work, so there is always this feeling of catch-up involved. Like I dropped the ball, except I didn't! I need to work on being more clear about what I think and what I want and then maybe these grrrrrrr feelings will go away!

So I think - 'whatever' - there is more to life, such as these lovely images and this: an awesome invite seen on Pinterest which really spoke to me given that I have in the distant past endured that long distance relationship thing...

...scrumptious pie..
...the softest of pillows...
...running away together...

...a nice cuppa tea...

...and some freshly picked roses...
What could be better?!

80's nostalgia and boots...

posted on: Monday, 25 October 2010

I got such a hit of 80's nostalgia last night watching 'Adventureland' as 'Feels like Heaven' by The Cure played that it almost made me breathless. This is how nostalgia works with me. I live my normal 2010 life, very much in the moment and then suddenly a whiff of Shalimar perfume or the sound of a long lost Indie track or acknowledging the throw-back revival of certain clothing and it hits me. It takes me back. And I am there in 1988, aged 14, sporting Madonna leg warmers and crimping my hair.

Margarita Levieva in Adventureland

Back to 2010, laundry needs doing (kid's clothes not leg warmers), dishwashers need unloading (again and again like some sort of endless repetitive strain), life is happening. And despite my yearning for those utterly carefree days of youth and if I had a Bill and Ted-esque opportunity to go back to those days I just might, I find my present is all good. I think I am right where I want to be :-)

Along the way, is there a need in my life for some wedge boots like these? They are taunting me...'Lou, you haven't had anything like us before (not counting back in the 80's) you neeeed us, we will revolutionise your life'. It's hard to resist. I have the will power of a gnat...

Happy Monday!

So many things of beauty...

posted on: Friday, 22 October 2010

A week of unexpected things. A week that I thought would be tough was easy. Life is taking on an autumnal rhythm now. My son and I went to the beach for a beach hut picnic. So deserted now that the tourists have left and the beach is restored to a place for dog-walkers and people looking for the freshest of air. We wondered through the sand dunes whilst he chattered away, as only five year old boys do, about nothing, about something; whatever happened to enter his little head. Just so lovely; one of those moments that I much more aware of now as daily he grows older and wiser. One time in the future when he is a surly teenager I will remember times like that walk on the beach.

Meanwhile, I have been thinking a lot about clothes (no change) and hair (off to hairdresser tomorrow), the blocked drains and empty oil tank associated with our old, old house. In between the constant half term commentary of the Boos, this is what floats in and out of my mind.

And finally to blogging. I still question why I blog and what it all means (so typical me; just let it go Lou). I look back on posts and see parts of myself that I have shared and the lovely comments I get and it's all completely and utterly validating. This can only be a good thing so I continue...always on the look out for the perfect image or mulling over thoughts in my head that might just expand into a blog post. Who'd have thought?!

I have some many lovely pictures to share today - sometimes I have to hem myself in as there's just too much beauty!

by Elizabeth Messina

Still and always my favourite; Arne Jacobsen chairs, best when paired old and new.

via sweetiepie

Simple and perfect...

Charlize Theron, so beautiful.

Diane Kruger and Joshua Jackson (he'll always be Pacey Witter in 'Dawson's Creek' to me!) Steppin' out.

It's hot chocolate and marshmallow season...

The elusive perfect pony tail...I covet this...

What a view. I would like to sit on this porch, on my Adirondack chair, glass of wine in reach, husking corn on the cob for dinner!

Country Living

Here's to Friday Fabulousness!

Home times...

posted on: Wednesday, 20 October 2010

I feel remarkably chilled, despite the current status of things. Husband's new job = away from home. It's a two week half term (did I mention?) and I have very little planned for my charges. In response, I made a cassoulet...just off the cuff (OK, Jamie Oliver helped abit) and I shucked some broad beans. Shucked is such an underused word don't you think?

...majestic pumpkin via Everything Fabulous...
Boo has dental issues; seriously the amount of time we spend at the dentist, he must think I have some sort of dental M√ľnchausens. I don't by the way, but my poor children are subjected to daily brushing rituals in my attempt to undo where I went wrong. Never, ever enough flossing.

My house this time of year takes on it's right and proper personality. In the mornings when I get up before everyone else, I go downstairs and have come to habitually skip the fourth step as it has a creak that will surely wake every other member of the household. And as the nights draw in now at 6.30pm, it triggers me to start cooking in a way I never do in the summer months. The wind whistles down the chimney funnel to the ancient Rayburn cooker in a way that reminds me; winter is coming.

via tinywhitedaisies
The kids and I have looked in every nook of the house to find lost pennies and we are having them counted and converted into pounds today. This constitutes holiday activity for my kids...and pocket money for spending. We are off to IKEA for a Swedish meatball lunch and maybe a bit of retail.

Each day, dressing decisions for me are whittled down to jeans, boots, leggings (why did I never discover leggings til now, at the ripe age of 36? They have rocked my world).

I am liking these home times...

Still musing...

posted on: Monday, 18 October 2010

 Inside the mind of

Even though I try really hard (honest I do), I get seduced by the contents of the Toast catalogue every single season.

Is it strange/wrong that the prospect of two week's entertaining my children on my own unnerves me?

I like to wrap birthday presents in brown paper and raffia string.

There are moments when chatting with my best of friends that I realise...yep, she really does know me inside out. Those moments are the best...

Details matter to me; I notice things like ribbons, buttons and zips; if they are not quality I can't buy the item.

My wardrobe veers dramatically between classic preppy and quirky bohemian.

I have a sneaking suspicion I generally manage to get any conversation back to something that is relevant to something that has happened to me. Does that secretly mean that I think my life experience is the most validated kind and look for it in everyone else?

Given the choice I would always choose vegetables over meat, yet am not vegetarian - is this a missed opportunity?

Words like compote, gingham, mellowed, hessian please me. Does this mean I aspire to live in cabin in the woods making jam?

I conduct elaborate arguments in my mind for and against things - constantly weighing up each side of everything, be it whether I should buy that dress (usually yes), to whether I make my kids eat enough healthy food (usually no).

Does it make me a cliche that I walk in to the newly opened Cath Kidston shop in my hometown and genuinely think I could find a use for a union jack pin cushion - even though I can't sew!

Cath Kidston
Rock and roll lifestyle? I love hot water bottles, log fires, pressed sheets, candlelight on Sundays, early nights when it's raining outside.

I often I the only one like me?

all images bar one from Toast

Things of beauty...

posted on: Friday, 15 October 2010

Thankfully Friday. This week was a week of the new job (his, not mine), economy-driving, batch-cooking, homework-doing. My children break up for two week's half term today so I am planning some entertainment and some down time. I predict walks on the beach, hot chocolate in cafes and a fair amount of TV/Nintendo thrown in for good measure! I am in a 'make do and mend' phase and have had lots of old clothes dry-cleaned; I am pretending they are new...

Thank you for some lovely comments this's heartening that you all 'get' the fine line... :-)

Marion Cotillard via Coffee and Cognac
Tree-lined loveliness...

by Olivia Graham
Alexa Chung looking positively sultry...when does she ever look anything else?

Country Living

Still love this dress...the belt...the bag...inspired.

My friend E's rabbit has had a litter of eleven babies! Eeek...but lovely.

Love this 'Bonnie and Clyde' look...

A Gorgeous palette in wool...

Lavender, stripes and a whicker bag...

I think this model, Cintia Dicker is just stunning.

via Brown eyed Belle
JFK with his daughter - such an iconic Kennedy profile.

This is my friend Rhiannon who writes Hey Gorgeous and I hope she won't mind me showing of the coolest honeymoon shots ever. How happy and beautiful does she look?  Just married and with the BIGGEST smile :-)

via Hey Gorgeous
Enjoy the weekend...!
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