Day of doubt...

posted on: Tuesday, 29 March 2011

If ever I doubt my 'working mother' choice it's on a Tuesday. As I have Mondays off, Tuesday is my Monday. Back to work after a lovely long weekend; the stark contrast between my home days and work days on full show. The school run slightly more stressy due to high heels. The drive to work an attempt to empty my mind of home actions and focus on work actions. The meetings where I realise with a little shiver shock of guilt that I have thought of neither child for hours. The email inbox mounting up all the while.

via a lady's findings from things is cool
Then at the end of the work day, the commute back, the school pick-up late and getting tired. We reach home, I change into my home evening uniform of comfies. Immediately as we enter the house I am tidying up from our hasty departure that morning; simultaneously clearing porridge bowls and cooking their evening meal. Swift cuppa tea, homework and re-stocking school bags (make an Easter Bonnet out of recycled materials to be brought to school the day after tomorrow! Ugh the extra curricular activity that is the bane of the working mother's life). I try to maintain some semblance of happy motherly mealtime, knowing that once their meal is done and they are in bed, I will do it all again for my husband's return home. This is modern life. I know there are ways I could do it that would be easier - I could let the house be a mess, I could eat with the kids and let him fend for himself when he gets home. But for me that kinda misses the point...

I get the stage in the evening when I long for some time to just reflect on the day. I want to catch up on blogs and watch trashy TV. To enjoy a glass of wine when he gets home.

But then, as it all dies down and I consider the prospect of a day off work tomorrow (I do love being part time) I come to the conclusion it's just Tuesdays. I have enormous empathy for working mothers who work full time; where every day represents my Tuesday. My heart goes out to you and my hat goes off to you. With no condesedence inferred. I know every household has its hardships and its gems of goodness, time to enjoy the goodness in mine.

via a lady's findings from ornamelle

Guest posting and Spring shopping...

posted on: Monday, 28 March 2011

Hello all - I am guest posting over at The Bottom of the Ironing Basket today...

Whilst I am obsessing over the Spring weather (short-lived, I am told) I went out today and splurged on light and breezy cotton clothes - a breton top, a lace cami, the softest white shirt, a gorgeous silk trapeze top. Ooopppsss....shush don't tell ;-)

Photograph by Polly Wreford

Things of beauty...

posted on: Friday, 25 March 2011

A week of playing catch-up. The weather has turned to Spring, which I love, but am not exactly ready  in the wardrobe department! I found myself searching out my trusty ballet flats (and scouring the web for the perfect new pair); ditching the winter boots. I have my fingers crossed Spring will stay and as the clocks change this weekend, everything is ostensibly drawing towards the lighter months. But this being England, I am reserving judgement.

As usual a time of thoughts for me; some of which I have shared here on friendship and cooking and life lessons. Some of our decisions from recent months have come home to roost, career choices and lifestyle choices. Isn't it funny that just when you think you have it all sorted something blindsides you? Nothing major or serious but more to add to the melting pot of musing that I walk around with.

Thank you for stopping by - always a pleasure...never a chore!

Welcome to my 'things of beauty'! Mr J Gyllenhaal starts the proceedings (deep breath) oh those blue eyes...!

'OHHH MY'....photograph by Henry Leutwyler in Esquire
photograph by Katie Quinn Davies on her blog what katie ate

photograph by Joshua Jordon
I adore these milk glasses on the mantel...

photograph by Edina Van Der Wyck in 'At Home with Country'

via plumo

via emerson made
Kate Winslet looking fabulous in this month's Vogue; the hair and the ring catch my eye...

photograph by Mario Testino in UK Vogue
from Country Living

I am tempted...a little Royal Wedding memento...the world will be watching Will and Kate...

Cath Kidston




the ethereal Ms Monroe
Christina Hendricks photographed by Joshua Jordon for LA Times
via le petit happy from etsy

Freja for Georg Jensen...love the styling in this ad. Especially the iconic jug and candle sticks. I wore the necklace like hers on my wedding day.



photograph by Amelia Lyon

Have a delightful weekend - waste some time, why don't you? And remember...breathe!

The girl who could not cook...

posted on: Thursday, 24 March 2011

I was the girl who could not cook. I went away to University, leaving home for the first time at 18 and I can genuinely state: I had never cooked one thing. I spent three years at University living on 'Crunchy Nut Cornflakes' and 'Danish Blue' cheese on rye bread (that's the Danish heritage kicking in). It's not that I had a bad relationship with food, I just had zero interest in cooking it. Luckily as a student I lived with friends who took me under their wing, but still my repertoire was limited. I was however always an ingredients junkie - I used to buy Parma Ham and mozzarella without really knowing what to do with it. My pasta dishes became legendary in their simplicity; pasta and one ingredient. That was it.

photograph by Aran from Canelle and Vanille
I met and married a man who cooks. I now realise this sort of man is a rare commodity. My husband cooks for real. He can make a decent meal out of not very much. He did a Home Economics A-level (for those unfamiliar with the British educational system this is a specialist level study you do at ages 16-18; that's early commitment to the culinary art!). Anyone who has ever stayed with us or come for dinner has been treated to his foodie expertise. The man can cook.

photograph by Aran from Canelle and Vanille

Meanwhile I managed to get through my twenties without cooking; I heated stuff up but had no clue about anything else. Even motherhood initially did not change this. The requirement to feed my child was met with the dreaded 'jarred food' - there you go I have confessed, yes I fed my first born on processed, shop-bought monstrosities. Then the second child came along, and with him some semblance of parental awareness and maturity. I became ensconced on the 'ice-cube' stage of motherhood and by this I mean the bizarre pursuit of pureeing fruits and vegetables and freezing them in ice-cube trays ready for a tiny mouth's consumption. I loved the ice-cube stage. To this day I swear that the process of pureeing everything from peaches to butternut squash taught me how food behaves when you cook it. It was a revelation.

I started to cook. I learned and created and now...well now I can cook. However the myth persists amongst those who know me well - that I am incapable. Everyone knows that he cooks and I just do the frippery that surrounds food; like laying the table and serving drinks. They seem surprised if I manage to put anything resembling a meal together! However as this weekend we are hosting a dinner party for 12, I think I will labour under the no-cooking illusion and let him take the reigns...

Lather, rinse, repeat...

posted on: Wednesday, 23 March 2011

I am struck how much of life is on a repeat cycle. I wonder is this just the nature of my life now? Things have levelled out for me; much to do with my children being older and I find the days and weeks seem to be merging into each other. This is also underlined by the fact that I am working on a project that feels almost identical to the project that I worked on this time last year. There is a distinct feeling of deja vu...

via are so happy, photograph from Isabel Amyo

I saw an old friend on this week; we stole away for a day to do nothing but talk over a long lunch, completely oblivious to those around us! I thought, whilst sitting opposite this utterly familiar face how much time has passed since we met almost twenty years ago. Twenty years!! We met in my first week of University, along with rest of 'the girls' who formed a group of my best buddies. Can it really be nearly twenty years?! I know I harp on about the passing of time and clearly my acceptance of this fact of life is not quite in place; I am in denial. However despite that, there is something about the richness of numerous years that I love. Of course the years that pass equate to us all growing older (yes: wrinkles), but there is something wonderful about having that shared history.


Back to the repeat cycle...so it seems my days turn into weeks and before I know it, we are almost three months into the new year. Is 2011 on some sort of accelerated pace? Along the way, I do find myself considering how many activities I repeat day after day. The morning cuppa tea, the school run, the picking-up of items in the house and reassigning to the 'right' place. Endless preparation of food. The 'porridge pot' of laundry (perfect analogy from my friend, derived from one of my favourite childhood stories). Yet for all of this repetition I am not weary or bored. I find myself where I want to be. The repeat cycle just gives me something to muse about as I go. I sense though that I live for the moment; I rarely think about the future, other than to look forward to the next family holiday. The past is largely a source of gratefulness; for what I have done, for what I have achieved and with whom. I am trying to relish this sameness as I know that change will come, in whatever form, at some point...

I am whole. Via are so happy, photograph by Kathryn Barnard, via design sponge

Monday muse...

posted on: Monday, 21 March 2011

We went away for a night to a lovely hotel. Our room had one of those ginormous beds, complete with pillowy white linen and many, many cushions. I swam in the pool when it was completely empty as twilight fell outside. After, chilled champagne and a little black dress for dinner. Interesting company and late night tequilas. There was an open fire in the room that had been lit for us upon our late return. I had a good time, better than I expected if I am honest.

by Polly Wreford
I went to the beautiful Spa and found myself fascinated by those well-groomed, well-heeled women who frequent such places. How do they maintain such a level of grooming? I am intrigued. Grooming (and by this I mean all of the little details; manicured nails, freshly coiffed hair, gleaming smooth skin) is surely for those with time and money in equal measure. I always observe those women in slight awe; the ones who almost defy age by keeping themselves so well put-together that they out do the passing of years. I don't consider myself someone who is influenced by airbrushed images in magazines, I don't read 'Vogue' and then look back at myself and worry. I can appreciate that there is a vast chasm between my life and that of a fashion model.

But in the Spa, when you see those women who are not airbrushed, they look that good in real life, now that does make me think. What I conclude is that if you have enough time and enough money you can do it. That and good genetics, like Eva Mendes here. Some of us are blessed in more ways than others!


I am off to meet an old friend today - one of my oldest, so we can compare notes on how well we are faring in the wrinkle wars!

Things of beauty...

posted on: Friday, 18 March 2011

Morning all. Happy end of the week. A week of way too much business; my project at work has gathered a pace and is so technically difficult I am having to 'think on my feet' every time I speak. Ugh. Trying my best though...characteristically.

This weekend I am doing some corporate wifery, dinner in a swanky hotel with my husband and his colleagues. Will report back next week...my thoughts at the moment: what to wear?!

The Boos are both singing in a choir competition on Saturday; children singing is innocence personified so I shall try to hold it together as we watch! There are rare times when my two children with a four year age gap between them get to do something together.

So in amongst weekend activities, hopefully some time for a run and a bit of down time. And here for you on a Friday are some things of beauty...as well researched as I could manage!


love this smile - photograph by Jamie Beck via Cup of Jo


via cabbages and roses


Nothing like a sleeping boy...

photograph by Caroline Arber

photograph by Natasha via this flickr

photograph by virginia macdonald

Impossibly perfect hair...how does she do it?

Olivia Palermo



via ginalouisadesigns via crush cul de sac

Zooey Deschanel

photograph by Olivia Graham
Spring greens...


Style Queen...fashion editor of Italian Vogue...

Giovanna Battaglia

photograph by Jamie Beck on her blog from me to you
via zoeclaudia tumblr 

Bye bye friends...Mwah!
Lou x

Coming or going?

posted on: Wednesday, 16 March 2011

Is there a strange convergence of moons and stars at the moment? I literally don't know whether I am coming or going; twice this week I have got the day wrong, insisting this morning to my children that it was Thursday when in fact it is Wednesday. Get a grip Louise...

 via everything fabulous

I am loving that the apple blossoms are starting to come out and little, subtle signs of Spring have emerged in the last week. I know I am season obsessed but honestly, it's been a long time since I saw natural flowers on trees!

Unexplained bouts of insomnia have descended on our house; Boo can't sleep so I have been back to night-time disturbances, like having a newborn. Is it in sympathy for my sister in law who is week five of motherhood; she's fine, not much sleep but all good? I notice that my patience has dwindled dramatically since those newborn days in years gone by. My ability to be up and conscious in two seconds flat has more or less disappeared.

I had an interesting birthday! Slightly belated celebrations as my husband had man flu of the worst variety (I do admit he really was quite unwell). So this meant that the orchestrated spoil-Mummy-with-breakfast-in-bed-and-copious-presents did not really happen. He did however make up for it the following day with treats and a night away at a local restaurant with rooms. I was given some fabulous gifts by friends and family; treats galore.


Birthdays are increasingly different the older I get. I sense I have entered a vacuum now where everything is drawing towards turning 40. I have three years to go (and counting) but for all of my peers it's a case of either being at the milestone or getting to the milestone or ruefully looking back on the milestone. I fully intend to spend my 40th birthday, when it comes, as I said - years to go yet...whooping it in Vegas or sunning myself in Mauritius or somewhere else divine.

Today is for getting sorted, re-grouped and set up. I need a list. And another list. I need...another version of me...to get through all these things to do. Then just maybe I will have the presence of mind to get the day of the week right?!

by decor8 ☆ holly via this flickr

A new day...

posted on: Tuesday, 15 March 2011

OK - I couldn't stand another day with no pictures so here is one; it makes me think of the summery days that I am now longing for. This season feels like it has outstayed its welcome and I need the next one to move on in. Thank you for all of your comments and emails; you rock.

photograph by Jamie Beck found on her blog 'from me to you'

Scatty...

posted on: Monday, 14 March 2011

There are times when I am feeling on top of everything and my organisational skills are primed. Then things slip and I slide from uber-organised to Mrs Scatty. I simply can not hold all the required details in my head and things get missed, forgotten, undone. This I am sure is a modern phenomenon; the convergence of school schedules and social diaries and work and house and husband and life...

I know when the scattiness is striking as I find that in conversation with people my mind wanders and I remember things I have forgotten. Or rogue birthday party invitations will surface from the piles of paperwork. As will key documents that were 'filed' weeks ago in the pile that denoted 'to do'. But then didn't get done. I find I have made commitments that I then can't meet, resulting in hours of internal mental wrangling of whether I should i) try to cancel gracefully or ii) go ahead but move around ten other things to accommodate the plan!

It's a shame. I would love to be one of those 'on it' people; always ahead of the curve. I have surges of organisation, but it's never enough to go the full distance. And then I find myself thinking 'well, if the issue is time, I could spend it doing admin instead of blogging'. Somehow the activity of blogging falls into the nice 'to do' pile; it carries so much more enjoyment than paying bills.

And on my blog, a recent commenter felt that I did not properly or appropriately credit the photos I use and so she had decided to stop reading. Let me tell you - there is a whole thorny world out there of blogging etiquette that you either do or don't subscibe to or even know about (there is no blogging rule book per se). I have not had a comment like that before and so I let it rest for a day or two before writing here. I have thoughts about this comment and what it meant; but I noticed that my first instinct response was: this is my scattiness again. I could have done better, checked further, filed more clearly, hunted down the source. Mental note: will add to my 'to do' list... ;-)

P.S. Therefore no pics today...

Things of beauty...

posted on: Friday, 11 March 2011

I started to write about my week but then as I typed, I have turned on the news and am listening to reports of the earthquake and Tsunami in Japan...the reports have left me speechless, everything here seems rather insignificant by comparison...all our thoughts are of course with those affected.

In my little life, it's my birthday tomorrow so I shall spend the weekend celebrating with family and friends. I have decided it is Spring; my house is full of tulips and daffodils. You have left me some lovely comments this week...so thank you, thank you for coming back for more :-)





the strong beautfiul face of Kate Winslet

The perfection of this speaks to me...makes me wanna - mess up the sofa... ;-)

via Little Emma English Home



I am completely haunted by the song 'Someone Like You' by Adele...


via The Littlest Things
Emma Watson in Burberry...




Why  I blog...in a nutshell...



via The Sartorialist



photograph by Elizabeth Messina

'Portrait of a Girl' by Edgar Degas.


Dreaming of summer days now...



from Cabbages and Roses

Have a restful weekend...
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