Sunday, 31 August 2014

The Best Photo Of The Week

The Best Photo Of The Week

I am sorry it took me a few days longer than usual to get this one up but I didn't really have anything that would make you smile. Until yesterday that is when I captured a bit of father/ son time as Rob and Raph played together in the tent. It is so important that they have this time together especially as Rob had been working all day, again, so once he was home he just devoted himself to the kids. 

Post by Emily

Saturday, 30 August 2014

Wooden anniversary shutters

As it was our 5th wedding anniversary, which is wood, I thought I'd make Emily some shutters for our front windows. She's been after some for ages, especially since our trip to France, so this was a good opportunity. The decking wood has come in again!


Raph's Ramp

 Making a ramp for Raph

Raph is really into cars at the minute so Emily & I decided to make him a ramp for his 3rd birthday. My uncle gave me loads of old decking & It's been great for so many uses & it planes up really well. I'll let the pictures explain what I did.

I had two spare hinges for the legs so they can fold away neatly & some 1" square bead in the shed that I used to divide the ramp into four lanes.  

All ready for use with new birthday cars & to race friends with lego car creations!

Being a husband - Gifts, time & playing to your strengths

Being a husband - Gifts, time & playing to your strengths

When you marry someone, you sign up for many unknowns in the future & you promise to do many things. How can you know what you are going to able to offer your partner in 30 years? For me, there are lots of areas I think I can impress Emily now & in later life. But I definitely have my floors. Present buying is not a specialist area for me. I don't think this is because I am not thoughtful & I'm not sure if it is because Emily is such a good present giver by comparison, but either way, I don't often get it super right on birthdays & Christmas. Wedding anniversaries however, I've done quite well so far & that is plainly due to 2 things. 
1. Each wedding anniversary has a name, e.g wood, so you are already half way there for a present 
2. I try to play to my strengths, e.g make something!
The second reason is so important in any marriage, especially for a husband. No matter what women think about their choice of partner, they want them to be able to do everything. This is not possible for any human being. We are failures & if we try to kid ourselves we can do everything, God usually puts us flat on our backs! The key to playing to your strengths as a husband is accepting your flaws, but also accepting what you are good at & using it to fill the gaps in your flaws. 
For example, I am quite careful with money (tight), so I will not look for the most expensive gifts for Emily. What I do have is a lot of energy & I am fairly skilled & resourceful, so I would sooner spend the time making something Emily would really like. Instead of buying her clothes for her birthday, I would rather take her shopping so that we can spend time together. Time is one of the most special gifts to give to someone else. You can save someone else's time equally as a gift. Let them stay in bed while you do the pots, washing or get up with the kids. It doesn't have to be a grand gesture to be the most thoughtful of gifts & it doesn't have to be for a special occasion. You are a husband every day, so give gifts, give your time & play to your strengths everyday!

Getting Autumn Ready

Getting Autumn Ready

So today I have done a bit of a house clean in preparation for moving into Autumn. I love Autumn as a time for change. I love getting the tights and boots out and  beginning to hibernate. Cold walks and hot chocolates, apple crumbles and conker fights. I really do love this season.
As the weather seems so mixed at the moment I am finding it hard to decide when it is appropriate to wear a coat. Today I thought I would begin to get the house ready for the change in seasons. 

I made a few new pillows today in some spot fabric to match a chair I had upholstered. I used my 'Easy Peasy Cushions' method (see post) and just whipped them up this afternoon. It has helped freshen the sofa and make it look super squishy ready for those cosy cuddles.

I have also pulled out the cosy blankets from the cupboard for those cooler nights we have been having. I have got my woollen ones from T.K.Maxx but my linen stripe one is from The White Company,

My Hydrangea that I used in my 'Fresh Mantle Display' (see post) last week have started to dry amazingly and look great in my Kew Garden plant pots. I have got my beautiful Kew Gardens candles out that were from The Willows garden centre in Market Rasen and my St Eval Candle was from my brother and his wife for my birthday. I cannot wait to use them. The lamps have been switching on earlier too, these were actually from The Range and I am so pleased with how they look! 

The kids and I all got new pyjamas yesterday. It seemed to be that time when Etta was only going to end up with Raph's boyish hand-me-downs and Raph himself was growing, so I popped to Primark and got us all some new cosy pairs! 

My friend gave me some lovely coasters for my birthday so they are now on the coffee table ready for the rounds of tea and hot chocolate.

I also got this amazing Stag stencil from Etsy which is actually for my sisters' wedding next year, but I have a feeling I might be using it in the run up to Christmas to decorate with. I have already got it on the chalk board!

Then to add a bit of the outside, I have filled a jug with stems of Bay, Hebe and Rosemary.

Finally, just to warm us up, Rob made a vegetable curry for tea tonight! Yum yum! 

Hopefully this will get me started but I have some lovely ideas in my head for changing around the decor so watch this space! 

Post by Emily


Friday, 29 August 2014

New Bath Toys

New Bath Toys

I remember as a kid loving having empty bottles for making potions in. These were usually old shampoo bottles that were just left on the side. 
I have always struggled to find good bath toys in the shops. You can get loads of water world kinda things but where do you store them? We have a basket with lots of much smaller things in like water pipes, cups with holes in and boats. After that though, Raph usually just takes in what he wants (within reason). Recently I started emptying out old face products and since giving him a few (clean) bottles in the bath, it is now all he plays with! He loves filling them up and pouring them out. He is constantly seeing how long he has to hold them under water to fill them and then pouring them out over himself or little Etta. He just loves them! 
So, for some free bath toys that I think all kids will love, start saving those empty product bottles!!

Post by Emily

Thursday, 28 August 2014

Birthday Girl

What a Birthday

It has been such a lovely day today. Giulietta has had a wonderful birthday and has been so lucky.

Our day started off with present and card opening, and as family filtered in for morning coffee, more card and present opening was had.
We got her a pull along dog called Wooster, who came from Ragtales, a brand of soft and charming toys. Her first doll is a Ragtales and they are just so beautiful.
She was dressed in a beautiful Bob and Blossom tutu and striped number tee and just looked so gorgeous. 

After a morning being played with, I went with my youngest brother and mum to Castle Square in Lincoln and went on a Horse Drawn Carriage Ride. It was perfect for a little princess. A lovely historic tour of the uphill area of Lincoln, my mum, brother and myself all learn't things we never knew! Raphael loved it to and was amazed by the horse and the while experience really.
We then wandered down steep hill to Bunty's tea room and had a hugely delicious and filling lunch. Etta and Raph really enjoyed there cream cheese sandwiches! I had a bacon, brie and cranberry baguette, Gabriel had a BLT and my mum had a humous and olive salad. Seriously though, I am still full 6 hours later!

After that my brother and I brought two very sleepy children home!

With more playing and then a fish supper it wasn't long before exhaustion kicked in and both children where in the bath and getting ready for bed.

We have had such a lovely day, and I have captured some beautiful pictures, so for Etta when she is older, looking back at her first birthday will be full of all things girly and magical!

Post by Emily

Wednesday, 27 August 2014

Birthday Preparations

Birthday Preparations

Today we prepare for our little girls first birthday. It is the last of our summer celebrations, Raphael, myself and Giulietta all are summer babes, so she concludes our birthday's this year.
It is hard to believe she is one already! She is such a beautiful child, inside and out! She really lights up our day. I think it is possibly because her baby chat is so cute and she is not demanding in any way, she makes life easy.

From the moment we brought her home, she has been such a happy child and I can not wait for the years ahead!

What is lovely about birthday's and blogging is that I love being able to share our style and ideas with you. You may have seen Raphael's birthday post and all the decorative detail we used. Part of me purchasing the nice bunting and paper pompoms was so that we can use them through the year to celebrate with. I have got my paper bunting and pompoms from The Last Detail online, and our Balloons came from Party Planet in Lincoln. I also used some lovely letter bunting from Shop 44 in the Bailgate, Lincoln, which really gives another lovely detail. I got out the ribbon garland I made ( see post 'Ribbon Garland') and used my Kew Garden plant pots with the Hydrangea from The Arbour Florist in. I placed a lovely big 'E' letter and a picture of Etta as a new born on the mantel and I have changed the table cloth for a lovely sheet of Cath Kidston Oil Cloth fabric which is lovely and bright for a little girl!

She will not notice any of these details apart from the balloons but it gives us a lovely party atmosphere!

It was hard deciding what presents to buy Etta. Both children always get new clothes from us but I don't really save them for there birthday's, just use as we need. Rob has always hated the thought of opening clothes instead of toys, think the actual quote is from a film or something, so I don't really give them clothes as a present. As we have a lot of the baby/toddler toys from Raph, I have Refused to buy them again in a pink version. She doesn't care! I did think I would get a toy pram but as she is not walking yet, I think I will save that for Christmas. Instead, I have gone for something that I think she and Raph will both like a play with. (Will post tomorrow)!! 

As I have been working and I am out tonight, I asked my sister Ella to bake me a sponge cake! It mean't that all I had to do was decorate it! It is a simple Victoria sponge recipe, and I have used jam and butter cream to decorate!

So here we are, another Birthday!

Post by Emily

Last Week's Catwalk

Last Weeks Catwalk

I have decided that I am going to share 3 outfit images with you each week as I felt through the summer it has begun to get quite repetitive and I don't want to bore you! After feeling inspired from the reams of beautiful young bloggers having loads of photos of one outfit I thought I would try downsizing 'last week's catwalk" in outfit terms and give you more detail  on a smaller number of outfits so that it doesn't  get too repetitive. Let me know what you think!

Unfortunately this last week went by so fast and I hadn't thought of this plan, I have no pictures of Rob and I have no detailed pictures of individual pieces. 

Honestly, I am beginning to loose the battle with it all! Some one just put me under a duvet!! We have been here, there and everywhere. Working, playing, parenting, birthday organising, camping, making, instagraming and so much more for the last 2 weeks, I am pretty exhausted! I think I just need to stop!

So here is last weeks catwalk after that moan!

I started off the week with a 'lazy look' consisting of blue skinny jeans from ASOS online, a beautiful ribbed blue cropped jumper from Marks and Spencer and 2 pairs of Millie Mae vintage socks that I picked up at the Country Living fair in London.
I then went on to wear a beautiful birthday gift from my Mum which was a River Island waterfall check coat in navy. This is so nice, but it is light weight so in this mix over of seasons it is perfect! I wore it with some navy River Island skinny twill trousers and a white long shirt from H&M. I put on a bright orange jewel necklace from Tesco but it is pretty old now! I also wore some New Look simple nude court shoes.
Then another more relaxed look in a cashmere blend oversized jumper which I picked up at the Country Living fair in London, my Zara ripped jeans and some grey tweed with jewelled shoes from New Look. my extra Long necklace is a Next one.
I must say, last week was a lot about ease. My 'Mum Style' has got to be practical sometimes!

Giulietta has started getting her Autumn wardrobe which is exciting. With the drop in temperature we have got the tights out! 
Her first outfit is a beautiful denim dress from H&M that was only £5.99 full price!! I got it from the new Lincoln Store. She wore it with a Bunny print top from Next and some H&M tights which came in a two pack.
She then went on to wear some of her favourite items, and ones you will of seen before, her pink Next top (which came in a 3 pack with the bunny one) and Next blue spotty soft trousers. This outfit is perfect for a wannabe walker, really easy to move and crawl in!
She then got very cosy in a new season Next (part of a three pack) grey top, matched to new season denim Shorts and Red tights, both Next. For that extra snuggly feeling she wore her Mini Boden fleece gillet. 

Mr. Raph was as cool as ever as her started to wear some of his new Autumn wardrobe. Next, H&M and Boden has done us well!! 
To start, he was wearing all new Next and H&M. His gillet, and hat were both Next and his Trousers and striped top are H&M. He wore his Lacoste boots which he got at Christmas.
He then went on to wear Next berry Chinos with a Next Navy jumper and Mini Boden check shirt.
His final outfit and one that made him look very grown up was a black check shirt and granddad tee from H&M and black skinny jeans from Next. He wore his new Vans shoes that he got for his birthday!

Like I said, unfortunately, Rob was just not on my radar last week. He wore loads of good outfits but just getting one simple picture proved to be too much! 

Have a look next week to check out what we are wearing!

Post by Emily

Homemade Buttonhole or Corsage

Homemade Buttonhole or Corsage

I thought I would share with you a little 'how to' in making a buttonhole or corsage. Buttonholes are traditionally for men and a corsage for a woman. You would often find a buttonhole less fussy than this but you are in control and you can add or take away flowers as you please. This is how I would make  one. It dose not involve wires, more professional finishes would.

I have used Astrantia x2, Rose, Lysimachia, Eringium (thistle) x2, Symphoricarpis (hedge berries)x2, Eucalyptus x3 sprigs. 

You need to have in your mind that this is not a formal process. As you place each stem, you will be able to see how it fits and wether or not it looks right. I have placed each stem one at a time. What you need to think about is keeping the back flat and building around your main flower, a rose in this case. Start with the largest head then add you greenery. Begin to place each flower head in front of 
and next to the large head. Slowly it will begin to come together and create a visual buttonhole. The more you add, the more you will see it clustering nicely. Keep it tight and even if you want to place stems further back, just slip it where you want it and hold tightly. 
For a man's buttonhole, you might want less flowers so just don't use too many.
When you are happy with what you have made, you will need some pot tape to sucre the stems in place. 


Once secure, I have used Raffia to bind the stems by wrapping it around a few times then securing with a knot. I then made a bow out of raffia by putting numerous stems together and making a classic bow. Then attach with a thin strand tying it around to the back of the corsage and knotting.

Here is a couple of picture of it on me. Secure with a pin and enjoy!

Post by Emily

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