Happiness this week #2

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Happy Friday everyone! I hope you’ve had a great week? I am looking forward to a relaxing weekend after a pretty busy couple of days. I can’t believe it’s Friday already, it’s come around ridiculously quickly this week. It seems as though the weeks are just flying by at the moment, don’t you think? 

I hope you all have a great weekend ahead of you! Here’s a little list of what’s made me most happy the past week…

1.Brie, apple + oat cakes. I love brie. Nearly as much as I love camember, and jarlsberg and Edam and… okay I love most cheese!
2. late night baking. raspberry buttermilk cake at half past nine! I couldnt resist.
3. New clothes. I don’t shop online all that often, but every once in a while having a batch of parcels delivered to the house is so exciting.
4.The hour or so that Rory and I spend catching up on our days, just before going to sleep. It’s such a great bedtime story.

5. A four day week at work! I love bank holiday Mondays.

6. Chats with my mum after a hectic day at work. She always know what to say to make me laugh 🙂

7. Puppy sitting over the long weekend.It was so lovely to have my daft cocker spaniel with me, she went on lots of new adventures through the woods near my house.

8. Waking up to sunshine streaming in through the windows, it puts you in a wonderful mood for the rest of the day.

9. Reading through old copies of Living Etc magazine, and turning down corners of things I like.

10. The smell of woods in the rain. I always feel so relaxed and peaceful.

What has made you happy this week?

Raspberry Buttermilk Cake

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I love cake! Who doesn’t.

Having recently came across this recipe on the website Gourmet I decided last night, that I was going to give it a go. The cake is absolutely delicious and takes no time at all to mix together and bake. It is perfect for those last-minute cake making cravings. 

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The recipe is as follows:

  • 1 cup (130 grams) all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon (2 grams) baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon (2 grams) baking soda
  • pinch of salt
  • 1/2 stick (56 grams) unsalted butter, softened
  • 2/3 cup (146 grams) plus 1 1/2 tablespoons (22 grams) sugar, divided
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
  • 1 large (57 grams) egg
  • 1/2 cup (118 ml) well-shaken buttermilk
  • 1 cup (5 ounces or 140 grams) fresh raspberries
  • Preheat oven to around 180 degrees with rack in middle. Butter and flour a 9-inch round cake pan.
  • Mix together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
  • Beat butter and 2/3 cup sugar with an electric mixer at medium-high speed until pale and fluffy, about 2 minutes, then beat in vanilla. Add egg and beat well.
  • At low-speed, mix in flour mixture and then the buttermilk,  alternating between the two sets of ingredients, beginning and ending with flour, until all combined.
  • Spoon batter into cake tin, smoothing top. Scatter raspberries over top and sprinkle with remaining sugar.
  • Bake until cake is golden and a wooden pick inserted into center comes out clean, 25 to 30 minutes. Let sit for 10 minutes and then turn out onto a cooling rack.

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Candles

Candles

// My favourite! Diptyque Baies. I LOVE this candle, it is a wonderful combination of roses and blackcurrent leaves. The Diptyque range provides a great selection of beautiful scents and with a burn time of 60 hours how could you refuse. A perfect decorative addition to your home.

// Tom Dixon copper candle (or brass if you fancy!), with solid marble lid. The London candle from Tom Dixon reminds me of walks through city parks on a warm summer day, the combination of hot bricks and fresh greenery is a delightful change to my usual floral candles. The candle is one of a trio, designed to capture the essence of the travelling, trading and nostalgic past, combined with the vibrant future of British life.

// True Grace pressed-tin candle – A sweet and velvety texture make this a warm and deep fragrance perfect for your bedside table for those girly pampering moments, when you just need some me time!

// So this last one might be slightly budget blowing £50 from liberty, however, I feel like its worth the money. Inspired by a garden in bloom and blended with notes of Rhubarb, Lemon Petitgrain Leaves and Tulip, underscored with Heliotrope and Suede. The beautiful black wax and handmade glass vessel will bring a touch of luxury to your home.

Happiness this week #1

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Happy Friday everyone!

 I hope you’ve all had a lovely week and are enjoying the bank holiday weekend.  We’ve not got a huge amount planned this weekend. I am puppy sitting this weekend which I’m incredibly excited about! I collect Tilly, my families cocker spaniel later on today, after I’ve had my hair cut and then she’s spending Saturday and Sunday night with us. It’s the first time she’s stayed in our house over night so we could be in for an eventful weekend. Here’s what’s made me most happy in the past week!…

1. Summer time showers. the smell of rain is the best.

2. Reading the new volume of Kinfolk snuggled up in bed after a long days work.

3. The smell of suntan lotion on my skin.

4. Getting into a bed made up with fresh bed linen.

5. Purchasing some new clothes from The White Company.  Their collection this season has been beautiful. I treated myself to their Sparkle Batwing Jumper in a lovely dusky pink colour as well as their Jersey Biker jacket in cloud marl. Hope they arrive in time for the weekend!

5. WEDNESDAY NACHO NIGHT! We ate homemade nachos. It was so completely awesome, and made a rainy Wednesday evening a hundred times better

6. Tuesday’s Pilates. It was a toughie, and left me feeling achy in the best kind of way. I have only just started pilates having recently found a blog called Blogilates which produces monthly workout calendars. I am currently working my way through their beginners work out calender. The creator of this blog, Cassey, is so inspirational and really motivates you throughout the programme!

7. Making lists. I’ve been running around like a headless chicken this week (for no good reason at all!) and lists are all that’s kept me sane!

8. Making fresh coffee each morning. I love the ritual of filling up the little espresso pot and waiting for it to boil. Rory and I convinced ourselves last weekend that our lives were incomplete without a Nespresso coffee machine so that has been added to our shopping list of things to save for.

9.Having Rory home with me all Thursday night. He often works late so i cherish the times I do get to spend with him. It was lovely just to cuddle with him on the sofa while watching Harry Potter and the deathly hallows, part 2.

10. Having fresh flowers in the house. I’m going to try to make this a regular thing.

What are your Friday Favourites?

First Time Buyer Moving Essentials

Buying your own house is one of the most stressful but exhilarating things you will ever do. There’s so much to think about- mortgages, surveys, move in dates and signing of legal documents – as well as all the practical stuff. But then there’s the fun part- making it your own! A place where your own style and personality can develop and grow to achieve a space that you can feel completely relaxed in.

Having recently moved in to an unfurnished rented house with my partner I felt I could share my experiences with you and provide you with a help line to the conundrum that is- moving in to your first house. To start with you’ll probably have a to do list as long as your arm, but I’m here to help. You’ll probably have already been given some bits and bobs from family and friends so I am going to provide you with a list of essentials and some advice that I hope will help ease the transition without over stretching your pockets and also avoiding the possibility of spending the first few months using a blow up bed and sleeping bag as your sleeping quarters and living of take aways due to lack of cooking utensils.

I promise you it gets better after the initial madness!

So first and foremost;

Moving in day


There are some things that you’re going to need access to within the first few hours of moving in, like a kettle, mugs , tea, coffee, cleaning stuff and toilet rolls. Trust me, you’re definitely going to need the coffee and tea after you’ve spent hours hammering together flat pack furniture!


bathroom - simple, modern, bright

 Image sourced from my ‘Nest’ pinterest board, originally sourced from eurohomestyle.com

Bed and Bath

For the big spends such as the bed, mattress, duvets and pillow, you should try to buy the best that you can afford, these are things that are going to last for years and you will thank yourself down the line for buying better quality products.

For bed linen, make sure you have a couple of choices so as when it comes to washing it’s not a marathon task to try to get it dry on time for going to bed that night. Take a look at zara home where you will find a great range of patterns and colours to choose from at purse friendly prices, or if you want to spend a little bit more I would suggest taking a look at West Elm or Ferm Living for something a bit more unique.

For your bathroom, again at least 2 sets, with one bath towel and two hand towels per person. John Lewis have a wide colour range and are great value for money.


Interesting tiles

Image sourced from my pinterest ‘Nest’ board, originally from cdn.homedit.com

Cooking and dining

Start with a small collection of basics for the kitchen to make sure you’re not having to live off takeaways. I would suggest buying a set of saucepans that will get you going and then you can add to this at a later date. It is also often cheaper to buy a set of knives too. For both the pots and the knives I would suggest looking at marks and spencers products, they are really good value and cope well with the general wear and tear of cooking. We bought a set from M&S when we first moved in and after 2 years they’re still going strong.

For serving spoons and other utensils I really like the contemporary and modern products from John Lewis’ House Range. The range is very affordable but they haven’t scrimped on the overall aesthetics of the design. You will also probably want to pick up some necessities such as washing basin, bin, mop and draining rack. We didn’t have a draining rack for the first few weeks as I liked how uncluttered the sink looked without it.. oh how wrong I was. After washing through breakfast, lunch and dinner dishes the sink area looked far from clutter free!

Table wear is the next thing on your list to get. Paper plates may seem like an easy option for a while but after the initial first few days you will most definitely be bored of the idea and want to eat of proper tableware with knives and forks- I would recommend opting for a cutlery set with a mixture of spoons, forks and knives in it, so as you’re not spending all your time at the sink! I really like the products available from Skandium, their products are beautifully designed yet functional and ooze simplicity.

For glasses, a set of tumblers and a set of wine glasses will be fine for a good few months and then you can invest in some more when you feel you need to. If you’ve got the space I would also suggest investing in a dining table and chairs. When friends and family start to visit you do not want to be serving them dinner at a coffee table or eating of your lap from the sofa. It was fine in your student days but now that you own a house it really is worth the investment. I like the selection Habitat offer as well as John Lewis’ House range.


livingroomImage sourced from my pinterest ‘Nest’ board, originally from planete-deco.fr

Living room

If you have the budget for a sofa I would suggest opting for one out of Ikea. I really like their KARLSTAD three seater and this is the one we invested in when we moved into our house. It comes in a range of colours and different fabric textures and is really good value for money.  If you don’t have the budget just yet think about visiting a secondhand furniture shop; you never know what bargains you can find. If even that stretches your budget you could always set up some deckchairs, then once you can afford a sofa they can then be used during the summer in your garden! At the moment, Tesco have some really quirky and colourful designs on offer which would be perfect for brightening up your back garden when the sun comes out.


Good luck with the move!

 

 

Never refuse to reuse

At the risk of not getting any work done today I have finally dragged myself away from Retrouvius‘ website, I had to share with you this beauitifully designed five storey refurbishment in Primrose Hill which embraces recycling and reusing of materials to its full.

 The reuse of timber is amazing and the tile details are just perfect. Don’t even get me started on the innovative understair storage…

 

All images sourced from Retrouvius website.

 

Affordable Style

I recently came across a new home and interior brand called West ElmThe brands affordable home goods are a fresh of breath air, and a quick look on their website is an easy remedy for a grey day. They strive to make things that matter, so they collaborate with independent designers and craft communities, and strive to design products that make a positive impact on people and the environment

Their pieces provide a unique opportunity to let your personality shine through and allow your home to tell your story through providing authentic, approachable and affordable pieces.

I love the simplicity and sophistication of the brand and will definitely be purchasing a fair few products from them in the future.

Some of my favourite pieces include the following. What are your favourites?

 

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 Organic Cotton Pintuck Duvet Cover + Pillowcases- Bergamot

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 Mid-Century Sidebaord- Large

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 Tile Print Serving Bowls