It’s hard to believe it’s November already! Soon it’ll be 2014 and if you are anything like me you will be left wondering how you could have achieved more in 2013. Instead of looking back and wallowing in self pity thinking about all the things I didn’t do, I thought why not just start as I mean to go on and keep a monthly goals list of everything I want do get done. Sounds easy enough right? Let’s hope so, I have a pretty bold-ish list and it’ll feel so good to get it accomplished.
Finish The Signature of all Things
I’ve just stared reading Elizabeth Gilbert’s new book The Signature of all Things, which is her first major novel and book since Eat, Pray, Love. It’s a huge book with a beautiful, heartwarming story about a girl named Alma. Set in the 1800′s, it emphasizes the love of a woman and her vocation, her relationships with her family and her struggle to find balance in her between scientific and artistic notions. Because I bought the physical book I can’t carry it with me on my commute so I have set an hour a evening to get this literary masterpiece finished.
Finish my Blog post on 100 Vegetarian and Vegan blogs
OK I’ve given it away, I am working on a blog post which highlights my favorite vegetarian and vegan food blogs online currently. It’s a big list but only because there are truly so many inspirational blogs out there, all of them are sooo good I can’t wait to share them with you!
Drink 2 litres of water a day
When you think about it you’ll probably wonder by I don’t do this already but it’s so hard for me as I can’t drink a whole glass of water in one sitting like some people do. So I take sips throughout the day at my desk at work. Sometimes i’ll be so busy i’ll forget and when I look back at the end of the day I would have had a glass only. So I’m planning to keep a bottle and, well, keep pouring, I know it detoxifies the kidneys and does wonders to the skin, plus I am not drinking any soft drinks, alcohol at the moment so it’s very important for me to keep hydrated.
Do Pilates at least once a week
I’ve not had time to do Pilates for the past month and I can feel myself hunched over the laptop or slumped in my chair at work and I don’t correct my posture, I know! I can feel my neck tensing up so I need to get back into the discipline of Pilates for the sake of my spine.
Do one thing that will push my adventurous boundaries
So I’m one of those people that does not take huge risks, heck I don’t even cross the road until the little green man show up. I love my comforts and my home and I prefer to stay within this zone. I’ve done a few things like surfing which I loved but i wouldn’t go bungee jumping anytime soon so I need to work out what I’ll do.
Try not to go on-line on Sundays.
It’s a day of rest, in this day and age a rest for the eyes and mind if possible. It’s so easy, I have blog posts to catch up on, reviews to post, blog posts to read on other people’s site that I’ve emailed myself during the week, it all piles up. And it can take away from spending time with my family and friends, now i’m hoping to get in a few games of scrabble in, meet up with friends for Sunday Brunch, get a longer stroll in the park, fit in a Pilates class, read my book for this month!.
There are other small things but I won’t mention them otherwise I will overwhelm myself! What are your goals for November? I would love to hear them.
Photo from Elle Decor
This is the second in the DIY home decor series, now on to the classic British styled home. With both a Royal Wedding and the Diamond Jubilee to celebrate in recent years, pride in Britishness is at its highest level for a long time. Economic times may be tough but that’s when the British pull together, showing the strong spirit that made this nation great. The Empire may be a thing of the past but British ambition has never faltered. Buying British is a great way to turn love of the country into practical support and it doesn’t have to stop at the supermarket – a truly British looking home is a joy to live in.
Raising the flag
Commonly known as the Union Jack, the iconic union flag has real flair and looks great on all sorts of household items. Union Jack tablecloths and sofas are available but they might be a bit much for most homes. For a subtler touch, cushions, pillowcases, posters and wall hangings can all work well, and they’re easy to make yourself. Personally I love the an upholstered single desk chair or just put the flag in a framed picture and hang it up.
Alongside the flag, other pieces of classic British design can look great in the home, from classic car models to pillar box kitchen bins and even red telephone box wardrobes. Simply combining those classic shades of red, white and blue can make an impact in any room. Etsy has British Decorations galore.
Serving up style
Much traditional British ritual revolves around eating, whether it’s dinner, elevenses or afternoon tea. Silver tea services and beautifully crafted Wedgewood china add a special cachet when serving tiffin or cucumber sandwiches, even if they don’t quite go with fish and chips. Handmade decorations on the mantelpiece can add a charming rustic look: bright flower vases, corn dollies and old clocks all have their distinctive appeal.
A properly British dining room or kitchen deserves proper British foods. Many condiments that spark nostalgia have made a comeback, such as ‘sixties’ designs for mustard and brown sauce bottles and Branston pickle. They add atmosphere as well as flavour when tucking into a roast with Yorkshire puddings and all the trimmings.
The British country home
Nothing says Britain like sleepy villages; afternoons spent pottering about in the garden and cricket on the green. Even urban dwellers can get a taste of the rural life by decorating their homes in traditional country style. There are lots of great furniture designs that fit this theme in stores at present, and it can be enhanced with creative touches like homemade wickerwork or handcrafted pottery ornaments. Reupholstering in floral fabrics fits the theme and also adds that hint of Victorian style that harks back to Britain at its greatest.
To add to the antique flavour of a classic British home, old photographs can be used very effectively, even in modern frames. It’s a good time to dig back through old family albums and look for the pictures past generations treasured. With a bit of effort, other favourite items like table linen and lace antimacassars can also be brought back to life, adding the creative wealth of generations to a wonderful handmade British home.
How cute is this room!- Photo again from Elle Decor
So I am in the midst of decorating my home at the moment and I’m thinking of which styles to adapt for my personal space. I adore shabby chic décor, the washed out pastels and wood hinting at that period French home vibe. It’s personal yet inviting at the same time. So when Plantation shutters offered me some tips I wanted to share them.
The shabby chic look is easy to achieve. The first thing to address is the overall colour of the room. Usual colours for shabby chic style are pastels; soft colours that are easy on the eye. A good starting point is to paint the walls in an off-white colour. This allows furniture and accessories to provide the colours of interest. Other good colours include powder blues, soft pinks, dove greys and duck egg greens.
You don’t have to buy new furniture to achieve the style, in fact, it is probably best not to. Rather, upcycle existing furniture pieces by painting it and then sanding down some of the corners to show the wood beneath. There is no reason to paint all the furniture the same colour. Paint some white, with other pieces blue or green.
For a shabby chic bedroom, be creative and paint or stencil floral designs onto bedheads and footboards, or onto the front of a chest of drawers. Replace door panels on wardrobes with full-length mirrors or fixed curtains. Some furniture, if it has an old look, can be left as natural wood, while something as simple as changing the handles can make a new piece look old.
Turn old style suitcases into storage solutions. With some design flair they can become a coffee table or a footstool, with interior storage. Paint or buy plantation shutters in different colours to hang on the wall and use as a notice or post board, a place to hang utensils in the kitchen, or an apron and oven glove rack.
The little things
Accessories can help to achieve the shabby chic look. You can get anything like verdigris-stained candlesticks, and pewter plates and bowls from flea markets and scatter them around your home, use bowls as jewellery holders and candlesticks can be places in the bedroom or bathroom. Jars and tins can be upcycled too, and look perfect when used as flower vases or herb pots. The same goes for empty wine or milk bottles.
Use highly decorative picture frames or church candles grouped together. Create unique artwork with box frames covered in discarded pieces of patterned fabric. A gilt-edged mirror would add a little sophistication to a room, and help to make it appear airy and large. And of course nothing makes it complete like a stunning chandelier!
Good fabrics for shabby chic include cottons and linens. They have a pure, clean look and can easily be embroidered to add interest, whilst lace and silks would add a layer of luxury. As shabby means comfort, a variety of fabrics could be used to cover cushions and pillows, or upholster chair seats and footstools. As these will be used as accents, the colour of the fabrics can be a little bit bolder, as can the patterns. Damask would be in keeping with the style, as would toile du jour, but bold stripes, as well as subtle ones, or any type of floral design, would work just as well.
Photo from the incredible Rachel Aswell’s site.
I know I haven’t posted in a looong while, this is because I am working on another little project which is taking up a lot of my time. But I wanted to post a Book Review I’ve wanted to write for a while –The book is SUPERMODEL YOU by Vegan Supermodel Sarah De Anna, who uses simple methods to apply and stick to a healthy balanced diet and lifestyle – whilst many people will be thinking it’s from a model and are getting ready to judge, you would be completely wrong. Firstly this model is smart and savvy enough to know her mind and body, she recognises what she needs to stay healthy and energetic but most of all, I like that the advice comes from a real place, it’s like the advice coming from a friend because the language is so simple and empathic.
The book talks mostly about 5 key stages, which include, Self Awareness and Intuitive Eating. Each stage goes through tips and advice that can be applied. I don’t want to give everything away but these are some of my favourite tips from the book.
Sarah’s book has loads more tips and advice on keeping healthy and it was a refreshing look onto a world you view without much thought.
You can purchase Sarah’s book Supermodel YOU on Amazon (this is not an affiliate link)
Thanks for reading as always and if you have any thoughts please leave a comment xx
I’ve been wanting to write a post on London for some time now and thanks to Free People I finally got the chance. I’m taking part in their UK Blogger Competition which has gotten some amazingly stunning entries so far and a UK travel wishlist for me! This is my entry. I hope you enjoy.
This is a photo story (with a few words) of some hidden treasures in London.
<3 these Vegetable wheelbarrows and Herb Garden
One of my absolute favourite places in London is the South Bank Book Market. You can find it conveniently hidden under Waterloo Bridge, it’s a regular haunt of book enthusiasts (one being me) and tourists alike. It’s also en route to work so I find myself hanging out there more than usual. It has that distinct London charm that book stores don’t, in a Mary Poppins kind of way.
I love the fact that London still has a lot of Greenery, more than you might think. This gorgeous walk is seconds away from the book stalls and leads all the way to the Millennium Bridge, which in the summer, well also the winter is a really nice walk.
The South Bank is filled with Street food vendors, Ice cream trucks, restaurants, cafes, art galleries and The IMAX, now that’s a rich mix but you wouldn’t expect anything less from London!
Oh and if you like some adventure you always have the skate park, no hooligans here, it’s just young teens enjoying what they love. I love that London gives them the space to do that.
Neal’s Yard in Covent Garden is the ultimate hippy hangout. The secret garden is smaller than it looks but it’s personality is big. Personally I think it’s the Crown Jewel of London. The colours are the beauty of this little area, like the colours of Sorrento, Neal’s Yard draws you in. Inside it’s filled with Organic beauty remedies, Juice shops, Parisian style Cafes boasting Gluten free and Vegan cakes and a small seating area in the middle which I recommend to sit and read in.
The people are as vibrant as the area!
One more place I would recommend is Brighton. OK so it’s not actually in London but I feel it’s still local as I can get there so quick, a mere 40 minutes by train from Clapham Junction. Brighton is an eclectic place, as eclectic as the people who reside there. I’m quite lucky I’ve got to go several times this year. Certainly the heat wave this year has people running to the beach but I would recommend Brighton in the months of April and May, when it’s not too hot nor cold and the beach is mildly secluded, empty beaches are a pleasure. And I’m guessing Brighton in the snow would be spectacular!
When in Brighton eat Chips and Beans, I would say Fish and Chips but I’m a veggie!
So I’ll leave you with this photo of Brighton beach and what I think of it