Styling a Chesterfield sofa

I was recently contacted by The Original Sofa Co* who have been making Chesterfield sofas for over 135 years at their workshop on the North East coast. Now, you might be thinking, what on earth is a Chesterfield sofa but I promise that once you see one, all will become clear! They are a total classic item and wouldn’t look out of place in any stately home across the country. They have an impressive client list that includes the Google head office and Harvard University! Furniture like this really is the definition of an ‘investment piece’ and is the sort of thing you can expect to hand down for generations to come. At the very least, they come with a 50 year guarantee!

Inspired by the look and feel of the Chesterfield, I wanted to create some moodboards on ideas of how to style these beautiful, traditional pieces for the modern home.

Traditional English Heritage with a Modern Twist

This look is based around a traditional English heritage style but with a slightly modern twist, editing it to suit any regular home up and down the country. Expect to see lots of tweed and tartan! (I totally can’t stop thinking about Ron Burgundy with his many leather-bound books and apartment that smells like rich mahogany!) This sofa is the ‘Wilmington‘ named after the 1st Earl of Wilmington, Spencer Compton, who became the UK’s second Prime Minster back in 1742.

 

Modern Heritage Interior

Pretty in pink

If you’re too scared to bite the bullet and fork out for a pink sofa, despite how awesome they can look (hello Gal Meets Glam!), it’s easy enough to add plenty of gorgeously girly accessories to make your living room the bijou boutique you’ve always dreamed of. This look features the Goderich Chesterfield sofa which is covered in a contemporary stone fabric rather than the more traditional leather that this style of sofa is generally associated with.

 

Pretty in Pink!

Grown-up tropical

This look focuses on the current trend of ‘tropicals’ with a grown-up, elegant twist. Lots of pineapple and palm trees to make you feel like you’re on holiday in your own home. I love the earthy, muted tones with pops of gold in this look. To be honest, this one is probably my favourite. This look features the Wilmington Unbuttoned Chesterfield Sofa which might appeal to a wider audience, especially if you really do plan on handing it down through generations.

 

Grown-up tropical

 

So what do you think? Would you invest in a Chesterfield Sofa? Which of these looks do you like best?

This post is in collaboration with The Original Sofa Co

Race Day Fashion

I love looking through the pictures to see what people wore to the races. I find it so much more interesting than any of the red carpet stuff. It’s easy for a celebrity to look amazing with their insanely expensive designer dresses and hair and make-up artists on stand-by throughout the evening. What I love about race day is that they are real people, wearing real outfits, having a good time. I’m sure if you’ve seen any race day photos before you’ll know that there are some people who hit the nail on the head and look effortlessly perfect and there are others who don’t quite get it right and end up looking like they got dressed in the dark.

I thought I’d make the effort to put together some outfits for men this time as well as women as it’s important for men to look the part too*. I know a lot of people think it’s easy for men as they can just stick on a black suit, a white shirt and they’re ready, but I think men these days like to have a little more fun with their choices, especially with people like Will.I.Am, Pharrell Williams and the One Direction boys constantly pushing the boundaries.

 

Men's race day fashion

 

This is quite a classic look and a light brown suit with the added up lift of sky blue makes for a great summer look. You could go super trendy and omit socks for this look or add a big chunky watch to make it extra snazzy. Yeah I said snazzy.

 

Women's race day fashion

 

I almost fell off my chair when I saw this dress. It’s just utter perfection. Why do the shops always stock the best stuff when I’m a massive pregnant whale and can’t fit into anything? I love the pop of bright nail varnish to bring all the colours of this outfit together while the neutral bag and shoes let the floral print take centre stage.

 

 

Men's race day fashion

 

I have to admit that this look was slightly inspired by a mix of Louis Tomlinson from One Direction with the polo neck and Rosie from Rosie Outlook’s brother with the tartan jacket as he wore a tartan jacket to her wedding and it looked awesome. Paired with rolled up chinos, no socks and loafers this is the ultimate in cool suit-wear for the modern man. You definitely have to be a certain type of person to pull this off. I know there’s no way on earth I could convince Nick to dress like this.

 

Women's race day fashion

 

Another dress that I’ve TOTALLY fallen for. I love that this is like a dark, edgy floral for those who like to feel girly but without rocking that super sweet pastel ‘pretty girl’ look. I would definitely wear this.

*This post is in collaboration with Suit Direct

Top Trends for Spring/Summer 2016

It’s finally that time of the year when shorts, sundresses, and sandals can once again be pulled out of storage (or bought anew from that favourite shop) for the season. And now that spring fashion is in full swing, why not start looking ahead to the styles that perfectly reflect the balmy, sun-washed days of summer? From laid-back designs to feminine details and everything in between, the season’s offerings ensure that there is something for every taste. Seamlessly take your wardrobe from spring into summer by incorporating these top trends into your warm-weather rotation.

Pajama-Inspired Pieces

It may be true that wearing underwear as outerwear is nothing new (hello, corset trend), but this season, silky pajama-inspired separates are topping the trends as an elegant way to rock boudoir fashion. And though the slip dress has certainly become the go-to option for adding a slinky style to your arsenal, there are a variety of other pieces to consider as well. Bustle lists everything from silky tap shorts and lace-trimmed rompers to satin pajama blouses and camis as more unexpected, but just as seductive, lingerie-inspired separates. For a subtler take on the trend, pair a floor-grazing kimono with ankle boots for a sultry daytime look.

1. slip dress lyst

The Flat Mule

The chunky mule had its moment in the fashion spotlight, but now it’s time for an updated version of the classic shoe to take center stage. According to Style Caster, fashion lovers are opting for a more lo-fi take on the shoe for the spring/summer season, with flat mules in leopard print, flashy metallics, and classic leather making the rounds. A dressier alternative to a shoe you might wear poolside, the flat mule is versatile enough (not to mention comfortable enough) to be paired with anything from denim cutoffs while running errands to a mini dress on date night. As seen in Lyst’s extensive collection of options, there’s a flat mule out there for everyone, whether you love the bold finish of a print or the chic simplicity of a neutral.

2. flat mule lyst

Ruffled Accents

If just hearing the word “ruffles” brings to mind your grandmother’s matronly frock or the less-than-flattering bridesmaid’s dress you were made to wear in your friend’s wedding two summers ago, it’s time to give this particular accent another try. This season’s ruffled pieces are decidedly fresh thanks to cascading silhouettes, unconventional fabrics, and asymmetrical hems (see designers such as Balmain, Chanel, and Jason Wu for further proof). While the demure detail still retains its signature feminine flair, this trend takes on a modern, minimalist vibe when styled with vintage denim and of-the-moment mules.

3. ruffles lyst

The Tassel Earring

The fringe trend has officially broadened to encompass the jewelry world this season by way of the fun, flirty tassel earring. Swingy and statement-making, these earrings come in all shapes, colours, and sizes. Adorn your lobes with a technicolour pair that pops against a neutral ensemble or opt for smaller chandeliers in a solid hue for a more versatile approach to the tassel trend. Brit + Co even named the tassel earring summer 2016’s accoutrement of choice. And really, with styles ranging from sleek, silvery drops to bold and bright ear jackets, who could argue with that?

4. tassel earrings lyst

*This is a collaborative post

Considering a Greek Island holiday

Now that I’m pregnant again it’s unlikely that we’ll be going on a big exotic long-haul holiday any time soon and I won’t be able to fly after 28 weeks, which will be around August-time so we were thinking of squeezing in a quick, relaxing getaway somewhere hot and pretty. Top of our list right now is one of the many, stunning Greek islands. (I had no idea that there were 227 of them!!!)

Although ‘relaxing’ is probably a bit of a stretch when you’re taking a 2-year-old along, we’re hoping that all the splashing around in the pool all day will wear Huxley out enough that he sleeps like a log when night falls. The prospect of not having to stress out about meals and cooking on top of this has definitely made us consider the joy that is all-inclusive holidays* which will be a totally new experience for both of us.

Crete is probably the most obvious destination when talking about a package holiday for a young family being the biggest and most touristy island, however it’s also said to boast the best food which I know will definitely pique Nick’s interest. I love the sound of the pink-sand beaches and Samaria Gorge looks so beautiful.

Crete

Santorini is obviously up there on everyone’s bucket list as it’s so insanely photogenic  - I mean, think of the Instagram shots, right?!? However, I’m not sure how child-friendly it is and I’m worried that it will just be a bunch of honeymooners and older couples whose kids have left home and Hux won’t have a whole lot to do.

Santorini

To be honest, the island that has captured my imagination the most from the pictures I’ve seen online is actually Zante. I never in a million years thought I’d be saying that as I know it’s notorious for it’s massive clubbing areas, in fact, my sister went when she was a teenager and had a typical Brits-abroad getting smashed type holiday there. But apparently, in a similar way to Ibiza, if you avoid the touristy areas, you’ll be rewarded with forest-covered mountains and insane turquoise seas with no noisy nightclubs ruining it all. (Also, it’s real name is Zakynthos – who knew!?)

zakynthos

So, who knows where we’ll end up! Have you visited any Greek islands before? Have you got any advice or tips about where we should go or what we should avoid?

 

 

Renovating a house

One of the things that I’ve thought about a lot while I’ve been in California is how much we’ve achieved in the past year. Facebook keeps sending me those reminders of what I was doing this time last year and seeing all the photos of our house renovation pop up really brings it all home to me how crazy the past 12 months have been. If you’d have told me 12 months ago that today I’d be sitting in California and our house would be nearly completely finished, there’s no way I’d have believed you. We were living at Nick’s parents, Nick was waking up at 6am to drive to the house to get a couple of hours work done before driving an hour to work all day as a food judge, having to do his copywriting work in his lunch break before driving an hour home and working until 10pm at night on the house before driving back to his parents and flopping into bed completely exhausted. This went on for the best part of 4 months. Then he broke his leg. (Luckily most of the house was finished by that point!)

bedroom1

I know it’s easy to make stuff like this look like no big deal on blogs and social media but I just wanted to write a post about what real hard work it’s been. Nick & I did 80% of the work ourselves (and I’ll be honest, 90% of that was just Nick). We knew that in order to maximise our return on investment, we needed to be doing the work ourselves. We didn’t hire a £250-a-day skip, we drove to the local tip several times a day or dug several enormous holes in our back garden and buried the rubble – which is completely backbreaking. We didn’t hire a decorator or a painter, we only had skilled tradesmen in for things that were completely essential. The only ‘luxury’ was having a tiler as Nick had made a bit of a mess in our last home so I put my foot down on that one!

bathroom 1

1. It will take longer than you expect

Everything you plan to do is guaranteed to take longer than you expect or allow for. Even if you get tradesmen in to do the job, there always will be delays, whether it’s people just deciding not to turn up for the day without letting you know, or delays with supplies being ordered and delivered or  in getting the building inspector to come and sign off the work before you can do the next bit, everything will take longer than you want it to. Try not to stress out too much. Most of the time it’s out of your hands. Go and have a cup of tea and appreciate the rest.

kitchen1

2. It will cost more than you expect

Yep. There’s a whole ton of stuff that we didn’t budget for that soon adds up. We were quite accurate with our estimates for the big stuff like plasterboard and paint but all the little things like nails, screws and paint rollers that cost £5-£10 each time means the costs quickly mount up. That’s without factoring in the furniture that you didn’t realise wouldn’t fit up the stairs (hello new bed*!)

kitchen3

3. Things will go wrong

Countless things went wrong during the renovation process. Nick sliced his hand open rather badly on a porcelain toilet that he was smashing out, Nick’s dad hurt his hand while he was knocking down a wall for us, my dad did his back in while he was helping to strip wallpaper and that’s without mentioning the physical things that went wrong with the house! You’re bound to measure something wrong at some point or drill a hole in the wrong place or drag a bucket along a freshly painted wall (yes these all happened) but don’t sweat, most things can be fixed quite easily – as long as you don’t nearly electrocute yourself on a random wire poking out the kitchen wall that the electrician assured you was dead!

garden1

4. Nobody around you will quite understand your exhaustion

Unless they’ve been through it themselves, nobody else will quite understand the extreme exhaustion you’re going through. The constant calculation of measurements for huge, really expensive items and worry that you’ve given the correct figures mixed with the hard manual labour is truly exhausting (& that’s before you add a toddler into the mix). Trust me, it’s nothing on a newborn baby.

kitchen2

Obviously, here we are a year later and I can honestly say it was totally worth it. I love our house so much. But this kind of project isn’t for the faint-hearted!

You can see the finished rooms at the links below (we still haven’t got much art on the walls though, I think it will always be a work in progress!)

Kitchen | Bathroom | Bedroom | Lounge | (I haven’t actually done an office one yet!)

*This post is in collaboration with Oak Furniture UK as part of their DIY Disasters campaign

What to wear on holiday in Mallorca

Mallorca is such an ideal holiday destination for so many people and it’s not hard to see why. Beaches, sunshine, culture, good food, the list of reasons to visit is endless. Not to mention that you can fly there from most local airports, without having to lug all your stuff to a major city airport. The lucky people of Mallorca see over 300 days of sunshine a year and the average temperature is 21 degrees – so what are you waiting for? Book Mallorca* today!

With this in mind, I’ve put together some outfits for some of the most popular Mallorca activities.

I thought I’d kick things off with ‘Lunch at the local food market’…

 

Lunch at the food market in Mallorca

Bag: Blank | Dress: Toast | Denim jacket: New Look | Sandals: Billabong (similar) | Necklace: Aurelie Bidermann

There’s a huge food market in Mallorca called Olivar Market (or Mercat de l’Olivar) where you can browse stands for all types of delicious wares and once you start to tire, take a rest and grab a bite to eat at one of the tapas bars. This casual pastel outfit is perfect for perusing fruit and veg and blending in with the locals.

Climbing mountains in Mallorca

 

Sports bra: Nike | Tank top: Nike | Leggings: Adidas Originals | Trainers: Nike | Hat: Roxy | Bottle: Camelbak

In 2011, Mallorca’s Serra de Tramuntana was granted UNESCO World Heritage status for being an area of great physical and cultural significance. The Puig Major is the highest mountain in the Balearic Islands and is well worth checking out. The trails are made up of stone pathways and are well marked so you’re unlikely to get lost and offer spectacular views over the ocean. And while you’re at it, why not do it in style? Check out those Adidas leggings – aren’t they dreamy? Also, I am the proud owner of one of those Camelbak bottles, in fact, Nick & Huxley do too, and I can’t recommend them highly enough.

 

Exploring cathedrals in Mallorca

 

Bag: Rag & Bone | Blouse: Mango | Lipstick: Nars | Trousers: Etro | Bow: H&M | Shoes: Gianvito Rossi 

Palma is home to the La Seu cathedral which was built on the site of a former mosque. Construction started in 1230 and continued for a jaw-dropping 400 years. It’s easy to read facts like that and just skim over them thinking ‘hmm that’s interesting’, but seriously, FOUR HUNDRED YEARS. That’s insane. And it’s huge. The nave (central part) is 44m tall (Notre Dame in Paris is 33m). As far as I’m concerned, those 400 years were time well spent as it’s totally beautiful and this outfit would be perfect for walking around and exploring all the nooks and crannies.

At the beach in Mallorca

 

Bag: Accessorize | Sandals: M&Co | Suncream: Nivea | Swimsuit: Topshop | Sunglasses: RayBan | Hat: Eugenia Kim | Kaftan: Melissa Odabash

And last but not least, the pinnacle of any Mallorca holiday – the beach outfit! How amazing is that swimsuit! I love when you find great looking high street pieces. And don’t even get me started on that hat! How cute! I spotted Rosie Londoner wearing it in one of her blog posts recently and fell head over heels. It’s a bit pricey for my little purse though!

*This is a collaborative blog post

How to decorate your house like a pro

It can be difficult in this age of cookie-cutter interiors, where everyone’s home looks like it jumped straight out of the Next catalogue, to put a unique spin on the finishing touches in your home. BUT! I’m about to help you remedy that with the help of a glorious website called Uncommon Goods.

Uncommon Goods recently contacted me to ask if I would put a post together for them and I jumped at the chance after getting lost in their website for several hours. (Seriously though, you have been warned!)

There is WAY TOO MUCH cool stuff for me to showcase all of it here but I hope you’ll check out their website and have browse around for yourselves. And before you start feeling guilty about clicking and shopping, you should probably know that Uncommon Goods have a Robin Hood twist. The lowest-paid worker at Uncommon Goods earns 50% above minimum wage, over a third of their collection contains recycled materials and support four different not-for-profit organisations including Women for Women International and American Forests. So there, now you can shop with purpose and no guilt whatsoever. You can thank me later.

This map was one of the first things that caught my eye when I scrolled through their selection of art work. Then I noticed it was made by the amazing children’s author, Oliver Jeffers, a firm favourite in our household. And of course it’s of America. I’m starting to wonder if there’s too many map and/or America related pieces of art in our house now? (Although saying that, this series of prints by Carolyn Gavin has taken my fancy too…)

oliver jeffers places in america map uncommon goodsERMAHGERD I need this hammock chair in my life immediately. Once we get our back garden sorted out, Nick is planning on building a decking area so there’s more room to sit people, but mainly because he wants to fit his smoker on it. I’m wondering if I can convince him to construct some sort of device so that I can hang this somewhere. It’s literally my life-long dream to have a hammock. Check out the rest of their unique furniture here: http://www.uncommongoods.com/home-garden/furniture

do good hanging chair hammock uncommon goodsI practically squealed with delight when I saw this living wall planter. I know that you can grow plants vertically, and I’ve seen several ‘living walls’ around and about but it had never occurred to me that you could make a teeny weeny version to have in your home. I love love love this idea for the bathroom or even the kitchen, but really, anywhere you can squeeze an extra bit of living green stuff into your house the better! For me, the home decor section is the area that Uncommon Goods really excels at. There’s tons of quirky bits and pieces that you definitely won’t find anywhere else.

succulent living wall planter kit uncommon goods

I love the colourful, playful illustrations on these cushions. I was never really into personalised stuff growing up because my name is Emma and there were like 3 other Emma’s in my year at school so it never felt special or exciting to see my name written on stuff. However, now we’ve got a little Huxley and you can’t find his name on ANYTHING, I’ve definitely become more interested in things that can be personalised. Hux would love these cushions but I’d have a hard time deciding whether to get the bear one or the elephant one. There’s tons of great wedding gift ideas on the website too.

personalised story book pillow uncommon goodsSo there you have it. Another website for you to lose yourself in for a few hours. Let me know what you love on the Uncommon Goods website!

 

 

 

My favourite iPhone games

Being so close to the technology capital of the world (San Francisco & Palo Alto) and having got so much use out of my phone recently while trying to combat the boredom of being alone all day every day with Huxley, I wanted to write a post about some of my favourite fun iPhone games for keeping myself entertained.

I’m not really into a specific ‘type’ of game, I’m happy to give most things a try but I have to say that when I find one I like, I’ll stick with it and probably won’t ever get bored of it.

Candy Blast Mania

I know every man and his dog raves about Candy Crush but I actually MUCH prefer Candy Blast Mania. This is the game I’ve probably had on my phone the longest. I think the levels are much more fun and I get stuck a lot less than I did on Candy Crush. The thing that really put the nail in the coffin with Candy Crush for me was that you have to constantly pester your Facebook friends in order to pass levels. It’s been a few years since I’ve played it now so they might have updated that stupid feature but I still get game requests ALL THE TIME on Facebook so I’m guessing maybe they haven’t?

candy blast mania(photo credit)

HayDay

This is an app that I actually had to delete from my phone because my level of addiction was far too real. Like I genuinely thought it might end in divorce for Nick & I if I kept it. Again, everyone raved about Farmville but I just didn’t get on with the gameplay of Farmville and found HayDay much more intuitive and fun to play. I warn you now though, it’s seriously addictive! Ask Brogan!

hay day farming game app(photo credit)

Evil Apples

Evil Apples is basically an app version of Cards Against Humanity. I stumbled across it one evening while discussing the game with some friends and we all quickly got a bit addicted. Even Nick has this game on his phone and he HATES playing games on his phone.

evil apples cards against humanity iphone games app (photo credit)

Blackjack

Yes, I do like to pretend I’m a member of Oceans Eleven. I’ll be honest, I’m still not entirely sure what I’m doing or how it works but it’s pretty good fun anyway. You can play blackjack online using the Betway website if you don’t trust yourself to have it on your mobile!

blackjack game betway app (photo credit)

Covet

This is a proper girly one. It’s basically playing Barbie dolls but even more awesome. You can change hair & make-up styles, skin tone and play the daily challenges to collect money & diamonds to save up to buy more clothes. The clothing collections change from season to season and are all from real-life designers. You can even shop directly from the app. It’s definitely the daily challenges that make this game so addictive for me. You can vote on other people’s outfits too. The aim of the game is to win money by creating the best outfits in the challenges so that you can buy more clothes so that you can unlock different hair and make-up styles as the value of your wardrobe increases.

Covet fashion app

 (photo credit)

Diner Dash

This is an old favourite that I return to again and again. It’s one of those games that is easy to understand, has just the right amount of challenge and excitement and you can easily waste hours and hours completing level after level. Luckily you only get 3 ‘life stars’ at a time and each one takes 20 minutes to regain otherwise I would spend a scary amount of time playing this!

diner dash(photo credit)

 

If you enjoyed this post, I’d love to hear from you, and if anyone is interested in my favourite (& Huxley’s favourite) iPad apps for toddlers then give me a shout and I’ll put one together!

 

Some exciting news!

If you watch my weekly vlogs, you’ll probably already know that we’re about to go to California for 10 weeks. It’s all very exciting but has also been quite stressful due to how short-notice it’s all been. We’re leaving in two weeks time and only got our accommodation booked last night! In fact, we’ve only actually found somewhere to stay for February so far! We’ve still got nowhere to stay for the whole of March yet! I can tell from the reactions of most of my family that they think we’re a little nuts. If you’ve known Nick or I for any length of time, you’ll know it’s almost impossible to have a conversation with either of us without San Francisco or California being mentioned at some point. It’s always been a bit of a pipe dream to live out there so it’s nice to almost make that dream a reality!

So, here’s the plan. We’re going to be staying in San Francisco for a couple of days and then we’re going to stay with Nick’s friend in Moraga (just outside of Berkeley) for a few nights before settling down in a 2-bedroom AirBnB apartment in Sonoma for the month of February. After that, who knows?!? We’ll still be staying somewhere in wine country for March but it could be Napa or Santa Rosa or Sonoma again, we’re just going to play it by ear and see what happens. Then, on April 1st, we’ll either be driving North to Portland, Oregon for 10 days or South to Los Angeles before flying home on the 11th. Nick has even talked about driving across Nevada and Idaho to Montana but when I asked him what he wanted to see/do in Montana, he couldn’t really give me an answer so I’m not sure that will happen – but I’ve just typed Montana into Pinterest and I might be easily persuaded! Yellowstone National Park is even closer than Montana and I’d totally be up for that!

I have to admit that I’m a little bit nervous about how I’m going to find day-to-day living there as I’ll be on my own with Huxley a lot of the time, with no nursery to give me a break and no relatives or friends to go and see to break up the day. I’ve spent ages scouring Facebook for local mommy groups and have scouted out where the library is and I’m going to try and make a little map of the local neighbourhood parks I can walk to as I won’t have the car every day. As silly as this sounds, I have to admit that I’m pretty worried about my teeth as everyone out there has a Hollywood smile, if I could afford some major dentist* work beforehand then I would definitely do it! I have a feeling they’ll probably guess that I’m British before I even speak!

I have to admit that I’m pretty excited about leaving England for the whole of February. I really hate February! I’m not good with the cold. But, before you get jealous about the California weather, although it’s about 15 degrees, it’s also been raining for a LONG time so I won’t be sunning myself by the pool or anything like that!

I’m super excited to be able to properly explore such a gorgeous area of Northern California. I’ve been googling all the different hikes and trails you can do and I can’t wait to visit Muir Woods as it’s been on my bucket list for years. We’ll also hopefully visit Yosemite again (see my previous post with 5 month old Huxley!) and make trips to Lake Tahoe and other surrounding areas.

If you’re not sure what wine country looks like, check out Rosie Londoner‘s INCREDIBLE photos from her recent trip, as well as Julia from Gal Meets Glam‘s blog as she lives in San Francisco so goes out to wine country all the time and takes the most beautiful photos.

Napa California

(Photo via The Londoner)

napa valley

(Photo via Gal Meets Glam)

So yeah, my Instagram feed will hopefully be filled with gorgeous sunny shots of vineyards, giant redwoods and lots of milkshakes, pie and burgers! Be sure to subscribe to my YouTube channel to keep updated with my adventures weekly!

*This post contains a paid-for link

Home vs Adventure

adventure quote

These days it feels like you can’t swing a cat without hitting an inspirational quote about travel and adventure. We live in a funny time, where everyone’s Instagram feels like a constant competition to out-exotic each other. If you’re not hiking up a mountain, trekking through a jungle or frolicking in a far-off ocean then the world isn’t interested. At least, that’s how it feels to me.

Although I’m totally for great, big adventures that open your mind and expand your horizons (insert other cliches here), today I’d like to talk in defence for the homebodies among us.

There is absolutely NOTHING WRONG with feeling happiest snuggled on the sofa in your pyjamas, clutching a mug of hot chocolate and watching a movie. I feel like if you were to admit this in public these days you’d be met with a few funny looks. We need to all chill out a little bit trying to out-adventure each other and try and find joy in the little everyday adventures that we can have. Whether that’s starting a new job, moving house or even just stomping around the forest, we all adventure in different ways.

I didn’t write a ‘Year in Review’ post this year because I was in a pretty bad place happiness-wise around New Year and I felt like I hadn’t done anything in 2015 and that it had been a bit of a flop. But last night, I was laid awake in bed thinking about all the incredible things we’ve achieved in the past year. We moved out of our flat, into Nick’s parents for 3 months and started a COMPLETE renovation of our house. We’re not talking about a lick of paint here and there, we’re talking about knocking down walls and re-plastering. The whole shebang. The fact that we completed an entire renovation of a 3 bedroom house, while Nick was working full-time for the most part, getting up at 6am to work on the house, doing his writing during his lunch breaks, then leaving work and going straight back to the house to work until 10pm or later, and as a couple, we’ve earned more money than we’ve ever earned in the past year AND we’ve managed to raise a happy, healthy, content, polite, beautiful little boy at the same time is mind-blowing when I look back on it. So although we didn’t go on any exciting holidays, in some ways, we had a much bigger adventure than we realised.

adventure quote

If you’ve been watching my weekly vlogs, you’ll know that we’re on the brink of our own big adventure for this year. We’re potentially moving to America for 2 months (and possibly indefinitely). The first two weeks of January have been a complete panic and a total rollercoaster of emotions as we try to decide what’s best for our little family. The fact that we’d have to leave at the end of January hasn’t given us a lot of time to think about it so it definitely feels very spontaneous and is a little bit scary – everything these adventure quotes have you believe means it’s the right thing to do (do one thing a day that scares you – life begins at the end of your comfort zone etc). But what if it’s not?

One of the things I’ve realised is how at home I feel in our new house. We moved back to the town that I grew up in and at the time I was really anxious that it would make me feel inadequate and that I’d feel like I’d taken a step back in life. But in reality, what I feel is extremely grounded. I hadn’t realised how much comfort I take from being in such familiar surroundings. It definitely helps that where I live is completely beautiful and surrounded by forest but I just feel like I’m in the right place right now.

I don’t really know where I’m going with this post or what the end ‘message’ is, but what I’m basically trying to say is that life is an adventure, whether you stay in your home town your whole life or whether you visit all the countries in the world. Ignore the stupid Pinterest quotes if they make you feel inadequate.