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Garden decorating

So I have some pretty exciting news! We FINALLY exchanged on our new house this morning! Our offer was accepted in November and we thought we’d be moving in before Christmas but there was delay after delay, Christmas came and went and we moved out of the flat and into my in-laws in January thinking we’d only be there for a couple of weeks. Fast forward to March and we’ve finally exchanged! Phewph! It’s been a long time coming but it’s definitely been worth the wait.

The main reason we moved out of the flat is that we wanted a garden for Huxley to play in. It was so frustrating in the summer to not be able to open the doors in the lounge because we were three floors up and if we wanted to go outside it was a massive rigmarole because we’d have to pack a massive bag full of everything we’d need just to go and play outside. Now, we’ll be able to chuck Huxley out in the garden while we sit on the patio with a cup of tea. We’re going to be outside so much more often now. Also, I love the beach and the sea and we’ll definitely still go but cleaning up sand can get a bit tiresome so grass will make a nice change. Our garden is super private and not overlooked at all too so we’re very lucky.

So yeah, sorry if things get a little interior-focused over here for a little while as that’s going to be my main focus for the next few months as I get square eyes from browsing Pinterest for garden decorating for hours on end. The house is a massive project and is a bit of a mess at the moment so I will of course be taking before-and-after shots for you to keep up to date with how we’re getting on and it’ll be nice for us to keep inspired by tracking our progress and seeing how far we’ve come.

One of the things I’m most excited about is getting to take the garden back to it’s bare bones and spend some time planting the flowers and trees that I love. Decorating our outside space to include seasonal plants, an allotment as well as modern factors like lighting, means we’ll be spending plenty of time out there. I’ve got some ideas from Lampcommerce and the local gardening centre to optimise the area to its fullest, for Huxley and us too!

One of the first things we’re ordering is a Weber Smokey Mountain BBQ so we can get some ribs going in the morning and by the time we finish working at the end of the day, we’ll be able to stuff our faces with awesome food.

camellia2

I can’t wait to plant a ton of pretty trees. I’m desperate for a camellia tree/bush. They are just so beautiful. A magnolia would also be rather lovely, as would an acer for the autumn. I just want the whole garden to be absolutely bursting with colour.

garden globe string lightsLighting is going to be really important in our garden as there aren’t any street lights so it’s going to be super dark. It’ll probably be one of the first things I buy as I love seeing trees lit up in fairy lights and I see so many lovely pictures on Pinterest of American backyards with string lights, not to mention patio lamps and wall lights perfect for entertaining on warm summer evenings with the aroma of ribs in the air.

garden playhouse

How cool is that playhouse??? I can’t wait to get/build something like this for Huxley. We wanted a treehouse but haven’t really got any suitable trees in the garden but if we keep a little corner overgrown and bushy then it will feel like a little secret den.

garden bar

You would not believe how excited Nick was when I showed him this picture! I can’t imagine we’ll ever have a bar this elaborate in the garden but it would be cool to try and recreate something similar for special occasions.

veg garden

This isn’t technically ‘decorating’ but we’ve always wanted a vegetable garden. We’re desperate to grow some herbs because they’re so expensive to buy in the shops! We’re hoping things will grow quite well as it’s a south-facing garden so it should get a lot of sunlight.

Do you have any future ideas? What would be in your dream garden?

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What to wear to the races

One of my favourite things about the beginning of the year is that you get to plot out all of the upcoming events and start planning what to wear. I’ve been thinking about going to one of the biggest race events of the year* and have been furiously Googling for inspiration to make sure I don’t stand out like a sore thumb!

It’s proving a little tricky as it’s in March so you can’t just whack on a pretty little floral number and walk out the door like you can in the summer. You’ve got to think about layers.

I’ve put together a couple of options, all of varying colour schemes to see what takes my fancy. I’ve also got a wedding to attend in April so maybe I’ll be able to recycle whatever I wear at that too. #thrifty

 

Cheltenham Festival

Dress: Coast | Bag: New Look | Coat: Oasis | Shoes: Topshop | Watch: Net a Porter

I love this look. Mainly because I love the effortless simplicity of black. And the fact that I know I could easily stick on a pair of really thick black tights with this and it would still look awesome.

 

Cheltenham Festival - Perfectly pale

Dress: Coast | Hat: Accessorize | Coat: Wallis | Bag: Michael Kors | Shoes: Office

I love the different shades of nude and pink in this outfit but I’d definitely have to be feeling pretty brave to wear this. There’s something about having kids that makes you naturally weary of anything white or paler than black.

 

Cheltenham Festival - Tweed classics

Shirt: Mango | Scarf: Joules | Jacket: Joules | Skirt: Joules | Wellies: Joules

My third option is to raid Joules and go for a classic tweed look like Kate Middleton. There’s nothing like a good bit of tweed to make you instantly feel upper class. This one is clearly the most comfortable option and although I’m not sure I’d be able to wear a tweed skirt suit anywhere other than to the races, the pieces make good separates. I did own a Joules tweed skirt once and I loved it!

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Getting romantic with La Redoute (& a competition!)

Last week I was contacted by La Redoute who asked if I’d like to get involved in their Valentine’s Day campaign with them & monthly subscription service, My Little Box. They’ve asked me to talk about the most romantic thing that has ever happened to me.

I’ve been with my husband for 10 years this summer and he is very romantic so I had a whole heap of stories to tell! The one that always stands out in my mind the most is our first (proper) date. It was like something out of a movie.

We’d driven to Kimmeridge on a beautiful summer’s evening to watch the sunset. The sky was clear and it was beautifully warm. We laid down on the cliff edge and looked out over the ocean as the long grass blew in the wind. He’d bought a packet of my favourite biscuits for us to eat as we watched the sun go down over the sea and we shared our first kiss. Once the sun had set we drove back to Bournemouth to watch the fireworks on the beach. We climbed onto the roof of a beach hut and watched the fireworks exploding over the pier. When it ended we lay looking at the sky for a little while and saw several shooting stars. It was literally perfect.

The second story that always springs to mind is when I went to India for a month about a year after meeting my husband. It was a World Challenge thing that I’d signed up for a year before I’d met Nick and I was going round Delhi & the Himalayas for a month with a bunch of people from school. As well as making me a t-shirt to wear while I was away, he also packed a chunky envelope into my bag. The chunky envelope contained 30 little envelopes each containing a handwritten letter about how much he loved me. He’d even found a copy of our itinerary so each letter corresponded with the destination I was going to be in on that day.

To celebrate this Valentine’s Day, La Redoute kindly provided me with an outfit to wear on my dream date (a walk in the woods) and sent me a ‘My Little Box’. Unfortunately my ‘My Little Box’ hasn’t arrived yet but I’ll be sure to share it with you when it does!

My Little Box is a monthly gift box subscription with a different theme each month. They are super cute and previous themes have included ‘Diane Von Furstenburg’, ‘cosy‘, ‘colour’, ‘couture’ and even a ‘Fleur de Force‘ one. The boxes contain all kinds of lovely things like Essie nail polish, Kerastase & Cowshed goodies, as well as little lifestyle things like notebooks, mugs, stickers and magazines. At £14.95 per month they are such a beautiful little bargain!

If you’d like a chance to win an annual subscription to My Little Box, then scroll to the bottom of this post for more details!

Rene Derhy boho dress from La Redoute

British fashion blogger in floppy hat boho dressHuxley-in-the-woodsUK fashion blogger in Rene Derhy boho winter dress

Hat: c/o La Redoute | Dress: Rene Derhy c/o La Redoute | Tights: Primark | Boots: Clarks

To win your very own annual subscription to ‘My Little Box’ hop onto Twitter or Facebook and tell La Redoute the most romantic thing that’s ever happened to you, using the hashtag #LaRomance.

The three best entries (chosen by a La Redoute representative) will win an annual subscription to My Little Box.

T&Cs

- The competition is open to UK residents

- Entrants must be over the age of 18

- The competition will run from 9th – 23rd February

- Winners will be announced on Wednesday 25th February and will be contacted by the social media channel they entered through

You can find more information and the full T&Cs on the La Redoute blog and Facebook page – good luck!

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