Concrete Chic with Ross & Brown

I do have a confession to make I absolutely love concrete in all its shapes and forms, the minimal urban interior is something I covet, if you follow me on Pinterest you will already have figured that one out!  My dream would be to have cast concrete worktops in my kitchen and a polished concrete floor throughout the downstairs of my house.   For now though this isn’t a reality but I can add touches of it through accessories in my home.
Ross & Brown have just launched a new selection of home wares from LIKEconcrete to give folk like me that little slice of minimal chic to our interiors.  The brand has combined Danish style with refined industrial design using innovative technology to mould concrete in unique ways to create a silk like texture.  All created with organic, sustainable materials to reduce their carbon footprint.  Each of the products has been given an ancient Nordic name.
The Karin tray meaning clean and tidy is perfectly named.   These stunning trays are not only beautifully formed and tactile but are very useful around the home.  I like keeping certain items out on display, things that get used on a daily basis but don’t want to let them scatter all over creating a mess, feeling cluttered.  Having a stylish tray to place things on when not in use is very handy indeed, not only will things not go missing but you can create little vignettes with your things.   They come in three different sizes and colours all in my favourite monochrome tones.
This simple white concrete tray will become one of my favourite new additions, it looks great on the bedside table, keeping your essentials to hand like jewellery, hand cream and reading glasses.  It works equally well keeping all your bathroom lotions and potions essentials together, everything is in one place so you don’t have to go hunting for that precious face mask when needed.   Then again it doesn’t have to be just for storing your bits and bobs, it works equally well grouping your favourite ceramics and house plants on, creating a pleasing display.   Or even as a morning coffee tray, making every day that little bit more enjoyable and oh so stylish.
Along with the LIKEconcrete collection Ross & Brown stock some of the finest designer home wares, selecting brands such as Norman Copenhagen, Bloomingville and House Doctor DK.   The owners Peter Ross and Gary Brown started in the interior design and architecture world. Through their love of sourcing products for specific projects they began exploring the idea of setting up an on line store as a destination from which interior designers and home owners would visit to find new and interesting products.  The store has a minimal Scandinavian feel, filled with beautiful products for the home that make me very envious.  What I like most about Ross & Brown is that Peter and Gary have to love a product before they list it on the site, everything they stock they would have in their homes, as Peter puts it ‘we are essentially designers doing retail, not the other way around’.
So if you are like me and are after something a little different with a contemporary Scandinavian design edge then please do visit Ross & Brown you will certainly not be disappointed.
Jx
*  with thanks to Ross & Brown for gifting the Karin Tray for the purpose of this post

Designer Jewellery with a Conscience // Sacet

I’m quite partial to jewellery, I’m not into flashy or ostentatious pieces, nor am I fussed about the bling.  I like a well crafted piece that reflects my mood on that day, I do feel rather under dressesd if I forget to wear any.

To be quite honest I really don’t know much about the jewellery industry on a whole so I was fascinated to find out more from SACET.

Their motivation started with the awareness that designer jewellery is extremely expensive and that isn’t down to the cost of materials.  Many brands run very steep profit margins, in most cases the products are bought from factories, where fair pay and working conditions often take a back seat.  In the end its the consumer, crafts people, their communities and the planet that suffer.  SACET set out to find a solution that works, they believe that buying designer jewellery should be a good experience not only for you but knowing that your purchase is also doing good for others.  Their mission is to move the industry forward towards a more sustainable approach, focused on three words: people, planet, profit.

All their pieces are ethically and consciously crafted to a very high standard, it most certainly is jewellery with a purpose. The SACET collections are stunning, there is a collection for everyone from bold statement pieces such as Ornate to the fluid lines of Wave, each piece different from the rest.   What I like about SACET is the transparency from knowing who designed your piece to who made it.  Knowing each stage from start to finish makes owning their jewellery even more special.

The bracelet that I am wearing for this post is so delicate but beautifully made, I usually like big and chunky pieces as you probably all well know but this bracelet looks so elegant and pleasing to the eye, so lightweight that you don’t know you are wearing it like spider silk.  It comes from the Marque collection designed by Andrea Tan who practised her craft at the likes of Shaun Leane before being awarded for her intricate and unique designs by the Goldsmiths Craft and Design Council. Andrea was instantly excited by the challenge posed to her by SACET to create a capsule range for the sophisticated, new millennial.    I think she has most certainly succeeded, the small hoop chain bracelet with its delicate twisted design on a fine chain is crafted from 100% recycled silver with an ethically sourced stone, hand finished in an artisan workshop to reduce their carbon footprint.

If you are as passionate as me about ethical shopping then please do take a look at SACET, they would make wonderful birthday gifts or treats for yourself but knowing you are helping the welfare of the industry and the environment with every purchase is rather a good thing and needs to be applauded from the roof tops.

  • with thanks to SACET for gifting the small hoop chain bracelet for the purpose of this post (Image 7 sourced here)

 

 

 

Escape to Croatia at Villa No24

What do you look for when booking a holiday?  I like staying in places that are unusual a bit different , somewhere I know nothing about.  I also like to find holiday homes that are in keeping with my style, that make me feel at home instantly.
Alas I am not going to Croatia this year but if I were Istria would be the place to go and my time would be spent at Villa No24.  Croatia is a place I have always wanted to visit and hopefully one day I will, it seems more untouched tourist wise a hidden gem especially Istria,  full of culture, historical architecture and breath taking scenery surrounded by olive groves and vineyards.
Villa No24 is stunning, the interior is naturally decorated, slubby neutral tones that I adore, a calm peaceful retreat to escape to, owned and renovated by Ita and Žac.  The couple both have fast paced careers and wanted to be able to find a way to combat their high paced lives with something that would be good for their well being.  Their plan for the future is to be able to move to Istria permanently and do what they enjoy the most, renting their haven of a property during the Summer months and in the Winter escape to warmer climbs for rest and relaxation.
Villa No24 is located in a small romantic village in the heart of Istria, set in the most tranquil and peaceful surroundings, the villa was built in 1921 an old stone dwelling that Ita and Žac renovated in 2017 to bring back the charm and elegance of the original building but added contemporary details to make it into a beautiful modern retreat.  It is spacious and open with 3 bedrooms each with their own bathroom, a kitchen inside and out for alfresco dining, a stylish lounge area to relax on an evening and the pièce de résistance the large pool for whiling away many hours basking in the sunshine or snoozing in the shade of the terrace’s canopy.
The rooms are individually decorated with original pieces of art made by Ita, her macramé pieces adorn the walls and light fittings creating a unique look in my favourite colour palettes.  Her macramé work is exceptional and I am the proud owner of one of her wall hangings.
I for one am now rather desperate to find a way to visit Villa No24 not only for the hospitality that Ita would provide but the peaceful beautiful interiors that I would get to stay in.   A simply serene get away in an undiscovered part of the world I would dearly like to visit.   Fingers crossed I will get to visit Croatia very soon.
Jx
* with thanks to Ita for providing the images of Villa No24 for the purpose of this post.

Away Days

I work pretty hard most of the time, making sure everything goes to plan, be it with my work or home life.  So when it comes to taking a few days away I truly enjoy the peace and quiet, no checking in with work, all technology turned off and put away so I can totally be in the moment.

So on that note I hope you all have a great weekend what ever you are up to.  I will be soaking up the clean air, breathing it in deep and taking in my surroundings to the max.

Jx

Catherine Hills Jewellery // Bold & Beautiful

The older I get the more confident I become within myself, I have a definite style that I feel good with from the clothes I wear to the tattoos I have to the jewellery I choose to wear.  I don’t like following the crowd I like being a bit different, dare I say it bold.  I like quality not throw away, I like hand crafted and unusual.

I was over the moon when Catherine Hills got in touch as I’ve been an admirer of her work for a long while.  Her beautiful jewellery has a strong identity, it is tactile and sensuous but undoubtedly feminine, these are a small fraction of the reasons why I find it so intriguing, it fits my ethos perfectly.

Catherine works from her atelier and shop in the heart of The Pantiles, in Tunbridge Wells.  The shop itself has a wonderful mix of old and new with a feel of a Victorian Workshop. The cabinets are filled with her diverse collections and as a customer you can also watch Catherine create her beautiful distinctive pieces.

Starting back at the beginning of her career Catherine studied Goldsmithing, Silversmithing, Metalwork and Jewellery at the Royal College of Art and gained a Masters.  After all her hard work honing her skills she was awarded a prestigious business grant from the Craft Council to establish her own central London studio.  From here she launched her signature collection and grew her portfolio of clients.  Her work has been stocked and showcased in: Harrods, Heals, Selfridges, Dickens and Jones, The V&A, The Gilbert Collection in Somerset House and The Museum of Modern Art, San Francisco.

Not only has Catherine worked with some of the leading names in the design and fashion industry she was hand picked by Warner Bros as the jeweller for the Harry Potter films, which she describes as being the most exciting and probably career enhancing job  she has ever done.  To hand craft Slytherin rings and radish earrings for Luna Lovegood along with many more pieces for the films is beyond exciting. Seeing your work on the big screen and being part of something this big is quite awe inspiring.  Catherine will be seeing her work again on the big screen with an upcoming release of a major feature film, I can’t wait to find out which!

Catherine’s work is a unique insight into hand crafted jewellery she says “I feel that my Atelier and boutique not only gives me a presence on the High Street, but means I can now offer a truly bespoke service, working closely with customers to deliver individual pieces. This is a very exciting time for me”.

Her pieces make me feel good, they are pieces of art that you can wear which is a wondrous thing.  I have had the pleasure to wear the beautiful petal bracelet for this post, it is delicate but also robust, the fine detail on each petal is exquisite and would finish off any outfit to perfection.  I am also a lover of rings, this isn’t a new phase for me, before I was married I had a rare collection but then went down the simple path of wedding and engagement ring for many years.  Now though my itch to have more rings is now being scratched.  I love stacking rings ones that you can wear on the top part of your finger too, I think they are rather unique and always get compliments.  Catherine’s bobbled stacking ring collections is stunning, so versatile and textured I want them all, from the plain bobbled rings to the snake eye, or pollen each fit perfectly with the other creating fabulous combinations.  Even better they come in a choice of metals, silver, oxide silver, gold plated or rose gold plated silver, mix up the colours to create an eye catching effect or simply stack them all up in one block of colour, either way these rings are sublime there to make your hands sing.

Beautiful pieces of jewellery are there to be seen, they make the perfect gift or present to yourself, something that has longevity an heirloom in the making, I think you will all loose your heart a little when you see Catherine’s collections.  I do hope you tell me which ones caught your eye because I know I simply can’t resist their elegant beauty.

Jx

  • with thanks to Catherine Hills for gifting the use of the jewellery for the purpose of this post

Make Waste Beautiful with Brabantia

We all need them so why does your household waste bin need to be ugly and something you want to hide?

I’m not lucky enough to have an integral bin hidden away in a fitted cupboard and I didn’t want a nasty cheap looking bin to sit lurking in the corner of my ktichen so I chose something that was aesthetically pleasing and large enough that it only needs emptying once a week.  As a family we try very hard when it comes to waste management, everything is sorted and recycled to the best of our ability, plastic waste has been reduced hugely but sometimes you still need the dustbin for things that just can’t be recycled.

Brabantia waste bins are leaders in modern, contemporary, sustainable waste bins that come in all shapes and sizes but most they all are design led and technologically savvy.   I have my eye firmly on the Bo Touch bin which not only combines beautiful design credentials with easy waste separation with clever removable inner buckets to keep everything in its place.  It is designed to fit perfectly against a wall and with its stylish legs you can clean around it with no hassle.  The plus side is that the design is modern and contemporary coming in a range of colours that make it hard to resist.

Their newIcon pedal bin is greener than ever, these sustainable bins are made of 40% recycled materials and after use 98% of the bin and packaging is recycable how amazing is that.  Not only is this fabulous pedal bin nice to look at it’s green credentials are punching above their weight.  On top of all that for every newIcon pedal bin purchased you will be supporting The Ocean Cleanup helping towards its mission to rid the world’s oceans of plastic.

After choosing the handsomest waste bin to compliment your style and taste you have to empty and clean it, this is one of those jobs you and your spouse bicker about right, who’s turn is it this week!    Instead of using harsh chemical laden concoctions why not use natural ingredients to keep everything clean and smelling rather pleasant.  Bicarbonate of soda removes unpleasant odours.  A spray infused with distilled vinegar and lemon will keep your bin sparkly and clean with no impact on the environment what so ever.

So next time you think a bin is just a bin think again, lets make waste beautiful.

Jx

Images 2, 4 & 6, all others taken my myself or Brabantia

 

Well Being For You and Your Skin // La Eva

Being mindful of how you are living and taking care of your self come hand in hand.  We as a family have been making big changes over many years to be better in our every day lives, reducing waste, being careful in what we buy and where from ,creating a balance that we are comfortable with.  Now I am focusing on my well being through daily exercise and looking after not only what goes in my body but what goes on it.  I am very lucky that what I do brings me into contact with some fascinating people and today I would like to introduce you to LA-EVA who are definitely transforming the way I am going to nourish and look after my skin.

LA-EVA  a juxtaposition of lae.va meaning left of centre and e:va the female name meaning life, living one, mother of life or full of life.  A natural evolution from specialising in cold process soap making in an artisan studio on the edge of a saw mill in Oxfordshire, owner Louise gradually worked on exploring palettes of scents and the care and attention needed to create something beautiful using natural raw ingredients.  Building relationships with farmers, suppliers and the Soil Association along the way.

By bringing in new elements, blending them with inspiration and collaborations with artists works who’s ethereal textured paintings now decorate the amber glass bottles that LA-EVA produce.  Through this creativity ideas were generated and a careful range of products has emerged, beautiful, organic, universal units of well being. All inspired by sensory experiences and a deep love of art.

I couldn’t put it more perfectly than this quote.

‘LA-EVA stems from a spirit of joie de vivre, builds on artisan roots, and aligns naturally with the organic movementLA-EVA comes together where the senses meet skincare, where luxury is aligned with simplicity and where body & mind are treated as one.’

Not only are the bottles extremely beautiful to look at the elixir inside them is wondrous.  I have had the pleasure to sample the Rosēum wash and lotion along with the Jasmīna oil or liquid gold as my friend describes it.  Both scents are intoxicating, you don’t rush when using them, you slow down, breath and enjoy the process of applying these lotions to your skin.  The integrity of caring for yourself and your overall well being in the knowledge that you are also caring for others and the planet is rather a wonderful thing.

The combination of wash and lotion work so well together, the wash leaving your skin deeply, naturally cleansed and the lotion to soften and hydrate the skin nourishing you with the gentle hue orfrose geranium and citrus notes of petitgrain fusing with warm clove awakening the senses.

I think my favourite is the lightweight oil, I never thought oil would work so well but it soaks into your skin leaving behind its wonderful more masculine scent of jasmine, green thyme and warming black pepper.  It is an amber bottle of joy that has many uses, not only hydrating the skin of your face and body but also can be used to nourish dry hair and nails.  Liquid gold indeed, with many talents.

There are two other scents in the collection, Blū which comes in wash and lotion has woody, smoky undertones of cedar and vetivert fused with the herbaceous aroma of chamomile blue a soothing combination offering peace and clarity.   Spīce is the scent available in shampoo and conditioner, with vitalising ginger blending with amber tones of patchouli and the warming aroma of cinnamon leaf, an invigorating treat for your hair and scalp.

The philosophy behind LA-EVA is simple, that delight can be found in everyday experiences and self care.  Their products are units of well being and recognise that they link body and mind via a sensory pathway.

I wholeheartedly agree with everything LA-EVA are achieving and urge you to take a look and try some of their beautiful, organic, universal units of well being, you’ll thank me for it.

Jx

  • with thanks to LA-EVA for gifting the products that made this post possible.

 

 

Sweet Pea Joy with The Real Flower Company

We are well into the swing of Spring now after the longest Winter I can remember.  The warmth is is slowly starting to make its presence felt and the garden is starting to shoot up at a phenomenal speed in all their fresh green glory.  One of my go to flowers that I plant every year is sweet peas, their delicate beauty and scent can’t be beaten.

When The Real Flower Company got in touch wanting to send me a stunning bouquet of their finest English scented sweet peas I jumped at the chance as it will be many a month before I can cut and display any that I grow.  Their sweet peas are grown on a farm near Chichester, West Sussex.  During Spring and early Summer English scented sweet peas are abundantly incorporated into their bouquets.  I can honestly say I’ve never had a display of such scented flowers before, it is intoxicating. The combination of the heavenly scented ivory sweet peas and wonderfully fragrant lavender is a treat for the senses.  Amongst these two subtle favourites, mint, ivy and other seasonal herbs bring that extra layer, creating not only a beautiful display but making the room smell delicious.

I have thoroughly enjoyed taking the images for this post, it was a treat opening the signature green box and untying the floppy satin ribbon then playing about with how to display them.  I like a bouquet to look a bit wild so once I removed the binding and trimmed the stems it was fun messing the order up a little bit so the lavender and herbs trailed over the edge of the jug I chose.

The passion behind The Real Flower Company is a simple one, to bring beautiful, natural, scented flowers and foliage back into the market that seems to have lost its way when it comes to real flowers, alongside promoting their sustainability and provenance.  They are passionate about sent and  carefully curate a collection of the worlds finest scented rose and flower varieties.  They know the provenance of each and every one of their flowers as they grow them all themselves at their base in the South Downs National Park in Hampshire.  All their blooms are grown as nature intended with respect for wildlife, the environment and full of scent.  Did you know that currently many cut flowers on the market have been genetically modified to have their scent gene removed and only 12% of the cut flowers sold in the UK are grown here.  Quite a shocking statistic that The Real Flower Company are trying to rectify.

So go on I think we all deserve to treat ourselves to beautiful home grown flowers knowing that we are contributing to bringing back scent and varieties that have been lost through mass production over the years.  There is simply nothing better than a display of blooms to cheer one’s soul at this time of the year.

Jx

 

 

 

The Wood House

Every now and then you come across a store that stops you in your tracks.  This happened to me earlier this year when I discovered The Wood House.  The owner Kirstie and I struck up a friendship through good old instagram, we have many things in common especially the love of interiors and clothes!

So if you haven’t come across this delicious store through social media or the internet then let me introduce you, I know like me you are not going to be able to resist.  Welcome to The Wood House the on line store where you can find beautifully curated home and lifestyle goods all with a natural hand crafted touch in a simple colour palette that makes me want to purchase every single thing.

I asked Kirstie how The Wood House came to be and this was her reply.

“For as long as I can remember I have had a passion for interiors, architecture and generally lovely things.

I studied interiors for a while and thought that my career would at some point take me into it in some shape or form.

I opened a little shop in Somerset fifteen years ago selling fireplaces and wood burners and it was always a dream to offer an interior design service. Having a busy life with a shop and children this never really came to fruition so I continued living my dream through renovating our 16th century home and helping friends with their home interiors.

This really has brought me to where I am now and in November I decided to make my dream happen and open a little on line store selling a selection beautifully curated home and lifestyle goods.

The wood house is evolving all the time and naturally progressed into selling mainly products that are natural and hand crafted with muted tones throughout.

I buy what I love and would have in my own home which makes buying for the wood house a real pleasure.”

What resonates with me the most is Kirstie only buys items that she loves and would have and use in her own home, knowing everything is curated with thought is something I admire and one of the reasons why each product compliments the next so very well all in the tones and colour palette that I adore, soft muted calming hues.  Also as you all know by now I am passionate about hand crafted sustainable pieces for my home and each and everyone that you can purchase from The Wood House is just that.  From the natural skin care products such as Grown Alchemist and Magic Organic Apothecary to candles by The Nomad Society through to hand made raw clay glazed beakers hand made in small batches in Wales, The Tea Lab teas and organic chocolate to cutting garden seed packets by Grace Alexander.  There are stunning textural handwoven hemp rugs to chunky knit lambswool throws and cushions to reclaimed unique one off pieces. Once you have created your haven of peace and calm you can even purchase tranquil reading material such as In Clover and Cereal magazine.

I am lucky enough to have been sent a care package of sorts filled with all the things I love and will treasure, hand cream, tea, beaker, seeds, In Clover magazine and a sample of the delicious chocolate.  They would all make perfect gifts for the ones you love, who cherish the simpler kinder way of life, those who make time to slow down and nourish by surrounding ourselves with beautiful things that fulfil our everyday.

So please do call in and say hi to The Wood House, its a rather lovely place to browse for a while, new stock is arriving all the time and the owner is just fabulous.

Jx

  • With thanks to The Wood House for gifting the pieces for this post.  You can find them on instagram here or click on the link above to take you to the store.

 

 

 

Ingenious Wallpaper

I  never thought I would be tempted by wallpaper but this may be about to change.  Technology and designs are improving at a very fast rate, there is so much choice out there it is quite mind boggling.   To create a space that is so striking and seamless that you can’t tell if its art work or wallpaper is quite remarkable.

When Walls Republic got in touch wondering if I would be interested in using some of their samples I jumped at the chance.  It gave me food for thought when it comes to decorating.  To add texture and pattern to a room through papering a wall is something I usually steer clear of but I have been pleasantly surprised at the quality of these samples to the point if I were to have to choose I’d have great difficulty.

To be able to create an effect of say bare bricks, chipped wood panels or galvanised tiles into a room in your home rather than it being exclusive to modern rustic loft spaces or industrial warehouse.  Or a large mural that you probably would only see in a gallery space is quite revolutionary for interior design.

Alas I didn’t have enough of these stunning wallpapers to decorate a wall with but large samples do have there uses.  They make for wonderful backdrops for flat lay photography as the designs are so striking.  Also with these being large samples you can definitely get a feel for which design you would prefer to chose before investing in many rolls and not liking the end result.  Taping panels to the wall you want to paper and assessing is just the same as painting tester squares when choosing paint colours.  The same principles apply as to how the light changes in the room you want to paper,  which wall and how many do you want to cover and does the colours blend well with the current furniture and accessories.

Coming back to the designs on the samples I have had fun using them this week, I feel in love with the marble effect pieces, so rich and luxurious with an added dollop of glamour, the sample worked wonderfully well behind my bed.  Designed using tactile inks with its many natural tones and shades within the precious elements this collection allowed the freedom to add bold colour combinations, such as burnt orange and taupe which highlight the metallic and mica touches for greater depth and dimension.

So if you are thinking of having a shake up and adding some extra something to your home why not consider wallpaper, apparently it is the hottest trend for 2018 and who am I to disagree!

Jx

  • with thanks to Walls Republic for gifting the wallpaper samples.  All products are only available in the US and Canada.  Wallpaper Direct is a similar alternative for the UK, Europe and Australia

 

 

 

To Iluminate // Talking Lights

Lighting is such an important part of any interior and can sometimes get over looked until the last minute, especially where sockets and switches need to be positioned.  If I had the choice to redesign my home then these important items would be redressed first I can tell you.

I like a mixture of lighting to create ambiance in a space, there’s nothing worse than a bright ceiling light being the only option.  Central ceiling lights can become a rather attractive feature if you are clever and are able to use a dimmer switch to soften the intensity.  To distribute your lights around a room means you can use them as task lighting when you need them, such as a floor lamp placed next to the chair you read in or an unusual table lamp to stand on a sideboard to add a soft warm glow when curled up watching the television.

I’m quite into sleek modern lamps at the moment too, beautiful structures that look like pieces of art rather than a light, especially wall hung lights with adjustable arms, sleek and modern definite statement pieces. I do like a bare filament bulb too and most of my ceiling lights where I have them are bulbs hung from long lengths of cord.  The brilliance of this in my house is that none of the ceiling roses are central so I can hook the lights where I want them.

There are more and more lighting companies online now filled with amazing choices of any light you can imagine, especially focusing on LED and energy saving bulbs.  Lights.co.uk have some rather brilliant designer minimalist designs that really caught my eye like the Bullea white hanging light by Teamitalia a pair suspended over a dining table makes for a striking statement.

Whether you are a traditionalist when it  comes to lights or one to embrace the modern sleek minimalist look then I hope that I’ve inspired you a little enough to make a few changes in your own home.

Follow my pinterest board for more statement designs below.

Jx

Images 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, & 10

 

Say it with Flowers // Wreaths

This beautiful book was kindly sent to me from Katie and Terri who are the duo behind WORM London.  This is their first publication and I hope not the last.  Filled with inspiration to create fresh, foraged and dried floral arrangements based on wreaths.

The simple steps guide you through the equipment you will need and the different wreath structures you can use.  All the projects in the book are relaxed and simply constructed and there are no rules, it is a base to have fun and create beautiful displays that reflect the seasons.  Within each chapter of  fresh, foraged, dried and festive there are many arrangements you can indulge in from wild spring wreaths to rustic wall hangings that will bring joy.

What I love about this book is the imagery: so fresh, vibrant, simple and inspiring it is a wonderful addition to have in my collection and will be read over and over.

Wreaths is now available to buy from all good bookshops and online.   It is a must buy if, like me, your home feels empty without flowers.

Jx

 

 

 

 

Hello Easter

Hello Easter you are a welcomed sight.  Taking a few days out to spend with my family and to enjoy these precious days, sleeping, laughing and eating buckets of chocolate, as you do.

Hope you all have a good Easter, it really is a magical celebration and for me the true signal that Spring is with us and warmer days are ahead.

Jx

Bathing in Style with Rowen & Wren

Every once in a while a company that you love launch a new product range and oh my Rowen & Wren have stylishly excelled with their new bathroom collection.   From hand crafted bathroom furniture, soft waffle towels and textiles, stripped back utilitarian fittings all designed in a rustic but restrained palette that will bringing a calm and restorative feel to your bathing experience.  The range of finishes and hues will fit in any setting from classic to contemporary interiors.

I simply love the linen waffle towels the colour palette of pale grey, shingle grey and tea rose compliment the collection perfectly and the sheer crumpled softness of the bath and hand towels is heavenly.  They work wonderfully in my monochrome paired back home, there is nothing nicer than wrapping yourself up after a lovely soak in linen, its a wonderful indulgence.  To make that soak in the tub that little bit special being able to use A S Apothecary products tops it all off.  I’m very much a believer in hand made naturally produced skin care products as you well know and these are beautiful for healing and rejuvenating without using nasty chemicals or plastics.  The mint and charcoal soap not only smells divine but sits stylishly in the Bilton soap dish a perfect match.

What I find most appealing about Rowen &  Wren is their eye for thoughtful design effortlessly bringing products together that sit well in every environment be it classic or modern.  Each piece has a grace about it, beautiful and distinctive and well crafted in muted colours that I find calming and peaceful.   A life more beautifully lived, their ethos behind each collection shines through.  Each piece individually chosen to tell a story in your home, an effortless combination of classic and modern meaning everything will sit comfortably be it in a country retreat or a city pad.

For me its the tones of each piece that make it all sit so well together from their soft natural bed linen to the clean contemporary lines of the furniture to the simple table ware, everything flows and has a purpose.

Everyone needs a touch of Rowen & Wren in their homes, they have kindly given me a 10% discount code TEAWITHRUBY for all my readers which is valid for a month.  Just enter the code at checkout to bring that added touch of effortless calm and sophistication to your interiors.

Jx
* with thanks to Rowen & Wren who gifted the bathroom products for the purpose of this post.

Healing Wonder // Magic Organic Apothecary

This post is a dream for me to write, hand on heart I use a MOA product every single day be it the magic of green balm or the soothing qualities of the fortifying green bath soak.   I don’t know why I haven’t written about this wonderful brand before as it’s been in my bathroom cabinet for quite a few years now.  I definitely need to be shouting rather loudly about it as I most certainly couldn’t be without it and I think if you don’t already know about MOA then you most certainly should.

It all starts with the humble herb yarrow or it’s Latin name Achillea Millefolium, I grow it in my garden but it can be found up and down the land growing in hedgerows all across the country.  This simple but beautiful plant holds amazing properties for healing and repair that go back centuries   It is steeped in history and folklore for it’s healing powers but has been slightly over looked in modern day skin care, until now.

I talked to Charlie the owner of MOA about how it all started and what plans she has for the future.

It all began after my first child Jemima was born, she suffered with horrible eczema as a toddler and so I started to look into the petrochemicals being prescribed and began to realise the scary long term effects of using these creams on a daily basis. Although I was lucky enough to have been brought up with home cooked meals, becoming a mum had opened my eyes to a more healthy plant based diet and I was more conscious about what we put in, and on our bodies and what to avoid!

I inherited a love of gardening and plants from my Father and Grandmother and had become really interested in herbology and was introduced to a humble herb named yarrow (Achillea Millefollium), this powerful, ancient healing herb has so many properties and I was astonished to find that very few skincare products contained this miraculous ingredient, despite being a favourite amongst many herbalists.  I was also particularly charmed and inspired by the wealth of magical folklore surrounding our plants and flowers. I draw all the illustrations and design the packaging and have always been fascinated by myths and magic and so these old tales have become an important part of the MOA brand. I am constantly inspired by nature and I love being outdoors appreciating the shifts in seasons and all the different flora and fauna that emerge throughout the year.

Our original product, The Green Balm harnesses the powers of our hero herb yarrow – Achillea Millefolium, it takes its Latin name from Greek hero Achilles, who legend has it, used it to heal his soldiers wounds after battle.  With its simple nourishing base and tea tree, nature’s powerful antiseptic, it creates a powerful healing synergy and can be applied to soothe a lengthy list of skin complaints from eczema, psoriasis, insect bites, bruises, minor burns and it also makes a wonderfully balancing facial cleanser, ideal for acne and problematic skin.  My whole family use it for everything at home, we have pots all around the house!  In the beginning I worked alongside a herbalist to create our organic Green Balm, but now I have gained more experience, I start the initial formulations at home and bounce ideas off my small team and my family.  The yarrow is grown at an organic farm in Somerset, which is where I grew up, I try and get down there to sow the seeds as I love the creative process of making a product from start to finish.

We already have new ideas in development for 2018, I am impatient to get them out there, but the process is so long and we are all so busy juggling the rest of the business, so it takes time.  All our newer products are all vegan and we are also looking at ways of becoming more eco, using less plastic and recycling our bottles somehow. So looking forward to revealing our next product launching this April”

I like to take care of my skin and my evening routine involves MOA, to relax and de stress I always take a bath using either the fortifying green bath potion or the dreamy mineral soak.  When I need to focus on my breath and relax my limbs then green bath potion is my preferred choice.  The heady scent of peppermint and detoxifying fennel help enormously, this revitalising herbal blend makes your skin tingle and is also brilliant if you are feeling a little under the weather.   If I’m wanting to wind down ready for a good nights sleep then the therapeutic qualities of a salt bath using the mineral soak is perfect.  The scent of lavender oil eases your mind and the antiseptic lemon peel gently brightens the skin.

 

I finish off treating myself to Hello Sunshine an energising zesty body oil hydrating and purifying my skin, the citrus sweet notes of antibacterial lemongrass and marjoram essential oils awaken the senses, kick-starting circulation providing essential minerals, antioxidants and vitamins to protect and tone.  It truly is sunshine in a bottle and makes me feel fabulous.

Of course green balm gets used for everything especially on a daily basis for keeping my hands and feet soft and subtle.  Ruby my daughter uses it as facial cleanser which helps enormously with her teenage skin.  I’m also starting to use Aphrodite facial oil to help ward off premature ageing especially my neck and to smooth fine lines around my eye giving my skin a radiant glow.

So yes I would be totally lost without my MOA products they make my skin feel alive.  Plus the added gravitas of the products being cruelty free by carefully selecting organic and botanical ingredients that improve overall well being.  Also creating mindful and conscious packaging using recycled board and vegetable inks for printing, everything that I hold dear in my every day life.

If you love MOA as much as I do or want to give it a try Charlie has generously given me a discount code for my readers to use to get 25% off all products until 30th April using TEA25 at checkout.  Let’s start the green balm revolution together!

Jx

  • With thanks to MOA for gifting products for the purpose of this post.

 

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