I’m always seduced by the bleached colour palette at this time of year so I thought I would embrace it on here today. Beach days, pale linens, loungers, flip flops, rattan bags and palm leaves.
Summer vibes, simply perfect.
Images via here
I’m always seduced by the bleached colour palette at this time of year so I thought I would embrace it on here today. Beach days, pale linens, loungers, flip flops, rattan bags and palm leaves.
Summer vibes, simply perfect.
Images via here
It’s that time of year again, everything slows down, lazy summer days that seem to go on forever. I am off on my travels for a couple of weeks, time away in our caravan in France, precious family time, beautiful beaches, markets, coffee, croissants and of course the wine.
Images via here
Well what a Summer we are having, endless sunshine, warm balmy days and nights and a total urge to be outdoors as much as possible. I can honestly say hand on heart I don’t think I have spent as much time outside in our garden relaxing, working, enjoying a meal as much as I have the last couple of months. Neighbours aside it has been rather joyful.
We used to keep chickens and had a huge part of our garden taken over by their run but sadly we had to re house our last girl as she was too noisy bless her. Sad as it was saying goodbye to 9 years of hen keeping it was lovely to regain a piece of the garden to turn into a gravelled seating area that is shady.
We have managed to create 3 separate seating areas in our tiny garden which is quite something, one on the patio that gets the morning sun that is perfect for having breakfast or morning coffee, I treated myself to some Ypperlig chairs from Ikea that work wonderfully here. The second being a little area in the main garden but big enough for a little deck to fit a double seat on that I love from John Lewis and thirdly the new gravelled addition that houses a couple of wooden chairs, plenty of shade loving plants in vintage containers and the all important fire pit that comes in very handy when the sun goes down, basking in its warmth and being able to toast marshmallows is the biggest treat of all. The trusty fire pit takes you right through into the Autumn months, wrapping up in blankets and warming your hands by the fire or around mugs filled with hot chocolate. This beauty is from The Wood House and comes in different sizes depending on the area you need to fill. One other essential thing needed when outside especially in the evening is candles, ones that keep the bugs away from biting your ankles, I highly recommend the Bug Off candle from Essence + Alchemy. Not only does it give off a warming glow but it is infused with a sweet, citrus and minty insect repelling combination of citronella, eucalyptus, lavender and cedarwood essential oils. I will be taking this away with me in the caravan too for our evenings relaxing in our caravan awning.
Each section has a different feel so you can move around the spaces to suit your mood or the part of the day that you want sun or shade. Just a little bit of time spent on the garden to make the surroundings pleasant to sit in and then all you need to do is add the accessories to bring the inside out. Outdoor living is good for the soul when the sun shines but making it a haven for peace and tranquillity with homely pieces such as blankets and throws and an odd cushion or two make it all the better. When enjoying a meal outside why not dress the table too, it makes for a convivial display and you are more likely to stay outside longer because of it.
So whatever your space be in a balcony or a tiny yard breathe a little life into it by adding those simple touches to make it a space to be outside.
Confession time, I dislike my bathroom but neither have the funds or the space to do anything about it at the moment. The thought of being bathroomless fills me with more dread than living with the one I have currently got. I would simply adore my home to be glossy magazine worthy but that just isn’t going to happen with my dodgy 80’s taps and strange wooden dado rail that grace my walls! We have ripped up nasty laminate and painted everything in hard wearing blackened by Farrow & Ball which blurs the lines to this tiny tiny 2 m² space. The saving grace is the suite is white we’ll just ignore the acrylic bath with old lady grab handles.
I have added little touches that make it a nicer space to be in and I do love having a long soak. We have a super slimline cupboard from Ikea that hides all the bathroom essentials and keeps the surfaces clear. With the shower being over the bath we replaced the shower head and attachments to a simple stainless rose, pipe and control panel so no extra fuss. We have just added a sleak new shower screen from the new Elle Decoration Noir range for Bathstore that has stopped the leaks and is perfect for what we need. All other touches give it a cohesive look that makes you ignore the crappy tiles and dodgy dado. A beautiful oak loo seat from Baileys if you can call a loo seat beautiful and an oak loo roll holder from Workshop Living , soft linen towels by Rowen & Wren, and a super Hunter & Jones Berber style cotton bath mat that is sumptuous to step onto after a lovely soak. The next small change is happening late Summer as we have bitten the bullet and are replacing all the windows for grey aluminium ones, more window less frame so should make a huge difference to the quality of light.
So you don’t really need that glossy magazine bathroom, you can make little changes and add thoughtful accessories to make your bathroom into a relaxing place to spend quality moments for that all important bath to rejuvenate and collect your thoughts.
I know exactly how I would transform this space if I could, monochrome would be the colour scheme, I find it works so well in a bathroom especially one as small as mine. I gather inspirational images all the time but always come back to the same look. Streamlined fixtures, clean lines, no fuss and I’d definitely fit in a feature tile somewhere by Mandarin Stone, I have one leaning up behind my sink to help me visualise how it could be, one day.
So for now I shall live with my little tired space but shall dream big via my Pinterest board.
Back at the beginning of January I stated that I wanted to get outside more this year. Not a New Years resolution just a goal for myself to achieve slowly. We as a family seem to be doing quite well, organising our time so that weekends are freer for exploring together. Choosing to go out and find somewhere to visit in our area has been fun and has made weekends feel longer than they are. It is so easy to get stuck by the time Saturday comes around, energy levels can be low and all you want to do is sit on the sofa, I know how easy this is as I’ve felt like it all week. A mid year slump maybe but holiday season is soon to be upon us and I’m certainly on the count down to our long break away to France in a few weeks time. Long lazy days in the Breton sunshine, relishing in a different pace and way of life amongst the beautiful beaches and market towns of Brittany.
It has been refreshing this week to just write about nothing much, a personal post full of images that bring me joy and memories created with my family. So I hope that that my goal of being outside more keeps going right through into the Winter months which will make me most proud.
Did you make any resolutions or goals in January that you’ve achieved or have they gone by the wayside?
Many moons ago before Tea with Ruby was even a seed of a thought I poured over interior books and magazines and still do to this day. I’ve always loved the laid back French style, muted colours, slubby linens, soft buttery ceramics weathered and worn wood. One of my well thumbed books from this time was Essentially French by Josephine Ryan. Never in a million years did I ever think I would get to visit her beautiful shop let alone call her a friend.
Roll on a few years and here I am writing about Josephine and her new venture Ryans Daughter. Opening the shop again to the public after a few years away seemed the right thing to do, serendipity as you will as this was the original premises of her first shop. Times have changed but Josephine’s effortless style and eye for detail is ever present, bringing in new stock such as mid century modern pieces to sit elegantly alongside the pared back French antiques. As the shop evolves supper clubs will be held on an evening bringing new life to this magical place.
Complimenting the home wares and antiques curated by Josephine, floristy and plants are being expertly designed by Sascha Rothing bringing another layer to the surroundings. The entrance to the shop was exquisite, the floral displays drew you in and made you want to explore. Once you enter it truly is a feast for the eyes every where you look you find another wonderful object that you never knew you needed!
Working with stylist, designers and bespoke clients Josephine brings her knowledge of the business to elevate the interiors and homes of many a lucky home owner. Along side the shop she owns a property in France that has graced the pages of many interiors magazines and books, its surroundings in the French country side lend itself for retreats and workshops a like. Taking time out to find peace and tranquillity amongst the most beautifully furnished home must be such an experience.
Visiting Ryans Daughter was a rather special moment for me and I sincerely hope that you all make a trip to Abbeville Road in Clapham to see it for yourself too. Situated on the prettiest street not far from the common I couldn’t think of a better way of spending an afternoon amongst the splendour of this true gem of a shop. Follow Josephine and the shop on instagram for all their updates.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 movement. LA-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.
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.