Outside Living

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.

Jx

Images 7, 8, 9, 10, 11 & 12

With thanks to The Wood House for the fire pit and Essence + Alchemy for the Bug Off candle

 

How to Live with a Small Bathroom // Monochrome Dreaming

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.

Jx

Images 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15 & 16

 

Days Out // New Year Goals

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?

Jx

 

Relaxed Coastal Style // Sally Denning // BlackshoreStyle

Every once in a while a book comes along that fills you with emotion, ones that conjure up a sense of calm and tranquillity, each page turned is a delight, drawing you deeper into the homes featured plus the inspiration of the coastal elements applied from colour palettes and textures, weathered wood and bleached linens.  I have a deep pull towards the sea, I don’t quite live right next to it more’s the pity but I am very lucky that I am a short drive away from it and get my fix as often as I can.  Now, where ever I am I can be transported to the shore when I relax and read Relaxed Coastal Style by Sally Denning.
This beautiful book will definitely be coming on my holiday with me to be read and re read whilst away in France, lucky for me I will be by the sea so its perfect.  I love the way the book is laid out in parts throughout, Coastal Elements guides you through how you can create a coastal interior picking up on simple design techniques and colour palettes that would suit your home. From weathered and bleached to dark and moody all of which can be found by the seashore, pale sandy beaches to inky stormy skies the palettes can be replicated through decor and accessories.   Then we get introduced to the Coastal hideaways, the homes that are situated right by the big blue ocean, from a Norfolk beach shack to a Coastguards house in Kent to a Mallorcan hideaway and a cottage on Cape Cod filled with vintage charm.  I don’t think I can choose a favourite as each one has a certain element that I adore but will most certainly be picking up little design influences to use in my own home.
I can wax lyrical about the book for ever but I am lucky enough to know the author Sally through being friends on instagram for quite some time.  I am in awe of her work, style, her eye for detail and she also has the most fabulous instagram feed BlackshoreStyle.  I asked Sally how the book came to fruition and this is what she said :

 

“I have been an interiors stylist for over 20 years and for a major part of that, styling and writing for interiors magazines in London. Now freelance, I have  always wanted to do an interiors book but if the truth be told, getting a Book proposal together had always been put on the back burner because normal work and life seemed to take over! One day, I was sitting in my car (the glamour!) working as the wifi had gone down at home as usual (!), and an email popped into my inbox from London publisher Ryland, Peters and Small asking me if I would be interested in styling and writing a coastal book for them. I didn’t realise that they followed my Blackshore Style account on Instagram, but this was one of the reasons that they gave me the commission as they seemed to like my style. Of course, I jumped at the chance, so thrilled that they believed in me, and chuffed to bits that they approached me to do it.

 

There was quite a bit of travelling involved to capture the images and a solid three weeks of shooting. Myself and the photographer, Ben Edwards travelled to the East Coast of America, Mallorca, mainland Spain, Cornwall and Norfolk to shoot the book with long days shooting, but in fantastic places by the sea. Dreamy actually and the sun shone too – we were so lucky! After all the images were taken, I started to write the book. I wrote it last Autumn, and each day lit the woodburner and sat at my laptop typing away – a process I really enjoyed as I haven’t done much writing since my magazine days. Then layouts and proofs started to come through earlier this year. I worked very closely with the publishers Art director and designer, working on every single page to make sure it looked as good as it could to fit their house style. I hope I’ve done the book justice and thank each and every person who has spent their hard earned cash on a copy. I’m forever grateful and honoured to have been able to create an actual, real life book!”
So if you don’t own a copy of Relaxed Coastal Style then where have you been, every coffee table in the land needs a copy so you too can be transported to the shore and be inspired to create that effortless simplicity that life by the sea brings.

 

Jx

 

* with thanks the Sally for letting me use her images alongside my own in this post.  You can get a copy of the book here.

 

Ryan’s Daughter a Stylist’s Dream

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.

Jx

  • All images my own of the shop, Josephine’s house in France found here and the dining room image here

 

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.

 

 

 

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