Autumn I Think I Love You

Its time to get the house ready for Autumn, make those little changes to bring this season into full flow.   I always think I’m going to struggle with the transition but I never do, I secretly love the misty dew filled mornings and the russet red sunsets that you simply don’t get at any other time of the year.  One thing I’m not so keen on is the darker mornings I do struggle to get out of my cosy cocoon when its still pitch black outside.

The upside to Autumn is its bounty and the ability to cuddle up under blankets, light candles whilst soaking in the bath, wear soft bed socks or slippers, prepare warming stews and soups,the list is endless.   Also getting outside to kick the fallen leaves all crunchy and golden under foot, breath in the air and hint of wood smoke from folks fires, coming home to mugs of hot chocolate or home made crumble made from this seasons wind falls.

Over the years I’ve collected some beautiful handmade, organic throws and blankets that I keep close to hand at this time of year to wrap around me when it gets chill.  There’s always one at the end of the bed should it be needed.  I stock pile beeswax candles through the summer to use in Autumn, alongside the scented sustainable ones that I love too.   I have different sets of linen bedding for this time of the year, darker hues are added over the bright white I prefer in the warmer months.

I also love to decorate the house with Autumnal bounty, foraged branches stems of golden bracken or seed heeds from the garden.  Pumpkins bought from our local farm shop grown in the fields close by which all last for weeks and weeks always add to the overall display right up until Christmas.

None of this costs the earth, most of it is time taken to create something rather fabulous from nature.  Trying to invest in pieces that will stand the test of time rather than buying wastefully.  These are a few of my favourite independent places to go to get all the wonderful things I have mentioned above that have integrity and meaning for a well balanced home.

The Future Kept | where I go to stock up on beeswax candles along with other treats.  This is a delicious store full to the brim of beautiful handmade blankets, ceramics, candles and soaps, perfect slow reading material and many many more sustainable products for your home.

Aerende | I support Emily’s store with all my heart, all the ethical products in this wonderful store are good, life improving home wares at their very best.  All made by people in the UK facing social challenges.  If you are going to buy one thing this season I would highly recommend taking a look.

The Wood House |  Another one of my favourite stores who stock muted pared back home wares, I recently treated myself to some handmade coffee beakers made by Ali Herbert that will be treasured for many years.  I also get quite a lot of my favourite magazine publications from here too. I love to keep a stock to read at this time of year, curled up by the fire.

Of course I can’t forget my favourite makers of scented candles Nomad Society and Essence + Alchemy both equally fabulous, the intoxicating scents that both these brands produce are heavenly and create wonderful candles that work especially well at this time of the year, all ethically sourced and ecologically friendly, no nasty chemicals.

I am now counting down the days until the holidays and our Autumn escape to the the Lake District to feast on the splendour of this magical season finding natures inspiration at every turn.

I hope you enjoy Autumn as much as I do but I am curious do you get your house ready like I do when the seasons change?

Jx

Images 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10 & 11

 

 

Stepping into September

As we gently drift into the month of September I feel at ease with myself.  The last few weeks of August I always get a little melancholic and at odds with saying goodbye to warmer days and not quite ready for what’s to come with the changing seasons.  Then September arrives and the calmness arrives with it, I’m not one for the back to school thing, I don’t have it as kind of a substitute for New Year.  I like to slowly embrace this beautiful month’s qualities and really look at my surroundings not rush headlong into Autumn and have it all done and dusted within a matter of weeks and onto dare I say it Christmas.

Before I became a Mum I can honestly say September was my favourite month, we always holidayed at this time of year and we knew that it was definitely the perfect month for us to marry (15 years on the 27th if you are interested) now as the years pass it has changed a little what with true ‘back to school’ feelings but now that has passed we can take stock and relish in the weeks to come and all it has to offer.

Cooler mornings but still with a little warmth to stand outside in the garden warming your hands on a cup of coffee in the soft light of sunrise looking at the dew dropped spider webs and the rich warm colours of the flower beds.  It’s also the time of year that the garden starts really giving back the fruits of your labour, ripe plums, juicy apples and seed heads to decorate your home.  Foraging for blackberries, sloes and elderberries to make delicious jams and cordials and of course crumbles, September just wouldn’t be right with out blackberry and apple crumble.

Nature has a wonderful way of finding itself in our homes, Autumn is a season where we add softer elements to our interiors, warmer knits and chunky throws in rich, deep colours that replicate what we see when we look out of the window.  I simply love slowly adding these layers to our home, bringing in other touches such as scented earthy toned candles for when the nights draw in.  Snugly blankets to cuddle up in after a long hot soak in the tub.  You think of handmade tactile ceramics and textiles far more at this time of year and I couldn’t be happier.

So here I am welcoming early Autumn with open arms, I’m ready for you and all your splendour.

Jx

Images 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, & 9 all others my own

 

Autumnal

Well the season is well and truly in full swing and I’m embracing it with open arms, hello Autumn I rather like you.  I am always a little apprehensive betwixt the end of Summer and the glorious few months that follow.  I am ready now to let go of that limbo, the reluctance to let go of the warm sun and sandal wearing days, and whole heartedly grasp the magical moments that Autumn brings.

I like it when the temperature drops so that I can start layering my wardrobe, chunky knits over skinny jeans, woolly socks in boots, snuggle into well wrapped scarves.  I even change my handbag from wicker basket to my Nara bucket bag with it’s beautiful soft buttery leather.

Dark mornings snuggled under the duvet for 5 more minutes than usual, bowls of warming porridge by candle light before the day gets started.  Then at the end of the day curling up under blankets with warming cups and indulgent books.  If I had a log burner it would be lit, crackling warmth infusing the room, one day I will have one!

Bracing walks kicking the jewel coloured fallen leaves, comfort food made with locally sourced delicious seasonal produce. Displaying a myraid of pumpkins and gourds in all their varying colours shapes and sizes.

To truly feeling those moments of hygge to wrap it around you to savour those precious memories created whilst doing all the wonderful Autumn things that you do.  To get a sense of what this means I would highly recommend this profound little book written by Louisa Thomsen Brits called the book of hygge (the Danish art of living well) a perfect read whilst snuggled up in your favourite armchair.

So yes once again Autumn I rather do like you…..

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Image source  2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 8, 9 & 11 the rest are my own

 

 

 

 

A Gallery of Summer

This week has been a tough one, I don’t do transition too well and Autumn is on it’s way, there are little tell tale signs but I’m trying so hard to hang on to Summer.   Also my daughter started her first foray into the big scary world of senior school, she is coping far better than I!  We are all feeling a little exhausted to say the least.

So I thought I would go back a few weeks and share with you some of my memories from our Summer getaway to the most beautiful of counties, Somerset.  We’ve never been to Somerset before so it was a delight to find so many wonderful things to see and do all within easy access to where we had chosen to stay on the outskirts of the picturesque village of Batcombe.  If you like quiet, quirky and rural this is the camp site for you.  So simple but wonderful for children to explore and just be, no play park but trees to make dens in and a lake to go boating on which caused great excitement.

Of course whilst so close to Bruton we had to go sample the pizza At The Chapel which was such a treat.  I bought bread there first thing on a morning from the bakery too, their sour dough loaf is one of the best I have ever tasted. We visited the Hauser and Wirth Gallery with it’s contemporary art juxtaposed with heritage farm buildings brought back to life to create the most wonderful atmosphere in a quintessential English setting.  As you wander through the gallery you find yourself coming out into the most stunning gardens I have ever seen designed by Piet Oudolf, I could have stayed there for hours and hours running my fingers through the grasses, gazing at the clever planting, swallows swooping and diving above our heads.  It was one of my favourite places and as we were so close we went back again and enjoyed a meal at The Roth Bar and Grill simply prepared fresh sustainable and seasonal dishes that were superb, the friendly atmosphere and surroundings are rather intoxicating.

The rest of our time away was spent lingering at many a National Trust property, Stourhead and Barrington Court being our favourites.  Sitting in orchards having picnics, whiling away moments on swings in oak trees and sampling the  best cider.

On a recommendation and luckily for us perfect timing we were able to go to the Frome Independent Market that is held on the first Sunday of the month.  One of the best markets I have ever had the chance to go to.  The town square is full with artisan makers, street food stalls, organic produce and vintage wares.  The vibe was electric, the independent stores that were open on Catherine Hill have a such a vibrant feel, all unique in their own way, I loved Resident and happened to make a purchase.

From the hulabaloo of shopping, galleries and stately homes it was always a joy to get back to Agatha and wind down the day sitting in a deck chair watching Ruby rowing with her new friends, enjoying the tranquility and peace of our surroundings in the glow of the warm evening sun.

Now back to reality we are planning our next escape to try and keep the inspiration alive.  The simple way we try to live and to embrace the slowness that we crave, finding that balance can be tricky but I don’t think we are doing so bad.

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G&T Time with a Twist

Just because the Summer is in its last throws of decadence it doesn’t mean that we can’t enjoy these heady warm evenings just that little longer with a few G&T’s on the terrace.

I try to keep the Summer vibe going as long as I possibly can before I give in to the Autumnal pull but for now there is nothing nicer than creating a cool drink after a long day at work and taking the time to enjoy each sip.

I was asked by Diageo to give some of their classic cocktail recipes a try from the myriad of choices on thebar.com website but my eye was drawn to simplicity and the elderflower G&T.  Firstly as it’s my husbands tipple of choice and secondly we made our own elderflower cordial this year so I thought this would be a winning combination and very simple to do.  No messing about as long as there is ice in the freezer and a lime in the fruit bowl you can mix a delicate and delicious cocktail in seconds.

The elderflower cordial lifts the gin and tonic with it’s floral notes enhancing the vibrant botanicals and highlighting the subtle juniper aroma, adding a squeeze of lime finishes it off to perfection.  I can honestly say this combination is becoming one of my firm favourites.

As it’s the bank holiday weekend some of you may be entertaining, having friends over for a BBQ, or a cocktail party of your own in the garden.  There are some super Summer cocktail recipes to try at thebar.com with simple step by step instructions and lists of ingredients to help you create the perfect tipple of your choice, what could be easier.

So I raise my G&T filled glass to you and I hope you all have a super long weekend with a few cocktails thrown in for good measure.

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  • This post was written in conjunction with Diageo with many thanks

 

Take A Break

The next few weeks I am going to be away, downing tools hooking up Agatha the caravan and hitting the road for some seriously needed rest and relaxation.

 

The summer frocks and sandals are packed the green fields of our campsites are waiting.  New and exciting destinations are longing to be explored, the days to be played out in front of us.

No rush, no worries, simple living at it’s best. As long as I have a cold glass of wine and a good book to indulge in once back at our van, sat outside in my deckchair bathed in the glow of our new festoon lights until the sun goes down I shall be one happy girl.

See you all on the other side, if you follow me on instagram come and see what I’ll be getting up to over the next few weeks, it will be full of holiday moments.

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Images Source ~ 2, 3, 4 & 5 (1 & 6 are my own)

 

Gather.Harvest.Feast

A couple of weeks ago I spent a wonderful Saturday in the great outdoors.  I helped set up a great event that hopefully will become more of a permanent fixture through the coming months.  The meaning behind Gather.Harvest.Feast to me is an appreciation of the seasons, taking time to enjoy the nature around me, the food I can forage and create, the seasonality of natural home grown flowers to fill my home.

Jen has written it in a far more eloquent way that I ever could below;

“Gather. Harvest. Feast. is a collaborative project between creative bloggers, writers, photographers and artists.  It is our way of celebrating the seasons through nature, food and flowers. We want to spend time in our beautiful landscape,  learn new skills and enjoy the wealth of produce our Northern part of the country has to offer. 

Our aim is to make new connections, seek inspiration and gain knowledge from one another. We will be holding workshops in floristry, foraging, traditional crafts, photography and natural skincare. 

We hope to meet once every season, with picnics, lunches and days out and all in locations that showcase our beautiful North. Our plans are to incorporate family friendly events too. 

Together we will gather, together we will harvest and together we will feast.”

It was a day filled with friendship, laughter and learning, being surrounded by nature in every sense. We didn’t need the sun to shine we made our own sunshine through the home grown flowers we arranged, the mocktails that were made with foraged seasonal ingredients and the natural skin care we blended using natural plant extract and essential oils.

Days like these cement the belief I have in a better world, that each and every one of us can create a healthier place to be by simply living in a more considered way that help us to achieve a balanced beautiful life.

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With  many thanks to Jen, Clarey, BeckyLiz and Sarah for friendship, flowers, mocktails, detailed botanical artwork and the most wonderful bath oil (top note of blood orange, who knew!)