Seasonal Self Care at Home // State of Liberty

I find the beginning of the year to be one of reflection, nurture, using the time to look after yourself, your body and mind whilst the daylight is scarce and the weather a little cold and bleak.

I have been lucky enough to get to know Lizzie Jones from State of Liberty, who runs her company with our well being firmly at the fore.  State of Liberty retreats are designed so that you can enjoy a retreat experience in the comfort of your own home, how wonderful is that.  The retreats are inspired by nature and aligned with the seasons, each season supports, nourishes and prepares the body for the next season creating a constant cycle of well being.  All very clear and simple, and something we all forget about in our face paced lives that we have chosen to live and consume.  If we stop and take the time to think and compartmentalise we can often see the simpler picture.

Based on the the five seasons used in traditional Chinese medicine, each season correlates to one of the five elements, wood, fire, earth, metal and water.  Influenced by these  five elements, Lizzie has created a retreat, a pamper box and an essential oil blend for each season.

The Seasonal Pamper Box compliments the online retreat content and has been designed specifically to deliver an overwhelming sense of calm directly to your door.  Every purchase you make comes with access to exclusive online content that is there to help you effortlessly incorporate State of Liberty products into you self care routine with ease.

I can honestly say that the Winter Pamper Box is one of the most wonderful gifts I have ever received.  The older I get the more aware I am of looking after myself so I am pretty good at early nights, sleeping well, reducing my screen time and cooking nourishing home made food.  I also swim regularly and walk as much as I can.  One of the nicest things to my routine is bathing and looking after my skin.  So the Winter Pamper Box is perfect for me, I have thoroughly enjoyed the process of making my own simple face mask, lighting the candle and having a hot soak in an epsom salt bath, being intoxicated by the wonderful aroma of the winter blend essential oil of Frankincense, Patchouli and Pettigrain.

To me it’s dedicating the time, going through the ritual of preparing that face mask or bath, switching off from the world and creating your own retreat that is just for you.  Emptying your thoughts concentrating on your breathing and giving yourself over to the sheer bliss of being relaxed and calm.  All of which we are capable of doing if we choose to notice and make an effort to do so.

What is also so delicious about State of Liberty is their attention to detail, the boxes are beautifully designed and crafted with care, all packaging used is eco friendly all bespoke and handmade in the UK using recycled materials.  It is also designed to be reused and you can refill any of the base ingredients in your box by simply returning your empty glass bottles or canvas bags, they will be refilled and posted back to you.  Along with this dedicated service you also have access to the Wellbeing Resource Library where you can get regular updates with expert advice on seasonal living, self care, meditation, yoga, mindfulness, seasonal food, pamper and sleep.  Its good to know if you are finding anything a little stressful that help is just a click away.

If you do find self care difficult you can sign up to the weekly wellbeing toolkit that will guide you gently into integrating wellbeing into your everyday.  What is not to like about having that friendly hand to hold to bring a moments peace and happiness to counteract the busy.

As a thank you State of Liberty are offering my readers a 15% discount on the Winter Pamper Box using the code SOL-TEAWITHRUBY a perfect gift to yourself for the New Year don’t you think?

Jx

With thanks to State of Liberty for gifting the Winter Pamper Box for the purpose of this post.

 

 

Made + Good // Conscious Homewares

Carrying on slightly from my post last week about nesting for the season of Autumn, I touched on sustainable home wares and mentioned a few of my favourite places to go when you want to replace or update a part of your home without resorting mass produced goods from the high street.    Well this week I would like to introduce you to Made + Good an on line store that is not only ethical, conscious of the environment but all their independent makers are based in the UK, everything is hand crafted, small batch products made with love and hard work.  Another unique point about Made + Good is that they donate 15% of all sales commission to charity.   Did you know that it has been scientifically proven that when you donate to charity it makes you happier and healthier. When you place an order you get to choose which charity you want to give to at the checkout.  So every time an order is placed through Made + Good a charity benefits directly and both the maker and you the consumer can give back with no extra cost to themselves, amazing right!

I asked owner Alex Hayes about how Made + Good came about and what the future holds for her inspirational store.

Generally, setting up Made+Good has made me excited to be part of a move towards more responsible consumerism where customers appreciate original products made by the amazingly skilled craftspeople in the UK – people who design and make with such levels of care and quality that would never be possible in mass production! I am proud to be supporting a more sustainable way of shopping that encourages considered purchases of products that are built to be used and cherished for years to come. Items in the home that show the marks of being hand crafted or are worn with years of use hold so much value within them and can bring such pleasure to everyday rituals.

In terms of future plans… I would obviously like to see M+G grow to take on more Makers and even to incorporate more areas of making such as foods and sustainable clothing. I am really keen to work some collaborations with Makers and I also definitely plan to run some pop-up shops in the future. So lots of ideas still to work on… being less than a year old I feel like Made+Good is still very much in it’s infancy

What I love about Made + Good is the level of detail, you can shop from a carefully selected range of beautiful home, lifestyle and gift products, shipped direct from the studios of the makers straight to your home.   Knowing that you are supporting small independent creative people in the UK is a great thing, one that would never be achievable in mass production.  Everything in the store is hand picked, chosen for its ethics, style and functionality.  These pieces are to be cherished and become part of your home for a long time to bring joy when ever used, hopefully on a daily basis.

Taking the environment into account is a big part of the Made + Good ethos.  Sourcing products that are made from sustainable materials and designed to last, searching for makers who are conscious of their impact on the environment.  Its perfectly normal to find Made + Good makers running their studios on green energy, spoons and bowls carved from reclaimed wood, jewellery made from recycled metals, vegetable based inks and recycled packaging being used to wrap your orders.

The store is very easy to navigate and within each section you can find exactly what you are looking for with one click.  I know this as I have treated myself to one of the Wheat Bags in the Beauty + Wellbeing section under the Lifestyle heading.  It has helped me ease achy limbs at the end of the day and is perfect for when the dreaded time of the month shows its face.  Simply pop it in the microwave for a few minutes and wrap it around the body where needed. A safe and natural way to ease aches.  When not in use the printed design looks wonderful on display on top of a pile of blankets.  The most fascinating thing about these wheat bags is the story behind them knowing exactly where and how each product is made is truly fascinating and makes you appreciate it even more.  They are produced by Blästa Henriët a Scandinavian brand with strong focus on durable design. Their wellbeing products are made from European, hypoallergenic linen that is kind to your skin. With a skill and passion for craftsmanship, each piece is made by hand in their London studio. The linen is Oeko-Tex Certified, the wheat is grown on a farm in Lancashire and the packaging is FSC-certified, made in the UK from renewable resources.

Every item from Made + Good has a story and an authentic provenance which resonates with me greatly.  From the denim aprons crafted with meticulous detail to the hand printed natural linen tea towels and napkins to the one of a kind porcelain stripe pots handmade in East London using a wheel and kiln powered by green energy and with the greatest care for our planet.  Who can resist such wonderful items that will not only bring joy but will be cherished for a lifetime.

I can honestly say I can’t think of a better way of improving our self awareness and well being by investing in a little bit of Made + Good can you?

Jx

  • with thanks to Made + Good for loaning the products for the purpose of this post

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

New Colours to Reflect the Seasons

I have a fascination with paint charts, I simply love them, especially the excitement of choosing a new colour to decorate a room at home.  I like to take my time consider all my options before going for it so that I don’t make a costly mistake and I’m not one for redecorating every five minutes using cheaper alternatives.  I am one of those lucky folk who just knows how shades work together and find it easy making the final choice, even those bold steps like painting my bathroom ceiling black and before you ask it really does work.

I am a huge advocate for Farrow & Ball, I come back to them time and time again and would recommend them to anyone who wants that subtle difference when updating a space.  They don’t release new colours very often but this Autumn they have created nine new hues to get all our taste buds tingling.  I love it that they take time to create these shades, refining each colour and giving it a perfect name along with the story woven into each and every one.  Their paint works on so many levels, from the contemporary to the traditional home, modern rustic to slick city pad.  You can have fun with texture, why can’t you paint your ceilings in gloss there are no rules when using Farrow & Ball.

The nine new colours are quite muted nothing to bright but all work hand in hand with each other, from a soft off white, a dark grey green, a brown based neutral to a muted pink and a grounding blue to name but a few.  Of course I am a huge fan of the muted shades so can’t see myself using the adventurous pink of Rangwali very soon but it still captures ones imagination, I would definitely try Sulking Room Pink a soft tone without being garish bringing with it a warmth that would lift a room perfectly.  One of my favourites is Jitney a beautiful earthy colour, there is shift towards brown based tones a warm woody neutrals of late so this muted shade fits the bill perfectly.  I like to feel calm and cocooned in a room and I think this along with De Nimes a subtle down to earth blue would do exactly that.

The next big space for us to tackle, hopefully in the Spring is our hallway, in desperate need of a touch up, I like to keep this space light and bright due to no direct light access able on the upstairs landing.  I am quite taken with the new soft neutral of School House White, not a brilliant white but a pared back, timeless shade without the cool undertones, a soft white reminiscent of old school houses.  Along with our natural sisal stair carpets and stripped pine Victorian doors I think would work an absolute treat.

You can find all the new colours on the Farrow & Ball website, they even give you design tips and colour schemes that work cohesively together, making our choices a little easier to make when deciding on which shade to go for when decorating.

Sadly I’m not decorating anything this weekend unlike the last but I will be soaking in the tub looking up at my beautiful black ceiling that is cocooning and soothing all at the same time.

Jx

 

 

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

 

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

 

 

 

Influenced by Grey

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It’s a grey old day outside but I don’t mind a jot, I quite like the misty mornings and the subdued light.  Grey in all it’s guises is really making me happy at the moment I can’t quite get enough.  I went out last weekend at the crack of dawn to go buying and on my return I amassed my finds on the kitchen table and all of them unintentionally where different hues of grey.

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Above images ~ Instagram

I don’t find it a harsh colour, it works so well in  many environments.  So many natural elements are a form of grey, from concrete to zinc, the textures rough to shiny smooth.

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Crochet blankets or block coloured wool, grey plastered walls, stylishly pared back interiors I find utterly spellbinding.

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So I shall let these images do the talking this time, pure and simple.

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 Images ~ Pinterest

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