In April, I have the honour of being one of my closest friend’s Bridesmaids. Well, THE Bridesmaid, actually. Eeep! I am very excited and a touch nervous (I have to walk down the aisle before her and I’m scared). Also I have to choose an outfit! I have been given free reign over my choice, which is great as I’d love to buy something that I can really enjoy wearing – and wear again! But as the time grows closer to the big day, I’m starting to feel a little panicked about what kind of outfit I really want. I’d like something comfortable and loose, something in natural fibres and preferably from an independent designer. I’m open to a dress, trousers or a jumpsuit, which is not helping to narrow down my search! So I’ve been doing what I always do when I have a fashion dilemma and I have been collecting images like mad. Here are some of my favourites.

 

1. Jumpsuit by Hackwith Design / 2. Top and Trousers by Elizabeth Suzann / Jumpsuit by Marina London / 4. Dress by Ace & Jig / 5. Dress by Whistles / 6. Dress by Black Crane / 7. Dress by Toast / 8. Dress by Rachel Craven / 9. Jumpsuit by Black Crane / 10. Dress by Black Crane / 11. Dress by Doen / 12. Dress by Elizabeth Suzann / 13. Dress by Black Crane / 14. Dress by Toast / 15. Dress by Black Crane

 

I’m leaning more towards a nude, cream or white outfit (Bride says I’m allowed!) which I’m thrilled about as I love so many of the neutral coloured dresses above. And I get to wear some colour popping shoes to go with. I love these, below.

 

 

1. Saga Clog by Nina Z / 2. Jardin Heels by Marais / 3. Tumeric Sandalia by Beatrice Valenzuela / 4. Heels by By Far Shoes / 5. Heels by MNZ / 6. Heels by By Far Shoes.

 

Please help me decide! Leave me a comment below with your favourites and any other ideas you have. C x

 

Ah Man, I just have to get this blog out before the end of January! This month has been a bit of a write off for me, as I have battled with the flu virus for most of it. It’s left me feeling pretty debilitated at times – really low in energy and mood and just struggling along for the most part. The good news is I am starting to feel better this week, and I’m starting to get my sh*t back together after a temporary body and mind go-slow. Can I start the new year all over again? February (and 2017)* here we come! I personally believe in setting goals for the year ahead. It keeps me on track and focussed when there is always so much other stuff going on. Here are my goals / hopes / resolutions for 2017.

 

 

1] Focus on Food – Food is always pretty high on my agenda anyway, but I still feel like I could give myself that extra push when it comes to meal planning, market shopping and batch cooking. I’ve recently made the final leap into vegetarianism (verging on veganism) so I really want to swat up on my plant-based cooking and research more into the nutritional benefits of natural foods, for all of our family.

2] Get a Bike [and a trailer] – Over Christmas we went back down to a one car family after running two cars for the last couple of years. The extra car was no longer necessary as the boy’s school is so close to our house and I work from home, so we are saving money (and the planet) by just using one car now. I’m really hoping to get myself a decent bike this year. We have considered Bakfeit style cargo bikes versus good quality trailers for the children. I’m really excited to have a greener, healthier mode of transport for getting myself around.

3] Start a Creative Business – I have been umming and ahhing over starting a small creative business whilst I am still able to work around the children and their school timetable. It’s going to be 5-6 years before they will no longer need me to walk them and collect them from school, and it’s really tough trying to consider a career that will be flexible around family life. Self employment always seems like a viable option for creative parents who want to work, yet are set on spending as much time as possible with their children outside of school hours. I’d like to get a business plan drawn up so that I can work out what’s possible for me.

4] Take more Photos – I feel like I’ve really let my photography slip over the last year. I want to make a resolution to take more photos, even if they never make it to my instagram or blog. And I want to get back to my film camera too.

5] Build my Business – For the last five years I have kept my Holistic Therapies business gently ticking over. It’s been a great way to keep practising my skills, earn a little extra money and get a relaxing break from my (lovely) children. I feel like I need to give the business a little extra push this year. I’m considering some extra training, and investing more time into promotion.

6] Fruit Bowl – Sounds crazy but I really want to focus on our family fruit bowl! I want a huge bowl at the centre of our dining table, full with a variety of fresh fruits. The children need a lot of extra encouragement to eat their fruit, and as a family, we could all do with a healthy focus – literally at the centre of our living space.

7] Travel – I miss travelling. It’s just not been possible since we had the children to travel too far or for too long. But I continue to hope for some new trips soon. My current travel wishlist includes Gothenburg, Barcelona and Berlin.

8] Learn to make Sushi – I’ll need a good recipe for vegetarian sushi! But this needs to happen soon. The sushi cravings are coming.

9] Yoga – Always a resolution of mine. I started the new year practicing Adrienne’s online 31 day yoga challenge, and am sad to say I didn’t make it past day 10 before I was too ill to practice. However, those 10 days did remind me how much I love (and need) yoga in my life. I felt a real reconnection with myself, which I haven’t had for a long time. So, something to get back to this year for sure.

10] Finish The Artist’s Way – Last year I began working through Julia Cameron’s ‘The Artist’s Way’. A book aimed to assist in the rediscovery and recovery of your creative self. It is a demand on your time, especially with two young children, but I made a commitment to it for 9 of the 12 weeks outlined in the workbook. I really want to make some space to finish the book, and the work. I’m excited to see what comes from it.

 

* Owen had to point out to me that it was currently 2017, not 2018 as I had believed for the last 31 days.

I’ve officially laid my paintbrushes down on Project Hallway. It’s nearly done – just a few more pictures to hang, a rug to pick and maybe another plant. I’m already thinking about our family room. It’s the biggest room in the house, being an open plan kitchen-dining room-lounge-playroom. It is lovely and light and spacious, yet is tricky to place furniture due to all the walls being alcoved with the chimney breasts. It’s the room where we spend all of our time as a family, and so is probably the most important room in the house to me. It needs to be comfortable and relaxing, to consider toy storage options and play space, as well as hosting (my favourite room), the kitchen. Currently it is completely white, with bamboo flooring and white subway tiles in the kitchen. All of which I actually love, and plan to keep. The renovation in purely decorative, and will need to incorporate a large family sized sofa (currently all squeezing on a 3 seater!), a comfortable arm chair (for guitar practice), some new soft furnishings, and some wall art (my decision making nemesis). It’s fair to say my tastes have changed a little bit since my last living room lookbook. I’m currently drawn to neutral colours, natural fibres, wood and black accessories. Here’s what I’ve put together to guide me and keep me on track.

 

 

1) Squishy corner sofa, from Loaf

2 + 3) Rugs, from Kvart Interior

4) Wall lamp, from Kvart Interior

5) Setting plaster paint, by Farrow & Ball

6) Fine Little Day print

7) Bone table, from West Elm

8) Nude cushions, from Kvart Interior

9) Cotton throw, from Toast

10) Hook, by Hay Design

11) Mini teepee basket, by Olli Ella

12) Abrazo chair by Ceuro Design.

Owen asked me to compile my Christmas wishlist so that he could have a few ideas for gifts. He’s going to wish he hadn’t when he sees my luxury present dreams! Here are some of my current favourite things.

 

 

1) New books! Laura’s long awaited (and still waiting) pre-order for March cookery book, The First Mess and Nayyirah Waheed’s poetry book, Salt.

2) Uniqlo have some lovely and affordable merino blend jumpers.

3) Still lusting after my very own piece of Babaa knitwear.

4) Jamie and The Jones have released their T-sweater in black. Yes please!

5) New colours at The Nude Label!

6) Gucci Brixton Loafer.

7) Aesop’s violet leaf hair balm.

8) I really want a Costco card so I can stop asking my good friend Amy (with card) to pick up all my health food bits, bless her.

9) Kitchenaid have a great new Pro series of blenders.

10) The Tina boot from Doc Martens.

Project hallway is on! It’s been a bugbear of mine ever since we moved into the house over three years ago. The anaglypta paper, chipped banister and awful carpet had to go – and although we replaced the flooring with beautiful tiles just before we moved in, our hallway still needed a lot of TLC. Money and time being my usual barriers, I wanted to keep the entrance simple, light and welcoming. I’ve been looking for inspiration along the way, and wanted to share some of it here. I find grouping images together helps to keep me on track when I’m trying to put something together. I’m loving the pale pink walls, monochrome lampshades, natural wood and the pop of folliage! I’ll let you know when it’s all done!

 

My birthday is coming up at the end of the month! I always get asked what I’d like, and the answer is always the same – clothes please. Especially with the cold weather creeping in, I just want to be warm and cosy.  All the knits, long coats and scarves please. And some new vegetarian cookbooks to dive into.

 

 

1) H&M’s premium range / 2) Monki dungarees / 3) Zara jacket / 4) Fine Little Day Blanket / 5) Acne Studios scarf / 6) APC bag / 7) Mac lippie / 8) H&M cashmere hat / 9) My New Root’s newest book & 10) Nutrition Stripped cookbook.

Really, really loving everything Cos has to offer at the moment. Black, white, cream, grey and camel are just the perfect go-to colours for a simple winter wardrobe. Not to mention their forrest green, maroon and navy additions. I had to compile my favourites.

 

 

All to be found at Cos.

I have to dedicate this post to my good friend, Louis – who I made this cheeseless cake for as he was due to stay with us for a few days, but by the time he arrived, I had consumed the whole thing. Louis, I promise to make this again for you next time you visit! I did self proclaim that I hoped to break the internet with this vegan cheesecake recipe, as it really is so amazing. Definitely ticked all my cheesecake boxes, and my favourite of this cheese(less) cake series so far.

 

 

So, this one is a tahini salted caramel and chocolate cheeseless cake. It’s accidentally vegan too, as it contains no other dairy or animal products. It has a crunchy baked base, a fridge-set tahini caramel centre and a salted chocolate top.

 

The Base

75g rolled oats

80g whole almonds

a good pinch of sea salt

2 tbsp coconut sugar

4 tbsp coconut oil, melted

 

 

The Filling

2 tbsp light tahini

250ml carton coconut cream

4 tbsp cashew nut butter

100ml maple syrup

200g block creamed coconut

1 tsp fine sea salt

 

 

The Topping

4 tbsp coconut oil, melted

4 tbsp cacao powder

4 tbsp maple syrup

sea salt flakes

 

 

Preheat the oven to 180°C. Blitz the dry crust ingredients in a food processor, until crumby. Add the melted coconut oil and pulse until it starts to stick slightly. Press this base mix into a spring form / loose bottomed cake tin and bake for 20 minutes until golden.

 

For the filling, whizz the tahini, coconut cream, salt and cashew nut butter in a blender or food processor, until completely smooth. In a bowl set over just boiling water, gently melt together the creamed coconut with the maple syrup. Leave to cool slightly, then add to the blender with the tahini mixture and re-blend. Pour this mixture over the base and place back in the fridge to set. I left mine overnight

 

Blend all the ingredients for the topping (bar the salt) and pour over the chilled cheesecake, still in it’s tin. Sprinkle with sea salt flakes, and pop back into the fridge to set.

 

You can bring it out of the fridge for 10 minutes or so, just to make it a little easier to get out of the tin.

 

Enjoy!

I can’t say that I am! Or even school-ready in general. But that’s another blog post entirely! Tomorrow is Omi’s first day at school and in a bid to distract myself from the emotional implications, I am choosing to focus on the more pleasing aesthetics of wishfully becoming the ideal school-run Mum.

 

 

best rains mac + waterproof bag / bike of dreams / on the way to school breakfast top-ups / my fave MAC primer + studio fix super fast mum make-up / fancy bobo kids umbrellas / hunter mum wellies / quickest morning coffee.