The Girls Go To Somerset

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Over Orlaith's half term we took an impromptu trip to Somerset for a few days. I felt like I needed a bit of breathing space from the city and some quality time with Orlaith. We stayed in a little annex surrounded by fields. We were an hour from the closest town and we had no internet connection and a wood burner to heat our water. Being a 21st century kid it all felt very disconnected to me but it was just what I was after.

We spent our time going on walks and hanging out with the animals on our property. We popped into town one day to see The Book Of Life at the cinema which we both absolutely loved and the music in it was beautiful. After Orlaith went to bed each night I would sit in a big armchair by the log burner absorbed in a book, and on colder days we'd sit indoors painting and playing.

There was an old TV and VCR player in our annex and I found a recording of The Beatrix Potter series which I watched when I was a child and you wouldn't believe my excitement when I found it. I loved watching them again with Orlaith. The song above is the theme tune from The Beatrix Potter series and I think it's so lovely I wanted to share it with you.

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New Hair | New Beginning

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When I got home from my summer travels I was a little miffed with my hair. I had spent the entire time away washing it with whatever I could get my hands on and it was in really bad condition. Of course getting the ends dipped in bleach before I went away didn't help. I felt like I needed a healthy new start.

I went to an organic hair salon I've been wanting to try for years. They cut six inches off the ends and put a few highlights through. I don't take to hair changes very well, and it took me some time to get used to the new look, but I've finally grown comfortable with my new hair and I'm so grateful to have found such a great stylist.

And the new beginnings? There are a few. I have a brand new art blog which I'll be launching in a few days. Warren and I have amicably called a day on our relationship so I'm adjusting to single life again. And I'm working on my biggest and most exciting project yet which I can share more about next year.

p.s. The 1Wall brick mural makes a good photo backdrop, don't you think?


Wall Murals With 1Wall

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Today I'm teaming up with 1Wall to introduce their great range of wall mural designs.  I have quite a monochrome living room theme going on. Sometimes I throw a couple of colourful cushions on my sofa to add a bit of extra comfort and colour but sometimes I just like the simple monochrome look. When my apartment is cluttered my mind is cluttered so keeping things simple really helps me stay focused.

I chose the white loft brick wall mural for my apartment as I thought it would suit the style of my place well. I received the product with a sachet of wallpaper paste, which can also be purchased from the 1Wall website, however without any instructions I didn't really know where to start. I got online and watched their online video tutorial which helped.

The finished look is great and having a statement wall in the room adds so much character! I can stand back and enjoy the natural brick look a lot, and when I sent a picture to my friend she couldn't believe it was my living room. It's very realistic and I like the white tone they've used. However take a step closer and things aren't as great. 

Let's just say putting up wallpaper isn't as straight forward as videos make it look! Following the packet instructions of the wallpaper paste left me with a very watery mixture that wouldn't allow my paper to stick to the wall and left it permanently hard and wavey. When I got the paste to a thicker consistency the damage was already done to the mural and no matter what I did the paper ended up getting very creased on the wall. 

I wish I could keep the mural on my wall because when you're standing on the other side of the room and can't see all the creases it looks so good! But due to all the creasing I'm going to have to take mine down and repaint the wall back to it's original colour. 

I think, with a bit of wallpapering knowledge, this product would look great and I'm so disappointed that it didn't work out for me.  If you haven't the first clue how to wallpaper but you love the 1Wall murals, find someone with wallpapering knowledge and get them to help. 

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#EarlybirdChallenge

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We face 25,000 mornings in our lives and I spend most of mine being coaxed out of bed by my four year old. But we can get more out of our mornings! Today I've teamed up wth Free Office Finder to bring you the #EarlybirdChallenge which I've been trying for the last couple of weeks and involves getting up earlier than normal and making the most of our mornings.

My normal mornings consist of sleepily getting Orlaith ready for school, unless I wake up late then it's a mad dash to get organised and to the school gates on time. After she's in lessons I get back home and start my day. But what I've been trying on the #EarlybirdChallenge is to wake up early and get things done before I would normally start my day.

What I've learnt through this is that waking up and having time to myself in the mornings is very beneficial. I'm not starting the day feeling stressed about getting things done by a certain time. I wake up, make my cup of tea and perhaps something to eat, see what needs to be done, and do it in a really relaxed frame of mind, because I know I've got the time to myself.

Sometimes I'll roll out my yoga mat and do some morning stretches, if Orlaith wakes up early and the weathers ok I'll take her for a morning job/scoot in the park, sometimes I'll get some work done on my laptop (getting through all my emails before 8am is a good feeling), sometimes I'll cook a really nice breakfast and when Orlaith wakes up we'll eat it together, sometimes I'll paint, sometimes I'll clean the house, sometimes I'll do some travel planning... whatever I feel needs to be done, and I feel like doing that morning, I'll do, without the added pressure to get it done by a certain time. 

So the question is, if you took part in the #EarlybirdChallenge what would your mornings look like?

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thinking up some new designs for the shop

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cooking a hearty breakfast for when the kiddo wakes up

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a morning outing | jogging for me & scooting for Orlaith

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breakfast, herbal tea and getting through emails

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a morning hug with our house guest on my freshly folded laundry

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travel planning

Sarasota

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There came a time where we got bored in South Florida and decided, with our last few days, to explore somewhere a bit further up the coast. We came to an agreement to go to an area with a nice beach and spend our last few days laying and playing in the sun. We did a bit of research and finally chose Sarasota.

The beaches in Sarasota were perfection. White sand and shallow water made for a perfect place for Orlaith to play and for us to relax. We dipped in and out of the water throughout the day, collected sea shells (there were thousands), and played in the sand. We spent one day on a beach in Lido Key and one day in Siesta Key and it was the perfect end to our trip.

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South Florida

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In South Florida we spread our time between Fort Lauderdale and Plantation. One thing I loved about our time in Florida were the people we had the pleasure of meeting. So many people, from so many walks of life, but all so welcoming with our little family. I am truly inspired by and thankful to the people I met there.

When we arrived back in Florida from Mexico we were tired and we just wanted to relax. We felt like we were done with the constant exploring. I put down my camera for a huge amount of the end of our trip and we just hung out, not doing very much at all.

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One of the places we went and enjoyed was Vizcaya Museum and Gardens. It's an old house (I use the term house loosely, it's like a mansion) in Coconut Grove in Miami with beautiful gardens. You are able to walk around the house, and gardens, with lots of original decorations and furnishings and there is so much information about the owner and the way the house was built and how it functioned. I found it fascinating and kind of wanted to live there myself.

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While I took most of these pictures I did steal some from the lovely Daisy, another Londoner who I met in Miami.
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