Hello Nancy

Happy and Healthy - Nutritional Therapy Course Giveaway

The beginning of year is always a time where we focus on our health, happiness and habits and think about making improvements. Personally I've been trying extra hard this year to look after myself more, both in the physical and mental sense. So far so good, apart from eating too much dark chocolate.

Today I have something so exciting to share will you all. Nutritional therapist Claire Stone has kindly offered to give one of you a three month personal consultation and support to help you in whatever way you'd like. Carry on reading to find out more about the prize and enter...



Claire's Start Right and Carry On course is a simple program to help you on a personal level. Learn what it is you should be eating and to help you to continue to eat that way as much as possible.

The first step features a tailored report just for you, based on your current eating habits, your goals and your lifestyle. It gives you very clear and simple first steps to get you started when it comes to eating better.

The second step helps you to continue your new routine without guilt trips, bossiness or strict regimes. Giving you longer term support to help you figure out the best way to incorporate new ideas so that they become life-long habits. Claire will give you exactly what you need for as long as you need it.

Claire will be there to create your personalised report and help you through online messaging so anyone can take part. This three month course is worth £65. 

I'll announce the winner here on the 03/09/2016

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Style Icon - Francoise Hardy

I haven't written a style icon post in a while and really wanted to put together another one as they're so fun! This time it's one of my favorite women of all time history, Francoise Hardy. She rocks because despite her huge fame and success she has remained so humble, in her own words she feels " happy when I'm on my bed, in my room with a good book". My kinda woman. 

Continue reading to take a look at the pieces I've selected that I think best resemble Francoise's style. Think leather wide legged trousers and block coloured mini dresses. 










All the pieces I've selected are from Zara and the bracelet is from Asos. This isn't a sponsored post I just really like their clothes!

Pink Interiors

I've always loved pink, especially pink in my home. When I was a teenager I had a very rosey bedroom. Pretty much everything in there was pink including three baby pink walls and one hot pink feature wall which was painted in a colour called "Sexy Pink", which felt very grown up. The colour has seen a bit of resurgence in interior design recently and I've noticed that it's relatively easy to create a modern and unisex space using blush tones. I've collected my favorite images to show you how chic pink can be.


Image sources 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8

I've picked out my favorite pink products from some great interior shops that I have bought from in the past. If you don't want to totally transform your room into a pink haven you can simply add a few small accessories which will bring in some warmth and colour.


Gradient Blanket - Zara Home, Honeycomb Cushion - Decorators Notebook, Salt & Pepper Mill - Leif, Modular Marble & Oak Shelves - T&SHOP, Brass Pen, Quill London

This post was shared on the Home Etc link up.

Work / Life Balance


Today I'm going to talk to you about my work / life balance and let you in on what I actually do all day. Let me start off this post just by listing the various jobs I have. I work as a design assistant and a freelance copywriter. I'm also a journalist, stylist, blogger, pattern designer, workshop tutor and I run my homeware brand too. So that's 8 jobs.

Sounds a like a lot when I write it down. The thing is I LOVE work, I really really really love it. I'm not one of those people who can acquire all of my happiness and fulfillment from one 9-5 job, to me that sounds pretty boring and I'm sure it would drive me mad. The other thing to mention is that I'm not doing all these jobs and projects all at the same time. I might be busy with one or two things while the others are pretty quiet, very occasionally they'll all be demanding my attention at once, but that's rare.

I'm pretty sure if I had unlimited time I would fill most of it with these projects and they would all be going really well and be ticking along nicely. However, there's such a limited amount of time and energy I can invest in these jobs so I try and rotate them. At the moment I'm doing more copywriting and work on my blog, in the Summer I'll be busy teaching workshops so things are always changing.

I love the amount of pride and just pure joy and excitement I get from my work. Sometimes I'll think to myself "I have so much work to do and I'm going do the best job I can." and once it's finished I'll say "woah that was crazy, look how much I've achieved. I am pretty darn great!".

So, ok, I have to admit I do sometimes get panicky, overwhelmed and worried but not as half as much as I used to when I was suffering pretty badly from anxiety. The thing that is important to remember is that I can stop at anytime. Anyone can stop at anytime. I've asked for (and also given myself) this work so I can chose to slow down if I stop enjoying it.

Onto to the life stuff. As equally as I pile on the work I also take huge advantage of down time and breaks. I go on holiday a lot. I don't spend lots of money on these brakes mind you, but I definitely do take all the time off I can.

For me it's a total work / life balance. I work extremely hard and so I really appreciate the amazing time off I get to share with my friends, my family and my boyfriend Simon. I am really excited for the Spring and Summer as I have so many weekends and little holidays planned, which of course I'll be sharing on here.

I recently came across the term "Portfolio Career" whilst listening to the BBC World Service station on the radio. I thought "that's me!" I never knew there was a term for what I did for work. Just like the slightly neurotic, control freak that I am I was so happy to discover that I could pop my career choice in a nice little package.

If you'd like to read more about portfolio careers I spotted this book that looks pretty interesting. I'd love to hear how you manage your schedule and what you do that makes you feel fulfilled. Let me know by commenting or say hi on my social media.


Annie Sloan Furniture Painting Workshop at Rigby & Mac

It's one of my 2016 resolutions to learn new skills and meet people so I was really looking forward to the Annie Sloan workshop organised by the super shop Rigby & Mac. On Saturday morning I travelled to the other side of London to Dulwich and was greeted by the very lovely Lucy who was running the class. I spent a really inspirational few hours learning lots of painting techniques, enjoying cups of tea and getting covered in paint.

It really was a lovely day and I want to give a big shout of to Lucy the tutor who was so helpful and encouraging. I teach workshops myself so it was such a treat to be on the other end to learn something so useful and fun. 







We learned a range of really beautiful techniques including distressing, cracking and a marble and stone effect. My favorite method though, was the gilding. I was clearly a magpie in a former life as I couldn't get enough of the gold and bronze leaf. I left the workshop thinking "what could I gild; a table, my bed, MY FRONT DOOR?" 


I mean, come on just look at those colours. So fabulously trashy. 

Below are some more of the samples I created during the workshop, I can't wait to try out the techniques I learnt in the class in my own home.




If you'd like to attend one of the workshops click here to take a look at the Rigby & Mac site.

This post was shared on the Home Etc link up. 


Gluten Free Valentine's Day Cupcakes

I really enjoy a bit of Sunday baking in my PJs and that is just what I did this weekend to create these beautiful gluten free cupcakes for Valentine's Day. They are so good I ate two straight out of the oven! Continue reading below to find out how to make them.




For this post I wanted to show you a slight twist on your usual Valentine's confections. I've seen images of edible flowers all over Pinterest recently and I thought that some cupcakes topped with delicate flowers would be very appropriate for this time of year whilst avoiding the cliché red and pink hearts.


I popped over to the Amara website to take a look at their lovely homewares and I picked out a few baking products and a really lovely set of recipe notecards. The cards would be a perfect (and less schmaltzy) way to include a message to someone you care about to go along with the cakes.


On with the recipe...

Ingredients:
250g Butter, At room temperature
250g Golden Caster Sugar
250g Gluten-Free Self-Raising Flour (you can of course use normal flour instead)
4 Eggs
1 tbsp Vanilla Extract

For the Icing:
200g Golden Icing sugar
200g Butter, At room temperature
Edible flowers of you choice


Method

Preheat the oven to 190C(Gas 5/375F). Line the cupcake tin with cupcake cases.

Place the butter and sugar into a bowl, Whisk until pale and fluffy. I did this by hand but if you have an electric whisk it will be a lot less of a work out!

Add the eggs one at a time, Add a little of the flour after each one. When combined add the vanilla and stir until combined.

Divide up into the cupcake cases, Bake for 20 minutes until golden and risen.

When cool make the icing, place the butter and the icing sugar into a bowl, mix together with the back of a spoon until soft and light.

Place the icing into a piping bag or use a spoon to create a rustic swirl on the top of the cakes. Add petals and sprigs of your favorite edible flowers in any arrangement you like and enjoy!



Thanks so much to Amara for gifting me the Nordal Olive Silicone Kitchen Spatula
the Bloomingville Carla Bowl, The Delight Department White & Gold Baking Wrappers and the 
WitShop Nut Recipe Notecards


This post was shared on the Twinkly Tuesday, Home Work and Claire Justine's link ups.



Mummascribbles

Geometric Tiles - Tips and Tricks


Whenever I go to stay at my mum's house in Turkey I always pop into the local ceramics shop to browse and inevitably purchase a hand painted bowl or a coaster or two. One year I picked up some incredibly beautiful patterned tiles, I have them leaning behind my mason jars ready to use as trivets for hot dishes.

For those of you that don't live in Turkey I spotted that Tiles Direct have a lovely collection of geometric designs available. Patterned tiles are so easy to mix and match and should compliment a lot of interior styles, I have Mid Century furniture in my flat and these sorts of tiles look wonderful in my kitchen area. My mum's house in Turkey is based on a very traditional Greek house and geometric tiles work wonderfully there too. The images below illustrate how versatile these sorts of tiles can be. 



Image sources 1,2,3,4

I had a little chat with the folks at Tiles Direct and asked the owner Suhayl Laher a few questions to help you out in case you were thinking about installing something similar in your own home...

Why do you think Moroccan tiles have become so popular?

Moroccan tiles have a broad appeal because they are so diverse and cater to a wide range of interiors. For instance, whether you want to create a centrepiece mosaic, tile your kitchen or bathroom, or even your entire home, this can all be achieved using an assortment of Moroccan tiles.

Any tips for people who have never tiled a surface before?

Tiling a surface is not easy, and in most cases it’s probably best to leave it to the professionals. However, if you are really looking to get involved with a project, there are some pointers you should be aware of.

Firstly, make sure your tile mix is completely smooth. Mix it thoroughly in a bucket and allow it to stand for approximately 10 minutes, as this gives any dry chunks time to completely dissolve. Secondly, if you’re tiling a floor you should make sure the surface is even. Use a self-levelling compound to give yourself a totally flat base to work from. Alternatively, if you’re tiling a wall, make sure you set your tiles on a ledger to support them.

How can you prepare your room before tiling?

Make sure you cover up the area with fabric sheets and remove any appliances that could be easily damaged. Then, you should begin by setting out your tiles in a well-ordered fashion, making sure everything you need is easily accessible. Although the joints between your tiles will create a clear grid effect, it’s important to identify the best place to start tiling. While many people would assume that beginning in the corner and working your way across would be the best place to start, you could actually end up with awkward amounts of tile to cut at the end if the wall is not totally vertical. Instead, it’s better to centre your grid on the wall, starting at the midpoint and working outwards. This ensures that your overall tiling is symmetrical and each end of the wall is equal.

How can you mount fixtures to a tiled wall?

To mount hardware onto tiles, you should begin by cleaning the wall and removing and obvious dirt. Once you’ve done this, mark where the fixtures will be positioned. Then, apply at least two layers of
masking tape where the drill bit will be used, as this will help to hold it steady. Slowly begin to drill into the tile, making sure you don’t go too fast in case of cracking. Finally, insert your screw anchor
then mount your hardware as per the instructions.

I hope you find this post helpful and thank you to the lovely team at Tiles Direct for being so helpful and answering my questions! 

This post was shared on the Home Etc, Home and Garden, Bless'er HouseThe 36th Avenue link ups.




Dinner and Drinks


I don't often get dressed up but when I get the chance to spend time doing my hair and makeup and pop on a beautiful dress I really relish the process. A shock to the geordie girl inside me when I moved to London over four years ago was how casually everyone seemed to dress when going out in the evening. I hail from Newcastle where most ladies really go to town on their outfits and spend their enter Saturday afternoons getting ready, I certainly did just that when I was (a lot) younger. Having an excuse to get spruced up for a night of cocktails and dinner in Central London was a welcome break from my usual Dr Martens boots and mom jeans down the pub.

I was kindly offered to try out a few luxurious pieces from Chic by Choice and Silent Assembly. Chic by Choice is a dress hire website that allows women to access the most breathtaking designer dresses for whatever occasion they may need to feel extra glamorous for. I love Self Portrait dresses and I was so excited to be able to try a few of their pieces. I also was kindly gifted a beautiful bra and pair of knickers by Silent Assembly which are the most comfortable underwear items I've ever worn.


Both of the dresses I tried from Chic by Choice were so beautiful but my absolute favorite was the Black Lace Cutout Dress. The cut of the dress seemed to suit my shape really well and I felt so pretty wearing it. After having a little photo shoot myself, my best friend Erica and my boyfriend Simon headed to the perfect place for a glamorous evening out, cue Brasserie Zedel. Brasserie Zedel boasts an amazing cocktail lounge, cabaret room and beautiful restaurant, you must go if you live in London as It's just like stepping into the pages of The Great Gatsby.






Below are some photo's of Brasserie Zedel taken from their website. 




Thank you to Chic by Choice and Silent Assembly for letting me try out your beautiful products. The photos of me were taken by my friend Erica.  I hope you had a lovely weekend and if you're planning on eating out in London soon have a look at my restaurant Pinterest Board. I'm a big foodie so I'm always updating it with new places to eat. 

Blossoming Gifts Giveaway

After Simon and I took down our Christmas decorations and the lovely fir tree our home felt so empty and boring, I really miss the colourful baubles and twinkling lights. I think the best way to combat a lacklustre post Christmas house is to bring some nature and greenery into your space.


The images above are from Style me Pretty and their white floral display post.

What better way to celebrate the new year and look towards Spring than to decorate your home with beautiful bunches of flowers? I am so happy to be running a giveaway with Blossoming Gifts who are a really lovely new flower and hamper delivery company.

After chatting to Hannah at Blooming Gifts we chose a special bouquet to giveaway to one of you. The Carousel bouquet is my favourite on the site and I hope you like it as much as I do. This bunch of beautiful blooms features zembla chrysanthemums, peach spray roses with heavenly scented orange La lilies and delicate white eustoma. I love the peach and white blooms together, the perfect colours to ring in a bright New Year.



All you have to do to enter this wonderful giveaway is to complete the Raffelcopter widget below and I will announce the winner back here on the 27th January. Best of Luck!

Giveaway now closed. Congrats to Kara Campion Spencer for winning the bouquet!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Christmas and New Year 2015

I hope you all had a wonderful December and New Years however you celebrate the season. I spent more time than usual planning what's ahead and reflecting about the past year. So what do I hope 2016 will bring me?

Well I'm going to try my hardest to continue being grateful, honest and most importantly to hold myself accountable for my own happiness. In the past, for many reasons, I felt as though I had to sacrifice my true feelings and push myself down a path of false positivity. I wanted to make sure everyone around me felt great by acting as a placater. I've realised that in order for me to be truly happy sometimes I need to be a little selfish. By that I mean I don't need to follow, protect or put other people before myself all the time.

With that thought I am moving into the New Year with a brand new perspective, I'm really looking forward to 2016 and I can't wait to find out what adventures lie ahead.

I want to share a few of my favorite moments from the few weeks off I had this Christmas. I had a wonderful Christmas this year, my family agreed that it had been the best one since my brother and I were little.

I hope you had a great break too and that 2016 is your best year yet.


Above is a selection of the amazing gifts I received this year. I was totally and utterly spoilt by my mum as usual. The photo in the middle is one my dad took of me when I was little but didn't get developed before he passed away. My brother found the negatives of that photo and four others and had them printed for me and my mum. Its safe to say that we were both so thrilled and moved by the amount of thought that had gone into that gift. We all joked that it looks like a childhood photograph of a 1950's movie star!

Changing tone a wee bit Simon bought me the pair of Everlane shoes I had been dreaming about buying alongside some other really beautiful gifts. I can't believe how lucky I am to have such a thoughtful family!


Here are a few snapshots that I've collected during the festive period, some from shopping for gifts in London, some from celebrating with my family back home in Newcastle and some taken in beautiful Suffolk for New Year's Eve. I've decided next year I am doing a totally handmade Christmas, I want to craft everything. Call me mad but its just not the same buying things for the festive season!