Hello, hello, it’s been along time since we last spoke and I’ve missed you all!
Long story short, I migrated my blog last year from blogger to wordpress using a very well known blog template company? A year after they completed the migration for me, successfully or so I thought, a very kind insta friend Mark, https://www.instagram.com/spencercollection/ contacted me to advise me that my subscribe button wasn’t working. A whole f*****g year later! Anyhow thanks to Mark for alerting me. What followed were some long hours of stress, almost tears of frustration and some help from techy friends, hello KarenAnita, and it is by some small miracle, now working! So here I am back with you all and I’m so happy about it. I’ve so much to tell you and I can’t wait to get back to writing and sharing all the great things I’ve discovered lately, but for this post I’ll condense it into mini micro blogs, some of which will be expanded on another time. It’s great to be able to connect with you all again at last. How have you all been?
I personally love to read about new places to discover for days out or longer holidays, new products I might have heard of but haven’t tried, new clothes and interior shops, eateries, delis & cafes. I’m always eager for recommendations of what people are reading or listening to and so if we’re like minded, which I know we are otherwise you wouldn’t be here in the first place, then that’s what I’ll share with you in this post and the rest to follow. If you, like me, are full of curiosity about life and grabbing it and sucking out the best bits, then let’s keep connected this time. You can subscribe for regular email updates, when I’ve posted a new blog, by hitting the subscribe button. So here is my mini catch up with you all and what I’ve found & learned over the last 2-3 months.
Where have I been?
Well if you follow me on instagram, which you can do here, if not already, you’ll know I went to New York for the first time in April. I won’t even attempt to tell you about it here, that deserves a blog post all of it’s own and it’s something, some of you have already requested on instagram. Let’s just say for now, we went, we saw, we fell in love!
Leek Antique Market
I love leek in Staffordshire, it a great town and is full of fantastic vintage and antique shops with a great antique market in the town square every Saturday. It’s also brilliant on it’s price points and I never come away empty handed. For a more comprehensive review on Leek you can read my previous blog post here. This time I bought this beautiful Victorian basket £10, a full size French linen flag £20 and this beautiful pussy willow in the most glorious grey colour £4.00 for the lot, cheaper than supermarket prices?
I’ve visited some amazing interiors shops since the last time we spoke. First up is a local Manchester shop:
I don’t know how I’ve missed it and why I’ve never been before, but I was invited by my lovely friend Sarah @relovedmcr to style a piece of her beautiful up cycled furniture for the shop window. Owned by Fiona and run by her & Kate, they are a font of knowledge when it comes to all things interior, wallpaper, paint & vintage and this stylish shop has it all in bucket loads. Go to prestwich to visit, call into the beautiful florist next door and then feast a few doors down @Cuckoo
Where do I start with this shop? Again it’s quite an establishment in Sheffield but one that’s bypassed me, however, I’m delighted to have found it now. It is such a beautiful visual feast of a shop, full of dark & bohemian textiles, art work, fragrances, gifts, jewellery & clothes, each and every one of them exquisite. This cool retail space, feels like you’re stepping momentarily into a store in Amsterdam and it’s only when you remerge from the shop that you’re transported back to Sheffield which by the way is my new favourite place and one I will be devoting an entire blog post to shortly.
I know this is also a stalwart to interior shopping addicts and I’ve already written a blog post about Baileys back in 2012 which you can read here if you’re interested? Since then it has become one of my very favourite shopping destinations for interior objects and props for photography shoots, despite the 3 hour drive from Manchester, which says it all really? It’s also gradually and gently morphed over the years into a concept store, complete with clothes, jewellery, toiletries,household items, new and salvaged and garden nic nacs and plants, including house plants, which are a relatively new edition. Keep your eyes peeled for a new book due out in the Autumn by Sally & Mark Bailey to add to your collection.
What I’ve learned & listened to
After meeting Kayte Ferris of Simpleandseason last year on another workshop, I decided she was just the right sort of knowledgeable person to help me visualise a long held dream of creating a business of my own? Ok I know I am my own business, being a self employed stylist, but I’d like to eventually take that a step further and have a physical business. A place I could style my own way, sell the sort of things I look for for my home & work, host workshops & events. We already own a property we bought a few years ago, so this isn’t a complete pipe dream and as the years pass and our financial outgoings get less, the end of the term of our mortgage is now in sight and our two children are growing up and getting more independent & self sufficient, i’d like this dream to become a reality. After spending a day with Kayte on one of her workshops, together with some other equally inspiring women, writers, makers, photographers, potters, I feel like I can see a clearing in the woods and a chink of light shining through stronger and brighter than ever before. If you are considering branching out on your own, I highly recommend going on one of Kayte workshops, her advice and knowledge of marketing are invaluable.
I’ve also been listening to lots of podcasts, many which are informative, some just entertaining and some a mixture of both. I love Hashtag Authentic by MeandOrla, The HighLow by Dolly Alderton & Pandora Sykes and Table Manners with Jessie Ware and her fabulous mum Lenny. Also new to me this week, which I’ve been enjoying is Fearne Cotton’s podcast Happy Place, where she talk to friends and people she admires about life and it’s highs and lows and how they cope with those moments?There are none here that are new and you may have heard of them already but if you haven’t or are new to podcasts, they are all very worth a listen.
I also recommend Dollys fantastic book, which any girl or woman with a pulse can relate to “Everything I Know about Love” is a book about growing up, friendships and ultimately love and what that looks like in all its guises. I’ve also recently been gifted for my birthday by friends and family Accidental Icon by Iris Apfel and Corrugated iron Buildings, both stonking good reads I’m sure!
What I’ve been buying
As the weather has been so damn awful in the UK until very recently I’ve been wearing my winter wardrobe since october to April however,I’ve now realised that it looks like we might be having a summer after all and I’ve discovered I haven’t got a stitch to wear, spoken like a true Northerner. I haven’t actually bought anything summery yet apart from a lovely little straw clutch bag from çhttp://www.baileyshome.com but when I do I shall be visiting the following:
My favourite go to Manchester shop for 100% minimalist linen clothing and a warm & friendly welcome from shop owners Rachael & Alex Otterwell.
I briefly scoured the rails last time I was in Manchester about 2 weeks ago and it’s safe to say I want one of everything they have at the moment. The stock is sourced and bought with ethical values in mind but style is never a compromise and everything is colour co-ordinated on rails to make it all so easy for us.
Enough said above. I WANT IT ALL!
Ethical, well designed,Any colour please!
*UPDATE, I’VE JUST ORDERED A PAIR WITH 10% DISCOUNT FROM LA REDOUTE*
My money has been mainly spent recently on cosmetics, the only safe bet with the long long winter? Current favourites that I can recommend are Charlotte Tilbury Hollywood glow, does what it says on the tin, even for mature skins. I have it, it works brilliantly whilst diffusing wrinkles slightly. Milk Make up which is currently only available in the US. Did I say I’d been to New York??? Seriously it’s brilliant. Developed by Manchester girl done good, Zanna Roberts Rassi, it is due to roll out in the UK any time soon. It’s perfect for hand luggage as everything comes in solid sticks, moisturiser, cleaners, the lot. Just Brilliant! Also if you love watching beauty editor Sali Hughes in the bathroom series, theres a great episode of her interviewing Zanna in her bathroom which I loved.
I’ve also been very kindly gifted some organic advanced skin care and sun protection from a company called Madara, which couldn’t have come at a better time after the last two beautiful sunny weekends. The factor 30 age defying sun protector for the face, is slightly tinted and with a slight sheen so is perfect for that minimalist make up look while on holiday and I love the age defence day cream moisturiser which claims to support natural dermal collagen and repair skin structure. It is a mighty claim but this is no word of a lie, it makes my skin feel tighter and more toned on application. I’m not a beauty blogger and I haven’t been paid to say this, I have only been gifted these items and if I didn’t think they were worth buying, I would say so but I’m seriously impressed and as a bit of a product junkie theres not much that I’m usually impressed with?
Finally I’m looking forward to seeing the gloriously talented Maxine Peake this week in a Happy Days, a play by Samuel Beckett at The Royal Exchange Theatre and I’m also hoping to catch her in her new film Funny cow, which I’ve heard great things about. Apparently its based on the life of comedienne Marti Caine, who I remember watching as a kid, which gives my age way slightly, but she was very funny, ground breaking for her time and Maxine portrays her in the way only someone of Maxines talents could, I hear?
I also went to see the Vivenne Westwood film, Punk, Icon, Activist a few months ago which was all kinds of brilliant. She’s as mad as a box of frocks, in a superbly eccentric British way, but insanely talented and you get a real insight into her life now, her relationship with her husband Andreas and her previous relationship with her ex husband Malcolm McLaren. A fascinating and insightful documentary, it’s such a shame Dame Vivienne and her son ben have both denounced it.It really is a tribute to 40 years at the top of her game?
So that’s me done. All caught up with my news. Its like one of those tedious round robin letters you get at Christmas but hopefully a lot more informative? I’m looking forward to fleshing out some of the mini posts I’ve just mentioned to be more insightful and hopefully useful? Thanks for sticking with me those of you that have and to anyone new to the blog, thank you for reading and if you want to leave me any comments I’d love to hear from you.