27 March 2015

On Tuesday of this week Lily turned 10. A whole decade. To celebrate reaching double-figures I laid on an after-school afternoon tea for her and six close friends. It was relaxed, fun and I hope memorable. Celebrating such moments in life is time well spent in my book.

So I set to work making tiny cheese & cucumber rolls, filling pretty striped paper cups with chipsticks, baking sausage rolls and filling cocktail sized vol au vents. Then there were mini strawberry & cream meringues, individual coconut & cherry loaf cakes, mini chocolate cakes, mini orange & almond cakes and paper cups filled with lemon cupcake popcorn, berries and chocolate discs and to top it all off a 'fox' birthday cake.

It's the decorations and tableware that also make a gathering an occasion and, in this case, turn one of the most special days of the year into one of the prettiest. All the decorations and tableware in this shoot are from My Little Day, a French online boutique that sell all the kit required to host the most beautiful children's birthday parties. From bunting, confetti-filled balloons and tassel garlands to paper plates, cups, straws and napkins in contemporary patterns. I even made party bags using the paper bags and mini paper rosettes  - they were the icing on the cake.


13 March 2015

In the last couple of weeks there has been a notable change in the everyday. The narcissus in my window boxes are about to bloom. I check the tight yellow buds that are just breaking out of their protective paper-like casing every morning. They are tentatively about to announce the arrival of spring.

It will soon be time to pack away the winter blankets and throw open the windows to let in the dappled sunlight. I tend to make a few subtle changes to my home to welcome in the new season. At the moment I am looking to update a picture that I've had on my kitchen wall for sometime to something new, fresh and optimistic. I find that when a piece of art has been on my wall for a long time, I fail to notice it anymore.

I have recently discovered Minted, an US-based online design marketplace that sells event stationery,  party decor and wall art from their global community of independent designers. An early pioneer of crowd-sourcing, Minted hold regular art and design challenges. Designers submit their designs, fans vote and Minted sell the winners. Minted ship worldwide and their prices are purse-friendly. It's a refreshing way to curate a shop and gives many independent designers the selling platform they need. This is just a selection of what is on offer. The fresh painterly patterns have a Scandinavian feel about them which appeals to me. They are calming while at the same time invigorating - perfect for the sunny spot by my kitchen window. You can browse the full art collection here. Which one would you choose?

Images from top: Morning Dew by Simona Cavallaro | Connection № 3 by Kelly Ventura | Flight of the Ocean by Sharon Rowan | Ice on the Lake by Renee Anne | Weathered by Melanie Severin | Trio of Spheres by Naomi Ernest | Sunset Fade № 1 by Kelly Ventura | Bits by Katie Craig

Minted are currently offering a 15% discount across its shop, but if your inspired be quick as the offer ends this Sunday.

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The Kitchen Cupboard {Lily Pond Stoneware Dinner Set}

4 March 2015

This lovely new Lily Pond Stoneware Dinner Set from Anthropologie caught my eye recently. I've been playing it safe with plain white dinnerware for decades now and sometimes I want to go that little bit further. The pretty frilly edge with its blue glazed trim is just subtle enough to keep within my crockery comfort zone. Its delicate fresh design would really come into its own now that we are on the cusp of spring, don't you agree?