157/365 And they lived happily ever after.... :)

New piece of vintage style signage i bought for the BF and for OUR lounge :)

156/365 Moving Day!

I have seen some people do a photo an hour for a day - and thought "Moving in day" would be a suitably busy one to document! So we start at 9am with a strong cup of tea, got to love my owl tea bag and spoon rest! It always makes me smile in the morning!

10am  - Posing and waiting for the boys to arrive with the first van load of "man stuff" (they say women are bad hoarders, but *seriously* ..... men keep EVERYTHING!)

11am - doing some washing while I wait - for some reason I find laundry a really fun pursuit! I think because everything comes out smelling so wonderful and looking beautiful!

12 noon - clearing out a spare bedroom which will become the "Man's room" to be filled with as many speakers / Hi Fi's and PC's as it can  possibly accommodate I suspect!

1pm - the first boxes of random man stuff arrive!

2pm  - And my tired old sofa gets ready for a permanent holiday to a new house!

3pm - watching a bit of Real Housewives of OC while I wait for van load 2 to arrive! Notice how the speakers around my TV seem to have multiplied!?!?

4pm - Not saying the BF's Mum was *really* pleased to get some space back in her house, but she did bake me this immensely gorgeous wheat free chocolate cake with chocolate mousse and cream filling in :) YUM!

5pm - Pictures of cars on the wall in the dining room!

6pm - New leather sofa in place! woooo! SO comfy!!

7pm - Celebration! All done for the first day, huge curry and a bottle of pink champagne and a toast to our first night as a co habiting couple!! So so happy :)

8pm - and the man himself, as we sit down to chill out! MWAH! Love you my darling :) So glad you are here! xxx

155/365 Blogging!

Since starting this blog, I have really got into the whole "blogiverse" as it's known. I get so much inspiration both for my own blog and creative projects in general from following other people's blogs, and am even making a few virtual friends! Cute! You can see all my current favourites at the bottom of this page :)

154/365 And on the subject of necklaces

I hang this plastic Pirates of the Caribbean "Piece of Eight" by my front door, it's not exactly classic fine jewellery! But it reminds me of a really cool night on a work trip in the Bahamas, where the theme of the night was (you guessed it right?) Pirates of the Caribbean. Very weird and cool to see all my work colleagues and their partners looking "piratey" to various degrees! I started off being very sniffy about the whole thing and my only concession was a navy / military style jacket, but of course as the rum flowed and I found they had bought loads of props for people to dress up in, I went Pirate Crazy and looted all I could (see what I did there!) and ran around "shooting" people (including the Global VP of Sales - oh dear) with my plastic musket :) Fun night! There were actors in Pirate costume and various piratey activities to do (I just concentrated on the drinking one!) and ended with a band on the beach til midnight and fireworks. So every time I leave  the house on a grey and cold "summer's" day, I see this necklace and have a little smile inside remembering that night! 

PS Doesn't the BF look HOT as a pirate!? Albeit I am slightly biased... 

153/365 Celebration treat!

You may or may not have gathered if you are reading my posts regularly (if not why not!?! *sulk*) that my boyfriend is moving in with me. (Along with all of his cars! :) In fact this Saturday is "M" Day (moving day!?) (Although goodness knows what's left to move now, as I already have more cars / car parts / speakers and PC's in my OUR house than I can shake a stick at!) But in all seriousness, I am really excited to take this awesome step together, and can't wait to go to sleep and wake up with him every day (even though its like waking the dead getting him out of bed in the morning!!) So I wanted to buy a little something to commemorate the moment, and have been doing some research on Etsy (which if you are a girl and you haven't checked out yet do so now!!) And I found these beautiful handmade silver pieces, made to order by SoulPeaces The designer Heather says: "I love imperfect jewellery that is noticeably and obviously handmade. I begin by cutting my idea out of sterling sheet metal, then form, fabricate, sand to a satin brushed finish and assemble. The way a piece is put together can make it that much more unique. I tend to like everything unbalanced and irregular but also intricate. Living in Southern California, I am inspired by my love for all that is natural and close to the soul… music, poetry, the ocean, the stars and moon, anything vintage and industrial" So I picked out two tiny leaves one with an "R" for the man, and one with a "J" for me, hanging together on a tiny detailed branch, as representation of us living now in the same tree (so to speak, I mean my house is slightly larger and more luxurious than a tree house :) I ordered it last week and since it's handmade to order, and then shipped from the US I was amazed when I received it today and DELIGHTED since I had been excitedly checking e mail and the post tray at work every day! It's even more lovely than I had imagined and means I will never forget the excitement of M Day and the start of a new chapter together! (this is a very soppy post today isn't it!?!?!) xx

152/365 Lillies

All that rain has paid off and finally they are in bloom! My Mum bought me these for my first bachelorette pad about 10 years ago and I have had them ever since! They have to be the lazy gardeners ideal plant, all you do is put them in a sunny place, water them when you remember and they burst into these miraculous flowers! Then once they have finished you leave them in the sun with all the green leaves on for the plant to build up the reserves it needs in the bulb to see it through the winter. Eventually the leaves fall off in the autumn, and the stems dry up, and you gently twist them and pull them out, leaving just the bulb under the soil. Then I stick them in a sheltered place at the side of my house and simply get them out again in Spring! And they do the whole thing all over again, every year for 10 years! Can't get better ROI (Return on Investment) than THAT! x

151/365 My new favourite hair product

Coconut oil has been used as a hair care product for millennia (or so "coconut-oil -central.com tells me! Yes there really is such a website!) Its unique chemical structure enables it to naturally clean, nourish, protect and beautify hair.Your head has about 100,000 hair follicles. Each follicle can grow about 20 individual hairs in your lifetime.True healthy hair begins in the hair follicle. Blood carries nutrients through arteries connected to your hair follicles.Coconut oil replaces the natural oils your hair looses on a regular basis.Coconut oil is made up of "medium chain triglycerides" (MCT) which can pass freely through the cell membrane and into the the hair shaft and re build it from within. Now my hair is the longest it has ever been, and I continue to insist on having highlights on a regular basis its becoming harder to keep the ends conditioned and looking good, I have already had some great results using this, and it smells great! AND all this natural goodness for £3.50 delivered (thank you e-bay) Can't be bad eh? God bless those MCT's! :)

150/365 Summer sunshine AT LAST!

149/365 Chillin'

I find these days that it's all to easy for me to slip into continuous "work mode". When work is intense and full on, I can find myself logging onto my laptop at 6am and working through until 7pm with only a 20 minute break in there twice a day to commute to and from the office, and perhaps 10 minutes eating a salad with one hand while typing with the other. It then becomes really hard for me to switch out of that mindset even when I am at home. So I start to have that "achiever mentality" about shopping, cooking, washing, catching up with friends and family, and even relaxing. It all has to be done NOW and have a GOAL and be as efficiently done as possible. Then I suddenly find nothing is making me laugh, my creativity is dried up, my head is too full to watch TV or read a book, I can;t be bothered to get a camera out, and I can't see the lightness in life any more. Balance in life is hard for me to achieve always, I am a bit of an "all or nothing" person generally, and sometimes this works to my advantage sometimes not. Once I decide to exercise or eat well or work hard, it's pretty much done. Equally sometimes I need to just STOP doing, and start being. So today, after the requisite thorough hoover and dust of my house, so I feel like I have done something useful, I will spend the rest of the day sitting outside in my flower garden, drinking litres of water and reading an awesome new book and getting lost in the plot and the beauty of the writing (John Le Carre - "The Mission Song" - since you ask :) I will be spending hours deep conditioning my hair, and playing with my jewellery box contents - mixing and matching, reading blogs, watching Sex & The City re runs, and gloriously, unashamedly doing NOTHING much at all! Hello Jules, bye bye Work Jules til Monday :)

148/365 Summer Meadow!

Grass - so last year.... and this beautiful meadow?... yep it took AGES to plan and plant up etc... its not at all that I am too lazy to look after my lawn and mow and feed and weed it ....um hum......*grin*

147/365 Takk fyrir Iceland xxx

I watched the Sigur Ros movie Heima last night, and it reminded me (although I didn't really need reminding!) why I love Iceland so much! Hemia means Home, and its about the band doing a series of gigs totally for free around their home country in Iceland, everything from a huge outdoor sell out gig in Reyjavik to tiny afternoon acoustic sets on a lava field. Whole villages turn out to see them play, from grandparents to grandchildren and every age in between. There's something about Iceland, Icelandic people and the music that for me is just so touching, and connecting. I read in one of my Icelandic guidebooks that Bjork refers to the country as an "emotional landscape" that really hit the nail on the head for me, watch this video and listen to this song, and I defy you not to feel deeply touched by it, just beautiful. The photograph is one of 400 I took in my 6 day visit! Just a cloud formation over a snowy landscape but how amazing does it look with the sun like an eye through the cloud! Every single view is like a postcard - you become "full" with the beauty you see and for me it just fed my soul - sorry if that sounds over the top, but I can't explain it in any other way. I so can't wait to go back there. And the title? Means "Thank you Iceland"  :) And the Icelandic word for "goodbye" is" bless" how cute is that? So the last thing someone Icelandic said to me as I paid for lunch was "Takk fyrir bless bless" ADORABLE!

146/365 Black mood, much like the weather!

“The pathetic fallacy or anthropomorphic fallacy is the treatment of inanimate objects as if they had human feelings, thought, or sensations.The word 'pathetic' in this use is related to 'pathos' or 'empathy' (capability of feeling In the discussion of literature, the pathetic fallacy is similar to personification. Personification is direct and explicit in the ascription of life and sentience to the thing in question, whereas the pathetic fallacy is much broader and more allusive. "Personification" is a more obtrusive and formal use of human traits attributed to natural objects. For example, "the sea is angry at us" would be pathetic fallacy, but when the sea assumes a human form such as a sea god, that is overt personification.”

So now we have cleared that up… I can tell you that I feel like the sky outside today (and pictured above) and have no further need of illustrative words to describe !?

145/365 Then the second car

We are fast running out of car parking space!! Don't the "his n her" Fords look cute nestling together on the drive though !?!?! haha!

144/365 The move in begins!

First the cars... 

143/365 Car show from inside a car? New approach brought on by weather!

The beauty of a car show is the ability to sit outside in the summer sunshine, chat with friends, check out some lovely cars, take some photos, chill out i the outside.....one tiny issue with all of that in our current "summer"...

142/365 MORE rain! I mean *seriously* !

This summer is fast becoming a total wash out literally, all the sunniest weather happens during the week, while I stuck am inside in the office in minus 40 degree air conditioning with a coat and gloves on (well ok, not quite, but almost) The weekends are then made up of nothing but monsoon style rain showers and hot steamy, sweaty days! YUCK! But the lilies in my garden are about to burst into flower, and the rain drops on them do look pretty spectacular, so as usual I can almost always find a silver lining in any rain cloud! 

PS. I couldn't resist taking a photo of my spur of the moment footwear, rather than run up and downstairs for my own shoes, I  nicked the BF's work shoes for a quick photo shoot in the garden, I think they could be the next big fashion hit after  "Boyfriend Cardigans // Boyfriend Jeans" comes "Boyfriend Shoes" !?!? yes // no ?

141/365 Fresh herbs

I love them, not just to eat but look at too! Planning to have a whole windowsill full of different ones, so watch this space!

139/365 Surprise discovery photo!

I have lots of photos from this special night from a few different peoples cameras, but this is one that turned up about a year after, and it's my favourite! It was a huge work event to recognise people for achieving certain goals, and this particular year I was the number one person doing my job role in the world, so I had a bit of a clean sweep of different awards, including this one I am holding which I love! Because both it means alot to me in terms of achievement, and also it's not a company made piece of "glassware" but a piece of Steuben crystal which is pretty luxurious and special and has pride of place on my desk. I learned as I walked into the event which was held at The Royal Courts of Justice in London that I would have a special speech and announcement made about me after the meal and have to go up on stage in front of a thousand or so people to collect in. I immediatly had an overwhelming desire to drink the entire tables contingent of wine to calm my nerves, and a simultaneous realisation that that, combined with a strapless cocktail dress and 6 inch heels may be my very undoing... And so I did the sensible thing (for once) and stayed sober and quietly nervously hysterical for the entire meal. The wonderful Boyfriend was AS EVER a rock, and calmed me down, made sure my dress was secured (after it kept randomly unzipping itself for no reason and thus threatening to make me walk up on stage topless!) and was just generally a soothing voice of balance and strength to me (this is generally a daily task for him - I can be / usually am  - what can only be described as "fiesty" haha) So once I had been up there and collected this I got back to my table safely without tripping and sat down to a HUGE glass of wine and I think you can see the relief in my face! I am a contrary bint, I both LOVE to be recognised and get SO nervous and self conscious as well! But looking back now I just remember the feeling of happiness that I had achieved the award, and more importantly that I had someone so absolutely amazing in my life to share it all with :) xxx

138/365 No threat to Nigella Lawson JUST YET!

It's my boyfriend's Dad's birthday tomorrow, so I thought I would "surprise" him with a home baked victoria sponge cake..... now I am not an expert on cakes, but I am pretty sure this isn't exactly what it's supposed to look like...*grin* and equally sure if i turned up at with this tomorrow night he would indeed be VERY surprised!! The clue lies in the top photo if you look closely you can see the missing link in the top of the weighing scales... flour! I hear this is of some importance in a cake. I mean REALLY! I know I have worked from 6am to 6pm today with no break, but have I really lost my brain entirely?? It would appear so! After 30 mins of scraping and scouring these tins, and then the oven too, I think the "net net" is a trip to Sainsbury's tomorrow lunchtime for a proper cake! I did laugh though when i opened the oven door.. in fact I still am smiling! I'd take that over a cake anyday!

137/365 and what about he owls I hear you ask!

They are everywhere is the answer....even nesting on my new spice rack, can't get enough of them!!

136/365 And one more close up of a flower..

with a little added "graininess" and "glow" *love it*

135/365 Right on my doorstep!

Herschel Park in Slough has undergone a multi-million pound refurbishment this summer, restoring the grounds to its former Victorian glory. Previously called Upton Park, it was built in the 1840s by James Thomas Bedborough, a Windsor builder, councillor and entrepreneur who bought the grounds and landscaped it as the private pleasure grounds of a Victorian housing development.The park is also surrounded on three sides by buildings built by Bedborough. In 1949 the park was sold to Slough council, who renamed it Herschel Park before opening it to the public. In 2000 quite mysteriously the water in the ponds in the park totally. In January 2009 the park was granted £2.2 million - a combination of funds from Heritage Lottery and Slough council. Archaeological work was done to find where the original paths were, and using historical maps plotted the paths and reinstalled the historic gateways and bridge using original photographs. An old Victorian coach house will be converted into a new multi-use community and visitor centre, and a nature reserve which adjoins the park will be enhanced through the planting of trees and wildflowers.

This park is a stones throw from where I live, and has been open a month now, but today was the first time I got to go there hand in hand with my honey *grin* And these are the photos I took while strolling through the balmy summer sun (yes finally we had some!) The little cat was called Ringo (his name was on a star shaped collar around his neck) and he came over to day hello when we were sitting on a bench soaking up some rays and snuggling, then when we got up to carry on our walk, he came along for 10 minutes or so, scampering along behind! So Cute!