Monday, 6 July 2009

Secret Sanctuary

We have just enjoyed a week in our favourite corner of the planet.

Situated on the remote West Coast of Scotland, Ardnamurchan is a long, narrow peninsula along the shores of Loch Sunart and marks the most westerly tip of the British Mainland.

Ardnamurchan is a wild, remote yet strangely beautiful place. It is one of the least populated areas of Great Britain, whole communities were evicted during the Highland clearances of the late 18th and early 19th centuries. Today less than 2000 people live on the 50 sq mile peninsula, there is however abundant wildlife, including Red Deer, Otters, Seals, Eagles and Pine Martins. The area also contains hundreds of wild plants, many of which are very rare, indeed some are only found in Ardnamurchan.
This was our home for the week.

Set in idylic grounds with space for the children to roam.

And to have adventures.

The dogs had 3 ponds and a river to choose from.

Apologies if this is too much information but I had to share this photo.
This is the view from the ensuite loo! The dear came down from the mountains
at dawn and dusk.

Back home to reality now. No more huge sky. No more silence.

Tuesday, 23 June 2009

Lucky Me!

Look what my lovely Postman delivered this morning.

A gorgeous little bundle of goodies from Kelly
which I won for being a runner up in her recent photo competition.

Thanks Kelly!

Saturday, 20 June 2009

Floss' 40th Birthday Garden Party!

Happy 40th Birthday Floss! You don't look at day over 21!
Well I must say, your garden is looking delightful! The food looks yummy and that tea cosy just sets everything off beautifully (that trip to the charity shops of Edinburgh certainly paid off).
Since the weather in France is so lovely I've decided to wear this.

This little bag matches my dress and fits with the Garden Party theme.

I love these shoes but I suspect they will be coming off in a while so that I can feel the grass between my toes!

Here is my birthday gift to you. I hope you like them as Hydrangas are one of my favourite flowers.

And here is a little something for your boys.

Well, this garden party has been wonderful but I really must dash to get back to Scotland for my children's bath and bedtime!

Have a fantastic time at your "non-virtual" Garden Party. I'm looking forward to your photos already!

I've Won a Prize!

I cannot believe it! I'm a runner up in the Vintage Lifestyle photo competition!

For those of you who didn't know about this, the lovely Kelly over at Vintage Lifestyle

recently ran a little competition.

She invited readers of her blog/website to take a photo of something they had purchased from Vintage Lifestyle. The main thing being that the photo had to have a vintage feel.

I only recently bought my red corner cabinet from Kelly but I love it so much that I couldn't not take it's photo.
I'm so delighted to be a runner up! So unexpected! The winning entry was fantastic and there is also another runner up. It would be great to see all the other entries too.
If you have not already discovered Vintage Lifestyle (and I doubt it!) you really should visit. Kelly sells the most wonderful items.

Tuesday, 16 June 2009

Getting There

Our garden is only 3 years old. Slowly but surely I am getting it the way I want.
This is the path to the back garden from the front of the house.

It is becoming suitably overgrown.

The garden is so green it is lovely to have a burst of sunshine from this tree with it's yellow blooms.
Apologies to the garden experts but I can't remember what it is, but I do know that it only blooms in June.

Sunday brought another wonderful car boot sale find.
I managed to get this galvanised small tin bath for £3.
It is now planted up with Greek Basil, Corriander, Chives, Parsley, Thyme and Mint.
All ready for the kitchen!

Saturday, 13 June 2009

Gala Day

Today in our village was Gala Day.
This is an annual event where the local schools decorate floats, children (& some adults!) dress up and everyone follows the procession to the local park for fun at the fair.
My childrens' school decided this year that their float would celebrate the sixties. There were hippies, mods, rockers and astronauts abound!
Lily, my 9 year old daughter, decided to dress up as a hippy.
Here she is with 2 of her friends (Lily is on the left).
Before the procession was underway the rain started pouring but this did not discourage anyone!
Within 30 minutes the sun was shining again.
We made it to the park, Lily disappeared with her friends and my two boys enjoyed themselves on the fairground rides.
This is Jacob (centre) atop a red double decker.
Oscar decided to play is safe and stayed inside the bus incase the rain started again!

A fun day was had by all.

The boys are now in bed, exhausted.

Lily has a friend staying for a sleepover.

Now is my time.....sshhhh.....silence.......

Wednesday, 10 June 2009

Beauty Basics

It is important to me to be well presented. I am not into the heavily made up look but believe in looking after my skin and using a little make up to achieve the "my skin but better, my lips but better etc etc" look.

Thought I'd share a few of my failsafe products.....well, they work for me, for now!

I love Liz Earle products and would buy everything in the range if the pennies allowed!

For now I am happy to stick with the basics of Cleanse & Polish Hot Cloth Cleanser (wonderful stuff!), Radiant Boost Skin Tonic (which smells devine) and Skin Repair moisturiser. Now who is that little product peeking out from the back?? Ssshhh, don't's my secret weapon, Boots No7 Protect & Perfect serum. This is seriously good.

In the evenings before bed, I like to give my skin a little treat with these products from Decleor. I'm not sure if they actually do any good, but they smell so lovely it's a real treat to go to bed with them on my skin.

A few of my other faves at the moment are Chanel Vitalumiere foundation. Being so pale I often have difficulty finding the right foundation but this is just about pale enough! For similar reasons, I love Benefit Posietint which is paler than it's famous sister Benetint.

I love the retro packaging of Benefit products so just had to buy the Bad Girl Lash. With a name like that I couldn't resist!

Finally, lipgloss. Any.

Monday, 8 June 2009

New View

This weekend we awoke to a new view over the fields at the back of our home.

This is the view from my daughter's bedroom window.

I know a lot of people do not like them, but I find the sight of the wind turbines strangely alluring.

It is only a small windfarm with only 3 turbines. About 20 miles away from here there is a much larger wind farm.

This is the view from my sons' bedroom window a few meters away from my daughter's room.

A more traditional Scottish rural scene.

Wednesday, 3 June 2009

My First Tag!

Oh my goodness, my first tag! Thank you to Floss for thinking of's so nice of you to include a "newbie"!

Okay, well here goes. I've included some photos of The Witchery in Edinburgh where my husband and I celebrated our 10th wedding anniversary last year. A truly exceptional place!

What is your current obsession? Blogging!

What are you wearing today? Cream jeans, red short sleeved shirt with cream polka dots and brown peep toe heels.

What's for dinner? Sorry, we cheated tonight and ate out (it was my 2 little boys football practice and it just made my life easier!!), so lots of different things!!
What's the last thing you bought? Oh, that's a secret as it was something to include in my Sleepover Swap over at A Thrifty Mrs
What do you think about the person who tagged you? Floss has been a great new friend in the world of Blogging. She has made me feel so welcome and I really look forward to finding out what she has been up to!
Desert island beauty product? Can I have 2??? Sunscreen and lippy!

What is your must-have item for summer? A pair of Birkies and a cold drink!
If you could go anywhere in the world for the next hour, where would it be? Ardnamurchan on the West Coast of Scotland. I've travelled extensively but this is still my favourite place on the planet! Fortunately, I'm going in 3 weeks time, yeh!
Who do you want to meet right now? Right this minute, Gordon Brown! I have lots of questions that need answering!!
What is your favourite piece of clothing from your own closet? My old fave battered jeans!
What is your dream job? Raising my children and writing would be good.
What's your favourite magazine? I quite like Red, as it has a good mixture of interiors, beauty, fashion etc
What do you consider a fashion faux-pas? Tights and sandals!!!
Describe your personal style - Classic with a twist (I think!)
What are you going to do after this? Sigh of relief, cup of tea and watch The Apprentice!
Three styling tips that work for you:
1. Don't be afraid of colour!
2. Remember I'm not 21 anymore!
3. Accessorise, accessorise, accessorise!
What are you proud of? My children.
What does your favourite underwear look like? White and cotton!
Hellllllloooooo! Are you still there???? That was a bit of a marathon! Okay, so here are the rules to this tag:
Respond and rework – answer the questions on your own blog
Replace one question that you dislike with a question of your own invention.
Add one more question of your own.
Tag eight others.
I tag.....

Tuesday, 2 June 2009

Treasures From My Travels

During my time living, and working in Bangladesh, I was fortunate enough to spend a lot of my time travelling. Of course I picked up a few treasures along the way which I thought I'd share with you. Above is my absolute favourite find - it's a Russian submarine clock! It is so heavy I daren't put it on my wall , so for now it has found a home on a kitchen shelf.

Surprisingly Dhaka has several antique style markets. They are full of old shipping fixtures and fittings as many ships end up in Bangladesh to be broken up. When I could bear the heat (I am your picture postcard Scot....pale skin and red hair!) I could happily spend many an hour searching these markets. It was in such a market that I found the brass lantern, the spice tin and the Captains clock.

I was so lucky to get the opportunity to visit Nepal. It is such a magical place. People living in poverty but with great spirit and humility. It was there that I found my wonderful Buddha. This also weighs a tonne and Mr Novice had to carry it all the way back to Dhaka in his hand luggage. I was grateful of course!!

Hope you are all still enjoying the sunny weather! Speak soon!

Friday, 29 May 2009

Sunny Day Shopping

Today has been a beautiful day here in Central Scotland. Sun shining all day and clear blue skies. Unusually, I had a few hours to myself so decided to visit the charity shops in a local market town to see if I could get any goodies! But first I decided to visit my local Dunelm and TK Maxx to see if I could bag any bargains. So glad I did! In Dunelm I bought this lovely lantern for the garden table. A snip at £3.99! In TK Maxx I bought 2 lovely baskets, one large to store magazines & newspapers and a smaller one for my make-up. Thankfully it's the right size for my bathroom shelf!

I then trawled the charity shops but the choice was disappointing. However, in Oxfam I spotted this lovely Granny Blanket! I have been searching for one for ages but have never managed to find one with colour combinations that I like. But this one fits the bill. I have no idea what to do with it yet, but at £4.99 I couldn't not buy it!!

Hope the weather stays good for the rest of the weekend. Have fun in the sun!!

Wednesday, 27 May 2009

Addicted to Blogging!

I have to ask one question.......

How on earth do you all manage to function in everyday life with a Blogging addiction?

It's only been a month since I discovered the world of blogging, and less than a week since I started my own. I can't stop!! My children are being neglected! My home is a mess! I don't want to go to work and leave my beloved laptop! Help is needed!!

Sunday, 24 May 2009

Car Boot Sale Finds

I was up with the larks this morning and made it to two car boot sales and back home by 9.30am. I visited the same two sales last Sunday and came home disheartened by the amount of tat (aka rubbish!) people were selling. Well, this week was different.

I bought two cute blue planters for outside my children's play hut. Only £2 each! Now we just need to wait for the flowers to grow! I'm also thinking of putting bunting up, maybe oilcloth to cope with the Scottish weather.

I found two little blue apothecary bottles to add to my collection. I'll show you the rest another day!

I also found a fab green glass jug for £1.50 which I thought would sit rather well with my Great Auntie Mary's coloured glasses. I loved these little glasses since I was a child and they were passed to me when she died. I think they all look lovely on my fab red vintage corner cabinet from Vintage Lifestyle (thanks Kelly!).

Saturday, 23 May 2009

A New Journey

Well here goes!

Hopefully this post will be one of many as I embark on this new journey. I have read many of you blogs for some time and have been moved and inspired to have a go myself. Hopefully someone out there will enjoy my company!

I returned to live in the UK 3 years ago after a few years overseas. Since then we have moved into a new house which I am slowly trying to make a lovely home for my husband, three children and 2 dogs. During this process I have resdiscovered my love of all things vintage and with a tale to tell. I have also discovered the joy of gardening and am hoping some of you out there can hold my hand along the way (as I have no clue what I am doing!).