A walk around Hardwick Hall gardens

Saturday, 19 August 2017

Hi!

Ma and I vitited Hardwick Hall yesterday. It took us ages to pick somewhere to go (we're an indecisive pair) but we finally settled on Hardwick - it's not too far, it's easy to get to, and it's not expensive (especially not for me - I have a trusty NT membership!) We'd been before and loved it but that was about 2 years ago so we were due another trip.

We arrived at around 11, enjoyed some doorstep toast and jam for brunch in the cafe, and then began our walk around the house gardens. We didn't pay to get into the house this time - we wanted to save money and also make the most of the sun because it was forecast to absolutely chuck it down in the afternoon (oh, and it really did, we timed it well).


It was surprisingly quiet for the school holidays. I was glad of it, to be honest(!) we must've picked the best day to go.

Redecorating... the nursery

Wednesday, 16 August 2017

And lastly, we have the nursery, the final room of my Redecorating series! I went with a very calm neutral colour scheme with this room so it can work with any gender. The muted shade of minty blue that runs throughout this room is my favourite thing about it; the contemporary wallpaper is just the right amount of fussy, and the striped chair matches perfectly with the more traditional-style furniture.

Putting this room together, I fell in love with Marks & Spencer's Hastings furniture range. That ivory is dreamy. I don't think it's a popular furniture colour (I hardly ever see it around) but it's so stunning. It's got that modern country cottage vibe that I love.

However, not wanting to overdo the ivory (there's a limit), I added a dash of natural wood tones through the rope storage basket and chair legs. Stops the room looking too pale and blah.

Hope you've enjoyed this series, and I hope you enjoy having a little shop around.




Kate

New furniture!

Monday, 14 August 2017

Hi!


This may sound mundane to some of you, but I recently bought a 70s chest of drawers off Gumtree and I have never been so thrilled about a piece of furniture in my life.

I've been looking to replace my decrepit Argos drawers for months. They pretty much fell apart - the ball bearing runners had been broken for years and I kept finding tiny metal balls on my carpet because the bearings were just falling apart every time I opened a drawer. It got to the point where the runners didn't work at all and I was practically wrenching drawers open and kicking them shut. Oh, and the base in one of the drawers (not even holding anything heavy) just... collapsed. For the fun of it.

I mean... I wasn't expecting my Argos drawers to last decades, but I was still disappointed.

I'd spent hours upon hours scouring eBay for a new chest of drawers that would fit in this awkward space. Everything I found was way too wide or way too thin. There was nothing in between.

Until... I went on Gumtree for the very first time and found this beautiful teak wooden chest of drawers with pretty much the exact measurements I wanted (give or take a centimetres). It was bloody spot on, and it was only 25 minutes away so I was able to pick up two days after seeing it.


And although it doesn't 'fit in' with my other white, clean, minimal furniture pieces, I kind of love that. It stands out and adds some warmth to the room. I had the idea to sand and paint it when I first saw it, but now I love the teak wood. It's a 70s piece and I feel like painting it would take the charm away from it, so it's keeping its striking colour for the foreseeable future.

It also has no ball bearing runners whatsoever. Old school style.

P.S. Notice how the cotton pads magically fill themselves up in the second photo? 😂


Kate

Redecorating... the bedroom

Wednesday, 9 August 2017

Hi!

Here I am with the long awaited bedroom. I wanted to keep the best 'til last but we still have the nursery to go, so it's more like the best 'til second last. I just couldn't wait any longer, the bedroom is the one room I was absolutely buzzing to do.

For this room I took a little inspiration from the living room with those warm mustard and green shades. I stumbled upon this wacky Orla Kiely wallpaper and just had to use it. It was hard to work into the room because it's so bold and the colours are so unique (annoyingly so!!), but I think I managed it. This room took a lot of work just getting the colours to work together to be honest; I couldn't really add any more patterns because I didn't want anything to clash with the wallpaper. With a busy wallpaper like this it's best to let it do all the talking and have plain furnishings to highlight it. The only other pattern I can spot is the very understated criss-cross/chevron pattern on the throw.

I really like the subtle pops of black in this room like in the hairpin legs of the side table and the dial of the alarm clock. Sometimes loads of beige and pale wood shades can be a bit flat and wishy-washy so I figured I'd add some black to break it up.

Hope you like this room, it's unusual and quirky but I kinda love it.




Kate

Showcase: hair clips, claws & slides

Monday, 7 August 2017

Hi!

Times like this I wish my hair was long enough so I could wear hair accessories like these. I have some small tortoiseshell hair claws I use to pin my hair back when it needs cutting but that's about as exciting as my hair accessory collection gets. You can't do a great deal with a bob, unfortunately.

However, I do appreciate the practicality of the humble hair clip (grip, slide, claw etc.) I love the few minimal open-frame clips and slides I've featured here, they're understated and simple which I quite like, but they can easily take a straightforward bun or pinned back look to the next level. 

Putting this post together made me want to grow my hair out just a little bit...! Whoops.

So here we go, another showcase! Enjoy.












Kate

Redecorating... the dining room

Wednesday, 2 August 2017

Hi!

Here is part five! Today I bring you the dining room.

I didn't know what to do with this room at first, I just picked out a nice dining table and went from there. I initially wanted some pops of colour but I seem to have gone quite neutral instead with lots of greys and browns. I really love the mixture of textures in this room - the wood, slate, stainless steel, and linen work well together to give the room some oomph.

If you want to stick to a neutral colour palette without the room looking too drab and flat, textures will add a little more dimension. So will mixing patterns if that's more your bag.

I think a pop of mustard or teal would go well in this room if you wanted to jazz it up a bit. I'd suggest adding some colour through seat cushions, tableware, or curtains. I like the pale cream and grey together though, it's versatile and allows you more freedom when it comes to decorating.

So there you go, have fun shopping!





Kate

Wildflowers, bees, & blackberries galore

Sunday, 30 July 2017

Happy Sunday!

My wildflowers have sprouted some rather impressive flowers since my last garden post. Our garden is truly a bee haven - they love the wildflowers, the lavender, and the aubrietias in spring. I'm happy when the bees are happy!

I've also included some photos of our thriving blackberries that grow among the untamed brambly bit at the bottom of the garden that no-one dares to go near. Hey, at least the hedgehogs like it.

Note: This is an image-heavy post which is why it's behind a cut. Enjoy!

So much fuzz!

See, bee haven.

Redecorating... the kitchen

Wednesday, 26 July 2017

Back again!

I bring you the kitchen for the fourth instalment of my Redecorating series.

I went for a surprisingly moody theme with this space - I love that the dark green wall colour, metro backsplash tiles, and the simple flagstone floor tiles give the room a neutral (but not boring) backdrop for more bold pieces such as the mixer tap and pendant light. I love the mixture of natural wood and slightly garish brassy/gold tones (and a dash of stainless steel for good measure), it's a contrast that works well I think.

Everything's linked below so go shop your little heart out.




Kate

Let's talk about Edgar Wright & Baby Driver

Friday, 21 July 2017

Hi!


I've been wanting to write some sort of 'review' of Baby Driver since I saw it in cinemas, but I actually hate film reviews. I don't read them, and I don't particularly like writing them, but I have to tell you guys about Baby Driver. So really this isn't a 'review', it's more of a love letter to Edgar Wright and his films that shaped my life. Hope you're ready for a giant wall of word vomit!

*

Shaun of the Dead was the film that did it for me. That film made me want to make films. That film made me excited to do Media Production at college and go for interviews at Manchester and Leeds for Filmmaking. I wanted to make a film as good as Shaun of the Dead. Thing is, I didn't end up doing filmmaking at all. In fact, I withdrew my application full stop because of fear and nerves and self-doubt, blah blah blah. Stupid.

I do feel sometimes I should've just gone for it and ignored that anxiety because maybe I could've made a film like Baby Driver one day. A film that has so much passion, soul and heart put into it. The music, the editing (especially the sound editing, oh BOY), the actors, the cinematography, the writing, the action, the tension, the humour, the feeeeelings. My little heart nearly burst with joy. It made me fall in love with movies all over again. Sequels and adaptations dominate our cinema screens so when something original comes along, we must savour it. Watch it three or four times. Tell your friends about it. Tell Twitter about it. Shout your love for it from the rooftops, etc.

*

Edgar Wright never fails to impress me. His directing style is second to none. It's energetic, colourful, loud, sharp, witty. I cannot express enough how much I adore his directing and the songs he chooses for his films, and the way he brings his characters to life, and writes their snappy dialogue... let's be honest, I could go on for hours.


Shaun of the Dead, Hot Fuzz, and Spaced in particularly mean so much to me and always will. They remind me of specific times in my life that I think only truly good pieces of film, music and television do. And I can pretty much quote every line from Shaun of the Dead as if I'd written the thing myself. Because I had nothing cooler to do when I was fourteen, apparently.

Basically, Baby Driver is incredible and deserves to be seen on the big screen. Everyone keeps saying this, but it's true. Trust me. I was legit worried I would miss it in cinemas. If I had, I would've never forgiven myself.

If you haven't already sussed out by this post, Edgar Wright is my favourite film director (and person, ever). He is everything I aspired to be as a director, and even though I'm doing something completely different now he still inspires me because his films have shaped me and I can never forget that.


So, good job Edgar for making bloody brilliant films (and putting together the funkiest soundtracks, seriously, check out the soundtrack to Baby Driver here) and making me feel better about everything.

Hope you enjoyed the read. Are you a fan of his work? Let me know your favourite film/short/TV series of his.


Kate

Redecorating... the bathroom

Wednesday, 19 July 2017

Here we go with the third instalment of my Redecorating series. 

I went surprisingly modern with this bathroom. I love traditional style bathrooms with those old-fashioned looking taps and roll-top baths, but if I was to decorate my own bathroom I'd want it to be contemporary and to stand the test of time. Stainless steel, glass, and mirrored surfaces are the epitome of a classic, modern bathroom. Ideal for all. I added a dash of luxurious navy, a lush green plant, and some seagrass textures to liven up the largely grey and white space.

The waterfall tap and shower head are what dreams are made of. Lots of links below so get clicking if you spot something you like...

Next up will be the kitchen!




Kate

Lovely quotes VIII

Saturday, 15 July 2017

Eight is here, enjoy!


"The most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or touched, they are felt with the heart."
— Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, The Little Prince


"Our prime purpose in this life is to help others. And if you can’t help them, at least don’t hurt them."
— Dalai Lama XIV

"There are some people you’ll never see again. At least, not in the same way."

— Iain Thomas

"Make sure, as often as possible, you are doing something you’d be happy to die doing."
— Matt Haig, The Humans


"I will always be haunted by thoughts of a sun-drenched elsewhere."
— Isabelle Eberhardt

"I go to nature to be soothed and healed, and to have my senses put in order."
— John Burroughs

"We who live in quiet places have the opportunity to become acquainted with ourselves, to think our own thoughts and live our own lives in a way that is not possible for those keeping up with the crowd."
— Laura Ingalls Wilder



There are some people you’ll never see again. At least, not in the same way.

Snapping in the garden

Thursday, 13 July 2017

Hi!

I mentioned a in a previous post that I had been playing around with my new (not 'new' new, but new to me) Leica C-Lux 3. I love this dinky little camera; I've tried quite a few out (my step-dad loves photography and has tons of digital cameras lying around for me to, ahem, 'borrow') but none have really impressed me before.

This Leica is gorgeous. The photos I take don't even need editing because the colours just pop naturally. There's no adjusting contrast or saturation afterwards, which is a relief because I hate editing photos. There are a ton of scene modes you can play around with if you're photographing something specific like someone's portrait, a landscape, a beach, a pet, food, the sky, somewhere especially sunny or dark etc. I know most cameras have this feature but the Leica has so many modes it's almost overwhelming (in a good way).

You'll have already seen two of my Leica flower photos here, but I took even more yesterday afternoon and figured I'd give them their own post...

Mum's favourite - pansies

I love being able to spend more time in the garden during summer - I love walking on the grass barefoot, filling up the bird feeders, and sitting on the patio watching the bees enjoy the lavender. It can be a lovely way to relax. Sometimes if I've had a rough day at work, I love going outside to see how our little garden is growing and giving the plants are well-deserved water. I find it very grounding (pun not intended). 

Seeing my big tubs of bee-friendly wildflowers shoot up over the last few weeks has been so satisfying. The wildflowers are my babies, I sowed them myself and they're the only seeds I've ever planted that have sprouted into something and not immediately died, so I'm rather proud.

Bee's favourite - lavender

My wildflower leaves - no actual flowers yet, but I think it's still early days for them

Last but not least - our slow-blossoming asters


Hoping that soon this handy little camera will become my go-to for blogging. A bit more practice with it and I'll get there.

P.S. The Leica C-Lux 3 is stupidly hard to get hold of. I think my step-dad got this one from a photography stall on a market. Guess they're not widely sold anymore, but I'm sure if you keep an eye out on eBay you will find one.

P.P.S. I just learned that the Leica C-Lux 3 is essentially the Panasonic Lumix DMC-FX37 with a Leica body and lens. Huh. I might be talking rubbish so I recommend you do your own research on that one(!) Nonetheless, you can shop the Lumix here.


Kate

Redecorating... the living room

Wednesday, 12 July 2017

Second instalment of my Redecorating series brings us to the living room.

I went a bit wacky with the colours here. I thought I'd go neutral with the duck egg blue and off-white/cream tones but then I couldn't help but add a little mustard, then some dark wood, then a green pouffe and suddenly it all came together. It's a lot different from the last room but I like it. Living rooms are for relaxing and enjoying time with family, so I wanted to create a bright, cosy, happy space with a nice mix of fabrics and summery tones.

So, enjoy! Next week I'm moving onto the bathroom.


Absolute White (£22.03 for 2.5l) and Birds egg (£31.49 for 2.5l) by Dulux | Burghley check duck egg pencil pleat curtains from John Lewis (£45.00 – £110.00) | Large framed art print of Irises by Claude Monet (£110.00) | Endon tripod floor lamp from Moonlight Design Ltd (£75.64) | Lexie retro lemon yellow 2 seater sofa from Argos (£379.99) | Hand-knotted Kamala Rug from Anthropologie (£198.00 – £498.00) | Kähler Hammershoi large ridged mint vase from Heal's (£60.00) | Green pouffe foot stool from eBay (£29.85 – £39.85) | Elsie ochre tassel throw from Marks & Spencer (£39.50) | Zabel coffee table by Swoon Editions (£229.00) | Mini Succulent Bowl from Sweetpea & Willow (£24.00)


Kate

Welcoming July

Saturday, 8 July 2017

Hi!


Hope you've had a good week. As I said in my last rambly post, I have been super busy with work for two weeks so blog posts and ideas have been basically non-existent.

However, I do have a new blog series called Redecorating going up every Wednesday until the 16th of August - first room was the office which you can check out here. It's a lot of fun to put together, I've just finished next week's instalment (the living room) and I loved scouring the web for gorgeous living room bits. I went all out with colour (you'll get to see soon) and included a few more patterns and textures.

Didn't July come around fast? I didn't realise June had even ended, I was oblivious. I think I lost track of time a little(!) I'm happy though because I love July. July feels very summery and happy and light, although I'll be working very hard for most of it. August is where it's at (I have a week off in August and I'm heading down to Norfolk again, so excited to be by the coast, I miss it loads).

In other news, I made quite a naughty purchase the other day. Well, I bought it on Buy Now Pay Later so really it's only half naughty (that's what I'm telling myself, it makes me feel better). The Bose SoundLink speaker arrived at my door the day after I ordered it (Very are incredibly fast with delivery, fyi) and I am in deep, deep love. It is perfect in every way. The quality of sound is incredible, but I obviously didn't expect anything less from Bose. I'd recommend it if you're in the market for a bluetooth speaker. It's hard to find that balance sometimes between high quality and reasonably priced, but I think the SoundLink hits the nail on the head.


I'm getting more practice in with my Leica camera - I took the photos above with it and I think they turned out really well. I didn't edit them either because they came out nicer than I expected. I usually up the saturation and contrast on most of my iPhone photos (because they always turn out so muted in colour) but photos from the Leica don't really need touching up. Big thumbs up. 👍

I'm taking my biannual trip to IKEA tomorrow. I'm picking up a few little bits; nothing major, although I'll probably walk out with something I don't need because I always do. It's IKEA for crying out loud, I have no self control when it comes to sleek and practical Scandinavian furnishings. They are my Kryptonite. 

So that's that! Excited to spend two days lounging around not doing a lot, apart from going to IKEA of course. If anything can get me out of my pyjamas at the weekend it's IKEA.


Kate

Redecorating... the office

Wednesday, 5 July 2017

Thinking of giving your house a big ol' refresh? Then listen up, kids. For my brand new Redecorating series on Battlewind, I'm going to be putting together mood boards and colour schemes for each room of a traditional home - living, dining, kitchen, bathroom, office, bedroom, and nursery - and hopefully give you guys some inspiration if you're currently (or thinking about) redecorating.

I'm kicking off the series with the office.

If I were to have my own office, I would go for calm neutral colours, especially pale shades of green (green is a brain-boosting colour according to the internet). In this mood board I've chosen two pale off-white/grey/green shades from Farrow & Ball and picked a few gorgeous matt white and natural wood furnishings to compliment the walls. I love this mood board a lot, it took me a few days to work on and I'm in love with every single item. The IKEA chair and Swoon Editions desk really does it for me.

Hope you like what I've put together! Next up will be the living room.


Checking in

Thursday, 29 June 2017

Hi!

The fieriest sunset I ever did see.

You won't be surprised to learn I've done absolutely nothing since my last post, but I do have a valid reason.

Work has picked up big time - I'm doing more hours because we're two staff members down (one has left, one is on holiday). This is only temporary, things should go back to normal mid-July. I've been doing more long shifts than I'd usually do so when I come home after work I'm super pooped and I tend to just go straight to bed and chill. And then fall asleep at like, 7pm.

That is my explanation for lack of blog posts and Tweets, because I've even been neglecting Twitter which is not like me at all. I'm just tiiiiiiired. Fortunately I have today off, so I'm going to indulge in some retail therapy. I'm feeling very TKMaxx-y today. It's calling me.

In other news, I went for an eye test last week. My sight has gotten worse (lol, of course it has) and I need some new specs. I've not seen any I love yet so it might be a while before I get some, plus glasses are mad expensive and it hurts me a little bit to spend well over £100 to get two sets of lenses (one set is for my sunnies). I know they're a priority but ahhhh... why aren't glasses free? I feel like they should be free. 😅

If you see any cute tortoiseshell frames on the web, send them my way. Preferably under £60.

The light that shines through my voiles in a morning is my fave.

The weather has been positively awful this week. It started raining yesterday morning and has not stopped since. I can't believe we had a full-on scorching heatwave 2 weeks ago and now it's 10°c and pouring it down. I'm currently sat in my room with a hoodie on and yesterday I went to work in a coat. It's nearly July! J. U. L. Y.

/weather rant over

Aaaaaaand last but not least, I'm in the process of building my own PC with the help of my tech-savvy brother. I say 'I'm building my own PC' but I'm not building it, my brother is. He's the one who knows what he's doing so I'm basically just buying the parts (that he suggests I buy) and then watching him build it for me. So to summarise I'm doing absolutely nothing except parting with my cash! I'm excited to have the finished product though, it will be amazing to play the Sims in glorious high settings.

So that's all I have today. Sorry for the mish-mash post. Hope you guys have a good weekend.


Kate

Latest obsession: culottes

Friday, 23 June 2017

When culottes became the 'it' thing, I honestly thought they were the ugliest item of clothing in the world.

Fast forward a bit and now they're all I want to wear. I love them.

You think at first glance they'll be really unflattering because they're so shapeless, but they're actually the opposite (for me, anyway). I'm quite big around my belly, hips and thighs and I find culottes are surprisingly good at flattering that part of my body. The way they cut off at the shin means they're showing off the slimmest part of my legs instead of making me look squat.

Culottes are comfy, versatile, roomy, and can be dressed up or down. If you're unsure about the style, try some on next time you go shopping and see what they look like on you. Granted they won't suit everyone, but if you're a bit iffy with your middle area like me, I'd suggest styling them with a slim-fit t-shirt tucked in to balance out the bagginess of the culottes (plus most culottes sit on your waist so they conceal any bumps you're not keen on). 

Pop on a leather jacket and some trainers and you're set.

I've featured 10 pairs of culottes from all over the web - they vary in price, colour, material, and length. Enjoy!













Kate
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