Good morning friends, if you have dropped along here to find the usual dose of Monday interiors inspiration, or you want to know where these fabulous cushions are from (Murmur, H&M, Also Home and La Redoute, since you ask) then you may just be in the wrong place on this occasion as today’s post is more personal than usual. If any of you reading are real life friends and you’ve seen me in the last six weeks, it’s fairly inevitable I’ve asked you ‘Is it just me, or has this winter been relentlessly f***ing dark?’ (Sorry, I may have mentioned this more than once to some of you!). Well let me tell you, the first signs of spring over the last week have been a real tonic. Those moments of dappled light, the smell of pollen on rain, the increasing light at the start and end of day, there are faint but very welcome signs (even in the garden) that things are changing. It’s been a particularly harsh winter I think and one I’ve found quite stressful at times. I’m taking on lots of varied work at the moment which is pushing me to up my game everywhere, the blog is being featured in lots of great places and I’m currently stripping floors and painting walls in preparation for two photo shoots next month, one for a magazine and the other for a website that has always been my dream feature. Oh and trying to create a fun and educational routine for our amazing little person who I spend most of my time with. But, it is exhausting. I was talking to my good friend Rosy who has a toddler slightly younger than my own about stress levels and juggling endless things to do and we came around to mindfulness and she explained some ideas I found really helpful (more of later). I had always understood mindfulness to be about slowing down and living in the moment, a sort of abbreviation of appreciating what you have and not always chasing the next thing. Whilst I’m pretty on course for appreciating happiness by nature, I do find being in the moment increasingly difficult when there’s always something at the back on my mind warning that it hasn’t been done yet. In fact I think this voice is very counterproductive for me, it weighs me down and if I’m not careful I start to buckle under and loose motivation. I am married to the most laid back person in the world and he has always said that one of my biggest problems is switching off and not busying myself all the time. He has a point, I’m not sure exactly what I’m aiming for as the things to get done never end despite the effort. So, I’m up for some change.Read More
It seems a modern blogging custom to write a post about this time of year that replaces the old fashioned round robin Christmas card with notes on how well Jane is doing at school and the name of the new dog etc. These posts tend to be a bit year in review and often have a bit of personal reflection. I’m not sure I’m going to do exactly that, especially through the haze of mince pie and alcohol consumption but as I write this just before Christmas, looking forwards to three days together as a family before my husband disappears back to work, I did just want to say a huge thank you to everyone who’s read the blog this year. It’s so nice to see a healthy upturn in readers each month and genuinely makes my task much more worthwhile. It’s been a pretty good year for the Design Soda house, I’ve pretty well loved 2016, horrible events and political chasms in the news aside, Ted, who just turned two, continues to be amazing in new and unexpected ways, and as a result of the blogs growth quite a few exciting opportunities have come my way (asides from the now endless phishing emails) it’s all been a joy, and a challenge to my natural shyness.
In just over a week Christmas will be done and dusted, you will have opened your presents, heard one relatives comic story about another 20 times already, rescued other people’s presents from your wayward toddler, endured at least one awkward silence (is all of this just me?) and hopefully had a jolly good time in the process. If you’re hosting, you may be blissfully thankful to reach Boxing Day with its traditional walk (which I can never make out whether it’s tradition to blow the cobwebs away before the new year or a chance to put pacing distance between yourself and certain relatives!) either way, you may, like me, be looking forward to settling down to watch the new Agatha Christie romp the BBC are putting on with a hard earned drink in hand come the evening of Boxing Day. Whether it be Christmas party visitors, Christmas Day drinks, Boxing Day therapy or even New Years drinks, I think I’ve got you covered for cocktails! Here, below, are my 5 favourite mixers at this time of year, they are all tried and tested by me, some I’ve been doing for years (Nigella’s Pomegranate Bellini is a Christmas Day non-negotiable in the Design Soda house). None of these recipes are original, but rather a selection of ones I’ve tried and love, go forth and pour yourself a drink, they really are lovely.
So everyone (well I say everyone, I mean interiors bloggers) seems to be doing these posts on winter dining this year, they have all been a real feast for the eyes and showcased each particular bloggers personal style, I particularly liked this lush example from San Francisco based bloggerApartment 34and Will from Bright Bazaar‘s Holiday decorating on a budget, plus I can see blogger buddies Patricia fromNo Glitter, No Glory& Jenny from Seasons in Colourhave some real magic planned from their Instagram feeds soon. Well, the Design Soda house likes a party as much as the rest of the world, and as we had friends coming over for lunch this weekend (who haven’t been here together since we moved) I thought I’d push the boat out a little and practice my Christmas table styling.
The clocks have gone back and today is Halloween, my goodness where has all the time gone? We’ve had the odd day with a crispness in the air and a whole lot of mellow fruitfulness (some of the flowers that keep going in the garden continue to amaze me) but next weekend will be bonfire night (and our sons second birthday) and after that, as far as I’m concerned, gloves are off in relation to Christmas! Read More
Sometimes I feel very spoilt to be living in London, it truly is a labyrinth of beauty. I am always discovering new places to visit, things that have opened, parks unexplored and areas I once knew well, altered.Read More
As the cold starts to draw in and the days get shorter, first mists and frosts begin to stir and nature starts to have a stillness and solemnity to it, you probably find this period the one where small indulgences become an utmost necessity. Read More
Good morning all, just a quick post today in form of a plea. If you follow me on social media you may have noticed that I’m a teensy bit excited to be up for an Amara Interior Blog Award in the Best Design Inspiration Category.
A lot of work goes on behind the scenes (when I’m not working or toddler taming) to bring you my favourite passions. I absolutely love writing this blog and have started to get opportunities to bring you fresh content over the last year beyond my expectations. Getting on the shortlist would bring many more of these opportunities and I’d be lying if I didn’t say it would be nice just to get on the shortlist in and of itself (despite my stats, I’m never quite sure it’s not just my mum reading this – hi mum!).
So, I happily have my begging bowl out today to ask you that if you enjoy reading my blog please take 10 seconds and vote for it via the link below. I promise to love you forever (!)