Wednesday, 19 September 2012

Sunday cinema club- My neighbour Totoro

Now we are back into the school routine, we have reinstated our Sunday cinema club. From 4-6pm, we close the curtains, watch a film as a family and the kids get to choose it. No iphones or chatting allowed!

This week, we are watching Kiki's delivery service (again!) My 2 year old adores Kiki. Not sure why but he is a huge fan...

Last week, it was My Neighbour Totoro. I would love to give you an indepth review, but unfortunately I fell asleep on the sofa. oops. Slightly breaking my own rules there. What I saw was amazing though, like a Japanese Alice in Wonderland, but wierder!

Image credit:

I then found a tutorial on how to draw Totoro here: and we all had good fun having a go at drawing him.

We then had lots of fun looking at cute Totoro stuff on Etsy and google. Our favourites were

Lego Totoro from Japanistic blog

Totoro hat from Scotako

Ecocycled: Etsy

Watching these beautiful Studio Ghibli films with your kids makes you feel like the world is a magical place. Just for those two hours when the curtains are closed, the phones are off and the jobs can wait.

A big hello to my 2 new followers, S:; and Hannah Phillips. Thankyou for joining me x That's a grand total of 10. Yippee!

Thursday, 13 September 2012

Blankets...lovely snuggly blankets!

I am sitting at my laptop with my big, snuggly vintage jumper on. It is brown with purple stripes and I just love it. Cant believe that only 5 days ago, I was outside with Factor 30 suncream on!

As much as I have loved the Summer this year, I also love Autumn to bits. It's my favourite season of the year. Although I quite like winter as it's Christmas and my children's birthdays. And I love Spring too and getting the first load of washing on the line each year makes me feel a bit brighter.

But for me, Autumn is all about snuggling. It probably reminds me of being in my campervan, as that involves a lot of snuggling under blankets when it's cold.

My 2 year old boy has inherited the box room and it has 2 external walls. I am therefore on the hunt for a lovely blanket for his bed. I was watching this alphabet one on ebay, but sadly it sold for £68! I guess it's not that surprising as so much love and work has gone into it, but that's beyond my budget right now.

I like this black and white ripple one too, from Mamalscrafty on Etsy.

Oh I love this one too! For me though mwah ha ha...from Tintedvintage on Etsy.

I am also a big fan of Donna Wilson's blankets...

I love this one which can become a den...

I love the idea of escaping from the clouds and rain under this one...

and this Marimekko Uniqqo blanket looks so soft and warm too.

Monday, 10 September 2012

End of the Road festival 2012

Well it's been a week since we came home from End of the Road and already it feels like a distant, lovely dream...

One of our friends visited this festival last year and said that she would never go back to a large festival again. And I have to say, I agree with her. This little festival has a capacity of 10,000 and apparently this double the number it was in previous years. It is based at Larmer Tree Gardens, which is a beautiful set of gardens and woodlands on the Dorset/ Somerset border. It took us about 4 hours to drive there in our campervan and the last half an hour's drive is just amazing. There was a huge full moon and the clouds were absolutely enormous. It literally felt that we were driving to the end of the world!

When we arrived, we pitched up the van and five minutes later, we were greeted by our neighbours-  the lovely family from Happy Days Retro Vacations, whose Airstream caravan we had stayed in earlier on in the Summer holidays! While the kids made friends and ran around, Kevin kindly helped us to put up our awning and event shelter. I then popped down the "road" to meet my friends who were eating birthday cake and drinking fizzy wine. Our other friends had had a bit of a campervan nightmare and eventually arrived about midnight.

The next day, we got up, ate breakfast and walked for FIVE MINUTES!! to get our wristbands. And then another FIVE MINUTES!! to get into the main area. What a treat compared to the 20 minute slog up steep hills at Camp Bestival.

One you get inside, it is no more than a 10 minute walk to get to any of the music stages. There was the Woods Stage, which is a pretty normal looking stage at the bottom the hill, the Tipi Stage (which apparently used to be one tipi but they have had to expand it a bit), The Big Top, and then there is the Garden Stage. It is like sitting in a very beautiful back garden! There is a beautiful painted archway, a little old house and that;s it. Even the (very clean) festival toilets are screened from the stage by a pretty walkway.

                                                 Image credit: Eve Vermandel, EOTR website

Musical highlights for me included Cashier No 9, John Grant, First Aid Kit and Cold Specks. All absolutely beautiful voices which worked so well in a more intimate environment.

                                                         Cashier No 9: Lost at Sea

There is a small children's area, but it is quite low key, including circus skills, animation, crafts made out of recycled materials. And that was absolutely fine. It took a lot of pressure out of the day as we weren't running around, trying to see everything and do everything.

Then at night, we took the children into the woods with their glowsticks for a journey of adventure...the woods had been transformed, with hundreds of fairy lights, cherubs hanging from the trees, tiny toys wired onto the branches, a library in the wood, peacocks, totem poles and a disco shower! It honestly took my breath away and I must have gone into the woods about 8 times because the children loved it so much. There was also a games area in the woods, with table tennis, jenga, connect 4, Operation and wobbly mirrors, which was full of children and adults having an old fashioned, good time. There were tree trunks covered in crochet, knitted scarves adorning the branches and tiny labels saying who had created each part.

                                       First Aid Kit performing Simon and Garfunkel's "America"

Oh another highlight was the bonfire and the mulled cider bus, which quickly became my new favourite festival tipple!

At night, we walked into another wooded area, where there was a disco, complete with 70s flashing dancefloor. it was such a surreal experience but very good natured and lots of people having a good old boogie.

On a practical level, it worked very well as we could take the children into the festival for a few hours, take them home for a nap, cook tea at the van and then wrap them up warm before heading out for the evening.

I bought myself a lovely, cosy campervan jumper from a vintage stall and a screenprint to remind us of our wonderful weekend. The colours match my front room perfectly, as I have an orange sofa and teal Orla wallpaper!

There is a sister festival called No Direction Home, which is in Nottingham and I am seriously debating going back next year. It was heavenly.

On a very happy note, can I take the opportunity to say a warm hello to


who is my latest follower! Welcome and thankyou :). My blog has been a bit slow to get started, so every new follower means such a lot to me. I now have a grand total of 8 x

Friday, 7 September 2012

14 day detox update

Well, I lasted as far as day 10 when we had the teaparty at work (see my previous post). In that time, I lost 9 pounds. Not bad in 10 days! I also felt loads better, more energetic, more sparkly, more fizzy!

However, since then I've been to a music festival and drank rather a lot of warm cider and vodka, eaten quite a few naughty sandwiches for lunch this week and I may just have scoffed a kitkat at the computer. oops.

I have bought the stuff to make some more smoothies though and will certainly get back on the wagon soon.

Perhaps after my husband's 40th birthday in 2 weeks. Blush.

Wednesday, 5 September 2012

A very special tea party

I have had a bit of an eventful week, so havent had a chance to get onto here....I have missed it!

Last week, my wonderful, wonderful manager and colleague retired. She was an extremely talented psychologist and everyone she worked with loved her and respected her in equal measure. We had known that she was planning on retiring for the past year and the best way I could allow myself to say goodbye was to throw her an extra special party.

We decided to host an afternoon tea party on her behalf and invite her family, her friends, her work colleagues from the past and present. Apparently she had looked into hiring a company that provided an afternoon tea party, but it was hundreds of pounds! So she had bought some pretty paper plates and napkins and thought that would be it. 

However, we had other plans. I asked my Mother in law to dig out her amazing china tea sets, which are over a hundred years old. She also had some amazing Queen Anne teacups and saucers from the 1950s. 

We then found about 7 cake stands, from vintage cut glass ones to modern cardboard ones, I dug out my best Cath Kidston teapot and milk jug and we had 4 beautiful flower arrangements with roses and lavender in tiny teapots.

My friend managed to acquire about 10 sets of pink and green bunting from her friend's wedding, so we covered the whole clinic in it! She also made some beautiful cupcakes for the occasion. Good job as my cake making skills extend to fairy cakes and chocolate rice crispie cakes...

About 60 people turned up, which was testament to how much people admired her and wanted to say goodbye. It was perfect. There were loads of speeches, lots of laughter and I just about managed not to cry.

On the Thursday, I popped my head around the door to say goodbye as I was going away for the weekend. (I'll tell you more about that in my next blog post). We both hugged each other, burst into floods of tears and I cried all the way home in my car. It is so hard to lose someone you appreciate so much.

I made her a picture using some vintage maps, showing the locations of places we had worked together. On the back I wrote a lovely quote from Dr Seuss, which says

"Dont cry because it's over. Smile because it happened".

Unfortunately I didnt heed my own advice, and burst into tears at work yesterday morning when I read my thankyou card from her...slightly embarrassing in an open plan office, especially as I have never cried at work before. Luckily one of my colleagues noticed and took me downstairs for a hug and a big mug of tea!

Anyway, if you have someone you work with who inspires you, makes you want to be a better person and is generally awesome, make sure you appreciate every day you get to spend together x