Summer Holiday List

We're off to Burgundy, France tomorrow for a much needed break. On my list...

Fields of sunflowers
Quiet roads
Panoramic views of vineyards

Minimalist holiday wardrobe
Notebook and pen
Early morning runs by the canal and vineyards
Wine on arrival
Visit a Sunday market

Fresh baguettes
Eating outdoors
Wild water swimming
Unspoilt villages
Deep sleep
Long walks
Cycle rides
Long conversations

Time to reflect

Our 21st wedding anniversary celebration
Playing cards
Each other

Oh, I can't wait to spend some time with my family and relax in this most scenic region of France. I shall be taking a blogging break for almost two weeks which will seem strange and unnatural but I know a break from technology/social media will do me good (so they tell me).

It'll be wonderful to come back refreshed and inspired. If you're a new reader please hop around my site and get acquainted with my take on minimalism and simple living in the UK. I shall be back soon and look forward to catching up with you all. 

I do hope this heat wave continues...




52 Weeks of Happy (42/52)

Temperatures are soaring and spirits are high here too. Linking in with the lovely Jen from Little Birdie with my (our) happy moments from the last week...

♥ Eldest son passing his driving test... words cannot describe my relief and pride. This young man also worked like a trojan at our local free festival pulling pints behind the bar. An adult now, I guess... but does he need to ask his Dad for ID?
♥ Early morning runs. I have kept up with my running recently and although physically challenging the benefits are amazing. I'm feeling so much more in shape physically and mentally. My running shoes stay very near our front door as a reminder to get out there every few days.
♥ Wild flowers in a miniature NYC mug from my niece - thank you. A perfect size for my limited display space.
♥ Sunflowers. A symbol of our forthcoming holiday to France. School's out and I can't wait to escape to the French countryside with my man and lovely boys.

A special hello to all my new readers and followers. Be happy xo


Act Accordingly Giveaway Take Two

Morning. I've had to have a second draw for the giveaway of Colin Wright's Act Accordingly. I love the fact that my winner, Mama Sunshine, was so inspired she downloaded the book before the giveaway. Here's hoping Sue hasn't done the same thing. Let me know your digital preference Sue (Kindle, ePub or PDF) via email. Congratulations Sue and I hope you enjoy it. Have a lovely day all xo



Act Accordingly Winner

I'm so delighted to give a digital copy of this book away to one lucky reader. Well done mama sunshine... this book was written for you. Colin Wright's book is inspirational and is deliberately short and affordable so please check it out if you were not lucky enough to win. If you're tired of standing still this book might just work for you.

And mama sunshine please email me your choice...  Kindle, ePub or PDF version of the book. And enjoy!

Thank you all for your lovely comments about your most important possessions... you're my inspiration xo


Fuse Festival

Oh what a gift of a weekend... three days of wall to wall to sunshine, music and much much more. We had a hectic but lovely time volunteering, catching bits of bands and meeting up with friends. Here's a little peek of our local free festival. 

A feast of music to dip in and out of... whatever your taste.

Young and not so young talent

getting everyone in the mood.

On Sunday morning I headed off to see a Gospel choir at the main stage where there was a church service. I was delighted and moved to see such a large congregation. 

Iced coffee with Baileys... yes please. I love Sundays at festivals.

Fuse is a family friendly festival with plenty of activities for children. This is part of a local street scene drawn along one side of the Art and Craft tent.

Fuse's finale was The Fuse Community Choir - six schools plus our group. Each group had only rehearsed in isolation so we were all very excited to hear ourselves together. OK... and a little nervous too.

I think we were a success... and Fuse 2013 was too, thanks to all the hours put in by the many hard working volunteers. And hello if I saw you there.




Floating candles and foraged flowers bobbing around in a simple bowl. Another week of Lou's Nature in the Home but sadly the last for a while. I have loved these themed challenges especially when I can create something pretty and cheap for my home. I haven't used this bowl and candles for a very long time but I knew they would fit Lou's theme of round perfectly. I shall be trying out more flowers here soon for sure.



Minimalist Monday: Summer Minimalist Wardrobe

I know, I know... a  much overdue summer minimalist wardrobe update... so sorry for the delay. 

First an update on how I have progressed  from being a one time shopping diva to an almost prudent clothes shopper. If you have not read my previous wardrobe posts I must tell you that I am a former clothes addict. Flashback to two years ago and at this time of the year I would have normally been contemplating my summer sales purchases and my next visit to a charity shop to fill my wardrobe gaps. 

Somehow, and I still can't believe this has happened, I have now reached the point where an overfull wardrobe makes me feel stressed and unworn clothes hanging in my wardrobe seem wasteful. VIP invitations to sales don't get a second glance now and instead of contemplating my next purchase I find myself making plans for my next wardrobe purge (and getting quite excited at the thought).  

My wardrobe cull has been partly circumstantial. Downsizing forced me to give up at least half of my wardrobe and to begin to consider adopting a smaller yet stylish collection of clothes. The mistakes and fripperies have been weeded out and my wardrobe is gradually being honed to a functional and wearable collection. Sometimes I pine for a purged item of clothing but then I remember something about the item that made it an outsider in my closet. My current collection of clothes is small but well-loved and new items have to be vetted, tested and deemed pretty sensational in some way or other to earn their hanger stripes. 

I first took part in Project 333 last December and learnt an awful lot. Over the Christmas - New Year period I managed successfully to dress myself presentably and sometimes stylishly with 33 items of clothing. To be honest I found this is a challenging number when putting together outfits for different occasions and weather. However, don't be put off, the project allows for flexibility. This time I have not included bags or jewellery in my 33 items because I now don't have many of either. My handbag collection is small and finally under control and I keep my accessories simple.

So.. this season's 33 items. This list was put together over two months ago and has been my wardrobe since May when the weather first started to improve in the UK. There have been a few tweaks since I first put these 33 garments together. I originally had a pair of pewter wedge sandals on my list but have not even thought about wearing them. Maybe if I had an occasion like a wedding to attend they might have been required but my gladiator sandals have been more than adequate for any evening/smarter event I've attended. So the wedges have been put to rest in the loft and have made way for a favourite cotton dress that has enjoyed a revival in this balmy weather.

Whilst it would be nice to start afresh with a new minimal wardrobe I almost gain more pleasure in knowing that I'm reviving old favourites, especially those that were charity shop finds (*).

However, there have been some new additions to my late spring/summer wardrobe:

a maxi dress
new pair of ballet flats
plain orange Gap t-shirt (semi-fitted)
crochet waistcoat (essential for that summer vibe... not...) I'm counting this item as an accessory as it can't be worn on its own

All these items have been good buys in terms of price/per wear. I love finding a great item like my maxi dress and wearing it over and over again.

So my current list....

1. skinny blue jeans
2. white jeans
3. white linen trousers
4. smart white trousers with fine pinstripe*
5. tulip shaped skirt
6. white linen three-quarter length trousers
7. denim shorts

8. green crinkle vest*
9. purple t-shirt
10. orange t-shirt
11. white birdcage t-shirt*
12. aqua check shirt 
13. teal cap sleeved top
14. multi-coloured three quarter length sequin top
15. multi patterned short sleeved top
16. salmon and grey jumper
17. Joules sweatshirt*
18. navy blouse
19. floaty orange sleeveless cotton tunic*
20. crinkle sleeveless tunic
21. green dress
22. maxi dress

23. blue boyfriend cardigan
24. green wrap cardigan
25. purple wrap cardigan
26. black cardigan
27. waterproof storm jacket
28. trench coat

29. black/cream ballet pumps
30. purple birkinstocks
31. gladiator sandals
32. brown ankle boots 
33. converse

I won't bore you with photos of ordinary denim shorts or plain white linen trousers but here are a few shots of the stars from my summer Project 333 list. Many are non-iron, charity shop/car boot finds or sales gems (from my past life).