26.12.15

Merry Musings

                                

Finally.... Peace. Heaps of torn wrapping paper and a fridge full of leftovers sums up our Boxing Day, as I'm sure it does yours.

We've just finished round 3 of Christmas, and have now seen everyone.
Now, for my favourite bit!...
To hibernate! My most treasured time is the peace after the storm, the children consumed with their new toys, my hubby catching up with the classics on TV, and I get to settle down with a nice glass of wine and my new Christmas books, bliss!

I'm a total planner, and revel in this peaceful time to think of what I'd like to do in the new year. I never make resolutions, I prefer to make lists of nice things to do and achieve.
I asked Mr C this morning what he'd like to do next year- 'Be more creative' he said.
Many of us are just so busy working and bringing up families, it's hard to fit in time to do the stuff you've been wanting to try.
This is why I write a new yr list with things on it like- at least one picnic a month from May to September, taking a course/learning something new for fun! Visiting this restaurant.... You get my point.
It's a much nicer, and frankly more positive way to start the new year! Why don't you give it a go?!

So far, my list looks like this....

Enjoy the garden even more and relax whilst gently pottering.
Make myself and my girls some skirts and dresses.
Perfect my craft of silver clay.
Screen print by hand more.
Bake a cake at least once a month.

Sounds great, can't wait to get started!

Enjoy the rest of the festivities everyone

Emma x

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23.12.15

Twinkling lights

  
                                   

Festive fairy lights all around. I just love fairy lights, they are one of my favourite Christmassy things! I've been playing with my new app Moldiv, Thanks to Tamsyn (The Villa On Mount Pleasant) for sharing it in one of her posts! I love the magazine layouts, and thought I'd share this little one with you all, of some of my twinkling lights around the home.

Hope everyone is enjoying the festivities!

Emma x

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20.12.15

All things bright and beautiful.

                                   

Hope you've all had a great weekend and that it hasn't been too manic.
I decided I needed even more fairy lights this morning so dragged my poor hubby out to the range.
I managed to bag myself some lovely warm whites to wrap around the house, and I've had a good home faff today readjusting the mantle piece and picking fresh flowers from the garden, I think I can safety say 'we're nearly there'!

Keep calm and drink tea! Unless gin is more your thing... Then drink gin!

Emma x


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19.12.15

Reflection

                   

The blossom tree picture I've chosen for this post signifies two things for me, one, it reminds me of that beautiful spring day I spent with Mr C earlier this year, we sat and had tea and cake by it, and watched as a little girl spun and danced under it's falling petals, I love the memories a picture can jolt back!
And two, it signifies change. This tree will have changed everyday of the year, just like we all do.
It will be laying still now, but if you look closely, new buds will appear as it will be getting ready to spring into yet another display of beauty.

I love to reflect. It keeps me grounded, and makes me appreciate the really small stuff. But also it's good to know where I've been and what direction I'm going. 
I like to take stock of a few things I've done each year that I'm really proud about, and this always helps me set goals for the coming year, why don't you try it too!

The first ones that get me every year is how proud I am of my two daughters, like the tree they blossom more each day, forever growing, forever changing and forever eating lol, seriously I think they have hollow legs.
I feel lucky to have eventually met my Mr C, and to call him my hubby! Love is never an easy ride, but keeping an open mind and never closing doors helps!

And last but by no means least, the changes and achievements in my career.
This year saw me launch my first fabric collection (something this time last year I was struggling to see how I could ever do). Then I was even more made up to have it stocked on Country Livings General Store

I also was chuffed to bits to be asked to do a couple of blog posts for +Laura Ashley 

And I completed a couple of courses in willow wreath work and silver clay jewellery, both of which I'm going to be designing and adding to my brand next year, which then brings me to the planning bit...

Next year I would like too..... add a jewellery line and increase the amount of vintage homeware in my store.
Exhibit at a show.
Slowly and organically keep building my brand.
Picnic in a wild flower meadow.
Finish my house.

But for now, it's nearly christmas and I've chocolates to make!

Have a great day everyone!

Emma x 

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17.12.15

#MakeLightTaster

#MakeLightTaster

With Emily Quinton.



Hello everyone!

Amongst the festivities of the week, I found time to squeeze in a free online Make Light Taster course by the lovely +Emily Quinton 

Now I've been a fan of Emily's work for a while now, her flatlays are so magical! And I've been wanting to take one of her classes for ages, you see although I shoot with my DSLR and, don't get me wrong I love that! I wanted to learn how to use my iPhone to take great pics. For a start, I don't always have my big camera with me, it's not like I can stash it in my back pocket or even my handbag for that matter, plus it can be a bit of a faff and isn't really spontaneous, which is what I'm looking for.

I joined the Make Light Blog which is lovely and full of handy tips, and was surprised to learn that Emily only used her iPhone for her Instagram, then I was thrilled to bits to see she was doing a free online taster course, well it's been a great opportunity to have a go at an online photography course... Something I was a little bit sceptical  about I must admit, well I needn't of been, and I'm looking forward to doing another one.

The five day taster was aimed at those wanting to improve their instagram account. As I have a shop website, I also found it very helpful towards that.

Over the five days I completed the little and enjoyable tasks set, all of these things were very inspirational and great for motivation! I won't give them all away but, I particularly liked creating my Make Light Pinterest board! And it's been a really lovely way to connect with like-minded people.

I feel much more confident taking pics with my phone now too, I never knew snapping with a phone could be so much fun, and it takes some pretty awesome photos! I think the DSLR still has the edge, but lets just say I'll be looking to upgrade my iPhone before my camera!

Thank you Emily!

Emma x


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16.12.15

My photography stock images

      

Hello everyone!

I hope you are well and enjoying the festivities of December! I've two more days of manic running around then I think I'll be done.

I also just wanted to share the news that I'm now selling my stock images on my Etsy store, you can see a few of them on the side of the blog. They are great for blog and web design so do take a look if you're planning a bit of a re-brand.

Enjoy the rest of your day!

Emma x
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13.12.15

Kitchen goddess mince pie recipe




These mince pies are the ultimate indulgence and so easy to make! Plus I'm also going to share my cheats uber pimped mincemeat recipe with you all! 

You will need: Filo pastry (shop bought).
2oz melted butter. 
Small jar of mincemeat.
1tbsp The Kraken black rum.
Zest of one orange.
Handful of toasted almonds.
Icing sugar to dust.
12 spaced muffin tray.

Start by emptying the jar of mincemeat into a bowl and add to it the rum and the orange zest, mix well and put to one side.
Next toast the almonds in a dry pan constantly moving until they turn lightly golden.
Melt the butter and set to one side.

Now for the assembly-
Tear a strip of filo and scrunch it lightly into the tin, brush with butter, add a teaspoon of the mincemeat mix, add a few almonds, then repeat again till you have 2 to 3 layers on your pie. 
Once filled finish with toasted almonds and bake in the middle of the oven set at gas 5 for approximately 20 mins or until golden brown.
Leave to cool in the tray completely, then dust with icing sugar, yum!
Enjoy!

Emma x





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12.12.15

Cozy Christmas


My it's windy out there tonight. 
I've got the fairy lights on and lit a fire, and I'm about to get busy wrapping presents whilst listening to some Christmas carols.

Stay warm and cozy, have a lovely evening everyone 

Emma x

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A glimpse under my stairs


Hello everyone,

Hope your are all well and escaping the sniffles.
I've got a very busy day today seeing a couple of clients before I start to wind down for Christmas, and then there's the wrapping I need to start.

I thought I'd just share this little pic of under my stairs with you all.
I painted my piano white a couple of months ago, and now with the warm fairy lights on for Christmas i'm so pleased with how it looks!

Hope you have a lovely day!

Emma x
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11.12.15

My favourite fireplace.

                                

        


                                 

Hello everyone,

It's the weekend yay. Hope you are all well and truly into the festive spirit, and enjoying the build up to Christmas.

I just wanted to share some pics of my favourite fireplace in our home. 
The mantle was already in the house when we moved in, but it was a horrible cherry red wood so it soon got painted, it's been many colours since then, at the moment it is painted in my favourite Christmas colour 'Down Pipe' by +Farrow & Ball.

The mirror was a house clearance find, and is also painted in down pipe, I love big mirrors above fireplaces! Great for reflecting light and adding another dimension to any display that happens to be on your mantle. I love the way it reflects the fairy lights from the stairs!

I've just dotted around some potted herbs for some living greenery, and finished off with a jug of my favourite white anemones. 
Simple and elegant.

Have a great week end everyone

Emma x





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White anemone

Hello everyone,

My gorgeous white anemones are still looking so beautiful! I just waned to share this little snap with you.

      

Enjoy your day.

Emma x

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10.12.15

Best winter face creams for sensitive skin.

Hello everyone,

Well the air finally has a winter nip to it, and, I don't know about you, but my skin always needs that little bit of extra pampering at this time of year. I do have quite sensitive skin so I'm limited in what I can use but, I just wanted to share my two most favourite face creams that are always in my bathroom cabinet in the winter time.

                                 

Harmonie Calm by Decleor is a luxurious day cream for soothing sensitive skins that suffer also with redness. It gluides on leaving no heavy residue, and sinks in to provide perfect comfort for your skin all day long, use on its own or on top of Decleor Rose d orient oil for extra calming power.
I've been using this cream since my early 20s and I've never found anything close to it.

         
If you love your night cream and are in your late 20s + then this is the ultimate in indulgence! I love to slather this on for a real treat, it's also fabulous on sunburn, wind burn and when your skin just needs a real good treat. Rose is a must for mature skin types, and is known for its soothing properties. This balm will leave you waking up with radiant skin, now how perfect is that!?

Still plenty of time to ask Father Christmas too...

Emma x 




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9.12.15

Vintage Choos and white anemones

Party shoe time!







Hello everyone!

Hope you are well and enjoying the build up to christmas!

My party girl days have been on pause for quite a while since having children, but now they are getting older my choos are back in sight!

My daughters love looking through my shoe and jewellery collection, and I love sharing these pretty things with them knowing that one day soon they will be borrowing them, (oh wait, maybe not these ones, lol).

Anyway I'm so excited as my sister-in-law is getting married in-between christmas and new year, I just love a winter wedding! I'm trying to find the perfect dress now and have managed to organise a day off next week to finish my shopping, and hopefully find something glam and gorgeous!

I do have a shoe problem, thanks for letting me share that with you all.

Have a fabulous week!

Emma x


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8.12.15

Styling the seasons, December

Styling The Seasons.

December.


Hello everyone,

I hope you are well and enjoying December.
The children and myself are getting so excited, and the house is in a constant state of glitter!

                                 


I've been busy decorating the house for Christmas, I've gone for lots of warm fairy lights with silver and white decorations, and thought it would be nice to keep Decembers STS quite simple with a hint of sparkle.

                                   

                                       


My little tree came from sainsburys, and the zinc bucket I got out of a vintage store. I saw this lovely jug along with the anemones at my wholesalers yesterday so decided to treat my home, I just love white anemones!

                                   

                                   



Styling the seasons is a monthly get together of people online, styling a surface in their home, anyone can join in by posting their pics to their blog or IG and using the hashtag #stylingtheseasons It's hosted by the lovely duo Charlotte of Lotts and Lots blog and Katy of Apartment Apothecary.


Enjoy the rest of your day.

Emma x

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Tulips and light.


Hello everyone,

Sharing some lovely light on this rather dark morning with my favourite tulip pic that I shot last spring.

Apart from the Christmas build up, it doesn't feel a lot like winter where I'm living in Bedfordshire, it's so unbelievably warm.

I'm not a winter person but, I do hope we get some snow!
Can't believe I just said that, you can tell I work from home ha, I used to hate it when I had to make my way to work in it.

Enjoy your morning/evening

Emma x

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7.12.15

Flat lay photography

       

       

       

Hello everyone.

So I have this thing for flat lay photography! It all started when my sister took a photo on her new iPhone 6, it was amazing! I usually pull out the big camera when I want to take great shots, and never think of using my phone. Feeling sorry for my elderly 4s I thought I'd see how it got on with some detailed flat lay photography and, now I'm addicted! It's so instant, so fun and so filling up my blog space.
I bought some gorgeous anemones today, can't wait to snap them tomorrow, think I'm going to end up spending a fortune on blooms.

Emma x





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Willow wreath making

     

      Hello everyone,
I've been getting into the festive spirit and spent the day making christmas wreaths with a couple of friends. Now I usually go full on floral however this year i've gone all rustic, and spent the day with Wassledine willow growers, learning how to bend and form willow into a natural wreath.



                               

                                 

Some minor ivy embellishment and tadaaaaaah.......

                                 

I think it looks quite lovely hanging on my door, I have to say I feel quite chuffed with my effort.
If you fancy learning the craft of willow shaping then give Wassledine a visit, they are going to be holding summer classes this coming year.

Emma x





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New blog name!

Hello everyone,

Hope you are all well and feeling festive.

I'm a little excited not to mention nervous as I say farewell to my old blog name 'The Vintage Good Life' and settle into my new name 'The Lovely Blog'.


It's a bold move I know and one I've been contemplating for about a year now but, I feel like it's finally time! VGL will still be searchable and will bring you here, and I think it may take a while to change over other social media which will fall under this name or my own.

I wanted to drop the word 'vintage'  but, sadly was not allowed 'The good life' lol can't imagine why...

SO WHY?

I've made this change as although I adore vintage homes and furniture, I wanted to blog about more topics, did you know I used to be a hair and beauty lecturer?... Oodles of hacks there I can tell you!
And as my children are growing up and getting into fashion I want to share my blog with them too.
I did also think (and for about 2 days did) about having two blogs, but then decided that was way too much hard work and kinda silly.

So I hope you love the fresh new approach and enjoy the extra content, I'm really looking forward to blogging about just anything lovely!

Wish me luck

Emma x
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6.12.15

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas

        Hello,
   We've spent the wkend decorating for Christmas, fairy lights are sprinkled everywhere and the smell of gingerbread is creeping through the house.
I've still got so much I want to do... Make mince pies, do the cake and make my wreath.
I'm actually going on a willow wreath making class tomorrow, so that will be that one ticked.
I just thought I'd share some snaps with you all, hope you're all having a lovely wkend!

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5.12.15

Weekend snaps.

                      

The countdown to Christmas has started, yay, so excited! I can't believe November is gone already, although it was a manic one. Here are a few of my November snaps- I finally got round to recovering my old lamp in a gorgeous new fabric, super pleased with that! I also redecorated my daughter Lilly's bedroom, that was long overdue too, we're going to start work on her dolls house in the new yr so will keep you updated with that one! And I went on a truffle making course, you can guess what I'm giving people for Christmas this year....

Next week I'm off doing a willow wreath making class, will try and take lots of snaps!

Have a lovely wkend everyone

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