A couple of weeks back Blanch and I watched Stacey Dolleys BBC documentary Fashions Dirty Secrets and were shocked to see the effects our never ending appetite for cheap clothing has on the environment. Like majority of our friends we enjoy heading to the high street and treating ourselves to a new outfit or following the latest fashion trends on insta and therefore were pretty horrified to find out that the fashion industry is the fourth biggest polluter in the world following closely behind oil and agricultural. In the documentary Stacey explains how our demand for fast fashion means we are producing over a massive 100 billion new garments on a global scale each year which the planet simply cannot sustain.
Last weekend Blanch and I were lucky enough to be invited to spend the day at the Handmade Fair at the lovely Bowood House near Chippenham. We had already been to the handmade fair at Hampton court so was super excited to hear that it was coming to the West Country for the first time this year. For those of you may not have heard about the Handmade Fair before, it is such a great way to spend a weekend packed full of inspiring talks by some of the industry’s experts (we went to an amazing one hosted by Liz Earle more on this later!), various different workshops where you can try your hand at practically any craft technique and huge shopping tents filled to the brim of lovely handmade wears locally sourced in the U.K.With the fair being held in the beautiful gardens of Bowood House and on a glorious sunny day it really was the perfect way to spend a weekend.
Start the day on the most famous tram route of Lisbon, the number 28 as it passes through the pretty ramblering streets and up to the castle of st George. Perched high over Lisbon, the castle has amazing views stretching out over the terracotta roof tops and to the sea and beyond. Once an old fort, the castle ruins are a great place to explore either by day or at dusk with a cappuccino in one hand and a pastel de nata in the other
Apologies for the lack of social media activity last week but Olive and I were enjoying some much needed down time by the sea with Theo the cockapoo. I don’t know about you but there is something super calming about the sea and a good old blustery walk on the beach is sometimes just what you need, especially as living in busy London can get a little over whelming at times!
On Saturday I took part in a styling and shooting workshop hosted by one of my favourite independent lifestyle magazines, 91 Magazine. I had such great time listening to the inspirational Caroline Rowland the editor and founder of 91 Magazine and the amazing photographer Jemma Watts who demonstrated the best ways to shoot and edit images for Instagram and bloggers.
These chocolate and coconut date bars are a great sweet yet healthy snack bars, perfect for that 3pm afternoon slump with a large mug of tea. They are naturally sweetened with desiccated coconut, a couple of spoonfuls of honey and are super easy to make only using 5 ingredients. I whipped up a batch after work one Monday evening to stock up for the week ahead and they took me about 15 minutes in total make, so super easy to fit in around the gym and multiple friends episodes!
Growing up in Bristol means you are only ever a half hour drive anyway from rural countryside, picturesque villages and some of the best country pubs around! Last weekend we headed north of Bristol up to the beautiful cotswolds in search of a bit of winter sun and the first signs of spring. Welly boots and a cockapoo in tow we paid a visit to Colesbourne Gardens, home to the Snowdrop garden. I don’t know about you but it feels like we have had a pretty long winter and I cannot wait for those sunnier days, snowdrops are one of the first and best signs of Spring there is.
I have a confession to make….. I am a massive stationary addict! I absolutely love cute little notebooks, diaries and colourful pencil sets. My stationary stash is overflowing with notebooks that I never get round to using but still keep buying as they are too pretty to be used. If like me you are a stationary lover you will understand the constant struggle! For a new year stationary haul I thought I would take advantage of that fact that one of my favourite websites Ohh Deer was having a sale, making it the perfect opportunity to add to the (already extensive!) collection.
These long winter days of February call upon cosy evenings sipping on wine with your bestie’s and the ultimate comfort food in the form of an old classic the bakewell tart. I recently made one for a friends dinner party and it went down pretty well even if I do say so myself! I did adapt this family favourite slightly by using blackberries and plum rather than cherry as the slight sourness from the blackberries works well against the sweet almond, the perfect wintery treat for you and your friends. A fat wedge of this tart alongside a steaming cup of tea is exactly what you need when you come in from the cold after a long day.
One of my favourite things about living in London is that on a Wednesday evening you can find yourself listening to someone as inspiring as Lizzie from SMUG whilst enjoying endless amounts of cheese in the lovely surroundings of The Village Haberdashery. Lizzie has a seemingly endless number of skills that are part of her ‘creative portfolio’, from founding Islington Design District to running the lifestyle store SMUG based in Angel as well as the designing her own gorgeous line of homeware products.