This Week and Happy Christmas


Sunday, 21 December 2014

Hello there! My plan last week was to avoid the lurgy, yet I failed. The virus was of course passed my way and I have spent the last few days feeling like utter crap. Coughing, sniffing, headache and now laryngitis have left me well and truly under the weather. I'm pretty sure I've lost my voice for all the shouting I seem to do these days. Since the Boy went to High School, hormones have kicked in and Kevin the Teenager appears to be living with us. All I hear is 'it's not fair'! And there is constant whining and complaining whenever you ask him to do anything. The terrible twos were nothing compared to this spotty creature that now strops about the house. I have no idea how I'm going to get through the next few years. Wine will help I suppose.

Anyhoo, although I've been feeling poorly, there have been one or two nice things going on. I have made a little garland for the living room. Just a collection of different sized cardboard stars, spray painted copper and stuck onto some thread. And I bought some winter berries to compliment the season. Simple, rustic chic.

Lovely packages in the post from the beautiful online store, the future kept. I think brown paper with a ribbon and tag is always so pretty - I must remember to do this more often. It was a little present to my husband and I for Christmas. We don't buy each other anything but pick one thing together that we both like.

A visit to our local cafe for breakfast. This is the brilliant Mill Kitchen where we go often. Their scrambled eggs on sourdough toast just lifts the spirits and made me feel so much better. And the interior is perfect - industrial pendant lighting, Tolix tables, vintage style schoolchairs and huge refectory style dining tables. I'm also really enjoying reading their blog, where they share some of their lovely recipes.

Inside that beautiful brown paper parcel was this lovely blanket. It took so long for me to choose the colour. I loved the grey but eventually went for the blue slate. It's 100% wool and is so cosy. I'm enjoying lying under it on the sofa and watching my 30 Rock box set. Coupled with a mug of hot lemonade, it does make me feel a little bit better. 

Last Sunday I was delighted to be featured on Gemma's lovely blog little tiny pieces. Little Birdie was selected as one of Gemma's 'Share the Love' blogs and she said it 'reminds her of a cosy, welcoming little cafe'. How nice is that? Thank you Gemma. Please do go check out her beautiful blog as it's one of my new favourites.

Finally, I want to wish you all a very Happy Christmas. I know it's a bit early, but I am going to have a bit of a blogging rest and then hopefully come back fresh in the New Year. Thank you all for reading, following and commenting, it really does mean a lot. See you once more in 2015. x

'Showering Perfection' with Mira Showers


Tuesday, 16 December 2014

Sadly my bathroom is not a calm, relaxing space. First of all it's tiny, has no window so therefore no natural light. Ventilation is provided by a fan, so it's also noisy. When we bought the house it had a huge vanity unit with a shell shaped sink (nice eh?) and lots of dark wood and huge cream tiles. It was not pretty. We took that all out, replaced it with a simple white bathroom suite, white tiles and white walls and it was a whole lot better. But recently I've wanted to create something more relaxing. The white feels a little stark and now I want to introduce something warmer. So I've painted the wall above the tiles a mushroom-grey shade and I'm looking at our storage requirements. Ideally I'd like a wooden cupboard and hooks for towels, but with no window, it does give us issues with condensation.  So I'm trying to think of ways around that. 

The other thing that needed improving was our shower. I was delighted when Mira Showers got in touch and asked me if I'd like to review one of their 'Showering Perfection' kits. This included the revolutionary 360 showerhead and a selection of Molton Brown goodies. Mira aim to give you an invigorating, refreshing and soothing shower every time you use it. The 360 showerhead rotates to offer you four different experiences - rain, burst, storm and cloud

Harry and I both love the top setting - rain. It's powerful yet gentle and totally drenches your entire body. Our old shower never did this so I'm finding this lovely, especially with the mornings being so much chillier. It completely relaxes you and I'm finding it harder to get out of the shower as it's way too cozy!

The showerhead then rotates to position two - burst. This is super powerful, a directional blast of water, to the point it nearly knocks you off your feet! It's not something I would use regularly, but I can see the benefits for me in the future. It's a sheet of massaging water and I'd like to use it after a hot summer day at the Market Garden. It would be great to come home and take a cooler shower with that setting. But in December it's not quite right for me.

The third setting is storm. This provides you with a saturating downpour and is my husband's favourite. He likes this setting as he finds it invigorating and it allows him to get completely wet and he doesn't have to manoeuvre around under the showerhead,

Finally the showerhead flips to position four - cloud. This setting is gentler than burst, although again it's a directional spray of water. Cloud is softer and soothing and offers a very relaxing shower. Once again, it's a setting that I would prefer on a warmer day as I need to be surrounded by warmth at the moment!

We've really enjoyed testing this showerhead out. It's even managed to persuade a very reluctant pre-teen into the shower a bit more! The Molton Brown goodies were a lovely added bonus. Thank you to Mira for providing us with this kit to review.

All words, photographs and opinions are my own. 

This Week


Sunday, 14 December 2014


This week has been super busy and most of the members of my household have some kind of lurgy. So far I have managed to avoid it and I'm keeping my fingers crossed that I can keep it at bay for Christmas. Lots of hot drinks of lemon and honey have been consumed as well as winter warming foods - soups, stews and pies.

I've been busy on my days off work, Christmas shopping, household chores and also doing a little painting in the living room. Our blue wall has gone. Although I loved it, I always felt that it was too much in a such a small space. I needed a colour to make the room feel bigger - to let the light in more (we only get the sun in the morning, so the room gets dark quickly in the afternoon). After trying many, many samples, I finally settled on Farrow and Ball's Strong White. I'd seen it used in pictures from the gorgeous Folklore shop visit on Remodelista and was drawn to it immediately. It's the most beautiful shade of off-white, makes the room feel spacious and also warm. I'd never used the F & B emulsion before, only the interior and exterior eggshell but the emulsion is the best ever - the walls feel velvety smooth. I've only done the one wall at the moment, so I've a long way to go. That's my job over the Christmas holidays! I've also painted a little feather with some of my leftover copper spray paint. Just half a feather as I rather like the contrast with the black.

As part of my 'avoid illness at all costs' plan, I've been making soups to take to the Market Garden. It's been so cold this week and we've had to contend with some horrible wet and windy days. So this Roasted Carrot, Sweet Potato and Fennel Seed Soup has been brilliant at warming me up at lunchtime. I got the recipe from my favourite vegetarian food blogger My Darling Lemon Thyme, although I slightly adapted it as I used red onion rather than garlic (I don't like the stuff!). It's absolutely delicious and definitely one I'll do regularly over the winter months. Lots of people have asked about my jumper in this picture - well, it's from H&M and it is super warm and washes brilliantly well. My absolute best buy for clothing this winter.

An early Christmas present - to myself! We always get some money to spend from my mother in law. I'm determined to buy as many local and made in the UK presents this year and these were top of my wishlist. Pretty enough to be stockings on the fireplace, these are blanket socks. I'm wearing them every night in bed and they are keeping my feet super toasty and pretty. From the beautiful Fforest General Stores, designed and made in Wales. But I'm totally lusting after this - isn't it stunning? I love those Welsh tapestry designs.

Finally, the blue is still in the house as it was originally the colour I painted the wall behind Harry's desk. I've made a few changes to that area recently to try and make it a better place for him to work at. Now that he's in High School, the homework has piled up and he needs a clear and organised space. So I bought him the Ikea Alex unit to be able to tidy some things away and removed one of the vintage Habitat trestle legs. I also swapped the vintage school chair (as it's a bit cold with the metal back and wooden seat) for our replica Eames DAW chair and gave it some warmth from a faux sheepskin. Much cozier and also (hopefully) tidier.

Thanks for reading. Hope you all have a great week and I'll be back soon. x

(All pictures via my Instagram). 

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