Thursday, 20 June 2013


This post is going to be a little different. It's a plea for help. 

I recently entered a competition to design a headboard through a company called Savoir Beds. So important is this competition that it's called the "Savoir Grand Prix" dontcha know. Anyway I have never done anything like this before and frankly had no clue what I was doing but I'm happy with what I ended up with and having looked at some of the other entries to be honest, mine doesn't look half bad. 

Anyway, the entries are now up for the public vote so here is me asking you to go over to the website and vote for my design - just click here and vote for DOUBLE CROWN - you can vote 3 times from your computer/phone/ipad - whatever. The theme was "Royal" and although I know going for a crown is a little obvious the idea is that mine is based on a crown and a tiara, "Double Crown" - get it? Two crowns? Like your hair on your head? Oh forget it. It's funny, and clever I promise.

Here is the final design...

Take a look at this socking tiara that inspired it. I might ask the husband for one of these as a present for pushing out the second baby. (You never know if you don't ask).

While we're on the subject I'll just throw in a couple of my own personal favourite upholstered headboards. 

I'm still totally in love with the Otomi headboard above. In fact I'm just in love with Otomi fabrics anyway, I Want a bedspread with a capital W.

I love all the pink cutesy, quiltiness of this but wouldn't those holes piss you off? Your head would keep falling through wouldn't it? It would be a very stressful headboard to lean on as you'd have to be bolt upright in the middle.

One day I'll have a house with a guest room with matching twin beds. 

Loving the simplicity of this.

Ok then that's me for now. Don't forget that the main reason you're reading this is to VOTE for my headboard (even if you don't like it, count it as your good deed for the day).



Monday, 22 April 2013


On Saturday I turned 31. Not a particularly momentous number. I wanted to do something a bit different with my day* so decided to celebrate by doing 31 random acts of kindness. This is not at all my idea, I saw it on Pinterest from this lady who did a huge 38 acts of kindness on her 38th birthday. I just thought that was pretty cool and might mean that I remember the day a bit more than most other birthdays that blend into the past. I managed to rope in my husband to help and we started writing down ideas of what to do.

*actually, I really wanted to go to a really nice sushi restaurant and get pissed on sake but I'm pregnant so apparently both of those things are frowned upon

Some suggestions from my 3.5 year old nephew included:

1. Give Papa some wine (this is actually very kind, his grandpa really does love his wine)
2. Shoot some spidey webs
3. Wee on someone's face
4. Give someone soap who needs it
5. Buy someone a car

Suggestion from my sister
1. Take my kids away as they're driving me mad

These unfortunately didn't make the final cut but here are the ones that did and this is how our day unfolded. 

1. Bought a coffee for the next person who came along in the coffee shop
Our first deed and the first indication this may not be as easy as we thought - cue a lot of confusion, us ending up with 2 coffees, the next woman being French - not understanding why she didn't pay for a coffee and us skulking out. 

2. Picked up fallen over bikes
A pretty easy one although when my husband picked up one bike - the owner appeared and accused him of knocking it over in the first place

3. Baked cookies and handed them out to strangers
Not surprisingly people were a little wary of this. Perhaps giving cookies in Amsterdam was not the cleverest idea but the baby and husband acted as great accessories in making me look less like a drug-pushing weirdo. I had to start chucking in "it's my birthday you see" only then people were very smiley, shook my hand, ate cookies and said congratulations.

4. Took photos of tourists for them
A crowd pleaser

5. Picked up litter throughout the day
Here is some litter, see? (which I then put in the bin)

6. Gave back a toy car that was going to be left behind by a toddler

7. Wrote a post card and posted it to an old relative (who doesn't love getting old-fashioned post)?

8. Donated money to this crazy challenge my husband is doing

9. Left coins on bike seats for people to find

10. Gave money to the worst busker you've ever heard (and then some to a good busker)

11. Bought some little flower pots and left them on people's doorsteps with a message saying "Have a nice day"

12. Left a 2 euro coin on the find fence (lost property) in the Park

13. Gave helium balloons to kids and tied some to bike seats 
One of my favourites - helium balloon + kid = joy

14. Bought a glass of wine for the random old guy reading his book in the cafe next to us
He was a little bemused I think but said thank you and we had a "cheers" moment. He then kept looking up from his book as if he wanted to say something but never did...

15. Gave people random compliments
I told one guy I liked his bow tie (he looked like Dr Who) but he looked at me very oddly and told one little girl she had the bluest eyes I'd ever seen and she lit up with a huge smile

16. Swapped coins for an old couple to pay for their trolley in the supermarket

17. Let someone go in front of us in the shop queue 

18. Gave money to the homeless man selling the Big Issue (equivalent)
We actually offered to buy him food from the supermarket but he didn't want anything. 

19. Dropped off a bag of clothes for women in need
This is a proper good deed isn't it? I liked this one

20. Posted some magazines through the door of a doctors surgery for their waiting room

21. Entertained kids in the park with giant blowy bubbles

22. Sorted rubbish by local recycling bins dumped by others

23. Funded a Kickstarter project
I firstly chose this project because it was in Amsterdam. Plus I liked the general idea - as it was my birthday I'd had a lot of "Happy Birthday" messages on facebook which is all very nice of course but nothing beats a phone call. 

Two of my best friends hadn't called on the day, they were walking in Exmoor together (I have cool friends) so I got into bed feeling unloved. Just as I was drifting off I got an answer phone message from them both (drunk) saying they'd been trying to call all day checking for reception on hills, moors, and had even been in an actual phone box with the cord cut but finally got through from their little b and b. That MADE me day, and made me laugh a lot.

24. Posted positive comments on blogs that I regularly read
It's always warming to receive a nice comment on your blog (hint)

25. Returned a jug to our neighbour with flowers in after having it for a year 

26. Called O's granny and arranged to meet her in London in a few weeks
O did this one and he felt SO good after. Everyone neglects their grannies a bit and has that sense of "oh dear I should really call..." when other things always get in the way. We told her I was pregnant and arranged to go and see her when in the UK in a few weeks which she was thrilled about.

27. Gave advice on baby questions on website I use a lot (only stuff I knew about first hand of course)

28. Read my son 8 books at bedtime
He is really into his books at the moment and usually he has three - this time we nailed 8 whole books and I think he would have happily had more

29. Reached out to a friend in need

30. Bought a present for O's godson which was LONG overdue

31.Registered as a Blood Donor in the Netherlands
By this point it was 11pm at night, I was about to go outside to wash car windows, adopt a soldier, adopt an animal - do ANY bloody thing to reach the dreaded number but I suddenly realised I could give blood. Much better.

So there we have it. After a little bit of a late start in the day (I was allowed a lie in, then had a leisurely breakfast, then little A fell asleep with all the faffing) - we finally got to 31.

Things we learnt:

-People are incredibly suspicious in this day and age. (Naturally, I would be too and would NOT have taken a cookie off a stranger, are you mad?) "Don't talk to strangers. Don't accept sweets from grown ups" etc. All of this was running through my head. It's a shame really as there was a lot of scepticism when we were honestly just trying to be nice.

-Being British -  going up to strangers doesn't come naturally to us, there was a lot of stuttering and stumbling, time-wasting and missed opportunities.

-Offering people cookies in Amsterdam perhaps isn't the best idea (especially to Police men, which we did)

-There is no totally selfless act. (That wise philosopher Phoebe on Friends said this). You do nice things to feel good about yourself really don't you? By the end of the day I did feel good but shattered. It's hard work trying to find nice things to do for people without them thinking you're just a weirdo.

All in all it was a really great day and felt good to do something completely different. 


Friday, 8 March 2013


The first time I came across an American Tin ceiling was when I was having a wax in Singapore. Believe me for those that don't know, when you have a wax you tend to focus heavily on what's above your head (unless of course you're having your arse/back waxed) - in this case it was my first view of (faux) American Tin. Suffice to say it interested me enough for me to momentarily forget why I was there and think "oooooh" before the "ARRRRRRGH". (Incidently, I have no idea why waxing places don't put more entertaining things on their ceilings, it could help quite severely with the pain and distraction). 

As with all these things, because tin ceilings came back in fashion I suddenly started noticing them everywhere - houses, restaurants, bars, shops etc. This has been over the last few years so now I think it's probably safe to say that American Tin has had its resurgence, and is now probably on the verge of being passé once again. AA Gill included tin ceilings in restaurants in a list of "trends that do seem to be past their sell-by date" for 2012 in the Sunday Times Style magazine. Say no more. 

This is a very cool restaurant (not according to AA Gill of course) in Amsterdam called De Ysbreeker.

They became popular in North America in the 1800s as they were a cheap and durable way to emulate the beautiful plasterwork that was then rife in Europe (the tin was originally painted white to look even more like plaster). Now that the tin tile is around again there is a trend to use them as backsplashes, planters, wall art, headboards, you name it, it's been done with a tin tile. I bet someone on Pinterest has found a way to make them solve poverty. 


(Surely not very comfortable?)

So what do you think? If I was going to have any I'd want them white and on the ceiling just where they are supposed to be.

If you don't want to bother with the real thing then Rocket St George has no less than 7 versions of it's Brooklyn Tin wallpaper to choose from. Or have a look at these by Merci. You can find tin tiles in the UK from here.

(What is going on with this room? Chevron tiled floor, mirrored cube, gold and silver furniture, chandelier, gothic cut-throughs and the world's least comfortable looking sofa. This room needs to just have a cup of tea and calm down).

Anyway, the sun is out and spring is on it's way = good times.


Wednesday, 13 February 2013


Wow it's been 2 months since my last post. What a terrible blogger I am. I can't believe we're now mid February - where did all the time go? I'm still recovering from Christmas. 

Now we're (well into) the New Year I hope everyone's resolutions are coming along nicely and not failing miserably like mine usually do. As well as my yearly staples (drink less, eat healthier, exercise more) I've added "Learn Dutch" as it's about time I stopped fannying around with my four words of vocab and pull my finger out. (I now have 5 words of vocab thankyouverymuch).

So, apart from these standard ones the other thing I want to do is to 

I'm not really sure what I even mean by this yet, but I was thinking about my friends and how a lot of them have had the balls to take a leap and start their own thing -  I love it and am so impressed by them.

So this is a dedication to some of my friends who do cool things, basically that I'm jealous of. The inspiration is there for me to get off my arse this year and do something myself.

Ribbon and Roses

Marina set up Ribbon and Roses from Singapore after working in fashion for ten years in the UK. She has impeccable taste and it's such a beautiful site that it's pretty hard not to want to buy a LOT of things when you visit. It's absolutely perfect for present buying too. I wore one of R&R's maxi dresses to a wedding a few summers ago and have honestly never had so many comments (all good, I promise).
I recently did a guest blog post for her which you can see here.

My current R&R wish list all available from the website.


Jane was one of the first people I met when living in Singapore and one of the first friends I made. At the time she was still running her fashion label Pocket Venus but in 2011 started Korla Home with Ted Utoft which makes amazing textiles. My chair pads and my upholstered chairs are all covered in fabric that she designed. Jane epitomises the whole GETTING SHIT DONE ethos, not only has she run two successful companies she also has three kids. I think she's one of those people that actually has more hours in the day than I do, it's the only explanation.

Beatrice von Preussen

B is so creative she makes me feel like a complete square. Give her a bag of knick knacks and she'll knock you up an incredible art work. Her prints and etchings are adorable (we have the toy soldiers in Baby A's room) and so good for baby presents. Her Pots to Put Things in are so cool. 

Luckily she's Baby A's godmother so he get's amazing presents. Look at this! (Joint present from both GM's) I mean come awesome is that?

Bootique / Alice Cowen

Alice is a personal trainer and set up Bootique which was, and still is on my mini break wish list. After I had Baby A I imagined a long weekend getting fit in Mallorca at Bootique which just looks like the nicest way to do exercise and be healthy with a bunch of friends in a beautiful place. (Alice actually trained me too. Seriously. ONE time before my wedding. That's my level of dedication). 

The Black White

This is my friend Josh (the singer). He's in an awesome band. He actually trained as a lawyer but you know, he's a rocker at heart and you just can't contain that.

I worked with Heather as a PA in London, the dream for herwas always to move to South Africa with her husband to start their own silver jewellery line. After I left the company she did soon after and made it so. I just love the mini wishbone and hummingbird necklaces. In fact I wonder if they'd make me a little Wolf.....hmm

Holly and the Wolf

Talking of wolves... Holly also worked as a PA in the same company (actually it was a very nice place, not sure why we all jumped ship) but she wanted to go back to her musician roots so she too took the plunge. Her voice is soothing, she sounds like Joni Mitchell. I love it. Listen to Funny People.

Pennard Orchard

I'm afraid I'm now too spoilt to do proper camping, this is way more my cup of tea. Luxury Tipis for Glastonbury and other festivals. In fact fuck it I think I'd rather live in one of these than my own house. Barty runs it with his wife and having grown up with Glastonbury he's somewhat of an expert.

Anton Heunis

I met Anton when I lived in Madrid back in ... a while ago. He'd started his own jewellery line but then it was a fledgling thing and not the juggernaut it is now. I went with him to Barcelona many moons ago to help him with his stand at a jewellery fair and he has given me some beautiful things over the years - what a very lucky girl. Anton is now soooo successful his gems have been featured in pretty much every single fashion magazine you can think of and worn by some serious celebs. I'm thrilled that he's done so well. His jewellery is EDIBLE.

So there we have it, some inspiration for 2013!