Bicester Shopping Trip

I’m at Bicester Shopping Village today shopping with the lovely Tina from Luphia and Vero from That Canadian Girl and a bunch of other fashion and style bloggers.  Kindly the ‘Village’ have given us £50 to spend so I’ve managed to get a beautiful Ralph Lauren dress for Miss L £31! And some cool Audrey Hepburn sunglasses for £4 from Accesorize.

I’m currently on a lunch break but then I’m heading back to Cath Kidston where I had to stop myself buying everything earlier 🙂

Here are some photos, hope you like them

**UPDATE and thoughts on the day**

Bicester really was a lovely shopping experience, the staff are knowledgeable and nothing is too much trouble it was like shopping in the US.  They have an in-house personal shopper who is possibly the nicest one I’ve ever met, and I’ve met a fair few in London who are scary!  Although the stores are high end the prices are high street, I found items in Ralph Lauren that were no more than if they had been in Gap.  I also managed to buy two Cath Kidston pillow covers, a washbag for my holiday and a super cute Cath Kidston backpack for Miss Miss L all for £42!

Bicester has some ‘Harvey Nichols’ type brands (for a full list click here) such as Alexander McQueen, Alice Temperley, Jimmy Choo and Diana Von Furstenburg but all the prices are at least 50% off which is amazing value.  If you’re looking for a special occasion outfit I’d throughly recommend going there for the day you would be able to get everything  you need.

I have a small champagne hangover this morning, but I’d like to say a big thank you to everyone who worked so hard to make our shopping experience so enjoyable yesterday.  Lolly especially was brilliant and helped me out when my giftcard died.  Thanks for such a lovely day and I’ll be coming back no question.

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Link Love Wednesday

My Link Love for this week.  It’s been a seriously inspired week, my google reader has been stuffed with great posts here’s a selection of my favourites.

Make Room for Living’s post about a B&B in the Netherlands called Bed of Flowers. It’s beautiful, I wish I had such an eye for colour and detail.

The British Mummy Blog Carnival being hosted by the ever fabulous Motherhood the Final Frontier. Go read all the of the Best British Mummy Bloggers.

Aunties are Cool from Tara Frey the picture of her niece is beautiful (how do you get that finish on a picture??) and I love the sentiment enjoy your children right now, because it does all go so fast.

Cooking with the Girls from Teresa at Whatever… well seriously when I grow up I want to be her.  The thing I love about her blog is how much she adores her family and the effort and attention to detail she puts into the most simple of chores.

I’m into small space living articles at the moment (I’m British we have small spaces!) and this article about cute little caravans caught my eye from Restyled Home.

Lylah at Simple Home Living is growing her own veggies and some flowers to eat.  This is how a veggie patch should look – nothing like mine 😉

Simple Mom’s 40 ways to go Green – great tips for living simple and greener

Last but not least, BrooklynLimestone’s visit to London.  She’s got some wonderful images and wants to know why we say “Bob’s your uncle” – I have no idea but I do it all the time !

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Butterflies

Butterflies seem to be everywhere at the moment and not only in my garden!. I love butterfly images, they bring the outside in and just add a girlie touch without being over the top.

I spotted this Rangemaster Cooker which looks amazing but you really have to like butterflies to have this in your kitchen as it’s £2799!

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However there are more affordable butterfly home decorations out there.  I love this mug from Big Tomato Company

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Etsy of course has some fabulous finds.

This butterfly mobile at Milla Love is just gorgeous

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And from The Love Shop on Etsy

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I don’t know which one I like more?

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Meme of the day

Kate Morris has recently started blogging on Blogger and asked that people volunteer for this Meme and as it’s a fun one I thought I’d join in.

Rules of the meme. Respond and rework. Answer questions on your own blog. Replace one question. Add one question. Tag 8 people.

1.What are your current obsessions?
Twitter I can’t leave it alone and of course my iPhone.

2. Which item from your wardrobe do you wear most often?
Dark Blue Jeans from Boden and my new Clarks leather trainers – they sound dull but are so comfy!

3. What’s for dinner
Chicken salad…dull but I’m on my pre-holiday diet.

4. Last thing you bought?
Linen trousers from Tesco’s they should last exactly one summer!

5. What are you listening to?
Dizzee Rascal ‘Bonkers’ it’s in my head all the time.

6. Do you have a pet and if not, why not?
Betty giant black 18 month old Labrador Puppy

7. Favourite holiday spots?
Vancouver, Canada

8. Reading right now?
India Knight’s diet book.

9. 4 words to describe yourself.
Funny, Friendly, Caring, Early Adopter

10. Guilty pleasure?
Bones, I love that show and it’s crap and I totally love it.

11. Who or what makes you laugh until you’re weak?
My husband

12. First spring thing?
Tulips

13. Planning to travel to next?
Florida

14. Best thing you ate or drank lately?
Strawberry, Cream, Meringue dessert my friend Susie made up

15. When did you last get tipsy?
Saturday afternoon with my parents

16. Favourite ever film?
Star Wars

17. Care to share some wisdom?
Don’t think you can change people

18. Favourite song?
Building a Mystery – Sarah Mclachlan

19. What’s your favourite Flower?

Peonies

I tag Whatever, Jan’s Gems, Rochelle Ryan, That Canadian Girl, Alice W, PS~Erin, Tea for Joy, Nixdminx

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Bicester VIP Shopping Trip

I’ve been invited to a VIP (ooo get me!) blogger shopping day at Bicester Village Outlet Mall near Oxford on Thursday. Now despite it being a 2 hour plus journey (no one has ever thought to connect East to West in the UK) I’m still going.  You know me wild horses could not keep me away from a place where they have a discount Cath Kidston and The White Company.

So I’ll be doing some live blogging from this rather gorgeous looking room as they have wifi

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My main aim is to get some holiday clothes for Miss L and I and I’m about to go and take an inventory of what we need.  But it’s also going to be lovely to wander around and take the whole place in. I’ve been meaning to go since it opened, but never have gotten round to it as the East/West trip is such a pain.

But the best bit? It’s going to be wonderful shopping without a child demanding to look at clothes for her and a husband who goes pale whenever I enter a store……. I wonder how long exactly I can spend in Cath Kidston???

Looking forward to sharing it all with you Thursday!

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Hooked on…Wall Stickers and a Giveaway!

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It’s Friday and it’s time for my ‘Hooked on‘ this week it’s….. Wall Stickers.  I first noticed them when I was in Vancouver last year, they were everywhere in restaurants, bars and shops.  They are so eye catching and such a simple way of updating or giving a room a lift.   So I added them to my mental ‘things to put in the house’  list, but when I got back home I couldn’t find them anywhere.  Then I joined twitter, and Stuart followed me.  His company Spin Collective sell them and there they were, lots and lots of gorgeous wall stickers to play with!  They come in every conceivable colour and make a fun impact, I’m going to order these butterflies for Miss L’s room.

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And this flower would look rather fabulous in the dining room

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And how cute is this for a nursery?

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Stuart has become a good Twitter friend of mine and would like to offer 3 Lucky Violet Posy readers a wall sticker to the value of £30

Stuart will post worldwide, so it doesn’t matter where you are and everyone can enter!

If you’re not one of the lucky winners, Stuart is also readers offering  10% off any purchase if you use the code violetposy10

So if you’d like to take part, please leave me a message below before Wednesday 29th April 2009 and I’ll do a random number generator to decide the three winners.   I’ll let you know via here and e-mail who the winners are and put you in contact with Stuart so you can claim your prize.

Good Luck!


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RIP Santa

Today was one of those days when I realised my girl is no longer a baby and that she’s a very observant 6 year old. Admittedly I thought I had at least one more Christmas to go.  Here’s what happened this morning over a pair of socks

Miss L ‘Mummy is Santa real or is it Mummy’s and Daddy’s wrapping presents and leaving them in a stocking?’

Me: ‘What do you think sweetie’

Miss L ‘ I think he’s not real and it’s you, did you wrap up my presents with the ‘Ho ho ho’ ribbon?  It was very nice of you’

Me: ‘Ummm yes it is me, who told you?’

Miss L: ‘ No one, I knew it!  I kept seeing him everywhere and you can’t be in more than one place at a time’

Me: ::Speechless::

Miss L: ‘So there’s no such thing as flying Reindeer then either?’

Me: ‘Umm No’

Then she looked all smug like it’d had been bothering her for months and I made her promise not to tell any other children under punishment of death.  All I need is irate parents on my chasing me for ruining their children’s lives.  I of course am traumatised that all my bargaining tools for her good behaviour are gone and she’s strangely fine and happy that it was all made up.

But we’ve not discussed the Toothfairy yet…..

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Small Gardening

Spring has finally sprung here and the frost have (probably!) passed so Miss L and I got out this weekend and did some ‘small’ gardening.  Miss L wanted to grow her own flowers this year, some strawberries and some potato’s.

You don’t need much to do this and it’s pretty inexpensive.  The ingredients were

1 Hanging Basket

2 Bags of soil

2 Potato Sacks

1 Packet of Miss L Bulbs

1 Packet of Dahlias

1 Packer of Seed Potatos

3 Strawberry Plants

First up we filled the hanging basket with soil and added the strawberry plants, which means we’ll see them as we come into the house and Betty can’t destroy them – she’s big on strawberries!

Then we planted up the tub with Miss L Bulbs and Dahlia’s, luckily there’s also a Peony already in there so she’ll see instant results with that in a couple of weeks

And then onto the potato’s, I’m not sure the pink dress will be the same!

They’re all sprouting now as we’ve had so much sunshine and it’s fun watering them after school.  Hopefully we’ll see the fruits of our labour in a few weeks, I know Miss L’s watching those strawberries!

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What to Wear?

We’ve finally made a decision about where we’re going on holiday and it’s…

DISNEY!!

I think we’re more excited than Miss L. She’s been to Disneyland Paris, so has an idea of what to expect but it’s nothing like the extravaganza that is Walt Disney World Florida.  I love Disney World and it’s nice to be able to take Miss L at the same age I had my first trip there.  In fact the first time I went Epcot had only just opened, showing my age now!.

So we’ve chosen a resort thanks to the ever wonderful Tripadvisor, I’ll call the kennel tomorrow to book Betty in and I’m booking flights next week.  Everything is arranged except for one thing which I’d not even considered….what on earth am I going to wear?

I was all prepared – jeans, t-shirts, merrills and fleeces – for Canada. But I don’t think that is going to work for Florida in July where it’ll be in the 90’s.  We’ve not been on a holiday where somewhere hot since our honeymoon and that was Orlando in May.  The UK hasn’t had a proper summer in years, so all my summer clothes have been either donated to charity/worn out/don’t fit!

First off I think I need to lose some weight as we’ll be doing a lot of hanging out poolside and I’ve not been near a pool in years, which is a bit scary.   I have 10 weeks to lose 14lb which is needed and seems a reasonable amount of time to do it in… she says finishing off an easter egg! At least then some of my old summer clothes should then fit!.  But I’ve had a surf this afternoon and I think that some of these pieces will make up my capsule travel wardrobe.

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Throw in some vest tops, a sunhat, a linen top and a gallon of sunscreen and that’s my packing done

Right off now to get some more ideas of what to do when we’re there, I’ve just seen on the Nasa site that there is a launch of the new generation spaceships in July. The geek family is very happy!

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Hooked on Holiday Planning

Miss L on the beach July Vancouver 2008

Julia at Hooked on Houses is hooked on Beach Houses this week, which made me think about summer holidays.   Then I realised it’s only 10 weeks until we are due to go on holiday and I’ve done nothing about it.  Getting Betty into the excellent kennels is a must, so I thought it was time to get on with it!  I remember back in my 20’s, I’d see something on the Tuesday before, pursuade a friend and on Saturday we’d be flying off to somewhere exotic..not anymore!

Originally the idea was to hit Toronto, Montreal, Quebec and the Maritime Atlantic Coast and do a roadtrip over 14 days of the area to check it for emigrating to.  We did Vancouver last year and loved it, but I thought it was prudent to check out the East Coast too.  But practically, can you really see a 6 year old sitting in a car for 3-5 hour a day?  I don’t think it’s fair really, it’s her holiday too and all we’ll be doing is driving – hardly thrilling.  We could of course stay in Toronto for a week and then maybe fly to Halifax and do a week there? But it starts getting expensive the more flights you add.

So then the old chesnut popped up ‘Well we could go to Disney’… bit of a parental cop out, but how cool would it be to go with a 6 year old?.  The first time I went I was 6 and I believed it all, it’s still one of my most magical holiday ever.  But it would be mine and Paul’s 3rd trip in 7 years there.  Poor old Miss L’s never gotten to go as we went for our honeymoon and a friend’s wedding!.

Then the conversation turned to … ‘well we could go back to Vancouver and talk to recruitment agents, real estate agents etc’ and still have a holiday.  But if we go I think we should stay somewhere we’re more likely to live than on the beach which is oh so tempting….and we’re back to square one!

We only have enough money to do one big holiday and now I have no idea where to go?  I priced them all and they are within about £300 of each other – maybe I should just pop the names in a hat and pull them out? Argh! 🙂

Where are you going on holiday this summer, please give me some inspiration x

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Link Love Wednesday

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Happy Wednesday! Here’s my weekly roundup of all the posts I’ve loved this week.

First off it has to be the wonderful Susan Boyle who wowed the whole of the UK and Simon Cowell.  The woman is my hero, check out her performance here

Laura at Shorehouse Chic went to the most beautiful Orchid Nursery

It’s Pretty Good has to be my new favourite blog, the images never fail to make me smile

Simple Mom has a great article about cheap/free toys for young children.  It’s a great way for them to explore their imaginations and cost effective for you

Inspired Living has some small steps to a greener living

The Cool Small House competition over at Apartment Therapy is great for those of us who live in small homes – wonderful inspiration.

Kitchen Lust at Anne Sage – how I wished my kitchen looked 😉

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I’d also like to thank the top 5 sites which have referred so many lovely readers to me this month.  So a huge thanks and hugs to

Hooked on Houses

The Inspired Room

Tea for Joy

British Mummy Bloggers (members only)

Alice W

Go check them out they are all wonderful creative ladies x

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Small Space Entertaining

I love having people to come and stay.  When I moved 100 miles away from friends and family having somewhere for them to stay was very important to me (and will be more so when we move to Canada!).  But we have a small problem, we don’t have a spare room.   We have a 3 bedroom house, but there are only 2 usable bedrooms. Apparently in the 1930’s people were tiny and you could get them into a 6.5ft x 5.5ft which narrows to 3ft space, which is the size of our third bedroom!  Obviously it was a nursery room, but even when Miss L was a baby there wasn’t much I could get in there other than the cot so now it’s Paul’s office.

So what to do?

Originally I decided that a sofa bed would be perfect and as we were buying new sofas it seemed an ideal time to get one. It wasn’t much more than the ordinary sofa, and let’s face it much easier than trying to build your own sofa bed which I’d seen ideas for on the web, something I’d not recommend!   I’d heard that the new sofa bed’s had come on a long way, softer mattresses, easier to store and when we got it had they ever! It folds out of the base and is up in literally seconds and is off the floor on legs which is  much better than blowup mattresses which we’d been using before. It’s really comfortable to sleep on and ideal for guests who are staying one or two nights.

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However now we have friends with babies, friends coming for more extended periods from the US, and more than one group staying over at once.  I’ve had to expand my accommodations and luckily I have a very understanding daughter!  I’ve put a double bed in Miss L’s room, which means we can have people stay in there and on the sofa bed while she sleeps either on the chaise in our room or on the blowup bed which she thinks is like camping.  So it’s a win, win situation.  I get more visitors and Miss L gets to pretend to camp – everyone is happy!

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Happy Easter!

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I hope you’re all having a wonderful bank holiday weekend?. We’ve had a great time, seen some lovely friends and their supercute baby and today we went for our annual Easter Egg hunt at my parents.  Miss L ran around the garden finding a selection of chocolate bunnies and eggs.  She’s kindly sharing with her mummy – well she has to, no child can eat that much chocolate!.

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Afterwards we had a BBQ and while Paul was cooking it, I decided to take some shots of my Mum’s spring flowers.  I saw these gorgeous photos on Mirror, Mirror this morning and belatedly remembered that my camera has a macro lens!  I’m so glad I took them, I’m really pleased with the results. (My Mum has insisted on me telling you that these flowers are all from her garden and not mine – LOL!)

I’m going to have a play around with the images tonight on photoshop and see if I can get them to ‘pop’ a bit more. And then I’m going to have these made into Moo cards for Mum and then she can send them to friends and family as she still uses snail mail.  I think they will make a nice present as they are pictures of her garden.

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