Araminta Flowers Part 2

Earlier in the year I had a dream photography assignment for a new florist Araminta Flowers based in Basingstoke.

The aim of the photo shoot was to give Marian a bank of content for her new website (which I will link you to as soon as it's live) and images she can share on her social media and for marketing and events.

We had a wonderful day and I was lucky enough to be invited back for another day's shoot this week to capture her wedding bouquets and everlasting arrangements and posies.

purple wedding flowers
Orange wedding flowers
Wedding table centrepiece
Burgundy wedding flowers
Autumn wedding flower ideas
pink wedding flowers

I love that Araminta offers brides and arrangement lovers a mix of real and faux flowers. I made my Mum's wedding flowers a few years ago and we used a beautiful selection of silk flowers. 

Silk flower wedding bouquet
silk flower wedding bouquet
Pink wedding flowers

Of course the Dahlias's and blowsy real roses stole my heart and we were so lucky with the hazy Summer sunny weather, that we could shoot everything under a tree in Marian's garden.

Wedding centrepiece
Pink wedding flowers

I have never been surrounded by so many incredible flowers, buckets of wild flowers Marian had sourced from a flower farm locally and rainbow colours everywhere I looked.

wild flowers
floral photographer
Wedding flower ladder
Silver wedding bouquet
Tea cup flowers
Pink wedding flowers

A blissful days work with a firm new friend!

#capturingcolour • Silver

Well what a sparkly, glittery week! Thank you everyone for joining in this project!

When My Two Mums invited me to join this group of colour loving bloggers and start a new community on Instagram I was thrilled.

I love colour, I love photographing colour so #capturingcolour has been a dream project.

And it seems lots of you love it too! I am over the moon at how quickly the community has grown with Instagrammers tagging their photos all through the day and night! It's great to see people sharing their photos with such an encouraging group from all over the world.

This was my week of silver. 

#capturingcolour silver
#capturingcolour

And these were some of my favourites from you all!

Silver favourites.jpg
#capturingcolour silver

L to R: @cariemay, @kitpatlecter, @onedad3girls, @letstalkmommy, @ladyfarleyb, @tamingtwins, @lilyandfrank, @cheetahsinmyshoes, @essexkate

Well done everyone - your images really caught my eye!

This week we are capturing PINK! Yippee one of my favourites! And then we have a special idea for the Summer holiday period in August which we will let you know next week.

So get snapping, get sharing, check out other people's beautiful galleries and find some more like minded souls to follow.

Happy days!

Don't forget to check out the other hosts Real Housewife of Suffolk, Maybush Studio, Sorry About The Mess and Shutterflies and follow @caputuring_colour on Instagram.

You can find me on Instagram here. I post a lot ;)

Check out my other #capturingcolour round ups by clicking on the images below...

The perfect desk for a big kid's room • Featuring Habitat

When we moved from our last house, the house we bought the boys home from hospital to, Ollie was still in his baby nursery filled with woodland creatures and owls of every description and Sammy had upgraded from his cot bed to a bed with no sides in preparation for a single bed once we had moved. But his room decor was still the nautical nursery he'd had as a tiny baby.

I have never been a huge fan of character themed bedrooms, the worry and pain of spending lots of money updating their duvets and accessories every couple of years as they fall out of love with the latest superhero has never appealed! Instead I'd like them to be involved in curating their own room, with the precious toys they have treasured since birth, little pieces passed down from grandparents and things we spot on our travels.

One of Sammy's wish list items for his new room when we complete on our forever house in the Autumn is a big boy desk. Somewhere to colour, to craft and to complete homework now he'll be a bigger boy in Year 1.

Habitat

Their set of school desks have been stored away in the garage, in readiness for their new bedroom. They are great because you can store all sorts inside them for rainy days but also have enough surface space to add some desk essentials.

Habitat lamp

The boys were sent a lovely lamp from Habitat's new collection of affordable, beautifully designed pieces. Perfect for a big boy desk! And it comes in bubblegum pink too.

Habitat lamp

We've fallen in the trap of collecting huge amounts of arts and crafts odds and end, plastic boxes of hardened play do and old pages of stickers that have all stuck together, but really you just need these:

  • A box of paper. Plain paper and let their imagination do the rest. We keep theirs in my Granny's suitcase so it doesn't get dog eared before it's used.
  • Colouring pencils. Sammy is showing so much enthusiasm for writing and independent art work after a year at school and pencils make him feel grown up! I steep clear of felt tips because no matter how careful they appear to be they always end up on clothes and on the carpet!
  • A tin for little things. Is anyone else's house littered with Loom bands and Lego?! I need to keep these tiny things contained! My boys are like magpies and love little tins to carry around their special collections. There's always a stone in there or a feather!
  • Stencils, stamps and old greetings cards. Old birthday or Christmas cards make perfect craft supplies and they are free!
  • A craft jar. Slim down and make up a jar of a pair of safety scissors, glue stick, glitter, brushes and replace them as they get used or worn out. 
  • Activity books. We love any sort of dot to dot, quiz book or activity worksheets. Great for traveling and rainy days alike, plus they seem to be never ending! Something the boys can pick up and put down when they fancy.
What to put on a child's desk

I can't wait to see their desk set up in situ. As they will be sharing a room the two desks are perfect for side by side crafting and creating and I got them for £50 secondhand! I might paint them a bright red as I love the idea of lots of colour in their bedroom.

The green lamp would really pop against the desk and they can't fail to be inspired to be creative at their new desk space.

craft supplies
habitat lamp

I love that Habitat are bringing out a collection of pieces for the more conservative budget. One day it would be great to have a house full of their beautiful furniture but being able to buy something more affordable, but that doesn't compromise on their signature contemporary design, is perfect for now. 

Habitat lamp

Salcombe • Glorious Great Britain

When the weather is delightful there is no where better in the world than beautiful Britain.

If you want dreamy blue seas, picturesque lagoons and happy family snaps on the beach then just jump in the car and head for an adventure!

Yesterday, we should have been sorting a hot stuffy garage, but we decided to abandon the sensible plans and whizz off to Salcombe in Devon. A beautiful part of the world that's teaming with bunting, festival cheer all year round and the most stunning coast line, with rivers and seas peppered with bright shiny yachts and weathered coloured sailing boats, bobbing in the breeze.

Salcombe

We packed a car picnic and headed off at 12.30, getting to the town for the post lunchtime rush and missing all the traffic. The boys had a snooze in the car, Sammy made us all a loom band (THE BEST TRAVEL TOY IDEA ON THE PLANET) and we stopped at the first beach we saw opposite The Winking Prawn beach restaurant at North Sands beach. The restaurant has been at the beach for over 17 years and is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

Salcombe The Winking Prawn
salcombe.jpg
The Winking Prawn
Salcombe
North Sands Salcombe
Salcombe

Bright pink umbrellas shelter happy tourists and locals from the sunshine and spots of Salcombe Dairy ice cream splatter the route from the ice cream truck to the beach steps, as little ones struggle to lick their ice creams fast enough!

We hadn't planned for a full day on a beach so without towels or swimming shorts we rolled up the shorts and paddled amongst the families on holiday playing beach cricket in the low tide. I loved people watching as the boys climbed on the rocks to get a better view of the swimmers. Older couples reading papers, groups of teenagers on post exam celebrations, children making new friends.

After getting our toes properly wet in a English sea for the first time this Summer (Friday night's beach trip to Weston super Mare was more mud than sea!) we jumped back in the car and found a parking space on one of the steep side streets and headed for a wander into the town.

Salcombe
Sea

The brightly coloured bunting makes everyday feel like the Queen is coming to visit and there are scores of "boaty" boutiques and brands to entice you to embrace the nautical look! 

I heard a voice shout Lucy and turned around to see a work contact of mine from my property job, who is lucky enough to have a house walking distance from the town centre. We had a lovely catch up, met each other's families and picked up some recommendations for our final few of hours exploring.

Salcombe
Salcombe
Salcombe
Cheeries
Salcombe
Salcombe

We walked the length of the town, stopped in Cranch's Sweet Shop for treats and then mooched up to the Ferry Inn where we hopped on the small ferry boat to the beach on the other side of the harbour. 

Cranch Sweet Shop Salcombe
Salcombe
Salcombe ferry

It's surreal lying on a golden sandy beach with scores of yachts sailing by with rolling hills and cows as a backdrop. Salcombe has the best of everything!

We couldn't say no to the boys who were desperate to play in the sea so we stripped them to their pants and let them get wet! It was s snapshot of our holiday to Spain in 10 days. This year I can see those two getting lost in their own little world together, making up games on the shore line and gaining confidence in the water. This is the Summer Sammy is desperate to lose the armbands and learn to swim. He's almost there, it's wonderful to watch.

Salcombe
Salcombe
Salcombe
Salcombe

The Venus beach cafe at the top of the hill sells drinks and snacks and a small selections of beach toys and with a toilet block next door we and a quick pit stop before heading back to the jetty and catching the ferry back before they stop at 6.30pm.

Salcombe
Salcombe

As the boys were worn out and a little sandy (as well as pant less) we decided to jump back in the car and head a little closer to home for dinner. We drove through Kingsbridge and spotted The Crabshell Inn, a family friendly beach house come pub on the quayside. There's an adults terrace upstairs and an abundance of wooden picnic tables over looking the water as well as a beautifully decorated inside restaurant for wet days.

The children's food was freshly cooked, a portion large enough for a teenager and not a nugget in sight. There were so many delicious things on the menu and I couldn't resist the Devon crab cocktail and a gigantic salad to balance out the rosé and ice cream!

crabshell inn.jpg
crabshell inn
Crabshell inn

We left as the sun was still warm, as scores of families with older children arrived for an evening with friends and drove through Totnes to find the only little store open for an ice cream on the way home. There were lots of vintage shops I'd definitely like to visit during opening hours!

The boys slept on the way home and we all collapsed into bed, still a little sandy, full and happy just after 9.30pm. Don't you just love throwing school routines out of the window?!

Salcombe

Have you been to Salcombe? Where would you recommended we go next time we visit?

Linking up with #theordinarymoments and #CountryKids

Yumbox • Simple Bento Ideas • #bentobabies

When it comes to Bento, the Yumbox bento boxes are the bees knees, so when the lovely company got in touch and asked me to try out their new boxes I jumped at the chance. 

I love using silicone baking cups but it does get sticky and definitely messy on a bumpy ride in a school bag on the way home from pick up. So the pre divided plastic insert is a life saver! And it goes in the dishwasher. I've tested the Yumbox and even after shaking the fruit smoothies do not leak!

I like to make bento simple and fun. I have exactly 5 minutes to put the boys lunches together in the morning so easy ideas are always winners for me. 

I raid their little figures instead of cutting out intricate designs and have lost a fight numerous times with alphabet cutters that I prefer to use the little coloured picks instead! 

So here are a few ideas to get your bento juices going. I snap these on my iPhone just before we race out of the door on scrapbook paper. 

bento ideas

The Yumbox is actually sizeable enough for an adult's portion so I tend to half fill the containers for Ollie's smaller appetite.  

There are labels on the divided sections to encourage you to control the portions of different food groups but I tend to fill them up with all sorts being mindful of one portion of protein, dairy, grains, vegetables and fruit. I love the mini sauce container in the middle but often use that for a treat. That way I limit the naughtier element like a sweet dessert to a small portion.

I steer away from chocolate or crisps in their packed lunches and have found loads of alternatives instead. It helps me not find making lunches so boring! 

bento ideas

I find fillers ideas everywhere. In the £1 shop, at the supermarket and from other Bento enthusiasts. 

Protein Ideas:

  • Slices of ham, chorizo, pepperoni, chicken, beef, corned beef, rolled up into wraps
  • Pepperami, cocktail sausages, hot dogs, little pasties (Mine love the pork ones in the chilled aisle in Sainsburys)
  • Boiled eggs

Carbohydrate Ideas:

  • Wraps, scotch pancakes, brioche buns, bagels, croissants
  • Crackers, rice cakes, I love the new Ella's Organic range of mini cracker biscuits, bread sticks, cheese straws, cereal

Fruit ideas:

  • Dried fruit bars and sticks (Humzingers are ace) Fruit hearts, fruit stars, fruit roll ups
  • Dried fruit like mayo, pineapple, apple crisps
  • All fresh fruit - blueberries, raspberries, blackberries, grapes, strawberries, kiwi

Vegetable Ideas:

  • Beetroot crisps, carrot crisps, sweetcorn
  • Raw broccoli and cauliflower, carrot sticks, sliced peppers, cucumber, edamame beans

Dairy Ideas:

  • Cubed Edam, Cheddar, Red Leicester, soft cheese triangles
  • Squeeze or spoon a yoghurt into one of the compartments and add sprinkles as a special treat

Snack Ideas:

  • Nuts (My boys both had nuts from one and love them.) 
  • Cereal bars, carrot puff type crisps you can get in various flavours in the baby aisle of the supermarket
  • Fortune cookies, raisins, yoghurt covered seeds, granola, popcorn
Bento Ideas

I rotate ideas so none of us get bored. Sammy has even stared asking me not to show him what's inside his Yumbox as he loves the surprise!

I sometimes have to try new foods a few times before they learn to love them, but by presenting them in a creative and imaginative way they are definitely persuaded to try something different.

I'd love you to link up your ideas, there are some fab lunches and teas being shared on the internet and it would be great to inspire others to try new ways of presenting food to get our children eating more and more of what's good for them! You can search on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook using #bentobabies.

The best way to be inspired is to bounce ideas off each other. So help me! We will be using our Yumboxes all through the Summer holidays for snack lunches and teas and days out on adventures.

You can buy your Yumbox here. Think how much you've spent on character lunch boxes and bags. I have at least 3 or 4 that sit unloved in the kitchen cupboard after the initial love for a new craze has worn off. I love that the Yumbox is bright and cheerful rather than plastered in an in the moment favourite cartoon. Well worth the money. Plus I can borrow them too :)

#capturingcolour • Gold

Oh my favourite week of all so far!

A while ago my blog had a little refresh, out with the turquoise and in with the gold! I love the matt gold I have for my logo and when I saw it printed on the sample backdrops I have had made (HEY - yes that's right - I am making backdrops for bloggers, makers and crafters to take awesome photos at home - WATCH THIS SPACE) it looked better than I imagined.

I love a little sparkle in our home, flashes of gold dotted around and often wear gold polish on my toes. I am desperate to move to our forever house in September and one of the first things I am unpacking is my shimmery Happy Day garland! 

My week of gold looked something like this.

#capturingcolour
#capturingcolour
#capturingcolour

Flashes here and there and golden sunshiny weather that meant my favourite gold and lace dress had it's first Summer outing. 

I loved Instagram being painted with golden hues. Here are some of my favourites from the week that was all about shimmer and sparkle.

#capturingcolour
#capturingcolour
#capturingcolour

Join in and tag your photos on Instagram #capturingcolour. Visit the hashtag and check out the other people loving colour. You can also follow @capturing_colour to see if your images are featured through the week.

Let's share our love of colour. You can find me on Instagram here.

#capturingcolour is a weekly Instagram hashtag hosted by My Two MumsMaybush StudioSorry About The MessReal Housewife of Suffolk and Shutterflies head over to their blogs to see what they have captured this week. 

This week we are all going to turn into magpies on the hunt for shiny SILVER! ready steady go!

Pink Pool Party • Ollie's 3rd Birthday Party

The internet is going to be painted pink today! Our darling boy Ollie, who turned 3 last week had repeatedly asked us for a pink party after falling in love with fuchsia a few months ago!

Not fairies or princesses you understand, apparently they are "disgusting" and "for girls". "I like pink."

Well if it was pink he wanted, pink he got! We were so lucky to be able to borrow my in laws beautiful home for the weekend and host a family party in the garden. The sun shone, the pink Cava and pink lemonade flowed and our sweet boy got his wish. Ollie shares his birthday with my Mum so it was a joint celebration!

Pink Pool Party

He was the most grateful and loving boy, delirious with everyone getting into the pink spirit and adored having his cousins as party play mates.

These are special times and I am going to celebrate every single one!

Pink Party
Pink Party
Pink Party
Pink Party
Pink Pool Party
Pink Party
Pink Party
Pink Party
Pink Party Food
Pink Party Drinks
Pink Pool Party Sweet Table
Pink Party
Marshmallow ice creams
Party pinwheels
Ice cream stations
Pink and Blue Party
Pink Party Table
Ice cream sprinkles
Pink Party
Pink Party
Lawn Flamingo
Pink Party Table
Pink party table
Pink Party ideas
Pool Party Food Table
Coffee cake
Sprinkle cake
Pink hydrangea
Pink bouncy castle
Pink party table
Pink Party cups
Pink Party
Sprinkle cake
Pink party
pink party.jpg
Pink drinks
Ice cream decorations
Pink garden party

After an awesome pizza and pasta buffet, as much ice cream and sprinkles and sweet treats as we could all eat we headed to the pool!

Party Pizza
Party food
Party Pizza
Party Ice cream
coffee cake
Pool Party
Pool party
Pool party
Pool Party

The giant balloons made a perfect volleyball and we even managed to Skype with my brother and sister in law in America from the hot tub!

A wonderful day of traditional party fun - who doesn't love a balloon between the legs relay and an egg and spoon race?! And party bags for home time.

Party medal
pink pool party 31.jpg

What an amazing family we have! All in party pinks!

Pink party outfits

Party details

  • The chairs and tables were kindly loaned to us by Dine In
  • I sourced party decorations from Party Delights
  • The big balloons were from Giant Balloons
  • The Little Things party company were very generous and provided lots of lovely party ware including paper sweet bags, stripy straws, lollies and the sweet daisy mason jars
  • The tableware, pinwheels and stripy bunting were from Sainsburys
  • The birthday sprinkle cake and coffee and walnut cake were from Tesco
  • The party buffet was a selection of Domino's Pizza, sides, a meatball pasta bake from Tesco and salads. For dessert we set up an ice cream station for you to make up your own creations and a sweet table for extras. 

Anything else you want to know - just ask!

The next birthday is actually mine! We will be heading to Spain in 2 weeks to celebrate my birthday in Altea with my sister and her family and my brother and sister in law from America! Paella, tapas and Cava sounds perfect! 

Linking up with the fabulous Honest Mum and and #BrilliantBlogPosts and #CountryKids

Chorizo and Pancetta Parcels

Summer holidays mean hazy sunny days in the garden and hungry boys!

I have a deep love affair with ready to roll puff pastry and it's always handy to keep a roll in the freezer. You can whip up all sorts in minutes and make a meal stretch a little further if you suddenly have extra guests.

Try these chorizo and pancetta parcels for a simple brunch or tea idea. And if you are not a chorizo fan just substitute it for ham or prosciutto.

Ingredients:

  • I roll puff pastry
  • Sliced chorizo
  • Cubed pancetta
  • Eggs
  • Oregano, pepper and salt to season
  • Olive oil
puff pastry parcels

Preheat your oven to 180 degrees/Gas Mark 4.

Roll out your puff pastry (Preferably onto the baking tray as once filled they are tricky to move. You only find that out after you've tried it on a board!) and cut into 4 inch squares. You will need a base and a lid for each parcel.

Fold the corner of the pastry sheet over to create a triangle to give you an accurate square shape for cutting. A 4 inch square parcel will feed 2 small children.

Tease up the edges of your base to create a lip around the base, this will stop the egg from leaking before it's cooked.

Layer your slices of chorizo and sprinkle your pancetta, herbs and top with an egg. 

puff pastry parcels

Place the pastry lid on the top and using the back of a fork press down the rim of your lid to the base. Brush with olive oil.

how to cook puff pastry

Bake in the oven for approximately 15 mins until the pastry has puffed and is golden brown.

Slice and eat. I served the boys with baked beans and they loved it.

puff pastry parcels
puff pastry bake
puff pastry bakes

And if you are thinking of what do do with the left over pastry, why not try these ideas?!

Linking up with #TastyTuesdays and #recipeoftheweek

Open Cherry Candy Floss Pie

Open Cherry Candy Floss Pie

Puff pastry allotment cones

Puff pastry allotment cones

Eton Mess bake

Eton Mess bake

What to do in Tetbury • A weekend away

Oh Tetbury, you stole our hearts, and the contents of our wallet and purse! Well not stole, we happily exchanged our hard earned pennies for your loveliness!

We had the pleasure of a child free weekend, with best pals, which started on Friday evening the weekend before last. With the M5 in it's typical Summer gridlock (and the schools haven't even broken up yet) we ended up flinging the boys in Mum's car at a services half way up the motorway towards Bristol, in a desperate attempt not to be late arriving in Gloucester!

The boys were thrilled to have 2 whole nights with Granny and just about managed to kiss us goodbye before they started singing Yankee Doodle Dandee at full volume! Granny has quite the collection of children's cds in her car.

After my first visit to the recently redeveloped Gloucester Docks (which is ace by the way) and a long overdue catch up with my girls we headed off to Tetbury on Saturday morning. Rich had been on babysitting duty with the husband at home whilst the girls went to town. We stopped at the new Gloucester Services en route.

It is like no other services you will ever have the pleasure of visiting! 

Gloucester Services

We arrived in Tetbury to glorious sunshine and despite our friends not being able to join us (Their little girl was poorly in the night!) we were determined to enjoy the night away even if we missed them greatly!

Tetbury
The Priory Inn Tetbury

We checked into The Priory Inn, a 2 minute walk to the town centre which sources all the food in the hotel within a 30 miles radius. The hotel has an abundance of contemporary country charm with candles everywhere and simple but sophisticated rooms.

Tetbury Shopping

We dropped off the bags and wandered into the town. With a tiny handbag. Oh the small pleasures of no children in tow! Each cobbled pavement bursting with antiques stores, traditional and boutique and floors and floors of loveliness.

Tetbury antiques
Tetbury
Tetbury Antiques
Tetbury Antiques
Tetbury Antiques

We discovered Café 53 where we could have easily spent the entire afternoon, sitting by the pond, drinking wine and eating delicious food.

Tetbury
Tetbury Antiques
Tetbury
Bumble bee
Dried roses
Tetbury

We rambled aimlessly around the town, pottering, eating, drinking and really and truly relaxing. We even had a half hour read of our favourite magazines with a drink in the hotel garden! Heavenly. 

Tetbury

There are so many shops I would recommend. At one point Rich who doesn't 100% share my love of clutter (about 70% I'd say) exclaimed with glee, "We're antiquing!"

Must visits:

tetbury 15.jpg
Vintage tiles
Antique bottles
Hydrangea
happy

Oh and I couldn't not share all my treats! It may not be Easter for another 9 months but that vintage egg mould was coming home with us! I am going to use the old spindles for ribbons on my new office wall and a few treats for the boys. Only fitting to get a Farmer's Market story book in the services!

vintage bargains

Where did you go on a child free weekend? It's always great to have a hit list of places to visit! 

#capturingcolour • Orange

Orange you glad you came to read this blog post today?! Boom boom ;)

The colour loving community on Instagram have been out in force this week - did you know there are nearly 1000 posts linked up to #capturingcolour already! Ace.

Orange is big in our house. Richard is obsessed with orange and it features as the main colour for our tea company branding! I'd love to show you but it's in the final print stages so when I can I will!

We both had orange cars when we were teenagers and I love the boys in bright orange hues. I was obsessed with a pair of burnt orange cut offs when I was in my early twenties - I literally lived in them and found a pair similar in a shop the other day for £8! I just had to have them.

Here's my week of orange.

#capturingcolour
#capturingcolour

There were so many amazing and inspirational photos joining in the hashtag - these were just some of my favourites!

#capturingcolour
#capturingcolour

L to R: notsupermum, onetinyleap, suzkox, iamalisonperry, cheetahsinmyshoes, outfitsandadventures, orchardlanepics, suzyhomemakeruk, lovelifepixels.

To join in tag your photos on Instagram #capturingcolour and visit the hashtag and check out the other people loving colour. I find so many great new people to follow who love a life bursting with energy and fun through #capturingcolour.

You can find me on Instagram here.

#capturingcolour is a weekly Instagram hashtag hosted by My Two MumsMaybush StudioSorry About The MessReal Housewife of Suffolk and Shutterflies head over to their blogs to see what lovely oranges they have captured this week. 

This week it's all about GOLD. Show us some sparkle and what you love snapping! I adore gold, I changed my logo a while ago to gold and feel it totally encompasses the essence of my blog. 

Gold just puts me in a good mood! Let's see your shimmer and shine!