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Sunday, 8 November 2015

Remembrance Sunday


Hello Lovelies,




Wear A Poppy


“Please wear a poppy,” the lady said
And held one forth, but I shook my head.
Then I stopped and watched as she offered them there,
And her face was old and lined with care;
But beneath the scars the years had made
There remained a smile that refused to fade.
A boy came whistling down the street,
Bouncing along on care-free feet.
His smile was full of joy and fun,
“Lady,” said he, “may I have one?”
When she’s pinned in on he turned to say,
“Why do we wear a poppy today?”
The lady smiled in her wistful way
And answered, “This is Remembrance Day,
And the poppy there is the symbol for
The gallant men who died in war.
And because they did, you and I are free –
That’s why we wear a poppy, you see.
“I had a boy about your size,
With golden hair and big blue eyes.
He loved to play and jump and shout,
Free as a bird he would race about.
As the years went by he learned and grew
and became a man – as you will, too.
“He was fine and strong, with a boyish smile,
But he’d seemed with us such a little while
When war broke out and he went away.
I still remember his face that day
When he smiled at me and said, Goodbye,
I’ll be back soon, Mom, so please don’t cry.
“But the war went on and he had to stay,
And all I could do was wait and pray.
His letters told of the awful fight,
(I can see it still in my dreams at night),
With the tanks and guns and cruel barbed wire,
And the mines and bullets, the bombs and fire.
“Till at last, at last, the war was won –
And that’s why we wear a poppy son.”
The small boy turned as if to go,
Then said, “Thanks, lady, I’m glad to know.
That sure did sound like an awful fight,
But your son – did he come back all right?”
A tear rolled down each faded check;
She shook her head, but didn’t speak.
I slunk away in a sort of shame,
And if you were me you’d have done the same;
For our thanks, in giving, if oft delayed,
Thought our freedom was bought – and thousands paid!
And so when we see a poppy worn,
Let us reflect on the burden borne,
By those who gave their very all
When asked to answer their country’s call
That we at home in peace might live.
Then wear a poppy! Remember – and give!

- Don Crawford
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Tuesday, 29 September 2015

#nationalcoffeeday and My Love Of Pact Coffee


Hello Lovelies,




 It's National Coffee Day!  

As a true coffee lover I wanted to share a coffee secret with you.  This secret is a biggie and will change your coffee drinking forever, so hold onto your mugs!   

Ladies and Gents my coffee secret, for your ears only is Pact Coffee.  little gem of a business that delivers freshly roasted coffee straight to your doormat weekly or fortnightly, could there possibly be anything better?  As well as roasting the beans to perfection, Pact Coffee will also grind your beans to suit your coffee machine (fine for espresso, coarse for cafetiere and everything in between).  

After all that loveliness they go one step further and post it to you in special sealed bags that will fit through your letter box, so no having to wait for the postman!  I told you they're lovely. 

Although I've just spent the last few paragraphs singing the praises of Pact Coffee this post is not sponsored, although if you are reading I'd love to work with you (little cheeky grin).

Are any of you Lovelies coffee addicts?




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Monday, 7 September 2015

10 Things Every University Student Needs to Know + A Giveaway


Hello Lovelies,



This time last year I wrote a Freshers Survival Guide, a blog post full of tips and advice from my personal experience as a naive Fresher.  As the first day of Uni is just around the corner I thought it would be a great time to give you the 'Ten Things Every University Student Needs to Know'.  


  1. Find the Balance - Finding the perfect balance between work and play is always tricky, but no more so than at Uni.  Your grades are not everything, but do remember you don't want to walk out after three years with only a 1st in Partying!
  2. Use Your Tutors - Your not at school anymore, staying behind after class and talking to your tutors/lecturers no longer means you're in trouble, so ask lots of questions and utilise office open hours.
  3. Study Aids - Record cards, Post-it notes and highlighters should be at the top of your shopping list!
  4. Make Connections - Networking and making connections can make stepping into the big wide world just a little bit easier.  A lot of the time it is WHO not WHAT you know that gets you the job, so schmooze while you can and make those all important contacts.
  5. Internships - Even with a killer degree finding your graduate job can still be hard.  So get as much experience as you can and make your CV stand out from the crowd.  
  6. Revision Buddy - Having someone to revise with or talk through your assignments is a massive help, so grab your pal and hit the library together.
  7. The Freshers Fifteen - Try and avoid those dreaded fifteen pounds.  However It is not just Freshers who need to watch out, junk food, erratic sleep and a rather sedentary life will not be good for your waist line.  You don't need a gym membership, just a pair of trainers so pull them on and pound the pavements.
  8. Student Discount - Don't forget your student discount, whether it's food or fashion, use it whenever you can/remember!
  9. Plan Plan Plan - Make sure you know when all your assignments need to be handed in!  Grab yourself a pretty diary and fill in those all important dates. 
  10. Remember - Last but by no means least, be spontaneous and have fun!
Whether it is your first year or last you will need some killer stationary, so I thought I would run a little giveaway.  The lucky winner will receive the goodies below as well as some pretty pastel surprises! 
 Stationary addicts are very welcome to enter ;) 




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Thursday, 27 August 2015

Beet the Blues Beetroot Juice


Hello Lovelies,



I don't know about anyone else but every year I fall foul to the dreaded Summer cold!

After spending a week sneezing into the closest Kleenex my body felt like it needed a mega boost.  In such situations I always turn to my trusty beetroot and ginger juice.  It's a super smooth, sweet juice that will make every cell in your body jump for joy.

Juicing is the best (and quickest) way to feed your cells nutrients.  Extracting the fiber from  the fruits and vegetables means that all the vitamins, minerals and enzymes are absorbed straight into the bloodstream, giving you that quick kick of goodness!



For years I refused to even try beets, those bright pickled spheres bobbing around in a jar of vinegar made my stomach turn.  But a couple of months ago I was bought a beetroot juice by a colleague, not wanting to seem rude I gave it a sip and to my utter surprise I loved it.  That day started my intense lover affair with the humble yet amazing beet!




If I'm feeling tired or run down I will always whip up a Beet the Blues Beetroot Juice as It's the perfect fatigue buster!  Beets are a true super food, they're a great source of iron, potassium, magnesium, folic acid and vitamins A, C and B6 as well as being jam packed with anti-oxidants,  with all that going on they've definitely earned their super food status!

Alongside my beetroot I pop in an inch of ginger, two carrots and a green apple.  

The iron from the beetroot allows your body to carry more oxygen to your cells allowing them to function more efficiently, the carrots give you an immune-boosting amount of vitamin A, while the ginger calms and soothes the digestive system (great if you're feeling queasy).  To top it all off I add a green apple which provides another kick of anti-oxidants as well as some anti-inflammatory goodness, could you ask for anything better?



What I really want to know is which juice/smoothie do you lovelies reach for regularly?





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Tuesday, 28 July 2015

Zesty Watermelon Mojito


Hello Lovelies,




When it comes to the world of cocktails I am a bit of a one trick pony, but I have to say, my one trick is pretty darn tasty!  

So Ladies and Gents let me introduce you  to the Watermelon Mojito a sweet zesty dream, that is the perfect "Sundowner" and a sure cure to those Melon-choly days!




Ingredients:

1/2 seedless watermelon cut into chunks
1 bunch of mint, 6 sprigs reserved for serving
1 lime, cut into wedges
1 tsp of your sugar of choice
1/1/4 cups of your favourite white rum
(1/2 cup of lime cordial for a virgin Mojito)





Directions:


  • If you own a juicer then chuck in your melon and reap the sweet rewards.  If you don't then throw your watermelon chunks in a blender, blitz to your hearts content then pour through a fine-mesh sieve, pressing down with a wooden spoon to extract as much liquid as possible.
  • In a large container (or pestle and mortar) combine your mint, sugar and the juice of half a lime.  With the back of a wooden spoon, crush the mint and lime and until the sugar is dissolved.
  • Add your watermelon juice and rum (switch the rum for cordial if you want a Nojito) and give it all a good stir to combine.
  •  Pour into an ice filled jug, throw in some sprigs of mint, wedges of lime and some strawberries to garnish!



Now all there is to say is Cheers, Salute, Santé!
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Tuesday, 21 July 2015

Instagram Catch Up


Hello Lovelies,  



My little iPhone has been as snap happy as ever recently, so here's a little update on his recent adventures.

Left to Right - Top to Bottom:


  • I fell head over heals in love with this blue and white floral dress, and the best thing about it was that it was as cheap as chips! 
  • Wimbledon was the perfect excuse for eating gargantuan amounts of strawberries, whether it was in fruit salads or cheeky Mocktails I managed to put them in everything.
  • I recently dug out my Mulberry Bayswater which proved the perfect bag to take to Wimbledon.
  • The view from my yummy lunch over looking the courts.
  • You can't go to Wimbledon without having strawberries and cream!
  • Breton stripes, tan Avarcas and a beaten up Oak Bayswater = the perfect relaxed OOTD
  • I went home for the weekend and explored the garden, the giant roses were just demanding to be papped!
  • Last but not least was my little trip to my favourite card shop, as well as beautiful cards they sell quirky coffee table books, I was definitely dreaming of Paris that afternoon!


I am a serious shutterbug so am naturally addicted to Instagram, I love finding new accounts to follow so please leave yours below.


If you'd like to come and say hello my Instagram username is SOPHIE_JANE_LIFESTYLE 
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Wednesday, 1 July 2015

Things I Want To Do This Summer




Long time no see my Lovelies,



During a rather hot and sticky run this morning (YUCK!) I started thinking about how I would like to spend my time this Summer.  After 5K I had compiled a pretty good list of things that I want to do; instead of jotting them in my diary I thought I would pop them up on my blog.  It's the perfect post to re-start my three day a week blogging schedule as well as give you Lovelies some ideas for fun Summer adventures.


Long and lazy Summer picnics
As you may already know I love nothing more than a good picnic.  A hamper full of yummy food, a blanket and a spot of sunshine = Summer perfection!  

Watch the sunset somewhere pretty
This is a tad cliché but everyone loves a good sunset!!!

Go camping/glamping with friends

I have to admit to not being a massive camping fan, but glamping is my cup of tea (in a bone china teacup!) all the fun of sleeping under canvas but with all your home comforts to hand!

Lots and lots of alfresco eating

I LOVE good food, and enjoy nothing more than eating a scrummy meal outside with friends or family, then sitting and chatting as the sun sets and the stars appear.

Explore new farmers markets

Again about eating!  

Make lots of healthy ice lollies

I've given up all of those nasty processed sugars, so my Summer treat to beat the heat is my Blueberry Cream Ice Lollies they are super yummy but I want to put my thinking cap on this Summer and come up with some different flavours.

Run more!  Twice a week isn't enough

I'd love to start running more, I run 5K pretty comfortably, but would love to be able to run at least 10k without collapsing in a heap!

Organise summer adventures with my friends

I love a good adventure, last Summer we discovered Steephill Cove and gorged ourselves on fresh crab!  For this Summer I am in full planning mode, so stay tuned, as I will definitely pop them up on the blog.


I hope you are all enjoying the amazing weather (and making the most of it), I'd love to know in the comments what plans you are making for this Summer.



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Monday, 4 May 2015

Claire de Quénetain and her design for the Heal's 1810 Collection



Hello Lovelies,


Last year I went to the Heal's SS15 press preview, and fell in LOVE with Claire de Quénetain's new design for the Heal's 1810 Collection.  Le Jardin D’ete, depicts a hand-drawn floral pattern that reflects Claire's personal passion for the outdoors.  

After a lot of oohing, aahing and Instagram stalking I sent Claire an email asking whether she would pretty please answer a few questions for my readers and I, so here you go lovelies.  


Who are you/What do you do?
I’m a textile designer, creating prints for furnishing fabrics. I’m currently doing a collaboration with Heal’s, for their Spring-Summer 2015 Collection. In June I will be launching my own line of fabrics.

Tell us a little about yourself? 
I grew up in Normandy, France and started my artistic practice in Fine Arts at the ECAL in Lausanne, Switzerland. During my studies I developed a passion for gardens and houses. I was interested in creating a personal expression of marks and forms through paintings, drawings, collages and installations. I recently graduated with an MA in Printed Textiles from the Royal College of Art in London. 

Where do you gather most of the inspiration for your work? 
The main inspiration behind my work is to catch the atmosphere of gardens; the generosity, the forms, the colours and movement in nature. My textiles aim to create a natural, lively and colourful environment for the interiors. I like gardens because they are a kind of “mise-en-scène” of the natural life. 

What is your preferred medium and why?
I enjoy painting straight onto fabric or paper without composing the design in advance. I like to paint compositions in large scale with spontaneity to catch a certain energy and new marks. I really enjoy to work this way because I feel free to reinterpret nature as I see it. 

What do you do when you're not creating / do you have any other hobbies?
A big interest of mine is discovering new gardens, cities, and villages in England. I regularly visit museums and I quite often go back to Normandy to get inspiration. 

Where can we find you? (your work and social media) 
You can find my work and inspirations here: 

http://www.dequenetain-brunse.com/ 
Instagram: clairedequenetain 
Twitter: @clairedequenet 

Share some of your favourite images/pieces and tell us a little about them.
I’ve always been very interested in the Omega workshops and Sonia Delaunay. These images show the relations they created between Art and Textiles. I’m fascinated by the prints applied onto panels, screens, carpets, wallpapers and clothes. These “mise-en-scènes” make the interiors theatrical. It’s the same I envisage through my own work; to bring a natural atmosphere into people’s homes, with a theatrical touch. People become the character of their own garden story.


 Omega Workshops


 Sonia Delaunay


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Saturday, 25 April 2015

Celebrating Spring With This Lovely Lady!



Hello Lovelies,




 Spring has finally sprung, and with full force!  

One of my favourite things about Spring is watching everything come to life, whether it is warm hazy days, sunset strolls or sauntering under blossom covered trees.  The warmer weather also means a new wardrobe (or at least fishing out last years clothes) it's time to put away the cashmere and boots and pull out those Spring essentials.    



A couple of weeks ago a friend and I decided to meet for lunch, the sun was shining, the sky was bright blue and we were surrounded by beautiful houses; the shutterbug in me was going crazy so I pulled out my camera and started snapping. 



I love Spring clothes, and this was definitely a pic worthy outfit, a Stradivarius jumper with a keyhole back, Topshop Leigh skinny jeans (my favourite design) and some fab accessories.  I love delicate jewellery and these Monica Vinader stacking rings, and Lotus bracelet from Daisy (similar here) were the perfect accompaniment to the outfit. 




After curbing my camera lovin' we rooted through our bags for essentials then made our way back into the middle of town for a cheeky pizza and an afternoon of lazing in the sun!



Brunettes definitely have more fun!

What are your go to Spring staples?







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Sunday, 8 March 2015

Healthy Gummy Sweets


Hello Lovelies,






I know I have been neglecting you all recently, but I have had seriously bad 'Bloggers Block'.  After a couple of months of faffing around I have sorted me life out and am back on track!   

All my blogging failures aside, I want to get to the pretty point of this post, which is SUGAR.  

Sugar and I do not have a healthy relationship, I have always been a complete sugar addict, but in January this year I quit the white stuff!  Eliminating the sweet stuff wasn't easy, but the health benefits from doing so was what has kept me going.  


Although I have been very strict with myself, I have had a secret weapon, my healthy gummy sweets.  These yummy morsels contain only three ingredients fruit juice, Grass Fed Organic Gelatin, and raw honey (so hardly a recipe) just a mix of all the good stuff. 

  

A Few Benefits of Gelatin:

Supports skin, hair and nail growth
Balances cortisol levels
Strengthens bones, teeth and cartilage
Healing to the digestive tract
Full of collagen, which helps reduce wrinkles and cellulite
Aids weight regulation
Beneficial for joints
Reduces inflammation
Improves immune function
Can help with hormone balance
As you can see gelatin has its fair share of health benefits, mix it with fresh fruit juice and raw honey and it becomes a complete winner!





As I mentioned above you only need three ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup of grass fed gelatin
  • 1 cup of fresh fruit juice (any will do, so experiment)
  • Raw honey to taste
It is a super easy recipe that I am sure will become a firm favourite.


1. First oil your container or silicon molds, I either use 3 heart molds or a medium baking dish, If you use molds then stick them in the freezer for 5 mins (after setting) as this makes popping them out much easier.

2. You need to work quickly with gelatin so make sure you have everything measured out before hand. 


3. Next mix your juice, gelatin and honey together in a saucepan until it starts to thicken.


4. Once thickened pop your pan on the hob and stir until it just starts to boil, then remove from the heat and pour into oiled molds.


5. Allow to call in the fridge for 2-3 hours.


6. Your gummy sweets can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for 1-2 weeks.


7. Enjoy!  








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Monday, 19 January 2015

New Year's Giveaway || A Shiny New Filofax To Keep You Organised!



Hello Lovelies,




I took a bit of a blogging break over Christmas , well actually most of December and half of January (seriously naughty blogger!), but now I am back and raring to go, so what better way to kick of the blogging year than a very exciting giveaway.  

One of my New Year's resolutions is to be more organised, I'm really good at the organising, but I am rubbish at keeping it all going.  The only thing in my life that stays super organised is my Filofax, a beautiful brown leather organiser that I plan my life in.  I would definitely be lost without it, so with that in mind I decided I wanted to give you Lovelies the chance to win a brand spanking new Filofax, so you can keep your life organised in 2015!
  



a Rafflecopter giveaway
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