29.06

Cider-with-Rosie-home-decor-playspace-COVER

I thought today I’d share a little update on a new play area I’ve just made for Ottilie that so far has been a storming success!

Our kitchen and dining room are adjoined to form one big space, with an eight-seater table taking up about two thirds of the space in the dining half of the room and French doors down the end of the room letting in lots of lovely natural light. It’s one of my favourite spaces in the house, but I’ve always felt that we weren’t making the best use of the room. The other third of the dining room not taken up by the table and chairs has always been a bit of a dead area, containing just the piano, the dogs’ beds, and not a lot else!

I decided it might be nice to create a little play area there for Ottilie, not only to give the room some life but also to give Ottie some on-hand distractions for when I’m cooking and preparing food. She has a tendency to cling to my legs and whinge, which makes moving round the kitchen quite tricky!

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Since I’m already in full nesting mode and therefore want our house made perfect as of NOW, I had everything for the play area ordered and sorted within about 3 hours of deciding it wanted doing!

My favourite find of the whole area might just be that gorgeous pompom basket in the photo above, not least because I very nearly bought a similar one from La Redoute for £65, but found this one at an independent shop near us for £20! A bargain if ever I saw one!

It’s currently home to Ottilie’s collection of tractors, trucks, and diggers, because my goodness this little girl of mine is obsessed with anything on wheels right now! We’re planning on a trip to the London Transport Museum for her 2nd birthday in a couple of month’s time, which I think she’s going to adore!

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My main aim for the space was to have just a small selection of toys, laid out in an easily accessible and inviting way.

Like basically other parent ever I ordered a set of the infamous IKEA Eket modular shelves, which, may I just say, I TOTALLY built all by myself and didn’t have any husband-input on. You can’t even imagine how proud it made me, especially being totally DIY-phobic and always keen to delegate boring jobs to Jason! ;) Ottilie was a great helper too!

So cheap they may be, but I think the shelves look so great! They’re just the right height for Ottilie to reach and take whatever toys she wants to play with from the top, and I find that since her toys, puzzles, and books are all out and visible and accessible, it seems to tempt her to play too.

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I’ve also made it a space to introduce some new and different toys, like her new boxes of puzzles! In the living room we have her toy kitchen and wooden tea set, babies, prams, and toys that in general invite more imaginary play. Since I knew this space would only be used for short bursts, I’ve filled it with toys that will absorb her attention fully but are things she tends to move on from fairly quickly. Like puzzles!

I’m very much enjoying picking up scattered puzzle pieces from round the room 18 times a day, let me tell you ;)

Oh, and I’ve been using the corner as a place to display some of the bits that Ottilie’s painted lately, which I love! She’s especially proud of her little birdhouse, and likes to ask herself ‘Who painted dat?…Ottilie!!’ whilst showing it off!

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Last but not least is the rug! It’s from Next, and perfectly fit my criteria of having a dark pattern and being durable enough to withstand toddler spillages and muddy dog feet, but not look drab and boring! I’m so pleased with it, and think it’ll be a nice place for the baby’s bouncer and playmat to go come October time too.

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So that’s our new play area! You can’t imagine how happy it makes me seeing Ottilie enjoy the space, especially when it means I’m able to cook meals without a toddler sitting up on the worktop next to me throwing handfuls of salt/onions/pasta onto the floor at random!

~ ~ ~

I’m on a bit of a mission to update parts of our home at the moment, so would you like to see more as I go? We’re almost finished sorting Ottilie’s bedroom (we’ve done a nursery to toddler room makeover lately, and it’s looking so cute!) and are about to tackle the spare room too!

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01.06

Cider-with-Rosie-meal-plan

A few years back in the history of this blog, I used to do a little regular-ish series sharing my weekly meal plans. I always enjoyed putting together those posts (even if I do cringe looking back at them now, seeing how beige our diet used to be and how appalling my photos were!) and thought it might be fun to revisit the idea! So, below is a round up of the meals we’ll be eating over the course of the next week. I’ve linked to recipes, where I’ll be using them, and do let me know if you fancy seeing a recipe for the lentil chilli!

- Jamie Oliver’s creamy mushroom soup

- Spinach + mushroom pasta bake (Made using the leftover soup from previous dinner as a sauce for the pasta!)

- Baked potatoes with lentil chilli

- Smoky black bean beet burgers (regular beef for Jason!), with paprika potato wedges + salad

- Teriyaki chicken (tofu, for me!) with rice noodles and bok choi

- Burrito bowls (leftover lentil chilli, lemon + cumin brown rice, lettuce, grated cheddar, + salsa)

- Roasted chicken (/black bean beet burger for me) with a roasted new potato, carrot, rosemary, and olive traybake

 Tell me, what’s on your meal plan for this week?

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Posted in FROM MY HOME TO YOURS, INSPIRATION

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04.02

Cider-with-Rosie-Netflix-recommendations-2

Whilst February might have brought with it brighter sunshine and *slightly* warmer temperatures than miserable old January, we’re still well and truly in the midst of Netflix season. That is, the time of year when hunkering down and watching episode after episode of some really great TV shows on Netflix is the most appealing pastime! Below are a few of my recommendation for shows to get cracking on, if you’re looking for something new to watch. And do leave me your recommendations in the comments, too!

01. The Good Wife
Now, I’ve mentioned our obsession with The Good Wife approximately 1346 times on this blog, but seeing as there’s a new season just out, it bears talking about again! The Good Wife centres around Alicia Florrick, wife of scandalised politician Peter Florrick, as she builds herself a career as a lawyer in Chicago and pieces together her life following her husband’s infidelity and jail sentence. Both Jason and I found that the first season had a slow-ish start, but once the plot really got going, we were hooked! It’s fast paced, well written, beautifully acted, and contains just the right balance of fascinating legal drama and romantic subplots. Season 6 just came out on Netflix (we’re 3/4 of the way through it already!), and Season 7 is currently showing on Channel 4 in the UK. I recommend it to *everyone*!

02. Making a Murderer
I”m sure pretty much everyone who owns a subscription to Netflix has watched Making a Murderer by now, and I can see why it’s gained such a hardcore following online! Jason and I binge-watched MaM over the course of a weekend, and were gripped throughout all ten episodes. The documentary centres around the true story of Stephen Avery, a man in the US who was imprisoned for 18 for a crime he didn’t commit, and then whilst in the midst of sueing the county for damages, finds himself accused of murder. The documentary was filmed over the course of ten years, and exposes what appear to be a catalogue of injustices within the US legal system. It’s a must watch!

03. The Walking Dead
I’ll start my rave review of The Walking Dead by giving this caveat- never has a show given me nightmares as dreadful as this one! We started watching on recommendation of Jason’s brother and his partner, and whilst it is totally amazing, I find I have to force myself to take breaks from it every couple of episodes as binge-watching gave me nightmares that went on for weeks! The Walking Dead takes place in a post-apocolyptic America, and follows a group of people trying to find safety and build a life in a world overrun with zombies. It’s pretty hardcore and grisly at times (I have to watch from behind a cushion when things get too tense!), but it’s as much about the nature of humanity and what it means to be ‘human’, as it is flesh-eating zombies. Well worth a watch, if you can stomach the gruesome stuff!

04. Mr Selfridge
This last series is a lot lighter than the rest- a happy watch, alongside all the other heavier TV series we seem to get glued to! Mr Selfridge, now on its third series, follows the early years of the famous department store and the visionary man who set it up. It’s sort of a fictionalised version of the the true history of Selfridges, with a whole heap of subplots and romance thrown in for good measure. It’s the sort of show I like having running in the background when I’m busy with other tasks, as it doesn’t take too much concentration to follow the plot. Oh, and probably the best thing about it is the *fashion*! The womens’ dresses and mens’ suits are all so beautiful- it’s almost worth watching for that alone! All three series are available on Netflix- I’m just about to get started watching the third!

Currently on our ‘to watch’ list is Sons of Anarchy (another recommendation from my brother and sister in law, who have excellent taste in TV!), Scandal (we’ve seen the first episode and liked it, and my Mum’s been raving about it for years), and culinary documentary series Chef’s Table. Oh, and about a billion years late on the bandwagon, I’m FINALLY starting Downton Abbey!

Anything else we should add to our list?

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13.07

CiderwithRosie-Anthropologie-summer-wedding5

As Jason and I are getting older, both the quantity and frequency of wedding invites that land on our doormat (and are delivered straight to our hands by Teddy, the ever-eager postman’s assistant), is without shadow of a doubt on a serious incline. It seems that every time we blink, another of our friends or family members are announcing engagements and setting wedding dates, and it’s such a thrill! And hey, we’re contributing to the trend ourselves!

Whilst my own outfit for that Big Day in July is pretty much set in stone (bar the endless last minute panics about hair styles and accessories I’ve been having…), I always think that the task of dressing for a wedding as a guest is a tricky one. You’ve got to contend with the ‘no white/cream’ rule, and the fear of accidentally showing up a dress that looks like you’ve come as a bonus bridesmaid. You need shoes that’ll carry you through the whole day blister-free, and that’ll stand up to at least 4 hours of shimmying on the dance floor. You’ve got to try to match the tone and feel of the day (will it be super formal, or a relaxed affair?) without looking like you’ve tried too hard. It’s a minefield!

And so, to help navigate this etiquette-laden minefield, this summer I’ve teamed up with Anthropologie to assemble not only the perfect summer wedding ensemble (or at least, I think it’s pretty perfect anyway!), but a charming and personal gift for the happy Mr & Mrs too!

Hold onto your fascinators friends, because we’re going Off Registry… ;)
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T H E   O U T F I T

If you ask me, the most failsafe choice for a summer wedding is a patterned maxi.

In opting for a patterned dress, your chances of committing the Oops I Look Like A Bridesmaid faux-pas (can you tell I have a mega paranoia about that?) are reduced to 0.01%- trust me, I’ve done the maths. And a full length gown will look glamorous and elegant and all those other wonderful things, *but*, it’s also comfortable and effortlessly bohemian AND you don’t have to wax/shave/tan your legs! A no brainer, right? This beautiful one is soft as can be (it’s made from jersey), and just begs to be danced in.

For the extras (shoes, accessories, you know the drill), I say go timeless and versatile.

A chunky heeled sandal is, as every woman knows, just about the comfiest high heeled shoe imaginable, and these ones are so heavenly I’m debating whether or not to do away with the inevitably painful ivory stilettos I’ve got lined up as my wedding day shoes, and to just wear these instead! ;) They’re the sort of shoe that’ll pair with any dress imaginable, and for those among you who, like me, obsess over a new pair of shoes and like to wear them as often as is humanly possible, they also work just as nicely with jeans as they do with dresses.

What I’m wearing ::
Dress - Nova maxi
Shoes - Talena heels
Bracelet- Gilded Paths cuff
Clutch - Rosie Raffia

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T H E   G I F T

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I remember my Grandma telling me years and years ago about the old fashioned concept of a ‘bottom drawer’. It was, so I learnt, a little set of crockery and linens and all sorts of other homewares that a young couple would collect together and save, ready for when they could afford to move into their own house and set up home together. I thought that that concept, of a little collection of gathered pieces with which to furnish your first home, was such a charming and sweet one that it captured my heart and has stuck with me ever since.

This little wedding gift box is a nod to that sweet ‘bottom drawer’ tradition of gathering. Instead of the usual registry selection or vouchers, I propose picking out some lovely activity for the couple to do together, and putting together a gift box filled with items around the theme. Perhaps pizza making (think pizza stones for creating crispy bases, basil plants, and a wooden serving board) or a cocktail kit (shakers, martini glasses, muddlers, and a bottle of the couple’s favourite spirit)?

For this one, I’ve gathered up all you’d need for a beautiful and lazy weekend morning breakfast in bed- sweet blue-edged glasses to sip fresh juice from, cups as big as side plates to hold froth-topped coffees, beautiful handmade bowls (perfect for granola or oats or for catching the syrup running off a stack of pancakes) and even love-themed porcelain spoons to eat it all with. And, to round out the set, candy striped napkins (for colour and also to act as bed linen protectors…), and a sweetly scented something to brighten up the morning.

Charming, unusual, and oh so personal.

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Summer wedding season? We’re ready for you.

* This post was created in collaboration with Anthropologie. *

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Posted in HOW TO, INSPIRATION, SUMMER, WEDDING, WORN

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