Then I got struck down myself, thinking I had a kidney infection (I didn't, turns out my kidneys are not where I initially thought which is mildly embarrassing) which actually turned out to be a back ache which poleaxed me more than I would have possible really. After spending a day at home in a considerable amount of discomfort then a verging on miraculous recovery overnight I didn't know what to think.
The first day back at work was something of a reluctance, still feeling quite tired and miserable but my spirits were lifted when I received flowers by post. Even the postman was excited! He naturally assumed they were a surprise so I congenially played along with feigned shock that the were for me. Well, who wouldn't?!
Blossoming Gifts was the best thing to happen midweek. I was excited to get into the neatly packaged box; the bouquet was really well protected and had a nifty wet/dry sheath to the stems to ensure they didn't dry out during transit but equally didn't flood the box. I didn't know which vase to use to display them so I prepped two and in fact had to use the larger of the two as there was a larger bouquet than it originally looked like (due to being arranged by someone who clearly knows what they're doing). I was delighted to find so many lilies amongst roses and more flowers (which I assumed were gerberas but I'm thinking now that they're not) plus a generous mix of greenery and almost daisy-like sprays.
The lowlight of the past weeks started at 4am on Monday morning when C started getting super ill with a vengeance. I spent the day checking on him and holding up glasses of water and cranberry juice for him to drink and checking he was still conscious (the kind lady at 111 really put the wind up me with her chilling advice at 6:30am of 'if he starts fitting or loses consciousness call 999 immediately'). So it was a worrying day, which fortunately was followed by a much less stressful Tuesday.
I'm a fan of buying cheap flowers and love to treat myself once in a while, a pretty display in a vase is uplifting every time I set eyes on it. It works wonderfully as a gift from a loved one of as a gift straight to yourself.
Massive thank you to Blossoming Gifts for making my days so much brighter by sending me this gorgeous bouquet to review. Nine days in and it's still looking pretty.
Get yourself a whopper of a discount with my code BGIFTS33 which gets you 33% off a bouquet (except the flowers by post range). Let's call it a gift from me to you xx
I'm a girl in love with the countryside, it's where I belong. It's my home.
The golden fields of wheat are now being harvested at a rate of knots, the last few remain and I'm making the most of every remaining crop I catch sight of. The bushy ears are reluctantly giving way to the shorn stubble ready for ploughing and another facelift which is sad in a way, I'm not ready to wave goodbye to summer just yet...
I'm always confused when people wear the most boring clothes while out and about in the countryside. There is no need! You can dress exactly how you want, there are no rules. I'm a believer in dressing yourself happy; a flowing skirt or a pretty dress can completely change your mood (and it beats wearing shapeless trousers any day of the week). I'm a country girl and I shall dress as I please. My latest discovery is the most exciting brand for me (ever) Country Attire who specialise in fabulous clothing for the countryside. Both practical and gorgeously chic clothing, a great range of stock to suit a whole host of budgets. I'm impressed! So many high quality names I'm familiar with and a few new introductions to boot. I'm lusting after most of the pieces they have for the new season. I can't stop thinking about the new pieces in for Autumn it's got my mind whirring for some wonderful new outfits for the cooler days.
Today I chose a pleated midi skirt and a loose cotton top along with the most amazingly high quality shoes I have ever worn (or ever been allowed to touch come to that). These Grenson Joanie tan leather brogues are perfect for wearing with skirts or shorts and come Autumn, I'm thinking a pair of jeans and/or smart trousers with a neat turn-up and a chunky knit jumper or long socks and a pinafore.
How dreamy is this perfect cross body bag from Joules? It's going to be a staple on my days out; a good size without being too chunky, I can fit all my must-haves in plus a couple of extras and wear it comfortably, you can't beat a crossover bag for comfort and practicality when you have a few things to carry with you. The quality is really high so I'm happily looking forward to using it for years to come!
Are you a countryside lover like me? I hope you check out County Attire because they will revolutionise your wardrobe, I know I can't resist.
This is a collaboration post with Country Attire, all opinions my own as always
It's a special thing to capture a moment in a way that feels like a true representation of how it felt to be there at that precise point in time. My photography goal is to be able to set down in a series of pictures exactly how I saw things. I'm a believer of taking in the absolute joy and wondrousness of everything nature has on offer. The ordinary is not ordinary. It might happen every day, every single day, but it is far from mundane. Everything is special and magical and amazing. I desperately want to be able to recreate in images how I'm seeing everything. Taking one stand alone photograph to put on a wall in a gallery is of little importance to me; I don't go out looking to take 'the' picture. I go out with the aim of capturing the absolutely fascinating way that things just are.
The sun yawns and stretches, tired eyes blinking slower until it admits defeat and steadily winds it's way towards bed; the welcoming duvet of the horizon proving too much of a draw to resist. It slips under slowly at first before vanishing altogether leaving a fading glow in it's wake.
Warm sands; your silky, micro grains flow under my toes like liquid yet stop and crunch with the strength of granite. Granules ranging from micro pebbles to fine dust cover the beach, the gentle tide laps the shoreline with it's celestial pull leaving curious ridges in the wet sand. The gleaming abdominals ripple their way to the water and vanish below the surface, dissolving into nothing.
The light easterly breeze blows almost intangibly but enough to lift the finest grains of sand and carry them along the beach like a mirage of a river flowing around ankles, an invisible current drawing the dust off to the west. Loose flowing skirts swish and brush against warm skin in the tropical air.
The last of the sunrays catching the particles which sparkle and glitter just to add to the magic.
Maize. Or sweet corn. I'm not really sure whether they're the same thing or slightly different but it's not something you see all that often out our way. When driving on unfamiliar country roads at the weekend I spotted this lush looking field and thought it would be a perfect seasonal backdrop for a couple of outfit photographs.
We'd gone out for a spot of lunch with out much else in mind and it was all white cloud and cool when we left home so I wore this unusual cut of dress. It's clearly got to be worn in the warmer months as it's basically a lace overlay mini dress with elbow length sleeves but equally it's too much for a hot day if the sun is out. I was glad we hadn't planned a whole afternoon's walking as I would have got rather too hot in black. However, for a nice indoor lunch it was perfectly comfortable, not least as the gathering way up under the bust meant that maximum comfort was offered.
The neckline is spot on for me; I adore the high neckline with the buttons and the pretty fabric. I'm not usually sold on half length sleeves but I think they suit the rest of the dress so I'll roll with it.
Red lipstick for a secret smile.
I'm not familiar with many places in the city so to be honest, I too would be asking where can you get afternoon tea in Norwich? Well now I know, thanks to being invited to come along write a review. Sprowston Manor is a Marriot hotel and country club about ten minute's drive from the city. It's so spacious and open and green, we visited on a sunny day and it felt very British to see golfers working their way round the course and we drove up to the hotel. When I heard it was a gin afternoon tea I knew one very willing companion who would happily drink gin and eat cake with me.
The hotel was fairly quiet when we arrived, with about a third of the tables taken in the garden room that we were in. It was spacious and relaxed with a lovely feeling of ease about the afternoon, although things looked set to busy up as we were leaving as a wedding party gravitated inside.
Our waiter was most polite, I have to admit to having one of those moments when I felt terribly gown up when he addressed us as ladies, such attentive service and I really appreciated it.
The table was neatly arranged with a tea menu. There must have been 12-14 different varieties all with a detailed explanation of flavours (I naively assumed we'd be drinking 'just tea'). While Hazel went for mint, I couldn't resist the white pear and ginger which was the right choice; a bounty of flavour and a huge teapot of it all to myself. I only made one error of not using the strainer with small blip in concentration but only two shreds of leaf flowed out so it wasn't the end of the world. Unlike my dining buddy. Ooops.
We started with the finger sandwiches which stuck with traditional fillings: smoked salmon, cucumber, ham and a nice cheese and pickle. We left two; mindful of the remaining three tiers. It was cute little shortbread biscuits and mini macrons next to be demolished as well as the shot glasses of thick mousse. Mine was lemon (yum) and Hazel had the milk chocolate counterpart which looked super rich. Controversially, I leapfrogged straight to the scone on the top tier and set about layering it up with strawberry jam. My appetite conked out partway through the second half of the scone so I enjoyed the last of the tea from my pot. The slices of walnut cake were in fact banana and walnut but barring a crumbling at one corner they remained in situ. No room.
Hazel nobly worked her way through both gins which was met with a seal of approval (as I was designated driver and I steadfastly refuse to drink even a little bit before getting behind the wheel). We were feeling rather smug about how well we'd done when the smile was rather swiftly wiped from our faces as our cheerful waiter appeared with a large chocolate cake on a trolley. Instinctively, we politely decline but he looked so crestfallen that I suggested we had one piece to share between the two of us. Hazel had a token mouthful and I somehow ate most of the rest.
It's fair to say we were full when we left and happy too.
Thank you to Sprowston Manor for inviting us along!