Tell Me Something : The Littlest Things



Hey, I'm Sophie from The Littlest Things. I am a serious long-time reader of Simone's blog. I think her blog was the first blog which I stumbled upon. Since then we have become the best of blog friends and I think of her as being my UK mum. She is so lovely! So, I am extremely happy to be guest posting for her today.


Town or Country? 
I'm definitely a town/city girl. But the idea of escaping to the country is so magical. I need to make it happen more often!

Music or Books? 
It definitely used to be music. But now I think it's a tie between the two. I have so many books I want and need to read but everytime I get to the bookshop I always forget which ones I'm looking for. Think I need to ask Simone for a list haha.

Perfect day - shopping/spa or doing absolutely nothing? 
Shopping and Spa would is my idea of the best day ever.

London, Paris, New York or Sydney?

 Sydney...all the way! It has to be the most amazing city, with the most incredible beaches on your door step. But after that it's New York. Only because I haven't visited it yet.


Bread or Cake? 

Cake, cake, cake, cake, cake....CAKEE!!

McDreamy or McSteamy? 
McDreamy all the way. So beautiful and sexy. I have a major crush on him haha.

Romantic Hero or Action Hero?
It would have to be a bit of a mixture.

Prince William or Prince Harry? 
Prince William.

Catherine or Pippa?
 Catherine for sure. She has to be the most beautiful person in the world.

Heels or favourite winter boots? 

This is a toughy...I would have to say heels. Probably only because you don't really need proper winter boots in Sydney.

French chic or Italian sex appeal? 
French chic. Italian sex appeal has to be done perfectly otherwise it's a bit Euro-trash.

Chocolate or Coffee? 
This one is way too tough. I actually can't call it

Great shoes or gorgeous underwear? 
It has to be great shoes. But if it were between shoes and bags then I wouldn't be able to choose between them either.

Pedicure, manicure or massage? 
Ohh it's a tough one between pedicure and massage. I think it has to be massage.

Talk it out or keep it to yourself? 
Definitely talk it out. I can never keep anything which is worrying me to myself. People know straight away when I'm not myself.

Karaoke - first to sing, last to sing or absolutely-no-way-not-ever? 
Haha definitely depends on how many drinks I have had before the idea of Karaoke comes up. I would probably be the second to get up and sing. Always have to let someone go before me.



1. One beauty product or routine that you would recommend or can't live without? I have never had the discipline or the patience to get into a proper beauty routine. But when living in Australia, the beauty product which I would recommend the most is sun cream, sun cream and more sun cream. And drinking lots of water. But everyone says that don't they.

2. One book you would recommend to anyone or that you love and often return to? Either A Thousand Splendid Suns or The Kite Runner, written by the same author. I loved those books so much.

3. One item that you would take to a desert island (can't be a person!)? Probably a pen and paper to write all my thoughts down. (I cheated a bit as that's two items...oops).

4. One life-changing moment? Meeting my boyfriend, George. If I hadn't met him then I doubt I would be living in the U.K right now. And that is majorly life-changing, since I'm all the way on the other side of the world. :)

5. One movie that makes you cry every time? So many do but I would have to say Mamma Mia. Especially the part when they sing "Slipping through my fingers".

6. Who would play the handsome hero in the movie of your life? 
Either Jake Gyllenhaal or Bradley Cooper.

7. How long have you known your oldest friend? I've known them since I was 2. So it's been 20 years!

8. Your favourite book/movie/song? Favourite book is A Thousand Splendid Suns (but that's not including the Harry Potter series), favourite movie is Notting Hill and favourite song is probably anything by Angus & Julia Stone.

9. Three dream cities you have yet to visit? 
New York, Berlin, Stockholm.

10. Three things still on your bucket list? Learn to speak another language, climb the Sydney Harbour Bridge, take cooking or photography classes (or both).

11. School days - happy or sad, good or bad memories? 
(playing basketball for my school)
Overall...happy and good memories. There are always a few teenage dramas.

12.  What - or who - always makes you feel better on those more challenging days? My mum - hands down! And George of course.

13. Recommend a blog to us? Fash-n-Chips. Christine takes some beautiful photos and has inspiring style.

14. Happier now than you were at 20....honestly?! 20 was not too long ago for me. I feel very much the same person. But I do feel happier than 2 years ago. I started a blog within the 2 years and it makes me so happy. 



Please describe yourself in ONE WORD ONLY :) Optimistic.

Tell Me Something : Athena in the Middle


Town or Country?
Country (but not music)

Music or Books?
Music (bc i love to dance -- anywhere and everywhere)

Perfect day - shopping/spa or doing absolutely nothing?
Shopping and Spa

London, Paris, New York or Sydney?
NYC, baby

Bread or Cake?
CAKE - hello!!!! Pastry Chef here.


....this is Summer, isn't she beautiful? 

McDreamy or McSteamy?
Um...neither?

Romantic Hero or Action Hero?
Action Hero (capes are cool)

Prince William or Prince Harry?
HarryHarryHarry

Catherine or Pippa?
Pippa (for her name)

Heels or favourite winter boots?
Winter Boots

French chic or Italian sex appeal?
French chic with a twist of Boho

Chocolate or Coffee?
CHOCOLAT


Great shoes or gorgeous underwear?
Shoes

Pedicure, manicure or massage?
Massage

Talk it out or keep it to yourself?
Talk it out...sometimes too much.

Karaoke - first to sing, last to sing or absolutely-no-way-not-ever?
I let others go first then I sneak in somewhere in the middle.


1. One beauty product or routine that you would recommend or can't live without?
Mascara

2. One book you would recommend to anyone or that you love and often return to?
The Road

3. One item that you would take to a desert island (can't be a person!)?
IPod with a battery that uses the sun as an energy source

4. One life-changing moment?
losing my fallopian tube and almost my life through an ectopic & my father passing from cancer after fighting hard to get to the remission stage.

5. One movie that makes you cry every time?
Waking Ned Devine


6. Who would play the handsome hero in the movie of your life?
Christian Bale in his American Psycho, although he was not so much a hero but very handsome!

7. How long have you known your oldest friend?
32 years

8. Your favourite book/movie/song?
Book - The Road
Movie - The Dark Crystal (this movie terrified me as a child but I am obsessed with it now)
Song - It's a tie --- The Sunshine Song by Jason Mraz bc my dad and I loved that song/Tupelo Honey by Van Morrison - Daddy sang that to me and we danced to it at my wedding and If You Run by The Boxer Rebellion

9. Three dream cities you have yet to visit?
Auckland, New Zealand; Cairo, Egypt; Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Summer is studying at night school to be a pastry chef...this photo of her makes me smile :)

10. Three things still on your bucket list?
Sky-dive, climb a mountain, find complete inner peace

11. School days - happy or sad, good or bad memories?
Grammar School = bad bc I was teased and called the Jolly Green Giant.
High school - good and funny.

12. What - or who - always makes you feel better on those more challenging days?
My kitty boys -- Oliver and Tabasco

13. Recommend a blog to us?

14. Happier now than you were at 20....honestly?!
I cannot really say happier, but wiser for sure.
I believe happiness comes and goes throughout your whole life and I try not to compare the old days to the new.
There is plenty of happiness to go around and if I cannot find it, I make it.

Please describe yourself in ONE WORD ONLY :)
-- all that and the kitchen sink. kidding! resilient

And finally, what is the one thing you know for sure?
Life is too short to be unhappy.


I met Summer Bailey Brown (as I like to call her as it's such a lovely name!) through her blog
Athena in the Middle last year and we just connected.
We met in fact when her Daddy - Daddy Butch - was very ill with cancer.
Summer is in NYC and her Daddy was in Louisiana...
Something about the situation and the way Summer wrote about Daddy Butch touched me and I wrote about them here and here ....
Summer had started a "Dollar for Daddy" plan and through my blog, so many of you wrote to Daddy Butch and supported Summer and her family, it was amazing....

Unfortunately, Daddy Butch passed away on October 24 last year....Summer has had an unbelievably hard time.

She is though the most positive - and yes, resilient, girl - you can literally see her pushing herself forward to her goals and dreams.
She writes a great and very honest blog and I am just very fond of her, I know she's a special and very inspiring girl.
She deserves great things.
Thanks so much for writing this for me Summer XX


Tell Me Something : Wildflowers


Town or Country?
I am a small town girl that adores the country ~ how is that for skirting the question!

Music or Books?
OK ~ I cannot choose ~ I cannot imagine my life without either of these

Perfect day - shopping/spa or doing absolutely nothing?
Doing absolutely nothing ~ staying in my pj’s and reading a really good book


London, Paris, New York or Sydney?
Since I have only personally been to one I will have to say New York although London and Paris are on my bucket list

Bread or Cake?
Bread ~ hands down. Squishy fresh bread please

McDreamy or McSteamy?
McDreamy please ~ with whipped cream on top


Romantic Hero or Action Hero?
Romantic Hero all the way ~ I am a sap!

Prince William or Prince Harry?
Wills ~ I think Diana would be proud

Catherine or Pippa?
Catherine ~ she is stunning and carries herself so well. She seems comfortable in her own skin

Heels or favourite winter boots?
Although I cannot wear the heels that I used to I still love to drool over them


French chic or Italian sex appeal?
Ooh la la ~ give me Italian please

Chocolate or Coffee?
I need my coffee in the morning but I would never be able to give up chocolate

Great shoes or gorgeous underwear?
Great shoes all the way


Pedicure, manicure or massage?
Love my tootsies being pampered so a pedi for me please

Talk it out or keep it to yourself?
I tend to do a bit of both but talking it out is the healthier option

Karaoke - first to sing, last to sing or absolutely-no-way-not-ever?
I am usually in the first group of singers ~ it’s all about the music


 
1. One beauty product or routine that you would recommend or can't live without?
I take my makeup off every single night ~ wish I had of started this when I was in my 20’s. Moisturize each and every day ~ my fav is Victoria’s Secret Hand & Body Cream in Pear Glace

2. One book you would recommend to anyone or that you love and often return to?
I so enjoyed reading Water for Elephants and would recommend it to anyone

3. One item that you would take to a desert island (can't be a person!)?
My MP3 player or an iPad with endless battery life!


4. One life-changing moment?
This is a sad one but it would be the day I lost my Dad. It was the first time that I truly felt such a deep loss and having that hole in my heart was huge and changed my life and how I see some things

5. One movie that makes you cry every time?
Dumbo makes me cry and so does Armageddon ~ yup and action packed movie and I was a slobbering idiot!


6. Who would play the handsome hero in the movie of your life?
Richard Gere ~ I could watch him read the phone book

7. How long have you known your oldest friend?
Well since we started Grade 1 together it would have to be Robyn & Tracey ~ we have been friends for 41 years ~ wow I am old!


8. Your favourite book/movie/song?
I have some favourite authors but not one book that I would call my fav.
Pretty Woman has always been on my fav movie list along with St. Elmo’s Fire and Shawshank Redemption.
There are so many songs that speak to me ~ I Hope You Dance by LeeAnn Womack ~ Crazy for You by Madonna and Switchin to Glide by the Kings are on my playlist.

9. Three dream cities you have yet to visit?
London (because of a special girl), Nashville (for my love of country music) and Las Vegas (it is a place that Trev & I want to experience together)


10. Three things still on your bucket list?
Travel, travel, travel and see as much as I can see

11. School days - happy or sad, good or bad memories?
I had lots of friends and had great times so all in all very happy memories

12. What - or who - always makes you feel better on those more challenging days?
I turn to my blog list when I need a chuckle or want to feel inspired

13. Recommend a blog to us?
Farmgirl Paints ~ Becky is such a beautiful person inside and out. I love her honesty, her photography and her faith. It is one of my must reads.
(I read Becky's blog too Lori and love it, it's a great read. I really like Becky, she is wonderfully honest.)

14. Happier now than you were at 20....honestly?!
I am wiser and more content with myself now so I would have to say that I am happier now. I had a blast in my 20’s ~ did some stupid things but I lived through them.


Please describe yourself in ONE WORD ONLY :)
Loyal (kind of makes me sound like a dog!)


And finally, what is the one thing you know for sure?
I know that girlfriends are truly the best treasures in the world.
Whether they have been by your side for years and years or loving you from afar.
No one can tell you like it is or pick you up and dust you off like a girlfriend can.
We are all sisters in our own special way.


Lori is from Canada and writes the blog Wildflowers ....
we've known each other for over 10 years now and - thankfully for me - she is, quite simply, part of my every day XX







Tell Me Something : Miss Sew & So

Hi all you lovely *Bottom of the Ironing Basket* readers...
I'm pretty delighted to be here...
Simone & her gorgeous blog are a daily read for me...
Cup of tea in hand...I pour over her pictures & take in her words...
A friend like Simone makes this bloggy caper all the more delicious- don't you think...?
 So...welcome to my life...
An Aussie, beach-reared, sandy toed Sydney gal in the gorgeous wilds of the english side...
three bambinos & patient, loving husband in tow...

Over a big pot of tea...this is what Simone had me thinking....


Town or Country?
country by the ocean!


Music or Books?
both everyday


Perfect day?
doing absolutely nothing but sitting in the sunshine in the garden with lunch wafting from the kitchen...


London, Paris, New York or Sydney
my heart belongs to Sydney...but Paris makes it sing & london makes it creative...

Bread or Cake?
hands down...bread & any derivative of...


McDreamy or McSteamy?
a McDreamy gal...


Romantic or Action Hero?
hmmm...can i say an adventurous romantic?


Prince William or Prince Harry?
Harry


Catherine or Pippa?
Kate


Heels or fave winter boots?
boots until those first summer evenings when the season changes...painted toes...dinner outside...heels!


French chic or Italian sex appeal?
flippantly I go from a serious lover of all things simple, chic & french to desperately wanting big hair, bigger lips and an *attitude of drama* whilst in Italy!


Chocolate or coffee?
chocolate & tea


Great shoes or gorgeous underwear?
shoes...shoes...shoes...the australian girl in me likes simple, but lovely, underwear...no lace and absolutely no red!!

Pedicure, manicure or massage?
for total relaxation- absolutely nothing beats a massage...then a big chair in the garden...to paint my own toes...


Talk it out or keep it to yourself?
hmmm...maybe my husband should leap in here!
Why keep it all inside when you have someone you love ready to listen....!?


Karaoke? Up first, last or absolutely-no-way-not-ever....
at home, absolutely first up (much to the continued angst of my gorgeous children!!)
...in public....shriek- no thanks!



1. One beauty product or routine that you would recommend or can't live without?

I cannot live with out No 7 Protect & Perfect Intense Beauty Serum..... , Burt's Bees Lip Balm..., Garnier Sun Protection Lip Care factor 20..., Issey Miyake's l'Eau d'Issey...,CK One by Calvin Klein...& if we are anywhere near the ocean- an early morning swim to get my circulation & energy levels going for the day.

2. One book you would recommend to anyone or that you love and often return to?

"A Thousand Splendid Suns" made me lose all concept of time...each time I picked it up, the rest of my day stood still. With two daughters, I was moved to tears of despair & hope, reading of the lives of the young girls & women in Afghanistan.
(I absolutely agree with you on this book Melissa, it's one of a rare handful of books that made me cry, it's an incredible read. Simone)

3. One item that you would take to a desert island (can't be a person!)?

Hmmm...I would have to say a mosquito net...for both the *obvious* & the *visual* factors...nothing says *tropical paradise* like a mosquito net hung between the trees...

4. One life-changing moment?

The moment our first child was born- my life changed forever....where does all that love come flooding from?...& how does it just continue to flow & grow as the years roll by?
We now have an abundance of the stuff flowing over three gorgeous little souls....



5. One movie that makes you cry every time?


Oh Simone...I have to say I'm a cry-er...big time- good tears, sad tears...all tears really...

I'm ok with this- my kids tease me endlessly-so I should probably list a movie I don't cry in!
Marley & Me gets me as much as Doctor Zhivago!


6. Who would play the handsome hero in the movie of your life?

George Clooney- I don't care that he has commitment issues...it's all good in the movies!


7. How long have you known your oldest friend?

7. My oldest friend, the one that caught my eye on my first day at *big* school, my first real, I-chose-her-myself-friend, was also a Melissa. We were 4 years old & so very, very happy to have found one another.
Our greatest moment was *Book Week*- year 2, when we went as Snuggle Pot & Cuddle Pie- an old Australian bush/fairy tale about two best friend Gum-nut babies....


8. Your favourite book/movie/song?

There is nothing like *One Hundred Years Of Solitude* by Gabriel Garcia Marquez.

I read it the first time on Green Island- a stunningly beautiful island off the coast of Australia...
My favourite holiday reading to date.

9. Three dream cities you have yet to visit?

New York City- I'm plotting big time....Cairo...still plotting & Havana, Cuba...dreaming...

10. Three things still on your bucket list?

How big can my bucket be?
I would love to build a home in countryside by the ocean...have chickens, a larger allotment than our little vege garden & views of the sea...
I'd love to start my own buisness, run from a lovely old shop, with wooden floorboards & high ceilings, where I could sew & drink tea all day...
I'd also like to take our children back to Venice...there is something magical about a city built on the water that I want them to understand...

11. School days - happy or sad, good or bad memories?

I went to school in sandals almost all year round, it was a little primary school over the sand dunes from the beach in Sydney...
In those days- the Northern Beaches of Sydney had a very small population & it was an alternate, pretty organically driven kind of start to life...
Make Do & Mend was the local mantra....so my school days started with a great deal of creative freedom & I pretty much loved them through to graduating from HS...


12. What - or who - always makes you feel better on those more challenging days?

Without fail, every time, my husband & kids...they totally know how I *tick*...they know I need hugs, a lot of laughs & a little space every now & again...

They get unconditional love from me & somehow they seem to just give it right back. In saying that, I think my son recognises the need for *loving* me a bit more some days- but, bless him, he makes sure the girls are up to speed on that!

13. Recommend a blog to us?

A blog that always visually inspires me is Sweet Style by Mrs A in the Cove
Leanne is incredibly creative & life is always lovely at her little place in the blog world...

14. Happier now than you were at 20....honestly?!

Oh what a brilliant question Simone- I can honestly say that I am sooo happy where I am now!
To sit in our country garden in England, 12,000 miles from our beach home in Australia, watching my kids thrive through travel & a love of the world is just perfect...
to do it with the man I fell in love with at 21 is all I can ask for.

Please describe yourself in ONE WORD ONLY :)

LOVING



And finally, what is the one thing you know for sure?


The one thing I know for sure-

Life is not eternal & we should embrace each day with the people we love...


I fell in love with a man a long time ago who shared my desires to have a family...to raise them on the beaches of Sydney , Australia & to take them to live abroad, to help them discover the world...


I know that to live a life we can one day look back on, with gratefulness, passion & a sense of giving our family a true understanding of the world- emotionally, geographically & spiritually- is what I truly hope for.


I know for sure, that our three children, whilst being regular kids, are the most rounded, wonderful, caring, loving human beings we could have hoped for.

I know for sure, that travel allows one to have a real understanding & a true tolerance of all others...that it unites a family like no other experience can...& that it creates life long memories that should be celebrated.


I know for sure, that had we not embraced life, not jumped into the deep end of change with our children in tow, that we'd have missed these endless moments living abroad, that make up who we are....as individuals & as a family...
&
I absolutely know that nothing tastes as good as home-made bread...everyone should make it at least once in their life!


SO...that's me in a nutshell...over a pot of strong English tea...

Simone's *token* Australian girlfriend living in the English countryside...
Trying to fit as many vintage goodies & memories...travel & love as I can into our time living abroad...
I can't hug you enough for having me over here in your *Ironing basket* sweetie...
I've loved it!
Melissa xox


You can find Melissa at Miss Sew and So 

Thank you so much Melissa for a gorgeous post....I had lots of "me too" moments reading this!
You are one special girl XX

Tell Me Something : Hey Gorgeous


Town or Country?
Town

Music or Books?
Music

Perfect day - shopping/spa or doing absolutely nothing?
Spa day

London, Paris, New York or Sydney?
New York,  hands down

Bread or Cake?
Cake

McDreamy or McSteamy?
McMuffin, Seriously.

Romantic Hero or Action Hero?
Romantic Hero

Prince William or Prince Harry?
Prince Harry

Catherine or Pippa?
Kate Kate Kate please

Heels or favourite winter boots?
Heels

French chic or Italian sex appeal?
French Chic

Chocolate or Coffee?
Chocolate.

Great shoes or gorgeous underwear?
Great shoes

Pedicure, manicure or massage?
Manicure

Talk it out or keep it to yourself?
Talk it out

Karaoke - first to sing, last to sing or absolutely-no-way-not-ever?
First to sing. Always.



1. One beauty product or routine that you would recommend or can't live without?

Foundation. And manicures.


2. One item that you would take to a desert island (can't be a person!)?
My iPhone, and its charger (that's two items, I know eeek!)


3. One life-changing moment?
Realizing it's ok to say No. This was so pivotal for me as a woman and a professional.


4. One movie that makes you cry every time?
The Notebook, Romeo and Juliet, you know all the sappy ones. I cried in Bridesmaids. Sigh.


5. Who would play the handsome hero in the movie of your life?
Ryan Gosling. Except him and my brother look alike. That could be slightly odd? Michael Buble?



6. How long have you known your oldest friend?
Since grade school, but my closest friends are through my gymnastics teams from childhood

7. Your favourite book/movie/song?
Make You Feel My Love - Adele

8. Three dream cities you have yet to visit?
Fiji, Greece and where I am from, Serbia.


9. Three things still on your bucket list?
Go to Greece, run a marathon, buy a pair of Louboutins :)

10. School days - happy or sad, good or bad memories?
Depends on the year to be honest!
A bit of everything though which is always good for the purpose of learning valuable lessons!


11. What - or who - always makes you feel better on those more challenging days?
My faith. And a clean house. And maybe an iced latte.



12. Recommend a blog to us?
I recommend turning off the computer and reading a book :)



13. Happier now than you were at 20....honestly?!
Absolutely. I'm only 25 now but I have grown so much in just five years.
I look forward to the next five years of my life.




Rhiannon writes the blog Hey Gorgeous and is the creator of Hey Gorgeous wedding events.
Thank you so much for writing this for me Rhi XX

Dreaming of cupcakes

Hello readers at the bottom of the ironing basket! How is it down there? Not tangled up in too many tea towels I hope? I am rather delighted to be here with you today sitting in while Simone suns herself across the channel (or should that be the Chanel?). You can normally find me comfortably ensconced on my blog - The Wright Stuff where I like to entertain with 'pen and paintbrush'.



The idea for this post came to me while I was out running - face glowing, lungs screaming for more air and muscles crying to be home on the sofa. I guess that motivational experts would no doubt shake their heads in pity to read that I spend my exercise time thinking about sweet treats. It's hardly the right sort of visualisation technique; but I find that running with nothing to do but let my mind wander is when my creative ideas start to take shape. It may be something to do with the lack of oxygen to the brain or just a further example of artistic eccentricity, but I'm willing to work with it.

So, where we were we? Ah yes, CUPCAKES!


When I was a lass, these came in a 2 inch high box from the supermarket. They were a flat-topped fairy cake with some icing filling up the rest of the wrapper. Deciding how to eat them was all part of the experience. Would we peel off the icing first or munch the sponge? Or should I combine the crumb and the cream in an all enveloping sweet concoction?

Now things have moved on. We are faced with a work of art. My pondering takes the form of wondering not what part to eat first, but whether I should try to capture its majesty on canvas or memory stick! The icing now tends to be bigger than the cake which in this frugal day and age is quite an oddity. It oozes with calories, buttercream, soft sweet cheese and so much sugar. Little stars and sparkles adorn it and twinkle at your teeth as they move towards the nerve-tingling first bite. Ahh...


Of course, living in the boondocks as I do, we (perhaps fortunately) are not overflowing with chichi cafés and patisseries displaying the latest collections and charging a sweet fortune when we succumb to desire and a skinny latte. Rather, the burghers of this town are still hooked on custard tarts, jammy donuts and iced buns with the occasional exotic yum yum thrown in for good measure. It's all really rather dull.



Instead, the crème de la icing crème of the cake world must be hunted with a predator's skill, while remembering that looks can be deceiving. Less can sometimes be more and the prettiest of pastel shade and most delicate of drizzling could end up tasting worse than the artificial cream oozing out of donuts on the High Street. Clearly much sampling must be done to ensure we get things just right...

It's a tough old world being a cupcake hunter in these parts... Maybe playing with pictures in PhotoShop and coveting knitted ones are a safer and less calorific bet.



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