Finally Friday....

I absolutely LOVE this room, just look at that high ceiling and those fabulous windows.... husband proposed to me in front of the Dakota building and overlooking this lake in Central Park...I've just emailed him this photo :) 

....i don't think i could ever be this organised, i wouldn't mind this pantry though!

Oh, I'm glad it's Friday, so glad.
I'm certainly feeling better than I did at the beginning of the week but two weeks of school holidays starting Monday is definitely what the doctor ordered.
Tennis and netball camp for a few days and then, my favourite holiday activity....exploring London!

I am thinking....a boat trip down the River Thames to Greenwich and the Royal Observatory, Portobello Road, Sloane Square and King's Road, Columbia Road Flower Market, the Monument, Borough Market, Peggy Porschen's amazing cake shop.....

They say that the British talk about the weather a lot but the weather this week has been absolutely skies, sunshine, warm and quite blissful, it would be wrong not to appreciate it ever minute of it, particularly as we never know how long it will last.
It would be wonderful if it was like this next week....we'll see.

I've known my lovely friend Lara for 13 years or so
she used to live near Boston and now she lives near Seattle
we've been through a lot together, ups and downs
we have laughed and definitely cried together
we have a connection which is as strong today as it was when we first met

I say "met" although actually we've never met in person
we're part of an small online group of girls, it's a friendship where we just get each other
there's a shorthand and an understanding
we've talked on the phone and one day we'll meet, I'm absolutely certain of that
she's a comforter, one of those people that's just a constant in my life, 
sometimes she's the voice in my head - reassuring and wise
she's one of those friends that you really wished you lived next door to....   

Lara is creative, caring, emotional, strong and compassionate, kind....
a wonderful mother and super-thoughtful friend
she's funny, wise, clever, she writes a blog here 

today is her birthday so I just wanted to dedicate this post to her....with thanks for everything.
Happy Birthday Lara, I love you sweetie xx

Happy Week-end!!

Monday, Monday....

It's the most gorgeous day in London today....
beautiful blue cloudless skies, blossom everywhere, birds singing.

After literally weeks of having a cough/cold/headache/sore throat on and off and dealing with my children having the same thing, I finally went to the doctor today.

He's been our family doctor for some years now and as soon as he saw me he cheerfully informed me that according to his records the last time he saw me was two years ago and so he knew it must be serious if I was actually coming to see him!!

I don't need reminding that I am a mother....but there's something about sitting in the waiting room for the dentist/doctor that always brings it home to me.

It might sound ridiculous but I never feel as "grown up" as when I go for a medical appointment by myself, in particular the dentist actually.
I guess maybe it's that association of being at the doctor's, being unwell, feeling vulnerable and subconsciously wanting someone to look after you....

The cook, the nurse and the cleaning squad are clearly taking their time arriving at my home....
so in the meantime it's lots of hot tea, antibiotics (even the doctor said "ouch" when he saw my poorly throat!) and some calming and peaceful white images....

And if I'm not better by Thursday, you may have to send soup ;)

Happy Monday!

The winner of the Tempur pillow is Caroline

and to enter the ShopBop $100 giftcard giveaway, enter here 


Giveaway : ShopBop $100 Giftcard - Elizabeth & James, DvF, Hudson?

I'm a big ShopBop fan....the choice of brands available on their website is huge, their customer service is excellent and they ship internationally.

ShopBop are very kindly offering one of my readers a $100 Giftcard.
To win, just be a follower and leave a comment. Simple as that :)
Tweet about it (and let me know) for an extra entry.

Now you just need to choose what you spend it on!

The glamorous Olsen sisters are known for their Elizabeth and James fashion range - Eyewear,  Shorts  and Heels, there's a great range available on ShopBop.

This giveaway is open to everyone.
The winner will be announced on Monday April 2.
You can follow ShopBop on Twitter here

Good luck!

What A Swell Party....

What a fabulous 40th birthday party this is, I spotted it on 100 Layer Cake yesterday and loved it....
the details, the way they have featured orange throughout, the lights and candles, the fact it's in a gorgeous house in New York, the fabulous food....and the "Love, Laughter and Smiles" theme....
absolutely wonderful.

Putting it in my "party file"'s been way too long since I had a birthday party of my own ;)

Spring is here....

first day of spring

lighter mornings and brighter evenings

less layers, no coats

i'm tempted to pack away all our scarves/hats/woollens but perhaps that would be tempting fate?

the birds seem noisier and the wasps and the bees have arrived

salads and not soups suddenly seem like the food of choice

summer holidays & the beach suddenly don't seem quite so far away

neither does swimsuit season, gulp!

life does seem a little easier and more joyful

much easier to get out of bed when sunshine greets you the minute you open your eyes

the day seems to contain more possibilities, I always feel more productive this time of year

today I opened every single window in my house, it felt wonderful

spring birthdays, spring weddings

blue skies, sunshine, apple and cherry blossom

daffodils and snowdrops

the time for dresses and sandals is getting nearer

pedicures and pretty toes

spring is sprung

via StyleMePretty

My Tempur Comfort Multi-Pillow Giveaway ends enter, leave a comment here

To My Daughter....

You arrived 11 years ago today at 7.11pm and exactly two weeks early.
You gave us quite a shock since we were in fact due to be moving house that day and the removal lorry was literally outside the house....
luckily your grandparents arrived to finish and supervise the move and we headed for the hospital.

I didn't have time to be nervous and after being so sure that you were a boy for 38 whole weeks, suddenly there you were....dark hair, brown eyes, all 7lbs and 13 ozs of you.
You went under the heat lamp for a little while and then eventually, Daddy went home....
and it was just you and I.
My beautiful baby girl.
I didn't sleep at all that first night in the hospital, I just couldn't stop looking at you in sheer awe and amazement.
You were my dream come true.

And even now, 11 years later, you still amaze me when I watch you.
You've been the easiest possible child....
there was the first year of course when you hardly slept but that was probably my fault since I couldn't bear to put you down and I'd walk around for hours singing and humming to you while you snoozed on my shoulder!

You were a happy baby, an easy toddler and you have always loved school....
Such an easy child to love, you made friends anywhere and everywhere.
I've never attended a school parents evening where teachers haven't mentioned your empathy and kindness.
I couldn't be more proud of you.
You are my gift.

On one of our first summer holidays in the south of France, you made friends on the beach - 
as you have continued to do every year.
Your friends weren't other children though, they were three older ladies, all 60 years old at least....
one was French, one Italian and one English....
they'd appear on the beach at different times of the day and you would go and sit with them and chat.
You would sit with them quite happily talking away for ages and they were totally charmed by you.
It's an image that I'll never forget....

And that's you all over....
you include and are aware of everyone....
you're honest, truthful and open....
if someone is in the corner of the playground all alone, they never go unnoticed by you, you have a warmth and a charm that people seem to sense.

I often feel that I can't take any credit for the way you have an innate quality about you.
You've always been much were the first child in our family, the first grandchild too.
I went back to work part-time when you were 8 months old and you were cared for on those 2-3 days a week by your two very loving grandmothers. 
I feel sure that the sense of being so loved in those early years in particular has resulted in you being the loving, gentle and kind girl you are today.
Your grandmother S always said you had a special quality about you....and she's right.
You saw your Nonna Luisa diagnosed and dying of breast cancer but you were always brave, you'd hop into bed with her at the hospice and you continued to be the same loving and affectionate child in front of her that she'd snuggled with during your afternoon nap and that she'd picked apples with in the garden.  

You aren't the most confident or outspoken child in your class, but it was you (and only you) that stood up and spoke out about a recent injustice at school, it was you who moved your teacher to tears in front of the class the other week with your wisdom and honesty and it was you about whom a teacher said to me
"you'll never have to worry about her...."

We had 4.5 years of being just the three of us before your brother came along but when he arrived, such an active, noisy, inquisitive ball of activity, you could not have loved him more.
You are wonderful big sister and I have no doubt he's the confident, happy and sunny boy he is due to the fact that he's always had you as his protector and his safety net. 
He's a lucky boy.   

You and I have always been great friends....
you still like to sleep in with me if you can and hold my hand walking to school.
I know these times are precious and fleeting  and are to be treasured....time flies.
I missed you so much on the very first day that you started school almost 7 years ago....
and I still miss you during the day, that feeling has never gone away.

You're great company, a pleasure to have around....
we laugh at the same things, we react similarly to situations and people and we cry at the same things too. 
When we went to see "Charlotte's Web" a couple of years ago, we cried so much that we were the last ones to leave the cinema!! 
Like mother, like daughter....absolutely.

I can see myself in you in so many ways....
you're the same sensible and conscientious eldest child that I was....
you're considered, measured and thoughtful.

But as much as you're like me, you are absolutely your own person too....
you're starting to have your own goals, hopes and dreams.
I want those dreams to come true and if I could wave a magic wand I would....
but I know that you will work hard, you'll travel and see the world, you'll have so much fun, you'll always have many many friends just like you do now - and you'll make your own dreams happen.

You'll always be my little girl even though I know you are on the verge of becoming a young lady - and a very accomplished one at that.

In September you will move on to secondary school, you'll still be able to walk to school but this time it will be by yourself or with friends, more independence for you....
big changes for both of us. 
Exciting ones too will be finding your wings and I know you'll cope beautifully. 
You always do.

What do you love?
you make the best pancakes and are becoming a very good baker.
you love to draw and design.
you love to read.
you love to snuggle and to chat at bedtime.
you've always been a girly girl, loving pink and pretty things.
you love your friends and your family very much.
you get travelsick every time but it doesn't stop your love of travel.
you love those animal rescue programmes where those crazy horrible people neglect their animals/pets - because "there's always a happy ending"!
you love to dance.
you love those very brightly coloured trainers (sneakers) that I bought for you at Christmastime - which-I-really-don't-like-but-I-bought-you-because-I-think-it's-really-important-to-sometimes-have-something-you-love-but-your-parents-hate :) 

Happy Birthday my precious, beautiful, sweet, sensitive and special girl....
to copy what your brother said to me yesterday on Mother's Day
"I love you even more than you think I do" :)

You are all my dreams come true....

Liz Earle Beauty Co Ltd

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