What I loved in September

Uncategorized

Hello, it’s me again!

To tell the complete and honest truth, I completely forgot that I had even started this blog. I came back to it earlier this week after almost a year and remembered that I do love to sit and write about this and that, and have therefore decided to apply no pressure to myself and dip my toe back into the WordPress pool, if you will.

It’s a new month (can you actually believe that it’s October, somebody stop the world I wanna get off) and I thought there was no better place to start than to wax lyrical about the things I loved throughout September.  Without further ado, here is “What I Loved in September”.

For most of my adult life I have been hunting for the kind of perfume that people recognise you by. You know when you catch a whiff of a certain scent and from that you can be sure that a certain person has been there? Well, in September I stopped being tight and bit the bullet after years of leaking droplets from a tiny sample vial and splashed out on a bottle of Jo Malone’s Pomegranate Noir. And I can tell you, I have zero regrets about this decision. At first I thought maybe it was a bit too grown up for me – too spicy, rich and dramatic for someone who is only one of those things (figure that one out for yourself) but it has really grown on me and is most definitely going to be my A/W scent of choice. It has staying power and settles well on my skin, and considering I don’t know anyone else who wears it, it could well become my signature scent.

I have been following Liv Purvis on Instagram for a few months, and this month she has cost me a bit of money by influencing me to buy new clothes. Props to you Liv, it’s is no easy task. Despite having a full wardrobe, I do try my hardest to not buy clothes unless I absolutely love and cannot live without them. That’s certainly the case for this star embroidered jumper from Mango. It’s the cosiest jumper and is so easy to chuck on and yet still look like you put thought into your outfit. I’ve been styling mine with dark blue skinny jeans and white Converse, as well as this gorgeous jacket that I just had to buy from M&S, seeing as we’re between seasons here in Cumbria. Another chuck on item (are you sensing a theme?) that I’ve truthfully worn every day since I bought it in the first week of September. I don’t wear a lot of grey but find that this is smart-casual perfection.

However, the main splurge this month has been on this console table/desk that I discovered in the clearance section in TK Maxx after deciding only 2 hours earlier that I desperately needed a desk. And dear reader, I couldn’t have wished for anything more perfect. I’m not really blessed with space and needed something that would be compact enough not to infringe on my bedroom and yet still wide enough to host my laptop and a few extras. My wish was well and truly granted for less than 50 quid. It’s so nice to have somewhere quiet to sit and be able to use my computer properly and feel productive, and I hope it might even encourage me to stick at this blogging malarkey (don’t hold your breath).

Why do you need to be productive if you aren’t planning on sticking at your blog, Isabelle? I’ve actually been teaching myself how to code this month. After 2 years of watching my boyfriend get himself a degree in typing gobbledegook/computer science, I’ve been bitten by the coding bug and was so thrilled a few weeks ago when I made a mock-up website homepage about cows (what can I say, I was in a cow mood) and it actually worked. I’ve been learning from an amazing resource called W3Schools and doing exercises and quizzes in an effort to upskill myself in the language of computers. It might not take me anywhere but in this digital age it can’t be a bad thing to have on your CV …

I’m still loving swimming a year later! In fact I’m currently taking part in the Aspire Channel Swim in which I need to swim 22 miles/1416 lengths in the space of 12 weeks. I won’t lie, it’s been a bit tough, I’m currently at the end of week 3 and have had to really push myself out of my comfort zone to hit the 120 lengths I need per week to hit my target on time. Saying that, I managed a mile, or 64 lengths, in 2 of my sessions and felt strong and fit afterwards. I’m definitely feeling myself getting stronger even if I am going through ibuprofen gel at an alarming rate. At the time of writing I’m on 5 and a half of my 22 miles with 9 more weeks to go! Touch wood I’ll stave off the bugs that are doing the rounds at the moment and get it finished on time.

Aspire is a charity that helps people suffering with spinal cord injury, and provides them with opportunity, independence and choice. If you’d like to find out more about Aspire then click here or if you’d like to sponsor me then please click here.

Well, almost 1000 words later and I think we’re caught up! Thanks for sticking with me and hopefully I’ll see you soon! But let’s not make this about me – what did you love in September? Leave me a comment and let me know. Speak soon!

Love, Isabelle X

 

Advertisements

MAKE THINGS WITH ISABELLE #1 – TEA TOWEL CUSHION

Uncategorized

Hello hello,

Welcome to my first craft post! I’m quite the crafty cat and I love to make things, be it knitting, stitching, baking, jewellery making – I always get a Hobbycraft gift voucher for my birthday and Christmas, put it that way.

I also love upcycling and finding new uses for things, so I was very excited to share with you my Christmas themed DIY tea towel cushion cover! It’s so cheap and so easy, all you need to be able to do is sew 2 straight lines – honest! Read on for the full tutorial…

youwillneed

You will need…

A tea towel of choice
Scissors
A sewing machine/needle and thread
Pins
A tape measure
A cushion pad (I get mine from Wilko for less than £1)
Trimmings (Optional)

STEP ONE (only applies if you’re adding trimmings, if not, skip to step 2)

detail

Cut to size and attach your trimmings of choice to the edge that you’d like to be facing outwards. This is adhesive lace from The Range and you literally just peel off the backing and stick it on to your fabric. (Told you it was easy).

STEP TWO

foldandpin

Pop your cushion on the middle of your tea towel, which should be facing right side up. Fold each short end up and onto the pillow, as if you’re wrapping it up. It’s very important that you fold up the edge you want facing outwards FIRST, so it’s right when you turn it right side out. When you’ve decided where you want the fabric to sit, pin it in place on one side of the cushion, left or right. Your fabric should look inside out at this point. Then set the cushion aside.

STEP 3

measure

Measure the overlap between each end of fabric. For example, I had 5cm of over lap on this side, so I knew it had to be 5cm on the other side. This helps you to make sure both sides of the cushion are symmetrical. Pin the fabric so that both sides are secure. Your fabric should be inside out to begin stitching.

STEP 4

machine

With your needle & thread or sewing machine, sew a straight line down both sides of your fabric. Note that I sew quite far in to make sure the sides aren’t baggy.

STEP 5

finished

Turn your cushion right side out, pop the cushion pad inside, and voila! A really simple, cheap cushion!

The benefits of using a tea towel are that it’s a decently sized piece of fabric, it’s cheap, and the outer seams are already sewn for you! This would be lovely as a small Christmas gift, or just to brighten up your own house at Christmas time. The cover can be removed and replaced with another seasonal tea towel cover of choice!

I hope you’ve enjoyed reading as much as I’ve enjoyed writing!

Love, Isabelle  X

WONDERFUL WEDNESDAY

Uncategorized

bluevaserose.jpgHello hello,

Welcome back! I’m on my third blog post of the week if you can blooming well believe that?

#wonderfulwednesday was started by fellow Carlisle blogger Sally and I’m excited to post my first! Here’s what’s made my week utterly splendiferous so far…

  1. I was featured this week on Lizzie Woodman’s lovely Instagram and blog! I’ve been really upping my social media game (or trying, at least) so it was a lovely surprise to see that she had featured one of my photos for the second month in a row! You can follow her @lizzie_woodman,She’s got a seriously beautiful feed and is the creator of the #oneperfectthing community. Don’t be shy now, go and say hello!
  2. Working in a department store means that the C word is just around the corner, and we’ve all been busy little elves preparing for the Christmas gift shop to launch! It’s been tiring but it gives me such satisfaction to have a really full, productive day! I feel like I’m crossing everything off my ever-growing list, and things are really starting to take shape. This time next week it will all be ready, and I can’t ait to see what beautiful cards and trinkets we have on offer this year.
  3. I’ve reignited my love for swimming this week, and I’m feeling the benefits already! Back in June I was swimming 3-4km a week and felt amazing, but somehow I gradually went down to just going once a week and not even doing half a km. Never mind, I’m back in the game and embracing that full body ache, it only means you’re getting stronger, after all. No matter how stressed or worried or bogged down your mind is, when you plop yourself down into that water, all you can think about is staying afloat – I often find that I leave the pool with no recollection of why I had a busy mind in the first place!
  4. A bunch of eucalyptus purchased for pence from the market is adding a fragrance to my room that flowers alone can’t seem to manage – what is it about herbs and foliage that just make you feel so refreshed? I’m loving Crabtree & Evelyn’s Gardener’s hand cream for this reason, it’s so earthy and woody and just makes you pine (badum-tshh) for the outdoors.
  5. National Treasure on Channel 4 – everyone I’ve spoken to isn’t watching this for some bizarre reason. It’s a sensitive topic but the cinematography and plot is just so gripping, I’m a bit gutted that tonight’s episode is 3 of 4, but I’m sure there’s going to be some kind of twist soon, maybe with his old mate? Channel 4, Tuesdays, 9pm. You’ll see what I’m on about.
  6. Now that the nights are closing in, I’m finding that my winter rituals are creeping their way back into my routine too. Bath around 7pm with my gorgeous soap form Keswick, PJs on, and a hot chocolate. I’m not really a coffee drinker, it just makes me too antsy, and I find tea after 6pm keeps me up a lot later than I’d like to be. Hot chocolate in my big Cath Kidston mug with a couple of hobnobs is a little end of the day treat, and one I’m happy to continue as the nights draw ever closer.

Well, I hope you’ve enjoyed my first ever #wonderfulwednesday, I’ve certainly enjoyed writing it!

Love, Isabelle  X

HYGGE

Uncategorized

 

Hello hello, how the heck are we?

My post today is on the buzz-word of the moment, the subject of the season, the autumn craze in every lifestyle magazine going – hygge.

What’s that? I hear you ask. Well, hygge (pronounced hoo-gah, I say it like hugger because I think it’s nicer and I never claimed to be Danish anyway) is something that we don’t have a precise word for here in the UK, and is essentially the pursuit of cosiness and inner warmth to help us not to feel as rubbish as we normally would in the colder, darker months.

Imagine fairy lights, candles, a mug of something delicious and great company. That’s hygge. A pair of cosy socks in front of a roaring fire. That tomato soup advert where the girl’s glasses fog up. That (in my opinion) is hygge. It’s about that cosy, warm and safe atmosphere in which you can let your guard down and enjoy the company of friends and family. Speaking in harmony and reminiscing, appreciating the present moment and respecting the people sharing that moment with you. Talking about politics? Go for it – but as soon as it gets heated you’re defeating the object of hygge. Hot drinks > hot heads anyway.  Eat a hearty meal for your tea and savour something sweet afterwards! Light some candles and put your favourite music on, allow yourself to be in the moment and enjoy every second. Pour yourself some cocoa and put your feet up – you know you want to.

Winter is long, and winter is dark. Show yourself some kindness and you may well enjoy it as much as the brighter seasons. Leave me a comment & share your favourite hygge moments!

Love, Isabelle  X

MY WEEK IN PHOTOS

Uncategorized

IMG_20161002_155425.jpg

Hello hello,

I’m back after giving myself a bit of a kick up the backside and reminding myself that I actually spent ages moaning about wanting to start a blog, and now I have one set up I’ve only posted twice. But I’m back! And October is the month that I enter a blogging routine of twice a week minimum! I’m changing my ways you see, and what better place to start that on a Sunday with a round up of my week in pictures?

1.& 2. These photos were taken with my Canon EOS 1000D after a short shower at the Chinese Gardens near the town centre. It’s a funny time of year really, I’d love to be capturing shots of amber trees and morning mist, but alas, it isn’t quite the time yet. I suppose I shouldn’t really wish away the greenery as we’re a long time without it, and I do miss it when it goes. (We did actually have mist this morning but I was too lazy to get out of bed and capture it – tut tut!).

The rose was hidden in plain sight on the footpath, yet to unfurl its delicate petals and wake up into October. The warm light was fleeting and I just managed to catch the warmth in this shot through a break in the clouds. I’ll never cease to be spellbound by the sheer elegance of a rose. They’re just timeless!

The web shot was taken just seconds after the shower, the light was still slightly cold which makes the raindrops look especially clear. Getting the hand of this depth of field lark! Not a bad shot considering I didn’t take a tripod. I’ve added my usual handful of hashtags to this photo on Instagram, and a few of the hashtag owners? moderators? (what do you call them?) liked it themselves, so I’d be pleased as punch if this is featured on one of their pages!

3. Another rose shot – forgive me. This is the last of my mam’s gorgeous David Austen Shropshire Lad and was taken before we cut it to pop in a vase and protect from the scary wind and rain that was forecast for the night! It’s been lovely to clip flowers from the garden this year and I’m begrudging having to pay for flowers for the next few months – but they really do brighten a room and bring positive energy to a space. I’ve actually just bought two pot plants that I’m determined not to kill this time! It’s becoming a bit of a running joke that I can’t keep anything alive, but I promise to try my best this time.

4. Another garden photo, this time an acer. I was drawn to the colours and just wish all the trees looked like this! So impatient! Hoping we’re due to have some bright and crisp autumn days rather than typical Cumbrian soggy ones so I can go on Operation Tree-Hunt!

5. Raspberries in the allotment! There just seems to be rasps by the bucket-load at the moment, they’re totally thriving on the wet weather we’ve had, but unfortunately a lot of the birds and beasties must be loving it too, as many of the raspberries are either nibbled through or playing house to families of spiders or woodlice! I entered this photo (along with a few others) into an Instagram competition and am hoping I’ll find out soon who the winner is! They’ll have their winning image feature on the @igerscumbria page, which has a following of over 2000 people. Wish me luck!

6. Taken this very morning, a cuppa and a pain au chocolate to accompany my Blogosphere magazine. This is the second edition I’ve had and I’m really inspired by the layout and structure of the magazine – it’s also great to see bloggers in another format! It’s given me a bit of inspiration to keep it up with this little blog of mine.

I hope you’ve enjoyed my ramblings, you can see my Instagram posts on my sidebar, or you can come and say hello at @isabelleclapperton !

Love, Isabelle X

My week in photos

Uncategorized

wip

Here’s some of my favourites from Instagram this week! Hopefully this will be a regular post where I can share some of the beauty that’s caught my eye day to day …

  1. I picked up these beautiful clear glass frames from good old M&S this week and love their versatility! They’ve actually got chains on to be hung with, but I’ve been far too lazy to put a nail in the wall… Though I think they look quite effective as they are, don’t you think? The rose print in the larger fame is a card (also from M&S) that I bought to give to someone but couldn’t resist! Botanical prints are quite o trend at the moment, but they’re so blooming expensive to buy, and I’ll be damned if I start cutting up books – utter sacrilege in my opinion!
  2. The lass has only gone and got herself a proper camera. I got a good deal from a friend of my brother who is going travelling and needed the cash, and I have to say I’m already pleased as punch with it. I took it on an outing to the Lakes this weekend for a play with different settings, maybe I’ll publish them on here soon…
  3. Aah, don’t you just love the aromatic scent of sweet peas on a warm, damp summer’s evening? The sweet pea plant in our garden is producing more and more every day, and I have to say, I’m dreading the end of them! Moreso because I’ll actually have to start paying for bunches of blooms rather than embrace the total pleasure that is picking from the allotments and making a little posy by hand.
  4. A ramble by the river was refreshing and relaxing on Thursday, I hunted for ferns and plants to pop in my new frames, and the Mr hunted a boat load of Pokémon. It was a win-win situation! I love the cool feeling that washes over you when you come out of the sunshine and into a tunnel of trees, and the way the light dapples on your cheeks. Hard to believe that in 6 weeks times the leaves will be changing and ready to fall again…
  5. A lady around the corner from me has the most impressive hydrangeas I think I’ve ever seen in my life. I don’t know why I’ve never noticed them in years gone by? I’ve passed them for weeks and weeks until I just couldn’t resist, and took a snap or two. Or three.
  6. More flowers from the garden as I am making the most of them before we have another long winter and all I have to tide me over is supermarket flowers. Not that there’s anything wrong with supermarket flowers, I’m not a floral discriminator! There’s just something so lovely about nipping out the back door in your bare feet and snipping and faffing until you have a beautiful little mismatched posy.

Hopefully I’ll be able to make this a regular feature, I do love a bit of Instagram.

If you aren’t already, you can follow me @_missisabellec

Love, Isabelle

Hello there!

Uncategorized

IMG_5502

Hello!

First things first, welcome to my blog! Well, this is cosy isn’t it? It’s something I’ve intended to start for a long time, and now seems as good a time as any to begin my adventure into the world of blogging. Let’s get acquainted, my name is Isabelle and I’m born and bred in Cumbria, lucky enough to have the Lake District on my doorstep. I work in a department store by day, and trawl Instagram and Pinterest for any and all floral inspiration by night.

I’m new to  blogging though I love to write and journal about everyday life in a small city, and all of the little adventures that crop up from time to time. I’m a big believer that there’s beauty in everything you see, and I love to capture that beauty in photographs, or simply by documenting it. I also love to make things, and it would be pretty cool to have somewhere to share that.

So, I hope you enjoy my little ramblings, I’m sure some form of order and rhythm will happen in time, be patient with me!

Love, Isabelle

X