A Year of Moments with Candy Pop and Lobster & Swan ~ August


Simplicity by Candy Pop

Welcome to August and A Year of Moments, a monthly collaboration with the lovely Jeska of Lobster & Swan.

August is a time to relax, unwind and recharge, and so this month Jeska and I would like to slow things down with a little simplicity and space. If you'd like to join in please upload your photograph to Instagram including the hashtag: ayearofmoments_simplicity, along with mine and Jeska's user names. We will share a few favourites on our blogs and Instagram at the end of the month. I'm excited to see your minimalist images and hope you'll enjoy celebrating the simple things in life with us.

For my August image I've included a couple of recent birthday gifts: a wooden bowl from Tinsmiths, Ledbury, and a little pot from Illyria Pottery, Oxford. I teamed them up with a teasel from my parent's garden, a shell from Cornwall and two tiny pansies from our communal garden - don't tell anyone! Just a few tiny things that make me smile.

Simplicity by Lobster & Swan

Jeska's pretty image is made up of a gathering of three of her favourite things: her treasured white lace blouse, some fennel from her garden and her favourite July photograph. Simple and beautiful.

Thank you to everyone who took part during July by sharing their joyful images. I'd like to make a special mention to the gorgeous Xanthe Berkeley who shared her joyful moments almost every day. Here are a few of our favourites.

Joyful by (clockwise from top left): vixbrown, small_acorns, alltomkerstinsarahehemsley, janiceissitt_life_style, heatheryounguk, xantheb, juliabesidethesea, and in the centre harryandfrank.

The year to date can be viewed here: JanuaryFebruaryMarchAprilMay, June and July. I hope you have a simple, relaxing, calm and slow living month.

Native & Co ~ Finding Simplicity in Notting Hill



Simplicity and Craftsmanship

On a recent trip to London I was thrilled to discover Native & Co; an independent shop specialising in Japanese and Taiwanese homewares. Native & Co stock a range of lifestyle products including tableware, kitchenware, textiles and accessories, each item selected for its simplicity and craftsmanship.

I'm fascinated in Japanese design aesthetics and loved looking at the beautiful objects on display. It was a very calming place to be in, and I was inspired by the natural products, minimal layout and clean lines. It certainly helped me to focus on what I'm trying to achieve in my own home.


10 Summer Pastimes


Have you seen the horizon lately?
It's the time for long hazy days, warm sunshine, packing for the holidays, ice cold drinks, sun cream, freckles, pretty dresses, sandles, crisp blue skies and the smell of cut grass. I adore the summer, and here are a few things I'll be doing to celebrate the season.

The rolling hills of beautiful Britain

1. A picnic with a view 

I love packing up a basket of treats and heading out for a lazy afternoon. There’s nothing quite like relaxing outdoors with good food and good company. My favourite places to open my picnic blanket are under a large shady tree or by the river. Guess what I’ll be doing this weekend, weather permitting!

2. Go on a bike ride 

I'm the first to admit I don’t do this often enough, which is strange because Oxford is famous for bikes. But when I do dust off my bike I love to ride along the river, stopping at the country pubs along the way. This year I’d like to explore a little further afield, perhaps taking in some of the scenic country paths.

A macaron and an iced tea with Jeska of Lobster and Swan

3. Meet some new people 

The longer days and lighter evenings make socialising a delight, so why not meet up with a few kindred spirits where you live. I recently organised an Oxford Instameet which was brilliant fun and utterly inspiring.

4. Head to the seaside 

It wouldn’t feel like summer without a day or two by the coast. The sea breeze, crashing waves and sense of space are good for the soul.

I do like to be beside the seaside

5. Something new for my wardrobe

When the weather changes I like to treat myself to something new (hello marvellous espadrilles!). Just one or two items can make my entire wardrobe feel exciting again. And it's fun to experiment with colours and styles I haven't tried before.

6. Switch off and get outside

There's no excuse to be sat in front of a screen when the outdoors is calling. So perhaps take an afternoon, or an entire weekend, to switch off and recharge. If this is not something you do, you'll be amazed at the difference it makes. And trust me, you won't miss anything!

Drinks al fresco with Alex of Aesme

7. Hold a garden party 

Summer is the time for relaxed outdoor living, so make sure you keep your diary clear for all those seasonal invitations. Just don't forget your suncream!

8. Have an ice cream 

When was the last time you enjoyed an ice cream? If you prefer strawberry, mint choc chip or even salted caramel there’s no better way to celebrate the summer.

Ice cream anyone?

9. Try a new beauty routine 

Whether it’s a new perfume or lipstick, it’s nice to try something new. This season I've been enjoying Jo Malone’s Peony and Blush Suede which is a perfectly sweet scent for the summer months.

10. Get creative

I've been spending more time than ever pursuing creative projects. Giving myself the time and space to get lost in creativity has been marvellous. So why not pop to your local craft shop and see what seasonal things inspire you. Or perhaps try flower arranging, as I did last summer.

Creating pretty arrangements at The British Flower School

I hope you have a wonderful summer and do feel free to share your favourite seasonal pastimes in the comments. I'd love to hear them!