Bits & pieces 4: Chanel, beetroot and a vintage slip..

Gee whiz it's been busy lately. Some days it seems I barely have time to breathe let alone write a coherent sentence (and I write for a living). I've decided that a few treats are the only way to get by. I'm making this month brighter with:

1. New make up, and Chanel's new spring nail colour called 'April'.

2. Actually finding the time and will to paint my nails.

3. Beetroot for dinner. The bright pink vegetable that truly is the sweetest of them all. Roasted, boiled, raw, grated or baked in a chocolate cake: I adore it all. Especially when the mister cooks it for me and when it's in all shades of gold and pink.

4. A green vintage slip I bought on a day trip to Brighton recently. It's currently soaking in a bucket in my bathtub. A few minor amends and it will be as good as new in no time.

5. Breakfast. I've been making an effort to actually eat breakfast at home before work these days. This is apple, pecans, soy yoghurt and oats. Deliciousness in a bowl.

How do you cope when you are too busy to think? What little things do you do to cheer yourself up?

All photos by me.

The perfect picnic hamper

On Monday I spied a what I thought was a lovely old picnic basket with birds printed on the lid in a charity shop near my work. After thinking about it for three days I went back today and it was still there.

These photos don't really do it justice but I will try and get a better shot of it sitting a lush green field with picnic rug and mighty picnic feast to post.

And... it's not just a picnic hamper with birds on top.... it's a kool bin (or a chilly bin as we call it back home). Brilliant -  the wine and treats will stay cold. I can't wait to christen it. The only con is that I can't fit it into my bike basket as it's too big.

I was quite inspired by this morning's issue of Stylist  with its Rob Ryan designed picnic theme. Time to break out the new Ottolenghi cookbook (Plenty) and make some treats for this weekend's planned adventure to Epping Forest.

In the name of charity

It's a good cause right? Without a doubt the best place to buy old china is from charity shops outside of London. Everything in London is seriously picked over and often overpriced. When you venture further afield there's some real treasures to be found. As I work quite a distance away the charity shops are ripe for the picking. Many a pretty teapot and cup have been found during a lunch hour. The location is top secret as I can't possibly have anyone working my hunting ground.

One of my most recent purchases was this lovely set by a brand called Phoenix. The whole set which includes teapot, sugar bowl, milk jug, large cake plate and five cup, saucer and plate sets only set me back £9. I've seen single vintage cup, saucer and plate sets by Phoenix for as much as £45.

The teapot is a wonderful shape I think and my favourite piece of the set (which I'll post a photo of another time). But it was the cream background with green and gold designs that caught my eye. I'm a sucker for anything green and it's a bit unusual. Normally it's the floral designs that make me open my purse.

That's a new coat in the photo by the way. I have no idea what spring thinks its doing a the moment but it's still freezing and not light trenchcoat weather yet. The new coat just needs some buttons as the ones it has are a bit ugly. So after work I stopped off at my favourite shop in the whole wide world, Liberty and bought some fabulous buttons.

I love buttons. Think I picked that up from my mother and sister who both have "button jars" or tins.  These are the ones I picked up today. Liberty simply has the best range.

Jet and the blakhearts

Time to get stitching!