Christmas with James… (Brindley not Bond!)

Last week James Brindley Harrogate opened their doors for a festive evening.  As it started at 5.30pm I thought this a perfect ‘grown-up’ event to take my little lady too.  ‘Twas dark outside and a winter wonderland inside with a band crooning away the night we had a really lovely evening!

James Brindley HarrogateJames Brindley Christmas WindowJames Brindley WonderlandJames Brindley: WishJames Brindley baublesJames Brindley FurnishingsJames Brindley SofaJames Brindley Lanterns

Knowing that Momma is always taking photo’s for the blog, Miss P asked if she could take a few… I love seeing what she captures!

We were then asked to be photographed for Yorkshire Life Magazine so here’s our best ‘we are pretending not to be aware of the cameraman’ pose!

Yorkshire Life's capture of us on the night James Brindley candles James Brindley Christmas archwayJames Brindley hedgehog James Brindley stairsJames Brindley: PeacockJames Brindley displayThis is one of my favourite images from the night… one little girl mesmerised by the band, unaware I’m taking the picture of her.

Watching the bandJames Brindley window

 

If you are looking for some fabulous Christmas inspiration, Brindleys is definitely on my recommended list.  Although we do not need ANY more decorations come Christmas, we come away with some gorgeous copper baubles and vase that will be out in the home all year round!

You can visit James Brindleys website here.

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One Battery Pack, Still Gorgeous and a lot of Kitsch

 

 Hey readers, scanners and browsers, hope you’ve all had a great week.  Bit of a mixed-bag week of things I’m loving but that’s life right – bit of this and a bit of that?!
1.  Anyone else a bit of a tech geek?  No?
Ok who is on the go all day and often runs out of phone charge…?
Gotcha!
Hence this weeks first up is the Technet Power Bank.. sexy I know.
Great technology, to me is just that, great, amazing and sometimes darned beautiful (when it works)!  This piece of kit is pretty fab because it meant that last week when we were away we didn’t have the concern about a lack of plug sockets.  It will do eight full recharges of a phone from flat and does iPads too.  Invaluable if you need that kind of a thing, highly recommend.  Bought it on Amazon here.

2.  Second, Still Gorgeous.  We stumbled upon this shop in Harrogate about three weeks ago as we’d parked right outside and saw the pretty dresses hanging out the front.  Picking up about eight off the rail to try, we wandered inside to find it was a kids clothes exchange.
You can buy off the rail and walk out however, if you have old clothes you want them to sell on your behalf, they will do so and you get a percentage back.  We walked away with two big bags of the most amazing quality kids clothing, brands like Massimo Dutti, Benetton, Burberry, Noa Noa and Joules.  We visited again this week and picked up a few colder weather pieces (hello!) and all I can say is it’s well worth a visit.  I generally can’t be faffed with thrift buying/raking through racks to find a bargain… it is JUST NOT MY BAG… but this little place is easy enough to navigate and on the two days we’ve been in we’ve been very happy with our purchases.  They do have a Facebook page apparently … Will find link… Ok here it is (click) to which they post their latest pieces.

3.  Lastly, a little bit of quirky fun.  Headed to the till at Boots I saw a stand with these on display.  Lots of varying designs, I wondered what they were for £7.50 and soon realised – hair ties.  The selling point though, clearly, was that they are a little bit of arm candy too because… ‘who doesn’t have a bobble tied round their wrist at some point?’  Well if you’re one of those people,  these are a bit fab, they hold and don’t snag your hair and just look kinda fab!

 

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CHESTERS by the RIVER

Strawberry Shortcake

“Ooh this time last week”… do you ever say that?  Well we are today because last Sunday we spent a large portion of the day at one of our favourite lifestyle places to hangout, CHESTERS.

Blackboard and Chalk Signage

Chesters is everything you’d want for a relaxed and terribly civilised Sunday.  Nestled by the River Brathay at Skelwith Bridge, everything within its doors is housed behind a beautiful slate facade looking every-bit the part in its woodland surroundings.  Yes, you’d think there’d be a picture of the exterior but it monsooned last Sunday so there was most definitely no way I was going to get that shot!

Cakes, Cakes and more Cakes

Each time we have returned to Chesters from when we first discovered it ten years ago, it has only ever improved; something you would never think it needed because of it being so darn perfect as it was.

Chester the Dog

Complete with outdoor decking you can descend to the river to if you fancy a paddle on a warmer day, else don the wellies and just go for it.  It’s a place you go to gently while away the hours eating, drinking and if you fancy, doing a spot o’ shopping… what’s not to love?

Ok first up, the food…

Food ready to be cooked Orange San Pellegrino Some amazing multi-bean dish Thai Chicken SaladHow do you choose?Victoria SpongePeanut BlondieLemon MerangueBarista at work Cute Tipping Pot

Amazing right?!  The menu is fantastic and extremely good value for money, if visiting you have to play a game I invented here called ‘Cake Roulette’.  Simply buy the same number of cakes as per people in your party (maybe add in a coupe of extras) then take a bite and pass it round!  Means you get to sample more of the INCREDIBLE baking that happens here.

On the other side of the building is an absolutely delightful shop selling everything from books to exquisite pieces for the home, girly things, man stuff.  These pics are only the smallest representation of what’s there but needless to say, post eating it makes for a very happy experience!

 

If you’re planning a trip to Cumbria any time soon, this place is most definitely worth a visit, you can visit their website here to find out more.  Happy Days! X

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Milk Bottles, Mini Rodini and Muchos Veg

Happy Thursday bloggers! Hope you have had a good week and if you’re in the UK have been enjoying this warmer weather… Sooo nice!  This week I’m going to mix it up a little (I know – living on the edge!), so today’s post is ‘what I’m loving this week’ and Sundays’ will be more of a feature post.  Time restraints, life, school holidays are all responsible so we’re just going with the flow! Loving so much right now, where do I start?!

1. Schools out but these milk bottles are in!  At the weekend we threw a baby shower.  It was such a sweet event and more pics from that will be on their way.  Meantime, I wanted to share these with you because if you are involved in hosting any little kids (or big ones) over the Summer then these ‘old school’ milk bottles with candy-stripe straws are super cute and look just delightful!  I ordered these online for £13, inclusive of straws and delivery, check them out (here: click!)

2.   Next up my little girl is LOVING this amazingly cute print dress by Mini Rodini from Herbert and Stella in Ilkley.  I’m not one for buying branded clothes for the sake of wearing a brand, I only tell you it’s Mini Rodini so you know what you’re looking for!  Herbert and Stella is a children’s clothing and toy boutique, they stock up to a size 7 so at nearly age 8 (and very tall) I was dubious as to whether I’d get away with this but it’s perfect and I think we’ll see at least a year/ 18 months out of it.  It also comes in a T-shirt/PJ top, bottoms/leggins, rompers and goodness knows what else!  The new season prints launched TODAY and it’s all very whacky circus prints, so if you fancy something a bit different for your little strong boy or girl then have a look at their online shop here.

3.   Lastly, I posted this picture on Instagram this week. It’s homegrown, allotment veg and it tastes blooming lovely!  The sentiment behind the post you can read below:

Ah you know those lovely people who have feeds or timelines full of all things earthy/ au naturel that you think 'oh too sweet but whose life looks that effortlessly fab'?! He he!!! #score! Ah my Father asked if I wanted any veg from the allotment when they came to visit which I said we would. He walked through the door with it just like this.. A wee #trug which was so picture perfect I was so grateful! There on the bottom left is a #rose he's grown too called #Audrey! Incidentally, the day previous we'd been treated to dinner by my sister (another gift). After they'd all gone home I thought about this #GIFT. I mused that sometimes it can be the finished meal all 'wow' cooked for us and served by waiters that we receive, and then sometimes it's in it's rawest form, complete with slugs coming out the lettuce... Yet both gifts were just that, a gift and so special in their own way that each were appreciated equally. It's not the size or cost of what we give in life, it's the heartfelt outward expression on giving of ourselves, our time, our love, that matters... What do you think? #justsaying #lifestyle #blogger #Yorkshire #vegetables #homegrown

Ah you know those lovely people who have feeds or timelines full of all things earthy/ au naturel that you think ‘oh too sweet but whose life looks that effortlessly fab’?! He he, #score!

My Father asked if I wanted any veg from the allotment when they came to visit which I said we would. He walked through the door with it just like this… A wee #trug which was so picture perfect I was so grateful! There on the bottom left is a #rose he’s grown too called #Audrey.

Incidentally, the day previous we’d been treated to dinner by my sister (another gift). After they’d all gone home I thought about this #GIFT. I mused that sometimes it can be the finished meal all ‘wow’ cooked for us and served by waiters that we receive, and then sometimes it’s in it’s rawest form, complete with slugs coming out the lettuce… Yet both gifts were just that, a gift and so special in their own way that each were appreciated equally.

It’s not the size or cost of what we give in life, it’s the heartfelt outward expression on giving of ourselves, our time, our love, that matters… What do you think? 

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ATTIC Ilkley: more than clothes!

This is a post long overdue.

ATTIC is my favourite local clothing boutique firstly, because of the people  who work there, secondly, because of the clothes (it’s a no-brainer)!

ATTIC is now seven years established.  Owned and run by Sarah Lyles, it is as creative as she is and that’s a lot of creativity!

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Coffee is always a good idea!
ATTIC moved location and quadrupled in floor space three years ago, a big leap for any business which, says Sarah, seems like an age since.  As a wife and Momma of two young boys I do not know how she does it, but let me tell you, she doesn’t stop at ‘running a shop’.  Sarah is always at the fore of some campaign or incentive raising awareness for one cause or another and this month, naturally, she’s on with a well-known cycling event?!  We caught up last week for a little tete-a-tete, here’s what she had to say about business life in Yorkshire.
What is the key to ATTIC’s success thus far?  “To be constantly evolving.  To never get complacent or take things for granted.  I’m in it for the greater good… for the good of our community and you can’t do that without collaboration… collaboration is everything.  Getting around like-minded people is key to running a great business”

ATTIC

Sarah is passionate about community and, as ATTIC sits in a Courtyard (Crescent Courtyard to be precise), it is her dream to see it become known for being a shopping destination rather than the individual shops there in i.e, strength in numbers!
ATTIC Ilkley
Another thing Sarah is brilliant at is her social media and the understanding that it’s crucial for ATTIC to be constantly in front of wider audience.  For me ATTIC has the balance of being present without being over-bearing. I know I am not alone when I say I have gone in to the shop purely because of something seen in the weekly newsletter or on a social feed; Sarah was recently featured on Sky News for the success ATTIC has had with this – her strategy is working!

Quick Q&A in 3…2…1…

Favourite SALE item?

This HOSS piece!  HOSS was a new label picked up this year and it’s been a great season!
P1030993

What’s in store for Autumn?

Colour!  Lots of colourful knits!  We’ve not been afraid to buy colour and we’re really excited about it all arriving… yellow’s, raspberry, melon – just lots of bright and not the usual Autumnal colours we expect.


How do you manage it all?

I have a wonderfully supportive family who believe in what I do and a strong team here in the shop!  Each one of the team brings their unique valued skills that contributes to all we are doing and the success of the business!

 
Sweetie jars

If you are planning on being in Yorkshire for the Tour De France, be sure to head on down to The Crescent Courtyard – they are hosting a 3-day food festival… check out the website (here).  It will be the first of many Crescent Courtyard events and is set to be a goody!

You can engage with ATTIC:

On Twitter

On Instagram

On Facebook

On Google+ 

On Pinterest

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The shop called Nora’s.

Nora's commissions fantastic pieces like this limited edition print for The Tour de Yorkshire. Click on the image to shop.

Nora’s commissions fantastic pieces like this limited edition print for The Tour de Yorkshire. Click on the image to shop.

Hello readers, what a week!  So many of you liked the toast house post; thank you for all your comments and shares, it is really encouraging.

About a year ago I shared my love for Nora’s with you, if you didn’t see that post you can read it here (click!)  The post was the ‘why’ behind the ‘what’ (more words, less pictures).  Since this blog has become more photo’s orientated and as Victoria (very lovely shop owner) is always buying in so many beautiful pieces, I had to re-visit and share some of the amazing things available now, with you all.  It’s clear… there’s just something about Nora’s!

Nora’s is the ‘go-to’ place when you need to get a gift for any member of the family… and you don’t know what to get but then you just end up seeing something… it’s that kinda place.  So whether it’s that last-minute Mothers’ Day or Easter presents – you’ll probably find them here!

For those not local to Ilkley, do visit the newly-overhauled online shop (here).  This revamped site is a great improvement on the old one so do re-visit if its been a while.  Would love to know what you think… what are your favourite pieces?

Top 5 Tips for buying Christmas presents well!

“I just don’t know where to start”… A lady said this to me recently and I became aware that for some people, the task of getting presents under the tree for 24th December is as scary as bungee jumping is for others!
Wherever you are on the Christmas present journey, here’s a few tips that might come in handy. As an advocate for shopping locally, this post is naturally in favour of putting money back into our communities as we spend!
The Olive Branch, Addingham

Beautiful Christmas window at The Olive Branch, Addingham

Dare to try something new!
Your dare should you choose to accept, is to go in shops you never normally do; return to ones you’ve not darkened the doors of for a while.  I recently bought a handbag in a local shop I had no intention what-so-ever in purchasing, but window shopping turned into walking inside and discovering that in fact, the shop had changed a lot since I last went in (years ago) and actually most of it would make fantastic Christmas presents!  My point is, you may be pleasantly surprised.
Fit the person to the present! (Not the present to the person.)
Yes, I really did just say that.  Wherever you have a lot of presents to buy, make a start by finding presents first then asking ‘who will that fit?’  Yes, once you are down to the last few you need to be more selective and find presents to fit people, but starting this way should help you get a few under your belt and that feeling of ‘have made a start’ is only a good thing!
Use your Social Media
Most shops these days advertise their offers and promotional days on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.  So, be aware of your local shops activity by following them on social media then go shopping on ‘said’ day or get them to put whatever you want aside!
Your Country needs you!
You live in the city and your local shops are the high-street brands… What then?  I say shop in favour of your country. Get to know great brands/suppliers who are producing their goods in your county.  A great example in the UK is Boden who are full of fun and quirkiness and the quality is second to none… When you buy Boden, you know it’s going to last!
Second, adopt a local smaller community if you can… I used to shop, eat and workout in Ilkley long before I ever lived here; invest somewhere and it will return the favour in more ways than one.
Make your spend count for others
Buy from places that are doing something for the greater good!  I have bought gifts for family from TOMS this year because I love their brand values and ethos.  Every pair of shoes bought buys a pair for someone in need of a pair in a deprived country-amazing!
One last thing…. If you are one of those people who can somehow wait till 2 weeks before then just go out and manage to nail all your presents on one day, I salute you… Seriously! Respect!
Love to hear your tips and suggestions bloggers – how do you buy?
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