The most indulgent hot chocolate

What do you when you’ve moved house, it’s a mess and you can’t find the things you need the most?

Why, make a damn good hot chocolate, of course.

It’s simple. Blend milk with double cream (roughly 600mls of milk to 150mls of double cream), add a 100g bar of dark chocolate (my favourite is Lindt Excellence 70%), broken up, and bring it ever so gently to the boil, whisking all the while. Enough for about four people, including little ones.

Delicious and just lovely in one of my terracotta tumblers too.

Posted in: Food
Tagged with: , , , , ,

On moving

We are moving house tomorrow.  All day, the packers have been here (money well spent), and our belongings have been systematically bundled up and taped into cardboard boxes. The flat is beginning to echo. It is cold and we’re almost out of tea.

We are not moving far. Literally five minutes around the corner. So there are no goodbyes to friends or to places we like to go. It’s just goodbye to our flat, our first family home.

We moved in just the two of us, just over two years ago. We are moving out as four.

There will be things I might miss, for a short while, like the sun spilling through the sash windows in the afternoons. There will be things I won’t miss, like the noisy loos and the drafty windows.

I suspect, after a week or so, I shan’t give any of it any thought at all.

I raise my cup of tea. So here’s to moving. To new adventures.


Posted in: Homes, My thoughts
Tagged with:

October favourites

the Hibernate candle I love so much

Another month down! There’s so much going on this month, it’s crazy. We’re moving house in two days (blog post coming soon) and although I’m just a few days early until the end of the month, it seemed like now was about a good time to sort of take stock of everything I’ve loved in October. Boy, this month has gone super fast! Here’s what I’ve loved most…

  1. My Shore Projects watch – I LOVE this so very very much. I chose the Portland with not one but three straps – olive green (everyday), brown leather (er… another everyday when I can be bothered to switch) and a rose gold mesh strap for when I’m feeling fancy. It’s been years since I’ve worn a watch. Stupid not to really.
  2. Kate LaVie’s blog – my favourite downtime on-screen browsing blog these days. Better than a magazine. A beautiful gorgeous home that’s styled but not too styled – in that, it’s liveable not silly precious. Thank you Kate x
  3. Also more blog love for Caroline at Patchwork Harmony and Emma at A Quiet Style who wrote some lovely things about the Quiet store. Both have beautiful blogs; Caroline’s in particular was among the very first I ever read way, way, way back and it was her article yonks ago in the FT about blogging creatively that encouraged me to take the plunge back in the day.
  4. Hibernate candle by Essence + Alchemy – oh my goodness, it is all I can do not to literally burn my own stock for the shop. I *love* this candle fragrance so so much – by far my personal fave out of the four fragrances I have. I’ve always been candle mad, and I’m delighted to finally have found a 100% natural range which also looks just so beautiful. Now that the nights are drawing in, lighting the Hibernate candle I treated myself to is one of my favourite little rituals.
  5. These cookies are getting baked *a lot* in our house right now. Toddler friendly for scooping onto the tray and, er, also the perfect dough for eating off fingers in the bowl. Did I mention we toyed with being gluten-free? Yeah, that didn’t last all that long – or at least not with baking. Autumn is definitely baking season.
  6. Kraft notepads – I’ve started freelancing for the newspapers again. When I was working full-time, I had a stash of these Muji notepads for all my interviews/ideas/pitches/ to-do lists. I put them all away when I was on maternity leave and it was so, so good to get a fresh one out of the pile last week when I wrote my first article after two years again last week. It’ll be out soon. Why am I freelancing again? Well, after writing this post, and after a good kick-up-the-backside from my brother (who gets mentioned a lot here, I’ve noticed) I realised I really, really, really miss it. So here goes. And wish me luck.
Posted in: My thoughts, Things I love
Tagged with: ,

Organising a practical yet creative workspace

Oh my. The hours, nay, months (maybe even years if you add them all up) that I have spent trying to find the perfect desk. It has been well documented in the past. First, my deliberation over whether to go vintage or modern. Then, there was the antique bureau (pretty, but highly impractical), and then finally my new desk which I thought was the answer to everything.

But two years on… and it’s getting too small. Books are constantly piling up alongside it. Folders related to the Quiet store are spilling out. Too. Much. Stuff. Here it is, gloriously unstyled with cables hanging out because I can’t style this up at all.

my messy desk – before you say anything, this is messy for me.

As I may have mentioned before, we are soon to be moving again. This time there is not only room for a desk but… wait for it…there’s a garden office already there (I know!). We don’t yet know how we’ll split the workspace up, only that I’ve requested plenty of open shelving so that I can keep my lovely shop products on display. It’s also somewhere I hope (in the long run) I might be able to write again. So I want it to be calming and organised too.

I’ve been busy pinning my ideal studio/workspace over here. One recurring theme I keep finding myself coming back to is clever wall space – pinboards, pegboards, corkboards…. I love the way they offer an interesting backdrop and let you keep switching things around. I don’t have this at the moment, so things like my book cover and book reviews I’m quietly proud of are framed but occupy the same place, which means I just can’t change things up as I want to. (Also: I’m getting tired of washi tape losing its stick and notes and postcards falling down the back all the time).

I’d quite like to incorporate these into our new kitchen also – somewhere for children’s paintings and photos to sit among the usual paraphenalia of household stuff.

What do you think?

pinned by

(pic via Interior Junkie)

Block White Pegboard, Large

(images above via blockdesign)

Peg-it-all : Wall-mounted Storage Panel in natural birch plywood

Peg-it-all Midi : Wall-mounted Storage Panel in natural wood

(images above via Kreis design)

OYOY Square cork pin board - copper

(image above via decobaby)

I’m also really loving the idea of a corkboard wall instead of a blackboard wall. Something like this:

-Workspace with a cork wall- -perfect corner at your home- -enjoy the working environment at home- -i would love to put many photos!-:

(pic via Coco Lapine)

or this


(pic via desire to inspire)

or this giant pin board made from painted cork tiles, in interior designer and writer’s Jane Cumberbatch’s study (I interviewed her years ago for this piece about home office interiors)

(pic via design sponge)

I’m hoping a bigger workspace doesn’t just mean… more mess though…

Posted in: Homes, Things I love
Tagged with: , , ,

Behind the scenes at the Quiet store

Behind the scenes at our two photoshoots for the Quiet store this week. All the photos were taken at home, in my flat, with Veerle Evens as my photographer. She’s wonderful, lovely, and incredibly talented to boot. We styled the shots up together and it was so great to see all the products and pieces I’ve picked coming together coherently and creatively. I’m also hoping to take on board Veerle’s photography tips so I can improve a little too! You can see the results of our work over on the shop site. My favourite picture so far is the homepage flatlay, but I think pretty much all the new homeware pics are something special and capture the mood and tone of the shop perfectly. Hope you’ll agree!

In other news, I’m busy getting ready for our first pop-up this weekend. I’ll be at the State of Independence market, Cafe 1001, Brick Lane, from midday until six on Saturday, October 10th. Come along and say hello!

Posted in: Shop news, Things I love
Tagged with: , , ,