Sunday, 29 November 2015

Finding Treasures In November

November has flown, hasn't it?! Our month has been busy, with birthday celebrations, weekends away, delicious suppers in the company of best friends and the busiest period in my shop to date.

Amid all of this, I've made a few discoveries which I thought I'd share with you. A number of them make lovely gifts, so consider this my own little contribution to a whole host of gift guides popping up at the moment.
1. Hobo Soy Candle. This delicious candle was one of the treats in my goody bag at the Sisterhood Supper with Toast (which you can read about here). I love the crisp design of the tin and the wood wick burns beautifully.  The scent is Fresh Fig and Cassis, a perfect combination.
I've been following this business on instagram for a month or two now, about the time that the founder Rachael left her full time job to concentrate on candles, it's great to see it growing so quickly. You can find their full range here.

2. Nutscene Twine.
I bought this twine a while ago but discovered it in the depths of my bureau last week. It will certainly be put to good use in my Christmas wrapping but more on my plans for festive gift wrap another time.
I bought the twine from House By Betty which is my favourite gift shop near where my parents live. They are also online here and on Instagram. Lauren has created a treasure trove of gifts which I guarantee you'll be tempted by.

3. Bo Ho Bo Aromatherapy
This little balm was also included in my Sisterhood goody bag and it smells incredible.
It's ingredients include some of my favourites - sweet almond oil, rose, geranium, bergamon, sicillian lavendar and clary sage. I have to admit to knowing little about aromatherapy and being ignorant of the benefits that so many natural products have, I'd love to learn more next about it next year though. You can find their full range of products here. 

3. Mamgu's Watch
OK so this isn't a gift and it certainly isn't for sale. This watch belonged to my Grandmother (my Mamgu) and I rediscovered it with joy this month.
My two children have a habit of finding little bags in my room (usually containing make up or jewellery) and emptying them to make room for their own treasures. It usually drives me crazy but when a little bag, that I'd quite forgotten about, was pulled out from the back of a drawer containing this watch I was so pleased. The battery has gone and its pretty scratched but I've been wearing it as a bracelet so really don't mind. Just as well that it doesn't tell the time as I photographed it upside down for this post, there's rushing to beat the loss of daylight for you!

5. Bare Atlantic Friendship Bracelet.
This is something else I've LOVED wearing this month. I bought an identical bracelet for a best friend's 30th birthday gift and just couldn't resist having one to match. The sign of true friendship right?!
Bare Atlantic was founded by a friend of mine called Sarah who designs and makes these delicate pieces herself.  They are exquisitely made and the packaging they come in is equally as lovely.
Sarah takes pride in sourcing her materials ethically, a quality which I admire greatly. The silk comes from Germany from a company with a rich heritage in silk production since the 1800s and the silver beads are made by Karen Hill Tribe artisans in Thailand. The colour of this silk is 'pale pink' but you can find the full range of bracelets here.

I started my Christmas shopping this weekend and am thoroughly enjoying finding unique presents from smaller, independent businesses. Hopefully my discoveries this month have given you a few ideas for your own gift giving.

I can't wait to see what December has in store and look forward to sharing more treasures and finds this time next month.

Thanks for stopping by.
Lowri x

Wednesday, 25 November 2015

A Tale of Travel and of Sisterhood.

In November 1840 my husband's Great Great Great Grandfather stepped aboard a ship in England and set sail for the Falkland Islands. His name was George Markham Dean. Little did George know at the time that his voyage would create a deep and special bond between the Islands and his family for generations to come.

When I was considering my piece for this month's Styling the Seasons post I, as usual, had to wait a little while for inspiration to come knocking. Having read up, watched videos and thought long and hard about 'flatlays' (I kid you not), I knew that the key to my post was the background upon which it was placed. I wanted something with texture, warmth and a surface which carried meaning, so when I remembered about an old chest that we've inherited I knew it was perfect.
The wood you see in this photograph is the top of an old chest that belonged to George Markham Dean's Grandson, my husband's Great Grandfather, George Thomas Dean. He was born and brought up in the Falklands but spent his school years in England. This chest would accompany him every school holiday when he would travel, for weeks at a time, across the seas to spend time at home and then return back to school.
Over many years, this chest would have travelled tens of thousands of miles, been marked, knocked, stamped and sprayed with salty sea water on every journey it made. I can only imagine the conversations it's been present for and secret treasures it has carried. It now sits in our living room, belonging to the same family, generations later, waiting to be filled with treasures of our own.
I could quite happily have just photographed the grains and marks of this chest but as this is a styling challenge, this month being a flatlay, I knew I had to find things to sit with it which would be sympathetic but equally as beautiful in themselves.

On the 14th of this month I attended a Sisterhood Supper, hosted by Lou Archell (from Little Green Shed)  with the Sisterhood Camp at The Forge in Bristol. The afternoon and evening was a tonic, a truly inspirational time to connect with fellow creative women, to learn, make and feast on the most delicious seasonal supper. It was a treat in every single way. This post here, written by Laura Pashby on the Sisterhood Camp blog sums up the evening perfectly.

During the afternoon I had the pleasure of choosing a selection of the most beautiful flowers and foliage and to make myself a floral crown. I proudly wore the crown for the rest of the day, only taking it off when I had to step out into the cold, wet night to drive back home.
So taken by the crown and the evening it represented, that I knew that I wanted to use it in this post. I love how the crown's leaves, flowers and feathers mirror the textures and grains in the wood. The scent of the foliage as I cut it and sprinkled it across the chest promised of Christmas trees and the magic that lies ahead in December, something which I look forward to every day throughout November.

In a few short weeks, following a trip to Patagonia that my Mum has dreamed of since she was a girl, my parents will travel to the Falkland Islands and spend Christmas on one of it's beautiful islands. This particular Island remains dear to my husband's family and having also visited before we had children, my heart too was captured. The landscape, the flora, fauna and bird life that can be found there is like nowhere else I've been, things I only wish the Islands were better known for. 
I feel so priviledged to have a piece of the Islands' history in our home and to be able to write about it on this November night, 175 years after our family's connection with the Falklands began. We plan to respectfully and gently restore just a couple of elements so we can use it again, hopefully adding our own stories to it before it's passed down to our children.

In the meantime, I'm sure you'll spot it in the odd photo here and there.

As you might tell, I've loved every moment of Styling the Seasons this month and feel hugely inspired on a creative level. The challenge is hosted by Katy (Apartment Apothecary) and Charlotte (Lotts and Lots) and this month is in collaboration with Emily Quinton from Makelight along with Ruth Garner from Gathered Cheer. If you're interested you can read more about this month's challenge here.

Thank you so much for reading.
With love,
Lowri x

Thursday, 19 November 2015

"Bear with"

Just popping by to share this beautiful shot taken last Thursday for #mythursdaybreaktime.
It was shared by sweet Hannah (@hannahruthking), I love how she snapped up the opportunity to capture the elusive sunshine! It seems to have been missing from our skies this last week, so when I spotted this photo in my gallery it cheered my soul.

This photo also bought a smile to my face when I saw it in the gallery. My daughter. My cheeky little Anwen.
I LOVE that my husband joins in with #mythursdaybreaktime from time to time and last Thursday he posted this. Now obviously he CAN'T win this month's giveaway (an amazing £50 voucher for Secret Linen Store) but if he could, then I'm not sure I could say no to this one!

There's still time to share photos from your breaktimes today and another chance next week to enter November's giveaway. Simply share your breaktimes and tag in @secretlinenstore and @littlemaldod with the usual hashtag.

I feel like this blog is an ode to breaktimes at the moment. There are a great number of posts that I'm hoping to share with you soon but finding time to write them is proving difficult! I'm pleased to say that the shop is keeping me busy most naptimes and evenings at the moment so life is pretty busy. Please bear with me, I'll be on top of things again soon (I hope!)

In case you missed it, we celebrated little maldod's 2nd birthday yesterday! That's right TWO whole years, I honestly don't know where the time has gone. To say thank you there's a great giveaway over on Instagram, a party bag filled with treats worth £75 to be precise! Just look out for this post in my gallery for details on how to enter.
I'll be back next time with my Styling the Seasons post for this month and to tell you all about my time at the SISTERHOOD Supper last Saturday.

Thanks for stopping by.
Lowri x

Wednesday, 11 November 2015

Rest and Refreshing

Judging by the look of the #mythursdaybreaktime gallery so many of you had such lovely breaktimes last week. In fact there were so many beautiful images that it was hard to pick just a few.

So this week, breaking from the norm, I'm sharing a couple of grids with different style photographs that I love in equal parts.

Firstly, this calming collection. A beautiful grid of quiet moments which speak to me of rest. The talented women who posted them have some of my favourite galleries too so do pop over to check them out.
@wolvesinlondon  @littlegreenshed
@allenandbear  @lingyeungb
Secondly, this grid full of bright pops of colour. The feel of the photos are so different to those above and although they all appear restful in their own way, the buzz of colour in them is quite refreshing.
@bymeeni  @oneyellowteapot
@cotton_clara  @theordinarylovely
That's the amazing thing about a breaktime, just sitting down for a moment, taking a little time out and resting can be all you need to set you on the right path for the rest of the day.

One photo which particularly stood out to me last week was this beautiful capture by Janice from @janiceissit_life_style.

I absolutely love the warmth of this photo, the sunlight, the shadows and the texture are simply stunning. Janice's gallery is photo after photo of loveliness so you must check it out!
This month the very kind Secret Linen Store are giving away a £50 voucher to my favourite shot of the month. To enter your posts into the giveaway simply tag in me @littlemaldod and @secretlinenstore along with the usual #mythursdaybreaktime.

I really can't wait to see the lovely moments that you share tomorrow.

Thanks for reading.
Lowri xx

Wednesday, 4 November 2015

My Thursday Breaktime - with The Secret Linen Store

Is there anything more lovely than a lie in? An afternoon nap perhaps or an early night?

I find it a funny thing that when you're young you spend most bedtimes trying to avoid going to bed (Wilf told me the other day "but going to bed is not my favourite") or jumping out of it at the crack of dawn. When you're older however, you long for an extra or two in bed or the chance for an early night.
I like my bed. I'm a night owl though and however much I try to get an early night it's usually past midnight before my head hits the pillow. Which is probably what makes me a not-a-morning-person too, always wishing I could sink back into the sheets for just a little longer.  

So when I discovered the Secret Linen Store earlier this year and bought a set of their beautifully soft linen for our new bedroom, my bed became an even nicer place to be!

I am delighted to tell you that the Secret Linen Store is joining me this month for #mythursdaybreaktime and giving away a fantastic £50 voucher to spend in store for November's winner. 
Simply join in and share your breaktime moments on Instagram this month with #mythursdaybreaktime. 
Make sure you tag @littlemaldod and @secretlinenstore into the post so I know that you wish to enter the giveaway. Only photos tagged can be considered when I pick a winner at the end of the month.

Of course they don't have to be photos taken from your bed. Share whatever you fancy, from a countryside stroll, a cup of tea and a book to a quiet potter at home while little people sleep.  Anything goes and I love seeing what you all share each week. 

Here are a few favourite shots that caught my eye last Thursday, choosing a single favourite was impossible! Do pop over to these lovely galleries on Instagram and say hello.
@myfandfriend @aheartfullofhope
@suevaunallison  @teaandbiscuits_x

I look forward to seeing all your posts tomorrow and to, somehow, picking a winning post at the end of the month.  

Until next time,  sleep tight x 

Tuesday, 3 November 2015

November Edit

Time for my monthly edit of goodies from the little maldod shop. I am so excited to tell you that the Christmas Shop is now open and stacked full of great gift ideas, stocking fillers and, it goes without saying, personalised stockings!

Naturally, this month's edit had to include some great new festive products, some for your home, for your little ones to prance/crawl/ dance about in and a few great stocking fillers. I hope you enjoy it, as usual you can click on any of the links below to find the items in the shop.
1. Cherry Red Trim Crochet Basket
This is the second season I've stocked these beautiful baskets from Blossom and Bear. This time they feature lovely seasonal trims (also available in Mustard, light and dark grey) and these smaller baskets have useful handles. Fill them with small winter woolies, Christmas chocolates (anyone spotted the Quality Streets tins yet?!) or use as an extra special gift basket.

2. NEW Pup Egg Cup
 We love this new addition to the wonderful egg cup family brought to you by Buddy and Bear. With two faces (one awake and one asleep), this sweet pup is a lovely addition to the breakfast table. A bear and bunny are also available and all 3 would make a perfect stocking filler for young or old!

3. Sophie La Girafe Bubble Bath
This Bubble Bath is a luxurious and gentle treat for bathtime. The selection of safe organic ingredients includes: White Tea which fortifies the skin and provides antioxidant protection and Lavender Water which relieves skin symptoms and prevents skin irritations.
I don't know about you but I'm partial to a hot bubble bath in the colder months so I'm pretty tempted by this myself!

4. Let It Snow Hand Lettered Vest
This grey vest with brush lettered detail is brand new to the Clothing Collection at little maldod. Perfect for anyone dreaming of a white Christmas. Available in sizes from 0-3 to 18-24 months even toddlers can enjoy wearing this new design. Personalised vests are also available in this range and make a great and unique gift.

5. Ho Ho Ho Plate
Another fantastic product from Buddy and Bear. We're sure that lots of you will be enjoying festive treats, from cookies to Christmas dinner, on these lovely plates. Great for everyday use and just perfect for leaving special treats out for 'you know who' and his fleet of reindeer.

So there we have it, a little taster of the festive fun that awaits at little maldod. November is our birthday month, I can't believe the shop will have been open for 2 years in a few weeks time. Keep your eyes peeled for special offers to celebrate, any excuse for a little hurray in my book!

Speaking of which, there's a special thank you on Instagram this evening as I've reached over 4,000 followers (I'm amazed!) Pop over to find out how you can get FREE delivery on orders over £10 but hurry, it ends midnight (3rd November). If you're on Facebook then why not enter an amazing giveaway happening this week. Four great items are up for grabs including the Pup Egg Cup above, it closes 8pm Friday.

Thanks for stopping by this evening and, as always, for your ongoing support!
Lowri x