This beautifully made video from Holly Exley is the epitome of a quiet life. I’ve recommended her videos on here before and they just get lovelier and lovelier. There are some lovely tips for sweet things in this little gem.
This week I took myself away for a short but sweet writing retreat. I'm working on the second draft of a novel for 8 - 12 year olds and after having the first draft professionally critiqued last year I've been struggling to find time to dedicate to writing. Four days in wonderful Copenhagen helped me to focus. It's such a beautiful city and it was great to feel like an international student writing in cafes and restaurants. I really recommend the following lovely places to write...
"Come in." Two short words heavy with meaning. Step out of the big, bad wet world and into my home. You'll be safe here, toasty and well fed. "Come in." They are two of the loveliest words to say and to hear.
I settled down with some echinacea and elderberry tea and homemade ginger, cinnamon and nutmeg biscuits to start reading this beautiful book. Nigel Slater is the most lyrical writer. His words are the literary equivalent of curling up in an armchair with a blanket over your knees by an open fire. I received this book as a gift from a lovely friend. It's the perfect treat for start the Christmas season.
I've been working abroad for the last two weeks with barely a moment for myself so this weekend called for a complete switch off and reboot. My recipe for relaxation? My sofa, a pack of triple chocolate cookies, a box set of Sex & The City and my watercolour set so I can paint while I half watch the screen. Because let's face it, I don't really need to watch as I know every episode off by heart which is the whole point of comfort TV.
Part of living a quiet life to me is that absolute cosiness that I feel from watching a familiar film. This film is cheese on toast! And I love it : ) Music & Lyrics stars Hugh Grant as his absolute silliest and a very endearing Drew Barrymore. It's cute and it's totally teenage. Perfect for a Monday movie.
The recipe for these scones is from the beautiful Violet Bakery Cookbook. A friend of mine suggested making these when I was really busy at work last year. She makes them in batches and then freezes them, taking one out of the freezer each morning to cook and enjoy with a coffee. The process of making them is very therapeutic and the butter, natural yogurt and oats in them give a lovely indulgent taste. A bit like sweet porridge in a scone.
There is something so comforting about eating home-baked treats. It's nice knowing what's in what you're eating (!) and along with that there's the love and care you've taken making something to treat yourself. When I'm super-busy with work, making a little time to take care of myself is super important and this recipe is just the thing to make me feel I'm doing that.
I took a moment to appreciate the last of the Christmas cake. Although it made me wonder why we don't make it year round. So yum : )
A beautiful song to ring in the New Year. I listen to this song a lot really loud on headphones. There's a particular key change (at 3:20!) that never fails to give me shivers. Try jumping around to it and think of everything you are thankful for while you do : ) Happy New Year!
After last week, we all need a cosy, funny film and this is one of my absolute go-to movies. Something's Gotta Give starring Diane Keaton, Jack Nicholson, Amanda Peet & Keanu Reeves. The whole film is like a warm blanket to me but I especially like the scene in the deli with Jack Nicholson eating his ice-cream, Diane Keaton wailing as she writes her script and the dancing Henries (it'll make sense when you see it!) I even made a special trip to go to the Grand Colbert brasserie in Paris a few years ago in honour of one of the final scenes in the movie. Click my photo of the Grand Colbert below to have a look at the trailer. Enjoy!