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Bali – part 4 (the last days on Gili Air)

Well, I never thought I had so much to share about my trip to Indonesia but turns out I had loads! Our last couple of days in the far flung, tiny island of Gili Air were really very relaxed.

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Bali – part 3 (The Gili Islands)

Grab yourself a cup of tea and get comfy as this is a long one, but if you are planning a trip to indonesia, or like pictures of beautiful desert islands then it is definitely worth a few minutes of your time. Ready?

If you are on your way to Bali, you must, MUST consider going just a little bit further and heading over to the Gili Islands. Just off the coast of Lombok, the Gilis are three tiny deposits of sand that reach up out of the water and wave their arms beckoning you to them.

There are no cars, no motorbikes and no buildings over two floors high. Just miles of undisturbed sea, sand and sunshine.


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Lusting after: Silver pendant lights

As my kitchen build starts to resemble a real room, I am getting more and more excited about the finishing touches. We have had the electricians in for the first fix, and we have three dangling wires above what will be a great big island. Here’s what has been inspiring me to attach to them:


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Bali – part 2

After the luxury of our first six days on the south coast of the island, we headed inland to Ubud, the cultural centre of Bali. It is a bustling place with loads to do, and the home of the island’s arts and crafts makers.

We stayed in a very nice hotel right in the centre of Ubud.


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The Green Eyed Girl’s guide to Bali – part 1

I went to Bali in April last year for a friend’s wedding. It was long before I started this blog, and I never thought my holiday pics would make it further than the eyes of my closest family. But, a good friend is on a world adventure and although she has been gone for months and she will now be a worldly-wise traveller with a knowledge that far outweighs anything I can impart, I did promise to share some of my Bali tips before she heads that way. So here we go…


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Birmingham Botanical Gardens

Here in the UK, as we are all too well aware, it has done nothing but rain for what seems like months. Now I know this isn’t unusual as it always rains here, but this rain has even managed to surprise us Brits. There is flooding everywhere, and whilst the swans are happy, most people are not. But today, as a welcome change I woke up not to the rain lashing on the windows, but to see the sun straining to get through the gaps in the blackout blinds. There is nothing like a bit of sun to help you leap out of bed on a Sunday! And it couldn’t have come at a better time as I had planned to spend the afternoon with the family checking out Birmingham’s Botanical Gardens.


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Lusting after: Beni Ourain rugs

I am currently green eyed for Beni Ourain rugs, and I think one would be just perfect in my new kitchen/diner/sitting area. They have been used by designers for years, but recently they have been popping up in magazines, design blogs, and in the in the homes of the cool and chic more and more often. You would be forgiven for thinking that they are a modern creation, with their contemporary dichromatic colours, abstract patterns and robust creation. But they are in fact hundreds of years old.

In the deepest depths of the Atlas mountains of Morocco,  the Beni Ourain tribe used the skills passed down from their grandfathers, and their grandfathers’ grandfathers to create rugs from the thick, long and curly wool of the Berber sheep to keep warm and protect themselves from the harsh elements.

Today, they are used more to keep our feet warm, and to look delicious in our homes.


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Boxing Day at Peels

Happy New Year everyone!

The last couple of weeks have been non stop; seeing friends and family, eating a lot and just generally enjoying time off work over Christmas.

On Christmas day I hopped from my house to Mr B’s house, then over to my grandparents house where I had a delicious dinner, followed by some lively games and then over to my dad’s for the night.

On Boxing Day, Mr B’s parents treated us to a meal at their favourite local restaurant, Peels at Hampton Manor. It was a beautiful, cold, crisp day with the sun shining. I love days like that, don’t you?


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Rockin’ around the Christmas tree

Do you know that feeling, where you have to do something in particular to make it feel like something is real? A personal ritual? For me, my ritual that makes Christmas Christmas is putting up the tree and wrapping presents.  Now, not just any old throwing up of a tree and slapping some selotape to paper. I like to create the perfect Christmas ambience. Christmas songs on or an old Christmas film in the background, candles filling the room with twinkling light and Christmas smells, a glass of Baileys….you get the picture. It just makes Christmas feel very real to me.

Candle and tree

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German Christmas Market (in Birmingham) vs German Christmas Market (in Germany)

Since I moved to Birmingham, everyone has raved about the German market that takes over the city centre for December. I was skeptical.

“It’s not a real German market, is it?”, I said. “Yes, they said. Real German people come over from Germany. Frankfurt in fact. And that’s in Germany. And that makes it German.”

So, I thought i’d put it to the test – put the German market in Birmingham up against the German market, in erm, Germany.

First up, Die Weihnachtsmarkt in Hamburg.


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What a month

The last few weeks in my day job have been a bit hectic, and a bit bizarre. All through work, I have found myself having tea with the Lord Mayor and Lady Mayoress of Birmingham; in an audience listening to the inspirational Taliban survivor Malala Yousefzai; i’ve been to the top of ‘The Cheesegrater’ known officially as the Leadenhall Building which yes, is still under construction, and yes, the only way up is in the construction lift; I’ve been to a Q&A with Deputy Prime Minister, Nick Clegg; shown an MP round the centre where I work; welcomed the Princess Royal to an exhibition stand, as well as Skills Minister Matthew Hancock; seen Joe Suggs change a tyre (off of YouTube fame – if you are 15 and female, you’ll know who he is); reviewed smart watches with fashion students for the Gadget Show; shaken hands with 90’s reggae star Apache Indian (think Book Shak-a-lak); and seen the sun set over London from the Shard.

All a bit random, I know.

Except for this. I also had the incredibly nerve-wrecking opportunity to meet The Duke of Cambridge.

Well, maybe meeting him is a bit of a stretch. But I was in the same room as him, working alongside his press officer when he visited my work place. And it was fabulous!

I even managed to photo bomb him.


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