Holiday styles – from saving to splurging

When it comes to going away on holiday figuring out what your budget is has got to be pretty high on your list. Even once you’ve booked the destination it’s important to think about activities, trips and food – well unless you’re all inclusive and don’t plan on moving from the pool. You lucky thing.

There’s nothing worse than planning a holiday and realising that you’ve not saved enough for the things you wanted to do. Not that we’ve ever done that….!

The nearest to a splurge holiday we’ve ever had was our honeymoon, we were in our early twenties and we had two blissful weeks at an all inclusive resort in Cuba. Think strawberry daquiris by the pool, 24/7. This actually turned out to be our only real holiday before having children! Our first holiday with a baby was a long weekend in the very rainy Lake District in a friend’s cottage. A bit of a difference, eh?

These days we mostly have holidays that involve visiting friends and family like this one, The half term roadtrip, or a child free weekend in Istanbul, or even surfing in North Wales.

We’re definitely not family travel bloggers zipping around the world but we do love planning trips, even if it’s within the UK. Our budget definitely dictates where we go and what we do and with both myself and my husband being self employed we have to be careful what time we take off as there’s no holiday pay for either of us! 

We’ve been looking at last minute summer holidays online, both with our list of expectations as well as keeping in mind the strict budget we have. My wishes and expectations have to be very firmly managed by my husband, who also happens to be a financial planner – which is rather handy (and annoying!). It’s not just the destination you need to decide on but also what kind of holiday you want there. Will it be a no expense spared treat of a trip (maybe one day!) or one that needs to be carefully planned and budgeted for.

Travel Planners have put together a handy tool to help you plan your holiday to Dubai based on whether you are going to save, spend or splurge. I think having one of these for holiday destinations around the world would be so helpful!

I’ve never been to Dubai but I have a lot of friends that have and I know this kind of tool would have been really helpful for them. It’s definitely helped me realise that you can holiday in Dubai on different budgets and still have a great time.

For now though I’m going to plan in some ‘staycation’ trips and get on and book that last minute holiday!

 

Are you going anywhere this summer?

What do you think of this kind of tool to help plan holidays?

morganaHoliday styles – from saving to splurging
read more

Why I’m Loving Modern Minimal Gold Jewellery

I’ve always been a bit of a magpie when it comes to jewellery and accessories. Even at the age of three I had a treasure box full of costume jewellery gifted to me by a few lovely elderly neighbours. I’d prance around with layers of beaded necklaces and bejewelled brooches and possibly even a tiara.

Even as I got older this more is more attitude continued.

At the age of ten I remember spending all my pocket money in Bow Bangles, which would later come to be Claire’s Accessories. From snap-bands, to magnetic earrings to those plastic tube bracelets with the water and glitter inside, remember them? I was obsessed. My friends and I would march around together arms full of plastic and rubber bracelets, oh and of course we all wore those plastic choker necklaces. Plastic was definitely where it was at for 90s kids! 

Even as a teenager I followed all the trends when it came to jewellery and accessories. I couldn’t afford new outfits all the time so updating my jewellery and accessories was a great way of staying current. Things came full circle when I went through a phase of wearing vintage clothes, I ended up raiding all the old costume jewellery I had, though I’d like to think that I wore things I little more sparingly than when I was three!

I just love how you can use jewellery to express your personality and style. Now, contrary to my younger self, I’m really keen on keeping things simple – in all areas of my life. I may have rings on my fingers but when it comes to earrings and necklaces less is definitely more. Stylish simple pieces catch my eye now – with the occasional statement set of earrings for some fun!

I recently chose a few modern minimal pieces of gold jewellery from Misskukie, ones that I thought reflected my style. There was so much choice and I had to resist just choosing rings – I have far too many of those already, though I was super tempted by the range of stacking rings!

  

  

Now that I’m embracing minimalism in my clothing choices, our home and lifestyle in general. It makes sense that I think through my choices of jewellery. It pained me to do so but I’ve taken bags full of jewellery and accessories to the charity shop, only keeping sentimental pieces and ones I wear now. I really thought through the pieces I chose from Misskukie to ensure they’d be ones I wear often – I don’t really subscribe to keeping things for special occasions. I love that modern minimal jewellery is just perfect for the everyday.

 

Shop the post

Small Disc Jewellery SetHexagon Stud EarringsCircle Necklace

 

About Misskukie

I asked Kat the owner of Misskukie to share a little about her inspiration and what she loves most about her store

 

I always loved fashion and strongly believed good taste and style does not equal expensive designer products. And so, after a couple of years trying to find my feet, I started to design collections true to my own taste. I wanted the pieces to be affordable and yet luxurious, collectable and interchangeable. Delicate minimal designs for everyday wear.

The jewellery designs are a total reflection of me, my style and personality. And that’s the reason the collections have and will change from year to year, as I grow and change the designs develop too.

I started researching and designing in 2010  but the business didn’t properly develop until 2012 when I started selling through Notonthehighstreet.com which propelled Misskukie Jewellery into a fully functioning small business with almost 10 000 sales under our belt.

I work harder and longer than I ever have before starting the business, but with every hurdle comes this super huge reward feeling, I did it! I don’t think I ever felt proud of my work in previous 9-5 jobs. Now I feel proud and a sense of achievement most days, it’s priceless.

And then there are of course customer reviews, thank you notes and photo sharing. Knowing someone has falling in love with my work and chosen it for their wedding, special anniversaries, birthday gift or just to splurge and spoil themselves. It’s a pretty epic feeling and makes all the long hours worth while.

 

I love that Kat’s collections are true to her own taste, her store looks to be going from strength to strength and with her modern minimal designs, I’m not surprised.

 

What to you think? Does your choice of jewellery says something about your personality?

Do you subscribe to the less is more philosophy or are you a maximalist at heart?

morganaWhy I’m Loving Modern Minimal Gold Jewellery
read more

My Petite Picks For Summer

So it turns out I don’t have a whole lot in my wardrobe for summer. I think this is because we’ve had such rubbish summers over the last couple of years and we’ve not been on holiday anywhere hot during those summers either. I’m left scrambling the back of my wardrobe for whatever I can find that looks a bit summery!

This has of course led me to do a little browsing of certain online shops to see what they’re offering a petite, black wearing, unprepared individual like myself.If you’re petite like I am finding skirts, shorts and dresses – especially maxi ones – that don’t swamp you or look an odd length can be tricky. 

If you like my style then I’ve done the hard work for you and put together some of my favourite petite summer items for you to browse through. You’ll be proud of me, not everything is black, though there’s still a lot in there! I’ve tried to include a little variation while still keeping it simple. If you’re looking for flamboyant, skimpy clothes, this might not be the list for you 😉 

TOPSHOP PETITE Black Spot Pinafore Dress
ASOS DESIGN Petite off shoulder popper front midi dress in rib
New Look Petite Button Through Playsuit
ASOS Petite | Design Ditsy print maxi dress
ASOS Petite floral maxi dress
ASOS DESIGN Petite Pocket Stripe T-Shirt With Contrast Binding
Petite Nude Button Front Boxy Shirt
ASOS DESIGN Petite linen button through maxi dress in stripe
ASOS DESIGN Petite Deep V Strap Back Jumpsuit
ASOS DESIGN Petite maxi skirt with button front and split detail
ASOS DESIGN Petite easy spot tie waist culotte
ASOS PETITE Plisse Short in Spot Print with Lace Hem
TOPSHOP PETITE Lola Duster Coat
ASOS DESIGN Petite wrap jacquard midi skirt in mixed floral and spot print
TOPSHOP PETITE Square Neck Jumpsuit
Boohoo Petite Denim Jacket
ASOS DESIGN Petite tab back drape hareem maxi dress

What do you think of my petite summer picks?

Any favourites?

morganaMy Petite Picks For Summer
read more

A little bit of life lately – the half term roadtrip

It’s been a little while since I’ve written a blog post so I thought I’d do a little catch up of what I’ve been up to recently. I really enjoy reading posts like this on other blogs, and I hope you do too because I’m diving in and sharing one! We’ve been on half term and decided to make the most of the time off and go on a little road trip to Devon, Cornwall and the New Forest all within a week! We spent two days in each place and tied them in with visits to friends and family.

I managed to take a few photos while we were away, all snapped on my phone and most are full of our friends and family having fun purely because I hadn’t intended on sharing them any further then Stories or my personal Facebook. What I’ve put together from our trip to share here is a collection of snapshots of what we saw and got up to, minus the photos of lots of children – so for example I don’t have many of our Exeter stay on here at all. We had a fantastic time at River Dart Country Park so if you’re ever in that part of Devon with children then it’s a definite must, we spent all day there and had the best time.

On our way from Exeter to Truro we popped into a gorgeous store that was recommended by my husband’s cousin, called Nkuku. This lifestyle store and cafe sits just outside Totnes, and yes, we did have to do a little detour to go and visit! Just as I has suspected from browsing the catelogue, I pretty much wanted to live there as soon as we walked through the door. If I had the money I would have bought E V E R Y T H I N G.

See what I mean?

My husband managed to drag me away and we drove into Cornwall and spent a couple of hours in one of my favourite towns, Falmouth.

 

 

If you follow me on Instagram you’ll know that I left booking the Cornwall section of our trip completely to the last minute. Thankfully Airbnb* still had this gem of a place available and I booked in in spite of it having no reviews! After booking I learnt that it was a brand new site and this half term would be their very first holiday season as hosts. When we arrived it was exactly as it looked in the photos and I breathed a huge sigh of relief as we tumbled out of the car and went over to meet our hosts.

Primrose Farm is based just outside Truro and just minutes drive away from our friends’ house meaning it was the perfect base for our stay.

 

Of course we couldn’t travel to Cornwall without visiting Watergate Bay, both the beach and the hotel.

Sadly we weren’t staying over at the hotel this time but we were able to have a drink and snacks before driving to the New Forest for the last few days of our break with my in-laws.

I was worried that after all the travelling and ‘people-ing’ I’d need a holiday after the holiday! All I really felt was sad that we only got a couple of days in each place. Of course this Cornish girl was especially down about leaving Cornwall as there was so much I’d hoped to squeeze in. At least this means, we’ll have to go back down again soon.

 

 

This post contains an affiliate link marked with *

morganaA little bit of life lately – the half term roadtrip
read more

Supporting independent brands while enjoying some me time with a Moi-Meme box

This blog post highlights two of my very favourite things, having ‘me time’ AND supporting small independent businesses, with a Moi-Meme box I can do both these things at the the same time. I love just how passionate Moi Meme are about supporting independent, often female-led, brands. They believe in collaboration, not competition, and want to showcase products created by smaller businesses by hand picking them for their subscription boxes. With so many subscription box services to choose from now, one that prides themselves on highlighting independent brands and offering luxury and full size projects definitely stands out from the crowd.

 

To show me what their boxes are like Moi-Meme sent over their Nature Box and it is packed full with treats..

Each box is worth over £100 and contains:

  • Chilly’s reusable bottle – 500 ml – available in 11 designs (mine is rose gold)
  • Siskyn Skincare Rose & Neroli Day Facial Oil 
  • Blonde and Stone marble coaster
  • HOLISTICA Crystal Mist – available in 3 formulations (mine is  ‘I Am Balanced, smokey quartz crystal mist)
  • MSH scarf – available in 11 designs (mine is yellow)
  • Wildflower Favours mixed wildflower seeds

 

I love that the box comes with a beautiful booklet introducing all the items and their brands. What leaps off the pages is the care and importance placed on finding the right brands for Moi-Meme to collaborate with. Siskyn Skincare for example was found by sisters Emma and Sarah Rippon in 2016, they created an award winning brand that produces natural and ethical skincare. Their Rose and Neroli facial oil will be perfect for my skin in the Autumn and Winter months when it needs more care and hydration.

siskyn skincare oil - moi-meme box

I’ve used everything from the Nature Box (apart from the wildflower seeds, I’m saving them for when we get our raised beds in the back garden). The Chillys bottle in particular has been used every day and I don’t know what I did without it, the water is always cold – perfect for these warm spring and summer days and it’s the perfect replacement for plastic bottles. All in all I was really impressed with the box, it feels really put together and thought through which is something I value for the price point. It’s definitely not just a load of samples chucked into a box!

If you’re looking for a luxury subscription box or a gift (for a friend or even for yourself!) I’d recommend Moi-Meme, after all indulging with a few treats and time out while supporting independent brands, sounds pretty guilt free to me.

You can Moi-Meme as a one-off from here for £59.95, Moi-Meme for £49.95 and receive the Nature Box as your first box.  The boxes are sent out quarterly, in the middle of January, April, July and October.  For more information about Moi-Meme or to shop for the products individually then head on over and take a look at their site- Moi-Meme.

 

A huge thank you to Moi-Meme for sending over a Nature Box for me to review.

 

morganaSupporting independent brands while enjoying some me time with a Moi-Meme box
read more

Capturing a tiny Cornish village that’s so special to me with MAPP3D

When I think about my childhood I’m taken right back to a tiny village nestled by the Tamar River in Cornwall. Where a viaduct bridge arches over the homes and gardens and links to Devon on the other side. It’s seems to be a sleepy village for most of the year until the summer when it bustles with holiday makers and chattering tourists arriving in boat loads to enjoy the chocolate box Cornish scenery. They’d stroll along the river in the valley and into the woods not knowing they were passing the stream where the local potter hid broken pots and mismatched treasures for us to wade in and find. The secret rope swing tucked into the woodland that only we knew about and the dens in the bushes and trees we’d hide in before jumping on our bikes and cycling home for tea. Looking back to this time I can see and feel the idyllic childhood we were so very lucky to have. It was a place that I plotted to get out and away from as a restless teenager, it felt like a dead end in the middle of nowhere and far away from exciting adventures

Now as an adult with my own children we don’t live anywhere near this tiny village, it’s now just a place of fond memories. So when Pete from MAPP3D got in touch asked me if there was anywhere in particular that I’d like to have depicted for one of their 3D printed sculptures I knew straight away that I wanted it to be this tiny village. The place where before I was born my Granddad grew his daffodils to sell in London, and the place where I lived and grew up.

 

Before I share the sculpture I’ll let Pete himself explain a little more about MAPP3D and what they do,

 

From when we’re children, most of us love making models of things. Taking something that’s too big to grasp or manipulate and bringing it down to our size offers a unique perspective on the world around us. This is how MAPP3D was born. Fascinated by maps and the way they represent our landscapes and cities, we began a journey of making models based on aerial data. Accompanied by our custom software and cutting-edge 3D printing, we turn this data into beautifully accurate models that fit into our living spaces. Once they’re printed, we finish them by hand and mount them in solid wood frames. We started making our Bristol collection last year, but our process enables us to make bespoke models of almost anywhere in the UK.

 

The detail on the model is stunning and I found myself staring at it for ages marveling over it as I looked for each personal little landmark. I can see my Primary school, the village hall where we held our Christmas shows, the road I lived on that led into the village and was the only way to travel in and out unless you travelled by train or boat! The pub I worked at as a teenager, making cream tea, after cream tea and dolling out endless ice cream cones to hot and happy tourists. And later, the place I happily escaped from on the train passing over into Devon and onto Plymouth for shopping trips and nights out.

Pete is a fellow Cornish soul, we went to the same church youth group in fact, and I love that even though neither of us currently live in Cornwall we still have this creative connection to it. Pete started MAPP3D as a casual side-project, (you know I love a creative side hustle!) mainly for the challenge. A physicist by trade, Pete’s appreciation for the accuracy of data and how it can be used to portray the natural world is the foundation of the business. Now based in Bristol, they have a Bristol collection you can choose from but they can also make bespoke panels, like mine, on commission. You just need to think about where you would choose.

 

 

I love having this little piece of Cornwall in my home up here in Lancashire. It’s such a stunning talking piece to have in our living room and so far each guest we’ve had over to our house has been fascinated by it. I adore its beautifully subtle sentimentality, and it is the perfect addition to our living room.

 

  

 

Featuring this business is so exciting to me and ticks so many boxes of my blog content that I didn’t even know which category to sit it in. I cover inspirational small businesses in Start Up -tick, stylish homeware in Style -tick, yet in the end I decided that this lives happily in my Life section, where all of these are combined into what is special to me.

A huge thanks to MAPP3D for making this model for me and gifting it for this feature. If you want to find out more about MAPP3D then here are the links, Mapp3d.co.uk, Facebook, Instagram – @mapp3dworld. Go, take a look and give them a follow.

 

What do you think?

Where would you choose?

 

 

 

morganaCapturing a tiny Cornish village that’s so special to me with MAPP3D
read more

Hallway inspiration for our new build family home

We moved into our new build home about ten months ago and I’m really happy with how it’s coming together. We stuck with the white walls and haven’t made any major changes, it’s just been about getting the right furniture and styling the rooms. We’ve gone for a mid century modern kind of vibe, something that I’m currently writing about, so keep an eye out for it. One area of the house I am struggling with, however, is the hallway. It has ended up just being a dumping ground for shoes and bags and a coat stand groaning under the weight of too many coats and jackets. It’s time for a rethink and a change, here’s my inspiration for a stylish hallway that works for a busy family.

As I mentioned before I’m keen on mid century modern and minimalistic styling, well the minimalism is something I’m aiming for with a family that is rather keen on mess and a more maximal approach.  We are a busy family of four, we have school bags, huge swimming kit bags, football boots, I could go on and on. I hate it when I open the front door only to be faced with mess, piles of books, bags, shoes and all sorts of odds and ends that have been dumped in the hall. It’s not a great way to greet guests either. I see so many beautifully styled interiors photos but often I’m left wondering where they actually put all their stuff! I don’t just want a beautiful hallway, it has to be one that works hard for us too.

Before I start working on styling and sourcing what I need I’m finding a place for everything to live, creating tidier habits and making sure that everyone is on board with the new regime. No more kicking off your shoes and dumping your coat and bag where you stand! This has got me thinking of ways to reduce the clutter and be more organised as a family. So that when I put in the changes and style the space I want we already have good habits formed so it won’t just continue to be a dumping ground, albeit a more stylish one!

We have a large downstairs loo so I’ve moved our shoe rack into there so it’s a better use of the space and keeps it hidden! No more tripping over shoes left by the front door. I’ve also given the kids underbed storage for the shoes they don’t need every day access to. My shoes are in my wardrobe upstairs, only my trainers stay downstairs. This means that rack fits the shoes we have and it doesn’t just become another pile of stuff.

The groaning coat stand will be the next to go! As with the shoes I want to encourage the family to keep their jackets and coats in their rooms and only have their everyday coats downstairs, giving space for guests and making the hallway look a lot less cluttered. School bags go straight upstairs and hung up their, swimming and gym kits live under the stairs. Keys and post live in the kitchen and important letters and notices from school and clubs get pinned to the kitchen notice board.

With new habits being formed, slowly but surely I can now think about the best bit, style. I’d love to have a bench with the coat hooks above it and on the opposite wall a full length mirror. Here’s my inspiration..

 

I love the simplicity of it and would love to recreate something similar in my hallway. I’ve had a little shop around and put this together for ideas. I’ll also be trawling Ebay and Homesense too.

hallway inspiration hallway inspiration

Muuto The Dots Medium, Trouva | Cruise Mirror, Cox and Cox* | Monsterra plant, IKEA 

Andover Mills wood Bench, Wayfair* | Nordal seagrass basket, Trouva | Emde full length mirror, Wayfair*

 

I think a few more weeks of the new clutter free regime and we’ll be ready for the hall way revamp. Of course I’ll be sharing it with you here when I’ve finished.

 

How do you organise your hallway, got any organisation tips or must haves?

 

 

 

 

 

This post does contain affiliate links that are marked with *, for more info on what affiliate links are then click here.

morganaHallway inspiration for our new build family home
read more