The heart and soul….

I think most modern families would agree that the kitchen is most definitely the heart and soul of the house.  With the crazy lifestyles we lead, its pretty much cook, sit, eat, clean and run off.  So with this in mind to maximise the rushed time together, the best idea, is to ensure your kitchen has a table and is a family friendly environment so everyone can enjoy themselves in the space.  This means probably a little kiddie friendly corner with mini table and chairs, a box of toys, a wall or an island side painted chalk board, perhaps a door to the outside and if you have the luxury of loads of space, potentially an island with stools as well as a big table with chairs (hmmm I love it when my mind runs wild with ideas).

The dining table in a kitchen these days serves as many things.  A homework table, an admin table (mine certainly piles up with all the paperwork I need to see to), a place to sit and drink coffee and of course a beautiful space for family and friends to sit and eat.

My pet hate however with having a dining table in the kitchen is when hosting a dinner party and all the dirty cooking utensils, pots and pans pile up around the kitchen, so its a good idea to either design the kitchen so the sink area is far from the table and if possible around the corner of the fridge for example, better yet in a separate utility room so completely invisible.

We are in the process of buying a house, a lovely old family home, HOWEVER, the kitchen is teeny tiny and is a galley type kitchen so no room for even a miniature kids table. Luckily there are two laundry/pantry style rooms on the one side and a dining room on the other, so hopefully (all fingers and toes crossed) we will be able to bash through all these walls and rather than have four separate rooms have one super large kitchen/diner.  And although Im not sure we will be able to do any work straight away, I still sit and dream up the perfect kitchen……  I love a contemporary space but Im a sucker for a bit of rustic-ness too, so I would love contemporary kitchen units with modern appliances but a large old style table, perhaps mix and match chairs, large windows and an extra large natural rug (from Coral & Hive, check out their page here). If there’s space in this design mix and match, then give me an exposed brick wall too.

Having a fire place in the kitchen really turns this into a warm happy place, however probably not necessary in hot countries!
Having a fire place in the kitchen really turns this into a warm happy place, however probably not necessary in hot countries!
Love all the light and the large island complete with chalk board of course
Love all the light and the large island complete with chalk board of course
I love the high cupboards and the ladder.
I love the high cupboards and the ladder.
A very classy kitchen
A very classy kitchen
I will take the dog too ;-)
I will take the dog too 😉
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Quite busy but looks a fun kitchen to be in.
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More of a breakfast nook, very casual, but inviting.

When the time comes in the hopefully not too distant future I will be sure to post pics of what the result actually turns out to be.  For now I will continue to day dream about my perfect kitchen layout.

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Weekend Wake-Up

Wake up its the weekend!! There is NO better feeling than that of a Saturday morning, whether you have been woken by a little person bashing their hand on your bed informing you the sun is up, or if you are lucky enough to wake up to the aroma’s of brewing coffee and bacon (don’t worry that only happens in the movies 😉 its the same feeling all around, a happy one! Temps are dropping, so its all about getting casual and cosy, easing ourselves into the crisp sunny mornings. I’ve chosen both an outfit, (the perfect, comfort, whether you have a day’s shopping, admin, kids activities, lunch, you name it, this outfit works all round) and a little dining inspo for the perfect chilly Saturday evening dinner, let that imagination loose and add some candles, a large vase of flowers, a bottle of rouge and some gilded rim glasses and this room is ready to roll for autumn.  Oh and let’s not forget to drape a couple of sheepskins and throws across these antique finish rustic chairs.

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Wool Blend Camel Coat Uniqlo // Cashmere round neck sweater Uniqlo // Slim Fit Shirt COS // Stan Smith Adidas sneakers La Redoute // Jeans 501 CT Levi’s // Sunglasses Bailey Nelson

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Mural Anthropologie // Ceiling Lantern Barker & Stonehouse // Dining Chairs Anthropologie // Sheepskin Ikea // Tripod Floor Lamp Brissi // Dining Table Brissi // Stemless Glass Anthropologie

Have a fantastic weekend

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Summer Entertaining

I don’t actually think summer entertaining is easier than winter.  The only easier bit is being able to all be outdoors but other than that I think throwing a stew together or slow cooking a Tagine or Casserole in winter is far easier than all the little finger foods and delicate bites available for summer parties.  We recently had a fun evening with some of our neighbours, 3 couples in total, and we each hosted a course at our homes. We did the starter, then moved on to another house for the main and then another for dessert.  Bruce and I wanted to do something tasty but really easy and quick as we didnt want to pre-cook (well you can’t really with most starter foods) but we were expecting our guests shortly after bath/bed time for the boys so we had a bit of multi-tasking to do, getting them fed and ready for bed and having our dinner party food ready for our guests upon their arrival.

We opted for sticky chicken wings (sauce made from scratch obviously), prawn, mango and lime zest skewers and tomato and avocado bruschetta with basil and glazed balsamic.  We also made a summer cocktail of Vodka and Elderflower which was so refreshing (unfortunately no photo for that).

I didn’t do much in the way of decor.  What I’m finding in Summer is that it’s lovely to pick a colour and combine it with white, stick to two bright fresh summer colours and keeping it that simple always works.  The colourful array of summer fruits and veg available are also enough to bring brightness to your table, and its all about presentation!

Some of the ingredients for the food below – look at the beautiful colours!

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Bruschetta with Avocado, Rosa Tomatoes, Basil and a drizzle of Balsamic glaze

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Chilli Prawn & Mango skewers with lime zest

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Sticky barbecue chicken wings

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So after having thought summer parties were quite tricky, these delicious bites took us no time at all.  We did pre-prepare the sauce for the chicken wings but everything else was done minutes before, a slight juggling act, I would say you need two pairs of hands but its possible and totally worth the effort!

Hope you having a lovely summer, I can’t wait for our next party!

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