Friday Fancies and Weekend Temptations

Wow!  What a week that was!  My first week on the job as an Environment Officer and I am excited but utterly shattered!  Needless to say I have spent most evenings this week in bed reading....and falling asleep quite early!

(Photo actually taken whilst on honeymoon but you get the gist!)

This week I've been listening to Alt-J whilst driving my 45 minute daily commute into the rural idle of North Dorset.  I've also been listening to The Golden Silvers on vinyl (lilac vinyl no less!), a purchase from Bristol last weekend.

This week I've mostly been wearing my new Vans Lo Pros which I treated myself to last weekend.  I'm currently lusting after this Superdry shirt, having purchased a similar one recently and totally fallen in love with it.  The cut of these shirts suits my concave lower back perfectly.  I usually struggle to find shirts tailored enough but these are amazing!

In my fleeting waking moments (just after eating and just before falling alseep) I've been dipping into The Style Files, a beautiful design and lifestyle blog.  It's full of stunning interior design inspiration from around the globe.......and it's photo heavy and text light......perfect after all the reading I've been doing during the day!

This weekend I'll be going to the Sheiling School Summer Fete in Ringwood.  The Sheiling School offers a holistic educational experience for children and young adults who have moderate, severe or complex learning difficulties. The summer fete is awesome, it has craft workshops, live music, stalls, handmade food and a vintage tearoom!  I went last year and it's now a must on my annual calender.

I'm also going to pop along to the Christchurch Music Festival held on the Quay.  Fingers crossed for some good weather!

If you are in Yeovil on Saturday why not check out the Automotive Spectacular, raising vital funds for the Dorset and Somerset Air Ambulance.

Or if you are in the Big Smoke check out what's going on this weekend at the City of London Festival.

How did you get through your first week of work when you started your job?  I've found that cake definitely helps!

What are your plans this weekend I wonder?  Whatever you are up to I hope the sun shines and you all have a lovely time.  

Happy Weekend my lovelies. xxx


Tuesday is Food Day - Mama's on Washington Square, SF

(Photo courtesy of Mama's)

Mama's on Washington Square, San Francisco, make THE BEST PANCAKES IN THE WORLD EVER! Full stop! That is all!

OK, that's not all.  

I went to Mama's 6 years ago when The Boy and I were on honeymoon and I still dream about the pancakes 6 years on.  When I got home from honeymoon I downloaded a gazillion pancake recipes and worked my way through them all, and none compared.  If you are ever in SF and want pancakes go to Mama's!

Mama's is amazing, and it seems that everyone knows it.  If you go to Mama's be prepared to queue around the corner and down the street!  But don't let this put you off, it is totally worth it....oh and there is a handily situated Newspaper stand right on the corner!

When you get through the door you are greeted by the loveliest people, wanting to serve you the tastiest food in the most friendly atmosphere.  We went here twice on our short 4 day stop in SF.  On our first visit I had the pancakes (I had pancakes almost everyday on honeymoon) but I was also very tempted by the French Toast.  So on the second visit I thought great, I get to try the French Toast this time.....but the pancakes were so I good I couldn't bare the thought of not having them.....so I ordered BOTH!!!!!!  'Piggy!' I hear you cry!  Well yes, I was a piggy but we were flying home that day and I knew I had an 11 hour flight and rubbish plane food ahead of me so I thought I'd fill up on the yummiest food while I could! (And no, they didn't weigh me and add it to my baggage allowance at check in!)

When I said the pancakes were the best ever, well the french toast is too! If I went back today, I'd still order both!  I washed these down with one of their yummy smoothies.  It was perfect!

I'd love to be able to tell you more about the rest of the menu, but I can't, I'm a self confessed pancake addict.  What I can tell you though is there is something for everyone at Mama's and you won't be disappointed, whatever you order.  

Go here, get full, and go back again.  If I lived in SF I would be first in the queue every weekend!  I love you Mama's on Washington Square!

(Our second trip to Mama's and the last day of our Honeymoon.....Pancakes were a must! The French Toast is just out of view)

Have you been to Mama's, what did you think?  What's your favourite thing to eat for breakfast? 

Happy eating my lovelies!  xx


Bristol and The Boy

This weekend The Boy and I decided to have a little day out to celebrate our 6th Wedding Anniversary.   We wanted to go somewhere we'd never been before, so we decided to go to Bristol.......and we LOVED it!

Bristol not only has all the usual shopping and eating establishments of any other city but it is also jam-packed FULL of art, handmade, and independent shops and cafes.   It is amazing.

We only had a day to explore and so tried to cram in as much as possible.  We'd had no time to do the usual pre-visit research so when we arrived we bimbled around for a bit to find our barings.  We love unique, handmade and vintage stuff so we quickly made our way through the mainstream shops, which are plentiful (Bristol has every shop you could ever need), and stumbled into Quakers Friars where we found the fantastic Saturday Summer Food Market heaving with local produce.  We stopped here for a bite to eat and very pleased I was too.  I had some super tastey Falafels with humous and salad from Jacobs Finest, and so good they were that I bought another 10 to take home and eat later in the week!  The Boy had a Somosa and a huge sausage bap!  Piggy!

After refueling we popped into the beautiful Paper Scissors Stone 'Artists temporium', also in Quakers Friars.  Showcasing creativity from the Made in Bristol Collective it was stocked full of all the sorts of things we love.  The Boy fell in love with a print, which I duely bought him for our anniversary, and we bought a couple of presents for other people too.  I'd have bought everything in the shop if I could!

From Quakers Friars we decided to head over to Clifton Village, taking in all the sights and sounds along the way.  We stumbled upon the cracking Bristol Cider Shop stocked to the brim with every single cider you could imagine.  The owner was a very friendly and knowledgable chap, dishing out samples faster than you could drink them!  20 minutes later and slightly tipsy we emerged with 2 pints of local cider and 2 pints of perry!   

I think the sticker ssays it all!!!

From here we found our way to Rise Music, a record shop which I'd heard about and thought The Boy might quite enjoy.....an hour later, and with numerous records, we emerged again!

We eventually made it to Clifton Village which we adored, I could easily live here.  It's full of cafes and Independent shops.  I particularly liked Soma Gallery, selling arts and homewares from local makers and Alice Barratt Jewellery, which sold beautiful contemporary jewellery and you could see Alice and her dads silversmithing workshop in the back of the shop.  The Clifton Arcade was a highlight too, a beautiful Victorian shopping arcade full of all sorts of shops from a Mexican emporium, antiques shops, interior designs, jewellers and cafes.

Phew, after all that we were definitely in need of a coffee before heading home.  If you've never been to Bristol I would definitely recommend it.  If you are looking for a good excuse to go why not tie your trip in with Bristol Independents Day on the 4th of July.  Before you go you should also check out the following links for more information:

So needless to say, after our whirlwind visit we are already planning a return, this time staying for the weekend!

Have any of you guys been to Bristol?  I'd love to hear your top tips of where to go and what to see.  We've been told Bristol Zoo is well worth a visit so we'll probably go there next time too.

Hope you all had a lovely weekend. xxx


Eco Love

Today is my Wedding Anniversary....The Boy and I have been married for 6 years!

It's been a great 6 years of mostly ups, a few downs, and some incredible fun along the way. 

You may or may not already know but I'm an eco friendly kind of girl, and The Boy is very obliging, so 6 years ago today we had an eco friendly wedding and I thought today would be the perfect day to tell you all about it.  If you're interested then click HERE to find out more!

Are you married?  What was your wedding like?  What are your top tips for a happily maried life?

These are mine: 
  • Give each other space.  It's great to share common interests and share past times but even though you are married you are still individuals.
  • Never go to bed on an arguement.  Don't let things fester, get it sorted out.  The longer argements fester the more they get distorted with time.  Nip it in the bud, make up and move on.
  • Respect each others points of view.  Even if you don't agree with something, respect each other rights to have differing opinions.
  • LISTEN!  I am rubbish at asking questions and then listening to the answers, or I simply just zone out of the conversation sometimes.  Listening is something I work really hard on, and it's really important.
  • Talk.  Talk about anything and everything, your ambitions, your ideas, your worries.  Talk about the good AND the bad.  Share your thoughts.....and don't forget to listen when the other person is talking! 
  • Laugh.  Have some fun.  Especially when life is rubbish.  

So on this, the 24th of June 2012, I would like to wish The Boy a very happy Wedding Anniversary, thank you for being such an amazing Husband and a fantastic friend! Love you always!  xxx

This is one of my ALL-TIME favourite photos of us.



Friday Fancies and Weekend Temptations

 Top: Isle of Wight, Friars Cliff, Friars Cliff Beach Hut Silhouettes, Friars Cliff
 Middle: Friars Cliff, Mudeford, Sandbanks, Old Harrys Rock
 Bottom: Old Harrys from Sandbanks, Haven Hotel, Sandbanks, Isle of Wight seen through Alum Chine Beach Huts

This week I have really been trying to make the most of my time....you see, I start a new job as an Environment Officer on Monday!!!!  The weather has brightened so I've been out for some nice walks on the beach, had evening drinks with friends, set up my new studio (another post on this another time) and I've been sorting out the house and my life ready for settling into the 9-5 routine, or in my case the 8-6 routine!

I've been listening to The Stone Roses and Tracey Chapman on vinyl as I sort out the silversmithig studio and try to catch up on life admin!

In the view to starting work I'm lusting after this lunchbox and I'd also love a Cuppow!  I'd love to turn a jar into a portable coffee cup for my 1 hour each way communte but alas I have as yet to find one in England.

On a personal level (although I'm wondering if I could get away with them at work, and could therefore justify buying them) I'm really lusting after these Vans Lo Pros in Pewter.

In the blog world I'm loving Orchid Grey, I especially her life lately and outfit posts.

The Boy and I are treating ourselves to a day out this weekend as it's our wedding anniversary.  The top contenders are Lyme Regis if it's sunny or maybe Bristol or Brighton if the weather isn't too special.

If you are in Dorset and you know someone in the armed forces, or even if you don't, why not go along to Weymouth Armed Forces Day.  There is a full weekend programme of events.

Or if you're in or around Chiswick, Hammersmith or Shepherds Bush then check out the Artists at Home Open StudiosIt starts Friday evening and runs all the way through Sunday.

There is also an Arts Festival in Lymington, Hampshire.

What did you get up to this week?  What are you up to at the weekend?  Are you lusting after anything right now?  I'd love to know.

Have a lovely weekend guys. xx



Go Skateboarding Day

Today is Go Skateboarding Day!  Check out these amazing photos of the California skateboarding scene back in the 1970's!  I wish I'd grown up in California back then!

(all photos sourced from here)

The Boy and I have 5 boards between us but I haven't been out for a while, so I guess today is the perfect day to get back out there!   

Do any of you skate?


Tuesday is Food Day - The Town Mill Bakery

(Photo courtesy of The Town Mill Bakery)

This weeks 'Tuesday is Food Day' is dedicated to one of my all time favourite places......The Town Mill Bakery, Lyme Regis.  I LOVE this place and dearly wish I lived nearer!

The Town Mill Bakery is all about handmade fresh bread, and the yummiest I have ever tasted.  They make all the bread themselves with no added preservatives, stabilisers or other unnecessary additives. The flour is organic and sourced from local mills, and it's all made without using hydrated fats or so-called improvers, softeners or enhancers.  

(Photo courtesy of The Town Mill Bakery)
As well as bread they make amazing cakes, pastries and savoury food.  They open for Breakfast, then close for an hour or two to prepare for lunch, afternoon tea and dinner.  All the food is made using fresh local ingredients and the days menu is written on a board and placed outside just before opening again for lunch.  (I love this feature!)  Every day is different!

(Photo courtesy of The Town Mill Bakery)

(Photo courtesy of The Town Mill Bakery)

The coffee they serve is AMAZING and the Custard Tarts are the best I have EVER eaten.....and I have eaten a lot I can tell you!  If custard tarts are on the menu when I'm visiting then I always have one in the cafe and buy one to have at home the next day......which I then proceed to devour in the car on the journey home! 

I just love everything about this place, the fact that you toast your own bread for breakfast, that everything is self service, that you use wooden boards for plates, and that it's just such a fantastically friendly place to be.

(Photo courtesy of The Town Mill Bakery)
If you don't live near Lyme Regis then fear not, they also have cafes in Sherbourne, Plymouth, The Eden Project....and a little birdie tells me they're opening one in Poundbury in September! 

Well I mean, how could you not like somewhere that makes Eccles Cakes the size of your face!

Happy eating my lovelies!  xx


I love you Dad!

Me and my amazing Dad!

Today is Fathers Day in the UK so I thought I'd share a little post about my Dad and my Paternal lineage.  Both my Dad and I were born and bred in Norfolk.  My Dad has a fantastic Norfolk accent and when he lived on the South Coast for a couple of years we often used to say that you needed a translation book to understand him!  My Dad is a Carpenter/Builder by trade, loves Indian Motorcycles (he'd own one if he could) and loves to go down the pub for a pie and a pint every Tuesday.

My Ukrainian Grandad at a POW camp in Norfolk

My Grandad was born in Koropets, Ukraine and ended up in Norfolk as a prisoner of war at the end of WWII.  No wonder my Grandma fell for him, he was a pretty dapper chappie!  He passed away when I was 9 but I always rememebr going to see him at the local maltings where he worked.  I remember he used to take us down the local shop with 5p each to buy some sweets....and in those days you could get 10 sweets for 5p (yes, that's right, I'm old enough to remember half-penny sweets!).  I used to buy the chocolate sweets shapped like carpenters tools, I wanted to be just like my Dad (bless!).  He used to make Gooseberry wine and we used to help him squish all the berries.  I also rememeber that he LOVED watching Countdown, during which we weren't allowed to talk, but always did!  He would always tell us to be quiet in his mother-tongue, Ukrainian!  he he!!  

My Ukrainian Great Grandfather

My Great Grandfather was born and bred in Ukraine, and sadly I know very little about him.  This is one of the few photos I have of him, I think he looks like a pretty stern chap if you ask me! 

Happy Fathers Day Dad, thanks for always looking after me, even now that I'm in my 30's! xx


Friday Fancies and Weekend Temptations

(Picture from Pinterest)

Where does the week go?  I can't believe it's Friday already!  

This week I have mostly been drinking coffee and pouring over Pinterest looking at silversmithing studio designs and layouts.

I'm currently lusting after this dress by Melabelle, a fantastic company designing and selling the most beautiful clothing and with the most fantastic customer service I have ever received.  I have the Sarah dress from last summers collection and I get compliments on it wherever I go.  It's the perfect seaside attire!  I might have a few other beautiful pieces too!  

I'm mostly listening to Pink Floyd on Vinyl having spent the last few weeks building a collection for my Dad for Fathers Day (don't worry he won't read this, I hope!!).  He got rid of his record player in the 90's and now regrets it so I'm rectifying that (If you know him don't tell him as he won't get it until the middle of July!)

I've never been to New York and I'd love to go one day and am sure I will.   That said I adore this sweet ceramic 'take-out' cup and am desperately seeking one out in England!

Don't forget it's  Cockpit Arts Open Studios this weekend, I'd definitely be going to this if I was in London this weekend!  Hurrumph!

If you're in East Sussex and fancy an old school town-fair then you can't get anything more authentic than  Ditchling Fair, it's their 700th Anniversary!!!  Think Morris Dancing, bric-a-brac stalls, bunting, processions, dog show, music and much much much more. 

If you're in North Dorset on Saturday the 16th and fancy a little Country Fete action then why not check out Chettle Village Fete.

This weekend I'll mostly be sorting out my silversmithing studio, finishing of the Cornish Jewellery Collection and drinking copious amounts of Coffee...or maybe smoothies!  

 Hope you all have yourselves a great weekend guys. xx


Tuesday is Food Day - Glutton & Glee

(Courtesy of Glutton & Glee)

Food, I'm always thinking about food!  This weeks 'Tuesday is Food Day' is dedicated to Glutton & Glee Cafe in Guildford.  I visited here a couple of weeks ago and I would definitely visit again!

I was after something for lunch, not too small and not too big (I had cake waiting for me at home!) and discovered that the menu here caters perfectly for ANY appetite!  They offer a range of pies and tarts which each come either by themselves, with a selection of salads or as a full meal with such things as Mash, peas and gravy! They also do sandwiches, jacket potatoes, and the most tasty looking cakes and sweet things.  Needless to say I will be going back to try the cakes when I'm next in Guildford.  

They have the usual coffee selection and a comprehensive tea selection as well as smoothies, and the usual soft drinks.  

The cafe itself is beautifully decked out with lots of hints of vintage and nostalgia and they have both inside and outside seating, which will be fantastic if we ever get this summer we are meant to be having!

Anywho, if you are in Guildford I would definitely recommend Glutton & Glee, whether you are out for girlie coffee, lunching with the other half, taking your Mother out for a treat or simply just looking for somewhere to relax and read the paper.   For more info check out their Facebook Page

Where would you recommend in Guildford?

Happy eating my lovelies!  xx


A swift and art-ful stop off in London

On our travels we decided to have a quick stop off in London and drop into the Pullens Yard Open Studios, and also see our friends the Stick People.

The artists at Pullens Yard hold a winter and summer open studios every year with studios ranging from jewellery, screen printing, rug making, ceramics, sculpture, clothing, vintage, musical instruments and much much more.  My favourites are Alex Monroe, Yard Sale Project, and Jam Jar Flowers.

Alex Monroe makes stunningly beautiful jewellery, my friend Susie Stickgirl has adored his work for years, gradually collecting pieces along the way.  This year I decided to treat myself and made a purchase or two, well I do need to build up my jewellery stock seeing as it all got stolen in the burglary!  (I'll blog about these purchases another time after I've had chance to photograph them).

Yard Sale Project create one-off and small-batch pieces of furniture which are exquisite! The Stick People may have made a purchase or two here....but only of the 'pebbles', wooden offcuts from their furniture making process! 

Jam Jar Flowers was one of my favourite studios.  Not only is it a great idea but it is beautiful too.  They offer bespoke floral designs in an eclectic choice of beautiful vases and jam jars.  Their studio was amazing, with an entire window of jars and vases, an open fire, bare brick and the most amazing flower-bomb hanging from the ceiling.

After we'd finished at the studios we decided to stay south of the river and head over to Brixton Village for a spot of lunch at Elephant, a Pakistani Street Food Cafe.  I had a Lamb Thali and it was delicious.  Washed down with the yummiest Masala Chai tea.

We managed to squeeze in a bit of shopping on Oxford Street, for work clothes (boring!) and after all of that exertion we wound up at Meat Market for some more refuelling.  I love Meat Market! It's the sister venue to Meat Liquor and offers a more fast food experience serving up burgers, corn-puppies, fries and of course shakes (both soft and hard!)

This is the kind of food you eat with your hands and wipe off your chin with kitchen roll!  It's not for the faint hearted!  

Just a quick little stop off in London as you can see!

If you are gutted to have missed the Pullens Yard Open Studios, fear not, you can always go to their winter event.  But if you can't wait that long for some creative immersion, check out the Cockpit Arts Open Studios in Holburn between the 15th-17th of June. 

What did you lot get up to this weekend?  Did you go to Pullens Yard?  If so what did you come away with?


New Beginnings

(Photo courtesy of my brother)

As you may or may not know I've been writing a blog called Vintage Mardle for the last year or so, focusing on all things vintage. since the beginning of 2012 my life has taken many twists and turns and as such I've decided to start a new blog called 'Mardle Made' .....and here it is!

Thanks for stopping by and checking it out, it'll follow all the twists and turns of my life and I'll feature anything which I think others might find interesting.  Check out the about me page to see what I'm all about, hopefully you'll join me on my journey and we can have some fun along the way!

Since the 1st of January I have been rejected for a job, been burgled, learnt to silversmith, opened an new online shop selling handmade silver jewellery, got offered a job and accepted it, made new friends, re-connected with old ones, started doing Bikram Yoga, been lucky enough to go on holiday and started this new blog!  Phew!  I wonder what twists and turns your lives have taken since the start of 2012? 
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