A Residence Blog

Travel and adventure taking, memory and home making, parenting and play shaking, never faking, tales of family life.

A Residence Blog

Travel and adventure taking, memory and home making, parenting and play shaking, never faking, tales of family life.

When you feel overwhelmed, look skywards #happyandhome

If you ever feel overwhelmed or stuck I recommend opening the back door and staring at the sky. I can’t take credit for the idea, my friend Jess suggested it to me last week. Everything was breaking, my to list was bulging and I was getting nowhere fast.

My office overlooks the garden. While I battled with failing wifi, an overloaded computer and an unhappy website, outside the garden was being transformed before my eyes. Paying a gardener was the best decision. I had managed to transform half the garden in March, but since then it had been staring back at me weed covered and forlorn.

Last year our friend and garden designer Pip transformed the space for us – creating new borders and sinking the trampoline and I had vowed I wasn’t going to let her fabulous work disappear again. Continue reading

Magnetic Office Wall Part 3 – My Blogger’s Office Revealed

Rooms Made For You Magnetic Plaster Office Wall Reveal

I can’t tell you how excited I am about this space, having a room of one’s own is one thing, having a room that functions exactly as you need it to, plus a magnetic office wall, is something else entirely. When my son moved out of this room for a bigger room, and I moved my stuff in, we had already moved 5 rooms around in one day, arranging my office was low priority. For years the stuff has just stayed where I first plonked it, you can see the before here. Now I have an incredible space complete with a magnetic office wall.

We might pretend it doesn’t, but as a self employed person I think your work space really matters, of course I do like to work from far flung places while travelling, or from cafes, or the kitchen table, but I also need a space where all my stuff is on hand and I feel inspired. Without an employer to provide a workspace, you have to think about how best to work and what motivates you to work. You’re responsible for making sure that your working environment is ergonomic, well lit, comfortable and conducive to creativity and productivity. Gulp!

I cannot wait to share this, it is so exciting! Continue reading

How do you settle home after a holiday? #happyandhome

Hello! Hope you had a lovely bank holiday? Thanks to all who have been linking up with Happy and Home, it really is a lovely source of inspiration and warmth. I need that, after a month of travel, coming home isn’t quite what I expected. I don’t know how you feel after being away or on holiday, how do you settle home after a holiday?

For me it’s wonderful to be home with my family again, but home itself feels confined, I pace about like a caged tiger who can’t get comfortable, after having had the world to roam around, four walls feels so restrictive. After living out of a small bag, having a house full of stuff is maddening. Continue reading

Get Inspired: Using Garden Mirrors

Using Garden Mirrors - tips and inspirations

We talk a lot about bringing the outdoors in, but now it is meant to be getting warmer – although the wind is howling outside and I am typing in my biggest jumper with the heating back on – I want to talk about bringing the indoors out. Wandering past a flower shop in Madrid last weekend I was really taken with the gorgeous display of flowers along mirror lined shelves and it got me thinking about how to use garden mirrors.

I love these shutter style mirrors (above); the display is so playful and tells a story. I really love the idea that my garden could have some little story corners. Mirrors are such a fun way to create a garden drama.

This picture of an outdoor bathroom really made me smile, I might not go as far as installing the sink, but how gorgeous does the mirror look in this setting? Seeing something unexpected like this in an outdoor setting never fails to make me smile and look again, and that’s a great feeling to bring to a garden I think. Continue reading

Fabulous Lighting Inspiration From Madrid #happyandhome

This week’s happy and home comes from Madrid, where I spent the weekend celebrating a friend’s 40th birthday. What an incredible city, the colours and energy hit you straight away, the escalator at Madrid airport is like entering a whole other dimension of home possibilities. Madrid is full of great value, fantastic little bars and eateries, many with the most brilliant contemporary decor.

I don’t know about you, but when all my home inspiration starts to come from things I read about, I can lose interest in interiors rapidly.  Madrid was just what I needed, to see stunning design ideas come alive. After Iceland the weekend before last, I had a busy three days at home painting and finishing my office for the magnetic office wall project, which I am very close to sharing the final reveal for. The one thing I don’t have is a lampshade, and having spent hours online hunting, seeing some amazing real lampshades In Madrid made me smile and renewed my enthusiasm. Continue reading

7 ways to use a mini greenhouse, plus a giveaway

ways to use a mini greenhouse

We may dream of a potting bench and a full size greenhouse, but even the smallest greenhouse can be a garden powerhouse, a brilliant way to extend your gardening seasons and save money growing your own plants from seed. It’s something kids will enjoy and a great way to ensure plants get a great start in life. if you have ever planted out only to have your seeds come to nothing in unseasonal weather conditions, a greenhouse could help keep your spirits and your plants up. It is hard knowing where to start, so here are a few ways to use a mini greenhouse in your garden: Continue reading

Icelandic Home Style #happyandhome

I still haven’t been in my own home for much more than a couple of days in the last week. So this week Happy and Home comes from Iceland where I have been lucky enough to participate in a gourmet food press trip to Hotel Ranga and meet old friends who live here.

I met two Icelandic girls in 1997 when I worked as a chambermaid at the Grand Hotel in Brighton, and have kept in touch and remained friends all these years – it was wonderful to see how our lives had moved on in nearly 20 years, and I’m still fascinated by tourism and hotel life! This was my third trip to Iceland, knowing someone in a country makes you feel at home so quickly. Icelandic people are incredible, warm and welcoming and incredibly good fun. They know how to tell great stories and are really knowledgeable about their country.

So Iceland always feels like a kind of coming home to me. The colourful corrugated iron cladding you can see pictured above, at an Ice Cream farm we visited, always conjures Iceland to me.

We drove through the landscape, newly awoken from a dark, cold winter and each time it appeared, the sun made the land truly come alive.

I took this picture of a little summerhouse, I love the red roof against the blue sky, nestled beneath the mountains. I can see why Iceland has become such a popular tourist attraction, we all want to unplug and escape. Continue reading

Industrial Style with History at the Newly Refurbished Malmaison Edinburgh

Industrial Style with History at the Newly Refurbished Malmaison Edinburgh

After an incredible week in a motorhome on a family road trip around Scotland, Visit Scotland treated us to a night at the Malmaison. Our motorhome trip was awesome and I have so many stories to share, I don’t know where to begin yet!  It was such cosy family trip, our bed on board was so comfy, but it there is always room for a little luxury at the end of a road trip.

My stay at Malmaison has given me lots of ideas for my magnetic office wall project too. I love the industrial feel, and with it a sense of history, Leith is steeped in maritime history.

Love the maps on the wall, we have custom map wallpaper in our hallway and it is a massive talking point. Cool to have USB chargers by the bed too! Continue reading

15 Things to Do in the Garden

15 great garden projects, make a scarecrow, make the garden bird friendly, make a miniature garden, plant a wildflower patch, plant sunflowers, make a herb garden, weed, prune, clean up garden furniture, upcycle metal chairs, pot houseplants, lots of lovely inspiration!


About this time of year I start to get itchy green fingers and long to make the garden look great. We’ve has big tidy up and the kids are really enjoying playing outside much more and the light evenings, but they are also keen to get planting. It is National Garden Week so I have teamed up with some other garden loving bloggers to share some great ideas for things to do in the garden.

Continue reading

Older Posts     |     Newer Posts