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July 9, 2008

Isn’t this picture great?  I mean, really look at it.. those are some old kind of gross (dare I say) chairs and look at how fabulous they look with those (always great) Union Jack pillows!  Simple, gorgeous and vibrant.  This picture just makes me happy when I look at it.
{picture from my friend Jess : original source unknown}
If you have visited my site lately, you know that I fell in love with this blue door I saw in England and so I thought I should paint my door blue and I did.  I’m not quite used to the brightness and kind of I’m having second thoughts…or maybe thinking I should tone it down some.  Here are some before and afters….PLEASE….. I’d love to hear from all of you!  You all have such excellent taste!  Like?  Dislike?  Tone it down?  Any recommendations welcome and wanted!
BEFORE: burgandy door

ps- I painted the trim around the little window (on the door) white thinking this would help but I actually think I like the all blue better?
June 16, 2008

While I was shopping around in York, I came across Cath Kidtson and I got a little overly excited.  My English friends probably thought I was a little strange.  But anyhow, I proceeded to go in and they told me they were closed.  And asked me to come back the next day, which happened to be the day I was leaving.  I begged them to let me in and they said to come back later in the day and they might be open.  Well I did go back and I was in luck, it was open.  In fact that day was the grand opening of the store!  Now, the one mistake I made was to ask the lady in the store if I could take some pictures.  She told me no.  I have always been one to ask permission but after this I might just turn into those that believe it is better to ask forgiveness than permission.  Here are a few shots I managed from the store window while they were still setting up.  The colors are GORGEOUS and so inspiring.  I especially love the pink vanity and then all of the colored bins in the pictures below.  

This next store, Wild Hart, was a sweet one.  They had all kinds of cute little things.  The kind of store you could spend quite some time wondering around looking at small interesting things.

I bought some really fun mugs, like the ones below.  They have all kind of fun little names/descriptions on them and they are made in England.  The ones I bought say, “Posh Totty” and “Anorak.”  Both really British.  I bought the Anorak one for my husband as a joke. I’m told it means kind of nerd or train spotter as my English friends have informed us in the past.  But really my husband is anything but a train spotter so I probably should of stuck with the one that said “Alpha Male!”  Oh well!
Just one final cute little store front.  A fun little clothing boutique called “Boho Belle.”

June 9, 2008
One thing I adore about the U.K. is their use of color on the exterior.  And bold colors at that.  The building may all be the same but the doors and/or trim has a personality all of it’s own.  We don’t see that much in my side of the world but I love it.  And I have to say I’m about to give it a try.  Here are a few more inspiration pictures from England that display some lovely color.

 This is probably my favorite picture that I took.  I have been wanting to paint my front door (a color like this & my brick is somewhat similar in color) so when I saw this I had to snap a picture and really I had no idea how lovely this picture would turn out.  So this is now one of my summer projects, painting my front door.  Any pointers for painting a door?
Last time we were in Europe my husband had to snap pictures of almost every Starbucks we came across…so this one was for him.  Tonight as I was going through the pictures I just noticed that on the bottom of the window frame it says “Hardcastle” and I about flipped out because that is my grandpa’s last name (mother’s maiden name).  I didn’t even notice it when I was there so I have to say this picture is a real treat!
And again just a sweet store front with a bold color that just flows so right with the old red brick!
June 5, 2008

Fridays I like to have a little something to think on.. so I thought I would tell you all a little about the conference I attended in England.  First of all…how cool are these decorations.  I wish I would have taken a few more pictures but I didn’t.  Pretty chandeliers are enough for me but when I saw the Philippe Starck ghost chairs hanging right beside them I was smitten (I have been wanting these for my kitchen but they are way out of my price range).  How cool is that?

The Cherish conference was fabulous! It was a wonderful time of personal growth (and fun too).   In Her Shoes was the theme….. What is it like to walk in someone else’s shoes?  How many times do we think we know someone and we assume everything is just fine with them when really there is a whole other story going on behind the scenes? Or how many times do we just pass by someone that is in need or just looking for some sort of connection?   So many people out there are just looking for someone to empathize with them, to listen to them, to just understand what life is like in their shoes.  The only way I know to truly live like this it to live a life that is beyond myself.  To get my mind off myself and onto others.  Thinking of others, helping others, caring for others.  Just being good to people.  This obviously isn’t always easy to do.  It is a conscious effort.   But I believe it can make a difference not only in the lives of the people that you are helping but also in your own life.   You’ll find purpose and fulfillment and that is something we are all looking for.
Another thing I loved about the conference was that we got to really step in the shoes of others and help people that really need help.  Some of the awesome things we did as a group of women was : sponsor children through Compassion International, raise money to build a nursery wing for a children’s home in Uganda, and give away thousands of shoes to needy children.  It was really neat to see what a group of women can do together.