Well, Hello April!

In the days when I worked full time in an office, January lasted forever & spring took an eternity to arrive....how then is it already April, how did that happen?!

This year is all about our house & Getting Stuff Done....third largest project (yes, there is an order, I work on it every night when my brain apparently feels the urgent need to wake me up to think about it ;)) was the bathroom.

Work began on that one month ago & I am beyond happy to say that it is finished - I cannot tell you how good it feels to have one beautiful, dare I say perfect, room in this old house of ours!
It is clean, bright, spacious, everything works....it's totally blissful!

When all around you are projects in varying degrees of completion (or total disrepair), I can completely see how important it is to have something that is "done", somewhere you can go to where all is good, happy & bright :)

The builders left just in time for the school holidays and now, hoorah, we have two much-needed weeks holiday for Easter....

My blog has been the quietest that it's ever been this year, I've missed it a great deal, & so I am planning to challenge myself to "30 days of blogging" in April.

Here's what else has been going on....

Reading : I finally finished "The Goldfinch" last night & loved it.
I am now reading "The Miniaturist" by Jessie Burton, which will be followed by "The Girl On The Train" by Paula Hawkins & "Wild" by Cheryl Strayed.

Watching : "The Good Wife" (finally) on Netflix from the very beginning.

Movies : I saw "Selma" & thought it was incredible, the best & most powerful film I've seen for ages & I'm going to see "Still Alice" tomorrow.

Dreaming Of : Holidays & Sunshine. For once I don't yet have anything planned for this year &, gulp, we may have major renovations going on in the summer which may require us being around. Best not to think about that too much yet I think.
I would love a weekend away somewhere....anywhere.

Loving : morning smoothies & green juices.

Needing : a really good haircut, a massage, a mani-pedi....a spa day would be perfect.
My birthday is this month so maybe....

Planning : house stuff....some painting, organising/emptying our storage unit, planning the loft conversion & kitchen extension for this summer.

Wanting : to get to the gym. As soon as school goes back, I will be there.

Worrying about : my daughter. Parenting a teenager is not for the faint-hearted, every time you think you've cracked it, along comes another dilemma or issue! Tricky times, a true rollercoaster of emotions...all you can do some days is hang in there & know that your're not the first parent dealing with this stuff & you won't be the last.

Desperate for : a good night's sleep! I've got into a terrible habit of waking up around 2-3am...and once I'm awake, I cannot get back to sleep without thinking about anything & everything, it's driving me crazy!

Shopping for : bathroom accessories!

Coveting : these boyfriend jeans, these chelsea boots, this deep relax balm & to be magically transported to this gorgeous holiday destination....

Happy April! 

Five Recipes : Salted Caramel

I've only made choux pastry a few times but each time it's gone spectacularly right so every time I see a recipe that calls for choux pastry, I know it's for me. 
Particularly if said recipe involves salted caramel.

It's most definitely a favourite flavour of mine & one that no menu or patisserie worth its salt appears to be without these days, decadent & delicious, it's rarely disappointing.

For this week's Five Recipes series, I've chosen some of my favourites from my "salted caramel" pinterest board. Yes, I do indeed love it enough to have a dedicated pinterest board ;)

jars of salted caramel, perfect for foodies - this recipe is in French but just use Google translate :)

all recipes link to the original bakers & creators via their websites

House Renovations : The Bathroom.

Our bathroom was second on our list of "major works" in our home, 
but for various reasons 
(the main one being that I couldn't bear living with our current bathroom for one more day), 
it has been bumped up to the top spot....
and work on it has started today.

It is the smallest of the major projects - if that makes sense - and therefore should be the quickest to complete....in theory!

The bathroom in our house right now is on the ground floor, located next to the kitchen - which quite honestly doesn't work for any of us.

The whole room has seen better days, the shower is temperamental & is also over the
bath, the room is very brown & outdated, it houses our washing machine & it is lacking in storage.

Quite honestly, I hate using it & do so as quickly as possible.

So, our new bathroom will move up a floor to the room directly above, currently a bedroom....
the new room is a perfect square, is lighter & brighter & will work so much better.

I have never designed a room before but have tried to keep my wish-list as simple as possible & focus on just some of the things I want in a bathroom.... 

* the room is to be : light, bright, calm, warm, spa-like, clean & uncluttered

* colours : pale, ivories, creams, whites, greys

* storage : functional, simple, classic

I have chosen a traditional claw-foot freestanding bath & a walk-in shower.

Grouting in the shower will be mid-dark grey & I am using subway/metro tiles - very excited about these!

I am ordering almost all the bathroom furniture, fixtures, fittings & accessories online &, given the amount of options available, have tried to keep my choices simple 
ie, I have gone with my first or second choice & not looked at everything out there.
Too much choice is not always a good thing! 
I had a brief moment of second-guessing myself this morning as I ran through everything with the builder, but I feel pretty happy with it all.

The fact that we are starting with an empty white room is a good thing, within reason I can plan the room any way that I want. Everything will be fresh & new, it feels extremely exciting!!

The builders have just finished their first day's work & the whole project is estimated to take three weeks. 
I can't wait to share before & after photos.

all images via Pinterest, to see more from my Pinterest boards see here....

Inspiration : 5 Pins & 5 Links

....isn't this a great & very original way to display your instagram or polaroid photos, very cute!

....so true, be it family, friends or simply those you admire from afar

i am all about a good soup. and a woolly jumper. 
going to be making this rustic nordic pea soup tomorrow. 

....love this sign from Market Lane Coffee, Melbourne coffee shop.
 a little life advice on one wall....
it's okay to be good at just one thing....
just make sure you're really good at it & that you love it. 
be passionate. love what you do. that's good enough.
The Met Museum of Art, NYC....such an inspiring space.
i really need some museum time, going to plan that for next week. promise.

+ 5 links that I've enjoyed this week

a stunning Chelsea, NYC townhouse, so much inspiration here

this greek yogurt olive oil cake with orange blossom glaze

this extraordinarily moving piece "a wedding in the shadow of cancer "

i so want to take a trip....
these gorgeous photos of a Viennese honeymoon make this look like a good place to start!

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