February has been a pretty low-key month with no travelling or big events. I’ve been hunkering down on my new photography project for Etsy, booked trips to Spain in April and Kenya in August, complete with a safari set up by the lovely Rose from the Luxury Safari Company who I interviewed last summer.
Much of what I did get up to in February didn’t make it onto Instagram, but here’s a look back at the moments that did.
1. Bellybands. When I said to my printer that I wanted to create some of “those branded paper things that wrap around boxes”, he said, “Oh, you mean bellybands?” New word for me, but they arrived looking colourful as ever. So now, I have bellybands…
2. A morning ritual. Every morning, nearly without fail, you can find me queuing in one of the three Paul bakeries near me, waiting for my breakfast tea. It takes an incredible amount of willpower to resist the incredible displays of patries. Most of the time, I manage, but once in a while, I’ll give in to a gourmandise or a slice of coconut flan.
3. A cutting project. Back to my new photography project. I had 300 mini photos printed on large sheets of papers that I spent hours diligently cutting out as perfectly as possible with a craft knife and a ruler. Tedious, yes, but also somehow therapeutic considering it meant doing something productive that didn’t involve looking at a screen.
4. The first flowers. The lovely season of Spring always starts pretty early in London. While my family and friends in New York are still buried under snow, we’re seeing the first blossoms and tree branches full of promising buds. The temperature is still pretty chilly, but give it a few weeks and we’ll be just about ready to retire the heavy winter coats.
5. A pile of mini photographs. More time with the photos! This is progress. Eventually I cut out all 300 of these little guys, tossing them into a big pile of colourful squares that spread across the table.
6. Model Oakley. Oakley loves a bit of attention. I spent a few minutes one afternoon photographing him as he was lounging in the February sun that came streaming through the window. So innocent looking, no? Don’t be fooled!
7. 100 boxes. Besides the cutting part of my project, I spent hours attaching bellybands to the first 100 boxes. Oakley was very amused. And yes, I finished all 100 of these too. I’m thisclose to launching them, so more on these in the next week or two!
8. Valentine’s Day treats. Jorge and I don’t celebrate Valentine’s Day (our 3-year anniversary was a few days before), but any excuse for Hummingbird cupcakes is a good excuse for me. We shared both and I can confirm they were both delicious.
9. Hubbard & Bell. I spent a good four hours or so walking over London one Sunday morning, from our place, up through Hyde Park, through Marble Arch, into Marylebone and back down Oxford Street all the way to Holborn. Finally, I stopped for a break and a hot cup of tea in the trendy Hubbard & Bell in the Hoston Hotel.
10. Claudie Pierlot. This shop has easily become one of my favourites in London. It’s French, a sister shop of Sandro and Maje. There’s one dangerously near our flat, but this is another branch on the lovely Marylebone High Street that I haven’t been into yet. It was a bit too early when I passed by and they weren’t open yet.
11. Empty London streets. Just around the corner from the Claudie Pierlot shop above, I wove my way through empty central London streets like this one below before the city fully woke up. There’s nothing like finding a quiet little patch of London to enjoy all to yourself.
12. Signs of Spring. As the month flew by, flowers were popping up everywhere, like these refreshing little snowdrops in St. Luke’s Garden in Chelsea. Spring is definitely one of the best seasons in London – a much needed break from dreary Winter days and evenings that grow longer and longer as we head toward Summer.
13. Anthropologie displays. I love a browse around Anthropologie (UK/US) – for their creative displays as much as for their actual products. I found an article the other day from back in December that shares a bit of the story behind the shop’s merchandising. Interesting read if you’re a fan.
14. World’s End Nurseries. Late one Sunday afternoon, Jorge and I went out for a walk the opposite direction along the King’s Road than we normally walk. We popped into Vivienne Westwood’s shop for a quick browse and then across the street to wander through the pretty World’s End Nurseries. I’ll get around to sharing photos eventually!
15. Cheddar rosemary scones. These scones were delicious (and pretty) and I’d highly recommend them. They’re from Richard, Oliver & Gregory Gladwin’s book The Shed, but I’ll share the recipe on Wednesday. Shame there are none left because now I’m reliving their fluffy, cheesy goodness and I want one!
16. The scent of vine tomatoes. One of my absolute favourite scents is of vine tomatoes – especially when they’re still outside, growing in the garden at home, freshly watered in the middle of Summer. But hey, the ones from the grocery store at the Winter, though not as fresh, smell pretty good too. These ones went into a salad with baked chicken, olives, feta and cucumber with olive oil and sea salt on top – a quick and easy mid-week meal.
17. Raspberry donut. The Saturday market in Duke of York Square on London’s King’s Road keeps growing, which is fantastic. Unfortunatley we now have the added temptations of these incredibly tasty circular sugary donut balls filled with gooey raspberry (or lemon, chocolate, vanilla, etc). I figured I had to try one at least once, right? I’ll definitely be back…
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