Posts in the Finds category

Vintage-style bed linen

Much as I love finding a great second-hand frock in a charity shop, I’ve become increasingly drawn to the textiles section (aka the bit where they sell all the bed linen and curtains). We have several pairs of vintage curtains in our house; some made by my mum and others scored on ebay. I’ve also found some bold and beautifully patterned duvet covers and pillowcases, which I love to mix and match with my existing sets. I think it’s the fact that vintage textiles are usually so colourful and floral – I’m not one to shy away from a big bloom print, I can tell you! And I also love the way that a pair of curtains or a new duvet cover can easily and cheaply transform a room.

However these vintage finds have been the result of some serious scavenging and a few sweaty-palmed bidding moments on ebay. I appreciate that getting an authentic vintage look isn’t easy and of course finding the right measurements is a minefield too (we’ve been there!!). So, I’ve done a bit of window shopping online and here are my favourite bedding sets, guaranteed to give your bedroom a vintage look without the hassle. You’re welcome!

Pink Summer Paints bedlinen collection, from £11.99, and matching curtains from £23.99, Dunelm Mill

Laura Ashley2

Mille Fleurs floral pink cotton bedlinen, from £50, Laura Ashley


Olivia embroidered duvet set, from £25-£30, Matalan


Sun Floral duvet cover, from £60, Joules


Nell striped single duvet cover, £35, Habitat


Alvine Orter quilt cover and pillowcases, £12, IKEA


Green Birds prints bed set, £25-£55, Next


Bird print bed linen, from £29.99, Zara Home


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What Kat Did: Mint Velvet fashion show

Mint Velvet fashion show

show1 show2 show3

It’s always nice to have an excuse to change out of a baby food-encrusted jumper and leg it across town to meet a friend so you can go to a fashion show. Not only does this mean you can avoid the bedtime routine but more importantly you get to sip Pimms and Lemonade, ogle some pretty clothes and pretend you still have a life.

Which is exactly what I did the other week, courtesy of women’s fashion retailer Mint Velvet. I’ll be honest, this shop has only really been on my radar since a branch opened in my home town of Harrogate a few months ago and it was a new one on me. Turns out, this is kind of the point as the brand is trying to remain fairly exclusive by choosing selected store locations.

Mint Velvet was started in 2009, typically round the kitchen table of three friends drinking mint tea, hence the name. Mint=freshness, velvet=luxury. After 15 years in the fashion business, Liz, Lisa and Jane decided to start their own womenswear brand that would combine a passion for fashion with clothing for ‘modern women with real lives’.

The clothes are quite pricey but they are aimed at the middle ground between high street and designer, in short: affordable luxury. To be honest, they are the sort of clothes I would love to wear if I was still working in an office (and had a bit more disposable income). The other thing that struck me was that this is the shop I would definitely head to if I needed to buy a really great dress for a wedding. The special occasion range is amazing and feels far more exclusive than say Monsoon but many of the dresses are about the same price (give or take).

Oh and the leather jackets… I’ve always been a denim jacket kinda girl but if I was ever to mature into a butter-soft-leather-jacket-wearing sort of woman, this is where I would buy one.

So, here are my favourite picks from the show. Thanks to the team at Mint Velvet for such a lovely evening.


Really nice dresses for a holiday abroad but would also work well during the great British summer time.

summer dresses

Loved these aqua and pink coloured trousers. Also, that gorgeous iris blue colour is so pretty!

Coloured trousers

 Those leather jackets…great to layer over fine knits or give an edge to a dress / full-length skirt.leather jackets

Classic accessories, in particular Mint Velvet do a great range of scarves (there’s even a tutorial on their blog showing you how to wear them).

Mint Velvet accessories

This is the first time Mint Velvet has done occassionwear but I think they might become known for it. The details were beautiful and that dress in the middle is worthy of Daisy Buchanan.

special occasion dresses


 Images 2, 3 and 4 of this post were taken by Hannah Burgess. All other images are my own.



Festival wish list

My heart still skips a little beat when I hear that Glastonbury tickets have gone on sale (and sold out two hours later). Ahhh 2005 was a good year for me and the mister *smiles fondly*. I don’t think we’re brave enough to take all three kids to Glasto just yet but this year we are doing our first festival as a family of five. In July we’re heading off to Deershed, a brilliant sounding, family-friendly event just down the road from us. I’m hoping it will be the start of my kids’ musical education and maybe even a brief return to our lives BC (before children). Ha, who am I kidding but it should be fun!? And one or two of these *essentials* might help:
My festival / camping checklist:
wet wipes
sun cream
ID wristbands for the nippers
first aid kit
long socks (to avoid welly rub)
ear plugs
drinks in a can (make mine a Pimms)
comfy shoes
bum bag (look/sound awful but quite useful)
tutu (optional)
an adventurous spirit
 Kampa Karzi portable toilet*
*Well would you like to take a small child to the loo on the other side of a vast field of tents, in the middle of the night?
What are your festival/camping must-haves?


6 summer knits

I’m never far from a jumper, come rain or shine. But even I need something a little more lightweight for summer. There are are some lovely sweaters doing the rounds at the moment, many with more than just a nod to vintage style with their pointelle designs, lacy stitching and fisherman knit patterns. I’m loving the colours too; as pretty as a row of seaside beach huts. Mmm, make mine a Raspberry Ripple please!
Which one’s your favourite (jumpers or ice cream flavours, I don’t mind which)?


Wish List: Garden Party

Now that some of the stuff in our garden is finally springing into life (please see previous post re: our very shy Forsythia tree), and we’ve had a couple of sunny days, I’m doing that typically British thing. I’m getting my hopes up about summer and daring to picture myself lounging in the garden with an ice cold Pimms and my feet in the kids’ paddling pool. Pah! Hope springs eternal.
It would help if we actually had some decent kit for all this supposed lolling about, so I’ve been thinking about investing in an outdoor table and chairs. Alfresco dining in the north of England is still possible y’know (as long as I have a granny blanket over my knees)!
Here are a few other *essentials* that might help too:
Are you up for a garden party yet?