see you soon

The To Do list is a glorious mess of scribbles and most importantly strike throughs and as I write this I have that nervous feeling of either having done everything I needed to do or forgotten everything. But we’re off and everything appears to be in place for when we get back so for the time being I’m going to roll with it.

As we head off to the Channel Islands to stay with family for three weeks I’ve decided to take a break from the blog for August. There will be the odd post and of-course I’ll be on Twitter & Instagram with Alderney updates but August is also dedicated to working on my new project so when I come back in September I am really hopeful that I can divulge every detail…until then, I hope everyone has a wonderful summer!

See you in September!

Love, L x

featured image via Clare Lavis

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Minimal packing

Like any good blogger, I couldn’t go away and not share the contents of my suitcase. So although the blogosphere is aflood with packing tips and travel essentials, here’s mine to add to the pile…

This holiday is completely different. There will be no requirement to dress up, no need for posing poolside attire and certainly no need for a breakfast dress (see the Online Stylist‘s brilliant definition of a breakfast dress!). So the words simplicity and minimal spring to mind.

Having said I was going to give the monochrome packing regime a go I came unstuck when I realised I don’t actually have much black but what I do have in abundance is navy, white and grey.

So the theory is that you only pack items that can co-ordinate together. If it’s doesn’t go, it doesn’t go in. Brilliant. Packing has never been so easy and blissful.

My Pollyanna packing My Pollyanna packing

My Pollyanna packingThere is of-course the exception, so I’ve popped in my coral beach cover up that I bought in Italy last year. But the basis of my suitcase has been my 7 For All Mankind denim cut-offs (an old pair of bootcut jeans I butchered last month). White and grey tops – there’s a white shirt, tee and vest together with a denim shirt for cooler days and my Oui Mon Cheri sweater for those sea breezes. I’ve also thrown in a black jersey maxi dress just in case.

House of Havisham

For swimwear, I’ve packed my one-piece swimsuit from Topshop and this nautical bikini from Cos that I bought a few months ago (it’s now in the sale and the top is reduced to £5!).

Keeping my suitcase lavender fresh is this perfect suitcase pillow handmade by my lovely friend Penny with lavender from her garden. She has opened a new company, House of Havisham where she designs and hand makes beautiful contemporary crafts – she is also an expert at sourcing unique vintage finds so look out for her website coming soon.

In the meantime you can follow her lovely Instagram feed now and she’s on Twitter too.

So that’s it, just time for a few bubbles tonight with friends and we’re off.

L x

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Summer 2014

<< pre-school adventures. Making the most of the few days of just me and this little one before she starts school in September >>

Flossie

<< dining alfresco >>

Dining alfresco

<< lunch with blog and twitter friends at the beautiful Limewood >>

Amanda & Jo Limewood Limewood Jennie & Me Limewood

<< paddling, fishing & old fashioned fun at the river >>

Old fashioned fun at the river

<< coffee at Cote and early evening supper at our local pizza hang out, Woodfire >>

Woodfire Coffee at Cote

<< London fun and posing in-front of the eco-wall at the new J.Crew store, Sloane Square >>

London J.Crew Sloane Square Camden

Now for next chapter of Summer…three weeks in Alderney. Better get packing!

L x

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Hair at George Northwood featured

After going for the drastic chop around six months ago from very long hair to a chin length bob I was pleased with the overall effect of going from long to short but those around me will know that I’ve never quite been satisfied with the style. I knew exactly what I wanted but never seemed to be able to achieve it. Only recently had I been more satisfied because it had reached a length where I could pull it back into a bun again.

One thing that’s always been on my  “Things I really want to do but I know is extravagant” list is to go to a London salon with a well known stylist. So, when WITblog published a 20% discount at George Northwood – stylist to Rosie Huntington-Whitely and Alexa Chung no less – it seemed the timing was just right. I’d seen what he’d achieved with Laura’s hair and I felt confident. The last thing I wanted was to pay through the roof simply because of a famous name.

Here’s my bulky, dark mass of hair before…

My Pollyanna hair before

I arrived last Thursday at the Wells Street salon just in the nick of time for my 11am appointment. It was so comfortable yet stylish and homely that my fears of it being a scary, intimidating place were immediately put to bed.

George Northwood hair Washing stations George Northwood hair salon

 

You can see more beautiful images of the salon at George Northwood on his website here.

I sit for a couple of moments before I meet Amy who will be doing my colour. She was young, passionate and enthusiastic without being annoying (you know what I mean…) and her ideas brought a huge smile to face and an even bigger sigh of relief. She got me.

Amy explained that she was going to cover my hair with a tint (I had tonnes of grey to mask) then using a technique called Balayage she would run “natural, sun kissed colour artfully scattered throughout the hair”. Ahhhh, it sounded amazing and I was totally convinced.

George Northwood Salon

After a minty manicure by resident nail technician, Magda, coffee, water and homemade shortbread by George’s mum my colour was ready to be washed off and I’m directed upstairs to meet Lotte.

George Northwood hair cutting station

Lotte is George’s graduate. Having been trained closely by George Northwood I had every confidence in her and again, she didn’t disappoint.

Colour by Amy at George Northwood

Since having my initial hair cut there was one thing I’d always resented and that was looking mumsy. I wanted to be modern and finally Lotte delivered exactly and precisely what I had been after.

It does sound gushy and dramatic but I’ve had weeks and months of disappointment with my hair in the past and to feel like I have a style and colour that I feel suits me and doesn’t drain me is so uplifting. Nothing like a good hair cut to put a spring in your step!

Cut by Lottie at George Northwood

I really can’t recommend visiting the George Northwood salon highly enough for all out hair satisfaction.

L x

 

 

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Staying in control

Juggling lots of different elements of my life tests me to me absolute limit. The feeling of achievement and productivity cannot be beaten but getting to that point can be a bit of a bumpy ride. I like to feel in control. To get to a place where I’m ahead and ready to proactively move on to the next job is always my ultimate goal. There’s nothing worse than that feeling of spiralling further down into the depths of disorganisation or on a good day where you feel like you’re just about treading water.

But there’s always a balance for me. I love having control but being super organised doesn’t come naturally and in all honestly I find it a tad boring. There’s a part of me that likes things a little bit random and I enjoy the ride of flying by the seat of my pants. Getting that perfect balance is the hard part.

Putting more on my plate lately has forced me into orderly habits and I have to admit I quite like it. Here are three of the ways I keep productive.

Organisation tips

 

As boring as it sounds, one of my biggest hurdles when keeping top of things is putting the washing away. I can do the washing, I can hang it up but putting it away is my nemesis. It trips me up every week. The pile would get higher and higher which would then lead to other things not being done (I always find this, once I start losing control in one area I quickly lose control elsewhere too).

The other week I sat and identified the things that make me feel out of control and focussed on making sure that even if I don’t do anything else, I do those things. And it worked. It’s still a conscious behaviour but it seems to be working.

Here’s to a productive week!

L x

 

 

 

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Maya Angelou

For those who check into the blog regularly, you may have noticed pockets of silence recently. This has not been sitting well with me so I thought it was only right and honest of me to give you an explanation.

I’m currently working on a project that could see My Pollyanna turn into a very real, tangible entity. It’s still very, very early days and I don’t want to tempt fate (or if I’m honest I don’t want to look silly if it doesn’t happen!) by saying exactly what it is but needless to say, it’s taking up a lot of my time and something has had to give. And that thing has been the blog.

I love writing the blog but I also like things to be right. If I’m not able to produce something that I’m pleased with, I haven’t produced anything at all. I’m not sure if this is the right thing or not, I’m no expert but I do believe that the essence of a blog is that it’s personal and honest.

As a result I just get riddled with guilt so in some ways, perhaps this post is more of an outlet for me to release some of that guilt but either way I just wanted to explain.

My Pollyanna on holiday

It was when I was on holiday that I started planning My Pollyanna. That was a year ago and if someone had told me then what the past year was going to entail I wouldn’t have believed them. I’ve had brilliant experiences and met some great people. Some contacts and more importantly, some really great friends. Who knew this cyber world could be such a friendly, inspiring and comforting place?

I want this to continue but for the time being it’s going to be a juggling act between blogging and getting the business up and running.

Thank you for reading and all the lovely comments now and over the past year.

L x

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Summer essentials from Connock London

There are murmurs in the My Pollyanna household of the H word. We may and I stress, may be going on holiday. So this naturally got my thinking about me packing essentials, though truth be told holiday or no holiday, these will definitely be getting my through the Summer.

Eau de Parfum Connock London

Since Connock London sent me their Kukui Eau de Parfum and body oil I have been completely obsessed with them. On two levels they fit into my life perfectly. Firstly, if these legs are to be on public display they have to be in tip-top condition. With the warmer weather and the appearance of skirts and shorts the oil has been my go-to beauty product. It’s beautifully moisturising with no greasiness (which if I’m honest was my main concern with using an oil). It leaves a soft, glowy finish to look neatly polished.

Secondly, I’m really not a perfume person. Although I have a small collection that, if I remember, I may have a quick spritz of in the morning but I’ve never found anything that I’ve wanted to wear everyday. Scents are really personal and I suppose I’ve never found one that is just ‘me’.

Maybe it’s been my yearning for a holiday but I’ve been totally taken in by the beachy, fresh scent of the signature Eau de Parfum from Connock London. The ingredients include Italian Bergamot, Moroccan Rose, White Jasmine and Calla Lily, Sandalwood, Vetiver, White Amber and layers of cashmere and sheer musk. Divine.

And if it’s good enough for Goop then it’s good enough for me!

Sunglasses / Espadrilles / Lipstick /

What are you Summer essentials?
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Grumps' party picnic

It’s been a bit of strange one this past week and definitely not one that I had accounted for in my blogging schedule! The complicated extraction of a wisdom tooth followed by infection wiped me out and it’s taken a little while to get the blogging cogs turning again.

Life goes on though and it’s been nice to slow things down and bit and indulge in some of the little pleasures…

> Shopping <

H&M espardrillesMy magpie instincts were still in tact as I honed in on these sparkly treasures in H&M.

> Afternoon stroll around Salisbury Cathedral <

Flossie at the cathedral

> Coffee at the newest kid on the Stockbridge block, Woodfire <

Woodfire coffee

> Followed by a misty walk to the River Test <

Stockbridge river view

And what did I wear? Well, it’s been as laid back as possible so jeans, stripes and pumps.

From where I stand

I’m back to the dentist today then back to oil up those cogs…

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DIY links

Last year after I did the Annie Sloan painting course with The Consortium I thought I was really going to get into it, suddenly release my inner crafty person. But alas, no. I realised I was probably best leaving things I’m not very good at to the people who are.

Now all I have is admiration for those who are good and marvel at the fruits of their labour safe in the knowledge that everyone is better off if I stick to the shopping. Here are a few my favourite bloggers with some excellent DIY tips that I can’t wait to try…or at least read about….

1. Monica Beatrice, The Elgin Avenue.

Monica has used these fab gold, glittery letters from one of my favourite shops, The Hambledon to make a simple yet stunning piece of artwork. This post caught my eye because I have the same glittery letters that as yet as stayed safely filed in my “crafty” drawer. Gotta love a bit of sparkle…

The Elgin Avenue is one of my favourite blogs. Full of colourful fashion, lifestyle and a great personality. The Elgin Avenue 2. Emily Schuman, Cupcakes & Cashmere.

A tote is one of my favourite Summer bags, I love chucking everything in to take the beach or just popping to the shops, so to personalise it…perfect. Cupcakes & Cashmere tote 3. Kate Mcauley, I am not a Celebrity

I met Kate when I was in London last month and she is one of the most interesting, grounded and fascinating people I have ever had the pleasure of meeting. Her blog is gorgeous and these fig and ginger scones look just divine. I am not a celebrity scones 4. Kristen Turner, Miss Kris

I love coffee, there’s no mistaking. So when the temperatures rise I am definitely going to be whizzing up these caffeine fuelled ice-cubes. LA based blogger, Kristen Turner’s blog, Miss Kris is rammed with DIYs. Check out the Embellished Detachable collar… Miss Kris Turner ice cubes coffeeIf you follow my Instagram, you may have seen yesterday that I did dust off my Annie Sloan paint brush and update a ropey old table in Scandinavian Pink and it looks surprisingly good! Maybe there is a DIY in there after all…

Do you know any other handy blogs to know about?
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Easter trifle

No celebration can really be complete without a trifle can it? And as Easter is all about scoffing as much naughty stuff as possible this trifle seemed just right. This extra deep trifle bowl from The White Company is a lovely centre-piece but it does mean lots and lots of layers…

{toasted and cubed hot cross buns drenched in sweet sherry}

Easter trifle

{peaches}

{strawberry jelly}

{custard}

Easter trifle

{chocolate muffins chopped & scattered}

{peaches}

{custard}

{chocolate muffins chopped & scattered}

Easter trifle

{custard}

{cream}

{topped with mini eggs}

Easter trifleEaster trifle

Happy Easter x

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