Our epic half tonne pizza oven installation saga

Over the summer Jim turned forty and I decided to treat him to something he’s wanted for nearly decade… a brick outdoor oven. We first started looking at ovens like this when we lived in Cyprus in 2009 where they were known as Kleftiko ovens, but living in a military quarter meant they weren’t a very practical purchase and we’d almost certainly have had to leave it behind when we got posted. We were keen enough that we visited a few shops that sold them though and there’s a picture of us from the time with Jim looking wistfully at one*

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Home Life Project – November (without a DSLR!!)

It was not a happy start to this month’s Home Life Project weekend! On the day of the last Home Life Project I took my DSLR to the beach, got a grain of sand in it and the autofocus stopped working. I took it to be repaired three weeks ago and though I am expecting it back any day, I’ve still not got it. So for this weekend’s HLP I used a compact camera I bought for filming, a Lumix G7. It’s great for video, but the manual settings for photos are limited and the photos aren’t as crisp as an SLR would produce.

I wish I could say something profound about my day using it, like how it taught me to get back to the basics of photography, or that it challenged me to think about light more, but it really didn’t. It just made me think of the days before I had an SLR when I had no control over the settings and everything I shot in low light had motion blur.

I’ve talked before about my desire to buy a mirrorless camera and it is still something I intend to do (particularly so I can take it to the beach next time!!) however it needs to be a camera (like this) with a wide range of easy accessible manual controls otherwise it’ll just cause me endless frustration.

So anyway, on with our day. Jim was here for the start of it, but disappeared at lunchtime for a business trip, so whilst Alice was having her lunchtime nap Theo and I spent some time working on his memory quilt which is made out of all the t-shirts he’s outgrown… and then suddenly it was dark…and then I really really missed my SLR and prime lens!

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Me & Mine – October

I’ve been rather looking forward to this month’s family portrait. My first with short hair and our first with a two year-old in the family! This photo was actually taken on Alice’s birthday, which like the year she was born (and last year I think) was a day of bright sunshine and autumnal colours, though typically the sun had decided to disappear by the time the camera came out!

We had family over for lunch and cooked Kleftico in our new brick outdoor oven (a post on that soon!) together with a Mary Berry cheesecake that didn’t set properly but tasted delicious (and that’s what counts right!) A family lunch is somewhat traditional on October 28th now, after we had champagne and sandwiches in our bedroom upstairs on the day Alice was born!

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Getting a Pixie Cut

A couple of weeks ago I finally did something I have been toying with for ages, I chopped my hair off and went for a Pixie Cut! The last time I had short hair was 9 years ago and I started considering going short again about two years ago when Laura at Side Street Style did hers.

It took a while to get used to the idea and then another five weeks to get an appointment with my stylist (ahhh!) so by the time I stepped into the salon I was really really ready for the chop!

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Collaborating with Huxter kids clothes

Earlier this year I was introduced (via Instagram) to the colorful children’s clothing brand Huxter, at the same time they happened to be seeking their first ambassadors. I took an instant like not just to the brand, but to the creative mind behind it Sophie Bell-Carr and so applied (successfully) to work with them.

What makes Huxter unique is that their items combine a main fabric which the customer chooses with a trim fabric which is chosen for you. My favourite Huxter top of Theo’s is a bold clash of dinosaur print and stripes, something I never would have put together but which just works brilliantly and Theo wears it all the time. In fact he has a “Sophie drawer” just for his Huxter things.

Over the last few months I’ve watched in admiration as Sophie’s business has grown, taking on a seamstress and a premises as the orders have gone from strength to strength. I wanted to find out a little more about the business and how Sophie has used social media to fuel its growth, so I decided to ask her a few questions and also to share some of the images of my kids in her clothing.

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