Wednesday, 27 February 2013


Evening all! I find myself in something of a whimsical, fanciful mood tonight, so I thought I'd share just a handful of little things that have recently put a smile on my face and sunshine in my heart...

Crochet Amigurumi Bunny Rabbits by WereRabbit2006 on Etsy

Having ordered them (from Thailand!) as an Easter gift, I received these little hand-knitted beauties in the post yesterday, and to say they are too adorable for words is an understatement! Photos of my bunnies, including the gloriously kitsch packaging they arrived in, will be included in this week's Smörgåsbord.

'Cat' by P, my 2 year old niece

This makes me grin from ear to ear whenever I see it. I may be biased, but I really think it's rather good! Children amaze and amuse me every day.

Baby Elephant Ring in Sterling Silver with Diamonds by MicheleChangJewelry on Etsy

Last, but not least: isn't this cute?! Even His Lordship thought so. August isn't all that far off - birthday prezzie perhaps..? It reminded me of Hilaire Belloc's sweet little elephant poem, which I shall love you and leave you with for now... Good night, world.

pp x

The Elephant
from The Bad Child’s Book of Beasts by Hilaire Belloc

When people call this beast to mind,

They marvel more and more

At such a little tail behind,

So large a trunk before.

Monday, 25 February 2013

Sunday Smörgåsbord

A real motley assortment of images this week, some of which I'll elaborate on in later posts...

Top row (left to right)

1. Supremely cool 'Alice' print by Ros Shiers that I was treated to for Valentine's Day ~ wonderful, attentive hubby, lucky me!
2. The Primrose Café in Bristol ~ delectable fare, no matter what you order. I spent a weekend in Bristol (my first visit) and loved it. More on Brizzle another time.
3. Loving my recent Topshop purchase. Reminds me of a table cloth my late Godmother used to lay out on special occasions! Old school.
4. Surely the last of the snow till next Winter..? Pretty please?

Middle row

1. More Valentine's treats! Roses are great, but not the kind you find out in force on Valentine's Day. If you're shopping for flowers on the high street, I infinitely prefer tulips ~ the boy knows me well :-)
2. Pancakes!!! Best French crêpe recipe coming soon. Strawberries and Nutella ~ the most heavenly of fillings. This combo is sometimes referred to as Romeo & Juliet, on account of its being bittersweet. We were made these for breakfast on our honeymoon ~ bless.
3. Nails Inc. Limited Edition Pinkie Pink glitter nail polish in support of the Breast Cancer Campaign. Excellent coverage for a glitter varnish. Barbie would be proud.
4. Just whipped up this Victoria Sponge Cake with Strawberries & Champagne jam, because I'm proper posh.

Bottom row

1. Rimmel Lycra Pro nail polish in Trend Spotting. The photo doesn't do the plummy depths of this varnish any justice. Try it out for yourself.
2. I'm a sucker for a beautiful sky. I find admiring the heavens promotes deep thought and a sense of tranquility. Always useful for putting the petty necessities of one's life into cosmic perspective.
3. A little posy of roses, freesia and wax flower that I had put together to take to a friend's pancake party, which was as awesome and gluttonous as it sounds, yes. I love the soft vintage look of Amnesia roses in their muted lilac tones. Very pretty.
4. This chunky mustard scarf came from Tesco, of all places. It was £7! Much as I love wearing it, I'm hoping an imminent change in the weather will mean I'll no longer need to. Sunshine, please!

Oh dear. As the clock would have it, this is more of a Monday Montage than a Sunday Smörgåsbord. Time for bed, said Zebedee...

Happy Monday, everyone; have a great week!

pp x

Saturday, 23 February 2013

Magpie Must Haves


As part of my Happiness Project, I have given a lot of thought to ways in which I can develop my blog, and one thing that occurred to me was that regular features are a good way to maintain momentum and provide the impetus for regular posts. I cannot tell you how terrible I feel whenever Sunday comes and goes and I haven't posted a Smörgåsbord! I have had so many ideas for regular feautres, some dating back as far as last summer, which I've yet to implement, but here is the first of them...

MagpieMustHaves will be a fortnightly feature sharing my personal recommendations on a particular theme. This may just be simply in the form of current loves, i.e. recent purchases/experiences, or it may be, for example, MagpieMustHaves for a beach holiday, or MagpieMustHaves for the perfect afternoon tea. I really hope these posts will prove to be as popular as the Smörgåsbords have been. This first installment of MMH is based on my love of vintage fashion...

Magpie Must Haves ~ Ten of the best vintage-inspired frocks

It is the prerogative of every little girl to play dress-up. From the musty and slightly sour smelling depths of the white-washed dressing-up box at nursery school, to the plush, tactile interior of some fabulous Parisian boutique, the exhilaration of donning a fabulous frock and admiring oneself twirling about in the looking glass remains the same, whether the little girl in question is eight, or eight-and-twenty.

Having spent several ugly caterpillar teenage years in little besides jeans and trainers, I'd like to believe that I have since emerged from the chrysalis of sartorially dubious university years, having become something that more closely resembles a butterfly. Some sort of moth, perhaps.

I do not pretend to be a trend-setting fashionista ~ you won't, sadly, find me in the front row at LFW, much as I'd love that ~ but I have at least the confidence to experiment with colour, texture and style, safe in the knowledge that whatever I put together will look better than Helena Bonham Carter on a bag lady day.

When dressing up, which I love to do, my choice of outfit will often allude to a bygone era in some way. That's not to say that you will find me down the local on a Friday night in full 1920s flapper attire, rather I may have tried to incorporate in my ensemble the materials, prints or silhouettes of vintage fashion in some way.

The following selection features ten of my favourite dresses currently available to purchase. They are beautiful and feminine and each harks back to a particular decade from the last century. Enjoy!

















Love! I'm more of a 20s through to 50s girl myself. Which era/s best suit/s your sense of style?

pp x

For the love of TOD

Occasionally I like to taunt myself by browsing the internet for swag I know I cannot afford, and am therefore unlikely to ever own. Today, I bring you porn of the exquisite leather goods variety...

TOD'S D.D.Bag Medium Leather Bag
Oh, to get my paws on that sumptuous, grainy leather and inhale its earthy musk!

TOD'S Gommino Leather Moccasin Loafers
I find myself very drawn to orange at the moment. I'm not sure that's a good thing...

Mulberry Flower Lock Bracelet in Mint Classic Calf
Super cute and seasonal, combining the floral motif and beautiful mint shade.

Pour La Victoire Shanna in Mint Snakeskin Leather
Saw these on Cupcakes and Cashmere and had to re-post. So  pretty for Spring!

Christian Laboutin Décolleté 100 patent-leather  pumps
A true classic. Definitely on my 30th birthday list.

Anya Hindmarch Grey Capra Bathurst Bow Soft Satchel
Imagine carrying this beauty to work ~ what a pleasure transporting your affairs would be.

Modalu Pippa Croc Grab
Just thought this would set off the Laboutins nicely...

What are your current leather lusts?

pp x

All grown up

I always knew that there would be something of an anti-climax to face once the wedding was over. As stressful as planning a wedding can be, I found it exciting and rewarding to have such a monumental event to design and orchestrate from scratch; it gave me an opportunity to be creative in a way I haven't been for such a long time. I loved finding ways of expressing our personalities and including details that were representative of our stories, both as individuals and as a couple, and seeing everything come together to produce the end result was hugely satisfying, not to mention emotional. Immediately after the wedding, we flew away on our honeymoon, returning to celebrate Christmas, albeit belatedly, and relive our wedding day through photos and conversations with family and friends. We floated along merrily on our newly wed cloud for several weeks, but I knew reality would eventually bite. And it did.

Going back to work after the most incredible three and a half week break was harder even than I had imagined. As happy as I was to be married to my wonderful husband, I felt an overwhelming sense of inertia and apathy, which I have spent most of January and February battling against. I have enjoyed some lovely weekends during that time, spent doing fun things, visiting friends and family etc, but the Monday to Friday grind has been a real slog. Thankfully, I am finally beginning to feel my energy and motivation returning ~ mostly thanks to this half term break, and some heart-to-hearts with friends who have been experiencing similar issues ~ and I am embarking upon my own Happiness Project, which I hope will help to inspire proactivity and keep me feeling upbeat and positive. With that in mind, I have given la petite pie a make-over! I feel her new look is fresher, clearer, and rather grown-up, reflecting my current state of mind. What do you think..?

I would love to hear your thoughts on the content of this post and/or the blog's new look ~ please do leave your comments below!

pp x

Our wintery wedding wonderland at Wentworth!

Monday, 4 February 2013

Fortunate in friendship

Today (in the face of vehicular adversity!), I was fortunate enough to enjoy several hours in the company of a wonderful friend. We talked, we laughed, we ate, we shopped. It was simultaneously fun, relaxing and energising to share recent experiences and 'deep thoughts' with a beautiful and kindred spirit (Thanks, E! x). Last weekend also, His Lordship and I both commented on feeling thoroughly uplifted, having shared a lazy pub lunch with supremely lovely friends in Clapham, and we were then very lucky to be cooked for and entertained by new friends on Friday, when we delighted in putting the world to rights until the wee, small hours of the morning. Next weekend, I'm off on a bit of a road trip with another very dear friend, which I'm so looking forward to, and the thought of which will doubtless spur me on through the working week.

Sitting on the train en route home today, I felt inspired to write this little post, celebrating friendship and acknowledging its importance in our lives. Those we love, whose company we enjoy and whose opinions we value, play such a monumental role in defining who we are, assuring our well being, and creating those most precious of memories that will last a lifetime.

I apologise if this comes across as overly sentimental, cliché or disingenuous in any way, but I want to take this opportunity to thank all my cherished friends and family, past and present, for contributing to my life in so many ways, some of which you may not even be aware of. I am so grateful for your time, your support, your understanding and your love.

When, I wonder, was the last time you told your friends and family just how much you love and appreciate them..? In the spirit of the month, why not let them know how great they are?

pp x

Sunday, 3 February 2013

Sunday Smörgåsbord

Having spent my weekend doing various other things, I've not yet finished preparing the wedding DIY post as intended, so, my apologies, but that will have to wait... However, in the meantime I have a few tidbits below and a recipe to keep you ticking over... I hope you've all had a delightful weekend!

1. My not-so-new rose gold Fossil watch, which I naughtily treated myself to back in October while hubby was away on his stag do. In Vegas. I figured I deserved something special since I was not to be travelling several thousand miles or staying in a five star establishment for my hen do. It is beautiful, with just the right amount of sparkle, and I love how the shape and style of it compliments my engagement ring (see no. 5). Every gal loves a bit o' bling!

2. These 'Malteaster' bunnies are far too cute! Devouring one is a far less pleasurable experience than it ought to be, on account of the guilt in biting off its poor, unsuspecting head. And yes, I did eat it. <Hangs head in shame>

3. Dirty, Saturday-night-in-with-the-husband burger. More guilt.

4. Catharsis. Normal people get their kicks on a Saturday night out and about, consuming food and alcohol in abundance and socialising with friends. This week, I spent a very pleasurable and rewarding Saturday night styling our living room by de-cluttering and then rearranging our books and DVDs according to the colours of the spectrum. Oh well, my tendency towards OCD may be cause for concern, but at least my liver's intact.

5. Married!! Loving having double the number of rings on my fourth finger, I must say. I've been trying to explain eternity bands to His Lordship. He remains, as yet, unconvinced, despite my insistence that it is a necessity if I am to bear his children in the future. Yes, I am greedy, but I didn't name my blog 'the little magpie' for nothing.

6. One of my gorgeous Christmas gifts from the husband. Admittedly, I pointed these coasters out in Anthro(pologie) whilst out shopping on our honeymoon, but he loved them too and went ahead and bought them, so all credit to him.

7. Prezzie brought back from Japan by a close friend, who is aware of my not-so-secret penchant for all things Hello Kitty. I think it's a phone charm, but it adorns my pencil case instead. The girls in my class at school love it almost as much as I do!

8. I have recently discovered the joys of Elle Decoration. This edition kept me occupied on the long train journey home from Reading today. So many fabulous ideas, now all we need is to move...

pp x