Morning Kick Start

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Since embarking on the #Whole30 on January 1st (more of that later), I’ve fallen in love again with a good cup of Java.

I’ve dabbled with drinking my coffee black before, namely when I did a stint of Atkins before Wedding Day. Usually taken with milk and sometimes a sugar, the cold-turkey nature of the hot black staff jarred my senses back at the start of the month, but I now find it the perfect morning kick start. Plus ironically, I’m drinking tea and coffee less throughout the day. That morning caffeine injection does have its pluses!

This time round have a Nespresso Machine, and we’ve also taken our cafetiere out of hiding. Richard and I tend to favour Taylor’s of Harrogate (their Hot Lava Java is fantastic) or Waitrose-own ground coffee for this (Monsooned Malabar being a go-to)… A good blend certainly does make a difference when drinking it black!

I’ve also noticed that there is life outside of Starbucks. Costa and Nero actually do amazing coffee as it comes. Very good depth of flavour.

Our local establishment though has to be Urban Kitchen. This really is a great cup of coffee. If you are in Reigate, make sure you visit one of their cafés for a taste.

So… How do you take your coffee? Are there places or blends I’ve not mentioned here? Would love to know!

Erin, Love from Cornfield… X

Text your Heart

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I thought I’d share a couple of the readings we had at our Wedding today, as they still hold meaning for me, and it seems fitting for the “text your heart” theme.

The first was our Gospel reading. We had a Catholic ceremony as I was brought up as such, but our Priest was fantastic, really bringing the ceremony to life with interest for our congregation.

We chose “You are the light of the world” from the holy Gospel according to Matthew 5:13-16. This is it:

Jesus said to his disciples:
“You are the salt of the earth.
But if salt loses its taste, with what can it be seasoned?
It is no longer good for anything
but to be thrown out and trampled underfoot.
You are the light of the world.
A city set on a mountain cannot be hidden.
Nor do they light a lamp and then put it under a bushel basket;
it is set on a lamp stand,
here it gives light to all in the house.
Just so, your light must shine before others,
that they may see your good deeds
and glorify your heavenly Father.”
The Gospel of the Lord.

Now although it doesn’t make reference to marriage, it does state that belief in the church is like a light that illuminates a world gone dark from sin. What could also be taken from it are the marks of a strong marriage are when others are positively affected and benefit from a couple’s union. This is why we chose it. Father Stephen also have us a bottle of table salt at the alter to remind us that we bring joy to all those around us as a married couple. We still have this 🙂

One of the other readings was from ‘Captain Corelli’s Mandolin’ by Louis de Bernieres. Well known I’m sure, this is it:

Love is a temporary madness, it erupts like volcanoes and then subsides. And when it subsides you have to make a decision. You have to work out whether your root was so entwined together that it is inconceivable that you should ever part. Because this is what love is.

Love is not breathlessness, it is not excitement, it is not the promulgation of promises of eternal passion. That is just being in love, which any fool can do. Love itself is what is left over when being in love has burned away, and this is both an art and a fortunate accident.

Those that truly love have roots that grow towards each other underground, and when all the pretty blossoms have fallen from their branches, they find that they are one tree and not two.

These words resonate with me so powerfully I am emotional every time I read this. I really, truly have married my soul mate and best friend, and I can’t imagine life without him.

Are there pieces of prose that resonate with you?

Erin, Love from Cornfield… X

Champion a Gentleman

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There’s no denying it. Mr Barlow looks preeeeety good in a suit. Today’s #encouragebeauty prompt is champion a gentleman. I should perhaps take this opportunity to canvas some sponsorship for my man in his Movember quest, however, I’m sticking with Gary.

As a teen of the ’90s, who DIDN’T love Take That. Whilst their songs have stood the test of time, thank god their style didn’t. There’s a huge difference, for the better.

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And that’s where championing a gentleman comes in. Annoyingly, men just get better with age. I mean come on? Howard and Jason? Yes please!

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But Gary… Gary has come a long way.

Every week on X-Factor he looks better than the previous one (it may be my wine fuelled vision) but his style has evolved greatly. He also strikes me as just like the rest of us, having his own personal challenges to deal with, as we all do.

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From fresh faced, through clean cut, and now just that right amount of stubble, he’s a man of our time. Its nice having you on our screens on a weekly basis Mr Barlow! I for one will definitely be buying his new album (nothing at all to do with this cover)

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Are there any Gents out there that you’d champion over Mr Barlow ladies?

Erin, Love from Cornfield… X

Love to an Old Friend

Hand Written

There is something lovely about sending, and receiving, a hand-written card or note. In this day and age (I sound OLD!), it’s all to easy to send a quick text, or email, or even just “like” a Facebook post, to let someone know you are thinking of them. I think that actually sitting down to make the effort to write something speaks volumes.

The prompt for today’s #encouragebeauty post has made me think about friends that I don’t see as often as I should, or contact as often as I can. As a working Mum, time is precious, and the spare time we have, I like to spend as a family unit of three. Now in that time, we do see friends, old and new, but becoming a parent also means a bigger circle of friends and you end up spreading yourselves even more thinly. Contact is therefore important, and I see nothing nicer than the odd hand-written note once in a while to remind someone you are thinking of them.

On that note, I thought I’d share a few of my favourite notecards that I buy when wanting to do this. Hubby HATES card shopping me with, as I take hours choosing something that is right for the individual. Recently though I’ve taken to buying packs of “notelets” so I have cards at home when I need them – ideal when you have a Bubba in tow!

Archivist have a gorgeous variety of letterpress cards, both for occassions and blanks for note-writing. I love their London range, and also the Zoo animals are stunning, especially the Lion. Gorgeous.

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Paperchase is a good go-to for some pretty card designs, and this box set is perfect. A great challenge would be trying to use up all the letters!

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Bluebell 33 cards are lovely as they feature clean text and great messages. Taking inspiration from the Keep Calm poster, there is something for all occassions. I find you can locate these at most card stores. This thank you card was used for Calum’s first birthday party

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Lollipop Designs offer some wonderful things, from cards to wallplanners, but I especially love these Origami notes. Loving the cat and the fox designs especially.

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One stationary outlet I WISH we had here in the UK is Kikki K. Discovered whilst at Melbourne airport on our way to the Gold Coast a couple of years ago, I literally thought I’d died and gone to heaven in this store. Such beautiful things. They do deliver worldwide though, although you’d need to place a pretty heft order to make it worth it!

Do you think hand-written notes are important?

Erin, Love from Cornfield… X

Jewels that Sparkle

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I have made a few jewellery discoveries recently and today’s #encouragebeauty theme is a great way to share one of them.

My younger self only really wore silver jewellery, and that largely remains the theme inside my mirrored box, but gold and rose gold have been sneaking into my collection.

I also usually stick to one necklace, my beloved Tiffany Elsa Peretti Large starfish, a present from the now hubby on the first birthday I had whilst we were together. The boy done good!

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However, I’ve taken to layering a few fine necklaces, including my Alex Monroe Silver Bumble Bee, and an Estella Bartlett horseshoe.

These necklaces by Ingenious Jewellery though that I discovered at a local boutique, Gerrard’s in Reigate, would be a welcome edition. Hubby take note! Christmas is coming 😉

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Sparkly, vintage looking, and in a range of metals, they add a lovely bit of bling to an outfit. I especially like the simplicity of the circle pendant.

What do you think? Do you like?

Erin, Love from Cornfield… X

Confident in Colour

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For my blog posts in November, I’m going to taking a lead from Dean Street Society’s #EncourageBeauty Instagram challenge for the month.

As Hilary writes in her post about the challenge for the month, “we have the power to make people around us, friends or strangers, feel more beautiful for who they are both on the outside and the inside, with our words”.

Whilst today’s post is about my love of all things colourful, I appreciate others who don’t follow the “norms” as well. I find injecting colour into everyday not only makes me feel happy, but confident too.

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It’s rare that I will not wear any sort of colour, and if I have a pretty basic outfit on I like to pep it up with shoes or jewellery, or bright lipstick.

I have a pair of green jacquard “trophy” trousers which when I wore them provoked a gent to say “fantastic green trousers”. I’ll always remember that now when I wear them!

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Of course, the icon that is Jenna Lyons is the Queen of this and I’ve not been afraid of waxing lyrical about her style before. I’m hugely looking forward to the Regent Street store opening later this month and even though I may not be recreating exactly the looks that J Crew offer, a browse under the roof will most certainly provide inspiration.

How does colour make you feel? Even if its a bright lip today, try something new. Odds-on it will make you feel happy.

Erin, Love from Cornfield… X

Flipagram

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They say you learn something new every day. Well, yesterday, I came across this new App for your Instagram photos – Flipagram.

I’m a lover of taking photos, but with the dawn of digital technology, they rarely make it off my phone or my dSLR these days, forever enconsed in the virtual ether. I have made an effort at home recently to display some more treasured photos, both in print, and in Digital Photo frames, which has actually been quite liberating! This new App though has really changed things up.

You can present your favourite Instagram photos in a “slideshow”, either on their own, or to music. I had a go last night, and was so pleased with the quick and professional results. A great way of showcasing what you love most to friends and loved ones (if they don’t happend to follow you on Instagram/Twitter/Facebook).

Here’s one I made earlier, as they say. It actually made me nostalgic about the last year – more of that on another post soon.

If you haven’t already, give Flipagram a go – it’s easy and fun.

Erin, Love from Cornfield… X