Wednesday, May 31

{ my may }

Reading back over my goodbye April post, it feels my thoughts on June might have been somewhat prophetic.  My diary stayed quite quiet, and the month did indeed lead to much knitting, reading, and gardening.  This month I proved myself very much a homebody, in fact if you took a look at my IG feed, I look as if I've barely left the house.  

{ knitting }
So my promise to share a little more of my knitting on the blog this month didn't quite happen, though I did share a little look at the mood board I've been putting together, and some of the very very lovely yarn I've been ordering.  Some sneaky doubts have crept into my mind this month, and although plenty of knitting has got done, it doesn't feel it's got me to the point I'd hoped to be at.  And with the distraction of a little paid work I've found myself procrastinating over the To-Do list I'd set myself this month.  But writing this, and looking back on that mood board, has given me the impetus to re-focus a little, remember the simplicity of those images I pinned, and remember the excitement I felt when I decided to start knitting again.

Oh, and I promise to share a little more in a post or two next month, starting with the finished blanket you can see partly knitted above.

{ baking }
The beginning of the month did see me venture away from home, for a little clandestine cake eating. A small group of bakers gathered to say a belated Happy Birthday to the Queen, with a Best of British theme.  A wonderfully classic Victoria Sandwich was joined by an equally classic Parkin, and I made the Queen's favourite chocolate biscuit cake, adorned with a very chocolately Union Jack. Another lovely Clandestine Cake Club event full of coffee, cake and chit chat.

I had been dreaming of another British classic, Madeira Cake, when as luck would have it { thank you Cake Gods } a recipe from Donna Hay popped up, and it just seemed rude not to.  This is a super easy cake to make, but I do have mixed feelings about it.  On the one hand it is just so lovely, light, tasty, and my addition of a yogurt drizzle added a wonderful fresh tanginess to it.  But, I'm not sure I'd call it a Madeira Cake as I know a Madeira Cake.  Which, now I think about it, gives me the perfect excuse to make a classic Madeira Cake.

And speaking of perfect excuses, Real Bread Week gave me a whole week of reasons to bake bread, but the highlight was definitely this Fig & Walnut Loaf, which was devoured enjoyed for breakfast topped with ricotta, pear, pecans and honey.

{ reading }
I think I could sum up May as a month of quietly sitting reading, or as the pictures above show, quietly sitting reading and eating. Three Agatha Christie's have been enjoyed this month, The Secret of Chimney's, the incredibly clever Murder of Roger Ackroyd, and the slightly silly, though not intentionally so, The Big Four. The interesting thing about reading these in the order that she wrote them, is you can see that The Murder of Roger Ackroyd, lauded as her best work, was then followed up by a 'less than best' Big Four, which though enjoyable, is best described by this review on Goodreads;

" Once upon a time, Agatha Christie stayed up way too late, drank her way through three bottles of Chardonnay and watched a Sean Connery James Bond film.  As she was going to bed, some time about 3am, her eyes rested for a moment on her typewriter.  I would not be in the least surprised if that was all she remember about this book.  For shame, Agatha.  This is exactly the same reason I'm not allowed whisky and Twitter on the same evening any more. " Fiona 

In addition Ms Christie, I read Raffaella Barker's From a Distance, a story which moves between Post-War Cornwall, and present day Norfolk, revealing family secrets which knit together the two strands.  Rather like The Muse, the second novel from Jessie Burton, which tells the story of a painting through the eyes of Odelle, an immigrant living in London in 1967, and through Olive Schloss, living in Italy in 1936.  This was also the first book read by The Little Book Club, a newly formed book club in Harborne, and another of my few ventures out of the house this month.  I've been wanting to join a book club for a long time, but have felt intimidated by the larger, more established groups in Birmingham.  To be able to join one from the start, with such a lovely group of people was a Saturday morning well spent, and I'm already looking forward to reading our next book, The Little Paris Bookshop, before meeting to mull over our thoughts and feelings once more.

{ foraging }
May has been a month of flowers, admiring the gardens at the Chelsea Flower Show, all be it from afar, and watching my IG feed fill up with the most fabulous flora and fauna. A little foraging of my own has allowed me to fill up my window sills with May posies, dotted all around the house. Outside the pots have been tidied and planted and are coming into bloom. Elsewhere in the garden wild flowers are proving a haven for the bees, or so I tell myself, and that will continue to be my excuse reasoning, until I can find the time to tidy up a little more.

And so tomorrow will be June, bringing with it the first of the Summer Markets, a second Book Club, and at the end of the month, just after we say hello to Summer, another cake club, in a city centre Secret Garden, of which I'm a little excited about.

{ have a happy last day of May }

Monday, May 29

{ edible blooms }

1 // 2 // 3 // 4 // 5

I'm doing my best to ignore the rain falling outside and instead surrounding myself with as much flora and fauna as I can.  Vases of flowers sit in front of me as I type, and I'm drinking a wonderful fruity infusion, brewed with elderflower and hibiscus.  I wish I could also say that I had spent the day baking elderflower and honey cake, and crystallising petals to adorn rose scented shortbread, but sadly, that isn't the case.  But the next best thing, or so I am telling myself, to actually baking said floral cake, is compiling a lovely mood board of floral bakes to inspire you all.

And there's no shortage of inspiration out there.  I've found the prettiest guides to which florals are safely edible, here and here, and everything from the simplest floral ice cubes, to the prettiest floral popsicles, recipes for homemade elderflower cordial, and a very pretty in pink rose and earl grey latte, but I couldn't resist sharing the gorgeous baking recipes I'd found.  Almost too pretty to eat, but thankfully also far too yummy too resist.

For lots more edible floral inspiration, take a look at my Pinterest board { edible . flowers }.

{ have a happy day }

Friday, May 26

{ happy friday }

Ten lovely things that caught my eye this week.

{ 1 } Such cuteness all in white.
{ 2 } Such loveliness By Niné.
{ 3 } Happy Garden.  Delightful flowers by delighted patterns.
{ 4 } Happy shoes.  Cute flower shoes by AMuse Leather Co.
{ 5 } Etsy find of the week.  May Contain Glitter.  The loveliest paper blooms.
{ 6 } Happy journal. And a lovely, happy quote too.
{ 7 } "Gardens are not made by singing 'oh how beautiful' and sitting in the shade"
        Sadly you are correct Rudyard Kipling, but oh how lovely if they were?
{ 8 } Note to self.  Make the most of all this lovely sunshine.
{ 9 } The loveliest image for last weekend's hashtag project #whpreflections.
{ + } The prettiest flowerfetti cake.
        The perfect treat whilst watching the highlights from this weeks Chelsea Flower Show.

{ have a happy day }

Monday, May 22

{ Bloom & Grow }

This year's RHS Chelsea Flower Show open's tomorrow, and once again I will feel that dull ache of regret, of once again not having bought tickets.  Thankfully the coverage on tv, and undoubtedly on Instagram will provide oodles of floral inspiration.  In the meantime I'm creating a little floral inspiration of my own with a Monday moodboard, before popping out to buy armfuls of flowers to make me feel a little less regretful.

{ have a Blooming day }

Friday, May 19

{ happy friday }

{ 1 } Dolls with their own dolls are just the most darling.
{ 2 } Rabbits & Racoons.
{ 4 } Poplin. And a collection inspired by Degas and dance.
{ 5 } Oh. But to be little again ♥︎
{ 6 } Etsy find of the week. ebenotti. Pretty pots for pretty plants.
{ 7 } So I may be a little too old for the pram. But these look just my size.
{ 8 } Sunshine on my mind.  So that's where it's disappeared to?
{ 9 } The first meeting of The Little Book Club happens tomorrow #brunchandbooks
{ + } A rainy day calls for cookies.  And chocolate.  Or just chocolate cookies.

{ have a happy day }

Monday, May 15

{ four I adore . flowers of instagram }

On Friday's there is a popular hashtag on Instagram, #fourIadore, where people share four accounts they particularly love.  Because of my happy friday posts, it's not a hashtag I tend to join in with.  However, I felt it was a lovely prompt for a series of posts right here on lily&Bloom. And what better way to start than with four of the most floral instagrammer's I follow.  Oh, and this is probably a good time to mention that I have a strong suspicion that flowers are going to take over all my posts for May. 
🌸  ðŸŒ¿  ðŸŒº

Laura is the photographer behind @circleofpines, and is also the author of another favourite hashtag, #littlestoriesofmylife.   As deputy editor of 91, the quiet aesthetic of the magazine is reflected in Laura's IG feed.  She also finds the most gorgeous, and perfectly fitting, quotes to accompany all those photos. 

I will admit to having a touch of the green eyed monster whenever I see one of Emily's posts.  Not only does she live in the lovely Derbyshire countryside, and manage to forage the most beautiful wildflowers, she has the most amazing collection of vintage goodies, not to mention a rather cute dog, the Harry of @harryandfrank.  Luckily she does share those vintage goodies, selling at local fairs and markets.  So for that reason, we will forgive her her envy inducing life!

I found Rebecca's feed after discovering her at her Etsy shop, and though she may be a recent addition to my IG crushes, she has quickly become one of my favourites.  When I tell you that her signature hashtag is #seeingthepretty, I think that will give you a very good idea how very lovely her feed is.

My final floral crush is niina, of @lillalivetandme.  This account has a beautiful simplicity about it, unfussy, yet able to capture light, and shadow in the loveliest of ways.

I'd love to hear about Instagram accounts that you adore, the ones that make you want to step into that world, ones that make you look at your own life, home and community a little differently?

{ have a happy day }

Friday, May 12

{ happy friday }

Ten lovely things that caught my eye this week

{ 1 } This week my Instagram feed has been full of lovely lilac. Note to self.  Buy Lilac Tree.
{ 2 } Beautiful in blue #1.
{ 4 } Beautiful in blue #2. 
{ 5 } This week's new fashion find.  nobonu.  Women's, children's, and some adorable clogs. 
{ 6 } My favourite hashtag of the week.  #simplenaturefinds.
{ 7 } Folksy find of the week.  KT Robbins Ceramics. How much do I love these?  Lots.
{ 8 } Wise words.
{ 9 } Tea with Ruby + artist Jessica Zoob = words and pictures to delight.
{ + } Celebrating #RealBreadWeek with this lovely Fig & Walnut Bread.

{ have a happy day }

Monday, May 8

{ inspired#14 . frida kahlo . fiesta . & . flowers }

. inspired#14 .
I paint flowers so they will not die
clockwise from centre
1 // 2 // 3 // 4 // 5

A moodboard for Monday, inspired by Frida Kahlo, Fiesta and flowers.  I feel I should be writing this post whilst adorned with a floral crown.  Unfortunately that's not so.  Messy hair, don't care, might be a better quote for today, but I can dream can't I?

For a little more fiesta, flora and frida pop over to my { inspired.#14 } Pinterest board.  Then pop off and make yourself a floral crown.

{ have a happy day }

Friday, May 5

{ happy friday }

Ten lovely things that caught my eye this week.

{ 1 } Etsy find of the week.  Salt and Sail.  Beautiful things for baby made in Birmingham.
{ 2 } Loving these lovely ruffles.
{ 3 } Loving this darling dollhouse.
{ 5 } #themagicofchildhood🌸🌿
{ 6 } A little inspiration for my next CCC event.  Great British Teatime Treats.
{ 7 } Fabric goals ♥︎
{ 8 } Or skip breakfast and eat cake all day?
{ 9 } Yarn goals ♥︎
{ + } The Queen's favourite cake, and the one I'll be making for tomorrow's cake club.

{ have a happy day }

Monday, May 1

{ hello May }

. hello may .

{ have a happy day }