Category Archives: Life

A few things I’m grateful for right now.

July 11, 2018

Life

Photography. Feet in the morning light

How are you handling the heat? I’ve found that this weather, although glorious, can be a little challenging to manage with a baby. Restless nights have been followed by early starts and sticky and sweaty days that have involved a lot of hiding in the shade. That said, in trying to avoid being hot and bothered, there’s been so much to enjoy over the last few weeks. I’ve been embracing a slow holiday-vibe pace of life and really noticing and enjoying life’s little pleasures.

Here are a few things that I’ve been grateful for and which have brought me joy recently…

☾ Diffusing summery scents in the morning whilst the early light dances around the room.
☾ Creating a shady nest in our garden for snoozy outdoor feeds with my babe.
☾ Clean washing drying on the line and the satisfaction of getting to the bottom of the laundry pile – thank you heatwave 🙏🏻.
☾ The euphoric feeling of swimming in deep, cool salt water.
☾ Dancing like only the baby is watching!
☾ Fresh veg delivered to our door (our Able & Cole delivery makes me so happy each week).
☾ A messy little yoghurt covered face.
☾ Beautiful sunshiny weekends spent with friends.
☾ Salad days for days.
☾ Football.
☾ Deliveroo *finally* serving our postcode!
☾ An electric fan in the bedroom at night.
☾ Sharing homemade ice lollies with my little buddy.
☾ Dinners in the garden.
☾ The vibrancy of the city in the summer.
☾ Escaping the city at weekends for fresh air.

What’s been bringing a little extra sunshine to your life on these warm days?

Intentions for May

May 1, 2018

Life / Wellbeing

Tea with flowers

The thing about wanting to live more intentionally, mindfully, gently or slowly is that it’s a constant work in progress. For me, it’s a balance between cultivating the habits that help me feel more aligned in my day-to-day but also learning to let go of internal expectations that cause frustration and stress. So often it’s much more about a mindset rather than anything practical. My intentions this month are all about working on that mindset shift and reminding myself that it’s ok to prioritise the things that fill me up.

I’ve purposely steered away from goal-setting so far this year during the first part of my maternity leave, but inspired by Jen Carrington’s weekly letter I decided to add some goals to go along with my intentions for May. Aligning with my intentions, these are gentle goals and things that will make me happy to achieve.

My intentions for May

Let go of the of-do list stress – House chores, life admin, Instagram posts…all the things that “need” to be done will be there whether I stress over them or not. I’m always coming back to trying to accept the fact that I can’t do ALL of the things and if I don’t prioritise the stuff that fills me up and feels good then I’ll never find time for it.

Practice presence – It might not always be the easiest thing but I know I’m always happier on the days I spent living a little more in the moment and not with half a mind on that aforementioned to-do list.

Make time for creativity – For their May ‘slow experiment’ the hosts of The Slow Home Podcast are doing something creative every day this month, with the point being that it’s about enjoying the process rather than creating something to share. This week’s episode made me want to crack out my sewing machine and material box, but I think I’ll have to find something that fits in a bit better with the baby.

More reading (less scrolling) – I recently joined our lovely local library. I would like to use some of that time I’m spending stuck underneath a feeding baby to slowly but surely make it through a paperback!

My goals for May

Write my birth story –  I’m heading into the sixth month since Casper arrived and I’d love to write up the story of how he joined us in the world in time for his half-birthday.

Make a start on a new project – My friend Franky and I have been hatching plans to launch a new creative project together (you can probably guess what!). This month I’d like to flesh out our plans and set a schedule for launch.

Back up and print some photos – Always a job I say I’ll stay on top of but it gets out of hand so quickly! I’d be heartbroken if I lost all the baby snaps so it’s definitely time to back up those memories.

Plan and book our holidays – Over the years we’ve been pretty ‘last minute’ when it comes to booking time away. It’s always worked out fine for us but I’m certain that now we’ve got a baby in the mix we can’t really continue with such a laid-back attitude. We’d like to get away for a mini-break soon and plan a longer trip in the summer using the remainder of my husband’s generous paternity leave.

Pump it up! – I’m yet to pump a drop of milk or try Casper on a bottle. While this has been fine for us so far it would definitely be nice to let Dad do the odd feed here and there!

Do you have any goals or intentions for this month? I’d love to hear about them. Let me know on Instagram and use #MyIntentionalYear for any posts.

Adventures Outside the City: The Ethicurean

September 5, 2017

Life / Photography / Travel

Beautiful orange flowers in a rustic sink at The Ethicurean near BristolBlue sky above the walled garden at The Ethicurean, BristolBlue sky and sunflowers at The Ethicurean, Bristol

I always say one of my favourite things about Bristol is its proximity to a wealth of gorgeous countryside. We haven’t had a car for the last few years however (and I don’t cycle), and although there’s plenty of green spaces and walks reachable on foot it’s not the same at jumping in the car and escaping the city. With a little one on the way, we decided it was time to get a new motor and, aside from all the practical benefits, I’m beyond delighted that we can go on mini weekend adventures.

Instead of discovering somewhere new, for our first exertion we headed to one of our favourite places on the outskirts of Bristol, The Ethicurean. I sing the praises of this place to anyone who will listen and it is quite a regular feature on my Instagram feed. But for those who don’t know The Ethicurean is restaurant set within a beautiful victorian walled garden. The views are stunning, the seasonal dishes they serve taste and look incredible and there’s a signature toffee apple cake that’s nothing short of magical!

Tea and toffee apple cake at The Ethicurean, BristolRestaurant at The Ethicurean, BristolVeg for sale at The Ethicurean, Bristol

We left it a bit late to book a table for lunch but that didn’t stop us turning up for a wander around the lovely kitchen gardens and enjoying a slow afternoon in the sun with a pot of tea and a slice of the aforementioned amazing-toffee-apple-dream-cake! I’d recommend a trip at any time but this end of summer season seemed like a particularly beautiful time of year to visit, the gardens were luscious with gorgeous flowers in bloom and the trees abundant with fruit.

It’s sort of amazing to me that barely a 30 minutes drive away from the city centre we can find such a perfect slice of countryside paradise. That said, every visit at some point includes the inevitable musings on local property prices. But for now we’re content to head back to our town house with a full bellies, full camera rolls and a full veg box to boot!

Looking out at Mendips view at The Ethicurean, BristolVeg for sale at at The Ethicurean, Bristol Veg for sale at at The Ethicurean, BristolBright orange flowers in a rustic sink The Ethicurean, Bristol

More ‘adventures outside the city’ to follow! Where would you recommend for a day-trip jaunt?

Dear April…

May 1, 2017

Life

Bristol Botanical Gardens LilypadsOh how we love to dwell on the weather! But wasn’t April a month of two halves weather-wise though? It’s funny to think given how cold it’s been again recently that at the beginning of the month we were so sure summer had started.

The sunshine during the first weekend of the month drove us out into the garden and we spent a beautiful Sunday cutting back and clearing creepers, shrubs and weeds in our small back yard.  It’s going to be the first full summer that we’ve had an outside space to call our own and I’m already appreciating it so much.

The following weekend brought the first barbecue of the year and a day of drinking prosecco in the sun to celebrate a friend’s birthday. This was quickly followed by our second barbie of the season, as Will had got his heart set on making maybe the most ridiculous meat dish I’ve ever had. Moink Balls, as featured in our Grillstock BBQ cookbook, involve homemade beef meatballs wrapped in streaky bacon, basted in BBQ sauce and cooked on the BBQ grill. They were kind of incredible but also definitely made me want to have a meat induced lie-down.

Rachael Seth Style

This month I had the great pleasure of meeting a good Instagram friend in real life. The lovely Rachael (@seth.style) stopped over in Bristol on a week of travels and we had a great time hanging out and chatting away over iced coffees at Little Victories. I’m always so full of gratitude for the connections and friends Instagram brings and transitioning from online to in person hangs is just the best.

For the four-day Easter weekend we headed to Devon to catch up with family and friends. The mini-break brought lunch out, walks to the local pub, a BBQ (yes another), foraging for wild garlic, a fair deal of chilling out and plenty of Easter chocolate!

Bristol Botanical Gardens Palm Leaves

The next weekend brought more friend catch ups and a wonderful visit to the Botanical Gardens. I can’t believe I hadn’t paid them a visit before, the beautiful gardens and glasshouses were a joy to look around and are a Instagramer’s dream! 🌿💚 Mooching around in beautiful surroundings with your favourite ones followed by an evening of good food and putting the world to rights – it was the sort of Saturday that had me saying “I’ve had such a lovely day” over and over.

Maximo Park Bristol

Not to be out done the last week and weekend of the month were just a full and lovely at the rest, especially as my favourite band were in town for a little in-store gig. Although I have tickets to see Maximo Park them on their tour next month I couldn’t miss the opportunity to see them in such an intimate setting, say hello and have them sign my new vinyl. I love them so much I even named this blog Once, A Glimpse after one of their songs <mega fan-girl>

We rounded off the month with another long weekend, which was definitely more chilled than the previous few. A walk along the river was a highlight, I’ll always love how easy it is to escape the city in Bristol.

Dear January…

February 1, 2017

Life

Dear January, Hot mug of tea in hands with CraspediaDear January, for me you were a month of contrasts – busy yet slow, pretty darn damp but also “dry”, not particularly blue necessarily but undoubtably bleak. At times I’ve wanted to bury my head in the sand and ignore what’s going on in the world, but at others I’ve been unable to tear myself away from the news.

The new year brought new clients and exciting new work opportunities. Aware that so much newness all at once could threaten to overwhelm, I did my best to “arm myself”- meditating before starting work most mornings, trying to managing my time well, leaning into the business and enjoying my full days. It’s a constant learning curve.

As much as your weekdays were busy, your weekends were quiet and slow; reserved for movies, lie-ins, mooching, friends and cooking of course. There was the therapeutic new year clear out, continuing the epic decluttering that began in 2016, each purge feels more and more freeing. This year even unwanted Christmas presents went straight into bags for charity, taking with them the usually inevitable feeling of guilt that comes months later when these items have had no use. Smug ex-hoarder here – sorry!

charlie swift, craspedia billy ball flowers

You then went oddly musical in the middle there January, as I greeted grey mornings with bursts of ‘Another Day of Sun’ and spent days singing along so loudly I’m sure I drove my neighbours La La!

January, your last day felt much like your first – minus the hangover – grey, damp, dreary. But underneath it there’s something more, daffodils in the shop, fresh growth in the garden, longer days , with a promise to soon bloom and bring brighter days.

Farewell Number 36

September 19, 2016

Home / Life

Farewell Number 35, View of Feet in Bed, Striped Bed Sheets,

We moved house back in the middle of July so in some ways our previous place seems like a bit of a distant memory already, however I wanted to jot a few things down about our dear old flat for memory’s sake.

Farewell Number 36 New, mantelpiece, Vintage Glass Bottles,

Six years is a long time to live somewhere. Here are a few of the things – good and bad – that I’ll remember the most…

The small but lovely kitchen where I experimented with food, learnt new skills and my love for cooking truly grew. And the oven which I always accidentally set to grill.

So many dinner parties. Especially the ones that started out so civilised and ended with dancing on sofas.

Parties with people crammed into small rooms. Brilliant nights spent with best friends. Countless bottles of wine.

The often overgrown garden belonging to the downstairs flat but sometimes shared. It may have been filled with Japanese knotweed and a hideous amount of earwigs but that didn’t stop epic BBQ birthday parties.

The girl who lived downstairs who became one of my best friends.

Games nights on cosy evenings.

The wind howling down the chimneys and rattling the old wooden window frames.

Hours spent together planning and crafting a wedding.

Christmas trees.

Farewell Number 36, Bedroom, Unmade bed, Gallery WallFarewell Number 36, mantelpiece, Mirror Selfie,

 

Watching foxes from our windows.

The 2nd neighbours we didn’t get on with who managed to have fun far too loudly, even at 2am on a Tuesday.

A mouldy, mouldy bathroom.

The view across the city.

Sitting on the bay window drinking trying to make the most of summer evenings.

The afternoon light that filled the living room.

That time I came home to pumpkins and a marriage proposal. 

… Farewell Number 36 – you were pretty awesome.

 

Hello Number 14

Evening meals eaten in the garden. Washing hung out on the line. A lack of storage space that’ll take some getting used to. Vintage furniture purchases. New neighbourhood to discover. Spaces filling up with new plants. Magical morning light that makes patterns on the bedroom walls.

Yonder Collective Dinner – Encounters

June 7, 2016

Food + Recipes / Life

On a rather wet evening in May 2016 I joined a group of Bristol based creative-types who gathered for the third Yonder Collective dinner. The theme for the event was ‘Encounters – encountering ordinary things in unexpected ways’.

Yonder Collective Bristol laid tableYonder Collective Dinning Tablle

For me, the first encounter of the evening was discovering the hidden gem Salt Cafe Deli, whose beautiful, light space in Hotwells provided the perfect setting for the event. At the heart of Yonder Collective dinners is the idea of collaboration with a group of people coming together to curate each event from the food to the decor. Using the theme as inspiration two large dining tables were decorated simply and stylishly. Designer Lyzi (of Being Little) elevated the menus and place setting from the ordinary using geometric and 3D shapes. These cool designs were complemented by centrepieces of geometric terrariums – each one handmade especially for the evening by the oh-so-talented Palyglass.

Perhaps the most surprising encounter for me was how much I enjoyed the drawing workshop which saw us encountering our own features in an unexpected way. I was slightly apprehensive at first but quickly got into the fun self-portrait exercises lead by Elinor John.Yonder Collective Bristol Palyglass Yonder Collective Bristol Drawing Workshop

The food for this Yonder Collective dinner was provide by Griffet Catering, whose delicious seasonal menu perfectly captured the theme of the evening. The canapés which wound their way round the room were as intriguing as they were delicious. Fresh, crisp baby veg in smoked aubergine puree delivered on trowels, smoking boxes containing hops flavoured crisps, mackerel lolly pops and the prettiest morsels of edible flowers all provided the perfect talking point to break the ice with the first companions we found ourselves seated with. Not that the flow of conversation needed much encouragement!

Yonder Collective Bristol Edible Garden Yonder Collective Bristol CanpesYonder Collective Bristol Lamb Chops

Moving seats twice during the course of the evening was a great way to get a chance to meet a wider variety of people. As we enjoyed a fantastic main of Spring Lamb, a delightful dessert of Doughnut and rhubarb and a few glasses of wine I found myself sat next to designers, bloggers, teachers, makers, business owners and photographers. Topics of conversation were wide and varied ranging from creativity and business to our favourite spots to eat in Bristol and connecting through social media. In fact the latter was a topic that came up again and again as it became apparent that most people present had discovered and connected with Yonder Collective through Instagram. Social Media is my profession but also quite a passion of mine and being in a room full of wonderful people who had been brought together through its connective power brought joy to this Instagram addict’s soul! (You can see me snapping away in the photo below 😁)

Yonder Collective Bristol from aboveYonder Collective Bristol Place Setting

Forging new connections and feasting on amazing food was the most wonderful way to spend an evening at Yonder Collective and I left feeling energised and inspired by the creativity and the passion of the people I’d encountered.

Visit the Yonder Collective site for more information and to sign up to find out about future events.

The evening’s creative team

Yonder Collective founder Emma Chapman-Burnet
Photography by Kym Grimshaw
Illustration by Lyzi Unwin
Terrariums by Palyglass
Food by Griffet Catering
Drawing workshop with Elinor John
Creative Consultant – Rebecca Storey

All wonderful photos featured (apart from the last) by the awesome Kym Grimshaw who’s lovely food blog On The Plate should be added to your bookmarks post-haste!

Sunday Best: Favourite Links from the Month of March

April 3, 2016

Life

Blue painted potting shed

Sunday Best is a monthly series where I share the best links, bits & pieces I’ve found on my travels around social media and the web.

Kicking off with my 30th and a surprise trip to Bruges March has been pretty hectic – trips away to visit family, house hunting. All good fun of course but I’m welcoming April and hoping it brings a chance to slow down and recharge before summer time begins.

Here’s a few things which caught my eye in March…

// One of my favourite jewellery brands Wolf & Moon have released a lovely new collection.

// I love Wild Garlic season!

// Now That’s What I Call Music compilations ranked from best to worst.

// Emmy The Great’s new album Second Love is beautiful. It was a joy to see her live again in Bristol this month.

// I think this letter exchange is a wonderful idea.

// Not sure about this year’s Glasto line up.

// I want to make this Smoky Chipotle Hummus

// Powerpuff yourself!

Post, The First

March 8, 2016

Life

Portrait Photo against whitwashed wall (2)

Hello and welcome to the first post of my new blog Once, A Glimpse; written by me Charlie Swift.

Having been blogging for a number of years the time felt right to start afresh, with a clean new look, a new blog name and importantly renewed inspiration and motivation. Ultimately blogging is a creative outlet for me and for whatever reason I’ve just not been feeling the urge to create and post content under my old guise.

The last year has marked some major changes in my life; I got married, started a new job, I just turned 30 last week and we are currently looking to buy a house that we can grow into. Along with the life changes, of course, my taste and style has also shifted over the years and I’m excited to launch a new space that will better reflect my interests, personality and passions.

Whether you have followed me here from www.nothingnewblog.co.uk, my social media channels or you’re an entirely new reader, I’m so glad to have you here and hope you’ll drop by often. I plan to fill this little corner of the internet with beautiful photos that maybe captured on Lomography film or snapped on my iPhone; with wholesome delicious recipes; with stories of adventures had and lessons learnt; with music and playlists; with hopes, fears, dreams… food! Things that inspire me and may hopefully inspire you too. I have plenty scheduled for the coming weeks to give you a taste of what to expect.

In-between blog posts find me mainly on Instagram & Twitter. Please do say hello, I’d love to get to know ya!

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