Celebrating 7 Years


Happy Birthday Arabella! 

Happy Birthday Arabella! 

Lovelyness is... Celebrating 7 years of being a Mummy to this amazing and utterly lovely little lady! 💖🎂.

I know birthdays are all about the children and it's so easy to get swept up in the chaos of parties, balloons, cakes and presents and somehow miss the precious moments... (I've fallen short here in the past so I try not to let it overwhelm me too much now!)

But I also quietly find birthdays a wonderful time for reflection. I get hugely emotional on these special days and am overcome with an overwhelming sense of gratitude for the wonderful years that have passed, for the trials & tribulations we've lived & loved through that have bonded us closer together as a family and for the gift of motherhood that arrived with my gorgeous girl 7 years ago...

Of all the things I've failed at in life or not yet achieved, when I look at my daughters and take a moment to appreciate where we are in life and how marvellously they are turning out, I realise that in all actuality I'm doing ok at this mothering job. I've done one thing right after all!  

So my darling Arabella Wednesday, I thank you for your daily joy, for your love, for your wonderful wisdom and for teaching me some of my greatest lessons in life. You inspire me daily in my pursuit of Lovelyness and remind me what's most important in life. Happy Birthday sweetpea, I love you! 

Love Mummy x

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Celebrating 10 Years


Ten years ago today we said "I Do" in front of a few of our nearest and dearest on Hamilton Island in the beautiful Whistundays in Australia. It was the most amazingly lovely day filled with love, laughter and a lot of happy tears! Our ten year adventure has taught us a lot (see HERE for 10 lessons I've learned) and all of our vows have truly been tested, yet it seems to have flown by in the blink of an eye. I look forward to the next adventure but for today, this is a milestone definitely worth celebrating... X  

TUESDAY'S 10: 10 Wishes for a Newborn


I have been lucky enough in the last two months to become an Aunty to two healthy little nephews. Having 2 girls myself and 3 little nieces, it is lovely and very exciting to welcome two boys into the family! I can't wait to watch their delightful development and lovely lives unfold, to witness the differences between boys & girls and to learn new things from them. One sadly lives in London - too far away for us to visit anytime soon, but we will get there eventually and until then we will follow his progress through family social media, as you do these days. The other, only two weeks old, luckily just lives two hours away so we are delighted to be able to at least share in the joys of one little cousin's life.

Henry and Charlie, welcome to this wonderful world, welcome to this weird and wonderful family!

Allowing myself to play fairy godmother for just a brief moment, these are my wishes for you...

  1. JOY - I wish you a life filled with Joy... joy in your heart, joy in your world, joy through the hard times you will encounter at some point*. 
  2. COURAGE - I wish you Courage... courage to follow your dreams, courage to stand up for yourself, courage to stand up for those less fortunate than yourself.
  3. KINDNESS - I wish you a heart filled with Kindness... kindness towards your family, kindness towards your friends, kindness towards strangers.
  4. STRENGTH - I wish you Strength... strength of character, the strength to endure hardships, the strength to be gentle in caring for those you love dearest.
  5. ADVENTURE - I wish you a life filled with Adventure... adventure through stories, adventure in your surroundings, adventures that one day take you out into the big wide world, open your eyes and expand your horizons.
  6. PERSEVERANCE - I wish you the gift of Perseverance... perseverance to master the skills you will need**, perseverance to achieve your goals, perseverance in the face of adversity. 
  7. PATIENCE - I wish you Patience... patience in mastering the things that can take a frustratingly long time, patience with people, patience to wait for those things worth waiting for. 
  8. GRATITUDE - I wish you a heart filled with Gratitude... gratitude for the life you have been given, gratitude for the wonderful world you have been born into, gratitude for the beauty all around you.
  9. GENEROSITY - I wish you the gift of Generosity... generosity with your friends, generosity with your family, generosity towards those around you in need. 
  10. LOVE - More than anything, I wish you a life filled to bursting with Love... may you be raised with love, surrounded by love and spread love wherever you go. 

* When in doubt, take your cousin Lucy's advice and just "Smile!!" Believe me, it works wonders.

** If you need any help, your cousin Arabella will show you a thing or two about perseverance!

Henry and Charlie, we look forward to watching you grow into the wonderful young men you will one day become. (Not too soon though, we don't want to rush these things and I need way too many cuddles before then!) You will always have a place to stay with us if your Mummies & Daddies need a break and regardless of how many miles may separate us all, we are your family and will always love you.

Love Aunty Holly x

Frosty Morning on the Farm


A frosty morning in Waimauku

A frosty morning in Waimauku

There's something about a frosty morning that is just lovely and I couldn't help but throw on the nearest wellies (gumboots) and jacket over my pjs to spend a peaceful hour outside, feeling truly alive, ignoring my cold fingers and trying to capture it before the sun became too warm. Time seems to stand still for a moment when it's frosty and even the most obscure items, like an old chain or a spade that has been left outside, take on an ethereal glow as they glisten in the morning sunlight. I feel winter here in NZ may be coming to an end but I'm grateful that I got to capture some of its beauty!

This was a couple of weeks ago when we spent the weekend outside Auckland at my sister and her husband's house in Waimauku... Thanks for the wonderful time you two, these are for you.

Love Holly x

What is Loveliness?


So, what exactly is Loveliness? Why am I pursuing it? And how can I define something that seems to be increasingly going out of fashion along with etiquette and penmanship in this fast-paced, ever evolving world filled with technology, faceless interactions and wireless transactions, where almost everything is on demand…  

Dictionaries provide the following enlightenment: 

adjective, lovelier, loveliest.

1. Having qualities that inspire love, affection or admiration. 

2. Charmingly or exquisitely beautiful: a lovely flower.  

3. Having a beauty that appeals to the heart or mind as well as to the eye, as a person or a face. 

4. The qualities in a person or thing that as a whole give pleasure to the senses.  

Now this last one makes a lot of sense to me and is perhaps the most poignant. A concept that is hard to describe exactly, but you know it when you see it – much like art (as my dear friend summed up so eloquently!)

She too was searching for simple pleasures...

She too was searching for simple pleasures...

This is one of the places it all began for me as a child, falling completely in love with Audrey Hepburn in My Fair Lady. It was one of my mother's favourite movies and we watched it over and over and over again. I loved the songs, the music, the costumes, the houses, the interiors, the sets... Everything about it appealed to me! I suppose, however, I was most transfixed by the notion that - despite being labelled a 'guttersnipe' at the beginning of the movie -, by studying the arts of speech, conversation, etiquette and personal styling, Eliza Doolittle succeeds in transforming herself into a truly lovely lady. She has a tempestuous start, but with perseverance, dedication and the unwavering ambition of improving her position in life, she surpasses all expectations in the end. 

To me personally, Loveliness equals happiness. Some may find this a trivial concept, but it was this realisation that became the founding thought for my blog. It was the common thread that was clearly weaving its way through the multitude of different things I am passionate about in life. Suddenly, it became obvious what I wanted to build something around  

So, I ask myself again, what actually is Loveliness? Well to start with, it is more than just outer visual beauty - someone can be beautiful, stunning, picture perfect even, but be far from lovely. Loveliness is much more of an inner beauty that shines out, regardless of age, size, race, background and financial stability – indeed you can often witness it in the unlikeliest of places 

Loveliness is being a kind & thoughtful person, thinking of others and helping without needing to be asked. Seeing the best in people, assisting those less fortunate, appreciating our blessings but not bragging.  It is gracious winning and graceful losing. Celebrating success but also letting our losses teach us something instead of making us bitter or resentful. Loveliness is being graceful in general. It is seeing the best in a situation and consciously choosing to stay positive, to find a pleasing solution. Bringing a friend a meal when they are struggling, sending a card in the mail or an article that made you think of them, reminding someone of their good qualities when they have perhaps forgotten, giving encouragement, letting friends and family know when and what you appreciate about them  ... Or sometimes just saying nothing, as hard as it may be, if that is what's best.  

Loveliness also comes from a self confidence of accepting who you are, being happy in your own skin and choosing to make the best of what you've been given. That in itself is a long hard lesson to learn...  

Being surrounded by lovely things makes me happy, but these items are often not necessarily the ones that cost the most – something a child has lovingly made, a gift from a dear friend, a surprising treasure found at a market or during travels. For me, making an effort to create a lovely home is not simply for the aesthetic appeal, but more so to create a space in which friends and family feel welcome, supported and nourished on all levels. Somewhere they enjoy coming and leave feeling happy, loved & energised.   

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Choosing Loveliness also means teaching our children lovely qualities and how great it feels to be kind, gentle, patient, respectful and loving towards each other and people around them, trying as much as possible to lead by example...  

Knowing I'm in pursuit of Loveliness makes me consciously behave better, feel happy and grateful and inspires me to be the type of mother, wife, sister, daughter, friend etc that I want to be. It also reminds me to not always be so hard on myself and  allow myself to occasionally take the time for those small simple pleasures 

Appreciating the minutiae of everyday life, being grateful for what we already have and  acknowledging the wonderful things all around us is a process we should work on every dayThe more that we actively choose to lovingly take in and appreciate, the more our inner gratitude reflects out as loveliness. It's a process, something that evolves over time - hence I'm in pursuit (and some days do go horribly wrong!). Small conscious changes become habits, consistent behaviour develops into character and the more we accept ourselves lovingly, the easier it is to see the effect we have on others around us.  

 Simply put, I believe Loveliness is having a heart filled with love. So, view the world and people around you with love, spread love wherever you go, embrace the art of penmanship and perform random acts of kindness when you can - this will bring joy, create happiness and you will indeed be lovely!  

Wishing you much love in your pursuit, 

Love Holly x 

Lavender's Blue


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When searching through my photos for images to use on my website I found this picture, which I took in the beautiful lavender garden at our old house in Wales where Arabella and her little best friend Isla loved to play. It reminded me of the nursery rhyme the girls & I love singing at the moment - they heard me humming it after watching the lovely new Cinderella movie and have taken to asking for it... in the car, at bedtime, while baking... you get the picture!