Nap Happy

I'm fairly certain I haven't partaken in a regular nap schedule since I was a toddler. As a child on holiday in Spain my brother and I were forced to take 'siestas' during the day. I wasn't a fan and have clear memories of lying awake staring at the ceiling, resenting not being allowed to run around like a maniac.

But now a new dawn has broken and I find that, in California, I have rediscovered the joy of napping. 

Napping is a rare luxury in our adult life. Largely due, I'm sure, to the fact we have full-time jobs which require us to be conscious from 0900 - 1800 most days.

But long periods of walking combined with big lunches have meant that, this week, napping has become inevitable. It started on Monday in San Francisco, where we fell asleep on the sofa after hours of exploring the city on foot. Come Tuesday we found ourselves in Santa Cruz. With tummies full of chowder and crab cakes, we sauntered along the pier, plonked ourselves on a bench and, with the sun on our faces, closed our eyes and sat motionless for a good 20 minutes.

Yesterday's nap took place on a beach in Carmel. After a few self-timer camera shots we lay on the warm sand knowing that we had no schedule to stick to. And that is such a relaxing feeling. Very conducive to napping, I must say. And you can guarantee there'll be another one happening today!

My New Face Towel Courtesy of the NFL

Check out my new pink face towel!

It was the last thing I was expecting to be given as I wandered into Candlestick Park on Sunday night to watch a San Francisco 49ers football game. But everyone was taking one, even the men, and since when do I say no to people handing out free stuff?
A lot of fans stuck their towels into their jean pockets but not me. I put mine across my knees, old lady style, to keep warm. I'm that stylish.

After walking round the city all day my knackered legs were quite excited about the prospect of sitting down for a few hours while my husband got his sports fix. 

But the 49ers had other ideas. They were on a winning streak and when everyone around you is clapping, cheering and high-fiving it doesn't look great if you're sitting down with a slightly bored expression. You start to look suspicious. Like you might even be supporting the opposition. So, to counteract that, you want to join in with the masses.

And that means whipping your pink towel from your knees and waving it in the air!
Well I never. It certainly doesn't happen at sporting events in the UK. But it seems that waving a face towel over your head is a clear sign of showing support for your team here in the US.

He's just mad cos he didn't grab a free towel!

Our Apartment in San Francisco

I have been in San Francicso for a total of 14 hours and for 10 of those I have been asleep!

So, apart from a quick little run to the local supermarket to buy a cold drink and dinner in a neighbourhood restaurant, I have spent the majority of my time in our little Airbnb apartment. And it is gorgeous!

We were ready to sleep like babies after a 10 hour flight spent napping upright in our cramped seats and this bed didn't let us down. With the thickest mattress and a little extra layer of feather filled comfort resting on top of that, I know I'll be having many good nights sleep in this thing!
Next up the immaculate bathroom featuring a little reminder of what we had left behind - rainy London!
And a sweet little kitchen which continued the white-on-white theme. 
There was a hand-written note on the kitchen table welcoming us - complete with miniature pumpkin - as well as some champagne in the fridge. As if I needed any more reasons to love this place!
To cap it all, here is the enormous light-filled living room. It's a real shame we don't actually know anyone in San Francisco because this apartment would be perfect for hosting a little soiree. 
There is even a cute cubby-hole office included. Handy to have, but we're not intending to do any kind of work-related tasks while staying here, believe me!

Gillian Kyle - Scottish Designer # 6

For our sixth Scottish designer may I present to you a fellow Glasweigian, the uber talented Gillian Kyle

Drawing inspiration from famous Scottish brands such as Tunnock's Tea Cakes and Caramel WafersIrn Bru and Scott's Porridge Oats, Gillian hand-illustrates each design and then arranges for them to be screen printed onto cotton, china, melamine and paper. 

You can find her designs adorning everything from aprons and cushions to mugs, t-shirts and tote bags. 

However, there's a special place in my heart reserved for her tea towel designs. The fact each one features food and drink products probably plays a part in it - they are perfectly suited to a kitchen setting!

The stereotype of Scots being a thrifty lot still prevails to this day and, for those of us conforming to the stereotype, there's good news - each tea-towel comes in at under a tenner at the bank-friendly price of £9.50. 

If all this doesn't instill a sense of national pride, then I don't know what will!

On My Wish List - The Perfect Winter Coat

When September starts to make way for October its a good time to begin pondering your options for a new winter coat. 

Each time autumn rolls around my weakness for berry red shades comes to the fore. And it struck once more when I came across this heart-fluttering, oversize check coat from Karen Millen. Made from a wool and cashmere blend, softness is pretty much guaranteed.  

I find checks ever so appealing - probably due to the fact they have such a strong resemblance to tartan, the fabric of my motherland (and for which I have an undeniable penchant!) 

When paired with classic tailoring and design it makes this coat a no brainer for me. Plus it looks pretty darn good with opaque tights and, since I live in black tights from November - February, thats yet thing another reason for me to stick this coat at the top of my wish list!

Carrie Bradshaw's Apartment

For those of you familiar with Sex and The City (and I imagine a fair few of you fall into this category!) you'll be no stranger to Carrie Bradshaw's apartment.

Personally, I love it. It feels like an old friend of mine. Over the years I've spent many an hour in this sweet, little place (visually counts, right?) and eavesdropped on countless conversations.

As one-bed, New York apartments go this fictional abode is roomier than most. Carrie could definitely have swung a cat if she wanted to. But, as it happened, she opted for other past-times.

Such as talking on her old-school telephone while lounging in bed.
Stumbling through the doorway in fabulous outfit after fabulous outfit (and, let's be honest there were a sprinkling of not-so-fabulous outfits too!)
Relaxing in the beautiful leather armchair that Aidan designed, interspersed with staring out of the window while sat at her desk, typing away on her trusty Mac keyboard.
Franticly grabbing garments from her over-stuffed closet while running late for a date.
Using her oven as storage space for her sweater collection. 
And then, of course, SATC: The Movie came out and Carrie's apartment underwent a huge makeover halfway through the film. As pleasant and modern as the new look turned out to be, I still yearn for the pre-makeover look. For me it was more inviting, more 'lived-in' and so much more cosy.

♥ Carrie Bradshaw's apartment. 

Mug Cosy

 Summer continues to gently ebb away and the days are turning steadily cooler. And for many of us that calls for a mug-full of hot chocolate and a wolly jumper.

Some people combine the two, don't you know. My good friend Hannah's mug had it's own little wardrobe going on last time I visited. 
When I got home I started to feel bad for my poor, neglected cups. 

They must be freezing! I mean, they're naked ALL the time.

After a quick search online I came across some fantastic mug cosies on sites such as Not On The High Street and Etsy. Here's my favourite find on Etsy, made by MaruWool in Estonia, where I imagine they know a thing or two about staying warm!
 But if you wanted to get crafty and make your own little mug sweater, then look no further than the Sewing Barefoot website which has this free pattern. Personally, I'm in love with the wooden button detailing.
One word of warning though - don't start a new trend by wearing matching knitwear with your mug. To quote myself, that is a serious no-no. 
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