Review: Julie Davies Flowerstart

Last month I completed Julie’s four week course: Flower Arranging for Busy Mums and today I have put my skills to the test by making a floral tribute for my Auntie Eileen who passed away recently.  I know it’s not a patch on a floral arrangement you would buy from a florist, but the important thing is that it has been made with love and with Eileen’s favourite colours.  I’ve included some bought British flowers, some flowers and greenery from my own garden, a couple of silk hydrangeas that were in Eileen’s front room, and tucked in amongst them, is a tissue, as Eileen never went anywhere without one.


I’ve also made my own little arrangement at home using flowers from Eileen’s garden, in her 1930s Sylvac vase.  It’s displayed on her Queen Anne table which, as you can see, now has pride of place in my hall.


Thanks Julie for getting me to this level of confidence!

This is a perfect course for people who are time strapped and cannot attend a weekly class.  I can’t believe how much I was able to learn online and with Julie’s support.

The great thing for me was the video step by step guides, followed up by one to one tuition to know how to improve for next time.

I am a keen gardener, so plants are in my blood anyway, but this has really reignited my passion for flowers and encouraged me to bring them indoors!  I find myself going round the garden and thinking ‘that would look good in a vase’.  Also, my vase collection has expanded massively as I cannot pass a charity shop without picking up another!

I recommend this to anyone with even a passing interest in flowers as it will change the way you look at them forever.



Halloween Inspiration: Vater & Schafer

This is one of the scariest things I’ve seen in a while: a German collectible by Vater Schafer which is titled ‘Surprised’.  It’s a match holder made in the early 1900s as a novelty item.  There are whole sets of them floating around in the Ethernet in various shapes and sizes.  I think it’s really creepy and can’t wait to get rid of it, but as Halloween is coming up I thought I’d share it!  Anyone else come across these ornaments?


Mykonos with Celebrity Reflection

Shopping Mykonos
Clothes shopping, Mykonos

Mykonos, our second port of call on our Celebrity Reflection Mediterranean cruise is a simply stunning island.  In the narrow streets, every turn you make presents a photo opportunity.  White walls, blue doors, fantastic shopping opportunities.  We even came across Petros, the resident pelican who is very friendly and allowed me to tickle his head.  I thought I’d just share a few photos with you.

Blue door, Mykonos


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Windmills Mykonos


Petros the pelican, Mykonos

We only had a few hours so we jumped on the local ferry from the ship to the town, then just immersed ourselves in the streets and had a fabulous Greek lunch washed down with Mythos beer.



Evening Chic On Celebrity: Fifty Plus Style

Some of my evening outfits from our cruise.


Dress: Phase Eight (charity shopped) Shoes: New Look (charity shopped) Earrings Debenhams.


Dress: Phase Eight Cardigan: M&S (charity shopped) Watch: Debenhams Jade Earrings: Bought in Hong Kong a couple of years ago


Dress: M&S Shoes: Alexon (charity shopped) Earrings: Bought in Tenerife last year


Top: Phase Eight Skirt: Alexon (belonged to my mother) Shoes: New Look (charity shopped) Earrings as before


Chiffon Blouse: charity shopped Trousers: charity shopped Shoes: Carvela Pearls: Bought in an antiques shop in Bridport this summer.

Hope you enjoyed this little peek into my cruise wardrobe.  Dressing up was such good fun!








Celebrity Reflection: My Favourite Places On Board

Celebrity Reflection is a whopper, so I have decided not to do a tour of the ship as we’d be here all day.  Instead, these were my favourite places to hangout.

The open deck – lots of space to sit and have a drink in the sunshine.



The solarium – a quiet place for a dip or Jacuzzi.  It houses the Aqua Spa Café where you can grab something healthy to eat. It was beautifully lit at night so you could swim in the moonlight should you wish.




The Martini Bar – the counter top is frosted ice, so you can write your name, or indeed your favourite pop group on the bar while you drink your martini.


Café Al Bacio – the best place for cappuccino, posh teas, reading in the afternoon and people watching after dinner.  The cakes were fab too!




Our cabin (6155) which had an extended balcony -perfect for watching the waves – we even spotted dolphins one day.  It was classed as ‘obstructed’ but as you can see, our view was not impaired by the lifeboats below us.



The Atrium – a huge space where there was always something going on.  The lifts were pretty impressive too.



Finally, the library – I was in here all the time browsing and picking up books to read.  I hope you enjoyed this little snoop round!


Celebrity Reflection: Eastern Med Cruise

Back from our ten day cruise in the Eastern Med on the 126000 tonne Celebrity Reflection and I have so much to tell you I don’t know where to begin!  I’m not going to offer a traditional review of the ship and the ports as you can get all that on Cruise Critic. What I am going to offer is a personal insight into our experience with posts on destinations, food, our favourite hangouts on the ship, fashion and anything else that springs to mind!  I hope you will enjoy reading the upcoming blog posts over the next few days!


As you can see, she is a massive floating hotel and it’s fair to say we have been indulged and cossetted from the moment we boarded in Civitavecchia.

This is a quick overview of ports:

  • Civitavecchia Italy
  • Messina, Sicily
  • Mykonos
  • Kusadasi, Turkey
  • Rhodes
  • Santorini
  • Piraeus, Greece
  • Naples

Just a few pictures for starters – I took so many!

Messina: the most gorgeous architecture


Naples: the scruffiest, but full of character


Mykonos: the prettiest place

Steve in Mykonos