Side Street Style

Side Street Style

A family lifestyle, interiors & travel blog


For the love of Modern Period interiors

stunning sofa

We are edging closer and closer to putting our house on the market and we cannot wait, our time in our little welsh hobbit house as we refer to it as the ceilings are so low are coming to an end. We are all in need of more space, more light and in Johns case a doorway he doesn't bang his head on everyday. As much as the rustic appeal is to us and it really does, our home is a bit neither here or there in terms of location, only 20mins from the city on the edge of a small town so it doesn't have the slower pace feel as you would find in a more rural location and equally does not have the colour and culture of living within walking distance of the city.

We have also found over time our real passion and dream would be to find a small bay fronted Victorian property as we absolutely love the combination of a period property with a fresh and modern look that embraces the original features of that time rather than covers them up. I think the Scandinavian inspiration that has boomed in the UK interior market has helped with encouraging the combination of the new and old in a seamless and stylish way.

simple interior

There are a few companies that spring to mind that I feel hit the nail on the head when it comes to beautifully designed modern sofas, beds and larger furniture that are almost timeless in that they can easily be placed in a variety of different styled homes effortlessly. One of those brands is the Danish BoConcept and I've been told their Glasgow shop's designer sofa showroom is amazing, we are heading up to Scotland next year so I will get to see it first hand rather than drooling over them online.

The budget for our next home is not going to be massive but we are hopefully we can find something to suit our style and settled down in for longer than our previous homes which have always been purchased as projects with the view of living in them for shorter periods of time. I thought I would put together a little wish list of products that perfectly capture the fun, colourful and modern vintage approach we will take with our next home.

Modern living wishlist

1. Retro Alphabet print £45
2. Adelaide dining room chair £339
3. Modern Ball Clock Nelson £310
4. Osaka 3 seater sofa £2219
5. Bornholm Coffee Table £169 

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Don't commit another Gift Crime

With my eldest birthday this week and my birthday last week it has been a time of both giving and receiving in our household. When it come to Birthdays (and Christmas) we are very much about Less is More and rather pick a few quality gifts than hundreds of plastic toys which will break in a matter of hours. This means that the few gifts we do pick have to be both meaningful, practical and of course perfect for the individual receiving them, this does however causes some pressure on us to get it right, as it can be really easy to get it wrong.

I have to say I am pretty lucky as John has really good taste when it comes to clothes, books and music and I am very rarely am I disappointed in anyway but that doesn't extended to everyone. I have always been brought up to be grateful for every and any gift received because at the end of the day it's a wonderful thing to be given something by someone else no matter how large, small or useful it is although some have in the past left me scratching my head.

I think some of the most perplexing Gift Crimes I have been on the receiving end of are when I was given a very pretty dress which in all regards was lovely except it was a size 16 and I am a size 8 and even with bringing out the sewing machine there was no way to get it to fit my shape. Other small items are bright pink socks, used pencils and a floral recipe book stand which lets just say was not my style.

The thing is we are all pretty busy people and finding cool and unique gifts for both children and adults can be time consuming so what would be better than a well curated website of the most stylish and unique gifts on the market, don't know about you but that sounds like a fantastic idea to me. A place that is time saving but will guarantee you to not commit any future gift crimes and also be known as the cool creative mom in the school yard. Well I would like to introduce you to Gift Wink, a website set up by mums for mums who want to nail the next birthday party they attend.

It's so easy to use and you can setup a birthday calendar and reminders so you don't forget those all important dates as well as wish lists which you simply add your favourite presents to if you want to reference back to them at a later point. I have put together a little wishlist for my youngest 2nd birthday next year as well as gift ideas for my eldest this coming Christmas but you can also curate and shop for the early teens, late teens and adults in your life.

Do you have any fun Gift Crime stories you want to share? Why not share it with Gift Wink on either Facebook or twitter using #giftcrimes before the 25th September to be in a chance to win a £50 Gift wink wishlist. Check here for more info


My 40 before 40 List and making it happen


Having turned 32 last week it's reminded me how fast time flies by, it feels like only yesterday I was celebrating my 30th in the South of France with family and friends. I was pregnant at the time with my youngest who is now nearly 19months old and it feels like our feet have not touched the ground since he came on the scene.

Having always had itchy feet and following on from my fathers passion to travel I managed to fit a whole lot of living into my life before turning 30 including celebrating New Years in more than 4 different countries and travelling to 25 countries as well as learning to drive, having a family, taking a cargo ship from Africa to the UK and loads in between. Although things did slow down slightly after having kids and traipsing around Europe with a backpack working at hostels as I went along was not so much an option anymore, now things need to be planned and thought out far more in advance. I do think putting pen to paper and making plans is the first step to realising them, so I have curated my 40 before 40 list, one or two of things I have already done post 30 and others are sightly wishful thinking as it would only happen if finances allowed, but we can all dream right?

South of France
My 30th was spent in Paris and the French Riveria 

Fitness and Outdoors and outdoor experiences

1. Climb Pen Y Fan, South Wales Tallest peak
2. Canoe down the river Wye
3. Take a picture of the sunrise and sunset on the same day
4. Try Paddle boarding
5. Run, not walk, a 5km charity race
6. Do a tree top Zip Line adventure
7. Surf an Artificial wave
8. Go Hiking in Yosemite
9. Do a long distance bike ride
10. Start a camp fire without a match or a lighter
11. Take part in the Bog Snorkelling championships in Wales
12. 4x4 Land Rover experience
13. Rope swing into a river or lake
14. Find a four leaf clover
15. Take the family Geocaching

Learning and cultural experiences

16. Learn to sail a keelboat
17. Have a basic conversation on a foreign language
18. Complete Forest School Assistant training
19. Take the kids to the Opera or Ballet (done many theatre shows but none with a full orchestra)
20. Watch tennis live at Wimbledon
21. See a movie at a drive-in
22. Participate in a Flash Mob
23. Swim at the thermal roof top spa pool in Bath

Share the love and giving back

24. Raise £250 for charity
25. Volunteer 10hrs to a charity and cause I believe in
26. Buy Coffee/lunch for someone who really needs it - DONE
27. Take my mother of for an indulgent 3 course meal and say Thank-you for everything.
28. Adopt a pet from the animal shelter
29. Plant a family tree together

Travel and seeing the world

30. Ride the Orient Express
31. Take a Gondola in Venice (have visited Venice but never did the Gondola)
32. Take the Skybus to the Isles of Scilly- DONE
33. Spend a night in a Treehouse
34. Buy a camper van - DONE
35. Eat a Danish pastry in Denmark
36. Spend a night on Mont St-Michel, France
37. Celebrate Johns 40th birthday with coffee and bagel at Ralphs in New York
38. Take a cruise - either Transatlantic, Med or to the Norwegian Fjords
39. Touch a Redwood
40. Take a picture crossing Abbey Road Zebra crossing with the kids

Isles of Scilly

There are two more things I really want to do but feel these may only become possible when the children are older as they will appreciate it more 1. Walk the Camino Santiago and 2. Take the TranSiberian railway - these will be on my list of things to do before I'm 50.

I always use to think that you make your own luck and to an extent that is certainly true although there also has to be a combination of being in the right place at the right time as well as taking an educated risk and I have found at times jumping in at the deep end has certainly reaped amazing rewards for myself in terms of friendships and life experiences.

A few of the things on my list are very doable on a small to zero budget such as geocaching with the family while others will require luck more than anything such as finding a four leaf clover although some however will take a considerable amount of savings such as my dream to hike through Yosemite national park in the US or ride the Orient Express (I am passionate about trains and train travel so this really would be a dream come true), even if we saved for a few year I would probably fall short on some of these excursions.

Camping Scotland
Me wild camping in Scotland a few years back

One of my favourite travel inspired films Eat Pray Love she mentions this story - There's a wonderful old Italian joke about a poor man who goes to church every day and prays before the statue of a great saint, begging, "Dear saint-please, please, please...give me the grace to win the lottery." This lament goes on for months. Finally the exasperated staue comes to life, looks down at the begging man and says in weary disgust, "My son-please, please, a ticket."

That has stuck in mind ever since, I don't believe in waste but I also believe in taking a chance, even though I am not one for gambling at all I do think instead of having that bar of chocolate one or twice a week why not buy myself the chance of a life changing win from the lottery? Only problem is I have a mind like a sieve these days and always forget to pop into my local corner shop in time for the draw and then I lose the enthusiasm to wait another week and plus with the cost going from £1 to £2 with less chances of winning has left me a little uninspired.

So when Lottoland invited me to try out their easy solution to this problem I was quite excited to give it a whirl. It's basically a website where you can purchase your Euromillions tickets online anytime of the day but also have the opportunity to take part in Lotteries from all over the world including ones you would normally not have access too such as The Swedish Lottery, French Lotto, Polish Lotto and some with as little as 80p to enter with just as high jackpots and equal chances of winning. It also means that there is one happening every day of the week so if you want a quick flutter without having to wait days you can.

Bucket list

I have often thought what I would do if I had a huge windfall as I am not a very materialistic person at all. I know I would still work because that gives me purpose but it would certainly take the daily stress away and allow even more family time. I know I would also donate a large proportion to charities and random acts of kindness as well as being able to finish my bucket list with ease. What would you do if you won the lottery?

An associated post 
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