Posts Categorised: News

Why Downtown Toronto Stole My Heart


Where were we in the last post ? Ah yes, that’s right. Just visited Niagara Falls on the tour bus and headed over to Toronto, ready for the third Coldplay gig at The Rogers Centre.

But we had some time to spare with a day off and wanted to make the most of it. So headed to some places that we knew were going to be fun and memorable. I have to say vibrant and friendly Toronto stole my heart.

graffiti alley toronto street art color colour visit

I was really keen to pop over to Graffiti Alley and check it out. It’s pretty popular and after visiting  I can see why.

I would say an alley. probably half a mile long of colour and art. All sorts of work but it blends and looks incredible. Apparently it is legal and painted over a 24 hour period each year.

boden blazer street art graffiti alley toronto

I’m glad I wore my my colourful clothing. I know I look like I’m posing but in reality I was thinking about chocolate pancakes probably.

boden heart trousers color colour fashion blog toronto street art

If you’re wondering where my outfit is from, it’s from Boden. So please with the Nell Ponte Blazer. I’ve listed everything at the bottom of the post so you can have a look if you fancy.

Toulon bag Boden Yellow

This Toulon bag was fantastic for the time away. I needed to fit in my camera, phone, make up bag, purse, show passes etc. It was roomy and I still love it now.

Boden Toulon handbag yellow toronto graffiti alley

In fact I love it so much I kept photographing it as the backdrop was just too tempting not to. How often do you get the opportunity and with so much artistic inspiration ?

So much colour. I was literally in heaven. Luckily Andy and the girls love it too so we were all very happy to spend some time there.

graffiti alley toronto canada

A little pit stop before heading off to for a late lunch at Pizza Libretto in the Financial District  – nice food.

Sonic Boom Toronto record shop

Then we went over to a vinyl store recommended by a friend on the tour who knows his record shops. Had a good rummage there. They have an amazing selection of music downstairs.

Sonic Boom Toronto Store records vinyl cool

It’s not your average kind of place as it also has a very cool shop upstairs with books, gifts, home things. You’d love it !

Fashion District Toronto Colour color

After a bit more meandering we were totally ready for a rest. Niagara Falls and all of this in one day calls for a swim and sleep. Ready for a trip up the CN Tower in the morning and our last gig of the trip.

I’ve another post with us inside the  venue preparing for the Coldplay show.

Hope you can see why I love Downtown Toronto so much ?

Do leave me a comment  – would love to hear from you. You can also follow me on Bloglovin’ for updates.

Lucy x

Outfits:

Me: Nell Ponte Blazer, Richmond Trousers, White Easy Tee, Toulon Bag, Gloria Ballerinas.

Girls: Adventure Dress, Pointelle T-shirtHoliday Sandals, Patchwork T-shirt and Mint Bright Shorts.

All c/o Boden.

Where to visit in Cleveland USA and Hello, Niagara Falls

Cleveland sign Ohio visit places trip

You may have already read my first post in which I told you about the start of our USA / Canada road trip with Coldplay.

Here we’ve set off from Chicago on the tour bus and arrived in Cleveland at our hotel at some point in the morning. I was too jet lagged to know exactly when but it was a smooth sleep !

All I knew before about Cleveland was that it was in Ohio and that there’s a funny scene about it in ‘ This is Spinal Tap ‘. That’s pretty rubbish really isn’t it ?

We had the rest of the day to scour the area and then the show was the next day and we managed to visit some cool places in Cleveland in that time.

rocket fizz candy shop cleveland colourful candy rocket fizz sweet shop cleveland
Like the biggest candy and soda store I have ever seen called Rocket Fizz. Wall to ceiling colour and sugar. I went back to my youth and bought some bubble gum and other stuff that’ll I’ll probably never eat.

One thing that strikes me about the USA is how polite everyone is. I’ve always thought this but it reminded me. Even the girls commented on it.

Ohio Cleveland Rock and Roll Museum

Hope you can read backwards ..? Cleveland is famous for it’s rhythm and blues origin and a good place to visit is The Rock and Roll Music Hall of Fame.

Rock and Roll Music Hall of Fame Cleveland Boden OhioIt’s located by Lake Eerie and is unique in it’s sheer dedication to everything rock ‘n’ roll.

Nuevo Cleveland Mexican restaurant color colour

We had supper at Mexican Restaurant Nuevo. I loved the Palm Springs style decor, okay so that wasn’t necessarily Mexican but the place was very instagrammable and the food good with an open kitchen. The views were of the lake which is well worth taking a wander along.

We not only saw a couple getting married there but literally turned around and another couple were getting engaged. A romantic spot, clearly.

Cleveland Indians Progressive Field

The next day was spent resting at our hotel and then hanging at the next Quicken Loans gig venue which is right next to The Indians Stadium while the girls helped out .. and I sat and watched :)

You know, I have always wanted to go to a Basketball match in the USA so it was really cool to have a good look around. The concert was a more intimate 20,000 … ?! I’ve watched the band in various places with different audiences and I really enjoyed this smaller arena.

Coldplay’s show promotes such a healthy and kind attitude to life and I love that. We need more of it on this planet.

With jet – lag still playing with our heads, we set off for the tour bus and fell asleep pretty quickly, only to wake up at 6 am at the Canadian Border. We felt a bit like the Von Trapp family having to step off the bus for it to be checked and speak with the passport control.

Niagara Falls View SunriseNiagara Falls image Canada

Just around the corner was what we had been waiting to see. Lee our driver ( did I say how lovely he is in the first post ? ) timed it all so we could witness Niagara Falls at sunrise.

Wow.

The sound hits you before you see it. The mist spray teases you as you get closer and then there you are. Sitting by the most famous waterfall in the world.

Because it was so early we were literally alone. I can’t tell you how happy it made us all. I could’ve cried if I wasn’t so tired ! I will be eternally grateful for that being arranged for us. Amazing.

Niagara Falls fire Boden Canada Famous

We sat and soaked up the experience before heading back to the bus for some more sleep before reaching Toronto for the next few days. Will update again soon on one of my favourite areas Downtown. It’s a very colourful one !

Lucy x

Clothing and accessories c / o Boden.

On the road with Coldplay starting with Chicago

coldplay tour bus travel USA experience boden dress cool music

Now that we’ve been back for a good few days and the jet lag has subsided I’ve had a chance to sort through some of my photos of our road trip with Coldplay. We visited Chicago, Cleveland and then over to Toronto in Canada all in the space of a week. I managed to take a lot of images as I’m never without my camera for inspiration so I’ve broken the rip down in to no less than 4 posts !

But, hopefully you’ll find them interesting especially if you’ve ever wondered what it’s like travelling and living on a tour bus or if you fancy seeing Niagara Falls at sunrise. I’m still scraping myself off the ceiling over that view. All to come over the next few weeks. I’ve also written about some cool places to visit in Downtown Toronto the next time you visit.

So, you may wonder why we were on the road, over the pond with Coldplay ? Well, they very kindly organised a family tour bus for their team over the holidays. I mean, this is quite unusual in the music business but highly appreciated. In fact, really kind I thought.

chicago skyline image USA big city lake michigan

If you follow me on instagram you will have seen our shenanigans that kicked off in Chicago, the windy city.

I have always loved the USA but it was the girl’s first time there so you can image the levels of anticipation. High !

silver bean chicago travel USAChicago images navy pier travel inspiration

To wake ourselves up on the first day after a HUGE breakfast at 15th Avenue Diner ( recommend by the way ) passing this colourful wall  en route … and with only a day to soak up the atmosphere in Chicago before the gig and onwards, we popped in to some stores, checked out the ‘ Silver Bean ‘ and then went on a speed boat ride just off the Navy Pier on Lake Michigan. I’m not joking – I couldn’t breathe we were going so fast much to the amusement of the girls. It was pretty funny in hindsight.

boden tour bus kaftan outfit canada stylish

So if you have ever wondered what it’s like to travel on tour  – I can confirm it’s pretty bl**dy amazing. These particular buses are also known as ‘ star buses ‘ as they are usually used by artists for instance Dolly Parton loves to travel this way apparently.

They have a living space with TV’s, well stocked kitchen area and a loo and then a door that leads to bunk bed areas for 4 and a shower room  – and then at the back a main bedroom with wardrobe, ( super comfy ) double bed and another TV. The whole bus is air conditioned really well which was a bonus as all places were very hot. I did make a little video which I will probably pop on to YouTube soon.

Lee our driver was possible one of the nicest guys I’ve ever met. We were really lucky.

I got the giggles on the bus because the experience was surreal and the feeling of travelling on an American Highway on a double bed in my PJ’s was pretty immense.

touring trucks USA transport chicago concert coldplay

All in all, I can see why touring is quite addictive. The buzz, the people and the places. Although I have toured with theatre productions in the past – it has always been in the UK so it was kind if realising a dream doing real a road trip.

The first concert in Chicago was fantastic and the girls were totally ready for the next venue.

Another post soon to tell you about Cleveland and show you our early morning stop at Niagara Falls.

Lucy x

Cleo Kaftan, Mayfair Skinny Jeans, Rose Gold Elsie Flats,Sunglasses, Summer Hotchpotch Dress, Holiday Sandals, Denim Shirt Dress cat pumps all c / o Boden.

Totally Tropical Mood Board Inspiration

I get so much joy from receiving material swatches in the post – it makes me all fingers and thumbs when I open them. It’s ridiculous really but guess everyone has their thing.

Also it’s an opportunity to show you some of my favourite prints around at the moment and how they can work together for a tropical look which is what I’m working on for a room here.

The moodboard I’ve put together here is pretty upbeat. With neutral walls of white or grey and plenty of tactile textures here of bamboo, ceramics, wood and gold mixed with the bold hues used within cushion, sofa and blinds it will bring a room to life and add an element of the tropics, Which quite frankly is most welcome in my living room.

Textile Designer Sarah Hardaker fabric prints pretty colours

Let me just give a little shout out to the very talented textile designer Lara Gorlach of whom I’m a big fan. The green leafy print is hers. The soft pink stripes and Latika on the left of the photo are by Sarah Hardaker who I also reckon rocks. Aren’t they fab ? This isn’t a sponsored post or anything – I just love their designs.Fabric Textiles prints patterns colourful cheery colours

The blue spotty print is by Rapture and Wright again who do some pretty fabrics. The colourful little squares top and bottom are by James Hare and the yellow bold pattern is from F & P Interiors.

Putting together patterns colours and designs that you wouldn’t normally especially if you’re more a minimalist when it comes to your home, can be really uplifting and doesn’t have to dominate the whole house. If there is a particular area that you feel lacks character – why not add a little vibrancy ? I have a few rooms here that I think sometimes lack something. So an injection of fun helps hugely.

mood board sofa rug tropical bold room1. Bamboo mirror  – Trouva 2. Colourful rug – La Redoute 3. Green plant pot – White Mint 4. Faux Bamboo – Ikea 5. Gold shelving unit – Mia Fleur 6. Rattan coffee table – Maison Du Monde 7. Cushion – Made 8. Flamingo lamp – Out There Interiors 9. GPlan sofa – John Lewis 10. Blue trio vase – LSA International.

Inspired by the colours I have chosen some interior items that I love the look of together.

Adding lots of greenery with low maintenance succulents is an easy way of filling space and achieving the desired look. There are many faux plants out there that you would think were real. I’ve added a bamboo plant from Ikea but you can find them in lots of places currently. I really fancy the mirror too.

What are your thoughts on this collection ? Like or too much for you ? Do leave me a comment  – as always I love to hear your thoughts.

Lucy x

How to Make a Summery Seaside Teepee

Tutorial Seaside DIY tent stripes happy fabric kidsSo we are in the full swing of Summer Holiday here which can mean only one thing. Time to make a Teepee for the beach. I have meant to do this for years but finally we have achieved it.

I’ve written up a little tutorial for you in case you fancy trying one out for yourself. It’s teesy peesy …. sorry, I know …

You can use my measurements or adjust to work for you and your fabric, hopefully my instructions will make it easy to do either.

Teepee tutorial seaside tent diy

What you will need:

4 metres of fabric – 150cm width ( Less if you are not wanting to pattern match )

5 sticks diameter 2.5cm at least. I used broom handles from a local DIY store measuring 155 cm in length.

3 metres of string or thin rope.

2 metres of large pom pom fringe ( optional )

sewing machine, scissors, tape measure, pins and an iron.

teepee southwold hut striped pom pom kids fun

Instructions:

Assemble the 5 sticks so that you have 2 at the front, 2 at the side and one pointing backwards. the 5th one adds extra space in the teepee but you could live without if necessary and it would mean using slightly less fabric. Bind the sticks together with string / rope like your life depends on it. Or just do it tightly .. :)

Before I start on fabric – please make sure you add 1cm for each seam. So add it to every measurement I have given here if using my pattern. I’ve added the odd reminder but do it every time. I haven’t added it to my instructions in case you are using a variation on size.

So here we go …

Measure at the base between each stick. The distance between the two front sticks and the 2 behind them should be equal on both sides – for this teepee it is 92 cm. Then measure round for the back panel from one side stick to the other including the 5th back stick which will be sticking out a bit hence being a larger panel of fabric needed – for this you will need 146 cm.

The front panel will be split in to 2 pieces for your ‘ door ‘ so measure between the front 2 sticks. So for this teepee -140 cm that will be cut down the middle and not forgetting seams on either sides of both panels.

Now measure up to where you would like the top of the teepee to start, making sure you allow room for sticks to meet and cross at the top. In this instance the length needs to be 127 cm plus your seam allowance each end. Work out desired top lengths for each panel. For this it is 14 cm for all 3 panels and seam allowances.

Next – draw out your panels on your fabric. Incidentally my fabric here is from The Stripes Company ( perfect for the beach and home ! ) I found it quite helpful with the perfect stripes as it helped indicate exact measurement. The two side panels are the same so you can cut one out and then lay it on top of the fabric, pin it and cut out the second. The third will be slightly larger as mentioned before. For the front panel, fold it in half long ways and then cut in half along the fold.

Pin then sew all of your panels together with seams facing inwards. Then press open all of the seams with your iron. Press the 2 front split panel seams and sew down 10cm and back stitch it. Then press down seams at the top and bottom, press and then stitch down.

Pom Pom teepee pink pretty fringe sewing diy

At this point you can add pom pom fringe  – again this gorgeous pink ones are from the Stripes Company. I just measured out amount needed and attached it inside with pom poms facing outwards, sewing carefully as it’s a tad fiddly but worth the effort.

Teepee sticks diy tutorial seaside fabric

Then all you need to do is slip the teepee over the sticks and you have your very own little hut to keep the kids happy and un – windswept and entertained for at least a week. Am I being optimistic here ?

 

seaside teepee tutorial stripes pom poms

But anyway, we took it to Southwold as you can see and although it was windy ( spot the stones weighing down the bottoms ) we sat very snug and cosy in the marshes. We felt like something from an Enid Blyton book watching kids run past with buckets and spades and we sat and ate our ice creams without wind blowing everything over.

We have put it at home in the toy room and its brightened up the space. So well worth the time making it.

If you’d like to get hold of some of this ‘ Baseball ‘ fabric or trim or see the entire fabulous range then have a look at the shop here. If you remember I used their deckchair canvas in my DIY Beach hut post.