Sunday, 29 December 2013

December 2013 Instagramy post

I tried to take a picture of my local Brora store for 
Dani of DaniBP Mop Philosopher a few weeks ago but forgot that it moved to Westbourne Grove proper. 
I rarely go on that very stretch as 
I go to Ottolenghi on the back roads.  

It's in a dangerous cluster of Whistles, Heidi Klein, and Diptyque among others!
I went inside to have a look at the goods of which 
Dani is a huge fan.


I was looking at some throws and a lovely lady helped me through the choices and different types of fabrics.  I did think she really knew her product knowledge.

Then she said things like, "I went through the archives of patterns and chose this color.  I decided that this should be part of a permanent collection and next season I might design..."

I looked at her quizzically as I thought she was just an extremely skillful sales associate and asked her, 
"What do you mean you will go through the archives? 
Do you design for Brora as well?"

"Yes, I do. In fact, I founded Brora." 

I was a little embarrassed but punchy simultaneously.

"No way!  You started the company?  I am here browsing but also taking pictures for Dani - you know Dani the blogger right?"

Victoria Stapleton then said she thought Dani was wonderful, 
looks great, and is so supportive and it was fans like her that 
makes her so proud !

She was so stylish, incredibly attractive and so amiable!
She wanted to take a picture of us two but 
I was not presentable...
So this is Victoria modeling a throw she was showing me.
There are a few more throws in the left hand side that were so soft.
So that's for you Dani!

Friday, 27 December 2013

Blog Giveaway Winners and Blog Review

I did my blog giveaway to celebrate my one year of 
Coulda Shoulda Woulda.
I might consider doing these giveaways in the future as 
I lost 3 followers since the giveaway!

It's funny because one truly doesn't know what people will respond to and it's not a predictable science.

My blog stats are hard to decipher in terms of most popular post and the like because the blog has grown from literally 0 views a day 
so comparables are harder to sort through. I had one or two - but that was me!

But my most popular post in many aspects is my post on Emmanuelle Alt.
It is consistently in the top 5 most popular posts every week.
It has been the most shared and linked to blogpost.
This also gets hits from search engine for Emmanuelle Alt.
This is the post that made me realize that your latest post isn't the only one that gets read! 

Monday, 23 December 2013

Festive Mood at the William Morris Society Museum

There is something about the Victorian era 
that is so festive and very Christmasy.
Perhaps it is because it is during that period where we started many of our present holiday traditions such as the Christmas tree which was brought over by Queen Victoria's German husband.

So I finally got rid of my bah hambug mood when I visited the William Morris Society in Hammersmith by the Thames.

Sorry for the blur...
The two buildings in the picture are owned 
by the William Morris Society.
The annexe on the left is the museum and the workshop that William Morris himself worked.
The house on the right was his home which is presently being leased to a very lucky family!

It is on the Mall which is on the Thames Path which makes it a perfect destination for locals and tourists alike.
This picture was taken directly in front of the museum.
The museum entrance.

Monday, 16 December 2013

Hermes 70 cm Silk Scarf Turned into a Cushion

We all try and follow various philosophies in life right?

Use your good things...

During the packing of my belongings into boxes for the renovations, I realized how much crap and how many lovely objects ( to me anyway ) I possess.  But I store them in a drawer or another room only to guiltily stroke them intermittently.

As some of you may know I collect Hermes silk scarves.
But try as I might, I can't seem to wear a scarf everyday.

I had seen a few scarves made into pillows and thought I should try it myself one day.  I went through my stash and chose a scarf to make into a pillow.  

I chose a 70 cm silk scarf called Tres Kelly.

I saw this scarf on Tabitha of Bourbon and Pearls  and 
on Faux Fuschia ( click to see the scarves in action )
and wasn't going to follow those two acts. 
So instead of the scarf languishing in my drawers
I saved it from its fate of hanging out eternally with cedar balls.
Eh Voila!

It is quite big.  
I am glad I didn't choose a 90 cm scarf because that would have been humongous! 
But I should have also chosen a less puffier pillow to display the scarf better.

Thursday, 12 December 2013

One year blog anniversary and Giveaway!

It was one year ago that I started this blog.  
I had opened the account back in 2007 but 
left it empty until one year ago.

What I thought would be difficult has been easy and vice versa.
 But it has been such a fun, informative, and educational experience.  One thing I told myself was that no matter what,
 I was going to do it for one year and 
I am proud that I kept that promise to myself.

Time does go quick.
Glad I did it last year otherwise I would still have it on my to do list.

Last week CarolinCairns gave me a Sunshine award so it is lovely timing to coincide for the one year mark.

Thank you Carol!

Sunday, 8 December 2013

Mews News Part 3 - Renovation updates

Things have been slow.

As I am a bit tired, I am not going to try and come up with a new analogy so let's settle for snail's pace shall we?

The accident that my builder had eventuated in the expected post traumatic stress disorder symptoms and he stayed at home or at the pub philosophizing on life.  
Which is fine but he hardly showed up on site.

We cut him some slack but then it got to the point where he may have survived the fall but I warned him he may not survive my wrath...

We had crisis talks and I warned him that there was a clause to implement financial penalties after 16 weeks of construction.  
But there are certain things that not even Alan Dershowitz could  contend with.

My builder simply said that if we were going to implement penalties then he would rush the job, mess it up and then we would have to call him to fix things but he would be busy on the next job and he doesn't have much money so there is no point in suing him.

Builder 1 - Naomi Huh?

So in a nutshell without boring you with building details that my dear Mr CSW manages to on a nightly basis,
I shall just show you the pictures.

The new 2nd floor ( UK ) / 3rd floor elsewhere.

Plaster drying and then finally primed.

Wednesday, 4 December 2013

Hermes Petit H Exhibition in London

I recently went to the traveling exhibition collection called 
Petit H (click for link) at Hermes in Bond Street.

I received an invite to the exhibition although it was open to the public.

It is a special collection created by artisans by re-purposing materials that would otherwise have to be disposed of. 

The installation was done by Faye Toogood.

Faye Toogood and her home was very recently featured 
in the NY Times.

Faye Toogood in a dress from Egg Via the NY Times

She used to be an editor at the World of Interiors but has now started her own studio called Studio TOOGOOD.

The items are all one off creations and 
not normally seen in their other ranges.
As it was an exhibition, the rules of not touching applied.

Sunday, 1 December 2013

Instagramy Post November 2013 Part 2

The London weather has been pitch perfect autumn lately.
Went for a walk by the Thames on the full moon.
Depending on the light, 
London can be so moody and dare I say that overused word - Dickensian.
Not everyone believes in orbs but pretty spooky that there are so many on the bank of the Thames.
I think we all have our theories on them.

I was taking my brother's new cockapoo, Millie, for a walk.
All new creatures to the world seem gifted with cuteness so 
they get taken care of.
Biology working its magic.
She is still scared of the world so the walk wasn't as smooth 
so tried again the next morning.
Tides were up so couldn't walk right next to the river.
How beautiful is the city in the cold bright light?

Sunday, 24 November 2013

House Prices and Social Anxiety

Even though I live in London and you live where you do I think I can safely say this is a topic that is relatable in the first world.


I thought house prices and the topic would have quietened down after the economic turmoil of 2007.  
But the subjects of home ownership and house prices increases are still being discussed at dinner parties across the globe.

The U.K., Australia, and some areas of North America 
for various economic reasons are going through a 
revived and ebullient housing market. 

Despite the recent economic crisis, house prices have not crashed and have depending on where you live maintained its price or increased in value. 


There are many theories behind this but the main simplistic reason seems to be financial security in bricks and mortar coupled with low interest rates.

One of the many theories behind house price increases via 

This may seem like it is a financial boon but to be frank all 
I feel is a collective social anxiety.  
I am not just discussing this topic with friends but am now overhearing conversations in cafes and on public transport.  


Alain De Botton discussed general status anxiety but this housing anxiety is something slightly different that people who have no intention of impressing anyone nor social climbers are experiencing.

People who already own homes are viscerally stressed thinking that they would have gone crazy if they needed to buy a home now.  
The common statement by home owners is that most could never afford their homes if they had to purchase it now.

People who don't have homes are obviously stressed as they have to endure the rigmarole of getting the deposit and mortgage but also the added burden of the bidding process.  They also don't have the security of being able to settle down in a rented flat as landlords have the right to exercise their right to sell or rent to someone else at a higher price.

Everyone is stressed about house prices.
There seems to be no true winners but only losers in this area.

Monday, 18 November 2013

Where Style is Subjective

I have always been aware of cultural differences due to my upbringing.  But not only manners and food vary according to region but I have noticed fashion varies depending on geography.
What is trendy in one country and even county doesn't always translate to another.

I used to live in New York for my first job at a company that had offices in other parts of the Tri-State area.
I had my nails done in a very pale and unassuming manner which were complimented by the girls in the Manhattan office. 
But when I crossed state borders 
I was asked why I didn't get proper nail art done.

 I had suggestions of upping my nail fashion and 
putting different Disney characters on each finger...

I resisted as it just isn't my style. 
In fact, before I moved to the States 
I was not in the habit of going for weekly manicures.
But the culture there is quite exigent when it comes to nail grooming.  I only had them done as I wanted to make sure I looked professional for my very first job.

In London, grooming and comportment has its own rules and standards.  People in this city by nature have a dual nature of not judging people at all by their attire or 
completely profiling people on general comportment. 
I tend to forgo judgement as 
I myself don't bother with fashion on a daily basis. 

Anyway, early today on the tube there was a group of American female tourists wearing tracksuits. 

 I don't mean the whole, 
"I just got off my private plane to perform a concert tonight so what the hell did you expect me to wear on a 13 hour flight" look.

It wasn't quite the "I am famous, sexy and beautiful and can get away with wearing what I want" look.

It also wasn't the 
"Hey, it may not be couture to you, but it is juicy couture for me. And I'll have you know I am queen bee in my 'hood " look.

It wasn't a professional uniform worn with conviction either.

The look was more...
Well, look for yourselves.


Thursday, 14 November 2013

Shhh...It's Victoria's Secret

It has now become a marketer's dream and 
the hype around this event is one of
 a funkier and more musical version of Miss Universe.

Miss Angel who forgot to wax the back of her neck, back 
and her ankles.

I am sure most teenage boys would view this differently but 
I couldn't help but mind read the following...

I am going to kill my agent.
 I finally get the Victoria Secret gig  
but instead I look I am dressed with the hand me downs of a 
Rastafarian and a clown.

 I hate this outfit and I don't know if even my underwear hanging out and my pout is going to distract anyone.
But some blogger out there will copy this outfit and 
I will get some extra publicity out of this.

 I haven't eaten in days so have no energy but 
I found my own way to elbow out my competition.

So I starved for two weeks and went to boot camp for one month and then they put this friggin' smiley face on my toned honed abs??

Tuesday, 12 November 2013

Choice and Decision fatigue

I think we have at one time or another experienced choice fatigue and decision fatigue.


Maybe it was your first time at Starbucks?
Half and half, decaf, semi-skimmed, soy, coffee faff.
Don't worry we all held up the queue the first time we went too.

Mr CSW thought he was going on a carefree vacation when we did a driving trip circling America;
 until we had to order breakfasts.

In the UK, the land of the supposed eccentrics,
 choice applies to voting, how you dress and how you take your tea. ( Mind you even then, your birth has a lot to do with it but that's another post.)  
Otherwise, you eat what you are given.

Now for those living in North America, 
this is au fait for you but not for the rest of the world.

So at our first breakfast across the pond when he ordered sausages and eggs on toast, he was asked naturally,
 "How would you like your eggs?"

* He looked to me for assurance even though he was the one eating them so I looked down at the menu as I like to see him squirm *

Fried?  He questioned her back.

Without skipping a beat, she reeled off, 
"Sunny side up, both sides, runny or well done in the middle?"

He answered but took more than the 
customary polite time allocated to respond.

Just when he thought it was all over, 
"What kind of toast would you like?"

"Just whatever comes."

"Whole wheat, white, wonder bread, 7 grain, whole grain, 
sour dough, bagel, muffin?

Mr CSW's

Monday, 11 November 2013

Blogging treatise, crisis, and suggestions

I was going to post something else today but 
I feel rather deflated and am feeling a bit flat.

I just experienced my second blogging casualty.

Before I started blogging myself, one of my favorite blogs Decorno stopped without any warning at all.

She was the one blog I faithfully followed before I found the bloggers who I read now.
 I didn't understand how blogs worked so I didn't know clicking on the profile might lead to a blog or highlighted words were linked else where etc.  
Total blogging ding dong I was.

Half the enjoyment I get from blogging has been discovering so many blogs I didn't know existed!

I have enjoyed "meeting" so many people I would not have otherwise met.

As we get older, most people do fall into a routine and naturally fall back onto their own rhythm.

I love being able to go and visit, chat with people, and learn little tidbits about all sorts of subjects from all over the world without ever having to get in a cab in traffic to socialize.

There have been times even before and now still where I question myself blogging.