Monday, 17 April 2017

Colour Me Inspired // Mood Board Curations

How is everyone's long weekend going? To those of you stuck at work on this fine Monday, this post goes out to you!


A quick side note before jumping into the good stuff; have you guys devoured S-Town yet? Oh man, I listened to the final chapter over the weekend and have zero closure! I've been dipping in and out of the forums desperate for even just a sliver of something extra... Seven chapters about this bizarre, characterful man's life just isn't enough! I'll just have to get sucked into Big Little Lies instead for now!


Back to business. Let's step into this week feeling ready to slay, get crossing those tasks off your 'to do' list and start that project you've been putting off. Here is a visual boost of inspiration to start the week with a spring in your step!


Mood board, fashion, art, lifestyle, visual, inspiring images, pretty pictures, colour love, productivity boost, vibes and moods, curation, idea board, gorgeous images, pinterest love, story telling.


Mood board, fashion, art, lifestyle, visual, inspiring images, pretty pictures, colour love, productivity boost, vibes and moods, curation, idea board, gorgeous images, pinterest love, story telling.


Mood board, fashion, art, lifestyle, visual, inspiring images, pretty pictures, colour love, productivity boost, vibes and moods, curation, idea board, gorgeous images, pinterest love, story telling.


Mood board, fashion, art, lifestyle, visual, inspiring images, pretty pictures, colour love, productivity boost, vibes and moods, curation, idea board, gorgeous images, pinterest love, story telling.


Mood board, fashion, art, lifestyle, visual, inspiring images, pretty pictures, colour love, productivity boost, vibes and moods, curation, idea board, gorgeous images, pinterest love, story telling.


Mood board, fashion, art, lifestyle, visual, inspiring images, pretty pictures, colour love, productivity boost, vibes and moods, curation, idea board, gorgeous images, pinterest love, story telling.


Mood board, fashion, art, lifestyle, visual, inspiring images, pretty pictures, colour love, productivity boost, vibes and moods, curation, idea board, gorgeous images, pinterest love, story telling.


Mood board, fashion, art, lifestyle, visual, inspiring images, pretty pictures, colour love, productivity boost, vibes and moods, curation, idea board, gorgeous images, pinterest love, story telling.


Mood board, fashion, art, lifestyle, visual, inspiring images, pretty pictures, colour love, productivity boost, vibes and moods, curation, idea board, gorgeous images, pinterest love, story telling.


Mood board, fashion, art, lifestyle, visual, inspiring images, pretty pictures, colour love, productivity boost, vibes and moods, curation, idea board, gorgeous images, pinterest love, story telling.


If you're in need of a little more creative mood boards to lift you out of a productivity slump or just to day dream over then feel free to check out my previous posts to set an aesthetically pleasing vibe for the rest of your week!


If you've got any suggestions for fascinating podcasts, books or tv shows to distract from my S-Town withdrawals then I'd love to hear them please!

Thursday, 13 April 2017

Easter Sweets // Homemade Cinnamon Rolls

Easter Treats, Easter sweets, Spring Time, homemade cinnamon rolls, cinnamon swirl recipe, lbloggers, lifestyle, baking, sweet treat for Easter


Freshly cut flowers, hazy blue skies scattered with whisps of cloud, long evening walks in the gently fading sunshine, lazy weekends snuggled up in a duvet. This time of year brings people together to celebrate the awakening of nature, to praise the longer days and warmer weather and allows us to enjoy the simpler things in life; one of those things being home-baked treats just perfect for Easter!


When thinking of seasonally appropriate tasty treasures hot cross buns spring to mind, Dutch sugar bread, chocolatey eggs or fluffy pancakes perhaps, all of which will no doubt be consumed in our house over the next couple of weeks, but the recipe I am sharing today is for deliciously sticky, sweet cinnamon rolls!


Easter sweets, Easter treats, homemade cinnamon rolls, handmade, cinnamon swirl recipe, recipe post, lbloggers, baking, lifestyle, creative living


Easter Sweets, faded windmills, Easter treats, homemade cinnamon rolls, cinnamon swirl recipe, handmade, baking, lifestyle, lbloggers, spring time recipe


The basic recipe makes around 14, but you can half or double the recipe depending on the size of your tribe and feel free to switch up the flavours to really add a twist of something special! I've kept things pretty basic since this is my first ever attempt and the classic cinnamon and sugar had me from the get go, but you could add chopped pecans or walnuts, use a vanilla sugar in place of cinnamon, drizzle honey as a glaze or even add a little orange zest to get the party going!


Ingredients

For the dough:
1/2 cup / 345g unsalted butter, melted
2 cups / 355ml whole milk, warm to the touch
1/2 cup / 380g caster sugar
7 g active dry yeast
5 cups / 450g plain flour
1 tsp baking powder
2 tsp salt

For the filling:
3/4 cup / 170g butter, softened
3/4 cup / 144g light brown sugar
2 tablespoons cinnamon

For the frosting:
4 oz / 114g cream cheese
2 tbsp butter, melted
2 tbsp whole milk
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup / 130g powdered sugar


Get to it!

Once you've prepared your baking tins with a little butter and baking paper, add into a large mixing bowl the melted butter, the warm milk and your sugar and mix together.

Gently sprinkle the dry yeast across your mixture in an even layer and leave for 1 minute to sit.

Next add about 3/4 of your flour (saving about a quarter for later) and using a wooden spoon mix this together lightly before you cover the bowl with cling film or a tea towel and leave for an hour in a warm place.

Check on your little beastie after an hour and it should have doubled in size. Add the remaining 1/4 flour and also throw in the salt and baking powder, stirring it all together then turning it out onto a well floured surface. Add a little extra flour until the dough isn't crazy sticky but malleable enough to roll out.

Knead it lightly, turning it into itself as you go then roll the dough out into a rectangle about half an inch thick. Try and get this as even as you can, no I mean seriously, go ahead and try, I dare ya! (I'm aiming for taste over presentation...)

Now you should gently spread the softened butter across your dough, sprinkle the brown sugar and your cinnamon powder. This is where things start to smell good!

The fun part; carefully roll the top edge (or one of the longest sides of your rectangle) in on itself all the way until you create a log, then cut this guy in half and slice your way along creating 1-2 inch chunks.

Time to get your oven going, heat it up to 180*C / 350F.

Arrange your doughy rolls onto the baking trays, starting with one in the centre and creating a circular pattern with the rest around this. Cover with cling film and leave it for 30 minutes.

Remove the plastic wrap and bake in the centre of the oven for 25 - 30 minutes until they reach a golden brown colour.

To make the frosting, whisk together the cream cheese, the melted butter and the milk adding the powdered sugar slowly as you go, until you reach your desired density.

Once the cinnamon rolls are cooked, removed from the oven and swirl over the frosting while they're still warm.

Test one immediately for poison, lick the frosting bowl and spoon to help the washing up stage later and generously share out amongst your loved ones for a delicious Easter sweet treat, just be sure to stash at least two in a securely hidden place, you know, for emergencies.


Easter Sweets, faded windmills, Easter treats, homemade cinnamon rolls, cinnamon swirl recipe, handmade, baking, lifestyle, lbloggers, spring time recipe


Easter Sweets, faded windmills, Easter treats, homemade cinnamon rolls, cinnamon swirl recipe, handmade, baking, lifestyle, lbloggers, spring time recipe


Easter Sweets, faded windmills, Easter treats, homemade cinnamon rolls, cinnamon swirl recipe, handmade, baking, lifestyle, lbloggers, spring time recipe


Easter Sweets, faded windmills, Easter treats, homemade cinnamon rolls, cinnamon swirl recipe, handmade, baking, lifestyle, lbloggers, spring time recipe




























If deliciously soft chocolate chip cookies are more your thing then please feel free to use my (religiously tried and tested) recipe or if you have the Easter Bunny over for a bite to eat then perhaps this ridiculously good carrot cake would fit the bill?! However you choose to spend your weekend I do wish you a relaxing, hopefully sunshiney few days.

Monday, 10 April 2017

Hashtag Adore // Instagram Accounts Currently Loving

Happy Monday, guys and dolls! We're off to a sunny start this week, following a corker of a weekend. Apologies if you see the glare off my legs from where you are, but these bad boys are out and loving it! How is this glorious Spring treating you so far?


It's been a busy few days around these parts but but thanks to my trusty bullet journal I'm on top of it. Productivity is at a high and I'm starting to get into a creative groove with work- I'm giving this epic weather all the credit for the mood boost! Talking of an inspiring booster, here are my current favourite Instagram accounts that I can't get enough of right now. We've everything from soul searching art work to Nordic street style for you to delve into. Happy reading!


@songofstyle

Luxury // Elegance // High fashion meets everyday fashion // Locations // Sophistication // style



@nikkiinwanderland

Dream-like // Gentle // Nature // Softness // Escapism // Small moments // Treasured // Breathe



@agirlnamedleney

Snap shots // Nature // Adventures // Soft-focus // Poetry // Breathe it in // Individual



@ellysmallwood

Masterful // Breathtaking // Honest // Sketches // Life-size art // Reflective // Insightful // Tone



@smileandwave

Pop // Texture // Handmade // Creative visuals // Colour love // Inspiring // Craftsmanship



@mikutas

Casual and edgy // Everyday Scandi style // Earthy // Fashion rule breaker // Wearable // Distinct



If you've any Instagram accounts you think I'd fall in love with then please oh please give them a mention below! I'm always on the look out to expand my creative resources. If you've time to slay then do take a look at my previous favourite Instagrammers and revel in all their glory and visual loveliness!

Thursday, 6 April 2017

Story Time // Quarterly Book Review

Faded Windmills, new post, book reviews, quarterly book review, coffee and books, kindle, book recommendations, latte, koffie tijd


There isn't much better than finding a story that pulls you in, takes hold of your imagination and even leaves you thinking about its characters and plot long after it's returned to your book shelf. The power of a great book! Books give you the opportunity to travel to lands far and wide, to experience all walks of life from the comfort of your pjs, to develop empathy and understanding, to discover new worlds-real and fictional and to escape from reality for pages at a time.


Here is my quarterly book review round up, sharing with you the novels I read during the months of January, February and March. I have really enjoyed everything I've read so far this year, we're off to a grand start! At the end of February as a birthday treat, I decided to jump into the third instalment in the Outlander series (I know, I'm just so wild), which did take me the entirety of March to complete pretty much, but man was it worth it!


As ever, I've written a personal review of each book but not included a summary or blurb per say, as I live in fear of ruining bits or revealing too much! I have however linked the Goodreads page for each one where you can find extensive information, if you so fancy, (I got you).


The Roanoke Girls by Amy Engel     4* {288 pages}

This book took me by surprise. The startlingly controversial and disturbing subject and the sheer magnetic pull of this story, caught me unawares. I reached for this book simply down to it's intriguing summary and had never banked on falling for this deliciously dark tale. Engaging and suspenseful, this story follows angry and adrift Lane, an ancestor to more than just your average family legend, who discovers more than she hoped for one twisted summer back on Roanoke. Years later, after having dragged herself away from a dangerous environment she finds herself right back where she started, coming full circle and having to face dark and disturbing truths about her family, her mother and herself.

I was hooked with this one from the get go. Not to everyones taste, of course, as many reviewers have ran for the hills after hitting a certain point in the story, but for me I found it gripping and harrowing, needing to reach the end of the book if only to catch my breath. I would be interested in seeing what else this author has written (young adult books, I do believe) and hope that they continue to produce such thrilling novels as I look forward to reading more!


Scrappy Little Nobody by Anna Kendrick     4* {304 pages}

Hilarious, insightful and if possible I love her even more now!

Anna Kendrick takes us on a sarcastic and charmingly awkward trip down memory lane, sharing with her readers detailed and honest snippets from where she began her career, to where she's heading right now, with some juicy bits in between. This is one for the fans, as it is classic Kendrick, firing on all cylinders. Prepare to make all the snort-laugh noises when reading this one in public!


The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd     5* {336 pages}

Ah this book! This little treasure had been on my shelf for a while until, on a whim, I picked it up, turned to the first page and proceeded to fall in love. Beautifully written, tender and heart wrenching and such a touching story that leaves an impression long after completion.

This story unfolds in the 60s in rural South Carolina, revealing a brief insight into the life of an extraordinary young girl and the strong women who come into her life, the elusive woman who she never had a chance to know and hints of the woman she is set to become. This one is inspiring, uplifting and empowering.


Faded Windmills, new post, book post, book reviews, book recommendations, coffee and book, koffie tijd, coffee time, koffie en boekje, literature, book lovers, coffee lovers, lbloggers


Meisje Vermisd (Girl Missing) by Tess Gerritsen     4* {256 pages}

Yes! My first Dutch book of the year! Well, I say Dutch, it is actually written by thriller/ cop drama writer Tess Gerritsen (of Rizzoli and Isles fame) translated into my second language and what a perfect book to use for practising said language!

Fast paced, intelligent characters and just lots of fun to read, what more could you want in a story? A classic 'who done it' tale involving a killer seemingly on a rampage, taking out young unfortunates framed as a drug overdose, but our hero and protagonist knows better!


Voyager by Diana Gabaldon      5* {1059 pages}

The third book in the epic Outlander series and boy what a corker this one was! Just when you start to wonder how on Earth this magnificent story can reach new heights, at the turn of a page you're back in Edinburgh pushing through the bustling, cobbled streets of the late 1700's. Then before you know it you're tossed aboard a British man of war with it's crew suffering a deadly epidemic, from which you're thrown overboard washing up somewhere in the Caribbean. Yes my friends, this one really is an adventure!

As ever, this book is packed to the gills with fantastic characters, amazing wonders and enough umph to keep you thirsty through all 1059 pages! Quite possibly my favourite in the series so far.


There you have it chums, a handful of tales but a fair amount to add to the favourites pile! I'm currently battling another Dutch book and keeping myself distracted from this with Broken Monsters by Lauren Beukes, which I just started! If you've time to kill do feel free to check out my previous book review posts, like this one including a serious tear jerker or this post featuring some of my favourite books ever! Until next time dearests!

Monday, 3 April 2017

Spring Fresh // Preparing Your Wardrobe For A New Season

It's time to dust off those vintage shades and dig out your trusty florals as the Spring sunshine makes itself welcome once again.


To celebrate this happy season full of blossoming flowers and frolicking lambs I've scribbled down some of my favourite looks and fresh, fun additions to ring in this beautiful time of year.


Day to day apparel







- A little lace goes a long way to adding a feminine frill to your undie draw and a peek of subtly sexy lingerie from beneath a crisp white shirt or under a classic Breton tee matched with your fave blue jeans can really work wonders!

Forever stripes is a motto I stand by and although I often reach for a basic white and black combo, switching it up with a nautical red and blue can add a fresh touch to your daytime regulars.

- How about a sweet accent to take your simple outfit onto the next level like an origami crane necklace or a snappy collar chain to embellish even the most plain of blouses?

- I'm loving a vibrant pink velvety-rich lipstick this season and find that by applying it to a balm-smooth mouth and dabbing it out with my finger creates a softer, day time friendly look.


Bedtime Routine







Pastels or florals can also adorn your jimjams this Spring and bring a little sunshine cheer to the bedroom!

- Try out a teddy or a playsuit (like mine above) to brighten up your sleepwear as the weather warms up.

- Don't forget to treat your pinkies to some love, I can't get enough of this Neals Yard Bee Lovely hand cream lately!

- Spring, Summer, Autumn and Winter... my favourite way to wind down ready for bed is to dive into a good book, feel free to get a recommendation or two from my ever updating goodreads page.


Stretch It Out





- My girl Adriene keeps physical fitness fun with her yoga videos that I am simply addicted to, opting for a combination of videos to keep things interesting and keep my lazy butt on that yoga mat!

- My Spring colour-way for active wear this season is most certainly soft greys and pinks, allowing a dreamy, gentle approach to getting back into shape after a slovenly Winter.

- As the sunshine hits my window earlier and earlier, I've found that starting my day with a stretch really sets me up for high productivity and boosts my mood instantly.

- Spending a relaxed Sunday walking in the sunshine, taking in some fresh air and blowing out the cobwebs has really kicked off my Spring nicely and I highly recommend taking some time out for yourself, away from technology for a while, to truly relax, body and mind.


Outfits aside, I simply look forward to hearing the birds singing at my window first thing in the morning, my daily cycle to the train station as the sun rises higher in the sky, watching the trees bloom stretching their greenery far and wide, handwritten postcards sent from a strange land and painting my toes light pink as a wee reflection of the hopeful season ahead.

Thursday, 30 March 2017

Seasonal Stitching // Spring Sewing Wishlist

With the latest wave of Spring-fresh collections hitting the stores and seeing those alluring and creative shop fronts decorated ready to celebrate this happy new season (and hopefully the welcoming of some lovely weather) I've gathered together a wish list of all the bits and bobs I want to get stitching.


One of the great things about building up a handmade wardrobe, besides having full control over quality of fabric and the tailoring to your exact size, is that you can window shop all the latest looks and morph together a handful of ideas, creating your ideal item perfectly suited to your deepest desires that is still seasonally appropriate!


I'm really feeling all of the classic Spring/ Summer prints (florals, tropical) and would like to venture into using colour (eeep!) and try out some new silhouettes, so I've rounded up a board of inspirations to help narrow down my humongous list of ideas and have even sought out some super cool patterns to give a try!


The Humble Shirt





The main wardrobe essential I'd like to add just in time for Spring, is a light and breezy shirt. I'm not 100% sure of the fine details just yet as I'm playing around with several design ideas, but after having come across this e-book from Sew Over It and finding the Alex shirt pattern, I think that would be a great starting point! Frills and ruffles and sleeve features are seriously on the money this season, but I'm a sucker for stripes... Perhaps a trip to the fabric market will help sway my decision.


Full of Swish



I know, all of my sewing wish lists seem to feature a skirt, but I find them so darn adaptable, wearable and fun to make that I just can't help myself. Besides having enough swish to satisfy a 6 year old, I'd like to branch out and focus mainly on some fresh and fun fabrics. Colour can make all the difference so maybe I will reach for something playful and striking, with a bold pattern or repeat print. I love the contrast with these examples, the clashing colours and patterns are tamed slightly with either a slightly longer hem, a neat and precise pleat or with a casual basic blouse and sweet accessories. There's fun to be had!


Sleep Time Essentials





Now this is something I've never made before! I did however, receive the most adorable set of night time sleepwear from a dear (and extremely talented) friend of mine, and being hugely inspired by the lovely lady I'd love to have a go myself. Once again I'm influenced by the silly yet fun graphic prints around at the moment and love the look of a classic pair of piped-edged pjs- then again, why choose one look, even more of an excuse to lounge around if I end up with several sets!


Happy Organisers



A cute, little purse is just the ticket for clearing up my cluttered bags and for helping keep my hand baggage in top organised shape ready for a summer of holidaying, day trips and daily essentials in transit. I love the bold effect of this first, black and white purse and it seems a super handy size to create a nice and concise collection of essential beauty pieces. The middle example shows the endless options when you bring embroidery into the mix. This inter-galactic zipped pouch could be used for many a treasure and would be a fun little project to customise as a gift. The fresh and fruity third option just shows the difference a pop of colour can make. Spring is here and why not embrace it's brightening effect on our mood by reflecting this with shades of yellow and a fabulously sweet print!


So friends, I will be keeping myself busy and out of trouble with this lovely bundle of projects. Which one to choose first is always the biggest problem (or when to put the fabric down and back away, whilst out shopping at the market!), but I'm certainly pumped and ready to get some Spring freshness into my wardrobe. Do you have any favourite, brightening looks you're hoping to work into your daily uniform or any creative projects that encourage and inspire you this season?

Monday, 27 March 2017

Picture This // Mood Board Curations

Time for another round of visual beauties! Feast your eyes on this latest collection of mood boards, pin them on your own inspiration boards for a little boost to get your creative mind going, check out the Faded Windmills facebook page for daily snippets or head straight to the source of all procrastination and drool worthy imagery!


Either way allow yourself five minutes from your otherwise busy schedule, take a step back from your to-do list and browse these pictures at your sincerest leisure. While you're at it be sure to give yourself a big hug, go for it, Janet in the corner office won't notice! Treat yourself to a brisk walk in the afternoon sunshine and have a second biscuit. It's on me!






















All images are sourced across the wide corners of the internet yet collected and linked at Pinterest. If you're feeling lazy and don't want the fuss of doing the searching yourself then I have what you need right here, in the form of my previous mood board posts Set The Pace, Oh You Pretty Things and one more for luck Feeling It!

Thursday, 23 March 2017

Emma Watson's Sustainable Fashion Press Tour

It's the movie we've all been waiting for, Disney's latest re-imagining of the classic and romantic tale of Beauty and the Beast, starring the badass and ever lovely Emma Watson as our heroine Belle.


This, however, was no regular press tour to publicise and celebrate all the glitter and sparkle that comes with a live-action Disney. There were, of course, photo shoots and interviews a plenty (even one covered in kittens!!), but one stand-out difference was the effort Emma and her team put in to ensure every look and ensemble she was photographed in (and therefore promoting) was ethical, right down to the last detail.


Slow fashion and it's many global and environmental benefits is a dear subject to Miss Watson and with this parade of stunning high end looks, the stylish actress managed to prove the possibility of wearing garments with responsibility whilst slaying the red carpet.





Take for example, this breath taking fairy tale gown and cape from the ever enchanting Elie Saab made, believe it or not, entirely from left over fabric from a previous Haute Couture collection. It really goes to show how much waste is often created in this industry, materials like this devastatingly cast aside to be destroyed, after the sheer craft-mans-ship that goes into producing it... Emma Watson most wisely highlights this issue by proving what can be created from literal left overs!



This bespoke, delicate, pale blue Emilia Wickstead off the shoulder number was also made using end of the line fabric, which was responsibly sourced from a family run business based in London and re-purposed by Emilia Wickstead's London atelier, by an all female team no less! Her earrings are handcrafted in Brooklyn by Catbird.



This fascinating creation is from fashion house Louis Vuitton, designed by Nicolas Ghesquiere made with Newlife recycled polyester- essentially used plastic bottles spun into yarns in Italy with a fully traceable supply chain, saving energy and reducing CO2 emissions. Pretty cool, huh!



Whilst promoting the movie in London, Emma chose this gorgeous silhouette from small brand, Spanish designer Carmen March, once again wearing Catbird handmade earrings, matching it with an All Blues ring, handcrafted locally in Stockholm from the company's third-generation foundry.



I love the drama from this all black ensemble, not to mention that it's a bespoke piece from 3.1 Phillip Lim making use of FSC viscose, Oeko-Tex 100 certified biodegradable acetate yarn... I mean, dude! Those gorgeous earrings are Pichulik a Cape Town based company who produce such stunning ornamentation from locally made rope off-cuts, sourced from near by yachting and climbing companies.



This is one of my favourite of Emma's looks, especially for the Beauty and the Beast promotional tour, as it oozes that strength and self sturdiness known to our beloved character from the movie. This striking, sharp-cut suit is vintage YSL, from the treasure trove that is William Vintage (could you image trawling through their archive...) which, of course, has plentiful benefits when emphasising reducing your carbon footprint through fashion. Second hand clothing are gems waiting to be re-homed and re-loved, using no energy at all, well... not including searching for the perfect piece. Also, quite often than not, a vintage item will fit like a dream, since many pieces of clothing were tailored back in the day, much less mass production, standardised sizes.



This beauty is Givenchy Haute Couture produced with certified organic silk and that ridiculously awesome clutch is from sustainable luxury fashion brand Bottletop, made from zero deforestation, Amazonian leather and developed by Eco-Age in partnership with The Rainforest Alliance and The National Wildlife Federation.









Reflecting her character from the movie in this sunshine yellow, graceful yet courageous gown, Emma Watson worked closely with Dior to develop a concept tailored perfectly to the movie's message, to her own personal ethic and speaking volumes of the responsibility of the fashion industry. Created by Maria Grazia Chiuri using certified organic silk in the most beautiful colour! Check out this fascinating video featuring snapshots of the making process and to hear them discuss the thoughts behind the concept.


The proof is in the pudding, my friends, there is an awful lot of waste that comes out of the multi-million dollar fashion industry and where larger fashion houses have previously crunched those smaller, local business under foot, people are starting to take notice that there is plenty of room for everyone, and that if we all do our part in consciously and responsibly spending our money then you really can have the best of both worlds- without the planet and factory workers paying the price.


For a closer look at these outfits and more of Emma Watson's Beauty and the Beast fashion moments check out The Press Tour where they've been following this whirl wind event!