Happy Birthday to Me

I got a piece of Brie.

It was my birthday on our last day in London and my husband’s gift was a very smelly piece of unpasteurised Brie.  Never let it be said that that man is not a romantic. God it was good though.

We of course had a phenomenally lovely time. The sun shone (even on my birthday, which absolutely NEVER happens); we met friends and family seemingly at every hour of the day and night; the Minx was beside herself with excitement and kept exclaiming ‘ I LOVE England’; we went to a very glamorous and lovely party; and mirrormirror was successfully transferred to its new base in Cambridge. 

And the Minx only woke up twice last night and managed to sleep through to 6 am which is a new jetlag record. So life is charmed indeed. 


Sad News

Dame Anita Roddick, founder of the Body Shop, has died at the age of 64, from a massive brain haemorrhage.

And the news has made me feel really sad.  She was a truly inspirational woman and probably the most well-known female entrepreneur in the UK.  In fact at the moment I can’t think of another one. 

Throughout my business career, she was held up as the female role model – it used to be impossible to read an article about ‘women in business’ without Anita Roddick being either mentioned or quoted –  though her unconventional way of doing business meant that she was hardly an establishment darling. 

Thanks to her, a whole generation of women has been inspired to start their own businesses, though it is still quite shocking how few high-profile female business leaders there are. I hope my daughter grows up with role models like her to inspire her.

Anita Roddick, goodbye and thank you.


A Strange Thing Has Happened

We’re going back to the UK tomorrow – just for a week.  And I don’t particularly want to go. Which is something I never thought I’d say. 

Maybe it’s the wonderful Indian summer we’re having here.  Or maybe just the thought of dealing with a jetlagged Minx again.  Or just the fact that is is mostly going to be work.  But even so Seattle is really starting to feel like home.

View from the 520 floating bridge over Lake Washington this weekend.  This is the view the Husband gets on his commute every day if the ‘Mountain’ is ‘out’.


Here is a photo I took back in March of the shops on Westbourne Grove, Notting Hill’s premier shopping street which is full of gorgeous boutiques and cafes.


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We’re going back because mirrormirror is on the move again.  Last year the wonderful Helen stepped into the breach when I was desperately looking for someone to take over the UK end of operations prior to our move out to Seattle, and it’s been huge amounts of fun working with her over the last year.  I can never thank her and my lucky stars enough for popping into my inbox at just the right time.

Unfortunately over the past few months the silly girl has gone and got herself a fabulously glamorous and interesting-sounding job at the Design Museum, moved to a new house outside of London and become engaged, so mirrormirror doesn’t exactly fit into her life any more.  We always knew this was going to happen though I can’t believe a year has flown by so quickly. 

Extremely fortunately my lovely friend Diane is going to be taking over.  I’m really looking forward to working with her as she’s got a ton of marketing and marcomms experience and has just gone freelance, so we’re hoping that mirrormirror will fit in with her nicely.  So next weekend, we’ll be moving everything up to Cambridge.  Do wish us luck driving a van full of ceramics up the motorway.


Ergo Pro

My lovely chiropractor Dr Ted gets so much pleasure out of torturing me that he gave me a present today.

Install this nifty Ergo Pro software and your computer will remind you every so often (you can change the settings to remind you after a certain length of time or amount of keyboard activity) to get up and stretch your back and neck. 

It’s made me realise just exactly how much pain and stiffness I carry around with me in neck and shoulders all day, despite Dr T’s ministrations, and comes highly recommended by the good doctor for all bloggers and people who spend hours each day at their keyboards.



I was feeling pretty good about my new Alex drawers (finally somewhere to put my gorgeous Marcel Wanders boxes exported from the UK at great expense in March).

Until I saw these glorious Finn Juhl drawers on the Style Files.

I just love the colours, the shape of the drawers and the open-y/close-yness of the whole thing.  What a wonderful piece.  Finn Juhl has been quite the thing in blogland recently.  I’d kill for one of his tiny sofas.

It’s funny how things work out sometimes.  I bought the Marcel Wanders boxes on a whim and have been struggling to come up with a place to put them.  And then I bought the Ikea desktop also on a whim and realise they are a match made in heaven.  Some higher power obviously wants me to have a black and white graphic patterned office with pink and red accents. Which is absolutely fine by me.

Please ignore the green walls and er, broken blind. Which must be addressed forthwith. And the huge heap of unfiled magazines and catalogues shoved in the corner, which I’m too embarrassed even to show you.


Pieces of Us

We love Michelle Caplan’s work here at mirrormirror, in fact we love it so much that one day we’re going to commission something fabulous – that is when we manage to get to the end of a month without being almost bankrupt (doing up a house is expensivo).


So I was excited to receive an invite to her upcoming exhibition Pieces of Us which I would definitely be going to if we lived even remotely close to LA.










The good news is that if you, like me, don’t happen to find yourself in California this month, then you can see images of her new work on her Flickr.



Image from here

I’m feeling a bit of a fraud about this, as I never seem to blog about the business anymore – just gardening and house renos – but I was extremely flattered to be included on this fabulous list:  The Women Entrepreneurs Toolbox: 100 Networking Resources, Guides and Links.

If you run your own business or are dreaming of doing so one day, do check this list out.  It’s full of really interesting and useful resources.

Suffice it to say that much has in fact been going on with mirrormirrorwhich I was planning to blog about later this week. How can you bear the suspense? 


A Trip to Ikea

Of course.  It was Labor Day weekend after all.

And a fun time was had by all.  Especially the Minx who became extremely bored and crotchety and miserable until we put her to sleep on top of a pile of rugs in the rug department while the Husband rushed around the warehouse collecting large boxes.  If you were trying to buy a rug in Ikea Seattle on Saturday, I do apologise.

Like most people we have a fair smattering of Ikea around the house – funnily enough even more so here in the US than in London, as it’s our only source of cheap European design and we have a much bigger place to fill.

We only went in to get three sets of Alex filing drawers and some Lack shelves for the Minx’s toy room but I came away with a purchase that made me extra happy - a new desk! 

Until now the global behemoth that is mirrormirror has been run from an old wooden desk I bought in a junk shop in Islington about fifteen years ago. Which is actually a beautiful old desk - or would be if it were releathered - but is also ridiculously small.  And I am ridiculously disorganised. 

I’ve been looking out for a replacement for some time, but saw nothing I loved until I saw this, one of Ikea’s Vika Glasholm range of interchangeable glass tabletops and legs, which looks like nothing on the website or the catalogue, but which is gorgeous in person. 

It’s large, unusual, doesn’t show sticky fingerprints too much and throws wonderful shadows when lit directly from above.

It is the sort of desk that makes me want to be the sort of person who always has one perfect bloom in a vase on their desk.


I’m not exactly thrilled by the trestles it’s standing on – I hope one day Ikea will add some nice spiky aluminium trestles to its range, but they’ll definitely do.

Now I just have to address this lot.

Actually Ikea was the least fun thing we did this weekend.  On Sunday we held a brunch party for a bunch of friends up on the deck, which was huge amounts of fun, and on Monday we went to Bumbershoot  – Seattle’s wonderful music and arts festival – which was completely fab. We didn’t bother to queue for any of the headline acts, but really enjoyed boogieing to Lyrics Born and Soulive on one of the smaller stages. 

The best thing though, was seeing the Minx’s reaction to seeing the Pacific Northwest Ballet.  It’s the first time she’s seen any ballet – and this was pretty adult-orientated stuff – but she was mesmerised throughout and devastated when the hour-long performances came to an end.  I think a trip to the Nutcracker is in order this Christmas.


The Cure

No, not the band, the book.

I’ve had Maxwell Gillingham-Ryan’s book Apartment Therapy – the Eight Step Home Cure sitting in my bedside cabinet for the longest time, but to date have only flicked through it.  

Starting tomorrow though, Apartment Therapy is launching its Fall ‘Cure’ – eight weeks of therapy either for your whole or part of your house (after which I will probably require eight weeks of therapy).

I think the time is ripe to start working properly on the main room downstairs, and possibly the Minx’s room, so hopefully this will give me the motivation I need. 

Is anyone brave enough to join me?