To mark the end of January we posted this photo on Instagram of Rita Hayworth and Fred Astiare.  Mrs S and I started reminiscing with some of our Instagram followers, and also at Serendipity Loves HQ (aka our home!), of our favourite classic black and white movies and movie stars.


Credit: Unknown


Mrs S and I started reminiscing with some of our Instagram followers, and also at Serendipity Loves HQ (aka our home!), of our favourite classic black and white movies and movie stars.

Classic Movie Love


My all time movie favourite is The Philadelphia Story (1940), not the musical version which is called High Society (1950), the edition with Cary Grant, James Stewart and Katherine Hepburn.  It is a film I could sit and watch all day, everyday.  Katherine Hepburn is a favourite classic movie star of mine. 


Credit: Movie Posters: Scan Collections


Credit: DoctorMacro

Mrs S loves all the films with Dame Margaret Rutherford DBE acting, especially the Agatha Christie stories.  To name but a few - Murder Ahoy,  Murder at the Gallop, Murder Most Foul and Murder She Said.

Credit: www.biography.com


As I am typing this I can hear the music playing! Our favourite part in Murder at the Gallop is where Mrs Marple is dancing with Mr Stringer (Stringer Davies) and says "Hot it up Mr Stringer."  It always makes us both chuckle when they both start twisting and dancing with speed.  It is amazing to think they were both married in real life.

Credit: www.fanpop.com


Mrs S has many classic films she loves to watch.   I do know, without asking, her favourite of all time is Mrs Miniver (1942).  he leading lady is Greer Garson, not only does Mrs S love the film, she adores the 1940 fashions.


Credit: www.IMDB.com


Mrs S eldest daughter, also loves the classic movies.  And again, I know without asking her she loves the Audrey Hepburn, Katherine Hepburn and Grace Kelly.  However, (hangs head in shame) I didn't know her favourite film is Brief Encounter (1945).

Credit: www.Instyle.com


Credit: Cinematic Frontier


There is a trend here among the Serendipity Ladies - We love the 1940s - films and fashion!

Our Classic Movie Valentines


Talking about movie stars with Mrs S last week, I learnt a little more about our family history and our favourite leading male actors from the classic Movie collections.  Between the homes of the Serendipity Ladies we have quite a collection of movies.

Without a doubt my all time favourite leading male actor is Cary Grant.  I have many of his films and have read many books on him.


Credit: www.Listal.com

I asked Mrs S who here favourite male lead actor was and she said "Oh I don't think I have one",  I think, I got this response as Mr S (aka Dad) was sat in the room! Although I do believe it is Spencer Tracy.  I think we are safe, as Mr S doesn't read our blog.


Credit: www.PicturesofCelebrities.com


Mrs S eldest daughter, confession time - I had to ask her as I didn't know (hangs head in shame - again!) is Cary Grant.  So a special photo for her this Valentine of Cary Grant with Grace Kelly.

Credit: www.Movpins.com

Until Last week, when the Serendipity Ladies were talking about classic movies, I had no idea my grandmothers favourite was Jeff Chandler.  I think he looks a little like Cary Grant! 


Credit: www.DoctorMacro.com

My great grandmothers was Gary Cooper.

Credit: www.GentlemansGazette.com


We are wondering how many of our followers are also fans on classic movies and movie stars....Please do share with us, we would love to hear from you.


Happy Valentines Day
Serendipity Loves xx

It's just gone 5pm here in the UK and it is still light outside!  Oh how we love the lighter nights, but it is still very cold and we have a north wind.  A northerly wind brings with it cold weather and often snow.  We are definitely still in Winter.

We have noticed, the first signs of spring are starting to appear in the garden and around us.  We love nothing more than watching the the garden begin a new life, and  unfold into all it's glory.

The earliest flower we often see, and we have seen a few starting to flourish this week, are snowdrops.  We love their delicate white flowers and are always pleased to see the first snowdrops appear.  Although I have always planted these, they never seem to grown in our garden.  But thankfully we are surrounded by a mountain and country walks where we see plenty.  Mrs S and I, have been out and about on a few walks last week.


Credit: Great British Gardens

Some bulbs we do have success in the garden with, and we already have green shoots starting to appear, are  daffodils and tulips.  I always wonder how these delicate plants survive this cold weather.  



Credit: Beautiful Flower Pictures
Credit: Gardening Know How


 Although we have never planted bluebells in the garden, we have an abundance.  Some inherited from the previous owner, and I do believe we have a few self seeded from the mountain where we live.  We are not far from bluebell woods and love nothing more than watching the colours of the mountains unfold at this time of year.  Every seasons brings a different view from our windows, and we love it.


Credit: Natasha Solomon



Whilst out walking last week Mrs S and I noticed the Catkins are in abundance on the trees.  These bring back memories of walking home from school, I always remember we called these "sheep tails" and we always wondered how the sheep were managing without their tails!  Strange I know, but the imagination of a child is priceless.  


Credit: Hawk Conservancy
As I write this, we are losing the light but it is just 5:30pm (UK) and the birds are chattering away outside, another sign spring is on it's way.  We have bird food in the garden, and it is lovely to awake hearing and seeing the birds feed.  


Credit: Surf Birds
We have a resident robin, and last year for the first time had baby robins in the garden.  This year brings some new bird houses to the garden.

Still a touch of light outside, but there is a definite wind, off to light the fire and keep warm for the evening.  

Have a good week.

Serendipity Loves xx




We were delighted to be contacted by Bertie and Jack at the end of last year.  It is a pleasure to introduce Becky and Emma (partners of Bertie and Jack) to our blog, as our first meet the makers of 2017.

I first came across Bertie and Jack, not long after I purchased my first and current home.  This was when Becky and Emma were in their early years of business together.  Mrs S and I, were on a Christmas shopping trip to Bath and we stopped by the Bertie and Jack stall.  It was difficult to decide which print I loved the most - I loved them all!  I decided on the songbird print, which I loved and still love.  It is a print I have never tired of, and love more and more as time goes by.  It is fresh, modern and original. 

MM


We are delighted to have Becky and Emma as our meet the maker's this weekend and we have enjoyed learning more about Bertie and Jack.


Meet The Makers: Bertie & Jack



Tell us a little about Bertie & Jack, how your product is different and how you started the business.

Bertie and Jack is a decorative wall art brand synonymous with original, collectible and feel good art to work and celebrate life changing moments.  I

Our product idea is really simple but we are the first to create art in this way; the artwork is made by machine cutting our hand-drawn illustrations from mount board and layering colourful unique prints behind the cut-out shapes.  Simple but so effective!  And importantly, all our products are designed and produced here in the UK.

The business itself was started by best friends Becky Macey and Emma Hughes after the arrival of their children, Bertie and Jack in 2009.  Their retail journey began as street traders in their home city of Bath with just a suitcase of artwork and a bucket load of determination.  

Since then the range has evolved and seven years later, Bertie and Jack are ranged in department stores like John Lewis and through online retailers such as Not on The High Street (NOTHS)


Have you always been creative, and where does your inspiration come from?

With more than one fine arts degree between us, as well as a background in marketing to throw into the mix, we are a family of self confessed creative persons who find inspiration for our artworks in everything from a family trip to the zoo, to the latest fashion trends, colours and prints.



What does handmade mean to you?

Handmade means creating artworks from our hand-drawn illustrations and prints, creating bespoke personalised artworks that are unique to each customer.  It is about creating meaningful and well-crafted artworks.




What are you both looking forward to this new year?


We do not like to sit still for long, nevertheless, after our crazy busy Christmas time, we do get together with lots of coffee reflect on the year passed, and allow for some time to re-energise, creatively recharge and set goals for 2017.  We are looking forward to creating and launching new designs and new products.  We will keep you posted!



We look forward to seeing what 2017 brings for us from Bertie & Jack!  If you would like to find out more about Bertie & Jack and their products you can find further details on their website (here), Instagram (here), Facebook (here), Twitter (here) and Pinterest (here).


New Year Giveaway




Becky and Emma have very kindly provided a generous £60 voucher in total.  The lucky winner will be able to use the voucher, to select their own print, on Bertie & Jack's website or in person at their market stall in Bath. This is such a fab treat for yourself, or a gift for someone.  I love my print and I know the winner will cherish theirs too.


To be in with a chance of winning:
  • You must be following both both Bertie & Jack (HERE) and ourselves, Serendipity Loves (HERE) on Instagram.
  • Like the GIVEAWAY post on our Instagram page (HERE).  Repost the photo using the hashtag #Bertieandjackgiveaway. Or TAG friends into the giveaway photo on our Instagram page 
  • If your account is private please confirm in the comments you have reposted.


Feel free to tag anyone one into our post or your post who you think would be interested in entering.  The competition is open to UK entrants only.

The giveaway will close on 31st January at 8pm and the winner will be picked at random using a random name generator.  We will announce the winner via Instagram on xxx and details of how to obtain the voucher from Becky and Emma.

Thank You


A very big thank you to Becky and Emma for taking the time to be our first meet the maker for 2017 and providing a generous giveaway to start the new year.  

Wow, what an amazing way to start the new year! Wishing everyone good luck with their entries.

Serendipity Loves x


This post has been written in collaboration with Bertie & Jack. 

All photographs contained within have rights reserved by Bertie & Jack and should not be produced without their prior permission.



We are delighted to continue working in collaboration with Harper Collins, Harper Impulse through NetGallery.  

Thank you to Harper Collins, Harper Impulse, Sue Fortin and NetGallery for the advanced copy of Sister Sister in exchange for an open and honest review.  Sister Sister is due for publication on Friday 6th January.

Our Review



Claire has a sister Alice, who she has not seen her since her father left the UK (taking Alice) and moved to America, whilst Claire grows up living with her mother. 

Claire graduated from Oxford and became a Lawyer. She got married had two daughters and they all live in her mother's home.  Although Claire continued with her life, she never forgot  her sister Alice.  She remembers vividly the day her father left, taking Alice.   Over the years, Claire and her mother used private investigators to try to get in touch with Alice, but all attempts failed. 

Then out of the blue, Claire's mother receives a letter from Alice. Her father had died and she wanted to get in touch with her family.  It's not long before they arrange for her to come to the UK. 

Claire finds it difficult to warm to Alice and a series of events occur.  

Claire believes Alice is a manipulative liar who is trying to take over her life. 

Alice thinks Claire is jealous of her sister and her return to her long lost family.   

Claire's family are concerned she has been working long hours and is having a break down. 


What makes this book different?


  • Without a doubt, you cannot put this book down. If, and when you do, it's hard to stop thinking about the content. 
  • I read this book in just over 24 hours, finishing it at 3am(!) but it was well worth the sleep deprivation.  It is definitely one of those books where you say "just one more chapter" and then three hours later....
  • The book has you hooked from the moment Alice arrives in the U.K. If you read this book, it's worth making sure you don't have anything else to do!
  • The story is an easy read, although there are some things I guessed, for the majority of the time it kept me guessing throughout. It's gripping... and I kept thinking is she.... isn't she... (no spoilers!)
  • The book is well suited to the psychological drama classification. It is skillfully written, had characters you soon become to understand and twists you don't expect. 

This is the first of Sue Fortin's books I have read, and will be looking to read her other titles.  My type of book, no murders, no gory details but keeps you guessing until the last.  

We are continuing to work with both Harper Collins, Harper Inpulse and Penguin UK and look forward to sharing more book reviews.  We publish the reviews on our blog around one week prior to publication.  Sister Sister is due for release Friday!

Serendipity Loves xx


We are delighted to start working in collaboration with Michael Joseph - Penguin UK (Publishers) through Net Gallery.  We were pre approved, to read and provide an open and honest review in return for a copy of this book. We always delay posting reviews until just before the book is published.

This is the first books we have read and reviewed for Penguin. Good Me, Bad me is written by Ali Land and  is to be published on 12th January.  

Many thanks to Net Gallery, Michael Joseph - Penguin UK and Ali Land for the advance copy of this book in exchange for an open and honest review.


Our Review





Annie, a teenager, has just moved in to a foster home. She has taken a new name, identity and is joining a new school.  Annie becomes Milly.  The family she moves in with have a daughter the same age, a mother and also a father who is a psychologist and works with Milly to prepare for her mother's trial.

Previously Annie lived with her mother. Annie believes her mother is a serial killer and is a witness to her latest murder. She reports her mother to the police and prepares to give evidence against her.  The newspapers are covering her mother's story and Milly is concerned and desperate not to be like her mother and be good, but she is the daughter of a murderer.  This causes much turmoil, sleepless nights and concern for Milly.

What makes this book Different?

  • The story is told through the eyes of Milly, a teenager who is in foster care and she shares her feelings on settling in with a new family.  How she feels and copes with starting a new school and feeling isolated, fights herself not to become like her mother and be good, seeing details of her mother's forth coming trial in newspapers and how she feels preparing for a court case and giving evidence against her mother. 
  • All the above parts of the book make for good enjoyable reading and the story moves quickly. There are a few psychological twists, as the story builds.
  • This book does cover some sensitive and difficult topic - murder and abuse of children.  Had I been looking for a book to read and picked this up in a supermarket and noticed this topic, I would have put it back.  However:

    1. Am I glad to have read it? Yes. Why? There is not alot of detail  about the abuse or murders. And what is contained in the book, can be left unread without losing the story.  I skipped paragraphs to avoid reading anything.
    2. Would I have preferred for the topic not to have been there - Yes definitely.
    3. Please note: This is a personal preference of mine. Not everyone will feel the same but to give an open and honest review I need to include this. 

This is Ali Land's debut novel, and I have a feeling it will not be the last we hear from this author.  Despite the sensitive topic, this book makes for an addictive read. 

We have also been approved to read Sister Sister by Sue Fortin, for Harper Collins UK, this book review will be posted later this week and is due for publication on 6th January!

Serendipity Loves xx

Photo Credit: Eva Melhuish





..... and we have arrived at Christmas Eve. How did that happen?  

December 


The last month of 2016 is flying by. This past week has been a flurry of last minute shopping, writing cards and decorating our homes (inside and out). 

Christmas Preparation


We have not been on the blog this much this month. We have been spending time with family.  We have a very exciting collaboration coming in January. 

Christmas 2016


The most important thing to us, and the only gift we truly want this, and every year. You may have guessed, is to have those closest to us, around the Christmas tree with full health and happiness.  We will all be making memories that will last an eternity. 


Photo Credit: Valerie Mcheean

   

To all our readers, we wish you a very merry Christmas and happy holidays. Enjoy! 

Serendipity Loves x



Say "Hello" to  Winifred & Gladys

Copyright: Winifred & Gladys

Winifred and Gladys is the online shop of Serendipity Loves, we are based in Wales and sell affordable "bits and bobs" for the home, you and gifts for others.  All our items are handmade by ourselves and can currently be found in our ETSY store located here.  

We have inherited the creative and crafty gene, which has been handed down the line through our mother, grandmother and many generations before. We can remember watching them make handmade items and now have the pleasure of making them ourselves to include in our shop on Etsy.

We have already added a number of items and we have more to add, so it's a watch this space.  Winifred and Gladys have a separate Instagram account which can be found here and Twitter account which can be found here.



"Here Come The Girls"



Our online shop opened with "The Girls" our wooden peg doll fairies that range in price, currently from £10 to £15 plus postage and Packaging.  Each doll is individually sewn by hand, with a variety of ribbons, buttons, sequins and wooden peg.

ROSIE



GRACE

GLORIA


JOY



MARY



Crochet Gift Bags

Winifred and Gladys have designed and made these Crochet Gift Bags. 

If you are looking for a small handmade gift bag, a teacher thank you gift, wedding favor, a small bag for your lipstick in your handbag or just a treat for yourself these crochet bags are ideal.

We have a one of each colour, currently in stock, additional bags are made to order and available within 1-2 weeks.  These are currently £6 each plus Postage and Packaging.







For more information please visit our Etsy store (link here)


Thanks, 
Serendipity Loves
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