Five ways with Amaryllis for winter floral designs

I only came across what are commonly know as Amaryllis a few years ago and instantly fell in love them for their striking form. Actually when I first saw them I thought they must be several different flowers cleverly wired together, with their stems wrapped in some kind of leaf, such is their strange design! Their tall height, thick, straight stems and multiple, lily-like flower heads make them eye-catching in their own right, but they also look wonderful in a variety of different floral arrangements too.

A bulbous plant, Amaryllis, or to quote their correct name, Hippeastrum, are winter flowers and very popular for Christmas, often being sold potted as they grow and flower well indoors. Usually first appearing in UK shops and flower markets around September,  they are available in a variety of colours well in to March as a cut flower and if bought in bulb form normally take about six to eight weeks to appear. But if you, like me, love this flower and fancy having a go at creating your own alternative Christmas flower arrangement with them at home, below are a couple of design ideas that I love.

Red and white Amaryllis with holly and pine sprigs in a rustic white jug, sat on a tray withfestive Christmas baubles

Red and white Amaryllis with holly and pine sprigs in a rustic white jug, sat on a tray with festive Christmas baubles, from Better Homes & Gardens

White Amaryllis bulbs planted in large tin buckets topped with moss and pine cones, set on a metal tray filled with cones and wooden stars

White Amaryllis bulbs in large tin buckets topped with moss and pine cones, set on a metal tray filled with cones and wooden stars. From Vibeke Design

A winter centerpiece with peach Amaryllis, garden roses, and ranunculus, gold and wine-coloured orchids, plus an unruly assortment of foliage, created by Joy Thigpen  and featured on

A winter centerpiece with peach Amaryllis, garden roses, and ranunculus, gold and wine-coloured orchids, plus an unruly assortment of foliage, created by Joy Thigpen and featured on

Red and white striped Amaryllis planted in a pretty wicker hamper

Red and white striped Amaryllis planted in a pretty wicker hamper, from

Modern white Amaryllis and fern arrangement

Modern white Amaryllis and fern arrangement by Sarah Winward

Hippeastrum originally come from Central and South America, so its no surprise (although it was at the time!) that I saw so many growing wild and in people’s front gardens when I went to Costa Rica a few years back. If you do fancy growing them as opposed to trying your hand at the above designs, you ideally should have planted them by now to have them flowering at Christmas, but the plus is that if you’ve missed this deadline, you can plant them in the New Year to enjoy them well in to Spring.

Here are some great tips from Monty Don on the MailOnline on how to plant Amaryllis bulbs you can enjoy in Spring.

What do you think? Do you love Hippeastrum as much as me, and will you be buying any this year?


Vintage style finds on the high street

My nearest local shopping area in Lewisham may not quite be funky Portobello, or chic and trendy Spitalfields or Shoreditch, but you can still find some great vintage-style bargains in its cheap and cheerful high street stores.

As well as a huge TK Maxx, there is a large Tiger store, which I first came across years ago when I was living in Hammersmith. A bit like IKEA but for homeware instead of interiors, Tiger also hails from Scandinavia, where apparently it caused a ‘mini retail revolution’ according to its website. It’s great for practical, fun and funky items, and I think many have quite a retro or vintage feel too. Here I picked up this cute glass carafe which I think makes a lovely vase and a couple of pretty picture frames for literally a couple of pounds each.

Glass carafe from Tiger, £3

Glass carafe from Tiger, £3 (cat: blogger’s own)

Front two frames, £2 & £3 from Tiger

Front two frames, £2 & £3 from Tiger

There is also a massive ‘Primani‘ as my housemate likes to call it, which is great now I’m on a student budget again! I made a loose promise to myself that I would buy no clothes at all this year and I’ve really been doing quite well, but I just couldn’t resist having a quick peak as a range of cute dresses and blouses beckoned enticingly from the windows. As I have been wanting a cream lacey dress for literally years, I felt it would be rude not to buy this well-fitting one for £15, and the other stripey floral one for a tenner was just too bang on my style to pass up!

Dresses from Primark. Shoes from (left) Camden market and (right) Accessorize

Dresses from Primark. Shoes from (left) Camden market and (right) Accessorize

UPDATE: After another trip in to Lewisham today to print out my latest college project, I picked up another £2 bargain, the little tea-light holder below, from a literal treasure trove on Loampit Hill – ‘Aladdin’s Cave‘. Actually it looks more like a junk yard but there are bargains aplenty here for those who love a good old rumble through some jumble! From second hand furniture, to sinks, doors, mirrors, nik naks, and I even saw an old roll top bath, you’re bound to find something unique here.

Tea light holder, £2 from Aladdin's Cave Lewisham

Tea light holder, £2 from Aladdin’s Cave Lewisham

What do you think of my bargain finds? I could easily pass them off as being from a funky retro market stall don’t you think?

Mint Delight

Inspired by a tweet that directed me to the delightful mint collection on vintage fashion website,, I thought I would use this as a base from which to try my hand at creating my first ever ‘set’ on Polyvore, which I blogged about a couple of weeks ago.

Polvore basically lets you play stylist by creating your very own outfits from bits and bobs you find on the web, along with on Polyvore itself. So below are some of my favourite pieces from the Modcloth collection, along with some fab floral jeans from TopShop and fierce suedette peep-toes from

The central dress really drew my eye as I felt it was bang on ‘Seaside Sweetheart’ style, with its dainty ship print fabric and nautical inpsired buttoned shoulders. I selected the triangular art-deco earrings and patterned shoes as I felt they added a bit of attitude to this ultra girly dress, but underneath its back to super sweet again with the lacy pant and bra duo!

I also loved this mint vintage-inspired sleeveless blouse with lace trim, and thought it would look great with these floral skinny cropped jeans from TopShop, again with some wilder shoes to add a bit of edge! Finally I can never resist a bit of floral jewellery, so the rose necklace was a must.

What do you think? ~ Sarah


Mint Delight

Express your style with Polyvore

I may be a bit slow off the mark here, so please excuse me if you’re already familiar with this, but I am almost wetting myself with excitement after just discovering the fashion site Polyvore. This innovative site is a huge online fashion community where users can select or ‘clip’ their favourite products from across the web, mix and match them in to stylish set boards such as the one below, then share with their friends on their blog, Twitter or Facebook.

I had been thinking for a while about including style boards like the one below on my blog, but being untrained on Photoshop I was wondering how this could be achieved. Another course? – that didn’t appeal – and probably even then I still wouldn’t be able to do very much. But this, it seems, may be the answer to my prayers! I actually found this by googling ‘seaside sweetheart’ as this often throws up things I quite like. And the board below confirms even more that I chose the right name for my blog. The colours even match!

Thanks to Polyvore user Jennifer Angela for creating this board. I like your style!

Read more about how to use Polyvore.

Seaside Sweetheart

New Year, New Start

OK, so I know in theory my ‘new start’ kicked off in September, but the beginning of a new year is still a great time to reflect and partake in some self motivation (or, to be more blunt, give oneself a bit of a kick up the arse!). In addition, in all honesty it’s taken me a bit of a while to get over the initial shock of quitting my job and get in to the swing of being a student again. It was no small deal giving up a good job I’d had for over six years, not to mention saying goodbye to people who had become very dear friends, and in addition I had some heartbreak to deal with, plus the challenge of studying and learning something new!

So, now I’m well in to my course, feeling much happier and relaxed, enjoying developing my new skills and meeting new friends, I have treated myself to this poster from, a site I love and which is running a special offer on this today, to remind myself of all the good things in my life and help encourage a positive, ‘yes I can!’ attitude every day (it’s going in the bedroom, by the way :0). Yes, this may be cheesey – you can reach for your sick bag now if you like – but I don’t care. I like it and I think the words on it are very true. Life is too short, you should believe everything happens for a reason, and if you don’t ever try or fail, well then you haven’t really lived at all.

Oh, and apologies to my friend Rachel, I know you already have this so I’m kind of copying you, but I was sure you wouldn’t mind and, after all, it’s 20% off! ~ Sarah x

PS – there are tons of great things available in this sale today, so I recommend y’all get on over there right now!

noths print

Silverado, a treasure trove of seaside style

New Beginning Necklace, £40

This gallery contains 15 photos.

On a recent trip to Brighton, where I studied at uni, I discovered Silverado, which turned out to be a veritable treasure trove of unique and vintage-style jewellery with nautical, seaside, travel and nature-inspired themes. Brighton is one of those … Continue reading

Quirky jewellery from Rosita Bonita

A piece of quirky jewellery can pep up the most simple of outfits and I don’t think I’ve seen anything as unusual as this for a while. I stumbled across this today by way of an advert on my Yahoo mail. Some people hate ‘cookies’ but I thank them for serving me up this! (is that technically what happened? I think so!).

I think this pretty white shell collar brooch from Rosita Bonita would look fab with a sleeveless blouse buttoned up to the neck, and perhaps some plain black jeans with flat brogues for a great city look with a seaside twist.

Fan clam shell collar brooch from Rosita Bonita

Fan clam shell collar brooch from Rosita Bonita

What do you think? – Sarah