Sunday, 28 September 2014


If you follow me on Instagram, you would have read that our sweet little Lily lost her battle with lymphoma last Monday.  After the tumour initially shrank from 4cm to pea-sized, we were hopeful that she'd keep up the fight a little longer, but sadly it just wasn't to be.  A couple of weeks ago Lily stopped eating, and we had to resort to syringe-feeding her, all the while the tumour growing larger each time chemotherapy was postponed because she was too weak or her bloods weren't right... The only reason we were willing to treat her in the first place was to buy her some good quality time. She had four fantastic months which she wouldn't otherwise have had, but it reached a point where she was telling us enough was enough.  We had to respect that and let her go with the dignity she deserved, pain-free and surrounded by people that love her.

Needless to say, I've had no time to fundraise for the Shine Night Walk for Cancer Research UK, which I proudly took part in, in Lily's memory, last night.  Almost all of the treatment and care that Lily received was exactly the same as that which a human fighting lymphoma would receive - and, going through this awful process, I've been in awe with what medical science has achieved. Regardless of whether you're an animal or a human, the work of Cancer Research is invaluable to us all.  Please, please, please donate to the cause through my Just Giving page - even a pound would be gratefully received.

Finally, a little note to Lily - we miss you terribly, our sweet girl, and think of you every day.

Tuesday, 16 September 2014


I'm sorry to say that life has been too hectic lately - there really hasn't been much rest and relaxation in the Take Courage household, and sadly no time to blog here.  I have been desperate for a weekend at home, a moment to breathe and to do the laundry (I must be getting old).  Needless to say, I relished every minute of my free Saturday, which was mostly spent drinking tea between tidy-dry shifts, and catching up on my favourite blogs and magazines.  A new favourite is Kinfolk, which has some of the most beautiful photo stories and features, and which I can only aspire to emulate.  It was so relaxing to flick through their articles and escape for a while; and it felt peculiar browsing without being interrupted by Blackfriars station (my stop for work now I've finished my stint at Canary Wharf - boy, did that go quickly!).  I have to say though that my new iPad Mini has transformed my commute, even if I have to squeeze my blog-reading into a 13 minute train ride...  I never had any desire for an iPad before (I got mine here) but it really is a fantastic little invention.

So what have I been up to?  Mostly being a grown-up, I'm afraid: looking after little Lily, going to work every day, trying to preserve what's left of my tan from our single precious week in Greece (photos to come, eventually).  Life keeps getting in the way of everything else I want to do, but sometimes it's good to surrender to it all, let some things go and make the most of some R&R when it comes along.  

What I'm wearing  |  Top: Urban Outfitters  |  Jeans: Topshop  |  Watch: Michael Kors  |  Turquoise bracelets: Picked up for a couple of euros in Bodrum, Turkey  |  Ring: Ottoman Hands

Tuesday, 12 August 2014

Parma Violet

I couldn't believe my luck when UGG Australia got in touch to ask if I'd like a nice summer day out on them as part of their "Best Days of Summer" campaign - err, yes! I planned it all out: we'd rent a Zipcar, drive out of London to Mayfield lavender farm (which has been on my to-go list forever), have a big lunch in the sunshine and take lots of pretty photos. Sorted!

But I should have known better - this is a British summer. We drove to the lavender farm and pulled into the car park, camera in hand and ready to go. And then it poured.

So, we took shelter in the palm house at Kew Gardens instead and pretended we were in more tropical climbs. I just love that place and could spend hours there if only it wasn't so sticky and hot! The stickiness didn't last long, however - the Texan and I were soaked right through as we ran back to the car!

Thank you, UGG, for a very British best day of summer!

What I'm wearing  |  Dress: Made by me at my sewing classes!  |  Sandals: c/o UGG Australia  |  Bag: c/o Laura Ashley

Share your UGG summer photos and stories using the hashtag #bestdaysofsummer for a chance to win a £300 UGG giftcard - all details here.