Tag Archive - the chalk diaries

09.09.15 Summer I loved you long time…part two: France


Their first surf lessons in Seignosse, Hossegor. Seb’s first tooth came out. We collected sand, stones and shells, crab claws, frogs, bugs and memories. And water blisters on their fingers from how long they spent in the water. Everyone had gone back to school and the beaches were bare. It was bliss.






synchronised swimming kids

metallic tattoos

chalkboard living in hossegor


08.09.15 Summer… I loved you long time. Part One – Greece

Kitty in Greece Chalkboard living

Chalkboard living

Chalkboard living

Chalkboard living

Chalkboard living

Greece by Chalkboard living

Chalkboard living

Chalkboard living

Chalkboard living

Chalkboard living

Chalkboard living

Chalkboard living

I long for the eternal summer. This year we made it to Greece, Spain and France with lots of friends and lots of kids. They are bloody lucky and so are we. Not quite ready for Autumn yet.

I always miss the sound of the waves.



13.05.14 My weekend: Blogtacular and a photo walk in London

black telephone box London

London. One of my favourite places to be in the World. Who knew London had such gorgeous telephone boxes? I had never even noticed them until I took Xanthe’s Blogtacular photo walk in London workshop. What a gorgeous excuse to connect with others and take photos around the City for no other reason than because I wanted too.


We took balloons and Rosie Wonders amazing tattoos with us for fun. The studded door I shot around Old Bond Street was insanely fabulous.

Rosie Wonders Bird Tattoo

The whole weekend at Blogtacular was a warm and fuzzy explosion of inspiration. Amongst the many talented creatives, editors and photographers speaking about their work, lives and both educating and inspiring us to be better bloggers was  Natalie Lue, founder of Bambino Goodies, The uber talented Anne Ditmeyer of Pret a Voyager and Design Sponge fame , The beautiful and crazy busy Courtney Adamo from Babyccino Kids and Joy Cho from Oh Joy, who blew me away with her passion and determination to achieve just about everything she puts her mind to! There was even a virtual interview with Will aka Mr. Bright Baazar! I also met a whole bunch of new friends, made plans for projects and trips and found my love of taking photos for the sake of it again. (Thanks Xanthe!) All in all it was a pretty epic weekend.




25.03.14 Oh to be Seven

Queen Kitty

snot girl



Queen Kitty, so carefree, so filled with love and leadership. She loves to laugh, dance, sing and cuddle. She loves to be cool, to wear what she pleases, to tell her siblings what to do. Queen Kitty surrounded by her snot nosed helper, her shadow, her Lola. With so much love for her brother, they sleep in the same bed still sometimes…”as a treat because it’s Kitty’s birthday!” he says. I love her style, her tenacity, her confidence, her ability to create whole new worlds in her mind and then to relax enough to slob and watch TV and think that one day she could do that – that job they are doing .  Her vision, her annoyance already at 7 at the voice i do when i talk in a video. Do I even do another voice ? Apparently so.

I miss this place, this space to share and connect, to record. i think it’s time for some work to be done. Anyone want to see her panda jewellery party?


30.09.13 My Morning


So I’m obsessed with knowing what other people do in the morning. Who makes their bed, who showers before the kids are up, who plans their outfits the night before and what time people get up when they also have kids to get ready, dressed and fed.  Mornings are special to me because they represent those moments as the world wakes up, as my family wakes up, often foggy eyed and sleepy, often the time when they look the most beautiful to me and say the most interesting things. After a good night’s sleep the world seems a better place and the morning offers a day of possibility…anything could happen.

It took until 11.58am to get organised enough to take that picture above. Enough said.


my morning

my morning

Mornings are crazy. Most of the time the kids come into bed for a ‘cuddle’/bundle/bed jumping session before we get up ourselves. I’d love to get up early and be ready before they wake but it never seems to happen. 7am is pretty standard time for getting up though if I can, I eek it out til 7.30am. The kids are just so much fun in the morning.

kids curtains

I made a rule that on a school day no one goes downstairs unless they are dressed and have their teeth cleaned. It works about 50% of the time. There is a lot of timewasting in this house. I figure at least if they are dressed what’s the worst that can happen if we’re running late? They eat breakfast in the car.

7.15 still undressed.

my morning

As soon as I get up I put in my contact lenses so I can see clearly again. They are like some kind of miracle. If I’m not going to the gym I’ll shower and get dressed. i love my shower especially super hot.


7.30am ish

my morning

On a school day its cereal, toast, crumpets, yoghurts…anything easy and quick.

Then time to get shoes on, catch up on any spellings, check their bags, make waters/packed lunches, and watch a bit of TV if they have time.

It doesn’t matter how organised I am , I always seem to end up rushing to get them to school.

It’s a relief to drop them off on time and then Lola and I come home and I try and sneak in a few emails or bit of editing/surfing while i drink a cup of tea and before anything else I have planned.

Tracey Chalk's office

Today we played, put washing on, cleaned up the kitchen and met some friends in town. We leave the house about 11.58am.

my morning

The morning goes quickly and today I forgot to make the bed…again.

So what’s your morning like?

If you liked this, check out what Karine from Bodie and Fou‘s weekend was like from my new series here.



12.07.13 Lola’s Summer Bunting Birthday Cake

horse birthday cake

There’s something special about a birthday where the sun shines. A proper Summer birthday. Celebrations are easy and yet so stylish with just a little effort.

A white tablecloth, some pretty garden ‘weeds’ thrown into shot glasses, some white bunting, pom poms, a few random animals for fun and a cake. Perfect for a 2 year old.

Horse birthday cake

weeds as flowers in shot glasses

shire horse

Summer birthday party

birthday candles

I love the simplicity of this cake. I always make a cake for my kid’s birthdays. It means I commit to making at least 3 cakes per year. Not bad, except if you’re busy the week of the birthday, fitting in ‘cake making’ can be tricky.

I find the key is to make the cake one evening…takes maximum of 2 hours, and decorate it the next day or evening. If you are pushed for time I always think simple (like this cake) is best.

I loved this cake and thought it would be easy to decorate. I iced my cake with my best ‘work out how much i need as I go along’ buttercream method, which I stained pink.

For the Buttercream:

Roughly 250g – 500g of good quality unsalted butter

Icing Sugar…this is up to you how much and depends on how firm you like it to be. Roughly 250-750g.

Vanilla essence – 1 tsp

A few tsp of milk or water to balance the consistency.

Beat the butter til smooth and whippy. Sieve in your icing sugar. As much as you like until the consistency and taste is how you prefer. Add a tsp of vanilla extract. Add a few tsp of milk or water until you have the perfect spreading consistency. Colour if required. (I recommend pastes over liquid colour.)

I made the bunting by cutting triangles out of a large width piece of ribbon and glued it to 2 kebab wooden skewers. I stabbed them into the cake, added an horse with wings for fun and made an age word template for my edible glitter. Glitter is key. It takes an average ‘meh’ cake to show stopping extravaganza…well something like that anyway.


P.S. For the record I always make my sponge cakes according to Nigella’s Victoria Sponge ‘bung it all in the food processor and whizz’ recipe. Rocket science it is not and it always tastes Amazeballs!


05.06.13 The Chalk Diaries: Just another day in paradise

paradise mykonos

I’m back and focused on this thing called life. I miss the sunshine and the silence. The silence filled my head with a thousand ideas and yet gave me a serenity in my crazy head.


I read.


Lived a little.


I watched. Soaked in the beauty.



And explored just a little.


The trip was made by the hotel. Words cannot express, so i’ll post separately. I’m almost scared to share the secret in case it becomes fully booked for the next decade. Yes it really was that good.

Geez i needed it.

How have you been?




21.05.13 The Chalk Diaries: in a flash before your eyes they are older

Kids. They grow up. Fast.

I saw a pin with the words ‘life is what happens whilst you are busy on your smartphone.’ I guess many of us are guilty of this a little. Ok. A lot. While I’ve been AWOL,  my phone had become slightly less attached in the same way and maybe I’ve noticed how quickly the kids were changing. In a good way mostly, but fast, very fast.





seb shoes www.chalkboardliving.com





Later this week I head off into the sunset with a couple of my favourite girls for some time alone. I literally can’t wait. It is perfect timing for what I need right now and I feel like when I come back, I will be a newer fresher version of myself that is totally overdue.  But you know in 4 days those babies can grow up just a little bit more without you realising and when you come back ‘boom’, It’s like you might have well been gone for a whole year. As I said, maybe give your smart phone a holiday for a while. It happens so fast.



11.03.13 The Chalk Diaries: Happy Mothers Day from your daughter

Tracey Chalk's mum - chalkboardliving.com

Happy mother’s day fellow mamas.

Today I think of my mother and I am immediately overcome with a wash of sadness which is …unusual. I no longer think of her daily but next year marks 20 years since I saw her. That’s a long time.

Today I think of you and say thank you for being strict, for loving me. I definitely knew I was loved. Thanks for letting me have my ears pierced a month before you died. A month earlier than I should have been allowed. I was still 15 and you were adamant we waited until 16 but then I guess you ran out of time. I think it’s pretty cool what you did though. You threw the rule book at the window and laughed in the face of death staring back at you and let me do it. Just so you could could see me grow up that little bit more before you left. I want you to know I still remember that and I like it. It makes me smile.

I no longer cry when I think of you. (Except of course right now but hey it feels good.) I smile. I’m happy I belonged to you and no one else. You will always be a part of me and that means you will be a part of my children too. Even if they don’t know it, even if they never really care. I know, I care. Everyone is born and everyone dies. I get it. I like that too. I’m with peace about all that stuff.

Did you realise when you carried me inside your tummy that you also carried my children too? Because a girl baby has all it’s eggs inside it’s womb, that it will ever have before it is born. I think that’s kind of freaky but cool too.

I like how you were as beautiful when you died as when you were young. I wish I knew you then. I think you would have been a pretty rad person to hang out with. In fact I think you’d still be a pretty cool person to hang out with now. In the rose tinted spectacles that grief leaves behind once it has passed through I think I loved everything about you, though I know it can’t be true, but for the life of me I cannot remember a single thing now I didn’t like. You are forever rose tinted. I kind of like that too.

I love the picture of you above. I think it may be my favourite. Someone recently told me a fabulous story about your 21st birthday party. It made me so happy to hear it – like uncovering a secret diary you wrote, except you didn’t. Shame. I might write it down one day soon.

So there’s the thing. I’ve started writing some stuff down too. I have this book. I’ve started writing lists. If I die tomorrow I want my kids to know who my pets were when I was little and inane random facts like that as much as I want them to know which were the best days of my life and my first boyfriend. I think everyone should do that -write stuff down.

Ok that’s it for today. I guess I just wanted to say thanks. It was good while it lasted.

And look what the kids brought me back…

my mother's day flowers

I’m pretty happy, lucky and all that other stuff most people feel on a daily basis when they look at their darling kids and realise each and every one of them is happy and healthy too. Long may it last.

I hope all of you have the good fortune to feel happy and lucky today too. Today was a blip of deep and meaningful…wah wah wah, but I promise I’m back to house tours and new cool features on the blog next week.

Enjoy this week. I can feel it’s going to be a good’un!

Tracey x



10.02.13 Chalkboard Diaries: A crazy week

Sometimes you have weeks, fortnights, months that are just crazy and this for me was one of them. In the last two weeks I went to Bubble London to check out all the new stuff coming out for Autum Winter 13, flew to Stockholm for Meet the Blogger Stockholm event, had Seb’s 4th birthday Robot Party, two friends birthday  bashes and am now looking forward to a week of chilling out!

So this week:

Monday – (Homes/Design)

I’ll tell you all about Meet the Blogger Stockholm and our Design Tour

Wednesday – (kid stuff)

The best places to shop for kids in Stockholm

Friday – (fashion)

My edit of the best kids fashion to watch out for from Bubble London.

Have a great week party people!

Tracey x

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