A Retreat called Nourish and Nurture


Hands up if you have a friend who, after you have spent a day in their company, you realise that you feel inspired, invigorated, re-energised and excited to get on with things! You find yourself feeling focussed because you have had the opportunity to talk things through and clear a bit of head space, and you feel ready to tackle the world because at some point during the day’s conversation you came up with some ideas for simple actions you could take to get things moving again.

I am very lucky to have a friend just like that in Carole Fitzgerald of Lazy Sunday. We first met a few years ago when she attended a workshop that I was teaching in my studio – The Purple Thread Shed. Sometimes you just click with someone immediately on meeting them. When I looked up Lazy Sunday online and saw Carole’s stunningly gorgeous creativity around the whole food and dining experience I have to say I was a little awe struck.

Some of the awesomeness that is Lazy Sunday as seen in Country Homes magazine

Anyway to cut a long story short Carole attended more workshops, we got to know each other a bit better and a friendship grew. We realised that we both felt exactly the same wonderful mix of invigoration, clarity and energy in each other’s company and we started to look a bit more closely at why. For a start we were choosing to set aside a whole day for each other (we don’t live next door unfortunately), we would meet in a beautiful, inspiring space (we recognise that we create these quite naturally round about us) and we would talk…about everything. About work, about family, about the things that are ‘sticking’ us and about the things we would like to get off the ground. And while we were talking, we would be making something or photographing something … just creatively doing something!

We naturally create beautyFULL spaces to live and work in. the Purple Thread Shed – Ali’s studio

We had a bit of a lightbulb moment after one particular day when we had been making a beautiful scrappy journal and Carole returned home and found herself filling this journal with new plans and ideas for her business. As she was writing and doodling and cutting and sticking she found that ideas flowed, tricky decisions became easier and the more she wrote down the more the fog in her head cleared. The next time I saw her, last Autumn, she showed me the most beautiful journal (far prettier than mine) and a new idea was born.

A Retreat called Nourish and Nurture

We decided that we wanted to share this creativity, this energy or process or whatever you might want to call it with other women. It felt so exciting and so absolutely right that we booked our chosen venue there and then. (Would you believe that they had one free week left in their calendar and it coincided with us both having a rare gap in our diaries – some things are just meant to be). So having made the most very exciting decision to just DO IT our Retreat called Nourish and Nurture was born.

Of course we have chosen the most stunning of venues  – Cardy Net House in Fife – a house by the sea where we will make and chat and cook and eat and be for 3 days and 4 nights. We will consciously practice beautyFULL living and show you simple ways to bring this way of living into your home life – in a very real way rather than an Instagram photo kind of way.

Cardy Net House – a house by the sea, a place for making and doing and chatting and being!

BeautyFULL Food

I, personally, am totally excited about cooking together. I have always cooked to ‘keep the family alive’, to quote Carole Decker when she appeared on Celebrity Masterchef, but it’s definitely not my thing. However when you hang around someone who quickly, easily and utterly gorgeously produces beautiful food and presents it so that you just want to photograph it (and eat it) immediately, the enthusiasm starts to rub off. I’ve found myself feeling such pride when I put a big plate of stunning food on the table and listen to the family making the ‘mm mmm mmmm’  hamster noises and I am now smitten. I want to know more and more and can’t wait to take part in preparing our food open plan and sharing with others round our long table…and getting my hands on some beautyFULL recipes!

Lunch – Carole style! Prepared in minutes, presented beautyFULLY, tastes AMAZING!

Escape for 3 days and 4 nights?

So, if by any chance things have been a bit full on lately, then maybe the chance to escape for 3 days and 4 nights to a house by the sea and become totally engrossed in making and doing and chatting and being might be exactly what you are looking for!

Find out more about our Retreat called Nourish and Nurture…I grin every time I say it!

A very rough schedule

Spaces are very limited so give us a shout ASAP to claim your place at the table!


Carole and I planned to launch news of our Retreat months ago, at the start of the year, we know we’re late in doing so now. BUT life happens! We both run creative businesses, we both have family responsibilities – things haven’t gone excatly to plan this year for either of us. THAT really is what this retreat is about, acknowledging that and moving on anyway.  So we’ve had to delay – no drama!