After all the mess and stress of our first stage of house renovations, I treated Neil to a nostalgic weekend break in his homeland, Dorset.Read More
Ps, just in case you didn't know, I'm trialling a little thing in October. Every day at about 9am (well, whenever I can muster up the energy) I'll be sharing a DAILY HOUSEPIRATION link/image on my facebook page to get inspired. If you fancy cheering up your newsfeed with some home love, give my page a like and get daily snippets of home ideas :), go ahead.
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I was ecstatic to see a little Cat-a-Cake creation land on my doorstep on Saturday morning, so thoughtfully wrapped too. There's nothing like waking up to receive a hand made piece of jewellery delicately encased in a tiny lace bag whilst you're monching on your bacon sarnie... So without further ado, I fled to the shores for a photo sesh armed with my new baby.
Only small independent companies and etsy sellers can make every purchase have a personal touch. The thought that goes into packaging is amazing, sweets and tissue paper galore. It's made me vow to buy more gifts for friends and family from local Etsy sellers; they give presents the wow factor my clumsy wrapping never can.
With Neil and I all penciled in for moving house in late May, it's just dawned on us how much basic furniture and appliances we need to buy... and that's before we even begin to plan those finishing touches that make a house a home. If there's one thing buying a home has taught me (bar the definition of LTV) it's that interior is my new found passion. I've always wistfully roamed the aisles of Home Sense, dreaming of owning my own home and how I'd decorate it all, but now I've found myself reading books about it and yep, forking out £4 a pop on Elle Decoration. That's dedication right there.
Here are a bunch of home interior shops we've got our beady eyes on for the new place. And some not too pricey either.
Contemporary pieces at a cut of the price. Made.com cut out the middle men and buy directly from the designers and makers, allowing them to keep prices low and the offerings excellent quality. Particularly reasonable for quirky chairs, sofas and lighting, I've seen a few floor lamps that will definitely be going in my basket.
A high street favourite of mine. We have a fairly big outlet in Brighton that stock tonnes of vases, kitchenware, photo frames, rugs etc, but I've heard amazing things about the Chichester store - they stock furniture?! (one day, one day) Home Sense is incredible for unique, low cost buys. I have big plans to make my own gallery wall and with the range of frames on offer at Home Sense, I know exactly where to go for a spend up.
Alexander & Pearl
I found this place as I was having a flick through Style at Home (fave mag ever at the mo). It's THE place to shop for that coveted 'industrial chic' we see in almost every new coffee shop that hits the town. I love the mix of iron and wood furniture, and the eclectic trunks. Not quite so appealing on the purse strings, but we're saving up for a sturdy chest coffee table that might come from here.
This one's a local haunt, so apologies for all you non-Brightonians. I LOVE Edited. They sell a mix of retro soft furnishings and stools, and the most beautiful tapered candles that will make you never want to light them. Whenever I'm stuck for interior ideas or colour schemes I just click on their site and weep at their unusual home accessories, I want it all that bad. Fingers crossed they start selling more and more bits on their inspiring site - their shop is stocked with stunning bits and bobs!
Another high street fave. Of all 10 home interior places I recommend in this post, I think 80% of the stuff I buy for the new place will be from Next. I just got back from their mahoosive branch in Holmbush after spending an hour looking around for a sofa (but to no avail, boo) and a further hour choosing between all the reams of rugs, lighting, curtains, blinds they have, at such reasonable prices. Once we measure up the new place, we're hiring a car and driving out for a big spend up.
One not many of us would think about for decorating the home, more decorating our wardrobes! But UO have a really trendy selection of colourful furniture and bedding that would add serious levels of photogenic-ness to a room. I'll be picking up home accessories like door mats, magazine racks and key holders from here - it's great for those little bits that add character to a space.
Emmie Home Interiors
Found Emmie mentioned in a magazine too. There are some really beautiful planters on offer here, perfect for brightening up a shady patio. I also particularly love the patio lighting available to buy. Lanterns can make a garden look much more welcoming in the summer nights with the odd candle here and there. For now, we'll be focussing more on decorating the inside of the place, but as soon as weather starts warming up I can't wait to feature garden projects.
Just wow at everything on this site. The patterned blankets, the 'Alice in Wonderland'-esque furniture and the stunning girly console tables. I've had my eye on a few hallway furnishings I can't choose between. People think I'm mad looking to spend £300 on a hallway table, just so I have somewhere to put my keys and letters, but I don't care. When they're as nice as this they're worth every penny! I'll just add that to my to save for list... eeek.
Can you recommend anywhere else to shop? I'm on the hunt!
Never before have I experienced anything quite like this!
Neil and I curiously went along to visit the Brighton Ballroom (conveniently about 70 steps away from his house) last Thursday as a post birthday appetiser, and to celebrate with a tipple - or ten - the news of our house hunt success.
We walked in shrugging shoulders thinking it would be just another candle-lit dinner and wine and walked out feeling like we'd gone through a time machine and back again.
It was my first visit to the Brighton Ballroom. I often walked past there wondering what trickery goes on behind the red velvet curtains that welcomes visitors at the door, but never quite had an excuse to go.
Turns out that Proud Cabaret put on a handful of the most extraordinary burlesque, fancy dress nights all week and on this particular night, it was a murder mystery theme 'The silencing of Miss Scarlet' that told the story of a burlesque dancer's murder whilst you're chowing down on a fab three course meal and filling your boots on wine. Not as dark as it sounds, I promise - rather the most glamorous event you'll ever attend in Brighton.
The venue and authenticity of the whole evening was outstanding, it kinda felt like a 1920s dream, like I was acting in a Bugsy Malone sequel drinking cocktails with white gloves on, when really I should have been tucked up in bed for work the next day. Ah well, we all know Thursday is the new Friday.
I'd never imagined the place to be so unique as it is, it makes for an utterly out-there and different experience if you're looking for something of the kind.
We were served by some beautiful temptresses dressed in speakeasy, show girl costumes who were the most attentive ladies! Note, if you're the jealous type, don't bring your other half here. They won't know where to look bless 'em ;)
I was super lucky to be invited along by the PR folks to this event, but all opinions are 100% mine. Visit brightoncabaret.com for a full list of their amazing events and book tickets for you and some friends. They also have a brill VIP card that's totally free to sign up for which guarantees you a cocktail on arrival and money off... I'll be grabbing one for next time.
Let me know what you think if you go along!
Topic of the week for conversation here in Brighton is the wind. A part of me dies when I find myself talking about the weather with people. You know conversation is at an all time LOW when you're awkwardly looking at the clouds saying 'yeah but we've been so lucky we had a lovely summer, wasn't it warm' in that annoying 'rising intonation' tone. But in all honesty, I've never seen Brighton take such a bashing as it did last weekend. Look at this video if you don't believe me. And the sheer mess of my hair in the pic below. I'm channelling the cross-bred look effortlessly.
As the wind picked up, the windows howled so Neil and I braced the streets of Kemptown for 'a bit of fresh air' and got a bit more than we bargained for! We took a wander by the beach for some storm-watching activity, to bare witness to the powerful waves and only bumped into a small Amish family on our travels. Brighton is so bloody weird.
I went for a classic spearmint and peppermint concoction, namely the Rockerfella which I'm tempted to buy a batch of on their online shop. Slightly cleaner on the ol' palette and was a perfect match with a hefty slice of carrot cake. I've never once been to MDtea and not bought their carrot cake. It would be a cardinal fifi sin if I ever did - it's the best I've tried.
The whole tea shop is decked out in the most fabulous art deco, 1930s furniture - available to purchase if I remember rightly? And as Neil said in his witty review, it's charming how a little furniture shop has decided to sell tea and cakes. Epic business model ;) I'll certainly be taking inspiration from their interior when we come to buy our own place. Starting first and foremost with my very own delicate porcelain tea set.
So if you find yourself on a wander along the beach any time soon, turn left up Charlotte Street and pop into this rare gem for some tea and a snack to warm your cockles!
I believe Metrodeco also host and organise events from baby showers, engagement parties to wedding planning, too. Definitely one to remember when I'm helping my sister arrange a bridesmaid gathering before the big day.
Who's up for a Brighton bloggers tea cocktail night here soon? Yes please :)
In case you didn't know, I'm awaiting my *big break* in hand modelling, wishing my mitts will one day earn me millions whilst I pose with a mobile phone in hand for some crappy tube advert. I know what you're thinking, I might be waiting a while so in the mean time, I take pride in my meticulous hand care and here I am sharing with you some products I'm loving at the mo, and ways you can look after your paws in this treacherous weather.
Don't diss the nail brush yeah! They might seem a bit ancient and not so much an essential these days, but nail brushes are the secret to keeping hands (and particularly skin around the nails) looking neat, clean and tidy. Is it just me who uses excessive amounts of nail polish remover on painted nails, and STILL the colour seems to stain the skin around my cuticles? Nail brushes get rid of this, whilst tidying up all those rough edges of skin around cuticles. If you use warm, soapy water and a nail brush for cleaning all the edges after removing a manicure, you'll never live without a nail brush again. This one (c/o The Body Shop £4) is soft and easy to use.
What tips and tricks do you have for taking care of your paws? Do you bother?
If you're arranging a shopping trip to Oxford Circus any time soon, I can't recommend dropping by Ponti's highly enough. I got a glimpse of their lunch menu too, which whilst isn't quite as tantalising as the Christmas menu, still promises good things.
Just another note, as the restaurant is located so close to the main shops, it would probably be wise to make a booking early on to secure a table with no waiting time - just make sure you leave enough time to hit up all the shops, and arrive hungry!
I did it! I finally got to meet the woman herself on London turf. After months of back and forth emailing, tweeting, letter writing and laughing, I finally found myself literally rolling around in the last of the autumn leaves with my blogger pen pal Sally, and let me tell you, she is as much joy to be around in person as she is in emails.
We've taken our online affairs to the next level, not just by finally meeting each other in the flesh, we ain't ones to do anything by halves, me and Sal, but through the exchange of a very small, and very special gift to one another - clock the shiny bad boys across our necks. Our smiley faces say it all.
These are from Argento. They arrived so beautifully wrapped it made me have palpitations chatting to the postman. Unlike other custom made sterling silver necklaces, the intricate details of the lettering make the necklace delicate, yet really stand out. What an amazing gift idea for your favourite blogger.
Sally & I had such a festive Saturday, chilling with a cuppa tea in a pew in Union Chapel, listening to string quartets and tango orchestras before getting lost in quaint little shops that reminded me of home. I never knew London had such charm. And so many leaves.
I want to ask you something. Whereabouts have you been recently that might make a nice holiday away? I'm looking to book somewhere for next year, to have something to look forward to, but don't know where to start. Help me with ideas :)
Anyway, I had £50 to spend last week. I was like a kid in a sweet store, clicking away; way too many nice bags and purses to choose from, at very reasonable prices. As you can tell by the last pic, I was a happy wee customer.
- The packaging - bit of an odd one to begin with but the blood red bottle completely won me over. Firstly it has the most precious magnetic lock. No more flinging your lippy into your bag only for the lid to come off and go everywhere. Secondly, red accessories are really striking - no losing it amongst the mountain of makeup, and thirdly, I love expensive lipstick cases that are quite weighty (I'm weird) A heavier lipstick always seems much better quality.
- It's a dream for chapped lips. A lot of people avoid strong colours if they have dry lips, but this has a creamy, satin finish that locks in moisture.
- Rouge Ecstasy comes in 30+ different colours from bold and sophisticated reds and purples as well as a selection of beige and browns.
- Application is quick and easy - only one or two coats and you're good to go - the colour is quite pigmented and precision ain't too bad either.
- The price tag made me palpitate a bit but it's perfect for a pay day treat or a gift for your bezzie. I'd say it's worth every penny but I'd need to see how long the whole thing lasts as the stick seems a bit shorter than other products.
- Although it is a lipstick-lipbalm hybrid, the application doesn't work the best on flakey lips so to prevent any unsightly clumps before a night on the town, exfoliate your lips first (Reve de Miel is the perfect lip base for this)
Cheap lipsticks or more upmarket? Do you notice the difference?