M&S interior finds

For Christmas I got given some vouchers to spend at  Marks & Spencer and up until this weekend I was really struggling to think of what to spend them on. Then it came to me, I am interiors fanatic and happened to pop into M&S at the weekend and was so impressed with their homewares collections. The trouble now is what to choose as there were so many gorgeous bits and pieces there. So maybe you can help me!

As Spring is approaching…………it is honest! I was loving all the muted and copper tones. My spare room is crying out for some finishing touches, its painted a pale grey colour so could take any scheme or colour I chose.

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So some favourite accessories!

  1. Large Geometric Cushion – £19.50
  2. Panama Table Lamp – £39.50
  3. Chenille Knitted Throw – £45.00
  4. Alphabet Scented Candle – £6.00

 

M&S

 

A room can be completely transformed once the accessories are added, and one good tip for if you like to change the scheme without having to re-decorate everytime, then grey is a really adaptable colour. You could easily add bright pops of colour like shocking pink or mustard. Grey is my go to choice of room colour right now and I love it!

L xx

Review – Portable Bluetooth Speaker

Happy New Year to you all!

I have been so impressed by one of the presents I received for Christmas that I thought I would write a review on it.

I have been toying with the idea of getting a digital radio to go in the kitchen for a while now so thought I would put it on my Christmas list. But what I got instead was a portable speaker.

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It connects to any device that has bluetooth, so that includes my phone and tablet. It also comes with the leads to let you charge it and a lead to plug into a usb port.

Firstly, its very easy to use, switch it on and select what you want to listen to on your device and off you go, its that simple. I often listen to Spotify, but you can also listen to any radio station you can find on the internet. So essentially it is a DAB radio with the added benefit of bluetooth.

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Its very sleek in design and because you don’t need it plugged into anything I can put it wherever I like in the house. And the best thing about it is the sound quality, it has a built in sub-woofer so it really packs a punch of basey sound. It is superb and on some reviews I have read for this particular product it rivals the quality of similar devices such as Bose, and this is a lot cheaper! Now because it was a present I do not know where ‘Father Christmas’ got it from, however, you can purchase it from the following places for between £45 and £60;

Amazon
ebay

I can honestly say I have used this every day so far since Christmas, I love it, so if you are looking for a music device with excellent sound quality, simple to use, reasonably priced and that allows you to listen to any radio station or music app then this is the toy for you!

I would love to know if anyone else has one of these and what they think of it, or if you have something similar.

OK, techie hat off now, signing out!

L xx

Cheat’s Christmas Cake

Xmas cake

I tend to be a little last minute when it comes to making my Christmas cake, before I know it its December and Christmas is fast approaching. So I wanted to try and find a recipe that didn’t involve having to make one so far in advance. I managed to find this amazing recipe a couple of years ago.

Ingredients
900g mixed dried fruit
1/2 pint/300ml dry cider
Grated rind and juice of 1 lemon and 1 orange
170g nuts (almonds, hazelnuts and pecans)
225g butter
225 soft brown sugar
1 dessert spoon of black treacle (optional but great for colour as well as taste!)
4 large eggs, beaten
225g plain flour
1tsp mixed spice
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
6 tbs apple brandy

Method

Chop up the bigger pieces of dried fruit so that its all the size of a raisin.

Put all the fruit in a pan with the cider, bring to the boil and cook for 2-3 minutes. Allow it to cool. The fruit should absorb all of the liquid but if there’s any left drain it off.

Cream the butter and sugar with the finely grated rinds of the orange and lemon. Add the treacle if you are using it. Add in the beaten eggs and mix well.

Sift the flour with the spices and fold into the mixture with the soaked dried fruit, the chopped nuts, some of the juice from the orange and lemon to produce a soft dropping consistency.

Line an 8in/20cm cake tin with two layers of greaseproof paper. Wrap a thick layer of brown paper or newspaper around the tin and secure with string. Place the tin on a baking sheet with more brown paper between the baking sheet and the cake tin.

Spoon the mixture into the tin and smooth it down. Shape a shallow hollow in the middle so that as the cake cooks it will rise evenly, giving a flat top.

Put in the oven and bake for 3-4 hours at 150c, checking half way – if the top is getting too brown cover it with a layer of brown paper.

When the cake is cooked, prick it all over with a fine skewer and pour over the apple brandy. Leave for a further 2 hours to completely cool before removing from the tin.

I have made this cake before and I personally think it tastes just as good as a cake made far in advance using the more traditional methods. Go on give it a try!

L xx

Soap & Glory Thick & Fast Mascara Review

As its now party season I will be reviewing various products that become particularly popular at this time of year. Basically all beauty products come into their own at party time…………..or do they? I will be reviewing some key products in the lead up to Christmas, first up mascara.

Now I have very pale eyelashes, if I don’t have any mascara on I look like I literally don’t have any eyelashes so I need something with a little more umph to help define them. I have used a mascara by Soap & Glory before and loved it, so I thought I would try their new high definition collagen version.

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I have used it twice now and think its the best mascara I have ever used so far, it not only helps define and boost the look and thickness of my eyelashes (probably due to the collagen in it) but it also helps to add a little curl to them too.

You can buy it direct from Soap and Glory’s website for £10.50 or for the same price its also available in Boots (which means you can earn your Advantage points when you purchase it). I think just over £10 is a fair price for a high quality product that certainly delivers on what it says on the packaging.

I’d love to know what mascaras you use and what you would recommend!

L xx

 

Christmas Gift Guide – For Him

Christmas Gift Guide for him

We can’t possibly leave the men out when it comes to gift buying, they are the most difficult to buy for anyway so hopefully this guide will help inspire you.

£30 and under

£30 and under

  1. Photo display, Debenhams – £14.00
  2. Virtual Reality Headset, iwantoneofthose.com – £24.99
  3. Death Star Mood Light, totally-funky.co.uk – £19.99
  4. Smartphone Projector, Handpicked – £17.95
  5. Remote Control Pillow, findmeagift.co.uk – £19.99
  6. Silver Cuff Links, John Lewis – £20.00

£30 – £50

£30 - £50

  1. Smart Breakfast Master Toaster, iwantoneofthose.com – £49.99
  2. DAB/FM Portable Digital Shower Radio, John Lewis – £49.95
  3. Rock Covers Coffee Table Book, Handpickedcollection.com – £44.95
  4. Spy Pen, presentsformen.co.uk – £39.99
  5. Personalised Sweets Hamper, findmeagift.co.uk – £34.99
  6. Belvedere Vodka Gift Pack, Harvey Nichols – £49.50

Splurge!

Splurge M

  1. Stainless Steel Chronograph Watch Set, Harvey Nichols – £285.00
  2. Leather Holdall Bag, Joules – £169.00
  3. Remote Control Drone, Selfridges – £299.99
  4. Dualit 3 in 1 Coffee Machine, iwantoneofthose.com – £139.99
  5. Celestron AstroMaster Telescope, John Lewis – £99.95
  6. Panasonic 12MP Wifi Camera, QVC – £330.00

So I hope you found this gift guide useful. I know I have and I might just steal some of these ideas for my Christmas shopping!

L xx

Christmas Gift Guide – For Her

Christmas Gift Guide for her

 

So I have vowed to get all my Christmas shopping done within the next 2 weeks (if possible), I hate leaving it to the last minute. If you buy your gifts in plenty of time I find more thought can go into it as you don’t feel you are having to grab whatever is left. Now we all spend different amounts on people so I thought I would put these gift ideas into sections according to budget.

First up the gifts for the more thrifty of us!

£30 and under

Gifts for her under £30

  1. Power bank keyring – £8.95
  2. Liz Earle Christmas Cleanse and Polish Gift Set – £20.75
  3. Ted Baker Jillie Bow Make-up Bag – £27.00
  4. Alphabet scented candle – £6.00
  5. Make-up set by Stila – £30.00
  6. ICE London Duchess Pen – £23.00

£30 – £50

Gifts for her under £30 - £50

  1. Michael Kors iphone 6 cover – £45.00
  2. Kate Spade 17 month Organiser – £30.00
  3. Selfridges Mini Treat Hamper – £45.00
  4. Kurt Gieger Purse – £50.00
  5. Joules Festive Christmas Jumper – £49.95
  6. Hotel Chocolat cabinet of Chocolate – £50.00

Splurge!! (totally unrealistic but fun to see what is on offer!)

Splurge

  1. Tiffany Pendant necklace – £245.00
  2. Louis Roederer Cristal Limited Edition – £18,000.00
  3. Alexander McQueen Leather Bag – £1,095.00
  4. Gold Decorative Fortuny Tapa box – £530.00
  5. Beats by Dr. Dre Wireless Headphones – £281.45
  6. Creme de la Mer Lifting and Firming Mask – £155.00

I hope you like my gift ideas and found it useful, next to come will be a gift guide for him!

L xx

 

Winter warmers

So we have had the first of probably many frosts this morning so its definitely worth getting out my thick winter clothes. I’m thinking I need to add to my winter wardrobe (as a girl never has enough clothes) and have picked out some favourites from what is currently available on the high street. A capsule of essential winter warmer clothes.

Winter warmers

Bobble hat – £7.99, H&M

Wine leather glove – £15.00, Dorothy Perkins

Chelsea ankle boots – £24.99, H&M

Multi-checked cape – £20.00, Dorothy Perkins

Cream scarf – £12.99, H&M

So that is the essential winter clothes sorted, my next post will be essential winter items for the home.

20 facts about me

20 facts

Now this is something I love reading on other blogs, it gives a light-hearted insight into someone so here goes, 20 random facts about moi!

1. I’m a bit of a petrol head – ever since I was a girl I have been into cars, new and old, maybe because I was brought up in a family of car lovers, I can identify any car on the road by model and name, I can even work out what car it is just by looking at the wheels alone!

2. I’m a fairly close relative to Chris Martin from Cold Play (blood relation not just through marriage)……..true……honest!

3. I have a double jointed thumb.

4. As a girl I had a pet tortoise called Fred.

5. My TV guilty pleasures are The Only Way is Essex, Keeping Up with the Kardashians and The Housewives of……series.

6. I am petrified of moths and cockroaches, even typing the words is making my skin crawl.

7. I have been in the audience at a Big Brother live eviction, I even took a banner with me which Davina McCall saw and pointed and laughed at.

8. I have a bucket list and have managed to achieve some of them, so far I have swam with dolphins, flew over the Grand Canyon in a helicopter and took part in a fun run for charity (have done 2 so far), but I still have plenty to tick off!

9. One day I would love to own a VW camper van.

10. My husband and I completely renovated our last house, it was a Victorian property and we did everything ourselves apart from the things we couldn’t do such as treat it for woodworm and fit a new boiler. Blood, sweat and tears went into that place and my husband and I are very proud of what we achieved.

11. I have been writing a book for many years, its something I love to do but don’t always get the time I need to spend on it.

12. I have a 3 year old daughter who is the light of my life.

13. I love anything to do with interior design, its one of my main passions in life, I have a diploma in it too!

14. My favourite flower is the sweet pea, the scent is amazing and I love how delicate they look.

15. I have driven a 50 seater coach (it was part of a driving experience day and it was amazing).

16. I have a phobia of nail files, I cannot bear to touch the rough side of it and the thought of filing my nails is like torture to me.

17. My favourite film is ‘Rear Window’ starring James Stewart and Grace Kelly.

18. My perfect dinner guest would be either Tom Hanks or Audrey Hepburn.

19. I have twin brothers, but they are not identical, actually they couldn’t be more different both in looks and personality.

20. My perfect day – well actually I have 2, spending it with my husband and daughter of course, but if on my own then I can happily read a book and drink tea, the simple things in life.

Well I hope that gave you a little insight in me!

TTFN, L x

Me

My Etsy wish list

Ok so I have to confess I have a rather significant birthday coming up and people are already asking me what I would like as a gift, along with the fact that Christmas is approaching faster than I would like its time to start doing the all-important online research for present ideas. Now I like to opt for items that are slightly unusual or just a bit different and Etsy is always the perfect place for that. So here are some fab finds, I hope you like them too!

Planner

Personal Planner – I like to be organised and I am loving anything stripey or mint at the moment so this is just perfect!

Cork bag

Cork Bag – I need a new shoulder bag that’s big enough to fit all my clobber in, I love this eco-friendly bag, its made from Harris Tweed Wool and genuine cork.

gold foil print

Gold foil print – I’ve recently finished decorating my lounge and it now needs some pictures on the walls, gold lettering on items is very popular right now and adds a touch a glamour to any room.

Pineapple

Vintage Brass Pineapple – I don’t have any need whatsoever for it but I love it, a bit of retro and a bit of glam!

bracelet

Gold and turquoise bracelet – I don’t own any bangle bracelets, the colour of the turquoise against the gold really stands out on this bangle.

I hope this has given you a little insight into the fantastic items you can find on Etsy, maybe a good place to do some Christmas shopping for that extra special or unusual gift.

L xx

Dry Shampoo Review

dry shampoo

As you know I have just come back from 2 weeks in the sun and one of my most used products on holiday is dry shampoo.

I like to use it during the day as I like to wait until the evening to wash my hair for when I go out. I have tried the most popular make Batiste but have always found it to produce a lot of white powder in my hair, now this is usual for dry shampoo products but I wanted to find one that wasn’t quite so bad so this year I thought I would try another brand.

This particular brand of dry shampoo is by the make ‘Girlz Only Haircare’ and I have to say I was quite impressed. It didn’t produce as much white residue in the hair and was very easy to massage in once applied. What I also particularly liked about this product was the smell, it was gorgeous but not too overpowering.

I purchased mine from Tesco and they are currently selling a 150ml can for only £1.50

I will continue to use it as I have got into the terrible habit of washing my hair every day and this can be very damaging for your hair, I want to try to wash it every other day and with the help of this dry shampoo hopefully I will be brave enough to leave the house knowing it doesn’t look too greasy!

Have you ever used dry shampoo, and if so which brands would you recommend?

L x