Friday, 29 April 2016

Summer Clothing Plan

Happy Friday. Its a bank holiday here on the Monday coming, and in the past, I do know that May has been the month, I start thinking about my summer clothing and start itching to get my suitcase down from the loft.  Now, as I type this, I look outside and its raining (again) and I'm freezing, so maybe this weekend, I may give it a miss, but I have started doing a little summer shopping.

So, remember that post with me finding my style.  Well firstly, I've decided to try (not totally) to think about the capsule wardrobe. I like the idea of having clothes that compliment each other, and can mix and match.  A more grown up style, if you wish ... well, thats the plan. So with this in mind, I've come up with this colour scheme .... Navy, White & soft pink.  I can then include some of the new nudes and greys that are around at the moment.  I can also add in other colours that go nicely. I mean, how doesn't like Navy and Yellow!  So, here are a few that I picked up the other day. 
Of course, you know me, so I have a Pinterest board on the go, which I'll be adding more too.  I love that Maria says we're in our Middle Youth, so that's what our boards are called.


 Happy Weekend friends

 Sandra xx

Wednesday, 27 April 2016

Painting Kitchen Cabinets

As I explained in earlier posts, our home is in need of updating and renovations.  So I thought I'd start with what I feel is one of my most important rooms in our home. In fact, its probably the same for most of you. Its the heart of the home, the kitchen.  Now, both Simon and I love to cook, I do the what I call everyday meals and I love baking, whereas when Simon cooks, goodness does he do it in a big way. We once had a duck hanging over our bath for 2 days as he basted it to make Peking duck .... which turned out amazing.

Our kitchen was installed by Simon, over 13 years ago, and although its still in a good condition, it just needed updating.  The sun had bleached it and one day, I could actually count 4 different tones of the wood.

So after much research and panic we decided to paint it.

Now, over the next few weeks, I'll share more with you of the renovation, but like the Chalk paint, I thought, I'd share some of the tips, that I've picked up along the way of what works, and what doesn't.

Now I also want to say, I'm not a professional at this, so these tips are just what I've found works for me. I'm sure if you talk to others, they may well say I'm wrong, but I've loved, loved, loved painting our kitchen, and I want to take the fear out of it, if you're thinking of doing yours.

So firstly, I do suggest, if you can, removing the doors and panels to make painting easier.  This also makes filling any holes easier.  We did this, as I wanted different handles, so we got a good wood filler and then sanded all the wood down.  Do this really really well, as I know that the preparation is dull, but oh it will help in the long run.

I then washed all the wood down, first with household wipes, and then just in case they left any residue, I used sugar soap wipes.
Next, and and honestly can't stress this enough .... use a good primer.  Again, this was something I did a lot of research on, and Zinsser came out the best.  Its a good shellac primer that can be used too under chalk paint on dark furniture
I used this on each side of the doors, using a roller, and just one coat on each side, its touch dry within an hour, so you can turn it over, and do the other side.  Ready for the main event. 

I'll leave it there for now, and I'll be back next Wednesday with the next part .... the fun part. 

Sandra
xx

Monday, 25 April 2016

A Bedroom Redesign - Spatial Planning

Happy Monday Friends :D

This week I am having a good old chat about spatial planning, which is the next important step of the  bedroom redesign.

By spending time working out the layout of your room, you can see how the room will flow in terms of:-

  • Manoeuvrability- can you walk around freely within the space with no obstructions
  • You can make sure you have defined areas of activity (In this case, sleep, study, dressing, relaxing) 
  • See what space you have to play with overall and, importantly, where to put your furniture. 
  • Its also essential for working out your lighting at a later date and, if necessary, additional electrical sockets etc.



First things first, measure, measure and measure! Its important to measure as accurately as possible to ensure the best possible start when planning your space. You don't need anything high tech, a tape measure, pen and paper is all you really need.



Make sure you record all your measurements on a piece of paper as you go so you have a permanent record of them. 



If your room has a window make sure you measure and document this aspect of the space by drawing an elevation of the window wall. 


Elevation Measurements of Bedroom Window

TIP: To make sure your window measurements are accurate, measure from the top to bottom from the central point and then repeat either side. You will find, in most cases, that the window will be slightly longer in drop or width by 0.5/1cm always go with the longest measurement. This will ensure that when you come to choosing window treatments you will have the correct drop. There is nothing worse than a curtain or blind that doesn't quite reach the sill.

Once you've got all those measurements down, you can begin with the fun part...... planning your space, Yay!! :D

From the design brief  last week, I need to incorporate the following furniture into the floor plan I have measured out:-
  • Bed
  • Bedside Table
  • Desk
  • Wardrobe
  • Chest of Drawers
  • Dressing table
  • Shelving
  • Relaxed seating area
As you can see, there is quite a lot of furniture for this space because of its multifunctional uses.

I decided that to save space, I would double up the use of the chest of drawers and use it as a dressing table i.e.., place a mirror on top for checking hair and makeup.  This will keep my daughters desk area solely for studying. 

Try out as many layouts to the space as possible so you can really see what works where and validate the reasons for its positioning or why it doesn't work. You may be surprised by how many you come up with and how different you can make a room look just by positioning the furniture differently. 

TIP: You don't need to be exact with the furniture dimensions at this stage. Just sketch out some drawings with the layout you have drawn and see what works. Once you've got the layout your happy with then you can be more exact with measurements when you've sourced the furniture which will be another step of the redesign.

Below are a few of the different layouts I designed with brief notes explaining the pros and cons. Yes, I know mine look neat, but please don't think you need some fancy computer programme, hand drawn rough sketches will do just as well. It's the process of trying out different layouts that is the important part of this development stage, not how neatly you've drawn a line. You do not need to be an artist ;)




So as you can see there are notable differences on how the room could look. It is a worth while exercise to do as you are making sure that you end up with the best solution to your brief. 

Want to know which one, I have gone for? Find out next week when I'll be moving on to sourcing furniture and furnishings for the chosen layout.

Have a good week friends :D

Maria
xxx





Friday, 22 April 2016

Healthy Living, Healthy Food.... A New Cook Book

Happy Friday Friends :D

'Hi my name is Maria and I am a self confessed avid cook book collector, food lover, and I love to cook!!'  (Sorry I couldn't resist starting this post with this, but it is exactly who I am  ;)

This week, I am trying out a new cook book by Amelia Freer, Cook, Nourish Glow, who is completely new to me and I don't quite know how I have missed her! I actually came across this book by accident whilst shopping in my favourite kitchen shop Lakeland, who had it on offer down to just £5 because it had no book jacket. I am so glad I decided to buy it as I will definitely be following her from now on.

Buy it on Amazon Here

I am one of those 'special' people who can't eat gluten, wheat and diary and this book caters for me perfectly and my family. Who, by the way, get to eat whatever I do regardless of the fact that they don't have any dietary requirements. I have found that it is a much healthier way of living and I want my family to be healthy, especially our kids! I'm hopefully helping them to live a longer better life :D

So if you suffer with intolerances or food allergies, this book is a little bit of heaven. Or if your just looking to improve your health or making more of a conscious effort to eating more healthily then definitely give this book a go.

I have already tabbed so many recipes to try out and I'm really excited by the choice this book has to offer.   I've been looking to increase our fish intake and this book has some tasty recipes that look and sound really yummy as well as achievable. Don't worry there are some meat recipes in there too as well as veggies ;)

Simple Prawn, Coconut & Aubergine Curry - YUMMY


I was so impressed by this book, I decided to do a little research on the web and came across Amelia's website which provides a wealth of food information.  I've even signed up to her blog. I'm a bit of a nerd when it comes to food, I find food so fascinating!!

As it turns out, Amelia is a qualified nutritional therapist so you are sure to find yourself in good hands. (I always find it reassuring when the author of cook books has either long term experience or is qualified to preach what they are talking about especially when it comes to our health.  I also love the quotes scattered throughout the book, which are reaffirming of eating healthily such as these two lovelies:-

'If it came from a plant, eat it, If it was made in a plant, Don't '  (Michael Pollan)


'When diet is wrong, medicine is of no use. When diet is right, medicine is of no need' (Ayurvedic Proverb)


They make you think don't they?

Heres the Quick Tuna Omelette I made yesterday for lunch :D

Don't forget to follow us on Instagram, because I'll be posting some photos of what I have made from this book on there in the very near future ;)

Thats all from me for now. Wishing you all a fab weekend full of happiness and love.

Maria xxx







Wednesday, 20 April 2016

Decluttering? I can do this!

Well, I bought the book (Maria's fault) ... I started reading it ... Didn't finish it! (Can't blame Maria). What am I talking about? The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying, by Marie Kondo of course.  Its the book that's taken the world by storm, or so it seems, and has got millions, holding items of clothing and saying ... "Does this spark joy"

So how far did I get with my book? I'm on page 103, the part about books.  I have of course, flicked to other parts in the book, and dipped in and out of chapters, but well that's not really what this is all about.  So I'm starting again. And properly this time.
Now, part of this book actually doesn't work for me, and I'm ok with that.  She starts with clothing and well, says we shouldn't be putting summer and winter clothes away. They should be out all the time. That just does not work for me.  I actually get joy in sorting my clothes twice a year and putting them away (yes, sad I know) although I'm not sure hubby would agree with me as lugging down the suitcase is a mammoth task. But I like seeing the different seasons in my wardrobe and also remember pieces I'd forgotten I had.  But I am going to start afresh.  So you will find me sorting through my clothes before I put this season away. And I'm going to be ruthless.

I will be sharing my decluttering journey with you, so I should warn you all now.  My name is Sandra, and I'm a hoarder

I''ll leave you with this sentence from her book
I know, some of you are feeling faint as I'm highlighting in my book.  I'm even turning down and putting tabs in a few of my favourite places.  Sorry about that, but I need reminders and prompts to keep me on track

Sandra
xx






Monday, 18 April 2016

A Bedroom Redesign - The Brief

Happy Monday Friends, I hope you have had a good weekend and are feeling refreshed for the week ahead of you :D

Following on from last week, I am going to stress to you how important it is to work out exactly what the room you are redesigning is going to be used for and to write down a brief,  even if its for your own personal use! I know it might be obvious to you what you are going to use a room for, but it is good practice to write a brief as you can really analyse every aspect of the space before you start. Just write everything and anything you can think of that you and others who will be using the space for, not forgetting pets as they can sometimes have an impact ;)

As you know from last week, the bedroom space I am redesigning is for our 17 year old daughter and, as with any teenager/young adult, their bedroom is used so much more than to sleep in. Here is the written brief for her bedroom redesign:-

Function - Use of Space


  • Sleeping - obviously ;)
  • Studying for her patisserie qualification
  • Hobbies - reading
  • Entertaining - having friends round
  • Dressing
  • Makeup & Hair Styling
  • Relaxing - she likes to do this a lot!!
  • Using her laptop for social and study purposes
  • Our cat, Sasha will be sleeping and being pampered in this room as the two of them are inseparable!

Furniture & Usage Requirements


  • Bed
  • Bedside table
  • Desk/Dressing Table for computer, study, make up and hair
  • Storage - Makeup/Hair styling products/hairdryer (My daughter has more products than me!)
  • Storage - Wardrobe/Drawers for  Clothing/Shoes/Bags
  • Seating - For studying at desk and an informal seating area for relaxing in
  • Storage - For her growing collection of cookery books!!
  • Storage - General paperwork for college, stationery


TIP!
 Think about the furniture that is necessary for the room to function well.  Always, always assess storage issues and think long term. If your an avid book reader, crafter, sewer, collector etc., you will always need to accommodate further storage requirements as inevitably these hobbies will grow!!


Lighting


  • Task Lighting for studying - Desk area
  • Task Lighting - Makeup/Hair - Desk/Dressing table area
  • Task lighting for reading - Desk, bed and relaxed seating area
  • Good Ambient (General) Lighting - navigation around room and dressing
  • Bedside light 
  • Flexible lighting is required overall to this space as it is multifunctional. Dimmer switches will be included to create different ambient (mood) lighting.


TIP!
  Look at what needs to be lit in the room from the beginning so that you can assess fixtures, electrical plugs etc. This, as I said last week, is really, really important in creating the perfect space! Think layers of light to any room you are designing for. These layers of light are general (ambient), task and decorative, and if you include accent lighting such as highlighting interior features ie., picture lighting to artwork, alcoves etc you can really will be on your way to creating a beautiful space :D

Style

Our daughter created a mood board to assist me with redesigning her space. It is great because it gives a good visual representation of what she likes in terms of colour and pattern, texture. Remember a mood board is a visual aid. It does not represent the end design at this stage, but more of a starting point to creating a scheme.

The mood board created by my daughter, together with the design brief is the starting point of the design scheme process. 

TIP: Sometimes, we can be tempted to put onto our children our own personal style of what we like when redecorating. Its easily done, you see a lovely cushion or throw and think that would look nice. Warning!!! This is not a good idea, it will end up in disaster with an unhappy son or daughter and they will not forgive you for your choices!!  Do not attempt to push your ideas unless they are happy with them. If they hate pink, don't even think you can incorporate it into their personal space. My daughter has never been a pink girl, ever!!  I learnt early on with my daughter when I bought her a pretty pink dress and she refused to wear it or the time we did redecorate her bedroom and had the walls painted a pastel pink, she absolutely hated it.

Also try not to copy other peoples styles or decor choices unless they really suit you, your personality and your style as you are going to have to live with them!  It's all to easy to see a newly decorated room at a friends house or magazine/catalogue and think that looks fab, and then go about trying to recreate the same look because when you've completed your room, you might just end up hating it. For example, I love Sandra's house, its full of gorgeous colour and pattern. Its pretty and I love it. But no matter how much I love and appreciate all the pretty patterns and colours, I know that its not my style and I couldn't live with it. I like simple and plain, with a little bit of subtle pattern and colour thrown in. I tend to go for colours that are easy on the eye and are relaxing, so more neutral mid tones.  I need to have a relaxed feel to our home and too much colour and pattern would off balance the calm that we have created. Also texture is key for me being a tactile person.  Touch is just as important as the visual aspects to any interior.  Likewise, I know Sandra likes the way my house looks too, but she knows she couldn't live without her colour and pattern because that is her style.

So write down, pull out magazine pages, print off images, create a mood board just remember be true to yourself! If its for a family member, let them do this, without any interference, you might be surprised by their choices.

Final Note

Although, there are no rules as to how you should choose a certain style for your home, you should, however, consider the architecture.  It is important to take into consideration the style of your home. For example, if you live in a contemporary modern build apartment or house, putting in a traditional farmhouse look would be in conflict with its architecture and vice versa for say, a traditional turn of the century cottage with an ultra modern contemporary interiors. It would create a visual conflict. The architecture and the interior really need to work together to create a cohesive look and feel to your home. Architectural details internally need to be incorporated and included in your design scheme. After all they are the genetic makeup to the space you live in, just don't forget them ;)

Next week, I'll be explaining about spatial planning and how to go about it, as this will be the next step in the design process for our daughters bedroom.

Have a good week friends!! :D

Maria
xxx




Friday, 15 April 2016

In the spotlight this week

My spotlight this week, is also about reminding me to get my act in gear ... so I'm sharing with you, and this is just a brief share; my bullet journal books.

Both Maria and I are trying out bullet journalling, and I know that we each will be sharing more about it, in our own posts in future dates.  But for now, I just thought I'd share with you my latest journal.  Its going to be my organisation one for blogs ... and well, I just LOVE the colour.

Its a Leuchtturm1917, dotted in azure and A5 in size. My photo doesn't seem to do the colour justice, its lovely and vibrant.  I've decorated mine (of course I would lol). I just love the project life card that says ... Say Yes to new Adventures.  It couldn't be more perfect for my blog ideas. Also, you'll see the journal I'm using everyday, and so far I have to say the system works for me.
There you have it from me today, Happy Friday friends, and now over to Maria.

Sandra xx

Notes a l'infini (Endless Notes)  by L'Atelier d exercises

Happy Friday Friends :D

I'm loving Sandra's journal covers :D . This week, I am showing you one of my finds that helps keep me organised in the kitchen.

Its the Notes a l'infini (Endless Notes)  by L'Atelier d exercises. It is perfect for shopping lists and I love it. Its practical, functional and aesthetically looks great. I love its simplistic design and it works really well in our kitchen. To be honest, I initially got this to organise the family as I was fed up of them not telling me something had run out or they would tell me when I was busy and I would forget.

You can buy here at Made In Design or at Amazon

It can be used wall mounted or used flat on a desk, side or table. Its made from steel which makes it sturdy and solid and is excellent quality. With two paper rolls (30m) and a pencil with eraser which slots into the top of the roll makes it practical and should last for a long time. There are small holes to the left that are at centimetre intervals, which acts as a guide if you like evenly spaced notes. The serrated edge at the bottom cuts the paper nicely too :D 

I wall mounted mine using these beauties. I am a very impatient person and waiting for the hubby to get the drill out and find the time drives me nuts. These are fantastic and so easy to use and you can hang anything in under 5 minutes. (I have even hung a giant heavy notice board in my youngest sons bedroom  with these)  :D
I positioned it next to our weekly meal board, which the family always look at because they are always hungry! 

Its easy for me and, more importantly, the family, for adding what we need if something runs out or is needed as they simply add it to the list instead of telling me :D So there you have it the Notes a l'infini (Endless Notes)  by L'Atelier d exercises is the perfect organisational tool for all those list lovers out there. 

Have a great weekend Friends!!

Maria 
xxx



Wednesday, 13 April 2016

Pantone Colour of the Year - 2016

I love colour! .... Just ask Maria, she'll tell you, my home has patterns and colours everywhere, but now I'm going for a softer look with our renovations.  One still that has colour but is more manageable if and when I change things around. I'm also looking at a wider field for inspiration, and not just sticking with my usual magazine obsession.

So with this, I can happily say that the Pantone colours of 2016 are so perfect for me.  Each year Pantone put out their colour for the year coming, this year they've actually picked two colours Rose Quartz (pantone 12-1520) and Serenity (Pantone 15-3919) 

I believe a lot of the reasoning behind these colours is how our society is seeking a more mindful approach to our stressful everyday life.  You only need to walk into any book shop, and you'll find stacks of books on mindfulness and well being.  Colouring books too are the top seller, and again, this is due to our approach to find a more creative and calming lifestyle. 

Both these colours combine the warmth from the rose and the tranquility from the blue, which makes for a relaxing home life. 

This colour board will help add other colours into our home, for those that don't want to live in a pastel haven. 

I also thought it would be a good idea, to see what I have in my home that I can put together to create this colour combination, without buying too much more ... I just don't see hubby going for a Rose Quartz sofa, as much as I'm lusting after one.  I don't see it being bear proof either.  So I'll be sharing with you in future posts how I'm using this colour combination.  Its hasn't gone unnoticed that the blue of the aga I'm getting, is this years colour! ... I'm so on trend lol.
We've created a Pinterest board, and would love to know what you think of these colours .... I must admit, they make my heart sing.




Sandra xx

Monday, 11 April 2016

A Bedroom Redesign - The Beginning

Happy Monday Friends, I hope you had a good weekend :D

My eldest son has recently flown the nest to live with his girlfriend. It's scary how they grow up so fast!

Being the eldest, he had the largest bedroom and now the inevitable has happened and our daughter is now claiming the vacant bedroom, which, of course, means our youngest will then be wanting to move into her bedroom.  I can see we are going to be very busy over the coming weeks and months. So it's been all hands on deck stripping the room back ready for redesigning and decorating for our seventeen year old daughter.

We actually haven't decorated this room for several years and, to be honest, it is one of the rooms in our home that is in desperate need of revamping, we just haven't been able to get in there and at times didn't even want to! Those of you with, or have had teenage sons, will know exactly where I am coming from ;)

There are a lot of people who post before and after shots of interiors that they have done of a room and they are great for inspiration, but they don't always show or tell you how they've gone about it. So I'd thought you'd like to follow me on the design process and how I am going to redesign and decorate this room for our daughter. So here goes :D

The Beginning...

We have emptied the room and removed the carpet, so it is now ready for me to start. It's a complete blank canvas which is great. We won't be making any structural changes and it is in pretty good condition so we are of to a good start.

When designing any room, there are 7 design principles to adhere to. They are, lighting, colour, texture, space, form, accessories (objects) and furniture and I will be showing you how, and why, they are so important to creating the perfect living space.

First things first, this room has one clearly noticeable problem that we cannot ignore and that is it has a problem with the lighting, although it does receive  plenty of natural light through the large window, it is  seriously lacking in additional ambient (basic) lighting.

Good amount of natural light is received during the day 
There is no ceiling pendant and there are two wall lights, which are quite frankly just the most awful and nondescript lights I have ever seen! They were there when we moved in and at the time we just tried to hide them by having them painted). Back then, I hadn't studied or gained a degree in interior design, so you have to forgive my ignorance about lighting and it was honestly just supposed to be a quick fix until we got round to changing them.

These wall lights seriously need to go!!


The other offending wall light!!

Lighting is really, and I mean, REALLY important to any space and its essential part of any interior. It effects colour choices, enhances a room,  provides decorative aspects, helps us with tasks, creates interest, provides atmosphere, I could go on, but hopefully you get the picture!  Good lighting will provide shadow and light to a room, which is essential other wise you will end up with a bleached washed out look to an interior, which is definitely not a good look. It is a crucial part of our lives and extremely important to interiors. Light brings rooms to life and can alter our perceptions of them. I am guessing by now that you can tell I am officially obsessed with lighting ;) 

Back to the room in question.  It is lacking in ambient lighting. Ambient Lighting is the "general" light that comes from no visible source and comes from all directions in a room. This can be from natural sources such as windows or the lighting that replaces daylight.  It provides an overall level of basic lighting and allows us to carry out tasks and navigate around a room. This level of lighting doesn't need to be overly bright. It is the first level of lighting to add other lighting to, such as decorative, accent and task lighting, which in turn creates interest whilst being practical (we all need to be able to navigate our homes at night ;). ) It is very much the basis to build other lighting on.

So my advice to you is always assess the amount of natural light a room receives and what changes you need to make, especially ambient lighting at the beginning of redesigning any room. It is the basis for adding other levels of lighting such as task, decorative and accent lighting to. The key to successful lighting is to decide what you want to light first and work backwards to determine the solution.

Acknowledging the lack of ambient lighting, I can move on with planning the space. Over the coming weeks, I'll be sharing with you each step of the design process so you too can create the perfect living space.

Have a good week friends :D

Maria 
xxx




Friday, 8 April 2016

Aga Demonstration Day

As you know, I'm in the midst of home renovations, and I'm starting on the kitchen first.

I have been busy painting our kitchen and I will be sharing more of that with you at a later date as well as painting tips, that I've picked up along the way.

Now it's always been one of my dreams to own an Aga and we've now decided that the time is right to act now, so yesterday Maria kindly came along to a baking demonstration with me. Its a completely new way of cooking, and a lot to get my head around, so I had a lot of questions and armed with a notebook, off we went to the Cobham store.


Sadly for Maria, due to her dietary requirements, she was unable to taste any of these, although we did pick up a pancake receipe using oats, instead of flour.  So I did the only good thing that a friend could do, I ate for her!
Apparently, don't use a cooling rack, let the bread turn cool upside down ... I will say, it worked, and no soggy bottom.  
All in all, we had a fabulous day, and no all that needs to be done is to pop along, probably at the weekend and sign on the dotted line. 

You can bet, I'll be sharing with you my aga journey, all the way from its arrival to what I learn and recipes I'll be picking up.

As for the pancakes; its one egg, 1/2 a cup of oats, 1/2 a banana and wizz up in a food processor, or liquidizer and you've got little drop pancakes.  I'll be trying it for sure. 

Have a great weekend 
Sandra 
xx






Wednesday, 6 April 2016

March Empties

During our first month of blogging, I wanted to try a few different products, so that I could use them up and let you know what I thought of them, and maybe this was something I could do each month with you. I do understand that things all work differently on each of us, but just as a guide, I thought it might be fun.

In the interest of honesty, one of these ... maybe two or three, were actually started before, but my intentions were good.
Ok, so here goes.

Udderley Smooth .... Lovely and I would use again, but I'd like to try other brands of this product. Its certainly left my skin softer and is non greasy and soaks into the skin very quickly.  The only downside, and its not really a downside as such, maybe I didn't get a big enough tube, as I don't feel it lasted very long.

Now the Moroccan Oil Hydrating Styling cream is one I've been using for years, its a leave in formula which as it contains pure argan oil, helps hydrate my hair as I wash it daily.  Its a very light product and I have fine hair, and this doesn't make it limp or sticky. The bottle too, is ideal as I can unscrew it and hit out any left at the bottom.

Next is Primer. I never used to wear any primer, to be honest, I never really knew what they did. but this one has converted me. It's BareMinerals Prime Time Original, Its non greasy and I really find its a fabulous base for my foundation powder,  making my make up last longer.  Again, as someone who does like to get value for money, I can take the lid of this and use every little bit.

Lastly its Liz Earle Face Serum .... well, I LOVE it.  It contains collagen boosting pomegrante extract and I've had dry skin recently and on one part its been particularly dry and flaky. So I tried this, and I can't rate it high enough.  I use it every morning before my moisturiser. A little goes a long way, I only use two small pumps of it.  This is actually my second bottle as I started using it in February and at the beginning I may have used more, as my skin was particularly bad.  Since using it, I've not had any dry patches.

I always use Liz Earle cleanse and polish, due to its use of natural products and no animal testing.  I buy mine direct from their online store and delivery is free and fast.

There you have it, a few "empties" from me for March.  I'll hopefully do this each month for you as I think it will get me into trying more products too, and not just storing them up for best.

Sandra
xx



Monday, 4 April 2016

Yes, you can get excited over a bin!

Happy Monday Friends :D

Yes,  I agree its an odd thing to write about, but I do love my bin. Its clean, boxy and simple design sits nicely in my kitchen without being too obtrusive.

I admit to having had quite a few kitchen bins over the years. I have either changed them to suit the decor or because they have broken with the constant use and abuse that a family tends to treat the kitchen bin, namely the hubby who tends to be quite heavy handed.

Then last year whilst in John Lewis, I saw it, the Joseph, Joseph Totem bin and it was love at first sight. Yes, I know I am a very sad person, but you have to understand that its all about the look. I am a lover of all things interiors. For some its clothes, shoes, handbags and so on, (although I love these things too ;) For me, I love looking and shopping for interiors and I am always on the look out for new products.

Now there was absolutely nothing wrong with the bin we had. In fact, it was one of the best kitchen bins we had owned for years, but I fell in love with the design of the Joseph, Joseph Totem bin. See theres a difference ;)

Whats to love? I here you ask. Well it's simple, boxy shape and neutral stone colouring (there is also a charcoal and stainless steel version) and its semi glossy body and stainless steel top, which makes it easy to clean and the fact that it would look good in any kitchen.
Joseph Joseph Intelligent Waste Totem 

Now,  I couldn't justify buying a new bin just on just its good looks, it had to offer me more because to be quite honest, it has to be one of the most expensive kitchen bins out there!!

So what swung it for me?  On further investigation, it turned out it was a whole recycling centre in one Yay!!! :D
I had, up until that point,  a main kitchen bin, a recycling bin and a separate food waste box on my kitchen side and I had a constant battle on my hands with the family making any sort of effort to recycle.  I was forever pulling out recycling rubbish from the main bin and I was beginning to lose the plot!

The removable food caddy sits nicely in the top of the bin when not in use
The bottom recycling box is on wheels and lifts out easily 

With the Joseph Joseph Totem bin, because everything is in one place, everyone has recycled ever since and, for me, that alone makes it a winner :D



Have a good week friends and see you soon :D

Maria xxx



Friday, 1 April 2016

In The Spot Light This Week......

Jolee Oilcloth/PVC Tablecloth


Happy Friday friends, I can't believe another week is almost over. I don't know if your like me, but I tend to go through phases of particularly loving a certain style, pattern, colour, smell..... I could go on but I don't want to bore you ;) 

Currently, I have a soft spot for hares. Don't ask me why, maybe I'm nurturing my inner love of nature, but it could also be that there are some fantastic designs out there.  One of my favourites is by Sophie Allport. I have her napkins, placemats and oven glove all in her hare design. See, I told you, I was going all out on my current phase :D

I wanted to refresh the look of my large oak farmhouse table for everyday use and a wipeable tablecloth appealed due it being in constant use. To be honest, no matter how much I love Sophie Alports hare design, the oilcloth fabric was just too costly to justify the cost due to our table being so large and at £22.50 per metre, I didn't want to take a chance with the kids and hubby ;) It was either look for an alternative, never let anyone near the table or downsize the table, as you've guessed, I took to looking for an alternative.

A bit of searching on the web and I came across, Joleetablecloths.co.uk which have an excellent range of designs, colours and importantly larger sized oilcloth and PVC tablecloths. They are a husband and wife team, internet run business with over 20 years experience. 

Hare Design by Jolee Tablecloths
And yes, you've guessed it,  I managed to find some "Hares" in the perfect neutral colour and it was only priced £12.99 a metre. Yay!! :D





Thats all from me this week. Now over to Sandra for her fabulous Spot Light :D

Maria x

oooohhhh I want that tablecloth too. Maybe we should just order things in two lol.

Happy Friday friends

I thought I'd keep in the same theme of things this Friday with my spotlight share this week, and yup, you guessed it, its a table cloth.

Now to show you how similar Maria and I are, I'm an all or nothing girl too.

My current love is all things Susie Watson ... I have a love of her pottery, fabrics, and of course tableware.

I recently purchased a table cloth and napkins (and candle) and it was used when Maria and Colin came over to dinner.  I can happily say that it washes beautifully and even spilled snowball drinks come out of it lol.
Wishing you all a lovely weekend, and if you're having dinner with friends, like we both are ... yes, it's dinner with the neighbours :) ... I wish you fun.

Sandra
xx