Archive | June, 2012

Animal magic

29 Jun

Recently, I was asked to put together an interiors accessories feature for Look magazine (on sale this week). The theme? Animal homewares. Until I started my research, I had no idea just how many things there were with our four-legged friends on.

My favourite finds? The ‘kissing’ animal prints from British brand Anorak. Their horse, bunny, bird and stag silhouettes are fresh, fun and will brighten almost any room in the house. Choose from bedlinen, towels, crockery, placemats, picnic blankets and baskets, washbags, sleeping bags… you name it, they make it.

You can browse the full range at http://www.anorakonline.co.uk. And watch out for their new fox prints coming soon!

PS: Like this blog? Nominate it for an award!
If you love my blog, I’d be honoured if you’d nominate it for the ‘Lifestyle Blog of the Year’ in the Cosmo Blog Awards 2012. To do so only takes a few seconds – just enter www.thetreasurehunteruk.com in the ‘Lifestyle Blog’ category on the following link:
http://www.cosmopolitan.co.uk/blogs/cosmo-blog-awards-2012/cosmo-blog-awards-2012_nominate
Nominations close in just two days at the end of June. Thank you!

Go wild in the aisles

27 Jun

French hypermarkets are the best in the world. Not only do they stock amazing food (mmmmn, Brie) and great wine, but they also stock lots of other, non-edible goodies, such as fantastic yet criminally cheap stationery, preppy pumps, cool bags and kitchenware to die for.

British supermarkets are sooooo boring in comparison. Or so I thought until I visited a huge Sainsburys the other day. They’ve given their non-food fare a serious overhaul, and I was seriously impressed.

So, iPhone camera in hand, I took some photos of the best stuff for you. And the really good news is that unlike French hypermarkets, you don’t have to physically enter a shop to buy it – it’s all available online. Now, get loading that virtual trolley!

China in your hand, round your neck, on your jumper…

25 Jun

The other week I went to Pulse, a trade show for new interiors and gift designers to show off their wares, and shops, websites and retailers to place orders. There were so many lovely things – I was like a kid in a sweet shop! Thankfully, many of the designers sell their own stuff direct to the public, and I’m going to showcase some of them on this blog over the next few weeks.

My absolute favourite products at the show were the necklaces, earrings and brooches by MeMeMe (www.madebymememe.com), tucked away on a little stand in a corner. You can choose from birds (top), owls, bunnies, dogs, wolves and very on-trend geometric shapes (bottom) all crafted out of fine pastel-coloured porcelain.

At around £40 for a necklace, they’re not exactly cheap, but you’re getting something unique, unusual and beautifully handmade.

And the really good news is that there’s currently a 50% sale on at the moment on the MeMeMe Etsy shop (www.etsy.com/shop/madebymememe). Just enter code KRAZYSUNNY at the online checkout. If you see something in my pics here that you can’t find for sale, just email them and they’ll sell you it direct.

I’m going for the white china bunny necklace, below – how about you?

 

Watch the birdies

22 Jun

Magpie are one of my favourite brands (check out their brilliant alphabet mugs in my 5th January entry) and now they’ve created another gorgeous range of home goodies. Called ‘Birdy’, it features four Mid Century Modern-style birds, based on retro school I-Spy book illustrations.

The range includes  mugs (£8), plates (£18 for four), cushions (£20), tea towels (£12 a pair), lovely makeup bag duos (£20) and a too-sweet-for- words Espresso set (£20 for four cups and saucers). They’re all available from www.cubicuk.com and would make great gifts.

This is the second time Magpie have run this range (the first time it ran, everything, ahem, flew off the shelves so fast it sold out), so if you like it, you’d better get in quick!

PS: Like this blog? Nominate it for an award!
If you love my blog, I’d be honoured if you’d nominate it for the ‘Lifestyle Blog of the Year’ in the Cosmo Blog Awards 2012. To do so only takes a few seconds – just enter www.thetreasurehunteruk.com in the ‘Lifestyle Blog’ category on the following link:
http://www.cosmopolitan.co.uk/blogs/cosmo-blog-awards-2012/cosmo-blog-awards-2012_nominate
Nominations close at the end of June. Thank you!

The Lotus Position

20 Jun

I picked up this gorgeous little lotus-shaped bowl in Singapore (it cost £1 – a total bargain). It’s designed as a sushi dipping bowl for soy sauce, but I keep it on my bedside table to store rings and/or earrings in. I love it.

And it seems other people do too. When a friend commented on it recently, I made a mental note to find her something similar for her birthday.

It was harder than I thought (making me wish I’d bought several in Singapore – don’t you hate it when that happens?) but I have found a couple of options available in the UK.

The amazing website www.rigbyandmac.com (they also have three gorgeous shops in London) sell a set of four lotus dipping bowls, 8cm wide, for £11.95, in grey, lilac, green and teal (below). Or, you can buy the same set, where they’re called ‘Pretty Coloured Bowls’, for £17.50 from www.coxandcox.co.uk.

I also like the 11cm Turquoise Lotus Flower Dish, £5.50, from www.lavender-room.co.uk (bottom). Very classy.

Alternatively, the next time you’re walking past a shop selling Japanese or Chinese tableware such as chopsticks and bowls, check out their dipping dishes. They may not all be lotus-shaped, but I’ve seen some lovely designs that are perfect for popping on a dressing table, windowsill or mantlepiece.

PS: Like this blog? Nominate it for an award!
If you love my blog, I’d be honoured if you’d nominate it for the ‘Lifestyle Blog of the Year’ in the Cosmo Blog Awards 2012. To do so only takes a few seconds – just enter www.thetreasurehunteruk.com in the ‘Lifestyle Blog’ category on the following link:
http://www.cosmopolitan.co.uk/blogs/cosmo-blog-awards-2012/cosmo-blog-awards-2012_nominate
Nominations close at the end of June. Thank you!

Thanks for the memo boards

18 Jun

Shall I tell you a secret? I have a memory like a sieve. When I’m working, everyone thinks I’m incredibly organised, but the truth is that at home, I can barely remember my own name sometimes.

The only way I can stay on top of things is with endless lists, writing things on my hands, diaries (I have two paper ones and one on my phone) and memo boards.

Yep, memo boards are the forgetful girl’s best friend. And after years of using my fridge and some magnets as an organisation station (a great phrase!), I’ve decided to upgrade to a smarter, ‘proper’ board.

I’ve got my eye on two at the moment, both from www.shoponmydoorstep.com. First up is the ingenious Drip Magnetic Strip memo board with five tiny magnets, £12.95 (above). It looks like a swoosh of paint, comes in red,  purple or black, and is the perfect size – not so small you can’t fit anything on; but not so big you lose stuff on it.

Secondly, I’ve always liked the idea of a blackboard wall, but have never gotten round to faffing about with chalkboard paint. Now I’ve found the answer-  chalkboard wall stickers, from £5.45 for an A4 size (they go up to huge A0 size sheets for £29.45).

You can stick ’em up as they are, then write notes on them with chalk – or you can cut them into any shape you fancy. Job done!

PS: Like this blog? Nominate it for an award!
If you love my blog, I’d be honoured if you’d nominate it for the ‘Lifestyle Blog of the Year’ in the Cosmo Blog Awards 2012. To do so only takes a few seconds – just enter www.thetreasurehunteruk.com in the ‘Lifestyle Blog’ category on the following link:
http://www.cosmopolitan.co.uk/blogs/cosmo-blog-awards-2012/cosmo-blog-awards-2012_nominate
Nominations close at the end of June. Thank you!

Pud news travels fast

15 Jun

I know it’s hard to believe, but sometimes in life you can have too much chocolate. The sickest I’ve ever been was when I ate an entire box of Black Magic (remember them?) while revising for my GCSEs  and then sat in the back of a bumpy car for three hours. But I digress. My point is that there are other options, particularly when it comes to dessert.

And these little beauties, which I found in Sainsburys yesterday, are a very welcome new addition to the pudding club. They’re pots of Geonese sponge layered with summer berries and blackcurrant and raspberry syrup, with a decent splash of Pimm’s (my absolute favourite summer drink).

The packaging is a stylish hot pink; you can keep the cute little glass dishes for nic nacs afterwards, and the best news is they’re only 105 calories each – meaning they’re practically a health food. What’s not to like?

Limited edition GU Spring into Summer Berry Puds with Pimm’s cost £2-3.60 for a pack of two from Sainsburys, Tesco, Waitrose and Ocado. Yum.

Smart cookies

13 Jun

Mmmmn, cookies! If you love cookies and you love cakes, check out these little fellas!

These mega cute Cookie Monster cupcakes were made by designer/photographer Jane Donald. They’re surprisingly easy to recreate – you just need blue food colouring, butter icing, desiccated coconut, Milky Bar buttons, black writing icing (from the supermarket baking section) and little choc chip cookies to decorate normal cupcakes with. The full instructions are on Jane’s lovely blog at www.janedonald.com/blog.

And talking of the Cookie Monster, I’m thinking of getting this t-shirt (below, £15.95 from www.amazon.co.uk) to wear in bed. It’ll look cool with my check PJ bottoms and make me smile every morning when I catch sight of it in the bathroom mirror.

PS: Like this blog? Nominate it for an award!
If you love my blog, I’d be honoured if you’d nominate it for the ‘Lifestyle Blog of the Year’ in the Cosmo Blog Awards 2012. To do so only takes a few seconds – just enter www.thetreasurehunteruk.com in the ‘Lifestyle Blog’ category on the following link:
http://www.cosmopolitan.co.uk/blogs/cosmo-blog-awards-2012/cosmo-blog-awards-2012_nominate
Nominations close at the end of June. Thank you!

At home on the branch

11 Jun

I first spotted these powder-coated stainless steel twiggy coat hooks over two years ago, in a homes magazine. They’d styled up three of them, in beige, olive and white, on a grass green wall – they looked lovely.

At the time, I was in the process of selling my flat, so I promised myself I’d get a couple for my new place… then I lost the magazine in the move!

I couldn’t find them for sale anywhere – until now. I’ve just stumbled upon them at www.shoponyourdoorstep.com, where they’re £23.45 each for the slim Twig Hanger – not bad for something that looks like a cool  piece of modern art as well as being darn useful, too.

Style them like the mag against any strong coloured wall, or keep things subtle with a white one on a white background,  and let the things you hang on it do the talking.

Whatever you decide, I guarantee it’ll look tree-mendous (sorry!).

Espresso yourself

8 Jun

Searching for a gift for a coffee lover the other day, I came across these sweet stackable espresso cups from John Lewis (www.johnlewis.com).

They’re good quality porcelain, come in a matching presentation/storage box and cost just £12. A perfect little present!

What happens Next…

6 Jun

Take a look at the photo above. You’d think it was taken in a  chic French Brocante (bric-a-brac) shop. But in fact, this Aladdin’s Cave of goodies is a selection of Next’s new honewares ranges for this coming Autumn/Winter!

I was given a sneak preview of their new collections and was seriously impressed. Lots of stuff looks designer, and I particularly love the large zinc-edged wooden letters (above); the red miner’s lantern; the cotton reel candlesticks and designer-look light fitting made of four vintage-style lampshades (bottom). How about you?

Prices are still tbc, but as it’s Next, they’re likely to be more than reasonable. I can’t wait to start shopping!

Keep your eyes peeled for the new collections instore and at www.next.co.uk from the Autumn.

Flying colours

4 Jun

At the risk of sounding like a hippy, I love rainbow-themed things. The mix of colours makes me feel happy, and this clever necklace (above), fromwww.howkapow.com is the perfect example.

At £25, it’s not particularly cheap, but it’d transform any boring outfit, and has been made with great attention to detail – there’s even a little blue crystal ‘raindrop’ hanging from the clasp on the back. I bet if you wore it to brighten up a rainy day, you’d get loads of compliments.

Same thing goes for these bird brooches, also £25 each, from www.howkapow.com. Available in a hummingbird, swallow or peacock design, their multicoloured feathers mean they’d go with almost any outfit. I like the friendly peacock best – how about you?

PS: Like this blog? Nominate it for an award!
If you love my blog, I’d be honoured if you’d nominate it for the ‘Lifestyle Blog of the Year’ in the Cosmo Blog Awards 2012. To do so only takes a few seconds – just enter www.thetreasurehunteruk.com in the ‘Lifestyle Blog’ category on the following link:
http://www.cosmopolitan.co.uk/blogs/cosmo-blog-awards-2012/cosmo-blog-awards-2012_nominate
Nominations close at the end of June. Thank you!

Looking for some hot stuff?!

1 Jun

I usually start blog entries with a photo, but today’s entry needs a bit of an introduction first.

Now, I’m a fairly liberal (I’ve worked for women’s magazines where it’s practically part of the job description). And regular readers of this blog will know I love everything from Lakeland – I could spend hundreds on their ruthlessly effective cleaning products and gadgets that solve problems you never knew existed.

But even I did a double-take when I saw their new Chilli Mill, below. Apparently it cuts chillis into tiny pieces like a pepper grinder (and I notice they have steered away from calling it a grinder), but hey,  never mind all that – JUST LOOK AT IT!

Lakeland, who obviously have a brilliantly wicked sense of humour, say it has an “eye-catching shape” and that’s certainly true. Imagine waving it around when the in-laws come round for dinner! Crikey. And you’d have to make sure it didn’t end up in the bedroom by mistake. With all those chillis, it might, erm, spice things up in a very painful way!

Buzzing with excitement to get one of your own? It’s £24.99 instore or from www.Lakeland.co.uk.

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