Archive | May, 2014

Bathing beauties

29 May

 

Marks and Spencer sand resist cotton towel in pink £20

I know, I know, it’s chucking it down with rain outside, but in my opinion that’s all the more reason to start thinking about the holidays.

And having packed my suitcase with the same old trusty towels for years, I think it’s time I upgraded. There are some brilliant bright beach towels in the shops at the moment – Debenhams in particular has some really great designs – but I’ve decided I’m going hi-tech, with Marks and Spencer‘s new ‘sand-resist’ versions.

Yep, science bods at M&S have created a special weave on the back of the towels that stops sand sticking between the stitching loops. So, not only will you avoid getting annoying gritty bits stuck to your suncreamed thighs; but when you pack up at the end of a hard day’s lounging, you’ll leave the sand where it belongs – on the beach – rather than in your bag.

What’s more, they’ve managed all this without resorting to scratchy man-made fibres or an extortionate price-tag – the towels are 100% cotton, a generous 100x180cm, and cost a reasonable £20 each.

In a choice of two rather fetching Missoni-esque striped patterns, I reckon they’re the smart sunbather’s choice this year.

Blooming lovely!

21 May

Dunelm Mill floral cushions

This week, London plays host to the Chelsea Flower Show. My dad’s a botanist, and so I was lucky to visit the show several times as a kid. I always loved walking round the imaginative gardens packed with every plant under the sun, and tents full of amazing arrangements.

So I’m loving the current trend – in both fashion and homewares – for fabulous florals. Forget girly, ditzy prints, it’s all about beautiful, blowsy blooms in bright, bold hues.

Adding florals is a great, cheap way to inject a bit of fun into your home – a couple of colourful cushions like those from Dunelm Mill above (L-R: Meadow Breeze, Florale, Gigli, all a bargainous £9.99 each) will look stunning against white bedlinen or on a plain sofa. Use them to make a statement on their own, or jazz things up further by adding unpatterned accent cushions or throws in contrasting shades.

Next have got a great selection of florals this season (L-R: Bold Chrysanthemum rug, from £70; Raspberry felt flower cushion £14; Square felt flower cushion £14; Elegant Hydrangea rug, from £95)…

Next rugs and cushions with flowers

 

…Then there’s the folk floral trend, which works brilliantly in the kitchen (L-R: Carolyn Donnelly Eclectic Flower Teapot £17 Dunnes Stores; Floral storage tins £6.99 each, Mollie & Fred)…

Gypsy folk floral homewares…and I LOVE these Japanese print Esmie handbound A6 notebooks, £13 each, from Berry Red:

Esmie handbound A6 notebooks £13 Berryred.co.uk

 

You can get floral bedlinen too (below right: Meadow Breeze duvet set, from £11, Dunelm Mill); and even plastic outdoor picnicware (below centre and left: At Home With Ashley Thomas melamine plates and plastic hi-ball glasses, both £16 for four, Debenhams):

Delicate floral homewares

Plus there are all kinds of other fun bits and bobs to be found – I like this amazing-smelling Cherry Blossom Handcream (£6.50, Pierrot et Coco); these Rose fairy lights (£12, Cargo Homeshop) and crazy Floral Sunglasses (£1.99, Home Bargains, also available in other colours):

Girly florals

Finally, why not go the whole hog and dress in florals too? I’m particularly lusting after these fab basketball shoes – cheaper than Converse and just as wearable for summertime (L-R: Floral t-shirt £24, Next; George at Asda Statement flower necklace £12 coming soon at Asda.com; Canvas basketball shoes £20, Next: Dalton Sunflower Shift Dress £24.99, Daisy Street, also available in orange/green; Floral Mac £28, Next):

Floral fashion from Next DaisyStreet and George at Asda

 

Hang on a minute…

15 May

l.blue-pegboard-large

I’m about to start on a loft conversion (a topic I’m sure I’ll bore you all silly with over the coming few months!) and the most exciting thing about it? It means I’ll be finally moving out of the desk in my spare room into my VERY OWN OFFICE!

And a pegboard is the very first thing I plan to put up in there. For those not in the know, a peg board is a handy way of storing things – it consists of a sheet of board with lots of holes in it, that you hang on the wall, then pop hooks into the holes to hang things off. Traditionally used in places such as garages or hardware shops, pegboards have been slowly but surely popping up in the homes of trendy folk for a while now, to hold everything from stationery, craft supplies and photos to jewellery and kitchen tools.

Dark-blue-pegboard-small

My talented arty friend Christine from Sew Yeah has two amazing pegboards – and I’ve been planning to make my own for a while. The idea is simple, you just get a sheet of ready-made pegboard cut to size from a timber merchant; add some wooden batons on the back; paint it whatever colour you like; then hang it on the wall (see Christine’s post about making them here).

Simple! Well, it would be if I ever got round to doing it. Which I haven’t. So, I was delighted to see that lovely homeware brand Rose & Grey (www.roseandgrey.co.uk) are launching a range of , erm, off the peg pegboards at affordable prices that are ready to hang, hooks-and-all!

pegboard-light-blue

Available in a choice of dark blue, light blue (my fave) or white, they include fixtures and fittings and come in two sizes: Small, £30 (30cm x 43cm with eight large pegs and four small pegs) or Large, £40 (59cm x 40.6cm with ten large pegs and five small pegs). You can get your hands on one from the 26th May…

Who knew getting organised could look so chic?!

pegboard-white-styled-2

 

Not so big Mac

8 May

mini faux macbok on a book

Looking for a present for a friend the other day, I came across these diddy faux MacBook Air mirrors.

Faithful copies of real Mac laptops, they’re actually tiny, cute cosmetic mirrors in disguise – perfect for popping in your bag or pocket and posing with when you need to check your makeup/check you haven’t got spinach in your teeth(!)

mini faux macbook air

I reckon they’d make the perfect gift for the techie, writer or designer in your life who seems to have everything.

Get yours from Amazon.co.uk – search under “MacBook Air mirror”. Available in white or silver grey, they’ll set you back £5.55 – £9.95 depending on the seller you buy from.

little macbook and big macbook

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