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WIN! Tickets to the Ideal Home show

2 Mar



The house next door to us is having a complete makeover, and as part of it, the owners have just installed full window shutters both in the living room and the bedroom. They look GORGEOUS and they’re making me deeply regret choosing curtains in my own bedroom. Bright and clean and the perfect blank canvas for loads of different colour combinations, shutters may not be super cheap, but when you consider the cost of made-to-measure curtains (not to mention the cost of dry cleaning them), they’re actually a sound investment. Not only do they look stylish, but they’re uber practical too, working as the modern (much nicer) equivalent of nets, keeping prying eyes out, but allowing the light to filter in.


As one of the big trends in interiors at the moment, shutters are set to feature centre-stage at this year’s Ideal Home Show, which runs from 18th March to 3rd April at Olympia in London. It’s all down to Thomas Sanderson – experts in shutters, window and conservatory blinds – who are the main sponsor of A Traditionally British Home, one of the full-size show homes at the event, styled by Linda Barker.

And to celebrate, they’re offering five lucky Treasure Hunter readers a pair of tickets each to visit the show. You’ll get to tour every room of the four-bed house to see the latest trends and colour-schemes, and get lots of inspiration from seeing Thomas Sanderson’s energy-saving shutters and clever automated window blinds in situ. Oh, and you’ll also have fun touring all the stalls and stands, watching demonstrations and doing a fair bit of shopping. My idea of heaven!

For your chance to win a pair of tickets, send me an email at with your name and postal address (to send the tickets to if you’re a winner); or tweet me @WoodyJen with your email address.
Winners will be drawn at random on 13th March, and the tickets will be sent out before the start of the show.
Good luck!
PS: To find out more about Thomas Sanderson’s beautiful window shutters, conservatory blinds and window blinds, visit; follow them on Twitter @tsblinds; or follow their Pinterest boards at
Thomas Sanderson - kitchen shutters


Please vote for me!

17 Nov


It’s awards season in the blogging world again, and I’m very excited to be nominated in this years’ blogging Oscars, the UK Blog Awards – in both the ‘Lifestyle’ and the ‘Most Innovative’ categories.

So, if you enjoy reading this blog as much as I enjoy writing it, I’d be honoured if you’d click on one (or both) of the below links and vote for me. Voting takes literally seconds – you just enter your name and email address – and would make me incredibly happy!

To vote for me in the ‘Lifestyle’ category, click here:

To vote for me in the ‘Most Innovative Blog’ category, click here:

If you only feel like voting once, please vote in the Lifestyle category. Voting closes on 3rd December.
Thank you!



Create a cosy reading nook… on a budget

20 Oct

Dunelm happy cushion

In the corner of my office is a lonely sofabed. I’ve been meaning to do something with it for a while (other than pile papers and magazines on it):

Dunelm red before

Then Dunelm, as part of their #MyDunelmBag campaign, challenged me to show how you can makeover an area of your home for just £50, using only homewares available instore or online at Dunelm‘s webite.

Everything they sell is such a bargain, it wasn’t difficult. With £50 to spend, you can easily transform an unloved area like the above into a cosy reading nook. The ingredients? A ‘Happy’ cushion £9.99 (made of good quality fabric, with a hidden zip and sky-blue underside – a total steal!), supersoft Basketweave throw £17.49 (also available in red), cute owl table lamp £12.99, Folk floral barrel mug £2.49, Cosy Skandi side plate £1.99 and a 1L Kilner preserving jar (which I’ve used to store pens) £2.99. The only thing I added other than these was an old crate, which I used as a side/table/mini bookcase (although Dunelm also sell lovely white painted new crates like these from just £5.99 here).

And here’s the end result:

Dunelm red after2

It’s a friendly, welcoming space I actually want to spend time in. What’s more, the grand total came to just £47.94. Not bad, eh!

Feeling inspired? You can win a whopping £250 in Dunelm vouchers by taking photos of your recent Dunelm purchases and sharing them online with the #mydunelmbag hashtag on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram before the 28th October 2014.

Happy shopping/snapping!





On your Marks, set the table, go! WIN £200 of Marks and Spencer vouchers

20 Dec


One of the MANY things I love about this time of year is laying the Christmas table. Growing up, I’d spend ages folding festive paper napkins into pretty shapes and throwing table confetti around like a crazy person.

So, I’m very excited to have been asked to help launch and co-judge a new nationwide bloggers’ competition with Marks & Spencer in which you can win £200 of M&S goodies (or one of two £50 runners-up prizes). All you need to do is write a blog entry explaining how you’d create a gorgeous table scheme for Christmas, New Year or any other special occasion, using M&S accessories.

To give you some inspiration, I’ve laid up my dream Christmas table with the help of the lovely people at M&S…

IMG_0992_ammended warm

Getting this look is EASY. The key is to stick to two main colours plus an accent shade (I’ve chosen red and white with splashes of green); and one or two themes or motifs throughout (I’ve gone for a Scandi feel with snowflakes). Making your table look pretty doesn’t have to cost much either – I’ve decorated a mini tree with ribbons and pine cones…


…used pine cones and rosemary sprigs in a glass cake stand as a centrepiece; and used rosemary and ribbon to jazz up some plain white napkins:


I’ve also cheated iwth a wrapping paper tablecloth. It goes well with the red and white, and after the meal I can just pop it in the recycling bin – no washing or ironing required! As for the chairs, I’ve simply tied on baubles with ribbon – simple but effective:


Want to recreate this look? Everything in these pictures, apart from the white plates and cutlery came from Marks and Spencer (okay, the pine cones came from a tree in my neighbour’s garden, but you get the idea!)

Fancy having a go yourself and winning a fab prize? Here’s everything you need to enter the competition…

Bloggers, would you like to win £200 to spend on brand new tableware at M&S?

If your answer is ‘Yes!’ and you have a flair for interior design, then why not enter our Magical Dining Room Competition! To be in with a chance of winning all you have to do is create a blog post that shows what your dream dining room would look like, and how you would add a little magical and sparkle for a special occasion.

If you are posting before Christmas then you may like to include some of M&S’ festive tableware in your post. If you are posting in the New Year then let us know what items you would pick for a special dinner party.

What you need to do:

  1. Hop on over to the home section at to started
  2. Choose your favourite products from the M&S Homeware collection (e.g. a dining room table, chairs, crockery and festive tableware)
  3. Create a mood board to show us what your dream dining room would look like and post on your blog. (You can use a tool like Polyvore or Paint to create a mood board, or just cut and paste product pics into your post). Here’s what my original moodboard looked like: M&S Christmas table selection
  4. Name your post: My M&S Magical Dining Room.
  5. Make sure you include the product name and price for each item you choose.
  6. Add the link to your post in the comments section of one of the judges’ blog posts by the 26 January 2014

Here are some useful pages that you may like use to find inspiration and reference in your post:

Who’s judging?

M&S has asked me and Jen of Love Chic Living to judge the entries and Jen is also running the competition over on her blog, so you can choose whether you enter here or there.

Jen and I will choose one overall winner from all of the entries and two runners up. The main winner will be awarded a £200 gift voucher and the two runners up will each win £50 to spend at M&S. We will announce the winners on our blogs two weeks after the competition closes.

The competition closes on 26th January at 11.59pm


WIN spooktacular prizes!

14 Oct

Wilko Halloween paper chains bigCall me a wimp, but I’ve never been a fan of skulls, spiders and blood at Hallowe’en (erm, or the rest of the year, come to think of it) – I much prefer jolly fat pumpkins, friendly ghosts, stripy-stockinged witches, symmetrical bats and the like…

So, when it comes to choosing Hallowe’en decorations, I have to sift through a lot of gore to find stuff I fancy. This year, I’ve found just what I’m looking for at one of my favourite shops, Wilko ( for those of you without a store nearby).

My top pick for this year is their awesome terracotta pumpkin lantern, above, £5. He’s just the right side of evil, and means you don’t have to faff about with spoons and squelchy innards – just pop in a tealight and he’s ready to greet trick or treaters.

I also like the fun paper chains, above (£1 for a pack of small ones or £2 for jumbo ones); the cute wreath, £4 and treat bucket, 50p…

Wilko Halloween wreath £4

… also the stylish Raven tealight bags, £3; and string lights, £4 for ten…

Wilko Halloween tea light bags (flattened)

… and the black glitter Happy Hallowe’en sign, £2.50 for the door; and the sweet little cookie cutters, £2.50 for three.

Wilko Halloween Sign Happy Halloween Glitter Black - £2.50

What’s more, the very kind people at Wilko have given me a box of these goodies, pictured below, to give away to one lucky Treasure Hunter reader! All you have to do is answer the question below, and email me (with the address to send your prize if you win*) at by Wednesday 23rd October. The winner will be picked at random and receive their goodies in time for Hallowe’en**.

Fill in the blank in this name of a children’s cartoon character:
“xxxxxxxxx the friendly ghost”

a) Swayze
b) Caspar
c) Buster

Wilko Halloween competition prizes

TRICK OR TREAT! One reader will win all this

Oh, and while we’re on the subject of competitions, CONGRATULATIONS to Laura Brockway, the winner of my competition to win eight knobs from Trinca-Ferro (; and Conny Tam, the runner-up, who receives two knobs of her choosing.

*UK readers only I’m afraid. **As long as Royal Mail deliver it on time!

Get your colouring pencils out!

7 Oct


I love a good competition – and this one is particularly brilliant. Brabantia, makers of upmarket pedal bins and kitchen accessories, have launched a contest to create a new design for their tea/coffee/sugar canisters.
The prize is a VIP trip for two to the Salone Internazionale del Mobile in Milan (a swanky design show); but even more excitingly, you get to see your design adorning everything from biscuit tins to bread bins all over the world.
To enter, simply follow the instructions at For inspiration, Brabantia ran a competition to design a pedal bin a while ago – the winning patterns are above and below.
Art and design not your forte? You can still have fun browsing the entries and voting for your favourites at the same address.


WIN and transform your drawers!

16 Sep

yellow floral knob

Regular readers might remember I wrote about Trinca-Ferro recently (, a fab little company selling all kinds of beautiful yet bargainous drawer and door knobs in every colour under the sun, for around £2 – £3 each.

Well, now you can win some of their lovely wares!

One lucky reader will get to choose eight knobs (all from the same design or eight different designs, it’s up to you) from the Trinca-Ferro website – enough to jazz up a chest of drawers. And that’s not all. One runner-up will also get to choose two knobs – enough to do up a cupboard or a bedside table.

Entering is simple. Just email me at with the answer to the question below…

What is a Trinca-Ferro?
a) a bobble hat
b) a bird
c) a dance move invented by Miley Cyrus

…along with a line about which is your favourite knob design on the Trinca-Ferro website and why. Oh, and don’t forget to include the address to send your prize if you’re lucky enough to win. The winner will be chosen at random on 2nd October from all the correct entries received.


PS: Can’t wait for the closing date? Get 20% off across the Trinca-Ferro website until 3rd October 2013 by entering code CLOSER20 at the online checkout. My top tips? The retro acrylic button knobs, below, available in a rainbow of colours. Happy shopping!

55550007-Acrylic-Retro- Button Knob-Red -Vera



The perfect colour – nailed!

23 Apr

Mavala nail polishes brights

Back when I was a student, the only nail polish colours you could buy in Boots and Superdrug were boring pinks and reds. However, there was one brand, Spectacular, sold in independent chemists and clothes shops, that bucked the trend. It came in a rainbow of colours and everything cost just £1, so my friends and I would change our polish every few days, trying out everything from metallic royal blue (which became my signature colour) to neon yellow.

Sadly, Spectacular is no more, but thankfully its legacy lives on – you can buy nail varnish in every colour and finish under the sun. It just costs a bit more than £1. My  favourite brand is Mavala – their on-trend polishes come in cute 5ml bottles that never seem to dry up, look great on your dressing table, and cost a reasonable £4.50 each.

So, I was very excited to hear about their new competition – to create your very own bespoke nail colour. They’re challenging the public to take a photo of something – anything from a handbag to car paintwork – in a colour they’d love to be able to wear on their nails. Three lucky winners will have their suggestions turned into nail varnishes and sold across the UK later this year.

My entry? Saturday’s gorgeous blue cloudless sky, below – it’d be like having the essence of summer on your fingertips (and besides, I think it’s time I upgraded my signature blue to a slightly classier shade).

Blue sky with cherry blossom taken by the Treasure Hunter UK

Want to have a go? Simply take a photo of anything you’d love to see recreated as a nail varnish and post it on Twitter with the hashtag #thatsmycolour (copying in @MavalaUK) or visit Mavala’s Facebook page at and post it there. Be quick though – the competition closes on 5th May.

Good luck!

Mavala delicious pastel nail polishes varnishes

Win! A stylish designer print

25 Jan butterfly print by Avalisa

I’ve discussed many times on this blog the fact that cool wall art needn’t be costly if you know where to look.

And one of the best places to go picture shopping is They have literally thousands of prints of famous paintings to photos and iconic posters – simply type in what you’re looking for (from specific names/artists to vague searches such as ‘Paris’) and away you go.

I’ve used the site to buy illustrations for a child’s nursery (The Elephant and the Frog by French artist Nathalie Choux,£9.99, below) and prints by famous Japanese artist Ando Hiroshige for my bedroom (such as View from Satta Suruga, £5.99, also below).

Most prints come in a variety of sizes and prices, and you can order them unframed, framed, laminated or on canvas. Framing is cheaper (and less hassle) than at a bespoke framer, but you can always just buy a print and display them in your own Ikea frame; with some chunky bulldog clips at the corners; or by pasting them onto blank canvases bought from an art supplies shop.

nathalie-choux-the-elephant-and-the-frog £9.99


What’s more, but the guys who work there are incredibly helpful. This week, I was in touch with them while researching a magazine feature, and they’ve kindly offered to give one lucky (UK-based) blog reader a stylish large yellow butterfly print by graphic designer Avalisa, above. It’s 36 x 46cm, comes in a black ‘Soho’ frame, and framed like this would cost £44.99.

I reckon it’d look lovely anywhere from a kitchen to a sunny living room to a fun kids’ room.

To be in with a chance of winning, simply email me at with the address you’d like the print sent to should you win, and a line saying what you like most about this blog. The closing date is 6pm next Friday 1st February. I’ll announce the winner the following Monday!


10 May

Well done to the winners of my two recent competitions:

Betty Amazing wins the lovely teal ‘Secret Garden’ cafetiere from La Cafetiere.

Chrissy Shorrocks wins the set of four designer Method handwashes.

Watch out for more competitions and giveaways soon!

I wanna hold your handwash

16 Apr
Last weekend, while staying at my parents’ house, I noticed a fancy handwash by their sink. It was a pretty turquioise colour, had a fab teardrop-shaped bottle, and smelt lovely. I expected it to be some expensive beauty brand, so I was pleasantly surprised to find it cost just £2.49.
Turns out it’s one of a range of gel handwashes from eco-friendly company Method. There are five fresh scents/colours available, including pink grapefruit, cucumber and lavender; and they all contain skin-kind natural cleansers. It makes a nice change from all the antibacterial skin-stripping handwashes that are around at the moment. Oh, and the bottles (which were created by top product designer Karim Rashid) are recyclable too. You can (ahem) get your hands on one  in Sainsburys, Tesco, Superdrug, John Lewis, Homebase, Waitrose or at And if you like them on Facebook ( apparently they’ve got some treats coming up in the near future.
WIN! Talking of treats, I have a set of all four Method fragrances to give away. Just email me at with your name and a line about why you deserve to win. Oh, and include the address I should send them to if you get lucky!
PS: And while we’re on the subject of handwashes, I’m also planning to buy a bottle of Helping Hand Wash by Trilogy, £13.50 for 300ml. It’s not a bargain, but that’s the point – 100% of the profits go to the Child’s i Foundation (, which is helping to stop child abandonment in Uganda.
Packaged in a pretty brown and teal glass pump-action bottle, it smells amazing, as it’s made with frankincense, rose geranium and lavender oils.
It’s available from or larger John Lewis, Boots or House of Fraser stores. As it’s sold out once already, and this is a new batch, if you want one you’d better get your grubby mitts on it quick!

WIN! A designer cafetiere

10 Apr

The bank holiday is over, so here’s something to cheer you up! Back on 21st March, I featured some gorgeous new designer La Cafetière coffee presses – well, now, thanks to the lovely people at La Cafetière, I have one of the classy Secret Garden models, worth £31.95 to give away!

With a teal metallic sleeve, decorated with laser cut birds and branches, it can make up to eight cups of coffee at a time, and comes in a matching gift box. It’d make a great wedding or birthday present for a coffee fan – if you can bear to part with it, that is!

The lucky winner will be chosen at random from all subscribers on Friday 27th April. So, to be in with a chance of winning this lovely prize, simply subscribe to this blog by clicking on the “Subscribe” box to the right, and then clicking again on the link in the confirmation email you’re sent.
If you’re already a subscriber (thank you!) you don’t have to do anything at all – you’ll automatically be entered in the draw.

PS: Can’t wait for the closing date? You can buy La Cafetiere presses, from £14, at or

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