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Spot the difference!

3 Nov img_5540

img_5540

I’m a cleaning product junkie. My under-sink cupboard is crammed with mysterious potions, and I love a good browse of the Lakeland catalogue. But if I had to choose just one product to beat them all, it would be the sexily-named Kilrock K2R Stain Remover Spray.

Seriously, it’s a miracle worker. No matter what you’ve spilt on your top/jeans/skirt, this handy little spray will remove it.

You simply spritz it all over the stain, where it quickly turns into a white powder. Leave it sitting there overnight (ideally for 24 hours), then brush off any excess powder (don’t worry if it looks like the stain is still there) and pop your garment into the washing machine as normal. I’ve used it on oil, fruit stains, makeup, curry, balsamic vinegar… you name it, it’ll vanish.

It’s saved so many of my clothes (not to mention my kids’ tops). It’s even removed seemingly-indelible stains that were over a year old.

As well as washable fabrics, it’s also designed to remove marks – particularly oily ones – from dry-clean-only fabrics, and non-washable upholstery. You spray it on, leave it to work, then firmly brush it all off.

It’s £4.80 for a can on Amazon.co.uk (where it has some very impressive reviews), and I guarantee once you’ve tried it, you’ll be back to buy another!

 

 

 

 

Hang it all!

25 Feb Desk pegboard (pic courtesy TheTreasureHunterUK.com)

Desk pegboard (pic courtesy TheTreasureHunterUK.com)

Back in May last year, I posted about lusting after a pegboard for my home office. A cross between a pinboard and a shop display board, pegboards are essentially flat bits of wood with holes in them, into which you push small pegs or clips to hold or hang stuff from.

Traditionally used to organise tools or products in shops, they’re now making their way into our homes and being used to tidy up stationery, craft supplies, jewellery and even kitchen bits…

You can make your own (and the talented Christine over at Sewyeah blog has an easy tutorial) but if you’re lazy/busy like me, you can buy one ready-made. Block Design (Block Design) have a good selection, in white, yellow, blue or printed with a world or UK map design, priced from £25 for a mini board to £60 for a large one.

I went the lazy route and bought a large white one, above, and I LOVE it! It makes me feel super-organised just by looking at it.

My top tip if you have a lot of stuff to hang is to make your own pegs. The boards come with a few, and you can buy extras, but they’re not cheap. I just got a long piece of dowel rod from B&Q for a couple of quid and chopped it into inch-long pieces with a hacksaw. You could paint the pegs if you liked, but I’ve left mine bare (as I say, I’m lazy!).

Feeling inspired? Here are some other ideas for using your pegboard:

Monochrome pegboard (pic by fabricpaperglue.com)

Above: Monochrome peg board by Fabricpaperglue.com

Workspace pegboard (pic by thedesignfiles.net)

Above: Workspace pegboard by Thedesignfiles.net

Craft room pegboard (pic by craft-o-maniac.com)

Above: Craft room pegboard by Craft-o-maniac.com

Below: Yellow peg board by Block Design

Yellow pegboard £25 (mini) to £65 (large) Blockdesign.co.uk

 

 

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!

 

 

 

 

Never judge a book by its cover

9 Oct

bookshelf

Spot anything unusual about the bookshelf above? No? Then read on…

Last week, I spent an entire evening hunting for my driver’s licence. I eventually found it down the back of a drawer. This isn’t unusual – in fact, I regularly spend hours looking for important things such as passports, credit cards, etc. Thing is, I don’t like putting vital documents in easy-to-find places, in case someone found them who shouldn’t.

So, I was thrilled to find a way to a) stop losing things; b) keep important stuff safe; and c) finally SORT MY LIFE OUT.

The answer? A secret book storage box, from new online gift and homes boutique, Flitty Bird (www.flittybird.co.uk). From the outside, it looks like, well, a book. But open it up and it’s a sturdy MDF box with magnetic closure, that stores all those vital bits and bobs while keeping them safe from prying eyes. Genius, eh?

book box shut

There are three designs to choose from, and they cost a really reasonable £12 each (or £30 for a set of three):

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If you want to get one of your own, you might fancy a browse at the other stuff available on the site too. There are some lovely gifts and homewares, including this handy Bloomingville basket £19.99; Grumpy Bear china drawer knob £17 (expensive but SO cute); set of eight Omm design matchboxes £8.99; a clever QR code cushion £19.99; and these fun ‘Yours/Mine/Guests’ hooks, £7.99 each (bottom)…

bloomingville_basket_with_handle flittybird

bloomingville_hooks_3 flittybird

 

Bin somewhere nice?

3 Sep

233137013

As I’ve mentioned before on this blog, there’s a distinct lack of good-looking wastepaper baskets on the market these days. For some reason, most of the bin designs out there are a bit, well, rubbish.

However, good old John Lewis (www.johnlewis.com) has addressed the problem. I’m after a bin for my office, and the new green wire one from their ‘House’ collection, £15 (above, left) is perfect. Okay, so the on-trend wire design may not be any good if you regularly throw away small things like paperclips, or anything that might spill, but it will look arty with crumpled up paper inside.

There’s a yellow version too, for £20 (it seems you have to pay £5 for the luxury of handles!).

Want one? You can get the green one here and the yellow one here.

 

 

Make a date

7 Aug

 

kikkerland calendar box on its own

Ever feel you’re so busy you don’t know what day it is? Well, with this super cool gizmo you’ll have no excuse.

Designed by trendsters Kikkerland, it looks like some kind of mid-century board game, but is in fact a handy calendar. Just place it on your shelf/desk/mantlepiece or hang it on a wall; then turn the coloured knobs to set the day, date and month.

What’s more, the front slides off to reveal a secret little box for things you want to keep safe, such as your keys, tickets or even your phone. I fell in love with it the minute I saw it, and have just invested in one for my new desk.

The Kikkerland Calendar Box costs £16.80 from Fred Aldous – they’ve just sold out (I must have bought the last one!) but they’re coming back in stock any day and there’s a form on their site that you can fill in to reserve yours. Alternatively, several Ebay sellers have new ones for sale too.

Kikkerland calendar box with hand

Nice and pen tidy

31 Jul

desk tidy

We’re nearing the end of our loft conversion project (hallelujah!), which means I can stop thinking about things like plastering and electrics, and start the fun part – kitting out my new home office.

First on the list is storage – for everything from my stacks of magazines to the little things like pens and pencils. In a dream world, I’d get a Uten Silo wall organiser, designed by Vitra (above, pic courtesy of MarthaStewart.com), which is AMAZING, but as it costs £217 to £269 in red, black or white at Heals; or £227 at Nest (gulp!), sadly that’s just a pipe dream at the moment.

So, I’ve been looking for other options. Which brings me to pen pots. When I went to a the launch of a fab new homes website Joss & Main recently, they were encouraging journalists to decorate their own pen tidy using Sharpie pens on unglazed tealight holders. I think the idea was that we’d all create something very stylish, but as I had my two-year-old with me, I decided to let him lose on my one instead. The results are below. It’s not going to win any design prizes, but I love it, and it’s going to have pride of place on my new desk. It’s a great idea for anyone with kids – they could even make them as gifts for friends and grandparents:

Sam's DIY pen pot

Of course, you can store pens in anything, from tin cans to mugs, but if you don’t like the idea of making your own (and you either don’t have or hate kids, so the above idea doesn’t appeal!), there are surprisingly few stylish pen pots out there. Most are either really boring and functional, or naff.

However, you do have options. I’ve fallen in love with these fun – and incredibly bargainous – Hop 2 pen pots, just £2 each from Tesco Direct. I’m definitely going to get a couple for my new desk:

Hop 2 School Pencil Pot £2 each Tesco

This pencil sharpener-shaped pot by Suck UK (£15, below) is brilliant, too. And if you want your pen pot to be useful but unobtrusive, I like the simplicity of this Osco 5 Tube Acrylic Pen Pot, £6 by John Lewis:

Pencil Sharpener Desk Tidy £15 suck.uk.com

If you have any other ideas for pen-management, I’d love to hear about them!

 

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

 

Well planner-ed

24 Feb

lollipop designs wall planner

Last month, the talented Christine at Sew Yeah blog wrote an entry about wall planners. You can read it here.

Well, I’ve finally gotten round to sorting out the pile of papers that is my desk, and to celebrate, I’ve invested in one of her suggestions, the 2014 Wall Year Planner, £14, from Lollipop Designs (www.lollipopdesigns.co.uk).

I love the funky typography, the constellation background and the muted pastel colours and think it looks very smart indeed at the side of my desk…

photo (18)

What’s more, I’m hopeful it’s going to keep me incredibly organised for the next 12 months (admittedly, this is asking a lot).

Fancy getting your life in order too? You can buy one of your own  here. And while you’re there, I’d recommend taking a gander at the cute origami notelets, sweet sticky labels and fun parcel tape too (pictured below). I dare you to leave the site empty handed!

self adhesive labels animals

Who you gonna call? Dustbusters!

16 Jan

Dyson DC59 with pole upright

The problem with most vacuum cleaners is that they’re bulky, heavy… and if like me you store them under the stairs, they involve a lot of faffing about before you get anywhere near the dust you’re trying to bust.

And handheld ones aren’t much better. While they’re lighter, smaller and more portable than ones with cords; they have such a feeble amount of suction you often end up getting the bigger model out of the cupboard anyhow.

At least, that’s what I thought, until I was asked to test out ten of the newest vacuum cleaners for a newspaper recently (read about it here). One of the models I borrowed to test was the Dyson DC59 Animal – a handheld vac that claims to be as powerful as a Formula One racing car, with as much suction as a ‘normal’ other-brand vacuum cleaner:

Dyson DC59 walking with it

So, did it live up to expectations? Surprisingly, yes. In fashionable purple and silver, it looks like something from Star Trek, and lives in a charging/docking station you can fix to a wall in your kitchen, hall or understairs cupboard. When you want to start cleaning, you simply pick it up and go. It has several attachments, including a handy pole-like extension (pictured above, for cleaning while you walk and reaching cobwebs); a crevice tool for getting into nooks and crannies; and a brilliant brush that cleaned two flights of stairs in a matter of minutes (it honestly revolutionised my life!). It picked up an amazing amount of debris and emptied at the flick of a switch afterwards. I loved it so much I even found myself cleaning places like the car and behind the sofa, just because it was so satisfying!

Dyson DC59 on a sofa

In fact, I only have two complaints. Firstly, I needed to poke a pencil or chopstick into the bin section to get the last bits of dust and fluff out (not a big deal, but still…) and secondly, the price. It costs around £349 at places such as Curry’s and John Lewis. Ouch. Mind you, with good ordinary corded vacuum cleaners coming in at around £200 or upwards, maybe that’s not so bad after all. One for this year’s Christmas and birthday lists combined, perhaps?!

PS: I also tried out the Gtech Multi handheld vacuum cleaner, below:

Gtech multi with pole

It does a very similar job to the Dyson handheld and even has an exciting light on the front to help you see under the sofa/behind the TV etc. It hasn’t got a docking station (you just plug it into the mains to charge) and doesn’t have as much suction as the dirt-gobbling Dyson; however at £149, it’s a good, cheaper alternative for spot cleans and quick spruce-ups. You’d probably still need to use an ordinary vacuum for bigger areas or more thorough dust-busting session though (in fact, Gtech recommend you buy a Multi and one of their handy cordless AirRam ‘normal’ vacuum machines together – I know, they would, wouldn’t they?! – for £299. saving £79 on buying them separately). You can read more and/or buy one from Gtech direct here or from John Lewis here.

Gtech multi with AirRam

Quids in at Christmas

16 Dec

Poundland Christmas tree CD

I watched a TV programme the other day that said the average person will spend nearly £900 preparing for Christmas this year. Yikes. I don’t think I spend quite that much, but like most people, I know I could definitely do with tightening my financial belt in a little.

But while £900 is a bit excessive, is it possible to buy everything you need to prepare for Christmas for just £20? That’s the challenge the lovely people at Poundland set me – the idea being you don’t have to spend a fortune when it comes to all those little extras that seem to add up at this time of year.

So, with a £20 voucher in my over-excited hand (Thanks Poundland – who knew they did vouchers?!) I went on my very own trolley dash round my local store.

And do you know what? It’s actually quite hard to spend that much in Poundland – even for a bargain hunter like me. So I easily managed to get all my festive essentials and more…

DECORATIONS:

Poundland Christmas decorations

I like Poundland’s tinsel – it’s £1 for a 2m strip and it’s not that weedy, thin stuff either. It’s thick, bushy and over-the-top sparkly! I also picked up these pretty mirrored tree decorations; some sparkly glitter snowflakes and some battery-powered star-shaped lights to pop in my fireplace.

WRAPPING KIT AND TASTY TREATS:

Poundland Christmas wrapping kitPoundland’s wrapping paper is a decent thickness, unisex design and what’s more, there’s a staggering 10 metres of it on a roll. I also stocked up on ribbon – four reels plus 12 bows again all for just £1. For those hard-to-wrap or last-minute gifts, I got a pack of three gift bags printed with happy snowmen and Santas; and a really sturdy post box-shaped wine carrier.
Christmas is the perfect excuse to stuff your face, so I splashed out on a box of liqueur chocolates; a Toblerone; and a pack of six teacakes which I plan to stack on a glass cake stand as a table centrepiece.

TO KEEP THE KIDS AMUSED AND ESSENTIAL BITS’N’BOBS:

Poundland Christmas kids stuff

Then, to keep my son and his little friends busy while I’m doing important things like scoffing mince pies – sorry, preparing the Christmas dinner – I got a huge pack of felt tip pens; a sweet little colour-your-own festive bag; and some old skool paper chains.
Slightly less excitingly, I looked for those mundane but necessary things like batteries and sticky tape. Buying these somewhere cheap like Poundland means you have more cash to spend on the fun stuff. So, I added a jumbo pack of batteries; a four-pack of tape; a good quality clip-top box (for all those leftovers); a pretty box of tissues and even a pack of four plain white cotton napkins (I’ve seen similar for £6 each on the high street!) to my basket.

Oh, and finally, as the soundtrack to Christmas, I picked up a cheesetastic  three-disc CD, Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree (top), with loads of traditional festive tunes (sung by the original singers, rather than cover versions). It goes for nearly a tenner online, so that’s officially the best bargain of the lot.

My verdict? I was impressed by the quality of things such as the batteries and snap-top box; and pleasantly surprised by how nice the wrapping paper, paper chains and tinsel were. People tend to pooh-pooh bargain stores like Poundland, but if you look carefully, you can find some real gems. And if you’re buying essentials like sticky tape or tissues, it’d be silly to buy them for more.

Dishes of the day

2 Dec

Flamingogifts rabbit jewellery dish

What’s this? A classy-looking, useful gift that almost any woman is guaranteed to like, but that costs under a tenner?!

Yep, I couldn’t believe it either when I stumbled across these really lovely dinky jewellery dishes from http://www.flamingogifts.co.uk. At around 10cm across, they’re the perfect size for stashing rings, earrings, pendants, trinkets or even a watch, either at bedtime or when you’re doing the washing up.

Flamingogifts squirrel jewellery dish

And with a rabbit, squirrel, deer and owl (sitting on a lotus flower by the looks of it) to choose from, there’s a cute animal or bird design to suit everyone. You can even get a dish with a golden bird/robin on top, for glamorous girls who like a bit of added glitz.

Flamingogifts gold robin jewellery dish

I’m planning to get them for several friends this Christmas, and I’ve put the sparky little rabbit on my wishlist. Want one of your own? If you, ahem, hop to it, there’s 20% off everything at Flamingo Gifts until midnight today, meaning the owl and deer are a bargainous £5.59 (instead of £6.99) each;  the rabbit and gold robin are £7.99 (instead of £9.99); and the squirrel is £6.39 instead of £7.99.

Happy shopping!

Have your cake and store it!

2 Apr

Orla Kiely cake tins set of 5 £35 John Lewis

It was my birthday the other week, and some of my lovely friends clubbed together and got me John Lewis vouchers, as they know I’m slightly obsessed with pretty much everything they sell.

So, what did I spend them on? Well, I’ve been coveting this set of gorgeous cake and biscuit tins by Orla Kiely for some time, so I treated myself!

There are five tins in total, each in one of Orla’s signature retro-style prints, including a really large tin that’s great for Christmas cakes and other huge items. They look fantastic in my kitchen and match the colours on my blinds brilliantly (not that this matters, but it makes me love them even more). You can stack them inside each other when not in use, but quite frankly, they look far to pretty to hide away.

The whole set of five costs £35, which is actually fairly reasonable considering there are so many of them and they’re a bona fide designer item.

In fact, they’ve already had so many admiring comments, that the next time someone who loves baking (or just eating) cakes gets married, I’ll invest in a set for them too – I reckon they’d make a fantastic and unusual wedding gift.

Orla Kiely cake tins in two piles

Keep your powder dry

15 Mar

Debenhams 2013-02-28

When I did up my kitchen recently, I got a bit obsessed with storage. And one of the things that has particularly revolutionised my life has been putting my washing powder into a special tin (I know, I know – I don’t get out much).

Before I got the tin, I kept my powder in it’s original cardboard box, under the sink or by the washing machine. Aside from the fact it didn’t look that attractive, it always managed to get soggy on the bottom, and the powder inside would get stuck together in big clumps that I’d have to whack the box hard to get out.

Now I have a tin with a scoop inside, I use every last bit of powder as it all stays dry and never goes solid. Plus, the tin sits proudly on my worktop, looking classy. It’s the little things that make a difference, see?!

If you want to be as anal as me, there are some fab tins around at the moment. Designer Ben de Lisi has created a lovely retro one, £18, above, as part of his new range for Debenhams (which also includes  a matching ironing board cover and a laundry organiser tin) out at the end of this month.

On a similar retro theme are these vintage-style tins (the OMO one is my favourite), just £11.50 each, from Amazon (www.amazon.co.uk):

OMO Adds brightness washing powder tin £11.50 www.amazon.co.uk

Want something in a calmer colour? These lovely tins are also from Amazon and include a handy scoop (grey, £14.95; cream £13.95):

Vintage washing powder laundry powder tin in slate grey £14.95 amazon.co.uk

This one’s a good present for anyone who’s laundry-phobic (£22.46, http://www.temptationgifts.com):

Washing powder tin The Bright Side £22.45

And if you fancy splashing  out, this gorgeous white tin and scoop costs £32 from Cox & Cox (www.coxandcox.co.uk):

Washing Powder box £32 Cox and Cox

Finally, if you like the idea of a laundry powder tin but want to spend less than a tenner, this fun washing machine-shaped one is just £6.99, again from Amazon:

Washing powder storage tin Koopman international washing machine shaped £6.99 amazon.co.uk

Tray chic

22 Feb

zinc memoboard 40x20cm £20 roseandgrey.co.uk

I’ve been looking for just the right kind of noticeboard for the wall of my home office for a while. It needs to be useful, yet look stylish too, as my office is really just a grand name for our spare room.

And I think I’ve found just the thing.

This Zinc Memo Board, £20, from Rose and Grey (www.roseandgrey.co.uk), looks like a chi-chi zinc tray – the kind you’d get drinks served on in a backstreet Parisian bar – and comes with a hanging rope loop and ten little magnets to hold all those important notes, cards and reciepts in check.

Don’t like the rectangular one? They’ve got round ones too, for the same, very reasonable price.

It had sold out completely, but the nice people at Rose and Grey tell me they’ve just received a new delivery – so they’re all stocked up and ready to go.

Send in the clouds

18 Feb

Cloud eraser and pencil set

I’ve recently started working from home*, and to get myself in the right frame of mind, I’m trying to make my office space (erm, a desk in the spare room!) as welcoming, fun and lovely as possible.

While searching for nice stationery – a favourite pastime of mine – I discovered a new mini trend: clouds. I love their jolly rounded shape, and the fact they’ll bring a bit of the outside in for those times when I’m chained to my computer.

So, here’s my pick of the best cloud-shaped accessories around at the moment. Maybe best to stick to just one or two in a room though – you don’t want things to get too over-cloud-ed, do you?!

TOP:
Cloud Pencil Eraser Set, £10, http://www.suck.uk.com – I LOVE this as it includes a rainbow too. The only problem is that the giant cloud-shaped eraser is too pretty to use!

BELOW:
Magnetic keyholder, £20, http://www.suck.uk.com – keys stick ‘magically’ to this handy keyholder, and look like rain. Genius! It’s stylish and unassuming even when not in use, and would go well in any room in the house.

Cloud magnetic key holder suck uk

Design Ideas Cloud Magnet Memo, £24.95 John Lewis, http://www.johnlewis.com
This clever write-on/wipe-off memo board is also magnetic and would look particularly lovely on a coloured wall.

cloud memo board john lewis

Luckies Sunnyside Egg Shaper, £7.95, http://www.luckies.co.uk or http://www.suck.uk.com
Place in your frying pan, then pop a yolk into the ‘sun’ section and the white into the ‘cloud’ – voila! (NB: want a quick way to separate egg whites and yolks? Crack an egg onto a plate, then gently lower the open neck of an empty water bottle over the yolk – it creates a vacuum and sucks it up! Then you can transfer it easily in the bottle to your pan).

Cloud sunnyside in pan

Cloud necklaces, from £6, http://www.Etsy.com and http://www.notonthehighstreet.com
Ok, so these won’t decorate your home, but they’re so sweet I thought I’d include them anyhow! Just seach for ‘cloud necklace’ on Etsy or Notonthehighstreet.com and there’s a huge range to choose from. Lovely! (on the left is an antique silver finish cloud by thewoodlandburrow on Etsy for £6.64/$10; on the right is Blue Raindrop Silver Cloud necklace by SUNnMOONcafe on Etsy, £21.58/$32.50)

silver cloud necklace thewoodlandburrow on etsy £6.64 or $10

*If you’re interested, you can check out my new ‘professional’ website here: http://www.jennywood.co.uk

All the right notes

7 Dec

note-to-self-pad-by-knock-knock

As I’ve revealed before on this blog, I’m one of those people who appears incredibly organised, but who is secretly flailing around beneath the surface.

The only thing that stops me from revealing just how scatterbrained I am? Notes and lists. Lots of ’em. On my phone, on the fridge, in my bag, on the dining room table…

At the moment, they’re on random bits of paper, but after having seen the brilliant notepads from American designers Knock Knock, that’s about to change. They do a whole range of write-on-then-tear-off magnetic notepads, list-making mouse mat pads, and sticky notes for pretty much any situation, as well as handy task clips (bulldog clips) to keep your paperwork together. Not only are they all useful, they’re really funny, too.

The pads costs from £2.99 – £6.99 from http://www.mollieandfred.co.uk or from £2.95 at http://www.amazon.co.uk. In both cases, search under ‘knock knock’ to see the range.

PS: If you live in the USA, just visit http://www.knockknockstuff.com 

12430_Status_Pad

Knock Knock sticky set

we-need-to-talk-handdrawn-sticky-notes-by-knock-knocK

Recipe notes by knock knock

5 days a week mousepad notepad

Things you must do to make me happy note pad by knock knock

wtf-nifty-notes-by-knock-knock

Task clips by knock knock

Everything tin its right place

7 Nov

One of the best gifts I got for Christmas last year wasn’t something big and electrical, or silver and sparkly – it was a cute, small metal tin saying ‘Bits & Bobs’ on it (top), from my friend Zoe.

Zoe has known me for 21 years – since we were little – so she would have realised that it’s the perfect present for a hoarder like myself. It sits in my bedside drawer and is full of, you guessed it, useful bits and bobs, such as foreign coins, stamps, safety pins, single earrings and even some earplugs.

In fact, I love that tin so much that I researched where I could get another to give as a gift to someone else – and I discovered it’s part of a whole range by talented designer Rachel Ellen. There are four pocket-sized tins – each approx 8cm x 8cm x 2.5cm – to choose from: ‘Bits & Bobs’, ‘BonBons’, ‘Buttons’ and ‘Jewellery’ (all above). At  just £2.25 each, you could buy the set and completely organise your whole life!

Rachel doesn’t just design little tins though. She also makes a range of decent-sized larger tins, £6.95 each (below), too. You can choose from a Sewing tin, a Dog Treats tin, a ‘Glorious Lunch’ tin and a ‘Hair Accessories’ tin, amongst others. I’ve treated myself to the sewing tin to put all my cotton reels in, and very smart it looks too.

Want to get your hands on one? Both ranges are available from http://www.rachelellen.co.uk. You can also buy them from http://www.fruitsaladretro.co.uk or http://www.amazon.co.uk or http://www.thepeasknees.co.uk.

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