Wednesday, 30 September 2009

INTERIORS - My Latest Home Accessories

A beautiful gift from a friend... this silver, tea light holder is just perfect for my coffee table.

Black glass is very eighties, but is also a nice contrast on the dinner table. I snapped this jug up in a sample sale and it is ideal for serving iced cold water with a meal. With my clothes I like Power Dressing... so why not carry the theme through to my dining arrangements?

The last bunch of flowers I was given had to be displayed in a cocktail shaker (not classy)... now I have a pretty, chunky glass vase to show off my lovely flowers.

Saturday, 26 September 2009

FOOD - Looking Pretty on my Plate

I like my food to look as good as it tastes. In fact, I'm sure good-looking food generally tastes better anyway. More care has gone into preparing it. When I'm out and about, or just eating at home, sometimes I just have to take a photo of the pretty grub I've got in front of me. Here are a few of my latest snaps...

Cake spotted in the window of Caffe Concerto in Knightsbridge. Their cakes are more an art form than food stuff. Check them out if you're ever passing by that way.

Above are some pics of the cakes my friend and I devoured as a little birthday treat for me. I was first introduced to this patisserie, Maison Bertaux, by a Twitter friend and now I regularly take other people there. The cakes really are yumtastic and all priced about £4 each. You can find it in London on Greek Street, a short walk from Leicester Square.

I was in need of a healthy breakfast this morning so I seized the raspberries that were going a bit soft and threw them in the blender with some pro-biotic yoghurt and soya milk. I managed to get most of it down me, but definitely need to invest in a better blender to get more 'smooth' and less 'lump' in my smoothie. I reckon fellow blogger, Tamzin would be proud of me for attempting such a healthy (and nutritious) breakfast.

Monday, 14 September 2009

LUXURY - Jacuzzi's New Hot Tub

hot tub bathroom luxury
Jacuzzi UK, has announced the launch of its first UK hot tub that can be installed indoors or outdoors. The Jacuzzi® Unique hot tub incorporates a special overflow and emptying system that means it can be installed outdoors or indoors, built in or freestanding.

Multi-coloured underwater led lights create enchanting night effects while the water is in motion A new waterfall with a minimalist design operates with the hydromassage jets and 10 blowers Audio system with subwoofer, Bluetooth® device and Sony MP3 Player... OK so I can't afford it either, but imagine if you could.

The recommended retail price is around the £11,999 mark. That is almost as much as it costs to install a whole swimming pool! If the cost hasn't put you off, I'll continue... The three ergonomic seats each offer a different kind of hydro-massage experience.

Seat A
Two upper jets tone the medium-sized muscle groups in the back while two rotating flow jets massage the lower back area.

Seat B

Two jets designed for intense hydrotherapy reinvigorate the largest back muscles.


Two adjustable jets stimulate the foot area with a spiral of water and air that increases in strength while six jets intensely massage the neck and back, eliminating the tension built up during the day.

Installed inside or outside, the new Jacuzzi® Unique is perfect for unwinding after a hard day at the office or socialising with friends and family. Providing the recession has not hit you in the bank balance region that is.

Sunday, 13 September 2009

GIVEAWAY - Andrex Shea Butter Knickers (closed)

CONGRATUATIONS to Emma who won this giveway.

You must have seen the adverts by now for the new Andrex toilet tissue that is enriched with Shea butter, and if not I have included the video above for you. Shea butter Andrex is designed to be luxurious and rolls even have a scented core making them even more of a must-have for the girly bathroom.

To celebrate the launch of their new product, Andrex teamed up with designer Ayten Gasson to create some fabulous knickers. The knickers are made from fabric that has also been enriched with Shea butter giving them an extra silky touch. They come in a cute little ribbon-tied pouch and are made of pure silk.

You can buy a pair at and £5 from every pair sold will be donated to Look Good... Feel Better, a charity supporting women undergoing cancer treatment. See the knickers modelled below by Former Atomic Kitten, Liz McClarnon.

Find out more about Ayten Gasson

Giveaway Time!

I have 1 pair of the Ayten Gasson knickers to give away in size 10-12. To enter, simply email with your name and the subject line Andrex and I will pick a winner on Sunday 27th September 2009.

Wednesday, 9 September 2009

CHARITY - The Pandamonium Art Project for WWF

Images © Stonehouse Photographic / WWF-UK

Yesterday I took myself along to Selfridges for the launch of a rather special project. 'Pandamonium' is the brainchild of the design team at WWF UK who decided to get some talented artists on board willing to dedicate their time each creating something auction-worthy for the charity. The brief given to the artists was... brief - Reinvent the WWF panda and help spread the charity's message.

The wonderful pieces will be auctioned at the department store on 12th October and should raise a nice sum for the charity to continue its important work for our planet. The art is currently on display in the windows of the store for shoppers and would-be-buyers to sneak a peek.

Of course, the celebration of the art and the work the charity does was the highlight, although the mini panda cupcakes were memorable too. See them and the art on display in the slide show above. After careful consideration, I decided my favourite works were these:

charity art project nature pandaLot 5 - Jason Bruges Studio - Panda Eyes

charity art project nature pandaLot 8 - Jim Lambie - Sweet Bamboo

charity art project nature pandaLot 9 - Mark Tichner - You can't hate nature

WWF and the arts have always been intrinsically linked,” says WWF’s Head of Design Management, Georgie Bridge. “Our founder, Sir Peter Scott, was a painter and naturalist who developed the original panda logo nearly 50 years ago. It’s since become a globally-recognised symbol for conservation, a design heritage we are intensely proud of.”

If you get a chance to pop along to Selfridges to see the works on display, I really do recommend it. The video below gives an insight into the artists and their inspiration behind the work they did for the project.

Art images © Kulbir Thandi / WWF-UK / Jason Bruges Studio

Saturday, 5 September 2009

SHOPPING - The New IKEA Catalogue

new home furniture accessories
I am probably one of IKEA's biggest fans. I like nothing more than wandering round and getting inspired by the room layouts and products. But when you can't get to a store, there is always the catalogue. You may have seen the new one, but if you haven't yet had a chance you can view it online. The clever people at IKEA have even made it easier to zoom, capture images and share your favourite bits with ease. I definitely recommend you take a look.

Here are a few shots from the new catalogue to get you started...

new home furniture accessoriesnew home furniture accessoriesnew home furniture accessoriesnew home furniture accessories

Wednesday, 2 September 2009

EVENT - National Cupcake Week

To mark National Cupcake Week 2009 (14-19 September), MumsWhoBake is launching a brand new programme of cake decorating classes. Aimed at mums who enjoy baking but need a little help, the classes demonstrate simple techniques which can be learnt in just one session.

Starting at £30 per person, there are classes to suit all tastes, whether you want to create fancy cupcakes for the school fete or simply explore your creativity with lashings of buttercream icing. I may not be a mum but I think I need to sign up!

Vicki Hoskins, mother-of-three and founder of MumsWhoBake says, “Our hands-on classes strip back cake decorating techniques – we demonstrate how easy it is to create stylish cakes and how to use basic tools to achieve the results you want.”

For further details or to book, visit or call 0844 736 5882. New dates are being added all the time and classes take place in the picturesque countryside of Castlethorpe, Milton Keynes.

Tuesday, 1 September 2009

BUILDING - Seasonal Maintenance Checklist

federation of master builders tips
Now that summer is pretty much over (before it ever began) it might be time to check out those jobs around the house that you have been neglecting for the past few months. Here are some tips of what to look for before winter draws in, kindly provided by the FMB.
  • If your windows have been rattling this summer, check them out and make sure they are fixed so don’t fall out.
  • Peeling paintwork could be an indication of rotting wood underneath, crumbling brickwork may need urgent attention and dislodged roof tiles can cause untold damage if not replaced before winter arrives.
  • It pays to inspect your home for clues to trouble spots on a regular basis and whether the house is new or old. If problems such as damp are caught early significant savings can be made.
  • Stains on walls, plant growth or moss around pipes and gutters are clues that your gutter or pipes may be leaking. Check that drains and gullies are carrying away water effectively. It’s also worth checking the security of fixings and joinings. A few minutes spent clearing weeds and debris, or just a few pounds spent to mend a leaky gutter can save many hundreds, and possibly thousands of pounds. It may be worth cutting any tree branches that are shedding leaves into your guttering.
  • Get your builder to fix loose or replace missing roof slates or tiles before water causes serious structural damage. Moss should also be removed as it is a retainer of damp
  • Avoid earth build-up at the base of walls as this could be the site of a damp problem. Keep underfloor ventilators clear. Ground level garden plants should be removed if damaging walls or blocking drains.
  • Ensure water pipes are properly lagged, particularly in older properties, especially in the loft. If you are going away keep the heating on low for a couple of hours during the night to avoid burst pipes.
  • Make sure windows and external doors close properly. Fitting inexpensive draught excluders can really help to reduce your heating bills.
  • Check your ventilation - especially bricks that allow air to circulate below the floorboards. Use a coat hangar or screw driver to clear out the holes that can get blocked with leaves and other garden or road debris.
It’s always worth remembering to deal only with reputable tradesmen. Check out the references of anyone you are considering employing and do not make snap decisions on builders who cold call at your door whether it’s for routine maintenance or emergency work on your house. Sudden bad weather often brings out the cowboy tradesmen keen to make a quick buck at the expense of vulnerable customers.