Cool Decor Online | Theo Theo Crinkle Cup

Theo Theo Online store
I smashed a gift I’d bought for my partner. I was gutted. It was a white porcelain crinkle cup and looks like one of the cups dispensed from a Klix Machine a while ago.. (I’m showing my age now) I’d originally bought it from Liberty London a good few years ago. I was really upset as I thought it may be irreplaceable; a lovely piece which my partner and I were really upset about losing.
I thought I wouldn’t be able to replace it – but low and behold I could..! I did some research and stumbled across this wonderful site called Theo Theo. Heard of them? Well, I hadn’t. It’s a cool decor online store.  They sell wonderful quirky things for your home, including items for your bathroom, kitchen and office. Along with lovely individual pieces for children, clothing and jewellery.
I found they offered 3 sizes in the Rob Brandt Crinkle Cup. Giddily, I ordered the replacement piece via the website. When I didn’t think the order had been processed, I ordered again and paid using a different method. A few minutes later, I received two emails stating I’d ordered not one cup, but two. Damn it, I’ll have to contact them and cancel one order.
I emailed them to explain my issue at around 7.50p.m., not thinking I would hear back until the next day. Low and behold, an email came back within 20 minutes, from an iPhone so it felt lovely and personal, to say the refund had been processed. Wow – now that’s what I call customer service. I quickly emailed back to thank them profusely and to explain I’d broken my last one and was eager to get my replacement.
THEO_THEO_CRINKLE_CUP__MG_1664
THEO_THEO_CRINKLE_CUP__MG_1673
THEO_THEO_CRINKLE_CUP__MG_1678
So, the package arrived in 2 days; in a lovely neatly wrapped parcel, with a gorgeous sticker on the side. Things like this make me happy and I gleefully opened it and found a lovely postcard with their details on. Plus a mini catalogue for me to have a nosey at. I was so happy with the speed of the delivery and way they had responded, I had to find them on twitter; follow and mention them.
They responded quickly, by mentioning me on twitter – and saying ‘make sure you don’t break this one…’ Now, I know it’s not rocket science to reach out to your customers in an engaging and personal way.  But so often this doesn’t happen from businesses and brands. So I felt compelled to share my lovely experience with you all. And tell you how truly awesome they are.
Screen shot 2014-01-30 at 07.30.20
Not only that, I then got a lovely email from them, asking if I was happy. Happy? I’m delirious..!
Make sure you go and check out Theo Theo. They have some truly wonderful products and you won’t be disappointed with their customer service.
Happy shopping!

DIY Coffee Table Ideas | DIY

Sometimes, you end up with furniture you don’t like. Whether its donations from friends or family, or items you just can’t remember how you’ve ended up with – we all end up with furniture we’ve fallen out of love with and/or no longer want.
This happened recently. We’d had this coffee table for a while and hated it with a passion. I didn’t like the style of it, neither the colour or finish. In my eyes, it had no redeeming features at all and it was heading for the skip! But then I realised we needed a replacement coffee table for our lounge. So, I started shopping around for another, similar sized coffee table. After much searching, I stumbled across a dark topped wooden coffee table, with a cream finish on the drawer and legs. Perfect – but it was a fortune. Then my mind kicked in… What if I recycled our skip destined table? Surely, I could do that..?
I did some research into what I’d need to do and what equipment I’d need:
Belt sander - to take the wax layer off
Sheet sander
Dark wood oak stain
Chalk paint
Sandpaper
Lint free cloth
Clear Varnish – I went for a satin finish
Wax
Emulsion paint (my choice was Fired Earth paint in Oak Apple)
Some free time and elbow grease!
Luckily, I had most of these in already, so the cost to recycle was minimal.

 

DIY coffee table ideas

 

Instructions
1. Remove all the studs from the table and remove the handle
2. Then, you need to take the layer of wax off the coffee table top. I only needed to do this on the top, as this was the only part of the wood I was staining. I used a belt sander - use with care! It’s a hefty piece of equipment and can take some chunks out of the wood if you’re not too careful. If you prefer to just use a sheet sander, then do so. But you’ll need a selection of different grade sandpapers and start with extra coarse for this step. Sand with the grain of the wood and do not go against it. If so, you’ll scratch the surface of the wood and it will be difficult to buff out.
3. Switch to the sheet sander (if haven’t already) and sand the table top. Start with coarse and go to fine, again remember to work with the grain of the wood and not against it. Just keep working with the sander until you think it feels smooth enough to touch. Be careful to follow the edges too if there is a bevelled edge. Get into all the nooks and crannies to get it smooth.
4. Give the rest of the table a buff for the paint to be able to take.This doesn’t need to be as thorough as the above step – it’s just enough so the paint will stick. Don’t forget the drawer too! I was a little lazy and only did the front of the drawer, but for maximum effect, you can paint the whole drawer.
5.You’ll need to fill in the holes (on this particular table) with some wood filler. It’s a two-minute job and worth it for the great finish. Wait for it to set and sand down.
6. Give the whole table a dust down. At this point, I get the hoover out and get all the dust off. Then, with a damp cloth and sugar soap, give the table a wipe down. This is to make sure there aren’t any particles or nastiness around to stick to your paint/staining.
7. Now the exciting bit..! It’s entirely up to you which you do first. Personally, I started to paint the bottom half with plain emulsion paint I think I probably should’ve used chalk paint, but I’ll know for next time. Do one coat and leave to dry.
8. Now, use your chosen paint colour for the main colour and give it a couple of coats, leaving time in between each coat to dry.
9. Using the lint free cloth, apply the wood stain to the top of the coffee table. I’m sure you can also add using a paint brush, but I prefer a cloth. Make sure you get into all the grooves and edges. Don’t be too liberal as once you’ve applied, you can’t take it off. So, I suggest you build up to the desired colour. Leave to dry.
10. Finish the bottom half of the table with clear varnish. Leave to dry.
11. In the meantime, use the finishing wax on the table top to make it non-porous and ready to use.
12. Top tip – buy a candle and rub along the edges of the drawer, so it opens and closes smoothly.
13. Find your chosen new handle and attach.
Eh voilå! DIY coffee table ideas in a jiffy. I did this on a summer’s day with glorious sunshine, so each coat only needed around 20 minutes and it was bone dry.
Let me know how you get on with your diy coffee table!
DIY Coffee Table Ideas DIY Coffee Table Ideas diy coffee table ideas diy coffee table ideas

BlogLovin’ | Check out my blog on Blog Lovin’

Being a newbie in the blogging world, I didn’t realise anything like  bloglovin’ existed – until now…! This is a brilliant site, where you can view hundreds of your favourite blogs all under one roof. It’s a great invention and something I’m going to be using to search for lots of inspiration, not only in interiors, but in other areas of interest for me too.

So, here I am. Sharing my link with the world on how to find me.

Follow my blog with Bloglovin

Can’t Live Without | Book storage ideas

I love books. I love to browse them, to read them and to have them all around me. Bookshops are places I could spend hours at a time wandering around, choosing new things to learn about. I also love old books too and you can regularly find me in second hand shops perusing the latest offerings of fact and fiction at bargain prices. There’s such a promise of what they can bring, the knowledge they can impart and the time you can buy just for yourself. They’re wonderful and I can’t get enough of them.
Given my obsession, I tend to buy a LOT of books. So, my bookcase is generally groaning for more space. However, given the size of our house, you can imagine we’re always stuck for where to put them. If I had my way, I would always choose to have them on show. However, space often dictates this and we are constantly stuffing them onto the same bookcases.
So, with the imminent bedroom redecoration, I wanted some book storage ideas and inspiration on how to store books, not just in the bedroom, but in and around the house.
Via Zabby Allen

Via Zabby Allen

 

Hiding books in a fireplace from Jude

Hiding books in a fireplace from Jude

I LOVE this idea. We have a large chimney breast and open fire and I was really wondering what to with it. And now, I have a solution. Ok, so it might be a little difficult to get the bottom books out. But, to be honest when do you need access to ALL of your books ALL of the time? I love the colours and texture it brings to the area.

This is a lovely idea for when you have a wide staircase. I love the idea of taking a book off the shelf and sitting on the stairs reading it. I’m a romantic, can you tell..? Unfortunately, this wouldn’t work for us as our cottage has a narrow staircase.
 Love this idea as it allows you to split a larger room into defined areas. Plus, you get to use the space of the shelf to store your books – perfect.

Low Fat Soup Recipes | Spicy Tomato Soup

As I’ve written previously, I’ve dabbled in the 5:2 diet. I didn’t stick to it, as I find I have some key principles I like to follow which makes my life and diet easier to follow.
However, I did stumble across a beautiful low fat soup recipe by the wonderful Jacqueline Meldrum. On her website, she described a wonderfully tasty tomato soup, which seemed ridiculously easy to follow. So I gave it a try.
Up to this point, I’d never mastered the art of soup making. It seemed some kind of dark art that only proficient cooks could manage to make. I’d tried a number of recipes and they never looked like the images. Never mind smell any good.
Low Fat Soup Recipe by Jacqueline Maldrum

Low Fat Soup Recipe by Jacqueline Maldrum

After trying this recipe, I couldn’t believe a) how easy it was and b) how tasty is really is. I highly recommend you try it. The only equipment you’ll need is a pan and a hand blender.
I’ve adapted this low fat soup recipe slightly, for time and taste reasons. I’ve been a little more liberal with is the olive oil, but it’s entirely up to you what you choose to do. Please remember that you can play around with the ingredients. For example, If I don’t have coriander in, I don’t always use it. Also, the original recipe calls for 30 mins boiling. I tend to only leave mine until the lentils are soft enough and then blitz.
Ingredients
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, finely grated
  • 1 inch/2½ cm fresh ginger, finely grated
  • 2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp ground turmeric
  • 150g red lentils
  • 1 x 400g tin chopped tomatoes
  • 3 vegetable stock cubes, dissolved in 3 pints of hot water
  • 28g fresh coriander, finely chopped
  • a good grinding of salt & black pepper
Instructions
1. Heat some olive oil in a large heavy based pan. Saute the onion, garlic and ginger in the olive oil until the onion is soft.
2. Add the spices and mix well until the onion is well coated.
3. Pour in the tomatoes, lentils and vegetable stock and bring to the boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally as lentils can catch on the bottom of the pan.
4. Take off the heat and blitz with the hand blender. Please take care with the soup spitting as it will be very hot. If you have more time, you can leave the pan to cool for a while.
4. Add the coriander and season with salt and pepper.
If you were feeling very decadent, you could pop a swirl of cream/low-fat cream in it.
Details

Total time: 25 mins
Serves 6

How to Eat Healthier | Diet & Nutrition

I dabbled with the 5:2 diet last year. I’ve tried most diet plans over the years – Atkins, clean & lean, low carb, low fat, no sugar. You name it, I’ve tried it. What I’ve learnt is that to have any stickability, you need to make it a lifestyle choice. Not a diet. So, now I have a few key lessons in how to eat healthier…

Listen to your body

What do you crave? If it’s sugar, then this is what will put the most weight on you. Fat? Then cutting down on this will help you lose weight and keep it off. It helps to make a food diary to along with notes on when you get hungry. If you also note any side effects you experience like headaches, bloating, etc. this will allow you to see some correlation between what you eat and how you feel. And also if any food makes you feel more or less hungry, which it can do. You might be really lucky and be able to eat everything and anything. But most people have some kind of food side effect and go through their whole life without knowing.

For example, processed white bread and pasta is no good for me. It does unholy things to my body, and I’ve worked out the correlation. A friend of mine is vegetarian and she cannot eat legumes. They bloat her to within an inch of her life. Listen to your body and it will guide you the best way – better than any book, blog or TV programme will.

Don’t mess with your diet

Ever heard of the 7/10 rule? Well the theory is when you lose weight, you lose 7/10 of the weight from where you don’t want to lose it. And 7/10 from where you do. And when you put weight on? It’s the opposite – 7/10ths of the weight ends up going on the place you least want/need it. So, if you keep constantly changing your diet, start dieting/stop dieting, you’ll end up losing weight from where you least want to lose it and never get to the point where you feel happy.

Where do you put weight on?

All female body shapes have their pro’s and cons. I’m pear shaped, which means I end up with a booty wider than my shoulders. Not a great look… However, I’ve learnt to embrace this (what else am I going to do?) and I concentrate on fat burning and toning in this area. I do have a theory though (it isn’t based on any clinical studies mind…). And this is based on my friend’s experiences and their body shapes. It seems that if you’re pear shaped, your enemy is saturated fat. And if you’re apple shaped, sugar is not your friend. If your athletic shaped, well you’re damn lucky lady..! I’d love to hear from people to see if this seems true for a larger group of people.

How do you like to eat?

Personally, I can’t stand being hungry. It makes me miserable. Some people just get used to this feeling but I simply cannot. That means grazing on 5 small meals a day seem to work for me. Some people prefer to stick to 3 meals a day with no snacking. Again, choose something that works for you and you’ll be able to stick to it better and incorporate it into your life.

Portion sizes

I find there is some real truth in the saying – Eat like a King for breakfast, Prince for lunch and Pauper for dinner. Eating larger quantities (if you’re hungry) in the morning is better than last thing at night as your metabolism is quicker in the morning and you have more chance to burn the calories off. It makes sense – eating a creamy curry or fish and chips an hour before you go to bed isn’t going to be the best thing. The other thing is the speed with which you eat. If you appreciate and savour your food, you’ll enjoy it more as you’ll be registering it better. Plus, it takes your stomach 15 minutes to send a signal to your brain that you’re full – so if you stuff food in your mouth quickly, you’ll end up with more food in your stomach than you need or want. Eating slowly is the quickest and easiest way to losing weight.

Remember the basics

We all know what is good for us. Foods thick with saturated fats are not good for us, so keep them to a minimum. Sugar and foods with lots of it in aren’t good for you either – they peak your blood sugars and then dive just as quickly, mkaing you miserable and cranky. Watch out for all processed foods – even the ones singing ‘we’re healthy, low-fat, low-sugar’. They’ll have some other hidden nasties in them. Beware and avoid all all costs if you can.

Another sage bit of info I’ve learnt over the years is – don’t drink your calories, which does include fruit juices. It’s a waste of calorie intake. Recent studies are now saying fruit juice shouldn’t even be counted as your one a day. Also, eat your water intake. Fruits and vegetables rich in water can hydrate your body, in some cases better than water.

And finally, watch out for hidden sugar… Fruit, whilst it has brilliant vitamins and minerals in them, still has a LOT of sugar in. So you cannot eat large piles of the stuff and feel virtuous – just comparing sugar values, you could be eating the same amount as a Mars bar. You’ll be better off eating vegetables and crudites for your vitamin intake.

 

Bedroom wall colours | Navy Blue

 

New year, new start. How many times do we hear this? However, I’ve been trying to decorate our bedroom for around 6 months now. And most of the time, things just get in the way. When you work full time, the last thing you want to do is don your paint-splattered jogging pants, haul  furniture out of the bedroom you sleep in and start painting some walls. But time has a habit of slipping by. So low and behold we’re in the New Year and I’ve still sample colours painted on my chimney breast.

 

Bedroom colour Inspiration from flourishdesignandstyle.blogspot

Bedroom colour Inspiration from flourishdesignandstyle.blogspot

So I really do mean business with the start of the New Year and January is the perfect time to decorate. We’ll lets face it, there’s not much else you can do. What with all the overindulgence of Christmas, it’s the perfect time to burn off some additional calories and get up and down a ladder!

Deep dark inspiration for our new bedroom walls

Deep dark inspiration for our new bedroom walls from Kelly K

Our bedroom has exposed stone walls either side of the chimney breast, so there’s only three large walls to paint. There is the chimney breast to consider but this is a small area. With this in mind, I decided that this should be a bold colour, along with one other wall. The other two will be in an accompanying hue to beautifully compliment the stunning colour.

So, bedroom wall colours – what do you go for? Well our bedroom wall colors have been grey (battleship grey as my partner calls it) for a number of years, so I feel we’re ready for a jump into a deep and dark new colour. I want to go for a navy blue, with a pale grey accent colour to highlight the deep, rich colour of the blue. I’ve decided to go with navy blue on the chimney breast and wall outlining our window and the rest will be in a gorgeous Fired Earth colour called Yes your honour.

Love the mix of photography and colour here from Dustjacket

Love the mix of photography and colour here from Dustjacket

Now, to buy navy blue emulsion paint has been something of a challenge, and I’m going to be doing an additional post on trying to find this said colour. I really didn’t think it would’ve been such a challenge but it really has. I wanted a rich, deep inky navy blue, almost like a biro has leaked – that kind of rich colour. This has been incredibly hard to find. Most of the darker blues on the market seem to be a chalky blue and the closest I found was a Ralph Lauren paint, which they don’t sell in the UK.

I’d love to know if anyone else has struggled to find paint colours and if they have some solutions to this, then please do get in touch.

 

New Lighting Design | Hello Lumio

I find it a blessing when I stumble across something that makes me stop, look and truly appreciate beautiful design. And that thing recently is the Lumio Light.
If you’ve not heard of this new lighting design yet, then I urge you to go and have a look at this dazzling piece of design. It’s a fully portable light source in the shape of a book. So, when you open the ‘book’, light spills out onto whatever your chosen subject.
Hello Lumio light book

Hello Lumio light book

The cover comes in three different laser-cut wood finishes, which are walnut, cherry and maple. The ‘pages’ are made from a durable water-resistant Tyvek “pages” containing high-performing LED’s. Tyvek is a synthetic material which is very strong, really difficult to tear and is highly breathable.

The pages have a wonderful glow, so they create wonderful accent lighting to any room. Nothing is harsh about the luminosity at all. The material means its durable for carrying around inside and outside the home.
Hello Lumio can be used in multiple ways

Hello Lumio can be used in multiple ways

The true beauty in it’s design is it’s portability. You can take it, well anywhere! So it can sit on your desk, in your bedroom, or it can be taken out into the open air (if the mood takes you) to work in field in the evening. Not that I’m sure you’d actually need a light in the middle of a field – think that might be called a flash torch.

 

I even love the website name – Hello Lumio. How truly lovely is that? So warm and inviting.

 

But that’s not all. Its unique design allows you to transform its shape to meet your needs. It’s incredibly flexible. Think about how a book can be stood on it’s end half open, or sat on its back with the pages beaming light up into the room. You can even suspend it under cupboards and even wrap them around walls to create a seamless wall light. Its very clever indeed. I’d like it for a more traditional use, to sit at the head of our bed for evening reading.
Wrapped around a wall corner

Wrapped around a wall corner

And how much does all this wonderment cost? Well, I’ll tell you. $160, so around £100. I’m yet to order one, but I will be doing very soon. And I’ll do a mini review on it as soon as it lands in my my house.

Side By Side Comparison – Scented Candles

Side By Side Comparison - Scented Candles

My friend told me about The White Company offering a Pomegranate Candle, very similar to the Jo Malone Pomegranate Noir. I was even more thrilled when she told me is was £20, which is nearly twice as cheap than the original Jo Malone one. So, I decided to do a like-for-like comparison and let you all know what the verdict was.

So, on packaging. The White Company candle comes in a pleasant cellophane wrapped white box, which can be gift wrapped if you like – always perfect for presents and saves on time. The glass holder is a clear glass holder with the scent and White Company logo clearly showing. Jo Malone candles come in a larger box, with black branded ribbon wrapped around the edges. Once you get into the tissue lined box, the candle is presented with a lovely silver cap, which sits on top of the glass holder. Oh, and they tend to give you a packet of Jo Malone long length matches – always a bonus and a lovely treat.

I lit the White Company candle and waited for the wonderful aroma that I’m soo used to from the Jo Malone candle. And there is was – it smells exactly the same – woo hoo!. However the smell is much stronger when you are close to the candle. And for all of you that are used to walking into the wonderful ‘wall’ of smell that is achieved from the Jo Malone offerings, then its not as strong at all. The Jo Malone candle definitely has more kick in the intensity of the aroma. When it’s lit in a room and you leave for a while and walk back in, the smell just hits you. I find that really pleasing and just a real sense of luxury – mm, I love it.

If you’re on a budget – and let’s be honest, nearly £40 for a candle is a real luxury purchase; then I strongly recommend the White Company one as you do still get the lovely aroma of Pomegranate. However, if you’re used to Jo Malone’s offering and are expecting the same from the White Company one, then I’ll let you know now, it doesn’t have the same kick.

Happy burning everyone.