Monday, 23 February 2015

Laundry Basket, At Last!

We've been on the hunt for a new laundry bag since we decorated our bedroom. I'm not exaggerating when I say 'hunt' because that's genuinely what it ended up feeling like. Stylish laundry bags are few and far between. I've searched online and in store and struggled to find any designs that didn't involve wicker. This meant that we were still using the laundry basket I'd had whilst at University - you do the maths! The poor cream, pop-up bag desperately needed replacing.  

I'd just about given up when I stumbled across this lovely grey laundry bag in Wilkos the other day (I could only find a striped version online here.) At the incredible bargain price of £7.50 and with only one on display, I practically launched myself at it before anyone else did. I am extremely pleased with my purchase, my only criticism is that it is a little on the small side. Although, I suppose this means that I'll be more inclined to keep on top of the washing. 

Do you have a go-to shop for home basics? 

Claire x

Thursday, 12 February 2015

White Bedding and a Pop of Pink

I mentioned the other day that I had ordered some new white bed sheets that I was hoping to share with you. Thanks to a little bit of sunshine this weekend I was able to snap a few photos of them styled up on our bed. If you'd like to see the 'before' pictures then you can click here and peruse our Master Bedroom Reveal post from November last year.

The bedding is from Debenhams and is their White pleated 'Tibet' bedding set from the Home Basics Collection. Even though our bed is only a double we like to have a king size duvet so that's the size you can see below. I decided to go for white bedding because I like the contrast against the grey walls and dark furniture. However, I shied away from completely flat sheets and chose a set with pleats to add a bit of texture (plus, it makes me feel less guilty for not ironing them! Does everyone always iron their bed sheets? Or is this just something my mother tends to do?) I also happened upon a rather lovely accent cushion in TKMaxx the other day, the colours fit in perfectly with our bedroom's scheme so it was swiftly popped into my shopping basket. The hint of pink is feeling suitably festive what with Valentine's day just around the corner. 
White pleated 'Tibet' bedding set
Crisp white bed sheets / Pop of pink
Herringbone blanket / Pleats
Textured sheets
The bedding is soft and looks great, especially considering that the set only cost £50. Bargain! I would love to be able to invest in some Egyptian cotton sheets or perhaps even switch over to linen but I'm not currently able to justify the price. I think this set is holding it's own for now anyway.

Do you like my choice of white bedding? Would you dare to pick completely plain white bed sheets? 

Claire x

Bedding - Debenhams
Cushion - TKMaxx
Vintage-look glassware - gift
Pink heart print - Made By Girl 
Herringbow blanket - H&M
Candle - Yankee Candle (Black Coconut)


Monday, 9 February 2015

Dollybirds Art

The use of birds in interior design and home decor will probably never grown old. They can instantly add a feeling of frivolity to a space and bring a snippet of nature inside to liven up any room. 

When I first caught sight of Dollybirds Art on Twitter, I knew straight away that I would eventually be ordering one of their prints. The instantly recognisable selection of British Isles native birds was perfect. Belfast artist Eimear Maguire captures the character and colours of her favourite birds in a way that truly demonstrates her appreciation for all things feathery. The perfect opportunity to purchase a print presented itself last week when my bird-loving mother's birthday came around. I opted for the 'Cyanistes caeruleus' also known as the Blue Tit. It arrived promptly and beautifully packaged with a lovely little note from Eimear. I love that each print comes mounted and presented in it's own upcycled frame. They really are the perfect gift. Although in all honesty, I'd quite like to 'gift' one to myself ;-)
 Which is your favourite Dollybirds print? Have you already used birds in your home decor? 

Claire x

Friday, 6 February 2015

Cotton vs Linen

I've recently ordered some new bedding and I opted for crisp white sheets. It's not the above cotton set from The White Company but how cute is the pom pom detailing on the edge? I'm hoping to shoot my new sheets in-situ this weekend so that I can share them with you soon. However, when I see pictures like the one above from Australian bedding brand Cultiver, I can't help let my mind wander to linen sheet heaven instead. Linen sheets look super soft and snug, even when they're creased and a little worn. They tend to verge more on the expensive side, but we spend so much time in our beds that we should at least be as comfortable as we possibly can! 

Where do you stand (or should that be lie?) Do you favour cotton or linen when it comes to your bed sheets? 

Claire x

Source 1 / 2

Thursday, 5 February 2015

Favourite Glassware To Fill With Flowers

At this time of year the majority of people are looking forward to spring and would quite happily say goodbye to winter. I definitely fall into this category of people. I love getting all bundled up for the colder months, and yes, the snow does look delightful for all of two minutes but I want Spring to hurry up and be sprung. 

My biggest tip for those feeling the winter blues is to adorn your house with as many flowers as possible. They're my weekly treat and I love to arrange them in any vessel I can get my hands on. I currently cannot stop pinning new floral arrangements to my Blooms Pinterest board. There are still quite a few homeware sales on so I've rounded up my favourite five glassware items, all perfect for holding either a whole bunch of flowers or a carefully selected sprig. 
Rose & Grey £2.95

Homebase £8.99
House-Envy £10.20
H&M £7
Zara Home £2.99
One particular idea that caught my attention was shared by Emma, on her blog A Quiet Style. She uses bulbs next to blooms in glass jars to create a very interesting display. It's simple yet so stylish. 
A Quiet Style
How are you combating these harsh winter months? Do you have any tips on bringing Spring into your home early?

Claire x

Wednesday, 4 February 2015

Our Pup, Zara

I recently mentioned how 2014 was the year we said goodbye to our two year old dog, Zara but I didn't go into much detail, apart from this post which only told half of the story. I finally decided that it's time to open up a little bit and let you know more about what happened. 
Zara showing off her best puppy dog eyes
We weren't ready to say goodbye but unfortunately the world isn't always a kind place. 2nd June 2014 was one of the worst days of my life.  It was supposed to be a day full of happiness as my husband and I celebrated two years of marriage.  Instead we had to drive to Leahurst Campus at The University of Liverpool to see our beautiful English Springer Spaniel, Zara for the last time.

I previously posted about Zara here when we honestly thought she was on the road to recovery and we were through the worst but sadly we were wrong.  Zara ended up having several seizures caused by bleeding on the brain.  No one could tell us why she was bleeding on the brain but it could have had something to do with the clotting problem, which surfaced when we had her spayed. The bleeding could not be stopped and she deteriorated rapidly, to the point where she could no longer stand without the help of a sling. When we walked into the veterinary room she was still wagging her tail and over the moon to see us but it was obvious, even before the vets told us, that she was not going to recover.  Every bone in my body did not want to make that decision but we had to do what was best for Zara. The vets allowed us to take some time to say goodbye and she slipped away peacefully as we stroked her and held her tight. It was so hard to let go. 
Puppy Zara / Springer Zara / Muddy Zara / Loyal Zara

The untimely loss of our beloved Zara hit my husband and I extremely hard and is something that we still have to battle with every day. I never really had pets growing up and so nothing could have prepared me for the feeling of loss and helplessness that followed and overwhelmed me on a daily basis. I could just about hold it together at work and thankfully my close friends had pre-warned everyone in the office not to talk to me about Zara. This definitely helped as I was able to get on with my day-to-day job and talk about Zara as and when I felt up to it.  Some days were, and still are, harder than others.

It took us about 4 weeks to decide that we could not go on without introducing a new dog into our lives.  We are dog (and cat) people and coming home to an empty house was turning out to be the worst part of our day.  Your home should be your sanctuary and where you feel happiest and safe.  Without Zara our home felt empty and actually depressing. I was used to opening our front door to be welcomed by the happiest of pooches as she bounded up to me until I paid her some attention.  I've come to realise that this kind of welcome cannot be replicated in anyway by humans. It just can't. 

We started looking for a new puppy and quickly fell in love with little Luna the Springer Spaniel-cross-Poodle who joined our family in July.  She is an absolute delight and is just what we needed after several months of uncertainty and pain. If people tell you to wait before getting another pet, my advice is do not listen to them. Pets bring so much joy and if they can help heal a broken heart then that is only a good thing in my book. 
Luna at 3 months - our fluff ball
Zara was only in our lives for two short years but she was the best companion we could have ever asked for and as close to a child as my husband and I have had together. We loved her so much and we're grateful for all the fantastic memories she gave us. The unconditional love that dogs show is so special and I'm sure all you dog lovers out there will agree. Z will forever be in our hearts. 

Thanks for reading.

Claire x

Monday, 2 February 2015


I'm not the most glamorous of girls out there. But when I received an invitation to don some sparkles on an otherwise average Wednesday evening, I could hardly say 'no' now, could I?

A selection of like-minded Northern bloggers gathered at The Milton Club in the centre of Manchester for a taste of the Las Vegas life. The lovely folk over at Thomas Cook Airlines brought us to the exclusive venue for a night of glitz, in order to celebrate their new flights from Manchester Airport direct to Las Vegas. If you see yourself living it up in Sin City then you might want to check out their rather impressive deals.

The Milton Club 

Food: Delicious canapes, including miniature chocolate tarts.
Drink: Las Vegas themed cocktails. The Flamingo was my favourite tipple.
Entertainment: Roulette table (I like to think of myself as a high-roller ;-) A fabulous Sin City themed photobooth, make-up counter to top-up your glam and the one and only Britney Spears! (ok, so she may have been a look-a-like but she was pretty amazing.)

My friend Gabriella and I with our new BFF Britney / Cocktails galore
Having a spin on the Roulette Table / My winnings
Has Las Vegas ever tickled your fancy? What would you get up to in The City of Lights? 

Claire x

Written in collaboration with Thomas Cook Airlines

Sunday, 1 February 2015


Hello and welcome to February!
January always seems to whiz by for me. The first month of 2015, in particular, seems to have left me feeling a little bit cheated due to feeling under the weather for a large portion of it. I'm counting on February for more high quality doses of inspiration and, who knows, maybe I'll have chance to think about starting to tackle my Home Goals to-do list. 

Here's a mini round up of some of my favourite blogger's posts from the past month:

A must-try vegan cheesecake RECIPE from Arianna's Daily
Black, white, pink and grey ROOM inspiration over at The Decorista
Origami obsessed thanks to this DIY from Design Sponge
Getting the feel for some Illamasqua MAKE-UP with In The Frow
Great BLOG and branding tips from Cat Crawford Blog

Do you have any plans for February? Has your 2015 got off to a good start?

Claire x

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