Thursday, 4 September 2014

The strangest place I ever slept.

When  I was a kid, I used to sleepwalk. Usually I just walked downstairs and was ushered back to bed without waking but one morning, I awoke in the bath. Not only that, I'd taken my pillow with me! It didn't prevent me from having a VERY stiff neck though!

I'd love to sleep on the moon, and I'd take this mattress with me to ensure a good night's sleep!

this is my entry into the #SleepHappy competition over on LittleStuff


Saturday, 23 August 2014

Good to be home - My dream bedroom

Good to be Home want bloggers to write about their dream bedroom - this is something I have often dreamed about so decided to give it a go! I adore the mediveval and Gothic styles but I also adore music so I wanted to create a mix of the two to reflect my dream room and a little sanctuary for myself.

It might not attract the attention of any interior magazines or programmes, but for me, it's perfect!

 The focal point of any bedroom is, of course, the bed. Here is my dream bed! Black, gothic, and very rock chic!

I would have this wallpaper for a feature wall  behind the bed. I love the way the purple rose stands out.

 Gloss paint for the doorframe, skirting boards and windowsill.

 The other three walls  My bedroom walls are actually a very similar colour to this! It's surprisingly restful and calming.

Floorboards I'm not a fan of carpet, so stained floorboards would feature in my dream room.

Curtains - I actually have black curtains but mine are embossed with a rose pattern. I love them but sometimes think a plain pair might be less distracting.

Got to change that curtain rail though - I love these finials!

Furniture - although not particularly medieval or gothic, I love black wood, being a kind of a goth girl and this set is perfect! Plenty of storage and a few flat surfaces for bits and pieces.

Got to have somewhere to hang my dressing gown!

A little luxury at the end of the bed - a deep purple shaggy rug to please the toes and add a little warmth and respite from the stained floorboards.

A little ambience and something to read by!

I think this would look stunning on the wall opposite the bedhead and pick up nicely on the wallpaper behind the bed and the other black/purple rose theme running throughout my gothic haven.

Every bedroom has to have a mirror and this one from John Lewis has a nice antique finish that is in character with the rest of my dream room!

I think an empty vase always looks inviting - a promise of things to come and this simply lined one from John Lewis is nicely understated.

I love a delicate fragrance in the bedroom - I'm not keen on candles because of the likelihood I will fall asleep and forget them - pot pourri attracts dust and gets everywhere so this champagne diffuser in its elegant bottle is just the job to add an unusual scent to the air.

I frequently have three or four books on the go at any one time so that I can suit my mood, and I have twice as many again waiting to be read. Rather than pile them up on the bedside cabinet, I would store them in this gorgeous trunk from John Lewis's Curiosity Shop collection

I would scatter a few of these on top of the chest to make it slightly more eyecatching. I actually have one of these in a black bud vase on my current tallboy and think it's stunning.

By the bed......

Practical and somewhat in keeping with my theme.

Of course, my bedroom has to have a dog bed - and this one is gorgeous as well as matching my colour theme.

I'm not a fan of clogging up the windowsill with ornaments, but for this I would make an exception!

 Every bedroom has to have a jewellery box.....

 A photo frame - this one features my favourite band but not overtly so. It wouldn't be my room if it didn't have something of Metallica in it......

The finishing touch - a Metallica lightswitch plate. Let's hope it doesn't give me nightmares.......

 Bed from Chic-Chic (1399.99)
Wallpaper from Photowall  (£26 metre)
 Gloss paint is Dulux Purple Passion from Mighty Houseares (8.57 for 250ml)
Emulsion - Purple Haze from Wickes (15.99)
Woodstain from Wickes (13.99)
Curtains from Asda (£22.00)
Finials  -  Curtain Poles Emporium (£29.75)
Furniture from Galaxy Stores (£1,129.00)
Skull hook - EMP online (£7.99)
 Rug from the Rug Retailer (prices starting from £85.01)
Lamp fitting from the Electrical Counter (£247.99) 
Purple rose picture from Argos (£40)
Mirror - John Lewis (£250)
Vase John Lewis (£10)
Champagne diffuser - John Lewis (£80)
Vintage Brass Trunk - John Lewis (£55)
 Black Roses - Kinky Angel (1.99 each)
Waterford diamond goblet glasses - John Lewis (£90)
Alarm clock - John Lewis (£25)
Dog bed - Jeeves and Woofter (£630)
Gothic skull - Absolute Angels (£10.99)
Alchemy jewellery box - Kate's Clothing (£12.99)
Photo frame from  ($4.25)
Lightswitch plate from ($6.25)

align=”center”>Good to be Home Dream Room Competition

Monday, 18 August 2014

Fab competition I found!

Enter to win a perfume society discovery box!

So you love perfume – or you’re simply fascinated by the sense of smell. Welcome to The Perfume Society: a website featuring everything you ever wanted to know about fragrance, the art of perfumery and more – plus a community that you can actually join to enjoy events, ‘discovery boxes’, our online perfume magazine – and much, much more…
Get together with other fragrance-lovers. Meet the perfume world’s most talented creators. Be first to know about – and try – new launches. We know that once you really start to explore this extraordinary world, it’s a bit like stepping through the wardrobe into Narnia. So be prepared to awaken your senses…

*This is not my competition - I am merely blogging about it.

Wednesday, 23 July 2014

Another giveaway from Coleus Chimes!

*not my competition - I am just posting about it!

Sunday, 8 June 2014

Coleus Chimes is giving away an Amazon voucher!

Why not enter?!

*not my competition - I am just posting about it!

Saturday, 26 April 2014

The #GreatBritishHome Challenge with Victoria Plumb

You are Mr or Mrs ELEGANT Your style is most like Lady Mary or Lord Gillingham from Downton Abbey.
Wish list: The Camberley bathroom range from Victoria Plumb. A stunning high level toilet and a chunky, square basin embody all the best features of days gone by

 That was my result from a fun little quiz about styles and preferences.  I've never actually watched Downton Abbey, although I am, of course, familiar with period dramas and I've often said that if I had  lived in a previous life, it would have been as some sort of maid in a Big House, such is the affinity I feel for the period. The centrepiece - the thing that catches everyone's eye when they walk in my living room - is my three storey Victorian-style doll's house. That is furnished in the Downton Abbey style - or at least, partly. It's an ongoing project......but the bathroom suite does, eerily, resemble the quiz-recommended Camberley bathroom suite. 

The #GreatBritishHomw Quiz (which you can take yourself by clicking the magic linky, below) got me thinking about what "home" actually means, not what the singers and cliché writers say it means.

Primarily, it's where I can relax and be myself - not have to keep up appearances or worry about what others think or want - and the ideal place for relaxing is of course the bathroom. There's nothing like a hot bath for soaking away the stress and cares and this Harding roll-top from Victoria Plumb is, I think, the bath of my dreams.

A glass of wine, a candle or two and a good book and this traditional yet modern bathtub would be my own little soothing sanctuary.

The rest of the #GreatBritishHome, to me, is both a sanctuary and a canvas - somewhere I can be myself and stamp my own style on the place. I like to relax and to throw off the outside airs and graces that society expects from you and being in a room that I furnished myself to my own tastes does just that. Dressing up to sit in a posh restaurant and worry about which knife and fork to use first is all very well,  but sometimes there's nothing like curling up in my dressing gown, sinking into my chocolate brown, overstuffed sofa and watching a film with my dinner on my lap. The walls are hung with photos taken by myself and evoke happy memories - little knick knacks and souvenirs are dotted around the room and the first word that spring to mind when I enter it are comfort and familiarity.

I love cooking - I find it infinitely relaxing and soothing to bake or cook something. My kitchen contains every gadget imaginable - everything from spring loaded egg toppers to colour changing egg timers - much of it infrequently used but it all still adds up to creating what is commonly described as the heart of the home. I don't like the word cluttered - I prefer "equipped" and my kitchen is certainly that!

I don't cook many fancy foods - traditional British foods are my forté - meat and potato pie, stew and dumplings, Victoria sponges, rock  buns and the like and there's nothing like the smell of traditional British baking for adding ambience to a home. You can keep your air fresheners - I think my home smells nicest when filled with the aroma of a delicious, home made cake.  It's welcoming and people gravitate to it. Interestingly, the only room in my dolls house that is finished is the kitchen - like mine, it is full to the saucepan-laden rafters with Downton Abbey-esque furnishings and period kitchen paraphernalia.

My bedroom is probably the closest to fitting the Downton Abbey era of decorating quiz result although it's probably more Addams Family than  Gillingham family. It's not to everybody's tastes, I admit. The linen is black, the curtains are black, the lamp is black wrought iron as is the curtain rail and the various candlesticks dotted about the room. The furniture is a dark wood with antique-style wrought iron handles I spent weeks hunting down black vases and black artificial roses to give it the final gothic touch - in fact, the only splash of colour is the huge pile of "waiting to be read" books piled beside the bed.  It's relaxing, welcoming, soothing and I couldn't improve it if I tried.

Reading back, I see that my whole #GreatBritishHome ideal is about comfort and relaxation - and isn't that what the home is all about? "Home" to me means "I'm done! I can sit down, relax and do what I want to do". I don't think I can improve on that.

“This post is an entry for the #GreatBritishHome Challenge  sponsored by Victoria Plumb, a source of quality bathrooms for every type of home. Take its “What’s Your Celebrity Home Style?” quiz to discover what your home says about you.”

Great British Home Quiz

Sunday, 30 March 2014

"Gnngrrrhhhh" (subtitle): the noise of a MagpieMan in love.

I spotted a rather fabulouso competition which offered the munificent chance to win a watch of your choice (within reason, obviously!) simply for waxing lyrical about how much you love the said watch. I normally avoid competitions where you have to explain how deserving you are of the prize as I always tend to get disheartened by the end of the first line - why am I any more deserving than anyone else? I'm not!  Sure, I could go for the sympathy vote by referencing a serious illness I had some time ago, but does that make me any more deserving? Not really.  There's always somebody worse off and,  frankly, not only do I not want to revisit that time in my life - even if it is only mentally and briefly - but I've also seen so many people play that card that I'm sure it must grate on the rolling eyes of whoever judges these things.

No, this one simply asks that you write about your favourite watch or piece of jewellery - no life history or sob story required - and so I decided to give it a go. I like watches. I remember my first one - it had a red leather strap and Mickey Mouse on the clock face. Mickey's arms pointed to the hour and minute - not that this was much use to me because I was four and couldn't tell the time - but I loved Mickey and I loved my grandad, who had purchased it from Woolworths for my fourth birthday - I felt so grown up, having my own watch - many people say that their first drink or their first kiss was their defining moment of adulthood but not me. For me it was the first "Mickey's big glove is on......."

It came with many verbal warnings from my Grandad to "keep it dry" and of course I didn't listen.   Mickey is long gone - he ticked his last in the sea at Skegness - ever since then, I've had this thing about not getting watches wet - even if they're water resistant!

So I was having a little nosey around the many examples of  timepiece **pornography gathered together by The Watch Hut to tempt and tease even the most reluctant of buyers whilst simultaneously trying to answer the mental question "If I could choose any watch, which one would I choose"?

"Birthday shopping for me"? chirped the disembodied voice of he who is usually ignored - somewhat to my bemusement as a) my birthday comes before his and b) I was visually caressing a rather sexy little Bulova ladies dress watch with rose gold accents which was (and still is) very pretty and, more importantly, very girly.

"Let's just have a quick look at the men's watches" came a hopeful voice from behind me, so, with a sigh, I clicked over to the men's section and scrolled through a few pages. "Gnngrrrhhhh" he said - well, it's pretty hard to talk after your jaw has dropped or with your tongue hanging out and he was suddenly afflicted by both.

So what had rendered him into a speechless, gibbering wreck?


You'll have to click right here to see the full glory of this Casio-tastic marvel and trust me - it's worth a click!

It's the first time I've seen him actually take an interest in a watch - he normally goes for the £2.99-that'll-do-fine-wrist-green-in-a-week-or-your-money-back specials from the market stall near the toilets. He wasn't interested in the quartz movement, the two year guarantee or any of the other little details - he was just, magpie-like - "Shiny. Want". I pointed out that it was water resistant - as you'll recall, that's a big deal for me when it comes to a watch - but this piece of useful  information was countered with the breathless and wide-eyed proclamation that it "looked like 007's" and my expounding on the virtues of a Neobrite dial was simply overridden by the monosyllabic "Mine".

Well, who can resist the blossoming love affair between man and watch?  Not me (and believe me, with the Bulova ladies watch still glistening in my brain, I tried) and so, reluctantly, I abandoned all thought of the sexy, girly, rose-gold accentuated wrist candy (Excuse the tear stains, They should dry soon. ) and wrote this blog post with him in mind instead, because, quite frankly, it would be such a blessing to be able to ask him the time in public and not have us both cringe in embarrassment as he displays his watch. I'm proud of him and I want him to be proud of his watch, too. 

**Note: It isn't really pornography. But The Watch Hut will make your eyes pop out and it will make you drool. So it might as well be.