Category Archives: Home

Pretty prints and greeting cards from Shepherd Illustration

Shepherd Illustration specialise in wildlife illustration, art prints, screen print tees and greeting cards. They have a pretty, quirky, contemporary and unique style which is pleasing to the eye and looks great in any home. It’s always nice to send cards and gifts which you know are pretty unique and special. Something not mass produced and something which a small artist has produced and developed with care. This week I’ve been looking at the beautiful cards and gifts on Etsy made by Shepherd Illustration.

Shepherd Illustration is owned by Lauren Shepherd who is a motion graphics designer and illustrator based in Newcastle-Upon-Tyne. Her illustrations are predominately drawn in black fine liner pen with some gold detail. Most of her illustrations are of wildlife and wildflowers with others featuring anatomical drawings of parts of the body.

Pretty prints and greeting cards from Shepherd Illustration

I was very taken by this goose print. The three geese tied together reminded me of our three-person family and I have plans to frame it nicely and have it on the wall of my office at home. The description on her Etsy store does suggest that this print would be great on a nursery wall, especially if your family of two has recently become three and I quite agree.

I like both the simplicity and the detail of this A5 print which has been printed on high quality 300gsm recycled white card and individually signed and numbered. This print costs just £7.50 and would make a lovely gift for a new baby.

Pretty prints and greeting cards from Shepherd Illustration

This cuddly baby sloth is really detailed, even down to his claws. This would make a lovely gift for a first wedding anniversary (which is paper). This sloth print is also available as a greeting card. 

I love giraffes and I was pleased to find the giraffe greeting card in my illustration package. Again the detail is stunning, even down to the little gold heart on the neck of the giraffe. 

Lauren Shepherd describes herself as a “dachshund mom” so it’s not surprising that they do feature in some of her illustrations. Again these are drawn in black fine liner pen with accent details highlighted in gold.

Pretty prints and greeting cards from Shepherd Illustration

The greeting cards from Shepherd Illustration are priced at just £2.50. I always think that if you’re sending a card then it’s worth sending a good quality one. I often keep good cards I receive and keep them on my desk because they make me smile. These are the kind of cards which will make me smile. 

Shepherd Illustration have a good range of art prints, screen print tees and greeting cards available in their Etsy store and on their website. Something for all occasions, from new baby, birthdays and bereavement, all in their unique, understated style.

Note: Shepherd Illustration sent us these prints and greeting cards for review purposes. All images and opinions are our own.

Win a Vintage Oval Pocket Watch Style Wall Clock from Windsor Browne

Vintage furniture experts, Windsor Browne have recently re-launched their website, making it easier than ever to find furnishings and accessories to suit your own vintage and antique, rustic and urban style.

Yorkshire based Windsor Browne was a business which grew from a personal love of all things vintage and antique, rustic and urban especially the industrial chic look and the warm lavish highland ‘gentleman’s club’ style.

Win a Vintage Oval Pocket Watch Style Wall Clock from Windsor Browne

Windsor Browne was born in 2012, but their story doesn’t begin there. They’ve been successfully selling stylish furniture and accessories for over 10 years, though they’re gone through several incarnations in that time. Windsor Browne was once part of their sister company Melody Maison,which sells French vintage furniture and accessories. Windsor Browne quickly became a successful business in its own right, and is now one of the leading on-line home furnishing retailers in the UK.

With furniture and accessories sourced from around the world, Windsor Browne have a stunning range of clocks, small and large mirrors, hooks, stags heads, Leather pieces, Tartan pieces, rustic furniture and interior accessories all in their own distinct, unique and quirky style.

Their new website is full of gorgeous new furniture and accessories for your home. With a few key pieces it’s easy to change the look and feel of your home. A new mirror or a clock is a great way to set the tone and you can accessorise around that. 

Win a Vintage Oval Pocket Watch Style Wall Clock from Windsor Browne

I’ve very much fallen for the Vintage Oval Pocket Watch Style Wall Clock on the Windsor Browne website. It’s a real statement piece, a beautiful clock with a touch of rustic French charm, with distressed clock face that gives it an aged look. It is finished in antique cream with roman numerals and measures 47cm x 40.5cm x 5cm (width x height x depth). The Vintage Oval Pocket Watch Style Wall Clock is available for £36.95 and I love it.

Visit the Windsor Browne website to see their full range of vintage and antique, rustic and urban style furniture and accessories.

Win a Vintage Oval Pocket Watch Style Wall Clock from Windsor Browne

To be in with a chance to win a Vintage Oval Pocket Watch Style Wall Clock from Windsor Browne (pictured above), simply complete the Rafflecopter widget below. Good luck!

Check out our other giveaways over on our competitions page.

 
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Terms & Conditions:
1. The competition is open to residents of the UK only aged (18) and over.
2. The prize is non-transferable and no cash alternative is offered.
3. To enter, please use the Rafflecopter widget above, complete any mandatory entries and any optional entries you would like.
4. The winner will be chosen at random from all valid entries.
5. The winner will receive a Vintage Oval Pocket Watch Style Wall Clock from Windsor Browne (as pictured).
6. The closing date for entries is 11.59pm GMT on 7th May 2017.
7. The winner will be informed by email within 7 days of the closing date.
8. The winner will be asked to provide a full UK postal address with postcode for delivery purposes.
9. The winners name will be available on request
10. Address details will be passed onto an agency to post the prize out to the winner, and is therefore beyond my control. I cannot be held responsible for prizes being lost in the post although I will endeavour to liaise with the agency.
11. Your email address may be passed on to the promoter for marketing purposes, you may unsubscribe at any time.
12. Entry to this giveaway confirms that participants have read, understood and agree to be bound by these Terms and Conditions.
13. HodgePodgeDays decision is final in all matters relating to this giveaway.

Making a style statement with your composite front door

First impressions are everything. A smart and stylish front door is a great way for you and your home to make a statement. When we moved to our current home six years ago I wanted a front door with a bit of flair. Having moved from an estate where everyone had virtually identical white uPVC front doors, I was determined to make a more stylish statement about my new home.

Of course, there’s a reason why uPVC doors are so popular. They are considered to be more secure, well-insulated and hard-wearing. These days modern composite doors have been engineered to have all of the positives of a uPVC door, but with a sense of style most white plastic doors lack. Plus they’re available in a range of finishes and styles to suit all tastes.

If you’ve never heard of a composite door before, they have solid timber cores and are fitted with multi-point locking systems. Composite doors are designed to easily fend off even the most determined intruders. Hard-wearing and thermally insulated; a composite front door has the practicality you need in a secure front door, but with an individuality you can enjoy.

Making a style statement with your composite front door

It makes me happy to walk down my path towards my lovely solid bright blue front door; knowing that behind it is the secure oasis of my home. My front door looks pretty unique and it gets a lot of compliments. You certainly can’t miss it. 

People think a front door is just a door, but it can say a lot about the individuals who live in the house behind it. The colour, the style and the door furniture can tell you so much. This article in House Beautiful – what your front door says about you makes for quite fun reading.

Of course, choosing a style and colour for your front door might not just be a case of personal taste. You might be wise to consider feng shui when selecting a new door. Which direction does your house face? This article could help you to select the most auspicious colour for your new composite front door, if you’re into that kind of thing.

Whatever you decide in terms of colour, style, finish and furniture for your front door; safety and security come first. Choosing a modern composite front door over a generic uPVC one will help your home stand out from the crowd.

This is a collaborative post.

Making the most of natural light with aluminium roof lanterns

Until I had a family of my own I didn’t appreciate just how much room kids take up, with their toys and games and general bouncing around. It’s nice to have a space just for the grown-ups. In my Grandma’s time, her house would have a parlour reserved for visiting adults which was absolutely child free. These days many family homes have a well turned out conservatory for grown-ups to enjoy some clutter free quiet time.

Of course conservatories have a whole range of different uses. Most people build them for the extra space and to take advantage of natural light. Natural light is so important. It can be a great mood booster and can help reduce the effects of Seasonal Affective Disorder (known as SAD). I often walk into the sunny atrium of a large public building and feel uplifted, purely because of the light. But how can we bring that uplifting feeling into our own homes?

Installing aluminium roof lanterns in our homes is one way to maximise the natural light levels in your new or existing conservatory, kitchen or flat roof extension. Aluminium roof lanterns are made to measure and are available in standard white finish or a wide range of colours and finishes.  

Making the most of natural light with aluminium roof lanterns

From the inside the roof looks like a solid glass panelled roof. The glass panels help the conservatory to retain heat and this means that you can use your conservatory or extension all year round. 

Dark homes can feel a little oppressive. I love these ten ideas to bring light into your home. Trimming down trees, cleaning your windows and having lots of light reflective surfaces can really make a difference. 

If you’re building an extension, or you need to replace the roof of your existing conservatory or extension; aluminium roof lanterns are beautiful, modern, efficient and stylish option. I adore the idea of a light filled room we can use year round. Somewhere to relax with friends, a quiet space to read; or a vibrant colourful family room where we can enjoy meals, crafts and games. A conservatory or extension can add so much to your home and is a great investment, it makes sense to maximise the natural daylight in your home by installing aluminium roof lanterns.

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Interiors: Melody Maison – Shabby Chic furniture & accessories

Like many people, spring is the time I tend to look around my home with fresh eyes and start to think about re-decorating, decluttering and re-organising things. It’s also a great time to really ring the changes and invest in new furniture or accessories. In recent years, vintage and shabby chic furniture has been one of the key home interiors looks. Specialists in vintage, French and shabby chic furniture, Melody Maison are one of the leading companies specialising in this style. I’ve been finding out a little more about them.

Melody Maison was started in 2004 a small spare bedroom in Yorkshire. The company grew into a leading retailer of shabby French Chic and vintage style home furnishings.

Vintage & Shabby Chic Furniture from Melody Maison PLUS Giveaway

Melody Maison is a real family business, with cousins, brothers, aunties and daughters all working together. They pride themselves on exceptional customer service, with everyone striving to provide the very best service every step of the way.

They design, manufacture and distribute French style furniture all over the world. Their range of furniture is either designed by and made exclusively for Melody Maison, or sourced from selected suppliers. 

“French style” can mean so many things in interior design. From the understated pale aged shabby chic look, to the ornate and grand rococo style, to boudoir style chic using jewelled colours paired with gold. French style furniture is rarely modern in design. Vintage and shabby chic styles are full of character and can give your home a bespoke one-of-a-kind look.

Their website is full of so many gorgeous pieces of furniture and accessories for every room in your home, including clocks, lights and mirrors. I’ve quite fallen for this White Wooden Window Pane Mirror which I think would look fantastic in a conservatory, or in a sheltered spot in the garden perhaps.

Vintage & Shabby Chic Furniture from Melody Maison

This Window Pane Mirror is made from wood to look like a rectangular window with 2 sides and panes of mirror where glass would be.  It is painted white with a washed finish to look aged, and it can be wall mounted. Its dimensions are 49cm wide x 58cm tall.

Visit the Melody Maison website to see their full range of vintage and shabby chic furniture and accessories.

Home Fragrances from Quinn Lilly PLUS Win a Reed Diffuser

Like many people I love to have scented candles around the house. I like different fragrances at different times of the year. Right now I’m all about fresh zesty scents to liven up my home. Now I’m a parent I try not to have lit candles around my son, so candles are reserved for after his bedtime.

A few years ago I discovered reed diffusers, which are ideal if you enjoy home fragrances, but without the worry of burning a candle around children or pets (or if like me, you forget and accidentally leave it burning all night long). I always have at least one in the house these days. I’ve recently been introduced to Quinn Lilly, a luxury home fragrance brand based in Scotland. They specialise in reed diffusers, glass candle jars, travel tins, fragrance oils and car air fresheners.

Quinn Lilly started making candles and other home fragrances in 2015. They work to create high quality soy wax candles and other natural fragrances which are sourced from different parts of the world. They strive to ensure their products are environmentally friendly and use combinations of natural soy wax and oils to try to create cleaner products. Soy wax is free from pesticides and herbicides, which make the wax eco friendly and cleaner for the environment and your home too.

They have four signature fragrance collections to choose from – Grapefruit & Mimosa, Lavender & Rosemary, Lime Basil & Mandarin and Pomegranate. Plus a range of other fragrance products available. 

Home Fragrances from Quinn Lilly PLUS Win a Reed Diffuser

Quinn Lilly’s luxury reed diffusers last for around three months and cost just £12.99. They’re stylish, elegant and are ideal for discrete fragrancing in any room of your home. With a range of beautiful fragrances available, which would you choose?

To view the full range of Quinn Lilly candles, reed diffusers and other home fragrance products, visit their website

Win a Quinn Lilly Reed Diffuser rrp £12.99

To be in with a chance to win a Quinn Lilly Reed Diffuser (RRP £12.99), simply complete the Rafflecopter widget below. Good luck!

Check out our other giveaways over on our competitions page.

 
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Terms & Conditions:
1. The competition is open to residents of the UK only aged (18) and over.
2. The prize is non-transferable and no cash alternative is offered.
3. To enter, please use the Rafflecopter widget above, complete any mandatory entries and any optional entries you would like.
4. The winner will be chosen at random from all valid entries.
5. The winner will receive a Quinn Lilly Reed Diffuser (RRP £12.99).
6. The closing date for entries is 11.59pm GMT on 23rd April 2017.
7. The winner will be informed by email within 7 days of the closing date.
8. The winner will be asked to provide a full UK postal address with postcode for delivery purposes.
9. The winners name will be available on request
10. Address details will be passed onto an agency to post the prize out to the winner, and is therefore beyond my control. I cannot be held responsible for prizes being lost in the post although I will endeavour to liaise with the agency.
11. Your email address may be passed on to to the promoter for marketing purposes, you may unsubscribe at any time.
12. Entry to this giveaway confirms that participants have read, understood and agree to be bound by these Terms and Conditions.
13. HodgePodgeDays decision is final in all matters relating to this giveaway.

Home: Giving my kitchen table an update for spring

Like most people, the heart of my home is my kitchen table. We eat together around it, we do homework and our work at it, we paint, we draw, we sew, we argue and we make up. Our kitchen table gets a lot of action and it shows. Our beautiful wooden table is scratched and worn. Three years ago when the boy was a toddler we got a wipe clean tablecloth from Wipe Easy Tablecloths and it was a godsend and a real game changer.

Home: Giving my kitchen table an update for spring

This spring I decided it was time to give my kitchen table a little update. So I turned once again to Wipe Easy Tablecloths. I wasn’t sure what to go for, my kitchen is light, airy and neutral. Virtually any pattern of tablecloth would work well, I wanted one that wasn’t too busy, but with a bit of a pattern. 

I went on their website and managed to narrow it down to just a few choices, after giving it some thought I plumped for the confetti oilcloth tablecloth. It has pretty pastel polka dots on a neutral background. I had hoped it would look lovely in my kitchen and brighten the place up a bit for spring.

Home: Giving my kitchen table an update for spring

The tablecloth I liked is 135cm in width, so I just had to measure our table and order the length I needed. It was really easy to order using the website and a roll containing my tablecloth was delivered the next day. 

I love my new tablecloth. It looks really smart and it’s brightened up the room a treat. I don’t think you can beat an oilcloth tablecloth for everyday use. With a house full of messy boys and the constant rigours of family life, it really protects the table underneath. Cleaning up after crafts, painting or just a messy dinner is so much easier too.

Home: Giving my kitchen table an update for spring

Wipe Easy Tablecloths have a huge range of oilcloth, PVC and vinyl designs to choose from. You can easily find a tablecloth to suit your style and they’re really reasonably priced. Ours cost just £33 which is great value, especially as I’m expecting to have it on the table for several years.

I’m very happy with the design I’ve chosen. I think it’s light, bright and just the right amount of informal for our busy family kitchen. What do you think?

Note: I was sent this tablecloth for review purposes from Wipe Easy Tablecloths. All images and opinions are my own.

Review: Pick n Melt Christmas Gift Set

Scented candles are something I use a lot at this time of the year. To me there’s nothing better than filling my house with festive fragrances in the run up to Christmas. I’m a little bit fussy about what I choose though, too often cheaper candles can be quite sooty and not scent my home effectively. I’ve been trying out the Pick n Melt Christmas Gift Set and I’m impressed with these little wax cubes.

Review: Pick n Melt Christmas Gift Set

The Pick n Melt Christmas Gift Set comes with a stylish ceramic wax warmer and 16 little packets of scented wax. The wax warmer is really contemporary looking and I’ve decided to put it in my whiter than white bathroom, because it blends in really well.

The wax warmer comes in two parts, the bottom is open on two sides and has a place to put your tealight. The top part of the warmer fits on top and you just put the wax cubes in the small basin on the top and the melt pretty quickly, releasing their lovely scent.

The Pick n Melt Christmas Gift Set includes two little packets of each of the following festive fragrances –

  • Christmas Time
  • Christmas Spice
  • Robin Red Breast
  • Cocoa & Log Fire
  • Frankincense and Myrrh
  • Mistletoe & Wine
  • Festive Tree
  • Snow

Pick n Melt Christmas Gift Set

I melted one little packet and it was enough to fragrance the upstairs of my house. The “throw” on these little wax cubes is quite impressive. The throw of a candle or a wax melt means how it smells when it is lit and how far the scent travels within the house.

I think they would make a lovely present for candle lovers (I ordered one last night as a gift for someone). I think the little wax cubes are very sweet and there are probably hundreds of different scents to choose from on the website. So whatever fragrance style you enjoy, there’s bound to be something to suit you.

Review: Pick n Melt Christmas Gift Set

I’m very taken with my Pick n Melt Christmas Gift Set and I will enjoy using it over the next few weeks, before thinking about changing my wax to something fresher and more spring like.

The Pick n Melt Christmas Gift Set is currently available for £12 on the Pick n Melt website

I was sent this gift set for review purposes. All images and opinions are my own.

Review: Helpful cleaning services from Helpling.co.uk

We’ve been without a cleaner for about a year now. We’ve haphazardly tried to tackle this much hated chore by ourselves, but for some months now I’ve shuffled around the house trying not to look too carefully at the dusty corners and the dirty marks on the walls. A couple of times a year we like to properly blitz the place, one of these times is before the Christmas tree goes up. So this week we bit the bullet and booked four hours of cleaning services through Helpling.co.uk.

It was ridiculously easy to book cleaning services through Helpling. You just enter your details and a shortlist of potential cleaners pops up. You then go though and vet them, so if you’ve got a dog and there’s a cleaner who doesn’t like pets you can strike them off your list. This takes a couple of minutes, tops. Once you’ve got your shortlist, just pick the time and day you want them to come, click submit and wait for one of your shortlisted cleaners to accept the job. Simple.

Review: No Hassle cleaning services from Hassle.com

Within 15 minutes of clicking submit I had a cleaner accept my job and Helpling emailed me to confirm everything. They’d taken my bank details so no cash needed to exchange hands on the day. Perfect.

I had a tidy up a declutter before Elizabeth my cleaner arrived. Having a six year old means my house often resembles a toy assault course, so I think it’s only polite to have a tidy up. I got a box of cleaning products for her, with some gloves and cloths and waited for her to arrive.

Elizabeth was really professional. She arrived on time and was really lovely. I gave her a tour of the house, outlined what I’d like her to do and I just left her to it. I sat working in my office as she quietly cleaned my house. 

Review: No Hassle cleaning services from Hassle.com

After the four hours were up I went to chat to her and have a look at how she’d got on. Everything I’d asked her to do she had done, she’d even cleaned things I’d stopped noticing, like my kitchen bin. I think all cleaners are different and have slightly different things they like to focus on. I was very happy with her work and I think my house looked about 300% better for having her visit. 

I think Helpling.co.uk offer a really easy to use, well priced service. For a one off clean (which I had) it was £12 per hour, with no booking fees or extras added on top. If you book a regular weekly or fortnightly clean it is £10 per hour. 

We really miss having a regular cleaner, so once New Year swings around we will be turning to Helpling for some extra help around the home.

Helpling.co.uk is the leading online marketplace for cleaning services. It’s incredibly simple to book one of their vetted and approved cleaners and it really is no hassle at all.

We received a complimentary clean, but all opinions are our own and we will be making a regular booking in the New Year.

Five ways kitchen towel can keep your house clean!

Kitchen towel is a real household essential. It’s great for mopping up spills and for cleaning up after children and pets. It’s so essential, a roll of kitchen towel is one of the first things we pack when we go on a self-catering holiday. Here are my five ways we use kitchen towel to keep our house clean – it’s so versatile we wouldn’t be without it!

Five ways kitchen towel can keep your house clean!

Damp dusting – I’m allergic to dust, so when I do dust my house I have to damp dust. To me damp dusting makes more sense than just moving the dust around. To damp dust, just dampen your kitchen towel and wipe over the dusty areas, then you just dispose of the dusty kitchen towel. No dust has been flicked up around the house, I’m not sneezing and everything looks clean and tidy.

When I’m cleaning windows – Kitchen towel is great to use for cleaning your windows with. Just damp them and use with some window cleaning spray – there will be no streaks just shine.

Fat fighters – Tipping cooking fat and grease down the sink is a big no-no. If your sink or drains get blocked it can cause all kinds of problems. To combat this problem, I put a couple of sheets of Plenty Kitchen Towel in my pan (once it’s cooled obviously) and leave it for a few hours, the towel soaks up the fat. I then just put the soaked kitchen towels in the bin. No fuss, no mess, no blocked drains.

Condensation killer – If your windows suffer with condensation in the winter, one old fashioned but excellent tip is to dab of washing up liquid onto your kitchen towel, wipe it all over your dry window and that will help to prevent condensation build up. 

Bye bye cobwebs – If you’ve got high ceilings or hard to reach places to dust, slightly dampen a piece of kitchen towel, put it on the end of a sweeping brush and carefully dust the cobwebs off your ceiling or hard to reach corners. The damp towel will stop the dust from floating down onto your face and your corners will be cobweb free. Result! 

Five ways kitchen towel can keep your house clean!

Over on Facebook, Plenty and their hero Juan Sheet have got some great giveaways running for the first 12 days of December. Just answer the simple riddles each day to be in with a chance to win one of the Plenty #12DaysOfPlenty prizes. To enter, hop on over to the Juan Sheet Facebook page.

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