Wednesday, 17 December 2014

BLOOM & WILD

This time last year I was selling my house, which was exhausting and stressful, and something I'd really happily avoid doing again for a very long time. But there was a nice side to it - as my house had to be spotless and looking pretty ALL THE TIME (in case a potential buyer requested a visit with no notice), the house was always filled with flowers, and I loved it.

Since then I've been on a mission to buy myself fresh flowers whenever possible... which can surprisingly be a bit hard to find without paying a fortune! There's a beautiful little florist just round the corner from my flat who sell gorgeous (and affordable) flowers, but they seem to mainly sell to trade so they're only open once in a blue moon. Supermarket flowers are a bit hit and miss - when tulips are in season, Tesco is the best best best, but their pre-made bunches are a bit boring and often don't last long.

So, that's why my latest internet find is SO exciting. Say hello to Bloom & Wild...

 
Bloom & Wild deliver a regular sized bouquet of flowers in a flatpack box that is small enough to fit through your letterbox. They source their flowers directly from growers (cutting out several stages that hold up supermarket and florists' flowers), which means their bouquets are normally only three days old by the time they reach you (and will remain fresh and pretty for much longer).

Each bouquet is designed by professional florists and comes with simple arrangement instructions, so if you have no clue what to do, help is at hand.


Aaaand did I mention, you can order it as a subscription? As well as one-off bouquets (from £20), you can arrange to have flowers delivered weekly, fortnightly and monthly. Subscriptions start at £50 for three months, £100 for six months, or you can set up an ongoing subscription for £15 a bouquet (which essentially is the cost of one takeaway per month).

They've also got an introductory offer, so you can get your first bouquet for just £10 (BARGAIN). 

I'm seriously skint from Christmas shopping, but come payday, I'm going to order some to arrive in January - if there's ever an excuse to treat yourself to something colourful, it's the start of a new year!

Monday, 15 December 2014

PERSONALISED MARSHMALLOWS

If you're a bit instagram-obsessed, you might have heard of Boomf - a company that prints marshmallows with your instragram photos. It's a bit ridiculous (of course it's a bit ridiculous), but it's also a cute, quirky idea, that might be good if you're still feeling a bit stuck for Christmas present inspiration!


A little while ago, Boomf got in touch to offer me a box to try out. Each box contains nine mallows, measuring 4 x 4cm (fitting perfectly in a mug of hot chocolate, as you can see above!), and I have to say, it is surprisingly difficult to choose what ones to print!

Boomf box* - £15
In the end I went with a photo of my best pal Steph (as I knew she'd find it hilarious to be on a marshmallow), as well as a few food-themed instagrams (I loved the idea of a fried egg marshmallow!).

The printing quality seems pretty good overall - photos were a wee bit fuzzy, but I think that's got to be expected! The marshmallows taste nice too (assuming you aren't put off by eating your own face), and have a slight vanilla flavour.

A box costs £15, which is pretty pricey for marshmallows, but I think they'd be an ace one-off treat or super personalised sugary gift. Yum!

Wednesday, 10 December 2014

CHRISTMAS GIFT GUIDE

There are a million christmas gift guides in blogs and magazines right now, so I figure one more won't hurt!

I've chosen a few of my favourite things and (where possible), have picked things from independent shops and designers, as well as a few things from bigger stores (to be honest, this ENTIRE list could have been made up solely from Anthropologie, but that's another story).

I hope this helps... happy shopping!

£5 and under...



£15 and under...



£25 and under...



£50 and under...



£100 and over! 



Monday, 8 December 2014

HOW TO:
Make a candy cane garland

Yankee Candle have released two new Christmas ranges this year, and to celebrate this they are soon going to be running a series of Yankee 'How To...' Guides for Christmas, based around the different candle ranges.

As part of this Yankee kindly sent over a couple of DIY guides for me to give it a go (as well as some candles to make my crafting experience suitably festive!), and I thought I'd share a simple guide to making a candy cane star. 


Except.. well, my star didn't quite go to plan. So instead, here's how to make a candy cane garland... (so simple that people who are incapable of gluing things into a star shape can do it). 


To make my garland I used candy canes, brown twine, sellotape and some blue wrapping ribbon.

I started by attempting to glue pairs of candy canes in a heart shape. However, before I started this DIY, I took all the plastic off the candy canes (thinking to myself smugly - why would I check this? OF COURSE the plastic comes off). Um. I don't think the plastic comes off. 

Turns out, superglue will not glue sugar together. Is that obvious? After attempting to glue my canes together, and holding them patiently for AGES feeling completely complexed, I then thought I should check that the superglue worked (....) and GLUED MY FINGERS TOGETHER. Goodness me.

Anyway, it was that point that I gave up on the super cute star that Yankee had suggested I make (you can see what it is meant to look like in this lovely blogger's post!) and instead, sellotaped them into heart shapes, and used blue wrapping ribbon to tie the hearts together. I then tied brown twine to each each so I could hang it up across my window. 

Small jar candles* - £7.99
I'm not going to lie, it wasn't the most relaxing crafting experience I've ever had (especially as I am STILL picking super glue off my fingers), but now my garland is up (and hasn't fallen apart), my christmas tree is sparkling, and my candles are twinkling away, I'm starting to regain my festive spirit.

I was sent two of their Christmas candles: Angel's Wings (a sweet, flowery scent) and Candy Cane Lane (a seriously minty, christmassy scent). At first sniff, I thought Candy Cane Lane would be too minty for me, but my house smells amazing! 


And look! My mongrel of a Christmas decoration actually looks really sweet next to the tree. Hooray for Christmas!


So if that's inspired you (ha! If I can do it, honestly anyone can), then keep an eye out on Yankee Candle's twitter and facebook to see more.

Sunday, 7 December 2014

GO #BOLDINTHECOLD
& WIN A HOLIDAY!

I love winter holidays (like Portugal! It was ace!). You get all the fun of summer at home (and manage to avoid holidaying with millions of families), and then as soon as the weather turns dark and miserable, it's holiday time!

So I'm also a fan of Virgin Holidays' new competition, 'Bold in the Cold'...


#BoldintheCold challenges you to do something summery this winter (the bolder the better), and share it with them for a chance to win a holiday for four to Dubai.

All you've got to do is take a photo or a short (vine-style) video of yourself having fun and flaunting in the freezing winter weather, and share your entry on twitter, instagram or vine using the hashtag #BoldintheCold, or upload your video to the Virgin Holidays website.

Virgin Holidays invited a few bloggers to kick-start the competition, and as I am basically always open to doing slightly idiotic things, OF COURSE I said yes.



You can't really tell, but it was SO BLOODY COLD on the day I filmed this (and it turns out you get loads of weird looks if you wear a box on your head in a public park!). 

I had really wanted to do a rainy day video (where water poured into a cocktail or I paddled in puddles), but it didn't rain at all the week I was planning to film, so if you fancy entering and are a bit stuck for ideas, feel free to use mine! Good luck!
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