Sitting In Comfort

Monday, 7 April 2014

Ero Arnio Style Ball Chair :: Anne Jacobsen Style Egg Chair :: Eames Style Lounge Chair with Ottoman :: Silver and Grey Upholstered Armchair

I love adding pieces to my home to instantly update a room and if you've ever been in my house you'll know I love chairs. I use them to read, write, drink coffee, take notes, think about the day etc and there's usually one in the corner of every room bar the lounge where we have sofas. Everyone here knows the armchair is mine. I'm usually a fan of the deep cushioned arm chairs with plenty of space but when I found these from Out There Interiors I couldn't resist putting them in a wish list. All of them have distinct design qualities that would translate with so many aesthetics and they're all a real statement feature of a room. What's better (aside from comfort - comfort is key).

As they're designer they are quite pricy but the armchair on the bottom left? Less than £200! Definitely a bargain considering high street furniture from Next etc is even more expensive. I'm just imagining the plush silver and grey in my office. The more modern styles have really surprised me as I'm not usually a fan of anything too modern but look at the shape of that egg chair. Isn't it divine? If red isn't your colour there are so many to choose from and while pricey it's definitely an investment piece that could translate with many decor changes.

Can you imagine yourself cosying up in these? Let me know what you think!

Home Sweet Home

Wednesday, 5 February 2014
You know how people say the kitchen is the heart of the home? In this home it's the living room. It's the place where we spend most of our time listening to music, working, writing lists, reading, watching TV, cuddling with the dogs, playing board games and crafting. It's the room that you first come to as you walk down the entrance hall and the room where any visitors come to sit and drink their beverage of choice to catch up so I like it to look inviting, fresh and reasonably passable. By no means is any of my home a Pinterest worthy picturesque feast for the eyes but it's getting there.

When we moved in almost three years ago we didn't have a lot of furniture as we were coming from a tiny flat. The magnolia walls were not to my taste and our budget wasn't even in the realms of healthy and so I've been adding slowly, picking up things from charity shops and given things to eventually make this room look homely. First we white washed the walls and added an exposed brick effect wallpaper to the wall with the mantlepiece. The table the TV stands on and the sofas were second hand gifts, the vintage broken sideboard that the sofa rests against was found on the side of a road at 3am and the dresser which pulls all the different types of distressed wood together with the white elements of the living room furniture was kindly gifted by Argos. All together with some cheap little bits dotted around I'm becoming happy with it.

This room doesn't get a lot of natural light and doesn't have a fantastic view so instead of curtains or blinds I chose a white net and white voiles which provides enough privacy during the evening and an airy feel in the day time. However the real star of my room is my new coffee table which I talked about in yesterday's post. It is huge and takes up most of the floor space but I'm okay with this because I love having a place to drink coffee, read magazines and work from my laptop while the office is under construction. I thought it would look really out of place but I actually love the way it's worked out - what do you think?

I'm not going to pretend I live somewhere perfect. There's a whole corner full of unorganised things that just looks like piles of tat and I wanted to show a real representation of where I live and how I live in it. God knows, I wish I could be more organised and I do try but I'm more comfortable with a bit of destruction against the pretty rather than the show homes I may be aesthetically envious of.

What do you think?

Safe Zone

Wednesday, 11 December 2013
So as some of you may know I run this blog but I also run the blog hellowonderful.net. From this blog I go to a few events, I do a lot of PR work, I run a Twitter account (hellowonderful_) and an Instagram but I also have a family life with my two daughters, two puppies, a boyfriend and a parrot. A lot of what I write and post concerns my personal life, from my family to where I'm going at what time and my Instagram especially is a little bit of a follow me around feed. Internet safety is something I feel has been rammed down our throats since we first set out online, for me in my pre-teens. Never disclose personal details, never meet anyone that you have met online, don't give out your address - well, that's what I do on a day to day basis. Some of my closest friends I have met online plus a few past boyfriends, my address is given out to PR's and online friends for things such as secret santa's and giveaways and personal details? My online life s littered with them.

A few weeks ago on Twitter I joked that the best way to murder a blogger would be to pose as a PR offering free NARS samples. You'd have access to their Twitter, Instagram, blog, address - seemingly so few accounts but they hold a wealth of personal information.

I try to keep safe. I use my surname as I am a writer and I want my work, blog, photographs etc to be linked back to me as a person especially for portfolio building. I don't mention which school my daughter goes to or what area in the city we live in but, it really wouldn't be too difficult to find out. Looking through my Instagram photos anyone with even a slight knowledge of the city I live in would be able to tell the street and house I'm in just from the view from my living room window. I'm not safe online, someone could easily find me if they wanted to and it'd be even easier to contact me to harass me and make my life hell. It would probably even be easy to stalk me. That's scary.

I don't think I'll ever stop doing what I do. I love doing it and I love the response I get from the people I meet and talk to online. However I do want to keep safe and I do need to look at some things and maybe have a re-jiggle of priorities. Simple things such as not showing the exact area in which I live, not telling people when I'm alone at home or there's nobody in the house, not sharing my address to anyone except the people I absolutely have to, checking photos for stray bills or bank cards in the background (any indication of very personal details) etc. I don't do this to excess but it's alarmed me that I have when I thought I was being responsible.

There's a lot that comes with being a blogger that may be a good thing but could also be used against you. Yes, you love your pedigree dog but what if someone wanted to use him for a dog fight in your area and your online identity lead them to your real life identity? It doesn't bear thinking about let alone if you replace your pedigree dog with yourself or children. We trust that there is no malicious intent behind the people who read and see what we do online and that's basic human nature but I truly think we should be slightly more careful even if we are not thoroughly vigilant about policing and censoring ourselves.

To find out more about keeping yourself safe online you can check out Norton's guide to protecting your privacy and hopefully it will help you just give a thought to the things you share even if, like me, it'll never cut it completely.

How do you protect yourself online?

Dreaming Of A White Christmas

Wednesday, 27 November 2013

So it's less than a month until Christmas and I've already got my tree up twinkling in the corner of the living room and gingerbread felt garland around the fireplace. I've always been an excruciatingly festive person - one of those people you definitely want to hide away until December 1st in fear of going slightly insane - and I love Christmas. I'm not religious but I am traditional in most senses. I always do a big family meal, decorate the house, buy presents, play games with the children like Elf on the Shelf and I am always dreaming of the white fluffy stuff closer to the time. Not that we've had a white Christmas in Wales for a very long time but Christmas is all about hope, right?

So this year I'm checking our Chances of Snow in the UK and playing around with this cute little checker that determines your chances of a white Christmas in your area that you can find here willigetawhitechristmas.com. I was told there was a 50% chance of snow in our area so, let's be fair, hope is still alive.

I can't wait for the chocolate truffle making, Baileys over ice, egg nog lattes a-plenty and Christmas wrapping to begin. Life always seems that little bit sparklier and happier during the festive season and no matter if you believe in the age old solstice, the birth of Jesus, something else or nothing in particular it's always a fantastic excuse for a get-together.

Brow Power - Urban Decay Brow Box

Friday, 18 October 2013

Urban Decay Brow Box in Brown Sugar - £17 c/o Debenhams

I have a confession to make. Two years ago I would never have filled in my brows. It wouldn't have crossed my mind, I wouldn't have picked up a brow pencil in Boots and I'd never heard of brow powder or wax. My brows are sparse from the arch outwards for no real reason and an ash blonde which doesn't work well with my pale skintone and hair colour but I just left them like that and until I started to fill in my eyebrows I didn't even think it made my face look unfinished. I've learned. Now I favour a strong defined brow that doesn't look too unnatural but that is very obviously 'done'.

I've been using brow powder for about a year now starting off with Benefit BrowZings, moving on to MUA's Brow Palette and then HD Brows but a few weeks ago I was contacted by Debenhams and asked if I'd like to review something they stock in their brow range. I was umming and ahhing over choosing a MAC pencil but through the thought of ease of use I decided to turn my eyes to the Urban Decay Brow Box and I'm so glad I did.

First of all it's a small box but quite deep so it's not the easiest for storage but it does fit into my little make up bag that pops into my handbag. The top is a mirrored and embossed pink plastic with the brand name which opens up to reveal two brow colours, a pair of mini tweezers and a little angled brush. Beneath that there's a little indentation that tells you to 'Push' and out comes a little pan of brow wax. Practical and adorable.

The tools themselves are very good. The mini tweezers are the best I've used in miniature version that really do grab every hair and the angled brush is firm yet flexible and it gives a precise finish which is great when I don't want to carry around my larger MAC 266 brush that I usually use for my eyebrows. The colours are lovely with little to no fall out and a great deep colour from one swish of the brush but I'd expect nothing less from the makers of the amazingly pigmented and beautiful quality of the Naked palettes. I use the lighter colour all over and use the darker brown to define the arch slightly favouring the dark all over at night only but if you have medium to dark hair or love a dark brow I'd say Brown Sugar will suit your needs. The wax is quite thin in consistency but does the job although I do favour using the Anastacia brow gel after using the powder, personally.

All in all, this is my new go-to and I'm carrying this around with me everywhere even though I've not yet needed to top up midday yet. It ticks all of my boxes and I'd love it even more if it came in a more flat packaging with a brow wax that slid out horizontally to take up less space. I also apologise for the photographs - I forgot to photograph it before use and it's a little mucky but I hope you'll forgive that!

Mailing List

Tuesday, 15 October 2013

I write a lot of letters. I love the idea of old fashioned post through the letterbox and landing on the mat with the wonder whether the dog will chew it up before I get to it. I love the feeling of putting pen to paper, adding little things into the package or envelopesand sending them off at the post office even if it is easier to just type up an e-mail nowdays.

Sometimes I'll include photographs or extra notes and occasionally I'll add in a load of glitter if it's a birthday just to annoy them a little more upon opening and make it extra jazzy. I'll use letter writing sets with pretty paper or just plain envelopes that I pick up from the post office the morning of sending if I'm really disorganised or ones that I already have since I've bulk ordered from places like eBay and Paperstone.co.uk.

The letters could be about anything at all but if it's for big news or asking questions I generally e-mail or phone just for ease of conversation. With everything moving s swiftly in our lives now it's very difficult to wait for appropriate responses yet sometimes I feel I need that time, maybe for nostalgia purposes and sometimes just for the element of excitement while waiting. It may be easier but receiving a letter in response is such a great feeling that I don't think I'll ever give up writing them by hand completely.

Do you still write letters?

Made Of Honor Material

Tuesday, 24 September 2013

So some of you might know that three years ago I was proposed to and I am still not married. I have so much of my future wedding planned but there are some details that are still a little hazy and one of those details are bridesmaids dresses. At first I wanted them in a nude pink, then a grey, then a mint or duck egg but one thing has never changed - I need them to be cheap dresses. I'm not rolling in money and it makes it even more difficult to find passable cheap dresses that look formal, are something they can wear again and that cater for both a size 8 frame and a size 24.

I first spotted these evening dresses on eBay and I just wasn't a fan of the gems beneath the bust but once I found this website it all changed because they have the dresses in the same colours and sizes for an even cheaper price (£29.99) without the detail and now, of course, I'm torn. I'm going to order the grey dress for myself to check it's length and fit and if all is well the only issue I'll have choosing will be the colour.

I imagine my bridesmaids walking down the aisle in this dress clutching their bouquets and looking every inch the stunning women that they are not because of the dress but because they fit the dress so well. The simple style, the colour, the length and the detail all fit in with their personal style aesthetic so well that it wouldn't be out of the ordinary for them to choose this as opposed to some bridesmaids dresses I've seen that don't seem like 'them' as I couldn't imagine them in layers of shiny taffeta or netting. If it's something they can wear again to another event or just to make them feel beautiful, all the better.

What do you think? I love the simplicity and I feel they'd look beautiful with my chosen bouquet of peonies and hydrangeas.

Out with the old

Sunday, 15 September 2013

So as you may well know Autumn is my favourite season and when September rolls around it's like my January. New Years Resolutions? Good but secondary to Autumn resolutions, for sure. Spring clean? Make that a September clean and I can get on board. You see, I may be a little bit of a freak but Autumn signifies a fresh start for me and so every September I start to trawl through my possessions looking for things I can give away, sell and really purge to make room for big cosy knits and lots of opaque tights.

Often I find lots of clothes that not of good enough quality to be able to sell on or give to charity and this is where I look for other options. I'll bag up the summer clothes that I bought on a whim and will never ever wear again or old clothes for dossing around the house and I'll get them out of my hair which, to me, is insanely cathartic.

This season I've sold, given away or recycled three black bags of clothes between four people which is pretty good (or bad) going but in the spirit of cleansing and feeling even slightly renewed, I'm not even slightly ashamed.

Recycled Fashion

Friday, 13 September 2013

So we all know fashion trends are recycled and will be recycled in the future but what about eco-friendly fashion? Would you wear a recycled material dress? What about a festival banner bag?

Bright Colours are a brand who specialise in just those kind of bags. Each bag is scrubbed clean and cut from the most interesting part of the banner fabric to make the bag with the straps made from seatbelts. These items could only be used once and so what else is there to do with them but make something new and I'm surprised at how much I like the tote and messenger bags.

The messenger bags and backpacks are designed with cyclists in mind and while I don't cycle I could definitely see the messenger and tote bags being incorporated into my own style with a plain outfit to make the bag pop. I don't think they'd made me give up my Zara bags entirely but for the gym or lugging lots of things to work on a day where a suit wasn't required I think these would be perfect plus you can rest assured that you're helping the environment while you're at it which is a big plus for me.

As I've mentioned before, I'm not entirely eco-friendly and I don't think I will ever be but when it comes to a choice of evironmentally friendly or not with an equal product - it's a no brainer for me.

If you'd like to find out more about how these bags came to be you can click here which gives much more detailed information on the manufacturing.

How Green Is Your Office?

Friday, 23 August 2013
Mine? Not at all in colour but I try to be as eco friendly as I can with the things in it. Whether you have your own office, an office at home or work in an office, chances are you've thought about being a little more environmentally friendly. With more and more businesses looking to reduce their footprint on the earth with kinder to the environment alternatives from printer ink and paper to reclaimed wood office furniture it's big business to be kinder and one of the companies helping you get a head start on making a bit of a difference are The Green Office who specialise in sustainable office supplies.

With my little home office I don't tend to have a need for the furniture the company sells but I do have a need for the ink, paper, labels (God, how I love labels) and even things like their technology (I need a laminator. I would laminate everything all the time). The best thing is to make up or the delivery of these supplies in vans, for every delivery over £49.99 the company will plant a tree. Simple things but such a great idea for an environmentally friendly company that many of its competitors don't offer.

Me? I'm trying to be more eco-friendly. I recycle, I try not to waste and I re-purpose items or buy second hand where I can but in the office I am so accustomed to picking up a random pack of paper or stationary items without even giving it a second thought and I definitely feel like I should be more conscientious about the things I buy and what I do with it. With the internet right here I can find what I'm looking for with minimal effort and little expense so I really should utilise it a bit more. I think I'll start with buying a laminator and this dry erase board because as some of you may have seen on Instagram, the command central cork board is getting a little messy these days.

Are you eco-friendly? Care to share some of your tips?