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My Experience of Living in a Tiny Home, Part 1

I’ve lived in Bristol for 8 years. In this time I’ve moved from BS1 to BS7, then BS2 to BS3 to BS6, back to BS3 and finally to BS4. I’ve lived in my fair share of houseshares, basement flats, and terraced houses. Throughout my rental history in this city I’ve carted box after box from one house to another, moving twice in one year in 2014 (never again!). But the real change came when we moved into our latest abode – a converted coach house with just 420 square feet of liveable space.

I’ve been listening to a lot of podcasts and watching a lot of videos lately about minimalism and small space living, most typically about American individuals who have decided to downsize. But what makes me laugh the most is the fact that they are calling their 680sq. ft. of space a ‘tiny apartment’, which got me thinking – is my current living situation really that out of the ordinary?

I asked some folks on Twitter whether or not they would like to see some posts on my experiences of small space living, and the answer was a resounding yes. So, here we are. For this first post I thought I’d give you a bit of a potted history about my experiences with moving, my current obsession with throwing as much of my stuff away as possible, and my previous life as a prospective hoarder.
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The Little Things


We’ve been in our little terraced house for nearly 2 years now, which for us is a pretty big achievement; since moving to Bristol we’ve never lived in the same place for longer than about 10 months! Making our little abode feel like home has been a steady process, and for me the nicest touches are always the little things. Read More

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The Search for the Perfect Artwork

Affordable Art Fair Bristol 2015
Affordable Art Fair Bristol 2015

If you’re a keen reader and have been following my Bristol’s Best Bits series, you’ll know all about the Affordable Art Fair – an annual event which returned to Brunel’s Old Station the weekend before last, offering the chance for the people of Bristol to snap up original pieces of artwork for a very reasonable price.

As I’d never been before, I was offered the chance to experience the fair as a first-timer, and pick out a few pieces to take home for myself. Thomas volunteered to come along with me to choose something to fill a sizeable wall space I had earmarked in the kitchen. Turns out we have very differing tastes in art!

Lucie Sheridan Affordable Art Fair Bristol 2015
Lucie Sheridan Affordable Art Fair Bristol 2015
Affordable Art Fair Bristol 2015

I was a bit ashamed that I’d never been along before, to be honest. The event takes place every year and has been going from strength to strength since starting in London in 1999. As well as galleries exhibiting artworks there is an Education Space offering workshops to adults and kids alike, as well as a working Artist in Residence. It’s absolutely vast, and there is so much inspiring work on display it’s really hard to limit yourself to a budget!

Turns out, Tom is a fan of abstract art, which I’m not mad keen on. It’s not that I dislike it, but I think it’s something about being a photographer which hard-wires your brain into finding realism in everything you look at, including your taste in art. One thing we can agree on, however, is illustration, and so I picked up a couple of prints from Lucie Sheridan (the artist behind #RubbishPortraits) and a couple from the Bristol-based artists behind Peskimo.

Peskimo and Lucie Sheridan prints from Affordable Art Fair Bristol 2015

How adorable are they?! I think the two tea prints are going to go in the kitchen, and the sun and moons I might put in the living room. Ahh, my home is filling up with lovely things!

While the fair won’t be visiting Bristol for another year, you lucky London folk can catch the Affordable Art Fair Battersea on 22nd-25th October.

I made a little video about my day out, take a peek here, and if you feel like it why not subscribe to my YouTube channel? There’ll be plenty more videos where this one came from, that’s for sure!

I was given a budget towards the cost of the artwork but all content, words and opinions are my own. A massive thanks to the Affordable Art Fair for inviting me along to document my day.

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A Little Bedroom Makeover with Minted

Since I moved to Bristol 6 years ago, I’ve moved house 8 times. 8 TIMES!!! Just let that sink in for a moment. I’ve called BS1, BS2, BS3, BS6 and BS7 home, and am now happily settled back in BS3 (which, FYI, is the best postcode 😉 ).

We’ve been in our little terraced house for just over a year now, but it’s only in the last couple of months that I feel like it’s finally starting to come together and feel more like the home that we both want it to be. Since becoming slightly obsessed with the notion of KonMari – a craze which is sweeping Pinterest like wildfire – I’ve been itching to downsize and sling anything which doesn’t ‘spark joy’.

All this clearing out is definitely long overdue, and it gives a new perspective to spaces that you’ve never really noticed before. One example is the fireplace in our bedroom, which used to be a bit of a dumping ground for all the bits and bobs we never really knew what to do with. Since tidying it all up, it certainly looks a lot neater, but it was definitely missing something.

empty looking fireplace


I’d put up my little embroidery that I did last year and the weird alien creature that I’d bought at End of the Road, but somehow it just looked really plain and boring. I needed to get something up on the walls, STAT.

Etsy is usually my go-to for quirky art prints to jazz up boring walls, but I’m always on the lookout for more sources. Just as I was about to pick out some prints, an email drops in my inbox about Minted, an artists platform that offer not just art prints but wedding invites, adorable baby gifts and even fabric, all lovingly designed by artists around the world and crafted by Minted.

art prints for the home from minted
minted art print in packaging
art print from minted

I was given a small budget to pick out some prints to transform my little space above the fireplace in the bedroom. I went for three framed options and a loose art print, all roughly 7 x 5 inches, and was amazed when three huge boxes arrived at my door! My new pieces of art were securely snuggled into their cardboard homes, meaning they were in tip top condition after their journey across the pond.

One of the things I loved was that with each print there was a little certificate of authentication, indicating the number of prints of this particular artwork, and the backstory behind the work. I thought it was a nice little touch which adds a bit of personality behind the print.

fireplace gallery wall quirky art prints from minted

Ta daaaaa!

Ahh, it looks so much better. Despite my mediocre picture-hanging skills I finally managed to get them all up on the wall in some kind of arrangement, and even had room for my embroidery to get a proper home 🙂

quirky art prints for gallery wall
quirky art prints hipster glasses gallery wall
pretty flowers and quote

Picking out the prints was not easy, let me tell you. Minted is stuffed full with beautiful treasures, too much to narrow it down to just a few, and I found their navigation system a little hard to comprehend at first. In the end, however I narrowed it down to four – ‘Whole Milk‘, ‘Family Reunion – Aunt Ada‘, ‘Falling Stitches‘ and ‘Lookin Good‘, which I had the perfect frame for myself.

I’m proper chuffed with my new little space, and it puts a smile on my face as soon as I wake up in the morning. It makes such a difference with a small amount of input that I’m now on a mission to cover up all the blank walls in the house!

Have you tried Minted before? Any other recommendations for prints?

This post is in collaboration with Minted. I was given credit to choose the artwork in exchange for a review, but all words and opinion is my own.

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Birthday Wishlist!

Birthdays, HOORAAAAAY!

At the beginning of next month I will hit the big old 2-5, and to mark the occasion of turning a quarter of a century I have very handily compiled a collection of items which I’ve had my eye on for a while, and although I probably don’t deserve any presents, I would be very grateful to receive these as gifts (*nudge nudge wink wink* family!).

Lily Doughball UK Lifestyle Blog Birthday Wishlist
The Night’s All Right Patch – Explorer’s Press
Monstera Notebook – Eastern Biological
Nadia Trousers – Monki
Casio Watch Rose Gold – Watchshop
Pearl Jelly Shoes – Sunjellies
Polka Dot Pleat Skirt Dress – The Whitepepper
Single Ladies Print – Draw Me a Song on Etsy

Clothes! I recently completely gutted my wardrobe, and have narrowed it down to a chest of drawers and a small rail. I love how freeing it feels to know exactly what you have to wear, but it still doesn’t make it easier to get dressed in the morning! Narrowing things down has brought up a couple of gaps which need to be filled – namely, summery trousers like these beauts from Monki, and floaty but smart dresses, like this polka dot number from The Whitepepper. In my quest to dress as weirdly as possible (one of my resolutions), I’ve been obsessing over these two, plus Lazy Oaf and Pull & Bear. If you know of any others which are similar, let me know!

A good summer staple wardrobe also needs some shiny new accessories, like this Casio watch in rose gold, the cheapest of which I’ve found at Watchshop for a mere £29 (compared to AA, where they were flogging them for £47!). My trusty ASOS jellies also died a death at Glastonbury last year, and so I’ve had my eye on these beautiful Sunjellies for a while now, the summeriest of which are this gorgeous shimmery pearly colour (they’ve got some awesome bags, too – check them out!). I also broke out my denim jacket a couple of weeks ago, and would love to adorn it with this awesome patch from Toronto-based Explorer’s Press, whose shop is packed full of fantastic treasures.

I’ve probably got enough notebooks in the house, but I could make room for this leaf print beauty. Eastern Biological are one of those shops which you cannot stop looking at once you’ve discovered them – I just want to fill my whole house with their animals and trinkets.
Lastly, No birthday would be complete without some Beyonce, and I’ve got just the spot for this awesome poster by Draw Me a Song on Etsy! I can picture it filling the space above the fireplace in our bedroom, showcasing our loyalty to Queen Bey.

Birthdays are the best <3

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Valentine’s Day Gifts for Him & Her

Let me confess something – I really don’t like Valentines Day. So just writing this post makes me feel a bit icky. But having been doing some pretty extensive online shopping these last few days I’ve stumbled upon some little gifts which are far too adorable not to share with you all. This is my mini gift guide for the special one in your life, as I reckon you could get away with giving any of these to a lady or gent (yes, even the Lush bath bomb, cos everyone loves glitter… secretly).

Valentines day gifts for him and her

Hello Beautiful Pennant by Sass and Belle £6.25 // ‘You are my Lobster’ biscuit by Eat My Cake £7 // Mr & Mrs mugs from Tigerlilly Quinn £9.99 // Heart Throb bubble bar from Lush £3.65 // Favourite Song Soundwaves Print by House of Yve £25

Sass & Belle are a name I’ve heard a lot of recently – amongst their website stuffed with treasures (like this awesome badger on a bike) I found this super cute pennant with a cheery message on it. If quirky is more your thing, how about expressing your love with a biscuit shaped like a lobster? This edible delight from Eat my Cake is sold out but hopefully they’ll restock in time for the big day! Fritha’s shop is always stocked to the brim with cute gifts, but she’s got Valentines well and truly covered this year, my fave being these Mr & Mrs mugs.

Another shop who does well at this time of the year is Lush, and after going to their Valentines and spring preview last night I can say with the greatest confidence that you won’t be disappointed with Lush over the next few months! My favourite from their Valentines collection is this heart shaped bubble bar, which shares the same scent as their African Paradise body conditioner and of course has heaps of glitter in it.

My last pick is from Not on the High Street – this art print can be customised with the soundwaves of your special one’s favourite song. I reckon it makes a nice little abstract piece of art, plus it has a nice meaning behind it. Aww.

Our Valentine’s tradition is forgoing the gifts and instead spending a small fortune on cheese! What’s yours?

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What I Got For Christmas

I feel compelled to follow everyone else’s lead here and apologise for being MIA for a week or so, but to be perfectly honest it’s been quite nice having a little break, getting up late, stuffing my face and figuring out how many Cadbury’s Roses are too many Cadbury’s Roses.

In the spirit of the season, and without meaning to shamelessly gloat too much, I thought I’d share with you lot some of the treats I got for Christmas. I always find it’s nice to see what other people got under the tree, and I got some right crackers this year which are too good not to share.

loads of Lush Ltd goodies
books and illustration pens
urban decay naked 2 palette and vaseline lips tin
urban decay naked 2 palette
thug kitchen book and matryoshka measuring cups

I think my family know I’m a bit of a fan of Lush, judging by this pile of treats big enough to sink a small ship. Among them was the Rosie and Happy Daze gift sets with a multitude of amazing treats including my favourite Rose Jam shower gel, a Pop in the Bath, Hot Toddy shower gel and amazingly glittery Space Girl bath ballistic. I’d better get bathing if I’ve any chance of using these beauties up before my birthday!

I usually get a few awesome books for Christmas, and this year was no exception. As well as an interesting title – “We Are All Weird” – I got a book by hero history lady Ruth Goodman on how to be a Victorian, as we all know I was born in the wrong time period. I also got some new pens for doodling, as I hope to do some more illustration type things this year!

I know I’m a little behind the times, but in my stocking this year is the one item which is a must have for any bona fide beauty bloggers – the Urban Decay Naked 2 palette. To be honest, my want for this palette has simply stemmed from my being incredibly lazy, and having a multitude of go-to shades in one handy place seemed ideal for me. The colours range from light to dark, matte to shimmery, and they’re all beautiful. I’ll need to have a bit of practice with some YouTube videos but I’ll let you know how I get on. My sister also got me this Vaseline set, which comes in the most amazing tin!

Last but certainly not least is a cookbook I’ve had my eye on for ages. I’ve been following Thug Kitchen for about a year on their Facebook page and have always had a little chuckle at their sweary yet delicious looking recipes. Finally they have brought out a cookbook, like a vegan hipster bible, packed to the brim with awesome photos, amazing recipes and plenty of the f-word. I was even given these adorable little Russian doll measuring cups in order to make sense of the baffling American quantities inside. I’m going to be eating well this year.

What did you guys get for Christmas? Let me know!

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Make a House a Home


We’ve been in our little pebbledashed house by the park for nearly 4 months now, and the time really has flown by. Considering the last two places we lived in we only managed 6 months, I’d say we’re doing pretty well!

Much like the way I dress, I don’t think our house has a ‘style’. As much as I try to emulate a Beautiful Mess, it’s not quite there yet! The problem is that I like to pick up the odd bit here and there, and don’t really think about how it will fit with everything else. To be honest, I kind of like it that way – my cat picture doesn’t quite fit right next to my new driftwood photo frame (*), but somehow the two work together. Plus the postcard I got from Glastonbury not only reminds me of the festival, but makes me cheery just looking at it.

The frame is from the Other Duckling, who sell the most beautiful vintage style gifts and homewares. I’ve got my eye on a few other bits from their website (basically just all of their vintage stuff), and the whole site is stuffed full of beautiful treasures I’d like to fill my house with. I’m beginning to recognise the importance of surrounding yourself with nice things; it makes a huge difference to my mood when I’m all cosy in my front room with the dog lamp on and the fire going, with a mug of something warm and X Factor on’t telly. Lovely.

I’m really working on trying to make this house look nice, ’cause it looks like we’re sticking round for a while. Maybe if I get it tidy enough I might do a home tour post or video, you never know!

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Christmas Shopping at Swindon Designer Outlet

I’m not really a natural shopper. Most of my Christmas shopping is confined to a hurried Amazon shop a few days before the big day, but I’ve really been trying to get organised this year. We’re a bit spoiled for choice with shopping here in Bristol, but let’s not forget that a short trip down the M4 you arrive at McArthur Glen Swindon Designer Outlet, with over 90 shops to choose from, all at amazing discounts! I do love a bargain, me.

I was kindly invited along by McArthur Glen to take part in their Gift Hunter Challenge – to find gifts for my three nearest and dearest for under £250, as well as a treat for me! Of course, being the hopeless gift finder that I am, I jumped at the opportunity to explore the new mall and tick a few presents off my shopping list.

Swindon Designer Outlet Christmas 2014
Swindon Designer Outlet Christmas 2014
Swindon Designer Outlet Christmas 2014

We started with a little tour of the place, which has considerably grown in size since my last visit a few years ago. The recent addition of the ‘longshop’ mall has added a whole host of new stores to choose from, including Phase Eight, Ghost and a beautiful Paperchase which I spent far too much time in! After our tour we made a beeline straight for the Lindt shop, to fill our boots with tasty treats.

Swindon Designer Outlet Christmas 2014
Swindon Designer Outlet Christmas 2014
Swindon Designer Outlet Christmas 2014
Swindon Designer Outlet Christmas 2014

The whole mall looked really festive, with the halls well and truly decked with wreaths, holly and impressive lifesized nutcracker statues. What I love about the Swindon Outlet is that they’ve maintained some of the history of the place – sitting alongside the modernity is hints of it’s former life as part of the GWR, with trains and Victorian bits galore. I was in history geek heaven.

Swindon Designer Outlet Christmas 2014
Swindon Designer Outlet Christmas 2014
Swindon Designer Outlet Christmas 2014
Swindon Designer Outlet Christmas 2014
Swindon Designer Outlet Christmas 2014

After a busy morning shopping it was time for a sit-down and a well earned Wagamama’s at their beautiful new food quarter, which has just opened. Cue happy noodle face! If noodles aren’t your thing then there’s a Pizza Express and a delightfully kitsch-looking Ed’s Easy Diner, if that takes your fancy.

Of course, let’s not forget why I was there in the first place – for hardcore gift-buying. I had an idea of who I wanted to buy for before I went in there, but that may have changed a little, seeing as I took Tom along to help, and thought he deserved a bit of a treat.

Swindon Designer Outlet Christmas 2014

We picked Tom up a new jacket from Tog 24, a new pair of jeans from Ben Sherman (who, as well as being at a discounted price, also had an extra 25% off! Woo hoo!), and some sturdy looking boots from Timbaland. We hardly ever get Tom new clothes, so it was a nice chance to pick up a few bits which will be really useful during the winter. Plus he looks very dashing in his new get-up.

Swindon Designer Outlet Christmas 2014

Next up was my little sister, who at the grand old age of 12, isn’t the hardest person to buy for! We have a very similar taste in things (naturally), so I picked out things I would be happy to recieve myself. Alongside a little hot chocolate kit I made with a Le Creuset mug, Lindt chocolates and fancy hot chocolate from Whittards, I got a mini gift set from the Body Shop, plus some of their banana conditioner which I’ve heard amazing things about. As well as this I picked up a few bits from Paperchase, including these awesome cat highlighters and tortoise push pins. I’m definitely resisting the temptation to keep these for myself…

Swindon Designer Outlet Christmas 2014

When we first thought about who to buy for with this challenge, the first people we decided to tick off the list were Tom’s parents. They have just re-done their dining room, so we decided to treat them with a new set of salt and pepper grinders from Le Creuset, as well as two mugs in their iconic volcanic orange finish. As well as this we found this absolute bargain Sabatier knife set in kitchen shop Amefa, down from £200 to a very tidy £30!

Swindon Designer Outlet Christmas 2014

Of course I needed to find a gift for myself, which turned out to be a lot harder than I thought it would be! I settled on a few treats which I’ve always wanted – a decent fitting pair of jeans from Levi’s, a massive Yankee Candle (plus some mini ones), and I also treated myself to a new pot of my favourite eye cream from their amazing Cosmetics Company store.

All in all, a day well spent I think!

Thanks so much for McArthur Glen for inviting me along to see the new mall and pick out these treats to take home. I think I did pretty well at my Gift Hunter Challenge, but I won’t know until the 25th! What do you reckon?

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Mr Nutcase Personalised Phone Case Review

Let me begin this post by stating the obvious – I am very clumsy. Super clumsy. I am forever dropping things, tripping over things, and breaking things. I am also in the possession of a new iPhone 5C, which I only got a few months ago, and have been desperately trying to preserve, which is going pretty well considering my ungainly nature. My last phone ended up flying towards a bus after I stuck my hand out and didn’t realise I was holding something, thank goodness it didn’t break! Needless to say, it was a little worse for wear afterwards.

So when the lovely folk over at Mr Nutcase got in touch and asked if I wanted to review one of their personalised phone cases, I jumped at the opportunity!

mr nutcase personalised phone case

mr nutcase personalised phone case

mr nutcase ultra slimline case

Mr Nutcase Ultra Light Weight Slimline Case – £14.95(*)

It took me absolutely ages to figure out what to put on it. The website has tons of layouts to choose from, I very nearly opted for a lovely tiled layout, which would accommodate my many many Instagram photos. However, I knew I wanted something simple – I ended up settling on this rather hilarious photo of my family dog, Belle, when me and my little sister put a handkerchief on her head to dress her up like an old lady. It’s brilliant, it reminds me of my dog, my sister, and also all the silly times we have dressed her up (every Halloween, always) and she’s very obediently put up with it. Good dog.

I am actually pleasantly surprised at the quality of this case, and I’m really not just saying that. This was a tiny little Instagram photo, which I had to blow up 10 or more times before it would fit on the case, and I was quite concerned that it would look really pixelated and horrible. The print quality is pretty amazing; it looks like Mr Nutcase have altered the contrast a little to make the image stand out a bit more against the texture of the case, but I like it. The texture isn’t smooth and shiny like I anticipated, it’s a little roughed up, which shows off the image a lot better. All in all I’m very pleased with the outcome.

If you fancy getting your own mitts on a personalised Mr Nutcase phone case, you can get 10% off your purchase by using the code “thanku10” at the checkout. Clumsy girls rejoice, let us never break anything again!

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Belated Christmas Wishlist



Happy Christmas Eve Eve! I cant believe it’s so close to Christmas, where is the snow?! I think I’ve used up all my festive cheer in the last few weeks and now I’m sitting in a cold boat being blown around by the horrendous weather outside, and passing the time by peeking at things which I’m hoping to get for Christmas Day.

When I was younger I hated the 23rd December, it would feel like a trick day, designed by calendar companies to make you wait even longer for the big day. How many crap films can you squeeze into one afternoon? Why can’t they just get rid of the 23rd, and then Christmas will always be a day early?

Anyway, there have been a few wishlist posts floating around on my favourite blogs in the last few weeks, and instead of creating mine in the weeks leading up to Christmas I have, like everything else in my life, left it to the last minute. I’ve chosen a few bits off my Amazon wish list to share with you all, with the false optimism that these will be waiting under the tree the day after tomorrow. I can hope!

Number one is a book which I’ve been after for quite some time. I first discovered The Selby is in Your Place whilst browsing Pinterest for boat design inspiration, as one of the homes photographed by Todd Selby for the book is a young lady living aboard on a beautiful boat in London. It seems to be a regular feature on the Guardian website too, for seemingly obvious reasons – from the looks of things it seems to be quite an interesting insight into the lives of others that I can only aspire to.

Secondly are these absolutely adorable plushie balloons from Etsy. I stumbled upon these during one of my late-night Etsy trawls, and fell in love instantly. You can buy them ready-made, or if you are looking for something a little challenging, like me, you can buy the printed cotton and assemble them yourself. I spy a new year craft project coming on…

Third up is another pair of Dr Martens. I don’t think a month goes by when I’m not lamenting over another pair of DM’s I can’t afford – Tom has just bought these shoes but in their waxy brown ‘gaucho’ finish. Being somewhat of a Doc Marten traditionalist however, I prefer these guys, with a smooth black leather finish and vibrant yellow z-welt stitching. Perfect.

Finally, a Christmas wishlist wouldn’t be complete without a novelty gift or two. In search of stocking fillers to beef up my Christmas list I went over to dotcomgiftshop, the kings of affordable, charming and quirky gifts. I found this little guy, who I’ve also seen pop up on Tattooed Tealady’s Instagram quite frequently, and I think he would look very proud sat up next to our telly.

So, it only remains for me to wish you all a very merry Christmas, I hope you all drink too much, eat too much, and get everything you wished for this year. See you in a week or so!

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New House Wishlist


1 // 2 // 3 // 4 // 5

I’m currently in the middle of my week off, and instead of what I should be doing, which is sorting out the new house to live in and trying to clear all of my crap out of the old house, I’m day dreaming of stuff I want to buy and places I’m going to put it in my new abode.

They are all primarily from two websites, Quince Living and Howkapow. I quite simply typed ‘quirky homewares’ into Google and was rewarded by discovering these two sites, and have picked a few of my favourite products from each.

First up is this Caramel Wafer cushion (#1). I have a bit of an obsession with cushions at the moment, and should probably not be looking into buying more, but how awesome is this?! I can just see it perched atop my sofa. The second item from Quince Living is this cute little birdbox key holder (#2) – the little sparrow is a keyring, which you pop safely into the birdbox when you get home. How cute.

Howkapow have more of an odd and humourous selection – like the ‘Dishes I’d Rather Be Doing’ teatowel (#4), which lists Hollywood hunks and the reasons for their appeal (Johnny Depp, for example – apparently ‘his cheekbones are so high you can see them from space’). This little fox jug (#3) is also rather nice, I have a bit of an orange theme (not as hideous as it sounds) in my front room which this would complement perfectly.

Whilst at Cribbs last weekend we popped into John Lewis in search of kettles and other such boring bits of homeware when I spotted these beauties (#5). I don’t think I have ever made a margarita in my life, but I’m pretty fond of cocktails, and even if I weren’t sipping something alcoholic it would be a nice treat to drink out of something so beautiful.

It’s going to be a long wait til next payday!
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