House & Home : A Kitchen Project

We are currently working on a plan to update the kitchen in my in-laws' old home....
no work has been done to it for 30+ years.

We are updating it in order to sell it so our budget is fairly small & sensible since it is not going to be "our kitchen". 
We are also trying to keep the project simple in order to get it done as quickly as possible. 

The space is medium sized.

I like the idea of a basic colour - we need add as much light as we can to the space. 
I am thinking of a very light wall colour - but I think a feature like the glass splashbacks above adds colour & a more modern look to the kitchen.

My husband has always loved metro tiles like those shown in the kitchen below....
we had a cream version of them in our last kitchen and would definitely use them again.

Lots of inspiration in the kitchen images that I've featured here....
tomorrow we are off tile-hunting (and hopefully buying!)....
our local Topps Tiles has a fabulous selection so fingers crossed!    

Beauty News : L'Apothecary Serum & Oil

Earlier this year my friend Lou launched L'Apothecary.

In her own words :

"Frustrated with the chemical content of so many beauty and skin care products, L'Apothecary sought to formulate blends which were indulgent, 100% natural and crucially, would hold their own against other synthetically-enhanced counterparts.

Utilising the principles of a traditional apothecary, we blend in Sussex, Great Britain. All of our products are made from natural ingredients and contain no lauryl sulfates, laureth sulfates, parabens, artificial preservatives, colours or fragrances."

L'Apothecary launched with a range of facial oils : hand blended oils made with gorgeous ingredients.
I tested both the British Blend & the Original Facial Oil and thought they were fabulous.

I buy and am very fortunate to be given a number of beauty products....
I have many.

I loved the British Blend so much that I actually finished it...which is unheard of for me!
I tend to use different products depending on what I feel my skin needs at that particular time....
but the oil was so lovely, I simply stuck with it.  
The oils feel luxurious but also have a very appealing purity & goodness to them which was noticeable almost overnight on my skin.

I am very excited that L'Apothecary has today launched a second range of products....
Quench Facial Serum & Calmer Bath Oil

All products are available on the L'Apothecary website & all purchases arrive beautifully packed, they make wonderful gifts, I honestly cannot recommend them enough.

Hearts On Fire : The Latest Collections

Finding the right diamond jewelry can be an incredible investment in your relationship and something that marks the passing of time with ageless beauty and dignity. The latest Hearts On Fire collections contain beautiful pieces destined to be timeless and the inspiration behind each of the collections comes from the new Director of Design, Ilaria Lanzoni and her perceptions of her beloved Italy and of Boston, Massachusetts.

The two newest Hearts On Fire diamond jewelry collections are the Illa Collection and the Copley Collection. The Illa Collection draws inspiration from Lanzoni's childhood in Italy and her nights watching the stars as they spread out across the sky. This line features stars in each of the pieces and blends together to create stunning masterpieces that are suitable for virtually any occasion.

The Copley Collection draws on Lanzoni's environment as well but this time features much of the superb architecture Boston has always been known for; each piece showcases the arches and the historical significance that Boston has always held. The beautiful arcs, the delicate curves of metal meeting brilliant diamonds and the intricate scrollwork are destined to make this collection as historic as the city it was inspired from.

For couples looking at unique rings to symbolize their eternal love, many of the styles in these collections are superb and will stand the test of time. Each collection centers around Hearts On Fire superior diamonds and trained specialists can help couples choose the exact wedding set that will come to externally symbolize their love and devotion to each other. Their specialists help each couple, either at a physical location or even online, pick out the right wedding set to fit their particular needs.

Do you want a more traditional wedding set that matches the engagement ring with the wedding bands? Or perhaps you are looking for something more innovative and trendy? The extensive collections and up to the minute styles of Hearts On Fire offer something for everyone without sacrificing quality. Crafted from the world's finest diamond supplies, the Hearts On Fire commitment to superior diamond jewelry is unsurpassed.

For couples a bit confused as to the entire process, Hearts On Fire offers something even more. They offer helpful hints and advice for the entire wedding process. Brides and grooms can visit the website and see any number of the available designs, along with a checklist to help the wedding process run so much smoother.

Whether you are shopping within the Copley Collection, the Illa Collection, or simply looking for a timeless engagement ring or wedding band, Hearts On Fire has something to fit every budget and every desire.

This guest-post was written by Vera Mosely, fashion blogger with an eye for diamonds

Party Season : The Little Black Dress Challenge

A  girlfriend asked me to help her find a "party dress"  - something that would work for several parties over the Christmas season.

Her request : a little black dress, knee length, classic/elegant in style.

Needs, if possible, to work for a daytime work function, for a night out on the town with girlfriends & for New Year's Eve.

For evening she wants to add a sparkly clutch & the dress will be worn with a new pair of killer black Jimmy Choos.

And....the cost of the dress should preferably under £50.

Quite some challenge....and actually, the first time I have shopped for a friend.

We headed for Debenhams since they have a great selection of well known designers who have produced very affordable "high street ranges" and they always have a huge choice of party dresses.

Below are the choices I came up with....all under £50 except Dress 4 which was just over budget.

In the end she chose two dresses : Dress 2 & Dress 4 from the Betty Jackson.Black range.

Dress 1 - £28
Dress 2 - £48
Dress 3 - £44
Dress 4 - £56
Dress 5 - £36
(All dresses are currently in the Debenhams sale and can be found online here)

And So To Bed....

Following on from my sleep post last week, I got to thinking about my dream bedroom....

Given the chance to create my perfect room, what would it consist of?

One large room + a spa style ensuite  + an SATC style dressing room....
(yes, this is truly a dream room!)   

a mixture of white & very pale restful colours
enormous windows, preferably floor to ceiling
a very large bed (the one above would be perfect) or a French antique wrought iron bed
beautiful white bedlinen + a large number of cushions
a view....NYC's Central Park, London's Hyde Park or the Mediterranean
a very old & large mirror
a large print
photos in beautiful frames
a couple of large & very comfortable armchairs
a writing desk 

classic sleigh bed & wrought iron bed from Time4Sleep

Kitchen Love : Open Shelving, Yes or No?

Kitchen cupboards or shelves....
 My kitchens have always had cupboards but increasingly I am loving open shelving.

I love bowls on work surfaces, the windowsill, kitchen table,
 a jug or container full of kitchen utensils
a dresser full of pottery or pretty dishes

I like my favourite things where I can see & admire them....enjoy them.

If my ceiling allowed it, I'd have one of those contraptions with copper pans etc hanging from it.

I think it adds colour & interest to a gives it character.

I love all the kitchens I've featured in this piece....
although I'm not sure about the practical side of having open shelves....
would you have to dust all the time? 
I know it would drive my very practical husband = cupboards to him ;) 

What would you choose....
do you like everything out of sight or do you prefer it within easy reach and on display?

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