For me Mr Men were an integral part of my childhood – one I’m hoping to extend to my children as they grow up. As Elfie is beginning to take a real interest in reading and books (just like her mum. Until her mum discovered boys) I’ve started buying the Mr Men books for her. And I’ve noticed something about them – Mr Men are actually pretty good role models.
Bear with me on this. In a world where the people from TOWIE, Geordie Shore and The Kardashians are hailed as heroes we need all the good values we can get. And I think Mr Men can give this to us! Here are my favourites:
Mr. Brave is the most courageous person in the world, or so everyone thinks. The truth is that Mr. Brave is really a lucky coward. He only has one fear: heights. He’s brave enough to save Mr Messy from water, but not brave enough to go on a tightrope…
Mr Funny went to the zoo, where all the poor animals have colds. He ends up cheering up the zoo animals with his funny jokes and humour before driving home to his teapot house. Nobody has a sense of humour like Mr Funny!
Mr Good is very good but lives in a town called Badland, where everyone is bad. When he opens a door for someone, trying to be good, he gets kicked in the shin! Mr. Good decides to take a long walk and ends up in Goodland, which is where he lives now.
One Day Mr Happy discovers Mr Miserable (who happens to look exactly like him) and helps him become happy.
Nothing is impossible to Mr. Impossible: he can do anything! He has magic powers and uses them to motivate people. He proves he can do anything in some amazing ways!
If you’d like to buy up your own collection of Mr Men (and why wouldn’t you?!) then take a look at the deals at The Works – I’ve just bought the Mr Men box set from there for the kiddos for Christmas and can’t wait to get stuck into them!
I’m very proud of our country and the lovely lives we are able to have here: the NHS, our schooling system, the British companies I work for and with, the epic brilliance that is our capital city of London, the beauty of our countryside. Despite thinking I was always a bit wanderlust-y I can say with certainty that there is nowhere else in the world I’d rather live. Crap weather, imperfect politics and all.
As I get older I find I like to do lots more British things. I’ve just been on a weekend break to the Lake District for example (with my wellies and my wax jacket!), and you could not pay any money to part me from my weekly stroll around my favourite British supermarket (Waitrose) with a cup of English Breakfast and the Times in my trolley. I’m taking Elfie out for her first afternoon tea next weekend and I really enjoy a jolly old moan (I also enjoy saying ‘jolly old…’).
I’m so British you can call me sodding Mary Poppins. Though I don’t have her patience with small people, unfortunately.
So this year I’ve decided to go very patriotic in my approach to Christmas shopping. I’ve decided (weirdly, maybe) that all presents I buy for friends and family will be from British companies. Why? I DON’T KNOW. But here’s my very British rundown of stocking fillers for women (clue: some of you might need a bigger stocking):
1. My very favourite wax jacket is from my very favourite British countryside company, Joules. But because I can’t afford one of their lovely jackets for everyone (sorry) their bath and body sets are a very acceptable replacements. My favourite is this Blooming Brilliant Weekend Bag at £45, which is not only choc full with treats but is a re-usable tote bag too.
2. If you have any new mothers in your life – STOP! Don’t look any further for a gift for them than the lovely hand-crafted jewellery company Epanoui. I love how everything Hannah produces is specially made by her just down the road from me and I can personally vouch for how gorgeous her pieces are. If I’d just had a baby I’d love nothing more than one of Epanoui’s Heritage Name necklaces (£65). Really stunning.
3. Epanoui again, but this time to their range of linen scarves. Nothing says class like a lovely scarf (really!) and my favourite is the Amelie at £49.
4. If you really really love someone, have a think about splashing out on a Fortnum & Mason’s hamper for them. I bought the Grosvenor (£100) for my parents last Christmas and, despite shedding its straw-like filling all over the carpet, it was very happily received.
5. For something a little different, how about personalised nail varnishes? Enail are a new company who print your own label on your own choice of nail varnish colours (£19.95) before delivering them to the recipient. I love this idea – watch out for a giveaway from them soon.
6. There aren’t many lovelier things than receiving flowers, and with Bloom and Wild‘s subscriptions you can gift someone with a whole year’s worth! Their packages start at £50 for three bunches.
There’s nothing like little trinkets, cuddly cushions and quirky signs to transform your house into a home. If you’ve just moved house, or feel like certain rooms (*cough cough every room*) need a revamp then it can be hard to know where to start. It’s pricey too!
I’ve always loved those small extras you can’t seem to find everywhere else. Cute designs and personalised knick knacks that really express your individuality. IKEA may have the functionality, but when it comes to the personal touch, there are plenty of ways you can insert yours…
For the kitchen, personalised enamelware is a really cute way of revamping without spending loads on fresh new appliances. The selection from Jonny’s Sister come in a range of soft pastel hues, easily suited to all tastes and designs, as well as sizes fit for all worktops. With mugs, tins, bins and pet bowls, you can create a personalised theme running through your kitchen. Why not personalise mugs and plates for the whole family? You never know, it could encourage them to eat up all their veg. I love the idea of personalised trays and pots for growing herbs and small ‘canisters’ for your various tea bags too.
As well as throws and updating your bedding (the feel of fresh new bed sheets can’t be beaten!), all cosy bedrooms should acquire a truckload of cushions. Various sizes, shapes, colours and textures, an array of cushions is one of the best remedies to banish the blues. Especially now it is getting colder, you need all the help you can get and a mountain of cushions is the way to go. The Love Letter style cushions are the best. You can get them handmade with a fabric of your choice and size of your choice too. They make lovely wedding gifts too.
The bathroom is obviously a very clinical place, but it can also get in a right royal mess too. Some nifty storage ideas are key in sorting out your lotions and potions and add personality to this functional room too. Whitewash wicker baskets complete with a pastel inner cloth to suit your existing colour scheme keeps all the bits’n’bobs in one place helping to destress you in the process. Obviously you can’t take these neat wicker baskets in the shower with you. Small plant pots are a unique way to keep your shampoos and conditioners together.
The hallway is the first thing your guests see, and also the first thing you see after a tough day. A messy and unappealing hallway will do nothing to lift your spirits.
Many hallways are slightly dark so the first thing to do is give it a lick of paint. Pastel tones create a light and refreshing atmosphere and a soft cream will give you warmth as the days become shorter. The key to a good hallway is great storage options that keep all the shoes, umbrellas and bags out of the way. If you don’t have the luxuries of an under-the-stairs style cupboard, never fear. An antiques hat stand will solve all of those bag, coat and brolly clutter whilst your bog standard welly holder and shoe rack can be given a coat of varnish and engraved with a heart-warming saying allowing you to “leave your troubles at the door”.
The Dining Room
Whilst the other three rooms have a specific function, your dining room is primarily for entertainment and your chance to really stamp your sense of style. For starters, think about that table where your guests usually gather for a *gourmet meal. You can decorate using embroidered napkins, elaborate candle holders and beautiful carving boards to serve nibbles from. What about bringing the outdoors in with small enamel buckets filled with freshly picked wild flowers?
And it isn’t just the table. The dining room is the perfect opportunity to spread your creativity to the walls too. Rather than opting for the usual tranquil painting, why not make a statement? Typography is hot this season and the simplest way to revamp your room and make a bold statement. If you have a lot of white space and nothing to fill it, bold wooden lettering creates the perfect modern look. A simple “Let’s Dine” or “Enjoy” would create a cosy atmosphere, making your house feel like a home.
Thank you to Jonny’s Sister for partnering with More Than Toast
One of the best things about my job with IKEA Family Live is the fact that I get to look at beautiful homes each and every day. I’ve always had an interest in houses – not so much in interiors but in crafting a home out of the space I live in – and being paid to work with beautiful spaces seems to suit me down to the ground.
We’ve been in our current home about 8 months now (how did that happen?) and I’ve been thinking a while what our next steps will be. I love the house we’re in at the moment, it’s small but perfectly formed ;), but I know it’s not our forever home. I want my kids to grow up with more of an outdoorsy lifestyle than we currently have but until I’ve saved up for my Spanish beach bar I’m reflecting that in my interior tastes.
This natural wood headboard in the bedroom of one of my favourite bloggers is still my most favoured item in the last couple of months; it brings such character and warmth to the room and is a piece that will last forever. Want!
What’s your dream home currently looking like?
This post was brought to you with roofblinds.co.uk.
In my new job as Freelance Digital Editor for IKEA FAMILY LIVE Magazine I’ve been thinking a lot about the role of home in our lives (which luckily for me means lots of times on interior blogs and Pinterest). My thoughts always return to my own current living situation, how happy my home makes me and what I can do to make it lovely.
Looking back, you wouldn’t believe me if I told you how many times I’ve moved home in the last ten years. It’s actually insane and I’m a little bit ashamed to admit it.
There’s something so glorious about those first days of Spring. There’s nothing like feeling the warmth of the sun on your skin after a long, dark winter, or the promise of daffodils and snowdrops poking their heads out of the green grass. As soon as I see their cheery faces bobbing along at the side of the road my spirit immediately lifts: it’s pure balm for my soul.
I’ve made some changes for Spring in our house ? after the little bedroom makeover I did a few weeks ago week I took to brightening up our living space. I bought a couple of new cushions in some bright colours and switched out our floral storage boxes for fresh white ones. I appear to be completely addicted to rugs and have added a new one in green, pink and yellow. One pre?requisite for all my floor coverings is that they must be machine washable: they all get chucked in the wash every few weeks to get rid of pen, chocolate and the remains of chewed up raisins. I love IKEA for these cheerful options that will see us through the mucky weaning years!
This effect that Spring has on me is one of the reasons I always like to bring colour and life into my house. Colours and new moods make me stop, think, and take a look out the window at new life and a new season in my garden and surroundings. It makes me think about the beauty there is to be found in my home, in our little corner of the world. Soppy much?
I display loads of different things ? fairy lights and tealights -? in Mason jars but I’m starting to keep an eye out at charity shops and vintage stores for different pots and containers which is how one of my favourite bloggers, Little Green Notebook, likes to make a display with. She posted about spring in NY over here, total Wanderlust.
I’m also a big fan of the traditional Spring clean to kick start the new season. I swear by taking a black bin bag when you’re in a ruthless mood and wandering the house chucking anything that is broken, no longer useful or hasn’t been used in six months. I then take a basket and place in it any objects that don’t belong in the room they’ve found themselves in and return them to their rightful place: hey, presto! You will immediately feel lighter, less cluttered and more organized. I really believe ‘tidy house, tidy mind’.
Have a gander at my friends over at Glade: they’re shaking things up with their new Spring collection. How do you like to kick out the gloom and the grey?
Thank you to Glade for partnering with More Than Toast this spring :)