Last week I wrote a post for the Laura Ashley blog, all about getting cosy and ready for Autumn entertaining. I absolutely love their Autumn themed range, it has everything from cute fox mugs to leaf shaped coasters to really get you in the mood for snuggling up with warm treats as the nights draw in.

Autumn Home wareOne of my favourite things throughout the year are delicious hot drinks like tea and coffee, and I know I’ll be using my fox mugs a lot over the coming months.

Autumn Home wareFor my Laura Ashley post I created a spiced apple juice recipe. This is a lovely warming drink for cold days and the recipe can also be used for a spiced cider.

Autumn Home wareThe pumpkin soup bowl is perfect for not only a lovely warming bowl of soup, but I thought it worked really well as a mini punch bowl for my spiced apple juice.

Autumn Home wareI also used it too store this lovely autumnal pot pourri. This has a gorgeous spice and orange scent and contains lots of pretty things in colours that really capture the season. Alongside the autumn burnt amber and orange scented candle, my house was smelling all spicy and warm in no time.

Autumn Home wareOne of my favourite autumn treats would have to be toffee apples. they are such a traditional classic and no bonfire night celebration would be complete with out one. I’ve also shared my Toffee apple recipe on the Laura Ashley blog.

Autumn Home wareThese are all the things I used to create these gorgeous pictures:

Autumn Home ware

Top Row: Autumn Wreath – Pumpkin Soup Bowl – Leaf Coasters

Middle Row: Leaf PlacematsAutumn CandlePumpkin Pie Dish

Bottom Row: Fox MugAutumn Tea TowelsPot Pourri

Autumn Home wareWhat are your favourite things about autumn? Which are your favourite pieces from the Laura Ashley range?

*Thank you to Laura Ashley for sending me all the lovely things I used to create these blog posts. All opinions as always are my own. 

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Last week Jess was away on a school trip for a few days and I decided this was the perfect time to give a her room a bit of a makeover. I’d already discussed loads of ideas with her and she’d chosen all the colours and the theme before she went away. It took us all week, but I love how the room came out.

jesss-room-weird-is-a-side-effect-of-awesome-plaqueI didn’t take any before pictures, but the room used to be pink with floral wallpaper and was much more vintage themed. I wanted the new room to be more of a reflection of Jessica, than my taste and I’m so glad I gave her the freedom to choose.

jesss-room-check-meowtWe wanted to create a restful space, where she could be relaxed but also creative. She’s 10 now, but will be going into high school next year and I wanted a theme that wouldn’t be too young for her as she gets a bit older.

jesss-room-wood-wallpaper-wallThe colour scheme we chose was grey, mint and peach. We have walls painted in each of those colours as well as a wall with beachy timber wallpaper. I absolutely love the combination of colours. We used the relaxing mint shade on the wall with her desk and the peach on the side where she keeps her toys.

jesss-room-primark-wall-plaquesJess has been collecting these cute wall plaques for a while, I have loads more which I haven’t put up yet as well. These all come from Primark and the plan is to keep filling the wall with them. I’ve hung them on coats hooks so she can change them around when ever she wants.

jesss-room-primark-home-accessoriesHer desk is also a new addition, she originally had an up cycled 1930s dressing table, but this had really started to wear out. We picked up this simple white one from Ikea and I think it works much better this the new theme.

jesss-room-desk-and-wall-plaquesJess chose the pictures above her desk, which are also from Ikea. I’ve put them in some simple black frames, which I may spray paint a different colour at some point.

jesss-room-ikea-printsIt was important that Jess could get to all her toys, so I’ve not tried to hide them away and they’re all easy for her to access and play with. The big tubs at the tops are from Tesco and the grey boxes containing her smaller toys are from Ikea.

jesss-room-grey-and-mint-primark-beddingHer new bedding is from Primark, who have so many amazing home accessories in at the moment.

jesss-room-makeoverI haven’t quite finished the room and there’s a lot I’d like to add to it. But I’m really happy with the progress so far. Watch this space for an update in a few weeks.

I am entering the Cosmo Blog Awards again this year. If you have a minute, I would really appreciate a nomination in the Lifestyle category. Thank you! You can place your nominations here.

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I’ve been really enjoying putting together home posts, these last few weeks. I feel really inspired and I’ve enjoyed sharing some of the pictures I’ve taken at press days. I’ve already talked about tropical inspired interiors and old Hollywood glamour. Today’s look is from last years Laura Ashley press day. I chose this theme because I love the retro look of the leather sofa, mixed with lovely feminine shades of green, pink and purple. Laura Ashley Restful retro InteriorThe room has a lovely restful feel, while being really elegant and sophisticated. I love the additions of dark wood and bronze accessories, alongside shades of green and teal for the perfect grown up living room. The room is all about beautiful relaxing colours and a mixture of textures.

Laura Ashley Leather and VelvetAlthough all the furniture is from Laura Ashley and is brand new, the room as a perfect mix and match feel. It’s as if all the pieces have been picked up from antiques and vintage markets and perfectly placed together.

Laura Ashley Leather SofaThe leather sofa is my favourite piece from this look. It has a strong mid-century feel to it and I love the slightly aged look of the leather. Usually I think this would be quite a masculine piece, however it works perfectly accessorised with softer coloured cushions and floral accents in the rug and wallpaper. Putting it in the same room as the teal velvet sofa, really gives it that salvaged feel, which I absolutely adore.

Laura Ashley Leather Sofa and CushionsWhen we think of retro interiors we often associate them with the warm colours of the sixties and seventies, but this look goes to show that you can use a typically retro looking piece of furniture and soften the look with more luxuriously and classic colours and textiles.

Laura Ashley Home AccessoriesThe accessories have a lovely mis-matched feel, again they look like charming flea market finds. I really like the use of peacock feathers in vases, rather than flowers. To create this look choose 3 or 4 key colours and textures and find a variety of items that compliment each other.

Laura Ashley Coffee Table and HydrangeasHydrangeas are one of my favourite flowers and I love the way they have been used in this oversized vase. They hake a big impact and act as the perfect focal point in the middle of the room.

Laura Ashley Rug 2As you can see in the top pictures, two rugs have been layered up, which creates a lovely cosy feel to the seating area. Even if they are not layered up, using several rugs around the room can be a great way to bring the colours of your theme together.

Laura Ashley Pineapple Candle HoldersLike everyone else, I’m a bit obsessed with all things pineapple at the moment. Laura Ashley has absolutely loads of pineapple themed decor in stock. These candle holders are fabulous and pay homage to all the fabulous vintage pineapple pieces, that can be found if you look hard enough. These of course are far more affordable than the real thing.

I’ve picked out a few key pieces from the look, which are all currently available on the Laura Ashley website…

Laura Ashley Home Collage

Get the look: 1. Milford wallpaper now £18 – 2. Jewellery Box now £25.20 – 3. Peacock Cushion now £27 – 4. Scented Candle now £7.20 – 5. Lewes Rug from £119.70 – 6. Green Jug now £17.64 – 7. Rabbit Ornament £20 – 8. Round Cushion sold out – 9. Hurricane Lamp now £23.94 – 10. Lamp Stand now £81 – 11. Pineapple Candle Holder now £13.86 12. Coffee Table now £409.50 – 13. Milford Rug now £180 – 14. Whitworth Sofa from £1215 – *some items are currently reduced, so prices are correct at time of posting but may change.

 See the full range of homewares on the Laura Ashley website.

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A couple of weeks ago, I talked about the fact that I’m planning to make a lot of changes to my house over the next few months. I decided to do a series of home inspiration posts, to give me some ideas and just to revisit my love of interior design. In my last home post I talked about creating a tropical paradise inspired interior. Today I’m looking at a completely different home look. This one is also inspired by the Debenhams press day I went to last year. This gorgeous room features products from the Star by Julien MacDonald range and pays homage to glamorous boudoirs of the past. Excuse the yellowness of the photos the light was a little tricky!

Old Hollywood Glamour Home inspiration - Star by Julien MacDonald at DebenhamsI love the minimal use of colour, which still manages to make a big impact. The room uses shades of white cream and taupe with gold and silver accents, for a luxurious and opulent look. I love the use of embellishments on the textiles, which add a little old-fashioned sparkle.

Old Hollywood Interior Ideas Star Julien MacDonald at DebenhamsThe range includes a great selection of mirrored jewellery boxes, which can be used in abundance to store all your treasures, there are also picture frames in mirror and glass finishes, I love that they have been used to display black and white photos for the ultimate vintage boudoir finish.

Old Hollywood Glasses Julien Macdonald Star from DebenhamsOne of my favourite pieces from the range is the art deco influenced hinged mirror. I think it really completes the look and if I chose any one piece from the range to revamp my room, that would be the piece I’d choose. I also love the inclusion of cocktail glasses in the bedroom. If you want to pay homage to the 20s and 30s, a cocktail is an essential for me!

Old Hollywood Interior - Star by Julien MacDonald DebenhamsThe bedding is absolutely gorgeous, in pure white with a sequin finish. To finish off the ultimate glamorous bedroom, the cushions need to be stacked super high!

Star by Julian MacDonald Cushions from DebenhamsAlthough I adore this look, I’m not sure with two kids and two cats that I could handle all that white, but I’d love to pick out some of the key ideas and use them. I’ve included some of my favourite items from the collection below…

Get The Look Old Hollywood Decor

Get the Look: 1. Glitter Photo Frame £9.60 – 2. Swarovski Crystal Photo Frame £16 – 3. Round Cushion £20 – 4. Duvet Cover from £32 – 5. Sequin Throw £72 – 6. Hinged Mirror £32 – 7. Chevron Jewellery Box £20 – 8. Etched Glass Storage Box £10 – 9. Glass Studded Frame from £8.40 – 10. Ivory Cushion £16 – 11. Star Photo Frames from £8 – 12. Glass Placemats £19.20 – 13. Beaded Cushion £28 *some items are currently reduced, so prices are correct at time of posting but may change.

See the full range of Star Home by Julien MacDonald on the Debenhams website.

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NEWSPAPER SEED POT TUTORIAL  VINTAGE FRILLS

When we moved into our house 3 years ago we were delighted to have an absolutely huge garden. We instantly made big plans for what we wanted to do with it. After doing a full house renovation and clearing all the overgrown mess and rubbish out of the garden, we kind of left it at that and still haven’t done a lot with it. This year I decided it was time to get to work and while Rob had been doing the manual stuff I’ve been planning flower beds and picking up seeds that will eventually be beautiful flowers adorning our garden.

Before the seeds can be planted outdoors I’ve been growing them inside and to save money and plastic I made my own little seed pots from newspaper to grow them in. The advantage of these little pots is that they can be planted straight into the ground when the seedlings are ready and will biodegrade naturally. I thought I’d show you how I make them. For those of you who like me, aren’t green figured at all this is the perfect way to get started on a little gardening whether your growing flowers or creating a little vegetable patch.

How to Make Newspaper Seed Pots
You will need: Newspaper, scissors, garden twine, an aerosol can, a seed tray, plant labels or lolly sticks, compost, seeds

Newspaper seed pots
Step One: Take a sheet from the middle of your newspaper and divide into four pieces. Fold each piece in half.

How to make seed pots
Step Two: Wrap your folded newspaper round the aerosol can, leaving a gap at the bottom.

Newspaper Seed Pot Tutorial
Step Three: Push the loose ends down, they should stay in place.

How to make newspaper pots for seeds
Step Four: Tie a piece of garden twine round the newspaper and slide it off the can.

Seed Pots
Step Five: Fill your pot with compost and add your seeds according to the instructions on the packet.

Newspaper Seed Pots and labels
Step Six: Add a label or lolly stick so you know what you have planted in the pot.

Wooden Seed Trey and Newspaper Seed Pots
Step Seven: Place your newspaper seed pots into your seed tray. For best results place a propagator lid over the pots or cover with polythene and leave in a warm sunny place. Water them regularly and within a couple or weeks your seedlings should appear. Once they are big enough you can pop the whole thing into the ground and enjoy your beautiful plants.

I got everything I needed for the project from the wonderful new National Trust garden centre at Morden Hall Park. the lovely wooden seed tray was only £4.00 for a set containing one large and two small trays which I thought was fantatstic and a great alternative to plastic ones.

If all goes well I’ll be updating you on the progress of both my seeds and garden in a few weeks. Have any of you done any gardening recently?