Friday, 28 November 2014

Let's hang out and talk interiors :)



Crazy about all things interior? Wanna hear some top advice for making your home look cosy this winter? Join me at HomeSense for an evening of nibbles, cushion love and chats (oh, and a free gift card thrown in there for good measure too*!)

That's right folks. The wonderful HomeSense team in Brighton are opening their doors to bloggers, interior fanatics and yours truly, for an exclusive evening of interior bargain hunting and a whole lot of chats and cake ahead of the festivities. 

If you're free on Wednesday 3rd December between 6-8pm, join me at the Brighton HomeSense store (right beside the clock tower) and marvel at all of the Christmas finery that line the shelves.


Drop in for:
  • An exclusive 2 hour shopping sesh (go to town on Christmas dinnerware or gifts ahead of the rush!)
  • Competitions to win gift vouchers throughout the eve
  • Personal shoppers on hand to help you recreate an interior look you'll love
....and if that's not all, HomeSense are giving the first 30 people to RSVP their very own gift voucher to spend on the night.

So if you're free, please join me!

To RSVP just drop an email to homesense@publicasity.co.uk with your full name and contact details.

I can't wait to see you there!



*free gift card for the first 30 people to RSVP

Wednesday, 26 November 2014

Before you buy your Christmas tree, read this.

Christmas crafts

It's exactly a month until Christmas! Well, even closer when this post goes live. Who's excited?

Me!

If you're not feelin' the Christmas vibes yet, I suggest you get yourself into a Tiger store near you ASAP. I dunno what it is about that shop but as soon as the festivities line the aisles, I become a sucker for anything seasonal buying Santa pegs, christmas tree socks and tinsel. Last weekend an impromptu visit to Tiger, snapping up every santa glittery thing in sight cued a wee crafty Christmas evening at my place later that eve, glass of rioja and some Christmas Lindt choccies in hand.

Christmas crafts


Christmas crafts

I made some pom poms from tissue paper, ready for hanging with invisible thread (once it's December mind, when it's officially ok to do anything decorative) and I also spent the eve creating a pinterest board of Christmas ideas to get in the festive spirit. It was so much fun. Start one too, start one too!

Christmas crafts & Lindt Chocolate

Christmas crafts & Lindt Chocolate

Anyway, it's usually around this time in November that the family debate between 'real tree or fake tree?' starts, and we begin to buy all the little trinkets to make the house and Christmas tree look extra special. I thought I'd share some things that I'm excited to hang on my tree this year, and add to my house to spread Christmas cheer.

If you're looking for cute decoration ideas, you've come to the right place ;)

Christmas tree decorations | Edited & Bluebird Tea Co | Brighton

Christmas tree decorations | Edited & Bluebird Tea Co | Brighton

First up are the fab baubles from the Bluebird Tea Company. In all different shapes and sizes, they're jam packed with Christmas tea blends all ready for the cold winter eves ahead. 

As a BIG tea lover, I think these are the cutest idea EVER. They'd make such a thoughtful  present to take along for the host of your upcoming Christmas soirĂ©es, and what's even better *take a deep breath it's just too good to be true* when you brew the tea inside, it glitters. No kidding. I have yet to try it, but rest assured I will tweet and take pictures of every second it's brewing! 

Christmas tree decorations | Edited & Bluebird Tea Co | Brighton

Christmas tree decorations | Edited & Bluebird Tea Co | Brighton

Did you see my recent instagram post armed with presents as far as the eye can see? Well here are some sneak peeks inside a few of those, courtesy of my friends at Edited in Brighton (more about this AMAZING brand coming in a post very soon).

Christmas really had come early that evening! Check out these fantastic bright silver reflector baubles in all different colours from Edited's Christmas collection. They are the glittery pop every tree needs to look extra special this Christmas, and I think they'll spin real nice once hung on the branches, catching the light.

Can you tell I can't wait to get decorating?!

Christmas tree decorations | Edited & Bluebird Tea Co | Brighton

Christmas tree decorations | Edited & Bluebird Tea Co | Brighton

Christmas tree decorations | Edited & Bluebird Tea Co | Brighton

In fact if you're on the market for quirky decs to jazz up your tree, Edited have an unmissable selection in stock... Look, it's a Christmassy sausage dog :)

They also have a really out-there FAB selection of neon baubles, that look really cute all piled up in my glass vase ready to jazz up the decorative fireplace or kitchen counter. I want to add battery-powered fairy lights inside for extra wow, but love how it looks as it is. Such a cool focal point to the room during the festive season, and a great idea for when you have baubles left over or fancy a different colour scheme in different parts of the house.

Christmas gift tags | Edited | Brighton

Another Fifi finest - has anyone ever thought to put cute gift tags as paper decorations on a tree? - thank me and my bright ideas later. Ha. These quirky little gift tags from Edited are too nice to write all over. I want to keep them for myself, so I've decided to hang several on the top branches to give a my tree a 'handmade' feel :)

But wait, before you go off and splash cash on the most wonderful time of the year, just look at how adorable the sausage dog gift tag is when not used as a Christmas tree decoration! I'm in awe.

Christmas gift tags | Edited | Brighton

Christmas gift tags | Edited | Brighton

*squeals with excitement*

It's the little things. I love Edited.



Monday, 24 November 2014

Spotlight on... FOLDS (& epic Interior tips from Founder Emma Gurner)

Pssst. It's a new feature around these parts. Getting your hands on unique interior finds, whether as a gift or to give your home the wow factor, can be tough to come by with all this crazy competition in the online world. High street stores are an option, but never provide that real unique gem that people instantly compliment.

I'm on a mission to introduce to my readers some of the chicest online interior stores out there, the stores that aren't on the highstreet, that will provide you with go-to outlets for lovely things for your home, christmas gifts or simply somewhere to click for inspiration.

This week, I'm introducing FOLDS and chat to their delightful Style Director Emma Gurner :)


Interior: Cushions & cosiness

Fluffy cushions, Folds

Online interior boutiques that have a strong focus on your lifestyle tick boxes for me. When you visit a site where page after page is stocked with beautiful collections you can work into your home and the way you live, browsing accessories that are easily styled and are sure to be loved, that's what I look for when shopping online for interior bits, and Folds thrive in this. With designs sourced from all around the world, there's a strong mix of patterns, textures and products on offer to suit every lifestyle. 

Whether you're looking for cosy layers this winter, or detailed patterns to add a focal point to your rooms, Folds' cushion offerings in particular catch my eye on every visit. Remember I told you about my cushion obsession? Well, Folds are experts in sourcing intricate detailed, geometric & cosy designs to fit your lifestyle and look. Just check out the stunning watercolour-esque  hand ilustrated Sky Siouki prints

Interior: Cushions & cosiness, winter interior looks

Whilst items might not seem cheap from the outset, once you meet the designers, hear about their intricate approach and all the hours gone in to crafting you the perfect cushion to suit your room, you realise what a bargain they are. And what a stunning gift they would make. 

With the chilly Christmas around the corner, Neil & I are loving thick knits, heavy fur and herringbone for ultra cosy times, and when 2 of Folds' sumptuous fluffy pillows arrived on our doorstep, packed with warm duck feathers, we couldn't wait to chill out with them on our Chesterfield. 

Interior: cushions & cosiness, folds winter interior looks

But of course, textiles aren't the only things Folds excel at sourcing. They sell some of the quirkiest lamps and lighting, for that sought after 'industrial chic' look. I simply LOVE this simple iron table lamp, that would look great with a quad loop lightbulb. As well as their strong collection of quirky furniture sourced from all across the globe.

I was delighted that Emma Gurner, Folds' Style Director and interior design consultant took the time to answer a few of my burning questions about her love for homeware. I was so inspired by Emma's (and her business partner Suzi's) approach in building their business, and the passion that drives their decisions. 

Here she is :)...

Interior: cushions & cosiness, folds winter interior looks


Hi Emma! Tell us a little bit more about you and your passion for all things interior

My passion for all things interior began about 15 years ago when I landed a job working at BBC Good Homes magazine. My career continued as an interior stylist from then onwards. Now 15 years and 2 children later, I felt it was time to begin my own company and so Folds was born!

How did you come to start your own online store?

I met my business partner Suzi through our children at nursery. With her knowledge of running a business and my creative input we were able to begin our exciting new venture. The website came about after almost a year of private sales and market research. Despite having a low budget we were able to build our own website using a template and are slowly adding to the website as our business grows.

What's your most loved interior possession?

My most loved interior possession is my copper unit. I designed it myself and painstakingly treated copper sheeting to give it a weathered look. The unit provides a wow factor to the space as well as being a very practical piece of furniture!



What tips would you give for readers just starting out in decorating their home?

I think pinterest is a wonderful tool now available to collect images that you love and to create mood boards. It is a great starting point for getting inspired.

What's your favourite home look this season? 

I love feature lighting and the multi-arm pendant lights are big news at the moment! Like this Five light adjustable pendant, £230. 



If you haven't yet paid Folds a visit, I strongly urge you to take a peek at the collections and start a house-piration pinterest board right away! 


Also follow Emma's journey with Folds on her twitter (she has just got the most adorable little puppy, I can't keep my eyes off her tweets!) 

Saturday, 22 November 2014

How do you love to spend weekends?


Neil & I are a pretty busy twosome. When he's not shooting weddings (he's a Brighton wedding photographer dontyaknow) or working in his full time job, he's working on things for the house or making plans at the computer in his spare time and when I'm not running round at events or at the office in my day job, I'm spending all my time either blogging, tweeting or planning on the computer too :)

We don't get much time away from responsibilities & technology, but when we do it gives us a whole new perspective on life. I'll get onto that in a sec.

Before I begin, I love my life. Is it shameful that I just typed that? Eeek.

Without getting all deep on you, how lucky are we to be healthy, have healthy friends and families, be employed or at least not struggling for money, and living in a country where our possibilities and opportunities are only held back by our own thoughts, never our rights? We sometimes take for granted how lucky and happy we should feel, and it's so important to see the positive things alongside embracing the normal lower mood kinda days as total normality.



Lately I've been spending way too much time in front of the computer feeding all of my energy into a machine rather than building real relationships that matter, and at times that little voice in my head complains that I never have time to stand still and just do nothing.

I worry I'll end up missing out on memories, real life social happenings or that I'll be socially inept if I carry on depending on email to communicate rather than picking up the phone or arranging a coffee to meet people face to face. Does any one else get this too? It's like a fear that technology will swallow my life.

One way to strike a balance, I've found, is for Neil & I to make time either once a week, or once a fortnight (depending on t'weather!) to go explore a new walk in Sussex, or find a forest to get lost in. It's amazing the sites we see and the people we make *actual real life* eye contact with and say hello to crossing paths, or have a chat with people about their cute puppies (see pic evidence below) and which route will takes us where.

This is one of my favourite things to do at the mo, and one of the healthiest ways to spend a weekend. We come away with a weekly renewed perspective on life and it helps us thrive for our dream owning a little house in the countryside.













What I'm wearing: Jumper, Primark. Leggings, H&M. Rucksack, Primark. Scarf, Men's Primark (gotta love Primark) Converse, Schuh. Flask, Urban Outfitters. Watch, DKNY. Ring, Jewlr.

Wednesday, 19 November 2014

A little bit about my heritage


Ring c/o Jewlr
Cup c/o Neil's mama & papa
Nails Rimmel 60 sec (shade 15)

Who else loves Barry's Tea? I shared a photo of my shiny new organised kitchen cupboards on twitter last weekend (that's about as fun as my virtual updates get) and I had a stream of comments high-fiving me for having a steady supply of Barry's Tea stashed in the corner. 

That's just one of many, many things I love about having an Irish background. Good ol' Barry's Tea, there's nothing like it.

I usually talk about mine and Neil's adventures around Brighton on here, but for a change I thought I'd divulge in my origins. I mean, c'mon, a name like Fifi McGee can't be anything else but Irish right?



images all by Neil

Although I was born and bred on these beautiful shores of Brighton, both my mama and papa are 100% Irish; they grew up in a wee village a few fields away from Co. Sligo, or if you're not familiar with Irish geography - the part where Westlife are from and where they videod 'coast to coast' #omgfandom.

We spent many a childhood running in and out of iron gate fields, bringing lambs into the house for feeding with a bottle, and - yes this really happened - giving shetland ponies a 'bath' with a garden hose whilst it ran in circles tied to the washing line. 


It's a truly fabulous and underrated country is Ireland, and feels like a second home for me. If you ever get the chance to visit, pack your bags and make haste to somewhere seriously rural. You'll never forget it. 

In fact, you'll spend a lot of time in country pubs, so perhaps you will

I've always had a love for Celtic jewellery, lettering and music, and I think this is in part down to my heritage. You rarely see me wearing any kind of jewellery that isn't either Celtic, or contains some level of sentimental value. Claddagh rings are especially dear to me, it's always been on my list of things to purchase whenever I head back to visit family in Ireland, but I always stock my suitcase full of Barry's Tea instead. Priorities yeah!


I'm so thrilled with the claddagh ring I picked up from Jewlr. This is a silver infinity claddagh ring, it has my birthstone, aquamarine, inside the heart and has been engraved personally for me. I'll let you try work out what it says from the image below. Good luck with that ;)

The Claddagh ring originated in Galway, not far from my home turf, during the 17th Century and traditionally represents love, loyalty & friendship. My ma always says that the way you wear it has meaning too. If you point the heart out towards your nails, you're looking for someone to give your heart to, and if you wear it the opposite way in, well, I'll let you put two and two together ;) 

There's nothing quite like that joyous feeling receiving jewellery that's sentimental to you and your heritage. 


I'd 100% recommend looking at Jewlr.co.uk if you're looking to buy sentimental or engraved jewellery for a loved one this Christmas or for birthdays. I was given credit to spend on this claddagh ring, and as soon as I saw they had a Celtic collection my heart leapt with joy! Their site is a dream to use, delivery was fast and presented beautifully, and most orders come with a free necklace which is pretty amazing. All opinions and recommendations my own, I was under no obligation to write this post. 

Friday, 14 November 2014

Spotlight on... Oliver Bonas (& a very special giveaway for you!)

New feature alert! I've had this one on my radar for a long time, and I'm super excited to be working with some really inspiring businesses in the coming months.

I don't know about you, but now that the gift buying season is ahead of us, I struggle so hard with knowing the right shops or online stores to make a beeline for when I want to pick up unique finds for friends and family. It's all too easy to order everything from ASOS, pop in to M&S for last minute family splurges, or worse, nip to Boots for a 3 for 2 on gift sets that have no real sentiment.

I'm on a mission to find quirky stores that inspire and encourage better gift buying so that family and friends are left amazed with their prezzies for whatever occasion, making you feel good with it. With this I'm on the lookout for cool new places to pick up items for the home, too. So for the next few months I'll be sharing stories from business owners, top picks from quirky online/shop collections, and lots of inspiration to send you in a gift-buying shopping flush well in time for Christmas!

There might even be the odd giveaway too ;)



HELLO MY FAVOURITE SHOP EVER OLIVER BONAS. You're up first.

It comes as no surprise to most that I've been a fan of Oliver Bonas and their cute collection of individual finds for a few months now.

I first found out about this store when they recently opened up shop in the North Laines in Brighton back in the sunny months of August, and when I paid a first visit, my heart did a little dance and I go back there on a weekly basis. Every moment spare I get, I always pop my head in to see what wonderful clothes, accessories and furniture is new in store; I always leave with a bag full of bits and bobs and a heap load of interior inspiration.


Here she is in all her glory, the flagship Brighton store.

Selling everything from women's and bambino clothes (with a nu-vintage, Zooey Deschanel edge), quirky furniture finds, the most exquisite jewellery and bags, as well as stunning mirrors and vases for the home, I'd challenge anyone to NOT find a meaningful gift for a special lady, child, parent, in-law or friend in your life from this store (lots more on their website).

My favourite two purchases so far from here are my beloved copper circle chain mirror that takes pride place on my living room wall (as styled by Rock My Style, below) and a stunning Twig and Bird Jewellery stand that I bought my mum for her birthday back in September. I just love this place. And have since developed a weird copper fetish for homeware. Check out their gorge glassware copper pots. Those will be my next purchase.


In fact, seeing as I've mentally done half my Christmas shopping on their website (and a few other favourites) here are a few Oliver Bonas gift ideas I've had for mums, sisters, grandmas or best friends this Christmas (just don't go stealing any)...

Silk screen stationary, & yum candles (good enough to eat) for those writers and winter-lovers amongst us...

The personalised journals & neon perspex range are landing in store at the end of November. Stay. Peeeeeled.


Stocking fillers for the crafty foxes in your life...


Copper initials to jazz up your mum's kitchen, or sister's new flat (these are a steal at just £10 and totally satisfy my copper addiction)


Hand tied ribbon frames (more copper, don't judge) for your grandparents. You could press flowers inside, or print some nice black and white photos to put inside. Sentimental gifting at its finest, folks ;)


I particularly go head over heels for Oliver Bonas' collection of diffusers and candles. Let's face it, winter months are all about 3 things, hot chocolate, thick socks and burning scented candles for ultra cosy times.

Cue this very special giveaway. The very lovely PR team at Oliver Bonas would like to gift one of you lucky lot one of their beautiful candles (worth £26!) to brighten up your home this Christmas. If the smell emanating from the sealed plastic box is anything to go by, your home will be smelling like a honeysuckle dream come new year. So quick enter via the rafflecopter below! The giveaway closes in 3 weeks.


The giveaway is open to UK residents only. The very lucky winner will be chosen at random and the giveaway will end on Friday 5th Dec 2014 12am.

To enter, you must follow my blog via Bloglovin or GFC and like my page on facebook. A winner will be drawn and I will check for proof of entry. If that person has entered without following or liking my page on facebook I will choose another winner and email you directly to post it on.

There's lots of bonus entries on there too, so fill your boots and good luck! I'll just go crawl into my envious cave.....


a Rafflecopter giveaway
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