Top Picks under £10: May

Wowzers, where have I been?! Yet another month that’s just flying by… I really need to get my organizing act together! But, seeing as we’re here, let’s get on with my Top Picks for May.

So far, May here has seen a variety of Springtime weather. Yesterday was beautiful blue skies and warm sunshine. Today I woke up to grey, drizzly skies, and it hasn’t improved. Oh well! Summer’s on it’s way and I’ll take the  grey days now rather than risk them later into the year.

Knowing that the weather will perk up again, and that Summer is the perfect season for entertaining, I’ve put together a selection of outdoor entertaining items to help you host a perfect, casual party.

1. Flamingo Dinner Plate – Dunelm – £3.00
Flamingos – check. Melamine – check. Price – check. For everyone still loving flamingos, I.e. about half of us!, this is the perfect, summery colourful print, and melamine is perfect for the outdoors picnics and bbq’s.

2. Sommar 2017 Picnic Hamper – IKEA – £8.00
This adorable basket is just too cute. It’s the perfect size for a picnic, and the colours and design are gorgeous! Love it! And it would be great for the beach too.

3. Sommar 2017 Rug – IKEA – £10.00
And staying with Ikea for the moment, this rug! Oooh! Look at that beautiful orange and pink combo! This is an outdoor rug, and is easy to clean/hose down, and will stand up to the elements too. But the impact this colourful little number will have on your patio will be huge!

4. Barcraft Cocktail Kit 5pcs – Wilko – £10.00
These cute little mason jar glasses have been everywhere for a couple of years now, but they’re still a must have item. These ones are actually dinky mini versions, complete with mason jar cocktail shaker to get your party in full swing!

5. 5 Section Removable Sharing Platter – B&M – £3.99
B&M can be a little wonder for bargain seasonal items. You get a lot for what you pay, but at these prices, you won’t mind if they only last a couple of summers. This super sharing platter looks great with it’s colourful, removable sections, and there’s also a range of other coordinating outdoor items to match.

6. Palm Tree LED Light – Primark – £10.00
I can’t get enough of the cute lighting at Primark at the moment, and everyone else seems to be loving it too. I’ve featured other versions of this light in my previous top picks posts, and this palm tree one would be just perfect to add to your outdoor décor for parties. Just remember to bring it in again at the end of the night.

7. 10 Pack Paper Plates – H&M – £2.99
Are you impressed I haven’t included a H&M cushion this month?!! I was tempted. But these paper plates won me over, and I just had to include them! For fuss free dining, the ease of not washing up, and no risk of kiddies breaking plates on the patio, paper is the perfect option for bbq’s and garden parties. And when they look this cute, your guests will love them too!

8. Printed Picnic Tumblers 4pk – B&M – £2.99
Flamingo, watermelon, palm tree and pineapple – yep, they’ve ticked all the boxes again! This set of four picnic tumblers are perfect for outdoor use, and cute to boot.

9. Pineapple Mason Jar with Straw  Primark – £3.00
And for the grown up kiddies, these pineapple mason jars are adorable! A nice modern twist on the traditional mason jar, that will make your summer punch look oh-so more special.

So there we have it, just a taste of some of the fabulous outdoor essentials on offer at the moment. There’s also some super cute platters, plates, string lights and lanterns, seating and cushion pads, tablecloths and more, so if you’re planning any bbq’s or garden parties, up your entertaining game and see what new things you can (literally) bring to the table.

For now, with love,
Ellen

Top Picks under £10: April

Hello sunshine lovers! Here in the UK, we’re having a pretty great start to April. Sure, there’s the odd shower and it’s not glorious every single hour of the day, but our corner of the world is warming up and I love it! The clocks going forward has made me feel like singing every evening, now that I can finish work and walk home in the daylight, and maybe have time for an evening stroll too. So excited for summer as well!

And so I think it’s no surprise that one colour on people’s minds is YELLOW. From mellow to eye-poppingly neon, there’s a shade out there to tone with almost every home, and with all those daffodils and tulips out and about, you can stretch your theme into the garden too. Plus, I saw this inspiration picture on H&M, and had yellow on the brain ever since!

So, for my bargain hunters, I’ve picked out another selection of my Top Picks unde £10 – here they are:

1. Desk Lamp in Bold Yellow – Wilko – £4.00
Yes, it’s cheap and cheerful, but that doesn’t mean it can’t be stylish. I love simple pieces like this – the practicality and affordability makes them great for kids rooms, but the bright primary colour works well on a simple design, and when placed in and amongst your pricier posessions, looks more like a style choice than a budget option.

2. Patterned Cushion Cover – H&M – £3.99
You all know by now that I love a H&M cushion. They’re affordable, there’s a million and one designs, and they look amazing. I especially like this one, because palm and tropical prints are still HUGE, and will be all year, and if that’s a theme you’re working on at home, although in a warm, mustard hue, the pattern of this cushion will work fantastically. If you’re working on a budget, always think about how you can fit new pieces and ideas into what you already have. That way you keep your core pieces and idea, but change it up easily for the seasons.

3. SMYCKA Sunflower – IKEA – £2.50
Ikea’s artificial flowers and foliage are usually fantastic. This is one of them. Yes, there are cheaper alternatives out there for faux sunflowers, but I personally think these ones are worth more than the price. Some of their artificial flowers are on a par with expensive, designer brands, but you have the luxury of choosing individual stems and putting a display together yourself.

4. Dylon Machine Dye Sunflower Yellow 350g – Wilko – £4.50
Another great way to easily add some colour to your existing items is to dye them. Of course, this will always work best on white, especially white cotton, but you can also get some interesting effects on patterned or coloured fabrics. Perfect for white bed sheets or towels though, these machine dyes are so simple to use, and I can’t recommend Dylon enough. This shade is also available in hand dye, and I have a full tutorial here on dip dying fabric for an ombre effect.

5. LACK Side Table – IKEA – £6.00
A side table. For £6. In beautiful, bright sunshine yellow. Perfection! For bold pieces that really add some impact, you can’t go wrong with IKEA. This, some cushions, a new piece of art and some flowers or so, and you can bring a whole room together with a new sunny vibe for pocket money. Alternatively, if you’re into upcycling, painting an old coffee table is another great way to add colour. My coffee table was £10 from a carboot, and is solid pine. It’s been white, it’s been turquoise and currently it’s cobalt blue. I love it!

6. Yellow Supersoft Throw – Primark – £4.00
I’ve mentioned this before on the blog, how throws may not seem perfect purchases for summer décor. But they are. You can buy them for the colour as much as for the warmth. Want to change up your bedroom? One of these super affordable throws over the bottom of the bed will inject that colour without changing your crisp white or soft grey or navy blue sheets. Themes can often be tied together with the most affordable pieces. Primark has some amazing homeware items in at the moment, so if you happen to be heading there, I recommend you check out their home section.

7. Pineapple Plate – George – £5.00
Do you find you entertain more in the Summer? I do. I think it’s probably those long, light evenings and sunshiney good moods that make want to put on a party. Whether it’s a Summer BBQ or just a little gathering with friends or family, I like to entertain and feed people! Upping your dining table game is just a little way to add some party spirit, so whether it’s something fun like this pineapple plate, or colourful pitchers and glasses, and simple coloured napkins, that extra little effort will have a huge impact for you and your guests.

8. Made in England Lemon Verbena Boxed Candle Glass – Wax Lyrical – £7.00
If you didn’t gather from my last Candle of the Month post, I heart Wax Lyrical. They’re an amazing English company, and their candles are fabulous. This perfect Spring/Summer scent of freshly cut lemons and zesty limes is gorgeous. I’ve never had a Wax Lyrical candle that hasn’t burned fabulously, and will always return to them.

9. Gold Standing Flamingo Light – Primark – £10.00
Still loving flamingos? I think everyone is. This light is such a fun accessory. Yes, it’s gold rather than yellow, but depending on your shade of choice, this works wonderfully with those warmer mustards and honey shades. And if you don’t like flamingos? This light also comes in an elephant design for the same price. If you are loving this distinct bird, check out my Top Picks post from February here.

So there’s your lot for this month. How do you feel about yellow? Do you have another Spring shade you prefer? And if you have a favourite place to shop for your bargain pieces, please do share in the comments below!

For now, with love,
Ellen

COTM: March – Wax Lyrical Amaryllis

Spring isn’t quite in full swing yet, but the weather has warmed up a little and the daffodils are popping up to say hello.

I noticed these fragranced tea lights in TK Maxx, and as a discontinued fragrance from the Wax Lyrical Royal Horticultural Society line, I knew I had to snap them up. I love Wax Lyrical candles – they are some of my favourite, and the beautifully floral and fruit scents from the RHS range are just as beautiful.

With top notes of citrus, heart notes of jasmine and base notes of musk, these are just what they say they are. Delicate, floral, slightly sweet with a hint of something else… a sharp, zesty green note. The sweetness and floral notes also make me think of sweet peas, or violets and lavender. They’re soft, garden blooms, and as per usual with Wax Lyrical, the smell is just as beautiful when burned as on cold sniff.

The pack claims up to 6 hours burn time from these tea lights – I got around 4, but I was more than happy with that and still think they’re fantastic value. Burn time can depend a lot on the holder, your room and atmosphere, so there will always be some variances there.

I have been burning three at a time, so got three uses from this pack of nine. I found that was a great amount to have in the centre of the coffee table, and offered a subtle, pretty scent. Sadly, dear Fiance wasn’t so keen – probably the sweet Jasmine note was a little too floral for him, but I have to say I really enjoyed them.

For another Wax Lyrical review, check out one of my favourite ever candle scents here, and do check www.wax-lyrical.com for their beautifully British candles. I feel like I’m spoilt for choice with candles at the moment – there are so many beautiful floral, fruity and calming clean scents out there at the moment, so don’t forget to come back to find out what will be my choice of the month for April!

For now, with love,
Ellen

Top Picks Under £10: March

Wafting in like a gentle breeze on a fresh Spring day, aquamarine is the order of the day this time around. It’s both the gemstone and colour associated with March, and seeing as the weather here in the UK can’t really make it’s mind up, I think this pretty aqua hue is the perfect option to put a little Spring in your home whether the weather is playing or not.

Sure, the Sun will catch up eventually, but as Easter themed décor is in abundance in stores, you’re probably more than ready to freshen up your home a little and inject a little colour in a pretty, subtle way.

As far as pastel blues go, aquamarine is my kind of shade. It’s not as vintagey as duck egg, or as green as mint, but it’s certainly got that coastal feel that true sky blues don’t. It also works wonderfully with greys and whites, or tan and ivory, and minks and creams, so whatever your neutral pieces and most likely your sofa, this is a colour that will work with what you already have.

So here are my Top Picks at £10 and under for March 2017:

1. Riviera Escape Wax Tart – YankeeCandle.co.uk – £1.43 Currently on Offer

A fresh scent is the perfect way to add a little Springtime to your home. If the colour aquamarine had a scent, it would be this seasidey wonder. I mean, it has marine in the name… no wonder it seems just right.

2. Yankee Candle Sanremo Votive Holder – House of Harris Gifts – £4.99

No longer available at yankeecandle.co.uk, this votive holder is part of the same collection that the Riviera Escape tarts and candles came from. It’s still available at many other retailers however, including the one linked ablove.

3. Jacquard-Weave Hand Towel – H&M – £4.99

As traditionally one of the smallest rooms in a house, a bathroom can be the most affordable to give a mini-makeover. You don’t have to replace all your towels either, just adding fresh, colourful hand towels which are the ones most regularly on display, are an easy way to begin to coordinate a theme or colour.

4. Drona Box (Blue) – IKEA – £2.50

A perfect fit for the Kallax shelving units, but also ideal in or on the wardrobe, or any other furniture, colourful storage solutions can be as pretty as they are practical, and these ones are a great size and value.

5. Dorma Hydrangea Stem – Dunelm – £7.99

I love hydrangeas, but fresh cut blooms can wilt quickly, and dried don’t always retain their beautiful colours, so artificial options can be a huge success when it comes to hydrangeas. These pretty blue ones from Dunelm are great quality for the price, and the colouring is so realistic. Love!
6. Decoart Americana Chalky Finish Paint (Escape) – The Range – £6.99

If you like upcycling, or are tempted to try it, chalk paint can be ideal. Perfect for that rustic look, but in a distressed, sea-weathered way, the shade ‘Escape’ looks perfect to tie in a coastal theme.

7. Supersoft Throw – George at Asda – Was £6.00, Now £5.00

Ideal size for an armchair, or to centre over the sofa, it’s nice to have a soft, lightweight blanket for when the weather is really grotty outside, and just the pretty pop of colour for when the sun starts shining. And for the price, it’s a very affordable way to add plenty of that pretty shade.

8. 2 Pack Knobs – H&M – £4.99

Whether you decide to go for painting your upcycled furniture or not, simply changing over the handles can really lift and modernize a piece. Whether for a sideboard or chest of drawers, these gorgeous shaped and colour door knobs are a quick and easy update you can do yourself in no time.

9. Mint Velvet Living Cushion – Primark – £5.00

Well, this wouldn’t be complete without a cushion, now, would it? Off to Primark for this beauty. Gorgeous colour, perfect price, what more could you want?

And there you have it, my Top Picks for this month. A post that’s come a little later than intended but that’s just how things go sometimes! Stay tuned though for another post coming shortly, and my Candle of the Month post which will be up at the end of the month.

For now, with love,
Ellen

COTM: February – DW Home Candles Peony Petals

It may still be Winter, but as soon as Valentine’s Day hits, there’s a sense that Spring is on it’s way. The daffodil and tulip bulbs I planted have started peeking out of the dirt (a little late due to the lack of sunshine on these chilly cold days) and there’s that noticeable delay in the sun setting each evening.

A short month anyway, February hasn’t seen much candle action from me. I’ve purchased a few (do I need more?!) but I have enjoyed a little of this beautiful, delicate, floral yet clean scent.

It’s Peony Petals from DW Home Candles. I purchased this one, as well as others, from TK Maxx. These small (and oh so cute) glass jars are a bargain at £2.99, and a lot of the medium jars are just £5.99, when you can get hold of them.

I love the pretty pink coating to the glass, and it coincidentally matches perfectly to my calendar this month! The scent is delicate, yet powerful enough. It’s noticeable but not overwhelming, and I find that the scent stays exactly the same throughout the whole of these smaller candles.

I haven’t even burned the whole thing… it’s been one of those months, but what I have burned has been very clean and I can’t fault it at all.

The scent is pretty – a rosy, clean flower scent, not overpowering or old fashioned but fresh and reminiscent of real blooms.

I’d definitely recommend it, and I will (and already have) purchase more from DW Home. Beautiful!

Do you like to match your scents to the time of year? Do you save particular scents for certain holidays and occasions? Or are you more of a ‘whatever I’m in the mood for’ type? Please share your thoughts in a comment, I’d love to hear from you!

For now, with love,
Ellen

Top Picks Under £10: February

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Fabulous and frilly, fun and flirty, it’s time for my February Top Picks featuring flamingos!

Flamingos seem to be everywhere right now. At any price point, it’s an image that seems to be around every corner. So instead of an out and out sweet and lovey Valentine’s theme this month, I’ve put together a selction of fab, affordable flamingo themed products, all at £10 or less.

They can be cute and kitsch, really embrace a pastel pink or coral colour scheme, be wacky and retro, or tasteful and demure, or all out Mad Hatter’s Tea Party. But there’s a style to suit almost everyone, so it’s time to embrace the current trend!

1. Sass & Belle Flamingo Mug – Asos – £7.50
Available at various retailers, including Sass & Belle and Asos, this super cute chevron printed mug with flamingo handle will be sure to make you smile in the mornings. Coffee at the ready!

2. Printed Porcelain Plate – H&M – £6.99
There are cups and side plates alongside this kitsch little plate. Get tea-party ready and pop your scones and finger sandwiches on this fine bit of porcelain.

3. Flamingo Hiball Glasses (Set of 6) – George – £3.90
A total bargain at just £3.90 for a set of 6, these glasses are so sweet. The white stripe design works really well with the pink birds and they have a fun, tropical feel to them.

4. Light Pink Voile Curtain Panel – Primark – £.3.00
While we’re dreaming of warmer Spring days, we can at least get our homes ready for the coming months. Voile panels are great to add a little interest to your window décor, and this pretty pastel pink will tie in any flamingo theme you’ve got going on.

5. Fresco Wallpaper Flamingo Hot Pink – Wilko – £10.00 per roll
If you like feature walls, you can really commit to Flamingo Fever with this fun wallpaper. It would really add some interest in an otherwise neutral room, and would work perfectly with pale greys.

6. Hemsta Lamp Shade in Pink – Ikea – £9.00
Also available in White, again this pretty pastel pink is perfect to compliment the flamingo pieces. Perfect for the bedroom, this would work perfectly on a silver lamp base for a glam look, or on a white or lgiht turquoise base for a sweet and soft look.

7. Flamingo Cushion Cover – Dunelm – £8.00
If you prefer bolder pinks, the details and reverse of this cushion are hot pink. Alongside the natural linen of the front, this would work beautiful with stark black and cream. A few more hot pink and linen accents and you could really jazz up an otherwise monochrome look.

8. Peony Bouquet – The Range – £3.49
For the price, these peonies are fantastic. Five full blooms for just £3.49, and the colour of them is just perfect.

9. Flamingo String Lights – Matalan – £8.00
Perfect for a little one’s bedroom, these string lights add a little colour and a lot of fun.

That’s just a little selection of what’s out there in those pretty pink hues and fabulous flamingo imagery. Sometimes it’s nice to not take your décor too seriously. At the end of the day your home is somewhere to relax and to enjoy, it doesn’t hurt to add some funkier details now and again, and with so much of offer out there, it’s never been so easy and affordable to achieve.

For now, with love,
Ellen

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Top Picks under £10: January

13-jan_mood_boardI think the New Year is a fabulous time for freshening up your décor and streamlining your look. Autumn is so rich and abundant and the following festive season so vividly overindulgent, that by January, a clean slate is necessary.

The Pantone Colour of the Year for 2017 could not be more perfect for this time of year. I think it’s a shade that suits the first half of the year more, though depending on what you pair it with will determine how long it can last in your home and wardrobe.

Greenery. I even love the name. As a nature lover, I’m thrilled to see this vibrant, Spring shade as the Colour of the Year. Over a year ago, we picked ‘green’ as the colour for our wedding, although admittedly more in terms of actual live greenery than just the colour, but there’s something about the freshness and lushness and vitality of the colour that is simply perfect.

pantone-color-of-the-year-2017-color-palette-6For the cooler months of January through to March, I would pair this shade with crisp whites and soft blue and purple toned greys, and from Spring through to mid-Summer, I adore the colour combination Pantone has put together with ‘Fathomless’. I heart every single shade.

Furthermore, seeing as the botanical trend is here to stay another year, what better background than a pure, unadulterated green to set off those darker leaf shades and really make those tropical prints pop.

But back to January, and as a single, stand out month that screams ‘new start’ I’ve paired the greenery shade with cool turquoise and contrasting cobalt touches to say Winter is here, but Spring is on it’s way. It’s fresh, it’s vibrant, it’s seasonally apt, but it’s certainly not boring or monotone. Without further ado then, my Top Picks Under £10 are:

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1. Rundlig Serving Bowl – IKEA – £8.00 
This bamboo bowl from Ikea contrasts the natural bamboo inside and the vibrant green outside for a modern, stylish piece that could be used in multiple ways around the house. As a serving bowl, it’s ideal for that purpose, but also the perfect size for a fruit bowl, as a decorative item for any room, or catch-all bowl for the hallway or bedroom etc.

2. Rasch Palm Leaves Wallpaper – The Range – £8.99
It has palm leaves. It’s turquoise and green. It’s pretty much perfect as far as wallpaper goes. And you can also get the same design with added tropical birds and flowers too! Love!

3. Printed Cushion Cover – H&M – £8.99
Yes, yes and yes again. I love H&M for their cushion designs! So good.

4. Photo Frame – H&M – £6.99
While we’re there, here’s another great item from H&M. This pretty pop of turquoise would look amazing with a black and white image in. Photos aren’t just for Instagram, guys!

5. Snowdrops Canvas 48cm x 48cm – Wilko – £5.00
Could they have got this any more right for January? The colours are perfect, the image is perfect, and for the price point, the quality is decent.

6. Dovecote Medium Trinket Box – M&S – £9.50
Keep your dresser tidy with this perfect little trinket box. The colour and shape are simply lovely together.

7. Green Tea & Lime Large Hourglass Wax Melt – WoodWick – £4.49
This is fresh yet comforting all in one go. Ideal for that fresh and clean feeling, but still keeps you feeling cozy despite the weather. And it’s also the perfect shade of green to compliment the overall look we’re going for.

8. Pack of 3 Glass Bottles – Wilko – £8.00
I love blue glass, but the mix of colours here works so well together. Once again, well done Wilko!

9. Swirl Glass Bowl – Wilko – £5.00
Well, I really am crushing on Wilko this season! If you want to stick with an out and out Pantone Greenery theme, then try this decorative bowl, you can’t beat the price point.

So there you have my Top Picks, and an idea you can build on to explore 2017’s Pantone Colour of the Year. What do you think of Greenery? And what would you pair it with? Let me know in the comment section.

For now, with love,
Ellen

 

 

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