messy officeBack in October when I realised I was spending best part of my day sat at the computer and it was in fact becoming a job – a paid job at that. I decided it was time to carve out for myself a little space to keep all my work bits in one place.

I had an old table in the garage which I cleaned up – it was far too big but it didn’t cost anything so the mister couldn’t argue with that and I rearranged the Billy bookcase, old faithful from Ikea to suit my needs. Job done!

I was sitting by a window so could use real daylight too!

Everything was ticking along nicely until one day in January Billy bookcase collapsed. I was in trouble. I was up to my ears in books and toys as it doubles up as the area I keep the girls toys in too.

I went online and went straight for the Expedit bookcase from the Ikea range which I’d seen and lusted over for a long, long time. Of course the timing of Billy dying on me like that was totally inappropriate, doesn’t he know I’m getting married in March? This is hardly the time for me to be forking out big monies for new bookcases but I drooled and drooled and thought, blow it!

I ordered it there and then online. I went for the largest model (in for a penny in for a pound) and I got it delivered as the mister had said he didn’t want to spend his weekend in Ikea (his idea of HELL) and I couldn’t lift it on my own. Job done I waited patiently and one Friday two geezers knocked on my door.

‘Got yer delivery luv.’

In came four packages and before long I had the pieces out and was putting it all together.

I was massively surprised at how easy it was to assemble. I did it on my own and it took a couple of hours tops but then I hit my first real problem..lifting it upright.


Paul was out on the razzle that night and the dining table was covered in toys that needed a new home so I knocked on my neighbour’s door and begged.

Roger popped round and helped me lift the Expedit onto it’s base after which it slided so easily against the wall it was a dream.

Expedit bookcase and desk - Ikea

In my enthusiasm on buying the Expedit bookcase I’d been tempted with the desk too which was dead easy to put together and holds the bookcase upright saving any holes in the wall to stop it falling over and this is now my office – what do you think?

Tips on assembling the Expedit bookcase

  1. Measure the area you are building in and make sure it’s big enough for the bookcase plus area to move around it.
  2. Place two strings or strong strips or a piece of cardboard under the end where you start working as once completed it will be very difficult, due to the weight, to slide your fingers under to get it upright. IMPORTANT


gingerbread house

Home insurance can involve a multitude of differing packages and quirks to suit your needs perfectly.  This is why you should carefully select a comprehensive package – this guide by Endsleigh one of the UK’s largest insurance firms helps you take the right steps.

Home insurance is about much more than just protecting your building against things like fires and floods; a good contents insurance package can go some way to allaying the fears associated with having a treasure trove of portable gadgetry.

Home insurance is by and large divided into two main subcategories: buildings insurance and contents insurance.

Buildings insurance can differ from one policy holder to the next in terms of whether you’re a landlord or own holiday homes and the like, but its basic credentials are often much more generic than contents insurance.  Buildings insurance tends to cover your building itself and fixtures and fittings.

Contents insurance can be adapted much more to cover your lifestyle.  If you’re a student or you rent your home there are packages for you and you can cover against a variety of eventualities including things like accidental damage, loss, and malicious damage.

What is important is that these two terms – buildings insurance and contents insurance – are highly malleable to mean what you want them to mean.  These terms are important as logistical subdivisions, but if you want to insure say a musical instrument or a laptop then you can happily ring-fence as you wish under the broad banner of home insurance.

A modern home is laden with electronic gadgetry and much of it is portable which presents a raft of new dangers.  A mobile phone can easily be lost or damaged in transit; the same applies to a laptop.  It’s easy to forget the value of these goods due to the micro technologies they possess.  Most home insurance sites now cater for these types of goods, often providing like for like replacements within 24 hours.

Disclosure: A post brought to you by Endsleigh

Coco chanel perfumeI was asked to fill in an online survey a while ago based on perfumes asking me whether I had bought this one or that one, which was my favourite out of the lot and then focusing on a brand new perfume by a well known brand. The questions revolved around the name chosen to represent this fragrance and how that name made me feel.

Would this perfume empower you?

Would this perfume give you confidence?

and so on, you know the kind of marketing questions we get asked.

Thing is, I base my perfume choice on the scent. I have to like the fragrance and I will most likely go back for a few sprays over a period of time before I actually decide and buy, unless I’m in Duty free of course. Then it depends how much time I’ve got!

I imagine we all have our favourites and are drawn to the same smells every time. I seem to have two main directions. One is very Coco like, it’s strong and flowery but not too feminine. The second is fresh and zingy – L’Eau di Issey is my favourite example of this excellent description I have given you.

As I’ve been on a perfume hunt recently as I wanted to buy one for my Big Day coming up, I’ve been doing a lot of sniffing and trying on. I thought I’d share with you my all time Top Ten perfumes and ask you to share your top 3 with me in a comment, just out of interest like because then I have a perfect excuse to go and try some more next time I’m out, right?

My top 10 perfumes

1. Coco Mademoiselle – Chanel (RRP £46.00)

Remains a firm favourite of mine since I first wore it years ago in Italy, a scent that will never go out of vogue. I went with this one :)

2. Flowerbomb – Viktor and Rolfe RRP £48.00

Came in a very close second. I love the bottle and I love the packaging but most of all I love the contrasting elements in this perfume. I was very tempted and if I could be indulgent I would buy this one too.

3. Jimmy Choo by Jimmy Choo

I was offered a paper strip with this perfume on as I was passing through Boots one time and I stopped in my tracks as it was really nice. A definite contender. I’d be very happy with a bottle of this.

4. L’Eau d’Issey – Issey Miyake

One of my all time favourites, one I prefer for summer months too.

5. Stella – Stella McCartney

Another of my staples, I love the purple bottle and packaging and use this more in winter months

6. Classique – Jean Paul Gaultier

LOVE this perfume, adore the bottle and really like the scent too. I don’t think I’ll ever grow tired of this one either.

7. Daisy – Marc Jacob

I have recently tried two of Marc Jacob’s perfumes and love them both. Daisy is fresh and sunny and Lola more sensual and flirty. I haven’t bought either yet though.

8. Extreme – Paul Smith

I bought this once as I was passing through Duty Free and in all honesty I was enticed because it came with a towel. As I was going on holiday I thought it would be pretty cool to have a Paul Smith towel on the beach. However I did like the perfume too and would buy it again.

9. Rush – Gucci

Bought this in Italy years ago and loved it. Have never bought another since but would like to try Guilty one day

10. Contradiction – Calvin Klein

Again had this years ago and loved it. The other Calvin Klein perfume I had was One which I still love and think is perfect for summertime.

seascape lip balmThis is the time of year when our bodies clad in warm clothes and fighting the harsh day to day elements start to tell us they need a little TLC.

Dry skin, chapped lips and a general covered up and forgotten feeling takes over – at least in my house it does. I’m afraid my ‘temple’ is looking a wee bit neglected and I need to do something about it.

Having my Big Day looming up is a great incentive to start and when it comes down to products I have been sent this fab Seascape Island Apothecary range to try out and feedback my thoughts

Seascape Island Apothecary

First off it’s a premium British bath & body brand YAY!!!

Secondly, the products are made in Jersey an island I long to visit one day, one that makes me think of Bergerac, and a tax free haven.

Thirdly all of the ranges are inspired by the natural charm and simplicity of Jersey including infusions of natural essential oils for fragrance which offer therapeutic benefits and help to balance personal care and wellbeing.

Another good reason to consider these products when you’re next out is “All Seascape products are paraben, silicone, petroleum and SLS free and are suitable for vegetarians.  They’re also free from artificial colours and synthetic fragrances”

There are six ranges, Uplift, Revive, Unwind, Soothe, Homme and Les Petits and the products cover Hands, Bath & Shower, Skincare, Maternity, Men, Les Petits and a gift range.

seascape refresh hand and nail creamSeascape Refresh Hand and Nail Cream

This product caught my eye first as my hands get in a dreadful state through the winter, my skin starts to break and crack up and nasty red patches appear. I have to clean with gloves on or else I’m in pain for weeks.

The first thing to hit me was the smell on applying it, a mixture of Jersey Lavender, lemongrass and geranium. Enriched with Jersey beeswax and natural Shea butter to nourish the skin and the cuticles.

Which is brilliant as it looks after your nails at the same time. After my Shellac experience my nails were very weak, I manged to break six of them within two days, using this cream has strengthened them and they are looking decidedly better. It’s a yes from me.

Seascape Peppermint Lip Balm

The girls LOVE this product as they are really getting into the ‘lipstick’ application after being used as models by a friend’s 8 year old recently.

seascape peppermint lip balm

Contains 100% natural Peppermint essential oil with Jersey Beeswax, Jersey Honey and Jojoba Seed Oil to moisturise and protect dry, chapped lips.

I keep this with my Refresh hand and nail cream by the computer and use it continually throughout the day, it’s nice, not too greasy and not to peppermint either in case you were wondering.

Seascape Soothe Body Butter

seascape body butter

Oh island apothecary! You have excelled yourselves with this product. The smell ladies and gentlemen is so good I can’t keep myself from sniffing it, long deep breaths and I find it so relaxing. It’s the kind of smell that reminds me of fabulous body massages, of pure relaxation times and of gentle body care. I shall be wearing this on my wedding day for sure as it leaves that feint linger in the air

Contains 100% natural essential oils of Lavender to relax and calm, Ylang Ylang to balance the mind and Mandarin to rejuvenate the skin. Contains Jersey Beeswax, Shea Butter, Cocoa Butter, Rosehip Seed Oil, Grape Seed Oil and Sweet Almond Oil rich in Omega 3, 6 and vitamin E to help reduce stretch marks and repair damaged skin. Our Soothe range is fragranced with ‘pregnancy-safe’ essential oils.

As you can see from the photo it is a thick body butter but is easily absorbed and leaves no greasy feeling to the skin. Thumbs up from me.

Seascape Les Petits Bubble Bath

Name one home in the world who doesn’t enjoy bubble bath. EVERYONE loves bubbles and les petits bubble bath are dermatologically tested and formulated for babies and children with sensitive skins. They are mild enough for every day use. Les Petits bubble bath includes essential oils of chamomile to soothe the skin and Jersey lavender to calm and relax.

No need to go on, my girls LOVED it and I loved it because it left them smelling sweet and beautiful and more importantly clean.

seascape les petits

Seascape Les Petits Body Lotion

It’s been a long time since I used body lotion on the girls. As babies I used it every day but as they got older and their skin got tougher well I dropped the creams, it didn’t seem necessary but now they are right back in the routine.

The girls love to copy and as they see me applying creams they want to too. So it’s very handy  now they have their own one

  • because they are keen to apply it so make good use of the product
  • because they want to apply it themselves freeing up time for me

This can get messy so supervision in required but they do have a lot of fun as they smother themselves in the same spot over and over. Yes, you will have to jump in and spread the lotion around