Archive: Oct 2014

  1. This week we love… getting cosy

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    I love this time of year – there’s something about those bright, crisp mornings and dramatic dark evenings that make me look forward to winter and all the loveliness that comes with it; layering up in thick woolly jumpers, watching fireworks and – my favourite – snuggling up at home. While log cabins and open fires are a sure-fire way to get that cosy feel, there are some more simple methods to create a toasty glow.

     

    Time for nesting

    Whether it’s big thick socks or fluffy white dressing gowns, texture plays a big part in upping the comfy factor over winter, so it’s a good idea to invest in some cosy textiles. Plump cushions scattered on beds and sofas give an instant ‘sink into me’ look, while deep colours and bold patterns, like those from the Indigo Blue collection (above), add extra warmth.

     

    Copper finish glass and wood lampThe right light

    Around this time of year I totally forget about the main lights and rely solely on one or two lamps to light up my home. Natural textures and copper tones really enhance this warm feel, so this copper finish glass and wood lamp (right) is ideal. If I’m feeling really romantic, or if people are round that I want to impress, I dot a few candles around to create the right atmosphere. These ceramic lanterns are warm and stylish, and mustard is a versatile colour, so there’s no need to stash them away come spring. Having a cluster of candles in different shapes and sizes makes for a really stylish focal piece: try displaying these wooden candlesticks alongside heart bark effect hurricanes.

     

    glass owl candleA nod to nature

    Frost-covered branches and crisp brown leaves scream ‘magic winter woodland’, so I try and channel this feeling inside my home. Owls are very on-trend and super-cute, so let this fun glass owl candle (left) perch on the mantelpiece. This printed stag cushion is a perfect blend of comfort and style! For added toastiness in more ways than one, this reindeer draught excluder [LINK 5] adds a fun twist to an old classic.

     

    Wrapping up

    Cold or otherwise, when it comes to lounging at home during the winter, I always make sure I’m wrapped up in a big warm throw! Whereas I used to have a few old ones packed away in storage, now I always have something good looking like this big brown faux fur throw draped over the back of the sofa. Looks the part and is always on hand when it’s time to snuggle.

     

    Tip of the week

    Wooden pieces – whether large items of furniture or the odd adornment – add an instant rustic cosy feel.

     

    Three key pieces:

    Wooden Tube Hurricane Spiced Orange & Amber Patterned Pillar Small Navy Knitted Textured Throw

    Spiced Orange & Amber Patterned Pillar Small, £3.50; Navy Knitted Textured Throw, £30; Wooden Tube Hurricane, £15 (available in selected larger stores)

  2. How to… have a spectacularly spooky Halloween

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    Emma Smith,The build up to Halloween is so much fun and there are lots of ways to create a fabulously spooky atmosphere, while nurturing my children’s creativity.

    Child decorating

     

    Painted pumpkins

    It’s actually really difficult for children to carve pumpkins, so I let the children paint theirs.

    Ordinary watercolours or acrylics work really well and children can have fun creating any design they like… Anything goes!

     

     

     

    Floating ghosts

    Ghost decoration Designing a ghost decoration Plastic bag and sissors

    These floating ghosts are easy and cheap to make.
    You need two white bags, a balloon, a piece of string and some scraps of paper or card.

    1. Lay one of the bags upside-down and flat on the table. Cut out some ghost eyes and a mouth from the cardboard/paper and glue them onto the bag to make your spooky ghost face.
    2. Cut a zig-zag all along the opening of the bag to make the tatty bottom of your ghost.
    3. Cut the second bag into strips from the opening to near the bottom and put this over the first bag.
    4. Blow up the balloon and tie the string onto it. Put the balloon inside the two bags and make a little hole through the top of your ghost for the string to poke through.

     

    Spider lollies

    Sissors and paper Sissors, paper and lollipops Spider on a stick decoration

    You need some lollies, a black bag, some pipe cleaners and googly eyes.

    1. Cut a small square of black plastic and wrap it round the lolly. Wind a pipe cleaner around the lolly stick to hold the plastic into place and this makes your first spider’s legs.
    2. Continue wrapping round pipe cleaners until you’ve got 8 legs.
    3. Stick on some googly eyes and you could even add a little cheeky paper smile too if you fancy!

    Our homemade decorations look great combined with items from Sainsbury’s Halloween range. I loved the giant spider and the bat chandelier. They’re such a great size and really set the scene.

    And of course Halloween wouldn’t be Halloween without a bit of dressing up would it? My children loved the werewolf mask, which I’m sure they’ll play with all year round!

    To read more from Emma, head to My Little 3 and Me.

    Find even more fabulously fiendish Halloween ideas in our Inspiration section.

     

    Three key pieces:

    Witch decoration Happy Halloween Bunting Halloween Black Cat Decoration

    Black Tinsel Cat, £5; Happy Halloween Felt Garland, £3 (available in selected stores); Rising Witch, £15 (available in selected stores)

  3. A recipe for style… your kitchen

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    Georgina FuggleWhen I set up my food blog and began working from home, I quickly realised I needed a new kitchen space: somewhere I could live, work and play. And as the mother of a toddler, Jasper, it needed to be family-friendly too. I thought I’d need a complete overhaul to create a clever kitchen, but actually it was much more simple – all I needed were a few mini makeovers here and there:

     

    Tub chair - brownWork ’n’ play

    The first step was to create a separate workspace. Before I had Jasper, I spread my work out all over the kitchen table, but moving my paperwork out of the kitchen and into the living room means I don’t have to keep moving things out of the way of my inquisitive toddler. Stacks of paper are pretty uninspiring to look at, so I stack everything away in colourful files.

     

    Designated dining

    Next I zoned off an area just for dining. I created a clutter-free Bowls and plates on wooden tabledining table, so when it’s time to dine, all I need to do is grab some plates and we’re ready to go. I use classic white tableware for my food photography, and just swap in more vibrant pieces when eating with my family. The bold brush strokes on the serving platters and nibble bowls from the Indigo range make them perfect for adding some colour.

     

    Sorting the storage

    I reorganised my storage to make my kitchen work harder and smarter. I grouped all the items I use on a regular basis onto open shelving for easy access, while still being out of Jasper’s reach. This means everything is on display, so I invested in some copper pots Kitchen work surfaceand cast-iron cookware – they instantly add a classic stylishness to the room.

     

    Pops of colour

    Lastly, as I spend so much time at home, I need colourful things around me to spark my creativity. A cheery mug, a colourful tablecloth and a bold recipe book instantly do the trick.

    What do you think of Georgina’s revamped kitchen? Do you have any top tips for making a space work a little harder?

    You can find more from Georgina at fuggleantics.blogspot.co.uk.

     

    Georgina’s three key pieces:

    Soft Teal 5 litre Cast Iron Casserole Dish Mustard 3 litre Shallow Cast Iron Casserole Dish Indigo Nibble Bowls 3-pack

    Mustard 3 litre Shallow Cast Iron Casserole Dish, £45; Indigo Nibble Bowls 3-pack, £10; Soft Teal 5 litre Cast Iron Casserole Dish, £40

  4. Be inspired… creating the right aroma

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    Working in Sainsbury’s Home Accessories department, means I spend a lot of my time researching exciting new products and I’m always thinking about ways of improving our fragrances. An important role when you consider that more than 75% of people say that pleasant smells trigger happiness for them.

     

    Scented candlesWe go to great lengths when creating the perfect scent and, as there is so much to consider, the process can sometimes take as long as 18 months. It does mean that I get to learn lots about all the different kinds of wax and I’m well versed in melting points too!

     

    This Autumn, we’ve been working really hard on developing four new fantastic fragrances to add to our range. We’ve looked at single and multi-wick candles and well as gorgeous diffusers, optic jars and stylish cloches.

     

    One of my favourites is the White Fig & Patchouli; a lovelyBathroom floral scent with sensual white fig, violet and dark rose with a touch patchouli oil, it’s perfect for unwinding in a hot bath. The rich and fruity Redcurrant & Cassis scent is cosy and comforting so it would perfectly in a lounge setting and nothing beats nostalgic notes of vanilla so go for the Vanilla & Oatmeal scent in your entrance hall for an especially warm welcome.

     

    We’ve also been improving our existing scents, by increasing the amount of fragrance within the candle and the quality of the scent that’s released, So if you’re having trouble sleeping our calming Lavender & Geranium will help you get a good nights rest.

     

     

    Tip of the week

    If you have an evening with a loved one planned, choose floral fragrances to fill the room – a third of people asked said it was their go-to scent for a touch of romance.

     

    Three key pieces:

    Redcurrant & Cassis candle Vanilla & Oatmeal cloche Orchid & Sweet Coconut Pillar Candle

     

    Orchid & Sweet Coconut Pillar Candle, £5.00; Vanilla & Oatmeal cloche, £15; Redcurrant & Cassis candle, £6 (available in selected stores)

  5. Be inspired… create with Kilner

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    Cherry Casey‘I love seeing the enjoyment people get out of their Kilner jars, and find learning about all the different ways of using them fascinating. People surprise me every day with their new ideas. Here are a few of my favourites:’

     

    1. Beautiful vase

    Paint your Kilner jars (see tutorial video above) and make fun and feminine floral displays.

    Kilner jar cocktail2. Memory jar

    Fill your Kilner jar with fond photographs and mementos.

    3. Killer Kilner cocktails

    Because all cocktails look, feel and probably taste better in a jar…

    4. Halloween trick-or-treat jar

    Give those little ghosts and ghouls a Kilner treat.

    5. For added flavour

    Hot chocolate gift kilner jar ideaInfuse oils with herbs and spices and bring out the flavours in your food.

    6. Hot chocolate gift

    Layer the dry ingredients of a delicious hot chocolate recipe in your Kilner jar. Add a ribbon, plus a label with the wet ingredients you will need to add to the mix, to make a tasty, fun gift for friends or family.

    7. Bonfire Night with a bang

    Serve winter warmer tipples for Bonfire Night in our Kilner drinks dispenser and enjoy with friends as you watch the fireworks.

     

    Three key pieces:

    Kilner Round Klip-top Glass Storage Jar 1.5L Kilner Clip Top Round Glass Jar 1L Kilner 0.125L Klip Top Round Jar

     

    Kilner 0.125 litre Klip Top Round Jar, £2.25; Kilner Clip Top Round Glass Jar 1 litre, £2.79; Kilner Round Klip-top Glass Storage Jar 1.5 litre, £4

     

  6. This week we love… baking

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    Lyndsey Green, an Assistant Buyer for Sainsbury’s Home Team, loves a good bake-off. So much so, that in the recent inter-office challenge, she took home joint-first prize. Here she tells us more about her passion for baking, and the inspiration behind her big win.

    Lyndsey Green‘I’ve always enjoyed baking as my nan was an amazing cook – her pavlova was famous in our family – and I rely on a lot of her tips when I bake. I love ‘The Great British Bake Off’, and to celebrate the start of the new series back in July, the Sainsbury’s Home Team had a summer-themed baking competition. I came joint-first with Chelsea, another member of the team. The two of us have a bit of a rivalry – every few months we have a bake-off of our own and the stakes keep getting higher!

    ‘Chelsea created an amazing picnic-themed entry, while mine was based on the British seaside, with a nod to Cornwall. My three-tiered cake was decorated with beach huts and surfboards, and I used crushed digestive biscuits to give it a sandy look. The cakes themselves were three old favourites – a rich chocolate Maltesers cake on the bottom, a classic Victoria sponge with homemade strawberry jam for the middle tier and a light lemon sponge on top.

    ‘On the side, I made ice-cream cupcakes baked in a cone with a flake and different sprinkles for toppings; mini scones served with clotted cream and more homemade jam, and sweet pasties, filled with apples and home-grown blackberries.’

    Top tip

    ‘My tip for other bakers is definitely to be precise and get yourself a good set of scales. Weigh out your ingredients – I even weigh out the mixture for my cupcakes and sponges before baking to make sure I get exactly the same amount of filling in each to give a consistent batch.’

    Lyndsey’s three key pieces

    KeyPiece_1_200x210 The Great British Bake Off Kitchen Scales Cook’s Collection 18cm Springform Cake Tin

    Kitchen Collection 5 Speed Hand Mixer, £14.99; The Great British Bake Off Kitchen Scales, £10; Cook’s Collection 18cm Springform Cake Tin, £9