current stationery faves

:: by Lizzie
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UU Desk Tidy  |  Outline Clips  |  White Brass Pencil  |  Rulers  |  Clip Clip  |  Bits and Bobs

 

I’m still on the stationery band wagon – big time – and ever will be I suspect. I’m currently reorganising the spare room as a bit of a studio/office/design space so am dreaming about the beautiful stationery and storage bits I might keep on the desk to help and inspire me to design. Spoiler alert – my first pattern collection is coming this September – eek! Lots to do, but you know what they say, a happy desk makes a happy heart. (I may have just made that up but it sounds true no?) I’m hoping these beautiful bits and pieces will fill me with the design powers I need to get this collection moving, samples made and the whole thing wrapped up in time for September. Fingers crossed you’ll like it :)

 

Do you love a bit of stationery inspiration too? What on your desk is making your heart sing right now? Anything I need to add to my pencil case?

 

lisbon must dos

:: by Lizzie
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T H E  I N D E P E N D E N T E  S U I T E S  &  T E R R A C E  :

We’ve been in lovely Lisbon! We took a few days off to celebrate our 3 year wedding anniversary and totally feel in love with the city. I’d been before with my parents (about 10 years ago) but it was Danny’s first visit. It was also our first time staying in a ‘postal’ (posh hostel don’t you know!?) The Independente is housed in an amazing building with two nice restaurants on site. We did stay in the ‘terrace and private suites’ wing, rather than the hostel proper – but still, a new kinda thing for us. Think hotel meets Airbnb, meets staying in an old museum. It sort of reminded me of a cross between places we’d stayed in Bangkok and Buenos Aires. Shabby chic but very spacious and cool. Not particularly luxurious but definitely opulent, in a crumbly way, if that makes sense?

 

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M U S E U M S  :

The National Tile Museum – or Museu Nacional do Azulejo as it’s called by the locals, is a little bit of a journey out of the centre of Lisbon, but well worth the bother. If you’re kinda visiting Lisbon mostly for the tiles (like I was), then this place is your best bet. Housed in a former convent, the museum takes you through the history of tiles in Lisbon from the 15th century to the present day and boasts a stunningly ornate tiled chapel which is not to be missed.

Mude Fashion and Design Museum – This centre for design and fashion is right in the heart of Lisbon’s shopping quarter. Perfectly placed to celebrate the bringing together of the two streams of design history. Even with all the design and fashion museums in London and beyond that I’ve visited, I’ve never seen an exhibition telling the story of how the two have worked/existed/developed together in such a seamless and complete way. Entry is free.

 

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P A R K S  :

Estufa Fria – The absolute best thing we did in Lisbon was explore the cities’ parks. As I mentioned in my Glasgow post, Danny and I like to get to know a city by visiting its botanical gardens. Lisbon has so many gardens and parks that it was hard to work out how many we could squeeze in. The one I would most highly recommend would have to be Estufa Fria. It’s a huge greenhouse situated beside Parque Eduardo VII and is made up of what they describe as a ‘hot house’, ‘cold house’ and ‘sweet house’. The sheer scale of this place is amazing and the cacti are particularly fabulous. If you only do one thing in Lisbon, visit Estufa Fria.

Museu Calouste Gulbenkian – Now this, our second favourite garden/park in Lisbon, is actually simply the grounds around the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation. This generous fellow bequeathed the grounds, buildings and contents by his last will and testament and the foundation is run focusing on ‘fostering knowledge and raising the quality of life of persons throughout the fields of the arts, charity, science and education.’ It’s full of beautiful artefacts, objects, art and more and well worth a look inside. We were totally spellbound by the grounds and ran out of time to enter the buildings but I’m sure it would be well worth doing both. The grounds themselves are like a cross between Central Park (but on a much smaller scale), so maybe more the Highline, and the Barbican. Ingenious yet satisfyingly simple landscaping and planting mixed with brutalist Architecture. A pretty perfect combination. You can tell I’m sure that the grounds of Museu Calouste Gulbenkian were a very close second for us, so if you can do two things while in Lisbon, visit both parks!

 

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S H O P S  :

Under the Cover – Upon leaving Museu Calouste Gulbenkian, we discovered this small but perfectly formed magazine shop. They have a wonderful selection of volumes and the shop itself is a lovely space and a particularly nice atmosphere to browse in. Danny grabbed up a copy of Openhouse, a new magazine to the both of us and well worth read if you like interiors, plants and slow living. I’d recommend popping into Under the Cover for a purchase before making your way into Museu Calouste Gulbenkian’s open air concrete auditorium pictured above. We sat, along with many others, in the vast and beautifully brutalist auditorium, reading silently and collectively. There’s plenty of room so you feel you have your own space but the shared experience of reading together is something really special. Probably my top Lisbon tip.

A Vida Portuguesa – This is the classic Portuguese shop to visit if you’re looking for some well designed souvenirs. We visited the Porto store a few years ago and wanted to make sure we checked out the Lisbon branch too. Everything, be it sardines or soap, seems to come in beautiful packaging. Great for gifts and momentos. How cute are these Pineapple Mini Cake Molds?

Luvaria Ulisses – A bit of a niche stop-off I know but this neoclassic glove shop, or kiosk really, must be the nicest place to buy gloves anywhere in the world. It’s been open since 1925 and doesn’t seem to have changed at all. Gloves are stored in walls of wooden drawers and presented to the customer on silk cushions. It’s a bit like Ollivander’s Wand Shop but for gloves.

 

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E A T S  :

The Insolito – This restaurant is one of two on site at The Independente, so we had the pleasure of eating breakfast here every morning with a gorgeous view of the city. We started each day the right way – not only with combinations of scrambled eggs, fresh fruit, juices, yogurts, cereals, breads and pastries, but of course, with the traditional Portuguese breakfast delicacy – cake! Yum :) And all included in your b&b rate. Unfortunately the restaurant was less enjoyable for dinner. In our opinion they tried a bit too hard to be clever (Daniel’s desert came with its own speaker playing a song about pineapples and coconuts). All good fun if the food is up to muster but the flavours were a bit lacking sadly.

The Decadente – The slightly less fancy restaurant of the two but actually with a much better chef and menu in our opinion. The decor was nice too. Our meal was really delicious – I had sea bream, Danny had seafood risotto – and we would certainly go again. Skip The Insolito for dinner and make a beeline for this place instead.

The Chinese Pavilion – If you’d like to start or finish your evening with a cocktail, then pop up the road to this wonderfully weird bar. Its floor to ceiling cabinet-lined walls are full of 1st and 2nd world war era toys. I visited 10 years ago with my dad and it certainly inspired the first incarnation of SMUG. Having been to countless car boot fairs since then, I’m a little more used to the ‘look’ but still to this day have never seen anything else quite like it. Don’t expect the staff to be all that charming, but the cocktails both hard and soft are fantastic.

Mercearia – The best meal we had on the whole trip was at this little find. I’m trying desperately to find their address. Will keep your posted. We stopped off for an impromptu lunch and experienced one of the best meals we’ve had on holiday. We started with squid carbonara which was slightly coconutty and came with a raw egg yolk on top which you broke and mixed into the warm squid. We then moved on to barely seared tuna steak rolled in sesame seeds and we finished with breaded goats cheese with a delicious onion chutney and salad. The whole meal was just perfect.

Gelados Santini – You must get ice cream from this place when in Lisbon. It’s an institution. We went twice! Once in downtown Lisbon and once at the beach in Cascias.

Pasteis de Belem – High up on my todo list for the trip was to hunt down the best Portuguese tarts on offer in Lisbon. This is the place to go! It’s a little out of the centre so needs a special trip but is well worth doing. Queue for a takeaway box of 6 and eat yours in the botanical gardens near by. There is lots to do in Belem so you could make a day of it if you like. We stopped off on the way back from the beach. If you get a day pass on the train, which is not at all expensive, you can hop on and off to your heart’s content.

 

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B E A C H E S  :

Cascais – This is the beach that everyone recommends and says the locals go to and it’s lovely. Don’t forget to stop off for ice cream at Santini (as mentioned above).

Estoril – This is the beach that the locals actually go to now that all the tourists are in Cascais. It’s just one stop on the train before Cascais so get out early and enjoy before hopping back on the train to Cascais. We hired loungers and an umbrella for the day (pictured above) and had probably the most relaxing beach experience we’ve ever had together. Bring a packed lunch though. The food in the restaurants along the boardwalk was disappointing.

 

It’s a random last but not least thing to mention but we stumbled upon a really wonderful building which gave us both so much pleasure that I wanted to share it with you. Eden Teatro opened in 1931 in the main city square, Praca dos Restauradoresand. Sadly this epic cinema closed in 1989 and lay unused until it was converted into an apartment hotel in 2001. The large billboard poster screens were removed and the space opened up to create the atrium full of palm tress you see below. Pretty cool eh?

 

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So that comprises by Lisbon Must Dos. If you’re planning a trip to Lisbon, have been before or are even a local, please do let me know your favourite haunts in the comments below. I’m sure we’ll be visiting again and would love to add more to this list. Thanks for reading.

 

5 things to update your dressing table

:: by Lizzie
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Blue Star Vase  |  Brass Hexagon Vase  |  Wooden Owl  |  Time Turner  |  Golden Tray

 

My dressing table is often a complete mess. It’s that special place in our flat where everything I leave around the place gets dumped each time we do a bit of a tidy up. Part of the problem is that I leave a trail of paperwork wherever I go (which inevitably gets piled up there untill I deal with it properly), but it’s also simply the case that I have a lot of stuff! I’m trying to be more organised about how I store my makeup, jewellery, sunglasses, toiletries and everything else that lives in my dressing table. There have been several visits to Muji for the correct sized compartments for each drawer depending on need and it’s made a huge difference to how I access, use and enjoy my things. There’s certainly more to do – my sunglasses drawer is the most in need of clearing and reorganising. I have an epic number of pairs. They’re my go-to item to update an outfit. I keep mine cheap and cheerful which feeds my addiction, so they’re mostly from Topshop and Urban Outfitters. I’m thinking once I’m done I might do a bit of a ‘How I Organise My dressing Table’ video. But as a bit of encouragement to myself at this interim stage, I thought I’d throw together some lovely and in some cases even practical bits that would look rather fetching on top of my soon to be cleared and organised dressing table. Hopefully you’ll find some of them pleasing/inspiring/useful/covetable.

 

Star Vase by Lenneke Wispelwey  //  It’s always nice to have a little sprig of something living on the dressing table and this petite vase fits a small piece of foliage perfectly. You can even go for something long lasting such as eucalyptus to make life extra easy.

Brass Hexagon Vase by Ferm Living  //  I’m thinking this brass number could be great for my makeup brushes, lip and eye pencils. Or even for a tall pile of those circular cotton pads I use to take my eye makeup off with.

Wooden Owl by Matt Pugh  //  A reminder to try to be patient and endeavour to be wise.

Time Turner by HAY  //  This timer measures 15 minutes and that’s how long I’m going to try to start meditating in the morning a couple of times a week. I’ll let you know how that goes.

Small Gold Tray by HAY  //  This would be perfect for my rings, other jewellery bits or even bobby pins and hairbands. Can you tell I’m still into brass?

 

What do you think? Any of these float your boat? I’d love to know your tips for organising your dressing table/vanity/bed-side-table. What do you keep in yours?

 

the weekend vlog #01

:: by Lizzie

Okay. So. I’ll let you into a little secret. I have a YouTube channel! I know right? Towards the end of last year I started thinking it might be nice to be able to film my monthly favourites and upload the videos to the blog. That way I’d be able to really talk you through everything I’d been most excited about that month in a bit more of a personal way. Don’t worry, I won’t get too personal! So, one weekend in December I decided to attempt a bit of a vlog (video blog) on my iPhone to get an idea of how it all worked and what it would actually be like to film what we were up to. The vlog never saw the light of day but it was a very handy practice run in how to film and edit. Today for the first time I’ve gone through the process of uploading it to YouTube and embedding the video into a blog post – both things I needed to test out in order to be ready to film my monthly faves this month and launch my YouTube channel. I wasn’t planning on sharing this first attempt at a vlog, but now I’ve gone to the trouble of uploading it to my YouTube channel, I thought it a bit of a shame not to show you. So here goes. Are you feeling unseasonably Christmassy? Then we’ll begin…

 

 

 

If you’d like to see my next video, and the one after that, then best thing to do is to subscribe to my channel through YouTube here and if you wouldn’t mind giving the video a thumbs up on the Tube too, that would be fantabulous! Thanks :)

 

5 things to brighten up your dining table

:: by Lizzie
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Vase  |  Yellow Tumbler  |  Quartz Bowls  |  Blue and Gold Dot Glasses  |  Coral Candlestick

 

Spring is finally here and I’m very much in the mood for freshening up the flat. The bigger jobs on the list include blinds for the bedroom, a tiled hearth for the living room and a complete overhaul of the spare room. I’ll keep you posted on all of those as I’m sure they’ll be lovely once they’re done but they’re all pretty time consuming and aren’t satisfying my need for quick-fix spring updates and refreshes for the flat. So, I thought I’d put together a little inspiration/wish-list of gorgeous products that would lift your dining room and will get you in the mood for spring. Whether you’re entertaining friends, spoiling your roomie/significant other with a yummy dinner, or pulling together leftovers from yesterday’s meal, these are the dining room pieces that will lift your spirits and bring a bit of snaz to your table.

 

Long John Vase by Lenneke Wispelwey  //  As you know, Lenneke Wispelwey is a huge favourite of mine, and this tall vase design actually works just as well as a water carafe for two. It’s a great dinner table multi-tasker. The perfect home for a single flower as well as a lovely vessel to store and pour your water or wine from.

Yellow Tumbler by Scholten & Baijings  //  This tumbler is utter perfection. Part of me feels like the Scholten & Baijings 1616 collection is almost too lovely to use and should be kept on display nice and safe on the shelf. But the other part thinks that beautiful things should be enjoyed. Any single piece from this collection will lift your dining table to design heaven. I’m a sucker for yellow so this piece is my fave right now.

Quartz Drinking Bowls by Jars Ceramicist  //  Planning on serving tea or coffee after din-dins? These little drinking bowls are terribly sophisticated (don’t you know?) and will chic your table right up. They also double as great dipping bowls for soy sauce or whatever else you’re dipping your dinner into.

Blue Gradient and Gold Dot Low Water Glasses by HAY  //  As usual HAY is just smashing it and their gradient and gold dot glassware is high up on my must-have list. They’re just dreamy! The perfect water glass in my opinion.

Kutter Candlestick by HAY  //  The Kutter Candlestick is now available in coral and is a must-buy for me this season. It’s so bright and so right. I’ve been meaning to start using candle-light in the evenings more. We have a nice collection of scented candles which I really enjoy, but none of those simple white tall candlesticks or tea lights to create that lovely glow of an evening. This bad boy takes both. Maybe it’s time to invest.

 

What do you brighten up your dining table with? Or are you more of a TV dinners kinda person? Is there a particular glass, mug or cup that you particularly love to drink out of? My brother always uses soup spoons, never dessert spoons. Each to his own! :)

 

P L A N T P O T

:: by Lizzie
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After the huge success of the  P L A N T  P O T  exhibition upstairs at SMUG during London Design Festival 2015,  P L A N T  P O T  is back for 2016! And this year your own design could be featured. 8 established designers and friends of SMUG will each produce a one-off pot for this year’s show, leaving 4 spots available for new up-and-coming designers to be showcased.

 

Below I’ll talk you through all of the brilliant pots and wonderful designers I included last year. Keep reading to the bottom for info on how to enter the competition and submit your pot for this year’s exhibition. Winners will not only be featured in the exhibition, which will be seen by tonnes of visitors to SMUG during London Design Festival (the exhibition will also be shared across the social media platforms and websites of SMUG, the Islington Design District and the Festival itself among others) winners will also be invited to the IDD launch party at SMUG to kick off this year’s Festival. More on that later.

 

P L A N T  P O T  2 0 1 5  was such a pleasure to curate from start to finish. Once I’d decided on the plant pot theme I essentially cherry picked my favourite designers to work with and asked each of them to come up with a special one-off plant pot design for the show. Most of them had never produced a plant pot before so it was a really open, creative and fun project. The brief I shared was for each person to come up with a water tight design using the materials, colours and general style that was reflected in their work. I planted up each pot with a cactus or succulent, styled according to the look and feel of the pot, and even included my own humble addition to pull the whole thing together and make up the number of 12 pots. The results were great and wonderfully, the show was really well received by the public and press. I want to take this opportunity to say again a big and special thanks to all of the designers who worked on this with me. Such beautiful one-off pots were made for the show and group shots of the exhibition itself have ended up being the most photographed, shared and regrammed images in SMUG’s social media history. So thanks again to all who were involved.

 

byshop  //  Metal Square Tube Pot with cork bottom in byshop’s signature turquoise

Eleanor Bolton  //  Woven Chord Plant Pot in Cream and Red

Lizzie Evans  //  Paint Splattered effect on traditional terracotta pot with saucer

Esme Winter  //  Origami Pot commissioned by Esme Winter and made by Origami Est

Ruby Taylor  //  Bananas Clay Pot made and illustrated by Ruby Taylor

Hilary Grant  //  Mini Lambswool Scarf by Hilary Grant fashioned around earthenware pot

Donna Wilson  //  Stripy Pot with Face by Donna Wilson

Rosie Moss  //  Hand Screened Fabric Pot made by Rosie using her classic Hands design

The Pattern Guild  //  Fabric Pot made by The Pattern Guild using their classic Cubes design

One We Made Earlier  //  Triangular Pot made by OneWeMadeEarlier using resin

Lenneke Wispelwey  //  The SMUG Bowl by Lenneke Wispelwey, launched for LDF

Lydia Shirreff  //  Paper Cut Collage Pot made as a sleeve to existing ceramic square pot

 

 

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H O W  T O  S U B M I T T  Y O U R  P O T  D E S I G N  F O R  P L A N T  P O T  2 0 1 6  :

To update the brief a little this year and keep things fresh, I’ve decided on a pattern theme. To enter your patterned and water tight plant pot design please submit an image of your one-off original pot on Instagram, twitter or Facebook tagging @ifeelsmug (on Insta and twitter) or linking to the SMUG page via Facebook before July 31th using the hashtag #SMUGPLANTPOT. Please include materials and dimensions in the description of your post.

I’ll consider all submissions and announce the chosen 4 at the beginning of August. The 4 winners pots will be exhibited in the  P L A N T  P O T  2 0 1 6  show upstairs at SMUG during London Design Festival in September and will be available for sale from SMUG during that time.

I am looking for beautiful designs both simple and elaborate in style. I’ll be wanting to curate a group of diverse pots so it might be worth thinking about using unusual materials, colours, shapes and finishes but do stay true to your own style. The shelf that the pots sit on is 12cm deep so please take that into account too. I’m so looking forward to seeing your designs. Good luck and speak soon!

 

april favourites

:: by Lizzie
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Monthly Favourites are back! Sorry it’s been such a long time since the last one. If you’re new round these parts, this is where I pull together my favourites in fashion, food, beauty and anything else that’s been tickling my fancy in the month of April.

 

F A S H I O N :

Cos A-Line Dress with Concave Hem – Like many of you I’m sure, I’ve been having a real COS moment this month. So many great dresses. Always a little unusual, yet sort of timeless. Whenever I buy something at COS I get that, ‘I could wear this through to my 60s and 70s’ feeling. Cool, ‘special’ but oh so effortless. This little number took me to Milan and back for Design Week and was the perfect outfit for running around the city come rain and  shine.

adidas Rod Lavers Remastered – Rod Lavers are one of my favourite trainer styles of all time. My very clever husband bought these for me for Christmas. They go with everything and ‘chic up’ whatever you put them with. I spent January, February and March too scared to wear them but April’s distinctly less rainy weather has had me in them most days.

Selected Femme Suede Shirt – I’ve been looking for the right suede jacket for a long time. This one is super soft and easy. Structured but a little slouchy even. I throw mine over jeans and a t-shirt or layer it over a dress or jumpsuit. Lovely with a big scarf too. It works pretty much any which way.

Embroidered Pineapple Pin – Seen here on my new YMC Paisley Jacket which I picked up earlier this month in Glasgow and am getting tonnes of use out of. The Pineapple Pin is by Macon et Lesquoy and makes me smile every time I look at it. As you know, I love pineapples, and pins for that matter, and this is the absolute prefect combo of those two wonderful things.

 

F O O D :

Kricket at Le Coq – For one night only, Brixton’s beloved Kricket came to Islington and took over Le Coq on St Paul’s Road. When JD and KT got in touch to invite us to join them, we jumped at the chance to enjoy the rotisserie kid goat raan with wild garlic chutney, saffron and pomegranate pilaf and pickled heritage carrots. Dessert was rotisserie pineapple with coconut sorbet, chilli and star anise. Some of the best food I’ve had in a long time. Sort of like an Indian Berber&Q, which I raved about in my May monthly favourites last year.

Honourable mention has to go to Ben & Knomes who cooked us the most splendid Italian feast last week. Ben made beetroot ravioli from scratch which was cooked in rosemary and butter. For mains he made the best meatballs I’ve ever eaten and Knomes topped the whole thing off with utterly delicious custard-filled doughnuts. All homemade (or Knomesmade as we like to call it). We were well impressed and our tastebuds and tummies very happy too.

 

B E A U T Y :

Living Proof Healthy Hair Shampoo and Conditioner – At last! The Living Proof ‘Perfect Hair Day’ range has arrived on our blighty shores, just under a different name – Healthy Hair. I’ve been waiting for SpaceNKs in the UK to stock the range since I picked up the 5 in 1 Styling Treatment which I bang on about in my What’s on my Bathroom Shelf? post. The whole range is perfection. It leaves your hair soft, full, shiny and smelling devine.

Giorgio Armani Luminous Silk Foundation – This is magical stuff. Creamy, glowy and lightweight but pigmented enough to essentially airbrush your face. It comes in a really wide range of colours and covers up everything you want it to, keeping your skin looking like skin, just better. I’m thinking I’ve stumbled upon a holy grail item with this one.

Nars Roman Holiday Lipstick – An oldie but a goodie. I was lucky enough for this product to be one of my first every foire into lipstick. I have a much larger lippy collection these days but feel head over heals back in love with this gem this month. It’s the perfect pink. Bright enough to make a bit of a statement but super flattering in tone. Creamy and moisturising in texture and sort of goes with everything. Going to need to make a repurchase soon as I’ve not much left in the bullet.

 

O T H E R :

The Jungle Book – I haven’t loved a film so much in a long time (with the exception of Star Wars: The Force Awakens of course, which was a life changing experience, seriously). But back to TJB, In case you can’t remember the cartoon – Mowgli (Neel Sethi) has been raised by a family of wolves since birth, but now must leave the jungle as big old scary tiger Shere Khan (Idris Elba) threatens to kill him. He’s guided on his journey by the regal black panther Bagheera (Ben Kingsley) and a free-spirited and pretty lazy sloth bear Baloo (Bill Murray). Go see it! The bear necessities of life will come to you.

Holistic Silk Eye Mask – A super big thank you to Holistic Silk who kindly gifted me this eye mask, along with the most relaxing candle I have ever smelt, the aptly named Deeply Relaxing Scented Candle. The eye mask is filled with real lavender, lined with super soft cotton velvet and is a limited edition short run, made with this rather pleasing pineapple patterned fabric. I’ve been wearing mine for Sunday afternoon naps and will certainly be taking it on all long haul flights for the foreseeable future (and maybe some short haul ones too).

Herbivore Botanicals Calm Bath Salts – I had the most satisfying bath a few of weeks ago. It was so good that since then have had at least another three. I’m a shower girl when it comes to getting clean but this month I’ve loved a nice hot bath as a proper pampering relaxation treat. After getting home from a long day at SMUG, I’ve taken to turning on the taps, popping in a handful of this lovely stuff, lighting a scented candle, turning off the bathroom lights and sinking into the soft, warm, perfumed water. I soak for a good long while and come out feeling like I’ve had a full body massage at a terribly glamorous spa. It’s a rather wonderful feeling and I’d highly recommend it.

 

Do you have any home pampering/relaxation tips or film/food recommendations? If so, pop them down in the comments below. I’d love to hear them. Maybe I’ll they’ll make it into next months favourites :)

 

 

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