Review: Oscar’s Boutique

I am going to start this post with a bit of an apology. This is one that has been sitting waiting for me to get on with whilst I’ve been neglecting my blog, so a big apology to Oscar’s Boutique!

Oscar’s Boutique, established in 2012 by Nick Perrins, is an online boutique specialising in sourcing shabby chic home accessories and high quality furniture. They offer a great range of gift ideas and home accessories and best of all, offer free delivery, something that is always a big clincher for me when shopping online. What can I say? I’m easily won over!

When they contacted me and asked if I’d like to review them by choosing a product off their website, it was hard to know where to start. So many pretty things, but I already have lots of pretty things (Mr M will testify to that!) so I decided to go for something a bit more functional.

Then I saw this vintage wooden recipe box.

IMG_3510

I don’t need a recipe box but it gave me an idea.

My 9 year old daughter is always mithering on at me to copy her favourite recipes for her to keep for when she’s older. So instead of keeping a messy pile of paper like I normally do…. (see exhibit a below)

IMG_3513

…I’m going to use this lovely box to keep a record of all her favourite recipes, all lovingly handwritten by myself.

There were a few boxes to choose from but I opted for this one as I liked it’s rustic, classic look. It’s finished with a white wash paint and has a good quality hinged lid with metal insert. It would fit nicely in most kitchens I think!

IMG_3511

The plan is to buy some lovely index cards and dividers and transfer her top recipes to this box as I go alone, making it a lovely heirloom for her to take when she leaves home. Not that she thinks she’s ever leaving home. But she is. One day.

I’ve spotted these cards on Etsy which I think are pretty much perfect and I think I might make a purchase and get started!

il_570xN.332778703 il_570xN.332912984

(Images property of https://www.etsy.com/uk/shop/1canoe2)

I hope that my daughter appreciates all my hard work one day!

The vintage wooden recipe box is available to buy here and is priced at £15.99.

Why not head over to Oscar’s Boutique and see if there is anything there that catches your eye? Personally I could spend a lot of money on there!

Mrs m sig.png

Mrs M’s Christmas 2014 Gift Guide – Gifts for Food Lovers!

xmas gift guide logo

Hello and welcome to the first of this years Christmas Gift Guides. I started doing these a couple of years back and they’re always fun to put together so I thought I would bring them back for 2014. The first one today is gifts that would be perfect for the food lover in your house.  There will be more guides popping up over the next few weeks including ones for her, him and children so do check back!

epc gifts

1. I have been a fan of the English Provender Company for many years.  There are eight different gift packs to choose from, so there is something to suit most tastes. My personal favourite, being a big bad cheese lover is the The English Provender Co. Slate Cheese Board (RRP £25) which contains a natural slate cheese and acacia wood board along with a top quality cheese knife and comes complete with a jar of The English Provender Co.’s Caramelised Red Onion Chutney and Sea Salt & Rosemary Biscuits.  I also love The English Provender Co. Cheese Dome (RRP £22) which is a wooden based cheese dome with a glass cover, paired with the Sea Salt & Rosemary Biscuits and a delicious sounding Plum & Apple Bramley Chutney. The festive packs start from £8 and are available to buy in Debenhams stores.

teatowels

2. I was recently introduced to Rock Bakehouse which was founded in 2011 as a cake decorating school.  In 2014 they launched a great range products including aprons, tea towels and oven gloves. I love their tea towel range which I think would make a great gift to add into a hamper but their just as fabulous as a standalone gift.  All the tea towels are made from 100% premium cotton and prices start from £8.95. You can find them on the Rock Bakehouse website

normal_grow-your-own-christmas-dinner

3.  If you’ve got a foodie in your life that is also a bit of a dab hand in a kitchen garden then this “Grow Your Own Christmas Dinner” would make a fantastically unique gift.    This seed collection from the London Herb Garden contains seven varieties of herb and vegetable seed – all varieties designed to be ready to eat in December. The Christmas Dinner seed collection is priced at £12.50 and is available from Not On The High Street.

Screen Shot 2014-11-18 at 12.47.44

4. For the gin lover in your life (I’ve got a few…) how about this lovely Raspberry Gin Liqueur Set from Raisthorpe Manor?  The gift set is available to buy online priced at £24.99 and includes a 35cl bottle of Raspberry Gin Liqueur, Raspberry Jam and some Raspberry Chocolate Clusters. The gin has even won two awards – Great Taste 1 Gold Star 2011 / Yorkshire Post Taste Award Winner 2009.  Raisthorpe Manor have a wide variety of foodie gifts and all their products contain only the finest (locally sourced where possible) ingredients, created using traditional methods. To view the whole range, visit the Raisthorpe Manor website now.

Billingsgate Gift Voucher

5. Why not consider treating the foodie in your life to a gift that gives them the chance to learn some fantastic cookery skills? The Billingsgate Seafood School is located on the first floor of the Billingsgate Fish Market, the UK’s largest inland fish market in the heart of London’s Dockland. The school has been established as a charitable company, with the aim of promoting the awareness of fish in young people.  With classes ranging from £40 – £198 there is something to suit every experience, budget and occasion. Gift vouchers, which are valid for 12 months, are available online or can be bought by calling 0207 517 3548. Visit the Billingsgate Seafood School website to find out more.

afternoonteahamperweb

6. A hamper is always a good option when buying for someone who has everything else and Fodder have a great selection of interesting and reasonably priced hampers. Fodder is a shop and cafe overlooking the Crimple Valley, where the goods are supplied by Yorkshire farmers and producers. I really like the Afternoon Tea Hamper which is priced at £25.00 and comes complete with tea, coffee, biscuits, parkin and fruit cake, but could quite easily be swayed by the Cheese Accompaniments Hamper too. Check out the Fodder website to see more, where you can also purchase gift vouchers. 

normal_friday-night-curry-three-month-subscription
7. I love the idea of buying a three month Friday Night Curry subscription from The Spicery. The Friday Night Curry subscription contains all the fresh spices and recipes you need to make a fantastic curry and all the side dishes. The initial gift pack includes a useful storage folder for the recipe kits and a voucher gift card with your personal message, along with a free recipe kit to get the spicing started. Then once the subscription is activated the first Friday Night Curry box is sent right away, with subsequent boxes sent at the end of each month.  A three month subscription costs £20 – visit The Spicery website to find out more.
0018

8. Something a little different is this Give a Fig set from The Gluttonous Gardener.  The set, priced at £35.00, comprises of a young Brown Turkey fig tree in a terracotta pot along with a jar of fig jam. The Gluttonous Gardener has a great range of other foodie gifts including gifts for olive enthusiasts to gin lovers! Go to the Gluttonous Gardener website to find out more.

Screen Shot 2014-11-18 at 13.31.38

9. For anyone who is a fan of a hot stone steak this would make an amazing gift. Steakstones sell a range of sets so you can enjoy the experience of cooking your food exactly as you like, live at your dinner table. My personal choice would be The Sizzling Steak Set, priced at £65.00, in fact, I will absolutely be buying myself on of these! See the full range on the Steakstones website.

rectangle_produce

10. Finally, for anyone who likes to produce and perhaps give their home product as gifts, this product stamp would be a really unique gift. The stamp, from The English Stamp Company in Dorset, is priced at £24.00 and is customisable. There are also further stamps available for other kitchen uses. The website is well worth a visit – you can find it here.

That’s it for my foodie gift guide for 2014. Hopefully you might have found some inspiration! I’ll be back very soon with my next Christmas gift guide.

Mrs m sig.png

Disclaimer: I have not been paid to promote the products featured in my Christmas gift guide. I may have undertaken product reviews of some of those featured in the blog posts and this will be mentioned where it is relevant. Many of the products I have featured in the gift guide series are there purely because I like them! I always try to be upfront and honest – if you have any questions, please get in touch via email.

Things are getting spoooooky at Aldi this week!

HALLOWEEN WOODEN HANGING SIGN (2)

I’ve become quite a fan of Aldi over the past year and I thought I’d just give you all a heads up that on Thursday 2nd October 2014 the new halloween range will be hitting Aldi stores.

Now my experience of their special buys ranges is that they don’t hang around so if you want something, you need to get down their quick sharp!

As always with Aldi, the items are brilliant value and aren’t going to hurt the wallet too much. Case in hand, the sign above? £1.49. Bargain. I always think that’s important with seasonal goods because they have such a short lifespan don’t they? When it comes to costumes and the like I want to spend as little as possible as I know the children will want new stuff next year.

CHILDRENS DRESSING UP SET (3)

Yep, it’s not all about the children. There’s a great range of adults costumes and accessories too. Children’s costumes start at £3.99 with adults starting at £7.99

If you’re planning a party this year, and we are having one at home combined with bonfire night festivities, then there is also a whole host of goodies that will see your party go off with a bang. Decorations, chocolates and even spooky sausages!  I think the spooky sprinkles at only 79p a tub are incredible value and perfect for topping off those Halloween bakes!

Why not pop down to Aldi this week and see what you can pick up! I can’t wait for the Christmas goodies to start coming into stock!

Mrs m sig.png

Etsy Love: Best Valentine Day Cards

 

I’m not really all that big on old St Valentine. Yes, yes, I know, last of the old romantics and all that. I don’t mean to be the Grinch That Stole V-Day but I can’t help feeling that really it’s a holiday for single people. And yet, when I was single? I was a V-day hater because I thought it was a holiday for couples.

There’s nothing worse when you’re single and don’t want to be is there? Valentines Day being smushed in your face at every opportunity. However at least there’s hope, a small chance that you might just get a random card from an admiring stranger and that’s quite an exciting possibility isn’t it?

When you’re coupled up, well it goes without saying that you’ll get a card (I should hope!) and really, whilst it’s nice, it’s not particularly exciting. Still, there’s lots of lovely cards out there to make it a bit more fun and Etsy is always a great place to start. I thought I’d share a few of my favourites, and yes, I do have a slightly warped, twisted and sometimes even perverse sense of humour but you know, sometimes even I get a little bit warm and squishy inside. Lets talk of it no more.

There you have it, some of the cards I like on Etsy. Not all are of the traditional variety but I like to mix it up a bit!

Build-a-Bear & Children In Need

We’re big fans of Build-a-Bear Workshop in our house and also big supporters of BBC Children In Need, so  it goes without saying that we are quite excited to hear that, for the 6th year running, Build-a-Bear Workshop have partnered with Children In Need and are bringing the fabulous Pudsey and Blush back into stores this month, with proceeds going to charity.

This year £5 from every sale of Pudsey and Blush will go to Children In Need, as well as an additional £1 from the sale of Children In Need outfits.

BBC Children In Need’s mission is to make a positive change to the lives of disadvantaged children and young people right here in the UK. The organisations which receive funding all work with youngsters aged 18 and under who may have mental, physical or sensory disabilities; behavioural or psychological disorders; are living in poverty or situations of deprivation; or suffering through distress, abuse or neglect.

As with all Build-a-Bear Workshop bears, guests will have the opportunity to make and stuff their beary own BBC Children In Need Pudsey and Blush and then dress in them in the new pawsome Children In Need licensed pyjama outfits.  Even if you decide to buy a different type of cuddly friend, you can still donate by paying £1 for a special Purple Heart to go inside your cuddly toy – 100% of that £1 goes straight to Children in Need.

The Pudsey and Blush furry friends are available in stores nationwide and also online at www.buildabear.co.uk.