Violet Posy New Sponsor ~ Kitty and Polly ~

Handmade Tea Cosy
Handmade Tea Cosy

I’d like to welcome Violet Posy’s new sponsor ‘Kitty and Polly‘ who make some gorgeous handmade goodies

Handmade Bunting
Handmade Bunting

Here is Polly to tell you more about their gorgeous online store


Kitty and Polly is an online shop selling a cute and quirky range of handmade gifts and accessories. Everything we stock is by designer/makers across the UK.. so handmade, local and if we say so ourselves, rather lovely!  We aim to offer something that’s a little bit different,  things that make unique gifts, often with a vintage feel.”


Welcome Kitty and Polly, and check out their store, I have my eye on that bunting! You can also following them on Twitter look for @kittyandpolly

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Homesense Giveaway! (UK ONLY)

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Homesense are offering one Violet Posy reader a

£20 Gift Card!

Same rules as before leave me a comment below to enter, but only open to UK readers who can get to a Homesense store.

The competition closes Midnight Thursday 1st October 2009 and I’ll use a random number generator to decide the winner on Friday morning.

**************comments are now closed*****************

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New Kitchen – the Plan

Last year I wrote about re-designing our kitchen well finally, finally we have the money to do it!  We did consider knocking down the wall between the kitchen and the dining room, and although it would look gorgeous we’d also have the expense of the following:

Knocking out the wall, steels, structural engineer,  Moving the door of the dining room and kitchen down the hallway, New flooring for the whole of the downstairs as the lounge, hall and dining room have the same laminate, Taking out the fireplace in the dining room to make space for an island, Replacing the patio door and bricking some of it up to make space for more units, Bricking up the back door to make space for more units.

That worked out to somewhere between £6,000 to £10,000 with fees and taxes and that’s before I’d picked out a kitchen! This isn’t our ‘forever’ house, upstairs isn’t big enough 2.5 bedrooms and 1 bathroom means that we are going to have to move in the next 3 years anyway.  So spending a massive amount on a kitchen really when we thought about it seemed a bit daft.  I want something that is functional and looks much better than the mess our kitchen currently is. Violet Posy hint NEVER PAINT LAMINATE CUPBOARDS AND THEN GET A GIANT PUPPY – seriously it’s not a pretty site!

So we thought about it, and thought about it some more and what I …sorry we….really want is:

A Dishwasher

Better more accessible storage

Microwave off the worksurface

New Oven & Hob

Access to washing maching & tumble dryer as it’s in a outside cupboard.

So here’s my plan


I think the new layout will be more spacious and practical and shouldn’t cost an awful lot to do and by losing the cupboard on the right (I don’t even know what’s in it to be honest!) I get a dishwasher and a better space for Betty’s bed which is currently in front of the sink.  To solve the washer/drier issue, we’re going to brick up the door outside and knock through from the hallway and pop a door in reversing it so I don’t have to go outside for the washing – hurray!

On a side note, I’d like to ask your advice…..

Now these little gems seem to be used a lot in US kitchens but not here, I have no idea why?.  I give you the combination extractor and microwave to go above the hob.

This one is made by Whirlpool and the only model I can find sold in the UK – does anyone else have one or know where else they are sold in the UK. And I’d like to hear from US & Canadian readers who might have one – are they any good?  It just seems like such an obvious thing to have in a tight space. Thanks!

*Update* Click here to see what it looks like midway through the makeover

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Monday Link Love

Ely Cathedral

What a gorgeous weekend!

I’ve been meaning to do a link love for weeks, I have a ton of good posts starred on my Google Reader which I’ve been meaning to share with you all and never gotten around to it.  So here goes…

Home & Style

Dreaming of Mud Rooms – Perfect Sentiment

20 Thing I Love about Fall – Remodeling this Life

Polaroid Notecards – Creature Comforts

Sex and the City Real Estate Heaven – Hooked on Houses

Underground Shed Resturant – Shedworking

Look Alike and like to look back – Restyled Home

Go love your room, KenzieKate Nursery – Mirror, Mirror

Inspire. Lovely – oh, hello friend

A Vintage Inspired Wedding – Tea for Joy

Texas Bathroom Makeover – Whatever


Carrots & Kids Manifesto – Carrots & Kids

Pumpkin Patch from Seed to Harvest – Martha Blog


DIY Pumpkin Spice Latte – Apartment Therapy

Introduction to Making Jam – Simple Mom


3 Sleep Strategies for a Well Rested Mom – Simple Mom

Unforgettable Journey through Miscarriage – Insomniac Mummy

New Maths Homework is a form of torture – A Modern Mother


Freelancers Toolbox – Designer Daily


10 Lovely iPhone Apps – Oh, hello friend

Money & Thrifting

Enjoy your Coffee but save your money – Simple Mom

Savvy Shopper – Shorehouse Chic

If you want to follow my Google Reader or you’d like to share yours with me – please drop me a comment or email.

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Thrifty Christmas is coming…

I’ve had a couple of questions as to what ‘Thrifty Christmas’ is about, so here’s what’s happened…

I was on Twitter the other night chatting to some of my fellow Mummy Bloggers and we were swapping ideas of cheap thrifty Christmas presents to make for family and friends.  This year money is tight for most people and we wanted to be able to make nice, simple heartfelt gifts.  After about 20 minutes we realised that it might not be a bad idea to pool all the ideas we’d had sweets, flavoured vodkas, chutneys, candles etc

As a result of this brainstorm, I’ve offered to host a ‘Thrifty Christmas’ Carnival from the 9-12th November. That should give you all a month to get ideas together and write some posts and then it’ll give other bloggers time to make the gifts. So have a think, any crafts, recipes, cards, sweets anything you make for family or friends and would like to share with other bloggers.  One of my examples is these Tea Cup Candles I made last year for friends and as a teacher’s gift.

I’ll be putting up a Mr Linky on the post, so no need to send me anything just add your link when the Carnival is on.

I look forward to seeing what you all come up with! xx

(PS. If you’d like to add the Thrifty Christmas badge to your site, the code is on the left hand side of my page, just copy it all and add it to your site.)

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New Find

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{Pin Cushion}

I love Twitter, I’ve met lots of new talented people on there and sometimes you see something utterly spectacular.  I had a new follower the other day called @ blueberryathome (pretty name or what?) and she tweeted that she had some new items in her store Blueberry Park. oh my what a treat, pop over and have a look

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And the winners are….

And the winners were……(thank you, I didn’t have a saucepan big enough in the end!!)

John Lewis Voucher – Deb @

Candle – Sarah (no blog)

Penhaligons – Becky @

Umbrella – Natasha @


Bicester Village Voucher  – Andrea @

Spin Collective Voucher – &

Amazon Voucher – Corinne @

Congratulations all you lucky ladies and I have e-mailed all of you.  Thank you for playing it was lots of fun 🙂

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Two Today and a Massive Giveaway!

Photo Credit:
Photo Credit:

Violet Posy is Two!

Who’d have imagined that I could ramble and remember to do this for 2 years…..not me that’s for sure!. I’d like to give a huge thank you to Paul, Miss L and Betty for putting up with me blogging away for hours about ‘pretties’ and forgetting to make dinner every now and again. I love you all so much xx

Also as a thank you for all the support and kind friends I’ve made through my blog over the last couple of years I have bit of a special giveaway.  I’ve contacted all the lovely PR’s and companies I’ve come across in the last couple of years and asked for goodies and look what they came up with!  Amazingly kind, thank you to them all x

Because of the nature of some of the items I’ve had to break up the categories in UK and UK & Worldwide and Worldwide – you’ll see why.


Picture 86 are relaunching their re-vamped fashion site (Men’s, Women’s and Children) and have added new designers like Lulu Guinness, Orla Kiely and Mulberry. They have kindly donated for one lucky winner a

ONE £50 voucher to use at www.johnlewis/fashion

This can only be used online and by the 28th September 2009

(Winners are to be announced by me and this competition is not being run by John Lewis and voucher has been donated)


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The lovely folk at the ultra chic Bicester Village Blog have donated the following prizes

ONE £50 shopping voucher

for shopping at Bicester Village Oxford (to be collected at Bicester Village)

(Please, please, please make sure you can get to Bicester Village if you win this – they cannot post it out.)

The other prizes from Bicester Village Blog are:

Radley Umbrella

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Kenneth Turner Candle

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Penhaligons Gift Set

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(to be posted by me)


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Ollie & Nic are new friends of Violet Posy and have donated this gorgeous, gorgeous bag which frankly I want. I’m going to be very jealous of whoever wins it!

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UK & Worldwide

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Spin Collective longtime Violet Posy friend is offering

Two lucky winners  a Wall Sticker each to the value £30 each and he’s happy to post worldwide.

Pop over to their site and see all the different example of their work – just stunning!



I feel bad about my international readers not being able to participate in the goodies above. So just for you guys, I’ll throw in an £20 Amazon voucher from me so you can buy yourself something fabulous!.


This giveaway will be running from 20th- midnight 23rd September 2009 (which then gives the John Lewis winner 4 days to spend their voucher).  To enter, please leave me a comment below and make sure you fill out the e-mail/website details and where in the world you are, so I can contact you.

I’ll be drawing the prizes in 4 lots:

1. UK

2.  Bicester Village Blog £50 Voucher (please mention if you’d like to be entered for this in your comment AND THAT YOU CAN GET THERE)

3. UK & Worldwide

4 Worldwide

I shall be using the traditional names out of a saucepan method and a I’ll annouce the winners on the 24th September 2009.

Good Luck xx

*******comments are now closed*************

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Carolyn Quartermaine

Back in 1999 when I bought my very first property, there were very few decent home design books on the market.  So when I found this book on Amazon I was delighted. It’s now out of print, but if you ever see a copy grab it while you can. 10 years later it’s still one of my main sources of inspiration and I’ve never tired of re-reading it.

Carolyn Quatermaine is first and foremost and artist and designer, but she has also done some wonderful design and stylist work around the world – The Bluebird Restaurant London, Hotel Delos Her look is individual and not hard to acheive in your own home.  You might not realise but you will have seen her influence in all aspects of home design.

From the rise of the Louis XV chairs, and the use of ancient text on fabrics

To the use of white with pops of shocking colour and images of lace and flowers. Her work has influenced so many of us without many people realising who she is and what she’s acheived. To learn more pop over to her site, it’s stunning.

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Back in the Saddle

I’m back!  Feeling, much, much better but in hindsight I think too many on the hours on the laptop probably caused the shoulder problem.  It’s still nagging but I’m not on the co-codamol anymore which is the main thing and I now have to strictly limit my useage.  I’d like to thank you all for your lovely messages of support, and all the people on Twitter that kept me so entertained while I was laid up.

Suki_lou and her family came to visit at the weekend and good friends that they are didn’t mind that I fed them fish and chips from the chip shop – truly good friends 🙂  Her Little Miss learnt to climb our stairs and is seriously the most adorable baby!

I can feel my arm starting to ache, so a quick thankyou to Sandy, Sharon and my shopping buddy SingleParentDad for the Meme’s and awards.  I shall be knocking them out later this week – it might take me a while if this is all I can type!

Oh and I’m getting ready for my second anniversary blog birthday so hopefully there will be a giveaway coming soon too and my seasonal blog makeover.  I’m so pleased to be back x

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Taking some time off

Not a voluntary break, but a ‘I’ve really hurt myself and I’m not allowed to use a computer break’. As I’m on the iPhone typing with my left hand here’s the long story short.

Hurt my shoulder playing with betty last weekend, angered it by using a mouse at work last week. By Friday was sobbing in pain and unable to move it at all 🙁 Dr has prescribed tons of painkillers and anti inflamatories and NO COMPUTERS for at least week!! And it’s not better tomorrow (which it’s not) steroid shots into my shoulder, damn I’ll never be in the Olympics now LOL!

So my iPhone is my only source of sanity at the moment, so please feel free to email me, tweet me anything to distract me from the pain! Miss you all xx

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No such thing as a free lunch…or is there?

I had an email last week from We are Social about ‘Leggera Blogger Lunches’ run by Pizza Express so bloggers could get to know each other better.

So you know me, free food and some strangers – I’m there 😉  So I’m inviting some of my hometown bloggers

@maltpress –

@emmajaner –

We know each other from Twitter as we chat most days and Emma and I have had coffee together, but it’ll be lovely to get to know them both better.  So guys consider yourself invited, look forward to hanging out with you!

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Fall Nesting – Garden Furniture Makeover

Melissa at Inspired Room is running between 2-5th September ‘Fall Nesting’ and today’s entry from me is a garden furniture makeover.  This is embarrassing, but I’ve been meaning to re-paint our garden furniture all summer and never quite got around to it, the paint has just been sitting in the hallway looking at me.  We’ve not hosted many BBQ’s or dinners this summer as our weather has been so rotten this summer and it just never got done.

However I was out playing with the dog yesterday and as I was sitting on the table I realised quite how bad it had gotten.  This coming weekend we have Vero from That Canadian Girl and her hubby over for a BBQ and the following weekend we have Suki-Lou, her hubby and their gorgeous baby girl coming to stay.  So I thought it was time to do something about it or no one would want to sit on them!.

So with some elbow-grease from Miss L and I here is our transformation


The picnic bench


The love seat.

The whole thing took about 40 minutes to do, so I really wish I’d done it months ago now!  Still better late than never  🙂

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