Friday 13 February 2015

Homeware Hoader

Last week I was a Pinterest whore and this week I'm going to tell you about being a homeware whore.

For the past few years I have had a growing obsession with collecting homeware.  Little bowls and things in frames are particular favourites, but I sadly (or amazingly, depending on what kind of person you are) spend at least one day a weekend sneaking some homeware into my shopping or visiting my local Poverty Aid shop.  The Poverty Aid shop in Burley is a mecca for second hand homeware, clothes, books and videos and I probably go at least once a month.  You could totally kit your whole house out for a complete steal!

I thought I would share with you some of my most beloved pieces - one of them in particular is not very seasonal but still a personal favourite!

I have wanted a Le Creuset pan for such a long time.  My Mum has a great collection of Le Creuset pans kindly gifted as wedding presents and I love using them.  The sad fact of these beautiful dishes is the price, so when I was in TK Maxx a few weeks ago digging through their homeware section (in my opinion the best part of the store) I found this adorable mini pan.  Ciaran bought it for me and I naturally was over the moon! I think it was about £12.

Following on from the rouge Le Creuset is my beaaauuuutiful Christmas wreath.  I got a bit over excited in like September in Homesense and actually couldn't stop myself from buying it.  It was around £22 which I think is a steal for such a gorgeous wreath.  They had a really good choice of wreaths - not such a good variety of decorations, I find Homesense to be a bit hit and miss but still worth a visit.  

The wreath hung proudly on my door for almost a month, I wanted to get the most out of it and it lasted really well throughout the stormy weather although I did take it off the door once because I was scared of it blowing away!

My next favourites are both from Homesense (maybe not so hit and miss after all?!) and were both really good value.  The mirror was £19.99 and phrenology head was about £12.99.  The mirror sits on a stand but also has a fixture to hang on the wall.  I initially planned on hanging the mirror but decided it looked sweet on my dressing table and incidentally is one of those mirrors that make you look slimmer so it's a win for both teams!

I am so in love with these ram head hooks and cannot wait to find a place in my home for them.  I nabbed them in the M&S sale when I was on the hunt for reduced Christmas decorations.  If you are interested I was too late to get any and I was genuinely devastated!

I can't remember how much they were but I have a feeling they were £7.50 each reduced from £12.  The cosy blanket they are proudly modelling on is from Primark's home section where I, to be honest, probably spend too much time!

I found these gorgeous plates in Poverty Aid and was so tragically excited when I saw them! I love white and blue china and crockery so at £2.50 a plate there was no question that they were coming home with me.

There were only two plates in the shop so naturally I grabbed them both and they are firm favourites for my food photos and special meals.

Gaaaaah they are so gorgeous they make my eyes bleeeedd!

My final favourite is my gorgeous shabby-chic wooden steps.  I cannot give any advice on where to buy them because I found them on eBay and drove to Calderdale to pick them up! I paid £30 for them and everybody said I was robbed blind but I was so pleased with them.  I use them all the time because even though I'm not that small everything in our kitchen is out of reach!

If you didn't come here via my Instagram page and want to check it out my username is ALICEINDIAGORMAN.  You will usually find me posting about nails, homeware, dogs and food so if that sounds like your bag; come join the party!

Sunday 8 February 2015

The Life of a Pinterest Whore

I am a massive Pinterest fan. There are no two ways about it - as soon as I am on the app I am utterly consumed!  If you are not quite au fait with the image sharing site; it is pretty much a gloriously beautiful Google Images.  Discoveries can be 'pinned' to boards you create yourself, or share with others, for your own perusal and desires.

The boards on my personal page range from future pets, home decor, plans for my future deli, recipes and flowers. Discovering a new genre of pins for me to collect really gets me going!

I love the instantaneous nature of sharing photos and content. On many articles and images you find online the Pinterest logo appears in unison - imploring you to save it for later, adding the piece to your personal collection. 

A great feature is the private board.  You can create a place to gather your innermost secrets and plans without your followers seeing your pins.  For me, I recently partook in the private board although it would defeat the purpose to allude to its content!

Pinterest isn't only a hobby for me, it is part of my working life as well. Working in Marketing and managing social media channels emcompasses many portals and areas to reach potential customers.  I believe in the little by little approach, encouraging consumers to view a brand as not just a corporate conglomerate but as a company with a personality and beliefs.  

Pinterest not only allows users to personify their experiences and illustrate their designs for the future.  I love to plan ahead and draw inspiration from others.  As a current househunter I am currently gathering as much DIY influence as I can from my favourite site to create my own dreamy decor and I. CANT. WAIT. TO. GET. STARTED!

Saturday 7 February 2015

As Promised...

I mentioned my plans for heart shaped eggs in my last post and this morning finally had a reason to make them! Ciaran is home for the weekend from a week working away in Slough - he loves eggs and I'm too scared to try them!

I love cooking eggs and the cookie cutter technique worked brilliantly, although I would suggest using the freshest eggs available to prevent a splay of the whites. I topped mine with some S&P and a little Cajun spice. Whilst the eggs were cooking in the cutter (I left them in the cutter until they were ready to serve) I added some of my favourite chopped pomodoro cherry tomatoes and a little diced red onion to the pan and allowed to caramelise around the edges.

Happy weekend!

Friday 6 February 2015

Heart Shaped Shortbread

As a self confessed romantic, when in Sainsburys last weekend, I couldn't resist snapping up these adorable heart shaped cookie cutters.  I have many ambitious plans for them (including heart shaped fried eggs - one to try this weekend), but last night on a whim I decided to whip up some shortbread biscuits. Of course this was not remotely related to Valentines Day..

I followed a simple recipe for my shortbread as follows:


  • 225g plain flour
  • 50g caster sugar
  • 175g soft butter
  • 1tsp vanilla extract (optional)
Preheat the oven to 130°.
It couldn't be easier to create the biscuit dough - all you need to do it rub together the ingredients until it is one.

Roll out to your desired thickness.  I recommend between the thickness of a pound coin and the height of a pencil on it's side.

Use a cookie cutter or sharp knife to make your biscuit shapes; sprinkle with sugar; place on a baking tray lined with greaseproof paper and bung in the oven.

It is recommended to bake them for 1 1/2hours until golden and firm.  I baked mine for 1hr & 50mins as my tricky oven requires a little guess work on the temperature!

When cooked, remove from the oven and leave on the tray for 15 minutes or so before transferring to a rack until they are cool to the touch.

The shortbread is lovely and crumbly - particularly nice with a cup of tea and an episode of my new favourite program Call the Midwife. Late to the party I know!