Tuesday, 20 December 2016

INTRODUCING MAX BENJAMIN

 


I'm totally hooked on home scents. My obsession started with scented candles but I also love scent diffusers because they are low maintenance and constantly add fragrance to the room. As much as I love scented candles, they are not always that practical, especially if you want to burn them for a long period of time. I also hate that you need to constantly keep an eye on them and it takes few hours for the wax to melt entirely. Scent diffusers are also ideal for smaller spaces like halls and bathrooms because you want them smelling gorgeous all the time.

You might have already heard about Max Benjamin. It was actually my sister in law who introduced me to the Irish family-run candle company few years ago. I loved their candles but I had never tried the fragrance diffusers before. I've been admiring the beautiful bottles in the shops for a while though. So obviously I was thrilled when rooi, the ultimate lifestyle store for luxury living, reached out to me to partner around their fabulous home scent collection. Rooi stock everything from fine linen to stylish pet products. You can find a vast selection of luxury brands such as Kate Spade, Alessi and even the Finnish design brand Vallila on their website.

I decided to test the Max Benjamin White Pomegranate fragrance diffuser because the description just sounded too good to be true. Fresh pomegranate, rosebud, lily and gardenia sound pretty irresistible, don't you think? I also loved the elegant bottle and thought it would be perfect for our Winter Wonderland look. Fragrance diffusers last up to 3 months so it's handy to change the scent for each season. I also like to colour match so if I'm obsessed with a specific colour, I try to get my accessories, even the candles, to go with it.



The scent diffuser came in a beautiful creme box and it looked even more luxurious that I had imagined. The scent itself is very clean and fresh. I was going to place it in our hall but then I felt that the fragrance complemented our lounge the best. I was quite surprised how strong the scent was which is why I wanted to place in a large open plan area. By the way, if you find a scent too strong just use less reeds. It always does the trick for me and makes the bottle last ages too. I usually flip the reeds every few days so that there is a nice, subtle fragrance in the room all day.



I also love that you can get matching fragrance diffusers and candles from Max Benjamin. The whole range just looks absolutely stunning and I'm already thinking which one should I try next. I think my next Max Benjamin product will be a candle again. As long as the scents complement each other (and I'm pretty sure most of them do) it's totally ok to mix and match. It just makes the scent more interesting in my opinion.



There is still a bit of time for some last minute Christmas shopping and what's better than doing it online? I bought all my presents online again and I wouldn't have it any other way. Max Benjamin products make lovely stocking fillers and if you sign up to the newsletter you'll get 10% off your first order.

Happy last minute Christmas shopping!

* This post was in partnership with Rooi.
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Tuesday, 6 December 2016

IHATEIRONING.COM






I've always hated ironing. It's just another time consuming task on my to do list which I never get to. You know that feeling when your pile of clothes that need ironing keeps turning into a mountain, we all hate that. So naturally I was thrilled when ihateironing.com got in touch with me. They are a reputable online dry cleaning service that arrange a collection/drop off from your home address when it suits you. You submit your request online and that's it. No phone calls, driving to the dry cleaners etc. It's really that simple.

I had a chance to test out their service and I thought; what do I hate ironing the most? The bedding of course. I hate ironing our sheets and duvets. They are 100% cotton and feel luxurious and soft against skin. The material seems to get better after each wash but they are badly wrinkled the minute I take them out of the washing machine. It takes me a good hour to iron the set properly and honestly I just don't have the time right now. Ideally, they should be pressed for the perfect wrinkle free finish but that used to mean a trip to the dry cleaners which again takes time.

I submitted my order few weeks ago and I was a little sceptical how it's all going to work out. I decided to have our entire bedding washed and pressed which included 1 fitted sheet, 2 single duvet covers (my husband is a duvet hoarder so we have two single duvets), 2 pillow cases and a king size bedspread. First of all, it's so easy to submit your order online and choose the times that suit you. You just need to enter your post code and it gives you specific time slots that are available for pick up and drop off. You can even get things delivered to your house within 24 hours!


Once I submitted my order, I got an email to confirm everything. I even got a text message few hours before the pick up time to make sure the time still suited me which I wasn't expecting to be honest. So around 8 PM a black mini van with an ihateironing logo and name showed up outside our house and picked up the items. I received my bedding back the next day and it was beautifully packed and folded in a large dry cleaning bag.







My bedding has never looked more beautiful and clean. I cannot tell you enough how amazing it feels to have clean, wrinkle free sheets without having to lift a finger yourself. It's a luxury for me but I can see how this could easily become a necessity. Especially if you have a family and both of you work, a service like this can be a real life saver.

I also had our bedspread cleaned and it was long overdue let me tell you. It's for a king size bed so it's too big to fit into our washing machine. I did try to wash it once but the stains wouldn't come out. I'm not exactly sure what those stains were but I'm pleased to see that they are finally gone. I don't think I have ever seen our bedspread this wrinkle free either. I just can't stop admiring our perfectly made up bed which without a doubt won't stay that way for very long.




I'm very impressed with ihateironing and would definitely use their services again. They currently operate in London, Oxford, Cambridge and Brighton so if you live in the South East, why not give it a go? Their customer service is impeccable too and it's good to know that you have someone to contact at all times. Also, if your driver is 10 minutes late, they give you money off your next order. That's pretty impressive, right?

I'd love to know if anyone else has used an online dry cleaning service? Did you find it worthwhile?

* This post was in partnership with ihateironing.com
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Friday, 2 December 2016

THE CHRISTMAS EDIT







Can you believe it's already December? I started making our house festive a few weeks ago but we have accumulated so many things over the last 6 years that it is actually taking me a few days to get all the decorations up. Luckily I am still going for that contemporary/glamorous Christmas look so it's easy to find items in the shops that match the style.

This year I have gone a bit OTT with gold and our Christmas decorations totally reflect that which I love. I have also fallen in love with wreaths and garlands and I had so much fun decorating our staircase with them. The first sign of Christmas in our household is when we switch our regular hand wash to the Christmas one. It's such a small change but it definitely doesn't go unnoticed.  My daughter gets widely excited when she sees the red bottle as she knows it's not long to go now. I love the build-up to Christmas, sometimes I think even more than the actual day, so I thought I'd share my favourite Christmas must-have items with you.

Jo Malone Pine & Eucalyptus Candle


This is my number one Christmas candle. I love the subtle pine smell and it's a really clever way of making your home smell like a real Christmas tree when in fact you are stuck with an artificial one. I do actually love our artificial tree. It looks prettier than most real trees in my opinion but I miss the pine scent. I think next year we might go for the real deal.

Monochrome decorations


I love contemporary Christmas decorations and for me there is nothing more stunning than a tree decorated with contemporary black and white baubles. I love these black and gold baubles from Rocket St George. They are so chic and stylish! I do like to mix it up with a bit of silver, gold and taupe but overall I like a neutral colour palette. I still consider myself a minimalist when it comes to decorating but I think all the gold details and glamorous wreaths will hopefully make up for that. There's nothing wrong with going for that minimalist Christmas look either - go for whatever makes you happy!

Nutcrackers


Nutcrackers are just fabulous, aren't they? I got mine from the famous Nuremberg Christmas Market in Germany few years ago and I think if you want something similar ebay is probably your best bet. I'm still obsessed with our Cox & Cox brass vase which is ideal for some winter foliage. I like to display eucalyptus and pussy willow branches on the window sill and M&S have a great selection this time of year.

Wreaths


I'm a massive fan of wreaths and garlands this Christmas and I might have gone a bit OTT this time. Homebase have a great selection this year and I actually bought 4 garlands and 4 wreaths from them. They are excellent value for money and do tend to sell out pretty quickly so don't leave it last minute if you are planning to get one. I always get a real pine wreath for our front door too - I just love the pine scent so much!





I really wanted to make our staircase a bit of statement piece this Christmas and it took me 4 garlands to create this look. You could use adhesive hooks but because it's on a barbwire it's really easy to bend the wire although you need to be careful so you don't break the decorations. I absolutely love it! The gold detailing is lovely and they even had a matching wreath to complete the look.

Sheepskin rug


Our white sheepskin rug is our winter rug and it instantly makes the lounge feel wintery. I love the cosy look and sheepskin feels incredibly soft on your  feet. It's like you are wearing your Uggs but your feet still get to breath. Perfect if you ask me! 

Giant red wine glasses



I'm normally a white wine kind of girl but during the colder months nothing beats a nice full-bodied red wine. Especially if you are serving it with  a nice selection of cheeses! The Riedel Vitis Pinot Noir/Nebbiolo glasses are so unique and beautiful in person that even though they are pricey, they are worth the investment in my opinion. They also make great presents!

Iittala Tsaikka


The Iittala Tsaikka glasses were designed by Timo Sarpaneva in the 1970s in Finland so I guess it's safe to say that they are an iconic design. I love the vintage look and my mother still has the original vintage ones which look as good as new. These glasses are ideal for serving mulled wine, hot chocolate or lattes. You can even buy replacement glasses if you happen to break them!

Molton Brown Christmas hand wash


My husband actually bought The Molton Brown Frankincense Allspice Hand Wash few years ago and ever since we've been hooked. It's now our favourite Christmas hand wash and my daughter loves using it as it makes her hands smell Christmassy apparently. It's a limited edition so you will only be able to buy it from October to January I believe. I love the rich aroma and this is definitely one scent I must have in the bathroom/kitchen during the winter months.

How do you make your home look and feel Christmassy?
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