A new year and good intentions {no more chocolate for breakfast}

Happy, happy new year! Although — as we’re exactly two weeks into January — is it appropriate to say happy new year still?! It’s been a slow start for me. I’ve been taking my time and easing myself into 2018 gently. There’s no rush after all. We’ve got 12 (well, 11 and a half) shiny new months months rolling out ahead of us. By now I’ve usually written my resolutions and goals —  and am focussing on the task in hand — but this year I haven’t felt the urgency to get them down on paper just yet. I feel as though I need to have a proper think and take my time. We’ve only *just* started back in the regular routine again. The boys are back at school and I started back to work last week too. The Christmas shimmer and shine has been packed away for another year and normal eating habits have resumed. No more mountains of cheese at suppertime or chocolate for breakfast. Anyone else do that? We seem to have had a veritable cheese mountain in our fridge; that I can’t leave alone for want of trying. And, equally, my breakfast — on more than… Read More

Home Etc #130

So that’s it folks; the last Home Etc of the year! And what a year it’s been. My friend Jess stepped down from hosting and lovely Lins from the blog Boo and Maddie stepped into her shoes. Our hashtag has been used over 7.6K times on Instagram. And we’ve seen amazing home renovations and brilliant interiors from our lovely community. Talking of which… Home Etc Favourite Last week’s fave came from one of my bloggings besties, Sarah, who blogs over at Extraordinary Chaos. It’s very topical for this time of year too — a gorgeous festive table with a rustic theme. I love all the clever touches she’s created, to finish off the table. The gorgeous home-made crackers particularly. Pop over and have a read if you missed it. Well done Sarah! Your name is in the hat to win the first voucher of 2018 courtesy of our fabulous sponsor  Laura Ashley. And  it seems like a fitting moment to announce the very last winner from 2017! Our Monthly Winner We’ve had so many fab blogs linking up over the last few weeks but I think my fave overall was Medina, who blogs at Grillo Designs with her amazing wallpapered floor. Well done Medina!… Read More

Home Etc #128

Happy Home Etc day everyone! I wanted to kick of straight away with last week’s favourite post. It’s from Becky who blogs at Pinks Charming. She shared a fantastic tutorial, showing — in glorious Technicolor —  how to make winter wreaths with embroidery hoops and foliage. I won’t show you all of the images (hopefully this little taster will persuade you to go and see the rest for yourself). But suffice to say, for around 15 quid — I think you’ll agree — they’re an absolute bargain! Such a gorgeous idea and the final pieces are so beautiful. Home Etc Favourite Pop over and have a read if you missed it. It’s such a simple thing to make but absolutely gorgeous. Not just for Christmas either! Depending on what foliage and blooms you use, they could work all year round. Well done Becky — your name is in the hat to win this month’s voucher from our fabulous sponsor  Laura Ashley. For anyone who’s like to share blog posts in this week’s linky, have a little read of our house rules. HOME ETC HOUSE-RULES 1) Please include our lovely #HomeEtc badge at the bottom of your post. <div align=”center”><a href=”https://www.thetwinklediaries.co.uk/” title=“HomeEtc”><img src=”https://www.thetwinklediaries.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2015/05/HOME_ETC_BADGE.jpg” alt=”Home Etc” style=”border:none;” /></a></div>… Read More

All Things Bright & Beautiful {Bosinver Farm Cottages}

When you think of Cornish holiday cottages, what’s the first thing that springs to mind when it comes to decor? Blue.   Whitewashed wood.   Seaside themed accessories. Certainly not punchy brights, designer prints and funky furniture then? No. Me either. I must admit, they certainly wouldn’t be top of my ‘Cornish cottage decor’ list. So when we went to Bosinver Farm Cottages back in May, I was really delighted to find something a little different from the norm. There are twenty cottages at Bosinver and none of them fit the stereotypical ‘coastal holiday cottage’ mold. They’re all individually decorated — and brimming with colour and pattern. Bright and Beautiful Decor It’s lovely to go somewhere where the decor has been so carefully curated. Very often I feel that holiday cottages rely on the beauty of their surroundings; and the interiors are often a little bit basic or tired. They’re so often just ‘somewhere just to rest your head’ — rather than a place to actually spend time in and really enjoy. Bosinver Farm Cottages are all so homely. The decor is definitely not just an afterthought. I loved how some of the bedrooms had sweet little dolls sitting on the… Read More

Home Etc #126

What a lovely day I had yesterday. I hotfooted it into the city, to meet my good friend Sarah who blogs over at Extraordinary Chaos. It always amazes me how my blog has brought me so much good fortune. As well as fabulous experiences — and a change in career — it’s also brought me some lovely new friends too. Including our fabulous Home Etc community. We’ve welcomed some lovely new faces over the last few months since Lins has been co-hosting with me — and it’s fabulous to meet new faces and get a glimpse inside their beautiful homes — but I love it when our old favourites come back and link up. Which brings me nicely on to last week’s favourite post. Favourite Home Etc Blog Our favourite blog post from last week comes from Lizzie who edits the blog Marmalade Pie. It’s always so lovely when a Home Etc original pops by — and shares what they’ve been up to — and we loved her Home Notes for November. Such a gorgeous little round-up of things that she’s been buying for her home this month. Gorgeous. Well done Lizzie and welcome  back!! We’ve missed you. Your name… Read More

A Very British Hygge

Why are we Brits so obsessed with all things Scandinavian? We seem to love Scandi design; type ‘Scandi’ into Google and every major high street brand has a listing on the first page. Each one trying to tempt us to come and check out their Scandinavian inspired offerings. Plus there’s a very well known blue and yellow homeware store that sells — not only Scandinavian homeware — but also the food. Meatballs anyone? It’s no secret that my big (man-shaped) boy and I used to go on date-nights there. Never let it be said that we don’t know how to live. We love their fashion too. When the boys were tiny, I used to scour the internet for Nordic baby-grows; the sight of those squashy little bodies encased in cool Scandi stripes or hip patterns would have my heart beating just that little bit faster. And it’s not just Scandinavian products that we’re loopy about. We seem to be influenced by their way of life too. Hygge was last year’s hot new buzzword — with Lagom following swiftly on it’s heels this year. But what are they? And why are we so fascinated by them? Well, ‘Lagom’ is a Swedish… Read More

Home Etc #124

Happy Home Etc day! And happy November too. I love this time of year. I’m definitely not a fan of winter but the run up to Christmas always fills me with so much excitement. PLUS I discovered yesterday that our home etc hashtag has been used more than seven thousand times! Pretty amazing for a little tiny community! Here’s a little collection of my faves. _hellobirdie_ /clarina1985  /diaryofamumof3 / house.of.hale.interiors   /fromcity2suburb / mrsjennyswift /pinkscharming / brickdustandglitter /homewiththebuckleys Favourite Home Etc Blog Our favourite blog post from last week comes from Emma who writes over at Oh Gosh. She shared her fabulous hallway transformation. I love these kind of posts the best. It’s all very well and good showing a beautiful, perfectly styled space but what did it look like before?? Well — I’m not going to show you — if you’ve not been over to her blog and seen for yourself!! I’m just going to say, it was nothing like the welcoming vision of loveliness that it is today! Pop over t her blog and have a look at the before pictures. So lovely. But when they’re paired with the ‘before’ photos it definitely gives an idea of how much work they’ve done! Well done Emma and welcome to… Read More

Letting sleeping dogs (bears) lie | A Sleepbear mattress review

I’ve gone to great lengths in the past to make sure our guests have a good night’s sleep when they come to stay. We’re lucky that the basics are already covered. Our guest rooms are on the back of the house so there’s very little traffic noise; visitors won’t be woken by lorries rumbling by in the wee small hours. We also have shutters on the windows; so the rooms are darker than dark. In fact — as my mum once discovered — it’s sometimes a little too dark. She woke up in the middle of the night once and was convinced she’d gone blind. Thankfully she hadn’t. It was just pitch black and she got a little disorientated. Anyway. Back to the positives. There’s always fresh bedlinen and clean towels. And a couple of year’s ago I set to, making a care pack for overnight guests. A basket full of everything a guest could possibly need whilst they were staying with us. But for all of those things, ultimately, the main thing that aides a comfortable night’s sleep is a good mattress. And if the mattress is akin to sleeping on porridge — or a bed of nails — no… Read More