Wednesday, 23 December 2009

Merry Christmas from everyone at Domestic Sluttery!

This is it, our last post before we switch off our laptops, hop on trains and crack open the mince pies. It's officially Christmas time in Domestic Sluttery HQ. Horray!

No "best of 2009" posts from us - it's only three months until our 1st birthday so we'll save the nostalgia for then. But, we do want to say Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to all of our readers. You're all wonderful. We've had an awesome year and can't wait to show you what we've got planned for 2010.

Normal service in Domestic Sluttery HQ will be resumed on January 4th. But for now, go take a look out of your window and check if it's snowing. And of course, make sure you tell us what you got for Christmas.

Merry Christmas everyone!

Christmas Wrap-Up

In an ideal world, by now you'd have all your Christmas shopping chosen, purchased and beautifully wrapped, complete with ribbons, bows and gift tags. Your halls would be decked with boughs of holly, as well as tinsel, mistletoes and other tasteful Christmas decorations carefully selected to colour-coordinate with your décor. The kitchen would be stocked with liquor and food aplenty, and there'd be nothing left to do but lounge on the sofa with an eggnog and a plate of mince pies, awaiting the bonanza of cracking Christmas telly, and a few well-earned days of eating, boozing and catching up with friends and family.

But, alas and alack, it doesn't always work out that way, does it? If you're anything like me, there'll still be tons to do before you can slob out in your pjyamas, tuck into Christmas pudding for breakfast, and get so blitzed on festive booze that the flashing of the fairylights on the tree start to look slightly psychedelic.

If you're in need of a few extra accessories to make you feel festive, then how about stringing this handmade bunting over the fireplace:


It's £24.95, from Hunkydory Home. Each string of bunting features flags made using fabric from vintage scarves and dresses, appliquéd with hand-printed Christmas messages and images, and finished with glossy red ribbon and feathery white wool.

Or, if you're not satisfied with a Christmas tree decked out with baubles, jinglebells, reindeer, and other traditional festive decorations then maybe this set of six wooden decorations featuring iconic London symbols might suit you. They're £15, from Designers Choice.

And last but not least, this small but perfectly-formed hand-painted ceramic Christmas pudding will make a cute and cheeky table accessory, and would be perfect for serving brandy custard and other such saucy delights. It's only £3.95, from the dotcomgiftshop. Time to eat, drink, and be merry!


Tuesday, 22 December 2009

Sexy Stationery: Papermash Paris Polariod Postcards


Want some unusual cards for your Christmas thank you notes? What about these lovely Paris Polaroid postcards from Papermash? They're unique, but they're also the perfect size. Which means you won't have to write a sprawling long letter to your great aunt when the only thing you can think of writing is "the reindeer jumper you knitted is eight sizes too big". Perfect.

Donate! Domestic Sluttery Charity Raffle

So, despite one final call out yesterday, only one of the prizes was snapped up, which means we've still got two more prizes to share with you guys. As we told you yesterday, this time the draw is for charity. We've set up a Just Giving page and for every £2 you donate to Shelter you'll get an entry into the draw.

So what can you win? Either the lovely Fever Dress from Aspire Style. Or, this wonderful Cocomale Teapot!

Hurrah! Awesome prizes for an awesome cause. We're hoping to raise lots of money so dig deep into your purses and help Shelter. You've got until Midday on January 7th to buy your tickets (you might see some donations from the Domestic Sluts, but that's just because we're helping raise more money, not because we're entering the competition). Don't forget you might be able GiftAid your donations as well.

Good luck, and thanks for helping Shelter!

Monday, 21 December 2009

Come claim your presents!




Wow, we never thought we'd say this, but some winners haven't claimed their presents! You crazy people! We want to share! So if you're the winner of the Aspire Dress, the Cocomale Teapot and the Dorset Cereals Porridge Set, please let us know! Kelstar, Natalie Billau and Fishcake! GET IN TOUCH!

We really really want to give away presents, because it's Christmassy. So if you haven't claimed you're prize by midday tomorrow, we're going to do another draw. For charity this time.

Yep, we know you've already entered the contests, so this time we'd like to do something good for someone else. Tomorrow we'll set up a Just Giving page for Shelter and you'll get a raffle ticket for every £2 you donate. We spend the rest of the year talking about our pretty houses, we'd like to give some money to Shelter and make someone have a lovely Christmas.

So, get in touch, tell us you've won and we'll happily share the goodies with their rightful owner. Of course, if you want to donate your prize to the charity draw instead, that would be equally nice. We won't do the draw until after New Year so you've got heaps of time to get your raffle tickets.

Design Porn: Lowri Davies


I've been coveting Lowri Davies for a while now. The birdy prints are so very pretty. They're a bit scribbly, without being childish. Fun, but still sophisticated.


Yes, that is a pylon on the inside of the vase. Birds sit on pylons, it totally makes sense.


I especially like the gold edging around this dish. It's a really nice touch.

Want them all!

Friday, 18 December 2009

Shop in the Spotlight: Swedish Design House

If you are looking for some winter style that's classier than tinsel and lasts a little longer than your chocolate advent calendar, take a cue from our Scandinavian friends. Swedish Design House is a new website specialising in – as the name might suggest – affordable Swedish farm house style. Based in Malmö, they ship all over Europe, making their enviable taste just a click away. Up-and-coming designers rub shoulders with more established names to create a small but beautifully formed site for quirky and beautiful home wares and gifts. Their products range from traditional pastel coloured wooden Dalecarlian horses to vintage plates that have been lovingly made-over into candlesticks.

The kitchen section alone contains plenty of treats, sourced from all over Sweden.


There are gorgeous pinewood jars hand-painted with floral motifs, a snip at £9 each, and perfect for stocking with vital tea and coffee supplies.


A spot of seasonal mulled wine would taste so much nicer sipped from one of 'Granma's' Farmor mugs. These are hand-made mugs with a white glaze that, true to the spirit of grans everywhere, are decorated in an appealing doily-like pattern. If you didn't want to drink from them, they'd look equally beguiling as pen or candle holders, pretty versatile for £16.


The wall decoration section contains the ultimate in easy ornamentation: removable plate wall stickers. The blue and white designs are based on plates from Rörstrand's factory which has been (literally) dishing out ceramics to Sweden since 1726. They probably won't last for almost three centuries in your home but at £5 each, who cares?


Finally, for the ultimate in hibernation, indulge in their range of textiles which includes the 100% wool doodle blanket, a more contemporary looking design that simply asks you to curl up under it in front of the telly. Like this shop, it's what winter evenings were made for.

Spotty Miss Selfridge Jacket


Cuteness! This spotty jacket is adorable. I'm fully aware that it's far too cold outside to wear it at the moment (is it snowing where you are? Weather report please!) But if you snap this up now you'll have something lovely to wear when the sunshine finally kicks into gear. In the meantime, you can just stare at it while you're all wrapped up warm. It's £50 from Miss Selfridge and is firmly on our Christmas lists.

Cocktail Hour: French 75

I discovered the French 75 at our Christmas party in Bourne and Hollingsworth earlier this week. A cocktail with gin AND champagne in? Yes please! Unfortunately, whilst this seems like a good idea on Tuesday, I was not a happy bunny the next day.

Ouch.

But yum! Really really yum! Just as long as you don't think it's a good idea to drink seven of them, you'll be just fine. There's some question about whether the drink was originally made with cognac or gin, but I had gin, so let's stick with that.

You'll need:
  • 50ml gin
  • 30ml lemon juice
  • Champagne
  • Sugar powder (or caster sugar at a push)
  • Cherry to garnish
Make it!

Pop your cherry at the bottom of a champagne flute. Shake together the gin, lemon and sugar with ice. Strain into the glass and top up with bubbly. Drink lots and lots, sing Christmas songs and have a very merry time indeed.

Flickr image from .curt.'s photostream.

Sweet Treats: Chocolataire from Bob by Post


Remember playing solitaire when you were a kid? Well now you can play chocolataire! With little chocolate eggs (although actually, I think this comes with chocolate balls). This would make such a cute little present for someone who is a fan of the old classics. It's £30 from Bob By Post, and would be a whole lot cheaper than chocolate chess. Chess is boring anyway.

Etsy Pick: Mini Calendar by Kitty Rogers


This is such a pretty little calendar. As space on my desk is at a premium (priority goes to my jar of sweets and pretty photographs of my friends), I can't have a giant desk calendar. But I can have this one.


Look at all of the little pictures! Are they lovely? They rest on the little easel so you can see what day it is (and in our hungover states, the Domestic Sluts have been known to forget). They remind me of the photos from Cassia Beck I featured a little while ago. This mini calendar is from Kitty Rogers and it's $16. You'll have to pay $12.95 to get it shipped over, but honestly, I think it's worth it. You've got to kick the New Year off with pretty things.

The winner of ALL the 12 days of Christmas presents!


Yay! We've got a winner for all of the fabulous presents! One of you, next week is going to have presents coming out of your ears. Not literally, that's silly. But who?!

*Drum roll please*...

Claire Nelson! Horray! Here's what Claire is up to this Christmas:

"My family are in New Zealand, and my boyfriend's family are abroad this year, so we will be on our own. Admittedly, a Christmas without family seems a little bare. But lucky for us, a couple we're close friends with are also going to be in London for Christmas day due to changes in their own family's routine (one set of parents in Chicago, and one in Australia).

And what are close friends if not family you have merely chosen yourself? The day will be spent playing games, eating food, drinking and enjoying one of those slightly nomadic Christmases that only come once or twice in most people's lifetimes. In some ways it might the most special Christmases we've had."

I'm so pleased these are going to a good home and will hopefully make a quiet Christmas all the more Christmassy. Spending Christmas with friends sounds heaps of fun. Clare, just email us and we'll get your prizes sent out to you ASAP!

We really wanted to give presents to everyone. Thanks so much for entering and playing along! You've made us feel really festive with your exciting tales! We promise we'll have some brilliant competitions next year!

Merry Christmas everyone!

Thursday, 17 December 2009

Bollocks to Christmas cake - return to Lola's Bakery


While most of us Sluts are more than partial to a nice hunk of proper six-week-brandy-soaked Christmas cake, we've heard that there are a few people out there that are a little less keen. Naturally, we've come across a wholly acceptable and no less festive alternative in the Christmas cupcakes turned out by Lola's Kitchen in London town.


They have created a few special cupcakes for hungry mouths to feast on. There's a special spicy gingerbread sponge (with frosting covered in cute little gingerbread men!) The Snowflake cakes are sprinkled with crushed candy canes. The insanely colourful Ho Ho Ho cakes, replete in edible glitter, are a rather satisfying way to overdose on sugar. Not sure I could do it too often - but then again - the same could surely be said of everything at this time of year ;)

If you've got a Christmas-cake-shy friend or relative to provide for in this next week or so, hot foot it down to Selfridge's Food Hall to pick up a couple.

Sweet Treats: Liquid Chocolate

Cast your mind back to that one amazing hot chocolate you've had. The one that was somehow really thick like milkshake and tasted of nothing but melted, molten chocolate. Wouldn't it be great if you could have that all through winter?

And so starts my hunt for the perfect hot chocolate.

I kicked off with Hotel Chocolat's Liquid Chocolate. Being somewhat of a purist, I stuck to the original instead of any of their other flavours (although I was very tempted by their chilli variety).

And I wanted to love it. I was all very excited watching the chocolatey flakes melt into the warm milk. And then sitting waiting patiently while it cooled down. And then well, being left rather underwhelmed.

Yes it's chocolatey. Yes it's better than the rubbish powdered stuff you get in the supermarket. But it doesn't have the extra oomph I expected. Considering it's £7.50, I expected more. Although I'm keen to play about with it and perhaps mix some cream in with the milk, or make this boozy hot chocolate drink. Maybe I should have bought a different flavour, but if this is the benchmark, I'm not overly impressed. It didn't wow me much more than my usual brand. That said, the website does let you use your title out of many, and I rather enjoy getting post for Baroness Sian.

And the hunt for the perfect hot chocolate continues. Got any favourites? Tell me in the comments!

Easy peasy DIY craft kits

If you are feeling inspired by our gift guide for crafty chicas but like a touch of reassurance before you cut and paste, there's a whole raft of kits on the market that are perfect for more cautious crafters.


Book artist, illustrator and designer type Alice Melvin has teamed up with Tate to produce these fantastic and bang on trend Cut out and sew owl hand puppets. The clues are in the title - you simply need to cut out the owl shapes from the fabric and sew them together to make one big glove puppet and three hand puppets. If all sounds a bit complicated, do not fear as step-by-step instructions are also included. All this costs just £6.36.


A slightly more ambitious project is this Scots Guard cross stitch kit from London-based The Papered Parlour. They offer craft classes in everything from sewing to silver-smithing to screen-printing and are now offering a little piece of their creativity to those who live beyond the reaches of Clapham. This cute little figure is apparently part of a soon to be launched range called London in Stitches. The kit, which costs £15, includes needle, thread and screen-printed template. And, of course, instructions.

Finally, the deluxe option is from the hilariously named Wool and the Gang. It contains enough ethically sourced Peruvian wool to make your own grey snood. It's stocked by net-a-porter and, if they are on board, you know it's been given the official stamp of chic approval. The kit has everything, from wooden needles to a pattern and even contains an exclusive 'knit-a-porter' patch. Those seeking further guidance can plunder the videos on the Wool and the Gang website.

And with that, consider yourself fully kitted out...

Design Porn: Olivia Lowe

Not that there's anything wrong with using an old champagne bottle as a vase, it's very vintage chic. But Olivia Lowe brings a whole new level of class to flower arranging.


Sexy.


Very sexy.


*Swoon*

Design Porn: Moleskine Colour a Month 2010 diaries


I have to be upfront and say that the Moleskine Colour a Month 2010 Daily Diary, £31.50 from Stanfords, is not something I need. Firstly, I already have a diary for 2010. Secondly, it doesn't entirely match my requirements for a work desk diary or planner. Thirdly, the boy really quite fancies it for Christmas and it would be both a little creepy to be matchy-matchy, plus potentially confusing if we walked off with each other's little book of February. These are so much more sensible, and also required for numerous January projects.

All that sensibility aside - twelve individual coloured Moleskine note books. One per month, slotting neatly into a binder complete with the traditional inside pocket. What's not to covet. Perhaps it's time to start a double life?

Wednesday, 16 December 2009

The Winner of the Fever dress from Aspire Style


Wow, you all fell in love with this pretty dress from Aspire Style (although I never doubted for a second how much taste you guys have). I was trying to work out some sort of timeshare so you all got to wear it on special occasions, but as half of you have decided to baste your turkey in it on Christmas day, that might prove to be difficult. So we had to pick a winner...

*Drum roll*

Natalie Billau! You won! Hooray!

"Oooo how beautiful!! I'd wear this dress on my honeymoon. Me and my new hubby are off to New York on Christmas day (it's my wedding present to him and a complete surprise!!) and I'd wear this out to dinner."

That's a very fabulous reason to wear this dress, and I'm sure Natalie is going to look fabulous in New York. Please send us photos! But first, email us and tell us where to send your dress. As for the rest of you, you can enter our final competition of the year and win all kinds of brilliant goodies. Including this dress!

Folksy Find: The best Christmas Cards

If you haven't sent out your Christmas cards yet, well we're impressed by your last-minute tactics. But don't buy any rubbish from the Supermarket! These cards from Folksy are much more interesting.


Mariah Carey never looks so creepy.


I love these bright shape cards. Little robins making up the shape of robins.


This is such a cute little cartoon Christmas card. I'd be very happy if someone sent me this.

Sluttery faves: Tokyo Milk at Wild & Funk



Ever since Domestic Slut Robyn and I took a little trip to Brighton, I have been on the lookout for Toyko Milk. I love the over-the-top styling of the packaging - Victorian illustration and French Rococo a go-go. It looks like Wild & Funk has the entire range including the lipbalms above, which are £12.50 each. Deliciously scented, they come with kissing tips and famous quotes inside.



'Ex Libris' smells quite masculine but I'd have this just for the bottle. Perfume is £29.95. I'd choose 'Song in D Minor', with White Orchid, Orange Flower, Gardenia and Amber for its scent, and 'Gin and Rosewater' for the name alone.


You'll also find their delightfully quirky range of cards online too - including this rather fabulous 'Woohoo you're living in sin' one which is a little different from your standard Hallmark fare. Include some Hawaiian Divers, and hope their bath is big enough for two!

Shop in the spotlight: Pearls & Swine

Once you've seen one fascinator, you've seen them all, right? Well that was true until Pearls & Swine came along. A boy are these pretty.


This half-fascinator/half-mask is stunning. So unique. it's £60.


Let's be honest, this little crown is much cooler than any tiara. It's only £35.


And this very extravagant headband is just £30. So impressed with these unique designs.

Christmas Gift Guide: Crafty chicas

If you're looking for present ideas for that creative and crafty friend, here are some suggestions that just might help!


For the Yarnista: this Namaste Needle Shell, available from Purlescence for £13.50, is genius. It's like a hard glasses case and it will keep your precious needles safe when travelling - and you can also close it over your knitting to protect your work in transit. Stitch markers are always useful, and The Bothered Owl has brilliant ones, including Lego Heads over on Folksy. Throw in some Lantern Moon rosewood needles too for the best knitterly present imaginable.

Stitchy girl: Jenny Hart's Sublime Stitching is credited with bringing embroidery bang up to date for the contemporary crafter. Her new book, Embroidered Effects, rrp £16.99, is full of projects, techniques and reusable pattern transfers. I love this gingham scissors and this pretty floss organiser (It's pink! It's shaped like a pony! Who wouldn't love it?) from Everything You Needle. Or if someone has been very very good, and Santa is bringing a new sewing machine, then The Sewing Bible by Ruth Singer is a great book to keep alongside it.

Little gems: This great starter kit from Cookson's is only £10.29 and has everything a budding jeweller could want. Handmade kashmiri beads and silver or gold findings (the wire and clippy bits!) are the perfect added ingredients for unique pieces that anyone would be proud of, or for that extra sparkle go wild with Swarovski crystals in luscious colours.

Of course, this also means you can drop hints about the cute embroidered tea towel, pretty dangly earrings or handknitted cashmere socks you're hoping to receive for Christmas 2010...

Win! ALL of our 12 Days of Christmas presents!


On the 12th day of Christmas, Domestic Sluttery gave to me 12 days of Christmas presents all to keep!

Yep, you read that right. As our final competition and Christmas present to you, we're giving away every single one of our presents to one lucky reader. So in true Blind Date style, here's a quick reminder of what we're giving away.

A Hunkydory Home lampshade, a case of wine from Molly Brown's Wine List, a Cocomale teapot, a fully decorated Christmas tree from Dobbies, a gold ring from Accessories Online, a Merchant Gourmet cooking kit, a Paris print from Bodie and Fou, a sampler from Miso Funky, some organic porridge and bowls from Dorset Cereals, a bunny vase from Hannah Zakari and a dress from Aspire style.

Wow. Just wow.

This is the biggest prize we've ever given away, worth around £500. It means you'll quite literally have Christmas on your doorstep (not all at once though, we're not sure we can fit all that through the letter box). We're so thrilled to be able to give away all of these nice things so huge thanks to everyone who has been involved with our Christmas competitions!

So what do you have to do to win?

Just tell us in the comments how you're spending Christmas. Tell us what you're doing to make this year special. Make us smile with your Christmas plans!

We'll pick a winner at random and as always, you'll get an extra entry for retweeting (only once!) But this time, because it's an extra special prize, you'll also get an extra entry for blogging about it too. Just pop a link in the comments if you blog about us! We'll draw a winner at random and then announce tomorrow who is the lucky winner of all this swag. Either that, or we'll be divvying it up amongst ourselves.

Good luck!

The small print:
The competition will close at midday on 17th December. The winner must live in the UK as well, sorry overseas readers, but them's the breaks. You must also leave a name as well to make sure we know who you are! We're not allowed to enter our own competitions, but I'm spending Christmas day with family, in a tiny little village in North Wales and hoping for snow! We wish we could enter our competitions, but quite honestly, we've got nowhere to put all of this wonderful stuff.

Tuesday, 15 December 2009

Christmas Time: The Best Christmas Markets

After a festive day trip to Brussels, courtesy of Little Break I'm all hyped up for the Christmas markets. They're so much fun. I spent the whole day in Brussels singing Let It Snow (and actually, haven't stopped since). Here's why:


Christmas sparkle.


Festive treats!


Traditional gifts.


Dark tree decorations on a silvery tree would look unique and still pretty. I bought lots of baubles for my tree.


If we're going to embrace this Russian Doll trend, let's be festive about it.

So if you've got the Christmas market bug, you have two choices, pop across the Brussels on the Eurostar, or go somewhere a little more local. Here's where the best spots are:

Southbank, London: My favourite Christmas market is the Cologne Christmas Market. Because Southbank is all in one line, it lends itself perfectly to markets and events. Start at one end and walk all the way down! You'll be full of Christmas cheer by the time you get to the end.

Slow Food, Southbank: This isn't a very big market, but if you're a foodie you have to take a wander. Not least to say hello to the guy selling freshly cooked scallops. Embracing all things foodie, Slow Food is a great place to pick up (expensive) gifts for the culinary fans on your pressie list.

The Piazza, Covent Garden: There aren't many markets more festive. If you don't get swept up in Christmas spirit and skip down the street singing Jingle Bells after a visit to the Covent Garden Piazza then you're not doing it right. It's worth going just for the twinkly lights.

Indoor Market, Greenwich: Not strictly a Christmas market, but Greenwich Market is my local and Christmas doesn't start until I've been for a walk around here. There's something very festive about it, they don't even have to try.

Winter Wonderland, Hyde Park: Yes, there's rollercoasters which is a bit weird. But the rest of the Winter Wonderland is very Christmassy indeed. You can even go ice skating after some shopping. Brave the tourists and grab some mulled wine.

Abbey Churchyard, Bath: This is one of the most talked about Christmas markets in the UK. Consistently good, very festive and enough stuff to keep you busy for a whole afternoon.

New Street, Birmingham: Aaaah, Birmingham Frankfurt market is the Christmas market of my childhood. It's based on the German markets, but is apparently less traditional than it used to be. But, if you're nearby it's well worth the trip. It's one of the biggest Christmas markets around.

Christmas Weekend, Manchester: There are so many Christmas markets in Manchester, I can't pick just one - although we do have it on good authority that the one located in Albert Square is the place to go if you want to slurp from a large mug filled with the best Mulled Wine this side of Germany! From 18th - 22nd December, the whole city turns into a Christmas town. There's even a market just for ethical gifts.

Bollocks to Baking: Whoopie Pies from Outsider Tart

The wonderfully kind folks at Outsider Tart recently contacted Domestic Sluttery to enquire as to whether we'd like to get our gobs round one of their Whoopie Pies. Our initial reactions, as one might expect, was an indignant "I beg your pardon?" You see, we hadn't heard of Whoopie Pies before and were a bit baffled as to what they might be.

Apparently in America, Whoopie Pies are a classic tasty baked treat, much obsessed-over by folks of all ages. But until now hardly anyone on these fair isles has heard of them, never mind feasted on their creamy, chewy, biscuit-based goodness.

But the charming American chaps behind US-style boutique bakery Outsider Tart have decided to address this, and now Whoopie Pies are making their UK debut at their shop on Chiswick High Street. And according to them, they've been flying off the shelves.

Satisfyingly stodgy without being too sickly sweet, the Whoopie Pies are available in seven different delicious flavours, including chocolate, oatmeal and pumpkin, and each whopper costs £3. They're round cake sandwiches, with frosting fillings, sort of like a giant custard cream - if you can imagine such a surreal sweet treat without short-circuiting your keyboard by drooling all over it.

I'm not ashamed to admit that, a touch hungover, on a recent grotty and rainy morning, I indulged in a Whoopie Pie for breakfast. The resulting sugar-high powered me through the entire day, and the chewy biscuity cake base had a melting texture which dissolved in my mouth. Whoopie Pies somehow manage to be both deliciously indulgent comfort food, as well as an innovative and original twist on a traditional tasty baked format.

They're available from Outside Tart at their boutique bakery or at the Richmond and Chiswick Farmers' Markets at weekends. They'd be a perfect present to take to a party, or if you can't be bothered with baking to feed dinner guests for dessert. We're definitely converted to the wonders of the Whoopie Pie, although next time maybe we'll try to avoid drinking quite so much booze the night before we indulge...

Blogs We Love: Tea for Joy

Some might speculate that I'm behind the times, but it was only recently that I stumbled across a beauteous little blog by the name of Tea for Joy. The blogger behind it, Lynne, has a something of a penchant for all things vintage, British and tea-themed, so it was a match made in heaven for Domestic Sluttery.

My favourite of her recent features is this gorgeous polaroid print, by Madrid artist JuliaBe. Even better, she recently wrote about some of the wondrous and whimsical bric-a-brac to be bought from Re-Found Objects, a shop we featured a while back. Great minds think alike and all that, eh? Especially ones that obsess over vintage jelly moulds, cake stands, baking trays and tape measures.

And for the cash-strapped amongst us, Lynne's also compiled some quaint and quirky Christmas gift guides, including a selection for £10 and under. She seems to have a real knack for tracking down unique but affordable art, tea shops from the sophisticated and elegant to the chintzy and shabby-chic, as well as gorgeous original gifts to suit even the most meagre of budgets. We'll definitely be reading Tea for Joy from now on, and recommend you do the same.

Is there a blog that isn't on our blogroll that you think we'd adore? Let us know in the comments if so!
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