Interior Design: Next Home

next home
Next Home has been the sole interior design obsession that has spanned 20-plus years, for me. Considering it is a ‘high street’ store and megabrand, the taste and quality of everything they offer is simply unmatched.

As I started to decorate our new home, I ordered their golden amber fragranced candle and Poetry candelabra to build my gold, white, and black living room around (I later ended up purchasing a rather snazzy bed and mattress from them, which you’ll see soon!).

The candelabra is ‘shabby chic’ personified and the talking piece of the room, so far. Even without candles, it looks rich and worn in a way that completely justifies the £30 price tag.

The candle, unfortunately, arrived with the gold casing smashed. An issue that may have deserved a refund, yet the scent was so immediately intoxicating I chose to save everyone the trouble and simply fashion a new casing with aluminium foil to place in my silver-accented dressing room and office. With seductive notes of sandalwood and amber, this is truly a scent to beat all scents (‘Yankee’? ‘Malone’? Eat your heart out).

next home
next home

In Review: SmileStylist Teeth Whitening, Manchester

teeth whitening manchester 1
I’ve been on a bit of a ‘teeth kick’. After adding oil pulling to my standard dental hygiene regime over the past few months, I decided to kick things up a notch and undergo a round of teeth whitening at SmileStylist in Manchester.

Part One of the ‘Enlighten’ process (the longer-lasting friend of the ‘Zoom!’ process, which is available for instant whitening) was incredibly easy; simply lie down in a chair, fit a gummy mould around your teeth to make a frame for your whitening trays, then say goodbye until your trays return a week or so later.

Part Two is where I ran into some trouble. Excited by the promise of pearly whites in under a fortnight (two weeks of use can take you up to an impressive 16 shades lighter), I brushed my teeth and shoved the trays in while climbing into bed.

It was painful. Less than a minute later, I had to take the trays out and rinse my mouth.

Naturally, I searched for an answer. Was it a poor mix with the aloe vera mouthwash I use? Was it the oil pulling I had done in the morning? Did I put too much whitening gel into each tooth compartment (they warn you against this)?

The following night, I tried again. A less vigorous brush. No mouthwash. No food four hours prior to bedtime. No morning oil pull. The very littlest amount of gel for each tooth compartment.

It stung, but nowhere near as much as the previous evening, and I take the blame. I have a fairly natural and organic dental hygiene regime that I should have (could have, would have) cleared with SmileStylist in the initial meeting, as an irritation from something much stronger was bound to be an irritant.

While my results may not come in two weeks, using the trays every couple of days is enough to justify the Enlighten programme – it is very easy, very affordable, and very quick to whiten (even if you have hippie beauty freak teeth, ahem!)

smile stylist manchester
teeth whitening manchester 1
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Interior Design: Lakeland Gadgets

lakeland gadgets
With The Manfriend and I’s recent move to Leeds city centre throwing up a lot of design/space questions, we decided to conduct a pretty major rehaul of all our worldly possessions. While big ticket items were destined to wreak havoc on our joint account, some of the smaller ‘bits and bobs’ have been the most fun to purchase.

Over the coming weeks, I will show you more and more of our home as it all comes together (ending in a full house tour!). For now? Two very essential (and ingenious) gadgets from Lakeland:

Little Black Dress jewellery organiser -
I have a decent amount of jewellery but have never invested in any real way to display or store it. This storage solution – what is essentially a black dress hung on a hanger – has been the greatest thing to happen to my closet in a long time. With twenty-four hook and loop tabs on one side and thirty-nine clear pockets on the other, my necklaces, rings, earrings, bracelets, and small accessories all have a very accessible place to live.

The Style Station -
This one, believe it or not, has proven most useful for The Manfriend. ‘The Style Station’ is a veritable parking station for items that are too hot to pack away, ie. hairdryers, curling tongs, and straighteners. As I tend to let my hair air dry, the real benefit for me has been that my stolen hair tools (The Manfriend lusts for my ghd hairdryer) are all kept in a tidy, safe place. With a cord storage pocket and the ability to hang the Station or use it freestanding, it is remarkably easy to keep things neat.

lakeland gadgets
lakeland gadgets
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In Review: Synergy Natural 100% Organic Super Greens

Synergy Natural Organic Super Greens
Superfoods – and green foods, in particular – have been the obsession of the health and beauty community for quite some time. As a rule, the ‘dark greens’ of the world tend to pack the biggest punch of nutrients yet, unfortunately, often take the form of microscopic freshwater plants. Not the type of things you want to throw on top of a salad.

Knowing this, Synergy Natural created 100% Organic Super Greens tablets of Spirulina, Chlorella, Barley Grass and Wheat Grass to assist the green-ingesting masses. Nutritionally, these tablets are wildly different from the synthetic variations you find in most high street ‘health stores’. Spirulina alone is currently the most nutritious whole food in existence, making the filler-free blend of 100% pure and Certified Organic ingredients a very powerful concoction.

Having taken an average of 2-4 tablets a day over the past few weeks (many users take up to 10), I am currently taking no other vitamins or supplements and feeling wonderful. Expect increased energy, an alkalised body (essential for anyone struggling with the acidity of processed foods), and detoxification as a whole. In fact, on the days I take more pills I don’t feel the need to drink coffee (my biggest vice!).

My health/beauty pick of the month, hands down.