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Monthly Archives: July 2017
  • Posted on July 28, 2017

    Chocolate and Hazelnut Squares recipe

    These Swedish cookies are from our new book The Lagom Life and we think they're the perfect bake for a lazy Sunday afternoon. So take some time out for a little fika and give them a try!


    'nötchokladrutor' chocolate and nut squares

    When my parents had gatherings at home with friends or family, after dessert there always had to be a  kaka till kaffet, which basically means a “biscuit with coffee.” When coffee was served, you also wanted something a little bit sweet to go with it, so my mom would often bake these. They are quick to make, the perfect lagom size, and my favorite from the cookie tray. I particularly love the crunch of the hazelnuts on top.


     Makes about 20 squares

    7 tablespoons/100g butter, at room temperature, plus extra for greasing

    scant ¾ cup/140g superfine/ caster sugar

    ½ teaspoon baking powder

    2 tablespoons cocoa powder

    1 egg

    1 teaspoon vanilla sugar or vanilla extract

    ½ cup plus 1 tablespoon/75g all-purpose/plain flour

    ¾ cup/100g chopped hazelnuts


    Preheat the oven to 200ºC/400ºF/

    Gas 6. Grease a baking sheet about 10 x 14 inches/25 x 35cm or larger, and line with parchment paper. If using a larger baking sheet, only prepare an area no larger than 10 x 14 inches/ 25 x 35cm. Cream the butter and sugar together until pale and fluffy, using a hand-held electric whisk or a balloon whisk. Add the baking powder and cocoa and blend until smooth. Add the egg and vanilla sugar or extract and whisk until incorporated. Sift in the flour and mix until blended and you have a batter that resembles smooth butter. Spread the batter evenly on the baking sheet. Scatter the chopped nuts on top.

    Bake in the preheated oven for 15 minutes and cut into squares while still warm. Let cool and store in an airtight container.


    For more fika recipes, check out The Lagom Life by Elisabeth Carlsson.

    The Lagom Life










    This post was posted in Featured, Featured, News, News, Recipes, Recipes, UK, US, What's new, What's new and was tagged with chocolate, recipe for the weekend, sweet, lagom, fika

  • Posted on July 28, 2017

    Chicken Salad Wrap recipe

    These wraps are a perfectly quick and simple lunch idea, whether you're taking them to the office or feeding the kids this summer holidays.

    chicken salad wraps

    Chicken Salad Wraps

    4 soft flour tortillas, preferably whole-wheat

    4 tablespoons mayonnaise

    2 teaspoons wholegrain mustard

    2 cooked chicken breasts, shredded

    2 carrots, grated

    a wedge of white cabbage, finely sliced

    2 medium tomatoes, finely sliced

    sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

    Serves 4


    Lay each tortilla flat on a piece of baking parchment.

    Spread with the mayonnaise and mustard.

    Add the shredded chicken, grated carrot, sliced cabbage, salt, pepper and tomato.

    Roll up the tortillas into tight cylinders, using the baking parchment to help you. Twist the ends of the paper together.

    Cut the cylinders in half diagonally. Wrap each portion in plastic and chill until ready for work.

    Top tip: If you want to make your own lunches, a clever trick is to keep it in mind the night before when you are cooking dinner. Any extra chicken, meats, fish, boiled eggs, potatoes, pasta, rice or roasted vegetables such as pumpkin, (bell) peppers or onions can be used in a wonderful sandwich or salad.


    For more quick and simple recipes for everyday living, check out Eat, Drink Live by Fran Warde.

    Eat Drink Live by Fran Warde





    This post was posted in Featured, Featured, News, News, Recipes, Recipes, UK, US, What's new, What's new and was tagged with school holidays, recipe for the weekend, lunch, quick, healthy

  • Posted on July 26, 2017

    Get the look - Space Works

    Having kids might mean more stuff and more mess, but it also means more fun and definitely not lack of style! This week we're looking at a fun and colourful kitchen from Space Works and picking a few key items you can get to make your own kitchen stylish and family friendly.

    Space Works kitchen lookbook


    personalised letters

    Personalised Fabric Letters

    Let’s start with the personalised fabric letters. We love these! They will add some fun and colour to any room. You could go for a kitchen inspired word like the one in the picture, or initials of your family, it’s up to you. And with Laura's Love Letters on Etsy, you can even pick which fabric you want.


    Bar stool ikea

    Foldable Bar Stools

    A breakfast bar is great for family kitchens and these stools from IKEA are practical and won’t break the bank. Kids can have their breakfast or do their homework while the adults can cook dinner and still keep and eye on them.


    mixing bowls

    Colourful Kitchen Equipment

    Get the kids involved with the cooking with some colourful kitchen equipment. It’ll brighten up you kitchen, plus if you go for plastic you won’t be worried about anything breaking. We love this rainbow plastic mixing bowl set from Vremi.

    egg cup

    We also love these quirky egg cups from House of Fraser. Perfect for a fun and healthy breakfast.




    Bunting isn’t just for parties! It can add colour and fun to your kitchen without taking away from you style. There are loads of bunting styles and patterns to choose from, but we like this floral pattered one from dotcomgiftshop.com.


    storage tins

    Funky Storage Tins

    If you’re short on space, invest in some really nice storage tins. They’re extra space and they’ll look nice on the kitchen counter. You could keep all the kid's baking in them, or after school snacks and treats they can help themselves to. There's so many to choose from, but we've gone for this very cute set from John Lewis.



    Pendant Lamp

    This pendant lamp from lampandlight.co.uk is the perfect accessory to keep your kitchen feeling grown-up, with no worries of it breaking or getting covered in sticky fingerprints!


    For more family friendly interior inspiration, check out Space Works by Caroline Clifton-Mogg.

    Space Works






    This post was posted in Featured, Featured, News, News, UK, US, What's new, What's new and was tagged with inspiration, interiors, kitchen, family friendly

  • Posted on July 20, 2017

    Matcha tea smoothie bowl recipe

    This smoothie bowl is the perfect healthy way to start your day! Matcha is the finely ground powder of a particular variety of green tea grown uniquely in Japan. It is high in antioxidants and fibre, and adds an alluring sweet nutty flavour to smoothies – it is also a fabulous green colour!

    Matcha tea smoothie

    Matcha tea, banana and sesame smoothie bowl

    2 large bananas

    2 teaspoons matcha tea

    250 ml/generous1 cup coconut milk, plus extra to serve

    300 ml/1  1/3 cups sheep’s milk yogurt

    2 tablespoons tahini paste

    50 g/1 scant cup baby spinach leaves

    2 tablespoons honey


    20 g/1/4 cup sliced banana

    toasted sesame seeds

    red fruits, such as raspberries and pomegranate seeds

    Serves 2


    Peel and roughly chop 1  1/2 bananas and put in a blender with the matcha tea, coconut milk, yogurt, tahini paste, spinach leaves and honey. Blend until really smooth. Divide between two bowls.

    Thinly slice the remaining banana and arrange on top of the bowls with the sesame seeds and fruit. Drizzle over a little extra coconut milk and serve.

    Tip:  You can decorate your smoothie with any type of fruit although the red fruits are a particularly attractive contrast and add even more antioxidants.


    If you liked this breakfast recipe, why not try our 'build your bowl' quiz to find you perfect Bowl Food evening meal?

    Or check out Bowl Food for even more delicious and healthy recipes.

    Bowl Food




    This post was posted in Featured, Featured, News, News, Recipes, Recipes, UK, US, What's new, What's new and was tagged with breakfast, recipe for the weekend, vegetarian, healthy

  • Posted on July 19, 2017

    Get the look - Life Unstyled

    Do you love the modern bohemian look? Here's how you can easily recreate this boho living room with just a few key accessories...

    Life Unstyled


    patterned boho blanket

    Patterned throws and and pom-pom blankets

    No need for an expensive new sofa; create the boho look with patterned throws and blankets and don't be afraid to mix a range of colours and styles. We love the selection of patterns and colours on Zazzle.co.uk as well as the range of pom-pom blankets on bohemiadesign.co.uk.


      sequin cushion   tassle cushion


    Again for the cushions, don't be afraid to mix and match all kinds of colours and styles. From left to right we've gone for a stylish geometric pattern from cultfurniture.com, a patchwork sequin from namaste-uk.com and a funky tasseled one from Wolf and Badger. The best thing about this is you can pick your favourite colours and patterns to make the room feel unique to you.


    macrame wall hanging

    Macrame Wall Hanging

    There are lots of lovely macrame wall hangings available to buy online, we particularly like this one from Urban Outfitters. Or, if you're a keen crafter, then you could easily make one of these yourself, in fact we have a free project on our blog on MAKEetc.


    moroccan ceiling lantern

    Moroccan Ceiling Lantern

    We love this Moroccan inspired ceiling lantern from moroccanbazaar.com to immediately give that boho vibe in any room.


    wall hanging planters

    Wall Hanging Planters

    If you're short on space then these hanging planters are a great way to add a bit of greenery into your room to give it that little lift. You could hang these ones from maisonsdumonde.com from the wall or the ceiling and plant them with ferns or succulents.


    triangle mirror

    Triangle Mirror

    Keeping on trend with the geometric shapes, we think this triangle mirror from Lisa Angel is perfect to complete that bohemian look. We also love the fact that it doubles as a mini shelf!


    If you like the look, check out Life Unstyled by Emily Henson for more interior inspiration.

    Life Unstyled







    This post was posted in Featured, Featured, News, News, UK, US, What's new, What's new and was tagged with interiors, bohemian, get the look, boho

  • Posted on July 13, 2017

    Lime and Mint Granita recipe

    Simple and delicious, this ice-cold granita couldn’t be more refreshing on a hot summers day. Best served with a good helping of sunshine!

    lime and mint granita

    Lime and Mint Granita

    150 g/ ¾ cup granulated sugar

    grated zest of 2 limes

    100 ml/scant ½ cup freshly squeezed lime juice

    90 g/4 ½ cups fresh mint (I like to use apple mint)

    lime slices, to serve

    SERVES 8


    Pour 600 ml/2 1⁄2 cups cold water into a small saucepan, add the sugar and lime zest and bring the mixture to a simmer. Cook, stirring, until the sugar has dissolved.

    Add half the mint (there’s no need to chop or remove stalks) to the saucepan, then take it off the heat. Cover with a lid and allow to stand for 10 minutes, then remove the lid and let the mixture cool to room temperature.

    Once cool, strain the mixture through a sieve/strainer into a large jug/ pitcher, pressing firmly on the mint to extract all the flavour. Stir the lime juice into the mint syrup and then pour into an airtight lidded freezer container, 30 x 15 cm/12 x 6 in.

    Place the granita in the freezer, then check it after 1 hour. Once it begins to freeze around the edges, take a fork and stir the mixture, breaking up the frozen parts near the edges into smaller chunks and raking them towards the centre.

    Return the container to the freezer, then check the mixture every 30 minutes, stirring each time and breaking up any large chunks into small pieces with a fork, until you have fine crystals of granita. If at any time the granita freezes too hard, simply leave it out at room temperature for a few minutes until it softens enough to be stirred again with a fork, and rake it back into crystals. Then return it to the freezer.

    Serve in small glasses decorated with the remaining extra sprigs of mint and lime slices.


    For more summer inspired recipes, check out Lemons and Limes by Ursula Ferrigno.

    lemons and limes by ursula ferrigno




    This post was posted in Featured, Featured, News, News, Recipes, Recipes, UK, US, What's new, What's new and was tagged with recipe for the weekend, sweet, summer, granita

  • Posted on July 12, 2017

    Get the look - Pale and Interesting

    Do you ever see interiors that you love, but struggle to replicate them in your own home? We thought we would help with some interior lookbooks from a few of the gorgeous shots we have from our lovely interiors range. This week is a vintage style living room from our new title Pale & Interesting

    Pale and Interesting


    Vintage trunk

    Wooden Storage Chest

    Whilst you might struggle to find an exact replica of this great wooden trunk that is being used as a quirky coffee table in this living room, there are plenty of designs and options out there to choose from. We love this reclaimed and recycled teak wood chest from Paraphernalia.com Not only does it look great but it doubles up as extra storage space!


    Vintage IKEA rug

     Vintage Rug

    While you could spend a lot of money on a vintage rug like the one in this picture, we think that this much cheaper IKEA version would look just as great!


    floral cushions

     Vintage Floral Cushions

    Cushions are a relatively cheap way to add some style into a living room without having to do any decorating! You can choose from a range of these floral cushions on the Pale & Interesting online store.


    standing light

     Standing Light

    The metal standing lamp in this room keeps it feeling modern with a touch of the industrial vibe. You can find a gorgeous version of your own on the Pale & Interesting online store.


    vintage cieling tiles

     Vintage Tin Ceiling Tiles

    The urban vibe continues with the tin ceiling tiles that have been used as a wall display. We love this idea and it’s easy to replicate in your own home. You could choose from a whole range of patterns and colours at tinceilingtiles.co.uk


    If you liked the look, check out Pale & Interesting by Atlanta Bartlett and Dave Coote.

    Pale and Interesting by Atlanta Bartlett and Dave Coote






    This post was posted in Featured, Featured, News, News, UK, US, What's new, What's new and was tagged with interiors, vintage, lookbook, pale and interesting

  • Posted on July 10, 2017

    The Lagom Life

    First we had hygge but now a new Nordic lifestyle trend has taken over – Lagom. But what is it really all about?

    In her new book The Lagom Life, Elisabeth Carlsson talks about growing up in Sweden and what lagom means to her. In this extract from the book she tells us what it is really like to live the lagom lifestyle...

    The Lagom Life by Elisabeth Carlsson

    Lagom is a quintessentially Scandinavian concept that is now becoming a trend outside Sweden, to the surprise of us Swedes. As far as the rest of the world is concerned, it means “not too much, not too little, but just about right.” It doesn’t mean “not enough,” or imply frugality. If you have any interest in learning the Swedish language or understanding Swedish culture, you could do worse than learn about lagom.

    While I was growing up in Sweden, I didn’t really question lagom, the idea of living with consideration for others, and doing things simply and practically. The word was part of everyday life. Essentially, it’s about balance. Lagom also meant staying within social norms, which, of course, as a teenager felt restrictive.

    Age 19, I rebelled against being “just lagom” and moved to Madrid, where life was completely different—it was loud, people were open and opinionated, and they didn’t try to hide their emotions. I loved the culture shock. But in Spain and elsewhere, I carried lagom with me.

    With age, I understand that lagom is a key part of having a healthy and balanced journey in life. So much of who I am, my views, my beliefs, my decisions, are guided by this sentiment, and it explains a lot about why I reacted as I did, both at home, pushing against it, and abroad,  being guided by it. Perhaps the lagom of my childhood didn’t suit me. As an adult, having found my own equilibrium, I have developed my own sense of lagom, which I can appreciate and apply to my own life.

    The lagom I live by today comes with acceptance, inclusion, laughter, love. It recognizes difference, sees possibilities, yet seeks to include, to encourage, and it can be applied to every aspect of life.


    For the full extract, check out The Lagom Life by Elisabeth Carlsson.

    The Lagom Life




    This post was posted in Featured, Featured, News, News, UK, US, What's new, What's new and was tagged with inspiration, lagom, lifestyle, new book, living

  • Posted on July 6, 2017

    Chocolate Fudge Ice-Cream recipe

    On World Chocolate Day, what’s better, more simple and spectacular than rich chocolate fudge ice cream? Rippled with a simple fudge sauce, this chocolate ice cream is super indulgent, but isn’t that what you want? It was made to make you smile!

    chocolate fudge ice cream

    Chocolate Fudge Ice-Cream

    350 ml/1 1⁄3 cups whole milk

    500 ml/2 cups double/ heavy cream

    5 egg yolks

    125 g/1 1⁄4 cups soft light brown sugar

    150 g/1 1⁄2 cups caster/ granulated sugar

    2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

    a pinch of salt

    40 g/1⁄3 cup cocoa powder

    125 g/1 cup dark/ bittersweet chocolate (70%), chopped

    Fudge ripple

    175 ml/2⁄3 cup double/ heavy cream

    75 g/3⁄4 cup soft light brown sugar

    4 tablespoons golden/ light corn syrup or liquid glucose

    100 g/3⁄4 cup dark/ bittersweet chocolate

    30 g/1⁄4 cup cocoa powder

    25 g/2 tablespoons unsalted butter

    1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

    a pinch of salt

    Waffle cones

    6–8 waffle cones

    100 g/3⁄4 cup tempered dark/bittersweet chocolate

    chopped hazelnuts


    an ice cream machine

    Makes 1 1⁄2 litres/2 1⁄2 pints and serves 6–8


    To make the ice cream, heat the milk and half of the cream in a saucepan or pot set over a medium heat until just below boiling.

    Meanwhile, whisk together the egg yolks, both sugars, vanilla and salt in a large mixing bowl until smooth and light.

    Steadily pour 3–4 tablespoons of the hot milk into the egg mixture, whisking constantly until smooth. Add the cocoa powder and whisk again. Add the remaining milk and whisk until combined. Return the mixture to the pan and cook over a low heat, stirring constantly, for about 3 minutes, or until the mixture thickens enough to coat the back of a spoon. Take care not to let it boil or the eggs will scramble.

    Tip the chopped chocolate into a large mixing bowl and pour the hot mixture on top. Add the remaining double/heavy cream and whisk until you have a silky smooth, chocolatey custard. Set aside until cool, then cover with clingfilm/plastic wrap and chill in the fridge for at least 1 hour. Meanwhile, prepare the fudge ripple. Put all of the ingredients in a saucepan or pot set over a low heat, and warm through, whisking constantly until smooth. Remove from the heat and cool to room temperature.

    Churn in the ice cream machine according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Spoon a quarter of the ice cream into a freezer container in an even layer. Top with a couple of tablespoons of fudge ripple and continue this layering, ending with a swirled layer of fudge ripple on the top. Freeze the ice cream overnight, until firm.

    To serve, dip each waffle cone in tempered dark/bittersweet chocolate and then in the chopped hazelnuts. Scoop the ice cream into the cone and enjoy!


    For more delicious chocolate recipes,  check  outChocolate at Home by Will Torrent.

    chocolate at home by will torrent






    This post was posted in Featured, Featured, News, News, Recipes, Recipes, UK, US, What's new, What's new and was tagged with chocolate, recipe for the weekend, sweet, ice cream, summer

  • Posted on July 5, 2017

    Vintage Teacup Planters

    We love this idea of using vintage teacups as planters for small plants and flowers! You could find all shapes and colours of teacups to match you own style and build up your collection bit by bit. We've also included some gardening tips from Emma Hardy, so your plants will stay happy and healthy!


    Preparing pots and plants

    Once you have decided on the container that you would like to plant up, you’ll need to prepare both the pots and plants before planting. Some of the key tasks include:

    • Making drainage holes  Few plants (apart from bog and water plants) like to sit in very wet soil, so it is important to provide adequate drainage in each container. If the container you are using does not have drainage holes in the bottom, then you can make some by drilling or hammering a heavy-duty nail into the base a few times.

    • Using drainage crocks  These are bits of old plant pot or tiles that are placed over the drainage holes in the container so that the hole will not become blocked by potting mix and inhibit drainage. Simply break up old pots or tiles with a hammer (take care not to let small shards hit you) and keep them for use in future projects.

    • Getting the container ready  To reduce the likelihood of infection by pests and diseases, clean the container on both the outside and inside with warm, soapy water before planting up. Remember to rinse thoroughly.

    • Loosening plant roots  Sometimes plants can become root-bound if they have been sitting in their plastic pots for a long time. Loosening the roots slightly will encourage them to spread out and grow when you re-pot them. Gently press your fingertips into the roots and then tease them out slightly, making sure that you do not damage them as you do so.

    • Soaking plants before planting  Before re-potting a plant, always soak it in water for at least 10 minutes to get the potting mix really wet.


    Vintage teacup planters

    Dainty Teacups

    Collect vintage cups and saucers, and create a pretty desktop garden to brighten up your day. If you are feeling brave, drill a drainage hole in the base of each cup using a hand drill. If you would rather not damage your cups, then adding gravel and being careful not to overwater should keep the plants healthy.


    teacup materials


    Fine gravel

    Teacups and saucers

    Potting mix with a little fine gravel added

    Selection of alpine plants such as:

    Armeria juniperifolia (thrift) in white cup with ornate pattern

    Clematis marmoraria in pink cup

    Eranthis cilicica (winter aconite) in white cup with blue interior

    Fritillaria uva-vulpis (fritillary) in turquoise with gold cup

    Primula marginata Dwarf Form (primrose) in white cup with flower

    Saxifraga ‘Penelope’ (saxifrage) in yellow cup with the decorated saucer

    Saxifraga 5 petraschii (saxifrage) in gray cup with white flower

    Sedum species (stonecrop) in the yellow and gold cup

    vintage teacups step 2

    Put about a tablespoon of fine gravel in the bottom of each of the teacups.

    vintage teacup step 2

    Spoon some potting mix into the first cup, remembering to leave enough room for the plant.

    vinatge teacup step 3

    Take the plant out of its plastic pot and gently shake off any excess potting mix. Position the plant in the cup and fill round the edges with more potting mix so that the plant sits firmly in place. Plant the remaining teacups in the same way.

    vintage teacup step 4

    Sprinkle some fine gravel over the surface of the potting mix in each cup, making sure that it is completely covered. Water each cup carefully, ensuring that the mix is damp but not waterlogged. Deadhead spent flowers as necessary, to keep the plants in bloom.


    For more miniature gardening projects, check out Teeny Tiny Gardening by Emma Hardy.

    Teeny Tiny Gardening by Emma Hardy






    This post was posted in Featured, Featured, News, News, UK, US, What's new, What's new and was tagged with vintage, project, gardening

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