Welcome The Whole Family Home This Christmas With a Beautiful Personalised House Sign

IMG_2276.GIF

It’s my dream one day to live in a little house, even a tiny one bedroom place, but somewhere that has a name. When I was tiny we would go to the Isle of Man and stay in a place called Rose Cottage, maybe it’s a throwback to that. I also have often coveted the hand-painted signs that people have on those houses, especially on our North Coast. The ones with wild flowers or squirrels.

So when  U.K. Sign Shop asked me would I like to review their service, and pick a sign in return, I said of course. 

The site has a live preview option, which means you enter your house number and street name and can see exactly what the sign will look like, the spacing etc. So it won’t be a surprise how it looks and you can change it before it’s printed. You can see which of the signs will look most aesthetically pleasing with your street name or house name, before it even printed up.  They also have a seven day money back guarantee however, if you aren’t happy with the finished product.

There are 30 slate designs to choose from, 33 acrylic, 3 wood, 7 aluminium, 4 corian & 5 resin. You can play around with the designs as much as you want in the live preview before submitting the final product for digital printing. Sign prices start from £6.49, so there is a wide range of styles and price ranges to choose from.

There are also business signage options available, wall art and wedding signs. 

FullSizeRender.jpg

I chose the ‘Robin Way’ slate sign, which has 25% off right now and is £24.99. I’ve yet to get it put up, as the weather has been dreadful, but I’m so happy with how it’s turned out. (I’ve edited the picture to remove the text so my house number can’t be read.) The slate itself is very thick & good quality, the print is crisp and colours bright and clear. 

If you are super quick, shipping today, 5th December, is free, it’s usually £4.99 and if you order before the 10th December they guarantee Christmas delivery, so it could be a good present for someone who really has everything, but would love a fresh new look for welcoming people through the door. 

If it’s after 10th December, it’s not too late to think about revamping your home for a brand new year, and that can start with the outside too. These signs will last for years to come, so why not start 2019 with a fresh face for your home too?

Visit UK Sign Shop and use their live preview with your house number to see what your personalised sign could look like. 

Spar NI Expand Locally-Made The Kitchen Range With More Desserts, Do You See Any Of Your Favourites?

 Spar NI’s The Kitchen range is still fairly new, launching in late 2016, but has proven popular, thanks to the fresh ingredients & locally sourced products, meaning better quality ‘quick cook’ meals than competitors. They did have a couple of dessert options in the range, I think there were three that I can think of, but going into 2019 they’ve just expanded the line to include some more after dinner delights, ready for the oven that will taste like you baked them up yoursef at home.

FullSizeRender.jpg
FullSizeRender.jpg

There are the Chocolate Profiteroles which are always a favourite in this house. There’s two different types of crumble, Bramley Apple, and Rhubarb. Next up is a very tempting Sticky Toffee Pudding, which was part of the original The Kitchen range, but this has had a revamp and is larger and more cake like. There’s a classic Rhubarb Tart, and lastly Bread and Butter Pudding.

 

 

 

FullSizeRender.jpg

Everything apart from the Profiteroles can be frozen on the day of purchase if you wish. 

Again apart from the Profiteroles I would say the other desserts would be able to be split between a family of four for Sunday lunch, just add custard or ice cream and you are all set.  

You’ll find The Kitchen range in larger Spar NI stores and Euro Spar locations. 

Luxury Silk Scarves With Illustrations of Cats & Dogs in Christmas Fancy Dress Costumes - It’s the Karen Mabon 2018 HolidayCollection! (With Complimentary Worldwide Shipping During November)

If you read The World of Kitsch you will know the scarves of Karen Mabon by now, and if you follow my Instagram you’ve definitely seen me wearing a few in my stories. I’ve actually lost count of how many I have, as I’ve some that I wear, obviously as intended, but I also have a couple I bought to frame. Like the special Freud Museum print trio, and Karen’s special limited edition, annual calendar silk handkerchief, if you’re lucky you can catch a couple of these on the store at the end of the year if you are on her mailing list. 

IMG_2188.JPG

Two of Karen’s most well known, and I would assume most popular designs, as they tend to always be sold out everywhere, have been Fancy Dress Dogs, and Fancy Dress Cats. (EDIT- Store has been restocked! Fancy Dress Dogs and Fancy Dress Cats both in stock!)

The scarves depict different breeds of cats dressed up, one a shark, a pumpkin, a pirate, a princess. The dog scarf is equally adorable, with a Yorkie jester, a Pug wizard, a Labrador frog prince, a Sausage Dog dressed as Superman, and my favourite, with bias of course because of my relation to ‘Weird Judy’ who you would also know from my Instagram, a Wire Fox Terrier dressed as a lobster.

Karen’s 2018 Christmas Collection consists of four scarves, and Ms. Mabon has brought back our fancy dress friends in some Holiday costumes and they are just as wonderful as the original scarves.

Christmas Cats (shown above) HAS to be my favourite, the Santa Cat looks a bit like my Mrs Meow, if it was scowling a touch more. I love the candy cane trim too, it would look very smart when worn, even if the design wouldn’t be showing then. I think if I was wearing this scarf I would have it on and off my neck half a dozen times an hour to show people the design! 

FullSizeRender.jpg

More of a Pup Person? The Christmas Dogs Scarf, like the Christmas Cat Scarf is 100% silk and both measure 55cm x 55cm. Look at that pudding Pug. Who knew a day would come when you could buy a luxury Italian silk scarf with a Corgi on it, in the fancy dress costume where it’s made to look like two dogs carrying a box. What a time to be alive. There’s even a Poodle dressed as Santa. 

The Christmas Fancy Dress Scarves are both limited edition, and unlike the original Fancy Dress prints, I would hazard a guess that there won’t ever be reprints on these, and they WILL sell fast. If you want one, buy one now.

Two scarves are more conservative with a classic wreath design, in either Jet Black 100% Italian silk, or beautiful jewel tones of jade and Teal Silk (both shown above beside the original Fancy Dress Dogs Scarf, click on them to enlarge to see the design clearly).

 Part of my own collection of Karen Mabon Scarves

Part of my own collection of Karen Mabon Scarves

 

They measure 55cm x 55cm so they can be given as a gift to either a man as a pocket square, or a woman as a scarf. You can tie the scarf loosely on your handbag handle to show off the seasonal print. Karen even suggests displaying it in place of a traditional wreath.

Every scarf in the Holiday Collection is priced £75 and during November shipping is completely free, worldwide, so get your present buying completed early! Even if it’s a little something for yourself!

 

Could Your Child Be An Ikea Toy Designer? Enter The New 2018 Sagoskatt Competition Now & Buy Last Year’s Winners’ Plushies In Store Now to Help Support Barnardos.

FullSizeRender.jpg

The limited-edition SAGOSKATT soft toy collection is back, and it’s packed full of colourful characters ready to join playtime. Ikea’s annual, soft toy drawing competition attracted 87,000 entries from children around the world, and they’ve made a handful of them into real-life toys.

 

I’ve blogged about this a few years now, and I always love to see the winners. It’s so cool seeing a child’s drawing brought to life, from the sketch to the completed toy on the shelves. 

 

This year’s IKEA soft toy drawing competition is open now – so it’s time for your kids to get creative. They can sketch own soft toy for the chance to see their invention made into a real toy next year. The competition is open to all IKEA FAMILY members’ children aged up to 12, until November 13. So you need to be quick and visit today or tomorrow and pop your sketch in the box which is in the kids’ section of the store. If you aren’t a Family Member, just ask to sign up with a member of staff, it’s just like having a Tesco Clubcard or Boots Advantage Card, so it’s very simple.

FullSizeRender.jpg

The most unique creations will be turned into real soft toys to be sold in every IKEA store and to inspire kids’ play across the world.

If you are reading this after the 13th of November, don’t despair, the cute toys will still be on sale. They all cost £4.75 each and Ikea donates the VAT to Barnardos. You can read all about the Sagoskatt competition and more on the Ikea website.

Mr Frosty Choc Ice Maker Review - Is It One For Santa’s List?

FullSizeRender.jpg

Mr Frosty is certainly a throwback. In fact he was on my own Santa list in the 80’s, and my poor parents’ arms would despair having to crank the handle on the back of him, in his older incarnation, to dispense some slivers of ice into a cup for me, those were the days! 

I’m pleased to report the Mr Frosty of 2018 is much more hassle-free, and the Mr Frosty Choc Ice Maker is one product that parents won’t be dreading seeing on the Santa list this Christmas. It costs £12.99 and you can buy it from Asda or Smyths.

 

We were sent one to try out this week, so we gave it a whirl. The kit contains lolly moulds to freeze yoghurt lollies, and a lovely little igloo which you then use to melt chocolate to coat your frozen lollies. It’s very cute and a fun idea to make with your kids over the Christmas break too.

FullSizeRender.jpg

This blog is a bit of a “how to”  also in case you are thinking of buying the Choc Ice Maker, hopefully I can give you some tips and tricks.

I found a great hack was to buy Frubes, the yoghurt that comes in straw like tubes for packed lunches. Not only are they freezable, but they are perfect to snip off the corner and pipe into the snowman mould, rather than try to spoon regular yoghurt in there. A whole box of Frubes is never more than £2.

FullSizeRender.jpg

 

The lolly mould is like an ice cube tray, but it’s a flexible silicon one, which has good points and bad points. The good point is that once your lollies are set they are very easy to pop out, whether they be yoghurt, like we made, or solid chocolate, or anything you freeze. The downside is that the mould once filled with yoghurt is still quite floppy, so when I tried to carry it over to to freezer some of the liquid spilled. I would suggest putting the mould on a flat tray and putting the whole thing into the freezer like that. Also don’t underestimate the size the mould takes up with the lolly sticks protruding out, you need quite a bit of space in the freezer for it. Measure it out before you start so you don’t get caught out with a armful of yoghurt lollies and nowhere to put them like me!

FullSizeRender.jpg

 

The yoghurt freezes quite quickly, and is very easy to pop out of the moulds, and the roof of the igloo doubles up as a stand for your lollipops, which is so handy. You then melt your chocolate coating in the main igloo part in the microwave, and coat your lollipops. 

 

We found this part tricky, there must be a knack to it, but the shape of the snowman disappeared completely for us! It still tasted delicious anyway. We added some sprinkles and decorations, and you could add fresh fruit or any other decorations to make the pops a healthy snack. 

FullSizeRender.jpg

 

The clean up is very simple, I just put everything in the sink with hot water.  

We definitely want to try out some other recipes. Smix wants to try some solid chocolate lollipops. I want to try some other flavours of yoghurt in there, maybe add chopped up mini mallows or Nutella.

Would I recommend it? Yes, if you enjoy kitchen crafts it’s a fun one that you will do more than once, it’s easy, not much clean up required, doesn’t take up much storage either. Would make a nice gift too. Add it to the Santa list

Treat Yourself To A Spooky Poke! Mauds’ Limited Edition Zombie Brains Halloween Ice Cream

Resurrected from the flavour graveyard, Mauds ice creams has brought back their Halloween Special Zombie Brains ice cream with lovely chewy bits of mallow and juicy strawberry.

I had two zombies* arrive at my house yesterday delivering a delicious tub of Zombie Brains to try out myself (*they were stylishly dressed zombies, so I think they may have been from  Team Mauds’ rather than the graveyard).

IMG_2148.JPG

True to Carrick-based Mauds’ brand, this vanilla and strawberry ice cream doesn’t just have the strawberry flavouring through it, there are actual berry chunks through the creamy dessert, as well as chewy mini-mallows. It’s an absolute dream.

FullSizeRender.jpg

It also looks fairly zombie-brain-like. If you wanted to serve it up with some extra strawberry or raspberry sauce on top, you could get it looking a bit gruesome if you wanted that way. Equally, you could pair it with some broken meringue nests and make a quicky Eton Mess like a dessert-making pro with just those two ingredients. 

The Zombie Brains Mauds Ice Cream is a Halloween limited edition. Check the Mauds website for Mauds Cafe locations and Mauds Stockists.  

And Happy Halloween from The World of Kitsch! 

Get Trick or Treat Prepared! 3 for 2 Halloween Party Food at M&S

FullSizeRender.jpg

Two weeks until Halloween & my house is already decorated (to be honest Smix pulled everything out of the cupboard the first week of October). This week is a good time to buy your real pumpkin though, and Marks & Spencer has some interesting options. 

They have your traditional large pumpkin for £2, a smaller size, as shown in my photos which is £1.50, but they also have some gorgeous varieties you can use for displays in your home, or cooking if you are feeling adventurous, it is food after all. They’ve a Ghost Pumpkin, a bright white variety, and a Cinderella Pumpkin, which literally looks like a Disney style flatter, cute pumpkin, in a deeper orange. They are £3 each.

FullSizeRender.jpg

There is also this fabulous Peter Pumpkin floral display which you can order and is available from the 23rd. If you are having a fancy Halloween party this would be the pumpkin to blow everyone away! 

The Halloween party treats are in store and everything is currently on offer 3 for 2.  There are lots of great snacks for a get together, as well as little favours to hand out to trick or treaters who could come to your door. 

FullSizeRender.jpg

There are even these lovely little felt bags for trick or treat collecting for your own kids, and they are included in the 3 for 2 offer. There’s the Pumpkin and a Frankenstein’s Monster design.

There is a Halloween version of the ever popular Minibite Tubs, with ghostly sprinkles.  I also love that they’ve made a Decorate Your Own Biscuit Kit, so you can pick up this as a afternoon kitchen craft to do during the school break. Again it’s included in the 3 for 2.

FullSizeRender.jpg

Marks and Spencer have also given Colin the Catepillar a makeover, in both his large cake size and mini roll size. *The cakes aren’t in my local Bangor Store yet, I imagine they will be in closer to Halloween week 

FullSizeRender.jpg

There are lots of chocolate and jelly sweets and snacks, all priced between £1 and £3, all in the offer and perfect for your Halloween party. There are Halloween themed Colin Jellies and even Halloween Percy Pigs!

The Witches Fingers biscuits are a big recommended one from me, I had them last year and they’ve brought them back. They are £1.50 and they look spookily realistic, but taste amazing with a cuppa.

FullSizeRender.jpg
FullSizeRender.jpg
 Chocolate Lollies £1.50 each  

Chocolate Lollies £1.50 each  

 Trick or Treat Bags £3

Trick or Treat Bags £3

Want The Most Majestic Pumpkin On The Block? Huge Pumpkin Beanbag From FieldCandy

FieldCandy are an English brand who digitally print photo-realistic beanbags, funky pillows and tents, which include many fun natural prints, as well as Beatles & Banksy themed collections.

IMG_2091.JPG

For Halloween they have released a very cool pumpkin beanbag, which can be used for lounging, as well as a massive spooky party prop for the season. The beanbags are polyester and waterproof, so can be placed in the garden for outdoor seating too. The Pumpkin costs £59.95 and you can buy it here.