The Candy Files - Princess With Attitude Edition

The highs and lows of a hopeless housewife. 

This week at House Candy HQ...

Candylicious = Cinderella

Damn right I’m going to the ball.


Fine and Candy = Fairy Godmothers

Handy for those “to hell with housework” situations.


Candy Pandy = Glass Slippers

Downright dangerous in my opinion.


With a new royal baby on the way I can understand the furore surrounding Disney’s latest portrayal of everyone’s favourite gatecrasher. 
  • Should a modern day princess still aspire to win the heart of a handsome prince, or should she be more bothered about putting one over on the ugly old cow-bag that kept her hidden away all these years?
  • Should girls really dream of designer dresses or feel confident rocking up to the ball in their scuzzy old work scruffs?
  • Is a classic blonde beauty and a size zero figure even relevant to today’s little princesses?

...I mean, this could get deep. 

We don’t do princesses at House Candy HQ so I really don’t feel qualified to comment. What we do dig is a bit of Badass Princess interior style.

I’m talking:
  • Graffiti on the palace wall (Banksy if poss) 
  • Four poster beds and crumpled linen sheets
  • Deep buttoned chesterfields and gothic skull cushions
  • Huge chandeliers and vintage furniture
Here’s a Pinterest board to give you more of an insight into my ideal fairytale palace scenario.

You see, I like to think today's princess is way more low maintenance than those of old. (Our Kate for example shops on the high street and bobs in to Waitrose on the way home). And whilst I’m happy to nurture this whole “chase me round town with my lost stiletto” business, I’d also like to think I could treat Prince C to a chinese takeaway and we could hang out watching Netflix in bed. 

In fact, ideally my royal suitor, upon finding my glass slipper at the palace steps, would whisk me off to Footlocker and buy me a pair of running shoes to make the midnight curfew easier to manage. This pair would do nicely: www.store.nike.com

And if he’s only gonna marry me if I fit my swollen toes into a pair of pointy heels? ...well I’ll get the Godmother to conjour me up a fit butler instead. These days I really can’t do with Prince Pressure.  

What would your dream castle look like? Don't leave your shoes, but please DO leave a comment!


Midweek Candy Craving

Trolley Dolly


Try and think more Daisy Buchanan than Del Boy Trotter when I tell you this week I am craving a drinks trolley.

After an almighty clear out at House Candy HQ, I have finally moved my desk out of the dining room, dedicating this space purely for entertainment purposes. And what does every hostess need mostsess? Tequilas on wheels of course.

Not only will the brass frame be bang on trend, but this open top arrangement allows me to show off my favourite Waterford Mixology champagne coupes which are far too good to hide in cramped kitchen cupboard.

In an ideal world I’d snap up this funky bamboo style from Out There Interiors at www.notonthehighstreet.com

But whilst I save up the £650 required to wheel that baby home, I have satisfied my needs with a vintage Gumtree find. £20 buys me a 1960s original which I pick up tomorrow and leaves plenty of spare brass to stock up on ingredients. How’s that for cushty?

Pineapples and paper parasols... I can feel a party coming on!

Who’s for bubbles?
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The Candy Files

The highs and lows of a hopeless housewife. This week at House Candy HQ...

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Candylicious = Spring accessories

Because it pays to get the details on point.
Bone-china tea plates, £72 for a set of four, Ted Baker at www.portmeirion.co.uk

Fine and Candy = Binterest

I invited criticism when I splashed out on a limited edition Vipp bin from www.bodieandfou.com last year, but Trash Candy is big news as these new Orla Kiely pedal bins by Brabantia go to prove. 
 £95 - £135 from www.johnlewis.com


Candy Pandy = The Droop

Plants have feelings too you know and after a busy few months my greenery is showing signs of neglect. Jeez, with 3 humans and a hound to keep happy, I can do without plant pressure. I’m contemplating faking the fauna from now on. This cactus from www.abigailahern.com guarantees perennial perkiness. 


The Grace of Kelly

Incase we needed further confirmation that West Yorkshire home emporium, Redbrick is the interiors capital of the North, along comes Kelly.

The Kelly Hoppen London concession store arrived this week - treating us to a selection of lust worthy furniture and homewares from the interior consultant to the stars.

A Kelly Hoppen home is all about contemporary classics and understated luxury. Renowned for her tonal palette and warm textures, hers is a style code that can be applied to any setting, bringing glamour, beauty and sophistication.

New this season, the Cube range of side tables introduces a fresh injection of colour to the Kelly Hoppen furniture collection and does what this brand does best. It demonstrates how one simple investment piece can transform a scheme and deliver that all important edge.

I’m truly smitten by the open cube in blush, £535, made to order here:  www.kellyhoppen.com/new-arrivals/the-open-cube

Accessorising can be a tricky business but as any fashion stylist knows, here’s where the real difference is made. Kelly makes it easy with her range of  home jewellery - a collection of pieces designed for display. Stick to this collection of vases and vessels for sideboards and consoles and it’s guaranteed you won’t go far wrong in the style stakes.

Of course no interior fashionista's coffee table is complete without an elegant tome for inspiration, copycat ideas and just general style kudos. I’d gladly take this tea-break masterclass any day of the week: £25 www.kellyhoppen.com

Living, dining, sleeping, bathing; for cool, co-herent interiors with a sense of celebrity about them, Kelly Hoppen has it covered. She joins hip brands such as Heals, BoConcept and Made.com at Redbrick, making it one seriously stylish shopping destination. 

Obviously this latest concession means my next visit will no doubt see me plunged into a dragon’s den of House Candy purchase opportunities. And really I have only one thing to say about the situation. 
"I’m IN".

Are you joining me?

Redbrick is situated in the West Yorkshire town of Batley, just a stones throw away from Leeds. Full details available here: www.redbrickmill.co.uk


The Candy Files

The highs and lows of a hopeless housewife. 

This week at House Candy HQ…

Candy-licious = Stargazing

I bought my son a telescope for his birthday and am wholeheartedly embracing some family nerd time. A Solar Eclipse takes place this Friday - check out www.bbc.co.uk/cbeebies/shows/stargazing and show your little space cadets a universe that’s even more awesome than Minecraft. 


Fine and Candy = Duvet Days

A sickness bug has kept the young-un and I housebound for a whole 48 Hours. Shame.


Candy Pandy = Post rage

On average, a woodland a day of unwanted post is crammed through my letterbox. Just leave me and my mail order problem alone, OK? 


The Fact of the Platter

Mums like tea parties. Fact.

We like china cups and teapots. We like finger sandwiches. We like jam scones. And most of all, we like pretty little cream buns on pretty little stands.

Mums like cake stands.

Pastel pink cake stand - £6.99 www.hm.com

Just like mums, cake stands come in all manner of different shapes and sizes. In fact, I reckon there’s a cake stand to suit every mum I know. Here’s a few you might recognise...

Mamma Mia

Cheery and colourful, this mum likes to put on a show. Unlikely to have time for more than a tray bake, but boy can she fash-up a fondant fancy.

Coloured ceramic cake stand from www.notonthehighstreet.com

Queen Mum

A regular taker of elevenses, it's an honour to have tea with this lady. In public she is kind, she is sweet, she is funny. Behind closed doors she is a chain smoking, daytime sherry drinker with a penchant for gambling. Her cake stand is the vintage variety. Glass that sparkles like the glint in her eye.

Vintage glass cake stand - find one on www.ebay.co.uk

Alpha Mum

She of the nativity FROW, the It bag,  the school buns that make your supermarket fairy cakes look like rabbit droppings. This Mumpreneur requires 3 tiers to display all varieties of spectacular sweet offerings knocked up between night feeds… And when the cakes are gone, even her crumbs look stylish.

Multi Stem 3-tier cake stand £70 Orla Kiely

Mother Nature 

Pure and simple - a natural cake baker. This mum uses 100% organic ingredients and has her little darlings begging for another slice of courgette cake.  

Marble cake stand £40 from www.John Lewis.com

Mummy Pig

The brighter the better for this mum-in-a-million. Grannies calorific chocolate cake is a winner for after school tea parties…  she so deserves the matching piny.

Ric-Rac single cake stand £24 www.cathkidston.com

 So bake it or fake it, who cares? Stick it on a fancy plate and 
call it a tea-party. 




Mid-Week Candy Craving

I'm potty for tea.

It's a 3 cup kind of morning. You know the one.

                                                           No 1  - The waker-uper
                                                           No 2  - The stabiliser
                                                           No 3  - The where-do-I-start-er

So this morning I am done with tea cups and going in for the whole pot. Hurrah then for Asda whose huge selection has got my mid-week caffeine craving covered, with spots on.

The new Meadow pot (above) is from the gorgeous George at Home Spring drop and for £8, I can't think of a better way to bring a bit of sunshine into my morning.

The pastel pink Vintage teapot, also £8, is a popular look if you like a side helping of chintz with your cuppa. Go to town with the complete dinner service, available in classic white for just £18 or mix and match with baby blue and pink pieces from £3 for a set of two bowls. www.direct.asda.com/George-Home-Vintage-Dining-Collection.com

I'm a sucker for fire engine red and at only £5 this one ranks high in the budget style stakes.

Cute, coy and to the point, with this on my work top I will never need reminding that it's time for tea. £5

And not forgetting you modernists out there, this Sabichi stainless steel teapot at £14 gives you the designer look without the designer price tag.

With it's HQ in Yorkshire, there's no wonder Asda understands the importance of tea making. Every caffeine induced whim is catered for both in-store and online at www.direct.asda.com

As for me, I'm feeling perkier already. In fact I'm positively raring to go with the first job on my to do list: 1) Boil Kettle.

Have a productive week all.

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The Candy Files

The highs and lows of a hopeless housewife. This week ...

House Candy = Watering Cans.

It started with Friday cocktails at The Botanist...

And ended with Sunday surprises from The Bloke...

… My love for watering cans just grows and grows. (This lily planter is £10 from Tesco)

With Mother's Day looming you too could sprinkle some appreciation with these colourful cuties, just £8 from www.ikea.com

 Add a bunch of daffs and a handwritten luggage label. Aaahhhh
(Call me old fashioned but you could even water your plants with them)


Fine & Candy = Monogrammed Cushions

Imagine the joy when I was showed to my room at super swish Rudding Park to find they had embroidered my husband's initials on the scatter cushions!

For the "I'm so special" factor (particularly if your initials are RP) I would highly recommend a visit. 
Not so special? Create your own boudoir style with a great choice of lettered cushions newly in stock at www.matalan.co.uk 

There's also the opportunity to mark out His 'n' Hers territory with this £10 beauty at www.marksandspencer.com


Candy Pandy = Mud

It's called a doormat boys. Use it.


A not-so-shabby Mother's Day

Look, just be warned that if you leave a small piece of furniture near me in my current mood, I am likely to give it a chalk paint transformation. The fact is, I have a new skill and I am not afraid to use it.

Yesterday I learnt the art of chalk painting at an afternoon up-cycling workshop in Harrogate, North Yorkshire. Not only was it a fun way to spend quality girl-time with my mum, sister and niece, but it opened my eyes to endless pieces of undiscovered house candy lying about the place, just waiting for a face lift.

Chalk painting is surprisingly easy and unbelievably clever. And it's not all about Shabby Chic either. The tarnished look is a style preference you can learn to apply with as much or as little emphasis as the mood takes you. A bright and modern transformation is also entirely possible thanks to a huge choice of colours and finishes available from manufacturers such as Autentico - the brand used and stocked by our expert tutors at gorgeous Just So Interiors.

Hate the vintage vibe? No problem. You can just as easily apply the techniques to a modern ikea sideboard as you can to a dusty old antique find. 

In just four hours, our little party of novice furniture painters produced a pair of chic side tables, a sleek set of drawers, a colourful kitchen display cabinet, a modern side table and a french inspired plant stand. 
The paint dries in super quick time and requires just two coats for most jobs. We mastered a range of finishing options such as distressing before eagerly progressing onto the final stage of waxing. Then ta-da our masterpieces were ready to take home and admire - the perfect souvenir of our day.  
We even had time to stop for tea and delicious homemade scones.


The workshops run on selected Saturdays throughout the year and cost just £30 per person. Click here for available dates and vouchers: www.justsointeriors.co.uk

The beautiful, historic spa town of Harrogate is just the perfect destination for mother and daughter treats. Make a day of it and take in the famous Betty's tea rooms for a Mother's Day gift that she will remember long after the Daffodils have wilted. www.bettys.co.uk


Mid-Week Candy Craving

The mornings are brighter, the evenings are longer and I'm craving British Summer Time like a hungry sparrow.

Luckily, there's just enough time before the clocks change for me to get my hands on some new wall candy.

Since I introduced colour into my all-white life there's no stopping me, but these £30 Pantry clocks by Newgate pose me a problem. You see, I kind of want them all...

 Flamingo pink would liven up my utility...

A lime green time machine says hello hallway...

And this little boy blue could help lazy little lads get to school on time.

The traditionalist in me is struggling to veer far from the station clock style
so maybe an updated 50s Electric in shiny fire engine red would sound the
siren? This 37cm version is a steal at £65 

To ponder my choice from a full range of bright and beautiful Newgate clocks I will be heading over to www.thebridgeinteriors.com where their Yorkshire prices alone are enough to send my heart a-ticking.