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NEVER CONCISE HOME // THE BARWARE UPDATE

THE BARWARE UPDATE

The festive season is well-and-truly upon us – whether you’re entertaining a crowd or just having a decent night in, a Bar Cart is great addition to a loving corner of your home.

I made our Bar Cart after not being able to find one within budget. You can read the details of my DIY project here:  DIY BAR CART OF DREAMS >>> READ HERE

Have a look at my pick of the best Bar Cart essentials – these would all make for great Christmas gifts too!

CHEERS!

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OLIVER BONAS // GOLD HEXAGON WINE RACK //
£50.00
BuyJohn Lewis & Partners Gold Pineapple, Large Online at johnlewis.com
JOHN LEWIS & PARTNERS // GOLD PINEAPPLE //
£40.00
BuyTom Dixon Plum Shot Glasses With Alcohol Measure Gift Set, Set of 4 Online at johnlewis.com
TOM DIXON // PLUM SHOT GIFT SET //
£70.00

 

TOM DIXON // COPPER TRAY //
£150.00
BuySoho Home Barwell Crystal Cut Glass Martini Shaker, 600ml Online at johnlewis.com
SOHO HOME // CRYSTAL MARTINI SHAKER //
£85.00
BuySoho Home Barwell Crystal Cut Champagne Coupe Glasses, 250ml, Set of 2 Online at johnlewis.com
SOHO HOME // CRYSTAL COUPE GLASSES //
64.00
BuySoho Home Barwell Crystal Cut Rocks Glasses, 300ml, Set of 2 Online at johnlewis.com
SOHO HOME // CRYSTAL ROCKS TUMBLER GLASSES //
£56.00
BuyJohn Lewis & Partners Ice Tongs Online at johnlewis.com
JOHN LEWIS & PARTNERS // ICE TONGS //
£3.00
BuyJohn Lewis & Partners Cocktail Spoon Online at johnlewis.com
JOHN LEWIS & PARTNERS // COCKTAIL SPOON //
£4.00
ASPINAL OF LONDON // LEATHER HIP FLASK //
£49.00
BuyJohn Lewis & Partners Novelty Small Red Trim Chopping Board, L23cm, FSC-Certified (Beech Wood) Online at johnlewis.com
JOHN LEWIS & PARTNERS // RED TRIM BOARD //
£12.00
OLIVER BONAS // MARBLE & COPPER BAR SET //
£60.00
BuyCroft Collection Double Wall Cafetiere, 8 Cup, Copper, 1L Online at johnlewis.com
CROFT COLLECTION // COPPER CAFETIERE //
£45.00
BuyMixology Stainless Steel Freezable Straws, Pack of 6, Silver Online at johnlewis.com
MIXOLOGY // STEEL STRAWS //
£12.00
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M&S // NOUVEAU HI BALL GLASSES //
£19.50
BuyJohn Lewis & Partners Sublime Carafe With Cork, Clear, 1L Online at johnlewis.com
JOHN LEWIS & PARTNERS // SUBLIME GLASS RANGE //
£15.00
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M&S // PRESSED GLASS DECANTER //
£29.50
Image result for Sommelier Carafe MARKS AND SPENCER
M&S // SOMMELIER CARAFE //
£25.00
BuyJust Slate Copper Coasters, Set of 4 Online at johnlewis.com
JUST SLATE // COPPER COASTERS //
£24.99

 

 

 

 

BuyCroft Collection Copper Measuring Spoon, Set of 4 Online at johnlewis.com
CROFT COLLECTION // MEASURING SPOONS //
£8.00
ROWEN & WREN // MOSCOW MULE MUG // AVAILABLE AT NOTONTHEHIGHSTREET.COM
£12.00

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And we can’t have a post about Bar Cart essentials, without taking a quick look at the essential ingredients you need to sit alongside your Bar Cart too!

BuyChase GB Gin in Green Tin, 70cl Online at johnlewis.com
CHASE GB // GIN IN TIN – 70cl //
£32.50
BuySmith & Sinclair F.I.Z.Z. Elderflower Cocktail Bomb, 80g Online at johnlewis.com
SMITH & SINCLAIR // ELDERFLOWER SPRITZ //
£6.00
BuyGraham's Port Selection, 15cl Online at johnlewis.com
GRAHAMS // PORT SELECTION – 15cl //
£16.00
BuyLouis Roederer Brut Premier NV Champagne, 75cl Online at johnlewis.com
LOUIS ROEDERER // PREMIER CHAMPAGNE – 75cl //
£49.00
BuyJohnnie Walker Whisky Collection, 20cl Online at johnlewis.com
JOHNNIE WALKER // WHISKY COLLECTION //
£100.00
BuyFirebox Phoenix Tears Spiced Rum, 50cl Online at johnlewis.com
FIREBOX // PHOENIX TEARS RUM //
£40.00
BuyChase Vodka, 70cl Online at johnlewis.com
CHASE // VODKA – 70cl // £38.00

 

 

 

 

 

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EVENT | Celebrating 80 years of iCandy.

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A few months ago I was contacted by iCandy; it was all a little bit secret. I was intrigued, excited. Then a few weeks ago I received the most wonderfully presented envelope, in the post, that I’d seen in a long time! Inside was even better, an invitation to the  iCandy 80th Anniversary event on Tuesday 10th September, at superb events venue, One Marylebone, London.

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I was thrilled to be invited and of course made that RSVP shortly after.

Looking forward to the event, I made my journey into London early so that I could meet my OH and he could then take Mr Eli for some lovely food and then home for bed. I arrived at One Marylebone just a little after 6:30pm, where I was greeted with the warm welcome of event staff, a red carpet and a truly eye-catching iCandy facade, laden with vibrantly coloured parasols!

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Upon ticking my name off the guest list, I was ushered upstairs; where I was promptly handed a glass of Moët & Chandon and walked around the show space that displayed all the beautiful iCandy designs to date.

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I paid particular attention to the newest model, the Apple2Pear, as I hadn’t yet seen it in real life. I was astonished at the versatility and function of the design. Coming in 7 different colours, I am drawn to the Chilli and Raspberry Blue colourways. This is definitely the perfect travel system for when your family grows.

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So as the drinks flowed and the very tasty canapés were devoured, the time had come to head downstairs for the show to really begin! I was shown to a magical room filled with all things ‘woodland’, including a huge tree.

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I was seated on front row, or FROW as you fashionista’s will refer to it these days 😉 Once everyone was seated we were treated to the most amazing sounds of Whinnie Williams – voice like an actual angel!

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Other familiar faces to FROW were Imogen Thomas, Grace Woodward, Jasmine Guinness and Jodie Kidd. We were then introduced to iCandy‘s Managing Director Martin Boyle and joint CEO’s the Appel Brother’s themselves. It was incredible listening to men with such passion for their work – and their teams. I was in literal tears during the speeches. A new partnership between iCandy and The Lullaby Trust was also formally announced; and a cheque of £5,000 was given to the trusts’ CEO, Francine Beats. iCandy have teamed up with ex-Mulberry designer, Janet Collin, who has created a special new changing bag; the Emilia bag. £10 from the sale of each bag, will be given to The Lullaby Trust.

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Following the speeches was a fashion show, previewing the 2014 collection. New flavour packs in bright colours, upgraded designs (including a black chassis) and fashion-conscious handbags.

The highlight for me was the big reveal of the forthcoming new model to the iCandy family, The iCandy Raspberry. Of which, I was in actual awe – both during the catwalk show and post-show, where I stood for a good 30 minutes watching the hands-on demonstration, showing us all the multitude of ways the pushchair can be flipped and changed around, as well as folded up. The iCandy Raspberry is a stunning piece of innovative design, in form and function. The design is very, very neat, lightweight and stylish. The iCandy Raspberry is suitable from birth, but does not have a carrycot! Brilliant! There is however a very snuggly newborn “Pod” that will keep your brand new arrival warm, cosy and most importantly, secure. This pushchair has been designed for the city-dweller, someone who needs a pram that is adept in crowds and along city streets, lightweight to get up stairs and on public transport, but it’s also pretty darn cool too! The best-looking pram I’ve EVER seen – and we’ve seen A LOT of prams! This design can lay completely flat, but also reclines for older children; it’s also forward and parent-facing. Bonus. I also want to mention that I was shocked at how small the Raspberry was when folded, it’s tiny. We currently have an iCandy Strawberry and although it folds down well, we do struggle to get it in and out of the car – and it does take up pretty much the entire boot of our VW Polo. The Raspberry would give you back your boot, if you’re in the same situation!

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I also loved the large shopping basket on the iCandy Raspberry, which features a ‘glove compartment’ as I fondly like to call it. The hard case could house your raincover, keys, phone etc, great for keeping your valuables out of sight. The iCandy Raspberry will come in around 7 new colour flavour packs, names to be confirmed. But the colours that were displayed were just stunning. I want them ALL! I love that you can swap and change the colours around – so versatile.

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After the demonstration I headed over to the cupcake table, passing the very lovely ’80’ cake and took 2 cupcakes home. One for me with a midnight cup of tea and one for OH, who’d had a tough evening with Mr Eli. We both really appreciated those delicious cup cakes, believe me! I also thoroughly enjoyed my lovely iCandy goodie bag filled with lots of lovely catalogues, magazine, leather-bound note book, mug, pen and yummy chocolates!

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What an absolutely amazing evening was had by all. I just want to say a BIG THANK YOU to iCandy for inviting me to the event. It was wonderful to meet the brains behind the brand and to experience the passion of everyone involved.

MM.

 

PS – Apologies for the rubbish quality of some of the photos. The show was very quick-paced and the lighting changed frequently. Plus, to be fair, I need a new phone!

 

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Christmas Party Woes!

It’s that time of year when there are LOTS of invitations to festive drinks and meals. I’ve had TWO important ‘festive drinks’ and a ‘festive meal’ with external companies through work this week… AND I’ve just got back from my office Christmas Party.

I’ve documented my previous struggles with excuses for not drinking in the below blog posts:

TTC: Excuses for not drinking!
TTC: Excuses for not drinking, PART DEUX.

It’s been a struggle again, but because of my recent trips to the hospital I have just been saying that I’m on strict orders not to drink until my “blood test results come back”. I’m pretty certain that people are not convinced – but I have had quite a lot of sympathy! 🙂

So at tonight’s office Christmas party there was the usual free-flowing booze from the onset. I’m usually the one guzzling the freebie’s and dancing the night away… but things are obviously quite different this year! Upon arrival there were ready-made cocktails, with jugs of the same cocktails ready for people who wanted a refill. I obviously couldn’t drink them so politely asked the barmaid for a ‘soft drink’. To my dismay she REFUSED and said that it was the ready made cocktails for the first hour and ‘custom drinks’ could be prepared thereafter. So I said, “I don’t wish to drink a customised drink, I’d just like a lemonade or a tonic water please?”. I actually could not understand!! To my further dismay, she pulled over her manager, who reiterated to me that there were no additional drinks until after 8pm….and that I could have a glass of water if I was “desperate”. Seriously, how rude?!! Nevermind being pregnant – I could be allergic to alcohol, or alcohol may even be against my religion! (Neither of these are true, but they don’t know that!). Has anyone else had trouble with mardy waiting staff?!

Despite being post-8pm I still struggled throughout the evening to obtain non-alcoholic drinks. The music was so loud that most bar staff thought I was asking for Vodka and Lemonade when I was simply asking for ‘JUST LEMONADE PLEASE!’. By 10pm I was absolutely exhausted and frankly, sick of the people behind the bar so left ready for home! Several colleagues did question whether I was pregnant… Most of whom were pretty much beyond drunk and wouldn’t have remembered my answer the next day anyway. But I did shrug all awkward questions off with “Maybe next year”.

Because of the amount of appointments and phone calls I’ve been making during working hours (and the CONSTANT not drinking anxiety!), I feel that the time has come to tell my boss what is really happening. I’m kind of looking forward to finally getting it off my chest – albeit, I know it’s still really early doors. I’d just hate to have people thinking I’m taking advantage…

Wish me luck!

MM.

 

 

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Telling your own parents that you’re going to become a parents.

We were quite torn about telling our parents the amazing news… As I’m only 5 weeks pregnant, it’s still really early days. But then again, we really wanted to share the news face-to-face (as we now live 300 miles away! And Facetime just wouldn’t cut this type of news…). Plus, the next time we’re visiting the motherland, I’ll be almost 13 weeks pregnant and could definitely not have held it in for THAT long!

So we decided that we’d tell my parents first, on Saturday 25th November. The first time that the four of us got together. We were sat watching TV in the late afternoon… my DP subtly kicking me to make the announcement. So at 7pm, on the dot, I began with “As we’re all sat down together, we have something exciting to tell you…”. My Dad being my Dad, jumped in and said “You’re pregnant…?”. As I tearfully nodded my Mum jumped up in congratulations. I have to say, I was more worried about announcing it to my parents than my in-laws. I’m the youngest and it’s my parents first grandchild! But it was great. My parents are over the moon – they grabbed a bottle of champagne (and I had a glass of lemonade) in celebration.

Announcement Two came the next morning when we arrived at my in-laws. Again, we all sat down in the lounge when my DP began with “We’ve got something to tell you…” and my Mother in-law (to be) went white and said “You’re having a baby!”. So we didn’t actually get to say those words… both our parents guessed!

We have reiterated that we don’t want the pregnancy news spreading outside the close family circle (Grandparents and Sisters families), until after our 12 week scan. So we’ll tell the rest of our family and friends after the 12 week mark too. Which is already proving very difficult – I can’t wait to tell my close friends! They’ll be ecstatic! After all, this is something we have planned for the past 2 years!

I will also need to figure out at what point I tell work. The timing needs to be just right.

When did you first tell your family and friends? Did you do anything as a means of a surprise for your family, for the announcement?

MM.

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TTC: Excuses for not drinking, PART DEUX.

Just wanted to go back on the original ‘Excuses for not drinking’ post. I took another Mumsnetter’s advice and pursued the Tonic water with ice and lemon route for my several social events this week. It worked a treat! Nobody even battered an eyelid. Perfect!

Here are some of the other suggestions put forward on my post:

ChocoBOO says:

Just don’t say antibiotics. Dead give away!

When I found out I was pregnant I said I’d been having migraines so needed to rule out causes – worked for alcohol and caffeine.

Jenniec79 says:

Be the driver? It’s the other unquestionable excuse for not drinking on a night out!

MrsDobalina says:

At work dos I always walked around with a glass of wine and waved it around, pretended to sip it but never actually drank any. This worked even at dinner – it’s amazing how little people noticed! 

At bars I ordered tonic water and asked for ice and lemon so it looked like a g+t. 

LydiaTheTattooedLady says:

There was one last time I had quite an aggressive dental infection. Dentist told me not to even risk a sip, as it can cause severe vomming.

Nice.

Whereismywine says:

I’ve got a big run/bikram yoga in the morning
I’ve got a nasty bout of cystitis – this shuts people up!
I’m on a detox
I’m driving
Ive got a big drive the next morning
I’ve got an important work meeting the next day 
I have one half pint of something at the start of the night. Often no one asks after I’ve been seen with that. Usually give it to dh. Difficult if rounds are going.
I’ve got a cracking hangover.

I wish you all the best ttc. But if it does take a while, a glass of wine or two a week would be fine, in my humble opinion.

So with what Whereismywine says in her last sentence, what you think of one or two glasses of wine while TTC or PG?

MM.

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TTC: Excuses for not drinking!

I stopped drinking several weeks ago in order to be the healthiest I can be; as myself and DP had planned to begin TTC. We’ve now began the exhausting journey of trying to conceive. The giving up drinking thing was fine because we didn’t really have any social events planned and had kind of slowed down on the red wine at home already. When we had been for meals with friends (we have the same circle of friends luckily) recently, we’d been quite open about our plans… but work friends are a little bit different. I have a work friend’s birthday party tonight, another party tomorrow, a meal with work colleagues next week – aswell as a conference with evening ball! There will be lots of wine and champagne flowing, and in attendance will be my boss, with whom I get on with, but obviously wouldn’t want to find out I’m TTC for fear of work complications.

So not only is it a busy week – but a lot of time spent with work colleagues and alcohol. Which would also be fine if I wasn’t renowned for being a little bit of a red wine lover! How have you ladies gotten around the not drinking thing? Any useful hints and tips? Or even excuses? My DP will be attending the party tonight and tomorrow and won’t be drinking either – stressbox!

MM.