My favourite things from Ikea

So, I have already failed my self imposed 30 day blogging challenge. I have no excuse, other than this whole house buying thing is exhausting. I am stressed out because of what happened last time, because we are meant to exchange on Friday but the mortgage survey only happened today (!!!), because we only have enough furniture to furnish half the house.

To solve that predicament, Saturday we engaged in the very adult entertainment that is a trip to Ikea. I truly love Ikea but my previous trips had been tainted by the hideousness of the journey to Wembley – the North Circular always seem to dreadful on a Saturday (or is it everyday?) – and then, when they opened the Reading shop we were getting rid of stuff rather than acquiring it, so we never paid a visit.

On arrival, we were really surprised at how quiet it was for a Saturday afternoon. On departure, we were shattered and remembered why we don’t visit very often. And this was just a trip to look at stuff, I dread to think what it’s going to be like when we actually make the trip to buy things. I think I will suggest husband takes a day off work on a day L has an after school club so we can spend the whole day taking things from the shelves.

So while I was there, I thought I would share five of my favourite things that I have seen on Saturday. In no particular order:

Stuva/Fritids loft bed: the Stuva loft beds seem to be quite popular – in fact, they are sold out all over the country and because of supply issues it shouldn’t be back in stock until late June. But Lily loves them and so do I. She has been going on about having a bed with a secret hideout for ages and this bed is going to make it come true – come back in July to see the end result! They have several options for doors and drawers but this is Lily’s favourite.

Pax wardrobes: probably the next best thing after fitted wardrobes. We really really wanted fitted wardrobes, but having just bought a house at the very top of our budget means we don’t have that much spare cash, so the Pax wardrobes were the reason we visited Ikea, to be honest. We wanted to see if they lived up to the fame and I have to say I was impressed. The customisation options were amazing and I love all the little organisation tools that they have. I have designed several options on their online tool (the most awful flash thing that keeps crashing but eventually worked) and we are almost certain we are getting two of those. Does anyone have one and care to share their experience?

Finnvard/Linnmon Desk: husband and I will be sharing a study, and I have always wanted to have a drawing board – because I do draw by hand fairly often. So this is amazing: a massive desk that will fit all of husband’s screens and that I can tilt to use as a drawing table (don’t worry about his screens, we are getting one each!). We just haven’t decided if we are getting this one, with the white top, or the wood one (which is 5 cm bigger).

Ribba frames: great looking frames, at lovely prices in a great range of sizes. Nothing more, nothing less. They come in black, white and wood effect but all my other frames are white, so the new ones are white too – they look great in coloured walls.

Voxnan shower shelf: this was probably the best thing I didn’t know I wanted from Ikea, a little shelf that attaches to the shower pole. Genius. I knew I wanted some sort of wire shelving for the showers, and husband thinks suckers wouldn’t work because of the tile texture, so I was somewhat dreading the prospect of drilling into tiles and cracking them. And then we found these, which is brilliant for two reasons: reducing the amount of clutter and no drilling. I hope it’s as good as it seems.

I have to say it was hard to pick five and I could have gone on and on, but now I will ask the world (or my 3 readers!): what are your Ikea favourites? Anything I overlooked?

Images: Ikea UK 

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Shopping Haul! ~ L’Occitane

I will start by explaining this is an anomaly. I am not into shopping at all – so if shopping hauls are not your thing, don’t despair, as it is highly unlikely I will have another one for a while unless I go to IKEA.

This is actually an anomaly in two senses: I am not a shopper and I don’t really buy cosmetics apart from the very very basic stuff.

It all began in late November. I was fed up of house buying-house selling, our seller had just pulled out, stress levels were on an all-time high. So I decided to treat myself to one of these adult advent calendars filled with fancy stuff I would never have ventured into a shop to search for myself. All the really expensive fancy ones were already sold out, but – as I probably gathered by now – I am not fancy, so I had my eye on either the Body Shop one or the L’Occitane one. Years of online shopping have killed my ability to interact with shop assistants, so I initially just hovered outside both shops, trying to decide in which shop I would be less likely to be embarrassed by my lack of social skills. Eventually, I decided that L’Occitane smelt slightly better so in I went.

I needn’t had worried – the ladies were wonderful – high five to the staff at L’Occitane shop in Windsor! -, went out of their way to help and the packaging – oh my word! -: it was like the Rowan Atkinson scene in Love Actually minus Alan Rickman’s annoyance, tissue paper, perfume, confetti. It made me feel a little bit special, buying that for me, during such a difficult time.

Then December came and every day I was surprised with this little windows of joy. I loved everything and, before the month ended, I had already been to the Cardiff store to get a full sized almond hand cream. I then got a 20% off voucher, to be used within 30 days.

Fast forward to last week. January’s end is in sight and my mini products from the advent calendar are slowly ending *sniff!* I remembered the voucher that still lived inside my bag and decided to treat myself again. So this is what I got:

Ha, I don’t think I had mentioned this was online shopping. Yes, this is the box the postie brought me. Beautifully packaged, though the box was a bit too big for the contents, which are:

  1. Foot cream: I have been using this after my shower before I go to bed and my feet feel lovely (but you will have to believe me, no one wants a picture of my feet!). I am normally a bare-footer and have quite thick skin, I feel like all the dry bit have gone really quick. And my 8 year old loves it too, so it thought I would give the full sized one a try.
  2. Shampoo and conditioner: I have curly, curly hair and these make my hair so soft. It helped massively with the frizz – though it might have been Wales’ such softer water, who know! – so I splashed for the biggest size available. Plus I like the idea of being able to buy a refill.
  3. Lip balm: I really really liked the lip balm from the advent calendar, but I saw these little tins and, the price being the same, I picked the prettiest one. I was a little bit disappointed when I opened because I didn’t ready it properly – it’s rose scented, not rose tinted. But I love shea butter and this is really great for these windy days we have been having.

I am really happy with my buys, and even if I wouldn’t normally spend this sort of money on myself, I think it was worth it – I will update you if I change my mind! Now, let me know what are your beauty must-buys here on the comments! 🙂