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Tuesday 31 March 2009

Jellymongers Bompas & Parr create a 'walk-in cocktail'

Wibble wobble wibble wobble jelly on the plate...

Or so the song goes. We were just hours away from scribbling about London's premier jelly shop (yes, jelly shop) Bompas and Parr, but then they went and foxed us with their latest stunt:

A walk-in cocktail.

They're calling it Alcoholic Architecture and it's being held at 2 Ganton Street. You'll be treated to a breathable cocktail with a 'spray of gin 'n' tonic mist, giant limes and massive straws'. Whilst the idea of getting gin in my eyes doesn't fill me with joy, the concept intrigues me. You walk around, have a bit of a nose around, buy a bunny jelly mould and then come out all tipsy and giggly. First they make my childhood favourite classy and now they want to make me smell like a drunken lush.

And they rather fabulously call their website Jelly Mongers.

What's not to love?

Om nom nom nom Easter Eggs

I don't care if Easter is a week away. I want chocolate now! More specifically, these lovely Eastery goodies:

Look how cute! Bunny in an egg! This one £24.95 from The Chocolate Society. You can pick him up from Selfridges as well.

This handpainted Rococo egg is so pretty I might not want to eat it. Plus it's got mini eggs in it too. And it's only £12.95. I'm off to order this one now.
These Montezuma eggs are pretty, plus you get all three of them for £19.99. All for me! None for you!
This champagne truffle filled egg is from Fortnum & Mason. It's £27.50 which is one of their cheapest. The rest are about £80. Jeez, Fortnum's, it's just chocolate.

Design Porn: Laura Long

I mentioned yesterday I liked all things fairy tale based, so I fell in love with these Laura Long dolls as soon as I saw them. Look!

I love that the Cinderella doll comes with a ball gown. Perfect.

I know the three blind mice aren't really from a fairy tale, but they're so cute.

Rapunzel! Rapunzel let down your hair!

Yep, it's Little Red Riding Hood (alas, she's wolfless, but maybe the wolf is being knitted? I hope so.)

Monday 30 March 2009

Turning time with some unusual clocks

I really don't like the clocks changing. It messes with my head, I have no idea what time it is and my brain thinks I'm sleepy and hungry all at the wrong time (yes, I know I'll feel fine tomorrow). But then, I realised that I don't have a single clock in my house. It's not out of choice, I just have trouble finding any that aren't really ugly. That standard kitchen clock just isn't going to cut it in Domestic Sluttery HQ. But these might:

This Habitat clock was recommended by Rasga, one of our Twitter followers. I wasn't sure if I liked it to start with, but even if you can't tell the time on it, it's rather stunning, isn't it?

If you fancy something a bit more homemade, try this one from Berry Red. Cute!

This one is from Buy The Sea and it'll make you think of summery beachy days. At least the silly clock change means summer is coming. Hurrah!

Cocktail Hour: French Martini

I'm very sad to tell you all this, but I have a severe raspberry allergy. Now, that might not seem such a bad thing, but trust me it just about cuts a cocktail menu in half when I'm in a bar. Still, I know for a fact that my friend Helena's French Martini recipe is fabulous (from all of the oooohs and aaahs at my last cocktail party) so here it is:

You'll need these things:

50ml vodka
15ml Chambord - I can't have this!
60ml pineapple juice
Handful of crushed up berries - See?! I can't have these either!

And then you'll to do this:

Shake ingredients with ice and strain into a martini glass. Then don't give it to the girl who has a stupid allergy. Drink it all yourself. Yummy, apparently.

Down the rabbit hole

I love Alice in Wonderland. It's a bit strange, bit it's still cute and fun. The perfect mix. Rock 'n' Rose have done a lovely exclusive pocket watch locket just like the White Rabbit's! Granted it doesn't tell the time, but that's what the clock on your mobile is for.

I'm all for dressing like I live in a fairy tale and if you are too, this will set you back just £22.

Decoupage Map Bowl

I love these bowls. In fact, I love decoupage. I'm pretty certain I could do it myself if I tried, but honestly, I just can't be bothered. It's just a lot of effort isn't it? So instead of cutting and sticking millions of pieces of paper, I'll just buy one of these bowls from the fabulous All Things Original instead. They're £75 a piece, but think of the time you'll save.

Save on getting-ready time: wear an apron!

When I'm entertaining guests, my usual strategy is to select and put aside a fabulous outfit, pull on something old and slobby to cook in, only to notice three hours later that time's up and I'll have to greet my friends in the same filthy old rags I'd started work in. I'm usually still pulling on my best shoes by the dessert course...

The answer is, of course an apron. And happily there are plenty out there that are far from frumpy!

The 'cupcake apron' pictured above is part of a range of pinup-inspired aprons by Etsy seller World Famous Aprons, who has a nice selection of printed pinnies, including polka-dot, leopard and zebra. It's so pretty I can't imagine wanting to take it off!

I've seen lots of gorgeous full-length aprons but if you're after something a bit more minimal, this mini apron by Smarmyclothes ('because bad girls need aprons too') is quite alarmingly cute.

Friday 27 March 2009

Littlest details: Soap Dishes

I've spent the last week trawling shops for the perfect soap dish. (Yes, this is the point where I realised my design obsession was getting out of hand). I can't find a single pretty soap dish that isn't boring. Chic? Sometimes. Practical? Certainly. Booooooring. I've never really got on very well with 'practical' (what, you didn't get that from a teacup chandelier and moomin mugs?)

So I turned to Etsy and I don't know why I didn't before. Look at all these pretty soap dishes I've found! I want them all now. It's acceptable to have more than one soap dish, right?

This is my favourite. I want this one the most please. It's $15 from NewMoonStudio.

Lace isn't something you can get into a bathroom easily, but it's mighty pretty when you can. $16 from Madhatterceramics.

This is how you decorate your house without becoming 'crazy cat lady'. No one wants crazy cat lady. It's only $6 from Suramicspottery.

This one is $28 from Littlehandstudios. Much prettier than dull old white.

And you thought soap dishes were dull boring things.

Cocktail Hour: The Dave

I wish this cocktail had a better name. But I was drunk when I invented it and well, since then the name has stuck. You're more than welcome to call it something else, although I bet after a couple you can't think of anything better. Still, despite it's shit name, it's one of the best cocktails I've ever accidentally invented and you'll love me for it, I promise.

Here's what you need:

1. Two parts Gin
2. One part Brandy
3. Apple juice
4. Ice

And what you need to do:

Throw some ice into a cocktail shaker, add the gin and brandy. Strain into a martini glass and top up with apple juice. Add a slice of apple to the glass to decorate. Get drunk and try and think of a better cocktail name. Do tell me if you come up with one.

Flickr image from Deborah Fitchett's Photostream.

Sluttishly easy: Pretty chocolate shapes

This is just about the easiest recipe in the world. Because it's just melting chocolate! Even you can do that, right? I'm not suggesting that you just melt chocolate and be done with it, but this is a really easy way to pretty up that nice looking lemon mousse you bought in the supermarket and were planning to palm off as your own.

You'll need:

1. As much as you want of your favourite milk chocolate.
2. A pan to melt the chocolate
3. Some sweet heart candy and white chocolate to decorate

And you'll need to do this:

1. Melt the chocolate and smooth it to a baking sheet.
2. Let it cool a bit - not too long.
3. Use cake cutters and outpace some chocolate forms. (You have to be aware that the chocolate isn't too fluid.) Outspace and when it's nearly set, swirl melted white chocolate in patterns to make it pretty. Enjoy.

I promise we'll show you a recipe that actually involves cooking one day. Maybe.

We took this recipe from Aberweger's recipes on the fabulous Nibble Dish. Go and read the rest of them.

Shop in the spotlight: Present and Correct

I get all excited when I discover a new shop no one seems to know about. Fabulously named Present and Correct is one of those sites. It's full of lovely stationery and pretty gifts. Here's some of the fabulous things you can find:

There's something about old school stuff that makes us happy. This school timetable would look great in a home office. Even if you just used it to remember to pick up your dry cleaning.

This is a perfect way of writing letters to your geeky friends. Much nicer than email.

This Animal Chart will look fab in a kid's room. Or just on your wall for, measuring visitors or something.

See? Pretty.

Thursday 26 March 2009

Design Porn: Madeleine Boulesteix

It's become clear that our obsession with chandeliers isn't going away any time soon. They're stunning and they jazz up a simple room very quickly indeed. Granted, they're not to everyone's taste and boys generally hate them, but we at Domestic Sluttery couldn't care less.

If you agree with us, Madeleine Boulesteix is going to blow you away. All of her chandeliers have a very traditional shape and style, but they're made from every day items like tea cups and cutlery. Little crystals too. Knick-knacks you'd never think of putting together in a classic design.

Everything in these designs make me 'squeeeee' a little bit. They're cute, but they're not too chintzy and that's a difficult balance to get right. Actually, they're just pretty darn cool.

Cocktail Hour: Cosmopolitan

Now, I know that everyone says they don't watch Sex and The City anymore. But girls, that's rubbish and you know it. How many of you are still watching the repeats? Or sneaking out the box set whenever you take a hangover duvet day. So, in keeping with tradition (and because they're very easy to fuck up), here's a fail safe Cosmopolitan recipe:

1 Shot vodka

1/2 short triple sec - NO MORE. Too much and it's all over.

1/2 shot cranberry juice.

1/2 shot lime juice.

Mix it all up in a cocktail shaker, then pour into a chilled martini glass. Then curl up on the sofa with Carrie and the girls. Cliched? Yes. but who cares?

Flickr image from kytlerconk's photostream.

Etsy pick: Button bouquets

I love the idea of filling endless vases around my flat with fresh flowers, but who can actually be bothered to regularly replace them? Never mind, some clever kitten on Etsy has created the cutest flowers ever, and you don’t even have to put them in water.

The stems range in size from 8-12 inches and cost £US12 from StellaRaeDesigns.

Cupboard Lust: Bernard of Hollywood Shot Glasses

Homoerotic it may be, but I’m a sucker for fifties-style pin-up girls. Give me kitchenalia decorated with cartoon femme fatales from the covers of pulp fiction novels, and I’m anyone’s. Perhaps somewhat predictably, Bernard of Hollywood makes me drool. And so these shot glasses printed with his photos, available from online store Kitsch, neatly combine my two great loves (retro buxom women and liquor) in one glam package. £10 for four, from here.

Etsy Pick: Earthy plates from Thanhxuan

I'm in love with these plates. They remind me of the earthy bowls at Food For Thought in Covent Garden. I'd like to think I'd use these to serve cous cous and rustic salads. But, Chinese food is more likely. I don't really like cous cous.

They're $35 for three, but you'll have to shell out $12 for the shipping too. Still, I love them and they'll probably be winging their way to me by the end of the week.

Wednesday 25 March 2009

Frankly Fabulous

Oooh hello, Frank! You're lovely! With your cute little things that will make everyone I know very happy. (By 'everyone', I mean 'presents for me'). Everything in your shop is so pretty but especially these little egg cosies that are all handmade and only £9.50. I want to buy them all and then not eat my eggs for aaaaaages because I'm just looking at how pretty they are.

Bollocks to baking: Hummingbird Bakery

Hummingbird Bakery is a lovely little cake shop that you should definitely hunt down if you live in London. If you don't, then I'll have to eat all of the cakes and you can't have any. Hehe! Sorry, something about cupcakes makes me very territorial. They are only teeny tiny after all.

Hummingbird are pretty famous over in these parts, especially with our cupcake loving American friends. They have branches in Notting Hill and South Kensington and it's only fair we point you in their direction, otherwise you'd be tempted to steal our cupcakes. Get your own.

Cocktail Hour: Bellini

As much as I'd like to, I can't afford bellinis very often. Not real ones (which are meant to be made from white peach juice for goodness sake. Good luck finding that outside of a swanky hotel bar.)

I know you want me to be cliched and call this a 'credit crunch Bellini' but I'm not going to. I'm going to tell you how to make it instead.

What you need:

Cheap Fizzy Stuff. Not the cheapest stuff ever (no Lambrini. That's not cool.) But if you can find something with a cork for about £7 you'll be happy. You could also use the bottle of champagne you have in the back of the cupboard that you've been 'saving.'
A tub of sliced peaches like these ones. I don't buy fruit in tins. I can't use tin openers (because I'm left-handed, not because I'm a moron.) But anyway, they come in yummy peach juice which you can use to make the bellini yummy.
Er... that's it.

What to do:

Put a slice on peach and a couple of spoonfuls of juice into a champagne flute.
Top up with Cheap Fizzy Stuff.
Repeat as necessary until you and all of your friends are giggling about everything.
No one will actually know you've used cheap fizzy stuff, and to be honest, no one will care. You'll all be too full of bubbles. Mmmm bubbles.

Flickr image from Gaetan Lee's photostream.

Seven Deadly Sins: Lust - Drawers from Tobias and the Angel

I thought the 'lust' part of the sins series would kick off with sexy sheets and generally saucy things. But ever since I spotted this chest of drawers, I've found myself actively lusting over it. I keep sneaking back to the site just to check if it's still there. And it is. Always. Taunting me.

Tobias and the Angel make the country house look possible in London. Unfortunately, my little blogging budget will have to settle for pretty pictures for now. This gloriously sexy chest of drawers is £1897.50. Just see it as £220 per drawer.

Sluttishly easy: Honeycomb

Honeycomb is, for some reason, one of those things that people seem to 'ooh' and 'ahh' over when you tell them you made it yourself. It's also rather pleasingly versatile: crumble it over ice-cream, stick pieces of it in cookies or cupcakes, dip it in chocolate... er, well, that's it really. But you must admit, those are three really good things.

The best thing about honeycomb, though, is that it's only got three ingredients. And none of them are those stupid, hard-to-find ingredients that you'll end up traipsing around some unexplored corner of London to find, get bored halfway through looking for and end up forgetting about when you spot a window full of multicoloured homemade macaroons in the window of a little hideaway teashop.

200g caster sugar
3 tbsp golden syrup
1.5 tspn bicarb soda

Step 1. Heat the sugar and golden syrup on low-to-medium heat until it goes swirly and caramelish.

Step 2. Stir in the bicarb soda and watch it go whoosh as it bubbles and froths into some sort of delicious golden monster.

Step 3. Pour that sucker into whatever dish you have lying around (I used a cake tin) and put it in the fridge to set.

Okay... disclaimer. I had to try this recipe a couple of times before I got it right. I think the mix of ingredients above worked quite well, but there are swathes of folks on the interwebs who have had massive problems getting this right. They all seem to blame Nigella.

You might need to mess around with it a couple of times to get it right, but the smug satisfaction when you nail it is worth the effort.

(P.S. If you really wanted to show off you could break it into pieces and dip them into melted chocolate, but let's not go crazy.)

Etsy Pick: Cupcake Totes on Acorn Attic

This little Etsy treasure came via a recommendation in our Twitter feed. And well, the little cupcake handbags are perfect. The bags have a lovely handmade feel, without being too flimsy. This means I could lug one about on the tube and it'd survive the day and get admiring glances. The cupcake design is pretty lovely, no? They're from Acorn Attic and at $9 you're going to have to fight us for them.

Thanks to @jameskellar for the recommendation! If you've got something you want to share with us, just email us or drop us a message on Twitter!

Tuesday 24 March 2009

Etsy Pick: Raku Vase by LynneCardwell Pottery

I've decided I deserve more flowers this year. At least a bouquet a week. I don't care if I have to buy them myself, but I'm going to be even more charming than I was in 2008 and hopefully men will shower me with bunches of pretty blooms.

So it seems only right that I get me a pretty vase to put them in. Splashing out on this stunning raku vase will be worth every penny.

Oh, and if you were wondering, I like daisies. Thanks in advance.

Home Sweet Home: Cupcake Candles

Candles that look and smell like cupcakes could be potentially dangerous for the absent-minded. But, if you think you can resist taking a bite out of them, they’ll make your abode smell delicious. These ones are available for £5 each in strawberry or raspberry, from Urban Outfitters. Yummy!

Cake Stand Cliche

I know, we love cupcakes, we love tea parties. So it goes without saying that at some point, the girls at Domestic Sluttery would feature a pretty cake stand. Well, call me predictable, but if I get to feature this vintage one, from Something on Lambs Conduit Street then I jolly well don't care.

Monday 23 March 2009

Personal Style: Beach hut box

I adore these boxes. Not only are they pretty as pretty can be, they're a practical place to put that "pile of crap you'll never use again". It would be a lovely place to keep sweeties on your desk at work too. I bought one for my friend and she uses it to put keepsakes and little treasures in. Perfect.

They come in lots of different colours from a little shop on Not On The High Street called Buy The Sea and they're only £7.99.

"Oh I doooo like to be beside the seaside, oh I doooo like to be beside the seaaaaaa".

I'll stop now.

Cocktail Hour: Lisa Stickley Recipes

How cute is this little fridge magnet? Usually, I'm not a fan of fridge magnets, but I do love childish writing. I'm also a fan of cocktails.

Is it wrong that these magnets look like a child has written them? Probably.

Let's not think about that. Let's just drink!

You can find these magnets at the fabulous Lisa Stickley London shop. You get three for £8.

Cupboard Lust: Chocolate Time Chocolatiere

I know that it's Lent, and that apparently means we should be being well-behaved and healthy, and giving up our favourite naughty treats. But I also know that no matter how hard I try, I can’t give up chocolate any more than I can make my main squeeze look more like Captain Jack Sparrow with the power of positive thinking.

Which is why I’m dying for this retro-looking contraption. When you melt chocolate in a microwave or pan, it starts hardening as soon as you take it away. Meaning plenty of faffing and wastage. (Chocolate wastage = punishable by death when it’s PMT week). But because the chocolatiere is mains-powered, it can be used as a chocolate fondue set at dinner parties for dipping fruits and sweets (or whatever else takes your fancy), as well as making using melted chocolate whilst cooking much easier. It comes with a selection of moulds, recipes and skewers, and is just £19.95, from Prezzybox. Maybe the diet can be postponed until 2010….

Tatty Devine Horse and Carriage Necklace

You shall go to the ball!

Tatty Devine came up trumps with this necklace and frankly it'll make you feel like your very own fairy tale princess. Just one who wears platform shoes and has fabulous taste in jewellery. It's £54 and worth every penny.

I don't think it's very likely you'll be home before midnight either.

Smythson Interior Design Notes


An interior planning notebook, in fuchsia leather, from Smythson. Separate sections for 'Halls', 'Drawing Rooms', 'Dining Rooms', 'Kitchens', 'Bedrooms', 'Bathrooms' and 'Other'. It's like someone reached into my pretty-haired head, found everything I might want in a notebook, and then made it and wanted to charge me £40 to own it. And oh my god I've never even considered spending so much on a notebook until now.

Graham and Green heart key box

I lose my key all the time. Well, let's face it, sometimes they just don't fit in my cute little purse. This pretty little thing from Graham and Green means I can keep all of my keys in the same place. It's only £15, so if I do lose my keys while I'm out getting tipsy, at least I'll still have some change left over to get a new one cut.

Sunday 22 March 2009

Seven Deadly Sins: Sloth. 'Shanghai' bed from Mandala

I adore adore adore four poster beds. They make me think of costume dramas and posh hotels and just generally having rather excellent sex with handsome rich men. See this bed as a bit like Field of Dreams: If you build it, they will come.

It's from Mandala and is a whopping £1295. I'm off to count my pennies now.

Personal Style: Wallace Sacks Bedding

As it's definitely spring now, I've decided to have a bit of a revamp and there's no better place to start than new bedding. After all, if I'm lounging around and erm... getting up to mischief, I'd much rather do it in gorgeous bed linen. Besides, most of my sheets get stained with chocolate, wine or tea.

I picked up these stunning embroidered sheets from Wallace Sacks. They're currently in the sale so you can pick sets up from as little as £6 per item.

Easter eggs fun

Aww! Robot Easter eggs! How cute! These are the kind of things I'd buy for when my friends bring their kids over. Except, none of my friends have kids, so we'll just have to make use of them at brunch. They're too cute to leave on the shelf.

They're £14.95 for two and you can get them from Lifestylebazaar (yes, again). Yes that's pretty expensive for an egg cup, but c'mon; how often do you get robots into your kitchenware?

Design Porn: Emma Block

Ever since her designs graced my new Moo cards, I've been feeling a huge amount of warm fuzzies for Emma Block's designs. They're the cutest things in the whole world and the rest of her illustrations are just as pretty. They might be a little cutesy for some of you, but haven't you all had a day where you want to stay in your jammies?

Saturday 21 March 2009

Cocktail Hour: Iggloo Margarita Glasses

The sun is shining outside today! It's quite warm too! Which means only one thing: We're getting very near to summer. Sort of. That means grass between your toes, not being judged for sipping a bottle of wine at lunch and after work cocktails in the garden. Summer might just get here a bit faster with these bright blue cocktail margarita glasses from Iggloo. They're £25 for four so invite your friends over too, won't you?
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