Protecting your home…

Once you have really got your home how you want it, having renovated or extended it, do not forget to make sure that it is insured, for a realistic amount. Obvious, I know, but it is very easy to slip out of date with these things…Have a quick look: is your premium good value? Is the insured amount what it should be…

Yes, ha, ha, I bet you are wondering whether we actually need to insure our driftwood mantelpiece, that Doug found on the beach and our home made coffee table??! We feel these are priceless ‘Objets d’Art actually!!

Fed up with sky high premiums that mysteriously, seemed to be going up every year, Doug sat down about a year ago, and shopped around for a more reasonable quote…the best he came up with was for home insurance from Churchill – about half what we were paying at the time – much better.

I go to a local business breakfast club, once a fortnight…I know, I know, it sounds dreadful, but it is really good fun actually and one of the guys there sells home insurance and he offered everyone a complimentary £50 M&S voucher if he could beat their current quote. Desperate for a little spending spree I happily offered him the oppurtunity to have a go…after weeks, he came up with a quote by an unknown company that was a few quid less, but with a higher excess…what an anti-climax…Food for thought though, we should all be doing this regularly!

Northern Light

Douglas and Carol Forrest run Acanthus Architects a successful practice in the far north of Scotland near Aberdeen. Successful, due their adventurous, yet also, extremely rigorous approach to their work, Douglas has photographed a few of their projects for various magazines. Here are some images of their very sensitive conversion of a derelict farmbuilding into their own home.

Beatitude

We have a newcomer to our village, Beauty therapist and Aromatherapist Rebecca O’Connor. She has developed a range of aromatherapy and skincare products, literally bursting with wonderful ingredients.

I wanted to write about Beauty when I started Her Indoors, because I think it is part of our lives. I do not think it is the be all and end all, but I do think that feeling good about the way you look is a part of feeling good…

As a result I have become quite interested in skincare and, I realise, now, that the many products available vary much more in quality than their respective price variations would suggest ie for roughly the same price you can buy a product full of quite harmful chemicals or a product full of goodness. It is all about ingredients.

The word ‘Beatitude’ means a state of supreme happiness. I can vouch for this, because Becky very kindly gave me some sample bath oils. I popped them beside the bath, planning a quiet Saturday night with a lovely hot bath.

Eva, my daughter came in from hockey on Saturday morning, muddy and a bit less than fragrant, had a bath and all day the house was filled with the most wonderful fragrance – gosh, it was marvellous! That night I went to say good night, thinking, ‘right, time for my lovely Beatitude bath….and there were three empty little bottles lying around…Eva had chucked in the lot! No wonder the house smelt so nice! I was furious…she did apologise and very sheepishly admitted that her skin felt wonderful! Hmmm, so it should.

Becky has explained that ‘their unique formulation means that each bath oil produces gentle natural bubbles that disperse in water, ensuring smooth and silky skin and avoiding any greasy feel.’

Beatitude is set to go stellar, with the launch of Becky’s personally created facial oil, marking the brand’s expansion to skincare.

I think she took pity on me when I admitted what happened to the bath oils and gave me some to try. It is very pleasant to apply, but what is really special about it is how soft your skin feels hours later. If you apply it at night, you notice in the morning, if you use it in the morning, your skin is still soft later in the day. Amazing…because most creams make your skin feel nice there and then, but not many hours later…

Find out more about these wonderful products at www.beatitudeproducts.co.uk

A walk along the beach

I don’t know about you, but I find it so hard to drag myself away from my desk. There is a brilliant Facebook campaign going around suggesting that 23.5 hours a day spent lounging around are fine – but try and get moving for half an hour!! How did we get into this state?? Cars, washing machines, dishwashers…all things a lot of our parents and certainly a lot of our grand parents did without.

My mum was a single parent and we lived in a fourth floor flat at the top of a house, with no lift, she had no car, no washing machine and certainly no dishwasher and just ran around all the time…I can remember her occasionally sitting at her desk and hand writing a letter…I am not 90 by the way…I was a child in the seventies!

When I bemoan this state of affairs to Doug he has said ‘Well you can always do some housework if you want some exercise’…Unfortunately once I had finished with him, he has since lost the ability to speak. But at least he won’t be saying that again!

I force myself to go for a walk along Gullane Beach as often as I can…I don’t quite make it every day…but when I do I feel so much better for it. Sooo appreciate my good friends who cajole me into it. Look at what we saw last time we went:

Photographs by Caroline Hitchen

Scaramanga

Beautiful shoot in the latest 25 Beautiful Homes of the family home of Carl and Emma Morenikeji, owners of wonderful salvaged furniture and homeware company, Scaramanga. What I love about their furniture is that it could work well in so many different styles of homes – vintage obviously always looks good in a period property, but salvaged and one off pieces are also great for adding individuality to modern homes. They are based in Fife and a delight to visit, either in person or virtually…

I just so wish I needed some furniture…!

For me the star pieces from Scaramanga are the distressed, colourful pieces that Carl finds on buying trips to India, but he also stocks mid-century British and all sorts of vintage bits and pieces.

I am loving the this Coca Cola truck for sale at the moment…

Do have a good look, I think it is so important to find storage solutions that are not from Ikea, much as I love anything Swedish, you do not want a whole house full of it!