Tickled pink with Interior blog awards nomination


The Candy Files - What's hot, what's not and what's what at my place.

This week...

House Candy = Pink & perky


Voting is now open for this year's Interior Blog Awards, hosted by gorgeous interiors brand Amara and it is with rosy cheeks and puckered lips that I thank you from the bottom of my heart for my nomination. 

I am totally bowled over to be in the Best Design Inspiration category and up against some ridiculously cool brands and actual journos-turned-superbloggers... I know right.

Voting is open throughout August when I will be ramping up my output here on the blog and bringing you more design inspiration than you can fill a vintage cadillac with. 

Starting today with a tickled pink inspired Candy Files, dedicated entirely to the colour of my latest crush.

I am officially obsessed with PINK.  

This thing with pink started back in Easter when I bought a pink trouser suit and realised after years of failing at any Kings Road style camel colours, THIS was a nude that actually suited me. Mine was from Next and is now sold out but Top Shop's new range proves the trend is good for Autumn/Winter too.

Pink trouser suit £100  www.topshop.com

Pink trouser suit £100 www.topshop.com

It got me me thinking, if pink works with fair skin and freckles, then maybe it works in other places it shouldn't too. Like doors for example. 


Or beds that aren't for grannies or baby girls.


Even boys can love pink!  www.loaf.com' s luscious lazy linen is similar to this.

Even boys can love pink! www.loaf.com's luscious lazy linen is similar to this.

Also on Floors.


This blush pink thick pile sheepskin is a vintage find but  www.wayfair.com  has a large selection of pretty pink rugs.

This blush pink thick pile sheepskin is a vintage find but www.wayfair.com has a large selection of pretty pink rugs.

From palest blush to shocking fuscia, this month's Elle Decoration has hailed pink the hue of the moment and I'll happily drink to that.

Fine and Candy = Pink drinks

Always appropriate in summer, at weddings or on random Tuesday's when you get an actual IBA nomination. Pink champagne is the essence of this shade; all girly and giggly and glow inducing. 

So fond of pink bubbles am I, that I've taken to drinking them in dainty little vintage beakers, featuring... well whatdyaknow... more pink bubbles. Hic.

Pink spotty tumblers - find similar on ebay.

Pink spotty tumblers - find similar on ebay.

On the subject of pink bubbles, I'm wondering if they are also to blame for this retro blown glass lamp shade which I fell for at the skip shop yesterday. 

Flamingo lamp perhaps?

Flamingo lamp perhaps?

Does this trouble you? Follow me on Instagram to watch its reincarnation into sassy plant holder.... or something.

Candy Pandy = Pinky Promise

Like when you SAY you're gonna vote for me in the Amara Interior Blog Awards and then you never quite get round to it and all the other amazing bloggers get shortlisted and go to The Ham Yard for the glitzy award ceremony and I get to stay on my sofa with a cheap bottle of pink fizz to drown my sorrows.

Look, I scrub up REALLY well and nobody EVER in the history of my home town has been to a blog awards, never mind one about creating cool houses and, and well I'm 41 FFS. If it doesn't happen now, when will it happen? 

Seriously, my dad is getting impatient. He wants all the money he invested in my university education back and is threatening to find me a real job.

My kids are also breathing down my neck: "Believe in your dreams," I said, "You can be anything you want to be," I said. "Go on then," they said.

"Oh, alright."

You are the only people who can change this situation people. The power is in your fingertips. All you have to do is click on this link:


And help me be that blogger from Brighouse who blagged her way to The Ham Yard with all the cool brands and the top bloggers. I mean, wow, if you really want to see someone blush. 

Do you?

Claire x

PS If you share this post you will also get put into the draw to win a weekend at my fave seaside hideaway as per my previous post .. because - and let's just be clear on this - I am NOT above bribery. Not yet.

Win a weekend at The Sands, Scarborough!

Well hello again!

Seeking the shade at Selfie School Kos with my favourite teacher (who was flown out especially).

Seeking the shade at Selfie School Kos with my favourite teacher (who was flown out especially).

I feel like I have neglected you over the past two weeks, wth two back to back vacays and an indulgent fortnight of sun, sea, sand, selfies, surfing and ...er what's that other S word that crops up a lot where my holidays are concerned? Oh yes, Scarborough!  

My boys kicking off the summer holidays in style at North Bay, Scarborough

My boys kicking off the summer holidays in style at North Bay, Scarborough

Now, I reckon I owe you one for sticking with me through LOTS of lame instagramming and not enough actual blogging sooooooo - drum roll please... I have decided to treat at least one of you to a weekend away at my (not so secret) seaside hideaway.

The Sands  is where I escape to when I need to get away from it all. Tanya Burr has SoHo Farmhouse, Zoella has Miami. My House Candy has Scarborough. That's just how it is, but you know what? I wouldn't swap them. Not even for their 32 million followers and a lifetime's supply of own brand nail polish... I doubt.

Because THIS is the view you wake up to if you stay in a seafront apartment at The Sands.

The actual view from my actual balcony at The Sands, Scarborough

The actual view from my actual balcony at The Sands, Scarborough

And whether it's cracking t'flags with scorchio North Yorkshire sunshine like this...

My special place (and theirs too)

My special place (and theirs too)

North Bay promenade outside The Sands

North Bay promenade outside The Sands

Or bright and bracing with waves that can knock you into next week like this...

...the beautiful view of multi coloured beach huts, a crumbling castle ruin, Victorian holiday villas and a sea that makes me want to head over the water to Scandinavia aboard a longboat with a bearded, horny headed Viking ... have I gone too far?

You get the drift. It's a view (and a micro climate) that allows you to leave your troubles behind. And I want you to have a piece of the action.

All you have to do is like My House Candy Facebook page or share this post on Twitter or Facebook with the hashtag #housecandy. The competition will run until the end of August when I will pick a winner at random. The prize is a 2 night stay at my 2 bed, sea front holiday apartment* worth over £500.

The apartment is self catering with one double en-suite and one twin bedroom. Included in the prize is a luxury welcome hamper full of delicious local Yorkshire farm produce, towels, complimentary toileteries and even your own white waffle bathrobes. So if you want to stay in bed eating bacon butties and ogling some fit surf dudes for the entire weekend, well it's my pleasure ;)

Learn to surf at Dexter's Surf School at The Sands

Learn to surf at Dexter's Surf School at The Sands

Our swish seaside home from home

Our swish seaside home from home

For those of you who are slightly more adventurous or want to bring the kids, The Sands is just a stone's throw away from the brand new 14 million pound Alpamere water park boasting the biggest water slides in the UK and a tropical, heated infinity pool looking out to sea.

A map of the brnad spanking new 14 million pound Alpamere water park in North Bay, Scarborough

A map of the brnad spanking new 14 million pound Alpamere water park in North Bay, Scarborough

Peasholm Park with its crazy Chinese theme, complete with island pergoda and dragon boats is right on your doorstep. Depending on what time you go you could be treated to a war time military sea re-enactment, a mad old geezer in the middle of the lake singing songs and playing star wars theme tunes his organ or a quiet game of pitch and putt and a proper 99er (juice and sprinkles required).

Peasolm Park, Scarborough

Peasolm Park, Scarborough

If you're into cricket (or want to bring Grandad) Scarborough cricket ground is also a five minute's walk from the apartment and has got to be one of the prettiest grounds the sport has to offer.

Good old fashioned stripey deckchair fun

Good old fashioned stripey deckchair fun

There's also a mini railway to take you to the Sealife centre, an open air theatre that this week will play host to Noel Gallagher and of course the obligatory donkey rides on the beach.

Noel Gallagher's high flying birds (not Seagulls) are playing Scarborough open air theatre this week

Noel Gallagher's high flying birds (not Seagulls) are playing Scarborough open air theatre this week

Sorry but dId I just use the words Noel Gallagher and donkey rides in the same sentence? I mean, THAT's Scarborough for you and my advice is just roll with it.

So go on, get liking and sharing and hashtagging #housecandy and hopefully I will see you for a slap up fish supper in Scarbs. 

Good luck!

Claire x

*Subject to availability, terms and conditions apply

The crazy lady with the nice jugs

The really cool thing about buying vintage* House Candy is that each piece comes with its own unique story.  More often than not, this is House Candy that finds you, rather than you finding it, like this pretty yellow jug I bought on one of those idyllic Sunday afternoon family canal walks.

My closest friends know all about "the walk". It's the one my kids really didn't want to go on, it being the middle of the Euros and all. The one, despite the uneven ground and recent heavy rains, they insisted on bringing scooters on. The one that involved me threatening to leave home if I had to ease the boys' boredom by playing one more game of Guess Which Footballer I'm Thinking Of... That walk.

But whilst out on "The Walk", at round about the time my dog produced a sloppy poo and just before my husband threatened to throw the Godforsaken scooters in the canal, we came across a crazy canal boat dweller who had decided to have a clear out.

She had set up a stall outside the canal boat a bit like the ones my sister and I created outside our house in the school summer holidays. It was a table laden with unwashed tat from the houseboat. 

Among the crazy lady's treasures were a broken sound system, some scenic coasters and a dirty, ink stained jug previously used to hold biros. Everything was 50p because she "needed to make some space before the boat was advertised on Airbnb".. True fact.

Now it was either a canny sales tactic or a tragic sob story, but upon showing an interest in her wares (and therefore avoiding another round of guess the frikkin' footballer) Crazy Lady told me how loathed she was to part with any of these precious artefacts; particularly the lovely yellow, slightly chipped, very ink stained, old jug-come-pen-pot that I was now holding in my hand.

The sight of a shiny 50p did nothing to ease the pain - quite the opposite in fact. Instead my keenness to pay appeared to evoke more happy memories of blissful pen storage and happy letter writing on the lovely old (but overcrowded) house boat. It wasn't until my husband suggested she keep the change from a one pound coin and I promised to give the the jug a loving family home, that the crazy house boat lady agreed to a sale and the yellow jug finally got new owners.

I wasn't lying to the crazy house boat lady. I do, actually, love this jug almost as much as she did. I love it because it is the most fabulous shade of vintage yellow that is difficult to replicate on new ceramics.

I love it because a handful of cheap supermarket flowers and garden picked blooms look amazing just plonked straight in it without all that faff of fancy arranging.

And most of all I love it because it reminds me of The Walk that started badly and ended beautifully.  Ending - since I know you are so desperate to hear the moral of this story - with us all:

a) Realising that there are actual human beings out there who haven't even heard of the Euros and know nothing of the pressures of rushing through quality family time in order to get back in front of the telly before kick off.

b) Feeling blessed that we don't live all alone, going slightly crazy on the Leeds to Liverpool canal. But have each other for family walks (however painful they may be) and endless games of Guess the Footballer.

c) Understanding that House Candy doesn't have to be about full height Crittal windows or reclaimed Moroccan tiles. Sometimes it can be about a 30 year old chipped yellow milk jug, which during its time has proven to be equally good at holding pens and peonies.

Happy weekend all, hope you get to enjoy some family time and perhaps a little bit of House Candy.

Claire xx

*vintage meaning stuff off of someone else


Chuck in the ChinTz

The Candy Files: What's hot, what's not and what's what at my place. This week:

House Candy = Chintzy dresses

Grazia does granny chic.... and I think I'm in love.

Grazia does granny chic.... and I think I'm in love.

I'm a year older than last we met and am struck by a sudden and overwhelming desire to dress like a woman. Ideally the above just-tending-my-veggie-plot-whilst-wearing-full-length-toile-du-jouy vibe is the style I'm channelling, as introduced by my fashion bible Grazia (6 June issue).

There's a way to go until I can do effortless, everyday granny chic obvs, but just look how I've come on in a week. I mean, here's me chintzing it up at my sister in law's wedding, only last Wednesday.  

My eldest son George looking rather dapper and oh yes, that woman in the flowery frock and the fascinator? That'll be me!

My eldest son George looking rather dapper and oh yes, that woman in the flowery frock and the fascinator? That'll be me!

Not only do I now enjoy the therapeutic swish of a maxi dress (Alice+Olivia parrot print no less) but in my advancing years, I also appear to have warmed to that classic ladylike wedding guest sin - the fascinator.

I kid you not, a fortnight ago this could never have happened. Something inside me has changed. Take today for instance, there I was, minding my own business in a macho squat-thrust at the gym, when suddenly I knew. 

I knew that post-shower, I wouldn't be tucking myself into skinny jeans and throwing on a breton top this fine summer's day. No chance. I knew that instead, I would be reaching for a flowery frock and (sharp intake of breath) applying lippy to go to the supermarket.

WHAT HAS HAPPENED? Will I ever be the same again? Is 41 the end of the world as I know it? Is the next stage watching Gardener's World with a French stick and a half tub of Brie? Or can it all be explained away by the high pollen count and the RHS flower show? Any help/ advice would be much appreciated.

Fine and Candy = Chintzy glass

A recent kitsch glass bud vase. And  that  stool again (see previous post)

A recent kitsch glass bud vase. And that stool again (see previous post)

Cut glass bud vases, retro jars, cake stands... the granny glass obsession was already out of control before I brought home this minty green trifle bowl from my seaside trip at the weekend.

My seaside souvenir - Just an impossibly pretty £1.50

My seaside souvenir - Just an impossibly pretty £1.50

Also good as a bedside trinket holder for chucking off the chintz come night time.

Also good as a bedside trinket holder for chucking off the chintz come night time.

I can see that I'm going to have to find me a bigger painted display cabinet to manage this situation. Damn.

Painted orange display cabinet. Image from Pinterest.

Painted orange display cabinet. Image from Pinterest.

Candy Pandy = Chins

I like my face best with just the one of them thank you. And since this birthday marks two decades since I last told the truth about being 21,  facial yoga begins today.

Facial yoga fish face

Facial yoga fish face

 Want to do it with me? Well okay but only if you're wearing a frock. Altogether now.... www.youtube.com/facialyoga

Enjoy the sunshine all (SPF 50 for me) What's going up and down in your world this week?

Claire xx


How Jungalow living is Made.com

I'm feeling this dining alfresco vibe, big time. Yesterday the sun was out for long enough to much my avocado and tomato topped rice cakes right there on the patio (but not quite long enough for me to finish my lemon tea). 

I'm now on high alert for the next outdoor dining opportunity and I need to be ready.

Thank goodness then for Made.com and their boho inspired Lyra range that is currently available for Express Delivery.

This six seater glass topped dining table is perfect for creating the Jungalow style I'm seeking for outside my kitchen window and, at only £299, it leaves me enough cash to splash on extra potted palms. 

Lyra 6 seater dining table in Green by  Made.com

Lyra 6 seater dining table in Green by Made.com

A pair of matching chairs will set me back £179 and with their painted metal legs bringing this classic vintage look so very up to date, I am hugely tempted to add them to my Choose Day shopping cart. (I know, it's Wednesday but the Bank Hol threw me okay?)

Alternatively, the mix and match option works just as well. A quick lush green spray paint on that dated rattan here, a palm print cushion there...

(I'm crazy about this Botanist scatter cushion £12 from Sainsburys) and you're good to go.

Dispatch for The Made.com Lyra range is minimum 2-3 working days, so if you're planning on being alfresco ready for the forecast mini heatwave, I suggest you click here and proceed immediately to checkout.

Have you had your first taste of summer dining yet? Let me know about your outdoor furniture finds and your thoughts on mine below.

Happy heatwave all. 



Spring Garden Shelfie: How to not waste time on planting

I didn't start the day all that bright and cheerful but two things happened that changed my mood.

1) My favourite girl popped in for a cuppa.

2) I put some pretty coloured Daisy's outside my kitchen window. 

Boom. Happy bomb landed, right there.

This old plate rack (the top of a dresser actually) was sat doing nothing in my garage when I went in looking for garden tools. At the weekend I will get round to painting them in Farrow and Ball's new Vardo no 288 for a bit of that mood enhancing gypsy vibe it does so well. A sample pot or two will be enough for this job.

Farrow and Ball's gypsy caravan inspired Vardo paint 

Farrow and Ball's gypsy caravan inspired Vardo paint 

Exterior paint will also make wooden shelves stand up to the elements whereas left outside, untreated like this will just result in warping. If you do want an au naturel look, seal them with a waterproof coating such as yacht wax.

Try the local fruit and veg market for bedding plants like these Bellis Daisy's that can be picked up in trays for under £10. I got 15 for £7.50 - That's cheaper than a nice bunch of flowers!

The idea wasn't to stand them all on the shelves at all. There was a plan involving top soil and digging, but you know what, I didn't have time. So I stood them on the shelves, plonked the shelves outside my kitchen window, did the washing up and inhaled a great big breath of happy.

What do you think? Let me know in the comments section, I'd love to hear from you.

Enjoy the sunshine all.


Pod Goals

Hello weekend, wanna hang out?

Bonsai Cocoon £155  www.amara.com

Bonsai Cocoon £155 www.amara.com

I haven't imagined those long, hazy days of summer have I? Those days where the only decision that really matters is whether it should be a Magnum or a lower calorie Solero before the afternoon snooze?

But here's another dilemma to contemplate whilst we're waiting for the mercury to rise. Should our new hanging garden pod be in accent colour OTM turquoise (above), or would it be better to blend in with the foliage i.e this lush leaf green version below?

Tough one isn't it? I won't even confuse you with the other two colour options available from luxury lifestyle brand Amara, but if you're curious, click here for details.

What is without doubt however, is that being suspended from the trees, cocooned amongst a bed of faux fur cushions, legs dangling languidly in the summer breeze, THIS is how I see myself whiling away weekends as soon as weather permits. I mean isn't that peep hole just the perfect place to watch the kids exhaust themselves with water fights and swing ball, whilst you sip Strawberry Daiquiri from the safety of your tree pod? I guess there's still the worry of a badly aimed Nerf Gun, but I'm prepared to take my chance.

I know I've already spoken of open toes this week and now I'm onto outdoor capers ... and I'm yet to clap eyes on a new born lamb. I'm rushing things right? It's just that now's the time to do the garden prep so that when the sunshine actually does make an appearance, lounging time is ON. 

What do you think? Are you tackling the garden situation yet? Why not drop me a line with your thoughts on summer weekend wasting below?

Happy weekend all,

Claire x