Festive Beasts and Where to Find Them

It's the office party at House Candy HQ and what a bunch of party animals we are. 

OK, truth be told it's just me and a load of animal shaped paraphernalia with ribbons round our necks, but hey, I've been to worse Christmas do's (and the obligatory mannequin challenge is going to be a breeze). 

Here's how the idea for a wilder take on trimming up came about.

Nothing I found in the pile of Christmas decorations stored up in the loft filled me with any joy this year. I took one look at all the tasteful gold baubles, the pretty, frosted white tea light holders, the au-naturel garlands bearing faux mistletoe and any festive spirit that had been there, suddenly drained away.

2016 does not feel like the year for sticking with the norm where Christmas is concerned. As Grazia so perfectly put it this week, it started with the death of David Bowie and went down hill from there. It's been a car crash on a global scale, so no wonder it needs help getting into party mode.  For me, that help has arrived in the unexpected form of a fat little penguin from TK Maxx. Mr Popper here got me thinking...

My Party Popper £8 TK Maxx

My Party Popper £8 TK Maxx

My place has turned into quite the ornamental zoo this year. No trip to the second hand market has been complete without an animal themed trophy of some sort, be it a vintage brass heron or a yellow ceramic deer head. These fellas have lifted the tone of my interior to new levels and it occurred to me that they could easily do the same thing with Christmas. 

I'm not alone in my thinking that it's the animals having all the fun this year. John Lewis clearly got the brief and its seasonal squad of trampoline-ing wildlife has captured the nation's heart.

My four legged friends (2 in some cases) can't do party tricks, but my God do they know how to rock a festive ribbon. Let me introduce them to you:

My House Candy Party Animals

1. The Horny Host

Find me at the Baaa?

Find me at the Baaa?

2). Babycham

3). The Grumpy Git Who Loves You Really

4) The Unlikely Pairing

5). Seasonal Stalkers

6). Feathered friends

"Have you seen what she's wearing?"

"Have you seen what she's wearing?"

If Christmas Party at the Zoo feels like a totally appropriate theme for your mad house, but you haven't hoarded quite as many animal themed ornaments as me over the last 12 months, worry not. Here's a roundup of some totally gift appropriate festive beasts and where to find them in time for party season. (Just don't forget the ribbon). 

1) Monkey bottle holder

2. Flamingo Wall Hanging

3. Felt tiger head

£69  Uburnara

4. Swan Vase

5. Beagle Bust

£60 Abigail Ahern at  Debenhams

£60 Abigail Ahern at Debenhams

So there, no reason for any of us to feel alone this Christmas and please, PLEASE don't keep your festive fun to yourself. Let me see what fantastic beasts are residing at your place. Share them with me on Twitter or Instagram @myhousecandy using the hashtag #housecandyparty or post a pic on my Facebook page to come and join the party.  

Have fun all!

Claire xx 



Day three: Call the quack

"It's better to be ridiculous than to be boring," said Marilyn Monroe. Allegedly. Right before she was wheeled off in a straight jacket.*

Whether or not they were her exact words is debatable. But I don't think you can really argue with the sentiment. That's why I've decided to adopt it as my style memo. At least for this week. It's my 11th commandment; Thou Shalt Not Bore.

So for another accessorising idea that could never be described as boring: Rubber Duck lights in your kitchen. Like, who does that?

IMG_0604 (2).jpeg

Um, all I can say is, it's unlikely you'll know the joy of a string of rubber ducks lighting up your kitchen until you have a string of rubber duck lighting up your kitchen.

I stumbled upon the joy by accident really. I was clearing out the attic and found a box of stuff from George's nursery. Since I couldn't persuade him to have them back (and I was going through a major yellow crush at the time) I strung them up defiantly in the kitchen. And here they've stayed. 

Look, I'm not saying wooooaaaahhhh aren't I just the coolest mum and the craziest decorator or anything. I really don't think that's a statement you can make with a string of light up rubber ducks. 

What I'm trying to say here is that playful interiors kind of make for a happier and far less boring place to be. If you find stuff in the attic that makes you smile, get it out there. Even if it's a bit ridiculous. Do you get my drift?

These ducks remind me of the first decorating job I took seriously. My first baby's bedroom. He never slept in there of course. He wouldn't sleep anywhere unless he was clinging to me. Which makes me wonder... you don't think he was scared of the mad string of ducks hanging over him do you? Jeeezzzzzz.... If only I'd made his bedroom boring.

Maybe you oughta try bunny rabbits instead. Nobody's scared of little white bunnies, right?

Bunny garland £19.90  www.notonthehighstreet.com

Bunny garland £19.90 www.notonthehighstreet.com

Got any childish lights or quirky accessories that look better for being in the wrong room? Let me know what you think to this idea and any others that I've been playing about with this week. As always, it would be great to hear from you.

*As far as I am aware Marilyn Monroe was neither medically insane, nor ridiculous.




bling IT ON

I was wondering how far to go with the bling at Christmas and this happened.

Claridges 2015 Christmas Tree

Claridges 2015 Christmas Tree

This year's Claridges Christmas tree, designed by Burberry - they who made the humble rain mac fashionable - is made up of that other British bad weather staple, brollies. Not any old brollies mind. This is Claridges and these are luxed-up designer metallic umbrellas in ALL the gorgeous shiny hues that have enjoyed the style limelight this year. Clever huh?

It’s inspired a whole new post on alternative Christmas trees which is on the way later, but in the meantime I felt the need to bring on the bling at my place. Here’s how I’m doing it: 

1) With black

Because black and gold is the new, um, black of course.

2) With Pom Poms

Metallic pom pom set  www.notonthehighstreet.co.uk

Metallic pom pom set www.notonthehighstreet.co.uk

Because it’s Christmas and you can... which in my book means you should.

3) With Pineapples

Because they’ve become a bit of a My House Candy trademark and that’s all fine with me.

4) With Glitter

Glittering eyes poster  www.etsy.com

Glittering eyes poster www.etsy.com

Because when it’s wet and cold and someone just poked you in the face with their umbrella (gold or otherwise), it helps to see the world with glittering eyes. 

5) With frames

Because any excuse to string festoon lights around an old gilt frame feels like Christmas to me.

Happy blinging everyone. Let the festivities begin :)