Wednesday, 29 July 2009

Tips on hosting a dinner party...that will keep you sane

Here are some tried and tested tips that will help you prepare and enjoy your dinner party:

1. Keep the guest list manageable - six to eight people is perfect. Remember to separate couples boy-girl-boy-girl. Whatever your seating strategy, do some planning and remember about place cards!

2. Invitations - if you want your guests to feel special, send them paper invitations. This will establish your dinner party as a must-attend event.

3. Make sure the decorations are warm and inviting - handmade napkins, candle lights, plates - make sure it's classy.

4. Buy nice wine and make sure it's flowing. Get wine suggestions based on your menu at

5. Make a point of uncomplicated and satisfying menu - choose a can't-miss crowd pleaser (like pasta and meatballs) to headline your menu and serve with a nice salad.

6. Dress to impress - GIRL MEETS DRESS, the ultimate boutique in recession dressing, offers choice of designer dresses to rent for a fraction of the price.

7. Relax. It's that simple. You will be surprised how affordable, stress-free and fun it can be to entertain at home.

Good luck!

Links I love:

Rent a dress at GIRL MEETS DRESS

Boost your kitchen confidence with tips and inspiration from the Kitchen Aid at

Find creative and irresistible dessert ideas like Mixed Berry Gratin with Champagne Sabayon from one of my favourite chef's, James Martin at

Modern and contemporary design made in design at

Saturday, 25 July 2009

How to source Tradespeople

With every house maintenance there are some golden rules you can't afford to miss as this is when your hopefully well-thought budget comes to play. Forking out any amount of money, it is essential to get right people for the job.

So here is how to get this all important decisions right.
  1. Get three quotes
  2. Check references - it is vital to do so to avoid disappointment
  3. Word of mouth recommendations - speak to your friends
  4. Compare quotes - don't necessary go with the cheapest but the one that strikes the best balance between price and quality
  5. Written agreement & schedule of works - make sure you get written agreement clearly outlining work to be done with an estimated time frame
  6. Check Trade Associations - member firms would have been vetted and if things go wrong, there should be a complain procedure in place
  7. Finally - never pay the whole amount in advance!
Here are some websites for firms accredited to an official governing body:

General trades: TrustMark

Good luck!

Thursday, 23 July 2009

Why hire a Personal Assistant?

To some people hiring a personal assistant seems like a luxury when they first consider it, especially during the global financial crisis. But the return can be far greater than the investment.

Here is an example of the customer I worked with.

Three months after having her second baby my client returned to work part-time and decided to put family house on the market. She surely needed help during this particularly hectic period.

At first she felt embarrassed to invite me, a stranger, to the physical chaos of their home but because I approached her with professionalism and politeness, her dignity was left intact.

In a relatively short time, I helped her to convert finished attic from a storage space crammed with junk into a beautiful and functional home office. This has allowed her to work from home and has eased her transition from maternity leave back into professional life. In addition, when estate agents came to value the house they mentioned that the room we had rescued together would be especially appealing to potential buyers.

Sunday, 19 July 2009

The Scadinavian Luxury Lifestyle Home at Georg Jensen

Inaugurating four new Flagship Stores in New York, Taipei and Copenhagen Airport the Scandinavian Luxury Lifestyle brand Georg Jensen will be welcoming customers into a contemporary Scandinavian luxury home environment, creating a unique and inspiring shopping experience. 

Georg Jensen is truly leading, trend-setting and surprising international luxury goods brand anchored in jewellery and watches. 

Proud of their Danish roots, faithful to the unique design language, committed to history of quality and craftsmanship, their mission is to delight and surprise customers worldwide by delivering unique products of superior design and quality, underpinned by unrivalled customer service.

I would recommend checking out their new The 2009 Fusion Collection, which features timeless pieces like bangles, rings and earrings

Handmade Sunday evening on

It's Sunday before Monday again. While David, my partner of 4 years, is busy redecorating the hallway (he pulled out the ladder and is hanging to it in the most bizarre position known to the mankind) I found online shop called Etsy. 

Etsy is a place to buy and sell vintage and handmade products. If you are looking for a special gift idea, why not visit for personalized and very unique piece.

There is a special offer on Free Worldwide Shipping.

Each of the items available on the site comes from sellers offering free worldwide shipping throughout their entire shop (unless specified beneath the item) this weekend only, Friday, July 17 through Sunday, July 19, 2009. Be sure to act while the freight is free; simply enter the code "weekend deals" in the Message to Seller field during the checkout process to receive your free shipping discount. Browse the expanded Free Shipping Guide for more discounts running this weekend only!