Hello lovely ones, Ruth here again. Many of you will know that our fabulous Charlotte has been walking 10,000 steps a day throughout March to raise money for Cancer Research #walkallovercancer. I have been keeping an eye on her progress (from the comfort of my sofa, toast in hand) and not only has she been hitting her steps target, on a couple of days she has done over 20,000 and many more around the 15,000 mark! Amazing woman!
She has discovered many beautiful walks in and around our city and I know she has really enjoyed being joined by friends along the way, all in support of such a great cause.
Cancer affects so many of us. My mum has had breast cancer twice, my unbelievably awesome friend beat it in a mindblowingly dramatic fashion and other friends have thankfully had it diagnosed early through our brilliant NHS. Cancer Research do amazing work and without the funds raised by people such as Charlotte, well, it doesn’t bear thinking about to be honest.
We have been so touched that our customers and local businesses have sponsored Charlotte on her epic journey over the last month and as one final fundraising push we are holding a bake sale this coming Saturday (March 30th) in Spektakulär where you can come in, eat cake, donate (honestly, every tiny amount counts) and hear about Charlotte’s daily ramblings. Walking that is, not her usual ramblings.
It starts at 10am and will finish when the cake is gone and if you have ever experienced Charlotte’s baking then you know you are in for a treat – it is fantastic! She hilariously suggested this morning that I bake too. Don’t worry, I like you all too much for that…
When I was growing up we didn’t do Mother’s Day in our house. Of course my brother and I brought home the tat we were forced to make at school – enjoyable only for the break it gave us from Mr Woolridge and his fury at our inability to recite the 7 times table. Paper daffs, cardboard rosettes, mum figures made from loo roll inners – year after year of shoddily constructed offerings. Here you go mum, you’re welcome.
As we got older though we found that mum didn’t want Mother’s Day presents or even cards. She thought that if you needed to be told once a year to appreciate all her hard work, her unconditional love and the patience that we gave a daily battering to, then something was drastically wrong. So we stopped. No cards. No presents. No breakfast in bed. We thought nothing of it, that’s how it was. I know, I know.
Then I became a mum. Ellie was 9 months old on my first Mother’s Day. ‘She’ somehow forgot go to the shop and get me my first Mother’s Day card. First Mother’s Day – yep, I’ll say it again. First. Bit special. Y’know. I’m over it now obviously (so not) but from that year onwards, I bought my amazing mum cards and presents whether she wanted them or not. Bit of free advice here, err on the side of caution and get down those shops and maybe not just when the card shop tells you it’s time to think of her.
So, what to buy? You could go down the traditional flower route but we don’t sell flowers and this blog isn’t for nothing you know – it’s to tell you of all the wonderful gifts we have in Spektakulär Home and Spektakulär Gifts that are perfect for the wonderful mum in your life. Oh, where to start?!
Personally, feed me Lakrids Liquorice and you are guaranteed to be my favourite child (listening you two?) In 2007 the first Lakrids by Johan Bülow shop opened in Svaneke. The idea was to cook the liquorice in the shop, making sure that you could smell it in a radius of 100 meters. It worked. Everything was sold out within two hours. The last customer even bought the sample bowl on the counter. It is AMAZING!
For lovers of natural body and skin care – we stock the luxurious and almost edible smelling range from Mirins Copenhagen. The company is one of our most loved and offers bath and body care products, using only natural and organic ingredients. All of their products are free of preservatives, free of synthetic additives and free of artificial perfumes.
All products are developed based on Herbalism and Aromatherapy, to enhance the mood in addition to pampering the body. Just gorgeous.
For something a bit different we have our Spira faces bags. We love these so much – the cushion range has long been one of our best sellers so we were delighted when they started producing matching bags. If you can find one that looks like your mum then you are totally aceing Mother’s Day and if not just buy her the Frank one – we all love a bearded, tattooed sailor (what, just me?)
I have blogged about Lindform before but to save you the bother of trawling back through, let me describe this amazing brand again. The inspiration for Lindform vases comes from Scandinavian nature with its organic tones and simple shapes. The company is a Swedish family business started on a small scale in 2007. They have since then grown to be a brand that is synonymous with Scandinavian design and quality. Each piece goes through several hand made processes resulting in wonderfully tactile, contemporary designs. Perfect as individual pieces and stunning in a group they have been a great seller for us here in Spektakulär since we introduced them a couple of years ago.
So, lots of ideas for you there and we have so many other ranges that would be perfect for making her day. Absolutely no excuse this year you lot…
p.s. I spend a ridiculous length of time stressing over the apostrophe in Mother’s Day – is it your mother’s day or the day for mothers? I’d go the latter to celebrate all mums but gave in to majority rule #virgo x
After months of sitting still and eating more rubbish than ever my body decided it did not like me very much anymore and my mind was all over the place (not in a good place)! After we came back from Sweden I started to walk again and saw the add for Cancer Research #walkallovercancer. I knew straight away this was something I wanted to do, good for myself (as I know my mind is in a much happier place when I exercise) and do good for someone else!!
#walkallovercancer is a way to help raise money towards Cancer Research and together we will beat Cancer. Every day throughout March I will walk at least 10000 steps a day. Some days this will be easier than others. Please support me by donate here to my fundraising page. We will also create some boxes in the shops so please pop your spare change in there and best of all 30th March (day before Mother’s Day) we are having a BAKE SALE in our HOME shop at number 15 Colinton Road. So please save the date and join us then for homemade Swedish treats!
This will be a true challenge for me as I know myself and I am one LAZY lady and I give up so easily. It will also be a challenge for my family as I am making them walk with me, but also a fantastic opportunity to explore the beautiful Edinburgh and also to catch up with friends. Yesterday I walked for an hour with a friend while our daughters were at dancing and we walked around Craighlockhart Nature Park. Today the family walked (girls scooted) from Craigleith to Davidsons Mains via the bicycle path and we visited the grounds of the stunning Lauriston Castle. These are places I drive past but never explore, Edinburgh truly is stunning and I think this will be a month of me really getting to know this city I have now called my home for the last eleven years.
Even if you can not support me with money please do support me by follow me on our Instagram stories I will need all the encouragement I can get and please do pop in to the shops and ask me how am getting on!
We are absolutely delighted to invite you to our FIKA FRIDAY! By now you should know that FIKA is the Swedish word for Coffee and Cake :)
Once a month starting this Friday 1st March we will invite you to a FIKA FRIDAY. This is a FREE event, it is a fantastic opportunity to catch up with friends or family while browsing the shops. Enjoy a coffee and a homemade Swedish treat on us. Check out the new designs in the shops and let us help you find wonderful treats for yourself or gifts for your loved ones. We are thrilled to welcome you in for a chat and FIKA. Bring a friend and please do spread the word. The more the merrier as they say!
I am a keen baker, always baked but lately I cut it down a lot as I am also the one who eats it all (well I might share some with the family) and apparently it is not good for me to eat a whole cake (who knew)!
So I am sooooo happy I can bake and share it with you. Don’t take me wrong, I will try my bakes first to make sure it is tasty. My bakes will be traditional and modern Swedish treats. Basically because that is what I know. And that is what I am teaching my girls as well. I might adventure to try something new and if you think I really should know how to bake a Victoria Sponge well feel free to share your best recipes. One tricky thing with these recipes are that I only bake in DL. However 10 dl is 1 Litre and 1 dl is roughly 100 ml. I never weigh unless it is butter, but it says on the package and I am never spot on…crazy I know!!! I will share my recipes with you here on the blog, I just need to translate them first but they are pretty straight forward I would say :)
Looking forward seeing you tomorrow for our first ever FIKA FRIDAY!
As someone who loves a huge acrylic statement necklace (Prue Leith has nothing on me) I surprised myself this week when I fell in love with our new range of jewellery. Showy and shouty they are not – Timi of Sweden produce beautiful, delicate pieces and our new delivery is a super sweet selection of their wish bracelets.
TIMI are a new brand to us and we are delighted by the love our fab customers have already shown for the collection. The company creates a mix of youthful, happy and fun accessories packed with unexpected details and was founded by fun loving fashion enthusiasts. At the moment we stock their Make A Wish bracelets but are looking to extend the range to pins and necklaces. They are beautifully packaged on individual cards and make lovely gifts.
The tie part of the bracelet is made from 100% silk cord and attached is a beautifully made charm made from either silver or gold plated brass. There are so many different styles to choose from – geometric shapes, nature, animals, hearts and they look great alone or as a stack of 3 or 5 (I can only do things in odd numbers, always looks better!)
The idea is to make a wish as you tie them on and over the months of wear, the silk will disintegrate slowly and once the bracelet finally falls off your wrist, your wish will come true. Once off you can always tie another piece of cord to the charm or just add them to an existing piece of jewellery so you can continue to enjoy them (this will not affect your wish, I promise.)
As usual, my dilemma is just which ones to go for – way too much choice! Don’t wait too long to come and have a look, I expect they will be very popular over the coming weeks…
The Kinks once wrote a song called ‘Have a Cuppa Tea.’ Not the most rock and roll title for a song, it’s basically about how much tea Ray Davis’ granny made (imaginary granny? Not sure, I’d like to think not.) Here’s a few of the lyrics…
Tea in the morning, tea in the evening, tea at supper time, You get tea when it’s raining, tea when it’s snowing. Tea when the weather’s fine…
The point is – just like granny, I drink tea ALL THE TIME! Who doesn’t? If you don’t love tea we can never be mates (bit harsh maybe, gin will do as an alternative.) All of this means I was absolutely cock-a-flipping-hoop when last week we had our first delivery in Spektakular from tea worshippers VIVA Scandinavian. A new brand to us, they stick to the Nordic design principle of form following function and use premium quality glass, cork, silicone and porcelain to create elegant products for casual and connoisseur tea drinkers alike. I’m neither casual nor connoisseur – I only drink vats of builders tea but their range of tea pots and cups has seriously made my heart sing.
VIVA’s collection maximizes infusion for better taste, aroma, colour, and ultimate enjoyment. Using innovative filters, double-walled glass and non-drip pouring mechanisms, they make brewing easier, enjoyable, and more tasteful than ever. Each item is hand-made by skilled artisans, using carefully selected materials, meaning their tea-ware reaches us (and then you!) in beautiful condition and stays that way for years.
Below we have the super stylish Nicola teapot in white and cork – imagine that bit of design joy on your shelf! The Nina teapot in charcoal is a modern spin on the classic teapot. It features a large comfortable handle, textural finish and distinctive smooth shape. Finally, my favourite, the Bjorn – I don’t know why but I love see-through tea pots, something therapeutic about watching the brew inside swirl and darken. We have in stock the 0.75l size – perfectly suitable for normal tea drinkers, maybe a bit on the small size for me!
Of course, you can’t drink tea without cups and luckily VIVA also do a fine range of these. The Minima Balance cup has a removable infuser and will give you the perfect brew without any fuss – no teapot? No problem! Anna and Andy are different sizes of VIVA’s Anytime Cup and are cheekily designed to look like disposable paper cups and yet are made from porcelain. My favourites I think are the Nicola thermo cups which come as a set of 2. They are super stylish and fit perfectly in your hand – I wish I was allowed more mugs in my house…
We also stock their stylish and useful Tea Egg – fill it with loose tea and simply pop it in a cup of hot water for a quick tea fix. Finally we have the rather lovely Nina milk and sugar set in charcoal, a stylish and useful addition to your tea making kit.
As you can probably tell, of all the fantastic deliveries we have had recently in the shops, this has been a particular favourite of mine – while writing this blog alone I have had 2 cups, tough job. Right Charlotte, get that kettle on!
Happy New Year lovely ones! Hope you all had a wonderful time, are fully recovered and back in some kind of routine as opposed to constantly looking bemused and asking what day it is!
As with every new year, there are a lot of hashtags doing the rounds to encourage us to give something up after the excesses of the past few weeks – #dryjanuary #veganuary #nomorequalitystreeteveragainuary (ok, made that one up, but I know you get it.) Personally I am giving up holding onto things that don’t make me happy – clearing out all the ‘stuff’ in my house that I once thought I needed or liked but now mock me from dusty piles and stops me actually loving my home as much as I should. In some respects it’s just a case of my tastes changing, since working in Spektakular I have morphed from full on Cath Kidston/60’s kitsch to aspiring Scandi (with a deep love of 20th century modern but they are luckily a perfect match!)
Can I add here that I have never read or watched Marie Kondo but I am guessing we are on the same page here! I am gathering my army of Ikea bags (naturally!) and am itching to clear my shelves of books I’ll never read, ornaments I no longer notice, dvds and cds that lie redundant on sagging shelves and many, many half finished craft projects. I will donate, throw away and recycle with a force rarely seen in a middle age woman and won’t rest until my house is a minimalist dreamland (it’ll still be filthy but at least I’ll be able to see the dirt – hoorah!)
In the calm after this clearing storm, I will gather my now small collection of much loved possessions and actually enjoy finding new spots for them where they will shine and bring me joy again. I know that this will not only have a physical effect on my home but on me too – room to breathe and a calmer place to just be.
This is of course all very Scandinavian. They are the masters of pared down design and functionality – yes things can be beautiful but if they can be useful and/or multi-functional too then all the better. Now that both our Spektakular shops have quietened down again and we have recovered from a brilliantly busy 2 months (thank you to all our amazing customers for your support!), we are starting to rearrange our stock so it flows and connects and yes, makes us happy to be in the shops! I truly believe that nothing should be bought halfheartedly, money is short for a lot of us and one carefully picked piece that brings years of joy is worth 10 bits of ‘stuff’ that we will resign to those big blue bags in 6 months time. We take great pride in what we do and believe in our brands and hopefully have the balance right between (for example) simple beautiful objects like the Lindform vases and Sence jewellery and the stylish but functional pieces like Aveva and Sagaform. I dislike the word curate – it is very overused but it does make sense sometimes so I’ll let it in on this occasion – come to Spektakular Home and Spektakular Gifts and begin to curate your own collection of design happiness (maybe have a mini clear out first, no need to go full Marie Kondo though!)