A couple of weeks ago…no a FEW weeks ago Ruth sent me this, since the blog is something I seem to be very good at neglecting I have asked my jolly team to write guest blogs now and then. I guess it would be super if I posted them as well. Sorry Ruth (I bake you something)! So here you go, we are a dedicated fan club of the amazingly talented Ingela P Arrenhius and am delighted her illustrations and and designs are now a part of our Lilla shop.
I fell in love with IngelaP Arrhenius‘ work even before Lilla was a twinkle in Charlotte’s eye, when a close friend bought me one of her cards for my birthday 6 years ago – I still have it on my shelves! I have always loved anything retro and 50’s influenced and since we introduced her range to Lilla I have become completely Ingela obsessed!
Ingela is a freelance illustrator, based in Stockholm, Sweden. She has always loved to draw and loved anything with drawings on them – stickers, comics, even junk mail with illustrations. She was heavily influenced by her artistic parents – her mother makes silver jewellery as a hobby and her father collected art and movie posters – and she remembers a big cupboard in the kitchen which was always full of paper, colours, clay and crayons.
We introduced a few of her pieces when Lilla opened and we were delighted to find that our customers immediately loved her just as much as we did and so the range has since grown and grown! Our biggest hit in the early weeks was a gorgeous tin tea set – we all wished it came in adult size! Last week we had a big happy delivery of brand new Ingela delights – beautifully crafted wooden animals sets, suitcases, kaleidoscopes, drums, puzzles, building blocks and the most amazing death-defying stacking acrobats – I had a very happy Monday going through it all! We already stock posters, cushions, plates and cards with her cheeky, cheerful designs and now we have a designated Ingela area – that’s how much love there is for her here at Lilla! Come along to the shop soon and see for yourself, she will definitely brighten up your day!
Welcome to the world of Tulipop, it sure of a magical island. I personally adore this Icelandic brand! And our lovely Ruth has written a little blog for you! Enjoy!
Been anywhere nice this summer? Portugal? Greece? Next time how about somewhere a bit different? Somewhere where you can hang out with the coolest new friends in a magical place – come with me to Tulipop!
The enchanting world of Tulipop, dreamt up by mother of two Signy and brought to life by her best friend Helga, is an original, beautiful and magical children’s range unlike any other. Launched in 2010, it is now an established, award-winning brand and all of us here at Lilla have our firm favourites. For me it can only be strong and silent Fred – he is adorably gothic and only eats one thing – ink-cap mushrooms, which accounts for his beautiful black colouring (he is also part reindeer – another reason why he’s the one for me!) His friends are a just as strange and wonderful. Bubble is a shy, dreamy little boy who spends his days reading romantic novels, playing hopscotch and eating blueberry pancakes. He loves all the colours of the rainbow and his favourite sweet is blueberry pancakes with a dash of maple syrup. Gloomy (don’t be fooled by her name!) loves surprises and playing pranks. She enjoys singing, twirling, writing secrets in her diary, telling ghost stories and catching fireflies – see, she’s far from gloomy! What can I say about Miss Maddy? This super-gifted, multi-talented prima donna is the star of the circus. Her world renowned signature stunt is a perfect split jump through a golden ring of fire and she likes nothing better than being told how wonderful she is! When not being generally super-splendid she loves to eat strawberry ice-cream soda with lashings of whipped cream and a cherry on top. Last but not least is someone else I have a soft spot for – Mr Tree. Also known as Woody, he is a mild mannered, good-hearted chap and the oldest of the Tulipop clan. He hasn’t got a bad bone in his body although some may find him scary because of his diamond eyes and two horn-like branches sticking out of his head. His only weakness is his obsession with gemstones and the most beautiful jewels in his collection were formed from tears of true happiness, as Mr. Tree has the gift of transforming tears into diamonds. Do you think living in an amazing world like Tulipop might be fun? We certainly do and Lilla has everything you need to transport you there – stationery, lunch boxes, bottles, cutlery, crockery sets, bags, lamps and much more. Come in and find your favourite (but remember, Fred’s all mine!)
As you might be aware I am home in Sweden during the summer (as usual) and while I am away the lovely ladies are looking after the shop and also enjoying blogging a little. Time for lovely Ruth!
Summer holidays – yay!! When I was school age the summer seemed to go on forever and it was ALWAYS hot! Not so much now it would seem – hmm, we definitely need things to keep our little things entertained when the weather isn’t playing ball.
I love Lilla, it’s a place of happiness and has wonderful stock but the company I fell in love with instantly when we were setting up the shop is Oskar and Ellen – they made me squeal slightly with excitement and definitely brought out the silly side of me. Charlotte and I did spend quite some time parading (prancing?) around in the heads and tails dress up kits but what I really love are their imaginative play sets.
Stina dressed up as a shark
Lovisa our little wolf
There is a great range – pirate ship, castle, space rocket, circus (scary-ish clown included!) farm yard, airport, but my favourite has to be the stables. There are 2 booths inside for White Diamond and Black Beauty (or Angelina Jolie and Thunder as my daughter has just renamed them!) and Olivia the stable girl has a grooming brush to keep them in show condition and is obviously quite the rider as she has a first prize rosette. The outside is beautifully embroidered and everything packs away inside the stable so you can take it anywhere.
I would have LOVED this when I was a kid – it’s never too late, you will find me in Lilla throughout the summer, cantering around the shop with Olivia – come and play!!
During the summer you will get a few guest blogs by our amazing ladies at the shops. Yesterday we took on a new brand to us, and this is by two local mums. As you know we are strictly Scandi focused! This is the first time (and probably the only) I have ever bent that rule and I do that only because I believe in this product so much and I really feel passionate about the Brug. Rachael has written a wonderful blog about the Brug and please do pop in and try it out for yourself, I am taking one with me to Sweden for the summer! Charlotte x
Hello lovely Spektakular blog readers, my name is Rachael and I can be found in Lilla most Friday’s and Sunday’s.
We have so many amazing products between the two shops but I wanted to take a minute to introduce you to one of the very newest, the Brug from Wunderlife.
As a mum to a VERY active toddler, I am always looking for products that will make things that little bit easier, saving me time and allowing me to concentrate on the more important things in life!
The Brug is a fantastic product designed here in Edinburgh by the lovely ladies from Wunderlife, with exactly this ethos in mind.
What is a ‘Brug’? I hear you cry?
Well… it’s a shoulder bag that transforms into a rug!
The Brug is water resistant, lightweight, machine washable and folds away into a neat pouch when not in use.
A day at the beach or the park? It’s perfect to stow all your kit; chuck it all on the Brug, pull the draw strings, fasten the buckle and zip, and you’re off. The long straps allow the Brug to be worn on the shoulder or across the body, keeping both hands free, and even fits nicely across the buggy handle. Once you’re there, it’s super quick and easy to unpack, and with the Brug laid out, you have a base for the day.
Ideal for travelling, holidays and camping too, the possibilities are endless!
But it’s not just for outdoors, the Brug is perfect for use in at home too. What better way to contain the Lego, or even the PlusPlus, on a visit to grannie’s? Or just a handy way to clear way the toys once the little ones are in bed and reclaim your living room.
Personally, I love that the Brug is machine washable. As someone who only has to look at a drink to spill it, and with two messy men in my life (Husband and Toddler), being able to stick the Brug in the washing machine is perfect!
Come along to Lilla, to find out more about the Brug. Touch it, try it out and you might just love it as much as we do!
I am not a person who spends a lot of money on beauty products. I probably should, I mean I am hitting my mid 30’s and lets face it I eat crap, live in a city and always feel a bit stressed, surely that can not be good for your skin. I think that it comes and goes in stages of life when I spend lots of money on a special cream or mascara but it just ends up not being used and I throw it away after a while (when it does not smell as it should any more).
Last Autumn we introduced a new brand at Spektakulär called Mirins Copenhagen. When we went to Copenhagen in November we went to say hi and what a lovely lovely couple (due date that same day so now with an addition to the family) and Jane does for sure know what she is doing as a certified Aromatherapist. All organic and natural ingredients and the smells are just so lovely. I am also super delighted how well received Mirins has been at Spektakulär.
Mirins have five main aroma blends (and some limited editions now and then for special occasions such as Christmas). These five blends are:
Calming: Lavender and Bergamot
Happiness: Rose, Geranium, Orange and Mint
Intuition: Patchouli, Geranium and Rosewood
Purify: Grapefruit, Rosemary and Tea Tree
Recharge: Ginger, Lemongrass and Lemon
Don’t worry I had to google some of these ingredients as well! But while using the testers at the shop I found the recharge aroma is my personal favourite.
I have myself the hand cream which is the best hand balm I have ever used. And just before opening Lilla I somehow managed to lick my lip so badly it looked like I had injected botox so I invested in the lip balm duo and after just a day or two with Mirins Lip Balm Recharge it calmed down and I felt like I normal person again. I need to buy a new bar of soap, previous one lasted since January (which is very good in our house) and it basically smelt the same from first use to the last. And the body scrub, yes my feet loved it! Hmm think I might treat myself to a foot bath very soon!
Lip Balm Duo
Body Scrub (Recharge)
Last night I treated myself to a bath, you know one of those baths without little ones and late at night. Now that is pure luxury to me. I had bought the Mirins clay mask a while ago and gave it a try. I mean it looks like clay/chocolate/poop (imagination of a three year old) but the smell oh what a beautiful smell of lavender. Mirins have three clay masks depending on your skin type, I invested in the one for normal skin. After a few minutes of dreaming away that I do not live in a flat in a big city but in a huge house (actually does not have to be huge) on the country side with a huge bathroom and outside it is summer and I can smell the garden and enjoy the peace and quite, the clay started to dry and it is quite an odd feeling, almost like your skin is starting to pulsate. But wow after cleaning it of, my skin was soooooo smooth and I could really feel and even see the difference it made. Now I am no expert, I have no education in beauty and I would never consider making any beauty products of my own. But I am a firm believer in when you find a product you enjoy and makes you feel happy well enjoy it and try to remember that feeling of luxury. It is worth every penny!
At Spektakulär we do stock quite a large range by Mirins, from soy candles, bar of soaps to travel kits and the very luxury hyggen kit. So why not pop in and have a smell and test by your self and I do hope you will find a product you will love just as much as me. Next on my shopping list is the body balm in recharge, just love the freshness of the lemon grass and ginger.
And they also do a few bits and bobs for men, hint hint Father’s Day is coming!!!
I am not a hard core liquorice fan, I do enjoy it I mean I am Swedish after all (it runs in my veins) but when I am home in Sweden it is not what I need to fill my suitcase with (no then I fill it with chocolate and bread). So when I came across Danish Johan Bulow liquorice I did not have massive expectations but wow. You know when you put something in your mouth and it is just a pure pleasure experience, like a smell or flavour from childhood and you get all warm and happy inside. That is what happen to me! Zuzanna’s friend once said Johan Bulow is the king of liquorice, she is not wrong! Even Richard who is not that keen on liquorice enjoyed Lakrids (unless he is just pretending to keep me happy).
You just have to try it for yourself! I have a couple of favourites, first I am a coffee drinker and I tried the Dark chocolate and Coffee covered liquorice, oh hello that one I enjoyed a lot! But also the freshness of the White and Passion Fruit chocolate covered is stunning! However the Pink LOVE, gosh taste bud heaven and it is totally true what says on the box “With these flavour-packed mouthfuls, you get to experience a broad variety of taste sensations. First the intriguing taste of raspberry, followed by the intensity of dark chocolate, and then – just when you thought the ride was over – the tickling heat of Habanero chilli liquorice swirls around your taste buds” my mouth just exploded in flavours, wow!
They have four chocolate covered flavours which seems to be main flavours
A. Chocolate Covered Soft Liquorice (Belgian Milk Chocolate)
B. White Chocolate and Passion Fruit Covered Sweet Liquorice
C. Dark and Coffee Chocolate Covered Sweet Liquorice
D. Roasted Almond Coated in Belgian Milk Chocolate and Raw Liquorice Powder
As well as the pure liquorice sweets (no covers)
1. Sweet Liquorice: the one and only sweet liquorice you will ever need
2. Salty Liquorice: this is the true love for any Salty Liquorice fans out there
3. Red Liquorice: their answer to the american version, I would say it is better
4. Habanero Chilli Liquorice: the spicy one (sadly not in stock just yet)
5. Salty Chilli Cranberry Liquorice: created after request by the public (sadly not in stock just yet)
No 1. Sweet Liquorice
No. 2 Salty Liquorice
No. 3 Red Liquorice
As you are aware I do enjoy baking but I have never tried baking with liquorice. Seen recipes for years but since it is not as common as finding good quality liquorice here in the UK as back home I have just not done it. But now is the time for me to give it a go since we also stock the Raw Liquorice Powder .
On Lakrids website are some pretty amazing recipes. Think I should give these chocolate chip and liquorice a go, but the ice cream and oh wow even some brown bread with liquorice…oh my baking fingers are starting to itch!
Have I tempted you yet?
How about these lovely ones. Lakrids seem to introduce a few limited edition flavours now and then, for example I was given the Salty Caramel Chocolate covered liquorice for Christmas, that went rather quickly. For Easter they have a Mint edition (I thought I ordered it but must have missed it, sorry). Last summer was a Elderflower, oh I hope they will bring that one back.
Let me introduce you to the LOVE flavours. Two outstanding and simply lovely flavours that is good for all year around. Does not need to be for Valentine’s. We all need love now and then, so why not treat your mum this Mother’s Day or instead of an Easter Egg from the supermarket. new house gift, get well soon, the little extra to a wedding gift oh you name it. We all need love and for some it is an easy way to say it with chocolate so why not with chocolate and liquorice?!
Love Pink: Raspberry and Dark Chocolate covering a hot Chilli Liquorice (taste bud heaven)
Love Cerise: Blackcurrant infused White Chocolate covering soft Liquorice (very fresh and pleasant taste, perfect with a cup of tea)
I am not sure how I will be able to stay away from these. Selling things you love to eat is really hard. You just like to take another one and another one…so addictive! Self discipline Charlotte!!! On the other hand, I would not sell anything I did not love!
Wow finally… Some of you have been waiting for a long time for me to bring these two brands in to our little shop. And finally we have added a small selection of Stelton and quite a large by my new personal favourite Rig Tig.
There are a few brands that is impossible to miss and Stelton is one of them. I have a few Stelton designs at home which I love and use daily. I have a fantastic flask that is always filled with coffee (mulled wine) when I have FIKA at home. However, regarding high end and well know brands I am a bit careful to introduce them to our shop. It is not really who we are! But I could not resist Stelton’s Theo range. I mean just look at the fantastic Coffee Brewer…
Absolutely stunning! I need it for myself!
Stelton is a high end, well known Danish brand. They create high quality, stylish and functional designs for everyday use. Here is a little anecdote for you: they even teamed up with one of my early teenage crushes The Swedish Prince Carl-Philip (who actually is a great designer) and created the Stockholm collection. Which is very beautiful and do remind me of Stockholm.
We have started with just a few designs including Theo and Emma by Stelton but after a customer ordered the To Go Click Mug in Copper I think we need to add those to the next order, we all fell a little bit in love with it. We have not ordered the flasks or teapots in the Emma collection just yet but if you are interested please do let me know.
Stelton has also created a new more affordable brand called RIG TIG and I just love Rig Tig. Now these are practical and functional designs for everyday living. They come without boxes to keep the cost down, personally I do not think that matters, they are still beautiful. As you know I am a keen baker, do not like cooking, well who knows maybe I would, but having a picky family and a terrible toddler who refuse to eat ANYTHING I am not interested in cooking. Bakes no problem, she eats those for sure. Anyway Rig Tig have the most beautiful wooden utensils and I am in the process of replacing everything I have at home with these instead. Love them! But it is not only the utensils I love I also love the Parmesan grater and Dressing maker and the Storage jars…
All images are by Stelton/Rig Tig
Well I guess it is fair to say I am delighted with both Rig Tig and Stelton and we already are selling a lot which is the best approval by you. We got it right :)