Day 5



I am as always not organised, I gave myself a task with this and I am already struggling and am only on day 5 so please do give me ideas or suggestions what you like to know about Spektakulär or something from the shop that makes you happy.

So today when I was out walking my steps for Cancer Research, I walked around a deserted Edinburgh. I have seen it like this before but only when late or early, never in the middle of the day and especially not on a Sunday. Walking at the moment feels so odd and uncomfortable but people are very very good at giving each other space. The only busy place was the Meadows and it was not too bad. When I got up to the Castle and saw that basically there were less than ten people there I relaxed a lot and I managed to snap this photo. I did walk a long walk to the shop today. We still need to go and check on the shop so there are no leaks, overflows, broken windows or vandalism. And while walking I was thinking about today’s picture for my challenge and it became this one. It is, to be frank a pretty terrible picture, but this was the view that made me fall in love with Edinburgh 13 years ago.

How do you chose a town/city/village to become your new home? Often you stay near family or you go with work. We, well we met in London and in 2007 the company we both worked for went into administration while we were on holiday in Scotland. Richard is from Aberdeen and we were up to visit his family and drove around Scotland. In the middle of the panic of losing our jobs (and for Richard who worked for that company for 15 years he felt he was about to lose his family), we travelled to spend some time in Edinburgh. I remember Richard took me here and even if it was raining I just fell in love. Almost a year later we left London and rented a flat in Edinburgh (which we still rent today).

What I love about Edinburgh is that it is a small, beautiful city with nature so extremely close. 20 mins from the city centre you have hills, fields, water and another hour you will be in the highlands. One of the things that made me feel at home quickly here is that the nature is very similar to home. It is full of independent shops and cafes, it is family friendly and welcoming.

Yes I often, basically every day want to move, either home or to the country! My dream home is a comfortable charming house full with nooks and crannies plus a big garden. I guess we all need to have dreams and this is my biggest dream and running my own shop of course.

So today’s happiness is Edinburgh! If you have never been please do visit (once it is safe to do so) and please do come and visit the shop and our great neighbourhood!

Charlotte x

Day 4

Spektakulär at home!

Was not sure what to post today, I think I need to sit down and write a list of what to post when. However this morning I was sent this from a customer. A little photo collage of Spektakulär at her home!

Spektakulär at home!

WOW!!!!! And I mean wow! What a wonderful treat to receive and a fantastic reminder that we do in fact inspire to create homely homes.

Thank you Sandra! This really made my day!! I love those Pappelina rug colours, the sea grass and storm are personal favourites!

If you have designs from Spektakulär, feel free to share them with us! It truly makes us happy and is a huge motivation to stay strong and keep going.

Have a wonderful day! We are chilling, think a little bit of the “fun” home schooling will take place today such a designing a playpark and write a short story! Otherwise not a lot, had waffles for brunch and I shall make more coffee and sit down with a book. I will walk over to the shop later to check post and make sure it is all ok and to get my 10000 steps for #walkalloveercancer.

Charlotte x

Day 3


Day 3 of my happy photos from the shop and today I like to tell you a little bit about one of our most amazing brands we sell in the shop. So it is not just one photo but many. However the photo of our neighbour Brian is probably the one I like the best! Pappelina is one of the brands I just adore so much, and I am sure you know all about it because I have gone on and on about it for years, in fact almost ten years as we are about to turn ten and Pappelina has been with us since the start.

Pappelina is now as much part of Spektakulär as I am. It has become my mission to sell you a plastic rug. Rugs, woven in plastic or fabric, is a very common feature in most Swedish homes as we have wooden floors and no carpets (the carpets was a trend in the 60s and 70s but is basically banned (by trendsetters) now). UK has a different way of living and I can see why the Scandi lifestyle is appealing as it is completely unique. Or is it? Not to me, as it is part of how I grew up. So my naive me ten years ago thought selling plastic rugs will be super easy however it certainly has not been a easy sale ride, but wow we have worked our socks off, and we have noticed how much you are falling in love with them and how much you feel you need one, not want…need! I am so proud of my team who all fallen in love with Pappelina and made it our mission to sell you a Pappelina.

Right what are the benefits of a Pappelina rug, well first of all it is easy to wash, a smaller one you can just put in the washing machine (amazing when you have a puppy), please read instructions here. They are comfortable under bare feet, non slip, allergy friendly, long lasting, water resistant, non toxic, functional and stylish. Perfect in every home and room, why not take them with you when camping?! And best of all they are made with pride in Sweden!

So yes Pappelina is part of what we are and stand for. We are a Scandi (or indeed Nordic) shop that bring you bits of Scandinavia to the UK. We aim to give you the wonderful feeling of creating a homely home. We all spend a lot of time in our homes and making your home cosy, welcoming and warm is our mission. Never have LOVE YOUR HOME been of such importance, as we are now stuck indoors. I need you to imagine your home as your happy place. And that is what we are about. We are not an expensive shop, we are affordable (like most small independents) and we are quirky. We love colour and we love functional. And Pappelina belong at Spektakulär because it stands for the same as us. To create a lovely home!

This was taken the night before the day we open our Lilla shop and there we had three display rugs, which created a bright and happy place!

So if you already have discovered Pappelina, why not send me your photos and tell me why you love them. Or if, wow I MUST HAVE ONE is a feeling you feel right now, then once we reopen come in and see us and we can show them to you. Or if you already know which one you like, then get in touch and I can order it for you. It might take a bit longer at the moment but it so will be worth it! I am personally saving up for a large one for the girls bedroom. Plus I think I need one under my dining room table.

Happy Friday! Am about to head out for my 10000 steps and I am sure I have gone full on grey this week trying to be a patient teacher…Stina built a fab eraser tower instead of doing her subtraction and I think it took her four, F O U R hours to do nine sums….arrrgghhh my heart is actually hurting from the stress! How the hell do teachers stay so positive!?!

Day 2

My 30 day happy photo from the shop challenge needs a better name! So please give me some suggestions!

I have started to upload images to a photo printing company online, I haven’t printed a photo since Stina was a toddler! Which is terrible so I guess this is a great thing to do, got a few years of catching up! Before Christmas I went to see Meik Wiking promoting his new book, the Art of making Memories. He reminded me about the feeling looking though old photo albums. And yes I remember that feeling going to my grandmother looking through her albums. And I see how excited my own girls are looking through albums at their grandparents when we visit them.

So this morning I found this photo, and wow this was from a VERY happy time! Pretty much on the date, four years ago, the opening of Lilla, our beautiful beautiful children shop! That Lilla nearly bankrupted us and that the opening was weeks before the horrible, awful, evil brexit that floored me, and that I am still fighting that depression it caused me four years later is another story. Because right at this very moment I took this photo of my girls I was extremely happy!

Here we are so excited, all of us, I was hiring fantastic staff that are still with us (some not but we are still in touch), the shop ladies (Ruth and Zuzanna) at the time were so excited and worked so hard! We were painting, building shelves and here I was unpacking a HUGE delivery full with fun and stylish Scandi toys and designs for a lovely nursery. My two daughters who are both a huge part of Spektakulär was “helping” me unpacking and checking stock was playing with the boxes. Stina couldn’t get out, she got stuck so Richard had to lift her out by her feet, oh the giggles and silliness! It truly was a precious moment and this photo is a great reminder of a happy memory!

Today we are having a chill day, both girls were up last night, three of us had nightmares, we definitely think the Bogeyman came for a visit. So not a lot of sleep. So we will be reading, craft, colouring, playing with our toys and I think Monopoly is on the agenda plus a nap! At the moment we are catching up on old school work which we all gave up on at the time but today it makes sense.

Have a great day and please do send me requests on what you like me to post and also I need a better name!

Charlotte x

30 day happy photo from the shop challenge!

Day 1!

Our Spring shop window at the moment! It is bright and welcoming and I can not wait to go back to the shop and welcome you with a smile.

Oh wow what a roller coaster these last few weeks has been. When I started the Walk all over Cancer 1st March I was not excepting to have to walk up and down my flat as much as possible. Never has this flat felt so small (and it is not a small flat). However I am not alone! All of us are in the same boat and we are all trying to stay positive. I am trying to be a good teacher and it has proven me very difficult. I did not choose to home-school my children and I am so so grateful for all you teachers who choose to be teachers. Day 3 and I think today might actually be a good day of school work, but it is not even lunch yet so we shall see.

As a small business we obviously trying to survive but we are a non-essential business. Yes of course it would be a amazing to make your home look fantastic during the next three weeks but I think we should all just calm down, stay at home and hopefully this will go away sooner. I rather we all do what we are told for three weeks than being stuck indoors much longer. And lets just give our NHS a break!

You can give me a shout and tell me you like to order something and yes I can put aside for you but I wont go to the post office unless emergency and this is not an emergency.

Good news is though that we are building a webshop and I feel we got three weeks to get it to look nice and homely but most of like us, Spektakulär!

Ok I am about to read with the older and the little one is about to start a 30 day LEGO challenge. This homework I like! However I think I shall put up a happy picture from the shop a day (that will be my 30 day happy photo from the shop day). If you like to see something special let me know!

Charlotte xx

Spektakulär is sadly temporarily CLOSED!

Unfortunately we have taken the decision to CLOSE Spektakulär temporarily! It was for sure not an easy decision, but I just could not face weeks after weeks of us not being allowed to leave our homes if it gets any worse, so lets try to stop this.

For now however I can post any beautiful designs you see on our social media, I will be in the shop now and then, so you can collect when I am there or we can deliver locally. We can take payments over the phone, I do have a portable card reader and we also have a paypal account. Mail order, postage is at a standard £4.50 for small parcel 1st class signed for (however if you rather not meet your postie we can sort it). Over £75 is free shipping.

This is crazy! I am not sure how else to describe it! To look outside and see the blue skies, wake up to light mornings, the wonderful Spring sun, listening to the Spring birds and feeling refreshed by the air. To tell the girls no you can not go and play with your friends and no you can not go to school! I can not spend time with my friends and I can not keep my shop open as unfortunately there will be people who are ill who does not respect the advice and will continue to spread it. Yes even if we are tiny, only so many people in the shop at one time we can not guarantee it is safe. And I need my staff to be safe!

But trying to stay positive, some days are and will be easier than others! I am trying to see what we can do at home right now. I am, believe it or not, a tiny little bit excited about spending time with my family. The girls have grown up with a mother who has dragged them around with her business constantly on her mind so now I shall spend some time with them. I have a massive pile of books to read, films to watch, cakes to bake, letters to write (!!) and I also thought it is time to get knitting again. Those projects I have thought: ha what a joke…when will I have time to do them? Well now perhaps! Most of all I really really like us to go hill walking, it has been something I have nagged my city family about, so as long as it is safe to do so. However seeing on the news people going crazy on the hills and car parks overflowing with people and litter…well that is not so good. Plus our car has broken down so we just have to wander locally for a little bit.

However one more thing I will do!!! WEBSHOP!! Yup about bloody time you think! Actually this is what I am supposed to tell you rather than going on and on about all the other private stuff, feelings and thoughts!

I have been so reluctant to create a webshop as I know it is so much hard work. It is everything I am not, I truly believe in small shops, personal service, good chats and it is so good for a local community. The whole meeting and greeting other people idea! However now is another time, so now I shall build a little webshop. I am pretty sure it will take me a couple of evenings/weeks, some bottles of wine, lots (and I mean lots) of bread dipped in lurpac plus throw in some foul language…but then we should all be fine.

I will not be at the shop daily but I can be flexible if you like to come and collect. Richard is working from home and I do need to continue to walk my 10000 steps a day for Cancer Research. Even though right now I am feeling less inspired to do so. A fast walk will most likely be good for my mental health and fresh air is good for us all. Plus Cancer wont stop only because Corona is here! Please sponsor me, it will be needed and it will keep me going! Link below!

Stay safe wonderful people and be kind! To yourself, your neighbours and our fantastic planet. Do not overspend on rubbish you will just bin, make sure you check in on the elderly lady down the road ( if you have energy) and make sure you respect the advice and stay in if you are not well!

Charlotte x

Charlotte’s Walk All Over Cancer 2020

Save the date!!! Saturday 28th March, bake sale and raffle at Spektakulär for Cancer Research!

Like last year I have signed up for the 10000 steps a day challenge in March! Now this should be simple, I mean it should not be difficult to walk 10000 steps a day. Our lives surely should not be so stressful that we use the car everywhere! Hmm but it is actually not the easiest. Some days of course super easy, I walk to the shop…BUT it’s only about 6000 steps…well that is disappointing (of course I have to walk both ways)! Walk the kids to school, around 2000 steps. And so on, but to get those steps in I need to actually walk further and more often. Which is hard for someone who loves her sofa, and netflix, and wine, and everything but exercise!
I have my waterproofs, I got comfy walking shoes and I have sorted the library app so I can listen to audiobooks and of course positive podcasts!

So what did I learn from last year, firstly we never put petrol in the car, win win for both our budget and the environment. Second, I felt much better about myself and walked faster after a month of everyday walking plus the amount of friends I caught up with (am very grateful for those who met up with me at dark nights or joined me while I was walking to work, those steps were the easiest). Third I found lots and lots of wonderful new routes and discovered a Edinburgh that has been my home for more than 10 years.

Finally I did find out that I am absolutely rubbish at fundraising!!! So I need your help! Please sponsor me here on my fundraising page and join me while I am out walking over at our Instagram @spektakularltd

A wonderful customer gave me lots of advice so yes of course we will have our bake sale again and I believe we shall have a raffia as well! This weekend I shall set it all up, it is time to advertise my daily walks (turns out my marketing skills is not as up to scratch as they should be), and it is time for me to start walking! So why on earth am I doing this??? Well of course I am doing this for all of you who suffers from cancer. We all have someone we care about and love that has sadly been affected and cancer is as we know truly evil and I am so grateful to all the research and the hard work that goes on in trying to help everyone who are affected. Walking 10000 steps is actually nothing compare to those wonderful heros who daily helps people with cancer.

Charlotte x

Say Hello…

How are you all? No, really – how are you all? It’s been ages since I’ve blogged, somehow time has just slipped away and now here we are mid February in between storms Ciara and Dennis (why don’t I have a job making up storm names?)

This time of year can feel a bit bleak. It’s freezing, wet and still pretty dark but we have lots to look forward to and all around us nature is showing signs of hope and new life. Last week was Valentine’s day – I hope you all had a day filled with love of whatever kind you choose. I actually bought myself a card this year (no, not sad actually!!) just because it was a really cool one and because I’m lucky to have me. I didn’t write in it, just stuck it on the fridge but it makes me smile seeing it every day.

I love cards – who doesn’t? I have a drawer full at home, none of which will be sent to anyone as I like them all too much. Yeah, I know… From working in Spektakular though, it’s pretty obvious you all love cards too and because of this we have just upped our game and restocked with a whole load of new ones – many of which will be heading to my special drawer I’m sure.

There are so many occasions that merit a thoughtful hello or message of love. There are of course the obvious ones – birthdays, new babies, weddings, new homes, get well soon cards but I have checked other holidays for this year and here are a few you might not have in your planners…

Send all the amazing females in your life a card on March 8th for International Women’s Day. There’s Siblings Day on April 10th although you might want to wait until August 2nd which is National Sisters Day (apologies to all the single children amongst you but think of the money you’ll save.) International Kissing Day on July 6th? Now that one I am putting straight in the diary ;-) October 25th is a crucial one – International Mother-In-Law Day, think of the brownie points you’ll get for remembering that one! Finally for now is probably the most important one of the year – November 13th is Kindness Day in the UK. Why not just send a card to someone you think needs a virtual hug or a reminder that they are not alone – it could make all the difference to them.

Our new cards are amazing. We now have a whole spinner for our ever popular minicards. We love these but they were a nightmare to display so we thought we’d go crazy and ordered a million more and a special stand too! There are special occasion ones but also lots of ones you could send all year round for no reason other than it’s a lovely thing to do. We also have some new suppliers of standard size cards and these are already a huge hit with customers and staff alike. My personal favourite is the You’re My Favourite Bad Influence card from Divine Savages shown below – I have too many people I could send this to though – I know, lucky me!

Getting a card for no reason in particular is one of the surprising and simple pleasures in life – come and have a look at our new stock and send some happiness.

Love Ruth xx

Back to normal…and party planning!

Hejsan, hej, tjenare!!

How are you, how was your summer? I really hope it was enjoyable. Myself and the girls headed home to Sweden for five weeks. Wow you say, that must have been such a fab holiday! Weeelllllll I am not sure I would call it a relaxing holiday!! Yes we go home, yes it is wonderful to speak my own language (basically the only thing I know in Sweden these days) and it is great to go home to be with my family. As you might know I am one of many many siblings and it is always great to see them all. One of my younger brothers had his first baby (sadly after we came back to the UK) which is so lovely! It is however hard to relax when you live in someone else’s home and you constantly worry you are in the way so no, it is not really relaxing. Returning back to our own flat and my own bed was actually quite nice. However this place, this place, sitting in the sand and just breathing that certainly makes me homesick! It is a small beach in a little village outside Alingsås. It is comfortable and it is easy for me to be in the water with one child that according to herself is an excellent swimmer (not true) and a non swimmer. My happy place! If I ever won the lottery, I would buy a house here!

Our local beach by lake Mjörn

Slowly we are returning to our normal everyday routine life with school, activites, work and all that stuff. For some it is super boring (missing the lazy days by the beach perhaps) and for some it is needed. For me it is needed, I personally need structure and planning to stay happy and most of all I need goals. Small goals, something to look forward to. And do I have something for us all to look forward too!

We are entering the month of September, normally a stunning month, still warm, a hint of crisp in the air and some trees will start to change colours. Autumn is my favorite season and not only that, September is also Spektakulärs Birthday Month. NINE we will be this September! Blimey!!!

Nine years of Scandinavian designs here at Holy Corner! I am not going to lie it is a huge mix of emotions and it has been full of challenges. But mostly happiness! We are so lucky to be part of this community and we do like to give something back. So during September we like to treat you a little bit extra! So what do you think? What shall we do? Well let us kick it off with a FIKA FRIDAY next Friday the 6th. Coffee and Cake on us! Pop in anytime between 10-12 (or until it runs out). Bring some friends, browse the shop and treat yourself or someone loved. You know we do love gift wrapping!

A typical Fika Friday at Spektakulär

Last year we had a fab day, we had birthday prizes and we were also up in our ears with Swedish buns from Soderberg . It was a great day and of course I would love to recreate the same wonderful atmosphere this year if not even better! So go on! Let me know what you like to see in the shop this September, what would make you join the party?

Charlotte x

Spektakulär Specs

Sunshine!!! This week we were treated to some beautiful Edinburgh weather and wow, doesn’t it make a difference? People are smiling, the mood is a cheerful one, we only need 3 heaters on in the shop and life is sweet. Ok, I am typing this after a day of cloud and drizzle but the sun will be back – we are having another glorious summer this year I promise.*

I buy sunglasses all the time, it’s a bit of an addiction – similar to the one that has led to a mug/cushion buying ban in my house. The ones I wear the most though are my mum’s old Raybans, simply because they make me think of her and on days like today when I am feeling tired I can safely hide behind them.

Having said that, I am now going to have to get my purse out again and reinvest my wages as Charlotte has just taken on a new range for the shop and they look amazing.

Proving that sharp, modern eyewear doesn’t have to cost the earth, Danish company Have A Look has a full range of quality glasses and sunglasses at fantastic prices. You can choose between plus and minus strength, while sunglasses come both with and without lenses. We are expecting a delivery of reading glasses and sunglasses and there are even bifocal sunglasses – glasses that only have a prescription lens in a small area at the bottom of the lens, while the rest of the lens has plain glass and acts as a normal pair of sunglasses. The lenses offer UV protection, of course bifocal glasses are practical, because they act both as normal sunglasses and as outdoor reading glasses.

The styles are modern and sleek as you’d expect from those ice-cool Scandis so there is guaranteed to be a style to suit everyone.

See you on the sunny side, Ruth xx

*please remember a glorious summer in Scotland can mean 3 days so I cannot be held responsible for any crushing disappointment…