Little Lovelies from Liliputians.com

“Clip it” — Now that’s a slogan we need in this house! We are always looking for pretty and practical hair accessories and so we were really happy to be introduced to Liliputians.

hyde park headbandWe were sent a few styles to review and they’ve been worn out and about by my two very curly-locked little girls.

The Hyde Park headband joins a drawerful of plastic and fabric-covered headbands, but this one seems truly the most comfortable. No horrible poking feeling behind the ears, in the words of my four-year old. And it looks good. It sits and stays put. She’s worn it to school. . . and, quite unbelievably, she’s worn it all day!

The Marylebone flip clip is probably the favourite of the bunch. It’s a distinctive colour, nearly a duck egg blue but slightly greener, and unlike a plain metal slide, it’s gentle. Despite a generous bow, it doesn’t sort of tip over or move around. It stays put. I’ve clipped it onto locks of hair or a small French braid.

marylebone clipsThe Cotton Tail is a well-made scrunchie. No trailing hems and the fabric is a soft, satiny cotton. Easy to pin up ponytails. And easy to take out.

cotton tails

. . . and a Cottontail hair scrunchie.

The quality of Liliputians’ hair accessories is very good indeed. At prices of £1.99 – £2.99, these pieces are extremely good value for money, considering I paid £4.99 for six horrible metal hair slides from H&M recently.

liesl headband

Rockin’ the Hyde Park headband in an urban scene. Worn with ivory cotton and tulle skirt and fluffy Hello Kitty print hooded jumper. Groovy.

Covered in soft, well-finished and substantial fabrics and trims, these are well made and will, trust me, be well used.

Thanks to Lili from Liliputians for entrusting us with her lovely products for this review. Now go and have a browse in the online shop: www.liliputians.com!

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Local Business Chat with Vicki of Victoria’s Sponge

victorias spongeThis busy mum of two is making strides in her baking business, creating beautiful and delicious works of art for families celebrating special occasions all over London.

We pinned her down for a moment to ask some not-so-pointed questions.

Er, please read the interview before scrolling down to look at the cakes. . .

Q: How long have you been baking? 

I’ve been baking for 3 years but only taking orders for the last six months- It’s always been a hobby and a hit with my family and friends who have pushed me to take it up as a business.

Q: Which is your favourite cake, speaking, ahem, professionally of course? 

I know this is going to sound boring but my absolute favourite and speciality is my Victoria sponge. I do love making and eating this!

I also really enjoy making the tiered cakes–because at the end you stand back and have an instant WOW factor. I’ve made some huge cakes: one was 24 inches tall and the bottom tier was 20 inches in diameter. It fed 400!!

Q: What made you want to go into the baking business?

I started this as a hobby when I was quoted ridiculous amount of money for a cake I wanted and thought that I could do it myself. Ever since then I have found a passion for cake making and believe we shouldn’t be ripped off my some of these cake shops! ! My family and friends have pushed me and given me the confidence to do this as a living.

Very admirable. And we couldn’t agree more about not wanting to be ripped off. So it’s been a smooth journey in business then?

Oh no. I do have some funny stories. A bridal customer took her finished cake and promptly dropped it. I’ve burnt cakes, broken cakes, forgot to put ingredients in cakes, worked through the night because we had a power cut in the day. But it’s all part of the
fun and there’s nothing better when you see your client’s happy face!

It’s also nice when they send in their pictures celebrating their most precious moments with one of my cakes!

Oh my. You are really very dedicated to your craft and your customers. And we are happy this is all turning out so nicely for you and you really seem to be enjoying what you do. Just one last question that we can’t resist asking: Do you believe you can have your cake and eat it too?

I will take this as can a cake look good, taste good and not cost the earth- yes, you absolutely can!

And on that note, feast your eyes on some of Victoria’s beautiful and lovingly made creations.

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Victoria’s Sponge is based locally, but she serves customers in the Greater London area. You can find her business listing on Mumsnet Local – Redbridge.

Inklings of Spring

So it’s the end of February, the sun is shining, daffodils are everywhere, and my neighbour is on his driveway sunning himself in a tee shirt and jeans. As I sit near my kitchen window, I am squinting to see the laptop screen. These are all good signs.

TVB(1)

Another inkling developed this week when I had the pleasure of speaking to Saba Rais, the new owner (as of January 2014) of The Village Bookshop in nearby Woodford. She is an ex-lawyer, turned writer, who is following her dream, so definitely in good company there. She sent over some lovely photos of her shop which is completely refitted and restocked and hosting book signings and reading groups for children.

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The Village Bookshop