There's a new home accessories kid on the block. Actually it is more of a doing-things-around-the-house accessories store. MoreVibrant Home sells items like oven gloves, pan handlers, aprons, shopping bags, cushions, wash bags.
There's also a tie-in here with Mother's Day (March 18th). No, really! My first reaction is frankly, don't even think about giving me something like an apron as a present. But actually, when it comes to nice little things that your kids give you - well a few practical choices isn't so bad. If my other half gave me one though, definitely grounds for divorce!
The products on the site are gorgeous. Definitely more my style than Cath Kidston. And frankly, I'm never going to spend any sort of money on something like an oven glove, so it is quite nice to have a stylish one brought for you.
And there's more to the website than just selling stuff. The site hopes to also build up a community of folks based around how they use their stuff. As encouragement, there's also £50 prizes available to those that send their pictures in. I can't remember Cath Kidston ever offering to give me £50!
I do really love this concept. It sounds a little like Pinterest. I'm not an ideas person, so I do appreciate being able to see what other people have come up with. It hasn't really kick started yet, but I'll be keeping an eye on the page. For a chance to win, or to see some ideas, visit their Gallery.
We got a couple of items of theirs to try out. The apron, and the oven glove. Read on to find out how I got on.
Dusty Flowers Oven Glove
I never used to use oven gloves. I always stuck with tea towels, as I felt that it was too much of a faff to have to stop and pull on a glove. Then I was given one, and realised in fact that it saves you from burning your fingers every time you cook. And really, it isn't a faff at all if you've got a hook close by that you can hang it on.
The Dusty Flowers oven glove is quilted and made of 100% cotton. I am a bit concerned that the washing instructions say low temperatures only, as I know I can get some pretty gooey spillages on these things, and also oil or fat particularly when cooking a roast. Still so far I haven't stained them, so I haven't had to test that out.
They are comfortable, and seem to work just as well as my other gloves. They are a bit longer at the wrist than my other two oven gloves (both el cheapo's bought at Ikea), which is a plus. With my cooking I need all the protection I can get.
According to the website they're about 32cm long and 16 cm wide.
The good: the design is fabulous. I just love having something nice to look at, and I love having them out on display. Makes my kitchen look like a magazine photo!
The bad: as a gift, I wouldn't mind splurging out this much but I just wouldn't if I was buying for myself.
Overall verdict: 9/10
Love Bird Apron
The Love Bird Apron (£14.99) is pink. Very very pink. Far pinker than anything I own or will ever own! My best mate looked at it and said "wow, that's pink, that's so not your colour. Why don't you give it to me?"
But the thing is. This is the first apron I've ever owned. I feel silly spending money on things like this and no-one had ever given me one before. I felt quite chuffed. And then at a bit of a loss. I don't really know what to do with an apron.
Well for one thing, when you're baking you don't need to put your about the house clothes on! I made a tray of cupcakes with my son and was able to go straight out afterwards without having to brush off flour, or change. Result! So THAT'S why people use aprons. Who knew? Well just about everyone - I'm late to the party as per usual!
The apron is 100% cotton canvas. and this makes it quite resistant to spills and splashes. Also very light. The website says it measures 80cm in length. The bit that goes around your neck is attached on side via a button, and there are two button holes for adjusting. I found it really difficult to get the button on the bottom one, and impossible to fit it into the second one - the button was just too big.
Confusingly the site says that the apron has two pockets. The site is new, so perhaps that is just a copy and paste error. The other two aprons sold on the site have pockets but this one doesn't.
It is my first apron and I love it. I really like the cotton canvas, that's a really nice material to use for this purpose. It is light so when the kitchen gets really hot it doesn't feel uncomfortable. I also love the pattern on the front, and a nice touch is that this pattern is repeated on the ties.
The good: adjustable strap, nice pattern, good looking but practical material
The bad: buttonhole problem, a bit pricey considering there's no pockets, only a great colour if you like pink.
Overall verdict: 7/10