Pastel Paradise Inspiration Board

Hi All

So its been wayyyyy too long since I posted an update on my blog but a lot has been happening.  Last Summer I decided to take the plunge and opened a new shop in Dublin called Island Living and its been a crazy brilliant few months.

I’m also delighted to be stocking the Amazing brand of Chalk Paint called Autentico (which I will writing many posts on).  Autentico is the most brilliant Chalk Paint for upcyling and giving your furniture a new lease of life.

I also want to get back to doing my Inspiration Boards and here’s one that includes some of the fabulous Autentico chalk paint colours (there are over 150 beautiful shades).  This Board ‘Pastel Paradise’ also includes an image for the Danish brand Greengate and is a taste of what will be arriving in store in the next few days.

So sorry again its been so long since I updated my blog but there’ll be lots more coming.  By the way my little shop is called Island Living and is located at No. 25 The Merrion Centre, Merrion Road, Dublin 4 and if you’d like to join me over on Facebook please come on over.  Thanks, Joanne x

Chalk Paint, Autentico

Autentico Chalk Paint Colours  & Image: Greengate

Posted in Beautiful Things, Colour, Colour Combinations, Interiors Moodboard | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Savoury Sausage Rolls

Sausage Roll 2 copy

I absolutely love sausages.  Aren’t they so versatile – perfect for breakfast, lunch, dinner? For me sausages are a real comfort food.  But add some puff pastry to the mix and whip up some sausage rolls – mmmmmm.  Perfect when your craving something tasty and savoury or they also make great party snacks/nibbles.  Hope you enjoy these as much as I do xx


400g good quality minced sausage meat (if you can’t find the pre-minced one just buy pork sausages and remove the skin), 1 tsp mustard, 1 finely grated granny smith apple, 50g cranberries, 50g macadamia nuts, 1 tbsp worcestershire sauce, Pinch salt, Puff Pastry (I use the store bought one  – 340g)

Blitz the cranberries and macadamia nuts in a processor until finely chopped and then place them into a bowl with all the other ingredients and mix well with a wooden spoon.

Roll out the puff pastry and spoon the mixture into the pastry, fold over and cut into strips (shape them in to whatever size you like).  When they have been cut into your desired shape fork the edge of them (dip the fork in to cold water) to seal the edge.

Brush the top with an egg wash for a nice golden finish.

Pop them in a preheated oven @ 180°c for about 40-45 mins.

These yummy sausage rolls taste best served warm with a little chilli sauce.

Sausage Rolls

Sausage Rolls

Sausage Rolls

Posted in Food | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Delicious Chocolate Cake

I’ve been under serious pressure, for years now, to produce the perfect chocolate cake for my other half who is a massive fan of chocolate cake and with the comparison of ‘mother-in-laws great chocolate cake’ I wondered if I’d ever win him over with a great Choccie Cake.  I’ve tried so many recipes and they’re never just quite right. I came across 2 recipes with elements in each that ‘sounded’ like they could be nice so I took what I thought would be the good bits from each recipe and below is the recipe and the end result piccies.  Its moist, rich and pure indulgence.

Chocolate Cake

Chocolate Cake

Chocolate Cake

Chocolate Cake Recipe

Posted in Delicious Food, Food | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Styling my Ribbon

I could spend hours browsing beautiful images and shots and swooning on such fabulous sites like Sweet Paul, Donna Hay, What Katie Ate and White On Rice Couple. Inspirational – oh yes BUT be warned – completely addictive.  There’s a lot to be said for beautiful images, especially when food is concerned and I just love how they style these shots – it just leaves me with my mouth wide open in awe of the beautiful food and beautiful styling.

I invested in a good camera a while back so my Easter Resolution 🙂 is to try and master it and (TRY) to start styling my own shots for my Home and Gift brand – Island Living that offers a range of fab floral aprons, linen tablecloths and tablerunners, cushions, throws, hanging hearts and lots more gorgeous country cottage style Home and Giftware.

My other half bought me some lovely pink flowers (brownie points for him as he knows I love, love pink flowers) – carnations and roses in 2 different shades of pink so I thought they would be perfect to use to showcase my Pink on Pink ribbon.   So my first project was to do a shot of my range of Ribbon and Lace and here’s the result.

Source: J Fennell @ Island Living
Pink Flowers
Source: J Fennell @ Island Living
Ribbon and Lace
Source: J Fennell @ Island Living
Ribbon and Lace
Source: J Fennell @ Island Living
Posted in Beautiful Things, Floral Inspiration, Product Styling | 3 Comments

Pretty Gift Wrapping

My take on contemporary style gift wrapping – gorgeous black and white saddle stitch ribbon and a little crystal heart.

Gift Wrapping with Saddle Stitch


Saddle Stitch Ribbon


Gift Wrapping, Saddle Stitch Ribbon

Posted in Beautiful Things, Pretty Packaging | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Vintage Suitcase Storage

I recently bought a set of gorgeous vintage suitcases.  They are so fab for storage – magazines, books, all my craft supplies, fabric and they look pretty funky too.

What do you think of vintage suitcases as a storage option?

Vintage Suitcases


Here are some other images I found on Pinterest:

Vintage SuitcasesSource: Pinterest

Vintage Suitcases


Source: Pinterest

Vintage Suitcase, Craft Storage


Source: Pinterest

Vintage Suitcase


Source: Pinterest

Vintage Suitcase


Source: Pinterest



Posted in Beautiful Things, Home Accessories, Storage Solutions | Tagged | Leave a comment

Lace Packaging

I love nothing more then to get a beautifully packaged gift and my mother-in-law really is the queen of wrapping.  I just got some fab new lace in stock and here are my attempts at packaging some pressies with lace.  Kind of pretty if I can say so myself 🙂

Cream Lace, Green Lace



Cream Lace, Pretty Packaging

Pretty Packaging, Packaging with Lace, Gift Wrapping

Posted in Beautiful Things, Pretty Packaging | Tagged , , | 4 Comments

Winter Warmer Veggie Soup

I’m trying to loose a bit of weight and eat healthier and I’m one of those people thats just not into dieting as I love my food way too much.  So I figured a hodge podge of veggies (full of healthy stuff) with a dash of a spice or two might result in a nice soup and I love experimenting with ingredients.  The result was absolutely delicious and the only problem is to try and restrain myself from drinking the whole pot – its a great hearty Winter Warmer Soup.


Veggie Soup

Posted in Food, Recipes | Tagged , , , , | 2 Comments

Bedroom Inspiration

Oh I love nothing more than flicking through beautiful housey images and thought a feature on bedrooms might be appropriate considering I spend so much time in it.  I’m one of these people that need an absolute minimum of 8 hours sleep and the result of getting anything less is not a pretty sight and I am definitely not a morning person.

Here are a few of my favourite pics – I love the simplicity of the use of mainly white in some images but the vibrancy of colour such as pinks and blocks of floral on bed linen or on a feature wall works beautifully.  Or a mix of pattern like gingham curtains and polka dot bed linen can work really well.

Oh yes I’m on the hunt for a rustic wrought iron bedframe so if anyone can shed some light on a good source where I can find one please let me know.

Okay so we might not all have high beamed ceilings or wooden tongue n groove floors and walls but the look can be achieved by carefully thinking about the colour scheme you would like and choosing key accessories like pictures or layering a bed with throws and cushions.  Lockers don’t have to be the traditional locker – think about quirky items like stools or old trunks or a stack of books.

If your thinking about decorating a room cut out clippings of images you love and ask yourself what you like about the rooms and gather a collage to build up a vision of what you want to achieve.  Another place to visit online is Pinterest (my profile – which is an INCREDIBLE source of inspiration but be warned its highly addictive.  You can pin images from websites with images that you like and easily create Inspiration Boards.  It can take a long time to get setup on it but if you want to send me your email address (to and I can request an invitation for you which is much faster.

Have a great weekend folks.  Joanne xx

Source: Country Living

Posted in Accessorise Accessorise, Home Accessories, Home Interiors, Home Interiors Inspiration, Inspirational Homes, Shabby Chic, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

10 Copies of Irish Country Magazine to Giveaway

What a fantastic week we’ve had at our Home, Gift & Lifestyle Store  We were asked to supply Home Accessories for the Garry Cohn designed Extension Feature at the Ideal Homes Show last weekend and the Arlene McIntyre designed Shabby Chic style room for xpose’s Lisa Cannon – the room looked amazing.

Yesterday I exhibited at the Women in Agriculture Conference at the Wolesley Hotel in Tullow with Nutritionist Paula Mee speaking and Neven Maguire doing a cookery demonstration – what a brilliant evening.  This great event was organised by the lovely ladies at the Farmers Journal/Country Living Magazine who have just launched the first edition of a new glossy lifestyle magazine called Irish Country and the great News is that we have 10 copies to giveaway.

Cow Print available on

Irish Country Magazine, a new glossy magazine published by the Irish Farmers Journal newspaper, treats us to a beautifully rustic interiors section, reflecting real Irish country interiors. One charming feature in their inaugural issue, which published March 29, depicts a pre-1750 Georgian-style farm home in Co Laois that has been given a distinctly traditional edge with its clever use of antiques and salvaged parts.  Another feature from their interiors expert Noelle O’Donoghue outlines a 10-point checklist for an affordable spring clean to brighten your home. All this, plus fashion, beauty, cooking, wellbeing, health, travel,  gardening and poultry, and it’s a must read for €2.99. Find in local newsagents and supermarkets or browse

If you would like a copy just leave a comment here and via an online generator we’ll randomly pick 10 names next Wednesday.  Good luck folks, Joanne xx

Posted in Competition | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 16 Comments