Tuesday, 20th September 2016
We know we're all in mourning for the future of GBBO, but let's bask in the excellence that remains for the next few weeks. And on that note, it's batter week. Oh my.
Who on earth has ever tried to make uniform Yorkshire puds?! Surely the beauty of them is that they're all over the place and somewhat wonky? Never before have we heard the word 'finesse' linked with yorkies; although 'mind over batter' may now be our favourite phrase, along with 'batter the devil you know'. Oh, Mel and Sue, whatever will we do without you?!
Our favourite Yorkie Pud: Jane's Meat & Two Veg. Could you beat it? And they look beautiful.
The Technical: Lacey Pancakes. Sure, it's very pretty, but we'd be wondering where the rest of our pancake was...
Candice - "It's a heart shaped pancake. I’m not sure who would wear it..." We agree, Candice. We’re not sure lace belongs in the context of food!
The winner: Benjamina. She's one of our secret favourites! Seriously pretty pancakes!
The Showstopper: Churros (forever more to be known as Churros Kemp). How on earth are you supposed to make a showstopper out of these? Spanish doughnut origami?
Our winner: It's Benjamina again!
Selasi, we're desperate for you to pull your socks up.
Kate, we've rather enjoyed your company, and we'd much rather you'd stayed than Tepidly Toxic Tom.
Next week is pastry week, and the return of the Soggy Bottom!
Friday, 9th September 2016
Today is NationalTeddy Bear Day, so we brought some of our best bedtime buddies to work with us! Amazingly, we're all still awake...
Tuesday, 30th August 2016
Hi Qwerkiteers! You may possibly have noticed (from the adorable puppy pictures all over Twitter) that last Friday was National Dog Day. In honour of our beloved Biscuit, the Qwerkity office dog, we've chosen some of our favourite products for both dogs and dog lovers. You're welcome, Biscuit.
A must-have mitt for any mucky mutt! The Pet Glove is made of a super-absorbent microfibre fabric that cleans and dries the coat in moments, making it an essential after a walk on a wet and muddy day. Save your carpets and give your dog an extra canine cuddle in the process. Perfect.
I know we don’t want to think about the nights drawing in, but it happens sooner than you think. This new dog lead will increase you and your dog’s visibility by up to 300 metres, so it’s perfect for twilight walks. Remember, Qwerkiteers: be seen, be safe!
There’s two “ruff guides” to choose from! Both contain information on dog friendly hotels, B&Bs, pubs and restaurants. You’ll also find information for some wonderful country walks with your furry best friend.
Add a little doggy décor to your place with this sweet doormat. Get your dog (and your guests!) to wipe off their muddy paws on the super-absorbent and bacteria resistant mat.
A runner in the same design is also available.
Does your dog disappear in the dark? Do you need him to be more visible, or do you like the idea of him looking like he’s on his way home from a rave? This light up necklace has a setting for solid or flashing lights (yay – doggy disco!) that will make your dog much more visible on dark nights.
We all know it’s true; share your bed with your dog and you’ll end up clinging to the edge of the mattress for dear life, whilst your playful pooch is sprawled out in comfort. We’re afraid there is no cure for this predicament. Sorry…
For more treats for man’s best friend, have a little look at our Puppy Love
category. And good luck getting that song out of your head. All together now: And they caaalllleeedd it puppy luuuuuurrrrrvvveeee…
Thursday, 25th August 2016
Oh my, our favourite reason to be smugly British has returned: The Great British Bake Off.
We’re only on episode one and already it’s a corker. #Jaffagate was trending on Twitter, the innuendos were flowing, the cake mix was separating and/or clumping, tears were running… and through it all there was evidence of what makes the Bake Off so wonderful; all the contestants were so pleased for everyone else. You can barely tell that GBBO is, in fact, a competition.
As we’re (nearly) all obsessed with the programme in the Qwerkity office, we thought we’d do a few Bake Off highlights for you each week. Beware, Qwerkiteers – here be spoilers.
Our favourites from last night’s episode are:
We have a sneaking suspicion that Candice will actually be very good. Nerves may have played a small part in her show stopper being slightly under baked. We did particularly enjoy her throwing her first attempt at the Genoese sponge across the tent like a Frisbee.
Mel: Where did you get orange juice from?!
Candice: An orange…
The Show Stopper. Shame it was under baked.
AKA the Cake Whisperer (or Listener)
We’re curious as to how many people now want to adopt Val as their honorary grandmother? We think she may be the one to go next week, unless she really steps up her game.
Listening to her cakes to check if they’re cooked.
The drizzle. Less drizzle and more icing, but such pretty frosted flowers on top!
Our honorary Star Baker: Selasi. Such a cool customer! Not even a hint of panic, even when he forgot to add cinnamon to his drizzle cake. At the moment, he’s our one to watch.
“Four Fruit Frosting”: try saying that five times after a glass or two of wine. We dare you.
“Make your drizz the shizz.”
Mary’s face when Paul dunked his Jaffa Cake in his cuppa.
Long live Bake Off! And remember:
Wednesday, 10th August 2016
Hey Qwerkiteers! Did you know that it’s Afternoon Tea Week? It’s the perfect excuse to stock up on scones, jam, and cucumber sandwiches. The only real question is whether you put the jam or cream on your scone first?
What is afternoon tea without a tiered display of your finest cakes? (You get extra brownie points if you bake them yourself. Get it? Brownie points? Never mind…) You can make this cake stand extra special by personalising it.
Continuing with a personalised theme, why not add these sweet heart shaped bowls to your tea table? The bowls are a lovely way to serve a variety of jams for your scones. The dishes come with a bamboo board on which you can have a message inscribed.
This beautiful set of four mugs is our latest offering from British artist, Madeleine Floyd. The bone china mugs feature some of our favourite birds, including the blue tit, bullfinch, blackbird and robin. They’ll add the perfect British accent to your afternoon tea.
Whether you like cream or milk in your tea, no tea party table is complete without a sweet jug. Our handmade stoneware jugs come in small
(200ml) or medium
(500ml). There’s even a mug
For more afternoon tea ideas, have a look at our Tea Time Category.
Monday, 8th August 2016
Today we've quizzed our Buying Team about their favourite products!
Happy Monday, Qwerkiteers! For today’s hot seat, we asked the Buying Team to take a short break from their Christmas Selection meeting (we know – it seems ages away to us too!) to have a cup of tea and tell us all about their favourite products.
“I just love it! It’s so sweet, plus you get to help out your local wildlife. Hedgehogs are great to have in your garden – they’re nature’s slug repellent. This little igloo gives hedgehogs a safe haven from predators, and they’re such fun to watch as they snuffle around your garden at twilight.”
“This is my favourite, and I don’t even paint! I’d have it as a picture frame, or I’d rest a mirror on it and keep my makeup in the little drawer. It would make a lovely décor accent in any room. I might buy a half finished canvas and pass it off as my own!”
“You can’t beat a good Sunday roast (even in the middle of a heatwave, I want my roast dinner) and just looking at this board makes my mouth water! It makes a gorgeous centrepiece for any Sunday table. It’s the first thing I’ve bought for my new kitchen.”
Nic’s gone controversial; she’s torn between two products, so we decided to be nice and let her have both.
“I’ve just moved house, so I have decorating on the brain right now. Rather than go out and buy loads of different tools and then have to find storage for them, I’ve just got this. Job’s a good ’un! The Exit Spray is just brilliant – it really works! The sooner you apply it to a stain, the more effective it is.”
To be fair, we do now have an office bottle of Exit Spray. I, in particular, am very good at throwing food down my front…
Tuesday, 2nd August 2016
It may be raining, but it’s still (technically anyway) summer, and with summer comes the pampering of little feet. So, Qwerkiteers, we’ve picked a few of our favourite treats for your little piggies. Off to market!
Let’s start with the basics: moisturising. These super soft socks are infused with a fruity fragranced serum (peach, green tea, vitamin E and natural fruit extracts) which leaves your feet feeling silky and divine! Just rub the serum on your feet, pop the socks on and wait for twenty minutes before removing them. We definitely recommend wearing the socks, putting your feet up and having a lovely cuppa. Blissful!
Even the extremely ticklish like a good foot massage, especially after a hard day’s work. This slipper comes in two designs: Hedgehog
(adorable) or Basset Hound
(sweet). Slide your feet in to the slipper and flip the switch for a toe-tingling massage.
Now you’ve moisturised and had a lovely massage, it’s time to get those nails looking pretty. This sweet set comes with a nail buffer/file combination, cuticle trimmers, pumice, nail clippers and a hard skin shaver. Use the pumice to remove any dry skin from your feet and the buffer & file combo to get your nails all smooth and ready for some polish.
Never again worry about spilling your nail polish! The Nail Buddy holds any size of nail polish, and you can either grip it between your knees (handy for a manicure – pun unapologetically intended) or rest it on any hard surface to leave both of your hands free. You can even rest the Nail Buddy on its side to get the last drop of your favourite polish from the bottle.
If you’re anything like the ladies in the Qwerkity office, you’ve been staring enviously at all the gorgeous nail designs that you just don’t know how to achieve. This Nail Art Kit is a great cheat for a professional looking pedicure! Available in either Plain or Glitter, each set contains ten nail varnish bottles with a standard brush applicator and a micro-tip pen for creating intricate designs. The only limit is your imagination!
Pssst! If you do get stuck for some design ideas, check out the Nail It! book – it’s on special offer!
Wednesday, 27th July 2016
Summer isn’t over yet, Qwerkiteers, and a little weather bird told us that the sunshine will be making a return this weekend. Time to dine al fresco!
These are a great gift for any keen gardener, particularly if they like to grow their own salad and veggies. Made from stainless steel with Acacia wood handles, these servers are perfect for digging deep in to the salad bowl. Whoever said salad couldn’t be fun?
New to Qwerkity this week, this comfortable, fold away cushion is ideal for a picnic! Featuring a lovely checked design on one side and 100% sheep’s wool on the other, this fluffy cushion insulates you from the cold and/or damp ground. Get cosy!
If sitting on the ground isn’t your style, try one of these tables for your next garden party or barbeque. Available in two sizes the trestle table sits four (four feet) or six people (five feet). Each table is adjustable in height and folds in half for carrying and storage.
Never again experience the heartbreak of knocking your Pimms over! The Picnic Stix set comes with three sturdy stakes (one for a bottle, two for glasses). No more toppling tipples, even if you are tipsy!
Go retro with the Outdoor Fondue Set! It’s a brilliant alternative to a barbeque (just in case you ever could get tired of the ol’ BBQ) and quite the party piece for outdoor entertaining. The set comes with four fondue forks, and – best of all – all the parts are dishwasher safe.
Oh, BBQ – our love for you could never fade; and now we can barbeque until the sun goes down and keep warm long after! The Brazier doubles up as a fire pit as well as a barbeque so it’s great for al fresco entertaining. Your garden party can now keep going as long as you can!
Make sure you have some fun in the sun this weekend, Qwerkiteers!
Friday, 22nd July 2016
Festival season is well under way, Qwerkiteers! We’ve picked out some of our best products to get you through your festivals in comfort and style.
If you don’t fancy being right at the front of the stage, take the Comfy Wedge with you. Lean back, relax and just enjoy the music! The Comfy Wedge is completely waterproof, inflates in seconds and folds up to the size of a book, making it easy to carry with you.
It’s a chair and a cool bag! The cooler stool folds flat for easy storage and has integrated carry handles for portability. A spacious insulated cool bag beneath the seat is the perfect place to keep your beer or a picnic chilled.
If you’re camping at a festival and want to make use of the showers, these shoes are brilliant. Extremely light, with grip soles and small drainage holes, there’s no need to worry about picking up anything nasty when you use public showers.
We all know that festival campsites can be somewhat noisy! If you’d rather get some shut-eye than join the never ending party in the tent next door, then the Q-zone earplugs are for you. The earplugs come with two filters; one for ambient noise and one to block out snoring, resulting in both high and low frequency sounds being screened out. The warmth of the ear softens the earplug to fit, making them very comfortable to wear while sleeping.
No one likes a soggy bottom! This compact folding mat is insulated and waterproof, and it’ll fit in your back pocket or handbag. No more cold or damp bottoms when sitting on grass!
As anyone who’s camped at a festival will tell you, sometimes the toilets are miles away from your tent. It’s not brilliant when it’s three o’clock in the morning and (in typical British fashion) raining heavily and/or freezing cold. Avoid getting caught short with the Uriwell. The size of a drinks can, the device can be used by men and women and expands when necessary. A tight lid ensures no spills. No muss, no fuss.
Tuesday, 19th July 2016
Well, here in the Qwerkity office we’re making like the Wicked Witch of the West: we’re meeeeellltttiing. What a world, hey? So, to help out our fellow Qwerkiteers, we’ve thrown together a quick heatwave survival guide. Stay frosty, people!
These are a God send! Made from super-fine cotton, these Cooling Scarves contain special crystals which, when soaked in water, expand and feel cold even on the hottest day. You can wear the scarves loosely around your neck, or even jazz up your outfit by wearing one on your wrist. The scarves come in a set of three, each in a pretty pastel design.
The key to surviving the hot weather is to stay hydrated. The BPA-free Reusable Bottle comes in two sizes (small
), is dishwasher safe and perfectly portable. It’s ideal for a scorching hot day. Bottoms up!
Does your office air conditioning leave a little to be desired? Keep yourself cool with the Portable Rechargeable Fan. It’s small and compact so it will fit nicely on your desk, and it will run for up to eight hours on a single charge. It’s not quite the same as being fanned with palm fronds, but it’ll do in a pinch!
Stylish in stripes, this ultra-lightweight umbrella (beautifully modelled by Emma) has a silver-coated lining which blocks out 99% of the sun's harmful UV rays. Wonderfully compact, this brolly will fit easily in to your bag. For an umbrella that you can clip to a table or stand in the sand or grass, have a look at our Tri-brella
Cool your drink without diluting it with ice cubes. We love a good, chilled glass of white wine (or fruit juice!) and the Ice Stick works perfectly. Keep it in the freezer and then pop it in your glass whenever you want a refreshingly cool drink. Cheers!