Excellent Mugs

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The best mugs to get this autumn

A mug is typically used to drink something hot, like coffee. And the best mugs in the market this season all feature beautiful illustrations.

Moomin 70 years Special Edition mug by Arabia at The Offical Moomin Shop
The mug features a beautiful illustration of the Moominhouse – the place that the Moomins call home; the Moomins are fictional characters who had first appeared in a 1945 book by Tove Jansson.

McLaggan Smith Educational Dinosaurs Mug at John Lewis
The mug features remarkable illustrations of a bunch of dinosaurs along with their names – the mug is just perfect for anybody who is fascinated by dinosaurs.

The Nutcracker and the Four Realms Mug at shopDisney
The mug features beautiful artwork of characters from the Disney film The Nutcracker and the Four Realms; the illustrations are pretty colorful and the mug also has a lovely golden handle.

Disney The Seven Dwarfs’ Grumpy Ceramic Mug at Hallmark
The mug features a sketch of a dwarf from the Disney film, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, Grumpy; Grumpy is an ill-tempered but efficient dwarf.

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The Home Office

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How to decorate your home office

In my outlook, the perfect home office is one which has a big desk and a comfortable-enough chair. A large desk is really useful if or whenever the nature of your work is such that you must reference many books or other similar materials to get it done – this is because there is enough room on the desk to spread items all over. Also, when you have to spend many hours working, a comfortable chair will ensure that the experience does not become an extremely tiring one.

Gavin Desk at Pottery Barn
This is a black desk which has striking handles and enough drawers plus shelf space to provide ample room for your storage needs.

Hayes Tufted Swivel Desk Chair at Pottery Barn
The desk chair is padded which means that it will provide an ample amount of comfort; the chair is also upholstered in a material which is light in color, has a frame and legs that are crafted from brown solid birch and moves on casters.

Gacinia Desk Lamp by Uttermost at Concept Furniture
The desk lamp is plated in brass and it has a hanging glass globe – it is just perfect for whenever extra light is required to get work done.

Nemesis Now Wyrm Dragon Desk Tidy at Amazon UK
The desk tidy features a sitting green-colored dragon which is simply amazing in design – use it to store pencils, pens and rulers on your desk.

Vanilla Cupcakes

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How to make vanilla cupcakes topped with colorful icing

Cupcakes topped with colorful icing are great options to eat as desserts daily because they are rather simple to bake. The ingredients which you will need are butter, sugar, icing sugar, milk, four eggs, vanilla extract (for example: McCormick All Natural Pure Vanilla Extract), food coloring (for example: Chefmaster Neon Food Coloring) and flour.

Firstly, take the butter out of the refrigerator and leave it in the kitchen for one hour to soften it. Secondly, take a cupcake tray and fill them with paper baking cups; then take a bowl and mix the softened butter well with the eggs, sugar, flour and 2tsp of the vanilla extract. Thirdly, fill the baking cups with the mix and place the tray inside the oven. Bake until the cupcakes have turned a little golden brown in color; also, insert a fork into the cupcakes to check if they have baked – if the cupcakes have hardened then they are done.

After that, prepare the icing for the cupcakes: mix the remaining of the softened butter well with icing sugar, food coloring, 4tsp milk and 2tsp vanilla extract. Then use a pipe bag (for example: Wilton Professional Decorating Bag) to decorate the cupcakes in a colorful swirling fashion. Refrigerate the cupcakes and serve the desserts cold.

Summer Dates

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Five great summer date ideas

Going on a date in the summer means making the most of the unrelenting heat. It also means creating romantic memories which will last a lifetime and experiences which you will want to repeat next summer.

Eat ice cream together
Go to an ice cream shop over the weekend to have a romantic experience; just order your favorite flavor of ice cream, like tutti frutti and catch up with each other about how both of your weeks been.

Go on a picnic
For a picnic for two, prepare a small picnic bag with the essentials – a few sandwiches, paper plates and books to read together and just head to a nearby park to have a very relaxing date.

Go shopping together at the farmers’ market
The farmers’ market should be filled with fresh summer produce, such as apricots, blackberries and mangoes. Go out on a shopping date to the market and share with each other how much you know about these fruits and what to do with them once you get back home.

Have a barbecue
Talk to your significant other about hosting a barbecue and then invite your friends over to it. Cook some summer recipes, like grilled vegetables together, and just chat with your friends about your future plans together as a couple.

Go to a botanical garden
If you both have a mutual interest in plants, then going on a date to the botanical garden is a great idea because the place is filled with flowers, plants and trees which are in full bloom during the summer; the date will both offer the opportunity to explore and enjoy these various types of plant life together.

The Art Deco Dining Table

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How to dress an art deco dining table

If you have a very good art deco dining table in your dining room, then it gives off the impression that you like contemporary design. To dress such a table, choose plates (and a drinking glass) which exude a certain richness in color.

Exceptional French Art Deco Style Dining Table at 1stdibs
I like this art deco table because it has a multicolored design on the sides and a glossy slope base. It’s very nicely minimalist; it does not require any tablecloth to look great in the dining area.

Reproduction French Louis XVI Style Hand-Carved Dining-Chair with Rush Seat at 1stdibs
The chair is very different in design from the table because it is more traditional: the chair’s upholstery is in a good cream shade and its style and its style is a little ropey; the chocolate brown shade of the wood is nice too.

Mister Berwyn Circus Tiger Plate at John Lewis
The plate features a sly-looking jumping tiger against a white backdrop; it also has a beautiful red rim.

Molly Hatch Flower Salad Plate at John Lewis
This stoneware salad plate features flowers in colors such as red and blue; it has a double-colored rim in black and red.

Boston Colored Highball at Villeroy & Boch
The highball crystal glass has a honeycomb design – get the red colored one to drink from.

Vegetable Chow Mein

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How to make vegetable chow mein

Vegetable chow mein is a Chinese dish which basically comprises of noodles and a lot of vegetables; it is really easy to make and can be eaten both as a snack and as a main meal. The ingredients which you need to make this dish are as follows: carrots, broccoli, tofu, peas, bell peppers, bean sprouts, cabbage, baby corn, mushrooms, soy sauce, sesame oil, garlic, chili, onions and cooking oil. Firstly, shred the cabbage into tiny pieces, chop the carrots and broccoli, mince the garlic and further chop the chilies, onions and spring onions. Secondly, take a wok and heat the cooking oil; to it, add all of the vegetables and cook until they are soft and tender. Thirdly and separately, cook the egg noodles in a pot of boiled water and add to the cooked vegetable mix. Finally, add the following ingredients – soy sauce, sesame oil, garlic, chili and onions to the wok, mix it all well and cook for a few minutes. Serve the noodles hot and garnished with spring onions.

The Antique Coffee Table

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How to decorate an antique coffee table

The greatest thing about an antique coffee table, arguably, is that it can act as a standout item in your house because there is a certain history attached to it. Add to that a few great decorative items, such as a figurine you really admire, and the result is a coffee table that will be remembered by your guests for years and years to come.

Carved Victorian Coffee Table at 1stdibs
The antique coffee table has a remarkable tale of its own: it has been reconstructed from an old English ottoman from the late 19th century; it is built of rich mahogany wood and has an intricate carving (inclusive of a flower) on each of its four legs.

Royal Selangor Joker Figurine at John Lewis
I love this pewter figurine (to place on the table) of Joker – one of the most dastardly villains of all time and Batman’s main foe; he is on the brink of breaking free from prison and looks fearsome.

Choudhury Large Sail Model Boat at Wayfair
This is a very big model of a sailboat for the coffee table: it has a deck and masts that are manufactured out of birchwood, whilst the sails look amazing because they are made from a thinly-striped white cloth.

Savoir Vivre by Laduree at Shopbop
This is a book for the coffee table: it is by LadurĂ©e – a premier bakery, and it includes ideas such as what to wear when going to the theater and how to make breakfast; it also features many nice illustrations on its blue cover which includes the Eiffel Tower, macaroons, a wine glass and a heart-shaped ring.