A Residence Blog

Travel and adventure taking, memory and home making, parenting and play shaking, never faking, tales of family life.

A Residence Blog

Travel and adventure taking, memory and home making, parenting and play shaking, never faking, tales of family life.

Christmas Decorations for Children, and the child at heart



We seem to have amassed quite a few decorations in the eight Christmasses in which we have have had kids. Each year we might invest in a couple of extra things for the tree, one chosen by each child, and maybe something decorative that catches our eye. Lots of things get made too. Our tree usually looks something like the picture above, that year we had sticks, last year we had a real tree. But the decorations are always the same.

I like them to tell me a bit of a story, and my tastes are probably quite childlike, because who doesn’t like to be a big kid at Christmas?

I’ve picked out some of my favourite Christmas decorations for children, for actual children and grown ups inner children too!

Decorations for children at Wayfair.co.uk

Wayfair has something for every budget, so let’s start with a splurge, and work down to some thrifty bargains!

I love the Alessi baubles, they are so much fun and with the simple and colourful designs I think the peekaboo pair at the bottom would make a lovely gift for anyone with a new baby in the family. You can build up the collection over time, top right you can see the whole nativity set of baubles. Or the golden nativity itself, middle left.

I think the simplicity and character of the Archipelago Christmas range is great, I love the Father Christmas and Angels figures.

I have had my eye on the Ian Snow globe baubles for months now and would probably find a place for them all year round to be honest, loving travel as I do. Anything to encourage family wanderlust! The sweet felt gingerbread house is Ian Snow too, and only £2.80.

Did you see my find of the week last week by the way, gorgeous house shaped fairy lights.

Simply click on these images to find out more.

Travel: A Romantic and Dog Friendly Hotel – Ox Pasture Hall


Last weekend we travelled to Ox Pasture Hall Boutique Hotel in Yorkshire for a night away. Mr A was 40 this month and it seemed like a great excuse to getaway. Apart from being wonderfully romantic, Ox Pasture Hall is also a dog friendly hotel, which meant my Mother in Law only had two kids for the night, as Max our greyhound could join us. Max has now been with us a year, since we adopted him from Lincolnshire Greyhound Trust, so it was a celebration of his ‘gotcha day’ too!

Max stars in his own video, because, as always, he steals the show. Continue reading

How to Create a Conversation Sanctuary. A Giveaway.

The Conversation Sanctuary

 The Conversation Sanctuary by penny-alexander

Do you have a quiet corner where you can go and chat on the phone, or catch up on family emails or social media conversations? Home and interior experts Wayfair.co.uk have partnered with home technology expert Gigaset.com and A Residence, to create this ‘conversation sanctuary‘.

Do you have the energy to talk on the phone at the end of a busy day? I’ve conjured up this minimalist space with that in mind, free of noise and clutter, but enlivening, cosy and with opportunity to be surrounded by lots of visual reminders of the people I often talk to. Continue reading

Find of the Week: Penguin Cushion


This guy will make someone very happy this Christmas.

He’s made me smile so much, he is my find of the week. He is handmade for Bibu, who are another new discovery for me in the incredible, never ending Aladdin’s Cave of delights that is Wayfair.co.uk.

Bibu is a Barcelona-based contemporary home décor brand. Their designs are originals, inspired by nature, and modern art. They combine a bold absorbent of graphics and colours to stimulate the senses and inspire imagination. They believe that basic images capture kids’ attention over and over. And that is why they aim to stimulate the imagination through a simple and creative lifestyle. Unique, cheerful, and colourful designs help them merge the harmony and an awareness of nature.

I love it!

This penguin cushion is protected by a sanitized hygiene application, to prevent bacteria growth.

He also has lots of friends, in case there is a particular animal shaped cushion hole in your life.

PS the grown up cushions are pretty funky too.

Have you found anything I need to know about at Wayfair.co.uk?

Find of the week: Pretty Light up House Fairy Lights!


At this time of year I can cope with a few gentle nods towards the season of goodwill, especially if they bring some warmth and cheer in to chilly, miserable November. Hurrah for pretty light up house fairy lights!

This Christmas house light string is in the sale, for two days only…more from Best Season at Wayfair.co.uk to come, including a giveaway –  they have totally captured my imagination this year when it comes to Christmas decorations!

What colour is your front door? A ‘door inspiration tour’.

gorgeous front doors

What colour is your front door? Mine is green (and chipped).

I’ve just come back from a week in Malta, staying with James Villas. I don’t know about you but I find coming home from a holiday really tough. Most of the time I while I am happy to see home again, my house, my dog, my bed, adjusting back to work, life and the old routine can be hard. Don’t get me started on the weather.

I saw some amazing doors in Malta, so I thought I would brighten this cold and wet November day with some sunshine and colour. Continue reading

£350 Christmas Giveaway

shopping online

Something made me start to think about Christmas shopping today. Maybe it was that I am so overwhelmed and behind after having a holiday, that I feel I must procrastinate by getting ahead in other ways.

When do you do your shopping? I’m an early December online shopper, too many family birthdays in November to even entertain it before then. But I am really excited this year to start sharing some of my finds at Wayfair.co.uk on the blog.

Wayfair.co.uk have a little survey they need some help with, about Christmas shopping habits. It takes two minutes maximum to complete, as I timed myself for research purposes ( I am sadly probably not eligible to win).

The prize is a whopping £350 to spend at Wayfair.co.uk, on whatever YOU fancy. What a lovely Christmas giveaway.

Table decorations, kitchenware, Christmas decorations, unique homeware presents for family, a gift for your pet or the gardener in your life. Or maybe a new sofa or dining table just in time for the big day.

£350 Christmas Giveaway

Just click here to complete the survey and be automatically entered into this Christmas giveaway! Be quick the survey finishes Friday 21st November 2014.

And why not win a cushion while you are here?

Win competitions at ThePrizeFinder.com – See more at: http://www.theprizefinder.com/content/%C2%A3350-spend-wayfaircouk#sthash.yrr0Fhb1.dpuf

A Residence at The Interior Blog Awards

interior blog awards

Penny (right) chatting to Karen from Wayfair UK at the IBAs Photo Credit – IBA official photographer

A Residence was really honoured to attend the Inaugural Amara Interior Blog Awards at the stunning Rosewood Hotel last Wednesday, the blog was selected as one of just five blogs in the ‘Best Organisation Category’. That doesn’t mean I am really organised by the way, it means blogs who are blogging for a brand or organisation, in my case WayfairUK. Continue reading

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