Thursday, 18 January 2018

Yellow in Interiors Makes Me Happy!

Yesterday I was involved in a horrible dog fight. My lovely neighbours have a huge dog who hates my dog, well the feeling is mutual... they are mortal enemies. The fact that they live opposite each other has been cause for many an 'exciting' interaction. Now Mr Boycie, my handsome dog is fairly small and relatively easy to control, but no so the Rhodesian Ridgeback hound that lives opposite. Yesterday I was going out to the car, I'd dropped off the shopping and was going to put my dog in the back to drive to the car park and take him for a wee...bad timing. The big dog was on the other side of my car, I didn't see him and by the time I reached the car it was too late, he came around, dragging the owner and launched himself at my dog. The owner wasn't strong enough to pull him away straight away so he bit my dog and as I tried to pull my dog away, my legs got wrapped in the lead and I went over on top of my small dog. I thought I'd killed him. There was some dog fighting going on around my person as I was flailing in a heap on the snowy ground, bound up in dog leads and buffeted by bitey dogs... I couldn't get up. Finally they got the big dog out of there...I was swearing a great deal, like really bad stuff, I was in a lot of pain. Someone got my dog out of there and he wasn't dead, he was very feisty in fact, but I was in too much pain to get up, thought I'd broken my foot. Turns out it was just a sprain, but man did it hurt! The lovely neighbours put snow on, made sure it wasn't broken then bandaged it up. Some other lovely neighbours lent me some now I'm hobbling around on crutches for the first time in my life.

So yesterday was a pretty bad day, I was very shaken by the extreme violence of it all and the pain obviously, and also very scared that something would happen to my beloved little naughty dog, who is my constant furry companion... so now I'm just taking it easy... and as an antidote to that badness I'm going to share with you a few of my favourite yellow themed interiors...because you just can't be sad around bright yellow...

I love this wardrobe with the surprising yellow interior, such fun...

pic from Hometalk

or how about this de Gournay wallpaper? Same colour combo again...

Some vintage decoupage weirdness from Winona Cookie

I'll leave you with these interiors pictures where just a pop of yellow is all that's needed...

Friday, 12 January 2018

Optimism is Back in Fashion!

Moaning about how crap everything is, is so last season darling!

Yes, I know 2017 was a right shocker, with people reeling from the double whammy that was Trump and Brexit. But you can only stay in shock for so long, before it wears off.

2017 has been like a giant grief cycle, on steroids... The 5 stages of grief is a series of responses to death that virtually every human experiences.  They are denial, anger,  depression, bargaining then finally acceptance. How fast we move through that cycle and how we deal with the various stages is very personal, but I get the very strong feeling that a lot of us have moved through  this last year, as if there has been some kind of death...the 'death of reason' maybe, and have reached acceptance and are starting to look forward again. Don't get me wrong, acceptance doesn't mean that you are ok with how things are, it just means that you accept the reality.

Being shocked and reactionary isn't going to get us anywhere. We need to set a positive agenda and put our time and money into the things we believe in and that make the world a better place.

I'm bored of being angry with the world, plus its exhausting. Better to decide how you can make a positive difference and put your energy into that.

For me, it'a about reducing the amount of plastic I use and encouraging others to do the same. Amongst other things...

Positive change is not easy. Sigmund Freud said
'Most people do not really want freedom, because freedom involves responsibility, and most people are frightened of responsibility'

It's true, but it really is the only way we can improve the situation. Would you rather be part of the problem or part of the solution? I know you would much rather be part of the solution. So it's time to look at your principles and start living by them. If you don't like the awful environmental impact that Palm Oil plantations have, then don't buy products with palm oil in. If you don't like how battery farmed animals are treated, stop eating them. If you don't like how your local council is doing something in your community then campaign to change it. If you want your local shops to stay in business then spend your money there rather than the out of town super stores. If you like having a local bookshop, buy your books there instead of on Amazon, if you want to help save the bees, plant the mind of flowers they like in your garden...Just decide what you care about and follow through.

Don't wait for your government or the big corporations to fix it all, we know that's not going to happen. 

I find it mildly amusing that the Pantone colour of the year is also often associated with madness...

Yes, it is all a bit mad out there but if we all make an effort, pull our socks up, we can work with this madness... plus it is also a colour often associated with spiritual enlightenment. So lets go through the madness and into enlightenment.

That would be quite nice wouldn't it?

I don't know about you, but I'm feeling very excited and positive about this year...

Friday, 5 January 2018

Pantone Colour of the Year 2018 - Ultra Violet

Well well well.... Pantone have announced the colour of the Year for 2018 and what do we think of that then???

I've got very mixed feelings about the colour purple. You see, back when I was 17 - 18 I was purple. I had purple hair, wore a lot of purple, room was painted purple... you get the idea. I've really done the colour purple 100%.
Just to prove it, here are the only photos of me from that time... with purple hair...

The thing is that I do love certain shades of purple, I've even done a blog about it earlier this year, the trends for purple & Green, so I saw this coming. It's just the particular shade that I'm not in love with... it's a bit of a mad purple. Mind you, the world does feel a bit mad so maybe that is rather appropriate.

                        Paint pic from                                                            Pic from Elledecor

Well I won't be rushing to repaint my home in bright purple or start wearing it again, those days are done, but if you feel it for this type of bright shade, then my advice is to mix it up with other dark and jewels colours. I don't like this colour in modern boxy spaces, painted on walls next to white, it's too harsh... so keep it bohemian or keep the purple details small, like a velvet chair for example...
pic from

If you want to see more fun ways to use this colour then check out my Pinterest board

Friday, 22 December 2017

Van Asch goes Organic for 2018!! & Competition Winners.

I'm totally beside myself with excitement!!!
Our brand new shiny web site launches on January 1st and it is going to be very special. Not because we are now offering free shipping and returns in Sweden or free shipping and returns for orders over €50 in the EU...No, nothing as boring as that!
We have teamed up with an NGO (non governmental organisation) called CIRHEP based in Tamil Nadu India, that offers women financing, support and education to start their own organic micro farms.

5% of all sales on our new web site goes to this organisation. Yep, that is 5% of absolutely everything that gets sold on our website goes toward changing these women's lives...

As women’s rights have traditionally not been prioritized in Indian society, one of the goals of CIRHEP is to empower women. By empowering women you empower entire communities. CIRHEP helps to organize self help groups (SHGs) and then provides training programs with a focus on creating awareness about women rights, gender equality and conserving the local environment. The aim is to strengthen women’s confidence and self-esteem, and to increase women’s involvement in the decision-making process within their families and outside the household. 

The women are also participating in entrepreneurship development programs with the support of NABARD (National Bank For Agriculture And Rural Development). Women get help to start a small business in e.g. mushroom cultivation, honey processing, pigeon rearing, garland making, foot wear making, organic manure preparation, keeping small shops etc.

This is super exciting because we get to make a difference. 
Our contribution will help establish positive positions for women in their local communities. They, also  organise workshops for men in order to educate them about gender equality too. As women increasingly contribute to the household economy they also have a say when it comes to how to spend the money. Consequently, more children, and especially girls, are now sent to schools. This can break the cycle of poverty and set these families up for a much brighter future.

Ok, so what else exciting is happening in 2018!  You've probably picked up that I'm passionate about sustainability, the environment, reducing plastic use and generally being responsible in business, so, we are moving into 100% organic manufacture. All our new cushions, shopper bags and fabrics will be made from organic cotton.
And finally, all our international deliveries and transport in the EU will be using the new DHL GoGreen carbon neutral transport system which offsets all the carbon emissions from transport by planting trees and also subsidises the DHL fleet of electric and bio gas fuelled vehicles... 
Yep, 2018 is looking very GREEN for Van Asch !!!

Ok, enough about all that, you want to know who won our handbag competition right?
Ok, so lucky Pia Lundberg from Sweden is the winner of the Skull 403 handbag

And the runners-up to each win one of our cute Skull 403 mirror compacts are:

Diana VB from California USA
Sara O from Sweden
Vivienne W from UK
Francesca T from Italy
Daniella VH from Holland
Pauline S from Sweden

Congratulations to all of you! And a huge thanks to the multitudes that took the time to answer my nosy questions ;-)

Have a super wonderful Christmas, don't forget to check our 'mellandagsrea' or After Christmas Sale which starts boxing day... there will be masses of awesome bargains to be had...

Friday, 15 December 2017

Motivation & Positivity.

You know that saying 'when God closes the door, he opens a window'? I love that phrase and I'm not even one bit religious. I just really like the idea that there can be seeds of opportunity in adversity, if you are open to the possibility.

So as you might already know, I changed gyms recently. It because I was so devastated when the physiotherapist told me that I had to stop running, that I needed to do something differently and at the new gym, there was a sauna, so I thought that at least if I can't run, I can still have a nice sauna to reward myself after a workout.

I used to love running on the treadmill. It kept me fit, released happy chemicals in the brain box and allowed me time to let my mind wander creatively. So when I was told that that was it for running, if not for ever, then certainly for a very long time, you can imagine I was gutted.

It helped going to the nicer new gym, with the sauna, but what really has made the biggest difference is that the cross trainers at this gym are equipped with youTube. Now I'm so looking forward to going to the gym every morning because today I'm going to learn something new and start the day with a powerful positivity. This situation is an upgrade! So the door might have closed on running but the window is wide open and the possibilities are endless!

This is the video I watched today and it is really great...

Another reason that I'm super excited is that I'm about to relaunch my website. It should be up and running by next week. We have partnered with an NGO in Tamil Nadu India so that 5% of everything we sell on our web shop will go to invest in lifting women out of poverty by setting them up as organic micro farmers and I'll tell you all about that next week... I can't tell you how excited I am about it!

Lastly, if you have missed that I've got myself a youTube channel then please go check it out. The latest video is about transitioning from one diet to another. I don't mean diet as in weight loss, I mean diet as in Vegan or Vegetarian etc... It can be a difficult process and not everyone can just change over night, so if that describes you, or you are thinking more about what you eat, then check it out...

Friday, 8 December 2017

Making it All Count. Happiness, Gifts & Bags

Recently I changed gyms and in my new gym, I discovered, I can watch YouTube whilst I'm on the cross trainer. So I did what any normal person would do and watched funny animal videos to while away the time... (cross trainers are very boring!) But then I realised that instead of wasting my time watching funny kittens, I could actually be learning something. So yesterday I watched videos about recycling and waste management, yeah, I know you think that's weird, but I'm really into environmental stuff and I want to know how everything works. Today I watched an amazing video, a Ted talks about finding yourself, kinda... It's a total recommend so I'm posting it in here, try to watch it if you can, it will make you feel good...

Also, because it is that special time of the year when everyone goes mad and buys stuff like crazy, I thought I'd share with you my top gift ideas, and hope that my kids don't see this coz that will totally ruin their surprises! (I'm not too worried about that because they couldn't be less interested in my blog!)

So first up is cool gifts for girls:

Because my youngest daughter likes doing stuff with her hands all the time, this is perfect for her...Beautiful Fidget Cube
There are loads of these out there to choose from, I would've liked a wooden one really but I really liked the look of this one.

My eldest daughter and I did a week long all natural cosmetics challenge a month or so ago  (you can read all about it here) and she really got into them, so this Neals Yard book Make Your Own Cosmetics should be right on target for her... Plus it is something she can do, other than be on her phone the whole time.... You mums, you know what I mean!

Cool gifts for boys:

Well I honestly don't know any...boys I mean, we don't have any in our family, but I did think this was kinda cool...Infinity Fidget Cube

I don't really like the whole idea of girls gifts and boys gifts but if you happen to be the wrangler/parent of these types of creatures, you'll know that they really do seem to want different things. So please forgive my gender separation here...

Gifts for Mums, Sisters etc:

I just fell in love with these black Lion candle holders, for the person who has everything and likes nice stuff for the home...
You can get them here

So those are some of my fave little things I found on the internet...

Lastly, if you didn't see last weeks blog, it was all the details to enter into a competition to win one of these bags:

So check last weeks entry for the details... AND because I love giving things away so much, I've decided that I'll give 5 runners up a free mirror compact for their handbag... so that's even more chances to WIN cool stuff !!!!

Friday, 1 December 2017

Van Asch Competition Time!

Hello my lovelies!
I want to get to know my customers a bit more and I thought a quiz could be a fun way to find out more about you... I would love to ask you all a hundred questions but I fear I might tax your patience ;-)

So, just by answering some simple questions you could win a brand new handbag worth €72!

Yes, you can choose which one of these you fancy...and just maybe you might win it!

All you have to do is email me with the answers to these 10 simple questions:

  1. What are your 2 favourite online clothing shops? (not including Van Asch)

  2. What are your 2 favourite online stores for interiors accessories?

  3. What are your 2 favourite physical stores for new clothing?

  4. What are you 2 favourite physical stores when buying stuff for the home?

  5. Do you go to the gym or do yoga?

  6. Do you have any tattoos? If yes, do you have just a wee one, several, or heavily tattooed?

  7. Have you seen my blog or watched my videos on YouTube?

  8. Do you follow me on Instagram, Facebook or Pinterest?

  9. What main colours do you have in your living room?

  10. If you had to pick 1 word that best describes you, would it be: Lighthearted, sincere, outgoing, quiet, creative, pragmatic.. something else?

Lastly, which bag would you choose if you won?

email me:   with your answers and I'll randomly pick a winner on December 22nd

I'll add your email address to my special customer list too so that you will get special offers and updates (nothing spammy I assure you, I'm too lazy to send out newsletters more than a couple of times a year! :-D so don't worry about that, and you can unsubscribe with a click, any time you like)

And, if you do feel like indulging me, I would love to know what country you live in and anything else you think is important to you, like if you are an animal lover, a vegetarian, or whatever it might be, I'm curious...a bit nosey too if I'm honest ;-)  But you don't have to do any of that for the competition...just the 10 main questions will do it :-) And good luck!

I've made a new video too which is up on my YouTube channel now... If you fancy watching me have a bit of a rant about the environment...