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Africology Coffee and Rose Diffuser

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Who doesn’t love entering into a beautifully scented room? Here, at The Amazing Blog, we have a weakness for reed diffusers as they are safer and more versatile than candles. At this time of year, we want a room fragrance that has both warmth and freshness, this is where one of our favourite beauty and lifestyle brands Africology never fails us. Our regular readers will remember our post on their Rose Body Balm where we commented on their African heritage and how they capture the key flora and fauna of Africa in their ingredients.

Africology has as range of five different fragranced Atmosphere Reed Diffuser sets. We tried the Coffee and Rose diffuser, which for us was absolutely delightful. From its simple, elegant packaging to its sophisticated tawny glass bottle design, it offers soft warm top floral notes combined with the rather interesting and more robust coffee ones, making it a more weighty fragrance and perfect for that heady romantic evening ambience. Apart from its elegant design that will complement any décor, this diffuser is long-lasting; we had ours on the go for at least 3 months!

This diffuser is made from only 100% natural oils. It is very simple and easy to use, just open the bottle and place the diffuser reeds into the bottle until the reeds are fully coated with liquid. Wait about 5 minutes and take the reeds out and insert the opposite dry end of the reeds back into the diffuser. To enhance your home with this long-lasting and evocative fragrance, purchase the Africology Coffee and Rose Room Diffuser here for £45.00. Or at their newly opened London store here.

The Magic Flower Company

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We know you might not want to hear this, but, winter is well and truly coming. Although this resonates with dark early evenings, and dreary and grey days, we at The Amazing Blog try to marry up the cosiness of hygge, and brightness of limited daylight. When we came upon the Magic Flower Company, you can’t imagine our excitement at discovering that their fresh flowers last for up to one year! What better way to brighten up your home than with freshly cut flowers that don’t require water, remaining hassle-free all year round. We were more than rather impressed with their Magic Roses, Magic Foliage and Magic Flower Arrangements.

Based in a small village in Suffolk, The Magic Flower Company was founded by entrepeneur Jack Hinshelwood. His company harvests flowers at their peak, preserving them with a unique biodegradable preservation formula. On the website, there is a plethora of floral arrangements which are regularly updated on a seasonal basis. We received 12 Antique Cream Premium Magic Roses, which were delivered in a stylish black box through the post. As you can see from the photo (above), they are the perfect ‘winter white’ and 9 months on, still have pride of place in our office. We cannot urge you strongly enough to invest in these beautiful long-lasting roses - frankly for us, gone are the days of receiving half dead and wilted flowers from a florist’s delivery van!

The designs come in different sizes and prices, which are adapted to meet popular trends and styles, and we rather like the statement flowers of the Cream Hatbox Design. Furthermore, on their website, they offer different gifting options, such as the Mini Present Box or Presentation Rose, which offer more simplistic arrangements. The flowers are available here in different styles, all of which are updated on a monthly basis. To purchase your own Antique Cream Magic Rose, then click here. A single rose is £8.95, or treat yourself to a magic 12 for £94.95.

Dogs' Dinners Cookbook

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Times, they are a-changin’…when once the saying “I’ve made a right dog’s dinner of that” would mean a less than appealing result, along comes Debora Robertson to firmly turn all such notions inside out. Even if you don’t have a pet pooch, we urge you to pick up her glorious book ‘Dogs’ Dinners’ and indulge yourself in some seriously compelling page turning. Not only has Debora brought a whole host of delicious recipes for our canine friends together, but she also gives us the option of how to tailor these taste bud tinglers to suit our humanoid palate too.

First and foremost though, her book is written very much with our four-legged family members in mind - which is why our favourite fluffy English Show Cocker Spaniel Tilly was so happy to sit lapping up every page while we made our more leaden way through the Sunday papers over the weekend! And why not …? With recipes like ‘Turkey and Quinoa Meatballs’, ‘Liver Brownies’, and ‘Summer Pupsicles’ to ponder, there is much for Tilly to salivate over - as you can see, she has been thoroughly engrossed! 

Included are tips on how to deal with specific food intolerances; what to serve up should there be signs of a sensitive mouth or gums, and of course, like us, doggies can suffer from the occasional off day, but guess what - chicken broth works wonders for them too! It appears that when all is said and done, apart from some levels of seasoning, nosh-wise there isn’t much to divide us.

To view this only as a collection of recipes, however, would be a mistake - there is a great deal more information contained within it’s covers, as to the healthiest way to feed your dog from their earliest puphood, through to the various stages of growing up. With advice on the ingredients which will keep teeth as healthy as possible, the ways to encourage fresh breath, and the more basic functions at the other end, Debora Robertson covers it all. She especially explore the essential knowledge of what NOT to offer up - we all know that chocolate and cooked bones are a total no-no, but avocados, unripe tomatoes and caffeine of any kind are also on the hazardous list. Fortunately for Tilly and her pals, there is a larder full of delicious goodies to make extensive use of, and Ms Robertson expertly shows us the way.

‘Dog’s Dinners’ is a fascinating mix of informed nutritional advice, intriguing anecdotes - check out “the bone about which we do not speak” on page 26 - and beautifully observed illustrations by Cinzia Zenocchini, which will sit perfectly alongside Delia and Nigella’s finest on the kitchen shelf.

‘Dogs’ Dinners’ by Debora Robertson is priced at £9.99 and is available here.

Willow Basketmaking Course with Jenny Pearce

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We don’t know about you, but every so often we get the urge to flee the smoke and head to the country to get down and dirty. And if we can find a recreation that uplifts our spirts and occupies our hands - that’s even better! The Amazing Blog learned of a Willow Basket-making Course run by Jenny Pearce out in Herefordshire. Jenny, a Dublin native, has been a basket-maker since the early ‘90s. She honed her skills in the West of Ireland, England, and France. Nature primarily influences Jenny’s work, of which is based on Celtic and English regional designs.

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The course is run out of Canon Frome Court, a farming community. There, they host a number of different classes like basket-making; working with unstripped willow in a variety of colours and textures. The weekend will give you enough time to make a basket, and possibly a handle. This could be a basket to hold fruit and veg from farmer’s markets or perhaps to fit a potted plant. The airy look of baskets are darling inside and out. However, you’ll probably want to keep your basket out of the rain. We think that it’s very special to make something so versatile for yourself.


This course is a weekend-long affair, running from 10:00-17:00 on November 3rd and 4th. The total cost is £155, which includes tuition, materials, refreshments, and a lovely lunch on both days. Accommodation is not included. See Jenny’s list of places to stay here. If you would like to spend a relaxing weekend in the countryside learning to make a basket with Jenny, book here.

Williams Handmade - Leatherwork Clutch Bag/iPad Case Course

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We like to shake it up a bit on our activity weekends. After all, we can’t let those precious free days go to waste. This is when The Amazing Blog discovered Williams Handmade, a company who specialises in craft leather goods.  They offer several leather-working workshops, like the Half Day Clutch Bag/iPad Case Course.

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Designer Sarah Williams founded Williams Handmade in 2010. As award winners of the Accessories Collection of the Year Award at ITS#NINE, The Accessory Award from Absolut Vodka, and taking part of the “Power of Craft” exhibition at the Victoria and Albert Museum, Williams Handmade truly deserves the description of high-quality craftsmanship. The company has also been shortlisted for the Ketel One Modern Craftsman Award and was nominated by Selfridges as one of their Bright Young Things.


From glasses cases to bags, Sarah Williams creates each of these items herself in the Williams Handmade Workshop in Bircher, Leominster which is located on the Hereford/Shropshire borders. If you love to support local artisans as we do, you should also know that the products are made from English Bridle leather coming from Northamptonshire.

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We’re particularly excited about their Half Day Clutch Bag/iPad Case Course. By the end of the day, you’ll have your own clutch bag or iPad case to bring home and put to use.  Our team members have never worked with leather before, but luckily there’s no need for prior experience to take this course. The day entails learning the basics of leatherwork (i.e. how to cut and prepare leather), the traditional saddle stitch, and learning how to finish the edges. You also get to choose your preferred colour and pattern combination, so your lovely bag or case is just to your liking!


The Williams Handmade Half Day Clutch Bag/iPad Case Course runs from 9am-1pm on the 20th of October for £65. Tea, coffee, and cake are included. If you’d like to spice up your Saturday with this fabulous course, click here. If you’re interested in finding out about their other classes, click here.