Friday, 31 December 2010

New Year's Resolutions

Hi everyone!

As tomorrow is the start of a new year, I thought I would do a post of things I hope to achieve in the next year, (im hoping that seeing them on screen will help me stick to them!)

I have the usual:
  • Lose the post-Christmas bloat (and the rest!) and ditch the ready meals/takeaways and cook from fresh.
  • Drink more water (this is a resolution EVERY year)
  • Establish (and stick to) a good skin care routine
  • Starting driving lessons (finally!)
  • Save Money - and stop squandering it on things I dont need and wont use - mini trampolene anyone?
  • Burlesque lessons as mentioned in a previous post
The actual resolutions that I REALLY, REALLY hope to achieve this year are mostly more creative or crafty related (surprise, suprise!) and I am determind to follow these through:

  • Learn to knit (again) -  I remember being taught how to knit when I was really young, but I didnt keep up to it, so sadly its a forgotten skill.
  • Begin a correspondance Writing Course. writing (properly) is something I have been wanting to do ever since I can remember, mainly the creative style of writing - I was forever starting to write 'books' when I was young, only to discard them half finished to start a new story!                                        
  •  Homemade Presents - making homemade gifts is something I really love and enjoy doing, and Im hoping that next Christmas, the majority, if not all, of the gifts I give are homemade, as I think they really show the thought and effort behind the gift, which, to me, is what gift-giving is all about. Who wouldnt like to recieve that?
  • Learning New Crafts - (kind of important for the Homemade Presents resolution!) Inspired by Kirtie Allsop, and fellow bloggers, I really want to try my hand at soap making and bath bombs ect, among other things, so watch this space!
There are a few other skills that I would like to get under my belt this year, but I dont want to try to achieve too many things at once, the cost would be astronomical (and this post will go on forever!)

What are your resolutions/hopes for 2011?

Tuesday, 28 December 2010

Stay Tuned.....

Hi everyone!

As I mentioned in my last post, I have managed to get my left arm/hand bandaged up, which has really frustrated me, as there are a number of  crafty type projects that I wanted to get on with and share with you guys, which, for now, have to remain on hold :(

One project i'm keen to get on with, is my patchwork quilt (mentioned in my first post). I have finally gotten all 200+ of mixed 4'' cotton squares, and was dying to make a start on it. The picture below is what im hoping to achieve:

Another re-vamp/customisation-type project im itching to start is customising an old dark-oak sewing table that I purchased from eBay, which features a lid that lifts up to reveal cute sewing compartments:

 I have always wanted a cute sewing box/table and fell in love with the idea of customising my own after seeing this beauty recently:

Im hoping to completely repaint and add a floral paper or design to the top and/or sides.
(I have not completely decided on what paint and design I was thinking of, maybe a cream or white toned paint, shabby-chic style, and a Laura Ashley/Cath Kidston design similar to the one above -  maybe something like these?)

(When I finally get cracking on this project, I will post before and after pics, and possibly a step-by-step, so you can follow my progress/disasters!)

What do you think about re-vamping perfectly good furniture? Let me know your thoughts and/or ideas :)

Monday, 27 December 2010

Xmas With A Difference!

Hi everyone!

Hope you all had a great Christmas and Boxing day, Mine was somewhat eventful...

An hour or two after my last post on Christmas Day, I was serving up Christmas Dinner for 8 people (my family came to my house this year) and everyone was seated around the table.
I went to serve the carrot and swede mash which I had just gotten out of the oven (I had made it earlier, and was being kept hot) and the Pyrex dish it was in exploded in my hands, cutting open my wrist and finger, resulting in an unexpected trip to A&E!

                              (Despite the dramatic picture, my sister drove me!)

After X-rays on my wrist and finger to check for glass fragments, and a consultation with a Plastic Surgeon, it was concluded that I had a deep enough cut on my finger to expose the tendon, and had severed the nerve endings, which meant that I needed an operation to check how much damage had been done to the exposed tendon, and to stitch up the gash on my wrist, which was quite deep, but not serious.

                                          unfortunately, he wasnt my doctor :(

As the operation could be done under local anaesthetic, I was bandaged up and allowed to go home (for a belated Christmas Dinner, minus carrot and swede mash!) and return to the Leeds General Infirmary at 8am Boxing Day for my op.

                                                    Leeds General Infirmary

So bright and eary sunday morning, Simon and I booked in for my op, and I went to theatre around 10am. Everything went well, with no damage done to the tendon, so I was stiched, glued and bandaged up, then sent back to the ward to wait to be discharged.
I was finally allowed home around 2pm, armed with antibiotics, and letter instructing me to return in 2 weeks for stitches removing.

                                                           The Patient!
    Hope your Christmas and Boxing day were less eventful than mine!

Saturday, 25 December 2010

Merry Christmas Everyone!

Hi Everyone!

Just a quick post to wish every single one of you a very Merry Christmas!

I hope you all recieved everything you hoped for, and lots more besides!

Although im not particularly religious, I did go to Church at midnight last night, and the experience really made me think of all the British soldiers fighting for our Country,far away from their homes and families this Christmas, and the many thousands of people who have nothing and live in poverty, and made me really apprieciate, and feel so fortunate for all I have, and how much more I could give.

So spare a thought when your tucking into your Christmas dinner, for all those people less fortunate than us, and where possible, donate the spare few pennies rattling around in the bottom of your handbag at the next good cause you pass. As Tesco say, Every Little Helps!

Thanks for taking the time to read my Blog, and hope you all have a fabulous Christmas, and New Year!

Tuesday, 21 December 2010

Santa Baby....

Hi everyone!

As its only three (THREE!) sleeps to Christmas Day, and im sure I have been a good girl all year (mostly!), I thought I'd share a few things that I wouldnt mind finding in my stocking (homemade, of course!)  or under the tree on Christmas morning (just in case Santa Clause happens to stumble across my blog :)

In no particular order my lil heart desires:

 Im a perfume whore, I will wear any nice fruity/floral scent, but I rarely try new a perfume unless it is bought as a present

 This is self explanitory!

 Just because im a Haribo girl at heart, I'd much rather find these in the depths of my stocking than a boring old orange! :)

The iphone, Yeah, dream on Sam!

 Again - no need to explain, the cover says it all!

 Purple GHD's , Ive wanted these for sooooo long, but I refuse to pay the extortionate retail price for a pair of straighteners

 Ahhh, Audrey :)

MAC brush set - the Holy Grail of makeup application?
Ive heard so many conflicting opinions on these, maybe I need to try them for myself :)

What goodies are You hoping to find under the tree this Cristmas?

Saturday, 18 December 2010

Yummy Homemade Chocolate Fudge (Tutorial)

Hi everyone!

As I am going to see a foodie friend for lunch and xmas present swap tomorrow, I thought I would take along some of my scrummy (if I do say so myself!) homemade chocolate fruit and nut fudge, partly as a thankyou for lunch, and also as a sort-of apology, as I havent seen her in a while and keep having to cancel our get-together arrangements, sorry Emma!

Its a Nigella Lawson recipe (I think) and I originally found it on another blog (but Im really crap and cant remember which one, sorry!) and its really easy to make, and involves absolutely NO cooking (besides melting the chocolate, does that count?) Bonus! As its so easy to make, I thought I would take pictures and do a sort-of tutorial so you can make it and amaze everyone/wow them with your fabulous baking skills :) Its amazingly squidgy and yummy, makes loads, and would make a fantastic (cheap/lastminute/homemade) Christmas prezzie (arrange in a pretty glass jar, line with tissue paper and tart up with festive ribbons and a cute bow, or something like in the pics below, and Voila! Who wouldnt want to recieve that?)

This recipe is actually adapted from the original, (which I think was chocolate pistachio fudge) so its a question of taste - you can make a basic chocolate fudge or add anything you want - I have made mixed nut fudge, white choc chip fudge, mixed fruit fudge in the past - the possibilities are endless!

Anywhoo, here is the tutorial :)


350g of plain chocolate, at least 70% cocoa
1 can of condensed milk
30g butter
pinch of salt
150g of mixed fruit and nuts (or whatever!)

Step One

Put on the radio/CD of your choice, then take the chocolate and break into pieces (one piece for the bowl, one for my mouth!)

Step Two

Place the chocolate, condensed milk, salt and butter into a pan and melt over a very low heat until it looks like a pool of delicious melty chocolatey scrumminess

Step Three

get a clean square shaped tray, add the melted chocolate, and stir in your mixed fruit and nuts. Smooth the surface using a wet knife and place in the fridge until set - at least 30 minutes. Whilst your waiting, lick the spoon and pan :)

Step Four

Once set, cut the fudge into squares, arrange on a cute plate and there you have it - delish scrummy chocolate fruit and nut fudge, the perfect present for a foodie friend (or to eat all by yourself!)


Here is the finished present I will be taking for Emma:

The jar cost £1 from a charity shop, and I just filled it with the fudge, added gold curling ribbon to the neck, stuck a matching gold bow tag to the lid and I think the finished product makes a fab frugal festive gift!

 I hold no responsibility for any weight gained from eating this fudge :)

Let me know if you make my/Nigella's version. Fudge recipes of your own are more than welcome, a person can never have enough fudge recipes! :)

PS -  and are both holding amazing giveaways - check them out :)

Tuesday, 14 December 2010

Loves, Lusts and Inspirations #1

Hi everyone!

Just because,  here are a few pics  (stolen from Google) that im either lusting after, find inspiring, or just think is simply beautiful! There is a really random mix of pictures (and not many words!)
But I hope this gives you more of an insight of what makes me swoon!

                                                   How stunning is this sewing box?

                                                         I adore herbs and spices

                                         Ahoy Sailor! This is my signiture style come summer! <3

                                                                      Complete LUST!!!

                    These are stunning, beautiful packaging, shades, scent  - whats not to love?

                                  Ah, Rainbow Brite, a girl hero straight out of my childhood :)

                                                          Peonies make me smile :)

                                                                      An Icon

      My signature scent <3

                                               What girl DOESNT like Tiffany and Co?

I hope you find this as inspiring as me :)

What makes YOUR heart melt?