Bank Holiday Shopping, Cocktails and a Catch-Up!

Hello! Did you all have a lovely bank holiday weekend? I had a great time! Particularly on Saturday when I was having a much needed catch up and shopping spree with a couple of my school friends!


I’ve known Becky since primary school, and we met Catherine when we were in the same form at high school. We saw each other on and off throughout University but the three of us haven’t all got together for almost 5 years! Me and Becky now work in central Leeds, so Catherine made the trip over to West Yorkshire for us to all get together for some retail therapy and cocktails! We had lots of fun with lots of gossip and some good food…we were all shattered by the end of it…we need some more practice I think!

And here is a sneak peek at my shopping:

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Happy Birthday James!


You might have noticed that I had a bit of a break from blogging at the beginning of last week, that was because it was James’s birthday, so we took a couple of days off work to relax and to celebrate his birthday. We decided to head out for a trip on the day, and for his birthday last year I bought him gift vouchers for the North York Moors Railway to travel on a steam train from Pickering to Whitby and back. James loves trains and when I was younger I always visited the National Railway Museum in York ( I think this will be our next day trip!) to travel on the steam trains, but James hadn’t been on one so it seemed like the perfect present. Life got a bit hectic between last April and now though, so this was the first opportunity we had had to use the vouchers, so his birthday was a great excuse for a visit.


Choo-choo! Here is the steam train that took us from Pickering to Whitby, posing for a photo opportunity at Whitby station! Doesn’t it look impressive! Continue reading

Handmade Mother’s Day Presents

I know that Mother’s Day is still a while away (15th March here in the UK) but this year I have decided that I want to make as many gifts as possible, so I made a head start on Mother’s Day back in January! I decided to use Mother’s Day this year as an excuse to try out some new crafts, and the first one that I have been wanting to try for ages was soap making!

Ever since I saw some handmade soaps in one of my craft books I have been meaning to give it a go, and James gave me the perfect chance to try it when it bought me a Kirsty Allsopp soap making kit for Christmas. As soon as we were into the new year and had a free weekend I got out the box, eager to give it a try. The box made a large block of lavender and lemongrass soap, which we were able to cut into 8 bars.

Soap Unwrapped

Making the soap was fun but in the future I may use a pre-made soap base, rather than the chemicals for ease. I know it is cheating but our dining-room table and my skin would probably thank me! It is definitely a craft that I want to explore some more though! I picked out some lovely purple handmade tissue paper to wrap the soaps, tying it with a piece of string. I’m really pleased with how they turned out and I’m sure my Mum will be too! Plus I have plenty of bars to give away for other occasions such as birthdays that we have coming up. Continue reading

My 23rd Birthday

Wow, my break from blogging really did last longer than I expected! Apologies for going AWOL for a few months, 2014 was a HUGE year for me – moving out of my family home for the first time into a house with James, starting a graduate job, finishing my masters dissertation – just to name a few! Because I had so much going on it has taken a few months to get into a regular routine around working different shifts and arranging a housework pattern, as well as fitting in hobbies and voluntary work. I am hoping that I have managed to strike a balance which is now going to allow me to get back into a blogging routine! I’ve got so many things to share with you since I’ve been away, starting with my 23rd birthday presents ( I’m only two months late, I don’t think that is too bad!)

My 23rd birthday was back in December and I really wanted to share my presents with you but…well, you know what December is like! The run up to Christmas got really chaotic and I never got round to sharing my presents with you but hey, better late than never!

Anyway, to kick it off, here are my crafty presents from James! I picked my first present as I had been eyeing up this adorable Disney cross stitch for a while. After visiting Orlando in 2013 and Disneyland Paris in November I was hooked on anything Disney-related, so what can get better than Disney-related crafts! I really wanted to get a large Disney cross-stitch, ideally of the castle, so when I saw this one of Mickey and Walt Disney I knew it was perfect. The pastel colours are really pretty and I love the level of detail in the design. I can’t wait to start it but I have quite a lot of projects keeping me busy this year! (More on that in a future post…)

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Another crafty gift from James! He picked out a sewing kit for me from Liberty when he was recently in London with work (he is well trained!) He bought me this patchwork cushion kit which I couldn’t wait to make a start on – I’d sewn it together before I even got a photo of it in the packet! It is a simple 9 square design with an envelope close at the back. James picked the kit with lovely blue fabrics in it to match our sofa – I couldn’t have picked better myself Continue reading

Productive Start to February!

I have had a productive start to February! Today was my holiday from work, before going back to University tomorrow. I have been pretty run down the last couple of days with some mystery illness (cold/throat infection type thing…) so I decided to have a relaxing day in my pjs. I can never quite justify doing nothing though, so I put my time to good use by doing some crafting. I made a gift for my pen pal Stef, but I will only share it once she has received it. I can show you my other project though. I took advantage of having the house to myself for the afternoon to work on a secret project for my Mum for mother’s day. I know that mother’s day isn’t until March, but trying to find time to do it in secret is tricky! I wanted to stitch her a fabric basket to put some paper goodies in it, and this is what I created:

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I used some Nancy Drew fabric, as my Mum loved reading the books when she was growing up, then I read them with her when I was young too. I thought it would make a lovely box to hold her presents and I love how it has turned out. You can get the link to the tutorial here. And here it is filled with her favourite scented Body Shop goodies! Continue reading

Christmas Goodies! And a Christmas Miracle…

I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas! I had a great couple of days off work where I spent time with my family and ate far too much food! Since then I’ve been back at work so this is the first chance I have had to share my presents with you! Here is just a quick look at some of the goodies that I got! Please excuse the poor quality photos, they were taken rather hastily on my phone on Christmas morning!



First of all, James got me a Sizzix Big Shot Die Cutter! I have had a quick play with it already but I am looking forward to experimenting with it some more yet! I also ordered some dies in the Hobbycraft January sale which are due to arrive any time now!

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The Overwhelming Generosity of Bloggers

Through the blogging community I have made some amazing friends. I never expected a global virtual community to feel so close-knit, and yet this is how I have made some of the closest friends that I have! I think it is fascinating to talk to people from around the world and to experience their lives through their eyes, and it is one of the reasons why I love reading (not just writing) blogs.

While being part of the blogging community, I have been very lucky and won some very generous giveaways, but this week I was lucky enough to receive two prizes in the post, not from giveaways but from bloggers who wanted to thank the supporters of their blogs. I am an avid believer that you can’t get without giving, and I dedicate a lot of my time reading and commenting on other blogs, not out of the expectation that they will return the comment (although many do) but out of the belief that blogging is a community. I often strive to find new bloggers who have the same interests as me, and take the time to follow their blog and comment on their posts, because I know how much those first few statistics meant to me and how they motivated me to keep going. I also believe that I still have a lot to learn about blogging, and by reading other blogs, I can pick up a lot of tips and techniques that have helped me shape my blog. Half of the pleasure of blogging is being introduced to new blogs, new people and new ideas, and the advantage of blogging means that you have the opportunity to discuss these ideas with the writers…it’s not an opportunity to be wasted!

So I would like to say thank you to everyone who has supported my blog, whether it has been right from the beginning or if you are a more recent reader. I would also like to take this opportunity to thank Angela and Azura Chan who sent me the following gifts:

Cute crafty goodies from Angela

Cute crafty goodies from Angela

An adorable bundle of goodies from Azura Chan

An adorable bundle of goodies from Azura Chan

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My 22nd Birthday! 22 Before 22 Review

So last week was my 22nd birthday! I had a great time and I can’t believe how quickly the year has gone by! My birthday also marked the end of my 22 Before 22 challenge, which I will summarise after I have shared my presents with you and said a huge thank you to everyone who made my birthday special, sent me a present or wished me a happy birthday!

I want to start off by showing you the amazing cake my Mum made me!

Yes I still want a princess cake when I'm 22...

Yes I still want a princess cake when I’m 22…

And now for the presents:

A snugly snood and purse from my Great Aunt and Uncle!

A snugly snood and purse from my Great Aunt and Uncle!

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Happy 21st Birthday James and Happy 1st Birthday to my Blog!

Wow, where has the last week gone???

Firstly, I’d like to apologise for the gap in my posting…I had several university deadlines to meet and books to read which I just had to put first and I am please to say that I finally feel on top of my workload again and there is a slight lull now before the next batch of essays so,  while I am still trying to get ahead with my work, I have time to do some fun things again (for now at least!) such as blogging and crafting 🙂

Not only have I been busy with work recently, but everything else in life seems to be occurring right now too! The first thing was James’ 21st birthday, which involved a trip to Skegness to spend the weekend with his family which was lovely and it gave us both a much needed break from work! Here are the presents that I got him!

The first present that I chose came to me as a stroke of genius shortly before Christmas, and in January it was put into action! A while ago I stumbled upon the blog of the fantastic Chipper Nelly (Fee) who makes stunning blocks from reclaimed wood. I first encountered her work when I saw her giveaway for some Alice in Wonderland blocks, which were completely amazing and I just couldn’t get them out of my head! I showed them to James and he loved them too, so I thought she may be able to help me out with a present for James to remember his 21st birthday, so I wanted to see what she could do with his favourite novel, The Secret Garden. After much plotting and discussing and designing (as well as my role…’borrowing’ James’ book to scan the images from) Fee made this for me:



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