Monday, 31 March 2014

Country Craft Project - with Hillarys Blinds

I now have a home, after being put through hell over the last few months, I can now settle down and start to build a future for Evan and get on with doing up this house at last!

 I couldn't decorate whilst Mum was here as any fumes would affect her breathing so the opportunities to paint were few and far between.

When I saw that Hillarys Blinds were running a craft competition I signed up and it has really stirred up some passion in me to get on with doing up each room and really trying to solve what issues each room has. The biggest issue every room has is

STORAGE

Well lack of it! The bathroom is not the biggest room and so I have units but it makes it really cramped so as I have an OCD for products I really need some where to store them that does not impact on my usable space.

For the competition we had to choose one of four options of fabric to have delivered. I opted for the beautiful Peacock design "Bird Parade" in Teal.



I really love turquoise and Peacocks are such majestic creatures it was by far my favourite, although any of the patterns would be lovely in a craft project.


So I walked around town looking for inspiration and trying to work out how I could turn this fabric into a usable item that would make like easier and it dawned on me to make a hanging product tidy.

So you will need:

of your chosen fabric
A piece of Dowelling / coat hanger / curtain rod
Ribbon
any decals you have that you like!

This really is such a simple item to make but I hope you will agree is really effective!

I had an old tea towel rail rod which I decided to use as the supporting bar this measures 18", so I cut the fabric to leave half an inch of the rod showing either side.



Measure your fabric

Depending on how many rows of pockets you require, I made mine with three rows.

Hem the sides and bottom of your back panel.

Cut 3 strips of fabric wider than your main fabric backing.

Take an average size bottle and measure it so you know it will fit.



Take each strip and attach the sides, then sew the widths to form the pockets and finally gather and sew the bottom.
Do this with all the strips.




Fold over the top to hem but before sewing make 2 small slits along the fold and sew on the lengths of ribbon. Leave a loop inside to hold the rod (if you use a coat hanger you can omit this part) Sew along the the top and thread the rod through.



I had some peacock coloured beads which I glued to the ends of the rod to make them pretty - second hand/charity shops are great places for old necklaces/bracelets you can use the beads from!

And voila!



I had to improvise to show how I tied the ribbons as I haven't put the hooks up in my bathroom yet but you get the idea. I love it, you can whip out the rod and wash it too so it's brilliant for holding products!

I made the pockets all shapes and depths to hold different products and I'm thrilled with it!

I am now setting myself a project to do up each room, but I can't buy anything new - it must all be either recycled, charity shop or car boot sale bought, I'll keep you informed of what I do!


Wednesday, 26 March 2014

Win! - Mark Hill Wicked Waver

Fancy some Bad Girl Glam?

To celebrate my blog turning Two this month I have a fabby giveaway where you can bag yourself a Mark Hill Extreme Wicked Waver!







"The Wicked Waver Extreme from Mark Hill delivers gorgeous, tousled salon-perfect curls in seconds. Due to the unique barrel design no two curls will ever be the same. The tourmaline ceramic technology used on the barrel ensures that heat is evenly distributed so your curls are smooth, shiny and frizz free."




Just Fill in the Rafflecopter and Good Luck!


Terms and Conditions
  • open to over 18's only
  • open to UK residents only
  • The mandatory blog comment entry & Follow via GFC MUST be completed for others entries to be valid.
  • The prize consists of Mark Hill Extreme Wicked Waver, No alternatives are available.
  • The winner will be contacted by me shortly after the draw closes to obtain details so that I may arrange delivery of their prize.
  • The winner must respond within 7 days or a new winner will be drawn.
  • The draw closes at 11.59 on the 09/04/2014


a Rafflecopter giveaway



Win competitions at ThePrizeFinder.com

Tuesday, 25 March 2014

Wherever You Are.....

I've been thinking about you,
about your smell and your laugh.
I can't quite focus on the sound
as if it is just out of bounds,
out of reach.
Like that movement you sometimes don't
see in the corner of your eye..

I want to chat,
just about crap,
about stupid people in the shops
and carrier bags that split when you
get them out of the car.
About the rain and the bloody hedge already
driving me mad.

I want to shout at you for leaving,
for going when I wasn't there.
To come to look at just an empty chair.
To make you dinner which you didn't eat,
and didn't remember that you liked that last week and then inform me
you had never eaten it before.

Wherever you are I hope you can see
I'm trying. Really hard to get through each day.
Every 24 hours are hard, I remind myself to get up, eat, move, talk
to at least one person a day; if I can.

I feel I have nothing to say,
 except one thing
Wherever you are
Wherever you stay
Don't think I don't remember
and Happy Mother's Day......

Mother's Day Baking!

I love baking with Evan, we have a great time doing it together and he seems to really enjoy it.
Last year on Mother's Day, he excelled himself and woke me up with breakfast in bed, baked a cake and cooked a full roast dinner, all of which was superb!

Last week he asked me what sort of cake I would like him to make this year and I told him to decide after looking at some recipes but then coincidentally I was contacted by Waitrose - who asked if we would like to bake some cakes and encourage you lovely lot to home bake for Mother's Day!

Waitrose have a lovely app on their website where you can send a #ThanksMum message on Facebook, Twitter or via email - they are creating a beautiful flower installation at Kew Gardens in London in appreciation of mums everywhere and if you use the app you get entered into a special prize draw to win some great prizes! 
On Sunday 30 March 2014, four winners will be awarded a prize every hour from 09.00 to 15.00, from either the Waitrose Wine service, Waitrose Flowers service, or will win a membership with Kew Gardens in London!

There are also some fantastic gift ideas and recipes on the dedicated Mother's Day pages, so nip on over and maybe you will be inspired to get in the kitchen and bake treats (even if just for yourself!).

We had a choice of four recipes to choose from and I chose my favourite, Delia's Coffee and Walnut Cake whilst Evan chose a Victoria Sponge with Fresh Cream & Strawberries as the filling!

I used my local Waitrose store in Dorchester. I love this shop, most of the staff are really nice and it always so clean and tidy. The selection of produce is very decent for a smaller (in town) supermarket. I am always impressed with the quality of the fresh fruit and veg, which seem to last longer than other suppliers.



Lin & Steph - Always friendly & happy to help!


We spent Saturday having a great day in kitchen and here are our vlogs to show you how we got along!

I will list the ingredients here but for the full recipe please head on over to the Waitrose page.


Victoria Sponge




Ingredients

  • 250g unsalted butter, softened
  • 250g caster sugar
  • 4 medium organic eggs
  • 250g Waitrose Superfine Self Raising Flour
  • 75ml milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

Delia's Coffee and Walnut Sponge Cake






Ingredients

115g self-raising flour
1 level teaspoon baking powder
115g spreadable butter
2 large eggs
115g golden caster sugar
1 rounded teaspoon instant espresso coffee powder
50g walnuts, very finely chopped

For the filling and topping
250g mascarpone
1 rounded dessert spoon instant espresso coffee powder
1 tablespoon golden caster sugar
1-2 tablespoons milk
8 walnut halves




(the black spot is on my lens NOT the yummy cake!)

You can find an extensive range of recipes to try on the Waitrose website, with clear and easy to follow methods.
Evan and I had a great time, and it was so nice to spend some quality time with him and ended up with delicious results too!
So what will you all be baking this week or for Mother's Day?

I was not paid to write this post but I did receive a voucher to cover the cost of the ingredients. All the views are my own and an honest appraisal.


Monday, 24 March 2014

Civil Unrest

My best friend writes over at The Ramblings of a Formerly Rock n Roll Mum and last week wrote an awesome post after the budget regarding bingo and beer.

It made me think a lot, I think a lot about a lot of things at the moment and doubling that up with digging out my old Guns n Roses albums to listen to in the car - I made a video as it says a damn sight more than I can, as do the lyrics.






Monday, 17 March 2014

Teen Angst

I am in what seems to be eternal hell at the moment. I am still or really just feeling able to grieve over the loss of my Mum and with Mother's Day fast approaching I am trying not to dwell too much.

I obviously, being a mother myself cannot avoid it; but this year I would really like to sleep through the day...
...not because of my Mum but because of the Antichrist I am currently sharing my home with.

12 year old son, love of my life, light at the end of my tunnel, all things good about my life and currently pubescent devil of the darkest depths!

I cannot even look at him without being screamed at, can't make a comment without a door slamming,  cannot ask for a chore or a simple " Can you please...?" without the tantrum throwing, tell him off / explain anything /speak or even....breathe without obnoxious name calling.

It is tiring, I am tired...very very tired.

I want the last 12 months to start being just THAT the LAST 12 months - having my home was to be a fresh start but instead I'm now sharing it with Kevin, or more rightly known as Lucifer......





Song for this POST

Wednesday, 12 March 2014

Ed's Easy Diner - Cardiff - Review

You may or may not know that I am a volunteer crew member for Showmasters events around the UK. So this March heralded the second Cardiff Film and Comic Convention at the Motorpoint Arena and yet again we blew Cardiff away!
It was an awesome weekend full of costume, fun and the chance to meet your favourite stars from TV and Film (amongst others).

So as I knew I would be in Cardiff I had been entering the give-aways on Twitter for any Cardiff based prizes and luckily for me I won a gift voucher to spend at Ed's Easy Diner, so I thought it would be a brilliant idea to review the restaurant and let you all know how I found the diner and the service.

Eds Easy Diner - Cardiff
St David's Shopping Centre, 
Cardiff 
CF10 2EF


I had been to Ed's on my previous trip and love the 1950's theme and as you can see from the pics it is a bright and fun atmosphere!







I went out for the evening with Evan and took along one of my best friends, John (who otherwise would have been in his room with a pot noodle).

We arrived and were seated within seconds. Sitting outside the actual restaurant as it was so busy, but the whole area inside and out was clean and tidy. All the staff were smartly dressed, very polite and helpful. Hannah our server introduced herself and took our drinks orders and gave us menus.






Evan was intrigued by 'Wet Chips' and so I enquired and to his delight found it means Chips with Gravy! 
Our drinks arrived and we ordered our food - they are really flexible so if you are a bit picky or would rather have this than that, you will be accommodated no problem!
You can view the full menu HERE

We ordered:
Strawberry Milkshake
Root Beer
Coke

Smokey Joe Burger (With Cheddar cheese, griddled onions and Smokey BBQ Sauce)
Classic Burger
Wet Chips
Runny cheese dip





Pancakes with ice cream and chocolate sauce 
Waffles to share with Maple syrup, chocolate sauce and ice cream





All the food was correct, hot and delicious!
Evan was after seconds of everything but I had to say no, as I am watching his weight but a treat like this once in a while is fine.

The desserts were simply fantastic and I was so full, nothing better than a great meal after a long days' Sci-Fi fun!
I had to add a little money on top of the £25 gift card but £33 for 3 of us is great value and the service is top notch. I would highly recommend this restaurant for anyone - with or without children.

Only 2 pointers, not really negatives - No toilets as the shopping centre has public loos 1 min away. 
No Vege burger Ev would eat, he would have liked just a standard 'Quorn' type burger, no beans/spice.

Other than that 10 out of 10! Please open one in Dorset!

You can Follow Ed's on:



I was not asked or paid to do this review. I did win a voucher but the review was my idea and this is my own personal opinion.