Wednesday, 17 December 2014

Brighton Bloggers Christmas Crafts Afternoon!

Busy Busy = Not Enough Time to Craft

Life has been pretty busy recently, I must admit, and blogging has taken a back burner due to starting a new job, Christmas shopping, zumba, hula hooping (I'm doing quite well now - more on that in another post), spending time with friends and family, and trying to take care of myself more in general. The keeping busy has helped keep my head afloat, but I must admit that there have been times where everything has all gotten to be too much for me.

I would craft my cares away, but at the moment I am not feeling too inspired on the papercrafting side at least. I ordered some things which I think will inspire me, so here's hoping I get my craft mojo back soon.

Brighton Bloggers Craft Afternoon

In the meantime, I can try to be inspired by others. I was lucky enough to be invited by Hillary's Blinds to their crafternoon at Taj's Tea Parlour in my fair city of Brighton. There were to be two makes - bunting and baubles, and the classes were taught by the lovely Make, Do and Trend ladies. 

We actually used fabric from the new Hillarys range designed in conjunction with House Beautiful Magazine to make the bunting and baubles, here is what my bauble turned out like:

Make Do and Trend craft  class bauble

I'm pretty impressed with it being my first time making one of these! If I were to make one again it would be with more seasonal fabrics, such as this cute Xmas Holly fat Quarter Bundle* or this Bundle of Red & Green Floral half quarters*, which I think would be suitable for all year around, not just Christmas.

We also enjoyed some tea and biscuits - well, as all crafters know, we need sustenance to get us through!

Tea and biscuits - tea shop Brighton

Thanks to Hillarys Blinds and everyone else involved in this fun event for inviting me and some very familiar faces to get crafty on an otherwise cold and windy typically Brighton afternoon!

As always, affiliate links are marked with an asterisk.

Monday, 15 December 2014

Christmas Gift Guide - Crafters and Bakers

Christmas is Coming!

I can't believe how close Christmas is now - my work Christmas do is on Friday and I've got my dress (from Collectif), my nails booked (at Final Nail in Brighton), and my blow dry booked in (at the fab Forde Hair on Brighton's North Street).

There are still a few gifts to get though - come on, we can't all be super organised!! If you're still looking for something to get people in your life who may love crafting, baking, or similar things, then you're in luck! I've come up with a nifty gift guide which should be able to help with at least a couple of people. And for me, when I see something someone else has discovered, my efficiency-seeking brain gets happy - more time for me, more time for craft, more time for baking, and more time for Netflix!

Anyway, let's get on with the goodies.

Christmas Gifts for the Baking Lovers

biscuit stamps cheap baking fun

HEMA dough stamps

These cute dough stamps would be great to stamp fun messages on cookies and biscuits. They are available in two variations: Nice and Hello, and Like and Happy.

fred tough tattoo biscuit cutters
Image: Amazon

Fred Tough Cookie Cutters

Who doesn't love a biscuit? I couldn't resist sharing these awesome tattoo themed Fred Tough Cookie Cutters* - perfect for the tattoo loving baker, or those not brave enough to ink up themselves!

Cute retro pin up polka dot apron
Image: Sunday Girl

Retro Apron

I'm loving this cute red polka dot sweetheart neckline apron from Sunday Girl - there are lots of cute designs to choose from!

Cute embossed rolling pin

Embossed Rolling Pin

These are an emerging trend, and Etsy sellers such as Mood for Wood (stifle those sniggers, readers!) create gorgeous embossed rolling pins, such as the heart embossed rolling pin pictured above.

Christmas Gifts for the Craft Lovers

Glitter washi tape HEMA
Image: HEMA

HEMA Glitter Tape

Glitter tape is a great touch to add to hand made cards, presents, letters, organizer pages, SMASH Book pages, scrapbook layouts and lots more. You can get the cute glitter tape pictured above here at HEMA.

clear October Afternoon Hey Girl stamps

October Afternoon Daily Flash Hey Girl Stamp Set

I love a good stamp set and think that this selection would be perfect for handmade cards, organizers, and scrapbook pages! You can get this October Afternoon Hey Girl Stamp Set from Crafty Charlie.

one day my desk will be tidy mug

One Day This Desk Shall Be Tidy Mug

Yes, every crafter should have this! Even the most tidy of crafters still suffers from desk mess guilt, so this 'One Day This Desk Shall Be Tidy' mug is ideal for them!

Big Ticket Items

There are also some more expensive gifts for crafters and those who love to take and share photos. 

Fujifilm Instax Share

instant photo printed fujifilm instax
Image: Amazon*

I'm really lusting over this item. So, so much. The Fujifilm Instax Share* allows you to print photos from your smartphone, Facebook and Instagram, in Instax form! Gorgeous.

cutting machines silhouette cameo and silhouette portrait

Silhouette Cameo or Silhouette Cameo Portait

I have the original Silhouette Cameo* and love it to bits. I love the versatility of it and think it far outweighs the other market rivals. It's blimming great. If you're looking for a smaller, more budget-concious version, the Silhouette Cameo Portrait* is for you.

I hope you got some ideas for presents for those in your life who are passionate about crafts and baking, or just things to treat yourself with your Christmas money! Let me know in the comments below what you would recommend as gifts for crafters and bakers.

NB: Some of the items featured in this post have affiliate links. They are marked with an asterisk. All of the items mentioned in this post are chosen by myself and myself only. I have not been sponsored or paid to recommend any of the above items.

Sunday, 2 November 2014

Coast to Coast Christmas Menu

If you follow me on instagram (if you don't, why not? Do it now!) You'll see that a few weeks ago I went to Coast to Coast in Brighton to sample their Christmas menu. I really love my food, as you can tell from many of my blog posts, and the lovely people at Coast to Coast invited myself and a number of other lovely Brighton bloggers (I'll list them below) to come along and enjoy their foodie goodness!

I'd never been to Coast to Coast before. I don't usually frequent Brighton Marina - only to pop to Asda every now and then, but there's one closer to me which is more accessible. I used to go there to the cinema, but I'm now a member of Picturehouses, so I usually go to Duke of Yorks, or Dukes at Komedia as it's such a lovely cinema experience - plus as a tall person with long legs, comfy seats with lots of leg room at no extra price is perfect for me. I shall be going back to try other food at Coast to Coast however, as it was delish!

I don't try and avoid 'American' restaurants in the UK, but I think as I have been to the USA a lot (I have family there) I do tend to find that I frequently get let down by bad restaurants and bad dishes. Luckily I wasn't let down at Coast to Coast! One of the menu developers was in attendance at the event, and we got to ask him lots of questions (and admire his awesome tattoos) - he is very into his American food, but knows that not all Brits do, so they give their food a twist to meet the British palate!

We were given a walk through and taste through of their Christmas cocktail list - let's just say that their eggnog is to die for and I would gladly drink all the others again too!

Anyway, shall we go on about the food? Oh yes. Let's begin...

There's a selection of yummy starters, including:

goats cheese bruscetta

Goats cheese bruscetta bites

And then we tried some delicious main courses, such as:

mushroom risotto

Mushroom risotto

maple bacon burger

Maple bacon burgers


Christmas turkey dinner

the famous British Christmas Dinner with turkey, roast potatoes, mash, veggies, stuffing, pigs in blankets, and more!

We were getting a little stuffed, but we had two more things to try. 

Pudding... a lush Oreo cheesecake with Oreo ice cream and Chantilly cream:

Oreo cheesecake and oreo ice cream
This was amazing. I could eat it all day, every day!!

And then we were presented with our final cocktail of the evening... the snowman!

Christmas snowman cocktail

I mean come on... unless you are Vegan or have an immense lactose intolerance you could not say no to this!! Absolutely gorgeous and incredibly cute. By then, Tess and Lilla had decided that they were done, so had a couple of sips and then I finished it off. So good.

I was incredibly impressed by the food we tasted that evening and I'll be sure to be going back to Coast to Coast, whether in Brighton or elsewhere.

Have you ever eaten at Coast to Coast? What would you choose if you were to decide on three courses on the Christmas menu?

Thanks to Coast to Coast for inviting myself and a bunch of other Brighton bloggers along to sample the menu! The food and drinks were comped by Coast to Coast, but my opinions are always my own.

Sunday, 12 October 2014

To My Younger Self

British mail box

This post took a lot of thought and although some people may not like the topic this post surrounds, but I thought I'd be a bit personal for this one.

I write about food a lot (as well as craft and some other things I love to write about on this blog), and I love food, but when I was younger my relationship with food was somewhat different.

Dear 17-year-old me,

I would ask you how you are, but I know that you probably wouldn't be happy with that. I'd know how you would be. So I won't ask.

I'm writing to tell you that things get better. Life gets better, and your relationship with food will improve. Right now I know that you dislike eating out right now. Your anxiety makes things difficult. This makes things difficult to socialise - you often turn down going to birthday meals because of it, and if you do go out, you usually stick with garlic bread and drinks whilst everyone else tucks into their food. It makes you sad and actually makes your anxiety worse because you think that everyone is watching you eat.

I want to tell you that most of them would not have been watching you eat, and to enjoy the food and the moments surrounding the food. Of course, I cannot force you to do this, and this behaviour will continue for years. But let me tell you - even though it does continue, things get better. You actually start to be able to eat in front of people. And yes, I mean a proper meal. It's great. You get to write about the food you eat and share the delight in what you love. Because for whoever else is reading this - she doesn't have an eating disorder, she just cannot eat well in front of others.

Younger self; there are other people who are reading this who would be astonished at how your relationship with food was well over a decade ago. They know of a woman who enjoys her food (a little too much sometimes, but we'll ignore that - she's working on it!), eats out with friends and even strangers would you believe?!

There are other things I could tell you about, what I could cover in this letter, but I won't. I don't want to spoil things. 

But like I said, it gets better. And you are loved.


NB: This post was written in conjunction with Legal and General, who are asking what you would say to your younger self?


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