Tuesday, January 29, 2019

Some Christmas Makes

As usual I made some stuff for presents for Christmas, so I thought I'd post some pictures here. I really like giving homemade gifts but they obviously take some work so I usually try to start in October. As it was, I was still having to try to finish Lee's the week before Christmas! Ah well.

Here's what I made:

When we were camping last summer I thought my uncle might like a new teapot and cosy. I ordered a teapot on eBay - it's enamel - but when it came it was smaller than I expected. Never mind, I made it a cosy. I just did layers of doubles back and forth, stitching in the back loop to produce the ribbed effect. did a vague circle for the top and then sort of sewed it on to the lid. I had left gaps in the cosy for the handle and spout, and then I sewed round the edge and pulled it all together. 

Neil really liked it, he said he was going to take it to work for his cuppas there! So that's good. 

My friend Cath asked me to stitch this Star Wars sampler for her partner. I used the threads I had so the colours are slightly different to the ones in the pattern, but I think they look gorgeous. This was a lot of fun to stitch, I've never made a sampler like this before. 

I bought this pattern for the Death Star ages ago, it's actually part of a bigger piece but I just wanted to make this bit for Lee for Christmas. It was a lot, there was so much black. I had to keep a close eye on the pattern and cross off with a pencil when I did a line. I broke it into quadrants which really helped. I love it, and Lee does too! We need to get it framed now. 

I pulled out all my jewellery supplies the week before Christmas because I had some new beads I wanted to make something with. I.... actually forgot about that, because I got distracted making some bracelets and key rings as presents. From the back: I made key rings for my cousin Peter and his girlfriend Beth, I love these circle beads. The yellow and orange glass bracelet is for my cousin's wife Beth (yes, there's two Beths in the family haha), the one in front of that was for my cousin Rob. It's made out of carnelian and amber, it's gorgeous in life. The one on the right of that is for me, it's made out of fluorite which is my favourite stone. It fluctuates between dark purple, dark green, and lilac. I love it. My aunt made me a bracelet for Christmas which is fluorite and silver, it's absolutely stunning and I love it. I've been wearing the two together.

Finally Lee picked out a ton of fun beads for himself. It says "punk/crust/grind/ska", which are all the different types of punk that he likes. He's been wearing it a lot. 

I made this for Caroline (my aunt). It's purple glass, clear glass, silver and purple metal beads. I liked this bracelet a lot, I may have to make one for myself! She liked it

I made everyone in my family a button tree or two. Aren't they fun? So easy to do, you just need some wire and a bunch of buttons. I added the bells on some of them because I had them hanging around too. Lee's was the pink one, he liked it, so we put it on the tree :) 

I joined in with this stitch along through Caterpillar Cross Stitch and kept up with it really well, so it was finished well before Christmas. I liked it, it was simple but really effective. I've signed up for a new, beach themed piece through the same site, which I'm really looking forward to. I haven't had this framed yet, but we put it on the wall over christmas anyway.

Lastly, I did get around to making some bracelets like I meant to in the beginning. The beads on the left are so gorgeous - the light blue ones are very beautiful, and the dark blue ones have a gold flash in them that I love. While I had everything out I made the bracelet on the right out of beads I salvaged for a necklace. I like these for a bracelet. 

There we go, some recent makes!

Sunday, January 27, 2019

What I Wore December 15th

I had bought two new dresses just before my aunt's birthday, one for her birthday and one for Christmas. I wanted something a bit fancy for her party and this prom dress from Simply Be fitted the bill really well. It's really nicely made and has such a gorgeous pattern. I got a lot of compliments on it!

It's a gorgeous silver mesh top layer, with stripes and the beautiful floral pattern, and a somewhat pouffy under layer which gives the dress a lovely shape. The top bit you can see is a very fine mesh with a cream neckline which is really lovely. I like the darts that go from under the waist.

I paired it with a cardigan I got off eBay for a few quid.

Friday, January 25, 2019

Photo an Hour December and My Aunt's Party

Photo an Hour in December was on December 15th and we happened to be going to Surrey for my aunt's 50th birthday party, so I had lots of fun stuff to take photos of. I'll post my outfits separately, but here's the rest of the day:

Early, post shower

Lee in the car on the way

I was in charge of music which means you get stuff like this, sorry

Stopped for lunch 

Still on the motorway...

Finally at Caroline's and we'd got changed and I'd put my face on. I recently discovered a bunch of Models Own lipsticks that I'd forgotten about so I had pulled them all out to wear. This peachy coral is gorgeous!

Caroline's amazing cake, her daughter in law Beth made it

My younger cousin and me - the hat is mine but isn't he cute in it?

Lee and I 

On the left screen were tons of photos of Caroline through the years, which were lovely to look at

Sparkler and singing happy birthday

Lee deep in conversation

My stepdad checking his camera

A quiz of films that were all released in 1968 - which do you know?

The most amazing brownies ever

Later in the evening, playing Heads Up with my cousins

And a couple of others

Sitting on the sofa in the conservatory feeling quite drunk

And finally... what's left over at the end of a good party!

Tuesday, January 22, 2019

York Zine Fest and Weekend in York

The second weekend in December saw us in York for York Zine Fest. We went to the first one in July and had high hopes for the second one. In fact, I'd encouraged some friends to apply for tables too, so we set out really optimistically to York.

Unfortunately, the fest didn't go as planned. They had had a lot of applications for tables, so they put six of us in a separate room before the main one. This meant we didn't have the footfall like the main hall did, and nowhere near the number of sales. Most people didn't even realise we were there. It was a shame, and I didn't feel like the organisers listened to our concerns either on the day or afterwards. They didn't apologise, either. I'm still a bit angry about it and I feel bad that my friends had wasted trips and had bad experiences. Unfortunately I don't think I'll go again.

After the fest, Lee took me to Jacqui's house, where Sam was too. We had plans to hang out and watch rubbish Christmas TV and eat party food, so that's what we did. I also asked Sam and Jacqui to be "bridesmaids" for me! Lee and I are going to have a vow renewal/huge party in May, which almost no one knew about - it's been hard keeping a secret!

On Sunday Sam and Jac and I went into York to see A Muppets Christmas Carol at City Screen. I thought I'd seen the film before but I can't have, it wasn't familiar to me. I liked it and it felt really lovely and festive. Then we went across the road to Bill's for lunch, which was yummy. I had a melting chocolate dessert that was delicious.

Not long after that I had to go home, but I'd had a lovely weekend with my friends.

Sitting on my stall at the fest with all my lovely zines. 

You've seen this dress before so I didn't take a picture, but here's my snow globe pin, isn't it adorable?

Sam and Jac in Bill's on Sunday!

We all had some nice cocktails but this espresso martini was the best I thought!

Saturday, January 19, 2019

Goustobox Review

In November the lovely Georgina mentioned that she had been using Gousto boxes for cooking, and that she had a 60% off referral code. I had a look at the website and liked the look of the food on offer, so I chose four meals for the two of us, and paid just £14 for the box. It arrived one Monday in November and Lee and I set about unpacking it.

We were impressed that all the packaging was recycled and reusable, and that each ingredient was clearly labelled. You get a recipe card for each meal, which are also really clear and concise. Each ingredient is clearly measured, but the measurements are all on the cards too so that you can make it again by yourself.

It really took the stress out of the week that we knew what we were eating all week, we were both really busy with work and stuff so it was helpful to have meals at our fingertips. Each meal was a complete meal by itself with sides included. I wondered how the portions would be, but I was pleasantly surprised - certainly neither of us was hungry.

The second week I got a discount again so Lee helped me to choose what to eat. There's a big choice of stuff, and a lot of different dietary requirements are catered for. The box again arrived on time, well packaged and everything clearly marked.

So, what did we eat? Well, the stand out dish was a Sri Lankan curry, which was one of the best curries I've ever had and is a recipe we will definitely use again. We also really liked the baked fries we had. Everything was nice, I really didn't dislike anything except the peas that came with the fish fingers and chips.

The recipes are really clear, some of them are quite fiddly but the output was worth it. Lee was grateful for the photos on the recipe cards a couple of times. Here's some photos of what we made:

The box was well insulated and had chill packs in it, so if it was left outside for a few hours it would be okay

Pulled chicken burgers with baked sesame fries and cucumber salad - this was really good!

Chicken katsu curry with slaw - this was really fiddly but really yummy

Fish goujons with chunky chips and minted peas - this was okay but fiddly for what it was and I didn't like the peas

Sri Lankan curry - definitely the stand out dish - yummy

Smoky Spanish chicken with patatas bravas and aioli, this was simple but really nice

Cheesy chipotle chicken enchilada - again simple but nice.

We had a couple of other dishes which I didn't take photos of.

So what are my pros and cons of Gousto Box?

  • delicious food
  • wide choice of meals
  • exact ingredients arrive ensuring no waste
  • easy to follow recipe cards
  • fresh ingredients clearly marked with use by dates so you eat stuff up first
  • good if you're busy and don't want to think about what you want to eat or go to the supermarket
  • cost - I got 60% off and then 50% off, but I wouldn't pay full price for a box
  • some of the recipes were really fiddly and could have been simplified
I have a referral link if you want to try Gousto for yourself! Click here for 60% off your first box!

I purchased Gousto myself and was not compensated in any way for this post. 

Thursday, January 17, 2019

What I Wore 2nd December

As I said in my previous post, we went out to Leeds on 2nd December with my mum and stepdad. I wore this dress I'd recently got from Simply Be, I think it was only around £15 in the sale. This mustard colour is a departure for me, but I liked the style of the dress and decided to just go for it. As it was cold, I put on my long sleeved black cardigan, but I didn't need it inside.

The sleeves are a perfect length on me, and aren't too loose or too tight. I like how it looks like a wrap, but isn't, which feels more secure for me. I like the waist detailing, and the dress is a good length. Most of all I LOVE the colour. I took the below picture in the loos at Banyan and posted it to Instagram, where I think I got the most likes I've ever got! I will definitely be wearing this again soon.

Since it was the beginning of December I wore this Christmas pudding pin badge. My necklace is soapstone, I think, a friend gave it to me years ago

Feeling very cute in this dress!

Tuesday, January 15, 2019

Bottomless Brunch at Banyan, Leeds

At the beginning of December Lee and I took my mum and stepdad out to Banyan in Leeds for my stepdad's birthday. My mum and stepdad had both been interested when I'd been for bottomless brunch at All Bar One, so I decided we'd take them for one. All Bar One weren't running theirs in December, so I came upon Banyan instead. I booked a table and we picked my mum and stepdad up on Sunday lunchtime and set off.

It's in the old Post Office building; my mum says she can clearly remember when it was the post office. It's gorgeous inside, really nicely decorated. We had a nice table for four in the corner, and our waitress was fantastic - she was really nice and refilled our drinks really quickly each time.

The menu was fairly small, but quite varied. My mum and I both went for eggs royale with smoked salmon, and my stepdad went for steak sandwich and chips. My mum and I had prosecco and my stepdad had Aperol Spritzes which he really likes and which I think is quite unusual on a menu like this, but he was happy about it. Lee doesn't drink, so he could order off the main menu, so he went for a buttermilk chicken burger and fries. We weren't made to feel a nuisance when Lee didn't eat the brunch, which is really good.

The time limit is 90 minutes which was plenty of time, we had a decent amount of prosecco and the food was delicious. I would go back to Banyan another time to try something else.

After this, we walked back towards the Light where we'd parked and went into The Liquorist for a drink. I've never been in but I really liked its interior. We got a cocktail each - I think my stepdad had an Old Fashioned, my mum had a raspberry bellini, and I had a pornstar martini which I love. Lee had fresh orange juice which was extremely fresh and really nice.

It was a really lovely afternoon out, we said we'll really have to do it again soon!

It's a fantastic, huge building

Eggs royale

Lee's burger

In The Liquorist

My mum was really pleased about her bellini

My stepdad

Lee looking slightly loopy

And me! I'll share details of my outfit in my next post