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cocktail

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A Winter Cocktail

Life changing magic

Life changing magic
The Life Changing Magic

Crafternoon


I have been planning to host a little crafting event for a while, but the house needed some serious decorating beforehand as we'd need a table to craft on. Finally with an end in sight, I arranged a little craft afternoon, or 'crafternoon'. For a while it looked like it might not happen as the table needed for it was on order without a delivery date, but on Saturday morning John Lewis finally delivered me one, meaning we could get our craft on on Sunday. 
So here is my little take on a crafting afternoon with some teacup candle making;


We had tea cups, mostly collected by my mum when she found them in the boxes she buys from auctions and the likes. A big bowl of wax pellets, wicks and wick holders. 


I also made sure we had some things to pretty up the end results - little bags, ribbons, washi tape and tags. 



Each candle was made with a cup and a half of wax, melted and poured into the cup. After a candle making attempt before and having ruined a few bowls then, I had a brain wave and we decanted the wax into old glass jars which we placed into saucepans of boiling water. {It was a much better plan as i just threw out most of the jars after we'd done - I have kept one for a christmas craft that involves wax!}


And here is the finished article. We all left with pretty teacups, now holding a candle. Tarted up in little bags with ribbons and twine. 


And for treats I made some pumpkin whoopie pies, caramel buttons* and spiced cider; 



The whoopie pie recipe can be found here. I have never baked with pumpkin before and to be honest, they taste more of the cinnamon and spices than they do of the pumpkin, which is fine by me! But they went down well, and either got eaten or taken home.


And I made little individual banana breads as take home treats - because nothing says autumn to me like banana bread. It's my 'go to' recipe from Orangette and one of my favourite things to bake as it always comes out well. 

{totally forgot to take a picture of the cider until if was dark - but check my new drinks dispenser!}
Hot Spiced Cider - I have also never tried this before {but I've drank a lot of it at Glastonbury} and I don't quite know where I found this recipe, but I've had it written down for a while. It did call for All Spice but we don't have any so I didn't use it and I don't think it missed it. The housemate said it needed brandy, but he like a drink and plus we didn't have any brandy, so I ignored him. It'll definitely be something I'll make again. 


4ltrs apple cider
1/2 cup light brown sugar
2 oranges (quartered)
3-4 cinnamon sticks
1tsp cloves
{1tsp of all spice - but I didn't}


Pop all the ingredients in a pan and stir until the sugar has dissolved {it will fizz when you add the sugar!} once the sugar is dissolved, turn the heat down and let simmer for 2-3 hrs. Serve warm. 


*not awfully sure about these - they stuck together, were super hard and didn't really get eaten {or photographed} but they tasted pretty good!


Oh, and just in case you were wondering - all the printed collateral has been adapted from this free printable by Creature Comforts and the font is Peach Sundress
The bunting is from here. Printed onto nice paper and cut out with pinking shears. 
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Trying my hand at quilting



Last month was my bestie, Lizzy's, baby boy, B's 1st birthday. I am not sure what to get for small people for their birthday's. Liz is really the first of my friends with one. And I have this theory that at one they don't fully know what they are getting, probably have far too many toys, so something pretty for child, but really for Mum might be better. 
When I saw this quilt on Pinterest {of course} I had it straight in my head as a gift for B! Knowing the nursery colours, I chose base fabric in these, then I asked Liz B's favourite colours and picked cottons in those for the stitching. 
I made it an age ago, but since I had the pleasure of seeing Lizzy and family on Monday, I can blog about it now. 

Now I am not quilter. In fact this is my fist attempt. And in a lot of ways it went well - I mean there is a finished article! But in so many more it went really wrong. You can see on the picture below where the fabric has puckered and the lines are so very very wonky. And in the tutorial has way way more lines {but I am not patient enough to do more} Oh and the bias tape might be a little shoddy. I may or may not have had to re-stitch parts of it. But I did add a little loop so that it could be used as part of a fort in the future - always thinking! 

But over-all I am pretty impressed, so here are some shot-at-the-last-minute-before-I-wrapped-it pictures. 



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My new favourite thing

It's been a few months since i discovered the 'Birthday Party in a Box' and I have to say it might be one of my new favourite things for my friends birthdays. It is super customisable, and never fails to make people happy. And as it happens, it was my friend Jen's birthday this weekend, so I knew what I'd be giving her.


But since I would be popping round to see Jen, rather than posting her gift, I could shake it up a little (the boxes that are going through the post have contained a bake it yourself cake mix you see) so, here goes, her birthday party consisted of;
  • 2 Fancie cupcakes one vanilla with a flake, one chocolate, maybe both for her, maybe one for her fancie? 
  • 2 candles - one for each cake, not one for each year ;) they are ombre 'd pink and uber tall and elegant. 
  • little start confetti table sprinkles
  • bunting made from some cute wrapping paper
  • a little bottle of pink sparkling wine and 2 straws {she is that classy}
  • some pretty pink, silver, white and black balloons. 




And as I couldn't find a box on my travels down Eccy road, I packaged it all up in a little red polka dot reusable zippered bag that I thought Jen would be able to find a use for again. 
Minutes after my arrival there was bunting strung on the bookcase, balloons and confetti everywhere,  - including all over the game of Risk that was just being set up. And as she had been keeping this birthday a little quiet, I think she was pretty happy with it all. 


I think I need to step up my Party in a Box game though - what would you like to see in a birthday party box? 


{On a side note, her boyfriend had bought them a barrel of Jaipur from the Thornbridge Brewery. Never had it before, but mmmmmmmm, it was nice.}
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Things I have learnt this week;


  • Painting a room, from plastering, takes way longer than you think it will. 
  • A radiator may work when your dad re-attaches it, but it probably won’t when you need it. 
  • People can say they'll be there for you, but the words mean nothing unless they're there when you need them. 
  • You never learn that the bottom step of the step-ladder is missing {I have many, many scrapes on my legs to prove it}
  • I don't sleep well alone. Despite having lived alone for a few years, 6 months sleeping with the boy next to me has screwed up my sleep alone habits. 
  • A new cream carpet and a cut on your thumb that won't stop bleeding shouldn’t be mixed.
  • A Polo is like a tardis – an ebay bought sideboard is no match for the car of dreams!
  • Nail varnish removes paint from all sorts of places it shouldn’t be. Like fireplaces.
  • Little gifts to unsuspecting friends can brighten even a rubbish day. 

{can you tell I spent my week in DIY hell?}
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Besotted



Have you seen the Besotted Brand Shop that just opened? 
It is run by one of my all time favourite bloggers, Miss B, who I've been reading since I discovered the Souvenir Foto School's a few years ago. And well, she has launched a shop full of super cute stamps and papers. And to top it all off 
I kind of have my eye on a few of the little stamps - namely the 'hello' one and the 'handmade' one, but what I really, really want is the super duper box set that I've pictured above, and more than a little bit because I want to see that ace box that it comes in. 


If you haven't seen the shop, then you need to head over, because, in her own words, her unborn children wont be going to college unless she sells some of the beautiful paper she bought. 

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How to fill a month alone.......

The boy leaves for India on Monday, for a month. Needless to say, I am not looking forwards to it. I am still unsure where I fit here so having him gone wont be easy. 


But the plan is to keep myself busy - I have a bit of a house project on my hands - at the moment, we have a living room that has a layer of watered down paint on it, no carpets, no blinds - no nothing. 
The paint for the walls has been bought, the blinds are sitting in their boxes in the room and the carpet is ordered. I just have to do the work - which kind of sucks, as I'll be doing it alone. But I guess, at least I get to do it how I want it. And once that room is decorated, there is just the little matter of moving all the furniture in and furnishing the dining room with the beautiful table I have seen. The advantage of the boy being away might be the purchase of a chandelier {every time I mention it the boy says no. But if he isn't here, what can he do......} I can do all of that with just one free weekend right?


And I have a weekend away to see my prego friend, Sammy, to help with her nursery along with her baby shower to plan, a day booked off work to see Lizzy, her Lion and baby B which I can not wait for and a craft club to organise. 
That's right I am planning a little crafting club for my friends once the table arrives. I mean, what is the point of a massive table if I can't utilise it? I just need to send out some invites and hope to god the room is done in time. 


If anyone wants to come and help me throw paint around - just holla. I'll provide the paint and rollers, and maybe a glass of wine or two. There is some purple paint involved if that helps you decide? 
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