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So, who's joining in with the August Break this year?


My brain feels even fuller than normal at the moment so the August Break couldn't come at a better time. I'll be posting photo's over on Instagram and no doubt I wont post a photo every day, and it's not a full blog break this time as I have a few blog posts I want to post, a tutorial maybe too, but i think Susannah's thought on using the AB to 'be present and enjoy taking photo's for the hell of it' is a great reason to get involved.

Tomorrow I'll be starting with the prompt sheets (and trying to stick with them)


If you're unfamiliar with the August Break it's a little break from the thinking and writing that come with blogging - a chance to take some photo's and just have a bit of a break in August.
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A parcel for Grandmaster Flash


A few weeks ago I got an email, well, in reality it was an email for Flash, but his smarts haven’t quite extended to reading, or typing yet, so I’m acting as his assistant here. He was contacted by Pet Supermarket to ask if he'd like to receive a few doggy treats. Well, Flash loves treats almost as much as he loves running after a ball and so he jumped at the chance, and a few weeks ago he took delivery of a box of goodies. Whilst his smarts don't include reading or writing they do include opening post and ripping paper from boxes so by the time I got home it was all unwrapped but luckily the contents hadn't been opened and devoured! We've waited to post this until Flash has had a chance to try all the food – but I think he’s tested them all thoroughly so, here goes.  


His package of treats contained the blue spotty bandana he's sporting here. And doesn't he look dapper, (although it did become a little like a 'chase the tail' game as he tried to figure out how to eat it) The box also had 3 boxes of food for him to try. Some Royal Canine Adult Food, HillsScience Adult Chicken and James Wellbeloved Duck and Rice and a packet of meaty Baxters Allsorts, which are a favourite of his already so he was pretty excited to see them. 



I think somewhere along the lines we might have created a little middle class pup. He came to us on a diet of Morrisons puppy food, but now, and I blame the fact we used the Waitrose weekend newspaper to toilet train him, it’s Eukanuba all the way, Cherry tomatoes are his all time favourite and he’s a huge fan rocket, avocado and edamame beans. He’s also quite partial to a bit of Skate wing, or a handmade burger. On the same note, he'll eat a dead birds foot quite happily (trust me, I watched him do - the little monster evaded my grip in the park) But if he's not a fan - then nope, he'll just leave it, or worse still, half eat it and spit it out somewhere for us to discover later (does anyone else’s dog do this? Please say they do). 


Which is why we’ve waited a little while to post this to make sure he actually likes the food. And you know what, he does. His favourite has to be the Duck, he ate that one without even the ‘what, no treats’ glance at me I get when I dare give him straight-up dog food, without any fish in it! He liked it so much we’re now debating whether we should switch him from the food he’s on, over to it. The Hills Science went down pretty well too, although the Royal Canine was, I think, his least favourite as sometimes we had bit of it left (unless it was his most loved and he was trying to savour it……) We’ve also had ‘shandies’ of all the food – which he was a huge fan of too.  

The kind people at Pet Supermarket have also given us a 15% off code for us to use - enter BLOG15 at the checkout until 23rd August to get some money off – it’s free delivery too!

*I wasn't paid for this post, but Flash did receive these goodies for free. 
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A postable ice cream party

I signed up to take part in Anna's #Postcircle earlier this year and I have a super lovely group of post circle buddies, but I'll be honest - recently I've been a bit crap at keeping up with my letters. Life got crazy and took over and writing letters got pushed to the bottom of my to-do list. But I wanted to make this up to my post circle buddies, so I put this little box of goodies together to help them through the warm weather we're having and to honour the fact that July is national Ice Cream month.



As it happened I had a few of my Crafty Creatives boxes hanging about, that were just the right size for the job, so I went about sourcing some delicious treats to include in an ice cream party.
Did you know you could buy angel delight ice cream mix? Well you could. Last year. But luckily for me, ebay seems to still have stock of the stuff, so I bought some flavours and popped a packet in each box.



I also added some waffled ice cream cones, some chocolate and vanilla biscuit curls, a few fan wafers, a little pot of super rich chocolate sauce and some sprinkles, marshmallows and smarties to top it off.






I also popped in a few of these cute little milkshake straws that I happened upon whilst out buying too.



I topped off the package with some spotty tissue paper, a little bit of pastel twine, a little ice cream cone charm and a craft tag* with a little quote from Voltaire on one side and a list of the contents on the other.

Just when I thought I was finished, I found some perfect little printables here that I stuck to the inside lid of the box so that my recipients had a little taster of what they were about to open.
I'm hoping my #postcircle buddies forgive me for my rubbishness of late when they get the boxes.
(*both of which were from June's Crafty Creatives box)
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CLOSED Lets have a picnic - A giveaway

I have the most perfect for summer weather giveaway for you today. But first, I need some help.

Next month I'm heading away for a really girlie festival weekend with my friend Sam - we're planning a few days of listening to music, attending masquerade balls, roller disco’s, spa visits, river swimming, some almost-glamping (you should see the list of things we’ve counted as camping essentials) and of course some tasty food.

To start the weekend in the style we are planning to become accustomed to, I will be taking along a posh picnic for the moment our tent is all pitched and all pretty. Maybe, just maybe, we might also have a cold glass of wine (it’ll be a plastic glass and from a frozen bag of course – lets not forget we’re at a festival) But I’ll be honest, that’s where the planning for our picnic stops at the moment. 

Now, the hamper in today’s giveaway would be perfect for our little jaunt if we were able to win it, but as one of you lucky lot will be enjoying it, I’m looking for some inspiration on what to include in the perfect posh picnic.

Hampergifts have kindly agreed to give away this Chiller Picnic Hamper for 2 worth £80 to one lucky reader. Not only do you get the super cute hamper but it's also filled with some delicious treats including a truckle of mature cheddar with cranberries and a jar of pickle, strawberry & cream biscuits, parmesan oatcakes, yoghurt coated nuts and a jar of apples and apricots in violet syrup. There's also a bottle of blackcurrant and apple juice and a chiller compartment to keep it cool in.

To be in with a chance of winning this hamper, all you need to do is leave a comment and let me know what your foodie picnic essentials are (I’ll happily take links to recipes too), and then use the Rafflecopter widget below to fill in your details (you can also bag yourself a couple more entries through it too.)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Terms & conditions:

 1.    Competitions and Prize draws are open to UK residents only.
2.    The winner can choose to deliver the hamper anywhere within the UK & Ireland.
3.    No persons under 18 years of age may receive the winning prize if it contains alcohol.
4.    Prizes are non-transferable and there is no cash alternative.
5.    Employees and agents of Hampergifts.co.uk Ltd. and their immediate friends & families are excluded.
6.    The decision is final and will not be entered into.
7.    This promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with, Facebook. Any information provided is to Hampergifts and not to Facebook & the information will only be used for notifying the winner.

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Fancie Food Night

One of the things I love about Sheffield, especially the bits of Sheffield near me, are all the nice and pretty tasty places to eat. The cupcake store, Fancie, which hosts my bookclub, have recently opened a cafe on Eccelsall Road, and they're running some foodie evenings. So on Friday evening a group of friends and I found ourselves at their Fish and Seafood evening, where for £28 we had 7, yes that's 7 delicious courses. And boy, was it tasty.

 The menu {it was BYO too}
 Scallops with cauliflower, cheese and ham crackling - I think this might have been my favourite, but I am a sucker for a good scallop!
 Tuna Carpacio or Tuna, with avocado, grapefruit and fennel. 
 Japanese Salmon and seaweed, ice lettuce and bonitto. 
There was also a Crisp Bass with rice, sambal and spices, but I forgot to photograph that one, the spices were super spicy too, so maybe this was my least favourite course!
 Crab spring roll with a mushroom salad and a soy dressing.
 Devilled Mackerel with rhubarb and orange
And finally, a chocolate and earl grey tart, with Armagnac prunes.

And that's where the classy part of the night ended and the wine took over. Then the jagerbombs, then the gin. I blame the staff at Fancie, they didn't even try and kick us out, just let us sit there getting more and more drunk. Oooops. But I would certainly suggest that you take a look at their upcoming nights and get yourself down to one!
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A 32 Things update

I thought it might be about time for a 32 things update, seeing as we’re half way through the year. I’ll be honest, this list hasn’t necessarily been at the fore of my thoughts but that doesn’t mean I haven’t been ticking things off the list Which you can see here

No. 1) I have certainly been crafting more – most of it sewing now I have my new bad boy sewing machine, (and I have made a lot of bags) but there have been a few little sewn gifts, some cushions, some jewellery, some playing about with my Crafty Creatives boxes, and maybe a little quilting!
No. 3) I haven’t chopped my hair of yet – although I did have to be talked down from a fringe. (I still might need a bit of convincing on that one too, I mean, it's like free botox. Maybe when the summer is over?) 
No. 7) There have been a few chances to meet up with some online friends so far this year, and they’ve all been lovely – I have to do this more!
No. 8) *whispers* the etsy shop is there (as is the folksy one) – it just needs a few more products and promoting. Watch this space! 
No. 11) Our veggies are going super strong. We have carrots and tomatoes and beetroot and a few types of beans and peas and loads of raspberries, strawberries and blackberries! 
No. 12) I attended a Sheffield blogger meet, which was way more fun that I thought it would be. I met some lovely people and got to try the new Handmade Burger Co. too. What could be better? 
No. 15) We’re looking. We really are. Problem is – I think we want me than we can afford. We want a bigger kitchen and garden and they aren’t easy to come across at a decent price around here. Damn you S7 for being so expensive. 
No. 20) Does navy blue count as more colour? No, seriously, I’ve been actively trying to buy things in more colours – lately there has been orange and yellow purchased and they are way out of my confort zone! I might try some bright jeans next! 
No. 21) Well, we’ve had ONE crafternoon. And it was fun. I should probably try and plan one in for the summer now life is a little less mental, shouldn’t i?  
No. 22) I’ve been busting out the bangles, and the ear rings again recently. Now I need to get back on discovering my love of necklaces.  
No. 24) I gave this a good go. I dyed my hair a LOT. I made sure I always had nail varnish remover to take off the scraggly polish. I found make-up I loved, but it’s just too much hard work to stay like that all the time! I’m a rubbish girl, aren’t i!  
No. 25) Oh knitting. Well, I tried you, and lets be honest. We’re not best friends. I even tried to crochet, and again, that’s not one of my strong points either. I think we’ll be stepping away from the wool for now! Although my friends are host an amazing sound IncogKnito event! Seriously, what sort of great name is that! 
No. 29) There have been a few ‘how-to’ guide blogged this year and I have a few more up my sleeve, so I’m not doing too badly on this front this year!  
No. 30) It’s been a fun year for friends so far. I feel I’ve made some amazing friends though the WI, and some quality people have come in to my life too, but I’ve found myself wondering a little about other friendships. I guess people just grow differently and maybe don’t have space for you in their lives.  
No. 32) And TRY, my one little word – it’s been with me a lot so far this year. It’s going to be a tough word to beat next year I’d say!


Have you set any goals for the year? How are you getting on with them?
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Forge contemporary arts, craft and design fair

You might remember I was helping to organise Forge craft fair with my WI. Well. It happened. And it was a resounding success, if we do say so ourselves. One of our members, Laura, took some amazing pics that I wanted to share here because I am so proud of the work everyone put into the event. And I probably shouldn't have been, but I thought I'd best do my bit and make a few purchases - they were mainly presents for people, but it still made me happy. And on an even better note we managed to raise quite a bit of money for both our charity, Roundabout, and our WI group through the actual fair, our raffle and cake sales (again - I might have helped bump up the profits there too!) So here is an unashamedly photo heavy post showing just how awesome the event was. 

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