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30 days of lists

Have you signed up to 30Lists?
If not, why not? You still have time. It’s such a great challenge cooked up by Cam and Amy. The premise is that you get to write a list – a short list, a long list, a thought provoking list - every day, for 30 days based on the prompts they give you that helps create a little snapshot scrapbook of what’s happening in your life right now. Which for a rubbish Project Lifer like me is perfect! Plus, I really do love lists, they might be one of my favourite things to make (well, all but the To Do work lists!) And Its super cheap at $8 which worked out about £5 when paypal converted it.

I signed up in March last year too and I am not sure what happened but I didn’t quite make it through the month – something went awry. I think it was my insistence to PL each week rather than each month (which reminds me I have some pages to finish)  that pushed me over the edge with a lot of things, not just this.
This March however I am all over it. I’ve pre-written the prompts in my diary, I have the cards printed to list on. I’ve even put some PL page inserts to one side to keep it in. I am all over this listing business.

So, sorry if you follow me on instagram – but March might be a bit list heavy! (if however you do want to follow the listing you can by searching #30lists on both Instagram or twitter or sign up and join in here)

Lust List

Here are just a few things that I'm totally lusting after this month. 

4. Tula Pink fabric 5. Orla Kierly Glasses
I tried the nail varnish when I was sampling makeup with one of my besties a few weeks ago and I can not get it out of my mind- it's perfect. And just look at those glasses - I love Orla, and I need new glasses more than anyone will ever know (mine have been ravaged by the puppy), and that sweater - I know I already own one, but they are so soft and I don't have one in red! Oh, the fabric - I have no idea what I would do or make with it, but that's really not the point is it? And have you seen simply straws - they are just so cool, isn't everything that fits in a mason jar? 


I signed up to the wonderful @skinblisterblog's #heartswap last month -  and since the boy was away for Valentines Day it seemed the perfect plan to get more gifts on the big day! I absolutely loved putting my package together and I was so excited to see what I’d received, but first, I thought I might post what I sent out.

When I signed up I was asked to fill out some details about things I love to let my swapee know a little about me, and in return I got the same details about someone else. When the email arrived I was thrilled to find out that I’d be sending a gift to the super talented Lisa
I took her likes (chocolates, bubble baths, walking, laughing, reading, post, candlelight, green, making stuff), and tried to cover all bases, whilst making sure they fitted in a postable box. So I included a little home made heart shaped chocolate bark, set in a cookie cutter (so she can reuse it), a pink hearty soap, a pretty candle, some super cute buttons, some fun note paper (and one of my favourite pens) and a little green hanging heart. 
I had always planned to include my favourite book and seeing as Lisa loves reading this worked really well, so I included Those who save us - which was one of one of my favourite books from last year (and randomly Lisa's off to Germany soon, so even better!)
And to finish it all off, I made a card with an origami heart made out of a walking map of Sheffield - I am not sure it'd be much use now, but it worked!
What do you think? Hearty enough?

And now, here to my little package; 
My present came from Fay of Food Fables (check out her blog  - she's part of a food penpals thing....super cool!)
{Sorry about the picture - it looked better on my phone}
Carob and peanut butter dog treats which the puppy went MAD for.
Delicious homemade lavender shortbread. 
And all the ingredients to make Nigella's boozy rum hot chocolate which I haven't made yet as it's been decided we'll save it for our snowboarding holiday.
And one of the most perfect bits - homemade marshmallows which are like little pillows of wonderfulness - I've attempted to make marshmallows before and they were nothing like this. 

I could not be happier with my swap package and neither could Flash - he is great at begging when there are tasty treats about and he has been seriously begging for these. And if you'd like to get all the recipes that Fay used to create these wondrous foodie goods, she has blogged about them here on her post #heartswap not heartbreak. I

Also if you want to see the goodies that the other #Heartswapers got, you can see all the instagrams here and read all the tweets from the swap here {isn't this just the best hashtag collecting service? Love that Anna found it for our tweets}

I had such fun putting this swap together that I'm searching for the next one. 

CLOSED In the mix - A giveaway

If you've been reading for a while you’ll know I’m a bit of a wanna-be baker. I’m not saying I am any good {and my performance at Iron:Cupcake would be a testament to this} but I do love baking. Ask me to cook a meal that’s more than beans on toast and I’m stumped, but ask me to bake and I’m happy. I have my ‘go to’ recipes that I love and can whip up easily, but I’m all for trying something new – they just sometimes don’t quite go to plan! I once tried to make a mixed berries frosting with still slightly frozen berries, and summer warmed butter - that was a huge curdled mistake!

And if you have ever tried to make a smooth buttercream, even with a hand mixer, you are going to appreciate my giveaway this month.

The people at Argos have kindly given me a Tefal Compact Kitchen Machine to giveaway to one of you. It comes with a 3.5ltr bowl, a whisk, dough hook and K beater attachments, a splashguard {which is insanely necessary if you are making frosting – it stops that icing cloud mushrooming}. It’s also got 4 speeds and a pulse control. And just in case you need something to cook your creation is they also sell a range of gas cookers, and you can even get an integrated dishwasher from Argos to help with the washing up!

To Enter

  • To be in with a chance of winning this mixer, all you have to do is leave me a comment telling me your favourite thing to bake, or leave me a recipe {it doesn't have to be one of your own}. 
Extra Entries

  • Tweet about the competition through the Rafflecopter widget. 
  • Follow me on Google Friend Connect.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

- The winner will be picked within 3 days of the competition finishing.
- Delivery will be within 28 days of Argos receiving the winner’s address, and the competition prize may vary at the discretion of Argos
- The prize as described will be supplied direct from Argos, and there is no cash alternative
- This competition is open to UK residents only.

A Bunting Quilt DIY

I started making this quilt for Sam whilst she was prego with her beautiful little girl. She is now 14 months old. The quilt is on it’s third attempt. But finally I have a finished article, and I am so happy with it – I honestly love the contrast with the polka dots, the bunting and the backing fabric. I think I might love that ABC fabric more than I should. And as I have finally given it to Sam, I can blog it.

I came across the idea of a bunting quilt on Pinterest and fell in love. I mean, what’s not to love? And knew that it would be the perfect gift for a little girl, unfortunately my skills (when I started, and maybe even now) and my equipment were not in line with my ambition. My old sewing machine hated me for trying to make it, and it just didn't go right. But last month, armed with my new sewing machine I decided to start again.

Once again I forgot to photograph as I went but it wasn’t a complicated process.

Here's what I used;
27 Squares of the Moda Gypsy Girl charm pack cut to triangles (I cut 30 but my spacing meant I only used 27)
1 meter of Thick white cotton
1 meter ABC print cotton
Wadding to fit the quilt – whatever thickness you fancy
4meters of polka dot extra wide binding tape.
(I haven’t used proper quilt measurements – I just used the size of the fabric as a guide!)

  1. I cut the charm pack into triangles – I folded a square in half, put a pen mark in the middle and drew a line to outside corners to make a triangle – I then cut it with pinking shears. Once I had the bunting cut I arranged it in arcs on the white fabric and pinned it into place.
  2. I sewed on all the triangles – just on the ‘sides’ and left the ‘top’ – this was the time consuming part.
  3. I sandwiched a medium weight filling between the top sheep, with the bunting on and the ABC fabric and pinned like mad! 100’s of pins, just to stop anything moving and bunching up (again – this was learnt from experience at a previous attempt)
  4. I then sewed through all the layers the top line of the bunting. And I picked out occasional triangles to re-sew through all the layers. Maybe if I had more patience I would have done them all again, but I’ll be honest – I don’t!
  5. Now came the bit that’s tricked me. I need to do much more reading about binding. Loads more. Maybe every blog post/book written. But I pinned the binding tape around the quilt. Again, I used all the pins in the world in the hope nothing slipped. My binding was 30mm wide, which made this so much easier than in previous attempts, but there were some rogue bits that escaped and meant I had to go back round.
  6. I added in little pink ribbon loops for future fort building when I was sewing the binding – I did this when I made a quilt for Liz, and I know her son’s used them!

So, there you go, a pretty bunting quilt. It probably took me about 5 hours in all, from cutting to sewing to binding, and I had to do that bit twice ;)

Fancie Bookclub - Mutton

For the last 8 or so months I’ve been attending the bookclub at my local cake shop Fancie. Not only is it a lovely bunch of ladies but we meet in a cake shop. Genuinely, it couldn't get better.

This month* we met to talk about Mutton by India Knight.

I had high hopes for the book from the chat at our December meeting when we chose books but these hopes faded when I saw the front cover - I am just not sure I like the image to be honest. ( The inside pages however are beautiful and it’s only out in hardback at the moment so you’ll get this experience too)

The book follows the journey of Clara a 46 year old single mother of 3 (who it turns out, if you've read any other India Knight books, you’ll have met before – I haven’t) who’s in the midst of debating her age and beauty. You get the feeling that she’s ok with her appearance at the start of the book, but the arrival of her old best friend - who has been living in LA and is a masterpiece of surgery, healthy (boring) eating and yoga – starts to make her question her original thoughts on her looks. I wont go into too much detail, so I don’t spoil the book, but it explores Clara and Gaby’s relationship with their looks and their age and how this affects the people around them. It was pretty funny – starting with a disturbing list of things that you find yourself doing as you get older (I wont divulge which one I thought ‘crap, I’m 32 and I do that’ at!) but if you read it, or have read it, please let me know what you thought about the ending…..

The one thing that surprised me the most about this book was the discussion it generated afterwards. Our book club is made up of women (men can come, I just don’t think they've fancied it) of varying ages – from a little above Clara’s age to 17 and the differing views we all had of ‘having a bit of work done’ and the idea of dressing your age. I’ll be honest, I’m not against having something done if it’ll enhance your self esteem – I’m not taking a full Heidi makeover, but right now I can’t see an issue with it.

And our organiser, Sarah, brought up the dressing your age issue – which is something I struggle with. She’s 34, I’, 32 and it’s an issue for us both. I think I’m at about that point where when I pick stuff up and have to question whether it’s too young for me. And I don’t want to be frumpy (I think this is about the age people can start going a bit that way!) but I am not thin or 21 anymore so I’m finding I have to be quite careful when I’m scouring the rails in H&M these days. I did leave the book club feeling a little better about myself, but also considering the ‘free botox’ fringe option again!

What are your thoughts on have a bit of work done? And at what age do I really have to start thinking about what I wear?

*We meet the first Wednesday of the month, so we read a book one month and talk about it at the start of the next which might get confusing to blog about.


Alone again (just temporarily)

The boy left for India again this morning. Thankfully it's just a 3 week stint this time and even better, the day after he returns, we're off snowboarding. 
But it still gives me a lot of free time to fill. As always I have some plans, maybe not as ambitious as they sometimes are {all this travelling to and from work kills so much of my free time} but whilst the boy's away i'll hopefully be;
  • Seeing one of my bestie's @vogue_ismybible for a post birthday's night out.
  • Running a crafternoon.
  • Choosing tiles for the kitchen.
  • Sewing january's sky quilt square.
  • Not sharing the puppy cuddles.
  • Not eating as much as we have been recently.
  • Exercising (shredding and swimming)
  • Not missing the annoying noise of the xbox and Fifa.
  • Reorganising the craft room so everything is easy to get at!
  • Looking at shelving for the living room.
  • Re-waterproofing our snowboarding gear.
  • Cleaning & de-cluttering bits of the house.
  • Making some presents.
  • Meeting up with Twitter friends.
  • Planning the plants/veg I want for this year’s garden.
  • And importantly spend some time doing nothing <----- I think this might be my favourite thing on the list!
Easy to complete in 3 weeks right?

J'aime la neige

One of my old dryslope snowboarding buddies, Zoe, left for a season recently and the only thing that’s keeping me from turning green with envy is the fact we're all booked to go visit her later this month, and there is chat of a girls trip in April to see her too. Girls snowboarding trips are the best, they're basically an excuse to eat loads of cheese and pastries and take sly peeks at the boys - you might think I am crazy but boys in snowboarding gear just make me swoon {don’t tell the boy, but it’s one of the reasons I made him start riding}

So, naturally, it has me thinking about all the new gear I really HAVE to have, but, lets face it, really don’t need and definitely can't afford, but, oh my, how beautiful is that board.  

1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6

I think I'd look pretty swish on the hill in this, don't you?