1 2 3 4 1 3 2 4 5

Friday 30 October 2015

Primark Haul

Whenever autumn comes around I feel Primark tugging at my purse strings, willing me to go and buy all the things and this year was no different. With it set to the the "coldest winter in 50 years" I though I best stock up on my winter woollies plus some other bits and bobs which I think you'll like. There's also a bit of H&M thrown into the end of the video because it wasn't enough to go into another haul so click below to watch and find out more:

Also before I forget, I have a very exciting video going live on Tuesday at midday so stay tuned for that too!

Have you been to Primark recently?

Tuesday 27 October 2015

Autumn Favourites

It's that time of year again where the nights are drawing in, the blankets are out and the hot chocolate is back in demand (along with mulled wine but sssh), so it's only natural for your favourite products and clothing etc to switch up too. Gone are the lighter layers of make-up and clothing and back are moisture surging and welcoming warm layers along with some general random things too. Hello autumn favourites!

The tartan scarf

I know tartan may not be "in" this year but I still love this oversized scarf. Found at a lovely Christmas market last year, this scarf doubles up as a pashmina/ kimono style cover up too which has been great when the weather has been less chilly. All in all it's the perfect piece for comfort and to me it screams autumn winter.

The pearl and silver bracelet*

I recently went to The Handmade Fair at Hampton Court Palace (which you can read about here) and picked up this gorgeous sterling silver bracelet from Victorious Bee. It features a single semi-precious stone, celebrating a month from the year. Now if you know your birth stones you'll know that Pearl is the stone for June! My birthday is in fact in December but I chose it purely because it was pretty, simple and elegant. I've been wearing it non-stop as a piece of dainty loveliness.

The Silver Backpack

I've been loving this metallic back pack from New Look A LOT over the past few weeks. I featured it in my latest outfit post and my "Updated What's in my Bag?" video. It's so handy yet stylish at the same time, although Chris thinks I look like Dora the explorer in it. Men don't always get it do they? Anyhow it's been bloody marvellous to take with me on various adventures and to events, giving me free hands to hold a cocktail or point and shoot with my camera. I'd highly recommend a back pack like this being introduced to your wardrobe for style and practically and New Look do some fabulous ones.

Game of Thrones

Yes I know I'm extremely late on this band wagon but I'm not sure I even care. #sorrynotsorry 
If you haven't got your teeth into GoT you really should, it's bloody brilliant. I've just finished season 3 and I'm hooked. I've had a few friends say they've heard it's gory and it's put them off. Yes it has a bit of gore in it but as a major wimp over here, it's not that bad- honest! Dragons and things don't usually interest me but this has got me hooked!!

The Illume Zucchini bread candle

I've had this candle for almost a year now. It's lovely geo print is a firm fixture within the bedroom but I've been yearning to burn it and I finally cracked! The scent of zucchini bread is a bit of a strange one but rather refreshing, particularly in the kitchen and makes a change from a florally perfumed scent. It's burning really well too and the scent lingers even when the candle isn't lit which to me is a sign of a good candle! You can't beat the flicker of a candle flame on a cosy night when wrapped under blankets. It''s the perfect accompaniment for a relaxing night in (that and wine!)

Balance Active Formula Hyaluronic Moisturiser*

I've stepped a bit out of my comfort zone this season and tried a different moisturiser! Being a worshipper of the Body Shop's seaweed mattifying moisturiser this was a big thing for me but I was pleasantly surprised. Used as both a day and night moisturiser, the balance active formula is a lovely thin gel-cream consistency that sinks in easily to the skin, leaving a matte finish which is perfect for my oily complexion. It claims to be clinically proven to:
  • Even skin tone
  • Improve skin radiance
  • Reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles
  • Give a firmer appearance
  • Smoothe uneven skin texture
I must admit I've noticed some of the redness in my skin die down a bit, meaning I haven't needed to use so much foundation or concealer which makes me a very happy lady!

The Rimmel Kate Moss 107

I don't think there's been an autumn favourites where I haven't mentioned this lipstick but time and time again it is the perfect shade for a autumn berry lip. I love wearing it with a touch of lip balm in the day for a more subtle look or building up to it's full intensity for a dramatic evening look. It's so wearable and makes for a great statement lip. Love!

The duster jacket

I'll be honest and tell you that when I first bought this I struggled to style it but after a light bulb moment  realised just how versatile it is! Duster jackets are perfect for transitioning seasons to layer up whilst giving a chic look. I've been loving this with long sleeved tunics and dresses to add a bit of structure to an outfit andI can see it being worn with faux fur trim and fitted knitwear as the months grow colder. 

So those are my current autumn favourites, which I'm sure will change in a matter of days as I'm due to go do a Primark shop- yippee! What are your current favourites this autumn?

Products marked with a * in this post have been gifted. This is not a sponsored post.

Friday 23 October 2015

An Interview with Kirstie Allsopp

Last month I had a lovely invitation from The Handmade Fair (read about the fair here) to attend a meet and greet with Kirstie Allsopp. Of course I said yes and hoped on a train (at an ungodly hour) to meet her at 8 am before the wonderful fair opened.

Now before I get into the interview I have to say I'm a huge fan of Kirstie and her passion for crafting, so trying to keep my inner fan girl in check was pretty hard! 

What is your absolute favourite craft?

I have a really bad habit of being completely in love with the latest thing I'm doing. Yesterday I went to an exhibition by an artist called Ann Carrington who works with buttons. She’s absolutely amazing and she did all this stuff for the royal barge for the Jubilee. She's now done these vases which are made of horse brasses. You used to see them in pubs all over England and now it’s much more fashionable decor and to see this vast vase which was just horse brasses that was just fused together, I was like right, that’s it! My new thing is to reclaim old horse brasses and that is literally as of last night!

"Bringing up a family and running a small business on the side and that was absolutely my ambition."

Do you still remember the feeling when you put your first book or show out?

Funnily enough the first book I ever did was a home buying book with Phil but then we did Homemade Home. We had this extraordinary meeting with lots of publishers to pitch to us and the publisher that won the right to publish the book came with a box of things that people had made in the office. This was the first time I really realised that crafting wasn’t such a niche thing.

 Do you watch your own shows on TV?

You have to watch the shows to do the voice over but often you’re voicing a bit you’re not necessarily in so you don’t see yourself much when you’re on voice over. I never watched the shows in the old days but now with social media you engage with the shows on a different level. Often you watch the shows in order to tweet about the shows. People will tweet you questions and unless you watch the show you’re not necessarily working out what the hell they’re talking about so I watch the shows much more now. I don’t think I’ll ever be confident with that but I've got used to it.

"My Achilles heel is symmetry but I've been really pushed into three is better than two"

What made you decide to start the handmade fair?

Chris Hughes who owns Brand Events started the first Country Living Fair and I worked at Country Living when that started. The first ever fair was massively over-subscribed! Me and the then editor had to go and apologise to the queue and so I worked then with Chris. I was very junior so he didn’t know then who I was and then when my agent said about starting a fair she said there’s this guy from Brand Events. He didn’t know I knew him but I said let’s have a meeting at home and then I’ll be honest with him. He was doing the pitch and I said to be honest with you Chris if anyone could do the fair it’s you as you did the first Country Living Fair and I know you know what you’re doing. The problem with doing the fair is that I’d have to have faith in the person doing the fair and I knew how it all works and how it goes wrong and it’s very important to me. I thought that this year knowing that it does work, I’d go to bed and sleep but I literally laid there with the same worries even though I knew it’s a better location etc. You still feel that it’s a responsibility. If someone is committing to take a day off work or in some cases get child care, they need to feel they’ve had a good day and that’s more important.

With crafting being a part of your job, do you still do a lot of crafts in your free time?

I do a lot of mending. I find that my big thing at the moment is just running to keep up which drives me bananas! It’s not new projects and it’s because I live with four boys, my husband and the dog so there’s not as much time as I’d like but there’s a pile of things I want to be getting on with.

What do you think was the main trigger of your career?

Accident! It really was and I feel a bit anti-feminist saying this as I’m a passionate feminist but I didn't have ambition when I was younger. My mum was married with four children and had a framing business and I thought it was the way forward. Loads of people here today are doing just that- bringing up a family and running a small business on the side and that was absolutely my ambition. Nobody would marry me and I still haven’t got married so I was like-  I’m going to have to work then. I worked on country living magazine, loved that but the problem was that magazines are very cyclical. Ironically now my life is incredibly cyclical so even in TV you come around but then I started finding flats for people. I had this little business finding flats and absolutely loved it. This journalist employed me and he wrote about me and the TV companies asked if they could make a show and I said no to the first one that asked! Then the second one asked and they didn’t want to film me, they wanted me to help create the thing. We did the pilot and they were supposed to find other presenters but they never did so that’s Phil and I. We made the show at the weekends for the first three years and ran our businesses during the week. Channel 4 then lost a show and they said can you make eight shows in eight weeks. That’s when we made the jump from running our own property search businesses to being full time presenters. The craft thing goes back to Country Living and I always wanted to bring that to TV. If you can film peoples’ houses you can film peoples’ crafts. If I’ve got time off I don’t shop but if I'm working I find it the best distraction. My producers were very aware as I’d go off in my lunch break and find things from charity shops. They knew I had the passion and that’s how we carved out the show. I do not have a talented history of being a crafter. I’ve learned on the job and continue to learn and if I can do it, anyone can do it. It’s a real thing. People say to me I can’t do that- you absolutely can! I’m always far too inclined to do things neatly and leave it and other people have always pushed me to embellish more. My Achilles heel is symmetry but I’ve been really pushed into three is better than two. My number one tip is three is better than two unless its bedside tables- that’s weird!

So that was my interview with Kirstie! She was so wonderful to meet and chat to and really made you feel at ease. I hope you enjoyed the interview and if you’re gutted that you missed this years fair, don’t fret as there’s a Christmas fair in November. Once again sponsored by Hobbycraft and Mollie Makes, The Handmade Christmas Fair will be held at Manchester Central as an indoor event. Kirstie commented “This unique event will see craft lovers of all age and ability, join together to share, buy and make. I’m thrilled that we have the chance to bring The Handmade Christmas Fair to Manchester, especially as it is one of my favourite times of year!” So if you’re wanting to get into the festive and crafty spirit, check out The Handmade Christmas Fair for tickets and I’ll see you there!

See you on Tuesday!

Tuesday 20 October 2015

Updated- What's in my Bag?

Today I thought I'd do an updated version of my what's in my bag video. If you want to see the original video click here to see a very tanned Kat in Cyprus telling you the contents of her bag! I don't know why I enjoy watching these videos so much? I guess I'm just nosey! Anyway click below to see the video and I shall catch up with you all Tuesday!

Big love,

Friday 16 October 2015

The Autumn Food and Country Fair 2015

the autumn food and country fair 2015

On Sunday 11th October,  the East of England Showground in Peterborough held its annual Autumn Food & Country Fair. Previously known as the Autumn Show, this great day out has been running for roughly 38 years and after visiting the event for the first time I can see why! It was my first time at the fair and I was shocked at how huge it was. When we thought we’d been round everything there was to see, we’d find another area to explore. The fair is a fantastic day out for all the family, with plenty to do and with around 10,000 people attending I think it’s fair to say its rather popular so I thought I’d share it with you!

the autumn food and country fair 2015

If you have little ones in the family, there was the opportunity for them to meet their favourite TV characters such as Paddington Bear and Bob the Builder. Meanwhile in the barns there were plenty of animals from pigs to pigeons to pet and ogle at. I particularly loved the ducks and funky chickens!

the autumn food and country fair 2015

the autumn food and country fair 2015

Around the fair there was plenty to view and take part in. I particularly enjoyed entering Harry into the Companion Dog Show with categories from the most handsome dog, to the waggiest tail! In case you’re not aware, we rescued Harry whilst living in Cyprus so he had quite a story to tell and ended up winning the Best Rescue category and coming sixth in the Dog the judge would most like to take home category! Such a proud doggy mummy moment for me and he trotted around wearing his rosettes for the rest of the fair. 

the autumn food and country fair 2015

the autumn food and country fair 2015 best rescue dog

Over the far side of the fair were the dog agility competitions which were wonderful to watch. Most dogs were very disciplined, sprinting around the course and showing  off how well trained they were whereas a couple were a bit mischievous, running off the course altogether and one even doing their “business” part way through which I couldn’t help but find hilarious!

the autumn food and country fair 2015

the autumn food and country fair 2015

From fluffy friends onto cooking, Paul Hollywood was the celebrity guest chef in the brand new cookery theatre of the fair. After all the excitement that week of The Great British Bake-off final, I was very excited to watch cookery demonstrations from the artisan baker as well as hear some amusing stories from behind the scenes of Bake-off. Paul was so wonderful to watch and really interacted with the crowd, making the lesson a fun and enjoyable experience as well as educational.  He gave us lots of tips and tricks when it comes to cooking and we even got to sample the freshly baked delights which were a Bakewell tart and flatbread.  I came away feeling very inspired and I’m really keen to get back into baking at home! Some lucky people got to meet him at his book signing too which was a highlight for many.

Paul Hollywood the autumn food and country fair 2015

Paul Hollywood the autumn food and country fair 2015

Paul Hollywood the autumn food and country fair 2015

The fair was both inside and out, with lots of food stalls indoors with things for you to try from cheese to chutney and live demonstrations showing you how to cut and cook different types of meat, filling the room with a heavenly smell of good cooking. I was particularly drawn to the pastry produce, in particular the handmade pies whilst Chris was eyeing up the local craft beers from Nene Valley Brewery.

the autumn food and country fair 2015

the autumn food and country fair 2015

Nene Valley Brewery the autumn food and country fair 2015

the autumn food and country fair 2015

It was really great to see so many local businesses showcasing their wares and I found myself very drawn to The Boot Room’s indoor stand, selling handmade boots! They were absolutely stunning and unfortunately my photographs don’t do them justice. All the boots are handmade in Spain, with a bespoke service being offered for made to measure boots ensuring a flawless fit. This is particularly perfect for those of us with wider calves and struggle to find long boots to fit so the service proved very popular. The boots are such good value too as many generic boots retail for the same if not more yet these are made far better than any you’ll find on the high street. I was very impressed!

Also inside was the giant vegetable competition. I couldn’t quite believe just how enormous and peculiar the vegetables were, with some easily feeding several families I’m sure!  Many of the people taking part hold world records in growing large vegetables which were certainly something to be marvelled at.
giant vegetable competition the autumn food and country fair 2015

giant vegetable competition the autumn food and country fair 2015

With lots of stalls to be looked around, I could see lots of handmade beauties that would make for great presents, especially with Christmas coming up. I particularly adored the array of wicker hampers and these outdoor chicken ornaments. There were again lots of local sellers and plenty of things to shop for with anything from shoes, to hats, homemade beauty gifts to pet accessories.

the autumn food and country fair 2015

the autumn food and country fair 2015

the autumn food and country fair 2015

the autumn food and country fair 2015

the autumn food and country fair 2015

For the men in our lives, there was plenty to entertain them too. Classic cars lined the field along with tractors and a big fire truck. The 3Sixty BMX display was also a great one for the guys with some excellent stunts being displayed outside.

3SIXTY bike display the autumn food and country fair 2015

the autumn food and country fair 2015

the autumn food and country fair 2015

All in all the fair was a brilliant way to spend a Sunday with plenty to see and keep the whole family entertained. With the weather being so kind to us I spent the whole day there and absolutely loved it yet I still didn't manage to get around everything so I'll certainly be returning next year!

Have you been to the Autumn Food and Country Fair?

Tuesday 13 October 2015

Simple DIY Dog Treats

I'm back today with what I want to class as a crafty post? Kind of anyway but nevertheless it’s fun, simple and easy on the purse too!

Being a dog owner, I like to do what’s best for Harry and know that he’s eating good quality food. I’m also a crafter and thriftier at heart so with that in mind I thought it’d be fun to make some dog biscuits, knowing exactly what goes into them and knowing there’s no preservatives or rubbish in them either! I can’t take credit for the recipe as it is in fact taken from Caesar Milan’s website (see here) but I’m going to show you a step by step tutorial with pictures so you’ll know what the biscuits are meant to look like at each stage.

To begin with, you will need:

o    2 ½ cups whole wheat flour (substitute regular flour or oats if your dog is sensitive to wheat)
o    1 tsp. salt (or less)
o    1 egg
o    1 tsp. Beef or chicken Bouillon granules (1 beef oxo cube)
o    ½ cup hot water
o    Added extras such as bacon or chicken broth, eggs, oats, liver powder, wheat germ, shredded cheese, bacon bits. (I went for cheese)

Start by pre-heating your oven to 180 (°C)/ 350 (°F) / gas mark 4

Dissolve your oxo cube or bouillion into hot water and stir

Add the stock and remaining ingredients into a bowl

Mix the ingredients before kneading into a dough until it forms a ball. This takes approximately 3 minutes.
NOTE: The mixture will start off very sticky then quickly becomes very dry. You may be tempted to add more water but stick with it and it’ll soon become a ball. You need the mix to be dry in order to make crunchy biscuits.

Next roll the dough out until it’s ½ inch thick.

Cut your dough into slices or use a cookie cutter/ bone shaped cutter. (I picked mine up on eBay)

To get the most out of your dough, re-roll the excess to make more biscuits.

how to make home made dog biscuits

Place your dough pieces on a tray.

home made dog biscuits recipe

Cook for 30 minutes.

Simple DIY Dog Biscuits

Once cool, serve up to your doggy! (I’m sure they will thank you for it.)
As you can see they really are simple to make and the great thing is Harry LOVES them! Jack (my mum’s puppy) was over when I made these and was my doggy model in the video below:

As you can see the recipe makes a lot of biscuits, which keep fresh for up to a week or alternatively they can be frozen, with them lasting up to 6 months in the freezer.

Simple DIY Dog Biscuits

I hope you liked this doggy inspired DIY. Don’t forget to check out my previous doggy DIY which was this super simple dog bed!

Have you ever made dog biscuits?

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...