Monday, 31 March 2014

Weekly Round Up

This week has mainly consisted of food and eating out, primarily due to not having a working kitchen as we are getting ours re-done. This weekend has been slightly stressful and there has been a massive lack of sleep due to the clocks going forward, but there is end in sight and I'll be showing you our new kitchen soon!

I'll start with the food. We were being slightly lazy but having all your food (and there was a lack of it) in another room, cooking up all the frozen food and then no fridge for the week we decided to eat out a couple of times.  We went to Pizza Express on Wednesday as I had a discount voucher and had a yummy pizza with beetroot, goats cheese and rocket. I have noticed that they have reduced the amount of classic pizza's most of the better choices are in the 'Romano' section (the really thin, really big pizza's) that also cost more.

 We couldn't resist desert!

By Thursday I had just given up all attempts to cook for myself so I stopped off after work to pick up a Chinese takeaway :) I always go for plain chow main with vegetables and black bean sauce.

Sunday was Mother's Day in the UK and I went with my parents to Canterbury for the day; it was lovely! We had a good look around the shops (I may have purchased a Bobbi Brown foundation...oopps!) and then meandered off down the back roads to look at the old houses and buildings.

We stopped at this little church to smell these beautiful flowers. We thought they might be Lily of the Valley but decided they didn't smell strong enough. Any ideas? 

Of course I had to take a look in the Cath Kidston store and lust after all the products in there! I love how all the stores have vintage items or furniture to give you ideas. I fell in love with this picture on the wall but I don't think it was for sale, so now I'm on a mission to hunt it down!!

I hope you all had a fantastic weekend and if you're a mummy I hope you had a relaxing day getting spoilt rotten!

Betty xXx

Wednesday, 26 March 2014

Mini Lush Haul

Over the weekend I visited Lush because I wanted to get a bath bomb or bubble bar. Every time I go into Lush I always want everything in the shop. I love everything Lush stands for; from handmade goods to campaigning  against animal testing - they are a mutil ethical shop!

With Spring now upon us, Lush have brought out their new range to coincide with Mother's Day (Sunday 30th March if you've forgotten) and they have some gorgeous treats! I particularly like the carrot bubble bar sticks which smell so refreshing. I opted for a fairly new 'invention' called Fun. It looks like plasticine and can actually be rolled into shapes and played with! Fun is a multipurpose product that can be used in the bath or shower for washing body and hair or as a bubble bath. Apparently you can even use it to wash your clothes!

I went for the yellow variety mainly for the colour but the smell was divine!  It has a gentle vanilla scent and I used it as a bubble bath by pulling off small chunks and dissolving under hot water, and I also gave it a go as a body wash which also worked very well. I'd be interested to try it as a shampoo as I have previously tried Lush solid shampoo bars and loved them so I hope this will work in the same way.

Also whilst in Lush (I couldn't just get one thing), I picked up some skincare products. I've been wanting a new face mask for a while and love that Lush is made with all natural products, plus have a use by date (Around three weeks) so its makes you use them up quickly, plus reminds to treat yourself to a mask more than just once a week. I went for Catastrophe Cosmetic which contains lovely things like blueberries, rose, almond oil and chamomile which are great for soothing and nourishing the skin. It also smells amazing!

The second skincare item I picked up was a toner. I've never tried one of their toner's before but always liked the sound of them. I am a massive fan of rose in skincare and fragrance so I opted for Eau Roma which contains rose and lavender water which are both great for sensitive skin as they calm and hydrate. This smells so relaxing and will be great on a hot day to cool down.

What products have you tried from Lush? Do you have any favourites?

Betty xXx

Monday, 24 March 2014

Weekend/WIP Updates

This weekend was lovely although slightly chaotic as we are getting our kitchen done so there is mess and disruption everywhere! Poor Toby (the cat) doesn't know what to do with himself.

 We celebrated my Godson's 2nd birthday on Saturday; it's lovely to see him grow into a little boy and enjoy all his toys and little friends playing with him. As mentioned previously I made some car bunting (for the car theme) which went down very well at the party and I got some lovely comments! (I'll be doing a separate post on this soon.) It was the last project on my latest list so now I can turn my attention to new things! As with many crafters, I always have a list of ideas on the go, and this time my next project is actually going to be for me!

I've mentioned a couple of times on here that I wanted to make an adult size cardigan for myself as a 'goal' to see how hard it would be. After making one for my husband's cousin I decided that I wanted to have go after all my projects were out of the way, and now I've found the perfect pattern after picking up this month's issue of Simply Crochet featuring a Chanel inspired jacket on the cover.

The yarn used in the pattern is a Debbie Bliss number and although I would love to use it as I know the quality would be great, it's a little expensive when you need at least 10 balls of it. So I've opted for an aran yarn (hopefully that's a near equivalent) from Sirdar in a lovely rose colour; perfect for Spring. As you can see I went for a big ball of yarn! Its 400g which I thought would be more cost effective, especially this is my first go at an adult size piece of clothing so if I mess it up I haven't spent a great amount on it. I'm going to adapt the look slightly with the obvious colour change and will add a cream edge with possibly wooden or pearly buttons and a crochet lace trim on the pockets.

I'll keep you updated on my progress but fingers crossed its easy and quick to do.

We are now officially in Spring! Despite this weekend being freezing cold, it was so sunny it kind of makes up for the shivering. Unfortunately we didn't have time to have a walk in the park which I love to do on a Sunday afternoon when the sun is shining. We did however have some lunch and I got a lovely pink lemonade - it always reminds me of my childhood :)

Hope you all had a lovely weekend.

Betty xXx

Friday, 21 March 2014

Crochet Teddy Rattle

A short while ago I completed another small person related product purely because I love the pattern; it's adorable! I purchased the pattern from One and Two Company via Etsy. I love her patterns, they are so easy to follow and I can usually make them fairly quickly (for me anyway).

I've used Drops Paris yarn for the first time as a change from Rico Creative Cotton Aran mainly because I wanted to see what the difference was - there isn't much but I think Drops have a few variations in colours and I think you get slightly less meters/yarn per 50g than Rico (Drops Paris is 75m per 50g and Rico is 85m). I went for Drops Paris in Dark Beige, Off White and Black with Rico Creative Cotton Aran in Light Blue.

I then filled with toy stuffing and a rattle noise maker in the head part before sewing it all together.

I'm really pleased with the outcome, however I think it might be on the large size for a newborn to hold or play with so I have bought some DK cotton (this was Aran cotton) and will use a smaller hook to try and downsize it slightly.

Betty xXx

Wednesday, 19 March 2014

The Stamford Notebook

If you follow me on Instagram you will know that last month my husband and I celebrated our first wedding anniversary. I can't believe how quickly a whole year has gone by! We both agreed not to get each other a 'big' present but instead get a little token gift to mark the occasion as well as going out for a meal that evening.

As the first year of marriage is traditionally symbolised with paper I wanted to stick to this theme so I chose a notebook from Neil as I'm currently obsessed with stationary and organisation! I originally thought of a Moleskin notebook but I wasn't keen on any of the colours, but after watching an Essiebutton vlog, she had visited a home show where The Stamford Notebook Company were on display. From what I could see, they had a great range of colours and after looking through their website I opted for the bright turquoise colour as it reminded me of our wedding colour theme. There are other options to customise the notebook such as having plain or ruled pages, small or large sizes and having your initials embossed onto the front cover.

I went for ruled pages, large size and plain embossed (new) initials on the front. I absolutely love my new notebook! It sounds odd but even the paper feels nice and soft. The company is based in Stamford, England and all the notebooks are handmade - two things I love about this company. I feel I am supporting a home grown, British company and I would highly recommend them to anyone who is looking for a great quality notebook to organise your thoughts...I'm already looking at my next purchase!

Betty xXx

Monday, 17 March 2014

A Crochet House

This month's issue of Simply Crochet had some brilliant patterns including this crochet shed. I've adapted it slightly to make it more 'house' like by adding an extra row for the roof, a plain colour for the back and I used Rico Cotton Aran to make it a bit thicker. I just need to work on my embroidery skills to make it look a bit prettier with some flowers.

I've been after a house shaped pattern for a while as I have another project in mind - more details to come soon!

Hope you all had a lovely weekend and managed to enjoy the lovely sunshine :)

Betty xXx

Monday, 10 March 2014

Lazy Weekend

This weekend in the UK, the weather actually reached a spring like temperature. Of course this meant that people seemed to multiply everywhere meaning it all became a bit too crowded for my liking.

Sunday is my favourite day of the week. It's a chance to have a lie-in, cuddles with Toby, eat a cooked breakfast and catch up on all the things I haven't been able to do during the week. With the weather being so nice we decided to take a trip to Richmond. I haven't been for years but it was still as nice as I remember, besides the amount of people. We took a stroll down by the river which was lovely and I managed to not wear a coat or jacket for the first time in months! We also had a gander at the lovely shops and my ever-growing shopping list has now expanded. I particularly fell in love with a chair from Oliver Bonas (below), mainly for the colour but priced at over £500 I'm not sure I'll be purchasing it any time soon. Why is it that more expensive items are just perfect?!

Unfortunately I didn't get a chance to do any more crochet as Saturday I was overcome with a horrible headache which saw me going to bed at 9:30pm (rock 'n' roll or what?!) and by the time we came back on Sunday I was so tired I just couldn't be bothered to do anything more than lay around and look up things on the iPad.

I'm still working on the car bunting which I will hopefully finish this week. I actually don't have any other projects on at the moment which is lovely, although I have my eye on the Chanel inspired jacket as featured in this month's Simply Crochet. I'm just deciding on a colour - I'm obsessed with yellow at the moment or maybe a nice pale blue.

Hope you all had a lovely weekend and enjoyed the sunshine :)

Betty xXx

Wednesday, 5 March 2014

Brunch Snacks // Mini Pasties

Following on from my first 'Brunch Snacks' recipe I decided last night to try another recipe. When cooking I generally like to just chuck a load of things together and hope for the best - obviously for most things I do follow some kind of recipe but generally I like to mix flavours and see how they turn out.

This week I bought some roll out puff pastry to make a spinach type cheese tart thing and had some left over so thought why not try some mini pasties to take to work for my mid-morning snack. This is super easy and can be adapted to your own taste, adding pretty much any ingredients that will fit. I only managed to make four from the left over pastry but I think with a whole sheet of it you could probably get at least 8 depending on size. You could, of course make bigger pasties too! Here's what I did...


Roll out puff pastry
Fillings: I used Spinach, Cheddar Cheese, half of one Red Pepper. (Other suggestions: cherry tomato, pesto, broccoli (small), curry potatoes, quorn mince and onion - or real meat of course)
Seasoning: Black Pepper

  1. With your pastry rolled out decide how big you want your pasties to be - I just did this by eye and cut a rectangle - it will be folded over so bear in mind what you want to put inside and if you have enough room
  2. Arrange your filling in the centre of one side of the pastry. I did a couple of spinach leaves folded, then cheese, a few slices of pepper and then another spinach leaf
  3. Fold over the pastry and use a fork to crimp and seal the edges
  4. Optional - brush the top of the pastry with some beaten egg (I didn't do this and they came out fine)
  5. Pop in a pre-heated oven on 180C/Gas 4 for 20 minutes until slightly golden. 

I've tasted one this morning and they came out yummy! One tip I have is to use a mature cheddar - the stronger the better if that's your thing! It adds a lovely flavour.


Betty xXx

Monday, 3 March 2014

A Week in WIP's

This week I've been busy working on the many projects I have on the go and trying to finish them up so I can start new ones!! My mind is seriously never lacking on ideas!


I'm pleased that I've managed to get a couple of them out the way as well as carrying on with current ones (all links to patterns are listed at the end of this post). I finished a teddy bear baby rattle on Wednesday which was actually really easy to make. The pattern is from One and Two Company - I love all the patterns and they are so easy to follow with detailed pictures. I've used Drops Paris in Dark Beige and Rico Creative Cotton Aran in Light Blue with Drops Paris in Off White for the snout and black for the eyes and nose. This is a gift for a new baby boy as well as some dungarees I'm also attempting to make.


So far the pattern is easy to follow and I've manage to make the bottom half without any problems! I'm using New Fashion DK in Glacia.


I made this cat cushion a while ago for my sister-in-law who's birthday was this weekend. See my previous post for details of the pattern. I used some lovely DK yarn from Sirdar (Hayfield Bonus DK) in Primrose and some Drops Paris in Off White.


Also mentioned in the same post as linked above I've been working on some car bunting for my Godson's 2nd birthday coming up in March. I've decided to add the letters of his name in there too and I just made up a simple square shape with a point on the end, using this lovely red yarn from James C. Brett in Cotton on DK, shade 15. I'll be purchasing some felt letters and sewing them on at the end.

So I have a couple of things still on the go which will hopefully be finished/near completion by next week!

Betty xXx

Links: Teddy Rattle


Cat Cushion

Car Bunting