Earlier this week wrote about the start of my West to East holiday, which kicked off in Blackpool over the Valentine’s weekend. I shared photos of my long awaited trip to The Blackpool Tower Ballroom and the amazing seafront hotel that we stayed in – if you missed the post, please check it out here. Today I’m simply bursting to share more about my trip with you and, in particular, the design details of the gorgeous hotel we stayed in while visiting Harrogate. I gained so much interior design inspiration from The Majestic Hotel that most of my photos of this leg of the trip are of wallpaper, tiles, colours and patterns, so I couldn’t resist writing an article about luxury decor today.
I like to think that I’m the boss in my own home, but in reality we all know that its our pets that really rule the house. Well that’s certainly the case here anyway – if Muffin wants to sleep on the bed, I’ll give her a pillow to herself and if Cookie wants to use my wicker storage baskets as a scratching post she is welcome to. In truth, our cats are our family and we get up in the night for them, take care of them when they are ill and feed them the finest meals before we even feed ourselves. But sometimes pets really do take liberties and today was a perfect example of this… Where is the perfect spot for a cat to sit? In the centre of the bed, of course. In a shaft of warm sunlight. And the ultimate win for a cat is… a pile of freshly laundered towels in that very spot. Of course I realised this a little too late after doing my washing this morning and leaving the room for the briefest of moments. By the time I popped my head back into the bedroom Cookie was lying very comfortably in the sun, on top of my clean towels. Continue reading “Pets Caught on Camera – My cheeky cat Cookie” »
Hi everyone, I’m back from the most amazing holiday and can’t wait to tell you all about it. After 14 years together my husband and I took our first ever ‘proper’ holiday lasting a full 5 nights. Yes, even our honeymoon didn’t last that long! Last week we toured from the west coast to the east coast, staying in gorgeous hotels and enjoying the best visitor attractions that Britain has to offer. Today I’d love to share some photos of the highlight of my trip with you – a visit to The Blackpool Tower Ballroom. If you’ve been reading my blog over the past 6 months, you’ll probably have noticed that I’ve mentioned The Blackpool Tower Ballroom a few times. I’ve written a couple of blog posts (what an understatement!) about learning to dance ever since I started taking swing and lindy hop classes last June and I’ve mentioned my first ballroom lessons earlier in the year. And in pretty much every post I’ve written about dancing, I’ve also chatted about my ambition to strut my stuff on the dance floor of this famous ballroom. Continue reading “A Valentine’s Day to remember in Blackpool” »
Today I am delighted to be able to share a DIY tutorial with you from the expert jewellery-making team at The Bead Shop in Manchester. This family run company has been supplying beads, teaching workshops and sharing craft techniques for more than 20 years, so if anyone can make me into a pro jewellery maker, it’s them! I’ve never tried creating my own jewellery before, but now that I have more space in my newly-organised workshop, I want to make time to try out new crafts and beading has always intrigued me.
I remember getting a library book about beads when I was a young girl and I kept renewing that library loan for about a year because I loved it so much, and that fascination is still with me today. If you’ve never been to The Bead Shop in Manchester, I suggest you make a trip there and be inspired by all they have to offer. In the meantime, the fabulous workshop team have sent me this DIY tutorial for making handmade beaded rings, which can be kept simple or ornate. These beautiful rings are easy to make and they make great gifts for friends and family. Here’s how to make a few different types of simple rings. Continue reading “Guest post from The Bead Shop, Manchester – How to make beaded rings” »
Last week I shared some ideas for a couple of thrifty dates for a Valentine’s Day, including a DIY night a the movies and a luxurious afternoon tea. I actually cooked up these cheesy scones as part of my afternoon tea celebration and I wanted to share the recipe with you today so that you can give it a go for yourself.
I’ve made many cheese scones in the past and it’s one of my favourite treats but this time I thought I would experiment with a new flavour, and spiked the recipe with some wholegrain mustard. And I don’t mind telling you that it was delicious! Here’s the recipe I used: Continue reading “Pieday Friday Recipe – Cheese & Mustard Scones” »
Love pancakes. Can’t get enough of them. A pancake is for life, not just for Shrove Tuesday. Really, I can’t express to you just how much of a fan I am of those tasty batter treats. I could happily eat them every day for every meal. In fact, I had pancakes last Thursday and Friday for lunch. So you can imagine just how excited I am that today is the ‘big day’ and I can legitimately eat my weight in pancakes.
To celebrate I thought I’d share with you some of my favourite recipes so that you too can enjoy some crepey delights this pancake day. First up is the basic recipe for pancakes and then I’ll show you some of my top main meal and dessert recipes. Continue reading “Pancake day recipe round-up” »
Over the past couple of weeks you may have spotted a few blog posts relating to my vintage caravan makeover project and, in particular, my attempt to finally turn my space into a proper craft workshop. I desperately needed somewhere to stash all my creative bits, bobs and books so in the new year I started searching for the ultimate storage solution. Until now all of my essential sewing gear, knitting kit and craft books have been stored in plastic tubs stacked up on top of each other, and boy was that annoying when you wanted to find something in a hurry. It was worse still when I knew exactly where the fabric I needed was stored, and it was at the bottom of a tub at the base of the stack, so everything had to be pulled out and strewn all over the caravan before I could get to it. Pretty much every project that I wanted to tackle began in this way, so I knew that I’d have half-hour’s worth of getting stuff out and putting it back away before I could even get started on sewing something. And that kind of puts you off doing it at all. Continue reading “My little vintage caravan – Sewing room storage” »
This week I’ve been baking delicious cakes for a Valentine’s Day treat – a DIY afternoon tea. If you missed my blog post about how to enjoy a luxurious date with your Valentine for less, you can check it out here. So today I’m sharing the recipe that I used to bake some absolutely delicious blueberry and lemon muffins.
I found the recipe for these tasty treats in the Flora Family Fun Guide, which I’ve been looking through to get ideas for thrifty fun activities to enjoy during the half-term holidays. There are 7 simple low-cost recipes in the guide, along with lots of DIY craft projects and play-time ideas for little ones. I read the Flora research that shows families enjoy baking together (63%), doing arts and crafts (59%) and playing games at home (49%) more than extravagant outings so I’m sure that this guide will be invaluable to parents during the half-term break. I decided to try out the blueberry and lemon muffin recipe because I’ve never tried it before and I wanted to use my pretty pink and red muffin cases to create a Valentine’s Day treat. Continue reading “Pieday Friday Recipe – Blueberry & Lemon muffins” »
Earlier this week I wrote about my plans for Valentine’s Day and shared an idea for a thrifty DIY date night at the movies – if you missed my post, you can check it out here. With cinema prices rocketing I’ve come up with a way to enjoy a romantic evening with your Valentine without spending a small fortune on tickets, food and parking! And today I’m DIYing another popular Valentine’s Day date; a luxury afternoon tea. Afternoon tea is one of my favourite activities and I’ve spent many hours searching online for afternoon tea voucher deals but the prices seem to go from £15 upwards per person and that’s just a little more than I’d like to spend on a date. However, I love to treat my husband – and I know that he enjoys cakes and scones as much as I do! – so I’ve thought of a way to make a more personal version of afternoon tea that you can enjoy at home. This would be great for birthdays and anniversary celebrations too so check out the recipes and give it a go yourself! Continue reading “Thrifty DIY afternoon tea date for Valentine’s Day” »
The holiday that I’ve been looking forward to all year has finally arrived and we are heading off for a romantic Valentine’s Day break. This 5-day trip is probably the longest break that I’ve ever been on and it has taken a lot of planning. Having only ever been on weekend trips in the past, I never realised just how much work goes into planning a ‘proper’ holiday. Not only have I been scouring websites to find the best hotels at thrifty rates, looking for dinner-bed-and-breakfast deals, researching places to visit and booking activities to enjoy while we are away, but I also needed to organise what will be going on back home, including begging friends and family to take it in turns as a house-sitter to take care of our cats and home while we are away.
And that’s before I even start thinking about packing and travel arrangements! Okay I’m only going up north, not travelling across the world, but even so I want to be organised and avoid my inevitable habit of over-packing. I’m very guilty of not travelling light, taking everything with me ‘just in case’ but this time I will be moving hotel each night to do a ‘tour’ of the north – starting on the West coast and finishing on the East coast – so I don’t want to lugging heavy suitcases in and out of hotels. Continue reading “Packing for a Winter break in a carry on suitcase” »