Wednesday, 30 April 2014

Easter Bank Holiday Weekend

Bit late in coming, but I thought I'd still put up a Bank Holiday post, seems rude not to, although unlike everyone else, my choccie supply is still pretty much intact and likely to last me for a good while to come! It's funny but if I do have Easter Eggs I'm not in the mood for eating them, but if I don't I miss having some munchies about. Anyway the Easter Bunny left me with two, and a Bank Holiday break that was pretty good.

I did pick up another cold bug which hasn't been much fun this week, and there was some typical Easter Sunday rain which put paid to some plans, but that gave me a good chance to get stuck into some reading (something I've wanted to do for a while, but nothing was sinking in). I picked up the new Bridget Jones novel by Helen Fielding, and managed to read a good portion of that. I've not read the previous two books, only seen the films, but it's a pretty good read so far.

Bank Holiday Monday was the best day of the long weekend by far, mostly helped by the fact it was lovely and warm and sit outside sunny. I got into the garden and flexed my green fingers a little - something quite satisfying about killing weeds!

My sister visited with my favourite little person and her gorgeous fluffball Wilson as well, and we had a lot of fun in the garden. Wilson was full of energy bounding around the garden after his ball (when my nephew wasn't stealing it), and Mum set up a little Easter Egg hunt for Joey. Think he is too little to get the significance of it all just yet, but he enjoyed taking his new pull along around to collect the eggs and found all the healthy treats inside. Aunty Lauren also bought him a little set with a spade, fork, bucket, and little watering can which he seemed to really like, I am training him early to help me grow things in the garden.

It was just the day I needed, sun, family, and relaxing times in the garden thinking of nothing, what Bank Holiday's should be all about.

I'll attach a few pics to this post so you can see what we all got up too, if you have any Easter tales to tell, I'd love to hear them. I reply to all messages, and try my best to read all your lovely blog posts.

Tuesday, 15 April 2014

April Crafting - Ceramic Owl Tea Light Holders

I'm excited to be able to finally reveal some craft news I have been keeping quiet about, I am now part of my first ever blogger network, and it's all to do with craft! Baker Ross have a catalogue and website jam packed with all kinds of craft goodies, but are seeking to prove it's not just children that can have creative fun with their products. I am happy to have been accepted as part of their Adult Bloggers Network, and will be experimenting, creating, and sharing my makes on here.

A box of products arrived the other week (and cheered me up when ill) and I've just finished my first making project. I am a bit of a woodland folk fan, so when I saw the ceramic tea light holders in my box, they almost jumped out into my hands. I was sent a box of four cute owls, along with 2 outline pens in black, and a pack of 5 colour pens - my pack had yellow, orange, bright green, light pink and light blue.

With my first owl I just picked up a colour at random and started colouring, although as I got into it I did start to think a bit more about the different things I could do to make the owls stand out. I added wing details to one, made another a lady owl, and did what I have called a 'pop art' version. I wasn't expecting to do more then just colour in, but craft can always surprise you. Another plus point was being able to easily layer the colours, and detail over colour with black - which I hadn't been able to do in pottery painting workshop.

It was a bit tricky to keep a steady hand when I was outlining and changing colours with the owls being 3D but I think I did a pretty good job of keeping neat. I think my trouble came when heat setting the colour. The only instructions were on the pens which said to place the owls in the oven at 160c for 90 minutes. Our oven gets hotter than some, so I took them out before the end - and the blue looked a bit duller, and there were a few patchy bits I noticed on 2 owls. I'm not sure if they were a bit over cooked, or despite being dry to the touch hadn't been left long enough, maybe I'd over painted, even though it looked smooth.

If I did something like this again, I would want more guidance on colour setting/finishing the ceramics, the pen's mentioned colour setting, the box of owls did not, and I'm also curious as to how long the porcelain pens last - in value for money terms.

It's not quite the same as pottery painting and seeing the colours and glaze bring the piece to life, but it's nice to know that similar painting can be done at home, and these cute little owls would make good gifts, or once I find some battery operated tea lights, maybe they'll be new atmosphere lighting at Christmas (I could even make one a little Santa hat).

*Baker Ross kindly sent these products for review as part of their adult blogger project, but all reviews are my own. Check out the full Baker Ross product range on their website.

Monday, 14 April 2014

Tints Of Nature Shampoo Review

I thought I had plenty of hair products in my cupboard, but it is looking a wee bit empty, and as the golden rule is not to use the same shampoo and conditioner all the time, I was intrigued when a review opportunity arrived in my inbox.

Tints Of Nature produce both hair dyes, and a range of aftercare products such as shampoo and conditioners, all quite simply claiming to be healthier for your hair. Normally I buy products that give me shine and are aimed at dry/damaged and colour treated hair, so was interested to read these products would tick the boxes, with an added healthy bonus.

The Tints Of Nature products have natural and organic certified plant and fruit extracts at their core, with some containing natural alternatives to sodium chloride and sulphates which can suck moisture from the hair.

I was sent their Hydrate Shampoo - £6.99 for 250ml and a 200ml Hydrate Conditioner which also retails for £6.99. Aloe Vera, Jojoba, Black Oats Extract, and Sunflower Seed Extract are just some of the natural ingredients they've added to protect your hair.

I was a bit sceptical before using, as finding the right products can be a bit hit and miss, and I wasn't sure if Tints Of Nature would provide anything that different, but having used the product a few times now that has been banished.

Both products smell nice, a bit like sweets, but not over powering and went on well through my hair. the acid test always comes for me when I've dried it. I feel for softness, look for shine, and check out how my hair looks overall before straightening.

This time I was pleased with the results as my hair felt quite soft after drying, and was tamer than I expected as well - normally more frizz after drying, especially the ends - so less straightening needed. I've used it a few times since that first wash and been happy each time.

I'm just not sure that I would be able to buy the product that often. I appreciate the quality, but at £6.99 each, it's more than I'd normally pay for one bottle of product. I might put it on my birthday list or treat myself occasionally though.

I think Tints Of Nature have lived up to their Ethos so far, but don't just take my word for it, find out more about their products, and all the natural goodness that goes into them at

* These products were sent free of charge for review, but all opinions are my own.

Friday, 11 April 2014

My Top Ten Feel Good Tunes

I don't know about anyone else, but I feel like I've been through the mill of late - I had both a sickness bug and a cold at the same time around Mother's Day, and still feel a bit lacking in the energy department, So I thought what better way to cheer myself up with a run down of my favourite feel good tunes. I hope you'll all join in and share yours below as well. The sun's come out so let's banish the bugs and make some feel good playlists.

1. Walking On Sunshine - One of my favourite summer tunes which I grew up with, and I absolutely love dancing around to this track. Just full of positive vibes.

2. Living On A Prayer - I'm a bit of an American Anthems/Soft Rock junkie, and this is one of Bon Jovi's classics. Perfect to wake me up of a morning.

3. Reach For The Stars - I've always loved my pop music, so see no shame in admitting I also used to listen to S Club 7 a lot - and I used to do the dance routine for the chorus as well!!

4. China In Your Hand - T-Pau classic, and although not uptempo - I think everyone needs a soaring ballad in their lives, and a beautiful song is great therapy.

5. Matt Cardle - Hit My Heart - Very recent this choice, but it's just so damn catchy it had to make the list.

6. Man In The Mirror - MJ was another artist I grew up listening to, and although funnily enough I only bought a couple of albums after he died - this is one of my favourite songs of all time - and favourite songs always make me feel good.

7. Don't Stop Believing - I only recently got into Journey through hearing a band cover this track, but was instantly hooked. The Greatest Hits album is full of musical goodness, but I love this anthem the best. A song that never gets old.

8. Celebration - Kool and the Gang - I danced to a very funky version of this in a school P.E production and ever since have got a buzz from hearing it. Great vibes and lyrics.

9. Sweet Little Mystery- Wet Wet Wet - Bit of a theme here, as this is another track I grew up with thanks to my parents CD collection, and I can't resist singing along to the infectious lyrics. If I'm skipping tracks this is the Wet Wet Wet track I keep coming back too.

10. Written In The Stars - Although my music loves tend to be more commercial they do veer all over the place, including some R&B. Tinie Tempah has done a great job all round on this track, one for my playlist when I fancy a good groove.

Well that's my feel good playlist, and I am already feeling a little bit better thinking of all the tracks. Would love to hear what music makes you feel good. Feel free to leave a comment below, and if you like my blog you can find me on Blog Lovin - just click the link to the right.

Tuesday, 1 April 2014

Grime Boss Heavy Duty Wipes Review

An E-Mail landed in my inbox recently with the magic words 'Create and Craft' mentioned, which as a creative caught my eye. I know on the surface some of you blog readers may wonder why I took up the opportunity  to review a packet of hand wipes, but bare with me here, as I think the tools and accessories can be just as important as the pretty things some times.

I was kindly send 2 packs of Grime Boss Heavy Duty Hand Wipes to try. As someone currently doing some online learning in the world of branding, looking at the pack and the logo etc. when they arrived, they looked like they meant business.

The wipes are sold in packs of 10, 30 and 60 and are designed to cleanse and moisturise the skin - one side has a rougher texture for cleaning, the other is softer to protect the skin. There's a formula embedded in the wipes which includes Aloe Vera and Vitamin E, and a citrus fragrance. Although I don't always think about it with something like wipes, I was reassured to note they've not used any harsh chemicals in the wipes.

The packet clearly explains all the different grime, residue, dirt, and grease the wipes can be used to remove, such as oil, glue, paint - so you can use these whether you are a crafter, cleaning your car, decorating, gardening - or buy some for work if you are in the trades.

I'm also a bit of a rule breaker and use wipes not just on my hands, but sometimes clothes, and my bike as well. I tried out the Grime Boss ones after a messy glue session, when I'd been painting an upcycled shelf, and on my bike when I was cleaning up some grease.

One mistake I did make was just pulling out the wipes each time not really thinking - when they are plenty big enough to cut up if I only need them for small jobs. For my bike though - the whole wipe was ideal - I go through a lot of wipes normally as I don't want to wipe dirt over dirt - but the Grime Boss had plenty of wipe to use up and was more effective.

I normally just use warm water and sometimes soap cleaning my hands though, and this takes ages - and I don't think normal wipes would be a lot better. This wipe really helped get under the glue to get it off my hands instead of softening and moving it about.

I didn't think I'd get excited about a packet of wipes but these ones did really work well, and I'd look into buying more when they run out. Worth cutting up to make them go even further than they already do as well.

Pricing - Pack of 10 £2.99, pack of 30 £4.99, and pack of 60 £8.99

Stockists include Create and Craft and Homebase. Visit the Grime Boss website for more information.

* I was kindly sent these products free to review but all opinions are my own.