Getting creative

Top 5: Homemade Mother’s Day gifts

Big reminder that Mother’s Day is this weekend! If like me you’ve exhausted the flowers, chocolates and cliche gifts over the years and are looking for something a little different for your special Mum then why not get personal and make your own gift?

There’s still plenty of time to get creative, you maybe surprised at how quickly you can knock something up from a few things you probably already have lying around the house.  Here are my top 5 quick and easy gift ideas for Mother’s day.

1. A Year in a Box

I’ve made a couple of these now for Christmas presents for my mum and she loves them!  They are pretty simple and all you need is some family photos, card stock and a bit of imagination!  You can find a fantastic step by step tutorial over at Glitter Adventure.

Photo box

2. Photo Coasters

You may have spotted a bit of theme here – I do love a photo gift!  Here are some coasters I made this Christmas with pictures of trips that Mother and I have taken together over the last few years.

Coasters

All you need to make them is:

  • Some 10cm x 10cm ceramic wall tiles (You can normally pick some up quite cheaply in Homebase or B&Q)
  • Photos
  • Black acrylic paint
  • Mod Podge
  • Clear acrylic coating spray
  • Felt
  • Hot glue gun

1. Paint the edges of the tiles and a boarder around 1 cm thick on each tile.  Allow to dry.

2. Cut the images to size and stick them to the tiles using Mod Podge. Once the glue has dried, paint 2 layers of Mod Podge over the photo allow each layer to dry in between.

3. Once the glue has dried, spray the tiles with the coating spray to make them water tight.

4. Cut the felt to size and glue to the back of the coasters with the hot glue.

And thats it! You could even use the same technique on a vase or flower pot.

3. Cupcake Bouquet

I made one of these as a Mother’s Day treat a few years ago – whats not to love, cake and flowers all rolled into one 🙂

Cupcake bouquet

Simply make your favourite cupcakes and pipe a rose technique on the top.  Place a piece of oasis in the bottom of a flowerpot and arrange the cupcakes with cocktail sticks.  It can help to have two different size cupcakes to get a better arrangement.

4. Homemade Mug

I think a good cup of tea is probably tops most Mum’s lists of favourite things so why not give them their own personalised mug designed specially by you?  Sharpies are a great invention for many reasons but one of them is you can draw with them on ceramics, bake it in the oven and it doesn’t wash off!  There are hundreds of great ideas on Pinterest to get you started.

5. Family Wall Art

Create something bespoke for your mum that you’ll know she’ll love.  This could be a photo montage of you and your siblings, a painting of your family tree or even a meaningful quote.  Again, check out Pinterest – there are some great examples of ones I found below.

butterflies hands quote tree

If you are still stuck for ideas, check out my Mother’s Day Pinterest board

Enjoy!

D x
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Fitness Journey, Health & Fitness

Fitness Diary: 5 days to go!

Last night I had a big moment, I ran my first 5k, non-stop with no walking!  Am feeling hugely proud of myself for reaching the first milestone in my running career!  Admittedly I have a lot to do to improve the speed (currently at 34 minutes) but I never would have thought I could have achieved this in just 8 weeks when I started back in January.

When I started I had never really run before and in the first week, I struggled to run for 2 minutes solid!  I still remember the dread on my face when I saw that we had to run for a whole 8 minutes in week 4.  Each week I continued to surprise myself and while it didn’t really get easier, I did manage to push myself that little bit more each week.  I’m now running for 34 mins and even managing a little sprint finish at the end 🙂

Running with other people has made it so much easier, for anyone who is just starting out I highly recommend it as a fab way to stay motivated and meet new people!  I’ve met some fab people during this process and I’m sure we’ll continue to be running buddies now its coming to an end.  I have to give huge thanks to my local club, The Leighton Fun Runners for organising the couch to 5k course – they have been amazing and are a true inspiration!  Even though most of them are running marathons and ultra marathons on a regular basis, they still took the time and patience to train us newbies 🙂

Now I just have 5 days left until my first official race – The Sport Relief 3 miles.  I’m actually really excited about it. A couple of weeks ago I marshalled at our local 10k and most of the time I was thinking – I can’t wait for my first race, and now here it is!  I’d love to get in a good time, I’m not expecting to cross the finish line anywhere near the front, in my eyes, the only person I’m competing against is myself, so if I make any improvement on my best time then I will be over the moon.

So I have a couple more training runs to fit in this week and then thats it!  I have to thank everyone who has sponsored me so far, I’ve raised well over £200 which is another incentive for me to get my butt around that course on Sunday!  Still plenty of time to get your donations in and you can do so on my Sport Relief giving page.

Wish me luck!

D x

Food & Drink, Home & Lifestyle

The perfect movie night in

Every girl loves a good cosy night in front of a good movie and I am no exception.  Here’s my guide on how to create the perfect movie night in with the girls.

First you need food!

My go to snack for nibbles with the girls is always Nachos.  Quick, super easy and suits pretty much everyones tastes.

Nachos

First, pre-heat the oven to around gas mark 6.  On 2 oven proof plates arrange some nacho chips (I use Tesco’s value ones as they are a bargain and I think taste much better than Doritos!).  On top sprinkle some grated cheddar and mozzarella.  Put them in the oven for a few mins until the cheese begins to melt and then repeat with a second layer.  You could also sprinkle some jalapenos or chillis if you like a bit of spice.

Once the cheese is bubbly, they are ready 🙂  Serve with sour cream, salsa, guacamole or whatever you like!

Nachos

Super easy, super tasty!!!  (Very naughty though)

And it wouldn’t be a movie night without popcorn 🙂  I’m not a huge fan of popcorn but I love the range by Portlebay Popcorn.  They have some fabulous flavours including personal favourites Wasabi & Sweet Ginger and Chilli & Lime or try Kracklecorn if you want something a bit more traditional.

Portlebay Popcorn

Then you just need something sweet to top it off, my fave – a big bag of Malteasers!

Pick a suitable chick flick to munch it all down to.  Some of my recent favourites include:

csl  Life_as_We_Know_It_Poster  BridesmaidsPoster

Enjoy!

D x

Fashion & Beauty, Home & Lifestyle

Top 5: Catwalk trend inspired nails

Following London and Paris fashion weeks, I’ve been feeling all inspired and am dying to try out some of the latest looks from the catwalk with a little nail creativity.  Here’s my pick of the top 5 trends to try yourself.

1. Florals

The catwalks were full of floral prints from the likes of House of Holland, Matthew Williamson and Mulberry for spring/summer collections.

Telegraph florals

Image: Telegraph

I can’t wait to try Nails Inc’s new floral range available now to pre-order via their website. The range includes a variety of colours and features a blend of daisy shaped matte glitter parcels.

floral nails

2. Monochrome

I love monochrome, in fact one would argue that my wardrobe is far too monochrome and could do with brightening up a little!  But the designers seem to be sticking with this timeless trend.

monochrome

Image: mydaily.co.uk

And there is plenty of inspiration to try this trend out on your fingertips – I want to try them all!

monochrome nailsmonoch nailsdots

3. Gingham

Various sized gingham and check prints were also on show including this pastel number from Balmain.

gingham

Image: Vogue

The gingham look for nails works really well, especially as a coordinating accent nail.  I don’t think I would wear this look all over but it would look great if done subtly.

ginghamnailsginghamnails2

4. Pastels

Pastels work for pretty much everyone so I’m pleased to see they are sticking around for another season.

pastels

Image: Glamour.com

There are loads of great pastel shades around at the moment so you won’t be short for choice.

I love this collection from Ciate London, available from Look Fantastic, £18

dollhouse

5. Iridescence

Shiny, iridescent, foil fabrics were another big hit for spring/summer trends.  I’m a bit of a magpie so love anything that glimmers, and this Burberry number certainly does!

iridescence

Image: vogue.co.uk

Nail foils have been around for a while now and are an easy and quick way to give instant glamour to a look.

solid-gold-nail-wraps

These solid gold nail wraps from Nails Inc, £5 give instant bling to your mani or if you prefer a polish, try this Barry M Nail Effects Silver Foil polish, £3.99 from Superdrug.

barryM

D x

Fitness Journey, Health & Fitness

Fitness Diary: Update

So I’m now about to finish week 7 of the couch to 5k programme, am on day 11 of the 30 day squat challenge and have also started the Runtastic sit up challenge.  So my fitness kick is well and truely in progress!  Progress is going well, I can now run comfortably for at least a mile, of and I purchased some new runners this week!  I opted for the Adidas Supernova Glide 6 and took them for a test run last night – so far so good!

Adidas

I still haven’t really lost any weight but I can definately see my body shape changing and I’m pretty sure it’s not just in my head.  I did try on the dreaded skinny jeans this morning and I’ve still got a way to go though.  But I now have my first target date in the diary, I am running in the Sainsbury’s Sport Relief challenge and doing the 3 mile run.  It’s only two weeks away so I need to put in some hardwork to get there but here’s hoping its a success!

The diet side of my health kick is not going quite so well yet – I’m still to really start 😦  But I am determined that I will do it!  I just love food a little bit too much!  I have tried the 5:2 diet before which was ok and I did loose some weight but don’t think fasting days will be particularly good for the increased amount of exercise I’m doing.  So I think I’m just going to cut out the afternoon chocolate fix and try to generally eat a little healthier.  Any miracle diet suggestions please do let me know!

Well thats about it for this week, if you want to be generous and sponsor me for the Sport Relief 3 miles you can do here.

sports-relief-logo

D x

Food & Drink, Home & Lifestyle

Top 5: Pancake fillings

So its one of my favourite days of the year tomorrow – PANCAKE DAY!!!

I love pancakes and this year I’ve decided to be a little adventurous and try some unuual fillings.  Here are my top 5 recipies from the tinterweb 🙂

1. Baked pancakes with cheese and ham 

Delicious Magazine

I love the sound of this recipe from Delicious Magazine . Stuffed pancakes filles with yummy ham and cheese goodness and baked in the oven with even more cheese on top. Yum.

2. Chicken and leek pancakes

chicken & leek

Yummy chicken and leek oozing with a mustard sauce makes this Good to Know recipe irresistible.

3. Chocolate pancakes with berries

Chocolate pancakes

Who doesn’t like a good serving of chocolate lovliness?  Give these chocholate pancakes over at UKTV Food a try with some yoghurt and berries to finish it off.

4. Dulce de leche

bonne maman

I fell in love with dulce de leche when I was travelling around South America last year and couldn’t get enough of it whilst I was there.  My rule is you can pretty much have it with anything so why not smother a pancake in it!  The nearest product I have found here is Bonne Maman’s Confiture du Caramel available from Waitrose, £2.19.

5. Of course….Lemon and sugar!

lemon

You still can’t beat good old fashioned lemon and sugar on a pancake.  It should always be freshly squeezed lemon juice (not from a plastic lemon shaped container) and a good sprinkling of sugar.  I am drawling just thinking about it!

Enjoy!

D x

Fashion & Beauty, Food & Drink, Home & Lifestyle

Rio Carnival inspires the high street

I was lucky enough to travel Brazil last year and seeing all the pictures from the Rio Carnival this weekend has bought back all the memories and feelings of the Brazilian spirit.  It’s infectious and you can’t help but get swept away by it – it’s possible my most favourite place in the world so far!

So it was great to see so much of the fun and colour of carnival on the high street today.  Here are just a few of my favourites from todays shopping trip.

River Island

Print Bodycon dresses from River Island, £32.99

Accessorize

Rio Ultimate Necklace £22.00 & Parrot bag, Both Accesorize

Kurt Geiger

Elvie sandals by Kurt Geiger £75

New look

Gold beaded bib necklace £9.99 New Look

Mula

Mua Glitter palettes, £4 Superdrug

Nail wraps

Bling up your nails with some 3d Nail wraps by Eye Candy and Elegant Touch.

And I even found a little bit of Brazil to wake me up in the mornings with the fabulous scent of the Radox Brazilian Fusion Shower Gel currently on offer in Tesco’s 3 for £3 🙂

Radox

So once you’ve cleaned up in your Brazil scented shower, got your carnival inspired glad rags on and a bit of sparkle on, you’re going to need some refreshment right?  And there’s only one way to do that in Brazil – CAIPIRINHAS!!!!!!! Yes, anyone who has been will have drunk copious amounts of these sugary cups of heaven and probably not remembered much about it.  You’ll need limes, Cachaca and sugar and thats pretty much it!  Try it yourself with this recipe.

Caipirinha

If you’re the designated driver you can still get into the party spirit with Lucozade’s limited edition ‘Brazilian’ Mango and Mandarin drink.  It’s super fruity and will keep your energy levels pumping all night 🙂

lucozade

D x