Sunday, 27 December 2015

Etsy Shop Feature: The Doting Granny

This is likely my final post of 2015 and I'm so glad that it's featuring a small British business! The Doting Granny's Etsy shop boasts the cutest array of hand crafted clothing, accessories, jewellery, home d├ęcor, furniture... the works. Multitalented much!

The item that I'm featuring is an item of furniture. It shall look lovely in my new living room as I'm going to decorate it in a really cutesy way.... It's an actual toad-stool (excuse the pun).

It's been lovingly hand painted and then varnished so it's nice and shiny as well as being hardwearing. As this came for me at Christmas time, there's some cute little snow flakes and silver glittery paint on the underside as well as some glittery toadstool decals.

I love my cute stool. It's absolutely lovely and I cannot wait to display it in my new home. Definitely check out Doting Granny on Etsy as her stuff really is enchanting!

Sunday, 20 December 2015

Christmas Break

Hello lovelies! Just to let you know that I shall be taking a short break over Christmas. Work has been very busy and I'd really like a chilled break over the holiday period. I shall be posting again in the new year of course.

My blog is actually almost a year old - gosh how time flies! I love posting on here and I'm so glad that I finally got around to creating my own standalone blog rather than chipping in on various collab blogs.

If I don't manage to post before the big day, then have an amazing Christmas and you can definitely look forward to some great content in the New Year. I shall be eating lots and getting very merry over Christmas!!

Wednesday, 16 December 2015

Tattoos FAQ

Do they hurt?
Yes, they obviously did hurt.. but it's bearable. It honestly depends where the tattoo artist is tattooing but my wrist was particularly painful as was my inner bicep. If you think about it, if people are able to put up with the pain for many hours.. it cannot be that bad! Please do not be concerned about the pain involved in getting a tattoo, just accept that it is going to feel uncomfortable and go for it.

Do you have a job? If so, how did you get a job with those?
Yes, I work in a Further Education College. I wear long sleeves at work so despite being heavily tattooed on my arms, they are completely covered. I have worn short sleeves though and have had no complaints. Tattoos are becoming much more acceptable in society nowadays, but definitely look into your career choices to double check that being tattooed won't cause you any problems further down the line.

How long did they take?
I've probably been tattooed for around 30 hours in total (so far!)

How much did they cost?
For tattoos, you get what you pay for. I have always gone for quality rather than cheap prices. If you'd like actual numbers, I've paid between £80-£100 ish per hour depending on the artist. 

Should I tip my tattoo artist?
I have done in the past. In the UK, it's not essential.. it's definitely more common in the USA but my artist was fairly taken aback when I tipped him. It's a nice thing to do though as being a Tattoo Artist is a very difficult and demanding occupation.

What do I do for aftercare?
For me, what works is applying hemp and jojoba oil for the first day or so. I then switch to applying a small amount of Bepanthen (nappy rash ointment). After around a week, I switch to cocoa butter. Whenever the tattoo feels dry, I apply a small amount of product (at least every morning and night). I also washed my tattoos around 2-3 times a day during the healing period. All of mine healed within 2 weeks of being done while using this method. Everyone is different though so what works for me may not work for you.

Here are a couple of pictures of some of my tattoos..

I shall definitely get around to posting more body mod advice when I get a spare minute. I have had quite a few piercings in the past and I get a lot of questions about my septum which I still have in. 

Friday, 4 December 2015

Etsy Shop Feature: Naomi Heulwen

Naomi Heulwen is a British Etsy Shop focussed on the creation of beautiful jewellery and accessories themed around wildlife. Each piece begins with an illustration done by hand. The drawings are then cut by hand and coloured on shrink plastic. They are then covered with a layer of clear resin to keep the lovely design safe from any water damage before being attached to a necklace, brooch etc.

My favourite item from Naomi Heulwen is my gorgeous fairy rabbit necklace. The necklace features a lovely wild rabbit surrounded by stag antlers and glittery fairy wings. It's hung on a lovely pale blue/lilac chain which I love as it's sturdy as well as cute. I get so many compliments when I wear this out, it has definitely become one of my most worn necklaces. It's just beautiful and the glitter on the wings really sets the piece off.

I also love my cute house sparrow brooches. They are currently living on my H! By Henry Holland Bumble Bee Parka Coat which they look very cute on. I love how shiny the resin makes them, they feel very secure and professionally made. It's quite evident that Naomi has worked with resin for a long time as they are flawless. I also love my 3 gorgeous purple flower brooches which are just gorgeous and my precious little bird nest.

Naomi's work is amazing - everything is so dainty, beautiful and magical. I 100% recommend that you check out her shop and have a look at everything. She even does commissions so if you'd like her to draw your pet and make it into a piece then definitely give her a message. Her work definitely stands out as exceptional and who wouldn't want a gorgeous statement necklace or a cute brooch?! Find her on Facebook here, and Tumblr here.

Wednesday, 2 December 2015

Review: June Fox Studio @ Etsy

June Fox Studio is filled with wall decals which are British wildlife themed. There's snakes, hedgehogs, frogs etc. They're so cute and educational for kids too! I know how realistic they look, they're quirky and different. I went for the toadstool ones, 'fly agaric' variety, which are the red and white ones which we're all familiar with.
There's some facts about the toadstools on the packet which were interesting to read and the stickers look fab on my wall. They're really detailed, the print is amazing quality. I'm so pleased with my mushroom stickers, definitely check out June Fox Studio for lots of cute wildlife themed decals.

Sunday, 29 November 2015

Review: Works With Water - Help: Beautify Skin.

I'm willing to try anything to help my skin glow but I've been taking Beautify Skin by Works With Water for a month and I'm ready to tell you what I thought of it!
Each jelly sachet contains CoEnzymeQ10, Hydrolysed Marine
Collagen, Resveratol, Aloe Vera and Vitamin C. So they’re packed with antioxidants and other ingredients which are great for the skin. I’m not going to go into too much detail about the ingredients but if you’re interested then head to Google where you’ll find lots of information about the benefits of these ingredients.

I was a little apprehensive before I tried one as it has ‘marine’ collagen which made me think that it would taste fishy but they’re actually really good. They taste like apples with a background taste of stevia. I actually really like the jelly sachets they’re a nice snack!

After a month of having one sachet a day, my skin is feeling less dry – and as I’ve had a couple of tattoos in that time, I’m hoping that it has helped my skin to heal and regenerate. My tattoos have both healed incredibly quickly actually. I haven’t noticed an overwhelming glow in my face, however – I am using less foundation and haven’t needed concealer over the past couple of weeks. I usually use 2 layers of foundation, concealer over my problem areas and then powder over the top. Recently I’ve only had to use one layer of light coverage foundation and powder to set it – so it must be doing something!

I am definitely going to continue taking these sachets and see if they continue to make a difference to my skin as time goes on.

Balsajo Black Garlic

I love to make Italian food and use lots of ‘lazy’ garlic products such as frozen crushed garlic. So the idea of prepared and peeled garlic cloves is definitely attractive to me. Balsajo Black Garlic comes in many different forms such as paste or ready to use cloves.

The balsamic-y garlic is made using heat and humidity over an extended period of time. I made garlic bread with it which was lovely and I also stirred it into mushroom risotto which was also divine. I’m not ashamed to say that I also ate some of the cloves directly from the packet as I love garlic. This garlic is yummy and I recommend it if you like fuss free cooking and like to eat garlic!

Review: Natty Deco @ Etsy

Natty Deco is an Etsy shop full of laser cut decorations. There's so many cute ones and they're really detailed too! I received 2 toadstools from the shop which I'm really excited to show you guys.

The first is the traditional red one with white spots which can be hung with natural twine. I love the colours, it's such a pretty little decoration. I was also sent a lovely plain wooden toadstool with lots of detailing on there. This one is my fave, it's so unique - I've never seen one like this! It looks really natural.. I can't wait to hang it in my home.

I'm super pleased with my two little mushrooms from Natty Deco, and I totally recommend that you check out their other decorations as everything is so cute.

Saturday, 21 November 2015

Review: RR&J @ Etsy

I received my lovely pom pom wreath from RR&J @ Etsy this weekend and I can't wait to show it to you guys. It's a custom one which was made to my specification - although I wasn't entirely sure on what exact colours I wanted so I asked for it to be pastel and left it in the capable hands of Rachel.

Here it is! How cute. It is backed with vintage Laura Ashley fabric and there's a loop of coral ribbon for hanging. I love all the pom poms and how different colours and textures of wool has been used. And it's all been handmade by Rachel so kudos to her.

This shop is a little bit different to others that I normally feature in that 10% of all proceeds go to the Cystic Fibrosis Trust which is a UK based charity that helps sufferers of Cystic Fibrosis and their families live their lives to the fullest! Cystic Fibrosis is a difficult disease and in the UK around 1 in 25 of us carries the faulty gene that causes Cystic Fibrosis. It's definitely a cause that deserves lots of pennies so go and give RR&J a visit and check out her cute pom pom goodies!

Friday, 20 November 2015

Review: Hofficraft @ Etsy

I received a lovely package yesterday from Hofficraft on Etsy. As regular readers will know, I love anything whimsical and foresty. Anything wildlife themed, I adore! Hofficraft sells lots of cute things such as cute illustrated badges made from shrink plastic. There's an actual leek with a little face which is the cutest thing in the world ever. I think everyone needs a little leek badge. In all serious though, the badges are all original illustrations which have been scanned, digitally coloured then printed to shrink plastic. They are then hand cut and varnished before being mounted to the actual pin. So there's quite a bit of craftsmanship involved here! They're all so perfect looking too, so it surprised me a little that they are hand cut.

So I received two different toadstool badges which I swiftly pinned on to my bumble bee print parka by Henry Holland. They look perfect on there like they're growing! I absolutely love my little toadstool badges.. I love mushrooms as you are aware - my first tattoo was a mushroom as they're just so cute. Finding beauty in nature is the best.......well.. these products definitely must be cute if they've sent me into a waffle about nature!

In the little chevron bag inside the package there were also three beautifully wrapped fimo toadstool decorations. By this point I was in a cute coma, everything is gorgeous. These toadstools are completely unique as they are hand molded before being baked in a hot oven. When they're all cool, they're glued and painted with little white enamel spots before a silver hook is added and some lovely twine is threaded through so it can be hung up to make any space look pretty. So I received a red one, a green one and a blue one. I love how the twine even matches the toadstool colour - the stripy twine is really cute. I love these decorations and they feel really substantial. The final thing that I opened was a little ring with a red flower on it which is very cute.

I love everything that I received in my lovely package. Everything was packaged up in cute little bags with stickers on there and the box was covered in little metallic snowflakes. I'm so pleased with everything about Hofficraft. I highly recommend that you check the shop out, there's so much variety there and everything is so perfectly made that you cannot go wrong.

Monday, 16 November 2015

Review: Forrest Sounds @ Etsy

Forrest Sounds is an adorable little shop with lots of needle felted creatures in lots of different colours and sizes. I ordered two little kitties and I'm ridiculously pleased with the whole ordering experience. 

I opened my little box which was filled with packaging to protect the kitties as well as a couple of notes and some surprise extras! There was a blue fishy and a pink mouse which I have included in the pictures. Aww, how gorgeous are they?! There was also some instructions to rub the fishy against the kitty to hold the fibres in place which worked. It's nice how she left me that little note or I probably wouldn't have known what to do.

I'm so pleased with my gorgeous kitties. The attention to detail is pretty amazing and they're just beautiful! I love their little paws on their underside too, such a nice touch. And they're only £6 each which I think is amazing. They come in all sorts of different colours and Kat will even do a custom order for you. There's also Alpacas... awww!

I love my beautiful kitties and I'm so glad that they're mine. Check out Forrest Sounds here, and here's the kitty listing.

Sunday, 15 November 2015

November Chit Chat

Happy November everyone! I'm busy getting ready for Christmas and working, I'm also supposed to be moving house very soon. It takes so long for a house purchase to go through and it can be incredibly frustrating at times. 

I went shopping on Friday evening and there's a new shop in Manchester called 'Smiggle' (where a smile meets a giggle).. the name is a little nauseating but it's really kawaii inside. Everything is so cute and I struggled to discipline myself in there with my money! I ended up buying a water bottle with kitties and sushi rolls on it, it has a little strap with the same design on there too.

It's really adorable. I'm yet to use it.. I plan on taking it to work tomorrow. But yes, definitely take a look at Smiggle if you're into cute stuff. I paid a visit to Wagamama as well, I decided to experiment and stray away from my usual choices.. (Chicken Katsu Curry or Duck Gyoza and a Side of Plain Noodles). I got the Chicken and Prawn Pad Thai and I actually really didn't like it and left loads which was sad. My boyfriend got his usual Duck Ramen though and loved it. My meal literally tasted like pure lemongrass, it was way too overpowering for me which is weird because I love strong flavours.

Anyways, enough rambling from me. Take care in this cold weather and stay safe in our dark evenings and I'll try to write some cool posts as we approach Christmas.

Saturday, 14 November 2015

Graze Protein Box Review

I have finally devoured everything in my graze - Protein Box so I can now give you guys my verdict on the snacks!

So, starting from my favourite which was the British Peppered Pork Jerky with Apple and Pear Chutney. Oh my GOSH! This was absolutely divine. The meat was so tasty and it went perfectly with the chutney. I would eat this over and over again.. mmm - just YASS!

My second favourite was the Rough Blend Peanut Butter with Pretzel Sticks. This was tasty, I love peanut butter and I love pretzel sticks so there wasn't any room to not like this! The peanut butter tasted like the Meridian one.

I also loved the Brooklyn Bites. Poppy seed pretzels, cheese cashew nuts and roasted pumpkin seeds are all yummy so I really did enjoy this little snack. I had this alongside a cheese sandwich for lunch and it went down well.

Now... as for the Japanese Miso Soup. The Edamame beans were lovely and I could eat those forever. However, this was the first time I had tried Miso soup and I wasn't a fan. I did find it very easy to make by stirring the paste into boiling water but yeah.. I wasn't much for this one. Just eat the beans and give the soup to someone who likes Miso soup is my advice!!

If you click my links or the Graze banner in the side bar - you can get 2 boxes for £2 in total instead of £7.98!

Review: Ornamental Owl @ Etsy

As you guys know, I'm in the process of moving house (..STILL!) and I've been on the lookout for cute home accessories for a while. As much as I love Homesense, Dunelm etc - I do like to have some handmade goodies in there as well. 

Ornamental Owl sells a variety of different crafty bits - but I was drawn to her personalised wooden baby brushes. Not to actually use, but to use for decorative purposes. There's also adult brushes available if you'd like to buy one to actually use.

Firstly, I was asked to choose my preference of decoupage design for the back of the brush - so I chose a lovely floral Cath Kidston-esque design. Instead of a name, I asked for a bow to be engraved on the handle and a little bow to be tied to the handle.

When it'd been made - I was sent a picture of it to make sure that I was happy with it and then the store owner let me know when it had been shipped. There was about a week turnaround which is super impressive for a custom order!

As you can see, my brush is absolutely precious - it will look lovely on display on one of my shelves in my house. Or perhaps in the bathroom! Either way, I can't wait to have it on show as it's beautiful and the quality feels great too. Remember to check out Ornamental Owl!

Sunday, 8 November 2015

Review: Tattoo Goo Deep Cleansing Soap for Tattoos and Piercings

People tend to have conflicting opinions on tattoo/piercing aftercare so I'm not going to get into that.. but I like to use antibacterial soap on my tattoos/piercings when they're healing. It's pretty important that it's not drying though as having dry flaky skin around a new piercing is never good. 

I have tried some of Tattoo Goo's other aftercare products and decided to give their soap a go. It's very cooling and refreshing and it doesn't dry out the skin at all. In fact, it's really lovely to use - I have no complaints about it. However, my Simple 'Refreshing' Body Wash works exactly the same and I can pick that up for less than £1. So I'm not sure if it's worth shelling out the extra few pounds for the Tattoo Goo wash. Although Tattoo Goo Soap is antimicrobial, antibacterial and PH balanced so perhaps it cleans at a more advanced level. That's not something that I'm interested in enough to research, but this stuff is pretty good and it's a solid choice for any new tattoo or piercing.

What I love about this soap is that it's small enough to throw in my handbag so I can wash piercings/tattoos at work or when I'm out for a long time - but it's not small enough to be called 'travel size'. You get a decent amount of soap in the tube but it's not bulky at all.

Tattoo Goo Soap is cheap in the USA (around £3) but it seems to cost around £7 in the UK. I bought it in an aftercare kit which came with some Tattoo Goo Saline Spray and I paid just over £10 for it online.

Please make sure you rinse all the soap off properly though as I'm sure you know that not doing so can create problems for any new tattoo or piercing. Definitely give this soap a go though if you're not sure what to use and want to buy something that's made specifically for tattoos and piercings.

Etsy Shop Review: Olhas Oils

I recently received 2 gorgeous soaps from Olhas Oils on Etsy. Olhas Oils is an online store filled with lovely soaps filled with natural ingredients which have endless benefits for your skin and general wellbeing! Natural scents are so relaxing to me, so I love to use soaps which are largely scented by essential oils and botanical extracts.

The first soap that I have tried is the Charcoal and Oats soap. I've used charcoal products before and they really help to detoxify my skin. Whilst the charcoal helps to draw impurities out of the skin, the oats soothe and calm the skin. There's also some tea tree, lavender oil and sweet orange oil in there too so it has the most beautiful scent. I've been enjoying using this on my skin, it's felt really tight and clean after washing with this soap!

I also tried the Tiramisu Soap Cake. Firstly, it looks so cute! Secondly, it has a lovely almondy scent to it. It's described as smelling like amaretto biscuits and I'd agree with this. It's fairly creamy when it lathers up and the almond scent becomes stronger when washing with it.

Check out Olhas Oils for lots more lovely soaps!

Saturday, 7 November 2015

Graze - Protein Box

Ahh, I'm so excited - I receive my first Graze Protein Box this week. I used to be signed up to Graze ages ago when it was pretty new - but it's expanded loads and there's so many new snacks. These are a few that I'm excited for

Vietnamese Pho 
This sounds lovely, it's described as a warming soup served with shiitake mushrooms, sesame seeds and rice noodles.

Super Kale and Edamame
Just, YES! I love both of these things.

Applewood Smoked Beef Jerky
This is one of the only types of meats that I really like - I love smoky flavours and salty ones too. Yum.

Rough Blend Peanut Butter with Pretzel Sticks
Peanut butter is one of my favourite things ever so I'd definitely enjoy this.

The reason that I'm going for a protein box is that protein keeps me full for a while and as I have a busy life - I think that this one would be great for me.

If you click through the links on my blog - or on the banner in the side bar you get 2 boxes for just £2 in total (£1 each) instead of £3.99 each! You'll get to try 8 of the snacks then and have a pretty good idea of how you'd tailor your future boxes if you wanted to carry on with Graze.

Click here if you'd like to redeem your 2 boxes for £2

Thursday, 5 November 2015

Etsy Shop Review: Justine Paige

Justine Paige is an Etsy shop based in the United States which sells cute jewellery. I'd been after a set of 'Best Bitches' necklaces for a while as they'd be perfect for me and my friend who I'm inseparable from! I loved the ones on Justine Paige as they come in a variety of different lengths and finishes - I went for a 20 inch chain in silver.

The necklaces came bagged up in two separate heart patterned bags which is a nice touch and they're really cute little necklaces! The heart pieces are of a decent size and they do slot together. Shipping to the UK was really quick and cheap too. Definitely check out Justine's shop for lots of adorable jewellery!

Monday, 2 November 2015

Etsy Shop Review: Whimsical Nimsicle

Today's review is an exciting one! I've been wanting to get some wooden letters for our new place, and I finally found the perfect place to get them. Whimsical Nimsicle decoupaged and painted some wooden letters for me in papers of my choice, and I also got some other goodies from their store!

I got A & J (Abbi and James) decoupaged with pretty paper and painted with metallic paint on the sides and back. They've been varnished as well so I can tell that they'll hold up. I love them! They will look so pretty on my mantle piece.

I also picked up these cute crochet flower coasters. They are so pretty and in gorgeous colours. I'm in love with these, they're so precious. They came packaged so cute as well, in a little bundle secured with cute lace effect ribbon.

This little guy was in my package too! It's a little crochet owl book mark perched on a twig. This is so cute, I do a lot of reading and this will be so nice to use. It's really well made too - I wish I could craft like this.

The last thing that I picked up was this birdcage necklace with a little heart in the middle. I think that birdcages are so cute so I'm in love with this. The little heart really sets it off too. I can't wait to wear this!

Check out Whimsical Nimsicle for cute handmade home accessories, jewellery etc. The items are amazing quality and they're packaged really cute as well.