Baked By Lou – Creative corner interview

I love to see artists and craftspeople enjoying and having fun with their mediums. You can definitely see the enjoyment and the playfulness in this weeks creative corner interview. Take a look at the fabulous work of Baked By Lou.

Baked by Lou creative corner interview

1.       Introduce yourself.Baked By Lou Owner

I’m Lou, maker and owner of Baked by Lou!  By day I’m a trainer and educator so right now I’m juggling both things and loving the challenge!

2.       Tell us a bit about Baked by Lou.Baked By Lou Logo

Baked by Lou is a fun play on the fact that I work primarily with polymer clay (which you cook in a regular oven) and ceramics (which get fired in a kiln).  The biggest themes behind BBL are bold, bright and bonkers!  All pieces are handmade, I aim for a specific aesthetic but with all pieces being one off and different from the last.  I create jewellery and accessories including, dishes, bowls, pots and incense burners.

3.       What made you start your own business?

Cardiff is a real create hub and I am very blessed to have a lot of creative people around me.  This was my biggest motivation, seeing others do what they love.  I grew up creating with my Mum and Nanna and my education followed a very creative route, so it’s great to be utilising these skills I learned and certainly about time!

4.       Did you have any formal training or are you self-taught?

I did a Fine Art and Art History degree so have definitely had a creative education which has influenced me.  I’ve done ceramic evening classes too to refresh my skills which was great for meeting fellow creatives.  I’ve had no specific training to make jewellery and I’m having so much fun doing research and exploring and learning as I go along.

5.       Explain your creative process.

I try hard not to schedule time to be creative as I sometimes feel when I force myself to sit down and do it, I am my least creative self!  So I try and be more relaxed and do it when I can.  I get out all the tools I could possibly need, play with colours, surround myself with inspirational images, past pieces and just play!  Keep trying things out until I find something I like.  I think this explains why I have a pile of jewellery that never sees the light of day.  I sometimes think I should find one design and stick with it!  But right now I’m happy creating lots of one off pieces.

Baked by Lou dangle earrings

6.       Describe your typical day.

Early mornings I check in with my medias.  Then I head out for my lovely day job.  I’ve got a super supportive hubby and when I get home I often get stuck into my Baked by Lou work.  This could be organising parcels and heading to the post office (my local post office is open until 8pm thankfully!) to updating my shop or creating new pieces!

7.       What’s your biggest seller?

Baked by Lou cactus earrings

Everything is one off at the moment so no specific best selling piece, but my dangles in general are most popular out of all the types of work I make.  Secretly though, creating ceramic pots is my favourite!  Maybe because they’re so big and fun, I get a lot of enjoyment doing these.

CREATIVECORNER for 10% off until end of November.
https://www.etsy.com/uk/shop/BakedByLou?coupon=CREATIVECORNER

baked by lou ceramic pot

8.       What have been the high and low points of running Baked by Lou?

High points are the lovely people I’ve met, the cool events I’ve attended and the fact that the creative industry seems really supportive.  Lows for me is always the paperwork and the more official serious things that go along with it, I lack confidence in this area and it really scares me!

9.       What would be your top tips for running your own creative business?

Top tips are to join and engage in your local creative communities, look out for free networking events.  In wales we have access to free help from Business Wales for all your business questions!  My shop is only on Etsy at the moment and you can join a local Etsy team which is really supportive and full of awesome folk!

10.   What are your aspirations?

I’d love to eventually be working on this more than I’m currently able.  I aspire to be able to produce larger quantities of things, space and time allowing, and also be stocked in more physical shops.

11.   Where can we find you?

You can find me:

www.bakedbylou.etsy.com

www.instagram.com/baked.by.lou

www.twitter.com/bakedbylou

www.facebook.com/bakedbylouart

baked by lou necklace

Cuddle Fairy

How to Keep your kitchen warm this Winter

The clocks have gone back, the nights are drawing in and temperatures have definitely dropped. It’s time to turn on the lights, draw the curtains and flick on the heating. Most of our house is easy to heat, but one room is much harder. Here are some tips on keeping your kitchen warm this winter.kitchen warm icy

If you’re already planning a kitchen, then you might well have spent a lot of time pondering the type of bespoke cabinetry you want or worktops, splashback materials and the appliances you and your family will need to keep things running smoothly. You might have even started to think about lighting and wall colours but the one thing that can often make or break the usability of a kitchen – particularly during the winter months – is often not given nearly enough thought.

kitchen warm breakfast

Photo by Anthony DELANOIX on Unsplash

How you heat your kitchen, whether it’s radiators, a cast-iron range that runs the central heating, or underfloor heating, your choice will have a huge impact not just on how you use your kitchen when it’s complete but how you design the room from its inception.

BACK TO BASICS

The key to a heating system that works efficiently is a good boiler. When you’re planning your kitchen design, it might be worth factoring in a new boiler rather than repairing it if yours is more than 15 years old as they’re not nearly as energy efficient as new models. Updating an old system to an A-rated condensing boiler could reward you with a 90% increase in efficiency. Also, replacing a boiler could free up room for more cupboards or worktops and you’ll benefit from instant hot water if you opt for a condensing combi-boiler.

CHOOSING YOUR TYPE

Keep your Kitchen warm with Radiatorskitchen warm radiator

Photo by Ostap Senyuk on Unsplash

For many years, central heating systems running a series of radiators have been the heating of choice. Usually already in place, updating them from dated 1970s flat panel models to one of the many stunning styles on offer from specialists such as Bisque or Aestus can completely change the look of a room. For contemporary schemes look at ladder-style vertical radiators in sleek white and steel finishes and for classic kitchens pick something a little more period in it’s look like Bisque’s Classic range, which echoes Edwardian shapes.

If you’re particularly eco-minded then aluminium models are a good option, as they heat up and cool down much faster than traditional radiators, which will save both time and energy.

One thing you should do if considering radiators is ensure you have just the right amount to heat the room. There are aplenty of online calculators to help you do this – just pop in the room’s dimensions, the number of windows and the calculator will give you the BTUs or wattage required.

Underfloor heating

kitchen warm underfloor heatingPhoto by Lara Crespo on Unsplash

A great option if your kitchen is being designed from the floor up; underfloor heating gives comfortable radiant heat and can deliver great savings too.

Depending on what type of heating you opt for, it can be used under most types of flooring. Including: stone, tile, wood and vinyl. It’s best to check your floor is a suitable match before you go ahead and invest. A large kitchen with porcelain or ceramic tiles are almost always a perfect fit with underfloor heating.

There are two options, electric and wet systems. Electric flooring is easier to fit, being a network of wire elements on a mesh that is placed below the flooring or wet systems, which use water pipes below the floor. An electric system is easier to lay and can be retro-fitted fairly easily. If you’re laying a new floor, just check with your builder first. Wet systems require more work and are better suited to renovations such as new extensions or completely new builds.

One of the biggest benefits of underfloor heating is that you don’t have to give over valuable wall space to radiators. Meaning you can often include more cabinets for additional space and bespoke storage solutions. It is also vital to have your kitchen design finalised before the pipes or matts are laid for the flooring. As it would be an absolute waste to heat built-in cupboards, or under appliances. A floor plan from your expert designer will help any heating engineer advise not only the best pattern to lay the floor in. Also where to place the controls on the walls. Using a timed thermostat means that you can set the heating on to warm the room just enough. So it’s a little easier to step into your kitchen on a frosty winter morning.

Keep your Kitchen warm with Cast-iron ranges

While an ‘always-on’ Aga is often the traditional choice in farmhouse designs. It will provide a radiant heat to warm your kitchen on a winter’s morning but it can’t run a central heating system. If you want your heat-store range to do that, then opt for models from Stanley or Rayburn. Which can often run up to 20 radiators.

 

Keep your Kitchen warm with your mobile

kitchen warm coffeePhoto by Brigitte Tohm on Unsplash

Finally, consider investing in an app-controlled heating system such as Hive or Nest. So you can switch on your heating, using your phone, wherever and whenever you feel the need with great ease.

kitchen warm frostThis is a sponsored post for Harvey Jones. To find out more please read my advertising and disclosure policy.

 

Are you a coffee or tea drinker?

The UK is now more of a coffee than a tea drinker it is said. I however have never veered on to the dark side of hot beverages and am an avid lover of Tea. You may already know this as I’ve written about my love of tea a fair few times over the years. So I think it’s been well established that I am a full time tea drinker.

tea drinker supplies

 

So how pleased was I when a packaged arrived from Mad Hatter tea? Putting the kettle on in flash, happy. It’s the kind of tea my dad would favour. A combination of Indian and African teas. Being a Yorkshire man it’s what he would describe as proper tea. A bit too strong for me but hubby likes it.

 

Not only do Mad Hatter make great tea. They have also developed a new genius  solution for doing the tea (or coffee) run. These are called Hot Cup Caddies. They are designed for you to hold ore than one cup per hand and stop the inevitable scald as you try to juggle more than one cup and obstacles such as doors / people etc.

Such a simple solution, I’m surprised I haven’t seen anything like this before. They can be reused and they fed up to literally nothing. Making them perfect to shove in your bag and use when your out and about and get charged with the tea (or coffee!) run.

So regardless or whether your a straight up tea drinker like myself or prefer your brew stronger. Along with wet wipes and a lip gloss I think these will become a must for the handbag.

Are you a coffee or a tea drinker? How do you manage the drinks run?

coffee tea drinker flat lay

I was sent the package of Mad hatter tea and hot cup caddies for free in exchange for my honest opinion. You can find out more by reading my advertising and disclosure policy.

Accidental Hipster Mum
Cuddle Fairy

Throw your own decorate t shirt party

As my kids have got older I have looked at ways to entertain them and their friends at their birthday parties. This year my eldest turns nine and although he still loves pass the parcel etc. He would like to do something a bit different with his friends at his birthday. So we thought we might try out a throwing a decorate t shirt party.header decorate t shirt party

Decorate plain white t shirt

We have done a trial run to test it out, before we launch into doing it at the party. So both my eldest and youngest had a go the previous rainy Sunday. We started with plain white t-shirts from River Island, as this gave a fresh base for colours to be applied.

What to decorate t shirt with?

As a textiles teacher I had loads of bits in my craft stash for the boys to try decorating their t-shirts with. So I created a little decorate a t-shirt kit. In the kit I included:

  • Fabric markers,
  • Crayons for fabric,
  • Fabric paints,
  • Pom poms,
  • Sequins,
  • Fabric glue. decorate t shirt kit

Ways to decorate t-shirt

Both boys chose different routes for decorating their t-shirts. The youngest favoured the paints, followed by immense pom pom application, with the look of a spiny dinosaur in mind. Where as the eldest favoured the fabric markers and the fabric crayons. As he wanted to do more illustrative designs. He drew his favourite things, so there was lego and Pokemon included. He found the fabric pens easier to work with than the crayons. decorate t shirt with paint

Top tips when decorating T-shirt

  • Have some card to insert in between the t-shirt so the design doesn’t ruin the other side.
  • Use light coloured t-shirts so you get the best colours.
  • Choose fabric markers for quick and less mess application.
  • Read instructions on fabric paints and crayons as some require washing or ironing to fix the design in place.
  • Put a cover down and wear something old as you don’t want to ruin furnishings and clothes with the paints and pens. They don’t wash out!decorate t shirt with crayons

So will we use this activity at our next party? Probably, the boys had great fun and they love having something truly unique to wear that they made. My advice would be to keep this to a small party where only a few very special friends are invited.

Need some more inspiration for a decorate your own t-shirt party? Check out my Pinterest Board.

 

decorate t shirt ideas
This is a collaborative post with River Island. To find out more please ready my advertising and disclosure policy.

Grown up Advent Calendar round up

Inventive advent calendar ideas have exploded across the shops, this year. With everyone trying to get in on the act with quirky, unusual and luxury calendars being all the rage. Long gone are the days when all you got when you opened the door was a picture and a naff cheapo chocolate. Advent calendars are no long just for kids either. Great beauty, food and other amazing treats await both young and old over this festive period. Check out my round up of the top advent calendars for everyone this year.header advent calendars

Best Beauty Advent Calendar

Some beauty calendars this year has shrunk in size and don’t even offer the full amount of days! Who want’s to be short changed on their advent calendar. I certainly don’t. This Beautiful Bright lights advent calendar by Mad Beauty doesn’t disappoint. Packed with everything from lipsticks and eye shadows to nail polish. There is everything included to keep the most die hard beauty addict satisfied. This one even has a cute set of festive nail stickers! Get yours for £19.99

mad beauty advent calendar

Not so keen on make up? But want an indulgent beauty advent calendar? Why not try the Technic festive bubbles advent calendar. Filled with twenty four days of soaps, bath pearls and bath fizzers. £9.98

Best chocolate advent calendar

Not in the mood to adult and you want to start your day with chocolate? Then why not have the Art Box One premium chocolate calendar, filled with Ferrero chocolates and feel like a kid again, every day in December. £29.95


If you want grown up chocolate for me it just has to be Lindt Excellence. Even better this advent calendar provides you with two little tastes of luxury every day. Plus priced at £10.00 it’s one of the most reasonably priced adult advent calendars on the market.

Best Boozy advent calendar

Can’t quite get enough of prosecco, but want your Christmas to be a shimmering haze of bubbles? Treat yourself to twelve days of Pimping your prosecco with this advent calendar filled with fruity bubbles, shimmer powder and chunky plastic straws. £29.99


I Know my hubby is hoping to get one of these on December the 1st. Have yourself a very merry advent with this Craft Beer advent calendar. It contains a selection of saisons, pilsners, stouts and ales from around the globe. Priced at £59.99 it’s one to savour every last drop.

Best foodie Advent calendar

You will now I’ma big foodie and love to experiment in the kitchen. Now the kids are older I love to add a bit of heat to my cooking. I’m definitely going to have a spicy December with this Chilli advent calendar from sous chef. 24 sachets of dried chilli powder, flakes and whole pods combined with 24 recipes and tasting notes. It’s a great way to explore this world of flavour. £35.00

chilli-advent-calendar-pouches

Hubby and I are partial to snacking after the kids have gone to bed, so this would be a great one to open in the evenings. Filled with 24 different sweet and spicy variations of nuts, dried fruits and coffee beans. I’m sure this would be a fab addition to the festive telly watching in the evening. £39.90


This advent calendar hits the right spot for me. What could be better than starting your day with a unique holiday blend cup of tea? I love the sound of candy cane and gingerbread man teas. £11.20

Best DIY

Just grab some card in your favourite colours and textures, washi tapes, glitter and paints and get creative designing 24 different boxes, envelopes and jewellery pouches.  Choose what you want to fill your advent calendar with next – sweet treats perhaps, make up items or loving quotes and vouchers to share with your family this December. Then simply attach to the wall with Command Picture Clips.

Don’t forget you can see what I got in my calendar each day on my Instagram page. I can’t wait for the 1st of December!

advent calendar collection

This post contains sponsored and affiliate links. Please read my advertising and disclosure policy to find out more.

You Baby Me Mummy

PlantPal review and giveaway

I love having plants in the house. A touch of greenery, lifts a room. Plus they improve the air quality in the house. Since we’ve lived together, hubby and I have amassed quite a collection of plants around the house. However watering the plants doesn’t seem to be either of our jobs and often we find a droopy plant in the living room. So these Plantpal watering globes could be just the thing to avoid an argument and a dead houseplant! Header Plantpal review

PlantPal first impressions.

When they arrived I thought they looked a bit naff and look over plastic. But once filled with water they looked much more like glass and I enjoyed adding the coloured globes to different plants in the house. To me they have a fun labyrinth crystal ball look about them. Or perhaps that is just my age?Three plantpal watering globes

The set came with three large coloured globes priced at £20.00. This may seem a lot but when your busy working all the time or off on holiday it is well worth saving you from replacing dead houseplants. Which I know can be pretty expensive.

green plantpal in houseplant
They were easy to set up and have a capillary wick and moisture sensor that drip feeds the plant for up to 14 days. You can even add plant food to them when your plants are in the growing season. I was surprised how much I like them and they have been admired by visitors who are curious to what they are. Now I feel reassured that the plants won’t die whilst we forget whose turn it is to water them.

PlantPal Giveaway

For your chance to save your houseplants and win a set of Plant Pal watering globes. Enter via the gleam widget below.

You can enter multiple times using the entry options shown.

The winner will be picked at random by Gleam. Full terms and conditions can be found in the widget.

Win 3 Large Plantpal Watering Globes #3

3 Large PlantPal watering globes  –  no monetary exchange available

The contest will close Midnight  11th December

Craft with Cartwright cannot be held responsible for lost prizes and all winner decisions are final.

plantpal christmas cactus

 

Rachel Bustin
Home and Horizon Snapped Up Linky

Bloggers Christmas gift guide

All I want for Christmas is… some nice blogging props and stationary! I kids you not if hubby takes a glance at my blog I would be happy if he chose any of these beautiful items to pop under the Christmas tree. I’m sure that many of my blogging pals would love these too. So take a read of my bloggers Christmas Gift guide and get something for the blogger in your life. Or buy it yourself and put it down as a business expense! bloggers christmas gift guide flat lay

Bloggers Christmas Stationary

Every blogger I know and many ladies who don’t blog have a thing for stationary. Pens, pencils, cases, journals and planners I love them all. Plus they make great props for your ‘I’m working right now’ pics.

Love a bit of luxury? Apparently Instagram flat lays with a touch of gold in them get way more love, so grab this Gold pen for £7.89 and feel a little more glam as your write your to do list.

bloggers christmas gold pen

Seriously, how cute are these Blogging pencils! I love the pastel colours and at £7.89 I’m bagging myself a set for the new year.

bloggers christmas pencil set

I’ve been coveting lots of planners this year and as I move onto doing more free lance work next year I think this CEO of my own life planner is just what I’ve been looking for.

ceo of my life planner bloggers christmas

For every good planner you need some cute stickers, right? I love these Blogging stickers from Closet planner addict. £1.52

planner stickers bloggers christmas

Bloggers Christmas accessories.

Want to get the blogger in your life something a little extra special? How about this Vegan leather Ipad case? £31.57 with space for everything you need to blog whilst in the coffee shop. It comes in Pink (my fave), black and grey.

vegan leather ipad case bloggers christmas

How about some accessories for your home office or to show off whilst your vlogging? I love this Blogging mug by rebelle heart £13.42

time to bog mug bloggers christmas

Or how about this motivational print. I often need this kind of advice on a Monday Morning.  The perfect blogging Office decor 

get it done print bloggers christmas

I’ve even included something for the beauty / Mummy bloggers. You can’t escape the blogging bubble even when your getting ready. So grab this Blogging Mama make up bag for £19.69 and get ready for the day!

blogging mama make up case bloggers christmas

What would you get the blogger in your life? I’d love to know (give hubby the hint!)bloggers christmas gift guide

This post contains affiliate links. You can find out more by reading my advertising and disclosure policy.

You Baby Me Mummy
Mum Muddling Through

Giraffe Jewellery box – creative corner interview

One of my secret pleasures is to watch the demonstrations on the craft shopping channels. I find it very informative but also soothing in a way. So this week I’m delighted to feature Katie from Giraffe Jewellery Box in Creative corner. Who not only runs her own business but is also is one of these fab demonstrators!

header giraffe jewellery boxIntroduce yourself.

 owner giraffe jewellery box

Hi, my name is Katie Parker, I live in Wakefield, West Yorkshire with my fabulous Husband Martin, 2 children and our dog. My eldest Gabbi is 21 , just finishing Uni and youngest Oliver is just 4 just starting full time school. Huge age difference but wouldn’t change them for the world. I have lots of fun with Oliver playing games and watching him grow.  Gabbi is my rock and my best friend in so many ways, I’m so proud of both of them.  Life revolves around family and my job, I love both dearly.

Tell us a bit about your business. giraffe jewellery box logo

My business is called Giraffe Jewellery Box, I design and create handmade jewellery using many different mediums of jewellery making.  My main jewellery making medium is wire work jewellery using gemstone cabochons. I sell through my Etsy shop Giraffe Jewellery Box and also locally at Trinity Complimentary Therapies in Wakefield. The other part of my business is working freelance as a Guest Designer for Jewellery Maker, a shopping channel based in Studley near Redditch, U.K. As a guest designer I’m sent jewellery making kits for me to make up into jewellery for the show.  The made up jewellery is displayed on the show and I demonstrate a jewellery making technique live on air whilst the kit is auctioned.  The show is very interactive and customers can text in and ask questions live on air. I do around 3 shows per month but can be up to 6.

Recently I have introduce some new products to my shop including Swarovski elements jewellery and my new love of seed beading. I hope to expand this range very soon, watch this space 😉

What made you start Giraffe Jewellery box?

The reason I started my jewellery making business came from a series of events that made it impossible for me to go back to my previous job.  Previously I had my own business as a freelance hair stylist. I have a condition called Fibromyalgia so I was already finding keeping up to physical demands on my feet all day hard. Then during the birth of my second child I suffered an injury which left me unable to use my left arm for over 3 months and has left a permanent weakness.  I wasn’t able to continue as a hairstylist but I craved having a creative job again.

I stumbled across the jewellery Maker channel, I watched the guest designers on the show and thought I could do that. Once I gave it a try I found learning and creating with wire and gemstones came naturally to me. It felt like a natural progression to make this new hobby/addiction my new job.

Did you have any formal training or are you self-taught?

I haven’t had any formal training for my craft, everything I have learnt has been from watching tutorials or just taking the plunge and having a go. I love to find my own ways of working and ways to teach other how to create in the easiest, most simplified ways possible.

Explain your creative process.

If I am making for myself or my shop I take my lead from the materials I’m using. Gemstones have a way of telling you what they want to be, I’m a great believer in gemstones having energies and I always start with the way a gemstone makes me feel.

If I’m creating for my job with Jewellery Maker I’m given a kit with various components and a theme to create to. I find this a great challenge with every kit and really helps me expand my techniques and gives me a chance to push my boundaries further. I was recently given a seed bead embroidery kit with a theme of a bridal shoulder necklace, I had never created anything like it before but learning new techniques only fed my passion and now seed bead embroidery is in my top 5 mediums.

Pinterest is a great resource for inspiration as is just taking a walk and being outdoors with nature.

Describe your typical day.

My typical day starts around 7am getting up and getting my little boy ready for school. Once the school run is done then it’s straight home and to work. I start with trying to catch up on social media and promote some of my own items on Instagram, Twitter & Facebook. I try to set up some scheduled  tweets using Hootlet too so I know I’m still promoting for the rest of the day too. Then i will do any packaging from sales ready to post on the way to collect Oliver up later. Then I will get to work on commissions or new products for my Etsy shop.

If I have an upcoming Jewellery Maker show I tend to spend the whole of my working day on my kits, my kits usually take me 3-4 days to get completed.

At 2.30 it is tools down and get ready to go collect my little man and usually a post office visit on the way. Back to family life until he goes to bed. Most evenings I will still be making jewellery but I find it so relaxing especially seed beading on an evening.

What’s your biggest seller? 

Most of my jewellery pieces are one off’s, I tend not to recreate the same piece twice. I sell a lot of Labradorite wire work pendants.pendant giraffe jewellery box

 

My actual biggest seller is a jewellery display item as this is the one thing I do recreate and always have available. When I was still doing craft fairs I wanted an earring display which had much more interest and height, so I made these stands for myself. I got so much interest in the stands as well as my earrings I decided to make these too to sell in my shop.  necklace giraffe jewellery box

Coupon offer 15% off any spend over £15 ends 31/12/17

Code CREATIVE

 What have been the high and low points of running Giraffe Jewellery Box?

The highest point was definitely getting to work with Jewellery Maker. From those first weeks watching thinking I could do that and make a business out of it to actually being on the other side of the screen felt like an amazing achievement.

Getting my first sales on Etsy and hearing the Kerching! It’s still a great feeling every time to think someone saw what you made and want to buy it.

Also being featured in ‘Let’s Make Jewellery’ magazine about my Jewellery making journey and starting my Etsy shop.

So far I can’t say there has been any low points. I’m sure there will be at some point but I try to live each day as it comes and enjoy it.

What would be your top tips for running your own creative business?

My top tip for an Etsy shop is get great pictures. The picture is the first impression a customer gets. If it’s not a great picture the customer is less likely to click and look further.

What are your aspirations for Giraffe Jewellery box ?

I want to continue to learn more jewellery making techniques and perfect the ones I already have. As with all creative professions there is always more to learn. I also want to pass on more of the knowledge I gain to others through teaching. I have plans in the making.

Where can we find you? 

https://www.etsy.com/uk/shop/GiraffeJewelleryBox

https://www.instagram.com/giraffejewelleryboxuk/

https://twitter.com/GiraffeJewelBox

https://www.facebook.com/thegiraffejewellerybox/

https://www.facebook.com/JMGDKatieParker/

flat lay giraffe jewellery box



You Baby Me Mummy

Personalised Parties pack review

These winter months are a busy time for us not only is Christmas coming up but our eldest’s birthday. I have often felt sorry for people who have their birthdays near Christmas as there can be a tendency to lump it all together. Once I had a friend when I was at school whose birthday was Christmas eve. Personally can’t think of anything worse. Luckily eldest’s birthday isn’t quite as close to Christmas as that. However I do like to make the effort to mark the occasion and make him feel really special. So I was pleased when we got the opportunity to review the Personalised Parties pack.
header personalised parties review
It comes as a complete kit, with everything you would need for a party of eight. Paper plates, paper cups, party boxes, masks, hats and two types of food flags.

I chose the science design as that fitted best with his current interests. He turns nine this year and he loves lego, Pokemon, science and technology.

personalised parties paper boxes and hats

Personalised parties range.

There was a great range to choose from with something to suit every child’s tastes. From Dinosaurs, jungle and under the sea to unicorns, princesses and team GB themes.
personalised parties kit
You then have the opportunity to have the set personalised with your child’s name. The plates, party boxes and food flags all came with the eldest’s name on. Making it stand our from the normal sets that you can buy from the shops. He will love giving out the party boxes that proudly display his name.

Would I buy the Personalised Parties pack?

Priced at £34.99 for a set which contains 56 items. It might be a bit of the high side for every birthday, but for a special birthday such as turning ten I think it’s a great addition for the party theme. Ruth cartwright wearing personalised parties hat and mask
In fact, I had so much fun with the hat and mask I might order a set for my forthith! But that’s a long, long way off…

What set do you think I should get? I’m torn between pirates and space.personalised parties making masks

I was sent the personalised parties pack in exchange for my honest review. You can find out more by reading my advertising and disclosure policy.personalised parties review

Home and Horizon Snapped Up Linky

My dream kitchen plans and checklist

We’ve lived in our current house for nearly five years now and although we have no plans to move in the foreseeable future. It doesn’t stop me plotting how I’d like my next house to look. Especially what my dream kitchen would be.dream kitchen

We have decided that the next move will be our last and we want to make sure it has everything we need.

On hubby’s list would be:

  • A double garage
  • Parking for four cars
  • A couple of acres
  • Five bedrooms

Topping my list would be

  • A big kitchen
  • A study
  • A playroom

As you can see hubby wants space. We live in the countryside so it’s not so much of a far fetched dream to have a couple of acres and he wants to get away from neighbours. Both are achievable I think for our next move.

So why did I put a big dream kitchen top of my list?

dream kitchenAs a food teacher and avid home cook I spend most of my time in kitchens. So I know what works for me. It’s also where we spend a lot of family time together so I want space to cook, eat with the family and relax.

Our kitchen in our current house reflects the age of the building and it modern looking with glossy white doors and sparkly worktops. It’s suits our needs currently.

When we choose to move next, we want somewhere much older. In Herefordshire it’s pretty easy to find old wrecks that need doing up and it’s our plan to rough it our while restore a house.

So my dream kitchen will have to fit a different style of house.

My checklist for my dream kitchen

Solid wood worktops. Great for achieving that farmhouse look. Plus fab for Instagraming food pics. If we could afford it I would really try and stretch to Oak worktops as I love the rich colour and the warmth they give.dream kitchen

Slate quarry floor tiles. Hard-wearing, beautiful and easy to clean when muddy boots come in from outsidedream kitchen

Photo credit

Lots of storage! I really do mean lots, I currently have thirteen cupboards, and four drawers and could really do with more space.dream kitchen

Photo by Jason Leung on Unsplash

 

A big farmhouse table big enough to seat eight at a minimum. We often have family around and can seat up to 14 for dinner.dream kitchen

 

 

Photo by Stefan Johnson on Unsplash

 

A sofa and a bookcase for my recipe books. Probably not on everyone’s dream kitchen list, but as I said I want a kitchen to cook, eat and relax in.dream kitchen

Photo credit

What would be on your dream kitchen list?dream kitchen

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