Friday, 31 January 2014

Valentines Giveaway

To me Valentine's Day is about love in all its forms. A day to express your love to anyone who gives you the warm and fuzzies, be it a friend, partner, family member or pet.
And to celebrate this warm and fuzzy day, I'm giving away a necklace from my shop. When I look at it, I'm reminded that spring is just around the corner. And oh boy, am I ready for it!

Two turtle doves sitting on a branch surrounded by spring blossoms.
40cm in length (end to end) with an extender chain to lengthen.

If you would like to enter, simply fill out the form below. The giveaway closes at midnight on Sunday, 9 February and the winner will be announced first thing the next day.

Thanks for looking and if you're entering, good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tuesday, 28 January 2014

Cool running

Last October I decided to stop procrastinating, stick on a sports bra and try that ol' running malarkey everyone and their dog seemed to be doing. No one was more surprised that I was that I genuinely enjoyed it. Mainly because up until that point I didn't exercise. And I mean at all. I had tried to get into to various things. Swimming, yoga, spinning, Salsa aerobics and some torture disguised as an exercise class called Ab Attack - I hated them all. I either felt bored, resentful that I was paying good money for such rubbish or just just plain uncomfortable that I was exercising with a group of people.
That last one was a biggie for me. When it comes to exercising, I like to go solo. I don't want some skinny, tanned bombshell in front of me shaking her bum perfectly in time with the music while I have a seizure behind her (and in the wrong direction I might add). 

That's why running appealed. You can do it whenever you want. At the drop of a hat. It's free, you can push yourself as much (or as little) as you like and all you need is a pair of trainers and a sports bra. 

Today I hit my first target. I ran a mile without stopping. Actually I ran 1.38 miles without stopping to be exact. Now considering I started running months ago, this will seem like very slow progression to most. However two years after Pip was born I continue to have pelvis pain if I push myself too much so I'm taking the whole thing very slowly. And slow progression or not, I'm very proud of myself and grateful that after all these years I've finally found a form of exercise that I genuinely enjoy.

Now I've just got to come up with a new goal!

Sunday, 26 January 2014

Bastard birds

After seeing a couple of birds hanging out in my garden - including a passive aggressive blackbird that would sit next to the empty bird feeders staring at the house, I signed up to take part in the Big Garden Birdwatch.
And you know how many birds I've seen in my garden this weekend. Nadda.

Not one, not one pesky arsed bird and there's a butt load of food out there for them too. To be fair this weather has kept most of them away and our fence falling down on the tree next to the bird feeder hasn't helped either. But still. Not. One.


Friday, 24 January 2014

Coulda, woulda, Prada. Or Dress Tree. Or something.

Just stopping by quickly to remind everyone that there's only one week left of my January sale. Then all the items will be gone....foreeeeverrrrr! So if you have your eye on something in there, this is the week to grab it!

I can't believe how quickly January has flown by. I'm determined to soak up as much of this month as I can in its last week. Good things are coming in February though so there's much to look forward to, (including my birthday which will give me a good reason to stuff my face and belly full of cake). 

Pfft. Like I need an excuse.

Tuesday, 21 January 2014

The RSPB Big Garden Birdwatch

You may have seen the adverts on TV for this weekend's Big Garden Birdwatch. If you haven't the idea is a very simple one. You spend an hour over the weekend to count the birds that visit your garden. Then submit your results online at the RSPB Big Garden Birdwatch website. Easy. It's free to register and submit your results and I thought it would be a fun thing to do with Pip.

I must admit I've been a bit slack with the bird feeders lately so this seemed like a good a reason as any to get back into it. So we popped into the Guildhall market in town and bought a couple of bags of cheap bird seed. Sorry RSPB. I'm a big fan of your work, but not the prices of your bird feed. 

Then we made some bird feeders out of old milk bottles and tea cups, filled the lot with bird seed and now they are hanging up ready for the birds. To be honest, so far I've only seen a blackbird and blue tit, but fingers crossed, more birds will find their way into the garden by the weekend.

This isn't a sponsored post by the way. I just saw the advert on telly and my inner bird nerd thought it would be a fun thing to get involved in. So is anyone else taking part in the Big Garden Birdwatch this weekend? .

Sunday, 19 January 2014

Cake bloody cake!

People of the interwebs, I need your help. It might just save my marriage. But more about that in a minute.

For the past few weeks I've had a real hankering for a cake from my childhood. I had no idea what it was called, just that it used to have mandarin chunks baked into the sponge. A quick search on the internet for "mandarin cake" threw up a multitude of cakes which were all similar, but not quite right.

Eventually (after more time spent looking than I care to admit to), I found images looking more like the elusive cake from my childhood under the guise of 'Pig Pickin Cake'. Unfortunately as it's an American recipe so are the ingredients. What the hell is cool whip anyway and vanilla pudding mix? Not a clue.

So I had a stab and tried to make the cake anyway. It was bad. It was really, very, awfully bloody bad. I managed to simultaneously under bake and burn the sponge at the same time. And the frosting was too runny thanks to being over zealous with the pineapple. Now there aren't many cakes I won't eat, but even I wouldn't eat this one. 

Enter my husband, the gannet. 

Despite being under-cooked, burnt, runny and just plain awful, he seemed to really like it. More than I appreciated actually as when I went and chucked it out he got all huffy and kept giving me his 'you've-let-me-down' face. 

Don't believe me? Look..

Told you.

And hopefully dear people this is where you come in. Can anyone please suggest what I can use instead of cool whip and vanilla pudding mix in order to make the frosting?
I need to redeem myself so I'll be making another one of these pig pickin' pain-in-the-bums and this time it must not beat me so please help!

Thursday, 16 January 2014

Make your own hot water bottle cover

I've been meaning to do this for a while, but if I'm honest I was put off by the faff of it all. However if I'd known how simple it actually was I'd have done it a lot sooner. Pip was also in tow whilst I was doing this and it still came out really well. That's how easy it is.

It's basically made in the same way as a slip on cushion cover. I used some leopard print fabric which was pretty thin so to help absorb some of the heat from the hot water bottle, I cut up a fluffy old dressing gown that wasn't in good enough nick to donate to the charity shop. Anyway, enough of the waffle, here's how you make it:

Step 1. Draw out your template
Trace around your hot water bottle. Then cut it out leaving a good 1" seam allowance. 

Step 2. Cut out your fabric pieces
The front will be one whole piece. 

The back will be made of two separate pieces. The bottom 3/4 of the template and the top 1/3. When laid against the front cover piece they should overlap one another.
*I overlocked the top of the bottom piece and the bottom of the top piece, but this isn't necessary. You could simply stitch them over or tidy them by adding bias binding.

Step. 3 Stitch together
With right sides together, pin the three pieces together so that the back bottom piece, overlaps the back top piece, (see image below). Pin in place and then stitch all the way around. 
*At this point you may find it useful to tidy the edges up a little if, like mine, they were a bit of a mess. 

Once the cover is all stitched together, turn inside out (so the right sides are facing out) and admire your handy work. At this point I also added an iron-on patch to try and lesson the Bette Lynch effect I had created. 

Et voila!

Sunday, 12 January 2014

The Wardrobe Clear Out

As I stated in this post, one of my plans this month was to have a massive clear out and either sell, donate or give away anything I no longer wear or use. This is the first step in doing just that. I spent the best part of yesterday collecting everything together, ironing, taking photos and then loading them up here. 

They will all be going on to eBay too, but I've added them on to the blog first so that readers get first dibs. Below are just a few pictures of what I'm selling as there's too much to put in one post. There are dresses, shoes, necklaces, maternity wear and a couple of fetal dopplers. And I'm still not all finished! No more for today though, I'm pooped.

Anyway, check out the Shop My Stuff page and if you see anything you like, just send me an email!

Monday, 6 January 2014

Where You Can Find The Dress Tree

Did you know that you can find me elsewhere on the internet?  It's true, I'm a social (media) butterfly and love mooching about the interwebs.

One of the places I can often be found is FACEBOOK. I post all sorts there. Blog posts, shop news and anything that makes me smile really. Well you've got to on Facebook don't you?

You can also follow this blog if you have a BLOGLOVIN account. If you haven't, Bloglovin is an easy place to read your favourite blogs in one place. I love it as it means I never miss my favourite bloggers' posts. They just sit there until I'm ready to read them and I can mark them as read when I'm done. What could be simpler?

I spend way too much time over on TWITTER, but honestly I don't know where I'd be without it. Apart from a place to moan, post random silliness, brain dump and catch up with people, I've also met some wonderful women through to this site. So yup, I'm a die hard fan. 

And of course I have an INSTAGRAM account too because who doesn't love a square photo with a vintage filter? And no, I didn't miss out the 's' from the photo below at all..I don't know what you're talking about..

And last, but not least, I can also be found over on PINTEREST. Again probably a little bit too much, but who can afford the amount of magazines it used to take to create a pretty pin board of inspiration anymore? I can get seriously lost here and it's great for keeping my DIY's, recipes, craft ideas and style loves in one place.

So there you have it, these are my favourite online haunts. What about you, do you use any of the above? If so come over and say hi!

Sunday, 5 January 2014

My plan for a not so gloomy January

Sure it's grey and wet outside. Many of us have had to return to work and everyone is feeling the pinch a little more than usual. But really, is January that bad?

Well I don't think so. It can be if we let it, but this year I'm determined not to let the January of 2014 pass me by in a soggy and grey blur. I'm determined to enjoy it, find the beauty in it and this is my battle cry for you to do the same. Come on! Let's start a winter revolution!  

5 Ways To Make January Great

1. Freecycle/Ebay/Blog Sale
I'm already selling some bits and pieces both here on my Shop My Wardrobe page and on Ebay. With the money we raise we're going to set up a rainy day fund for those unexpected costs that we all get occasionally like washing machine repairs or car maintenance costs, (another lesson learned from last year).
We're also in the process of putting some other bits on Freecylce and at the end of the month our local charity shop is going to a butt load of stuff coming it's way. The end result will hopefully be a less cluttered house and the start of a small financial buffer.

2. Wrap up warm and go outside!
I'm finding it really hard to get outside with Pip lately. It's almost always raining (it's raining as I type) and if we're really unlucky, it's blowing a gale to boot. Our garden fence has all but blown over. 
Still, to avoid cabin fever we need to get out even if only for a short while so I've gathered boots, coats and buggy, packed it all by the front door and whenever it looks like it'll be dry for more than ten minutes, we'll run out for some fresh air. She may hate me for it, but it's character building right?

3. Plant some daffodil bulbs
Ideally, spring bulbs should be planted in November. That said I've planted daffodils this late before with success. Granted they may not flower for the first year, but they've every chance of taking so if you have any decent bulbs lying about, throw them in - you've nothing to lose. 
I intend to get some daffodil bulbs to replace the ones the chickens dug up last year. I know I've said that I miss those girls, but I won't miss them digging up my bulbs and plants one bit.

4. Wear a bright colour
I'm the worst for matching January in terms of colour. Black, grey and maybe some navy if you're lucky. So I'm going to make more of an effort to add a bit of colour to my daily outfits this winter. Whatever I go for, a bright top, colourful necklace or just some red lipstick, I vow not to blend in with the clouds.

5. Make some bird feeders
There's a rather sorry looking blackbird that's taken to sitting at the bottom of my garden by the empty bird feed stand. I get it feathered one, you're hungry. I'll sort it out.

So these are the things I'm going to do to make January a little less grey and gloomy. Do you do anything similar during January or am I completely on my own here?

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