I have been stalking......Blog angel reveal


I cannot even describe how excited I am that this lovely Lady is going to find out I've been her blog angel today.

I've loved being Emily's and her wonderful blog's (Designs by Emily F) official stalker for the past month.

I don't wanna brag, but I think I've been totally awesome at my job!

I want to give a huge Thank You to Rosie and Katlyn for organising this. It's been an amazing experience and so much fun.

Now on to the Lady herself.

Dear Emily,


Before you read this you may want to check out this post, just so you understand the stalkerish stance I've taking on the word 'angel'. Just wanna warn you ya know.
You don't even know me but I feel like I know you. I wish I could have joined in the Google+ blogger chat. I would have been laughing inside that you were talking to your angel and had no idea!
Here's what I've done for you this month:
Commented on all your posts.
Pinned some of your posts.
Given you social media shout outs.
Given you a free medium sponsor spot on my blog.
Dedicated a blog post to you!
I would also like to thank you. You have made this process so easy. I have genuinely love your blog, my favourite post being DIY: My Own Little Workspace
I promise from this moment on I will stop being your crazy stalker and just become your friend.


Your stalker blog angel,


Helen

Go and check out Emily's blog. I'm 300% sure you'll love her as much as I do.

This is what I call a baking disaster

OK I'll admit my recent baking incident wasn't too much of a disaster.
So the doughnuts turned into doughballs. They were still edible, and oh so scrumptious.

You already know that I'm not Weight Watchers baking recipes biggest fan; because I'm really going to choose a flat 1 layer sponge over a 4 layer moist as anything delight. I digress.
When I saw the recipe for baked jam doughnuts at only 4 PP,  I just knew I had to try them.

So here they are....
Baked jam doughnuts aka garlic and herb doughballs.

Baked Jam Doughnuts Garlic and Herb Doughballs
Heavily adapted from a WW recipe.

3 PP per doughball.
Makes - 20

Ingredients:
500g plain flour
1/2tsp salt
10g caster sugar
2 sachets dried yeast
1 egg, beaten
125ml skimmed milk
150ml hot water
20g low fat butter, melted
1 clove of garlic, crushed
1/2tbsp dried oregano


Method:
Sift the flour and salt together in a large bowl. Stir in the sugar and yeast. Make a well in the middle and add the beaten egg.
Mix together the milk and water to give a warm liquid, then pour into the well. Mix to a soft dough.
Turn out onto a lightly floured surface and knead the dough until smooth and elastic - about 6-8 minutes. Divide into 20 equal pieces and shape into rounds.
Spray a baking sheet with cooking spray. Arrange the dough balls on them, well-spaced apart to allow for rising. Cover with cling flim until almost doubled in size. This will take about 40 minutes.
Preheat the oven to Gas Mark 7.
Melt the butter. Mix in the garlic and oregano. Brush over the doughballs just before baking.
Bake for 12-15 minutes until risen and golden. Cool.

Have you ever had an baking disasters?

Travelling this summer?

This was originally a guest post for Laura at Our Reflection, but since I'm going away next week and just in case you haven't read it I thought I'd share.

Where have you travelled too? 
I've been to Italy, France, Spain and Ghana......so far.
My favourite place? Lecce in Southern Italy wins hands down!
I lived there as an Au Pair for 3 months and it was honestly the most amazing experience of my life.

Lecce, Italy

Do you like travelling alone?
Personally I love it, I went to Ghana and Italy alone. The only person you have to rely on is you, and you can go anywhere and do anything you like. I want to see the world, with only a suitcase for company.
Speaking of travelling alone, here are my top 10 tips:
  1. Tell your family your itinerary.
  2. Give your family photocopies of all your important documents, passport etc.
  3. Make sure you have REALLY good travel insurance.
  4. Have common sense with valuables. Don't go flashing that designer watch around.
  5. Take a computer, or make sure you can access one along the way. Its going to be your main source of contact with your loved ones, and when you thousands of miles from home it becomes to precious.
  6. Don't just take cash. Take a pre-paid card that you can use all over the world and cancel if it gets stolen.
  7. Find other travellers before you go. The best outcome is that you can meet up with someone whilst your travelling, and if not you may chat to someone who's already been where your going.
  8. Follow local dress and behaviour customs. Remember you are a guest in another country.
  9. Wear a wedding ring, even if your not married. No seriously. This helped me so much in Ghana, when I was proposed too several times without even so much as a hello. Show them the ring and the unwanted attention backs off. It is definitely like a security blanket.
  10. Pack light!! I cannot stress this enough. Pack your backpack {its called 'backpacking for a reason :)}, and then take half of it out. I promise you that is all you will need. You will be able to wash yourself and your clothes many times along your journey, so 25 t-shirts just isn't needed.
Rouen, France.

What do you take when you're 'packing light'?
Another top tip list for you now! If you are really, really, really going to try packing light {I know how difficult it is ladies!} then this is the sometimes ruthless advice your going to need.
Just remember your not travelling to look stylish, your travelling to see the world.

  1. Imagine you are just going away for the weekend. You don't actually need that much more stuff on a year long trip, you just think you do.
  2. Don't take things you could do with, only take things you could not do without.
  3. Decide what ratio of comfort:misery your willing to tolerate. You may really need that warm sweater, but another person will see it as a luxury. Its all about the individual, YOU are doing the trip after all.
  4. Do away with books. I know, its hard for a book lover like me too. Honestly though, print or photocopy all the information you need from guide books instead. It will save you a load of space.
  5. Don't overdo the toiletries, you'll be able to buy most of them when your there.
Otranto, Italy

I'm off to Lanzarote very soon, excited!
Where are you going/have been this summer?

How to get US goodies

OK so UK ladies, if you already know this ignore this post, but if not you are going to love me for the information I'm about to give you.

You know when you find something you totally love on an American site, but then discover they don't ship internationally, well its no longer a problem!
Go to www.myus.com and get yourself an account. So its not free, but at only $10 for basic membership and items being so cheaper in the US it's all relative. What they do is give you an America address which you use when you order and then they forward you the items.
I've never used it myself but I read it in a book yesterday and just knew I had to share this with you.

I'm not sure if there are any extra custom charges etc. I presume they are included in the shipping you pay. I'm definitely going to buy something, but small to start with I think.

This post is finishing now so you can all rush over, and GO!

I wasn't asked to write this post. Just sharing info =)

Blog Planning

I never used to plan what was happening on here. Posts were never prepared until the day they were needed, I never had a plan for what was coming up, I never planned if I was going away. I just blogged when I could and wrote about whatever.

Last month that all changed. I started accepting sponsors and gaining more followers and I felt that I wasn't going you justice.
Sure OK you may still visit and comment once in a while, but I felt like I wasn't giving you enough time. Putting enough time into my posts, and time connecting with you all.

I'm desperate for an Erin Condren life planner, this one to be exact http://www.erincondren.com/store/product_info.php?cPath=1156&products_id=3494, unfortunately $50 is just not in my budget right now.

Instead I found these free printables. Cute right?
I'm using them to plan this months blogging.

How darling is this sponsors planner from Jess @ Living on sweet tea!


Beckie teaches your how to make your own planner.


How about this giveaway planner? Perfect for keeping track of everything.


You can find me over here on Julie's blog today too. Go and take a look and find out what her favourite post of mine is: http://thefunnythingofitis.blogspot.co.uk/2012/06/shout-out-to-my-girls.html.

Sailor's Knot Headband

I'm so excited! 2 weeks today and I will be sunning myself in Lanzarote.

First though, how cute is this sailor's knot headband?

Its the first thing pinterest threw up when I searched for 'nautical crafts'.
I really wish I had some proper red and white sailors rope, but I didn't. The knot itself is small with the natural string I used. It still looks cute though!

Materials:
4 yards of rope or ribbon cut into 4 equal strands.
2 x 3 inch pieces of felt.
Hair band.
Sewing needle.
Thread.

The following pictures show you step by step who to make the sailor's knot with your first two strands of rope. Pay careful attention to which strand is on top or under the other. 



Now take your third and fourth strands of rope and snake them side by side into the knot by the first two strands.
Slowly pull the knot tighter, keeping it even and the knot flat.


Take your needle and thread and about 1 inch from the knot sew together then four strands of rope to keep them flat on the back. Repeat on the other side.


Trim your ropes so that all of the ends are even and the whole thing is about 19 inches long with the knot at about 7.5 inches (so that it is on the side of your head).
Take your 2 pieces of felt and sew one end onto the strands of rope.


Take your hair band and place on the other end of the felt. Fold the felt up and sew in place along the rope so it covers the stitch lines already made. Put a few stitches above the hair band to keep it in place.


Try on the headband to see if you need to take any length off. If you do them trim a little of the rope before continuing. Now repeat the previous steps on the other side of your headband.

Now rock you new look!









Making Friends

I wrote this post for Rebecca over at Blissful Diva. If you missed it, here it is.....


What is friendship?
OK so there is no answer to this questions, so let me ask it again.....

What is friendship to you?


Better right?
I firmly believe that you can't judge someone else's relationships unless you are in that situation yourself.
To me friendship is 3 things; honesty, loyalty and laughter.
Give me those things and I'll give you them back 10-fold. You'll also have a friend for life.


I even asked this question on Twitter, here are some of the replies I got:


"Honesty. I'd rather hear the honest truth of my work, not what my friends think I want to hear." Kim


"A good friend can talk you out of expensive shoes. A best friend will force you to buy them and then justify it for you! Even if you haven't spoken in like, 4 months, it's just the same when you see each other again." Rebecca

I'm one of those people who's always had a few close friends and a whole load of 'people I hang out with sometimes'. How about you?
I've never even been that great at making friends either. This all changed when I started Uni. Suddenly I had to make friends, there was no other option unless I wanted to be lonely for the next 3 years.
So I did just that......









Then I made some through work.....




And blogging.....




In the past 6 years friends have been in and out of my life, and its sad.
Its sad when someone just doesn't want to work at a friendship any more, because sometimes they do take work.
Its sad when someone hurts you.
Its sad friendships just fade.
Its sad when new friendships block out the old ones.

I used to be really bitter and hurt by all of these situations, but I'm now thankful.
I'm thankful for the time I had with my friends.
I'm thankful for the laughter they gave me.
I'm thankful for the person they have made me become, because even if I only knew you for a day, you've still touched my life in some way.
I like to think we got on the train at the same station and had a great time, but now its time to get off at different stops.
People change, situations change, but memories are with us forever.

So I want to thank you. All my friends, past, present and future. Real and blogging. For making me the person I am today. I owe you so much.

Will you be my friend?

Current Crush - Chinos

Current Crush Thursdays

I'm super excited to be linking up my current crush with the lovely Danielle at Framed Frosting for the first time this week.
I'm sharing something with you that I can't believe I haven't discovered until now.


It all started when last weekend I basically spent all my time on the web searching for summer clothes; its holiday time in 2 weeks!
Its then that I discovered chinos. Seriously, I've only just discovered these things! Why didn't someone tell me before how amazing they are!? 
Honestly, they're the comfiest thing I've ever worn, and perfect for when the suns blazing down. They're going to keep me cool, cool, cool. 
I bought this pair. On sale for £25.00 £7.00!
Just checked they're £25 again now.

Orange Zip Pocket Chinos - Very - £25

Then when I realised they do them in a rainbow colours and every style imaginable I went completely crazy. Yes, I may have bought them all: oops!
Here are some of my other favourites. I can't even afford some of them!
Crushing!
Click the images to shop.

Tommy Hilfiger Demi Regular White Chino - Tommy Hilfiger UK - £70 £45

Cotton Rich Beach Print Chino Shorts - Marks & Spencer - £17.50

Dark Pink Belted Chino Shorts - Debenhams - £18 £13.50

Silk Chino Trousers - House of Fraser - £100 £50

What is the most comfortable thing you wear during summer?

A change of scene





I need some advice......


My current job finishes in 3 weeks and I will officially be unemployed. Its a bummer, but basically unavoidable in today's job market.

I've been working in education for 3 years now, and its all I'm really trained/experienced in. My degree is in Education Studies and Drama too. I fancy a change though, OK fancy is totally the wrong word. I need a change. I love working in education, I really do, I love being around cranky teenage kids all day; no I really do, but is it what I want to do for the rest of my life? Hell no!

Despite this I've applied for loads education jobs, because sometimes a girl just has to pay the bills.

I'm looking for jobs in other fields, I would love to go into marketing, but I'm nervous. I'm useless at selling myself, I have no hardly any experience in marketing and to top it all off I'm crippling shy around new people. Seriously like puffer fish shy.
See this little sucker, that's me meeting new people.


How do you market yourself when applying for jobs/attending interviews?

Where do you look for jobs?


How do you overcome shyness?

Life lately.....

Lately life has been.....

Stressful
Manic
Busy
Expensive

This has made me.....

Tired
Grateful
Thankful
Happy
Broke

There are lots of amazing opportunities coming my way and I can't wait to share them with you all.

How is life treating you?

Instagram update!





 Enjoy your weeks Ladies!





Shaken or Stirred?

Its cocktail season, and I couldn't be happier.
Any excuse for a cocktail and I am there quicker than Winnie the Pooh is to a hunny pot. OK bad analogy, but cocktails are my thang.
Apologies for the use of 90s' slang, but I cannot tell you how much I love sipping one by the pool, with my girls, heck, just about anywhere. 
OK so sometimes its not even about the booze, I said sometimes. I think I'd drink just about anything if it was in a pretty sugar crusted glass, with a stirrer and pop-up umbrella!

My fav? The cosmopolitan, without a doubt!

What's your favourite?

Cocktails bring calories though right? I know in the US you guys have SkinnyGirl which is awesome, but here we don't have such a thing, or do we? Anyone? Am I missing out on something here? 

On holiday anything goes, but when I'm trying to slim down i.e. now. I stick to my mocktails.
On occasion I my sneak some vodka in, but for now I'm being good, so mocktails it is.



I made these this weekend and they are amazing.
Try them out on your girlfriends, I'm sure they won't be disappointed.
Maybe surprise them and add a splash of vodka......

Got a favourite mocktail recipe? Share them in the comments!

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