Friday, 14 September 2012

Party Sparkles

Tonight I've had something of a girly evening. Inspired by some of the demo products I received in my Avon delivery (and my over-excitement at trying new things) I decided to give myself some amazing nails for the weekend.

Pink by S&C at Boots, part of a gift set from my brother and his girlfriend, Electric Dreams from Collection 2000 Hot Looks at Superdrug, and Fuchsia Dazzle ColorTrend top coat by Avon.
The picture on the left shows my nails with just the pink and blue on. I absolutely love the blue shade, and it stays so well on my nails, even at work. Also, I love having a statement nail, but I love to change the nail I make a statement of. I feel this jazzes it up a little bit.
The picture on the right shows my nails with the purple glitter top coat on them. I absolutely love this new product! Available in gold and silver, as well as the purple, the glitter top coat will be available in Avon books very very soon. Is perfect for the upcoming party season!!

Thursday, 13 September 2012

Fun Packed Day

Today has been wonderfully busy, seeing lovely people.

Whilst waiting for the boy to finish work, I popped into The Seven Stars to see Alix for a good old gossip. Shortly after arriving, we were joined by Ruben, Ciaron and Alex. Cue many discussions about literature, Skyrim, and LARP events (yep, we're geeks) It was so nice to get out and see people, without the hint of drama. I persuaded Ruben to try Alix's specialty stripped slush (a mixture of raspberry and strawberry slushie) which led him to inevitable brain freeze.

This afternoon saw a trip to Ramsgate with the boy to find material for his LARP costume ready for Empire next year. Due to having a sewing machine, and being creatively minded, I am going to be making the LARP costumes for several people ready for the new game. We ended up in The Haberdashery Shop, which completely blew me away. The amount and variety of buttons and beads they stocked was astounding! 

There were three aisles like this, thousands of buttons, clasps, beads, everything you could ever need for dressmaking, jewellery, whatever creative pursuits you can imagine....And yes, there was even a section just for google-y eye buttons and beads. I can see myself going back there time and again, spending a 
                                            huge amount of money! 

Whilst in Ramsgate, I also discovered the Magick Shop. It's down a small back street, and much like the Haberdashery Shop, it's an Aladdin's cave of beautiful things. I found a green aventurine ring in there for only £2.00. I couldn't not have it!

Aventurine is most commonly found in green, but can also come in orange, yellow, blue, brown or grey. The name Aventurine is derived from the Italian "a ventura" meaning "by chance". This leads Aventurine to be seen as a lucky stone, promoting prosperity and protection. 

Heading up to Westwood Cross, we decided to have a wander before going to the Vue cinema. I discovered that the Clinton Cards there is, in fact, a Yankee Candle heaven! If you don't know what Yankee Candles are, 1) where have you been? and 2) go find them and smell them! They are AMAZING!!!! I know where I will be doing most of my Christmas shopping this year.....using the philosophy of "one for you, one for me" 

All-in-all, it's been a fun day. I've decided to not comment on seeing Dredd too much, as I don't want to risk spoiling it for anyone. Suffice to say, it was good, but not necessarily my sort of film. I know the boy thoroughly enjoyed it though. 

Wednesday, 12 September 2012

More Money Than Sense?????

This evening, I decided to pick up a copy of Grazia magazine (yes, I am a self-confessed celebrity gossip whore) Flicking through, one headline caught my eye - "Would You Pay £185 For This Paper Bag?"


Pictured above is the bag in question. Designed by Jil Sander, the bag is made from 100% coated paper, stitched in brown thread, with two little ventilation holes in the sides....and has a price tag of £185. In her Summer collection, Sander also designed a see-through acetate shopping bag. Is it me, or does there seem to be a pattern forming?!?!?!?!

Personally, I am not completely unaware of fashion trends. Working in a fashionable accessories store, I look at a lot of magazines, seeking out the latest trends expected to arrive in the coming months. However, even I find this notion of a paper bag for £185 completely ridiculous. For a start, why would a paper bag need ventilation holes? To ensure your equally indulgent purse/lipstick/phone doesn't suffocate whilst you browse for more over-priced items to put into your paper bag?

Apparently this is supposed to be seen as something of a joke product, designed to mock the apparent banker culture, which I can assume is something only really experienced in cities larger than humble ol' Canterbury. Worryingly, however, I probably do know more than one person who would die to own one of these bags.

From now on, I'll be keeping any McDonalds/Burger King/Starbucks paper bags that I get hold of, printing a name on them, popping in some holes each side, and flogging them on Canterbury High Street for at least £100 each.....seems like a winning business model to me!

Monday, 10 September 2012

A Personal Entry

I told myself I'd use this blog to display and promote my creative side. However, I'm having a day where I feel I need to write stuff down that's a bit more personal to me.....but I'm also not too sure how to put things into words. I'm going to be honest, I generally find this sort of thing incredibly difficult to talk about, but I'm going to give it a shot, as I feel I need to.

This morning I experienced my first ever group counselling session. I've been diagnosed with depression and anxiety, and this group will spend the next six weeks focusing on different areas of both illnesses, along with Cognitive Behavioral Therapies designed to make both easier to cope with on a day-to-day basis. The session today was an introduction to the general meetings, and a look at how the symptoms of anxiety and depression can be broken down into a vicious circle.

The initial analogy used was that of the fire triangle. Basically you have Oxygen, Fuel, and Heat, all of which are connected together (tried to make a diagram with went hideously wrong) If you remove just one of these things, the fire will die. A vicious circle for both anxiety and depression involves Thoughts, Feelings, Body/Physical Effects, and Behavior. These things are again, all connected, and are connected to Triggers. For both illnesses, we looked at examples of each section, listing different things we associated with each. Setting everything out like that helped me to understand the whirlwind of each, and made it easier to look at how to combat, and cope, with each.

I've been asked how I think this morning went, how I feel about it. To be completely honest, I really don't know. I'm struggling to put it into words, other than wasn't distressing, it wasn't a magical cure, it just addressed how all of us were feeling and how we processed our situations. I am hoping that over the course of the six weeks I feel some improvement, not only with being able to express myself to people without feeling like I am burdening them with my issues, but also to be able to cope better in day-to-day situations, without the reliance of medication.

Friday, 7 September 2012

September Sunday Social

This past Sunday, I had a stall at The Lady Luck Sunday Social. This event occurs the first Sunday of every month, with different arts and crafts stalls, as well as a Stitch and Bitch knitting group, tombola, and reading group.

Each month I sell cupcakes, brownies, various other baked good. For this one, I decided to go for Vanilla Cupcakes, with a Raspberry centre. The recipe below makes 12 cupcakes


8oz caster sugar
8oz butter
4 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla essence
8oz self-raising flour
Half a jar of raspberry jam (or any jam of your choice)


1. Cream together the caster sugar and butter until light and fluffy. Mix in the eggs, but don't over-work the mixture.
2. Add the vanilla essence, and sieve in the flour. Mix everything together until the mixture is smooth.
3. Spoon half of the mixture into the bottom of the cupcake cases. Then add a teaspoon of jam to each cake, and spoon the rest of the mixture into the top of the cakes

4. Bake in a pre-heated oven at 180C for 15 minutes, until golden. Allow to cool on cooling wrack.
5. For the icing, I cheated, and used pre-made vanilla butter icing by Betty Crocker. You can use any butter icing variant that you prefer.

A massive thank you to Rosie for giving me an icing masterclass, and helping me to get the cakes ready for the stall. Rosie did make some white chocolate decorations, simply by melting white chocolate, and using a mini piping bag to make shapes on grease-proof paper. Unfortunately, they didn't make the transport down to the Lady Luck, but they looked and tasted amazing.

Everyone who tried them at the event found them to be DELICIOUS! There will be more next month! x