Saturday, 31 December 2011

Work Christmas Party (& New Years Eve) ...

Hey Everyone,

Now I know it is New Years Eve, and all your thoughts of Christmas are long gone, but I have lots of blogging to catch up on, so I wanted to tell you all about work Christmas Party! I hope you don't mind!?

This was my first ever work Christmas party! I have never worked in a place that had staff Christmas parties until last year, and as last year we we're being made redundant, it never really happened.

However, this year I was lucky enough to have a lovely team of people with which to celebrate!

Here are just some of them...

We went to a lovely oriental restaurant that put on a lovely spread of food for us! But this wasn't just any old restaurant, it also had KARIOKE!

Yep my first ever Christmas party involved Karioke! It was hilarious, lovely to have fun with people outside of work, and a great chance for us all to let our hair down after a stressful year at work!

It just so happens that I was also finishing my job at the end of December, as I have an exciting new job. So they took the opportunity to wish me a real goodbye and all gave a little speech and gave me some lovely presents - a book of little origami things that I used to use as a child (I don't know what they are called) that I made last time we went out to dinner and showed to everyone. And a beautiful personalised pink apron that has my name on it and says 'Queen of Cakes' on it - as at work I am well known for bringing in my baking creations!

It was a fantastic evening, although emotional and sad at times, but also great fun! Thank you to everyone who made it such a great evening!

This is a good opportunity for me to say and big thank you to my team, as I am have now finished work and won't see them again! I will miss them hugely! They are such a lovely and supportive group of people and helped me get through some hard times!

Yes that's me hiding, but with a bottle of bubbly as always!

It's a shame that I won't get to celebrate with them again! But I will be keeping very much in touch! I will miss them so much!

Anyway, onto happier thoughts! Tonight, as you know is New Years Eve! I want to take this chance to wish you all a VERY HAPPY NEW YEAR!

I personally can't wait for 2012! It will be my year I think, what with a new job, the wedding & honeymoon! I can't wait to say goodbye to a fairly rubbish 2011 and look to the future in 2012!

I hope you all have some resolutions planned! Mine involve losing weight & exercising more. They also include relaxing more and enjoying the build up to the wedding! What are your resolutions!?

I am currently at a lovely hotel in Surrey, where we will be having dinner & dancing later, staying over night (in the 'Towers' a beautiful manor house I managed to get upgraded to for free, and then enjoying breakfast and the spa in the morning before heading home! So I'm off to go enjoy!

Have a lovely New Years Eve & A Happy New Year!

Love Jewel xxx

Friday, 30 December 2011

Oh Christmas Tree...

Hey Everyone,

Thank you for all your lovely comments on my last post! It's so nice to know some of you are still reading despite my break!

I'm sorry this is so late, but I wanted to show you my decorating for Christmas! They are still up, and it's not quite the new year so I'll get them in quick! Here is our Christmas tree...

With Our Little Kitty Anya Jumping In!

Last year we had a theme of silver and pink, using old decorations from when I lived with my parents! This year, influenced by all my Christmas crafting and the general colour scheme of our lounge, we went for a red and white theme!

And I LOVE it! It felt sooo Christmasssy!

Out came my Christmassy candles and I found a couple of Christmassy blankets for our sofas! (We always have the heart cushions on our sofa!)

In the place of a fireplace we have our big TV unit, and so our stockings were hung here, along with my homemade advent calendar, which the fiance filled with goodies for me!

Here he is in our Christmassy lounge.

Anya liked the tree too! Luckily she's a good cat and doesn't try to play with the things hung on it!

I made lots of the decorations myself - sewn stockings, stuffed hearts & Christmas trees, and button stars.

Ikea provided a lot of the other decorations including huge red baubles, heart baubles that match our year round cushions and rug, the red felt star on top and some white sewn hearts with intricate snowflake designs I didn't have time to master!

Out came the fiance's santa apron and hat and our Merry Christmas was hung above the kitchen.

I added some gingham ribbon to the lovely wicker heart we picked up in Bath and hung it on our flat door!

All in all our little flat has felt very cosy and Christmassy this year! I hope you'll agree!

Love Jewel xxx

Thursday, 29 December 2011

Christmas Swap...

... And what better way to start my round up of December than showing you the wonderful Christmas Swap that I took part in!

The swap was hosted by the lovely Lakota of Faith Hope & Charity Shopping and followed the same premise as her summertime swap - find all of the lovely gifts for your partner from charity shops and car boot sales...

Well my lovely partner was Twiggy of The World of Twiggypeasticks and she sent me such lovely gifts...

Lots of lovely parcels...

Inside some beautifully wrapped parcels I found all of this: 

Yummy little lindt teddy bears that only lasted a few seconds
Sweet candy canes that I hung on our Christmas tree
A beautifully hand stitched reindeer decoration that also went on our tree
Pretty tea themed fridge magnets - she cottoned on to my love of tea!
A london fridge magnet
Lovely spotty cupcake cases - ready for all my baking
 A stunning Old Country Roses Royal Albert thimble to add to my growing collection
A pretty little china dish with a picture of a pretty girl
Some beautiful fabric with teapots & flowers on - which I am saving until I find a special project for myself!

Did you see the tea theme? She really knew what I would love!
Thank you so much Twiggy!

In return I sent her these little presents...

An retro advent calendar (the type without chocolate)
A book of nifty, thrifty and kitchy crafts as she had told me of her love of kitsch!
A jamie oliver Christmas cooking DVD
A box of Christmas smellies
A handmade gingham Christmas tree decoration!

I really hope she liked them all and they gave her a little bit of Christmas spirit!

It feels like forever since the swap, so I will have to join in a new one soon! Can anyone recommend one!?

Love Jewel xxx 

Dear All...

... I must apologise for my absence.

The hustle and bustle of Christmas took over my life and blogging just seemed to disappear in all the tinsel and fake snow!

However, my new years resolution is to dedicate myself to blogging again! I love it so much and I want to make time for it as I used to!

I have lots to catch up on which I still want to show you, so please bear with me as I recount the month of December! I hope you are all still reading!

I must also apologise for having not read all of your lovely blogs! I don't think I will ever be able to catch up on them all, but I will make a concerted effort to read them from now on, as it is such a pleasure and so full of inspiration!

So hear is my apology and my pledge to you and myself that in the New Year I will blog and read blogs more!

However, I will start as I mean to go on and blog today!

Love Jewel xxx

Monday, 5 December 2011

All The Fun of The Frost Fair...

Hey Everyone...

I hope you've all had a fantastic weekend! Winter is really settling in now, so this weekend was perfect for the Finchley WI annual Christmas craft fair - The Frost Fair.

I heard about it a while back when I was looking for more fairs to run a stall at and I was so happy that I found someone to share a stall with.

I was panicking on Friday night, I just had this awful feeling that the fair wasn't going to go well, but I packed up all my goodies anyway. How wrong could I have been...

Here is my stall...

It was an unbelievably fantastic day! We were upstairs at Avenue House in Finchley. There were two rooms downstairs and a tea room, and we were in a beautiful room full of light.

There was a steady flow of people all day, and lots of people loved my crafts. Unfortunately, no one bought any Christmas decorations, but the scrabble jewellery, frames and bunting were big hits. I took lots of orders and sold most of my stock! All in all I took over £200 (which is unbelievable for me!) and I was utterly chuffed!

I now have lots of bunting to make, and with my cold still lingering on I am having to push myself to have the motivation! 

I will now have a break until after Christmas (what with all the orders and my own Christmas presents still to make!) and then I will have to find somewhere else to sell!

Thank you to the lovely Juliette from Boodles Bubbles who shared a stall with me, to the lovely organisers of the fair and to all the lovely customers!

Jewel x

Friday, 2 December 2011

Advent Time...

Hey Everyone...

I can't believe I missed the 1st December! Unfortunately I still have an icky cold, and last night I popped out to have a quick meet up with a new work friend, which was such a lovely break from a long week of feeling rubbish!

I was hoping to post on the 1st of December, the beginning of advent, to show you all my advent calendars! But better late than never as they say...

This is my chocolate advent calendar! A lovely old fashioned one from the olde sweet shop Mr.Simms! I love that the chocolates match the pictures behind them! Day one was a candle with pine cones, and today was a toy train!

And this is my homemade advent calendar! I made lots of little pouches, and used the little pegs from Tiger that I talked about here to peg them onto some Christmassy ribbon! I then asked the fiance to fill each little pouch for me, and he has kindly obliged.


On the first day of Advent the fiance gave to me...

Four Chocolate Snowballs!
(They were eaten too quickly for the picture! Ha!)

On the Second day of Advent the fiance gave to me...

A reel of pink thread!

...And four chocolate snowballs.

Do you get the idea? I am going to bore you all with my little presents each day and create my own little advent song! I hope you don't mind!

I am chuffed with my little gifts so far and excited to uncover the rest! What are you all doing for Advent?

Jewel x

Frost Fair...

Hey Everyone...

I apologise again for the belatedness of this post. I have been forcing myself into work with this icky cold and coming home to collapse, so my blogging has again been neglected.

But I am making an effort today as I want to tell you all about my latest craft fair...

Tomorrow I will be selling at the annual Frost Fair hosted by the Finchley WI at Avenue House in Finchley, North London. I have heard lots of good things about the fair from last year and am very excited to be sharing a stall with a lovely lady who sells fantastic homemade soaps Boodles Bubbles

It would be fantastic if any of you could make it down to see me! They even have a lovely WI cake stall (which will obviously be of the highest quality) and a raffle to win lots of lovely prizes with profits going to charity!

Jewel x

Tuesday, 29 November 2011


Hey Everyone...

I must apologise, life has been so busy, and I have been neglecting my blog! Obviously I have upset you all with my neglect, as my last two blog posts haven't had any comments! I hope you are all still following and haven't given up on me, I am still here!

I need to learn how to catch up on blogs using my iPhone, as I never have a chance to use the laptop nowadays! Does anyone know how I can use google reader to read the blogs I follow?

I want to try to justify my absense! This week is the deadline for my clinical psychology doctorate application. So I have been spending my evenings writing a very hard application form, proof reading and making changes! I finally sent the application off on Friday, and now all I can do is wait. Last year I had one interview but unfortunately didn't get a place. Now I just have to keep my fingers crossed until February-March when I will hear if I have been given a interview at any of the 4 universities I applied to.  At least it's done now, and I can relax over Christmas!

But I haven't been relaxing, I have been busy busy! Last Wednesday I met up with two lovely friends, Sian & Adele, for dinner in London. As I had been at a training that day I finished early and got some much needed Christmas shopping done. Oxford street was alight with beautiful Christmas lights...

It was lovely to catch up with them, and hopefully one of them is moving into London soon, so I will get to see her more often.

Then on Thursday I did something both strange and exciting. I had won a competition and my prize was a photoshoot with a free photograph. However, this was a photoshoot with a difference! The company - called FYEO or For Your Eyes Only, take naked or lingerie photographs. I first heard about them at various wedding fayres, as they market their photographs as great gifts for soon to be grooms.

So I travelled to their Berkshire studio, and took part in a naked photoshoot! As you may know I have pretty rubbish self-esteem and I hate my body, so it may seem a bit strange for me to do this. However, it was extremely liberating and confidence boosting. I mean, I was unbelievable scared, and embarrassed at times, but the photographer was lovely and really put me at ease.

I now have some beautiful photographs which I can cherish and will always make me feel more confident! Now I just need to choose my favourite to get for free! I would hugely recommend the experience, even if, like me, you have low self-esteem or don't like your body. The staff are amazing and it can really make a difference to how you see yourself.

Then on Friday night, it was off out to see the fiance at another gig. This time he was supporting a bigger band, and playing in a prime time slot. My friend Marian came along and after a quick curry, and too much wine, we watched the fiance play. He was fantastic (as usual) but also really relaxed, despite having a cold, and it was his best performance yet!

Saturday was special, as I went to meet two uni friends Rachel & Lucy for our Christmas get together. We all live far apart and so we planned an early Christmas meet up to get into the spirit. After lots of fuss on the London transport system, we arrived at Winter Wonderland in Hyde Park...

It was so much fun and extremely Christmassy! We exchanged some Christmas gifts, and I received these beautiful presents from Rachel...

Beautiful Keep Calm Sewing Tote, Lush Christmas Pud Ballastic & 'Made with Love' Ribbon

Then we took a wander through Green Park to Buckingham Palace (to show the girls where I will soon be working) and stopped in Fortnum & Mason for to top up our Christmas cheer!

When I got home, the fiance had made me a lovely home cooked meal of handmade pizza...

I have also been busy making and buying lots of lovely Christmas decorations and gifts...

Linen Hearts From IKEA

Red & White Decorations From Tesco

Red Felt Star From IKEA

I can't show you all the gifts I have made so far, just in case their recipients are reading! But there is one I can show you...

Lavender Pouches

Lavender Pouches

I have also been busy crafting for my next craft fair THIS Saturday! I will be at the Frost Fair a Avenue House, in Finchley, hosted by the WI. I will blog all about my preparations for it tomorrow!

Today, I am off sick from work with a yucky cold, hence why I have been able to catch up on my blogging. But I am so excited to show you all my crafts for the fair on Saturday, I will make sure I blog tomorrow to tell you all about it.

Hope you all have a lovely week!

Jewel x

Sunday, 20 November 2011

At The Farm...

Hey everyone...

Sorry I have been absent again! Things are really busy! I don't really feel like I've stopped let alone had a chance to use the fiancé's laptop to blog!

I wanted to share with you a slightly. more relaxing day we had on Sunday! The fiancé and I had my nieces for the day! We decided to take them to a local farm I had heard lots about called Willows, in London Colney.

The girls really enjoyed it, but we were a bit disappointed! Lots of the attractions were shut, but were reopening soon for Christmas! Even though it's advertised as an all year attraction, there weren't many animals around! Luckily the girls were thrilled with what they did see and we headed back early to bake some cupcakes together!

It was a lovely day and we're hopefully having them soon to stay the night! Wish us luck!

I have lots more to blog about and will hopefully have time on Sunday!

Jewel x