Friday, 29 April 2011

A Right Royal Wedding (& Afternoon Tea)...

Hi Everyone,

I hope you've all had a wonderful morning enjoying watching the royal wedding and celebrating. At the last minute we decided to have an afternoon tea to celebrate!

We started the day with some toast to keep us going until tea time! We used my new toast rack, for it's first every outing! Very british...

I decided to make some sandwiches for our afternoon tea and used some lovely homegrown ingredients - basil and cress from my windowsill...

I even boiled my first ever egg (yes I can't believe I've never boiled an egg either!) and made some scrummy sandwiches - egg and homegrown cress, tomato and homegrown basil, and cheese and chive (unfortunately not homegrown as mine wouldn't grow - but I have grown them before!)

Here was our complete afternoon tea...

Can you spot the white orchid in the background? My lovely fiance bought it for me yesterday as a surprise!

I finally got to use some beautiful china I had recently bought but had no 'good' reason to get out...

Including this beautiful glass jug, needed to toast the happy couple...

And my pretty cake plates!

The wedding was beautiful! I had a tear in my eye throughout, but was also secretly very jealous. I am now even more excited about our wedding next year, but hugely anxious for the time to pass quickly! A whole further year to wait!

Katherine looked beautiful and elegant, I can barely hope to come close to her poise and serenity on our day.

Congratulations Kate & Will! 

Jewel x

Thursday, 28 April 2011

A Rose Without A Thorn...

Hi Everyone,

I was struggling to think of what to blog about tonight... but then I remembered I mentioned my rose bush yesterday and wanted to show you it!

I bought it last year, in the summer after moving to our little flat! I love roses, they are my favourite flower, and will play a huge part in our wedding next year. I have always wanted to grow my own and so I bought a very small bush with no leaves or buds.

I planted it last year in a tub - we have a communal garden so I can't plant it in the ground :( - but last year nothing really happened. In fact, the few leaves that grew went very brown and dead. I bought a tray to go under the pot to collect some water, and this year I gave it all my love and attention!

Last week, I finally spotted two little buds - and now they are huge! However, I also spotted an attack of greenfly and some tiny little green bug, which I don't know what it is! The leaves were also being attacked by disease, so I made it my mission to fight them off!

I bought an organic 2 in 1 spray from asda that says it kills greenfly, scale insects etc and black spot and other 'diseases'. So far I've sprayed it twice and it's already looking better...

So here are my beautiful buds...

I am sooo excited for them to bloom - I think I might actually scream or cry when they do!

As a novice rose grower, I was wondering if any of you more experienced gardeners had any good tips for me? I really want some beautiful roses this year!

Wish me luck

On another note - I probably won't be able to blog much this weekend! We've decided to celebrate the royal wedding tomorrow with our own little afternoon tea while we watch - and then on Saturday we are off to Stratford-upon-avon, staying over night and then visiting stow-on-the-wold and bourton-on-the-water on Sunday. I can't wait! I have never been to Stratford and my other half has never been to the cotswolds. Fingers crossed the weather is nice!

Any suggestions of places to visit in Stratford? Any suggestions of places to eat and visit in the cotswolds too would be great!

Hope you have a fantastic weekend whatever your plans!

Jewel x

Wednesday, 27 April 2011

Sew Happy...

Hi Everyone...

A double blog tonight! Aren't you lucky :p

Well I decided I couldn't wait to do something crafty, so I found some card, and decided to take a chance on wonderweb and make my needle case!

It went really well and I'm very happy with it!

I had a minor issue, when I had sewn one of the popper halves on the wrong way round, luckily my wonderweb hadn't quite stuck and I was able to pull it apart and re-sew it!

When I re-wonderwebed (that's not a word!) I also made it a little skewy by accident, but I think it's darn good for about 30 mins work max!

I've already put all my needles in - and I'm especially chuffed as I used a sample offcut from Cath Kidston, which I got delivered free - so it's real CK!

Tell me what you think - Remember I've only been sewing for two months so take it easy on me!

(Now I promise I'm off to prepare for my interview - seriously... I'm going... now.... honest!)

Jewel x

Sneaky Lunchtime Shopping...

Hi Everyone...

Well the title says it all. I'm currently studying a short course one day a week alongside my work, and today in our lunch break I went on a sneaky shopping spree.

I picked up a few 'essentials' such as insect killer spray for my rose bush which is being attacked, and some white cropped jeans for the lovely sunny weather!

I also treated my self to a couple of crafty/pretty bits!

I'm collecting buttons ready for the button swap at Lucey's Button Swap
It will be my first ever swap and I'm very excited! Just need to get some ideas of what to make!

I bought some felt to make my needle case from the Cath Kidston Sew! Book - but I need some pinking shears to cut the edges and some wide flat bondaweb! 
Unless you ladies think it would work with wonderweb strips?

A palette knife, which I have been searching for for ages, that didn't cost the earth but is perfect for icing my 'Hummingbird Bakery' style cupcakes!

A lovely Cath Kidston style bowl - which I'm currently using to store my left over mini eggs from Easter! 
Can you believe there are any left!?

I can't wait to get crafting! The button swap has really got me excited - and I'm itching to make my needle case! Thing is I have a very important interview on the 9th May and should really be spending my evenings preparing - not blogging and crafting. But I love to procrastinate!

(Is it ironic that one of the things I have to revise is my dissertation project on procrastination!? - I think so!)

*Sigh* so I will try and refrain from crafting - despite the Big Girl Craft Club at Emporium Tea Rooms being cancelled tonight (so I would have been crafting anyway - so why shouldn't I?)

Lastly, A quick thank you to Victoria for her shout out! I hope all you new readers enjoy - and if you do please pass on my blog!

Jewel x

Tuesday, 26 April 2011

Fun In Brum

Hi Everyone,

Hope you had a lovely long weekend! Yesterday was my last day of a very busy weekend! After staying up late watching movies at a friends, it was up early at 6.15am to catch the train to Birmingham to see two of my lovely uni friends!

We went shopping and caught up with each other, and then we sat by the canal enjoying a little wine...

Just a little bit of wine - we finished a whole bottle each! Which may have influenced my decision to buy  this...

A beautiful Cath Kidston sewing box - absolutely perfect for all of my sewing bits that I'm accumulating!

I rushed home tonight after work to fill it...

Yay! I'm so stupidly excited! But I don't care! I also treated myself to some sunglasses and some pretty, sequined pumps for the summer at work!

My lovely friend Lucy knows me very well and bought me this beautiful tea cup and saucer when she was visiting Stratford-Upon-Avon! It's beautiful and perfect for my mismatch collection! I was soo chuffed!

I had a lovely day, but I'm sad I don't see them often enough. It wasn't long enough to really catch up on everything! Luckily, I'll see them both again in a month!

We all ended up buying ourselves a little something from Cath Kidston...

...And then it was back to work, and real life, and the drudge! Just in case I didn't remember how rubbish real life is, I got a parking ticket, when it wasn't my fault (the machine wasn't working - I've already challenged it) and I had to have an icky injection! Oh well, three day week - shouldn't complain!

What has everyone got planned for the next long weekend? Anyone having a royal wedding party!? I wish we were! 

Jewel x

P.S. Can I shamelessly ask for you all to advertise my blog a little? I still only have 8 followers, and would love a few more! Thank you to those of you who have been following and commenting! It means a stupid amount to me! x

Sunday, 24 April 2011

Chocolate Galore...

Hi Everyone,

I hope you've had a lovely day and eaten lots of chocolate! I started the day with.... BAKING!

I made some Easter malted cupcakes for our family picnic...

Fresh from the oven - the sponge was very light and fluffy

The Hummingbird bakery recipe I used

The result - or what was left of them after a day of sun and everyone tucking in!

The icing was 'malted' but unfortunately just MELTED! I think it was mostly my fault as I didn't let the melted chocolate cool enough before adding the last of the ingredients, but it made it very hard to ice and meant they melted very quickly in the lovely sun! So they didn't look great - but they tasted good!

I was very lucky and had lots of lovely eggs. My fiance bought me a large lindt egg with two lindt bunnies, and then my Mum bought be another lindt egg with three tiny lindt bunnies! I also have hundreds of mini eggs left over from the cakes! I shall have to try and ration it all over the next few weeks! 

Tomorrow, I'm off up to Birmingham on the train to visit two good uni friends! I hope it will be lovely whether and we'll spend some time catching up and relaxing in the sun!

Hope you all have a fantastic last day off, before the mini working week!

Jewel x

Saturday, 23 April 2011

Time To Relax...

Hi Everyone,

Hope you've all had another fabulous day! After a bad night (I was very ill) today was spent relaxing and recouporating. Myself and my maid of honour went for a lovely spa day in Battersea.

We started the day with a cupcake and tea and lunch on their riverside terrace in the beautiful sun!

We then went for our spa treatments, enjoying a massage and a manicure each, and relaxing in the jacuzzi, steam room, sauna and relaxation room. We both got pummeled by the masseur (I'm actually bruised, but kinda in a good way) and had a little altercation with the staff when they tried to short change us. But this was made up to us with free extra cupcakes and tea! It was a lovely day.

She also gave me my belated birthday present, which was a fantastic set of Cath Kidston toiletries - the first I've ever had, I'm so chuffed!

I need to find a nice place for them, on show, in our bathroom!

Oh and when I got home I had a lovely surprise! My fiance had completed our little hallway table project...

I'm really chuffed! I think it looks fantastic, and my fiance even made it look pretty and organised inside!

Tomorrow we're off to my parent's to see my nieces and nephew for a picnic in Marlow, and easter egg hunt in the garden! Hope you all have a fantastic Easter and eat lots of yummy chocolate!

Jewel x

Friday, 22 April 2011

Bluebells, Bluebells Everywhere...

Hi Everyone,

Hope you're enjoying the start of the long weekend and the beautiful sunshine! My fiance and I were stuck with what to do, but this morning after a lovely long lie in, we decided on Kew Gardens as we had been meaning to go for a long time! What a great choice it was!

We had a fantastic day! The sun was beating down but there was a gentle breeze. And the gardens were fantastically beautiful! My feet ache now but all the walking was worth it.

Here are a selection of the photos I took (I took 135 in total - oops!)

The bluebells were the most impressive. I have always loved the way they make a cloud of floating purple that looks like a dewy mist.

My fiance treated us to the entire day (entry, lunch and a little gift) as he'd been paid a little extra for a job. He bought me this fantastic string tin...

I saw a similar one on someone's blog - in their beautiful potting shed - so I'm hoping this will be kept until we move and have a potting shed of our own. In the meantime I hope to use the string for some crafty projects. Speaking of crafty projects, I also bought myself this ribbon (which when I got to the till was half price - yay!)

Again I'm hoping to use it somewhere!

Any ideas of what I can use them for?

Well I'm rushing off to my mother-in-law to be's BBQ (that was hard to say even in my head) and my mum and dad have just popped over for tea in our garden, so I must dash! Have a fantastic rest of the weekend!

Jewel x