Wednesday, 25 May 2016

Summer Creative Inspiration

I keep telling myself that I'm going to start on something creative. I see something interesting in a magazine, on tv or on the internet but I never get around to actually doing it! I'm not particularly up to much these days, the job hunt is still going and I have just over three months to go until university, so I have a lot of free time on my hands!

All part of my Summer refresh is to be more creative, so I was flicking through my creative Pinterest board and found a bunch of ideas which I thought I'd share in this blog post!


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Ever since I saw this wonderful idea on Pinterest I have always had a bunch of flowers in a jar placed on my bedroom window. They are the splash of colour to my white bedroom and always add a sense of freshness to the room. There are so many different things you can do to decorate a jar for flowers. My most simple way is to style with an old (in good condition) shoe lace and wrap it around the top of the jar in a bow, it's as simple as that! I also love the idea of using materials to wrap around the jar, such as lace or burlap. I did this once but silly me I used the wrong type of glue (yes I used paper glue) and the lace kept falling off of the jar. So it's a good idea to get the right type of glue so that whatever piece of material you find you can make sure it is secure on the glass.


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I have always wanted to have a go at painting mugs. Pinterest is full of so many different ideas in which you can paint a plain white mug. You can buy a bundle of plain white mugs on amazon for a reasonable price and paint any design on them. I prefer the more minimal designs such as dots of black ink or half painted with one shade of colour. But the beauty of this creativity is that you can choose to design the mug however you want!


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Now that the summer months are coming up the garden is looking as green as ever! I've always wanted to add something hand made to the garden, so I've been doing a lot of searching on Pinterest for anything DIY garden décor related. I found these cute little tin can lanterns which would look perfect dotted around the garden and lit up in the evenings with tea lights. I think it's such a great idea to used recycled materials and make use out of them by being creative! I also love these paint can pots which are brightly coloured to add a splash of colour to the garden.


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My mum loves having lights in the garden in the summer, so I thought I'd have a look for some tea light candle holder ideas. These can be created by simply using old tin cans and then drilling or knocking holes into the tin to create your own pattern. The tin could also be spray painted any colour you want! I really love the idea of using the soft blues, they remind me of beachy sea tones which would be perfect for the garden. Remember to wash out your used tin cans, this is a perfect way to recycle old materials!


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Remember the days at school when we used vegetables dipped in paint and printed on fabric? Well the idea is still going and I love it! You could print on napkins, table cloths, blankets and tea towels all perfect for picnics and BBQ's. These are super affordable to create and you can choose whatever design you want. I particularly love these watermelon prints which can be created by cutting out a triangle shape on a potato (or if you didn't want to use vegetables you can use a cut up sponge) and print using fabric paint, then for any small detail just use a small paint brush!

 Do you have any summer creative ideas?
Let me know in the comments!


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Wednesday, 18 May 2016

Cleanse Your Mind

Throughout the whole of last week I kept telling myself to get started on some blog posts I've been wanting to write for a while. But instead I ended up sitting on my bed, with my laptop in front of me and was just staring at a blank page for ages. I think I must have ended up suffering from some sort of writers block. I had lots and lots of spare time but I just couldn't seem to write anything, or if I did I just ended up re-reading the same paragraph over and over again until I finally decided to delete it!

It was one of those weeks again but this time I'm going to get myself back into gear again and get some blog post ideas going, set myself some deadlines and make sure I get them finished and published!

I guess part of my writers block has been to do with the fact that I've been feeling a bit under the weather for the past two weeks. I've been feeling a little down but I needed some time to get out and clear my mind. Although the weather we've had has been very beautiful with plenty of sun, 20 degree highs and cool breezes, I really needed the rain fall we've had in between the lovely weather. They say rain is to cleanse the soul, I wouldn't say I'm spiritual or anything like that but I felt like my mind had been cleared of any stress that was building up and with the rain we had I felt calm and relaxed.

I was in the kitchen waiting for the biscotti which was baking in the oven and as I was waiting I was watching the rain fall outside the kitchen window, soaking the grass and the flowers. My mind felt at ease and I was able to forget all that was bothering me. For me rain is the most cleansing but there are many other ways in which I use to cleanse my mind.

:: Reading

:: Writing

:: Drawing

:: Watching box sets & movies

:: Gardening

:: Cleaning my room

:: Creative DIY projects

:: Taking photos

With this beautiful weather we've been having this Spring, It's nice to have a rain cleanse every once in a while. I'm hoping the cleanse rid of my writers block and I hope I can get started with some more blog posts this week! I'm in need of getting back into my routine again.


Do you find the rain cleansing?
Do you have any other ways of cleansing your mind
of any stress?


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Tuesday, 3 May 2016

An Enthusiasm For...Baking

I'm not lying when I say this is the most delicious homemade chocolate traybake ever! My mum found this recipe for me in the Daily Express Sunday magazine. It had a whole section from Mary Berry: Foolproof Cooking book. I've been wanting to try out a new recipe every week so I can get back into the routine of baking. Although I've baked this one before I wanted to bake it again so I could share this delicious recipe with everyone!

This traybake recipe is slightly different to the usual traybake as it asks for ground almonds, which I think makes a lovely addition to the ingredients. Adding to the mixture makes the cake extra moist and allows it to keep longer (that's if the traybake doesn't disappear in a day!). But even with 5 people in the house we managed to keep it for 2 days, that also depending on how many slices you cut and also the size of the cut.

On average this traybake can be cut into 20 slices and can also freeze well.



225g (8oz) dark chocolate (no more than 40-50 per cent cocoa solids)
100g (4oz) butter, plus extra for greasing
100g (4oz) caster sugar
3 large eggs
75g (3oz) self-raising flour
75g (3oz) ground almonds
1 tsp baking powder


1 :: You will need a 23cm x 30cm traybake tin. First preheat the oven to 180C/160C fan and line the tin with foil. Grease the foil generously with butter.

2 :: Place the broken up chocolate and cubes of butter into a heatproof bowl and set over a pan of hot water. Leave until melted, stirring occasionally to help combine.

3 :: Once melted, add in the caster sugar and stir to combine and set aside to cool slightly.

4 :: Add the eggs, one at a time, to the melted chocolate mixture and beat after each addition. Fold in the flour, ground almonds and baking powder and then pour evenly into the traybake tin.

5 :: Bake in the oven for 25-30 minutes until the mixture has set. Allow to cool in the tin before cutting into 20 squares if you can.



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