Friday, 25 November 2016

Christmas Homeware Haul


Christmas Cat Stocking; Christmas Decorations

As its the 25th November and exactly a month to go until the big day it is now totally acceptable to listen to Christmas music, watch festive films and stuff your face with mince pies.  Although I'm not quite ready to put up my Christmas tree and decorate (I will do that next weekend after I finish work) I do tend to go the full hog when it comes to decorating for Christmas with bedding, cushions, kitchen roll; even the bathroom gets a festive facelift with Christmas towels, bath mat, face cloths and toilet roll.  


This year however I won't be putting out my vintage Christmas decorations or the tree that I bought last year as they will no doubt be destroyed by the kittens so I will be using the ancient Christmas tree that is in the garage (hopefully it's still ok as not used it in a few years) and I have also bought a few new decorations to go on it making sure that they are unbreakable, not likely to cause a foreign body or be a choking hazard. Can't believe I'm actually risk assessing tree decorations before I buy them! If you want to know what kitten-safe decorations look like please read on.


Christmas Homeware Haul
Christmas Homeware Haul


Although I don't need another Christmas tablecloth I loved this vintage bauble patterned one from Cath Kidston, it is made of oilcloth so means that any spillages are easily wiped up and I also thought that it would be a lovely backdrop for my Christmas blog photos. The Robin patterned flutes also have some of the vintage baubles on them too, I thought these would be ideal for drinking our Christmas fizz out of.


Christmas Decoration Haul

I do love fawns as they have a vintage feel to them and I ordered this Aqua glittered one from Paperchase last month when I ordered my gift wrap, isn't he cute? He also comes in yellow and pink colours too.

Christmas Homeware Haul

This is the third year in a row that I have bought my festive bedding from Asda, they are only £12 for a double which is a very good price and seems to be decent enough quality too as I have washed my other ones a few times and so far they haven't fallen to bits. This is the Showtime Characters set and has a Santa, fawn, elves and penguin print, it has a vintage look to it so obviously it appealed to me. They didn't have any of the co-ordinating cushions left so I went for the small cushion with a vintage Santa and fawn print to it, although it's not supposed to match it still goes really well together.



Now onto my kitten-friendly decorations; every year I pick up a few decorations from Accessorize and I hang them on my little Christmas tree in our bedroom and this year I picked up a glittery gingerbread girl and penguin as well as an enamelled gingerbread house that I used in an upcoming DIY post.

Christmas Decoration Haul; Accessorize Glittered Penguin; Accessorize Glittered Gingerbread Man


From B & Q I saw this cute cat stocking with a felt grey cat wearing a Santa hat motif and I thought it looked just like Violet so I had to get her that, I am now on the look out for a black and white cat one for Freddie so that he isn't feeling left out. The copper stag ornament is also from there too, I did buy it for the aforementioned DIY but it was too big for that so on the tree it will go.

Christmas Homeware Haul

I walked passed The White Company and saw that they were having a 20% off weekend so I went in, I picked up the battery operated star fairy lights and two beaded heart tree decorations. I did love a lot of their things but I did find some of their products quite pricey even with 20% off.

Christmas Homeware Haul

Here are a few of the decorations being tested by Quality Control:

Kittens at Christmas

Have you bought new decorations this year? Where is your favourite place to get them from?


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Sunday, 13 November 2016

BBC Good Food Show


Good Food Show Winter 2016
Source

Last week I went to the BBC Good Food Show in Glasgow after winning tickets on Hannah's blog Granite City Girl (head over to her blog and say "Hello!").  I had never been before but was very excited at the thought of all that food and drink that was waiting to be discovered and getting to sample some of these products too before buying them, you don't always get that in Tesco do you?!

After setting the alarm to wake us up early and to head off down to Glasgow at 10am, we never actually left the house until 11am and I've no idea why we were running late.  We finally arrived in Glasgow, got parked and entered the SECC at 2.20pm so a bit later than I had hoped but at least we were there!

It was the final day and mid afternoon but it was still heaving inside, you couldn't get near some of the stalls as it was so crowded (this was why I didn't take any photos as I would no doubt have got someone's elbow in the shot) also some of the stalls had sold out of their products such as Heck Sausages, a venison stall (wasn't too fussed about missing out on that, cos Bambi!) and even the Tipsy Tart stall had sold out of their vodka, this was the only thing that I had on my list before heading there and they were completely out of their Violet Vodka (sob).  I did get to sample it however and it tastes so good, it didn't have a synthetic taste like some Violet things I have tried, it also has a shimmer to the purple liquid too and looks so pretty.



BBC Good Good Show Glasgow
Mash Direct Gluten Free Products

The photo above was of everything we bought (minus the sausage rolls and mini Reese cups that were devoured on the drive home, sustenance was needed for the 3 hour journey back to Aberdeenshire!) and I was quite impressed with what we bought. There was a variety of stalls there that had different kinds of foods such as condiments, meats, cheese, sweets; gins, vodkas and teas for beverages as well as kitchen gadgets and dining tables. First stop was Mash Direct where there was an array of their products, some that I had never seen before so I picked up some Sweet Potato Croquettes, Sweet Potato Fries, Southern Fried Potatoes and Crispy Vegetable Bakes to give them a try. All of their products are gluten free which is a big thumbs up as I love croquette potatoes but most shop bought ones have breadcrumbs instead of the rice and maize flour coatings that these ones have. They were selling at £1.50 each or 4 for £5 so 4 items it was.

BBC Good Food Show Glasgow


The Just Slate Company were there, I already have quite a few of their products as they look stunning as well as being functional for entertaining but when I saw their glasses I just had to have them as they looked so pretty with their gold patterns. They are classed as seconds as they had a tiny air bubble on them and are regarded imperfect so they were only £10 for a box of two rather than the £30 it would cost for the perfect ones. The air bubbles are hardly noticeable and I only found them as I was looking for them so that was a bargain.

I also picked up two bottles of I Heart Vodka in both Raspberry and Salted Caramel flavours as I needed something to put in my new glasses ;). I sampled both flavours while there and I couldn't decide which one to pick so I bought both, will need to put my mixology skills to work and see what cocktails I can concoct with these vodkas.


Now onto the sweet treats we bought, we went to the Barü Marshmallow stall where you could buy chocolate covered marshmallows in different fłavours like raspberry, sea salt and caramel as well as milk and dark chocolate. These were really good, the marshmallow was soft and slightly gooey with a crisp chocolate shell and just wish that we had bought more than two boxes of them. Moving onto the Ochil Fudge where the stall had a range full of fudgey flavours including White Chocolate & Baileys, Banoffee, Cherry Bakewell, Rum & Raisin and Christmas Pudding. These too are gluten free and are so creamy, so far I have only tried the Cherry Bakewell but couldn't eat a lot as it was quite sweet. We also picked up Strawberry Creams from a stall that I can't remember the name of but they had a huge selection of sweets including Honeycomb and fudge.


BBC Good Food Haul
BBC Good FOod Show Foodie Haul
BBC Good Food Show Glasgow

The Wee Tea Company were there with their selection of various teas, including their Christmas range and I picked up a tub of their Chocolate Orange Green Tea, I've yet to try these but the smell when you open the tub is just like a Terry's Chocolate Orange. Their other Christmas teas include Gingerbread Rooibos and Christmas Chai Black Tea, a perfect gift for a tea lover.


BBC Good Food Show Glasgow

When we saw the American Food stall we both rushed over and spent ages checking out what they had on offer, there were boxes of Lucky Charms, bags of Jolly Ranchers, packets of flavoured Oreos but we came out with Cheeseburger Pringles (these didn't last long and actually tasted like the Big Mac burger sauce), Grape Fanta (it was a toss up of this one or the a raspberry flavoured one), Twinkies (yuk, I never picked up these), mega marshmallows, Reese's Mini Cups as well as a bar of Peanut Butter chocolate and some Jelly Bellys.

BBC Good Food Show Blog Post

Lastly we visited the Ben & Jacob's stall where I picked up a couple of jars of Chilli Jam, the owner said that they were £4.50 each but it was 3 for £10 so Mr M added the Korma sauce to make it up to the three items and when I got home and unpacked there was a jar of Mango Chutney that neither of us picked up so the nice man had given it to us for free.


BBC Good Food Show Glasgow

We both had a lot of fun (and a lot of bags) at the BBC Good Food Show so would definitely go back again, I would say that if you are going it's probably better to get there earlier as it would be less crowded and you will be able to spend time with the producers and find out more about their products.

Have you ever been to one of their food shows? Have you tried any of these products?




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Sunday, 6 November 2016

Aberdeen | Rye & Soda

Last Sunday I was invited to try out Rye & Soda's new Brunch menu along with the other Aberdeen bloggers, the menu has been updated by Head Chef Chris Tonner who is a magician in the kitchen when it comes to creating dishes with things like Black Pudding Scotch Eggs, Macaroni Cheese Bites and Cheeseburger Spring Rolls. We were also going to be trying out wines from their bottle shop by pairing it with food from their delicious menu.

First up was a "Build Your Own" Bloody Mary Station, I will confess that a drink with tomato juice doesn't sound very appealing to me so it's never been something I've ever picked on a cocktail menu before but wow, I'm converted! There was an array of fresh local veg such as celery, chilli peppers, sweet peppers, tomatoes and fresh herbs to garnish your drink as well as bacon dust, salt, pepper and BBQ sauce. A choice of Tomato Juice or Carrot & Beetroot Juice to mix with your vodka and ice, some Tabasco sauce if you want a bit of heat or even some lemon juice or sherry too for an added depth to your drink.  I went for the Tom Juice with a splash of Tabasco, sprinkle of bacon dust and a pinch of salt and pepper with a garnish of a celery stick and herbs, it tasted so good and will be having this again.  Plus with it containing tomato juice then surely this will count towards one of my 5 a day.....no?!


Rye & Soda Aberdeen
Rye & Soda Aberdeen
Rye & Soda Aberdeen

Now onto the food, there was a selection of mouth-watering dishes from the menu such as; Bruschetta with sweet red & yellow tomatoes and fresh herbs, potato skins topped with a tangy sauce, creamy smoked haddock risotto (this tasted divine and I may have got a takeaway box of this home with me), juicy mini burgers in a brioche bun, a really flavoursome salad with pomegranate, crispy onions and feta, gin & beetroot cured salmon and the most amazing macaroni cheese bites you will ever find. It all tasted really good and freshly made. Rye and Soda are all about sourcing as much of their ingredients as locally as possible which means the eggs, meat and veg that they use are as fresh as they come as well as supporting local businesses.

Rye & Soda Aberdeen Menu
Rye & Soda Aberdeen Menu
Rye & Soda Aberdeen Menu
Rye & Soda Aberdeen Menu
Rye & Soda Aberdeen Menu
Rye & Soda Aberdeen Menu
Rye & Soda Aberdeen Menu

With the oil slump affecting a lot of people here in Aberdeen it has had a knock on effect with local businesses sadly having to close their doors due to a turndown in trade, please remember to #buyNE next time you are in town.

Rye and Soda are situated in The Academy, Belmont Street, Aberdeen



**I was invited by Rye & Soda to try out their new menu but all opinions are 100% my own.





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Friday, 4 November 2016

DIY | Christmas Planner


Christmas Organiser

When do you start planning for Christmas? Are you Ms Organised that when December arrives your presents are wrapped and your freezer is full with festive food or do you enjoy the last minute chaos of present buying and Christmas Eve gift wrapping?  Me, I'm somewhere in between! I start buying presents around end of September and think that I have loads of time and yet I still end up with last minute gift buying and wrapping on Christmas Eve.

If you would like to be less stressed this festive period then why not get yourself organised this Crimbo with a Christmas Planner, there are ones that you can buy in the shops (I have a Cath Kidston Deer one from a few years ago that is far too lovely to use) or as I will show you, ones that you can make yourself.

If you fancy making your own Christmas Planner they are very easy to make and you can have it the way that you want it with categories you will use, you can also make it as glittery or as minimal as you want it to look.




What you will need:



Notebook
Christmas Patterned Paper
Double Sided Sticky Tape/Glue Dots
Ribbon
Scissors
Stickers
Label Maker (Optional)




How to make:

Firstly cut the patterned paper to fit the notebook.
Attach the ribbon to the notebook using a few glue dots, ensuring that you have enough of a length to tie it.
If your notebook is spiral bound then you will need to cut slits into the paper to go between the spirals before attaching the paper to the notebook. Either use glue dots or double sided sticky tape to stick the paper on.
Decorate your cover how you want it using stickers, die cuts, etc.
Use your label maker (or make your own) and make tabs for each section of your Christmas Planner that you want







Christmas Organiser
Christmas Organiser
Christmas ORganiser
DIY Christmas Organiser

Now that you have a pretty Christmas Planner it's time to start on the inside, what sections do you want; card/gift list, food, to do, crafts, budget, etc it's your planner so use it to organise the way that is relevant to you. Don't forget to decorate the inside as well using washi tape, stickers, stamps, etc.

DIY Christmas Organiser
DIY Christmas Organiser
DIY Christmas Organiser

Do you use a Christmas Planner? If you do make one of these then let me know by tweeting me a pic (@thelifeofdeem) as I'd love to see them :)

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Wednesday, 2 November 2016

What I Bought | Clothing and Accessory Haul

Clothind Haul

A new season usually requires a few new items to your wardrobe whether it's new footwear, a jacket or maybe a jumper or two, with Autumn now upon us and Winter just a few short weeks away I decided that a new jacket and boots were required as well as a couple of tops.  Most of the items were from Oasis (favourite shop ever) and also from New Look and Primark.

Clothing haul 2016

The tartan scarf was from Primark and is so warm and cosy, ideal for these colder days and costing only £4 is an absolute bargain. The navy, brown, beige and orange colours in the scarf are perfect Autumnal shades for wearing at this time of year.


I love wearing flat shoes which is a huge change as a few years back I was all about the heels, now they are just worn on nights out and special occasions. These comfy black pumps (£13) are from New Look and go with jeans, skirts, dresses and trousers, in fact just about anything. Rose Gold is such a pretty metal so I picked up a double chain necklace, bangle, stack of rings and stone hoop earrings (I picked these up in silver too a few days ago as I liked the style of them) and I can't remember how much they all were individually but I paid £32 for them in Oasis.


The two tops were also from Oasis, the emerald green floral one (£36) has fluted sleeves and looks good with both jeans or black trousers and the black floral top (£32) has an asymmetric hem to it and can be worn with black jeans or trousers.


My final Oasis purchase was this pair of Chelsea boots (£69) which are so comfy and go with everything, they are slip on with a couple of gold studs on them for decoration. The black bomber jacket with the faux fur collar is from New Look and cost £39.99, it's not a thick jacket but worn with a cosy jumper it should keep me warm through Winter.


#bloggerproblems When you are trying to take blog photos of items and your set is then gate crashed by a kitten sunbathing at the window and moving the blinds to let in all the light and another trying to steal your jewellery you positioned very carefully!!


What have you bought recently for Autumn/Winter?






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