Monday, 31 March 2014

Planning A Baby Shower

As many of you know already, my mum is expecting her second child. I’m finally going to have a sibling after nearly 22 years as an only child! 

Mum, look away now and walk away from your computer – I did tell you not to read my blog today!

I decided a few weeks (or even months) ago to throw a baby shower. It was actually my best friend Charlotte, between tears and laughter of excitement, who suggested I plan a baby shower when I called her to tell her the news. Since then I have been busy planning, organising, arranging, shopping, crafting, making and every other activity ending in ‘ing’.

Whether you’re also planning a baby shower, expecting a baby or just plain and simply interested in what exactly a baby shower is, I thought I would show you how I have been planning the shower so far.

As the sex of the baby is being kept a surprise, I have had to keep everything gender neutral and equal amounts of pink and blue.


It’s not called a baby shower for nothing! I started by buying a gift for the mummy-to-be-for-the-second-time. 

I found this gorgeous crochet monkey rattle on Etsy. I bought a white wicker basket to fill with goodies. In there I have put the rattle, a pair of socks in the shape of a rose, a bib in the shape of an ice cream and a labour instant energiser to calm the mother during birth. I’ll try and get a photo at the baby shower on Sunday of mum opening it!


From googling ‘baby shower’ far too many times, one thing kept popping up – a guest book. Personally I thought it was only weddings where you would have a guest book! Nonetheless I knew I had to get one. They were all ridiculously pricey, obviously because it’s such a specific themed book, so I decided to make my own.

Making A Guest Book
I purchased a plain white scrapbook from Hobbycraft for £10
Also from Hobbycraft, I found a beautiful yellow spotted ribbon, a baby feet stamp and some paper daisies.

I took the best looking scan I could find and stuck that onto the book at an angle.

It wasn’t until I was home that I realised that I had actually purchased a stamp to add to the end of a stamping block instead of what I thought was a baby feet sticker! I did still manage to use it by colouring it gold with a metallic pen and quickly pushing it onto the paper.

I stuck the daisies onto the book with craft dots (like double sided sticky tape) and tried my best at italic writing.


I bought these food picks with prams on the top because I think they’ll look sweet stuck into slices of cake. I’m going to buy some battenberg cake and cut them into slices so maybe I’ll stick these food picks into each slice.


Yes, that is a baby pram piƱata you can see below! It should be a bit of fun for everyone taking turns to hit it. I’ve already filled it with sweets in wrappers. Below there’s also confetti to sprinkle on the table around the food, pink and blue balloons, and rock-a-bye baby bunting.


Another game idea I have is to have everyone guess facts about the baby such as the gender, the name and the time of birth. So to make it all a bit prettier than plain paper, I made pram shapes out of card with all the questions to answer written down. I’ve tied yellow ribbon on each one so that when people have completed the card, they hang it on a leaf of a house plant we have with a mini peg. This took me a very loooong time to cut evey single pram out of card!



I’m going to make homemade lemonade served in glass milk bottles and paper straws. The milk bottles will add to the whole baby themed event. I didn’t want to serve milk in them because I don’t think people would have been too impressed, so homemade lemonade is the next best thing!



I’m also going to make homemade cake pops. I’ve never made cake pops before so I’m going to do a trial run this week! I’m also going to film a video on it for my YouTube channel and if the recipe all goes to plan I’ll post that on here too.



Finally, the favours. I know it probably isn’t mandatory to give the guests a little something to take home with them afterwards, but I think everyone will appreciate the gesture. I purchased these old fashioned paper sweet bags and I’m going to fill each one with two macaroons. I’m going to seal the bag with these baby themed stickers.



I hope you liked this post! It is very different to anything else I post about, but hopefully you have found it useful if you too are planning an event like a baby shower. 

I’ve never done anything like this before so wanted to share with you my progress so far. The baby shower is on Sunday and I will make sure I take plenty of photos to share with you! Wish me luck!

Sunday, 30 March 2014

Mother’s Day | Tea At Badger’s

Happy Mothering Sunday! Yesterday I took my mum for afternoon tea in Alfriston to a traditional teahouse called Badgers

There’s nothing quite like freshly baked scones with earl grey tea brewing in a traditional china tea set, is there? Oh, how very British!  


Mum showing us her excellent tea-pouring skills, if ever there was such a thing.


Tea verdict – it’s a good’un! 

(Noticed the bump? I have a brother or sister on the way!)


On our silver tiered stand we had two freshly baked scones with  local clotted cream and jam, smoked salmon and egg and cress sandwiches, a bloody big slice of gooseberry jam sponge cake and a Molly cake for me, which was a gluten free fruit cake – the ‘healthier’ option!

 

The scones were even more delicious than they look. I haven’t had a scone for a long time (this was obviously a cheat day) and I have to say I enjoyed every bite!

‘We’ll see if Tea and Buns can make the world a better place’

I Am Wearing
Top – Mango, Trousers – H&M,
Bag – Warehouse, Denim Jacket – Replay

After our tea and cake we pottered around the small village drifting in and out of quaint jewellery shops and gift shops, peering into low beamed, dark windows. Alfriston, with the low ceilings and narrow cobbled streets is a bit like stepping back in time.

Mother’s Day is a day to spend some quality time with our wonderful mothers, to show them just how much they mean to us. How did you treat your mums today? I hope they’ve been spoiled rotten!

Thursday, 27 March 2014

Healthy Living

I’ve always been conscious of the importance of eating a healthy and balanced diet, but it’s only in the past few months that I’ve really gone for it and taken it seriously. 

First things first, this is NOT a diet. It’s a lifestyle change. I believe you can truly change your taste buds, so essentially change what you like to eat. I used to binge on rubbish foods such as ice cream, chocolate and pizza. Now when I have those foods I can’t believe how strong the sugar or salt tastes so instead I crave healthier options.

Also for the record, this is NOT about losing weight. This is about well-being – how it makes you feel inside.

Now, I’m not saying my diet is 100% perfect. There are people out there that know exactly what the food they’re eating is doing for their bodies and eating the right foods at the right times of the day. I have done my research but I am no professional! 

I wanted to share with you my healthy lifestyle because I know when I first started out this is what I would’ve liked to have read… from a real person!

Porridge
To kick start the day I love to eat porridge. It’s high in fibre meaning it keeps you fuller for longer (you won’t overeat!) and it’s a huge source of energy. There are mixed views from nutritionists out there about porridge/oatmeal. Some say it’s one of the best ways to start the day whereas others say oats are generally bad for the digestive system. 

For me personally, porridge keeps me going and I love it! I usually have organic oats with unsweetened almond milk and add a tablespoon of flaxseed and chia seed with cinnamon to sweeten. The toppings are where it can all go wrong. Avoid honey and sugar and try to stick to berries or almonds.


Green Tea
I have at least 1 mug of green tea a day. It boosts your immune system and some studies have shown it can prevent certain diseases.


Nut Butters
For a snack I love almond butter spread over natural rice crackers or Ryvita. Peanut butter is also good if you get the organic, natural and no added sugar or salt versions.



Healthy Treats
I recently discovered inSpiral. You may remember I stumbled across their cafe in Camden not too long ago and I wrote about it in a post here. They kindly sent me a few goodies after they saw my post, and I was delighted with what turned up! Raw cakes, tarts and kale crisps. The raw vanilla berry tart was my favourite as it reminded me of a cheesecake. Everything is absolutely delicious, all made of totally healthy ingredients with nothing bad. I was happy to see them being sold in my local health store in Brighton, Infinity Foods, the other day.


Greek Yogurt
Another snack that I love is Greek yogurt, my favourite is Total 0%, with fruit or granola. I usually buy the healthiest sounding granola from health stores but I’m going to attempt to make my own soon. I’ll keep you posted! Greek yogurt is a high source of protein, which is a must for me because I like to work out a lot.


Exercising
As well as eating healthily, a big part of a healthy lifestyle is keeping well exercised and fit. Luckily for me, I’m a bit of a gym bunny. I love going to the gym! I go about 4 times a week and I’ve started taking protein shakes when I get home to help tone up. I’m currently using Protein World‘s ‘The Slender Blend’ in the Vanilla flavour. As I’ve never taken them before I have nothing to compare it too, but it tastes great!


Lunches
I try to keep lunches simple and usually raw. Lots of veggies. The brighter the better! First we have grated carrots using my Julienne peeler that I used in my ‘Courgetti Not Spaghetti‘ post, chopped celery, beetroot, raw spinach and grilled halloumi.


Next theres avocado, smoked salmon with capers and lemon juice, 2 boiled eggs and a Ryvita with cream cheese. Then there’s rye bread with smoked salmon and capers, 2 poached eggs and long stemmed broccoli. I tend not to eat bread other than rye. It’s much healthier!

Dinners
My favourite dinner to have is steamed salmon with steamed veg. Below there’s steamed salon and broccoli with a stir fry I made with carrots, baby courgettes, onion, bean sprouts and chilli all cooked in coconut oil.



(Not So) Naughty Treats
We’ve got to allow ourselves some treats once in a while otherwise we just set ourselves up for failure. I occasionally order pizza from a local place in Brighton called Pizza Face where I order a spelt base pizza. If any of you live in the area, give the ‘Daisy’ a try! It’s a pesto base instead of tomato and I customise mine to have spinach, peppers, pine nuts, mushrooms and tomatoes. Delicious! And as a treat, it’s not even that bad for you!

Being a chocoholic, the hardest thing I’ve found to cut out is chocolate. I haven’t cut it out completely, but have adjusted my taste buds to like dark chocolate. My favourite is from Montezumas, where they make delicious dark chocolate truffles and slabs with all pretty good ingredients!


I really hope this helps you out with kick starting a healthy lifestyle. Remember, it’s all about how you feel on the inside, which in turn will make you feel great on the outside! Let me know how it goes!

Saturday, 22 March 2014

Alligator Spotting With My Grandparents

I’m currently in Orlando for a YouTube convention called Playlist Live, which is crazy! It’s been amazing meeting some of you here! I’ve been here for a few days now, mainly just hanging out in the hotel, but as my grandparents live near here I thought I’d spend the day with them. You may recognise them from my Florida blog posts last year when I visited them.

I Am Wearing
Shirt – French Connection, Leggings – Bershka, Hat – Bershka,
Sunglasses – River Island, Shoes – Kurt Geiger

We strolled around the scenic golf course, taking in all the nature around us. We spotted so many different birds and animals including an alligator! It’s been so nice getting away from the craziness of Playlist for a couple of hours.


After our walk we headed back for some cheeky margarita cocktails and sushi. My Grandma and I always have sushi when we’re together so this was no exception! It was delicious.


I haven’t ever seen soy sauce served in a pipette like this. I didn’t realise what it was at first so had to ask for some, until I was told it was right in front of me!