Friday 25 April 2014

#2 Make your mark, Primark

I don't know about you, but for me Primark is a bit of a mixed bag. Yes, you can get a lot for your buck, but it's usually so busy, my instinct is to get out of there as quickly as possible. And sometimes the quality can be questionable. Remember these studded boots? The whole underside of one of the shoes just fell off one day. With quality concerns and a potential stressful shopping experience ahead of me, I often lack the incentive to pop into my local. Usually when I go it's because I've seen a nice item featured in a magazine / on YouTube / on a blog. But when you go into your local, do you spot any of the items mentioned in that YouTube video? No. And if they do, they won't have your size. Or anything on the smaller end of the sizing spectrum.

The other day I popped into my local with some friends and I was pleasantly surprised. It wasn't as crazy hectic as I remembered, and I managed to get lots of lovely bits and pieces for a gift basket that I've been putting together for a friend.

I have always found Primark's candles a little iffy. Sickly sweet and just a generic candle sort of smell. This time round I was really impressed with their candles  - they've really upped their game. A good mix of church pillar style candles, tea lights and candles in jars. The ones in jars are really presentable and look far more expensive than £2 (well, to me anyway!). I picked one up for my friend's gift basket and couldn't resist picking up a couple for myself too!

The citrus and ginger is my favourite. It's really fresh and perfect for spring / summer. 
The berries and orchid candle is a close contender but is more "perfumed" rather than fruity. 

Primark isn't somewhere I really go looking for lingerie  - unless I'm stocking up on basics - but this time I was pleasantly surprised:

I love the dusky mauve colouring, the silky front panels and the polka dot details.
My favourite find was this black and white check dress for a mere £10:

I have yet to try it on. Hopefully it won't come up too short on me (long limbs mean I'm a nightmare to buy jumpers and dresses for!) I also picked up a couple of rolls of wrapping paper because they satisfied my love of everything that is French

At just £1 a roll, I may be going back for more! I love the miniature Eiffel towers, French phrases and the whole "carte postale" style they've gone for.

Have you found anything nice in Primark lately?

Wednesday 23 April 2014

Come closer and see, see into the trees, find the girl, if you can

Bank holiday weekends for me are all about baking, photography, trips out, and catching up on sleep. And last weekend was no exception. Triple chocolate chip brownies were eaten on a daily basis and on Good Friday, a trip to the woods felt right.

Lunch break!

Feta and sun-dried tomato pasta:

Lunch time views:

I'd never seen pink forget-me-nots before!

Quite a few up-rooted trees blocked our path...

...but not for long...

The jumper is new. Some of you may recognise it from my Instagram. Believe it or not, it's not from the Warner Bros. Harry Potter Studio Tour - my Hogwarts sweater is actually from New Look! Intermittent sunny spells in the UK meant there was a chill in the air - and in that sort of weather only a jumper and jeans will do!

Friday 18 April 2014

7 Easter craft ideas for kids (and big kids!)

Easter and chocolate. A partnership that has been going strong since the 19th century. They go hand-in-hand together, like salt and pepper or bread and butter. As appreciative as I am to still receive Easter eggs, the excitement of receiving an Easter egg - and chocolate in general - is kind of lost on me now. Maybe I've just hit that age. Earlier this week I found lots of inspiring Easter gift and craft ideas on Pinterest - perfect if you have children and want ideas for the up-and-coming bank holiday weekend. But equally inspiring if, like me, you don't have children yet. Has Easter become monotonous? It doesn't have to be...

How cute are these jam jar vases?
Fill them with Easter treats, bright cereals and sweets

Candy carrots are easy to make - just place orange sweets into an icing bag 

Rabbit food! Fill with dried snacks like cereal, pretzels and mini biscuits

Carrot play dough! I'm in my 20's and I'm still excited by Play Dough!

Egg shell candles in egg cups

A packet of Forget-Me-Not seeds is a cute gift idea
As is home made carrot cake in a jar with a home made gift tag and twine:

All the above pinned from Pinterest

There is now even a market for pets. With safe Easter treats for dogs that aren't chocolate:

Pets at Home - £1.75                                                    Pets at home - £5

In recent years advent calendars have evolved to variations without chocolate as discussed here and here. So maybe it will only be time until Easter eggs follow suit. Because if faced with a choice between an Easter egg filled with sweets or an Easter egg filled with beauty treats, I know which one I would choose. Especially if there was a speckled egg effect nail polish inside. Because nothing says Easter like having your nails resemble Cadbury's mini eggs!

What would be hiding inside your ideal Easter egg?