Saturday, 27 July 2013

How to celebrate Yorkshire Day - 1st August.

This year I will be celebrating Yorkshire Day in Hawes in the Yorkshire Dales. I love Yorkshire so much, I even holiday there! Now everyone makes a huge fuss about St. Patrick's Day when they are not Irish, so why not give celebrating Yorkshire Day a try. I'm sure we can drink just as much as the Irish! Here's some of the key ingredients to a fabulous Yorkshire Day. Ee by gum its going t' be a reyt good un'!

How to celebrate Yorkshire Day
1. Tesco, 2. Amazon, 3. Amazon, 4. Tesco, 5. Tesco, 6. Ebay, 7. Amazon, 8. Ebay.


Pontefract Cakes (Liquorice)
Yorkshire Puddings (How about for breakfast?! - love this recipe from my sister on Bilberry Tart - One of my faves)
Barnsley Chop
How to celebrate Yorkshire Day
Wensleydale cheese - available here


Yorkshire Tea
One of the many local ales and beers such as Barnsley Gold, Jorvik Blonde

How to celebrate Yorkshire Day
Yorkshire Tea - available here


White Rose bunting.
Sheffield steel cutlery.
Pit lamps.
Yorkshire pudding pillow.
Nobody's perfect pillow above.
How to celebrate Yorkshire Day
Yorkshire Pudding pillow - available here


Arctic Monkeys


Flat cap and whippet are essential


Traditional games include Rhubarb thrashing (where you literally stand in dustbins and hit each other with rhubarb!), nipsy, knur and spell. For further info visit this site full of traditional games.

Some slang to try out at your party

laikin' - playing
spice- sweets
wang - throw
bairn - child
bray - beat up
chelpin - talking
gi' or - give over
fuddle - a bring and share type party
mardy - sulky
nesh - cold
a Scarborough warning - final warning of bad behaviour.

Finish up your evening relaxing with a nice film..

Four lions
The Damned United (One of my favourite films ever featuring one of my favourite actors Michael Sheen. Good lad!)
Brassed Off
The Full Monty
How to celebrate Yorkshire Day
Brassed Off - available here

Or a book.

Any of the Brontë's amazing works.
Dracula by Bram Stoker

Events taking place

If you would like to visit a Yorkshire Day event, there are some suggestions here.

Now all you need to do is practice the Yorkshire mantra whilst sipping a brew of Yorkshire tea.

'Ear all, see all, say nowt; Eyt all, sup all, pay nowt; And if ivver tha does owt fer nowt -Allus do it fer thissen.'

For those of you who are not aficionados with the Yorkshire language, this loosely translates as 'Hear all, see all, say nothing; Eat all, drink all, pay nothing; And if ever you do anything for nothing - always do it for yourself.'

Hope you have a fab Yorkshire Day whatever you are up to. Si thee later! 

Friday, 19 July 2013

Floral Friday

On a recent visit to Brodsworth Hall, the flowers were all in full bloom, so I took a few photos. Looking at beautiful flowers really brightens up your day. I am making a conscience effort to buy more flowers to have in the house, as they really do lift your spirits. Walking around the rose garden in Brodsworth Hall in the sunshine was idyllic and the sweet scent from the surrounding flowers was just heaven!

I also received this beautiful bunch of flowers from my beautiful sister-in-law.

Florals have also been creeping into my purchases of late. Had to share these with you, as I thought they look like Cath Kidston style florals, but at a fraction of the price.

T.K. Maxx bag for £16.99
Primark make up bag for £2

Hope you all have a weekend full of fun and flowers!

Wednesday, 17 July 2013

How to create a glitter champagne bottle...

How to create a glitter champagne bottle

As I had a Christmas wedding, my day was full to the brim of sparkle. One of my work colleagues is getting married at the weekend, so I thought I would glitter up a bottle of bubbles to make her day more twinkly.

How to create a glitter champagne bottle

All you need is...

Champagne (or in this case I have used some M&S cava as I prefer the taste and the price!)
Sponge or paint brush 
Craft glue 
Glitter of choice 

This really is super quick and easy. Simply sponge or paint glue on to the bottle and sprinkle on glitter. Having tried both, I found that using a paint brush worked so much better. It is more precise and I managed to get a thicker covering of glue (this is important to get a more professional look).  Make sure that you keep sprinkling the glitter until you cannot see any of the bottle. As you can see in the photo below, where the bottle is partially done, it looks far better when the glitter completely covers the champagne. 

How to create a glitter champagne bottle

Another top tip, to add some sparkle to your bubbly, is edible glitter in the bottom of your champagne glass. When the champagne is poured, the bubbles makes the glitter swirl about and keeps doing so until you finish your glass. It really is spectacular! This was a crowd pleaser on my big day and I had endless amounts of people enquiring how I created the effect.

Glitter wedding sparkle
How I miss my sparkly day. I wish you could wear your dress everyday!

Let's hope the weather stays nice for a sparkly wedding day in the sunshine. Congratulations!

Tuesday, 16 July 2013

Customising kitchenware

I thought I would share with you some of the quick customisations I made when I had a spare half an hour last week.

Chalkboard heart mug
Chalkboard heart mug

This was created using Pebeo black chalkboard paint for Porcelain and Pebeo porcelaine fine marker in anthracite black. I painted a chalkboard heart on the mug, so I can alter what I love each day over my morning brew.
Heart shaped cake plate
Heart shaped cake plate

I love to make tasty treats to greet my husband on his return from work (we'll see if this is kept up when I return to work!), so I created this little plate for my baked goods. Again using Pebeo porcelaine marker and heart shaped plate £1.49 from B&M. 

Salad dressing jar
Salad dressing jar

I always use some random jar to put my salad dressing concoctions in (I like to experiment with salad dressing), so I thought I would decorated one jar for this specific purpose. This was again using Pebeo porcelaine marker.

Once I had finished doodling, you let them dry for 24 hours then bake in the oven for 1/2 an hour at 150 ° C.

I've been a very busy crafting girl of late. Eventually I will be able to share some of the things I have been working on, but as most of my friends are turning the big 3-0 this year I'm busy organising and making gifts.  I did have a lovely relaxing weekend of doing very little at my sister's in Wales. As usual there was lots of yummy food and great company. She did a sterling job at getting me to eat some green veg - I was surprised how much I enjoyed her fresh summer salad (recipe here).

Hope you have had a lovely relaxing weekend.

Tuesday, 9 July 2013

Posh chicken nuggets

Posh chicken nuggets

I’m guessing this is not the healthiest tea, but it is delicious. My friends know I’m of a delicate constitution. Quite a sickly young thing – my character would not make it to the end of a Victorian novel. I therefore try to avoid eating takeaways, so made this as an alternative to KFC. My niece also enjoyed a variation of this instead of driving to McDonalds for Chicken McNuggets and French Fries.

1 egg
Bowl of flour (Sorry but not sure of exact measurements – just enough to cover however much chicken)
Chicken breast (Chopped into bite size chunks)
New potatoes
Olive oil.
4 garlic cloves or garlic infused oil.
Your choice of spices (I used a spice mix of paprika, chilli flakes, garlic powder, cayenne pepper, black pepper)
Chicken Oxo.
Salad optional.

Preheat oven at 200° c. Chop your new potatoes into slices and put them on to parboil for 10  mins or until you can stick a fork in . Then put these into the oven in either garlic infused olive oil or put in some whole smashed garlic cloves and olive oil then sprinkle with chicken oxo. Place flour in a bowl and your choice of spices and one Chicken Oxo cube. In another bowl break your egg and mix until egg yolk and white is combined. Put a frying pan on a high heat with some olive oil in. Dip your chopped chicken first into the bowl of egg – wait for the excess to drip off then dip them into your flour mix. Place them in your hot frying pan. Once you have got some colour and outside is crispy turn the heat down and cook until cooked throughout. Serve with salad. If you have an uncertain oven like mine and your chicken is nearly ready and there isn’t colour on your potatoes – stick the grill on for five minutes to finish them.

My salad dressing used here is balsamic vinegar, olive oil, mustard seeds, crushed garlic and pepper.

Sunday, 7 July 2013

My weekly sketch ...Daydreaming

My weekly sketch Daydreaming.

My weekly sketch, of things I love, this week is...Daydreaming. I love to have a little time to myself to have a little daydream. I think about what life will be like when my little boy is older. I dream of owning a small tea rooms, with a craft shop attached, in North Yorkshire. More than all of this though, I truly believe that you need to daydream and take a little time to recharge your mind. We live in a world full of technology to entertain us, which is wonderful, but it can come at a cost of our sanity. We appear to be living in a more stressed society than our grandparents, which bearing mind they lived through two World Wars and a depression, seems a ridiculous notion. When we do have a spare moment, we check our emails or texts or Twitter or Facebook or Pinterest etc or we watch telly or surf the net. This week I have made a conscientious effort to dedicate time to my imagination and creativity or just to simply sitting doing nothing and its been reinvigorating. I asked my husband to give me an hour of craft on Wednesday night and I sat with no music or TV just  melodious silence. I implore you to give your mind a well earned reprise from the hectic life of 2013.

Friday, 5 July 2013

Mollie King Style Crush

My wardrobe is full to the brim with party dresses, ball gowns and other evening attire. I have had a longstanding addiction to buying fancy dresses. I don't know when I thought I was going to go to all of these balls! As a new mum, I am coming to realise that I need more practical clothes. I want smart casual wear that I can dress up or down. I am in love with these cute outfits of Mollie King's. Polka dots, stripes and nudes were always going to be winners in my book! Here's how to recreate these...

Mollie King: Recreate Her Style
1. Black court shoes from Debenhams.
2. Maybelline nail varnish from Superdrug
3. Breton stripe top from Asos
4. Black cigarette trousers from Topshop.

Mollie King: Recreate Her Style
1. Jasper Conran Shoulder Bag from Debenhams
2. Cat's eyes sunglasses from Accessorize
3. Polka dot dress from Mango.
4. Tan leather shoes from Debenhams

Mollie King: Recreate Her Style
1. Knitted jumper from M&S.
2. Rimmel lipstick from Boots
3. White jeans from Topshop.

Wednesday, 3 July 2013

Impromptu tea party

How to throw a girl's tea party

I thought I would share with you some pictures of a last minute tea party I had with my 4 year old niece. I'm always well prepared to throw an impromptu tea party, as I have lots of fabric, lace, tea pots, tea cups and bunting. 

How to throw a girl's tea party

I found these plastic wine glasses at Tesco for £2 for 8.  I decorated them with some stick on pink jewels (99p from The Works) and wrote our names in a fine permanent marker. We drank pink lemonade and some non-alcoholic red grape sparkling wine. 

How to throw a girl's tea party

My niece has quite a sophisticated palate, so no cucumber sandwiches here. She prefers antipasto of olives, cheese and cured meats. That's the key to a great tea party - eating a bit of all of your favourite food.

How to throw a girl's tea party

Cakes, buns, cookies, Haribo sweeties, and hot chocolate with marshmellows for dessert. Yum! 

How to throw a girl's tea party

I'm a huge lover of spices. I had a revelation by putting some spices on the crisps. My mum brings me huge bags of spice mixes from her holidays in Spain and they made a delicious seasoning on my Hula Hoops. My niece was particularly taken by my battery operated heart-shaped twinkly lights (bought from The Range here), so she took these home to decorate her bedroom.

We played pass the parcel, had a little disco and I bought some hama beads to play with. (The beads that you put onto a board and then iron to stick them together into patterns.)

When was your last tea party? 

Monday, 1 July 2013

Experience Barnsley Opening

On Thursday I went to the opening of Experience Barnsley. I was really excited to see what our new Barnsley museum was going to be like. Barnsley Town Hall is such a beautiful piece of architecture. Even though I pass the building most days, I still always stare at it. It looks far too grand for my little hometown. I hoped that the modification of this building had been done with great care and consideration. I wasn't sure what the museum would be like, but it exceeded all of my expectations.

Barnsley Town Hall, Yorkshire

The museum's opening was filled with pomp and ceremony. There was music, an animatronic dinosaur, children's carousel, cricket players walking on stilts...what more could you want from an opening! The Lord Mayor and Dickie Bird were also on hand, but they were not alone in cutting the red ribbon to unveil the museum. There was a huge red ribbon emblazoned with the Experience Barnsley emblem, which they invited people to cut and then keep a section of the ribbon. 

Dickie Bird, Experience Barnsley

Experience Barnsley, Yorkshire

Experience Barnsley, Yorkshire

There has been a remodelling in front of the museum, which will feature fountains (This part of the building work is not complete). Not everyone is in love with the piece of modern art at the front of the town hall, which has been nicknamed the 'nit comb'. It had not been in situ a day before some bright sparks had attempted to scale its heights. Although it is not necessarily in keeping with the aesthetic of the town hall, I do think it adds something a little different to the town centre.

Experience Barnsley, Yorkshire

Experience Barnsley, Yorkshire

The museum has been filled with donations from the people of Barnsley, and I think this is what makes it so engaging for all ages. You feel the lovely warm glow of nostalgia from the second you enter the exhibits. Many of the pieces are personal to Barnsley, but there is also a wider narrative of key events in British history such as World Wars, Roman occupation and the Miner's Strikes. As part of my archaeology degree, I did a module on Modern Archaeology, which was fascinating. In this module, we looked at the importance of museums, and what we should preserve for future generations. As I walked round with my 11 week old son, I realised that my own childhood is now history and looked forward to a time when I can show him the artifacts from my youth. Looking at a school shirt that bad been signed by classmates on the last day of school took me back to my own school days. Museums give us chance to reflect on life throughout the ages. 

Experience Barnsley, Yorkshire

Experience Barnsley, Yorkshire

There was a wonderful atmosphere of community on the day. I enjoyed speaking to other visitors as I wandered round. One gentleman started quizzing me about a photograph of miners, and I was ashamed that my knowledge was scarce. He then went on to tell me many stories as we perused the exhibit. I really think this will be a lovely place for grandparents to take their grandchildren, and to teach them about their heritage. As a Christmas gift, I got my parents a book, available from amazon here, for them to complete for my son about their life, as I regret not sitting and learning more about my grandparent's lives. I cannot wait until my son is old enough to visit the museum with his grandparents.

Experience Barnsley, Yorkshire

The museum is free and open 7 days a week. Opening hours are Monday to Friday 10 a.m. - 5 p.m., Saturday 10 a.m. - 4 p.m. and Sunday 11 a.m. - 4 p.m. There is so much to see that I didn't get chance to see half of it. It includes archives where you can look up your family history, investigate what resided on the land your home now inhabits, etc. There is a gallery holding works of art that have been commissioned and take their inspiration from photographs of old Barnsley residents. I was particularly moved by this part of the museum. There is a section that children will love that has a dress up box, puzzles to complete, and an area where children can dig up artifacts. It also has a blast from my own past - some carousel horses and a car that used to form part of the carousel ride in Barnsley market. The staff are knowledgeable and helpful. I was chatting to one member of staff Michael in the Discovery Centre, who answered my questions and enthused about all of the amazing things to see and experience.

Experience Barnsley, Yorkshire

Experience Barnsley, Yorkshire

I am in love with so many of the items in the gift shop! It has the standard teddybears, pencils, etc with the Experience Barnsley emblem, but also includes so many reproductions of retro and vintage items, and cute little crafty nick nacks. There is also a large range of books about Yorkshire. Speaking of Yorkshire books,  I have been asked to donate the children's books I have written as part of the Barnsley authors section and would be honoured to be included. (I am currently in the process of improving them, but will be donating once complete - plus excited to be creating a Bones The Dog in Yorkshire adventure!)

I really hope that the museum goes from strength to strength and that we all engage with this wonderful project and help it to evolve as our community evolves.

I urge you to go and visit. What is stopping you!