Monday, 6 February 2017

A Few Random Thoughts - Feb 2017

Hi everyone, well it's been a while hasn't it, has anyone even noticed I don't know or has everyone been too busy with the start of this year going so fast already!  I was chatting to a friend the other night and I went to say to her, I can't believe we're half way through January already and then I thought hold on it's the 4th of Feb today, like what, when did that happen!?!

This year so far, has been one big ball of stress, my sleeping pattern has been all over the place, even worse than usual and mine is pretty bad anyway!  And I just feel like I haven't even had time or chance to think about my own stuff, my health, my plans or my blog!  I started this year feeling so incredibly positive and hopeful and full of ambition but so far I literally feel like it's all been put on hold and the way things have been going, it's all been the opposite!

Admittedly, it's not been all bad, there's been a couple of things that have progressed and are looking good for the future and one big stress that started the year off with a big black cloud over my life, which hopefully (fingers crossed) is now clearing to let the light through again!

But in the midst of it all, I feel like I'm floundering, I don't know if I've taken too much on, I don't have enough time or energy to focus on the things I need to focus on and honestly, all I want to do right now is sleep, but I have SO many things I need to get done, and want to get done!!

Just because half my plans are on hold, I'm still feeling so ambitious and ready to take on the year.  I want to get back to blogging every week like I used to and I want to put my all in to the other couple of projects I've assigned myself to this year #2017goals!

So what's next you ask (and I constantly ask myself), one job at a time, that's what.  And as for the stuff that's not in my control, what's the good in worrying about it.  I've literally made myself ill with stress the last couple of weeks with several big stress-balls, one may hopefully be sorting itself out but as for the other, it's not for me to sort and even though it will affect my life and plans for my near future, all I can do is take one day at a time and concentrate on the things I can do something about!

I tell myself all this and I'm really desperately trying to stay positive. . . So far, it's not working out too well, but all I can do, all you can ever do is keep trying :-)

Until Next Time Stay Happy

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Thursday, 19 January 2017

What I Got Your Christmas 2016

Hi everyone, firstly I know this is going up stupidly late and Christmas is now almost a distant memory but I still really wanted to upload this post, the main reason I didn't upload it before is because I ended up having an unplanned break from blogging, mostly because I've been ill and also because a gift from one of my friends had not arrived until this week and I really wanted to include it in this post!

So, after all that, here is what I got for Christmas.  As usual I am showing you all these bits because I am very happy and grateful to have received them and I just want to share my gifts with my readers, I am in no way bragging or anything like that.  Disclaimer done!

First off I got this lovely Tatty Teddy calendar.  I always have either one of these or a Boofle one like last year and I write on them every single day what I've done that day.

I'm not a fussy-nail-girl, I'm not honestly bothered about painting them or anything like that, but I do love my nails smooth and nicely shaped, so I'm longing to try this out and I think it'll save me a lot of time.

I was really happy with these two beautiful necklaces, the heart locket is so pretty and delicate and I think the hedgehog necklace is sooo cute.  I saw it in Asda a couple of weeks before Christmas and fell in love with it but when I went in the week after, they had all sold out, so I was very excited to receive it :-)  Also it means a lot to me because it reminds me of our dear little rescue hedgehog Wilf, that passed away in September last year.

These cosy pajamas are so incredibly soft and I just love the long sleeve top, I think I'm going to be wearing these a lot!

This is one of the gifts I actually asked for.  As many of you know I love baking and I've already tried out a couple of Tanya recipes, so I'm really looking forward to having a proper look through this and (hopefully) coming up with some new tasty treats!

I have plans for this one, I was so happy to receive it and I know exactly where it's going to go in my room, I'm longing to get it set up.  I just love these shaped lights, I think they're so decorative and make little corners of your room very 'instagram-worthy' :-)

This was the only other item I asked for.  I've really got interested in scrapbooking and journaling lately, I love to do crafting anyway as you know and I've noticed these planners getting very popular lately, so there's tones of inspiration online.  I love all the bits that go with these planners too, like the sticker sheets and pretty patterned papers and I'm looking forward to setting some time aside to start decorating and using my lovely new planner.  I already have a theme in mind and a particular use for it.  And once I have finished and decorated it, I will do a post all about it to show you.

How cute are these!!  And perfect for this cold weather we're still having.  They're super soft and really comfy too, I love the little faces!

I also love this adorable teddy, as you might remember from my last couple of Christmas gift posts, I'm always given a teddy bear every single year, it's become a long standing tradition since I was about 3 years old.  So this little one is this years teddy :-)

Christmas wouldn't be Christmas without having a ton of chocolate!  I had some lovely bits including this adorable little handmade sweet shop, that my best friend made for me.  She made the box and added these pretty little glass jars filled with different chocolates, which was a really, really lovely and thoughtful idea!

I also received these bits from friends.  I just love the Zoella items (the key chain already has pride of place on my favourite bag) and the necklace is really beautiful.  The book with the teddy on is actually a fold out photo album which can be stood up too and the little teddy pictures are really cute.

This is the gift I was waiting for before I uploaded this post.  Not the best photos of it, sorry about that, I wanted to photograph it as soon as I got it home.  I am so, so happy with it!  Again as you know, big TWD/Daryl Dixon fan, so I was thrilled when I open the package.  I love the big wings on the back and I'm really excited to wear it in a couple of months time!! (More on that soon...)

Finally, there is this gift that I received, this was something that I've been desperately wanting for quite a long time, it's part paid for by me and part given as a gift, which I am so grateful for.  As I mentioned in my Life Lately post, I have been wanting to start doing youtube videos for a couple of years now but just haven't had the confidence 
to start doing it (among other reasons) but a couple of months ago, I decided I was finally ready to make a start, so all through December I started vlogging, just on my phone to get me used to filming, editing and so on but I still desperately wanted a good camera to both vlog with and record proper 'main-channel' videos with.  So I researched and researched and found this one.

I just love that it has a flip up screen, it's a lovely sleek white colour and feels really nice to hold.  I've heard many good things about it; I'm told it's very easy to use, very reliable, great focus and ideal for filming because of the interchangeable lens and great audio.  I also recently bought a nice little tripod and a couple of extra sd cards, so no excuses now!  I am waiting a little longer for something bigger that's going to be happening during the follow months, but once that's happened (can't say what right now), I will be up and running and filming properly.  I can't wait!

I'm also going to be uploading an unboxing video for you to see in the next week or so, as I've literally just got the camera out the box yesterday just to take pictures for this post.  So I need to finish filming and editing that over the next week and I will let you guys know on my social media when it's up.

As always, I hope you liked this post, please leave me a comment and let me know what your best or favourite gift was that you received this Christmas :-)

Until Next Time Stay Happy

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Sunday, 25 December 2016

Christmas Snowflake Biscuits

Hi everyone, I can't believe it's Christmas already, where has this month gone, in fact this whole year has been a blur!  Anyway, the other day I made these very pretty Snowflake biscuits.  When I made them last year, they were ok not great but this time I've made them with slightly different ingredients and I can honestly say, they taste amazing!

So if you fancy having a go at making them ready for Christmas, keep on reading and I'll show you how :-)

(click to enlarge)

Once you've gathered up your ingredients, measure out the butter (best used at room temperature) and the sugar.

I usually use my trusty food mixer but this time I thought I'd have a go at mixing the ingredients in a bowl instead, just to see if they would come out any better.  Mix the two together until they're nice and smooth.

Measure out the flour.  You can also add baking powder and salt if you like but I forgot to add these and it didn't seem to make any difference!  Add the flour to the sugar/butter mixture, a little at a time and blend together until you have a soft dough.  If it seems very crumbly and dry, add a splash of milk and mix it in well.  Mine seemed ok, so I didn't add any milk.

Now tip the dough out on to a lightly floured board and roll it nice and evenly with a rolling pin, I would advise using a wooden rolling pin or a ceramic one with a little flour on it, I couldn't find my new ceramic one so had to use my glass one again, and like last year, the dough kept sticking to it even though I kept adding flour!  Such a pain.

Moving on to the next stage, cut out as many snowflake shapes as you can, I did 8 large and 10 small, just so I had a couple of spares and thankfully just had enough dough.

Put the shapes on a lightly floured baking tray and put them in the oven on 150ยบ for about 20-25 minutes or until golden brown and firm.  You may need to rotate the trays half way through so they cook evenly.  With my weird oven however, I had to cook them for nearly 45 mins but just keep checking them and go by how they look.

When they're done, either leave the tray on the side and cover with a tea towel to cool or if you can (without them breaking), carefully lift the biscuits off the tray and lay them on a wire rack.

When the biscuits are completely cooled, you can start decorating them.  To make up the icing, measure approximately 4 tablespoons of icing sugar in to a bowl and gradually add teaspoonfuls of luke-warm water, mix really well until you have a smooth paste, don't have it too thick or too runny.

Add spoonfuls of the icing in to a piping bag and just snip off the very tip, only about 2-3mm down, so you get a nice thin line.

You could use food colour if you want and do a different pattern, have a look on pinterest or google images there's a hundred and one ideas!  I wanted to make the small snowflakes stick to the big ones, so I just added a little icing to the bottom of the small one like using a glue, and stuck them in place.  Then I just carefully decorated them.  You could also add sprinkles, chocolate flakes or little 'hundreds & thousands' or just keep them simple whatever you like really.

One thing I will say, I think it really helped using the raw cane sugar instead of regular white sugar, it gave the biscuits are much more crunchy baked taste, it's also supposed to be alot better for you as well, as it is natural sugar and not bleached which has a lot of chemicals in, so extra bonus points for that too.


I hope you like this post.  If you fancy having a go at making these biscuits, please send me your pics on Twitter @DaniJ72 I'd love to see them :-)  I hope you all have a wonderful Christmas whatever you're doing and who ever you're spending it with xxx
Until Next Time Stay Happy

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Tuesday, 20 December 2016

The Unicorn Lover's Gift Guide

Hi everyone, there's been so many great gift guides going around lately but I wanted to do something a little more specific, and what better theme to use than Unicorns!! :-)

Most of these items are found on ebay or amazon, with a few exceptions but best of all they are all under £10.  I myself love anything with unicorns on and I know several of my friends do too, but I think pretty much everyone loves the unicorn theme right now.  I found SO many amazing and lovely items online, from loads of different places and in different price ranges, but I thought these few were some of the nicest, most affordable and most easily available so you may even still have chance to get something for a special someone before Xmas comes around!

All the links to all the items are listed below, and everything is currently in stock as I upload this post, I've just double checked for you :-)

As always, I hope you liked this post and you found your friends or yourself a few nice little treats.  Let me know in the comments which item was your favourite, I already have the beautiful plaque so it has to be the little shaped unicorn keyring, although I do love the New Look purse oh and the slippers and the makeup bag, well all of it really lol :-)
Until Next Time Stay Happy
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Saturday, 17 December 2016

Life Lately December 2016

Hi everyone, I wasn't originally going to upload a post this week but there's a few things I just wanted to talk about.  Now when I say a few, I would advise you to go and get a cuppa and get comfy, this post turned out to be a lot longer than planned, sorry! :-)
Firstly, a little health update.  As some of you may remember I recently told you about a few tests I had to go for.  One was for another lump I found in my boob, I had to have a biopsy done, which thankfully turned out to be all clear (you can read all about my other breast lump experience here and the update here).  Also I had to have an MRI scan a couple of months ago, to try and find out what's causing all the pain in my stomach, again that came back all clear but I'm still waiting on a few other test results too.  I've also got anaemia again (long running issue with me), so I'm waiting to get treatment for that.  And finally, I've been told I have to have an endoscopy (camera on a tube down the throat in to the stomach, for those who don't know).  I can't say I'm looking forward to that one, bit nervous to be honest and I'm not sure when I'll get the results, but I'll let you all know what happens when I do.

On a happier note, I've been quite proud of myself over the last couple of weeks as I've been keeping very busy with new projects.  One being getting back in to jewellery making, which I haven't done in a while, I've really enjoyed sorting out all my charms and making up some new bead bracelets, I also bought a few new beads in Hobbycraft last week, so I'm excited to use them.

I've also been working on some new sets of greeting cards, which is something I used to do alot years ago and although I still make them every year for the Making Cards Christmas Special issues, I haven't made any others for probably a few years.  So this last week, I've been making a few new cards (you may have seen some sneeky pics on my instagram) and I plan on working on several more sets to send in.  I'm really pleased with how they've turned out so far and I'm really looking forward to making some more.

Also, I spent about 3 hours one evening about a week and a half ago and pretty much taught myself how to edit videos with Windows Movie Maker.  It's something I've never done, because I've never really needed to, until now!  Why you may be thinking, well drum roll please I have started vlogging, ahh yes I have finally joined the world of youtube, I've updated my channel, changed the name and uploaded a new header, all great exciting things.  I've been wanting to do this for so long, I'm talking a couple of years or more, so a couple of weeks ago I just thought, that's it time to start.  I've been loving watching other peoples vlogs and I'm really, really loving and enjoying the editing process, I've learnt a lot and I hope they've turned out not too bad!

I'm just using my phone's camera at the moment but I'm hoping to get a proper new vlogging camera very soon, so for now the picture quality is not the best.  Also, I'm doing it in a bit of a different way to the usual style, I found it generally easier all round to start off with and to help get me in the swing of doing it (you'll see what I mean).  I quite like it, I'm hoping to progress a lot more over the coming weeks but mainly I really hope you like it.

But can I just ask you to please go and have a look and let me know what you think, tell me any ways you think I could improve and generally if it's boring or not, it's ok, be honest!  I really don't do a great lot during the day, especially if I'm having a fibro-day and I don't go out as often as I'd like (really not selling myself here am I oh well), but I thought it would just be a little addition to my blog, it would show you a little more of my life and what goes on and maybe it would help me get used to filming, editing and hopefully build my confidence up for what I have planned next spring ;-)  So I hope you will mosey on over to my channel and have a watch, like it if you do, please leave constructive comments and if you're really crazy and actually like it and want to see more, then subscribe as well, and that would make me extremely happy :-D  You can find my channel here.

Following on the youtube theme, I just wanted to mention a couple of youtubers that I've recently discovered (including a new youtuber), and a few others that I really have been loving watching, ones that have gone from 'just someone new to watch', to the only ones I want to make time to see!

First off is Just Jodes, I found her through another lovely girl called Becca Rose who I've been watching for years, Jodie just seems to do just the kind of videos I fancy watching, she's funny, sweet, interesting and I just generally like her.  She's replied to some of my comments on her videos and been really nice and I've really been enjoying her daily vlogs too.

I've also been looking forward to telling you about new youtuber Pinkstar Helz.  You may recognize her from many of my instagram pics and blog posts, as she is my lovely bff Helen.  I'm so happy and so proud of her for finally starting her channel, I think she's doing a great job so far and I know she'll continue to do really well with her channel.  So please go and watch her videos, like and subscribe to her if you haven't already :-)

As for the other's that's kept me entertained, I've also been watching Gabby, Mark, Hannah, Chyaz and Lucy, and one of my absolute favs, the lovely Corrie.

Just a few other little thoughts:
Why does your nose itch when you brush your teeth, or is that just me!
Am I the only one who doesn't have any Christmas decorations up yet?
I miss the summer.
Where's Carol when you need her, she needs to come back and kick Negan's ass!
How come one minute everything can be going according to plan and the next, you're having one shitty day!
Am I the only one who seriously misjudges time, I always severely underestimate how long things are going to take to do.

As always I hope you like this post.  Please leave me a comment below and let me know who your favourite youtubers are at the moment and any other random thought you like :-)
Until Next Time Stay Happy

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