Creative Meet-ups

Recently there has become a bit of a trend to meet-up with other creatives like you for some good old fashioned down time - and we like it. One thing that most creatives do is work by themselves a large part of the time.  They might be full-time working from home or doing a side-line hustle in creating their dream career, but whatever it is, they will most likely need to have a chat with some like-minded people along the way.

Now that's not to say that all creative people need other creative friends all of the time, but sometimes they just get it, that little bit more.  They know how you feel when you wake up in the morning with a brilliant idea and scribble it down in a notebook, or get the fear every time you put out a new product or blog post.  They even get it when you want to document your life through Instagram and it be fun, but then worry your not posting at the right time or interesting to other people, because well, the algorithm!

It is also great to have some downtime away from all the things, but be around like minded people who can help your brain weed through all the stuff and get some sense from discussing it.  Sometimes.  Or just realising by saying it out loud that it just really isn't going to work.

Then, there is the pure fact that we all like to surround ourselves with lovely people and so why not have a meet-up with some of those lovely people.  The ones that usually send you positive vibes in your phone are going to be just as lovely in real life.  We had the pleasure of a little meet-up with the lovely Claire from Claireabellemakes and Kate from DaphneRosa in Cambridge last weekend and it was great to chat creative life as well as just plain the normal stuff and a little random along the way.

We all have the friends that are best at certain aspects of our life, the one you go out out with, the one you tell your deepest thoughts, the one you would watch Pitch perfect with and also there are the ones who you talk creative life stuff with.  I am lucky in that most of these things I get to do with Sammy as my bestie, but we also like to chat to other like-minded people too, I mean we like each other but sometimes we get lost in our own thoughts too.

Who do you like to hang out with for creative joy?  We love catching up with other people at events, so do give us a holla if you see us!   Do you guys ever need a good old catch-up with like-minded people or do you love the escapism of having friends who do the exact opposite of what you do - we love this too.  Aren't we allowed to have it all??? he he.

H, xxx


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New in Handmade June

Here is your monthly round up of all the gorgeous handmade loveliness that has taken our fancy this month. We are lusting hard for these new offerings from our fave designer makers and this month we have some new additions to the maker party as well as new goodies from our mates.

I am just smitten with the gorgeous subtle colours that Sophie uses for her Embroideries by Junk and Glitter which are now available to be personalised with your choice of initial too! Lush!  Talking of embroidery you need to check out Hello Hooray brand new Etsy Shop, it is filled with fun, colourful hoop designs and an epic pattern to have a go at yourself. If you are off to a festival this summer you need to head over to check out some of the jewellery in Mels Etsy Shop I particularly like this Tassel Necklace by Little Gems by Mel but I also love her wrap bracelets too.  I have shared Sarah's 'Spread the Love' hearts on toast pin before but there are new additions to the toast brooch family including everyone's fave Avocado Toast! Brooch by Rock Cakes. I am loving all the fun patches coming out at the moment, it makes me feel like a girl guide again. Kim's Pads Before Lads Patch by Finest Imaginary is right at the top of my wishlist, you know how important my fur babies are to me. You also may know both H and I are acrylic jewellery fans and I am a big fan of this awesome Unicorn Necklace by Miroo who is also a new to me find! Last but not least my pic of the pins this month are of course these epic Planner Pins by Claireabellemakes!! This amazing spinning Crafty Decision Pin by Fickle Craft Room and obviously Mint Icosahedron Pin by Geo Heaven.

If you fancy a crafty read, head over to check out how Rachel got on with her 30 Create challenge on www.elistonbutton.com and see how she got on with her 30 before 30 challenge. Well done Rachel!

Phew! I hope that is enough to keep you going for another month.

If you are a designer maker and want to have your newest goodies in next months post get in touch and we will add you to our facebook group.

Sammy xxx


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Quick DIY's for Dad

Mini Trophies by andweplay.com // DIY medals by andweplay.com  //  Doughnut cake and topper by ohhappyday.com  //  Kids Wall Art by projectnursery.com         

How cute are these Dad's day treats, any father would be happy to receive these hand-crafted gifts this Sunday. You know we love adding a personal touch to our DIY's and these all have multiple ways to make each one special to your father figure.

These two are my particular favourites though, these cookies are so fun, and you could spell out any word you like, also a great one to do with the kids and let them decorate them. This adorable embroidered letter is just so sweet, a simplified version using your little one's handwriting with a simple 'I love you Dad' would be quicker to stitch up in a hurry but have just as much sentiment.


Rad Dad cookies by tellloveandparty.com  //  Stitched Note by urbancomfort.typepad.com

What do you have planned for the weekend? We are off to spend some quality time with our Dads, hope you get to do the same.

Sammy xxx


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Let's Talk about: Now Blog Conference

Well, hello there! and how are you doing this week?  It has been a bit of a slog over the last few weeks for us with the weather and just time!  Where do the days go I want to know!  I thought that all this extra daylight should help make it feel like there are extra hours in the day, not so much!  

Anyway, that's not really what we are here to talk about, what we wanted to chat about was the NOW Blog Conference coming the way for everyone north of Watford Gap! ha ha.  The Lovely Nicolette from Archie and the Rug and Kimberley from Swoon Worthy with their team of helpers are bringing the wonderful world of blog conferences to all those up North and anyone else who fancies trying out somewhere different to London.

The Venue chosen for the weekend is Victoria Baths in Manchester which is just up the road from the Whitworth Art Gallery - I think I might well find myself there at some point in the weekend!  As if I need any more art gallery in my life! ha ha.  The venue is beautiful, full of Victorian features and green tiles - I do love tiles.   Also, I am super into going to give Manchester all the love after what happened a few weeks ago.

But enough about the interior stuff, what you really want to know is who is going to be speaking!  Well, just this little lot that's who: Sophie Robinson - TV personality & Interior Designer, Emma Chapman and Trey George from A Beautiful Mess - as if you don't know who they are! Igor & Judith from Urban Jungle Bloggers - bloggers and friends who just love plants, Carole Poirot - a Stylist and Photographer and finally but by no means least, Jen Stanbrook - a blogger and Pinterest expert.  Phew!  that should keep us going for a couple of days.

Alongside this, there will be brands to meet, workshops to try out and of course lots of other creative bloggers to chat to.  So a full on Friday to Sunday plan!  Maybe that trip to the Whitworth will have to wait till the Monday!

We are really excited to be going to the event, with our trusty notebooks and planners in hand.  We are also planning to take some secret new things with us, so watch out for announcements on those.  We can't wait to hear what advice and passion we can gleam from other people to enthuse us to make our 6th year of blogging this year into more and more years.

You can pick up tickets for the event over on the NOW Blog Conference Website, which there are still some Early bird tickets left for £90 for the whole weekend! oh yes!

Let us know if you are going to be there, so we can say hello!

H, xxx

Disclaimer: We have been given free tickets to this event and been asked to publisise it, but have not been asked to write anything we do not feel that is true to what we know.  We are really looking forward to this event and will write an honest and open review after the conference.


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New in HandMade May

New in Handmade is back, we had a little break but we are back to fill you in on our fave new releases from our maker friends.  First up is this fun Happy Place Print print by ElistonButton, we love Rachel's colourful prints! May is getting us all a bit wedding happy round here, H always has loads to attend, if you are getting married these awesome Bride to Be Bags by Puptart are a perfect hen party accessory and the latest gorgeous YAY cake topper from Rachel Emma Studio is the epitome of wedding chic. We missed out on seeing the girls from Frilly Industries when they were at Pulse in London recently but we made sure to keep an eye on their shop as we knew something wonderful was coming, we LOVE these Snow Globe Necklaces girls!!

A lot of Father's day cards I have been seeing in the shops lately are really soppy, and I love my Dad and all but sometimes simple is just what you need, we love these Fathers Day cards by DaphneRosa.

I am in the process of re-decorating our Kitchen and I am hunting for new art, so this Botanical letter print by Ingrid Petrie caught my eye and I love this Hello banner by Cotton Clara, a last cheeky selfish purchase that is totally summer ready are these Gin and Lime earrings by Hello Sunshine

Don't forget that Adventures and Tea Parties Instagram challenge starts tomorrow! Even if you don't join in, this challenge will be a feed highlight this month with the challenge based on colour, yum!

That's it for May, don't forget if you are interested in having your new products featured, get in touch. We are headed to Craftacular this weekend so that's our crafty boxes ticked, what about you??

Sammy xxx


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Accidental Dairy Free treats



Something a little different for you today.  Sure we love our crafts but along the way we need to eat and knowing what treats to keep you going are a winner for us.

I was diagnosed with a cows milk protein intolerance about 3 years ago now, which was a shock to the system when I first had to cut out milk, cheddar, yoghurt and biscuits!!!  But, along the way I have found out that there are plenty of alternatives, of course the free from section is an important part of my life in whatever supermarket I find myself in - if a little expensive, but you know what, finding those accidental dairy free items is a bit of a passion of mine too - who knew that finding a bonus food would be a winner with me! ha ha

Now, I am quite lucky that I don't have to worry about gluten too, or that if I was vegan, I would not be able to have most of these things either, so just the cows milk problem for me.

First up, shall we start with the savoury? and lets start with lunch time on-the-go problems.  It can be a nightmare to find something for lunch if you are out and about, but alot of places have items that if you just check the ingredients, are free from dairy.  This Chicken salad sandwich from Sainsburys is a good example.  Pret also have a great allergen guide which you can look up online and lots of lovely symbols next to all their products in store so you can see easily.  These are usually my go to places, if I have not been organised enough to make my own!   Or sometimes when I just want something I know is tasty and is little effort I go for the Maggi instant noodles, way nicer than super noodles and I just love the spicy sweet chilli ones.

Later, when you get home and you can't be bothered to cook a full meal - lazy I know and I never normally advocate ready meals, but sometimes needs must and I know that not everyone enjoys cooking from scratch.  I am normally a beans on toast kinda girl when its a late work night, but just in case you can always pick up a katsu curry from sainsburys which contains no dairy.

But if you have cooked up a storm and just want a little something something to go with it, Sainsburys garlic bread or the Indian snack selection are other winners.  By the way this post is not sponsored by Sainsburys, but it does happen to be my nearest supermarket and has alot of products that happen to be accidentally dairy free.

For a savoury snack to take around your mates for chips and dips night perhaps, you can go for my personal favourite of Barbecue Pringles or try something new like these Manomasa crisps.  Always check the packets though as not all the flavours are dairy free and sometimes they like to change the recipe, we gotta keep an eye out of those recipe lists when dairy free.  Improved recipes are not our friend!

Now, to my favourite part, the sweet snacks!  These are great for taking over to friends, so they don't go all 'I don't like free from food' on you and also to keep you going while crafting, or just because.

Biscuits come first as I always like to have a packet in my cupboard.  I think biscuits being dairy free have sometimes been my most surprising accidental dairy free foods, just like most own brand bourbons and of course the wonderful Oreos are dairy free, even Vegans eat Oreos so it must be ok, plus the mint versions are like eating mint penguin bars, winner!

If you are more of a cake fan, don't worry, I have you covered.  Tesco own brand Cherry Bakewells and Emmas cakes - I found them in Sainsburys, are going to be your saviours!

Lastly, but by no means least, if you want to treat yourself for a weekend breakfast, then you can buy one of the Jus roll products, the cinnamon swirls are a particular fave of mine, but also the Pain au chocolate is dairy free too -  yes really.

These are by no means all of the things that are accidentally dairy free, I am an avid watcher of instagram and blog posts by vegan and free from bloggers who always seem to know what is the next thing.  I have also chosen products which I like, but by no means will they be to everyone's taste.

As someone who has to think about what to eat when out or just wants to not have to make everything from scratch all the time, some of these products really do help.  What's your favourite?  Or do you have something I should try, I would love to know.

H,xxx


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