Since my post ‘here we are in November’ we have been getting so busy with getting ready for Christmas and getting my business up and running. So its no surprise that we were super excited to start the festive trips that we aim to get to each year, and Keydell nurseries was no exception. When it comes to Christmas, Garden Centres, are one of the most popular places to visit. As most centres make a special effort for the Christmas season.
Keydell is a nursery (garden centre) in Horndean, Hampshire and is a lovely place to visit any time of the year, however, we do make a special annual trip there for a Christmasy family day and to walk around their beautiful displays.
So what is The woodland walk…
Keydell’s woodland walk is a beautiful Christmas walk around with so much to look at all around you. The staff at keydell should be so proud of what they have created.
The woodland walk itself is under £5 per person, and well worth the money to get in at any age. You can find the ticket prices on their website here.
Each area is themed so differently to the next, it is very obvious how much effort the staff have gone into with these displays by the sheer amount of detail, and imaginative stories these scenes tell.
With adorable characters that sing and move, the smell of tinsel, pretty tinkering lights, glitter and everything else has filled the room with such a festive atmosphere. It is impossible not to be sucked into the Christmas excitement. You can tell how popular the nursey is at this time of year, as we were eager and took our trip on the 23rd of November. The whole place was already busy with plenty of people walking around seeing the magic of Keydell at Christmas.
I would definitely suggest if you are thinking about taking a trip to Keydell, you need to have your camera ready for shooting, because there are so many photo opportunities on the walk, for example, a model Santa where you can sit on his lap. Cute right?
After we spent almost an hour around the trail we then spent another hour looking at all the beautiful Christmas decorations that Keydell have available to buy in-store. There are literally thousands of ornaments, light sets and Christmasy decor. It’s OK. We managed not to spend too much money, but that was so hard. I could picture so many of the decks making the house look pretty.
We really had such a lovely day!, I would love to hear if you have had an experience visiting Keydell, Or do you know somewhere else that is well worth the journey to go and see Christmas magic!
I have always had a massive passion for owning and admiring tons of different stationery. Literally I’m so obsessed with what stationary I own and I have so much of it. My favourite kind of sale is the back to school sales! where there is so much option of what you can buy!
I admit to owning a crazy massive selection of stationary but still always finding an excuse and reason to buy more. Especially notebooks. I store most things on my craft cart but I still end up spreading out to numerous boxes and drawers. Planners, Pens, notebooks, pads, There’s so much to need!
So here are my 20 signs that you are also addicted to stationary…
❥ You already own enough stationary to keep you going for 10 years but you still can’t avoid buying something new every time you get to the stationary aisle.
❥ You see an Instagram of some beautiful stationery whilst scrolling through, to then need to spend hours searching for the same so you can buy it.
❥ You brought a pretty pen but you can’t use it because it doesn’t write very well, but you keep it anyway. So you keep it for a special occasion.
❥ You have the ability to organise your stationery into 100s of different types. (Best, pretty, colour, size. etc.)
❥ When you are starting a new project so need to go out and buy new stationery. It’s not like you already own enough.
❥ You feel fury when the pen you’ve been using has seeped into the next page of your beautiful notebook.
❥ Your collection of unused notebooks is already taking over your room but you just can’t help but buy lovely notebooks. They are all so pretty and maybe one day you will find a use for them all.
❥ When It comes to buying stationery gifts for others that you then like, you need to buy 2 sets because you have to own it too.
❥ You finally need to start a new notebook for your latest project, but before you can start you need to decide which notebook to use, which one’s gonna be perfect for this project. It takes ages to decide because you have way too much to pick from.
❥ Your buying a new notebook that is so pretty that you will never want to write in it.
❥ All your friends and family tell you that you already have enough stationery, and you just can’t believe them.
❥ You have already used too much space for your stationery and you need to make more room for the new things that you keep buying.
❥ You buy more pencil cases then you do handbags.
❥ You feel a rush of excitement when you walk into your favourite shop s to buy stationary and they have a new range in.
❥ You constantly take photos of your stationery looking rather admirable.
❥ having a clear-out of stationery is mission impossible and most likely ends in tears.
❥ You talk about stationary way too much.
❥ half your hobbies revolve around owning more and more stationary and reasons why you need to buy more.
❥ you have a separate place for boring plain stationery and it’s separate to all of the pretty stuff.
❥ going to a new place often means a fancy new pen in the gift shop saying where you’ve been.
For a bit of fun I thought I would share with you guys some random facts that you probably don’t know about me, probably ones that your don’t want to know either. Sharing is caring they say though. You may have already gotten to know me a bit in my previous post ‘The A to Z of me’ so I’ve tried to keep my facts as different as I possibly can.
So… 21 things you probably don’t already know about me are…
♥ My full name is Alexandra Jade, and although it is disputably a beautiful name, I feel like I am being told off when I am being called Alexandra!
♥ I got engaged to my beautiful girl at Disneyland Paris this February, we’ve not had an easy beginning in our relationship and have definitely been put through shit times. Just makes me so much more exited to make so many more memories & call her my wife.
♥ My favourite flower is a sunflower! They make me feel so happy.
♥ I have experienced 7 trips in an ambulance. Too many trips to the hospital and I pretty much live in the Doctors surgery! I have a condition called LPHS which is short for Lion Pain Hematuria Syndrome, PCOS, IBS, and I have issues with my stomach.
♥ I change my hair a lot! I’ve even now gone back to purple! I am constantly changing the colour of my hair! It had been numerous shade of brown and blonde for a long time now.
♥ I am terrified of spiders! Living on a farm the past few years has definitely improved my phobia, but as soon as I see a big dark one, I am squealing.
♥ My favourite superhero is Wonder Woman! (I even own a Lego Wonder Woman clock)
♥ I love nail art! I have my own collection of Gel polish! and a lovely UV lamp. I think I secretly wanted to be a nail technician at one point!
♥ I spent 3 years of my childhood in and out of a wheelchair having had corrective surgery on my legs.
♥ My favourite genre of films is a horror! I mean I love films all the time, but I would much rather sit back and watch a horror than a total romance most of the time!
♥ My career path has been pretty erratic! from working in a shop, being an outdoors activity instructor, childcare, security and office work! I was never very good at staying on one path!
♥ Odd socks freak me out. Matching pairs all the way.
♥ I still love Hello Kitty! I swear I’ll never grow up!
♥ My go-to film when I am feeling poorly is ‘Cinderella story’… Yep! and after that, Music and lyrics.
Never let the fear of striking out keep you from playing the game.
Cinderella story – and my favourite quote.
♥ When I was little I dreamt of becoming a marine biologist! that was shortly outlived when I was at school and discovered I hated Science class.
♥ I am a list writer and an obsessive planner. I love to double write them too. I can have a list for any occasion.
♥ My favourite food is sushi.
♥ I love to work and strive on being productive.
♥ So far in my life I have visited 5 countries… I’m dying to travel so much more.
♥ I am really good at over analysing things. I can never really turn my brain off
I would love to hear your random facts about yourself. Maybe you can relate to something I have written! Let’s get to know each other better.
Happy November! Is anyone else feeling pretty excited that its less than 2 months till Christmas now? which means its even less time till the Christmas decorations come out! EEEE, I love the day that we put our tree up! I can not wait. October sped by us pretty quickly. Ofcourse, hoping that you all had a spooky Halloween! Yesterday we had brilliant fun, as we went trickle treating and carved pumpkins yesterday with friends.
November has come as almost a shock, not even realising October had flown past so fast, bad I know. This year has really sped by under the circumstances. I feel like it has only been 5 minutes since we were getting back from the most amazing adventures at Disney Land Paris. God that was a good time! I wish I was back at that moment, I went there with a girlfriend and came back to be honoured to call her my Fiancé.
As some of you already know or read back in past posts, I have had a complete rollercoaster of time lately. Especially with my health taking a massive nose dive back in February. After countless visits to the doctor’s surgery and hospital, Major surgery and constant flow of scans. I can still say I am none the wiser really with what has been wrong, or is wrong with me now.
With the major disappointing time with leaving my job, I have finally begun to put myself out for some major changes. I have been spending some time, writing business plans, countless lists, and getting the business ready I am taking the massive leap of faith. Heading into the world of the self-employed! (Argh, I know right! Whoah, Brave?)
So what will I be doing for work?
Since it is me that is talking here, I am pretty sure, that you know that it isn’t going to be completely straight forward. I’m going to be doing a mixture of things, including buying and selling, continuing with my blog & craft. Since I got my Cricut, I am crafting even more than ever before. I am also working on a special project right now! But I will be keeping this completely secret! It is basically a watch this space kind of things. Taking this time in my leap forward to appreciate everything that I already have, every experience that I have received and using them to build and grow.
Obviously I am well aware that this is going to be far from an easy ride but I have my motivated and determined cap on. Im already getting myself ready to learn more skills, and practice the ones I already have. (like the organisation and the book keeping).
So what are my goals this November?
To continue to remain focused on building my business, and not give up on what I am doing!
To bring more blog posts per week and get organised to media and content.
Craft more! I’m hoping to be doing some fairs around Christmas, to sell what I have already created.
Make an Etsy store!
Take every opportunity that comes at me!
Thats enough for now right?
So that is it for now! and To be honest, I think that those goals are pretty big enough to keep me going for more than a month, well that’s the plan anyway. All I can say now is bring on December! when it gets even busier.
I admit it, I am a complete hobby addict. A creative anyway person, but always looking at new crafts, making new things, and making old things pretty. I could sit here and blame Pinterest, as this has become a real enabler for me. Finding so many things that inspire me just by scrolling for hours on that app. Seriously the time flies by and my brain is overwhelmed with ideas. In the past few months, life has been more than a bit of a rollercoaster of emotions. During this time I have found myself escaping to my craft desk. I like to keep busy playing with my Cricut and spending time in my own world creating different things. I cannot think of anything else that is more therapeutic and fun. Looking back the past few months and looking at all the things I have created lately it hit me. I believe that crafting has a majorly positive impact on my mental health! By having hobbies connecting to craft in my life, I have had a method of keeping myself winning.
Something so simple…
It shouldn’t be a major shock. This is hardly a massive revolution I have had. However, it really has gotton me to think about myself, my health, and my mindstate. I thought I would share my thoughts on how craft can lead to positive mental attitude. So how can starting a craft hobby help your mental health? Let’s start by remembering that a hobby that falls in any arts and crafts category could be absolutely anything. The possibilities are endless and most people are able to find something that is compatible for themselves. There are so many reasons that by starting a new hobby in the crafting world will have a positive impact on yourself and your mental health
Getting your creative juices flowing.
Just by starting a new creation or project, The creative juices in your brain are forced into action from the get go. No matter what it is that you are busy with, your craft is the doorway to a million other doors.
Once you start something your mind becomes a mental mind-map of what else you can do. From seeing something in a shop you could use to create something amazing, to taking something old and making it even better than before. You are constantly find something new that you will want to get your hands on, or even find ways to make different ideas collaborate and expand. When you are creating something the world is your oyster. There is so much too do and so little time.
Even when you are out of ideas I suggest a quick trip to Pinterest and within minutes you can be inspired by something and thinking up your own unique way to create a similar project.
Being able to unwind and relax.
There have been so many times that I have seen someone say ‘Do some colouring’, and say how colouring can be a good distraction from real life and easily therapeutic. It’s not so different to having a craft hobby. With colouring your taking your choice to pencil, your choice of colour and your decorating something nice. Craft is the same except your probably grabbing the scissors, warming up the hot glue gun and sprinkling glitter and turning an idea into creations.
I have always felt that when I am able to get really engaged into a project it really can have such a positive effect on myself and my stress levels soon shrink. If you read my previous post on why the Cricut is any crafters best friend, You May remember I mention my love for vinyl projects, like a lot. I have a passion for printing complex and fiddly designs and spend hours weeding the excess vinyl away. It does take time and patience but this can be so relaxing. what could be better then finding a new hobby that can be used as a distraction from reality. Leaving my problems and stress behind. I always call my desk my little craft bubble, because when I am there I am in my own happy place.
I know that I’ve already mentioned being creative but for me expression is a whole different chapter in the book of creativity. Being able to express your feelings creatively is such a powerful and amazing device to consider. There are so many different options that can be inspired by what we are feeling. Pairings, art journals, scrapbooking, drawing and uplifting. just to name a few things that you can use your emotions to empower your creations. From using colours and pictures to reflect your mood, to using tools to manipulate objects and change them to your own envisions. You will be able to find so many new ways to express yourself and your feelings.
During the years my crafting experiences have had so many positive impacts on me. I try to think of most projects as a creative challenge. being able to throw yourself in to something you can enjoy leads to positive energy. There is something so amazing about that feeling that you get when you are inspired by a new idea, when you found a solution to a tricky crafting nightmare, the experiences of learning new things and different ways to do things, and that final moment, Meanwhile the hours that you have spent creating something is finally finished. That feeling of being proud of yourself, for what you have achieved.
And some awesome finished projects … eventually.
Dont get me wrong, I have had so many of my fair share of unfinished projects and ongoing ones. Projects that have pained me to finish, maybe they took me absolute months to finish. It doesn’t really matter. You can use your mistakes to learn from just like in real life. That feeling you have when you’ve finally got there, I didn’t give up and completed them. That feeling I love, it is such a warm amazing feeling, embrace it. I absolutely feel empowered when I can say I did that. look at what I have done, I created something and that thing, it’s amazing and it’s all down to me. That feeling is pretty epic. It’s so positive.
Do not forget that even if a project that you have completed isn’t perfect. You still did it yourself. You have still created something pretty amazing. Find the positives in what you have achieved.
Have I missed anything out?
I mean crafting is one of my major hobbies and it really does have a special place in my heart and life. When I’m having a down day I can sometimes turn it all around by challenging myself into something new!
As always I would love to hear from you guys, with your opinions. Do you have an experience where you have found something in the craft world that keeps you positive? Do you feel that craft has a good reflection on your mental health? I want to hear! Let me know in the comments. I can’t wait to hear your thoughts.
The thing I love about the variety of subscription boxes that we have available to us, every order is a little bit like Christmas no matter where you are in the year. With subscription boxes, you truly do not know what is inside until you have received the box, and your opening it up for yourself. I seem to get a rush of excitement and anticipation to find out what is inside when the latest box falls through my front door!
I am a big fan when it comes to subscription boxes and this month I have been lucky enough to partner with Pretty Peachy Co. These guys are a relatively new company who are providing us with some pretty awesome subscription boxes, “The PEACHY BOX containing 5 goodies, including skincare, haircare, makeup, jewellery and so much more!”. So I am very excited to be sharing with you guys my thoughts on the box that I received from them.
Before I start talking about how much I love the box I received from the Pretty Peachy team let me give you 5 reasons why I love subscription boxes.
The content is random, and a surprise every time.
I love receiving my subscription boxes on an unexpected day! another reason to smile!
Subscription boxes can contain items that are more expensive then the box itself! I love a good find!
Some items in the box can also be a try before you buy! as you can get hooked to new products!
They are just FUN. Plain and simple. Ok?
Talking inside the box…
Firstly I would really like to point out how pretty and eye-catching the box is. I really like the packaging, the peach and pastel-coloured box is a pretty awesome design! I love that inside they have included a selection of sparkly gems. The gems added the nicest touch to the box when opening up and seeing them glistening back at me.
This months box has been themed on ‘all about you!’ and The Pretty Peachy team have outdone themselves with this theme.
Firstly looking at the really cute pair of Cotton Grey Meow Socks, I adore these. The socks are themed on cats which are really cute. not the theme for everyone but I really do think these are cute. They are super soft to touch which is just what you want for a cosy pair of socks. I think these would be the perfect socky item for a day of self-care! The socks have been embroidered with the word ‘Meow’ with a cute white heart and paw print pattern on them. How bloody cute is this?
Next up in my box, an elegant looking ‘cosmetic storage bag’ a stunning black and marble themed pattern. I love the bag, it is really smooth and with a touch of gold for the zip! Also, I would say that its a really practical size, and something that I personally would definitely benefit from using. I’m pretty sure that anyone who is a fan of makeup would find a use for such an item. It is perfect as a makeup accessory.
The makeup included ‘Beauty Glazed Mars bright eye shadow palette‘. What an amazing little treat to have found! The Beauty Glazed palettes are awesome and actually, this one is a new favourite! The palette itself has a really sweet smell to it. Honestly, the fragrance had made the whole box smell amazing upon arrival. I love how bright the colours are inside. I tried some of the shiny looking eye shadows included in the Mars palette and they are so nice! My favourite colour is glittery pink (of course).
The makeup brush that has been included is another item that I am really impressed with. However I admit I can be so fussy when it comes to makeup brushes. I mean no one wants to feel a cactus running over their skin as they are applying their makeup right? Well, this brush is absolutely the right amount of soft! The bristles feel amazing against your skin. Having tried it now it’s perfect for applying liquid foundation, or even as a contour brush! Love it!
Finally included in the box I found a beautiful bangle bracelet decorated with hearts. I love bangles, they are the perfect finishing piece to any outfit. Pretty and girly.
The Pretty Peachy team have successfully produced a stunning subscription box that can appeal to many. I love how connected the products have been with their theme ‘All about you’. I honestly feel that it is well worth subscribing in the future for £15 a box. The pretty Peachy team will be including a massive range of product in each box. “you will never receive the same item twice no matter how long you subscribe for!”I cant wait to see what else Pretty Peachy will be bringing us.
What do you guys think? Are subscription boxes for you? what do you think about the range from Pretty Peachy?
A while back you may have read my post what’s on my desk? Where I spoke about my newest technology that I owned and how excited I was. Well, I thought now would be a great opportunity to finally write a post about this wonderful machine that I proudly own. I know a few people that are also thinking about investing in the machine, and I also have spoken to my friends so much about the Cricut, Weeding, Vinyl and other bits that they have no idea what I am going on about! so what better then to write my own review of owning this machine so far.
So what is Cricut?
The Cricut Explore Air and other versions such as the maker, is a die-cutting machine, in its simplest terms. Think of it as a printer, except a Printer with a blade, and Pen option. With the Cricut, you are able to create an image or design on your computer and then send it to the machine to be made for you. The only difference to a printer is instead of using ink you are printing designs by cutting your chosen material.
My story of the Cricut so far…
After absolute years of longing for this machine, I have not yet been left disappointed. The Cricut Explore Air 2 has got me enthusiastic with many different craft ideas and a massive new passion for vinyl. I have a beautiful turquoise colour machine, and there is a variety of other colours that you can choose from. Although the machine and everything you need can be a little pricey, it is a well worth while investment when your in the craft world. The opportunities that the Cricut system brings are endless. There is honestly so much that you are able to do with this beautiful machine. It doesn’t matter whether you are a papercraft enthuses, or vinyl, or anything else, the Cricut can do so many things for any passionate crafter.
So it has been over 2 months since my Cricut Explore Air 2 had been purchased. Playing with vinyl has now become my favourite thing to do with the Cricut so far, I really do enjoy personalising so many items with names, and pictures, or a few words. I can print on to fabric, like T-shirts and canvas bags, or I can Personalise any decor items, so far the options have been limitless.
When my journey with the Cricut Explore first began I felt completely new to the Cricut world, even though I had experience with using one of the older versions of the machine, which I would mainly use for scrapbooking projects and did not have as many functions. Actually, the original machine uses cartridges only which are pretty pricey and limited.
Design Space is where it is at!
One of the best features of the Cricut explore and newer versions are the Cricut Design Space. This can be loaded on to any smartphone or tablet device, as well as the computer, The computer does give access to a few extra options, but I haven’t had any problems with using the app on my iPhone or iPad so far, in fact, I completely love it. There is a lot of flexibility, and by having a Cricut access subscription account you can have 1000’s of images and projects at the tips of your fingers. As well as the Cricut library there are so many free SVG files out there on the interwebs that you can download and upload to the DS and create with at your own personal gain. (this can also be a business venture when buying commercial licences for the files) There is so many different freebies out there, as well as a massive amount of SVG files being sold on Etsy stores.
A few examples…
Now I know that I have already mentioned my new found love for vinyl, but there are so many different ways to use vinyl! as well as using adhesive vinyl for a decor, or heat transfer vinyl for Fabric, there are so many options you can do with vinyl as a template. Both I and Emma now use vinyl as a template for Glass engraving, and I have painted some designs on to doormats and canvas.
But like I said vinyl is not the only material that the Cricut machine can cut. Card, paper, Fabric, Posterboard, and so much more, so depending on your hobby, owning the Cricut could really be a game-changer to every crafter. Scrapbooking, engraving, painting, honestly so much more that I probably don’t even know about yet. Believe me, though, I can not wait to play and find out. Also! Did you know that the Cricut explore range can hold a Pen! Yes that’s right! it can draw & write, another amazing feature.
I literally have a list of project ideas that I want to do as long as my arm right now!
Above is a project that took me hours, but worth every minute. Using pretty card stock, a hot glue gun and a hell load of patience I created a beautiful load or 3D flowers, which I have then used inside a 3D box frame. although this project took ages, and I swore a lot because well the hot glue gun was hot and I kept burning myself, the project itself I am so happy with, and I do like a good fiddly project.
To anyone questioning buying a Cricut…
If anyone was to ask me, should I give in and buy a Cricut? I would probably do a really excited squeal, ramble about how much I love the Cricut and then overfeed information about what the cricut machine can do. Then I would ask them one simple questions… Do you have a passion for crafting? If the answer is yes. Do it! The Cricut community is amazing, and there is so much benefit from owning such an amazing machine. I would suggest doing some of your own research before you buy, as you will need tools and materials alongside owning the machine. I feel that it is beneficial to be able to get the accessories alongside the machine, and believe me there is so much too choose from. My next stop with be saving for and buying the Cricut east heat press.
So what do you think? Does the cricut machine sound like a match for you?
I’d love to know your thoughts and opinions, as always leave me some love below.