Why I think The Cricut Explore Air 2 is any crafters best friend

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.

Introducing my cricut Explore Air 2.

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.

Out of all of the cricut tools I own, these are my go too.

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.

Pretty paper ready to go!

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.

Meeting the Meerkats at Millets Farm Centre​.

I am so pleased that we had finally gotten around to using our voucher for a Meerkat experience. Emma had received this for her birthday back in December and it took us absolutely ages to get it organised and booked. The voucher included having an encounter with the meerkats, as well as being able to feed them, at the falconry at Millets Farm Centre.

I had never even heard of Millets Farm Centre before, and I didn’t really look into the place before going. I just knew that we were feeding Meerkats in Oxfordshire, which of course was pretty exciting.

After taking a short 2 hour car journey, we had arrived not really knowing what to expect. Before we even got out of the car I was already appreciating the beautiful area. We were so lucky to have randomly picked a day where the sun and sky were absolutely glorious with no clouds in sight.

Upon arriving at Millets Centre you are presented with adorable farmhouse buildings. The site is quite big and there was so much too see including. A large play area for the little ones, a cute farm shop, a beautiful garden centre, Gift shop, farmhouse restaurant, an animal walkway, huge maze, of course the falconry with so many beautiful bold birds and so many other things to see and experience.

We started our day by taking a slow stroll down animal walkway, where we were able to meet some awesome creatures.

After, we headed over to the falconry where we took a lovely slow stroll around the many birds. The falconry is also where the meerkats live and where we needed to be. My favourite animal. Well, one of my favourite animals, I love them all.

There were so many different types of falcons, owls and eagles. One thing I would say about these birds is how bold, and strong looking these creatures portray themselves as. They are very stunning things. Especially the American eagle.

The experience included Emma & myself along with 4 other members of the public, were invited into the meerkat enclosure where we were able to take a seat on a bench. All of the staff at Millets Farm Centre are so friendly, we had a girl called Becky who works in the falconry then gave us an impressive talk about the meerkats whilst providing us with raw chicken on tongs to feed the meerkats with. The 30 mins went so quickly because every minute was so much fun, we all had meerkats climbing all over us, we were able to stroke their fur whilst feeding them. I always thought they had rough fur, but even though it doesn’t look like it is, the fur is so soft and cuddly feeling.

It was honestly so exciting and surreal to be so up close with them, I really did feel in my element all morning! I would really suggest Millets Farm Centre to all of my friends because it is genuinely such a lovely place to go too.

We couldn’t leave the centre without takin a walk around the shops there. I really thought the farm shop was so cute and really did have a variety of things that we wouldn’t normally see in the normal shops. Obviously, we had to buy something so we got some really nice looking cheese and dips for our next Camembert lunch we have with friends. Honestly, we couldn’t resist. Everything in the shop looked so lovely., but of course being a farm shop some things were very pricey.

We really enjoyed our experience at Millets Farm Centre and would happily travel there again one day. Such a lovely place to be.

I would highly recommend any of you to take a trip there. Especially booking to see the meerkats, as it’s an utterly amazing experience.

I Would love to hear your thoughts on our experience, maybe you have had an experience with Millets, Comment away below.

Keeping yourself organised and carrying on.

With my life being as hectic as it has been in the past months I thought that now would be the perfect opportunity to talk about the greatest art of them all. Organisation.

Are you like me with a thousand things going on in your mind right this second, then you have about a hundred different things that you really need to do? No matter how hard you try sometimes it feels like you are never going to catch up! like all that life stuff just seems to get in the way of just everything that you need to do! or maybe you have too many plans to do all the things you need and there is just not enough hours in the day to fit it all in! It can literally feels like a rollercoaster that you are stuck on, with no brakes and no way of getting off. Scary hey? but did I get it right? If so you are not alone. Literally there are thousands of people exactly the same right this minute! In fact even the most organised person can have moments where life is mental as hell and cannot get all their shit together.

Let us be honest. Life really can be a bitch at times, with it being so busy at times that it is hard to get a break from it and catching up seems like mission impossible. keeping organised can be a hard enough at times. So what can we do to get ourselves to keep going, and feel like we are heading in the right direction again?

Stop and breathe!

Honestly, this is probably one of the most important steps to getting yourself in a calm and organised, destressed state of mind. I know that if you are reading this, you are wanting to get organised and productive, and you are probably feeling like you must do it all and do it all now, but it is so important to stop. Take a breathe and don’t panic. We all know being unorganised and having a lot to do is stressful but if you can just take a minute, to gather your thoughts, this will be a massive game-changer for you. what I mean is, by taking it slowly you aret going to make less mistakes, be in control of what it is you have planned, and you are going to feel less of a want to give up before you have even begun.

Making Lists!

So now that you are calm and you have taken a break, let’s think it all out! It may sound pretty cliche honestly, but I do believe in to-do lists. Even if they never seem to end. By sitting down and recapping everything you need to do can help you work out the most productive way to do things anything to be able to save a bit of time) as well as making it possible to remember everything you need to do! so a brilliant idea would be to keep an active note book with an ongoing list, that you can add to when ever you need, and the feeling of crossing an item off the list when it has been completed. yeah that is actually quite satisfiying

Also by making a list, you can priorities what actually needs to be down first and what can wait. Which means you will not need to stress because youwill be able to confidently work to deadlines, knowing you have completed your ‘To-Dos’ efficiently. Pretty awesome hey?

Use your phone

If we are honest with ourselves, how many times in life can you say that you do not carry your devices around with us 24/7? We literally have this amazing device that we do so much with. So why not use your smartphone as your personal PA? It is the ideal way of constant reminders and keeping yourself on ball.

If you can sort yourself so that all of your important dates and appointments in your calendar on your phone, and then set your phone to remind you a day before so you are always on top of the stuff that is coming up in your life. I find it really useful as well that you can even share an open calendar with loved ones that they can also add too. So not only are you reminding yourself, you are making sure everyone else is on point too..

I literally have 100 reminders set to go off to remind me at times to do things, because thats how I role! and it works! If Im playing on my phone and something comes up it really does push me to get up and get it sorted before it is too late! and it really is the things that I havn’t set

Planners

My happy planner (one of them)

For me a Planner is my favourite purchase of the year. at the moment I am a proud owner of a Mambi Happy Planner, I absolutely love it. My planner is another creative space for me with all my upcoming adventures and chores written in. I have been using one for 2 years now. As well as a standard planner. I would suggest to anybody, especially anyone who has a love for stationary. I’m thinking of even trying a different style next year and getting the Erin colder life planner.

But don’t get me wrong. You don’t need a fancy planner. A cheap and plain one will do just fine as long as you stick to writing everything you basically need too.

Find your Zone

And by Zone I mean your own space! like a little corner of your room or house, that is completely yours for getting stuff done! it is such a good idea, since I have gotten my own desk the way that I work has changed so much! I almost never have my laptop on the bed anymore! I am happy to sit in my ‘zone’ which I have personalised to be a bit of me, and I am able to craft and create for hours at a time without any distractions or excuses. Even if you can’t have an office like set up or anything like that. I would still suggest you have an appropriate space where you can get shit done. Its such an amazing tool!

Sticky notes

So speaking of sticky things…. I have always had a massive love for sticky notes. I can quite easily have them everywhere. Full of reminders, info or just a few doodles and inspirational phrases. Plus leaving messages for yourself on pretty and coloured paper, can really brighten up a room.

Those colours <3

Time

Another really important factor for the skills of organisation. Time management. Ensuring that you are able to give yourself enough time to complete tasks and that you are able to take your time on whatever it is you are doing, is so so important. Don’t set yourself a task that is going to take you 3 hours, when you only have 1 hour free. you will be less likely to complete what it is you are doing, and that would just suck wouldn’t it? no one likes too many open projects at one time hey?

So that is all of the most important factors that I can think of, and methods that I actually use to keep myself organised and on the right path! I would always encourage all of my friends to try these ways to getting back on track! and never giving up, you can do whatever you put your mind to.

So guys. What are methods that you guys would suggest? I would love to hear your comments and suggestions below! so I look forward to hearing from you all.

The Blogger recognition award

Firstly a very big thank you to BlueHillB at BlueHillBlogger for nominating me for the Blogger recognition award. I really appreciate the nomination, and it just goes to show how supportive the blogging community are, especially on twitter.

About the Award

The blogger recognition award is an award that is given to bloggers by the bloggers. This helps the fellow bloggers to get their work the recognition it deserves. It’s a really good way of helping each other out. It aims to help blogger get their work recognised and promoted to other bloggers.

These are some rules the nominees must follow

1. Thank the blogger who nominated you and add a link to their blog

2. Write a blog post on your site displaying the award and describe why you started your blog.

3. Write two pieces of advice for the new bloggers

4. Nominate and notify 15 more bloggers.

Why I Started Blogging

When I started my blog I wanted to find a creative space where I could express myself and get my crazy thoughts out there. I had always been very shy and really unconfident. I really believe that by starting my blog I have really grown in myself. I’ve made so many friends and learnt so many new things. I have a place I can really show who I am.

Advice For New Bloggers

My first bit of advice to anyone who is starting out as a blogger, be your self. It can be a pretty intimidating world out there on the internet and sometimes it is so hard not to compare yourself to other bloggers and influencers out there. If your looking for your blog to be successful, don’t for one minute think that it is going to happen overnight. It really doesn’t work like that. The more hard work you put in the more you will strive as a blogger.

Secondly be creative with your posts, make sure all your content is as original as it can be. To be able to stand out from the crowd, you need to show your unique style. It can be pretty tough, especially when it comes to thinking of constant and consistant ideas, but keep a note book. That notebook will be a life saver. I literally can be in bed and scribble a few lines in at 3am with an idea for something.

Who I would like to nominate…

Jack DeyesKirstyNixie TrixAlishaValerieEleanorCassieLauren Bate AmieCara LisetteBethChocovivJessieEstelleLucy JadeJemma

AlexaJade
xx

How I beat writer’s​ block as a blogger

When you first start your blog, I bet you any money your mind had been filled with countless amount of ideas and expectations for what the blog is going to be like. Your enthusiasm at this point was at its very peak. I’m describing myself here that is exactly what I was like. I had a thousand and one ideas for what my space on the web was going to look like! and I knew exactly what I was gonna be posting, Well Kind of I did make the mistake of not keeping notes in the beginning, but I have learnt from that! believe me!

When it comes to running a blog it definitely brings you new challenges and obstacles to overcome. Honestly Becoming a blogger can be a pretty tough world to Step in to at times, but no matter what those challenges are it’s an amazing passion that many of us share. However just life so many things in life it can be pretty difficult to be 100% motivated and engaged at all times, right? For a blogger we call this writers block, or as I put it ‘no mojojo’ and it’s not really the most ideal feeling to encounter for yourself or your writing.

So it is really not always easy to have a constant flow of words, and this makes creating decent content extremely hard. I have not met a single blogger or writer yet that has said they have never encounted writers block! It seems to be a demon for everyone one! and worst yet, you never quite know when that demon is gonna creep up on you.

So what can you do to beat the beast? I have listed my ways of overcoming writers blog and keeping my content coming!

Take breaks

It’s so important to know when to take a moment away from the screen, even better get out of the house if you can. The more time you spend living the more you will find things to write about. Seriously! with every experience you encounter your ideas will blossom naturally.

Jot ideas down

That’s right! Grab a pen, find a notebook and sit and jot down all the ideas for blog posts you can possibly think of. No idea is too small!

It’s adamant that you will come up with ideas when you least expect it. So where possible write it down as soon as possible and if your out? I find useful is having an electronic notebook on my phone. I use OneNote and then copy it in to an actual notebook later.

Read more blogs and do some research

Connecting with bloggers, engaging with the blogging community and reading the content that is already out there is honestly such an amazing way of finding inspiration for yourself when your feeling a bit stuck for blog posts. Do as much research as you can about a subject and be inspired just by visiting you friends pages. It’s such a simple method of finding inspiration.

Oh! And definitely check out Pinterest for ideas. There are so many people out there sharing their blog post ideas that can really help guide you when your completely stuck.

Don’t force it!

This may sound a bit daft but I honestly believe you shouldn’t be forcing your content. Do not get to worried about how long it has been since you last hit publish. It is so much more important to make sure that you are writing about things that makes you passionate in life. When you have something you will just know because your feel so confident in your work.

Keep positive and never give up.

Struggling for ideas, not feeling motivated, having little plan can be so disheartening and if you let it can take control, so think about the reason you first started writing, the first ever blog post that you sent available to the world to see. Why did you do that? Its so useful and inspiring to remember the reason you started doing what you do! You can inspire yourself even more to be as amazing as you are.

So…

No matter where you are in the writers slump don’t ever give up. Take care of yourself before you continue to work on your blog space.

I would love to hear your ideas about how you keep yourself motivated and inspired as well as how you beat writers block. Leave your comments below.

​The Anti favourites tag

I am really pleased to have been tagged by Cassie at zombiegoddessbeauty.com to do this lovely anti favourites tag! I am quite excited, because I always seem to be talking about my favourites and what I like, that I pretty much never share my dislikes! so what a fantastic tag to be taking part in.

1. What is your least favourite lip product?

I really have a dislike for clear gloss, and I literally mean the gloss that is scentless, colourless, and does not even have a nice shine too it, It i just a sticky mess on your face, what is the point of that? If I want a coloured gloss I would buy a coloured gloss, not paint over a lipstick with clear goo.

2. What is your least favourite makeup finish?

When it comes to applying my make up, I prefer a natural look. I don’t like anything that’s going to make my face look to over the top. I swear it is a confidence thing. I prefer to use Matte products like matte mouse, as otherwise my face just looks an oily overdone mess.

3. What is your least favourite beauty product(s)? (Like highlighters, glitter, primer, Oil cleansers, hair masks, etc also be specific if you want)

It has to be liquid eyeliner. I mean I love the theory of liquid eyeliner but it really is just not for me, I can literally never get it to look good on my face, I always mess it up application every time I attempt it, I mean it normally results in massive panda eyes, or worse than that, Clown face from a creepy horror film! So I now just refuse to buy it or even try to use it.

4. What is your least favourite beauty trend? (Spider Lashes, Over Plucking Brows, Sharpie Brows, wavy lips, etc)

So there seems to have been this whole massive craze where it is really cool to have massive huge eyebrows, Like they are literally being drawn on double the size of their actual eyebrow, um… woah do you really need your eyebrows to cover the whole of your face? no this is not cool. I’m not saying that they should be plucked to fuck, but really the more natural the look the better I think.

5. What is your least favourite colour to wear on your lips?

I’m not sure that I have a least favourite colour impartially. However, I definitely prefer lighter or even brighter colours. I do not like to be too dark with my lip colour, so definitely no blacks, blues or dark purples. I wouldn’t say that I have ever been too adventurous when it comes to colour either. I own alot of nudes and alot of pinks.

6. What is your least favourite product(s) in your collection? (Like product regrets)

Ok I probably will sound really contradicting here because it truly is a love-hate relationship for me but when it comes to Primer, the only decent way of applying it is with my hands, and then they are left feeling oily, and icky, so that is why I would call Primer my least favourite product, that being said, I can not be without Primer, so really it is winning against me there.

7. What is your least favourite technique/step you skip?

Lip Liner. I guess I have never really seen the point to line my lips when doing my make up. Ironically I own tons of lip liner pencils, but mainly as whenever I have ordered Avon, they have come as a gift. I guess I don’t really see the point in the outline when you can do this with your lipstick, and your lip colour will cover the liner anyway. I am also pretty sure plenty of perfectionists will tell me I am wrong though.

8. What is your least favourite product you’ve ever tried?

I had to think real hard about this one, cause my collection is so random and broad that I do not even remember half the stuff I own.

I once Brought that crackle nail varnish. I hated that. It just made my nails look cheap and tacky, and I hated how rough it made my nails feel.

9. What is your least favourite/banned brand(s)?

I am actually feeling very defeated on this question! I don’t think I have a specific brand that I particuarly dislike for any major reason.

10. What product is at the top of your Anti-Haul (will not buy) list?

I am a strong believer that all my makeup and beauty products should be cruelty free, and not have been tested on animals, so I will not buy anything that has been tested on animals. Otherwise I’m quite optimistic and will try most things.

11. What is your least favourite TV show/TV show you are not interested in?

Medical shows! not one any particular program, but I really hate some of the medical shows shown on TV, I end up turning these off pretty quick. Like the latest ‘The toe bro’ I really can’t stomach watching peoples cheesey feet. I find it halarious that they have made these in to TV shows aswell!

12. What is your least favourite movie/movie you are not interested in?

I absolutely despise the ‘realistically recorded’ horror films. I literally can not watch the Blair witch project without cringing so badly, and needed to turn it off within 5 minues. I also really cant understand how this film was so popular, It wasnt realistic at all. It was cheesey, and not at all scary! I love horror, I just hate that style.

13. What is your least favourite book or book series/book or book series you are not interested in?

Oh crap! I really don’t think I can answer this one! Can I? ummmm, I like so many different styles of writing, I love most fiction and non-fiction! I do not think I have found a book that Ive disliked yet!

14. What is your least favourite genre of music?

Heavy Metal or Hardcore Dance music! I really couldn’t listen to anything heavy like that. I love easy listening, like acoustic stuff, as soon as I hear anything that is metal or hardcore I feel on edge! it feels more like a noisey mess, than music to listen too and it is just not for me. Enough said really.

15. What is your least favourite food?

It has to be tagatelli, I’ve never been a fan of it. My brothers favourite meal and when I lived at home with my parents I would literally dread tagatelli night.

16. What is your least favourite social media platform?

I think it has to be Facebook, I seem to just have facebook these days because I do. I don’t have a massive urge to post on facebook ever, but I like the groups and networking it can bring, so I use it, i just don’t love it. For me, it is all about Twitter and Instagram, I actually enjoy using those apps.

If you would like to have a go at the Anti Favourites tag, here are the questions for you <3.

THE QUESTIONS:
1. What is your least favourite lip product?
2. What is your least favourite makeup finish?
3. What is your least favourite beauty product(s)? (Like highlighters, glitter, primer, Oil cleansers, hair masks, etc also be specific if you want)
4. What is your least favourite beauty trend? (Spider Lashes, Over Plucking Brows, Sharpie Brows, wavy lips, etc)
5. What is your least favourite colour to wear on your lips?
6. What is your least favourite product(s) in your collection? (Like product regrets)
7. What is your least favourite technique/step you skip?
8. What is your least favourite product you’ve ever tried?
9. What is your least favourite/banned brand(s)?
10. What product is at the top of your Anti-Haul (will not buy) list?
11. What is your least favourite TV show/TV show you are not interested in?
12. What is your least favourite movie/movie you are not interested in?
13. What is your least favourite book or book series/book or book series you are not interested in?
14. What is your least favourite genre of music?
15. What is your least favourite food?
16. What is your least favourite social media platform?

June’s Craft Vine subscription box review

Please note: the following content is not an advertisement or a sponsored post. I have not been gifted or paid to promote this however I wanted to do a review on something I have been enjoying.

Me and my partner have been signed up to The Craft Vine for 3 months now and so far I have been very happy with everything that we have been receiving in our post box.

As someone who is utterly obsessed with stationary, I was really psyched when I stumbled upon Craft Vine through Facebook. I get excited when it comes to stationary regardless.

I used to be a bit wary of signing up to subscription deals but I’ve seriously caught the bug now. Receiving the box has been like Christmas coming every month!

So… this fabulous subscription box includes a variety of themed stationary. It’s so cute! I would highly recommended this subscription to any stationary addicts like me.

This months theme was Japanese, and included lots of pink and florals. It’s safe to say I am very much in love with this box indeed.

I seriously love my box of goodies this month!

I’m so excited that this months box also included a Mildliner I’ve seen these all over the internet and have been wanting to get my hands on these for a while so now I’ve got one. I’m pretty certain I’m gonna be buying some more. They are fabulous.

I love the fact that every box seems to include a variety of washi tape and stickers. This months washi tape is certainly gonna be used up quickly. It’s so pretty.

Are there any subscription boxes that you have a love for? Maybe you are a subscriber to the craft vine as well? What do you love?