I spotted the mixes made by Paul Hollywood in shops the other day. I’ve wondered if I should get them. I don’t use mixes because I don’t see the point for them. When we are away with the caravan, I would make my own mix, basically I weight in the flour, sugar, baking powder, cocoa and put it in a zip bag or in a jar. I love baking, my husband loves baking and between us, we manage to make some desserts each day.
That being said, I’m a blogger and these are mixes from Paul Hollywood and my husband agreed with me that surely my readers want to know what are my thoughts about these mixes. With that in mind, I bought the Luxurious Belgian White Chocolate Cookie Mix and the Luxurious Belgian Chocolate Muffin Mix. I’ve decided to respect the recipe as much as possible on both, without any other additions.
I like to decorate my home with vases. My living room is quite minimalist: white walls, grey carpet, white and black fireplace, white and black speakers, white furniture, grey dinning table and an ivory & dark grey sofa. I would have bought a white sofa, but the only light colour faux leather sofa that was available in their range was ivory.
I prefer adding colour with accessories and flowers. My favourite type of vases are handmade, as you might know from the post about Rose Dickenson’s vases (I bought a 3rd one from her this year). I like that they aren’t exactly the same, they have character and there was a lot of passion behind their creation.
I fell in love with this Agnes Vase at Normann Copenhagen* from the moment I saw it. I though it will be great with my decor. There are 7 sizes available and I picked the one that is 20 cm high as the other vases I have are slim and it can be tricky when I have a big bunch of flowers. I think the vase with the red Amaryllis flowers looks amazing.
Last week we had lunch at The Inn On The Wharf, a lovely pub in Burnley. I mentioned in my previous post that the pub is housed in an old warehouse, just beside the canal. Cotton and other fibers would have been stored here, before being shipped to nearby mills. The warehouse was built in early 1800s. It was used as a building materials shop, until 25 years ago when it was transformed into this beautiful pub. In the same building as the pub it’s a small museum that should be very interesting, but it was closed on the day.
The pub looks beautiful on the outside too. There are a few more pictures at the end of the post. The interior is a mixture of old features along with some memorabilia hanged on walls. It’s very nice. The staff was friendly and another guest told us the history of the pub when we asked, as the staff was not sure about the details. It’s a nice atmosphere.
Next week, from 24th to 30th April, it’s National Stationery Week. Writing is important for me, I take notes when I’m at a seminar or at a fair, I write my shopping lists and cards for special occasions. I have a diary (actually 2) filled with to-do lists and goals and other bits&pieces. I always write down the places I want to see when we plan a trip somewhere. One of my diaries is filled with ideas of blog posts, that might sound strange, but I feel inspired when I’m in front of pen and paper.
I’m traditional when it comes to reading, I love paperback books, flipping through pages and not a pdf on a tablet. As I’ve started reading regularly again last year, I have a small notebook to copy quotes from books.
Imagine my delight when I was asked to review all these items in preparation for next week. I was very excited to try them, obviously.
National Stationery Week 2017 has a different theme for every day of the next week:
Monday is #PenAndPencilDay
Tuesday is #GetCrafty
Wednesday is #WorldStationeryDay
Thursday is #ThankYouThursday
Friday is #FountainPenFriday
Saturday is #SignatureSaturday
Sunday is #WriteALetterDay
Do get involved if you fancy, I know I will. I’m not sure if I will do a craft project or I will write a letter, but I will certainly do something special next week.
From Maped I received an eraser with a pink and black casing, a bunny pencil sharpener, DUO Graph’ pens and a DUO tip colouring pen.
The DUO Graph’ pens are fab. I like that they can “split” into 2 pens, as you can see in the picture. They have a 0.4mm fine line and come in this transparent case. I really like them. I think I will use them when I’m going to make plans, colour-code helps me organize better.
The bunny pencil sharpener is so cute! I love it, when I use it to sharpen a pencil it moves its teeth. How cute is that? The eraser is good and I like that I can close it.
Cactus sticky notes, Cat in a book page markers and 12 crayons from Mustard are next on my list.
I have some boring page markers that I will replace with these cute cats. The markers are reusable and quite sturdy. I might use one as a bookmark for the book I’m reading now: “A street Cat Named Bob”, as it would be very appropriate.
The cactus sticky notes can stand up. It’s hilarious and it’s unlikely I will forget a sticky note looking like that. I can’t use the crayons just yet as I don’t have a colouring book, but I plan to get one and they will be handy at that point.
The Sheaffer 100 Ballpoint pen looks great. I will use it when I’m going to fairs, along with the Monologue Platinum Notebook. They are stylish and look professional, I like this a lot. The notebook is the perfect size for a handbag. These two will be great as a gift too.
It’s been a while since I’ve used an ink pen. It was lovely to try this one from Stabilo, it reminded me of my childhood, when I used to change the ink cartridges at school.
I also got these Sensor fine 0.3 drawing pens. I like them a lot and the colours are lovely: green, teal, pink and purple. I will use them for colour-coding too. My drawing skills aren’t spectacular, but I like colour-codes, as you can see.
nu: craze notebook it’s another fab thing I got. It has ruled perforated paper and it will be very helpful for me, for my work. I can take notes, remove them from the notebook and file them with the rest of the docs, easy and with no fuss.
The last things I’m going to talk about are these age appropriate pencils from Write Size. I knew the concept, even though I don’t have children, and I think it’s great. Children have smaller hands, so special pencils for them must be helpful and make writing comfortable.
Lapsang Souchong, the story of my favourite tea started many years ago. One of the main characters in a book I loved as a teenager was drinking Lapsang Souchong, I remembered the name because I thought it’s strange. I forgot about it until last year when I went to the Twinings shop and I got a lot of teas to try from them. A smoky Lapsang was one of them. I just had to try it and I’m glad I did, as this is my favourite tea.
Before moving to UK I didn’t use to drink tea as most of the tea I was familiar with was herbal. Now I drink tea regularly, Lapsang Souchong daily and I do enjoy other teas as well. Although I still don’t like herbal teas.
The Lapsang Souchong I drink is made in the Wuyi Mountains, in the north of the Fujian province and it’s a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The tea is made with wood from pine trees. It’s still made in the same way as hundreds of years ago. It dates from the 1600s.
I’ve read two stories of how the Lapsang Souchong was made. One said that the smoking of the leaves was made to speed up the process of the drying. The second story says that thugs demanded money from a farmer, when he wasn’t able to pay, they set the sheds on fire. The farmer and his men put the fire off, but the smoke dried the leaves. When he tried to sell the tea, the Dutch trader loved the new tea and he asked for smoked tea every year. I’m not sure which one is the correct one, but both of them are very interesting.
I have at least a cup of Lapsang Souchong every day, usually two or three. I like it so much, without any milk or sugar. I brew it for 4 minutes, as I prefer a stronger taste. It’s not for everybody, that’s for sure. It has a strong taste and it’s smoky.
I like things I can personalize and I was delighted to receive this Chalkboard bundle. There is another bundle to giveaway for one of my readers. I hope you like Chalkboard items as much as I do.
All the items look great and I think they would be a very nice gift.
When I got the package I was so excited to try them. The Chalkboard bundle contains a Chalkboard mug, Chalkboard bunting and the Chalkboard lunch box. I’m going to talk about each of them.
I got this Konjac Sponge last month and I’ve been using it almost daily. I like it a lot, so I though I should talk about it on my blog.
The sponge I have is from Konjac Sponge Company and it’s the French Green Clay Konjac Facial Puff Sponge, at £8.99. The sponge is 100% Natural, free from colouring and additives.
You might have heard about Konjac as a low-calories pasta, as I did, have a look here at what I said about the pasta. It’s a sort of potato, a perennial plant from Asia that was used for hundreds of years.
I feel it cleans the face very good. I’ve been using it with and without cleanser and I think the results are pretty much similar. It exfoliates the skin gently and it feels smooth and clean. Because it’s similar, I usually use it without cleanser.
My sponge is made with French green clay. This clay is a strong antiseptic and it’s recommended for combination skin, like mine. To use the sponge, keep it for less than 1 minute in the water until it gets soft. When it’s dry it will harden.