On April 22nd, I spent the afternoon getting crafty and creative at the Viking Arty Party in Manchester. It was held at the beautiful new boutique hotel: The King Street Townhouse.

When I received an invitation I was initially shocked they’d chosen me to join in. Creative? Erm I try. Crafty? Not really. Arty? Dream on! I wondered if they’d asked the wrong person. However, when I told family and friends, no one seemed surprised at all. In fact everyone turned round and said that something crafty and creative was right up my street! Do I even know myself?!

Anyway, apart from feeling as though I’d be completely out of my depth at the event, I was very excited about being invited. Maybe they’d seen something I hadn’t! So on the day, I made sure I really, really tried. Like really tried. I felt as though I was back at school studying Art for GCSE’s.

The Day

I was greeted with refreshments and a sweetie bag, as well as lots of friendly faces. We were then put into groups: calligraphy, block painting and notebook design.


Block Painting

We were block painting onto a folder that we could take home at the end of the day. Firstly we were given demonstrations before being able to go off on our own to design our shape which we would be using to block paint, and then start the hard task of cutting a rubber with a sharp tool to get it to the shape of our choosing. Sounds easy right?! Yes, maybe if you choose a square. But we were all going wild and designing cats, cupcakes, clouds and whales! So hard it was!


Once I cut my whale out, I has less than 2 minutes to actually paint. Whoops-a-daisy! So my painting skills were a tad rushed, and I had to stick with the one colour unfortunately as I didn’t have the time to chop and change. So I went with purple. Purple whales, you know the kind!

Anyway, my folder ended up looking better than I thought, but no master piece! Although I’m chuffed I learnt a new skill, and will definitely use this one when painting with my niece and nephews. They will find it pretty cool I’m sure of it.

Lunch Break

After that we stopped for lunch, and as the day was so beautiful, we decided to sit on the balcony and take in the rays. It was gorgeous. And so was the food! I had a chance to speak with more lovely people at this point, and take down blog urls to check out, which I always love doing. It’s so nice to meet other bloggers out there!!

Calligraphy

Following on from lunch, we got back into the create and design mode and headed over to the calligraphy station. Once again, we were shown a demonstration before being sent off to give it ago. The lady who was doing the calligraphy was oh so lovely, and her skills were incredible. I could have just watched her write all day long!!

Wow, calligraphy is much more difficult than it looks. My first attempt was awful, ink was everywhere and my writing looked like a 3 year olds, or worse! But, I did get better and better at it, especially once I followed all the stages: sitting the correct way, holding the pen right and putting the ink only up to the marked position. There are rules to calligraphy, so I learnt.

Caught vlogging!!!

We then were given cards to write our own word or saying onto, without traces *ahhh*!! I decided on writing Willow (my puppies name) as it wasn’t too long, plus had many of the same letters. Cheater!

Notebook Design

We actually finished with my most favourite activity of the day: notebook design. This was so exciting for me as I am currently doing Bullet Journalling, so I was excited to take some inspiration from this workshop and input it into my very own Bullet Journal.


All of us were given a plain notebook along with wallpaper, wrapping paper, foil, ribbon, patterned tape, and glues to make our notebook design. I wanted to create a pretty, but not too floral notebook, so chose the brown paper to cover the entire notebook in. On top of this I added pale colours such as pinks and purples, along with a star patterned brown paper, pale orange patterned tape to edge it, a pink ribbon and some rose gold foiling on the front. It sounds horrendous when written down, so maybe a photo might help…

So, what do you think? Do you like my creations?

I want to say a HUGE thank you to Vikings for the invite and my goody bag which came filled with patterned tape, new marker pens, a calligraphy set and some other little craft goodies!! It was a wonderful day and I met dome very lovely people, plus I’ve come home with some inspiring craft ideas.

If you wish to get involved in some crafty days (great hen party ideas or for special birthdays!) here are the lovely ladies who helped us get creative on the day. Stacey & Chloe from The Crafty Hen and Joyce from ArtsyNibs, and of course the big thanks to Viking for making the day happen!

This post isn’t sponsored, I was invited for a day out and received some freebies too, but all opinions are my own! Thanks for reading, make sure you head over to my YouTube channel and subscribe so you don’t miss the vlog!!

Love,

Jessica Xx

* photo credits to Matt and Vikings

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Recently, stress has been getting the better of me. I have spent most my days on the phone to various people, or at the computer desperately filling out application forms, trying to get a new job. In the midst of all of this, I have neglected time for myself. But on Sunday evening, I decided to take the control back and dedicate some precious time to freshening myself up and making myself feel better about my body, my appearance and well, my life!

I’m sure many of you can relate here: job applications are not easy. Finding a job isn’t easy. It is stressful, time consuming, expensive, draining and makes you feel somewhat of a failure. No matter your experience, your qualifications and your determination to succeed, job applications are friggin’ hard work. And no matter what people so frivolously say, jobs just don’t ‘fall into one’s lap’. Your dream job isn’t ‘just around the corner’. And no, companies aren’t always ‘desperate for staff that they’ll take anyone on’! URGH, the things people say to you when you’re job hunting. Grinds on me so much!

Anyway, my rant was slightly off topic there. I’m unsure if it was needed. But to hell with it, I’m keeping it in! So, my point here is that, within stressful times in our lives, whether that be whilst studying for important exams, being ill for a long period of time, or just simply going through testing times, we must take time out off the ‘stress zone’ to refocus and refresh.

My New, Made Up, Self-Care Routine (lets hope it sticks)

Lately I have neglected my routine and found my legs were almost as hairy as my dogs and that my toe nails looked more like Tom’s (sorry Tom) than my own. Not a good look. In fact, I’d go as far as to say Tom’s look a little more lady like than my own right now. GREAT.

So Sunday came around and I stopped in my tracks and declared upstairs was for me, and me only. No dog. No Tom. Just me, myself and I. Oh and a fantastic playlist. Calm and chilled music only: Lapsley and Christine and The Queens alike (current obsession, think I’ve listened to IT over 300 times already).

I showered for about 30 minutes, shaving EVERYWHERE (TMI – to hell with it!). I washed my hair. Like properly washed it. Like the hairdressers do. Getting every little strand covered in shampoo, and even trying to give myself a head massage like I get at the salon. Slight fail, but brownie points for trying!

I then got out the shower into a very steamy room, stood there for a few minutes, already feeling better to be almost hair-less. Then after towelling down, I moisturised. Like ACTUALLY moisturised my entire body. Now, I know some people do this after every shower. Well done you people. I wish I could say I was THAT organised and great at looking after myself. But I’m not. When I moisturise, I feel I should get a sticker or something that I can wear all day and show people how much I’ve achieved that day!

The moisturiser of choice was sooo worth it because it also tans me. So not only am I feeling super duewy and soft, I’m also going to wake up feeling like I’ve been to Portugal for a month. Winning! It is this one here: Dove DermaSpa (highly recommend for those like me: pale & slightly lazy). Oh, it also smells like summer in a bottle!

Here are some of the products I used on Sunday!

Then after letting myself ‘dry’ off. I put on a silky robe, which made me feel like a Victoria Secrets Model. Shame I’m not. But hey ho, life’s a bitch! And then I did a manicure AND a pedicure on myself, which made me feel super girlie and happy. Only slight issue, I forgot to shave my hairy toes. So they look more like I’ve painted Tom’s than my own. Oops! Anyway, that didn’t stop me walking downstairs showcasing my hands and feet to Tom. He had no idea what was going on. Men, hey!

Now it didn’t stop there. I washed my face, put on moisturisers, eye creams and anti-ageing products, in the hopes of waking up looking 18 again. I might only be 26, but my God, I feel like I’ve taken a trip to wrinkle city and brought back waaaay too many souvenirs! Anti-ageing creams are my best friends at the moment.

Then to top it all off, I got in bed at 9pm. I took a herbal tea to my bed. Peppermint and liquorice is my go-to tea. Pukka, totally recommend it. And I sat there listening to my music, drinking my tea and flicking through magazines before hitting the sack for an early night. It was PURE BLISS. And you know what? I am going to do it all again this Sunday. And so should you!! Trust me, you’ll feel 10 million times better for it.

Anyway, I do hope you will allow yourselves to enjoy some ‘ME TIME’ soon. We all need it and we all feel better for it. Let me know what products are your go-to products when you have ‘me time’. Thanks for reading!

Love

Jessica Xx

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As you may know, Willow, our beloved puppy, is our absolute pride and joy. She’s our ‘first born’ and we couldn’t be prouder of our little bear. Being a puppy pawrent is better than I’d have ever imagined, and just when you think it couldn’t get any better, the little bear gets chosen to be a brand rep for Pro Plan Puppy food for Monster Pet Supplies – her first gig – we’re so proud!! But before I blab on about how beautiful and amazing my puppy is, I’ll tell you about the super fun day we had out at the doggie blogger event for Monster Pet Supplies!

Willow and I received a wonderful invitation to the Monster Brand Rep Event at the beautiful Roundhay Park in Leeds on Saturday 1st April about a month ago now. Of course, we agreed to it straight away – after all, Willow loves the camera!

I have never been to a blogging event with my dog before, so I was slightly anxious that it was going to be a big doggie mess – lots of poop, wee, barking and possible doggie disagreements. However, I was pleasantly surprised, every dog behaved exceptionally well and Monster Pet Supplies had planned such a well organised event.

The event was held at the most gorgeous of settings (shame about the rainy weather), Roundhay park is one the most amazing parks I’ve ever visited; it’s a paradise for both the hounds and the humans! We arrived at the event and there were so many beautiful dogs, lots of different breeds, shapes and sizes. All I wanted to do was play with them all and give them huge cuddles. Willow bounced into the room so excited that I thought her tail was going to fly off!

Each dashing doggie had a photoshoot, taken by a professional photographer, so they could choose a few of the dogs to be part of the new branding. Willow behaved really well, I’m pretty sure she was the youngest pup there, and she really didn’t show herself up. I was a very proud Mama!

The photos are lovely (photo credits to Oliver, the professional photographer on the day). Willow lay there like a princess whilst the photographer captured some beautiful shots for us, and also did some tricks just to show off.

To top the day off, we recently received an email to say that Willow has been chosen to be their model for the Purina Pro Plan Puppy Food, which is just amazing!! Take a look here: https://www.monsterpetsupplies.co.uk/brand/pro-plan/dog-food/puppy

We were provided with plenty of delicious cakes, coffees and refreshments for the doggies too. With Easter this month, they also threw a very fun Easter Egg hunt, hiding dog friendly chocolate treats around the park for us all to find. After finding 3 ‘mini’ eggs, the dogs were treated to a huge Easter Egg which we took home with us, saving it for Easter Sunday.

Willow had fun meeting other dogs:

The day didn’t end there either, each dog was given a HUGE box of new products from Monster Pet Supplies to take away with them. The dogs were given cakes, treats, toys and grooming accessories, amongst so much more. In fact, I eyed up some other products that were being showcased on the day, such as the FURminator de-shedding brush which is usually about £27 to buy, and they happily added it to our goodie box along with anything else on show that I saw and wanted to try.

Thank You!

We’d love to say a big thank you to Monster Pet Supplies for a fantastic day out, Willow thoroughly enjoyed herself, I think she took a liking to George, she’s such a flirt! We also love all our goodies, especially the Furminator, it’s working a treat right now whilst she’s shedding so much. We can’t wait to use our voucher too, as there’s plenty of lovely doggie things we’d love to buy, and if you want to check them out too, here is there website: Monster Pet Supplies

Also if you’d like to watch our day at the event, here is the vlog:

Jessica & Willow
Xx

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Today I wanted to share something a little different with you all: The Baby Names Tag. If you haven’t come across this yet, it is basically a video on YouTube that has huge popularity with parent bloggers, family vloggers and then those like myself who can’t wait to become a Mummy!

Generally those who upload this video are pregnant and in the midst of choosing a precious name for their bundle of joy. However, like myself, the video is also being made just to generally share your favourite baby names that you love but wouldn’t use because of various reasons such as partner isn’t a fan, it wouldn’t go with the surname or just because you’re not brave enough to use it!

So as you know, I am counting down the days until I become a Mummy, it literally makes me so excited thinking about the prospect of being pregnant and starting to decide on names, nursery decor, and which pram to buy. I have, since being with Tom at least, been gathering names of both girls and boys that I have liked and would want to consider when I become pregnant. We have a list that we both love, which obviously I won’t be sharing as yet, then I have a personal list which I love but Tom isn’t convinced with quite yet. Plus, I then also have a list of names I love but just wouldn’t use. And that is the list I am sharing with you all today.

I have started with ‘5 Girls Names’, although I know I will want to do 5 more again soon, as I have so many that I love. Then next week, I will share ‘5 Boys Names’ with you all.

Here is the video and I will list the names below too:

What do you think? Which are your favourites? Please let me know what baby names you love but wouldn’t use, or just baby names you love, as I always want to hear more ideas!

Thank you so much for popping back to my blog, if you enjoyed the video, please go ahead and give it a thumbs up. Look out for the baby boy names next week too!

Have a lovely Sunday!

Jessica Xx

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