31 January 2012

The Lust List- January

Hello again! I'm enjoying a cosy night in on the sofa after a busy day at work and it is lovelyyy! Here is January's lust list. Oh how I wish I had a bottomless bank account. Oh well, a girl can dream :)

1. The first item to have me drooling this month was this *gorgeous* Ted Baker kindle cover. Its cute, made of dark pink leather and has lovely flowers inside...what is there to not like?

2. I am fascinated by the new BB cream by Garnier, it promises so much, that I simply have to find out if it's as good as it says!

3. I am crazy for this Fiorelli "cabana" bag. And uber mad at myself for not buying it when I found one reduced in the outlet store recently, but being somewhat short on money I just couldn't afford it. Now its been discontinued and I am kicking myself!

4. How amazing are these Miss KG shoes? They're lovely colours and would look so stunning with a party dress and thick black tights :)

5. Bright pink furniture with a sexy vintage feel? YES PLEASE! This would make the perfect statement piece in a big, bright bedroom.

6. Another kooky piece for the home! These funky floral hooks from Urban Outfitters come in three different colours and I sooo badly want them lined up in a row with pretty scarves hanging from them.

My lust list this month seems to be rather pink :) How about you, what have you been lusting after during January? I'd love to know.

Annie x

30 January 2012

Moose Head Stew

Before you start wondering what sort of bizarre recipe I have in store for you, relax! Moose Head Stew is actually a web comic (one of many that Daniel reads in his spare time).
The last few weeks have been a little hard on me what with having some sort of horrible throat infection and stresses at work and with wedding planning coursework so I've been a little down in the dumps.
My lovely Daniel cheered me up hugely last night by showing me some of the strips from this comic that he thought I would like, including the one below (I adore hedgehogs)

I'm not usually a fan of web comics, but this one is pretty dandy so if you're looking for a little giggle, or a way to pass some time then you should totally pop over :)

Annie x

29 January 2012

From the Scrapbook #1

 I's so excited to say that today is the first installment of "From the Scrapbook" a weekly feature dedicated to the wonder that is virtual scrapping :)

This weeks goodies are all about: Travel
Simply save them as a .PNG file on your computer and away you go.

First we have a lovely wide blog header that includes room to add your own photo to the polaroid frame and add your blog name to the floral postcard.

Next we have a cute post pretty where you can add your own holiday photo to the polaroid frame and then use the grid paper in the rounded frame to tell your blog readers all about what is in the photo.

And finally we have a sweet little gift tag, decorated with a hot air balloon and the phrase "last night I dreamt I was flying" which would be perfect for a going away present or for anyone with an interest in traveling.

I'm particularly keen on the gift tag myself. Which is your favourite? I would love to see if you use one of these freebies so it would be great if you'd send me a link :) Hope everyone has a lovely sunday, I'm off to make a chicken pie (yumyum!)
Annie x

28 January 2012

Ta Da

So here we are, the new look blog with a cute new name :) What do you think?
I had a little bit of a panic when I tried to change the url and realised that would mean losing all followers and starting again (eep!) but all is good now and the old url is back.

So lets kick off with some information about the new features I have planned for you :)

From the Scrapbook:
From the scrapbook is a weekly feature that I will add every Sunday with some fun little virtual scraps for you to use in your projects and  lovely blog headers to brighten up your page.

A Photo a Week Challenge:

The weekly photo challenge is Friday's weekly feature and will have a photo added each week under a different topic.

The Weekly Wedding Fix:
In this feature, to be posted every Wednesday (to cheer us girlies up midweek!) I will provide a weekly inspiration mood board for every wedding theme you could wish for.

The Lust List:
The lust list is a monthly feature to be added at the end of each month showing a rundown of my top lusted after items from the last few weeks.
Expect designer handbags, sex-u-al shoes and kooky home wares :)

As well as these I will also be adding the odd recipe, reviews of any particularly good books I read and most likely, some of my random musings.

And there we have it, one new and improved blog. Let me know what you think. Which feature are you most looking forward to? We start off tomorrow with "From the Scrapbook"!
Annie x

27 January 2012

Simply Pintastic!

So, Pinterest. We all know it, we all love it, and we are all ever so slightly addicted to it!
After months of compulsively pinning all sorts of lovelies, I thought it would be good for my health to maybe take a break so that I didn't think "oh, I could pin that" whenever I looked at any photo of absolutely anything.

But I'm back at it!

Who was I kidding, I love Pinterest and everyone has to have one cheeky little obsession don't they?
Find my boards [here], I have one for most things :) And if you would be soooo kind as to post me a link to your boards I will be forever grateful for the hours of merry pinning they will give me :)
Annie x

Photo a Week Challenge- Week Two


So here we are again, another friday which means another week has passed and it's time for the Photo a Week Challenge.
The topic this week was macro so I captured this cute little photo of my mumiji doll looking very sweet. It was lucky I took it when I did, because the storm clouds have rolled in now and its like nighttime here!

So there we go for this week. Next week the topic is "tired" so check back for that :)

And tomorrow is a day of change here at annieloveshomemade so be sure to check back to see the pretty new theme, blog name and information about my new regular features!

Annie x

26 January 2012

Simon's Cat

Today, I have to say, has not been the greatest of days.
Once again I have found myself writing a ridiculously wordy essay...with a very low word count and it is driving me a little crazy right now.
And then there was the trip to the doctors, thats right, once again I find myself with some sort of miserable throat-agony-inducing illness and after two weeks of being *very* brave, I decided it was time to go to the doctors and kills the thing.
So here I am, sat in my pit of woe and self pity.
There is only one thing that can provide the much needed cheer needed in this situation, and that is Simon's Cat! Here's a couple of my favourite Simons Cat videos by Simon Tofield.

Simon's Cat in "TV Dinner"

aaaand Simon's Cat in "Snow Business"

These two never fail to make my day :) Back to the essay now though I suppose!

23 January 2012

A Bit of a Biscuit Break to Share Exciting News

I'm feeling like a bit of a naughty blogger today as I noticed that I haven't posted for a few days now so I thought I would pop in and say hello and update things a bit.

Over the last few days I have been beavering away planning some exciting changes to my blog including:
  several new weekly features
a new layout and header
 a new blog name

When I first set things up here I planned to take my blog down a fairly crafty, handmade home path, yet these days I find that I simply do not have the time to devote to all of the DIY features I would have liked to post.

Sooo, I have decided to switch things up and work on a more varied blog. I will still, of course, post some of my little DIY projects when I have time to, and *fingers crossed* I will be beginning to post new features as of next week including a weekly wedding inspiration post (already my favourite post to put together!).

So wish me luck with my makeover and check back on Saturday when everything will be revealed :)

On a totally unrelated note, I thought I'd share a photo of Daniel and I taken over the weekend. It makes me smile :)

See you soon, Annie x

20 January 2012

Photo a Week Challenge- Week one

Hello again,
After seeing photo challenges that other people have been joining in with and thinking how fun they look, I have decided to join a Photo a Week challenge myself. I am going to use it as an excuse to play with my camera more often and take the chance to photograph things that I wouldnt usually think of myself and will be posting my photo every friday evening. So here we go :)
Week one: Breakfast

For breakfast today I had a big bowl of Alpro Soya yoghurt, a granny smith apple and a delicious homemade chocolate biscuit cake bite as a bit of a treat (I'll pop the recipe online tomorrow)

So there we have photo number one!
Annie x

7 Habits of Highly Organised People

I, without a doubt, am a highly organised person. I always have been and always will be. I have a lot of trouble trying to switch off and find that unless I stay organised everything tends to jumble up in my head and cause uber amounts of stress.
When I found a post from a fellow blogger listing her 7 habits and encouraging others to do the same I thought I would share with you my 7 habits. Feel free to carry the chain on, just save the image above and post away :) So here are my 7 habits.

1. Write Lists- Lots of Them!
I love lists, I keep one for everything. I write shopping lists, to do lists, idea lists, achievement lists, hopes and dreams lists, favourites lists, blog post lists and all kinds of other lists with various, sometimes plain bizarre subject matters. I find that it helps me to keep things nice and clear in my head. I also enjoy being able to cross things off of lists so that I can see that I am achieving things which helps me to stay motivated.

2. Keep a Calender *and* a Diary.
Yes, I keep both, and I keep them both completely up to date with *everything* that I will be doing including going to work and for what hours (even though the hours are always the same). The reason that I feel the need to keep both is so that when I am on the move, I always have a copy of my schedule with me yet I can also be safe in the knowledge that there is a copy at home in case a) I lose my diary b) someone at home needs to know where I am or what I'm doing and c) someone phones home needing to know when I will be home and able to phone back.

3. Everything has a Place + Should be Kept There
Now, I admit that like most people, I am prone to accumulating clutter if I'm not careful which is why it is important to me that in spaces that I spend the most time, my bedroom in particular, everything should have its own place to be tidied away to. This way I can keep everything organised and tidying is a quicker, less stressful process. There is also no panicking later on due to things going missing after being tidied away to an unknown location.

4. Clear Surfaces = Clear Mind
This is a huuuge habit of mine at the moment. I simply cannot deal with cluttered surfaces. The main culprit in my case is a dressing table that also moonlights as a desk. I try my hardest to keep this area clear as I find that any clutter that lurks in the form of make-up, face creams or hair accessories provides a distraction that drives me to the brink of madness. When trying to work these things must be cleared away to keep my head clear and my thoughts focused.

5. Bright and Airy Fairy
Another habit that I have found myself slipping into is only surrounding myself with white furniture. I love white furniture. I find it so relaxing and so much less imposing that natural wooden colours or darker shades that are used. I also find that with white furniture there is no chance of it not matching my colour scheme which is something that would drive my OCD style of decorating to the point of distraction. The space where I spend my time is important to me so I like it to be perfectly themed and I think white furniture will always be a part of this and keeping my head focused.

6. The Everything Book
As well as keeping an incredibly up to date diary and calender I also like to take The Everything Book with me wherever I go. This is where I make doodles, write notes, make plans, keep recipes and magazine cuttings, write the odd diary entry and generally empty the contents of my head that are stopping me concentrating on other, more worth while things. I think everyone should have a book or note pad like this because it provides a place to note down all the random rubbish soaring around your noggin that makes you who you are.

7. Chillax
Being such an organised person can, believe it or not, be pretty stressful. I think it must be something to do with the amount of obsessing, planning and organising involved...:P Because of this, it is so important to take some time out and relax for a little while. I do this by reading a book or painting my nails or playing on the Wii. It took me a long time to realise that this should be a habit of mine and before I did, I suffered a lot from stress. Just taking that little while out is the best thing a highly organised person can do.

So there we are, those are my seven habits. Now I look through them I seem kinda crazed :S I promise I'm not! Go ahead and make your list, and if you do, be sure to send me a link; I'd love to take a peek.
Annie x

19 January 2012

Beating the January Blues

Hi again lovely blog readers :)
As we all know, January can be a pretty depressing month what with failing New Years Resolutions, the post Christmas come down and the cold cold weather.
There's nothing I love more on a freezing January night than to snuggle down with a nice book. So that is exactly how I have been spending most of my weekday evenings so far.
Due to my funds being pretty low at this time of year, I have been making my selection from amazons deals for the kindle and so far I've thoroughly enjoyed all of the books I have downloaded.
My latest read "The Twelve Days of Christmas" by Trisha Ashley was a somewhat festive choice for the middle of January, and if truth be told, I did debate whether or not to give it a go, but then I thought to myself, what better way to cheer myself up than by reading a cosy, gentle book written about the happiest time of the year? And that was it, choice made.

Lets keep it simple; I loved this book. It was a little slow getting into the story, although that may be because the blurb of the book only covers the more major parts of the plot line and so much extra has been packed in that the blurb is only relevant from almost half way through. The story is suitably cosy and the amount of detail given makes it easy for the reader to really picture the setting and feel the excitement that the characters are enjoying.

The book follows the story of Holly Brown, a young widower who is called to house sit a large house over Christmas until the owner returns on twelfth night. As her husband died during the festive season several years back, Holly is more than happy to hide away in the old, isolated house away from any form of Christmas cheer. However, after a series of unforeseen events, Holly finds herself hosting a full blown family Christmas celebration for the whole household including the tall, dark and mysterious owner, Jude Martland who returns unexpectedly on Christmas eve. As the snow draws in and there is no chance of anyone leaving, Holly finds herself enjoying not only the festive celebrations but also, rather predictably perhaps, the company of her aloof employer Jude.

As you can tell from my quick plot summary, the book has a fairly predictable outcome and there are no major plot twists so this isn't one to read if you are looking for a thrill ride, however it is a warming, light hearted book that will warm up the cold evenings we are having at the moment so for that reason I would recommend it.

How are you keeping yourself upbeat during January?
Annie x

16 January 2012

A Freezing Cold Picnic

Hello lovely blog readers.
Here in sunny little England it is fair to say that we are now very much feeling the winter chill after several lucky months of mild autumn. However, being the brave, if a little fool hardy, adventurers we are, Daniel and I decided to brave the biting January cold and spend yesterday's sunny afternoon going for a lovely long walk through the Westonbirt Arboretum with a picnic.
It was lovely. We had a nice time wandering between the trees and following a seasonal trail that had been set out to show all of the best winter trees. We both decided that by far our favourite was the Chinese Witch Hazel which boasted bright yellow flowers that would have looked at home on the sea bed.
It was really nice to take my much loved Nikon out for the afternoon too after so long. I managed to get some interestingly lit photos of trees, some lovely photos of Daniel and even some cows we found wandering around. I cant really think of a much nicer afternoon... especially when it was rounded off nicely with a big cup of soya milk hot chocolate :D
What did everyone else do this weekend?

Annie x

14 January 2012

Pixlr stole my heart

Hi once again.

Being the wild party animal that I am, I have found myself curled up on the sofa on this cold Saturday night playing around on my laptop. A few days ago I read a blog past boasting the brilliance that is pixlr and as a photography lover myself I thought I'd use the evening playing around with the online program. 
I have to say, I'm sooo pleased that I did. I have found a new love.
The online program lets you upload any photo from your computer and then from there works in a similar- but easier to use- way as PhotoShop and lets you do all sorts of great things. I have PhotoShop elements on my laptop but the pixlr program allows you to do more.
As well as that, they have the "retro vintage effects" option that you upload your image onto and choose from their selection of retro overlays, effects and frame styles to apply. I had great fun doing this and managed to make the lovelies. Seriously, have a go, its sooo fun! Annie x

13 January 2012


¡Hola Amigos!

As you know, last summer I went on an amazing trip around Europe with my lovely fiancee. We explored so many amazing places and saw so many wonderful things and I loved every minute of it.
This morning I have been looking through the hundreds of photos that were taken on that trip and it has inspired me to get out there and book the trip to Mexico that I have wanted to book ever since getting home.
My question to you though is, how do I choose the right trip for me? I've been looking online this morning and found this one on the Trek America website and it sounds amazing but being the Cautious Carol that I am, I worry that it will all go horribly wrong for me and be a scam or something crazy. Has anybody else used Trek America before?
Any advice and personal experience is much welcome!
Annie x

12 January 2012

Falling Star

Hello there,
Whilst I have been enjoying my new found freedom since promising myself that I would spend more time relaxing I have found myself spending hours at a time sat reading from my kindle. And I love it.
I've never been ashamed to say that I enjoy a bit of chick lit and wonderfully, I have found that in the kindle store on amazon because, I assume, that much of it is classed as trashy and very low brow, you can pick up a good chick lit book for very little, some are even free to download which suits my small budget perfectly well!
The other day I found myself downloading a free edition of "Falling Star" written by Diana Dempsey. I figured that as it was free it would be worth a shot, however, I found myself really enjoying it. The story revolves around Natalie Daniels, a 40 year old news anchor working in LA who finds herself at risk of loosing her job to a new, younger, sexier model due to a new company manager. On top of this she is battling her way through a tough divorce from her cheat of a husband.
All I can say is that, despite sounding less than inspiring, it is well worth a read, especially for no cost; what is there to lose? I particularly liked the high level of description the author gave throughout the book and found it really interesting reading about the workings of a television studio. The characters were pretty addictive too!
Read it and let me know what you think :) I'm off to see what other bargains I can find on amazon.
Annie x

6 January 2012

Lampy's Place

Hi, I'll start off by saying once again that I have been a bad blogger and neglected my blog for too long, Christmas is just too exciting and distracting clearly! I hope you all had a great time, I know I did. But now that all of the festivity is done and dusted and just a few lonely chocolate reindeer that the New Year diet forbids us to eat remain, it is time for things to go back to normal.
This, of course starts with the obligatory New Year's resolutions. Every year we make them and every year we break them. So I decided that this year, instead of torturing myself with the promise of happily slipping into size 8 jeans by this time next year, I would do something worth while that would actually do me some good. For this reason, I have decided that my New Year's resolution is to bring some calm and order to my overly hectic life. These last few months have been crazy and its time to slow things down a bit and rest.
Sadly, that means I have closed down my lovely little folksy shop. Unfortunately I just haven't been able to find the time to craft things any more so my little shop was being even more neglected than my blog and without the time to advertise, the sales just weren't coming. So for now Lampy's Place has closed its doors. Maybe one day it will re-open.

On a more positive note though, this does mean I will have more time for baking, blogging, sleeping and relaxing which is a lush way to spend time between work, commuting between Bath and Canterbury and writing essays :)
What are other peoples resolutions this year?
Annie x