Tuesday 24 November 2015

So what exactly was #HBAlPorto all about?

Writing is something I normally do solo, but every now and again I meet up with the lovely Hull Bloggers, a local (ish) group of folk who also write, tweet, review and tell stories too.  I always look forward to these meet ups as it's an opportunity to connect with other bloggers.

The Summer Meet was at a local restaurant on Hull Marina called Al Porto.  If you follow me on Twitter you may have wondered what on earth happened to my timeline as it was full of the hashtag #HBAlPorto everywhere, accompanied either by photos of groups of people or (generally) empty food wrappers!

So what did we do at the Summer Meet? Well chat and eat were high on the list, along with try, try, try things out!  Blogger Meets are a good opportunity to try things that you may not necessarily have heard of before, or are well known, but you've yet to experience them!

Above is a photo of my empty Mango Chia Pod from The Chia Company - an example of something I'd never heard of before, and that are now on my shopping list whenever I fancy a quick boost.  I've yet to try the Coffee Bean one but that's next!  They can be bought in the UK in most of the main supermarkets as well as Boots and Holland & Barrett.

An old favourite of mine are Lush.  They were hosting a stall at the event so lots of testing and demonstrations and we were all given 3 products to test at home.  Mine were their "Don't Look at Me" face mask sample pot, "Granny Takes a Dip" Bubble Bar for the bath and the "Yellow" Fun - all 3 were hits and as usual there was enough for 2 portions from each.

As a non-beauty/fashion/lifestyle blogger I always appreciate that Hull Bloggers are big on food; so there is always something for me to be interested in product wise and our 3rd meet was no exception.

As well as the lovely food and drink from the restaurant that Al Porto kept supplying us with to sample throughout the meet (and yes Al Porto is worth a visit if you've never been!) there were plenty of things to bring home to try out...

My absolute favourites were the Ryvita Crackers, if you are the person who hunts out the water biscuits in any cheese biscuit selection these are the top of the league table in this style of biscuit - there are SO good (and I'm very fussy about my cheese biscuits).  Handily they are wrapped in 4 individual packs so no worries about them going stale - not that they lasted that long in our house... okay it had nothing to do with anyone else I ate them ALL.

I was less fussed on the Ice Tea this time around, but I'm not a big Ice Tea drinker, my other half really enjoyed it though.  We fought over the Kettle Chips, great flavours as we've come to expect from Kettle (not had a bad crisp off them yet) and we both enjoyed the Chia Pods... the chocolate from Choc on Choc and the Border Biscuits were both hoarded by me and it was a strategy worth employing - delicious!!  I've just checked out the selection from Choc on Choc and I think there may be a few Christmas presents to be bought; the Igloo and Penguins are so cute!

Both Choc Shots have been in use ever since the meet, the Chocolate Orange didn't last long, but I've managed to hang on to the Coconut one a bit longer... I've been drinking these with milk in whisked up hot chocolates, used on sliced banana in a bowl for a sweet treat and I also love these on wholemeal toast - you can do a whole lot more with liquid chocolate as they are very versatile.

From the The Garden Pharmacy I've enjoyed the Miel Honey shower gel (no photo) and from NSPA  we've been trying the Coconut Shower and Bath gel, a big 500ml bottle which is lasting ages (you don't need much per shower/bath).  Nspa is available exclusively at ASDA - some great 2 for £4 offers at the moment, so I might pop in later this week and get another 2 bottles to try!

We're also using the Wisdom Quantum enamel protect toothpaste which is lovely, the Nspa Face Scrub (nice but not my skin type) and a Baylis and Harding body lotion and a shower gel (which I think is currently in my travel bag - so no photo).

As per tradition there was a raffle raising money for The Eve Appeal which raises awareness of all five gynaecological cancers (Womb, Ovarian, Cervical, Vulval and Vaginal in case you were sat there trying to figure them all out).  Their web site contains lots of useful info and we raised £227 on the day, well done us!

I won a couple of times on the raffle, my favourite was some great nail varnish from Paul & Joe!

The Raffle was commentated by Lewis-Duncan Weedon, who as well as being a Celebrity Stylist, a Celeb Ambassador for the Princes Trust, a fashion/style/beauty writer and presenter, a total handbag and jewellery nut... he can also manage a cracking line of wit and repartee whatever the source material; I genuinely giggled throughout the whole raffle!  We've met a few times over the course of Hull Fashion Week and Blogger Events in Hull and it's always a pleasure to see him.

Sadly as these things do they had to come to an end, we had to call in reinforcements to get us all home due to HUGE selection of products to try in our Goody Bags of which even now I've barely scratched the surface.

The one discount card in my bag that I made sure I used immediately was from Personal Planner. This is my second order with this company and I love them!

Personal Planner Website

I ordered another diary for next year, going a tad smaller with the "mini" this year as I don't have much room in my bag, and another of their square notebooks (which I am currently recording kiln temperatures and glass recipes in for glass bead making).

Everything else, I am slowly making my way through, there may be a Part II or III to this at some point!

Do you ever meet up with like minded people for a hobby you are involved in?

DISCLAIMER - All raffle prizes and goody bag products were supplied free of charge,
all food and drinks from Al Porto were paid for by the Bloggers attending.

Monday 16 November 2015

What do you mean it's Monday again?

I sometimes have no idea where the time goes at the moment...

One minute I was like "Yay it's the weekend!" and the next I'm preparing for a full on week of the day job.

This weekend I've been sorting out some of my own lampworked beads and trying out some different coring materials, only one cut on one finger yesterday so I've been doing quite well!

The last two days were a lot more fun than last weekend which looked something like this... then I bathed the kitchen in a dayglo orange light...

But I'll save that story for another day!

Really I was just popping in to say sorry I'm not around much this month as I am busy getting my little studio table set up and learning how to do a lot of things I never knew I had to know!

I'm also stalking the postman as my Elfbeads Deal of the Year package should be arriving this week - so excited!

How is everyone else? Let me know what you're up to...

Monday 2 November 2015

Alex Cramariuc Elements Series Bracelet

I've been an admirer of Alex's work from the start - so it was no surprise to me that when he designed the Elements Series I fell head over heels with the design of these beads and the story behind them.

To read the original preview on Endangered Trolls -  just click on the link to open a new window: the full story is in the comments... but don't forget to come back!

Alex only produces a set amount of beads at a time, then the stock is replenished when it runs out, but once so many have sold he retires the design - all elements are in stock at the time of typing so if you do fancy any of these now is a good time to buy them.

Quick peek in August when I was out and about

I did feature a quick peek at this bracelet back in August but I've held off showing you it in full as I've been making my own glass to go with these, and I still had to make one final bead.

Like many things it was on my to-do list but it took a bit longer to get around to it, obviously Lurgy 1.0 and 2.0 didn't help, and I didn't want to put the full pics up until I could replace my temporary bead with the one that was supposed to be on there.  Problem now resolved!





I find it hard to choose a favourite as I love them all, but I think AER probably has the edge for me, well today at least!

I took way more pics than I needed for the post so I could also show you the glass beads too.

I love this bracelet, it's a tricky one to put on as firstly the silvers are quite big for my smaller wrist.  I only wear a 17cm chain with a 2cm lock so there's a bit less "bend" than I'm used to. Secondly I've also used the Trollbeads Sun Moon Stars lock which has to be the most awkward lock I've used to date; however I love the design and it complements the bracelet so I shall persevere with the lock for now!

What do you think to Alex's Elements Series?
Do you like bold silvers in general?