Friday, 28 February 2014

DIY: The Man Bouquet...

Hey everyone


This year for Valentines Day I wanted to DIY something for the bf (if you know me then this was a big undertaking for me - I'm not exactly creatively gifted!

So, of course, upon deciding this I took to Pinterest (the crafting idea goldmine).

I quickly discovered 'the man bouquet' and thought that it was something that I could actually make.

To be honest, I'm writing this post mainly to document the fact that I've actually DIYed a gift that turned out pretty well! 

But, I'm also hoping that this post might be useful if you want to DIY a gift for the man in your life - what I like about this gift is that it's great for any man in your life; dad, brother, bf, uncle; and they can be personalised to their taste!

Rightio, on to the DIY - obviously this post is going to be pretty picture heavy!...

My first job to get this DIY done was to toddle off to the shops to go buy all of the things I wanted to put in my bouquet - here's my shopping list:

  • a pack of their favourite soda (I went for this as a base for my bouquet instead of a pot/box)
  • fun treats (I went for loads of the bf's favourite chocolate (dairy milk, mini toblerone, lindt, lindor, kinder eggs, yorkie bars), some chewing gum, a valentine's DVD (I went for the valentine's Madagascar film because we're a sucker for a cut animation!))
  • mini trophys (I decided that it would be fun to make the bf some cute/punny awards!)
  • valentines decorations (I went with some chocolate lips and hearts)
  • barbecue skewers (to attach all of the treats to and create the height in the bouquet)
  • fun decorations (I went with gift ribbons and some silver shredded packing paper)
  • cellophane
  • sellotape
  • washi tape
  • sharpie
  • blue tack
  • scissors 
So then all you have to do is assemble your bouquet!
I'm not going to lie, I had absolutely no idea where to start (I'm sure that the more crafty of you are despairing at me!) so I enlisted the help of my far more creative Nam.

I showed Nam the pinterest pictures and let her work her magic - here's what we did...


We started off by sticking the skewers into the pack of soda to start building the height of the bouquet right from the beginning...


I decided what I wanted to write on the trophies (I went for some puns like "love darts and kisses" because the bf plays darts and some awards like "best cuddler award") and used some washi tape and a sharpie marker to write them on the trophies...


We stuck the trophies on the top of the pack of soda (using blue tack) and they fit perfectly! 

We then went about covering the sides of the pack of soda with the chocolate bars. We just stood them up around the sides and secured them with sellotape...



We decided that a good use of the valentines chocolates was to disguise the sides of the cans - we stuck them with blue tack (this was a bit of a faff because they kept falling off but we couldn't think of a different way to get them to stick - looking back we could have used a glue gun!)...


How to incorporate the lindor balls cause us the most problems - there was no way to attach them to the sides of the pack of soda and we didn't want to skewer them! 

We had a brainwave and decided to stick them in the mini trophies and they fit perfectly - I love how they looked! 


With the left over valentines hearts we stuck them onto the ends of the skewers - we didn't mind skewering these ones too much because they added the perfect amount of height to the bouquet!

We added one of the gift wrapping ribbons in the space between the trophies to cover the top of the pack of soda!


We realised that the wrapping of this man bouquet was going to make it or break it.

With that in mind we decided to put the DVD underneath the pack of soda (anywhere else and it would have created too much of a flat edge to the bouquet and we wanted it to remain circular like a flower bouquet), surrounded the bouquet with shredded packing paper


Finally after scrunching the cellophane round and securing it with a ribbon at the base we stuck in the heart shaped balloon (girly I know, but very holiday appropriate!) and stuck two more of the gift wrapping ribbon around the stem - to be honest we had them left over and didn't know what to do with them! We also stuck some heart stickers onto the cellophane just to make it even more Valentines-y!


So this is the finished product! 

I am so incredibly impressed with how it turned out!


This is how I set it up on my desk, so it was the first thing that the bf saw when he went into my room.

He was so shocked when he saw it - I think that it looks pretty spectacular! - and was really happy with all of the thought, time and effort I put into making his gift this year.

I absolutely loved doing this craft and honestly it was so easy, quick and fun! It wasn't the cheapest DIY in the world (the whole thing cost me around £25 which wasn't extortionate either) but I think it was well worth it!

I think that what I enjoyed the most was how we just sort of assembled it according to what we had, we didn't follow a specific step by step guide - I think that just adds to the individuality of your own man bouquet!

I hope you found this post useful - let me know in the comments if you make your man a man bouquet!

aHm xoxo 

Wednesday, 26 February 2014

MWIP: 61/104...

Hey everyone


This week has been jam packed with fun (despite this being the last week before my first draft of my second (and final!) dissertation is due) so I took a crazy amount of pictures, my apologies! 
Anyway, here's what I got up to this week, I...

...realised that having a pretty notebook to write my case studies notes in has made me a lot more productive!
...got very bored of all of the rain we seemed to be having (although I am so glad that we didn't experience the crazy flooding that was going on in some parts of the country - my heart goes out to all those affected by it)
...was treated to a Starbs lunch by Ma on the way to John Lewis (a department store) to choose Nam's birthday present :)
...thought that Little Prin looked so darn cute after having her haircut!
...painted my nails with Barry M Gelly 'Bluberry' in an attempt to get myself in a Spring-y mood!
...saw actual blue sky for a whole day - Spring is definitely on its way!
...ended up matching with the bf after he bought his first pair of JW sweatpants (I've finally converted him!)
...caught up on my blog reads and commenting as I 'watched' the rugby...
...whilst the bf and Little Prin had snuggles and actually did watch the rugby!
...snuggled up with my new Stitch toy that the bf surprised me with :)
...found the cutest matching pajama set - I am obsessed!
...started to add another batch of photos to my photo wall :)
...took a lovely moody shot of the lake (if I do say so myself!)
...spent a lovely time wandering around our local town with the bf after breakfasting at Ginger & Pickles - if you read {this} post you'll know why it's my fave breakfast spot!
...took Little Prin for a walk with the bf :)
...decided that it was a warm enough day to don my big pony button down - I love this shirt!
...had a break from work in the form of flipping through a magazine and munching on a jam doughnut :)
...nearly lost Cannon as he delved his head into his hay rack!
...realised that the bf really does know me so well when he chose the exact sub that I wanted when I asked him to surprise me at Subway :)
...had a lovely time celebrating Nam's birthday :)

As I said, most of this week was spent working on my dissertation - so obviously I photographed that for y'all :P

...I discovered that there were easter walnut whips!
...Little Prin advised me on my stats test
...I had to use two laptops to get said stats test done!
...I think I actually got a bit hysterical after spending so much time in the library at uni and decorated my latop with my mittens (that's what final year stress does to you - be warned!)
...Little Prin found her new favourite place to sit whilst I work - on my desk!
...I made my final dissertation to-do list and managed to get it all on one post-it - result!

Now, as you know I'm on a {Spending Ban} but Ma very kindly decided to treat me to some things this week... 

...Revlon matte balm in 'Complex' - finally my hunt for the perfect every day nude lip is over!
...Barry M Silk Polish in 'Truffle' - I cannot wait to try this!
...these super cute mittens (I'm a sucker for mittens!) - they remind me of Kate Spade - don't ya think?!
...{this} Whistles sweatshirt - I've been looking out for a fun french slogan sweater after seeing that J Crew one (the link is escaping my but I'm sure you know which one I mean!) and I love the brightness of this one!

Oh, and I caved and downloaded the Waterlogue app - I'm not really sure what all the fuss is about to be honest - this is the only photo that I've tried and actually like in watercolour so far!



I hope you all had a fabulous week - let me know what you got up to in the comments or if you fancy writing your own MWIP post then here's the button and pretty please link up using the widget below so that I can go check your post out!

 It'd absolutely make my day! 


   

Monday, 24 February 2014

Study Outfits...

Hey everyone


Seeing as there is, in coursework terms, only my dissertation, a lab report, a 3000 word essay, a 5000 essay, a poster and a presentation between me and graduating with my Bachelors I seem to be spending all of my time studying at the moment - I wish I was joking.

With that in mind, I confess that my outfit choices have been very predictable, when I'm studying I have to be comfy (otherwise I just get distracted!).

My absolute go to outfit for studying is: leggings (yep, in this instance I declare that they are pants #sorryimnotsorry), ugg slippers (they just about pass as shoes but they feel like slippers - I love them!) & some form of comfy top.

My favourite tops to wear are: a JW hoodie (the comfiest hoodies ever!), my regatta 1/4 zip jumper (my substitute for the VV Shep Shirt - I so wish I could find one in England!), my wildfox sweater (I don't have this one but it's just too cute!) or a spirit jersey (I'm obsessed with spirit jersey's and I swear that as soon as my {month of no spending} is over I will be ordering myself one!)

What is your go to outfit for studying?
Do you have to dress comfy or do you like dressing up to keep yourself motivated?

aHm xoxo

Sunday, 23 February 2014

Belle's Book Club 2014: #6

Hey everyone


Next up in my Belle's Book Club 2014 series I'm sharing - Dishonour by Jaqui Rose

Synopsis (via Goodreads

No matter what she did, he would always be there, right behind her. She could never escape’

Laila is sixteen years old and beautiful, kind and clever; traits liable to get her into trouble and make people dislike her …
She doesn’t make her life any easier when she falls in love with an English boy, bringing shame on her family and attracting the attention of some very dangerous men. These men are always watching her and will stop at nothing to get things done their way.

Soon there’s a terrible ‘accident’ and Laila is forced to make a deal with the devil. And pay a very heavy price for breaking the rules. Laila has been forced to marry a cruel, controlling man by the people who are supposed to love her the most. Without anyone to help her, she has to find her own way out…


My Thoughts

Wow. Just wow.

I literally ended up reading this book in one afternoon - it was that good!

I love how complex the story was - how many characters formed two story lines that seamlessly ended up slotting together to form the one story.

Obviously, Laila's story is the main one - and it's a doozy of a tragic one! I'm ashamed to admit that I've never really read books about arranged marriages in Hinduism, this would be the first. But I found it incredibly compelling and eye-opening - how the whole arranged marriage situation was carried out and how mercy killings get entwined with that - it really helped me to understand both sides of the arranged marriage and form a proper well-balanced opinion on it.

As for the second sub-plot, I obviously fell for the love interest - Ray-Ray to be utterly adorable and what he does for Laila even despite the horrendous thing that happens to him, is just so cute and admirable. I have to say that the whole sub-sub-plot surround his family and his father in prison left me feeling a tad confused and I'm not sure how much it added to the story. The same goes for the side plot of Ray-Ray's mother and the serial killer that she manages to get involved with. I mean, I feel like these sub-plots were setting up for the sequel but there isn't one.

I love a good crime book so I would have enjoyed reading more about Arnold (the psycho killer) and Ray-Ray's mum or even more about what Ray-Ray's father gets up to in his crime spree's but alas I'm left wondering. I guess, I'm trying to say that the whole set up of these sub-plots ever so slightly distracted me from the main storyline of Laila and the trauma of her arranged marriage and made me find the ending just a bit dissatisfying. Don't get me wrong, the whole Laila and Ray-Ray story ended perfectly but the rest just left me a bit - eh.

All in all I found this book to be one of those great books that changed me as a person - which I love!

side note: I was lucky enough to discover another book that changed me post-reading during this series - {Ketchup Clouds}!

It educated me and allowed me to gain an opinion on a topical issue. It was a super fast read that kept me turning the pages, so that I would know what happened to all of the characters - I'd highly recommend this book!

Would you read this book? 

I hope you're enjoying this new Book Club feature on my blog - let me know what you think of it! If you fancy writing your own book review post and joining in on Belle's Book Club 2014 then here's the button and pretty please link up using the widget below so that I can go check your post out!

 It'd absolutely make my day! 



P.S. I use {Goodreads} to keep a record of books that I've read and books that I want to read so if you want to keep up with what I'm reading you can follow me {here}!

   

Friday, 21 February 2014

Library Essentials...

Hey everyone


Being in my last taught semester of my third (and final!) year of university and my dissertation (number 2 of 2!) deadline is looming, I seem to spending most of my time in the library - lucky me!

Because of this, I'm pretty sure that I've got my library essentials down to a science, so I thought I'd share them with y'all.


Starbucks - nothing gets me pepped up at the start of the day like a venti mocha frap (with two shots of vanilla!)
Diet Coke - perfect for that mid-afternoon pick me up (it works well for a mid-morning one too, if my Starbs has worn off super quickly!)
iPhone Charger Case - because my iPhone is guaranteed to die late afternoon!
White Noise App - absolutely perfect for blocking out noisy fellow studiers without distracting you with lyrics - my favourite is the 'Light Rain on Deck' noise :)
Headphones - an obvious necessity
Snacks - 5 hour plus stints in the library absolutely require snacks - I find gold-bears and goldfish to be the perfect snacking items!
Slippers - slightly controversial, I know, but hear me out - if you're going to be staying in the same chair for multiple hours you're going to want to be comfortable (I find that I study a whole lot better if uncomfortable clothes/shoes don't distract me!)
Hair Clip - my hair gets on my nerves if it's not clipped up when I'm trying to concentrate

So there are the basics, there are some other additional items that will make your stint in the library just a tad more bearable include...

Sense of Humour - to deal with the inevitable people who are just so annoying!
Good Wifi - studying (and social media breaks) absolutely requires good wifi
Access to Twitter - to tweet the hilarious things that you witness (#guilty)

I hope that you may have found this somewhat useful!
What are your essentials for studying in the library!

aHm xoxo

Wednesday, 19 February 2014

MWIP: 60/104...

Hey everyone

This week was very busy with uni work and because of that, ever so slightly dull but nevertheless, here's what I got up to this week, I...


... have been getting so much wear out of my JW mittens to deal with chilly mornings and evenings
...took a #shamelessselfie whilst in my car when I was too early for my class one day
...had a hot chocolate with an epic amount of cream to finish off a lovely lunch with Ma & Nam
...thoroughly enjoyed spending my time before bed reading with a cup of tea :)
...wore some hearts in honour of Valentine's Day - it just had to be done!
...got very excited to give the bf his gift - a man bouquet - he loved it! 
P.S. a post on how I made the man bouquet will be coming soon!
...was treated to a lovely lunch with the bf for our Valentine's on Saturday (he was working on Friday - the curse of having a chef for a bf!)
...used my new tea strainer for the first time - loose leaf tea is really the best
...got a little bit worried at the field as the river was flowing crazily because of all of the stormy rain we were having!
...spent some quality time with the ponies who were thoroughly enjoying a brief spell of sunshine as a reprieve from the storms!
...took the ponies for a walk too - aren't they too cute?!
...couldn't resist documenting the beautiful blue sky we had later on in the week - it was so spring-like - fingers crossed that spring hurries up now!
...found a sleepy Little Prin on my bed - so sweet!
...had a buddy, in the form of Little Prin, whilst I was doing some uni work
...had a very naughty cheeky puppy who decided that it would be a good idea to get on the dining room table after Sunday lunch!
...spent a couple of hours on Sunday afternoon enjoying a cup of tea in the bath whilst starting a new book 
side note: I finished this book in the same afternoon, it was absolutely amazing - a book review will be coming soon!

I hope you all had a fabulous week - let me know what you got up to in the comments or if you fancy writing your own MWIP post then here's the button and pretty please link up using the widget below so that I can go check your post out!

 It'd absolutely make my day! 


   
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