birthday celebrations

photos from my birthday picnic at erddig

thank you for all the birthday wishes! you made my day extra special :) i had a fantastic birthday - quite possibly the best ever. thankfully the summer weather we've been having hung around for my birthday. we packed up a picnic and headed down to the river for a family picnic on my acutal birthday. it was so peaceful - all we could hear was the birds singing and the water flowing by. it was pure bliss. we walked around the woods too, paddled our toes {though the water was pretty chilly!} and soaked up the sun. we came home and ordered an indian takeaway, then the mr and i watched a movie once the kiddos were sleeping.

gift wise i was totally spoilt. i got a new record player and some more vinyl for my collection, 3 pairs of new shoes, some owl tops, a remote for my camera, some crafty goodies, and a couple of new books. i also got a few new owls for my collection!!

friday, a friend and i took all the kiddos to chester, werhe there is a mad hatters tea shop. we treated ourselves to a delicious cream tea, then had a wander around the shops for an hour {i picked up some lush treats for my bath}
finally, last night we had friends roudn for a bbq/fire. it's one of my favourite ways to spend an evening - fire, friends, food and music is the combination for a perfect evening. after a busy couple days of birthday celebrations i'm taking it easy this weekend - the girls had a birthday party this afternoon, now they're watching anastasia while i get a few bits of work odne!

what do you have planned for the weekend?

pea.ess - today's the last day to get 31% off in my shop with coupon 'birthdaybash' OR you get 50% off if you spend $20 or more with 'crazy'

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31 before 32

I have been so excited to make this list! I've been thinking of them for the past couple months, and now I can't wait to get started on. Goals make my world go round!

This is my third year of making a list of goals for the coming year on my birthday, you can see the previous two years lists here and here. I don't always manage to tick everything off on the list - but it's fun trying!! Have you made a similar list?? Leave me a link below so I can check it out!

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happy birthday to me

happy birthday to me
happy brithday to me
happy birthday dear polly
happy birthday to me

ahem...  yup! it's my birthday!! somehow i am 31 - where the heck did that come from?! my plans for the day are to open my gifts {hopefully!} eat lots of cake and and head down to the river for a picnic. tomorrow i'm off to a mad hatters tea shop with a friend, then we're having a bbq + fire tomorrow night :D

and you get some pictures of my younger, far cuter birthday self!


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shop update

it's been too long since i did a shop update! i've been busy with lots of design work the last few weeks. i managed to get in some crafting time today {whilst the mr and kiddos were busy with secrets for my birthday tomorrow!!} and i've just listed half a dozen new items in the shop

camera lover earringsspring flowers earringshoo are you earringsanchors ahoy necklacewe're all mad here necklaceroller girl necklace

enter 'BIRTHDAYBASH' at checkout to receive 31% off everything OR if you spend more than $20 you will automatically get 50% deducted at checkout - both valid till the end of the month!
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happiness is...

 'happiness is...' -  each week we'll meet two lovely ladies to find out what happiness is to them.... if you'd like to take part please drop me an email :)


what makes you happiest?
I don't have one ultimate thing that makes me happy, but I have a few things that make me super happy: Sending a design mock-up off to a client and then hearing back "Yes, that's perfect! You're awesome!". When my boyfriend cuddles up and murmurs he loves me when he's fast asleep. Reading a really good book or seeing a really good movie (I actually like when books/movies make me cry, because it means they moved me). Hearing good news from my family. Surprise presents in the mail. My puppy. Lots of things!

do you have a ‘happy place’?
Our house, actually. Or, more specifically, our living room. My office is a nice retreat sometimes, but when I've had a bad work day it is definitely not my happy place. Our living room is where we read, watch TV/movies, hang out, play video games, play with the puppy, even eat some of our meals. Lots of together time there, which is my 'happy thing.' :) And it's a nice big open room with vaulted ceilings, which I just find relaxing.

do you have a favourite happy song?
Oh man. This is actually really tricky. I'm a sucker for sad songs. *thinks* The only one I can think of right now that is at least somewhat happy is Mexico by The Staves. I'm a little backwards in that music doesn't have to be 'happy' to make me happy. It just has to be beautiful, with good lyrics (which tend to be the sadder songs). I can listen to a completely sad but beautiful CD while driving and be the happiest girl.

what gets you past a bad day?
My boyfriend, Ian. He gives awesome hugs. And he's really easy-going, so if my bad day puts me in a mood where I don't want to do something we had planned, he just rolls with it and we reschedule. So helpful, because then I can do something to de-stress instead (usually reading or cleaning or watching a movie with him). If we text during the day while he's at work and he can tell I'm having a bad day, he usually brings home something chocolate for me, too. Yup, he's the best. :)


what makes you happiest?
I am happiest when I feel inspired and creative, it's almost like a high. I have to stop whatever I'm doing to feed that creativity whether it's to start making something or write it all down for later. On a more superficial level, eating a piece of carrot cake makes me happy with a cup of coffee. :)
do you have a ‘happy place’?
Central Park in NYC is a place where I feel the most calm and at peace which to me I consider happy. I'm such a high strung person otherwise. Even in my own home it can be challenging to be happy for a long period of time
do you have a favourite happy song?
Almost any song by the Bouncing Souls makes me happy, fun sing-along stuff. I love music so much that it is hard for me to single out a couple of songs that make me happy. I have music constantly playing when I'm at work and on the train to and from work.
what gets you past a bad day?
Knowing that there is a cozy bed waiting for me when I get home and that tomorrow brings a chance to start anew and make it awesome.

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find your creativity

at age five we engage in creative tasks 98 times a day - by the time we get to 44 that falls on average to just twice a day!! it seems the older we get, the stronger our fear of not being good enough. yet we are all creative beings - and being creative can enrich our lives so much.

a lifetime of being told to colour inside the lines, to colour things a certain colour, to draw excatly what you were told has stifled our creativity.

the key to getting it back is to overcome our fear of being wrong. of creating to make ourselves happy not to be told 'well done' by others. to get back to the freedom and natural joy we had as a child.

ask yoruself:
what did i do as a child?
what or who made me happy?
what did i fill my days with?
what did i really not like?
what are my favourite memories?
what things and activities did i love?

give yourself permission to start creating again - pick up your knitting needles, borrow the kiddos crayons. close your eyes, listen to your heart and just create.

if you need a helping hand, the wonderful goddess leonie is running another session of her popular creative goddess e-course, starting april 1st.

the creative goddess e-course is a powerful, spirited way for you to experience creativity in a whole new way. the e-course is six weeks to discover the creative goddess in you.
* every week you will be assigned creative goddess projects to do for the week in a range of creative mediums ~ you will be exploring new ways of creating and connecting with the gorgeous soul, wisdom & beauty inside you.
* six hand-drawn, illustrated and painted ebooks and three sets of worksheets guiding you on creating art as a sacred practice, how to find healing on your journey, walking through your stucknesses, how to create sacred space and discovering the goddess in you.
* six videos each week, guiding you on the next part of your Creative Goddess journey.
* six guided 30 minute mp3 goddess meditations to work with for each part of the course.

i've taken this course before, but i'll be playing along again this time too :) join me??

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guest post: round steak sauerbraten

Thanks for this delicious recipe go to Amanda, the creative force behind the Dragonflight Dreams blog and shop.

Slow cookers are one of the easiest ways to make a tasty meal, and are especially handy for those days when you know you're going to have a jam-packed evening with no time to cook dinner. This particular recipe is very low on prep time, but ends up delicious.

Round Steak Sauerbraten

  • 1 envelope brown gravy mix
  • 2 Tbsp plus 1.5 tsp brown sugar
  • 2.5 cups cold water, divided
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 2 Tbsp white vinegar
  • 2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 4 bay leaves
  • 2.5 lbs. boneless beef top round steak, cut into 3" x 1/2" strips
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • 10 cups hot cooked egg noodles

Please note: This recipe is for a 5-quart slow cooker and yields 10 servings. I don't have a slow cooker that big, or need to feed that many, so in the pictures you will see my scaled-down amounts. Just scale all amounts down proportionally if you have a smaller slow cooker.

Other Supplies
  • Your slow cooker of choice

1. In a 5-quart slow cooker, combine the gravy mix, brown sugar, 2 cups water, onion, vinegar, Worcestershire sauce and bay leaves. Mix.

2. Sprinkle beef with salt and pepper; stir into gravy mixture. Cover and cook on low for 6.5 to 7 hours, or until meat is tender.

3. Combine cornstarch and remaining water until smooth; stir into beef mixture. Cover and cook on high for 30 minutes, or until thickened. (this is a good time to cook those egg noodles).

4. Discard bay leaves. Serve over noodles. Enjoy!

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a pixie giveaway

rember a couple of weeks back when kelsey from poofy cheeks shared what's in her bag?? well, today she is back - this time with a fantastic giveaway!! One of you lucky peeps could win 2 paisr of aqua/blue cabochon earrings, a set of 10 bloom tags, a Spring twine trio, and a set of 10 butterfly tags!!

 kelsey has a fantastic shop full of beautiful things - check it out if you haven't already and you can save 15% off with coupon BLOG.

you can enter to win the goodies below:

monday, monday

monday morning never seems so bad when the sun is shining {and you've had a great sunny weekend!} - plus knowing it's my birthday this week kinda helps ;p

seriously - the weather here was fantastic this weekend. saturday i did some spring cleaning {as well as a crazy amount of laundry} the doors and windows were all wide open - so nice to have some fresh air round the house. we had a bbq dinner also, after kiki's little friend had gone home. days spent outside are just so perfect - i wish we had this weather all year round.

sunday, the girls had friends to play again, so i managed to get caught up on some work and emails, and then enjoy some more sunshine! i've got a busy week ahead - but lots of fun stuff in there too!! don't forget you can take 31% off everything in my shop, use coupon birthdaybash OR if you spend $20 or more on rings, necklaces or earrings - you'll get 50% off!! {no coupon needed for that one - checkout will automatically deduct the savings}

shop offer

also - you might have noticed i added a new link in to my nav bar - i'm now open for blog design work too :) there's a link there to some i have already done if you want to take a peek.

i'll be back later on with a giveaway :)

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