Crafts

zinio-digital-magazines

Morning all, well it’s been quite a while since I’ve run a competition but here I am with an awesome one this morning. Zinio have provided me with 10 digital magazine subscriptions to giveaway and with over 5500 titles you may have a hard time choosing!

Zinio offers the chance to buy subscriptions or single editions of all the magazines we know and love here in the UK, but what’s more they also have magazines from all over the world. So you can read whatever publication you’d like on whatever device you like, iPad, iPhone, Android phone, tablets, laptop or desktop wherever you are (as long as you have access to the internet of course!). It is like the worlds biggest newsagents right at your finger tips, no wonder they have won so many awards!

digital-magazine-choice

I LOVE magazines, I find them a great source of inspiration, especially as a creative / blogger it is so important to know what is going on out there! Whatever kind of magazines you are into there is something for you, health, fashion, parenting, garde, the list goes on! I particularly love reading magazines about trends, which comes from my obsession with magazines when I did my styling education, I spent a small fortune on magazines like Frame and Wallpaper. I love photography, trend spotting and all things home and interior and as I was allowed to keep one of the prizes for myself I decided to try out a subscription to Architectural Digest which is one of the ones I used to love so I know I will be able to use it as a great source of inspiration over the next coming months.

All you need to do is enter your details into the rafflecopter below to be in with a chance to win. There are 9 subscriptions available now that I pinched one ;) Please note: All subscription lengths vary, you will need to check out the publication on Zinio to see how many magazines are in the subscription bundle.

Happy reading everyone!

Ps: Did you know that Zinio run lots of deals, daily and monthly so keep your eye on their website for a great one to suit you. Sometimes they offer free subscriptions, right now they are offering the chance to get a 2 year subscription for the price of 1 on over 50 magazine titles.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Win competitions at ThePrizeFinder.com

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After:after

Since leaving our family home behind at the beginning of this year, I have been trying to rebuild our home to make it a safe, warm space for Littlelish and I. Unfortunately we don’t really have money for extras so interior decoration (despite the fact that I adore it) has taken a bit of a backseat.

But you know me, I love a creative challenge so when moneysupermarket offered me £50 to makeover one of the rooms in my house in their room for improvement competition I thought yipee, yes please sounds like fun! But how far would £50 actually go? Could I actually be thrifty enough to makeover a whole room? I was certainly going to try and I actually I surprised myself at just how far a little thought, love, attention and creativity could go!

I chose Littlelish’s room to makeover as I felt it was seriously lacking in the fun, girly stakes. Really I had so much to do when we first moved house that it was just a case of plonking down her furniture putting up a few pictures and that was it. Not a lot of time and effort had gone into setting up the room and it really showed. We had some nice bits but nothing worked together, the artwork was totally lost on the walls. She had a makeshift curtain from a bedsheet (oh the shame) and she didn’t have anywhere to store her toys apart from a really yucky bathroom shelf thing from ikea (I know, I know but needs must guys…)

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Rubbish toy storage

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Makeshift curtain, oh the shame…

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What a mishmash…

I decided the first thing I probably needed to give some thought to was the layout, this of course didn’t cost a penny but moving some furniture round created  WAY more space. Freeing up the entrance really helped to create the feeling of space and I was able to create a really good area for her to play. I noticed the difference immediately, Littlelish played a lot more in her bedroom that week.

I then decided I needed a trip to ikea for some serious toy storage. Since this was a huge problem in her room I decided I might need to allocate a little of my own funds here, she really needed a key item of storage to put away her toys. I ended up going for the expedit bookcase which I layed on it’s side so it was more at her level. I used the top of it as a bookshelf as Littlelish owns an awful lot of books. This is great as it is at a perfect height for her to be able to select them herself. This item cost me £41.95 with an ikea family card but I did not include this in my £50 as really it was something that needed purchasing a long time ago. A kids bedroom is nothing without good toy storage I tell you! I also bought 3 green Drona drawers to fill the expedit bookshelf which I have included in the grand total, they cost £2.50 each so £7.50 in total.

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For the rest of the room I took inspiration from the pretty Rosalie bedding which I chose for Littlelish and it’s green, pink and red flowers. Luckily I already had a few cushions and throws that would work with this on her newly positioned bed and it looked perfect. I even had an extra pillow case to give the dolls cot the same bedding as Littlelish! The bedding cost me £15.

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I felt that the wall by her bed needed a focal point so I decided to create my own collection of art and items personal to Littlelish. We already had the birth sampler and vintage horses picture and I added a few extra bits, her first ballet shoes, the wooden heart that was hanging on the back of her door to make a little feature wall. I decided to upcycle 2 little frames I had found in the charity shop for 50p each and include some vintage fairy illustration from a little vintage book I had also found in a charity shop for 20p. I just modpodged them into the frame and I think they look awesome and add a playful element that ties in with the fairytale books. Total for the fairy frames was £1.20.

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Littlelish is a BIG reader so I wanted to include some bookshelves by the bed and I was able to incorporate these into the feature wall by using ikea spice racks, painted in pink and screwed onto the wall. I added an extra strip of washi tape (that I already had) to customise them a bit. And that was the feature wall complete! I love this idea and think it is a really fun way to personalise a childs room. The spice racks cost £3.50 each, £7 in total.

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I used my washi tape in a few other places, my goodness does this stuff come in handy! I made a height measuring stick out of it which is a great way of measuring a child’s height if like us, you are in rented accommodation. No need for drawing on the walls and it just peels off when you don’t want it there anymore! I also used washi tape to soften up a black frame which I introduced to Littlelish’s room. It has her birthcard in it so I thought it would be nice to put up and add some more decoration to the walls for nothing just by hunting round for other things that would work in her room. As you can see I added washi tape just to the corner of the frame but I think this creates a really fun, almost oriental looking frame.

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The other place I struggled for artwork was above the toy storage. I had now created a huge expanse of wall but I was not really able to buy anymore artwork to put up in her room so moved one of the pink paintings that was on the other wall. This did not fill the space at all and looked tiny and lost again so I decided to build my own washi tape frame which kind of extended the artwork. It all of a sudden filled the wall much better and I think looks really creative and quirky!

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I’d also seen the trend for hanging paper pom poms in children’s rooms and remembered that I had a few of these left over from Littlelish’s fairy party last year and guess what, I had pink, green and red! Perfect!! This wall was also now full with minimum outlay and it looked gorgeous and so so fun!

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The last thing that needed addressing was the window. I just couldn’t have a sheet at the window anymore! I bought the cheapest pair of white curtains from ikea at £10 and decided to customise them, firstly to make them fit the window (does help!) and secondly to add some interest. I cut them in half, hemmed them and added a row of handmade bunting that we already had to the top with a single straight stitch. I think they look fab and they literally took me 5 mins to make and not a minute longer. Total cost of the curtains £10.

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So that is my makeover and entry for the room for improvement competition. You know what, I have really, really surprised myself by just how much you can makeover a room on a tiny budget. Sure it requires a bit more thought but actually many of my favourite elements of this room hardly cost anything, it was just creativity, working with things you already have, looking at things from a different perspective and giving things a different use that made such a difference. I just wish I could give you all a tour of the room I am so proud and my rubbish camera (boo hoo) just doesn’t do it justice!

Thank you so much moneysupermarket for inspiring me! Now to get working on the other rooms of my house!

Total spend: £40.70 (not including the expedit ikea bookshelf)

Remember I told you I had an awesome Easter weekend? Not only was I well enough again to eat chocolate (hoorah) but I got to spend it with all my favourite people. Easter Sunday was spent with my lovely family but I also managed to arrange a little get together with my bestest girlfriends on the Saturday night (not all of them as they are spread out across the world!) and do my favourite thing – make things!

I was lucky enough to be challenged by Swinton Home insurance, who have some great Cheap Home Insurance Quotes Online, to have my perfect night in! I always enjoy going out for dinner or to watch a band but I do love staying in too. Normally my nights in involve me cooking for people (which I love, I’m a bit of a feeder I think!) and wine :) But with a £100 budget I wanted to do something a bit creative and different. First port of call when looking for inspiration? Pinterest!

After a good 30 minutes looking for party inspiration it came to me! I would arrange a pinterest party! I am forever pinning amazing creative ideas for things to make but realistically I don’t often actually do anything with all those pins I pin. Very occasionally I’ll revisit something I’ve pinned on there… but how fab would it be to have a night in with the girls trying to recreate some of these lovely ideas that I pin?

I decided to split the budget and spent £50 on food and drinks and £50 on craft materials which actually worked out perfectly. The planning took a bit of extra thought, I spent quite some time sifting through pinterest (oh what a hardship) looking for the perfect ideas to recreate. I didn’t want anything too complicated, something that we could all get involved in and something the girls could take home with them. I am also trying to be a bit healthy at the moment so was looking for healthy food recipes and non alcoholic cocktails (I know, but everyone was driving!). I made a prelimary board http://pinterest.com/mummylish/pinterest-party-ideas/ but there was so much choice, so many ideas, craft ideas, make up ideas, nail art ideas, food ideas. Eventually I settled on making…

and these crafts to make

Shopping for the party was pretty tough, I had two ridiculously long shopping lists. It must have taken me 3/4 of a day to find it all! In all fairness, the craft shops round here are not great so I spent a while running round looking for the bits I needed and running from one end of the supermarket to the other collecting ingredients for the recipes. I still managed to forget a few things which was annoying!

The girls arrived at 7pm and we set to work following the food recipes and getting things going so we had something to eat! We started with the strawberries so we could get them straight into the freezer, they were very simple to make but were delicious. At this point I still had an excited Littlelish around so this was the perfect thing for her to help with. The quinoa nibbles and mini taco cups were also very straight forward recipes to follow, simple with only a few steps, the stacks of aubergines had a few more steps to the process but were also simple.

By 8pm we were tucking into our food. All the girls agreed, the recipes were delicious :) When I make the quinoa nibbles again I may experiment with flavour as quinoa can have a bit of a bland taste like couscous. The aubergine stacks were yummy, even without the all important feta (which was one of the things I forgot, duh)! We replaced it with parmesan and mozarella cheese and they were equally as delicious (infact we couldn’t really imagine them with feta) a little bit like mini Melanzane Parmigiana. Our absolute favourite were the chicken taco cups, we were all in agreement that this was a brilliant idea for party food and such a yummy bite.

We were all so full we decided to wait with making the chocolate muffins which were apparently only 58 calories (amazing!) and time was ticking on and we wanted to get on with the crafts. We did a quick clear away and brought out the craft stuff, ready to make our pinboards! We chose our fabric, followed the instructions, which worked well and we were there to help each other if we got stuck at all. It was lovely both with the cooking and crafting as we all sat round the table chatting, laughing and catching up. It was a really lovely, chilled atmosphere and we all agreed it was fun and different to be making something together :) There was a little bit of a joke that we were turning into the women’s institute but you know what, we didn’t care! We all love to cook and craft and chat so it was absolutely perfect combination! I may have missed some wine but I think that wine would have made the crafting a bit more difficult and we may have had a rather different outcome ;)

After we had all made our pinboards and done lots of chatting it was already 11pm! Some of the girls decided to call it a night but we still had bracelets to make! Maybe they were all crafted out ;) The ones that were left stayed up making the bracelets which were actually not that easy! I think this was definitely something to do with it getting late, I kept on forgetting which side I was knotting to, the left or right! Whoops. I tried again the next day and it was much easier. I’m a little bit addicted to this new found technique and have been making bracelets all week :)

Thank you Swinton Home Insurance, we had a fab night. In fact we enjoyed it so much we said we would make it a regular thing :) I’d totally recommend hosting a pinterest party but it requires some good thought when planning. I’ve given you my best tips below on throwing a pinterest party – enjoy! x

Tips for arranging and hosting a pinterest party

– Don’t plan too many activities, you’ll never get to make it all and you want to take it a bit easy and chat along the way

– Choose activities that all your guests will be able to do, remember people have different ability levels when it comes to craft

– Write a clear shopping list of all the ingredients and craft items you will need. Try shopping in advance

– Make some food before hand or buy some little nibbles and crisps like I did so people have something to nibble on while making their food.

– Invite people you feel relaxed around, like your closest friends. Its a pretty informal set up and you will want people to get stuck in with helping you make the recipes etc.

– It is nice if your friends get to leave with something they made :)

– Start a pinterest party board now so that when you come round to organising you have loads of ideas to chose from!

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