Sunday, 22 November 2015

Lorraine Pascale and my Kmix win!!

I am a huge fan of celebrity chef Lorraine Pascale, I've followed her from her early days creating delicious deserts and cakes on TV and was gutted I never got to visit her cupcake shop in London before it closed. 

I love her new healthy eating lifestyle and following her on Instagram and you tube has really motivated me to be healthier and more active. 

Amongst posting delicious recipes and fitness tips Lorraine also gives away some fantastic items from her sponsors. Every time, I have entered in the hope of winning and two weeks ago I did just that!!!! I won!!!! And what a prize I won too, a brand new Kenwood Kmix mixer. I couldn't believe it. I'd had a pretty crappy day so to find out I had won really made my day. 

Lorraine is so lovely, I messaged her straight back to say thank you and she replied and even said hi to my Dad too :) 

Can't wait to give it a whirl and make some cakes with it. At the moment it is sitting pretty on my kitchen bench and very pretty it looks indeed! 

Friday, 13 November 2015


OK well here I am again, playing that age old game of blog catch up. This is what you get when you can never find anything to blog about and then low and behold it all comes at once. If there was ever an award for sporadic blogging I'd be right up at the top. 

So please excuse the fact that this post is from Halloween, if you are a follower of Instagram then you will have already seen these photos. I've always been a huge fan of Halloween, mainly because I like a damn good excuse for decorating the house and behaving like a 10 year old all over again.

We did our best to make the front of the house as spooky looking as we could and it has vastly improved from last years efforts. Mr. B added the red light to make it look a bit more sinister, but I was worried we would be giving people the wrong impression of what we were offering ha ha ha. Maybe a red light would have been better if it were green :D

I cant take any praise for this years pumpkin as Mr.B took care of it. Didn't he do a grand job of it. I covered the huge log with cobwebs and added a tarantula....we also had a flashing "BEWARE" sign on our gate but I couldn't  get a good photograph of it. 

We had quite a few children from the village on the hunt for treats and they had all made a fantastic effort of dressing up. We let Mr. Pumpkin head burn right throughout the night and reluctantly decided to put him in the bin 4days later. I did however roast the pumpkin seeds on the afternoon and they were delicious. I'd never thought about roasting them before but noticed that quite a few people in blog land were doing it so I thought why not give it a go!! 

I'll post the easy instructions at some point if you're interested?

Friday, 30 October 2015

Moving forward....

So this time last year this was me....this was my life.
I was engrossed in making gorgeous creations like the below, I loved it and relished in the fact that when it suited me I could turn out pretty much whatever I wanted or a customer commissioned. I cant tell you how much I love/d to make bags, its something that just felt right and never felt like work....ever!

I started Bagladee because I loved to make bags, it was that simple. I was very lucky to be able to do this, I was/am still working full time in a very demanding job, along side moving to a new house and still in the process of "putting our stamp on it". I was starting to feel stressed and anxious about the smallest of things and couldn't quite put my finger on what was wrong. A close friend of mine suggested maybe I was putting too much pressure on myself and maybe it was time I give myself a break. I pondered on it for quite sometime, in fact I think it quite possibly could have been months. One day it just clicked and I decided it was time to just hang up my bag making apron and make a new plan.

It was tough at first, I had my new list of priorities, but I was still seeing all my crafty friends posting about all the gorgeous things they had made and it made me feel sad that I wasn't creating too. That was until I put my plan into action.  

 So at the end of July, I pressed pause on Bagladee and pressed play on what you could say "me".  So this is me now.....kick started my new healthy life style, eating healthier, exercising, I've lost a stone in weight and feel so much better in myself. We took a holiday, the first in 5 year, spent a lot of time with Mr.B, spent quite a lot of time making our home as beautiful as our creative skills will allow and I have found out I really love to be in our kitchen. I'm learning to cook more from scratch, making meals healthier and getting as much fruit and veg as I can.

I love all aspects of my life, past and present and have never regretted any decision I've made as I've always gone with gut instinct. Its all a learning curve right? Isn't that why we're all here, to experience as much as we can in life. There have been tough times too but I'm a firm believer in that bad times help us appreciate the good times.

Slowly I'm getting back into a little sewing, I've stocked my Etsy and Folksy shops with some decorations and maybe I'll get round to making a bag or something soon. But for now, watch out for some homemade cakes, soups and breads....Oh yes and some lemon curd too :D

Sunday, 13 September 2015

Holi-bobs and painting jobs

As you were all probably getting ready for the children to go back to school or recuperating from the last bank holiday of the year....ours was very quiet. Although it was quiet we were still very busy. Before the weather starts to turn we're having all the windows and facias of the house painted. So while the weather was still mild this weekend we primed all the parts we could physically reach. Its amazing what a change of colour can do. The front door (top right photo) is currently primer white but it is going to be the most decadent heritage grey colour. The inside is already painted the colour and I truly love it. We seemed to have turned a corner with our home, its gone from being someone elses vision to having a huge personality injected into it. There is still a little way to go yet but it really starting to feel like 'us'.

I accidentally discovered on a trip to Wilko's these delicious dark chocolate mint M&M's, I'm sure there are many of you shouting out there "WHHHAAATTT how have you not seen these before?" but I genuinely haven't, one bag and I'm hooked!!! Maybe the green is a little reminiscent of Superman's kryptonite.....I feel his pain!! Eating healthy has been pretty easy until these green monsters came into my life. Must resist, must resist!

Speaking of eating healthy, after being a huge fan of Lorraine Pascale for a long time I was ecstatic to see that she has released a new book called "Eating healthy made easy"! I haven't attempted to make anything from it yet but the recipes sound utterly delicious and uber healthy without being pretentious or too complicated. Next on my list is to invest in a Nutribullet. So far I have lost a stone, which I'm still reeling from, I wanted to lose a couple of lbs before my holiday (only 8 days left to go) but never thought it would take me to a stone lighter. I feel full of energy and a lot happier in myself. My aim now is to maintain my weight but continue on the healthy eating route.

Last week I watched the final episode of Falling Skies, I only really got into this TV series when I was ill in the Spring. I managed to wade my way through 3 series in a week, and couldn't wait for the 4th. I was a little sad to hear that season 5 would be the last but couldn't wait to see what happened. If you haven't watched and are into Sci-fi then I'd really recommend it.

My other exciting news is that we have a new car, we never planned to replace my little Fiesta just yet but I've had her for 8 1/2 years and when the bill for repairs is double the worth of the car it's time to get a new one. So we popped into a local garage to test drive an Astra (bottom left photo) and ended up putting down a deposit �� its strange not driving Dolly but I'm sure I'm slowly getting used to the new one.

Hopefully the next time I post I will be well rested from my holidays, which I totally cant wait for, I think I'm going to burst with excitement before next week!!! Not having a holiday for 4 years will do this to a person :D ha ha. See you all soon xxx

Tuesday, 11 August 2015

What have I been doing???

Well.....its been quite difficult trying to retrain a brain that naturally wants to hop straight into the studio from work and start making bags but I think I'm slowly getting used to it.

There has been LOTS of list writing and I mean lots!! lol I've been slowly filling my diary with notes and goals and my note book is awash with different ideas and things I need/want to do. Top of my list is to finally get round to making the cushion covers for the snug which I have been meaning to do since November last year!! 

I've also been Zumba'ing my butt off along side eating healthier and of course completing a detox. It was really important for me to spend some time taking care of myself. I feel sooooo much better about myself and a lot happier. Some of the goals that I set myself before I hung up my bag making apron was to eat healthier and be happy so far its going well :D 

We've been trying to get through the mahhooosive list of DIY/Painting tasks that we still had to complete, to be honest I think we were both just putting it off but its time to bite the bullet now and just get on with it. 

And this past week I've been easing myself into a little bit of hand sewing. I do love to sit with a cuppa and a pile of felt, it makes me smile.

So thats me all caught up, what about you, what have you been doing?  

Friday, 31 July 2015

Teatox complete!

I did it!!!! I've completed my very first detox!!! 

I cant believe it was so easy! And I am a little sad that its over :( just to recap with you, for the last 28 days I have been following a teatox program from a company called Skinny Mint. I added more fruit and veg to my diet and started doing regular exercise (x2 40mins Zumba a week).

I want to say that I never went on this detox to lose weight, that's not really what its for. I wanted to detox because I've been struggling with certain foods as I've gotten older. I've never been able to consume cows milk, apparently when I was a baby my Mam brought me up on goats milk. But after I left home I bought and drank cows milk as I thought it was just something I would have grown out of, until I realised that it was making me really ill. I was having awful stomach pains/cramps and I was so ridiculously bloated, sometimes it even made me feel nauseous. So I'm back on the goats milk/cheese/yoghurt and loving it. I also have trouble with white bread, white pasta and white rice. So I have switched to wholemeal/protien pasta, brown rice and only eat wholemeal bread. I gathered that making these changes and detoxing would be just what I needed.

Before the teatox I weighed myself and I was sitting at 11st 1lbs, which for my height 5"11 is where I should be. But I felt heavy and lethargic and I had heard that the morning tea really gave you a boost. So I thought with my holiday coming up in September I had nothing to lose by trying it. 

I finished my teatox on Wednesday and when I weighed myself I was astonished to see that I am now 10st 6lbs. This was just an added bonus I have to say as the teatox did what it said it would. It gave me so much more energy and I no longer felt fuzzy headed and lethargic on a morning. I also found that during the day my energy levels didn't dip like they used to. And to top it all off no more tummy troubles. 

When I had completed the teatox I really missed the morning teas so I've went ahead and ordered some more. The morning ones you can continue to drink in between detox's. They arrived this afternoon and I will be glad to get back to it tomorrow morning for sure :)

As I have already posted it on my Instagram account I just want to warn you before, that I don't normally make a habit of posting photographs of myself in a bikini and this will be the one and only time I will ever do it. I apologise to those of you who would rather not see if it, but since I'm only ever going to do it the once I feel like it may just be OK? :D

The top two are of me before and the bottom are from after. I am more than happy with the result and would definitely recommend it to anyone wanting to cleanse their system, feel better and more energised or just want to kick start a healthy eating regime. 

OK I have embarrased myself enough now so I'm signing off there. Thanks for taking the time to read through my progress. Other crafty news to follow :) xxx

Saturday, 25 July 2015

The last for sometime

If you have caught up with my blog lately you will know that I've made the tough decision to give up making bags for the time being to pursue other things that make me happy.

It was an even tougher decision as I had just finished this custom bag for a lovely friend of mine. I have really pushed myself this year to not be afraid to dive in and try new designs and I'm proud to say I think I nailed that one. 

As always I loved making this bag and loved the brief I was set by Michele. It took longer than I anticipated but I got there in the end......

Its a little bit ridiculous that I was so scared of zippered pockets, they weren't half as difficult as I thought they were going to be and this year they have appeared in every bag I've made.

Michele was as pleased with her bag as I was with the end result. I have no doubt in my mind that there will be more bags in the future but it will be as and when I feel the need to get back in the saddle so to speak.

I feel content that I "went out with a bang" with this bag, although it did make me question my decision to stop making bags. That was until I reminded myself of all the new projects/tasks that I was looking forward to getting started on.

I'm hoping all this practice with piping will stand me in good stead to get cracking on those cushions I was planning to make over a year ago!!! :D

So I leave you with this picture........

Bagladee xxx