Thursday, 10 April 2014

My Pink World....

I really should be growing out of the pink stage by now, but I just can't help but be drawn into this pink world of prettiness whenever I see anything, well, pink! 
Pink is probably all fine and dandy for a girl of about ten, but really all this pink, and at my age?? 

Here is some pink-ness I just couldn't resist.

Pink flowers!

Pink flannels!

Pink (Flamingo) glasses!

More pink flowers!

Pink candles!

Pink bunting!

Pink teabags! (well ok packaging)

Pink pots!

Pink clocks!

Pink Earrings!

Pink bedlinen!

Pink cakes!

Pink straws!

Pink cutlery!

Pink scales!

Oh dear, pink overload methinks. Time to grow up?
Still love my pink though *wink

Thursday, 20 March 2014

'Plant Me Now' Garden Challenge...

Spring is most definitely in the air and I have really enjoyed the occasional sunny day we have been having. As such, I couldn't wait to get involved in a Plant Me Now blogger challenge to make 'blooming' an unloved, neglected area of my garden. Now, I certainly do not claim to own the greenest of fingers, so this really is a challenge for me and especially as all efforts for my Home Sweet Home and been concentrated on indoors. My poor garden is most definitely in need of some tlc and as I've been known to enjoy a crafty/creative challenge or two, I have digged out my dusty and unused gardening gloves with the aim to create my own piece of paradise at the bottom of the garden. Perhaps somewhere I can sit and relax, partake in a little tea drinking, reflection and maybe even a little poetry writing. 

Tim, the gardening guru at Plant Me Now invited me to choose a particular space in my garden that I was keen to makeover, and straight away I knew it had to be the small area at the bottom of our garden. Having no dishwasher at home I often spend time at the kitchen sink washing dishes, daydreaming out of the large kitchen window, and instead of seeing such an unloved, unkempt area at the bottom, I want to see pretty flowers, the bees, the birds singing and generally a much happier space. At one point we were thinking of doing a little allotment, but loving all things floral, I am delighted to finally get the opportunity to makover the shabby area, and with the hope of turning it into a country cottage style space. My aim is to fill it with lovely spring/summer colours that attract butterflies, bees and birds and perhaps plant some home grown lavender that I can use for my handmade lavender hearts. I would like to eventually put a couple of chairs and a table near the space where I can sit and truly enjoy the flowers. 

You may wish to avert your eyes to this very messy space, but here it is. 

My before image, looking so unloved and uncared for.

The area, which is a rectangular space, is jam packed with weeds, autumn leaves and debris. It's definitely the area at the bottom of the garden that has been forgotten about!  

 Along with my before photographs I sent to Plant Me Now garden expert Tim, I also sent an image of my dream garden space, including my favourite colours of pink, purple, lilac, white, cream and vibrant green.

Tim kindly advised my how to prepare the area before planting and also about my soil conditions. He recommended me laying down some standard compost to get the soil in better condition, and keeping to one side the posh compost for when the plants arrived. It was jolly hard work clearing that messy space I can tell you, and with all the tall weeds gone, soon realised how bad the fencing looked. We have decided to take a shopping trip to our local fence shop as I cant have new pretty flowers surrounded by such a drab, looking background. 

There's still quite a bit of tidying up to do before I get planting and which the children are going to get involved in  too. But for now the space already looks a lot better.
 With me being a novice gardener, the personal planting guide sent from Tim was ever so helpful. It explains the best areas of the space to plant certain flowers, and how to best achieve the county cottage style I was after. He explained in the guide "To get the country cottage feel, keep all plants of the same variety together, this will create beautiful swatches of colour with a patchwork feel around the flower bed". Ohooo I liked the sound of that. I eagerly awaited the plant delivery and was so excited about the flowers and plants that were chosen for my unloved space. Here is a little selection of some of my favourites that shall be adorning my garden. 
Achillea Summer Berries.
Astilbe Astery Rose.

I especially love this Shasta Daisy White Knight plant.
And yay, some lovely Lavender Hidcote.

Tim must know my taste well, as this beautiful Veronica First Love plant is the most beautiful pink!
My ocd type habits shall probably want to take over at times and plant very specifically but I know to achieve the natural look I want, I can afford to be a little bit random in places. The advice from Tim about laying them all out before planting to help get an idea of the look I want is excellent. In fact I know I'll probably have a little change around here and there before deciding where to plant them. I am a little worried about planting wrongly or in the wrong area, but I shall let me heart take over, follow it, and with the help of the family we'll just get stuck in!   
The plants have happily arrived safely so now it is time to get them planted, watch, wait and let them bloom! Hopefully they'll be standing a little taller, happy and proud in time for a very special occasion we are having in June and where time shall be spent in the garden.

For now and as I get busy planting on this first day of spring, I have my green fingers tightly crossed that they take well to their new home. That soon, I can indeed call this newly loved area of my garden, my little piece of  paradise.
Back in a couple of months with an update :) 
Disclosure: We were provided with compost, and all plants for the purposes of this garden blogger challenge. All words and opinions are my own.

Tuesday, 11 March 2014

Ferrero Raffaello Giveaway!....

With Mother's Day fast approaching Ferrero are offering you a wonderful giveaway treat! The treat in question is a delightfully pretty chocolate box of Confetteria Raffaello.

With toasted almond at it's heart, Rafaello by Ferrero are a delicate coconut and almonds cream, encased in a thin, crispy wafer and dusted with coconut which just melts on the tongue. Yum yum!! Even though these would make a very nice and tasty treat for any fabulous mum, they would also make a lovely gift for your sister, daughter, special friend or even (if you love chocolate as much as I do) yourself! If you would like to go in the pretty hat to win this scrumptious Fererro chocolate box, all you need to do is leave a comment on this post. Maybe you'd like to share who these would be going to if you won. I'll get a small member of the Poppins household to pull out a winner on the 20th March and Ferrero will get your delicious chocolate prize out to you asap, and right in time for Mother's Day!

Good Luck!

Winner Update: Thank you so much for the comments on the Ferrero chocolates giveaway ~ I would so have liked you all to get a yummy box of chocs. Unfortunately there can only be one winner and I got little Miss. Poppins to do the picking.

Well done to Liz at Shortbread & Ginger whose name was pulled out of the hat and I hope you love your chocolates.

Do share now won't you Liz ;))


Giveaway now closed - thank you.

Monday, 24 February 2014

Happiness Is Homemade....

Well hello lovelies! I thought I would share a little of what I have been up to. I have definitely come to realise I get much more happiness making or re-loving an item for my home than buying something shop bought, and that has most probably come off a factory line. I think it is so special to have handmade elements around the home, and every week I now make it my aim to get creative, and make at least one little something to help bring some extra homemade happiness. One make I've done recently and which actually is a make'over' is this very useful storage ottoman. I am a big fan of Freecycle and this is where it was kindly given to me. It was looking just fine but I knew I wanted to give it a cover more in keeping with my own decor. 

To be honest this started off in my head as something I thought I could do quite quickly and easily. Ha Ha what was I thinking! Difficulty level wise, this wasn't too bad but my staple gun and I just didn't get on at all on this project. In the end I just stapled on a new top cover after removing the old one and then got the sewing machine out to make a loose skirt style bottom for it. I used one of my favourite Laura Ashley gingham fabrics and Rosali for the inside lining. 


I was really happy with the end result and this makeover certainly was a labour of love - removing hundreds of old staples that seemed to take forever is not my idea of fun ;) But all worth it in the end, and I think the skirt style cover for the bottom really works!

My next little project involved this old music sheet book. 

 I busily got on with cutting out many heart shapes...

And after popping them into pairs, and sewing a length of thread all the way down their middles, I ended up with a pretty heart garland. This project had been on my to do list for longer than I can remember, it took so little time to make and I can't wait to get on and make more and perhaps using different materials. 


I'm also trying to source things I already have around the home to make new things, and so next time I'm going to make some pretty bunting using some of my many paper doilies I have in the cupboard. 

I can't wait to finish it and see how the bunting looks.

I am way, way way behind on this one. But only now have I jumped on the pom pom craze and with the help of these little pom pom makers am able to churn out many on the go. 

 I can't get enough of making these pretty little balls of fluff.

Back to Freecycle, I again have been given some wonderful free items and this is my most recent favourite, a little dressing table stool. Exactly what I needed and all ready for a little sprucing up!   

So hopefully these little homemade touches really do bring happiness, I know when I see something homemade in peoples homes it really does bring a big smile to my face :)

Happy making!


Wednesday, 29 January 2014

Pretty, Pretty, Pretty....

I don't know about you, lovely peeps, but I definitely feel a bit down in the dumps at this time of year. Christmas is over and done with and the buzz of a new year has for me now passed. February has always been my tricky month ~ bit of a nothing and depressing month. However thoughts of spring and sunshine keep me going and I find this time more than most I need to have pretty things in my life. So to begin with, I took off the chine cover and got sewing. I have had this lovely vintage bicycle Ashley Wilde fabric for a while, and knew the large print would be perfect for a comfy, over sized cushion cover. 

It is going to be perfect for when the sunshine is out, friends gather round and a spare seat is needed. The extra large size makes it a lovely floor cushion. 

Next a teeny little shop was in order, im a big fan of dotcomgiftshop and well, they always do such great sales! I couldn't resist this little lot, and one or two prezzies in there for other people too :) 

 I just had to have this oh so pretty toilet roll, ha ha not to be used mind, purely for display purposes only!!  

If there was toilet roll made with me in mind, that would most certainly be it ;) Of course some of my bestest pretties can be found in charity shops and I loved this little floral mantle clock ~ only £2, a pretty bargain indeed!

It really is so sweet and a little kitsch too. I adored this pretty floral posy, a pound well spent, and in the dreary month ahead, they shall certainly put a smile on my face. No need to water either! 

This lovely bracelet had to come home with me too ~ well they do say one (wo)mans trash is another (wo)mans treasure! 

Next it was on to Paperchase for a little mooch. They had a great sale on and I just love this shop.

At £2.40 (sale price) I could absolutely not leave these pretty winged heart cases on the shelf. I have visions of me baking pretty little heart cakes for Mr. Poppins on Valentine's Day :) 

And then it was to Sainsbury's and with me thinking and longing for sunshine these little items made their way into my shopping trolley. Ooppps!  

The napkins are so cute....urrr though looking at my already collection of paper napkins I didn't really need any more. Oh dear, I'm beyond help I think, I probably need to join some sort of napkins anonymous group! 

I adore the paper honeycomb decorations,

Having a desire to make something pretty, I gathered some ingredients.

One project is still a work in progress but I managed to finish this little raggy heart. Off to be gifted I think, and such an easy make, anyone can bring a little sunshine into their lives :)

To help the inspiration/mojo at this time of year I love to read pretty books, and I am really enjoying Vintage Home. It was from the works so cheaper than RRP and one of my favorites to perk me up a bit. 

Also this little man, I only have to look at him and I grin from ear to ear. Oh how a dog truly is a (wo)mans best friend.

Not sure he's too happy about having a floral bed, but it deffo suits him!   

So I shall continue to dream of sunny day's, when the heart doesn't feel so heavy and the hats and scarves can be replaced by flowery flip flops and floaty dresses.

However, I am indeed realizing that although that big ball of heat may not be in the sky, you can carry sunshine in your heart and be grateful for the here the now, family and friends in your lives. So, although February is my wobbly month, I truly am going to do my best to see the prettiness in everything.  

Oh, and these certainly help, probably the best thing about this time of year ;)