Monday, 15 December 2014


After a rather long hiatus, I have decided to start writing on my blog again as I would like to start documenting my makes. My most recent crochet make is an elf that I made for my little boy. I made it so that we can participate in 'Elf on the shelf' this year. The elf that you can buy is a little freaky looking and just seeing a picture of it scared my little one last year so I sought out an alternative.

After this photo, I reread the pattern and noticed that I was using the wrong size eyes, so quickly changed them for the right size!

I used a 4mm crochet hook and Rico Creative Cotton Aran in the colours red, green, white and nature.

I love working in cotton as it gives a lovely definition to the stitches!

I added a pom pom to the hat and hooked up a scalloped collar as opposed to the one that was in the pattern.

I loved making this and the pattern was extremely easy to follow. My son absolutely loved it which was a relief considering his reaction to the official elf that you can buy!

If you would like to make this elf yourself, you can purchase the pattern from the Button Beautiful etsy shop.

Thursday, 13 December 2012

Free Christmas gift tag printables

If you're a regular reader of my blog, then you will know how much I love my printables! Christmas present wrapping time is upon us and I've been searching the web for some free printable gift tags to adorn mine with. I've come across some wonderful free designs from some very talented and generous people and I thought I'd share with you a few of my favourites.

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I'd love for you to share a link with me in the comment section below if you've come across any nice designs!

Monday, 10 December 2012

Review - Ecover ZERO


I have heard of Ecover before but have never tried any of their products. Bear & I both have sensitive skin so I was pleased to be asked to review their new ZERO range.

Designed with people with sensitive skin in mind, ZERO is made using plant and mineral based ingredients and contains no optical brighteners or phosphates. The range has been dermatologically tested and awarded the stamp of approval from Allergy UK. It consists of Washing Up Liquid, Non-Bio Laundry Liquid, Fabric Conditioner & Non-Bio Washing Powder. All key products which tend to irritate skin and cause allergic reactions.

Washing Up Liquid


"Protect your hands when doing the dishes with Ecover ZERO Washing Up Liquid. Fragrance Free, using plant and mineral-based ingredients and approved by Allergy UK it will take care of sensitive skin whilst with GHI appoval you know it will do the job."

Normally, washing up liquid aggravates makes my skin and makes my hands feel like they are on fire so my poor other half has to do the majority of the washing up. I am pleased to report that I didn't have a reaction when using the Ecover ZERO Washing Up Liquid and it didn't dry my skin out either.

The washing up liquid has a slight fragrance to it but there is no residue left on the dishes (big thumbs up!). It bubbles and cleans just as well as my usual washing up liquid and leaves my glasses lovely and shiny.

Non-Bio Laundry Liquid


"Leave your clothes fragrance free and fantastically clean with Ecover ZERO Laundry Liquid. Using plant-based ingredients and approved by Allergy UK you can trust ZERO to get the results without the irritation."

Next up is their ZERO Non-Bio Laundry Liquid. I was genuinely impressed with the cleaning power of this. With an arborist and a one year olds clothes to deal with, I was a bit dubious that it wouldn't be able to get their clothes clean but was pleasantly surprised. It has a slight scent to it when it is poured into the machine but the clothes come out smelling of nothing. Whilst this isn't a problem for us, I can understand how some people would find this a drawback as they might like being able to smell the fragrance of detergent on their clothes.

One negative I have is that my whites aren't as white as they are with the normal product that I use. I'm assuming this is because there are no optical brighteners in the laundry liquid but if you want to use a detergent with no nasties in it then this a sacrifice that you must make.

Fabric Conditioner


"Leave your clothes fragrance free and luxuriously soft with Ecover ZERO Fabric Conditioner. Making ironing a breeze whilst using gentle plant-based ingredients, ZERO is approved by Allergy UK and dermatologically for sensitive skin."

Finally, we tested the Ecover ZERO Fabric Conditioner and I was again quite impressed with the results. It left my towels lovely and soft! As with the Laundry Liquid there is no smell left on the clothes. This didn't bother me at all as I find the fragrances of fabric conditioners to be superfluous but if you like your clothes to have a smell, you could pop a couple of drops of your favourite essential oil in with the Fabric Conditioner.

You can currently only purchase Ecover ZERO from their online shop but there are also plans to make it available in supermarkets and independent stockists, so keep an eye out!

To find out more information on Ecover and to view their range of products, be sure to check out their website. You can also find them on facebook, youtube & twitter.

Have you tried any of Ecover's products? What do you think?

Samples were received for the purposes of this review. No other reward, financial or otherwise, was received in exchange for this post. All opinions expressed are entirely my own.

Thursday, 1 November 2012



Next A/W 12

Next is the epitome of British high street fashion for all ages. They produce lovely basics, which last from season to season and versatile on trend items, perfect to update any outfit with. You might say that I have a soft spot for them and yes, I have been known to be one of those (slightly mad) people who start queuing in the early hours ready for the sale!

Next, for me, is all about family clothing and so I've put together an outfit for each member of my own little family. So, without further ado here is our Next Autumn/Winter wish list:

Tan Belted Chinos
Grey Fleck Crew Neck
Tan Wedge Hiker Boot
Roll Sleeve Brown Check Shirt

My other half is a tree surgeon by trade, and I think you'll agree that this outfit has a certain logger man vibe to it. I love the earthy tones of the items and the combination of the colours on the shirt is lovely. The chinos are a good basic and will see him through the S/S season too and the boots are versatile enough to go with the majority of his outfits. His personal style is very much clean lines with simple styling in good quality fabrics and I feel that Next are really catering to him with their A/W range.

Grey Moustache Print Sweater
Fairisle Pattern Beanie
Brown Quilted Jacket
Mink Brogue Boot
Carrot Fit Chinos

I adore Next for kids clothes. My mum swore by Next when I was younger and I've followed suit since having my own little one. They always have a fantastic mix of styles and are great value for money. Their clothes always wash really well too. Very important when you have a baby who likes to get mucky!

I love this moustache jumper and have chosen it for Bear as a nod to Movember. Whilst he can't participate properly like his daddy, he can still join in with this fun jumper!

As it's getting chillier, it's important that he has a thick coat to keep him warm and this Barbour-esque coat fits the bill. I love the traditional look to it and it would go with many of his outfits.

How cute are mini shoes!? The colour and style of these boots are very versatile and will look cute teamed up with his jeans too. Chinos in a lovely autumnal colour brighten up the outfit a treat and the fairisle knit beanie is a fun but practical finishing touch.

Fabric Mix Waxed Jacket
Black Leather Premium Tote
Brushed Lace Dress
Faux Fur Pom Pom Beanie
Black Stud Biker Ankle Boots

As it is getting colder I am moving away from my usual muted tones and am finding myself drawn to an entirely different array of colours. I am especially enjoying seeing the berry shades which are in the shops at the moment and couldn't help but fall in love with this dress. I've added some biker boots for a casual look but you could easily glam it up with a pair of heels.

A good coat is a Winter essential and whilst I've collected a few over the years, I'm always on the lookout for something new. I couldn't help but like this jacket. The mix of fabrics is lovely and it is a nice alternative to a more structured style.

The functional tote compliments the outfit and the fun bobble hat is the perfect finishing touch for this relaxed practical look.

For up to date product news, you can find Next on twitter & facebook.

What items are on your Next A/W wish list?

Amy Antoinette is running a competition in association with Next on her blog. This is my entry into the competition. If you would like to enter yourself, you can find all the details on how to enter here.

Thursday, 25 October 2012

Bathroom accessory inspiration

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Our bathroom has been a work in progress for over a year now and with my illness recently, it's taking even longer to get it finished. My wonderful other half has finished laying our new floor and now all that is left to do is to sand and paint the wood work and put the sides back on the bath. We're getting there!

Now that we're so close to getting it finished, I've been searching for some pretty things to fill it with! The Laura Ashley shadow box is perfect for displaying my trinkets & I love the aztec style shower mat from H&M and the nautical items from Matalan. I can just see the jar from H&M on a shelf filled with cotton wool balls. Our washing machine is in our bathroom so the storage crates from Next & the storage bag from H&M are perfect for keeping the laundry bits together.

I will be so pleased when it's finished!

Where did you get your bathroom accessories from?

Friday, 12 October 2012

Friday Five #4

1. I love this rag quilt tutorial from Wonder Forest.

2. How cute are these free printable Halloween cupcake toppers from Ekaterina Trukhan's Blog!?

3. Download a free October wallpaper from Oh the lovely things.

4. You can download a free whimsical 2013 mini calendar from The Ink Nest. Simply share on twitter or facebook to gain access to the download!

5. This twisted side ponytail is cute! Grab all the details on how to do it at A beautiful Mess.

What have you been liking this week?