Norwich Cocktail Week is coming!

If you’re in or near Norwich you’re going to want to be prepared for this. And if you’re not in Norwich, we have hotels.

killermargarita

Image credit

We’re getting our own Cocktail Week! Seriously, a whole week to try some new cocktails in some different cocktail bars, a launch party and a raffle! This is sounding good.

So we have a beer festival (Yes I know, I’m sure it’s not just Norich) and people get SO excited about the beer festival and I’m like “What? It’s beer.” And everyone else is like “Its a festival for alcohol! Yay! Let’s get pissed!”

And then I’m like, “but I’d rather have a cocktail. Can I have a margarita?” And they’re all “No! This is a celebration of beer.” And then I yawn and go to bed (after a margarita of course).

But Cocktail Week? I don’t care what that’s about, I’m up for it!

You probably want to know what its about though huh? Weeeellll… basically, you buy a wristband and then you get discounted cocktails all week at participating bars! It pays for itself really so why would you not want to do it?

Norwich Cocktail Week is 4 to 10th of October, 2014 so it’s a bit of a wait but between now and the end of May you can get your early supporters wristband. By the time it comes around it will feel like a bonus you didn’t even pay for. I love when that happens.

The organisers are crowd funding on Indiegogo to get it started and until the 31st of May you can get your wristband and even a ticket to the launch party on Friday the 3rd of October (extend the fun!) for less than you’ll be able to get them later, IF you can get a ticket to the launch party later. That is a big unknown, so if you think you want one, go for it now!

Buy wristbands and tickets here.

 

Advertisements

My DIY Leather Wrap Bracelet Experience

It all started with the promoted posts on Facebook that are always showing me these wrap bracelets on sale for £21! First I ignored them, then I started to think they were kind of cool, then I clicked the link. Let me say that this does show proof in my opinion that consistent advertising does in fact work. One ad does nothing but consistently over time it does get into people’s brains.

leatherwrapbracelet1 leatherwrapbracelet4

So I clicked and went to look and yeah, they’re pretty nice but woah! The ones not on sale are like over £100! I’m broke. Like really broke. Even £21 is pushing it for me right now. So, I thought I might see if I can look up how to make these things myself. Can’t be that hard right? Indeed, there are lots of tutorials in blogs (and youtube videos but I didn’t watch any) and I chose one that looked fairly good to follow and bought all the stuff I would need from ebay.

I think it was the beads that took longest, easily two weeks. I almost lost interest by then! And they were all wrong for this type of bracelet so I had to order different ones a couple of times as well as wait for a night I had the energy AND interest AND ingredients ALL converged into a trifecta of a bracelet making night!

leatherwrapbracelet3

Then, once I’d spent over £21 anyway, I started making this bracelet that was clearly not going to look as good as a pro can make it. But, I thought it would be fun.

leatherwrapbracelet2

What a mess!

It was really frustrating and monotonous and a little bit boring. Howeveer I did feel quite accomplished at the end when I had a nice bracelet, even though it’s not long enough or neat enough really. I might try again soon. I might try it again a lot!

However I would say the moral of the story is that sometimes the DIY option is not the best value at all!

Have you ever had a similar DIY fashion experience?

 

It’s Spring! Put the pastels away!

It’s spring now and apparently it has been for four whole weeks! Really? I can’t believe that. It’s still cold in my bedroom at night (did you know I’m from America and have only been here 5 years? Yeah, I still expect it to warm up in spring! What’s wrong with me?) There have been a couple days that were like two degrees warmer, maybe, but it’s still been mostly the same. I guess that’s what I should expect anyway, until those three days of summer arrive it’ll be like this. (I don’t believe that for a second, summer does get hot! That I remember.)

Anyway the real reason I know it’s spring is because I keep seeing blog posts like this:

SPRING has sprung! Can you believe it? I love spring because now I can wear the super pretty, frilly, flouncy, lovely, mooshy, smooshy, PASTEL coloured dresses! Yaaaayyyy! Look at these lovely scrummy pastel dresses! I loooooveee them! 

leapforjoy

 Image source

I hate them. Pastels, ugh. They’re so… noncommittal! If you’re a colour, be a colour! Stand up for yourself and shout it out! Spring should be about waking up to all the lovely colours in the world after the slumber of winter. I’m happy with winter being about creams and browns, dark greens and reds. That’s lovely. But in the spring time, this happens:

springcollage

Yellow flowers * Blue flowers closeup * Purple flower closeup * Yellow daffodils * Red and yellow flower meadow * Hydrangeas

So why exactly are we looking at these?

pasteldresses

Image source

Wake up to some brightness in the world!

brightpastelsweater

This jumper on Etsy somehow manages to be bright as well as pastel so it had to go first. I actually surprisingly like it a lot!

teatoweltop

This one is also on Etsy and is upcycled like all the items in the shop from tea towels! It’s too quirky not to like it!

melonraccoontop

Speaking of quirk; this top is quite pastel as well I know, I’m getting to the really bright stuff. But it’s got a raccoon on it! Move over owls, bored of you now.

brightfloraldress

Here you go, we’re getting brighter, this is the kind of thing I like. That’s spring right there. Spring flowers and everything!

brighttop

I just think this looks quite nicely bright and comfy too. I kinda want it. Find it here.

yellowshrug

This bright yellow shrug is pretty much the epitome of what I think spring should be about. I know you think it’s summery. Nope.

rockabillytopAnd I had to add this rockabilly top to the list because it’s quite bright and quite odd (which I love)! One of a kind!

So, that’s what I think about what to wear in spring. I know, I’m alone in this. Pastel is in.

For now!

 

Why weight loss is not just about calories

burncalories

Image source

Some people think that carbs and sugars make you fat while other people (scientists) think that too many calories are what make you gain too much fat. That’s probably not very nice, there are plenty of people trying to explain to us (pseudo)scientifically why it’s not about calories, it’s about carbs. Don’t worry, I’m not going to do that, because this is not a science blog, it’s not true and you probably don’t want to read complicated theories about weight loss. I am, however, going to try to explain a few things, including what pisses me off about the media (shock) and the one proven way to trick your body into losing weight (you’re not going to like it, and yes I know I sound exactly like that same media now).

You may have seen the post I shared on Facebook where a thin attractive woman was shown along with something to the affect of, “If you want to get fit, have a look at what these fitness models do to keep fit.” That’s not exactly what it said, and you can go have a look but substantively that’s what it said. It got my hackles up and I’ll tell you why; as I said on the post, getting fit is not the same thing as staying fit. It’s ridiculous to say that someone who is a stone or two overweight and sedentary could just start the diet and exercise regime of any fitness professional, model or anyone who has spent the last five, ten or more years getting fitter and fitter who probably also never had to lose much weight because they’ve always been thin. You either won’t be able to keep up or it won’t have the effect you want (a body like this person). You aren’t going to start doing pilates and look like Miley Cyrus in 3 months.

workout

Image source

In fact even though the advice is always “eat less, exercise more” if you do precisely that to the extremes the “professionals” and the media suggest you will probably be left, “sprawled out on a couch with injuries, screwed hormones, and hunger to rival that of Ethiopians on South Park,” says Leigh Peele, my favoritest diet guru ever. If you want to know more read her stuff, she’s no nonsense, doesn’t sell packs of lies, doesn’t judge, and tells it like it is. All that hormones and hunger stuff is why it’s so hard. Set weight theory is why the diet industry is a multi-billion pound industry. When you maintain a particular weight for a while your body considers that its proper weight, whether that’s ten stone or twenty. If you start eating less or moving more or any combination that results in a calorie deficit your body fights it by making you hungry, sluggish, and grumpy and sneakily tries to trick you into getting more calories. That’s why low carb works for a while and then you start finding more fun things to eat and the deficit goes down the drain.

That whole starvation mode thing? Its true and not. Metabolism always slows down when you’re in a deficit, after two or three days. This is why the 5/2 diet is good, your metabolism doesn’t get a chance to slow down. I’ve still found it quite difficult once in a significant caloric deficit though. Lots of fitness professionals, including Leigh, recommend diet breaks and refeeds, where you eat your current maintenance calories for up to two weeks after dieting for a while. It helps to reset both your metabolism and your willpower. I can attest that knowing a diet break is coming up soon helps with willpower to keep going. Last year, I did rounds of two and a half weeks on the diet and four days break for about five months and that helped me get the baby weight off. But as I’ve been explaining even though it wasn’t easy it was much easier than going below the weight I was pre-pregnancy. I haven’t managed that yet.

bodyacceptance

Image source

That’s going to take a considerable effort and to be quite honest I’m not sure that I “want it” badly enough. It has to be high up on the priority list to succeed and with my work and home life as demanding as it is right now and the fact that I’m on the “accept your body the way it is” bandwagon, weight loss is a bit lower down that list than the success threshold.

Oh yeah, that one proven method to trick your body to lose weight? Gastric bypass. But it comes with it’s own risks and you have to be like 100 pounds overweight to qualify. Bummer!

I hate dieting. And a red outfit!

Anyone hear of the 5/2 diet? I was dubious at first but I’d already read all about intermittent fasting a couple years ago so i know it’s legit and there’s nothing wrong with it if that’s what works for you. I know I said I wouldn’t count calories but I’m a stats and numbers kind of girl and if I don’t know what my numbers are i feel like I may as well eat the whole pizza!

A lot of people get nervous about someone saying they eat 500 to 1000 calories in a day because that sounds a bit disordered doesn’t it? It’s not though if it’s only 2 days a week. If you start thinking you can do this every day or five days a week that’s disordered and you need to back off. It’s not healthy, it’s not ok. But if you’re keeping it really low two days a week, not back to back, that’s just fine if it works for you. Personally, I hate restricting my calories so if I’m going to do it I’m going to really go for it, but as little as possible.

It didn’t work out very well for me this week. Sometimes you can do it, sometimes it’s too hard. I’m not going to beat myself up over it, I’m just going to move on and try again next week.

So I put together this lovely outfit for your viewing pleasure. I had a great time and it took my mind off not eating (I hadn’t failed yet.) Hope you like it.

barbaraoutfit2

 

A – The Barbara dress by The Fabulous Miss K

B – Vintage Red Stone earrings by Iridescence

C – Jewelled Statement Necklace by Iridescence

D – Vintage Cuff by Iridescence

E – Womens black boots on Etsy

The other images are meant for your viewing pleasure just because.

CatWaterdropsBoxer dogTree

Hate it when people spam your newsfeed?

Recently a colleague said that he unfriends people on Facebook when they “spam” his news feed with posts about their businesses. This is an open letter to him and everyone who agrees.

Dear Colleague,

You say you hate it when your news feed is spammed on Facebook by friends and their businesses. I do understand that you feel inundated by media messages and advertisements everyday telling you to buy this and buy that. Your hard earned money gets spent way too quickly. I understand, and we have all become so cynical and cautious about these messages.

Or have we?

vintagecuff

Vintage cuff by Iridenscence

We see McDonald’s everywhere we go, we don’t even realise how often we look at those golden freaking arches. If it’s not the restaurant itself we’re looking at, there’s a bag of food somewhere that someone is carrying around, or someone has left around littering the streets, or there’s an advertisement on the bus stop, or the billboard, or on TV. It’s EVERYWHERE.

But that doesn’t bother you because you’ve tuned it out. Don’t mistake, it still affects your thinking whether you eat there or not. You’re always aware that McDonalds is a choice.

Many big brands are in your face just like McDonalds day in and day out. They have seeped into your brain and they make up such a big part of it now that you don’t even notice how much you see them. They are just a part of life.

Starbucks. Nike. Primark.

They’re not spamming your life. They’re just a part of your life.

petalcollar

Petal Collar by House of Handmade

Your friend’s little indie business though. Whoa! That’s different. She better back the fuck up and leave you alone huh? You do not want to know about it. She can find her customers elsewhere.

You’re not even tolerant enough to ignore the posts? You do know you can set it up to not see certain people’s posts on your wall right? Not that I’m for that option.

I’m for being supportive; like the page, like the post, share it every once in a while! Some people are trying to make a living with their business, not an empire. I understand the anti-capitalism sentiment that many people share, but we live in a capitalist economy and if you’re anti-capitalist you should be FOR the little indie business and the self employed.

Because McDonalds and Starbucks, they’re good. They don’t need your support, they have 300 million more supporters. But your friend, she needs it. Self employment is not easy. Cutting through all the other messages and being noticed is hard work. No one is trying to invade your space but your tolerance levels need an attitude adjustment.

steampunkhat

Victorian/Steampunk hat by Betsy Hatter

Our money needs to start going to the little guy instead of the conglomerates. Income inequality has become ridiculous and our spending habits are not helping. They’ve gotten too good at psychological tricks in marketing and advertising and we need to be more aware and vigilant.

Indie businesses don’t have huge marketing budgets; they have networking and social media. That means friends on Facebook and Twitter as well as real life. Someone you know may well want something your friend offers and unfriending her can make that impossible.

You ignore the messages from the largest brands around us, its in your interest, my interest and the interest of the 99% if you help support all  the indie business owners and self employed rather than actively sabotage by cutting yourself off as a networking link.

Sincerely,

 

Tiffany

PS click on the images to buy them!

Lush “Let Them Eat Cake” vegan lip balm

This weekend was utterly exhausting. Both my kids had their birthdays last week so we did a small family party on Saturday and then, obviously Sunday was Mother’s Day. Yeah, I was pampered a bit of course and that was nice. But then I stayed up a bit too late trying to make a beaded leather wrap bracelet and talking about other interesting projects my husband and I are exploring (super secret right now!). The bracelet didn’t work because the spacer beads I bought are too big. So I’ve ordered some smaller ones to try in a few days, plus some more stuff to try since I have extra beads now. Last night there was little sleep to be had for me, so today I am practically a zombie.

zombie2

It’s not pretty

So I thought I’d tell you about this lip balm I’ve had in one of my drawers forever. The other day I really needed something for my dry lips for some reason and had run out of whatever I was using before (I’m not very loyal sometimes). So, I went searching through my many drawers and boxes of products I just haven’t used yet for whatever reason and found this Lush vegan lip balm called “Let them eat cake”.

lushlipbalm

Its yummy! Somehow they pull off a sweet, cinnamony, cakey flavour. I suppose with cinnamon, but it’s not an overpowering spicy cinnamon, it’s so subtle and lovely. And of course, it’s a really nice balance of moisture and slickness. Its not waxy or oily. Its actually just right. So I’m applying it like crazy and will probably go out and buy a new pot when I’m done with this one.

What’s your favorite lip balm?