Tuesday, 11 February 2020

Choosing and buying Antique Jewellery.

This year I have lots of milestone events in my family, such as my niece's wedding, my best friend’s "big" birthday and me being a great aunt to my nephew’s new baby boy. All these moments are so special and I always want to remember them well. I also want to make the events memorable for the family member involved and what better way than to gift them a special gift that can commemorate the occasion and become a keepsake that they will love and cherish. This can be a piece of furniture, an ornament or even a piece of jewellery. It all depends on the person’s personality which they would prefer.

Thinking about various gift ideas, I prefer to gift an item that the person can wear and it has value. The gift that can be  a keepsake and in the future it can be passed from generation to generation. I have many such antique pieces that have been passed down to me that I cherish and I will do the same, when the time comes to pass them down to my daughters.

I started my search for the perfect gift, my favourite is always jewellery. My search led me to Carus Jewellery, they have Jewellery to suit every price range with items from various periods such as the Georgian, Victorian, Art Nouveau, Edwardian and Art Deco. 

You can find many unique and beautiful pieces ranging from brooches, bracelets, earrings, necklaces, bangles, and charms. For the gentleman you can find some unusual tiepins, cuff links, and rings too.

What is the advantage of buying antique jewellery?

The Jewellery is usually made from a high standard with good quality materials. The designs you will find are unique and you will be able to find a design that is original and not mass-produced. The classic design of fine jewellery makes it highly sustainable. It saves the buyer paying again for labour costs and manufacture which is better for the environment. The jewellery can be polished, cleaned and regenerated but at the same time keeping the authenticity and value intact. Passing the jewellery down from generation to generation is a very sentimental thing and something that I value tremendously.

How expensive is it?

When people think about antique jewellery they think it will be all expensive and will break the bank. This is not true, you can find pieces to suit all budgets starting from as little fifty pounds to thousands. My favourite pieces are these beautiful pearl earrings and this beautiful charm bracelet and this gorgeous diamond ring.

What to look out for when buying antique jewellery?

  • The first and foremost thing is to choose a reputable site like Carus Jewellery. They ensure each handcrafted piece has been authenticated to an exacting standard, certifying its quality and guaranteeing you its source. 
  • Check for any additional extras like charges for resizing etc.
  • Make sure your piece comes with a guarantee certificate and you have a receipt of the value for insurance purposes.
  • Check if there is any returns policy in case you need to return or exchange for any unforeseen reason.
  • Finally, once you have purchased your chosen piece I would highly recommend that you insure it. 

Do tell me what is your favourite piece of jewellery in the comments below.

#AD -In collaboration with Carus Jewellery

Tuesday, 14 January 2020

10 top packing tips for your move.

Moving house can be a good or a traumatic experience but with correct planning and the help of a good removal company, it can be made stress free and simple. Did you know those removal companies can make your move hassle-free? They can take care of all your packing; provide all the necessary packing equipment, mattress covers, stair protection, blankets needed. Also, they can disassemble and pack all your furniture if you are not able to.
Did you know regardless of whether you are moving from a large house, a small apartment or student accommodation 2removals can provide affordable removal service to suit all your needs?

If you prefer to plan and pack on your own than you can follow my top 10 packing tips below to make life easier.

10 top packing tips:
  1. Order Cardboard boxes, brown tape, strong string, labels, bubble wrap, brown paper, dust sheets, tissue paper, large heavy-duty bin liners with drawstring. Do check with your local supermarket that may be able to give you free boxes.
  2. Before you even consider any packing the first and foremost task is to declutter, this is the most difficult task but it is important to be ruthless so that you are not taking to the new home things you will never make use of. Clear out stuff and sort into things to give away to charity shops, sell on eBay and donate to playgroups. Don't forget to sort through old electronics, computers, tv's, dvd players, phones and recycle old iPads, you no longer use before you begin packing.
  3. Plan your packing and start to pack room by room, pack things you will not need or use daily first like extra bedding, quilts, towels, etc. Pack the necessary items last. Pack the quilts, blankets, towels, and pillows in large drawstring bin liners.
  4. Number each box and room it’s going in and add to a list. Note the box number and its contents on the list.
  5. Pack all the clothes in suitcases and label the suitcase with a number. Note the number and its contents on the list.
  6. Wrap all crockery in bubble wrap and pack into boxes with plenty of tissue paper. You can even use your tea towels to secure spaces to protect delicate china. Note the box number and its contents on the list.
  7. Pack all groceries in the box and label box kitchen, it’s important to give each box a room destination so that when you arrive at your new home you can place the boxes into the appropriate rooms.
  8. Dismantle furniture that you can. Wrap in bubble wrap, brown paper and tie with string. Make sure you keep any nuts and bolts in a ziplock bag and add a label to which piece of furniture they belong to. Next stick them with tape to the furniture it belongs to so you can find it easily.
  9. Make sure any fragile items are bubble wrapped marked fragile accordingly.
  10. On the day of the removal make sure you have dust sheets and large plastic sheeting handy if it’s raining. Be prepared for all weather conditions.

Once you are 90% packed you will have a clear indication of the number of boxes you have, so you may need to inform the removal company if you have more packages than initially agreed. This will allow them to accommodate the size of the transport needed. Last but not the least; make sure that the removal company and you have the appropriate insurance cover should any of your items get damaged during the move.

**Post in collaboration with 2removals

Thursday, 19 December 2019

Keen Cook but Small Kitchen? Don’t Despair!

pic is courtesy of  clker.com

I have been cooking from a very young age, as both my parents were total foodies and I grew up around a variety of foods and dishes that they enjoyed. My passion for cooking is totally inspired by them both. I have also taken great steps to pass this food passion to my daughters. Fortunately both my daughters  really enjoy cooking, but sadly they have restrictions as the shared kitchens in rented accommodation has limited space and they have many restrictions when it comes to storage.
I always say to them, no matter how small your kitchen is, there’s room enough to cook and get creative with recipes and ingredients. Small kitchens might present more of a challenge because you can’t spread out but, with the right approach, there’s always a way.

The Right Storage

Having loads of storage in the kitchen is a must. But what if you just haven’t got the floor or wall space for rows of cabinets and nice long work tops?

Could you work with any of these small kitchen ideas?
  • Fix hooks in the ceiling where you can hang pots and pans by their handles.
  • Put a narrow shelf on the end of a run of cabinets where you can store spices or cook books. Failing a shelf, add a simple towel rail for somewhere to hang tea towels or oven gloves so they’re to hand.

  • Use stacking racks in cabinets to maximise the space and make stuff easier to find.
  • Hang hooks under wall cabinets for mugs, small jugs or measuring cups.
  • Use all the wall space for shelving, right up to the ceiling and including the spaces around and over doors. High up, put things you don’t use often, leaving the lower shelves clear for items you reach for all the time.

  • Put dividers into drawers so you can organise items rather than having them in a jumble. You could use a cutlery divider, but if you want to separate larger items, try crafting your own with card cut from empty cereal boxes.

  • Use the space under the cabinets, on the floor. Take off the kickboards and replace them with hinged or sliding doors. As long as the space is clean and sealed, you can hide all manner of stuff down there, including equipment like the necessary mops and brushes to keep the kitchen hygienically clean. Basically, anything that isn’t too tall.

Organising Equipment

You know what you love to cook most, so don’t fill up your kitchen with equipment you’ll barely ever use. For instance, suppose your speciality is baked desserts, but you don’t do much veg prep. A food processor would probably end up as an expensive dust collector, whereas a stand mixer would be working on most days. Determine to only give kitchen space to the equipment you need.

On the other hand, you might find you do need a large selection of items and machines, but not all the time. If your cooking passions run in cycles, put items you’re not currently using into self storage until the next time your inspiration calls for them.

Other culinary or dining passions are also difficult to indulge in with a small kitchen. Wine lovers need plenty of space to store cases or vintage collections, but finding the right conditions can be a challenge. Specialist wine storage units in some self-storage facilities are the answer to keeping fine wines in an optimal environment.

Similarly, if you love entertaining but find storage of additional dining sets difficult in a small kitchen, your local self-storage place will let you keep your best bits pristine in between dinner parties.

Don’t let a small kitchen put you off cooking. It’s a bit of a challenge sometimes, but there are always ways to work around or through any inconvenience so your space works the way you need it to.

When you have a passion for something as great as we have, there is no room for obstacles in the way. We always enjoy cooking, eating, dining and entertaining in the smallest of spaces.

**Post in collaboration with Big Yellow

Monday, 16 December 2019

Kenai Faux Fur Bean Bag, Arctic Wolf

My favorite room in my house is my lounge. Its bright airy and the perfect place to sit and work on my laptop in the day and relax and watch tv at night. I enjoy sitting on the sofas but when I am crafting or just sitting by the window with a book and cup of tea, I  like sitting on big cushions on the floor. My current favorite is the Kenai faux fur arctic fox bean bag from Bean Bazaar. 

The bean bag is stylish, spacious, comfy and made from freeform technology which means that the beads can move around freely moulding and sculpting your body shape to give comfort and support. Furthermore the beads have insulating properties, which help to maintain and keep the bean bag warm and cosy. The faux fur fabric cover is soft and durable with suede panels in the bottom to make the bean bag anti slip on wooden floors.

The bean bag comes in various different colours and would make the perfect piece of furnishing for your lounge, conservatory, playroom or bedroom. It retails at £89.99 and would make the perfect christmas present. I am totally besotted with this beanbag and as always any thing I love I always want my readers to try.

The lovely people at Bean Bazaar have offered to gift one citrusspiceuk reader  a bean bag so they too can enjoy the luxury of it. The winner will be able to choose the colour of their choice subject  to availability.
How to Enter:

·         Simply complete the Rafflecopter widget below to verify your entries
·         Entries can be via blog comment, Facebook, Twitter etc
·         Please read the rules they form the terms and conditions of this Giveaway
·         Closing date – 5th January 2020 12.00 am

How Rafflecopter works:
·        You will need to complete the mandatory entry first – usually making a blog comment. You can do this by clicking on leave a comment at the bottom of the post and leaving your reply in the comment box. Please note your comment will not show immediately as it needs to be moderated however rest assured it will appear on the site, so carry on with rest of entries.
·        Login to Rafflecopter – click to see what the question is. Make a comment answering the question on the blog.
·         Go back to Rafflecopter and click the green button to tell me you have made a comment, this will unlock all the other options. All entries are checked to see that the mandatory question is answered, if its not all bonus entries will become void. 
·        Rafflecopter will tweet, like and follow on your behalf.
·        For bonus entries you can return to this page and enter the daily bonus entries. 

  • This giveaway is open to all readers over 18 who live in the UK.
  • The winner will be chosen via Rafflecopter (which uses random.org) and announced on this page.
  • Prize:  1x Kenai Faux Fur Bean Bag 
  • citrusspiceuk is hosting this giveaway in collaboration with Bean Bazaar. Their decision is final and no correspondence will be entered into. They reserve the right to withdraw the competition at any time should any unforeseen circumstances arise, in case that the prize is not available a similar prize of same value will be substituted.  No monetary compensation will be given.
  • Bean Bazaar will be responsible for sending out the prize to the winner, by entering you are **consenting** to share your address for the prize to be sent and be contacted by email to notify you if you have won the prize. 
  •  Please note to be compliant with the new GDPR rules by entering the giveaway you are consenting to allow citrusspiceuk to contact you if you win the prize. Your data will NOT be used for any other marketing purposes.
  • All entries will be verified, failure to follow instructions correctly will result in participants being disqualified. Please do not cheat.
a Rafflecopter giveaway

**This post is in collaboration with Bean Bag Bazaar.

Thursday, 5 December 2019

Dinosaur Art ~Bostik Challenge.

Arts and Crafts are very dear to me and I have always spent time with my two daughters throughout their life crafting. In fact my older daughter now has an etsy shop where she makes bespoke scrapbooks that she creates. My girls are now older  so I craft with my  niece Little M. For those who follow my blog will know we spend one Sunday a month that's dedicated to crafting, baking and doing fun things. We do this with the items that I receive in the Bostik craft box. This is the last challenge for 2019 and the theme is dinosaurs.

Little M and I had lots of fun with the bostik boxes, she always comes up with great ideas. This month she chose to make a dinosaur art picture to give to her little brother who loves dinosaurs.

What you will need to make the dinosaur art:

I sheet black a4 card
I sheet white a4 paper
I sheet green a4 paper
Bostik White Glue
Bostik fine and wide glue pen
8 inch piece of string
Dinosaur cut out shapes

How to make the Dinosaur Art

1. On the white paper draw some cloud shapes and cut out.

2. On the green paper draw some grass shapes and cut out.

3. Using the Bostik glue apply it to the cloud shapes and stick them in position at the top of the black card.

4. Using the Bostik glue apply it to the grass cut out and stick it on the bottom edge of the black card.

5 Peel the sticky back from the dinosaur shapes and stick them on the grass area.
6. Using a pencil mark two holes 1 cm below the top edge and 10 cm apart from the centre of the card.

7. Pierce the holes with the sharp pencil.
8.Thread the string through the holes and tie a
knot to secure to make a loop for hanging the picture.

To Pin 

You may like other  Bostik craft posts:

This craft is suitable for young children although, adult supervision may be required for using scissors.. If you like this project check the link below for more art and craft projects, that you can do with your children.