we went to a zoo, zoo, zoo...how about you, you, you?

Oooh yeah, yesterday we went to the ZOOOOOO! When thinking of a title for this post I thought I just HAD to use this one since I had the song in my head for the majority of the afternoon...

'were going to the zoo, zoo, zoo,
you can come too, too, too'
So who remembers the song? If you don't where have you been?! I apologise now in advance if in an hours time you start singing it to yourself! :)
I thought I'd share my experience on my bloggity blog (got a thing for calling my blog that at the minute, just as a heads up for you). So yesterday was Mother's Day, just incase your twitter feed wasn't crammed with Mother's Day related tweets or if you've happened to have been walking around the shops with your eyes closed... So now, are we all up to speed with what day it was yesterday? :)
I thought we was taking my mum out for a meal, but the plan had changed by the morning. My dad decided to take us all to the ZOO! We went to Yorkshire Wildlife Park, near Doncaster. Me, my mum, my dad & my grandma. A lovely family day out, it is very rare that we actually go on a day out. Infact I don't remember the last time we had a family day out.
I was geared up ready to go, comfy gear...check! Rucksack to complete the look of going on safari, check! Let's goooo....
oohhh slightyly blurry! But I just wanted to share my rucksack with you :)
Okay, so I'm going to give you a little bit of a review of it all, hope that's okay! :)
I was super excited about the experience because I'd never been before but unfortunately when we got there we had to wait what felt like just under a flippin' hour (I did get fed up checking my phone for the time). I mean I'm twenty two & not usually impatient but I mean come on, really...there should be a quicker entrance way surely? So don't know what the little kids in the queue must of  been feeling, other than probably fed up. So once we were like third in the queue my excitement feeling had pretty much completely disappeared. Maybe it was just a one of thing, who knows...We are planning to go again in the summer so it hasn't completely put us off because once we were in it was fantastic! So one piece of advice for the people of Yorkshire Wildlife Park, I recommend you try your best to shorten the waiting time for everyone visiting. I'd like to think it was just the one off but when we had finished & came out over 2 hours later the queue of people was still just as long, maybe it was just that day? Who knows.
Then another piece of advice would be that your catering system is in need of a little bit of alteration, we had to wait over 20 minutes for  3 lots chips (takeaway style like McDonalds..& they didn't taste great after either :/ ) & coffee. We wasn't the only people there who was unimpressed. So one thing if you were going to go & make a day of it. I'd recommend you pack a little picnic, there is plenty of picnic areas dotted around the park so you won't be struggling to find a place to eat your lunch. That is exactly what we will be doing next time.
I don't like to look on the negative side of things but I just thought I'd share those bits with you.. But once I got in to the zoo & saw all the cuteness of the animals...oh my goodness! The waiting time felt like nothing. The animals were all so adorable & lovely in their own ways! Instead of listing all the animals we saw I'm just going to throw in a few truck load of pictures!
slightly blurry but a classic meerkat pose anyone?
'why hello there'

'alexander, can you hear me?'

oh deer, not the greatest of photos..
'twit twoo, check me out...I'm having a hoot'
'Alice the camel has....'
pretty fencing at a zoo...thought I'd share it with you :)
ooohhh, a beautiful waterfall too..

'I've got the eye of the tiger, a fighter...'
' & your gonna hear me ROAARRRRRR'
'anyone fancy a cuppa?'
awww, all lovely & affectionate?
'I like to move it, move it....'
anyone else think their ears look like Micky Mouses? :)
could it get any cuter?! :)
quite literally the 'chill out zone'
the tiniest creature at the zoo?
couldn't resist snapping these little fellas on our way out!
Okkkk, I think it is safe to say that was a jam packed photo filled post...I hope you enjoyed it! :)
Have you ever been to Yorkshire Wildlife Park? If so what did you think? Or maybe you could recommend another zoo to me...either way I'd love to hear from you.
Or if you just fancy leaving me a comment, then go straight ahead. Let me know how you spent your weekend.
Thanks for reading, as always.
- Anna ♥

Hillarys Blinds Country Craft Competition

So recently everything as I've already said has felt so busy & I've rarely had time to do much blogging related things (blogging or reading any of my favourite blogs). I've just felt super active, which of course is a great thing! I'm not complaining :)  Right anyway to the point of this post...
A few weeks ago the lovely Christina from Kimi & Me...hey Christina! :) (yes, I'd recommend you go over to her blog & say hello! :) I'm sure she'd love that!) sent me a tweet with a link to a competition. A crafty competition! Of course I thought ooohhh, that will be fun to be involved in. The link wasn't to the website/company holding the competition (Hillarys Blinds) it was to Burkatron , a blog wrote by a girl called Caroline. Caroline's blog post gave the details & provided a link to Hillary's to find out more info. Basically all that was asked of the entrants was that they created a piece using the fabric of their choice from Hillarys Country Retreat collection. I chose to use Calluna Amethyst, it is absolutely beautiful!
Right, enough of my waffling on...let's get down to business! Here is my crafty creation...
A couple of years ago now at Christmas I decided to personalise a few cushions as gifts for my god mum & her husband & for the couple who are like my second parents. I absolutely loved created them for them & couldn't wait to create one for myself one day too. So when this competition appeared I knew exactly what I would have to do... Have you guessed it?... Yes, I absolutely had to create one for myself & the Calluna Amethyst was the perfect fabric & pattern too. In my room I haven't stuck to a certain colour really when it comes to bedding & accessories I like to just mix it all up so my chosen fabric just fitted in perfectly, right in place.
How did I create this creation you say...well my friends, I shall share it with you now. But brace yourself crazy crafters of the world you might not approve of the first part...
I had already bought the cushion from my local Wilkinsons so I didn't actually create that part but like I said, I was waiting to create my own personalised cushion (I've had the cushion for about 6 months, was just waiting for the perfect fabric) & I mean come on, how beautiful is the colour of the cushion...my thoughts exactly! :)
When I created the cushions as gifts I did exactly the same & bought ready prepared cushions so to speak. But is there any harm in a little revamp of something so simple? I used my crafty fingers to create the rest...
So I started off by creating my template letter, last time round when I created the cushions as gifts I used Microsoft Word Art to create the letters but this time round I decided to go a little old school & drew the letter out on to card myself (using a pencil & a ruler...shocker! not a interactive creation).
Next thing to do was to obviously cut out the letter & get the fabric prepared. I gave the fabric a quick iron over to get rid of any little creases there may have been...super easy to iron too, I'd like to add.
Then I put my letter template on to the fabric, with the pretty side of the fabric facing down on to the flat work surface. So I would be drawing on the back of the fabric. I drew around my template using a dress making pencil of my mums, you can find them at places like Hobbycraft (click here & you will be taken to Hobbycrafts website where I have found similar pencils). It's always a good idea to use a pencil that can be easily seen against the fabric. I used a pink one because my white one would not of shown up.
 Now it was time to cut around my letter, I decided to leave about a 1cm (ish) allowance around the letter. Then the next thing to do was to prepare the shape ready to be sewn on to the cushion cover. I decided to press all the edges so I had my letter right then I used some hemming web, which basically bonds the two fabrics together. Hemming web can also be found on Hobbycraft, click here & you'll be taken to the product on Hobbycrafts website. All instructions for using the hemming web should be on the back of your product packet.
 Okay, so now my letter was ready to be attached to my cushion. If I had sewn the cushion cover together itself from scratch I would of probably been able to use a sewing machine to sew on the letter but I didn't & I actually prefer sewing by hand. I always think it makes it a little bit more neater sometimes & can make something more personal because it literally is handmade. Once I had sewn the letter on my personalised cushion was almost complete!
I had planned on using buttons to hide little bits of the fabric that was beginning to fray (I totally did that last time) but I just couldn't find the right buttons that I wanted so I'm still on the hunt for them to maybe add to my cushion at a later date. I don't just want to settle with any old kind of buttons. :) But still the cushion is complete & personalised, almost...
I googled what I could use to stop fabric from fraying & I found clear nail varnish was a recommendation on a few websites so I used that & it certainly has stuck them together & made them solid. Clear nail varnish has a few good uses doesn't it, other than protecting painted nails (sometimes!)
I'd like to apologise in advance if this post was really rambly & more than likely made no sense...massive apologies if that is the case! I'm in no way a crafty instructor producing blogger, no sir I'm afraid not. I've only once done a step by step guide & I'm still not 100% sure about that. See, I'm rambling on now! I will stop! But one last thing, I'm honest so I'm going to tell you the truth...I actually took the step by step photos after I'd completed it. That is still okay right? It is exactly how I created them anyway. :)
Anyway I really hope you liked seeing how I created my personalised cushion & I hope it wasn't too baffling or waffling for any of you! If you have ever created something similar let me know & if you too have taken part in the competition, let me know in the comments below. I'd love to see your creations! :D

Thanks for reading & I'd love it if you'd let me know your thoughts on my little creation. I loveeee hearing from you! :)
- Anna ♥

my furthest drive & my pledge to help a friend...

Last month I met my lovely friend Nicola for the FIRST TIME EVER in real life. Now I can drive & have my own car everything has changed. I've decided I'm going to try my hardest to go & visit Nicola atleast twice a month (that is of course if she wants to see me that often ha ha!). I'm going to try my hardest to help Nicola accept her anxiety too & not let it beat her. Anxiety can easily begin to define who you are but I'm going to try my hardest to make sure it doesn't define Nicola! :)
So this week on Wednesday I decided to text Nicola on the off chance that she would be free & she bloomin' well was! In my car I got, ready to drive to Nicola's house...the furthest drive I've ever drove so far & on my own aswell. I'm beyond proud of myself for achieving it & managing to get there & back solo. I didn't feel overly great on the drive there, I was a little bit scared & had extremely sweaty hands (too much info? only being honest). I didn't actually time the drive but I think it took between 30-45 minutes to get to Nicola's.
Of course whilst there we absolutely had to take a few selfies...I've decided to use the most attractive & completely normal slightly crazy photo! Life is too short to take serious photos, right?!
Infact, Nicola actually looks fairly normal compared to me! :/
It was so lovely to see Nicola again, I feel like we've both been so busy recently we haven't even had time to Skype...we usually Skype, try to once a week... some weeks that just isn't possible. It can be so hard to keep in touch with friends when life gets busier but we all need to try & make time for our friends because they are what makes the world a little bit more nicer & life a little bit more easier.♥
Nicola had got me a little treat too, a nail art book. It isn't really much of a secret that I'm a sucker for nail varnish & do sometimes like to try my hand at different designs. I'm currently rocking dotty nails...
So when I was leaving Nicola's mum said to me that I'm welcome to go over anytime, so guess who is going again! :D
Right so the first part of the blog title has been covered now on to the next half...'my pledge to help a friend'. One of the few good things to come out of my experience with anxiety & panic attacks has to be the friendships I've built throughout the past few years, Nicola's being one of them. I know how hard it can be to beat of those nasty anxiety demons & try to get your life somewhat back under control but right now I'm going to do a pledge (a little bit like my time to change pledge)...
So Nicola, my pledge to you is...
I pledge to help you accept your anxiety struggles & help you lead a much more easier (hopefully, sorry I can't make promises on that one..sometimes nasty things get thrown at us) & enjoyable life. Remember it is a case of baby steps, little tiny baby steps at a time & changing more nos into yeses. Now I've passed & can actually come to your end of the woods (that is a saying right?) or is it your neck of the woods? :/ I don't know! Anyway, now I can drive & can come & visit you I can help you a lot more. Take you out for little trips, those little trips of exposure will honestly help. Some days it won't only be exposure for you, but it will be exposure for me too.
So Nicola (hopefully you are reading this now, if not...awkwardddd) what do you say? Do you accept my pledge? Can I help you accept your anxieties that have been with you for so flippin loonnngggg & help you lead a better lifestyle? :)
Have you done a pledge towards mental health? Maybe you've even made a pledge towards a friend too... & if not, what is taking you so long. Get right to it...please & thank you! :D
I just want to say again a massive thank you to everyone who has come along with me through the journey to where I am today (real life & cyber friends)! :)
Ooh & as always thanks for reading (of course!)
- Anna ♥

everything has come to a stop in blogging world?

Recently it feels like everything has come to a stop in blogging world, more than likely because it actually has... I do not like this one bit! But I suppose in a way it is good to have a little break too right?
But have no fear, I shall be back...a little bit more! I've got a few blog posts planned in my head already. Can I get a woohoo?...come on, one of you must of shouted woohoo? Or atleast said it in your head to yourself...

I absolutely love blogging & one thing I also love is helping people so I'm going to keep the two combined together....
Image found on weheartit
I want to make the world a more happier place. Happiness is key, if you ask me! (see, I'm a poet & I didn't even know it?) :)

I genuinely can't remember what it used to be like being at home all the time now. At the minute I'm out most of the day, nearly every day of the week. Having a car brings such a huge amount of freedom. When people used to say to me passing your test & driving will be the best thing you'll ever do I was like 'ppffftt, yeah right...' but they were right! It has seriously changed my life.

I feel like now I'm waffling & this post has no order or anything to it but it's just a post to say I'm still around even though everything had come to a stop, the break is soon to be over & I will be back...more than likely with a new post tomorrow actually cos I think I'm going to type one up after publishing this. Brace yourself for LOTSSSS of waffle returning, but the blog is certainly true to its name! :)

Thanks for reading. I hope we are all well & having a lovely Saturday evening, whatever you may be doing! :)

- Anna ♥

I had a Happy Monday for Mind, did you?

As you can tell from my photo above I had a Happy Monday (last Monday, 10th March) & loved rocking my Mind tshirt...I'm also embracing my awkward smile! :)

If you hadn't figured out already I'm a big supporter of helping raise awareness & beat the stigma surrounding mental health. So when Mind introduced the day called Happy Monday, I just had to join in! You could do absolutely anything that you wanted for the day to try & raise money for Mind. I filled in my details on Minds website & waited for my fundraising pack to arrive, inside the pack I received a guide to having a Happy Monday....
The guide was packed with everything you needed to know about running your own event. Inside there was plenty of choices of fundraising ideas you could do too such as doing a raffle, doing a quiz or even holding a taster fitness class (obviously an official instructor would do that). But I decided to do a cake sale cos I mean who doesn't love cake?!
I decided to take advantage of my parents shop again & hold the sale there. Just like I set up my stand in their shop for time to talk day last month. Me & my mum spent most of Sunday baking away ready for the sale. Then some of mums friends had kindly offered to help out too. One created some cute little knitted chickens that held a creme egg inside, check out those little cuties...
Aren't they just so flippin cute! I think when I had got round to taken my camera out two of the little chicks had been sold, how fantastic is that?! & by the end of the day they had all gone...
Then two other friends of mums had baked for us too. They baked some butterfly buns, normal buns with chocolate on top & a chocolate orange cake. Me & mum had created some vanilla cupcakes & decorated some with malteasers & malteaser bunnies on top, some vanilla cupcakes with little butterflies on top, rocky road fridge cake (DELICIOUS!) & some rice crispy cakes with mini eggs in the middle!
The malteaser ones sold the quickest, without a doubt! That quick that I had to use the photo above that I took on my phone the day before. I was slightly slow at taking photos on the day but here are a few that I did take....

I was really pleased with how the day turned out. The sun was shining which was slightly annoying since it was melting the chocolate so I had to keep moving them into the shaded part of the table. But other than that the day was a success!
We raised £51.43..WOOHOOO!!! ALOT more than I genuinely thought I'd raise, I was thinking around £20 but I'm so pleased! I'd of been pleased with whatever I'd raised, every little helps! But over £50 was raised in a day, just cos of cakes...that is crazyyy! :)

Another little thing I'd like to add was the card I received from the lovely people at Mind before the event. How flippin lovely is this?!...


I genuinely can't thank my mum enough for everything, she is always there for me. She helped me through the event too. I know how lucky I am to have such a supportive parent & unfortunately some people don't have that supportive parent or anyone to help & support them through difficult times. That is why I think it is so important to keep the charities of the world going that help & support people in times of need.

If you believe in a charity & support the work they do, why not donate a spare few pounds to help their work continue? Most charities allow you to make a donation online I'm sure, I know Mind do...I haven't checked all charity websites so don't hold me to it. Or maybe you could do some fundraising of your own, honestly it is so much fun & very rewarding!

So, I had a Happy Monday...did you?!
Let me know in the comments & send me your links if you happened to have blogged about it!

Thanks for reading & I hope you've enjoyed it! :)

- Anna ♥

having a break from Sit Down Sunday...

Over the past couple of weeks my life has been getting busier & you might have noticed I'm not blogging as much as I used too. Which in a way is a positive but at the same time a negative. It is a positive because it proves that I'm so busy living my life more compared to when I started blogging. But a negative because I really do love blogging! At the minute it's just finding the time to sit & blog, so here I am now... sitting, blogging & updating you a little, I'm having a break & stopping Sit Down Sunday. I'm not too sure whether I will bring it back at any point, who knows? I just looked back over how many Sit Down Sunday posts I had done, I had done 24...24 WEEKS! It really doesn't feel like that at all but sadly at the minute I'm putting it on pause.
Thought I'd just give this little update for those of you who enjoy reading them but don't worry. I will still be bringing a positive spin into my blog posts, don't  you worry my little friend! :) Of course a blog post of mine wouldn't be complete without a photo so remember to always try &...
Of course, image found on weheartit

Thank you to all of you lovely bunch who continue to support & encourage me, I really do appreciate it!

- Anna ♥

slight delayed birthday treat....

Good morning you...you being my blog, you also being my fellow friends in the blogging community & my lovely readers! :) I feel like such a bad blogger since I haven't blogged since SUNDAY , that feels such a longggg time for me but have no fear...I am here! :D
I feel soooo non stop recently, especially since I've now got a car I seriously feel like I have grown so much as a person. It's brilliant! It's obviously such a shock for me since I started my blog because I had what felt like very little going for me. But just look at me go now...I'm still helping my parents at their shop as & when they need me (right now it's not very often, slightly quiet) , I have a Saturday job that I absolutely LOVE & I now have not only a full licence but a car too. If you drive, you know just how much freedom you feel. It really is incredible! I highly recommend driving! So much freeedddooooommmm!!!
Okay, so I've wrote two paragraphs so far & neither of them are actually anything to do with the post so maybe I should start on the actual post & what it is about....
(brace yourself, this post might will be packed with cupcake goodness!)
Surely atleast one or two of you have got to be just as excited about this as I am?
I'll start with how the cupcake class came about... Last year I turned twenty one & the family on my street who are practically family bought me a place for a cupcake decorating class! How flipping exciting is that?! In all honesty I wasn't overly excited about the thought of it at the time because anxiety wasn't great. So between anxiety & my mum becoming ill last year that is why it has pretty much taken us over a year to have the class. My mum bought me cupcakes for my birthday from the lady who does the classes, check out those beauties!
So finally a year or so down the line we booked another class & attended it...wooohooo! It was so much fun I seriously could of stayed there all day. Me, my mum & Lou (the mum of the family who got me the gift) all attended & got taught all different techniques how to make the decorations for the top of the cakes, including the buttercream.
We all got blobs of fondant icing which we got to put in a bag & take home the bits we didn't use. Cos let's be honest, nobody else would want them after we'd messed about with them, would they! I can tell you this much, it was just like playdough for adults but it was actually edible...how many of you ate playdough when you was little? Come on, I know one or two of you did! :P
So we got to use the fondant to shape different decorations. She had so many unbelievable cutters, it was so much fun! Below is just a selection of some of our decorations we had made. The lady (Becky) who ran the class made the beautiful little owl, so adorable & fairly simple to recreate too. I wont add my owl in because it wasn't overly great! :)

Once we'd had a play with all the cutters & created different decorations we had a little tea break...I don't drink tea, tea so I just had a glass of water & we got some yummy warm flapjacks....ooohhhh, I could of eaten the whole plate & probably would of brought them all back up afterwards. :/
Up next it was time to add the buttercream to our cupcakes. Becky had already baked the buns for us so not only was that an added bonus but her baking is magnificent. What is your secret Becky?! I'd love to know it!
 Becky taught us 3 different piping techniques, all very different but all equally incredible! I got a few action shots of Lou creating a rose effect...

We all got to practice each technique once before we decorated our cakes. It was so much easier piping the cake than piping the paper. Cream was staying as it was, basic & beautiful! Between us we got to choose two colours we wanted for our other buttercream. We chose to have pink & green. Using the pink for the rose looking topping & the green as a grass effect.
After we had added the buttercream on to all of our cupcakes we then got to decorate them as we wanted. I'm going to just add in a few more pictures of the finished pieces for you to feast your eyes on.


Top to bottom- my floral cupcake, my celebration cupcake for passing my driving test, my four completed cupcakes, my mums completed cupcakes & Lou's completed cupcakes.
On the off chance Becky is reading this thank you very much for creating the opportunity for me to learn to decorate cakes so beautifully, I've had nothing but compliments about them & rightly so! I recommend you to local people without a second thought because not only are your cakes incredible & baking skills out of this world but you are a lovely genuine person too! Keep up the amazing work Becky & I shall see you soon!
If you are stuck for ideas for a loved one who loves to bake I would genuinely recommend a cupcake class. I'm sure there is someone local to you who does lessons too. My lesson was a 2 hour long one & I absolutely loved every minute of it & without a doubt I'd go again!
I hope you enjoyed this post & apologises if any of you are now reallyyyy fancying a cupcake but I mean are the cakes not just goodness to your eyes?
Thanks again to Becky, Lou & mum & thanks to you for reading this. Have you done something similar to this? Let me know, I'd love to hear about your experience & see some photos (of course, who doesn't love a good photo)!
- Anna ♥