Thursday, February 28, 2013

Blog Angels February: The Big Reveal!

I have never been later than I have with writing this Blog Angels post. It only occurred to me about 2 hours ago that it was shortly to be the end of February. Where did it go? I have so many blog posts bubbling in my head, but no time to seemingly put them together. I am excited for today, however, as I get to see my lovely Blog Angels reveal who they have been helping and how. I am also pretty excited to post my monthly book review tomorrow, so pop back along and find out about why February's book proved to be totally awesome!
If you want to see how they got on at the half way point of the project then check out here. Or if you want to know more about joining in with Blog Angels, check out my special page here.
 
Although to REALLY experience the awesomeness of being someone's Blog Angels, visit my people who have linked up. No matter how big or small a blog, they ALL have made a difference to someone else. How fantastic!
 
The sign-up for the next round of Blog Angels is on March 15th. So please don't add your link below unless you are a February Angel.
 
February Angels: make sure you go and introduce yourself to the blog you have been helping and leave a link to your reveal post. You can link up your reveals over the weekend.
 
I can't wait to read them!

So if you had a Blog Angel, what help would you want with your blog? If you are visiting because you have found you had a secret Angel, what was the experience like for you? I would love to hear your comments on the project.
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Monday, February 25, 2013

Craft Challenge 2013 - Link up Your Repurposed Crafts and Vote!

 
Throughout February, Anja, PJ and I have been sharing our Repurposed crafts with you and hopefully now is the time to show us what you are made of by linking-up in our end of the month Craft Challenge party. We'll be pinning our favourite projects to our Craft Challenge 2013 Pinterest board, so be sure to come back and check out if you were one of our favourite projects.
If you weren't able to link-up this time, then we'd be very grateful if you would vote for your favourite craft from the three of us. It's not a serious competition, but at the end of the year, there might be a forfeit for the 'loser'. Here's what we made, to help you out!
(Vintage Suitcase to Craft Carry Case)
(Ikea Magazine File to Cute Desk Organisation System) 

Now you can link up your own 'Repurposed' crafts. 
 There are just a couple of rules: 
1. Link up repurposed crafts you completed in February 2013. 
2. You can link up as many projects as you want to; just make sure you link back to the craft challenge in the post - a text link is fine. 
The next theme starts on 1st March and it's time for us all to start making something cool to wear. If you are new to the Craft Challenge, then please feel free to join in at any point throughout the year. Here's the monthly schedule:

Thank you for taking part! I can't wait to start making some updating my wardrobe. I am hoping that this month will be packed full of fun clothing projects! Until then...
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Friday, February 22, 2013

Let Me Pintroduce You.....to some Pinterpeeps (a link-up!)

 Hi my lovelies. I am very excited today as Carrie (Frugal Foodie Mama) and Jaime (Mom's Test Kitchen) are letting me co-host their Let Me Pintroduce You Party today. I won Carrie's recipe competition the Spiked! Recipe Challenge with my Champagne & Blackberry Cheesecake) and this came as part of my prize. I've been looking to meet lots of Pinterpeeps since becoming more 'involved' on the Pinterscene since the start of the year, so I jumped at the chance of being involved. I'd love you to stick around and join in the fun.

Last month they had 91 Pinterest accounts linked up!  Can we reach over 100 for the month of February?



Jaime and Carrie originally brainstormed the idea for a Pinterest linky party when they were emailing back and forth one day after discovering how much of their blog traffic was a direct result of some of their recipe posts being pinned and then repinned and repinned again on Pinterest.  They thought - why not host a monthly Pinterest party? And thus, Let Me Pintroduce You was born! 

Carrie also has a fantastic new ad spot in her sidebar from March that is ALL about the Pinterest love!  The brand new A Pin-t ad spot is a 250x175 ad that runs for 30 days and includes organic pins to Carrie's Pinterest boards and/or group boards she belongs to with Twitter amplification.  This spot is perfect for the food blogger, the DIY blogger, the crafty blogger, not to mention small shop owners!  Pinterest has been the #1 driver of traffic to Carrie's blog for the past FOUR months.  And with over 3300 Pinterest followers and counting, you can be sure that your blog or shop is going to get tons of exposure with Frugal Foodie Mama.  It costs just $6 for 30 days, but for the week of the Let Me Pintroduce You Party you can get it for just $5!  Just visit Carrie's Sponsor Page here, click to purchase the Pin-t ad spot, & use promo code pinning at check out to get your discount! :)  There will only be 6 of these spots each month, so go grab your's for March before they are all reserved! 

Apart from me, let me pintroduce you to this month's  other special party co-host...

 Lisa from Paintbrush & Screwdriver.  Lisa & her husband have been working on some major renovations on their home; her blog is chock full of budget friendly remodeling ideas.  
So, how does the Let Me Pintroduce You Party work?  Easy!
  • Please follow Carrie (Frugal Foodie Mama) and Jaime (Mom's Test Kitchen), and this month's co-hosts Rosie (ME) (Rosie Quinn) and Lisa (Paintbrush & Screwdriver) on Pinterest.
  • Try to follow at least two other Pinterest accounts that have linked up and maybe repin a few things that catch your eye while you are at. ;)
  • Grab our button above and slap it on your sidebar or your party page on your blog.  Help us spread the word! 
  • Be sure to link up your main Boards page of your Pinterest account only, not individual board pages or individual pins.
  • Send out a tweet & let the Twitterverse know that we would like to Pintroduce them to everyone! (Just use that handy little Tweet button below. 


Please leave a link in the messages below if you are following along. I will then come and check out your boards and follow back. Thanks for the pinterest (yes I went there)!
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Thursday, February 21, 2013

Romance in the Air AND on my Table!

My procrastination rose (genuinely not an intentional pun) to new heights yesterday....but who cares when I can look at the table and see these pretty flowers? I went budget decor shopping and ended up with a very romantic, spring flower display.

To recreate it, you would need: a 'fishbowl' style vase, some water balls (beads....or whatever those absorbing ball things are), some roses, scissors and an elastic band.
 So in short I:
  • put the water balls in the bowl adding a couple of inches to it. At this point it looks like frogspawn or worse, but it will eventually look more like bubbles as above!
  • strip the roses of all leaves.and arrange them into a bouquet in your hand. Leaving about 6 roses outside, secure the small cluster in a rubber band. Chop them to the desired length and so they sit inside the bowl.
  • Then balance them in the centre of the bowl. Using the remaining 6 roses (with slightly longer stems) rest them around the edge of the bowl, on top of the balls. These act as little wedges to keep the bouquet centred. 
  • Lean back, and feel smug! It was THAT easy.
I also bought the little cup in a sale in the shop. It's in the process of becoming a candle in the photo above. To make a teacup candle follow Martha Stewart's instructions. I didn't....nothing went that wrong, but I wouldn't recommend melting a combustible material without some instruction (not everyone is as daft as me!)

Then I used the pretty new washi tape that Anja and I found when craft shopping on Tuesday to beautify a tealight. Put together it transformed into the perfect girly centrepiece AND a suitably romantic addition to my 2 year anniversary celebrations. Congratulations me!
Do you have any other washi tape projects you can recommend to me? I have seen the usual on Pinterest, but want something really interesting!
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Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Eat Well in Mannheim Germany - Top Travel Tips

When I first visited Mannheim, I am ashamed to say that I judged the book by its cover. The weather was freezing; the sky, buildings and centre grey and the people incapable of returning a smile. Perhaps March wasn't the fairest introductory period, especially as we spent most of it in a student share house while A prepared to move into a much nicer space.

Needless to say, in the summer the whole aspect changed. Mannheim is a really fun place to be and more than any other place I've visited is home to an international rainbow of food choices. Also, I should probably consider that Mannheim's slightly ugly exterior wouldn't be anyway near as bad if it hadn't have been pretty much flattened by the Brits (oops) and Americans during World War Two. 

As with many ugly places (well people), Mannheim has a fantastic personality - people from all nationalities meld together here and genuinely LOVE the city. I have to say, its growing on me....and not just because one day this might be my home.

So where might you eat if you took the plunge and decided to spend a day or two here? Here are my top 6 choices (so far!):
{You can check the map below for the exact locations!}
From left to right:
  • Nisa's hot dogs are delicious and very reasonably priced. The added bonus is that this little shop is around the corner from Idee, the local craft shop: perfect for either pretending you've been to Ikea, OR a little snack after you've emptied your wallet buying washi tape.
  • Soup to Go is a fantastic little place open over lunchtime (it closes at 3pm). Every week there is a new menu of 5-6 different soups which cost between 5-7 euros. You get fresh bread to go with a fresh soup and is a great alternative to the many bakeries you will find on nearly every street of the city.
  • Novus is a bar/bistro/breakfast venue extraordinaire. On a Sunday (which you will need to book), you can take part in their mega brunch buffet. You won't get much change of 15 euros, but you probably won't need to eat for much of the day either.
  • Vino & Pizzateca looks like an unassuming place, but the prices match the excellent quality pizza and wine available here. It's the sort of place without a menu and possibly a porsche or two outside. Expect to pay upwards of 12 euro for a pizza; the wine is pot-luck. If you are watching the wallet, ask the charming Italian owners what is both tasty and good for your bank balance!
  • Azteca Mexicana is probably a chain, but who cares? It has fantastic daily deals and what's more is tasty. They actually cooked my taco filling for me without onion, proving the freshness of their preparation. Over the summer they hold the odd outdoor fest too which is well worth attending. Next door is another bar/bistro. Their half price cocktails on week nights (5pm-9pm as of February 2013) are a nice aperitif to the Mexican food next door. I have elected this place for my anniversary meal tomorrow. and just writing about it makes the falafel I will prepare tonight seem somewhat lame.
  •  Dionysus is clearly a Greek restaurant. Constantly busy, it will feed you large portions of tasty food for reasonable prices. At the other end of the row of restaurants is also somewhere for the more traditional food of Germany, or Bavaria to be precise. If you arrive in the summer and want to sit outside....make sure you book. They can be quite creative with their seating and the view of the car park beyond their cordoned off area isn't so pretty. 
So there you have it - my favourite eats in Mannheim.  You can find them all using this handy map!

 Which option would you go for?
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