Sunday, 15 May 2011

Calling All My Silent Readers

Hello Curious Readers!

I have been checking the site stats recently and they have dipped just a little, I am still getting regular page views (Thank you!) but the comments have not been there for me to read and respond to.

So firstly I must say, PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE comment! I want to hear from you...yes you there behind the keyboard.

Tell me a bit about yourself, who are you, what defines you as a person, are you an artist? A mum? a bride to be? What do YOU do?

Not only will this mean that will all get to know each other but you may even get some blog hits back ;) The blog community is just that....a community. Just like I know the people living in my street, I want to know the people reading my words. Do you want to see more on a particular topic (please see my previous topic poll) or do you have any thoughts on what I have discussed?

Comments from all visitors are more than welcome.

Saturday, 14 May 2011

New Blog Banner

Hello Curious Readers!

Just a quick little post, as you can see I have a new blog banner! After hours of researching images and trying to arrange them I finally came up with something I liked the look of!

I think it captures the essence of the site much more than the previous one which although served me well, always made me feel I wanted something a bit more individual to me and the site.

The main font is called Beyond Wonderland? Apt yes?

What do you all think?

To all the Mama's who read this blog

Hello Curious Readers!

Now before I start, this blog was never intended to be a personal documentation of my life, sure wedding planning was going to inevitably come up (DIY tasks to be documented etc etc) but NEVER EVER was I going to do the whole, this is my life day-to-day style blogging.

However, after not being able to post for ages (thank you blogger for that) I felt a need to reconnect with you, my readers and actually ask for some advice. This blog is about creating a wonderland and I guess that doesn't just mean the material stuff!

As you guys know, I am getting married next year, my fiance is totally amazing, I love him to bits and he is the ying to my yang. I am 22 (23 on the 26th of May) and he is 30 (31 on the 29th of May), as well as 8 years age difference our lives have been very different. He has done the partying in your twenties thing whereas I moved out at 18, moved in with him 6 months later and have since had varying degrees of financial difficulty, all of which have had a significant impact on my social life.
My life plan was always to have children and specifically to have them when I was 30, now I know it can't always be planned but as far as the grand plan went, 30 was the age I would become a mama. So when I am 30, my partner will be 38 and it turns out that not only is 38 TOO OLD but also he is definitely hearing his biological baby clock a'ticking.

This is the odd thing...I WANT kids but I guess I just want them on my terms!

After so many conversations about it, where I have stressed that my dad was 38 when they had me (although as he pointed out, I was their LAST child not their first) and 38 was not and still is not too old, I basically made the compromise to start trying to conceive at 27, that gives me 4 years (3 of which I will be married) to get a job, go somewhere within that job and most importantly to me to get ourselves on the housing ladder. I am sick of renting and I do not want to have a child while we are renting, I do not believe there is anything wrong in renting with kids but I know how unstable renting makes me feel and I do not want to have a child when I feel unstable.

But here is the problem....I feel like I made a big compromise slicing 3 years off my baby plan and I feel that I am the only one making the big compromises...not him. Now it isnt a case of "I made a you HAVE to make one"'s more of an issue that I am petrified I will somehow resent my child if I do not feel 100% financially ready and in a good place in my career

So have any of the mama's who read my blog had similar feelings? Any advice for me? I know no time is PERFECT for children but I guess I want some reassurance that these feelings are completely natural.

Sunday, 8 May 2011

I Want To Hear From You!

Hello Curious Readers!

It has been a bit up and down here on the blog I know, I can only put it down to bank holiday weekends and having a rather pretty distraction in the form of my fiancé who has been off from work this week!  For this I apologise, I can only promise that now he is back at work I will have a lot more free time to blog!

So before it all kicks off again this week, I want to know, what kind of posts do you like to read? Hopefully I can then tailor the site to more of you whilst maintaining the feeling of the site.

Please complete the poll, if you put other than please leave a suggestion in the comments box :)

Saturday, 7 May 2011

Interior Design Showcase: What is your style?

Hello Curious Readers!

I think I have quite an interesting topic for my readers today and I hope you will agree. I would like to get to know you all better which will hopefully give me some ideas on what is popular so I can more efficiently give you all what YOU want to see (NOT just what I want to write! haha).

Today's post is about the basics of interior design, colour schemes, general styles etc etc, I am a big fan of bright palettes, vintage styling mixed with modern, let's just say I follow the eclectic path through most parts of my life and my interior design sense is no question!

**As these pictures have been found on flickr and there is the all important creative commons issues, I would firstly like to say that while I chose these pictures because I like them, I am not being endorsed by any of the artisans responsible for their creation. I have tried to give credit wherever possible but if I could not, please note I do not take credit for these images**

So firstly you have your rainbow style interiors:
I am actually doing this to one of the boy's horrid old bookcases he has had since he was a single guy on his own, seems fitting I get to spruce it up a bit!

Rainbow Books! I must do this! Courtesy of Flickr User Mind on Fire

I love the rainbow coloured kitchen cupboards! Courtesy of Flickr user Sterin

Then you have your minimalist neutral spaces:

Bit too clean and white for me, I create mess wherever I go!

Lots of gorgeous sunlight would be nice!

I actually really like the use of dark wood in this one!

Then you have your statement pieces/colours:

Not only are teal and pink my favourite colour combo but I love the bright pieces against white backgrounds!

I kid you not...I want a ceiling like this!

An otherwise neutral room is brought to life with this amazing wall mural

My favourite of all the above would actually have to be a mixture of the three! In my ultimate home, I want rooms to amaze people when they walk in, I want colourful pieces in neutral rooms and neutral pieces in colourful rooms!  Anything that brings a bit of wonder to my wonderland is most welcome!

So how about you? What is your interior design style? Please answer the poll and also give extra comments below if there is anything you want to add.

DIY: Upcycled T-Shirt Scarf

Hello Curious Readers!

So it was just a typical evening here at Curious HQ, the boy was playing on the computer while I was vegging in front on my laptop with comedy shows (Two and a half men *cries*, Family Guy etc) playing on the tv in the background. The internet is a constant source of inspiration to me and it is always the first place I go to for advice when no one else is around, it is my doctor (probably a bad idea!), my confidant and my main source of communication with long distance friends. On awesome occasions, it provides me with good blog fodder and last night was no exception!

While poking around on Pinterest (my beloved pinterest!) I found the best DIY T-Shirt Scarf tutorial courtesy of the amazing people at Shwin&Shwin, I recommend you check them out!
So in the spirit of upcycling rather than buying new, here is my attempt at this tutorial, in typical step by step fashion of course!

Step 1: Get your unwanted t-shirt and lay it out flat. (I must admit I was rubbish at keeping it flat, consequently my scarf is a bit ragged but I like it!). Mine was an old fair trade t-shirt from know that t-shirt that, although nice, never seems to fit right? That's this t-shirt :)

Step 2: Starting at the bottom, cut 1-inch wide rings . I included the hem, otherwise it's just wasted material and according to Shwin&Shwin you should get approximately 16 rings...I got 13 but I think my problem was that the top was a V-Neck so I missed out on a lot of material there!

Ragged top (I am bad with scissors haha) and my first loop cut from the bottom.
Step 3: Stretch out each ring and wrap it around your hand 2-4 times. The more times you wrap, the shorter and thicker your scarf will be.

Creepy picture where apparently I have no thumb...I do but I was trying to keep the loop tight to my hand!
Step 4: Carefully remove the ring from your hand and repeat the process for each strip.

Step 5: Cut two inch long strips from the material and use these to tie the loops together, continue doing so until your scarf resembles a paper chain (remember making those as a kid?). You can either tie all the loops together to make a cowl-type scarf or leave it in one long chain so it is like a more traditional scarf.

Your final scarf should look something like this:

Told you mine was a bit raggedy!! Still, I have had people ask where I bought (?!) the scarf so I figure this can be counted as a success! It is great if you are like me and out of sewing supplies or if you just do not like sewing and that old t-shirt has been bugging the hell out of you ;)

Until tomorrow when I can finally upload another tutorial (computer problems mixed with camera problems are oh so much fun!), Please feel free to comment and even provide links to pictures of your own upcycled scarfs. If you want to email them to me then awesome, I will showcase all the pictures later in the week!

Wednesday, 4 May 2011

In Honour of Star Wars Day

Hello Curious Readers!

Thanks to my father and subsequently my Fiancé, Star Wars has had a massive impact in my life. I liken it to finding out Luke and Leia were brother and sister. You could see it happening yet when you realised (much like when I realised I was a bit of a Star Wars nerd) it still came as a complete surprise.

So Happy Star Wars day, say hello to this dog that looks like Chewbacca :)

I want this dog so badly! haha, if anyone has any idea on breed then please let me know, the boy would eat this up and it would be great camera fodder!

May The Fourth Be With You (excuse the awful pun!)

Loving Where You Live

Hello Curious Readers!

I have had a few emails from followers asking for a bit more information about me and where I live to get an idea of context when I talk about various topics, as I am one to follow the advice of my readers and in my way of saying thank you for reading the blog at all, here is a bit more information about where I live.

Firstly, I live in the County of Kent in South East England, see below for a map:

View Larger Map

So hopefully for all my international readers (which if blogger stats are anything to go by, are most of you!) you now have a bit more of an idea of where I am in the good old UK.

As you can see, Kent is quite near london, where I live is approximately 40 miles (or approximately 6.5 Km) from London, this makes it an excellent place to live in my honest opinion. I get to live in a rural area but if I want to travel to the capital it is an easy train journey and I am in the hustle and bustle of London!

That's it for now, but no worries, I will be Tweeting all day (please follow me on Twitter @SarahEliza_x) and later on this evening, once I get my kitchen back, I will be FINALLY finishing the homemade primer recipe :)

Until then, Happy Star Wars Day, we shall duel mentally with our lightsabers across the great expanse that is the internet :)

(Otherwise known as Darth Sarah...I am bad and you know it)

Tuesday, 3 May 2011

Royal Wedding Roundup: God Save McQueen

Hello Curious Readers!

It has been a few days since my last post and I must apologise for that, what with the royal wedding celebrations, my sister's impromptu visit and babysitting for my future brother and sister in law it has been a busy busy weekend.
So I thought I would just discuss the most lavish event of the year :)

Firslty, my most heartfelt congratulations to our new Duke and Duchess of Cambridge,  Don't they look happy?
Photo courtesy of Geoff Pugh and The Daily Telegraph. 
I hope they are not suffering from post wedding blues, I worry I will suffer from them after our wedding next year as it can be consuming planning a wedding and I know that from this June (the one year countdown mark), it is going to be hard to not let it completely take over!
The new Duchess of Cambridge, Kate (or do we call her Catherine now?) Middleton looked stunning in her Alexander McQueen gown, I have to say I had a funny feeling that she might pick McQueen, he was a fantastic designer and it was nice to honour him in this way. 
Radiant brides make me smile and I am very impressed with her abilty to combine modesty with traditional and modern styles

Of course if it had been me I wouldn't have gone so simple, or at least I would have jazzed it up with McQueen's gorgeous Red Rose Bolero:

I want this for my wedding sooo badly but I fear it would cost more than my entire budget!
You can probably get an idea of my style from that comment, I bet an Alice in Wonderland themed wedding seems less surprising now!
So what did everyone think of Kate's Wedding dress? Please answer the poll below and as an extra challenge, please leave a comment about what you would or did (if you are already married) wear on your wedding day!

Thursday, 28 April 2011

My First Blog Award!

Hello Curious Readers!

Big news today! I received a lovely email from Aimee at GirlTalk (please check out her site!) who has given me a Versatile Blogger award.

There are rules to the Versatile blogger award which are below:
Thank the person who gave you the aware by linking back to them in your post
Tell us seven things about yourself
Award Fifteen recently discovered new bloggers

I think this is a great way to spread a bit of wonder across the blogosphere and introduce you all to some new people so here we go:

Seven Things About Me

  1. I am a makeup addict, I buy what I can't make and make my own makeup and eyeshadow primers
  2. I am getting married in 2012 and having an alice in wonderland themed wedding
  3. I have a degree in Applied Criminology with Psychology and would love to work for a crime based charity
  4. I am addicted to films and own approximately 200 DVD's and probably have several from most genres known to man
  5. I come from Italian/Irish heritage
  6. I paint and my dream is to have a house big enough to display my paintings
  7. I love to write and would do it professionally if I could.
Fifteen Newly Discovered Blogs
  1. An American Cupcake In London
  2. Heart Handmade UK
  3. Two Crazy Crafters
  4. Daisy Pink Cupcake
  5. Pumped On Caffeine
  6. The Adventures of Artsy Nina
  7. Just Jen
  8. Simply Stacie
  9. Modern Earth Design
  10. Educated Abroad
  11. The Redhead Riter
  12. Shopaholic Mommy's Must Haves
  13. Momma Maven
  14. The Fork In The Road
  15. Punk Rock Momma
Congratulations to all those in the list! Thank you again to Aimee for giving me the award and I hope everyone has a good day tomorrow celebrating/avoiding the Royal Wedding!

Wednesday, 27 April 2011

Royal Wedding: I'll Have The Will & Kate Special Please

Hello Curious Readers!

The Royal wedding is now two days away, this time in 48 hours I shall be with fine friends eating fine food and drinking free champagne and watching the Royal wedding on a rather large screen at our nearby drinking establishment ;) In the excitement running up to the wedding I have a few posts related to the UK, Royals and Weddings to share with you so expect a few posts a day!

Firstly, I received an email today that I felt I just had to share with my UK based readers, Domino's the pizza monolith is doing possibly the best Royal wedding related deal I have heard of this week.

In celebration of the Royal wedding they are offering one free medium cheese and tomato pizza to any couple called William and Kate who go into their local domino's store. The offer is only available on Friday the 29th of April and before anyone has cheeky ideas of changing their names, you have to supply photographic proof and both William and Kate (not the real ones!) must be present!
Georgina Wald, Corporate Communications Manager of Domino's stated in the press release "The Marriage of PrinceWilliam to Kate Middleton is a national celebration and Domino's is delighted to be offering couples out there a chance to join in the excitement"  and I have to say I agree, many of the deals I have seen relating to the wedding of the year have been fun but Domino's is the funniest one, I can just imagine William and Kate turning up at their local domino's and vetoing the standard wedding food at Buckingham Palace in favour of a pizza!

For those like me, who are not called Kate and are not in a couple with a man called William, we can still celebrate in our own way as Domino's is doing their buy one, get one free deal from Tuesday 26th of April to Sunday 1st of May! So get down there and celebrate a historical event with a free pizza!

Tuesday, 26 April 2011

What a Difference a week makes!

Hello Curious Readers!

Firstly I would like to say a big thank you to my followers, without you all I would just be talking to myself and as fun as that may be, it is not nearly as rewarding as knowing people are reading my posts!
It has been over a week (okay nearly two) since Curiouser and Curiouser went live to the world and already the stats are looking promising, I feel I have you, loyal reader, to thank for that.

To see for yourself, here is a stat screenshot, taken directly off blogger, below:

Click to enlarge the picture

It isn't mindblowing, YET, but it is getting there and I could not be happier. I want to say thank you to The Lady Bloggers Society for allowing me to promote my blog and the ladies as for featuring my post about "Retrocises" both on their main webpage and on Twitter.

Until tomorrow, where I will be adding a DIY Tutorial for you all to follow, goodnight from the UK!

Monday, 25 April 2011

Drink and Cupcakes? Yes Please

Hello Curious Readers!

With the royal wedding literally DAYS away, It has got me thinking about my own wedding next year. A key aspect of any wedding is the all important cake (okay, it isn't that important unless you like cake...but I like cake so therefore it is important!). Purely for ease of use, my desire to avoid the cake cutting ceremony and just because they are fabulous with a capital F, we are having cupcakes. Cue the insane hunt for cupcake recipes ,we are obviously baking and decorating our own, it wouldn't be our wedding without the obligatory DIY.

So in my quest for the perfect cupcake, I have noticed an odd trend on Pinterest this week which is "cocktail" or "drink themed" cupcakes and I just had to jump on the bandwagon. The Boy and myself have a BBQ coming up for our birthdays and I have a feeling I may have to try out some of these recipes!

What about some yummy margarita cupcakes?
Pina Colada Cupcakes! One of my favourite drinks in cake form!
Coca Cola Cupcakes...really not sure about this. Either completely amazing or really unpleasant

Sangria Cupcakes. I love the idea of these for a gorgeous summer day, perhaps served with the drink too?

Of course we need to have Champagne Cupcakes on this list!
And finally just for my dad..... The GUINNESS CUPCAKE

If you have the recipe for any of these or feel like making them yourself, please email me to show me how it went. Send pictures and I will happily add them to the site! Also if anyone has tried Coca Cola Cupcakes then please enlighten the rest of us! Are they any good?
All thanks go to the people who supplied these images as I cannot take credit for them, towards the end of the month I will hopefully have pictures of my own culinary creations!

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