This is my blog page where I write all of my unique, unusual and in some cases bizarre ideas. I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I enjoy writing it. Hopefully, I will inspire you to make something, surprise someone, give a unique gift or travel somewhere new.
For Christmas this year I received some really wonderful pressies, however, this one had me slightly baffled. TIG’s mum always comments on how I’m the hardest person to surprise as I’ve usually seen everything, done everything or bought one already! However, she well and truly got me with this one. This idea is something I had never come across before, I hadn’t seen anyone using one and I hadn’t got a clue what it was!
It looked like a water bottle, but this certainly was no ordinary water bottle…
What I soon learnt was that this bottle was actually the latest craze and this seasons must-have accessory. This was a fruit infused water bottle from Aquatiser for £14.99. After watching the pretty cool video below I set to work on my fruit infused creations.
Staying hydrated is one of the most important factors for overall health, I rarely drink anything other than water but it can get really rather boring so, this idea was one I couldn’t wait to try.
All you do is chop up your fruit of choice, put it into the base of the bottle, fill the bottle with water, and then what I like to do is gently shake it a little so that the water is infused more quickly. I started off with just oranges in the base of the bottle, this is the moment I fell in love with the idea. The water is so refreshing and you get the added benefit of all the vitamins and minerals from the fruit. It tastes clean, crisp and cool with a hint of fruit infusion. I have now started getting quite creative with my fruit infused recipes – I am absolutely loving the strawberry infused water at the minute. Aquatiser have a few recipes here to try, next on the list has to be the Revive recipe – Mango, passionfruit, pear and pomegranate.
Even when you’ve had enough to drink you can then eat the fruit, or put them in your smoothie maker and blitz them for a yummy shake.
There are so many different fruit infuser bottles on the market, and the type you should buy really depends on where, when and how you are going to use the bottle.
This Aquatiser bottle has multiple chambers that screw apart and reassemble with ease and they are even dishwasher safe which is a big bonus! TIG’s mum was recommended Aquatiser by a PE teacher, and I love my sport so she thought this would be ideal. However, the Aquatiser bottle is actually made of glass which makes it really quite heavy to carry and run with. The reason they have made it with glass is that it keeps the fruit fresh without an odour, plus the glass helps the water to stay cooler for longer (which it definitely does!).
This bottle now goes everywhere with me, I love it. However, it would be great to see Aquatiser make a lighter, sportier, travel version of this bottle with a pop up spout for ease of use whilst driving and running.
Overall, this is a fabulous concept and a quality product from Aquatiser. This fruit infused water bottle is certainly going to make me drink more water, get more vitamins and minerals in my diet and really help me reach that 5-a-day fruit target. This really is the tastiest way to drink water.
I’m fairly new to this blogging world that has all of a sudden started taking over my life – in a good addiction sort of way! As I am at the beginning of my journey as a ‘blogger’, for Christmas I asked for a blogging book. I wanted to really understand and get a good grasp on the basics of blogging and see what other people were doing to drive traffic to their blogs and find out about the different writing styles etc etc.
I came across ‘Blogging for Creatives’ by Robin Houghton, the reviews were fantastic, my only concern was that it might be too basic. I already had my blog designed, set up and launched so I thought two or three chapters would be irrelevant, however, the rest of the content looked exactly what I was after so, I added it to my Christmas list.
When I opened this book up on Christmas Day I couldn’t wait to read it.
[On a side note, I also need to credit Wool and the Gang for my second favourite Christmas present in the photo above! I’m in love with their accessories. Do I give Cara Delevingne a run for her money?!]
Anyway, back to book! The book looks great, really fresh, strong layout, engaging images and blog examples. I don’t read many books but this was really easy to follow, the instructions were clear, concise and is a fantastic read for beginners.
Even though I had quite a lot of prior knowledge, this book confirmed I was doing things correctly, filled me with confidence and I learnt so much. I have just finished reading the book today and I now have two full pages of actions to help improve my blog through design and content, increase engagement, plus I learnt new ways to drive traffic to my blog which is such valuable information.
This book is the perfect leap pad to blog success and is a really useful starting guide for any blogger, especially those into design, art and crafting, as the examples given are all taken from these fields. The book is written in such a way that all the content can be applied to all bloggers no matter what their field and I’m pretty sure even the most experienced bloggers could learn something new from this book.
This book has many helpful tips on getting started, the tools and technology, content, promotion, being social, turning visitors into cash and much more. I highly recommend all bloggers read this book, even if you think you know what you’re doing!
You can buy this book for approx. £10 from Amazon – Blogging for Creatives
I’m now on the search for my next book to buy. Do you have any recommendations? Comment below to share your book suggestions…
It’s the final day of 2014 – are you celebrating in style tonight?
The TIG family are having a few friends over for a meal tonight, with no doubt a competitive battle of the sexes game or two, and not forgetting the fireworks!
I absolutely love Christmas and I refuse to accept it’s coming to an end! So, for tonight’s meal I decided to keep the theme well and truly festive. Recently, a friend of mine shared this video – ‘How to make Christmas tree napkins’ and I just couldn’t resist, I had to give them a go.
I’m not the most creative person but I don’t think my first attempt looks that bad at all.
After a few attempts and with a little help from TIG’s dad we did it! The table is all set and ready for our guests (albeit 4 hours early). The obligatory scratch cards included in the place setting, along with a fetching piece of headwear. The scratch cards have started to become a tradition with any winnings going towards our next get-together or a nice meal out, however, it’s very rare we win enough for a starter!
Slightly premature, but Happy New Year everyone! Thanks for all your support and I hope you all have a fantastic night…
Today, we visited TIG’s extended family in Derby for Christmas Day – take 2. A visit to the Derby clan is always guaranteed to be a laugh-a-minute and today was no exception.
After a fabulous 2-course meal we distributed our Secret Santa presents. We had a £10 limit and the TIG family had all decided to buy the same Christmas jumper for each of our recipients. Primark did good with their festive snowman jumpers priced at £9, and with £1 change we got everyone a scratchcard. As we went around the room opening our pressies the realization soon set in that 5 of the family all had the same Christmas jumper.
These photos will certainly finish the 2014 album off nicely!
Whilst the TIG family were still looking festive we brought out a present that was given to us by TIG’s brother and sister-in-law. This years must have gift – the photo booth prop kit!
At first glance it just looked like a load of Christmas cardboard cut-outs that you either wear or hold. On second glance that’s exactly what it was! I was a little unsure of how entertaining this would actually be, however, I clearly underestimated the power of a few cardboard cutouts. This has to be the most we have laughed in a long time and provided great entertainment for the whole family from ages 3-78!
And here’s the finished family portrait….
HAPPY CHRISTMAS FROM THE EXTENDED TIG FAMILY!
Today was a very sad day (despite TIG’s dad looking very excitable in the photo below!), we were leaving our luxury Scottish home, the relaxing hot tub, and my dream feature fireplace behind. It was time to go home.
It wasn’t all bad, after 6 hours in the car we arrived back to a very special gift on the kitchen table that had been left by our neighbours. What made this gift so special wasn’t just the gift, it was the gift tag.
They had made their own gift tags. These gift tags consisted of mum and dad, and the two girl’s finger prints. They had then added on antlers and a few facial features to make a family of Rudolph’s!
These gift tags are so simple, yet really effective, cheap to make and gets the whole family involved. This is a fantastic, unique idea that the TIG family will certainly be trying out next year.
Christmas day is finally here!
I am so excited (despite no snow!), and you will be pleased to hear Santa managed to find us! TIG’s boyfriend received a modern alternative to a Christmas stocking in the form of a coal skuttle filled with pressies! Did you get any creative stockings from Santa?
We enjoyed a relaxing morning of opening presents, followed by a leisurely walk in the Tay Forest Park. We left TIG’s dad in the kitchen to keep an eye on the dinner. Whilst out walking we found a tree stump that wasn’t connected to anything so we brought it home. TIG’s boyfriend has some great ideas of making a small table, centerpiece, candle holder or something else out of it, however TIG’s boyfriend and DIY do not go together! If you have any ideas on what we can do with it or how we can treat it, I would be extremely grateful!
We get back from the walk to find TIG’s dad surprisingly has everything under control and the final preparations for Christmas dinner are underway…did your preparations go smoothly? or did yours look something like this?!…
After dinner we ventured into the hot tub – I’m not sure this was a wise idea on such a full stomach but it was fabulous nonetheless.
For our Christmas dinner I put a festive face mask on each place setting. We had great fun with these throughout the day, especially on our family Skypes!
HAPPY CHRISTMAS FROM THE TIG FAMILY…
It has become a tradition in the TIG household to track Santa on Christmas Eve at www.noradsanta.org (yes, I know I’m nearly 30!). This is a fantastic website for kids (and big kids too) to follow Santa’s journey delivering presents around the world.
However, this year was going to be slightly different, I had read articles online that we were actually going to be able to spot Santa in the night sky. The articles has stated we would be seeing Santa’s sleigh (the international space station) in the night sky on Christmas Eve at 5.22pm for approximately 3 minutes.
So, at 5.22pm we put on our hats, scarves, gloves and coats and dashed outside into the garden. We looked up at the starry sky that was so beautifully clear and magical. We all stood in anticipation, getting colder and colder and our noses looking more and more like Rudolph’s by the minute.
We were panning the sky and all of a sudden I spot Santa’s sleigh. Wow! This was incredible. I can just imagine all the children’s faces to see that Santa was really on his way.
For the next 3 minutes we observed the sleigh glide across the sky. What a magical moment to have on Christmas Eve.
Did you see Santa’s sleigh on Christmas Eve?
TIG’s mum surprised us today with an ‘activity’. We hadn’t got a clue what it was going to be but the TIG family were certainly not disappointed.
Today, we were treated to a Winter Watch Highland Safari near Aberfeldy in Scotland. We also got the chance to get up close and personal and feed the red deer. This was an incredible day out and you can read my full review of our Highland Safaris experience here.
The red deer encounter was amazing, being so close to the deer and letting them eat from our hands was definitely a unique experience that I won’t forget.
We finished off the visit with a trip to the highly recommended Highland Safaris cafe which had a menu packed full of homemade and local produce with the most delicious Reindeer Empire biscuits.
After an action packed day it was time to head back to the cottage for a relaxing dip in the hot tub!
Today was a very wet and dull day in Scotland, will we get the White Christmas we are hoping for? We opted for an indoor activity today to stay out of the rain; a trip to the cinema in Perth to see Paddington the movie. Anyone who knows me, knows I am not a film person and no matter how much of an action thriller the film is, I always end up asleep. However, today was a first – I stayed awake! I’m not sure if this was because TIG’s boyfriend was laughing extremely loudly all the way through the film, but we all loved it. The film has a such a heart warming storyline, the actors are perfectly cast and the TIG family gave the film a resounding 5/5. This would definitely be my top recommendation for this months must see family movie – it was simply brilliant.
Next stop today was a visit to Trinity Church in Perth for their Christmas Extravaganza with a special performance from Jahmene Douglas (X Factor runner up). Wow! He can certainly sing, he was unbelievable. He sang 6 very beautiful Christmas songs and I would certainly go and see another performance from Jahmene. I have no idea how he didn’t win (Any idea who won that year?!..I don’t know either!)
*Wikipedia has just informed me the winner was James Arthur…anyone know what’s he doing now?!
Today is the beginning of Christmas for the TIG family.
I have just been given an envelope from TIG’s mum and inside is a postcode on the back of a postcard. That postcode is our destination for Christmas. On the front of the postcard is a slightly worryingly scene of a tent, very heavy rain and lots of mud. Maybe this isn’t going to be the magical Christmas I was dreaming of!
TIG’s boyfriend typed the postcode into the Sat-Nav which said we were 5hours 17minutes, 296miles away. We drive past the Lake District and venture up into the highlands of Scotland. 6 hours later we reach our destination, by this time it was dark so we couldn’t see much of the beautiful Scottish landscape. We turned into a courtyard where we spot TIG’s dad waving us in.
We had made it to our home for Christmas, a 5* two-bedroom cosy country cottage near Kenmore, Scotland (www.croftgarrowsteading.co.uk).
We ventured into our modern bungalow which was truly spectacular inside. It had welcoming underfloor heating throughout, gorgeous furnishings and the most amazing feature fireplace that I just wanted to take home with me! Wow, for the next 6 nights this was the place we could call home.
The next morning the views we woke up to were even more spectacular than the inside, plus the added surprise of a hot tub.
This was going to be one amazing TIG family Christmas…