Tuesday, 23 September 2014

Newport Food Festival - What I'm Going to See

Newport Food Festival has been one of my favourite Saturday days out since it began.  This year it is happening on Saturday 4th October and it has been really great to see it grow and develop each year.

This year I've booked to see 4 demos at the Studio in the Riverfront, Tom Westerland, Ping Coombes, Michael Hendry and Honeybunch Cake Company.  They all be "new to me" demos as I know some of the Chefs are regulars at Newport Food Festival and I really looking forward to attending them as I've learnt so much over attending demos during the last few years.

There's so much going on, in my free time I'm looking forward to seeing the Street Performers and visiting lots of local companies in their stalls throughout the town.  My favourite place to visit has been Gower Cottage Brownies - their brownies are amazing.  I've bought from them every year they've been in Newport.  I'm so glad they'll be attending again this year.  One I'm looking forward to visit is Pizza Wheels I love getting buy freshly made pizza from a wood fired oven.  Hoping they'll be making cheese ones (for the kids) and well as spicy ones for my husband and I.

Some of the events I think I might miss this year is the Festival Supper, this sounds like so much fun and the menu looks divine as well as the talks on Beer, Tea, Coffee and Welsh Tapas in lots of different venues from the Market to Waterstones.

Only 10 days to go, I'm loving the countdown on the Food Festival website.  Have you seen it yet?

What are you looking forward to seeing in the Food Festival?

Thursday, 18 September 2014

REVIEW: Jesus Christ Superstar, Dolman Theatre, Newport

The musical Jesus Christ Superstar, written by Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice, traces the last seven days of Jesus Christ as seen through the eyes of Judas Iscariot.

This weeks presentation by MY UK at The Dolman Theatre is the Arena version as originally portrayed by Ben Forster, Tim Minchin, Melanie C and Chris Moyles after the ITV prime time show Superstar where Andrew Lloyd Webber gave the UK public the chance to decide who would be playing the starring role of Jesus.

Jesus for this version is played by Jordan Leeming while Judas is portrayed by Connor HendrĂ½k Fogel and Abbie Davies is Mary Magdalene and they did a really great job within the production.

My highlight of the evening was Jordan Huntley playing Pontius Pilate, singing Trial Before Pilate pleading for Jesus to give Pilate a reason not to kill him.  Dave Jones also gave a rousing performance as Herod bringing a touch of light relief in the middle of a dark emotive story.
One complaint for the opening night would be the lack of sharing microphones between cast members as there were several children with one line solos which were not heard due to the loudness of the band. Hopefully this technical difficulty will be rectified for later performances.

Jesus Christ Superstar will be at the Dolman Theatre until September 20 2014.

Tuesday, 16 September 2014

L'Oreal Paris - Elvive Extraordinary Oil Shampoo and Conditioner

I recently received some products from L'Oreal Paris to review for their web site.  I was so impressed by these products I decided to include them on this web site as well.  

Here are the reviews on the website:

  • This shampoo, when used with the Extraordinary Oils conditioner works wonders on my hair.  I've got really weak, thin hair and after using the products my hair feels stronger and shiny-er.  It also works really well on my daughters thick hair leaving it really shiny.

  • I love this conditioner. It worked really well on my daughter's hair as well as my own. She had really thick and full hair and I have really thin and fine hair. The conditioner used with the shampoo made both our hair look and feel really shiny and strong. Thank you l'oreal paris

Have you tried this shampoo?  What did you think?

Monday, 8 September 2014

My Daily Makeup Routine - September 2014

At the beginning of the summer holidays ELF ran a 50% off campaign and that was the step I needed to sort out my new make up routine for September.  The picture above shows the haul I managed to pic up for approx £30.00.  Not all of the products above made it into the final list of products I use every morning therefore listed below are the ones that made the cut:

  • Mineral Infused Face Primer (in Clear) - this is first on, and as it says on the box it fills lines and helps prepare your skin so make up goes on evenly.  It certainly does that I love the smoothness I feel on my skin after using it.
  • HD Mattifying Cream - This is the foundation I am currently using and it is very similar to my favourite foundation - Benefit's Some Kind-a Gorgeous but significantly cheaper.  I find the coverage and the finish very similar in both products so I would definitely buy the ELF one again.
  • Eyeliner and Shadow Stick in Black/Smoke - described as "Achieve colour intensity for your eyes with twist-up ease" on the ELF website  and I would certainly agree with this,  I found the smoke a little dark so now I only cover half my eye and use a finger to smudge it across the whole eyelid.
  • Volume Plumping Mascara - I choose this because it has a brush similar to Benefit's BadGal mascara.  So far I have no complaints, it's not as good as Benefit's but for everyday use I cannot complain.  It goes on easy and covers all my lashes really well.
  • Mineral Blush in Joy - again, this was purchased as a Benefit dupe as well,  I really like Benefit's Dandelion and have used it for many years. I cannot complain about the ELF version, it suitably highlights the the cheek area,
Finally, you'll notice I have not mentioned a lipstick, that's because I'm not really sure about a lipstick at the moment.

What do you use in your daily routine?  Link me up in the comments below especially if you have any good ideas about lipsticks

Sunday, 3 August 2014

Project Life January 4

Here are the final pages from January this year.   The first page shows a series of pictures that Tom took when he was wondering around the house with a camera one night.

The next page documents how Andy and Tom have started to watch Doctor Who together and our first Sunday without Andy as he had to work the Sunday Shift.

Seren had homework on Space.  Here is the poster she put together about Saturn:

Finally, recording a bit about Jon, how he is growing and his RoboKinght purchase.

Thursday, 31 July 2014

REVIEW:Cats at the Wales Millennium Centre

When we arrived at the theatre on Tuesday night it looked like the rubbish bins of the Wales Millennium Centre had been tipped on the stage but when the house lights went down, the music started and the rubbish tip lit up you had the feeling it was going to be an enjoyable night.
The show opens with Jellicle Cats meeting for the Jellicle Ball and follows the story from the poems in TS Eliot’s Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats.  Throughout the show the ensemble’s dance and acrobatic moves astounded with the majority of the cast on stage through the whole show. 

As we were introduced to each cat individually (except for Mungojerry and Rumbleteazer, who were introduced together, and provided one of the best acrobatic routines of the evening) we enjoyed a variety of music styles and stunning dance routines.  Inbetween the dance routines there was lots of integration with the audience which provided some of the comedic elements of the show with the performers showing their cat characters.

The highlight of the evening was the singing which included lots of harmonies and the most famous song from the show Memory which was sung by Sophia Ragavelas.

Cats is at the Wales Millennium Centre until Saturday 9thAugust and includes many matinee showings so you have no excuses not to miss it.

Wednesday, 30 July 2014

Project Life 2014 January 3

Here are the next set of Project Life life pages for January.  The first page shows a creative weekend where Seren created a model of Saturn and the boys build a spaceship.  I also documented that NCIS: LA and Hawaii 5-0 started back.

Seren had a phone for Christmas and we quickly got her onto instagram.  Here are a couple of selfie's from her phone:

Finally Tom lost his first tooth.  At 7 he's older than the other two were so it had to be documented as a full page.

Sunday, 27 July 2014

You're Pretty Amazing!

One of the fun things about being a Studio Calico subscriber is PreSale time.  It happens on the 27th of every month at 5pm in Wales which is quite a good time for me.  This month's presale has just happened and this month I have been very good.  No extras for me this month, just my Studio Calico Project Life kit coming this month.  

Last month, this was not the case as I bought a couple of dies at Presale, the birthday die and the die featured below were snapped up quickly during Presale.  

I loved the You're Pretty Amazing craft die.  I was really inspired  when I saw it and wanted to make teacher's thank you cards with it.  Unfortunately it didn't quite turn up in time for those cards but last night I made come cards with it anyway.  The funky design of the die ties in well with the Amy Tangerine Sketchbook collection 

Wednesday, 16 July 2014

Teacher's Gifts inspired by Studio Calico

With the end of term fast approaching this year I have been super organised and made teachers presents.  I decided to use a beautiful digital template from the Sugar Rush kit by Studio Calico.  Rather than using pictures in the template I filled the spaces with the colours already in the image to create a colourful heart.  At the bottom of the heart I used the Century Gothic font to write "athrawes orau" best teacher in Welsh.  

Once I was happy with the colours and the positioning I printed the design to check everything was ok.  I am so glad I did as the colours looked a bit washed out so I upped the red colours and then was happy with the finished look.  

Finally I could print out the flipped image ready to iron on the bags and after about an hour behind a hot iron I ended up with 9 bags that looked like this:

Here's a close up of the heart (I love this design):

What did you make/give this year?  Let me know in the comments below:

Tuesday, 15 July 2014

REVIEW: Pudsey the Dog: The Movie

Last night we travelled to the Vue Cinema in Cardiff to see a preview showing of Pudsey the Dog: The Movie.  I hadn't seen any trailers or read anything about the film which meant I was unsure of what to expect but the children really wanted to see the film and as the designated driver I had to go.

We arrived at about 6pm and after waiting about 20 mins for Andy and several other journalists to interview and photograph Ashleigh and Pudsey we finally got seated in the auditorium.  Only to find Ashleigh and Pudsey came into the auditorium to intrduce the film. Here is my really bad picture which doesn't do Ashley or Pudsey justice as they looked beautiful on the evening.

The story  of the film (according to the official movie website) is:
A heartwarming, quintessentially British adventure for all the family, PUDSEY THE DOG: THE MOVIE follows cheeky London stray dog, Pudsey, who is quite happy being a lone ranger, looking out for number one, until he meets siblings Molly (Izzy Meikle-Small), George (Spike White) and Tommy (Malachy Knights).  After losing their father, their mother Gail (Jessica Hynes) is moving the family to the sleepy village of Chuffington and Pudsey tags along, to the dismay of their landlord, Mr. Thorne (John Sessions), and his cat Faustus.  As Pudsey starts to settle in with the family and realize what he was missing when he was alone, he stumbles across Thorne’s evil plan and he determines to save them and the whole village.

The film was an old-fashioned family comedy that had me laughing out loud in some places and feeling really emotional in other places. Izzy Meikle-Small, Spike White, Malachy Knights and Jessica Hynes really gelled together and from the scenes where the siblings argue to where they work together to solve problems I was convinced that they really were a family.  The star of the show for me was Pudsey and the other talking animals especially the farm animals in Chuffington, there were many LOL moments from the farmyard scenes.  

I didn't expect to like this film but I loved it, while the story is simple and easy to follow it allows the characters on screen to really blossom and it was their performances that really pulled me in and I found myself lost in the story of the film.  It opens in Cinemas on Friday 18th July 2014.

Monday, 14 July 2014

Project Life January 2014 2

Here are the second set of pages for January's Project Life.  This includes our new Saturday morning routine where Seren now goes to help in Dancing classes.  
Finally convinced Seren to help with the ironing, she is very good at it.

Beavers and Cubs started back this week.  Love hoe Tom will always pull a silly face for the Camera.

Las 2 pages document how I "accidentally" subscribed to the Studio Calico Project Life Kit.  December's Kit was already in my basket when January's was launched which means I bought 2 kits in 2 days.  I have to say how much I love the kits, they make PL so easy.

Monday, 17 March 2014

Project Life 2014

Finally started my Project Life album for 2014.  This year I'm using a Aqua Studio Calico Handbook album as well as their Project Life Monthly Kit.  This is my first page a great pic of the family which we did on New Year's Eve.

These are the next two pages, a few cards from the Studio Calico Blue Note and Copper Mountain Project Life Kits as well as a printable card from the Copper Mountain Digital Journal Cards by Shanna Noel - love this set.  They are recording the first few days of January where we watched a new episode of Sherlock, after a 2 year wait, a trip to the Wacky Warehouse, a trip to Cardiff and being under a flood warning for a few days.

Finally got to the first day of school, 6th Jan and poor Tom he was the only one to have homework and then on the 7th I got to see Priscilla Queen of the Desert at the Wales Millennium Centre.  The show was really great, click here to see my review which went in the local paper.

Saturday, 25 January 2014

December Daily 2013 Part 1

These are my first few pages of my December Daily mini album for 2013 for which I'm mostly using the Studio Calico December Daily kit with a few items from the Blue Note Project Life kit.  The opening page is a direct copy of Ali Edwards' title page using American Crafts Gold Zing glitter as well as a sticker from the December Daily kit.

December 1 - DECEMBER STARTS HERE! A busy Sunday for us, up early to collect the boys from their Beaver & Cub sleepover at 9:30am. Seren was bag packing with Centre Stage at 1:30pm in Iceland.  In between the two events we put up the Christmas tree and decorations as well as giving the boys their Star Wars Lego Advent Calendars


December 4 - Singing in the Rain tonight.  Seren and I have been looking forward to this all year!  Imagine the surprise to find out we have 5 tickets to Press Night!!  We joined Welsh "Celebrities" weather people and Wynne Evans and all thoroughly loved the show, even the boys.

December 5 - Tonight is one of my favourite nights every year. We love the RIVERFRONT PANTO and it gets better every year!  We love meeting the cast after the show, Seren is a pro at posing and getting autographs.  Tom posed with Lee Mengo the best dame in the panto world!

Friday, 10 January 2014

REVIEW: Priscilla Queen of the Desert

I'm really fortunate to have a husband that works for the local paper and occasionally manages to get us reviews to shows in Newport or Cardiff.  This week I went to see Priscilla Queen of the Desert at the Wales Millennium Centre, Cardiff.  You can see the review I wrote for the paper below or click here.

The first week of January is always really hard to get back into the routine of getting up and going to work but this week I’m really pleased that Jason Donovan, Richard Grieve and Graham Weaver and the cast of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert made the effort.

They have all turned up at the Wales Millennium Centre to perform this feel good show until the Saturday 18th January.

Having seen the show early in its UK tour while the show has not lost any of its dazzling style and I believe it has got better. There have been little improvements to the set helping the story to flow more freely and the cast seem to really enjoy playing up to their vivid and outrageous characters.

The show is a pop-roller coaster of sing-a-long songs that get the audience involved from tthe opening moments.

Jason Donovan, Richard Grieve and Graham Weaver are outstanding in the lead roles and all the supporting cast all deserve a mention as they provide as much of the entertainment throughout the show.

My husband as interview Jason Donovan and you can read that here.

Are there any new shows you're looking forward to see this year?

Thursday, 9 January 2014

One Photo & 20 Words

Singing in the Rain Press Night at the Wales Millennium Centre. Fantastic Show. 1 stunning family photo. Thank you WMC.

This post was brought to you in conjunction with Abi's Meme One Photo & 20 Words.  For more information see her blog

Saturday, 4 January 2014