Small Break..

Monday, 22 June 2015

Hi all,

Today, I arrived at Glastonbury festival! 

Therefore, please stick around - posts will be few (if any) until I am back. 

This includes a week away from My Mug and I - but please do keep sending the entries in! 

All will resume next week :)

I cannot wait to tell you all about it. It is already awesome! How cute is the gold and silver band!?

Love you all :)


"My Mug and I" with Dana!

Friday, 19 June 2015


This week, we have the lovely Dana from Carry On Beautiful - she is such a cutie! My favourite post is her recipe for No Butter Walnut Cookies because DUH COOKIES! She blogs about a wide range of things - you really must check her out. She is fab.

Here we go!

Hey! Who are you and where do you come from?
I'm Dana and I'm from Birkenhead, near Liverpool!

How long have you had your favourite mug?
A good 4 years now! I got it while i was still in high school and I've had a drink in it almost every day since!!

Where did it come from?
A charity shop actually! My mum found it and surprised me one day after school.

Why this one?
For one, I love Lord of the Rings. It's also got a slightly different handle to most mugs and it fits my hand perfectly. It's like a mug made in heaven.

Does it really make your drink taste better?
YES. Definitely. I joke that its like an Asian tea pot because they pour tea over them until it sinks into it and that's essentially what's happened to this cup. Even when its clean the inside looks a little funky.


What is your favourite thing to have in your mug?
Good old fashioned English breakfast tea! Well, PG tips. I'm not a tea expert but that's breakfast tea right? I have no idea.

When do you have your first cuppa?
Usually when i first wake up at 8ish and then every hour or so.

How many hot drinks do you have per day?
If i spend the day at home maybe between 6 and 10. If I'm out for most of the day probably only 2 or 3.

What is your favourite thing to do whilst with your mug?
I love to have a cup of tea in it while i read or watch TV. I don't use it if I'm watching Lord of the Rings or The Hobbit though because my boyfriend laughs at me.

Anything else?
I just want you to know that my mug is hands down the best mug in the world.



A big thank you to Dana for taking part!



Would you like to be a part of My Mug and I?

Click here to find out how!

Festival Essentials!

Tuesday, 16 June 2015

I have been to a couple of festivals.. Glastonbury and Reading specifically. I am a lot luckier than your average camper though. Greg works for the medics team - therefore we get a different camp site with showers and security! Wooo! So I must admit - I am more used to glamping than camping..

However, I thought I would give you the guide to festivals and what you MUST bring and what not to bother bringing.

Enjoy!


Tent

Now, think wisely. Greg and I took a four man pop up tent to Glastonbury thinking we would not need more.. After one night of rain, we had to travel about 10 miles to get a new tent. The tent we got was amazing. It had bedrooms and kept the water out amazingly well.

Remember not to go to huge though because you may not find a spot!


Toilet Roll and Wet Wipes

This is one you must NOT forget. There will more than likely be toilet roll available - but what if there isn't?! Also, it is normally left in the rain when the weather is rubbish. With the lack of hygiene, I find the wet wipes a welcoming site. The majority of the toilets are drop loos or porto-loos, so you do not need to worry about what does and doesn't flush.

Emergency Stash

Duct tape to fix snags in the tent
A torch to navigate
Earplugs for that early night (that will probably never happen)

Sleeping Gear

It will get cold at night - do NOT think it won't!
Make sure you have a sleeping bag, pillow and blow up mattress or foam ground matt. I bring a full tracksuit to sleep in for warmth (also, when you get comfy in your sleeping bag and finally get a little bit warm, you will need to pee - so at least if you are wearing trackies, you can make a non-embarrassing dash!).

Rain Coat

I got an amazing coat from Primark that is festival specific. Isn't it cute!?


Umbrellas are the most annoying thing to bring at a festival when you are out and about - too many people! I would advise you to keep one at your tent for when you are walking to the loo at night!

Sun Cream and Sun Glasses

It will be hot and you will get burned. EVEN IF IT RAINS! Bring after sun too!

Keep the sunnies cheap as they will probably be broken or lost..

Money and ID

I would recommend bringing a card and some cash - and keeping both separate, just in case.

ID is needed for some tickets and obviously, any booze!

Toiletries

This is personal to everyone - personally, I bring: toothbrush and toothpaste, a small shower gel, a normal sized hand soap, shampoo/conditioner, body spray, deodorant and face wipes.

Gum is also a good idea!

Clothes and Shoes

If the festival is for 5 days, bring 7 pairs of clothes and 8 pairs of underwear. If it rains, you have a back up pair (or two)! Bring socks! Lots of them.

Wellies are essential - and so are welly socks! Make sure you have decent walking shoes and never let your feet stay wet.

Don't even bother with flipflops or dolly shoes!

Medical Information

If you have ANY medical history that you would want your doctor to know, you must keep some record of it with you at all times. Write down the medication you are on and/or medical condition on a piece of paper and keep it in your wallet if you do not already have something that states this.

You would be surprised at the amount of people that this would be beneficial to - especially if something happens to you when you are by yourself.

If you do take medication, make sure you bring enough of it with you! Although at Glastonbury and Reading there are amazingly equipt hospitals on site, they can not be expected to carry what you need.

Water Bottle

Bottled water is an essential - but pricey part of festival camping. I once bought a small bottle of water for £4!! A beer was almost the same price.. I almost choked. Everywhere I went, there were taps with drinking water. This is free!


Charging Bar and Cheap Phone

You can pick up a cheap pay as you go phone from almost anywhere for £10 or cheaper! This is handy for emergencies.

You can pick up cheap charging packs for your phone - they hold 8 hours or so charge - definitely an essential for any festival goer! It is only fair that you let your parents know you are safe on occasion! Even at 25, my mum still expects her texts :)

Food and Drink?

Personally, I bring a couple of packs of noodles, just in case money is running low. I really love festival food, so I am happy buying food whilst I am there - it is pricey though!

Bin Bags

A mega essential for your laundry and rubbish. Trust me, bring at least 5!

Bum Bag

Last but not least - the most important!! A bum bag! I know, it sounds embarrassing, but who will be embarressed when your bag gets snatched or your backpack gets raided. Now I didn't want just any bum bag. I got mine made! Check out this beauty!!



This was lovingly made for me by Jane of Loopy's Place. I contacted her via her Facebook page after reaching out in a crafts forum! We worked together and she made me the bag exactly as I wanted it! I am so grateful and happy with it :) you must check her out!

Remember, they literally sell everything that I have listed - so don't panic if you forget something! Just be prepared to spend some serious money.


What are you festival essentials?


"My Mug and I" with Emily!

Friday, 12 June 2015


This week, we have the lovely Emily from Emily Davies Writes. She blogs about the most interesting things and definitely has a massive creative side! I LOVE this post about making a Cardboard Box fun! This is the sort of thing that I would love to do with my goddaughter and she would enjoy it so much! Make sure you check her out.

Here we go!


Hey! Who are you and where do you come from?
My name is Emily. I used to be a craft journalist but since having my little girl I've settled into being a SAHM. I blog about crafts, home, motherhood and coffee... lots of coffee!


How long have you had your favourite mug?
Ooooh, about five years I think.

Where did it come from?
One of my most favourite shops, Anthropologie on Regents Street.

Why this one?
It has special memories. I began my career working in craft magazine publishing and I worked with some of my best friends. In fact, it was a really lovely office full of girls who loved to craft, lots of girls who were just like me, really. One sunny day, four of us went on a cupcake excursion round the West End, sampling all the cupcake shops around Carnaby Street. We went to Anthropologie and each purchased one of these initial mugs which then became our office mugs. It was a bonding experience! Later on, three of us ended up working at a different company and our mugs were reunited! It reminds me of a really fun time in my career with great friends where we would all bond and get excited about little things like that. It's also a great size and feels a bit indulgent to drink from.

Does it really make your drink taste better?
Definitely!

What is your favourite thing to have in your mug?
I'm a big latte fan and have a coffee machine of my own. My drink of choice is a Soya Vanilla Latte - that's why the mugs have to be big, to compensate for all the froth!


When do you have your first cuppa?
I tend to forget about myself in the mornings, I'll run about getting myself and my toddler ready for the day and it will be gone 11 before I sit down and have something to eat and drink! Usually this will be in a cafe while I'm out and about, but in a bid to save money I do try to have an indulgent latte at home so I don't have to when I'm out.

How many hot drinks do you have per day?
Usually two, a latte and a cup of tea. Though I don't drink nearly as much tea!

What is your favourite thing to do whilst with your mug?
The perfect mug-time would be in total silence, wrapped in a quilt with a nice magazine, a good book or my laptop. It's just lovely to wind down and catch a bit of alone time. I can make a latte last an hour so it makes a difference!


A big thank you to Emily for taking part!



Would you like to be a part of My Mug and I?

Click here to find out how!

No Fear, Go Smear! My Smear Test Experience

Wednesday, 10 June 2015

If you Google "Smear Test" or "Pap Smear", you will be surrounded by horror stories - I know I was!

Here in the UK, once you reach 25, you are invited to get a smear test and my time was up.

Between 2012-13, 4.24 million women were invited to a cervical screening - out of those, 3.32 million were tested. That is nearly 1 million women that do not get tested. I was almost one of those women.

The thought absolutely terrified me. Firstly, I did not want to show my privates to a stranger. Secondly, I had heard that it hurts. Thirdly, I was so scared that it would be bad news!

I received my letter in October 2014 - I finally booked an appointment in May 2015 all because of a blog post I read - find it here.

Honestly, I almost cancelled. The day of the test, I went out shopping and for lunch with my best friend - that calmed my nerves a bit. As soon as she went home and my appointment was in an hours time, I freaked out!

I was shaking and I was almost sick. Literally, never in my life have I ever been this scared of anything! In the car on the way, I was running through in my head how much this was going to hurt and how embarrassing this was going to be. I am surprised I even made it there. After parking up, it took me 5-10 minutes to get out of the car.

I was about 20 minutes early, so I thought I had 20 minutes to calm myself down. WRONG! My name was called almost straight away. I went down to the nurses room, where I was greeted by an older woman with a smile. 

Straight away, I said how scared I was. She asked me exactly what I was scared of and I told her. Her first advice was that every woman was different and it does hurt for some people - she said the calmer and more relaxed you are, the less discomfort you will be in. She said not to be embarrassed as not only does she have a vagina, but she has seen hundreds!

To calm me down, she said that I had a few extra questions that she could ask me about my general health to complete some records on the computer. We did that and then we got on with it.

I wore a skirt with no underwear because I wanted it to be as quick as possible! She said that I was amazingly prepared with this.

Now without going into too much detail, the next 30 seconds were quick and painless. Honestly, the second I felt a little discomfort, the whole experience was over. No pain at all (please remember - although I had no pain, as my nurse said - everyone is different - I don't want to give you false promises, but seriously - I felt no pain). She said everything looked visibly normal. For me, the worst part was the jelly lubricant and how messy it was! Maybe underwear would have been a good idea!

After the test, she said my results would be with me in 2-3 weeks. Now that was the bit I was worrying about too - but she said that whatever they were, they couldn't be rushed and at least I had started the process. This meant that if something was wrong, the ball was rolling!

When I got home, I felt so proud of myself for doing this - but I definitely felt a bit odd. Almost like I had prepared myself for torture and when it didn't happen, my body was a still waiting for it! Honestly, my test was at 5pm and until I went to bed, I felt a bit wobbly - almost in shock. I know it sounds ridiculous, but I felt like I just needed endless cups of tea and cuddles - but I am the biggest wimp known to man!

Personally, I would recommend taking the day off work (sounds dramatic doesn't it?! It really did not hurt!). Why? Because as a woman, this is the thing you are doing to keep yourself safe. YOU made the decision to do this and it is a massive step - it also throws you out of your comfort zone. I think the whole day should be made about you. I am a sensitive soul so having the evening of relaxing was really important to me. I am sure that you are probably more sturdy than me and don't need it :)


The Results

NORMAL!

I was very nervous waiting for these results to come through - and I am so happy that they were normal. My next test will be 2018 providing I have no symptoms in the mean time.

If your results were not normal - thank GOD you got the test done and you are in the right hands. It is nothing to be scared about.

Life is for living and we shouldn't let anything get in our way!

No Fear, Go Smear.

DIY Button Push Pins

Sunday, 7 June 2015

Push pins are something I use a lot - espeically at my new job - but they are so ugly!!

Make them pretty with this quick DIY :)

You will need:
Your buttons of choice
Push pins
Glue gun
Cork board


Start off with the plain pins and push them into the board. Use a dot of glue on each and pop your button on.

Make sure you press firmly - but don't burn yourself!


Leave to dry for about 10 minutes and done!

Don't they look cute!?




"My Mug and I" with Dawn!

Friday, 5 June 2015


This week, we have the lovely Dawn. Now, Dawn is not only a blogger, but an author too! Very exciting stuff. She writes a detective series that I am keen to get my hands on! A post from her blog that I LOVE is "The Voice and Bean Eat Out: Eighteen71 Winchester" because I live near Winchester and go here with my mum! Check her out - she is incredible!

Here we go!


Hey! Who are you and where do you come from?
Hi my name’s Dawn, I live in Hampshire in a quixotic village in the South Downs. I blog and write under the name D S Nelson. I write a parenting blog about green living, and I am the author of a series of detective stories called ‘The Blake Hetherington Mysteries’. I’ve been writing and blogging for about eight years.


How long have you had your favourite mug? 
I’m quite fickle when it comes to my mugs. I have lots and my favourite at the moment is my ‘Live and Let Bee’ mug. I’ve had this mug for about five months.

Where did it come from?
I was a birthday present from my husband. He knows I’m obsessed with writing and tea!

Why this one? 
When I’m writing a novel, I have to have my tea from the corresponding mug. For ‘Hats Off To Murder’, my first novelette, I had a mug with bowler hats on, for the second novelette ‘One For The Rook’, I had a village show themed mug, for my novel and third book in the series ‘Model For Murder’ my husband made me a mug with a picture of a model village and a voodoo vever, on it. Right now I’m editing the second Blake Hetherington novel entitled, ‘Live and Let Bee’, so it has to be my ‘Live and Let Bee’ mug!


Does it really make your drink taste better? 
Oh yes! Is this really a question? The tea in my mug is in the moment with me! I am Blake Hetherington and Delilah Delibes, all rolled into one, cogitating on the facts of the case in hand.

What is your favourite thing to have in your mug? 
I love Winchester Char teas, a great little local tea company and my favourite is a loose-leaf tea called Emperors Seven Treasures. It taste fresh and summery, has a wonderful scent and looks lovely as the tea’s mixed with rose and sunflower petals.

When do you have your first cuppa? 
My husband brings me a cuppa when he gets up to go to work, so I have it to hand before attempting to wash and clothe the five month old, whom hopefully hasn’t woken up yet!

How many hot drinks do you have per day? 
Ermm, hmmm, tricky question, I loose count. Before the days of bean (the aforementioned five month old), it used to be somewhere between ten and eight but these days I’m lucky if I get to drink one hot drink. In truth I probably drink five or six mugs of hot drink gone cold.

What is your favourite thing to do whilst with your mug?
Writing! Or, of course, reading a good cosy crime ;-)

Anything else?
I’d love people to stop by my website www.dsnelson.co.uk or the blog www.beagreenbean.co.uk and if you fancy giving one of my books a go they can all be found on Amazon here.
You can also catch up with me on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. I’d love you to come and say hi. 
A big thanks to the lovely Rowan for inviting me to tell you all about my favourite mug, now I’m off to see if I can squeeze a bit more editing in before bean discovers I’m missing!


A big thank you to Dawn for taking part!


Would you like to be a part of My Mug and I?

Click here to find out how!

Old Candle Jars and Wax Melt Recyclable!

Tuesday, 2 June 2015

Ohhh you will be thankful for pinning this later!

Ever buy a candle in the most gorgeous jar and don't want to throw it away after the candle has burned out? Now you don't have to!

I keep them all. Literally - all! I use them for coffee, sugar, pasta, buttons, you name it!!

Now, what about when you finish a gorgeous smelling candle - it breaks your heart a little, right? Here is how to use ever last ounce of the wax to keep that gorgeous smell going a little longer.

Below was my favourite candle. I didn't even like to leave it burning for too long as I love the smell so much. Then it ran out.

Here is how to keep the jar AND reuse the wax.

You will need:
Your old burned out candle
Pippet
Silicone mould
Kettle and water
Kitchen roll


Put your empty jars on kitchen roll - now seriously guys, this is the important bit because you might get burned!

I would recommend that you do this in a bowl of some kind, that can take the heat. In the unlikely event of the glass cracking, you do not want to be covered in boiling water AND melted wax.

Stand your jars appropriately and pour boiling water in the jar, all the way to the top. Do this slowly and listen - if the glass makes any noise, stop and bin it.


After about 10 minutes, the wax will have all floated to the top. Grab your pipette.



Gently use the pipette to suck up the melted wax - be careful not to get any water in the pipette.


Pipette the wax into your silicone mould. Leave to dry. Now this doesn't look too pretty - but the end result is, I promise :) 


When they are dry, pop them out and they are ready to use as wax melts!


Cute huh?!

Leave the jars to cool overnight - when they are cooled and the wax is solid, pop it out.


The wax disc can also be used as a wax melt - it just isn't as pretty! 


Make sure the glass jar is cleaned and tadaaaa! 


What would you use yours for?