Friday, 28 December 2012

Where I've Been, Christmas Festivities And Arts & Candies

I've been mainly at work, shopping and celebrating Christmas with my family. It's been a bit of a hectic one this year, no wonder I feel exhausted now.

For starters, I've been attending my Teaching Assistant course whilst doing my placement in a school all in the middle of their Christmas plays and shows, their classroom redecoration and festive arts and crafts. So much glitter was used I actually left a trail of it in the carpets when I walked around to do other jobs like photocopying (sorry mr caretaker man!). Then at my course we had a last-lesson-before-Christmas party where everyone had to bring food (I took chocolate dipped strawberries, the Iceland Italian platter and garlic and pepper chicken bites, they all went down well), I handed out a Christmas card to everyone which I don't normally do as I usually don't have anyone to give them to and I also won the 'Star of the week' medal which I have to try not to lose for two weeks now. So far so good...

Then onto work. I absolutely love fancy dress and any excuse to dress up I will take and run with it. We had a whole week to dress up if we wanted. I was going to stick with the one outfit but I got a little carried away... I had planned to just be a Christmas tinsel fairy all week but instead the week (and a bit) went a little like this outfit wise (and I say outfit, not costume because the clothes I made my costumes up from were actually my real clothes and not fancy dress... is it bad my normal clothes are already 'costumes' ?!):

Tuesday: An Elf (black skinny jeans, two layered green tops, a red 'skirt' ruched at one side, red ballet flats with red bows, an elf hat complete with faux ears and red rosy cheeks)

Wednesday: Tinsel Fairy (winter themed headband from my bridesmaid outfit, white slip on shoes I added glitter to, white leggings, a white tutu, wings, silver and white tinsel wrapped around my waist like a belt and an outrageous silver 'mirror ball' sequined dress)

Thursday: An Angel (gold tinsel wrapped around my head like a halo, wings, a skin / gold sequined long vest top, white leggings and rather a lot of gorgeous chiffon fabric wrapped and draped around my body to look a little 'Greek Angel')

Saturday: A Snowman (white cord jeans, grey 'Ugg' style boots with a silver star-burst pattern on the back, a white vest top with a cream jumper over it, a navy hat and a cute peach and silver scarf - I also cut out three navy 'coal' shapes and pinned them down my jumper)

Monday / Christmas Eve: Mrs Claus (red long sleeved top, white leggings, Text Santa hat, same tutu as before but with the Elf red 'skirt' layered over it, a black belt and my knee high black leather boots)

I really wish someone had taken proper pictures of my outfits so I could show you. I only have these of my fairy outfit:

Head piece

Glitter shoes

Tinsel fairy outfit
Everyone seemed to like my outfit changes and they made quite a few customers laugh so that's good. One customer even commented about how they remembered seeing me dressed as an elf earlier in the week and had come back in to see what I was wearing that day (it was the snowman). It's nice they remembered me.

Then of course we had Christmas, which I don't want to comment on too much as it didn't go really smoothly on the big day and quite a few arguments were had, as well as being sick. But the good things I can tell you are that after the meal we all had a good evening playing games and watching tv (Doctor Who and then a few films). We even had a few drinks which we normally don't do. 

I haven't really taken any Christmas pictures but I do have a couple of pictures showing some of the presents I received and of my cat Tim. I may take more pictures and add them. I know I have a turkey one on my phone somewhere.

Anyway, here are the few I have:

Lady Gaga perfume set

We handmade our own labels (Yes, the pom pom pile is also a label)

Pet present labels - silver paws with red glitter hearts

Tim checking out the presents

The turkey
Mmmm gingerbread!
Part of my Christmas present exchange with Miss Candy (of Arts & Candies) were these gorgeous gingerbread lady earrings that she sent me along with a Lush Bathos, Yankee Candle melts & candle and amazing fruity and herbal teas! (More images to come). I sent her a box full of cupcake goodness. I love these earrings, I wore them on Christmas eve with my Mrs Claus outfit to work, on Christmas day and Boxing day. I had lots of great comments about them and some people even said they wanted to eat them!

Another amazing gift I want to show you was given to me by my boyfriend (@61Neal on Twitter). It's something I had been wanting for a very long time and that I have been struggling to save up for.

He got me this:

I'm SO happy with this, I still can't believe he just bought me a sewing machine! I've been so excited about getting one so I can make more things for Arayha's Boutique and now I finally can. So expect some great things being put up for sale in the New Year.

Well, as soon as I get the hang of using it...

First stitches. I was so scared I would break the machine

Going well and testing a few stitch options out
My sample, it's a bit rubbish but I will get better!

I don't really know how to end this post as I've rambled on quite a bit but I hope you've all had a great Christmas. What did you do? Did you get any surprises or have anything funny happen?

Festive hugs from and excited sewing elf


Sunday, 2 December 2012

Today It's All About Textures!

For some reason today I just started taking photos on my phone of textures that caught my eye as we went out to buy pet presents (yes our household does that - no outfits though).

Here are a few things that caught my attention:

1). Crisp frosty leaves on the ground (it's a bit blurry as I took it through the car window just before we set off). I've noticed leaves a lot over the past few days. It's strange just how fast the year has gone. I want to get a close up shot of a really frosty one.

2). Not snow but the remains of the frost we scraped off the window. Isn't it pretty. Such a delicate texture.

3). The lock on my bag along with some piping. I love the texture. It's cold to the touch but somehow looks warm and soft.

4). The contrast of different parts of my bag. The lining is rough but pretty, the zip is cold and sharp and the outside is soft and smooth.

5). The fur trim on my hood. It was dancing in the blasts of hot air from the heater in the car, it reminded me of frosty cold sea anemones (I still can't pronounce that word properly, it's a tongue twister).

We went to Pets At Home (a pet supply store) and bought Tim our cat a new bed, a catnip gingerbread man chew toy and catnip bubbles. We bought my sister and her boyfriend's dogs some chewy treats and then we popped into Asda Living (Asda supermarket minus all the food haha) and bought two giant rawhide bones for their dogs and also a sparkly Christmas deer for our room.

I cooked a roast for our tea and while that was in the oven I created a little Christmas corner in my bedroom with the sparkly deer and my mini white Christmas tree covered in candy coloured decorations.

I can't wait to decorate everywhere and make it all really festive, I love Christmas.

Wrapping paper at the ready!


PS.-    I also took a picture of this Ice Dome yesterday, which has encased some moss... how amazing!

Tuesday, 27 November 2012

Arayha's Boutique Christmas Range - PHONE POUCH PHOTO ADDED

Welcome to our Christmas post featuring some of our lovely festive items!

These would make gorgeous gifts and are all made to order, so you'll need to order quick so they can be posted on time.

Message me HERE to order.

New items will be added to this post instead of a separate post.


***Special Christmas price***

£5 per pair (inclusive of post & packaging to UK - if you live outside the UK please get in touch for a postage quote, as this will affect the price).

'Christmas Wishes'
Grey faux fur stud earrings with a sparkly frosted effect, like magical snow stuck to the fur.

Specially commissioned fish hook version - this style can be applied to any of the faux fur earrings

'Gilded Snow'
White faux fur stud earrings with glittering golden tips (please note, the image above appears to show blue sparkles, this is just a light reflection from my TV - there are no blue sparkles, only gold).

'Deadly Nightshade'
While the name isn't as festive, these would be amazing on a night out, very mysterious. Black faux fur stud earrings with a deep purple sparkle.


We also have this wonderful faux crocodile skin leather in a pearly white that we'll be making into soft phone pouches.

Hand sewn phone pouches are £10 plus post & packaging (please message for a postage quote).

There is a limited supply of this, so get your orders in quick to avoid disappointment - please message me HERE and specify your phone model so I can make the right size pouch for you.

We also have lots of silver leather that can be made into phone pouches or anything you would like commissioned - please get in touch.

Latest Recommended Posting Dates for Christmas 2012


Thursday 13th December - Standard and Mail Order Return Parcels
Tuesday 18th December - Second Class and Recorded Signed For
Thursday 20th December - First Class and Recorded Signed For


Wednesday 5th December - Asia, Australia, Far East (including Japan), New Zealand
Friday 7th December - Africa, Caribbean, Central & South America, Middle East
Monday 10th December - Eastern Europe, Canada and USA
Wednesday 12th December - Western Europe

Have a wonderful evening!


Saturday, 24 November 2012

Kale Breakfast Smoothie - How To Make Your Own

Today I had a very strange yet surprisingly delicious breakfast; a kale smoothie. It was green, it had no sweeteners added to it and most of all, it wasn't my usual coffee.

I decided to try it for the vitamin boosting and energy giving elements, rather than the it'll-make-you-lose-weight gimmick. I like my desserts so trust me, I'll gain weight before losing it with a drink.

 Nutritional info:

Kale - what is it? and what's in it?
Spinach - what is it? and what's in it?
Banana - what is it? and what's in it?
Blueberries - what are they? and what's in them?
Goji Berries (also known as Wolf Berries) - what are they and what's in them?
Coconut Milk - what is it? and what's in it?
Yogurt - what is it? and what's in it?

Shopping for smoothie goodies (ignore the hot chocolate ha ha ha)

So, do you want to try it? Keep reading...

Each batch as listed below makes about 2-3 normal cups (like a medium mug size)

You'll need:

Blueberries - about a handful, washed
Spinach - a handful and washed. Remove the stems
A banana
Coconut milk - about 250-300ml
Yogurt - about 2tbsp
Kale (I used curly leaf as it was the only one available to me) - a handful and washed. Remove the stems
Goji berries (I used dried) - about a handful

Here's what you do:

After washing the kale, spinach and blueberries and chopping up the banana, add everything to a blender and blend until smooth.

Put everything into the blender


Ready to pour

If your smoothie looks too thick, add more coconut milk OR only add half a banana and see if that's better for you. I change mine day to day.

If your smoothie 'sets' like mine sometimes does, just mix it up again. Also if you're like me and leave it standing a little too long while you're busy doing something else and it looks like it's starting to separate, don't panic and throw it away. It's still fine, it's just the blueberry juice reacting with the yogurt and making it split. It's still fine, just mix it up.

The result? A rather green smoothie that tastes to me of bananas and a little of yoghurt. Nothing even remotely herb tasting or bitter! You can always change its taste by adding other berries or a flavouring like vanilla.


You can add the following too, but I couldn't get hold of these this time. The Acai berries should turn the smoothie from a green to more of a purple colour and it should taste a bit different.

* Acai berries / pulp / powder / liquid
* Protein powder
* I'm also looking at possibly adding Matcha tea to it in the future for an extra boost.

Have you tried this smoothie before?
What did / do you think of it?
What do you usually have for breakfast?
And have you seen any other foods that would make great additions?


Love, your little health nut


Tuesday, 20 November 2012

Forever 21, I have my eye on you

I have to write this quickly before I'm due out to meet my mum.

While my cat Tim slept on my freshly washed bath towel I've been dreaming of payday and looking at lots of pretty things online.

I've been wanting to makeover my bedroom for ages (and as anyone who's ever shared with a guy will know, it isn't pretty!) and it needs a more feminine feel. As it is now it has three off white walls, a deep red feature wall, black floor and white ceiling. Not very inspirational or relaxing.

I'd LOVE a floor like THIS but I'm not sure it would work over the black floor tiles we can't get off, so we're having laminate instead.

To replace the red feature wall I'd like to do THIS:

(P.S.- I made
And I'm planning to spray paint my black metal bed with a bright, light aqua with vanilla coloured bed knobs and a very subtle glitter glaze. Add a few black and white accessories and a few mirrored and hot pink items here and there and you get the general idea of how the room should look.

We're also getting blackout blinds but I hope to customise these too.

I've also been looking at lots of pretty things on Forever 21's website as I happen to live close-ish to one (lucky me!).

Here are a few items I'm drooling over right now:

* Studded Shoulder Moto Jacket £35.75 (although I'd prefer a real leather one)

* Fitted Animal Patterned Sweater £19.75 


* Suede Moccasin Slippers £16.00

Right, I have to run out to go meet mum, have a nice night.


Monday, 19 November 2012

Update: a peek into my day, sort of.

I didn't really take any pictures today. Well, apart from my attempt at the hair bow that's all over Pinterest. I've been growing my hair for what seems like ages and I finally have enough of it to do that style. Yes, I know it's very wispy and not that great but my hair isn't that long really and to get a bow out of it at all is amazing for me. I'll post a better picture when my hair's a lot longer and I can do the bow properly, it's not quite there yet.

Want to see it?

While I was on Pinterest today I saw this hairstyle and thought it would make a great alternative way to keep my hair up for work (I'm a christmas temp at a well known frozen food store - they have a new tv ad featuring Willy Wonka music... guess where haha) obviously minus the giant hair clip, I don't think we're allowed those, as pretty as they are. Here it is, I repinned it onto my 'Hair Ideas' board:

(Source: Pinterest)

I tried to track down where it's originally from and I *think* it's from but I'm not really sure (if you know, please tell me!)

Isn't the style really cute and easy to do. I had a go myself and it's do-able even without a mirror, even for me, although I did have wispy bits sticking out - I'll put that down to hair length and not my lack of hairdressing skills haha.

 You may have noticed that the Twitter feed has gone from the right --->
Apparently it's faulty so I had to delete it. When it's fixed I will add it again, until then you can follow me and see what I'm up to on @Arayha

On another note, how autumnal is the blog's new look! I love the leaf colours during autumn, so pretty. It's a shame most of them are now no longer on the trees but all wet and soggy on the floor, trodden and ground into the pavement. Most of them are brown now. At least the blog has everlasting fiery leaves.

Since it's getting colder and the weather's going all British on us, have a snuggly evening / night from my cup of hot chocolate and comfy duvet, to yours.


PS- want to see how my hair dried naturally today?

(Just like Medusa haha)

Sunday, 14 October 2012

Welcome Back

So it's been a while since I've been on here. I've been up to a lot. Recovering from my operation, job hunting (I'm now employed - woohoo), starting a new course and making things for Arayha's Boutique, as well as judging the page's 100 likes competition.

So the winner of our 100 likes competition was Katherine Thompson and she won these:

Here's what she said about winning:

"My prizes arrived today - I'm so pleased with them! The scent hit me first and it's beautiful. Scented plushes tend to irrirate my skin and I'm forced to stay from them, but yours are so relaxing and calming. I hope they stay like that forever! They've been perfectly made and, well, what can I say - they're LUSH! Minutes after opening them I had to name them, so I thought you deserved to know what
I've inflicted upon your poor plushes. In the centre we have Pomme, holding her little Petit Chou-Fleur. To the left is Winky, sitting on top of Tinky and joining them is Chubby Checker. On the other side is the happy little gingerbread house 99 (named so lovingly by my mother, because "he has a flake in his face") and underneath 99 is Boo and Puds. Finally, we have the aptly named Carrot, who's a little bit simple and prefers to sit upside down because he doesn't know any other way. Again, I just wanted to thank you ever so much for the prizes, I'll definitely be keeping an eye on your stock and buying things whenever I can! ♥"
I also decided to send a prize out to everyone who entered the competition and we've had a few pictures of those posted onto our Facebook wall, here's one:
Ellie Walker wrote:

"EEEEK!!! look what just arrived!!! SOOOOO CUTE!!! i have named the little critter 'hermman' (even though he has a pink skull mask lol)! LOVE it! thank you so so much! smells 'lush' too and i never even sneezed (which is great because i'm terrible with scented hings :D)"
 More images of the prizes are on our Facebook page Here
As far as Halloween items go, I've been working on a special Frankenplushie monster design as well as other spooky characters, including a ghost I've just finished and some Lushie Plushies based on Lush's Halloween range - pictures soon!
These will be being sold via our Facebook page, so make sure you keep checking there and add it to your Facebook interests list to make sure you don't miss any of these cuties!
You can also place a commission for a custom Christmas order by commenting on our note Here
Christmas items will include:
* Monsters
* Mini Monsters
* Lushie Plushies - based on Lush's new Christmas range   
Earrings and accessories - look out for characters like Ali
And much more!

Reviews - we're currently waiting for a review from Miss Bethany Lowe (Bethany Baker on Our Facebook Page)

If you've received any items from us and would like write a review / produce a video to be featured on our page, please message me via the Arayha's Boutique Facebook page (see 'Our Facebook Page' above for a direct link). We love hearing from you and seeing your photos. You can also post them to the page's wall and I will share them on the page.

Until next time.


Wednesday, 12 September 2012

We've Reached 100 Page Likes! *CLOSED*

Breaking news! We have just reached 100 page likes for the Arayha's Boutique Facebook Page!

Amy Servold was our 100th page liker and she has now opened our giveaway competition!

All entries to be posted onto our Facebook page's wall. Be as creative as you want, use anything and everything to make an image of '100' that will catch my eye and you could win a set of Lushie Plushies!

Good luck!

New Product & Almost At 100 Page Likes

So today I finally revealed the completed project I've been working on. It is all sewn by hand, yes everything. It is based on an Ipad cover made by the delightful Arts & Candies and it is the first of it's kind from Arayha's Boutique.

This is what happens when Lushie Plushies, Arts & Candies and I all collide together:

An adorable Plushie cushion! Here's the comparison:

I used ruffle fabric to imitate the piped cream effect, then I decorated the cover with all the same items but in plush form and with cute faces on as many as would suit. I know the layout is a little different with the silver tins but I think it suits the cushion better that way. Plus the Ipad cover is rectangle and the decorations needed to be spread out for the squishy version.

Here are some exclusive close up images of the cover decorations:

I also made some plushies to go with the order:

Carrot Bubble Bar

Gingerbread House Bubble Bar

Golden Wonder Ballistic

Twilight Ballistic

I'm now working on a cute monster with her own tiara and making stock because WE ARE OPENING IN OCTOBER! How great is that. Also in October you can place your Christmas orders - try to get them in early so I have enough time for everyone :)

Have you been on our Facebook page and liked Arayha's Boutique yet? We're currently on 95 page likes and when we hit the big 100 we're having a competition where the winner will receive a set of  TEN Lushie Plushies of their choice!

Have a nice evening!