Sunday, 29 May 2016

The Past Wek

Another quiet week this week, but still with lots of little treats.


I couldn't walk past the cake sale at work without buying this little beauty.  It tasted just as good as it looks too.


I spent a little time crafting up a card for an order I'd received for a new baby.



A very hot bubble bath was enjoyed using my Lush Rose Jam bubble bar, allowing time to read some of my newest book to be removed from the book shelf, Katie Fforde's Highland Fling (I really like her books).  


Followed by a candlelit evening watching Britain's Got Talent.  In fact I've watched that every evening this week.


I've been enjoying fresh flowers about the house.  I try to buy them on the regular now, as it's nice to walk into a room with pretty blooms, wouldn't you agree?!

I enjoyed an evening out having dinner and drinks with fellow blogger Michelle, at Zizi's.


Then finished the week off with a spot of gardening.  Oh how I have missed the smell of these roses.


I've nothing much planned for the rest of my bank holiday weekend, so we shall just see what it has in store.

~ Gem x

Friday, 27 May 2016

Confessions Of A Blogger

Now I know this has probably been done a million and one times before, but the idea has struck and I just can't shift it.  So what does a blogger do when faced with this situation? Well, they publish it.


I'm a blogger, and up until fairly recently I was afraid to tell people.  I was scared to be judged and scrutinised, but the truth is blogging has brought me something I could never have dreamed to have found.  So I'm laying it all down right here today.  My confessions of a blogger.

I love attending events, seeing my diary fill up with dates to meet up with fellow bloggers, attending shows to inspire blog posts or getting to view venues and test out products.  If only I could do it every day.

It takes me forever to do anything and get anywhere, because I literally take hundreds of photos a day.  And yes I have been known to arrange and re-arrange a display in order to get that perfect Instagram worthy shot.  So that photo that I've published, I have about 30 images of the exact same thing, taken from different angles or with things arranged slightly differently.

I have a million notebooks filled with inspiration, lists and blog ideas.  And yet even with pages filled with blog post ideas, I still get bloggers block and have no idea what to write about.


When that notification pops up with a new comment on one of my blog posts or Instagram images, I still get excited.  And I know that likes and follows shouldn't bother me, but they do.  After all we all like to be liked. 

I will talk about people that I have never met as though they are my closest friend and expect other people to know exactly who I'm talking about.  There is just something about the blogging and Instagram community that still to this day overwhelms and humbles me.   

Most of my time is spent with my face pressed up against a laptop, computer or iPhone screen, checking the latest on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and all of my friends blogs.  The trouble with being a blogger is you feel that fear of missing something big if you're not keeping on top of things, the truth is that it's not likely to be the case but you just never know.  


And I will admit there are times I feel envy of other bloggers, getting their break and making it big, or seeing a piece of their work go viral.  It's not in a mean way, of course I am happy for them and at the end of the day it is good to see the work of fellow bloggers being recognised, but there is always that hunch of waiting for the day that it might just happen to you.

So there you have my confessions of a blogger.  I'd love to hear yours if you would care to share them either in a post of your own or in the comments below.

~ Gem x
 

Wednesday, 25 May 2016

Essex Young Farmer's Show 2016

Sunday saw this years annual Young Farmer's Show return to Boyton Cross, on the outskirts of Chelmsford.  As the show is right on our doorstep, we have visited the show every year since moving to our house, so this is now our fourth show.


Sadly the show hasn't changed over the years and has become very predictable, with the same arena shows and the same exhibitors each year.


The entrance is £14 per adult with children aged 15 and under going free.  So as a family day out it is fairly affordable and there is plenty to see and do.  From livestock to machinery.



Steam engines and even a steam fair.  I fell in love with the carousel.  


There is also an opportunity to spend some pennies.  Whether it be gifts and crafts, clothing, food or plants for your garden.  There is pretty much something for everyone.



All in all not a bad day and definitely worth a visit if you've not been before, especially if you have children.  Personally I doubt I'll return next year, but this is purely down to the predictability of the event.   

~ Gem x

Monday, 23 May 2016

Visiting Jardin Botanico Marimurta ~ Spanish Garden

During our stay in Spain we visited the gardens in Blanes 'Jardin Botanico Marimurta' which I visited last year and blogged about here.


It was so lovely being able to visit with James this time, I was quite sad that he missed it last year.


The weather was glorious and we enjoyed a leisurely stroll around the gardens, admiring the views and pretty flowers. 


Nothing had changed from last year, but I still felt overwhelmed as I turned each corner, seeing the bright colours stretch before me.


If ever you are going to be holidaying in the Costa Brava, I would encourage you to look into the possibility of visiting.  It's a gorgeous garden, the perfect place to spend a morning or afternoon.


~ Gem x

Friday, 20 May 2016

The Girona Temps de Flors 2016

I mentioned in my last blog post about a short break in Spain for James' work.  On Friday we had some time to kill and decided to make the most of the freedom (and the car we had hired) and drove to Girona.  




We had been told about the many flower displays currently on show throughout the city for their annual Temps de Flors (Girona Flower Time), and wanted to see what it was all about.  Neither of us had visited Girona before, so it was also a good opportunity for a spot of exploring.    



I really wasn't quite sure what to expect, so went with an open mind, which I think worked in our favour.  It took us a little while to spot the first display.  Some of the smaller ones blended in so well with the city's streets and buildings they could easily go unnoticed and we had assumed they were a permanent setting.



Once we knew what we were looking for though they became much easier to spot.  Many could still be mistaken for permanent fixtures though, how lovely that would be.  But there were some so great that they could not be missed nor mistaken for anything but part of the installation.  




Wandering around the city I felt as though I was on set for a movie.  The narrow, winding streets were just beautiful, and there were many times that I stopped to drink in the atmosphere around me.


It felt so nice just wandering round at a leisurely pace, not having somewhere in particular to go, being in no rush to get anywhere.  Turning street corners and being greeted with such bright colours from the beautiful flower displays, it was just incredible.  



Sadly though all good things must come to an end, right!  The clouds had been slowly rolling in as the morning turned to afternoon.  We sat ourselves down for a coffee in a pretty little bistro and it was then that the rain began to fall, albeit a light drizzle.  We could tell from the clouds this would not be the case for long, so decided it was time to leave and headed back to the car.  


We timed it just right as the heavens quite literally opened.  I've not seen rain like it in quite some time.  Still, we had had a lovely morning so we weren't complaining.

I'd say that visiting during the festival is a perfect time to visit the city as it brings so much more colour and life to it.  The installations were just beautiful.  Such gorgeous splashes of colour and great texture really brought the city to life.  I'm so glad we made the effort to visit as we could easily have missed it.  

~ Gem x

Wednesday, 18 May 2016

A Trip to Spain

I've just returned from a few nights in Spain, so before settling back into the normality of life, I wanted to share a few posts about the break with you here.

We stayed the night before at Gatwick airport in their Bloc hotel.  I loved it, so comfortable and stylish.  It's situated inside the airport's south terminal, perfect for those early morning starts as you don't have far to travel to get to check in.  I'd definitely stay there again.
   

The reason for the trip was due to James' work, so a lot of our time was spent in Blanes, at their annual Birrisana festival hosted by the guys at Cervesa Marina brewery.  The location was fantastic, right on the beach, with such stunning views.



Amazing food was devoured.



Delicious drinks enjoyed.

This strawberry gin and tonic was served for one person!

Gardens were explored.


And flowers admired.


All  in all, a good few days indeed.

~ Gem x

Friday, 13 May 2016

A Blog Collaboration Opportunity

I've been thinking for some time now about teaming up with some fellow bloggers to create some kind of monthly collaboration.  

I have seen so many of them around and would love to work on one with some blogging friends.


We would each continue to write on our own blogs, and on a chosen date each month we would write our own interpretation of the theme and link to one another's blogs.

To be honest that's about as much as I know.  What subject we would collaborate on, what theme we would follow, I have no idea.  I'd be happy to discuss that with you.


Basically what I'm asking today is who wants to join me?
If you're interested or want to ask a few questions before committing to anything, just leave me a comment on this post (please make sure that your settings aren't set to no reply or this) or you can email me gemscountrylife@hotmail.com

~ Gem x

Wednesday, 11 May 2016

DIY Up-Cycled Garden Chandelier

I mentioned the other week about up-cycling.  I hate seeing things go to waste, so if I can find another use for it, all the better.  Looking around our home and garden, you will find quite a few DIY projects that I've taken my hand to.


My most recent DIY up-cycled project is a light for our garden.  I'd seen the idea on Pinterest and loved it, so when I spotted someone giving away a chandelier on Facebook for free I knew exactly what I could do with it.


I picked up five solar lights from Asda for £1 each.  Gave the chandelier a good clean using hot soapy water.  Then using some no nails fixed the tops of the solar lights into the the chandelier, in place of light bulbs.


The whole thing took me about half an hour to complete and I'm so pleased with the overall look.  It looks great hanging from our archway, which hopefully come summer will be covered with sweet peas.


I do love it when a Pinterest project goes to plan.

~ Gem x