A Place to Enjoy

Ten Must Haves for your Garden this Summer

British Summertime is always unpredictable, but we all love our gardens at this time of year. If you can’t go out then stay home and enjoy your garden, maybe even invite some friends over. Fire up the BBQ or have a garden party.

I set myself a challenge to find 10 things on Etsy which would make my garden more fun and inviting.

I am an Etsy Affiliate, so if you click through my links and go on to buy something, then I may earn a little money. It will cost you no extra though so thank you so much for your support of my blog x

1. Garden Furniture

You need somewhere to sit and enjoy your garden. It can be a lovely patio set, an outdoor table and chairs, a bench with stools or even a picnic blanket. You can find what you need on Etsy and I have some in my favourites. I have a ratten garden set myself, but I’d love a real wooden picnic table like this one.

wooden picnic bench for the garden.
Wooden Picnic bench

2. Flowers and Plants

You can make your garden look so much nicer with careful planting. Depending on the size of your garden you can have flower border, flower beds, raised beds, or pots.

Here is a good starter pack of 5 mixed plants.

Five garden plants in pots
5 Mixed garden plants

3. Lighting

When dusk falls but it’s still warm, it’s lovely to be able to spend more time outside. For this you will need lighting and there are lots of ways of doing this. Solar lamps are great for this and you can plant them anywhere. However, we love fairy lights and we have some just like these all around our seating area. They are also solar powered so the sun during the day keeps them alight at night.

garden fairy lights.
Fairy Outdoor solar powered lights

4. Garden Ornaments

Whether they are on your lawn or your patio, ornaments can brighten up your garden and create a focal point. I’m a big fan of wall hangings, wind chimes and all kinds of figures. But this gorgeous peacock really caught my eye.

metal peacock garden ornament.
36 inch hand painted peacock

5. Fire Pit

When it gets cold you can replicate a camp fire with a fire pit. Some of them are ultra modern like this one. (If you don’t want to use it as a fire pit it would make a beautiful flower planter.

fire pit
Fire pit

6. BBQ

When it comes to Summertime our thoughts turn to BBQs. We have already had our first BBQ this year and it’s only April. You can get everything you need on Etsy for the perfect BBQ, from actual BBQs to utensils and aprons. I found this really nice sign though and it would look great on the wall behind our BBQ area.

BBQ master wall sign
Personalised BBQ Grill Master Sign.

7. Dinner Sets

Whether it’s for the BBQ or a picnic, you’ll be needing something to eat off while outside. I love this melamine plate bowl and beaker set from Emma Bridgewater.

plate, bowl and beaker set with yellow flowers and bumble bees.
Plate, bowl and beaker set.

8. Bunting

Parties outside are great. I have four children with summer birthdays and we are well rehearsed, like this Frozen party we had for Boo’s 7th Birthday. There are lots of ways of decorating but bunting is a must.

pretty hummingbird bunting for outside.
humming bird, outside bunting

9. Gnomes

Some people love gnomes and some people don’t. I’ll let this fabulous decoration tell you how I feel about them.

T rex dinosaur garden ornament, attacking garden gnomes.
T Rex garden gnome massacre.

10. Gazebo

The weather is unpredictable but don’t let that keep you out of the garden, stick up a gazebo instead.

blue garden gazebo
Pop up Gazebo

I did it! Ten things from Etsy for your garden. I hope you enjoyed my selection but if you’d like to see more you can visit my Etsy Favourites here, or maybe you’d like to see the Editors Picks.

You might enjoy another of my blog posts Things to Save and Splurge on in Your Home.

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Things To Save and Splurge On In Your Home

There are some things in your home that are worth spending the money on and some things that you should just buy as basic as they come. A good way of helping to save your money and spend it in the right places is knowing what items or areas of the home are worth it. Here are some things to save and splurge on in your home.

door mat with the word home on, things to save and splurge within your home

Image Source

Soft Furnishings – Save

Soft furnishings like your cushion covers, throws, and table napkins are all things that you can certainly save money on. They are things that are likely to be used every single day in some way or another but they are likely going to be cheap to buy regardless. It’s not so much about the quality that you’re paying for because either way, they’re likely to get worn down quickly because of the weak materials that are often used. 

These things that you buy for the home are often for decoration and so it’s ideal to spend more on the other parts of the home, leaving the accessories like soft furnishings, etc. as a budget buy. You don’t need to spend a huge amount on these things for your home. It’s better to buy it cheap than to spend too much.

Smart Technology – Splurge

Smart technology is something that can be a great addition to your home. It not only adds value to your property in some respects, but it also adds a lot of ease and functionality to the home too. There are so many different smart technology options available and so when it comes to buying it, it’s worth splurging on specific products. Things like a smart television, for example, will often be a good investment. 

There are plenty of appliances nowadays that have smart features and can connect to other electronic devices. These electronic devices are things like your phone, whereby you can control the appliance from a distance.

Storage – Save

Storage is a necessity for most homes and sometimes, you might not have enough to keep all the clutter in order. If you have floor space that’s being taken up by stuff, then it’s important to invest in storage to keep everything where it should be. However, you shouldn’t have to spend hundreds on storage. For example, you could stick with the basics that are plastic tubs that can fit underneath your bed or in a cupboard.

When buying storage trying to find things that are functional and stylish for your space. You may also want to consider buying furniture in the future that doubles up as a storage space too but only if it’s really needed. For the most part, storage of any sort can be fairly cheap to buy, so you don’t need to go overboard in this regard.

Cooking Utensils – Splurge

Cooking utensils are something you use every day and on some occasions, multiple times per day. So with that being said, you want something durable and that’s not going to break or fall apart within the first few months of owning it. Things like your pots and pans are going to be better if they’re made out of solid materials that can last a lifetime, or at least a decade or so. As much as it might be tempting to get it cheap, invest in the utensils that are going to be durable, whatever you cook or use them for around the kitchen.

These utensils are worth splurging on, especially as they contribute to prepping and cooking your meals as a household.

Furniture – A Bit Of Both

Furniture is a bit of both because there are some things that are good to have splurged on and others where it’s worth getting them cheaper. Your sofa and bed are two items of furniture that are worth splurging on because they offer a lot of comforts that you will need on a daily basis. Whether you’re trying to get a good night’s sleep or watching a movie, they’re both an important part of comfortable living. Whilst there might be other things like your television stand or side cabinets that don’t need so much spending on them, especially if they’re just there for decoration.

Knowing what to save and what to splurge on when it comes to your home is something that can help you to save money when it’s needed and to treat yourself in other cases. Use these tips to make sure you’re getting the most out of what you buy, regardless of what it is.

living room furniture

This is a collaborative post

A Place to Enjoy

Spring is Here and so are the Flowers

I love to crochet, but you know that. One thing that is lovely to make is flowers. So, just because the sun is shining today, I’m bringing you a few lovely floral designs from Deramores. I’m an affiliate so if you do click through and purchase I may earn a little money. Thank you for your support.

Flowers Pot

I think this may be my project for this afternoon.

Mothers Day CAL Blanket

I really love this, if only my kids could crochet!

blue and pink blanket with flowers and heart and the word Mum
Mothers Day Cal Blanket, pattern £1.50, kit £25

Daisies

These three daisies look so cute in a vase and would last longer than real flowers.

flowers in a vase, crochet
Daisies, pattern 50p, pattern and wool £11.50

Orchid Cushion

How sweet is this cushion!

orchids on a cushion
Orchid Cushion pattern £1, pattern and wool £14.10, pattern wool and cushion insert £20.10

Baby Blooms Blanket

I am loving the delicate colours and beautiful design of this blanket. It’s definitely on my to do list.

baby blooms blanket
Baby blooms blanket, digital pattern £1, pattern and wool £18.50

Daisy Brooch

Such a simple yet effective brooch to bring a little flower to your lapel.

daisy brooch
Daisy brooch, pattern 25p, yarn and pattern £7

Happy Garden Flowers Throw and Cushion

A perfect gift for a gardener, or just to enjoy your garden on those cooler days.

cushion and throw covered with flowers
Pattern free, pattern and wool £29.56

Have you seen anything that catches your eye? I’d love to know if you make anything.

You can see some of my crochet here in my Etsy Shop.

More of my crochet posts can be found here on this blog.

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A Place to Enjoy

Great Ideas for Valentines Crochet

It’s not too late to hook up a quick Valentines gift. Here are a few great ideas for Valentines Crochet.

*This post may contain affiliate links

Valentines Crochet Blanket

Valentines crochet red and white blanket with hearts design

Perfect for Valentines Day or even an Engagement or Wedding gift. This gorgeous blanket is made in Deramores Studio DK, one of my favourite wools to work with. The entire kit is only £22 or pattern for just £1

Loop Heart Cushion

Make one or the whole set of three of these wonderful romantic loop Heart Cushions.

Valentines crochet heart cushions

Starting with just the pattern for £2, and the kits with cushion pad for £13.00, to all three cushions for £25.

Love Heart Bunting

Looking for something quick and easy but full of heart. How about this gorgeous red bunting.

Valentines crochet bunting

Buy the pattern for just 50p or the kit for just £2.40. Simple but affective.

Cute Sweet Love Hearts

Who can resist these sweet little love hearts by EmKatCrochet.

Cute sweetheart keyrings

Purchase the digital pattern for 50p, or buy the yarn and pattern for £11.99 and the Yarn, patttern, eyes, stuffing and keyrings for £21.99 There is even a video tutorial to help you along and you can make several little hearts.

Love Teddies Valentines Crochet

How very cute is this project. These teddies are full of love and would make a perfect gift.

two cute grey bears holding a red heart that says I love you and have the letter spelling L O V E on their paws.

You can get the details here: Pattern only £1, Pattern and yarn £5.99, Pattern, yarn, eyes and stuffing £11.50

Valentines Crochet Hearts

This pattern is for some cute, easy to crochet hearts that can be used for all sorts of decorations. You could even just stick one in your card! Here they are displayed amongst flowers for the complete romantic look.

Valentines crochet hearts in a bunch of flowers

The pattern for these hearts is just £1.50, but you can buy it alongside 3 balls of Patons DK in Nougat, Red and Nectarine for £13.20. You can make lots of hearts.

Love Heart Valentines Crochet Cushions

These are so cute and would make a sweet gift for anyone. You can make just one or all three, it’s up to you. Each one measures 41 cm (16 inches.)

three cushion hearts in pale blue, baby pink and pale purple

The patterns and wool can be found here: The pattern is £1, Wool and stuffing for one cushion £6, and wool and stuffing for all three cushions £16.99

Two Peas in a Pod

I love this, what a really lovely little gift to make. Approximately 10- 11cm (4 inches)

These little peas are made in Deramores Studio DK and you can download the digital pattern for 50p or buy the entire kit including the eyes for £6.

I hope you like these Valentines Crochet gifts I’ve found for you. You can see more on the Deramores website. Remember, if you don’t crochet yourself they also make lovely gifts for loved ones that do crochet.

A Place to Enjoy, Crochet, Shopping

I Took the Plunge and Opened An Etsy Shop

I’ve been thinking of opening an Etsy shop for a while. I love Etsy and I wanted to make things to sell too. I’ve been crocheting for a few years now and I’ve made lots of different things. My blankets have been my favourite things to make, but they take so long and I fall in love with them so I find them hard to part with. I have made two blankets for friend’s babies though, so I may make some more baby blankets. In the meantime I have made some of my second favourite things, scarves. Now, I’m afraid, as much as I feel you can’t have too many blankets, you can have two many scarves, so I’m happy to let these go to new homes.

As well as scarves I decided to add some fingerless mittens, or wrist warmers. I made some for myself and as I suffer from cold hands and carpel tunnel syndrome, I wear them all the time. I can still type and even crochet while wearing them. So, I’ve made some more to sell and I hope to get a little more adventurous with my patterns in the future.

My Etsy Shop

You Can find my Etsy Shop here: Raisiebay’s Shop

It needs a little more work and a lot more stock, but I’ve decided to share a few things I’ve made.

Graduated Blue Cowl/Infinity Scarf

blue cowl

Pink Graduated Cowl/Infinity scarf

pink cowl/infinity scarf

Thick Warm Striped Scarf

Thick stripe scarf

Blue Fingerless Mittens/Wrist Warmers

blue fingerless mittens

Orange Fingerless Mittens/Wrist Warmers

orange fingerless mittens/wrist warmers

Bunny Head Baby Blanket

bunny head baby blanket

I really don’t expect any sales yet, but I will keep adding to my shop until I start selling things. I have a huge stash of wool to get through. What do you think I should sell in my shop? Do you have an Etsy shop, I’m always looking for new ones?

You can see some more of my crochet on this blog.

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What Did I Buy? Favourite Things from My Etsy Winnings

Last year I was lucky enough to win £500 in vouchers to spend on Etsy. I could have gone for one expensive thing, but I decided to keep it in my account and use it for the little things I wanted to buy. I found some lovely shops and ended up with some fantastic buys. I want to share some of my favourite things with you here.

Light Up Your Life

When Boo asked me for some fairy lights for Christmas I may have gone a little over the top. I bought some lovely lights which both the girls have lining the shelves on their bunkbeds. These are so incredibly pretty and the girls love them. Battery powered, I have to keep reminding them to turn them off, but they have the switch near their pillows and are able to turn them off before going to sleep easily.

Ball shaped fairy lights in a basket
Happium party supplies, Ball Fairy Lights £8

The New Rug

I needed a new rug and I was looking for something purple and shaggy. I was so pleased to find this rug on Etsy and for only £26.99 for the size I wanted. I love it so much I’m considering buying another for my bedroom.

Purple shaggy Rug
Kalki Purple Shaggy rug from £13.49

Crystals

I have always had a passion for crystals and already had a couple of crystal shops favourited on Etsy. I treated myself to some new crystal treats.

Love Light and Harmony is on of my favourite shops and the Lovely Lindsey will make bracelets depending on what you need. You can tell her your problems, physical or mental, and she will choose the perfect selection of crystals and use reiki on them before sending them to you. They are always so beautiful and unique. This is one of my favourites.

I also bought a lovely lapis Lazuli necklace from Lindsey which I don’t think I’ve taken off since I bought it.

lapiz lazuli crystal point necklace

Another of my favourite crystal suppliers is Tru Path And I bought myself some lovely things from Tru.

One was a real treat for myself and it was a gift box including a facial roller and many other crystal items.

crystal agate candle holder
Tru path agate candle holder

Mugs

Mugs are a great buy and you can find any kind of mug on Etsy. I chose a mug for my daughter (the crazy cat lady) on one for my husband (the PS4 addict.)

Sadly my daughter’s cat mug is no longer available but it’s a little like this one

Soaps and Candles

Etsy is a great place for handmade soaps and candles, especially vegan ones. Here are a few that I purchased.

A Real Treat For Me from my Favourite Things

I’m not one that buys stuff for myself very often, I much prefer gifting. But as I won the voucher I felt that I could really treat myself. Of course, I bought other people gifts too, my husband had a new wallet and I bought jewellery for others, and the lights for the girls of course. I also bought some Christmas decorations including coasters and a door wreath. But now I had the chance to buy some of my favourite things.

I am a big fan of ‘His Dark Materials’ and always wanted something based on the Alethiometer than Lyra uses. I fell in love with this steam punk inspired watch based on the Alethiometer from The Geek Booteek I bought one for myself and I love it so much.

Do you Etsy? I’ve spent all of my voucher now but I was a customer before and I will remain a customer. These are some of my favourite things.

You can see all my favourite shops here.

I am an Esty affiliate so if you click any links on my page and purchase from Etsy you may earn me a little money. It will not cost you any extra so thank you for your support.

I’m going to be brave now and list my very own Etsy shop here. I will be adding items over the next few days.

See some more of my Etsy posts here.

A Place to Enjoy

My First Crochet Mandala

Last year we enjoyed an evening at the Bournville (where they make chocolate) light turning on festival. One of the things that caught my eye were these lovely crochet mandala which were hung in the trees.

a selection of crochet mandalas hanging from trees in the twilight.

Ever since I saw them I wanted to make my own mandala, but it was a long time coming. Last week I finished my first ever mandala which I decided to hang in a hoop like the ones in this tree. I was really pleased with it, especially as it was my first attempt.

My First Crochet Mandala

My Crochet Mandala in a hoop

I have already shared the photo on my other blog so you may have seen it before. But I am pretty chuffed with my effort and I’m now in the process of making another with different colours. I have no idea what I’m going to do with them. Maybe I’ll make a Christmas coloured one to hang in my window.

My Next Crochet Projects

I shared a post recently about some Christmas projects I wanted to make. I’ve had a go at making a snowflake, but I went a little wrong…but hey, what snowflake is perfect?

crochet snowflake

Simply Crochet

Some of the following links are affiliate links which if you click through and purchase something it will not cost you any extra but may earn me some money. Thank you in advance for your support.

I subscribe to Simply Crochet Magazine every month and I really look forward to my magazine arriving through my letterbox. I love it when I get a free gift with the magazine and this month I got this lovely 2021 Calendar full of fabulous crochet zodiac characters. I’ve already ordered a pile of wool from Deramores and can’t wait to make a character or two (or even twelve!)

I’d love to know what you have been making recently. Leave me a comment if you want me to visit your blog in return. Or let me know.

I also have a new Instagram account where I am posting all of my crochet projects. I’d love it if you took a look.

A Place to Enjoy

Christmas Crochet Projects

If you are a crafter then you probably have most of your Christmas makes already on the go or even finished. However, some, like me, are a bit late starting so I have put together a list of some quick and easy crochet projects for you to get done in time for Christmas.

I will be including affiliate links throughout my post. This means that if you click through and buy something it may earn me a little money…at no extra cost to you! So big thanks if you do.

Decorations

This first one I’ve ordered myself so I’ll let you know how I get on. It’s a lovely Christmas tree bunting. You can download the pattern for free or buy the yarn and pattern for £7. I’m thinking this won’t take long to make.

little crochet christmas trees bunting

Last Christmas I took part in the Deramores Christmas CAL (Crochet Along) and I did most of the items in the pack, yes, I even managed to finish the cushion cover. You can do this again this year. Again the patterns can be downloaded for free, but you can also buy packs of yarn for £21.68 or a complete pack with yarn, cushion and eyes for £30.92.

Christmas crochet along pack with cushion tree decorations, placemats and a big Christmas stocking

I have already been sent a copy of these snowflakes as a free gift in my last package from Deramores. I’ve had a go at a couple and they are a bit tricky at first but I’m pretty sure I’ll be able to make a few in time for the tree going up. Or I may make them to hang in the window. Digital pattern is free, and pattern with wool just £1.95

Christmas crochet snowflakes

Here is something a little different, these would be great for those with a new baby in the family for Christmas. A lovely set of Christmas jumpers and rompers. These are £2.40 for the pattern and £8.04 for the pattern and wool.

Christmas crochet, set of tiny red jumpers and romper suits.

Christmas Crochet Projects – Gifts

Gnomes are quite popular at the moment and you can crochet a complete gnome family for a Christmas treat. The pattern for these four gnomes and a present sack is just £2 for a digital download. Or you can purchase the pattern and wool for £11.75 and add the stuffing for £14.75. The sets would also make a great gift for someone who loves to crochet too.

Four Christmas crochet gnomes in blue and red sitting on logs against a brick wall

Scarfs make such lovely gifts and are even more special when they have been handmade. They can also be relatively quick and easy to make and don’t have to take the break the bank. This pattern is free to download and you can choose whatever colours you wish, or you can buy the kit with wool for just £6.18.

Colour block scarf.

I love these fabulous flat animal cuddly toys and they look pretty easy to make. In fact I’m going to have a go at this lovely rabbit by downloading the free pattern. You can also buy the pattern and yarn for £5.37.

These are just a very few of the things you could crochet for Christmas. I get all my inspiration from Deramores my favourite wool shop. They always have some amazing offers and if you pop along this week there is a special offer every day!

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Teen Gift List for Girls

I have two Teenage girls (and a boy, but I’ll write about him later) and I really don’t know what to get them for Christmas. Thankfully there are lots of teen gift lists to browse and I hope that I can include some ideas here that not only my girls will like but you will feel inspired too.

Teen Girls Gift Guide

Emma from Emma and 3 has written a fabulous guide of teen and tween gifts which I know my girls would be really happy with. One thing she mentions is a journal and I generally buy my girls a journal every year.

Teen girls also love a bit of pampering and I love this pampering pack from Avon which contains everything from bubble bath to face masks.

Pyjamas are always an easy choice. You can choose something plain, pretty or go for a favourite character or theme. I particularly like these Disney Villains pjs from Character.

lady wearing disney villians pyjamas in grey and black
Disney Villains pyjamas from Character.com

Books are always a good choice, especially if you know what they like reading. A Harry Potter fan for instance gives you loads of options. If you are not sure though, you can always opt for something more generic like the Guinness Book of Records (my teen has one of these every year) or even something inspiring like this fab book, Be Happy Be You. You can read my review here.

Technology

My girls have a switch and have asked for a retro game this year, Super Mario 3D All Stars. A new game is always a good option if you know what sort they like playing.

You can find a list of games over on Rainbows are Too Beautiful which may give you more inspiration.

When you get to technology though you can end up spending a small fortune. My girls had new tablets last year and this year they are having a new computer between them (only when they’ve cleaned their room) but I’ve been given a voucher to buy one so it’s not costing me too much. I can’t believe how desktop computers have sky rocketed in price, it’s probably because laptops and tablets are more popular now. You don’t have to spend a fortune when it comes to tech. though. All kids love a new pair of headphones or earphones.

blue headphones

I think I may be ready to start Christmas shopping now, how about you? Do you have teens to buy for?

Do you remember what your favourite gift was when you were a teen?

This post contains affiliate links, thanks for your support.

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Christmas At Avon

I know some people think it’s too early to be thinking about Christmas but it’s just over 9 weeks away. That’s not long and it will creep up on us quickly. I am an Avon Representative and I do all of my selling online as I can’t go door to door. I’ve picked out some of the Avon Christmas treats that have just arrived for you to look at. You can shop at my online shop www.avon.uk.com/store/annesweet from anywhere in the UK and look out for free delivery offers too.

Pyjamas for Christmas from Avon.

I love Avon pyjamas and their Christmas selection is always so sweet. But if you don’t want Christmas themed pyjamas you can always choose some of their other pyjamas as gifts or for yourself.

collage of four pairs of pyjamas which are described in the blog.
  1. Good Morning Tassel Pjs adult £14.50
  2. Dachshund Through the Snow pjs Adult £14.50
  3. Make Your Own Magic Pjs Adult £15.00, kids £10
  4. lavender scented pjs adults £22

Advent Calendar

I love the Avon new 12 Days of Christmas Calendar. Wouldn’t it be nice to receive a gift that lasted 12 days…or you could open the gifts in the 12 days countdown before Christmas…you now, just in case you forget the actual day 😉

Image shows a large red box with 12 numbers on and 12 make up products in front.
Avon Christmas Calendar £25

A Scent For Christmas

Buying a lovely scent is a popular choice for Christmas and Avon has plenty. Here is a small collage of some of my favourites, including some beautiful boxed gift sets.

a collage of scents from avon listed below.
  1. Far Away for Her gift set £12
  2. Elite Gentleman Gift Set £12
  3. Attraction for Him Gift Set £18
  4. Attraction for Her Gift Set £18

Christmas Decorations

Here are a few decorations from Avon for Christmas.

christmas decorations from Avon as described below. A christmas tree, lantern and string of lights
  • LED Christmas Countdown tree £10
  • tea candle lantern £7
  • String of lights £8

Make Your House Smell Like Christmas

I love the smells of Christmas and Avon Capture them perfectly with their home fragrances. Here are some of my favourites.

Image shows products listed below, a diffuser, a room spray and a candle
  • Winter Spice Home Fragrance Diffuser £5
  • Winter Spice Home Fragrance Room Spray £5
  • Winter Spice Home Fragrance Candle £6

Thank you for reading. Remember, you can order from my Avon Store anywhere in the UK. it’s real easy to order and you can find many special offers if you sign up for the Avon Newsletter. I really appreciate all the support I get from my Avon customers.

If you are a new Avon representative and want to learn more about selling online I wrote a couple of posts you may find interesting.

Setting Up Your Avon Store Online

Five Tips for Working Avon Online

Image shows a blue map of the UK