Friday, 29 May 2015

DIY: Wooden Initial Letter

I haven’t done a DIY post in so long! Which is silly as I have been making lots of bits of pieces lately that would be fun to share with you all! My issue has been lack of a lap top, but I have been lent a lap top so I can finally share this pretty wooden letter DIY! Yey! It’s such an easy one and so fun to make! This specific letter was sent as part of my ‘Spring’ themed #DICraftSwap. If you’ve not heard of this swap then you need to check it out, it’s run by Hannah over at Dainty and Ivory and is such a fun idea, each month she pairs you up with someone to make and send some goodies too and each month has a different theme. So as you may have gathered I had Hannah to send to for the spring themed swap, hence the letter H!


What you need:
Wooden letter
White gloss paint
Paint brush
Hot glue gun
Fabric Flower

What to do:
You can find wooden letters in most craft shops now, I actually found mine in a garden centre! So first step is to paint your wooden letter, I used a white gloss paint which I had lying around at home. I wanted a glossy bright finish so this worked perfectly for me. To get good coverage I ended up doing quite a few coats of paint. 

Once the paint was dry I then chose the type of flower I wanted to decorate my letter with. I have quite a few fake flowers at home as I use them to make the floral crowns I sell, but you can pick these up pretty cheap in shops like wilkos or somewhere similar. I then cut the flower head off of the stem and using a hit glue gun, I put a blob of glue on the area I wanted to stick the flower on. I then held the flower in place until it felt like it was sturdy. I then left it to dry! 

I’ve made these letters for a few friends now, they are really easy to do yet so effective! What do you think?

Wednesday, 27 May 2015

What I'm Loving Lately #2

1.       I’m in a post bank holiday lull! I love having two bank holidays in May and I’m not sure I can cope lasting till August for the next one! I think 3 day weekends should be mandatory! Anyways I couldn’t post a ‘what I’m loving lately’ post without mention last weekend’s bank holiday. Mine included a 15 mile bike ride in the sunshine and a few pints of cider by the beach! T’was perfect!

2.       My latest #DICraftSwap parcel arrived from the lovely Hannah, the theme was Love and she sent me an amazing handmade unicorn and a handmade candle. Was such an awesome parcel to receive! Hannah is also the wonderful lady who organised this monthly craft swap, check out her blog here.

3.       So last week I had an awful cold which meant I literally did nothing except for work and come home and snuggle under my duvet, with long sessions of guilt free Netflix viewing! There’s got to be some perk to being so poorly. I was umming and aaahing over what to watch next after finishing Pretty Little Liars, so I decided to go for what had been recommended and have been binge watching Sons of Anarchy. I LOVE IT!!! How have I left it so long before I started to watch it?! Its sooo good! I’m on series 3 already and think I’m bordering on an unhealthy viewing addiction with it!

4.       TREK Protein Flapjacks – I was lucky enough to be sent a box of these from Natural Balance Foods in various flavours and boy are they yummy! I’ve been eating one an hour before I go for a run or do an exercise class for a bit of an energy boost. I am slightly obsessed with the Cocoa Coconut flavour, it’s a bit like rice Krispies on the base with a layer of chocolate on top, and they are very moreish!

5.       I AM GOING TO SEE THE FOO FIGHTERS TODAY!!! Yes I am that excited I have to shout/capitalise it! I am literally going to click ‘post’ on this piece and then head out to my car to embark on an epic drive up to Manchester, which is 5 hours from my door! Eeek! They are my most favourite band ever and I have always wanted to see them live, my friend’s friend was unable to go and offered us the tickets! It’s going to be a long drive but so worth it! I am literally bouncing on my chair as I type this!

6.       Two weeks ago I tried wakeboarding for the first time and had the best time! I am a complete water baby and any sport or activity involving having fun on the water, count me in! So myself and a friend headed to the New Forest for the day to try it out, we were on a wire and not a boat and had a lesson.  I managed to stand up really well on the board and I am definitely going to be going again this summer! They do ladies mornings so I think I'm going to give them ago!

Sunday, 24 May 2015

The Me-Time Tag!

I love a good old tag post! I have seen the ‘Me-Time’ tag around on various blogs and fancied giving it a go! I think me-time is so under rated, it’s so important especially in this day and age, when we live in such a fast paced world we forget to take time out to look after ourselves. Me-time can sometimes be a bit of a guilty pleasure but I try and make sure I take time out for it each week!

1. What do you like to watch or read during me-time?
I have a confession... when it comes to reading I am a huge fan of chick lit! My favourite authors include Lindsey Kelk, Paige Toon and Jojo Moyes. I completely blame this for why I’m still single! I have completely unrealistic hopes! In terms of films same sort of genre, I am also a huge fan of 80s films such as The Goonies and The Lost Boys. Best films ever!! I have also become hooked on Netflix and love watching TV series on there such as Pretty Little Liars, Sons of Anarchy and Once Upon a Time to name a few!

2. What do you wear during me-time?
The only thing you can wear during me-time, PJs of course! My faves are nice thick pyjama bottoms from Fat Face. Best investment ever, they are so thick and warm and they have pockets! I also throw on a comfy hoodie for good measure.

 3. What are your favourite me-time beauty products?
The thing I love to do most during a me-time session is have a hot bath with a bubble bar from Lush. I also throw on a face mask, whatever one I have in the cupboard at the time. Followed by a nail painting session.
4. Current favourite nail polish?
I am going to sound like a snob but for the past year I’ve been treating myself to a professional gelish every few weeks so I don’t actually have a favourite nail polish at the moment. However I am slightly obsessed with Barry M’s Gelly polish, which I use on my toes, it lasts for ages and is pretty chip proof!

 5. What do you eat or drink during me-time?
Crisps and Dip! It’s a must I’ve I’m chilling with a movie. I also love Nutella, just on a spoon out of the jar. YUMMY! However my all time favourite me-time snack is peanut M&Ms, I think I could be easily bribed using these! In terms of drinks I like a nice cold glass of rose wine, or a good old cup of tea!

6. Current favourite candle?
I love Yankee Candles, I have quite a few spotted round my house, but if I had to pick one I would have to say it’s the ’Snow in Love’ scent, it comes out every time around Christmas and it’s kind of a fresh laundry smell. That doesn’t really sell does it?! Haha well trust me it is lovely!

 7. Do you ever have outdoor me-time?
Yes totally! I live near the beach so I love taking walks down there when I’m feeling like life’s a little too much or my anxiety is bad. I love going on sitting on the beach, it’s so relaxing and clears my head. I also love sitting in the garden on a summer’s day with a good book.

8. Would you ever go and watch a film alone?
I’m not sure id class the cinema as ‘me-time’ so find this as a kind of odd question for this tag! However, yes I have been to the cinema on my own, only the once though! It was years ago when I was travelling, I was in Sydney, Australia on my own and I was desperate to see the last Harry Potter film. So I decided to go by myself and I actually quite enjoyed it! I think it was because no one knew me there so I don’t think I’m brave enough to do it here though!

9. Favourite online shop?
Oooh I’m not sure I have a favourite online shop! I live in a small town with decent shops and I really mean none! So pretty much all my clothes shopping is done online. So where do I do most of my online shopping? ASOS, you can pretty much find everything on there! Joy and Sugarhill Boutique, for the cutest dresses. Plus Topshop, River Island and I am a huge fan of ETSY!

10. Anything to add? What else do you do during me-time?
Napping! I love a good nap! I love sleeping so much and I love my bed even more! All me-time must include my bed somehow, it’s my favourite place on earth!

So I’m off now to have a bit of me time! What do you do to take time out for yourself? Let me know if you decide to have a go at this one!

Wednesday, 20 May 2015

How to Kick Ass in an Interview!

Today’s post is a little different, I am going to talk about job interviews! As most of you know I recently got a new job but I have to admit the thought of an interview nearly stopped me going for it! I hadn’t had an interview for years and I am a terrible mumbler when I’m nervous! So how did I get over this? Have you ever heard of the 7 P’s? Well it’s something I heard a while ago that has stuck with me and is something I think that is so relevant to so many different situations. The 7 P’s stand for ‘proper planning prevents piss poor performance’, a quote I love!

I think this saying can massively be applied to job interviews, if you take the time to prep you feel so much more confident and ready to tackle whatever’s thrown at you. So here are my top tips for interviews...

Learn as much as you can about the place your interviewing for, find out as much as you can about the job role and if it’s a job for something specialised make sure you’re up to date on the latest. Do your homework!

 Plan your outfit! This one’s actually an important one for me, I don’t do smart work wear! My jobs have always involved working with young people so I dress pretty casual most of the time. Therefore having to go for super smart for an interview worries me more than anything else! I am way out of my comfort zone and it makes me uncomfortable. A feeling I do not want to walk into an interview with. So over the years I’ve realised suits are out the window for me and I usually go for a dress instead. I smarten it up with a blazer or if I go for black trousers I wear funky shirt (my fave has parrot print) with a smart black jumper over the top of it.

 Arrive 10 minutes early, show you’re keen! So make sure you know exactly where you’re going, go the day before and make sure you know where you are heading. You don’t want to be late because you got lost!

 Have a question prepared! Seems daft when you’re being interviewed, but as someone who sat in on interviews it’s always nice when the candidate asks questions. It can be something simple such as ‘what are the hours of work?’ or I like to ask them what they like about working their? It shows you are keen and that you are confident to enquire.

Be enthusiastic, friendly and smile! Goes without saying! If you can show them that you are warm and approachable and create a nice atmosphere for your interview they are more likely to remember you after a long day of interviews!

Do you have any top tips for interviews?

This post has been sponsored by City Calling a great careers site that has all the latest job vacancies, make sure you pop over to the website if you’re looking for a new job! All words, thoughts and views are my own. 

Friday, 15 May 2015


The Bloggers Snail Mail is now officially over one year old and this is the 6th round i have been lucky enough to organise!! I have had so much fun organising this project and chatting to lots of new lovely bloggers, I really hope you get as much out of it as I do.

Welcome to the Summer round, so here is how it works:

A quarterly gift exchange where you can meet other bloggers from around the world and spread a bit of positivity! People get paired up in March, June, September and December. During the sign up period, every participant will be paired with one other new participant and you’ll spend a few weeks becoming BFFs (i.e. reading each other’s blogs, sending happy e-mails, you name it!). After that, you’ll send your partner a gift from your country that you think they may like from the info you now know about them. There’s a £5 limit on the gifts to make this project as affordable as possible. Be as creative as you can and make it meaningful! Motivate them, tell them all the beautiful things you learned about them, and make them feel special! We could all use a little encouragement, especially from our new friends. Also, each package should include a postcard (or a letter if you can’t find one!) with some motivating love or positive words of wisdom written all over it.

So to sign up for the ‘The Bloggers Snail Mail’ you just need to send an email to, title it ‘The Bloggers Snail Mail’ and include in it your name, where you are from, and you blog! Sign ups will be open until the Friday 29th May. I will then randomly match you all up aiming to make sure you are with someone from another country or at least in another area from you! I will then let you know by Monday 1st June who your partner is and you then have 4 weeks to get to know them! So the week of the 29th June, you can then send your new buddy their Snail Mail!

Once you receive your gifts, write a blog post about your experience, sharing what you gave, received, and learnt through this being part of this and meeting your new pal.

If you want to tweet about this project, use the hashtag #TheBloggersSnailMail, You can also tag me @GemmaMarieJames and ill retweet your post, so everyone can share your experience!

Please only sign up if you definitely are willing to take part and if you want to be matched with someone from the same country as you to save on postage then please let me know!!

Sunday, 10 May 2015

OOTD: A Casual Weekend Look!

Reasons id be a terrible fashion blogger... I don’t have a tripod, I somehow managed to trip over it and break it, boo! I am single so don’t have a lovely boyfriend to take pictures of me. My house isn’t all painted white and spotless (how do they actually live like that?!), I don’t have any good backgrounds to take photos against. I am not particularly ‘fashionable’, I mainly wear the same thing, a predictable outfit for me is a black top, skinny jeans and converse trainers. It’s simple and easy! However once and a while I swap it up a bit and I like what I’m wearing so therefore I thought id share it with you all! So excuse the fact I haven’t got a full body shot, but I hope you like the snap shots of my outfit! It’s so darn comfy and is a weekend staple outfit for me!

TOP: Asos, SHORTS: New Look, TIGHTS: Wolford*, SHOES: Converse, FLOWER HAIR BAND: New Look, NECKLACE: A Gift.

Friday, 8 May 2015

April's Health and Fitness Roundup

Welcome to April’s instalment of my monthly health and fitness updates, you can check out last month’s here. The idea behind these posts is to keep me focused and on track, so here is how April went...

Still having issues when it comes to my diet! It has definitely improved since I started my new job as I have to be a bit more organised and take food with me so I have been taking in salads for lunch, rice cakes, bananas and nakd bars for snacks. I have also been eating breakfast! This has been a huge deal for me, I haven’t eaten breakfast in years as it makes me feel a bit sick the thought of food in the morning. However I have been trying to be good and I’m determined to eat breakfast so I’ve been having a small bowl of porridge before I go to work. So week days I’m getting there but it all seems to go a little to pot by the weekends! I am going back to weight watchers this month and hoping that will keep me focused and on track!

Exercise done in April...
Boot camp x 11 sessions
Rowing x 3 sessions (3 hours)
Runs x 9

I made all but one boot camp sessions this month which is a huge achievement for me! I can even hold a plank for a minute now and I can see my fitness has improved so much by going to the circuit sessions. I’m really pleased with my progress! In terms of running I’m still very much a ‘run for a few minutes / walk for a few minutes’ runner, which stresses me out as I run, feel like I can’t breathe so walk. It hacks me off as I just want to run! I don’t know if this is a psychological thing or not?! I really want to crack this and be a runner! Anyone else have this problem or experienced it? I did a colour run this month which was incredible! I would definitely recommend it, so much fun! Determined to stay on track and make running fun, I’ve also signed up to do a gunge run in June with some friends I went to uni with. Its 5k and at every kilometre you run through a gunge bath!! I can’t wait! Think it’s going to be hilarious! Oooh and my sponsorship pack for my 10k in September arrived this week which has also inspired me to keep going and try to conquer this challenge!

Progress this month...

Loss in March in inches
Total Loss in inches
Left Thigh
Right Thigh
Left Arm
Right Arm

Weight loss this month:   0lbs
Total weight loss:   9lbs

With the amount of exercise I’ve been doing I feel a bit gutted that I’ve hit a bit of a plateau this month in terms of weight loss and inches lost. However I do think I need to get the diet side of this under control, which is my next challenge!

Monday, 4 May 2015

Motivational Monday // May

Firstly, Happy Bank Holiday Monday!! I hope you’re all having a fab long weekend and making the most of an extra day off work if you have one?! After being a bit poorly last week, I’m fully embracing feeling better this weekend and making the most of catching up with friends which has been so lovely and full of fun and giggles!

I can’t believe it’s May already! I can’t say I’m too pleased about it as this year is going way too for my liking! April was a bit of a crazy month I moved jobs after spending 5 years at my old job it was a big change for me and has taken me way out of my comfort zone! I think I’m going to like my new job but there is so much information to take in at the moment so I’m trying to take it one day at a time at the moment!

I’m not a huge fan of change, I hate being out of my comfort zone but I’m trying to embrace it and do you know what? I feel so much better for it! I really do, I didn’t realise how fed up I had gotten and how much id had enough of it all. It’s made me realise that sometimes you need to take a risk and try new things. I don’t want to live a life of regrets, I want to make the most of every opportunity that comes my way and live my life to the fullest!

Also I know I have been a little hit and miss with blogging lately, but I am back! I have a ton of exciting posts coming your way, and I have totally fallen in love with it again! So thank you for sticking with me, you won’t regret it! 

Sunday, 3 May 2015

What I'm Loving Lately #1

1.       Cashew Cookie Nak’d bars – I am obsessed with these things! I am not particularly convinced they are that healthy for you as they are 4 pro points on weight watchers (useless fact of the day for you!) but as they are mainly made from prunes I am conning myself that it’s better for me than chocolate! Plus they are actually really yummy!
2.       Pretty Little Liars – I have 4 episodes of this left to watch on Netflix and I am already panicking over what to watch next! I love this show and worried I am going to suffer from a post TV show hangover... so I have slowed down my viewing marathon sessions and are taking my time to watch these last few episodes! Any ideas on what TV series I should move onto next on Netflix would be gratefully received!
3.       Lipsticks and Lashes Book Swap! – You may have seen a while ago that I wrote this post about doing a book swap. Well a number of lovely ladies signed up to join in and my parcel from the gorgeous Katie arrived a couple of weeks ago. She sent me ‘Trust in Me’ which is one of her favourite books and ‘The Unfinished Sympathy of You and Me’ which I’ve wanted to read for a while! I have just started reading ‘Trust in Me’ and I like it so far! Have you read either of these?
4.       Orelia London Jewellery – I was lucky enough to be sent this necklace and these earrings and they are just stunning! I’ve had lots of compliments about both, they are very simple yet stand out. LOVE THEM! Saying that though, I have my eye on quite a few items on Orelia London’s website as they have so many fab pieces, I think next pay day I may be making a cheeky order!

5.       Weldmars Colour Run – a few weeks ago now our local hospice, Weldmar who are an amazing charity and do an incredible job,  held a 4k colour run to raise some funds and I went down and joined in with a few of my friends. It was so much fun! We thought we would walk most of it but ended up jogging it all! We got absolutely coated in a variety of bright colours! It was such a good laugh and I would definitely recommend doing one if there’s one being held in your local area. I’ve heard Weldmar are going to be doing another one next year so I will definitely be going and doing it again!
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