Monday, 28 April 2014


I get asked a lot, what's my best advice for weight loss. The best advice I can give (not just for weight loss but for a Healthy Lifestyle) is Drink Water.
Make sure you drink at least 2 litres of water a day.
and yes I know what you are thinking

 but it is so Good for you, The benefits out way having to pee all the time.

  • Helps with weight loss, Drinking a glass off chilled water can boost your metabolism (try and do this when you first wake up)
  • Gives you energy - being dehydrated makes you feel tired
  • Glowing Skin - Water helps flush out toxins which helps keep your skin clear and glowing
  • Keeps your heart healthy
  • Helps digestion
  • Water keeps you full
and the best one
  •  Water has no Fat, Carbs, Sugar and 0 Calories.

So stop wasting all your calories on Sodas and flavoured waters and drink Water. 

When you feel hungry, have a glass of water. Your body can not tell the difference between hunger and thirst.

If you really don't like drinking water, squeeze a bit of Fresh fruit in your water. I sometimes add a squeeze of Lemon or an Orange to my water .

I love my new water bottle from Vie Active (My competition prize, you might have seen on my Twitter / Facebook )

I'm so glad I picked the bottle as part of my prize, its one of the best water bottles I've had. and I have a collection!!!! lol - You know you are a health freak when you get excited over a water bottle!!

I just have to make sure I drink at least 3 of these a day :)

Till next time

Donna x

Monday, 21 April 2014

Food: Gluten Free Wraps

I really miss Bread and Pizza.
Before I found out I was Gluten Intolerant, I pretty much lived on Sandwiches. not very healthy, I know, but I Loved sandwiches.

So far I haven't been very lucky finding a decent GF loaf of bread or rolls. They are always rock hard, so you have to make toasties. Which you don't always have the time to do.
A friend of mine told me she found Wraps in her local supermarket that are really nice, but they are just over £3!!! and you only get three in a pack!
Yep, you did read that right, over a £1 a wrap! . I was like 'No, too expensive'. 'I don't miss bread that much'. but my other half did find them in our local on "sale" (£2.60) and got me them for me to try.
£3.10 for 3 wraps
 I did ask Newburn Bakehouse why are they so expensive, they said

"We have to use more ingredients and bake in smaller batches due to the nature of our gluten free products. This means we can't always make the savings we'd like."

I understand their reply, but they do sell 'normal' wraps a pack of 6 for £1.30 - Its a bit of a difference! They must be making a nice profit on the normal wraps? #JustSayin
Anyway, I guess its the down side of being GI, Things are more expensive.
I'm guessing you would like to know my opinion on the wraps. Well it pains me to say it, they are really nice!! They are so soft and taste great, a bit floury but Personally I couldn't tell I was eating something Gluten Free.
The first wrap I made was a GF Chicken Nugget, Lettuce and Low Fat Mayo. If you are vegetarian Quorn Chicken Nuggets are NOT GF.
Then I made my own version of a breakfast wrap: One egg Omelette, One slice of Quorn bacon, a few mushrooms and some tomato ketchup.   
McDonalds eat your heart out ;)

For the final Wrap I made a Pizza :)
one Slice of Quorn Bacon, Mushrooms, Spinach, Sweet corn and Low Fat Cheddar Cheese

I will be getting these wraps again, but not all the time. The price is not good for the budget!! I will be keeping an eye out for the reduced sticker ;).
Till next time
Donna x

All opinions published on this blog are entirely my own and are not swayed by any contributing factor e.g. Gift cards, store credit, gifted. I post my 100% honest judgment on products and items talked about.

Wednesday, 16 April 2014

Lofty & Co Stamps

A few years ago, when I started making cards for other people, I was finding it difficult to come up with ideas/designs for male cards. While I was looking through a Craft Magazine, I came across this really cute character called Lofty. They did have other stamp sets in this range at the time, but I thought this set was perfect. I couldn't decide which ones to get, so I got all six. 

This stamp set is called 'Lofty & Co' and they are from Joanna Sheen. I don't think they sell this range anymore, which is a shame, because I think they are really cute.
This was the first time I had got unmounted rubber stamps and I used EZ Mount with them, I found it very annoying and very time consuming. I didn't realise it would take so long, I swear it took me the whole afternoon to attach the EZ Mount to the stamps. Anyway, apart from that I really like these stamps.  


Like I mentioned before, I was looking for Male ideas/designs, I think they can also be used for female and really for all ages. And what's really great with these sets is you can mix and match the stamps.

Here are some of my cards using these stamps:

For more cards please check out my Facebook page Handmade By Donna

Till next time

Happy Crafting

Donna x

All opinions published on this blog are entirely my own and are not swayed by any contributing factor e.g. Gift cards, store credit, gifted. I post my 100% honest judgment on products and items talked about.

Monday, 14 April 2014

My Diet: Living Gluten/Wheat Free

I found out I was Gluten & Wheat Intolerant in 2011,  I found it very difficult to begin with because Everything I used to eat contained Gluten and/or Wheat. I admit I'm a very fussy eater, I don't like spicy foods. My diet is very plain or to others, Boring.
So when I found out, the Food I actually like was making me sick. It got quite depressing. I was like no more 'Treats', How am I going to eat when we go out. I felt left out, whenever friends/family ordered takeaways or went out for food, I couldn't have any. The first year was a struggle, I kept being ill after eating even though there wasn't any Gluten/Wheat in it and I didn't know why. I got fed up and pretty much feeling sorry for myself!

My Parents found this book

Yes it is a book for Dummies (haha) but I found it really helped me understand about being intolerant, and I learned so much more from it. I realised why I was still being ill, I was (by accident) cross contaminating my food and forgetting to check the ingredients on EVERYTHING!. About four months of following this book I finally started to feel better (it takes a while for your body to recover from the gluten). I really recommend getting this book!

Once my body felt like it was better, I started to focus on my Weight loss. I wouldn't say I lost the weight because I'm Gluten Free. Most Gluten free products have more calories and most of the time are a smaller portion, so you end up eating more.
My weight started to go down once I started to 'Eat Clean'.

Because I was checking for Gluten or Wheat ingredients on everything, I started to notice how much Crap is in our food. After being ill , I wanted to make sure my body was getting the right nutrients. So I now try and eat more of a vegetarian diet and cut out the 'Crap'

Stop eating Crap
Of course I miss 'Junk Food' - I still treat myself to it. I have learned I can change it to a gluten free version and sometimes make it a bit healthier.

So in future posts I will be sharing some of my recipes and Gluten/Wheat Free Products I find.

I'm really proud of myself, turning this into a positive. I'm on my way to a Happy and Healthier me :)

Till next time
Eat Clean, Train Mean :)

Donna x

PLEASE NOTE I AM NOT A NUTRITIONIST. This is what I find works for me.

All opinions published on this blog are entirely my own and are not swayed by any contributing factor e.g. Gift cards, store credit, gifted. I post my 100% honest judgment on products and items talked about.
All items that are not brought entirely by myself will be marked with an asterisk / (*) and any sponsored posts will clearly be marked with ‘This is a sponsored post’ at the top, despite this it makes no weight in my judgment.

Thursday, 10 April 2014


When I started my Weight loss Journey in 2012, I needed something that would give me a bit more motivation. I didn't want to join a weightwatchers or slimming world (in other words paying someone to weigh me!).
The thing I found that works for me, surprisingly was Instagram. I followed so many Fitness / Motivation 'Fitspo' accounts at the beginning.
I have now narrowed them down to the ones that inspire and motivate me the most. I do have a few favourite accounts and the best thing, I'm constantly finding more to keep me motivated.
The one thing I noticed with these accounts, was they all took Pictures (obviously! it's Instagram) of their Progress.

So I started taking pictures at least once a month, (in the same outfit) to see if I could see a difference.

 Its a great feeling seeing how much I've progressed.

One of my tips is: Take Pictures!
When you are having a bad day or you've lost your motivation, look back and compare your pictures and see how far you have come, and remember why you started. I promise you, you will get your motivation back. It worked for me :)

What a difference a year makes
 One of the best feelings is when you notice some of your old clothes are starting to fit again.

A Coat I purchased when I was at my smallest now Fits :)

From 2010 I've only been able to wear 10 - 20% of my clothes in my wardrobe.  Since I've started my weight loss journey that percentage is getting bigger! Most of my clothes in there are still 'new' they still have the labels on them!.

Today I achieved another one of my goals
I 'squeezed' into my Goal Trousers!!! Yes I did say Squeezed, they are a bit tight to wear out. But I got them on! I haven't been able to wear these for years! I have had these trousers since I was 15 lol. Just a little bit more to go and I will not only be able to wear these trousers again, but All the clothes in my wardrobe. :)

I'm looking forward to my next Progress Pic. :)

Remember Progress is Progress no matter how small :)

Till next time

Donna x

Pictures are from my Instagram

Monday, 7 April 2014

Crochet Dog Sweater

Paw Print
Its been a while since I decided to teach myself how to crochet. At the beginning I was crocheting throws and little embellishments mainly to practice and to learn how to read patterns. When I started to became more confident I moved onto Cushions, beanie hats and even made myself a Christmas Wreath, which was fun.
(please see Crochet items for pictures )

I found that these patterns were to basic, I wanted to start making/crocheting things that are more detailed and challenging. So after looking through my Art of Crochet FOLDERS!! I have so many patterns its over whelming.
I came across this Pattern for a Dog Sweater.

Art of Crochet Pattern

As many of you know, I love Dogs (who doesn't !). So I thought this would be a perfect pattern to start.

This pattern was in issue 143, so my first thought was "This is going to be difficult!".  At first, I admit I had trouble reading the pattern, In fact I read the pattern completely wrong on the first attempt. I increased instead of decreasing! and I had trouble with the borders. Once I figured out what went wrong, and fixed it. I was feeling really proud of myself - I had made a dog sweater. :)

First Dog Sweater

With this pattern I thought I would change it a little bit, I decided to use 2 colours instead of the Multi-coloured yarn they suggested in the pattern. By using the 1 plain colour for the sweater you can see the pattern along the top (which I love) really clearly and the borders in a different colour, just to make it different.

A friend had noticed the sweater on my Facebook and asked me if I could make her dog a sweater. Of course I said yes. I was over the moon, that someone wants me to make something for them. I wanted to get started straight away. After selecting what colours she would like and getting the measurements of her dog. I had a problem (looking back not a major problem but at the time it felt like it was) the size of her dog was a lot bigger then what my pattern went up to.
I had to really put my 'reading patterns' knowledge to the test. After making 'some' amendments to the pattern - I finished the sweater.

2nd Sweater in Purple and Grey
I was really happy with it, but really worried. I thought I might of amended the pattern wrong,  because this was my first attempt at amending patterns and I'm not very good at maths. But I didn't need to worry, I got sent this picture.

So Cute!!

The Sweater fits Perfectly and she looks Gorgeous - Don't you agree :).
I'm so happy with the sweater and to my surprise finding out I'm not that bad at reading/following patterns and Maths :). and to top it off,  she asked me to make her dog another sweater (please see Video). #Happy :)

Please check out my YouTube Video - the Making of the Dog Sweater :) (thought I'd try something different) .

For the pattern I used -  The Art of Crochet

I need to get back to my crocheting, I've got Dog Sweaters to make :).

Till next time Crafters

Donna x

Friday, 4 April 2014

DoCrafts Me to You Stamp Gift Set

Hello everyone,

I recently purchased this really cute Me to You Stamp Gift set from Docrafts. Thought I would share it with you all :).
It did arrive in cute packaging (ideal to give for a gift). I wish I took a picture of it, but I couldn't wait and the packaging got destroyed, oops ;) . 

The Stamps you get in this kit are so cute and the detail is Brilliant.

 I've been on the look out for an Alphabet stamp set, in a cute Font. Because you always need an Alphabet when you are making Cards or Scrapbooking. 
When I use peel off stickers, I always run out of letters (esp. M, U, D, A, N) and get left with loads of letters I probably will never use. This Alphabet set is ideal and is in the really cute Me to You font. #Happy :) 
But, I did find a problem with these stamps. The letters, when first using them, are stuck to the plastic. So now the plastic is creased and the letters don't stick. (If anyone knows how to get the stamps off without creasing the plastic, Please let me know.)  I am worried I might lose some letters. 

 You also get 2 Acrylic Blocks (3x6 & 2x2) and 3 Ink pads in the Me to You colours :) you can never have too many ink pads!
 Plus a little pack of White Cards and envelopes to get you started.

Card Pack
 I could not wait to see how these stamps looked.  I was really impressed at how detailed they are.

 So far I've made 2 Thank you cards with this pack.


I stamped the images straight onto the card ( always a nervous task ;) ). and with my other ink pads and colouring pencils added some colour. I think they are really cute.
I'm looking forward to using these stamps in future projects. Need to get my creative brain on and see what I come up with. :)

For more of my Cards please check out / Like my Facebook Page Handmade By Donna

Till next time

Donna x

All opinions published on this blog are entirely my own and are not swayed by any contributing factor e.g. Gift cards, store credit, gifted. I post my 100% honest judgment on products and items talked about.