Monday, 30 September 2013

#CraftBlogClub: The Big 'Notebook Challenge'

Well, Tuesday is here, which can mean only one's time to unveil our #CraftBlogClub Challenge notebooks!

What I really enjoyed about this challenge, was the amount of variation I've seen, so far, in the results; I think it's fantastic that everyone has ventured out and tried new things! Please please please link your notebook posts up below - I think this challenge is something we should all be really proud of - fantastic work and a huge thank you to everyone who took part!  If you have time too, have a stop by a few blogs and show them a bit of #CraftBlogClub love for their wonderful efforts in the challenge!

The Overlord's Challenge Unveil...
So, for my notebook challenge, I decided to try a bit more applique, as I enjoyed doing my anniversary picture so much.  I wanted to spend as little as possible and work with fabrics and scraps that I had lying around.  Here is the result...

I bought a plain page, hardcover notebook from Wilkos for £3 and started by measuring out some navy and white striped fabric (I'm Breton-mad), and some fusible fleecing to add extra cushioning to my cover.

I ironed the fleecing and fabric to fuse together.  To make my applique poppy,
I freehand cut a green felt stalk and red poppy shape and, in keeping with a 'shabby' theme, I stitched the felt to the striped fabric using black thread.  I love how the black contrast creates a sweet outline of the poppy.

I found an old black button, with gold edging, in my extensive collection of long-lost buttons, so decided to sew this on as the poppy's middle.  The result was simple but effective - I toyed with the idea of doing several poppies, but I decided that one looked much nicer, for this project.

To attach the fabric to the notebook, I simply folded the edges in and attached using strong bonding glue.  As the fabric edges weren't tidy, I covered with a peach-coloured piece of paper for a clean finish.

I was really pleased with my notebook - I've had so many ideas for more applique and notebook-covering projects.  I think this has been a great challenge, to prettify and personalise something as plain as a notebook!  I hope you've all enjoyed it as much as I have - and I can't wait to launch October's challenge!

October Challenge
Well, without further ago, I shall unveil our challenge for October!!  It didn't take too long to decide that I wanted to launch something with a Halloween theme!  And with the success of last month's notebook covering, I thought something quite malleable will work for us all!  So here it is..

This October - the #CraftBlogClub Challenge is to create a Halloween decoration, using a crafting form YOU HAVE NOT TRIED BEFORE!

Get your thinking caps on - this is a great opportunity to try a new craft, if you have any questions or need any help - give us a shout on Twitter!  The same rules apply - I will put up a linky for us all to post our results!  The deadline is Tuesday 29th October for this challenge!  

Stay Crafty and get linking up now....

E x 

play along with us

A Very Peachy October Update!

Well, here we are!  September is drawing to a close and Life is Peachy HQ has been mad busy, as usual, with lots of planning, exciting partnerships and features and even a bit of press for the now-weekly #CraftBlogClub.  At the beginning of September, I wrote an update celebrating my 3 month Bloggiversary and I'm so pleased to tell you that October is looking like another really busy month!

So what have I been up to?? Well, aside from linking up with some fab new bloggers and meeting some amazing people; I posted some great recipes with a cosy, autumnal feel and a hint of the 'frugal' in mind.  I also celebrated my two year anniversary with Mr Peachy, by unveiling my First Applique Illustration; which I gave as a gift to him.

I talked a little about finding your own personal post-pregnancy style when I decided to Ditch The Jeans and linked up with the lovely Sophie Rosee for her spending ban.  I also reviewed my first recipe book as a Book Buddy for Parragon Books and introduced the stunning work of Rodology

I was lucky enough to feature on some amazing websites this month.  Check out my piece for Nurturing Mums about finding time for creativity and my piece for the wonderful Vintage Shopper, which is about vintage shopping with a post-pregnancy body.

Last month, I also decided to launch a Twitter chat hour for craft bloggers and lovers of craft.  #CraftBlogClub launched one Tuesday at the start of September and, I have to say, I remain completely overwhelmed with the amount of people who have joined in week by week.  I think we have created a really friendly, atmosphere with our Twitter chat and I'll be continuing to run it - with lots of plans for the future too! 

So what am I doing next?

Change Is Gonna Come...
This month, I've given my blog a little bit of an overhaul and, although I'll still be posting three times a week, my Friday posts will now become 'Creative Fridays'! I will be mixing up my weekly recipes with craft tutorials and craft WIPs.  Wednesday posts will continue to be #CraftBlogClub roundups and news and my Monday posts will be a mixture of fashion features, reviews and small business features.  

Stay Tuned for the Big Unveil! #CraftBlogClub
#CraftBlogClub Challenge Unveil 
This week I will be unveiling my notebook challenge result AND setting up a linky for everyone's challenges,  October's challenge will also be unveiled, which I'm really excited about, so keep your eyes peeled and your fingertips tapping away on Tuesday evening, between 7-8pm.  And check this amazing mention of #CraftBlogClub over on the lovely Hobzy Blog

The Frugally Fabulous Year 
Since I had such lovely feedback about my most recent outfit posts.  Not to mention the success of my spending ban; I've decided to try living 'Frugally Fabulous' for a year.  I want to try and refrain from buying clothes (for myself, Daisy not included) from high street stores for A WHOLE YEAR! Since I've become a bargain-hunting queen, I want to really promote the art of my 'trash and treasure' theory.  There is nothing I love more than finding real gems in charity shops and eBay and, aside from the essential undercrackers, I believe anything can be sought to look fabulous for less!  I'm hoping, over the next year, to develop my dress-making skills and continue to shop vintage and upcycle pre-loved items!  I'll be updating the blog with outfit posts and works in progress as I stay 'frugally fabulous' well into 2014!

Peach and Daisy
Last month, I took quite a few orders for my knitted Yuletide Gnomes, which was an amazing response and, rest assured, I'm beavering away with my knitting needles as often as I can.  I have 2 or 3 spots left for gnomes to be made before Christmas, so if you are thinking of ordering one - please do email me at and snap up a spot!  

I am still planning to launch Peach and Daisy as a craft store in the near future - but at the moment I've been lucky enough to be so busy with freelance writing projects, that crafting items for my new shop have had to take a backseat! I want to make sure I can fulfil all my gnome orders and other project work, before I launch this lovely idea! 

I've got lots of exciting posts, reviews and features coming up this month and am so proud of how far Life is Peachy has come in such a short time!  

So, for now, let me just say a huge heartfelt thank you to everyone who reads, comments and follows Life is Peachy - I really hope you continue to enjoy reading these musings from Peachy HQ and look forward to a very peachy future! E x

I am always looking for projects to take on as a freelance writer/copywriting - please email and make sure you check out my Freelance Writing section, for examples of my work!  I would love to hear from you!

Friday, 27 September 2013

Friday's Kitchen: Frugal Fall 'Zesty Chocolate Orange Ganache Cake'

I'm not going to lie - if any of you were following my feed on Twitter or Facebook yesterday, you would have noticed a not particularly pleasant Miss Peachy.  I had a bad baking day - we all have them!  But, never one to be easily defeated - the second attempt was a slow but sure triumph! Not bad for my first attempt at ganache..

You may be aware that today marks a great charity event by Macmillan, The World's Biggest Coffee Morning.  Everyone is encouraged to take part in a coffee morning to raise money for Macmillan - whether it's a local community or just having a few friends round to your house.  I decided to donate a cake to be sold in aid of Macmillan at my friend, Beth's, Kiosk in Sherwood.  She will also be donating a percentage of her drinks sales to the charity.  

I wanted to bake a really simple crowd pleaser - something that would work with Beth's lovely creations but would be a surefire hit to raise money.  So I came up with a recipe for a Zesty Chocolate Orange Ganache Cake.  A rich, chocolatey cake with hints of orange and a think ganache frosting.  The results (second time around) were really fantastic!  I hope you decide to give it a try - and if you are free, why not pop along to a Macmillan Coffee Morning event near you?

280g Caster Sugar
200g Self Raising Flour
80g Salted Butter
Pinch Salt
2 Large Eggs
80g Cocoa Powder
240ml Semi-Skimmed Milk
Zest of Two Small Oranges
250g Dark Chocolate
300ml Double Cream 

Firstly, in a saucepan, melt your double cream and 200g of chocolate (chopped) until combined.  Remove from heat and whisk until the mixture begins to thicken.  The ganache should look smooth and glossy - set aside in a bowl to cool and thicken for covering later.

Preheat your oven to 180C and, in a mixing bowl, mix your sugar, flour, cocoa powder, salt and butter in a mixing bowl until it resembles a sandy consistency (by hand or using a mixer).

In a separate jug, whisk your milk and eggs until combined and add most of it to the dry mixture.  Once combined, add the remaining milk mixture and mix until smooth.

Add in the zest of one orange and the remaining chopped chocolate to the mix.  Pour into a prepared cake tin and bake for approximately 25 minutes.

Once the sponge is baked through but springy, remove and place on a wire rack to cool.  When cooled, using a palette knife, spread the chocolate ganache evenly on the cake top and sides until completely covered in an even layer.  Sprinkle the remaining orange zest on the top.

Happy Baking! As ever - I love hearing your thoughts and feedback, and if you give this recipe a go, be sure to upload your results onto my Facebook page! 

Thursday, 26 September 2013

Peachy Review: Parragon Books 'Make, Bake, Cupcake'

At the start of the month, I mentioned that I was going to be a Book Buddy for Parragon Publishing - mostly reviewing some of their fabulous cook books.  I was really excited to receive my first book a few weeks ago and, well, what a book it is! 

Make, Bake, Cupcake! is a fabulous baking book, featuring lots of novelty cupcake recipes; from cocktail inspirations through to cute animals and gruesome Halloween ideas.  As someone who used to bake cupcakes for a living; this book could not have been more perfect for me, in terms of injecting some much needed fun into cupcake baking again!

The book has a really great look about it, with fun clear images of the finished cupcakes themselves and a few 'process' shots to guide you along the way.  The book is divided into five chapters; 'Cocktails and Mocktails', 'Feisty Flavours', 'Fun and Frosted', 'Scary Cute' and 'Hidden Surprises'.  Each section is separated with a cute cupcake divider and the book itself is really fun to navigate, whilst you're getting your ideas together!  

Each recipe is fairly simple to follow and the cake baking itself is pretty straightforward.  Much of the cake decoration requires ingredients such as candy melts and food colourings, so planning in advance has to be a must.  Nevertheless, the decorations are so much fun - it's difficult to choose which to do.  

As part of the review, I thought I would try my hand at one of the recipes and decided to try the 'Belly-Up Bear' cupcakes, just in time for Mr Peachy's nephew's First Birthday!  This was one of the easier recipes to follow and only required some basics for decorating.  I found the recipe (and believe me, I've followed hundreds in my time) really simple to follow and the results, even though I was very pushed for time, the result wasn't too bad (not my usual uber-perfectionist standard) and I loved the fluffy effect of the dessicated coconut.

Overall, I love this book, it's a real welcome addition to my brimming recipe book shelf and has really introduced some exciting ways to decorate cupcakes.  The big question is, what do I do next?  I'm thinking some Squished Witches for Halloween, followed by some cute Dabbling Ducks!

Make Bake Cupcake by Love Food, Edited by Parragon Books is available to buy now! 

Disclaimer: I was sent this book by Parragon Books to review for this blog, all opinions in this review are my own.

Tuesday, 24 September 2013

#CraftBlogClub: Crafty DIY SOS #1

Well, another week and another exciting edition of #CraftBlogClub has come to a close.  I'm in Twitter jail again, damn it!

As usual, I was completely humbled by the amount of people who joined in my twitter chat and I would like to take another opportunity to thank you all for following, getting involved and retweeting!  We saw some fab new faces tonight and I can't wait to get to grips with some more new blogs and hope to see you all again next week!

Tonight, as it is nearing the end of our first #CraftBlogClub challenge, I thought we would do a DIY SOS (minus Nick Knowles, of course), to give everyone a chance to voice any crafty issues they might be having.  This is probably something we will introduce once a month, especially as tonight's was really great, lots of debating and top tips on offer from our lovely crafty lot! 

It certainly seems like we are an ambitious bunch - the general feel of the chat was that we all simply don't have enough time for ALL the crafting we want to do!  Far from my expectations of crafty tweeps voicing a few issues, we talked more about time management and losing our mojo - it was fantastic!  Here are just a few points from tonight's chat!

Well first of all, let me introduce our now 'Resident Glue Dab Hander' in the form of wonderful blogger Rascal And Roses who, and I quote, dubs PVA glue 'The Best In The World'.  A must have for our notebook challenges I believe!

I couldn't write this post without noting some of the great lighting tips from #CraftBlogClub newcomer Homemade With Love who suggested lining a box with white paper and creating a 'mini photo studio' for small items.  Thank you for your tweets - they were so helpful for those of us who are pretty much armed with just a phone!

What to do when you are in a Craft Slump?  A very common theme running through tonight's chat.  Whilst a browse on Pinterest was a resounding tip for finding your inspiration again, some suggested a huge tidy of your craft area can help to tidy your mind and refocus for that next wonderful project.  The tip of having a really good amount of space for crafting also ties in with this theory.  For me, I think a quick, familiar project can be great for reinstating confidence and inspiration.  Suggestions of a crafty back-up list was also fantastic for noting down all those things you plan to do...then life gets in the way!

Confidence was touched upon as well, or perhaps more, a need to make sure things are done correctly.  I think we are all in agreement that handmade items look better HANDMADE, so a few mistakes here and there are not going to be judged!  As crafty bloggers we need to be confident in our decisions to try new things and revel in whatever the outcome is! (I say that, if my knitted gnomes could talk they would tell you a very different story)!

So what do we crafters do if, God forbid, we find ourselves BORED? It seems as if quite a few of us have the same idea - have a few projects on the go at once to avoid boredom and have a smaller project tucked away for travelling.  

Finally, we touched on Suppliers and Sourcing Materials as many of us are money conscious and want to ensure we are sourcing the right products, at the right price.  High Street haberdashery's such as John Lewis often have limited supplies and eBay can be hit and miss with postage prices getting ever higher.  I have had the brainwave of putting together a comprehensive list of suppliers with the #CraftBlogClub stamp of approval - whether it is a small local supplier or a brilliant online business! If you have a supplier you want to put forward, please give me an email and I'll start putting a list together!!

Have you got it covered?? Your notebook that is!  I am planning to unveil mine next Tuesday and put up a linky so we can all link our notebook posts together.  I put out a little tweet asking if our crafty tweeples fancied another challenge for the month of October?  Most said yes, so am planning to launch something next week.  If you would like to put forward any ideas, please email  I'm thinking a Halloween theme might be on the cards....

The 'C' Word
It's only September...but....I've been having a chat with the lovely Amanda over at Gift Frippery about the possibility of doing 'virtual Christmas presents' over at #CraftBlogClub.  If this is something you might be interested - drop me an email so I can start collating names and ideas.  We can move from there..

I thought, each week, I would give a little shout out to a couple of #CraftBlogClub bloggers and their excellent posts.  We are all fabulous, I love reading all the blogs I've come across from doing this Twitter Chat, but I thought it would be great to highlight a couple each week...

Firstly, take a look at this fab blog post about using Google+ by the lovely Icy Sedgwick 

Why not have a read of the lovely Hayley Usher 's attempts at paper marbling for her notebook covers.  The results are just gorgeous!

Finally, for this week, follow the posts of newbie blogger Katie Gets Crafty as she's new to the creative scene and wonderful with it!

That's all for now folks - next week we talk notebooks and prettifying things!

Stay Crafty

E x


Monday, 23 September 2013

Peachy Review: A Study of Rodology

A few months ago, I received an email from a somewhat intriguing man, who went by the name of 'Rodology'.  How could I NOT want to know more??!

A purveyor of all things photography, sculpture, quirky jewellery and art; all-round creative talent, Rodology is the 'stage name' of Roderick Barker-Benfield.  Just a glimpse at his Website, you are transported to a world revolving around a fascinating brand, creating wonderful and unique accessories, not to mention exquisite attention to detail, something Roderick prides himself on in his work as a freelance artist.

With a focus on his handmade jewellery, I absolutely loved Rodology's collection of brooches, pendants, cufflinks and earrings.  The designs, handmade from , are simple in shape, but really use the intricate work of cogs and timepiece 'innards' as their unique design feature. 
Mr Darcy Cufflinks from Rodology
Rodology's pieces would make perfect gifts for him or her - the 'Mr Darcy' cufflinks are a particular favourite of mine, a must-have for any dandy gentleman!  Yes, that's right too, Rodology's latest 'author collection' pieces are all named after famous literature heroes, in continued satisfaction of the 'romance' of the brand.  Having had his various forms of work regularly featured in such publications as The Guardian, I was thrilled when he sent me one of his creations; a 'Lady Emily' pendant.

The pendant itself is lightweight and subtle, with an intricate silver and gold watch design pendant - it fits perfectly with my penchant for vintage dresses and adds unique character to my otherwise (and often) accessory-less attire.   Pendant prices start at £15 and other items, such as the cufflinks, start at £30; they make perfect keepsake gifts and are sure to sit as real stand out pieces in any collection.

In short, if you are looking for something a little different alongside lovely craftsmanship, look no further than the fascinating work of Rodology.  If you're lucky enough to live in or around London, you can often catch him selling his beautiful wares at various craft markets; when he's not busy creating or riding around on his beloved motorbike!  

Having cracked the London craft market scene - Rod will be appearing at the following in the next couple of weeks, why not head down and speak to the man himself?

Wonderhill Market, Tooting

Crafty Fox Market, Brixton 

To be kept up to date with Rodology's latest news and collections; check out his Facebook, Twitter and, of course you can purchase online from his wonderful Website

Tuesday, 17 September 2013

#CraftBlogClub - What Makes a Good Craft Tutorial?

Well, here's to another storming #CraftBlogClub session this evening!  I had another great evening hosting this wonderful Twitter chat, even though I had to balance baby's bedtime duty, with retweets and interesting conversations!  I aim to reply to everyone's messages as soon as possible - please bear with me!

So for this week's #CraftBlogClub, I chose a topic that I felt would really help newbie and experienced bloggers alike; What Makes a Good Craft Tutorial?  As usual, we had some fantastic feedback and opinions from twitter chat regulars and new additions to our crafty hub.  It was lovely to see some new tweeters amongst you tonight - I think #CraftBlogClub is taking Twitterland by storm and I've got lots of exciting future plans for it!

So here are a few pointers for creating a good crafty tutorial;
1. PHOTOS PHOTOS PHOTOS - the overwhelming 'must-have' for a good tutorial, is a great set of clear photographs, to accompany the text.  Clarity and good shots are for capturing works in progress and allowing the reader to follow easily.
2. Aim to explain - but don't patronise - the last thing anybody wants to feel, is as if they are back at school.  A blog, in general, needs to have a friendly and approachable tone and a tutorial is no different.  Encourage your readers through your words, don't make them feel small or lack in confidence.
3. Assuming a level of ability - this is a really sticky subject, we all want to inspire and, as someone who loves a challenge, I love really pushing myself with projects.  On the other hand, as craft bloggers, we don't want to alienate our readers with difficult projects.  The key is to find a balance of abilities in your tutorials and, hopefully, inspire your readers to try their hand at harder projects as and when.  I feel this really ties in with the tone of your tutorial - and I've managed to coin the phrase; 'if you've got the know-how, get the show-how'!!
4. Choose Readily Available Materials - to be honest, I wouldn't be likely to partake in a project that specified the need for 'yarn, freshly drawn from mountain-side alpacas in Springtime'.  In this modern age, we are lucky to have the likes of eBay at our fingertips; but ensuring that your materials and fabrics are relatively easy to get hold of, will encourage more readers to give your tutorial a try!
5. Be fresh and innovative with your ideas - I don't think there is anything wrong with classic projects, they can be great when trawling through the internet for new ideas.  But to keep your readers interested, your tutorials need to be fresh and fun!  Don't be afraid to stand out!
6. Try a video tutorial - I watch a shameless amount of YouTube videos - from tutorials to music videos and leftfield interviews.  Video and vlogging are great ways to bring a three-dimensional perspective to you and your blog.  If you are brave enough to step in front of the camera, it's a great way to bring your character and personality to life and connect with readers who might want something more visual to work with.
7. Learn from your mistakes (and include them) - as with last week, lots of people agreed that a level of showing project mistakes was great for tutorials.  Not only can you showcase how you tackled and resolved the problem creatively, you are touching upon that human side of the blogger that so many readers like to see.  Be careful though, don't give too much away, you are a pro at what you do!

There were some really interesting tweets tonight and I could go on - but I think these points cover most of tonight's conversation and I hope it's left you all feeling inspired about your next tutorial project!

Got it Covered???
Don't forget.....We have an end of the month deadline for September's #CraftBlogClub challenge.  Last week's post about this is HERE.  This month's challenge is to cover a notebook!  I've had some great ideas from people already and I CANNOT WAIT TO SEE THE RESULTS!

Also guys, there were quite a few tweets about challenge ideas this evening - if you have ideas, please drop them in an email to me at - I'm always popping down plans for #CraftBlogClub and I do suffer from a horrible mixture of Sieve/Baby Brain - so I would LOVE to hear from you!

Until next week - STAY CRAFTY!

E x

Monday, 16 September 2013

The Handmade Home: The Anniversary Applique Illustration 'This Is Us'

Once upon a time, a red-headed girl-about-town met a rugged musician from the Midlands.  A most unexpected romance ensued between these two souls and, within months, she gave up her fast-paced life in London and moved to Nottingham, to start a new life and later, not mention a tiny bit surprisingly, their very own family.

Looking back, I can hardly believe two years have flown by in the blink of an eye.  As with every relationship, there have been hard times, lovely times and down right hilarious times!  So, for an anniversary gift this year, I decided to put my crafting head on and create something really special.

It isn't always easy to restore your relationship to its former glory, once a baby becomes involved.  It's not always a bad thing, but time for just the two of you, sort of goes out the window, especially when your other half is holding down a full time job AND working as a musician too.  So I decided, with this in mind, to create an abstract applique illustration, based on one particular snowy night in Nottingham, that I know we both hold dear in our hearts.  The result, was exactly what I wanted.

I wanted to commemorate this lovely evening!

Working with just three colours, black, white and navy; I began with a black canvas base and covered with a thick navy cotton.  I created a simple snowy scene with off-white felt and off-set this, with some black shadowy trees and two black shadowy figures.  Lastly, I created the pinnacle of my piece, a depiction of my striped umbrella, with a piece of striped fabric I had lying around, backed with felt to create more depth.

Once I had pinned these onto the canvas, I cut out more 'definite' white chunks of felt, again to add depth to the piece.  I hand-sewed each piece on with straight stitching, to create a sort of 'shabby chic' edge to the image.  Finally, to represent a 'snowfall', I stitched some simple pearl white sequins to the picture.

I called this piece 'This Is Us'; a reminder for us both really of how special we are to each other and, no matter what changes may bring our way, deep down we will always be us!

I absolutely loved doing this applique - I liked the simplicity of this design and I would be really keen to try more complex ideas with patterned fabrics.  I'm planning my next design too - I can't wait to get started!

I guess the image speaks for itself - and the only thing left to say is a big Happy Anniversary to Mr Peachy, for all that we have and all that will be!

Thursday, 12 September 2013

Friday's Kitchen Frugal Fall: Pumpkin Bread and Butter Pudding

Welcome to Friday's Kitchen!  Back up and running after a minor hiccup with our internet provider last week.  I won't dwell on it, we've all been there!

So, it seems we have sprinted headlong into my favourite time of year - autumn leaves, blustery gales and a damn good excuse to get the woollies out.  This month, I'm looking at using seasonal fruits and vegetables in my cooking, as I rustle up some wholesome home-cooked treats for those cosy nights in!

And what better way to make a start, than with a seasonal twist on a British classic!  Here is my recipe for Pumpkin Bread and Butter Pudding!

I've worked hard on this to combine some really autumnal flavours from the pumpkin and cranberries, with a bit of a zing with the orange zest.  It's a really tasty treat and the basic pudding would work well with other seasonal fruits too.  It's like Halloween and Christmas all at once!  I do hope you enjoy this one and, as ever, if you give it a go yourself please upload your results to the Facebook Page.

Ingredients (serves 4-6):
200g cooked and pureed Pumpkin
125g Butter (melted)
200g (1 large baguette) of Crusty Bread Sliced into about 8 or 9 pieces
100ml Semi Skimmed Milk
200ml Extra Thick Cream
100g Sugar - Caster or Brown
2 Large Eggs and one Egg Yolk
1 Pinch Salt
1 tsp Ground Cinnamon
1 tsp Ground Ginger
1 tsp Allspice
Zest of One Small Orange
30g Dried Cranberries

Preheat the oven to 160 C and place your bread pieces in a large casserole dish.

In a bowl, whisk the pumpkin puree, milk, cream, sugar and eggs until thickened and incoporated.  Beat in the spices and, finally, the cranberries.

Melt the butter in a saucepan and, when completely melted, pour over the bread.  Allow to soak for a few minutes.

Pour the pumpkin custard mixture over the bread, ensure that the cranberries are evenly distributed and bake for about 30 minutes.

Serve warm, snuggle up with a feelgood film and thank me later!!

Tried it?  Love it?  As ever, I would love to know your thoughts!


Outfit Post - Ditching The Jeans

One of my favourite outfits - Back in the Whistles St John's Wood Days!

Admittedly it's been a while since I did a fashion post.  I absolutely love finding quirky things to wear, that really reflect my self-coined 'Modern Gothic Librarian' image!  I'm not really much of a mainstream shopper and I would love to hear from other late twenty-thirty somethings who, like myself, feel as if high street stores are really not catering for our age range anymore??!!

Here I am in Croatia, 2011 - Holiday Chic

Anyway...that's another post for another time!  My style lies in a love of vintage and a love of the romantic gothic look.  I've always had one rule when it comes to image - I've never wanted to look like anyone else!  From my heady days as a velvet-skirt and Doctor Martens-adorning goth, to my stint as a bottle blonde with a wardrobe heavily influenced by the Harajuku movement; the key to me has always been individuality.

Having a baby will always means thinking more practically about what you wear - dry-clean clothes become the enemy and sky-scraper heels are just a huge no-no (unless you're Victoria Beckham, it would seem).  But I never wanted becoming a Mother to completely swallow my identity and, over the last few months, I realised I was beginning to feel a little less 'Mumm-me' and a little more 'Mummy'.  Why?  Well...I was living in my black skinny jeans!


I think jeans look great on other people, I am often envious of those who can pull on a t-shirt and jeans and instantly look awesome.  They are practical, versatile and a great staple for any wardrobe, except, it seems, mine!  I'm a dress-girl, I've said it a hundred times and I stick by it.  It is somewhat disconcerting to have a wardrobe full of dresses that I just can't wear right now; but either way I HAD to do something about this minor wardrobe malfunction and start the process of getting back to Emma: Mumm-me.

Not my bag!!

So I decided it was time, to ditch the jeans!  A big step for me - they saw me through my maternity and beyond, teamed with my Mum Mafia uniform of breton stripes; but if I was ever to feel that familiar sense of self-balance, they just HAD to go!  


I've done a sneaky bit of shopping recently - my budget wasn't huge, but my mental health was thoroughly thankful for it! I found some beautiful pieces at reasonable prices, dresses that could be layered up as we head into Autumn, plus a gorgeous grungy chenille shaggy cardigan that I'm already getting a lot of wear out of! 

Collars and Pearls - What Would Dita Do?!

Over the next few weeks I'll post some outfits from my swag - skater dresses teamed with vintage belts, tea dresses and images of me finally feeling like I'm starting to be 'me' again. 


Part of the trick of feeling good in your clothes, is to find how to 'love' your old ones again! Which is never easy when you're wardrobe consists of 70% dry-clean only dresses, that you haven't a hope of fitting into.  YET.  So I've decided to really start looking at what I already have and the different ways in which I can try wearing some of my favourite garments - I'll try and inspire with some posts in the coming weeks!

What, this old thing? From my Whistles collection!
It had become too easy to shove my jeans on in the mornings and I've had to really force myself to push my boundaries and find 'me' again in my clothes.  It has worked though, slowly but surely, I'm seeing 'Mumm-me' in the mirror again!

Follow my blog for more updates and outfit posts as I search for the 'perfect' post pregnancy wardrobe!

Tuesday, 10 September 2013

#CraftBlogClub - What Makes A Good Craft Blog?

As I sit writing this, I'm currently in jail.  Twitter jail.  I've exceeded my daily limit of tweets, due to retweeting the sheer awesomeness that was #CraftBlogClub this evening!

Well, week 2 was another storming success over on #CraftBlogClub and I'd like to take this opportunity to thank each and every person who joins, reads, retweets and takes part in our Twitter chat.  I have a list of blogs to read and follow on Bloglovin (and while you're reading this, why not give mine a follow too)!  I just need a nice quiet few hours to go through them all - there are so many fantastic and creative blogs out there, I can't wait to get stuck in!  I'm so excited about this chat and I've got so many ideas (which I shall keep under wraps - but just for now) for #CraftBlogClub and where we can take this!  Keep it here for more updates and information!

So, this week we started off our discussions with 'What Makes A Good Craft Blog'?  We have had a few newbie bloggers join our discussion, plus I never think it hurts to rethink and rejig mine every once in a while!  The general consensus seemed to be felt by most of our twitterati this evening.  The main points of a 'Good Craft Blog' were:
1. A good mix of projects and tutorials - tried and tested methods alongside the blogger's own creativity.
2. Decent Photographs - Whilst nobody expects mini-David Baileys, decent photographs to accompany your blog posts really help.
3. Be passionate about what you are doing - I could almost write another blog post about the importance of personality and honesty in your posts; but we decided a lack of passion or belief in your craft was visible and off putting on a blog.
4. Share your mistakes - Nobody wants to read about perfection ALL the time!  Look at the backlash A Beautiful Mess are getting for blogging their 'perfect, showhome' existence! We love nothing more than a behind-the-scenes look at where things may not have worked out so well! Don't be afraid to show your human side!
5. Be prepared to let others copy you - We are brilliant at what we do, we want to inspire others.  This will occasionally mean a little bit of copying - hey, if we get a mention and we've inspired someone, let's make that a good thing!

The one interesting sticking point that came up was a rift between those of us who liked to view blogs as a 'lifestyle' and others who just wanted to see crafts.  The jury is out on that one - I'm a lifestyle blogger so I talk about outfits, recipes and other such ramblings and that's the sort of blog I like to read!  I'll leave that one open for another debate, another time.

Finally, tonight, we also launched our first #CraftBlogClub Challenge.  I had some amazing ideas sent to me and I've made a note of all of them for future challenges - but tonight I thought I would set a very simple one that could encompass any range of craft activity, the idea came courtesy of the lovely Amanda over at Gift Frippery. The challenge is to Cover A Notebook.  A simple task to upcycle and 'pretty-fy' a notebook using your creative skills!  At the end of September - anyone who takes part can do a post and link it to my blog with their finished piece.  I hope everyone wants to take part - it's a bit of fun to really get our creativity flowing and get crafty!  I look forward to seeing the finished pieces!  Though I'm a bit of a technophobe - I shall look into setting up a linky or hop for this challenge (if you're good with this, please get in touch!), as I am hoping we will be able to do one every month.

So far the feedback on the challenge has been great - I think it will challenge each person to either use their skills or try a new one!  I really hope you enjoy the creative process and, if you post any 'WIPs', make sure you use the hashtag #CraftBlogClub and I'll try and Retweet for you!

I think that's it for tonight, I'm off to read a few blogs and plan for next week!  I hope this evening was as fun for everyone else as it was for me - until next Tuesday*! x

*If you have any ideas on topics you would like to discuss or challenges you think we could set, please email me at  I would love to hear from you!  Join in the #CraftBlogClub every Tuesday on Twitter 7-8pm

Monday, 9 September 2013

Peachy Charideeee Swag September!

Good morning all!!!  I hope you have all had a wonderful weekend - I spent it with my parents, which was fabulous as I don't get to see them nearly as much as I would like!

So, this month, I've decided to start blogging about our money-saving ways in the Peachy household!!  And no, I don't mean 'ways to save money', but a more creative look at being frugal through posts about my bargain-hunting swags, money-conscious recipes and, of course, upcycling tutorials and inspiration.  I think most people, particularly heading towards winter and the big 'C' (Christmas of course), often use this time of year to re=think and re-jig their finances and it can sometimes be hard work to do this.  Peachy HQ really is no different - my wonderful boyfriend works full time and also works as a musician under several guises, whilst I am an at-home Mum, working as a freelance writer and soon-to-be crafts saleslady!  But far from feeling the pinch, we revel in bargain-hunting and bringing our own creative skills into making our 'Handmade Home' and providing our very best for our little girl.  

To help me in my quest to post about my 'Frugal Fall' - I decided to link up with the lovely Sophie Rosee, who decided a spending ban was in order and asked if anyone else wanted to be involved.  I don't particularly have a problem with spending, I just think it would be great to see what I could live without if I really tried.  A 30 day ban works for me - nothing unnecessary (I do consider eyeliner to be a necessity, I'm afraid) for myself (Daisy is obviously not included) or for the home.  I plan to see how much I can save and put this excess into my 'Hunter Wellies Fund' - as these are something I've always wanted and I can't think of better and more stylish footwear to have, when I'm pushing the pram around in the midst of winter!  I WILL spend on materials for projects, of course, but clothes and books (books being my big problem) will have to go on hold!

So, without further ado - check out my first (and last, for a while) Charideeee Swag!

1. Framed Industrial Luxemburg picture - a real beauty and a steal at £4.  This sits really beuatifully in our retro dining room, alongside some of our other art work!  I love these posters - I think they make really powerful statements on our walls.

2. A Beautiful Mind DVD - purchased for a mere £1 - I am absolutely obsessed with this film, starring Russell Crowe and Jennifer Connelly.  The true tale of John Nash, Nobel Prize winner and hugely influential mathematician is so powerful and moving,
I can't believe I waited this long to own it (having seen it about 7 times).  

3. Asos Sheer Floral Dress - bought for £5 this dress is in near perfect condition
- I love the colours and the neckline is just gorgeous. Teamed with a black vest and tights, this is a great daywear dress and looks really quirky with my clogs too!

Well, here's to my spending ban!  The 'shall I, shouldn't I' compartment of my wallet is firmly closed!  Follow my blog for regular updates on my no-spend September and look out for some great 'Frugal Fall' recipes coming up!  

Wednesday, 4 September 2013

#CraftBlogClub - The Turn of the Crafty Twitterati!

So last night I decided to try a Twitter chat hour for the very first time!  Over the last three months, I have met some awesome bloggers - from Yummy Mummys to Beauty to Lifestyle.  And I've met some absolutely outstanding Craft Bloggers!

As a blog category, it seemed to me that craft bloggers are fiercely underrecognised, even though there are LOADS of us AND we make exciting, unique and wonderful things.  I really enjoy being part of #HandmadeHour on Wednesdays and often pop in on #PBloggers and #Lbloggers too, but I really wanted a twitter hour dedicated to crafting - to meet other craft bloggers and inspire each other!

So I took it upon myself to create #CraftBlogClub - which will now run every TUESDAY from 7PM - 8PM.  This isn't a place to talk 'business' as such, it's not to sell or promote products.  It's for craft bloggers, crafters and people who enjoy reading craft blogs, to come along, share some links and perhaps take a bit of inspiration away for their upcoming projects.

I have to say, I was sat at my computer, feeling pretty terrified that nobody would want to join in.  But the results were ASTOUNDING and I have my lovely Twitter followers to thank for joining in and spreading the word!  I love seeing ideas take shape and I fully enjoyed the chat we had and I'm really looking forward to reading some of these interesting and amazing blogs!

#CraftBlogClub will definitely be back next week - I plan to choose a general topic to talk about, always ending with swapping links etc.  I've also had the idea of creating a #CraftBlogClub challenge, something that will encompass all forms of craft - that we can all link up on our blogs!  At this stage, I feel we have so many things to explore, that just chatting for an hour is the tip of a very crafty iceberg!

If you enjoy crafting, reading craft blogs or are a craft blogger - please do join in our Twitter Hour on Tuesday's between 7pm and 8pm.  Use the tag #CraftBlogClub and let the fun commence!

If you have any topic ideas or even challenge ideas for our Twitter Hour - please give me a shout on Twitter (@LivePeachy) or drop me an email at

I cannot WAIT for next week!!

E x

Sunday, 1 September 2013

A Very Peachy Bloggiversary!!

Well, this may be a little premature, but today is my 3 MONTH BLOGGIVERSARY and I wanted to do a little post to say thank you to everyone who has read, commented, enjoyed and been a part of Life is Peachy.

Since its conception as a (for want of a better term) 'fingers up' to those who believe life stops at labour; Life is Peachy has already come so far and I've attracted a wide and varying audience, who seem to enjoy reading my blog!  Nothing makes me feel more alive than writing (other than Little D, of course); I have so much love for you for reading my posts and I hope to continue to inspire, make you laugh, make you think and empower you (mums or not) with some of the exciting things I've got coming up!

Peachy's Round-Up!
Since June, I've given you some glimpses into my Handmade Home with just a few of my handmade projects for D's nursery, plus my first attempt at Papercutting
I've given my Peachy seal of approval to Bad Bad Me, The Barnum Meserve, the lovely late James Herbert's 'Ash' and, most recently, the fantastic film What Maisie Knew.  I've delved a little into my vintage inspired wardrobe and pawed over my love of Swedish clogs (and men), and even given you a snippet of my eclectic taste in music!

The amazing Gude from Hodge Podge Craft wrote a fabulous Guest Post on Baby Sensory Experiences and, if you haven't already, I would strongly recommend heading over to her blog for even more inspiration.  We've met two amazing people behind Kickstarter projects in the form of HandmadeHour and Waffly Nice!  I'm pleased to tell you that Liz from Waffly Nice has been in touch, to tell me that her and Sam have been approved for a loan for their business - look out for the Waffly Nice Van in the near future!

I hope I've inspired in the kitchen too, with my Change One Thing theme running through my August recipes -
for those of us who love baking, but not huge waistlines - to my Neapolitan Birthday Cake and Cheeky Gnome Cupcakes!

Plus the list is already endless of small businesses and products that I've posted about over the last three months. So a huge thank you to This Is Lullaby, Neli at Delish, Crafty Lil' Lel, Scrapunzel, Nurturing Mums, SnoobEllie Bear BabiLove Lammie and Vicky Davison!

And where are we going now?
Needless to say, Life is Peachy is keeping me really busy right now and I've got lots of interesting and exciting posts to come.  First of all, I would proudly like to announce that I am officially a Parragon Book Buddy and recently received my first cookbook to review (and, my God, is it a good one).  I've also been lucky enough to meet some even more wonderful small businesses and I will still be regularly posting about some of the inspirational people and products that I come across on my hunts for something unique and exciting.  Not to mention some exciting guest posts I'll be doing and some collaborative work with other businesses.  Everyone is getting the Life is Peachy bug!!

Speaking of small businesses - if you're a follower on Twitter, you have probably been bombarded with photos of little knitted gnomes of late!  This is because my online craft store, Peach and Daisy ALSO launches this month!
I've taken my love of knitting and crafts to the next level and I'll be selling weird, wonderful gifts and accessories (starting small) which are, much like myself, cute and quirky!  Look out for more info on Peach and Daisy in the coming weeks - there will be a giveaway to celebrate the launch!

The Good Goth Life - As a homemaker, I have a really keen interest in sustainable cooking and, whilst we haven't the room to grow a lot of our own produce and are far off living life a la Tom and Barbara Good, I think learning to shop and cook with seasonal food is the first step to living sustainably.  So brace yourselves for some sustainably scrumptious, winter warmers, that won't break the bank in my 'Frugal Fall' recipes theme!

Bargain Hunt - Who doesn't love a bargain?  Having a good old rummage in a charity shop is always one of my favourite things to do - so I'll be bringing you some of my bargain finds and upcycling projects in my Trash and Treasure section!

Ditch Those Skinnies - I admit it, I've been stuck in a rut with my clothes (shock, horror) as I've recently realised just how much I've been living in my jeans.  Now I'm no jeans girl, so I've given myself the challenge of ditching the jeans and looking for cheap ways to fill my wardrobe whilst I'm trying to shed a bit of baby weight, without losing my distinct style!  

All this, plus more?  Life truly is Peachy indeed!  I do hope you've enjoyed reading my posts and I hope you'll continue to join me on my journey to finding the 'you' in Mummy.  Keep spreading the love, commenting and getting in touch with me - I love hearing your thoughts!  Here's to another very Happy 3 months!

If you would like to be part of Life is Peachy, discuss my work as a Freelance Writer or just want to say hi! I would love to hear from you - please email