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Tuesday, 16 September 2014

Clean Eating - A New Way of Eating

Since April I have been discovered a new way of eating and it's called clean eating.  I bet your wondering what is clean eating, well I thought the same thing when I came a across a Youtube video and the person was discussing what she was eating and why she was eating it. At first I thought what do you mean, I don't think anybody eats dirty food on purpose, I know that sounds silly, but  I was a bit confused, but I started watching more videos and reading about it online and then it all started to make sense.

Eating clean or clean eating, is eating food that has not been processed. The food has not been refined or tampered with and is kept to it's natural form, without any unnecessary extras added to it.

This means ready meals, takeaways, fast foods, e.t.c are all to be avoided. The food needs to be whole and be in it's original form, just how nature made it. So it would mean eating fresh fruit and vegetables, Lean proteins such as fish or chicken and whole grains like brown rice or wholemeal pasta.

I researched all the different types of foods that were allowed, some foods I was unsure about, I like an easy life, so I thought I'd share with you the food I would eat in a typical day.

Breakfast: 

Banana and Berry Smoothie
I never use to eat smoothies, but now I have one every day for breakfast and this is my favourite one, at the moment. It is made with bananas, summer fruit berries, a spoonful of fat free Greek yogurt , half a cup of Almond milk and some ice.  All of this is thrown into a blender, whizzed for a minute then poured into a tall glass. This makes a yummy breakfast, that keeps me full, so no diving into the biscuit tin. Speaking of biscuits, I have lost the taste for them and I don't really miss them.




Lunch

Greek Pasta Salad
For lunch I am loving my Greek Pasta Salad, I have it every day and I'm still not bored with it. It's made with green and black olives, chopped up cucumber, cherry tomatoes, feta cheese, wholemeal fusilli pasta. I also make my own dressing, consisting of olive oil, balsamic vinegar, salt, pepper and oregano.




Dinner

Baked Chicken with Rice and Vegetables
Dinner time is usually fish, or chicken, with a cup full of any vegetables and 1/2 cup of carbohydrates, this could brown rice, roasted sweet potato, quinoa, e.t.c. One thing I have learnt about, is to remember portion size, think of your plate as a clock, 1/2 of it should be vegetables, 1/4 your protein, i.e. chicken or fish and 1/4 your carbohydrates, such as brown rice.




I had this last night and it was yummy and very filling, before I started eating clean, I would want something sweet after dinner, but this has disappeared. I do remember being told by someone years ago, that it usually takes 2 weeks to lose your taste for sweet things, I think it's true, I no longer crave biscuits, cakes or chocolate bars, I do have the odd biscuit, but that's it really.

If I do want something sweet, I have found a healthy alternative them, but I will share that with you another time. I eat clean 99% of the time, rest of the time I might have the odd guilt free meal, don't judge me I'm human.

I don't see clean eating as a new diet fad, I really enjoy it., I just see it new way of eating. It's also spurred me to get fit, so every morning I do 30 mins of cadio or toning exercises. I use to go to the gym, but I would just get bored and find excuses why I couldn't go that day, but now I definitely prefer exercising at home, there are loads of great exercise videos on YouTube,  I even bought myself a set of dumbbells to use, I don't see exercise as a chore any more, I love doing it.

There you have it, my new way of eating healthy. In the forthcoming months, I'll share with you how I'm getting on and maybe a couple of recipes, I'll surprise you.

Bye for now.

M.  x


Monday, 18 August 2014

Flower Girl Bracelets

I'm back! It's been a few months since I posted a blog, the reason being is that I've been busy with my websites, designing new jewellery, getting orders made for customers and enjoying family life. I'm going try and get back into blogging, I have to say I have missed it and I'm going to try and blog weekly and not beat myself up about it, if I miss a week or two. If you follow me on Facebook or Instagram, you might of noticed that I've been posting a few 'work in progress' pictures of my flower girl bracelets, they have been proving quite popular with customers.

They have been on my website and in my Etsy shop for several months now,  I already have a range of bridal jewellery available to purchase on these venues, but I did not want to leave out the flower girls. They deserve an extra special gift to say thank you for taking part in the happy couple's wedding and also they would make a nice memento of the day. They all can be made in petite sizes from the ages of 3 - 13 years of age and are available in a range of colours.


This pink flower bracelet is made with 6 mm pink glass pearl beads and 6 mm pink crystal beads. There is a 1.5 inch long extender chain a silver heart shaped charm, with the words ' Flower Girl' engraved on it.




Another popular bracelet chosen by many brides this year is this one, made with white and blue 6 mm glass pearl beads. To give my customers more of a choice, I now offer the option of choosing up to 17 other pearl colours, which can be matched to a brides wedding colour scheme. 



Now, this bracelet is a little bit different from the others, instead of a flower girl charm, there is an initial charm. Initial jewellery is more personalised, so if your your flower girl is called Sophie, you would choose the letter S and also you can pick from 9 crystal colours to add to the bracelet. 





This bracelet has a simple design, it's made with ivory pearls, a smoky grey crystal bead, small silver beads, a flower girl charm and a singular pearl dangle.  



I know brides sometimes struggle to think of a thoughtful gift for members of their wedding party, just to say thank you for making their big day so special. These bracelets would be ideal, they are made with pearls and pearls never go out of style and the flower girls can treasure their own bracelet as a keepsake gift, forever.

If you would like a closer look at these bracelets, you can see them on my website at www.michelleshandcraftedjewellery.com

Also if you like to see what I'm up to on Instagram and feel to follow me on instagram.com/michelleshandcraftedjewellery 

Bye for now
x

Friday, 16 May 2014

My Top 5 Gemstones

I had a lovely surprise a couple of weeks ago, when I checked my emails during a break while taking pictures of some new jewellery. It was an email from Frances from the company JewelleryMaker. JewelleryMaker is a family owned company that specialises in jewellery making supplies, especially gemstones from all around the world. Frances had seen my blog and my wire wrapped rings on my website and she wanted to know whether I'd like to write a blog post and share my top 5 gemstones. I've never done a top 5 of anything on my blog, so I was happy to do so. Gemstones beads fascinate me, because each type of gemstone is unique, with their own qualities, colourings, properties and meanings.


Well here goes!

1. Labradorite

This is a stunning gemstone, it was first discovered  in 1770 in Labrador in Canada. It's usually a dark grey colour, with flecks of green and black, that show iridescent flashes of blue, blue-green and silver.
I like this gemstone a lot, to me it looks expensive and luxurious. I did buy some coin Labradorite beads and made a pair of earrings and a bracelet out of them.
Labradorite Bracelet

There is a vast selection of Labradorite beads on the JewelleryMaker website http://www.jewellerymaker.com/en-gb/search.aspx?parentcategory=gems-and-beads&gemstone=labradorite

2. Rose Quartz

I like pink. Rose Quartz is pale pink in colour and can range from very light to medium pink, in colour. Sometimes they can almost be transparent, but his is very rare. I've made a wire wrap ring with a Rose Quartz bead and brass wire.  

Rose Quartz Wire Wrapped Ring

Rose Quartz  is considered to be the gemstone of love, so they would be the perfect gemstone to choose, when making something special for a customer, for Valentine's Day. http://www.jewellerymaker.com/en-gb/product.aspx?c=pmkz36&d=80cts-pink-quartz-faceted-rounds-approx-6mm

3. Haematite

The word Haematite comes from the Greek word meaning blood. It's colour can range from steel grey to almost black. I like this bead, because it always looks super glossy, sleek and elegant. I think it also looks slightly masculine, so that's why I chose to use Haematite beads to make one of my gent's bracelets.

Haematite Bracelet

You can see here that you can get Haematite beads in other colours and finishes.  http://www.jewellerymaker.com/en-gb/search.aspx?parentcategory=gems-and-beads&gemstone=haematite

4. Unakite

Before I bought these Unakite beads, I wanted to know where Unakite came from and I found out that it was first discovered in the United States, in the Unakas mountains of North Carolina. It's a form of granite and it comes in various shades of salmon pink and green, all mottled and blending into each other. Unakite is a hard material, so it is resistant to abrasions, so I used some Unakite beads to make another one of my gent's bracelets. I think I like this gemstone because the two colours seem to clash with each other, but side by side, they work so well together. 
Unakite Bracelet

5. Rainbow Fluorite

Rainbow Fluorite beads are mostly translucent, with shades of purple, green, yellow and some with a hint of blue. You can even get more than one colour in as single stone, giving a rainbow like effect. I bought these rainbow fluorite chips last year in the hope of making them into a piece of jewellery for the summer, but I never got round to using them. I like the soft transulcent shading, I can imagine making them into a necklace, they would add just a hint of colour, against the skin. You can also get rainbow fluorite beads in other shapes such as tubes, barrels, rounds and cubes. As well as rainbow fluorite, there is also multi-coloured, green, blue, purple and yellow fluorite beads, for a closer look.  http://www.jewellerymaker.com/en-gb/search.aspx?parentcategory=gems-and-beads&gemstone=fluorite&page=1



Rainbow Fluorite

That's it for my top five gemstones, let me know what are your favourite gemstones are and what is it about them, that you like when working with them.

If you would like to see more of my handmade jewellery and accessories on my websites, head over to www.michelleshandcraftedjewellery.com

Bye

x

Monday, 28 April 2014

My love for Pinterest!

Out of all the social media platforms out there, I think Pinterest is my favourite. I joined it in 2012, after hearing about it and I can hold my hand up and say I can be found browsing on there for hours, it is so addictive, it just absorbs your time, you have to learn to ration it. A day does not go by without me visiting it and before you know it, 1 hour has gone by, shush... not good if you should be working.

Pinterest has been one of the fastest growing social media platforms ever, it's basically a online virtual pin board, where you can share your interests. This could be anything from recipes, to how to make you own make-up remover! It allows you to connect with others, so if someone likes something that you have pinned, they can re pin it onto one of their boards, repining your items can expose your business to a wider audience. I first started off pinning my own handmade jewellery and accessories, because I knew Pinterest was a great way to get your business or service seen by others, but I also knew you could still have fun with it.

So, after starting out with one board, I now have as of today, a total of 71 boards. One of my boards is called Amazing Pictures, it shows beautiful and spectacular pictures, from around the world. Another one is called 'You never can have too many shoes' which you can guess, is about my love of shoes. I've even dedicated one of my boards to my favourite show on TV, called Scandal. 

It has been very popular with other pinners, lots of the photos have been re pinned many times and it has a growing number of followers, http://www.pinterest.com/michelleshand/scandal/

Another well liked board, is a board that features everything related to weddings. I've seen some amazing wedding dresses, cakes and scenery for weddings on Pinterest and as I make handmade wedding jewellery and accessories, I thought it would be of interest to my followers, who have repined my bridal items, to create a board that might be of interest to them. So if your getting married, take a look at my 'Wedding' board, there are so many tips and ideas for you, if your not sure about what type of wedding you would like to have.   http://www.pinterest.com/michelleshand/weddings/ 



Last but not least, is my 'Cute' board, which is a personal favourite of mine. You'll see lots of cute and cuddly adorable animals, they will make you laugh and smile. Some of them are really funny to look at, so if your in need cheering up, take a look.  http://www.pinterest.com/michelleshand/cute/ 


If you would like to have a closer look at my boards, you can click on the link here  www.pinterest.com/michelleshand

If you've never tried Pinterest, give it a go, it's an excellent way to promote your business and also to just have fun, pinning stuff that you like and are interested in. Leave a comment and let me know what you like to pin, if you are on Pinterest.  

Bye for now!

x

Tuesday, 25 February 2014

About Time.....


I'm back!

I've not done a blog since the New Year, oops, sorry, I keep meaning to do one, but you know how it is....  Last  year, I made an effort to blog once a week, but then it become fortnightly and now monthly, not good, I'm going to give myself a kick up the bum and get back to doing it weekly, but don't hold me to it, my days and weeks can be unpredictable, so lets see what happens.



Last year I blogged about my love of making wire wrapped rings, here is the link if you would like to read it, http://michelleshandcraftedjewellery.blogspot.co.uk/2013/09/wrapped-up-and-loving-it.html
After posting this blog, I was supposed to make some new rings and list them on my website, but yes, I never got around to doing it.
The one thing I've noticed about when making jewellery, or in fact any type of crafting, you always want to try and make something different, something new, once you've finished your project. I'm thinking about trying my hand at polymer clay and resin, but maybe later on in the year.

Well, I finally added my wire wrapped rings to my website. Here are some of my new designs, which all be customised. I've got some more new designs in the pipeline, these will be online soon, I promise!
 
 
To see my new wire wrapped ring range, please click on the link here. http://www.michelleshandcraftedjewellery.com/michelleshandcraftedjewellery/cat_599585-Rings.html
 
Right I'm off to take some pictures and hopefully I'll be back next week with another blog.
 
Bye. x

Thursday, 2 January 2014

A new year, a new start, a new project!





Hope you all had a wonderful Christmas and a Happy New Year, I had a brilliant time, but cannot believe it's 2014, time does fly when your having fun. But I do look back to the past year and reflect what I did and how I did it and in what way I can improve and do better in my business and personal life.  

A new year always inspires me to set new goals and try new projects that I've been meaning to start,  but have had to put to the side, so that I can carry on with my existing projects, namely Christmas gifts. I've always made lists, every morning I write down what I'm doing that day and I try to follow it, but I'm not perfect, I do stray sometimes when comes to popping into my Twitter/Facebook or Pinterest accounts. But this year I'm going to find a balance, I love social media, but I love creating much more.

I've always been interested in wire work, I have an shop on Etsy, www.michelleshandcrafted.etsy.com and I just love browsing the other shops that have wire work jewellery pieces, the designs can be simple or intricate, but they are stunning and I'm eager to try my hand at making a piece of jewellery incorporating some sort of wire, so  I've bought  steel bench block and Nylon Jaw hammer. I've already got a chasing hammer and a ball pein hammer, both which were birthday gifts from my partner.


 
I cannot wait to start using them, I'll do another blog when I've made some items, I might start off with earrings and see how it goes. A think when your a crafter, you always want to try something new, I've got other things that I want to try, but there are just not enough hours in the day, but that will not put me off, I know I'll have lots of projects on the go. 
 
Right I'm off, let me know what new projects you are trying this year, love to know how you get on.
 
Bye
 
x
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Friday, 22 November 2013

Christmas Gift Guide

 
 
Christmas Gift Ideas
 
 
 

 
It's that time of year when you look at the calendar and think 'yikes', I need to start looking for gifts for everyone for Christmas. If your struggling with ideas, you can't go wrong in buying a handmade item this Christmas and in particular handmade jewellery and accessories
 
 I know how hard it can be deciding what gifts to choose, so I've rounded a selection of handmade jewellery and accessories that might be ideal Christmas gifts. 
 
 

 
 
 
 
Gifts for Her
 
 
Bracelets, Necklaces, Earrings, Wine Glass Charms
 



Accessories

 
 
 Bookmarks, Key Rings, Bag Charms, Kilt Pin Brooches
 
 
 
 
Gifts for Him
 
 
 One Shilling Coin Cufflinks, Unakite Gemstone Bracelet, Black and White Zebra Jasper Bracelet, Lucky Sixpence Coin Cufflinks.

 

 All the above and much more, are available to purchase from my website at www.michelleshandcraftedjewellery.com



Happy Christmas Shopping.  x