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February is Finished!

February Review / JesstheticsGolden hour in my living room

February Revview / JesstheticsMy beautiful old bike, which has been taking me to work every day this monthFebruary Review / JesstheticsPlanning my blog posts with my homemade calendar

When I set my February goals I said I would aim to take more lifestyle-type photos and I have! What do you think? I’m really pleased I have these images to remind me of a month that’s been full of fun, food and friends. Nothing big has happened this month, but I’m just in a really good place (both literally and metaphorically!) I’ve loved working, living in this house with James and spending my weekend catching up with my favourite people, wandering around York, grabbing some really delicious food and catching a movie. Not every day’s been perfect, but I’ve definitely made the most of this month in the way I intended to. And I watched two seasons of Buffy, so it’s been an all round success.

February Review / JesstheticsThe view from my kitchen windowFebruary Review / JesstheticsA lovely lunch at El Piano

February Review / JesstheticsChai tea and people watchingFebruary Review / JesstheticsEarly, frosty mornings

This month I’ve blogged about vegan food (here and here) and two paisley outfits (here and here.) I shared a pair of crochet socks I made for James (here) and my finished cushion for the autumn stitching club (here.) Most recently I interviewed one of my favourite bloggers, Ally from Now That’s Pretty (here.) It’s been a good month! How’s your February been?

p.s. You can enter my GIVEAWAY up until Middnight GMT tonight!

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Blogger Favourites: Now That’s Pretty

This is the second post in my “Blogger Favourites” Interview series and I’m so excited to be interviewing Ally from Now That’s Pretty this month! She is seriously one of my favourite craft bloggers. Her blog is filled with colour and whimsy and fun craft ideas and tutorials. I love that lots of her tutorials are focused on seasonal holidays – it’s a good excuse for a party any time of year.

An Interview with Now Thats PrettyWithout further ado, here’s the interview,

J: It’s so nice to come across other craft bloggers in their late teens / early twenties, sometimes it feels like there aren’t many of us! Craft blogging is time consuming though. You’ve got to take the photos, write the post and actually make the thing that you’re blogging about. I know you’re also a student and you have your own business. How do you manage your time?

A: It’s very tricky! I keep a lot of lists and stay aware of what relies on certain factors and then prioritise. I know my uni hours are set but in the afternoon my time management is pretty much up to me. I work on photographing projects straight after uni so I get good lighting and then will do the writing later when there isn’t as much urgency. Similarly work, reading and my business all have to slot in at different points. It is by no means easy and you can’t do everything every day but you can have work-heavy and blog-heavy days which will level out over the week.

An Interview with Now Thats Pretty

J: What’s your favourite thing you’ve ever made, or what are you most proud of?

A: Oh my goodness that is a hard question! I really love my cat bowler hat simply because it is pretty snazzy but also because it is the first project which drew any sort of attention to my blog. I love the fact that I made it as a really small-fry blogger and then overnight thousands of people suddenly knew about it. WOW!

An Interview with Now Thats Pretty

J: What inspired you to start blogging, and what inspired you to start making things?

A: I know I have always made things; my house is practically a museum of projects past. I decided to start blogging as a sort of portfolio. When you just make things, with no particular focus on any craft in particular, it can be quite hard to see where you fit into the whole ‘artist’ role and so having a craft blog seemed like the perfect solution. Another great thing about having a blog is you can use it as an excuse! Previously if I made a unicorn costume and someone asked “what is that for?” I would have nothing to say but now I can just blame it on the blog and sort of role my eyes as if to say “duties, huh!?”

An Interview with Now Thats Pretty

J: You have a very distinctive style which I love. It’s fun, colourful, and sometimes silly but not childlike! How would you describe your aesthetic? Who inspires you creatively?

A: I couldn’t have asked for a better description! I’ve always loved it when very illustrative and costumey elements are played out in really life; it makes for such an interesting scene! A lot of my clothes are very colourful or look like a cartoon character would wear them and I’ve never really understood why themeing of rooms is restricted to children’s bedrooms. I think my main interest aesthetically is how you can essentially design your life or set dress your environment to get a certain reaction from people; I mean people do this as a job for films and television all the time and so why not just do it for your own life? I can’t really pick out specific people who inspire me but I love looking at shop windows. They present these scenes that are like a snippet of a life or a scene but amplified and controlled; I think it’s great to look at a huge dressed window made entirely out of fresh flowers or featuring big hot air balloon models and think “I like that, how can that be in my own look?”.

An Interview with Now Thats Pretty

J: What’s your favourite aspect of blogging?

A: It’s really cheesy but I love the response you get. Sometimes just making things in a little workshop is isolating and you think “hmm, why am I actually doing this?” It’s really reassuring to have a stranger from across the world remind you that it really doesn’t matter why you’re doing it, all that matter is that it’s wonderful!

An Interview with Now Thats Pretty

J: I’ve been so impressed by your ukelele business. I’m not sure that I would have the ability to set up something like that. I know people ask this all the time when you’re in uni, but what are your plans for the future?

A: Thank you very much; I’m very proud of the Ukulele Workshop. It has grown so much this year! I think my main piece of advise with business is you just need to be outrageously cheeky. I made one ukulele and put it up for sale making it look like I had sold loads and was an absolute pro, I then got in touch with a supplier and told them I was seeking to find a NEW supplier and could they do me a better price, I then got in touch with retailers with a few different departmental email addresses so it looked like I was a much bigger company and so on and so on. There really is a lot to be said for the whole “fake it until you make it” hypothesis.

As far as my future, I would hope it’s quite exciting! This year I am hoping to grow the Ukulele Workshop as well as opening a new fashion store with my brother (I am both excited and terrified!). Eventually I am hoping to go into events planning or perhaps window dressing; I study Linguistic sciences at Uni but as useful as it is to be able to identify different types of Swahili I think my heart lies with glitter glue and sequins!

Thanks so much for agreeing to be interviewed Ally, I’ve loved hearing your thoughts and advice 🙂 Good luck with the Ukelele Workshop and your new fashion business, I can’t wait to read all about it!

Don’t forget my GIVEAWAY is open until the end of the month!

(All photo credit belongs to Ally)

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Autumn Stitching Club, The Finale!

Autumn Stitching Club / JesstheticsAutumn Stitching Club / JesstheticsAutumn Stitching Club / JesstheticsAutumn Stitching Club / Jessthetics

Do you remember I started Wild Olive’s Autumn Stitching Club back in September? Well I’ve finished! After stitching (and blogging about) thirteen autumn-themed patterns, I turned them into hexagons, made sixteen little hexagons from patterned fabric and sewed myself a cushion cover. A lot of work has gone into this little cushion, and I’m so pleased with it. It’s not exactly autumn right now, but I’m going to display it proudly on my armchair anyway. This was a really fun way to learn to embroider, and I’m so glad I took part. It always feel good to learn a new skill and have something to show for it.

Happy Monday! Don’t forget that you have until the end of the month to enter my giveaway 🙂

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What I Wore: Teddy Gilet

Teddy Gilet / JesstheticsTeddy Gilet / JesstheticsTeddy Gilet / JesstheticsTeddy Gilet / Jessthetics

Since starting my new job I don’t wear anything interesting Monday to Friday. I’ve given up wearing make-up to work, I have to be able to cycle in what I’m wearing (I’m not one of those crazy people who can cycle in heels!) I want to look smart-ish and if I’m honest, I don’t want to stand out in the office too much! This means that the weekend is my chance to experiment with my clothes. I bought this gilet from ASOS in the January sales and it is so boho and warm – two of my favourite properties in an item of clothing! My mum thinks it looks like a carpet but I think I look like a rock star. It’s perfect for lazy Sunday afternoons when I want to feel good and be comfy, and this is an outfit I’ve been wearing on repeat for months. I picked up this dress in the Salvation Army in Durham (one of my favourite charity shops!) and my shoes are a trusty ebay vintage find that I’ve been wearing for years.

Teddy Gilet / JesstheticsTeddy Gilet / JesstheticsTeddy Gilet / Jessthetics

Outfit Details: Teddy Gilet, ASOS / Necklace, Ebay / Dress, Charity Shop (Salvation Army, Durham) / Shoes, Ebay (Old)

I love this crystal necklace, it’s such a pretty colour and it’s so dainty! I’m working on increasing my pendant collection, I might even start layering them soon! You can win a version of this necklace, along with lots of other goodies, in my giveaway!

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Vegusto, A Review

Last month when I first became vegan I mostly ate fresh veg with bread, potatoes or rice, apart from snacks. This month I’ve been experimenting with vegan dairy and meat substitutes! Vegusto are a fairly new company well-known for their vegan cheese although they also do snacks, drinks, vitamins, pet foods and meat substitutes. I was so excited when they sent me a goodie bag full of food to review since I was on the hunt for a good vegan cheese!

Vegusto Review / Jessthetics12The first thing I tried was this Mushroom and Cheese burger. I fried it for a couple of minutes and ate it with tomatoes, extra cheese and chilli sauce! I was pleasantly surprised – it was thicker and firmer than I thought it would be and it was very mushroomy! To compare, it was similar to a Quorn beef burger (which are not vegan), but with more flavour!

Vegusto Review / JesstheticsVegusto Review / JesstheticsI fried the Farmhouse Style Sausage for a couple of minutes and ate it with mash, gravy and cauliflower cheese. Similar to the burger, the sausage had a firm meaty texture. It also had a strong smoky flavour which I wasn’t so keen on, but James loved it! It’s definitely the chunkiest Vegan Sausage I’ve come across.

Vegusto Review / JesstheticsVegusto Review / JesstheticsWe used the No Moo Melty Cheese to make an enormous vegan pizza! This is my favourite meal that I created using Vegusto products. I grated one half of the cheese under the veg and the other half on top. The cheese wasn’t as melty as I thought it would be, but that might be because we put it under the grill. This cheese has a very mild flavour and is the most similar to other vegan cheeses that I’ve tried –  it was lovely on the pizza and would be nice in lasagne and moussakka but it’s not similar enough to cheese for me to eat it by itself. Although, James said he would buy this again.

Vegusto Review / JesstheticsVegusto Review / JesstheticsThe two Vegusto hard cheeses are hands down the nicest vegan cheeses I’ve ever tried. I swear you wouldn’t know that it isn’t real cheese! This No-Muh Aromatic cheese tastes like a medium cheddar and I ate it with apple chutney on a panini. I would eat this cheese by itself straight from the fridge, or on crackers! It cut like real cheese and it was crumbly like cheddar too, with a tangy flavour.

Vegusto Review / JesstheticsVegusto Review / JesstheticsThe No-Muh Piquant was also lovely. This cheese is my favourite! I ate it on top of a panini and grilled veg, and it is most similar to a mild parmesan. It’s more crumbly and has a stronger flavour than the No-Muh Aromatic but I would also eat this cheese straight from the fridge.

Vegusto Review / JesstheticsVegusto Review / jesstheticsDid you know that most dark chocolate is vegan? Now you do! This coconut and raspberry dark chocolate is no exception, and I enjoyed this with a cup of tea and an episode of Buffy 🙂 The sweetness of the raspberry really cut through the bitterness of the chocolate and the coconut was a nice crunch, although the coconut flavour didn’t stand out.

Don’t forget that you could win all of these Vegusto goodies and more by entering my giveaway! Have you tried any vegan meat, cheese or chocolate products?

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My Favourite Things Giveaway [ENDED]

In October my blog turned one and I kind of forgot to celebrate. I also reached a couple of follower-milestones and I published my 100th post, which slipped by without me noticing. So, I feel like this blog is owed a good celebration! I want to say thank you to all my readers, old and new, and the friends that I’ve made along the way! I’ve put together a giveaway package of some of my favourite things to say thank you for reading – food, vintage clothes, jewellery and bath bombs – which I hope you’ll love as much as I do!

If you win the giveaway you will receive…

My Favourite Things Giveaway / Jessthetics£25 to spend in Absolute Vintage

My Favourite Things Giveaway / JesstheticsVeggie Stuff Vegan Sweets: Haribo Rainbow Strips and Haribo Rainbow Twists
Vegusto Hamper of vegan goodies containing No Moo Melty Cheese, Mushroom and Cheese Burger, Farmhouse Style Sausage, No Moo Piquant, No Moo Mild Aromatic, Organic Coconut and Rasberry Vegan Chocolate (contents may vary subject to availability)

My Favourite Things Giveaway / JesstheticsThis crystal pendant from Ebay

My Favourite Things Giveaway / JesstheticsLush goody bag contains Karma Bubble Bar, Avobath Bath Ballistic, Rose Jam Bubbleroon, Fizzbanger Bath Ballistic, Phoenix Bath Ballistic and Big Blue Bath Ballistic

To enter the giveaway you need to be following me on Bloglovin or on WordPress Reader and leave a comment on this blog post with a method of contacting you if you win! This giveaway is open until midnight on the 28th February. Because it contains food, this giveaway is only open to UK readers (sorry!) Good luck everyone 🙂

[Giveaway ends February 28th at 12:00 AM GMT. Open to Residents of the UK Mainland and UK Offshore Islands only.  Winner will be selected at random and be notified via the method provided. This giveaway is sponsored by Vegusto, Veggie Stuff and Absolute Vintage. The products offered for the giveaway are free of charge, no purchase necessary. My opinions are my own and were not influenced by any form of compensation. Bloglovin and WordPress are in no way associated with this giveaway. By providing your information in this form, you are providing your information to me and me alone. I do not share or sell information and will use any information only for the purpose of contacting the winner.]

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Crochet Socks

Crochet Socks / JesstheticsCrochet Socks / Jessthetics

For Christmas (how long ago was that?!) I promised James that I would crochet him a pair of socks, and I have! I thought socks would be a lot easier to crochet than they were. I crocheted along with this video which shows you how to make socks for a ladies size 7. James has big feet so I had to make a lot of adjustments, and some of them were more successful than others! As a result, the socks are slightly different sizes but I’ve been told they’re comfy and that’s what matters 🙂 The thick wool I used made for gorgeously chunky socks, perfect for lounging around the house and keeping your toes warm.

Crochet Socks / JesstheticsCrochet socks / JesstheticsCrochet socks / Jessthetics

If anyone uses this video to make socks, drop me an email and I can tell you where I made adjustments. It was definitely helpful to have James around so he could try the socks on as I was crocheting. Hopefully now he’ll stop stealing mine!  I’ve been browsing pinterest for patterns, and I’m tempted to crochet a whole wardrobe!
p.s. Jessthetics now has a facebook page! I’d appreciate it if you could pop over and give it a like 🙂

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What I Wore: Arizona Bells

One of my favourite things about being employed is pay-day shopping! This month I bought myself some Bell Bottoms from Ette. I’ve been looking for affordable, high-waisted and funky bells for while and these are perfect. Look at that paisley pattern… paisley is my favourite! They’re just long enough for me and the elasticized waist means that they fit me perfectly. The material they’re made out of feels like pyjamas, and there’s nothing better than feeling like you’re in your jammies all day!

Arizona Bells / JesstheticsArizona Bells / JesstheticsArizona Bells / JesstheticsWaiste Necklace / Jessthetics

I wore my Bells this weekend with my Zara roll neck and my new favourite ASOS platforms for walks along the river, shopping in York and an afternoon of crocheting as well as these windy outfit photos! I think this might be my most 70s outfit to date, and that’s saying something! I’m also still in love with this Waiste necklace. It goes with everything.

Arizona Bells / JesstheticsArizona Bells / JesstheticsArizona Bells / Jessthetics

Outfit Details: Bell Bottoms, Ette (similar) / Silver Platforms, ASOS / Roll neck, Zara / Cardigan, Vintage / Necklace, Waiste

I’m looking forward to introducing more Bell Bottoms into my wardrobe! I hope you’re having a fantastic Thursday 🙂

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Veganuary – Five Favourites

I’ve been thinking about becoming vegan for a long time. I would be happy to eat eggs and drink milk from animals which I knew were happy and well looked after but the majority of the time that’s not the case or there’s no way of knowing, and since I’m a vegetarian for ethical reasons, becoming vegan makes sense. Plus, it’s good for the planet! I’d been putting it off because it sounded unpleasant (no cheese?!) and also difficult. I thought it would be hard or expensive to buy food at the supermarket and in restaurants. Me and James started veganuary when we moved back to York because it’s a good way to try out veganism without the commitment. I decided I would still eat my Christmas chocolate, and for now we both eat vegetarian meals in restaurants if there’s no vegan option. I believe it’s better to make changes like this gradually!

I’ve actually had a lot of fun cooking vegan food, and I’ve never felt hungry or restricted. In fact, we’ve been trying so many things, I’ve rarely eaten the same thing twice! I thought it would be fun to share with you my five favourite meals from January, and an overview of what we’ve been eating.

1. Sunday Roast! We ate nut roast, roast potatoes, mustard parsnips, broccoli, veggie sausages and lots of gravy.

veganuary 1

2. Peppered Tofu Steak. We baked and then grilled the tofu and ate it with sweet chilli sauce, grilled peppers, burger buns and a green salad.

veganuary 5

3. Quesadillas (recipe from Oh Dear Drea). We ate these with some avocado and vinegar.

veganuary 2

4. Burritos with veggie chilli. We spread vegan cream cheese on the tortillas and it was so tasty!

veganuary 4

5. Quinoa burgers (recipe from Delciously Ella). We ate these with home-made french fries, mushy peas and fried mushrooms (not a healthy combination but a tasty one…)

veganuary 3

For breakfast, we’ve been enjoying alpro yoghurt, fruit, maple syrup, and granola with vegan pancakes and cinnamon bagels on the weekend. For lunch I’ve been eating a lot of bagels with hummus, vegan cream cheese, tomato and basil or guacamole and James has been eating salads with pasta, rice or cous cous. For dinner, as well as my favourites we’ve been eating lots of curry and noodles, soup, pie, risotto, tapas, tacos and grilled vegetables.

I hope you’ve enjoyed this post! I’m definitely going to be vegan into February and beyond! If you’re still feeling nosy about what vegans eat my blogger buddy Laila wrote a brilliant post about food (here).

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February Goals

february goals

This month has come too quickly. I don’t feel ready for January to be over! This month will be the last of my short internship in York, which is sad. It has been so nice living in York again, and living with James especially. Most likely, I will move back in with my parents in March. I love my childhood home and being close to my family (and my beautiful bunny) but James and the rest of my friends are so far away from Leicestershire! That leads me to my first February goal…

1. I want to make the most of this month! It’s a gloomy time of year but I’m determined to go on a day trip, do a lot of vegan baking, take a lot of baths and sew myself a couple of skirts as well as hang out with the lovely people around me whilst I’m in York.

2. My second goal is to have a go at lifestyle photography. I enjoy taking photos for the blog and taking photos on holiday but I don’t have any photographs of everyday life. It’s just not something I ever think to photograph, and it’s harder than taking photos of the things I make! It would be lovely to end this month with a handful of personal images to go into that album I’ve been meaning to make…

I’ve been a little unsure about my “monthly goals” blog posts of late. I love reading other people’s and recapping on what I’ve done each month makes me more productive. As Socrates would say, the unexamined life isn’t worth living! However, not all of my goals fit within a monthly time-scale or are completely under my control (“get a good job” and “get into a masters course” have been monthly goals for a while now…) and I don’t want to set myself up for failure or start creating goals just for the sake of it. That said, I think my current goals are positive and achievable and I’m excited to get stuck into February! I have been busy organising my first blog giveaway, and I think you’re going to love it!

Have you got any February goals?