Illustrated Teacup

Family and lifestyle blog from a tattooed wife, exploring the big wide world

Thursday, 30 July 2015

TATTOOS: Swan Tattoo by Georgina Jurd

A few months back I had the top part of my arm started to move forward with the completion of my second sleeve. Well a couple of days ago, we finished the colour stage of my outer arm with the fantastic and amazingly talented Georgina Jurd of Intense Colours, Bitterne, Southampton.

As always with my tattooists we had a lovely chat, and as a fellow cat lover we inevitably discussed our cats antics. We also discussed the recent Southampton Tattoo Festival, which she worked and I attended (thoughts: very good, very hot on Saturday, very busy Sunday!). We also had another girl being tattooed in the studio at the same time, by Gary Chase. I'm not going to lie, I didn't envy her at all - a beautiful mandala on the front of her shoulder. The detail was insane, but looked really painful due to it's placement.


Monday, 27 July 2015

LIFESTYLE: 25 date ideas under £25

After seven and a half years with Dann we both know the trials and tribulations of a long term partnership. It's not all whirlwind romance, flowers and meals out, because let's be honest, it's hard work and expensive. Not that a long term relationship isn't hard work, you're trying to sustain the togetherness, without murdering, which can be especially tricky if they've left their socks BY the washing basket, rather than IN it for the 600th time!

But it is nice to have some special time together. With work, social commitments, pets, family, housework, budgeting and all those other 'adult' and 'grown up' things you have to do on a daily basis, it can be hard to fit in some one on one time, and make it more exciting and interesting than binge watching OITNB or SOA on Netflix (though that is good too occasionally).

So I thought I'd share 25 date ideas for your and your partner - be it a first date, one of many, or one of far too many - and they all cost less than £25, so your bank balance won't hate you. In fact some of them cost nothing at all.


Friday, 24 July 2015

FASHION: Summer wedding guest outfits

Wedding is in full swing and I do love a good wedding.
I'm not exactly traditional for my clothing choices, though I do have a set combination for myself on what I like, especially for events.
I thought with wedding season and summery events well under way I'd share three looks that I like, perfect for any type of wedding attendance - or even just a summer party.

Illustrated Teacup Summer Wedding Guest Outfits

This wedding guest outfit is for the more casual summer wedding.
As you can probably tell I really love orange, although I don't own much in that colour.
I love the mix of brights, all toned down with the black accessories, and an orange blazer to keep warm in the cooler evenings.

Dress - Boohoo
Blazer - New Look
Heels - Topshop
Clutch bag - New Look
Necklace - Topshop


Wednesday, 22 July 2015

LIFESTYLE: A family wedding

Summer Family Garden Wedding

I'm a big lover of love, happiness and marriage. And of course this is all started from a wedding. And I loves me a wedding. If you want me to cry during a film, pick one with a wedding, it is pretty much guaranteed (note, I don't often cry at real weddings - I cried at my mums wedding in 2009, that's it... I didn't even cry at my wedding... well maybe one tear... but Dann more than made up for it with his tears! He's such a cutie!).
Anyway, last weekend we attended the last Bradford wedding for this generation as Dann's brother got married. As the older brother, Dann played Usher/Groomsman, and looked dashing as usual in his tails from Moss Bros.
*warning, this post is photo heavy as I just loved so many of the images!!*


Monday, 20 July 2015

LIFESTYLE: DIY wedding memory box

Illustrated Teacup Wedding Memory Box DIY

I don't often do DIY in the crafty sense of the word, but I'm getting into it a lot more now, especially since moving home where we've done a lot of DIY in a short space of time.
As it is now very much wedding season and we attended a family wedding recently, I thought I would share a little keepsake that I think every bride will love creating, and the newly weds will love having in their home.
After two years of marriage I finally got road to making ours, after my friend and newbie blogger Natasha shared the link to this box frame from The Range, which she used for this baby memory box for her little boy Oscar. The frame even comes with a set of pearl effect pins to help you create your keepsake.

This wedding memory box is the perfect way to display so on the pretty tiny pieces from your wedding. You spent hours/days/weeks/months working on your big day, getting those tiny details perfect, so it is nice to memorialise them.


Sunday, 19 July 2015

LIFESTYLE: Essential tips for a married girl

Tips for a married girl

I've been married for just over two years now and it has been a great two years.
There's just something about the commitment that just gives you that extra support, and intense feeling of love.
I never thought I would change that much from being a 'single girl' to a married girl, but there are some major differences, even going for co-habiting to married.
I'm by no means an expert in relationship but I will share some of my little tips to keep the magic alive and keep your marbles. Also this does more relate to heterosexual married couples - although yay for gay marriage finally being accepted more around the world! - because I obviously can relate, and some of these may not apply, for instance the Netflix part!


Wednesday, 15 July 2015

LIFESTYLE: An indoor BBQ with friends

This summer we are trying to make a proper effort to make time for our friends and family and fill our weekends with love, laughter and fun things.
This weekend we hosted a little BBQ for some friends who we have known for a few years, but due to new babies and new homes. haven't had much of a chance to properly get together.

Although the sun decided  not to show his face - damn you British weather - we still proceeded with burgers and sausages on the BBQ - the rain holding off long enough to char-grill everything. Having a large home came in very handy, and as the weather stayed mild we were able to utilise the larger conservatory space.

We had such a lovely afternoon filled with laughter and smiles from the kiddies, and chatting amongst the adults.

Indoor BBQ with friends
Indoor BBQ with friends

^^Beautiful sunflowers from the lovely Natasha - and that vase she specifically picked to match our kitchen - she is just too thoughtful^^

Monday, 13 July 2015

BLOGGING: The love/hate tag

Another little blogging tag for you this week.
The lovely Tarnya at Sweet Allure tagged me in the love/hate tag

I want my blog to be a happy place so I'm going to use the hate section as a pet peeves/lighthearted mostly.

The rules

The tagged blogger must share 20 things about them - 10 things they love and 10 things they hate.
Then nominate 10 bloggers to take part! Simple!


Sunday, 12 July 2015

FOOD: Homemade no-bake chocolate biscuit cake

Illustrated Teacup Chocolate Biscuit Cake

Recently, I've been making the most of my kitchen and trying my hand at the typically house wifey antics, whilst Dann plays with tools and builds things. A couple of weeks ago I decided to treat him to my mum's infamous Chocolate Biscuit Cake as he was working so hard on our garden. (note here that when he realised he was getting a treat, he worked extra hard!)

Anyway, to cut a long story short, he loved it. We also took a few slices to a friends house, and they loved it too. And I took some into work for my boss's birthday and they loved it as well. 

So, I've decided to share my recipe, so you can love it too. 
The recipe is pretty much based on one from Ocado, but I finish mine slightly differently.


Thursday, 9 July 2015

LIFESTYLE: Sunday at Southampton Tattoo Festival

Illustrated Teacup - Southampton Tattoo Festival 2015

I had a big of a hard time categorising this as it combines my love for tattoos with general life.
On Sunday myself and Dann enjoyed a day doing one of our favourite things together... attending a tattoo convention.  This was our second for 2015, in our home city of Southampton.
Southampton Tattoo Festival, in its first year, was held at the Ageas Bowl, the famous cricket ground. 

We are quite familiar with the venue having attended numerous events there, and Dann working there for a short time too. It's a big venue, but Southampton Tattoo Festival had no problems filling the place and giving it a great atmosphere.
The event was attended by some amazing local tattooists, including one of my favourites Georgina Jurd of Intense Colours Tattoo, Bitterne and all the boys from Custom Propaganda, Botley. On top of this, there were some brilliant and diverse traders, including a whole range of vintage stalls and unique home decoration sellers. For entertainment was a mix of bands and performances, as well as a vintage car and motorbike showcase and a miniature funfair.


Wednesday, 8 July 2015

LIFESTYLE: The amateurs guide to refitting a kitchen

Illustrated Teacup Kitchen Refit

As you all probably know we recently bought our first home. If not, you can ready a little about our experience here.
As part of our purchase we decided to completely refit our kitchen. The house is a bit of a project. It was quite dated, and honestly the style and colours where not to our taste at all.
Within three weeks of moving in we started ripping out our old kitchen - as you can see it wasn't the prettiest of kitchens on our first day! And we really dislike yellow now!


Monday, 6 July 2015

BLOGGING: Eight photos of happiness

A couple of weeks ago I was tagged in the 'Eight photos of happiness' posts by the lovely Tarnya from Sweet Allure - thanking you kindly!

I'm taking this opportunity to share some of my favourite people and photos from my whole life so this is going to be a fun and nostalgic post! And you get some added insight into my life - lucky you! 

Anyway, the rules!

Thank your nominator...see above! 

Post eight photos that make you happy  - the photos can represent a moment, object, place or feelings

Write a caption/description about each photo

Tag up to 10 other bloggers to share the happiness

So now for my photos!

This is 100% my favourite photo ever! It's the first photo we saw from our official wedding photos that our photographer sent to us whilst we were in Venice (our last stop on our trip round Italy). I can remember downloading the image and literally squealing with happiness at how beautiful the photo was! I couldn't have been more happy with them, but this one really sticks out to me.


Sunday, 5 July 2015

LIFESTYLE: June in Review

Rachel Anne Bee and Dann

Another month is done and we're already over half way through 2015. It's been a busy month filled with new things and progress. Some sad and some happy.

This post has been edited since it's original publish date. Someone I was once very fond of was upset and hurt by a comment here so I have decided to remove it. No names were mentioned but I believe that to be a better person I need to consider more the feelings of others, and take the high ground, so have edited this post to reflect that. 
I do not want to cause offence or drama in the blogging world, or in fact for my own life. 
So my advice to you - which I have learnt a lot this year - and to quote Cinderella 'have courage and be kind' - stand up for what you believe in, but be kind always and fair too. 

Anyway on to more positive things. 

Well my first week of June was spent in sunny Turkey having a relaxing and chilled week away. You can read all about my trip in this post, but a brief note here, just to say please do give Turkey a try if you've never been. It is a beautiful country, with really lovely people who are truly suffering from the lack of tourism. And it was genuinely felt like one of the safest places I've visited.


Thursday, 2 July 2015

TATTOOS: Interview with Mel from Raise the Waves

Raise the Waves tattoosIt's a new weekend and a new interviewee - this time I'm speaking to the lovely Mel from Raise the Waves....

What was your first tattoo, and how old were you? 
My first tattoo was “Love Will Tear Us Apart” on the inside of my right wrist. I got it when I was 18.

How many do you have now, and what are they? 
I currently have 3 at the moment. There’s the Banksy balloon girl on my left arm (which I now share with Justin Bieber so that totally makes me cool…), a ship in a bottle on the inside of my left forearm and the aforementioned Love Will Tear Us Apart. I basically have the most generic tattoos ever!

Who is your favourite tattooist? 
Nick at Old Town Tattoo in Edinburgh is probably my favourite. My brother stumbled upon him a few years ago and I have loved his work ever since. The ship in the bottle on my arm was actually tattooed by Nick and he did it as close as possible to the actual ship in a bottle my Grandad made.

Do you have any tattoos planned for the future? If so, what? 
I’m planning on getting Monopoly pieces for my Granny (an idea stolen from my brother but he stole my ship in a bottle idea, fair’s fair) and 2 rings for my Gran and Grandad. I’m still working on the placement and how I’d like everything to look so these tattoos won’t be coming any time soon.

Do you have any 'no-go' zones? 
I wouldn’t get my face, neck or hands tattooed. I love the look of neck and hand tattoos but I work in the corporate world so they’re just a major no go unfortunately.

What is your favourite thing about tattoos and tattoo culture? 
Generic answer time! I love the freedom tattoos give to express yourself. Sure your clothes and hair and whatever else hold elements of your personality too but tattoos are so much more personal and meaningful.

What do you think of the increase in tattoos as a 'fashion statement'? 
It does irritate me a little to see people using such a beautiful art form as a fashion statement but I’m hoping this is just a trend and will die out soon. I just hope anyone who gets a tattoo for the sheer hell of it is remembering that it’s permanent choice.


Wednesday, 1 July 2015

LIFESTYLE: Why our cats are indoor cats

Meet my two boys - Archimedes and Dante.

They are like my cute furry little babies that cause havoc around my home.
Archimedes is three and Dante is one. They are not related. They are both boys. They are both indoor cats.
I know this can be a real bone of contention for some people, especially animal lovers who believe that all animals should be allowed to live and play outdoors where they originated; and to a certain extent I do agree.
I'm an animal lover, because let's face, it they tend to be better than humans. Yes I eat meat, I do however beat myself up about it on a monthly basis, but I also believe that humans weren't meant to be herbivores, or we wouldn't have developed teeth with the ability to chew meat, such is the circle of life.
I believe that captivity to a certain extent is required to keep some species alive, because unfortunately there are some wicked people in the world who will kill a species to extinction because of an unfounded belief in the properties of their organs - i.e. rhinos. Rhinos are still being hunted for their horns, yet the mineral properties and composition of their horns is the same as a human finger nail. So really the poachers should be donating their own finger nails for Chinese medicine.

Anyway, I do also believe that sometimes it is better for animals to live indoors rather than outside, which is why our cats are indoor cats. They have both always been indoor cats. Archimedes is quite happy about this fact as he is quite a cautious fellow and is mostly afraid of his own shadow. Dante is slightly more adventurous, but is also very daft, even within our home.

Blogger Template Created by pipdig