Kill for a Seat – Comedy at Dylan’s Criccieth

I bet you’ve never seen a stand up comedy show with a castle and a sunset in the background before… Dylan’s got the recipe right when it comes to views, windows – and a fantastic events schedule.

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We were greeted by a beautiful sky on a calm but chilly friday evening

In my 25 years of living in Pen Llŷn, I’ve been to several comedy shows. I’ve had to travel to places like London and Manchester for it, but I’ve seen quite a few! I’ve even been to comedy clubs in Amsterdam and California too, so you can call me a fan for sure. But I’d never think this wonderful art form on stage would come so close to my home.

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When I saw on Dylan’s schedule of events that there was a comedy night coming up, I booked a slot for myself and my friends as soon as possible. There were no details at the time of what it was or who was performing, but I adore comedy, especially stand up, so I thought I’d give it a go. I naiively thought that it was just some sort of local act trying out their skills on a familiar and friendly audience, I had no idea that Dylan’s had gone all out in securing some brilliant comedians from all over the country. For £9 a ticket, we got so much for our money!

 

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We arrived at 8:30 for the 9pm start having just caught a quick dinner at Mei’s Fusion (see my previous blog post – I wasn’t lying when I said I’d be back!) We were greeted by the most beautiful sunset sky over the castle – Dylan’s views of Criccieth never fail to impress. As it happens the posters on the door into Dylans were the first time I had seen the title of the show – ‘Kill for a Seat’ – which turns out to be a fantastic travelling comedy club setup etstablished in 1994 and organized by the one and only Silky, also the words ‘SOLD OUT’ – made us feel especially excited.

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The eldeflower ‘mocktail’ is brilliant with a cheeky shot of gin added in…

We grabbed some cocktails from the bar and found our seats. The room was packed with a jovial atmosphere, I got the impression a lot of people had just had a lovely meal next door in the dining area of Dylans and were happy, full, and possibly a couple of drinks in- the comedians couldn’t have asked for a better atmosphere and audience. I was delighted to discover that there were four acts in store for us, and the show began with the beautiful sky outside still glowing pink providing an amazing backdrop. Tiernan Douieb, our first act and compere, commented on the view observing that it was very rare that he was upstaged by a sunset. Tiernan brought the energy from the very start, chatting to and bouncing off members of the crowd and cosying up the room by getting us all acquainted. Tiernan was getting some wonderful energy from the crowd (although some more than others!) from the outset so when it came to introduce the next act, the crowd gave them a warm (and loud!) welcome. Jonathan Williams is as close to home grown talent as I think we may ever experience. Hailing from Felinheli (near Bangor) this ‘local’ boy was very familiar with the area and this worked to his advantage as he entertained us with some observations and quips about the local area and it’s people.

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Tiernan opening the show

We had a short interval in which table service was provided by the lovely waiting on staff, and a large wooden slab full of slices of Dylan’s well known and delicious pizzas was handed around to the crowd. Even though I was full from my meal earlier I still managed to enjoy a slice!

Our next act was Kevin Caswell-Jones. Kevin hails from Wrexham though you wouldn’t have known it from his slightly soft-spoken but distinctly posh accent. We soon learned that Kevin is a nurse by day and a comedian by night, (or perhaps the other way round knowing how NHS shift patterns vary!) Kevin had an air of experience about him, like he was completely comfortable on stage (how true that is from Kevin’s perspective I have no idea) and kept the crowd laughing throughout his routine.

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Table service meant we could order a naughty dessert… This one’s the ‘trio of desserts’: Pannacotta, Messy Mon, and Tiramasu… there’s always room for dessert!

One more interval to keep us well hydrated and it was time for our headline act. Silky kept up the momentum with skill moving fluidly back and forth from the sophisticated to the silly, at one point had the whole crowd in stitches acting out the many uses of a £30 guitar stand. (You have to see it to understand the hilarity – but trust me- it worked!) Between bantering with the now very tipsy crowd and joking about his own life he had us laughing from start to finish. Silky rounded off the evening in style by singing (and might I add – playing his beautiful guitar extremely skillfully) a couple of his funny songs. The first was a soulful but catchy lament dedicated to police community support officers, and the last was an upbeat song that described life from the point of view of a dog with playful accuracy, ending with a hilariously abrupt punch line that brought the rolling energy of the show to a raucous pinnacle.

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Silky entertaining the crowd

The whole room was enjoying themselves from start to finish, I know myself and my three friends enjoyed the show thoroughly, we’re looking forward to the next!

Dylan’s do have more comedy nights planned, I will be watching their facebook page like a hawk, from the wonderful success of this night I’m sure tickets will sell fast the next time round.

If you’d like email updates when ‘Kill for a Seat’ might be returning to the area, you can sign up for the mailing list here!

You can also find Dylan’s schedule of events here.

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Mei’s Criccieth: I’m In Asian Fusion Heaven

After an impulsive Saturday evening trip to Mei’s Fusion Food in Criccieth, I was inspired to write my first of (hopefully) many local restaurant and eatery reviews.

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Impromptu nights out are the best kind of nights out, but when myself and four friends decided we were hungry at 7 o clock on a Saturday evening, we thought we’d have no chance of landing a table at a nice place to eat. I had heard wonderful things about the brand new Asian fusion restaurant on Criccieth High Street, so we tried our luck, and we were very lucky to get a table straight away. After our experience, I would definitely recommend booking to anyone hoping to eat here, between the lovely service and wonderful food i’m sure the growing popularity of this eatery will mean booking is essential in future!

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Jasmine tea served in a sweet little pot, and fresh flowers on the table

When an Asian restaurant pops up in this area, it’s easy to think its ‘just another Chinese’, but you would be sorely mistaken to think Mei’s was average in any way. We were greeted by friendly staff, a warm atmosphere despite there only being a few tables in so far (it quickly filled up) and gorgeously tasteful Asian decor mixed with framed local artwork. Fresh flowers adorned every table and even the imacculate bathroom smelled sweet with a fresh bunch. We were served drinks swiftly by welsh speaking staff (always a pleasant thing to encounter) and took our time to peruse the menu. And boy did we need time to look it over! I was blown away by the choices, and I hadnt even made it past the ‘snacks and appetisers’ section.

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I was a big fan of the pretty tableware too

Now is the point where I should admit it – I am a vegetarian – a contreversial topic, as I know very well myself, and people puzzle as to why I am so addicted to eating in restaurants when I am often shunned to my one choice of veggie lasagne and/or goat cheese tartlet (both of those things I loathe FYI) – well places like this bring me joy beyond compare; not only was I spoilt for choice  – a rarity – but there were choices galore for vegan and gluten free diets too. I had died and gone to heaven. I can honestly say that I have only come across the word ‘vegan’ on a menu in a Pen Llŷn restaurant once before, (and I’ve been to a few!) and that shocked me!
Small note: if you know of any other restaurants I have missed with vegan friendly options, let me know! I would love to compile a list in future 🙂

I apologise for my obsession with finding good veggie food, but I’m passionate about the subject so I’m going to go off tangent a bit! But before you start to think that this is some hippy veggie restaurant, I’d like to say that the meat and seafood choices are top notch too, the most interesting meat dish that caught my eye (and I know a few meat eaters who would be very excited about this) was the Tau Eu Bak – Braised pork belly slow cooked in a clay pot with cinnamon, star anise, rice wine, Chinese mushrooms & soy sauce. – sounds seriously impressive!

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My favorite- Crispy Seaweed! Note the gorgeous plates and fresh pomegranate salad on the side

We decided to order a few things to share and make a bit of a feast of it, and since there was so many lovely things on offer we couldn’t choose just one each! Special mention goes to the BBQ ribs (good reviews from my peers around the table) and the best crispy seaweed I’ve ever had – yum yum!

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Another one of our starters – Kampung Fried Bean Curd – similar to tofu, and very yummy

After being advised by the waitress on the heat levels of some dishes (I’m a medium-hot kind of girl) I went for the Singapore Fried Vermicelli (without the meat)- it’s an old fallback favorite of mine so I wanted to see how it compared: You know it’s a good Singapore vermicelli when they are generous with the egg, and this was no exception to the rule. Around the table my friends were also very impressed with their meals, there was not a single complaint to be had and we ate until we were full to bursting… but there is always room for dessert!

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A generous helping too!

For dessert I tried the Deep Fried Buns, which I believe were filled with lotus paste. It reminded me of a pastry I tried once when I decided to wonder in to a bakery in Chinatown in London and everything was labelled in Chinese, I had no idea what I was eating then but I was as pleasantly surprised as I was with my fried buns at Mei’s. The outside of the bun was similar to a plain doughnut in taste and texture and the inside was quite a unique but pleasant taste. It was a lovely finish to a great meal.

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Time to learn some new words! useful phrases on the back of the menu

So to the staff of Mei’s Fusion Food in Criccieth, we say Terima Kasih! Jumpa lagi! Thank you so much and we will be finding you again 😉

 

Mei’s Fusion Foods also do takeaway food and you can browse their menu here

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Behind the Cover Shoot

When we decided to launch a magazine, one of the first things we thought about, apart from our masthead and logo, was what was going to be on our first ever cover!?!?

Our first impression, our introduction to the world… the pressure was on!

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The end result!

 

When I was designing the masthead and logo for ‘We Love Llŷn’, I needed a dummy cover (or five) so I could mock up a faux magazine to make sure it all worked well on a real life (pretend) magazine! Out of the stock photos I chose (and oh – there were many!) There was one picture that caught my eye and sparked my imagnation…

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My fakey magazine cover

…A bike leant up against a tree looking like it’s owner had just been shopping for a fabulous picnic. The wheels started turning in my imagination at once – a lovely looking bike against a local backdrop could look gorgeous for a spring cover.

My mood board on Pinterest

I set to work putting together some inspirational images of vintage bikes with various different things in their baskets. But where was I going to find a lovely looking bike like the ones on Pinterest? I could hardly use my old rusty mountain bike, it had seen better days

……..or could I??

 

Living by the sea may be a prefered retirement plan for humans but for bikes it means salt and salt means corrosion and rust! It still functioned but it had definitely seen better days.

After googling various ‘how to’s’ on the best ways to respray a bike, I had formulated a plan. There was no getting round the fact that the bike needed to be taken apart to be painted, this was a job where even the most creative masking taping would not do. I could have attempted to take it apart myself (I’m known in my household as the queen of Ikea flat pack furniture assembly) but there was no way I could get the bike back together again to resemble a bike, let alone be ride-able once again. (after all, it needed at least a screwdriver, possibly a spanner, and all Ikea furniture needs is an allen key – and determination!)

It became apparent I needed a proffesional. Gary at Llŷn Cycle Centre in Pwllheli was delighted to offer me all the advice I needed, and being the expert on all things bicycles he of course was the best person to take my bike apart for me.

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Time to get my hand’s dirty. Or not, because I have marigolds…

Once I had the pieces of my bike back (rather sad seeing my beloved bike fit into a large carrier bag…) I set to work. I’m going to go into a bit of detail in case anybody at home wants to try re-painting their own bikes! Feel free to skip the next (colour coded blue) part if you dont want to hear me go on about my new-found bike painting skills.. 😉

How I did it:

The main frame of the bike was covered in stickers it had come with when I bought it, and after breaking a few fingernails trying to pick them off I discovered that it was way easier with a hairdryer to soften the glue.

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Wish I had thought of this earlier…..

After that is was important to sand down the whole of the existing paintwork I was going to re-cover. For this I used wet and dry sandpaper, so as not to give it too rough a finish. For the plastic elements I wanted to paint there was no need to sand.

After sanding I gave the whole frame a good scrub and clean, there needed to be no dirt or grease in sight in order for the paint to stick. I also washed the plastic parts I wanted to paint well.

I used masking tape to cover parts that didn’t need painting, such as the moving parts where the pedals go and parts that had threading for screws.

Then it was time to start the painting! I took the parts to my dad’s shed which is well ventilated, but if you are trying this at home, always remember to use a face mask when spray painting anything, even if you are outside. The plastic parts needed a plastic primer on them, to stop any topcoats from cracking when they dried, so on that went.

The equipment! ^

I applied the base primer to the metal frame in short bursts, always moving the can and shaking it periodically, making sure I held the can at a good distance, not too close to the surface. I waited for the first side to dry for a few hours then went back to turn the frame over and do the other side. I let the first coat of primer dry for 24hrs and went back the next evening to apply another. By this time the plastic primer had set so I applied a coat of regular primer to those as well. I made sure the bike frame was covered evenly, easy to do when the original coat was blue and the primer was white.

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Primed!

The next evening meant colour time! I used kobra spray paint in ‘green’ for the metal frame (it is more like a turquoisey colour) and white for the plastic parts. Again I used a nice steady motion and kept the can a good distance away from the bike frame. Its important not to get impatient and move the spray can closer to get more coverage quicker, as this will cause the paint to drip and you wont get a lovely even finish. Again I waited for the first side to dry for an hour or two before turning the frame over to do the other side. I made sure I moved around the frame to get at it from every angle, so I got a good coverage. I repeated the spray painting procedure for another coat the next evening, then waited another day to apply the topcoat.

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Last coat!

The topcoat wasn’t too glossy which I was very pleased with, I wanted a matte finish- but it was important to get a topcoat on there to protect the bike from the elements.

If I inspire you to re-vamp your old bike, do let me know!

Once dry the bike went back to Gary at Llŷn Cycle Centre, he very promptly and skillfully re-assembled it and then it was time to whisk it away for it’s close up.

 

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On it’s way back to Llyn Cycle Centre!

 

Ebay was my best friend for the bike’s new accessories. The new seat, handles and basket in total costing me under £20. Bargain!

The finished bike

The Photoshoot

I wanted to think carefully about the contents of the bike’s basket. This is a local magazine so I wanted the produce I purchased for the basket to support the idea of buying local. I went to Lili Wen Florists in Porthmadog where they helped me assemble a perfect bunch of spring flowers. While I was there I popped next door to the greengrocers to buy some fruit, I bought a French baguette from a  little local supermarket and a bottle of ‘Celteg’ Welsh sparkling wine from Gwin Llŷn Wines in Pwllheli.

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We watched the weather forecast carefully, selecting provisionally a day midweek that looked like there was going to be a break in the rain we had been having, and that our lovely photographer Phil Pownall was available. The day before the forecast remained sunny so we gave Phil the go ahead and the photoshoot was all systems go!

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We decided not to include the bollard

All went relatively well on the day, apart from waiting for some clouds to move into their *ideal* positioning, and a bit of wind constantly trying to topple the bike over. (the one thing I forgot to buy for it – a new kickstand!) Unfortunately, the wind was eventually victorious and we worked out by looking at the photos that we probably got our winning cover shot moments before the wind sent the bike toppling over and the bottle of fizz smashing to the floor! 😦 There goes our post-photoshoot reward…

Phil sent me the final photographs and after a touch of computer magic we have what you see before you – the finished magazine. We put a lot of work into the whole thing, so we hope you enjoy reading it.

 

Oh, and what have I learned from this experience? Always bring spare bubbly. 😉

Print

-Lauren x

 

Yummy and Boozy Adult Party Favours (Part 2 : Creme Caramel Liquour)

Creme Caramel Liqueur: Recipe!

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The finished favour – complete with label.

In part 1 of this boozy edition of the blog I outlined how to go about creating Mint Humbug infused vodka and Werther’s Originals infused vodka. Now we get to the good stuff – my personal favorite of the three flavours, Creme Caramel Liqueur!

Now this one is rum based and a little bit smoother and creamier than the previous two. It almost resembles Baileys. Seriously nice on its own and in coffee!

I found this recipe on another blog while trawling the internet for ideas, and it looked too good to be true! I love trying new recipes and this one looked relatively simple, which was perfect considering I had a significant workload with putting the magazine to print at the same time!

The most intriguing part of making this recipe was the magical and mysterious process of boiling sealed tins of condensed milk….

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The tins of Carnation boiling away happily on my cooker

The recipe indicated that the tins should be unopened and boiled for 3 hours, which I was slightly hesitant about, surely some sort of explosion may happen in my kitchen?

But apparently this is a well know method (unknown to me!) and often untilated to make the caramel-y bit in millionaires shortbread!

So I left the tins to boil and got on with some designing (never far away from the kitchen, the pans need to be monitored, and the water topped up if it gets low.) and Netflix. 😉

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The magical moment I opened the tins to reveal the milk had turned a lovely golden brown! 
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That is some witchcraft right there

So I better explain how to take this magical yummyess and create our liqueur.

How To Make Creme Caramel Liqueur:

Prep time: about 3.5 hours (3 hours while the tins boil, but you can get on with the housework or play a video game while that does its thing)
Ready to bottle instantly. Should be kept chilled, and lasts up to 4 weeks! (if it survives that long 😉 )

You will need:
– 70cl bottle of Dark Rum
– 2 tins condensed milk
– A vanilla pod
– A blender
– Tiny bottles for the finished product (50ml is the best size, and what I used, but you can go for any quantity depending on how generous you are feeling 😘)

Method

Step 1 – The long part

If the tins have paper labels, remove them. Pop them in a large pan and fill it with water so it covers the tins. Cover the pan with a lid and bring the water to the boil. Make sure it is simmering away nicely and set your timer for 3 hours – but you should check the tins every hour to make sure the water is always covering them (top up if necessary).

After the 3 hours take the pan off the boil and set aside to cool. DONT TOUCH! They are extremely hot. After about 10 minutes carefully drain the water and allow the cans to cool for AT LEAST 40minutes. Mine were still hot after 40 minutes near an open window so I waited longer, please dont get inpatient and burn yourself! 😦

 

Step 2 – Making it tasty!

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Collecting the vanilla seeds

Take a vanilla pod and scrape out the seeds. Pop them along with your rum and the now caramelised condensed milk to a blender, and whizz it up!

Now, I don’t own a proper blender, I had to make do with my tiny smoothie maker… It worked just as well, i just had to blend it in batches!

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The blended mixture!

After making sure all the ingredients were well combined, I used a jug and funnel to fill my tiny 50ml bottles (see part one for more details!)

I had a bit leftover so popped it back in the rum bottle and kept everything refrigerated until the night of the party. I made sure on the labels it said to store refrigerated and indicated how long it would be fresh for. 🙂

Oh, and of course, had to have a try for myself!! 😉

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YUM

Thanks for reading! I hope you try these recipes out for yourself, if you do please share with us on social media!

Tag us in your pictures on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram!

 

Click here for the original recipe post.

 

Yummy and Boozy Adult Party Favours or Gift Idea (Part 1)

Our big boss lady had a significant birthday last weekend, and as she also happens to be my mother,  I thought we better throw her a bash…

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Helen the big boss lady and her other half Mike enjoying the party

Now you may be thinking… ‘THAT CAKE! Is this a recipe blog for that??’
… I’m afraid not dear readers, that particular masterpiece was fabricated by the utterly talented Rebecca from Flipside Cafe and Cakery. Lets just take a moment to admire this masterpiece before we resume our scheduled blogging…

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The cake featured all of Helen’s animals!

 

Fabulous cakes aside, this post is once again about me! (I see a pattern forming…) I decided that even though I had the magazine deadline looming that week, I wanted to torture myself further by creating some party favours for the 40+ guests that would be attending the party. After scouting the internet for inspiration I settled on making some different flavour boozy shots.

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Naughty but nice- the finished favours

Bottle number one: Werthers Originals infused vodka

Bottle number two: Creme Caramel liqueur

Bottle number three: Mint Humbug infused vodka

 

The vodkas were extremely easy to execute,  a seriously handy idea if you ever need a quick gift for someone,  especially good for Christmas presents with a personal touch. In this blog I’ll outline how to make the vodkas, then in part two I’ll go into detail about the wonderful Creme Caramel yummyness 😇 – a little more involved in making that but still very simple to make!

I bought my little bottles off ebay for a very reasonable price, but for a more shabby chic touch you could save your old glass bottles or hunt around charity shops for odd Kilner type bottles.

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How To Make Boiled Sweet Infused Vodkas:

Prep time about 15mins
Ready in 3-5 days

You will need:
-Vodka
-Your sweet of choice (in my case Werther’s and Mint Humbugs – but any hard boiled sweet will work just as well!) – one bag of sweets per 70cl bottle of vodka
-A strong handled utensil (for smashing the sweeties)
-A spare bottle, jar, or other container
-Tiny bottles for the finished product (50ml is the best size, and what I used, but you can go for any quantity depending on how generous you are feeling 😘)

Method

Step 1 – Preperation
You’ve bought your sweets of choice and your vodka, but damn, the sweets wont fit down that bottle neck! Time to take out the day’s rage and frustration on these bad boys. Use the butt of a strong handled kitchen utensil to firmly smash the sweet, still in its wrapper so you dont lose bits. Make sure you do this on a chopping board to save your work surface. And be careful! Watch your fingers.

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I used the butt of my knife but please use a safer utensil to smash your sweeties.

 

Step 2 – Add the sweets

Now the sweeties are a convenient size to pop in the vodka bottle, and since they are smaller they will dissolve quicker. Before you add the sweets though- pour out about a third of the vodka into another container, to make room for the sweets. I put the spare vodka in a Kilner jar, and this became my Humbug vodka.

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The sweets have only been in the vodka for about 10 minutes, and already the vodka is turning a lovely butterscotchy colour!

One whole packet of Werthers was a perfect amount for the 70cl bottle of vodka, but since the other vodka was just in a small Kilner jar, half a pack of humbugs was quite enough. I did not break up the humbugs as they fit in the jar easy. (as they have toffee centres they are hard to break up, so I recommend you get a jar if you choose to use humbugs.

Step 3 – Mature and shake!

Once you’ve filled your jars or bottles, and topped them up with more vodkaif required, you should leave them by the heater in your house to let them *mature* and to help the sweets dissolve.

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Every day go back to your concoctions and give them a good shake. After 3 days the sweets had pretty much dissolved, but I left them a week to make sure they were well infused.

Step 4 – Fill your bottles

You will definitely need a funnel for this, and maybe a helper like I had! Either way it’s a bit of a sticky process. After you fill your bottles make sure the lid is on tight and rinse the outside under a tap to get rid of any stickyness from spills.

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Step 5 – Decorate!

Your recipients will need to know what’s in the bottles – so get creative and make some nice pretty labels! I love a good shabby chic motif, so I used ripped up brown paper and ripped up old pages of a book to create an artsy looking (but nice and quick to make) label design, then printed off the name of the alcohol in a nice font to stick on the reverse. Some curled ribbon finished the whole thing off nicely!

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Label on a Creme Caramel Liqueur Bottle
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Reverse of the label on a Mint Humbug bottle – complete with serving suggestion!

And Voila! each guest recieved a cute little bottle to drink on the spot, add to their coffee after our meal, or take home with them. The overall feedback was very very good from all the guests and good times were had by all. A very special mention must be made to Zinc Bar and Grill in Abersoch for letting us have our party there. We had a fantastic evening, and a well deserved break from our magazine busywork.

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Helen looking unsure about trying her liquour!
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Mike’s seal of approval!

Part 2 : Creme Caramel Liquour will be going live tomorrow. stay tuned!

 

 

 

 

 

 

6 of the Best Easter Egg Hunts on Pen Llŷn

Easter Egg Hunts – a classic Easter activity and a real favourite with most children (and quite a few parents too). Hop along and join in the fun!

 

1. Porth y Swnt Easter Egg Hunt

Friday 25th– Sunday 28th March

The Henfaes Centre: Porth y Swnt, Gwynedd.
Porth y Swnt, Aberdaron

Join the National Trust for an Easter adventure in Aberdaron – explore the visitor centre and the village to find clues and claim your Cadbury Easter Egg – £2 per trail. www.nationaltrust.org.uk/porth-y-swnt

 

2. Llanberis Lake Railway Easter Egg Hunt

Friday 25th – Monday 29th March

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Llanberis Lake Railway

Hunt for the Easter Eggs cunningly hidden around the railway and stations and look out for the White Rabbit! Prizes for the kids.

www.lake-railway.co.uk/index.php/en/events

3. Criccieth Castle Easter Egg Hunt

Saturday 26th March, 11am – 3pm

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Criccieth Castle

Take on the trails at the mighty fortress and see what you can find – the first 50 children who take part will be rewarded with an Easter prize so make sure you get there early to avoid disappointment. Egg-citing stuff!

http://cadw.gov.wales/events/allevents/easter-egg-hunt-criccieth-castle-march-2016/?lang=en

4. Dylan’s Beach Front Easter Egg Hunt

Saturday 26th March – 11.30 am

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Dylans on the beach-front in Criccieth

Join the gang at Dylan’s Criccieth for their fantastic beach front egg hunt. Top prizes for the kids – pop down and enjoy the sea, sun, surf & chocolates (or at least three of those!) www.dylansrestaurant.co.uk/events/beach-front-easter-egg-hunt/

5. Plas yn Rhiw Easter Egg Hunt

26th & 27th March

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Plas yn Rhiw

Join in the fun at Plas yn Rhiw, follow the trail through the stunning garden to claim your Cadbury chocolate egg – £2 per trail.

www.nationaltrust.org.uk/plas-yn-rhiw

 

6. Easter Bonnet Decorating at Fron Goch Garden Centre

26th March, 10am-11am

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Fron Goch Garden Centre, Near Caernarfon

Not an easter egg hunt but just as fun!

The delightful Fron Goch Garden Centre just outside Caernarfon holds regular activity sessions for children as part of their Little Diggers club which aims to creatively introduce children to gardening and nature. Join them on 26th March for an Easter bonnet making session£4.95 per child, per session including a free regular tea or filter coffee for accompanying adult.
Booking in advance is recommended as spaces are limited – for details call 01286 672212 or visit  www.frongoch-gardencentre.co.uk

 

 

Now there’s no excuse to get out and about this easter!  Don’t forget to tag  your pictures online #welovellyn or #carullyn so we can see what you get up to!

 

Blog by Jo Toft

 

 

Our first magazine- eep! (4 teasers from the new mag- if you’re as excited as me!)

What a busy week we’ve had putting the finishing touches on our first issue of We Love Llŷn Magazine! Its been sent off to the printers today and we waved it off like proud parents watching their children leaving home. It was emotional.

So now we wait – and with about a week to go until the magazine hits the shelves of shops up and down the Llŷn, what am I going to do in the meanwhile? Well I thought i’d tempt you with some sneaky peeks of whats in store in our lovely Spring Issue.

 

First teaser  – my next blog post

Coming very soon on the blog, i’m going to go in depth about the process behind building our cover. From start to finish! I’ve already started writing it and I have a lot more to say than I thought, so it may be a two-parter! On page 3 of the magazine though, I give a brief overview of how the magic happened…

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Oooooooh… first sneaky peek

 

Teaser Number Two – This one got me excited for summer!

Why? One peek at the events schedule of Oriel Plas Glyn Y Weddw at the end of this article. One of my favourite memories from last summer was attending ‘Starry Night Cinema’s screening of Dirty Dancing on a warm night in August. Blankets, friends, and a couple of bottles of fruity cider – it was spectacular. My top tip if you are attending any of the productions being put on at the open air theatre at Oriel Plas this year – take a cushion, I admit I did have a numb bum by the end of the evening!

 

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Photo: Oriel Plas Glyn Y Weddw in Llanbedrog, by Totally Abersoch

 

Teaser Number Three – A bit of inspiration

We have a few contributors to this magazine, one of my favorites is Shiwi, I’ve been to her wonderful yoga classes in Llanbedrog and I was very excited when I read her recipe for banana bread… I do love a good banana loaf, I’m definitely going to give that one a go. I have some bananas in the kitchen browning away nicely as it happens… 😉

 

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Shiwan is our guru on all things ‘feel good’

 

Teaser Number Four – My personal favourite

As creative director, I oversee everything arty to do with the mag etc, which also means I do the graphic design and layout of the pages. The one I enjoyed doing the most was one of our product feature pages – this spring it’s all about wellies!

 

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Major welly envy going on here

 

Counting down the days

Well after a mad week of laying out the magazine I’m not sure what to do with myself now my baby’s left home. I will probably be making use of my newly found spare time writing more blogs!

Look out on Facebook and Twitter for more info on when the magazine will be in shops and where it will be available.

-Lauren 🙂

Who What Why When?

 It’s time to start blogging. I’m sure a lot of creatives out there will be able to relate to this thought: Where do I start? So I thought I’d start with me. A blog is supposed to be slightly self-indulgent right? I hope to invite others to contribute to the blog but at the moment you’ll have to live with my thoughts and musings. So let me begin!

 

Who? Part I:Me!

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This is a rather windswept me enjoing Llanbedrog headland last year in my best hiking outfit

My official title in our little enterprise that we call ‘We Love Llŷn’ is Creative Director – translation: In charge of making everything look pretty. I have other functions too though: technology interpreter, self proclaimed social media guru (I know the difference between hashtagging and tweeting and that makes me a god to them) welsh speaker (not very good at the grammar but I try!), and general bossy person.

I’ve got a background in art and I have been working as a freelance graphic designer for a few years now, this project piqued my interest (and it had to because the mastermind behind all this is my mother – and who really wants to work with their mother??) because it was about uniting the community with a positive message – something that appeals to me as I have lived here on Pen Llŷn all my life. It also was an opportunity for me to take creative control and produce something bloody lovely – which I very much hope it will be.

I’ve also wanted to start a blog for a while now- ever since I decided to document my travels around North America on a site called www.travelpod.com. It started out as a way to let my family back home know that I was still alive without phoning each one of them every day with an update, and also to not plague my facebook feed with countless photos of all the fabulous locations I went to visit. I enjoyed it a little too much and in roughly 70 days of travelling I had as many entries in my blog and wonderful feedback from it’s avid readers! But where to start? What do I blog about now I’m not seeing the world, I’m just me in my hometown going to work like an average Joe – well now’s my chance. I have plenty to write about now that I have a subject matter to focus on: Home. Pen Llŷn. I have so many ideas for blog entries I can’t wait to get started!

Who? Part II : We

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Errrmm… they havent provided me with headshots yet

So who are We Love Llŷn? At present there are four of us behind this venture. Helen (also known as my beloved mother) decided there was a gap in the market for an App that focused on promoting the Llyn, whether it be events, businesses, activities, something to not only for locals to utilize, but also to draw in tourism and distribute it between the different areas of the Llŷn. There are a couple of publications serving Gwynedd and Pen Llŷn, but not really any lifestyle publications with this vision of promoting the entire Peninsula to its inhabitants and to outside tourism. So she ran it by me – I started excitedly blabbering on about all the different things she could put on her app and in her magazine and concluded she’d be crazy not to do this!

Helen met with app developers far and wide, local and in the big bad cities of Manchester and London, and one app development company seemed to be as enthusiastic as she was about the project so they were the natural choice – and from day 1 I’ve been involved mostly to interpret some of the more ‘techy’ aspects of their conversations!

It was then we recruited Gill – our marketing fairy god mother – to the team. Gill was looking for a new project and this one seemed to get her just as excited as it did me! Gill is one of those natural saleswomen who can charm you just as well in person as she can over the phone, especially handy if we need to spread a new brand and get the support of local businesses across the Peninsula.

If we were going to make a magazine we needed a damn good editor to take charge of all things well… erm… magaziney. We knew Jo from working for the Tourist Information Centre of Abersoch on a few of their booklets and leaflets, and she has an impressive background in writing so was a very good choice!

That makes four of us, not including the elves from the app development company currently working hard in their little workshop at the North Pole (of Manchester. Also known as Salford.) on producing our fabulous We love Llyn App.

What?

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What exactly are we? I’ve pretty much explained above but simply put we are an App, a website, and a Magazine that will be available in physical form and online.

We Love Llyn will help you discover all there is to know about the Llyn Peninsula with our ultimate guide across all forms of media – and that last sentence was lifted straight from our media kit – Jo really does have a way with words, I cant say it any better. 😉

 

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Porthor Beach -photo taken by Gill while walking her dog

Why?

…Why not? We love where we live, that’s why we live here! We also know a LOT of people who love it who don’t even live here, that’s crazy to think about as someone who calls this place home, I doubt someone who lives in some nice cul-de-sac in the west midlands can say that their hometown is loved by thousands of people who don’t call it home? I suppose that’s the definition of tourism but sometimes I think about it and it seems so surreal. I don’t blame people for loving it. Any doubt that may have existed before were extinguished the moment we reached 100 likes on the first day of launching the facebook page, even with only one post on the page people were interested, and continue to be interested. We’ve passed a few lovely milestones on facebook, twitter and instagram in the past few weeks with numbers climbing steadily – and we haven’t even released anything yet! That’s pretty exciting.

When?

Magazine coming soon spring 2016 copy 2

The spring edition of the magazine will be out at the end of March/beginning of April. The app will be available to download late April (these things are not easy to pin down, for app developers are mythical creatures; you need an Ouija board or a magical carrot on a stick to get a straight answer out of them). In the meanwhile you can find us on all good social media outlets.

We’re so excited to show you what we’ve been working so hard on and we hope you love it!

 Parting thoughts…

So in the background of this word document in which I am writing this, I have a few different internet browser windows open; ’10 ways to write a successful blog’ stuff like that. None of them were that helpful but one of them said I should keep this short and sweet. None of them told me how I should finish… So here I leave you. Thanks for reading if you made it this far. Diolch yn fawr iawn o galon am darllen. #welovellyn …Peace… Over and out.