September Made It – Coming to you live from a piece of paradise

(Just so you know, I wrote this yesterday bit so carried away having so much fun that I didn’t get to actually posting, oops!!! Also, I have no idea why some of the font is small, I tried to correct this but couldn’t very odd??) 

Ahhhhh this is the LIFE! After a very fortuitous twist my family and I find ourselves away for the weekend, at one of the most magical places in the Cape Town.

We’re in Scarborough where my in laws live, a gorgeous little seaside village at the foot of the Cape’s south peninsula. They were supposed to go away this weekend for an impromptu – and long overdue – break so we offered to housesit for them (tough job!) and look after their doggies.  We had plans to go away too with my parents but my hubby’s work got in the way! Anyway, my in-laws have two holiday cottages next door to their home which are almost always full, so because they had no booking this weekend they wanted to make the most of the time off.

Early yesterday morning I got a call my momma-in-law saying that they just couldn’t find anywhere nice to go on such short notice and they thought that they would just pop over to one of their own cottage to “get away”. But on thinking of how silly it would be to haul all their personal stuff just steps away…..she had a brainwave….we could come and stay in the cottage for the weekend and they would just stay at home where they have everything they need!!!! Brilliant!

After a good giggle together at the utter irony and a promise from the folks not to lift a finger, my little family and I found ourselves waking up this morning to the sounds of waves rolling in the beach and, well, not much else…it’s blissfully quite here! The best part is that we are only 10 minutes drive from home so we had none of the usual “are we there yet”s from the kids. Horraaaaay for al!

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This was taken at about 7 this morning

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So while I sit here, sitting at the kitchen counter and while the kids are busying themselves and hubby is off to do some work, I’m over the moon to introduce the first 11 entries!!! (Psst, click on each pic to take you to the original post)

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“The Big One” by Measured & Slow

Each finished project is a wonderful thing but when you finally finish something that’s taken a year, then somersaults are the order of the day!!! WOW, this full sized quilt from Alyssa from Measured & Slow  is absolutely STUNNING and an amazing feat….I’m bowing down as I type this!

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made it beatrice

“Soft & Stylish Cowl” by Beatrice Ryan Designs

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“A Mash Of Monsters” by Beatrice Ryan Designs

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“One-eyed Monster” by Beatrice Ryan Design

Welcome back to the uber-creative and colourful Elena from Beatrice Ryan Designs who’s repertoire seems infinite. How fantastic are these beanies?!!! My kids (sigh, as usual) are always banging on at me to crochet fun things like this for them, even my friends!! There’s a great tutorial too for Elena’a beautiful cowl – it looks likes it’s nice and quick to work up too,  the rose is stunning and finishes off the look perfectly.

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made it oh sew

“Pinwheel Quilt” by Oh Sew Tempting

LIke Alyssa above, finishing a project like a quilt must be so very satisfying (em, I’m assuming it is, I wouldn’t know heehe).  Avis from Oh Sew Tempting‘s Pinwheel quilt is absolutely gorgeous and exquisitely crafted! A lot of our readers and Made It challenge entrants know Avis very well – her work is so inspirational!!!

And speaking of inspirational…..

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“Elizabethan House” by Sewing Beside The Sea

WOW WOW WOW! For those of you how don’t know, Avis is now also Avis from Sewing Beside The Sea!!! Her new blog is everything not patchwork/quilting and promises to be be fascinating with lots of exciting projects coming up – please go and follow. This blackwork Elizabethan house is so beautiful, so intricate and the overall effect is striking – so looking forward to seeing more!

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made it cute as

“Lovely Lavender Bags” by Cute As A Button

Well someone is well prepared for Christmas heehee!!!! These crochet lavender bags made by Laura from Cute As A Button are PERFECT for gifts or decorations and can be whipped up in no time. When you visit Laura’s post, scroll down for lots more to ogle over. But the one that  took my breath away is –  yip, it’s the one with the teeny tiny ADORABLE flower ( for some reason, I just could not upload that one!)

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made it Knitting rays

“Superheroes!” by Knitting Rays Of Hope

Upon reading Pali & Vanessa from Knitting Rays of Hope‘s post, I first blinked back some tears…and then didn’t. In my opinion, creativity is a fundamental and all healing process through which so much love is can be expressed. These SUPER hats are made for and on behalf of some seriously amazing HEROES by these wonderful WONDERFUL ladies. Please pop over and say hello ♥

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Made it Kayleigh

“Amigurumi Giraffe” by Kake’s Crafts

Hello cute little Giraffe! Welcome back to the fun Kayleigh from Kake’s Crafts and thank you for another super sweet amigurumi creature. This stipey non-gender giraffe is one it’s way to Kayleigh’s little 2 year old cuzzy, ahhhhhhh!  Pop over for all the details and the link to the pattern!

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Made it Jill

“Life Of It’s Own Bag” by Nice Piece Of Work

HAHAH I just LOVE  from Nice Piece of Work‘s beautiful sense of humour and easy style! Only she could name her bag “Life of it’s own” and call it weird! Well, I know you’ll agree that this wonderfully eclectic bag, multi faceted bag, complete with doily centre and magnetic clasp is all AWESOME!

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“Balmoral Baby Hat” by Jennifer Stewart

Ok, all together now…Ahhhhhhhhh! Oh my word, this is just so cute! Thank you to Jennifer Stewart, one of Woolhogs Facebook page members for sending me her Made It entry. This delightful Baby Balmoral Hat is Jennifer’s very first pattern and can be found here on Ravely!

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Thank  you all for a FAB start – sooooo looking forward to bringing you the next batch!

Love Maryanne

made it

Click to add your link

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My Best Friends’ Wedding

I have written this post a thousand times in my head (waiting for the photos to finally arrive!) and I suddenly find myself with a huge lump in my throat. It seems that words will just not do.

How do I describe the wedding of my best friend to the love of her life, the man who was waiting for her, her “twin flame”?

I can’t.

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Just in the knickers of time!

No, nothing to do with underwear here (although I got your attention, didn’t I!), just an old saying my BFF coined moons ago – but yes, here I am JUST IN TIME and very chuffed with myself, because not only did I make the cut-off for the Made It challenge, I also have Easter done and dusted, thank you very much!

You see, I am always the last Mom to have all her little easter eggs in a row for the big day and often find myself scrambling (groan) to get enough chocs for the very important Easter Egg Hunt that has to happen in our house. So when I was wracking my brains as to what I was going to enter for this months challenge – and keeping with the Easter theme – I was suddenly inspired by the gorgeous egg box featured in Rainbow Junkie’s post!

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remember these?!!!

HA! I found a clever way to tick two things off my proverbial list…

Easter Truffles!

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So, here’s what you do….get all this stuff together

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White choc, Milk choc, heavy cream, cake decorations and sprinkles, egg box, pretty paper, ribbon, VOILA!

Call the kids (never attempt this alone…)

Now, to make the ganache

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Heat the cream and chuck in the chocolate (do this each for the white and brown choc) and whisk like hell!

IMG_3875_800x1067Good, now pour into bowls and pop in the fridge until set.

WAIT wait WAIT….STOP!!!

For those of your who know me, you will know that I DO NOT BAKE, so never, ever really follow any recipe that I might add on my blog. Ever.

This was an EPIC FAIL! One does not “chuck” or “throw” anything when it comes to baking. Ever.

It did not set at all arrrgggggg!!!!

Slight interlude while I made a savvy plan this mess *whistles away*

Ok, disaster over, The kids got a real sweet, rich dessert that night…

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hmmmm, waaaay too rich!

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Still…made a plan!

Right, the only way to get over a failure is to start again. I actually read a recipe this time so if you are going to attempt this, I suggest you look here and here (or any other site) first!

Heat the cream and pour over the chocolate…leave for a minute or two…NOW do the whisking like hell part!

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No Mom, you do it like this!

Once its set, call the kids again and get them making little balls and then roll them in the toppings

…and the rest is literally child’s play.

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YUM!

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Ready to roll

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Messy but fun. And messy

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Pop them into cute boxes and wrap it up all pretty!

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Easter Truffles!

AND EASTER IS SORTED!!!!

Well, not quite….my 6 year old looked up and a little worriedly asked  “But Mom, the Easter bunny will still bring her all her own eggs, right?

Sigh……

My Made It entry Part 2 – My African Christmas Tree

A ginormous thank you to all of you who have already entered the “Made It”! I am delighted to see some of the “usual suspects” as well as some newbies this month. I for one, know how crazy this time of the year is, so I’m extra impressed at your fabulous entries!!

So here’s my mini-challenge to you (and by you I mean ANYONE who reads this – yes, even YOU)…..

*** Enter the “Made It” more than once this month!!! ***

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Here’s my second entry (there may even be more, you just never know) inspired partly by Vicky and her son with their beautiful home made & decorated tree (pic below); partly by the fact that we can’t have a “proper” pine tree this year as we leave for the UK just before Christmas (and coming home to a lounge full of pine needles is not fun) and partly by my friend Liz who asked me to make her some crocheted decorations.

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I went searching for inspiration for tree decorations and it wasn’t long before I ended up at Lucy’s door – here is the link to her Christmas Bauble pattern. Love this lady ♥ . I didn’t stop there either. I found this gorgoues pattern by AtergCrochet and suddenly I was on a roll, somehow meshing the two patterns together and churing out these sweet little baubles using a variety of cottons and bamboos by Vinnis Colours.

And this is how my own African Tree became to be….

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photo

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…add some more decorations…

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♥ ♥ ♥



*snip the ribbon* The December “Made It” Challenge is officially….OPEN!

wHOoo HOoo HOooo (that would be HO HO HO if you were paying attention!)

Yip, the “Made It” is back!

made it challenge

Ahhhh it feels so great to be back! After a little time out  we are back and rearing to go again and are so excited to see what the Christmas “Made It” brings.

Well, the last few weeks have been tough, hence the little break.  My 6-year-old niece Amy has had her long-awaited kidney transplant which she is responding incredibly well to.

Just after her op

Just after her op

But it hasn’t been without a wild rollercoaster ride of emotions. Amy has FSGS which is an incurable kidney disease and has an 80ish% chance of reoccuring after transplant so naturally we were all incredibly tense leading up to the operation. But Amy, in true Amy-style,  was sitting up on Day 1 after the op, sitting in a chair on Day 2 and practically running around boisterously taking charge of her ward on Day 3 *roller coaster up up up*

 

Days 4/5 was terrifying as there were signs that the disease was returning due to high levels of protein in her blood *rollercoaster down down down* only to find out that the results were due to blood in her urine caused by a bleeding stent – phew, all OKAY *rollercoaster up up up* It’s been pretty much this kinda ride ever since but one thing remains constant is Amy’s spirit. She has boundless energy, a pure and positive outlook and a kick-ass attitude of note!

After being fluid deprived for almost 4 years, this drink is well deserved!

After being fluid deprived for almost 4 years, this drink is well deserved!

I am happy to say that despite the ups and downs, Amy – for the first time in 4 years – is not dependant on dialysis 3 times a week. She is also having the pipe through which she has been dialyised, surgically removed tomorrow morning. This means that for the first time in 4 years she can have an enormous BUBBLE BATH!!! And for us, the cherry on top is that we are all going to be together for Christmas!! My family arrives in the UK on Christmas day and will spend 3 long, glorious weeks together – for the first time in 3 and half years. My daughter Sisi and Amy are looking forward having their Big Swim..this will not only be their first swim together but will be Amy’s first proper swim EVER!

Thank you for all your kinds words and wishes for Amy – I’ll say one thing, the universe and all it’s angels were listening and have watched over her with great care 🙂

So I invite you all to celebrate this special time and take part in the last challenge of 2012!

  • enter the Made It challenge as many times as you wish
  • go with a Christmas theme if you can
  • reblog this post – get you friends to join in the fun
  • create & share your magic
  • ADD YOUR LINK
  • enjoy!

Hold on, something’s missing??? Ahhhh the PRIZE! Well, you will have to wait another day or so. But don’t worry, it will be worth it…

 ♥

All you have to do is click on FROGGY below and add your link to enter

Let’s KICK 2012’s BUTT!!!

Who’s first???


My fav pics of the week…

Hello all you lovely folk!

It’s Friday eve which means we are all happily exhausted…it’s been a week of:

“MOM…….!”

  • can I have? (x 10000)
  • LOOK!
  • what’s for lunch?
  • I don’t want to 😦
  • Look, look, LOOK!!!!
  • what’s for supper???
  • will you please get…
  • I have to go to…
  • I need…
  • LOOK here, look, look
  • I want…
  • Do I have to…

Now it’s my turn.

  • Yes, you do have to
  • Speak to Dad, I can’t hear you
  • I’ve LOOKED dammit!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Ahhh…So, no more words for me, just some pics to prove that there really WAS a past week 🙂

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Early morning stroll on the beach

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Hey Dad!

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Ceviche for supper, it must be summer

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Another beach visit

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What’s the beach withour ice-lollies!

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LOOK Mom!!

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Dress shopping for Valedictory ceremony – fun in the changing rooms!

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I may or may not be crocheting Christamas gifts 🙂

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New yarn delivery…..ENOUGH SAID!!!’

’til next time! xxx

Rainbow Bowls!

Kids in bed. Hubby reading. So what is that noise?? It’s the deafening sound of SILENCE!

Yes, that means only one thing. I.HAVE.SOME.TIME.TO.MYSELF…..HOOOORAY!

It’s been a tough couple of weeks for my whole family –  my niece Amy finally had her kidney transplant and boy oh boy, has it been a roller coaster  She is doing incredibly well although there have been some hiccups here and there…she is 6 years old and has all the personality of a ROCK STAR!!! I will post more on her journey in the next day or so. You will enjoy meeting her 🙂

Finally I have caught up on all sorts of loose ends that always seem to be juuuuust out of my reach – visa apps (more of that later), Woolhogs stuff (exciting stuff), emails, returning calls etc etc blah blah.

Thought I wasn’t going to get me Made It entry in…. but phew, I did it!

woolhogs rainbow balls, elle premier cotton

I was asked by a friend to make a gift for one of her client’s child and I remembered that Vicky had sent me a pattern a little while ago of something she was quite keen to make for her baba.

How cool are these!!! These Rainbow Nesting Bowls and Sorting Balls pattern can be found on this beautiful blog called Seriously Daisies and are a great toy for little people to play with. There are 6 (yeah yeah, I know…rainbows have 7 colours) crocheted bowls that fit snugly into each other. The pattern calls for 3 balls of each colour to be made but I rebelliously made 1 for the first bowl, 2 for the second, 3 for the third and so on!

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Kiddies can have fun packing them together, stacking them, counting balls, colour coding them, throwing them around like frisbees, sucking on the balls  – ok, the last two things isn’t what they are supposed to do but what they will probably do. You get this picture!

I used Elle Premier cotton in DK, a great yarn to work with. I must admit, even though they took me ages to finish (I tend to get side tracked) I had lots of fun making these even if I did veer off a bit from the pattern. I made them all the same(ish) height and worked the increased rounds a little differently, the way I was taught – just seemed easier to me. I also didn’t get the invisible finish right but like I said, I had fun!

Now, just have to work our how to keep this out of the grubby paws of my kids until I can get it packed off to its new little owner 🙂

Oh yeah, from being one of the last to submit my entry, I am now waaaaay ahead of you all ’cause I have my NOVEMBER’s Made It entry ready and waiting. HA!

********   OH WAIT…I almost forgot. We are having a GIVEAWAY on our Woolhogs Facebook page – 7 stunning rainbow colours of this Elle Premier Cotton yarn to be won so come over and enter! ********

Nighty night 🙂

♥♥♥ Give-Away ♥♥♥

Is there a better way to start Monday?!

 Apart from selling natural yarns in our online shop, we are also partnered with a (growing) number of small South African businesses that produce hand-made items using natural fibres

One such wonderful company is Skaapie (Afrikaans word for sheep) by Cathryn Ward, a Cape Town based artist who creates the most stunning collection of felted products.

Check her out in action here!!! 

Skaapie, woolhogs,

To celebrate (do we even need a real reason!) and to give you a taste of what talent we have in Cape Town, we are giving away this gorgeous felted heart-shaped Bambi cushion complete with cute blanket-stitch edging!!

Skaapie Heart Cushion

All you have to do is pop on over and  “LIKE” both Skaapie and Woolhog‘s Facebook pages and we will draw the winner on Wednesday the 31st October! (remember, you have to like BOTH ok!)

Feel free to reblog!

Lucky Number 13!

The Made It challenge started in July and we had 12 wonderful entries. In August, we had a great month and another awesome 12 entries….you know what’s coming next, right?

SEPTEMBER HAS IT’S 13TH ENTRY! WOOOHOOOOO

“Cup Cape by Lesley”

(you can see the pattern here https://woolhogs.wordpress.com/2012/04/14/patterns-and-epiphanies/)

Even more exciting than this is that we now have a NEW CROCHET ADDICT on the scene, ’cause up to about 5 minutes ago Lesley couldn’t even crochet. Not too shabby eh!!!

Lesley is a friend of mine from waaaay back. Our kids went to daycare together from the age of 2 and believe it or not they are in the same class at the this year – last year of primary school and 11 years later!

She bought some yarn from my little shop even though she hadn’t a clue how to crochet yet. I promised to teach her how to but I am obviously on another planetary time to Lesley because she just suddenly taught herself – by herself – online – just like that!!!!

Lesley, I bow down to you girl, you are super clever and your cupcake is absolutely gorgeous. Can’t wait to see what else you pull out of the hat!

In my excitement, I have extended the time to submit link until the 29th Sept and voting until the 2nd October which means IT’S NOT TOO LATE TO ENTER!

made it challenge

IdentiDaisies

Fiiiiiinally I have an entry into the Made It challenge!

woolhogs, vinnis colours, bambi

Not too long ago, my sister-in-law Krystal asked me to make her some crocheted flowers for wine glasses – you know the little thingies that identify whose glass is whose. At the time I filed it under WGTIS (Will Get To It, Sometime) in my brain with all good intentions of getting there.

Yesterday, Vicky and I had tiny table at one of the local schools Spring Fair so for the past week I have been frantically making odds and ends to display alongside our yarn. For us it was an opportunity to give our Woolhogs Online yarn shop some publicity (see, I just shamelessly did it again heehee). Just for the record…I take my hat off to all of you that sell your products at markets. The stress is enormous and the time spent making stuff seems endless!!! Thank heavens we mainly sell yarn as I think I would seriously give it up as a bad idea.

Woolhogs market vinnis colourswoolhogs, elle premier cottons woolhogs crochet flowers vinnis colours, woolhogs

Anyway, I wanted to make a few flowers so naturally I went to Lucy for some inspiration – her May Rose pattern is so sweet and her tutorials are good enough for even the newest of newbies to grasp. I must be honest, my attempt to roll and sew it to resemble a rose made me want to fling my hook at something – my shortcoming, nothing to do with the pattern. But after a deep breath and a second attempt I discovered that the unrolled work looked a lot like the flower wine glass thingies I had envisioned. Eureka!!!!

So, I fiddled and fumbled but finally tweaked it so that I got what I was hoping for. Here it is

  • I used Vinnis Colours Bambi which is a 70% cotton 30% bamboo blend and a 4mm hook
  • SC = US Single Crochet DC = US Double Crochet
  1. Thread a bead onto your yarn (not the easiest thing in the world! I used very thin wire and used it like one would use a needle threaders – bend wire, insert into bead, thread yarn through the “eye” and yank hard)
  2. Secure the bead with a slip stitch
  3. Chain 14

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Row 1. SC in the first 11 stitches (leaving 3 at the end – these will become the little beaded tail)

Row 2. Turn work (but don’t chain 1) * Work 6 DC in the first stitch, sl stitch in next *First petal made.

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Repeat between * another 5 times to the end and fasten off

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See how the work naturally want to coil?!

Lastly – at the bead end – weave the tail in between the original 3 chains to give it some firmness. Sew the other end along the base line too.

IdentiDaisie, Vinnis Colours, woolhogs

They natural coil means they simply fit onto the base of a wine glass without needing to be secured.

Whip up another 5 of these little babies and you have yourself a full set of IdentiDaisies (the term, appropriately termed by Krystal)

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I call theses Summer Fruits (just to be childish – and because I am OCD like that). Orange, Plum, Blueberry, Strawberry, Banana and Apple. See!

 

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And there you have it….Roll on Summer!

For those of you in the Northern Hemisphere, these may brighten up your chilly evenings – either way, give them a go.

Clink Clink!