Saturday, 24 June 2017

Paultons Park Visit

I've never tried uploading videos of Blogger before, so I apologise if I get it wrong. 

X x X

Saturday, 17 June 2017

Ladybird biscuits

The girls have gotten over their circus excitement. Today when I asked what they'd like to do both wanted a ladybird activity. 

With a handful of store cupboard staples we soon had a fab little biscuit decorating activity set up on the dining table. 

All three of them enjoyed spreading buttercream over their biscuits and making patterns with their choc chips. 
Gman has really good fine motor skills and was able to make simple patterns on his biscuits. DD2 eventually became frustrated and opted to sprinkle them on instead. DD1 created beautiful abstract art worthy of the Tate Modern. 

Best of all they tasted delicious!

X x x

Thursday, 15 June 2017

All the fun of the Circus

The circus is in town and that clever Hubby of mine obtained some cracking discount vouchers. Just £3 a seat meant that we could all afford to visit the big top and enjoy the show.
We took our own snacks from home to keep costs down. We didn't tell the children so Hubby disappeared during interval for a few minutes and reappeared with them. 

We picked up our tickets the might before we went and arrived in good time. We were rewarded by having the front row in our section. It gave Gman plenty of room to stretch his legs in the aisle when he got restless. 
It was a great show. Both of the girls came home determined to be jugglers and trapeze artists. Lol

For our after school activity today we decided to recreate a little of the Circus at home. Using scrap card, wool and drinking straws we made several colourful performers.

I think they look rather sweet hanging above the dining table. Both the girls are eager to do more things on the circus theme so watch this space for more activities. 

X x X

Thursday, 8 June 2017

Charity shop bargains

I thought this week was done for amazing bargains after Saturdays free sofa and yesterday's mountain of onions. Turns out that this is the week that just keeps on giving!
First I found Gman a Thomas the tank pillowcase for 50p. We've been watching old episodes on YouTube together and he adores them.
Then I found a book all about mint for 20p. It's full of things to make with mint and has lots of fascinating facts and folklore about mint. 
Last but not least I found a brand new set of pajamas in DD1's size. They are the sweetest green and blue tartan and 100% cotton. I've added them to the Christmas cupboard!

Not bad for £1.70!

X x X

Wednesday, 7 June 2017

Mummy, why are you crying?

Because I couldn't say no to a bargain!

5kg of onions for 50p! Guess what is being sneaked into every dinner, snack, dessert etc for the forseeable future. 
If they start refusing to eat them I will threaten them with more stinging nettles!

X x X

Tuesday, 6 June 2017

Oodles of Doilie crafts

Look at all this wonderful crafting potential! Be still my heart!
My mum very kindly gifted this pile of potential to me yesterday. I've spent a gloomy wet afternoon hunting for craft ideas on Pinterest and Google, while Gman napped on my lap.
Not having done anything remotely blog worthy today, I thought I would share some of my favourite finds. I warn you in advance....There's a theme you may not be ready for yet.

First up is this super cute garland from Raising up Rubies
I love the simplicity of it. I'm tempted to try making it more festive with Christmas print liners. 

These sweet hanging decorations from Fun EZ crafts come with an easy to follow tutorial. They'd be great to make with the children and easy to adapt to your colour scheme.

But Christmas won't be Christmas without.... doiley angels! The one above can be found here at Craft Town but I warn you in advance it's full of ads and pop ups. Maybe stick to Pinterest?

Pretty Dandy have a host of clever ideas on their page. My favourite were definitely the Tree cards. I can imagine a present afternoon creating them with the children over hot chocolate and mince pies.

 Are you sensing the theme of all these ideas? Me too!

X x x

Monday, 5 June 2017

Forget-me-not cinema

The local arts centre has just started screening classic movies. They are calling it Forget-me-not cinema, with idea of dementia suffers and their carers coming to the screenings. I think it's a wonderful way to stir up some memories for the older generation, and a opportunity for the younger generations to see great movies on the big screen as intended. 
I saw it advertised on Facebook and invited my mum along with me. We both agreed it was a great experience. 
 Hopefully we're able to view a few more. Next month they are showing Brief Encounters!

And because my dear mummy is so wonderful and lovely, my sewing machine has been fixed, cleaned, freshly needled and ready to go.
 A small piece of lint was discovered under the footplate which we believe could have  been the culprit.  
I can't wait to get sewing again!

X x x

Friday, 2 June 2017

Dustbins and Dilemmas

I've reached my plastic bag crisis point. When the 5p bag tax came in I switched over to reusable bags. I now have a fair sized collection of them dotted around the house, buggy and car. But it does mean plastic bags are rarely coming in the house anymore. I've been using bread bags and cereal bags etc for my kitchen/wet rubbish which just about covers what I need after composting and recycling. 
I could start buying in rolls of bags (40 for £1 in poundland) but that feels even worse than reusing a bag from shopping. 
I've consulted a few of my old housekeeping books for research. They all recommended lining the basket with sheets of newspaper. 
Such an obvious solution!
So DH is going to start bringing home the newspapers left at his workplace so we build up a little store of them. He thinks he can easily get 2-3 newspapers per shift at the bookies. Most people only read the racing pages before dumping them onto the table. 
There's other perks to this idea to. Sometimes the papers had vouchers to collect or free gifts, not to mention the cartoon strips, silly horoscopes and crosswords. 

This might actually be one of our better ideas!

X x X

Thursday, 1 June 2017

A Carroty sort of a day

First thing this morning I covered the dining table with lining paper. Then I let the kids loose with Duplo and felt tips. We soon had a delightful sea side town being created complete with a palace for King Thistle and a dinosaur enclosure for the towns resident population. 

While all that excitement was going on, I was pottering in the kitchen and experimenting with some new recipes.
I had a packet of 29p carrots in the fridge that I needed to use up, a quick browse on Pinterest found a wealth of recipes to try.
The two that caught my eye most were carrot and corriander fritters, and carrot cake flapjacks. 
Both recipes have turned out nicely and been well received. I did have to answer a lot a question about the 'green stuff' in the fritters. No one is forgetting I fed them stinging nettles anytime soon lol. (For the record it was only after they'd all eaten and id told them the secret ingredient that they went off it lol)

X x x

P.S - still no luck with my machine :(

Tuesday, 30 May 2017

Booooo :(

My sewing machine is on strike. I'm not quite sure what happened but it won't sew more than 3-4 stitches before tangling itself up into horrendous knots and snapping the thread several times :(
I'm hoping my sewing saviour will visit soon and have a quick look for me (please mum?)
In the meantime I am amusing myself by sewing any large scraps into hexagons for a quilt. Small scraps are turning into diamonds for quilting and teeny tiny leftovers are popped into an envelope for cutting and sticking with the children. 

I've just been offered a very sweet toddler quilt cover by a dear friend. It has the cutest hedgehog print on it! I need my machine back. Stat!

X x x

Sunday, 28 May 2017

Blue Floral Hats

My first two creations are complete.
A sweet but slightly tricky sunhat for DD2 was my first try. I found the pattern  and tutorial for free at Oliver and S

My second pattern was this super cute and super simple flower hat. There's no printable pattern for this one just a guide on making the single pattern piece you need.  I made this one for DD1.

However both decided they liked the hats the other way around and swapped them. I've been calling them by their wrong names all day based on their hats.
What's the chances they swap back tomorrow? Just as I've figured out who is who? 

X x X

Thursday, 25 May 2017

Happy post - Fabulous Frugal Finds

I've been visiting some of my favourite charity shops this afternoon. It's just been far to nice a day to stay indoors. There were some fab bargains to be found.
First I found 2x double bed sheets in this pretty blue flowers print for £1. 
I'm hoping to sew the girls some summer dresses and sun hats over the weekend. 

Next I found Gman a Ralph Lauren jumper for £1. I think he'll look really smart in forest green.

Pound world had this TinTin boxset on  their DVD shelf. All  21 of his cartoon  adventures in one collection. I'm hoping the children will enjoy watching them, they could be just the thing to calm down hectic afternoons over half term.

And last but not least I found an Armani button up shirt for £1.50. I wanted an oversize shirt
 to wear as a light cover up from the sun, so I was delighted to find this. 
I'm guessing the shop volunteers didn't recognise the name or weren't paying attention. 

X x X

Wednesday, 24 May 2017

Nettle and cheese quiche

When we cleared out the side garden a few weeks ago, we discovered a patch of stinging nettles growing in one corner.
It was all cut back at the time, but has quickly started popping back up again.
Knowing they were young leaves and uncontaminated with any weedkillers etc I decided to be a bit daring and try cooking with them.

I made the quiche in the usual way. The Nettles were blanched in boiling water for a few minutes, then stared at suspiciously for a few more before I was brave enough to touch them. 
Now the question is are we brave enough to try the quiche.....

 X X X

Tuesday, 23 May 2017

Baked Bean Lasagna

I've been trying a few new recipes from a frugal cooking group on facebook. Tonight's experiment was a complete success with clean plates all round.
It's one of of those great recipes that you can tweak to fit whatever is hanging about in the cupboard or lurking in the fridge.

Let me know if you try it, I'd love to hear what you think.

X x X

Sunday, 21 May 2017

A morning in my sunny kitchen

It's been a beautiful day outside. My washing line is full of bed linen drying in the sunshine. I've been in the kitchen making my first preserves of the year. Several jars of Elderberry cordial. I don't usually make as much as this but a few friends have asked me for some in exchange for home baked goodies. No way am I turning down the chance of free cake!

I also whipped up a batch of cheese scones. Some will be for tea this afternoon, the rest for breakfast and afternoon snacks. 
I wonder if my posh playground friend will want the recipe for 'focaccine al formaggio'.
Cheese scone sounds rather sexy in Italian, who knew?!

X x X

Tuesday, 16 May 2017

Happy 2nd Birthday

My happy little Prince turned 2 on Sunday.
We celebrated with a Gruffalo hunt at Moors Valley Country Park. 
He spent the day scrambling through woodland, climbing tree stumps, being extremely noisy and eating way more cake then I'm going to admit to on the Internet. 

Happy Birthday Gman!

X x x

Tuesday, 9 May 2017

Silk Painting

I bought two packets of Gutta printed silks an age ago. As we are in super money saving mode it's time to dig out all the stashed goodies.

We used thick felt tip pens rather than paints. DD2 enjoyed watching them spread across the silk as she drew the lines.

DD1 enjoyed making her picture colour coordinate. It was a nice low mess craft that kept them both interested for a fair while. 

Each pack includes 3 silk designs and 3 cards and envelopes. I'm looking forward to making the others in the next few days and then sending them out to family and friends.

98p well spent I think.

X x X

Tarte Aux Murés for Mrs Bucket

There's a mummy in our playground we call Mrs Bucket. I'm sure you've heard of Hyacinth Bucket played by the lovely Patricia Routledge.
This is the sort of mummy who doesn't ever buy a loaf of bread only artisan sourdough loaves will do!
So this morning when she was telling us about a new fancy patisserie she was dying to try, I casually mentioned I was going home to bake some Tarte Aux Murés. 
She of course loved the sound of that and begged for the recipe which I have written out ready to take with me at pick up time. 
 I wonder how far she'll get before she realises she's just making jam tarts.

X x X

Friday, 5 May 2017

Entertaining children on the cheap.

Now that the girls have reached competition level with they twirling group things have gotten expensive. Which means we need to tighten the purse strings a little more, because you CAN'T possibly twirl without a sequin covered leotard, and this mummy likes to spoil her princesses.
Our afternoon entertainment budget is now practically zero.

Tonight's family time craft is sewing based. I've saved the polystyrene bases from two aldi pizzas and found some chunky needles in the craft box. With a handful of wool scraps from my knitting stash to use as sewing thread. 
I can't wait to see what the girls can come up with.

Tomorrow we will hopefully be in the garden. I picked up 3x Tomato growing kits this morning for 10p each. 
Once I've added a few storybooks with a plant growing theme and some stickers to decorate the pots, we have the makings of a plant themed day.

X x x

Tuesday, 2 May 2017

How does your garden grow?

We're trying out a new weekday schedule this week. Part of this setting aside an hour each afternoon after school for family time. 
It also coincides with our other task of the month which is "use it up!". I have far to many things stashed away for 'later'.

Today we played a few games of How does your garden grow. It's a sweet and simple game that teaches basic addition and subtraction. The girls enjoyed building their flower gardens and Gman was in charge of handing out the caterpillars. 
It's compact size would make it great to take on holidays and long journeys. It would also suit both loud and quiet enviournments as communication isn't essential to play. 
 Our copy is firmly in the keep pile. 

X x x

Sunday, 30 April 2017

Our First Comp

Yesterday we all attended our first ever twirling competition. 
Both girls took part in a group pom routine which came 3rd in their age group! DD1 also did a small military strut solo but sadly didn't place.
Just the fact they both took part was making me and Hubby beam. 

DD1 was extremely anxious about this comp. We were so proud to see her strutting her stuff, she shook like a leaf afterwards but was so pleased with herself. 
She's already announced that next comp she will do 2 solos and a group dance!

DD2 was a trooper. It was an extremely long day involving several costume changes and constant hair touch ups. Neither are things DD2 particularly likes but she did everything asked of her. 
She wants to do a solo like her big sister at the next comp.

The whole thing has been very tiring, exciting, wonderful and annoying. A complete whirlwind of things.
 Bring on the next one!

X x x

Friday, 7 April 2017

Sweet treats

The Easter sensory box worked a treat. In fact I found myself twiddling my thumbs so I decided to have a try at sweetmaking.
I wanted to attampt one of the recipes from my vintage housekeeping book and make a batch of Chocolate fondant creams.

 However the Base recipe for the fondant made a lot more than I'd anticipated so I split the batch, and made Almond fondants too.
  They are currently drying out in the airing cupboard overnight. Not that they seem to be lasting to long. Several are suspiciously missing from the lowest shelf.

 X x x