Saturday, 31 March 2012

Lacey Flower Headband

I wanted a nice quick and easy craft to do today during naptime and I had this stretchy lace that I had been dying to make into a headband with a something on. I finally got round to it! I cut my stretchy lace to 16.5" since that was just nice on Naomie's head. You want it to be a little bit stretched when it is on or it will fall off. Cut your lace to your baby's head measurement then you will lose some of that length when you over lap your pieces to glue together. This should make the headband just the right size to fit nicely on your baby's head :)

Heat up your glue gun then apply a dot of glue to one end of the lace. Make sure your lace is not twisted, then press your second end onto the glued end. I held mine together with a peg so I wouldn't have to do it with my fingers and potentially burn myself.

I left mine to dry then double checked it fit Naomie's head. Feel free to make adjustments here if it is not a perfect fit.

While I was waiting for my glue to dry, I started making the flower. I used some hot pink DK yarn I had lying around and a 4.5mm crochet hook. To make the flower:

1. make a magic loop, ch3 and work 11dcs in loop, join with sl st in top of ch 3 (12)
2. ch1, turn, sc in same st, *ch4, sk1st, work sc in next st* around, end with sl st in 1st sc
3. ch1, turn, work (sc, hdc, dc, dc, hdc, sc) in each loop around, join with sl st in 1st sc, bind off and weave in ends. (While weaving my middle end of yarn in, I attached a white button with a simple cross then weaved in a bit more and tied a knot to secure.)

Next I made the back of the flower using a 4mm crochet hook (I used a smaller hook so it would be slightly smaller than on the flower, I didn't want to be able to see it from the front) and the same yarn:

1. make a magic loop, ch3 and work 11dcs in loop, join with sl st in top of ch 3, bind off and weave in ends. (12)

Lay your flower right side down, lay the join of the lace on top, then add the back of the flower right side up. Either hot glue or stitch down. I stitched since this is my first ever! time using a glue gun and I am still not totally sure of my abilities haha.

Unfortunately, Naomie is otherwise engaged in peepsland at the minute so I had to make do using their little hairdressing dolly head as my model :)

Thursday, 29 March 2012

Meal Plan Week 1

I like to do meal plans for our weekly food. I find that if I go shopping without a clear idea of what I need to buy, I just come home with loads of random ingredients and hardly any full meals haha. I've been collecting recipes that I know my family likes and recipes that I would like to try. I've made myself a spreadsheet with all of our meals on for the next month (organisation at it's best haha - let's see if I can stick to it though!)

I start my week on Friday since I do my food shopping on Thursday and I receive my vegetable box on Friday so it made sense for me to start everything on Friday. I alternated fish, chicken, meat and veggie meals to try and make sure we get a balanced diet.

I have only written down meals for tea since I did have all dinners written down aswell and they kept getting wasted. Either we were out on one day taking the kids somewhere or I had chores to do out of the house or we just didn't feel like whatever was meant for that day. I figured if I always keep rice, pasta, bread, lentils, eggs and cheese stocked up, then between that and my veg box, I will always have something I can just whip up for dinner.

I have only written down for 5 meals a week since 2 days of the week we have dinner elsewhere. I know a lot of people like to have a takeaway night once a week aswell or leftovers one night so 5 meals is usually plenty.

So here is my Menu Plan for Week 1:

F- Tuna macaroni cheese (Macaroni cheese made the normal way with a tin of tuna mixed in.)

Sa- Chicken ratatouille and rice (Brown 3 cubed boneless chicken thighs and 1 onion. Allow the onion to soften then add 1 chopped courgette, 1 chopped yellow pepper and about 6 chopped/blended tomatoes. Add some water if needed then bring to the boil. Simmer gently for 45mins until tomato has turned into a nice sauce and veggies are soft. I usually season with plenty of black pepper, a pinch of turmeric and a pinch of cayenne. Oh and lots of parsley.)

Su- We usually go out to my MIL's house on Sunday so a lot of the time we have a roast dinner there.

M- Fishcakes, mash and baked beans (I like to make my own fishcakes to be sure they have nothing nasty in them. Just make some mash, poach some fish then flake and mix into the mash. Season well, dip in flour, then egg, then breadcrumbs and either shallow fry or bake until crispy and piping hot.)

Tu- Chicken thigh, mash and roasted veggies (I like to brown off the chicken thighs first and boil some carrot and parsnip wedges for about 5mins. Then I just put them all in a baking tray together, about 6 bone in chicken thighs, 6 carrots and 6 parsnips. drizzle with a little oil and bake until chicken  is cooked through and veggies have gone soft. I usually cook on GM6 for 1hr. )

W- Bubble and squeak cakes (I make extra mash on Tuesday and keep some in the fridge for my bubble and squeak cakes. Cook up some cabbage/spinach/broccoli until soft then chop finely. Add the mash - you want slightly more mash than green veg. Shape into small balls then flatten. Fry for 5mins on each side over medium high heat.)

Th- We have started going to Paul's nan's house on a Thursday and she tends to make something for us.

Am I the only one who's so obsessive about meal planning? :P

Wednesday, 28 March 2012

Canvas Art

Last night, I decided I wanted to make some canvas art :P I had bought some blank canvases from Wilkinson's, a pack of 3 and I wanted to make them into something I could hang in the front room over the couch. This is what I ended up with. Not perfect, by any stretch of the imagination. Not even all that good haha. But they are mine and I love them!

To make them, I stuck strips of masking tape over the canvas in a random pattern, then sprayed the whole thing with teal spray paint. To make the heart, I stuck a load of masking tape together on my floor, drew a heart shape on it, then peeled it and cut it out. (I have to tell you, there has GOT to be an easier way of doing this because my way was a nightmare. I nearly gave up so many times lol. I love the effect though!)

I sprayed mine outside with the patio doors open thinking that would be well ventilated enough but it wasn't. My house stunk of it for about an hour and I didn't even do it in the house! Will be doing it further away next time that's for sure! Also, I think I took too long doing the heart and the other masking tape on the first and second one might have lifted a bit as I got quite a bit of bleeding. One side particularly badly. I've faced that side into the corner that people won't see lol. If I do it again, I'll make sure I work quicker :P

Tuesday, 27 March 2012

Broccoli and feta soup

Yesterday evening, I had a load of broccoli in the fridge and no idea what to make for tea. I thought to make broccoli cheese but had no cheddar. Considered making it with feta but didn't fancy the sound of it, not sure why. Then I stumbled upon a recipe for broccoli and feta soup...perfect!

I used this recipe I found at Abel and Cole. I get my fruit and veg boxes from them once a week and I have to say, I love them. They do all kinds of other stuff aswell so if you live in the UK, have a look!

I did make a few changes to the recipe to use what I had in. Obviously, I left out the walnuts since the kids can't have nuts and since I didn't have any in anyway. I used 750ml boiling water and a bouquet garni instead of 1ltr stock and I only used 100g feta. Next time I will use 150g as I could only just taste it in the soup. Oh, I added an extra potato aswell to try and make it a bit more filling.

This soup was so yummy! One thing I will say though is according to the recipe this should serve 4-6 but it only served 3 in our house, well 2 adults and 2 toddlers. Maybe we have big portions but for me, it was just right :)

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Monday, 26 March 2012

Birdsong Bows

I got a very exciting email today, telling me that I had won the Birdsong Bows giveaway hosted by Me Sew Crazy!

Birdsong Bows is a little etsy shop with such cute patterns for hairbows, tutus, accessories and bags! Go and have a look. I've just picked out my free patterns and I am SO excited to receive them :D

Mint Stuff I've Seen #9

This weeks blog love :)

Absolutely love these spray painted cans used as plant pots, found at Dos Family. Paul's just planted me a load of stuff in cans aswell, wish I'd seen this before hand!

How cute is this little pleated skirt by Me Sew Crazy. I love the pockets, I love the pleats. So, so cute!

These little crocheted rain boots by Repeat Crafter Me really make me wish I had a little not-walking baby to make some for :P

And last but not least, an oldie but definitely a goodie...I absolutely love Divasaurus by Little Pink Monster and especially love the colours she is done in!

Feel free to grab my button if I've featured you :)


Sunday, 25 March 2012

Jeans into shorts refashion

This has really got to be the easiest refashion ever! It took me all of 30 seconds and I have a new pair of shorts for this GORGEOUS weather we've been having. To "make" them, just take a pair of jeans, make sure they're baggy(ish), I don't think this would work with skinny jeans, and cut off the legs where you want the shorts to end. Simples! I love my new shorts.

On a side note, I just wanted to take a second to say a big THANK YOU for all of the lovely comments I've received over the past few weeks. I have read every single one of them and I love you all! It makes me so happy to think that there are people out there who want to read my little blog <3

Saturday, 24 March 2012

Date night...

Today has been really good :) Naomie went to my Mother in Laws house for the day and me and Leyla went to my friend's house for her daughter's birthday. The sun was shining. Everyone was happy. The kids were playing (mostly) nicely.

Not long got home and I have to get Leyla to my MIL's house where the kids are both going to be staying tonight, get back here and get myself ready for date night!! Eek! We're going to see Hunger Games and then clubbing...not entirely sure I'm going to make it after the excitement of today haha. Might well fall asleep in the pictures. Oh well, date night doesn't come around too often so I'll have to just get on with it. Or have some red bull :P

Friday, 23 March 2012

Where's Leyla gone...?

Where's Leyla gone...?

There she is!!

Just got called in to the front room to find that Leyla had emptied all of her toys all over the floor and climbed inside her toybox haha! She was shouting me saying, "Mammy, I'm hiding, bet you can't find me!!"

So cute my little girl!!

Tuesday, 20 March 2012

Healthy Chicken Enchiladas

We seem to have this problem in our house where we eat exactly the same meals over and over again. I am quite fussy and so are the kids, whereas Paul will pretty much eat anything. I keep trying to find more recipes for me to use but we still always end up having the same meals. Chicken is the worst because I only like about 4 meals with chicken in so they get really boring after the 4th week in a row of having the same thing haha!

I've been looking on Pintrest to try and find some nice chicken recipes for us to try and I came across this healthy chicken enchiladas recipe at She Fit. Looks delish! And healthy too which is always a bonus. I don't let my kids eat unhealthy things really so it's always nice to come across a recipe with only stuff I already use in it. I'm going to change out the low fat for full fat though as we don't eat low fat.

I'm adding this to my meal planner for this week :)

Monday, 19 March 2012

Mint Stuff I've Seen #8

Bloggy love for this week :)

<3!! Beautiful quote made into a cute printable by One Artsy Mama.

These stemmed fabric flowers at Snowy Bliss are sooo cool. I'm definitely going to make some for my dining room table...Or the bookcase in my hall...Or maybe both haha!

I found this gorgeous button bracelet tutorial at Que Linda. Such a good idea! I love how this looks.

I love love this idea of making my own eye makeup remover at home by Potholes and Pantyhose. There are recipes for homemade moisturiser, dishwasher detergent, face wash and laundry soap, plus some green household cleaners. Brilliant!!

Sunday, 18 March 2012

Happy Mother's Day

Here in England, it's Mother's Day today. I have to tell you, I am the luckiest Mammy in the world :)

My day started with a lovely lie in, I called Paul and he brought me up a cup of coffee, my two gorgeous girls and my cards and presents. I got some gorgeous flowers in a little basket, so adorable! I also got a box of chocolates, a mirror with a flower on the front, a special notebook just for lists!! (I can't even begin to tell you how much I love notebooks and lists hahaha) and a magnetic weekly planner for the fridge!

I even got a card with Mam on it (it's so difficult to find a card with Mam on where I live because everyone says 'Mum' here so my Mam card is extra special <3

Then I came downstairs and was ordered not to go in the kitchen. Turns out my Pauliepants had been making me coconut cupcakes all morning, complete with hot pink cream cheese frosting and coconut sprinkles!!

Ahhh, I really am the luckiest girl in the world, I love my family <3

Saturday, 17 March 2012

Home-schooling a Toddler: Learning to pour activity

I found this activity in the book I mentioned in my last homeschool post. I figured it would be a really good way to get both kids playing and learning together. According to my book, this activity is suitable for ages 2.5-5. 

I changed it a bit to make it suitable for Naomie at 18months. I didn't want her to be left out while Leyla got to have a fun time. The book uses rice but I used dried goji berries since I had them in.

I got two measuring cups and two plastic bowls. I put one bowl and one measuring cup on a tray each then added a small handful of goji berries to the measuring cups. (Ignore the Christmas tray, all my other ones are being used :P) I took this in to the kids and showed them how to pour the berries from the cup to the bowl, and then back again. Then I left them to play and sat back and watched.


Leyla played for about 5 minutes but got bored pretty quickly and started eating the goji berries instead lol. 

Naomie sat for a while longer but couldn't really get the hang of pouring. She smeared them all over her tray then picked them all back up and put them back into the cup and the bowl haha. After I showed her again, I could see that she knew what she was trying to do. She was trying to pour them from one to the other but she just couldn't manage it. They all ended up on her tray every time. She didn't give up for ages though!

All in all, I'd say this was definitely more of a success with Naomie than it was with Leyla. I might try next time to have Leyla pour something a bit harder like water. I might try that one outside haha!

Friday, 16 March 2012

Crochet Kitty Kat

A friend of mine is hosting a charity auction in May and I wanted to make something to donate. I was thinking back and forth for a few days about what would be best to make and, in the end, I decided on some hats and some kind of teddy. I made this up as I went along so it's not perfect at all. Pretty cute though and the perfect size for a newborn baby. Would make a very cute baby gift. She is 9" top to bottom and 6.5" across her arms.

Crochet Kitty Kat:

You will need: 3.5mm crochet hook, 3ply or DK yarn, wool needle, stuffing, small amount of embroidery thread

Legs (make 4):
1. ch 10, sc in 2nd ch from hook and across (9)
2-11. ch1, turn, sc across
12. ch1, turn, sc2tog, sc across to last 2sts, sc2tog (7)
13. rep row 12 (5)
14. rep row 12 (3)
15. bind off

Body (make 2):
16. take 1 leg and join yarn in the beginning ch next to your start point (you want the rounded part of the leg to be pointing down), ch1, sc in same st and across leg, ch2 then join second leg in same way, making sure second leg is facing same way as first)
17-31. ch1, turn, sc across row (20)
32. ch1, turn, sc2tog, sc across to last 2sts, sc2tog (18)
33. rep row 32 (16)
34. rep row 32 (14)
35. rep row 32 (12)
36. rep row 32 (10)
37. rep row 32 (8)
38. rep row 32 (6)
39. ch1, turn, 2scs in 1st st, sc across to last st, 2scs in last st (8)
40. rep row 39 (10)
41. rep row 39 (12)
42. rep row 39 (14)
43. rep row 39 (16)
44. rep row 39 (18)
45. rep row 39 (20)
46-48. ch1, turn, sc across
49. ch1, turn, sc2tog, sc across to last 2sts, sc2tog (18)
50. rep row 49 (16)
51. rep row 49 (14)
52. rep row 49 (12)
53. rep row 49 (10)
54. rep row 49, bind off, weave in all ends (8)

Left Arm (make 2):
55. ch4, 2sc in 2nd ch from hook, sc in next ch, 2scs in last ch (5)
56-63. ch1, turn, sc across
64. ch1, turn, sc across to last 2sts, sc2tog (4)
65. ch1, turn, sc across
66. rep row 64 (3)
67. ch1, turn, sc across
68. rep row 64 (2)
69. ch1, turn, sc across
70. ch1, turn, sc2tog, bind off (1)

Right Arm (make 2):
71. ch4, 2sc in 2nd ch from hook, sc in next ch, 2scs in last ch (5)
72-79. ch1, turn, sc across
80. ch1, turn, sc2tog, sc across to end (4)
81. ch1, turn, sc across
82. rep row 80 (3)
83. ch1, turn, sc across
84. rep row 80 (2)
85. ch1, turn, sc across
86. ch1, turn, sc2tog, bind off (1)

Ears (make 4):
87. ch7, sc in second ch from hook and across (6)
88. ch1, turn, sc2tog, sc across to last 2sts, sc2tog (4)
89. rep row 88 (2)
90. ch1, turn, sc2tog, bind off (1)

To make up:
Embroider face on one piece of body. Stitch arms to bodies, making sure right sides are facing out. Stitch ears to heads. Cut a piece of matching yarn to 120" and use to stitch the two body pieces together, wrong sides together. Make sure to leave a gap to add the stuffing. Add the stuffing until your teddy is as firm as you want, then stitch the opening shut.

I'll be making more of these over the coming weeks as I want a variety of colours to give to the auction. It took me 2 nights to complete one teddy (probably about 6hrs in total) so pretty good :)

I thought she might look cute with a fabric heart applique on her front and a nice co-ordinating ribbon around her neck. She'll have to wait a few weeks for her makeover though until I make her some brothers and sisters.

Thursday, 15 March 2012

Banana Cream Cheese Bread

Today I'm featuring a recipe that I saw over at I Should Be Mopping The Floor. I saw this the other day and saved it in my list of recipes to try. It sounds lush! Paul said he wasn't so sure on cream cheese inside a cake but I imagine it's not too different to me putting yoghurt in my muffins!

It looks delish anyways so I will definitely be trying it. Kristi has tons of other good stuff on there too so head over and have a look :)

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