Toddler Octopus Craft and Fuschia Flowers in an Octopus’ Garden

Joss and I took out crafting outdoors with a playdate this week, she and a friend made handprints which we cut out and made into fish with buttons for eyes, with some tissue paper and card (and washi tape, standard) we made an octopus for each of them.

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While they were busy with toddler octopus craft I snapped a few of my yarden favourites, vibrant fuschias.

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Mammasaurus and How Does Your Garden Grow?

Fresh Lemon Balm Tea Recipe

Fresh lemon balm tea recipe

My fresh lemon balm tea recipe was a happy accident in the end, in the beginning it was a very very strange accident.

We bought a huge bunch of herb seeds in May and Joss and I planted them up. One pot ‘Melissa Officinalis’ did nothing at all. We planted everything outside and forgot about it, until a few weeks ago when Daddy declared that a patch of mint had now sprouted.

Ah, that must be the melissa I said (what do I know about plants?!) and so we enjoyed a rather odd mint sauce with our potatoes.

I was starving so didn’t mention the odd taste.

It’s not mint. Melissa Officinalis is lemon balm, hence our lemon sauce with our potatoes, not tasty.

What is rather tasty is this tea, and it’s lovely lemon scent makes it a really relaxing and refreshing summer drink, lovely enjoyed cool with ice too. Part of the mint family it’s also good for the digestive system, and is anti-viral so if you’re under the weather could give you a nice pick me up, and lets face it, tea is always a tonic!
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I passed my MSc!

A brief one for me today because I’m celebrating tonight! I heard I passed my Masters today so I can now use the letters MSc after my name if I am so inclined!

I have however been keeping busy so I have a guest post with the lovely Gina from Cold Tea and Smelly Nappies today, she has started a great thrifty blogger interview series and I was delighted to be the guinea pig (ahem, first blogger) to take part! Her weekly Thrifty Thursday linky is a must for ideas and support from other thrifters!

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Upcycling From Adult to Toddler Apron

Joss loves to help out in the kitchen and I looked for a little apron but didn’t like all the plastic ones we saw. Eventually I spotted an adult apron in Poundland and liked the sweet ditsy flowers so this was a cut and stitch job waiting to happen! Upcycling From adult to toddler size is easy, if you want to do the same just chop off the bottom and either use to make a pocket or save for a hairband or other project.

Then chop the sides saving the ties (I used a dress of hers for basic measurements for length and width) then I cut off the neck tie and repositioned a couple of inches closer together and stitched up all the hems finally repositioning the waist ties after she tried it on to give a comfy fit.

Cute and thrifty in less than an hour!
fabric toddler apron
fabric toddler apron

Taking Baby for their First Haircut and Other Adventures

Real life

What a change in the weather, back to grey skies and rain but it’s been a lovely week nevertheless. Last weekend started with a child-free day to myself, a rare treat and time for a haircut and spot of shopping. The weekend saw the arrival of mr sunshine and the building of a garden bench, then we had a lovely Tuesday seeing Hannah and Reuben from Mumsdays in the morning and a first haircut for Jossy too.

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At the Hancock

I was delighted to be handed her first curl for our tots memory book, it completes her book and though I feel sad that we’re drawing a close on the ‘baby’ months this little girl is a joy to be around!

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The hairdresser was brilliant with Joss, I recommend going somewhere you go yourself, I love our stylists at my local salon, friendly and bubbly they really put Joss at ease, they asked her about her day and talked to her like she was a grown up which she loves, then when she was relaxed she had a quick trim to get her used to the experience, there were no tears, no need for distractions and a lot of smiles!

Blog life

In blogland I had a really popular post on making a summer garland this week, if you’d like to make one yourself details are here!

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Inspiration

I also lost a few hours this week on a bit of a bloggy jaunt which started with this beautiful book, following some of the blogs it mentions somehow led me to find the blog Junkaholique for which I am very grateful, what a treasure-trove of inspiration and loveliness!

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Mums' Days

- See more at: http://www.mumsdays.com/#sthash.mTNrKCA9.dpuf

Cake Angels Ice Cream Cone Cupcake Review

Goodies

The lovely folk at Cake Angels sent us an exciting parcel this week, look at all those sprinkles, a cake lovers dream! Ice cream cone cupcake anyone? I was intrigued!

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How to

These cupcakes were so simple to make, just add water to the mix, fill the ice cream cones, and bake for 20 minutes. When they came out we let them cool, topped them with butter icing using the icing sugar from the pack, and then the fun part, decorations!

Sprinkles everywhere and a sticky child who really loved the vibrant colours! A stroke of luck that we had icecream themed cups from Polarn O Pyret’s party pack!

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The proof is in the tasting of course, the cakes were light and airy and the chocolate flavour came through well, Joss loves icecream cones so that they stayed crispy was a big plus for her, and they were so simple for us to make together that I’d definately pick up another pack for a fun afternoon together!

What do you think?

Good enough to eat?

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Thanks Cake Angels, we really enjoyed our treat!

Disclaimer: I received these goodies for the purposes of review, all views are my own.

Family Fever

Natural Cleaning Products Part One

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There are some eco-brands that I use for home cleaning, but as it’s the season of spring cleaning I thought I’d share some eco-ideas that have multi-uses and reduce the need for lots of different products using lots of packaging. This is a mini series so part one covers vinegar, lemon, bicarb and salt and part two will be back with borax and more!

Natural Cleaning

Vinegar – cuts through grease and limescale

Fill your kettle with a cup of distilled white vinegar and leave overnight to tackle limescale, rinse thoroughly the next day.

A mix of equal quantities of white vinegar and water make an effective floor cleaner

You can clean your windows with white vinegar and rub dry with a newspaper scrunched up to get rid of any marks

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Lemons are your friend!

They give a really fresh smell when you integrate them into your cleaning regime

When we moved in to our flat the taps were limescaley and nothing shifted it, I cut a lemon in two and jammed each half over the end of the tap and left for two hours, when I came back the scale just rubbed away!

Lemon juice cleans stains from cutting boards rub the juice full strength onto the stain and let sit until the stain fades, then rinse and dry

You can clean hard water marks on glass shower doors with half a lemon

Bicarbonate of soda

Make a paste with a tablespoon of bicarb and water and pop it on a cloth to clean your sink, sparkling!

Repeat this to make a cleaning paste for pots and pans, to remove stains from cups and clean tarnished silver

A cup of bicarb in your fridge absorbs fridge odours

To clean grout make up a paste of 2 parts bicarb, one part vinegar or lemon juice (this will fizz!) apply the paste with a toothbrush, leave for 10 minutes and then rinse

Dampen the floor of your oven, sprinkle with bicarb and dampen again. Leave the mixture overnight then remove with a cloth and rinse with warm water

Table salt

Salt doesn’t scratch so it’s great for glassware, add some salt to a stain for extra abrasion and scrub

Pour salt mixed with hot water down your kitchen sink every few weeks to deodorize and keep grease from building up

A great one for coffee lovers, add salt and ice cubes to your stained coffee pot, swirl around for a minute and rinse, it scrubs away those stains!

 

Button Craft Tutorial Mumslist

Real Life

This week has been more relaxed but relaxing myself if something I find hard so I took to crafting again as I like to have busy hands to keep a busy mind calm! We’ve also been potty training but more on that later!

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You can make this little button heart in less than half an hour with some fine craft wire and an assortment of buttons. Just thread your buttons onto the wire one after the other gently bending the wire to get the buttons to sit close to each other, then when you have a long line of say eighteen buttons bend the ends of the wire together to form a circle, then bend into a heart shape and keep moulding the wires til you’re happy with it. add a ribbon and admire your handiwork. This works really well with little crystal buttons or a mix of crystal and silver too!

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Blog Life

This week I have been joining in with some comment linky groups and have come across some lovely new (to me) blogs in doing so. I have also been working on my photography, still not great but I thought I’d share some of the things I’ve been trying here with my five photo tips for fellow non artistic bloggers!

Inspiration

I came across Keri-Ann’s blog through a blog comment linky Gingerlillytea is pure whimsy and gorgeousness you must stop by with a cuppa and have a good old read!

I am also hugely inspired by this pin and am looking at creating something similar in our little space!

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Mums' Days

- See more at: http://www.mumsdays.com/#sthash.afvKx888.dpuf
 

Very Berry Pavlova

A simple very berry pavlova jam packed with frozen raspberries and blackberries, thrifty but with no compromise on taste!

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Ingredients

3 large egg whites
175g golden caster sugar
Large tub whipped cream
100g of mixed frozen blackberries and raspberries defrosted
One teaspoon golden caster sugar

Preheat the oven to 150 degrees

For your meringue, place your egg whites in a large bowl and whisk until they form stiff peaks, you need to be able to turn the bowl upside down without the egg whites tipping out! Once at this stage stop whisking the egg whites will collapse

Whisk in the 175g sugar a tablespoon at a time, whisking until all the sugar is in.

Prepare a baking sheet with baking paper, spoon a third of the meringue mix on to the baking sheet and smooth out with a spoon to form a 6 inch circle

Take a large tablespoon of the remaining meringue mix and dollop next to the large circle spooning six smaller around the larger circle, this will form a ‘nest’ for the filling.

Put the baking sheet in the oven turning the heat down to 140 degrees and bake for an hour, then turn off the oven and leave the meringue in to cool and dry out.

Top with whipped cream with the berries gently swirled through, you can decorate with chocolate if desired.

pavlova

Tasty Tuesdays on HonestMum.com

DIY body scrub…very very bright pink!

I adapted a Martha tutorial to make this bright pink scrub today, all for under £3 (I had some ingredients at home but still waaaay cheaper than a shop bought spa version!)

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I used two cups of epsom salt, 100ml of almond oil, five drops of lavender and chamomile blended oil and mix mix mixed with a small amount of natural red food colouring to give the satisfyingly pink colour. These photos are taken half way through, once topped with the second cup of epsom and a little more almond oil it mellowed to a lovely rosy pink! A real softening treat on a budget!

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