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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Envelope Gift Bags for Father’s Day

Who knew you could make a gift bag from an envelope in less than five minutes? How About Orange inspired these Father’s Day envelope gift bags made from a plain envelope and some washi tape, but you could use stamps or stickers too!

Sweets are readily eaten in this house, and Mr B likes Wine Gums especially. I think these gift bags make good sweetie bags or a smart way to present an awkward to wrap small gift.

How to:

Seal an envelope and cut off a quarter inch from one side. Decorate your envelope. Fold both sides an inch in towards the middle and then fold the base (the uncut end) an inch too. Then pop your hand in the opening and push the base up as shown in this vid :) then stick down the corners with a little tape, fill and seal before handing to your lovely loved one!

Nautical envelope gift bag

Envelope gift bags

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

Toddler Stained Glass Windows

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This was a great idea that our local museum sparked off, toddler stained glass made from acetate, glue and lots of little pieces of torn up tissue paper.

Help your tot to spread pva glue all over one side of the acetate, then pop different coloured pieces of tissue paper over the glue, it’s fine to layer them up, you just don’t want it to be too thick to see the light through!

Leave to dry, then fold a piece of card in two and cut out a heart shape to overlay on the clean side of the acetate. Stick in place on the card and leave to dry, then hang in a window to let the light through!

For older kids you can chat about how glass is made and look at pictures of more intricate stained glass as we did at our art class.

Here’s one to get you started, I think this one is a good one to chat about!

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
 

Deckchair Stripe Lavender bags

I made some of these little lavender bags as a gift for my Mam; I’d booked a massage for her birthday and wanted her to have something relaxing to unwrap as I don’t like giving a gift token as a gift with nothing else, must be related to my wrapping paper obsession!

These are really easy to make up, if you have your own lavender plant as I do harvest the heads as they are drying at the end of their season, bundle and hang them together and then when they’re dry take the husks and store them in a dry place until you’re ready to use them. Stitch together two scraps of complementary fabrics insides facing, I liked a summery deckchair stripe, leaving a small gap to turn the right way round through, then fill with lavender and hand stitch the gap closed.

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So satisfying seeing something from your own garden brought back to life!

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The Fastest Ever Leftover Potato Pancakes

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Ingredients

4 medium sized left over (cooked) potatoes roughly mashed

A splash of milk

1 large egg

5 heaped tablespoons flour

Oil to grease pan

These were a thrown together last week hence the hazy instructions but I’ve made them since and they’re fool proof!

I usually cook extra spuds to make potato salad or top up my work lunches as I am trying to cut down on bread.

I mixed the mashed potato with a beaten egg and added the flour mixing until it looked fairly smooth. I added milk until the mixture became loose, you want it to be the thickness and consistency of american pancake batter.

I greased the frying pan with a little oil and on a low heat poured all of the mixture out flattening with the back of a spoon until a cm in thickness. After four minutes it was ready to be flipped over, and another four minutes later I turned it out and let it cool for 30 seconds and cut into wedges to serve with mayo.

A fast and tasty lunch!

Tasty Tuesdays on HonestMum.com

Taxedo / Tagxedo tutorial – recording memories, first words and phrases

My last Taxedo / Tagxedo tutorial had a lot of interest, I wanted to share my latest, which captures some of the interesting phrases Joss has been coming out with!

Here it is!

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You can either point Tagxedo to a website, your blog perhaps, and have a tag cloud created out of common words on the site, or write a string of words as I did.

You may need to install Tagxedo first:

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Click on Load on the left and type your text in the box:

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If you want to record a phrase use a tilde between words to keep them together i.e. sit~down
Click submit and have fun playing with the colours and shapes on the left, there is a lot of choice!

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Click save and share to save your design and upload to your blog as you would any photograph or print to make a sweet greetings card (and remember that you cannot use Tagxedo for commercial purposes)

First Words Taxedo / Tagxedo Tutorial

I had some positive comments on my post about Joss’ first words and some readers were interested in how I created this little picture showing her new words. I used a website called Taxedo / Tagxedo and thought I’d do a little tutorial so that you can do the same! It’s at www.tagxedo.com

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You can either point Tagxedo to a website, your blog perhaps, and have a tag cloud created out of common words on the site, or write a string of words as I did.

You may need to install Tagxedo first:

1 First Words Taxedo Tutorial

Click on Load on the left and type your text in the box:

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Click save and share to save your design and upload to your blog as you would any photograph, and remember that you cannot use Tagxedo for commercial purposes! Oh and it’s quite addictive!

Crafts on Sea