Toddler Printable Library in a Box!

If like me you have a child that absolutely adores libraries, stickers, stamps and books then I have the perfect Toddler Printable Library in a box for you!

Joss loves our local library and asks to help stamp the books when we pop in on a Saturday, I wanted to recreate this as a play activity we could do during her quiet time at home. She’s really into role play so this will make a nice change from playing ‘shops’ for a while!

I made Joss a little Library Box with bookplates, a date stamp, library cards and stickers and other stamps so that she can play ‘librarian’ at home, and now you can too!

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These Toddler Printable Library cards and labels are free for you to download and print as many times as you like! Just paste the label onto a shoebox, cut out the cards and bookplates and fill your box with stamps, ink, pens, stickers and hey presto, your little one is a Librarian!

Library label

library cards Printable cards

I’d love to see what you add to your own library boxes, if you print them pop back and let me know how your library play goes!

 

Playmais toddler review!

Playmais toddler review – The Lowdown

PlayMais┬« is a natural, versatile craft material for children, made from 100% biodegradable maize, water and food colouring it’s an environmentally friendly play material which sticks together with a tiny dab of water and can be shaped easily with the fingers.

Suitable for ages three plus it looks temptingly sweetie-like but is totally safe if eaten, as Joss is under three we played under supervision but to be honest it was such fun that I loved joining in too! This scores big eco points and big fun points in this house!

Available from Crafters Companion Playmais comes in a variety of forms, from small boxes to create one-off pieces, to big packs for learning colours, shapes and forms, they’re really versatile and would make a great gift whatever your budget as prices start from just ┬ú2.99 for smaller sets.

We received a mosaic set, colours and forms set and princess to review from Crafter’s Companion.

play mais sets

Playmais makes play fun!

I’m always interested in toys that can help develop Joss’ fine motor skills and which encourage creative thinking. As I said in this post on toddler schemas Joss is really into small fiddly bits to play with, look at all these pieces of Playmais, I love the vibrant blue!

Playmais pieces

We set to work with the Little Friends box, whilst Joss explored I created a few pieces to collage with, big kid that I am, it was great fun and super easy!

A dab of water from the orange sponge enclosed in the pack held these pieces together and they were so easy to mould too!

Playmais toddler review

Joss got really interested in the colours and quickly got the hang of sticking them together! As you can see it’s easy to make pictures with the mats included in the pack. The colours really appealed to her and the characters are really sweet!

Playmais toddler review!

What we liked about it!

  • Playmais is really versatile, we took some out and about in a ziplock bag, a dab of water from a bottle onto the sponge is all you need to create on the go!
  • It encourages creativity
  • It teaches colours and shapes
  • It’s natural and environmentally friendly
  • It’s great value for money with loads of pieces and would make a great creative gift
  • It’s something for all ages!

Thanks Crafters Companion for introducing us to a great new craft, eco and fun for everyone!

Blackberry recipes and crafts!

I’m sure they’re early this year, they’ve inspired me to blog about blackberry recipes and crafts this weekend, this mumslist is all rolled into one, real life, blog life and inspiration brought together by berries! Though not quite ready for a mass picking they’re definately on their way to being ripe.

Blackberry recipes and crafts

Joss has been enjoying the Bill Quay Blackberries on our daily walk for about a week now, a little tart still but she will eat them anyway, sharing the odd one with Toby dog along the way! This pic was before pink stained fingers

Joss with berries Blackberry recipes and crafts

Lately we’ve been turning to her Usborne A First Book of Nature to read about the changes in the seasons so we looked at the Blackberry Picking pages today. It’s a great book and a lovely way to frame chat around the activities we’ve been doing lately.

I have been making these little crochet face scrubbies to take off my favourite cleanser, it’s a really stubborn one to remove but a gorgeous treat for the skin. If you’d like to make your own I used this pattern (very simple for beginners!) with some lovely berry coloured cotton yarn, they wash really well and scrub off all the cleanser without a need for a face scrub, so thrifty too!

crochet round face scrubbies Blackberry recipes and crafts

And finally, a recipe from the book which inspired our pudding!

Blackberry recipes and crafts

crumble1

We also had a treat this week in the form of the Back to School with Dr Martens blogging event in their Newcastle store, comfy, stylish and long lasting we had a great morning out and these are on our Autumn shopping list!

dr martens for toddlers

Natural ice lollies for babies with Nuby Fruitsicles

Nuby Garden Fresh

Nuby’s new Garden Fresh range gets a big thumbs up for promoting home cooking, designed for less waste so that home prepared food can be stored and frozen it prides itself on supporting Mummy Made Goodness.

We try to avoid processed foods where possible and I’ve always made home cooked meals for Joss so this range has big appeal taking you from preparing and storing through to serving up foods for your little one. New products like the Fruitsicles for making fresh ice lollies at home join old favourites like the Nibbler and weaning spoons, the range is really versatile and comes in lovely bright appealing colours for kids.

We often meet with friends we met through the baby led weaning group I co-run, we get together once a month or so to share food with our little ones, we sometimes get joined by new mums who are interested in baby led weaning and share recipes and ideas for home cooking that the whole family can enjoy (it’s where the idea for these potato pancakes came from, saving leftovers to make something totally different!).

Natural ice lollies for babies

As we’ve been having a spell of good weather I prepped a big batch of Fruitsicles for our meeting last week, as well as our famous fruity pack a punch toddler flapjacks! In keeping with the all natural theme we had bowls of blueberries and raspberries, yogurt smoothies and homemade houmous, yum!

The fruitsicles I prepared were jam-packed with fresh strawberries and two oranges that I had whizzed up in my blender, I kept it to a fairly thick pulpy consistency and then popped spoons of the mixture into the moulds. Each Fruitsicle is filled with two teaspoons of pureed fruit and so they’re great for portion control for babies and toddlers, and the soft grip handles are perfect for little hands.

fruitsicles

We met in the park and started with the Fruitsicles before they melted, they were a big hit, I had one too (for taste test purposes of course!) and these all natural ice lollies were really fruity and naturally sweet! I later made up a batch using some of the leftover yogurt smoothies but they were so popular they were gone before I could get the camera out (natural yogurt, banana and raspberry if you’re wondering how they were made!)

fruitsicles 2

Giveaway time!

Nuby have kindly given me a bundle of Garden Fresh products to give away including:

  • Fruitsicles

  • Nibbler

  • Suction Bowls

  • Coverall Bib

  • Grip N Sip Cup

win a nuby weaning bundle

If you’d like to get your hands on this huge bundle of goodies simply enter via the Rafflecopter widget and leave a comment on this post

WINNER ANNOUNCEMENT – WELL DONE EMMA!

T&Cs – UK entries only, there is no cash alternative, winner will be chosen at random via Rafflecopter and informed within 24 hours of competition close

Fabric transfer paper gift ideas

These 5 fabric transfer paper gift ideas were inspired by some great tutorials over at Wolves in London, Sabrina’s blog is a great resource and so I have to start this post by thanking her for introducing me to a great new craft addition! If you’re of the crafty ilk I urge you to check out her tutorials

I have been beavering away with making gifts for a while now, part of my moneysaving plan for birthdays and ahead of this Christmas I have been trying to make as many cards, gifts and wrapping as possible. I sort of hit on a slow period this Summer and decided to look around. When I saw Sabrina’s lovely fabric transfer projects I had to have a go and made a list of fabric transfer paper gift ideas. As I was going for a low cost base I picked up transfer paper in Poundland. Two sheets for a quid made all of these projects plus I have made a further ten tags, five mini cards and countless fabric drawstring bags! Essentially I pasted all the images I wanted to print into a Word document and adjusted the sizes til they fitted on two pages, then I printed them and cut out the images ironing them onto my projects as and when needed.

I sourced my images from a range of places, including by searching for ‘free vintage printables’ on Pinterest.

Here’s my rundown of 5 fabric transfer paper gift ideas

Five fabric transfer paper gift ideas

1 – Vintage sweetheart print gift tag with lace and pearl embellishment

Ironed onto some plain calico and then cut out and layered onto fabric this sweet tag was then embellished with a piece of lace from my stash and some pearl braid which I use for so many projects but picked up from my local fabric store for a bargain 5p a metre in their fantastic sale. I have since made oodles of these little tags, they make simple presents look really special!

2 – Children’s party favours or travel storage bags

I made this little calico bag in about ten minutes to store Joss’ farm puzzle pieces which kept getting lost. She loves this simple pig print and I think it would look great on a tea towel too! These would make cute party bags filled with sweeties or a little colouring book and crayons

3 – Fabric cards

This does what it says on the tin, I have loads of fabric samples and often stitch them freehand onto card but don’t always have complementary Happy Birthday stickers, instead I typed and printed up some Happy Birthday motifs to add to my cards!

4 - An Axolotl’y Fabulous Tee

Joss’ favourite word is axolotl, for those not in the know an axolotl is a ‘walking fish’ and there is one at our local museum. Joss loves them, she also loves printed tees but the chances of me ever finding an axolotl tee were pretty slim, now she has one! I know this won’t be for everyone but it’s made a Mama and her Girl very happy!

5 – Fabric drawstring storage bags for shoes, undies, you name it!

These become an altogether nicer gift for the addition of a little ironed on motif, this beachcomber print is perfect for my seaside loving girl and stores her precious cuddly toys, I made myself one with a print of a pair of special shoes and another to give as a gift with the recipient’s name printed on.

I hope you like these fabric transfer paper gift ideas, if you have a go yourself do let me know what you make!

Toddler pinwheels for picky eaters

Real Life

I’ve been re-blogging this post about how to handle not being able to breastfeed for World Breastfeeding Week 2014 which comes to an end this weekend.

Joss has been a bit off colour lately and consequently has eaten very little. My toddler pinwheels for picky eaters are great for lunches and Joss usually plays with them, then eats a bit. If she is involved in making them and sprinkling the cheese then even better, she’ll be more interested in eating them as she had a hand in making them!

toddler pinwheel fussy eaters

Ingredients

Sheet puff pastry
Grated cheddar
Ham
Tomato puree or two tablespoons of passatta

I cut my puff pastry sheet in two and freeze half, the other half makes eight pinwheels. Unroll the pastry and spread the tomato onto the base, then top with slices of ham and then with grated cheese, my trusty cheese sprinkler Joss likes this bit!

Don’t overfill as the next stage is to roooool the sheet of pastry like a swiss roll, then slice into eight chunks, lay each out on a greaseproof papered baking sheet.

Bake at 180 degrees for 10 to 15 minutes then cool and serve, or store for the next day or two for packed lunches.

Blog life

I had tea with Beth from Betty and the Bumps and Hannah from Mums Days yesterday and they got me thinking about where my blog is going. I have a new list of questions and some things I am working on, like my blog traffic. In the short term I have posts coming up on handling toddler fears and a competition coming up too.

Inspiration

I have been reading some inspiring ideas on writing as posted by Beautiful Misbehaviour and giving some thought to a challenging post I’d like to draft

Mums' Days

– See more at: http://mumsdays.com/#sthash.KOYZpbwP.dpuf

Kiddycharts Blog

Rain rain go away!

Real Life

What miserable weather! Rain rain go away! Nothing for it but to pull your wellies on and puddle suit and take a dinosaur for a walk!

Here are our top five rainy day activities and not a colouring book in sight!

  1. Grab your waterproofs and hunt for the biggest puddle in your neighhbourhood and jump in it!

  2. Try to find a secret shelter from the rain! Is there a tunnel, underpass or spot under the trees near you? Who knows what you’ll find! P.S. I find cafes make rather good shelters (and rather good cakes come to think of it!)

  3. Make mud pies, yum!

  4. Grab a brolly and sing in the rain – incy wincy spider or rain rain go away should do it

  5. Go on a wiggly worm hunt!

joss

Blog life

I’m running a small giveaway on Facebook to try to drum up more page likes, will let you know how it goes next week!

I have some lovely review posts and a blog competition coming up soon which I’m really excited about.

Inspiration

I have returned to crochet, I can only dream of making something as good as this crochet tweed iPad case by Gemma Garner, it’s so blooming perfect I could cry, but seeing it inspired me to pick up my hook again!

And if this isn’t the gosh darned nicest big girl’s room I have ever seen don’t know what is! I am thinking of a bedroom re-do for Joss so this is my inspiration!

Mums' Days

- See more at: http://mumsdays.com/#sthash.I1YtfFDQ.dpuf

The Canvas Prints Review

I was delighted to review a canvas from The Canvas Prints as this was to be the first canvas we’ve ever owned! We have a lot of art on the walls at home but I really like mixing up textures so a canvas was a way of adding a different scale and texture to our current displays.

I sent this photo of Joss holding Daddy’s hand to The Canvas Prints, it’s a fave of mine and was taken after a special family meal.

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Less than a week later an exciting parcel arrived!

The Canvas Prints Review

I had been fretting a bit about being new to canvas as I really had no idea whether or not the canvas stretching process would distort the image, or how appropriate for canvas the photo I had chosen was. I looked at the FAQs on the website and felt reassured, the image was the right pixel size and was good quality.

The canvas was beautifully wrapped for the post and if sending as a gift I’d have no worries about postal damage as the bubble wrap and box were a great fit.

The canvas is sturdy, the print detail is exactly what I hoped for, it looks really nice on the wall and the corner wrapping is really crisp and smooth and the final seal well executed. I was pleasantly surprised to see a hook for hanging as I know other brands don’t do this!

I chose a picture wrap where the photo is continuously wrapped around the frame, I think it looks great on the wall like this, but they also do colour wraps where you choose the edging too.

The range and options available gave me food for thought, I like the idea of these split canvases and displays too

Canvas print wall displays - 5x12x30 Split canvas prints - 3x16x20

Our introduction to canvas is a big hit and I would definately consider buying more!

Disclaimer: I received a free canvas to review, all views are my own.

Our Lemon and Lime Theme Wedding

We just celebrated three years of marriage and I had a good old reminisce about it by poring over our photos.

I haven’t really blogged about our day but used to love looking at 100 Layer Cake and Rock n Roll Bride so it seems appropriate to copy (ahem, take inspiration from their style spreads)!

Here’s our lemon and lime theme wedding!

wedding collage

The flowers

I obsessed about craspedia flowers in the year run up to the big day, they’re my fave flower in my fave colour and so once I found a florist that could source them I planned the whole day around them and devoted a page of my wedding planner for craspedia inspiration!

Wedding inspiration scrapbook

My bouquet had temarisou, craspedia and white chrysanthemums with lime centres

Temarisou and craspedia wedding bouquet

The decoration

I made our invites and a few other touches like the postbox and the wishing tree and then ran out of time so we didn’t have the giant pompoms or bunting I wanted but otherwise it felt like there were lots of personal touches!

We had vibrant floating candle centre pieces and bright yellow sashes on the chairs

bright yellow floating candle table centres Bright yellow chair covers

The insert invites appealed to my stationery obsession!

Invites

The cake

Handmade by my lovely and super talented cousin I wanted something delicate and lacy, the brooch and ribbon now adorn our wedding photo album. It was a rich and yummy fruit cake, one of my fave memories was taking a break from honeymoon packing to look at our cards and eat more cake the following day!

Lace and brooch wedding cake

Wedding Brooch Photo album

The dress

The first I tried on and I just knew it was the one, I tried just five dresses and this one, Meryl by Romantica was everything I hoped for, light silk, beaded lace detailing, swags and with a Grecian drape to it; I loved how lightweight it was for a summer wedding

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out the church

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The car

A lovely vintage ride!

5 car

The bride

I had my makeup done by my fave artist from my local MAC counter in rich plum tones and hair by Helen Church who did these fab sculpted curls. The tiara detail matched the loops of silk on my dress and I wore my favourite Chanel perfume. My garter was made from vintage silk and pearls and is now stored in a Laduree box from our honeymoon it was my old and new and my Mam sewed a tiny blue stitch into my dress lining for something blue, I borrowed a little button from a friend that was stitched onto my bouquet handle.

plum tone wedding makeup

vintage garter

The groom

He wore a hire suit, no top and tails, it would have been too formal, he had a craspedia button hole and I gave him some new cufflinks too

Just Married

The big day

We married at the church I was Christened in and Joss was later Christened in too, I was so very nervous that I had to catch myself and really focus on the service! Walking out hand in hand with my new husband felt like a dream and I couldn’t stop grinning; after a few photos we headed to Saltwell Towers for afternoon tea followed by a wedding breakfast, the sun shone and it was a magical day.

We partied into the night and got some lovely night shots too!

saltwell towers night wedding

The story wouldn’t be complete without our wedding album, keeping to theme I had one photo enlarged and we chose a vintage frame from Re in our wedding colour to display our favourite photo.

saltwell park wedding

bright yellow wedding frame

And finally…

Joss came along and my dress was chopped into a gown fit for an eight month old princess, nerve wracking to see it chopped up but totally the right thing to do, this heirloom gown will stay in the family for generations to come!

wedding dress christening dress gown

Blogging these pics was a small thing that made me smile a lot!

The Mad House

Making willow plant supports

Inspired by a recent trip to a garden centre I decided to have a bash at making willow plant supports saving myself five to ten quid a pop and using some of the willow I gathered on a recent walk with Joss. I think they look really rustic and I wanted to recreate this look in our own space.

www.pinterest.com

Source unknown www.pinterest.com

We followed this tutorial and I have to say it was an enjoyable hours work while little miss played with her sandpit and water table.

diy willow plant support

This one is holding my lavender plant that took a bit of a battering with the recent heavy rain.

willow plant support

If I make more I’ll soak the withies (the long bendy flimsy willow branches) for a bit longer to make them more malleable, but hey, handmade never looks perfect, it’s knowing you made them for free and enjoyed the process that counts!