Washi tape notebook pocket


washi tape pocket notebook

As I can be working on a wide range of research projects at any one time I like to use a different book for each one. I really rate Paperchase notebooks as they’re pretty good value and come in a wide range of colours and sizes, I add this washi tape notebook pocket to the front of each to store my notes and any interesting documents I pick up along the way.

This is one I made for our holidays last year; I added it to our travel journal to store our ticket stubs and leaflets which I use for scrapbooking. The nautical washi tape has had a LOT of interest, that’s Paperchase too!

You can do the same with any notebook you like if it has a sturdy cover, using just a piece of cardstock and some washi tape adjusting the measurements to suit your needs.

Washi tape nautical close up

I simply cut a piece of card to the height of pocket that I’m happy with, fold the bottom of the card up at a height of about one inch and then fold the card in three, taping the fold lines with my washi tape and leaving the top of the pocket open then taping all the edges folding the washi tape down the middle to make a sturdy pocket. I then stick the pocket into my notebook with strong glue.

If you like you can cut a notch out of the middle section of your card to make opening the pocket easier, I also added another strip of card to make a second pocket for smaller ticket stubs, handy!

(NB I buy a lot of stuff at Paperchase but this post is not associated with them!)


Poundland memo board hack

I’m really busy with work right now, so I thought to myself, you know what? You could really use an hour to procrastinate missus!

I used the time wisely to upcycle my old poundland memo board with some washi tapes; after a bit of repositioning my poundland memo board hack was complete!

Poundland memo board hack

Still productive as it’s a) useful for helping me organise and b) helps make a dent in my washi collection

Work 0 Play 1

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.

under the sea toddler craft

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

fuschia flowers fuschia flowers

toddler octopus

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!
Follow my blog with Bloglovin

 photo 93142f35-6d39-479f-b3de-d94dbca68162_zps58499252.jpg

Mumslist feat Mollie Makes Blogging

Real life

Remember this post featuring Nelly’s gorgeous new piglets?

Well they got big!


This has been my week, Farm, home, lunch, park, Farm Saturday-Wednesday, then Wed-Fri it was work, home, dinner, Farm, park…

Not that I mind, it’s repetitious but Joss loves this latest routine and all this fresh air and running has yielded some good lie-ins!

Blog and Inspiration

Rolling these two together this week, I treated myself to Mollie Makes Blogging because I couldn’t get to Britmums (boo!) I was glad I had a voucher as £9.99 for a mag is a lot but I’ve dipped into it all week!


I love Mollie Makes and blogged about the shoeclips I made with my latest kit, I loooove them!


Do you regularly buy any magazines for inspiration?

- See more at: http://www.mumsdays.com/#sthash.G7Ecz7rZ.dpuf

I accept my Liebster Award with thanks!

Thanks to the lovely Hannah at Mumsdays who nominated me for a Liebster Award!


A Liebster Award is an award for bloggers, a way to say, hey, I like your blog! It’s a bit like a chain letter, I answer 11 questions from Hannah and then nominate more bloggers with less than 500 followers to answer my 11 questions, here goes!

What is in your handbag right now? (no taking that half a kitkat out)

My purse, phone and keys, a pair of Joss’ socks, some almonds, a diary and many, many sweet wrappers that need to go!

Why did you start blogging?

I started out blogging 18 months ago as a way of keeping a record for my little girl, I wanted to track our journey through parenthood and I’ve always enjoyed writing so it was a way of keeping my mind busy and engaged during maternity leave. I am one of these people who have many varied interests but I found taking time out of the world of work freed me up to be a more creative homemaker both in play, cooking and craft; being on a tighter income but valuing eco-friendly approaches meant I had to be even more creative with money, blogging about it all kept me sane!

What do you find most challenging about blogging?

Not being very good at self-promotion! I love what I do but I have to put on my big girl pants to get it out there!

Who is your blog idol? Present company accepted

It’s hard for me to choose just one, I have so many, but I drop into Lulastic… each week, I love her thrift posts but more than that it’s her commitment to honest to goodness writing and eco-living that I really admire!

What’s your favourite – Facebook, Twitter or Pinterest and why?

I get more enjoyment from Facebook but I get so much inspiration from Pinterest that I’d have to choose pinning! I’m here if you’d like to follow me!

If you could live anywhere, where would it be?

I’m a real home body and love Bill Quay, it’s my spiritual home the North, but I have family in Holland and it has such a great feel to it that I’d love to be with them more too, I’d live half and half here and there given the chance!

How many kids would you like to have?

I get asked this all the time at the moment – this and, are you planning another! I will sidestep this in the way folks do the sex question in the Guardian, I ain’t telling!

If your house was on fire (and everyone was safe, dog, cat, kids, etc), what would you grab?

Joss’ memory book and my jewellery box would probably be about it, I’m not terribly attached to things in the way I was pre-family life, hubby, dog and kid, the rest would be a nice to have but nothing I’d really be mindful about grabbing!

What’s the best film you’ve seen in 2014 (doesn’t have to be recent!)?

Intouchables, set in Paris the brilliant Francois Cluzet plays an aristocratic quadriplegic looking for a new care assistant, Driss, an out of work street-smart young guy turns up looking for someone to sign his Social Security papers to prove he’s seeking work. Phillipe offers him a trial as his carer and the rest, well you’ll have to see for yourself but it is phenomenally good, phenomenally!

What thing (quote, book, song, movie, idol, etc) get’s you motivated to be the best you can be?

Should I go with a dishonest answer or a cliche?! Before every public speaking engagement, big event/anything where I need a confidence boost (which you lovely lot know I really do not enjoy putting myself through) I put on some music and shake it out, favourites include Lee Moses’ Bad Girl (if you’ve seen the most recent series of Girls you’ll get this even more) Voodoo Child, something really funky! I also have a quote above my desk by Maya Angelou


This applies heavily to the work I do with charities and in supporting them to campaign, both sides have given me strength when I’ve needed it. I also draw a lot of strength from my latest tattoo, it’s no happy accident that I can see it when I’m writing, it spurs me on to stay grounded and says to me “I shall not sink”

anchor tat

What is your signature dish?

I really need to write up the recipe for this, my leek, fennel and potato gratin is my fave thing to eat ever, it’s the most comforting meal, so I love to cook it as I know it’s gonna hit the spot!

So my questions:

1 What do you enjoy most about blogging?

2 Do you have a favourite thrifty tip?

3 What do you like to do to relax?

4 What did you want to be or do when you were growing up?

5 Where do you take your inspiration from for blog ideas?

6 Do you have a favourite song or piece of music and why?

7 Which five people living or no longer with us would you invite to your dream dinner party?

8 What one thing would you tell your sixteen year old self?

9 What’s your biggest blog challenge?

10 What’s your fondest memory?

11 Will you share your favourite ever blog post with me please?

I’m tagging these lovely folks and I hope they’ll accept their award and blog their responses!

Jenny from wethreeplustea a new blog but very entertaining

A blog I came about through Love All Blogs, the very sweet Dorothy Whiskers who writes an online mag for 6-10 year olds which I think is a brilliant idea

and finally for services to recycling and some blooming great ideas Vicky Myers Creations

Shear good luck at Bill Quay Farm

I hate Charlie and Lola; there I’ve said it.

Joss on the other hand loves it, especially the episode Lucky Lucky Me. Herein lies an example of the jarringly poor use of of language that I don’t like:

Lola: Maybe today I’m absolutely the most luckiest person in the whole world. (sings) Lucky, lucky, lucky, lucky me-eee-ee


All being said, we’ve seen this so many times that lucky lucky me popped into my head when we were out this week, how lucky is Joss to live 30 seconds walk from an amazing urban farm?

This week the sheep shearer came down to Bill Quay Farm and Joss got to have a good look at the action.

freshly sheared sheep

She said that the wool felt ‘soft and comfy’

toddler sheep shearing

After a brief run in with a goose that was giving the stink eye…


We ended the day with a few wooly pictures made from the fleece!

all's wool that ends wool

A great gNappies review

gNappies offer a great way to make the move into cloth nappies. I’ve posted frequently about the eco, thrifty and gentle to babies skin benefits of cloth bumming; these bright and soft cloth pants act as a reusable cover to house either cloth inserts, or biodegradable disposable inserts can be home composted (wet ones only) or binned. We reviewed this ‘sposie option.

gnappies purple review

Often one of the questions I get asked about cloth nappies is about managing out and about, on holiday, and with childcare. Now I use cloth full time, but I find it handy to have something disposable on hand for poorly tum times or holidays, having this option of a biodegradable insert would solve these issues, could smooth the transition to cloth and give new parents the confidence to take cloth nappies out and about knowing that they won’t have to carry a poo around with them (genuinely this is a concern I hear a lot!)

I love the range of colours this brand delivers, I’d also heard great things about fit so was looking forward to giving them a go!

Here’s my rundown of gNappies pants:

1) The whole package

I really liked the little card that comes with the pants, if you’re new to cloth this is a really handy guide to cloth bumming from newborn onwards, even covering off umbilical cord care and cloth nappies.

gnappies purple review book

The design feature of gNappies that I really liked the sound of was a back fastening for tots that can take off applix nappies, this feature gives a great fit and stops cheeky antics in their tracks!

The outer shell of the pants is made in the softest of soft cotton, I wish I could capture it in a photo, trust me, it’s soft!

gnappies red review whole nappy

The inner shell is a waterproof pouch that snaps into the outer pant and holds your insert. This is very handy because you can use the outer again, changing the inner and reduce the number of pants you need too, thrifty!

gnappies red review

2) The fit

The slim fit of the medium size pant works great for Joss, but there are five size ranges and two sizes of inserts going up from newborn to 15kg+ although not a birth to potty style nappy I benefit from something that best fits Joss for the size she is as she is a skinny minnie and doesn’t change her shape much so I do value a great fit and gNappies deliver.

3) The inserts

The inserts looked like a giant sanitary towel, so giant I couldn’t see how they could possibly fit in the natty little pouch, but they do, and they give the nappy its unique shape popping in easily. These inserts are really thin to give a great fit, but their biodegradable filler made from made of cellulose, fluff pulp and super absorber does what it says on the tin and absorbs really well. We have a heavy wetter and the nappies went 3-4 hours as I’d expected.

4) The eco-bit

The inserts can be home composted (wet ones only) or binned. When the nappy is soiled, simply remove the disposable insert, dispose, and tuck in a new insert for a fresh change. As we all know conventional disposable nappies do not break down, it’s estimated it takes 200-500 years per nappy! These compost down within 3 months which is a huge deal for the planet.

5) Washing and drying

The best thing about this nappy for me was the drying time, wow, I was not expecting them to need just an hour on the line in the sun, our other cloth nappies take 3-4 hours so this is a great improvement

As cloth nappies go these are at the pricier end of the spectrum, but I say that with a caveat as you need fewer outer pants with this option, especially at the toddler stage where they need less frequent changing, I think these are a great cloth-starter nappy and a great fitting nappy for older ones too.

(Disclaimer – we received four gNappies pants to get us started, all views are my own)

Mollie Makes Shoe Clips and More

I love anything that can jazz up a plain outfit or pair of shoes and love shoeclips. I’ve been making my own for a while and have found that cheap clip-on earring backs picked up in craft stores make a great base for them!

Mollie Makes issue 41 came with a great set to make your own shoeclips, a la these:

(image from molliemakes.com)

My Own Take

True to type I decided to make up a variation on the original Mollie Makes shoeclips so I added some gorgeous Liberty Tana Lawn Betsy fabric and made bows instead of a pompom shape.