Christmas crafts part 2 – fabric gift bags


I have a few gifts I’ve made and some I’m planning that needed a little work on their presentation, like the Christmas fudge I will be doing mid December.  Rather than buy posh cello I’m using plain, and I decided to spend an evening getting to know my new sewing machine and making some gift bags from fabric scraps, some ribbon and I’ll make a nice tag for each one, ten minutes of cutting and pressing and ten minutes of sewing and I’ve made six for less than £1!

Mammy (0) – The hot footed kid (1)

This week was not my finest, not by a long shot. When your day starts like this maybe you should’ve known!


This week Joss got the rotavirus, except I didn’t realise until we’d gone out for the day, to a museum, with a packed lunch and big plans.

OK so we saw the dinos, and the animals, I thought a bit about Night at the Museum and we had cake, and then it all went a bit wrong, and a bit smelly…

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So we popped into a section of the Museum called the Mouse Hole, totally sweet little under fives room, with dressing up stuff and stuffed animals and a hole in the wall leading to a little secret room for children to hang out amongst softplay sized chunks of cheese cushions. Sounds great I hear you say. I looked in there though and it made me come out in a cold sweat, the entrance was teeny, I decided we’d play in the main room instead, until Joss asked for water, I headed for her bag as she headed for the mouse hole, “hang on darling, Mammy’s got your water, one sec”. Joss got in the mouse house. Too quick for me…


I peered through the adult height window, “come to Mammy sweetheart, lets play out here…please…” – “NO!”

Oh well, I thought, she’ll come out soon, but then I heard straining and grunting, and she was getting upset. Claustrophobic, I started to feel hot and ill, then the smell reached me, good grief!

I panicked.

My super Mam reflexes kicked in, did I push my fear aside and go in and get my girl?

I’m not proud of this but I had to get someone else’s four year old to bring Joss out for me, I couldn’t see an adult sized door and was too scared I’d get stuck in the toddler sized tunnel leading off the front door.

Having never had to bathe a child in a tiny sink I had my first and only wish that I had disposable and not washable wipes, I’ve also never looked at a cloth nappy and wished I could bin it rather than wash it, but this poor child has suffered this week :(

I’ve started a wee scarf for her and she has rested, I’m telling you now though, we aren’t going to that Mouse Hole again until she’s old enough to come back out!


Christmas crafting part 1

This is my first Christmas craft post in what I hope will be a series. A friend sent me a pin on Pinterest with oodles of stocking bunting and a crochet blog link from this lovely blog and I decided to have a go myself, just the one for now mind, not sure I have the time to achieve a string of bunting with the time I have between studying at the mo as I’m transcribing interview data on a nightly basis!


Addition of a pompom was my idea, who doesn’t love pompoms at Christmas?!

Cupboard refit at last

Heads up folks, this is not going to be a pretty before and after but it’s a blooming practical one!

I have found this cupboard both invaluable and a pain, its the only real storage space we have, yet it was cut in half by a useless shelf which made it difficult to organise. This means its been rammed full of stuff and difficult to get into, dark and potentially spidery, *shudder!*


With everything taken out it looks like this:


Today we had it refitted and I’m so pleased with the difference a few small changes have made, there’s a light which we’ve never had, as it’s impossible to see anything in here after about 3pm! Four shelves make good use of the sloping space, and new boxes with clear labeling bought to sit stacked right at the back it will be much easier to get into. So there you have it, not pretty, but practical!



Chad Valley Ride-On Review

Joss is never happier than when out and about, exploring! Now that she’s walking she really enjoys the daily walk we do to the Farm at the end of the street, but she tires easily so we often take it easy, but I’d been thinking of a toy we could take out to let her rest her legs for a little while.

She was lucky enough to have the opportunity to review a product from the Argos Dream Toys 2013 range – see the range here. We reviewed the Chad Valley 6-in-1 Ride On Quad.

As you can see there was a bit of fun for both of us involved in our first trip out with the Quad, and Monkey came along for the ride too!


She loved the wind in her hair and as we like an autumnal walk it was nice to go through the crunchy leaves too! This added a real fun element to what soon becomes boring as we do this walk a lot!



Indoors Joss had a good explore and I will probably pop the handle off so she can use it as a push along toy too.


I loved the sturdy design with side bars and back stop for safety, and the six in one design means that it is suitable for her younger friends too with the rocker option, or older playmates, and Joss herself in time to come when the parent handle option is no longer needed. As Joss is always on the go it would have been nice to have a harness to stop her hopping out but we use reins for walking anyway so used those for a little more security. As the handlebars control the front wheels she was still a little young to steer but we soon got the hang of turning slowly!

If buying as a gift I’d say give yourself an hour to assemble, and you will need some items from a toolbox, a hammer and a screwdriver. I assembled this on a Saturday when Joss was out with Daddy as it required a bit of hammering to fit the wheel caps, a bit noisy and fiddly with an impatient little one about, but quite a satisfying task to undertake for someone who likes making things. I thought the stickers were sweet too and as Joss loves stickers we added a few of our own!

Whether you have a younger baby and would like a rocker that grows with them, an active tot that who loves to walk but needs a break from walking, or an older one who loves to scoot about this might be the dream toy for you.

Review in collaboration with Argos

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What’s the Story?


Tynemouth Priory yesterday, we love a wintry walk by the coast, to “blow the cobwebs away”.

Whether stressed about friendships, exams or life in my younger days, or just needing to take a break from my studies now there’s nothing like a brisk walk, bag of chips and a natter to put the world to rights whilst the sea ebbs and flows.

We’re so lucky, blessed, to have this a 30 minute Metro ride away and the light was beautiful yesterday, a perfect end to a relaxing weekend.

Quick storage fixes that really work

I absolutely love our Tyneside flat, high ceilings, huge rooms, and big spaces…


But my bugbear is a real lack of storage space. My kitchen is teeny tiny, a galley with waaay too much stuff crammed in. This week we made a couple of adjustments, some shelves in a dead space to add storage next to the door, and replacing the dark cupboard shelving with pull out baskets, a makeover it is not, but a good solution to an old problem has made me happy. I can see exactly what we have now, and wont go shopping and buy rice only to come home and find a kilo sitting at the back of a cramped dark cupboard!


I’m hoping to have another post to share next week, a before and after of the storage in my under stair cupboard :)