15.2.14

love in a lunchbox



I had the idea yesterday to fill up the little ladies lunchbox with a veritable feast of valentine inspired treats. 

Of course it was about 2am ish the night before that I had this idea and so had to make do with whatever I could find in the cupboards. I cut her sandwiches into hearts. Lucked out with a packet of mini Jammy Dodgers and found some decidedly heart shaped strawberries. 

As I was excitedly scribbling a little valentines card for her I pondered at what age things like this go from adorably sweet to mildly embarrassing. 

When will me doing things like this become an eyerolling irritation for her and invoke the teasing of her peers? 

After much thought I decided probably not until she is about 23.

Have a loved up weekend x

13.2.14

love letters



Last summer, when we were over in sunny California, although it might sound a bit crazy bonkers, but there were some days we just tired of frolicking on the beach.

Some days {or at least for a bit of the day} we just wanted to stay at home and make stuff. Or colour stuff in. Or cut out stuff and glue stuff. I guess we just kind of missed the British weather, a bit, maybe, kind of…or at the every least we missed having a rainy day indoors kind of day.

So we’d scour our 'home away from home' for anything we could use for our crafty pursuits.


Hidden away at the back of a kitchen drawer was an abundant stash of disposable wooden chopsticks.
Just begging to be dolled up they were. We used them to make flags, and tissue pom pom stick type things and puppets and twirly ribbon twirler whatsits and all kinds of things.
AND we made these message arrows. Which are just a bit super easy and kind of fun to do I think. They just popped into my head thinking about Valentines Day tomorrow so thought I’d share.

T O    M A K E
Using the chopsticks as a base {but straws or wooden skewers would work just as well}, and papery bits for decoration {wrapping paper, magazines, envelope liners, wall paper, photocopies etc}. We cut two triangles for the tip and two feathery type shapes for the tail, which we stuck with glue to either side of the stick.

Decorated with all sorts of things, ribbons and tape cut from nice shopping bags  {the sort you get nice shoes and clothes in, not so much a Tesco’s plastic bag}, washi tape, sequins, buttons, feathers…..etc, etc…. the more preloved the better.

Use special words and letters cut out of magazines and catalogues, yes, a bit like a kidnappers ransom note, but it’s all true love baby!

12.2.14

sunday scraps



Not to be confused with the usual sibling scrapping that can occur from a sunday with nothing to do and nowhere to go. Ooohhh, let’s just ponder a while on that last bit…..nothing to do and nowhere to go………… Ahhhhhhh…….Nice.
The sunday just gone was that exact sort of day. Bliss. It’s been a while since we’ve had such a day. 
A typical day of iffy weather. Which meant an expedition of sorts was completely out of the question but for a quick jaunt in the garden for a go on the swings, a bit of mud pie making and the planting of the first tree in our new improved garden - but that’s a whole other blog post.


So, it occurred to me a while ago that the paper recycling was becoming a mountain of epic proportion every week. And a lot of what was being recycled was actually quite nice papery bits. That could be used for cards and gift tags and garlands and well, all sorts of things really.


I seem to get a lot of catalogues through the post. Actually, loads. Some are very uninteresting but some of them, well they are like little magazines in themselves. With stunning images and layouts. It seemed a shame not to reuse some of the pages, as too when throwing out those free calendars you get with magazines { such as Mollie Makes etc }. I don’t buy so many magazines of the papery kind anymore. I’ve become hooked on the digital versions* of all my favourites that I can peruse with ease on my iPad. I think this is why I’ve noticed the beauty in all these free catalogues.


So anyway, on sunday. Our lazy, blissful sunday. While the nippers enjoyed a bit of communal colouring in, I enjoyed a bit of sunday scrapping, armed with a couple of paper punches { mainly scalloped circles }, a stash of willing papery bits and a cup of tea. 
I’ve been doing this for the past year or so now so what began as an envelope full of paper cutouts has now grown into a box.  I could probably stop now as I have plenty but I must admit to finding it just a wee bit addictive. 



I admit it. I am a Mag Hag.


7.2.14

out with the old cake, in with the new...


Happy New Year…I’m not sure how it can be that we are hurtling towards the middle of Feb….I still haven’t packed away the Christmas decorations yet..!


The past couple of months have been a veritable cakefest of buttercream layered proportions.

All of my immediate family {husband aside} have birthdays in December or January. It’s exhausting, to say the least. Especially as this time round, two of those birthdays were sorta special ones. A 40th and a 70th. Mine was not the 70th {although it’s beginning to feel a lot like it was}.

The kids are less than two weeks apart and with birthday cakes and parties to prepare for it’s a bit of a stress …


The little lady had requested an Ariel cake. 
I made a vanilla sponge cake {Peggy Porschen recipe} for the bottom tier and a chocolate sponge {Brooklyn Blackout cake recipe from The Hummingbird Bakery} for the top tier.


I’ve never really had a lot patience with the decorating bit of cake making, it all just seems like too much hard work!!! Only to then be eaten…

Last year I left the beautifying of the cake to the very last minute. 
Having spent the entire evening stitching an Aurora costume for the princess potty birthday girl,
frantic and covered in threads, I called out whimpered to granny of the icy north {who, luckily, was just in the kitchen} at about midnight to see if she could take over the rolling out and laying on of the incredibly important pink fondant icing.

Earlier, in a haze of supermum big headedness, I had just assumed that at some point I would take on the persona of Jane Asher, and that I would find myself {obviously not at some ungodly hour} daintily sculpting figurines of all the Disney princesses my little poppet was so enamoured with out of fondant icing…

But in reality, I found myself, at about 2am ish, creeping into her room in the dark dead of night searching for small plastic figures that I could plonk on top of the cake.
I lucked out and found Sleeping Beauty with the three fairies…I got away with it. 


But this time round I didn’t have granny waiting in the wings, so I just had to bite the sugar paste bullet, as it were.

It helped enormously that this year I didn’t have a costume to make, and that the husband took the kids out to the aquarium for the day. 

What began as a neccessity to cover up some cracks and lumps and bumps in the icing, ended up becoming a tour de force of sugar paste sculpture. And the thing was, once I relaxed, took my time, realised that simple shapes and strips of fondant could be simply twisted and shaped  to look like seaweed and coral, that little balls of white fondant and shimmer powder could look like bubbles and simple circles could be placed to look like a mermaid tail scales …..
I   HAD   FUN!   I   REALLY   DID!!*

Although it hadn’t occurred to me, that when it was all finished, it would require a fork lift truck to shift it….

I really didn’t plan on creating such a beast of a cake. It just sort of happened. With 35 kids coming to the new 5 year olds party, I panicked. I thought, 
‘What if there isn’t enough cake…?’
I don’t know what I was thinking….We were still eating that cake two weeks after her birthday.

In fact right up until I had to start making the next kids birthday cake….!

Alfie’s rainbow sponge dino cake.


If you invite dinosaurs to a party, they will come.
{and when you put little party hats on them, they just instantly look so happy!}




* But won’t be rushing into creating another quite so soon...






13.11.13

the duck and the squirrel

Me and the little man finally made it out today for a stroll to the shops. The first day in a while where the autumn weather hasn't consisted of torrential rains and blustery winds. 

Infact it was glorious golden sunshine with a frosty nip in the air so we wrapped warm and headed out on our errands.

When I say shops, I mainly mean the charity shop because it has been yonks since I’ve had a nosy in the window and to be honest I was getting a bit fidgety with lack of charity shop treasures to ooh and ahh at.

But look at these beauties we picked up today. I’m not sure if it was the christmas advert from John Lewis, or the ‘woodland’ theme the little mans bedroom has adopted, but these two little treasures just seemed to call out to me from their rather mundane shelf in the way that many inanimate ornamental types often do to me while shopping…. 

“Take us home and admire our rustic woodland charm”

And so I did and I have!




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