Monday, 28 November 2011

And the winners are...

Danielle, from Blissful and Domestic.

And Kate, from Song Kate Sang.

Congrats ladies! I am sending you an email now, look out for their lovely adverts soon. In the mean time check out their blogs. 

Danielle has an awesome blog with lots of great tutorials and is putting together an amazing series for December called Handmade in December. You may have noticed the button for it already on my sidebar! *wink wink* 

And Kate is so, so sweet and does the most amazing photography. Seriously she has some skills! (and I'm betting a pretty awesome camera too!)

Little Victories

So today: 

I got lost in the city centre of Leeds and had to ring my husband at work for directions. 

Ethan screamed at me multiple times. 

He also refused to get in his pushchair or car seat.

Izzy went crazy too-tired hyper at bed time. 

Izzy then cried for half an hour because of a little cut that was part way healed on her leg.

But, I remembered that I get to spend my days with my children.

Ethan slept for three hours.

Which meant I got to turn this mess...

You know it's bad when your husband complains about how messy the baking drawer is.

I couldn't even get to my cupcake cases!

Into this...

Aahhh :)

And I got to then bake with my daughter.


Life here is not always easy. But it is good.

And don't forget that the free advertising competition is still open until 10pm UK time today (just over one hour!). I'm happy to advertise blogs and shops. Enter here.

Holiday Comforts and Hot Chocolate on a Stick

This post is sponsored by Tempur-Pedic, the brand millions of owners trust to deliver their best night’s sleep every night. Enjoy our Buy 2, get 1 free pillow offer now and give the gift of custom comfort to someone you love.

Since December is just days away, I wanted to share with you some things I love about Christmas, a couple of my holiday comforts.

I think it goes without saying that family are a huge part of Christmas time. I am extremely lucky in that both mine and my husband's parents live just five minutes from us. We normally get to see each set at least once a week.

However, we tend to do the same things. Eat dinner (at their house), chat and then go home. (As you can see we make the most of free dinners round here! :) )

When December comes around we try to do more events and activities together. My mum's side always have a get together just after Christmas with my grandparents, aunties, uncles and cousins. Andy's side is a little smaller and all get together boxing day. 

I'm the second oldest of eight children, my husband has one sister, needless to say when he met my family it was a bit of a baptism of fire! Especially as most of them were still children. But they all adored him straight away, except my older, protective brother (it took him a few months to make sure his intentions were good!).

Anyway, as they've all gotten older and gotten married and gone away to university I've just wanted to make sure we make the most of having most of our family close by. So one thing I organised recently was a family night at our house.


Plus it gave me an opportunity to try out this home made hot chocolate on a stick recipe I found a while back.

I didn't make my own marshmallows...sorry, but the recipe for them is on the link if you want to try out your own. The chocolate part is a ganache (chocolate and cream melted together), I used the same as the one I use for the topping of my favourite chocolate cake recipe or truffles. But it's basically one part cream to two parts chocolate. I don't generally measure, but err on the side of too little cream as it's easier to just add a little more if your mixture is too thick.

Just melt together over a pan of hot water and allow to cool and thicken before pouring into a silicone or non sick tray with at least two inch or so high sides. I also poured some into a heart shaped ice cube tray because I wanted it to be pretty!

Cool in the fridge until firm and then cut out a square shape from the tin, place a heart shape on top and stick it!

I added a little ribbon too because I can't resist!

Swirl into a mug of hot milk (full fat of course!) and enjoy.

You can tell my dad was impressed!

Decadent hot chocolate and all your family round? Perfect Christmas time activity I think.

I also had whipped cream, aero bubbles, grated chocolate and even some truffles with the left over hot choc mixture on the table. But my camera decided it was sick of taking photos of decadent hot chocolate it couldn't enjoy and died before I could take any photos of the creamy, chocolatey towers everyone made! 

So what are your holiday comforts? A big blanket and a perfect film? Your favourite slippers and cranking up the heating when you come in from the cold? Anything with the family is a hit with my kids at the moment!

Comfort is the perfect gift for everyone on your holiday gift list, so be sure to take advantage of Tempur-Pedic's Buy 2, get 1 free pillow offer! I was selected for this sponsorship by the Clever Girls Collective.

Sunday, 27 November 2011

How to avoid seeing naked men whilst eating your cereal

Or why you should put up a blind in your kitchen.

The view from our kitchen window, which has previously had no blind/curtain. 

Where I would go to get a drink, look up and see our neighbour topless. At least I hope it was just his top half naked...

But the last straw was when I went in one evening and saw neighbour lady injecting someone's face in their kitchen. Apparently she throws Botox parties!

So I got some Ikea fabric and a tension rod (rented house + I'm lazy). Sewed two squares together, turned and hung.

It does make it more homely. And matches my little bird!

Plus, any more nudity/kitchen based medical procedures?


Though I'm not sure what to call it. It's not really a blind, or a curtain.

A blurtain? Or curtind?

Wednesday, 23 November 2011

Star Jars

This last weekend Izzy and Ethan both got croup. In fact Ethan ended up in hospital Sunday night, which was awful. Needless to say they got it quite bad and have been taking up all my time! 

But they're on the mend, and I even managed to do a little crafting last night. I found a really simple video on how to make little origami stars. I just clicked to it as I love to see how clever and intricate origami is. But this one looked simple enough for me to have a go at (even in my sleep deprived state!).

Now I didn't pin the video, and I can't find it, but here's one for the same thing. Sorry, I thought I had pinned it! Anyway, you basically cut a strip of paper 1/2-1 inch by 12 inches. Some of mine were a little shorter as I was using scraps, and they worked fine too!

I wrote a quote on one side of mine. Good job I have plenty on Pinterest!

Then tie the top in a knot.

Then just keep folding it over on itself, it will form a pentagon. Tuck the end in and squash the straight sides towards the center making a star. (check out the video for the proper tutorial, it's much better!)

I filled two little jars I got for 50p each at a car boot sale with quotes (one for my brother and another for my sister).

Then decorated the jar. And maybe added some sweets...

It's so hard to think of presents to make for boys/men. But this should be nice as he can open one out when he wants some inspiration, plus learn origami at the same time!

Hopefully it's not too obvious that I'm running out of thickers!

But I do love that you can cut them down to make other letters! 'a' and 'r' in yellow started out as 'd' and 'h'.

Do you find men as hard to make for? Especially something they'll use. And if you don't leave me some ideas, as I still have 4 men to get presents for!

Monday, 21 November 2011

You're all awesome!

So, I'm very excited, as I've hit 100 followers!

If a little overwhelming, I mean I am aware of the many, many (most) other blogs who have hundreds and thousands of followers. But to me this is huge. I have between 200 and 350 people each day who read my blog. How crazy is that? Sometimes I look at that and I just think, wow. How did that happen?

Anyway, I wanted to say a big thank you to all of you who read and support me and give me advice. Because you're all lovely sweet people, whose blogs and comments I've read and who have never given me any nasty comments. Not even when I shared this picture:

along with these confessions!

So I'm going to give away some advertising space on my sidebar. I've never had advertisers before so I'd like one of you to be the first. In fact two of you. 

Leave a comment below, anything you like. If your stuck maybe tell me which project or tutorial you like the best? Then I know what to do some more of! But anything goes. Just include a link to whatever you want advertising. I'm happy to advertise a shop, blog or anything else appropriate to my blog. 

Your advert (150 x 150) will go live on Thursday 1st December and will run for two months.

I'll pick two winners on the Monday the 28th. If you have an advert already great! If not as long as you can just provide me with an image and a link I can take it from there. 

Please make sure you're a follower to enter. Good luck!

Winter Beach Trip

Well that's what you get when you ask your three year old what she wants to do on her Daddy's week off!

But it was beautiful, with thousands of washed up muscle shells. And deserted!

I actually now think it may become a family tradition!


And speaking of traditions...

Men eh? Every time he sees one! 

Good job he's so handsome.

Tuesday, 15 November 2011

Bauble Wreath

So, the beginning of this year when I first started my blog, and had like three followers, I blogged about this bauble wreath:

The tutorial is so simple, just bend a coat hanger into a circle, thread on baubles and twist in the ends. Hot glue any the fall off. Tie on a ribbon to hang and your done!

Click here for the original tutorial.


Sunday, 13 November 2011

How to make a pretty tutorials page

Well, much improved to how I had it anyway!

It took me a long time to work out the right size of image to get to fit my page. (Like an hour!) Hopefully if you want to do something like how mine is above, this will cut down on the time you have to spend to make it!

First upload your chosen image (the one you will have people click on to go to that tutorial) onto (the editing you need is free for all of this, and even some touch ups if you want to do those too.).

Edit it first to make it pretty and then click on 'edit' on the top tab and then 'crop' on the left side menu. 

I know, awesome freestyle arrow drawing skills.

Then select square. You can have it so it's not quite a square, but when you change the size later you may end up with a squashed image (I learned this the hard way...).

Crop your image and then select 'apply'.

Then click 'text' to add the name of your tutorial. 

Choose the font, adjust the colour and size, move it around and then click 'apply' when you're done.

Next click 'resize' , I know you're blown away by my helpful arrows and circling!

Change the dimensions to 170 x 170 and click apply.

Then save to your computer and insert the image onto your tutorials page. Make it a link using this post

You may need to adjust your size slightly to work for your blog, but mine is a standard width and it does three on a line easily.

Let me know if you have any questions. Or if you do it yourself. Or if you already knew how to do this and I'm just r e a l l y slow at picking this stuff up!

Enjoy your week!

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