Welcome to my blog!

If you ask me what my very favourite thing is I would not hesitate to say my family. I came into motherhood quite late on, and was immediately overwhelmed with how amazing it is. Now I would like nothing more than to be a Domestic Goddess, and surround my family in love, good food, beautiful things and lots of happy memories. And like the majority of families these days, we need to do it on a budget!

I firmly believe we all have a little bit of the Domestic Goddess inside us, just waiting to break out. Whether that is knowing how to make a roast chicken feed a family of 4 for a week, being able to make, repair or recycle clothes, hunting down a bargain, or simply turning everyday, simple things into pretty or useful items, with a little bit of imagination we can all dip in to the Goddess inside and make our lives that little bit more interesting.

I hope you enjoy reading my blog as much as I enjoy sharing my (challenging) journey into Domestic Goddessness!

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Epic Parenting fail!

Well, not exactly. That's a bit dramatic, really. Though I have to be honest and say that recently my Domestic Goddess training has slipped quite a bit. Not sure where time has gone. In a few short weeks it will be Christmas, and then I will be back at work. Not looking forward to leaving my babies behind one little bit!

Tomorrow my big girl will be 5. Not sure how that happened! It seems like only yesterday I was cradling her in my arms after a very long night, and now she is big enough to be at school, and have a little bit of independence. I guess it won't be long until she has a lot more independence, living away from me and living her own life. How quickly they grow up!

So maybe you'd like to see her birthday cake? Just a sneak preview then....


Ok, I'm not actually telling the truth there. That was supposed to be her cake. It's in the Disney Cake and Sweets magazine, and I thought it would be a nice surprise for her, since she loves fairies and Tinkerbell in particular.

It didn't happen. Not entirely my fault, as she decided she wanted a Moshi Monster cake instead. So I am afraid to say I took the easy way out, and bought it from the supermarket. Still, she will be happy when she sees it, and that's all that matters....right?
I've been preparing for Christmas this week as I'm sure you all have been doing too. I have been asked to make the cards for St Michael's brass band  again, so Supplies have been purchased and I will be making those as soon as my ribbon arrives. I've also been preparing for the arrival of a little visitor, our little Christmas Elf, Violet. We are hoping that she will bring the fairies with her when she arrives on the 1st December and they put the decorations up for us, to save us the job. We have some new Christmas decorations from the lovely Jem at Jam Dalory, some personalised ones for our our little family of five is complete. Some photos to follow...but she has some lovely designs so take a look.
Of course I'm linking up with Wendy at Handmade Harbour  (even though I haven't got a make this week to showcase....but I still would like you to take a stroll over there to see what's been happening!) Hopefully I'll get the chance to update on my One in the Oven blog this week...
Have a great week
Til next time!

Sunday, October 20, 2013

It's all about boobs!

That wasn't a typo. This post is dedicated to boobs. So if boobs offend you, then please walk away now!
As some of you may already know, I am currently training to be a breastfeeding helper with the Breastfeeding Network, with the hope that once my training is finished, I will be able to volunteer in breastfeeding groups, and even on the postnatal ward, supporting mums who are breastfeeding their babies, and may need a little bit of help or support to do it. The numbers of mums breastfeeding in the UK is quite poor really, when you consider that Mother Nature designed our bodies to perform this function for our newborns. I don't want to get into a whole political debate about the reasons behind this, nor to comment on it further really. Those of you who know me 'in real life' know how I feel about it all already, and really women should be able to make their own decisions, for their own reasons, on how they choose to feed their babies.

That said, I am obviously 'pro-boob' I couldn't deny that even if I wanted to. I am 7 months into my breastfeeding experience with my son, having fed my two daughters to 14 mths and 15 mths respectively. And the very fact that I want to be a Breastfeeding Helper kind of makes it a bit obvious how I feel on the subject!

So this week I want to use my blog to just promote the work that the Breastfeeding Network do. And to show you my boobs. Ok, before you get worried, I do not own a single photo of my boobs, or of me breastfeeding any of my children. So I don't want to show you my actual boobs. Just the ones I made. Phew.

The Breastfeeding Network is a charity whose aim is to offer independent information and support to breastfeeding mums and the people who care for them. In collaboration with The Association of breastfeeding Mothers they run a helpline, as well as running their own helpline too., and offer a range of information leaflets on a variety of subjects to do with breastfeeding. They also provide training in some parts of the country for mums, like myself, who want to help support other mums on their breastfeeding journeys. The training I am doing is also in association with Homestart, which is a family support organisation.
So why have I been making boobs? BfN helpers and supporters use them with mums to demonstrate hand expressing and also positioning and attachment with the cloth dolls. We were given the knitted boob pattern during a class, but me being me, I had to look and see if I could find a crochet version too! Apparently the charity is always looking for knitted boobs. Each helper is given their own boob during their training) so if anyone would like to help out then you can get in touch with the BfN or comment here, or email me ( and I'll put you in touch with my course tutor.
I have been looking for a pattern for a 'boob beanie' whilst searching the interweb for crochet patterns. I don't know if you have seen them, but they are for babies to wear on their heads while having their lunch in public. A very clever (and irritated I should think!) Australian  mum came up with the idea due to being sick of all the negativity when she wanted to breastfeed her child in public. You can see it here. It basically resembles a boob. It is getting a bit cooler now, and I'm sure my little boy is in need of a new hat.... ;)
I am sure there are lots of other uses for these fabric bazoomas, especially since October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month too. Boobs are amazing things, let's celebrate them :)
I'm linking up with Wendy for Handmade Monday as usual. Please spend any spare time you have having a look at the wonderful blogs linked up over there.
(just a quick note to my fellow bloggers... I have had a fair few problems with logging into google this week, so although I have been reading your blogs, I have been unable to post comments. Hopefully that will be resolved this week!)
Have a great week,

Monday, October 14, 2013

A Belated Happy Birthday...

...and also a belated blog post. I originally wrote this blog post this morning (whilst on the school run, I am such a multitasker!) but the blogger app on my phone decided it didn't want to do as it should, and my post was sent into the ether, never to be seen again! So here it is again...

I have wanted to share this week's make with you for several weeks really, but it was a birthday gift, and I wanted the recipient to see it before the Internet did. We have only just managed to get together, so my friend's present was fashionably late in getting to her. But at last she has it in her possession, and I can show it to you.

(Please excuse the picture quality. I wasn't really aware how rubbish the picture was until I have tried to upload it here!)

My friend is a talented jewellery maker, and I know she enjoys handmade things too. I decided to make part of her present for her, and wanted to do something I haven't done before. I have a pattern for a crocheted necklace, which I have had for a few years, and never my defence I bought the pattern because it had a lovely flower brooch pattern, not for the necklace, and I have made the brooch a couple of times) I had some lovely pink and pale purple (I guess you could call it lilac!) cotton dk so I dug out a crochet hook and set off to make it. Each of the flowers is hand sewn on, with a button at its centre, I initially was going to use the same buttons, but decided in the end that a variety would be more effective, and I'm glad I chose to do that. I am also pleased that I didn't make as many flowers as there are on the pattern as I think I got the balance just right, more flowers would have looked too heavy I think.
I like the effect of it overall, and I think crocheted jewellery is something I might look into doing again. not sure I'll go for the wire version though, as pretty as it is, I think I like the soft look that using cotton gives.

Of course I will be linking up with Wendy for handmade Monday and as soon as I get a few spare minutes I'll be having a look at the fab blogs showcased there. If you have liked what you have read here, then you will definitely like the bloggers who take part in Handmade Monday, so do yourselves a favour and have a look!

I am hoping to have a new little venture up and running in the next few days. It is in response to a few requests from friends, as well as a new direction my family life is taking...more will be revealed soon.

Have a great week!

Monday, September 16, 2013

A very clever lady :)

Not me, I have to say! But my very good friend Angela.  The beautiful boy is admittedly made by me (guess that makes me a bit clever, eh?!) But the changing mat he's lying on was made by Angela as a present for Caelan for his baptism yesterday.  I love it!
I have to admit that this time round I've really not bothered with a changing mat. I tend to use a muslin or towel on the floor (third baby syndrome. .. how many of you double/triple mummies have done the same??) I always carry muslins as they really are the most useful tool in a mummy's arsenal, fab for so many uses, I've even made makeshift sunhats out of them! But since I have frequently had to change one child or other on a cold toilet floor having a nice padded changing mat will probably be a relief for little bums!
Angela also made the cake, and I was thrilled with that too! I just want to say thank you again, you're a very clever sausage :)

Continuing the mummy theme I have recently started a  breastfeeding helper course with BFN/Homestart which I am enjoying very much. For those who know me this will not come as any great surprise as I am definitely 'pro boobs' Formula milk has it's place for those who can't/don't want to breastfeed but I don't think enough is done to support mums-to-be to make an informed choice about how they feed their babies or support them to actually do it successfully.  I am looking forward to being able to play a little part in changing that and hopefully attitudes towards breastfeeding will change in the future.  It's really been one of the most rewarding things I've ever done. I will be quite sad when Caelan decides he doesn't want boob anymore.  Maybe helping other mums might make that a little bit easier.
I'm linking up with Wendy at  Handmade Harbour  for Handmade Monday even though I'm cheating and didn't make anything this week (except the food for Caelan's baptism! ) and when I get chance I'll be having a wander over myself.
Have a great week. Til next time!

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Breakfast with Peppa Pig

Like many little girls, my daughters both love Peppa Pig. And pancakes.  In my local supermarket they sell a pancake mix in a bottle with the little cheeky piggy on the front. You may have seen them.
I'm a purist when it comes to cooking I'm afraid and I really do roll my eyes at a lot of the 'instant' products you can buy. Some have their place, don't get me wrong. I have been known to pick up the odd bread mix and the little cupcake kits for the kids. But some just encourage laziness (ready made mash? Really??) and quite honestly save you neither time, money or effort. Pancake mix comes into this category for me. What can be easier, or cheaper, than flour eggs and milk whisked together? So I have always steadfastly walked passed pancake mixes. Until a couple of weeks ago. I bought a pancake mix in a bottle.  The one with the pig on the front.
In my defence it was in one of those bargain shops so was well under a quid, and i bought it to take away with us so we could still have pancakes. They were obviously a hit, as is anything remotely chocolaty. When we got home, I had to try it out myself.  So I did, and they were enjoyed by both girls (anyone with kids will understand the importance of that!) This is how I did it.
I make no excuse for using American measurements by the way despite disliking the Americanisation of our culture (don't start me off on that!) But using cups as a measuring tool when you need to be quick and/or have toddlers pulling at your leg nakes things so much easier.
Mash a ripe banana, the riper the better, and add an egg and a generous dollop of honey. Mix well and then add 3/4 cup of flour (whatever you have to hand) and a desert spoonful of cocoa powder. Add 1/2 cup of milk and mix well. Be aware you will have some lumps - it's the banana! Pour small amounts of the mixture into a preheated frying pan. And treat as you would any pancake. This is a little thicker than the pancakes we make for Shrove Tuesday.  Cook until bubbles form on the surface and flip over to brown the other side. Serve with fruit, syrup or whatever else takes your fancy. The mixture makes about 6 pancakes depending on your generosity,  and 1pancake with a helping of fruit is enough for my 2yr old, while my 4 yr old will often have 2. 
I suspect this will make a good weaning food when my son is ready for food, but obviously if you are making this for children under 12mths old you must omit the honey. It's not good for their bellies. The banana is sweet enough not to require additional sweetness I think.
Give it a try :)

Monday, August 5, 2013

A little holiday project.

I couldn't come away without bringing a little bit of something to do, even though I've not managed to do much yet. So I brought the little bag I made (and shared) a few weeks ago, which I've turned into my 'little project''s just the right size to hold a few balls of yarn and a hook. Inside there are several balls of different coloured yarns, a hook and scissors and yarn needle. I am making a granny square throw,  something I've said I'll make for ages but not quite got round to. I'm know I'm not alone with the planned-but-never-quite-started project! What's yours? I'm aiming to make squares as and when I can, in between other things, though being honest I do seem to have a few unfinished projects lying around. ...

I've also brought a little project for Caoimhe to do. We watched Kirstie Allsop together a month or so back and Caoimhe was fascinated by the cross stitch she did. So I searched for a little child's kit for her, eventually finding one for a couple of quid in Wilkos. We've made a little start on it but really need to get time on our own to do it I think as Tig was desperate to get involved too. It has been some time since I last did a cross stitch too so I am a bit rusty!

It's time to have a look at  Handmade Monday  and see what everyone's been up to. And we should get ready for a (rather wet) day out in York. Have a great week.

Til next time!

Monday, July 22, 2013

End of an Era

My little girl finishes nursery this week, ready to stqrt in reception in September.  I know I'm not the only mum wondering where on earth the time goes, as clichéd as it sounds, it really does seem only 5 minutes since those two little lines appeared on that stick, and now here she is, ready to start school!

Although she's at a school nursery already,  she is moving on to another school in September and sadly she will be leaving some of her friends behind. I am probably more aware of this than she is (she is very excited about the 'big adventure she is starting) and though I don't want to make a big deal of it, I did suggest that perhaps along with her teachers, she might like to give little gifts to one or two of her 'very best' friends.  She was very happy with that so I set off with my hook and yarn. I had to limit her to two friends as I ran out of time... Unfortunately we all got hit with a sickness bug over the last week so I just didn't have the opportunities to do as much as I wanted to. But you can see the two finished headbands. You might notice they are 'genius' headbands again (the pattern is available on Ravelry) it's a lovely pattern and I'm sure I will be making many more. This time I have embellished them with simple crocheted flowers and a button. I hope the two little girls like them!

I have learned today that Caoimhe's new school has a craft club, teaching them knitting and crochet amongst other things. I'm really pleased about it, obviously,  and will definitely be enrolling Caoimhe as soon as she has settled into school life. You don't hear much about knitting /crochet classes for kids and I think it's a fab idea.

As well as the headbands for her friends,  and the apple cosy teachers presents I managed to fit in a bit of time today with Caoimhe to make the teachers cards. I think she did a lovely job, with minimal input from mummy. Pics to follow on another post. I haven't made many cards at all recently so it was nice to get some of my cardmaking 'kit' out for a change and lovely to spend a bit of time making something with Caoimhe (even if her brother did decide he wanted feeding in the middle of it! )

I'm a bit late to the party this week but hopefully I will make it in time to join Wendy for

 handmade Monday 

Hopefully I will get chance to read some of the lovely and inspiring blogs linked over there.

Til next time!

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Sunday, July 14, 2013

Party planning

How wonderful is this weather!  Even though it's a little bit on the warm side for me really (I don't *do* hot sticky sun probably because I am so fair and I burn so easily) and the nights are a bit uncomfortable for sleeping...but the sunny days just make everything seem happier, don't you think? :)

I'm hoping it sticks around just a bit longer as it is my middlest' s 2nd birthday soon and to celebrate we are having a teddy bears' picnic. Although we've made alternative arrangements in case of inclement weather,  it would be a shame not to have it in the garden. So please cross your fingers that the weekend of the 28th july is a nice one!

Plans are under way for a fun party. Lootbags have been collected and i have an idea what food I'll be servinh too. The cake will, I'm afraid to say,  be a bought one. I was hoping to make it myself but I don't think I have the time. I have managed to finish the bunting for the party after a couple of setbacks - I misread the pattern I had planned so didn't have enough blue flags, then I realised that by rectifying that I would end up with 13 flags which obviously would never do! And finding time to sit behind my sewing machine was difficult too. But over all I really enjoyed making it.

I used 3 different fabrics (one you might recognise as left over from my sling) some scraps of fabric cut into flowers and buttons from my button stash and a long piece of satin effect ribbon.  Amd I'm quite pleased with.the end result.

I'm linking up once again with Wendy over on  Handmade Monday Have a look over there at all the lovely blogs and I hope you have a great week.

Til next time!

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Sunday, June 30, 2013

An apple a day

We've been thinking about the end of the school year and looking forward to a new chapter in our eldest daughter's life as she starts school proper in reception in September. She has spent the last school year in a school nursery so I am hopeful that the transition to full time school won't be too much of a shock for her. Unfortunately she is going to be at a new school rather than staying on where she is now. Something that brings its own anxieties,  though more for us than her I feel!

So this week I've been looking into presents for the teacher.  I don't ever recall doing this myself so it must be a new thing. It's quite a nice idea really. But it does get the brain working. ..what on earth do you buy them that hasn't all ready been done? I suppose the simplest answer is something handmade. I was therefore quite pleased to be directed to an article in the Guardian about crocheted apple cosies. (Unfortunately the link is not active now so I can't pass it on) and I thought it was something quirky and different and plays on the old giving the teacher an apple tradition.  So thats what they are getting :)

I've spent a bit of time behind the sewing machine too and I'm hoping to have something to share with you from that soon. Its not quite finished yet and my sewing time is limited. 

I'm off to bake a cake now to take into work tomorrow when i visit (I'm sure they are missing their regular Herman cake while I'm not there!) but I will leave you with the link for Wendy's blog hop for

 handmade Monday 

Til next time!

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Monday, June 24, 2013

You know you're a mum when. ...

School gives you a week's notice to come up with a costume for something / colour scheme / handmade item etc ( as well as a donation for the privilege! ) Last week was no different for us when we got a letter saying the whole school was doing a Gangnam style dance in aid of the Meningitis Trust. A very worthwhile cause I'm sure you will agree. The children have to wear something yellow. And Caoimhe doesnt actually own anything yellow! After a desperate and fruitless hunt around the shops on Friday night,  armed with yellow yarn, a hook and the Internet (god bless  Ravelry ) I made her a yellow headband,  decorated with yellow polka dot buttons.  It didn't take long, just a few hours which took into account a fractious baby and having to make 2 to prevent world war 3! And I enjoyed my crochet time too. Its been neglected recently but I will have to rectify that I think!

I haven't neglected the sewing either. I've been busy hand sewing flowers and buttons on to polka dot fabric and I have some more cutting out to do before I can sew it all together and reveal the finished product.  Those of you who have seen me on Facebook might have seen the sneaky peek I posted up over the weekend!

It's time to bimble over to  Handmade Harbour for Handmade Monday.  Hope you have a great week!

Til next time!

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Sunday, June 16, 2013

The big reveal

You might remember I told you about something I was in the process of making last week. Well here it is completed.  It was fun to do even though it left me quite frustrated at times. No matter what I did I couldn't get the loop to turn (it wasn't just me 3 of us tried and failed! ) in fact I ended up using some of my own similar fabric that was thinner. I also chickened out of doing button holes! That's something youtube is going to have to teach me at some point.

We had a lovely day at Tatton Park at the medieval fayre. And I came away with some leather offcuts to play with. Not sure what they will become yet.

I've also been doing some wet felting this week. I made some beads. Again no idea what they will be used for although I have a few ideas.

I hope everyone has had a lovely fathers day. What did you get for the men in your lives?

Its that time of the week for a visit to Wendy's blog for Handmade Monday to catch up with the latest goings on in the crafty blog universe.  Hope to see you there :)

Til next time

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Sunday, June 9, 2013

Sunny holidays

Well what fabulous weather we have been blessed with for the school holidays. I hope if you have kids you've managed to get out and about with them and make the most of the sun. And if you dont have kids, or if they are bigger, I still hope you were able to enjoy the sunshine. I just hope that this isn't our summer and that the sun stays for a little while.

We have had a really busy fortnight and part of me is quite pleased that nursery reopens tomorrow! We have been to lots of lovely places - really this is a beautiful country and there is so much to see and do. We even discovered  geocaching ,a great way to explore, and  50 things to do before you're 11 3 / 4 another fab way to get outdoors amd enjoy the world. So I'm sure you'll forgive me for not having a make to share this week.

I have been behind the sewing machine, but my project isn't finished yet and I don't want to share it til it is! I was lucky enough to get a copy of Cath Kidston's Sew this week from my hubby who thought it would be a good idea to inspire me. The project I'm attempting is from this book...all will be revealed soon. Those of you who visit my Facebook page will have seen a sneak preview. Do you know what it is??

I did want to share something with you though and so here is the proof that one of my recent makes has come in very useful. You may remember I made a ring sling, mainly for my son, but to be honest I've got more use out of carrying my tired middlest around when she's had enough walking. This picture was taken at Cleveleys when poor Tig was shattered from all the fun playing in the sea and sand. I think it does help that she was worn quite a bit untill last summer when got too big for the stretchy wrap I had, and she does love being worn still. I am definitely pleased with myself for making it now. Even if I could have got one cheaper on ebay!

I'm linking up with Wendy as usual for Handmade Monday and hope you'll join me over there to see what else has been happening in the crafty blog universe!

Have a great week! Til next time :)

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Sunday, June 2, 2013

Daddy got involved too.

What a lovely weekend we've had. Lots of lovely sunshine. I hope you have all been able to make the most of it. We've had a great day at Dunham Massey on a teddy bears' picnic. If you have never been to Dunham Massey I can definitely recommend it. It's a lovely place, with beautiful gardens as well as a lovely house to wander around too. We recently became National Trust members and we're really looking forward to discover more great places just like this.

This week my hubby had a bit of alone time with our middlest this while I took the biggest to her dance class Obviously I had to take littlest with me since he doesn't like to be away from mummy for long. Well at least not my mummy milk anyway. I was quite surprised to come home to a lovely smell of baking. In the 45 min we'd been out my hubby and Tig made some ginger biscuits. It was nice that Tig got some on her own time with one of us, and she really enjoys baking, just like her older sister too. And they were very tasty too.

I managed very little making thanks to the school holidays as we have been trying to cram lots of fun things into the holiday while the kids still want to be around us :)

I did manage to make a bandana bib as you can see in the picture. It didn't turn out perfectly, the fastening needs tweaking to make it lie better, and I need to decide whether to try poppers rather than the velcro I've used on my first attempt. You might recognise the material. It's the remnants of the fabric I used for Caelan's taggie. I used an old flannel cot sheet for the back. Both should be quite absorbant for when the dribbling starts.

I'm linking up with Wendy for HandmadeMonday. Have a look at the great bloggers who have linked up too and have a great week.

Til next time.

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Sunday, May 26, 2013

You can't make one without the other....

One thing I've learned as a mum is that if one child has something another will invariably want it too, even if they had no interest 30 seconds earlier. This theory was tested this week when I bought a soft toy for little man (the first time I've bought something for him that he didn't need!) and within minutes of arriving home with it it was claimed by Tig! But thankfully Caelan is only 10 wks old, so full on squabble and meltdown was avoided!

So you might recall a couple of weeks ago Caoimhe chose some purple furry fabric from the sewing shop. This weekend we decided to turn it into something...and rather stupidly I suggested a spider. Stupidly because 8 legs made it a bit tricky to sew together neatly. Still I managed with some help from my sister in law (thanks Fiona) especially the hand sewing which I hate! Although I did have the excuse of having to feed Caelan when it came to the hand sewing bit....thanks son :)

As you can see from the picture I couldn't, and didn't, stop with the spider. As the post title says, I couldn't make for one and not the other, unless I wanted to be responsible for the next World War. I had initially intended to make a smaller spider from the remnants of fur but sadly there wasn't enough left. So I decided to make an owl cuddly/cushion instead using an old blouse of mine, which I'll never get near again thanks to breastfeeding 3 kids, as the owl's face.

I'm quite enjoying sewing at the moment, though I am itching to do some knitting and crochet at some point in the near future...I just can't decide what I want to do. I have a box full of yarn that I should really sort through and then maybe I will be inspired.

I may find inspiration over on the crafty blogs linked up for  Handmade Monday  Some great crafters are linked there so have a look. As soon as I get 5 minutes peace (anyone know where I'll find that??!) I'll be over there.

In the meantime have a great bank holiday and those of you with children off for half term I hope you have lots of fun filled family time.

Til next time!

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Sunday, May 19, 2013

Can you tell what it is yet....?

You might recall in my last post I told you about my trip to Bolton to buy some fabric. Well this weekend I managed to find a couple of hours to do something with some of it.

I'm not going to show you any close up shots because quite honestly the sewing isn't the best. I definitely need more practice! In case you are wondering, I made a ring sling. I am a fan of babywearing as some of you might know. I have a couple of slings already (ok I have 4 but who's counting?!) I had a ring sling for my eldest but never got on with it really. But then she didn't enjoy being in a sling much - I think I was too unsure of it myself. But I had to get a stretchy wrap for my second girl as she was a really clingy babe (and still is) and I found it a great help. Caelan has taken to it really well, probably because he's been in a sling since he was a few days old. So when I saw a pattern for a ring sling I thought I'd have a go and see how he liked it too.

It was not the easiest thing I've made even though the instructions were simple enough, and the finish was not how I hoped it would turn out. But even so I'm quite pleased that I did it. And I'm looking forward to getting a bit of time to do something with the remnants of fabric soon.

I'd like to link up with Wendy for  Handmade Monday. There are lots of inspiring blogs linked there so have a lootil next time!

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Sunday, May 12, 2013

Fun in the Sun

How was your bank holiday weekend? I hope you found time to spend it with loved ones. For once the sun was shining and Monday was a lovely day here in the north west. We didn't want to waste it even though me and the eldest were a tad off colour and decided to go for a little drive out. That little drive out resulted in a lovely afternoon at  Standedge Tunnel visitors centre in Marsden. It really was a case of seeing the sign and saying 'shall we see what that's about?'

The girls loved it. There's an outdoor play area with picnic tables, and an indoor soft play area too. As well as a small exhibition telling you about the tunnel and a craft space too (unfortunately dosed on our visit) Just a few yards away there's a cafe where you can not only get the requisite ice creams for the small people, but also tickets for a boat ride too. We didn't partake on  this occasion but plan to on our return. We'll also make sure we follow the nature trail. Unfortunately our pram is just a bit big really for the trail so I'll make sure I take a sling for the little man next time.

It was a lovely way to spend a couple of hours with the kids and without sending much money too (always a bonus) If you're in the area then definitely take a look.

I haven't got much to show this week for  Handmade Monday I don't know were the week has gone to be honest. I did have a trip to a Haberdashery in Bolton earlier today and bought myself some fabric.... If you want to know what I'm going to use it for well you'll just have to wait and see!

Til next time!

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Sunday, May 5, 2013

The Sewing Bee part 2

I would love to be able to say that I've been a busy girl sewing away to my heart's content, making lots of things well into the night. But I'm a mum of 3, 3 small ones for that matter, so you know how likely that is.

I have, however, managed to make a case for my daughter's DS. It only took me a couple of evenings, which is ridiculous but when you have a small boy demanding your attention it's not easy to sew one handed! Has anyone mastered it? I'd love to hear how!

I tried to make it as upcycled as I could. The only thing I bought for it was the velcro, which I thought would be more child friendly than a button. The case itself is made from an old pair of jeans of mine lined with an old sheet. The cat and the motif came from an old pyjama top of Caoimhe's. It didn't turn out quite as well as I wanted it to but I think it's ok for it's use, and I'm much happier with it than with the case I made for her leap pad.

In other news I made a chocolate Herman cake that I was actually happy about. My previous attempts have been a little flat and stodgy. So I doubled the amount of baking powder and used an extra egg. As well as using cocoa powder I used a packet of chocolate buttons from an Easter egg (yes we still have eggs left!) I also added a few raisins, well you have to try an offset some of the naughtiness don't you! When I get around to sorting out the new website I will be posting up my Herman recipes, amongst others though in the meantime if anyone wants me to post them I don't mind doing that too.

It's that time of the week when Wendy hosts  Handmade Monday so have a look at the lovely blogs linked up and see what folk have been up to. I'm about to sink into a lovely hot bath while the milk monster is being entertained by daddy. My peace might last 5 minutes if I'm lucky :)

Have a great week. Til next time!

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Sunday, April 21, 2013

The Great Gallery Sewing Bee!

I stumbled across the Great British Sewing Bee by accident last week and must say I've really enjoyed watching it. It's the final this week.and I'm rooting for Lauren to win. Loving her efforts and my word is she talented! Is anyone else watching it? Who are you wanting to win??

So this weekend we had our own sewing bee! I used to sew when I was little. I was never amazing at it but I got by. I have found, like many women I suspect, that after having kids my self confidence has taken a bashing. So it was lovely to sit with my sister in law Fiona and make a few things, just having someone there bolstering my confidence was what I needed. And it was fun too. I made a couple of things for Caelan, a taggie and a stuffed felt rabbit. I'll share the picture of the rabbit on another post. The taggie (pictured above) is a true upcycled item. It's make from a receiving blanket which I no longer use, I had been swaddling Caelan with it (shhh don't tell the health visitor!) but he has grown out of being swaddled now (mostly because he likes to sleep with mummy but don't tell the health visitor that either!)  and I won't be (intentionally!) having any more children. It was used for all three children  and now it'll stay in the family a bit longer! The back is part of a muslin  square, that essential bit of fabric all mums must have a hoard of! The ribbons were acquired after a trip to my mum's! I am fairly pleased with the finish article but it remains to be seen whether Himself will be impressed with it! You might recall that I made a taggie for Teaghan some time ago, and although it stays in her cot that's the extent of her interest in it!

This week we found out that our eldest has not been allocated to our first choice school, which happens to be where she is at nursery. I can't say I am overly surprised as it is not our parish school, which she has been allocated a place for and we are happy for her to attend, but we were quite disappointed obviously as she is very happy and settled at the nursery. But I have been incredibly proud of the way Caoimhe has reacted. She has accepted that she will be leaving her nursery friends behind and is looking forward to making new ones. She says going to a new school will be a big adventure. My children never cease to amaze me in the way they see things, and embrace everything with so much eagerness. I know Caelan will be no different. They're awesome,kids, aren't they?!

As usual i'd like to link up with Wendy for Handmade Harbour  and I'll be having a bimble over to see what everyone else has been doing this week.

Til next time!

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Sunday, April 14, 2013

Chocolate overload!

Like most houses I think we've had rather too much chocolate following Easter. If there can be such a thing as too much chocolate! So this week I've been trying to come up with ideas to use it up. Last weekend we visited the lovely Mackay family and the girls were kept busy before tea decorating fairy cakes with melted Easter eggs and mini eggs. So when I looked after my niece as well as my own girls this week I thought they could do the same. I made the buns the night before, to save time, and set the table with buns, melted chocolate, a variety of sprinkles and jelly sweets.They certainly seemed to enjoy themselves and at the end of the day we are two eggs lighter!

If you are looking for other ideas to use your Easter egg glut, you could make chocolate truffles mixing the same weight of fruit cake (Christmas cake works well) with melted chocolate and rolling into bite sized balls. You could roll in cocoa powder or decorate with melted chocolate. Or you could engage the children in making chocolate crispie cakes, letting them loose with sprinkles or jelly sweets, try making them with Coco pops or weetos for an extra chocolatey kick. Or make use of that Herman starter bubbling away under the tea towel on your counter and make chocolate and banana Herman cake.

Like most families we are facing a bit of a financial challenge at the moment. We all want to put good food on the table and give our kids everything we can but money is tight and it doesn't look like getting any better in the near future. In any case shouldn't we be making the most of what we have? I am also aware that as a mum to three (not sure how that happened! I'm still in a state if shock!) I have experiences to share that some people might find useful, or at least enjoy reading about. With all that in mind I am thinking of expanding my blog, and maybe incorporating a website, where I can share a bit more of my life - recipes, crafty ideas, and pass on my parenting experience- the high points and the low ones. I might also be looking for other people's contributions so if you have something you'd like me to share then please get in touch.

I'd like to link up with Wendy for  Handmade Monday and think you should go and see what other people have been up to.

Hope you all have a lovely week. Til next time!

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Monday, March 25, 2013

Hello son!

Those of you who know me or follow me on Facebook might already know that I've had a busy week. This would be because of the St Paddy's day present I received, bang on time unlike his tardy sisters! Last Sunday at 1216 am Caelan Michael arrived after a reasonably short (thanks son) but no less painful entrance to the world. We're all doing fine, if a bit sore and sleep deprived, and getting to know each other. The girls are besotted of course. And I'm loving being a third time mum. Only wish I could meet that gynaecologist who told me I'd definitely need medical intervention to have a child. Boo sucks to you mister! I proved you wrong three times!

So obviously I've not really had much time to make anything this week. I had hoped to show you the decorated egg Caoimhe (well let's be honest it will be mostly me) has to make for nursery this week, but an impromptu visit to the pictures yesterday (Caoimhe not me) put paid to that. Hopefully we will be making it in the next couple of days and I can share it again. The girls already have a fair collection of Easter eggs so it looks like there will be lots of cooking with chocolate over the next few weeks.

I did want to share something since it's  Handmade Monday so I have finally written down my recipe for banana pancakes. These are quick, easy and delicious, and my girls love them for breakfast. You can add anything you like or have to hand to the batter, but this is the winning combination for my girls! This recipe makes enough pancakes for 2 hungry girls and I usually have a pancake left over too.

You need: 1/2 cup of flour - I usually use plain but self raising is fine too. 1 banana, the riper the batter, 1 pot of yogurt or fromage frais - the fruit kind, I haven't tried plain but suspect you would need to add sugar or other sweetener if you did. 1 egg, a splash of milk, a good handful of raisins or chocolate chips.

Mash the banana in a bowl and add the egg and yogurt. Mix well and add the flour stirring well to incorporate it all. You may need to add a little milk here to shaken the batter. It all depends on the size of the egg and amount of yogurt. You are looking for a soft dropping consistency. These are thick pancakes, like drop scones, not like thin flat pancakes for tossing.

Drop spoonfuls of batter into a hot frying pan, not too hot or they burn before they are set. When the top looks set and there are little bubbles on the top turn them over for a minute or so to brown the other side. Serve with fresh fruit and syrup - strawberry dessert syrup is the hit here.

You can make the pancakes as big or small as you like. From experience I can tell you they make a good first finger food for weaning too.

Have a wander over to Wendy's blog and see what everyone else has been doing this week.

Til next time!

Sunday, March 10, 2013

On being frugal. And eating crumpets.

Happy Mothers' day to all you lovely mummies and grandmas out there, and the ones who are just like a mum too. In the words of Faith No More - It's a dirty job but someone's gotta do it! Though I very much doubt that anyone ever wishes it were different. I've had 3 sleepless nights with hot snotty coughing kids but despite that I wouldn't change it for the world.

I'd like to take this opportunity to wish for you all a day of love and laughter with your loved ones. With plenty of (hot) tea.

We shall shortly be heading out into the cold with a picnic packed for an afternoon at Portland Basin. I'm sure some people will be enjoying a Sunday lunch at the pub and I'm equally sure every gastro pub (I despise that term!) has a special menu planned so mum doesn't have to cook. At a special price too! Not for us. Sausage and mash is on the cards. And I'm not cooking it!

Money is tight all round at the moment and yet we are guilted into spending what we don't have in this incredibly materialistic age. My girls bought me a box of chocolates (always appreciated!) and another baking book to add to my ever growing collection. In truth I would have been happy with a card and a hug but a recipe book that i can share with the kids in the future, and make lots of happy memories doing so, is lovely too. Who needs expensive gifts or slap up meals? Not me.

I have spent most if the week thinking about frugality and budgets. Unfortunately like many these days my hubby us under threat of redundancy and as I have just gone on maternity leave the pennies are going to be very tight over the coming months. With that in mind I thought it would be a good idea to share our budgetting tips. How do you make your money go further? Its all part and parcel of being a domestic goddess after all!

I'd like to share with you a small domestic success when I attempted to make some crumpets. I got the recipe from Paul Hollywood's Bread book and knew as soon as I saw it that it would be the first recipe I tried. So yesterday I bit the bullet and you can see in the photo my efforts weren't entirely wasted. It took me a while to get them anywhere like crumpet-like in appearance, and to figure out where I was going wrong. But eventually I did and with a bit more practice I'm sure I will perfect them. If you're interested in making them may I suggest not too much batter in the ring (he says to fill the ring to just under the brim but I filled it just over halfway) and watch the heat of the pan. I had it on medium but it was too high. You will know your own cooker/hob and pan the best. It just takes a bit of experimenting. Slow and steady definitely wins the race here. Its not something you can knock up for a quick breakfast but they have kept fine overnight and taste ok reheated. Definitely something I will try again, especially as the ingredients are not difficult to obtain, in fact I bet most home bakers will have them to hand.

I'd like to direct you over to Wendy's blog again for Handmade Monday  to catch up on everyone's week. I will hopefully be heading over as soon as the kids are in bed and I get 5 minutes peace!

Til next time!

Sunday, March 3, 2013

World Book Day on Wednesday 6th March this year. Those of you with children will know this already! What have you got planned this year? Books are a lovely way of sharing precious time with kids and I definitely enjoy reading and sharing stories with my girls either through books, made up stories, or via the big goggle box! They have so many books but tend to have their favourites that we read over and over again.

This year at nursery Caoimhe is dressing up as the witch from Room on the Broom, one of her favourite stories, and one that her sister loves too. We have recorded the animation which was on telly at Christmas and they both often ask to watch it. I love watching it with them, as well as reading it, as there is always something new about it to notice.

She spent Friday afternoon making a wand with Grandma to go with her costume. She had lots of fun and you can see the result of her efforts in the picture. I am still picking glitter out of her hair - how do they manage to do that without fail?! She loves messy play, and making things, as do most children I should imagine. Although at my recent parent meeting with her teacher she did especially point out how excited Caoimhe gets when they do messing play or crafts. Not surprising really as she has always been encouraged to do it.

Not much from me other than the usual Herman cake (just a normal apple raisin and oat one this week) so just sharing my daughter's handiwork with you :) Not that there will be much chance for crafting much in the next couple of weeks. Hopefully I will have a special 'handmade' something to share with you soon!

Don't forget to go and visit Wendy at  Handmade Harbour for this week's contributions to Handmade Monday.

Til next time!

Monday, February 25, 2013

Half term fun!

I hope you all enjoyed your week with the little ones, if you have little ones that is! We had a hectic, packed week and I am secretly a bit pleased it's back to nursery today and we can start getting back to normal. I am amazed at how badly being out of their routine can affect my girls so I am happy that things can now start to get back on track.

So what did you do with your kids? We had a lovely few days in the beautiful York visiting friends and enjoying a break from home. I would say relaxing, but there wasn't much if that! We spent an afternoon and early evening at Creepy Crawlies (I'm blogging from my phone so please forgive the lack of links) which is just outside York. It's more expensive than most soft play centres but it is worth it, much bigger and with more facilities. Definitely one to visit again. And of course there was the mandatory trip to the National Railway Museum. It's a must see if you are ever in York. With it being half term there were lots of activities being held there, Caoimhe enjoyed building a lego train with her daddy. And they have introduced an indoor picnic area too, complete with extra little tea/coffee stall so you don't have to sit outside now (or buy from the ludicrously priced restaurant) I hope that is one thing they keep open.

I was also the recipient of a special present. I'd asked for Paul Hollywood's Bread book for mother's day, but was surprised with it after a trip to the supermarket. I have only had chance for a quick flick through so far but I have already planned my first makes - crumpets! I've also been told I have to make the malt loaf as Himself wants to taste the malt loaf bread and butter pud recipe from the book too! So as soon as I get chance it will be a trip to then for crumpet rings and extract of malt!

On the making front this week we've experimented with purple potatoes - we made mash which is not the best use for them, as although they were tasty they were a bit dry and needed lots of butter. My betting is that they would make excellent roasters. We have also had breakfast Herman muffins, oat and apple, baked at 7am and enjoyed as soon as they were cool enough not to burn mouths. I have been a bit slack on experimenting with Herman recently but hope to remedy that! I once came across a recipe for carrot cake make with Herman and would be interested to try it out.

I have made a slow start on crocheting small squares with left over wool to make a throw. Very slow progress and will no doubt take me a long time to complete, as I have so many other things to do at the moment!

One thing I hope to do, if I get five minutes, is to pop over to see Wendy at Handmade Harbour to look in on the weekly blog hop. The link is in my sidebar if you fancy a wander over!

Til next time!

Monday, February 11, 2013

Baking day.

I know I know, hardly keeping up with blogging at the moment. And I had promised to, as well! I seem to have such little time spare these days, to blog or otherwise, and I am really doing very little making at all. My only actual making seems to be in the kitchen just now. Something I hope to change! Not that I mind cooking and baking, not at all. It gives me a lot of satisfaction making food from scratch for my family (even if it ends up on the floor or in the dog thanks to two small know how that goes!) and as we continue down the recession road, it's also very necessary. Like most families we are looking at where we can cut corners and save money.

So with that in mind I'm always trying to find things to do with the veg that's getting past it's best or the leftovers from previous meals.

The mash and sweetcorn from yesterday's tea are currently in the fridge for tea tomorrow in the shape of potato cakes to go with sausage and beans. Tonight we are having pasties made from potato and the bargain bag of leeks I bought last week at the supermarket, half of which will go into soup midweek when they will no doubt be getting a bit sad and floppy and would normally end up in the bin. To the leek and potato mix I added garlic, herbs and a generous sprinkling of cheese before wrapping them in pastry and baking for half an hour.

Pasties really are a great way of using up leftovers. I have often used Sunday roast leftovers to make them, though ut does get fiddly when I don't eat meat and the rest if the family do. But I get round this by adding the chicken (it's generally chicken I use as the family are not big red meat eaters really) after the filling is made and when I have split it for half veggie half meat pasties . I then just add a decoration to the pasties that are 'mine' though they tend to go first! We are on veggie pasties today so there's no problem this time!

(I never can understand why people feel they must gave meat at every course or they don't feel satisfied. Meat free food can be just as filling and tasty if you ask me)

While I'm on the subject of free from food, a friend has set up a Facebook page for people who have dairy intolerances/allergies. You can find it here:

 Diary of a Dairy Free Mummy 

I'd like to link up with Wendy over on  Handmade Harbour for the 102nd Handmade Monday. I am hoping to catch up with everyone and see what's been happening in the craft world. I think you would enjoy doing the same. There are some lovely bloggers out there, all very talented with its to show off do go and have a look!

Til next time!

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Happy New Year!

I've been a bit of a slacker with blogging lately. Life has been quite busy and I've really lacked much motivation to be honest. But it's a New Year so what better time to try and find some get up and go! (not that I have much today thanks to endless fireworks at midnight but I digress)

So first of all I hope that Christmas and New Year was kind, happy and full of all you wanted, and that 2013 brings everything you want!

I am not really one for resolutions. I am not the best at keeping them! But this year I am hoping to be a bit better at all the things I want to be: better with budgetting, better with home cooking, more productive on the making front.

I'd also like to be better at sharing things. I take lots of pictures (where would I be without my FB SII phone??) so I intend to share these more often. I can also easily blog from my phone and I'm not sure why I don't!  Initially I wanted to share a picture a day with you all, but I know that won't happen. Life gets in the way. So instead I will just share more often and I'm happy with that.

On the home front I am lucky to possess lots of cook books which I often sit and flick through but rarely cook from. I need to change that, otherwise why do I have them? This morning reading through a Nigella book I came across this recipe for Sunshine Soup. It is basically a simple pepper and sweetcorn soup but it looks filling and comforting especially when you look out of the window and see all the grey skies and rain we've had recently. I don't have any peppers in my fridge but I do have sweetcorn and a bag full if spuds. So I am inspired to make sweetcorn and potato soup for tea, with a hint of chilli to spice it up.

I hope you have a lovely day with your families and for those who are working I hope its a peaceful one.

Til next time.