Wednesday, 20 May 2015

do it yourself

i am a big fan of make do and mend. & i love the idea of making something myself instead of buying it from a shop. presents for friends and family are often handmade... as are the cards of course. and i am starting to make products around the house too... this is all part of my back to basics plan. with the addition of some shop bought staples for good measure.

my seed bombs and bath bombs always go down well. and i recently made my own rose toner which is amazing as a morning, mid day slump spritz. but it is also great to set makeup, to soothe tired or sunburnt skin. to tighten and reduce wrinkles and it calms and acts as a mild astringent for blemishes... and all you need are two ingredients and a spray bottle {i got mine from superdrug}

fill with water {preferably distilled} and add a capful of rose water ~ or more depending on personal preference and size of bottle
and that's it.
simple yet effective.

for under the kitchen sink i have another spray bottle with vinegar and water in... great for cleaning and deodorising any surface {including carpets} add a bit of bicarb and you have a better spray than you can buy in the shops! plus, if you add an essential oil to the mix you will not only be adding a lovely scent to the room but you will also be upping the antibacterial, antiviral, and antifungal qualities to your all-purpose cleaner.

this is my latest make do and mend project... three pairs of leggings fit for the bin = two good as new pairs of leggings!


Wednesday, 6 May 2015

car seat battles

my two year old is a happy little man, an easy going and cheerful chap that is so hilarious and charismatic that he charms everyone he meets.  but this is not always the case. oh no.

we have bedtime battles, sippy cup battles, car seat battles and hold my hand while we cross the road battles. not often. but they do happen. and my little happy chappy turns into a teenager. strong willed. passionate and determined.

a battle of wills will usually commence.

until one day i decided to wait.

it was raining, it was nap time, we were in the car. he managed to take his arms out of his straps. i asked him to put them back in or we would have to pull over.
he said no.
i pulled over. i asked him again.
he said no.
i leaned back and offered to do it for him.
no.
he cried.
he wrestled and he stood his ground.
now, i know why he was doing this. he was incredibly tired. overtired. he wanted to sleep. but he didn't want to be in his car seat. he wanted his cot. not an option in the middle of nowhere.
i tried everything i could think of to make him put his arms back in the straps so we could get moving and he could nap. i even tried to {gently} force his arms in myself. he is strong.
so i sat back in my seat and said ~
'i know you are having a hard time getting comfy in your seat for naptime, when you feel ready, just let me know and we can get going again. we cant drive if you dont have your arms in the safety straps'

and i sat... i am pretty impatient, so this was hard... it was a good ten minutes until he calmed down. but he did and he put his arms in the straps himself and said ~ 'im ready now mummy'. i drove off and within a minute he was sound asleep.


i should add... we no longer have seat belt battles.

Monday, 27 April 2015

pinterest parties

i had some friends round for drinks and a pamper party this weekend. i had a good look through pinterest for ideas and as always it didn't disappoint. i got a great idea for gin cocktails using herbs and edible flowers. they looked and tasted amazing... i froze the edible flowers {i used pansies, viola and flox} in ice cubes, for best results i found cooled boiled water worked best and i froze the cubes in two parts so the flowers floated. the cocktail itself was a shot of hendricks gin, a shot of elderflower gin, a tea spoon of rose essence and a sprig of thyme. oh, and some tonic! if you dont have elderflower gin then there is a lovely elderflower tonic that would work just as well...



and then there was the birthday party for the five year old! can leave out the preparations for that one!

the safari passes were printables i found online and the binoculars were toilet rolls with animal print duct tape wrapped around. pretty basic stuff!


the pinata was bought ~ i thought about making one but really time ran away from me and a trip to tescos ticked that off the list!


the cake i made with two batches of batter, one white and one chocolate... then i layered the batter in dollops one on top of the other to make the stripes in side the cake.




the party favours were just old jars that i collected from friends, i glued an animal to the lid and painted it then i filled them with the crayons ~ i had thought about sweeties or marshmallows... but thought there was enough sweet treats going around!


my favourite part was making the crayons... i have done this before here but this time i got to use lego moulds! and i love lego! who doesn't? so i collected all the crayon ends i could find... i even begged some from friends and family {i had a lot of jars to fill!} and melted them down... it was like i was making a miniature army! and they turned out better than i had hoped




i had plenty of games planned including the usual musical statues and musical bumps... but had to find a use for the binoculars... so we went on an elephant hunt to find dung! this was just flour, water and some old coffee grounds formed to make a dough, i then hid an insect inside {toy insect!} and baked them in the oven for ten minutes...the kids then went on a hunt to find them in the garden {luckily the weather was nice!} and cracked them open to see what was inside! fun.




Wednesday, 22 April 2015

a four year old turning five

my baby girl is five. five.

five.

i can't believe it. where did all that time go? i miss that tiny newborn face, those tiny fingers and toes. i miss the feeds late at night and in the early morning all snuggled in bed together half asleep. i miss her little feet pushing up to standing and learning to walk. her first shoes. her first words.  she had so many words.
i can barely remember her little voice when she first started having conversations.

she is still the same little girl, i can see it in her eyes. in the way she still holds her rabbit close at night and the way she reaches for my hand when she feels insecure.

we had to have a birthday party for her of course! and we had to let her choose who to invite... and what theme to have... and what kind of a cake she would like...

we had a jungle adventure


safari passes and binoculars for all the guests, jungle themed snacks, a monkey pinata and animal party jars filled with home made lego crayons to take home. {i will do a how to post soon!}




it was a lovely day and we all had a great time ~ even daddy admitted that it went really well!

success.

Sunday, 12 April 2015

it's okay... you're fine


i am the first to admit that i have a kid who has big emotions. one who feels things so strongly that the world ceases to exist in that moment.

to me, sometimes, that thing that triggered that emotion, can feel like an over reaction. melodramatic even. that in actual fact, everything is okay.

but it is often not okay. those are real emotions. real feelings. autonomous.
a broken biscuit is as important in their world as a broken favourite mug is in our world. so, why, because we feel it is an over reaction, does that make it so...

one thing i know is how i feel when something goes wrong or something doesn't work or someone doesn't notice something... i know i feel angry. deflated. hurt.

in that moment, i don't want someone to tell me it's okay. that feels patronising. i don't want someone to do it for me. i can do it myself.
lately, i have wondered what the correct response is... what the most helpful comment would actually be...
is it to say ~
'it's really tough isn't it?'
or
'it is so annoying when such and such breaks when you are trying to do something' and i could say... yeah, it is.

for almost five years i have tried to see things from this perspective... the eyes of the child. the eyes of someone who is experiencing an emotion for the first time. the fear. the feeling of being out of control.

i take a breath... a step back. i observe. i offer my help. i acknowledge. i empower.

i still have a child with big emotions. but i hope in the following years i will also have a child who accepts anger for what it is. sadness and frustration as normal healthy emotions... i hope to have a child who also knows how to control these feelings. to accept them and to channel them in a way that is healing. not to bottle things up and allow them to fester.

it is easy to 'shoosh' when the volume increases. or to say it's okay when it clearly is not okay. to try to calm a situation when calm is not possible.

i am playing the long game. it is hard... but so rewarding.

Wednesday, 4 March 2015

disconnecting to reconnect

it seems a cliche but it is so true... sometimes you really have to disconnect from life a bit in order to reconnect.

every year we try to get away for a few days off the beaten track with little or no electricity and no access to mobile phones or laptops.  it used to be wild camping, just me, my husband and our dog.  then kids started arriving and now it is more glamping than roughing it! but the effect is still the same...

so this year is our ten year wedding anniversary and we decided to do something really special. just the two of us. so the kids and the dog got a lovely spoilt rotten trip to granny and grampas and we headed north...
 

sam found this lovely remote self catering converted wagon on the banks of loch voil in the trossachs - pilot panther




we had all weathers but with our cosy blankets and the log burning stove we barely noticed... even when it started to snow on the last day.


pilot panthers location also has the benefit of being a five minute walk from the amazing monachyle mhor with it's fine dining and luxury accommodation.  so we retreated there one night for our evening meal and again for breakfast on our last morning. delicious.

and okay, a sneaky use of the hotel wifi...


Wednesday, 25 February 2015

reduce, reuse, recycle

this year i have decided that we need to be more organised, more waste aware and fitter.

lately i feel like we have slipped back into a world where i didn't think about consequences of my actions.  we are so caught up with daily life that i find myself doing whatever option is easiest ~ putting the extra few cartons of milk in the bin to save me going downstairs to the recycling boxes. buying a bag of apples instead of buying them loose... i have even stopped using my cloth nappies and wipes.

you see, my sons skin is very sensitive. we really only use eco eggs and occasionally a bit of lavender oil for fragrance but lately his nappies have been causing very sore nappy rash so we stopped for a while... but that while has become a month... almost two.

i missed the freshly washed smell of washing. i missed the clean smell of bleach ~ these have all snuck back into my cleaning cupboard.

i just want to get back to my frugal self... i want to be that person again! so the challenge is on... will keep this blog updated with my progress...

so far i have got out the cloth wipes, cotton hankies and nappies.  i have made a huge batch of bath bombs for the kids baths ~ method



feeling better already!