Saturday, 31 March 2012

Felt Banner Tutorial

I love felt. I love the feel, the colours and its versatility. Oh, and the fact it doesn't fray! Acrylic felt can be picked up really cheaply these days, pure wool felt costs a little more but is a little softer and squishier. For things like this though acrylic is perfect.

I finally got a couple of shelves put up in the girl's room yesterday (after a fair bit of nagging). I wanted somewhere to put their jigsaws and maybe some books. I then decided I wanted to make it look a little more interesting. I've seen a few felt banners around and decided that that was what I wanted to make... so....


  • Felt (enough to cut out 2 of each shape)
  • Needle
  • Thread (matching or contrasting, anything will do)
  • Stuffing
  • Paper and printer to print the letter templates (or draw by hand if you like)
  • Pins
  • Ribbon

1. Grab whatever felt you have and decide on your word/colours etc

2. Work out what size letters you want (and remember you need 2 of each letter) and print them out so that you have templates to draw round - it's worth measuring here to check it'll fit on your felt.

3. Cut out your letters, place around with colours if you need to. 

4. Pin your letters to your felt - cut around it, cut 2 of every letter.

5. Blanket stitch (this youtube video shows how) around each letter making sure you've left a gap to push the stuffing in. Stuff the shapes and finish sewing them up. I had my 2 pieces pinned together as I sewed. Mine aren't the neatest but I chose similar-ish threads so you can't tell too much!

I also printed out star shapes and did the same.

6. Lay out your letters against your ribbon, mark where you will sew them.
7. Sew the letters (and stars if using) to the ribbon. In the end I sewed loops to the letters, threaded the letters onto the ribbon and sewed the loop lightly in place on the ribbon - this is because my shapes are quite big and they weren't hanging properly when I directly sewed them onto the ribbon. Play around to make it work.

8. Hang and admire!

The girls have asked for their names to be made the same way! I've said I'll think about it as I'm out of felt at the moment and I'm not that great at hand sewing. Maybe I should do it for the practise!

Friday, 30 March 2012

Why I Love my Kindle

** Please note this post is NOT in any way sponsored or endorsed by Amazon or anyone else involved with the Kindle. I don't think they even know I exist! All opinions are completely my own and I'm just blogging about it because I want to!**

I got my Kindle for my birthday last year. I had been sceptical for a while and unsure as to whether I could give up my precious 'real' books in favour of digital ones. I could see the advantages but I just wasn't sure that it was for me. I've always been a bookworm, the first proper full book I ever read to myself was Enid Blyton's Mallory Towers, I read it, fairly fast (and I was quite young, maybe 7 ish?) and I didn't look back. I worked my way through all of that series, a lot of the Famous Five, Secret Seven type books and on and on I went. At one point I'd read most of the stuff in that section in my library.

As the Kindle grew in popularity I found myself thinking more and more about it and in the end decided that I DID want one, and that if nothing else I could have that as well as my shelves of books.

And now? I'm a convert, I still have books (though I am going to go through them soon and de-stash) and there are still certain books that I will buy. But I love the Kindle, and here's why:

1. I can have all my books in one place
2. Takes up very little room
3. Light
4. Easy to turn the pages
5. Actually looks like paper (this still amazes me)
6. I can get lots of books for free, including the classics
7. I can think of a book and own it in about 2 minutes flat
8. I can pack it in my bag without having to make a choice about what I'll want to read
9. Reading is a lot more accessible
10. It remembers what page I am upto without me having to turn over the corner of a page

So, yeh. I love it. I've gotten my Mum converted too. I've got a new snazzy case that has a light built in that is powered by the Kindle. So clever, and more importantly. It's green. Apple green <3

Thursday, 29 March 2012

Butter Chicken Curry (yes more food)

I never intended to talk so much about food, honest. I think it's because now I'm cooking lots it's in my thoughts a lot. I promise to start posting about other things too... once I've written about butter chicken curry!

I got the recipe from here at

It was easy, really easy. Chopped onion, a lot of butter, curry powder, chicken and passata and chopped tomatoes. Easy as that.

It was delicious! Buttery, smooth, melty, tangy and with a nice bit of heat. My 2 year old ate a mouthful, drank some drink, took another mouthful... bless her heart. I'd definitely make this again. The high butter content (4/5ths of a block!) means that it isn't exactly a healthy recipe, but it is worth cooking.


Served 2 adults and a bit when served just with rice (with naan or other side dishes I reckon 4 could share it)

Chicken breasts: £2.00 (frozen)
Onion: £0.10
Rice: £0.30
Passata: £0.15
Chopped tomatoes: £0.50
Butter: £0.95
Curry powder: £0.30

Total: £4.30

Right, me and my kindle (and a bowl of jelly) are off to bed!

Wednesday, 28 March 2012

It would appear that I do not like risotto.

Risotto was one of my new dishes for the week. A ham and broccoli one as seen here on the Tesco food website. Now I've not made risotto before and I've only eaten it once - and it was horrible - mainly due to some very funny tasting mushrooms that were in it.

I followed the recipe and stirred and stirred and stirred.

40 minutes I stood at the hob stirring, so not a meal to cook when you're alone with the kiddies! The recipe says it serves four. FOUR?! Two if you're lucky -unfortunately I was feeding four adults so we all got meagre portions.

I did not enjoy it, I wasn't keen on the texture, it tasted ok but for all the work, well it just wasn't worth it.

Tomorrow I'm going to make a butter chicken curry. Another first for me! Looks like a fairy simple curry recipe so hopefully it can't go too wrong?!

I need to do some baking this evening as I've friends round for tea and cake tomorrow, I'm thinking a loaf of some sort, banana, lemon, or maybe cinnamon? Or maybe some cookies, I do like cookies!

Monday, 26 March 2012

New Blog Background

Have been playing around with different blogger backgrounds, I found The Cutest Place on the Block where you can get pretty and FREE blogger backgrounds! I went through lots, tried a few, ummed and ahhhed quite a lot before deciding on this one.

I decided I liked the pinky colour, the pretty pictures and the fact it's not too fussy. One day I hope to get my own blog layout designed but for now this will do beautifully!

P.S Off to play with colours and fonts, do bare with me as the blog chops and changes!

Wedding cupcakes

My lovely friend Laura, who I've known since I started school, got married on Saturday! Her now husband Jimmy goes out to Afghanistan with the army next week and she is 25 weeks pregnant with their first child and they decided all of a sudden - with four weeks notice! - to get married!

I had the honour of making their wedding cake/s for them. The bride chose peach, yellow and pink as her colour scheme and we set to work thinking about cakes and cupcakes. In the end we decided on a 7 tier stand with a 6 inch cake on the top and cupcakes on the tiers below. The cupcakes were in pink, orange and yellow cases with paler frosting and then topped with either two big coloured hearts or some smaller ones - all cut out of sugarpaste by myself. In total I made 100 cupcakes!

I will admit to being petrified about the experience. Weddings are so special and important and it was my very first time baking for one. Luckily it all went to plan and the cakes were a hit!

Here are a couple of photos! (the flowers on the top cake were the work of the florist!)

In the next couple of weeks I'm making Easter cupcakes, a Spartacus cake, a Waybuloo cake, Tangle themed cupcakes and a Mickey Mouse cake! Busy cake times here!

Thursday, 22 March 2012

Amigurumi bunny

Do you like my bunny?

Made using this cradftzine pattern. I used Rowan 100% cotton jeans yarn, it is slightly thicker than a dk and so I used a 2.5mm hook rather than a 2mm like the pattern suggested, for this reason my bunny is bigger than the one on the pattern but it is a perfect size I think!

I just need to make another one now so the girls have one each!

Sea, Sand, Chips and Icecream

I like these things. Not together though, gritty icecream is not good.

It was a bright day, sunny, a little breeze and lovely and warm. We didn't need our coats - not bad for March!

We ate chips, played on the beach and finished off a lovely few hours with ice cream. It actually felt like perfection. 

This was a few days ago and I uploaded the pics and completely forgot to actually put them on here. I made a 'sweet potato and spinach bake' as well. It was ok. Not amazing, would work fine as a side dish. Not interesting enough to get its own blog post!

Tonight I'm doing a whole tandori chicken.. we'll see whether that is blog worthy or not!

Monday, 19 March 2012

I am a BAD patient.

I don't do being ill.

I hate not being able to do the things I need to, I hate being 'looked after'. I hate feeling helpless. I hate asking for help.

I've got tonsillitis, well maybe, I don't actually have any tonsils but apparently that doesn't mean I can't get tonsillitis. Since Friday my throat has been really really sore, I've had a temperature, had chills, my glands are swollen, my face aches and I've not been sleeping. The doctor took a swab from my throat - that was not pleasant!

So today when E was at Grandad's and F was at nursery, I rested and slept. NOT. I put away 5 baskets of clean washing, scrubbed the kitchen, put some more washing on, made the table smaller again (involves 2 big wooden leaves) and did some crochet. Oops. And tonight I made cakes for my mother-in-law for her work, even though she told me not to worry.


Anyway, yesterday was Mother's Day and other than feeling really rubbish I had a lovely day :D I got a gorgeous huge bunch of tulips and a new Yummy Mummy mug to replace the one I got last year that got broken recently. My 17 balls of wool that I got the other week were my main present so I'd already had them. Hubby's Mum and my Mum (and Hubby's sister and fiance) all came round for dinner.

Hubby made a chinese curry with rice AND did chicken kievs and mash AND made a lemon tart AND made profiteroles  - with Baileys cream and white chocolate sauce AND bought be a raspberry pavlova. AND it was all delicious <3 he's a sweetheart. I love my girls too, and my Mummy, I feel so blessed to have such lovely people around me <3

Tuesday, 13 March 2012

Thai Green Chicken Curry and Salted Caramels

Not together though ^.

One of my new meals for this week was a thai green curry - again something I've never eaten, let alone cooked. It involved thai green curry paste which worried me as I sniffed it and wasn't keen. And it involved coconut milk. And I don't like coconut...

Yet it was amazing, delicious and totally blew me away with how yummy it was.

E, my youngest had a little in a bowl, she ate hers, and half of mine. I was so proud. The kick of lime at the end really makes it tangy and oh so yummy.

The recipe is this bbc food one. I didn't buy lemongrass and I used soy sauce.

Price-wise it came up as (to feed 2 adults and 2 ish children (though one didn't eat curry or rice, sigh).

Rice: 20p
Chicken: £3.88 (fresh, normally i'd use frozen but we hadn't got any in)
Soy sauce: 5p
Thai green curry paste: 20p (1/5th ish of a jar)
Soft dark brown sugar: 10p
Oil: 5p
Lime: 30p
Coconut milk: £1

= £5.78

So on the more expensive side - but I reckon I could halve the chicken cost so make it about £4.00 for the meal. It was amazing though, and really worth it.
I'm rating it 10/10 (it was that nice!)

Salted caramels - YUM. That is about it. I made some, using a microwave method. Tasty. Really tasty. I can't make them again. I'd eat too many!

Thursday, 8 March 2012

Lemon Chicken - YUM

I am SO impressed. Hubby preferred the lemon chicken that I made to the one from the chinese takeaway and as lemon chicken is his favourite that is a big compliment!

It looked like this:

It involved using lemon curd, now I can make my own lemon curd BUT Tesco value is 22p a jar. It would cost me lots more than that to make it and as I'm trying to eat on a budget too I bought the tesco one.

This meal cost (for 2 adults):

Chicken: £1.50
Lemon curd (3/4 jar): £0.17
Half an onion: £0.07
Zest of one lemon: £0.20
Rice: £0.20
Noodles: £0.25
Peas: £0.15

TOTAL = £2.54

Tonight we ate once the girls were in bed. The whole meal only took 25 minutes to make so we didn't end up eating too late. I think we will do this once a week. Whilst I think family meals are important it is nice to sit down with just my Hubby and we can talk and relax rather than fetching things for the girls and dealing with the chaos that that brings.

Yarn and WIPs!

This morning the postman brought me these:

They are my Mother's Day present. Ok, it's not Mother's Day yet but I needed to order from the yarn website anyway. Pretty aren't they! I'm ashamed to say that I've never actually crocheted anything for my girls (except a case for their vtech storio). The girls love the blankets I make but I've never let them have them as they are too small and destined for future babies (if I have any more!). So these rainbow wools are for them. At some point they will both be getting their very own rainbow blanket. I've not decided whether I will be rippling the blanket, granny striping or just straight stripes, will have to think about that. For now though I need to work through my WIPs!

WIP list:

1. Blanket for a friend's baby, my present to them. - Baby not due for 16 weeks so putting this on hold until number 2 is done.
2. Blanket - been asked to crochet a blanket for someone (and am getting paid to do it!). Not actually in progress yet but will be as of this evening!
3. Blooming flower cushion as seen HERE on the attic24 blog - I'm making mine all in purple to match our newly covered sofas, have done 3 sets of petals so far!

So for now I'll just be smiling at my new wools. I do love a good rainbow!

Monday, 5 March 2012

Tomorrow will be better...

The weekend was good. Tiring but good. London is definitely too fast and furious for me, but the shows, I could see them any day of the week!

I got back last night, I was in bed by 8.30pm last night, didn't get up til 8am this morning and had a nap this afternoon and I STILL feel tired. In fact tired is an understatement.

I met up with a lovely friend today which was nice but E has been a little challenging, very shouty and rude and ignoring me completely at times, then when F was back from nursery they just fought constantly and screeched and fought some more. I've been a bit snappier than usual too, and the house is messy and there is a ton of washing to do.

A bath was my first port of call after putting the girls to bed, I definitely feel calmer now. I've decided that I won't do a great deal this evening and I'll go to bed as soon as Hubby is home. Then I can try and be a better Mummy tomorrow and get on top of the housework. I'm sure I'll be fine after some sleep!

Thursday, 1 March 2012

Going on an adventure... and guilt guilt

I'm going on an adventure this weekend with my two bestest friends! We're going to London, seeing two shows, staying overnight and shopping. I am so very excited. The last time I stayed away from home without Hubby was when I was in hospital after giving birth to F. So nearly 4 years ago! I've never been away from the girls overnight either - they've stayed at their grandparents but I've never actually gone away from them.

Therefore I have guilt guilt. I feel guilty because I don't feel guilty. I feel like I am supposed to feel bad for leaving my girls and my husband, bad for spending money just on enjoying myself and going away, bad for leaving the house and all the work that comes with it. But I don't feel guilty, I just feel guilty about not feeling guilty. Does that make sense?

We're going to see We Will Rock You AND Wicked. I've seen both before and loved them both. I think I love We Will Rock You a little more but it was over a year between seeing them both so maybe seeing them so close together will help me make my mind up more. You can't beat musicals though <3

Back on the guilt thing. I'm away for approximately 37 hours. It's not that long really. And I'm looking forward to being someone other than a Mummy. Being a Mummy is the best thing I've ever done but I think sometimes it can feel like that is all I am and that my life is completely run around my children (which is how it should be) it will be nice to have some time when I don't have to think about nappies, meals, snacks, naps, toys, drawing, cbeebies and every other thing that comes with being a full-time Mummy. For once I'll just be me. And I am going to enjoy every one of those 37 hours and then I am going to come home, give my girls the biggest cuddle ever and continue being the best Mummy I can.