Saturday, 23 April 2011

this moment


{this moment} - A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember. If you're inspired to do the same, leave a link to your 'moment' in the comments for all to find and see

This post was inspired by soulemama if you are inspired take a swing by her blog to link to your own :-)

Monday, 18 April 2011

Princess castle pull string pinata

As well as writing the presentation for uni I have also been designing and making a pinata for Stephanie's birthday party. What you mean you hadn't heard about our pirate and princes theme party happening this weekend. Its actually a bit scary as it has grown somewhat from the 5/6 schools friends to 10 school friends and 7 cousins. I am praying for the lovely weather to continue!

Anyway back to the pinata. I wanted to make one with strings as we have had somewhat unsuccessful fun with shop bought bashing ones in the past. So here is what I did to make this years much more successful (fingers crossed) pinata;

you will need:
1 large empty crisp box
several sheets of tissue paper in your colour scheme, I used lilac and pink
2 empty pringles tubes
string/ curling ribbon

Take one empty crisp box (not required that you eat them all to empty, but you can if you like). I then cut 2 pringles tubes in half length ways, so that I had each tube as a semi circle. Stick this in place on the side of the box using sellotape to form the turrets. Cover the whole thing in the tissue paper. I used three layers to cover over the  print on the box.
On the underside of the box cut a flap before placing the last piece of tissue paper on, at this stage do not completely glue down this sheet of tissue paper you will need to be able to pull strings through it soon. Make a whole in the flap big enough to thread your string through.

thread your string through the hole
 On the inside of your box tie a large knot in the string. This will be the strings which pulls the trap door enabling your pinata to open.

Put lots more strings through the sheet of tissue paper that you left loosely in place earlier. I put one for each guest to the party.

Make window and door shapes in your contrasting tissue paper, glue in place.

And there you have your castle pinata. I am going to make a roof for mine to finish the top off, but I need to get some more card first. I will post the finished product another day. As well as a review of how well it worked after the party.

Sunday, 17 April 2011


Family is really important to me, one of my bug bears is that I don't have the opportunity to spend more time with my family. I have 6 brothers and sisters in total but 5 of them live almost 300 miles away I also have a brother who lives 20 Min's tops drive away. Due to our different work etc schedules we don't see each other anywhere near as much as I would like. However today he came over for dinner and we spent the afternoon in the garden chatting and playing with the children. Bliss.

We played crack the egg on the trampoline for ages. It was a shame when I had to take him home, but Stephanie was getting tired so I needed to get her ready for bed. Still he will be back for Easter dinner on Sunday. One of my sisters, 2 nieces and 1 nephew are coming on Thursday to stay until Monday, so very excited about that.

Saturday, 16 April 2011

Erm life has got in the way again!

OK So have had a little trouble in the past week or so, when I have had time to post my laptop has decided it is not going to work! Not good considering I have been trying to write an important assignment for uni. Still I think it is finished now, I just need to read it through. That will wait until later.

I have been asked by Stephanie when am I going to make her summer dresses for this year. So I guess that is as big a hint as I am going to get. So whilst reading through other blog today I found this Elsie Marley kids clothes week. Such a fab idea and hopefully by then I WILL have finished the hexie quilt. I am resisting all other projects until that one is complete as Stephanie really wants it.

In other news the allotment is coming along well. I have planted beans and peas. I am half way through digging up the bed where the carrots and onions will go. I am so amazed at how friendly and generous other allotment holders are. One other allotment holder cut the grass on my bank the other day as he had his strimmer out. I have been given onion sets which were surplus to requirements. Today I was given some child sized hoes by someone else, they said they inherited them from another allotmenteer but were too tall to use them comfortably. It is not just the items I have been given, advice has been very kindly shared, as I am somewhat a novice it is very welcome.

I have also had some great days out, some with the children and some without. I have never had many days out without the children, I have really enjoyed them.

                                            Playing together during our trip to London yesterday.

Tuesday, 5 April 2011

Home making

Today I made something for dinner I have never made before- Salmon plait.
It was gorgeous even my fussy children enjoyed it!
I made it by;
  1.  steaming the salmon and making a basic parsley sauce.
  2. flaked the cooked Salmon into the parsley sauce.
  3. Rolled the puff pastry I had made yesterday.
  4. put the salmon on the pastry and folded the edges into the middle to look like a plait.
The only thing I will do differently next time I make it is that I will put the rolled pastry on the cooking tray before I put the salmon into it, as it was pretty difficult to lift of the kitchen side completed.

After school Stephanie and I made the invites for her birthday party. I'm very impressed with them. Stephanie definitely has an artistic side- she designed these and helped with the making of them. I may buy some more card tomorrow s that she can make some more and I can keep one for my memory box. Next I need to make the Pinata princess castle she wants. Hopefully I will manage that before the weekend.

Sunday, 3 April 2011


I have spent this afternoon with the children at the allotment, this picture is one I took the other day. Today we have been working on digging the end of this patch near the fence. I have almost finished it. It was made harder by the discovery of concrete slabs which were clearly used by a previous allotmenteer as an edging. The fork kept hitting something hard when I was digging. It took a while for me to locate and then even longer to remove the offending slabs. I removed a few of them but there are still lots more. I may use them myself but in different places on the allotment, if not I will offer them free to any other allotment holder who would like them, I need to think about this some more.

I seem to be very optimistic in my recent list making adventures, my lists seem to take days to complete. I have not quite finished Saturdays list and it is Sunday evening, This suggests to me I am trying to do too much. So I am going to make a smaller list for tomorrow and give time slots I want to try to stick to to complete each item. her goes;
  1. Once I have taken Stephanie to school I am going to go to the allotment and finish clearing the end of this patch.
  2. I am going to go potato shopping. I need to decide which potatoes I want to plant. Dusty on the allotment plot next to mine very kindly offered me a few the other day, but I suspect I will plant more as well. I need to get a huge bag of compost to mix into where I want to plant the potatoes.
  3. I am going to do at least an hour of uni work. I must get cracking on this assignment.
  4. I need to do the ironing. There are piles all over the house. I doubt I will get much else done.
  5. I promised Stephanie a trip to the library after school so that we can source more bedtime stories as we have read all the ones we got last time.
So there you have it another busy day, and the list is shorter- by 1 item! why can't I have more ours in a day?

Friday, 1 April 2011

Introduction to the allotment

Today I went back to the allotment with Dylan and Stephanie to help me. They loved it.
This is  a lovely big bay tree.

This is the patch I have managed to dig over so far, next to the shed of the neighbouring plot is a damson tree on my side.

This is a rhubarb plant I have found on the plot.

This is going to take some work. The trees on the right hand side of this picture are already on my plot. They are eating apple, cooking apple and a pear tree.

This is the part they enjoyed the most

the allotment is giving us so much space, its bigger than our back garden. Once I get it sorted it should be fab. Stephanie is amazed that we get to keep ALL the vegetables we manage to grow.
We went down to do some digging after dinner this evening. Due to us all being in school we didn't get there until 6pm, so just one hour spent there. If I can go for an hour or so a day we will get there with it. I think the plan will be to finish the section I have been digging over plant some vegetables I'm thinking potatoes to begin with. Then move onto the next section, and so on until the whole plot is bursting with produce. Have I ever mentioned I am slightly optimistic?!

I didn't get time to get on here to update the list for yesterday. I didn't manage to complete it yesterday either, so it rolled over until today, and it is still not complete. So I am writing a list for tomorrow which I am hoping is more realistic as its Saturday;
  1. clean hamsters. Dylan has said he is doing this, which was part of the deal for them getting hamsters in the first place
  2. 1 hour of literature review
  3. Stephanie has a party
  4. buy present for the party
  5. take the children to their dads houses
  6. 1 hour of digging
  7. go to visit friends for the evening.
I think that should be achievable. I will let you know at some point over the weekend.