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The Mummy Tag

I love these Tags that fellow bloggers are doing. It's a wee bit of fun but it lets you get to know people I think. I've had some interesting conversations with people over the things that have been posted in the Tags.

Last time was the Autumn Tag (which can be found HERE) ... After a read through other blogs i found the Mummy Tag. I learnt about lots of different ways people parent and got to share in some lovely memories from their baby days so I thought I'd pick up the tag so it continued on :)

So here's my answers ...

Are you a stay at home mum or a working mum?
I'm a bit of both now. I'm a student mum which means I'm at college 3 days a week but the rest I'm at home.

Would you have it any other way?
Right now no, I like the situation. I've gone the full time working where I couldn't see Agent M as much as I want and done the stay at home thing where I felt really alone and isolated. Just now I'm out when he's at school so he's not missing out on much time with me but I'm also out with adults where I can leave my mummy mode off and interact as myself *that sounds daft I know but it's hard to explain*.

Do you co sleep?
Oh no! Agent M is 7 ... he has been in his own bed since he was born (granted it was a coat at the beginning). I was too scared to have him in bed with me in case he wiggled under the covers or I accidentally hurt him by moving in my sleep. Only time he ever really slept in with me was when he was sick so I could keep an eye on him but even then that stopped after about 5. He moves about too much to sleep in beside me anyway. Would be like sleeping with an octopus ... arms and legs all over the place.

He's a wriggler

What is your must have item for your baby/child?
When he was a baby it was his chicken teddy (called chicken) and his "urp cloth" (a muslin). When he was teething it's the only way I could get him to sleep and it became a comfort to him. 

Snuggling with pooh bear and chicken

Now he's older my must have is ironically my kindle. I have stories on it for him and I downloaded a paint app too so when we are out and about, if he starts to get bored (which will soon escalate to moaning and groaning), I whip out my kindle and he's quite happy to read a book :)

How many kids do you plan on having?
I did always want two but since splitting with Agent M's biological dad I gave up on the idea of having another child. Agent D doesn't want to have any more kids anyway so I'm content with Agent M.

Date nights? How often do you have them?
Not often enough! We are lucky if we have a date night (just the two of us either going out or a night in) once a month. It's difficult cause my mum and sister live in England and I'm in Scotland cause I'm limited as to who can have Agent M overnight. 

Your child's favourite show?
Pokemon ... I miss the days of Art Attack but am soooo glad In the Night Garden is quickly thing of the past (I still have the songs embedded in my brain though)

"Gotta catch them all" ... or so I'm told

Name one thing you bought before you had the baby and never ended up using.
I didn't buy it but I was given a changing table/trolley thing that i never used. Changing mat on the rug was sufficient enough (plus no big deal if he rolled over cause he wouldn't get hurt). I bought a baby carrier/sling but it was used once then never looked at again.

Your child's favourites food
Chicken ... in its many forms :)

How many cars does you family have?
One as only Agent D can drive (though if he had his own way, we would have a stock car out front too).

Weight gain - before pregnancy, during, after and now?
Oft, getting right personal here! Ok before I was a curvy woman with manageable DD boobies ... during I actually lost nearly 2 stone due to severe morning sickness (midwife threatened a wee stay in hospital a few times cause it got so bad) ... after I ballooned unfortunately which depressed the crap outta me. It's hard to feel like a yummy mummy with a jelly belly and G cup boulders attached to my chest ... now I'm a bit more comfortable in my own body. I'm back to my pre baby dress size and although my boobs won't shrink past an E cup and my body still has stretch marks, I'm content. I made a little person. I'm proud my body managed it :)

Dream holiday with your kids?
Halloween in Disney world Florida. Going to the park at night for a Halloween party ... trick or treating with Mickey Mouse ... seeing all the villains ... the decorations ... the costumes ... the parades ... meeting Jack and Sally from Nightmare before Christmas ... Going in the haunted mansion ... an American Halloween with a Disney Twist. Oh we'd be in heaven!

I would love to spend the Halloween here

Dream holiday without kids?
Suppose it would be cruel to still go to Disney lol ... probably New Orleans. Get to have a long lie, visit the French quarter, try some proper southern cuisine, go on the ghost tours through the city of the dead, hear about all the voodoo legends ... AMAZING!

One of the streets in the City of the Dead

How has your life changed since having kids?
I sleep less, worry more, have less money BUT I have a reason to get up in the morning. I have someone who depends on me which makes you realise just what unconditional love really is. Hearing your child call you mum and say "I love you" beats any feeling in the world. I would never change being a mum. That little boy is my everything!

Finish this sentence "it makes my heart melt when ..."
I Agent M gives me kisses and cuddles "just cause".

Where do you shop for your kids?
Depends what we're talking ...
Food- We shop in Asda
Clothes- Again normally George at Asda or sometimes primark cause I don't see the point in getting him really expensive clothes for everyday use as he will ruin them when he's playing. The 'good' clothes he has for going out is from Next or TKMaxx.

Favourite make-up and skin care products?
I love love love benefit! It just sits perfectly but it's so frickin expensive I literally save up months just to get one or two bits. Most of what I have I got from freebies in magazines. I love Urban Decay too. They do the best eye liners! Am still living in hope that one day I will own my very own naked palette. I do have a lot of No7 as it's a little cheaper and selection of colours are gorgeous.

Oh if only :(

Skincare wise i use Soap and Glory. I love it! Use the moisturiser and the wipes on my face and the bath and body products on the rest of my skin. It smells amazing and the ranges can be broken up into scents so you can match up with the wash, body butter and spritz. Mist you madly is my favourite!

Huggies or Pampers?
Huggies cause they were more absorbent at night time.

Have you always wanted kids?
Yeah, I've always wanted my own family and always said I would start young. And i did :)

Best part of being a mum?
Oh that's a hard one to narrow it down to one thing. I guess for me it's the feeling that I belong to someone. I have a little piece of me running around that I get to watch grow up. A person that I love more than anything and that no matter what will always be mine and I his.

Now it's all you lovely ladies turn ... I tag any and all yummy mummy's out there who wanna join in :) 

Jingle ... Bite Me!

Its that time of year again ...

Where the adverts on TV have a distinct Jingle theme and the stores have the toy shelves stocked with the "IT" toys to have.

Yeah that's right, It time to say the 'C' word ... Christmas.

*Oh how dirty do i feel saying that before we've carved the pumpkins and cracked out the candy corn*

The list had begun and like the last 3 years in a row Agent M has asked Santa for the Lego Death Star. And like the last 3 years in a row he has more chance of getting a pig to fly round the moon than 'Santa' bringing him it because ho ho holy crap is it expensive!

This one set is almost a months Rent

So as i talk him round to maybe a WWE Brawling Buddy or maybe a Ninja Turtle set, I'm realising that i hate this festive season more and more as he gets older.

Truth is i just cant afford to spoil him the way I'd like. I spend my money on things like Rent, Power and food. Although i know he appreciates having a roof over his head and clothes on his back, i still feel that pang of guilt when the holidays roll around.

I feel like the Grinch's cranky sister come December

So perhaps i should think outside the box ... The craft box to be precise. 

I'm wondering if i can make some crafty things to sell to add to the "Christmas Fund" so I've decided to set up an Etsy shop (Link in the orange "E" box under my profile).

Im also going to see if their are any corners i can cut to make it a magical Christmas on a tight budget. Chicken instead of Turkey perhaps? Home made gifts for family?

Along with 3 for 2, Buy one get one free's and my student discounts, I'm making the next couple of months as frugal as possible.

I'm gonna try to do a whole Christmas (gifts for everyone, food, extra gas & power, and a unfortunately a new tree) for £400.

By my count its 9 weeks till Christmas so I'm gonna give myself 8 weeks to save (which works out to £50 a week i need to save).

I guess we'll see just how well i do ... or if Santa will be leaving an I.O.U under the tree.

How do you prepare for the festive season?

Super Busy Mum

Brilliant blog posts on HonestMum.com

Dr Pepper Pulled Pork Recipe

Ive noticed that American style food has taken the UK by storm at the moment.

There are loads of adverts for fast food restaurants with American style something or other. The most popular being Pulled pork.

Now, I'm not the biggest fan of BBQ sauce. Ive never been one for 'nippy' food but Agent D talked me into trying out a Pulled Pork he bought from Asda. I think it was the fact that it said "Sweet BBQ" that kinda made me a little more willing.

Anyways, i cooked it and i loved it!

I served it in a tortilla wrap with lettuce and coleslaw and it was absolutely delicious

so ...

Off to Pinterest i went to look for some recipes (Ive told you before about how addicted to that site i am).

I'm all for traditional cooking but the idea of digging a barbecue pit out my back door was a little beyond my reach.
*I'm in Scotland ... No way that wood is gonna keep burning after i developed hypothermia* 
So i opted for the trusty slow cooker.

I had a look at a few recipes and then one caught my eye ... Dr Pepper Pulled Pork!

How American is that! I've already been swayed to the ways of a Cola Ham so why not try a Dr Pepper pork.

One issue i did have however is i don't get how to best convert American recipes. How much exactly is a cup full?
How big a cup are we talking here? ... A tea cup? ... A mug? 

My mugs are huge! *I'm a coffee addict, the only small cup i own is Agent M's*

And what exactly is a Pork Butt? *Even my butcher was a little thrown by that one*.

So i decided to wing it ... Ive stumbled across many a tasty dish by just hoping for the best so worst case, we're gonna have some chuckles (and there is always a tin of soup in the cupboard if its inedible).

I had a lovely little chat with the butchers (if someone is gonna know meat, its gonna be them and i was advised to use Pork Shoulder on the Bone. Unfortunately as its not commonly asked for, It needed to be ordered in. Damn it! Agent M was heart set on a "Red-Neck night"! *I blame our enjoyment in Lizard Lick Towing for his terminology ... or possibly Duck Dynasty ...*
Anyway ...

They did say that i could use a pork loin provided it was slow roasted to make it flaky.
Slow roasted? ... Slow cooker? ... That about the same right?

Like i said ... Wing it! So here it is ...
My make shift Dr Pepper pulled pork recipe ...

you'll need
1 x 250ml bottle of Newmans Own Original Sticky BBQ Sauce
1 x 2l bottle of Dr Pepper (Original not Zero)
1 pork joint (see above for recommendation)


*The original recipe talked about using products i don't think we have in the UK - at least i couldn't find them - so i just went without*

  • In a large bowl, pour half the BBQ sauce and a quarter of the Dr Pepper in and mix. Add the pork and cover in cling film. Stick in the fridge to marinade overnight.
  • Take the bowl out of the fridge about 20 min before you wanna cook it so that it helps take the chill off the meat a bit.
  • Place the pork in the slow cooker and pour in almost all the remaining BBQ sauce and a fresh quarter of the Dr Pepper (the half bottle remaining can now be drank by sneaky Agents that have been nipping your head all day for a glass).
  • Cook on high for 6 hours, turning the joint half way though to make sure its totally infused with the flavours.
  • After 6 hours, remove from the slow cooker and place in an oven proof dish. Fork the meat apart ... It should be really soft and easy to do.

  • Add the remaining BBQ sauce as well a ladle full of the stock from the cooker pot. Mix it so all the pork is coated and place in the oven for about 30 min.

When your ready to serve, the meat will be so soft and juicy.

In keeping with the "Red neck" style, i served the pork with some Crushed Potatoes, 'Slaw' and corn on the cob ...

I have it on good authority that my pulled pork tasted nicer than the packet one and having 3 clean plates kinda made me feel like i was onto a winner. 

The joint was big enough to ensure we have left overs to that's tomorrows lunches taken care of in advance too.

**UPDATE: This will go great with Deli Style Coleslaw :)

Reasons to Celebrate

I love October. Its a month of magical 'lovely-nisk' *that might not be an actual word but it just fits and i love saying it lol*

Its the month that hosts the best holiday of the year Halloween. There are amazing decorations in stores which i love cause we're starting to get into it in the UK (though no where near as impressive as the USA).

There is a holiday week slap bang in the middle of it so we can have long lies and PJ days without going out in the rain for the school run. Granted we have spent this week with me trying to catch up on house work but Agent M has been drawing and enjoying playing with his Ninja Turtles and watching WWE wrestling (His two latest addictions).

The Miz and John Cena by Agent M

This October we welcomed a new addition to the already massive family in the form of my baby cousin who is just so tiny and smushy! (I love new born babies) and we have spent time catching up with other family members.

Its been a nice couple of weeks so far ... but I'm forgetting something ...

Oh yeah ...

I got old :)

On the 12th i turned a year older ... taking me ever so closer to 30 lol

Even Google was wishing me a happy birthday :)

I had a lovely day on Saturday (the 11th) as Agent M and i went into town for a spot of lunch.

I love my little man so much :)

I made a point of eating light though as when Agent M went with his papa to sleep over, Agent D took me out for a meal and to the pictures to see Annabelle (I love horror movies and was desperate to see it!).

Loved getting dressed up for a night out :)

I got spoilt for my birthday with a new Laptop (Its purple and shiny and I'm just in love with it), clothes, a craft book and some money. All in it was a good weekend.

This weekend the celebrations have continued as its Agent D and my first anniversary. Yip, Its been a whole year since we met and officially became a couple. We think of it as today (the 19th) is the day we became a family. And in keeping with the family theme, last night we went out for a meal to celebrate. It was lovely having both my boys with me and talking about all the things that we've done this year.

yummy food with gorgeous boys

Like the day of my birthday though, today (also a Sunday) will be just chilled out like every other Sunday before the weekday madness starts. I've got a home made pulled pork in the slow cooker as i type and the day shall be spent watching movies and cuddling up. A perfect way to spend an anniversary really :)

*I honestly cant believe its been a year since we got together. Its flown in! ... Suppose that's a good sign, that whole "time flies" bit must be true*

So till next time lovely peoples, I'm off to watch the Lego Movie with my boys :)

Entered into the Super busy mum linky

Super Busy Mum

Student Survival Guide: Student Discounts

How expensive is being a student?!

Its hard when your living off a bursary or a student grant and you have to make ends meet from payment to payment. You need to pay for everyday necessities like food and clothing as well as any college/uni supplies like books and notepads.

Imagine just how hard it is if your also a parent having to run a home, family and navigate student life. 

Its expensive!

well ... I've got some good news.

There is a light at the end of the financial tunnel and its Student Card shaped!

Yip! That small credit card shaped piece of plastic you have to cart about campus with you is actually a gate way to a wonderful world of discounts that will help you survive your academic life and make the monthly budget a little more palatable when used right.

Let me show you how.

Lets start with the key websites.

UniDays - Its a website that gives you access to loads of on-line discount codes that are exclusive to students. All you have to do is sign up an account using your college/Uni email address (the one that has .ac.uk in it). Your 'education establishment' should be listed in the drop down box so they can verify that you are in fact a student and your good to go.

NUS - This is the National Union of Students website which as well as gives you access to discounts, also has alot of help and advice for all aspects of student life. Their discount card which can be used in stores costs £12 but this is for the full year and provided you remember to use it, your going to recoup the cost of the card easily.

Now, What kinda discounts can you get?
Well I've been having a look through and have found some great on-line and in store deals for students.

Need something nice to wear?

Fancy going out to celebrate that assessment with friends?

Some other useful extras I've found 

Now, these are just a small sample of the discounts you can get ... Many stores and restaurants have student discounts that aren't always advertised. And you know how to find them? 


When I'm in a store, i always ask if they do student discounts. It drives Agent D nuts but if I've got the chance to save some money on a pair of jeans or a DVD then I'm gonna do it! 

Its proving to be a valuable way to shop for Christmas too (yeah i know i said the bad word). Ive saved a nice wee bit so far on both their Christmas prezzies just by asking "Do you do any discounts for students?". and if they don't, well then now you know and you don't need to ask again. 

Its not a big deal. No need to feel embarrassed or uncomfortable. Its there to be used!

Have you came across any great student offers? 

Liebster Award Nomination: Part 2

I was chuffed this week to find that i had been nominated again for the Liebster award by the lovely Irene

Like before the rules are simple ... 
  • Get nominated
  • Link back the person who nominated you
  • Answer the 11 question the person who nominated gives you
  • Create 11 new questions or use the same ones you answered
  • Nominate 5-20 new people to answer your questions
Like i said ... Simple :)

What inspired you to start blogging?
For me, i enjoyed reading about the things other people got up to. I liked seeing the different crafts and things people made so i decided to start my own. It did start off as a virtual diary so to speak but since then it's kinda evolved into a way to meet like minded people and a way to share ideas.

Who is your favourite blogger and why?
Ohh that's a hard one. I don't like picking favourites cause that's like saying one blog is better than another. If i had to pick a blog i read the most though it would be a draw between Debs blog - Super Busy Mum (cause i love seeing the things she makes with her little ones) and WallyMummy's blog - Just a normal mummy (cause its an honest account of mummy life that's bloody hilarious!)

If you could be anywhere in the world where would that be?
Anywhere? Id be chilling in Disney World. I'm seriously a big kid at heart. I love Disney and i love Halloween so October is my dream time to be there. No-one does Halloween like the US and with a Disney spin? Ohhh yeah!

Craziest thing you've done?
Hmmm I'm not sure I've done anything that's all that crazy to be honest. I'm pretty boring lol

One thing you would change about your life?
Honestly, i wouldn't change a thing. Even all the horrible stuff that I've been through. If i hadn't went through it (good and bad) then i wouldn't be where i am now. I wouldn't be the same person i am and i know i wouldn't have Agent M and Agent D in my life. I believe everything happens for a reason.

If you had to eat just one food for the rest of your life what would it be?
Fruit! I love fruit. I could quite happily eat it all the time. Melon, Kiwi, Apple, Strawberry, Mango .... mmmmmm yummy!

Who do you look up to the most?
My mum and my granny.

My mum cause shes my inspiration. She's always got my back no matter what. She'll be the first to tell you shes not perfect but i love that about her cause she owns her mess ups which makes me feel like if i mess up it ok. I can brush myself off and keep going like she does. She is about as subtle as a bullet but i love that too cause you know exactly where you stand with her. She's my mammy and i love her with all my heart. 

My granny cause of everything that she had been through in life she's still came out the other side with a smile on her face. She raised 5 boys after getting out of a horrible relationship and went on to meet my wee papa. It makes me feel hopeful that after i got outta a horrendous relationship that i too could find love again (and i did). She is a tough wee woman and i can confide in her about anything and she never judges me. She's such a darling.

If you were to live in a movie, which movie would it be?
Tim Burton's Alice in Wonderland. It would be so cool to chill out in a garden with singing flowers and drink buckets of tea with the mad hatter. I love Tim Burton films cause its got a gothic twist and his worlds are kinda beautifully creepy.

What is your hidden talent?
Not sure i have a hidden talent. Maybe i just haven't found it yet lol

What is a thing you would never do, whatever the circumstances?
Spend the day in a circus. Nope! Nope! Nope! If your life depended on it then you had best make peace with your god cause no way in hell am i setting foot anywhere near a bunch of clowns. Nope!  

Where do you hope to be in 5 years?
Ohh i love this question cause i was just thinking about the whole 5 year plan thing the other day. I hope to be finished with college and either working in a salon or have my own business. Id love to be on the way to buying my own house (if i hadn't already). I hope to still be with Agent D and hope that Agent M is still doing well in school. Id love to be driving and i hope to have a bit more cash in the bank so that i can be less stressed out about making ends meet.

Ok, so there's my answers and here's my questions ...

  1. What is it you like most about blogging?
  2. What blog post are you most proud of?
  3. If you could meet one celebrity (past or present) who would you wanna meet?
  4. What is your best feature?-
  5. What are your top 5 items you cant live without?
  6. What's your favourite book and why?
  7. If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would you go?
  8. What is your dream job?
  9. If you could have any animal as a pet, what would you have?
  10. What's your favourite drink?
  11. What's your earliest childhood memory?
And here are my Nominees ...

Remember to post a comment below with the link to your blog when you have done your questions so i can come and have a look :)

A month so far ... Student life

Being an adult student is a lot more effort than when your at secondary school (or high school).

There are a whole host of issues that you just don't have to deal with when your younger. When I was at secondary school I didn't have any 'real' responsibilities. I say 'real' cause maintaining a social life and catching up on the "IT show" on TV doesn't constitute a responsibility. Even the days when you mum made you tidy your room or help set the dinner table are a far cry from what you have to deal with as an adult.

When your an adult student you have a whole set of REAL responsibilities!
  • You like having a roof over you head? well get the rent paid.
  • Enjoy heating in the freezing weather? Well you better find some money to feed that gas meter.
  • Speaking of food, have you grown partial to that whole eating phase everyone seems to be into? Well, Only some of that grows on trees so you better find some pennies to buy that food.

And that's only a taster or what you have to deal with.
  • Wait ... Your also a parent? Awe, heck ... here's some more issues just to keep you on your toes!
  • Your kids school opens at 8.50am, You start at 9am and you cant drive. Make it in on time to college while depending on public transport.
  • Oops ... Your kids not well ... you have no time to find a sitter and you wont get your bursary payment if your attendance falls below 100%
  • Now your kids all better and back at school but low and behold, you've now caught what ever industrial strength bug that the playground harbours but you have an assessment due in and there's still that pesky attendance rule.

Honestly ... Its not easy!

I don't know why there is a stigma about students being lazy and just wanna party. If your serious about learning, its a lot harder than it looks.

In fact, after the last 5 weeks I've thought more often than not that I've went and made my life more difficult than ever.
I've not been this tired since Agent M was a baby and I feel like my house is collapsing around me as my weekends are spent doing the housework I didn't have a chance to get to during the week.
I'm only just getting myself into a routine and everything that I enjoy as a crafty mama is falling by the way side. No time is down time as make up is applied in the bus down and emails a replied to in the bus up.
If it cant be cooked and eaten in 10 minutes then it wont get eaten during the day and I'm having a sordid affair with the coffee machine in the canteen just so I can feel even remotely human during the long days on my feet.

BUT ... *there is always a but ain't there lol*

Its worth it!

I'm enjoying the course. I've made some friends that share similar interests and I can actually have an adult conversation without the inclusion of any tiny people going "mum ... mum ... mum ... look mum ... mum ... mum" lol. I feel like I'm getting the chance to learn a skill that I can use to make a career for myself. *Note I said career, not job ... I wanna make a living doing something I actually enjoy. No more call centre work in my future*

Its fast paced and its hands on ... I'm loving it :)

In terms of the finance side, living on a student budget isn't exactly the most luxurious. There is a reason you see scruffy students counting out pennies to buy cans of value baked beans. Every penny is precious. I've almost became Gollum when it comes to money.

*I wants it ... cant haves it ... the precious, the purse is the precious*

There are however ways to survive the ways of student life.

I've been compiling tips and tricks to survive the ways of student life (wither or not your a parent) and will aim to post a "Survival guide" as it were.

*I'm finding loads of student discounts and offers at the moment ... I'll be sure to post links and lists for you all*

Toucan Box Review

I personally think it's important to encourage any and all creative flair a kid shows. Agent M as a tot liked to join in "colouring" while I was drawing. I have some of his early pictures (colourful scribbles) on my wall that he done before he could even talk properly. I give him (semi) free reign to see what he draws/paints/builds.

I don't know if it's due to seeing me craft but he's always had a keen interest in "messy play" as we call it. There is a box of supplies I regularly top up for rainy days or holidays so he can make whatever comes to mind. And he's got quite the imagination :)

So imagine my joy at finding out about a company that sends craft kits directly to your door once a month. Let me tell you about ...

It is a monthly subscription box filled with the materials needed to create a themed project.

It was set up by a fellow mama who too felt it is important to stimulate end indulge young creative minds :)

Its a brilliant way to top up your rainy day box *or in my case keep him occupied while i work on an assessment for college*

The first box was a free trial (rrp £3.95) so I quite happily signed Agent M up and a few days later his petite box arrived.

First off the fact that it was addressed to Agent M personally was an automatic plus. He came home from school to see it at the phone table and he was delighted (without even knowing what was inside as I kept it hush hush to surprised him).

He opened it up and was thrilled to find his very own craft kit. The theme was "jellyfish" and having a quick read at the instructions, I figured it would be something he could make himself with relative ease.

The boxes are divided into 2 age groups. The "Early Years Foundation Stage" which covers ages 3-5 and the "Key Stage One and Two" which covers ages 5-8. This is a great idea as you know the projects your getting will be age appropriate. Agent M is quite an independent kid. He likes to make things with minimal help from me (he gets frustrated if I have to intervene too much). 

The kit we got was perfect for him to do solo but if he was younger there would have been plenty to keep him amused while I helped (what kid doesn't like stickers lol).

Anyways, I had a lot of college work to do so he was quite happy to sit next to me and make his jellyfish while I supervised out the corner of my eye *I ended up watching him more than doing my homework ... hence the pictures*

So first off he was sticking the dots on his jellyfish ... there were two jellyfish in the kit but he decided to make one at a time.

Next he cut up the straw into 4 equal pieces (using his own safety scissors) and taped them in place. The concentration on his face as he threaded the ribbon through the straws was brilliant. He makes me chuckle something when he has his serious face on.

Next up was the purple ribbon for the "jellyfish legs" (that's the tentacles to you and I), the beads and the googly eyes.

It took him just shy of 10 minutes to make the first one but he had a lot of fun doing it. The second was quicker as all the bits were cut out first time round but we spent a good half hour racing them (that's what the yellow ribbon is for - as wellness to hang them). It was quite a simple wee craft kit but it gave him a good we afternoon and considering it was free ... it gets a 2 thumbs up all round :)

We have continued the subscription but we upgraded to the Grande set (£9.95 a month + £2.95 p&p) which gives you 2 kits a month plus a book ... though they also offer a Super set (£16.95 a month + £2.95 p&p) which gives you 4 kits.

I'll let you all know what he gets in his next one when it arrives :)

Do you wanna try the petite Toucan Box for free?

Click HERE for the link to claim your free box

Do you know of any other good craft subscription boxes? Feel free to leave the details in the comments below :)

Entered in the Mid-week Blog hop hosted by the lovely Debs over on Super Busy Mum :)

Super Busy Mum

Entered into the Brilliant Blog Posts hosted by the lovely Vicki over on Honest Mum :)
Brilliant blog posts on HonestMum.com

The Autumn Tag

It's that wonderful time of the year again.

The leaves are falling and make a lovely crunch when you walk through them. It's getting darker quicker, there is a chill in the air (which I actually enjoy) so its definitely scarf weather.

It's creeping closer to my birthday ... then my anniversary ... then Halloween. Autumn is the best time of year.

So imagine how delighted I was when reading through fellow bloggers posts to find an Autumn Tag. The lovely Toni over on ClarkeCouture left an open tag to anyone who wanted to join in ... so here's my contribution :)

Ok, we're talking coffee's - what's your favourite seasonal drink from Starbucks/Costa/Cafe Nero etc?
I love the caramel latte from Costa but I drink it year round. I did like the Orange hot chocolate they done last year around this time. Here's hoping it's doing the rounds again. I tend to go to Coffee Trader a lot with my Granny during the week and I love their White Mocha. It's the perfect pick me up in the cold weather.

A white mocha with cream

Accessories - What do you opt for? Boots, Scarves or gloves?
Pretty much all of the above. I have my New Rock boots which are perfect for keeping my feet warm and dry (plus they are really comfy) and I love my big scarves. I have a basket we keep at the front door for us to put our hats, scarves and gloves in when we come in so we're always prepared for the wild weather that Scotland seems to create.

Music - what's your favourite music to listen to in autumn?
I tend to listen to the Nightmare before Christmas soundtrack a lot more in the autumn into winter. That's the only thing really that changes. I tend to listen to the same music all year round.

Perfume - Whats your favourite scent in the autumn?
I wear Hugo Boss Deep Red in the autumn/winter months. I think it just smells amazing. It lasts a while too.

Candles - what will you be burning this season?
Oooh Yankee candles are my favourite and I have the Candy Corn waiting to go :) I'm not a big fan of the Christmas scents like cinnamon or spiced orange. I prefer the fruity ones. I have the Candy Corn in the living room and the Coconut & mandarins in the bedroom.

What do you love most about Autumn?
I love the feeling in the air. It's like everything starts to slow down. It's like the world is going into a kinda hibernation. It's nice. The weather gets colder which means snuggling up in bed is the perfect way to spend the night. Even the food is comforting. Stews and soup like your granny used to make. I love the colours - Brown's, Red's and Orange's. And the celebrations! ... I'm Halloween daft :)

My Halloween bouquet from Agent D

Favourite make-up look
I'm a fan of the smokey eye - red lip look. I love the whole Dita Von Tease thing. I do tend to favour the smokey eye using Brown's though. Can be toned down a bit for the day look and looks great with a nude lip (or ever a slick of lip balm).

What are you looking forward to most about Autumn?
Honestly, the snuggling up in bed with the electric blanket on and my gorgeous beardy man. Plus the good TV starts in Autumn like Supernatural, Sons of Anarchy and Walking Dead.

I love my bearded wonder to bits :)

I'd also like to keep the tag open to anyone who wants to join in. I love these kinda things cause it's a great way to get to know people.

If you take part please leave the link to your page in the comments so I can come have a look :)

D is for ...

One of the reasons I love crafting is because you are taking a relative 'nothing' and making it into something.

Be it cross stitch where you take blank fabric and coloured thread and make beautiful pictures or the next letter in my #ProjectAtoZ ...

D is For Decopatch

Taken at it's basic form ... decopatch is the process of ripping paper and covering objects to decorate it. Simple!!

It allows you to make ordinary objects look jazzed up ... and you can decopatch ANYTHING

I've never decopatched anything as big as a table or bike but I can imagine it would take ALOT of paper lol. I have however covered boxes and books. 

You can also buy items specifically designed for decopatch.
I tend to buy from the likes of Hobby Craft but you can search online for different items. 
*I will say when buying the glue for the decopatch, do buy one specifically for decopatch. I have tried PVA glue and it just doesn't work right*

The paper you will need to use is also specific to decopatch (sometimes listed as decoupage). You can get loads of different coloured sheets either individually or in packs. The paper has a tissue paper like feel to it and when used with the right glue comes out beautifully as the colours don't run.

Here is an example of a tea light holder I covered. I ripped up a chunk of the paper into different sized pieces. Some small to get into corners and some in strips to cover bigger areas. 

Taking a decopatch brush (it's like a tough bristle paintbrush) paste a small line of glue onto the item you want to cover. Place a piece of the paper onto the glue and cover in a second layer. Paste another section of the item with glue and cover that with a piece of paper and again cover the paper in glue. Honestly, it's that simple!

It doesn't matter if the pattern on the paper doesn't match up cause it all adds to the effect. You may have to overlap the paper to cover the entire object ... that's fine. Just make sure to end the whole project in a coat of glue to keep it all in place (and give a shiny finish).

The size of the item will depend on the amount of paper needed but one sheet is enough for most medium sized projects

A small hanging heart

A hanging photo frame 

A jewellery tree

When your done, make sure you wash your brush so you can use it again. I just run it under the hot tap and peel the glue off. If not the brush bristles will become solid and unusable.

There are loads of things that can be personalised and its an easy way to spend an afternoon decorating. It's so easy that the kids can join in too :)

Running in Lavender