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G is For ...


The meaning of Christmas depends on who you talk to.

For many its a religious celebration of the birth of Jesus ... For others it about spending time with the ones you love and being thankful for them.

For me its a time to show the ones you love and care for, just how much they mean to you.

Now i used to be a BIG fan of Christmas but I've lost my festive mojo of late. I don't know why but i just feel a sort of melancholy about the whole Christmas thing.

Since Agent M is getting older, I'm wanting to enjoy the magical time while it's still all dreams of sugar plums and the excitement of Santa.
I'm in search of my Christmas spirit and I'm starting here!

That's why G is For Giveaway

I love my little blog and i am grateful for the people who come visit and share in my comings and goings. Who give advice on different ideas and makes or who simply just swing by to say hey :)

So to honor all you lovely peeps, I'm going to run a Christmas giveaway.

Ive been getting into knitting of recent and found a lovely book to try. It's perfect for the cold weather we've been having. So perfect in fact, i bought one just for you guys.


In the book there are 35 had designs that you can make yourself, from tiny hats for babies to funky adult hats. Suitable for beginners right up to the advanced knitters amongst us.

The synopsis
By combining simple knitting techniques with soft and colourful yarns, Fiona Goble has created a fantastic collection of 35 animal hats, ranging from cute and cuddly to wild and woolly. Choose from hats for tiny babies such as Buzzy Bee, Tweet the Robin or Rudy the Rabbit, or make something to keep bigger kids cosy, from Blizzard the Reindeer (complete with bright red nose) to Otto the Octopus. Most of the hats can be made in a range of sizes and many of them come with matching accessories, such as boot toppers, wrist warmers and baby bootees. Each hat has easy-to-follow instructions and uses the simplest of stitches, with clear step-by-step illustrations and photographs to help with the all-important features, making this ideal for beginner knitters as well as more experienced ones. With essential yarn information as well as a helpful techniques section, you'll be ready to start knitting gorgeous animal hats in no time.

Since I'm trying out home made this year i thought it would be the perfect way to make a personalised gift that's useful in this miserable weather and wont break the bank in the process :)

And since its the time for giving, not only will you receive this lovely book but I'll be sending along a lovely little Christmas gift just for you too ... See, I'm trying to grow my heart a-la-Grinch. The more people that enter, the bigger the gift since you guys have spread such love back to me :)

The entering is really simple ... Just follow the prompts on the form below.
  • Open Internationally
  • Will close at MIDNIGHT on 12th DECEMBER (GMT)
  • Winner will be notified once the competition has ended

Brilliant blog posts on HonestMum.com

World Peace and other unrealistic gifts

I don't know about you guys but i hate when i get asked what i want for birthdays and Christmas.


To me ... Its a trap!!

Follow me on this, You ask say your brother what he wants for his Christmas. Now he has 3 options to go with here.

He can ...

A - Tell you something he really wants (which is most likely a game or piece of technology with half eaten fruit on it). You come to find that this magical gift comes with the fantastical price tag of £40 and your now left trying to either find the money (cause chances are hes gonna spend that now too and you don't wanna be rude) or have to say that you cant afford it and he'll feel like sh*t for asking for it in the first place.

B- Tell you something like "gift card", "Lynx set", or other random generic thing that you know is really impersonal but will most likely be used. To me that's like the Granny gift when you know shes got 50 grand-kids to keep track of and is usually accompanied by socks.

*I will say now, my own Gran does this and I've come to look forward to the annual set of PJ's ... Its become something of a tradition :) * 

Lovely as it is, for the immediate family members, it lacks that personal feel.

C - Give you that ever infuriating answer ... "World Peace".

That last one is the answer i get EVERY TIME I ASK a certain individual what he wants for birthdays, Christmases, etc.

It drives me nuts cause I'm left thinking what the hell do i get him? I know if i get him a gift card its gonna sit in the envelope till the end of time and if i get him some smelly stuff (Lynx, Adidas etc) he'll stick it in a cupboard and never touch it (or think I'm telling him he smells - another pitfall of the smelly stuff). But when i explain this, what i get back is world peace.

Now lets look at this logically for a second.

There are many people who believe world peace is achievable.


If you are religious then you may believe that another Noah's ark type deal is on the cards. A wipe the slate and start again. Or perhaps the Rapture is the way forward?
Either way, these ideas/methods/action plans are way above my pay grade. That's for which-ever deity you believe in to handle. I'm just the lowly student hairdresser.

If you are political, you may think that starting over with fresh government is the way forward. Perhaps with a series of campaigns and votes. Perhaps there will be public speeches from world leaders apologising for all the horrendous stuff they have done and inviting the country next door for tea and cake.
Putin can bring the bear skin rug and they can all go picnic style while Cameron cracks out the custard creams for Kim Jong-Un.

Seriously!?

You have more chance having a tap dancing monkey recite the periodic table it Latin while vomiting up banana mush and recreating the Mona Lisa with it.

Unrealistic you say? Exactly!

Don't get me wrong, I'd LOVE to live in a world where we weren't blowing each other up or killing each other at the drop of a hat but I'm realistic enough to know that "World Peace" wont be achieved in my life time. I don't hold much hope for Agent M seeing it in his lifetime either to be honest.

All i can do is live the way i do, and bring Agent M up to understand that everyone has the right to live in peace and that the colour or sexual orientation or religion of someone doesn't make them better or worse than you.


But i digress ...

So this year I'm not even going to bather asking him. Since i don't have enough medications or counselling contacts to even look at the peace issue, I'm going to give the rigmarole a miss. *And in doing so am pre-empting the "Cure Cancer" and "Solve World hunger" diddies I've had in the past.

I was racking my brain and then it hit me. Why not go home made for him too?

He hates getting cards as they are "a waste of paper and money" UNLESS they are home made, then he keeps them. So why bother spending money on something i cant afford and that he doesn't want when i can make him something that i know he will appreciate more?

But what to make?

Mammy is getting a hamper filled with goodies. But she is special. Cause she stays in England i cant meet up with her for a Coffee and a spot of lunch so i want to make her something really special. Plus i doubt he will appreciate the joy of cookie butter (though he might like the home made honey comb).

Oh look, a reason to go on Pinterest *hahaha yeah right, like i needed a reason*


Picture from The 36th Avenue via Pinterest

Do you have any family that's a nightmare to buy for?
Have you thought about going home made?

Drop me a comment with your ideas :)



Super Busy Mum


Brilliant blog posts on HonestMum.com

F is for ...


OK, so ... I'm a bit of a pest when it comes to being organised. I like to know whats happening and when its happening. I'm not one for 'winging it'. It makes me anxious.

I used to have a pocket in my bag for all these little notes and appointment cards but i kept having that sickening feeling that i was forgetting something ... *one time forgetting a dentist appointment and getting a £15 fine ... gutted!*

After that i decided to buy myself a diary and when Amazon threw up the Violet Personal Domino for £15, i fell in love :)

That's why F is for Filofax

A wee bit of nostalgia for you. Did you ever have the FunFax growing up?


I had loads of these growing up. The Original one, the Disney, the Spy one ... I still have the horror file a decade later :)

These were like my introduction to the world of organisers as a kid. (Through granted i didn't have half as much stuff to keep on top of back then).

So when my first Filofax (the big girl version) arrived i was thrilled. I had all my bits of paper ready to go and i had bought some stickers and coloured pens to jazz it up :)

And then i was hooked!

Over time, I went all out! I decorated and filled my little Filofax till i was satisfied ... I used it for almost 2 years, taking it EVERYWHERE!
Then disaster struck ... I had ran outta space. The rings weren't holding all the paper i had and i was loosing sheets. 

Gutted i was then on the hunt for the size up, An A5. It was almost double the size so there was more room to write.

Come Christmas last year, Agent D surprised me with a Red A5 Domino. Again i was in love. It was beautiful although because it was second hand it was slightly damaged. The pen hoops were holding on my a hope and a prayer but being the little trooper it was, It served my needs for a good wee while. I just couldn't stand the idea of it ripping further though, so a few months ago it was put into retirement and Agent D bought my Purple A5 Domino.


Why stick with Domino? 
Well ask any Filo-Fan. They all have a preference. Some like the Malden and the Original is a classic for a reason but for me, The domino is my go to cause the elastic band that holds it all together. I love that i can slip things in and out knowing the band will hold it all together. I have times when my diary is bulging at the seams and times where its only the papers inside the ring and i know that no clips are going to be damaged and i don't need to have it fastened with a popper to hold it shut. I just loop the band over all my stuff inside and I'm off.

I made sure the pages and covers were how i wanted them to be. I bought disgustingly expensive paper under the idea that I'm always going to have my A5 so i want something I'm going to love forever and that will last a long time.


Its quite a difference from the 99p for 2 sheets that were used on my Personal (the ones with the pumpkin) compared to the £11 for 10 sheets i used for my A5. Believe me, i missed the coffee i had to give up to save up for it at the time, but I'm so happy with them. I wanted something beautiful and i got what i paid for. You can still see the metallic finish even though i laminated them. Definitely a good idea if you are serious about your Filofax.

*To be honest, I've not came across may who aren't serious about their Filofax. They are bloody expensive if bought brand new (even the Red A5 second hand was £30). Its an investment that many appreciate. Though Agent D doesn't get why some people buy the £100+ filos, i do. I personally feel like my filo is an extension on me. Its literally got my life in it and it comes with me everywhere. people customise their phones and bags. I have my diary!*

Since getting my Personal i have collected quite a few bits and pieces for decorating. From Stamps to washi tapes ... I have quite a collection. The picture below is seriously just a taster as the big box with all my stamps and the like in it is to heavy for me to take out to snap a picture of.


Though i don't decorate to the extent that some others do (I've seen people cover the pages with very little space to write). I use the blank pages to doodle or try to keep the decoration on the main diary to a minimum. I tend to use different coloured inks and post-its to decorate.


I cant really show you the contents of my main diary as i have alot of personal stuff in there but my monthly is a small sample of the colourful-nisk i like. I use stickers to tell me things, Like who's on holiday from work or school or when something is due like rent or phone bills.



Moving from Personal to A5 was a good move for me cause i have 3 peoples schedules to keep up with these days as well as keeping track of clubs, assessments, birthdays, bills, addresses and now my blog.
Look at the evolution from Personal to Colourful A5

I honestly couldn't live without my Filofax cause nothing would get done when it was supposed to. I love that i have everything to hand when i need it. Like my own little secretary that fits in my bag.

I have so many groups i follow in Instagram, Facebook and Pinterest that are Filo-themed ... Its like like an addiction (though Agent D will call it an obsession) ...

Are you a filo-fan? Feel free to check out my Filofax board below and see if you can take any inspiration :)


Homemade Gift Ideas

The creator of Pinterest is *in my opinion* a GENIUS!

At the same time however they are an evil mastermind that can trap you into the never ending webs of posts and pics, ideas and general random-nisk that is both entertaining and highly addictive.

Or is it just me?

Oh well. I'm a functioning Pin-aholic. I can maintain a (somewhat) normal life without letting it over through my life (kinda). I have come across some fantastic ideas from pinterest though.

Since I've decided to make my mammy a hamper for Christmas, I've been on the look out for some goodies to make. I thought I'd share them with you guys just in case you were stuck for your own ideas or fancy giving handmade a try.









 All these and more can be found on my Pinterest Board - Christmas Crafts and DIY Gifts

E is For


So as you probably guessed, I've been a bit overwhelmed to keep up with my #ProjectAtoZ ... *It's a good thing there isn't a time limit on it*

Anyway, since i have been short on time, I've been looking for quicker ways to enjoy a crafty life which lead me to the next letter ...

E is for Easy Cakes

Have you ever heard about making cakes in the microwave? I hadn't and to be honest i was a bit sceptical. I don't even like to make scrambled egg in a microwave! But I'm a curious one when it comes to making things so rather than flat out say no way, i thought id give it a bash.


So to find recipes i went to my trusty Pinterest ... and i found loads! Some just sounded kinda iffy and some looked delicious (providing they turned out like the picture).

I found a couple that i wanted to try and after a tweak or two trying to convert from the 1/2 cup measurements i was quite surprised with the results :)

The first i tried was the 'Nutella Lava Brownie' from Kirbie's Cravings.

You'll need ...
  • 1 Egg
  • 2 tbs Sugar
  • 1 tbs Self raising flour
  • 1 tbs Nutella
  • 1 tbs Butter
  • 2 tbs Chocolate Chips
In a microwave safe mug, add the butter and the chocolate chips. Put in the Microwave for 30 seconds to melt the butter. Remove and mix with a fork till the chocolate chips have melted.

Next add the egg, sugar and flour and mix well. It will resemble cake mix at this point.

Once everything is combined, add the nutella aiming for the middle of the mug. You don't need to mix it as the cake will bake round it.

Cook in the microwave for 1 minute (my microwave is really old so it took me a minute and a half. I would give it 30 second blasts if your unsure about your microwave strength)


In my honest opinion, I found it more like a cake than a brownie but never the less it was delicious! I didn't think i would enjoy it but i did. Its quite sweet and when you first taste it beware that the Nutella is WARM!



Since i had such success with the Nutella, i decided to try a 'Chocolate Chip Cookie' one i found over on Number 2 pencil.

You'll need ...
  • 1 Egg Yolk
  • 1 tbs Butter
  • 1 tbs Granulated Sugar
  • 1 tbs Dark Brown Sugar
  • 3 drops of Vanilla Extract
  • pinch of salt
  • 3 tbs Plain Flour
  • 2 tbs Chocolate Chips
Again in a microwave safe mug, you need to melt the butter. A 30 second blast is enough.

Add the sugars, vanilla extract and pinch of salt to the cup and mix well. Mix in the egg yolk making sure everything is combined.

Next add the flour half a tablespoon at a time. Mix after every time you add flour as your looking for a dough consistency. I used just under 3 tbs but you might need the full 3.

Add in the chocolate chips and cook i the microwave for 30 second blasts. The original recipe advised not to go past 1 minute but again my microwave is really old so it took me 1 minute 30 to get it cooked.


This one I'm still not convinced on. I don't know if it was because i had the really sweet Nutella one first, but the cookie wasn't very sweet. I personally am going to add extra sugar to the next batch i make but i thought i would share the recipe as it was created so you can see for yourself.

Have you found any mug recipes that you liked? :)

Where did the time go?

I've lost a week!!!



I'm not sure how its managed to slip my grasp but in the blink of an eye we've gone from the end of October to a week into November.

All my Halloween ideas fell by the way side as i had 2 assessments and a workshop all in the same week. *plus side i passed my colour assessment*




I didnt bake any cookies, no cupcakes came out my kitchen, not even a caramel apple was made. I did manage to dress up (though not as a day of the dead skeleton as planned). Between my WW2 Victory Rolls and Agent M's Ninja Turtle we had a rather pitiful Halloween. *I didn't even get my horror night as i fell asleep early*.



The other night was Guy Fawkes and we didn't even have a nosey at the fireworks. Agent M was asleep by 7.30pm and i was typing away on the laptop trying to plough my way through these college notes. 

I feel like my life is absorbed by trying to keep up with life.

Full time mum ... Full time student ... Running the home.

I'm exhausted!

I had a rare day off Friday but even that was consumed by washing in the morning. Though i did get a couple of hours with my Granny which i enjoyed.

I'm hoping that tomorrow while the Agents are out i can get some knitting done and maybe catch up on the #ProjectAtoZ.

Click on the picture to go to the post page


I can but dream!

Any ways, One thing i have noticed it that the festive season is hemorrhage all over the place. In town the council have started putting the lights up, There is wrapping paper a plenty bulging outta shops and the TV has adverts strategically placed to catch the eye of every kid and grumbling parent *cough me cough* So i figure it is acceptable to start my shopping.

Operation C-Word is well under way and I'm eternally grateful to my mammy for my laptop cause on-line shopping is my lifesaver.

Order on the bus down to college and get delivered. No stressful shoppers bashing into me and no hurling bags on and off public transport.

Because I've signed up for Amazon Student, I'm hoping to get some of the boys Christmas off there. Cass over on Diary of a Frugal Family posted about a site she found which tells you when a product has dropped in price (Like most places the prices jump up and down on Amazon alot) so you end up with the better deal. You can find the link to her post HERE. I'll definitely be making the most of it!

I'm making a point of sticking to my shopping list this year.
Agent M would like WWE stuff, Minecraft stuff and has asked for an Electronics set.
Agent D would like a Samsung Tab 4 (he first asked for a PS4 but I'd have to sell an organ to pay for that :(  )


I'll be keeping an eye out on any and all offers for these and if i find any other good deals, I'll post them with the others on my Facebook page

Do you know any other sites that have great price comparison or track deals?