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A Dream Room for Kids

I feel a little sorry for Agent M sometimes. He’s 9 years old and yet his bedroom still has the same jungle animal wallpaper that I put up when he was a new born. Granted he has some WWE pictures and his own artwork up too but it’s not a great ‘big boy’ room.

There are many ideas online but one site in particular - Homify, has loads of inspiration and ideas for the perfect kids room.

There are design inspirations for every room in your house as well as different styles to suit your décor however I focused on the kid’s rooms and was overwhelmed with ideas.

Some of my favourites weren’t necessarily practical for the size of Agent M’s room, (His is a little box room), But it didn’t stop me dreaming.

What kid wouldn’t love a climbing wall in their room?
Or a tree house they can sleep in every night?

We're Going Off The Grid

A week or so ago i was contacted about helping to promote a challenge set by the charity ShelterBox to Go Off The Grid for 24 hours.


ShelterBox provide emergency shelter and supplies to families that have been effected by natural disasters and conflict across the globe. They hand deliver boxes filled with the tools they need to survive such as tents, cooking equipment, solar lighting etc and help them rebuild their lives.

It has provided help and hope following some of the world’s most devastating disasters: Haiti’s earthquake in 2010, Japan’s Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami in 2011, the floods that wreaked havoc in Malawi and Malaysia in 2015, Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines in 2013, and the two massive earthquakes that shook Nepal in 2015.
Diane and Yokimi in Fiji by their ShelterBox tent

It has also been there to help rebuild lives during conflict. It has brought shelter to the homeless in Syria and its neighbouring countries since 2012, provided refuge for families fleeing terror in Niger and Cameroon, and respite on the Greek islands for thousands of weary families on the refugee trail.
After having a look through their website and reading up on what they do, i decided that the best way i can help to promote the challenge is to take part myself.

ShelterBox is funded only by public donations – it receives no EU or UK Government funding - and has a large number of inspirational trained volunteers who take time out of their busy lives to assess and deploy aid around the world. It is also the only official Project Partner of Rotary International, whose 1.2 million members raise funds for ShelterBox and often provide local support on the ground during a disaster.

Agent M is keen to help raise money for them too so we decided to take part ahead of the planned date 16th/17th July and share with you all ideas and tips to go 24 hours without electricity.

With a special pardon to use my camera (for the purposes of promoting the challenge and documenting ideas), we will be going off the grid on the 1st of July so there will be plenty of time for you to sign up for your sponsor pack and use some of our tips for your family to survive technology free for 24 hours.

I have set up a JustGiving page and would be eternally grateful to you all if you would be willing to sponsor us and help reach our target of £75.00
JustGiving - Sponsor me now!
Be sure to pop back at the weekend when I'll be sharing our experience with you all. 

Wish us luck :)

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My Random Musings

Make It Monday #18

Hey lovely's ... welcome to my linky!

This linky is for all you creative people out there to showcase your favourite craft or recipe posts.

Its been a few weeks since i've hosted the linky as i've not been able to really give it the time and promotion its needed. But i've been brainstorming and i'm gonna give it another go. Here's hoping it get some more people linking up. I'd hate to abandon my wee linky baby.


If you made it, We'd like to see it :)

I've also set up a Make it Monday board on pinterest so I'll be adding your posts there for everyone to share.

Once it becomes a bit more established, i will start to have a featured make each week but since its early days i thought i would take it one step at a time.

The rules are simple ...
  • Link up maximum TWO posts - They can be old or new. Please don't just link up your blog home page.
  • Comment on the 'Host' post and at least 2 others, though more if you have the time. Its all about sharing the love here.
  • When commenting use the tag #MIMLinky so that they know where you found them.
  • Add the "Make it Mondays" badge to your linked post so that others can find the linky and join in. 
Feel free to tweet your post(s) along with the hashtag #MIMlinky and mention @justacraftymama so i can retweet for you.

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Sticky Chinese Style Pork Chops

Its been almost 12 weeks since i started Slimming World and I'm starting to get bored of my usual salad and plain chicken go to. There are so many other meals i could be making, so with a cupboard full of spices i decided to get experimenting.

So here i give you Sticky Pork Chops ... and they are only 2.5 syns per portion.


You'll need
4 pork chop medallions (all fat cut off) - 2 per serving
1 tbs Chinese 5 spice
1 tbs paprika
150 ml boiling water
1/2 tsp garlic salt
1 tbs balsamic vinegar
2 tbs honey
Fry-light
Salt and Pepper to taste

To Make
In a hot pan, spray a little fry-light and brown off the pork chops.

While they are cooking, mix the spices, garlic, salt, pepper, honey and vinegar in bowl with the hot water. Make sure they are all combined.

Once the pork is cooked, add the spice mix and allow to simmer on a low heat. Flip the pork chops every now and again to make sure both sides get coated.

It will start to thicken up into a lovely sauce.

After about 5/10 minutes it will take on a syrupy consistency and its ready to serve.

I had mine with a chicken skewer and some Spring onion rice but it will go great with many combinations ... Pasta, potatoes, salad, rice etc.

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Easy Apple Crumble

While i was getting my new heating put in, i decided to take Agent M and Shabba up to my grandparents house. It was so busy and noisy that we couldn't get anything done and poor Shabba was losing his mind over all the strange people coming into our home.

While i was up there my Gran asked for help pealing and chopping up some desert apples. She was making a crumble which intrigued me. I hadn't made an apple crumble since i was at school and that was decades ago now.

I watched her closely and later on in the week i decided to make my own.

Easy Apple Crumble

It turned out well i think :)

You'll Need
2 large cooking apples
3 tbsp granulated sugar
2 tbsp water
2oz butter
2oz caster sugar
4oz plain flour

To Make
Preheat the oven to 180C

Start by peeling and chopping the apples, disposing of the skin and core.

Add the apple chunks, granulated sugar and water to a pan and simmer on a low heat till the apples have softened and it resembles apple sauce.
Easy Apple Crumble Cooking Apples

In a large bowl, add the butter, caster sugar and flour. Rub the ingredients together between your fingers and keep going till the mix resembles breadcrumbs.
Easy Apple Crumble Breadcrumbs

Spoon the apple mix into ovenproof dishes and sprinkle the flour mix over the top to create a crust.
Easy Apple Crumble Filling

Bake in the oven for about 15 minutes or until the top is golden brown.

You can make 2 family sized portions or 8 individual portions with this recipe.
You can also make the crumbles and freeze prior to cooking. Just make sure the apple mix cools down completely before you freeze.

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I'm Loving - June

This Month I'm Loving

I've not really had the chance in the last couple of months to pamper myself ... and you know something, i missed it. I felt the difference too. Not taking time to myself each week has made me realise just how important "Me" time is. Especially when life is trying to drown you!

I've been taking a step back recently and am making time for myself again. Hopefully it will help but if not, at least I'm getting some down time. Being stressed out isn't something that should prolong so doing anything to release the stress is definitely recommended.

This month I'm loving

Wild Argan Oil Bubble BathWild Argan Oil Bubble Bath - I received this bottle as a free gift from the body shop and i finally got round to trying it. I love the Body Shop products as they make my skin feel great, they smell amazing and they don't cost an arm and a leg for a little piece of luxury. This is the first time i have tried a bubble bath from them (and I've never tried the Wild Argan range before either) so i was pleasantly surprised with how lovely it was. The bubbles lasted quite a while and the scent was still on my skin half an hour later. I'll definitely be getting the body butter to match the bubble bath next time i order.

At £8 a bottle it is a bit more expensive than i would usually pay, however for a bit of luxury Mummy pampering, I'd buy it again (and hide it from the Agents).


Disney Lego Minifigures
Disney Lego Minifigures - I love Lego and i love Disney so the combination of the two was bound to be a hit with me. I've got 5 figures so far (and thankfully no doubles) but my faves have to be Ariel and the Cheshire Cat. I'm wanting to collect them all and get them framed so i can display them in my room (and away from the Lego addicted Agent M). I just hope i can collect them all.


Orange is the New Black - I've been re-watching season 1 to 3 over the last month in anticipation of season 4 starting yesterday. I do however have to wait till Agent D is over before i can watch the new season, which I'm not gonna lie is driving me a wee bit mental, but tonight we'll be binge watching while Agent M is in bed. I have my low syn snacks put past to enjoy while we watch. If you haven't seen the show yet i couldn't recommend it highly enough. I'm giddy to continue and meet the new inmates *counts down till bed time*

Orange is the New Black Cast

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101 things - A to Z of Movies

101 Things in 1001 Days

I'm slowly but surely making my way through my 101 Things in 1001 Days list ... and thanks to Netflix i have managed to finish my "Movie for every letter of the Alphabet" today. So here's my list ... now to work on Breaking Bad.

A. Alvin & the Chipmunks: The Squeekwal
B. Billy Madison
C. Cars
D. Despicable Me
E. Equlizer
F. Flight
G. Grown Ups
H. Harry Potter and the Philosophers Stone
I. Insidious 2
J. Jack and Jill
K. Kung Fu Panda 3
L. Lilo and Stitch
M. Monsters Uni
N. National Security
O. Open Season
P. Puss in Boots
Q. Quills
R. Reign of Fire
S. Shrek Forever After
T. The Hobbit and the Battle of the 5 armies
U. Up
V. Van Helsing
W. Wreck it Ralph
X. X-men: Days of future past
Y. You don't mess with the Zohan
Z. Zoolander

I feel sad

I feel a little sad today.

As read the updates on the Orlando shootings I feel sad for the families of the victims. I feel sad for all the mums and dads that are being notified that their babies didn't make it. I feel sad for the families that still don't know what's happened to their kin. I feel sad for the people who witnessed the violence and who will forever be haunted by it all. I feel sad for the officers who had to see the outcome in that nightclub and for the medical staff who had to help. I can't imagine how horrible it must have been.

I feel sad for the LGBTQ community as this act of pure hate will undoubtedly ripple through the entire community. I feel sad for them as I've read so many idiots comment rather derogatory about them and 'god'. I feel sad that this will make more idiots crawl out of the wood work and try to rationalize this insanity by plastering a deity to it. I feel sad that in 2016 we cant just accept people from all walks of life. Killing people because of their sexuality should be more "against god" than anything else.

But in what appears to be an unconventional thought. I feel sad for the Muslim community too. Cause so many people are throwing racist abuse around when in reality it's a minority of the community that cause the most damage.

There is so much hate and so much negativity in the world already. Maybe we should mourn for Orlando with love. Maybe we should send our love and pray to our respective religious heads for comfort and support to the victims and their families rather than making this horrible situation about what groups of people deserve hate and punishment.

Pray For Orlando

My Sunday Photo - 12/6/16

I don't know why but for long enough there were never really any photographs up in my house. I had one or two of Agent M in my room but downstairs, where people could see (cause i don't allow anyone in my room) there wasn't really any. 

Recently though i have been rectifying that ... And thanks to a Snapfish offer on Woucher (£10 for a £30 credit) i have taken full advantage of all my free wall space.

My Sunday Photo

The Poster Print is £5.99 for the 18x14 inch size and i bought a frame from Wilko that only cost £3.50. Granted the frame is a little big as its 20x16 inches (and its not lined up right as i was in a rush) but until i find a frame that it will fit perfectly, it will do me fine. I like coming in the house or down the stairs and seeing happy pictures of my family.

With the rest of the voucher i used to get images printed off that i can add to my Smash Books and some frames i have stashed away.

Who knows what else i'll end up getting though as i'm getting the hang of snapping memories :)

Week 8 - Weigh in


I wasn't feeling very positive about this weigh in. Purely because i knew there had been times when i didn't stick to the plan.

I went down to visit my mum for a weekend and while i was there i didn't count any syns and she was in charge of the cooking so i know that she would have used oil etc where i would have dry fried or used Fry Light if i was at home.

After a particularly crappy day i asked Agent D to bring me a McDonalds too which although i was craving one, it just didn't fill the hole i had and i ended up feeling really pukey afterwards as it just sat in my stomach all night.

I am happy though cause when i hopped on the scales and seen i was bang on 18st i felt relief. That means in 8 weeks i have lost a whole stone.

I've lost 14 pounds

This week i went shopping with a pre-researched list of snacks and meals so hopefully i will be able to stay on track now. Its been really hard though as i feel like I'm missing out on things and somethings it gets really frustrating knowing I'm having to count and measure everything. I can really see now where going to meetings can help.

Feeling alone isn't that great but I'm hell bent to stick to it.

Here's hoping i make it!

LilySlim Weight loss tickers

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Mexican Chicken Pasta

I don't know about you guys but eating the same plain food over and over gets really boring. so I've been looking for different ways to spice up my food ... quite literally in some cases.

One thing I've been loving recently is Mexican Chicken Pasta which is only one syn per serving and is great for the whole family to enjoy.

Mexican Chicken Pasta

The recipe below does 4 people so if its just yourself then half the recipe and you can eat the other half cold the next day for lunch (which is what i do ... Its delish!)

You'll Need
3 Chicken Breasts, cut into chunks
1 Yellow pepper, cut into strips
1 Orange pepper, cut into strips
Handful of Mushrooms, chopped
1 Onion, chopped
Handful of Plum Tomatoes, Quartered
Garlic clove, Finely chopped
Fry Light
Asda Taco Seasoning
300g Dried Pasta

To Make
Put the pasta in a big pot with boiling water and cook to the packet instructions.

In a frying pan, Fry off the Chicken and Garlic clove using a couple of sprays of the fry light. Once cooked, add the onion, peppers, mushrooms and tomatoes. You may need to add another spray or two of the fry light. 

Once everything its starting to cook through, add half the packet of Taco seasoning to the mix. Make sure everything gets a good coating in the seasoning.

When the pasta is cooked drain it off and put back into the pot. Mix the chicken and veg into the pot with the pasta and add the remaining packet of seasoning so that the pasta gets coated too.

Mix well and serve.

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My Random Musings

3D Art Adventures Review and Giveaway

When i was at school, all my course choices revolved around the creative subjects. My favourite hands down was Art and Design. I loved being able to create things using mixed media and before every new topic we got to learn all about artists and design eras.

I feel like this was important to learn and since have taken to teaching Agent M little bits about artists and about influenchial movements. I get quite proud when someone talks about the ninja turtles infront of him and he tells them all about the artists that the names originated from. He's like a little sponge of knowlage.

There are many books you can get that teach children all about art and design, giving them info on the artists as well as getting them to think more in depth about what they are seeing.

One such book is 3D Art Adventures which not only teaches kids about the artists and designers but also gives tutorials on how to create their own works of Art.


The book, compiled by Maja Pitamic and Jill Laidlaw, features 35 Artist inspired projects that use a whole host of mixed media, from clay to paper, string to nuts and bolts. 

The book is broken down into different sections such as Ceramics and Sculpture and each section gives you a brief into about it as well as some examples.


The activities give kids a chance to get creative as well as learning. All levels of ability will enjoy getting crafty, although the book does recommend from ages 6+


Agent M and i have made a few projects which I'll share with you in the coming week but until then i have a nice surprise for you guy ...

The lovely people over at Modern Books were very kind and gave me not only a copy for myself to review but also another to give away a one of you lovelies.

You can enter using the form below and the giveaway will run till the 20th of June, when i will announce the winner. There are 4 chances to win ... Good luck!


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Make it Monday #15

Hey lovely's ... welcome to my linky!

This linky is for all you creative people out there to showcase your favourite craft or recipe posts.


If you made it, We'd like to see it :)

I've also set up a Make it Monday board on pinterest so I'll be adding your posts there for everyone to share.

Once it becomes a bit more established, i will start to have a featured make each week but since its early days i thought i would take it one step at a time.

The rules are simple ...
  • Link up maximum TWO posts - They can be old or new. Please don't just link up your blog home page.
  • Comment on the 'Host' post and at least 2 others, though more if you have the time. Its all about sharing the love here.
  • When commenting use the tag #MIMLinky so that they know where you found them.
  • Add the "Make it Mondays" badge to your linked post so that others can find the linky and join in. 
Feel free to tweet your post(s) along with the hashtag #MIMlinky and mention @craftymama087 so i can retweet for you.
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Ezee Shrinks Kit

Although the craft box we have is called the "Rainy Day" box ... It did come in handy this Bank Holiday Monday when the weather was so hot we couldn't spend too long outdoors.

Agent M had a look through the box and pulled out this Shrinkie Dinks kit.


I was really excited to make this with Agent M as i remember making them with my little sister when i was little ... The kit comes with everything you need to make the shrinkies, including a hole punch and templates to use for pendants or key rings.

In case you didn't know how they work, You draw your picture onto the plastic and colour. You then cut it out and punch a hole where you want. You then place them in a warm oven and melt (as per the instructions).

They do shrink really fast and i think Agent M got a real kick out of watching them shrink.

You can buy Shrinkie Dinks in kits or you can just purchase the plastic sheets and decorate/design whatever you like.


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