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Week 24 Weigh in

Ok ...

So i put on some weight since my last weigh in.

Its not the end of the world and I'm secretly hoping that the extra weight is due to my monthly visitor tearing up the place but yes, I've put on almost another pound.

Its shite!

But fear not as i had my melt down and i have kept on the wagon so onward and upward.

I'm setting myself the target to get back down to the 17st mark again by my next weigh in ... Thinking I'll have to work out a little harder if i want any birthday cake *pout*

Am hoping smaller targets will help me stay motivated enough to keep going.


Debt Free Thirty's

I came to a harsh realisation this weekend.

I'm fed up being fricken poor!

I live payday to payday which isn't really that great and if i want to do something fun with Agent M i have to plan it out almost to the penny. I feel like I've not been as careful with money recently and its starting to reflect in my bank balance.

I decided to have a real harsh look at my finances and the debt i have and although its not as bad as i had originally thought, its still a fair chunk. I pay it off in monthly instalments and am happy that I've got over £2000 paid off already but there is still a long way to go.

I'm turning 29 in a couple of weeks and I've been thinking about what i want to have accomplished by the time i am 30 and the biggest one is be debt free ... I mean how amazing would that be. And what a fantastic gift to give to myself.

Getting debt free would free up a lot of stress and i think would mean that i could enjoy family life more. Imagine if i didn't have to save all my money to pay bills and i could take Agent M on his first ever holiday abroad. That would be brilliant!

So that's what I'm planning to do.

My big goal is to be completely debt free by my 30th Birthday ... 54 weeks to get my finances in order and welcome in a new chapter of my life.

I'm looking forward to it!

Make it Monday #31

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

Its the last week of September which means Mama can officially start rolling out all the cool Halloween posts I've been working on. I love Halloween and am really excited to celebrate this year since i always seemed to be working or at college on the big day. This time round i'm celebrating all month long ... i have some making up to do :)

Anyway, onto the linky ... This one is for all you creative people out there to showcase your favourite craft or recipe posts. Wither your a savvy stitcher or a brilliant baker, i want you to share your posts for us all to swoon over :)


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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My Sunday Photo - 25/9/16

Oh boy its been a looong weekend.

I've been trying to stop myself crying from the pain and subsequent itching from these stitches in my head. Agent M managed to swim the length of the pool twice during his swimming lessons (without stopping) and after a struggle to find trousers to fit him since BHS has shut down, we had a family wedding to attend.

I was impressed that Agent M managed to stay awake as long as he did and bless him when we got home after 11pm, he was out like a light as soon as his head hit the pillow.

I was glad of a long lie today too since he didn't get up till after 9am, yet more grateful that Agent D treated us to brunch at our local Wetherspoons. Even though i wasn't drinking last night i do feel a little rough today.

Its been nice to spend time with the Agents and just chill today before the madness of the week begins again.

Make it Monday #30

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

Agent M and i have been enjoying the long weekend by getting our paint on ... We bought some small canvas' from Home Bargains and have been making some Pokemon wall art. I'm hoping to share them with you all this week. Of course we have also been taking advantage of the warm weather this weekend by going poke-hunting and using the Persil Wild Explorers app. Gotta take advantage before the cold weather sets in.

Anyway, onto the linky ... This one is for all you creative people out there to showcase your favourite craft or recipe posts. Wither your a savvy stitcher or a brilliant baker, i want you to share your posts for us all to swoon over :)


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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My Sunday Photo - 18/9/16

Its a rainy day here and Agent D is recovering from what we think is the flu, so Agent M is enjoying some Minecraft time on his Xbox One and I'm taking advantage of the "Me time" and watching some trash TV ... first up being the premier episode of Rob and Chyna.


Its good to see Rob as hes been MIA in the Kardashian show but my goodness does Blac Chyna like to scream ... She needs to chill out!

**Don't care if you judge my viewing choices, Agent D already has that covered. Haters gonna hate hate hate!

Nutella Croissants

The kids have only just went back after the Summer and they are now on holiday this weekend for the September break ... Why is beyond me!

But they are and we have a tradition in this house to have a fun breakfast on the first day of the holidays.

When i asked Agent M what he wanted, his only request was "something with Nutella". And although he's a big fan of Nutella a la Spoon - I figured i would make something a bit nicer ... So i made Nutella Croissants instead.


You'll Need
Nutella - about a tablespoon per croissant
Ready made croissant dough

To Make
Line a baking tray with grease-proof paper and pre-heat the oven to 180C

Crack open the roll of dough as per the instructions on the packet.

Roll out the dough and cut along the perferated line.

Add a tablespoon of nutella to the longest end of the dough and wrap.

*I'm not gonna lie, I'm not the best at rolling croissants but so long as they kind of resemble a crescent shape and all the openings are sealed (so the chocolate doesn't leak out) your all good in my book

Place on the tray making sure there is plenty of space between them (they will expand).

Bake in the oven for 10-12 minutes (or until golden brown on top.

Remove from the oven and allow to cool on a wire rack.

You definitely want to let it cool ... the chocolate is seriously hot!

Serve and Enjoy :)


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Persil Wild Explorers App

Its been a great Summer here in the crafty household. We've spent the majority of the time out and about which has not only been great exercise but its been brilliant fun.

Now that the summer is starting to wind down though, I've been trying to cram in as much outdoor time as i can and thanks to the Wild Explorers app from Persil, that's just what we've been able to do.

The app is free to download and available in the iTunes App Store and in Google Play and has over 100 activities for kids of all ages.

  

The app is sorted into categories of 'Where', 'How long' and 'How old'. When you complete a task you can check it off and track your adventures, seeing how many hours of "wild time" you've clocked.

Some of the activities are crafty like Create Wild Art, some of them games like Leaf and Plant Snap but all of them are fun and in their own way, educational. 


Your little ones will make memories with you while exploring the world around them.

There activities that you can do indoors too so what ever the weather, there is plenty to keep the kids occupied :)

Agent M and i playing Animal Charades 

*Disclosure - This post was written in Partnership With Persil. To read my full disclosure policy, click HERE.

Make it Monday #29

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

This one is for all you creative people out there to showcase your favourite craft or recipe posts. Wither your a savvy stitcher or a brilliant baker, i want you to share your posts for us all to swoon over :)


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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Microwave Heat Pad

I've been getting what the Doctor says are Tension Headaches a lot recently. They are horrible as paracetamol doesn't make a difference and they can last for hours.

Heat helps ease the pain long enough for me to fall asleep some nights but its becoming impractical to sleep on a hot water bottle so i decided to make myself a microwavable head pad.

You can buy them in some stores however i couldn't find one without lavender in plus i love making things so its a double delight for me.


All you need to make one is a facecloth (or a strip of soft fabric like fleece) and dried rice. Its honestly that simple.

Fold the facecloth in half, right sides together (so the label is facing out). Pin two of the sides together and sew them shut. You need to leave one of the ends open so that you can fill the pad.

Turn the cloth right side out so that two of the seams are inside the pouch. It will look a bit like a wash mitt at this point.

Next fill the pouch 2/3's of the way up with the dried rice. You can add less if you want but you don't want the pad to be too hard as it would be uncomfortable around your neck. You want it to hug your neck, not bruise it.

Once filled, sew the end shut and hey presto ... You have yourself a heat pad.

Heating up the pad varies depending on how powerful your microwave is.

Mine is 700W and it takes 90 seconds to be nice and warm. My advice is to play about a little with the times. 20-30 second bursts till you find what works for you. (That's how i worked it out).



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Mummascribbles

O is For

We used to have a house elf ... In fact we had loads. But I've inadvertently set them all free. At least, that's the only reason Agent M and i can think as to why we have a mini pop-up bin full of odd socks and have NEVER found the partners too.

Its OK though, as I'm all about the up cycling. My odd slipper socks have now become dusters (as the fluffiness works wonders), and now i have a way to use up Agent M's odd little socks ... By making fresheners. 

Since we think of Harry Potter when we talk about the socks i decided to keep with the theme ...That's why O is for Odd Sock Owl Fresheners.


I love these as you can pop these in your drawers to keep your clothes fresh or inside shoes if they are particularly smelly ... and they look really cute.

You'll need
Odd socks - The size of the Owl will depend on the size of the sock 
A bag of Rice (plain long grain is fine - Dried, not instant)
Fabric freshener beads - I used the Lenor but Comfort would work too)
Needle and Thread (You can use a sewing machine too if you have one)
Buttons for the eyes

To make
First you need to turn the sock inside out and cut a triangle out of the toes and remove the heal. If you are using an adult sock you will need to cut the heal section closer to the toes otherwise your owl will be huge. The yellow lines below are a rough guide were to cut.

While still inside out, you need to sew the toe area shut. You can do this by hand or use your sewing machine. If using a machine you might need to pin the two sides together to make sure they are even. This will be the Owl's beak. If sewing by hand, a simple slip stitch will be fine. 

The yellow dashes show the area you need to sew. Once you have sewn the toes, you need to turn the sock right way round, making sure to push the toe area into a point and sew down the sock as shown by the pink dashes. When sewing the opening, remember to leave a big enough space so that you can add the filling.


Next you will need to mix some rice with the fabric beads. Now, obviously the rice isn't going to be edible when mixed with the beads so rather than have waste, pour a little of each into a small bowl and scoop from there. I used a rough 2 part rice to 1 part bead ratio (the Lenor ones are very strong scented) but you can add more if you want them to be really strong scented - Especially if you are going to use them in shoes. Using a spoon, scoop some of the mix into the hole and fill the owl up. If you tap it on a hard surface the mix will fill in the corners and you can pack it in tight.

You will now need to close up the opening. Its much easier to stitch it shut by hand. Using a machine, you run the risk of spilling the filling everywhere and to hold it shut you will need to get your fingers close to the needle - NOT RECOMMENDED!

Once sewn shut, you can then sew the beak by folding the point down onto what would be the body of the owl. I just put a little stitch at the point attaching it to the body. Its all you need.

Last but not least, you need to give your owl eyes. I used coloured buttons from my stash but you can use any ones that you have. You could also use googly eyes and fabric glue but if the owls are going in any kids shoes or drawers, you are probably safer using buttons, making sure you sew them on extra tight. 

It goes without saying that these aren't toys and shouldn't be given to little kids ... The beads are toxic when ingested remember!

There is no limit to the number of owls you can make ... One for each drawer if you like and the smell will last ages.

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Make it Monday #28

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

How are you all this week? Are your little ones back at school? Have they just started? Its been a nice week here in the crafty house. I've been organising the 2nd Disney Craft Swap (which closes tonight at midnight) ... If your a fan of Toy Story or Disney in general then feel free to sign up. More information and the rules can be found on the swap page ... Just click on the link above.

Anyways, the linky is live 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 @justacraftymama so i can retweet for you.

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Mars Tray Slices

Its been a while since i had a really good cake with a cuppa tea. In fact the last time was when i was killing time before a doctors appointment and i went into a wee coffee shop. They had these little rice krispie cakes with chocolate on top. It was delicious!

So when googling, i found these, which taste seriously close.


You'll Need
3 regular sized Mars bars (chopped up)
75g butter
2 tablespoons golden syrup
100g rice krispies
300g milk chocolate (i used Dairy Milk but Galaxy would also work)

To Make
In a large pot, melt down the butter, golden syrup and the mars bar chunks. Keep the heat to a medium so as not to burn the mix and keep stirring. It takes a little while but it will eventually all melt and combine into a chocolate sauce.

Once melted, mix in the rice krispies, You can always add a little extra cereal if you like but i prefer the mars mix to be really coating the rice krispies rather than just holding it together (but its your call at the end of the day) ... 100g is a good amount i feel.

Pour the mix into a greased cake tin ... Personally i love the silicon ones for things like this as they are so easy to pop out but that's just my preference. Use what you have :) Make sure the mix is pressed down into the corners as it needs to be pack pretty tight or it will fall apart.

Place a glass bowl over a pot of boiling water and break the chocolate into it. Stir the chocolate as it melts ... Once all the chocolate has melted and is gorgeously silky looking, pour over the rice krispie mix and make sure you have every inch covered.
You can get away with 200g if you only want a thin coating but personally i like a thicker topping as it just looks better.

Pop in the fridge for at least 2 hours though the longer the better.

Once set, pop out the container and slice as you like. You can have small cubes or medium slices, its your call.

Store in an air tight box in the fridge for best results :)

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September Disney Craft Swap

I knew starting a craft swap was going to be tough but I didn’t expect so many hiccups.

Eeek!!! 

Still, that’s to be expected with the beginnings of something new.

Ok so … It’s the second month and the start of the second Disney craft swap. And this months theme is Toy Story.

I’ve had to change it up a little bit so if you want to take part then you will be able to find the sign up sheet here

Previously i done it by email but there were a lot of issues with that so instead you can download the questions and send me your answers. My email is craftymama087@gmail.com. This way i can focus on the legitimate applications.

There are a few rules that I've made so that everyone knows whats what.
  • The swap is open internationally.
  • Sign up is the 1st of every month and will close midnight (GMT) on the 5th of the month. You should have your swap buddy info on the 6th.
  • You need to check in on Instagram between the 13th and the 15th. You can show us what your making or do a close-up if your wanting to keep it a surprise for your buddy, but i'd like to see that everyone is taking part and on track.
  • All parcels must be sent by the 25th of the month. Proof of postage is advisable but that's totally your call. I ask that you let me know when your parcel has been sent and when you have received your parcel. I'm keeping track of this :)
  • Its your call what you make - If your savvy with a sewing machine or nifty with a knitting needle, even if you have a penchant for paper crafts ... There are no restrictions on how/what you make so long as it fits with that months theme.
  • In the spirit of fairness all parcels must have at least 1 crafty make and 2 gift items with a minimum total value £5. By all means if you want to make/gift more then go ahead but the minimum is there so that everyone knows what to expect and no-one gets short changed.

I have made a PDF of the rules and dates which can be found here … you can save it on your phone, tablet or computer/laptop and have it to have whenever you need.

There are still some outstanding parcels from the August Swap so if you haven't checked in can you get in touch so i can mark you off. If you've sent and/or received your parcel can you please also let me know if you haven't already. I'm in the process of sending out emails to those i haven't heard from yet.

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