Thursday, 27 November 2014

7 Clay Craft Ideas For You & The Kids



Clay modelling is a great craft exercise as it is accessible to anyone who wants to be creative and has the means. You can pick up some fantastic modelling clay from Artifolk with products like air dry clay and FIMO providing the perfect material to produce some fun creations. If your kids are a bit young to do the modelling themselves it may be preferable to make some objects yourself and ask them to decorate them. You can get clay paints from the same website mentioned above. Here are some fun ideas for great modelling activities for you and the little ones.

Favourite Cartoon Characters
Cartoon characters, especially those from movies made by Disney Pixar and Dreamworks are perfect to create clay likenesses of. Whether your child’s favourite character is Olaf from Frozen, Woody from Toy Story or Mike Wazowski from Monsters Inc., you’ll have bags of fun producing a miniature version.

Practical Objects
There are all sorts of useful household items you can make out of clay. You can customise your keys by putting animal heads on the top to help you differentiate between your front door and your garage. You could create your own plant pot (and perhaps get the kids to decorate it) or simply make a bowl for sweets or a candle.


Present for the Grandparents
Ornaments are often favoured by the older generation. Why not create a small clay sculpture for the grandparents’ mantelpiece? If they are bird watchers a small sparrow would be nice or you could even do smaller cartoon versions of family members!

Fridge Magnets
This is a classic activity which is perfect for clay modelling. All you need is a bag of magnets and then you can create whatever you want from relief sculptures of owls to funny faces. The bonus of this activity is that the magnets will provide a way to pin more pieces of art to the fridge in the future!


Christmas Decorations
Another simple but effective craft exercise would be producing a variety of Christmas decorations for around the house. Simpler Christmas tree sculptures could hang from the tree while candle holders will adorn your fireplace.

Dinosaurs
This is a fun and educational clay craft activity which enables you to teach the little ones about the various prehistoric creatures who walked the earth millions of years ago. Perhaps show your kids a T-Rex skeleton and then get them to sculpt a fleshed out model.

Flowers

This is an excellent alternative to real plants to which certain people may be allergic (or just not very good at looking after!). Produce a miniature bouquet for a friend or for your own window sill.

Wednesday, 26 November 2014

Christmas Gift Ideas For A Music Fan



Do you have a friend or family member always talking about the latest bands? Maybe they are a regular gig goer or buy all the latest albums? Are you worried about what to get them for Christmas as you constantly block out their muso talk and think about something more interesting? Here is a list of possible gifts which you can get without having to worry too much about the musical tastes of your friend. Hopefully, the following pointers will give you some inspiration and help you solve one Christmas conundrum.

Headphones
Everyone needs headphones these days. On the school bus, commuter train or walking the dog you will rarely see someone not plugged into their portable device. There is a great range of headphones on the market these days, with on-ear, in-ear and around-ear option so if you can stealthily find out what their preference is, this is a sure fire hit of a present. Take a look at the headphones at Hispek for a great selection of top of the range products from the unbeatable brand Bose.

Concert Tickets
Give them something to look forward in the New Year with tickets to see their favourite band live. Check Ticketmaster for 2015 tours. If you are struggling to remember the name of one of their favourite acts or their seems to be no appropriate concerts, you can also purchase vouchers from this website.


Instrument
Here’s a little bit of a leftfield idea which could be gratefully received. Try getting them an unusual instrument like a ukele, synthesizer or a simple tambourine! You may want to throw in lessons or a how-to guide book to give them a helping hand.

Hi fi
Music fans never want to be far away from a device which they can play their music on therefore a hi fi of any shape or size will always be welcome. Take into account other portable devices which they may want to play through the speaker system when you are choosing such a product as well as whether they are fans of CDs, records or MP3.

iTunes Vouchers
This is the ultimate safe option but one that will not be discarded. If you are really not confident buying any of the other suggestions here, iTunes vouchers are a generous and thoughtful gift.


Magazine Subscription
Here is a gift which keeps on giving. Buying them a year’s gift subscription to a music mag will give them a reminder of your festive generosity throughout the year. For Dance music fans there is Mixmag, heavy rockers are taken care of with Metal Hammer, Mojo focuses on rock and pop while Q magazine caters for music fans in general.

Band Merchandise
Let them show off their excellent taste in music by getting them a t-shirt or hoody of their favourite artist. Websites such as Grindstore.com and 8ball.com have a decent selection of all sorts of bands and artists.


Monday, 24 November 2014

Beauty Stocking Filler Ideas From Choice Discount (Includes Discount Code)



I have two teenage Daughters who are both very excited for Christmas and they both still always ask for an advent calendar to begin the countdown. They have had their eye on various cosmetic advent calendars, but to be honest most of them are a bit out of our price range, especially as I would need to purchase two, but I did promise that I would look out for some at bargain prices.



Anyway after shopping around I found these W7 cosmetic advent calendars at Choice Discount for a really reasonable price of £22 each. I know it's a bit of an extravagance if like me, you are planning Christmas on a budget, but these are such a special treat that I couldn't resist them and I know their faces will light up when they see them sitting on the mantle come 1st December.


They are full of beauty treats and I think they are great value for money, much cheaper than other cosmetic advent calendars that I've seen on the market.

W7 In The Buff - Gorgeous Stocking Fillers W7 Naked Nudes Eyeshadow - Gorgeous Stocking FillersLove Heart Nail Varnish, Gloss, Sweet Gift Pack - Gorgeous Stocking FillersW7 Brow Bar - Gorgeous Stocking FillersW7 Honey Queen Blusher - Gorgeous Stocking FillersREAL Lashes - Gorgeous Stocking FillersMorgan Mini Body Lotion Gift Pack (50ml) - Gorgeous Stocking Fillers
Choice Discount have some great cosmetic bargains on their site, like nude eyeshadow palettes, bronzers, mascaras and much more. Their stocking filler section is fab for Christmas gift ideas, some prices are as low as 69p. They also sell women’s, men’s and children’s high-street labels at bargain prices as well as furniture and homeware with up to 70% off RRP. And, they want to offer my readers £5 off a £30 spend or £10 off a £50 spend. All You need to do is use the codes below, at the checkout. 

The website is really easy to use, and the checkout is a very quick & smooth process. You just sign up for free online at www.choicediscount.com, then they email  offers to your inbox every week. It's really simple. Discount are codes below.




Thursday, 13 November 2014

A Cosy Festive Lounge

As you know I have been having a really good tidy up ready for Christmas. I have had a massive de-clutter and have organised my cupboards to perfection ready for the festivities. I have been looking at making a start on decorating my bathroom, then I'd like to organise my bedroom. Cosy throws and comfy cushions are just what's needed at this time of year and I really like Cookes Furniture bedroom chests, and all the lovely new bedding available from BHS. 

As I have been browsing online, I have noticed how many lovely products are available for the home, especially for the Christmas period. Lots of really cute cushions for the lounge have caught my eye from Adsa Direct and Wilkinsons, all at really affordable prices. Plus, lots of places are selling candles that smell of Christmas, I love them all so I can not wait to fill my home with the scent of apples, oranges and spices, getting me in the mood for the upcoming party season.

I love how cosy Christmas makes me feel, with a roaring fire, scented candles and fluffy throws. It is my idea of heaven. Have you spotted any cute festive accessories for the home? Anything super cute caught your eye?

Wednesday, 12 November 2014

Christmas Eve Hamper Ideas For The Kids

Christmas Eve Hamper





One of our Christmas traditions is to give Christmas Eve hampers to the kids. My lot are older now, but they still love to receive their Christmas hampers and I Love putting them together. Years ago when the kids were small, we used to wrap up new PJ's and slippers, usually they would have a festive design and we would give them to our very hyper brood on the night before Christmas. New PJ's were always a great way to get them to go to bed at a reasonable hour.

These days we have a lot more choice of great value products to fill a hamper for very little money which means you can put together great hampers on a budget. I have taken one gift bag and filled it with little surprises to keep the kids entertained while you rush around with last minute preparations. I usually use a gift bag for my hampers, but you could use an old shoe box and cover it in some Christmas wrapping paper. 

A few ideas for items to fill the hamper:
  • Make your own Christmas decorations
  • Festive colouring books 
  • A story book
  • Reindeer food
  • A magic key for Santa
  • Cookie cutters to make a treat for Santa
  • Snowman Soup
  • Christmas craft kit
  • A Christmas DVD
  • Some new PJ's
  • A soft toy


Do you put together Christmas hampers? 
If so what do you like to fill them with?




Monday, 10 November 2014

A De-Clutter For Christmas And My Bathroom Wishlist


The Christmas clean up has begun in my house. We have given everywhere a fresh lick of paint, cleared out the junk and bought a few new accessories; new curtains for the lounge, cushions for the sofa, bedding for the kids rooms and some new art for the hallway to brighten it. I'm doing it all on a budget because money is very tight at this time of year, so where I can recycle and swap soft furnishings around into other rooms, I will because it gives a fresh look to tired rooms and saves a bit of cash.

I recently moved all my canvas art from my lounge to my hall, stairs and landing. It has completely given my lounge a de-cluttered look ready for our Christmas decorations to go up next month. My hallway has a wall covered in nasty 1970's artex that I can't afford to get removed just yet, but the large canvases do a wonderful job of distracting the eye from the ugliness of the rough walls.

All the clutter has been cleared by either selling it on Ebay or taking it to the charity shop, and the money I made by selling my old clothes I managed to get some new curtains for the lounge for an absolute bargain price from homeware store, Wayfair.




Our next room to tackle is the bathroom and while browsing online I spotted some fab bathroom furniture from My-Bathrooms and great accessories from places like Wilkinsons and Asda Direct. So, I decided to put together a mood board with bits and bobs that I would like to buy to give my bathroom a fresh look on a budget. 

Bathroom On A Budget





My next makeover will be the bathroom, so watch this space.

Sunday, 9 November 2014

Cooking On A Budget - Meatless Burrito Recipe


Ever since I started my juicing journey I have strived to give up meat, with fantastic health results. I've lost weight and my blood pressure was so low that my doctor nearly fell of her chair during my last check up. Anyway I'm aiming to reduce the amount of meat that the kids eat and I've been trying to get a good meatless burrito recipe that the kids will happily eat, instead of the minced meat burrito's that they love so much. I want them to see that meat free recipes can be just as yummy as their usual meat packed meals. When I made these Mexican bean burrito's the kids didn't even realise that they were meat free. They are really easy to make and extremely cheap so great if you are cooking on a budget.

Ingredients - Makes 32 Burrito's


  •  340g Mango Chutney 
  •  400g Chickpeas in Water 
  •  2 x 410g Red Kidney Beans in Water 
  •  410g Green Lentils In Water  
  •  500g Mature Grated Cheddar Cheese 
  •  4 x Packets of Plain Tortilla Wraps (8 in a pkt)
  •   500g Basmati Rice 
  •   2 x 400g Chopped Tomatoes
  •  2 x Yellow Peppers, Finely chopped
  •  1 x Large Onion, Finely Chopped
  •  Frozen Sweetcorn
  •  Half a Tube of Tomato Puree
  •  2 x tsp Cumin
  •  2 x tsp Chilli Powder
  •  1 tsp Mild Curry powder
  •  Olive Oil, salt & pepper


Method:
1.   Cook your rice. While that is cooking:
2.  Split your chopped onion between 2 Large Pans. Fry in some olive oil, add your cumin, chilli powder & curry powder.
3.   Add a can of kidney beans to each pan. Stir.
4.   Add some tomato puree to each pan.
5.   Add half a can of chickpeas to each pan. Stir.
6.   Add half a can of lentils to each pan. Stir.
7.   Add a pepper to each pan.
8.   Add a tin of tomato's to each pan.
9.   Add as much sweetcorn as you would like. 
11.  Leave to bubble on the cooker top gently for a few minutes.
12.  Have a taste and add more spices until you achieve your preferred flavour. Some like it hot.
13.  Add your cooked rice and give it a good mix up. Leave to cool. 
14.  Warm your wrap for ten seconds in the microwave, it makes it easier to wrap.
  






To Reheat From Frozen - Remove from foil wrapper, place in the microwave and cook on full power for 4 minutes.

To Reheat in The Oven - Leave in its foil wrapper, place on a baking tray, cook for 30 - 40 mins on a medium heat until piping hot all the way through.

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