Spring time crafting

We’ve been basking in glorious sunshine in the UK lately, well in my little corner anyway. The back door has been thrown open, my garden has been getting some much deserved attention and my children are happy to re-discover their outdoor toys.

I thought I would have a look on Pinterest for some fun activities for outdoor play with my children. When I started to look I realised just how many we’d already tried, such as painting with buckets of water, drawing on the patio with chunky chalks, making painted pebble ladybirds and our own bird feeders.

I love looking for something specific on Pinterest, it makes me really happy to create a board of ideas to keep us busy. My 4 year old is learning about growing at the moment which scares me as I just don’t have ‘green’ fingers. However I’ve pinned some ideas for crafting with leave, sticks and pinecones which I think will keep him entertained. I also saw a fun Nature Scavenger Hunt which will be perfect for our next trip to the park.

I sometimes find it difficult to plan a craft for my 2 and 4 year olds as their abilities are so different. I found a couple of ideas which I can’t wait to try – painting with flowers and using petals to make butterflies.

outdoor play ideas

Is anyone else as excited about Spring as I am?

lostandfoundthings

Crafts for St Patrick’s Day

I know it doesn’t seem long ago since I was looking at St David’s Day crafts but we’re already onto our next holiday in the UK, St Patrick’s Day is celebrated on March 17th. For many it’s an excuse to drink copious amounts of Guinness but since my children came along the focus has been very different!

This year I tried my hand at making some tasty green treats. I melted marshmallows and mixed with rice krispies and green food dye then pressed the result into a baking tray and cut out shamrock shapes. They are great fun for a St Patrick’s Day party.

shamrock treats

We made a colourful handprint rainbow and even made our own (salt dough) gold coins for the leprechauns. Although I’m not actually sure how leprechauns fit into the story of St Patrick!

My 3 year old loves painting with his hands so got quite messy with the green paint and made a handprint shamrock.

handprint shamrock

There are so many fun crafts to help celebrate St Patrick’s Day. Have you ever tried cutting a pepper across the middle? You get a brilliant shamrock shape, perfect for little hands to print with.

As usual I have a St Patrick’s Day Pinterest board packed full of ideas from green velvet cupcakes to garlands, toilet roll leprechauns and pretty rainbows, perfect for all ages and abilities. Are you celebrating?

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St David’s Day crafts

This Saturday sees us celebrate the feast day of Saint David, the patron saint of Wales, which falls on 1 March each year. I don’t think you have to be Welsh to enjoy everything that is great about Welsh history and culture :)

My Pinterest stream has been full of colourful daffodils and leeks, both of which are national emblems of Wales. According to Wikipedia the flower is a generic Welsh symbol and is in season in March. The leek is Saint David’s personal symbol. Both can be worn by those celebrating St David’s Day.

handprint flowerWe’ve had fun trying out some of the crafts we’ve saved to our St David’s Day Pinterest board. Our favourite was a fun handprint daffodil which has really brightened up our craft space. On previous occasions we’ve also had fun making pretty daffodil biscuits and paper daffodil bunting.

This year for the first time we made our own Welsh cakes together. They were really simple to make and easy enough for my children to get involved too. You can find the recipe and method over on my blog.

Welsh-cakes-for-St-Davids-Day

I also found felt leek badges, recipes for Bara brith and adorable Welsh lady bunting. What will you be making this year?

lostandfoundthings

30 minute Dinner Rolls – No rise time!

I’m on the 30 Day Shred workout programme. Me. Who NEVER exercises and whimpers at the thought of flexing a muscle.

I’m on Day 17, and I freaking LOVE it! I’ve totally shocked myself at my commitment to it. I have 2 stone to lose to get back to ‘pre-child’ weight and although my progress is slow, I’m losing steadily every week.

So, to the point.

Last night I whipped up Jillian’s vegetable soup but was CRAVING a little bit of dough in my life. So I pinsearched ‘Quick no mix dinner rolls’ and came up with these beauties to have with our soup.

They literally took 30 mins from Start to Finish. No rise time. No faffing around with dough hooks. Just chuck the ingredients in a bowl and mix for 2 minutes with a wooden spoon.

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I found the original recipe here over on the Chocolate & Chilli’s blog – pure yummyness here people!

I omitted the extra pinch of salt because I found that the mayo makes them salty enough :)

Quick Dinner Rolls:

2 cups all-purpose flour plus a pinch of salt (You could use wholeweat flour too)
3 tsp baking powder
4 tbsp light mayonnaise
1 cup milk
1 tsp sugar
1/4 tsp salt

Preheat oven to 400 F.  Grease a muffin tin.

In a large bowl add all the ingredients and mix with a wooden spoon for about 2 minutes.  Fill the prepared muffin tin 2/3 full.  Bake for 10-12 minutes.

Srsly. They’re THAT easy. And so yummy with a big ol’ pot of soup.

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rolls2

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If this has taught me one thing. It’s that I need a new muffin pan. No amount of cropping or PicMonkey is going to hide that cretin of a pan!

If you try these out,  post a pic on our Facebook page so we can have a nosey!

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Kid-friendly Valentine crafts

It can’t have escaped your notice that we’re celebrating Valentine’s Day this Friday :)

It’s a great opportunity for some crafting and we’ve made a couple of things which we really enjoyed. The first was ice hearts which is great for sensory play!

My 3-year old has been learning about water, ice and snow at nursery so this gave us a chance to talk about water and what happens when you put it in the freezer.

We also talked about colouring water with food dye. He was more than happy to add the food dye to the water and mix it.

playing with water

Then he poured the water into a silicone mould. He enjoyed doing this and there were only a couple of spills. We carefully placed it in the freezer and waited.

playing with water

The next time we had a bath we popped the ice hearts out of the mould and placed them in a bowl so we could look at them. We admired the different colours we had made …

ice hearts

… and then watched them melt in the warm water.

ice hearts

We’ve also made red wool wrapped cookie cutters, heart sun catchers, marzipan hearts dipped in white chocolate and printed our own cards using sheets of styrofoam! I’ve pinned these and lots of other crafts to my Pinterest boards so come and take a look!

lostandfoundthings

February Linky is OPEN!

february bannerOh hello February…. how did that happen?! Wasn’t it Christmas only last week?! 

The weather is shocking and we’re craving some sun… Time to get all loved up and have some fun!

(Poet, didn’t know it)

Have you been inspired to make something or do something you found on Pinterest? Did you blog about it? If so, please link up your blog post into the linky below, we’d love to hear all about it!

I have a ‘Smooch’ board on Pinterest, geared towards all things Loveable.

Check out these awesome Valentine’s cards I found at Not On The High Street

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Or these amazing Love Goggles to make with the kids by makeandtakes.com

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This is one of my favourite kids songs.. Skinny-ma-rinky-dinky-dink, Skinny-ma-rinky-dooooo, I Love You! Print available on Etsy.

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Of course every girl needs a sweater with a big, sparkly, red heart on it…. Too cute

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What do you have planned for Valentine’s this year? Don’t forget to add your Pinspiring blog posts into the linky below too!

Happy February ya’ll,

Kerry x

pa_signature_template_KERRY

Chinese New Year crafts

Chinese New Year is celebrated on January 31st and 2014 is the Chinese New Year of the Horse.

It’s a great time to be crafty as the red traditionally associated with Chinese New Year is really vibrant and much needed at the time of year. Red is a lucky colour in Chinese culture and on Chinese New Year money is traditionally given to family, friends and employees in a red envelope.

I thought I had a Chinese New Year Pinterest board but I don’t (yet!) which is strange as my timeline has been inspiring us to craft at home for weeks. Here are a few we’ve come up with so far:

Chinese New Year tea light holders

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Finger print Chinese lanterns

fingerprint-Chinese-lanterns

5 minute fortune cookie

5-minute-fortune-cookie

What have you all been making? Feel free to comment and I’ll come and visit!

lostandfoundthings

100 Happy Days

I don’t know if any of you have seen this doing the rounds on Facebook?

 

The premise is simple, to post a picture on social media, using the hashtag #100happydays, once  a day for 100 days, of something that makes you happy.
And in the spirit of the New Year, and the compulsion we all seem to feel to strive for a shiny New Me, I thought that this sounded like a pretty fine challenge!

And you would think it would be easy, right?

Apparently not.
On the site they give the stat, that 71 % of the people who previously attempted this challenge failed.
Well, that is like a red rag to a bull for me! Surely I am not one of those 71%?!
I love a challenge, and if 71% of people fail, then that seems a pretty good challenge to me!

And for all those of you wondering why on earth anyone would want to do this…
It’s all about Mindfulness.
Mindfulness seems to be the buzz word of 2014 so far, and as well as a challenge, I love a bandwagon, so I’m jumping on.
Seriously though, being more mindful of what makes us happy, taking the time to register and acknowledge, and be grateful for, all the little things that happen every day that make us smile, is proven to make us happier. And who doesn’t want to be happier?
At times, I think we are all guilty of focussing on what we don’t have, rather than what we have.
Part of My Make Do and Mend Year, has been about realising that actually, I, we, have enough. We have enough (more than enough) material things. We don’t need any more.
And sometimes we (I) just need reminding to be grateful for what we have. For enough. To stop chasing after what we could have, and focus on what we have.
So that’s why I’m doing it.
Anyone else in?!

PS. I am already two weeks in, you can see my weeks 1 and 2 round ups here and here.