Zero Waste Giveaway


Zero Waste Week seems ages ago now but when I wrote my pledge I promised a giveaway. Being a bad blogger ;) and also extremely busy with the start of the new school year, I am only now getting around to it! Oops!

In keeping with the Zero Waste theme, I am giving away 5 handmade, reusable make-up remover wipes. 

These wipes can be washed in your machine at 40* and reused. By using and reusing these wipes you can cut your dependency on cotton wool pads and/or balls. 

These reusable wipes have been handmade by me and can be purchased over on my crafty Facebook page. However, if you would like to win your very own set of 5 complete with a knitted basket to store them in, all you have to do is comment below telling me whether or not you took part in Zero Waste week this year. The names of everyone that comments will go into a hat and a winner will be randomly chosen by either myself or Little Lady who loves being in charge of picking giveaway winners :) 

The competition opens as soon as I press the publish button on this post and ends on Sunday 27th September 2015 at 5pm BST.

Please feel free to share the giveaway with all your friends :)

Gift Wrapping

Making handmade gifts is such a lovely feeling. The thought and time that has gone into each one. Knowing that you haven’t just gone out and bought “something nice”. But once you have made it, it needs to be wrapped and gifted.

After all the time you have taken to handmake a present, rushing out to buy supermarket wrapping paper isn’t really going to do your handiwork justice. So how do you wrap your handmade items using items you already have and not create excess waste?

You could wrap your gift in leftover fabric

alternative gift wrapping with fabric

Image from here

Or you could use newspaperalternative wrapping newspaper

Or old books

Alternative wrapping paper

Brown paper works well as you only have to buy one roll and then personalise it for each occassion.

alternative wrapping

And let’s not forget those yummy hobnobs from yesterday. Why not use a paper plate to wrap those?

paper plate wrapping

If you’ve been inspired by these, why not check out my Pinterest Gift Wrapping board for more ideas?


Homemade Hobnobs

Yesterday I shared some of my favourite upcycled gift ideas. However, I think there’s nothing quite like receiving some nice biscuits at Christmas. Maybe that’s because I’m too tight frugal to buy nice biscuits very often during the year? If there’s nothing quite like receiving nice biscuits then homemade biscuits goes one step further.

This is not my recipe and I could never claim it to be. This recipe came from a poster on the MSE forums. It’s quick, it’s easy, you’ll have most of the ingredients already and most of all it’s yummy! I’m sure you can already think of a few people who would appreciate homemade hobnobs for Christmas. So let’s get to it


8oz Self Raising Flour
8oz Sugar
8oz porridge oats
8oz Margarine
1tbsp golden syrup
1tbsp hot water
1/2tsp Bicarbonate of Soda


Mix the flour, oats and sugar.
Melt the margarine, syrup and water in a pan.
Stir in bicarbonate of soda and add to the dry mix
Mix well

Take some of the mixture and make into a smallish ball
Put the balls of mixture onto a greased baking tray and flatten slightly with a fork.
Bake in the oven at 180*C for 15mins or until golden brown in colour.
Allow to cool on the tray
homemade biscuits
Whenever I make a batch of these I have to hide some so that they don’t all get eaten in one go. Everyone in my family loves these. I keep them in the biscuit tin (a promoted chocolate selection tin) but to be honest they don’t last more than 3 days in my house.
Homemade hobnobs
When giving as a present (if you manage not to eat them!), wrap them in greaseproof paper and tie with raffia or ribbon, whichever you have handy. You’ll be the most popular visitor all Christmas.

Hobnobs wrapped as gifts

Upcycled gift ideas

Day 2 of Zero Waste Week. How are we doing?

As I mentioned in my pledge post our christmas this year will be mostly handmade and/or upcycled. An easy enough concept but coming up with good ideas for gifts is actually pretty hard. As you can imagine I have spent a lot of time searching the internet (Pinterest is a favourite) looking for ideas. I can’t share actual gift shortlists here as I obviously want them to be a surprise but I can share with you some of my favourite upcycled gift ideas.

I have tried to chose gifts that use items that most of us have or can get easily enough. So here goes.

Rock plant labels. A perfect gift for the gardener of the familyHandmade garden labels

Homemade crayons for the Lego enthusiast – big or small ;)Lego crayons

Coat/key hooksDinosaur coat hooks

Dinosaur coat hooks from here but of course you could use anything to make hooks. Lego pieces, old keys, spoons, forks

Upcycled fork hooks

How about a cake stand made out of mismatched tea cups and plates? Upcycled cake stand

I love this idea and suspect that most of us will have a few mismatched cups and plates. I know I do. If not, why not have a browse around local charity shops?

So there we have a round up of my favourite upcycled gifts, however, both Jen Gale and Rae Strauss have lots more ideas for upcycling on Pinterest. So why not pop over to their boards and be inspired?


Tomorrow sees the kiddies go back to school. Little Lady goes into juniors and D starts afternoons in the school’s nursery class. I will miss them. A lot. Yes they are pains in the bum sometimes but they are MY pains in the bum and I love spending time with them. Little Lady can’t wait to go back tomorrow and see all her friends. D on the other hand, doesn’t like change. The new classroom, new teacher and new routine is a bit overwhelming for him so I’m sure we will have a few tears tomorrow (and not just from me!).

I hope the extra time for me means I can get a few things done, tick a few things off a never ending list. There are doors to be painted, rooms to be re-painted, fabric to be made into gorgeous items. :D

But that’s not what I came here to write about. Tomorrow also sees the start of a year long “buy no new clothes” challenge for me. I have been half heartedly decluttering the house for over a year now. I am getting there, albeit slowly. Then I read this post. Since working at a local hospice, this subject has been weighing on my mind. When I die (and with God’s grace that won’t be for many, many years yet) someone will have to sort through my things. This thought has helped me while decluttering but it’s still not enough. We as people, buy so much stuff. So much unneccessary stuff! Because we can. Because we are taught to believe that we need all the stuff.

I then saw this article on facebook and it got me thinking again about clothes. All four of us here have wardrobes that are fit to bursting and yet we all tend to wear the same handful of items more than others.

We have spent this week sorting out school uniforms. Our school has the same polo shirts and jumpers for girls and boys so D has Little Lady’s polo shirts as she grows out of them. The trousers we bought him last year still fit him though and Little Lady still has one winter dress and two summer dresses that still fit her. We were also gifted some skirts that we have put away as they were a bit big for her. The dresses that were too small have been passed on to a friend who has a little girl a few years younger. So for this coming school year all we have needed to buy was school shoes.

Jen Gale who was looking for a new challenge, 3 years after having spending a year buying nothing new, suggested a buy no new clothes challenge and I was very keen to get on board with this. Starting tomorrow I will buy no new clothes for me, hubby or the kids. There are exceptions and rules however, and these are as follows:

  • underwear does not count. I will not buy secondhand underwear for any of my family. I am, however, planning to make some of my own underwear again.
  • Running clothes and shoes. My current running shoes should last me until early next year but when they do need replacing I will be buying new. I won’t risk injury by buying secong hand. Running clothes, I will try to make do with what I have or buy second hand if I can.
  • Uniform/work wear. I wear my own clothes to work and therefore can get away with this but hubby can’t. He is provided with a polo shirt but some of the other kit he needs may need to be new due to safety reasons. We will shop around and try to buy second hand if we can but I will not compromise his safety. School uniforms will be second hand as much as possible, however, due to the school logo, if it poses difficulty in buying second hand then at the last resort we will buy new.
  • Shoes. I won’t buy second hand shoes especially for the kids. They have both recently had new shoes so should be fine for quite a while.
  • I am allowed to make new clothes and buy second hand. I cannot however, buy a lot of new fabric in order to make new clothes.

So that’s my new challenge. It would be great if anyone else wants to join me and Jen in this year long challenge. You can set your own rules to suit you and your family. Could you do it?

Getting away

After the hectic fun that was the Holiday Club, hubby and I needed a bit of time to relax. Relaxing at home isn’t really the same as you can still see all the housework, all the jobs that need doing. We are lucky that we have some lovely friends who own a caravan by the sea less than an hour away, and they let us have a couple of days away. The kids love being by the beach, hubby loves the sea and me? Well I enjoy the quietness you get being by the sea. I packed some wool and my crochet hooks and was really looking forward to some down time.

I wasn’t disappointed. The weather was warm, dry, sunny. The sea was cold, wet and pretty calm.

Sea on the rocks

We spent time on the beach, we played in the park, we even had a ride on a double decker bus! The kids had a whale of a time!!

Crazy golf bridge

The kids played cars, built sandcastles, ran around and generally had a fun and exhausting time.

Caravans with view of the sea

It was so warm I even braved a paddle in the sea. Normally me and water do not mix but I decided I would go for a paddle and I could cross another item off my Day Zero Listmum and kids paddling in the sea

Not the most flattering pic of my behind but the best of a bad bunch lol!

Have you been on holiday this year? Where did you go?

Lonely at the Top

I am a big fan of social media. Okay FaceAche gets on my nerves sometimes with all the “look at me” and “poor me” statuses but on the whole I am a big fan of social media. Why? Well it’s a great way to keep contact with people you may not see very often but also for me it stops me feeling lonely.

I am pretty much on my own every day. I work from home most of the time and most days I spend my time with D. Hubby works every other weekend so one in two weekends I spend on my own with the kids. Don’t get me wrong I love my kids and love being able to stay at home with D but it can be very lonely.

Conversations that revolve around Paw Patrol or Team Umizoomi is not my first choice I must admit. By the end of the day I am desperate for some grown up conversation, desperate to connect with another adult.

Even at work, I spend most of my time with children and young teenagers. I spend my working days doing things like checking which felt pens work:

Or sharpening a gazillion colouring pencils by hand

Only to be complained at because I bought the wrong type of biscuits/squash *rolls eyes*

And after a full day of conversation with a 3yr old who is currently undergoing intensive speech therapy, twitter is my saviour. Twitter has people ready to share their own stories of being a SAHM/D or workers who share their commuting problems, making me grateful I don’t have to do that. But most of all, people who make me feel “normal”….. Whatever that is ;)

What’s your take on social media?