Bath Mallows and Lip Gloss

I was very blessed a couple of weekends ago to be able to spend some mammy-daughter time with Little Lady. D went to my mums and us girls went to a BathMallow making workshop. A bit like a bath bomb but they look like marshmallows apparently!

A friend of mine runs these workshops and I have booked her to come to my youth group for the last 3 Mother’s Days. As the youth leader however, I haven’t participated in the workshops so it was nice to actually have a go for a change.

There were only about 10 of us at the workshop so it was a nice small group. Little Lady was quite the expert having participated in the ones I have organised through church, and was very keen to tell me what to do next! Lol!

 

While helping the younger kids at the youth club workshop I managed to snap 3 plastic spoons!! This time I tried to be a bit more careful while stirring the mixture!!

I opted to go for a purple colouring and a blueberry smell.  Little lady chose green for the colour and a lovely fresh lime smell.

We packed the mixture into little cases and decorated the top with flowers. Little lady decided that I should do each one of mine differently!! So I did and fair play they actually came out pretty good!  

They smell lush in the bath too!

Little lady’s bath mallows looked pretty good too.

 

Just to finish off we also got to make a lava lip gloss. I chose a strawberry flavour for this one and the lava effect is pretty cool!

Although I could have put a bit more of the colour in to get bigger blobs! Maybe next time.

It does feel pretty good using products that I have made myself. Little lady also enjoys using her own products and the wrappers are paper so can be recycled. Not too sure about the lip gloss bottles although I’m pretty sure if I run out I could refill it.

These obviously won’t last me forever but it’s a small step to reducing plastic waste in the bathroom.

Have you ever made your own bath products?

Mother’s Day

Happy Mother’s Day to all mothers out there today. I hope you are having a lovely day so far. 

Me? I was woken at 6.35am by excited children waking their father to make me breakfast in bed! Which they promptly ate once he brought it upstairs!! *sighs* it’s the thought that counts right??

I did get two cards from each child though so I feel particularly spoilt this year :D



Sul y Mamau Hapus 

Happy Mothers Day

Jersey sewing

I told you about the Make Me A Wardrobe challenge in this post. I didn’t join in the challenge until very late in January but I did manage to get an item made. I signed up to a t shirt making day at The Midnight Atelier in Bristol. I have made t shirts before but the neck never sits right so I thought if I signed up to a course I could finally learn how to sew the neckline properly. 

I took my own fabric along on the day, some plain white jersey that I had left over from all the snowflake dresses I made last year. I hit a lot of traffic driving into Bristol and by the time I got to the Atelier I was very stressed. Although I tend to act confident especially in my job, where I can stand up and talk in front of a packed church or school assembly hall, I actually have very low confidence levels. New people and places put me out of my comfort zone. Add that to the Bristol traffic and the fact I was the last one to arrive at the course, I was very tempted to turn around and go home! 

Thankfully Laura is lovely and helped me calm down a bit. I didn’t feel rushed to start even though everyone else had pretty much chosen their pattern by the time I had arrived! I eventually chose mine and set about tracing and cutting it out. It has been a while since I have been on a sewing course and it was great talking to other people about their latest and past projects. I love hearing what other people are making. 

After cutting out and then sewing the shoulder seams together, Laura suggested making a sample of the neckline to practice on before attempting it on the real thing. She showed me how to pin and then sew the neckline and it was surprisingly easy!! I was rewarded with a cup of tea and a biscuit :D then got on with setting in the sleeves before sewing up the sides.



I should have taken more photos really but I didn’t really think. It was so nice to just be able to sew without the kids needing me or having to move things out of their way. Just pure uninterrupted selfish sewing. Bliss!!

The t shirt came together very quickly and although I was a bit gutted to start with that I only had plain white jersey while every one else had a lovely patterned Jersey fabric, it actually turned out pretty nice. I have worn it since and it feels so comfortable on. I already have fabric lined up for the next one.

So here it is – the finished article, hot off the sewing machine as Laura has a huge mirror on one wall of her studio!



Yes there she is pointing at my bottom!! Lol!! She’s not actually pointing at my bottom. If you look at the bottom of my make, I didn’t hem it. Jersey naturally curls at a raw edge and I left it unhemmed purposely to create that effect. 

There you are, two months late, my mmaw2015 January make. :/

Lent 2015

Today sees the start of lent. Lent is traditionally seen as 40 days representing the 40 days Jesus spent in the desert. It starts on Ash Wednesday and ends on Easter Sunday. For those of you who have just done the calculation, yes that does work out as 46 days but traditionally Sundays were exempt (so 46 days minus the 6 Sundays).

Over the years I have given up a number of things for Lent. I have given up chocolate, fizzy pop, meat, and wearing jeans to name just a few. This year I have decided to do something different. Instead of giving something up I am planning on doing an act of kindness everyday for 40 days.

In the run up to today I have spent hours researching Random Acts of Kindness (RAOK) and amassed over 12 pages of ideas. While doing my research I was surprised at some of the items that were listed. Things like “Smile at a stranger” “Let people merge into your lane in traffic” and “Donate to a foodbank” There were a lot of items on the list that I do anyway and was surprised that they would need to be listed.

While I was surprised at the content of some of the lists it did teach me a lesson. I had in my mind that a RAOK had to be a big thing but actually it doesn’t. It can be as simple as making another person smile.:)

In recognition of this my first act of kindness was spending the day sending silly photos of myself and the kiddies to my sister who lives away. She has text me to tell me that the photos have made her smile all day so I guess I can take that as a win :)

Have you ever done a RAOK? Or been on the receiving end of one? If so what was it?

Make Me A Wardrobe 2015

Jen over at Make Do And Mend Year set herself the challenge to make one piece of clothing a month, meaning she would expand her wardrobe by 12 handmade items in a year. Although I thought it was a great idea I didn’t actually get on board with it until the end of January. I didn’t think I would have time to commit to this along with all the other things I want to get done this year. But the more I thought about it the more it made sense. If I handmade items that I would definitely wear then it would be a big boost to my wardrobe that has been bursting at the seams with “nothing to wear”

Last week I set to work decluttering my wardrobe. I bagged up all the clothes that I haven’t wore for a while, those I have no intention of wearing again and those that don’t really suit me. I filled a bag and my wardrobe looks a lot less cluttered. I can kactually see what clothes I have now.

As I work mostly from home, I live in jeans, casual tops and cardigans. I have a few handmade dresses which I wear but only one handmade skirt.

Over the course of the year I would like to add the following handmade items to my wardrobe

*casual tops
*skirts that can be worn with tights/leggings and boots
*A couple of new cardigans
*3/4 length trousers for the summer
*and possibly some jeans

As we are already half way through February I need to get cracking. Anyone else taking part in mmaw2015? Why not follow #mmaw2015 on Twitter to see what everyone else is up to?

Home Truths

It embarrasses me to admit that my house is constantly untidy. In fact if I were to take a photo of the front room floor at this moment you would see what I mean. Actually wait right there and I will…..

IMG_0937

If you were to visit me, you would need to squeeze past the pushchair in the hallway, negotiate shoes that have just been flung rather than put tidy and then clamber over the train tracks in the front room before you even get to sit down!

I always thought that when I grew up and had a house of my own that it would look like something out of the magazines. Perfectly decorated, accessorised beautifully and – more importantly – tidy! Maybe I’m not grown up enough yet???

Our main problem (if you don’t count the kids ;) ) is clutter. Basically we have too much stuff! No amount of organisation or storage is going to give us a tidy home. One of the items on my Day Zero list is to declutter 100 items. So far I have decluttered 78 items and I still have a long way to go!! To clarify, I haven’t been counting individual items but boxes or bags of items that have been donated or sold on, ie a box of toys so a lot more than 100 individual items have left the house already!

A bag of toys that was rehomed

A bag of toys that was rehomed

So far we have been through the play room and Little Lady’s toys and books. I have also made a start on my wardrobe and have so far removed 36 items, although according to my rule that will only count as 1 as it fitted in one bag.

Paperwork that was years out of date

Paperwork that was years out of date

I made a good start on old paperwork too and shredded two boxes full of bank statements that went back to year dot, well near enough anyway!!

In January I decluttered 31 items. There was a few individual items in that count as they were big things like my running buggy and D’s baby carrier and isofix base but mostly that was boxes of toys. I must admit here that the attic is chock full of pretty much every toy they have ever owned! I have serious hoarding issues :o I am doing my very best to conquer this though. I have given away pretty much all the kids’ baby clothes I had held onto and most of their baby toys.

There aren't even any "Nan's " in our family!

There aren’t even any “Nan’s ” in our family!

Originally keeping all our baby items was a good thing. They were all saved for “the next one” and poor D has lived with his sister’s hand-me-downs throughout his 3 years on this planet (toys not clothes I hasten to add!). But alas, there will not be another “next one” so it all needs to go. The items are being donated to various charity shops or to friends and other items are being sold on selling pages etc with the money going to Little Lady’s Disneyland fund! Well she did do a very good job of her bedroom. The box below is one of 4 boxes she decluttered! Like mother like daughter I’m afraid!

Books and toys

Books and toys

No wonder my house is never tidy! How on earth can it be with all this stuff?? I am a woman on a mission this year and I will get the clutter down to a managable level. We will never live in a minimalist house I know that but if I can reduce our level of “stuff” to a half then the house should look a lot better.

I hope! :o

Opening my eyes

I know I’m not the best blogger in the world. I don’t post regularly, I don’t have one particular topic that I write about, I don’t have hundreds of followers. I started writing this blog for me. To keep track of the work we were doing in the house. It has moved away from that a little bit as DIY isn’t the only thing I talk about (or very often these days!) but I still write mainly for me.

After Christmas I started writing my round up post. In order to do that I read through a year’s worth of blog posts. Okay so I skim-read my way through ;) While doing that I came across this post. The post shows my first running medal of 2014 and also talks about the virtual run idea. I was amazed as I read it. In one part I talk excitedly about my time “I’m pleased to say I smashed my PB by over a minute and I ran the whole way!” A whole minute! How fantastic. I looked back to the photo to see what my time was and I was shocked. The PB I was so excited by?? 36:32!! I was gobsmacked when I saw this time.

Back last year I joined a running club. I am always the last (wo)man home. Always!! I am so slow sometimes I wonder if it’s worth me being part of the running club at all. They have to wait around for me to get back to the studio when we do a long run. They have to hang around at the end of races to have the group “with medals” photo. No one can move on to the next interval until I’ve finished the previous one. And I’m not getting any faster! It’s deflating to say the least.

Reading this post really opened my eyes. I decided to sign up for the Virtual Run for this January to actually compare my times. To have visual proof of how far I have actually come in a year. To prove to myself that I have the right to be a part of the running club.

So I signed up.

And I went out and ran 5k.

My time? 33:47 on a very hilly route!

My current 5k PB? 32:52 :D

3 minutes and 40 seconds faster that the PB I set this time last year. :D I actually can’t believe it! I’ve been getting so hung up on recent times that I haven’t been able to see how far I have actually come! Now if I can do the same thing this year then that sub 30mins is mine :D