What do you get when you mix a very flat car battery, two women and four children under 6?
Let me tell you what you get.
Jump leads, stress sweat, sparks, the smell of burning, a touch and go journey to Frosts Garden centre for some “half term fun” and a couple of swivel eyed 30 something women on the verge of hitting the Gin.
I would love to tell you that we didn’t resort to any of the old damsel in distress tricks, but that would be, well, sort of a lie.
Lu did approach a couple of shifty looking guys on the corner my street to ask if they knew how to jump-start a car, and we both phoned our husbands though that was more for moral support than actual advice as neither really seemed to have a scooby. One said that it was supposed to spark a bit and the other said that it was definitely not supposed to spark a bit.
We watched a YouTube tutorial, read the instructions on the packet and we got it started. We punched the air, we got a small cheer from the woman walking by and we did a little dance like it was one in the eye to the patriarchy.
Then we drove round the corner and ground to a very resounding halt. We had to start the whole process again, but this time with the pressure of holding up traffic. After my initial dumbstruck rabbit in a headlight “What the @#*$!!! ” moment and a couple of calls to our moral supporters, like pros we got it hooked up. I stood back while it sparked a bit (still not sure if that is good or not) and got it going while many, many members of our wonderful society walked past and gaped rather than offering any kind of assistance. Almost as good as the time I stood on a busy road side, heavily pregnant, with a blown tyre whilst everyone just slowed down a bit to stare and then went on their merry way.
We eventually got going and gave the battery a good charge on the way to the garden centre.
The children got to paint some lovely bird houses and we had the least relaxing coffee ever, already completely wired from the earlier events of the day.
However the children enjoyed their bird house decorating. Though their efforts will be annihilated the moment they see fresh air and British weather. So a word of advice if you are planning on doing this. Make sure you have something that does exactly what it says on the tin, to protect your little treasures work.
At least I can tick Jump-start a car off my bucket list
I may be bitter, I may be a cynic. I am probably a bitter old cynic, but I am so over valentines day.
Obviously if hubby came home with a new dress and said “Woman! get your coat I am taking you somewhere that you can be utterly fabulous, and I shall worship at the altar of your fabulousness” I would be less over it. But hey I’m a fickle, bitter, old cynic
Today I came across Crafts on Sea’s latest blog post. Why not share a little love and kindness for no apparent reason?
Last week I received two random acts of kindness. One was in the garage where the assistant not only didn’t try to rip me off (Always a worry to me) but actually went the extra mile.
The second was a man who, on leaving the car park handed me his ticket which was valid until the following morning.
Neither of these people gained anything from their kindness and so I would like to pay it forward.
This is what I am going to do.
The first five people to comment (actually on the blog, not Facebook) will receive a little something from me at some random point over the next 12 months. It could be anything from something handmade (apologies in advance), tasty, cheeky, funny or a little card with some utterly inspiring pearls of wisdom. You just never know!
All I ask is that you comment on this post by telling me about a random act of kindness that you have received and how you plan to pay it forward.
So go on, share a little love. It is valentines day after all. XxxXxxx
Today is big.
It is my 1 year Blog anniversary.
WordPress even sent me a congratulations message.
The one from the Queen must have got lost in the post.
I have sewn, grown, baked, boiled, spray painted, upcycled and charity shopped my way through the last twelve months.
I have accidentally started a craft group which has evolved into a leaderless, hapless band of women brandishing various crafting tools and having a crack at, well anything. As long as there is tea, cake, or something stronger involved.
So what is next for me?
World domination of course. But that still needs work, so in the mean time it will be more of the same.
This week I have been mostly free range crocheting. Basically making it up as I go along.
I can’t follow patterns or instructions. They make me anxious and twitchy, so I have just been sitting in front of the TV in the evening and experimenting, unraveling and starting again.
I’ll probably unravel this effort later.
You never know though, by my 2nd anniversary I may have created a very cackhanded blanket of which I will be unspeakably proud of.
I have a list of projects to tick off my to do list and my thinking is that if I commit them to a blog post they will be more likely to get done.
- Spruce up the drawers and the wardrobes in the children’s rooms. I have lace and spray paint in mind for the Livster’s room and different coloured drawers and nobs for The Bo
- Upcycle The Bo’s desk chair/old dining chair. I am thinking white or blue eggshell with a nice cushion (I’ve gone all Lawrence Llewlyn-Bowen)
- I have an unloved dressing table that needs a new lease of life and some uplifting colour.
- I want to do more foraging later this year but on top of fruits I want to have a go at some elder flower recipes and also some rosehip recipes
- It is really about time I had a got at making curtains (Mum if your reading this brace yourself).
- I would like to get have a go at putting up shelving (straight).
- I have some beautiful plates and a couple of vintage handbags that needs some ingenious ideas for displaying. I may steal Mrs H’s clever plate display idea.
- To upcycle some more old bedding. In the whole of last year that was the project that I was most proud of.
No doubt I will get side tracked along the way, but I think this is enough to be getting on with for now.
Thanks to everyone who has stopped by this year and thanks for all your lovely comments. I really love all the feedback.
So Cheers! All the Best! Chin Chin!
And here’s to the next twelve months xx
Todays guest post comes to you from fellow blogger and school run comrade Lowcarbdaddy. He will be talking us through a low carb, sugar-free cheesecake.
What’s not to like?
Thankyou so much for your contribution Scott.
Over to you.
Firstly, I would like to thank Hannah for allowing me to post my recipe, or guest blog as its known… My name is Scot Lester AKA “Lowcarbdaddy” I attempt to bake/make all my favorite foods and cakes using no flour and no sugar, e.g. low carb and sugar-free.
I was diagnosed almost 2 years ago with Type 2 Diabetes which has led me to change my diet to a low carb sugar-free one, as after constant testing my blood sugars after eating various foods, it has highlighted the fact that foods with Carbohydrates and “sugars” do not agree with me and cause my blood sugars to raise significantly up to a dangerous level. Now that I avoid 90% of carbs my blood sugars are very stable to that of a non diabetic. This is mainly because 99% of carbohydrates are sugars.
Now I feel this is important not only to people who are diabetic but to everyone, nearly all foods contain carbohydrates especially processed foods and low-fat products and I want to make sure that everyone understands what impact carbohydrates has on your body.
To that end I am sharing my recipe for a Low Carb/Sugar Free cheesecake which tastes amazing and everyone who has tried it prefers it to the “normal” ones. I would like to point out that this recipe does contain high fat and therefore is high in calories. I will explain this….. Anyone on a Low carb diet needs to still have energy, in order to get this without eating carbs you have to consume fat, mind you these should be good fats which will give you good cholesterol (HDL) and not bad fats which will cause bad cholesterol (LDL) , this is what never gets explained to you at the Docs. I have better than average Cholesterol, Blood Pressure and Blood Glucose by following this diet and have lost 2 stone within 3 months of swapping my diet.
Your body needs good cholesterol (HDL) see here.
If you do eat carbohydrates, then this recipe would be a treat like any other treat as you would then be eating carbohydrates and fat which should not really mix, but a 1 off is OK :o).
Here are a few simple store cupboard essentials you should have to follow a low carb diet: (you can find most of these and the other ingredients in a good health shop, the independent ones are better.
- Almond Flour
- Coconut Flour
- Xylitol (Natural sweetener – carb free – like for like sugar use
- Coconut Oil – Raw
- Real Butter
- Double Cream
- Liquid Stevia
Here is the Recipe for the Vanilla Cheesecake, you can add a lemon flavoring if you like a lemon Cheesecake.
- 125 grams Almond Flour (finely ground almonds)
- 50 grams Desiccated Coconut
- 50 grams Butter
- 2 tablespoon(s) Vanilla Extract (depending on taste)
- 300 grams Philadelphia Cream Cheese
- 50 grams sweetener (xylitol)
- 2 tablespoon(s) sweetener (xylitol)
- 2 teaspoon(s) Liquid Stevia
- 1.5 cup(s) Double Cream
- Mix almond flour, desiccated coconut, 50g of sweetener together, melt butter and add, mix well.
- Line a pop bottom 8 or 9″ tin with baking sheet at the bottom and sides.
- Press mix into bottom of tin and press down firmly to create the “biscuit base”.
- Baked for 15-20 minutes until a little golden.
- Leave to go very cold, put in fridge.
- Mix cream cheese with 2 tbsp of Sweetener, liquid stevia, vanilla extract until smooth.
- In a separate bowl whisk double cream until soft peaks, add whipped cream to cream cheese mix and beat well to mix all together.
- Spoon mixture into the cold tin base mixture and press lightly into edges until all base is covered.
- Put in fridge for a good few hours (more the better).
- Eat and enjoy.
I hope you enjoy making this cheesecake, it’s now my favorite thing to eat without feeling I have been bad. If you want to print this recipe off in an easy format you can get a printable card from my blog www.lowcarbdaddy.com.
I am posting new recipes slowly on my blog, so please have a look for some more soon.
I also own and run a Diabetes support website which has more recipes on and lots of Low Carb talk.
Thank you to Hannah for allowing me to share my recipe.
AKA – Lowcarbdaddy
Today Mrs Blythin Makes comes to you via Ladybird Lab who are talking about handmade greetings cards.
I have never attempted making cards before, but having looked at their beautiful work I have been inspired to give it a go.
So without further ado I shall pass you into the more than capable hands of Ladybird Lab…..
Thank you to Hannah for giving us the opportunity to be a guest blogger. The Mrs Blythin Makes blog has lots of great, inspirational ideas so it’s a real pleasure to have this opportunity to talk about card making.
As way of an introduction, our names are Tasneem and Alefiyah. We are sisters who create handmade cakes, treats and cards in our Ladybird Lab – this is where all the creativity happens! You may have seen us at The Creed Street Theatre, Old Wolverton Bath House flea markets and other local craft events. We will be writing about card making in this guest post.
Making cards is easy, fun and can save you money. It’s lovely to know that something you have created has brought a smile to someone’s face and as you can personalise your cards you can make the person receiving your card feel extra special!
Here are a few simple steps to follow when making cards which may inspire some of you to give it a go:
- Sketch some rough ideas of how you want your card to look. We always find this helps, it makes the task seem less daunting and gives you an opportunity to really think about what the recipient would like.
- Once your sketch is complete you need to research and decide on what images and techniques you want to use to create your cards.
- Many shops now sell craft items for card making and a wide variety of items can be brought from your local craft store. However, it’s always fun to try and recycle and re-use things you already have and that are readily available.
- You can print out copyright free images, draw your own images or cut out designs from gift wrap and wall paper.
- You can use beads, sequins, stamps, textured paper, glitter, ribbons and stickers to enhance your creation.
Mixing different techniques and crafty items will make your card look and feel unique. Don’t be afraid to try new techniques, a lot of them (such as stamping and creating dimensional effects) are really simple but look very effective.
You can add a 3-dimensional feel to your card by adding form pads beneath layers to make them slightly raised.
Don’t forget to keep old cards you have received – you can recycle and re-use parts from them to create new cards or you can do what we do and draw inspiration from lots of your favourite cards.
Don’t worry if some of your earlier attempts at making cards go wrong, as this is part of the learning and experimental process, and the good thing is, that these can always be recycled!
We wish you many happy card making times!
Tasneem & Alefiyah – Ladybird Lab
On Thursday night we went on a date!
It was probably not the sort of date that Mr B had in mind, but he’ll take what he can get on a school night.
I got us two tickets to the preview of MK Gallery’s latest exhibition Treasures in MK.
Really? I hear you say. Treasures in Milton Keynes? Milton Keynes??!
The Gallery has collaborated with private collectors from MK and the surrounding area and put together a very eclectic exhibition.
It was packed to the rafters with art and other objects. Even the most hardened philistine would recognise at least one or two of the famous artists whose work was on show.
There was Hogarth and Romney, Matisse and Picasso, Durer and Gainsborough, Rego and Blake. And so the list goes on.
The Paula Rego lithograph of Mr Rochester really caught my eye.
There is also a stunning portrait of Emma Hamilton by Romney and an interesting self-portrait by David Bowie.
There is fun to be had studying Tom Chadwick’s The Proverbs. See how many sayings you can pick out.
Mr B spent a large amount of time closely studying the absolutely pristine cream Aston Martin, with cream and red leather interiors. I am not a car person but even I found myself lusting after it a little bit.
He was also quite taken with a small work by Peter Blake.
This would be a great place to introduce children to art Galleries. If nothing else they will love the taxidermy pelicans in the Cube Room. Or you could get them to describe what they think is going on in Hogarth’s The Rake’s Progress.
This exhibition is a oportunity to view pieces from many private collections that otherwise the public would not get a chance to see.
I recommend making the effort to go before they are whisked back behind closed doors.
Annie Sloan paint is quite pricey.
I have been a bit nervous of buying it and then messing up, but today I took the plunge and picked up a tester pot.
I thought I would give my occasional table a much-needed makeover and it was a small enough project to test the Sloany stuff.
Having got some advice from the lovely Tamsin at Eddie and Pearl and a man in overalls, I got started as soon as I got home.
A little bit goes a long way. I watered it down to a single cream consistency and it was very quick drying, particularly when you blast it with the hair dryer.
After I had given it two coats and allowed it to dry I used a clean cloth to rub in some clear wax. I didn’t buy the Sloan brand, just a generic clear wax at a fraction of the price and it did a beautiful job.
The table need something extra.
I had a dribble of black board paint that had been given to me for a project that I neither started nor finished. I decided that this would be perfect for the central disk in the table.
I can write a little message on the table now. The question is what should it be??
I am looking for some interesting guest posts that I can publish over the next few weeks.
If you have a thrifty idea that you would like to share, a piece of making that you are proud of, or a skill you could show in a tutorial stylie, please contact me.
You don’t have to be a blogger. Maybe you want to give blogging a go but aren’t ready to take the plunge. Why not hijack (within reason) mine and see if you like it.
Maybe you decorate cakes, or upcycle, or sew, or maybe you are handy with a jigsaw. Do you have thrifty ideas for entertaining children?
Thrifty gift wrapping, what to make with old coffee tins, handmade cards, jewellery. You all know you have done something you can share!
The only criteria is that it shouldn’t be too long, no more than 500 words and have 1-5 photos. It needs to have an emphasis on some part of my tag line which is broad enough to cover most areas
If you fancy giving it a whirl please send me a message on my Facebook page, direct message me on twitter or fill in the contact form and I can send you more details.
I would love to hear from you :-) xx
I don’t usually do new years resolutions.
When I do, they are never made with very much conviction.
But on Dec 31 2012 I made six. I numbered them, put them out there on Facebook and meant it.
3. Never spend more than I have to.
4. Learn something new as often as possible
5. Say what I think more often and bottle up less
6. Accept that you don’t always fit in and be ok with that.
When I set these down I had not decided to start writing and I had not really planned how I was going to achieve these vague, open-ended resolutions. But I did know that I was going to do it.
The decision to start writing a blog a couple of months later made sense as it covered all the bases.
At first people I knew and loved sort of looked askance at me, not really sure what I was doing or trying to achieve. In fact I wasn’t really sure myself and felt almost apologetic when I posted my early pieces.
I am a can’t do kind of girl. I have always tried to find reasons not to do things, always worried about how I will be judged and always assuming the worst.
Blogging has opened my eyes to the fact that, maybe I do have something small to give. That people are not as quick to pass judgement as I always expect and that I do have a voice and an opinion. It has given me a confidence in interacting with people that I had somehow lost years ago.
My world has opened in ways that I hadn’t expected. I have made more new friends in the last 12 months than I have made in the last 12 years and I have re-connected with old acquaintances.
Weirdly coming to accept that I don’t quite fit has kind of freed me of an over cautiousness and awkwardness that has held me back in the past.
This year has been a tough year but blogging has given me a structure, a focus and forced me to be positive where I would otherwise feel stunned into silence.
As for learning something new as often as possible….
I have taught myself to do this for a start. Just working out how to add a link to a post was a challenge to begin with. But I have done it.
I have also learned that no one is perfect. Kirsty Allsop hit an all time low when she tied dyed pants last week.
Leather look jeans are not comfortable. I need to sit down more than I used to so wearing trousers that don’t allow you to do this is folly. Exchange for a sensible jumper.
I have learned that I am a very bad waitress.
This blog won’t win awards or change anyones life. It is not the biggest or the best but it is mine and I love it.
All in all I think I have achieved what I set out to do on 31st Dec 2012. Lets see what 2014 brings.
If you have taken the time to read, I hope you enjoyed it and thankyou for stopping by
Merry Christmas and a Happy new year XX