More Harry Potter Christmas crafts

Hello my lovelies,

I’m back today to show you what I’ve been up to the past couple of weeks.

I made a niffler!  He looks a bit like a pot bellied duck but I could only find a pattern.  Zero instructions. It was an extremely frustrating week.  But he’s finished and my daughter loves him.

We’re calling him Ned.

Ned the Niffler.

And as you can see, he’s ready trying to nick my belcher chain.

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Yesterday, Missy and I spent some quality time making these potion bottles to hang on the tree. Thankfully, we didn’t need to use a glue gun for this.  Did I mention that my glue gun blew up.  In my hand.  Bang!  Smoke!  Me:  *freak out*

Glue gun: 1

Me: 0

We used super glue to glue the corks in instead of hot glue.

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Please excuse the dust on our wood burner!  Super embarrassing!

Besides the potion bottles that I got from The Works for £1, I had everything else for this craft project at home.

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I bought the labels from an Etsy shop a couple of years ago when I participated in a Harry Potter craft shop.  I’d say all in this project only cost me about £2.50

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I’m still in the process of making the gillyweed label which didn’t come with the set from the etsy shop.  Once that’s done,  I’ll have a little set of 6 potions or ingredients for our potter tree.SONY DSC

Next up, a Dobby figurine made out of felt.  He’s probably going to be as good as the niffler!

Bright blessings,

Mrs R

x

 

Foolproof home baked bread in minutes!

Hello my lovelies,

It’s the school holidays here in England and that means 6 weeks of scrambling to find activities for my child that won’t break the bank. Thank goodness for Pinterest and Facebook viral video’s! I found a really cool video for bread in a bag and just had to make it.

Yesterday we baked bread in a bag and it was a-mazing! Light, tasty and super duper easy to make.  In fact, my 5 year old daughter did 95% of the work!

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I measured out all the ingredients in 3 stages so that it was easy for my daughter to add them into the zip lock bag.  She had so much fun!  All you’ll need besides the ingredients, is a large zip lock bag and a few plastic tumblers.  The recipe is in cups which, surprise, surprise I couldn’t find yesterday so I used one of my daughter’s ikea plastic cups which worked perfectly.

So, here’s the recipe and method:

Foolproof bread in a bag

Into a large ziplock bag, add  1 cup of flour, 3 tablespoons white sugar (next time I’ll use 1/2 this mount as it seemed a little sweet to me), 1 pkg rapid rise yeast and 1 cup of warm water.

Seal the bag letting out the air as you go and then comes the fun part.  Play with the ziplock bag and massage it in your hands so that all the ingredients combine.  My daughter LOVED this part!

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When it’s combined, set the bag aside for 10 minutes.

Now open the bag and add 1 cup of flour, 3 tablespoons of olive oil, 1 1/2 teaspoons of salt. Once again, seal the bag letting out the air as you go and play with the ingredients in the ziplock bag and manipulate it in your hands so that all the ingredients combine.

Open the bag and add a cup of flour.

Seal the bag again and manipulate to mix the flour in.

Lay the bread dough on a floured surface and gently mould into the shape of a bread loaf. Place into a greased loaf tin.

Cover and allow to rise for at least 45 minutes in a warm place.

Bake at 190 degrees for 25-30 minutes.

Once baked, turn out onto a cooling rack and wait five minutes before devouring with butter and jam!

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Bright blessings,

Mama R

x

 

 

 

 

My Fair Vintage tea shop

Hello my lovelies,

I have found the most amazing little cafe ever!  It’s just a tiny bit fabulous and I’m so excited to share it with you. It’s called My Fair Vintage and it’s found in Caterham, Surrey.

Everything about this place is straight out of my dreams  vintage tea shop dreams, and I adore it.  Aren’t those cute hanging tea pots and tea cups cute?

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As you walk inside, you are greeted with vintage loveliness and a cosy warm feeling of homecoming. Everywhere you look, there are gorgeous little trinkets and homewares to buy and beautiful vintage looking tea shop decorations that make my inner Pinterest maniac purr in delight!

Just look at those hand painted chairs and tables and the hanging honeycomb decorations…

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This picture is taken from their Facebook page and shows their toe curling Christmas deccies. I’m gutted I didn’t get a chance to visit during the festive season but have definite plans to go this year.

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Alice in Wonderland inspired homewares that I was sooo tempted to buy… and just look at that grogeous painted welsh dresser. It’s for sale, as is other furniture around the store.

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More gorgeousness!  But would you look at that red velevet cake!  The proprietress bakes all the cakes and scones from scratch. She’s a real cake baking master. Paul Hollywood eat your heart out!

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Let us bask for a moment in the  gloriousness that is this cake.

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On the day we visited, there were plain scones, fruit scones, victoria sponge cake, chocolate mini egg cake, coffee and walnut cake, carrot cake and what looked like lemon drizzle cake. How can anybody make a choice?

In the corner on the way to the kitchen is this vintage sweet shop where lovely sweeties are weighed by the pound. Dotted around the shop are sweetie cones filled with nougat, fudge and brightly coloured gem coloured candies.

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There’s a list of teas to choose from but I’ve always loved my breakfast tea which is what I ordered. I adore that everytime I visit I get a different tea cup.  All of the tea cups and pots are mismatched and unique. My daughter loves chosing her table based on which tea cup she wants to drink from.

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Swish family Robertson

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She calls My Fair Vintage the Posh tea place because she gets to drink tea from these lovely cups and can actually strain it through a little silver strainer. Fascination in the extreme to a five year old princess wannabe.

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The menu is everything you would expect from such a lovely tea shop.  The kitchen is tiny yet they manage to prepare such lovely meals at very reasonable prices. And all prepared from scratch.

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Swish family Robertson
I’m taking my good friend here in April for her birthday for afternoon tea and I’m excited to say that it was made possible because My Fair Vintage are able to cater so ably for those with food intolerances and allergies.

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I bring my daughter here at the end of every term as a little treat for working so hard and being well behaved at school. In July, I’ve decided to start a new tradition with her of coming here for afternoon tea.

Who wouldn’t want a bit of this!

On the day we visited, we tucked into this gorgeous chocolate cake.  It’s honestly the chocolatiest, moistest most decadent cake I’ve ever had.

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We landed up sharing the cake and the Bacon, brie and cranberry panini between us because I knew my little one would never be able to eat the cake and a whole sandwich.  Worked out well for me though because I got the best of both worlds!

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I honestly cannot recommend My Fair Vintage enough. Over the past year I’ve been visiting they have surpassed all my expectations and never failed to delivery not only excellent service, but quality food and a special experience every time.  Check out their Facebook page for opening hours and the latest news.

I hope you’ll visit and find it as fabulous as I have.

Bright blessings,

Mrs R

x

Tulley’s Farm Christmas Experience

Hello my lovelies,

It’s been a long time since I’ve posted and most of it has been working, renovating our house and starting a new job which means I’m now working full time!  More on that another time!

I wanted to share with you our kick off to the festive season.  I’d heard that Tulley’s Farm did a fantastic Christmas experience but I really didn’t expect to be so blown away!

It was a cold, rainy, blustery day and despite all of us getting over the flu we decided to go and see Father Christmas anyway.  We arrived at 9:40 to collect our tickets and had fun taking pictures and dancing. Everywhere was decorated and had been made festive.

We revieved a kids passbook filled with a map and lots of info as well as an Elf Hunt.

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Before our Tractor ‘sleigh ride’ we spent our time wandering about the festive delights.  First we decided to beat the queues and write our letter to Father Christmas at Santa’s Post House. The Post Master was brilliant and really embraced his character.

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While I was busy helping DD write her letter to Santa the Post Master gave DH a letter from Santa to put under my daughter’s pillow in way of a reply.

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All she wanted for Christmas she told me was for her Scout Elf Snowflake to come back this year… watch this space for more Elf Antics!  I loved how the Post Master even posed in character.

It was really silly of me but I videod us going through the post office into the sorting room and through the winter wonderland to post our letter in the official north pole post box.  I should have taken photographs but sadly I was too busy videoing it!  I still have no idea how to insert video’s in to here!

On our elf search there were lots of things to see

We spent loads of time with the reindeer while DD asked loads of questions. She’s going to be an amazing vet one day.

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When it came to meeting these guys DD was suddenly very shy and wouldn’t even look at them prefering instead to climb all over Daddy!

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There was a short wait for our tractor ‘sleigh’ ride to see Santa and we occupied ourselves by making funny faces!

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And talking to the elves

At last we were on the tractor ‘sleigh’ and DD thought that singing Jingle Bells was just ludicrous

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At Santa’s grotto Father Christmas was fast alseep and the children had to wake him up so he could tell me them as story.

I was so impressed because everything was so well decorated and thought out and even Father Christmas looked so realistic!

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We had a lovely picture taken with Father Christmas then  waited a short while before we got back on the tractor ‘sleigh’ to go and make our presents.

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Which turned out to be – Build your own bears!

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We also bought the photograph which I thought was good value for money for such a large picture at £8.

After we had warmed up with some mulled wine and a mince pie from a vendor, we watched the puppet show which was all about doing nice things for those we love.

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We even watched the singing chickens!  Yes, chicken!

We could have gotten something to eat there but it was busy and we were cold and hungry so we went off to Smith & Western (one of our favourite restaurants) for brunch.

Here a tired little girl snuggled with her new kitty friend Daisy that she got from Father Christmas.  DH caved and bought her a dress for Daisy which was £9.95 which considering the prices at the Build-a-bear-factory, this was cheaper.

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All in all, this was a wonderful day out and a lovely Christmas experience.  It was not cheap at £12.95 per child and £7.95 per adult but it was worth every penny because even us adults enjoyed it. And the fact that they get such a high quality gift as well made it worth it.

I give this Christmas experience 8/10

Stay tuned over the next few days for most festive fun,

Bright blessings,

Mama R

x

 

 

 

 

A Frozen in Summer Birthday Party

Hello my lovelies,

Apologies for staying away so long but it’s been a mad house around here.  Not only did we renovate my daughter’s bedroom (including making it bigger by knocking a wall down) but we pulled off her birthday party too in the same week!  Yes, we are insanely insane!

The night before, I made the jelly for this little fella using the blue jelly that my mom sent me from South Africa. I couldn’t find blue jelly here, for love nor money!

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I was going for this and don’t think I was too far off.

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The day of her party I was up before the crack of dawn decorating cupcakes. I’m feeling rather pleased with myself because my cupcake decorating skills are coming along thanks to a little Pinspiration.

We had Anna cupcakes…

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And Elsa cupcakes… Please forgive the table. Like I said, it was the crack of dawn and I hadn’t yet scrubbed the outdoor furniture down.

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But my absolute favourite cupcakes were these Olaf ones. I was trying to recreate the scene in the film where he’s on the beach and I don’t think I did too badly! I iced on side with chocolate icing and covered it with crushed biscuits.  On the other side I piped blue icing.  Olaf’s towel is a rainbow sour sweet and the floating ring is a Polo sweet.  The umbrellas are cocktail umbrellas and little Olaf is made from rice paper cutouts I got off ebay.  The kids absolutely adored these little beauties!

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We also had melted snowman biscuits which were another hit

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along with these. My mom used to make these marshmallow flower biscuits for my birthday parties when I was a kid.  They are just iced rich tea biscuits with sliced up marshmallows.  I piped a little leftover icing in the middle and popped on a mini-smartie.

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Here’s a picture of my fourth birthday party and third blue plate on the right features these little marshmallow flower biscuits!

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My friend Deborah from Milwaukee sent me some blue Kool-ade and I made melted snowman punch which the kids couldn’t get enough of… I wonder why!?

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The morning was a mad rush but I was quite pleased with how the decorations turned out

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B&M homestores are brilliant for cheap and cheerful party decorations which worked really well for a Frozen in Summer Party.

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The idea for this party was that the kids were going to find out what frozen things did in Summer..  So, we had a trampoline, swings, slide, play tent, play house, sand pit and swimming pool for the kids to play. And play they did!

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Unfortunately, with 22 kids and 26 parents I couldn’t include pictures that featured the kids or I would have have had to get the permission of each and every parent so I’ve only used pictures of before the party.

The cake was a cheat cake.  I bought a plain white cake from Costco and decorated it.  I was going for a Frozen in Summer idea and I think it worked out pretty well.

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We were going to play a few party games but the kids were so busy playing in the yard that we all forgot about them.  None of the little sweeties wanted to leave come home time!  To me, that’s a sign of a good party!

Bright blessings!

Mama R

x

The emergency room

This afternoon, DD decided it was a good idea to pick a fight with the solid oak coffee table and headbutt it when she was bending down to pick up her toy.  The coffee table won and DD has a large lump and a serious bruise right between her eyes.

A vomitting, clingy and disorientated baby who kept falling over followed.  Since I don’t yet have my lisence L  rushed me to the emergency room.  Thankfully L was here.

DH rushed home from London and met me at the hospital with the car.  After 5 hours at the emergency room DD was discharged as long as I keep an eagle eye on her and bring her back to the ER if she starts puking again, won’t wake up, becomes limp and lifeless or starts convulsing.  Oh, or if she starts seeping blood or clear liquid from her nose or ears.

Needless to say I’m going to be sleeping on the floor of her bedroom tonight just to make sure she’s okay.

Sigh… my poor little rambling rascal.

Mama R

x