Thursday, 27 September 2012

Homemade washing Powder!!

Apologies for going dark we've had a busy couple of days. The past few days have been chaotic and once again I've taken on so much that I'm heading for shut down mode :| I really do need to learn how to be more organized!!! But enough about the chaos or I'll send myself into a panic!!

As usual the busy days have led to a build up of washing - ah the joys of living with three grotty kings hehe and whilst my faithful lil machine has been in overdrive all day I have run out of detergent. As our local shop had no washing powders on offer it gave me the perfect excuse to try making my own - a frugality I've been dying to try for a while now.

I did a little research online a while back but still have not find anywhere to buy Borax which most of the recipes I have found call for but I have found a few that don't require it so I grabbed some soda crystals and some bicarbonate of soda and thought I might as well give it a whirl using those with some soap.

I have ended up with quite a big box full of powder for a total cost of £1.50 and have to say I am pretty impressed with the results, although I think I may have to add some napisan to the mix to give it a bit more oomph for heavily soiled items (which most of my laundry usually is - thanks again grotty kings!!)

Here is the recipe if you fancy giving it a go yourself =)

1kg bag Soda Crystals
1 bar pure soap (grated)
1 Cup Bicarbonate of Soda

Mix well in a plastic container and use 2 tablespoons per wash. Store in an airtight container and treat yourself with some of the pennies you'll save =)

You could also add a few drops of essential oil per wash if you like - I didn't bother as the kings usually moan when I buy smelly powders and leave them smelling like girls anyway.

I have read that you can also add white vinegar to the mix - just be careful as this will cause a lot of fizzing when it reacts with the bicarb.

If you prefer using a liquid detergent you can add the soap to water and boil on the stove until all of the soap has melted before mixing with a soda crystal solution and storing in a bottle.

Monday, 24 September 2012

Going Batty for Halloween

Finished off the 'Spooky Do' invitations for Halloween today =D 

Apologies for cropping the bottom off the picture - it contained address and phone numbers lol

Sabien LOVES them and can't wait to give them all out to his lil play mates at pre-school hehe

Unfortunately that's all your getting out of me today though. All four of us have caught the dreaded cold lurgy (damn you English weather) that's going around here at the moment - really NOT nice ='( So off to hide under my duvet with my wheat bag feeling sorry for myself - ah I cna hear the violins playing already hahaha.

Nighty Night xx

Sunday, 23 September 2012

One Mans Junk...

...Is definitely my treasure today.

Hubby is sulking with me this aft as I managed to come home with three big bags of car boot finds this morning - "collecting more junk" he says but these little beauties were screaming out at me for love and attention =D

Sorry about the rubbish photo - my camera batteries are charging so used my phone which didn't handle the low lighting very well this evening ='(
My fave find of the day is most definitely the old battered record box (on the right) I spotted this from a mile off and it only cost me £1.00 
It's desperate for some love - it needs a lot of work to make it beautiful again but I just know I'm going to have so much fun doing it. I'm thinking decopage with some pretty paper????

The other treasures in the picture...
On the left - wooden sewing chest - complete with a few sewing accessories - a steal at a fiver =D
A wooden photo frame on a stand (minus the glass) which I paid just 50p for!!! Think I might turn this into a key holder with mini blackboard.
An old glass candle holder - 20p and a set of three candlesticks - again 20p each
and finally a cute lil set of dominoes in wooden box fairly expensive @ 75p haha but they have are all engraved with a nice dragon on the back so think a few of them would make lovely pendants and maybe a couple of bracelets.

I can't stop looking at my lil bundle of treasures and the inspiration that oozes from them is mind blowing!!!
Man I love car boots =D

Saturday, 22 September 2012

Mission Accomplished

So I am about to start compiling lists for tomorrows activities and just thought I'd share that I am doing so in one of my pretty, unused notebooks - Without having a nervous breakdown I might add =D

That's it for tonight though, writing my lists then off to bed ready for treasure hunting at the car boot sale in the morning - oooo hope I find some goodies!!!!

Nighty Night xx

Halloween is just around the corner

Okay so don't want to scare anyone but Halloween is just over a month away now!!!

I thought I had loads of time to fit in all my Halloween craftiness but after a quick trip to town and seeing the pound shops FILLED with Halloween goodness I'm feeling VERY behind...

Little King Has asked if he can have a Spooky Do this year to invite all his new preschool friends so I said yes, of course, then ran into the kitchen to do a lil secret happy dance - man I just LOVE Halloween =D and with all the holiday inspiration that's flying around on pinterest at the moment my craft obsession and probably my head is totally going to explode. At least the latter will go with the Halloween decor!! 

I am frantically writing lists at the moment - lists of things to buy, things to do and even lists for lists to write haha - yeah I'm definitely a list girl. I downloaded a list app on my phone a few days ago but cannot get to grips with it. I love pretty notebooks and have boxes full of the things, but they just sit there because I'm a hoarder and I'm scared of using them all up hehe So I always use bits of scrap paper to write my lists, which the munchkins usually get hold of and throw them around so I either lose them or have to scratch dried up bits of food of them to see what I've written - NICE!! 

God I am soooo unorganized!! That's it - my top priority mission for today is to get one of those notebooks and write on one of the lovely clean fresh pages (yes I am breaking out in a sweat just thinking about it!!!)

Next on the list is to get on with the invitations for the party whilst I see if the bright sunshine we have this morning holds out long enough for blackberry picking!!

Friday, 21 September 2012

Super Kings

How sweet are these pyjamas?? We picked them up yesterday in good old Primark for just £6.00 - complete with cute little removable cape!!!
Sabien chose a set in his latest obsession - Spider Man but got so upset when he got home and realised that he didn't have a cape that I just had to whip one up for him too :) 

Meet the new and improved caped spidy boy :) Amazing what you can whip up in a couple of minutes to cheer up a special lil guy!!

Thursday, 20 September 2012

Play Day

Not had much time for making today as we have been out for the afternoon, as good behaviour reward for the lil kings :) After a couple hellish weeks of terrible twos and threes attitude and tantrums the hubz and I decided it was definitely time for action!! We have been doing our best super nanny impressions all week and boy has it worked!!! Thanking you Jo Frost :)

So we have spent the afternoon at a soft play center before heading to Pizza Hut for tea, yum yum :) Just looked through the pics we've taken and the kids had so much fun and charged around so bloody fast that the only pics are either a blur past the camera or a nice shot of their backs haha

Oh and Finley showing us that crayons don't really taste very nice!!!

I did get a quick half hour this morning though to make a few sheets of recycled paper though which I will be posting a tutorial for tomorrow along with some pics when they've had chance to dry!! (what?? You didn't think I could actually go a full day without making anything did you??)

Wednesday, 19 September 2012

Blackberries, Bugs & Burns to Berrylicious Jam

So it's taken me a few days to get my head around the blogging world, but finally my first post has made it live!!
And a nice nostalgic, although slightly chaotic project to kick it off with too...
With September here the school run for Little King has begun again. So far, we've had two weeks of cold, wet, & windy walks. But watching the juicy berries ripen has made it a little easier :)
Then finally a sunny weekend!!
I went to bed on Saturday night with fingers crossed for a sunny morning (sad I know), desperate to re-live the childhood memories of blackberry picking passing the sticky yummy fun on to the munchkins =D
Lucky (For Once!!!) we woke up to a bright and sunny Sunday so with breakfast scoffed we grabbed some lil baskets and in little Kings words set off "to steal the bears berries!!" (awww) before returning home to make jam.
Remembering Mothers words to always wash the blackberries first or you'll have maggots in your belly we poured our pickings (minus a handful that despite the warnings Little King couldn't resist eating right away -  but boys will be boys) into salt water to draw out the bugs despite my skeptism that there would actually be any. Of course, Mother was right, as always - the salt water was soon wriggling with tiny white maggot like bugs - ewwww leaving me more than a little reluctant to carry on with the jam making. But a promise is a promise so i rinsed them off and gave them another soak and tediously picked over each berry with a pair of tweezers ;) before spending the rest of the afternoon going through the thousands of recipes for blackberry jam that the net has to offer and still not being able to pick one to use haha
At 9pm on Sunday I gave up and decided I was clever enough to just wing it - WRONG!!!
My idyllic Nigella stylee jam making turned into something more like the omlette contest on Saturday Kitchen Live!!!! Picture numerous burns on hands and tongue, jam almost boiling over, my hob turning into a sticky red mess and Big King (hubby) laughing at me in the background - Nice!!
By 10.10 pm my jam was still bubbling away on the stove. After frantically searching online and carrying out all the 'setting point' tests I could find my jam still didn't seem to have reached 'setting point'. Fed up I chucked in another cup of sugar, brought it back to the boil and poured it into sterilsed jars, leaving them over night to cool and hopefully set.
Returning from the school run on Monday morning I eagerly cracked open one of the jars to find the jam totally solid!! After all the hard work there was NO WAY I was throwing the lot away so I set to work melting the jam (after checking the net for jam troubleshooting tips) by loosening up in the microwave and mixing with boiling water to mash through a seive leaving me with a nice big bowl of apple and blackberry syrup which unfortunately tasted truly yucky :(
Just as I was starting to think my jam mission was destined to be a complete failure I remembered an easy fifteen minute microwave jam recipe I had found courtesy of Swirlyarts cute blog - Swirly Thoughts which seriously saved the day. I chucked in some mixed spice and some lemon juice, to hopefully get rid of the funky taste and chucked the bowl in the microwave for 6 minutes, stirring half way through, and poured into some fresh sterilised jars.
On Tuesday I awoke to some SET but still spreadable (yay) absolutely delish apple & blackberry (with a hint of spice :) ) jam. Which after labelling and tarting up the jars I think look kinda cute. Unfortunately through all the chaos I didn't take any pics to share but you can see the end result below and you can find the Amazing - Should Be Famous - microwave recipe here.
We will defo be off to collect more berries this weekend (stinky English weather permitting of course) but this time I will be sticking to the recipe like, well like jam hehe