A Lovely Little snack!

I decided to make my daughters snack a little more interesting today! (If you have been following my blog for a while, you will know how much I love getting creative with the kids food)!

I used a heart shaped cookie cutter to make some heart shaped sandwiches, then added some strips of cheddar cheese and some mini cheese biscuits on the top to make a pretty pattern.

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I also added some cucumber and beetroot to finish off her pretty snack! She really enjoyed her food and ate the lot! A lovely way to make food more fun!

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Christmas biscuits!

Today we decided to spend the afternoon baking as it was so wet and windy outside (again)! I must admit a little part of me quite enjoys the winter weather, as there is nothing nicer than being cosy inside with the little ones baking or making!

We chose to bake butter biscuits as they are a huge favourite in our house. They are simple to make and taste amazing. I usually make a few batches at a time, as they seem to disappear very quickly! I was also looking after my 6 year old niece and my (very nearly!) 2 year old nephew, and the kids all decided they would like to turn the biscuits into Christmas biscuits by adding some fun decorations! So we got plenty of ingredients and set to work…… (when I say work, I mean throwing ingredients around and getting covered in flour and icing)!

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To make your Christmas biscuits you will need – 

Biscuit recipe – 110g (4 oz) softened butter, 55g (2 oz) caster sugar, 2 – 3 tbs cold water, few drops of vanilla extract and 175g (6 oz) plain flour Topping – icing sugar, water and decorations of your choice (we used sugar sprinkles, sugar balls and mini sugar gingerbread men) You will also need cookie cutters in ‘Christmas’ themed shapes!

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Begin by preheating your oven to 160C. Then put your butter and sugar into a bowl and mix until fluffy.

Add your vanilla extract and water and mix. Slowly add your flour, mixing it in well. (We tend to use our hands at this point to form a ball, ready to roll out – I split it into two balls here to share between the kids).IMG_3249.JPGRoll your biscuit dough out onto a floured surface. We always pop some flour onto the rolling pin too, to stop it from sticking.IMG_3251.JPGThen use your cookie cutters to cut out some Christmassy shapes! Place them onto greaseproof paper on a baking tray.

Bake them in the oven for approx 15 minutes or until golden brown. Leave to cool and sprinkle with some caster sugar.

Now you can make some icing with your icing sugar and add whatever decorations you like! We went crazy with sprinkles, sugar balls and sugar gingerbread men!

Our finished biscuits were completely yummy and went down a treat! The kids all had brilliant fun and my nephew especially enjoyed decorating his biscuits (even if it did mean sending him home covered in icing – sorry mum)! We sent some biscuits home for my sister too from my niece and nephew and she loved them!IMG_3287.JPG

These biscuits would make a lovely Christmas gift for teachers, wrapped in pretty cellophane and tied with a cute ribbon. (This was what we made for teachers last year and all of the teachers loved them. My daughter said they ate them at break time with their cups of coffee)!

A party for my own mini superhero!

It was my (not so) little boys fifth birthday this week and I wanted to make it super special for him. It was the first time he would be having school friends to his party, as he has always just wanted family members before. I let him choose a theme for his party and he chose to have a superhero theme! IMG_3172

I decided to try and make the majority of the decorations for his birthday myself as at this time of year, money is not exactly in abundance!

I started by making some superhero swirls. You can see the post just below if you fancy making some yourself. These can be adapted to fit in with any type of party theme. I hung quite a few in the doorway to the ‘party room’ so that the kids had to push through them all to get into the room! Great fun!IMG_3099

https://paintboxmum.wordpress.com/2015/11/20/superhero-swirls/

I also made some fantastic Spider-man webs made out of bin liners to hang around the room. He loved these! IMG_3154.JPGI also wanted to have something to put behind the dining table as a backdrop. When I looked on – line for Superhero backdrops and wall posters I could not believe the price of them! There was no way I was paying that much money! I decided I could probably make a ‘city scape’ myself to use as a backdrop. I used sheets of black card and arranged them into building shapes. I cut out different types of roofs and used blue tack to attach them to the wall. I then painted on windows with white paint and added superheroes which I cut out from the left over gift wrap. IMG_3159.JPGI also added a little superhero feel to some of the party food! I found a fantastic idea on Pinterest to add a web design onto Babybel cheese. It looked super effective and was so simple! They were a huge hit with the party guests and there were none left over at the end of the party! (A little tip if you do use this idea is to draw your web design onto the wax, then place in the fridge as it seems to set the design better). You can use Babybels for lots of different party themes. Cutting out shapes (gently) from the wax with a cookie cutter is another way to use these lovely little cheeses in your party.  (Eg – cutting out star shapes are fantastic for princess or space themed parties)!IMG_3157.JPG

Everyone commented on how lovely the decorations were. The city scape seemed to catch everyone’s eye! My daughter has requested a princess castle backdrop for her birthday (which falls in two weeks time – aaargggh!!!)

He had a wonderful birthday and his huge smile when he walked into the house after school, and saw the decorated room was well worth the time and effort! A super, lovely day (and a stress free party)!

Superhero swirls!

My little boy’s birthday is fast approaching! He will be turning five next week – I honestly don’t know where the time goes. It seems to disappear faster than sand falling in an hourglass! He still feels like my baby boy, that tiny little newborn with the big blue eyes staring up at me. I try so hard to treasure each crazy moment – it goes by so quickly!62192b6602c79e280efec26bb26b8c95

Whilst he was in school today I thought it would be a good idea to make a start on some of his party decorations. He would like an Avengers themed party so I wanted to make something to fit in with his theme. I had some Avengers gift wrap so I thought I could use that and make some superhero paper plate swirls!

I love paper plate swirls as they are so easy and look really effective. They can be so easily adapted to fit in with any kind of theme (not just the usual swirly snakes)! They are also super cheap to make which is such a bonus, as party decorations can become very expensive!

To make your superhero swirls you will need – superhero gift wrap or old comics, glue, scissors, paper plates, hole punch and thread.

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Begin by covering your paper plate in your gift wrap and glueing it down.

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Next, cut a spiral shape from your paper plate, starting in the centre and working your way outwards. Then punch a hole into the centre using a hole puncher.

String a piece of thread through the hole so that you can hang it up.

(If you cut your swirl wide you will get a shorter swirl than cutting it more narrow).

I think these swirls look brilliant and will add a little fun to your party! They can be adapted for any party / celebration theme by changing the gift paper you use. A simple way to make some themed party decorations!

Crazy cupcakes!

One of my kids favourite things to bake are what we call ‘crazy cupcakes’! They are a little bit of a fun baking idea which we started baking a couple of years ago when my daughter had been poorly. She had lost her appetite whilst ill and it hadn’t really returned! Nothing was tempting her, so I had a brainwave to try these little beauties! I thought if she helped make them and we added a surprise, fun element she may want to try some. It certainly worked and she loved them! They have since become a little bit of a family tradition!

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Crazy cupcake recipe (makes 24 cakes) – 

Ingredients –

Cake mix – 6 oz softened butter, 6 oz caster sugar, 2 tsp vanilla extract, 3 eggs and 6 oz self raising flour

Filler ideas – glacé cherries, chocolate chips, raisins etc

Topping ideas – icing, sugar strands, sprinkles, chocolate strands, mini mallows, sugar stars, mini chocolate balls, sugar flowers, strawberries, tangerine pieces

Method – Preheat oven to 170 c. Put the sugar and butter into a bowl and mix until light and fluffy. Add the vanilla and eggs and mix again. Add the flour and mix. Make sure the mixture is smooth. Now for the fun, surprise part of the crazy cupcakes! Divide the mixture into different bowls ready to add the different fillers to each. (We use three bowls as we tend to use three different fillers.) Next add each of your fillers to each bowl. I put cherries in one bowl, chocolate chips in another and raisins in the third bowl. Mix each bowl thoroughly, and pour into cake cases. My little ones love this part as it is a big surprise to what filler you are going to have when you get to eat your cakes! Bake for about 15 minutes or until golden and cooked through. Leave to cool and then decorate. We use icing and then the kids get to go a little crazy with their toppings. This time they used chocolate strands, sugar stars and mini mallows!

The cupcakes tasted super yummy and the kids have great fun helping to make them. A lovely, fun way to bake with your very own mini bakers!

Silhouette pictures!

We have had some nasty weather and lots of horrible storms this weekend (Boo hiss)! This means we have had no choice but to stay in and keep dry and warm. Unfortunately this also meant that the kids were getting a little crazy by the afternoon yesterday, so we got out the paints and decided to make some silhouette pictures.

I love making silhouette pictures! You can turn pretty much anything into a silhouette with some black paper and the finished effect is beautiful. We decided to use purple, blue and pink colours to give a moonlight effect, as opposed to yellows and oranges which give a sunset effect. They both look so pretty!

(If you missed our sunset pictures the blog post is here – https://paintboxmum.wordpress.com/2015/09/12/super-sunset-sea-pictures/ )

To make your silhouette picture you will need – paper, black paper / card, paintbrush, paints in purples, blues and pinks, glue and scissors.

Begin by painting the paper with your different colours. We find that painting horizontally works best. Work the colours into each other to give a more blended effect.IMG_3032 IMG_3029Whilst the paint is drying, decide what you would like to use for your silhouette picture. My niece chose a fairy and my son chose a pirate. Draw the chosen images onto black paper or card and then cut them out. If your child is older they could do this part themselves.IMG_3020 IMG_3023Once they are cut out, glue them onto your painted paper. You could also add some extra details! My niece added a rock to her fairy picture which looked really pretty. IMG_3043 IMG_3048 IMG_3044

If you don’t fancy using paints, you could use chalks instead. We did make some chalk pictures too but unfortunately the photos didn’t show the chalk very well, but they look good too! (The photos don’t show the paint colours that great either sorry, but hopefully you can see the effect)! I think they would look very cool on greetings cards too!

These look super pretty and are a lovely way to spend some time on a rainy afternoon!

Time To Mingle

A lovely way to mingle!

A Momma's View

You know what? I think it’s time to mingle again. How about we get together and party a little bit? Come over and meet some other bloggers, maybe bring a friend as well? I love meeting new people, so share the news.

It’s easy:

  • Leave the link to your blog in the comment, maybe with a short description of what your blog is all about. You can link to your About page or to your home page or to a post you particularly like.
  • Share one or more links to blogs you enjoy reading as well and maybe let them know that you did and invite them to come over and join in.
  • The more the merrier. So how about you share this post on your blog as well?
  • It’s all about being polite here as well, so go ahead, shake some hands and check out the links that have…

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Kids abstract art!

My daughter is currently very interested in different artists and the different ways in which they paint. I dug out some of my old books for her to have a peek at, and we also looked on the internet. (I think it’s amazing that we have such a huge range of information available at our fingertips via the web!) She seemed especially interested in the use of lines in abstract art, and wanted to see if she could make her own piece of abstract art using lines and colours. I thought it was a brilliant idea so we got the paints and brushes out!

To make your abstract art you will need – paper, paint, paintbrushes and a ruler.

To begin with use a ruler dipped in paint to print lines down onto your paper. (We found using a ruler edge was the best way to form straight lines).IMG_2961Continue printing your lines on the paper. You can choose to place them wherever you like.IMG_2966Once you have finished your lines, use different coloured paints to fill the gaps in between the lines. You can use as many or as little colours as you like. My daughter chose three colours to use for her picture.IMG_2967 IMG_2971My daughter loved her finished piece of abstract art and she was so pleased she could recreate her own version so easily! A brilliant art activity for mini artists! IMG_2994

Super Space Rocket!

My little boy loves all things Space at the moment so we decided to do a Space themed craft one rainy afternoon. Looking through our recycling box we found an empty drinks bottle and thought we could use it to make a cool space rocket!

This craft is very easy and my son has loved playing with his home made toy since making it! Who says kids need expensive toys?! He is so proud that he has helped make his own rocket and it has become a favourite play thing.

To make your own space rocket you will need – an empty, clean drinks bottle with cap, sticky tape, scissors, coloured paper, paintbrush and paint.

To begin, use some coloured paper of your choice to make a cone for the rockets top (trim down to the correct size and stick down on to the bottle with sticky tape).rocket 1Then roll another piece of coloured paper around your bottle to form the rockets body. Use tape to stick down.rocket 2Now cut some flame shapes out of orange and red paper and stick them down to the base of the bottle. Next add some coloured paper wings. I used tape on both sides of the wings to allow them to stick out.rocket 3rocket 4My little boy then wanted to decorate his rocket. He chose to decorate his with gold paint!rocket 5We have had so much fun with this since making it and I am sure it wont be long until we add another home made rocket to his ever growing collection!