Winter play dough!

Keeping the kids busy during the school holidays is sometimes hard, especially in February when the weather is less than pleasant here in the UK! I decided to make some play dough yesterday to keep the kids entertained for a while. I thought it would be a cute idea to make it a winter themed play dough by using a little blue food colouring, to give it an icy cool look.

To make your play dough you will need – 2 cups plain flour, 1 cup cold water, 1 cup salt, 1 tbs oil and food colouring (we used blue but you can use whichever colour you like).

Start by mixing the flour and salt in a bowl.

IMG_0557.JPG

Next add the water, oil and food colouring. (If you are using liquid colour you will just need a few drops, gel colours tend to need more though – we used a whole tube of gel colour and the colour was nowhere near as strong as I wanted)!

Mix together and then knead with your hands until it forms a ball. If the dough is too dry add a little water, if it is too wet add a little flour.

IMG_0559.JPG

Now your play dough is ready to use! I gave the kids a little bowl with sequins, feathers, pom poms and beads in, as well as cutters and rolling pins. ( Just make sure that what you are giving your little ones are age appropriate to avoid any nasty accidents).

We then set up a little shop with a till and sandwich bags to use as the kids love playing bakery. They ‘bake’ me biscuits and cakes with the play dough and I am the customer! We do this quite a lot and I change the type of play dough we use. One of the kids favourite play dough is chocolate play dough. You can find the recipe we use here!

IMG_0566.JPG

 

IMG_0573.JPG

IMG_0576.JPG

IMG_0577.JPG

IMG_0581.JPG

We had a lovely afternoon creating and playing with the play dough! A lovely activity for the kids which doesn’t cost the earth!

Hope you are all having a lovely week!

Advertisements

A (teeny) bit of sun!

So this morning was glorious! Beautiful blue skies and sunshine! I was ecstatic – we have had such a long period of constant rain, dark clouds and general greyness that just the sight of the sunshine made me so happy! Isn’t it amazing that just a bit of sunshine seems to wipe out the months of grey in an instant? Like medicine for the soul!

Currently the kids are on their half term holidays so I suggested a trip to the park, whilst the weather was so lovely and dry. They chose to ride their bikes (no problem – it gets us there so much faster than legs alone!) and off we went. We were merrily going along and not far from the park when it decided to start hailing…… Not just a few little hailstones, but full on hail coming down at the speed of mini jet planes! I just could not believe it…… We raced to the park and sheltered under the climbing frame (managing to squeeze ourselves in like sardines)! Even my daughter couldn’t understand what had happened to the weather – “Mum, I am getting so sick of this weather now. It was nice a minute ago!”

IMG_0586.JPG
The aftermath!

My son found it hilarious though and decided it was his duty to try and squash every piece of hail on the floor – needless to say we were at the park quite a while………..

IMG_0587 (2).JPG

I hope you are all having a fantastic week wherever you are!

Paper craft penguin!

My kids love paper craft at home and as they are getting older they are trying their hands at more intricate and detailed paper craft. (I will post some of these crafts for older children at a future date)!

The other day however I wanted to do some paper craft with my 2 year old nephew. He is becoming super creative recently, so I turned to Pinterest for some inspiration on a more basic paper craft which he could turn his own little hands too. I found a cute penguin craft which I thought he would enjoy and which looked simple for him to do on his own after some initial preparation and adaptation by me.

To make your paper craft penguin you will need – Black paper, white paper, orange paper, scissors and glue. (Card will also work if you are out of coloured paper).

To begin I cut out the paper into the shapes we needed – a white heart to be the tummy, black oval to be the body, two small orange hearts to be the feet, one 3D triangle to be the beak (cut the triangle from a piece of folded paper and cut on the actual folded line), and two small white circles to be the eyes. (I drew some smaller dots on them to make them look more like eyes).

IMG_0323.JPG

Next pop some glue onto your black oval body shape.

 

Stick on your white heart tummy shape, heart feet, beak and eyes!

IMG_0332.JPG

I always let the kids create their art in their own way. I don’t push tiny fingers to places which are ‘deemed’ to be the correct place to stick down a certain part. (It is a huge pet hate of mine, to see children being ‘guided’ so strongly that it is no longer the child’s own individual art, but instead becomes the art of the adult ‘helper’)! I love seeing the art work of young kids when you can see that they have created it their self (even if it is with slightly crazy looking eyes)! I really think it adds to the sweetness and cuteness!

d04024dc297e19da91ab982d3f056235

Pop your penguin to dry and ta – da!

IMG_0357.JPG

We gave my nephews paper craft penguin to his mum who loved it! I think this would look really sweet on a valentines card with the little heart shapes we used! You could adapt this craft for any animal you like. Heart shaped scales on a fish paper craft would look brilliant, or a bunny using heart shapes….the options are pretty endless. No doubt we will be doing more of these paper crafts with our own ideas, as Valentines Day is just around the corner!

 

Chocolate spread muffins

I felt like doing a little baking the other day with my two year old nephew. I wanted something simple in which he could really participate and get involved with! One of my favourite childhood memories is baking with my grandma when I was a little girl! I honestly feel that it is never too early to start baking with your little ones. Plenty of adult supervision and it is huge (messy) fun!

gran bake

He loves chocolate so I thought chocolate spread muffins would be a good option, and a little more interesting than plain chocolate muffins!

Chocolate spread muffins ingredients – 200g self raising flour, 1 egg, 75 ml vegetable oil, 125 ml milk, 100g caster sugar, chocolate spread and 1/2 tsp salt. (Makes approx 10 muffins).

Preheat oven to 180C. Beat the egg in a large bowl and mix in the oil and milk. Then add the sugar. Add the flour and salt and mix until you have a smooth batter.

Next spoon some mixture into each cake case. Fill each case up about halfway.

IMG_0129.JPG

Once you have some mixture in each case add two spoons of chocolate spread into each case, then cover with a spoon of the batter mixture. (Make sure you add plenty of the spread as a lot of it will disappear during baking)!

Bake in the oven for approximately 12 – 15 minutes or until golden.

We thought our chocolate spread muffins were yummy and it is a nice surprise when you bite into the muffin and discover the chocolate taste! My nephew really enjoyed helping to make the muffins and he certainly enjoyed eating them!

Winter tree pictures!

The weather has been pretty horrid here recently. Rain and very strong  winds are all we seem to be having at the moment! I find myself longing for the sunshine again….or snow. Anything apart from this continuous downpour!

One particularly rainy day last week my five year old son and my two year old nephew were getting a little bored so we brought out the craft box and decided to make some Winter tree pictures!

To make your own winter tree pictures you will need – coloured paper/card of your choice (we chose blue as my son wanted it to look like the sky), green paint, white paper, hole puncher, glue, pom poms and crayons.

IMG_0070.JPG

Begin by making a stencil to be your tree shape. I used a triangle shape as it is very simple and looks pretty effective! Next dip the pom pom into the green paint and print the shape onto your coloured paper/card by pushing the pom pom up and down onto the paper. My son and nephew printed two trees onto their paper. If your little one is struggling with holding the pom pom you can pop a clothes peg onto it, which will act as a handle.

IMG_0071.JPG

IMG_0076.JPG

Whilst the paint is drying make your ‘snowflakes’ by punching out white paper circles using a hole puncher.

IMG_0073.JPG

When your paint is dry glue on some of the paper circles to be your falling snowflakes.

Next tear some white paper into strips. This will be the snow on the ground. I like tearing the paper rather than cutting it as it looks a little more realistic with the bumps and curves instead of it being just a straight line!

IMG_0090.JPG

Next draw on tree trunks with a crayon.

IMG_0098.JPG

The boys had great fun making their winter tree pictures and they have certainly brightened up the place. I just wish we had some real snow now!

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)!

cook quote

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!

IMG_3239.JPG

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)!

Infinity Dreams Award!

infinity-dreams

I am incredibly honoured to be nominated by healthyinallhues for this award! Thank you so much! Please go visit her blog as she has some beautiful food ideas, and her blog is just generally gorgeous! She always inspires me to get a little more creative in the kitchen!

The Infinity Dreams Award Rules – 

  1. Thank the blogger who nominated you and link back.
  2. Post the award badge and rules.
  3. Tell 11 facts about yourself.
  4. Answer the question that were set for you to answer.
  5. Nominate 11 other bloggers and set questions for them.

So here we go…..

11 facts about me!

1 – I am a married mum of 2 beautiful children, a boy aged 4 and a girl aged 7. I thank God each day for blessing me with such amazing children! They are my world 🙂

2 – Myself and my husband have just celebrated our 6 year wedding anniversary. We have been a couple for over 15 years though so it feels much longer! We met when I was 18 so we have grown together 🙂

3 – One of our favourite family pastimes is going for walks. Living in Wales, there are so many opportunities to get out and about in the fresh air! We have a beautiful walk just up the road from us which leads us to a beautiful lake, known as Blue Lake, as the water so often look bright blue. Very relaxing place, where we often take a picnic and enjoy some time together!

464907

Our lovely Sam enjoying the view!

sam lake

4 – My sister in law is one of my very best friends. I love her to pieces and I am so lucky to be part of her family. For my birthday she bought me a lovely plaque which says “Sisters in law by chance, friends by choice.” It sums up our relationship perfectly!

5 – I am an Auntie to 3 nieces and 5 nephews, and love them all to bits!

6 – My baby sister has just started looking at and visiting different university’s to decide where she would like to study. This makes me feel two things – 1 = Old! (how is my baby sister nearly ready to fly off to university)?! and 2 = Incredibly sad. I will miss her so much. I literally get a lump in my throat every time I think about it 😦

7 – I love filling charity bags with old clothes and shoes. It makes me feel I am doing something to help, even if it’s only something little!

8 – I hate bad manners. This is my pet hate! Manners do not cost anything. I try to instil good manners and politeness into my children, as I truly believe it helps you get along better in life!

manners

9 – We used to own hens until we had to move home and couldn’t take them with us. (We gave them to our farmer friend to add to his group of egg laying hens ) 🙂 I used to call them ‘my girls’ and loved them to pieces! My favourite was called Pippa and she used to potter over to me each time I was in the garden to keep me company! There were no tastier eggs!

10 – I used to be terrified of snakes. (I couldn’t even walk into a reptile house at the zoo, and had to turn off the TV if a snake flashed up on the screen)! I am still not particularly happy around them, but I have tried over lots of years to make myself more comfortable around them, as I do not want to pass my fear down to my little ones. I had a proud moment last year when me and the hubby took the kids to a small zoo, where one of the keepers got out their largest snake and was offering zoo visitors a chance to hold it. Hubby jumped at the chance and held it, as did my son and daughter! I however, could not bring myself to hold it, but I did stroke it which for me is a huge achievement! I will have to keep working towards a full on hold!

11 – I have just attended a training event for my job which was all about getting children exercising. I spent two and a half hours dancing, pretending to be various animals and being an astronaut! Best training session ever (even if we all looked slightly mad whilst doing it)!

My questions from lpmendoza – 

1 – What would you do if you had a million dollars? 

Firstly, I would make sure each of my family members had their very own home, not rented, and give them some money to make them more comfortable. Then I would buy that dream farm of mine, including my little farm shop and make my dream a reality!

2 – What is your favourite aspect of blogging?

Definitely reading other bloggers thoughts and comments, and reading other bloggers posts. I love getting inspiration from other blogs 🙂 I really feel like I have made friends in the short time I have been blogging and I love it!

3 – What is your favourite blog post that you have written? 

Ooh this is hard! I really enjoyed writing my Liebster award post as it was my very first award nomination! https://paintboxmum.wordpress.com/2015/09/25/my-liebster-award

My favourite post relating to a creative activity is probably my Rainbow Caterpillar post as it is one of my kiddies favourite creative activities and looks super cute! Find it here – https://paintboxmum.wordpress.com/2015/09/05/rainbow-caterpillar

4 – What is one moment in life that has shaped you?

Giving birth to my daughter nearly eight years ago definitely shaped me into becoming a better person. Having children gives you a perspective of the things which are truly important in life and causes you to become less selfish. Your main priority is your children.

5 – What is your favourite season?

My favourite season is Winter! It is an incredibly beautiful season with snow and ice, and I love wrapping up warm and going for winter walks with the family! I love curling up in the evenings in front of the fire with a mug of hot chocolate! It also includes Christmas and I love the magic that Christmas brings for the kids. The range of crafts we do at Christmas is fantastic!

Winter-snow-flakes-winter-22231260-1149-768

6 – Do you prefer books or movies? 

I love books! My nickname in primary school was bookworm as my head was always buried away in a book, or in the library! I get carried away reading 🙂 One of my favourite parts of the day is reading a bedtime story to each of my little ones.

7 – Which would you prefer to live in – Country or City?

Country! I have lived in both and I loved the City when I lived there, but as soon as I experienced life in the Country I knew where my heart belonged! The peace and tranquillity is bliss.

8 – If you could have one super power what would it be?

I would love to have the ability to heal and help people.

9 – What is your favourite food?

Cheese and cabbage. Beautiful foods!

10 – How do you spend your free time?

Crafting and creating is how I spend the majority of my free time. I also love reading, walking, running and visiting new places.

My Nominees – 

 travellingtorecovery

pinkpearbear

sadiesnest

lifebellissima

whatsbeccooking

mycreativeresolution

toddandjenmake10

heenieblogsfood

theproofgate

smilingnotes

raisingagem

 I love reading all the above blogs and they give me lots of inspiration. Please visit them and say hello!

My questions for my nominees if you choose to take part are –

1 – Why did you start blogging?

2 – What is your favourite thing about blogging?

3 – Could you share a blogging tip?

4 – What is your favourite film?

5 – Fruit or vegetables?

6 – Walk or drive?

7 – What is your biggest dream?

8 – Where do you go to have some ‘me time’?

9 – What is your biggest achievement to date?

10 – Where do you like to holiday?

infinity-dreams