Top Tips for Throwing a Kids Party

Tips for throwing a Kids party

My daughter Arabella turned six last week and I threw a rather large party for her this weekend. Having never done a party this big before (30 kids and all the parents and our family) I thought it would be good to run through my tips (well basically the mistakes I either made this time or have made in the past) an why it is key to avoid them.

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Organising your own kids party is stressful (I’m not going to lie about that) BUT if you do it yourself you will end up with much more for your money, and a much more ‘special’ occasion for your little one.

So here are my top tips:

  1. Organise it early

Send those invites out early and make sure you give a way for parents to RSVP. You need to make it clear on the invite that if they don’t RSVP there won’t be a place at the party for their child. This avoids the numbers being completely out on the day. I sent Arabella’s invites out two months before the party, firstly to make sure that the most important friends were able to be there and secondly to kick start me in to starting to organise things avoiding the panic of last minute ordering and hanging out of the front door waiting for the postman on the morning of the party because he’s bringing the party bags!

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  1. Sandwiches

This year is the first year I actually considered using a caterer to provide the sandwiches, but I’m going to let you in on a little secret here. DO NOT GO NEAR CATERERS.  I was quoted £45 + Delivery for 30 sandwiches (and that’s not fancy fillings, that’s ham, cheese and jam) To make 8 loaves worth of sandwiches it took me two hours on the morning of the party, I bought fresh bread from Aldi that morning that cost me 55p per loaf. Turn up the radio, get your little production line going and do it yourself. Caterers will absolutely rip you off for something that is really quite inexpensive and lets face it easy to do.

My other sandwich tip is making sure you always butter both sides of the bread. I have no idea why I don’t do this naturally anyway (perhaps I’m just lazy) but by habit I only butter the side that the filling is going on. When you are making sandwiches that need to not fall apart on a tray it is key to butter that second side. They will stick together nicely and the bread won’t dry out half as quickly.

  1. Entertainment

You may think some cake and party hats would be enough but from experience I can tell you it’s not. Kids need entertaining (always) so make sure you have some entertainment, i have never used ‘paid’ entertainment in the form of a person but there is always some kind of attraction. We have done, various pets, racing pigs (battery operated don’t worry) disco with a mic so we can play various games with them, a bouncy castle twice and various planned party games at festive parties. The one party there was no entertainment and we had riled parents and bored children so that’s not something I would do again!

  1. Don’t open the presents on the day

You can imagine it now, thirty children all running round, screaming, eating sugar and loud music. That is not a place you want presents to be opened, they won’t be appreciated, cards get lost, nothing gets written down and it’s a free for all with all the other children. I was really strict (much to Arabella’s frustration) that we weren’t going to be opening any of the presents at the party and we would open then a few days later (or consecutive days later as there were so many) with a pad ready for the thank you cards in a calm environment where she actually has half a chance to take in what she had received.

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  1. Attach the cards to the presents if they aren’t already

As a parent that attends a lot of parties this is my pet hate, lots of people don’t attach their card to the present which basically means you have a lot of nameless presents and a lot of separate cards. I stood with a roll or cellotape and every time I spotted a present with a precariously balancing card I taped it down. This means that every present has a person attached to it. I would personally hate someone to think I had forgotten the gift!

  1. Provide something for the parents

In all honesty how much fun are kids parties for parents? Exactly. So they need something to get them through. I wouldn’t recommend gin and tonic, unless you have a huge budget, but making enough food for the parents to be able to eat and providing them with caffeine (either in the form of tea or coffee) makes a huge difference to how bearable a loud kids party is. I know if I’m sat down with a cuppa I can dull out the noise and catch up on social media for a couple of hours.

  1. Make more party bags than you need

We had a little hiccup this year. It’s easy to forget that with the invite for a child it does mean their siblings could also end up coming along. I hadn’t allowed for siblings when I made the party bags so we were two short at the end of the day which brought tears and all sorts of upset. Always make about five extra and you won’t be let down, you can always give any leftovers out at school the next week or save them for friends that weren’t able to come. Believe me it’s a much better alternative to feeling like the worst person in the world when they realise you haven’t got them a party bag.

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  1. Check for allergies

Always worth a check, one of Arabellas school friends has a severe egg allergy. Luckily her parents emailed me and let me know the things she did eat. I made sure all the food was labelled so her parents knew what she was safe to eat. I made her a special egg free sponge cake and labelled it for her. They actually ended up taking the rest of the cake home with them which was so nice. Allergies or not no one wants to be left out at a party.

  1. Shop around for party ware

Being a complete Amazon prime addict my searched naturally started there, once I started to shop around online and in shops I started to realise there were cheaper options I ended up looking all over for the best price. I put a lot in my basket on Ebay, working through a list I had made of what I needed. I then went to the Poundshop and looked at what  could get from there saving on the postage then the rest ordered from various shops on Ebay, the only tip I would give for doing it this way is make sure you allow time for things to arrive, the dates they give you for delivery aren’t always what you get!

  1. Take lots of pictures or get someone else to do it

I had my big photography camera at the party for taking pictures of the kids on the princess castle backdrop but when it came to actual pictures of the party, the parents and the set up, I failed miserably. I got caught chatting to a lot of people and topping up various sandwich plates and to be completely honest didn’t have time to even think about picking up my camera. If I could do it again I would definitely ask a friend or family member to take some photos for me as I have barely any memories to save from this party.

So there you have it, my top ten kids party tips. If you have any others please feel free to leave them below.

Thanks as always for reading!

Georgie x

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August Home Favourites

It’s that wonderful time of the month again where I get to window shop virtually on the internet and pull out all the things I like the most. The only negative being my undeniable need to have all these things (i’m normally pretty good at self control). This month I have found some incredible items and a good chunk of them were actually from Asda home range, which with it’s affordable price labels left me feeling pretty chuffed with my finds.

Lets get cracking!

 

ASDA CUSHION

 

MUSTARD POM POM CUSHION

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An item that unfortunately I can only dream about having in my house. With six mischievous chihuahuas these cushions wouldn’t stand a chance of surviving more than ten minutes with the pom poms staying in tact. But isn’t it beautiful, affordable, and most importantly my absolute favourite colour. MUSTARD! Perhaps one for the bedroom as they aren’t allowed upstairs near the white carpet!

 

ASDA CREAM DEAK LAMP

CREAM DESK LAMP

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Isn’t this dreamy. I don’t thin you would necessarily have to even use this on a desk, it would make a really nice lamp on it’s own. I already have a very similar lamp but I was very drawn to this as my lamp is pure white and the copper detail on this one is so nice. This lamp (would you believe it is from Asda) so is predictably really good value for money.

Put it this was if my current lamp breaks for any reason this will 100% be my replacement! (And don’t worry I won’t be accidentally knocking it off the desk or pouring coffee on it)

 

asda eucalyptus

 

FAUX EUCALYPTUS PLANT AND VASE 

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I have tried for many years to be an ‘earthy’ plant keeping person, but I have failed enough times to realise that faux is my way forward unless i’m happy with brown and dying plants. I have various faux plants dotted around my house but you do have to shop around to find realistic ones as there is nothing worse than a really plasticy looking flower. These branches and vase are so affordable and I think they have absolutely nailed the ‘realness’ they look pretty damn real to me!

 

ASD TEA TOWELS

 

CHICKEN TEA TOWELS

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You all know my lifelong obsession with my feathered friends (yes all 28 of them) You are probably judging me right now for owning that many chickens! Anything with a chicken it on I am naturally very drawn to, add some pastel colours and a deep burgundy and i’m sold. This is probably one item on my favourites that I will be heading out to get. And don’t worry they are pretty affordable too!

 

AMARA HUG RUG CHICKEN MAT

 

CHICKEN DOOR MAT

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I can only foresee one issue with this mat. I can’t see me actually wanting to wipe my feet on it because it is too damn cute. I mean look at it! We get through a fair few mats at home, especially outside the back door, little feet, big feet, paws and the occasional claw from a hen will pass this lots of time everyday. I don’t think I could subject this gorgeous mat to that location but I could definitely see myself having this somewhere in the house.

 

TYPHOON CAKE TIN

 

CREAM AND COPPER CAKE TIN

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I have wanted a cake tin for such a long time but I have just never found one I really liked. This I really do, cream, copper and duck egg are my colours in the kitchen so it would go perfectly. There is a part of me that feels that if I’ve gone to the effort of making a cake it needs to be stored somewhere nice, not just in a stained tuppaware or an old Celebrations tin from 10 years ago (you know you’ve all done this)

 

NOTH OUT TO LUNCH SIGN

OUT TO LUNCH SIGN

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I spend a lot of my time at home pottering round the field with a bucket in one hand and a chicken in the other. If someone comes to my door thinking i’m in because my car is there they are sorely disappointed to knock and not be answered to. I cannot hear a thing in the field, everything is muffled by clucking and crowing so I though this would be a good sign to have on my front door so people know when i’m not available (Unless you’re the postman, if you’re the postman I’ve probably sensed your here and will be waiting on the other side of the door for parcels).

 

GOLD GLAZED POT

GOLD GLAZED POT

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Whether I sound like a complete lunatic i’m not sure but I felt very drawn to this pot (much like a magpie to shiny objects). I absolutely love copper, brass and gold and this combination which is also distressed really appealed. As mentioned previously I have a variety of faux plants in the house and felt that this would be a really nice change from one of the very plain pots. they tend to come in, or to be honest anything else, make up brushes, cotton buds or jewellery.

 

MIN DECORATIVE PEOPLE

 

MINI DECORATIVE PEOPLE

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I fully take any accusations of being slightly mad for adding this one but I completely fell in love with them when I saw them. These are the cutest little people I have ever seen. I’m not sure why but I have always been drawn to very little ‘cute’ things and these are no exception. They have absolutely no purpose, are far too expensive for what they are but still I think they are totally adorable!

We’ve gone from a practical to a very random note to finish on, which sums me up as a person. Hope you enjoyed my August Home Favourites and I will be back in September with some more!

Thanks for Reading, Georgie xx

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The Country Life

Though I spend a huge chunk of my week in front of a computer linked to corporate entities and dealing with high flying clients, at heart I am a complete and utter country bumpkin.

We live in a breezy, character filled old cottage outside of Bristol in the UK and have enough animals to almost qualify as a farm (I’m not sure what the actual definition of a farm is but it can’t be far off our set up).

Muddy Boots family photography

What I love the most is the divide, and it’s quite possibly the only way I cope with such a busy life. During the day i’m dressed on trend (well ish, I like to create my own trends) clean shoes, made up face and technology at my fingertips (Two phones, laptop, Ipad, Desktop, Alexa in every room of the house) then by night i’m hand rearing weak chicks,  cleaning out chicken coops, collecting eggs, training the dogs, riding the horse or generally covered in mud somewhere doing something outdoorsy.

Muddy Boots family photography

I was lucky enough to grow up in various beautiful old houses, always rural and always waking to the sounds of cows mooing, horses whinnying or sheep bleating so living in a city is not something I think I could ever cope with. Don’t get me wrong i’m in no way remote to local towns but just having that little bit of space and daily interaction with a variety of animals is almost a coping mechanism.

I rode throughout my whole childhood, spending most weekends at shows, peeing in a buckets and always with the faint aroma of ‘horse’ lingering round me. naturally as I matured this lessened and I learnt about deodorant and started to venture in to the world of fashion (as a youngster on ‘dress down days’ at school I would literally turn up on my jodhpurs) that’s how bad I was.

So the natural progression saw me start to find other things in life that drew me away from the stables, work, socialising, boys (I was never that keen on them) but there were always animals involved. When I became a single mum in 2012 all of a sudden I didn’t have anyone to answer to or opinions to consider and ‘Life in the Cottage’ began. We currently have the following pets:

  • 6 Purebred Chihuahuas
  • Archibald the rescued cat
  • Fox the Gelding
  • Daisy the miniature Shetland
  • Pete the 100 year old tortoise (that we sort of inherited)
  • Olive the Syrian Hamster
  • 28 Chickens (12 newly hatched chicks)
  • And for the next three weeks until they go back we have Haggis the school bunny in the field too.

Muddy Boots family photography

as you can see it’s a full house (though there’s always room or an animal in need) Admittedly it’s very stressful at times, especially when there is illness or the Fox decides he wants one of my hens but i wouldn’t change it for the world. Every morning before work I potter out to the field in my dressing gown feed and water the chickens and just take a big deep breath of the countryside and it honestly sets me for the day (some of which can be incredibly stressful) At the other end of the day it’s the horses and again there’s peace and space. I struggle with Anxiety for various reasons but if I feel an attack coming you will find me sat in the field watching Chihuahuas trot about and chickens clucking away while they peck on their corn.

If any of you want to see our lives first hand and very raw, we share a weekly video on YouTube that covers the good, the bad and the ugly:

Thanks for always for coming to my little ivy filled corner of the internet

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A Month of Amazon

Ok so i’m going to be completely honest here. About six months ago I somehow landed myself a months free subscription to Amazon prime. This was the bet and worst month of my life (dramatic I know) Having always been a keen ‘Ebayer’ I was a dab at online shopping, don’t get me wrong I haven’t got the patience to bid for things but the whole click buy wait, receive.

Well with Amazon Prime the gap between the click buy and receive is between 6 and 24 hours, which for someone with the patience of a newborn demanding a feed is a godsend. I have had one instance in goodness knows how many when it didn’t come in that time slot, so I rang them on their easy customer service number (no actually you request a call and they call you instantly) and I was given a refund another months free membership. Not too shabby.

I have had a fair few bad experiences ordering from Ebay with the predicted delivery and then 9 days later you realise they’ve lie, are blatantly based in china and it’s not going to be coming anytime soon. As a consumer this REALLY annoys me.

So enough rattling about how great it is, I thought it would be fun to go through what I bought in July (with explanation as somethings will leave you wondering) so here we go!

mason jar

Smith’s Mason Jars Rust Proof Lotion & Soap Dispenser 

£9.99

A pretty straight forward purchase. Arabella slammed her hand as hard as she could on the soap in a strop knocking it to the floor and shattering it in to a million pieces (we had the same one before!

 

 

 

folder

UBaymax A4 Document File Folder, 12 Pockets Folder A4 

£12.99

A dull work item, basically being based away from home 99% of the week means I need everything with me. So this means i can do that and it’s all separated. Really useful if you have a lot of life stuff to keep on top of!

 

 

 

camera

Underwater Camera for Snorkelling 24.0 MP Waterproof Digital Camera 

£78.99

At the start of July i dropped my vlogging camera and in a blind panic had to order something to replace it while the company repairing it worked out if they could fix it. Not the best camera in the world but now it’s been used and my Sony is back working it’s keeping Arabella happy as she can now do ‘her own’ videos!

 

 

table legs

OAKOME 4 X Hairpin Table Leg Double Steel Construction Welding Superior Legs (16.14 Inches, Black)

£23.99

You may well remember seeing a cable reel table I upcycled on Instagram/Facebook, well this is the legs I used (naturally I sprayed them copper) but here is the listing. Great value and they come in a variety of colours, just not copper.

 

 

downloadPHARMAQ Ivermectin Drops 1% 5ml – Mite Treatment

£18.99

Very dull but very necessary. we had an outbreak of redmite among the flock and having los

t a handful because of it this treatment was my last hope (and it did help) not sure it was worth the £18.99 i paid for it (5ml is a very very small bottle). But needless to say i had to try!

 

 

travel mug

Thermos ThermoCafé 2010 Travel Mug, 400 ml

£5.97

Cheap and very un-exiting but I needed a way to try and stop getting Starbucks drive through on the way to the office. I won’t lie i’m still going but less. With a Tassimo at home there shouldn’t be any excuse. But the mug (which I thought was great value) is getting used.

 

creosote

Bartoline Creocote Light Brown 4 Litre

£9.98

Bear with me this was a very ‘chicken’ orientationed month with the red mite. This creosote (which i’m sure is illegal) was to spray the coops with as it deters the mites, well ish.

 

 

 

pressure sprayer

5L Pump Action Pressure Sprayer – use with water, fertilizer or pesticides

£10.52

And this is what i used to spray the creosote. This is clearly a bad month to share what I bought because it’s all really dull.

 

 

notepad

Silvine Executive Soft Feel Notebook Ruled with Marker Ribbon 160pp 90gsm A4 Tan 

£6.00

ANothr work number, i get through about one of these A4 notepads per month so this will come up (in tan ofcourse) every month. Worst part about this is i keep all the finished ones too. Talk about being a hoarder.

 

 

Well though a totally random haul I guess it does show you what variety of things you can actually buy on Amazon. Let me know if you want me to keep this up for August too. I promise it will be less Chicken stuff!

Thanks for Reading

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Mother’s Day Gift Guide

It’s almost that time of year again where we get to celebrate our mothers (I still personally think this should be monthly, but hey i’m a mum so i’m biased).

Every year I try and do something different, more meaningful, more sentimental, but after the 20 odd years I have been doing it for that’s getting quite hard. I decided in a very organised manner to start early this year (I have been known to regularly be one of those lastminute.com people). I have had a good old browse and come up with some of the things I think would be lovely to receive as a mum or give to my own (but realistically Arabella is 5, So I won’t be getting anything!!)

Here is my Mother’s Day gift guide

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Personalised cushion

How gorgeous is this, especially if you have siblings, you could all chip in and get this together. I like the idea of something you can keep to be reminded.

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Mother mug

Probably the truest quote going, everyone loves a mug and drinks either tea or coffee.

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Hand painted artwork

This gift idea I absolutely love. You have to send the artist some pictures of you and your mum and she will create a portrait of you with whatever quote you like. How personal!

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Mother cushion

As you can tell I am a little bit obsessed with the personalized cushion idea, another great one to pop on an armchair or decorate a bed.

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‘With my Mummy’ Book

This is actually a book we have and it is so nice to read with Arabella (sometimes she needs reminding of how special us mums are) Perfect for mums with youngsters.

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Mummy Desk Tidy

Something for a working (or very organsied mum) I love the idea of this on my desk, lets face it being a mum is something to shout from the rooftops about.

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Emma Bridgewater ‘Mummy Mug’

I own a lot of Emma Bridgewater but not one of these, though it is something I’ve always wanted (might have to wait a few years, not sure they let 5 year olds do online shopping)

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Personalised ‘Yummy Mummy’ hanger

I might actually go ahead and order myself one of these, I (mostly) hang tomorrows outfit out before I go to bed so this could be for that. What a cute idea!

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Mummy Mug

Any mum with small children will laugh at this, because it’s true. I microwave every single cup of tea I make at home because I get called away for one reason or another and it goes cold #everytime.

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There it is, a few things that caught my eye on the lead up to the Big Day. another factor to consider is the card (speaking from experience a homemade one is best) and the more hearts the better.

I hope all you mums get spoiled rotten on Mothers Day, and for those of you with children under 7, I feel your pain getting zero appreciation 365 days a year!

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How to Embrace the Hate

Ok so this is not a post I really wanted to ever have to write but inevitably here we are.

The internet is a very big and un-policed place, a platform for people to share nice things and horrible things wherever they want and however they want and whenever they want. It’s pretty scary when you realise this.

I shared a video about single parenting (this was requested) with one of the big family companies in the UK. Having just sent them the raw footage weeks ago last night I made the terrible mistake of looking for it on social media after a friend had seen it. With their 304k following on social media the video has been viewed more than 100,000 times and apparently most of those people have an opinion about my views on being a single parent (and not a nice one).

So I read some (not all) of the comments last night and led in bed in a state of complete shock and upset, all the usual questions running through my mind ‘who do I try and help’ ‘why do i put myself in the firing line for this’ ‘why can’t I just be understood’ anyway after a phone call with my sister (at midnight) that brought me back to reality it made me realise that actually there are just some people that are really negative and miserable.

Every single one of us will have something going on in our lives that is worthy of being miserable about, whether it’s money, relationships, work or family there will be something for everyone. The big factor is how you react to this:

  1. You can be angry and bitter
  2. You can be sad and miserable
  3. You can be jealous and resentful
  4. Or…you can just accept it, make a plan to change it and try to focus on the positives (there are always some)

Sadly it seems that the great majority of people in the world opt for 1,2 and 3. This is a sad but a fact of life. How we react to a given situation can be down to how we were raised, how we’ve been taught to cope with things, the people around us influencing us and our own personality and outlook on life.

I am forever a ‘glass half full’ kind of person (not always the best mentality especially when running a business) but still I wouldn’t change it. having been through a fair few awful things in life I have learnt to take the positive out of every situation and focus on that. It’s just who I am and what I’ve learnt to do!

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What I have tried to focus on after reading all of these negative and nasty comments is that there is a reason that people react the way they do, and that not everyone is a ‘glass half full’ person like me. Being positive and upbeat is hard, being miserable and living in a pity party is easy, blaming someone else is easy and making yourself feeling better by attacking other people is self gratifying if you are that kind of person.

To just talk about the post itself: I highlighted how long I had been a single parent for (5 years) explained that I had been very embarrassed at the start not wearing my ring and being labeled as ‘divorced’. I focused on the positives that I had time to focus on things I wanted for myself while Arabella was with her dad. I then talked about why I thought it was something to be really proud of if you were managing as a single parent and that even though it’s hard there are positives to focus on.

However positive you are people will try and bring you down, knock you off your cloud of happiness so you can fall back in to the pity pit with them but like I mentioned earlier in any given situation it’s how you react to it. I have decided to take a step back (not to ever look again) and accept that some people are just not capable of seeing the positives, this doesn’t mean they are bad people they are just mis-educated people that either don’t want to see the positive, don’t want to accept where they are in life or just find it easier attacking other people and taking no responsibility for anything that has happened to them. With this in mind I feel sad for them, living an angry life is not enjoyable and will also influence the things that continue to happen.

To End…. Be kind, be positive and always remember that everyone has a reason to behave the way they do (whether it be good or bad) so just smile and scroll on.

Enjoy and thanks for reading.

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Just a little trip to London

As much as I use my blog to share my views and all array of recipes and crafting ideas, I also use it as a place to save memories. If we do anything meaningful or exciting it normally makes it’s way in to a blog post and this does fit in with the whole ‘mummy’ and ‘lifestyle’ blogger theme.

So yesterday Arabella and I made the 280 mile round trip up to London to visit one of my oldest and dearest friends @justalittlebuild or SJ as I know her.

We spoke on the phone a few weeks ago and given our diary’s and the diary’s of our four children the 21st December was the only date we could do. We decided that our ‘fun Christmas Holiday activity’ would be to make a completely homemade ‘from scratch’ gingerbread house with the kids, and then just generally have a really good catch up. In the last year following the massive build on her house SJ has become quite the instagrammer and blogger so it was a great opportunity for us to come together share tips, advice and generally have a good catch up.

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So we set off at 8.15am (after waiting for the sun to rise enough to get the chickens out) and headed straight for starbucks. Purchased a latte, portion of fruit toast and a croissant (which never even got eaten) and joined the M5. Within 20 minutes the entire contents of the honey had been poured all over the passenger seat of my car which was interesting to clean up, but with a handy pack of wet wipes the situation was resolved (I honestly think all people should carry wet wipes not just mums with babies, they literally clean ANYTHING, not just bottoms)

After at least 45 repeats of ‘are we nearly there yet’ we were there, and we got cracking. Both very much doers in life there was no tea drinking until the recipe was started and the kids hands were suitably covered in dough.

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for anyone interested below is the recipe we used:

https://www.bbc.co.uk/food/recipes/mary_berrys_gingerbread_91126

In hindsight though we managed to pull this off it was hit or miss at a few stages. We should have left the gingerbread in for longer, it was just too soft and as soon as we added the smarties on the roof it started to bow under the pressure. We got round this by filling the whole house with giant marshmallows (which luckily no one would ever know as it’s windowless). The Mummies completely took over and the kids seemed happy enough just decorating the shapes we made with the left over dough so we basically did the whole gingerbread house without any help from the kids (which I think secretly we were both pretty happy about) the likelihood of the children creating something instagram worth is small.

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The one thing I want to mention as someone who does a lot of baking is the genius idea from that recipe of using egg whites with icing rather than water. It made the consistency so much stickier to hold everything together, in all my years of baking I have never heard of this but will be something I definitely continue to do. Pure genius!

The rest of the day was just catching up, everyone having their photo taken in the F&M basket, sharing ideas about each of our channels and drinking tea. Arabella managed to completely cover one of her bunchies in icing so she had to have a bath before we left (SJ’s bath is deep and huge) so this was very exciting and of course warranted a photo. We tided up the remains of the icing, chocolates and gingerbread dough and SJ fed the kids and then we just had time for one last little cuppa before we left and hit the motorway for the trek home.

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The drive home was the fun bit! Arabella if you watch any of my channels you will know is rather a dramatic character. Within 10 minutes of leaving she had convinced herself she was sick/ill/poorly. We ended up pulling over so I could try talk some sense in to her as it was clearly just being tired (given that five minutes previous she had said how hungry she was) I managed to resolve the situation (i’m not entirely sure how) and we got on our way. I used Christmas songs as a distraction which worked for about an hour (with one still to go) then she went in to complete meltdown about a rub she had on her foot adamant she needed to go to the doctors as soon as we got home (oh the joys of kids). We got home I transferred her from the car to bed and sat down with a cup of tea to start writing this. what a perfect day with perfect company.

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Enjoy and thanks for reading.

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Lazy Cakes

Ok so i’m that mum that never has anything for desert bar fruit (boring I know) I am reluctant to buy yogurts because they sit there no one eats them and they go bad, everything else potted comes with a 2 year sell by date and you’ve got to wonder what’s in them.

I am also not the kind of mum that has time to prance around a field in a long floaty gingham skirt and hand pick apples then spend a further three hours hand crafting an apple pie for dessert (I mean who actually has time to do this?)

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So (before I talk my way off the point completely) I was in my mums kitchen last night and spotted a magazine page that had been saved with this recipe on it, naturally I stole it (with every intention of replacing it, though i’m sure it’s been there for 3 years) and gave it a go, something I could cook (ish) for dessert without having to preplan or buy anything specific.

Flour, butter, sugar and eggs are pretty much standard cupboard items for me so it’s not likely I won’t be able to find them all with ease. This was the easiest recipe to make and so tasty (I actually made it this morning and had it for breakfast (probably shouldn’t have admitted that.) So lets get baking.

What you need:

  • 60g caster Sugar
  • 60g Self Raising Flour
  • 60g Butter
  • 1 medium egg
  • 10ml milk (basically a splash)
  • 1 tsp vanilla essence (not necessary if you don’t have a sweet tooth)

 

Put all the ingredients in to a bowl and mix for a couple of minutes or until smooth.

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This is what you want it to look like, and don’t worry because there should’t be too much.

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Split the mixture in to two microwave safe mugs.

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Put the mugs in to the microwave one at a time for 2 minutes each.

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Let them cool and then decorate them with whatever you like, we went for whipped cream and sprinkles but you could do melted chocolate, nuts basically whatever you like with cake.

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Enjoy and thanks for reading.

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Shein Wishlist

Ok it’s safe to say that over the last three months i have become totally obsessesed with Shein. A friend told me about them and when i got the app i was dubious, i really had no need to be. All the clothes do come from China but the wait is at most 10 days and in the three orders i have done it has been between 5-8 so i can vouch for he delivery being ok.

The next issue when you are buying clothes from China is the quality, we’ve all made a cheeky ebay purchase and waited 6 weeks to open an item that looks nothing like it does in the picture, Shein have solved this risk because on every item there is a review section with peoples pictures of what they received and how the sizing was, this gives you complete confidence in what you are ordering. Once you have the app you receive notifications every time there is a sale, free postage or anything else going on so i personally always wait for free delivery and then bam that full basket is checked out.

Here is currently what;s in my basket (and unless there are no huge opinions against anything will probably be checking out in the next few days!

Here is the current top 10 (and yes this look alot of procrastination and whittling down as i would have easily had this list at 30.

white drop shoulder swester

 

White V Neck Drop Shoulder Sweater

£14.80

 

Plain White Casual Acrylic Pullovers Oversized V Neck Long Sleeve Fall Winter Fabric has some stretch Sweaters.

http://rstyle.me/~adD0W

I am well and truly in winter mode at the moment and at the sight of any lovely fluffy chunky knit jumpers I will be guaranteed to go weak at the knees. White is a colour I love to wear but do have to be careful as with a flock of Chickens and three dogs I am constantly being jumped on. I have visions of this with some dark wash skinny jeans and a big chunky scarf for a more casual day, or on the flipside with a midi skirt tucked in an some biker boots. The options are endless with a simple tip like this.

boat line neck

 

Boat Neckline Polka Dot Top

£6.66

 

White Black and White Casual Boat Neck Three Quarter Length Polyester Polka Dot Regular Fit Fabric has no stretch Spring Fall Top Blouses.

http://rstyle.me/~adD0Z

Naturally I am drawn to polkadots, much the same as with pom poms (I honestly think it’s a diagnoseable problem) Black jeans, black pointed boots and a black blazer would be my outfit of choice for this all day long. And it would also double up as a smarter work top on the day i have to adult.

burgundy dress

 

Tiered Frill Sleeve Long Hijab Dress

£14.80

Burgundy Polyester Dresses Aribian Clothing.

http://rstyle.me/~adD11

I have steered clear of midi and maxi dresses my whole life on the basis that at 5’3 i m a bloody midget and i don’t need any help looking short. This year i have binned that insecurity and with the inspiration of pintrest have fully embraced the long dress, biker boot look and really love it. It’s warmer it means i don’t have to shave any part of my body in preparation for leaving the house and in all honesty is much more comfortable than skinny jeans.

pearl beading ruffle top

 

Pearl Beading Tiered Ruffle Sleeve Jumper

 

£16.28

Plain White Elegant Acrylic Pullovers Regular Fit Round Neck Long Sleeve Beaded Pearl Spring Fall Fabric has some stretch Layered Sleeve Flounce Sleeve Sweaters.

http://rstyle.me/~adD13

Another one of my huge fashion go to’s is Pearls. Classic, classy and lets face it really pretty. Another risky white jumper but justifiable because it’s so damn pretty. One to dress up or dress down but beautiful none the less.

stripe top

 

Striped Waist Tie Dip Hem Top

 

£8.88

Black and White Casual Cute Round Neck Sleeveless Polyester Striped Peplum Ruffle YES Fabric has no stretch Summer Blouses.

http://rstyle.me/~adD14

Totally out of season for this one but that’s not going to stop me, add a cardigan and the problem of cold arms is solved. Stripes are flattering, frills are flattering and blue and white is such a nice colour combination. Add some dark wash jeans, a tan boot and  navy cardigan and some pearls and you’ve got yourself a rather beautiful look.

embroided jumper

 

Embroidered Flower Patch Jumper

 

£16.28

Floral Green Casual Acrylic Pullovers Oversized Round Neck Long Sleeve Applique Embroidery Spring Fall Winter Fabric has some stretch Sweaters.

http://rstyle.me/~adD16

Dreamy or what! I won’t lie this is not my normal colour choice but with the floral detail I was really drawn to this jumper. Again I would put this as a skinny jean combo casual jumper but still with that floral detail it would make it a pretty one at least.

full length skirt

 

Crinkle Elastic Waist Full Length Skirt

 

£10.36

Grey Polyester Long/Full Length Shift Casual Plain Fabric has some stretch Spring Summer Fall YES Mid Waist Skirts.

http://rstyle.me/~adD19

Back on to the obsession with midi skirts. Grey sits nicely with black which is my preferred colour at the moment, no one has died i think in winter it is just the safest colour. I love midi skirts with oversized jumpers and this skirt looks so damn comfortable, it’s stretch allowing for a big lunch and comfort and with the pleats at the top it is really pretty.

floral sports set

 

Floral Print Sports & Leggings Set

 

£11.84

Pants Multi Polyester Floral Scoop Neck Sleeveless Sports Fabric has some stretch Spring Summer Two-piece Outfits.

http://rstyle.me/~adD1f

I have every intention of getting my workouts back up and running in January so this is clearly a must. I know it’s highly ridiclious to worry about what you are wearing when you workout but i honestly do. It makes me feel better, more motivated and much more likely to take a progress pic if i’m covered head to toe in floral lycra (and £11.84 for a two piece set is an absolute steal).

polk dot dress

 

Bell Sleeve Open Back Scalloped Polka Dot Dress

 

£14.80

Black and White Elegant Polyester Round Neck Three Quarter Length Sleeve Fit and Flare Short Knot Cut Out Zip Button Scallop Belted Polka Dot YES Fabric has no stretch Spring Fall A Line Dresses.

http://rstyle.me/~adD1j

This dress I LOVE, and because it has the black detail i’m pretty confident a pair of black tights on my hairy legs would be absolutely fine. It would be  no bra dress of course but that doesn’t worry me with my noobs (no-boobs) and would make a lovely outfit to a party of some description or a night out.

drop shoulder mustard

 

Lantern Sleeve Drop Shoulder Sweatshirt

 

£9.62

Pullovers Long Sleeve High Neck Yellow Plain Polyester Fabric has some stretch Spring Fall Casual Slim Fit Sweatshirts.

http://rstyle.me/~adD1m

If you follow me on Instagram @lifeinthecottage you will have seen this colour feature quite a lot. In Autumn I started becoming very drawn to this colour and that has continued in to winter with now sign of lessening. It is gorgeus with both black and navy (which isn’t easy to do) and with a dark bob is a nice colour to contrast. The high neck (not rolled neck as i have now learnt) it keeps you warm but doesn’t make like you have no neck at all (some of us need all the help we can get to look elegant.

So there is is my current top 10 Shein favorites, now i’ve written this I feel like it’s ok to hit checkout. (I will never learn)

Thanks for reading and speak up if you have used Shein before.

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