Sunday, 30 December 2012

Sunday, 23 December 2012

Silent Sunday : 23rd December

St Pancras Christmas Tree

For +SilentSunday

Sunday, 16 December 2012

How To Make A Hama Beads Pac Man Ghost

There's nothing quite like relaxing around the table with your girls and a tub of Hama Beads for company and last night I excelled myself (honestly I did) when I made a set of Hama Beads Pac Man Ghosts.
On reflection, 16-bit animation characters are just perfect for Hama Beads creations and I'll quite probably have worked my way through most of my favourite old school classics before the holiday is over. So be prepared.

Want to make your own Pac Man Hama Beads Ghosts? Here's How!

Hama Beads Pac Man Ghost pattern

1. Start with a standard square peg board and create the outline of your ghost.


Hama Beads Pac Man Ghost Pattern Outline

2. Add in the eyes.

Hama Beads Pac Man Ghost Pattern 2

3. Fill in the background.

Hama Beads Pac Man Ghost pink

4. Iron and leave to cool.


Pac Man Hama Beads Ghosts

That's it. Simple! Once I'd worked the pattern out I made three ghosts in around 15 minutes (and with the help on the kitten who really wanted to join in).

We buy our Hama Beads from CrafyMerrily.co.uk. They always have a great selection of kits and tutorials available.

If you enjoyed this post you might like, How to Make a Hama Beads Bowl and Hama Beads Jewellery Kit reviewed.

Silent Sunday : 16th December

Cornish Rex Kitten Sleeping

For Silent Sunday.

Wednesday, 5 December 2012

TK Maxx Christmas Gift Challenge

I'm way behind with Christmas planning this year. So far behind that this time last week I hadn't even thought about it. So when TK Maxx asked if I'd like to take part in their Christmas Gifting Challenge I jumped at the chance.
It was just what I needed to get motivated and as I love TK Maxx, I'd have been crazy to turn it down.

Our challenge was to shop for the perfect Christmas Gifts for six of our nearest and dearest whilst sticking to our set budget of £200. Simple.

With the whole afternoon set aside for some serious retail therapy, Biba and I hit our local store.

Christmas Decorations

First up, if you're into all things sparkly, the TK Maxx Christmas Pop Up Dept is your one stop shop for decorations, home styling and chocolate. Lots and lots of chocolate and at a fraction of regular high street prices too!

Nutcrackers

So to the challenge...
Both of my girls love Nutcrackers. They've inherited my collecting gene and they've built up quite an army over the last few years. We couldn't resist one for Betty!

Gifts from TK Maxx

Biba has recently turned all bake-a-cake. She insists it's because she's deprived in the home baking department but as I don't like cake and I absolutely never make it. 
I sent her off to the shoe department before sneaking this cool giant cupcake set into the bag along with a couple of the maxi sized salon haircare products that she's had her eye on for weeks.

The Cats Pyjamas

The books and notebooks isle is our pre-arranged meeting point in every TK Maxx store that we visit.  It's how we roll...
There's something here for everyone and try as we did, we couldn't resist the cute cat book. Not sure who the lucky recipient will be yet though!
1,000 Collectibles for Ethan and a box set of amazing postcards featuring classic Ladybird front covers for me (from Biba). I have a collection of over 2000 Ladybird books so this really is a perfect gift for me.

Classic Ladybird Covers

Over in the children's book section there are some amazing savings to be had on bumper box sets. 10 Beastly Books for Sonny and some classic tales for the girls.

Beastly Books

Then we went a bit crazy over the socks and toiletries...
Socks for Sonny, Ethan, Yan, Betty, Biba and me! Tights for the girls, a pack of obligatory pants for each of the boys and a Men's Wrinkle-Fighting Tool Kit for Yan (lets hope he thanks me).

Back to the notebooks....
For Ethan's girlfriend Kellie, a selection of notebooks. She likes notebooks and especially likes making lists. She now won't have to worry about paper for the next 12 months at least.
We threw in a cute little notebook for Amber next door and a really cool Instagram Photo Journal for my buddie Claire. 

Technically this means we are now buying for nine people but we were on a roll!

socks and notebooks at TK Maxx

Back to the toy department to pick up one of these Play Sets for Betty before heading to the checkout.

Littlest Pet shop Blythe

This is what we bought...

Nutcracker £9.99 
Cupcake Set £11.99 
Designer Haircare £9 
Snowman Biscuits £3.49
Cute Cat Book £4.99
Collectibles Book £12.99 
Ladybird Postcards £9.99
Book Box Set £12.99 
Beastly Box Set £14.99
X 4 Small Notebooks £1.99 each
Photo Journal £6
Wrinkle Kit £12  
X 3 Men's Socks RRP £3.99  
X 3 Men's Pants £14.99  
Leg Warmers £3.99  
Leggings £3.99
X 4 Women's Socks £3.99
Tights £2.40 
Tights £3
Play Set £12.99

You should have seen our little faces at the checkout as our spend was clocking up. We had no idea if we'd managed to stay within budget. It was tense... but our TOTAL SPEND came to £199.66!

We couldn't believe it and may have whooped just a bit too loud, but way to go. We'd bought perfect Christmas gifts for nine people and still had enough money left over for some sweets!

We Rock - TK Maxx Rocks.


Disclaimer : If you happen to be one of my nearest and dearest I just ruined your Christmas surprise. Sorry.

TK Maxx supplied us with a £200 gift card in order to complete the challenge. All product choices  were our own. Total RRP of the items we bought £588.39. TK Maxx price £199.66

Tuesday, 4 December 2012

The Gallery : Colour

Never in my life have I seen a kitty with a nose as cute and pink!

Cute pink kitten nose

For The Gallery.

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Saturday, 17 November 2012

Old School Filofax Love

I might be a tech addict but no matter how many gadgets I have to ensure I get through each day in one piece the lure of the paper is just to much for me.
You see, I love notebooks and I love diaries. I start each year with such great intentions but never quite manage to keep up with my alter-ego organised self. I'm ultimately just a bit rubbish when it comes to things like that.

So my new squeeze is a Filofax Swift Personal Organiser. It's compact, it fits into my obligatory Cybher™ issue satchel and it's blank pages fill me with excitement and promise of everything I need to know being in one place.

Filofax Swift Personal Organiser

Whilst I love a Filofax, I'm not overly keen on their diary inserts. The five languages on each page make it too busy for me. I either need it to be clean and zen or funky and cool but as neither of those boxes were ticked I opted for a Dodo Pad Personal Size, Filofax compatible diary refiill instead.

Filofax compatible Dodo Pad diary

Much more me, with plenty of room for all of the things I need to remember, not just in my schedule but for the rest of the family too.
I added some extra note paper, a selection of Filofax Assorted Sticky Notes and took out the address pages and A-Z dividers. 
I'm not really sure why they still include them... It seems a bit needless when you have your contacts stored on your phone, but maybe that's just me?
If you have any creative ideas of how I could use them, I'm all ears.

So watch this space. Let's see if i make it to Christmas is a superly, organised way.


Disclosure : Filofax sent me the Swift Personal Organiser to review. The additional items were purchased by little old me.

Friday, 16 November 2012

Our Disneyland Adventure

It's been a bit of a week to say the least. A press junket trip to Disneyland Paris, an out of date passport, a film premiere, a 40th birthday and all in the space of three days. That's hardcore even by my standards.

So Disneyland… my very first visit, our very first visit. I traveled with my girls, Biba and Betty and my good friend Rosie and her daughter LJ. We were there as guests of Disney for the premiere of their new movie Wreck-It Ralph and to spend the weekend enjoying ourselves in the park.

We travelled by train, direct to Disneyland which was as stress free as travelling with three tween girls  can be. We dropped our bags at the vast Disneyland Hotel and hit the ground running by heading straight to the park.

To say that the girls were excited would be an understatement but then to be fair, Rosie and I were pretty excited too. The Disney magic was in the air, bizarre as it sounds, you could actually feel it.

Celebrating 20 years of disneyland Paris

Due to the out of date passport induced trauma I'd suffered the day before, it soon became apparent that  I hadn't researched the park in any way, shape or form, so with map in hand we strolled down main street before being totally wowed by the iconic Disney Castle.

Disneyland Castle Paris

The sheer scale of it is difficult to take in but it's truly amazing and magical. After just half an hour in the park I'd morphed into a Disney Princess and I just couldn't get enough of the vibe.

We were on a pretty tight schedule as the Wreck-It Ralf screening was that evening but we managed to squeeze in a couple of light rides.

Tea cups at Disneyland Paris
A storm in a teacup! Rosie hates having her photo taken!!
A quick change back at the hotel and we were off to see the movie. Wreck-It Ralf doesn't come to UK screens until February 15th next year but it's set to become a absolute classic. 
Set in the 'off duty' world of arcade game characters it cleverly mixes different animation genre's resulting in a film for the whole family to enjoy.
I loved it, we all loved it and after having the opportunity to grill the producer about the whole creative process I cannot wait to see it again with my new found behind the scenes knowledge.
A full review is coming soon but take a look at the trailer...


On Saturday we went over to Walt Disney Studios and enjoyed a few more tame rides, (Betty's not a thrill seeker so everything we went on had to be pre-approved by her).

Walt DisneyStudios

Fast Track tickets are an absolute must if you want to skip the queue's and we totally took advantage of ours. They reduced our waiting times down from over an hour to around 25 mins and just 10 mins on a couple of rides.

Disneyland Paris

Nightfall brought a fabulous dinner with friends and a fireworks display at the castle. It was magical. We all donned our illuminated Mickey ears as we watched the sky come alive.

Disneyland Castle by night

Back at the hotel we managed to squeeze in a quick Google + birthday hangout with some of our blogger friends back home before I totally flaked out. The excitement of turning 40 was just too much for me!!

The Disney experience was truly magical. I was enchanted from the moment I stood in front of the park gates. I'm not sure how they do it but I'm now totally sold on the need to visit Disneyland at least once in your lifetime.

Finally.... 
Can I please apologise to the non bloggers in carriage 4 of the 3.40pm Eurostar back to London? Rosie Scribble, Super Amazing Mum, Slummy Single Mummy and our seven rather boisterous, sugar fuelled children were rather loud... especially when they started singing happy birthday to me... everytime we hit a tunnel. There are quite a few tunnels...

Biba's written about her Disneyland Adventure too...

We spent two nights at the Disneyland Hotel with three days access to the park. Our accommodation, travel and expenses were kindly covered by Disney.

For information about Disneyland Paris please visit their official website. You can also follow the fun on the Disneyland Paris or Disney Mums Facebook pages.

Wednesday, 14 November 2012

The Gallery : The 80's

It would seem rude not to join in this weeks 80's theme over on The Gallery..

A fresh faced, fifteen year old me in 1987.


I have to say I was quite cool back then (even if i say so myself). I was crazy into The Smiths and had a wardrobe full of vintage 1950's dresses that I wore with chunky knit cardigans and a pair of waxed brown Dr Martens shoes. It was a good look!

Do check out the other perms going down in this weeks retro theme!

Wednesday, 7 November 2012

Autumn

For this weeks The Gallery I've gone back to 2005 when my girls were 2 and 3....
I give you Autumn, my favourite season.

Autumn girl

Biba Autumn


Sunday, 4 November 2012

Silent Sunday : Cover Girl

I've been tidying my office today and I came across this...

Betty Cover Girl

My baby girl aged 11 months on the cover of Flying Start Magazine. Love it.

Thursday, 1 November 2012

Visiting the home of Stokke

I really wanted to join in this weeks Gallery but the theme wasn't working for me. We have never been into Halloween and as I was on a plane home from Norway when the kids turned into their alter ego's last night, I totally missed my opportunity, so instead I bring you the stunning town of Alesund in Norway. The spiritual home of Stokke (who I have worked for since 2003). This was my first visit as my meetings are usually in Oslo, but what an amazingly beautiful place. I am in love.

Alesund Norway from the sky
My first view of Alesund
Alesund Norway by air

View from Brosundet hotel
View from my window at Bosundet Hotel
Tripp Trapp spotting
I wonder if I will ever stop taking pics of random Tripp Trapp's?!
Stokke Crusi
Or Stokke pushchairs?! Here the new Stokke® Crusi, first one I've seen on the street!
Alesund is simply stunning. I hope that I get to go back next year with my family. They would love it.

Wednesday, 31 October 2012

Digital Diaries the Digital Baggage Edition

I've been following AVG's Digital Diaries research with interest. This week they released the 6th stage report, Digital Baggage that deals with the 18 to 25 age brackets and looks at how the harsh ways that this age group use social and the potential damage they can be doing to future career prospects. Just take a look at this infographic.

Digital Diaries Digital Baggage

Makes you think doesn't it?

 

Tuesday, 30 October 2012

Help Find Todd

My good friend has lost his dog and after losing my cat a few weeks ago I know how devastated he is. Todd ran off chasing a rabbit and hasn't been seen since. Please share this post with everyone you know and help us to find Todd and bring him home.

Find Todd

Sunday, 21 October 2012

Cute Kitten Alert

It's been tough on us since we lost our cat Rex and finding another Cornish has been tough but my Google skills have finally paid off because today we went to visit out new baby.
She's beautiful and I'm totally in love with her little pink nose! The downside is that we have 5 weeks to wait before we can bring her home but she'll be coming to us in style after debuting at the Supreme Cat Show in Birmingham at the end of November. We'll be there to cheer her on!

Aggy the Cornish Rex

After an hour in the car home and after much heated discussion between Biba and I, we have settled on the name Aggy (after Agyness Deyn).

Sunday, 14 October 2012

This is me meme : The Revenge

As my blog ages I've almost stopped taking part in tagged memes. I'm not sure why, perhaps as I hurtle towards my 40th birthday I'm becoming craggier?!
However, Tara re tagged me in a meme that she ran back in 2009 and again in 2011 where artistic control was passed over to those who love us most, our children. 
The result, stunning artwork aka stick men and potato mums that had us chuckling at each other for weeks.

My original meme entry was an old pic that Betty drew when she started in 4+. Yes, I do look like Popeye.

Today, I've changed considerably in the arm department. From spending too much time typing I'm told but at least the old Jazz Hands are going strong.
No idea what she means by the slogan T-Shirt though *cough*.

Betty's portrait of me

Biba went for an adaptation of me on Cybher™ day this year in a dress lovingly created by Yan and a pair of trusty Dr Martens boots. My arms seem to have shrunk in her eyes too!


So I'm going to tag...
Typecast who can cheat and get her grand kids to do it.

If you are desperado to join in you don't have to wait to be tagged, just pop the link to your post over on Tara's blog.






Wednesday, 10 October 2012

The Gallery : Yellow : Rex

My beautiful Cornish Rex cat, Rex was killed a couple of weeks ago in a hit and run. We miss him so much and as the days go by it doesn't ease. 
Biba (10), found him on the road outside our house. It had just happened. He was still alive but barely. He was bleeding out of his ears and he'd lost most of his teeth in the impact. The driver thought it was ok to just keep on going. 

Rex the Cornish Rex

My Gallery pic this week is in memory of my little Rex with his fat saggy belly and his love of food, Sonny and me. He was more of a dog than cat in nature, loving to come on walks with us and insisting on accompanying Sonny to the school bus in the morning. He was a softie, a cutie and will always be missed.

For this weeks The Gallery. Do stop by the other posts you will find on the linky on Tara's blog.



Tuesday, 9 October 2012

How To : Make a Hama Beads Bowl

Not sure how this has happened but this week we have turned uber crafty. By that I mean that we've managed to sit down for three days running to enjoy some quality relaxing time together. 
We've been playing with Hama Beads... a lot. Making Christmas decorations, coasters, jewellery and just chilling out. Then yesterday I had a brainwave about creating a bowl from Hama Beads. I'm sure it's been done a million times before but we are generally a craft free, bake free zone so bear with me cause this is BIG news to us!

So, what you need to Make a Hama Beads Bowl in less that 30 mins is.

An ovenproof bowl
Cooking oil
Kitchen roll
Hamma Beads
Oven
Love

Make a Hama Beads Bowl

Tip a small bit of cooking oil into your oven proof bowl and give it a wipe around with a piece of kitchen roll then tip in some Hama Beads.

Making a Hama Beads Bowl

Spread the beads around the bowl. The oil will help to make them stick to the sides.

Hama Beads Bowl

Pop the bowl into a pre heated oven for about 10 to 15 mins. Don't ask me what the temperature was because I forgot to look!
Keep an eye on it, cause it's not an exact science but when you see the beads starting to melt, it's time for it to come out.

Making a Hama Beads bowl 2

Leave it to cool and then turn it upside down and it should just slide out! 
Should.... 
If it doesn't, you've screwed up or I have and you should probably never take any notice of what i'm going on about again...

But here's the one we made today.


And the bigger one we made yesterday. If it's your birthday coming up and you are expecting a pressie from us I hereby give you enough notice to come to terms with that fact that this is what you will be getting.

How to make a big Hama Beads Bowl

If you'd like to turn into a crafty queen you can get hold of all the Hama Beads you will ever need from CrafyMerrily.co.uk





Sunday, 7 October 2012

We Love Hama Beads

We've had a fab girlie afternoon today deep in hama beads heaven. We've made butterflies, dragonflies, picture frames, hearts, necklaces, earrings and bracelets but more importantly, I switched off the tech and took some much needed time out with my girls.

I'm rather proud of my butterfly and Biba's bunny earrings (centre bottom) are amazing. I'm not so good at freehand but the girls are ace. They just get stuck in and go with the flow. 

Hama Beads

We've been enjoying the Miss Hama Metallic Jewellery Kit. It's packed with 2440 mini beads in assorted colours, flower beads, elastic, design instructions and butterfly, heart and hexagon pegboards and even with our epic production line we still have stacks of beads left.

Miss Hama Metallic Jewellery Kit
We also found a use for the little almond tins that we had left over from this year's Cybher™..... they make the perfect home for colour coded hama beads tins. 

Colour coded hama beads tins

Eat your heart out OCD pals:)

For more Hama Beads design inspiration we like to stalk SimplyCrafts.co.uk and MerrilyMe Pinterest.

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