Tuesday, 30 September 2014

Salt Dough - not just for Christmas

Suffering from exhaustion today* and needing to opt for a day in I decided it would be good to do some simple crafty activities with G.
After breakfast we finished off one of her birthday presents - a glitter by numbers if you can call it that. Like sand art where you peel off paper with numbers on which correspond to a certain colour of glitter. The underlying surface is adhesive allowing the glitter to stick and create the picture.

That didn't take long as we'd already done the majority so I needed something else entertaining but simple so opted for doing some salt dough.

Mixing with uncle Matt

The first time I ever made salt dough with G was the festive season. I made a batch to make Christmas decorations with before her second Christmas when she was just 16 months.
She had great fun getting stuck in!

We made it a family thing and my brother, sister and niece came round and all made some salt dough and cut it into festive shapes. I pre coloured some of our dough and a couple of days later we painted them together. G had fun splodging the paint on and I finished the uncovered areas and we added extra decorations of glitter, decorative balls (again from my cake decorating supplies) and baby pasta left over from a sensory session. I added the glue on some of them as you can tell and let G then sprinkle (read chuck) the glitter on.

Most people would probably only think to do it at Christmas time but there's really no reason why you can't do it anytime of year.

I've made it a with her a couple more times since then and with being older she was able to sit and decorate them by herself.
If painting though I would recommend not using watery paints as it can make the shapes soggy and result in all the hard (but fun) work being chucked in the bin!

Today we used some of mummy's special gel colours that I normally use for cake decorating.

Here is the recipe that we followed:

225g Plain flour
250g Salt
100ml Water

 Gel colour of choice (optional)

I've given the measurements in grams as unlike the majority of baking lovers I don't have cup measurements and it annoys me I can never find recipes for these kind of things in grams! So for anyone else who has that awful dilemma ha, I hope this helps.

Only a very small amount of the gel colours are needed as they are very strong. We added them to the water before it was added to the rest of the mixture.
You can also use liquid food colouring if you prefer but you'll need a lot more and the colours won't come out as strong.

You can use whatever cutters you like. This time we used a mixture of G's playdoh cutters, some cookie cutters, one of my sugar craft plunge cutters and we also just rolled up shapes by hand.
When finished with the fun part we placed all the shapes onto a baking tray and baked for 2 -3 hours at 100oc.

Here is the batch we made today, we've yet to decorate them.

When baked and fully cooled down you can decorate however you/your children like or just leave plain and thread wool/ribbon/thread through pre-made holes and use where ever you see fit.
We like to paint ours and add bits and bobs as shown above. It's a fun crafty activity and can also be a thoughtful and cheap option for a gift or you could perhaps use them for gift tags.

What would you and your children create with salt dough?

Crafts on Sea

*written on 29/09/2014

Clinica Tissue oil and vitamin E cream Review

Whilst pregnant with G and for a few months afterwards I entered A LOT of pregnancy and baby competitions. I managed to win quite a few (I probably entered about 200!!) 
Out of the a couple I won when pregnant, two were for Clinica products; one run by Bizzie Babies Facebook Page and the other by Mumstreet.co.uk.
Here is the review I wrote whilst pregnant and trying it out.

The prize from the former was a 200ml bottle of Clinica's tissue oil and the latter, which was sent by Clinica itself, was a 200ml bottle of tissue oil and two tubes of their vitamin E cream.

My mumstreet.co.uk prize

I was obviously keen to try out the tissue oil due to being pregnant so it was a great product to win, but not only that, I have sensitive skin. 
It's less problematic than when I was younger but I also suffer from dry skin. In general it just needs a bit of extra TLC, so I was very pleased to receive the vitamin E cream.
The Clinica packaging stands out to me, clearly labeling the uses of the product on the front of the Vitamin E cream (and the side for the tissue oil) and it's active ingredients.
It may not be attractive but this is the kind of labeling and packaging that I'd go for now I'm older. I prefer the facts over a pretty design and knowing the product is going to do what I need it to so I won't be wasting money.
Currently it's only on sale via their website Clinica.

 Clinica tissue oil:  

As the packaging and website tell you, it "contains a blend of natural oils, which soothe and nourish the skin and nails."

It can be used for:
  • Ageing Skin
  • Blemished skin
  • Treatment and prevention of stretch marks
  • Skin containing scar tissue
  • Before and after pregnancy massage oil
  • After sun treatment
  • Dry, dehydrated skin conditions
  • Moisturizing/therapeutic bath oil
  • To assist in refining the skins natural oils and moisture
Extra info:
  • The oil is rich in Vitamin E, Evening primrose oil, Almond oil and coconut oil extracts
  • Its a non greasy & non staining formula
  • It's safe for all ages
So its not only useful for pregnant women to care for their skin whilst its under a lot of strain, but it can be used for those who perhaps have had operations and accidents, those with skin conditions (i.e eczema which I had as a child) and those just wanting to take good care of their skin.
It contains the all important ingredient of Vitamin E, found in many good skincare products, the benefits of which can be read about here: Healthy Skincare and evening primrose oil, which among its many medicinal benefits is great for the skin.

My BizzieBaby Prize
When using the product I found it to have a pleasant fragrance and only a few drops were needed to cover and massage into the areas you are treating, and with a bottle this size it means it won't run out too quick even with every day use. Which is handy as it advises you to use it morning and evening. I have used my first bottle a few times and as you can see, there is still plenty of the product left.
I've been lucky and don't seem to have any stretch marks apart from one on the top of my thigh, and a few old ones have become a bit more prominent from when I was on steroidal treatment for an illness, but without this my skin does become dry, tight and itchy due to it being stretched too much, so I have no doubt this oil is helping my skin stay in a better condition. Its a quick relief from the irritation and its long term affects are protecting my skins components and helping me avoid any further skin damage.
The 200ml bottle retails at £10.80, with a smaller option of 60ml also available at the price of £5.40.

Clinica Vitamin E Cream:

From their site, a 100g tube of this cream retails at only £3, which is a great price for such a beneficial product, and I received 2 of these. If buying myself I would go for the even better value of the 500g Jar which is only £4.80 ......five times the amount for less than £2 more.

Again the clearly labelled packaging tells you all you need to know, that its is " B5 and Evening Primrose enriched".

Ideal for: 
  • Dry skin
  • Sun Damaged skin
  • Scars
  • Stretch marks
  • Wrinkles
  • Ageing Skin
On the back: The cream "is a specially developed hypo-allergic formulation for dry, damaged and ageing skin. Vitamin E is not only responsible for repairing damaged skin and enhancing elasticity, but also as a potent anti oxidant. /with regular use, your skin will have the ultimate anti-oxidant protection". 

So again this isn't just useful for during and after pregnancy, its great to take care of your skin if it needs that extra bit of TLC if you're not a teenager anymore, which sadly I'm not. I struggle to deal with the fact I'm 25 now but hopefully I won't have to struggle looking after my skin now I have these products. 
As I'm nearing the end of my pregnancy I'm pretty sure my tummy is as stretched as it can be (so knowing my luck even thought I think I've escaped without stretch marks, they are all going to turn up in these last 3 weeks). I have also developed some dry skin by my belly button, and this cream has been great to settle it down, stop the the itching and soreness and keep the area well moisturized. I'm also extremely prone to sunburn, and although I'm sensible and usually remember to put my sun cream on, this is great for extra protection and recovery after you have been out in the sun.
Its also non greasy and easily absorbed into the skin. 


After I'd written this review the next time I used the oil I did suffer a reaction to it. My skin became extremely itchy and I couldn't stop scratching my bump! This resulted in something what would fit in well in a horror film. As your skin is so stretched and tight when you scratch it leaves blood like brusies.
However I used the vitamin E cream and it soothed and calmed my skin down. 

Thursday, 25 September 2014

Throw Back Thursday - My anomaly scan, half way through my pregnancy journey

This week for Throwback Thursday I thought I'd do a post from my old blog. One from my pregnancy. So I hope no one gets confused as I'm not currently pregnant. Hopefully I will be again at some point in the future when in a better situation so I can give my little girl a sibling. For now however here is my post from when I'd had my anomaly scans whilst pregnant with G.

I'm sat here with my sweet affectionate little cat all cuddled up on my knee.....just wishing she'd blooming move! I really need to switch positions because of my horrible back ache.
Although I know my biology and have a degree, it turns out there's a lot you just don't know about pregnancy until you go through it yourself. Like for example the hormones soften your spine and make you more prone to getting achey.
I have quite a few ups and downs already and I am only 23 weeks 6 days. I was really starting to think I hated this processwhole pregnancy lark until a few weeks ago when I finally felt my baby move.

I thought I'd felt something a few days previous, but then ruled it out as my stomach doing strange things, but as I sat at work doing some data entry, chatting to a colleague, I experienced what felt like a little kick, then another knock, then some kind of wriggling movement and another kick!
At first I didn't say anything to anyone I was just in amazement and sat there with a massive smile on my face, almost laughing as I carried on typing and every now and then over the next ten minutes I would feel my baby move about.
Since then I have been able to feel the movements and that day it just pushed all the naff pregnancy experiences so far into the background and made me remember its all worth it.

My lovely sis got me one of these soon after to keep my mind at rest.
I left telling many of my friends for a while, because I found the majority of my first half of pregnancy pretty scary. It's a good job I was ignorant to the life growing inside me for the first ten weeks or I would have been a nervous wreck. I am a bit of a worrier in the first place but to make things worse my antenatal care was all over the place because of moving house and incompetent staff. Add that to a pre existing medical condition and you have a stressed young lady! I had to fight to get my blood tests done at the anti natal clinic and try and sort many things out by myself with no midwife to guide me. Finally I got a new one at my new GP's, I'm not sure how good she is, but when she used a doppler and let me know my baby was ok by letting me hear my babies heart beat for the first time, she was my hero. It was such a relief that I ended up posting on facebook.....and that is how many of my friends found out, besides the lucky few who had known pretty much from the start.

 One of my worries about how my baby was doing was due to my lack of bump ....sometimes it seemed like one, but my period of awful pregnancy bloating was usually the cause and my stomach would be mostly flat without it. I knew people developed differently but seeing my friend Taz's bump at work and seeing Mel's progress online with her lovely bump, I got a bit paranoid, despite my sister telling me she'd been the same and didn't show at all at 17 weeks. Then three weeks later this popped out of nowhere:

 I finally had a baby bump!

 Its grown rapidly since then so I really need to take some new pics so I've got something to remember it by.

My baby is very lively and moves about alot. It always makes me smile when I feel it, especially a few days ago when in the bath there was a kick and I saw my belly move. I was sat laughing to myself as I watched it happen
I was a happy bunny =) but not as happy as the day I had my anatomy scan, two weeks ago this Thursday.

I was so excited that morning, I felt like it was my birthday or Christmas and I only got a few last minute niggles as Ash and I were sat in the ultra sound waiting area before the sonographer called us in.
Seeing my baby on the screen was amazing but also a little scary as she was doing the measurements ( or attempting to when my baby kept wriggling off ....she's an active one apparently) and zooming in at everything. When she finally told me everything was just fine I felt a heavy weight just lift, the stress just evaporated from me. Then we got shown our babies tiny feet and and arms and hands and as she zoomed in on the face, our baby was yawning. Baby then stretched and we saw it's arms and tiny hands going up to it's face, it was magical, I felt so unbelievably happy and amazed.

Then, as I'd decided several weeks before I wanted to know if it was a girl or a boy (although I really didn't mind by this point as I was so blown away) it was time to find out the gender.
I think baby was getting a bit tired or maybe just a bit shy as after lots of prodding and shaking he or she still wouldn't open their legs. The sonographer was lovely though and told me to go for a wee and it would be less pressurised and maybe we'd get a result then. However after more gentle wriggling of the babies legs it was still a no show. She didn't give up on us and told me to sit up to let baby move about and she'd go write up the notes and try again. Ash talked to my stomach in the hope baby would be listening =)
Baby must have been as on the final try the sonographer managed it and we heard the news that baby is a GIRL.

 And here she is: 

I started my baby shopping after this, but that along with everything else will have to wait for another post.

Wednesday, 24 September 2014

Wicked Wednesdays - Little Angel

When I was about  6 -7 months pregnant I remember one of my work colleagues telling me his two year old had emptied out one of the kitchen drawers the previous day, pans, colanders, everything and climbed inside!

I remember thinking my baby wouldn't do that.

About eighteen months later......

                                                   It wasn't me mummy.....I'm a little angel


Join in the fun with Wicked Wednesdays with Brummymummyof2's hilarious blog. Find her on Twitter here.

Tuesday, 23 September 2014

Exercise as a single mum - getting back on track.

So what's that phrase? 'I've let myself go'? Well having a baby inevitably leads to weight gain however if you are sensible and don't over eat (no matter how starving you might actually feel sometimes - my first trimester I was always so hungry and so tired) it can be more manageable.
I didn't realise until after I had my daughter how much excess I had put on. 1 to 1 and 1/2 stone. I'd gone from an 8 - 10 to a large size 12.

At that point I was going through domestic abuse and other troubles and didn't manage to do anything about the weight. After becoming a single mum and having no one to have my daughter so I could exercise, coping with the aftermath of a massive breakdown & the on going crippling depression for a few months after and coping with a worsening flare of my Crohn's & therefore further courses of medicinal steroids, I didn't find manage to loose the weight then either.
If anything I yoyoed between gaining and loosing another 1/2 stone.

Weight, despite how much it got me down, was not my priority then. Surviving the day was. As I got better psychologically I began to think about exercising again.
As I still had no one to leave G with so I could go for a run I decided to opt for work out dvd's.
 I used to be fond of these a few years ago due to being very self conscious if running by myself, especially with not being quite the runner I used to be.

I used to favour Ministry of Sound work out collection. I love dancing or working out to music as it feels more like having fun rather than the slog of 40 mins to an hours hard exercise.
Now though I was looking for something serious to help really shift the weight and I'd heard people talking about 30 day shred by a trainer from America's biggest loser.

Jillian Michaels is one for circuit training which I'd read good things about and her work out's combined strength and cardio which is the best way for shedding the pounds quickly. I didn't need anymore convincing than that so got myself a copy after sourcing out where it was cheapest and set to it the next time I'd had enough sleep and G was napping. (This was well over a year ago when she would still nap).
At the time I was still going through a flare of Crohn's but I really was desperate to get fit again.
I felt really positive with the shred and although a bit tough when you get started on level 1 after no hard core exercise, I was enjoying it.
However with having to walk everywhere (no car and saving the pennies from bus fare) I would sometimes be too exhausted to do it after a long walk somewhere to get shopping or having taken G somewhere and then just generally looking after G and doing all the house work.
I kept on but I ended up falling down my very steep stairs at home one day and really damaging my tailbone.
I was in agony for a long time and the pain didn't fully go until a year later. This along with my worsening Crohn's resulting in me being hospitalised for a short while, put a stop to the exercise.
Over the next few months I still kept walking miles to save money and get things done but still in a flare I made myself incredibly unwell and landed back in hospital again at Christmas.

I have a lot of reasons to spur me on to lose weight.
I hate the way I look right now, my self esteem is rock bottom.
I fit in none of my nice clothes of which I had plenty. Instead due to being broke ever since I have been a bigger size I could only afford a few clothes and maybe one new item on a rare occasion. Leading to my clothes being worn over and over and me looking like a scruff bag. I hate being like this and want my old self back.
I want to feel happier with how I look. I want to have nice clothes and not be scruffy everywhere I go but especially as G will be starting school next year and I will have the dreaded playground pick up!
I want to eventually meet someone new and one reason I am avoiding a '10 years since we started uni reunion' is how I look.

Now I'm on a much stronger medication my Crohn's isn't taking over so much. My joints aren't so painful every day and I don't have daily blood loss I feel a bit stronger. I don't feel like an 80 year old woman every day I get out of bed (or maybe 90 when I get into bed at the end of a day).
I've finally been brave and got out my trainers and the hand weights and stuck good old Jillian on again.

G has her free preschool hours on a couple of afternoons a week which I usually use to get the shopping done, housework done and other non stop new errands that are always coming up.
When I was ill it would have been much more beneficial to rest and do something relaxing but if I don't get everything done who else will? Like when people tell you to nap when your baby does. Sometimes from sheer exhaustion I'd have to but if you did as others said you'd have no clean clothes, dishes, you'd be living in filth and rubbish, have no groceries, bills left unpaid.....the list goes on.
Now I'm feeling moderately better than I was I'm trying to get the workout done each time she's at nursery and occasionally after she's gone to bed if I'm not about to drop myself. It may not be how the 30 day shred is meant to be used but it will still help me build up my base level of fitness again and loose a few pounds. I also used two of Jillian's other tough but great work out's before I fell down the stairs last year. They are 40-50 minutes work out's and I can't jump straight into them or I won't have the strength to look after G or myself but I'm hoping I'll get there gradually.
After only 3 days of 30 day shred I'm already feeling a little stronger.
I had to take a rest day today as I had to walk into town and get the heavy grocery shopping and then get the housework done....on top of G being up almost all last night. I hope to get back on to it tomorrow.

I'm also trying to be more conscious of my food shops and now I'm coping better with my depression, stress and anxiety most of the time I'm doing better and not opting for the unhealthy quick fix.

It can be very hard finding the time/opportunity to exercise when you're a financially troubled single mum.
If I could choose I'd have my own gym at home and be on the treadmill whilst listening to some music or catching up with a tv show. Two birds....
A home swimming pool would also be great. I can but dream.....

I'm starting voluntary work and a course to help me get back into paid employment soon so I will have less time and energy to exercise then so I'm hoping to really crack down on my weight before then. I want to fit in my old clothes and wave my scruff bag days goodbye!

Do you find it hard to fit in time for exercise? Are any of you trying to lose weight too?

Let me know.

We Will Do It! Support Linky on The Purple Pumpkin Blog

This is one of a few posts I am doing on the topic of getting back on track with health and fitness. If you have been unwell or not had the time to take care of yourself you might relate. Here are my other posts: Water Challenge and Hair Restoration.

Sunday, 21 September 2014

Munchkin bath toy review

Around May 2011 we were very lucky to win a whole box full of Munchkin bath toys. At this point in my life I was in the midst of a complete breakdown due to terrible issues in my personal life so I didn't get to do a review.

Over 2 years on, still being used
I don't have shiny photo's from when we had the products all brand new and in packaging or photo's of my at the time 10 month old exploring her new box of excitement but some of the products
have lasted until now, over 2 years later and have been great toys for my little girl so I wanted to share my views.

Here is what were lucky enough to win:

We had the green version

Shampoo Rinser - they no longer do this version and have replaced it with a new model. After using this for 2 years we had to throw it out due it getting mouldy round the rim. We got a lot of use out of it but I think the newer version without the separate section is less likely to collect mould. A great idea to make washing your little one's hair a bit more stress free. G enjoyed using it herself sometimes for just pouring water or trying to do her own hair.

Bath time turtles

As a baby the bright colours and rattle sounds from these kept G busy. As she got older she gained more interest in the different features of the turtles (a mirror, one has beads to shake like a rattle, the other has a spinning middle section) and then at some point worked out they can stick together in a line. she still plays with them now. These are suitable from 12 months plus but G was fine with them from 10 months.

Dolphin Divers Bath Toy

Also no longer on Munchkin main site

G has loved this. Your baby/toddler fills the whale with water, pours the water in through the top which makes the dolphins wheel spin round. At one point we had to start putting the toy at an angle or it won't spin round. G has loved just playing with the whale on it's own and she started to use it to wash her hair with at one point. A great idea for a bath toy but the problems with motion can be a bit off putting.

Daredevil dolphins Bath toy  no longer on their website so I assume not produced anymore. We still have the hoops but at some point the dolphins got mouldy. The dolphins are squirty toys that can fill with water and be played with like that or you can dive them through the hoops. A great bath toy. G still happily plays with the hoops, wearing them on her arms or feet or balancing them on her head! We could do with another dolphin but she gained one replacement from the mermaid toy we brought a few months ago.

Bath toy scoop

This sticks to the bathroom wall with double sided sticky tape. After moving house and having to pry it off one wall it wasn't sticky enough to stay on the new bathroom wall with all the toys in. I've still yet to find any proper thick, strong enough double sided tape to stick this & her name plaque for her room back up. This is a great space saver though so now I've reminded myself I better have another search for some tape. It's great that you can just scoop them up and it drains out....though as mentioned the squirty toys can get mouldy so with those you can't really just scoop them up and be done with it. They need a proper squeeze out or they get mouldy much too quickly. Any others toys though scoop away! I would recommend this.

She still uses this too. Lovely little ball that 'rains'. 
She likes to pour it over her head sometimes or other wise just fill up make it rain out water over and over. Good sensory play. Listening to the sound the water makes when 'raining'. Feeling it rain out on her hands. Also can be shaken to make a noise/act as a bath rattle and spun around in the water too. This is a great one for young babies. Suitable from 6 months plus.

She loves the two characters of these. Mummy 'brought them to life' once by making them jump up and down around the bath tub and made appropriate noises and dive into the water and after the first performance she demanded that every single bath time for quite a while.
Bright and colourful. Lots of fun scooping water, pouring out into the bath or into one of the other pieces. Making the little ball spin around by pouring water on that. Lots of activities for your little one with this set. Good for developing motor skills.

We still have all of this set except the squirty flower that went on the top. That went mouldy like the other squirty toys at some point too. We found the snail did not balance/capsized when the flower was placed on the top anyway but it was still good fun for G just using it as a squirty toy. Learning how to fill them up and squirt them out by herself.
Two of the rings themselves can be filled with water and pour out in a different way. The top stacker has 3 colourful beads on that G used for counting when she was just beginning with her numbers. 
With it being a stacking toy it was good for very early math skill for learning about the sizes and order. All that I really want out of a bath toy is for her to have fun though. 

So as you can see G was a lucky pup winning that haul from Munchkin. It was her 1st birthday a couple of months after we won these and one of my work colleague/friends very kindly brought her the Bath Dunkers set.
We hadn't asked for anything specifically but she had spotted it in a shop and it stood out to her. So much so that she brought a set for another of our colleague/friends who had been pregnant at the same time as me and has a little girl the same age.

Bath Dunkers

G loved this. I think it was/has been her favourite bath toy. Sadly we don't have it anymore. One puffer fish was thrown down the toilet by madam when being a bit of a monkey. Another ended up splitting in two. I'm not sure how or why. Part of the net started pulling away from the side. I don't think this was a fault of the toy, I think it was because it was used so much. G would put all of her squirty toys in the net and the dolphins would sometimes get stuck leading to her tugging the net a bit leading the gradual wear and tear.
She still asks about this toy so maybe Father Christmas will gift her with a new one if she's a good girl.
It's good for developing spacial awareness skills but most importantly very fun. The puffer fish could be used separately just as squirty bath toys also.It's suitable from 12 month plus.

About a year ago we added to our munchkin collection (partly to replace those that had to be thrown out, partly as mummy thought this looked great and it was in a baby event at a local supermarket) and purchased the Splash along mermaid.
Your child pulls the shell/star/crown at the top of the mermaids head and the mermaid swims, her tail propelling her through the water. There are two designs of this. The pink mermaid with a purple dolphin squirty toy or a yellow haired mermaid with an orange starfish squirty toy. I went for the one pictured to help replace one of her dolphins. A lovely toy suitable from 18 months up so great for older children in the bath.

I've found all munchkin bath toys to be great quality and they come up with original products.
The number one critic has loved them and still does even now she's turned 3.
Even though several of the toys I've reviewed are no longer available on the Munchkin site you can still find many of them for sale elsewhere on the internet. I always shop around to make sure I get the best price.

Has your little one had any munchkin bath toys? If so which did you rate the highest?

Family Fever

Friday, 19 September 2014

Crunchy Smoked Paprika Tofu Skewers


So here are the smoked paprika tofu skewers I made the other night, a big hit with my fussy eater which was great!

With having the above mentioned fussy eater and having restrictions to what I can eat myself due to my crohn's, I'm always happy to come across new recipes that suit our needs that we've not tried out yet.

 I got this fab meal inspiration from Lauren Geislers blog and just used different seasonings to marinade the Tofu.

I was unsure of what seasoning to use due to said fussy eater, so I opted for what I felt was a safe flavour and tried out a spanish smoked paprika pot shot. As these seasonings are oil based they are not taken up by tofu as easily so after coating my drained, pressed Tofu in the pot shot and refridgerating for a while, I cooked it in a wok for about 15-20 minutes to help it take on the flavour a bit more.

After that I followed Lauren's recipe giving the tofu a rough covering with flour, coating in egg and rolling in bread crumbs. I used normal bread crumbs which I made just by breaking up a couple of slices of bread into pieces and sticking them in my blender.

I then baked for 30 minutes.

Whilst the tofu was cooking I used up the left over pot shot with some pasta to accompany the skewers and served with salad and dip. I used a whole pack of Cauldron Tofu which made 4 large skewers so enough for 4 adults** when served with Pasta and salad. We saved our extra's for the next day. G loved trying out food on a skewer, having a go with the dips and enjoyed the way the Tofu was cooked. A secret little woohoo went off inside my head at finding something else that G will happily eat without a fight!

a bit of a forced smile but she did like them!

We saved the extra skewers and left over pasta for the next day

I'd try out some home made, non oil based marinades next time.

*As you can see I have yet to get fancy table wear to display my meal idea's/recipes for the blog. This will soon be ammended. I also still don't have my camera repaired from the pesky grains of sand that have rendered the Zoom Lens inactive. 

**Or 6 children if put on smaller skewers or used as finger food

Thursday, 18 September 2014

New hobby, New Venture? - Face Painting

When I organised G's 3rd birthday party in July I brought a small set of Snazaroo face paints with some money I'd made on a car boot and was planning on doing the face painting myself. Luckily a friend who came with her little boy offered to do it as it something she used to do a lot at church fetes. Without her help there wouldn't have been many faces painted with all the running around I had to do. I barely stopped.

I'm not technically looking at it as a hobby, more a talent I want to establish - a new venture in hope of making money from it, but also something I enjoy. I love to be creative when i get the chance and I'm going to be watching a few tips online before my next attempts. I need to slowly build myself up a collection of paints and a portfolio and put myself out there. If I'm any good.

I've seen people charge prices from 50p to £3.50/£4 Some of those charging at the upper end have been very talented, some great designs and skill. Others I could do myself after a little more practice. Some people employed by entertainment companies I've seen just stick on a small transfer and do a couple of silver swirly lines, not even any blue and that was it for their Elsa design. They are employed for that so called skill. I could do that, I'm pretty sure I could do better.

I finally had a go myself, very tired after we'd been to National Play Day. G was pretty fidgety, but that I guess may be extra good practice because if doing it professionally at a fete or wherever there's a high chance I may get a fair few young fidgety customers.

Some photo's of my very first attempt on a tired fidgety just turned 3 year old

A selfie from Grace

Not too bad for a first try I don't think. Looking forward to learning the techniques and getting my own brushes instead of borrowing G's paint brushes.

Have you ever considered face painting as a money maker?

This post has been featured in the weekend blog hop over at Claire Justine's Blog. Head on over and take part.