I Am In LOVE With My New Slow Cooker!!!

For some time I have been debating whether to get a slow cooker or not. After a good look around I took the plunge 🙂 My biggest problem was I had one years ago when Cliff and I hadn’t been living together very long. It was my sisters old one and I just never got on with it. I couldn’t cope with having to brown things off in a pan first and then transferring to the ceramic dish in the slow cooker. That meant extra washing up! 😉
I discovered the Morphy Richards Sear and Stew slow cooker. It has a metal inner that you can use directly on the hob! Yay!! That means true one pot cooking…no extra washing up.

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I have been experimenting with different recipes now for about 2 weeks. There have been some winners and some utter disgusting losers! But I am loving it. I used to cook twice a day for dinner as Cliff gets in too late some days to eat with the kids. Now I can cook once and keep ours warm for later.

I will be adding recipes that are a success shortly 🙂

Recipe – Oat Milk

Before Christmas Eli began being sick everyday at around 1pm. (Sorry TMI!) He would literally empty himself and was then fine! This went on for a couple of weeks and we decided we needed to change something, so we changed his milk. He was on whole, cows milk, having 3, 250ml bottles a day. We put him on soya milk. There wasn’t a clear reason why we chose soya but we did. And it worked! The sick stopped 🙂 Yay!!
However, I then started to look into soya milk and decided I wasn’t happy with this choice for many reasons. After a lot of deliberation and research, we are happy with oat milk and I can make it myself! So I know exactly what is in it 🙂
We are making changes to his diet to make sure he is getting enough calcium and calories.
So here is my first batch of Oat Milk:

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To make you need:

100g Rolled Oats
1.5 litres of water

In a large bowl add the oats and water. Give it a good stir and then cover the bowl.
Leave the mixture to soak over night.
Once soaked, take a stick blender and blitz for a few minutes.
Strain the mix with a fine sieve/muslin or similar into a clean bowl/jug.
Now pour into a container (large jar or bottle, glass is preferable).
Will last about a week in the fridge.

Yields just over 1.5 litre.

Enjoy 🙂

Coconut Oil Body Scrub

For awhile now I have been trying to reduce our chemical intake through beauty products. It is a slow process as I have been making new products as we run out of our shop bought items (can’t stand the thought of all that waste!)
One item I have been making and successfully using for some time now is my Coconut Oil Body Scrub. This scrub is amazing! It smells so lovely and has improved the condition of my skin quite drastically. (It tastes pretty good too) I had a red pimply rash on my upper arms which I hated. Since using this scrub it has nearly all gone.
Here it is:

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To make you need:
1/2 cup granulated white sugar
1/4 cup coconut oil (unrefined)
1/4 cup olive oil
1tsp vitamin E oil

(Works with UK or US cup sizes)

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In a bowl mix together all of the ingredients. I don’t warm the coconut oil first, just use it solid and it mixes in very well. I have in the past warmed it first to make it liquid but I found that it separated from the rest of the mix as it returns to its solid state.
It will look all creamy and fluffy almost when combined. It can now go into a jar and is ready to use.

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Enjoy 🙂

Recipe – Green Vegetable Risotto

One of the meals Cliff and I enjoy quite regularly is Green Vegetable Risotto. It is full of flavour and fairly simple to make.
Here it is:

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Ingredients

2tbls olive oil
1 onion, finely chopped
1 clove garlic, crushed
175g arborio rice
450ml vegetable stock
100ml white wine
200g peas
100g spinach, roughly chopped
60g Parmesan cheese, grated

Heat the oil in a large based pan and gently fry the onion until softened.
Add the garlic and fry for about a minute.
Stir in the rice and cost well with the oil.
Pour in the wine and let it bubble, keep stirring.
Once the wine is absorbed gradually add the veg stock. Do it little by little allowing the rice to absorb the stock between additions. Stir regularly.
When you add the last bit of stick add the peas as well.
Add the spinach once the stock is absorbed and stir it in.
When the spinach has wilted take the pan off the heat and add the Parmesan.
Serve and enjoy 🙂

Me and Cliff eat this between us but you could feed a third person if you are not big eaters or you serve it with garlic bread.

Eboni’s Birthday :)

Today was Eboni’s 7th Birthday!
Time goes so very fast, she is growing up so fast. She is having a party at our local soft play on Saturday so we wanted to make today a bit special without having a party. Last night Cliff and I spent ages blowing up balloons. I then joined together 6 big sheets of tissue paper. We covered her bedroom door way with the tissue paper and filled it with the balloons. It was such a stealthy operation! Trying to hand noisy tissue paper is a challenge, but we did it without waking anyone. Here is her door way when we had finished 🙂

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I really was expecting to miss it happen this morning. Eboni is a very early riser, but we woke up first!! We stood waiting for her to open her door and when she did it was amazing!!! The balloons fell like a waterfall all on her. She came out with the biggest smile on her face and that was the best thing ever 🙂
After that we went down stairs and had a drink, have her gifts which she loved and then had breakfast. After breakfast came the cake. She had a Disney Princess cake which she had asked for after we had bought it (good call or what!?)

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After school we sat at the dinner table and started building the Lego Friends stables we got her. She is really good at it, I was quite surprised at how well she followed the instructions. We had dinner and then Granny came with more gifts…she was one very luck lady today.

Happy Birthday Eboni 🙂

Pyjama Tutorial

Cliff ripped the bum out if his new pyjamas!! It was funny at the time but I couldn’t fix them and didn’t want to just throw them out (really trying to reduce waste). So I decided to turn Cliffs pj bottoms into Eli’s and I transformed a plain top to match. This is how they turned out 🙂

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I made the bottoms first. I got a pair of Eli’s pj bottoms, folded them in half and then drew around then on a piece of paper. I added about an inch to the top and bottom and about half an inch to the sides for seams and hems.

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I cut out the pattern and then pinned it onto the old bottoms (you can obviously use new fabric!) I folded the fabric and placed the straight edge of the pattern on the fold. Cut it out and repeat for the other leg.
Now I opened out the fabric and placed them together, right sides facing. The rise needs sewing first so I pinned this area together and sewed it together.

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Once done I laid them out so they look like trousers and pinned the seam on the inside of the legs. I then sewed this together.

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I used the original hem on the bottom of Cliffs pj’s as Eli’s hem so didn’t need to do one with this pair, however you would fold over the fabric twice (half inch each fold) and then pin and sew.

Now I did the waist band. I folded over and pressed about half an inch and then repeated to give a channel for the elastic to live in. I sewed about 3mm from the top and then did the same around the bottom of the channel. Make sure to leave a couple of inches open to feed the elastic through. I pin a safety pin to one end of the elastic and pull it through making sure not to let the other end disappear in!

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Finally close the hole and they are done!!

For the pj top I bought a cheap long sleeved, plain to to coordinate with the bottoms. I cut 2 rectangles of the pj bottom material. I turned the top inside out and pinned the rectangles to the top, right side of material facing wrong side of top. Make sure it is only pinned to the front of the top.

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I then sewed around each rectangle and turned the top the right way round.

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Now I very carefully cut the top fabric from the inside if each rectangle. I found the easiest way to do this was to pull apart both fabrics (you really don’t want to cut through the new piece of fabric!) Then cut from the centre to the each corner. (Don’t go right into the corner or you will cut through the stitching). I then cut about 2/3mm from the stitching so I was left with a small border of top material.

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And that’s it pyjamas done 🙂 These pyjamas can be made for any size, child or adult! Happy sewing!

Upcycled Toy Box

On the organisation front I have been slowly going through things. It is a job I hate…but it must be done. I have sorted out folders for different bits of paper work that just ends up sitting on the kitchen sides for weeks before it gets sorted…usually the bin. 😦 But that has been about it.

There has been a fair sized, sturdy cardboard box floating around the kitchen for a few days and I decided it would be a good size for the toys that live downstairs. They have been just sat in the cupboard we are converting back into a fire place and it always looks a mess.

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I took the box, some fabric and glue and got to work. I had all of what I needed left over from other projects so this has effectively cost me nothing! Bonus 🙂

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I firstly decided I would keep the top flaps on rather than cut them off as they would strengthen the box a bit more (although it is double walled corrugated so it is pretty sturdy without). So I heated up the glue gun and glued the flaps down on the inside of the box.
Next I realised my material wouldn’t go around in one length so had to use 2 pieces. One length covered just over 3 sides of the 4. I covered one of the long sides and half of the bottom with PVA and carefully lined up the fabric so it was central. I then did this with both ends and about an inch around onto the last side at each end. I made sure to smooth out the fabric as I went to make it nice and flat with no bubbles.
For the other long side I cut a piece of material just slightly wider than the box and ‘hemmed’ it with fabric glue so that it became just slightly narrower than the box.
I then made the bottom nice by folding the fabric into points into the middle and gluing all the pieces that needed it. I then flipped the box and tucked the fabric inside the box and glued it down. The material goes down about half way on the inside.
So this is it finished and filled with toys 🙂

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It took less than an hour to complete and I am really pleased with how it turned out.