Thursday, 18 June 2015

Messy Tots!

I have a bit of a reputation for organising rather messy crafts at our Mother and Toddler Group! I am sure they are just pulling my leg, but I am often greeted with " here she is, making a mess again!"
Today, was therefore, no exception!  Having realised it was Father's Day this weekend, here in the UK, I had to abandon the activity I had planned and come up with something quick and fairly easy.
Hand print crafts generally prove to be very popular with the mums. I guess it's because they don't have to deal with all the hassle and mess of paint at home.
With a bit of inspiration from the internet, I adapted a  simple poem, leaving a space on an A5 sheet for the little one's handprints to go on. Laminating them seems to add an extra special touch and means the precious little handprint will last that much longer.
Teen One did the clever stuff for me on the doubt if I had to I could do it myself...but she can do it so much quicker and probably so much better too! Please feel free to use this template yourselves.
When making handprints, I find you get a better result if you lightly sponge paint onto the hand...if you let the children put their hand into a tub of paint you get a big splodge rather than a handprint.

This afternoon I had to take Teen Two to an ear clinic to get a rather bothersome ear problem sorted out. It has taken over two months to sort, I am hopeful the follow up appointment in two weeks will be our last! It wasn't worth taking him back to school for the last 45 minutes, so once home, with the dinner having been put on a low heat in the oven earlier, I decided I could treat myself to a spot of relaxing in the garden.

We only have a small garden, but I am really pleased with this little haven we have created in the bottom half of the garden. I have never liked sitting in direct sunlight, but do love to sit out and enjoy hearing all the sounds of nature, the washing blowing on the line, children playing etc. 
Over the years our little garden has been home to  a sandpit, slides, swings, paddling pools, in recent years a large trampoline. Whilst I am sad the Teens are two big for such things...its a treat to have a section of the garden we can now just relax in...and they rather like the new space too!

I mentioned the other day I rather like toadstools....this is one I treated myself to a few weeks ago. It was from Poundland, so rather a bargain I thought! The chives you can see in the pot were a supermarket bargain a few months ago....19p, sold as one of the "living salads." I am really thrilled it has stayed alive. The trick seems to be to cut it regularly. I snip at it each week or so, cut up the blades and then freeze. I am hoping the lavender next to it survives, I would like to try and make some lavender ice cream using this Taste of Home recipe
Taste of Home is one of my favourite magazines, although here in the UK we cannot always get the exact ingredients so a spot of improvisation has to come in sometimes!

During 1996, we had the privilege of living in New England...not only that, but we were there for the Fall too, although of course we referred to it as Autumn. It was there I first had pumpkin ice cream, at an amazing place called "The Shady Glen  Dairy Stores." Ever since then I have tried to recreate the taste. As you might expect, I haven't managed it ....but last autumn I had another go, and I think this is the best so far. This afternoon, sitting in the garden with the weather so warm, I just fancied some ice cream and was delighted to see, lurking in the back of the freezer was a portion of two of the pumpkin batch. It was delicious and reminded me of those happy days living in the States.

I took a picture of this mural the last time we were at Shady Glen's (2014) and has toadstools! Apologies to the two random strangers enjoying their not so private lunch!


  1. Wow your garden looks lovely - all grown up!! I can just imagine the peace you get just sitting there. Poor teen two, must have been suffering with ear ache, that's horrible!! Hopefully it will all clear up now.
    Personally I am not sure about the pumpkin I've cream, I think I will take your word for it. It's a good job we are all different. X

  2. To be fair, the pumpkin itself has little flavour, its all the spices you add that make it special. This batch was made with a tin of ready prepared Libby's pumpkin from the US, that's probably why for me it was the nearest to what I had when out there!
    Actually, Teen two hasn't had earache throughout, just loss of hearing which has been very frustrating. We got good value out of the private clinic....a one off payment as usually it is sorted out in one visit, we will have been four times!

  3. I will leave the pumpkin to you - I once tried to make pumpkin soup - yuk!!! Livig the garden though - bootiful.