Tuesday 29 May 2012

Jerky Turkey

Haven't you heard?  A turkey is not just for Christmas.  Oh no my friends, this nutritious, delicious and affordable bird can be a weekday family favourite too.

BritMums are currently promoting the Lean on Turkey campaign, sponsored by www.leanonturkey.co.uk and are challenging bloggers to come up with a recipe to showcase it's versatility.  Did you know that turkey breast has the lowest level of saturated fat of all meats?

Here's my entry...

Sweet, sticky and SPICY - bagsy not washing up

For Jerky Turkey you will need:

Fresh turkey breast - one per person
1 teaspoon dried jerk seasoning
1 tablespoon tomato puree
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons of honey (I don't like honey so I used Agave syrup or similar instead)

Mix your marinade together in a large flat ovenproof dish.

Add your turkey and coat all over with a spoon.  Cover and leave for at least 2 hours - or overnight if possible.

Remove clingfilm and cook at 190 degrees C for approximately 40-45 minutes, checking the meat is thoroughly cooked through before serving.  Alternatively, you can barbecue these for a delicious smokey flavour.

Serve with rice and peas or with a salad and potato wedges.

I made this for the first time for dinner tonight.  The verdict?  The turkey was moist and tender and with just the right mouth-watering amount of spice.  A real hit!  Can't wait to try it on the BBQ.

Liberty inspired bias binding watch

Ages ago I met up with the delightful Molly and Kat for afternoon tea at Liberty's.

As you do, we went for a mooch around the store afterwards oohing and ahhing at the pretties.

We spotted some fabric tie watches and I vowed and declared I could make a similar one for a fraction of the price.

It's taken a while, but I finally found a vintage watch to sacrifice itself for my plan.  I saw this sorry looking timepiece, complete with chewed strap at a local boot fair the other day.  "Does it work?" I asked the hapless young seller.  "Erm yeah, it probably just needs a new battery innit?" salesperson of the year responded.

Well no, actually love, what it needs is to be WOUND UP.

I took it apart carefully and gave it a thorough clean gave it a spit and polish and a wipe with a cotton bud.  Next I snipped off the mangled leather straps and threaded through 1/2 metre of patterned bias binding - this was from my local sewing shop as I forgot to pick up the real deal last time I was in Liberty's.  Check out ebay too - search for patterned bias binding for loads of options.

Not my wrist, but a piece of felt in case you thought I was incredibly pale/fleecy

Iron it to the required width and snip the ends to a point to prevent fraying.  Wrap and tie round your wrist. 50 cm is enough to go twice round my wrist, but use less if you only want it to wrap round once.

Et voila!  Total cost: 50p for the watch and £1 for the binding.

Linking up with Ta-dah! Tuesday. and Handmade Thursday.

Molly and the Princess

Jubilee Celebrations - a round-up

We've been very busy getting ready for the weekend.  Ruby is so excited about it that she appears to have invented her own word - anything that is red, white and blue is 'jubileesy'.

I think what's sparked her interest so much, is hearing that I and her uncle were around the same age for the Silver Jubilee, and that we dressed up and had a street party.  We also came to the conclusion that her grandparents were probably a similar age to her now at the coronation ("that's when the queen is made, Mummy").  We wondered whether William and Kate would be coming to the throne by the time Ruby has children of her own...

Children of the 70s laugh in the face of Instagram

Today Ruby is having a jubilee party at nursery so she's dressed up accordingly!

I stencilled a crown motif onto a plain white vest top using DYLON gold fabric paint.  She's wearing a simple red, white and blue tutu that I made and the crown which she made herself.

A really lovely idea inspired by this post - it's a very effective, yet easy craft for a child to make.  We painted it with yet more DYLON gold fabric paint!

I've written several posts of our preparations so I thought I'd bring them all together here and give others a chance to link their jubilee posts.

We've made jubilee themed ice cream cupcakes...

I've done some savvy shopping to keep costs down...

I've tried my hand at a new craft and used water-slide decal paper to make a souvenir...

The front door is dressed with a pop pom wreath

and we've made a special picnic blanket for our tea party at the weekend...

If you've written any posts on your plans, makes, bakes or memories please do join up here. Please remember to link back to this post so everyone can join the party *waves flag excitedly*.

Monday 28 May 2012

Magpie Monday - Two fr'a pound

I would have liked nothing more this weekend than mooching round the boot sale with the sun on my back.  However, the Old Man, in his infinite wisdom decided a family bike ride was much more in order.  His idea of a fun time and my idea of a fun time are seriously poles apart.

Saturday was a busy day too, dashing between birthday parties, but I did spot a large hand painted banner on the village hall announcing a '50p sale'.  I made him do a handbrake turn and we all traipsed in.

I have no idea who or what the sale was in aid of, but there were lots of tables laid out with all manner of things, and despite it opening some two hours previously there was tonnes left - perhaps these ladies need some marketing assistance?

It was 50p to get in and everything for sale was 50p.  I didn't have a cup of tea and a slice of cake, but I suspect these also would have been priced at 50p, it being the order of the day.

I have to say, I quite liked this approach.  There was no haggling, no dispute over prices, no embarrassment when you pick an item up only to be told they want a tenner for it.

Here's what I got:

A cerise leather flower brooch

Pretty vintage clip-ons

Vintage embroidered bread holder

Brand new 3D snowflake cookie cutter

Ball of ribbon wool to be used for gift wrapping

A diminutive picnic basket, perfect for Boris to take on his teddy bear picnic

Bargain of the day - a vintage card game with endless crafting opportunities

Did you manage to sneak in any bargain hunting? I'd love you to grab the badge and link up. x

Me and My Shadow
Grab my button
and link to my blog

Friday 25 May 2012

Gold Medallists


Royal Mail is warming up and is under starter's orders for a very exciting postage stamp launch which will highlight the success of British competitors at the Olympic Games.

Their production team will be sweating it out to deliver a new stamp featuring each British Gold Medallists and have pledged to have the edition for sale to the public by lunch time the following day.

Each Team GB member (individual or team as a whole) who wins a Gold will be immortalised on their own stamp with an action shot of their winning moment - that's quite something. This will be the first time ever a host country has done this and launched the stamps during the games.

The Royal Mail photographers, designers and whole production team will be working around the clock to turn an action shot or a podium picture or a shot of the heats into a stamp design for each gold medal won.

In addition, post offices will also be open extra hours during the games with many open on Sundays for the first time ever so fans can celebrate the nation's achievements and start their own special collection.

Be The First to find out all about this initiative and register your interest now before 31st May to get your free presentation folder.  In addition, should Team GB in more than the 19 golds they won in Beijing, you will receive the 20th souvenir free.

Royal Mail has a proud history of commemorating the London Olympic Games and Moya Green, Chief Exec said:

"Royal Mail is proud to be involved in this once in a lifetime event and to recognise the success of Team GB.  Our Gold Medal stamps will be unique souvenirs of the Games, marking the great achievements of our talented athletes. They will be a special way for people across the country to celebrate Team GB’s gold medal wins and help mark their amazing achievement.  We look forward to issuing many Gold Medal stamps to honour Team GB’s victories.”

Royal Mail are also pleased to announce that we will be the first host nation ever to issue a set of commemorative stamps to celebrate the start of the Paralympic Games on 29th August.

Let's hope Team GB does us proud and we can have lots of fabulous stamps to mark each and every gold medal.

Sponsored Post
Viral video by ebuzzing

What would your nursery do with £20,000?

It's that time of the year, and Nick Jr are again launching their fabulous Help Dora Help campaign.

Last year's winners were Hope Nursery in Belfast, and the initiative has totally transformed their outdoor space and changed the way they approach outdoor learning.

The campaign, supported by The Prince’s Foundation for Children & the Arts consists of a free activity pack, giving nurseries and pre-schools educational activity resources. Nurseries will also have the opportunity to apply for an award of £20,000. The pack follows the Early Years Foundation Stage development goals and contains six activity session plans that provide stimulating learning opportunities with the theme of Dora the Explorer’s adventures. The themes for this year’s pack are: Cooking, Sports Day, Fairy Tales, Animals, Seaside and Music. 

So if you know of a nursery or pre-school who you think would like to be involved, point them in the direction of  the website to apply for a registration pack.  Entries are open until 22nd July 2011.

Jubilee Picnic Blanket - The Crowning Glory

Our household is being swept up in the jubilee mania and Ruby's getting really very excited about the 'jubilees'.

As there are no street parties or events going on round here, I thought it would be nice to have a little tea party in the garden over the bank holiday weekend, and set about making a special picnic blanket for the occasion.

Special thanks to the dog who kept walking across it

The piece of fabric I had was so large, I had enough to make a small windbreak too.  We have since re-named this the wind-broke as the old man was too lazy to walk 10 paces to get the mallet out of the shed, so using brute force to push the poles into the ground, snapped one on it's first outing and tore a hole in it.  Let's just say I was not pleased...

The blanket is an easy no-sew project and is really fun on picnics.  As you lay down, you get your own crown - Ruby thinks this is ace!

Keep calm and carry on picnicking

So, to make you're own you will need:

A large piece of heavy cotton fabric (I used a charity shop double sheet, it was vintage and good thick cotton)
DYLON Tulip Red machine dye (plus required salt)
DYLON gold fabric paint
Stencil (either shop bought or make your own)
Further embellishments such as ribbons/flags etc (optional)

1. Following the packet instructions, machine dye your sheet and allow to dry.

2. Decide on the placing of your crowns and mark each position the stencil needs to go - this will help if you need to re-do a second coat.

3. Ensure you have a thick piece of card or an old magazine behind to prevent the paint bleeding through to your work surface - my carpet in this case!

4. Lightly stick your template down in position using either masking tape or a light coat of spray mount.  Stipple gold paint on using a sponge or a short haired brush.  The stencil I've used here is 'large crown' by My Stencil Studio.

5. Once all your stencilling is complete and dry, cover the painted area with a cloth and iron on a hot setting for a couple of minutes to seal it.

For the wind-break, I stitched channels to take 4 poles (broom handle size).  Then, on one side I stencilled using DYLON black fabric paint, a stencil I cut out myself.

Dry and seal with the iron as before.

One the reverse, I attached fabric flags with bonda-web.

That's it!  Have fun crowning your picnic guests!

Disclosure: Please see my Disclosure Policy page for details on my sponsors DYLON.

Win cute toddler shoes from Little Dish and Sainsbury's Bank

Yes indeedy, I'm back with another competition for you lovely folks.

This time, the giveaway is courtesy of Sainsbury's Bank Car Insurance and the Sainsbury's Bank Family Blogger network, and they are offering readers the chance to win one of four pairs of Toddler shoes.

Little Dish are proud to be sponsors of this year's Big Toddle, raising money for Barnardo's.  Ruby and her nursery got involved last year and it really is great fun and a very worthy cause, so please encourage your pre-school or nursery to sign up.  The theme for this year is superheros and your littlies really will be super if the get involved and help some of the most vulnerable children in the UK.

Another way to show your support is to pick up one of the special edition  Chicken and Butternut Squash Pie Little Dish packs in Sainsbury's until 1st of June.  For £5 the pack will include a pair of these cute toddler shoes and proceeds with go to Barnardo's.

To enter, please complete the rafflecopter, and don't forget to say which size shoes you'd like - small (4/5), medium (6/7) or large (8/9).

    • log in to Rafflecopter with your Facebook account or your email address and...
    • enter the draw up to 3 times by leaving a blog post comment, tweeting about the giveaway or ‘liking’ the blog post.
    • The more times you enter the better your chances of winning.
    • The winners will be chosen via Rafflecopter (which uses random.org) and announced on this page. Entrants must state the required size.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday 23 May 2012

A Fanta - tastic evening with Linda Barker

Apologies for not posting this sooner - I am still a bit in awe of the fact that I was in the same room as the crafty goddess, the lady I credit for making guns cool.  That's guns of the stapling and gluing variety of course - bang bang guns will NEVER EVER be cool kids!

So, what was I and my fellow bloggers doing in a room with the really, really lovely Linda?

You may well ask.  Turns out that in Fanta have collaborated with the craft queen and come up with a Fun Pack full of zesty crafty makes.  Aimed at getting parents to spend quality time with their kids, there are loads of fun ideas from cookery to sewing.

Linda had picked the fruity T shirt project and supplied us with a whole heap of haberdashery heaven to have fun with.  So, we spent a lovely evening hacking, chopping, stencilling and embellishing our t-shirts.

With blogger lovelies Lucy from Lulastic Blog and Kerry from Multiple Mummy

And finally, my finished T - what do you think?  A lovely pair?

So check out the website and download your free pack full of recipes, instructions and templates.  Why don't you also check out the all new Fanta made with real fruit and no artificial colourings.

Disclaimer: I attended this craft event and received a goody bag.

Tuesday 22 May 2012

Holidaying at Sand le Mere


Phew it was a scorcher today, and phew thank goodness the sun has finally shown his much missed face.

I'm praying he hangs around for a bit because we're off on our jollies in a couple of weeks to a lovely looking holiday home in Yorkshire.

Sand le Mere holiday village have just had a massive £4 million investment, giving them a new swimming complex; restaurant; bar; soft play area and show lounge.

Ruby ADORES holiday park trips (as do I if I'm honest).  You can't get more British than playing on slots and enjoying the evening bingo and cabaret!

So I'm now busy checking out the local attractions; planning an itinerary and looking at money-off days out in Yorkshire.  Sand le Mere is in East Yorkshire near Withernsea - not an area I know so if you have any must-see places do let me know.

I shall be reporting back on the trip and the accommodation so look out for updates.  But in the meantime they are offering some special deals for trips during the school holidays if you fancy checking it out for yourself.  Use code EB10 to claim 10% off breaks taken between 1-9 June; 20 July - 1 September and 26 October to 2 November.

Disclaimer: My family will be accommodated for 4 nights in a comfort holiday home for the purpose of writing a review and sharing my thoughts via the blog/Twitter/Facebook.

Monday 21 May 2012

Pom pom wreath

I just can't help myself with this Jubilee Jamboree that's sweeping the nation.  I thought my house needed decorating, so without further ado, I give you... the pompom wreath (in red; white and blue of course)

I know it's not quite the right blue, but I didn't have any in my wool stash (shock, horror) so I had to buy some.  The savvy shopkeepers have inflated the prices of everything royal blue so I ended up getting navy.  I ask you, I mean, I know it's all about supply and demand, but ripping me off on wool is out of order!

So, you'll need:

Wool of different colours
Scrap card (cereal box type is fine)
A hooped embroidery frame (you could use wire, but the hoop is guaranteed to give you a perfect circle!)
Ribbon to finish

I'm sure I don't need to teach you how to make pompoms, any more than I need to teach my grandmother to suck eggs.  But it's very simple, just make a pair of cardboard doughnuts and wrap with wool.  Check Youtube if you're not sure...

Before you snip through your wool and remove the card, thread them onto your hoop.  It will make life so much easier than trying to thread a completed pompom on.

I used varying sizes of pompoms - partly because I thought it would look more interesting and partly because I could never remember which cup I'd drawn around...

When you've made and threaded enough doughnuts, snip them open, tie them securely around the middle and fan out to fill your ring.

Add some ribbon for more flourish and hang on your door.  Simples.

Linking up with Ta-Dah! Tuesday