Monday, 28 October 2013

Best Baby Stocking Fillers

I remember being so excited about my girls' first Christmases. But when it comes down to it putting together a stocking for someone who neither wants or needs very much is pretty difficult! So here are some ideas that I used. Hopefully you'll find them pretty thrifty too. Of course the suitability of the following does depend on your baby's age but I guess you could put one or two things aside for later in the year?!

With your usual shopping
Ok there are a few things your baby needs, such as new socks or a toothbrush! Can you pop them into their stocking to make up some space?!
* Snacks: with three little ones we stopped buying expensive toddler snacks on a regular basis but we do still buy them as a treat.
* Flannel/Sponge/toothbrush 
* Socks 
* For girls - hair things 

Charity shops/Car boot sales
I know some people still turn their noses up at second hand for their baby but with a quick wipe down of a disinfectant wipe many plastic toys are as good as new!
* Rattles 
* Small toys such as happyland figures or cars
* Mini books 

Pound shop
* Teethers
* Bubbles
* Crafty bits: crayons, stickers etc

Things you can make

* Glitter bottles: easy peasy. Buy some small, clear, plastic bottles (mine are fruit juice bottles from Tesco) and then get some glitter and some electrical tape from the poundshop. Mix as much glitter as you like with a bottle full of water, it will probaby change the colour of the water, as mine have. I have a glue gun so I used it to glue the lid on, but you could use superglue instead. Then I covered the entire lid with electrical tape and glue the ends down for good measure.

Initial blankets: some people call them taggies. I appliqued my girls' initials on them. Each one is fleecy on one side and has colourful polycotton squares on the other side. Then I've added the ribbon tags. The are lovely little comforters.Won't surprise you to hear that these were all from my scraps bag!

* Christmas cuddly toys 
* Bib 

And of course the perfect finishing touch to your baby stocking is a Memories Gro gift voucher to have a treasured keepsake made from their precious first garments. Find out more at

You'll find links to some of these handmade ideas and more on my Pintrest boards where I also have ideas for my girls' toddler stockings for this year...

Sunday, 20 October 2013

Silent Sunday

Ballerina Baby Toy

One of my NCT friends has just had her second baby, a little girl. So I made her a toy which was a variation on my Dolly pattern, adding in one of those teething, linking rings that babies seem to love so much. Another scrap-busting project (I have a LOT of scraps!) The tulle is off-cuts from my veil, which I made myself, see below.

It was cathedral length, and even though I wore it all day I am sure it took longer to make than it was worn for as I sewed bugle beads all round the edges. Oh well, maybe one of my girls will wear it one day?!

It wasn't difficult to make, nerve wracking cutting the tulle, but simple enough. Sadly I just looked for the tutorial I used and it's no longer there. Such are the pitfalls of the net.

Friday, 11 October 2013


When I take my eye off the ball tea-times (the girls' lighter meal) get very samey; cream cheese sandwiches, crackers and cream cheese, eggy bread, scrambled egg etc. All fine but I have learnt to my cost, with my Big Girl, that variety is good for children and introducing them to new foods is important. So I do try to do new things.

They like tortilla wraps but I don't like the fact that I buy a packet and they will only need two or three. It ocured to me that I must be able to make them myself, and maybe I might be able to freeze the left over dough and only cook them when I need them. 

I found a great recipe. I would say if you want a tortilla that fills a normal size  frying pan then it makes more like 10 portions, not 12. I used two, wrapped the others individually in cling film and popped them into a bag and into the freezer. I have since used two from the freezer and they freeze and defrost just fine. But if you're going to make quesadillas, as below then I recommend cooking them with the filling, not before.

So, I took my two dough portions out of the freezer and rolled them out with a little flour on the work surface. Heated the frying pan and then popped in the first tortilla. Spread homemade tomato sauce* on the tortilla, and then topped with beans (kidney are best but cannellini, as in the photo, are fine) and cheese, and then the second tortilla. It takes around 10-15mins, flipping it a few times. I put a plate on top, then placing a hand on top, turn it over and slide it back into the pan.
When it's cooked you can slice it up with a pizza wheel and, once it's cool, pass it round your little ones. My three gobbled one of these down between them. 

* I add courgettes and carrots to my homemade tomato sauce in a sneaky Mummy attempt to get veggies into them. I make a huge vat of sauce and freeze it up in little pots. It also gets used as a pasta sauce and we make pizzas, Big Girl helps me, we cut rounds out of pieces of toast and top the tomato sauce with sweetcorn, some sort of cooked meat and cheese. They get gobbled too.
 I love cooking for them when they eat!

Monday, 7 October 2013

A Bit Girly

I've decided to get a wriggle on with the girls' stockings. The will still have beautiful presents on a budget, it just takes a bit more organisation and planning. The only thing I bought for these crowns and wands were the ribbons. The rest is all from my scraps bag.

The crowns are fastened at the back with a button and some sparkly elastic that was in my wrapping box from last Christmas! They were inspired by this lovely blog post, although I used fleece instead of felt, it's so lovely and soft.

I was going to make these wands but I think the little ones are still a bit young for them. I would worry about them having
beads and wire! My wands have gardening green sticks that I've wrapped with wadding inside them.

Really, really pleased with how they've turned out. It's a shame I have such a long wait now to give them to them!

Wednesday, 2 October 2013

Oooh ooh ooh! Guest Blog!

Over at Twin Life Online, read about my transition from working woman to mum(trepreneur) of three!