12 Mar 2013
in Fascinating Things, Review Tags: Doodle Doll, Handmade, Mommy, Squidge, The Love Bucket
About a month and a half ago, Tabitha drew the most awesome doll ever. Then she drew on the reverse so it looked like a three dimensional character from a cartoon, cut it out and handed it to me with an expression of total pride. I was blown away. I’m 40 and I can’t draw as well as she can at the age of 6!
Then I read an article in Ideas Magazine which talked about a lady called Stacey and her business, The Love Bucket, where she makes Doodle Dolls. These are accurate and identical copies of your kid’s drawings made into gorgeous, felt dolls. Some of the whackier drawings actually turned into the best dolls. Well, I think so anyway.
I had to get this Daphne drawing made into a Doodle Doll. I knew T would adore it and I was soooo excited about seeing it made real. So, I scanned in the pic, sent it to Stacey and POOF the doll was made. I would like to add here that it was one of the easiest things I’ve done this year, the rest of my admin and making has been fraught with kak. In this case I sent the scan, she sent her bank details, I paid her, the doll arrived. And it all happened in under a month, which is superb when you consider how she makes these dolls by hand.
This is a picture showing you the drawing beside the doll:
Today the Doodle Daphne Doll arrived and here is Squidge with her. She is SO happy with her she even made me strap Daphne in the car so she was safe while we were driving. I have never seen her so in love with a toy before. MELT!
26 Jun 2012
in Little Diva Tags: Child, Cute Girl's Hair, Hair, Squidge, Twists
This hairstyle looks amazing and is quite tough to get right. Well, it is for me anyway. I struggle to keep Squidge’s hair in that twist for any length of time, her hair is so fine and curly that it untwists itself really easily. Fortunately, there is the wonder of hair spray and spray-in conditioner. A light blend of the two tends to hold the stray hairs down and the twist in place.
With this style you need: hairbrush, a rat tail comb, a hair band and a bobby pin, patience…
- Brush the hair free from knots and tangles and then use the rat tail comb to divide the hair along the middle of the head. Don’t include the hair from the sides, just a section in the middle of the head that’s parallel to the ears.
- Clip this section out of the way
- Pull the rest of the hair back and twist it into a bun. If you need a great tutorial on how to do this go here. If you don’t have time to do that, my secret is to tie the hair into a pony, separate the hair into two strands, twist them in my hands until they start pulling inwards and then twist them around each other and the hairband until they make a perfect bun, and seal by tucking the ends into the hairband and using a bobby pin to hold them secure.
- Now take the hair you clipped away and brush it into one length and start twisting. Twist it in the direction you want to go!
- Twist it down past the ear to the bun you just made, wrap it around the bun and seal with another hairband and a bobby pin.
- Spritz with a dash of hairspray
- Ta da!!!
13 Jun 2012
in Bedraggled Mum Tags: Exercise, Fat, Hair, School, Squidge
Yes, it has been VERY quiet here on the site. I’m sorry. Half term is always a juggle a minute and I have been trying to keep work and gorgeous child happy. Sort of successfully.
This past two weeks, 12 days to be exact, I have also been fighting two of my personal demons – my weight and my smoking. I have always been a thin person and eaten whatever I liked, but pregnancy and a bad diet and stress soon helped me recover from that and I’ve been getting steadily bigger over the past two years.
So, what I decided to do was a Challenge. I entered a competition, along with a bunch of other equally insane people, to completely change my diet and exercise and achieve the best body I can. It lasts for 98 days and asks that I walk away from every single ounce of refined sugar on the planet. That means saying goodbye to cakes, chocolates, pizza, hamburgers and and and…
I’m not going to lie, it has been incredibly tough. Right now I am sitting here and gagging for something sweet, but instead I am probably going to drink a glass of water and do some exercise. This is the first time I have ever been so determined and I really don’t want to give up.
When it comes to smoking this is also a first. I have gone cold turkey. There is not a patch or a pipe in sight. And today, day 12, sees me grappling with those urges and taking it all one day at a time.
So, these two things have kept me pretty occupied for the last while. But the new term has started, new hairdos have been made, and I shall start popping these beauties up on the site. WISH ME LUCK!
12 May 2012
in Fascinating Things Tags: Cupcake, Nutella, Recipe, Squidge, Victoria Sponge
Yesterday I broke my 40-year cupcake curse. Well, not really 40 years, I wasn’t baking at 6 months old, obviously, but it sounds more dramatic.
Yes, I broke my cupcake curse and made no less than 12 gorgeous, perfect cupcakes that tasted amazing. YAY! So, in honour of this moment I am sharing the recipe that made me flawless cupcakes.
Note: Put Nutella in the fridge for a good 2-3 hours first
225g butter softened (I bunged it into the microwave for about 30 seconds
225g caster sugar
225g self raising flour
4 medium eggs (they must be medium or the mixture tastes too eggy)
2 tsp vanilla extract
Make it up
- Preheat the oven to 200 C and get those all important silicon cases ready and waiting. I was told that a neat little trick is to give the insides of the cupcake cases a little wipe with oil or butter to stop the cakes from sticking and it worked a treat.
- Now blend the sugar and the butter until they are really, really creamy. We don’t have a blender/cooking fun instrument so we whisked it by hand. It takes longer but is kind of great for arm muscles I reckon.
- Once the mixture is super creamy and light add the four eggs one at a time. I’ve found that the trick to making the mixture light and fluffy is to really beat the mixture thoroughly after each egg. We whipped it for ages each time (Squidge also found this hugely entertaining so that’s a bonus) and the resultant cupcake mixture was so frothy it was amazing.
- Now drop in the vanilla extract and stir it in carefully with a metal spoon
- Do the same with the flour – fold it in with a metal spoon until thoroughly blended. I think that you have quite a bit of leeway here as I let Squidge do most of this (she wanted to!) and the mixture didn’t fail or flop.
- Once that’s all neatly made, drop one to one and a half tablespoons of mixture into each case. We have a variety of different silicon case sizes so how much you put in will depend on that really. Add your teaspoon of Nutella and then cover it up with another tablespoon of mixture.
- I also made some with a dollop of jam and some with a swirl of honey
- Pop them into the oven for 15 minutes or until golden brown
- Wait for them to cool (HAHAHAHAHAHAHA, yeah RIGHT, wait for them to cool. Oh, oh, hahahahaha)
I have found that, even with cooling the Nutella prior to dolloping, it can drop to the bottom of the cupcake and not form that lovely and beautiful filling thing that you dream of. I have googled this issue and found several different options. The first is to make it icy cold (check), and the other is to roll your filling in a bit of flour. Oh yes!
This apparently works brilliantly with fruit fillings, chocolate chips and all sorts, so give it a bash.
Heidi over at One Feisty Mama says that she just swirls the Nutella into her mixture (when she bakes her Nutella Cake) which spreads the chocolate evenly throughout and tastes amazing. I used this trick for the honey filled Victoria sponges (which were inspired by Silky’s moon biscuits from Adventures of the Far Away Tree) and they were scrummy with pockets of honey.
There you go. Victoria sponge cupcakes with Nutella filling (or any other damn thing you please). And the ingredients are sooooo cheap and easy, this is my kind of recipe.
11 May 2012
in Little Diva Tags: Cute Girl's Hair, Hair, Hair Bows, School, Squidge
This hairdo totally captivated both Squidge and I when we saw it on the Adopt a Do site yesterday. It looks amazing! So we both thought it would be the perfect choice for Crazy Hair Friday at school today.
I did end up practising it a bit yesterday afternoon and sadly didn’t have the required hairpin that Mindy recommends so it was a little bit harder than it should have been.
For those of you who have girls with curly, fine hair, this do is best created with damp hair (not wet!) and then by twisting the strands before looping them through the hairpin to make them easier to manage. It is actually quite easy once you’ve got the hang of it (and if you have a proper hairpin – note to self: get some) and really, really would be brilliant for weddings, parties and general fun.
It isn’t the most robust style, though. In spite of using a very tight French braid, one of the bows kept falling out. In the end it stayed looped on one side while popping out on the other, a little frustrating. And I don’t expect her hair to come back from school looking anything like this. In fact, I imagine it has already started coming loose even though I used hairspray.
I am not sure if this is because I used the wrong hairpin and stretched the braid too much though, I think it might be. Anyway, this hairstyle looks really complex but is rather easy to achieve. It is, however, time consuming and your little one will have to sit completely still as you thread. I recommend a book/TV/something to keep them occupied while you make it.
I am particularly proud of this one, I really love it.
08 May 2012
in Little Diva Tags: Cute Girl's Hair, Hair, Mommy, Squidge, Twists
I am still struggling with twisting hair. It is incredibly frustrating and yet it delivers such awesome results that I have to keep on trying to get it right. I mean, just look at this hairstyle! It’s so chic and gorgeous and Squidge just loved it. It is one of the best cute girls hairstyles in my repertoire now.
Again, I was inspired by Adopt a Do, but what she makes look easy I find really tough. I think that the reason I struggle is because (other than my two left hands) Squidge’s hair is so fine and tangly. It seems to untwist itself as fast as I twist it! Again, plenty of spray in conditioner and hairspray (I use the John Frieda one that isn’t sticky and awful) tends to fix the problem.
If your little one has the same kind of hair as Squidge, then this style is pretty much perfect. Once you have the hair twisting to your demands, it really does keep those tangles at bay. Although I have to confess that this particular cute girls hairstyle didn’t withstand the demands of school.
I really must start taking pics of how her hair looks at the end of the day so you can see how well each one copes! Happy hairdos!
07 May 2012
in Little Diva Tags: Child, Cute Girl's Hair, Hair, Squidge
This hairstyle is sadly not shown as well as it should be in these pics. I do apologise, I have no idea why I managed to get everything except Squidge’s hair in focus here. I think it was One Of Those Days. Probably brought on by the fact that it hasn’t stopped raining for a month and my brain is likely turning into some kind of mush/mushroom.
This hairdo is gorgeous and it was also taken from Adopt A Do as her styles are still rated as among the easiest and most versatile in my books. You’ll notice that the heart hoops at Mindy’s site are a lot thicker, but Squidge’s seem more, well, tame and this is because Squidge’s hair is very fine and curly.
We often start a style only to realise about halfway through that it just won’t work with thin, fine hair at all. My hair used to be like Squidge’s but it is now very thick so I have no worries about that changing in the future, but for now, all the posts on this site will be ones that work for little girls with fine locks and plenty of curls.
While these heart hoops aren’t necessarily as lustrous as those on Adopt a Do, they are definitely cuter than cute and, I promise, one of the easiest hairstyles to make. You will need to really get your daughter’s hair completely knot free and keep it a bit damp throughout to avoid those frustrating tangles so common with fine hair. I find that using a spray in conditioner (I always rave about Vosene so feel free to insert your choice here) makes a huge difference.
04 May 2012
in Little Diva Tags: Child, Cute Girl's Hair, Elastic Band Art, Hair, School, Squidge
It’s Crazy Hair Friday again and so Squidge opted for this funky heart-shaped hairdo made with judicious use of hairbands and the rat tail comb. I saw this on another site called The Story of a Princess and Her Hair, which has some astonishing hairstyles. What that woman can do with ribbon and braids is nothing short of amazing. I recently tried to do her four-stranded plait but I am still failing miserably.
This particular hairstyle looks really complex. Many of the mums at school this morning asked me if I had to get up at 5am for it! Actually, it is beyond easy and can be done in about ten minutes once you have your head around the general idea.
You’ll need your hairbrush, rat tail comb, as many braiding hair bands as possible – I found these on Amazon – and lots of spray. As usual, I use the Vosene detangler and conditioning spray. Hate the smell, LOVE the result, and the fact that we remain lice-free in this house.
You’ll need to part the hair down the middle up until you are level with the ears, and then part the hair again down the sides to the ears. Take the left side and clip it or tie it away, and do the same with the hair falling down the back. On the right side, part the hair again at the diagonal and then clip the other chunk of hair away.
Starting at the back on the right-hand part, scoop up a little pony tail of hair, tie it up and then go to the next one and repeat. The trick here is to kind of twist the hair of the pony so it forms a neat end and then twist the second strand into it. This just makes sure you don’t have fly away bits and keeps the hair tidy for when you tie it. You can use as many hair bands as you like – the website I copied uses loads but I only used a few.
You move forward towards the brow, turn, grab the chunk you tied away, and then follow the shape of a heart to the back. Repeat this on the left and then bring them together in the middle. I added in some extra bands just for looks on the rear long strands. Then brush her hair at the back and you’re done! The crazy elastic band heart is all yours.
We used black braiding bands as we did this for school, but you can really get some great effects by using coloured bands.
24 Apr 2012
in Little Diva Tags: Child, Crazy Hair, Cute Girl's Hair, Mohawk, School, Squidge, Twists
This hairstyle is entirely the genius of Mindy over at Adopt a Do. There is no way I could ever be that creative with hair. It also comes with a great story so be prepared to read some when you get there.
I bet you’re staring at it in a combination of amazement and concern. Who could send their child to school like THAT I hear you ask. Well. I did. And The Husband DID ask. And halfway to school, Squidge took the entire thing out and ended up wearing an awful, terrible Daddy Pony Tail of Doom.
Apparently, said The Husband, people kept staring at her and it freaked her out. I felt awful!
However, this is, to me, still an awesome hairdo and it is so easy to make. Possibly save it for a special occasion that warrants such insanity though. I’m not going to tell you how to make it, Adopt a Do does it far better and with video.
17 Apr 2012
in Little Diva Tags: Child, Cute Girl's Hair, Mommy, Squidge, T, Twists
This cute girls hairstyle had me smitten from the start but it did take a bit of persuading to get Squidge on board. She didn’t think it was exciting enough. Fortunately some cuddles persuaded her to try it out and she patiently endured my spraying and fiddling.
You’ll need spray, a hairbrush, elastic bands, a rat tail comb and patience for this style. It is really easy but requires a little bit of patience and fiddling about. The problem I have is that I am incapable of parting hair. Yes. This is very true and very embarrassing.
Ever since I was a kid I failed to part my hair. I got away with it because my hair was huge, frizzy and impossible to tame. THEN the world of hair straighteners came along and I scraped by with a faintly straight stripe.
THEN some *(!”&(!*”& came up with the zigzag parting. Who did that? Why? What did I do to them? I have never been able to do it and can almost do one on Squidge.
So this particular do demands that you part the hair in straight lines so you can get this joozsh look. As you can see at the back, I failed. hahaha. You can see all the instructions on how to create these clever twists on Adopt a Do but the premise is quite simple.
Just use the rat tail comb to part the hair into two lines, one near the front of the head and one hear the middle. You are only using the hair in the middle of the head, not from the sides. Then take the hair in the front and divide it into two strands – one on the right and one on the left – and tie them in a knot. That’s it!
Get your child to hold the ends and repeat on the second section. Now you have two lovely little hair knots sitting in the centre of the head. Pull the rest of the hair back into a low pony, adding in the strands from the two knots, and tie.
And you’re done. Feel free to add in bows, flowers, and other such pretty stuff.
I think that in my series I am going to start showing you pics of how the hair looks when she gets home from school. You’ll be amazed at which ones survive and which ones are in complete disarray.