Tuesday, 24 November 2020

Our favourite books - The Fairytale Hairdresser and Beauty & the Beast

Taking time to read in the evening for our bedtime routine has always been a big thing for us as a family and it's a part of our daily lives now. I really love that having this regular reading time means all three children are often found with a book of their own through the day at some stage and it's these books that I like to think of as their favourites. Our favourites tend to change along with the book selection which I swap out at least once every month, from here on out I wanted to start regularly sharing what books are big hits and end up being read over and over again. Let's face it, we all have those books our children just can't get enough of!

The big favourite book this last month was The Fairytale Hairdresser and Beauty & the Beast written by Abuse Longstaff and illustrated by Lauren Beard. It's actually one that has been in our collection for a while but has been recently rediscovered and enjoyed, particularly by Scarlet. She found it in the bookcase first and has been found almost every day sat at her little table looking through all the pages. 

The book is from The Fairytale Hairdresser collection which currently has eight books published with the wonderful main character Kitty Lacey, a hairdresser who lives in Fairyland. Her clients are all familiar characters found inside our beloved children's fairytales. Each story has it's own little twist from the originals and I find we all enjoy the little differences. I think The Fairytale Hairdresser and Beauty & the Beast is actually my personal favourite from the series too. 

In The Fairytale Hairdresser and Beauty & the Beast you follow the story of Bella, Kittie's friend who is a painter. There is a big ball coming up in Fairyland to celebrate the birthday of Cinderella and Prince Charming's son. It's as you can imagine a very busy time for Kittie Lacey getting everyone ready for the ball. While on a picnic break with Bella to test out hairstyles it begins raining. They escape to Beast's castle for shelter, well I'm sure you know most of the story from there. Although this version contains a few more twists and a whole lot more hair! 

We see Beast's feelings coming out in The Fairytale Hairdresser and Beauty & the Beast as he expresses his fears and confides in his friend Kittie Lacey. You can read all about who Beast was before the wicked curse was cast upon him and watch his transformation as Kittie Lacey works her hair magic just in time for the ball and his true transformation but will Beau be able to find his own perfect style once he is no longer a Beast?

I have so many favourite pieces to this story but one that I really enjoy seeing is that Bella is actually a person of colour, she has beautiful dark skin and her hair is a voluminous afro. Kittie Lacey can be seen to use the right combs and hairstyles for Bella's hair. It's refreshing to see a whole mix of characters and skin tones featured inside a story based on the fairytales we all know and love. 

The story also touches several times on the various jobs people in Fairyland have, the jobs are vast with Bella herself being the official royal artist. How cool is that? There are many jobs in Fairyland which have wonderful characters with their own stories. Usually in fairytale style books the things like jobs are quickly rushed over or completely left behind. This aspect adds to the reality comparisons in The Fairytale Hairdresser and Beauty & The Beast. 

All in all I think it's a great book, it's diverse, full of great characters and has the whole fairytale experience but in a different way than the classics. The bright colourful illustrations bring the whole world to life on the pages of the book too. We would defiantly recommend this book to any fairytale style book fans. It makes a great addition to any collection and would even make for a good Christmas gift.

You can purchase your own copy of The Fairytale Hairdresser and Beauty & The Beast for just £5.94 on Amazon. 

Friday, 30 October 2020

A DIY Wicked Witches Hat Ring Toss Game { DIY Halloween activities }

 Halloween is going to be very different this year, things are going to feel more secluded and some big traditions are just a straight up no-go for so many. I know for us it will be a new experience for sure, we usually celebrate with lots of local events and a spot of trick or treating on Halloween night. All of which is totally cancelled so I wanted to do something different for the children this year, especially since they are already excited. 



Over the last few weeks I have been thinking about ways I can add to Halloween but still be safe and make it 2020 friendly? Now that it's under three weeks away I thought it would be nice to share some of the fun activities I created. The first of which is wicked witches hat ring toss, a fun game to play, this would be a perfect night time game as it uses glow sticks!

To create your own wicked witches hat ring toss you will need:

  • Black card
  • Witches hat PDF Templates
  • Coloured card and/or coloured foam
  • Scissors
  • Glue Gun
  • Extra Glue sticks for glue gun
  • 1 pack of bendable glow sticks

1. Take your templates and cut out the biggest circle and semicircle piece. You will need to cut two of each piece from your black card. This should use 3 A4 sheets of black card. Position the circles to one end of the card to allow space for the smallest circles later. 
2. Cut around the second circle and semi circle pieces in your template. Again you will need two of each piece and this will be another two pieces of card. You should be able to get a circle and semicircle from each A4 sheet.
3. The final cut out are the smallest circle and semicircle in your template. Cut four of each piece for these instead of two. Cut the circles out of the card leftover from step 1. The semi circles can be cut from a new sheet of card. 
4. Now that you have all your pieces cut out it will be time for assembly. Take each circle and pair it with one semi circle. Starting with your semicircle you need to glue along the tabs, attach to the other side of the semicircle to make a cone shape.
5. Add glue all around the rim of the cone (be as close to the edge as you can) and press onto the matching circle. 
6. Repeat steps 4 and 5 for each witches hat.     

7. Create a coloured band for each hat by cutting out the final pieces of the template and choosing your colour and either card or foam. Cut each piece to match your witches hats. 


8. Glue down the bands to all of your hats and you can use this band to cover any spots where the glue is visible around the seam. 



9. Take your glow stick pack and create rings (or bracelet shapes) with each, you can attach two together to create a larger ring. 



10. Now you can play the game by placing your wicked witches hats on a table or the floor and having your rings nearby.  I recommend using blue tac to secure them or adding them onto some cardboard for  a more stable game. Why not place tape on the floor at varying distances to add some degree of challenges too.

I love how this game turned out! It was so fun to make and something the whole family can get involved in. I did go back at the end and cut a hole inside each hats bottom to allow me to stack the up for storage too. 

Do see what other DIY Halloween activities I have shared. 

Would your family enjoy playing Wicked Witches Hat Ring Toss?


Tuesday, 27 October 2020

Homemade pumpkin jammy dodgers perfect for Halloween

 Every year on Halloween we create a little tea party type dinner with lots of spooky themed treats, yummy savory bite and we usually spend the days leading up to it making everything together. This year won't be any different other than the fact it falls on movie night! However this year will see us use one of my own Halloween themed creations to add to our tea party. 

A hexagon shaped plate filled with pumpkin shaped biscuits with happy, sad and funny faces cut out with red strawberry jam visible. The plate sits on a light white/grey wood background with a white tea towel under the plate to the right side.

I'm using my go to recipe for shortbread, I don't think this recipe came from anywhere in particular it is just a basic 3-2-1 recipe that I adjust depending on how much we want to make at the time. With the shortbread recipe I made our very own pumpkin jammie dodgers and they are so simple, not to mention adorable!


You will need: 

Ingredients 

  • 1 1/2 cups of plain flour
  • 1 cup of butter 
  • 1/2 cup of caster sugar
  • Jam (any flavour) 
  • extra flour for rolling
Equipment
  • Mixing bowl
  • Baking paper
  • Rolling pin
  • pumpkin shaped cookie cutter 
  • Small cookie cutters for faces (a knife works fine too)
  • 2 trays for baking
  • Measuring cups
  1. Preheat your oven to 180oC. Line your baking trays with baking paper. 
  2. Once you have all your ingredients measured out you can combine the sugar and butter in a bowl and mix until combined. 
  3. Add in the flour in several parts ensuring you mix well between each addition. Towards the end of the flour your dough will come together and may be easier to handle with your hands.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                

  4. Sprinkle some flour on your surface and roll out your dough to about 0.5-1 cm thick. Cut out pumpkin shapes using the cookie cutter and place on the trays.
  5. Combine all the leftover dough together and repeat the last step until there is no dough left. You should have two separate trays with even numbers on each. Our dough gave us about 26 pumpkin shapes.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         

  6. Place one tray in the oven to cook for around 12-15 minutes. These will become the back piece for the jammy dodgers.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  

  7. Meanwhile you can use your cookie cutters or knife to cut out faces or words/ shapes in the remaining pumpkins. I used a knife as our mini cookie cutters hadn't arrived in time. You'll notice there are also a few ghost shapes in our photos, you can make them any shape you like!
  8. Once you have the faces or shapes cut out you will be ready to bake this last set, be aware these will take less time than the previous set. Our took around 8-10 minutes to go golden brown.                                                                                                                                                                                                                

  9. Allow all the shortbread biscuits to cool fully. I added some lustre dusting in an edible gold spray to some of our pumpkins to give them a bit of fun colour and shine.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 

  10. Finally you need to start sandwiching together a back and front with your chosen jam. I went with strawberry jam as it's the favourite in our house and it's the classic jammy dodger flavour. 


All that is left is to enjoy! 


What are your plans for Halloween this year?


Thursday, 22 October 2020

You never let me say goodbye. {An open letter after the death of a family member}

A book with blurred writing sits tilted to the left and open on a table. To the top right is a glass candle lit with a deep orange flame. The camera is focused on a small bunch of baby's breath that is closer to the camera




























You knew, you've known for a while. It's cancer, your dying and you never thought I deserved to know, to hear it from you. You have 6 months left, or that is their guess but you don't want to see me and that hurts in my chest.

What you don't realise is that you mean so much to me, your like a father to me. It's been a while but I think about you often and wonder if you still smile. Do you remember my children? You've only met one and they won't know the man that you are. They won't see who you once where. They won't remember you holding their hand or you running around to catch them and make them laugh like you did with us. They won't see you smile or laugh or even frown. They won't know that you cared or loved them. They won't know who you where.

You taught me how to tie my shoes and you helped me up when I couldn't be me. You built me up when others tore me down and you loved me without need for love in return. You protected me when you needed to, you steered me right and you felt like a friend, there to listen and offer your advice, never to judge or look down upon my choices. You cared and you listened, you helped and just been there. How can I just forget that your there. Just a few miles away and I can't just come, just give you a hug and tell you just how much you are loved.

I watched you get married and smile and love. I watched you live and now I don't get to say goodbye. It's not something your giving to me and I understand it's your wish but I wish it wasn't true. My heart hurts when I think about you not being here. You'll never be there to give me away. You'll never watch as my children grow and learn. You won't know who I become or where I'll end up and I miss you for that.

You won't be here for Christmas nor will you see another birthday. It's oh so close now but just so far away. You have weeks now, not months and I can't breathe when I think about a world where you don't exist.

A book sits open on a table, inside a poem is written called I never got to say goodbye, a rose gold pen with an elephant on top sits on the opposite blank page. to the right above the book is a cream coloured lit candle in a glass holder. To the left is a bouquet of red chrysanthemum and baby's breath that sit closer to the camera.




























I never got to say goodbye,
No holding close while we both cry. 
I never got to say goodbye,
No last I love you or final words.
I just never got to say goodbye. 

Wednesday, 21 October 2020

Blog anniversary celebrations with ModiBodi { Giveaway }

 *AD - The product featured in this post have been gifted for this giveaway.*

To help us celebrate six years of blogging at Us Two Plus You I have been running several giveaways across the blog and on our social media channels in the last week. Today we are continuing the celebrations by joining up with ModiBodi! Which works out to be perfectly timed with World Environmenstrual Week.

If you have never heard of ModiBodi before they are an underwear brand from Australia with a bit of a difference. ModiBodi create beautiful, comfortable underwear that is made to fit all women of every shape and size, oh and they are made to be period, perspiration and pee proof! They even make swimwear, so you are covered for every need. 

The founder of ModiBodi, Kirsty Chong has spent years making incredible technology like the patented Modifier Technology which is used in the ModiBodi underwear range. Her journey started after she had her second child and dealt with pelvic floor issues. It was then that she realised our underwear hasn't changed even though we have made significant advancements in the technology available. This Modifier Technology brings women around the world a whole range of leak-proof underwear that is comfortable, lightweight and even looks fantastic on. What more could we want? 

In the UK ModiBodi offers a wide selection of underwear and Swimwear with 16 different styles available. The range covers everything from underwear that is moisture wicking and perfect for exercising in right through to maternity underwear to see us through the challenging changes that brings our bodies. In fact they even have a leak-proof breastfeeding top for when baby arrives and our bodies change all over again.

Today I am going to focus on their underpants range, I think this is the biggest range they do and it covers you for everything from light spotting and discharge to heavy periods or pelvic floor issues. You won't miss out on having your favourite style of underwear to enjoy either since the ModiBodi range has seven styles available including a thong that is suitable for occasional discharge and period spotting which is considered to be super light on the ModiBodi flow ratings. 



The other six styles cover a range of the available flow ratings from moisture wicking for exercising in through to moderate to heavy which is perfect for heavy periods and discharge or light bladder leaks. Some of the styles even offer a sensual or seam free option which means you can enjoy your favourite underwear without restricting your wardrobe choices!

The other six styles you can get at ModiBodi are listed below with their available flow rating alongside. 

Brief: moisture wicking, light-moderate.

Boyshort: moderate-heavy, heavy-overnight.

Boyleg: moisture wicking, light-moderate, moderate-heavy.

Full brief: light-moderate, moderate-heavy, heavy-overnight.

Bikini: moisture wicking, light-moderate, moderate-heavy, heavy-overnight, maxi-24 hours.

Hi-waist bikini: light-moderate, heavy-overnight, maxi-24 hours.


The range doesn't just stop at different styles being available, many of the underpants in the ModiBodi range comes in a variety of colours too. Being able to choose underpants colour is both fun and practical. I know I love having my underwear be fun colours instead of just black so the ability to choose the colour while benefiting from the technology of ModiBodi underwear is a big plus for me!

So why would you decide to change from what you use now to ModiBodi underpants? 

Honestly they are better for everyone, firstly the impact on the environment from disposable products for periods, discharge and pelvic floor issues is huge. Inside disposable pads you will find up to 90% of the materials are plastic! Even tampons contain plastic without considering the plastics they are wrapped in or the plastic applicators on tampons. By deciding to change from disposable pads to ModiBodi's reusable underpants you will be saving plastic from entering the ecosystem. Not to mention the savings you will make from not having to keep purchasing all the disposable products that currently take up space in your bathroom. 

Another question you might ask is 'isn't it hard to keep up with the washing and upkeep?' 

The answer is no! You don't need to washing your ModiBodi underwear in any special way to benefit. You shouldn't use fabric softener and they should be in an underwear bag in your washing machine to give them a long life of use. However those should be included in your normal underwear washing! The only difference with using ModiBodi underpants is that you should rinse them when you take them off in cold water until the water runs clear. This helps them last longer and prevents staining. It's actually just as easy as it sounds and is really a matter of a routine when you start wearing them ! 

You can purchase the whole range of ModiBodi underpants on their site with prices starting at just £14.50 up to £25. 


Now for the giveaway.

ModiBodi are giving our readers the chance to win two pairs of their underpants in your size! To enter you can fill in the Gleam form below.


Win two pairs of ModiBodi Underpants 


Terms and Conditions:

  • Entrants must be aged 18 years or over.
  • Competition is open to UK residents only.
  • Entry into this competition confirms your acceptance of these Terms and Conditions
  • The winners will be selected at random from all the correct entries received before the closing date and time.
  • All prizes must be accepted as offered. There can be no alternative awards, cash or otherwise. 
  • There will be one winner.
  • The underpants styles will be chosen at random from those available in stock on ModiBodi when the winner is announced and details have been confirmed. 
  • The winner can choose their prefered size from those available on ModiBodi.
Friday, 16 October 2020

Win a Victor Badminton Longsleeve in Blue Melange from BadmintonHQ { Blog Anniversary Giveaway }

 *AD - The product featured in this post has been gifted for the giveaway*

To continue on the Blog anniversary celebrations I have joined up with BadmintonHQ to give our readers the chance to win a Victor Badminton longsleeve in Blue Melange. It is a perfect top to wear for badminton and many other sports now it's getting colder.

BadmintonHQ is an online shop that specialises in badminton equipment. BadmintonHQ was started by David Tuttlebee when he got frustrated about a lack of information and unavailability of a badminton racket he was trying to buy for a friend back in 2018. He decided he wanted to change things and in January 2019 he signed a deal with Niel Tiger (a former International badminton player) and Westgate badminton centre in Hampshire. The deal wase create the UK's biggest racket demo centre while providing all the information a player will need to decide on a racket purchase. In August of 2019 the online store BadmintonHQ was launched to provide players both new and experienced a trusted place to buy all their equipment and more at the best price. 


           

One of the products available on BadmintonHQ is the Victor Badminton Longsleeve, available in Blue Melange. A long sleeved sports top  that is designed with sports and exercise in mind. The Victor Badminton Longsleeve is made of a spandex material that is lightweight without compromising on comfort or movement while exercising and playing sports. As you can see the Victor Badminton Longsleeve features a quarter zip on the front to ensure ease of use when putting on or taking off this pullover style top.

The Victor Badminton Longsleeve also includes an inner fleece membrane which works to keep your warmth close to your body. This design makes it perfect for autumn when you want something a little warmer for exercising/ playing sports in. The even better news is that there is a good range of sizing with sizes XS to L currently available.

You can purchase the Victor Badminton Longsleeve in Blue Melange from £35.95 on BadmintonHQ


Now for the giveaway! 

To enter our giveaway with BadmintonHQ to win a Victor Badminton Longsleeve in Blue Melange you can use the Gleam entry form below. 

Good Luck! 


Win a Victor Badminton Longsleeve in Blue Melange 


  • Entrants must be aged 18 years or over.
  • Competition is open to UK residents only.
  • Entry into this competition confirms your acceptance of these Terms and Conditions
  • The winners will be selected at random from all the correct entries received before the closing date and time.
  • All prizes must be accepted as offered. There can be no alternative awards, cash or otherwise.  
  • The winner can choose their prefered size from those available on BadmintonHQ
  • There will be one winner 


Thursday, 15 October 2020

Our Favourite Books - The Ghost Train by Allen & Janet Ahlberg

Since it's October and we've already changed all of our books over to the Halloween selection a few weeks ago I thought it would be nice to share the favourite so far! Usually I would share last months favourite but it would mean the next few months books would come after each holiday so I'll share these a little differently. 


The big hit this month is a new one for us, I realised we hadn't got many spooky type books in our collection and of course that needed rectifying immediately! I purchased The Ghost Train by Allen Ahlberg the minute I found it on Amazon. We managed to get our hands on The Ghost Train by Allen Ahlberg at the beginning of October. It was very quickly added to the bookshelf and quickly became a hit with both Scarlet and Dylan. I remember reading the Funnybones books when I was younger and being able to share books I loved with my children is pretty special. 



The Ghost Train is one of the books in the Funnybones series which is written by Janet and Allen Ahlberg. A husband and wife duo who first created the original funny bones book back in 1980. The series grew to include several more books including The Ghost train which just like the rest of the series was republished by Penguin books. The Funnybones books are all based around a world that only comes out at night, a world in shadows with it's own spooky creatures like those we dress up as on Halloween.



The Ghost Train by Allen and Janet Ahlberg follows the story of the big skeleton, the little skeleton and the dog skeleton as they go for a ride on the ghost train. The adventure is only beginning as they travel through the dark, dark town and towards the Ghost-Town-by-the-sea.



There are many sights to see and things to do at the Ghost-Town-by-the-sea. Big skeleton, Little Skeleton and dog skeleton join in, they take time to watch the Monsters' Beauty Parade and before they hear the ghost trains whistle to signal home time at 3 o'clock. 
Something spooks the Skeleton gang on the way home, causing the to run and hide, I wonder what could it be?



The Ghost Train is illustrated by Andre Amstutz. It has it's own very unique and instantly recognisable illustrations. The whole book is full of bright, colourful illustrations that really show up against the dark, dark world at night time. You can spot lots of fun spooky characters and places inside the illustrations. I love that Andre Amstutz really captured the spookiness of the world while creating, cute and lovable monsters, ghosts and skeleton's to occupy it. The illustrations are really the perfect accompaniment to the story and captures it all really well. 


I cannot recommend The Ghost Train enough for a Halloween themed bookcase. It has the perfect amount of spooky feeling in the book while being balance out with fun. The Ghost Train matches up with so many every day experiences we might have whilst on a train but adds the element of darkness at night and unexpected characters like monsters and ghosts. 

I will be looking at finding the rest of the Funnybones series for our collection. 
Which was your favourite book growing up?
Wednesday, 14 October 2020

Let's celebrate six years of blogging at Us Two Plus You! {Giveaway}

A flat lay style photo with a laptop seen to the top left, positioned on top of the edge of a notebook angled to the side in the bottom right side.The notepads right page has the days of the working week written out in grey rectangles with blurred writing alongside. A copper coloured metal pen is laid on the table just below the notepad and is half blurred. A cup of coffee sits in the bottom left corner, a succulant plant can be seen in the top right are of the photo.

It's hard to believe it has been six whole years since I first sat down and made the decision to start a blog. I started writing Us Two Plus You back when Dylan was small to help those people in our family who live too far to visit often stay up to date on our lives. Over the last six years that has totally transformed into a little slice of the web where I share our lives, advice, fun activities and so much more. I didn't really imagine we'd be here six years later but here we are and I absolutely love writing, a new development since I was awful at English lessons at school!

I have no idea where Us Two Plus You will take me. I have some ideas on things that I want to start sharing more about and that will be a goal for me to start doing over the end of the year and the beginning of next. For now I have lots of fun Halloween and Christmas, yes I said the dreaded C word but I'm really excited about it!

For now though we'd best get onto the celebration part of hitting 6 years of blogging! This week will hold a whole host of giveaways that I have planned, some have been a collaboration with brands while others are just from me. The first giveaway is included in the post but over the next few days there will be more. Some will be here on the blog while others are going to be hosted on our social media channels so be sure to head over and check them out. (click the icons in the side bar along the side of this post.)

A box of green Zimpli Kids Slime Play is sat on a white table surrounded by origami stars and strips of folded paper in various colour..


 I'm starting off with a small but a fun giveaway, I have a box of Zimpli Kids Slime Play in green to giveaway to one of our readers. We've had lots of fun with slime play before but I have to say it's one of the products I always keep around for quite rainy days at home. It's very versatile and offers a great sensory play activity for fun or even for learning.

You can get involved and enter the first giveaway using the Gleam entry form below. 

Win a pack of Zimpli Kids Slime Play in green.

Terms and conditions:

  • Entrants must be aged 18 years or over.
  • Competition is open to UK residents only.
  • Entry into this competition confirms your acceptance of these Terms and Conditions
  • The winners will be selected at random from all the correct entries received before the closing date and time.
  • All prizes must be accepted as offered. There can be no alternative awards, cash or otherwise.  
  • There will be one winner 
  • This promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with, Instagram or Facebook.
Monday, 12 October 2020

Staggered start school runs and a plan for winter { The Ordinary Moments }



We're really starting to get into the swing of the school routine again. The first few weeks always feel like your racing against the clock to fit everything into the day, especially when your children are transitioning in. Scarlet started the year with just 1 hour spent at nursery each day. It felt as if we got home just to head back out for the pick up run. She's settling in well now and we've hit the stage where she's in for a few hours. It's amazing how much those few hours can make to our daily routine though. 

Life is still mostly consisting of school runs, we are currently doing three but with staggered start times we're preparing to start doing four! Our morning staggered starts are as far apart as they can be, with one starting at the first slot while the other is in the last. It's been ok for us so far but as the frosty mornings are creeping in we're becoming more aware that this just won't work in winter. 

We've got a plan but it will quite the juggling act and we will have to get everyone out of the house to make it work. Which means we will end up with one more child to dress and take out in the morning while we juggle getting children to school. Hopefully it will work and mean that we don't have one child outside for over half an hour during the winter mornings. 

Do you have several children starting school at different times? 
What are your plans for winter?



The Ordinary Moments
Friday, 9 October 2020

DIY Build a Pumpkin Face Felt Set with free PDF template

 It's October which can only mean that Halloween is on our minds. This year is certainly different to normal and we'll be spending much more of the holiday at home. I think for many families celebrating will be very different and I wanted to create a fun activity style felt set for this month. I decided to create a pumpkin felt set that has interchangeable face pieces for children to create their own pumpkins.
















It's a really simple set but with Halloween quickly coming up I wanted to create a set the easy to make, fun to play with and something smaller children could enjoy as well as older children too. 

To create the set you will need:

Before you get started you need to decide which size set you want. I created the small version which all fits on an A4 page first but decided it was too small and fiddly for smaller children. I then decided to scale up the set to be an A4 sized pumpkin with the features on a second A4 page. I am happier with the big set as it's the perfect size for Scarlet and the smaller is better for Dylan.



Once you have decided you will need to print the PDF off (download using the link above) and cut out each of the pieces. Take the template pieces and place on top of your felt, do this one piece at a time to cut it out, be mindful of what pieces you can cut close together. I cut the pumpkin out of the orange, a leaf out of green and cut the pumpkin stem and the lines in the pumpkin from brown and then I cut all the face pieces from two colours, I did yellow and white for the small pumpkin shape and then I cut the large pumpkin face pieces from both yellow and brown. 
















I would say I prefer the brown and yellow combo, they make for good shadowing, they can also be used as a non lit pumpkin face and one that is lit up. 


Once you have all your pieces cut out and ready you need to get the pumpkin shape, leaf, stem and the lines for the pumpkin together. Use your hot glue gun to stick each piece in place. I decided I wasn't as big a fan of the pumpkin lines as I hoped and I glued them on the side with the stem and leaf to enable the other side to be plain. Scarlet seems to prefer playing with that side too. 



When you have finished gluing the pieces on your all done and ready to play! Pair it up with a felt board and get creating. 


We are really enjoying this set. It's been played with a good bit already and I think it will be used for the whole of October. I even plan to pop all the pieces in a big envelope to go away with our Halloween decorations in November. 

Enjoy creating your very own Pumpkin Faces Felt Set! 


I will be creating and sharing a Christmas/ Winter scene in November/ Decembers PDF Sets. Is there any particular pieces you'd like to see?
Monday, 5 October 2020

Puddle splashing in autumn { The Ordinary Moments }

 It's October! This time of year is my favourite, I enjoy spring and summer but for me the run up to Halloween and Christmas is what I love. We've already started getting into the Halloween spirit with movies, decorations and even our bookcase has made the switch to be more spooky!

With Halloween comes the beginning of Autumn, there's a nice chill in the air that makes you want to cuddle up under a blanket with a hot drink and the beautiful colours of nature appear. For children there comes the promise of rain, much more than we have in summer and with rain comes puddles. I don't know about your children but for mine puddle jumping is a sport of which they adore! 

As I had said last week when I talked about exploring nature and getting outside I have prepared for autumn and every one of us has wellington boots while all three children have waterproof clothing for when it's wet. You can bet that the minute it rained enough to leave giant puddles we had to head out and enjoy splashing around! 


Small Blonde haired girl, wearing a bright pink waterproof suit and black wellington boots with stars on is looking down at a puddle she is walking in on the road with the bottom of a wall in the background

We found a quite street in the area with an enormous puddle which everyone enjoyed splashing around in. Scarlet and Dylan both ran around for about 20 minutes before we convinced them it really was home time. Simon and I had even joined in, I can't say it is something we have done since we were children but it was fun! We also Avery played in smaller puddles along the way, even if I'd lost one of his wellington boots and he had to wear Scarlet's old ones!

Dark blonde haired boy with hazel eyes wearing a blue winter coat, navy waterproof trousers and bright green wellington boots is standing in a puddle which has several small splashes coming over his boots. In the background you can see cars parked on the other side of the street and the street corner with houses bending round into a diagonal line.

We've already had requests from Dylan and Scarlet to go out in the rain to the park! Which is obviously a fantastic idea and once my waterproof coat arrives will be our next rainy day adventure. Perhaps we'll even bring some coffee in a flask for me and Simon since we can't join in with that one.

Do you get out and go puddle jumping in autumn?


We are again joining in with The Ordinary Moments link up, be sure to head over and check out the other bloggers joining in.




The Ordinary Moments
Monday, 28 September 2020

Exploring nature and getting outside { The Ordinary Moments }

 It already feels like the time we are spending outside is greatly reducing, school is back and we are now finding our own daily rhythm again. This autumn I don't want to forget about how much we love being outdoors this autumn, We get out so much in Spring and Summer so there really isn't any excuse! 

We have only managed to get out once a week for a good proper walk but that is okay, I think a minimum of once a week will be fine for us. We managed to take a lovely walk over to a nature reserve where we got to feed the ducks, run around and just enjoy each other's company for a while. All three children loved it! 


Scarlet enjoyed being allowed to stand on the railings with Simon so she could feed the ducks this time. Usually they come much closer for bread but they stayed back further. She didn't seem to mind at all!



Avery on the other hand was much less concerned about feeding the duck and more concerned about why he couldn't have all the bread! He rather enjoyed playing a game of one bit for me, one bit for the ducks with a wonderful amount of giggling in between. 



We ended the walk by taking the longer route home, it let us enjoy more time alone since it isn't as busy as the other walking path. With much less footfall Dylan and Scarlet get more freedom to run and play together without being right beside us. They really loved holding hands and running ahead, I think the more we get out in autumn the more they will have fun running around again. 

I have already prepared for the colder weather now, we have wellington boots in for almost all of us, big warm winter coats, extra blankets for the pram, good flasks for nice hot drinks on the go and waterproof over clothes. Hopefully paired with our autumn/ winter wardrobes we will feel better about venturing out as the chill comes to the air. 

Do you find you are less inclined to get outside as the weather grows colder?


We are joining in with The Ordinary moments again this week. Check out the other bloggers posts by clicking the badge. 

The Ordinary Moments
Sunday, 6 September 2020

DIY space themed felt play set with free PDF template { & giveaway }

 Back at the beginning of lock down I shared the beginning of a felt play project that I had been planning and working on for the better part of this year. I had planned to share more felt play set PDF's and ideas regularly since then however life with 3 children during a lock down was hard and blog work went to the side. Now that Dylan has gone back to school and Scarlet started nursery I have found more time in the day. Which means I can finally share the second felt play set that I have created!


The second felt play set is space themed, I wanted to create a set that was imaginative and could be the scene of an imaginary space adventure to the moon or distant planets. However I also wanted the set to have a beginning base for space themed learning too. Which in the end I think I managed to achieve although I do think it's a set that could potentially be built upon to add better opportunities for learning too. 

To create this space themed felt set you will need:


As you can see the template includes pieces to make astronauts, planets, plant rings, stars, a whole selection of pieces for a rocket ship, a flag and a landing planet/ moon shape. I decided to include the pieces for two astronauts in case anyone wanted to separate the bodies and helmets to make colour variations in their project. You can also see that the bottom planet shape has an open ended bottom which will allow you to choose how deep you want the landing planet to be. I make mine the size drawn and cut a straight line across the bottom.

To get started on the project you just need to download and print out the Free PDF Space Felt Set Template in the link and cut out each piece. Once your template pieces are ready you can cut each piece from your felt. My only advice for cutting the felt out is to not use any pins. Hold each piece of the template in place and move the piece around in your hand as you cut. By keeping the scissors still and moving the felt with the template as you cut your able to avoid pulling the felt out of shape. It's easier to do than it sounds. I promise!



 Choose whatever colours and combinations you like while being mindful of pieces that will later be attached together like the rocket ship and astronauts. You can see I went with lots of bright colours, I decided they would look best when used with our black felt board. 

Now for something a bit more fun. When you have all your pieces cut from the felt you can decide which colours are going together and glue them all together with the glue gun. 



It was at this gluing stage that I decided to add a little something more to two of the planets. I cut out some island shapes from green and white felt for an earth inspired planet and also cut out wavy strips from yellow felt to add to the orange planet I had made for a bit of variation. You can add any shapes or pieces to your planets if you are feeling creative too. I quite like the result of the Earth inspired planet!

Once your pieces have been glued together you are pretty much set to put the set together for playing with. You now have a space felt play set for felt play that you made yourself. The sets are really simple to make and I think you could easily include older children in the process with you if you wanted. It's really that easy and both Dylan and Scarlet have already been enjoying this set after school this week.

I'm really enjoying making up these sets and getting creative with them so you can expect more in the future, maybe a Halloween or autumn theme for October. I may have to also start making something for storing each set in too!

Is there a theme for one of the felt sets you'd love to see me create?


Now for the giveaway! 

Since it's been a while since I shared the first initial felt board and the cupcake building set, I thought it would be a nice to giveaway some felt.It means that you can try making your own felt set if you don't tend to have some laid around like me. The giveaway will be for this felt set which has 45 pieces of coloured felt in 15cm squares. They are perfect for small sets like the ones I am creating.

You can enter using the Gleam below. Good Luck!  

Win a pack of 15cm x 15cm felt



Terms and conditions:

  • Entrants must be aged 18 years or over.
  • Competition is open to UK residents only.
  • Entry into this competition confirms your acceptance of these Terms and Conditions
  • The winners will be selected at random from all the correct entries received before the closing date and time.
  • All prizes must be accepted as offered. There can be no alternative awards, cash or otherwise.  
  • There will be one winner 
  • This promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with, Instagram or Facebook.

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