Animal storage jars.

I came across this craft when scrolling through the Monday Makery section at Sisters Guild. We have a lot of craft...bits and they're all chucked in a drawer in the cupboard under the stairs so this is a nice way to organise them and put them on an empty shelf of the book case. I'm all for pops of colour and this is one of the loveliest small storage crafts I've seen. Not that I'm good at or remotely interested in most crafts but this one was easy.

It's pretty self explanatory but head on over to Sisters Guild to take a look. Here is my effort...

Just a few DON'TS before you go and raid your fridge or cupboards for half empty jars:

1. Be careful with the super glue. This may be an obvious one but even the carefullest of people (me) can glue their fingers together. After finishing this craft I'd glued my fingers together three times and glued my finger to the tube of superglue tube twice.
2. Don't buy the animals from the Early Learning Centre unless you want to pay over the odds. I got ours from Wilko's (£1 each) and our local chazza shop. I was tempted to use the ones we already had but didn't care for the consequences.
3. Don't let on to your kid what you are up to because they'll want to help. This isn't a craft for kids. Unless you want to fill their lungs with spray paint fumes (it did cross my mind, she might have napped then... I'M JOKING).

Happy crafting!

Mother / daughter love and hate.

I won't bore you with our love/hate relationship. If you have a daughter (or just a child for that matter) you'll know how it goes. You'll also know if you are a daughter yourself.

Peace Mum. Yes please, Lil.

Things have been pretty tough round here lately, my anxiety has reached a whole new level (I actually thought I was dying the other day and begged my husband to call an ambulance) and Lil has taken the form of the devil (she out tantrums any tantrum I have ever seen). She reminds me of my teenage self and at not even three this spells trouble. Big trouble. She slams doors, gobs off (SORRY FOR NOTHING MUMMY) and screams and hollers. She hates me sometimes but she still creeps into my bed in the middle of the night wanting cuddles.

But all the tears and drama aside, she still makes my heart burst with pride with her one liners and witty little Lilisms. This afternoon I grinned from ear to ear when a friend commented on how much she is like me with her wit. She came running into the kitchen calling 'froggy froggy where are you? Oh there you are froggy!' Do I look like a frog, Lil? 'You do sometimes Mum'.

She tells me her Dad winds her up, she thinks the dog is an idiot and that the cat who lives a few doors down is a stinky old poohead. These kids...

This one drives me crazy. So ridiculously, infuriatingly crazy. She makes me want to poke my eyes out and punch myself in the ovaries for even considering having a child. But she also brightens up my life on days when I'd rather crawl into a hole (sometimes she's the causer of those days... what a headfuck).

Lilian, you're a little div. But you're my amazing little div.

I'm just tired.

About three weeks ago, I discovered that Lil had a full set of teeth. I screamed and danced and picked her up and spun her around and phoned everyone to tell them. She'd been teething since she was eight weeks old (yes it is possible, don't try and pick an argument with me over this) and boy what a nightmare we'd had (by we I mean Lil and I). The poor kid has really suffered and in turn so had my liver. But those days are over (the teething not the liver bashing) and I'm more than elated to never have to deal with teething again. Goodbye to tiredness too, right? No more wake ups means more sleep for mumma.


I'm so tired. I'm anaemic and I'm taking iron for it so it figures that I'm tired but I'm just tired. Up in the night tired. My kid has started having night terrors again tired. I'm the one who sees to her in the night tired. I'm tired, ok?

Kids are hard work, you all know that. And even when they can fend for themselves and occupy themselves they are still fucking exhausting. They talk back and argue with you and ask why why why? Naively I thought that around this age it would so much easier but it's not and I'm tired. In 2 years and 9 months I've had four nights off. That's however many days on call for 24 hours. OVER 12000 days.

And the tiredness is making me crazy. If Lil's dad sighs, I automatically take that as him sighing because he's tired and who the fuck does he think he is being tired, he doesn't know what tired is. And my Dad yawns and I'm like get the hell out of my house you don't know what tired feels like. And my sister yawns and I go heavy night was it? I'll show you a heavy night.

It's making me hateful.

Really, Lil is a dream with her sleeping. She goes to bed at 8pm (on a good night) and wakes up between 7:30 and 8. I'm lucky, I know. And some of you are shaking your head and thinking I don't know what tired is BUT I DO. When I wake up six or seven times in the night to see to her those 12 hours account for sweet FA. And I'm rarely in bed before 11 (either because of chores or not being able to get up from the sofa or, more recently, WERK) and it takes a good hour for my brain to switch off. So I don't get 12 hours sleep. Try six and a half of broken sleep. I'm tired.

Exercise, fresh air, vitamins and coffee. Most days it works but on days like today when nothing works, I'm beside myself.


Monster Painting.

I'm not claiming to be a craft queen because let's face it, I'm not. The sewing machine that my husband bought me two years ago still hasn't been used and the craft cupboard is an absolute shit tip. The thought of play doh colours getting mixed sends my blood cold and Lil mixing paint colours frustrates me (although I am getting better at getting over myself, I promise - proof to follow).

I need to spend more time with her getting crafty because she's very creative and much like her father, if her creativity is stifled she goes a bit crazy. So I dug this book out that was in her Christmas haul and got some inspiration.

Here is the result:

All you need is some paint, a black pen and some googly eyes that you can buy in Wilkinsons for ridiculous money (I'm sure they sell them in your local 99p store too).

Let your child loose with their fingers and the paints and once the picture is dry, let them stick the eyes on and draw the faces (I did the faces because although I'm not as anal as I once was, I still have some mum art standards, or whatever they're called - I can't bear for her art to go to waste, basically, so I often intervene).

And there you have it. Cool art to hang in that gallery of kid artwork you said you'd never have once you found out you were pregnant.

(almost) Sugar free banana bread.

Banana bread is a winner in this house but it never lasts longer than twenty four hours. It's the perfect stodge for these ridiculous winter days but every one I've baked so far, while tasty, is very sweet. I'm trying to cut down on sugar so I googled sugar free banana bread. Dire results. Don't want none of that wholewheat shit, not just yet.

So I took this recipe and adapted it.

285g plain flour
1 tsp bicarbonate soda
110g butter
1 tbsp honey
2 eggs
3 ripe bananas, mashed
85ml semi skimmed milk
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 small packet of chocolate buttons

Preheat oven to 180 degrees.
Add bicarbonate soda to flour.
Cream butter and eggs, add honey.
Pour dry mixture into wet and add mashed bananas and milk.
Add chocolate buttons and fold.
Grease loaf tin (I used 8x5) and pour mixture in.

Bake for an hour-ish. Stick a knife in and if the cake doesn't wobble like jelly it's probably done. The knife will always come out smeared because there is mashed banana in the cake. I find it's all about trial and error. Or something.

For me, this was sweet enough. Nowhere near as sweet as the original recipe (I've baked this before) but it's just right. No pictures because it looks like shit (slightly too brown) but trust me on the taste.

You're welcome.