Finishing up toddler makes – a frugal birthday and some dressmaking

Whilst I’ve been sorting out the house and packing ready for our big move, I’ve also been making sure that I’ve finished all my WIPs and projects. The last thing I want is to move with lots of half finished things in project bags that could get lost or damaged in transit. I’ve started with the smaller things, socks and such that I’ve started, and most importantly, I’ve finished the Toddler’s birthday presents! Continue reading

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Home made Washing Powder

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I actually made this quite a while ago and I’m down to my last cupful, but I thought I would share this recipe with you as I’ll be definitely making it again. It contains borax substitute which isn’t particularly easy to get hold of. If you can pick it up from a local hardware store then that’s fantastic and it will definitely save you money. I had to get it from Amazon for around £3. This meant that the whole box (around 50 washes) cost about £5.50. That’s not as cheap as it would be if you could source borax substitute cheaply, but still cheaper than most washing powders. Not only that, but I know what is in it. My daughter and myself both have sensitive skin and allergies and have been fine with this powder, which is more than you can say for some of the big brands.

This powder is great, but you will have to use a stain remover or pre soak for tough stains. No different to commercial powders there really, but it does clean your clothes well and you don’t need to use as much. I use 2 tbs per load and it does fine. Also, you can add a scent to your powder in the drawer. Anything you like really. At the moment I’m using a strawberry diffuser oil thingy, but check that what you use won’t ruin your machine!

The recipe I use is

  • 500g of borax substitute
  • 750g of soda crystals
  • 3 household soaps
  • 3 cheap body soaps

You can use all household soap, or all normal soap. You can buy 3 bars of body soap for 50p in Sainsburys. You need to grate the soap so it is really fine. This will no doubt hurt your hands! It certainly did mine! If you find the soap pieces are a bit big then you can use a stick blender to break them up a bit. Mix the soap pieces with the other ingredients. Make sure that you are wearing gloves and that you don’t stand with your face over it, you will taste soap for days! Once it’s mixed together you can use it right away, all you need to do is give it a little shake everytime you use it to ensure it is evenly distributed. Et voilà! Home made washing powder!

Freegan Treasure – what a find!

I’ve not written a blog post in an awfully long time! You see, we’re trying to buy a house, and as I sure you’re well aware, it is the single most stressful thing ever. We seem to be paying various people lots of money, and I’m doing all their work for them! Anyhoo, we’ve also been super busy sifting through all our rubbish and clearing it out.  Continue reading

Reducing my stash, kind of…

A bought myself a new gadget. It’s an absolute life saver, quite possibly the most useful gadget I’ve bought besides the kettle. It has improved our quality of life no end, and all for the modest sum of £10 including postage. What did I buy?

A yarn winder!!!

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This amazing machine has reduced all of my knotted and untidy balls of wool into these neat little cakes that can be stacked. Isn’t it wonderful? It also provides hours of family fun. See?

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After two days of winding I reduced my stash from this

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to this!

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Worth every penny!

A cheaper kind of birthday

The toddler’s birthday is fast approaching. I’ve tried to keep costs down for the last two birthdays and Christmases, but this year she’s 3, and that means she has asked for presents! Luckily her lists of demands haven’t be too much. She asked for a Lalaloopsy doll. However, these are £30 each. That’s about 3 times what I was planning on spending on her whole birthday this year! I put a call out on Facebook and fortuitously someone came straight back to me with a second hand doll for £5. I nearly snapped her hand off! I found some patterns on Ravelry for clothes for her, so I will be making her a few accessories.

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I also managed to get a new box of Playmobil for her. I will go into the story of all our newly acquired Playmobil another day, but I was particular pleased with this. I also found this on Facebook, and it hasn’t even been opened. Again it was £5, and it’s around £30 new.

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Having spent the amount I wanted to, I will have to do anything else for free. That means I shall be making things. Not a new concept for me, granted. However, I haven’t done much in the way of amigurumis, and I have set myself the task of making the three Totoros from My Neighbour Totoro, quite possibly her favourite film. So far I have managed the two smaller ones

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I still need to do the big Totoro, her favourite and also the most detailed. I’m also planning on making an amigurumi Ponyo for her, her second favourite film. Aswell as this, I want to crochet her a dinosaur Island. Chances are this will end up being made for Christmas, a long with the dolls clothes I’m planning on making her. It’s a lot to do, but I’ve given myself a couple of months. I’m going to embrace it whilst she stills wants toys that mummy has made for her. I don’t know what I’ll do when she starts wanting clothes and dvds for her birthday. Run and hide probably!

Stopping to smell the flowers

The weather has been picking up, which means we’ve been getting out in the garden. I haven’t done as much this year as I have in past years, but that’s OK. I’ve put an awful lot of  blood sweat and tears into our garden. We only rent the house, but I’ve always known how I wanted the garden to look, and this year it’s just about there. I have barely done anything, but I’m really pleased with it.

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Of course, in a couple of months this will all be gone and I’ll have to put some work in, but I can enjoy it whilst I can. There is one new edition on the patio. I planted into one of the apple crates that we had at our wedding and some of the veg boxes that my brother in law made for us. I think it makes a really nice feature and it looks quite unusual.

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There’s nothing like a little sunshine and a lovely garden to lift the spirits is there?!