Sugar is a big no no in our house. Don’t get me wrong, I have an obscene sweet tooth, but if the toddler so much as walks past the sugar bowl she becomes possessed by some sort of hideous toddler demon that is out for your soul! For a while I worried about ADD or hyperactivity, but it soon became clear that it was the sugary treats that was turning her into the very epitome of the terrible twos. Once I started to cut out pure fruit juice, chocolate, commercial ice lollies etc. we had our lovely happy daughter back. That is, until she goes to her grandparents and comes back kneed deep in marshmallows and chocolate buttons!
Of course, I don’t want her to miss out. Her diet was already slightly limited by her peanut allergy, so no sugar knocked even more items off her possible treat list. I started doing some research and found a wealth of recipes online. Unfortunately, the ones that replace chocolate recipes usual include peanut butter, so that’s a no go, but I did find one for jelly worms. She does love a gummy sweet, and she also loves worms, so I thought I’d give them a go. They were super simple and went down a storm. Now all I hear is “Can I have 1 wiggly red thing please mummy. No, two wiggly red things!”
2 packets of sugar free jelly crystals
3 packets of gelatine, or 3 leaves
1 cup of water
Soak the gelatine leaves if you’re using them. Bung all of the ingredients into a saucepan and simmer until everything is dissolved. I then lined a lasagne dish with clingfilm and poured it in there. It should be a 1cm approx layer across the bottom of your container. Then out it in the fridge. It sets pretty quickly, I think it was in there for barely an hour. Then turn it out carefully and cut into strips. Hey presto, jelly worms. AND no more toddler tantrums! Bonus!
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.
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.
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
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!
The toddler loves Play doh, she just can’t get enough of cutting and squishing and rolling it. It is, however, ridiculously expensive. The first kind she had was Crayola 1+ which was gluten free and couldn’t be nibbled on, though not encouraged. This stuff was so hard, and it cost a whopping £1.99 a pot! She couldn’t really play with it on her own because it was so tough, and it broke some of her cutters.
We put up with it until last Christmas when one set of grandparents got her some proper Play doh, and the other got her a Disney Princess Play doh castle thing. This stuff is much easier for her to play with, but I have a real issue with her mixing up the colours, because I don’t want to have to buy more! So, with this is mind, I took to Pinterest (as if I need an excuse!) in search of Play doh recipes. I saw an amazing pin of galaxy play doh, but, as so often happens on Pinterest, there was no link to the original poster and no recipe, so I tried to recreate it. I used a standard Play doh recipe
2 cups of plain flour
2 cups of water with food colouring
1 Tbsp. of cooking oil
1 Tbsp. cream of tartar
1 cup of salt
Mix liquid ingredients together in a large pan. Begin to heat liquids. I added one bottle of blue food colouring, and one bottle of black. I also added a pot of edible shimmer and glitter as the original picture I saw was really glittery. In a separate bowl mix together all the dry ingredients, and then add these to the heating liquids. Stir until the play doh comes together and thickens. Cook until it gets that sheen to it. Let it cool slightly and then knead to bring proper consistency. Store in plastic container. Ta dah, you got play doh!
Once it had cooled down I added some star sprinkle things that had been kicking around in the toddler’s craft box for a while, and we made a galaxy, complete with stars and planets. We used some of her sparkly beads as the planets.
Then we used star cutters, and gave them they’re own planet, and added more glitter too.
We had loads of fun, and I don’t have to worry about her mixing this up , and she only needs one colour. Also, as we had all the ingredients, I made two tuppaware tubs of Play Doh for free!
This has to be one of the simplest ‘experiments’ that we have tried so far. I’d seen it doing the rounds on Pinterest and I really wanted to give it a go! All it takes is a pint of milk in a shallow dish, food colouring, cotton buds and washing up liquid. Very simple but incredibly effective! Continue reading →
We’ve not had much in the way of snow so far this winter, which is slightly worrying considering it’s almost March. We definitely had a couple of hours a week or so ago, but that’s been about it. The toddler has been quite disappointed as she really wanted to play in the snow and build snowmen and the like, so we decided to create a bit of magic and bring the snow to her.
It seems our love of Japanese food knows no bounds. I’ve gotten so addicted to the cuisine that I spend an hour at a time searching for new recipes and ingredients. One thing I definitely wanted to try was bento boxes. If you have never seen bento box, they are really just a Japanese lunch box, but they include a wide selection of nutritional food, often leftovers with rice as the main staple. They are an every day part of life in Japan, but in the west we really only see the works of art like these
It’s not that she won’t eat, or that she’s fussy with her food, she just won’t sit still long enough to eat it, and even if she does, your dinner always looks better. Cue half an hour of swapping food, and then she doesn’t want any. Frustrated, and more than a little annoyed at all the food that was being wasted (read ‘wasted’ as ‘that I ate’) I took to the internet in search of advice. Continue reading →
I am ever searching for things to keep the toddler occupied that means our house will more or less stay intact. This search led me to Pinterest, which has a wealth of toddler activities and exciting experiments. Continue reading →
One of my resolutions ‘things to do in the new year’ was to use up my large stash of yarn. Rather than just making the same things over and over (who needs 10 hats?) I decided to try and make as many interesting and useful things as I could. Continue reading →
Our toddler loves crafting. Ask her what her favourite thing is, and she will almost always say painting or sticking. Sometimes it will be chocolate. Last year we made some decorations which were just really glitter and glue, so this year I decided to push her a little bit and help her make some awesome decorations.
We started by painting and glittering some bird shapes I had drawn. Cue a lot of painting and pictures of snow!
When they were dry she stuck some feathers on for the tails. As a little warning, as if it wasn’t obvious, a toddler with pva glue and feathers is going to make one hell of a mess!
I bought a cheap polystyrene wreath and together we wrapped it in fluffy yarn. Then she stuck the birds on the wreath. I have to say, she did a pretty good job with very little help from me.
Her Nanna and Granddad asked for a decoration for the top of their tree, so I knocked up a little craft kit for her to make a toilet roll Santa. I cut out the shapes in felt and card, gave her the bits and the glue, and let her get on with it. Not bad eh?