Oh Baskets, how I love thee…

I love changing things around in the house, however small it is – maybe I’ll move the bin over there, into the other corner? Yes, perfect…. all is ok until I put a mouldy banana on the chair which is now occupying the original home of the bin. Or maybe I’ll swap a few pictures round or rearrange the toy corner so the kids can’t find any of their toys. Just as we get used to it I’ll change it again. I like change. I get bored.

I’m always looking for little tips on Pinterest; Pinterest – my other love, besides family, food and friendship…and cheese…..and wine, hmm…and clothes….ok, so I have a few ‘loves’, anyway I like looking for things which improve the look of my home or things which don’t cost much but make a big impact on my life, I get weirdly very excited about it. Beardy called me a geek the other day because I did this….

But I love it, I think it’s pure genius! My wrapping paper supply always used to fall over the floor, unravelling, getting trodden on and ripped – it drove me bonkers! Now it makes me smile every time I walk in the den. Ok, I may be a tiny bit geeky, but geeky in a good way right? 

I also have an obsession with baskets, I love a basket! Beardy gets angry with me, “uh, another f***ing basket! Stop buying baskets!” Sometimes I swap baskets around to confuse him so he thinks I’ve bought a new one when really it’s just the one that was somewhere else (snigger), then I feel good because it’s like getting a new basket for free! Ok, it’s not like that at all, but I know what I mean. It’s like when I say to Beardy ‘I WON! I won that thing on eBay! Woohoo!’ And he’ll say ‘YOU DIDN’T WIN IT, YOU HAVE TO PAY FOR IT – that is not winning!’ I suppose he’s got a point. Anyway, shoe basket, toy basket, basket for accessories, you name it I’ll find a basket for it, so my next de-cluttering hack was the dresser – I got mum to make me a little curtain to hide all the crap that’s accumulated on there (thanks mum) and of course added a few baskets!….

Before – Mess!!!


After – Yes!

 Love it. Baskets AND crafty hack combined! BAM!

It’s funny now……Rocket Teabags!


So, easy peasy lemon squeezy, cut the top and bottom off a teabag it says (yes, you guessed it, Pinterest again – you’d think I’d learn!), empty the contents into the bin, set fire to the top of the teabag. The fire burns and the heat that gets captured inside the teabag lifts it into the air, like a burning rocket. When I read this out to the kids we all looked at each other and said ‘Coooooool!’ Loved the sound of this. Couldn’t be easier right? WRONG!

What they fail to mention is that this will only work with those posh teabags that are stapled at the top, the long ones, like the Twinings herbal teas! (who buys those? I thought they were ‘special’ teabags that you only get at work!) We tried 3 times with a ‘normal’ teabag. It burned. We watched in anticipation, very excited…….it went out. We tried again. Same thing happened. Then once more, not having learnt our lesson the first two times we watched, again, excited. The teabag fell over and we all screamed, Bear ran over and tried to blow it out and blew it right off the table, headed straight for Boo! She screamed. Bear shouted. I batted it out the way and burnt my hand. DO NOT TRY THIS AT HOME (unless you have a posh teabag).

Do try this at home – Pinterest Eureka! moment

If you read my blog you will be aware of my addiction to Pinterest, it’s not necessarily a good thing, especially when looking for crafty things to do with the children, you are basically setting yourself up to be bitterly disappointed and feel like a complete failure. The pictures and instructions always look amazing and easy to follow, we’ve mostly had fun trying them, but my expectations are always waaaaay too high and although I think we’ve done well and proudly puff out my chest when showing off photos,  I get a reality check when people laugh heartily at our efforts. Luckily, we laugh too.

Evidence below….

Banana Penguins!

How it should be done

banana penguins

Erm…..how it was done!


Not quite the same, but we had fun trying, they’re slippy little suckers.


Da da da…..we’ve found a good ‘un! NEVER I hear you Pinterest pessimists cry, oh but it’s true.

Apple Volcanoes!

I was looking after a friends little boy and I thought what can I do with them all that’s a bit different, I umm’d and ahh’d about looking on Pinterest after my first disaster with the iced toys incident (see Pinterest disaster post) when I found this and thought that’s a typical boys-y thing, they’ll love it!

apple volcano

I was all set; I’d given all three of them the equipment to get started and told them what they needed to do, I stepped back and watched with trepidation, chocolate at the ready to ply them with if it all went wrong, tissues on the table for the tears that would surely come after another Pinterest epic fail and a steady supply of apples, baking soda and vinegar to keep trying if necessary. BUT….none of it was needed coz  it only bloody worked!

Such an easy activity to do with things that are generally in the cupboard, granted, it doesn’t last long, but it’s worth it.

  • core an apple
  • stuff the apple full of baking soda
  • pour vinegar into the baking soda…simples.

You can add food colouring to the vinegar for extra effect, which is what they’ve done in the picture above.  The kids were so excited, their little faces were a picture. Little tip: Stock up on baking soda, they will want to do it more than once!

My faith in Pinterest activities has been restored….until next time!

Don’t try this at home!… Pinterest Disaster

I confess, I’m a serial Pinterester, not a word but it should be, there are lots of us out there. I’m constantly finding stuff on Pinterest that I think Wow! that looks amazing, I’m going to try that with the kids, they’ll love it. So, my first one, a while ago now, imagine this, a hot summers day, play date with two other 5 and 3 year olds, all running around excitedly and I pipe up ‘kids, I’ve got an amazing game for you!’ ….excitement escalates….

I found this on Pinterest and was sucked right in.

iced toys

Chuck a load of small toys in some water in a plastic container and freeze overnight, give the kids some salt, warm water and some tools to try to ‘free’ the toys trapped in the ice, genius you might think, as did I. When I finally got the ice out the container, which in itself took a while, the kids beamed with joy, not only because they got to splash water everywhere but also because they had real tools (not sharp I might add, I’m not a maniac!) and were stabbing at the ice like crazed mad men. I left them in the garden doing this while I watched them through the window in admiration as they sprung into superhero mode and tried their hardest to free the ice-olated toys (see what I did there?) feeling very chuffed with myself that I’d chosen such a wonderful gratefully received activity…..however….my silent wallowing in my own sheer awesomeness was disturbed minutes later by shouts of ‘Mummy! can you help us’ and as I walked over I was met by, not only 4 children squirting warm water in my face but, the block of ice having one tiny dent in it! I was saddened by the sight and told them they can’t be trying hard enough…an hour later… after I’d roped in another mum and the kids had gone off to play something else, frantically trying to break free the, now terrified, toys who could see us coming at them with sharp knives and pumpkin carvers, we managed to get out half an airfix toy soldier by amputating his leg. I held him high above my head in celebration ‘I did it!’ I cried….. literally, then swiftly slumped into a bedraggled heap on the grass whispering ‘I did it’ over and again. I will not be trying this Pinterest activity again. Epic fail.