DIY Kristoff from Frozen costume



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Much to his delight, my little man was recently invited to a Disney Frozen themed party. As soon as he saw the invite he declared he would be going as his favourite character, Kristoff. For those who might not know Kristoff is the male hero from the 2013 Disney hit, Frozen. According to Disney Wiki,   “he is a courageous mountain man that becomes the love interest of the fearless Princess Anna during her quest to find her sister Elsa the Snow Queen.” So as you can imagine he is the firm favourite of many male Frozen Fans.

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But do you think I could find a suitable costume for a three-year-old boy? Nope! So I decided to make one myself using an over-sized grey fleece, fur trim, ribbon, and A LOT of bonding web.  It was relatively easy and I am very proud of the end result. Leo was also beside himself with excitement when I finished and the outfit has become a staple wardrobe piece post party as well.

This is how I made it: 

I bought the below second-hand, age 5 fleece from a charity shop on eBay for just £4 (inc postage) and cut off the sleeves.

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I then put the fleece on Leo and chalked where his shoulders finish and around his waist.

Next, I hand criss-cross stitched roughly with black embroidery thread along the shoulder lines.

From Hobbycraft, I bought 2 metres each of grey fur trim, maroon and purple ribbon, 1 metre of maroon fabric and my secret weapon, bonding web. 

Cut the bonding web the same size as what you want to stick down. Place it in between the two fabrics and lay a damp cloth on the top. Iron with a hot iron and that’s it. If you make a mistake you can pull it off and start again when the fabric is still hot and damp.

I attached fur trim with bonding web around the neck, arms and along the bottom on the insides of the fleece so two-thirds of it poked out. I made the executive decision not to cut the bottom into two curves like the character as I didn’t have enough fir trim and decided it would be too fiddly.

I did the same with the purple and maroon ribbon around the outside of the neckline, around the zip and along the shoulders, again with bonding web.

I presumed Leo would be doing a lot of running around at the party so thought it best to attach the waistband rather than make a separate piece for practical reasons.

I cut a length of fabric that fitted comfortably around the garment and about 5 inches wide. I folded the rough edges in on themselves and stuck them down with bonding web.

For the waistband trim, I looked for Nordic embellished ribbon but hit a dead end so made do with some purple ‘snowflake’ gifting ribbon also from Hobbycraft, left over from Christmas. Again, I attached this to the band with bonding web.   I did the same for two smaller pieces which would be the tie ends. Then I simply attached them starting with the tie ends placing the main sash on top with good old bonding web! For instructions on how to apply bonding web see below.

For the hat, I bought a grey  knitted style from a pound shop and sewed on a small black fork pom-pom.

Leo wore navy tracksuit bottoms and a blue long sleeved t-shirt underneath which we already had.

We had a great time at the party and Leo got lots of attention from the two dozen Queen Elsas and Princess Annas who were there.

 

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Little elves have moved in…

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I first found this idea on one of my favourite blogs, Kate’s Creative Space, and have since been waiting for Leo to become the right age to understand the magic.

So this week, with just a paintbrush, a tester pot and  superglue I set to work on a little dolls house exterior door I  purchased online and turned into the entrance of our very own elves’ house and the start of some wonderful, make-belive play for both Leo and I.

What you need:  (Not a lot…)

I bought an inexpensive wooden door, teeny tiny letter-box and door knocker from Dolls House Parade on Amazon.co.uk.

A tester pot of wood paint, or any leftovers you might have

Superglue for the fixtures, as small fingers can be cumbersome when they are knocking on the elf door

Paint-brush/s

And a little imagination…

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I gave the door a few light coats of paint, and used a small artists brush for the fiddly bits. I then glued on the door furniture and that’s it!

I blue-tacked the door in place (although you may need superglue for this too) onto a wall by the skirting and told Leo some little friends had moved into his bedroom and that he’d better go and see if they were all settled in.

To my delight, Leo has totally embraced the imaginative play and is so happy to share his room with his elf and fairy family. He has since told me he can hear them having spaghetti for dinner, and brushing their teeth before bed and even saw one fly out of the window.

He has never woken up from a nap so easily when I told him they must have bought themselves a bike and that there were little presents left for him in the basket.

I’m hoping to play on this further and will invest in some extra props. The old fashioned bike came from a lovely dolls house enthusiast on ebay and I am looking into ideas for Halloween, maybe some cotton wool cobwebs and a plasticine pumpkin. I’ve also found a teeny tiny wreath for the festive season. I’m not sure who is enjoying this new world more Leo or me!

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It’s crumble time…

My mum gave me a huge bag of damsons (tiny plums) from her WI friend’s garden, so we decided to make a yummy crumble. I’ve never made one before and it was so easy it won’t be my last. My step-daugher took charge and needed bearly any help. She chose the old fashion way to blend the crumble and enjoyed getting her hands dirty.

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Plum Crumble

or in our case…

Delicious Damson Crumble

For the filling

  • 800g ripe cooking plums, such as Victoria, dessert or damson plums, halved and stoned
  • 50g light brown sugar
  • finely grated zest 1 orange*
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp plain flour

For the crumble

  • 250g plain flour
  • 150g butter
  • 80g caster sugar
  • 80g demerara sugar
  • 50g ground almonds

Method:

  1. Heat the oven to 200C/180C fan/gas 6. Put the plums into the base of a shallow gratin dish about 28cm long. Mix together the sugar, orange zest, cinnamon and flour and sprinkle over the plums. Trickle over 2 tbsp water.
  2. Put all the crumble ingredients into a food processor, and using the pulse button, whizz until the mixture just starts to clump together. Take care not to over process at this stage. Alternatively, rub the butter into the flour using your hands and then stir in the other ingredients.
  3. Scatter the crumble over the plums and bake in the oven for 30–40 mins until golden brown. Leave for about 15 mins before serving with custard or cream.
We served it for pudding with warm custurd or ice cream and it tasted like Christmas in a bowl.
Washing up was fun as we spent the whole chore thinking of yummy fruit alternitves for our next crumble bake. I’m going for peach and raspberry but charlotte wants strawberry and chocolate…. why not?!
* We think the recipe only needs the zest of half an orange as the flavour was quite strong.
Recipe from bbcgoodfood.com

Kid friendly chicken korma

As part of my recent #MorrisonsMum mission I made a delicious and easy child friendly chicken korma.

 

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Here’s the recipe…

Ingredients 

Chicken pieces

1 can of coconut milk

100mls of boiling chicken stock

2 dessert spoons of natural or greek yoghurt

3 dessert spoons of Korma powder

1 tea spoon of tomato puree

1 clove of garlic

1 teaspoon of  fresh grated ginger

1 teaspoon of olive oil

1 onion

2 carrots

A handful of peas

A handful of mushrooms

(For little ones sweeten this curry up with dried fruit, apple or chopped mango).

Method

Cook the onions, garlic and ginger together in a large pan with the oil.

Add the chicken until browned.

Sprinkle in the korma powder.

Stir in the tomato puree.

Add the remaining vegetables and a little of the stock. Cook for a further two minutes.

Stir in the coconut milk, yoghurt (at room temperature), remaining stock and simmer for ten minutes.

Serve with boiled rice.

We also had vegetable pakora which we bought for just £1 at Morrions.

Mummy and daddy added extra green chillies in our portions.

Read more about my Morrions Mum mission.

Fancy something sweet?  Read my fun Teddy Bear Shortbread recipe.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Your mission should you choose to accept is to be a Morrisons Mum!


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Is this the start of cheaper supermarkets?

I’m sure you’ve noticed Morrison supermarket’s big advertising push during the last couple of weeks. Part of the publicity  has been to entice real mummy bloggers (me included) into their stores up and down the UK at the start of  their ‘I’m cheaper’ campaign.

#MorrionsMum brief: Armed with £80 of shopping vouchers (thank you Morrions) I was asked to do a bank holiday shop!  I must  take in the experience and compare food prices and quality with other leading brands.

So off Leo and I go on a sunny saturday morning with our shopping vouchers in hand. I’ll be the first to admit I’m not the best food shopper, I rarely read deals properly, get very carried away and end up spending far much more than I intended. I have even programmed Leo to sit in his trolley seat and chant “stick to the list!” as we steam down the isles trying to get out as quickly as possible.

It is important I point out that due to our need to cut costs I have recently become an Aldi shopper.  I find the cost of products unbelievable but you do have to be a savvy in this store. Products like fresh meat, fish and vegetables are great, but others are not so. Therefore you can’t really do a full shop here. The shopping experience at Aldi is not fun, but I’ll come to that later.  Back to Morrisons…

Shopping Experience

I’m not going to get into the ins and outs of my whole shop apple by apple as I’m not sure this lends for good reading, however I will say compared to Aldi the experience itself was very pleasant. I have always liked the ‘Market Place’ style of Morrions and the deli food has  a ‘home cooked’ old school style which I find kind of comforting.  Many of the prices have come down to what I would say are on a par with Asda. The staff seemed very helpful and I have to give a particular shout out to Dawn our checkout operator who went out of her way to help me by changing my trolley choices for better deals, splitting my shop to save me money and telling me of all the good deals coming up in the future (and no she didn’t know I was a blogger). I’ve never encountered supermarket staff like her so Gravesend Morrisons if you’re reading this she’s defiantly employee of the month material!

Did I save money? Compared to Aldi it has to be a no. Compared to other supermarkets like Tesco and Sainsbury’s then it’s a YES I think so. I usually break supermarket experiences into three groups. If I’ve had a lot of freelance work then off to Waitrose we skip for our free coffee, empty, wide isles and grade A customer service. If we are counting the pennies we physch ourselves up for a trip to Aldi dressed in padded armour ready for when the check out staff lob our groceries at us with expressionless faces. Did you know the staff have to scan a certain amount of products an hour or a trap door opens and swallows them up forever! Generally we head for Asda or Sainsbury’s and in my humble opinion Morrions now sits comfortably at the top end of this group.

Shopping List Savings

I ended up going way over the £80 budget but I got a good trolley full. I was especially impressed with:

3 meats for £10.

The good selection of cheap fruit and vegetables much of which was 3 for £1.50 or just 69p.

I bought 2 reasonable bottles of Sauvignon Blanc for under £5 each

My 6p off per litre of fuel.

Lastly the cost of Meadow Park milk was just 84p for 2 litres (although apparently the farmers aren’t too happy about this but that is another story.)

 To sum it up

Will I head to Morrisons from now on? Out of the big 4, Asda, Sainsbury’s Tesco, and Morrions I will indeed try to head to Morrions. But I’m afraid when times are tough I can’t ditch Aldi just yet as these prices can’t be beaten.

Bank Holiday BBQ Picnic

Part of our mission was to enjoy some family meals courtesy of Morrisons. So on bank holiday Monday we headed down to our local park with a disposal BBQ for a lovely aftternoon of munching.


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Thank you so much to Britmums and Morrisons for allowing us to take part in this event, it has been a lot of fun.

 

Ready for our Farm Stay

In excited anticipation for our family farm stay at Poppingholefarm.co.uk in East Sussex next week, I’ve found the perfect toddler outfits and fun farmyard toys to get us in the mood.

DAY daybig1Clockwise from left: Farmyard tractor top, £9.90, Frugi; Check shirt, £10, Next; 5 pairs of Freshfeet™ farmyard socks, £4, M&S; Cuffed trousers, £7, George at Adsa; Green tractor wellies, from £11, Next.

NIGHT

Slide2Clockwise from left: Wadded tractor walk-in sleeper, from £10.50, Mothercare; Farmyard cotbed quilt, £35, Childs Farm Top To Toe cleaning kit for kids, £9.35, both John Lewis; Tumblie Sheep dog, £16, Jellycat.

PLAY

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Clockwise from left: Brambledale Farm, £35, Early Learning Centre;  DUKTIG 14-piece vegetables set, £7, Ikea; Cord hobby horse, £19, Great Little Trading Company; Buster’s Farm, £3.99,  Oh Dear!, £4.79,  both by Rod Campbell, The Book People; Classic farm animal set, £15, Early Learning Centre; John Deere tractor/ trailor, £85, Woolworths.co.uk.

Ode to creative mums!

Since having Leo it’s amazing how many mums I’ve come across who are not only fantastic mothers juggling busy schedules, but who are also putting their creative talents to good use by running small businesses and making extra cash via Facebook!

Lets face it the baby market is a big consumer business and I’m so impressed by the mums I know who have taken the leap and are producing beautiful, home-made products with the personal touch you don’t get from big companies.

As a salute to all the WAHM’s (Work At Home Mum) I’m sharing their amazing products for you to hopefully buy too:

Marni and Rose
www.facebook.com/marniandrose

This is the first FB business I came across via a uni friend. Marni has an ingenious way to make use of your baby’s first clothes which they grow out of so quickly.  As a new mum I was loathed to throw ANYTHING of Leo’s away (I still am). So what better way to cherish those tiny outfits than by turning them into a unique and handmade keep-sake bear. This little fellow sits proudly on Leo’s shelf and always reminds me of my amazing first months as a mummy.

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Mamma Made That
www.facebook.com/MammaMadeThat

I met Charlotte at my NCT classes. What I didn’t know is that she is an absolute wizard at crochet. Her business is quite new but from what I can see is already booming. She makes snoods, bears, blankets, dog coats and my personal favourite, beautiful personalised bunting in gorgeous, tasteful colours.

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Scrabble Babble
www.facebook.com/pages/Scrabble-Babble-Art/554220844601741

A travel PR friend of mine not only has her own PR business, www.mcenroepr.co.uk, she has also just added another string to her bow with handcrafted, personalised and framed scrabble pictures.

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Lastly, I also wanted to give mumsmeanbusiness.net a plug as it’s a local enterprise which brings working mums together to share experience,build relationships and gain inspiration.

So, that just leaves me to put on my thinking cap and find my niche – watch this space…

Forest Friends for Little Ones

When I was pregnant, at the top of my name list was the more the controversial choice of ‘Fox’. Unfortunately for me it was a little too ‘out there’ for my partner in the end. So I’ve stored it away to bring up again if ever baby no. 2 becomes topic of conversation…

In the meantime in celebration of the wonderful woodland trend that’s hitting our High Streets this season, I’ve picked a few forest favourites for my little man’s wardrobe.

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Clockwise from left:

Signature Fox Jumper, from £10, F&F.

Woodland Flipbook T-shirt, £16, Moonsoon.

Fox Hat Scarf and Mitts Set, from £10.50, Next.

T-shirt, £2.50, Mothercare.

Beige Fox soft sole shoes, £20, Bobux.

And for some buggy love: check out the gorgeous Fox Trot stroller, £185, from Cosatto.
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