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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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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Vanilla Teddy Bear Shortbread

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I have been treated to home-made shortbread not once but twice in the last month!

The first arrived in the post from the mother of one of my favourite friends, who I had the pleasure of meeting at their wedding in June. We got talking about shortbread, as you do, and she promised to send me some. Mrs B  is now obviously also on my favourite list.

The second was while we were away in Somerset; The lovely Mrs Wilcox had knocked up a delicious welcome batch for us when we arrived at The Granary (see my next post).

So, I felt it only polite to bake some myself, and couldn’t believe how simple it was. The most basic recipes I found need only three ingredients: cast sugar, plain flour and butter, and hey presto a scrummy afternoon tea treat is yours in a jiffy.

So here is my toddler friendly version that Leo helped to make and of course eat!

Easy Vanilla Shortbread

Ingredients

200g unsalted butter, at room temperature
100g caster sugar or light brown sugar
1 tsp good quality vanilla extract
300g plain flour, sifted, plus extra for dusting
animal biscuit cutters

Method

Preheat the oven to 160C/325F/Gas 3.

Mix together the butter and sugar, either by hand or using an electric hand whisk, until pale and smooth. Add the vanilla extract, then gently mix in the flour until completely incorporated (try not to work the flour too much or the biscuits will not be so crumbly). Using your hands, squeeze the mixture together into a ball of dough.

Gently roll the dough out to about 5mm/¼in thick (dust the work surface with a little flour if the dough sticks). Cut into shapes using a biscuit cutter. Transfer the biscuits to a baking tray lined with baking parchment (or a non-stick baking tray) and chill in the fridge for 15 minutes to rest (chilling makes them hold their shape better when baking).

Before cooking, sprinkle each biscuit with a pinch of granulated sugar. Bake in the preheated oven for 15-20 minutes, or until pale golden-brown.

Remove from the oven and transfer the biscuits to a wire rack to cool.

Devour with a lovely mug of tea or cup of milk!

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