Monday, 24 June 2013

Give us today our weekly bread…

We’ve turned our hands to something a little different this week.


I LOVE bread.

Door stop sandwiches.  Hot toast with melted butter and marmite. Bread and butter dunked in soup….mmmmmmm!…it’s just a pity it’s not that great for the waistline!

Surely it couldn’t be that hard to make a loaf? I also wondered how expensive it would be to bake your own bread, with bread costing anything from £0.80-£1.30 in the shops.  So one day last week, we went to the supermarket to get our ingredients ready for our project.

My little man was so keen to take part…he pulled up his own chair and he really enjoyed turning the dial on the mixer.  He kept peeking in the bowl to see what was happening, and clapping almost to say “We’re almost there mum!”. 

Here are some pictures…




Ta Dah!

Here is our first loaf of bread!


Warm from the oven we were obliged to see how it tasted…



Here is the recipe…

500g strong white bread flour mixed with 25g butter to make breadcrumb texture.

Add 1tbsp sugar, 1 and 1/2 tsp salt, and 1tsp dried yeast and mix slowly adding up to 320ml of tepid water until combined to  make a soft dough.

Knead in mixer for about 5min, then cover with oiled cling film and place somewhere warm to prove for 1hr (I use the conservatory on a nice day, or airing cupboard).

Then knock back the mixture and put in an oiled loaf tin, and again cover with oiled cling film.  Place somewhere warm to prove for 30mins.

Then pop the loaf in a pre-heated oven at 200C for 30mins or until sounding hollow when tapped. 


In all I think it cost between 45-50p to make…and it’s not really that time intensive.  So we have now stopped buying bread for the time being…and I am now on my third loaf!

Loaf no 2…


Loaf no 3…


It has been a resounding success.  So now I am confident with the basic loaf…we are going to experiment with rolls, different artisan breads, and CHELSEA BUNS…yummy!  I am on a diet…so I’m going to have to exercise bucket loads of will power!

P1030179We are also going to have to invest in my little man getting his own apron now that he is my sous chef!

Have a go at making your own loaf.  If I can do it I’m sure that you can!

Love from me and my little man x

Friday, 14 June 2013

Sailing Away.

Well with all the rain lately we might have to jump in these cute little boats and sail away to the sunshine!


Another cute addition to Will’s Shed using my crochet skills.  I followed the amazing pattern from Bunny Mummy's Blog as I saw it and thought it would be a cute one to do.


The pattern was easy to follow, although I had a little difficulty with the flags, and came unstuck at the fish.  I think my head was swimming in between UK and US terms making things a bit haphazard.

I had to discover the amazing trick of steam blocking to help the wool hold it’s shape.


Here are a few pictures, and you can see that I’ve strung some pretty blue beads in between the sun, boats and fish.





It’s now hanging up adding a touch of brightness inside the shed.

We went camping again last weekend, near Poole, which was a truly delightful family trip.  Loads of fun, and everything was just simply happy (apart from deflating air beds…humph!).  Thankfully we had gorgeous weather allowing us to top up our tans, and the rain began to fall the moment we packed the last bit of kit in the car to leave…we were lucky! 

I hope we haven’t seen the last of our summer yet…

Love from me and my little man x

Monday, 3 June 2013

Wooden Sign/Bunting

I thought I’d fit a quick blog in whilst my little man naps.

The sunshine is glorious!  Somehow, sunshine helps to lift spirits and warm the cockles.  It makes everything easier, it makes time go more slowly, it  makes us feel happier.  We are feeling rested lately.

Here’s a picture of my little man enjoying the beach.


I thought I’d fill you in on some of the shed’s pretty-ness.  I made that gorgeous bunting to hang outside.  I went for boy-ish colours so as to not to detract from the manliness. 

Boy Bunting

This is my favourite flag…the material a present from my mummy…

very cute materialHere it is hanging in place.

It looks so cheery hanging up there.  And somehow I enjoy going down and hanging it up declaring the shed open for business on the sunny days!


The sign was a bit more of a venture into the un-known.  Working with wood is not something I’ve done before…and painting, I thought, was definitely not my forte.

Firstly I scoured the garage for some wood scraps laying around and sawed off a piece the right size. Then I set about giving it a good old sand to smoothe the roughness.

sanding down

I don’t think I’m really a power tool sort of girl…so I enlisted my husband for hole drilling.  I think he secretly enjoyed helping me and being all macho with the drill!


After that, a coat of paint.  I had some Seagrass wood paint available…and that very much matched the shed. 


A couple of coats later and I was ready for the writing…or was I? This was the bit where I thought it would go wrong as my artistic prowess, especially when wielding a paint brush is lacking!  I chose the font I wanted, and made sure it was the right size…and off I painted!  In future I would probably invest in some proper paintbrushes, as I was using very amateurish kids paintbrushes (the type you get 50 brushes for a £1 type job) with no defined tip to them.  I used a white paint for the writing.

Here’s how it turned out…


Not too shoddy I think.  The next step was the most frustrating.  I wanted it to be weather-proof so it could stay outdoors…so I bought some varnish.

how hard could it be?

You can’t imagine it would be that difficult really.  I firstly bought the back tin…Outdoor Varnish, Clear Weather-proof Protection in “Clear Satin”.  Well…on opening it definitely didn’t look clear…more of a browny colour so I put it on a corner to test and it definitely was not clear.  It made it all yellowy and stained.  Disgruntled I bought a second tin (the front one) and told the shop man about my project and repeated the word ‘clear’ about 25 times!  He assured me. Well it definitely was clear when I put it on…so two coats of protection on there.  Then I read on the front it’s for interior wood…so it begs the question as to how weather proof this sign will be!

Painted and varnished…only bit left was stringing, knot tying and ultimately hanging.



It hangs off the same hook as the bunting at the moment…whether we will move it I’m not sure, but it looks okay there for now.

Naturally I’ve been making a few more bits and bobs…but they’re for another time.

I’m going to take my little man to the local Toddler Rhyme Time session now and I’ve got my best singing voice prepared!

Love from me and my little man x

Saturday, 1 June 2013


Since re-turfing the garden which you can read about here we have been contemplating buying that manly playhouse/den/shed to put on that designated patio area.  We have been umming and ahhing for a few weeks, browsing online, waiting for sales…we just had to bite the bullet and decide.  We went to a few stores and let Wills have a good trial of all the houses…and he did love them.  He ran from one to another, barging through the doors, shouting “Hiya” from the windows…he pulled at our heart strings and made us smile.  One of the sticking points was that the majority of the playhouses (in our price range) were all really small, and all a bit girly.  We thought about whether he would outgrow it really quickly also…so summer coming closer and still no decision.  We thought bigger and so we thought…shed! Something that we could decorate for Wills to use now and we could re-purpose for storage when he’s fed up of it.  And how manly is a shed right?!!  My husband was much more on board with the shed direction (…although he still accused me that I would make it “Twee”!!!  I don’t know what “Twee” is.  I know what pretty is though…)

We were excited to have it delivered, although we forgot that we would have to build it.  It P1020957said it was a 2 man job…so my husband settled with me!  Surprisingly we were a good team, with no arguments, and a leisurely build…no stress.  Our little chap helped out too.

















Once built time for decoration!   Unfortunately for me this involved more painting…but at least a pretty colour this time.  I went for a lovely Forget Me Not blue, and then painted the trims in a Seagrass colour. I was going to embark on a stripy beach hut style…but I opted for plain in the end.  P1030033

We painted the insides white to try and keep it as bright as possible although we might consider some sort of lighting in there at some point.  We’ve put carpet down to make it comfortable under foot (and under bum).  It looks really smart and we all feel very pleased and proud of our efforts.  We’ve had good family times…funny how much more than a shed it has become…

Lots and lots of bubbles have helped us celebrate finishing Will’s Shed.


As well as the bubbles…a little homemade bunting and my handmade sign (the very start of the pretty-fying which I’ll fill you in on later…) declaring the Shed OPEN!


We’ve already had so much fun out in the garden this year, and this is just the start!  I’ve got lots of plans for homemade additions to the shed (beanbags, shelving, curtains….) which will all come with time. 

One thing we do have to take note of is making sure if we’re on the inside we need to make sure Wills is with us…or at least have an eye on him! I was playing with him in the evening, and all of a sudden I thought “Hang on…I’m in here and he’s out there?!!  And I can’t get out…Crumbs!!!!!”  He’d bolted me in and couldn’t unbolt me!  To be honest I wasn’t thinking Crumbs at the time…a lot worse! Thankfully my husband was 10minutes away by car, so that 10 minutes I spent trying to pacify my distraught little man by playing an overenthusiastic version of peek-a-boo through the window!  Very funny…!

Well this is the beginning of our adventures in “Will’s Shed”.

More soon.

Love from me and my little man x