6 Handprint Art Projects for Kids

Since Lock Down, I’ve had to fill my afternoons with activities for my toddler. Going to the park or soft play or seeing friends/family isn’t an option, so I started doing things like: music time, story time, more garden play, messy play and painting! Olivia gets bored of painting quite quickly and she’s still too little to do proper art projects. So why not have some fun with it? So we tried some handprint art!

I found ton of handprint art for kids ideas on Pinterest so, I thought I would recreate some of my favourites. You can do these in paint or card. You can make these into greeting cards or gifts for loved ones. I love these because not only is it a fun activity for you and your kid but it’s also a treasured keepsake. Something you can look back on and reminisce on when they were small.

All you need for these crafts is:

  • kid-safe paint
  • coloured card
  • scissors
  • tape/glue
  • felt tips
  • pencils/pens
  • child’s hand

1. Flamingo Handprint Card

  1. Make an outline of your child’s hand on pink card.
  2. Draw the neck and head of the flamingo to roughly the same size as the hand.
  3. Cut both out and attach with tape or glue.
  4. Draw some legs, cut out and attach with tape or glue.
  5. Write your message on the back.

2. Dinosaur Handprint Card

  1. Make an outline of your child’s hand on card (colour of your choice) ensuring your child’s fingers line up with the edge of the card.
  2. Fold the card so the fold lines up with the edge of your child’s wrist.
  3. Cut out hand ensuring you cut through both layers of card while keeping the fold by the wrist. You should be left with a hand shaped card.
  4. Draw head and neck of dinosaur in the same coloured card. Cut out and attach to the back of the card with the hand facing down (so the fingers are like the legs and tail).
  5. Draw on eyes, nostrils, mouth and any other features of your dinosaur. You could even use goggley eyes for your dinosaurs to make them extra cute!
  6. Write your message inside.

3. Family Handprint Art

This one is my favourite and makes the perfect gift! You can also do this with paint but I preferred it with card)

  1. Draw an outline of your child’s hand in their choice of coloured card. Cut it out.
  2. Do the same with members of your household until you have a collection of different coloured handprints.
  3. Layer them so the smallest is on top and the largest is on the bottom. Secure together with glue.
  4. Frame for a gift. This would also look great in the centre of a wreath for the holidays or a Christmas ornament. You could write people’s names on them and the date on the back for a memento that will last forever.

4. Volcano Handprint Art

I think this one is so cute! Again, can be made into a card or gift. This can also be done with paint. Instead of cutting out your child’s handprint just get them to make a handprint in paint.

  1. Make 2 outlines of your child’s hand. One on yellow card and one on orange card. Cut them out.
  2. Draw and colour in a volcano. You could print one off or get your kids to draw one (even better).
  3. Use the handprints as lava spewing out the top of the volcano. Glue the card cut-outs or get your kids to make a handprint in paint at the top of the volcano.
  4. Decorate how you wish.

5. The Hungry Caterpillar Handprint Art

We had the most fun making this one!

  1. Paint your child’s palm green with kid-safe paint and their 4 fingers (not their thumb) in blue kid-safe paint.
  2. Make a handprint on white paper/card.
  3. Repeat until you have 3 handprints next to each other.
  4. Paint a red circle for the caterpillar’s head (or use a round sponge stamp like we did).
  5. Once fully dry, draw on the antennae and nose. I made the eyes with yellow card and drew on his pupils then attached with glue.

6. Seasonal Tree Handprint Art

I love the idea of this project because it would be a great activity to teach children about the seasons. You could get them to make 4 of these (one for each season) and make their tree look different for every season. For example, Spring could have light green and pink/yellow dots, Summer could have dark green, light green and red dots, Autumn could have orange, red and brown spots and Winter could have none (make it a snowy scene). I made an Autumn one because it’s my favourite season.

  1. Place your child’s hand in the middle of the page. Draw around your child’s hand and arm. Colour or paint it in brown. This will be the trunk of the tree.
  2. Using your chosen colours, create the leaves making it more crowded around the trunk of the tree and gradually getting more spaced out away from the trunk. I used felt tips to make the dots but I love the idea of kids using cotton buds and paint to make this.

If you liked this, you may also like: Fathers Day Crafts For Kids
Super Easy Valentine Crafts To Do With Your Kids
At Home Activities For Toddlers
Mickey and Minnie Mouse Cupcakes

If you want to see more fun things to do with your little ones, check out my Pinterest! I have a “Kids Activities” board and a “Toddler Activities Board”: https://www.pinterest.co.uk/ramblingsoflottie/boards/

Thank you for taking the time to read my blog. It really does mean a lot. Keep your eyes peeled because I have some very exciting things coming out on the blog in the next week. Two posts in particular I am incredibly excited to announce to you! See you soon! xx

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Fluffy Blueberry Pancakes

Some of you may have seen pictures of these beauties on my social media (by the way, if you aren’t following me, you should!) so I thought I would share the recipe to my Fluffy Blueberry Pancakes. I try to make these at the weekend for the family. If you’re short on time in the mornings, you can make the batter in advance, cover and leave in the fridge overnight ready to fry up for breakfast!

I don’t make these pancakes every weekend but I think they’re great for special occasions! Birthdays, Father’s Day, Anniversaries, breakfast for dinner and especially global pandemics, are all great excuses to make these light and fluffy blueberry pancakes. If you’re not a fan of blueberries just swap them out for chocolate chips or check out my Fluffy Bunny Pancakes recipe!

My little girl is not the biggest fan of fruit but she loves these pancakes and they are reasonably healthy. I know, I absolutely cover them in icing sugar but, for my daughter, I just drizzle a bit of honey on the top and they’re just as sweet. There’s so many things you could serve these with. My fiance likes his with maple syrup or served warm with vanilla ice cream (which is my favourite but I don’t usually have the time) . Maybe kids would love these served with whipped cream and sprinkles. The possibilities are endless!

Fluffy Blueberry Pancakes

The perfect healthy-ish pancakes for a fun meal!

  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil (plus extra to add as you go along)
  • 120 g plain flour (sifted)
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 2 tbsp ground almonds
  • 2 tbsp granulated sugar
  • 1 tbsp lemon zest
  • 184 g greek yogurt
  • 6 tbsp almond milk
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 50-75 g blueberries
  1. Combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, ground almonds, sugar and lemon zest into a small bowl.

  2. Whisk the yogurt and milk together in a large bowl. Afterwards, add the egg and extract. Whisk until smooth.

  3. Carefully add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and whisk until you have a smooth, thick batter.

  4. Fold in the blueberries carefully and set aside.

  5. Heat a frying pan on a medium heat and add your oil.

  6. Once fully heated, ladle the batter into the pan to make a medium sized pancake.

  7. Once you see bubbles forming on the top, flip the pancake over gently and allow the bottom to turn a golden brown.



  8. Plate up and add your toppings!



These are a bit more work than your usual pancake but I promise you, it’s worth it! If you do recreate these, I would love to see! Follow me on my social medias and feel free to send me your pancake creations!

Tell me in the comments what your favourite pancake toppings are? Are you a whipped cream and sprinkles type of person or do you prefer the traditional syrup? Let me know!

You may also like: Fluffy Bunny Pancakes or Chocolate Chip Banana Muffins

Follow me on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/The-Ramblings-of-Lottie-2017353535206533

10 Ways To Do Self Care at Home

There’s a lot of stress in the world at the moment. I think we could all use some ‘me-time’ to relax and get rid of some tension. With Covid-19 still hanging around, it makes it a little more difficult as most of us are still stuck at home. Have no fear. I have created 10 ways you can give yourself some self care at home.

1. Bubble Bath and Candles

I know some people don’t like baths, but I do! It’s like a magical ritual for myself. Drawing the water, putting in things that will soothe my body or make me smell gorgeous, projecting good expectations and happy energy into the water for me to be surrounded by and immerse my whole body in.
I always have to have candles with a bath. It sets the tone. Makes it extra calming (and smell extra good). A part of self care is setting your surroundings for yourself. Creating an atmosphere makes it easier for your subconscious to relax while giving yourself the full experience. This leads me onto my next idea.

By the way, this is the candle I use. It smells amazing! Like a warm cinnamon and white chocolate!

2. At Home Spa Day

Whether it’s for yourself or you and your kids, a home spa is always fun. Face masks are a must and you’ll find even your local grocery store will have a good selection of them! My personal favourite are the under eye masks because I get serious dark circles under my eyes (thank goodness for concealer) when I haven’t slept properly. Get fancy and pop some cucumber on the eyes too!

Cody enjoying his spa day

After your face mask, you can head over to the foot spa. Or your bath tub/washing up bowl. Run some warm water and dissolve some Epsom salts (or pop in your favourite moisturising bubble bath) and soak your feet/troubles away. You can also take this time to polish/paint your toenails!

If you’re one of those people that have dyed your hair in Lock Down, then I highly suggest a hair mask! After showering and washing your hair, apply a hair mask to replenish your damaged hair (or if you just want to show it some love).

Other ideas include: manicure, back massage (if you have someone who’s willing), body scrub, crack out those lotions and oils you got for Christmas and treat yourself!

If you haven’t got the essentials for an at home spa day, then I have the perfect woman to tell you about! Her name is Lucie.


Lucie runs a business called Boss Beauties and sells products from The Body Shop. I absolutely love The Body Shop products because they do not test on animals and they have so many products for everyone’s needs. I actually used to work with Lucie and since, she has become a Mumma! She started her business to earn some money for her family and make her little girl proud. She is very kindly offering YOU 10% off your first order with her that is over £4.50. Just use the code: Lottie10 when you order your products. Click here to join the Boss Beauties (for free) and order your goodies while supporting a fellow Mumma!

3. Meditation

I’ve recently started picking this back up again. I have meditated for a few years on and off and I love it. I especially loved doing it through my pregnancy and it really helped me to sleep better. I’ve picked it back up again because I’ve noticed that little things are making me unusually irritable. Like a loud car going past the house, a particular baby toy constantly singing, the dog barking. All this usually annoys me, yes, but I don’t normally get an internal bubbling rage from it. So I thought I might have some underlying stress building up.

I’m so glad I did pick this back up because it just reminded me that I need to take some time out for myself. I use an app called Headspace (not sponsored or ad or gifting, just an organic recommendation). It’s an amazing app that will guide you through meditation. Prefect for beginners. Once you have completed the beginning meditations, you can explore a huge library of different guided meditations specific to your problems. They have guided meditations for: sleep, depression, anxiety, stress, work, kids, anger,walking. There’s so much to choose from and it’s the perfect ‘quick way’ to practise self care at home.

4. Write

This is an obvious one for me as it is one of my main hobbies but I’ve always loved writing. As a child, I kept diaries and found it so therapeutic and it’s a practice I still do to this day. Not only is it beneficial at the time of writing, I find myself very grateful reading back on my entries. Whether it was good times that I am grateful for having or bad times. In fact, I am so glad I wrote diary entries during bad times because it almost acts as proof. Proof that I survived that, when at the time I wasn’t sure I was strong enough, brave enough or good enough. But I’m there reading it after getting through it, reminding myself that actually, I was strong enough, I was brave enough and I am good enough. And I will get through anything life throws at me because, well, I have before!

5. Early to Bed

You tell your kids this, so why not practise what you preach? Since becoming a Mum, I love going to bed early. Doing my before bed routine is so much easier when you aren’t already knackered and really can’t be bothered because you just want to go to bed. Getting an early nights sleep means that even if you take a while to drop off, you will get a decent amount of hours in slumber land.
Going early to bed means you can set yourself a wind down routine and ensure you have a good quality of sleep as well as quantity of sleep.

6.WINE!

An obvious one. I’m not encouraging you to turn to alcohol to make you feel better but, for me, it’s a treat. And like all treats, you should savour them. Once my daughter is asleep and I’ve cleaned the kitchen, I love to sit on the sofa with a cold glass of Rosé as a reward. With every sip, I relax and let the day wash away, looking forward to a new day tomorrow. Now this is my kind of self care at home!

In case any of you are wondering, this is my favourite wine:

7. Stretch

Stress can cause physical tension in your body. Stretch your muscles to relive some of that physical tension and help your body to relax. Try some yoga! There are so many free yoga tutorials on YouTube and they can cover many specific issues. Yoga for stress, better sleep, anxiety or even indigestion! There’s something for everyone.
Check out my recommendations for Fun and Free at home work outs. Exercise is really beneficial to your mental health so this is another way to practise self care at home.

 

8. Go For a Walk

I walk the dog everyday. Sometimes I don’t want to or can’t be bothered but I push myself to do it anyway and I never regret it. Not only is it good for your heart and your body but it’s good for your mind. I know it’s not technically self care at home but it’s still very beneficial and something you can do within Lock Down restrictions. Being one with nature can calm your mind and make you think of things in a new way. Fresh air can blow away the cobwebs and it can distract you and give you something else to think about. Not to mention, research has shown that vitamin D can play an important part in warding off depression and boost your mood!

9. Mindful Project

When we all have more time on our hands, why not pick up a project? One that soothes your mind but keeps it busy. Puzzles, painting, drawing, mindful colouring or even baking. Creating something that soothes your mind can lift your spirits and fill the void.

Link to the watercolour pallet I use:

10. Sing and Dance

Whenever I’m in a slump, one sure thing that boosts my mood is music. I love to put a song on full volume and dance to it. You can do this with your kids too! Or if they think your crazy, embarrass them and do it anyway. My kitchen is my daily dancing place. While I make dinner, I put on my favourite song and I dance and sing as I cook. Is it pretty? No. Would I do it with guests in the house? No but when it’s just me and my family, who cares?

How’s Your Quarantine Life?

COVID-19 has thrown all of us into a new way of life. With that, I want to know what you have done with this ‘new life’? Have you completed Netflix? Did you learn a new language? Did you boastfully show off your basic banana bread on Facebook? Did you play salon and cut/dye your own hair? Did you throat-punch your way to the last toilet roll in Tesco? No? Just me? Okay! Whatever you did, I want to hear about it, see pictures and/or police reports about it. You can share in the comments below or on any of my social medias.

“But Charlotte, did you really throat-punch someone in Tesco?” Of course not. I’ve avoided shops like the plague and instead sent out the human I love the most (Steven) to go for me. That’s true love. It’s the same type of love that means I feel safer in bed with him laying next to me because I can use him as a human shield. Sounds selfish but it’s actually proof of how much I love him. Anyway, what have I been up to during quarantine? Well, owning a human that is 100% dependant on me takes up a lot of my time (and no, I don’t just mean Steven). Since he has been home, he’s helped me out a lot, allowing me to have some time to do other things like…

Cooking

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I cannot tell you how much more enjoyable cooking is when you aren’t tied to a schedule or have a kid hanging off of your leg. Before Lock Down, I was racing around from 5 pm prepping and cooking dinner to be on the table for 6 pm (when Steven gets home from work) while simultaneously entertaining a toddler, making sure she’s safe (not climbing on the dog) and listening out for the dog destroying something. That sound is absolute silence, by the way, so that means every 5 minutes I run into the living room expecting some sort of baby toy, bib or cushion in his gob that I would then have to prise out from between his teeth. Now? Now, I offload the gremlins, I mean, adorable daughter and pooch, to Steven and can just concentrate on the cooking and enjoy it. Sometimes, I even put some music on and pour myself a glass of wine. I know, quarantine has turned me into a party animal. I just find cooking so therapeutic and I always feel like I’ve done my family a service after making them a meal. I’ve put a bit of love into that meal for them and if they eat it and don’t contract horrendous food poisoning, then that’s a pat on the back for me!

Cleaning

One thing I am thankful for in Lock Down is the fact my laundry hamper has returned to a normal level. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not empty. It’s never empty, but seeing it at an acceptable level (i.e. not spilling out onto the floor) has made me feel a little more relaxed. Normally, I can see the wash pile in the corner of the room while I lay in bed, anxious. It’s like an unwelcome spirit at the end of my bed, haunting me, reminding me. You didn’t do the laundry today. You said you were going to do it yesterday and you never did. Feel like a failure? You should! And as it gets larger and larger, I worry it gets closer and closer until one night it might be standing over me, glaring, breathing on my face. Until one night, a pair of dirty Christmas socks wrap around my neck and suffocate me in my sleep. Now THAT’S a horror story for you. But, thanks to Lock Down (and the amazing weather), I have managed to sleep at night, looking into the corner of the room and seeing, well, just a laundry basket. Ah, peace at last.
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Disney and Day Drinking

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Haven’t we all?

A beer with lunch, a bottle of wine with dinner (on a Tuesday?!), Jack Daniels for breakfast? Why not?! There are no rules in Lock Down. I will stress for ‘those people‘ amongst you, that I do not drink alcohol for breakfast. My headaches in the morning are a result of caffeine withdrawals due to my coffee addiction, not a hangover. Having said that, my coffee intake has gone up since Lock Down.

Upon the news that Steven would be home for a month, we invested in Disney+. Oh boy (as Mickey would say), is it worth it! I am a huge Disney fan anyway, but it also has all of my childhood TV shows on it. So you can bet your ‘sweet nibblets’ (if you get it, you get it) that I’m going to binge those cheesey 00’s Disney Channel shows! Not to mention, it allowed me to do a little bit of Homeschooling myself. Giving Olivia an education in Disney Classics. Everything from the princesses to the more recent Pixar movies. Is she too young? Never! Does she understand it or even watch it properly? No! But I do!

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Anyway, I’m sure there are much cooler things other people are doing with their time than I am. Please share them with me so I can live a cool life through you? Maybe you have some amazing tinder stories? Did you text your ex out of boredom? Did you stalk that girl from high school that called you fat and bullied you and you found out she’s working for her Mum as an estate agent single and alone? No? Me neither…
Maybe you did something less dramatic, like take up gardening? Maybe you became an online quiz master? Meditate? Take up Yoga? Ate everything in sight? Painted that wall you kept meaning to? Literally anything. Tell me in the comments!

How To Go Out But Stay In

Lock Down has cancelled a lot of our plans for 2020 but does that mean we still can’t do them? Well, sure you can’t go on your all inclusive holiday to Lanzarote but don’t let Lock Down tie you to your sofa!

I have thought of 4 ways you can go out without actually going out!

1. Coffee With Friends

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I love nothing more than catching up with friends over a coffee. It instantly lifts my spirits and sets my mood for the day. Before Lock Down, I would meet with one of my mummy friends every week for a walk and a coffee and have a good ol’ chit chat. We had organised a girl’s night out for a huge group of us but that got cancelled (thanks Corona) so we, instead, had a zoom chat. It was like meeting up in a cafe with the girls. We all sat at our laptops with cups of tea and coffee and giggled together. It made me so thankful for modern technology allowing us to actually see each other and talk in a big group. I left that zoom chat feeling my usual uplifted and refreshed self after seeing the girls.

2. Date Night

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I don’t know about other Mums, but I love having a date night every now and again. A little break from the little one, a chance to reconnect with my partner and, more importantly, eat something I didn’t have to cook or worry about the washing up! Well, that’s just another thing Corona has mucked up for me! So, instead, we put the baby to bed early and tried to have a date night at home!


We ordered a take away (so that took care of the cooking problem) but I didn’t want it to feel like another night on the sofa. So, we got dressed up like we would on a normal date night. I put make up on and Steven even put on after shave! I lit candles, switched on the fairy lights, laid out a blanket on the floor and dished out the take away into fancy dishes (like we were in a real restaurant) to set the scene. I even put the wine on a fancy tray. Simple, yet effective. We then sat down, watched TV and had our fancy Chinese take away picnic!

3. Boozey Lunch

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If Lock Down isn’t an excuse to day drink, then I don’t know what is! Steve and I love going to the pub at lunch time when the weather is gorgeous. Sitting outside in the sun with a cold beer and nibbles, bliss. So, when Olivia was down for her nap, I laid out some nibbles (all fancy like, so it felt like we weren’t at home) and opened up a couple of cold ones. We turned on some music and sat under our pear tree and I swear, it felt like we were on holiday!

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Even Cody wanted to join us.
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4. Trip To The Cinema


Wanted to go to the cinema with the kids? Now you’re stuck at home and the weather is horrible? 3 words: At, home, cinema. And, no I don’t mean stick a film on and sit on your sofa. What do kids love to do? Build a sofa fort! Grab bed sheets, sofa cushions, chairs, anything you can find and make a fort with your kids. Add blankets, pillows, fairy lights and snacks! Movie snacks are essential. Turn off the lights, turn on the fairy lights, sit on the floor in the fort and watch a movie with your kids. Doesn’t sound like much but you’ll be surprised how much they love it. My little girl is only 18 months and she absolutely loved it!

You could go a step further and set up a projector (you can even buy projectors for your phone). This would be so fun to do outside, too. Like a sundown cinema experience!


So, what have you done to make this Lock Down experience more bearable? Share your experiences in the comments below!

 

Life of a Beagle Bum Mum

It was brought to my attention recently that this April is National Pet Month. I couldn’t let this pass by without introducing you to my pet, or what I sometimes like to call him, my other toddler in a fur suit, Cody!

Cody is a Beagle. Now, anyone who has ever owned a Beagle is now laughing at me and/or thinking “you poor sod”. You’d think I’d know better, growing up with two Beagles from a young age, but no. I thought, the first dog I owned should be a breed I’m familiar with and, I mean, how much harm could this little ball of fur really do?

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Turns out, the answer to that is, a fair amount! I’d forgotten about my childhood dogs destroying felt tips (resulting in multi-coloured poos) or one particular Beagle eating batteries, chainsaw oil, a whole Christmas loaf (tin foil included) and a whole hedgehog of cheese and pineapple (yes, with the cocktail sticks). Not to mention that same beagle getting hit by a bus and electrocuted AND SURVIVED! He had issues. One scenario after another, vet visit after vet visit, he was still healthy. He passed away at the age of 12, which is pretty good going! His sister, who was sensible and, well, normal, passed away less than a year later. I think that’s what made me forget all the drama we went through. Now they’re just funny stories and happy memories.

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I knew I wanted that again. Sorry? When was the first time I regretted that? Um, probably, yep, 2 weeks after we got him. I came home from work and from about 5 weeks old, Cody had been crate trained (he was about 14 weeks old at this point). So we attached a run to his crate for when we were out so that he still had somewhere to play and do number 1s and 2s. Well, didn’t he take advantage of that? He had pushed the side of the run towards the curtains, pulled the curtains down into his run, gathered all of his toys and bedding on top and did a massive shit over the lot. So I came home to my darling puppy covered in his own shit, my curtains covered in shit, all of his toys and bedding covered in shit and my carpet ruined.
Despite this, he was still so happy to see me as I came through the door. He had an air of “Look at me Mum. Look what I achieved today!” as he wagged his tail vigorously. That, ladies and gentleman, was the first time my Beagle had me speechless and having to sit down for a little weep. First time of many.

That was just the beginning of our journey. Since then he has: destroyed books, ran after Muntjac deer, gotten beaten up by a cat and slurped up a whole packet of bacon like it was spaghetti. However, we have also spent many an evening on the sofa snuggling under a blanket together, he’s cuddled my pregnant belly, he’s been so calm and patient with Olivia and now (secretly) loves her, he dances in the kitchen with me, he’s my drive thru food buddy, he’s my hot water dog when I’m sick and he even helped us announce our pregnancy to the world! Now he’ll be Olivia’s memories of trouble and laughter and comfort.

That’s the funny things about pets though. No matter how much they put you through, how much they push your buttons, how many times they strike panic in your heart, they’re worth it. They bring back memories that you can laugh at or memories like when you were sick and they slept with you on the sofa and it instantly warms your heart. I look back at my childhood dogs and think “Life wouldn’t have been half as colourful as it was without them.” and I hope I can create that for Olivia, too.

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At the end of the day, from the moment we saw him (and couldn’t sign the forms quick enough) to now (which is him snoozing on the sofa) he has been one of the best adventures in our lives and there’s still so much more trouble for him to do!IMG_7591

Please share your stories of your beloved pets in the comments below. I really do love reading them! Oh, and Happy National Pet Month!

After reading this post, the lovely people at Marcy Dog would like to offer you a discount code on their beautiful dog (and human) products!

Head to https://www.macrydog.com/ and use the discount code: MACRY20 for 20% off your purchase!


My Netflix List

Do you feel like you’ve watched ALL of Netflix this Lock down? I do. So, I thought I would share some of my favourites that are on my Netflix List. Obviously, I won’t be sharing the entire list because it is extensive but you might be interested in my highlights. From TV shows, binge-worthy box sets to Netflix originals and movies, here are my faves!

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Photo by freestocks.org on Pexels.com

TV Shows

The Haunting of Hill House

If you’re not into scary things, don’t bother. If you are, definitely bother! The thing I love most about this series is that there are so many twists and turns. I rewatched this series while bouncing on a birthing ball trying to start my labour and I’m so glad I did because there were things in the background I hadn’t noticed the first time. Ghosts in dark corners or moving shadows. It is very much an edge-of-your-seat show.

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Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt

Quirky. That’s the word that comes to mind when I think of this show but I love the characters. In particular, Titus. Super sassy, super fabulous and super hilarious. The show is about a woman, Kimmy, who has recently been released into the ‘real’ world after being held captive in an underground bunker by her kidnapper. She has to adjust to reality and leave the ‘bunker life’ behind. Doesn’t sound like a comedy but I promise you it is. It’s just fun and light watching.

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Criminal UK

On Netflix, there are different versions of ‘Criminal’ but the UK mini series is my favourite. This is made up of 3 episodes, 3 different cases and you watch it as if you were a fly on the wall of a police interrogation. One episode has David Tennant in it, which sold it for me! You get sucked in and so involved with the characters. Good stories and all may not be what it seems!

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Shine On with Reese

Ok., here we go, the feminist Lottie is coming out. I love Reese Witherspoon. So when I saw she did a Netflix series, I had to watch it and I’m so glad I did. She interviews women who are killing it in their industry and how they got to where they are today. It is so inspiring and I urge you, if you have young daughters, watch it with them. It was so interesting to hear about their struggles and hurdles they had to jump over (just because they were a woman in a man’s world) but nevertheless, they made it.

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Orange is the New Black

If you haven’t seen this, I’m so jealous you get to binge watch it during this time. It’s an interesting look into a woman’s life in prison. This is a show you can really get invested in and invested in the characters. I was absolutely gutted when this ended and the finale had my eyes welling up a bit.

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The Ranch

Sam Elliot and Ashton Kutcher. Need I say more? Tennessee family of boys on a ranch, butting heads, drinking beer and eating steak. Boys being boys, they get up to all sorts of trouble but have their family’s best interest at heart. This show has a beautiful family feel with lots of hard work. Fall outs and make ups and a few laughs on the way.

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Movies

Love Wedding Repeat

This was very recently released and received mixed reviews. I, personally, enjoyed it. I’m a huge fan of Aisling Bea so I might be biased but I love a good Rom Com. A beautiful wedding with interesting guests and the seating plan decides how the day turns out. Ex partners, new potential partners, best friends and lost loves. Oh, and one drink with a high dose of sleeping medication in. What could go wrong?

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The Breaker Uppers

This is my dream job. Two best friends have set up a company for people to contact if they want to leave their partners but are too afraid to do the dirty work. They do everything from musical dump-agrams to faking a kidnapping for their clients. Does it always go to plan? You’ll have to watch to find out.

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The Spy Who Dumped Me

Kate McKinnon has a direct line to my funny bone, I swear. She does a lot of SNL and was in the female version of The Ghostbusters. Mila Kunis is also in it and in the movie she finds out her boyfriend is a spy but is he the good guy or the bad guy? Two best friends go on a wild goose chase across Europe (like every spy movie) to find out who should have the top secret information.

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Iliza Schlesinger

Iliza Schlesinger has 5 Netflix stand up specials. Honestly, any one of them are great. She is hilarious. She covers everything from hunting down a mate to getting married. She points out all the things that are messed up with our society and makes them into belly-aching laughter. 100% recommended. She also incorporates her most beautiful dog.

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Dawn French Live: Thirty Million Minutes

I saw this a few years ago on BBC and was so happy to see it on Netflix. It’s sort of like a stand up routine/autobiography. I am a huge fan of Dawn French, so this special was so interesting to watch. She talks about turning 30 million minutes old (about 60 years) and some of the things she has experienced and gone through, you would never think of. It had me laughing, crying sad and happy tears. It’s an all round beautiful way of looking at life.

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Miss Americana

Yes, the Taylor Swift documentary. It’s not all about Taylor, though. It covers a wide range of subjects like: the media, being a woman in the music industry, sexual assault, eating disorders, bullying, politics, true love and family. It’s eye-opening and makes you feel like we should all make an effort to make a difference.

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So that’s it! I hope you go away, watch some of these and let me know if you do and what you thought of them! Oh also, I know that some of the Gifs above aren’t from the production that they are mentioned alongside but nothing in life is perfect.

Happy watching!

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Instagram: @charlotterose293
Twitter: @Cook2903

Best Bedside Books

I, personally, really like having a collection of books on my bedside table or my ‘night stand’. I think it’s a great tool for when you can’t sleep and let’s be honest, I think there’s quite a few of us that are struggling to sleep during this time. Instead of reaching for your phone, grab a book. The light from our phones can actually keep us more awake. It triggers the part of our brain that tells us when it is day or night and could potentially make it harder for you to drop off. So whether you can’t get to sleep, or you wake up in the middle of the night and can’t switch your brain off, these are some of my favourite books to relax my mind and ready my brain for slumber.

1. Notes on a Nervous Planet

I’ve mentioned this book before in a blog post (about how to survive January) but I have found that keeping this book next to my bed is the perfect solution for easing my anxious mind. Sometimes, I can have a great day, totally anxiety free (for the most part) but then, when my head hits my pillow -BAM! Oh there you are, anxiety. All of a sudden, I have irrational thoughts rattling around in my head. “What would I do if someone broke in right now?”, “Is Olivia still breathing? Maybe she choked on her bed sheet because I didn’t put it on right?”, “Does Steven get mad at me for not keeping the house tidy enough?”, “Should I have a full time career? Do people think I’m lazy?”, “Maybe I need liposuction”, “What if lock down never ends?”, “Am I doing enough? Am I good enough?”. It can get loud. Especially recently. But when I reach for this book, it’s a huge reminder that I am human. I am flawed but that’s okay because so is everyone else. And what about the bigger problems in the world? Well, we all worry about those too but at the end of the day. If it’s not in your control, there’s no point worrying about it. This book just helps me feel less alone when it comes to my irrational thoughts and brings some quietness to the noise.

2. Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone

A classic! I keep this by my bed because sometimes you just want to escape, right? Sometimes you just want to live in a different world for a while. To help me wind down before bed, I like reading a chapter or two just to transport me to another world but also another time. A time where I am 8 or 9 years old reading this book for the first time and really believing in magic. I think we could all use a little belief in magic right now, don’t you?

3. Happy Mum Happy Baby

I love this book! I started reading this while I was pregnant with Olivia and I am so glad I did. I love Giovanna’s outlook on motherhood and I find it so helpful to have it by my bed so when I question my mothering and “Am I a good enough Mum?” or “Why am I so burnt out?” I can pick this up and remind myself. As a Mum, you need to take care of you before ANYTHING. Seriously. You cannot care for your children, your partner, your work or your house if you haven’t taken care of you first. You need to be happy and healthy on the inside in order to be happy and healthy on the outside. Your kids need a happy, well-looked-after Mum who will then be able to take care of them. Not a Mum who is stressed, tired and burnt out yelling at them because she’s at the end of her tether with everything! So this book really does preach what it says on the tin.

4. The Little Book of Hygge

Now, this one is a little different. This is one I like to read when my mind is in ‘to-do-list mode’. When I’m thinking of everything I have to do tomorrow in what order not forgetting this and that. This book is a gentle reminder that it doesn’t matter if I forget to dust the TV unit or don’t have dinner ready for when Steven comes through the door. It matters that we talk at the dinner table to each other about our day and be thankful for the food on the table. It matters that I soak up every cuddle before bedtime and take pleasure in the simple every day things.
This is also a great one to read first thing in the morning to start the day off in a good mindset.

5. A Dream Dictionary

There are hundreds of different dream dictionaries on the market but this one is one my Grandmother gave to me when I was about 12. I am a frequent dreamer. I mean, every night, I have at least 3 dreams and they’re always wacky, disturbing or very vivid. I love looking up things that appear in my dream in a dream dictionary. More often than not, I find my dreams are reflecting an aspect of my life or the mess that is my mind. It’s so helpful to observe these reflections so you can give them some proper attention and get to the root of what’s bothering you or be thankful for things that you may have taken for granted.

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Let me know what some of your books are that you like to keep by your bed! Just FYI and in case you’re wondering, I also keep: photo booth pictures from my best friend’s wedding (because they make me happy), Roary (my microwavable dinosaur), body moisturiser, hand cream, a tiny Buddha and tissues beside my bed. Also, how cute are these bed sheets? They’re my favourite!


 

Simple But Cute Easter Treats

So, in the midst of this chaos, here’s some normality. 4 simple treats to make at home to celebrate Easter. There’s nothing fancy required or ingredient you need to brave the shops for. You won’t be elbowing Hugo or Biffy in the wholefoods shop for the last Madagascan Dodo Bird Feather to make these. Just your normal baking supplies. I really hope some of you can create these and find some escape in these recipes. Baking, for me, can be really therapeutic and, if that fails, you can always stress eat your bakes. Whichever way, I hope this helps.

1. Easter Bunny Sugar Cookies

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These are great to make with little ones because you can make the dough ahead of time and they’re really simple and quick. If you don’t have any Easter cookie cutters because ever other Mum in the country has bought them, then this is for you!

What you will need:

  • A batch of sugar cookie dough (see my recipe here).
  • Rolling pin
  • Gingerbread man cookie cutter
  • Chocolate eggs with a sugar crisp shell

Method

  1. Roll out the dough on a lightly floured surface to about 1 cm thickness.
  2. Cut out your ‘gingerbread men’.
  3. Place cookies on a lined baking tray upside down. The ‘legs’ will be the bunny’s ears.
  4. Place a chocolate egg in the centre and bend the arms over the egg so it looks like the bunny is cuddling the egg.
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  5. Using a cocktail stick, give the bunny some eyes.
  6. Bake in a preheated (160ºC fan) oven for 10 minutes.
  7. Leave to cool on a wire rack.
  8. Once cool add a nose with a blob of chocolate or a sprinkle.
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2. Easter Nest Cupcakes

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Everyone knows how to make the traditional chocolate Easter nests. Well, they inspired me to make these in cupcake form with a difference.

What you will need:

  • A batch of 12 cupcakes (I used my vanilla cupcakes but you could make chocolate ones to make these treats even more chocolatey)
  • A batch of chocolate buttercream (bought or homemade)
  • Chocolate sprinkles
  • Mini chocolate eggs

Method

  1. Fill a piping bag, fitted with a round piping nozzle, with chocolate buttercream (if you don’t have a nozzle, just cut the end off to size).
  2. Pipe two rings (one on top of the other) of buttercream onto the top of the cupcake.
  3. Dip your cupcake (gently) into a shallow dish of chocolate sprinkles until the buttercream is coated in them. It should look like a sprinkle covered doughnut!
  4. Place two mini chocolate eggs in the centre of your nest.


3. Lemon Shortbread Bunnies

These are just so delish! Again, these are so simple and great to make with kids. Get creative! Pick your favourite sprinkles and unapologetically decorate!

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What you will need:

  • 125g butter (room temp)
  • 180g plain flour
  • 1 tsp lemon zest (I put in more because I love the lemon flavour)
  • 65g caster sugar
  • Bunny cookie cutter
  • Small flower cookie cutter (optional)
  • Icing sugar
  • Your favourite sprinkles

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 150ºC.
  2. Mix the butter and sugar together until creamy. Then add the lemon zest.
  3. Sift in the flour and combine. Using your hands, form into a dough. Wrap in clingfilm and refrigerate for 15 minutes.
  4. Remove from the fridge and roll out the dough on a floured surface to about 5mm thickness.
  5. Cut out your bunny shapes and place on a lined baking tray. You could also cut out some small flower shapes for the tail! If you don’t have a flower cutter, don’t worry! Continue reading!
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  6. Place the baking tray of cookies into the fridge for 10-15 minutes. You could also put a large hole in the top of them if you with to put ribbon through them to hang.
  7. Bake for 12-15 minutes or until the edges of the cookies have a golden tinge.
  8. Allow to cool completely on a wire rack before decorating.
  9. Mix together icing sugar and water to make a simple icing (you could also add lemon juice to give it more lemon flavour).
  10. Cover the flower shaped cookies in the icing or carefully spoon/pipe the icing onto your bunny to give it a tail. Add your sprinkles to the icing to create a tail made of sprinkles or simply leave it as it is! If you’re creative, you could give him sprinkle ears!

4. Floral Bunny Ear Cupcakes

These are slightly more challenging but I think they’re so cute! I used these reusable cupcake cases that are silicone plant pots which I think were perfect for this design! You can use whatever you like.

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What you will need:

  • A batch of your favourite cupcakes (or you can use my vanilla cupcake recipe)
  • A batch of vanilla buttercream
  • Piping bags
  • Variety or piping nozzles
  • Food colouring
  • Candy melts or chocolate

Method

  1. Melt your candy melts in a piping bag (I used a microwave. Heated for 30 seconds then squeezed the bag to mix the melts. Then heated for another 30 seconds and repeated until I got my desired runny texture). Then snip a small piece of the end of the piping bag off. You can use chocolate, however, it is not as stable.
  2. On grease proof paper, pipe bunny ear shapes. (I draw my design before hand and placed it underneath the grease proof paper so I could trace it).
  3. Leave to harden on a flat surface for 24 hours.
  4. Separate your vanilla buttercream into different bowls and colour. I used yellow, pink and violet as I thought they were nice spring colours.
  5. Put your buttercreams into separate piping bags with different nozzles.
  6. Apply a base of green buttercream to look like grass.
  7. Carefully peel your candy melt bunny ears off of the grease proof paper and delicately push them into the buttercream.
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  8. Pipe a variety of flowers and shapes onto the cupcake. You can always just pipe swirls and dots! Try to pipe them onto the cupcake in a way that supports the ears.

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And there you go! Very simple and quick Easter treats. I hope this brings some joy to your household. If you do create these, please share pictures with me! I would love to see them!

Be kind. Stay Safe.

 

Follow me:

Instagram: @charlotterose293
Twitter: @Cook2903