Posted in DIY and Craft, Gift ideas, Super easy craft

Simple scrappy bookmark

So my daughter’s birthday is coming around fast, like too fast,and I wanted to get a little organised. For the last couple of years, we have made it a sort of game to try and give at least one home made gift. This was mainly because my boys are not on big wages and having to gift to all your brothers and sisters is expensive! I have found though, that by doing this, the gifts have become more thoughtful, treasured and useful than if bought. So its really been a two for one experience ☺

Now, as said daughter lives in another town, postage can also be on the expensive side if you are not careful! So gift has to be:

A) home made and

B) light weight

As my daughter loves books and loves reading, her gift this year was quite easy and it fitted the above criteria.

Here’s what I used, most of which you may have laying around.


– cardboard

– scraps of material, buttons, old jewellery, left over ribbon or lace

– hot glue gun or really good quality craft glue (if you use a cheap craft glue, even though the say it will dry clear, they generally still have a yellow tinge… from my experience anyway)

– white paint (optional)

So once you have gathered your bits and pieces, time for some fun and mess!

Now, I used old cardboard that I had previously used to protect my grass from a spray painting project. So with that in mind, I painted my cardboard white first so the black paint would not show through the material. Therefore, this step is optional.

I then ‘wrapped’ my cardboard in some scraps of material I had left over from other projects. I find if I cut the material corners away, it makes for a much nicer finish.

For the first couple, I used a craft glue as I couldnt find my glue sticks! But for the red and black bookmark I used my glue gun. Either worked fine but allow to dry properly if using craft glue before continuing on to next step. As I am impatient, I preferred the glue gun, only for the quicker drying time😄

So once you have wrapped your bookmark in material and your glue is dry, add your other bits and pieces that you like. This is where a glue gun holds better than craft glue, and it dries so quick as well. I had a lot of lace and some small string pearls left over from other projects, so the glue gun was best for yhese heavier items.

Also…..NEVER throw away your old buttons or jewelery! I used an old gem from a bracelet on the pink bookmark and also an old heart of my daughters (with her name on it even 😊) for the red one. And buttons can be used for so many craft for a bit of bling too.

So the above are the two I am gifting for my daughter. So quick, simple and easy to make.

While these 2 I have put in my little gift stash for when I am caught out unexpectedly for a pressie 😘. Am just off to make a couple more to add to these, since I already have such a mess on my table!

Hope this gave you a few ideas on a cheap, easy, yet thoughtful gift.

Have an awesome day


Posted in quick, Recipes

Sour cream apple slice

So, I wasn’t going to blog today, figuring I had clogged up enough news feeds and such in the last week… but then I made Sour Cream Apple Slice… and it would be sinful not to share!

Now almost everyone, I am sure, has made this slice at some stage as it is just soooo YUMMY and so, so simple to make!

If you have never tried Sour cream apple slice,… do NOT know what you are missing out on! If you don’t even like sour cream, I can bet you will still LOVE this quick and simple slice.

For those of you who have never made it, I have written the recipe below. Now, if it is not of a great standard, please forgive me as my laptop has finally died and I am temporarily using my phone, so apologies in advance.

Firstly, ingredients


340g packet buttercake cake mix

125g butter or margarine, melted

1 cup desiccated coconut


410g tin of apple pieces or slices


300g container sour cream

1 teaspoon cinnamon or allspice


1. Combined cake mix and coconut in a bowl, stirring a little.

2. Add melted butter and mix until combined well.

3. Press into WELL GREASED slice tin. (I usually just spray well wi t h a non-stick cooking spray).

4. Bake in oven at c180c for 15-20minutes or until golden.

5. When slice is golden, let cool for 5 minutes before topping with apple slices. (I usually cut and mash the apple up a bit BEFORE spreading on base as it makes sure the apple covers the base better.)

6. Spread the sour cream evenly over the apple filling.

7. SPRINKLE (unlike myself…😮) with cinnamon or allspice if desired. (This is optional, but does just add that 😚.)

8. Bake in oven at 180c for another 20 minutes or until sour cream set. (When sour cream is set, it sort of resembles a pale custard, if that helps…)

9. Remove from oven and allow to cool in pan before slicing.

10. Eat and enjoy 😆

Now, I have read that this is not freezable. I don’t know why. I have been freezing this recipe for the last 15 years, for probably no longer than 3 months. I have never had any problems with it. I generally store it sliced, in a plastic slice container and defrost it by putting it in the fridge the night before I wish to use it. However, would love to hear if you have frozen this and it either worked or was a fail.

After all that typing on my phone, i actually found a link to a recipe that is basically the same …


❤ Mel

Posted in Recipes

Mustard crumbed chicken breast

Raising children is a full-time job.  Working full-time while raising children is, well, a 30 hour a day job!  Add to that cleaning, washing, homework, after school activities and cooking and you have the makings of insanity.

While I do enjoy cooking, when time permits, over the years I have gathered a collection of super quick, easy and versatile meals to have on the table sooner rather than later.  They are not fancy, but still very yummy!

So this brings me to my mustard crumbed chicken breast.  Super easy.  All you need to do is slice your chicken breast in half, get rid of some of the days frustration by whacking it a little, brush on some mustard, and crumb.  I then put the chicken breast in the fridge for AT LEAST AN HOUR to help the crumb stick.

TIP:  If super organised, make the night before while you are already making a mess in the kitchen!!!

Now, you don’t even have to stick to this recipe if you don’t like mustard.  Have some fun with it and change the sauce.  I bet a sweet chili sauce brushed on would taste amazing as well, although, I haven’t tried it as I have one teenager who does not like chili.

I have also used panko bread crumbs, just because they are suppose to be healthier, but normal bread crumbs work too.

Want to be organised for lunches the next day? Well, I generally serve this with Caesar salad for dinner that night then make a little extra to take for lunches the next day.  EASY!!! Oh, I DON’T add the dressing on the Caesar salad to be taken for lunches, I pack a separate little container so it can be added at work for a non soggy salad.

Need instructions?

Mustard Crumbed Chicken Breast


Amount of chicken breast for your family.  I usually  go approximately 1 plump chicken breast for 2 people.  Plus extra if making for lunch the next day.

Sauce – mustard (or whatever sauce you wish to use)

Panko breadcrumbs or your preferred


Slice chicken breast horizontally and then tenderize as much as needed, depending on frustration levels for the day…

Using a pastry brush, apply sauce to one side of chicken breast.  Press sauce side into bread crumbs and brush other side with sauce.  Turn over and press this side into bread crumbs.  Make sure well coated.

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When all chicken breast is crumbed, put in fridge for AT LEAST AN HOUR to allow crumbs to stick.

To cook, simply fry in hot oil, turning to brown, until cooked through.  I have no idea how long this is as it depends on the thickness of your chicken breast and how hot your oil is but I would say about 10 minutes or less on each side.

Serve with salad and wedges for a quick, yummy dinner and some left overs for lunch.


Image result for clip art heart Mel




Posted in Simplicity

Simple words

Something to ponder…

There are occasions, when I am not as strong as I normally am and suffer from bouts of depression.  This is not something that many people are aware of.  Not because of stigma or shame, but because I am very lucky that my depression bouts are few and far between as I am able to, generally, deal with them through loving the simple things in life, nature, fresh air, relaxation, cook and, believe it or not, CLEANING!??!

What triggers these depressive bouts, I do not know.  What makes them on occasions worse? Simple words.  Words from others who sometimes do not stop and think as to how their simple words or simple comments may be perceived by others.

There are many sayings:

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Image result for words cut deep quotes   Image result for words cut deep quotes  Related image

Sometimes, we need to stop and think:  

Do we know what is going on in someone’s life?  Do we know what they are dealing with but may not be saying?  Do we know if this person suffers depression?  Do we know if this person has an ill family member?  Do we know if this person is struggling financially or emotionally?

I try and live by:

Are my words kind and tender?  Do they need to be spoken?  Do I need to gossip about others to feel good about myself?  Do I treat others as I would like to be treated myself?

And that is how I have tried to raise my children:

If you do not have kind words to say, say nothing at all.

Try and make one person feel special every single day.  Whether family, friend or stranger.  A smile, a flower, a thank you for dinner, a helping hand to open a door or push a grocery trolley.

Making someone feel special is free.  Simple, kind words are free.

And today, while looking at a new rug, my ‘making someone special everyday’ moment was particular touching.  At the store, there was an elderly man also looking at rugs.  I gave him a smile, and we started to talk.  He was there to pick a rug for his house.  He had never had to pick one before as his wife had always done it for him.  Last week, his wife had been moved to a nursing home.  The man was at a loss as to which rug to pick.  We talked about the colours in his house and the colours of his furniture and narrowed it down to three options.  I helped the man take photos of these on his phone so he could show his wife.  As he went to leave, he gave me a friendly pat on the arm and his eyes were a little teary as he thanked me.  Something so little had been so big to this elderly man.

Share kind, simple words and actions.  You never know what it may mean to someone to have just those couple of words or couple of minutes of feeling special.

Hope you all have a superbly awesome splendorous day!  Please leave me some comments on your little acts of kindness, I would love to read them.

Mel  Image result for clipart heart



Posted in Simplicity

A simple Sunday

So far, I have shared with you all craft, craft and craft.  Today, I would like to share just a few of the simple things in life that make me smile and thankful.

I had a beautiful and relaxing Sunday with my partner, slowing down, enjoying each others company and just generally relaxing before beginning the new, busy and HOT week ahead.  Here are some of my fav highlights:

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Starting Sunday morning walking barefoot on the grass.  I love the feel of walking on grass, which is strange, because I do NOT like the feel of dirt on my feet when walking inside.  I find walking barefoot on grass extremely relaxing!  Somewhere I read it was called earthing.  (Note to self, investigate more.)

We also spent some time at the Botanical gardens, feeding the ducks and turtles and birds.  If you look closely on the left, you will see my partner’s incredibly sexy hat… I so do not like this hat, it soooooooo daggy!!!  We are so lucky to have these beautiful gardens within a 5 minute drive.  I save up a few bits of bread scraps in the freezer and when we have enough, we take them to feed the animals.

The gardens are an abundance of ducks, turltes, birds, frogs and lizards.  Above is a little friend we saw, sunning himself on a log.  In the first pic, it looks like he is waving.  In the second, he seems to be telling me “No photos please”.  Sorry little fellow, too late.  Hahaha.

I have only had my camera since Christmas (a pressie from my partner and one that I am really thankful for) and am still learning the finer details of photography, but I think these photos turned out pretty good.  The contrast of colors in nature is so beautiful and relaxing.  To be able to sit and enjoy the sights, sounds and smells that are around me brings home how, for me, the little things clear the mind and body of stress and provide calming, allowing me to recharge my batteries.

I also had time today to harvest my sunflower seeds.  These beauties have been drying on my kitchen windowsill for the last few days.  I find harvesting the seeds relaxing and very therapeutic (ahhh, the simple things…).  Once the seeds were harvested, what was left was given to our chickens. (Much to the disgust of our puppy who is at the “I will eat anything” stage.)

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And that is where we finish our simple Sunday, spending time with our puppies, both big and small.  The little fellow (Chief… or should i say ‘mis’chief!!) is 14 weeks old and into everything!  The ‘stick’ the big fellow (Choco) has is actually an item Chief snuck out of my collection of nature items on our coffee table… Sometimes I think he is worse than when my children were young!!!

So that’s my simple Sunday.  What are some simple things you enjoy doing in your free time?  Would love to hear about them.

Happy Sunday to all,


Posted in DIY and Craft, Super easy craft, Uncategorized

Easiest ever jewelry hanger

So it has been super hot here the last week with sweltering temperatures and high humidity, YUCK! So what better way to cool down than a trip to the beach. Being so hot though, I couldn’t even be bothered to change into my swimmers and go in the water, but did enjoy a stroll along the sea front with the sea breeze.

innes park beach

This beautiful beach is about a 15 minute drive from our house and is the inspiration to some of my crafty pieces and decor around the house. We have a lot of nature inside, through plants, drift wood, shells, rocks and one very large fish tank!

So yesterday, while on our stroll along the beach (wearing shoes, as the sand was incredibly hot!), I collected some MORE pieces of drift wood. I am never greedy, only taking a small amount here and there that I know I will use, but we do seem to be getting a few drift wood pieces around the house of late. Plus, I already knew what I was going to do with it as I had been wanting to make a jewelry hanger from drift wood for a very long time. I don’t even recall where I had seen one before, if I had actually seen one before or just invented this in my head… anyway, the end result was my jewelry hanger below.

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So easy to make but if you need instructions:


– pieces of drift wood or any type of wood/sticks you may have around. I am going to make a second one from these pieces…


– and a hot glue gun

And that’s all you need.


– arrange the pieces however you like. I didn’t really put too much thought into the hanging of the jewelry practicality of it all, just a design I liked.

– next, glue the pieces together. You may find you need to glue a piece and hold for a bit and then let it dry before gluing another piece on.

Next step is get creative! I had an old seed pod thing around in my nature basket so hot glued this on as well and put some air plant in it. I love plants around EVERYWHERE! You could also wrap your joins with twine if you wish to hide the glue a bit more or you could even spray paint your finished design.

Hope this gives you some inspiration to work with some sticks and a hot glue gun.



Posted in Crochet, DIY and Craft, Uncategorized

Upcycled crochet rag rug

So, my second post was going to continue on with the cupcake theme.  I had intended to show off my cheats way of making a variety of different cupcakes however, we are in the middle of a heatwave here ATM and I really do NOT want to be baking in a hot kitchen.  So, you will all just have to stay turned for that one.  Instead, I thought I would share what I am currently working on… a RAG RUG!!! (Again, groan my kids!)

I love mats and rugs.  Not only do they protect your floors, but it means the dirt is hidden until you find the time to sweep the floors!  I also love functionality. A good rug for me is something that fits where I need it, can be easily moved and easily cleaned by throwing it in the washing machine or giving it a good shake out (excellent arm and back workout btw).

I was first introduced to rag rugs by another crafty lady at work telling me how easy they were to make and how it used up her stash of old sheets, quilt covers and scrap material.  What a brilliant idea!  With my kids moving out and also upsizing to double beds, I had an ENORMOUS stash of old single bed sheets and quilt covers, too worn around the edges or middle to be given away.

Now, the hardest part in all of this was trying to work out how to cut the sheets to end up with one long, continuous piece of ‘wool’ to crochet with.  Now, you may know of a better way to do this, but below I have given an example of how I cut the sheets.  I have read of people starting to cut them a little first and then ripping the rest, but this never worked for me.  I would end up with the beginning being about 1/2 an inch and the end being 4 inches! I just couldn’t get it to rip straight.  I am also not that fussy on cutting in a straight line, which is great, because I cut my sheets up on the breakfast bar and con my boys into cutting a few strips before they eat breaky!


First things first, find some old material.  Now, this could be sheets, quilt covers, old dress shirts, old material, basically anything that is cotton or cotton poly.  I have tried flannelette before – FAIL. I have also tried a satin like material – ALSO A FAIL.

Once you get your material together, cut off all hems/seams.  If you leave the seams on, you will find this will eventually unravel your mat when the seam stitching begins to come away.  Another experience of my FAIL!  You can cut a little along the seam and then rip the rest, I have found I can get it pretty much right doing this.

Once you have done this, it is time for the tedious task of cutting all of this material.  As I said, I am not overly fussy with straight lines, it won’t affect the finish of your quilt.  However, keep in mind that if you want a really heavy, thick rug, then cut your strips wide (maybe about an inch and a half or 3 to 4cm). If you want a thinner rug that can be thrown in the washing machine then cut the strips no wider than an inch (2cm).  I would not go much smaller than 3/4 of an inch or you may find your material rips when trying to crochet it.  Now, to get your material into one continuous strip, I have taken some photos that may explain it better than my words…

So that’s the cutting out the way.  I don’t tend to cut my sheets or quilts all at once.  I probably cut about half of a single sheet, roll up the strip, and then cut half another time.  This means that, firstly, I don’t get bored while cutting the same material, and secondly, I can use the same colour more than once in a rug.  I also tend not to roll up my strips into nice little balls but wrap them around and round my pinky and thumb in a figure 8 and then stash them all in a basket.  I mean, does it really matter what your ball of wool looks like???

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Now the easy and fun part! Assembling your rag rug through crocheting.  So, this is one I am working on at the moment for a little girl who LOVES pink, purple and gold.  As you may be able to see, some of the gold is sequined material that I had laying around.  It works, but is not easy to crochet!  I used a size 10 crochet hook (N/13), which is the largest I had.  I guess you could go smaller but I find this size makes it easy to crochet with a chunky material.

For a rug this size, I chain about 55 stitches, plus 2 more stitches (which will be your beginning of your next row).  You can make it as big or small as you want by just adding or removing stitches to your beginning chain, but always add 2 (for the beginning of your next row.)  Turn your chain ready to single crochet back the other way.  Skip first 2 stitches and single crochet in every stitch all the way back along.  Once you get to the end, turn, chain 2, and then single crochet in every stitch all the way back.  Now, one thing I have learnt, is make sure that you single crochet at the beginning of your new row in the correct stitch.  It is a little tricky to find that first stitch and for some reason I occasionally start it right next to my chain.  IT IS NOT THAT STITCH, it is the next one along so I always think to myself to skip the first hole and go into the second.  Does that sound confusing?  If so, COUNT the first few rows of stitches and if you end up with one extra, you may be starting in the wrong stitch.

So that’s basically it.  You can individualize this so much once you have cut the material.  For a beginner, this is probably the easier to complete but other ideas could be to use a half double crochet, a round rug, an oblong rug. So many ideas!

Here’s the pattern, if you need it.

Materials I used –

– old sheets and old material

– size 10 crochet hook

– scissors (of course)

My current project –

Chain 55, plus 2 for total of 57 stitches.  Turn.

Row 1 – Chain 2.  SC in each stitch until end (55SC)

Repeat until reach desired rug size.  That easy!

Hope you have enjoyed this, until next time,