Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Knits for Men #DebsKnittingChallenge

Knitting for the men in your life is renowned for being a bit tricky.
Take my Other Half for example...
He mostly lives in combats, tshirts and hoodies. In black (or, to paraphrase Lego Batman, ' very, very dark grey'). He would not be seen dead in a fair isle sweater. Or any kind of sweater to be honest!

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Book Review - 'Giftwrapped' by Jane Means

Giftwrapped  by Jane Means
November 2014 Hardback £20
published by Jaqui Small 

The Christmas season is nearly upon us and the trend for beautifully wrapped gifts using unexpected embellishments and recycled materials has never been stronger.

In this fabulous book, Gift Wrap Guru Jane Means - gift wrapper to the rich and famous - celebrates her signature style and shares her secrets of a perfectly wrapped gift! 

Wednesday, November 05, 2014

October Round Up

What a lovely month October was! So full of wonderful colour, yummy food and lots of woolly makes.

I love Autumn!

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

How to... Crochet a made-to-measure plant pot cosy

I picked up a lovely pot of apricot coloured chrysanthemums from my local supermarket for a bargain price of 60p the other day. I do hate to see a good plant left to die so naturally it came home with me.
All it needed was a good water and a bit of dead heading to look as good as it's full-priced sisters.

Oh, and something HAD to be done about it's somewhat dowdy pot...

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Ganglabs #2 - The Koselig Blanket

Do you remember my very excited post back in June about how I got shortlisted in the very first Wool and the Gang Ganglabs challenge? Click here to read all about it...  (The competition was extremely popular and you may be interested to know that the three winning designs are now available to buy as knit kits )

Monday, July 28, 2014

Crochet Baby Blankets - A ripple a day...

There are two new additions to our (extended) family this summer! My cousin is expecting her first baby and the Other Half's cousin is expecting her fifth (!!). I thought this was an ideal opportunity to take my crochet skills up a notch and tackle something slightly bigger than a jam jar cover or a little bowl!

Wednesday, July 09, 2014

#YouCompleteMe challenge update...

Do you remember me posting about the Craft Blog Club June #YouCompleteMe challenge?

The idea was to fish out a long forgotten, started but not finished, craft project and, erm, complete it...

Well I picked a lovely cross stitch picture I started more than a decade ago and decide I would make a concerted effort to finish it in June.
June 30th - not quite completed

So did I do it?

Friday, July 04, 2014

Peanut Butter and Chocolate Brownies Recipe

Here's a little recipe for what is quite possibly the stickiest, gooiest, sweetest, richest, scrummiest Chocolate Brownie I have ever had (and I have tried a few...)

Wednesday, July 02, 2014

Upcycled Coffee Tin Desk Tidy with Jane Means Ribbons

Did you notice the snazzy new 'I'm a Jane Means Blogger' badge in my side bar? I made the suggestion a few months back that the little tribe of ribbon bloggers might like a badge to show off  on their blogs and now we have one! (if you click on it, it will open up all the blog pots I have done featuring Jane's lovely ribbons)

I have used the ribbons to decorate empty gravy granule tubs before - now here is an idea for upcycling those lovely tins that the new Barista style instant coffees come in. (You could of course use gravy granule tubs for this make too!)

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

New Designer homewares at George Home at Asda

George at Asda have teamed up with The Prince's Trust to create a brand new designer range for your home.
Two designers - Dimitria Jordan and Amanda Bradley, both of whom were helped by the Prince's Trust to launch their own businesses - were selected to create an exclusive range of home wares for George Home with 10% of the profits going back to The Prince's Trust to help more young people get the help they need to realise their dreams.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

I'm a knitty designer! Oh yes!!

Wow I am so excited! I am finally allowed to share my shortlisted design for the Wool and the Gang GangLabs competition!!

*woah there! I hear you say. What competition?*

rewind to mid-April...

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Chocolate Orange Syrup Loaf Cake Recipe

I am a big fan of Nigella Lawson's no nonsense if sometimes a little over-indulgent attitude to cooking. Her 'How to be a Domestic Goddess' is my go-to book when I am looking for something yummy to bake just for the hell of it, and the Lemon Syrup Loaf cake is a definite favourite in our house!
Sometimes, however, only chocolate will do so a few weeks back I had a play with the Lemon Syrup Loaf recipe and came up with a gorgeous chocolate orange version...


Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Craft Blog Club - June Challenge #YouCompleteMe

These lighter evenings are great don't you think?  The Other Half is spending more time in the garage 'tinkering' which means I have access to pc in the evenings. This week I got to join in my fave twitter chat #craftblogclub for half an hour before Roo's bedtime and it was great to catch up with some of the regulars and meet some new tweeps too!

Emma announced the June challenge - You Complete Me - last week (read all about it here) and, not being one to shy away from a challenge, took the opportunity to trawl through the huge plastic storage box full of bits and pieces, half finished projects and long abandoned craft obsessions to see if I could rekindle the love for something long forgotten...

And I found this...

Friday, June 06, 2014

Homemade Tomato Sauce Recipe

In our house we eat a LOT of pasta - fresh pasta with a simple homemade sauce stirred through is one of life's pleasures for me. So simple, filling and tasty!

Homemade tomato sauce should be allowed to cook long and slow to allow the flavours to develop but the good news is it freezes really well too - so here is my recipe for Homemade Tomato Sauce.

Wednesday, June 04, 2014

Hello! I'm back.... sort of...

Hey I'm back! Did you miss me?

Well I really haven't had much luck with technology - my poor little netbook is still soldiering on, albeit with no Internet connection, no touch pad functionality and no working SD card slot. Only two of it's four USB ports work though - one for a mouse and the other for my memory stick - but, thankfully, the battery charging point still works so it's not all bad.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Tuesday Tutorials - Handmade gift ideas

image credits:: clockwise from top left,,
Good morning all - it's Tuesday Tutorials time again!
This week I have picked out three little gift ideas from last week's linky.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Ribbon Decorated Cushion Tutorial

So, I promised you a couple of tutorials to tie in with this month's Crafty Obsession  and here is the first - How to make a cute decorative pillow with ribbon trim.

The instructions are for a small pillow measuring approx 32cm x 24cm but it can be easily adapted to make a pillow any size you want!

Instructions include a seam allowance of 1cm - add extra to the width (the short edge) if you feel you need it!



Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Tuesday Tutorials - Sew Lovely!

Good morning all! Still no laptop joy to report so I am soldiering on with the antique PC ;-)
Last weeks Tuesday Tutorials linky was packed full of gorgeous things to make and do so thank you to everyone who linked up!

Now the sun is shining at last I find myself itching to get out in the garden - after nearly 6 months of almost non-stop rain, it needs a little TLC - so what better excuse to run up this cute Gardeners Apron by Hellie's Corner?

I do love a bit of patchwork too and this brilliant (it's not cheating, honest) 2 part tutorial for patchwork using a coaster template by the lovely Emma Blethers over at Emma Made is an almost fool proof way of achieving perfect patchwork! (you can find part two here)

Sticking with a patchwork theme I also loved this tutorial from Chloris Boris - How to Quilt as you go . I have always wanted to make a quilt but the sheer size of a finished quilt coupled with my very basic sewing machine and corner of dining room table set up has but me off! With this method it all starts to look do-able! Again, it's a 2 part tutorial and I look forward to seeing the second part!

Continuing with the sewing theme I am linking up my first quilted project - a pretty quilted potholder. Hope you like it :-)

So there you have my picks from last week. Don't forget to pop over to my fellow hosts blogs - Kate at Crafts on SeaGude at Hodge Podge Craft and Anna at In the Playroom -  and check out their favourites too.
  • Link up ONE post a week - it can be any kind of creative tutorial, how-to or recipe at any level from pre-schoolers to pro. It doesn't have to be a new post from the last week so use #Pintorials to revisit some of your best tutorial posts!
  • Please follow the Tuesday Tutorials Pinterest board . 
  • Please also follow the hosts on Pinterest - AnnaGudeKate and me - this is not essential but would be appreciated!
  • Try and visit at least three other blogs on the linky and leave a comment or pin some of their fab tutorials to your own boards. You could use the #pintorials hashtag to let them know you found them via the linky. You can also use the #pintorials hashtag to highlight your post on other social media if you chose.
  • Feel free to add the badge to your post or your side bar 

Tales from Mount Pleasant
Grab the button

Wednesday, April 09, 2014

Crafty Obsessions - Ribbons

lovely Jane Means ribbons in shades of spring!
Crafty Obsessions took a little break in March (as life took over) but it's back for April and this month I am sharing my obsession with ribbons!

Tuesday, April 08, 2014

Tuesday Tutorials - apologies!

So last week I completely failed to do a Tuesday Tutorials post... it's a long story that involves a very poorly laptop. I won't bore you with the details! My laptop is STILL poorly and currently has no internet connection at all, which makes blogging regularly somewhat tricky, but I have commandeered the old (and verrry verrry slooowwww) pc for emergancy blogging purposes!

I very much hope to have my laptop back and firing on ALL cyclinders in the next couple of weeks but in the meantime please bear with me...

Saturday, April 05, 2014

Rainbow Raindrops and Smiley Clouds!

If every cloud looked as cute as this one I'm sure we wouldn't be quite so sad to see them scurrying across the sky. I always imagine the world looks brighter after a spring shower but imagine a downpour of colourful raindrops making rainbow puddles and painting the world in bright hues!

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Tuesday Tutorials - Just for Mum!

It's Pintorials time again! Last week I asked for some ideas for Mother's Day gifts and a few of you linked up some lovely ideas for making this coming Sunday extra special.

Monday, March 24, 2014

Busy Times...

You may have noticed I've not been around here much the last couple of weeks.

March always seems to be a busy month for us. There is the all the paperwork for the year to sort out for my Other Half's motorcycle shop - getting everything together ready for the accountants; chasing up missing invoices; sorting through all the ins and outs; and then there's stock take... *shudders*

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Tuesday Tutorials

Hello and Happy Tuesday! I'm a bit late with the Tuesday Tutorials post this week - we have been making the most of the glorious weather! (I think we've had it for now, judging by the grey skies I see out of my window as I type - *sigh* well it was good while it lasted!)

Friday, March 14, 2014

Grab a Make Away from The Makery

When The Makery - home of amazing craft workshops and lush habdash in the city of Bath - contacted me and asked if I would like to try one of their fab Make Away kits I jumped at the chance!

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

CraftblogClub IReLoveYou Challenge

Emma at Frugally Peachy set us a brilliant CraftBlogClub challenge in February - to thriftyly upcycle an item of homeware and make it beautiful again. She said we could use something we already had or purchase something second hand to reinvent.

It was the perfect excuse to get on with a little project I have had in the pipeline since last summer when I first saw an amazing book in our local library...

Tuesday Tutorials - Upcycling

images :: ,
Good Morning and Happy Tuesday to you all.

This week I have an upcycled theme to my picks from last week's pintorials.

Sunday, March 09, 2014

Meal Planning 2014 - it makes sense to plan!

Why meal plan?

Well, because life is so much simpler when you know what you are cooking each day in advance; it eliminates a lot of waste  and, after last week's 'I am skint so will be relying on reduced/special offers and therefore cannot plan' plan, I can honestly say it really does save you money!

Tuesday, March 04, 2014

Tuesday Tutorials - week 5

images : (clockwise from bottom right),,

Good Morning and a very Happy Tuesday to you all! 

It's time for my pick of last weeks Pintorials and what a lot of fab link-ups we had to chose from! With 38 entries it was our busiest week so far, it really feels like the Pintorials word is getting about now. I can't wait to see what the next few weeks and months bring!

Monday, March 03, 2014

Meal Planning 2014 - A lean week...

After last week taking stock and getting excited about doing a 'larder' shop using the Tesco vouchers found whilst tidying up the kitchen, this week I am in a different place.

Sunday, March 02, 2014

DIY Heart Pompom Pillow Tutorial

All the way through February I have, in the name of Crafty Obsessions, been obsessing over pompoms - oooohing and aaaaahing over pompoms of all sizes, colours and materials and adding lots of lovely projects and inspirational ideas to my Pompomtastic pinterest board.

Judging by the response to the Pastel Pompom Garland tutorial I linked up with Tuesday Tutorials last week I guess you are all pretty much obsessing over pompoms too!

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Magazine Cover Kits - making them your own!

I have made no secret of my love for Mollie Makes on this blog.  One of the things I love best - apart from the cute styling, the amazing makes, the fab interviews etc etc - are the free cover kits that come with my magazine every month.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Tuesday Tutorials - week 4

image credits (clockwise from top right) and

Good morning everyone - it's Tuesday Tutorials Day!   Time to root through your bloggy archives and allow one of your favourite tutorials, recipes or how-to's shine again!

Monday, February 24, 2014

Meal Planning 2014 - Taking Stock

Last week was half term - we spent half of it at my mums being fed very well and the rest of it on freezer food, McDonalds (after a half term treat cinema trip) and pizza...

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Tuesday Tutorials - playing with yarn

Good Morning everyone!

It's that Tuesday Tutorial time of week again - Yay!!

Once again, last week was a great success with loads more fab things to make and do added to our Tuesday Tutorials pinterest board.

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Valentines Day Jam Tarts recipe

My lovely friends at Duerr's have sent me some of their special edition 'Aphrodisiac Jam' to try this week and asked me if I could come up with something a little loved up to celebrate Valentines Day.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Tuesday Tutorials week 2

Hello! Welcome to week 2 of Tuesday Tutorials Pin Party!

Our launch week was a resounding success - we had 36 fab tutorials, how to's and recipes link up by the end of the week. These have all been added to our Tuesday Tutorials Pinterest board. Why not head over, have a look and start sharing those pins?

Monday, February 10, 2014

Meal Planning 2014 - Aduki Bean Pie recipe

We are into our second month of meal planning now and things are starting to get a bit more tricky. Most of the nice munchy food pressies we got over Christmas (tins of biscuits/chocolates/sweets) have gone and the store cupboards and freezer stores are starting the thin down as I am using things up and not able to replace them instantly.  I guess it's only going to get harder from here.

On the bright side the Aduki beans from last week are going down well - I will be using the other half of the pie filling this week for one meal.  Here is the recipe I promised to share...

Wednesday, February 05, 2014

Crafty Obsessions - PomPoms!!!

This month, in the name of creative blogginess I will mostly be obsessing over pompoms.  Honestly, consider it a service to craftkind...

Tuesday, February 04, 2014

Tuesday Tutorials - it's Pintastic!

Hello and welcome to the very first Tuesday Tutorials Pin Party!  If you missed my post last week explaining what this weekly linky is all about why not hop over here and check it out. If you need reminding of the very basic rules of this linky then check out the Tuesday Tutorials tab above!

So, each week Kate, Gude, Anna and myself will be hosting the linky on our blogs and spending the rest of the week busily pinning, tweeting and generally spreading the #Pintorials word.

All you have to do is link up your tutorials below!

We would love it if you could join in sharing the love too - visit the Tuesday Tutorials Pin Party board on Pinterest and start re-pinning all those fab tutorials. Over the next few weeks and months, with your help, we hope to fill this board with lots of lovely how-to's, recipes, DIY's and crafty projects.

Each week I will pick my favourites from the week before and share them here too.

So lets get this party started!

This week I am pinning one of my first tutorials - lovely ribbon and button corsages

Now it's your turn - just add one of your own tutorial/how to/DIY/recipe posts to the linky below. Don't forget to visit the Pinterest board too and maybe pop along to a few other blogs on the linky and show some love...

Tales from Mount Pleasant
Grab the button

Monday, February 03, 2014

Meal Planning 2014 - Slow Cooker Beans

The whole point of meal planning for me is, for the most part, to reduce the cost of our weekly shop. Developments this week mean that this is even more important now (I won't go into it but I'm sure if I say 'Thanks a bunch Tax Credits' you'll get the idea...)

Finding frugal ways to ensure we eat properly is up most in my mind and as we can't really afford very much meat and fish I am looking at other ways to get our protein in!  As a recovering former vegetarian I know the value of beans and pulses and this week I have been experimenting with cooking dried beans in bulk for the freezer so they are ready to use for meals whenever I need them. It's a lot more economical to buy beans dried than pre-cooked in tins but having to cook them for hours on the stove, keeping an eye on water levels so they don't boil dry often puts people off.

But did you know you can cook them in a slow cooker?

Nope me neither until recently. What a revelation!!

It's so easy - you can soak the beans overnight if you want (this reduces cooking time by an hour or two) then just rinse them, pour them into your slow cooker, cover with water with a couple of inches of water above the bean level and cook on high for 4-6 hours.
*please note that while most beans can be cooked in this manner Red Kidney beans contain toxins in their skins that must be boiled off before you slow cook the beans - place the beans in a large pan full of water and bring to the boil. Rapid boil- that is keep it bubbling furiously -  for 10 mins before draining, rinsing and continuing in slow cooker as above.

That's it!

I used a 500g pack of Aduki beans from my local health food shop for less than £2 and this cooked up the equivalent of nearly 6 drained cans of beans, which would cost double that at least!  I packed my cooked beans into freezer bags, about 250g per bag. This is a little more than the drained weight of an average 400g can of beans so when a recipe calls for a tin of drained aduki beans all I need to do is take one of these bags out of the freezer!

I used the equivalent of two cans (approx 450g of cooked beans) to make a supremely tasty Aduki Bean Pie (recipe to be blogged very soon) which cost me about £2.50 to make and would comfortably feed four. There was enough pie filling to freeze half for another meal too!

This is truly frugal, and healthy, food!

You may have noticed by the way that I didn't do a meal planning post last week - this was for various reasons, the main one being it was my birthday and we ate out one night and had pizza on another and freezer food pretty much kept us going the rest of the week. On the down side I experienced that minor 'what are we going to have for tea' panic a couple of times last week - it truly made me appreciate just how helpful meal planning is! On the upside I was well under budget last week which is good as I seem to have run out of EVERYTHING this week!

So here's this week's meal plan - it's pretty basic again as much of this weeks budget will be going on those other non-food necessities - washing up liquid, toilet roll and washing powder!


Homemade Pizza


Toad in the Hole with roast potatoes, carrots, peas and gravy


Pasta with veggie sauce and garlic bread


Homemade Soup and crusty bread


Something from the freezer (Roo has tea at his nan's today)


Chicken and Vegetable Curry and Rice


Veggie Sausage Casserole and mashed potato

ps. you may have noticed I have changed my meal plan order from Saturday to Friday (instead of Monday to Sunday) this is because I normally do a big (ish) shop on Friday or Saturday so it makes more sense for me to plan from there.

Friday, January 31, 2014

Crafty Obsessions - Button Crafts round up

I cannot believe it is the end of January already!

All month I have been busy drooling over buttons, mostly on Pinterest it has to be said, and coming up with ideas and projects to make use of the huge collection of buttons I already have.  Did you see my cute Button Hoop Art project?  I have some more hoops and I am planning a whole collection of these to fill up a wall space in my home :-)

I am still working on another button craft project which, due to a massive underestimation of the sheer number of buttons I would need, is not *actually* finished yet... It will be very soon but I think I may be adding it to my February WIPSLinky post as a 'very nearly finished' work in progress (tune in next week for that one!)

So, back to Pinterest - if you have visited my Crafty Obsessions - Buttons board you will see lots of lovely buttony inspiration and a fair few tutorial and diys too.  I thought it would be nice to share my favourites here with you as my Crafty Obsessions round up...

I love these book marks by Creative Pixie - perfect for using up scraps of fabric and buttons. This great tutorial, including a free pdf pattern download can be found here


A button clock! Genius!! Well it comes from the grand master (or mistress?) of crafty home making, Martha Stewart (just search 'button crafts')  I love this idea so much but may make mine using an embroidery hoop and buttons stitched on.... I'll be sure to share it with you when I get around to it!

image :
Button art in many forms appears on my Pinterest board. I love the button tree idea and this tutorial from Simply Designing shows how you can get the kids involved from sorting to sticking (don't forget young children MUST be supervised when handling buttons AND glue!).

image :
Top marks here for the simplest tutorial EVER! So easy, so effective and the method could be carried over and used for hair clips, pin brooches, in fact anything that stays still long enough may find itself having buttons attached to it...   find out more here

 Here's another super simple but very effective idea - A Button Wreath from craftapalooza! I really love how she has used a belt buckle and a lovely piece of velvet ribbon as a hanger too...

And finally...

Not a tutorial as such but a whole post on incorporating buttons into gift wrapping. There are some absolutely gorgeous ideas here . I don't know about you but if I received a gift wrapped up like that I'd almost be reluctant to open it! *almost*

So there you have it - my pick of the button projects I have found and pinned this month. There are loads more on my board and I am sure I will continue to add to it (an obsession is for life not just for one month after all...)

Next week I shall be moving on to my next Crafty Obsession. I wonder if you can guess what it might be?

Happy Crafting!

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Tuesday Tutorials - a fab new weekly Pin Party!

Hello everyone I hope you've had a very Happy Tuesday!

Over the past few weeks I have been working away with three other lovely crafty bloggers - Kate at Crafts on Sea, Gude at Hodge Podge Craft and Anna at In the Playroom to put together a brand new weekly linky.   Inspired by our love of Pinterest and the wealth of crafty tips and tutorials that can be found therein we would like to present...

Tuesday Tutorials officially launches next Tuesday (Feb 4th) and we want you to join in!

Just link up your tutorials, recipes and how to's and we will pin them all to our special Pinterest board creating one amazing #Pintorials showcase!

The Linky will be hosted across all four blogs so it really doesn't matter which blog you add your link to - everyone will see it!   Each week we will each pick a selection of our favourite posts from the week before to feature - we all have our own crafty interests so all posts will have a good chance of getting a bit of extra exposure, which can't be a bad thing!

We are a pretty easy going bunch of gals but there a few rules and guidelines, just to keep things running smoothly...


  • Link up ONE post a week - it can be any kind of creative tutorial, how-to or recipe at any level from pre-schoolers to pro. It doesn't have to be a new post from the last week so use #Pintorials to revisit some of your best tutorial posts!
  • Please follow the #Pinstruction board (link will be up next week). 
  • Please also follow the hosts on Pinterest - Anna, Gude, Kate and me - this is not essential but would be appreciated!
  • Try and visit at least three other blogs on the linky and leave a comment or pin some of their fab tutorials to your own boards. You could use the #pintorials hashtag to let them know you found them via the linky. 
  • If you want to, add the badge to your post or your side bar (I am working on a 'share this button code' but in the meantime you can just copy the one above )

We are all really excited about this and look forward to reading all your fab posts next Tuesday.

See you at the Pin Party!

Monday, January 27, 2014

Big Energy Saving Week 27th-31st January

Did you know it is Big Energy Saving Week this week?

There are lots of ways you can save energy but one of the easiest is to just switch from regular lightbulbs to energy saving LED bulbs.

LED bulbs may seem expensive but this infographic below by Lightbulbs Direct is a real eye opener when it comes to how much cheap incandescent lightbulbs actually cost us and the environment!

We have already swapped over most of the light bulbs to energy saving ones in our house but this week I will be making the effort to replace the last couple of incandescent bulbs and do our bit for the environment not to mention ease the pressure on my purse!

Won't Cost the Earth

Won't Cost the Earth - An infographic by LightBulbs-Direct to promote the Benefits of LED Bulbs for ‘Big Energy Saving Week’. To view the full image click here.

To Embed 'Won't Cost the Earth' on Your Site: Copy and Paste the Code Below

Please not this is NOT a sponsored post and I have recieved no payment from LightBulbs Direct for posting this infographic and accompanying link .

Monday, January 20, 2014

Meal Planning 2014 - Lunchbox Stars!

Well last week didn't go quite as well as week before. If there is one thing I am learning it's that it's important to be flexible with the meal planning! Roo was invited to his friend's house for tea on Tuesday so rather than cook the meal I had planned for the two of us I opted for a tea and toast supper and cooked Tuesday's meal on Friday. And we ended up having Wednesday's soup two night running as Roo loved it so much...
Despite this I still went £2.04 over budget - although to be fair at least two meals this week will be made from Sunday's roast dinner left overs so potential to make up for over spend there...

Roo's school packed lunch is still proving tricky.  Every day this week his lunch bag has come home with about 75% of his lunch in a squished up mess at the bottom of it, so not only is he not eating it at school, I can't even make him eat it when he gets home hungry...
It doesn't seem to make much difference whether I put his favourite sandwiches (minus crusts) and snacks in or not - he rarely eats more than half of it.
We talked about it and I asked him what he would really like in his lunch bag and he said 'pasta and tuna or some soup'  This week we are going to try just a bowl of pasta salad and some of these fab little cheesy star snack biscuits (recipe below).  Less stuff to chose from will hopefully mean he eats more of what he is given and I won't have to keep throwing food away!

This week's meal plan...


Cauliflower and Other veg cheese, made with Sunday dinner leftovers!


Chicken, Sweetcorn and Noodle Soup - again made with Sunday's left over roast chicken


Roo going to his Nonny's house after school so probably cheesy beans on toast for me! (or left over left overs...)


Lentil and Carrot soup with homemade rustic bread


Aduki Bean pie


Homemade pizza


Toad in the Hole with mash and veg

Easy Cheesy Lunchbox Stars recipe


4oz/125g plain flour
2oz/60g butter
2ox/60g finely grated cheese (a mature cheddar gives a better flavour)
1tsp paprika
splash of cold milk
1 egg yolk


Sift the flour and paprika into a large bowl.  Rub in the butter until mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs, mix in the cheese then make a well in the centre. Add the egg yolk and a splash of milk (go easy, you can always add a little more if need be) and mix together to form a soft dough.
Roll out the the dough on a floured surface - about 3-5mm thick is enough as the biscuits puff up a bit when cooked.  Cut out your biscuits and place on a greased/lined baking tray and cook at top of a moderate oven (180c/gas 4) for about 10 minutes or until golden. Allow to cool on a wire rack then store in an airtight container.

They should stay fresh for five or six days.

They may not actually stay uneaten for that long though...

The paprika is entirely optional but adds a subtle kick. Leave it out if you don't think your kids will like it. Try dried herbs instead if you want or add some poppy seeds to the mix with the cheese.
Try using different shaped cookie cutters too - I have dinosaur ones that went down particularly well or you could try mini gingerbread men cutters, hearts, flowers, or just plain rounds.

These snacks are incredibly easy and cheap to make - not to mention very moreish - so enjoy experimenting with different seasonings and shapes and make your kids lunchboxes more fun!

ps - I have submitted this post to #mealplanningmonday over on At Home with Mrs M - there's loads of other meal planning ideas linked up too so do go and take a look!

Meal Planning Monday
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