Hats for Homeless

January 31, 2016

Stack of Hats

Hat Handover

One of the lovely knitters in my Churchtown Yarn Group, Dublin 14  mentioned that a knitting group in America meet to knit hats for the homeless from their wool stash once a year, so we decided to give it a go this year. In two weeks we knitted 18 hats which i handed over to the Peter McVerry Trust last week. We’re planning on making it an annual event and hoping to encourage other knitters and knitting groups to participate, so if you wan to get involved just let me know.


Super Mario Party

January 19, 2016

It was my son’s 6th birthday over the weekend so we decided to throw him a Super Mario party. I spent ages on the decorations, which i mostly sourced online and printed ourselves so although it took quite a while to do it wasn’t expensive.

Super Mario Party Backdrop

I downloaded most of the characters for the background from One-hip Mama and Clipart Sheep. I used the question box graphic as a template to make a Happy Birthday banner. I enlarged the graphic of the Piranha Plant, printed it, cut it out and stuck card to the back of it to stiffen it. I used a card buttress at the back of the Piranha Plants and the ‘pipes’ to make them stand up. The runner under the sweet treats is from Tesco for (€1.89 for two metres)

Super Mario Birthday Banner

I got the printables for this banner from Oh My Fiesta and used a Super Mario Font, which you can download, to complete with my son’s name and age. I bought blue ribbon for it in Home Focus (€0.50 per metre)

Pin the Nose on Mario Poster

I tweaked a printable from Oh My Fiesta to make this Mario poster. Then i printed out a second copy of his face, which i mounted on card before trimming so i just had his nose and moustache. I just put bluetack on the back of the nose and moustache to help it stick to the poster.

Super Mario Party Food

The Super Mario food was a combination of Yoshi Egg cookies (biscuits decorated with white icing with red or blue spots), Mario Fire Balls (Burger Bite crisps), Luigi Gold Coins (chocolate coins wrapped in gold foil from Aldi) and Toad cupcakes (fairycakes / cupcakes iced with fondant icing with two lines of chocolate icing for eyes! I edited the ‘Starman’ graphic and used the Super Mario font to make the food signs. We also served pizza and cocktail sausages, which were pierced with with these Super Mario cupcake picks from Beach Bums.

Super Mario Cake

My cake decorating skills won’t win any awards but my son was delighted with my version of the Super Mario Wii game. Using plastic figurines to decorate the cake really helped with the final result! I also had to make him a cake for his actually birthday (his party was on a different day)

Bowser Castle Cake

Super Mario Party Ware

I got the yellow plates (€1.99, green napkins (€1.49), blue cups (€1.99) and red paper tablecloth (€1.99 for 5 metres) from Mr Price, the green paper straws (€1.49) from the Euroshop and the table runner is Super Mario wrapping paper that i got for €1 in Smyths Toys. I printed and cut out the Pirhana plant heads and use PVA glue to stick them onto the straws. I also printed and out the moustaches templates and use PVA to stick them to the cups. I finished each place setting off with a chocolate coin wrapped in gold foil from Aldi.

Super Mario Favour Boxes

I got the printable for these boxes from Oh My Fiesta.

A found a few other printables that i didn’t use for the party. Here they are;


Deluded Doublespeak

November 1, 2015

It never cease to amaze me just how well some human delude themselves and the world.  From the woman who spouts feminist ideals while taking on the bulk of the child rearing and household duties, to the manager that talks of empowerment but repeatedly undermines the work of his/her employees.

Of course some people are duplicitous on purpose but i think most people have no awareness of the gap between the person they think they are and the person that they actually are in reality. My warning to you is to be careful of words; people say all manner of things and they might believe 100% percent of it. Judge others by their actions and not their words and then you’ll really know what their values are.



Easy Homemade Moisturiser

October 18, 2015

Homemade moisturiser

I used the recipe below to make some lovely homemade moisturiser. It cost approximately 5 to make a cup of moisturiser (half of recipe below), which is absolutely delicious on the skin.

  • Use a double boiler to melt half a cup of almond oil or grape seed oil and 20g of beeswax that has been either grated or cut into small pieces.
  • Mix 1 cup of aloe vera gel, a teaspoon of almond of Vitamin E oil and essential oils (optional).
  • Once the beeswax is melted in the almond oil, take the mixture off the heat and place on a tea-towel on a counter or table.
  • Whisk or blend the aloe vera gel mixture into the oil / beeswax mixture bit by bit.

This recipe is an edited version of one that i found on Remedies and Herbs


Avoiding Palm Oil

August 5, 2015

For those who don’t know the growing of Palm Oil is threatening our rainforests, it’s inhabitants and having a devastating effect on climate change, which of course threatens our children’s future too. Vast swaths of rainforest have been felled to feed our insatiable appetite for this cheap bulking agent.

There have been calls for companies to source sustainably grown palm oil and it’s starting to have some effect but it’s a slow process and until they get their act together i am boycotting palm oil that isn’t certified as having being grown sustainably.

Of course some manufacturers don’t make it easy for us to avoid products with unsustainable palm oil in them. It’s in everything and to make the challenge even harder, it’s not always labelled as ‘palm oil’. Here is a handy printable pocket-sized Palm oil in Disguise guide to  that you can use to find all of the names that palm oil might be labelled under. The Rainforest Foundation has also produced a Palm Oil Guide

To be honest I’ve just had to stop buying some processed food, like non-Irish crisps, full-stop because 9 times out of 10 it has palm oil in it. Thankfully a lot of Irish made products don’t use palm oil so it’s not impossible to avoid completely in this country. Also because it’s mostly used in processed food, avoiding them completely can make your diet healthier so it’s a win, win.


Spiral Tree Staircase

August 4, 2015

I love the novelty of this Canopy Stair and the designers say they’ve worked with arboretists to make sure it doesn’t harm trees. I wonder how secure it feels to walk on and if you need to adjust it every year?

Spiral Tree Staircase

Very handy infographic from American based Safer, who sells organic gardening products.


yellowing plants

Veg Growing Infographic

August 4, 2015

Handy infographic re Veg growing. Found on a clever website called IgHive , which has infographics on all manner of wonderful things.

Simple Vegetable Garden Tips #infographic

Rooftop Gardening Guide

July 19, 2015

Raise the Roof: How to Plant a Rooftop Garden

This clever infographic was created by the people at CustomMade, an American website the matchmakes bespoke makers with buyers. You can read more on Raise the Roof: How to Plant a Rooftop Garden.

DIY Paper Vase Cover

July 19, 2015

DIY Paper Vase

I think this is pure genius. So simple and yet so stylish. Can’t remember where i got this image from so if it’s yours please let me know and i’ll link it to your blog / website.



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