I took part in Blogtober 2016 and really enjoyed it. I’m not sure why I didn’t do it last year, but I’ve decided to take part in this year’s Blogtober 2018. I like having blog prompts to work with because it means I can get […]
DIY craft ideas are a wonderful way for the families to bond well and enjoy some fun time together. Whether it is about making voguish decorations for celebrating Christmas, renovating your kid’s room or learning a new fix, craft projects pack in a lot of thrills and excitement for kids and parents alike. Use the following interesting project ideas to engage your spouse and young ones in a fantastic art session where you will enjoy unleashing your creative potential and aesthetic prowess.
Fun Snowman From Plastic Cups
Have fun building a snowman with only plastic cups. This DIY activity is even more fun than creating customized family photo albums through Mixbook.com/Photo-Books or planning a road trip to one of the exotic beaches in the Caribbean. You do not really need snow to make your own personalized artful snowman. It is an easy-to-do craft project, which only requires inexpensive plastic cups. You will need some glue, a stapler, coloured paper, and some clear plastic cups. Use these materials and a little bit of your creative prowess to create splendid snowman decor with your loved ones.
Peppermint Christmas Ornament Candies
Did you know that peppermint could actually be used for making your own customized peppermint candies? These candies will have just the perfect flavoring to spice up your noshing or binge eating sessions. Use some nice candy brand and peppermint for this amazing DIY activity to create sweets that you can use as birthday embellishments, Halloween giveaways, or party decor.
Stylish Candy Sleighs
Your kids will absolutely adore this amazing DIY craft featuring vibrant candy sleighs, which you can easily use as Thanksgiving souvenirs or New Year decor accessories. While you might find these cute little candy sleighs with colourful ribbons tied around a bit hard to build, they are actually easy to design. Just use a handful of kit kat or Hershey’s chocolate bars and a few multicoloured decorative ribbons to create your own handy sleighs. Apt for a Christmas giveaway as well, these will need candy canes, some glue, and a few candies.
Salt Dough Handprint Ornaments
Are you thinking of getting a bit creative this winter season? How about some cool handprint ornaments made right out of salt dough? You will need some flour, water, and salt. Put them together in a bowl, make cute shapes and decorate them using good quality acrylic paint. Think of nice colourful patterns to paint on your salt dough accessories. Do not forget to cover them up with a sealant. It will allow you to use these as decor items for a long term.
Cinnamon Dough Ornaments
You may like eating Cinnamon doughnuts but know that you can create marvellous decorative cinnamon accessories with only these four ingredients: flour, salt, cinnamon, and water. Your kids are sure to have a great time making these fancy ornaments that require no cooking. This kid-friendly craft project keeps you engaged for hours of creative play while you think of artistic patterns and shapes for these cinnamon embellishments. You will enjoy the fragrance once these ornaments are done. You can show this decorative artwork to your friends and relatives and I am sure they will definitely appreciate your creative flair.
This is a collaborative post
Ant’s most favourite cake is sticky ginger so I knew what we’d be making this week! He found a recipe for a gluten-free ginger and caramel cake that uses Caramac chocolate as a topping. He LOVES Caramac chocolate! We didn’t use gluten-free flour, however, so the recipe below uses regular flour.
Ant added a layer of ginger jam in the middle that wasn’t called for in the recipe. It was absolutely delicious; I’m not looking forward to weigh-in at Slimming World again next week!
Sticky Ginger and Caramel Cake
- 250g Salted butter
- 200g black treacle
- 100ml dark rum
- 200ml whole milk
- 100g dark brown muscovado sugar
- 200g dates, stoned and roughly chopped
- 3 balls of stem ginger, roughly chopped
- 1 tbsp stem ginger syrup
- 150g Carnation caramel plus 4 tablespoons for the icing
- 3 eggs
- 2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
- 400g plain flour
- 2 tbsp ground ginger
- 2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1 tsp mixed spice
- 150g salted butter
- 450g icing sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 90g Caramac chocolate
- Heat the oven to 160C/fan 140C/gas 3.
- Butter and line 2 x 20cm springform tins with baking paper.
- Put the treacle, rum, milk and muscovado sugar in a pan with the chopped dates and stem ginger chunks.
- Bring to the boil, then bubble for 3 minutes to soften the dates.
- Use a hand blender to blitz the date mixture to a smooth purée – be careful, it will be hot!
- Stir in the diced butter until it’s melted, followed by the caramel and the eggs.
- Combine the flour, bicarb and spices in a bowl, then make a well in the centre and pour in the warm date mixture.
- Mix with a wooden spoon until the batter is lump-free. Divide between the two tins (weigh the mixture for really even layers), then bake in the centre of the oven for 1 hour or until a skewer poked into the centre comes out clean.
- Cool in the tins.
- When the cakes are cool (or, if wrapped in clingfilm, the sponges will mature to an even tastier cake in a day or two) remove from the tins and make the icing.
- Beat the butter with electric beaters until soft, then beat in half the icing sugar.
- Add the remaining icing sugar with the vanilla extract and beat until the icing is fluffy and pale. Beat in the 4 tbsp caramel.
- Spread a thick layer of icing over one of the cakes and chill for 20 minutes to firm up, then sandwich the second cake on top.
- Spread the rest of the icing sparsely over the top and sides of the cake, filling any gaps where the sponges were sandwiched and scraping excess icing to give straight, clean, ‘naked’ sides.
- Chill for 30 minutes until the icing is cold and firm.
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If you are running a professional business from home, chances are that you will want to succeed on a tight budget. While you might not have the funds to splash out on marketing campaigns as large companies and consultancies, you will have the determination that […]
You might think that you’re ready to climb aboard the property ladder. By the time you are twenty, you will be constantly bombarded with adverts telling you that you should be purchasing a home and taking on a mortgage. Or, maybe you are starting to think about investing? We all think we know the costs of the property market, but do we really? Of course, we consider the deposit we need to save, the mortgage payments and the marketing but that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Are there various other costs that you haven’t considered?
Buying? Don’t Forget The Survey
It doesn’t matter what type of home or property you are buying. It doesn’t matter whether it’s your first or your tenth. You should always be making sure that you complete a survey. A property survey is the only way to guarantee that the property you’re buying is worth the money you’re putting down on it. Otherwise, there is simply no guarantee this is the case, and you could end up with a home riddled with expensive issues that you won’t actually be able to fix. You don’t want to be in this situation, and a survey can save you from it. But they aren’t cheap. A survey like this must be completed by an expert, and the bill you take on might be enough to make you shy away from it completely. However, if you skip this step, you could lose a lot more further down the road.
You do need to think about how you’re going to get your belongings from your current residence to your new home. That requires a removal team. These days, there are various DIY options to this issue including renting your own van, storage lockers, recruiting a couple friends and completing the move yourself. But again, this could be a mistake because it might be more expensive and even dangerous. Washers typically have concrete blocks in the bottom, and that could give the strongest man trying to lift one a hernia. Instead, compare and contrast the cost of different movers to find the one offering the best deal for your needs.
If you’re downsizing but still want to keep all your possessions, you may need to rent some storage space. This is another expense you may need to take into account but you can keep costs down by using a company that offers pick up storage. They collect your items for free and you just pay for the storage.
Remember, you can save a little by moving smaller items yourself, using your own transportation. Movers will often charge by the hour so you do want to keep their job as quick as possible.
Don’t forget that a home purchase or sale is a legal contract. As such, you do need to hire the services of a property litigation team. They will make sure that everything occurs the right way and guarantee that the transaction is legal. Without a team like this, there’s no guarantee that the transfer of ownership will be upheld.
If you’re used to renting, the first emergency repair in your home can be a nasty shock. When you rent, your landlord is responsible for handling repairs in your property. But when you buy your own new home, things change. Instead of a landlord, you have to handle the cost yourself, and it can be considerable. For instance, a new boiler can cost thousands which is another reason to pay for a thorough, professional survey of the home.
We hope this helps you with some of the hidden costs of the property world.
This is a collaborative post
It’s beginning to get colder and darker outside, which is perfect timing to give your home a warming winter makeover. Mediterranean designs have proved to be popular in Hollywood homes. Don’t worry, you don’t have to have an A-list budget to achieve this stylish design […]
Starting a home-based, online business – even a part-time one – is a great way to boost your family’s income and get your mental and creative juices flowing. But there’s sometimes an issue. For a business to be successful, it needs to be professional, and how do you present yourself as a professional if you’re conducting all of your work in your pyjamas? Well, there’s good news: a professional attitude doesn’t rest on your appearance, at least when you exist in the digital world, and the rules that do matter can be implemented by everyone. We take a look at five of them below.
Excellent Customer Service
It costs nothing to deliver first-rate customer service. If you’re operating your business under the assumption that the customer always comes first and deserves the best, then you’ll be walking along the right path. But what does it look like, exactly? To begin with, it’s about treating your customers as individuals who have, for whatever reason, elected to give you their business. That’s a responsibility. You can not view them as solely numbers who contribute to your bottom line. Treat them with respect, and go the extra mile to help when necessary. It’s a mindset that’ll take you far.
A Fully-Serviced Website
The difference between a professional website and an amateur website can be startling. If you’ve quickly put your website together or have gone down the budget route, then you might lose any hope of attaining professional credibility before you’ve even started. It’s worthwhile taking the time to ensure that your website has all the appropriate security certifications, that it’s not too “busy” – as in, it’s a nightmare to navigate – and that it has a fresh, clean look. Those old-school website designs might look cool in some quarters, but they’re not going to help a business grow.
You can do all the right things. You can have a website that looks the part, have products or services that people need, and be well on your way to marketing yourself as a professional business. But there’s a problem. All your contact screams “amateur hour.” Your business address is your home. Your phone number runs through to your mobile. Your email ends in “@gmail.com.” Ouch. Don’t take this route: give your communication methods a professional makeover. You can obtain a professional virtual address from https://physicaladdress.com. You can outsource handling your calls to a third-party. And the email address? Please, please, make it end in “@[your website].com.”
Use a Vendor Performance Management System (You will thank yourself later for it)
A vendor performance management system such as the one by GatekeeperHQ for example will prove to be vital If you’re a one man band (or woman) and your business requires vendors for the products to sell, you’re going to need all the time you can get. This makes a certain process of running a business more efficient. Using a vendor performance management system assists in monitoring your vendors performance such as the quality and reliability. This helps with reducing stock levels and the inventory costs to boot. Ultimately this all points to having satisfied customers. Once you get this part running efficiently like clockwork all you need to do is decide whether you want to relax or scale your business…Or perhaps both?
Shrouded in Mystery
If you want your business to be professional, then you’ll need to learn the art of which details to share, which to keep to yourself. Don’t print in business cards saying you’re the CEO, or any other role for that matter. You want people to think that you’re more than just a one-person band operating out of their garage. Unless it comes up naturally, keep people in the dark. You don’t have to volunteer every piece of information about your business and life.
This is a collaborative post