Crafts for Christmas ,Hobbycrafts & Art Materials Live Giveaway


The boys and I are not the most crafty of people … actually , the boys are very creative and love to make things … It’s a skill I need to nurture and lovingly craft … I’m determined to teach myself crochet .. but thats for another time !!!

Crafts for Christmas is being held at the NEC , Birmingham next month and I am quite excited about popping along and picking up a few handmade , special Christmas presents … why don’t you join me ???


We have teamed up with the organisers of Crafts for Christmas, Hobbycrafts & Art Materials Live to

offer 1 lucky readers a chance to win a pair of tickets to this fantastic show which is taking place at

the Birmingham, NEC from the 7-10 November.


To be in with a chance of winning this pair of tickets leave a comment below telling me what craft you would love to learn !

With three shows for the price of one, visitors can embrace the magic of Christmas with a huge selection

of handmade gifts and crafts from hundreds of exhibitors. In Hobbycrafts, you can stock up on all the

latest innovations and supplies from the world of creative craft or take part in one of the many free

demonstrations and workshops and find leading professional artists at Art Materials Live offering the

very latest in art supplies, ideas and innovations. For all the latest information please visit the website,


Crafts for Christmas, Hobbycrafts & Art Materials Live

NEC, Birmingham

7-10 November 2013

Ticket Prices:

Adult: £12.00 (£10.00 Advance Price)

Senior: £11.00 (£9.00 Advance Price)

Children free if accompanied by an adult with a valid ticket, otherwise £5.00

2 Day Ticket (Advance Only) Adults: £17.00 Senior: £15.00

All advanced tickets need to be ordered by 5pm Mon 4 November

For more information or to book tickets please visit Alternatively, phone the Ticket

Hotline on 01425 277988.

Follow us on Twitter @thecraftshows or like us on Facebook – ICHF

**Giveaway closes on October 30th 2013 8pm

** Winner will be chosen at random and notified by 31st October 2013

** If the winner has not replied by Midnight (GMT UK) on November 2nd 2013 another winner will be chosen , again, at random.

** Judges decision is final.

And the winner is …… HURNAE !!!

The competition is now closed > thanks to all who entered x


INSET days are sent to try us ….

Pentax Digital Camera

I had totally forgotten that the twins had an INSET day last Friday … so there I was clocking up the overtime at work planning out my Friday overtime and quietly planning how much of Christmas said overtime would pay for … when I got a text from school … Gleefully reminding me that the kids were off …*PUFF** thats my overtime bonus that is  ..puffing its way out the door …. !!! Hay ho …

So instead I wondered about  what to do with the boys ….Unfortunately the weather was pretty dire so we instead decided on a day of films , housework and Dr Who !! So after a leisurely morning watching  Harry Potter , the boys ( who love housework… strange children!!) helped me to hoover and polish and sweep and wash … and before we knew it , it was time for  a tea break and a few episodes of Dr Who ( The Tenth Doctor .. for reference !! 🙂 !! )…

I promised the boys they could make pizza for tea … so whilst they immersed themselves in Daleks and Cybermen , I toddled off to the kitchen to make pizza dough . the boys then came and rolled out the dough and topped it .. quite liberally in ham & cheese … They love to help out and they love to cook ! F more than T .. who has a tendency to get bored and wander off halfway through anything .. ready to start a new challenge ! Always busy …

Pentax Digital CameraPentax Digital Camera


By the time B got in from school and C got home from work  , the twins and I were exhausted !!! The dog was fed up of us being in his front room all day and I was one happy, contented  little Mummy ( If a little stressy … but thats normal !!) So I didn’t really mind the INSET day .. and certainly didn’t mind missing my overtime ( though undeniably the extra cash would have been fab) … What I did get in return was a day with my boys … a day of us being us .. just doing “stuff” together … PERFECT !!!

Here’s the recipe used for our pizza dough ….

  • 300g strong bread flour
  • 1 tsp instant yeast (from a sachet or a tub)
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp olive oil, plus extra for drizzling

Put the flour into a large bowl, then stir in the yeast and salt. Make a well, pour in 200ml warm water and the olive oil and bring together with your hands ( Yeah it’s messy!!)  until you have a soft, fairly wet dough.

Turn onto a lightly floured surface and knead for 10 mins until smooth. Cover with a tea towel and set aside. Leave in a warm place for 30 mins to prove.

Now, roll it out and top with your tomato passata/puree ( whichever takes your fancy ) … how about a BBQ sauce instead ( My personal fave from my days working at “The Hut” … then top with whatever toppings you like ! The boys chose cheese and ham .. but let your imagination run wild !! YUM.

Bake at 220 degrees for approx 10 minutes … Now EAT !

Pentax Digital CameraPentax Digital Camera


Squashies …

We all love sweets … as much as we shouldn’t we just do ! I have memories of growing up munching away on love hearts , drumstick lollies , refreshers and double lollies …. !! My favourite were the love hearts .. with there fizzy fruity burst in your mouth and their innocent messages of love …. For saying I was a bit of a tomboy , the squishy messages always made me smile !!!

Imagine how happy I was when I was sent a big boxful of sweeties from Swizzels Matlow  … and imagine my utter glee  at discovering the brand new range of sweets were actually my childhood favourites in squashy form !!!!!! Oh my oh my !!! There before me lay bag upon bag of SQUASHIES !!! Drum sticks , refreshers , double lollies and ….. LOVE HEARTS !!!!! My heart almost burst with joy …. ( Yes I truly do love sweeties ) !!!


The boys swooped down on the bags of sweets each claiming their favourite as their own ….  They loved them !! Their favourite sweeties in chewy , squishy , squashy goodness … ! Once they got over the fact their would be no crunch they wolfed them down …. The boys thought they were great ! Frankie even saving a few in the bag for later  as he didn’t want the bag to end ….

I managed to salvage a couple of the little bags  and used them to decorate my nephews 2nd birthday cupcakes … The whole family thought that was a fabulous idea ( and  I have squirrelled it away  to use another time ) Perfect adornment for birthday cakes , wedding cakes , engagement cakes  or any party cake !! Quick and simple yet incredibly effective  with the added bonus of Swizzels Matlow  Squashies childhood favourites to add that little bit extra to the party … it’s definitely a conversation starter !


In all , the Squashies were an absolute triumph !! Definitely a must have for any child ( oh Ok and adult ….) when the sweetshop beckons !! Go buy a bag .. see for yourself !

Available in most sweetshops , supermarkets , corner shops …….. GO GO GO GET SQUASHIE !!!!!

( Many apologies for the lack of photographs but sadly my phone got stolen taking all my photographs with it 😦 !! )

Many thanks to Swizzels Matlow for providing me & the boys with the products for review.