DIY Advent Calendar…

This year I keep seeing beautiful calendars, my mum has bought both the Yankee candle and the Marks & Spencer calendar, they look amazing but I wanted something gorgeous for Amber, I didn’t want to just buy a chocolate calendar as my Granny has bought a lovely Christian calendar, I wanted something a little different and more personalised. 

So first off I gathered 24 little presents, mainly bits and bobs Amber needs, or things I would have bought anyway. Everything was fairly cheap, lush shower jelly and the ear warmers were probably the most expensive things I bought, a bag of chocolate coins split into 5 bulk out the gifts to make up the days. 

And a cheap but gorgeous hanger from primark, wrapping paper, ribbons, scissors and tape. There’s also another present here I forgot to include in the main pic! 

I’ve gone with a gold, rose gold and marble theme for my paper this year, absolutely love these together, totally on trend too! All the presents were individually wrapped and hung randomly on the hanger. 

Numbers were then added using some stickers from hobbycraft.

Prettiest advent calender I’ve seen for a little girl… 

Secret Stones…

This keeps Amber occupied for literally hours! 

The latest craze in Eastbourne is a cute activity that is amusing children and adults, Secret Stones is a treasure hunt everyone can get involved in. 

So first off you decorate your rocks, we painted ours with old nail varnish and then drew on them with sharpies. The concentration here! Other people have used crayons, acrylic paints or pasting collages onto the stones with modge podge.  

I may have had just as much fun as Amber did making these little monsters…

This ‘rainbow’ stone is Amber’s favourite, it took a little convincing to hide it, hopefully we will find out where it ends up. She’s also become a bit of an expert at writing her name, so most stones have this written somewhere. Here’s the first batch we went out with… 

Some text is popped on the back so anyone can understand the game if they’ve not come across it before and to encourage more participants. Apparently some of Eastbourne’s stones have gone from parks and the harbour and ended up in Sainsbury’s, LEGOLAND, France and Switzerland! 

Then you go for a walk and hide them, posting a pic or a post on the Facebook group with a clue or the area you’ve hidden them. 

While you’re on your walk keep your eyes out for other people’s works of art… 

I love this activity as it’s something that can be done in stages over different days, e.g. collecting stones to paint one day, painting another day, hiding stones the next day. This is also the perfect activity to get children out and about. 

We are so excited to see our stones starting to be found, I wonder where they will end up, here’s the first ones we found hidden in new locations…

Vanilla Cupcakes…

I’d been making a fancy complicated recipe and was never quite happy with it, my red velvets are always spot on, but vanilla flavour was never light and fluffy. Who’d have thought the simplest recipe was the best and also super easy to do with Amber. Trying to remember what order and what I have and haven’t put in of other recipes ends up stressing me out, this I can pretty much let Amber do it all! 

This recipe is my mum’s fail safe; 

  • 4 ounces caster sugar
  • 4 ounces butter/marg
  • 2 eggs
  • Dash of milk
  • 4 ounces self raising flour 
  • Smidge of baking powder
  • Vanilla essence 

Cream the butter and caster sugar, then add eggs, milk, flour and baking powder, lastly the vanilla essence.

This makes 12 cupcakes, bake at 170 for about 20 minutes. We then decorated with buttercrean icing; unsalted butter, dash of milk and icing sugar until it looks and tastes right, adding vanilla essence if you like.

The whisks then need licking clean… 

We decorated this batch with gorgeous rose gold sprinkles, they match my nails!