Halloween Crafts: ‘Pumpkin’ Carving

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Sometimes, I actually have to remind myself that I’m not 10 anymore, but I can’t help it, I still get ridiculously excited about the holidays.  With Halloween fast approaching, I’m trying to find the time to put together a costume (so much more important than uni work and making money), which I will be sharing once finished.  In the meantime, I figured I’d share a cute little Halloween project I made a couple of years ago.

It’s a cheap alternative to a pumpkin and also makes the room smell really nice!

What you need:

  • An orange
  • A small, sharp knife
  • A tooth pick and green sharpie
  • A small tea light

How to: 

1.  Cut the top off and hollow out the bottom part of the orange, keeping the top for the lid.

2.  Carve your design into the orange.

3.  Colour the toothpick with the green pen and stick into the lid to create a ‘stalk’.

4.  Light the tea light and ta-da, a super quick and easy ‘pumpkin’.

(Just as a safety precaution, it’s probably best not to leave the lid on while the candle is lit in case it sets your house on fire – mine seemed fine while I took the pictures, but I wouldn’t risk a whole night)

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Bedroom Makeover 1: DIY Cork Mousemat

DIY cork mousemat

Lately I’ve been trying to turn my bedroom into a place that I look forward to coming home to, rather than a place that I dump my stuff in while I’m not at work or uni.  I’ve recently received a new desktop (first blog post on this baby!), but the mouse is useless on my desk.  I thought making  a cute mousemat would be a good place to start with my bedroom makeover and luckily found a couple of cork pot stands on sale that were the perfect size (in case you haven’t noticed, I really like the look of cork – see my cork noticeboard and cork coasters)

What you need:

mousemat supplies

  • Cork base
  • A design (my mum kindly created a stencil for me using her fancy-smancy printer)
  • Acrylic paint and paintbrush
  • A piece of felt
  • Glue

Here’s how: 

1.  Paint the design onto the cork (I stuck the stencil on, used a brush to stipple on the paint and peeled the stencil off once the paint was almost dry).

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2.  Paint around the edges (use tape if you want a straight(ish) line – mine still isn’t perfect, but I tried).

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3.  Cut the felt slightly smaller than the cork and glue onto the back.

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4.  Leave to dry properly before using.

Ta-da!  This seems to be working well so far.  I was a bit worried the paint would need fixing with something, but I’ve been using it for a bit and nothing has come off on my mouse.  I’m turning the other cork mat into a present for a special someone, so I’ll probably be posting about that later.

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Hummus and Spinach Melts

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I’ve got a confession to make.  While I enjoy cooking, I’m not particularly great at making myself consistently healthy meals.  To change this, I’ve been searching for quick, easy (and somewhat healthy) recipes to try out and came across this recipe for Hummus Melts which turned out great.  To save time I didn’t make my own hummus, but the shop-bought seemed to work pretty well.

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Ingredients:

  • A wholegrain bagel (the original uses an English muffin, but surprisingly we don’t actually have those in the UK)
  • Several handfuls of spinach
  • 1 cove of garlic (crushed)
  • Olive oil
  • Grated cheese (the original uses mozzarella, but the cheddar I used seemed to work nicely)

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It’s as simple as toasting a wholegrain bagel, sautéing some spinach in olive oil with a little garlic, topping with hummus and grated cheese and grilling in the oven until the cheese is melted and bubbly.

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I even served it with some salad – aren’t I doing well?

The Little Things (June) …

It’s been a while since I’ve done one of these posts, but there is a lot making me happy at the moment.  Here’s some of the little (and slightly bigger things) making me smile this month…

1 year old

amesstobemadex is officially one year old today!  I’ve had such fun sharing my little projects with everyone over the last year.  It may not be the biggest or most popular blog in the world, but being able to escape into the world of blogging has been a great form of stress relief.  I’ve definitely become more confident taking photographs and having a place to show off what I’ve been working on has encouraged me to try and find the time to be creative every now and then.  I’ve loved all the positive feedback I’ve received and it’s been great getting to know other bloggers.  So thanks for reading!

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Having time to relax and to start reading for pleasure again.

beach

Making the most of being done with uni work and living near the sea.  Enjoying myself with friends, booze, sand, bonfires and some actually lovely weather.  Scotland isn’t so bad sometimes.

uni work

And here’s something not so little that I can’t help but share. All my hard work paid off because I’m graduating with a First Class Honours degree.  I was also awarded the Minto prize for English.  Take that 4th year!

Here’s hoping the rest of the summer is as lovely.

I’m Back.

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I’m very excited to be finished writing my dissertation (had to take a photo for proof, of course), and this means I will finally have the time to get back to my poor, neglected blog.

And now for some sappy stuff…

This time last year I thought I had everything planned out, but as I have found out, life is never straightforward.  While there have been some major disappointments, I’m pretty happy with the way that things have worked out.  I’ve met some amazing people and even though I don’t know what I’m going to be doing when I graduate, I know I’ll figure something out.

Until then, I’ve got a long list of projects that I haven’t had the time to start and I look forward to sharing them with you.

The Little Things (Instagram Edition)…

This year I was very grateful to receive a new phone for my birthday, and while I’m loving the fact that I don’t have to turn it off and on again every time I want to read a text, it does mean that I tend to bring my camera with me a lot less often.  The quality is not as good, but it is much more convenient.  So, for this edition of The Little Things, I thought I’d share some of the pictures taken with my phone of the little things making me smile at the moment:the little things (instigram edition)

The beautiful Fall and Winter weather:  Stepping out in the pretty Autumn colours, and even the snow, has made me appreciate what a pretty place I live in (even if I did fall on my bum because of the ice…).

The food and drink:  Cheeky afternoon drinks, my first gingerbread latte of the season, and the desert (apple pie – YUM) of an amazing Thanksgiving meal celebrated with friends.

Spending time with friends and family (and Beckett, of course):  Cuddles with my dog never fail to put me in a better mood and celebrating with friends in great shoes and the discovery of Christmas ornaments I made when I was 2 have made me smile during the last few stressful weeks.

The Little Things…

The last few weeks have been a bit of a disaster for me.  I’ve had a couple of painful and scary encounters with angry wasps, got caught out without a jacket or a brolly in a sudden thunderstorm and was attacked by the forest when I attempted to exercise.  Despite all this I’m still staying positive.  Here are a few of the little things making me happy at the moment:

Amazing heels that I can actually walk in and only slightly kill my feet during a night out.  I’m so glad I bought these while killing time ‘window shopping’.  If you look close enough, you can actually see where I got stung!  

Sitting on the lawn on a sunny afternoon enjoying blogger Emily Schuman’s book, Cupcakes and Cashmere: A Guide for Defining Your Style, Reinventing Your Space, and Entertaining with Ease, which has finally arrived.  She has such amazing style and taste.  I can’t pretend that I’m not jealous of her beautiful life, though.

Sipping a cup of frothy coffee in my pyjamas on a Sunday morning.  Bliss.

Coming home to a Topshop package always brightens my week (it isn’t a weekly occurrence though, promise!).  I’ve also decided to keep the lovely brown spotted packaging to reuse as wrapping paper.