A cracking birthday card

It was the Hubby's birthday last week and as my second card-making project I decided to make his birthday card. Now bearing in mind I'm still quite the novice this card was challenging. I wanted to theme the card around one of the Hubby's games, Crack Attack. Below you'll see how I made a cracking birthday card.

My plan was to make a card that resembled the Crack Attack App icon.

There would have to be a blue background, a gold border, and then eggs. I started by printing egg templates from a google search and cut them out. I wanted the background eggs to be the same and then a slightly larger egg in front. This part was fairly easy.

  • To create something exceptional, your mindset must be relentlessly focused on the smallest detail.

Giorgio Armani

On the larger egg there is a crack and this was much more difficult to replicate. I first had to draw it onto my large egg and then cut it out carefully. I'm rubbish at using scissors and it took a lot longer than it should've because I was being so careful. But I managed to get pieces cut out of the large egg.

Also in Crack Attack there's a parrot that teaches you how to play the game and I thought it would be brilliant to be able to have that parrot on the card. Of course the only way I could think of doing it was to draw it and cut it out, so that's what I did.

The colouring in of the parrot took a while and as you can see I tried out all my colours before colouring the parrot. Cutting it out was fiddly and because I didn't have a craft knife it was difficult, but I managed to do it without ruining the parrot. 

I then decided that I'd cut out my eggs from different coloured card rather than colouring them all in. There are a few different eggs in the game, striped eggs, spotted eggs, gold, bronze and silver eggs, and I wanted them all. Cue lots of cutting and colouring.

For the striped egg I used washi tape, it worked really well and I'll definitely be using that tactic again. 

Once I had all my eggs made and cut out I could begin to place them in the order I wanted to put them on the card, taking photos as I went. With photos on hand I went about the eggs onto the blue background, they were all stuck directly onto the background using glue. 

I wanted my larger egg and the parrot to stand out a little more so using adhesive foam squares I stuck the larger egg and then the parrot to the card.

Using stamps I wrote the words "Have a Cracking Birthday!" on the front of the card and added a few stars (mostly to cover mistakes).

  • Imagination is the beginning of creation. You imagine what you desire, you will what you imagine and at last you create what you will. 

George Bernard Shaw

It took a couple of weeks for me to finish this card, using an hour or so here and there. I learned a lot during this and will use the things I learned in future projects. Hopefully I'll get some better photos for you next time!

What do you think of my Cracking birthday card?

Post Comment Love 24th- 26th February

It's Friday and that means it's time for Post Comment Love, link up your favourite/best post of the week and Stephanie and I will read, share, and comment, and you'll get a few extra comments from other linkers too. Win!

So the boys are back at school, which means things are settling down again. While we didn't do much last week I still feel like it was a hectic week, I guess sometimes that's how it goes. The good thing is the boys enjoyed their half term and we got to spend quality time together. I think it can be difficult during a half term to spend time together when you're busy. It's easy to forget to arrange play-dates or day trips and the week disappears. Before you know it the kids are back at school and you realise you did nothing. Believe me, I've done that before. But at least this time we didn't.

I don't think quantity time is as special as quality time with your family. 

Reba McEntire

The sun has been out (albeit briefly) this week so I took the opportunity while it was there and took photos of my office. My shelves are slowly getting filled, I bought the clear boxes from B&Q and they're filled with lots of craft bits and bobs. The smaller boxes have stamps and pens in them, the larger boxes have all my papers. The only downside to the highest shelf is that I need to borrow LP's small steps to be able to reach, one of the many annoyances of being short.


How do you like my pooh emoticon plush? That was a gift from the mother-in-law and it now has pride of place on my shelves, it sits there laughing at me as I try to stay organised.

The other side of my room is a little less organised but it's where all the work gets done. My iMac and printer sit on the desk, surrounded by pens, notebooks, planners and other bits. My desk is almost never tidy, I've got hand cream on one side, 2 small Disney Tsum Tusm (gifts from the boys) on the other, as well as the other things I mentioned.


Then there's that second desk, I've had it in my office for ages but it was covered in other furniture. After the clear out and decorating I decided to put the desk in a more useful place, which is why it's beneath the window. Most of my photos are taken on that desk. It is also where I have, more recently, done my card-making. It's a useful position as it gets all the light and it's big enough to store all the things I need for my current project.

We are all apprentices in a craft where no one ever becomes a master. 

Ernest Hemingway

I've moved my Disney ornaments off my desk and put them in the window because, while they're still awesome I think they look better there. 

So, that's my office, my own place in the house to keep everything blog or craft related. It's all mine, and to be honest it feels so nice to have somewhere just for me. 

Blogger Showcase Neha from I heart my life

A tea and cake person Neha describes herself as adventurous, curious, and positive. She is a passionate blogger and avid reader and you can find out what her perfect night in consists of over on Stephanie's blog.

You can connect with Neha here:


Thank you so much for taking part in Blogger Showcase Neha, please feel free to grab our 'featured' badge.

Post Comment Love
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Each week you'll be able to link up from either of our sites and between us Stephanie and I will comment on every post linked.

The rules; Link up your best post written in the last week and we'd like you to comment on at least two other linked posts, as well as the hosts.

Help us spread the #PoCoLo word on Twitter and include the badge on your post.

Please do pop over and say hi to this week's Blogger Showcase. It's always nice to get a comment or two.

If you'd like to be featured in our Blogger Showcase please do check out the questions and email your answers to us at postcommentlove@gmail.com.

Thank you for popping by.

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Finished reading Me Before You and After You

After going to London to see the movie Me Before You and watching it at home with the Hubby I decided to try reading the book. I don't usually do very well reading books after seeing the movie but I wanted to give this one a go because everyone I spoke to told me the book wasn't that different to the movie. Well after a few weeks I have just finished reading both Me Before You and After You, the sequel.

Me Before You

  • Lou Clark knows lots of things. She knows how many footsteps there are between the bus stop and home. She knows she likes working in The Buttered Bun tea shop and she knows she might not love her boyfriend Patrick.

Buying new glasses online

I've worn prescription glasses since I was 13 years old, with a brief break when I got married after laser-eye surgery, and for a long time I hated them. These days I'm resigned to the fact that I need glasses and spend much more time searching for the right styles of frames. High street glasses places were great, until I realised how much my glasses are costing these days. It made me realise that I needed to search online to see if there was a better deal, and there is! Buying new glasses is no longer a pain, I can just get my prescription from the optician and buy my glasses online.
animal print frame glasses on a black desk

Choosing glasses

Having spent a little time online I found perfectglasses.co.uk, a website that offers both prescription and non-prescription glasses and sunglasses. The last time I bought regular glasses they cost me around £180, they weren't designer glasses but I did have some extra things on the lenses due to the issues with my eyes. The most annoying thing was that the cheapest frames in the style I liked started at £89! That's before I've had anything done to them. I understand that the frames are my choice but still, that's a lot of money and I still need to add to that.

Not done changing

The boys are back at school and I can get back to the regular routine, I don't know whether to be happy or sad about it! We've had a good half term and I'm a little sad that the boys are back at school. Getting back to normal routine is always nice but when you've had a good break together there's always that little part of you that wants longer.

The strange thing is we didn't do anything particularly different this half term. We took the boys bowling last week, we played pool at the bowling centre on another day, and we played board games. The week wasn't busy, although I did feel like I was busy, the boys got to play their computer games, as did the Hubby and we went out for a couple of meals. 

Post Comment Love 17th-19th February

It's time for Post Comment Love and Stephanie and I are looking forward to reading the great selection of posts that get linked up every week. Link up your best post of the week and give it that little bit of extra exposure.

With the boys off school this week I'm worn out and have no time, but that's normal so you just get on with things don't you. Just a quick hey from me this week (the main picture says it all!) and I'm going to leave you to enjoy reading our Blogger Showcase.

The Versatile Blogger Award

Weeks (and weeks) ago the lovely Catie, over at Diary of an Imperfect Mum, nominated me for a Versatile Blogger Award. I promised I'd get to it and I have, it's just taken much longer than I expected! 

Catie made my day when she nominated me for the award saying:

...for her dedication to helping other bloggers. She is a wonderful, kind lady who writes a brilliant versatile blog and deserves this award! She has been my champion, sounding board and technological wizard since the beginning!

I don't know about technological wizard! I think it's more that I've made the mistakes so others don't have to! But I'm so pleased to have connected with Catie over the years and glad I can call her a friend.

The greatest gift of life is friendship, and I have received it. 

Hubert H. Humphrey

Seven facts about me:

I touch-type. I'm not sure how many words per minute I do but it is the one thing I learnt at College that has proved most useful. 

My natural hair colour is a blondey-brown. It's far too light and a long time ago I chose to go dark. My boys think my current hair colour is natural. 

I once met Bobby Charlton. I was about 10 years old and he came to our school to do some football related thing. 

I hate flying. While I've visited Orlando, Florida a number of times I cannot stand flying there. If there was another way of getting there I would do it.

Even the sight of this photo puts my stomach in knots!

I suffer with terrible migraines. They hit suddenly and take me out for an entire day. So if anyone ever comes up with a miracle cure, call me!

After years of thinking I didn't like crafts I've found a love of card-making. Who knew?!

I love having flowers in the house, but because of BP's and the Hubby's hay fever I have to resort to having fake ones to brighten the place up. 

  • Walking with a friend in the dark is better than walking alone in the light. 

Helen Keller


Helena has become a wonderful friend over the last few months, we talk (via twitter) regularly and she is so supportive. She writes about all sorts of things on her blog and her recent post about body image had me nodding along and shouting "Amen sister!".

Sim is such a lovely lady, she's been there for me through my weight struggles and she's encouraged me to keep trying. Sim brightens up Post Comment Love every weekend with her fantastic Friday Fit Bit so much so I look forward to seeing it every week. 

Stephanie, Life at 139a

Steph has been a fantastic co-host for Post Comment Love, we have become friends over the last year. At my first blogging conferences last year she was so welcoming and looked after me when I was feeling timid. She even made sure I was okay after hurting my back at Britmums. I always look forward to meeting up with her and I'm so glad she's my co-host for our little linky.

I admire Vai so much, she is a talented poet and has had me in tears with her beautiful poems. After meeting her at Britmums a couple of years ago I'm determined to meet up with her again at some point. 

I often find myself a little jealous of Debbie, her photography of the island where she lives invoke envy. The beautiful mountains and beaches, especially during the summer, make me want to visit the island of Zakynthos and I'm sure if I did I'd have to say hi to Debbie!

Here are the rules of the award:

Thank who nominated you for the award, and leave a link to their blog.
Nominate 5 bloggers for the award.
Tell the nominees they're nominated and link to their blog. 
Share 7 facts about yourself.

Post Comment Love 10th - 12th February

It's Friday, which means it's time for Post Comment Love. Link up your best/favourite post of the week and let others read, enjoy, and share. We've built a great little community here so why not join with us and get a few extra views. 

Well, I'm still playing catch up this week. My office is no more sorted than it was last week... okay that's a lie, I managed to get some furniture moved out and it does look slightly better but there's just so much stuff to sort out that it might take a while. 

Add that to the fact that it's half term next week and the boys are off school today and I'm a frazzled mum. I've been trying to get things ready for next week, without much success, as well as planning for my new hobby, card-making.

My handmade Valentine's card

In the last week I've spent some time creating my very first handmade card, and with Valentine's Day just around the corner I decided to make a card for the Hubby. I finished the card a few days ago and I wanted to share my process with you (while secretly hoping the Hubby doesn't read this post!), so below you'll find out how I created my very first handmade Valentine's Day card.

All you need is love. But a little chocolate now and then doesn't hurt. 

Charles M. Schulz

First of all I spent a lot of time doing research online, reading about the kinds of tools I'd need and what card to use. Once I'd settled on my design and had my tools at home ready to use I got started.

1 pre-made white card (with envelope), a heart hole punch, a pencil, glitter glue, paint samples, 
an "I love you" stamp, and a red foil card.

Above you can see I gathered a few tools, the small red cards are paint sample cards from B&Q that you can pick up for free and they're really useful when you want to cut out small icons. I have small hole punches for my hearts and they work perfectly with those paint samples.

I chose red foil card to use as my border and cut this using my paper trimmer then glued it onto the pre-made card. I bought pre-made cards with envelopes as I don't think I'm quite ready to do my own! After the foil card was stuck on I cut another piece of white card to place on top, but this time I used foam adhesive pads to raise the white card.

I put the card to one side and gathered more tools, I'd used my heart hole punch to get my hearts and wanted to make them raised on the card. I used the glitter and a small paint brush to add a little sparkle to a couple of the hearts. While they dried I cut a small piece of string and separated the strands using my tweezers. This gave me my strings for the heart balloons. 

Tweezers are great for fiddly, small details.

Once the glitter hearts had dried, using my adhesive squares I stuck one side onto the back of each heart, securing the string in place. Then I took the heart balloons and stuck them onto my card.

Again I put the card to one side. Next I got on to sketching my little character to go on the front of the card. This is probably the part that took the longest.

I measured the card and drew lines so that I knew how big my character had to be and began my sketching. My first pass was okay but I felt like I'd got the proportions slightly wrong, but it was a good practise as my second try went a lot quicker.

With my second sketch drawn I went over the main lines in a black fine-line Sharpie, which gave me the outline of my main character. But of course I still had the pencil lines left so I carefully erased the pencil lines.

Lobsters are red right? But what kind of red? I had lots of colours to choose from and lots of forms (pencil/pen/stamp/paint). I wanted to get it right so I used my first sketch to try out different modes of colouring in, deciding that the red Sharpie worked best.

Before colouring the whole lobster I coloured the smaller areas to make sure the colour worked and then coloured the whole thing.

I'd used regular paper for sketching and colouring my lobster but it was too floppy to put straight onto the card. I decided to glue the lobster to another piece of card and then cut it out. I found this bit quite difficult as it's been a long time since I did any intricate cutting. 

Once I'd cut out my lobster I used my adhesive squares again to stick the lobster onto my card.

To secure the balloon strings onto the lobsters claw I used double-sided sticky tape, cutting a very small piece and placing it where I wanted the strings to sit. All the small cutting and placing was tricky and I found that using tweezers was helpful and I didn't get my hands all sticky or end up with giant finger prints all over the card.

We are most alive when we're in love. 

John Updike

Next came the stamping. I bought some stamps from Amazon and had already got some ink, I was nervous about this part because if anything went wrong I'd have to start all over again. I very carefully placed my stamp into the ink and stamped it onto the card, hoping that I didn't mess up.

On lifting the stamp I saw that it had worked and was happy to add more stamps. I grabbed my heart stamp and went a little crazy!

As you can see some of the stamping didn't go as well as others, and the fact that I'm missing an apostrophe in "you're" really bugged me. But I read an interesting tip online, it said that if you make mistakes when stamping you can use markers to colour in where your mistakes are. So that's what I did, I coloured a few of the hearts and added an apostrophe using my coloured Sharpies.

I did have one or two mistakes but for a first try this went well and I'm pleased with my results. So much so that I've decided to do more!

There are loads of family birthdays coming up so that'll be great practise. I hope I can bring you more of my successes in card-making.

The Smartphone contract every family should have

My oldest son has begged us for a cell phone for years. He is now in middle school, and, apparently, everyone in middle school has a cell phone. Or, at least, this is what he insists as he pleads his case for a phone.

We thought we could hold off until he was 13, but we have hit the point that we would feel better (and safer) if he had a cell. According to Growingwireless.com, “56 percent of children, age 8 to 12, have a cell phone.” So the wait has ended, and another phone is in our family’s future.

Arming an 11-year-old with his own window to the world—and lifeline to his peers—has me on edge. With his other devices, I feel like there is some sort of control over what he sees and does. With a phone, the unknowns scare me.

Like many parents, our family is drawing up a family cell phone contract. No, not the contract from the wireless companies—those are pretty much obsolete anyway. This cell phone contract will outline exactly how he is to use his phone. It will limit his time talking, what he is allowed to download, texting rules and other guidelines. This is the contract he will sign if he wants the privilege of his own phone.

And his signature is going to verify that he understands exactly what the rules are for his new device.

While every family has their own unique contract, the basics of the contract are often fairly similar. For parents who are about to entrust a pre-teen with a smart phone, follow this outline for content that should be included in the written pact with your son or daughter.

Safety Matters

Teens that are of driving age should have a clause in their contract that strictly states that they cannot talk or text while driving. The phone should be off limits in the car during drive-time. The Children’s Hospital of Pennsylvania’s web site teendriversource states that “teens have the reaction time of a 70-year-old when distracted while driving” and the “crash risk is four times higher when a driver uses a cell phone, whether or not it’s hands-free.” Using a cell phone while driving is dangerous and reckless.


Include a section on cell phone etiquette in the contract. Kids often see adults exhibiting some pretty rude behaviors while publicly on the cell. Make sure kids and teens understand that it is never polite to talk on the phone in restrooms, at the cashier, in doctors’ offices, restaurants and movie theaters. Keep phone voices low (no shouting), because, remember, you never know who is listening.

Money Matters

Phones are expensive—especially smart phones. Stipulate in the contract what will happen if the phone is broken, lost or stolen. Will you replace it? Will the child be responsible for any part of the replacement cost? Even adults have been known to put a cell through the wash (guilty!), so choose the repercussions carefully.

Photos & Apps

Urge kids to be responsible in the photos that they take and the apps that they download. Once a photo is shared, there is no way to undue potential damage or embarrassment. While some apps like Snapchat or YikYak are fun, they also have the potential to wreak havoc. Check out popular apps and decide what apps are acceptable.

Ramifications of Misuse or Abuse

A cell phone is a privilege. If grades start to slip because of excess cell phone use, then parents have the right to take the phone away. However, any stipulations that result in cell phone discipline should be thoroughly explained so that kids are not taken by surprise.


Privacy is a tough topic for parents. Being a parent means keeping children safe. If parents suspect dangerous, inappropriate or abusive activity, they need to be able to access their child’s phone. However, trust is vital for a healthy relationship. Don’t demand to see every detail of kids’ mobile lives, but be sure that they are aware that you do have a right—at any time—to see what is being sent and received. No secrets!

Parents should feel empowered when handing over a new form of connectivity to their child. A cell phone contract helps everyone understand the rules, regulations and responsibilities that accompany the new device. As I hand over my son’s new phone, I’m going to sweetly remind him that now I will always have his number…and blocking mom violates his contract!

Guest Post by Amy Williams

Why being an Evil Mum is a good thing

When your little one is just starting to totter about the house and their face lights up as they stride towards you holding their arms out you cannot contemplate a time when that faces will frown at you. You can't foresee the time you will become Evil Mum but, inevitably, it happens. We all become Evil Mum at some point but I'm here to tell you that being an Evil Mum is a good thing.

It is easier to build strong children than to repair broken men.

Frederick Douglass

Teaching your children about rules

From the moment they can understand what you're saying you're telling them "no". Whether it's keeping their grasping hands off your glasses (I did this thousands of times when my boys were babies) or telling them to stay away from the iron or the gas fire because it's hot (and you pretend to touch the hot thing and pretend to get burned). 

Post Comment Love 3rd - 5th February

Welcome back to Post Comment Love, where Steph and I welcome all bloggers, all topics, to link up and share their best post of the week. 

This week I'm slowly getting back to normal, the carpets are mainly down (apart from the stairs) and most of the furniture is back where it's meant to be. I love our new carpet, because it's a lighter colour it brings so much more light into the house. The boys have been banned from wearing shoes on it and I'm conscious that I'll have to mop the kitchen floor often if I want to keep the carpet clean. 

Why you should see a Pantomime during the Christmas break

Last year, just before the boys went back to school, we saw the Relaxed Performance of the Aladdin Pantomime. The boys enjoyed it so much that when we received a reminder about this year's panto I had to buy tickets. Having visited Theatre Royal Nottingham to see Jack and the Beanstalk I'm going to tell you why you should see a pantomime during the Christmas break.
jack and the beanstalk panto nottingham

Revisiting childhood memories

You get to see people you thought had disappeared from the entertainment industry, like the Chuckle Brothers. Remember them?

  • "To me, to you."

The Chuckle Brothers starred in Jack and the Beanstalk in Nottingham this year and they were definitely the highlight of the show. Not only did they have me laughing so much I cried but they entertained the boys too. They didn't look any older than they did 30 years ago, although that may just be because they're no older than me than they were then!

chuckle brothers in panto

With their brotherly jokes, innuendo, and general messing about they were a brilliant addition to Jack and the Beanstalk.

One of The Chuckle Brothers' routines reminded us of our holiday to Florida in 2015 when we saw a show called the Hoop De Doo Musical Revue. After seeing the Chuckle Brothers recreate the routine we came home to watch the home video we captured of the show in Florida.

And of course we had to show the boys the original show, Chucklevision.

Learning about your children

During the show Dame Trot, played by Tony Maudsley, sang a particularly funny song in which she said she was a "girl with a little bit extra". Obviously the Hubby and I laughed along as we knew exactly what she was saying, but I thought it would go over the boys' head. In fact it didn't. 

  • "It didn't?! It did!"

Well, that's not exactly the truth. BP had no idea the Dame Trott was being played by a man (!) and so didn't get what the song was about, however LP (who is just 7 years old) totally got what she was singing about. During the song he prodded his dad and whispered to him saying "I know what they're singing about Dad." and pointed between his legs. 

dame trot jack and the beanstalk nottingham

It had us (The Hubby and me) in stitches and we couldn't believe that our 7 year old knew exactly what was going on and our 12 year old had no idea. It just goes to show you can't presume.

Talented singers

I don't usually rate singers in pantomime, they're not necessarily required to be excellent singers. Sometimes though you're completely surprised by their talent. 

  • "Oh dear, oh dear!"

During Jack and the Beanstalk I heard the introduction to one of my favourite Bond themes "You Know My Name". My first thought was "Oh no, he's going to ruin that song" but it turned out the singer was good. The bad guy, Fleshcreep, played by Daniel Boys, did a brilliant job and I was blown away when he was able to keep the note while being lifted into the air and lying on his back. I was pleased to come away still loving the Bond theme and having enjoyed hearing it sung live.

A family night

A pantomime is a great way to enjoy a family night out. The entertainment is meant for both children and adults and with the innuendo and jokes that may (or may not!) go over the children's heads you're sure to have a good night. 

The children will love seeing the costumes and enjoy how they create the magical world on stage. They'll exit the theatre having enjoyed a show, laughed a lot, and they'll want to see another pantomime as soon as possible!

  • I'm really passionate about pantomime because it is often the first introduction for a child to theatre, and if that child has a great experience at a pantomime they will continue to come year after year.

John Barrowman

My boys enjoyed Jack and the Beanstalk so much that they wanted me to book tickets for next year's pantomime as soon as we left the theatre.

Next year's pantomime at the Theatre Royal Nottingham is Beauty and the Beast, showing from 9th December 2017 - 14th January 2018, and tickets are on sale right now. If you like good seats when visiting the theatre I'd recommend buying tickets early. I bought ours a few days ago and we're right at the front of the stalls on the night. I know my boys will love that.

Do you see a pantomime during the Christmas break?

We bought our own tickets for both Jack and the Beanstalk and Beauty and the Beast. I have not received payment for this post, I just enjoy the pantomimes.