Tuesday, 29 October 2013

Halloween fun ideas!

As All Hallow's Eve approaches I wanted to do a quick round up of  all things halloweeny. 
I've been having a look around the internet and found a few fun games, songs and costumes for all ages so if you are stuck for ideas then read on!

Fun and Games

The queen of all things party-related, Martha Stewart has a round up of fab games, invites and crafts for everyone. I love the look of the 'pop goes the pumpkin' game!

Spoonful has a really great selection of games and a ton of printables and colouring pages to keep little ones entertained.

In case you are in need of some adult games, Punchbowl has a list of games for grownups which incudes 'shot in the dark', a drinking game which is sure to have everyone in good spirits ( get it...drinking, spirits, ghostys...you get it ..haha)

Costume Ideas

Jokers Masquerade is the place I always turn to for amazing costumes and great service, they do a gazillion costumes of all kinds for both adults and kids. My favourites...I love the steampunk costumes. So unbelievably cool. 

Amazingly talented Youtube beauty guru Nicole Guerriero has a ton of halloween makeup ideas. I really like her female mad hatter tutorial. Its beautiful and creepy at the same time. I definitely want to try it sometime.

For something simple both Lily Pebbles 'dead dolly' and  Anna from Vivianna Does Makeup's 'sugar skull-esque' tutorials are both easy and impressive. 


Who are we to argue with Billboard? They have complied a list of the top 10 halloween songs and I think they are all awesome. Find it here


This is a toughie for me because I hate scary movies! So if you are looking for a list of horror movies then you are looking in the wrong place haha. However, there are a few kids movies that I absolutely adore so if you are looking for a not-so-scary show then these are my favourites. 

Hocus Pocus - Fun and trouble with Bette Midler and Sarah Jessica Parker circa 1993. This was one of my faves as a kid and I still love it. 

Labyrinth - One of my all time favourite movies, any time of the year. This is spellbinding stuff and David Bowie as the goblin king is just priceless. 

The Nightmare Before Christmas - An animated masterpiece with a brilliant soundtrack, I watch this at least two or thee times every year between halloween and christmas. 

So there you have it, a quick round up and run down of halloween things to do and see this week. 

Has anyone got any epic plans for halloween this year? We have a family party planned this year and I'm babysitting on Thursday so a movie marathon featuring all of the above is definitely on the cards. I may enjoy it even more than the kids haha!

Saturday, 19 October 2013

The Life/Uni/Blog Balance

So it happened again. More days than I care to count since a blog post on here. Drat.

I started back at uni a few weeks ago and its the first time that I have had to balance studying and blogging at the same time, not to mention life and housework and all that fun stuff getting in the way. It's safe to say that I'm failing at the blogging part (though hopefully not at uni haha!).

I am a distance learning student with the Open University. I love to learn (total geek over here) and I actually love distance learning and going at my own pace. The OU is a great institution and I have never had a course I haven't like or a tutor I didn't get along with. 

It does however require a lot of discipline and it always takes me a little while to get into the swing of things with each new module. 

So I'm asking you to please bear with us here on Magpie and Hen. Fingers crossed that we will find our balance and our blogging mojo again soon.

I have a few posts planned out that I'm hoping to get photographed over the weekend so those should be up soon. 

Thanks for sticking with us!
Have a great weekend :)

Wednesday, 2 October 2013

Skin Woes - Coping With Couperose And Rosacea

Sidenote: Apologies for the naughty lack of blogging lately!!! Alas, life got the better of me last week.
 Back to our regularly scheduled programming now :)

Today I want to talk about skin, well, the skin on my face to be exact. 
I had pretty good skin as a teenager, it had the usual oily areas and the odd spot but on the whole it was generally well behaved. The only problem I had was that my fair skin was very prone to flushing. I had very rosy cheeks on a good day and looked like a bright red shiny beacon on a bad day (not so cute).

It started getting worse towards the end of my teenage years, my face would struggle to stay calm if I was even slightly to warm and then began to flush when I felt chilly too (which was often since I live in Northern Ireland).It also began to get very sensitive and reacted badly to all the products that my teenage and early twenties self kept piling on to try and hide it.

At twenty one I was doing a course in beauty and loving it. One day one of the teachers was demonstrating a facial on my skin and commented that my skin was great for showing how a facial should be done on someone with Rosacea. I remember thinking 'Wait. What? I have what on my face?'

Turns out she was right. We'll, almost. I do have Rosacea but it's really only developed in the last couple of years. What she saw on my skin ten years ago was the beginnings of Couperose. It's similar to Rosacea and has a lot of the same triggers such as excess heat and stress and can sometimes go hand in hand with Rosacea, as it does in my case.Basically my skin has a bunch of red patches, lots if little red prickly dots and broken capillaries and gets very flushed if I am too hot, too cold, under any kind if stress and is easily aggravated by rubbing of any kind. My chest also flushes very easily and when I'm too warm my entire upper body gets pretty pink to the point I look sunburnt but it disappears as soon as I cool down. 

So, lately my skin has gotten a lot worse, its very dry and easily irritated and all the products that I have been using for ages seem to be making it worse so I decided to go back to basics, a simple cleanse, tone and moisturise routine with a serum thrown in for good measure, all with products suitable for sensitive/dry/redness prone skin. I normally spend a fair bit on my skincare but since my skin is going through a rough patch and reacting to so many things I thought I would see if I could find some sensitive products that weren't too expensive in case my skin reacted badly to them and they ended up a waste of money. I thought I would share with you what I have been using in case it is helpful to anyone out there with similar issues. 

I have been using Liz Earle's Cleanse and Polish for about five years and although my skin tolerates it fairly well I can only use lukewarm water and have to be very gentle with it. In the past I have used Bioderma Micellar water to get rid of makeup and grime and it is fab, really good for sensitive skin as no rubbing is needed at all. It is however expensive and sometimes difficult to get in the uk. L'Oreal have totally upped their skincare game this past year and have released a Micellar water of their own and I think this might be every bit as good as Bioderma! I've been using it for a month now and my skin is smoother and less irritated. I still cleanse with the Liz Earle every other night as well but giving my skin a break from rinsing with water seems to have helped it a great deal. I'm also using a sensitive L'Oreal Eye Makeup Remover as I find the Micellar water doesn't always shift waterproof eye makeup without a little rubbing which I am trying to avoid as much as I can.

Following that I have been using a toner from Superdrug's Simply Pure range for sensitive skin. So far it seems to be doing the job and not irritating me in any way so that's a plus as so many toners really don't agree with me. Next I've been using this serum from Boots Botanics Ultra Calm range. It has been a lifesaver for me! My skin is protected and soothed and feels so soft since I started using this. It's not expensive, I got it on offer with one third off and it was just over a fiver. Bargain! 

The moisturiser is one that I found in Savers Chemist and I can't seem to find it anywhere else! It's this Garnier one for sensitive skin. It has a very light fragrance and seems to provide enough moisture to get me through the day without making my skin shiny and again is soothing enough to calm my redness down a bit.

So far so good, my skin has settled a bit and seems less angry. I do think I need more hydration though than these products are giving me though, especially coming into Autumn and Winter when my skin is at it's driest. A night cream and maybe a hydrating mask would definitely improve the levels of moisture in my skin but I don't want to overload it right now with too many different products. For now I'm just happy that my cheeks are less red/angry/sore and my skin feels a little bit softer and smoother than it did a month ago.

Does anyone have any other great products for sensitive skin? Leave a comment below and let me know, I would be forever grateful!

Wednesday, 25 September 2013

Carry on packing list

Hey guys....

I've been preparing for my trip to Lake Geneva, Wisconsin next weekend.  Since Im writing out my lists on what to pack and what I need for my carry on luggage, I thought I would share what I always take with me to help on the trip.

Carry on survival  kit.

1. Handbag - Its taken me years to find a handbag that I like to take on a plane, I prefer a messenger style bag so that I can sling it over my should, I don't have to hold it in long queues but it has lots of pockets for passport, ticket etc.

2.  Face wipes - I am probably quite strange in that I take my make up off when i get on the plan with a face wipe and moisturise and then again before I landing.

3.  Eyedrops - I always use eyedrops on a flight, it help to keep your eyes hydrated and bright.

4.  Toothbrush - This can make you feel human again after sitting for so many hours

5.  Hand sanitizer - Did you know most people are not made sick by what they breath in but by what they touch - you cant trust everyone to be as clean as you are.

6. Deodorant - its just necessary!

7. Kindle Fire - Its all my entertainment rolled into one little package.  

8.  Magazine - for when they tell you not to use you kindle even though its in airplane mode!

9. Noise cancelling earphones - even if you just want to sleep, they will make it so much easier

10. Clean top - just in case me or someone else spills something on me 

11. Snacks - plane food, even when it is available is gross, it always makes me feel bloated.  So now I just refuse it and enjoy some of my favourite snacks brought from home instead.  

Is there anything you think I've forgotten? Or anything that you think that would make my flight more enjoyable?

Saturday, 21 September 2013

LovelyLinks...Autumn Fashion For Your Home

I've been on a little bit of an Autumn shopping bender lately. I've been stocking up on all of my favourite essentials, the things that make Autumn and Winter cosy and cheerful for me and I'll be posting about those on Monday. 

Today I wanted to show you some of the things that I am considering for our home this Autumn. 
I like to have neutral walls and furnishings so that we can update the room each season and keep things fresh and interesting.

Autumn for me is all about getting cosy so I've been on the lookout for new blankets, cushions and candles. 

The links below are a few of my favourites:

  • I love a pretty candle, especially at this time of year, and this candle from Zara Home is one of my favourites. Its beautifully carved and intricate, a statement piece that will look great in any setting.

  • I'm pretty crazy about scented candles too and Yankee Candles make my two favourites, this one, which is perfect for this time of year as its autumnal without being too festive, and this one, which is pretty much all out Christmas in a candle!

  • We actually bought two of these cushion covers last Autumn and they are still available from Dunelm Mill. I love the tartan and they are back on our sofa again for this season. They look festive without being totally-all-out Christmassy. We are in the market for a few more to add to these two this year.

  • I love this cushion also from H&M, it just looks so squishy and comfortable yet also very elegant. 

  • I tend to go a little red crazy at this time of year and this blanket from H&M ticks all the boxes for me. Its a beautiful colour, a gorgeous knitted pattern and is big enough to fit two people under it for sofa cuddles ;)

  • Last but not least I think that this decanter and matching glasses from Next are a great idea and since I'm a big lover of mulled wine this is at the top of my shopping list right now. 

So has anybody else been thinking of a few seasonal buys lately? 
Found any gems?
Leave a comment and let us know!

Wednesday, 18 September 2013

The Autumn Tag!

I love Autumn, I'm literally an all singing, all dancing happy girlie on September 1st! I have seen 'The Autumn Tag' on a few blogs recently (Makeup Pixi3, who actually created the tag and the pretty graphic above, and here to name a couple) so I wanted to join in and you know...be like the cool kids ;) 

So without further ado...

The Autumn Tag

1.  Favourite thing about it?  I love cosy nights in but I'm not overly fond of dark mornings so Autumn is the perfect time of year for me, the mornings aren't too dark yet but the evenings are perfect for a cosy fire and lighting a few candles. I'm also crazy in love with the colours of the leaves and the fresh crisp air, is it just me or am I the only one who loves the smell of Autumn?

2.  Favourite drink?  I love a good cup of tea as much as the next person but at this time of year I tend to go a little nuts for hot chocolate, add some cinnamon and a marshmallow or two and I'm in heaven!

3.  Favourite scent/candle?  My favourite perfume of all time is Liz Earle Botanical Essence No15, its warm and spicy with just a little sweetness and its perfect for this time of year. For candles I love Yankee Cadles in either Cinnamon Stick or (my favourite) Mandarin Cranberry which is a little bit christmassy but not so much that you feel weird burning it all year round.

4.  Best lipstick?  I wear coral colours all summer long and in winter I'm all about the red lip but when September hits I usually go with pinky nude or brownish-peach lips. My favourites right now are Revlon ColourBurst Lip Butter in Creme Brulee and Lime Crime Babette.

5.  Go to moisturiser?  I have pretty dry skin with a lot of redness which is a nightmare to take care of but I've recently been loving L'oreal's new skincare Skin Perfection range. Their new moisturiser and serum have been great at evening out my skin tone and moisturising without leaving oiliness. For lipbalm it has to be Carmex Moisture Stick in Peach, I have used Carmex since high school and I'm loving the new tinted version.

6.  Go to colours for the eyes?  I like warm browns and coppery colours, they seem to really bring out the blue in my eyes. Favourites are Urban Decay's Chopper and Tease, both of which are in the Naked 2 Palette and Maybelline Colour Tattoo 24hr in On &On Bronze.

7.  Favourite music or band/singer to listen to?  I really love the Drive soundtrack, it's such great chillout music and I tend to drift towards that kind of style at this time of year. 

8.  Favourite outfit to wear?  Grey skinny jeans, these Tan knee boots and anything burgundy or wine coloured, a cardigan or jumper and a big chunky knit scarf, I'm liking this taupe and coral one from Forever 21 for a splash of colour on grey days.  

9.  Autumn treat? I love getting all set for Autumn and Winter, getting new boots and a coat is usually my favourite treat at this time of year. I've also got some new comfy slippers (I'm so darn rock n' roll) and will be getting some new nail colours too, probably a dark red and maybe a bottle green colour. 

10.  Favourite place to be?  In front of the fire with the hubby and our fur baby Fudge, preferably with a hot chocolate, listening to the wind and rain. 

This was such a fun post to write! Hope you enjoyed it. 
Leave a comment below and feel free to let me know your favourite things about Autumn too!

Monday, 16 September 2013

Pretty Craft Storage

After I finished my craft room transformation I wanted to make some pretty things for it. 

I love pretty!!

 However I didn't want to spend any money though.  
I'm on a thrifty spree at the minute! 

I shopped the house and found this box in the cupboard (see I knew it would be useful!)

I chose pretty paper from my collection,  I believe I got it in the Hallmark store.  

Isn't it adorable! Even better because it was free!!!

It was really easy, I used a spray adhesive on the box, after I had cut the paper to size and it fitted so well

This is it in location, I have to say I really love it, it makes me smile and it used up some of the many rolls of wrapping paper sitting around! 

Friday, 13 September 2013

Easy 'Eton Mess' Style Dessert

When we go all out for Sunday dinner or cook up something special for a mid-week supper we like to have dessert, well, really we just like dessert and will use any excuse at all to have some haha ;)

One of our favourites is an easy variation on 'Eton Mess' which normally consists of meringue, double cream and strawberries. We make our version with sour cream, crème fraiche and a ton of chocolate!

There are a lot of different ways of making something that resembles Eton Mess, my mother in law makes her version with greek yoghurt instead of cream and it's awesome because the yoghurt is silky and creamy without being as heavy as the double cream. 

For us however no dessert is complete without the addition of chocolate and we find that the tart flavour and silky smoothness of sour cream and crème fraiche mixed together is the perfect partner for crunchy meringue and sweet chocolate. We use low fat creams because there so much chocolate and meringue you can't taste the difference and I like to try and limit the amount of damage to my waistline where I can! You can also add less chocolate if you feel its too much but we are chocoholics in this house so we just throw it all in.

Its super easy to make (you literally just have to stir it together!) and is great to throw together at the last minute so its fab for parties or just as a treat after Sunday dinner.

The recipe below will yield enough for four generous portions so you can multiply as needed to feed more.


6 ready made meringue nests
300ml Creme Fraiche/Low fat Creme Fraiche 
300ml Sour Cream/ Low fat Sour Cream
A handful of strawberries or other berry fruit.
2 Crunchie Bars
2 40g bags of Malteasers
2 Flakes
60ml of Berry Fruit Coulis (optional)

1. Crumble two of the meringue nests into the bottom of a large bowl or jug. If you add all the nests they will start to dissolve pretty quick so I add one into each individual bowl instead of adding them all now, adding two at this stage will sweeten the sour cream just enough to make it delicious. 

2. Add the creams to the jug or bowl and stir well to mix in the meringue. 

3. Use a rolling pin to smash up all the chocolate.

4. Add the chocolate the cream and meringue mixture and stir. 

5.Try not to eat it yet.
(I always fail at this part)

6. Dice up the fruit and add to the mixture. (*bad blogger alert* I totally forgot to take pictures of this stage, to be fair I was more interested in eating it once I saw all the chocolate so its amazing there are any pics at all!)

7. Add one crushed meringue to the bottom of each bowl and spoon the mixture on top.

*optional* 8. Add a tablespoonful of fruit coulis on top of each bowl and swirl to give a pretty effect. You could even add a little jug of this to the table so everyone can add more if they wish, it really does just finish this dessert off beautifully and it tastes delicious. 

Ta Dah!!!! Doesn't it look gorgeous? It tastes even better believe me!

So that is my easy peasy dessert, totally foolproof and everyone always loves it. 
You can adjust it in so many ways, less chocolate more strawberries, 
maybe raspberries and blackberries instead 
or even add little bits of chopped nuts or fudge for some pizazz.
The possibilities are endless and delicious!

Hope you enjoyed this recipe, any questions just comment below and Ill get back to you asap. 
I'm in the mood for a little dessert now, anyone care to join me?

Tuesday, 10 September 2013

Craft Room Transformation

I spent this weekend transforming the spare room into a guest/craft room.  I had a very small budget to work with so most of the pieces are things we already had.  Advance warning,  I haven't finished yet but I like to see progress on a project as people are doing it so that's what you guys are getting too.

This is what we had to work with, when we moved in, there was a lot of 
family coming to stay for the wedding so we just put in the bed and that was it.  

Now that I see the photos, I'm not sure I love the layout but it seems to
 give me the most room to work at the desk.

The oak drawers were in my husbands old bedroom so we got those when we moved

The green cabinet was given to me by my aunt when she was clearing out her garage,  it was scratched mdf and so I sanded, primed and painted it.  I used Morris Blue from Craig & Rose 1829 Acrylic Eggshell paints

I used these little ice buckets that were left over from the sweetie table at our wedding.  I plan to make labels for them so I know what is in each bucket.  

I found this desk in Auld tat in Ballymoney, they have some amazing pieces for sale.  

This beautiful doll was given to me by my mother-in-law at my wedding, she hand-knitted her dress and train.  Isn't she amazing!

So that is my little craft room, where I can hopefully create in
 peace without my craft stuff ending up all over the house.

So what do you think? Does anyone else have a craft room or closet?  
How do you manage your craft storage

Monday, 9 September 2013


A snippet of life lately...

Tying...So. Many. Knots. I've been wrapping my headphones this week, mainly because they look awesome but also because it stops them from getting tangled in my bag. I watched a couple of videos on youtube (this one and this one) and then just went for it. I'm nearly done and they look super cute!

This is how my headphones are looking so far...cute no??

Cooking... So, in a bid to eat more home cooked fresh food I am continuing on my little chef journey this month and these yummy burgers from Jamie Oliver's Ministry of Food cookbook are what we had for dinner tonight. They were delicious and really easy, which is my favourite kind of cooking :) I have no idea why there are cream crackers in these burgers or what purpose they serve but all I can say is it works. We've had these twice now and they are really tender, not at all greasy and packed full of flavour.

Watching...In the spirit of learning how to cook I've been watching the Food Network channel which I have recently discovered has been added to our freeview box. I'm a little bit addicted I think, I love "Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives" simply for the weird and wonderful food (it literally makes me hungry every time I watch it!) and the awesome cakes on "Amazing Wedding Cakes"

Reading...This book by Tess Thompson. This is the third in her River Valley Collection and I really enjoyed the first two (one & two & both) which I read over the summer. These are the kind of books I like to read before bed, nothing too heavy, just a bit of light hearted, mushy romance and a wee bit of a mystery thrown in. Don't get me wrong, I love a book with depth that really grabs you but sometimes you just want to zone out. Romance novels or "chick-lit" are my version of watching reality tv.

Buying...I go through phases of not really buying much make-up or any beauty products and just enjoy using what I have for ages but eventually I will yearn for new products to play with. Lately I have been on a make-up spending spree, I've bought a ton of new stuff and I'm really enjoying playing with it all. I've also been eyeing up some new make-up storage (maybe this to keep my favourite things at hand) and some new brushes. I've asked Santa (aka my hubby) to buy me this Sigma set for Christmas but in the meantime I've been eyeing up these Real Techniques brushes. I keep hearing soo many good things about them and most of my brushes are ancient and are falling apart so I might be naughty and order them this weekend. Has anyone else tried them? 

Enjoying...catching up on my favourite youtubers! I've been on a youtube bender this week haha ;) I have so many subscriptions but my favourites are sweet little Zoella, a British beauty blogger/youtuber, her brother ThatcherJoe, Jim Chapman who always makes me laugh, his fiancée make up guru Tanya Burr and the always funny and adorable Tyler Oakley, an american blogger who just happens to be friends with all the awesome brit bloggers. I also love Jacklyn Hill and Nicole Guerriero, two american beauty gurus that are so inspiring and fun to watch. There are so many great youtube channels, these are only a handful of favourites. Anyone else have any recommendations for channels or vloggers I just have to watch? 

So that's what I've been up to lately. How bout you guys? 
Am I the only one who's loving the food network?

Friday, 6 September 2013

Craft Room Inspiration

I enjoy a variety of crafts and especially love trying new ones.  The only slight downside is my house is cluttered with supplies.  I realised I needed to create a separate space in the house for crafting.

I decided to use the space in the guest room, I want it to be dual purpose - a guest bedroom & a craft room.  I've been gathering all my supplies together so that I can work out what storage I will need.

As always when I start a project I start researching, I browse magazines, the internet an blogs.  I wanted to share some of the inspiration I got with you.

I love the wicker magazine files on the shelves, I do love wicker!

Such pretty storage options!

I love this one, it's perfect for a spare bedroom.

I'm going to be working on transforming my craft room over the weekend so I'm going to show you my progress on Wednesday.  

Wednesday, 4 September 2013

Jamie Oliver's Easy Roast Chicken

I have a confession to make...I am a terrible cook. Well, it's not like I burn everything I make, its just that everything I make comes out of a packet..or a jar...or a box. Basically, I can't cook anything from scratch. 

Until now. 

I promised myself (and my poor husband) that I would learn to cook a few things from scratch this year, nothing fancy, just good tasty home cooked food. I now know how to make (among other things) carrot and lentil soup, cottage pie, steak and chips and, as of Sunday, a roast chicken dinner!

Ta Dah!!! Doesn't it look delicious. (It totally was!)

I ever so slightly adapted this recipe from Jamie Oliver's Ministry of Food book. When I say adapted what I really mean is that I couldn't find fresh Thyme at the supermarket so I had to make do with dried and I didn't add any garlic as my husband hates it. 

I also used this recipe for the gravy and this one for the roast veg and potatoes, both again from the Ministry of Food book. I added a little honey to the veg and some good old fashioned Bisto gravy powder to the gravy and they were both delicious. 

Jamie uses a vegetable trivet underneath the chicken which you can then use to make the gravy. I have to say it really was surprising quick to prepare it all as the veg only needed very roughly chopped. 

I parboiled some potatoes, carrots and parsnips before tossing them in a little oil, a little honey and some salt and pepper before putting them in the oven to roast in the bottom of the oven. I made some mashed potatoes too (because you can't have Sunday dinner without mashed potatoes) and I used a potato ricer to get them nice and fluffy.

I basted the chicken with juices in the bottom of the oven every now and then and the skin came out really crispy but not at all dry. The meat literally just fell off the bones it was so tender. I was so impressed that I not only managed to not mess the whole thing up, I actually loved the end result! This chicken is foolproof and gorgeous. 

I was so excited about using our lovely wedding china that I may have left the roast veg in the oven a few minutes longer than I should have so the veg was definitely crispy! It was still gorgeously sticky and sweet though so I didn't mind too much.

. *note to self - stop taking pictures of the pretty table setting next time and remember you are supposed to be cooking!*

I think it actually went really well for a first time. I'm so excited to learn more recipes and I love the idea of being able to cook a Sunday roast for my wee family, especially if we have kids in the future. I think I would like to learn how to cook roast beef next. 

I have a ton of cookbooks but I have to say I really enjoy Jamie Oliver's books. He seems to cater to people like me who are complete beginners and doesn't assume that everyone on the planet knows how to do simple things (like make gravy) and I find his recipes easy to follow. 

Does anyone have any good cookbook recommendations? Or any really great, can't live without, recipes they want to share?
I would really love to add a few more to my repertoire.

Saturday, 31 August 2013

Lavender & Vanilla Homemade Sugar Scrub

I'm having a pamper night this evening, I always like to start off with a good body scrub.  It helps to exfoliate and leaves your skin glowing.  

They are so easy to make at home and they are so cheap.  


1/2 cup Sugar
1/4 cupOlive Oil
4 drops Lavender Essential Oil
2 drops Vanilla Extract

Mix all together in a bowl until you are happy with the consistency and smell

Let me know if you give it a try! 

Friday, 30 August 2013

Easy No Cook Playdoh

When we were kids my Mum used to make homemade playdoh with us to keep us amused during the holidays. She runs a day nursery now and she still uses this same recipe to make playdoh for her kids there. I have no idea where she got it originally but I had a look around online and it is really similar or practically identical to a lot of other playdoh recipes out there so I'm guessing this method is pretty foolproof. It isn't sticky or too hard and will stay soft for a few weeks if kept covered in between playtimes. I make it when I'm babysitting and the kids just love it (though I think I enjoy it more than they do haha!) and we add all sorts of things like sequins and rice to the dough. Glitter is awesome too but be aware that it gets everywhere!

First things first, you will need:

 a large bowl
either an actual cup or a 1 cup measuring cup
a teaspoon 
two tablespoons
a wooden spoon


1/2 cup of salt
2 cups plain flour
2 tablespoons of cream of tartar
2 tablespoons of oil ie. vegetable/sunflower/groundnut oil
1 teaspoon of glycerine
1 and a half cups of boiling water
Food colouring

Optional extras: rice/glitter/sequins for texture.

This will make one batch of dough in one colour. Its so quick to make that I usually make three or four batches in different colours so we can get a bit more creative!


First add all your dry ingredients to the bowl and give it a stir.

Then add the oil and the glycerine.

The add the boiling water and the food colouring. The easiest way to add the colouring is to add it to the water before you put the water in the bowl, that way it will dissolve in the water and when you mix it in the colouring will be evenly distributed throughout the mixture and you won't have to knead it in after (which takes forever!)

This is how it looks when all the ingredients are added. Stir everything together, it will be sticky and gooey at first but it will come together pretty quickly. 

When it starts to form a ball you can take it out of the bowl and knead it for 30 seconds or so to make sure everything is incorporated. If it is very sticky add a pinch of flour and work it in, if it feels a little dry then add a splash of water. This recipe is a dream though so it should be perfect. The whole thing should take no longer than five minutes from start to finish!

Now is the time to add any extras like rice or glitter or even sequins! 
I love adding sequins or small craft stars to playdoh, kids really enjoy the different textures.

I made this a few days ago for a couple of kids and they had a blast. We made pink, blue, green, orange and lilac as well as the yellow. Add a few cookie cutters, plastic cutlery and a jar of coloured lollipop sticks and you're sorted.

I like to add real world/grown up things like the cutlery and bun cases too as I find that they like to pretend to make delicious treats for everyone. 

 We even used a cake stand to display them afterwards which they loved.

So that's how we make playdoh in our family, 
a super easy way with no cooking involved that takes just five minutes.

That's it from me for today, I'll be back Wednesday next week with a great roast chicken recipe so check back for that. 
Any questions just shout out in the comments below :)