Author: Mimi

Handmade Christmas – Unique Projects For A Special Holiday Season

Handmade Christmas – Unique Projects For A Special Holiday Season

A round up of all of the handmade Christmas crafts from this year. Felt gingerbread men gift tags and tree decorations, monogrammed Christmas stockings, party hats and a truly special advent calendar.

Whale Shark Embellished Sweatshirt (Two Colour Vinyl Layering)

Whale Shark Embellished Sweatshirt (Two Colour Vinyl Layering)

Dress up days at school. You either love them or find them a bit stressful. I fall into the latter camp, for a number of reasons (many of which I have detailed in a previous post about World Book Day). I find it very hard 

Seed Envelopes With Style: Cut Your Own With Cricut

Seed Envelopes With Style: Cut Your Own With Cricut

This year my garden has been my haven. For the first time in my life I have my own outside space to grow things in and I have been learning all I can about growing vegetables and looking after the abundance of plants and flowers in the garden. I have had an amazing amount of help from friends and gardeners, and I think I’m starting to get to the point where, though I have a million questions still and know very little, I’m starting to try on my own.

One of the things that I was quite excited to try was seed saving, and so I’ve been trying to find little seeds envelopes to store seeds in, and also to put any excess seeds in to send to friends. I did twice try to order some, but the first ones I ordered were said to be out of stock when I queried their whereabouts a fortnight later, and teh second lot never arrived, so I gave up and decided to make my own.

To speed the process up, I used an electronic cutting machine to make the envelopes. I can fit four to a 30cm² piece of paper at the size I have made them (though they can be scaled up and down to suit other purposes). They take seconds to cut and glue together, so I know that I have a ready supply whenever I need them. Plus, they are very pretty.

The project is free to download and make on Cricut design space if you have Cricut Access, for anyone who may need or want a few quick seed envelopes for seed saving or gifting. They are complete with score lines so that they fold easily and perfectly every time, and have tight fold corners to ensure that even the tiniest seeds stay put.

A Beautiful Difficult Return To Knitting: Rainbow Sweater

A Beautiful Difficult Return To Knitting: Rainbow Sweater

It would be gauche for me to say that this is the best sweater in the world that has ever existed, but look at it! It is full of all the joy that knitting a sweater should be. Its simple, colourful wide bands of colour 

Malia Mosaic Knitted Blanket: New Pattern Release

Malia Mosaic Knitted Blanket: New Pattern Release

Quicklinks: Purchase via Lovecrafts or Purchase via Ravelry In the middle of the first year of the pandemic I designed and knitted one of my favourite patterns to date: The Malia blanket. Everything had been feeling very heavy in a year that had a huge 

Excel Weekly Menu Planner: Free Download

Excel Weekly Menu Planner: Free Download

A few weeks ago we made a little menu planner in Excel so that I could better keep track of what items I had to use in my fridge, freezer and store cupboards, and to help me shop more sustainably with less waste.

I have two other aims by doing this: to keep up the momentum with which my 4 year old has decided to expand he foods that he is willing to try, and also to try and find a balance with my compulsion to hoard tinned and dry packet goods. As I have experienced food poverty a few times in my lifetime I have found comfort in having an emergency stash of food that I know I have if the worst were to happen, but I do recognise that this rather limits me and is quite problematic in the world’s actual smallest kitchen.

This simple little Excel spreadsheet allows me to populate tabs with the items I have in my freezer or store cupboards, or with meals that I would like to cook, and generate a weekly menu using simple drop-down selectors, before formatting a printable menu.

The version I styled for myself menu runs Wednesday – Tuesday, as I receive my grocery delivery on a Tuesday night. It’s styled using the Twinkl Primary font as I wanted it to be child friendly, so that my 4 year old could refer to it whenever he wished, and this font is specifically designed for learning resources for primary-aged children.

A few IG followers asked if they could look at the spreadsheet set-up, so I have uploaded it here for download. I have made a few changes so that it is easy to use even if you don’t use excel extensively, and changed things like the typeface (switched to simple Verdana, so that it will display for everyone) so that it can be styled as you wish. I’ve also adjusted the week to run from Monday-Sunday, but again, that’s easily editable. Download the Menu Planner spreadsheet.

How To Use The Menu Spreadsheet

In each of the tabs ‘Breakfast’, ‘Lunch’, ‘Dinner’ and ‘Snacks’, populate the columns with your selection of possible meals, or the items that you have in your freezer and cupboards.

You will notice the interesting blend of home meals and things we are trying to get our little boy used for as they tend to appear on school menus. You can fill it with all your own foodie things, obviously.

In ‘Setup’ tab, click into each cell of a particular meal, click the little drop-down arrow that appears and then choose the elements of your meal from the options.

If some of the combinations here look a bit odd, it’s because I was making a few changes to make this user-friendly to non-excel users, and clicked a few random food choices.

Once your menu is populated click on the ‘Printable Meal Planner’ tab, which compiles a final printable draft of the weekly menu, whilst filling in sentence syntax, etc.

You’ll want to play about with the styling of this is you wish to print it out, but I recommend leaving the line height as-is, as it fits perfectly on an A4 sheet.

And that’s all there is to it, really. You could use the individual meal tabs to fill in what you have in your freezer and cupboard to help you work through bloated food stores, or use it to come up with a menu to shop smartly from, or add to it as you expand your (or a child’s) menu and recipe repertoire so that you don’t fall back on cooking the same six dishes in rotation. I’m using it as a combination of all three aims, and it’s really working for me.

Let me know what you think, and if you have any helpful home/life organisation tips!

Header image is of a Macaroni Cheese I made last week. It was unbelievably good.