My Summer Bucket List

As summer is right around the corner, I thought it was about time that I made a list of things I would like to do before it’s over.

As my eldest, Gning, is now in full-time school, my summer falls in line with his.  He breaks up for the summer holidays on 21 July, and he goes back on 4 September.

That gives me a little over 6 whole weeks to try to mark everything off on my bucket list…  I have the final week of the holidays off work, so the list I have made below has to either fit around my usual working times, and then take advantage of having the week off to complete the list.

I’m going to revisit this post in September, to see exactly what I managed to accomplish, and what is still outstanding.  I think this could be a rather interesting experiment!  So, without further ado, here is my Summer Bucket List of 30 things to complete within my son’s 6 weeks holidays.

  1. Have a bonfire
  2. Attend an outdoor concert
  3. Watch the waves
  4. Lie in the grass
  5. Go to a funfair / amusement park
  6. Have an ice cream at the beach
  7. Have a picnic
  8. Make a summer soundtrack
  9. Have a water balloon / water pistol fight
  10. Have a BBQ
  11. Go camping
  12. Take more pictures
  13. Finish a book
  14. Make homemade salsa
  15. Play frisbee
  16. Visit a water park
  17. Visit a heritage garden
  18. Go on a day trip
  19. Make ice pops
  20. Wear flowers in my hair for a day
  21. Feed the ducks
  22. Walk up a hill with the boys
  23. Buy a helium balloon, tie a message to it, and let it go
  24. Swim outdoors! (Bear in mind that I live in the north west of England…)
  25. Draw on the driveway with chalks
  26. Finger paint a summer picture
  27. Have fish & chips at the beach
  28. Visit a park we’ve never been to before
  29. Watch a family film together – snacks incl. popcorn essential
  30. Spend more time with the boys!

Frugal Christmas – Homemade Hand Warmers

Christmas is magical.  I love getting in to the Christmas Spirit, and I have to admit that I am one of the sad people who will play a Christmas songs CD in my car almost right the way through December.

Well, it’s fast approaching, and although it’s still only November, I can officially say I’m almost completely done with the Christmas present shopping.  I only have to buy one more thing for my father, and then I have to buy my (1 year old) son his presents.  There’s still plenty of time.

A lot of people have lost the true meaning of Christmas.  Yes, gift giving has become the norm, but too many people are expecting lavish gifts that will break the bank, and will melt your credit card…  And that’s just one person out of the twenty or so you have to buy for.

I love homemade gifts.  Some items are really useful, some are really yummy, and some make you look at them and wonder what on earth you’re going to do with them…  Afterall, where I’m from, it’s still the thought that counts, and I’m easily pleased with anything I’m given.

A while ago, I found a webpage that teaches you how to make rice-bag hand warmers.  I can’t find the original post, but thankfully, there are plenty of pages that teach you this if you google it.

Here’s my take on the idea, and I will be making them for a few people on my gift list.

What you need…

Material (cotton, muslin or flannel – Any colour and design that you like!)

Matching thread

Sewing needles or a sewing machine

Long grain rice (I’ll be using white)

Dried herbs (rosemary / lavender / peppermint / etc.)

OR

Essential oils (whatever you like!)

What to do…

1.  Cut your material into squares.  You’ll need two squares for each bag…  You need to cut them approximately 4″x4″.

2.  Turn the patterned sides towards each other (so it’s plain side out) and stitch all sides, but leave about an inch on the fourth side.

3.  Turn the bag the ‘right way out’.

4.  For oil scented rice, you need to mix approximately 1-teaspoon of essential oil to 1lb of rice.  I find the easiest way to cover all the rice here would be to put it all in a large food bag, seal it and shake, shake, shake!

5.  For herb scented rice, I use approximately 3-tablespoons of dried herbs to 1lb of rice.  Ensure you mix it all together!

6.  Use a small funnel, and pour your rice mixture into the bag until it’s about 3/4 full.

7.  Carefully turn the remaining open sides of the bag over, and sew them shut.  Check the perimeter of the bag to make sure there are no small holes where the rice would escape…

There you go!!  With a little practice, making these bags would take you about 5 minutes each.

To use…

Place the bag in the microwave, on medium high, for 2 minutes (adjust time accordingly for your microwave).  Your hand warmer should stay warm for approximately 30 minutes!