Tag Archives: Paper craft

Make It: An idea to make meal planning less arduous!

The Boyfriend and I plan all our meals every 2 weeks, then do a big internet shop twice a month. We used to just buy a bunch of food and then every morning we would have the ‘what are we going to have for dinner’ conversation and it was very boring and meant we had the same few things over and over again. And also that some food went off before we used it. So then we decided to plan the meals so we could buy exactly what we needed and would only have to think about it for an hour every 2 weeks. Recently, though, even this has been feeling like too much of a chore.

So I stole an idea from my sister (thanks Phoebe!). I made a meal planner that we can stick on the wall and will also act as the shopping list!

P1040348(see the little friend we’ve added in the corner!?)

I wrote out each of the meals we make regularly – this used to be a scrappy piece of paper which we’d gradually added new meals to and crossed out ones we’d tried that weren’t good. I bought some coloured record cards so I could colour-code the type of meal – I used yellow for poultry, green for vegetarian, blue for fish and red for meat (meaning sausages, beef and pork).

There are a lot of meat ones! – we do have quite a few meals with sausages, so I think that’s why.

Not so many vegetarian ones – we are trying to add to our veggie repertoire as we feel we do eat too much meat. Plus meat is expensive! If anyone has any good veggie recipes, do let me know 🙂

Lots of chicken – I say poultry but really I mean chicken!

And here are the fish ones – I was surprised there was as many fish ones as fish is reeeeaaaaly expensive, but this does include tins of tuna.

P1040327I bought a cheap cork board from Tiger and used some white record cards I already had to make the days of the week for the 2 weeks. And I pinned an envelope with the flap cut off to the top to store the cards we’re not using.

My real stroke of genius, though (if I say so myself) was to write the ingredients needed for each meal on the back of the cards, so we can plan the meals for the 2 weeks……..

…….then turn the cards over and you’ve got your shopping list!

This makes both planning the meals and then doing the internet shop way less painful! And it cost me under £10.


My First Scrapbook


Hey you guys, I made a scrapbook! Well, it’s more of a photo album really, but it involved cutting and sticking, so it kinda counts as a scrapbook, right? As you know if you’ve been reading my blog for a while, I love A Beautiful Mess (I have their photo book and made their felt allotment). They do quite a bit of scrapbooking/ making photo albums and it inspired me to have a go myself, as a present for my dad who just turned 65. I’m also researching my dad’s family tree, so this gave me a chance to scrapbook some of the things I’ve found out from doing that.

I tried to keep it relatively cheap as I didn’t know if it would really work, so I was prepared to buy a different present if necessary! I went to Paperchase and ogled all of their stationery – is it just me that loves stationery? I feel like if I had unlimited money, my house would be full of lovely stationery that I was always scared to use!

Anyway, back to Paperchase. I bought some coloured paper, this scrapbook, and then I bought some photo paper from Rymans (50 sheets of matt photo paper) and these cute stamps from John Lewis. I already had some coloured pencils and nice pens, which was lucky because I didn’t end up using most of them! I use double sided sticky tape to stick on the paper and photos as it seemed like the most durable and quickest way to stick everything in. I considered glue, but worried the paper would go all wrinkley! (is that a word?!)


My family and my dad’s family doesn’t seem to be one that takes loads of pictures – something I’m trying to remedy, but I still always forget to take many pictures at get-togethers, or even in every day life. Do you find the same?

Because I knew there wouldn’t be loads and loads of photos, I recruited my whole family, and particularly my mum (thanks, mummy!) to send me all the photos they had so that I would have a good spread from my dad’s whole life. It took me a while to format all the pictures to get them to look clear and to fit the most economically on the paper as I didn’t have unlimited paper! I used an ordinary printer, and was pretty pleased with how the pictures turned out. Scrapbook-2

It took a loooooong time to cut them all out! I ended up with more pictures than I thought I would too, so that was a bonus.

Because this was a present for my dad, I don’t think I went as crazy with the designs of each page as I could have – but I’ll definitely experiment more next time (when/if I make another scrapbook/ photo album).

This is the front page – passport photos through the ages! I used the stamps to label things and  like how they look a bit uneven in places, like an old typewriter would. Scrapbook-3

The above small photo on the left, and the below picture of him just out of the bath are the only 2 baby pictures we have of my dad. Which is quite crazy when I compare that to my nephew and niece (who is only a couple of weeks old, awww!) who are already way better documented. I guess that’s just the age we live in – and I don’t think it’s a bad thing to be able to document all the little moments and not just the ‘special occasions’ as was probably the case 20, 30, 50 years ago.

I decided to annotate the pages a little, using a red ink pen – you can’t really see it, but below it says ‘bath time’. This page also has a copy of his birth certificate on it. I wish I had included his parents’ marriage certificate too, but I remembered too late! He didn’t know when his parents got married, so it was cool to be able to tell him when I’d ordered a copy of their marriage certificate (did I mention I’m a family history nerd!?). It turns out they got married 2 months before he was born……..Scrapbook-4

When my dad was, i think about 2, he moved to India with his parents as his dad worked for the World Health Organisation, which is pretty cool! He lived there until he was 8 or 10 – he thinks he came back and went again. I need to do some more research about their time in India, but I don’t really know where to start!


I think my favourite photo is the one below of him sitting on the window sill, he just looks so cute and smiley! I decided to cut out an India to make the page look a bit more interesting. Scrapbook-5

My dad also lived in New Zealand for a few years as a teenager – he’s led a pretty cool life, really! Again, I cut out a New Zealand in coloured paper for some interest!

This is his school certificate, which qualified him to go to university at the age of 16, he’s a clever man, my dad. He would have only been able to study agriculture, but still….

I mounted some of the pictures and pages onto coloured paper to make it look a bit less samey – I tried to choose the colour of paper based on what looked nice with a particular photo/ document. Scrapbook-8

This is the only surviving photo of his uni band, Dead Sheep. On the podium thing in the photo is a poster, which I copied bigger. Unfortunately another document I was missing was his degree certificate. Bum. Scrapbook-9

So we skip from university to meeting my mum, when he was about 28/29. Aw, they look so young! But also kind of not young – do you ever think that your parents look older than you do at the same age you are now? Just me? Maybe it’s the clothes?Scrapbook-10

This is a page of wedding pictures – I love the top left one of them gazing lovingly into the distance – lol engagement photos! And the picture at the bottom of my dad with my mum’s dad is lovely. My mum was a couple of weeks off her 21st birthday when they got married, in case you think she looks reeeeeaaaaly young – she was!Scrapbook-11

I made a page for my brother, who was very cute when he was little.Scrapbook-12

And a page for me and my sister – we’re twins and there aren’t tonnes of photos of us, so I thought we could share a page. Check out the names our parents gave us all – each a mouthful in its own way! Scrapbook-13

As I mentioned above, my dad is pretty clever (he has an IQ that would allow him into MENSA!) and he used to be in a quiz team at his work and they won (I’m not sure what league/ competition) every year between 1982 and 1989 except 1985. Not bad!Scrapbook-14


The slightly higher graduation photo is from my mum’s graduation for her OU degree. This was about 5/6 years ago and it was a really moving day to be there. My sister and I had already graduated but there was something about seeing people from all ages and backgrounds who had worked hard for years and years to earn their degrees that seemed more impressive somehow – they hadn’t had the advantage that I had, to study full time and with no responsibilities for other people or having to fully financially support myself. Sorry to be so schmaltzy!  Scrapbook-15

My sister got married in 2011 and that’s probably the last big family gathering we’ve had, so I included some pictures from that. Below are my dad and me giving our speeches – it was pretty cool that as chief (and only) bridesmaid I got to make a speech, and not just the father of the bride and best man. My speech was pretty ace, if I say so myself – the wedding had a tea theme, because who doesn’t like tea (weirdos, that’s who!) so my speech had lots of tea puns in it.

Also, my sister made my dress and hers – I didn’t take any photos of the other wedding pages unfortunately, so I can’t show you the dress, but it was pretty awesome!Scrapbook-16

Because my sister and her husband had some pages, I thought me and The Boyfriend (Ben) should have a page. We had to take this photo specially, because there are basically no photos of the 2 of us, after 3 1/2 years! See what I mean about having to take more photos of the everyday?!Scrapbook-17

One thing my dad is (quite rightly) proud of is being an amazing blood donor – he has given 76 times and has only now stopped for health reasons. I have sort of tried to take over his mantle (though I wish I’d started sooner – but better late than never) and have now donated 4 times, the latest one being this Wednesday (which you’ll know if you follow my instagram). I feared I would faint and it would be really embarrassing, but so far, I’ve been fine! You should try it if you’ve never been! Scrapbook-18

And this is my adorable nephew – I love the top picture! And his name is Teddy, so the bottom picture is very apt! He’s the kid I made the dungarees and Sarah and Duck cushion for. Since making this book, my sister has had her second baby, a girl, so there are some blank pages in the back of the book which I left so I could fill them in with pictures of Alice and any other things that happen – like other engagements/ weddings/ babies.
Scrapbook-19Have you ever give scrapbooking a go? Would you if not? I did enjoy it, but it was a bit more time consuming that I thought it would be, so I like the idea of doing a little bit at a time as you document a month or year in your life. Also, I’d like to have a go with some more jazzy, interesting pages!