Wednesday, 30 July 2014

Fundraising - Bottle Tombola

Fundraising could not be simpler with a Bottle Tombla. We are about a 20 person band so we asked everyone to donate a bottle for the tombola, this could be squash, alcoholic, soft drink or fizzy.

We had about 50 prizes with a couple spares in case of breakages etc. Each bottle had a cloakroom ticket ending with a 0 or 5, the rest of the strip was thrown away and then the other side of the raffle tickets were folded and put into a box for public to buy and try and win. This gave a 1 in 5 chance of winning, it has been known to add all of the raffle ticket numbers - including duplicates to give a 1 in 10 chance of winning, however we didn't want to do this given the size of our event.

This was one of our better earners as it attracts children and adults, again we charged 50p a go - given the bottles we had on offer this seems a good deal as there were mainly branded bottles.

Monday, 28 July 2014

300th Post and Tropic Brow Define and Lash Extension Kit

I couldn't decide whether to celebrate my 300th post or wonder why it has taken me so long to get here! I have a proper Pamper Experience tonight so I thought I would just show you how exciting these products are at transforming your look in a 100% natural and chemically free way. This make up is actually good for your skin!

Before: in my en-suite, After: in my garden. No filters or camera trickery here.

This post will show you how good the Brow Define Ochre and Lash Extension Kit set really are - Using the pallet, the organic bamboo dual-end eyebrow brush and the stencils. Using just the fixing gel, natural fibres and fixing gel again on my lashes.

 Yep, this is my en-suite with only my phone camera doing my first ever use of the Brow Define Ochre, note to self take a photography class! You can see from my pictures my colouring is highlighted blonde hair but with a medium brown base - I am using the mid colour Ochre from the Tropic Make up range.

 Once I had added the powder to my other eyebrow I didn't look (or feel so strange) I think that when you wear extra make up in your eyebrows you feel a little fancier. I feel incredibly made up when I have the Lash Extension Kit and the eye brows. Yet I do not look it, I look natural. My husband who doesn't like to see a lot of make up thinks I look good so I am happy!

 Here you can see the lashes done just once on my left eye (right as you look at the picture)
Still just using the lash extension kit once, you can build up the fibres as much as you want to this was my first attempt and play around.

Friday, 25 July 2014

Family time

We have had another beautiful week of weather in the south west, which means we haven't really made much progress with any projects as such. Andy has been working on spray painting the little tykes cars we got for the babies from Ebay. If you are facebook look me up /12natalie.knight or instagram @homebirdeconomics for a sneaky preview!

Currently we are spending a lot of time on our decking as we have set up a pool with gazebo so that Belle can play without getting grass or bugs in the water but she can also be protected by the sun - there is a lot more privacy too and although our garden isn't too overlooked by close by we are at the bottom of a little valley so there are houses up the other side.

I had a coffee and chat morning at my house this week and made my first target with Tropic Skin Care in the process. I am growing in confidence talking about the products and genuinely loving this new job! I love being able to work from home - finding that balance though.... well that is fun! I will get there though, I am determined.

We have a lot to look forward to right now, our young family is in a good place. It is nice to feel like I am getting an identity as Natalie as well as all of my other roles!

I have been using the Organic Elixir for about a week now and I believe I can see a difference already, I am thinking about doing some before and after pictures. I am honestly impressed. Anything that makes me less crinkly (at 24) means it is staying in my arsenal to fight the ageing process and nourish my skin at the same time!!!

If you are interested in Tropic products or becoming an Ambassador with me, get in touch! I love to talk about Tropic even if you just fancy a chat :)

Wednesday, 23 July 2014

Fundraising with Carnival Games - Hoopla

This is another of Andy's makes, again using leftover wood from another project in the garden. Very simply he cut half the wood from the middle in each piece and slotted them together nicely. We screwed ours in place to keep it from wiggling around.

Then each point has a long screw holding a wooden dowel in place as the targets for the rope hoops. The hoops we used were also made from garden supplies and they were held in circle form by wrapping the end of each rope individually in electrically tape and then taped together. This held up surprisingly well!

Our Hoopla fundraising carnival game also raised a respectable amount for us charging 50p for 3 hoops. We took the same two successful hoops won a prize.

We used rope along the ground with tent pegs holding them in place as adult and child lines.

Saturday, 19 July 2014

My first sales with Tropic Skin Care

I am so lucky to have my friends, last night I made my first two sales and have a pamper evening lined up. Luckily for me the ladies were brilliant, it was really informal and we had chinese take away. The ladies asked me all sorts of questions that I thought I would struggle to answer but found myself doing well!

We had the children running around so at times it did get a bit complicated, Belle still loves playing with the products so it was interesting trying to get her interested in something else! Zak wasn't keen being away from me but that was just tiredness.

I decided last night that I would have an open coffee and chat morning to show the products and catalogues but to answer questions too. I will also have a recruitment folder and hope to get a team started too. That way we can encourage each other whilst staying home with our babies - like minded positive empowered women! I sound like a liberation advert but I am so blessed to have this opportunity to make an income from home that truly fits around my family and if I can help others achieve the same then is there anything better? Baby snuggles. But baby snuggles are a part of my job!

Enough work talk, we are off to see my mum because I haven't seen her in ages! I am really looking forward to a catch up.

Thursday, 17 July 2014

Why I chose to become a Tropic Skin Care Ambassador

This past week has been a very busy one for us. We obviously had our fundraising event for the local town band on Sunday, Monday I joined Tropic Skin Care, Tuesday Andy and I went to MTV Crashes, Wednesday I had my training for the Tropic Skin Care range. Tonight we have a committee meeting for the band! Busy, but so blessed. This week I have found a whole new focus and motivation for where our life is going.

I am so grateful and appreciative of the ability to stay at home with my babies, but since having Zak I have felt the same feelings as I did with Belle. The overwhelming feeling of loosing my identity, tidying and cleaning is my contribution to the house, trying to make healthy meals and encouraging learning and development in my children everyday was feeling a little less motivating. Even demoralising at times. I LOVE being home and I wouldn't change it but I needed a new focus for me.

So far I am really enjoying using the products myself, practising facials on my friends and contacts and generally promoting the products. Products I am 100% behind. I have written before about my love organic, non-harmful products/recipes/lifestyle. I am not quite living that life just yet but this is such a big positive step. I had even started looking at recipes to make my own cosmetic products because I am becoming very aware of what I want not only on my skin but my children's too.

Isabelle is constantly watching and listening, repeating and learning what happens around her. I parent from a trial point of view and she will learn by doing and making her own choices. So when I am putting my make up on or washing my face she wanted to join in, I love this. It's like bonding time, but also looking after your skin is important. It is the only one you have - it may constantly renew but that foundation stays.

This is just my first week of starting with Tropic and I am so grateful for the amount of support and training I have received, I am thankful to have the opportunity to build a successful business from home. Watch this space, I have big plans!

**As an Independent Ambassador for Tropic Skin Care Ltd, my Facebook/Instagram/Blog activity including comments, images/videos, posts and updates are my own views. I take responsibility for any libel or litigation that results from my Facebook/Instagram/Blog content. **

Wednesday, 16 July 2014

Fundraising with Carnival Games - Whak a Rat

Luckily for me Andy is happy to give making things a go, he had a look online to find the best looking Whak a Rat fundraising carnival game. He had some wood from taking down his old shed and the building materials of the new one. So this cost us very little. We did have to buy the drain pipe brackets but the drain pipe was a spare too. Honestly our garden is full of 'useful' things. But I can't complain because my craft room is full of equally 'useful' things!!

Anyway, the back board is from the old shed, the legs are from the left over shed materials and attached with screws. Obviously the further back the legs go the less of an incline making the rat slide slower. We painted ours with a brick effect and think that this worked well!

I used some ends of brown spotty material and plaited woollen tails to make the rats - double stitched to ensure the filling of split peas did not come out! As this was all being used for a Town Band fundraiser it had to cost as little as possible. We are thinking about using the games in the garden when we have Belle's birthday and Zak's baptism.

We brought a foam bat from our local B and M so that hopefully players nor the board got damaged. It seemed to be a success!

We ran the fundraising game so that two or more hits won a prize. This seemed to work well because we charged 50p for 3 hits and made a reasonable amount from this carnival game.

Tuesday, 15 July 2014

Blogs I have found #1

He and I  - Such a cute little family, I think I will be popping back to Alexa's family as she is good writer and takes beautiful photos. Also our daughters are 4 days apart! Her transformation from pre-pregnancy to post pregnancy is inspiring!

A beautiful exchange - Another family similar in age to mine, sharing parenting dilemmas is always a good read - especially when there are suggestions for new techniques to try!

Mummy Space - This is a blog by one of my best friends and I love to see what she shares - because we talk so often I generally know what has been going on but it is nice to support each other! Katy is also a beautiful source of advice for me, she has three babies and her youngest will be the same school year as Belle.

Monday, 14 July 2014

Weekend Fundraising - for the Town Band

I have just finished one of the biggest projects of my life! Fundraising for the Town Band is part of my role as secretary and most of the time it really consists of booking the band at existing events.
This is was my first fundraising event solely run by the band. My organisational skills were well and truly put to the test!! Luckily I was given compliments on the day by stall holders who attend many craft events a year, which obviously made my day!

Not only was the event itself barely stressful for me it was an actual success. We added a very respectable amount to our funds and now the dilemma is what to spend the money on!

I will be writing out what we did and what fundraising activities worked best for us - a sort of evaluation for me to look back on should I do anything similar again (there are already plans) But also to try and help anyone else who is jumping in at the deep end like I did!!

Just to note too, I had about a year knowing this event was coming and did a lot of thinking and planning with the support of band members. Personally, I was pregnant and had a toddler - then a toddler and a new born whilst planning and executing this fundraiser! So believe me, anyone who puts their mind to it can achieve great results with the right planning and organisation. I also have excellent support from my family that looked after my babies, ran stalls, carried out jobs on the day and built so many things for the day. Truly blessed with my family.

Thursday, 10 July 2014

Egg Heavy Recipes - dessert first!


Now that we have 8 chickens we get a lot of eggs, we spread the eggs around the family so everyone benefits from their goodness but we often have quite a few eggs around to use up. 

Here are some egg heavy recipes I will be looking at trying soon, of course dessert first!:

Flour less Chocolate Cake
Bean Chocolate Cake

These recipes are from the BackYardChicken forum,


3 c. sugar1 lb. butter, softened10 eggs4 c. plain flour2 tsp. baking powder2 tsp. vanilla
Cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs and beat well. Measure and sift flour, baking powder and dash of salt. Add flour to mixture in several parts. Stop mixer, add about 1/3 of the flour, start mixer back slowly, then mix fast JUST UNTIL MIXED. Repeat until dry ingredients are all incorporated. Scrape down sides after each mixing. Put in 10 inch tube pan that has been greased and floured. Bake at 325 degrees for 1 hour and 20 minutes. Cool in pan for a few minutes before removing.
This makes a FABULOUS chocolate pound cake. Add 1/4 cup milk after the butter and eggs are creamed, and 1/4 cup of good cocoa, mix it in with the flour.

Bread pudding 

Two cups of stale bread ripped into chunks put a a shallow casserole, 
Mix 4-5 eggs (depending on size), 
3/4 sugar (adjust to your liking or use different sweetner), 
1 cup cream, milk, half and half or almond milk. 
 Fruit of your choice, chopped apples (if using apples I'll mix in some cinnamon), raisins, currents, dried cranberries, cherries, pineapple (if using pineapple I'll add some coconut).  Nuts are a great addition about a half cup chopped.  Slivered almonds go great with cherries, walnuts go great with the apples...whatever you like...
pour mixture over bread and bake in a 350 oven about an hour or until browned and puffy.
The beauty of this recipe besides being quick and easy to assemble is that it has unlimited variations, corn bread can be used as well as Italian or French bread, challah...ect.  Stale bread is better but I've used fresh when in a pinch with good results. 
the amount of bread, eggs and cream obviously vary depending on the size of your casserole dish.  this is a basic amount for a casserole dish that would serve 4.  Feel free to play around with all the amounts as it's pretty hard to screw this recipe up.
Besides being a great dessert, it's a decent breakfast that is easily warmed up in the mornings.

Wednesday, 9 July 2014

Taking blogging further

I have had this space on the internet for many years and only recently have I felt that pull to write again. Zak's pregnancy and Belle being a toddler was tough, I'll share more about our 18 month age gap another day. But needless to say it has taken the last 15 weeks to get into a good place with the both of them.

Blogging has always been for me, I will not share pictures of my children often (if at all) because of how I feel about the internet and its lack of safety. However, upcycling, bargains, crafting and learning through play excites me. These are the things I will share, I will share our life to a point and that will just have to do. I have so many ideas that I am sure it will still be a good read!

If you follow my pinterest you will see the research I have been doing. I have big goals and a busy life to fit it all into! That is just part of the fun ..... right! Finding that illusive balance between computer time and making sure these babies get enough face time - not to mention the housework, cooking healthy meals and remaining a present wife to my husband. Oh and exercise. Is going to be my biggest challenge. Like I said big goals encompassing every part of my life.

If you fancy sharing any blog growth tips or insights to having a baby and a toddler, leave a comment and I will gratefully take a look!

Tuesday, 8 July 2014

Changes ....

We have grown to a family of 4! We are truly blessed and adjusting well (most days)

My plans are to get back to this space with our new adventures slowly. I have new goals and aspirations but I am choosing to take my time with them. I can get too gung ho with my ideas and realise that whilst my time is not quite my own at the moment I need to expect a little less from myself.

I have plans for a revamp, plans for soooo many projects we have been completing around the house. New adventures we have been experiencing with auctions online and in real life! Not to mention the 8 chickens we are currently keeping.

So I am hoping I am back for a while, just maybe less frequently than before. Lets see!