Our Monthly Journal
We're so excited to share another monthly journal written by the lovely Lola Jones, also known as @pocketfullofbuttercups on Instagram. Lola is a wonderful photographer and all round creator of beautiful content, raising her twin daughters Maya and Chloe & her baby Thea from her house near the Peak District. Each month she will give us a small glimpse into her world, inspiring you with activity ideas, recipes and more.
It has been the most beautiful few weeks here in the Peaks. The sunshine, warm temperatures and absence of rain truly spoiled us and we have been enjoying long walks in the countryside, afternoons by the stream, picnics and numerous trips to our local organic ice-cream farm - basically summer at its best.
When not enjoying the outdoors, we have been crafting and I thought I would share a couple of activities with you.
This month we have made some gorgeous hand-made cards for our teachers at school, as the end of the school year is just around the corner. We have also got together a few things we had lying around the house and made our own binoculars - perfect for exploring the outdoors this summer. And finally, I am sharing my go-to super simple and delicious salad recipe!
Should you decide to have a go at any activities, we would really love to see them. Please tag us Please tag us #inspiredbynelliequats
TEACHER THANK YOU CARDS
As the end of the school year approaches, my girls and I have designed thank you cards for their teachers, using fabric scraps we had at home. It’s such a simple project and we really enjoyed the whole process from creating a design and thinking about what messages we may write to choosing fabric combinations and putting it all together. These cards have turned out even better than I visualised and I am sure our teachers will adore them. Both of my girls are very excited to gift them in a few weeks time.
You will need:
- Card (ours are A6)
- Fabric scraps (we used linen, cotton, felt and canvas)
- Craft glue and brush
- Ink & alphabet stamp set
Start by thinking about your design. We brainstormed ideas and sketched before choosing favourites and cutting them out from the fabric. We also chose a few messages that would go well with our designs. Try to keep things simple so the cards are easy to assemble and not overly complicated.
Once you have a few favourite designs, choose your fabrics and start cutting out elements of your designs. You may wish to draw your design on the reverse side of the fabric before cutting, or freestyle, whatever works best (you may need to help little ones with this stage, especially if using sharp scissors).
Once you have all the elements of your design cut out, start gluing them onto your card. Let the fabric dry before stamping or handwriting your message.
or all the little explorers and adventurers out there - a brilliant little craft to take on your walk or to use to spot things from your windows at home.
You will need:
- Two cardboard tubes from the inside of a toilet roll
- Small cardboard piece (we used a part of an old packaging box)
- Hot glue and gun
- A4 paper or card (to wrap around the middle of your binoculars)
- Thumb tacks (optional)
Cut a piece of cardboard for the middle bit between the tubes (ours is about 2cm x 3cm and I have made it double in thickness so it is thick enough for the decorative thumb tacks). Glue the longer side of the cardboard piece to the middle of the first of your tubes, then glue the other side to the other tube.
Next, from the long side of your A4 card, cut a strip about 2cm wide - you will use this to wrap around the middle of your binoculars as a little finishing touch and to hide the cardboard imperfections. Carefully wrap the strip around the binoculars and glue in place. To attach the string, measure how long it should be, so it can comfortably sit around the neck, make a hole on the outside end of each roll, feed the string through and tie a knot on each side. As a decorative element, we added two thumb tacks in the middle. Before you add yours, make sure your cardboard is thick enough so the sharp end isn’t showing.
We left our binoculars as they are - natural colour, but they can most certainly be decorated.
GO-TO BULGUR WHEAT & QUINOA SALAD
I have been making this salad for years and the whole family loves it. It is delicious, simple to make and filling too. Can be enjoyed warm or cold and quite perfect to be on the menu across the whole year.
- 6-8 tbsp of red and white quinoa and bulgur wheat mix
- 4-5 rashers of streaky bacon
- A cup of frozen peas
- Parsley (optional)
- A good splash of rapeseed oil
- Freshly squeezed juice of one lemon
- Sea salt flakes
- Freshly ground pepper
Cook the quinoa and bulgur wheat mix according to the packet (you can get the mix from a supermarket or you can buy the quinoa and bulgur wheat separately and mix so there’s equal amount of all). While the quinoa is cooking, fry the bacon, cook the peas and chop parsley (if using).
Prepare the dressing by pouring oil into a large bowl, squeeze lemon juice and add seasoning - taste to make sure it is to your liking.
Next drain the quinoa and bulgur wheat, then add to the bowl with the dressing. Chop and add the bacon, then add the cooked peas and the parsley.
Mix well and adjust the seasoning if needed. Enjoy!
*To make a veggie version, just remove the bacon and you may wish to add freshly chopped cherry or plum tomatoes instead.