Crochet Bunny Rabbits

I think my crochet skills are improving because quite cute are these! I found this pattern via Pinterest and (like just about everything I find on Pinterest) knew I had to have a go at making them. I still have a lot to learn when it comes to wool blends and weights and what size hook to use for crocheting, but for this project I went for a 100% recycled wool blend which I think gives it a nice look and feel. The pink bunny I did first and the legs turned out shorter and fatter than my second attempt with the blue. I think the blue bunny is more true to the pattern but I actually prefer the look of the pink, so when I make my next one I may have to figure out how I did it 'wrong'.

I added pom-poms for the tails and Reuben has already got his eye on the pink one which of course according to the boys is the mummy one while the blue is daddy. And as we're on that point why is it that all of a sudden Jacob thinks anything pink is to do with girls and blue boys when we have never encouraged anything of the sort? He's even gone so far as to say that songs with female singers are mummy's songs! I think a talk is needed asap. Anyway I digress...I like the idea of adding a little bell inside the rabbit and trying more colours. I also think they need names!

What do you think?

Homemade Citronella Candle - Eco Living

Mosquito season is pretty much upon us now. As temperatures rise here in France all manner of bugs are rearing their interesting if not slightly freaky heads and countless number of legs (I mean many legs does one need??) I don't mind bugs at a distance, but if there is one that really gets on our nerves it's the mosquito. That annoying noise in your ear the moment you decide to try and fall asleep...the way they seem to disappear into thin air the moment you try and squash them...that annoying red streak they leave on the wall when you do!

As part of my Eco Living series this year I've decided to try and find more natural ways to protect the family from these pesky bugs and my first attempt is with citronella candles. I had some beeswax left over from my homemade lip balms which I melted down and added some citronella essential oil too. I put loads of essential oil in because I wasn't sure how much I needed in order for it to be effective so it certainly smells strong enough. I want to make some more but I've realised I'm going to need a whole lot more beeswax as you need a fair bit to make a decent sized candle.

I also found this organic mosquito spray in our local Biocoop to try. I hate the smell of our usual mosquito spray and usually avoid putting it on if I can. The kids in summer often get really bitten at night so I was looking for something more natural that we could try on them. It's pretty heavy on the essential oils (lavender, citronella and eucalyptus to name a few) so it smells quite strong, but in a good way. I'll let you know how we get on with it. I'm keen to try making my own mosquito spray so if you have any good recipes do pass them on, and any other tips that you have for preventing mosquito bites.

Electric Playdough!

Reuben's Christmas present has just taken me back to being at school. Sitting in a classroom with batteries, little wires and mini light bulbs, as we experimented with electrical currents to find out how it all worked. Let me just say now, there's is so much I have forgotten about electricity that I'm sure I learnt just as much as Reuben as we played with his DIY Electro Dough Kit. The kit came from Technology Will Save Us, a UK based company that provides educational kits to get people learning all about technology in a really fun way, and it was just that...really really fun!

I had already made some play dough in the week using our favourite playdough recipe so all we had to do was get creative. The kit comes with wires, LED lights, a buzzer and a battery kit. You can use the cutters to create shapes or simply mould your playdough as you wish. To begin with we moulded little balls and wired them up to show Reuben how a simple circuit worked. We then got a little more adventurous with the buzzer and Andrew created a wand that joined and broke the circuit so Reuben could play a beat! (I think Andrew also had quite a lot of fun with this set and being electrically minded he knew exactly how it all worked.) We joined together playdough mountains with lights, listened to the buzzer get quieter as we made longer circuits, and even Jacob had a go cutting out shapes and getting the buzzer to sound very loudly.

This kit is fantastic for kids (and adults!) Seeing the lights work and the buzzer sound brought smiles all round and although the playdough didn't last, the kit we can use again and again. I'm currently looking at what other kits Techonology Will Save Us do as they are so user friendly I think we'll be having some more family fun with them in the future.

(This is not a sponsored post...we just had lots of fun!)
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