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The benefits of buying handmade/handcrafted products

In this day and age is it really worth buying something handmade, I mean with so many factories pumping out so many products at ridiculously low prices, why would you spend the money to buy something someone made?

Handmade gift box

Well I will tell you why, because unlike its factory made cousin, a handmade product is carefully crafted, the materials lovingly selected and crafted into a work of pure art. Its artisan has spent hours working on the product, making sure it just perfect for you to buy. You see with each handmade product you buy, you are not only buying a product you are also receiving a beautiful gift of someone’s time and devotion. Of the late nights and early mornings, the weekends spent making your product.

A handmade product has something a factory made product could never have, a personality, part of the artisans personality is lovingly crafted into each product. Tailored just right so that not only you but generations to come can enjoy the beauty of the artisans creations.

Newborn gift box

I have a number of handmade items that were handed down to me from my mother, in turn they were my grandmother’s (her mother). Beautiful pillow cases lovingly embroidered with my grandmothers initials, a baby blanket crocheted by my mum, play suits and clothing beautifully made by my mother in law. Each piece is carefully washed and stored and ready to be handed down to my daughter when she has her children. Though she has never met my grandmother she will always have part of her legacy in the beautiful embroidered pillow cases.

So I decided to carry on this handmade tradition, making heirloom pieces that can be handed down from mother to daughter, father to son. A history of craftsmanship, passion and love beautifully integrated into a handmade product.

So next time you huff at what you think is a ridiculously priced handmade item as opposed to its factory made counter part. Think of the time, the love, the passion, the artistry, the commitment, the dedication of the person who took the time to make this for you to buy. They have no guarantee their products will sell but something inside them compels them to keep making these beautiful keepsakes for someone to treasure.

I have joined forces with other amazing designers, writers and artists to bring you a carefully curated gift box of beautiful handmade products for you or a loved one to treasure.

My New born Nursey and Reading Decor pack is available now. Only this one of this particular type in stock, so whoever buys this will have something unique and special. I try to make every box that little bit different so that you have something as individual as you to take home or give as a beautiful gift.

Thank you so much for reading my posts. I hope it has conjured up feelings of nostalgia and memories of times gone by. Thank you for supporting my blog and online shop. For a creative like me its something I very much appreciate.

Vicky

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My new best friend…..

Move over George Foreman grill I have found a new best friend! The Russell Hobbs Multifunction benchtop oven!

Russell Hobbs Oven

This oven is amazing! It bakes, it grills, it air fry’s and toasts bread!

It has an easy to clean pull out tray they catches all the crumbs comes with 3 trays plus the crumb tray.

It’s not a bulky unit so would fit most benchtops. To clean just wipe with a clean damp cloth and wash removal trays in warm soapy water. Make sure to dry thoroughly before putting back in the oven. I bought mine from Big W.

Overall I give it a 10/10 for efficiency, reliability and time saving. Best of all the oven heats up quickly so no waiting time!

Thank you for reading my blog post! Wishing you all a wonderful day!

Vicky

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Newborn baby blanket – New item in my online shop

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Remembering a true Lady…. Princess Diana

Queen of hearts

Growing up I was in awe of Princess Diana. Her beauty and elegance was matched by none. She was kind, she was compassionate and she had a great sense of humour and dress style. I think every little girl wanted to be a princess just like Diana.

Sadly her life was cut short in a horrible car accident. Today on the 24th anniversary of her death she is still remembered and loved as always.

She inspires me always and I hope to be a great a mum as she was. I hope I will be as kind and compassionate as she was. And of course stylish!

We miss you every day Princess Diana Queen of Hearts.

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Pattern testing……take a look on what’s on my hook!

Bijou Blanket
Designed by Kylie from @StitchedUpCraft
Yarn: Marvel 8 plyColour: MintFrom: SpotlightHook: 4.5mm
#bijoublanket #patterntester #patterntesting #hexagon #crochetblanket #mintgreen #mint #instacrochet #spotlightstores #marvelyarn #stitchedupcraft #vickyshandcrafteddesigns

This pattern is a joy to crochet! It’s a brilliant combination of texture and plain stitches to form a diamond shape when the hexagons are joined!

Kylie as always allows for the crocheter to be creative in their colour choices. I choose a beautiful mint green Marvel 8ply from Spotlighthttps://spotlight.com.au

They have an amazing online store with everything a crafter could possibly need!

I have also been testing candles for Em and Me candle shop. They are an up and coming mother daughter duo who have developed a unique range of candle fragrances. I am currently testing a lemongrass and ginger candle and it is divine! The fragrance is clean and fresh and reminds me of a beautiful spring day!

Their candles will be available on their website soon. You can also contact them via Facebook and Instagram.

https://instagram.com/emandmecandleshop?utm_medium=copy_link

Make sure to subscribe to their newsletter to for all their latest updates!

And speaking of subscribing! Subscribe below to my blog to receive all the latest updates on my blog posts too!

Well hope you enjoy the rest of your day. Thank you so much for reading my post.

Vicky

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Newborn baby gift set. Available on sale now.

Are you or someone you know having a baby this year or have recently had one? Finding that perfect gift can be difficult.

I have gift packs available or sale that can help solve that dilemma.

All handmade and lovingly packed and wrapped with a beautiful ribbon. This gift will be given with pride.

Buy from my My Etsy Shop Etsy shop or buy directly from Facebook market place. Link below ⬇️

www.facebook.com/marketplace/item/561235018351609/

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Tech Tuesday – Struggling to lose weight? Here’s what helped me…….

My net diary

Up until I was in my mid 30’s I was pretty lucky regarding maintaining my goal weight. Add in three children and menopause at an early age and well my body went haywire and the weight just stacked on.

I tried countless diets over the years, Earth Diet, Keto diet, this diet that diet. I would lose some weight and then stack it back on plus more!

That is until I found My Net Diary. Its available in the Apple App store or Google Play. Its been a lifesaver and has held me accountable for over 3 years. Yes its a calorie counting app but unlike other apps you can set the pace you need to go at in order to lose the weight you want. You can set up a target date and target weight and My Net Diary will give you suggestions on meal plans, exercise and keep track of what you eat and how much protein, carbs etc are in each meal.

Keeping track of these features has helped me refine my eating habits and because I have to answer to My Net Diary every meal time I can see first hand if I have over done food wise for that meal.

You can keep track not only of your calories but also your insulin, blood pressure and various other medical issues you may have. This works well for those on insulin resistance diets as it helps you keep track of the amount of sugar you eat.

You can keep track of your body measurement, BMI and weight. It has links to meal plans and recipes in convenient categories to make it easy for you to meal plan.

You can add your friends to the app for support and help each other through the weight loss process as well as have access to a coach to help you through it. It also has a free and paid version so you can try before you buy!

Over everything I have tried this has helped me the most. I have 3 years worth of records and I can see the times I am most susceptible to putting on weight such as the holidays by looking at past charts.

Give the App a try and let me know how you go. I absolutley love it!

Thank you so much for reading and also check out my recipe page for healthy recipes that have helped me keep my weight down too.

Take a look at the App features below.

Vicky

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Monday motivation

I have released a new gift pack! I am so excited as I am enjoying working on these packs. All are handmade items made by me. Here is a preview of the next pack.

This pack will be available in my Etsy shop soon!

Made from acrylic soft baby yarn, the blanket measures 60 cm. Fits perfectly for a pram or bassinet or crib.

Made in a modern granny square design. The pack is $80 plus postage.

Can’t wait to show you more of the range of new crochet products!

Vicky

http://instagram.com/vickys_handcrafted_designs

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Finally Finished!

It’s finally finished my #spinyourgrannysquareblanket

Check out the photos below!

Spin Your Granny Square Blanket Crochet AlongPattern designed by: Kylie from @stitchedupcraft
Yarn: knitting room 8 ply acrylic Colours: Fuscia, Vanilla and Dusty pinkHook size: 4.5mm
#spinyourgrannysquareblanket #spinyourgrannysquare #crochetblanket #grannysquareblanket #grannysquare #grannysquares #grannysquareday2021 #instacrochet #crochet #crochetlove #stitchedupcraft #vickyshandcrafteddesigns

http://instagram.com/vickys_handcrafted_designs

This blanket will be part of a gift set. Stay tuned for details.

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Work in Progress – Wednesday

Are you looking for affordable handmade gift? …. I have some great ideas for you!

http://instagram.com/vickys_handcrafted_designs

I truly love handmade goods. I still have many handmade items given to me by my mother and mother in law. I have saved them to pass them on to my daughter.

I wanted to pass on the beautiful tradition of gifting handmade goods onto everyone.

My favourite handmade items are crocheted. I will be debuting my new range of blankets, toys and spa accessories.

I have listed some items in my Etsy shop already.

https://etsy.me/3iUQ3DC

Later in the week I will have another set for listing.

Visit my Instagram page for more details on the items available. https://instagram.com/vickys_handcrafted_designs

Here are some photos of completed and my work in progress designs

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Technical Tuesday – WordPress Advantages

Every Tuesday I like to provide my readers updates of the latest technology or apps I use to help me in my personal and business life.

One obvious one is the one I use to write my posts, WordPress! I was introduced to WordPress by a friend and absolutely loved it from the beginning. I started with the free version and as my blog gained traction I upgraded to the paid version and haven’t looked back!

I have tried a few different platforms over the years and website builders, but I keep coming back to Worpress.

I love WordPress for its simplicity and flexibility. The dashboard page is conveniently set out in a menu format so you can easily access the part of WordPress you would like. You can add commerce sites, blogs, advertising, format mailing lists and have your followers subscribe to your blog so they don’t miss out on updates. Photographs and videos are easily uploaded and you can add hashtags and captions to help your content be found on the internet.

Some of the add on and plugs in available are :

Canva – for all your graphic design needs.

Social media connection to all your social media sites

SMS marketing campaigns

Bookkeeping programs such as Quickbooks

CRM and sales tracking programs

E-commerce websites to sell your physical products

Advertising and marketing tools

You can also import content from other sites such as Blogger, Wix and Squarespace. The list and variety available through WordPress is amazing and impressive. You can customise your site using premade templates or start from scratch to add your personal touch. You can add projects to keep track of what you are working on and update your subscribers on your progress.

Overall WordPress is great for the beginner to the experienced blogger. You can also connect with other bloggers through the Reader section and comment on their blogs. Readers can like and comment on your content too. WordPress has a really good statistics sections which keeps track of who visits your site, from where and when. Its a great tool for formulating marketing content.

I definitely will be keeping with WordPress for a long time to come and I still have many features to explore.

What are your favourite blogging sites. Let me know below.

Thank you as always for reading my blog posts.

Vicky

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Work in progress Wednesday 11 August 2021

Is it just me or is this year flying by!

With Covid raging around the world it’s an anxious and stressful time for everyone. I hope you are able to keep safe wherever you are.

The one thing that keeps me sane during lockdown times is crochet. I get so lost in selecting yarns and patterns and counting stitches my mind doesn’t get a chance to wander and think of all the sadness in the world right now.

At the moment I am working on some blankets and baby accessories. I will have some items ready soon for a gift pack. I just got the boxes in today. I will show the preview on Friday.

Baby booties available soon in my Etsy shop

Above are a cute pair of baby booties. I still have to finish them but I love the colour and simplicity of the design.

Continuous granny square

August 15 is granny square day. I love to crochet continuous granny square blankets. They remind me of days of old. A beautiful traditional design that will last for decades to come. I am nearly finished the blanket. I am not sure of the name of this Caron cake but I love the blue and mint and white combination!

Stacks of blankets

These are some blankets I crocheted. Some from patterns and some my own ideas. They are in various stages from completed to just needing a boarder to needing just a few squares to complete.

I love the variety of colours and the warmth they radiate!

What are some of your favourite go to projects to unwind! Comment below!

Thank you so much for reading my blog. Take care and stay safe.

Vicky.

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Lockdown entertainment – Fun Games to Play….

Well here we are another week in lockdown. At this stage who knows when we can get back to normal. The added stress that lockdown causes can surely make life more difficult.

Sometimes I like to just zone out. Completely forget and unwind. My favourite games to play are card games. They keep your mind busy and can entertain you for hours!

On top of my list are Solitaire and Mahjong. Oldies but goodies. They are easy to play and now with online gaming Apps there is a vast array of variations of the games to keep you entertained.

One of the games I am loving at the moment is Mahjong by – The Solitaire Mahjong and Soduko company. Its an easy layout with different formations of the tiles for you to play. The App keeps scores and times so you can always look to beat your personal best. Its basic in colours and design but easy to use and the variety is fantastic. It does come with ads but if you get the premium version it will be ad free.

The second game app I am loving at the moment is Solitaire by – Microsoft Solitaire Collection. This App has all the classic card games including Klondike, Spider Solitaire, FreeCell (my personal favourite), Pyramid and TriPeaks.

It has different levels you can play from Easy to Difficult along with a random level which will deal cards at all different levels. There are daily challenges and bonus points as well. You can receive awards, change the theme and keep track of your statistics. It also has links to other Microsoft games such as Sudoko, Mahjong and Wordament.

They are easy to download from the Apple App store or Google Play. You can also sign in and link all your devices to the one game so you never miss out on your favourite game. Overall its great entertainment and definitely something you can get lost in for hours. A great distraction at a time like this.

Thank you as always for reading my blog. I hope you are all keeping safe.

Vicky

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Monday motivation…..

How many of you like to do craft projects? And how many of you have a tonne of projects on the go!

My craft centre

Me! Me! I guess it’s a crafter’s curse. No sooner do you start one project that your eyes and mind start to wander to the next and then the next!

So this weekend I made it my mission to put all my craft projects in one place! That way I can see them, they can see me, well not really but you know what I mean! They are there staring at me saying finish what you started!

So that’s the plan, the reality well we will have to wait and see!

In the meantime how cute is this dresser cupboard from http://www.kmart.com.au I often shop there as their range is fantastic and great prices that don’t blow your budget out! I also bought the baskets, faux books and large bowl from there too!

Now I have a heap of storage and I saved money too! The faux books are fantastic! They look amazing and you can hide all sorts of things inside! Ironically mine contain craft magazines and books.

The dresser is easy to put together and light as well so if you like moving your furniture around like I do, it won’t break your back!

The baskets and faux books are easy to look after! Just give them a wipe with a damp cloth or antibacterial wipe.

Overall I love the Kmart range of storage products and have bought many items for my home.

I might do a tour of my kitchen! It’s full of Kmart style items!

Well thank you for reading my post! Hopefully when I write next I will actually have a project finished!

Vicky

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Mid week blues….A quick and easy dinner recipe to combat those mid week blues

Lamb with potatoes and sour cream

Well you know how it is. It’s Wednesday, that day of the week where you are further away from Monday but still not close enough to Friday! Mid week meals can sometimes be difficult to plan as you know you will have to keep the momentum going for the rest of the week.

Well with a few simple ingredients you can whip up a delicious meal in no time. And bonus is you can make it completely lactose and gluten free!

Lamb with Roast Vegetables & Sour Cream

Prep time: 15-20 minutes (plus marinating lamb overnight, the night before.)

Cooking time: 1 hour

Serves 4-6

Ingredients

8 lamb chops

1 tablespoon lactose free butter

Marinade Ingredients

1/4 olive oil

1/2 cup lemon juice

1 teaspoon dried oregano

1 teaspoon dried parsely

salt and pepper to taste

Ingredients for roast vegetables

1 kilo potatoes

1/2 butternut pumpkin

2 large zucchinis

1 tablespoon vegetable stock

2 tablespoons olive oil

1/2 tablespoon dried rosemary

Garnishing Ingredients

1 tub lactose free sour cream

1 tablespoon dried chives

Roti bread to serve

Instructions

  1. In a large glass bowl add ingredients for the marinade and whisk to combine. Add lamb chops and leave to marinate overnight if possible. If not half and hour will do.
  2. Pre heat oven to 180 degrees Celsius, in a glass bowl place oil, vegetable stock, and rosemary, mix together. Place whole potatoes in bowl and coat with mixture. Place potatoes in an greased oven proof dish and place in oven to bake. (leave 1 hour to bake)
  3. Place chopped pumpkin and zucchini in glass bowl that potatoes where in and mix to combine, when potatoes have baked for at least 1/2 hour then place zucchini and pumpkin in the oven to bake.
  4. Place butter in heavy based fry pan and let melt, add lamb chops and fry each side until cooked, roughly 6-8 minutes each side
  5. Once cooked set aside in a clean dish and cover.
  6. Once vegetables have cooked in the oven you can assemble your plate by placing 1-2 lamb chops in plate, top lamb chops with some sour cream and chives. Place a roast potato topped with sour cream and chives as well as the zucchini and pumpkin on the plate. Serve with Roti bread.

I hope you enjoyed this recipe. It’s quick, simple and easy and full of nutrients. Hopefully it makes your mid week meal more enjoyable.

Thank you for reading my latest post.

Vicky

Please note this is an original recipe by me. Please do not copy. If you wish to share my recipe please quote my blog page www.vickyshandcrafteddesigns.blog

Thank you!

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Throwback Thursday…….

Gluten & Dairy Free Lasagna Recipe!

Looking back at one of my favourite recipes to create! Lasgna! It’s always been a favourite of mine and what I love about it most is you can create whatever sauce or filling you want! There are even dessert versions of it!

This recipe is gluten free and dairy free. Since having to watch both I did miss out for a while! San Remo pasta have brought out a wonderful range of gluten free pasta so you don’t have to miss out. Along with Bio plant based cheese it’s great to be able to eat my favourite food again!

Check out my recipe below!

Prep Time : 1/2 hour

Sauce cooking time: 3-4 hours

Lasagna Cooking time: 30-40 minutes

Serves: 4

Sauce Ingredients

2 bottles tomato passata 700g each bottle- I used the Mutti brand from Woolworths

800g can diced tomatoes – I used Woolworths brand Italian diced tomatoes

1/4 Olive oil – I used Woolworths Brand Olive oil

1 tablespoon dried oregano

1 teaspoon dried basil (again with both dried herbs I used the Woolworths Home brand

Salt and pepper to taste

Please note you can add 1/2 diced onion and 1 teaspoon crushed garlic if you like. For me I can’t have those so I didn’t put them in.

Instructions

  1. In a large heavy based pan, pour in olive oil, then passata, and diced tomatoes, add herbs, and salt and pepper. (If you are adding onion and garlic, fry these in the oil first for a minute and then add other ingredients) Fill one of the passata bottles 3/4 way with water and add to sauce. Stir all ingredients together.
  2. Set heat on high and bring sauce to a boil. Once boiled, simmer on low heat for 3-4 hours. The longer you leave to simmer on low heat the better the sauce you will get. If you see the sauce thicken too much add a little bit of water and stir. Sauce should be a thick liquid consitency such as a pumpkin soup consistency.
  3. Once cooked take off heat and set aside and get the rest of your lasagna ingredients ready.

Lasagna Filling Ingredients

500g beef mince (I prefer to use the grass fed mince from Woolworths, it has less fat content)

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 tablespoon dried oregano

1 teaspoon dried basil

1 cup of the prepared sauce

salt and pepper to taste

1/4 cup parmesan cheese

1/4 cup grated mozzarella

400g mozzarella extra

200 g grated parmesan extra

again if you wish to use onion put in approx 1/4 finely diced onion and 1 teaspon garlic and fry with mince.

Instructions

  1. Place olive oil in heavy based saucepan, turn on heat to medium, if adding onion and garlic, add in first and fry for 1 minute, add mince and fry until browned.
  2. Add in herbs, salt and pepper, stir through
  3. Add 1 cup of prepared sauce, stir through then add 1/4 cup each of the mozzarella and parmesan cheese, stir through and set heat to a low simmer, simmer for approx 15-20 minutes, Continue stirring occasionally, If mixture seems to dry out add a bit more sauce.
  4. Once cooked, turn off heat and set aside for when you are ready to assemble lasagna.

Please see below for steps. I have added in this one fried eggplant but you can add other vegetables if you wish.

Assembling Lasanga

  1. Have lasgana sheets ready
  2. Cover the bottom of a glass or ceramic dish with sauce
  3. Layer pasta sheets to cover bottom of dish
  4. Top with spoonfuls of mince meat, add extra mozzarella and parmesan cheese, ladle tomato sauce on top to cover meat and cheese, add the next layer of pasta and continue until you reach the top of the dish. Sprinkle parmesan cheese on top and cover with alfoil.
  5. Bake at 180 degrees Celsius for 30-40 minutes. (check at the 30 minute mark if pasta is not yet cooked leave for a bit more.
  6. Always make sure on the final layer that you cover the lasagna sheets completely with enough sauce so that the pasta doesn’t dry out when cooking.
  7. Enjoy with some Italian bread and a nice bottle of wine!
Have lagsana sheets ready
Place a couple of laddles full of prepared pasta sauce on bottom of glass or ceramic baking dish

Thank you as always for reading my blog post. To make this receipe economical I used mainly Woolworths home brand ingredients.

You can also make this dish in disposable aluminium trays and freeze after cooking to reheat when needed.

Hope you enjoyed this recipe

Vicky

Please note this post is not sponsored or affiliated with anyone. The recipe is one I put together using ingredients I enjoy using.

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Workin progress Wednesday…..

First of all let me say thank you to you all for the overwhelmingly support I have had on here the last few days! It’s truly brightened my days!

We just got told this morning we are in for an lockdown! Four weeks this time! So I am trying to pass the time to finish up some of my crochet projects.

This first one is a Spin Your Granny Square blanket crochet along. Kylie from Stitchedupcraft does one every year.

This year I decided on a pink theme. Reminds me of delicious strawberries and cream and strawberry ice cream sundae!

I am nearly finished which is exciting! This is the progress so far.

Spin your Granny Square blanket

What do you guys think so far? Can’t wait until I finish it!

I received some orders today for this gorgeous Amigurumi bunny.

Amigurumi bunny

I will be sending these out later in the week.

All in all it’s going to be a pretty busy week.

I hope you are all well where ever you are.

Thank you for reading my blog post

Vicky

http://instagram.com/vickys_handcrafted_designs

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Looking for a new Scheduler or Planner? …..

I have found the perfect one for you!

Life just gets busier doesn’t it! And with many of us forced to work from home or to home school our children, keeping track of all the things we need to do can be overwhelming.

I found this gorgeous planner on Kiki. K website. I absolutely love their range of stationery and office supplies, There are many different types of diaries and planners to choose from and you can colour co-ordinate too.

I found this Plan – Kiki. K planner to be most suitable for me, not only does it look cute! It is spiral bound which I love. This makes it easier for the book to lay flat and for you to be able to write on. Its pages consist of a:

  1. Monthly calendar – At the beginning of every weekly sequence, there is a monthly one page calendar so you can customise it with the necessary details, such as bills due, appointments, zoom calls, etc. Being all on one page you can see at a glance what you are doing when so hopefully times won’t clash and looking up reminders is easy and quick.

2. A week to week section – After the monthly page there is a week to week section. Where you can write in more detail what is happening that week. The pages don’t have horizontal lines so you can customise it however you want. Perfect for the ones that like to decorate their diaries, bullet journal style. There is also a notes section to pop in anything important or a reminder.

3. At the back of the planner there are pages with ruled lines and also grid pages, these are great for writing longer notes or drawing up ideas.

The planner comes in A4 and A5 styles and with the ring binding you can clip a pen to it so that you have one available at all times.

Check out the Kiki. K website for more of their beautiful stationery products. I know I will! Well happy planning. Thank you for reading!

Vicky.

See below pictures of the different sections of the planner.

PLANNER SECTIONS

Please note this post is not sponsored or affiliated with anyone. These are my personal experiences with products which I want to share with you.

KIki K planner
Set your goals!

Month at a glance page

Week by week section with notes

Lines pages for adding longer notes

Grid pages for drawing

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Thrifty Thursday….. tips on how to save money around your home

This week I want to talk about some of the left over snacks your kids decide they don’t want anymore. You know the ones, the new type of chips or muesli bars! My kids love chips & wanted the Kettle or Red Rock style chips. I had found an equivalent at Aldi’s which was way cheaper and tasted just as good. So this went well for a few weeks until well, they don’t like chips anymore and I was left with packets of the ones they didn’t eat. I thought about throwing them out but that would have been a waste!

Instead I put them in a food processor turned them into crumbs, which I then blended with some spices and flour and made chicken schnitzels. I had two flavours left over, Sea Salt and Sweet Chilli, I made separate crumb mixtures as some of my family members below cant eat spicy stuff. Scroll down below for the method used and recipe for Crunchy Chicken Schniztels.

Aldi’s Chips
Place in food processor
Pulse until chips are fine crumbs
Place in deep bowl or dish and add flour and spices
Dip chicken slices into egg mixture
Coat in Flour and chip crumb mixture
Fry until crispy golden brown and enjoy!

Crunchy Chicken Schnitzel Recipe

Ingredients

Left over stale chips (approximatley 1 medium pack or 2-3 smaller packs

2 cups plain flour

3/4 finely grated parmesan cheese

1 teaspoon dried oregano

1 teaspoon dried parsley

salt and pepper to taste

4 eggs lightly beaten

Canola or vegetable oil

500 g chicken breast cut into thing slices lengthwise

Method

  1. Place chips in food processer and pulse until fine crumbs form.
  2. Place chip crumbs in deep bowl or dish along with flour, herbs, cheese and salt and pepper. Hand mix until all combined
  3. Break 4 eggs into a separate deep bowl or dish and beat until combined.
  4. In a shallow plate pour enough flour to cover surface of plate and season with salt and pepper
  5. Wash and slice chicken into thin slices, place on clean plate and season with salt and pepper, layer chicken slices one on top of the other seasoning as you go.
  6. Once you have done that, grab a slice and place it in the plate with the flour only. Coat on both sides, dip both sides of the chicken into the egg and then place in the dish with the chip and flour crumb mixture and coat both sides. Place crumbed chicken in a separate clean plate.
  7. Once you have coated all the chicken pour oil into a heavy based frying pan to cover at least 2/3 up the side of the pan, enough to submerge the crumbed chicken
  8. Gently lower 4-5 piece of crumbed chicken at a time and fry on each side until golden brown. Remove pieces of chicken once cooked and place on a clean plate lined with paper towel to drain. Repeat the process until all the chicken has been cooked.
  9. Once cooked cover with foil and serve with mash potatoes or your favourite salad. Or load them up with gravy and cheese!
  10. Left overs can be used in sandwiches the next day.

All ingredients for this meal have been purchased from Aldi https://www.aldi.com.au/ and Woolworths Supermarkets. https://woolworths.com.au

Please note this is not a sponsored post nor am I being paid for my opinion. These are just tips I use to help me save money and I want to pass them on the help others too.

Comment below on your favourite money saving tips for around the home.

Thank you for reading my post.

Vicky

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It’s Wednesday so it’s work in progress time!

Well it’s that wonderful day of the week again when the working week is kind of half over but you still are two days away from Friday! Hence the name I guess “hump day”

Well to is the day I usually keep you up to date on my crochet work “WIP’s” crochet lingo for work in progress.

This week I want to feature a cute crochet beanie and fingerless glove set I am work on. The beanie is in 100% wool in Charcoal and the gloves are in acrylic yarn in Teal. This set will be available for made to order in my Etsy shop soon. http://www.etsy.com/your/shops/VickysHandcraftedDes

100% wool beanie
Work in progress- fingerless gloves

I am hoping to have this set finished by Friday and I will post final photos. I have more work in progress projects such as the Stitchedupcraft #spinyourgrannysquarecal I am commencing to join the granny squares. I am excited to finish this one. Below are some of the squares.

Spin Your Granny Square blanket
Squares ready to be joined

There are a few more but I won’t bore you with them this week! Thank you as always for reading my posts. It means so much to me!

Vicky

http:/Instagram.com/Vickys_Handcrafted_Designshttp://instagram.com/Vickys_Handcrafted_Designs

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Snap! It’s Tech Tuesday!

Ever taken a bunch of photos and thought they looked great while you were taking them only to look back and realise they are too bright or dark or not centred. Maybe there is something in the background you wish you hadn’t captured!

I found a great App called Snapseed.

Snapseed App

It’s a one stop shop to help you fix your photos. You can adjust things like the light balance, shadows, brilliance, enhance or blur parts of the photo. As well as crop or adjust the perspective of the photo. And that’s just to name a few! There are also filters and automatic settings you can use to adjust your photo!

Before Snapseed adjustments
After Snapseed adjustment.

In the above photos I was able to add more light into the photo and bring attention to the hat in the centre.

Before Snapseed adjustments

You can add text and do so many things. You can save a copy of the photo so the original is saved without alterations should you need to go back to the original.

After Snapseed adjustments

All the different options are presented in a dashboard sequence so that you don’t have to access a tonne of menus to get to your option.

It has both free and paid versions. Obviously with the paid version you have more options, but in my opinion it’s worth the money.

Well thank you again for reading my blog post. Hope this app is useful to you! You can download it either from your Apple or Google play store.

Vicky

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Monday Motivation

It’s a really stressful time for everyone. COVID doesn’t look like it’s going away soon. Hope everyone stays safe. Please stay home. If it’s not necessary don’t go out anywhere.

Here is a quote which I hope will give strength.

Stay safe, stay strong

Vicky

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It’s Sunday……So that means it’s pancakes!

Take a look at a quick at an easy recipe for fluffy pancakes to suit everyone in the family.

Fluffy pancakes- perfect Sunday breakfast!
Chocolate chip pancakes

My husband and daughter like their pancakes plain. Myself and the boys love our chocolate chip. So I came up with a method where I do one mix and then separate and add the other ingredients. Saves me time and we all get what we want!

Easy Pancake Recipe

Serves 4

Prep time: 5 minutes

Cooking time : approximately 10 minutes

Ingredients

2 medium size eggs

1 3/4 c milk (I used almond milk)

2 c self raising flour ( you can swap for glutenfree)

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Pinch of salt

Optional ingredients for Chocolate chip pancakes

1 cup milk chocolate chips (can use Noshu sugar free ones if you want)

2 teaspoons caster sugar (add more if you like sweeter pancakes

1/4 pure maple syrup

Instructions

1) beat 2 eggs in large glass bowl until creamy. Add vanilla and mix through

2) Gradually add flour and milk, alternating between each and thoroughly mixing each addition until all the milk and flour is incorporated.

3) grab a second glass bowl and pour half of the mixture into it. Add the optional ingredients and mix through

4) heat up a heavy based frying pan or a pancake maker. I used the http://www.kambrook.com.au Kambrook pancake maker. It’s easy to use. Just lightly spray between each addition of batter and it makes perfect fluffy pancakes every time.

Kambrook Pancake maker
Kambrook pancake maker

5) when frying the pancakes start with the plain batter first and then once you finish fry the chocolate chip ones next.

6) Serve with maple syrup, or jam or butter and fruit or basically any toppings you like!

I hope this recipe was enjoyable and easy to follow. Feel free to comment if I have left anything out.

Thank you for ready and enjoy your Sunday!

Vicky!

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END OF THE FINANCIAL YEAR – WHY WE HATE IT AND WHAT WE CAN DO TO MAKE LIFE EASIER FOR OURSELVES

Well here we are again. The end of another financial year and the start of the new one. I can hear you all crying into your coffee right now! Its a stressful time, a time where we rush to get everything ready and a time we realise we should have taken more care during the year.

I developed a very easy system to help me file and keep track of all our business correspondence. I want to share it with you.

Arch Lever Folders

I purchased some Arch lever folders from www.officeworks.com.au and labelled them with the information I needed. For me I needed a folder to separate our admin costs with our supplier costs. Also because we deal with a tonne of emails daily I needed a folder to file the ones we had finished with but still needed to keep in case I had to refer back to something.

Inside each folder I put a set of alphabetical tabs so that when I pay a supplier or admin cost I file it under that tab. For instance my telephone bill would go under T. etc. On the spine of the folder I also added the financial year. Here we go from July to June. Weird yeah I know but you get used to it.

At the end of the financial year I simply lift out the pages along with the tabs and secure with foldable clips. See photo below.

Archiving

I use a scrap piece of paper to add information at the front so I know which files these are, for instance “Administration Expenses Paid July to June 2021” I then place the stack in an archive box which I also purchased from www.officeworks.com.au . I place the paper standing up by the spine with the clip side facing up. This makes it easier for me to grab should I need to look back on them.

Archiving station

As you can see from the photo above I also used some spare cardboard boxes we had laying around. I purchased the shelf from Officeworks as well so that I can add boxes easily as I need them. These boxes are fantastic as you can grab them, lift the lid off and look through what you need. They fit A4 size quite easily. I also purchased a half shelf (see photo below) so that I can use it as a work bench. From memory I think the shelves were $65 for the larger shelf and $40 for the smaller one. You will need to assemble them yourself or for an extra fee Officeworks can do that for you.

Archiving Station

And there you have it, in a couple of easy steps you have archived your files for the year. Should you need to refer back to anything its all labelled and neatly put in the boxes. Next what I do is I put in fresh tabs into the arch lever folders so that I can begin filing for the next year.

Its an easy and simple system which doesn’t cost too much and you can tailor it to suit your needs. www.officeworks.com.au have a fabulous range of products to help you with all your end of financial year needs.

Thank you again for reading my posts. Next week I will show you a simple system I use to file my cash register receipts.

Take care

Vicky

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Monday Motivation!

Do what you Can!

In today’s world there is so much going on. We feel pressured to be everywhere and be everything to everyone. I am guilty of this, feeling like I always have to be on top of things and do everything everyone wants otherwise I am not worthy of them.

The truth is, as humans, that is basically impossible. You cannot do everything, you will not ever please everyone. In this I have learnt to do what I can, with what I have. If someone is not pleased, well that someone needs to look at themselves because I did that best that I could with the resources I had.

See the source image

Getting older has helped me develop this strategy. It’s true as you get older you basically wont give a….. Well you know how that saying goes.

Life shapes and moulds you, sometimes into ways you don’t want to be. You have to believe in yourself and be confident that you did the best you could. Its only when we are truly happy with ourselves that we can be truly free of the emotional chains others put on us.

I hope you all have a fabulous week and that it brings you all good things. Thank you again for reading my posts.

Vicky

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Wednesday work in progress

Otherwise known as hump day!

Spin Your Granny Square blanket

Well here we are in the middle of the week again. The hard part is over and Friday is just around the corner.

It’s been a hectic week but I have been lucky enough to be able to work on my #spinyourgrannysquareblankethttp://www.instagram.com/vickys_handcrafted_designs Take a look at my Instagram post for details.

It’s a really great pattern and has so much variety. Follow the links on my page to join.

Well must dash I am cooking burgers as I write this. I have a cool hack too for those nights you don’t want to cook.

Vicky

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Another lockdown……Another work from home day!

See the source image
Slack App – https://slack.com/intl/en-au/

Again we are in another lockdown, stressful but necessary. Many of us are able to take our jobs home and work from our home offices or dining tables.

Lucky for us there is an abundance of technology to make our lives so much easier to communicate with customers, suppliers and fellow employees.

One of my favourite apps to use is Slack. Its easy to install on your computer and makes messaging with your co-workers effortless.

You can set up projects within the app and communicate within that particular project adding only the people involved so that your communications don’t get muddled up, which can often happen when writing emails back and forth.

You can have several separate conversations regarding different matters or include everyone in the one conversation if need be. You can share updates and other information to make project management and other work related matters run more smoothly.

Its definitely a favourite of mine and saves me so much time sifting through emails to find the right one to respond to. Check out the app in the Apple or Google play store. It downloads easily to your mobile or mobile tablet too. That way you can keep the communication going where ever you are. You can also create an account and link your devices. All in all its one awesome App.

Thank you again for reading my posts. I will highlight another of my favourite apps next Tuesday

Vicky

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You Spin me round and round!

#tbt #throwback #throwbackthursday

Spin your Granny Square Blanket

Not only is that one of my favourite songs! It’s also one of my favourite crochet patterns! The Spin Your Granny Square pattern from Stitchedupcraft.

Kylie from Stitchedupcraft has the most amazing selection of patterns. The instructions are easy to follow and what I love most about her patterns is that you can add your own creative spin!

The Spin Your Granny Square Blanket allows you to do just that! With a few simple instructions and following Kylie’s layout templates, there are hundreds of different combinations to choose from.

Spin Your Granny Square blanket

My favourite thing to do is follow the #spinyourgrannnysquareblanket hashtag and see all the different creative combinations people have thought of!

Last week Kylie started a #crochetalong with a new series of the #spinyourgranysquareblanket I was excited to start a new one and this time have decided to go with pinks and white. I will bring you the progress as I crochet along!

Thank you so much for reading my post. I wish you all a wonderful day!

Vicky

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Finally its Friday!

This week has just dragged on…..or is it just me? It’s been a week of wins and loses, surprises and well not so surprises. I haven’t had a mixed bag of a week like this in a long time. One thing its taught me though is not to give in so quickly to my emotions. Sometimes without realising it we are giving people confusing signals. Life changes so fast they have no idea if we are happy, sad, mad, glad. So note to myself, must have poker face on at all times and quietly implode internally!

On the winning side of things, https://www.crochetmagazine.com/ featured my www.instagram.com photograph of the Aster Chunky Crochet Rug I am working on. I was so excited to be scrolling down my Insta feed and see my photo on their timeline! This has never actually happened to me before! Well that I can remember anyway! It restored my faith in my achievements and told me yes I can do it and why not should I be able too! Always have faith as you never know when your next big break will be!

http://www.instagram.com/vickys_handcrafted_designs

Aster Chunky Rug – Pattern Designed by: Stitchedupcraft

This also counts for the surprise side of things! As for the negative side of things well who wants to dwell on that! Not me! Instead lets talk about the cute Alpaca amigurumi set I am crocheting at the moment!

Pattern by : Lucy Collins

Aren’t they adorable! I am hoping to finish this up by the weekend, well at least one of them anyway! Details of the yarn I used and where the pattern is from can be found in my Instagram post. https://www.instagram.com/p/CQPG09wr0ei/ . The pattern is designed by Lucy Collins and featured in the book Quick and Easy Crochet. This book is available from http://www.woolworths.com.au

There are a few other projects I am working on at the moment and I will tell about those as I make progress. I do sell a lot of the work I do and I also take custom orders. So if there is anything that catches your eye, send me a message on http://www.instagram.com/vickys_handcrafted_designs and I can get back to you about the details.

Thank you once again for taking the time to read my blog post. Have a wonderful weekend.

Vicky

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Need somewhere handy to store your notes?

Read about a great App I use to keep all my notes organised! Best of all its free!

Image result for notes app

You know the struggle, you have to remember something or someone gives you information and you are running around looking for pen and paper to write it on!

Thats me most of the time! And most of the time I throw my arms up in fustration as despite me having a million pens and scraps of paper, I can never find one in that moment.

I discovered the notes app that comes with Iphone and it is brilliant! Not only can you type notes and lists on there. You can copy links, pictures and so much more! I save hashtags and copy and paste to my instagram whenever I need to and also my favourite recipes!

The great thing about it too is you can link it to your ICloud and also a gmail account so you can access the same notes from different devices. You can also create folders to house different notes you need access for all the time, such as contacts, recipes, instructions and so much more.

Overall its one of the best Apps I have used so far and believe me I have tried all sorts of note taking Apps, this by far exceeds my expectations!

So next time you a scrolling through your phone take a look and see if you have this App, it truly is a game changer!

Thank you for reading and I wish you all a wonderful week.

Next week I will talk about an easy to do list App I came across! Stay tuned.

Vicky

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Its been an exciting week so far! And its only Wednesday – Let me tell you all about it!

Sometimes when you let go……..you gain. This week has certainly taught me that lesson! I let go of my fears, my anxiety and constant worrying and just learnt to enjoy and savour every moment. And what an exciting week it has been!

The beautiful Veronica Neal from https://www.facebook.com/GiftingEmporium/ has sent me this stunning photo of her gorgeous hamper selection available for the month of June. Veronica runs a local gift hamper business and has a selection of quality hampers to suit all tastes and budgets. Every month she curates a selection of local products to include in her hampers. I am proud to announce that this month my handmade crochet facewashers and scrubbies are included in the hamper. Made from 100% cotton/bamboo. They are soft and long lasting, machine washable and make an excellent addition to any selfcare routine.

I custom make these washers and scrubbies, so if there is a particular colour you are after please message me on my instagram page http://instagram.com/vickys_handcrafted_designs for colours and pricing. And don’t forget to pop on over to Veronica’s Facebook page for details on how you can order your hamper!

Thank you so much Veronica! Its always a pleasure and an honour to work with you and your business.

The Art of Crochet

For those of you who have been following my blog for a while now, you may have seen my Art of Crochet squares. I truly love this series as it teaches you step by step on how to crochet different stitches. I have learnt so much, so far and every week there is a new square in the series, which you then sew together to form a blanket! Check out your local newswagent or magazine distributor to see if they have the series for you to buy. Take a look at my instagram page http://instagram.com/vickys_handcrafted_designs for more progress details.

Star Blanket – graph-o-gram – by All Shades of Crochet

I am excited to announce I am pattern testing for the lovely Jean from All Shades of Crochet. Jean is an up and coming designer with some pretty amazing designs. She is incredibley talented and a very beautiful person. Its been great meeting her and catching up with her over Zoom. I will put up progress photos as I crochet. I really love the design and can’t wait to share Jean’s amazing design skills with you all.

Well that brings me to the end of my #wip #workinprogress, work in progress Wednesday. Thank you once again for taking the time to read my blog. I hope its been enteraining for you.

Catch up with you all tomorrow.

Vicky

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Do you want to save time on posting on Social Media? I can show you how!

Time is something that gets away from all of us! But if you look carefully you can find time saving ideas, such as the Hootsuite app available in your Apple or Google play store. It takes all the hardwork out of keeping up on social media and gives you much needed down time.

The free version allows you to connect to 3 of your social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram or Twitter to name a few. You can upload content and photos to the app and use the scheduler to decide what you will post where and when! All for your smart phone!

So next time you are relaxing with your favourite beverage, pick up your smartphone and start scheduling your social media for the week, month and so on. Set and forget!

Next Tuesday I will talk about another app I use to help me be more productive and saves me time when posting social media content.

Until then, thank you for reading and catch up with you next time.

Vicky

Please note: I don’t get paid any commission or funds to recommend this app. This is purely my opinion based on my personal experience

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Monday Blues – How to be inspired

Copyright: Vickys Handcrafted Designs 2021

Its that dreaded day of the week again. You know the one where the alarm clock seems to sound the loudest. The morning seems colder and your back even more sore.

Its difficult to get started again after you have spent what should hopefully have been a fun and relaxing weekend. I have know come to make peace with Mondays and look at them as a new beginning. A day to start fresh and to come up with new ideas and new concepts.

The day no longer fills me with dread instead, I look forward to it. I hit the ground running and set up the theme for the coming week. Make Monday your friend. You will be happy you did.

Here is a little quote I designed to help you through this Monday.

Copyright: Vickys Handcrafted Designs 2021

I hope this has inspired you and that you are worthy each and every single day! Have a fabulous Monday and hope the rest of the week is just as fabulous!!!

If you wish to purchase a print of this quote please follow the link below and you can direct message me for orders.

http://instagram.com/vickys_handcrafted_designs

Vicky

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The Art of Crochet

A wonderful series to teach you the relaxing and rewarding art of crochet.

I was always interested in crocheting but thought I would never learn. My poor mum tried to teach me to no avail.

One day I was walking past the news agency and noticed this series so I thought why not , I will give it another go. I am so happy I did as I was able to teach myself to crochet and I haven’t looked back since.

I have learnt many different stitches and techniques, even making gifts for friends and family with my new found skills.

Here is a selection of the first 10 squares of series.

Square 1 – Double crochet square
DC thru front loop square
DC thru back loop square
Half treble square
Half treble stripes square
Square 6 – Treble crochet
Square 7 – Tr and dc mix stitches square
Square 8 – Single – colour granny square
Easy Granny Square
Square 10 – Two-colour Granny Square

And there you have it the first 10 squares of The Art of Crochet throw.

Each issue has the instructions to one square of the throw along with other wonderful crochet items you can make.

Colours used in these squares include:

– Lime green

– Bright pink

– Mauve

– Sunshine yellow

– Turquoise

– Purple

– Navy

– Periwinkle

– Orange

– Teal

Stitches covered in the first 10 squares

– Slip stitch

– Chain stitch

– Double crochet

– Half treble crochet

– Treble crochet

– Front Stitch Loop

– Back Stitch Loop

– Popcorn stitch

– Cluster Stitch

I really enjoyed making these squares. I will put up the next 10 squares in the series once I finish them.

Vicky

Vicky’s Handcrafted Designs

This week at Vickys Handcrafted Design Headquarters…….

It’s been an exciting week here at Vickys Handcrafted Designs. I have launched a new newborn gift pack full of beautiful handmade products. Included in the pack is the gorgeous Bijou blanket I have been working on. The pattern was designed by Stitched up Craft. I have made a few of her designs and absolutely love them.

I have designed this pack to give comfort to the newborn baby and mum. Included in the pack are some beautiful items to create a relaxing atmosphere in your nursery or baby area, including a relaxing candle from Em and Me Candle shop and a beautiful book to read to your child called Why I love going to Grandma’s house. By L C Wilson. It’s a gorgeous book full of beautiful illustrations and a beautiful story of a child’s memories visiting her grandmother.

Along with the blanket, candle and book I have included two beautiful keepsakes. A plaque by Etch your heart out and a gorgeous clay bear motif made by Designs By Sasha.

All in all it’s a beautiful and unique gift pack that would bring joy to a new mum and her Bub. Or buy it for yourself and your new baby!

Shop direct from my blog http://www.vickyshandcrafteddesigns.blog

This pack is available in Australia only as at present I don’t have the postage facilities available to sell overseas. Hopefully some time in the future I will.

Over the next few months I will be releasing more gift packs and individual pieces. I can’t wait to show you each one as I finish them.

Take care everyone and thank you for reading my blog.

Vicky

Nearly there! Take a look at the latest pattern testing I am doing!

I really love pattern testing for designers. I learn so many new skills and meet the most amazing people through it.

I recently finished the Star Blanket by Jean Harrison. She is a new designer with amazing ideas in picture blankets.

It’s been fun crocheting this blanket and I have learnt some amazing new skills I can bring to my new products. Thank you Jean for giving me the opportunity to test this wonderful design!

Star Blanket
Pattern by: Jean Harrison- All Shades of Crochet
Yarn used: Grey – Pure Wool in Dark GreyButtercup Yellow – Carnival Yarn by Panda Yarns from Spotlight Urban basics Super ball in Lilac – From Lincraft
#crochet #crochetblanket #crochetlove #crochetaddict #instacrochet #star #starblanket #patterntesting #newborngifts #babygifts

An easy Sunday lunch recipe so you can enjoy your Sunday.

I have a confession to make, over the last week in he been eating really badly! Fried foods, sugary foods, fatty foods! I was doing really well and lost some weight. The last week being a stressful one, I resorted to my old eating habits. So my body craved something fresh and light and healthy.

Chicken is always a great start to get back in track. It’s easy to digest and high in protein. Add in some raw vegetables and already I am feeling better.

Chicken Salad Grazing Plate

250g chicken, thinly sliced

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 tablespoon mixed herbs

25 g plant based butter

Sliced salad vegetables to taste

I used

Celery

Carrot

Cucumber

Salt to taste

Instructions

1) Slice chicken into thin slices and place in a glass bowl. Add olive oil, salt and herbs. Mix to combine.

2) Heat up a heavy based frying pan and melt butter in the pan. Stir fry the chicken until browned and cooked through.

3) Arrange in plate with sliced vegetables and enjoy! Drizzle with your favourite salad dressing if you like.

Thank you as always for reading my posts and I hope you enjoy this recipe.

Vicky

A Healthy Lunch Recipe….Perfect for the whole family!

When it comes to Sunday who wants to spend ages in the kitchen. Sunday’s are for relaxing and spending time with the family. Here is a quick recipe that’s done in less than 1/2 hour. Fresh and healthy for the whole family.

Chicken and Avocado Salad

Thank you for reading my blog post. Please note this is my original recipe so if you want to share it please refer back to my page. Take care and I wish you all a relaxing day!

Vicky

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