Friday, 21 October 2016

September at The Cupcake House

It seems strange that we've sped through another month and September feels so very long ago! I really can't remember it very well. It didn't start off great with the notice being given on our house but after some real searching, council help and a couple of weeks we got a new house in place.
Apart from the stress of properties and council appointments I need photos to remind me what we got up to! Here goes...

Before we knew it, it was back to school time which meant early alarms and saying goodbye to our lazy mornings! We had a yummy Costa a few days before we had to get back to our routine but the first day soon came around. Now I have a year 1 and a year 4, how can that be? My little ones posed in their uniform together and separately for our yearly back to school photo session in the dining room before we headed off. They have so far had a really good first term back.

Stress and the broken clothes horse//Costa date//Setting school alarms//Midge on her first day//Siblings together//Little Man posing//A little peak into our new place//Browsing the supermarket magazine//Pooch checking out the dull day view

There have been plenty of things going on at school to keep us busy and I kept myself busy too with lots of packing and freecycling. The children enjoyed Roald Dahl day where I sent them in with their own dream jars I made myself. They also made some at school but mine were definitely better haha! I visited the pet shop, not to buy any animals don't worry, I just like looking at the hamsters and we met a cool parrot who even said 'see you later' to us as we left! The weather really took a turn for the worse in September, a lot of our roads became flooded, some businesses are still closed because they've had to totally refit their shops. The Kinetic sand we received from my sister as part of our Wicked Uncle review was the perfect distraction from the rain and cold so we all spent hours on the floor of the dining room playing about.

Cookie munchies//Dream jars for school//Cute parrot in the pet shop//Dull weather and plenty of rain on the school pick up!//Chocolate,sand and a nail varnish pillow from Wicked Uncle// Kinetic sand// Lots of playing about with our new sand//I got fed up of plucking so bought facial razors. Rubbish name but at least I can get rid of hair much quicker!

I have spent a lot of time with some new friends I've made from Little A's class. It's so nice to chill out after the school run at Costa every now and then before heading home to housework and other jobs. I've tested Mustela's skincare range out on my families sensitive skin and we had fun trying our the different creams and using the bath milk! Little was really keen which was surprising given he usually hates creams! Oh yes, the new £5 notes came out. I was quite excited to get one actually although I'm not so keen on them and the novelty has worn off now!
As September drew to a close we had boxes surrounding us and were all sleeping in one room so we could clear the attic room and store boxes from upstairs in Little A's room (no big deal considering he was mostly in with me anyway!) We got our moving in date at the end of September so I started changing addresses and doing all the boring stuff early which has paid off!  

Hot chocolate and me time//New skincare products to try//The new £5 note//Lovely photo of Roo and I//Looking out at the miserable weather//Some fab stickers I found in The Card Factory//Meeting up with friends and their dog for a nice peppermint tea//A lovely random act of kindness in happy mail form from a lovely lady

Soon it'll be time for me to catch up on our October! It's going so fast this year but this is my favourite time with Halloween, my birthday and of course, Christmas! 

Cupcake Mumma

Monday, 10 October 2016

October Goals

I got this idea from Angela at Adventures in Websterland because it really seems to help her focus on the areas she most needs to focus on each month. It's great seeing what people's goals are each month no matter how big or small. Here are my goals for October:

To loose weight (no number just to have lost weight)
To enjoy our night away at the end of October in a hotel but to not waste any money
Sort out change of address and the energy suppliers- dull!
To have caught up on my snail mail
To celebrate my birthday

To sort my finances again
For the children to have at least 4 Christmas presents each put back
To have paid £20 towards Midges London trip and something towards Little A's Plymouth trip

Decorate the house for Halloween
Go trick or treating, carve pumpkins as a family and have fun
To have moved in properly

What are your goals this month?

Cupcake Mumma

Friday, 7 October 2016

Review: Skincare for the Whole Family with Mustela

Mustela have sent me some products to test out on the Mini Cupcakes and as I have sensitive skin I have also been trying them out too. I wasn't expecting 3 large products to turn up but I'm pleased because they have so far been lovely to use on all our skin which means we will be using it every day and it'll last a lot longer than a small pot or tube of cream and those bath bubbles we usually pick up with goodness knows what in it but it has Spiderman or Elsa on so it must be good and fun to use...Mustela are committed to using natural ingredients in as many of their products as they can and each product is absolutely made:

- Without alcohol.
- Without essential oils.
- Without parabens.
- Without phenoxyethanol.
- Without phthalates.
- Without plant extracts derived from genetically modified plants (GMO).
- Without aluminum chlorohydrate.
- Without ingredients derived from animal products - except hive products (honey, beeswax, etc.) -, purified lanolin-based products or milk-based products.
- Without terpenes (camphor, menthol or eucalyptus).
- Without triclosan.

Skin Diagnosis. What skincare product is best for your family?

We still have a small selection of those bubble baths and shower gels because well, the kids are right; they are cool and as nice as the bath milk is, it doesn't give the big bubbles a good squeeze of bubble bath does (especially my gorgeous chocolate orange bubble soak mmm) The bath milk is perfect for regular baths though and we use the novelty products on a weekend as they don't bother the children's skin either. 

The emollient cream has been amazing for Midge. She gets quite dry skin which she seems to have inherited from her Dad. A little goes a long way with this cream and because it isn't thick and doesn't have a strong or noticeable smell, Little A has even decided to start using it. For those who don't know, Little A has sensory processing difficulties and one of the things he struggles with is having showers, using gels, creams and anything else (only coconut oil has been allowed anywhere near him which is great because it is so good for your skin, he likes it because he smells like a Bounty bar!!) We have been using the emollient cream on A, actually I should say he has been using the cream because he applies it to his face and arms all by himself and quite willingly too. I was a bit worried about the children putting it on their faces but they don't seem to have had any problems and as this product is aimed at very young children and babies I am pleased to see on my twos delicate skin the cream has caused no problems.

Finally we tried the cleansing cream, well I tried it, the children were happy with the emollient cream and milky bath oil so I have been using this in the morning and at night on my face (again, I was concerned I may come up with some blotches because that usually happens with any cream I apply to my face as it's the most sensitive area) but I have had no problems at all. As part of my new healthy eating regime I have noticed my skin clearing up and needing a little extra help so using this cream has been a much better option than the harsher creams on sale in beauty stores I'd previously used or considered. 

I was sent these products for the purpose of this review and have found them to be of great use to my family or to myself and therefore would recommend them to others wanting a product for those with sensitive skin and especially the milky bath oil for those who have very young children and those concerned about the ingredients in supermarket bubble baths. I've looked online and found the Mustela range to be of good value for money given their size on Escentual but you can have a look at their list of online stores here. Alternatively, you can see if your nearest city has any local stores (sadly for us online is the only option which is a shame!) I haven't come across the range in any Superdrug or Boots stores unfortunately. I would like to purchase this multi-sensory bath foam for Little A, I think it would go down a treat! Mustela also do skincare products for expectant Mums too, so it's well worth a look! 

Mustela Natural Ingredients

Wednesday, 5 October 2016

The Last Night at Number 47...

One month ago we got given our notice to leave the house I'm now spending my last night in. The children are finally sound asleep, I've just said goodnight to Mr B and had my last ever shower in the house I've actually grown to love and even call home despite its obvious short falls and need for care I can't quite give it.

Little A was 2 years old when we arrived here, Midge was 5. That makes it feel even longer. I remember first seeing this place and being unsure because I always get anxious when moving, usually I'm paranoid about our future neighbours. We've become close to our neighbour who is sad to see us go which is nice considering I'd thought he'd be pleased to not hear my fish wife voice and the kids screaming and stamping! Apparently he's as gutted as us which is nice really.

There are things I won't miss; like the open planned downstairs which I've never been a fan of in any house, the wallpapers and old carpet on the stairs but that's very little. I'll miss the amazing view from the attic window, the noise of the rain as I relax in my bed. I'll miss the children having their own space and the big back garden.

Everything happened so fast with leaving this place. It's only now I spend my last night here reflecting on my home that I realise how much it meant to me. We had kind landlords, good neighbours, plenty of room, we could decorate and do whatever we liked and never had an inspection.

The new house is okay. I know it can't possibly feel like home until everything is inside and sorted but it doesn't feel the same this time. Sure I can picture myself happy in the kitchen and enjoying some peace in my bedroom. I'm sure the children will actually share perfectly well all in all and hopefully we can make it warm and cosy. It's the asking permission for every little thing, taking photos of a wall you want to hang a photo of your children on so the landlord can okay it first and the 3 monthly inspections that stop me feeling any homely feeling towards this new place. These things have to be done but I've never experienced them before and it feels like a huge deal to me, a private person, to have someone look around the home every 3 months to make sure you're being good...

This is all just ramblings. We will be happy and we will be okay. Inspections are normal and over and done with in minutes if you're being good tenants and there's no problems to report. I know all this, I guess I'm just a little sad tonight.

Here Little A had his first big boy bed. Midge had her room decorated the way she's always wanted it and I'll never forget the look on her face. We've had some fab birthday parties. We'd put Santa footprints all over the laminate because it was easier to clean and the children loved it. We brought Peppa to live with us here and my 2 lovely hamsters are buried in the back garden. Midge used her money to buy a big trampoline which has seen a lot of fun but sadly has to be left behind. I've locked myself out on a number of occasions and had some fun trying to get back in over the gate covered in brambles and by sticking my arm through a cat flap to unlock the back door! We've lost first teeth, had many a wonderful BBQ out the back. We've had sensory break throughs, great games of hide and seek and so much more. They are the memories of Number 47 and now we must embrace and enjoy the new house...our new home for as long as we are lucky to call it that.

Cupcake Mumma

A Slimmer Me: Something has Clicked!

I have been waiting for this day for so long. Many times I have forced myself to exercise, to be good with food and all the rest but because I was forcing myself it never lasted. The amazing body change photos on Instagram and the tighter jeans just didn't seem to make me want to get up and stick to any routine, I gave up time and time again. 

It felt hopeless...

Until I visited my GP last week and got a metaphorical slap in the face. See, I thought I was suffering with constant bloating. I felt awful and looked horrible; I had been for months. Eventually I decided to get myself checked out, thought it might be my IBS and maybe I could be recommended something to soothe my troubled tummy that I hadn't already tried. Well, ladies and gentlemen I do not have a bloated tum, it's a rather soft and erm cuddly tum I suppose which means that yes, that's right, I'm overweight. I'm 3 stone heavier than I should ideally be and the way I view myself is as 'looking like I'm 4 months pregnant but not actually up the spout at all no thank you very much..' It's a perception and not a fact.

Yep, I'm overweight and would appear to be carrying this weight mostly around my middle, I think this is a dangerous place to carry excess fat. And it is fat, I'm not saying I am fat but I am stating the obvious here. I am unhealthy and I need to change.

Did it happen that day? Did it heck! I buried myself in dairy milk chocolate, gave myself tummy cramps and felt rubbish. Then the next day I picked up. I didn't think about my food too much, I bought extra fruit in the store during the food shop and carried on my day. I liked loads of awesome food photos on Instagram and made collages for myself which are saved on my phone and in the evening I bought some clothes off of Very, including these ace workout leggings:

I feel good. Despite the stressful situation that is mostly being on my own with Mr B working a lot this week, parenting, school running, housework-ing, packing, being a mum, friend and wife I have had amazing food days so far.

My breakfasts are breakfasts I can't wait to make, I'm so looking forward to getting into my new kitchen and baking vegan treats (I'm not vegan I just want to try out cakes with some new ingredients) and I have an exercise routine in place for when the house is unpacked and I have space to do it. In the meantime I have school walks, dog walks and swimming so I'm not sat on my backside all of the time!

I had to record this moment here because it feels like a milestone, like I've turned a corner with my relationship with food and how I feel about myself. I hope anyone else struggling can relate to how hard it is to get going and I wish you luck on your journey to a healthier you; whether that's losing weight, gaining weight or making a lifestyle change which is pretty much what I feel I'm aiming for.

Cupcake Mumma

Monday, 3 October 2016

The Shogun's Queen ~ Book Review

What's it About?

It's Japan and the year is 1853. Growing up among the samurai of the Satsuma Clan, in Japan's deep south, the fiery, beautiful and headstrong Okatsu has - like all the clan's women - been encouraged to be bold, taught to wield the halberd, and to ride a horse.

But when she is just seventeen, four black ships appear. Bristling with cannon and manned by strangers who to the Japanese eyes are barbarians, their appearance threatens Japan’s very existence. And turns Okatsu’s world upside down. 
Chosen by her feudal lord, she has been given a very special role to play. Given a new name - Princess Atsu - and a new destiny, she is the only one who can save the realm. Her journey takes her to Edo Castle, a place so secret that it cannot be marked on any map. There, sequestered in the Women’s Palace - home to three thousand women, and where only one man may enter: the shogun - she seems doomed to live out her days. But beneath the palace's immaculate facade, there are whispers of murders and ghosts. It is here that Atsu must complete her mission and discover one last secret - the secret of the man whose fate is irrevocably linked to hers: the shogun himself . . .

Sounds good doesn't it? I can tell you it is, in fact, a very good book and absolutely worth a read. I often read books that I can't put down, especially historical novels because they're my favourites but it isn't often that as I read I can picture the scene in my head perfectly. From scenery to characters and even their clothing, Lesley helps paint a perfect picture in this beautiful yet dangerous novel.

I have never before read any Lesley Downer books but I will definitely be looking at reading more. I usually read books based in the Tudor era and therefore Japanese history has never been on my radar. Since reading this book I have been online and the history is incredible, it's little wonder my brother is so into Japan and knows a fair amount about it. Lesley doesn't just research and write but she has lived in Japan, she knows Japan and her books are well based and looked into which is really important to me.

Overall this book is a real 10/10 for me and I shall be passing it on to my brother to see what he thinks as well as recommending it to my book worm friends!

I was kindly supplied with a copy of The Shogun's Queen to read for the purposes of this review. I really enjoyed delving into Atsu's world while my own is so chaotic at the moment! The Shogun's Queen will be released on November 3rd 2016 and will make a fab present for Christmas for any historical novel fans!

Cupcake Mumma

Thursday, 29 September 2016

Reasons to be Cheerful

It's been a little while since I wrote a post about being cheerful. The last few weeks have been pretty stressful and there has been plenty of moments where I felt so drained and done with everything. Things still popped out at me though. Lots of small things like the children having good days at school and the leaves changing colour (I love Autumn) and discovering groups online I could follow to give me healthy eating ideas which weren't dull and boring! There have been some big moments to be cheerful though..

1) We have a house! A week today we move and we're all looking forward to it! The children will be in school which will be really handy and we have plenty of offers of help which is so nice. This place is small and cosy which I hope will be better for us. The children will be sharing a room again which A is really pleased about, Midge is okay with the arrangement too. We will have a bath and a shower so I no longer have to have fights with A who hates the feel of the shower on his skin. I really hope here we can make some real family changes and be a happier and stronger family again and that I can be a happier Hannah!

2) Although getting A to do his homework is still very much a bang your head on the wall event, I am really pleased we have stuck to our routine of home, get changed and do homework as tea cooks. We use Lego to help with counting, and he has surprised me with his determination to write the red words he has to learn. He doesn't know any of them but just copying them down without a meltdown is a big success! 

3) I treated myself last night to some new clothes. I don't have the funds outright so made a Very account and bought a selection of clothes in the sale which I can pay off with no trouble at all. I'm really strict with myself when it comes to budgets. I got myself some work out leggings which are awesome and will boost me to do some exercise, even if it is just some yoga and dog walking. I also bought myself some new jeans (size 16 boo!) but I've been squeezing into size 14's for too long, I may be trying to lose weight but I must accept my size for what it is currently while I continue my journey. I also bought myself a poncho which may or may not suit me but I've always wanted and if worse comes to worse I can just wear it around the house to be comfy and warm!

4) A surprise random act of kindness. It's always lovely to open happy mail but when you don't expect something it's really wonderful!

Those are some reasons I'm smiling today, do you have any reasons you'd like to share? Please comment below or drop me a comment on my Facebook or Twitter

R2BC at Mummy from the Heart

Saturday, 24 September 2016

Our Wicked Auntie Does the Wicked Uncle Challenge!

Buying gifts for my children is a real mix. There's Midge who is super easy with girly things, books, art and crafts, plus she's always into something in particular. A on the other hand I find a little trickier. He changes his mind a lot about which programs he's into. Some things stay constant like his cars but he can be a little hard to buy for if you want to go outside the box.

It's a good thing Wicked Uncle got in touch then, because they seem to be rather good at 'outside the box' thinking. They asked if we had a wicked adult who might want to have a go at using their site to buy a couple of gifts for the Mini Cupcakes. I immediately thought if my sister, Auntie Tissy as she's affectionately known in this house thanks to Little A's mixed up speech (it's now habit rather than anything but so cute!) Auntie Issy was really up for the challenge and spent a weekend browsing the Wicked Uncle range of gifts.

Using the online tools to select an age (you can also search by categories, by age and gender, one or both) my sister found a list of items suitable for a child of Midges age. She spent a much longer time choosing for Little A because some of the products shown appeared to be a little young for him and he would probably lose interest quite quickly. I think she looked in the age above (he is nearly 5 as it is) and came across a couple of gifts perfect for him too.

I was really pleased Issy said she found the site easy to use and felt there was a lot of choice (which meant she found it hard to choose because there was so many things on there she could have bought, however, with a budget I think she chose really well.) 

Our Wicked Uncle parcel arrived within a few days all well packed (and not over packed with unnecessary bubble wrap and paper; hurrah!) Midge dived in and saw her gift first. It's something neither of us have ever seen before, a nail bar pillow! I couldn't help but think how useful this will be because she has had nail varnish on the carpet, got it stuck to her desk and her desk chair is covered in it. This pillow has a wonderful flamingo design, a little pink wipe friendly patch for resting your hand on plus a pocket at the back for your nail essentials (files etc) and 2 little nail polish sized pockets to prevent those rather messy knocked over polish incidents! She loves it!

Little A finally, finally got some Kinetic Sand. This stuff is so easy to use and we've all had great fun playing with it. For a child with sensory processing difficulties Little A has found this great because it isn't messy, it isn't sticky and doesn't leave him dirty. I love the feel of this stuff and will have to add to his collection now, so much cooler than normal sand! They also had some rather delicious (so I'm told) popping candy chocolate frogs which looked really tasty. They didn't last long so they were obviously a winner too.

Overall I have to say our Wicked Uncle experience has been fab and my sister definitely passed the Wicked Auntie test too! Thanks Wicked Uncle for giving us £40 to spend on your site and try out your challenge, it was great fun and will be a really handy site for a rather big upcoming special occasion!

Have you used Wicked Uncle? What do you think? Do you think it would help you or someone you know, like my sister who doesn't have children of her own, to pick an awesome gift without constantly checking it'll be okay first? Let me know!

Cupcake Mumma

Monday, 12 September 2016

On Being Evicted...

So, a week and a bit ago I answered the door to our landlord. He wanted to speak to my husband but he wasn't around. Noticing he was clearly troubled I asked him if I could help..I wasn't expecting to hear that, in a nutshell, we would be getting our 2 months notice immediately and a deadline given to us. He felt awful, I understood and we didn't take it to heart, it's the downside of renting and we knew it could happen at anytime.

I wasn't quite expecting this conversation at half past 9 on a Wednesday evening mind you so I did go into shock. It's been a very full on week or so since we got the news. Knowing how tough the housing situation is and knowing we have no money meant we were straight onto the property and borrowing money search. We're still kind of on that search but getting to the point we need to be!

After lots of form filling, budgeting, a fab housing officer and an understanding estate agents we managed to find a new property. I was terrified of being made homeless. We know very well that if it came to the crunch there would be a tempory house on offer and it could be anywhere in Cornwall. We wanted to avoid this at all costs. Thankfully we have.

I feel so blessed right now. I had visions of turning up to the council with loads of stuff because we couldn't find a place. I thought we would have to move further away, isolating myself and taking the children out of a fantastic school. I was so scared.

We viewed a house last week. It's small but it's cosy. It's a 2 bed and not a 3 bed because we couldn't afford the 3 bed prices. It doesn't have a garden but does have a small yard and we get to keep our beloved Peppa dog. I've promised the children there'll be more park trips to make up for the loss of the garden and their trampoline.

I am viewing this as a new start. We will sign a years tenancy agreement, we will have a deposit to claim back when this happens again (it will because it's the life of renting) I think this will be the change I have been craving and it really could be a blessing in disguise.

Wednesday, 31 August 2016

WIN! House of Party Party Pack!

The lovely people at have offered readers of this here blog a fab competition to win a party pack for up to 32 people! If you're planning a birthday party for your little ones, for your big ones or even for yourself, why not enter the Rafflecopter form below and have a go at winning your choice of party pack.

Here are some of my favourites: The Shopkins theme would be number 1 theme for Midge at the moment:

Or perhaps you still have a huge Frozen fan, Finding Dory lover or a Tinkerbell fan?

Enter below and best of luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway