Tuesday, 9 February 2016

Michael O Mara Colouring Books { Review}

Recently I've got into adult colouring books. I tried those really over the top patterned ones and then those colouring for mindfulness books but I got so bored with so much detail to fill in. After a few weeks I bought a Harry Potter colouring book online and I've enjoyed colouring a page here and there. I think it's because it's harry potter and I'm a big fan. I did see on Twitter @OMaraBooks was looking for someone to review their animal themed colouring books, they looked so unique and fun I snapped up the chance.

You can enjoy Doodle a Poodle or Colour a Cat plus plenty more from their site MomBooks (Michael O Mara Books) all very affordable. My favourite is Doodle a Poodle because I like dogs and I love to doodle, especially if I'm waiting for tax credits to pick up the phone...

Colour a cat was a lot of fun to try too. Who knew there were so many cat varieties? I didn't, must live under a rock perhaps? I guess you could even say I got a bit of an education while I doodled? Below are some of the pages I had a go out. Loving my pug in particular.

I love the artwork in these books and can't wait to find some more time to just be by myself and relax with colouring and doodling. Do check out the website for more amazing books if you're into colouring.

Cupcake Mumma

Monday, 8 February 2016

Weekend Box Club Review!

I've wanted to try a craft box out for ages, I have used one before but I couldn't commit to the payments which I'm hoping will be easier this time around because the boxes don't cost as much! I'm reviewing a new Mini Weekend Box costing just £4.95 (plus free delivery) from The Weekend Box Club, a great company getting children (and their parents and carers in most cases!) involved in more green craft, baking, exploring and one on one time.

The first thing we loved was the box itself. With all the colour and the animals printed on the front, both children knew the box was just for them and became very excited to open it! I like the fact the box just slips through the letterbox, I don't have to worry about being in for its arrival and disappointing the children if I happen to miss it.

There are two different crafts in the box, one is a make and one is a gardening craft. Ideal, one each. There is a theme to each box sent out, this one was a rainforest theme so we had a parrot mask to make which Midge claimed and some seeds to grow, which is right up Little A's street. You can subscribe to the bumper weekend boxes if you fancy more crafts and have more time. 

First the parrot, I think you'll agree Midge did a great job on her mask. Everything was supplied and Midge needed very little help from me.

Next the planting! The only extra we needed was an empty plastic bottle that Midge fetched from the recycling bag. Working together we cut the bottle in half then added our soil into the bottom. After following the instructions, we put our seeds into the soil and placed the bottle on our kitchen windowsill. I will be putting our plants' journey on my Instagram so do follow me for our rainforest update!

If you'd like to try out a weekend craft box then all you have to do is register your details at https://www.weekendboxclub.com and don't forget this code: HANNAH303 which will give you your first Weekend Box FREE! Midge has cut out the tickets that came in the box to give to her friends, what a lovely idea.

I hope you have as much fun as we did and if you subscribe let me know, I plan to subscribe and will be sharing our makes, bakes and fun on Instagram and Twitter!

Cupcake Mumma

Saturday, 6 February 2016

My Favourite Five Blogger Posts ~ January

Over the last few weeks I've been reading posts and saving them thinking how nice it would be to share those posts from other bloggers on my own blog. I like to share the love and although I enjoy leaving comments and sharing on Twitter, I think sharing a round up of my 5 favourite posts from each month on Cupcake Mumma would be really enjoyable. I hope you enjoy reading the following posts from fellow bloggers.

1 ~ Hannah from Make, Do and Push!

Hannah wrote about her social anxiety in this post titled Social Anxiety and Motherhood: Dear Fellow Mama at Soft Play. I will be honest, this post hit a real sore spot in me and made me really emotional. It takes a lot for a blog post to do that (unless it's really sad of course!) but this post just hit me because I can completely relate to what Hannah is going through in regards to blushing and being nervous but wanting so badly to talk to others without feeling the way social anxiety makes you feel. Do read this post if you have time, especially to leave some virtual hugs for this lovely lady.

2 ~ Beth from There's Always Time For Tea

Beth is a new blogger and I love what she writes. This post A Letter to Anest- Your first school review made me smile. Beth and I have been pen-pals for a few years now so I know a lot about what her and her family have been through with Anest. To be told your child will never do anything must be awful but for your child to prove those same professionals wrong time and time again must be amazing. In this post, we get to share in Beth's happiness as she describes just how far Anest has come since she started her new school. Enjoy.

3 ~ Emma from From Aldi To Harrods

Emma's blog is fantastic for frugal posts, money making ideas, hints and tips and so much more. I discovered From Aldi To Harrods at the end of last year and I have gone through so many posts. One of my favourite series on Emma's blog which she writes every month is titled the 10 Weirdest Things Sold on Ebay. You'll be amazed what people not only put onto the selling site but what people actually buy! Empty cereal boxes anybody? Old, battered shoes? Read January's 10 Weird Things.

4 ~ Becky from Diary of a Fat Bottomed Girl

Reading Becky's blog lately has been tough. I've always loved her writing, she joins in a weekly prompt post and I find that her writing always brings me in. Recently Becky and her family have been coming to terms with her partners cancer diagnosis. There are a few posts for new readers to catch up on but one that obviously was hard to read but beautifully written was 'Daddy has Cancer.'

5 ~ Krista from A Life in Progress

Finally, a post that really hit me where I needed it. I can't really express what this post means to me so I hope that you will just read it and if you need to see the same words that they help you too. What if All I Want is A Mediocre Life?

Hope you enjoy this post and all the bloggers posts i've shared from January. If you see a post during February that you think I should read, let me know!

Friday, 5 February 2016

A Request From Midge and a Proud Mummy

I'm not sure where it came from, but as I was walking to school yesterday morning Midge started talking about the school and their Facebook page. Then she asked if they had anything else that had them on, which I replied yes, they have Twitter and a website. Midge looked up at me slightly unsure for a second and then said "I no longer want to be on the schools' Facebook I don't like it. Or their website."

I still havent managed to fully understand where this has all come from. She isn't alone, there are at least 5 other children in her class who are always positioned carefully out of photo and filming view, she will now be one of them. I went to the school as soon as I had seen them both off and spoke to the receptionist who promptly gave me forms, which I filled in there and then and that was that, no more Midge on the website or social media. I'm absolutely fine with that, especially Twitter, which I'm not 100% sure about as a parent but that's a different discussion!

Later in the day we spoke some more, I think she's been learning about the Internet in school and it's suddenly dawned on her that people ALL OVER THE WORLD can see not only what you write, but also YOU. Funny how an 8 year old can get something so much quicker than most teenagers and even adults! I wondered something then, "Midge," I asked, "what about Mummy's blog?"
"Can the whole world see that?"
I replied that yes, they can. Midge has asked me to no longer share photos of her on Cupcake Mumma. Little A will feature a little, but I don't want to have him on here too much because I feel like I'm not including Midge. Our photos will be printed and kept in albums as usual but the blog will be a Midge photo free zone. I am informed that her feet, hands and awesome clothes are still available for blogging purposes should I so wish to use them!! She doesn't want to miss out on a review after all!

I feel incredibly proud that my 8 year old daughter has had the confidence to tell me she no longer wants these things. She may be mine but she is not mine to share. Midge is starting her own blog where we will get creative with photos, this is to show her how fun the Internet can be. I don't want her to fear the Internet. I have shown her how private my Facebook is, gone through the list and can say who those people are so she is happy to still be featured on there, I did have to admit that going through over 600 posts looking for her face would be a tall order so perhaps we'll draw a line from here on in!

Today I feel proud of my daughter and also a tiny bit proud of myself too, for truly listening to my daughter. This is the beginning of teaching her about herself, her own person, her own body and how it is up to no one else BUT HER what happens to it be it standing up to a fellow peer shoving her in school, posting a photo online or anything else.

Do you post photos of your children online? Have you stopped because your children have asked?

Cupcake Mumma

Wednesday, 3 February 2016

What We Got Up To In January

Last year I tried my best to keep up with a weekly catch up and mostly I did (although I started it late into the year) I'm finding it difficult to write the weekly catch up, so I'm now going to blog a monthly catch up post which will be really easy to do. I'll get to look at all the bits of the month and not just the really good bits so it will be different from my 10 reasons to smile posts!


Birthday cake// Wet and muddy walks// Little A shopping// Birthday layout// Pops and Midge// Little A presenting birthday pancakes// Surprise dinner// Birthday cake lighting// My lovely flower from A

Family photo in Plymouth//  Midge in Plymouth//  Little A on a ride// Posing at the station// Super A!// My prize winning photo// Yorkshire puddings I made at Mums// New colouring books

We all started the month bunged up which wasn't a fantastic start! I saw the new year in in bed while Mr B went out for a bit and the children were snoring (and sniffing) but I was quite happy. I was mostly preoccupied with Midge's upcoming birthday at the start of the month, it had to be good obviously. In the end the day came and her party was a lovely, small gathering of cousins and friends. There were sweet things, frozen cakes and a family roast dinner on her actual birthday.

I made several trips to Weatherspoons last month (which explains why I'm so skint at the end now I suppose!) I surprised the children with after school dinner and the second trip was Mr B's birthday dinner. That was a lovely way to end a busy day in Plymouth. We got up to lots in Plymouth, looking around, shopping, enjoying several train journeys it was all such good fun and well overdue.

There were lots of wet school runs, my wellies have worked hard and have already sustained a cut so now I'm getting soggy socks every time I go out! There are some signs of Spring popping up though which of course makes me happy. Little A had a trip to the aquarium with his class and Midge brought home a trumpet from school...say no more!

What About Me?

I've looked into some courses but am keeping things close because I'm very nervous and have a few questions to ask myself first! I booked a new GP appointment to discuss my anxiety medication and I'm going to force myself to mention my chronic blushing and see if there's any help out there. I also got busy comping and it paid off winning a £50 supermarket voucher, £50 lingerie voucher, a set of pretty goodies and 2 Muggle Tour tickets. I lost the hearing in my right ear for 2 weeks which was horrid and I'm pleased it's back! I've also watched a lot of Four in a Bed!

January's Blog Posts

I reviewed Hippy Paste deodorant and now I smell fabulously minty but you can smell of lavender, citrus or even ylang ylang! I wrote about my beautiful daughter's 8th birthday and 10 Reasons to Smile which is always a lovely post to write up. I shared some early January bargains and freebies (I'll be blogging a round up of the latest prizes, bargains and freebies very soon!) Lastly, I shared an open post about a particularly hard day (week). I hope you enjoy looking back through these posts if you haven't had a chance to yet. 

Cupcake Mumma

Saturday, 30 January 2016

Midges Birthday ~ 8 Years Old!

Midge turned 8 just over a week ago now and I still can't believe how fast time has gone. She's doing really well in school, is always busy creating and writing at home and doting on her little brother. Midge is like me in so many ways, maybe that's why we frustrate each other sometimes so much and probably why I'm going to dread the teen years! Still, that's a long way off. I want to share with you some of Midges 8th birthday party!

I never do big 'invite the whole class' type birthdays; they're too big, too pricey and just too much everything to be honest! I always ask the children what kind of theme they want to go with, last year Midge wanted Frozen and to my surprise she went with Frozen again this year (is it just me who thought Frozen would've died out by now!?) Usually the theme comes from the cake, so Midge wanted an Elsa cake and therefore a Frozen party.

Midge invited her 2 cousins and 2 friends, one from school and one who used to be in her class but moved because she wasn't getting along with the other girls. Just shows how beautiful my girl is for wanting to keep someone she cares about in her life despite them not being 'right there.' We started off with some games. I made a big Olaf out of cardboard and cut out a carrot so the girls could play pin the carrot on Olaf. That went down a treat, My eldest niece won that one, last year we did a similar game and had Midge in tears, what a difference a year makes!

Little T winning pass the parcel

We played pass the parcel, I had to be careful of what sweets I put in because Midge is now also on a wheat free diet. Each girl got 2 sweets and my youngest niece won the overall prize. I must admit I picked her from the start because she's only 3 and the other prizes weren't going to be suitable for her.

I got the face paints out and after painting a few faces, my favourite being Little T who wanted to be Peppa Pigs teddy bear, I let the girls loose on the paints themselves. All of a sudden there was more of a Halloween theme to the party than a Frozen one!

Little T with her teddy bear/fox face paint 

I gave out a prize for best dressed and then we had food! Not a lot of  savoury options at this party (first year ever!) I went with jelly and stars, hone made star biscuits, popcorn, cucumber sticks, crisps, profiteroles and much more.

These profiteroles are gluten free so Midge didn't miss out

Finally, before everyone left we lit the cake and sung happy birthday to my little girl. By this time my nephews had arrived too so that was nice for Midge, One by one all the children went home (minus party bags which Midge was sad about but I explained I just didn't have the money to put everything else on and do party bags as well. I won't be doing party bags anymore)

A very blue birthday cake! I'm proud of this one

So that was my girls 8th birthday party and she loved it. I adore birthdays and it's always so important to me that birthdays are well enjoyed. Little A is next and I have little to no clue as to what we shall do to celebrate yet. For Midges actual birthday it was just family visiting then Grandma and Pops staying for Sunday dinner and a second birthday cake which was all lovely too.

Soon I will be doing another Q&A with Midge so do look out for that!

Midge in Plymouth
Cupcake Mumma 

Friday, 29 January 2016

10 Reasons to Smile January

1) Midge turned 8 this month which I can't quite believe. We had a family roast dinner and Frozen inspired cake for pudding and a wonderful day. She was over the moon to have a new bike and so many lovely birthday presents from all the family.

2) Midges party this month was lovely. I set a strict limit on numbers as the children always have parties at home. Midge chose her cousins plus 2 girls from school so it was a lovely day. The big girls all played with my youngest niece (who is only 3) there were no tears or fights so it was such a relaxing day for me! We played games, ate party food, had an Elsa cake and then everyone played happily outside or upstairs, easiest party ever!

3) Birthday cake is always great isn't it? I loved making Midge's 8th cake this year, the cake should've been Elsa stuck in the baked cake and looking all wonderful but due to a broken Elsa doll I had to improvise and this is what I came up with.

4) We had a trip to Plymouth on Mr B's birthday. Midge spent her birthday money, Mr B treated himself and Little A and I just had a really good day out. It was something we haven't done in a long time and long overdue, I got some lovely photos of our trip.

5) Birthday dinner was had at Weatherspoons this year and whilst it cost me a bit more than I would've liked it wasn't too bad. The meal was lovely and the most important thing was that Mr B had a really good end to his birthday.

6)  I've had 3 great comping wins this month. I've won a trip to London on the Muggles Tour (can I have a fan girl moment here..okay done) I think I'll take my mum along. I also won £50 Iceland/Birdseye vouchers and a blog giveaway for a lingerie shop online- happy Hannah!

7) I met up with Stevie from A Cornish Mum and we had a lovely breakfast together before mooching about the shops and catching up in Truro. I look forward to the next one!

8) I have bought workout gear, taken the dreaded before shots, measurements and started walking. I'm trying not to think about it all too much in the hope my good doings not only pay off but become habit.

9) Peppa Dog is all better. As you'll all know we had a very poorly dog at Christmas but throughout January our lovely Staffy has completely gone back to full health.

10) I spent some quality time with my Aunt which was so nice. She's a massive dog lover so we went to a pet shop to get some bits for her dogs (I came out with pink poop bags and a dog jumper ha!) then we went to Costa for a lovely hot chocolate. My Aunt is like a second mum to me, I love spending time with her,

So that's my 10 reasons to smile and all such wonderful days to look back on as we approach a very wet end of January and the start of a most likely wet February! What was your happiest day/moment of January? Id love to know!

Cupcake Mumma

A Cornish Mum
Ojo's World

Thursday, 28 January 2016

Some Days are Just Hard

Actually it's not some days at the moment it's some weeks. Little A hasn't been sleeping too great, I'm coping with the lack of sleep, I've managed to work out 3 times this week so far and eat well too. I've been trying to keep positive for my husband who isn't happy at work and wants a new job but can't find one that he can be sure is permanent. Little A's sleep isn't awful, it's actually better than its ever been, there aren't anymore night terrors, there's no random screaming, no head banging, I'm not sure why I'm moaning to be honest! Still, it's broken sleep and school are noticing it,

They're also noticing some of his sensory processing difficulties of late which are made worse by him feeling tired. He's less able to tolerate the things he's been doing well with. This morning I went through 5 pairs of socks before he was happy to pop his shoes on. Yesterday I tried 3 different shoes. I've had problems with his trousers. School have noticed they seem 'too small in the leg'. I have several pairs at home, they are 4-5 that fall down even with the waist taken in. I have several pairs that caused him massive upset because the fabric felt like it was scratching the life out of his skin (nylon I think) Now, he fits a 3-4 but of course the legs are too short. What can I do? What can I bloody do? 

Midge has been anxious at school. She doesn't like answering questions in front of people. I suffer from social anxiety disorder, I have to fight everyday to speak to people at the moment and the instinct to pick her up and hide her away so she doesn't feel that anxiety is overwhelming. Of course, the sooner she gets used to answering these questions in her small reading groups the better. I spent most of my teenage years bunking off any presentations, I really don't want Midge to be so afraid. Her teacher seemed to understand, poor Midge feels as though her teachers are cross with her and she even asked me to home school her! Taking her away from the situation won't help; I've spent so long avoiding my fear of talking to people I am basically stuck in my house, feeling sad, lonely, sometimes content though, definitely safe but like I'm wasting everything.

I don't know what this post is. Actually I do, there was a time I'd record everything on this blog because it was for me and I'm going to go back that. Blogging as therapy as they say. 

Hippy Paste ~ A Natural Deodorant {Review}

Today I want to share with you all a product I have been testing out for about 2 weeks now, (I take these things seriously!) Since having the children my underarms clearly think that I need to sweat more than I ever did as a teenager or pre-children (thanks for that) Sweating is, of course, a completely normal bodily function, so normal it would be pretty bad if we didn't.

I've been looking for a deodorant for awhile that will help me when I'm out and about, not to stop sweating but to help with any odour that sweating might (and for me usually does) produce. I've not been disappointed by Hippy Paste from Earth Conscious in the slightest. I smell fresh all day long!

Hippy Paste (not just for hippies!) is similar to an over sized lip balm. The container is a basic pot with a screw down lid decorated with the Hippy Paste logo. The pot fits in a handbag and even in my make up bag so it's ideal to take around with you and looks much better than the often large spray deodorants or the awkward shaped roll ons.

Hippy Paste is an all natural product. Your underarms are one of the most sensitive parts of your body so a natural deodorant is a great product to use. All you need to do is massage the balm in a circular motion to warm it up a little and apply. Easy. After that you're good to go. Hippy Paste natural deodorant can be ordered in 6 different scents: citrus, ylang ylang, pure, lavender, tropical and Mint, which is the one  I have reviewed here. I'd love my armpits to smell of other great flavours like strawberries, how about you?

You can buy hippy paste online here for only £5.00 making this deodorant totally affordable, long lasting, body friendly, earth friendly and a must have product for your bathroom/bag where ever!

*I was sent a pot of Hippy Paste for the purpose of this review and have reviewed the product honestly and in my own words.

Are you considering using a natural deodorant? Would you use Hippy Paste? 

Cupcake Mumma

Friday, 22 January 2016

What We've Been Up To...Weeks 1&2

Hello all, I haven't dropped off the planet, I've been a bit unmotivated when it comes to, well, anything to be honest, then I fell ill with this horrid cold which is now starting to clear thank goodness but the idea of staring at a bright laptop screen just hasn't appealed to me for several days.

I wanted to post a catch up of our first 2 weeks into 2016 which I hope to continue throughout the year whenever I have time. I have some reviews coming up which I'm looking forward to writing up and some other posts are sat in my draft folder waiting to be finished, so lots to come on Cupcake Mumma. For now though, I hope the first couple of weeks has been good for you all and while I'm at it, let me know what you've been up to (and what you think of the new blog design!)

Week 1

The trouble with typing these posts up late is that it's hard to remember exactly what you've been up to! The children went back to school on January 4th and they both had a great first week back. Midge has been doing some drawing competitions which is really good for her confidence plus she's learning it's great to win but we can't win everything all the time. I love her under the sea picture.

I've spent a lot of time with the pooch lately, she may be replacing the children since they are at school all day! She's had a lovely new collar bought for her, we've had plenty of snuggles too. I spent the first week of January doing some drawing, seeing my Gran and her new rescue dog again and I bought myself a new book too. I may have also had the first English breakfast of very many in the first week of 2016 as well!

Week 2

I can be more clearer on week 2- Hurrah! The week was a total wash out weather wise so it's been thick coats, welly boots and wrapping up warm on the school runs. Everything has turned into mulch and mud (including my poor back garden which will need some serious TLC come Spring!) I did see a lovely rainbow at the beginning of the week that I just had to capture. I also wanted to kick Monday up the butt by taking the Mini Cupcakes for a quick charity shop browse and a surprise meal out instead of more boring home cooking after school!

The rest of the week I spent doing a lot of housework and a lot of party prep. I made my own Olaf for Midge's 8th Frozen inspired birthday party which happened on the 16th January. I was quite pleased with my little attempt at a pin the carrot on Olaf and the children loved him! I spent yet more time cuddling the pooch, baking biscuits, cakes and the main birthday cake of course (which I'm oh so proud of) I also met up with the very lovely Stevie from A Cornish Mum in Truro where I enjoyed learning some new blogging things, catching up, browsing books and clothes and enjoying a huge breakfast at a new to me cafe (that I now have to take all of my family to)

After doing all the food and shopping Saturday came around and I was ready to give Midge a lovely Frozen themed party. Her cousins came and 2 friends from school. We did some face painting, ate lots of sugary, yummy party food, played pass the parcel, enjoyed putting carrots on Olaf and having lots of fun in general. Nobody was left out, there were no tears and there wasn't really much mess either! Midge had a wonderful time. On Sunday my parents came over for a family roast dinner which is pretty traditional with our birthdays. Midge opened her gifts, had a wonderful day and enjoyed more birthday cake. I really cannot believe she is now 8 years old!

Cupcake Mumma