Friday, 15 April 2016

Train Musings

Currently en route to Trowbridge to see my dear friend Kat. I haven't made this journey for over a year and I'm pretty nervous about travelling. I'm sat on the train now, the first of 3 and I'm doing okay. Im being typically British about my train travel. You know, staring people out who stare at me getting on with my luggage, screwing my nose up secretly at my neighbours gross sandwich, pretending no one actually exists, complaining to myself about the crap seat then not moving to the nice one by the window (I love being British!)

I was well chuffed to find a train ticket to my destination for under £70 but now I know why..I'm on the smallest, stuffiest, crowded little thing for 2 hours. My coccyx hurts already and the tuna man is still chomping his least I brought blueberry muffins and cookies for my fellow travellers nose (nose only, no one shares my food) (seriously) I'm hopeful my journey will improve, maybe someone will pass me a paper? Or stop eating disgusting lunch? Maybe...

Anyway, about my trip. It's a rather spontaneous one as they usually are with me, it was only planned a couple of weeks ago because of a certain birthday which I need to make special because well, everyone deserves a decent birthday don't they? And to not be on their tod. I have banners, candles, ready to go cake mix, white tack and gifts I am so ready for a birthday I love them! I don't think we'll be getting up to much, just chilling and eating and negotiating with a 5 year old, 4 year old and a 1 year old because well, it just happens like that. My only real thing to do this weekend is have a bath and not just to relax but because up near Bath the water is BLUE! Honestly it blows my tiny mind every time I visit, can't get enough.

I don't think there's much else to say here, I've moaned about train travel but done nothing about it and I think it's time I broke out my peanut butter and jam sandwiches but I'm not sure if I'm that much of an arse!

Cupcake Mumma

Wednesday, 13 April 2016

What We Got up to in March

March went by so fast! Sadly it started with a round of tummy bugs with Midge being the last one to get it (mildly thankfully) On one of her days off I took her for breakfast which was lovely. It was one of those days where she could've gone to school but you have to stick to the 48 hour rule and I wasn't complaining because I was with my girly. I had my toothache start again last month causing me a lot of pain so I had to book a dental appointment. In the mean time I used this Orajel which has been amazing. Spring started to come out with some lovely blue skies and flowers and we had parents evening which went really well. Midge drew a picture of a cheetah which you can see below, apparently that's the animal she'd be if she could be any animal.

Roo is doing well in school, he's been referred for an Ed Psyc to observe him in the classroom so that'll be interesting. I got to look through all their books which was nice and when I had some spare time at home I made the children some Easter gifts for their teachers. I had my tooth out last month too, I got so fed up in the end I just had it removed! I enjoyed a Costa before the ordeal!!

Lots of reading done// Roo's portrait// Midge's cheetah// Sad post dentist face// Easter bunnies// Easter candy cones// Midge being mindful and colouring in

We had world book day at school which the children had fun dressing up for, I do love a non uniform day! I had a lovely Mother's Day receiving handmade pictures, a plant from Little A, a new mug and some biscuits with hot chocolate powder so all my favourite things. We got outside in the first week of the holidays by doing some crafts with paints, card and pasta, the dog enjoyed herself too! We managed an egg hunt and saw my sister on her birthday for gifts and a buffet.

 Roo with his Mother's Day flower// Doing homework// Midge as Hermonie//  Wheat free garlic bread!// Hot dog as big as Roo's face!

Cuddles// Happy mail from Buster Books// Roo's bonnet// Midges bonnet// Quiche// Birthday cake// Roo at school// Outgoing happy mail// A cuppa and a cuddle

Canvases for Mothers Day// Roo's dragon// Happy mail incoming and outgoing// Easter egg hunt at home// crafting// playing with Peppa// New shoes!

What About Me?

I had a bit of a pants month if I'm honest. I'm still not getting relief with my teeth so it's time to look elsewhere for a new dentist and I'll be complaining to my current one because I'm so unhappy. I've put on yet more weight too *sad face* but it's my fault. I loved seeing the family over Easter, having a nice roast with my Aunt and Gran and seeing my sister. I did manage to save £160 in March, which I am so pleased with and is thanks to being up to date with the council tax, whoop! I fear that money will go on private dental care though until I can set up a plan with them.

March's Blog Posts

I blogged about the cool Avengers Tea Party we had for Little A and I felt I needed to post a simple catch up on the blog. We had fancy dress fun on world book day, I wrote about my pesky teeth, what we got up to in February and my 10 reasons to smile. I shared my favourite monthly blog posts from other bloggers and our brand spanking new printer from Epson. Phew!

Cupcake Mumma

Wednesday, 6 April 2016

Love Sales? Then Head to Love The

I don't think there is anything in my home that is full price (honest, not unless someone bought it for me) I love charity shops, where you find so many great items for bargain prices. I also love the sales, I mean really love the sales. I'm pretty good now at only buying items I need. I always go into a shop with a sale on because I can't resist a nose about and I do pick up items but I almost always go back around the store putting the stuff back again!

A bargain isn't a bargain unless you need it!

I wanted to check some spring sales for new clothes for myself as it's that time of year where I start going through my cupboards and pass things on I hardly wear. Trouble is, a lot of my stuff doesn't really fit me anymore so a lot of it is in the charity shop bag waiting to go (we all have one right? In an under-stairs cupboard collecting and hiding kids toys and husbands horrible jumpers?) which leaves me (honestly) needing new clothes! I checked out Love the Sales website to get some new bits. Here, hundreds of sale items from various stores online (from designer to high street) are ready for you to browse which is much easier than searching the net for hours! I thought LoveTheSales was just another clothes website to be honest but it isn't; it has kids clothes, toys, gadgets, footwear and much more. I had a budget of £40 and at first I wanted this Superdry hoodie but when it comes to a sale I really hate to spend my whole budget on 1 item so I reconsidered. I really did need a new hoodie so I went for this Weird Fish one which came from the M&M Direct sale. A bargain at £24.99 from £59.99

My raspberry coloured Weird Fish hoodie

With my left over money I decided to take on a tougher challenge. I went in search for a hoodie for Mr B. He only wears branded hoodies because they last longer but because they have quite a price tag he doesn't own very many. It took me half an hour if I'm honest to find one but yes, I did find one. Using the website I went through USC's sale section and got him a SoulCal hoodie for £10!! RRP £36!!

Mr B in his hoodie

Why am I so happy? Because I don't get to normally wear, let alone buy branded clothing unless they are second had and of course, I'm over the moon to get nice clothes within a budget. I even went to my savings pot and purchased some Sketchers so I can jog properly without hurting myself when I came across some for £29 instead of £70...Now you can't tell me you'd walk away from that and I did need some decent footwear for working out! Seriously, I can't recommend enough, the customer service has been amazing, delivery was quick from the companies and any questions I had were answered quickly (even at the weekend). 

Gorgeous Sketchers from £70 to £29

Why are you still reading this? GO!

Cupcake Mumma

Friday, 1 April 2016

Ditching the Chores and Spending Time with Midge and Roo

We're on day 7 of the Easter school break here in Cornwall and today we have made a record with having 2 consecutive dry days, hooray! We were all beginning to wonder if this would ever happen again! We've been pretty lazy so far this holiday, I haven't had much motivation and I spent the first few days with dry socket pain but the children have been okay. We have seen Great Grandma and our Aunties (one of them being my sister who has now returned back up country boo!) other than that we haven't done very much at all.

Today I got my butt into gear and decided to have a craft day. I thought it would be nice to go for a walk but the children ran and hid when I mentioned this, after 20 minutes I surrendered, made a hot chocolate and then got out the paint, glue, card and various junk that would make a wonderful mess. Here are the wonderful messes (actually a lot of lovely artwork..)

A collection of our artwork from this afternoon

Midge's pasta and paint butterfly 

 Little A's pasta and paint butterfly

 My pasta, paint and sequined heart

Midge and I made pasta jewelry together, that was a lot of fun. She made some for her dolls and I made a rather glittery bracelet for myself. It was all good fun. While we did this, Little A had a tug of war with Peppa Dog and the rugby ball.

 Midge mixing her paint

 My pasta bracelet

Tug of war with the dog

We also did a spot of chalking on the pathway of the garden. Little A drew some pictures on the walls, I drew on the pathway with Midge and they also chalked the veranda whilst they were on a roll!

 Painted toes and chalk hearts

Little A's chalk ant

Later on as dinner cooked I gave in yet again to the cries for cookies, so Midge helped me do some mixing (then went off!) which meant I was alone until A came in and helped me put the mix onto the trays. Midge then returned to help eat the mix with her brother. Standard. They all came out quite nicely actually, the recipe book was pants though, I might blog these and see how everyone else gets on! 

Homemade free from cookies

So that was the day I stuck my finger up to the Mount Everest dish pile, the wet pile of laundry waiting to be hung out, the Holby City catch up and in all honesty, getting out of my pjs. What have you got up to so far this Easter? 

Thursday, 31 March 2016

My 5 Favourite Blog Posts from February

Another month another 5 blog posts to share with you all. I'm going to jump straight in with a post that made me really giggle. SingleMum Speaks took me right back to the days of weaning my little ones with her tongue in cheek post 'My Contribution to the Obesity Epidemic'. I too started off with the blender, the ice cube trays filled with pureed fruits and vegetables and Spag Bol but it wasn't long before the Mini Cupcakes discovered cheap sausages, custard creams and well yes, cupcakes, seeming as I spent so much time baking this particular treat! If you need a laugh and want a flash back this is your post.

Jocelyn from The Reading Residence posted  What Time is too Early for PJs? A title I couldn't scroll passed simply because, if truth be told, I practically live in my PJ's! If it's been raining when I'm out I'll pop my trusty warm pj bottoms and over sized hoody on as soon as I'm home again, I may wear jeans but in the cold winter under my coat you're sure to find the same hoody or even a Harry Potter night shirt and you know what? I'm not even sorry. Share your thoughts on pj's!

After a little blogging break its always nice to see a blogger pop up in my Bloglovin feed and Lisa's post was a lovely introduction to her new rescue cat Victor who will be excellent company for her other little cat Jeff. Some things never get old for me and a nice 'hello I'm still here' post featuring lovely kitty cats will always make me smile.

Angela is a lovely frugal blogger who I started following last year. This post on Perspective caught my eye last month. Turning gas leaks, broken hovers and lost voices into positives is hard to think about but when you read how Angela changed her perspective it was really inspiring and I went away turning my negitives into positives also; so thank you Angela.

Finally, Not Another Mummy Blog wrote When We Pretend We're Fine. This post really stuck with me because I am always someone who is so happy in public, I don't moan to the school gate mums about anything really, they talk about their partners and kids, their ill health, their families and I just nod along, sympathise sometimes and act shocked at other times (some stories they come out with I tell you!) I always tell people I'm fine, always. And I always wonder if the person I'm asking is okay is really okay..are they? This post was a good reminder that we all have battles no matter how apparent they may be. Some people tell all and some battles you hear through the grapevine but other people keep quiet and you really don't know if they're okay.

So there's my 5 blog posts for February that I hope you enjoy as much as I did. I have several lined up for March but I'm not quite done reading yet so once again you'll probably see that post at some point in April.

Cupcake Mumma

Thursday, 24 March 2016

Introducing the Money Saving Epson ET-4550 Printer

I have always been a printer hogger at home. I used to get moaned at for using up all the paper when I was growing up, printing posters for my bedroom wall, song lyrics and of course all my coursework. When Midge was born I used my printers for all her photos instead of using online sites, but then cartridges got more and more expensive and then I moved out and never managed to afford a new printer so back I went to the library and begging parents to print things out for school route. 

Now things have changed! I have been sent this amazing printer, the Epson ET-4550. It is an Eco Tank printer, ink cartridges have been replaced with ink filters which can last up to 2 years saving you money in the long run. Already a win for me. This printer can print up to 11000 pages in black and white or colour and delivers your print outs fast.

When I received the ET-4550 I was surprised by how lightweight it was despite its size. I popped it on my craft drawers next to several sockets and started the set up! This printer is also a copier, fax and has a scanner too. It came with magenta, black, blue and yellow ink bottles which is where I started. 

I was worried I would need a super steady hand but filling the ink tank was really easy. First open the ink bottle and remove the foil cover, then pop the lid back on tightly. I'd recommend doing those 2 steps then snipping the top off of the ink lid to avoid any mess. The ink tank is clearly labelled so you don't have to worry about filling the wrong ink tank up with one of the other colours. There is a clearly marked line to indicate where your ink should fill up to and then you can replace the rubber stoppers before closing the lid to the tank. What I also found great about the ink bottles was the drip flow, this minimised spillages. Any ink I did spill was a very, very tiny amount and cleaned up easily straight away. 

I then plugged the printer in and set up the space around me to continue the set up process. You can set up your fax function around this point too but I haven't done this yet purely because I have no idea who I would fax! For a working office or someone who does use fax I'm sure you'd have no trouble setting it up because the instructions are very straight forward.

Once set up I loaded my paper into the bottom tray for printing. We also tried the scanner at this point and it was really great quality. Following the instructions on the printers screen I was easily able to connect to my wifi and select layouts, paper size, quantities etc The longest part of this set up is allowing the ink tank to fill up which takes 20 minutes , I was just impatient to get started, it's really not that long to wait! 

The ET-4550 is WiFi connected, some laptops will recognise your printer straight away using the wireless detection and some can download the software using the disk provided with the information booklets.I don't have a CD Drive on my laptop so I searched the Epson link provided in the booklet and found the download process straightforward. I actually downloaded the software as I was waiting for the ink tank to fill so this helped waste some time!

I wasted no time in printing out some documents, coupons and also photos which was the one thing I really wanted to try. Printing was surprisingly quick and every image and document was clear. I am really pleased.

As I read through the booklet I decided to try connecting the Epson ET-4550 printer to my phone. I downloaded the Epson app using the app store on my phone, (this is free), and as long as your phone has no trouble finding your printer you're well away. If you have a little trouble you can find your printers I.P address which came up on my screen during the downloading process on my laptop which helps your phone find the connection. I printed a photo and several coupons from my bedroom (2 floors up!) with zero problems. The paper tray caught the print outs so they were not on my floor when I came down, the connection didn't have any trouble considering I was pretty far from my front room and again, print quality couldn't be faulted!

I have been blown away by this printer. It's the first printer we have owned in years. I know the ink will last a very long time because we don't print a huge amount. I'm pleased I can now print coupons for my shopping, the children can print out school work and I don't have to pay the library for their printing and scanning services (or ask my Dad repeatedly if he has remembered to print something important that I need!) I also have to add that I like that this printer is environmentally friendly. Not many people discard cartridges properly but now cartridges aren't a problem and I know my local recycling center take the plastic ink bottles, I can pop them out for collection and this is a plus to me.

The Epson ET-4550 has an RRP of £369.99 and comes with a 3 year warranty on the Epson site. I think it is absolutely worth the money. In the long run this printer will save you money on cartridges that in my experience don't last very long and these days even come with price tags as high as £20! What do you think? Would this printer save you money?

Cupcake Mumma

Wednesday, 23 March 2016

Ten Reasons to Smile February

Ah we're now in one of my favourite months and my favourite season is slowly peaking through the clouds to say hello...Hang in there Spring! I'm so excited to see my sister back home, to eat hot cross buns, to have chocolate eggs and do an egg hunt. I hope our half term will be fun! We've had a good February and I just hope that it all continues because I'm quite content really. These teeth of mine need to behave themselves too!

1) First of all my Little Roo turned 5 last month. I totally cried the night before and maybe again when he wasn't looking, it's so bittersweet for me! We've been through quite a lot with Roo but I wouldn't change him for the world. His birthday was a total wash out but he was happy to have cake and go to Costa which is his favourite place besides the park and soft play. He spent the rest of the day playing with all his cool new superhero stuff.

2) I have, by my own admission been a bit grumpy and out of sorts. I'm a bit of a recluse these days with not really any friends or anywhere to go. Sometimes I like to do my own thing, feel lucky I can stay at home etc but other days it gets me down. Mr B made me venture out with him and Roo to play football after Roo's cool little Avengers tea party. We had a lovely walk and kick about and the dog even came along, she was ace and had a great time. I felt the effects of that day for a whole week it did me so much good!

3) I won some more competitions and each one made me smile. From marshmallows to books and vouchers I loved them all and I hope I can win some more comps this month (but so far not so lucky!)

4) Our beautiful Midge is doing great at maths getting a pen and dazzle award and her name in the school newsletter last month. Her English at school has been getting better and she's getting a bit more confident in class although her teacher says she's still too quiet. We've had some trouble with 2 other girls and Midge isn't speaking up but after a chat with her teacher I'm hoping she understands that she has to speak up to be heard and not let these girls get away with the things they are doing. Midge is really growing up and making me proud. I wish I could share photos of her because she's so beautiful but of course I cannot and would not do Mumma pride is strong though!

5) We had our 6 month dental check and I'm so pleased that the children's teeth are all doing great! Midge has 1 wobbly one and Roo's are doing well with a bit of help from another dentist too. It was me who needed to book for 2 fillings and I'm still going through the works!

6) I betted on 2 random football teams last month on a betting site, something I've never done before and I won £30. Mr B was so jealous! I only went on there to do my cash-back, that win really helped me out with some things though!

7) We had a Lovely early birthday tea for Roo at Wetherspoons

8) I had a lovely day out with the children and my mum in Penzance during the half term. She bought them both ice cream, Midge got some new shoes then we went to hers for tea and several long hot baths!

9) The Dummy is now gone forever!!

10) Finally as I've mentioned a million times everywhere I possibly can, I'm happy because Spring is starting to show itself, very happy!

Cupcake Mumma

A Cornish Mum

Tuesday, 22 March 2016

What We Got Up To ~ February

I thought I'd best get this written and published before April crept up on me! February was a pretty good month, if a little too fast to pass but we escaped most of the bugs, only Roo was beaten by a bout of sickness after Daddy brought it home from goodness knows where! He still managed a few smiles for me despite feeling rough bless him. We had a lovely pancake day (it's not that special though to be honest because we love pancakes and have them at least once a month, sometimes for dinner and always on birthdays!) Midge of course went OTT on the sugar when I was busy cooking up my next batch!

We had Roo's birthday which was a lovely day but not how we planned it at all. We were meant to go to an animal park but the weather was awful so we ended up with presents, cake and birthday Costa instead. Midge stayed at Grandma and Pop's house for a night in the half term returning with a yummy cake. While she was away, Mr B and I took Roo and the dog to the local field for some football fun and a run around. We had a lovely half term which went pretty quick and included a great day out with Grandma who bought new shoes, ice creams and dinner at her house. 

Smiles// Cooked breakfast// Marshmallows// Stormy weather// Doctors waiting rom// Midge doing pancakes// My and my boy// Freebies from udis

Smiles// Birthday goodies// Footie// More smiles!// Peppa out enjoying the sun// Birthday cake number 2// Midge's cake// Tea party time!

Little T's birthday// Ice creams in Penzance// Hot chocolate// Happy birthday!// Birthday cake// Hapy mail!// Roo discovers Lego// A hot cuppa with the pooch// Books and Costa!

What About Me?

I found a lovely little walk where some horses had returned and I picked road side daffodils which cheered me up. I ticked some things off the house list, next is a book shelf I think. I won quite a few prizes in February and purchased some bargain books which I enjoyed looking through on a Costa date.

February's blog posts:

I wrote my bargains and wins post from January and as usual What we got up to in January. I shared my 5 Favourite Posts from other Bloggers, had a Proud Mum Moment and shared a few reviews including fun adult colouring books, a fab weekend craft box and Zoflora. Hope you enjoy these posts if you've missed them, let me know what you've all been up to as well, have you had a good February?

Cupcake Mumma

Monday, 21 March 2016

Teeth: A Pain from Beginning to End!

Once upon a time I had a lovely full set of teeth, then I had a few out to make way for braces but that was that, I was fine. Roll on a few years after children and my teeth have been nothing but trouble. I've had 4 teeth out in 3 years, not something I ever thought would happen. I've had my worst case of toothache ever over the last month and last week I walked in to the dentist and demanded it out. I had been persevering with the pain, spending a hell of a lot of time on the Internet looking up root canals, private dentists, dentists with sedation medicine available but obviously I can't afford any of that helpful stuff so I ruled out root canal reasoning that not only was I terrified of the thought of one, if  I was a paying NHS patient I'd have to opt for a removal anyway because it'd be cheaper.

The tooth was removed on Monday and since then another tooth wants to play games and I've developed dry socket. That's basically where the clot gets removed from the gum during the healing process so your bone is exposed. Too much information? Sorry, but not too sorry because it's in my mouth and it hurts.

When you're in a lot of pain for whatever reason (I have this flu like lurgy just to make life even better) it's hard to not feel like everything is rubbish but it's not really and I'm trying not to lose sight of that. I just wish I could catch a break with my teeth. I've fallen behind on everything I love like reading, blogging and letter writing because I can't concentrate, the house, routine and meals have all gone to pot because we have a 'Mum Down' situation as I like to call it.

I know my mouth will heal. I know I am lucky to have good treatment. I am hopeful my other tooth will not go the same way (actually prayed for that one to be honest) and I am hopeful that my mouth will be better for the holidays so I can be productive, fun, organised and the children aren't stuck in being bored in a pit of a house.

A friend recently said to me 'teeth, they're a pain coming and a pain going' she couldn't be more right I think! Anyway, I had to get that off my chest. *Rattles off to bed*

Cupcake Mumma xx

Monday, 14 March 2016

WIN! ~ £30 to Spend Online at Party Bags and Supplies!

I blogged last week about Roo's cool little Avengers tea party which included a plastic tablecloth, plates, napkins and pre filled party bags all from Party Bags and Supplies.

Roo really enjoyed his tea party and we were both pleased with the items from Party Bags and Supplies, I could concentrate on cake and food without worrying about finding matching items for the theme. We had a lovely day and enjoyed reviewing the products. Because we loved them so much we are running a giveaway with Party Bags and Supplies to win £30 to spend on their store online. So whether you have an Avengers fan like me, a Princess Sophia fan, Thomas Tank lover or well, pretty much anything, you can win the items you need to make your party perfect! All you need to do is read the T&C's below then follow the rafflecopter instructions to enter, good luck!


Open to UK Residents, competition closes Midnight 31st March 2016
Winner will be drawn from all correct entries on the closing date and will have 28 days to claim their prize or a new winner will be drawn.
The brand/PR(Party Bags and Supplies) is responsible for arranging delivery of your prize.
Please do allow up to 28 days for delivery

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Best of luck!

Cupcake Mumma