Monday, 1 September 2014

The Final Week

Yes at last it has come. I'm not even sorry that I'm not one those mothers crying about new school years or deeply sad that summer has ended and now it's time to go back. I've had a long summer here and the word holiday is not a word I would choose to add to summer either. Of course it hasn't been all bad. We went to a beautiful wedding and saw a lot of lovely family. We've had friends stay and ventured to an animal park which was wonderful fun! We've done soft play twice and had cheeky trips to a certain famous food chain.

In between most of that we've had potty training not going according to plan. We've had a lot of sleepless nights and have spent a lot of time with our three year old in with me and my poor husband going where ever he can be comfortable.

For about 3 weeks I was stuck in an absolutely rotten place mentally. I cancelled appointments because of my anxiety, I didn't want to leave the house but did manage one day at the park and several belated trips to the post office (sorry pen friends) I've been tired and worn down by a lot of fighting between the children. Some boredom, some poor communication with A, some purpose tormenting from midge and just some utter crap!

I've had a better holiday than most I've no doubt about that at all. I wouldn't change the holiday either, it's very important for children now more than ever to have these precious six weeks.

I never noticed the long holidays in primary school because I was left to my own devices or holidaying in Cornwall with family before we moved here. I hated the summer holidays as a teen because it was long and boring, because I was someone who loved the books and homework and missed the structure and routine from school. It seems even as a mother of two I still can't stand the long summer. As they get older i'll just be more aware of their friends' fabulous holidays and our lack of ability to provide such wonderful fun. That's a long way in the future that one. Hopefully next year things will be better in lots of ways!

Cupcake Mumma

Friday, 15 August 2014

Destinations that are Top of my List: BEDAOutmumbered

I have a few places I really want to visit and they are of course listed in my bucket list too. First of all I really want to visit the Harry Potter Studios. It's very possible this will happen for me this October as a birthday treat with my Mum who is also a lover of Harry Potter and my daughter who may or may not be interested in the geeking out that's sure to happen.

The London Eye is another place I want to visit despite my slight fear of heights. I've climbed Snowdon, I'm pretty confident I can do most things now to be honest! It would just be so amazing to see that fantastic view. I'd like to do a whole bunch of things just hubby and I.

There are several castles I want to visit because of my Tudor interests:
St.Mawes and Pendennis
Hatfield Castle (Elizabeth 1st)
Hever Castle (Anne Bolyn's childhood home) there will be many more though, England is home to some amazing castles.

I want to visit the Titanic Museum because it just fascinates me and I want to go to Buckingham palace even just to have my photo taken at the gates, I don't care! I love our royal family.

Finally I want to return to my childhood home to see how things have changed. I want to see Westonburt, where I grew up and Tetbury, the town I lived closest to and also the town I went to school in. Hopefully a certain friend will be able to help with this one next year!

Wednesday, 13 August 2014

Notebook Review from Viking

Recently, Viking contacted me about reviewing one of their notebooks from their very wide variety on offer on line. As you should know by now I'm a huge stationery fan and never turn down a notebook (or letter writing kits, or stickers, or pens or...okay I'm a total stationery geek) so I was only too pleased to have a browse online and see if anything jumped out at me.

I really wanted to go for a different look. Viking has a great variety of notebooks on offer from hardbacks, to firm but flexible notebooks, to lined and not lined, coloured or themed they have it all. I wanted to break away from my usual pink and pretty type notebook and finally, after a fair while, I found one that I really liked:

I'm not a coffee drinker at all but it does remind me of my love for sitting in a coffee shop with my favourite hot chocolate and orange syrup.

The notebook arrived in great time and is of a really good quality. The covers are firm but flexible, as it's a A5 size it fits just nicely into my handbag which is important for me and my coffee shop stops! It's lined which is always top of my list and the design is really just lovely.

Inside the notebook you have a long piece of ribbon to mark your place, so handy and another thing I always look for when purchasing a new notebook. You also have a place at the front of the book to write down your details incase you leave it behind in said coffee shop as I have done before...

So, if you haven't checked out Viking before then I really do recommend them for their great customer service, speedy delivery, wide choice of notebooks and other stationery and of course, the quality of their product.

Cupcake Mumma

Let's Talk About Depression

I've woken up this morning feeling slightly cross. I'm in agony with my back, my children are screaming and then I log on to the internet and read about the press and their usual spiteful, uneducated, dangerous and disrespectful reporting into the death of Robin Williams. So I want to write about depression. I want to tell you how depression makes me feel. I want to educate those who can not get their heads around why someone would feel so worthless, so pathetic, so utterly alone and helpless that they'd want to leave their life behind no matter how 'amazing,' and how 'perfect,' it appeared to be.

Depression, something that I've suffered from since my early teenage years, without knowing, without labelling myself with it, is a disease. Like any physical illness depression spreads through the mind, the body until life feels impossible. Depression:

Makes me think my husband has had enough of me and will leave me any day when in reality he is standing there with me.

Makes me think my children hate me. That being away from them is the best chance they have. Away from my quick temper, my selfishness, my uselessness.

It makes me question every single thing I've ever done. To the point your mind won't stop, it won't go quiet. You can't sleep.

It makes you tired. So bloody tired.

It makes you angry. You hate the world and sometimes everyone that exists no matter who they are and you don't even know why.

It tells you you're alone. Convinces you of the shame of seeking help. Tells you your children would be taken away from you if you're seen as 'mental.'

It's selfish. There are no other thoughts other than 'Me.' That is why depression is so hard to work with. That's why it's so bloody hard to stand by someone suffering because you want to pick them up, shake them, give them the massive list of all that's good in their lives but depression doesn't care.

Depression is dark. It is lonely, distant, spaced out, it is the black hole of your mind.

My honest opinion of depression and the stigma surrounding it? I don't believe it will ever end. No one, unless you're very special, very keen to learn and help, can truly understand depression unless they've been there themselves. Sometimes helping someone through it is enough if you are open to understanding, to helping, to researching, to reaching out. Mostly though, depression is understood by those who have lived through it. Who are emerging from the other side.

Please understand that there is no logic to depression. Money, cars, career, marriage, healthy children, big families, wonderful homes, too class friends, education, gorgeous appearances, houses full to the brim of everything you could want, no particuly bad life experiences. It doesn't make you immune from depression. Nothing can and nothing will.

Please, if you're reading this and treading through the darkness, if you're wondering what is out there for you, wondering if this is your calling card to leave, please please seek help.

Any of these:

Sure Start Centres
Almost any health care professional


It doesn't matter who you are, where you've come from, what you've been through. Whether your young or old, black or white, male or female. It doesn't matter your sexual orientation, or if you're poor, rich, in the middle. You matter. You are a wonderful person who deserves to tread through the darkness and emerge from the other side. It's not easy. It's not fun. But it is possible. Good luck.

Cupcake Mumma

Friday, 8 August 2014

Great Bloggers Bake Off 2014: Cherry Cake (Free From)

The Great British Bake Off is back! That means The Great Bloggers Bake Off is back too! Hurrah! This week the challenge was very simply, cake. Mini cakes, cherry cake and um cake.

I went for a cherry cake. Not a Mary Berry cherry cake just a big standard cherry cake with some butter icing. Yum yum. Just like last year all bakes are Gluten free, Dairy free and Wheat free.

I simply took a normal recipe for a Madeira cake and bunged in 200g of glacĂ© cherries. I baked until golden brown and clear when tested with a butter knife at 180 and left the cake to cool. I mixed up a whole box of icing sugar with vitilite butter, added pink food colouring and refrigerated until I needed it. The pesky cake must have still been a little hot despite having over an hour to cool because I noticed my icing sliding a bit. Oh well!

I decorated with fresh cherries and voila, a free from cherry cake! I'm very pleased with my first bake it tastes good but is a bit too heavy, I'd prefer it a lot more softer but it's not too bad. The cherries didn't all sink either so that's a win!

Are you watching the Bake Off? Why not get your bake on too?

Mummy Mishaps

Cupcake Mumma

Wednesday, 6 August 2014

#BEDA Day 6 My Best Friends

I have several best friends who mean a hell of a lot to me. The first, K, I have been friends with since 2007 when I posted on a parenting site asking for advice. After that initial open chat on the forums we started e- mailing, then texting and then letter writing. It's now 7 years on and we still do all of those things regularly.
The sad thing is that we live so far from each other. I'm in Cornwall and she's near Cambridge. It's a long way to travel and expensive for both of us but we have met. Last year I visited family and we had the best time meeting each other. We both have two children the same age, just a few months a part each. She knows everything about my life and is the least judgmental of anyone I've ever met. The only reason I haven't fully named her is because she doesn't know I'm writing this! She'll know who she is though and I love her loads.

There's little introduction needed for my sidekick and other best friend Kat. Another online friendship that has just happened and blossomed. Kat and I first met when we were to climb Mount Snowdon in 2013 with team honk. I'm so glad we clicked, otherwise we'd be travelling to wales, just the two of us, in Kat's car and then bunking up together. Awkward if you don't get along but we had no such troubles!

We've held each other's hands virtually since that day and know everything there is to know about each other and our families. I get along wonderfully with her boys and we've stayed at each other's houses a fair few times (2 days until she visits with the crew!!)
I love both her and her boys a lot and have a soft spot for her little Chaos despite his erm, livlyness (I don't think Kat would use that word I'm sure ;) I plan to be the supplier of prettiness and cupcakes to her fourth and first (and final!) little one- a baby girl!

So Kat and K, I love you both very much!

Cupcake Mumma

Little A's Dream Bedroom

I came across Little Stuff's blog and discovered a competition I'd thought I'd enter. All you have to do is go virtual shopping for either your dream lounge or a dream bedroom and show off your finds in a blog post. So, as I love a good browse I thought I'd go hunting and list my ideas for Little A's dream bedroom. Midges only needs a lick of paint and a little TLC but A's is stuck in a boring rut.

So, with all the images linked to their original site, I give you Little A's dream room!

I love this bed and I know Little A would too. He's still in a cot bed because he loves it so much but it's time he moved on to a big boy bed! We do have one on stand by but it won't last him long so to go up to a single bed straight away would be ideal. The football theme is ideal for A and his love of his footie (like his father!) I think we wouldn't have too much trouble at bedtime with this fab bed.

Football Rug

I'd buy a few of these rugs and place them in the middle of his room. He'd really love them and they'd make a great finishing touch.

I love these reversible duvet covers and I love buying bright colours. I wouldn't want to over power his room with football related items so I think it would be a lovely way to break it all up a bit.

A great kawaii like cloud cushion for his bed. The cloud fits the bedding perfectly and I love a funky cushion to finish off beds and sofas in the house.

Spiderman Lined Curtains - W66 x L54 in

These curtains are certainly no match for the room theme but it's important to have dark curtains in a little ones bedroom and he adores spider man. Failing this, I'd go for a plain dark blue curtain but I couldn't find that online this morning.

Storage Library

I love this shelving unit! There's a bit of colour, it's perfect for all of A's books and you can even store extras on the side.

Kansas 6 Drawer Chest

I prefer my children having chest of drawers rather than wardrobes. They both get messed up in my experience so it's not that they can look after their clothes better it's just they take up less room. These drawers are lovely and simple, his teddies can still sit on top and it's far better than the plastic rubbish he has in his room currently!

So, with some paint and touching up, his room would really be the ideal room. Its fun, its got several of his likes in there and there would still be plenty of room for him to pull his Lego and toys out, both of which could be stored under his bed and hidden! Ideal for a growing boy who hates to tidy up!

Good to be Home Dream Room Competition

Tuesday, 5 August 2014

#BEDA A Special Memory

I always think it's really hard to narrow down all those memories you've kept to just one special one. I, like many people, have a lot of fantastic memories. Climbing Snowdon, doing the race for life with midge, my first beautiful dog who was my best friend and so many hilarious school memories.

Having my children is definitely near the top. Mainly the holding them close afterwards, the relief, the joy. With my son I got to catch him under the water and cuddle him quickly. That's incredibly special to me.

My really special memory though is marrying my soul mate. Walking up the aisle to greet him, exchanging vows, walking away as husband and wife. Our whole family gathered in happiness for us. Midge was a bridesmaid and Little A was toddling around in his suit. It meant everything to be blessed as a family. The party afterwards was wonderful and everyone had pulled together to help us make our day wonderful.

We married in a beautiful church and celebrated it opposite the sea in the hotel we had our first night away in as 19 year old first time parents. That sounds nuts. Our room was beautiful and we stayed there for two nights. I remember after everyone had gone to bed I stood looking out at the beautiful view with my new husband. I hadn't shed a year all day and then all of a sudden the happiness overwhelmed me and my husband took me in his arms for one of his wonderfully protecting, comforting hugs.

It's quite apt that I should write this. In 2 weeks we celebrate 2 years of marriage. I'm very lucky to have my Husband and our wedding day is definitely the most special memory etched into my mind.

Cupcake Mumma

#Dicraftswap Book Swap!

Julys theme for the Dainty and Ivory craft swap with Hannah was books! I love books. Novels, notepads, notebooks all kinds of books! My partner was Claire who took a lot of time and effort in thinking of the perfect swap gift for me. Here's all the beautiful goodies together:

I was sent this lovely notebook which has been hand decorated by Claire. Inside I can record all the books I read and leave some notes about them. I love this idea. Inside I had some pink note pages with envelopes to add to my collection.

Claire remembered I loved anything to do with the Second World War and sent me these reproduced items. A numbered ticket, junior ration booklet and Identity card.

I was sent this very sweet mouse which will be re homed with little trouble! She's so cute!

Here's what I sent to my partner:

I took the book swap quite literally and sent my partner a book I had finished reading. I like to pass books around and hopefully this one will be read and enjoyed. I made the cards myself, added a gratitude angel which I am loving making at the moment. I thought I'd a little vintage mirror with nail files for something special and some toffees, well, just because! I loved the woodland embellishments and felt they fitted the theme really well. I'm so pleased with both what I sent and what I received this month just like I have been since this project started! 

This month I'll be blogging about the Disney swap which has caused me no end of trouble! Buying was fine, making has been different!

Cupcake Mumma

Monday, 4 August 2014

Portsmouth Fun!

Last week I went on holiday with Midge to a family wedding in Cambridge. In order to get to Cambridge we stayed with my cousins in Portsmouth which turned out to be a lovely addition to an already fabulous weekend.

After we had had the wedding (which was beautiful) we decided to end mine and Midges stay with a lovely family day out. My cousins thought midge and I would enjoy a day out at Canoe Lake Splash Park which is also very close to the beach so there was a nice view!

The children got to put on their swim suits and play about in the fair sized play area which let's off water from water sprinklers. Some of the water went high up in the air and other sprinklers let off water in arches. It was lovely to see the children running around, darting about over the hills and under the water arches.

There's plenty of grass to sit down on, we placed ourselves under one of many trees to grab some shade. Plenty of others had the same idea with their toddlers sound asleep on blankets.

My older cousins enjoyed a zip wire and next to the park was a large play park with slides, climbing frames and swings. We didn't go in here but as your standard play parks go you know children are going to enjoy it, we were there for the water fun!

Everyone enjoyed an ice cream from the local cafe and I also had a small pot of very tasty chips whilst my cousin had a coffee. The main reason we both purchased the latter was because our children needed the loo (at different times) and these appeared to be the only ones accessible to us. The public loos looked like they were closed off a long time ago! Being the cafe toilets they like them to be used by customers only so  we purchased our items and the children got to use the loo at the same time. A little inconvenient but obviously the public ones were closed for a reason (much like the ones down where I live which were just trashed.)

So, if you're in Portsmouth this summer and fancy a super cheap (or even free with a picnic and no loo stops!) I'd recommend taking the children to the large parks at Canoe Lake Splash Park.

Cupcake Mumma

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