A-Z Challenge: Z

Z is for Zero Letters Left.

So there we have it. A whole load of blog posts for every letter of the alphabet. I hope I haven't bored anyone too much? In the beginning I lost 2 followers, but I soon gained 4 new ones and that's not counting Bloglovin so it's not all bad!

I actually really enjoyed myself on this challenge and might even sign up to blog every day in May with a few other fellow bloggers. I'm so pleased I've managed to complete the whole alphabet despite very low days and both of my children coming down with the darn chickenpox!!

Little A is now improving loads and Midge's spots are almost all gone which she is most pleased about! I'm still pretty sleep deprived but I'm pleased to say I've only stayed up way past my bedtime on 2 occasions to finish a blog post, I thought it would be so many more times!

I've since been in touch with some great bloggers who I now follow and will continue to read. I love how many comments I have received and how we have all now connected on other social networking sites too. I've also enjoyed chatting with my little sister who has also been taking on the A-Z Challenge as well. It's been fun!

Thanks for putting up with the everyday posts from me. I'm glad I did this challenge as I've manged to record some memories I might not have done. I've also made some great online friends too.Now to catch up with all the posts from other fab participants!


A-Z Challenge: Y

Y is for Yesterday

Yesterday was a pretty miserable day I'm sorry to report. Little A decided to wake up at 10pm and not sleep at all and I'm not even kidding! I haven't even had a night like that with a newborn baby- horrendous! I did check my Twitter in the morning though and found out many parents had similar problems so there's some sort of comfort in that!

The day before yesterday was Trevithick Day. I was looking forward to this until we were all tired, it was super packed and started raining. In the end I walked Midge to the steam engines, took a few photographs then came home when the moaning started...

I was left a football widow for 3 or 4 hours until half 5 came around and Husband came home. Upon returning he took Midge out to the celebrations before the party goers came out. She spent her £5 from Nanny, went on 4 rides and one 2 prizes, happy at last!

The best bit about my day yesterday though was laying in bed with Midge whilst Little A caught up on some sleep in the morning. I laid there like a beached whale, Husband was downstairs doing his own version on the sofa and Midge was playing on our tablet, not giving a damn about how annoying SpongeBob SquarePants actually is!

Oh, I had a nice dinner too. Mash with homemade dairy and gluten free fish and peas. Y could also be for Yummy!!

30 Ways to Save a £1

Whilst browsing MoneySupermarket, I found a little something that caught my eye. They are looking for a load of bloggers to blog their 30 ways to save £1 to celebrate the 30th year of our great pound coin! I like to be a bit thrifty and a £1000 prize for the lucky winner was a sure incentive to find my ways of saving a pound (or more!)

1) Ditch the weekly mag.
I had a magazine I read every single week which cost me 99p. Since I ditched the mag, I get to save that 99p and I'm also happier not reading the same old rubbish about women and their bodies all the time!

2) Buy a weekly bus pass instead of paying everyday.
My Husband recently figured out that it costs him more (£18) to get to and from work every day when paying for a return fare, so instead he purchased an all week ticket for £16 saving himself £2. Every little counts!

3) Save with PARK for Christmas.
Since I started putting money back every month Christmas has been so much easier to manage. It is the one time of year which can be quite stressful money wise and I used to be terrible with over buying therefore overspending. Now I have a set amount of vouchers and once they're gone, they're gone.

4) Meal Plan- and stick to it!

5) Don't give into the children!
Easier said than done I know, but buying a chocolate bar, a magazine or toy to keep them from screaming Tescos down isn't going to do your wallet any favours (and doesn't last that long anyway!)

6) Take advantage of reward cards.
Boots are the best for me but there are also Tesco Clubcards, Superdrug reward cards, Iceland Bonus Card and many more.

7) Instead of booking a holiday away, staycate!
Next year we're booking a holiday local to us instead of going further away.

8) Stick to your shopping lists!

9) Buy value products where possible.
There isn't a great difference to most of the foods taste wise but a big difference price wise!

10) Shop around!
I use my local superstore for 'free from' food, Lidl and Superdrug for bulk buying the children's nappies and my local green grocer for my fruit and veg. Most of the time it works out much more in my favour than sticking to one shop.

11) Repair where possible.
Get into a habit of saving the items you have by repairing them instead of throwing things out at the first sign of wear and tear.

12) Get outdoors instead of using the gym.
Unless you really get your moneys worth from the gym, there's no point in paying out every month. Instead walk, run, cycle, jog and take in that fresh air!

13) Buy your books from boot sales, charity shops or even borrow them from your local library. You can even download free books from your Kindle if you own one.

14) Use white vinegar to clean your house instead of expensive chemical brands

15) Use newspaper to clean your mirrors instead of polishing them!

16)Look after what you already have!
The more you don't care for something, the quicker they will wear out and eventually become broken. So take care of what you already own and you will save pennies in the long run.

17) Save baths for those real 'treat yourself' moments.

18) Don't bin your leftovers!!
There are plenty of recipes out there to help you use your leftovers! Sometimes I just have what's left for lunch the next day.

19) Make gifts and cards.
A lot of the time there are items in our home we could make nice and give away as gifts. A cheaper and  very thoughtful way of showing someone you care

20) Grow you own!

21) Pack a lunch instead of buying in town or at work.

22) Bake!
I always have the ingredients in my cupboard to make cakes and cupcakes which are bigger and better than store bought packs. Biscuits are cheap and simple to make too, especially in bulk!

23) Swishing!
Taking your old, clean belongings to a Swishing party means you can socialise and get some new clothes in exchange for your old ones.

24) Use your own bags!

25) Look out for money off local attractions in your local newspaper.

26) Ditch take aways.

27) Quit the cigarettes!
My husband switched from cigarettes to roll ups and now he's cutting down I'm pretty sure we'll see the difference money wise very soon!

28)Use your library and possibly local school for free toddler groups.
The school my daughter goes to runs a free toddler group every week with the library offering the same the next day. Most council run places and nurseries will charge up to £2.50 for a session so if you can find a free one, make use of it!

29) Buy second hand, so much cheaper and nothing wrong with it.

30) Carry around snacks and water with you (especially if you're with children) to avoid the sudden spending of money.


A-Z Challenge- W

W is for Waiting

The last few days have been pretty awful. Today we reached breaking point with Little A and his chickenpox and phoned the GP. He is absolutely covered from head to toe in spots, some which look like they may be or may become infected. We tried every cream, lotion,potion and bath suggestion you can think of and nothing has helped my poor baby.

We did a lot of waiting for that phone call today but finally it came. Our wonderful GP gave up the last of her lunch hour to see Little A and give him a good once over. She even had a nice chat with Midge. Now we have some antibiotics and Sudocream seems to be working better than any other cream we've tried. He has quite a bad of case chickenpox so needless to say there has been lots of tears whilst waiting for medicines to kick in and lots of tears from me because I just want to help my baby.

Since this afternoon, Little A has picked up a lot more. Both him and Midge are tucked up in bed and he's already had longer than his usual half an hour stretch. I don't expect a good night, not for a few more days to be honest.

Tomorrow I'll be taking Midge to ballet and I will probably take her to Trevithick Day to see the steam engines before coming home to Jay and my boy. For now, I'm watching some TV, eating some dinner and waiting for my baby alarm to off.


A-Z Challenge: U

U is for Urges

Here are some of the urges I have experienced recently:

I have felt the urge to laugh at my daughter when she pulls that really stupid face before she bursts into a fit of fake tears and tantrums. I don't laugh (okay I do, but only when I'm in the kitchen and she's sat sulking in the lounge..) Seriously, how can you not laugh at a fake crying, tantrum throwing pudgy little face? It's sort of cute no?

I have felt the urge to punch the living hell out my husband for snoring in my ear hole several times this week already. He snores like a train and that is no exaggeration! I will say though that instead of performing some violent act on him he got moved to the sofa instead *insert big grin*

I have felt the urge to shove scooters and bicycle bells up places that don't see any sunshine. I despise the constant ringing of bells (stationary can I just add) being rung by teens hanging out on street corners and the juniors speeding by on their scooters running over feet and seemingly not even noticing...

* I am in a good mood today I promise*

I have also had the urge to throw things at my TV during Jeremy Kyle, This Morning and yet another episode of Max and bloody Ruby (Little A loves it so who am I to stop him watching it? Besides, he's poorly so wins all battles at the moment!)

I think that's enough urges for today. Have you had any 'urges' to do, go, see anything recently?


A-Z Challenge: T

T is for The Simple Woman's Daybook April


Outside my window...

It has turned rather chilly now but for most of the day the sun has shone, which has been nice. Right now though it's cold and the sun hasn't quite gone down therefore completely convincing the children it's not bedtime yet. Thanks clock change...

I am thinking...

About what I'll do tomorrow, what I'll blog, if I'll have another fight to get Midge to school(even though she loves it when she gets there) I'm thinking, am I going to get a good sleep tonight? and how long will Little A suffer with the pox!?

I am thankful...

For my home, my family, my health. For my amazing osteopath, for good dairy free chocolate and lovely, thick duvets to snuggle up in when I can't turn the heating on.

In the kitchen...

My dryer is busy whirring around making all sorts of noise. My washing machine is waiting expectantly for Hubby to come home with his horribly muddy football kit. All the dishes are piled to be put away and my 'to do' list is still blank..not for long.

I am wearing...

A jumper (that isn't thick enough) but is rather comfy, some PJ bottoms (my instant go-to once the school run is over) and some new pink nails! 

I am creating...

A funny monster thing from my craft box for Midge and I'm writing lots of letters which means I'm creating happiness for mail boxes!!

I am going...

To post more letters tomorrow, bake something and snuggle with my chickenpox boy! 

I am wondering...

Will there ever be a day of good news? The continuous bad news and negativity is so disheartening.

I am reading...

Harry Potter and The Goblet of Fire...Again! In between my blog reading of course.

I am hoping...

For sun this Saturday as it's a local celebration day which I'm really looking forward to.

I am looking forward to...

This weekend! Trevithick Day, candyfloss, steam engines, Mum and Dad over for the day and morning ballet with Midge.

I am learning..

To manage my diet properly in order to feel better. It's all about making new habits- which isn't easy!

Around the house...

Some things are getting sorted but upstairs is a total mess with a whole bedroom to re decorate. It will have to wait though, poorly babies and all!

A favorite quote for today...

'"If you don't help yourself, no one else can"

One of my favorite things...


A few plans for the rest of the week:

School runs, post office trips, blogging and looking forward to Saturday. There's lots of housework to be done too!

A peek into my day...

Hope you like my different take on the letter 'T' today.


A-Z Challenge: S

S is for School Memories

With all the talk about changing the education system for the better (read worse) it got me thinking back to my days in primary school. I enjoyed learning, I had a great education and I also had so much fun! It is possible!

Here's what I remember of my wonderful time at school:

  • We did sponsored car washes for charity fund raisers. My Mum always drove her car in and we all had fun washing the cars for a couple of pounds in the school playground. I haven't seen a school do that in ages!

  • I used to practice my handstands with all the other girls. We lined up and performed handstands with challenges thrown in such as 'the scissors' (where you moved your legs in a scissor movement in the air) or 'the ballerina' where you had to keep one leg pointed and bend the other. I had pretty good balance back then! 

  • We sat in circles in our summer dresses making daisy chains, then laying down making pictures out of the clouds.

  • We drank milk out of square cartons in the classroom at break time whilst laughing and chatting with our peers. 

  • We climbed the trees at the top of the field. This was a part of the field that was pretty far from any sight of the teachers but it was never abused, not like in secondary school. We would go up to this part because it was shaded thanks to 4 huge trees. Some people played 'kiss chase' up here, some climbed the big trees without getting told off. Try doing that now!

There are so many more memories from school I'm sure. I had such a good childhood and my education was messy, fun, exciting. Children need this, it's how they learn! I hope our government can see that we're not all born academics. Some of us like getting stuck in!


Scavenger Hunt Sunday


Happiness is a 5 year old Midge with a big chocolaty ice cream enjoying the sun and food festival on Saturday.


The men oF the family! Shame my brother wasn't there too really but here's my husband Jason, Little A and Pops.


My Dad bought me this lovely broach yesterday. It's really me, so pretty and delicate looking. I tried to fuzz the background with a photo editor so I'm hoping I can just about get away with it!


It was definitely spring in the village yesterday. I walked to the end of the road and snapped this picture as I watched Little Miss play with her Auntie for a while. We really were blessed with such beautiful weather for the festival.


The local fish monger in the village provided the hungry visitors (like myself) with some delicious fish kebabs and bags of scallops. They were so, so good! What you can't see is the gathering behind me! There were so many people queuing I'm glad I got there quick!

A-Z Challenge: Q

Q is for Quality Moments

You know you have those moments in life where you just don't want them to end? Or want to never forget? That's why I love the beauty of the camera. That piece of technology which allows us to capture those memories which we could very well forget otherwise. Here are some of my quality moments.

There was nothing I looked forward to more than seeing my baby's scan at my midwife appointments and hearing their little hearts beating so fast. I am so grateful I have 2 healthy babies. Thinking about the labour was scary, dwelling on all the problems I had during my pregnancy was depressing so the scans were always something to look forward to. I had 3 with Little A and 2 with Midge.

Little A only a few days old. I couldn't take my eyes off of my beautiful son and the love I felt was instant and amazing. I loved my daughter to pieces but the shadow of depression really hurt our bonding. Still, isn't he so sweet!?

Thursday 18th April. My Sister in law and her children met Gary Barlow in Cornwall. Can't get a more quality moment than that can you? I'm so happy for them because it's not everyday you meet someone whose so blooming famous!!

Our wedding was a quality moment that I pray I never forget. The vows, the guests, the dancing and laughter it was all just so magical to me! Here is a very rare moment indeed where all the family were squeezed together for a group photo.

Last year we introduced Midge to theme parks! She couldn't get enough of the log flume which she made her Dad get on well over 10 times! As you can see it was such a laugh and they got soaked!

I love this photo of Midge. She was gobsmacked that someone would need pants so big!! If you're ever having a bad day please do feel free to look at this photo! Maybe I'll pin in!

Another Midge classic. We had been face painting a little earlier and when I went to sort Little A out I thought that things were a little quiet. Any parent knows this is usually pretty bad but on this occasion it was hilarious. In bounded the Midge with a huge smile announcing 'Look Mummy, I'm a Tardis!!!' You 'Whovians' can be all proud of my parenting skills right about now.

Obviously, I have so many more quality moments. This blog is home to many of them which I'm glad about considering my laptop has died taking everything with it *sobs*. Until tomorrow!


A-Z Challenge: P

P is for Positivity

Reasons to be Cheerful at Mummy from the Heart

Reasons to be Cheerful is a great round up of the week so far which leaves me feeling positive even though some parts may have been tough. This week Midge has been off school with her chickenpox and Little A has been less than willing to sleep. I discovered the other day that he has a back tooth coming through so lets all wish that to come through quick please!!

1) Today I went to the Osteopaths in town. I have been suffering with a bad back for quite some time. My Osteopath is a really, really lovely man who took me completely seriously and made me feel listened to which can be so rare today. He got the spot straight away and found other areas which cause me pain. I even got some good back cracks out of it which was a-mazing (I'm odd, I love my back being cracked and used to get my sister to walk on it!) I'm feeling good and positive about my next appointment.

2) I saw my dentist this week and have been told my teeth are very nice and my gums are great. How's that for making you feel good? I also have a 'brilliant' spine in case you were wondering...

3) We all had a lovely day today. I went out for some lunch, did some food shopping and bought the children some clothes for our holiday to Cambridge in June. Our train tickets arrived on Monday which was incredibly quick so all we need now is a big suitcase and some tips on keeping 2 young children happy on a 7-8 hour train!

Hope you have some Reasons to be Cheerful this week to.


A-Z Challenge- N

N is for Need for Change

I'm going through this phase at the moment where it feels like the walls are closing in on me, that nothing is simple or tidy or in its place. That everything is a mess (not just in the home) I feel I'm not being the best Mother, the best wife. All those stupid things we feel. I don't think I'm rubbish at anything I do, I just don't believe right now I'm giving it my all.

I am in need of change. I need to change how I think about things. I have to change how I deal with situations that arise in the family home. Why add more shouting to the bickering? Why hold a grudge just because Husband didn't cook you a meal? Why upset the atmosphere for something so stupid?

I need to change my diet. My health is not going so great at the moment. I know what's wrong with me, I have digestive 'issues' which cause me grief sometimes for a whole 2 weeks! I need to find a good diet, a healthy one but not too healthy because that actually causes me more problems! I need to cut down on the junk, go back to baking. Exercise! Dammit, how hard is it to do a quick  workout?

I need to have more time for me. I haven't been on a charity scavenger hunt in ages. I have only tonight managed to paint my nails a lovely colour of pink and it's taken me a month! So at this rate it'll be another month before I get to tame these eyebrows of mine! 

I'm the only one who can sort these things. I wish I had more support but do you know what? I can paint a room and put up photos and you never know, I may even risk everything by watching a few 'DIY how to drill' you tube videos! I'm the only who can put the right food in my mouth and get up to work out.

I have an eye test appointment this week to see if I need new glasses and to find out if there's anything going on 'behind the scenes' because they've been a bit weird lately! I'm enduring the dentist on Wednesday which is awful but ultimately a good thing, get a check up, fill a filling and go home pain free *Hurrah!* Lastly, I have finally booked an appointment with a local Osteopath to sort this back of mine out because in all honesty it is really, really hurting and I'm getting fed up of late nights, pain killers and hot water bottles.

Do you need to change anything? Are you putting it off?


A-Z Challenge- M

M is for Messy Play for Matilda Mae!

Another week, another messy play. We're really embracing the sensory dishes (as I call them) and it's so great to see Midge and Little A get really into it. This week Midge came down with chickenpox so to set something special up wasn't going to happen. We threw together some food colouring and shaving foam then I encouraged Midge to find things she could add into the wash bowl.

You'll notice Midge isn't in these photos which is a shame but she really didn't want her photo taken because of all the spots and lotion on her face. I have respected her wishes which is why Little A is the only one included this week. Midge did however, have a lot of fun too.

Shaving foam, straws, food colouring, plastic balls AND water beads! We love water beads they're fantastic and I'd recommend them to anyone. I got ours from eBay by recommendation for £1 with another coming free!

Little A got seriously messy with this activity. The cupboards and floor smell of a freshly shaved man (I'm not kidding) As you can see lots of extras have been added by Midge who hunted through the toy box and kitchen drawers.

SO much mess! Even I had fun!
Next week I'm thinking of something seriously pink and sparkly!



Messy Play

A-Z Challenge: O

O is for One Body. Learn to Love it.

I bet you can name all the parts of your body you dislike. Just for one moment I decided to stop thinking about all the things I don't like about my physical self and focus on all the parts of my body I do like. I tried to find positives in the parts that make me feel I'm not as attractive as I'd like to be for what ever reason. Here is what I came up with:

Thousands of words have passed through these lips of mine. Thoughts that I believed could never spill out into the spoken word tumbled out and helped me when I really needed that help the most. The amount of times I have said the words 'I love you.' 'You mean everything to me.' 'I miss you.' My lips, a part from my hands, were the first part of my body to touch my newborn children with a tender, loving kiss to their fragile little heads. I sealed my vows with these lips.

My breasts have obviously changed and will continue to do so as I age and change each year. My children were placed gently upon my chest as soon as they were born. They fed for the first few days, drinking their milk and placing a small finger to stroke my soft skin and comfort themselves. I chose to not continue with breastfeeding, my breasts never let me down if anything they begged me to bring my infants to them. I was too tired and too sore to face the discomfort but I have never felt my body has in any way let me down.

My stomach. The home to both of my children from conception until 39 and 38 weeks pregnant. What a wonderful job my body did in keeping my babies safe. Protecting them from knocks. How wonderful that my body grew to accommodate another life. My stretchmarks represent every month, every jab, kick, punch and flip my children did whilst growing inside me.

My hands. Where do you even begin? Each and every day I wake and reach out to my partner. To feel his physical presence. I feel my children's soft skin. Pinch their cheeks and run my fingers through their soft, blond hair. My hands hold theirs tightly, gripped with the responsibility of another life who could slip from me in a second. My hands; sometimes they hold my children so tight as if to say 'I'll never let you go.' My hands delivered my children into this world. My skin is changing, I can see it ageing but it doesn't matter.

There are other things I like. The freckles on my ears, the hidden mole on my head and the chicken pox scar on my chest that never went away. Those are the little things that no one would see unless they could get so amazingly close to appreciate my quirky additions. I love those too.

What do you love? I dare you to love your body today.


A-Z Challenge- K

K is for Kisses

I'm more of a hugger than a kisser but there are a few moments when a kiss is the only thing that will do. I like to see a kiss that shows real love. Here are a few of mine.

Little A not even 24 hours old being held by his big sister who adored him the minute he came through the door. They have their moments but I can see how close they could become in the future.

Summer of 2012 at Grandma and Pop's house. Once again showing affection towards her younger brother. I've noticed that as they get older although close, I'm not catching as many kissing photos already!

This is a typical reaction by Little A if he's just not in a kissing mood!

Sealed with a kiss. Just after our wedding day last year we had a quick smooch in the back of the car before heading off to our venue. I love this photo, it's one of my favourites from our wedding day and will always be important to me.

Sometimes kissing is reserved for your family, for your partner and yes, even some people enjoy a good smooch with the pet but me? I like to go out on the pull every now and then:

We'll never speak of this again though right?
Who do you like a good smooch with?


A-Z Challenge- J

J is for Jason

Jason is my very wonderful husband. We have been together for 6 years and in August it will be our first wedding anniversary which we are both looking forward to. In our time together we have had many ups and downs. We have battled depression, job loss, unemployment for over 2 years, family troubles. We have been there for each other on so many occasions and I can only pray that that will remain the case for many, many years to come.

I met Jason when we started college. We were inseparable from that moment. Even though we were very close, we didn't get together for at least 6 months. We found ourselves facing parenthood at the tender age of 17. That was terrifying if I'm honest but we got through it. I will always be thankful to him for his amazing support after the birth of our daughter.

We had our beautiful son just 3 years later at 21 years old. Jason managed to get a job after a long time and lots of disappointment. He is proud to provide for his family and is a hard worker and an amazing Daddy to our children.

He snores like a train (I have evidence), he has been known to book holiday for football (don't get me started) and can be an awful lad when he wants to be. But if I changed him in any way, he wouldn't be my Jason. My Husband.

So there you go. J is for Jason. My one and only.


A-Z Challenge I - I'm Not Perfect!

Yes, I'm not perfect.

I wanted to share with you all a few reasons why I am not perfect. Not at all. Not in the slightest despite the pink, the prettiness, the crafty posts and all those family outings. I like not being perfect, I like being normal I just don't blog it because if I did well, you'd all be bored!

So here we are, I...

1) I spend at least 2 days a week in my PJ pants. If I have nothing to do and no where to go then I have no one to dress for. I will quite happily chill out with my boy while Midge is at school and relax! Alright so I have to clean up and cook, do all the usual stuff but I don't need jeans for that! The postman is used to my attire too so I don't even have to care about him!

2) Sometimes I let my baps run wild on the school run. I don't have a large chest which makes me happy. Now, I don't walk around bra-less in a t-shirt but under a good hoody and/or a coat I'm good to go. I hate bras alright? *burns bra*

3) I swear. A lot. It's a nasty habit that I really need to break! I actually think a girl who swears is pretty unattractive to be honest...Good job there's no one to attract anymore!! No seriously, I am trying but it's very hard. I owe the swear jar over £10. That's mainly to pay it back though to be honest. I liked that bag I saw...

4) I don't make homemade meals every night. Lots of people don't but they don't admit it do they? I'm not talking about take outs because not many people have a problem admitting they have a good old take out perhaps every week. We actually honestly don't do take outs but we do do chips and chicken nuggets or fish fingers. The biggest dinner in our house? The one which gets the children real excited? Cereal dinner night!

A big bowl of chosen cereal, a plate of toast, a drink of choice and a nice big banana, maybe some pudding too. A seriously yummy dinner although perhaps not very filling I don't know. My children enjoy the meal and they don't complain of hunger at 3am so I'm not about to feel bad about my weekly 'lazy tea.'

5) My children don't sleep. OK one does (finally, after 3 years of not) but one doesn't. I'm tired a lot of the time which means I'm not always the nicest Wife or Mother. I feel bad about that of course I do but again, I'm not perfect, I'm not a robot and I'm also allergic to lack of sleep* 

So there you go. My blog would drive me nuts if I wrote about how low I often felt, how fed up I am of Max and bloody Ruby at 12am. No one would want to read it trust me. I write my blog so I can look back and remember those cakes I baked with Midge and that mess my children made with big smiles on their faces. If that makes people think I'm a perfect little housewife then that's fine. Just so you know though, I'm not (no matter how much I wish I was!)

*may be an exaggeration

An 'I'm not perfect' cake fail (and it's a microwave cake which we all know is just lazy)


UK Mug Swap 2013!

If you were a follower of my blog last year then you may have seen a gift swap I set up. I've been going to and fro with my decisions on hosting another swap but after a quick Twitter check it seems another mug swap would be just the thing to cheer up some peoples month.

So, if you like mugs, have a collection you enjoy adding to or maybe you have had a clear out recently and fancy adding some new ones to your cupboard, you may be interested in my 2013 Mug Swap.

If you fancy taking part there's only one thing I ask of you:

*That if at any time you feel you cannot complete your swap you kindly let me know so your swap partner doesn't miss out on a great swapping opportunity. Either myself or one of my fab blogging friends will come through for you and take over your swap. Please don't worry If you have to pull out, things happen, that's life.*

Mugs can be handmade if you're super talented, they can be ordered online, from local stores or heck, even my local pound store have wonderful looking mugs. If you would like to, adding little extras is absolutely fine but not a requirement. Last year I received a fabulous mug and some extra goodies and I sent out tea bags to go with my theme, the only required item in this swap is well, the mug!

If this sounds like something you'd be interested in then do email me at cupcakemumma at yahoo.co.uk. You can also DM me on Twitter where you'll find me as @Cupcakemumma11

Ill need your name, your blog URL so your swap partner can do a bit of stalking (in the best possible way honest!) your postal address and mail address for your partner if you wish to chat and i'll mail you all the first week of May the details of your swap partner. If all mugs could be exchanged by the end of May that would be fab but make sure you keep in contact with your partner to let them know if you'll be late posting.

I'll post a linky so we can all share the Mug Love at the beginning of June!

Happy Swapping!

A-Z Challenge: H

H is for How to make Dairy Free Cream!

If you are intolerant/allergic to dairy like I am or a vegan then you may know how gutting it is to say goodbye to whipped cream. To purchase online costs a fair whack including delivery and many ways of making your own can turn out to be pretty vile. I almost gave up on my quest to be able to eat thick cream ever again when I came across an idea online. Problem was, there wasn't exactly a recipe it was just a list of a few ingredients. After that you were on your own!

Now I've done some experimenting I am happy to share my Dairy Free thick cream recipe  I've had it in cakes, on top of cupcakes and just 'because I like it so I made it and now I can dip anything sweet into it.'

You will Need:

A bowl and whisk (handheld is perfectly fine)
2 cans of coconut milk (low fat isn't ideal)
4 tbsp Icing Sugar (powdered sugar)
* You can add flavours like Vanilla if you like but I love the taste of coconut and the sweetness of the sugar*

1) The most important thing in this process is to put your can(s) of coconut milk in the fridge over night. Place the cans in the coldest part of your fridge (I think this is the bottom shelf?) I also place my bowl and whisks into the fridge too becuase it doesn't take much for the creamy coconut milk to turn back into a  liquid like state!

2) When it comes to opening your cans, turn them upside down. The cream settles at the bottom so when you open your coconut milk you can pour the liquid into a cup (don't throw this anyway, it's perfect for smoothies) then spoon the coconut cream into your cold bowl.

3) I add my icing sugar and give the cream a really good whisking usually starting slow and working the speed up. Adding more icing sugar is fine but bear in mind this cream isn't going to be as thick as the dairy versions and can loose its fluffiness quite easily. Also, the more icing you use the more sweet it's going to be and that's not always a good thing!

I keep my cream in the fridge which some say helps keep the cream thick and others say it doesn't. In my experience it works pretty well. Now you're ready to enjoy your yummy cream! 

Coconut cream can keep for a few days in the fridge. If you put it in an air tight container it can probably last longer but who the hell lets this good stuff last that long anyway?

So, go forth my vegan and dairy intolerant friends and stuff your good selves on delicious coconut milk whipped cream!


A-Z Challenge: F

F is for: Football, Fun and Family!

I'll be honest. Two of those 'F's' are my loves but the first one definitely is more to do with my Husband and children! Every Saturday is football day for the Husband and boy does he love it. He'll prepare his kit when he gets home late from work, he'll grab spares for his team mates and generally act like a small kid. The reason he gets so excited is because football is his 'me time' and we all need that don't we?

As he leaves early I tend to just sort the house out and get the children ready. I won't watch him play if it's really raining but on a nice day it's a really good activity to do with Midge and Little A. They both love watching Daddy in goal (and he is good so of course I'm very proud!) they love playing with the spare footballs the team leave laying around and the best thing is, when they're bored of watching Dad play they can go to the park instead! 

Playing nicely together (for 5 minutes)
Daddy in goal. Go Dad!!

Usually when the game is over we manage to have some family time before it's bath and bed for the Little Ones and dinner prep for us! As we live in Cornwall a good Cornish pasty is never far away and both Daddy and Little A are fond of them. If Dad forgets to share though this is what happens:

Chilling with Midge after grabbing Daddy's pasty from the bag! He's good this one!

Because my Husband works late and often there's school we don't get much family time during the week. Like most families we try and aim for some quality fun time at the weekends and football is one way of getting this time together to have fun and relax.

The best thing about weekends though is that Husband doesn't work at all. I really love this because it means I'm not alone to do the bedtime stories and Midge can chat about her day with both of us and not just me. Bedtime is usually pretty stressful in this household no matter what we do but there is 10 minutes or so of total peace and calm before the laughing and messing around starts. With those 10 minutes we just lay there reading a bedtime story and doing this:

I flipping love my family!


A to Z Challenge [2013]