Tuesday, 30 July 2013

Sunday Stroll

I know it's two days late but I've come down with a stomach bug and have two bickering children trying their best to ruin this summer holiday! Still, they're starting to get used to each other which is a good thing and all I can do is hope we can get out and about again soon!

Last Sunday we rather spontaneously stepped out the house for some fresh air and a treat for breakfast. We went to Wetherspoons for a large English breakfast before deciding to explore our town a bit. There is a slightly hidden path beside the local park that we'd never bothered with before but hubby thought it would be a nice idea if we took a stroll and find out where we end up.

Well, I'm so glad he suggested it because it was really lovely. I felt like I was going through a bit of the country again with the loose stone path, the over grown bushes and the fresh air.


We ended up in such a pretty little village called Penponds. It really is beautiful, one of those quiet, quaint villages. We found a pink painted house!


We also found a house which looked so pretty and had huge fields attached to it complete with a stable for two horses. This horse was so big and handsome, Midge and Little A were a little taken a back by how big she was!


We walked under Pebponds bridge where shortly after we saw two trains zoom over us. Little A was so excited, every train is Thomas to him you see. We then walked up a little more and came to the villages local church. Such a lovely little church.



We spent a lovely afternoon just the four of us out and about getting some fresh air and discovering new places. I wish I could live in that village! It was a bit rubbish though coming back to my home on the bus station road and right around the corner from town. Ill never be a town kind of girl. Ill always dream of my lovely little house in a quiet and quaint village.

CupcakeMumma

Monday, 29 July 2013

My Week That Was Instagramed 3

So, the first week of the summer holidays has just passed us by. We haven't got up to much because we've been surviving the first week and nothing else in all honesty! Both of the children are now, thankfully, getting used to each others company during the day (everyday) again so next week should be a lot more fun!

Saturday:

I accidentally missed last Saturday out of my post so I'm making up for that here. We went over to my Mum and Dad's and were treated to a yummy BBQ by my sister. I got to have Hake which was really nice. It was nice to have something different at a BBQ I must say! We went for a walk and the children had great fun in their mini paddling pool.

Porthleven Harbor is beautiful

 Sunday:

On Sunday I hosted my own BBQ at hubby's Sister's house. We all had so much food and fun it was a great day. My sister-in-law is laid up with a broken ankle so we thought it may cheer her up a bit. It seemed to when Hubby entered into a rather messy water fight! Before we went over I took a snap of Midge and I in the car. I love to make sure there are photos with me and the children, it's so important.


Monday

We didn't do much on Monday (or any of the week for that matter!) I booked my first Holistic Therapy course which I'm looking forward to and just chilled with Midge and Little A. I turned my TV on around 8pm to find out the wonderful news that Prince George had been born so I set about baking a cake. At 11 pm it was all ready. 


Tuesday

We all plodded about on Tuesday and enjoyed relaxing. Midge had a friend from school over for a few hours and then we did some film watching whilst Little A had a (very) long nap. We watched Cheaper By The Dozen which had us both in stitches. Little A woke a few hours later and we had some lovey snuggles.


Wednesday

Today we had a massive clear out of 'stuff.' The local charity shop really did benefit, they couldn't believe how many bags Hubby was bringing in with him! I didn't count how many we gave away but it still doesn't feel enough! Still, I guess I have to have something in the house huh? I set about picking a few favourite postcards and framing them in my bedroom. This space has needed filling for a while.


Thursday

I wasn't feeling up to doing much on Thursday (cheers anxiety..) so we stayed home. Hubby left for work early and Midge had her friend over again. This time though she went to the park and had some dinner out when her Mum came to relieve me of them both! She came back home in time for bed and I had some lovely quality time with Little A. In the evening I snuggled with my letters and a hot chocolate.


Friday

We did lots of crafts and drawings today and discovered some old kids TV programmes on Netflix which was so great to watch. I love the original Paddington for example! Midge really wanted to play dress up so I thought I'd treat her. I pulled out my wedding dress and she felt like a right princess walking (sort of) around the house in it. I loved taking some photos of her and I shared them here.


Saturday

No missing out Saturday this week! Sadly I wasn't feeling very well so, yet again, I had to let the babies down about not going to Heartlands. I've promised we'll go next week instead. I did help Midge  make clay pots when Little A was napping and they both painted pictures once I had cleared my letters from the table.


I hope next week will be more eventful! 
Today we had a lovely day out walking which I'll definitely be blogging about, so keep your eyes peeled!

CupcakeMumma

Friday, 26 July 2013

Mummy's Dress

Midge wanted to play dress up for the day. So we got the best dress for the job.





Thursday, 25 July 2013

The Charcoal Challenge- Sunday Fun!

Last Sunday we had such glorious weather that it would've been totally unacceptable not to have been completely British and throw a BBQ in the back garden. We loaded up the boot of my Sister-in-Laws car, strapped the children in and headed to the cousins for a few hours. Thanks to Money supermarket, I was given £50 to come up with a budget BBQ suitable for us all. Here's how we all got on:

I made use of several supermarkets locally; Iceland, Aldi and Tesco. Between the 3 stores I bought all I needed fruit and vegetable wise (apart from my strawberries, grapes and a few other items which came from my green grocer for £3) I also got all the ingredients to whip up a yummy broccoli and tomato quiche, as well as buying the more 'junky' items from my list such as crisps, dips and of course I needed the required meat. 

The Food


I spent £9 in Aldi and £12 in Iceland. It was important to me to have lots of fruit on such a hot, lovely day and the children really went for it. I found the marshmallows in a bargain bin at my local candy store. They were 50p each so a £3 total. 


I purchased my meat from Iceland but not too much as there was a steady supply already in our freezers (If you want to save money, always look at what you can create from your fridge, freezers and cupboards already) I had some salmon already bought from last weeks food shop so took one out of the packaging. I'm the only one who doesn't eat meat but didn't want to miss out on the BBQ experience! I also had a vegetable selection which I mixed together and cooked in foil. I bought a mini disposable BBQ for £1 so I didn't have to share the meat one!  


Drinks from Aldi for 78p went down nicely, especially being cooled in a bucket of ice. I made mini windmills for decoration, what do you think? My sister-in-law took it upon herself to buy some lemons and raspberries and made some delicious pink lemonade. I really recommend having some of this instead of spending money on alcohol which isn't nearly as refreshing!

As you can imagine we had some very full tummies. The spread was very generous and I really think (no wait, I know I got loads for my budget) With the main part of the BBQ done and everyone left to talk, laugh and graze the rest of the spread, we sought out some other BBQ activities.

Face painting!


Ice cream making!


Dairy ice cream at £1.60 (I thought Neapolitan would be a nice change, although normally I would buy value vanilla) Dairy free ice cream £2, cones and chocolate swirls £2. These were extras because I had some left over pennies!

After food, face painting, lots of chatting and laughing, there really was only one thing left to do to finish off this fantastic day:

Water Fight!!


And when it's all said and done, it's time to tidy up. Thanks Little T, what a star! Both babies were very tired after a long, hot day so cuddled up together to watch a bit of Paddington on the iPad. 


We all had such a wonderful time and I think it would be fair to say the BBQ was a completel success! 

CupcakeMumma
x
The Math!
Decorations: £12.00 (forks, cups, kebab sticks, decorative pots, plastic coloured bowls,baby jars,napkins and straws)
Corner shop: £1 (mini disposable BBQ)
Aldi: £9
Iceland: £12
Tesco:£5.60
Candy Store: £3.00 (marshmallows)
Green Grocer: £3.00
Total: 45.60


This is our entry for the Charcoal Challenge with Money Supermarket. We received £50 from Money Supermarket to enter the competition which we used to buy the products listed above. We will also be entered into a prize draw to receive £250 to host the ultimate BBQ!!

Tuesday, 23 July 2013

My Week that was Instagramed!


Here I am managing to link up once again with My Week That was Instagramed! Do head on over to Hannah's blog to check it out.

Sunday


Sunday was the Race for Life event in Truro.I walked the event with my Mum and my sister as usual and my Dad came along for some moral support which was a lovely surprise. It was a scorching hot day and if I said I enjoyed it I would be lying! I was hot, I had sun cream in my eyes which stung throughout the whole walk (obviously!) and it didn't feel like others were much up for it either! Still, it's the third one I've done and i'm pleased to of raised money for such a good cause.

Monday


It was a rubbish day on Monday so I bought this lovely Geranium plant to cheer me up. It's lovely and bright by my front door now.

Tuesday


I went out on my own on Tuesday afternoon. I grabbed the bus and headed to the local college where from there I had a short walk to the local leisure centre. I had a nice swim for just under an hour before heading to get a little something to eat. I also picked up some face paints for the summer holidays because they're so much fun to do.

Wednesday


On Wednesday we made our way to the local library for our weekly baby and toddler session. Little Man was the eldest again and there weren't as many people but it was still enjoyable. This week we brought along Little T to see what she thought of it all. As you can see she made herself right at home!

Thursday


I had a fairly chilled out Thursday not doing much. I had been to-ing and fro-ing about teacher gifts until I finally realised that really, it's not such a bad idea and one of her teachers is so nice that she at least deserves a little something. You can't do one and not the rest though so I put this together for less than ten pounds and they loved it!

Friday


Friday was the last day of school for Midge before the summer holidays. Here she is in the morning before shooting off for her final day of doing nothing but having fun (I guess!?) I also got my foot tattoo done in the afternoon. I adore having a foot tattoo but I won't have another one! 

So all in all a very good was had. I hope you had a good week too!

Monday, 22 July 2013

A Year in Gifts May & June

I bet you thought I had forgotten all about my little gift giving journey? Not so my dear readers! For reasons I can't even think of I seem to of just never got around to blogging my gift in May and due to some minor issues, the June gift has only just arrived! As this gift was for family there was a high chance of the gift being seen before the post arrived so I wanted to wait before I blogged about it. Anyway, now I can finally blog about the gifts I sent lets start with May.

If you follow my lovely friend Kat on Twitter or through her blog, you'll know that these past few months just haven't been the easiest for her. I set about making up a small gift for Kat so she could get some 'me time' and have a smile brought to her face (even if only for a few minutes- this is always my aim!)

Kat has been blogging her journey through this difficult time with so much feeling and honesty you just want to reach out and hug her every time you read a post! I'm pleased to say Kat is feeling much better since we spoke and exchanged comments on her blog posts in May. Here's what I sent this lovely blogger and friend:


Keyring and door hanger to make her home a little more 'girly' ( she has 3 boys!) some relaxing bath gel, jelly sweets (her favourite), a fabulous flannel shaped into a slice of cake, some envelopes and a few other decorations for when she gets that bedroom sorted.

The gift I posted at the end of June was for my 3 cousins who I had just spent a few days with when I went away on a family holiday to Cambridge. I realised I had not yet done a gift for any little ones so put one together. 



Lolly pops, crafty bits, water beads, work books and wonderfully colourful pencils! Now it's the summer holidays I think all of these items will come in very handy! I really hope my cousins love their post.

I'm yet to do July's but I really must get my thinking cap on!

CupcakeMumma

Friday, 19 July 2013

Make your own Windmill Toppers!



I've been up early this morning making some decorations for our upcoming BBQ party. I'm really looking forward to it and have been planning to add a real summer theme to the day. A part of this summer theme I thought I'd make some small windmills. These windmills don't move around (you need those what I call 'butterfly pins' for that) These are for creating something extra special for your cakes or to add to your display.

Here's what you need:




  • Take a small square of paper and draw 4, small lines from each corner to near the centre of the paper. It doesn't matter if each line is slightly shorter/longer than the other 
  • Carefully cut along the lines


  • In picture one, I have numbered the corners you need to fold
  • Fold the corners one by one using the sticky tabs to secure in the centre of the paper.
  • You now have your windmill!



  • Using the sellotape, place a stick (I used a stick made for cake pops!) securely to the back of your paper windmill
  • Add something extra to finish off the look (if you haven't pinned the centre instead)

I hope this tutorial was simple and easy to follow. I've made quite a few now as you can see. Children will love helping you make these. I haven't bought anything extra, I've used scrap papers, cake pop sticks (you could use cocktail sticks) and any extras from my craft box.

Enjoy!

CupcakeMumma

Thursday, 18 July 2013

Reasons to be Cheerful!



I thought I'd put a little selection of photos together to show why I am feeling particularly cheerful this week.

First of all, sibling love! I absolutely adore it when my two come together to play and chat and give one another a big hug. I took a few pictures and was having a real 'melting heart' moment! Little A has been struggling with the heat so has been a little clingy towards me. It's nice to see him hanging off someone else for a change!

Library groups.
I have been going back to our local baby and toddler group at the library and Little A and I have been really enjoying it again. He's the eldest there at 2 and I'm getting incredibly broody surrounded by Mums of six month old babies! (Or even younger!) The Mums have been friendly which is always something of a worry isn't it? With a new found confidence I realise I am there for A and not for anyone else.

Beautiful flowers.
Monday was a tough day and it was on the afternoon school run I picked this flower from the wall and began twiddling it between my fingers. I probably looked mad but it made me smile. There are some beautiful things in this world and flowers are one of them. They make me happy.

Raising money.
I turned up for my yearly Race for Life with my Mum, Sister and also my Dad this year for some moral support. The walk was really nice but I won't lie, it was blooming hot! As a pale skinned, fair haired person the heat isn't fairing well with me! I'm loving the sunshine nonetheless and wouldn't wish it away. I've decided this is my last Race for Life because so many people do it I just can't raise any money for it anymore. I have other charities that are close to my heart so will focus on them.

Teachers.
Midge finishes school tomorrow and will go into Year 1 when the new school term starts. It's gone incredibly fast but I couldn't be more proud of her progress. The reception team are lovely and helpful. I've enjoyed helping with school trips and activities and seeing my little girl really grow into a caring, loving, creative individual. We made a small gift for all the teachers which included: 3 note pads, 3 teacher pens and some lovely star shaped chocolates.

I hope your week has been cheerful. Do link up with Mummy from the Heart if you feel like sharing some happiness!

CucpakeMumma

Reasons to be Cheerful at Mummy from the Heart

Wednesday, 17 July 2013

Gluten and Dairy Free Banoffee Cupcakes!



These cupcakes are delicious. I really, really hope you enjoy making them. They are of course dairy, wheat and gluten free but as usual this is incredibly easy to adapt and make with your usual gluten and dairy containing products so do have a go!


Basic Cake Mix:
110g Doves Farm self-raising flour
110g Caster Sugar
110g Dairy Free butter (I use Vitilite)
2 Eggs
1/2 tsp Baking Powder (make sure this is gluten free!)
1 tsp Vanilla Extract
1 tsp Soya Milk

Extras:
Dairy Free Fudge (bought from Saisnburys)
3 bananas mushed with a fork (nice soft ones but not too old as quite strong to the taste!)

Topping:
1 tin Dairy free condensed milk (Since publishing this post I have noticed this product has been withdrawn from store and hard to find online. Here is a post I've found on line on how to make the equivalent of a tin of free from condensed milk: http://www.godairyfree.org/recipes/instant-dairy-free-sweetened-condensed-milk )
150g Icing sugar
50g Dairy Free butter
1 75g dairy free chocolate bar (I use Tesco own free from range)

Method:

Step 1:
I recommend making your caramel first so it can cool. To do this, empty your condensed milk into a pan over a medium heat. Stir continuously (please don't leave it even for a second!) eventually your caramel will start thickening up. Empty your caramel into a plastic container ready for your topping later!

Step 2:

  • Mix all wet ingredients together
  • Add sieved flour and all dry ingredients
  • stir well
  • Add fudge chopped into small pieces and your mashed bananas
  • Pop mixture into some of your favourite cupcake cases and bake at 180* for 20 minutes
When your cupcakes are cooked, allow them to cool thoroughly before adding your topping.

Step 3:
Mix your butter and icing sugar together. Half way through I decided to add my caramel and mixed thoroughly. Put your frosting into a piping bag. I used a  jem 1m nozzle to pipe my icing onto my cupcakes.

To finish off, sprinkle some finely grated chocolate on top of your icing and why not add a fancy cake wrap to finish the look?
Enjoy!

CupcakeMumma

Tuesday, 16 July 2013

Excessive Blushing

The heat on my face: unbearable. A heatwave rushing through my body. Head to toe. All eyes on me, laughter, whispers, I  dare not look up. If I look up they will see my fear, the tears stinging my eyes. Finally I'm done. I'm done shaking, I'm done fighting the need to run, to get away from these terrifyingly insensitive bullies. Some 'friends'. Some not friends. 

For as long as I can remember I have been a sufferer of anxiety. The most crippling is my social anxiety. Oh how many lessons I spent with my feet up on a school loo to hide from the humiliation of oral presentations I cannot tell you. Teachers didn't understand my fear. A genuine, crippling fear of speaking in front of people.

The start of my social anxiety is incredibly easy to pin point. It's also incredibly painful. I was ten years old, I had to make some stupid guitar at home out of take away boxes and elastic bands. I repeated the words 'please not me', over and over in my head. Then my name:

"Hannah! Come and show us your musical instrument. Tell the whole class about it,'

I was stuck. It was a stupid box made out of stupid materials and I was ten years old and my heart was pounding in my chest like it would fly out and hit the back wall. I blushed. I blushed so much pupils started laughing. They started whispering, "Why has she gone so red?"

I couldn't answer that question and I spent the next seven years asking it over and over again. I'm 23 now and I still blush. Because I have had counselling and therapy I have been able to handle my anxieties, my confidence and panic better than ever. I struggled alone with this. Oh the thoughts that went through my head. My hormonal, distressed teenage self wanted to be put down on the spot after every painful, soul destroying presentation.

Friends laughed at me. Bullies laughed at me. Made songs about me. I couldn't even have a bus journey without going back to my bedroom and crying after a long day at school. Family laughed at me too. Made jokes about my face. My disgusting, hideous, blushing face. I hope they were ashamed of themselves when my Mother told them how much it upset me.

I now know why I have this 'problem'. It is, of course, something rather 'sciency'. So if you suffer too, let me tell you that you have a nerve. Okay, you have lots of nerves in your face, bare with me. This nerve, in most people will react to certain situations and produce enough sweat, perhaps a slight 'flush' to the skin. We all blush it's a perfectly natural, human response to many normal things. Except when you suffer from *ahem*  'Excessive Blushing' this bitch of a nerve responds a bit too over enthusiastically sending a mad rush of heat, which will of course produce more sweat and yes, that lovely little red glow becomes something entirely different. I do believe I nicknamed myself 'The Human Tomato' (I was totally ready for the circus you see..)

Anyway, I'm not 'over' it. The only way to cure this problem is a rather risky operation which could leave you facially paralysed. I have contemplated this in my darkest hours but thankfully I have wrestled some demons and have fought back. I completely avoid speaking in public but have built the confidence to speak to strangers in the shops, the street. Believe it or not that was once impossible.

With hard work you can smile again. With determination you can
be who you are meant to be. Do the things you should do.
Without fear. Without anxiety.

This is my post for Baby Baby's Write On link up. As you can see I chose 'heat'. This is the most honest post ever to be published on my blog and it has certainly been a very hard (and teary) one to write.

CupcakeMumma

Baby Baby

My Week That Was- Instagramed!

There's a new link up on the block, my lovely blogging friend Hannah from Make, Do and Push! has started a new weekly link up of all your Instagram shots! I am fairly addicted to Instagram now, much like Twitter and Pinterest (and the rest..) so this is right up my street! Do join in too and share some blog love!

Sunday

 On Sunday we were still holidaying in Newquay at Trevella Park. We spent the whole day on site just enjoying the peace and quiet. It was far too hot to be going to the beach and I was suffering with sunburn too. Instead we opted for the outdoor pool and found a little games room where Midge and Little A had a go at playing pool. Here's Little A's unique little way of playing the game.


Monday

On Monday we spent our last day on holiday going to Newquay Zoo. It was such a wonderful day and a little cooler than the weekend (only slightly though!) We saw lots of monkeys, birds and enjoyed some sessions learning about penguins and otters. We stopped for some much needed ice creams before moving on to the Lion House.


Tuesday

We didn't get up to much on Tuesday due to coming home and being surrounded by bags and clothes from being away! We also had to look after our nieces and nephews for a while which of course was nice. We thought we'd opt for a 'chill' day. I snapped this lovely photo of Midge though in the morning.


Wednesday

I was so hot in the house that I decided to seek refuge in the cool library for toddler group. We were half an hour late which would usually send me into a bit of a panic but I don't really get too bothered anymore. I didn't know anybody so anyone who used to go to the group had given up long ago too! I'm hoping to keep it up throughout the summer holidays, something for just Little A and I.


 After toddler group we popped into town where I, rather spontaneously, nipped into the local tattoo studio to get a quote on a couple of ideas I've had. I'm booked for 2 tattoos this Friday, nice small ones so they're perfect for me. Little A really liked it in the shop! He was laughing at a lady having her tattoo done which was rather funny. We both looked at the drawings whilst chilling on the sofa!


Thursday

On Thursday we took a trip to Wetherspoons for a nice big breakfast. Midge was in school so it was just Hubby, Little A and I. My breakfast was huge! We were stuffed and promptly collapsed on the sofa when we arrived home!


As did Little A!


Friday

I was so proud on Friday. I picked Midge up from school and as usual when we got home I emptied her school bag out. I was reading the school newsletter when I noticed her name in the Dazzling Work Winners section! She was so pleased when I told her.


I also treated myself to a little nail painting. I love my pink selection and think my finger nails look like little smarties!


Saturday

Saturday was a Mummy and Little Ones day. We took the bus to Heartlands which is a local Heritage site here in Pool, Cornwall. We looked around the gift shop and bought some postcards for our collection, then looked around the mine which is just so fascinating. 
We paddled in the 'river' and played in the park before heading to Tesco for some lunch in the cafe. Both Little Ones had a lovely day and so did I!


Midge wanted me to take a photo next to this little doodle. 


A very summery flower.

Cupcake Mumma