Friday, 30 August 2013

Happy Friday!

Well hello there dear readers, I'm sitting down with a lovely cup of hot chocolate after doing an on line grocery shop to round off a packed but wonderful day. I spent literally the whole day just myself, my Mum and my Pop. It was ace.

I have seriously indulged today and I don't regret a single second of it. Why should I? Life is for living after all! We started off the day showing Dad around our new home (which is slowly but surly becoming a proper home for us- hooray!) then we headed to Truro where we browsed M&S (typically I forgot my vouchers again) where Dad bought me this book: (which I highly recommend) it's fab!


We went looking for guitars but came out of the store with a keyboard (don't ask) and then headed to a book store where we discovered a new and very welcoming Costa, so we sat down with our drinks (mine was an ice berry cooler- too good!) before taking a cruise around a large department store I can never spell!


 I bought myself a lovely polka dot bean bag, treated my hubby and babies to some new clothes before heading to Pizza Hut for our last stop. I was crossing all my fingers that Pizza Hut would not disappoint and they didn't. I had the gluten free base with a vegetarian supreme topping- it was lush. I also fully took advantage of the free salad bar which was also delicious and fresh. I didn't need any tea tonight and am still full hours later!


It was so wonderful spending that quality time with my parents. Now my Dad has a new job he's cramming studying with sometimes 60 hour shifts. My Mum works a lot too so it's important to see them together collectively as well as on my own. We talked about work, about my new house, about the future and just general chit chat. It was lovely. I even bought my hubby a pizza home for his pre shift dinner..Awww


I hope you all had a lovely day too.

CupcakeMumma

Wednesday, 28 August 2013

Strawberry Nesquik Cupcakes


Look good don't they? That's because they are of course! I made these a while ago thanks to one of my lovely pen friends and have decided after being asked a few times I shall post the recipe on Cupcake Mumma. These cupcakes are gluten and dairy free but of course you just substitute all of these ingredients for whatever items you'd prefer. There will be no difference in the outcome.

You will need:
110g Doves Farm self raising flour
110g caster sugar
110g dairy free butter (I use vitilite)
2 eggs
Baking powder
Vanilla essence
50g Nesquik milkshake powder

Method:
Cream butter and sugar together. Add your eggs ( I recommend one by one) until your mixture is well mixed.
Add your flour, baking powder, vanilla and Nesquik. Give your mixture a good stir before placing small spoonfuls into cupcake cases.
Bake on 180 degrees for about 15/20 minutes (My oven is pretty fast so do keep an eye!)

We've had these cupcakes plain and found they were just as delicious without icing as they are with. You can add the strawberry nesquik to icing sugar but I didn't find that quite as nice after I bought a tub of strawberry icing from the supermarket! (pictured) 

CupcakeMumma


Tuesday, 27 August 2013

10 Things to Smile About August

It wasn't until I checked my mail this evening that I realised it was time for another 10 things to smile about with  with Emmy Mom. I can't believe we've sped through August and are now heading into a new school term. Here are 10 good things from August:

1) First off we've moved house! It was totally out of the blue and unplanned. A complete last minute up and go kind of move but it must have been fate, someone sending us in the right direction. We have, I hope, found 'home'.

2) My dad got a new job! This is ace news to me because for years he's been in the same job and now he has returned to his open university studies and completely changed direction going from a gardener at the local air base to a care worker. It really is never too late!

3) Another month another cake. This time a strawberry milkshake flavour cupcake. Seriously light and tasty and it's on the blog tomorrow!


4) Jason had 11 days off work. I love having my hubby around and it was great timing with the sudden move too. We haven't done much because of all the packing and what not but we've enjoyed some family dinners and a film night too.

5)We celebrated our one year anniversary! Jason treated me to a meal out and we watched a film in the evening. I can safely say we enjoyed and appreciated the child free time even if it was only a few hours!

6) I started my New Project and performed my first random act of kindness by asking a local therapy studio to get their followers to nominate a friend who deserves a pampering. I'm going halves with the studio to pay for the winners treatment and it feels good. I can't wait to get back into the swing of things!

7) We picked our first lot of blackberries in ages. The last time I blackberry picked was when I lived in the countryside so this was just ace for me and the children today. We didn't get many but they'll go nicely with some apples to make a crumble.

8) I have officially registered and paid for my new course with the Open University! Ill be doing an access module in arts and literature to prep me for a history degree next year. I hope I do good!

9)I'm now only 2 months from completing my monthly payments with Park so soon ill be getting my love2shop vouchers ready for Christmas! This pleases me because its such a tough time financially, I like knowing I've got something to use instead of cash! I'd just spend that £20 a month if it was in a tin..

10) I finally bought these two candle sticks from the antique store. They were originally £12 but by the time I got there they were knocked to half price! I'm so pleased because I'd had my eye on them for ages and were sure they'd be snapped up! Fate again I tell ya!

If you have lots of reasons to smile this month or just some good things to share, do link up too!

CupcakeMumma


Tuesday, 20 August 2013

It'll be Quiet Around Here...

Cupcake Towers are in the process of moving so this here blog is going to be a little quiet for a while! We're all really excited to move out of our small but cosy house into a nice, spacious new house. This is a new and fresh start for us as a family and we're really looking forward to it! 

The new house is so much bigger. The front room is a decent size and is going to look great at Christmas. We have an actual dining area which will also be a great space for Midge and A to play. This home will be a 'free flow' home. I've really missed the ability to just let my children have run of the house and garden. My back door can be open virtually all the time with Midge and A choosing what they wish to do and when. I'm really looking forward to this as I know we all feel better when we feel we have some freedom.


Midge and Little A will finally have their own bedrooms which I can't wait to decorate. Jason and I have an attic bedroom which is going to be so cosy and warm. Can you tell how excited I am!! We've met one of our neighbours and he is lovely, the other neighbours aren't moving in for a while because the house isn't ready until September. Fingers crossed for nice neighbours!!


Anyway, I look forward to catching up with blogs and comments when my Internet is back and my house is unpacked. Look after yourselves!!

CupcakeMumma

Monday, 19 August 2013

Happy Anniversary To..

Us!


Yesterday was indeed our first Wedding Anniversary. We had such a lovely day. We visited our new home where the children played for a while before being picked up by Nanny. Midge couldn't wait to tell me that she and Little A had spent the day with their cousins and had a picnic at the local play park- how sweet!

Jason and I went home to freshen up after spending the morning cleaning our new house and playing with the little ones. We went into town and decided to go into a local pub for a good old fashioned carvery. Jason had a good sized plate of roast beef, veg and the biggest Yorkshire puddings I've seen in a long time! I was treated to baked lemon sole with tomatoes and asparagus. It was gorgeous! My only complaint was that I couldn't eat the roast potatoes because they had been cooked in butter. Not only does the smallest amount of dairy now upset my delicate stomach quite badly, putting butter with your roasties is just SACRILEGE I tell you! Simply disgusting!

After our meal we went outside to finish our drinks and have a nice, adult chat (yes you really do get them again believe it or not!) it was lovely just enjoying each others company for a while. We mooched around the shops then went to the video store in search of a comedy to settle down to.Midge and A sort of slept so we did overall enjoy the film in peace!

We had such a wonderful day. It's my parents 25th wedding anniversary tomorrow so I'm hoping we'll see them soon to give them their gift.

Hope you all had a wonderful Sunday too.

CupcakeMumma

Saying Goodbye to our First Pet


Crunchie was our first pet. He was a fluffy, toffee brown coloured Syrian hamster who we all loved very much. We suspect Crunchie was nearly 3 which is very, very old for a hamster! Today we took him to our new home where he has been laid to rest in what will eventually become a lovely flower bed.


He may have 'only' been a hamster, but he was our hamster. And we'll miss him very much. Love you Crunch Crunch!


CupcakeMumma

Thursday, 15 August 2013

Project Kindness: Pay for a Stranger to have a Pampering Treat


When I was jotting down notes for which acts to include for my Project Kindness, paying for someone who deserves a pampering at my local therapy studio really jumped out at me. I scribbled it down, much like the rest of the acts and waited for inspiration to hit. It wasn't long before it did...

I made contact via e-mail with a therapy studio, Lasting Touch Therapies, who I've had fabulous treatments with before. I thought I'd wing it and ask for their help. Help they did. I asked the ladies if they could place a status on their Facebook page asking their followers to nominate someone they knew who deserved a good pampering for free. I offered to pay a value of £20 but in the end we decided that we would split the cost so we could both feel that we had been truly a part of the Random Act of Kindness.

The nominations flooded in to the studio and after a day or so a random nominee was selected. A very deserving, caring and hard working person was nominated by her friend for the treatment. I really hope that she enjoys the pampering, which ever treatment she chooses and has a nice, relaxing time at the Lasting Touch studio in Heartlands.

A big thank-you to all the therapists at Lasting Touch Therapies for being so very kind and giving.

CupcakeMumma

Wednesday, 14 August 2013

Tantrums are Tough

Little A is roughly 30 months old (I stopped counting a while ago, it's whole numbers from 2!) and we're in that very uncomfortable phase of the daily tantrum.
I hate tantrums. I hate how they turn my loving, cuddly little boy into a little, wailing monster. But they are something which pretty much every toddler will go through (yes, even your perfect blue eyed little baby who will 'never behave like that in public' ) will most likely have a good few tantrums when they reach the toddler years.

My son is one of those toddlers whose tantrums are hard to deal with. The crying and screaming go through me like nothing I've ever known, he thrashes around like his sister never did and worst of all he head bangs. This is something that occurs mostly at night when he's upset about being left for bedtime. We've come to know that whilst it looks bad, he isn't doing any permeant damage to himself. Since we've learnt to let him get on with the head banging, he has done it less and less and certainly not for as long. He will only stop completely when we move him from his cot bed to a proper bed, which isn't that far off now.

I don't believe anyone really knows how to 'deal' with temper tantrums. Children have little way to communicate and sometimes when something hasn't gone their way it can be hard for them to deal with their feelings. They are confused and angry, they can't talk it out or crank up the stereo like I know I do. So what do they do? They scream, cry, hit, thrash about or perhaps, like my little guy, they do all of the above!
This is a phase we as parents block out I believe. I know we did time out (as opposed to calling it the naughty step/corner) with Midge until I grew thicker skin and learned that letting her have her moment was the best thing. She wasn't half as erm... energetic as her brother is though!

What I'm saying is that most of us have been through the tantrum phase before. If you have, don't forget that. Offer up a smile to the parent in town whose little one is being less than angelic. You can be glad it's over (I know I will!) but don't forget it. There's little worse than feeling like you're doing all this wrong. That people are looking down on you and your child.

When it comes to temper tantrums they work themselves out. Being there for your little one after is the most important thing. We all go through it as parents, I believe it's another phase we just 'get on' with, there are no real tips or easy things to do (at least not all of the time)

If you have a pretty wild toddler when it comes to throwing a paddy, you are not alone!

Cupcakemumma

Tuesday, 13 August 2013

My New Project.



If you follow my blog you'll know I often like to do things to cheer people up. You'll know that every month I send gifts out to those I know, family and friends, who are going through a hard time or have done something really quite wonderful and deserved a little treat. It's by doing these things that I have decided to start my own project: Project Kindness.

I have a page here on my blog listing all the random acts of kindness that I would like to achieve. There is no set time, there is no limit to how many times I can do an act of kindness. The ones I've listed are acts that aren't so everyday. Everyday I like to smile at a stranger, look for someone who needs a hand, hold a door open or offer a place in front of me in the Que.
The acts on my page are just that little bit more from me.

I'll be continuing to send out monthly gifts and performing all sorts of acts of kindness that most of us do (sometimes without realising, sometimes just automatically because it's the 'right' thing to do) but this project will help me to give something back. To be less selfish. To grow as a human being. My children will also accompany me on many of these acts, so I believe I am paving the way for a future generation of kind, loving and giving people.

As always, feel free to mail me if there is someone you think needs a little cheering up.

My Random Acts of Kindness

  • Leave a thank you gift for our postman
  • Buy all the items on my local food bank list
  • Make a box before Christmas for a child or a solider.
  • Write a long letter to someone to express how much they mean to me/why are they are a wonderful person
  • Leave some money for a toy in a local store
  • Leave money on a coffee/food machine
  • Place bubbles around a kids park
  • Stick pound coins on trolleys
  • Take colouring pens and pencils to a local hospital for children in the waiting area
  • Do husbands chores by surprise
  • Adopt an animal
  • Sponsor something/someone
  • Leave a tip
  • Get a stranger a free spa/beauty treatment
  • Host a giveaway on my blog
  • Leave nappies and wipes in a baby room
  • Send a gift to a post pals child
  • Buy food for the local animal shelter
  • Send flowers to someone.
  • Bring doughnuts to the local fire station to thank them for their hard work
  • Become an organ donor (I recently had a tattoo so unfortunately cannot give blood for quite a while :(
  • Buy some local art work: it's tough being an artist and there is some fantastic local artwork so I just need to pick one!)
  • Leave a book I really enjoyed behind in a local place with a note
  • Cook my Husband a 3 course meal. All 3 courses will be his favourite foods.
  • Have a 'Yes' day with the children. This leaves me at their every whim (almost) but in a good way! If its reasonable its a yes!

That should keep me busy! I'll be blogging all of these acts so do keep an eye out on the blog!

CupcakeMumma x

Monday, 12 August 2013

Here's How I Would Spend 20K

The National Lottery and BritMum's have teamed up and challenged bloggers to blog about how they would spend 20K if they were lucky enough to win.

#Spend20K challenge badge with National Lottery

So, I've been giving this some serious thought (as you do) and I've decided I'm going to go in the sensible(ish) direction with this blowing 20K business.

First I'd be donating some of this money to a local children's hospital. I'm sure some would read that, roll their eyes and think 'yeah right!'  But it's true. You should always try to help others and I think any charity these days could use all the help they can get.

Secondly, I'd pay for hubby to do his theory and driving test. We'd have so much more freedom if one of us could drive (and as I have a fear of driving it won't be me anytime soon!) after he passes I'd buy one of these:


Pre-loved of course. We both share the Camper Van dream, so this would be a must for us! With anything left over we'd do some shopping as standard and chuck the rest in the savings.

As a matter of interest, I asked the Hubby what he would do with the same amount of money. He suggested putting a deposit down on a house. All very sensible, but I think I'll stick with my ideas (obviously)

CupcakeMumma

This post is an entry for BritMums #Spend20K Challenge sponsored by The National Lottery, with more ways to win more money on the new Lotto game. Find out more about new Lotto, which starts in October, here – www.national-lottery.co.uk

Catch Up Time


Well haven't I been a relaxed blogger? I haven't actually, I've been very tired and grumpy if truth be told. I have absolutely no guilt when I say I'm looking forward to September the 5th! I love my Little Two with everything I have but any more bickering and I think you'll have to bust me out of a locked room because I shall not be coming out voluntarily! 


Anyway, as you know I like to keep this blog fairly free from negativity so lets not dwell on the fighting children. Instead, I shall share some good things that have happened this past week: First, we stayed the night at Grandma's and Pop's place for a mini holiday. They live by the sea so this def counts as a holiday! We planned to stay 2 nights but I had such an awful sleep with Little A that I only just pulled through the day after without jumping on a bus home! 

Little A enjoying the park at Grandma's house

I've been really into my letter writing at the moment and I have some wonderful letters slipping through my letter box. I'm pretty lucky that I deal with everything online so if I don't get a letter from a pen pal then I don't get mail at all...That sucks though right!? I've started Postcrossing again too and have received postcards from this here beautiful country, Germany, Russia and Poland. My postcard tin is filling up wonderfully. We've also been baking cakes and the one below is made with strawberry Nesquik. Give me a shout if you want the recipe on the blog!

I passed my Indian Head Massage! The whole thing feels a bit weird, as if I'm not really qualified but I am so please form an orderly que (and no pushing!) My Aunt was my model and I'm pleased to say she was happy being the guinea pig. My tutor was debatable..but nice enough. I celebrated my success by visiting Archie Browns in Penzance for some Booja Booja ice cream! I don't think any more will come of  my massage though, my nearest college doesn't offer the course I need and in all honesty, my social anxiety just really doesn't allow me to go back to that setting. I hate college. That's a post for a different time. I'm studying with The OU so it's not over yet...


We're moving house! At the beginning of September we'll be lugging some boxes a short 15 minutes away and settling into a bigger and more spacious house. Everyone seems to be moving and/or having babies at the moment, lets hope the latter doesn't happen anytime soon!!



Finally, I'll leave you with some cake. Because it's my Mum's birthday today and she got spoilt for choice with cake. A vegan chocolate cake and my Messy meringue and Lemon cake. Both were delightful and rounded off a picky tea just perfectly. I've already given my Mum some breakfast in bed (yes we braved another night, it wasn't too bad this time, plus Hubby was here) and my Sister and I are cooking a roast for this afternoon.

I hope you're all good. Look out for some more posts this week, one in particular is a new project I'm working on all about Random Acts of Kindess. Have a great Monday all.

CupcakeMumma

Tuesday, 6 August 2013

Spiders, Snakes and Sod That!


I had the tickets stashed for 3 weeks and Midge counting down the days, everyday, until it was time to see Mark's Ark at the local library. At 9.30am sharp Midge answered the door and in rushed her 3 cousins equally excited. I'd thought long and hard about going to this mini showing of reptiles and spiders but finally decided it would be nice for Hubby to spend some time with the children (read, there was no way I was going anywhere near hairy, disgusting spiders!)

I waited for them all to come tumbling through the door and 2 hours later that's just what they did. O came in saying how he had held the snake and the big lizard and showed me a peice of reptile skin he'd managed to keep (shudder) I popped it in an envolope to avoid any further excited waving of it in my kitchen. Midge ran in excitedly shouting about how she'd held a spider....

 I was actually really proud of her when Hubby showed me this photo. I can't believe the little girl who drove me nuts on holiday moaning about spiders and webs actually held a hairy 18 year old tarantula. Little Z held one too. I don't know why that surprises me but he comes across as a little boy who would rather not be near one of them! I love it when they surprise me!

Hubby got this fantastic photo of Midge and Little G holding the snake together:


Finally, here's Little G holding the 'big lizard' to quote Midge. 


They had an excellent time and I think it's brilliant that our local library hosted such a fab event for only £1 a ticket when other places are selling at £4 a ticket. I'd encourage anyone to check out their local library over the summer holidays, just in case there are some boredom busters there! 

CupcakeMumma

Thursday, 1 August 2013

10 Things to Smile About July


1) It's our second week of the summer holidays so my first reason to smile is that I'm so proud of Midge for how well she's done in reception and I'm really looking forward to her moving up into year 1 in September. I can't believe how much she's changed though! This photo is her first day in Reception and her last:


2) I'm smiling because I have my first practical course this Friday on Indian Head Massage. I'm nervous and hoping I pass but equally I'm looking forward to it and believe in myself.

3) I wrote this post about Excessive Blushing and had a wonderful response. So many kind comments  from lovely readers and people who actually went through the same thing. Thank you to all of you who commented. I'm really smiling about this because I think I may have made someone become aware that somebody they love very much who is still young, could be struggling with social anxiety. I really hope my story has helped.

4) I went for a swim all by myself this month and beat the anxiety which usually holds me back. I had an awesome time and hopefully, if I'm feeling better, I should be doing it again tomorrow.




6) We had a wonderful family break thanks to Trevella Park in Newquay. I had a great time and will be placing a deposit for next year as soon as I can!


7) We had a family BBQ which went really well and was a lot of fun. The weather has turned a little but I hope it's not the last, my Mum wants one for her birthday in August!

8) I now have 8 pen-pals so have a steady income of Happy Mail. Receiving happy post always makes me smile.

9) Someone I love and care about very much has landed a new job, a complete career change. I couldn't more proud of them and I hope to be less elusive about it one day soon. Especially as I have a gift planned.

10) As always, my family are happy, healthy and with me. I'll always be smiling knowing this.

What a lovely way to start August on the blog! I'm linking up with the lovely EmmyMom as usual for this link up but also with Mummy From the Heart's  Reasons to be Cheerful.

CupcakeMumma

Reasons to be Cheerful at Mummy from the Heart