Tuesday, 29 April 2014

Very Delicious Gluten Free Milk Free Cookies

I had this recipe from a fellow Twitter friend some time ago now and it's my 'go to' cookie recipe I think it's originally from an Annabel Karmel book but where ever it's from it really is delicious!


For this recipe, which makes roughly 20 cookies, you will need:

  • 100g softened unsalted butter
  • 100g golden caster sugar
  • 100g light muscavado sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 175g plain flour
  • half a teaspoon of baking powder
  • pinch of salt
  • 100g chocolate chips or shamed up chocolate buttons
Preheat the oven to 190 C. 

Beat the sugars and butter together until creamy. Add the egg and vanilla essence and mix. 
Sift in flour, baking powder and salt and mix again.
Add the chocolate and mix in.
Roll into balls about the size of a walnut and put onto non-stick grease proof paper on a baking tray. Bake for about 12 minutes.
Put the cookies on a wire rack to cool and eat while crispy on the outside and gloopy inside.



CupcakeMumma

Free From Finds #2 Delicious Jaffa Cakes!

There are some deliciously sweet treats I really missed when I found out my body could no longer tolerate gluten, wheat and dairy. Doughnuts are always the first thing I say to people I miss when they ask me the 'Don't you miss anything?' question. I don't really now, a part from doughnuts!



I used to eat Jaffa cakes at all the children's parties, (then at the adult ones too!) they made great sleepover treats and special treats in general. I can't remember when I first found these Jaffa Cakes by Kelkin, it's definitely been a few years now, but I'm surprised by how many people don't know they exist and are so easily bought from major supermarkets. One thing I will mention is that they may contain traces of milk as they are made in a factory that handles this ingredient. As I'm not allergic, I happily take the risk. This product also contains soya and egg. 

There are 12 Jaffa cakes in 1 box and they are a much smaller size compared to the original Jaffa cakes. The size is a little disappointing at first but perhaps that's just me being greedy! The Jaffa cakes are made exactly the same as the original cakes, with a sponge bottom, a jelly centre (best bit) and covered on the top with dark chocolate. I've always found them to not be as soft as the gluten and dairy cakes but that's the only thing I can complain about! They taste really nice, the chocolate is lovely, not a bitter dark chocolate but a nice sweet, tasting one to match the sponge. You can still 'dissect' the Jaffa cakes without them crumbling and falling a part (a common problem with gluten free foods) which is a bonus, I love nibbling off the chocolate, eating the sponge and saving the jelly until last, delicious!

If you haven't heard of Kelkin Jaffa cakes, check our your local supermarkets Free From section or request stock at customer service. Alternatively, health food shops often have them in store too. It's lovely to have Jaffa cakes back in my food cupboard!

Product: Kelkin Jaffa Cakes
Dietary Information: Free From Wheat and gluten. Containes Soya and Egg. May contain traces of Milk and nuts.
Price: £1.80
Bought From: Local Tesco store also available in Tesco Extra in my local area.

Cupcake Mumma

Monday, 28 April 2014

Broody.

I have two beautiful little children who are growing up so very, very fast. When Midge was 3 I was in the final weeks of my pregnancy with Little A and the age gap we have is a wonderful one in my opinion. It fitted us perfectly in terms of Little A arriving and Midge starting her new pre school, sleeping through at night and dropping her dummy!

I have seen so many tiny babies recently and each and every time I swear my womb slightly tightens and silently screams (only I can hear it you see, clever huh!?) who doesn't love tiny little babies? They're on my Twitter, they're wrapped in slings all small and cosy on their mums at school, placed in their buggies looking all snugly and irresistible. You'd have to be 100% sure you're done with babies for these gorgeous little bundles not to effect you..Or have a womb of steel, now there's an idea!

The thing is, when it comes to having more children both The Husband and I are really unsure. I feel like it's time for college or studying of some sort, but at the same time I've had 2 already, to go to work and then have my third seems odd to me, like I'm going backwards. I guess I'd like to see a future where I'm not pregnant, move on and concentrate on being a mother but also being me. With studying and then career. I think I'd be very reluctant to have a baby and return to work after what I've seen of my other two. Luckily I've not had to make those decisions and to be honest, I'm not sure I want to.

Pregnancy itself is a tough ride for me and my body. Perhaps if times were easier with Little A right now I'd consider going from 2 to 3. I do think how he'll be 4 next year and also in nursery. But it isn't the arrival that causes me problems, it's the stuff before that! My first two pregnancies were plagued by sickness. A lot of it and all the time, nausea and sickness, it was awful. Thank god it wasn't worse. On the outside I looked pretty good in both my 2nd and 3rd trimesters but inside I was feeling very ill and suffering some nasty pregnancy ailments. The fact this happened twice really doesn't make me feel a third pregnancy would be any different at all! I think I'd find a pregnancy now incredibly difficult if I had the same level of tiredness and problems as I have done previously.

The one question I went to sleep asking myself and actually awoke with though has had me questioning myself all day. As I smile at babies in pushchairs, get amazingly excited at my best friends new arrival due at the end of the year and feel amazingly warm and broody looking at cute little ones being cuddled at toddler group, I ask myself: Do I want a baby or a child? Two very different things when you really think about it. What do you think?

Cupcake Mumma

Friday, 25 April 2014

Free From Finds #1

I've decided to go back to my blogging basics. In order to love and enjoy my blog again I'm going to make sure I blog about what I like no matter what. You win some, you loose some. I'm tired of comparing myself to other blogs so here we go! With that out of the way, I've decided to reguly blog about any Free From foods I come across. Some will be known by pretty much everyone, but sometimes you come across a product or a recipe that others haven't noticed or even realised they could eat (the ingredients are long and confusing sometimes!)
I'm not paid or sent items to review so these products are those I've come across, bought myself, tried and then shared. I'll always state if otherwise.

My first find are these Sea Salted Lentil Chips produced by Cofresh. These are gluten free, dairy free, wheat free and soya free.


Best way for me to describe the smell, taste and texture? Well, think slightly thicker popadoms and I think you'll be there! They are delightfully crunchy and incredibly hard to put down! I found these in a local Health food shop so do pop in and have a look around or see if you can request they get some stock in. If anyone has seen these in a superstore, please let me know!

****

Product: Cofresh Lentil Chips Sea Salt flavour (also available in a dill sauce flavour)
Price: £1.08
Dietary Info: Free From: Gluten/Wheat/Dairy/Soya/Egg
Purchased From: The Natural Store Cornwall

Cupcake Mumma

Thursday, 24 April 2014

Reasons to be Cheerful

I've had some real lows lately, so low that really only other peoples' happiness was keeping me feeling okay. Like a friend who just got married last weekend, family having a lovely birthday, online friends moving home and moving forward in their lives for some good things to come their way at last. Still, there is always good to be found and this week I have found my good!

1) Yesterday I was dreading toddler group. I've been way, way too hard on myself in regard to Little A's tantrums, I realise that now. The sinking feeling of an oncoming meltdown doesn't ever make you feel good but toddlers tantrum, they don't really 'do' sharing and that's that. Toddler group was great though! A was fantastic, not one scream or meltdown. He loved the puzzles and the ride on cars at the end. I even spoke to two fellow mums who were just so nice. Mostly I was just so proud of my boy and then myself for not giving in to my anxiety. It helped it was at the Salvation Army, the church setting was a comfort to me in a time I needed the push to go through those doors!


2) Surprises! I got a huge box in the mail last week from my ever beautiful friend Kat. I was only expecting curtains and a left behind hoody but I had a whole box of treats for the family. I was a ruddy mess when I found the card:



Kat, you have no idea what this means to me xx

Another surprise was dinner out on Tuesday evening- Jason's treat! He also booked two days off, today and tomorrow which is lovely!

3) Books. I'm a bookworm right now, devouring them! Nothing beats being lost in a good novel and it's making me very cheerful to get the peace I need.

Please link up with Jo at Ojos World for this weeks R2BC!

Cupcake Mumma
Ojos World

Mug Swap 2014: The Reveal!

This year was great for my mug swap, thank you to everyone who signed up! There were equal numbers for all but I also paired up with the lovely Cate from Germany for an international swap. As this takes a little longer to travel I will add Cate's mug to this post at a later date.

My partner from the UK was the wonderful Jo who, I must say, has sent me one of the best mugs I have ever, ever seen!


It's a cupcake mug with a lid! I get so into reading or watching a good television programme that my hot chocolate always goes cold which is obviously incredibly annoying. Now my problems are solved! Jo also sent me some hot chocolate sachets and a lovely little cake key ring. I love it when people play on my blog name, I always get the most lovely gifts!


Thank you so much Jo, I really hope you love your mug too!

*Edit*

Here's my gorgeous mug from cate all the way from Germany! Mine seems to be taking forever to get there sadly but fingers crossed!


 Cupcake Mumma

Saturday, 19 April 2014

Siblings in April

It's currently the Easter holidays which hasn't seen us doing very much at all but what it has done is force my two little ones to actually play together throughout the day. Largely it's been a success! There has of course been the bickering and Little A still kicks off if things aren't quite going his way but we try not give in to him all the time because it's not fair on Midge. I think she doesn't particularly mind all the time however because he does makes some noise which we're all grateful to not hear anymore!

We've had some fun moments on the trampoline, digging in the garden, playing with play doh, walking into town and spending a day out with Grandma and Pops.

Yesterday was one of our 'sort of' quiet moments! I was trying to grab a lay in but these two monkeys didn't want to appreciate peace and quiet (do they ever?) and played hide and seek,pulled funny faces,striped off and ran around my room butt naked in little A's case too! I took this photo which I love. They're in the process of hiding under the covers. Midge is typically playing up to the camera!


The other photo I love is the one below of us all on the trampoline. We sat there for a while and I handed them their Easter gift from an Instagram swap I signed up to for them. Both were so excited by their gifts and sweet treats. It was a nice moment because it involved no squabbling over the items, not even once.



dear beautiful


Cupcake Mumma

Friday, 18 April 2014

Catch Up!

It's week 2 of the Easter holidays here in Cornwall and finally some gorgeous weather has been cast upon us. I've started work on our garden which I won't show you a photo of just yet because other than a total mess there's nothing much to see! Lots of mud and digging! I'll be planting some bulbs and herbs and I have a little veggie growing challenge to rise up to (more on that soon!)


We haven't been doing very much at all this holiday but what are holidays for if not relaxing and enjoying the weather, family, time to yourself. We successfully made some homemade play doh which kept all of us entertained for hours (yeah even me!) and baked a few delicious treats for ourselves too. I adore chocolate brownies!



Some beautiful flowers have come out to play in the sun which had lifted my mood. I had my tooth extracted last week so I haven't been in the best place, I'm getting there though! I've been trying to eat better and have made some lovely vegetarian meals like the one below.


Mainly though I've been letting the children run wild and I even caved in to buying the Frozen DVD. I haven't felt much like being on social media so have taken a step back to enjoy my craft swaps.  I've been letter writing occasionally but mainly reading a lot of my books in my 'to read' pile. I've also ordered a needle felting kit because I love felting and want to make it a new hobby.

Right, that's me all caught up. Are you enjoying your holidays? Let me know what you've been up to!

Cupcake Mumma

Wednesday, 16 April 2014

A-Z Challenge:G

G is for Gift of the Month 2013.

If you follow this blog then you'll know since January I have been on a mission to bring a smile to someone in need every month. Here are my links for January and February. March was a personal one therefore I did not blog it. 

Usually the title of these posts would be 'A Year in Gifts 2013'  but the challenge mucked that up for me a bit so I had a mini brainstorm and here we are! So, who was my choice for April?

I have a 'Twitter friend,' Hannah, who is a very lovely lady. She was my February gift receiver. This month her beautiful little girl, Bea, is going in for a small operation to make life a lot easier for Hannah and her partner and a lot less painful for Little Bea.

I messaged Hannah to make sure sending another gift would be OK, making it quite clear this was Bea's gift and if she was at all uncomfortable with this I would think of another person for my April gift. I'm so glad she was okay with me sending Bea something because it means a lot to me to be able to send the gift I have in mind to the person I feel called to help.

I set out to find some comfy pajamas for Bea either during her operation (sleep suits with metal poppers cannot be worn in hospital operating theaters so finding a couple of these were high on my list of priorities) I was obviously being guided incredibly well on the day I was thinking about my gift because I came across a very sweet pajama set which I suspect will be quite comfortable for Bea maybe a few days after her operation and a really pretty onesie that I couldn't resist. I noticed it had buttons, hurrah! I bought them straight away and wrapped them up at home.


I also popped in a little note of luck for Hannah and a £5 M&S voucher which isn't a lot when it comes to these stores but I'm sure there will be something for Bea. Maybe a little teddy bear or something for being brave!


I wish Bea all the best for her operation. Since I've been doing this I've had Tweets, a couple of texts and last month an e-mail that brought me to tears. I don't ever expect anything back from doing this but when someone messages me to say 'this came at the right time,' 'thank-you for making me smile,' and so on,I really feel I am making a difference. 

This is the cutest thank-you I've had though!

Make Do And Push 
Do come back next month to see who I want to try and cheer up with a special gift. Why not send one of your own? If you do send care packages, I'd love to know all about it!

CupcakeMumma

Saturday, 12 April 2014

A-Z Challenge- L

L is for Little Miss

Also known on this blog as 'Midge. My adorable, stubborn, strong willed drama queen of a 5 year old daughter.

Little Miss and I didn't have a great start to this whole Mother and Daughter business. After she was born I just couldn't bond with my baby girl and it didn't take long to be at the grips of postnatal depression. The depression twisted my thoughts, my heart. It made me think and say things that I just did not truly believe. It made me hand over my week old daughter and beg my now Husband to leave me, take her and never come back.

How glad am I that I grabbed my depression by the throat and threw it out into the night? Incredibly glad. My daughter is exactly like me. She is stubborn, sensitive, prone to shyness and always wanting to be liked. She is a caring member of her class, always helping other children out when they need it, always helping the teacher if they ask. She's a bit of a suck up in some ways (just like me then!)

We both love nature and art. We will be in our element when sat writing or colouring in. We both loved our old house and miss the countryside, so when we visit my Mum and Dad's place I always get moaned at until we venture out to the harbour, see the boats, the sea and maybe grab a sneaky ice cream!

Midge  saved me in many ways. Ways only I will ever know. My baby girl means the world to me.

CupcakeMumma

Wednesday, 9 April 2014

Tantrums and....More Tantrums Actually.

Every child tantrums. (Well, nearly every child) I just think my son is a little over the top when it comes to tantrums. He headbangs, lashes out with his feet, kicking me when I struggle to pick him up and remove him from the situation. He slaps his own face or head and screams blue murder. I'm sure a lot of children do this to be honest, I'm just not lucky enough to witness any more than the screaming toddler in the supermarket.

Thing is, it's wearing me down. I'm doing all I can. Ignoring, removing him from situations, trying to see possible problems before they even happen so I'm on the ball. It's not just these standard tantrums that get me down with A. It's the way he doesn't share toys, for example. Today a small child went to play with the same car garage he was playing with. Little A gave the child a slight push which made me feel mortified! The grandparent was there which was good for the boy, but she told A off too. I was too upset that this lady now thinks my child is nasty and spiteful to react to her. I told A off, I apologised to her but this is it. All the time I am waiting for what A does next.

Which shop will he be pulled from today when he kicks off because I said "no"?

Can I go to my coffee shop with A
without having to leave with him screaming because he's not happy about leaving their toys behind?

Will he hit a child, push a child at any playgroups we attend? Will he get me, his Mum who suffers with social anxiety, into a confrontation with another parent because he's reacted badly. Because he won't share?

I don't care that tantrums are normal.

I don't care that this is just a phase.

I just care about 3 1/2 year old Little A. About 4 year old Little A. About my anxiety being pushed to breaking point with each morning I wake deciding if I brave outside with my toddler today or if I'm not strong enough for the tutting and the stares.

I just want it all to stop. I just want my friendly, happy Little A to be what everyone else sees, not just me and my family.

Cupcake Mumma

Friday, 4 April 2014

A-Z Challenge: D

D is for Date Nights

Our lovely cousins across the pond came up with this great idea called 'Date night,' where you and your partner spend some quality time together once a week or once a month. What you both decide to do is entirely your choice and there are so many ideas all over the internet.

My Husband and I are now big fans of date nights. Every Saturday evening we bath, dress and read a story to the children who settle within the hour on a good night. After that, Hubby will run to the local film store and grab a new DVD for us to watch while I prepare our weekly (almost traditional now!) meal of homemade fish and chips.

Are date nights something you and your partner enjoy doing together? I'd love to know what you plan every week/month whether it's big or small like our Saturday nights in.


Gluten and dairy free homemade battered fish with peas and chips. Absolutely delicious!

CupcakeMumma

Thursday, 3 April 2014

Reasons to be Cheerful

I've not joined in with this link up for a while but this week I feel like I need to try to grab some positives from my week. Things are tough mood wise at the moment. I'm up and down like a yoyo. Hubby has changed shifts so I'm getting used to having a tantruming Little A on my own as well as trying to do school things and pursue play groups to help A with his development. I feel a lot of pressure and am quite isolated at the moment. I feel I have little to look forward to. Still, we must look for those positives.

1) Monday was not a bad day. I had Midge off school who helped me do some shopping which was very helpful. I also managed to clean up and cook a roast. Just a shame about the whining and bickering in between!

2) I watched Midge do her Easter bonnet parade today which was nice. I also saw my niece and nephew too and they were happy enough bouncing around the stage, showing off as usual! We also made an Easter tree at an after school club. I've always wanted one and now I have one this year. I'm wondering if I can keep it alive and well for other occasions too!

3) I've made contact with an old school friend. We have not seen each other since my wedding which will be 2 years this August! I know we'll pick up where we left off (I hope so!) and I'm keeping my fingers crossed we get to meet up next weekend for a date night of sorts.

It was also nice seeing my Mum on Tuesday, I felt like I had a nice afternoon and evening with her. My sister is back this Saturday from university which is great. I'll be happy when she arrives safely back in Cornwall.

What are your Reasons to be Cheerful this week?

Ojos World


Cupcake Mumma

Tuesday, 1 April 2014

Proud Mummy Moment: Midges Year 1 Parents Evening

This is rather delayed 'Proud Mummy Moment' which I won't apologise for! 

 Midge walked into school one morning last week to see her name on the 'Star of the Day' board. She came bounding up to me and showed me the star, I was so pleased I took a photo of it to show Jay (and show it off on social media naturally!)


After school we had Midges Year 1 patents evening. They're usually fairly predictable these evenings because the school work so closely with us parents all through the different terms. I was so proud to hear the teacher say such wonderful things about my daughter. That she was kind, thoughtful, supported her friends and listened brilliantly.


Work wise, her writing has come on so, so much. Every night midge writes stories and draws pictures before she sleeps. Her reading is spot on after some slow progress and she has moved levels twice this year which has given her so much confidence. Maths is her biggest struggle but the school have recognised this and are helping her every way they can. She is in a good group of friends who find the work challenging too and they work together. While Midge is still enthusiastic about her maths, I'm keen to keep her learning so she doesn't turn to hate it and struggle with the subject throughout her school years like myself.

All the photos have come from her work books which were a pleasure to look through. I'll leave you with a very pleased Midge holding her Star of the Day card which went straight on the fridge as soon as she came in the door!


Cupcake Mumma