Wednesday, 30 September 2015

Our Week That Was Week 30

I started my week last week by getting a train to the next town and popping in to the local florist there. I wanted to lay some flowers for a local man called Dave Curnow who died in hospital on Monday. What was so sad was that he had be touring Afghanistan when he came back home to Cornwall to see friends and family but instead on a night out was caught up in something awful. These incidents don't happen very often around here, so as you can imagine everyone whether they knew Dave or not felt pain and sadness for him and his family. I laid my flowers and left after a few minutes, I didn't know Dave, I just wanted to pay my respects but it was hard. I can't imagine how much harder it is for his family and friends.


I was totally thrown off for the rest of day. Just feeling thankful but also worried about the world we now live in. I stayed home and sorted some things out and then had some me time. The next day I caught up on some pen pal mail and I received some too which was lovely. I loved the paper my American pen pal used.

Last week I also went shopping with my sister in law. We picked up some Christmas gifts for our little ones and I saw some bits for Mr B too. My list is shrinking already and it makes me feel good! We were joined by Little T later on as she finished nursery. It was lovely to get some cuddles.


I baked cakes for the school cake sale (but in our rush we left them behind!!) at least the children had money to buy cake from other parents at school so I didn't feel too bad. I visited the library and made a chocolate mug cake when the cravings hit but I couldn't be bothered to bake an actual cake!

Finally, last Saturday Grandma took the Mini Cupcakes out on a double decker bus ride (with no roof!) and visited family. While they had an exciting day Mr B and I headed out for breakfast together before he played football. He was playing an away game so I couldn't watch, I stayed home to potter about and watch my Prison Break in peace! We had a lovely Sunday lunch together the next day after Midge enjoyed a party at a roller skating rink and Roo Bear and I chilled out at home together. That Sunday night (alright more early Monday morning!) I caught the moon being beautiful. It was the Super Blood Moon, I missed that bit but saw the lunar eclipse.


Let me know if you've blogged your week and I'll hop by for a read and a comment!

Cupcake Mumma

Tuesday, 22 September 2015

Free From Chocolate Pastry Roll

Two weeks ago The Great British Bake Off focused on pastry. I've seen lots of lovely tarts and vol-au-vents but didn't join in on this occasion, I had the time because I use a bought gluten free puff pastry and can make a gluten free shortcrust pastry, I guess I just lacked the motivation this week and I'm not very imaginative!

I did bake a pastry related item however but chose not to link it because my bake didn't match any of the challenges. This bake is super easy, it's a gluten and milk free chocolate pastry roll and was delicious.

My Super a Simple Ingredients:
1 pack of gluten free puff pastry
1-2 bags of milk free chocolate chips
Some dairy free chocolate spread
1 egg or some soya milk


I rolled out the pastry on a floured surface and spread the chocolate over the top. I then scattered the chocolate chips over the pastry and rolled the pastry up to make one long roll. I brushed the rolled up pastry with some soya milk but you can use egg, this is just to give a lovely golden brown look to your bake.


I baked at 180 for 25 minutes but I think 30-35 would've been better. Once it was slightly cooler I cut the pastry into slices. I love this bit because you get to see the swirls on the inside of your bake! The roll was a big hit in this house so let me know if you try this super simple bake too!


Cupcake Mumma

*Note* I wasn't sent any of the above ingredients. I bought the items myself and photographed them for the purposes of this bake. I bought the puff pastry from Asda,the chocolate chips from Tesco (they come with a milk warning but I'm not allergic so I find I'm okay using them) and I got the chocolate spread in Holland and Barrett.

Monday, 21 September 2015

Gluten Free Pork, Apple and Stuffing Pie

This pie is something my husband asked me to cook ages ago and I never got around to buying the meat for it. He's loved this pie for years, his Mum used to make a big one I believe and it was one of his favourites, I had never heard of putting pork apple and stuffing together though, I was more used to the traditional chicken or steak and kidney. I have made this pie for him so many times but not baked it in a while so I thought why not? Now that I'm no longer a vegetarian I could give this a go and it's perfect for this weeks Great Bloggers Bake Off Challenge with Jenny,this week hosted by An Organised Mess


You will need (for 2 small bowls or 1 small dish)
Shortcrust pastry either bought from a supermarket or use 80g Doves Farm plain flour and 3 tbsp dairy free butter plus some salt mixed together into crumbs with your fingertips then brought together with 1 egg and a little water into a ball

5 pork pieces (I bought a frozen bag which suited my food budget)

Gluten free stuffing mix (I had to use a gluten mix because my store didn't stock a free from option so I just had Apple and pork-boo!)

Jar of apple sauce


First I defrosted my pork pieces then placed them in a pan with a small amount of oil. When they were cooked I used kitchen scissors to cut the pork into smaller chunks (can't be the only one with rubbish cutlery!?) I made my pastry as the pork kept warm and kept it to one side.

I added a jar of apple sauce to the pork then separated my half and the husbands for the stuffing which I sprinkled on top. I added some boiled water to mix the stuffing in with the pork and apple. When I make a bigger pie I do make my stuffing mix in a jug then pour on top but as these are small pies there really is no need

With the filling in the bowl I separated the pastry ball into 2 then rolled flat before covering both dishes, marking and brushing with milk (you can use an egg wash if you prefer) I used up my left over pastry by making pastry hearts!

The pies were cooked on 180 for 25 minutes and then had 5-10 minutes at 200 before being removed from the oven.


I was really pleased with how they turned out, the pork was really nice. Mr B loved his but I wasn't so keen, mind you mine did lack the stuffing! I picked up a branded apple sauce instead of our usual value as it wasn't in stock and I thought it was much too sweet for the pie so I won't use it again.

Anyway, there's this weeks bake! I have a chocolate pasrty roll on the blog tomorrow which was supposed to go up last week but really didn't fit into any bake off categories; it's very tasty though so do check it out!

Mummy Mishaps
Cupcake Mumma

Sunday, 20 September 2015

#SundayStationery Week 1

The lovely Jocelyn over at The Reading Residence is hosting a new linky (but you don't have to be a blogger to share your Sunday Stationery- see her post here) I haven't written a stationery post for a long time, not because I don't have any to show off (because I do!) I just never get around to typing up a good paper loving post up. Now the children are both in school full time I have more time to take nie photos and type up posts I really want to share.

Today I have some of my favourites I want to share with you all. A new pad I bought from Cambridge when I went on holiday this summer, some new writing paper I purchased from eBay a few months ago and my favourite cards featuring macarons. Enjoy!


This new writing pad is my favourite piece of stationery at the moment, It's just so pretty and comes with different sizes of paper which makes writing fun. I bought this pad in Tesco believe it or not!


This writing set was purchased on eBay some time ago. It cost me less than £2 and came with address stickers and envelopes too. I think there were 25 sheets, I still have lots left as I chop and change my writing paper every time I write to a friend.


I really love these cards. I have chocolate cake ones too! I'm a sucker for cake based stationery! I think these cards are just so bright and lovely, who wouldn't smile if one of these came through their letter box? 

The Reading Residence

Our Week That Was 29

This week was the children's second week of school which I'm pleased to say has gone really well again. They've both come home with new books, Midge is finding her maths okay and they both have attendance certificates again this week which they love getting!

This week I had an email land in my inbox telling me a paragraph I had submitted about being organised on a school run morning had been published in a baby and pregnancy mag! My husband nearly choked when he saw the magazine on the table but I showed him the article and he calmed down! This made me laugh so much bless him. I was really pleased to have my words of advice chosen and promptly bought the magazine after school with the children who were also pleased!

Magazine// New book//Cute jumper//After my dental surgery

I had another tooth out which happened on Wednesday. I was really nervous so wasn't a very good mummy in the morning. I came home after the surgery (and after popping to a junk store where I found a new book and a cute jumper) to bake some cupcakes for the little ones. It was my 'I'm sorry' and they accepted it much to my relief! I felt a lot better this time around, just a little sore.

Cupcakes// Writing to my pen friends// Stopping at the trains before school//Spending time with peppa dog//Delicious duck egg for breakfast

I spent some time writing to my pen pals, I wasn't nearly as productive this week as I was last week. It was lovely to be matched up to another pen pal in America and I received my letter from Germany (thank you Bianca!) I've put my new stationery to good use!

It was my blog birthday yesterday (5!!) so I baked myself a cake which was very nice and we all enjoyed a slice.

Cupcake Mumma

Thursday, 17 September 2015

Dear So and So...

Dear Midge,

I'm very proud of you right now. Before school started you became anxious about going off but the day came and you just walked into your new class with a big smile on your face. In that moment I took you all in. How tall you have become, how your uniform makes you look so smart and grown up, how when we left I didn't help you with anything, not even brushing your hair. You've become so independent. You still love school and that makes me happy because I always loved school too. I got more emotional leaving you last week than I did your brother, I think everything hit me all at once.
Love you, Midgy Moo xxx

Dear Roo Bear,

You requested a new name because you are no longer my 'little boy' but are in fact my 'big boy' now. Ouch. You have also started school and I am so, so proud of you. I know you're still throwing a hissy fit when you're pulled away from the world you immerse yourself in but I also know that you're getting better and that you love school. It was very strange being without you last week and although I am used to it already, I still miss you very much when I pass Costa or the train station or the library before lunch.
Love you my 'big' boy xxx

Dear Autumn,

I'm so pleased you have arrived! You are by far my favourite season and I get all excited for my birthday and the hot chocolates, the duvet on the sofa at night, the crispy, beautiful leaves and so much more. I just love it!

Dear Readers,

Thank you as always for stopping by. I've stopped checking my stats and what not so I have no idea if many of you exist but if you are here, "hello! Thank you for reading!" I'm entering that phase with the children at school and wondering what drivel I can write on here now! Let me know if you ever want to see something from me!

Cupcake Mumma x

Tuesday, 15 September 2015

Spoonie Survival Kit Giveaway (Gifts for those who have a Chronic Illness)

I had a guest post a few months ago now (yes, sorry about the delay!) from the lovely Pippa all about her Spoonie Survival Kits. Pippa and her volunteers make little bags, cards and other little items to help those, like herself, who suffer from a chronic illness.

If you'd like to read the full guest post please do click here. Pippa has had a lot of support over the last few months and I couldn't be more pleased for her. To help with raising awareness I wanted Pippa to write about Spoonie Survival Kits and I also wanted to purchase several items myself from her shop that I could pass on via a blog giveaway.


First I have a survival kit. I am told these kits vary and include items of comfort to the recipient. Some days are harder than others and a little kit like this has made a difference to many people who have bought from Pippa. I have not opened the bag, as Pippa's aim is to have a surprise delivered to the recipient, therefore I will not spoil it! You can win 1, small yellow bag in the rafflecopter form below.

a Rafflecopter giveaway



The second item is a lovely bracelet made by a volunteer, isn't it pretty? Again, please find the rafflecopter form below to enter.
Cupcake Mumma

Monday, 14 September 2015

Our Week That Was 27 & 28

It would actually be weeks 32 & 33 I think but I decided not to blog weekly in the summer holidays, blogging some of our days out instead. So much easier with the children home and lots to do! You can read about Trevaskis Farm, Lands End and our holiday to Cambridge, just a few of our summer holiday activities.

Last week:

I took the mini cupcakes to Porthleven with me as a nice way to end the holidays. We stayed for 3 nights in total seeing the harbor, seeing my Gran and Aunt and having some lovely chips from the local chippy there. I even had some me time when my mum took the children to a party at her friends place; the children had fun. I made an apple crumble cake which was pretty good, I made cookies too but they were snapped up too quick to photograph!

Apple crumble cake// Together for first day// Midge wants to be a pharmacist A a superhero// Frankie// Beautiful Porthleven
I took my two and my eldest niece to Truro museum. They dressed up, learned about the Egyptians and took home some knowledge about Cornish history too. It was a stressful day to be honest. They touched everything in every shop, almost broke something in the museum gift shop as I looked for postcards and moaned a lot too. One of the highlights was sitting together in a Starbucks having a quick hot chocolate before rushing to the train (where A whinged all the way home!) it could've been a great day but it was just an okay day, oh well!

3 little beans running around a museum//Kingfishers//Egyptian relics// Starbucks hot chocolate

This week:

The children started school! Putting them in their uniform on Monday morning it really hit home just how much they've grown. Both were really excited and went in fine much to my delight. I was so worried one or both of them would not let me leave but they both went off absolutely fine. After leaving them I sat by the library for a while, some lovely flowers caught my eye so I took a snap. You can see we had our nieces and nephews over, this was on the Sunday. The had dinner then painted their faces!



I have been decorating this week! I have done the lounge and bathroom which I am pleased about. Next year we will look into getting a new sofa because ours is slowly breaking! I have also finished the dining/play room which has been half finished for over a year! I had the dentists and its official, goodbye 3rd wisdom tooth. Oh well, least I won't have anymore pain..I sat in the dentists feeling my usual anxious self and noticed the music and odd TV fish didn't make me feel any better! Is it just me?

I spent time this week chilling out on my sofa wrapped in the blanket my cousin knitted and gave to me. I love her! I was supposed to go to my dads fun day on Friday but the car broke down half way there! I sat with mum for well over an hour chatting, eating chips and playing the number plate game. On Saturday I baked chocolate cake which Midge helped me ice and a chocolates pastry roll, yum!


I'd love to hear what you've all been up to so leave me your links!

Cupcake Mumma

Thursday, 10 September 2015

Back to School

We're on day 4 of back to school here. The first day Midge made me all emotional  looking so grown up in her new uniform and not asking me to come into her class or anything. Little A went in absolutely fine and I was okay until I got half way home and felt totally alone without my little buddy! I was going to stop at the train station but felt weird, I wanted a Costa but I didn't want to spend my money so I went to sort my prescription and head home instead! When we collected them both after school, they had both had a great first day. Little A was knackered though, we had several melt downs but day 2 was perfect; a great day and no meltdowns after!

I want to be a pharmacist

So yesterday Midge went off on her first back to school trip. They did  an activity day then stayed at school to camp on the field. I think she had a great time, it's a big step for Midge. Little A had Mummy and Daddy all to himself last night, although  he did  miss his big sister.

I want to be a superhero!

Next week things will properly start at school so we will see what level Midge is at with her books and see what spellings and maths work she's sent home with. They'll have a new project too I suspect. Little A will get his first book home, one with just pictures to start with I'd imagine but it'll be great because we love having books before bed. Me?  Well so I've far decorated our front room and need to finish the niggly bits like curtains and netting, then I'll start on the bathroom which needs a new lick of paint and a deep clean! I should imagine it'll look like we have a whole new house by the time next summer rolls round!

To end, here's a photo of my little ones just 2 years ago. I love these comparison photos!

Then and Now: 2 years ago

Cupcake Mumma

Monday, 7 September 2015

Free From Apple Crumble Cake

This week was free from week on the Bake Off. I actually struggled with this one (believe it or not!) There were sugar free cakes (okay, refined sugar free cakes!) gluten free breads and a dairy free ice cream cake. I'm having to try and go with the bake that would be the cheapest on our food budget and this week proved hard. I couldn't afford the alternatives for the sugar I always put in cakes. I tried honey but I thought, yuck! I shoved in the sugar and made a sponge instead!

So this week I went with gluten and dairy free sponge cake with a topping of gluten free oats and crumble mix.


Recipe


Free From Apple Crumble Cake
A gluten and dairy free sponge cake with apples and a crumble topping. Perfect for autumn! (And when you can't chose between cake and crumble!)
Ingredients
  • 150g Dairy free spread
  • 150g Caster sugar
  • 1 tsp Vanilla essence
  • 2 Eggs
  • 150g Doves Farm Self Raising Flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • Doves Farm Plain Flour
  • Gluten Free Oats
  • Dairy free spread
  • Apples (enough for your chosen dish)
Instructions
First make a sponge cake how you normally would by mixing all your ingredients together making sure there are no lumps

Pour the sponge mix into your chosen dish (I used a long dish for pies!)

Slice your apples and place them on top of the sponge mix

In another bowl, add some flour and butter. Using your hands, make a crumble. I didn't measure this bit, I just judged how big my dish was. Make sure there's not more spread than flour.

Scatter your crumble mix over the apples and sponge, covering entirely just like you would an ordinary apple crumble

I used 2 handfuls of gluten free oats and some more sugar on top of the crumble to give it that crunch.


Cook time:  

Mummy Mishaps

Lands End with The Family

During the summer holidays we all ventured over to Lands End, somewhere that my Father in Law and his partner wanted to visit while they came over from France. I was suffering after my tonsillitis still and the antibiotics had started making me feel quite unwell but I'm still pleased I went because I had a wonderful day.

On the day we visited the Shaun the Sheep exhibit which showed off the behind the scenes making of the movie. We saw sets from Shaun the Sheep and Wallace and Gromit and even saw Timmy Time too. The exhibit had drawing to have a go at and large character models including a sheep, bunnies and a rocket which the children loved.

A rather big sheep!

Little A very pleased to see Timmy

Midge and T with a rather cute chicken

Tacing  cartoon characters was fun

We went into Arthur's Quest which scared the life out of Little A so I very quickly found the exit point leaving Midge with her cousins. She said it was scary but very fun. We ventured over to the 4D cinema which was showing a short Jurassic park film. This was my first 4D experience. Little A was better than I thought, not keen on the water that sprayed from the seats but then neither was I! I enjoyed the experience but not as much as a normal cinema film showing! Midge mostly hated it, especially the seats moving but at least she can say she tried it!

We bumped into my dad before lunch whilst he was working which was a lovely surprise. I had a jacket potato while the children went off for a walk with their Granddad. We also enjoyed a picnic earlier in the day; a good old fashioned car picnic! I managed to go in some shops and we all sat down to look at the view which was, naturally, a very beautiful one.


We all had a wonderful day and it was lovely for the children to see their grandparents, cousins and both their aunties too.

Cupcake Mumma

Sunday, 6 September 2015

My Sunday Photo ~ Rest in Peace


I did not know Aylan or Galip or Rehan Kurdi. I don't know any of the people fleeing their counties, risking their lives for a better one. That doesn't have to stop me from caring, from feeling helpless, or scared for them. Even when they make their long, exhausting and dangerous journey they still haven't reached the end, there is still so far to go. This candle is for all the very, very many men, women, children and babies who have so sadly and tragically lost their lives looking for a safer one. May they all rest in peace x

Aylan Kurdi Fund - Set up in honor of Aylan Kurdi. All donations go to Hand in Hand for Syria, a humanitarian agency.

Unicef - The UN's children's charity is helping provide clean water, medicine and psychological support to refugees. Just £9 provides an emergency water kit for a family.


Migrant Offshore Aid Station - Helping reach refugees who are in danger of drowning from overcrowded boats.

OneDad3Girls

Thursday, 3 September 2015

Reasons to Smile ~ July/August

I completely forgot to write July's Reasons to Smile, so like last time I'm going to be writing July and Augusts in one post. I'm also linking up with several lovely blogs to share some happiness.

July

Little A did so well at nursery and had the most amazing teachers, I am so grateful to them.

Nursery graduation went so well and I was incredibly proud of my little man.


-Both Mini Cupcakes did great at sports day having fun and enjoying the day.


-Meeting lovely ladies at a blogger event and trying on some gorgeous lingerie.

-The paramedic who was very kind to me despite realising I was having a panic attack and nothing worse. I felt awful for wasting his time, he told me off for apologising so much in the end and made me feel a lot better.

-The last pre nursery run hot chocolate date with my little A who will be going to reception next week! No more pre nursery Costa dates!


-Staying at my Mums place for 2 nights alone gave me some great thinking time and I returned home feeling less stressed and pro active at the end of July.

-An email I received about reviewing something cheered me up. I'll be able to share with you soon but I'm just thankful for my blog, you lovely readers and those people who obviously must think I do good work because otherwise they wouldn't work with me again!

August

-Our week away in Cambridge seeing lovely things and spending time with family. Two of the things that mean so much to me.

-The Bake Off coming back on the television. It always inspires me to bake and I do love to bake when I'm in the right frame of mind.


-A summer holiday that has passed a lot quicker than last year and been full of so much more fun.

-Recovering from my tonsillitis and rather nasty UTI which wrote me off for three weeks. Thankful for a lovely GP and medicine that very much helped me recover!

-For my wonderful parents.

-My mother in law taking our dog for a week so we could go away. It was such a relief when our Peppa got on with her dog so we could just enjoy our holiday. So the dog got a holiday too!

-Our 3 night stay with my parents and the Mini Cupcakes. It was fairly relaxing, nice to spend time at home and go into the seaside village to look at the views, boats and the little market stalls.


-The children are looking forward to school which is a relief. Midge is a little nervous but Little A doesn't seem too phased

-Spending time with family at Lands End and Trevaskis farm where we ate delicious strawberries by the bucket load. Yum.


-With the lack of sun it's still been ok to have hot chocolate with tonnes of marshmallows!

Cupcake Mumma

Ojo's World

A Cornish Mum

September Bucket List

Every month i see bloggers writing little bucket lists, lists of things they want to do or celebrate during the month. After reading many of these posts I thought it'd be nice to do one myself, so here's my list of things I would like to do this September:

Me

-Write to my penpals regularly. I'm hoping to have another international pen pal soon, several actually which is always exciting. I also have my regular pen pals that I love keeping in touch with but need to be more on the ball when it comes to to replying!

-Celebrate national chocolate day on September 13th (by eating some tasty chocolate of course!)

-Clear out the cupboard to locate our Halloween stuff.

-Take part in no spend September

-Continue to take part in The Great Bloggers Bake Off

-Start writing up gift lists for Christmas

-Work out 3 times a week

-Celebrate my 5th blogging birthday

Family

-Take first day back to school photos in our traditional way (this will mean getting up a bit earlier!)

-Go on a walk together

-Have date night with Mr B

-Watch Mr B play football

-Sort a day for Midge to have her friend over

-Book myself and Midges tickets for Hogwarts in the Snow. I know it's a no spend month but this was arranged ages ago with my mum and sister so I'm not counting it! We'll be going in November and very excited!

Cupcake Mumma

Twinderelmo