The Dickens Festival 2017

A few weeks ago I travelled up to Kent to visit Mr K and the boys. We like to try to see each other at least once a month and I decided I would travel up to see him this time. We did our usual thing of chilling out, doing some odd jobs around the house and entertaining the boys. They showed me their neighbourhood's Christmas lights which was lovely and they took me to Rochester for its annual Dickens Festival.

Our At Home Christingle

I remember doing Christingle services as a child in our local church. I loved them as a child but it's not something I carried on doing as I grew up nor with my two; we just never felt very at home in our local church so never went back. 

Visiting Father Christmas 2017

The children and I  were looking for something to do last weekend when I came across a post online from a local shop. The quirky little teddy bear store at the top of town, Dylan's Bear Necessities was going to be playing host to a very special visitor! 

What's on my Christmas Wishlist?

Don't run! It's not a gift guide! Although my children's book selection went down well I don't think I need to add to all the other gift guides in the blogosphere, there are plenty of great ones out there.

Our Books for the Kids This Christmas

My children love their books. It has to be said Midge is the real book worm (okay, she comes second to me!) in this family. Both of my children have asked for some books this year both from myself and from Father Christmas.

Curse of The Werewolf Boy by Chris Priestley

I have the perfect book for all you spooky story lovers out there this Halloween: Curse of The Werewolf Boy is a new children's book written by Chris Priestly. Midge loved delving into the world of Maudlin Towers to discover the various characters on offer in this spooky book. 

My Sunday Photo: Digging for Treasure

We have had a lovely half term away with Mr K and the boys. Our favourite part of this half term was definitely visiting Diggerland which is around the corner from Mr K's house! We did lots of fun things which I wrote about here. Below is one of my favourite photos of the day: Little A and I digging deep for treasure (to make Mummy rich!) 

Half Term Fun at Diggerland!

Once again we have packed up the car and have headed to Martyn and the boy's house to enjoy a half term as a family of six! We had a few plans for half term but the one the children and Mr K and I were really looking forward to was our family trip to Diggerland.


I've been feeling a little under the weather lately. Like a lot of the population I was bitten by the cold that seems to be doing the rounds. I was bunged up, tired, sore and on tonsillitis watch, I prayed very hard to not get tonsillitis as I get it very badly; not something I fancy coping with on my own with 2 children!

Let Them Eat Dirt - New Book and Food for Thought...

My whole childhood was spent in the glorious countryside. I honestly had a brilliant up bringing. I started my life in the Cotswolds living in a farm house opposite a stud that my dad worked on as the stud groom. I grew up with my 2 younger siblings and my mum being a stay at home parent most of the time and putting in night shifts as a health carer. At one point she was studying too.
 I remember a lot of things from my childhood  but one thing I honestly  don't remember? Getting sick

Smear Tests, Abnormal Cells and a Colposcopy

I wanted to write up my experience of a recent abnormal cell result from my smear test. I was so worried I didn't know what to do and I ended up reading all sorts and wished I found a personal account to help me. I'm writing about my results and my experience of a colposcopy where I had a biopsy taken on my cervix to check the cells. I've left several links at the bottom of this post of 2 websites; Jo's Trust and NHS Choices, which really helped me.

Face Paint Fun with Weekend Box and Snazaroo!

Image result for weekend box

This family is a big fan of Face paints, so when Weekend Box emailed us asking if we wanted a sneak peak at their new box where they've teamed up with Snazaroo Face paints, we were in with a big fat yes!

My Sunday Photo ~ First Day back at School

We couldn't start the new academic year off without a generic first day photo by the door! Midge is starting Year 5 and Little A is starting Year 2. 

Our Summer Holiday Break

So! The summer holidays have been and gone and on Tuesday my little ones went back to school. Over the summer we had a good mixture of being away and doing our own activities. The children have had their own days out and we've had some rest days too. In this post I wanted to share what we got up to, in a nut shell of course!

We kicked off the summer holidays in a rather wonderful way with our cousins wedding. Everyone looked amazing and we all had such a lovely time celebrating with the happy brides. Here's some photos from the wedding which the children enjoyed. I just loved the whole set up!

2017 Moo Free Bake Off ~ Vegan & Gluten Free Chocolate Cake

Today I bring you a delicious cake that has taken me absolutely ages to perfect. There are so many different recipes out there on the net for all manner of free from foods and vegan cakes are no exception...Except, that every single one I looked at had a bunch of different flours, or a load of raw ingredients not to mention all the different types of foods or products that you have to go through to make a decent egg replacement.

I finally feel, after well over a year, I have found a recipe that whilst is still not as cheap to make as gluten and egg containing cake recipes, it works and is no where near as pricey as some of my previous experiments!

In this post I have used Moo Free baking chocolate drops which are available from all major supermarkets priced at £2.18 (Morrisons). I was sent my packets free of charge to participate in Moo Free's Bake Along which is a nod towards the wonderful Bake Off that I'm very glad is back! Moo Free chocolate is certified organic, GMO free and free from dairy, wheat, gluten, casein and soya making it ideal for my friends daughter's birthday!


My Sunday Photo ~ Truro Cathedral

Day Dreams...

I'm a day dreamer. I love to sit and picture a little world I would love to become a reality one day. I love to lay down and make up a future picture for myself; I think a lot of people do this. One thing I think a lot about is my relationships and right now my energy and focus is shared between my children and my new boyfriend who I truly believe is my perfect match in this life. I knew we would be good, that we would get on but despite knowing and speaking to each other for over 3 years, new likes, passions and dislikes seemed to tumble out and they are the same! Well...mostly!

Spy Toys by Mark Powers ~ Blog Tour and Giveaway!



Toy Story meets James Bond in this incredibly action-packed new series. Spy Toys are going to take the world by storm!

Hard at Work in the Countryside ~ My Sunday Photo

The Organic Coffee Shop ~ Redruth ~ Free From Friendly!

As any fellow free from foodie will know one thing that's really hard to adjust to is finding places that will competently serve you whatever allergy free food it is you require. It really is amazing the amount of chefs I've come across who don't know what a vegan is let alone what contains gluten and what doesn't!

I can't eat wheat, milk or gluten and avoid most meat as that makes me feel unwell too. I suffer with IBS and have done since I was 14 so this is nothing new. I've adjusted to shopping for groceries, reading labels (and do this regularly because supermarkets are always changing their ingredients!) I'm also sadly use to completely vetoing restaurants because they don't serve anything apart from a plate of chips.

I recently found a new place in the next town over from me, a lovely cafe and health food shop called The Organic Coffee Shop. This place was recommended to me by the ladies on reception at the chiropractor. The perfect opportunity to check out this new coffee shop arose when my aunt popped round my house (a vegan) and my mother came along too (my mum can't eat gluten or wheat and avoids dairy). We fancied a treat and some quality time together and I chose The Organic Coffee Shop in Redruth.

Giveaway! Men's Society Bundle

It's been a while since I hosted a giveaway on Cupcake Mumma so I have a few in the pipeline for my lovely readers. I'm kicking off with an August giveaway thanks to Men's Society who have a range of top quality male grooming items. There's also an apothecary section on their website for the ladies too! 

I'm thinking of getting a few bits from Men's Society and putting them back for the Mr this Christmas. There's a few things I wouldn't mind getting either! This Reset and Restore pamper kit for example. We will have to stay away from the glitter beard kit however!

Men's Society have put together a small bundle worth over £60 for my blog readers and social media followers. Here's what you will get from Men's Society if you are the winner:

"Damn handsome" Beard Grooming Kit - Men's Society

The Lemon Tree Cafe ~ By Cathy Bramley

The Blurb...

Rosie Featherstone loves her high-flying job at a social media firm. So what if she isn't married and settled like her sister? A relationship would only get in the way of this workaholic's hectic schedule.

So when she unexpectedly finds herself at a loose end for a month, Rosie keeps busy by helping her Italian Nonna serve espressos and biscotti at the Lemon Tree Cafe, a little slice of Italy nestled in the rolling hills of Derbyshire.

However, just when it seems she ought to head back to reality the appearance of an old acquaintance and a budding romance makes life at the cafe a lot more appetizing...

A Third Birthday Summer Party with Party Delights!

We have been having a wonderful time away in Kent with Martyn and his boys which I will talk about a lot more in an upcoming post. We have been having a lot of fun and getting on board with a lot of cool things that happen in the home here. One of our summer activity plans was to hold a summer themed party with lots of yummy food, a BBQ and some awesome party bits from Party Delights including fun drink bottles, tableware, party bags and a pinata! 

Jazzy plates, inflatable animals, gift bags, summer and animal bottles, ice cream tubs, sweet tub, balloons, flamingo food picks and an awesome pinata!

Hever Castle

On July 12th, Mr K and I decided as I was staying with him and it's always been on my list of things to see and do that we should pay a visit to Hever castle.

Brief history (because I couldn't help myself!)

I'm a huge Tudor fan and was so, so excited to visit the castle and the gardens. Hever Castle was built in the 13th century and is best known as the place where a young Anne Boleyn grew up until leaving for The Netherlands in 1513 to receive an education at the court of the Archduchess Margaret. Anne returned to Hever in 1522 when her Father requested her return to England to marry her cousin James Butler. The marriage plans were broken up by Cardinal Wolsey and Anne went to the court to serve the current queen; Catherine of Aragon. 

Hever came into The Kings' possession after Thomas Boleyn died and he later gifted the castle to Anne of Cleaves as part of their divorce in 1540. 

After the Tudors, Hever Castle passed through various owners, the first being the Waldegrave family in 1557 and the Meade Waldo family from 1749 to 1903. During this period of ownership, the castle fell into a poor state of repair, it was leased to private tenants and at one point even housed cattle!  In 1903, it was acquired and restored by the American millionaire William Waldorf Astor, who used it as a family home. He added the Italian Garden and in 1983 the Astor family sold the castle.

The Visit

My Sunday Photo - Farewell Rainbow

It's now the end of term and both children have broken up from school like hundreds of others across the country. Every year we put together a few bits for the children's teachers and helpers.

This year Midge took in pots of jelly beans and cards that she found and liked. Little A chose roses and I made him a card to take in with little finger prints on the front. That wasn't enough for our A however, he put his hand in the whole ink pad and produced this wonderful rainbow hand print inside, I love it.


I've Nothing to Wear! Special Occasion Outfit Stress Sorted ~

The Mini Cupcakes have broken up from school and we are all looking forward to the summer holidays. Last year we did lots of different things like watching The Man Engine come to town, a trip to Plymouth and the local cinema. This year our summer holiday seems to be very family orientated which is lovely. We are seeing Mr K and soon after we go camping near my sister so we can see Aunty Issy and her partner. First up though is a rather special occasion: a family wedding! 

We're all travelling up to camp for several nights and watch our cousin marry her partner. It's going to be such a wonderful day! Midge has had her dress and shoes picked out for ages (which won't surprise anyone!) She's gone for something really cool, not your usual wedding outfit but I'm okay with it. She is of course, ever the determined girl, to wear her little heeled shoes...bare in mind this is an outdoor wedding at a sustainability center so that should be interesting!

Little A doesn't do the whole shirt or suit thing so he'll be donning a pair of school trousers that I don't mind getting dirty outside and he has a couple of tops to chose from and I don't think anyone will stop him from wearing his Marvel shoes! Luckily my cousin and her girlfriend are pretty relaxed and happy for everyone to wear what they like...

Lucky really because after having very little success I've threatened to go in my pyjamas! I have really struggled to find something that suits me and doesn't cost an arm and a leg! I've put on weight so I'm not feeling confident either. I've tried all my local stores but *sigh* I left simply feeling a bit rubbish about myself and annoyed at the lack of choice. I did buy some nice pumps to go with whatever I did find, they're nice but I'm well aware you're supposed to chose the outfit first!

I remembered a while ago I went onto LoveTheSales website and found some great sale deals on hoodies and trainers from Superdry and Sketchers that I would never be able to afford normally so I thought I'd check them out as my last shot!

I don't normally check out dresses but I know one style I love and that suits me is the skater dress style but I've always found it really hard to find them. LoveTheSales has a section for all the styles including this- win! So, I've narrowed it down to these:

I'm now in a 14-16 and I find the models in these sections much easier to relate to. The dresses from Asos through LoveTheSales' website are lovely.

I love the dresses from Izabel, who would've thought I could afford to buy a dress from there?!

And the ones from Derhy via Zalando, the pricier one of the three but a beautiful dress for a wedding party and one I can wear throughout summer too (getting my monies worth!) 

So as usual the children are all sorted and it's just good ol' Mum who is left wondering what on earth to wear! At least now I have some options!

Do you have any special occasions to go to this summer and are you as ready as I am? 

Cupcake Mumma

*via love the sales*

Ask No Questions ~ Book Tour and Review

The Blurb

Some secrets were meant to stay hidden… Trust no-one.

After an operation goes badly wrong, undercover specialist Detective Caelan Small leaves the Metropolitan Police for good. Or so she thinks. Then the criminal responsible is seen back in the UK.
Soon Caelan is drawn into a dangerous investigation. But when the main lead is suddenly murdered, all bets are off. Nothing is as it seems. Everyone is a suspect - even close colleagues.
Someone in the Met is involved and Caelan is being told to Ask No Questions.

That isn't an option: Caelan needs answers… whatever the cost.

My Thoughts

Detective Caelan Small, having quit her job after her last assigned operation ended in tragic loss, vowed never to go back to her job as an undercover detective. It's when a previous colleague is sent to retrieve her that she finds a new chance to get questions answered, to right wrongs and get justice (or revenge?)

Unsurprisingly, Caelan was my favourite character in Lisa's new book. I love her fight, her strong mind, her intelligence and how she tells it like it is. You get a real sense of the main characters in this book. Caelan has this tough outer shell but suffers flash backs that make you see how her business is unfinished and she's still reeling from past events. Ewen is another character I took to instantly. He's the slightly nervous but capable new undercover partner to Caelan.

As I've previously mentioned, psychological thrillers haven't been something I've picked up until recently but I really do enjoy them. Ask No Questions is mostly fast paced, with a few slow chapters here and there, nothing that throws your reading off though. I found it really difficult to put this book down, such a gripping, interesting and easy read.

I've never read Lisa's books before but I'll certainly be checking out more and I really hope Caelan and hopefully Ewan make another appearance in the future. 

Meet the Author

Lisa Hartley lives with her partner, son, two dogs and several cats. She graduated with a BA (Hons) in English Studies, then had a variety of jobs but kept writing in her spare time. In addition to this new series with Canelo she is also working on the next DS Catherine Bishop novel.

This is a book blog tour! Check out what other bloggers thought about Ask No Questions.

If you buy this kindle book from Amazon today, it's currently only 99p!

Cupcake Mumma

Geekfest 3:0 at Heartlands Cornwall

On July 1st myself, the mini cupcakes and Mr K headed to Heartlands for Geekfest 3.0, the third Geekfest to be held at Heartlands in Cornwall. This event celebrates everything geeky from Star Wars, Doctor Who, comics, merchandise, gaming, cosplay and so much more.

Next year I'm definitely going to go in cosplay because it looked so much fun and so natural. Little A dressed up as Captain America and Midge went with a Harlequin theme she put together herself. Sadly her bought outfit didn't fit her properly but ever the creative she tried her best with what she could find!

Captain America

Midge excited for Geekfest!

We explored the play area first which both the children loved and gave Mr K and I the chance to look at the map of all the events.

Burning rubber!

We saw some fantastic prosthetic  work from Gorton Studios. The characters below are all from Doctor Who, you will probably recognise them if you're a fan! We got to see some evil spirit make up being done by Morgan Kimber which was amazing. 
Little A loved the Ood and Midge loved the Madme Vestra mask.

Madam Vestra

Morgan Kimber from Gorton Studios doing an evil spirit make over

 We then went on to the Nerf area where Mr k, Midge and I watched A run wild with a Nerf gun for about 20 minutes diving behind hide outs and shooting random people with foam bullets. After this we walked to the main courtyard which had some large army vehicles  and a replica DeLorean time machine car from Back to the Future. Little A found a Creeper from Minecraft, a game he enjoys playing on his tablet.

Little A ready to do Nerf battle

Little A and a Creeper!

I bumped into an Edea cosplay which totally made my day. I adored Final Fantasy VIII as a kid and loved all the characters, Edea was a favourite sorceress of mine but I also loved Ultimacia and Adel but I'm thinking that as a cosplay wouldn't be easy to do!

The fabulous Edea from Final Fantasy VIII

There was plenty of Star Wars cosplay with Stormtroopers keeping things on check and a huge Chewbacca posing for photos with fellow geeks (much to Mr K's delight!)

Mr K with Chewbacca and a Stormtrooper

We ventured over to the tent which held some stalls but sadly it was this part that was a bit of a let down for me; the reason being that Mr K, who was using his wheelchair could only get around half the stalls (and with great difficulty given everyone was moving in a clockwise motion) so there were several stalls he missed out on not to mention in order to take the children to the face paints and comic stall I had to leave him alone near the entrance!

Other than that, there were some fabulous stalls. We bought key rings from Jimagination Creations, next time I'll be buying a Harry Potter bookmark which looked fantastic (photo below is from the facebook page where you can also purchase items!) We checked out Superhero Stash where I picked up badges (Captain America of course.) but they sold mugs, key rings, canvas prints and Funko Pops too. The children got some glitter tattoos while I browsed through the comics and graphic novels from Truro based comic store Bazbo Comics. I picked up 2 Wonder Woman comics and 2 Captain America ones for Mr K. I'm thinking of framing mine, I love the art work on the old comics. I want to go back and get some more plus there were plenty which my brother would like. 

One of my awesome Wonder Woman comic books

Harry Potter bookmark on my wishlist!

Before we left we had another quick wander around, saw some more cosplay and Midge took Little A to pose with the Stormtroopers. We all had an ace day!

Little A and Midge getting their photo taken by a Stormtrooper! Lucky little man got to wear his helmet!

Thanks Geekfest, we'll see you next year!
Cupcake Mumma

My Sunday Photo ~ Giant Jaffa Cake!

I had lunch with my Mum and Aunt at The Organic Coffee Shop. Managed to bring home this delicious giant Jaffa cake that is both vegan and wheat free. I myself bought a salted caramel cake which was free from everything: perfect! 

I would ask if you wanted to have some but this cupcake mumma doesn't share cake!


My Sunday Photo ~ Captain America Comes to Cornwall!

Saturday 1st July was Geekfest here in Cornwall and I spotted my very own Captain America wandering around Heartlands! We had an ace family day out!


Visiting Duchy College Open Farm Day!

Last Sunday I had the urge to go out and do something. I wasn't 100% sure what but I needed to get the little ones out of the house for a change of scenery (not just them either!) I was browsing my social media during my morning social media catch up (we all do it right?) and came across Duchy Colleges open day. Rosewarne Duchy college is a local college a 15 minute walk from our house. I knew that the Mini Cupcakes would love the dog shows, the birds, horses and the different games that would be there. 

  We arrived (dog in tow) and set off exploring the flowers and stopping every few moments to allow Little A to pet the many dogs going through to the dog show. We found diggers and tractors which Midge loved and Little A spotted a mini steam train so hopped on that for a ride before posing with a Massey Ferguson tractor.

Midge played a couple of games on the picnic lawn with A before we headed to the first field and watched a bit of the dog show, said a quick hello to some school friends and having a tasty ice cream. We then explored some of the farm. We only saw turkeys (I'll never eat another one, they are rather beautiful creatures!) because all the cows, sheep and donkeys were out in another field. 

We ventured down to a large field where we met Peanut the rescue pony and got to see several beautiful horses galloping up and down the field with their riders dressed up and showing off their horseback archery. You can actually go to St. Ives and visit the Old Mill Stables horse riding school to learn to do horseback archery. I adored the horses and wished there were more horses to look at. There were several more with carriages but sadly we missed that event.

We all had a really good day out at Duchy college. I do like being slightly spontaneous and really enjoyed the horses.
  As usual I asked the little ones what they thought was the best part of the day:

Midge: "I really loved the horses, Peanut was my favourite because he was a pony. I liked the games because i had fun and won two times. The ice cream was really good too!"

Little A: "I LOVED the horse bow and arrow shooting, I want to do that!" 

Cupcake Mumma