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

The Vegan Burd ~ Delicious Vegan Chocolates

I have to share this with you all. I came across a post online a while ago and checked out Adele's Etsy store to view her selection of chocolates. The Vegan Burd has really made a hit with these chocolates which have been so popular my delivery was put back by a few weeks! Adele kept in constant contact using Etsy messaging which comes directly to my e-mail and even refunded a percentage of my original bill. 

There are a range of these yummy chocolates but the ones I chose were Snackurz:

So deliciously peanutty! The chocolate was just the right thickness, the filling was pure peanut heaven even the bits in (who wants smooth peanut butter? Seriously...) It was melt in the mouth delicious and I wish I had bought 2!

I then tried Rollaz:

I was slightly disappointed with the Rollaz. I thought the inside of the chocolates would have a bit more caramel but it was quite thick with the raw ingredients. I think I would've preferred a sweeter filling. Having said that, I know people who have loved this vegan take on Rolos! I personally would purchase another Snackurz or my favourite one below...

Ahh my favourite! The Yer BoundTae. One word: LUSH. The chocolate is the same thickness as the other bars of the same shape and size. The inside is so, so good. It's not all squashed and squeezed together but has delicious bits of desiccated coconut which just falls in to your mouth (and a little on your lap but who's judging?)  This would be my number one.

Adele is currently catching up on orders so you'll notice her Etsy isn't stocked up at the moment. However, keep up to date with her on her Facebook page The Vegan Burd and on Twitter @veganburd

*I bought these products using my own money and have not been asked to review any of the products featured within this post.

The Cupcakes Go to Cambridge ~ Beyond The Ice House 2017

Every 2 years we venture up to Cambridge to visit family and listen to local music at Beyond The Ice House on my Aunt and Uncles land. We meet up with cousins from Cambridge and Portsmouth plus Grandparents, several aunts and uncles and a lot of friends of the family including a real friendly bunch from Mount Dora, America, who were camped out in the meadow we were in.

The Mount Dora Crew

The ice house is an invite only event my Aunt and Uncle run every couple of years. There are drinks, live music, loads of food based on the bring and share theme plus laughter, games and plenty of people to chat to. The main aim of this event is not just about having a good time but raising money for Camfed, a charity that works to educate girls and support young women in rural communities in Africa. My Uncle worked in Zambia years ago and saw first hand the lack of education for girls. Ever since then Beyond The Ice House has raised money for the charity. The total I've just seen for this year is £6550.15 which is AMAZING

The Holiday

As usual we had ourselves a little caravan, it was difficult to be here given this was our first holiday as a single parent family. The kids took a day to adjust too. By Saturday we were all much happier. We had bacon in the field in the morning, then went in to Cambridge (that was a near disaster, thankfully my friend rescued me!) we managed to catch up a bit whilst the children played but didn't spend nearly enough time together so have decided to do a girls day out somewhere in the near future!

When we got back it was pool time which is probably the highlight for all the children. Mr K met us at the house too which was so wonderful. We all got to chill out together with the children getting to know him a little before going back to swimming. We listened to some local bands and some American groups (including those folks from Mount Dora who got people in the spirit!)

Here are some photos from the holiday:
With thanks to my sister 

 I asked the children what their favourite bits of the holiday were:

Midge: "My very favourite part of the holiday was having loads of fun in the swimming pool, especially when I swam on my own! I loved seeing all my cousins so much"

Little A: " I liked the swimming pool and eating 'macon' (bacon) in the morning."

A successful event and a successful first solo parenting holiday for me!

Cupcake Mumma

My Sunday Photo ~ Orange

This beautiful orange flower is from one of the school flower beds. I think after helping Mr K raise awareness of FSH Muscular Dystrophy this week, it's the perfect photo to end the week on (orange is the colour of MD charities)


Cupcake Mumma

Recently Read ~ Watership Down

I remember watching some Watership Down when I was  child. I was pretty traumatised to be honest. The animation was scary, the fight scenes were gory and it's safe to say I was far too delicate to be watching something like that given I was surrounded by rabbits, fish, guinea pigs, ducks, horses, cats and dogs. I didn't really want to see all of that on the television. I was never given a copy nor had the book read to me and never thought about it until a month ago when a copy turned up in the post from my boyfriend who adores the book.

The book was nothing like I imagined. It's certainly not a children's book which is what many people said to me. In fact, it's nothing like the animation at all. Of course it's detailed and your imagination doesn't need much encouragement to imagine the well detailed scenes throughout the chapters but as I read the book I didn't see big shaggy bunnies with red eyes, I felt a connection to the characters and pictured actual rabbits making their way across dangerous lands, fighting, helping each other and so much more.

I massively identified with Pipkin. So loyal and kind and quiet but a bright bunny who has plenty to say when asked. I feel like that's me. I loved the change in the characters from the start to the finish. I love how you could easily give these characters different names and a human form and you'd be reading the same book. It teaches us so much about society, about loyalty, faith, death, will power, courage.

Have you read the book? A lot of people have told me they haven't because of the animation but the book is amazingly well written and you can't put it down, there's so much action, you're on edge more and more as the novel goes on.

Who knew bunnies could make you feel so strongly about, well, anything! They're so not silly little fluffy things I know that much now!

Raising Awareness for World FSHD Day with Orange Sliced Smiles

Tomorrow is World FSHD Day. FSHD (Facioscapulohumeral muscular dystrophy) is a chronic and progressive illness I had never heard of until Martyn from Inside Martyns Thoughts started blogging about it over the years. Now FSHD is a part of my life because quite wonderfully, Martyn is now a part of mine.
When I first met Martyn I didn't notice anything different about him. He was sat in his car and then I realised his car had been specially adapted so he didn't have to use his feet to accelerate or break. When we arrived at our hotel Martyn got out of his car, he walked around and I saw how he had to stand, move, sit and I got an insight into how disability un-friendly the outside world can be - slopes, lose stones, pebbles - nightmare!

I wasn't shocked by Martyns' disability; it doesn't bother me. Do I need to adjust to some things? Of course! We both know that's to be expected but it's not a problem. One thing I do know is that FSHD is a cruel and progressive illness and it's hard to watch someone you care about very much be in constant pain, stared at and limited. I haven't seen the full extent of FSHD but I know I will. Please have a read of Martyn's posts about his Muscular Dystrophy:

Here are some facts about FSHD:

  • Between 2,000-2,500 people in the UK have FSHD. Several generations of a family are often affected by the condition.  It can be diagnosed at any age and can vary widely between individuals, even within the same family. One-third of those with the condition are unaware of the symptoms right into old age.
  • The earlier the muscle weakness appears, the more severe it is likely to become. Between 10-20 percent of people with the condition eventually require a wheelchair. It affects the muscles of the eyes and mouth, including the ability to smile.
  • FSHD is caused by a genetic mutation which causes a toxic protein to be produced in the muscle, killing the muscle cells. There is currently no treatment available targeting the underlying genetic causes of FSH. Muscular Dystrophy UK is funding research investigating the mechanisms leading to FSHD.

To help raise awareness I'm joining in with The FSH Society's #WorldFSHDDAY and sharing some orange slice smiles! Orange is the Muscular Dystrophy colour and Martyn and I would LOVE to see your sliced orange smiles on all social media platforms. Please don't forget to use the tag #WorldFSHDDay so we can find and share your fantastic photos too and thank you for your support. Don't forget to get friends and family involved too!

If you wish to read more on FSHD, get help for a loved one or donate, then please check out the links below:

Donating pages

Thank you so much for your support!

Time for Myself

On Thursday I ventured out with 2 of my close friends to Truro for time on my own, well time on my own with good company!

I'm not hugely fond of places with lots of people but equally I can cope and I always love coming to see the Cathedral. I usually go in whenever I'm visiting but I didn't on this occasion. I still made my friends wait while I took photos of bunting and the beautiful building.

We visited Pennyworths Sweet Shop which is next to the Cathedral and full of goodies. I didn't purchase anything because I only had my card on me but next time I know I can take the little ones there and bring some pennies with me! We went to collect a parcel and I picked up some awesome pink headphones.

We stopped at a place called Vanilla where we had a bite to eat. I enjoyed a strawberry and raspberry with cracked black pepper drink which was nice but not really my thing so next time I'll try something else. I had a huge Cornish smoked mackerel salad which was really, really delicious and very good. There isn't much option for free from eaters but I was happy with this. After paying the bill we headed home.

Cornish mackerel salad

franklin scottish drink

I ended up picking Little A up from the train station and we headed home to chill out together. He's really come a long way with his reading and I really love it when he gets excited about stories at bedtime.

So I've taken some time out, just a short space of time which was nice. This weekend I'm off to see family and my boyfriend which is really exciting and has been something to look forward to for ages. I'm hoping I come back with a clearer mind, a lighter soul, some positivity and a bit of healing.

Cupcake Mumma

My Sunday Photo ~ Polling Day

Polling day came and as usual the Mini Cupcakes wanted to join me. The only time I could do it was before school so off we went! They watched what I did, asked questions and Midge popped my folded paper in the ballot box. I loved their enthusiasm and feel I'm creating 2 little ones who will be real voters when it's their time!


The Simple Woman's Daybook ~ June

For Today

Looking out my window

I can see the rain slowly falling, the sun trying to come out a little, I have all my recycling and rubbish ready to go out and it's all very dump and a bit yuck out there! I also have a lot of knocked over things from the wind about my yard!

I am thinking

About lots of things. About the man I miss, about my holiday next week which will be my first one as a single parent. It'll be wonderful though because we are surrounded by family. I think lots of things all of the time, I couldn't possibly list it all!

I am thankful

For my families safety and that of my friends, myself and the people I love. For good health, good friends, for my faith and sillier things like free from toffee ice cream, snail mail and the fact I'll have Friday to myself (including the night!)

One of my favorite things
I bought myself Tulips last month and they are beautiful. This month I've gone for yellow carnations. I love flowers.

I am creating

I've been continuing to work on the scrap book I'm putting together for my pen pal in America. My one came last week and it's great to read about Colorado!

I am wearing

I'm getting ready for the school run so I'm wearing my big hoody, black jeans, walking trainers and some big, fluffy socks. I cannot believe I will also be adding a coat and woolly hat to this when I leave, it's supposed to be June!

I am reading
 (read) /watching (watched) / listening to

I am currently reading Watership Down which I am loving, listening to an audio book of Harry Potter and The Philosophers Stone and watching The Great British Menu which I've recorded. I know I don't need to give all of those but why not?

I am hoping

I'm really hoping right now that my IBS stops playing up. I've taken more tablets for it than usual and I can't think of anything food related it could be *sigh*

I am learning

I'm learning how to cope with anxiety by attending weekly counselling and I'm learning to talk more but it's not easy.

In my kitchen

This weeks meal plan looked like this:
Mon- pizza night (always!)
Tues- spaghetti with vegetables in sauce/ cheesy pasta
Weds- jacket potatoes
Thursday- risotto
Friday- fish and chips (homemade)
Saturday- soup
Sunday- Roast

I've bought salted caramel extract and found caramel sauce in my local supermarket so I'm looking forward to baking and experimenting.

In the school room

A has been doing well at school, here are some snaps of his dazzling work book:

In my garden

My strawberry plants have flowered, my cucumber plant is growing and so are my tomato plants. I even have my blackberry plant showing signs of fruit! Oh and snail holes grr...

Post Script

I also want to share this Etsy store by Elle May. I love her work especially the beautiful whale print.

Shared Quote

"Distance means nothing when someone means everything"

A moment from my day

Closing Notes

I've had such a nice day with my Gran and my Aunt. We had a lovely lunch and some pudding before I headed back on the train in time for the school run. The sun has poked its head out every now and then but mostly its been a wellington boots day! 

Fancy joining in the Simple Woman's Daybook? Click the badge at the top of this post to find out more.

Cupcake Mumma

My Sunday Photo ~ Happy Birthday!

My wonderful Grandma celebrated her birthday on the 2nd June. We had pineapple cake, watched game shows, had macaroni cheese and just a lovely day in general.