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!