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Monday, 30 July 2012

Morning Cuddles

Little man you have developed the most adorable morning routine. Each morning as you wake, mummy or daddy will come into your room and still with a sleepy head you will point to the door ready to go downstairs. As we get to the kitchen you point to the fridge for your milk and as it is poured for you, you like to be held. Next stop is the sofa where you will gesture for the tv remote, and we turn on the telly. You will then sit cuddled up with mummy or daddy just watching telly, and having lots of kisses and cuddles, after a while you will start to drink your milk but still cuddled up. Sometimes you like to read a story too. I wonder if you will ever know just how much we cherish these moments.

Love you little man xxx

Family Card Games

Cartamundi have recently launched a new collection of family card games which bring back memories of games that i used to play when i was younger

The collection features Jungle Snap with cute animal charcters and Pairs on Wheels with fire engines, trucks and police cards. The cards are bright and colourful and are a great twist on the traditional snap games. A memory game can also be played with these cards, by placing cards face down and turning two at a time looking for matching pairs.

Snap card games

A selection of cards fro pairs on wheels
The Happy families game is a race to collect the most families and Donkey is all about creating pairs but avoiding the 'donkey card'.
Donkey and Happy Families

A selection of cards from the Donkey game
The cards feature bright illustrations and bold text and the outside face of the cards also feature a linked themed print.

Both these card sets can be used to play snap or the memory game creating several different games from each set. Ideal for taking on a family journey or holiday.  The card games are just 99p each.

Disclaimer: A selection of card sets were provided for the purpose of review.

Friday, 27 July 2012

Infertility investigations

Sat in the consultant's waiting room i didn't know what to expect, i was anxious and felt rather strange at the prosect of telling another stranger my 'problems'. In my mind i didn't think it would get to this stage but here i was in a sterile waiting room, with several others not quite ready to spill the beans. When i am taken through to the consultant's room i am quite taken a back when to see a man sat behind the desk, oh my word i am going to have to tell a man such personal information.

Luckily the consultant put me at ease and despite a small attack of the giggles i am able to tell him why i had been referred and my history. I was struck with horror when he advised that he would like to do a little examination and would i mind if a student sat in on the procedure? I found myself muttering ok, so off he went and with an audience of three, he completed the necessary task whilst i lay there embarrased as hell. Now humour me why is such a big torch needed and why is emblazed with the logo everyready..this is all i can focus on whilst the doctors happily chat about their holiday's whilst examining my bits!

Anyway after all that i was sent away with nothing. Yes i was advised just to monitor my cycle have a few blood tests and return in three months. Devasted i had already waited months and was sent away to wait a little longer. This was the outcome i least expected.

So after more waiting and no further news to report my next appointment came around.This time i kind of knew what to expect so although i was still dreading another audience and more awkward questions, i was hoping that i may come away with some answers. After a lengthy chat with the consultant i was advised that the next stage was to begin with some medication that might help to get things started.

Thursday, 26 July 2012

Planning a Naming Day

I love party planning, its on my list of dream jobs so now that i have set a date for Tiny's naming day let the planning commence!

Last year Little man had a naming day and the theme was teddies, i concious that i wanted something diffferent this time so it has taken me a while to think of the theme (which i will reveal at a later date) The next thing on the list is to locate said themed products. Being a little bit of a perfectionist in this field, i want the full blown matching kit from invites to cakes, balloons to favours, you get the picture. So i am going to be a busy little bee hunting for little treasures.

I also need to plan some fun activities games and quizzes to keep the different ages in the family entertained so my brain will be working overtime for something a bit different but is easy to plan. Our favourities last time were guessing the number of sweeties in the baby bottle and pass the nappy. If you have any suggestions holla.

I may be lost in a sea of lists for the next few weeks!

Monday, 23 July 2012

Medal Cupcakes

When I saw this months theme for the calendar cakes challenge hosted by Dolly Bakes and Laura loves cakes i was rather excited with Olympic theme. I had quite a few ideas of masterpieces that I could create but to date they have not come to light. So with the Olympic opening cermony on Friday i am making a cheeky little entry with my medal cupcakes and a note to self to try harder next time.
                                           Calendar Cakes Blogger Challenge                                                     

I made my cupcakes using the following trusty receipe that my mum always uses:

6oz Marg
6oz Caster Sugar
6oz Self- Raising Flour
3 Eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon baking powder

 I used the all in one method adding the baking powder after all other ingredients had been mixed. For the topping i piped the buttercream using a small star nozzle, simply piping up and down for a swirly effect. I topped with the edible medal decorations and gold, red, white and blue stars.

Olympic Medal Cakes

Next time i make these i will use some ribbon to fully create the medal apperance.

Thursday, 19 July 2012

Baking for Babies Christmas Fete

We are doing it again in true fun house style Dolly Bakes and I are going to 're-run the fun'.Believe it or not on the morning of our Baking for Babies summer Fete amidst a table crisis we were already sowing the seeds for a Christmas event and by the end of the day we had a date in the diary.

We have started the planning and are in the process of organising a lovely little indoor venue we will have lots of cake, food and craft stalls and of course games and an amazing raffle. Again all proceeds raised will go to the local special care baby unit.

So keep your eyes peeled for more details and put a date in the diary for the 1st December.

Do you know any local craft of food traders that may be interested in holding a stall. Please get in touch

Tuesday, 17 July 2012

A spoon full of sugar

Up until now i have been quite lucky that the little man has taken medicine without any problems but just recently he has developed a habit of not swallowing it and letting it run back out. This morning i knew i had to try and apply eye cream and was not hopeful of success. However, the waving around of a brand new (and up until then unseen) stuffed bus toy by daddy distracted the little man long enough for me to get a smidge of cream in where it should be. It got me feeling rather guilty and relieved in equal measure, and I started wondering if this was a common thing and what other mummies and daddies do?

Baking for Babies Summer Fete

It has taken me a few days to write this post because i have struggled to find the words to adequately express my thanks to everyone involved. I still don't think i am there, but here we go. So first of all to everyone involved in any capacity thank you so so much.

Ever since Tiny spent the first few weeks of his life in the special care baby unit, i decided that i wanted to give something back and raise some funds for the unit to help other families. So i joined forces with my friend Dolly Bakes and we have spent the last eight weeks planning our fundraising event.

Initially we had planned to have a pop up bakery, but as the idea took shape we got giddy and decided why not go the whole hog and make it a full blown Summer Fete. So we dug deep and called on friends, family, Clandestine Cake Club members, local businesses, contacts and social media to help make it happen.

We were totally taken aback with the support that we we received from raffle prize donations, to volunteers willing to man stalls and bake cakes to help support the cause. It was outstanding.

The army of volunteers arriving early at the venue on Saturday morning sprung into action when a small issue with tables threatened to delay the set up. Within half an hour tables were arriving from local care homes and leisure centres. I must admit that i was totally overwhelmed by the genorisity and steel  that people displayed to get the event up and running and yes i did shed a few tears.

Throghout the morning more and more cakes arrived and the pop up bakery was bulging at the seams with an array of loaves, pastries, tray bakes and hundreds of beautifully decorated cupcakes. In addition to this there were games, stalls, a facepainter, bouncy castle, ice cream van and food supplied by the venue.

Lunchtime saw the arrival of the Mayor and the Bolton News, even the rain did not stop us and the valiant volunteers moved under cover until the rain passed. All the volunteers soldiered on and i like Rachel cannot express how grateful we are to each and everyone who contributed and volunteered. With money still coming in we have raised over £1000 for the unit and have clothes and blanket donations too.

It was a totally fantastic effort and i loved every minute of it. I cheekily mentioned to Rachel in the midst of the morning mayhem about things we had learnt for next time, and by the end of the day we had the provisional date for a Christmas event!

As i have mentioned there are so many people that i would like to thank really you truly amazed me. Firstly i have to give huge and special thanks to Rachel who has give up so much time and put in so much to make this happen including endless lists and ideas (and humouring me in my mad moments). To all our helpers and cake club members thank you so much much. I am really hoping that we can make this an annual event!

Horwich Summer Fete - Baking for Babies
The greatest Bake Sale
Horwich Summer Fete - Baking for Babies
The Sweet Pantry
Horwich Summer Fete - Baking for Babies
Yummy Cupcakes
Horwich Summer Fete - Baking for Babies
Bundt Cake
Horwich Summer Fete - Baking for Babies
Sara and Corinne on the games stall

Horwich Summer Fete - Baking for Babies
More Yummy Cupcakes
Horwich Summer Fete - Baking for Babies
Chocolate Tombola
Photographs taken by Rachel     
                               Horwich Summer Fete - Baking for Babies
                                Horwich Summer Fete - Baking for Babies            
                                Horwich Summer Fete - Baking for Babies

The above three pictures were provided by our friend and supporter Janet Broughton Photography.

Monday, 16 July 2012

Sugar Rose cupcakes

For this weekend's Baking for Babies event i made a huge batch of yummy cupcakes for the pop up bakery. With lots to organise for the event, i had planned to do my baking around little man and tiny man's nap times however an emergency doctor's appointment, a complete soaking and a hospital visit saw me piping my cakes a little bleary eyed at 6am on Saturday morning.

I used an increased quantity of a standard Victoria sandwich mix for my cupcakes, and i selected cases in different shades of pink and greens to compliment my chosen theme.

A mammoth quantity of buttercream was needed (hubby was sent for supplies) and i adapted my favourite receipe to create a strawberry flavoured topping. The receipe below was enough for 24 cupcakes:

For the buttercream topping:

18oz Icing Sugar
9oz Butter
2 teaspoons Strawberry flavouring
1 teaspoon of water.

The cupcakes were piped with loose swirl pattern and topped with the most adorable pink sugar roses which were provided from Cake Craft World.

Baking for Babies -  Sugar Rose Cupcakes
Readyfor the pop up bakery
 The cakes looked so pretty.

Thanks to Cake Craft World who  provided the sugar decorations in support of our Baking for Babies event which is raising money for our local Special Care Baby Unit.

Sunday, 15 July 2012

Sale socks

This week i indulged in a teeny little bit of sale shopping and the majority of my purchases were for Little man and Tiny man. You might have guessed that there would be a least one pair of socks amongst the bargains. This five pack of animal socks from Marks and Spencers were winking at me, and i simply couldn't resist.

Animal Feet

At just £2.50 they were a total bargain! Sold.

Silent Sunday

Tuesday, 10 July 2012

Great Britain Socks

With the washer and dryer currrently playing the losing one sock trick with me it was a perfect excuse to buy some new socks for the little man. I spotted this patriotic five pack and couldn't resist.

The pack contains two stripey pairs, two with flag designs and a grey branded pair.

These were £5 from Next.  I thought they would be perfect for wearing during the Olympics

Friday, 6 July 2012

Pink Lining changing bags Autumn collection

I have just heard the word that the stunning Autumn range of Pink Lining changing bags are available to pre order for September delivery.

 This season's prints include a multi coloured adaptation of the signature bow print.

Multi Coloured bow print Yummy Mummy bag

The pretty 'Pink Apple' design features a delightful apple tree, blue forget-me-nots and little red and yellow butterflies.
Pink Apple ‘Mama et Bébé’bag 

I adore the  Blue Bouquet print that is scattered in cute little flower bouquets and love hearts

Yummy Mummy Blue Bouquet
Bag Shapes include the lovely 'Yummy Mummy' style (also the mini yummy mummy) with cupcake design, the 'Mama et Bebe' with the pram design and the 'Blooming Gorgeous'

What a stunning little collection!

Disclaimer: I wrote this post because i was excited to see the new collection and i wanted to shout about it!

Thursday, 5 July 2012

Too tiny for nursery?

We visited prospective nurseries in the early stages of my pregnancy and knew immediately when we saw the right one. Everything about it felt right and the Ofsted report was excellent, so bubs was added to the waiting list. I was lucky that a friend advised me to do this before baby was born otherwise i would never have considered that it needed to be done so soon.

The little man started nursery when he was nine months old, at the time he seemed so small and i worried about how he would get on. I needn't have worried, he loved it! I shed more tears than he did, constantly thinking of him during the day, hoping that he was okay and having fun. Each time i collect him  he is full of smiles and I eagerly read his little journal about his day.

When we found out about Tiny i automatically filled in an application form for him to join. Recently he has been offered a place to start on the same days as little man in September. He will only be five months old and i am wondering is that too soon? He is still so tiny, but if he doesn't start this time he cannot be guaranteed another place until next September. My maternity ends in March so without a nursery place i would need to look at alternate arrangements for tiny.Thinking of the logistics of this makes my head hurt. But 5 months old - is that too soon?

Monday, 2 July 2012

Duck Race and Cupcakes

On Friday it was the little man's nursery duck race. It is an annual fundraisng event and this year was raising money for meningitis awareness. The brook at the side of nursey plays host to the event, and parents and children are invited to name and sponsor plastic ducks to float in the races.

We had great fun choosing the names or our ducks and it was such a great cause i decided to make some cupcakes that could be sold on the refreshment stall.

My cakes were not exactly what i had planned after having a little disaster with a bottle of blue food colouring, but the least said about that the better. So after having a change of tact i set about making some tasty treats involving stars and butterflies. Just Bake kindly donated some colourful edible star decorations that teamed up well with my vanilla buttercream star piping.

Star Cupcakes
 Luckily the weather stayed dry for the event and we had lots of fun watching the races.The Little man really got into it clapping as the ducks came floating past. We even had a few winners!

Lucky Ducks

The cakes went down a treat too.

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