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Wednesday, 30 January 2013

Hidden Rolo Cupcakes

Whilst rifling through the cupboards the other day i came across my Christmas cupcake goodies. So i thought i would give some of them a try and make some Valentines cupcakes and after rolo's caught my eye from the supermarket shelf i had a plan.

I made 24 vanilla cupcakes using a basic sponge receipe, once the cakes had cooled i then set to work with one of my new gadgets the cupcake corer. Using the corer to remove the centre of the cupcake, i placed a single rolo inside the cupcake, i then used  the piece of removed cake to create a 'lid' for the cake to seal in the rolo.


The corer


Removing the centre

Filling- The Rolo


Adding 'the lid'
Heart Cupcake decorations
Valentines cupcakes
The hidden Rolo


To finish i piped pink and white buttercream swirls on to the cakes using a 1M nozzle. I then sprinkled with tiny red and white heart valentine's cupcake decorations from Just Bake.

Disclaimer: I was provide with sample decorations for the purpose of this review



Saturday, 26 January 2013

Project 365 20th- 26th January

20 Tiny starting to pull himself up
21 A snowy drive into work
22 Our well loved caterpillar book fell apart

23 Little man chilling in his brothers chair
24 Sitting comfortably
25 Little man loving countdown

26 The duck pond the day after heavy snow fall



TheBoyandMe's 365 Linky

Wednesday, 23 January 2013

Heat Holder socks review

I have been known to wear three pairs of socks to try and keep my tootsies warm so when offered an opportunity to review a pair of Heat holder socks especially considering this cold weather i was keen to give them a go.

When i opened the socks, they felt quite thick and had a soft inside layer. The socks were really comfortable and my feet felt warm almost instantly. Having laminate flooring i really put these socks through the paces running around after the two little peeps. I was pleasantly surprised that my feet were kept nice and warm.

During the snowy weather i have worn the socks under my wellies too which again after using out and about my feet were still kept nice and toasty

Heat Holder socks have a 2.3 tog rating which is 5 times warmer than a standard pair of socks. This is rating is achieved by a unique production technique


Heat Holders Thermal socks
Warm inside layer

The socks have had a lot of use already and have worn and washed well and have definitely kept the thermal properties.

Heat Holder socks are available in a wide range of colours.

Disclaimer: A pair of Heat Holder socks were provided for the purpose of this review.

Saturday, 19 January 2013

Project 365 13th- 19th January

13 Tiny stopping to watch something on TV
14 The new Friday takeaway treat
15 Pointing out the birds

16 Our new bird table
17 Pretty morning sky
18 Breaking ice

19 Exploring the snow<
TheBoyandMe's 365 Linky

Wednesday, 16 January 2013

Winter walk

Even though it was cold and frosty, little man decided that he wanted to go and feed the ducks. He had great fun spotting the birds, feeding the ducks and exploring the frozen ground and puddles

Armed with bread, and bird watching



Ducks and a  part frozen pond



More exploring 


There were plenty of hungry ducks!

Sunday, 13 January 2013

Achica shopping

Anyone who knows me will tell you how much i like to shop, i love finding unusual and unique gifts so was intrigued when i heard about Achica. Achica is a members only lifestyle store that runs daily shopping offers that last up to 72 hours.

The range of products is huge featuring everything from homewares and garden furniture to children's clothing and fashion accessories with a whole lot in between.

Promotional offers and upcoming offer categories can be viewed from the Achica homepage.

Based on the current exclusives my wish list search began with the valentine kitchenware collection with the American food store and kids toy section not far behind.

Being a fan of baking and bakeware, i couldn't resist peeking at some of the products, i love this love heart spatula, its really pretty and totally different to any i currently own.

Love Tree Spatula

With valentines day not too far off, this mini heart shape cake tin would be ideal for some 'heart themed bakes:
Mini Heart Shaped cake tin

Sticking with my baking theme, i have so many receipes that use cups as a measure, these heart shaped measures would be perfect way to get started:

Heart Shaped cup measures


Jars of cookie mix make great gift ideas, not only does this one sound divine but it is beautifully packaged too.
Gourmet Cookie mix

This little lunch tote would be perfect for me for work, i love the fact that its so brightly coloured and washable.

Lunch Tote

I hardly ever go anywhere with out buying something for at least one of the boys so from the toy selection i picked out a few treats for the little men. This magnetic fishing game would be perfect for the little man

 John Crane Magnetic fishing game

Both the little men would love playing with this stacking train, its brightly coloured and can be used as building blocks too.
John Crane stacking train

In return for this post i received vouchers towards future purchases for Achica


   

























Healthy Eating Receipes- Competition


I have a great little competition for one of my readers bag themselves £50 of Sainsburys's vouchers. The competition is all about healthy eating receipes. Do you have a receipe that's packed with fruit or vegetables,  a great way of combining fruit and vegetables or a healthier way of cooking a family favourite?

                           heroImage

Simply leave a link to your receipes below and Sainsbury's will select a winner who will receive a £50 voucher

Closing date for entries is the 21/01/12

Sainsburys are promoting this giveaway.

Project 365 6th- 12th January


 
 6 Out in the Garden
 7 Back to work- my desk view
 8 Tiny man falling asleep cuddling me tight

 9 A spot of shopping
 10 Baking Flapjacks
 11 Time to relax


12 Exploring static


TheBoyandMe's 365 Linky

Tuesday, 8 January 2013

Hungry Caterpillar Cake

As the little man was having a hungry caterpillar themed 2nd birthday tea party i decided to complete the theme by making a homemade cake.

I started by making a basic sponge cake mixture using the following receipe:

6oz Self raising flour
6oz Butter
6oz Caster Sugar
3 eggs
1  teaspoon baking powder.


I greased and lined a 9inch square tin. For this receipe i creamed together the butter and sugar, add the eggs one by one mixing thoroughly after each one. I then added the flour and again mixed thoroughly. I then folded in the baking powder.

Cooking time in my oven was approx 20 mins at 180.

I also made a batch of buttercream ready for when decorating the cake

Whilst the cake was cooking i drew a template of the hungry caterpillar on greaseproof paper.

Once the cake had cooled, i used the template to cut the basic shape of the caterpillar.

Using the template to shape the cake
The caterpillar shape ready for decorating


For the sugarpaste covering, i had a pack of pre-coloured red, green and blue paste, but i used party green colour gel to colour a further two shades of green and a small amount of brown for the legs.

Using the template i then cut the caterpillar's head and body into smaller pieces, covered in buttercream wrapped in cling film and place in the fridge for half an hour.

Starting with the head i rolled the sugarpaste and covered each part individually, again using the template after finishing each piece i placed onto the cake board using a small amount of icing to secure  each piece to the next. For the body of the caterpillar i alternated the green colours to create the 'right apperance'.
Shaping the caterpillar


Once the caterpillar's head and body had been  completed and shaped onto the board, i cut out little legs from the brown coloured sugarpaste and add the eyes and noses features to the face. I then created the antenna's using blue sugarpaste formed around small pieces of dried spaghetti to keep them upright.

Adding the face details


To finish the cake a made a small amount of icing and smeared across the bottom of the board and added several rows of skittles to create the dotted effect used in the book.



The Finished caterpillar cake


 The little man loved it!

Friday, 4 January 2013

Birthday Eve

It's your birthday Eve little man. You are so nearly two. Two years old.

Two years since I sat bouncing on the birthing ball watching the Ashes wondering when I would met you.

Two years of watching you grow from a tiny little baby to a independent little toddler..

Two years of seeing your personality develop, seeing you crawling, walking and running.

Two years hearing you coo, babble and talk.

Two years of cuddles, snuggles and kisses

Two years, the most amazing two years.

Thank you little man for showing me a love I never knew was possible, a love that grows stronger everyday.

I love you little man xx

Making a Christmas Pinata

This year the little man and me set about making a fun gift for nursery that was something a bit different and that all the children could get involved in.

Pinatas have gone down really well at the last few parties we have had, so we set about making our own version or a Christmas pinata.

As this was our first attempt at paper mache we decided that we would stick to a simple design were we could use a balloon as our base.

So to start we blew up a large balloon and made a quantity of paper mache using flour and water, we simply used a cup of plain flour and roughly the same amount of water (but added gradually to ensure the paste is fairly thick.) I had also cut a newspaper into small square pieces. I tried to minimise the amount of mess we made, so instead of soaking the paper in the mix we covered the balloon with the mix and stuck the paper over the mix. To start we did two coats, so after the first lot of paper had been stuck we then added more paste and then paper. As we were making a sweet shaped mould we left a 2 inch are at the top of the balloon that was not covered, this would form the opening for filling the pinata and form the wrapper ends.

The paper mache paste

Applying the paste


Starting the first layer

The first two layers


Each two layers that we did took around 24 hours to set. Once the layers were dry we then added another 4 over the follow three nights.

After the first two layers had dried the structure became quite heavy and it became harder to add the layers.

Once the six layers had dried the paper mache had set to form a strong structure, at this stage we popped the balloon so that we were left with an oval shape mould. We also did a little touch up at this stage to create an even surface.

Ready for filling

Once the balloon had been popped


The following night we then covered the pinata in tissue paper to create a sweet wrapper, and we filled the pinata with lots of chocolates, sweets, sparkles and other goodies. We then sealed the hole by using a roll from the Christmas wrapping paper.

Finally we covered the pinata in a cellophane wrap to complete the look of a sweet.

Our Pinata

Not bad for a fisrt attempt!

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