Sunday, 31 October 2010

With my extra hour we...

...made some yummy cupcakes.

I love baking, especially when the mornings are cold and wet and you are stuck inside. As the clocks went back today and there wasn't much chance of us getting an extra hour in bed with Miss C and Wee Z, we decided to make some cupcakes.

I wanted to try making some lovely spider web cakes, so whilst I had a bit of a lie in (well one of us was using that extra hour for some sleep!) Husband took Miss C and Wee Z off to Asda to pick up some ingredients. Actually, my baking supplies are pretty well kept but I needed some black food colouring or writing icing to make the spider webs with. As always, bad planning on my part, there was neither left in the shops. So I had to improvise and use the rest of my dark chocolate from when we had made chocolate brownies.

This is the recipe I use and it makes 12 nice sized cakes. Bare in mind this is for cupcakes as opposed to fairy cakes. You could probably get about 24 fairy cakes with this recipe.

150g of unsalted butter
3 medium eggs
175g self raising flour
150g caster sugar
1 teaspoon of vanilla essence

Preheat your oven to 180°C/Gas mark 4. For a fan assisted oven, that's about 160°C. Put all your ingredients in to a large mixing bowl and whisk for about 2 minutes until the mixture is light and creamy. Use a tablespoon to spoon your mixture in to each case. I find a generous tablespoon per cake case is about right. Put them in the oven for 18-20 minutes when the cakes should be golden and the middle of the cake should spring back up if you lightly press it. Leave them to cool before icing.



This is the recipe for the icing:

300g of icing sugar
2 tablespoons of cold water
Black food colouring

Make up your icing by adding the water to the icing and beating until smooth. Add a little extra water if it is needed. Remove half the icing in to another bowl and add a few drops of the food colouring. Mix it well. Ice each cake at a time so you can work the icing in to a spider web. Put a teaspoon of white icing on the cake and spread it on. Using a piping bag with a writing nozzle, draw a spiral of black icing on the top. Then using a knife or cocktail stick draw lines through the icing starting from the middle.

You could finish them with bug sweeties, spiders or Smarties and Jelly Tots like we did.

I had to use my chocolate to make the spider webs and it was a bit too runny to put in a piping bag. I think they turned out fine though and taste delicious.



Saturday, 30 October 2010

It's a bit of a joke

Wee Z is becoming more and more expressive and he really does make me laugh with some of the things he says and does. He's constantly whizzing around the house pretending to be a superhero who catches "baddies!" He can be quite boisterous and I feel like I'm always asking him to calm down or "chillax!"

He really does love making us laugh and loves to tell jokes. These are some of his favourites at the moment. All clean of course!

Knock, Knock
Who's there?
Doctor
Doctor Who?
Ahhh Mummy, you just said it!

What's orange and sounds like a parrot? A carrot!

What do you get if you cross an elephant with a rhino? Elephino!

Why does Snoop Dogg carry an umbrella? For drizzle!

I think I may have a comedian in the making. Move over Michael McIntyre, here comes Wee Z.


Friday, 29 October 2010

Win a Luxury Christmas Wine Hamper

Competition is now closed

Christmas is fast approaching and with only 8 weeks to go and not much shopping done, I’m starting to panic a bit. The kids are fine to buy for. It’s the adults I’m struggling with. I don’t like buying vouchers or socks and pants or PJs but I can never find anything really amazing and different. Something special that they can enjoy!
Well, that was until I was contacted about HamperGifts. I’ve never thought about buying anyone a Christmas hamper as a gift. Having a look at their website though, they have some great ideas and not just for Christmas. Wine hampers, cheese hampers, whiskey hampers. They even make a new baby hamper. So when they offered me the chance to give one of their gorgeous hampers away, I couldn’t say no.
If you’d like to win a Luxury Christmas Wine Hamper courtesy of HamperGifts* all you have to do is visit their website and tell me which hamper you’d buy as a gift and who you’d give it to. Simply leave me a comment and you’ll be entered into a draw to win this beautiful hamper. It’s a real treat for you or as a gift for someone else.

For some extra entries you can do one, two or all of the following:
  • Become a follower or if you already follow let me know by leaving a comment
  • Follow my personal blog by clicking here and let me know by leaving a comment
  • Follow me on twitter and tweet the following "RT @lauracymft Win a Luxury Xmas #Hamper by entering here http://bit.ly/9ohvnL " 
The competition is open to UK residents only as HamperGifts can only deliver within the UK. You can have the prize delivered straight away, at a later date or sent to someone directly as a gift. Maximum of 4 entries and if you haven't told me you've chosen any extra entry options then sorry, I can't count them. The competition will close at 11.59pm on Friday 12th November. The winner will be drawn at random using random.org and will be contacted by email or twitter. Please ensure you leave me some way of contacting you. By entering you agree to have your details (or someone else's if you choose to have this as a gift) passed to the company for them to send you your prize. No cash alternative. No other choice of prize.
*This hamper has been supplied courtesy of HamperGifts, who provide a wide range of Christmas hampers, chocolate gifts, and champagne gifts

Monday, 25 October 2010

When nose picking get serious

Last night I was woken by the sound of Wee Z crying in his bed. I am not a good night person. I hate having my sleep disturbed.

As I make my way through the darkness, I'm praying Miss C doesn't wake up with all the noise. I open Wee Z's door and he sitting up in his bed, rubbing his nose. I know what this means. I look on his mattress where his head should be and there is a pool of bright red blood. I switch on his lamp and his face looks like he has been painting with red paint. His hands are covered and his pyjamas are smeared.

Wee Z started having nose bleeds just before he turned 2. This was probably about the same time he discovered he could actually hunt for treasure in his nose. Apart from the inconvenience of having to change his bed sheets during the night, cleaning him up and telling him not to pick his nose, I hadn't really thought any more of it. However the nose bleeds seem to be happening at least once a month. Sometimes he can go a few weeks with none and then he will have a small bleed 2 or 3 nights in a row. There will be nights like last night where he is literally covered in blood. He never complains about having a sore head or feeling dizzy or unwell when he has them so could I just be getting myself worried for nothing? Is it simply because he's a nose picker and is just getting a bit vigorous? Short of tying his hands behind his back I don't know what else I can do. Have you got a nose picker/nose bleeder and how do you deal with this?


Friday, 22 October 2010

Up or Down?

I'm barely awake as I stumble in the darkness, my hands out in front of me to protect myself from any wall beatings. I make a left into the hall, ten or so steps and I reach my destination. I turn, ready to sit and...whooosh...I fall into the hole.

Luckily for me, the hole I have fallen into is the toilet. I say lucky because, in my too far from remotely conscious state, I almost crap myself.

Now, unless I have lost a considerable amount of inches off my backside in my sleep, Husband has left the toilet seat up.

Amongst the other unpleasant things I have observed from living with a man, toilet seats are a puzzling one for me. I can not grasp why it is that they have to have the toilet seat up to pee. I mean, they can aim it so why they have to make the entry any bigger is beyond me. Some say it is to avoid the pee splash going on to the seat. I'd think having the seat down would act as a protector against pee splash on the walls and the floor. It would certainly make for an easier cleaning job!

However I am a realist and know that Husband would never make a fuss of me leaving the toilet seat down. He'd simply raise the seat and go about his business, preventing the pee splash from going on the seat. I guess I'll just have to remember to check my positioning before depositing.

Growing up in a home where the women out-numbered the man, I was used to having the seat down at all times. Now, in a home where we are equally numbered, what will the seat rules be? Will it be a leave it up when you're finished or put it back and make sure you clean the splash when you're done? Would it be simpler to have a boy's bathroom and a girl's bathroom?

I can handle a bit of pee splash I suppose. All I ask is not to fall in the toilet when I'm sleep-peeing, thanks!


Tuesday, 19 October 2010

The Gallery - Red

Wee Z went to not 1 Halloween party, not 2 but 3 Halloween parties last year. Three! He has a better social life than me and sometimes it's a lot more fun. I have zero imagination when it comes to fancy dress costumes so Wee Z's was shop bought. We dressed him up as Dracula with a black trouser suit and red waistcoat.


The Bob the Builder hat was his own addition. I think it really set the outfit off.




Sunday, 17 October 2010

Chestnut hunting

Autumn is certainly upon us. I first realised Autumn was here when I finished work at 7pm one evening and walked outside to darkness. Only 2 weeks before had I finished that very same shift and walked out in to a baking hot evening.

I love the Autumn colours, the sounds of leaves crunching below your feet and the fresh smells in the air. I love watching the squirrels burrowing for acorns and supplies for the winter. I'm not so keen on getting attacked by conkers dropping out of the trees but I suppose it's better than running half a mile from a determined wasp.

Last weekend we decided to take a walk around the park near our house. We met up with Mummy N, Miss E and Wee L and along with Daddy and a huge stick, we went chestnut hunting. Whilst we were visiting Bella and Pops, we found a few chestnuts and Wee Z thought they were great. He'd been itching to go looking for some ever since we'd come home.

Wee Z had his Bob the Builder bag and Miss E had a pretty girly bag and off they went in search of treasure. Daddy brought his stick so he could climb up a huge tree and batter the conkers down for the kids to catch. Mummy N had her mobile phone on stand-by incase he fell out of the tree. What felt like 20 minutes was actually an hour and a half of chestnut collecting.

I quite like picking the chestnuts out of their shells instead of picking them off the ground, so I got very excited whenever I found a full chestnut. Some of the shells had 2 or 3 chestnuts inside them however my personal best was a foursome. The kids had a great time and didn't complain about the cold or the walk once.

Once they had filled their bags, we came home and popped the chestnuts in a shoe box so we can keep them for Christmas. I don't think we can cook them because I think they may be horse chestnuts so instead we'll keep them for conkers. What a fun afternoon we had!




Saturday, 16 October 2010

The one where Mummy finds an inappropriate toy

For anyone who knows me, they will tell you that sometimes I have a one tracked mind. I think I take this from my Mum who finds anything a bit naughty rather funny. Once I found a peach that looked like it had a bum and this caused much hilarity in our household.

Yesterday morning, Miss C decided she was bringing a small dog from a Happyland play set for a weetabix breakfast. Quite literally, he was dipped in her mushy meal and knowing what a nightmare weetabix is to clean off anything, I rescued him before he became forever caked in fibre. You can imagine having just shared with you what I have, how much I laughed when I was wiping him down.





I wonder if this was intentional and the people behind Happyland had a right laugh when making this or if it just happened.

If you haven't worked it out yet, the clue is in the tail.



Wednesday, 13 October 2010

My Favourite Picture - The Gallery

Wee Z about 10 minutes old with Daddy
The theme over at The Gallery this week was a really tricky one. I haven't got just one favourite photo. I have over 1000 photos for this year alone!

The reason I chose the photo I did is because it was the first picture I took of Daddy and Wee Z. Thank goodness for anti-shake on the camera because I was still quite drugged up from my gas and air and epidural that it would have been a blurry mess otherwise. What I really love about this photo is the genuine smile and tenderness in Husband's eyes as he looks at our newborn son. We were terrified of becoming parents. Sometimes we are still terrified but you don't see this in this photo. All I see is love. Love that we created and love that we shared that brought us our little boy.


Sunday, 10 October 2010

Dear Hunky Celebs

Did you see or hear the news about the little girl who wrote to Captain Jack Sparrow (aka Mr Johnny Depp!) asking him to come along and help her and her school friends become pirates? This story has just endeared me to Johnny Depp even more. It's also prompted me to write some letters to my favourite male celebs in a hope that they will read them (unlikely) and fulfill my dreams too (even more unlikely!).

Dearest Wentworth Miller,

People of the world will probably best know you from Prison Break however my encounter of you goes back to the Mariah Carey video you appeared in. I'm glad I kept that song on because seeing your face made the pain of those 2 minutes all worth while.

I know you will be mega busy planning some escapes and staring in the new Resident Evil film but if you could spare 5 minutes to pop in and see me it would be much appreciated. Oh and if you could bring along Dominic Purcell that would be fab too.

Yours wantingly,

Laura

Dearest Hayden Christensen,

I was really wondering why I was watching Star Wars Episode 2 Clone Wars when there you appeared as Anakin Skywalker. My heart skipped a beat and instantly I enjoyed the film. You were even more gorgeous in Star Wars Episode 3 Revenge of the Sith with your fiery temper and dark eyes. I nearly fell out my seat when you had your top off. Some people said your performance in Star Wars was rather stiff...I don't see this as a bad thing.

You'd make me a very happy woman if you could come and help me pick out some Star Wars toys for Wee Z's Christmas. Feel free to bring your Lightsaber.

Yours forcefully,

Laura

Dearest Adam Garcia,

When I watched you in Coyote Ugly I was enchanted by you. You are simply gorgeous and you can dance. And you have a lovely accent.

I know you'll be very busy with Got To Dance starting soon but if you fancy a quick tango with me then please feel free to pop over. Oh and bring Ashley Banjo with you too.

You also better bring Kimberley Wyatt with you, Husband is not best impressed with all this totty I'm inviting over.

Yours hopefully,

Laura

Dear Brad Pitt,

If Angelina isn't too busy would you ask her if she'd like to come over for a cup of tea?

Thank you,

Laura


Thursday, 7 October 2010

A Fairy Tale Dream

Once there was a little boy
With curly golden hair
His eyes were the deepest blue
And his skin was milky fair

Once on an early morning
On a beautiful summers day
The golden haired little boy
Went outside to play

He came across a new sight
He'd never seen before
It stood inside an oak tree
An amazing magic door

He walked up to the handle
And the door it opened wide
A bright light shone from within
Inviting him inside

He walked into a land
Full of make believe
What magical wonders
Where waiting inside this tree?

A fairy girl greeted him
And took him by the hand
Come with me she said
And I'll show you our magical land

Rivers were streams of chocolate
And trees were laden with sweets
The little boy was amazed
At all the wonderful treats

Pirates sailed in their ships
A Mermaid lay on a rock
A Prince rode upon a horse
His Princess in a beautiful frock

The Fairy tales heard in books
Had all come to life
This land was full of happiness
No troubles and no strife

Suddenly the little boy woke up
It had all been a dream
His Mummy listened and smiled
As he told of things he'd seen

Written by me. This content is protected by Copyright.

Sunday, 3 October 2010

Home Sweet Home

We're back home now. The kids missed their toys and beds terribly as evident by Wee Z literally running from the car to the house to his bedroom and ensuring chaos decended upon his toys by emptying them all over his bedroom floor. Miss C was up the stairs like a shot after him and wasn't shy about getting a hold of the trucks and cars and throwing them about.

We don't get to visit my family very often because it is a long drive and very tiring. Our boot was beyond bursting with all the stuff we needed to take with us, my poor Mum and her partner thought we were moving in not staying for a couple of nights. On the morning we were leaving, Wee Z was up at 6am shouting "let's go to Bella and Pops!" and he was very excited to see them. Miss C was indifferent. 

The drive down was fine with Wee Z attached to his DVD player and Miss C falling asleep almost straight away. We stopped at a service station half way down to get a cup of tea and some toast and ran in to some of our friends. They were travelling down to Alton Towers on the same day. It really is a small world. The service station was really lovely and peaceful and it was nice to stretch our legs for a little while. There were ducks everywhere. Miss C was delighted and was shouting at them and pointing to them and clapping when they were jumping in to the pond. 


We arrived just after 1pm and we had lunch before taking the dog, Cooper, for a walk. Cooper is a gorgeous dog, he's Belgian Malinois. Basically the Belgian version of a German Shephard. Miss C was in love with him. He stays in a crate in Bella and Pops' kitchen because he's still a puppy and gets a bit excitable. Miss C was up at his crate giving him his dog treats and saying "Doggie" a lot. Whenever he barked or whimpered she was shouting "Doggie, doggie!" She would blow him a kiss before bed and wave to him. I was a bit nervous around him, I generally don't do well round bigger dogs. I don't know why as I've never been bitten by one. On Friday night, my Mum let him out of his crate when the kids were in bed. Husband and I were sitting in the living room and just as my Mum is yelling "I'm letting Cooper out" in bombards a huge, excited Cooper. I literally almost shit myself. My Mum is chasing after him, wine still in hand trying to grab his collar to pull him down. I took the wine off her and she managed to get him to settle for a minute. I went through to the kitchen and next thing I hear is Cooper running up the stairs and Husband and Mum running up after him shouting "Get him down, he'll wake the kids!" They caught him and brought him down to the living room and we all sat down to watch the rest of 'Come Dine With Me'. Then Cooper decided he was going to come and sit on top of me. "Please put him back in his cage!" 


I had a lovely birthday spending time with my family, including my sister and step dad. I wish we all lived closer so we could see each other more often. I'm glad to be home now though. I missed my bed and my tea bags and my computer. My home comforts. There's no place like home!



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