My Handsome Little Man is 6!!

Last Sunday my handsome little boy celebrated his 6th birthday.  I’m so proud of him and everything he has achieved over the last year, more than I could have imagined.  He started school just over a year ago and sailed through the foundation year, so much so that he got awarded with a special book ’50 Utterly Silly Stories’ at the end of the year for his amazing achievement of reading 188 books throughout the year and outshining the rest of his class in his all round abilities!

blake-6To think he’s come this far is amazing.  Mister B and his older sister  Miss M are like chalk and cheese in so many ways yet have an amazing sibling bond and come together to play and help each other throughout every day.  I’ve always known Miss M falls in the upper half of her class but expected Mister B to be Mister average with his silly ways, jokey nature and clown antics, but it seems he’s proved me wrong in many ways.

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He’s different to his sister in that she is incredibly sporty and always eager to try new things.  Mister B is more laid back (think daddy!) although he has an incredible imagination, can play independently and come out with some amazing stories and fun ideas.  He’s also very humorous and loves to tell a joke.

A couple of the areas he was slightly behind in over the last year have suddenly hit a turning point over the last few months.  On our holiday this year we had a private swimming pool which the children disappeared in two or three times a day (obviously with and adult or two in tow!).  The first few days Mister B was there in his armbands, but by day 3, he had ditched them and was jumping in, diving under the water and swimming a whole width on his own!!

Over the Summer we managed to upgrade both of the children’s bikes after a friend was selling some fairly new ones quite cheaply so we managed to get them both the next size up. The only downside was that Mister B’s new bike didn’t come with stabilisers.  This proved a sticking point for many weeks as poor Mister B was terrified about riding without any support, yet daddy insisted he tried.  It was a fraught time which I found quite hard, but then this amazing company followed me on twitter.  Intrigued I looked into their product and sent them a message and we ended up reviewing the amazing BikyBiky cycling harness which turned my little boy from a nervous cyclist on stabilisers to a fairly confident rider on two wheels in just a couple of weeks!

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I cannot believe within the last 3 months my little boy has ditched both his armbands and his stabilisers – amazing progress for him!

So I was so proud last Sunday when he turned 6 years old.  I baked a rather vast amount of cakes for him using my new Savisto stand mixer and we celebrated with a big Minion themed disco which I felt he deserved due to all his hard work.

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The children had fun, Mister B danced the afternoon away showing everyone his funky dance moves (with a bit of break dancing thrown in!) and the party proved a huge success. (Excuse the red disco light in Mister B’s eye in the photo below – couldn’t have timed that worse could I ?!?)

blakes-partyThe day after his party was his actual birthday and as we had family visiting, we went to a restaurant for lunch where we all enjoyed too much food and had a good time!

4f93577e-eb94-4786-a566-9d689d846a46All in all we spent a whole weekend celebrating Mister B’s birthday, it was hard work for me, but rewarding watching my son hit a milestone and celebrate everything he’s achieved over the last year.

As much as I hate watching the children grow up (it goes way too fast!), I can’t wait to see what Mister B achieves next and where the future will take him.  I love him to bits (as we all do our children) and he never fails to give me a hug at every given opportunity.

Good luck Mister B in all that you do and every venture that life takes you on in the upcoming year!!

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A New Year and Miss M’s 8th Birthday

It’s been a hectic start to the year to say the least, with trying to sell a house and job worries making it most stressful, but I musn’t forget the amazing event that really started off the year and that was Miss M’s 8th birthday on the 1st January!

Maisy 2What an amazing eight years it has been and she has done me very proud with both her efforts at school and at home.  She has grown into a lovely, polite girl who loves to help others and is friendly to everyone.

She wanted a birthday party at home, which was fine by me so we decided on biscuit decorating as the main activity.  Miss M eagerly helped me the day before to mix the ingredients and cut out enough biscuits for all her friends to decorate the next day. I also bought some flat cardboard food trays which they decorated the outside of with coloured pens as the first activity of the party.

maisy 5They then iced and decorated the biscuits with great enthusiasm, but I was particularly impressed with the results and they all ended up with a really lovely tray of biscuits to take home at the end of the party.  Mister B did a great job of his biscuits too!

maisy 4We then moved onto some other party games which Miss M had chosen and all the girls loved.  I had frozen some erasers in silicon cake cases so they were like blocks of ice and each girl had one to unfreeze using their hands and mouths – they absolutely loved it, I’d thoroughly recommend it.  I just placed some trays on the floor for them to let the water drip onto and put some towels around for them to dry their hands on.

Next up was another favourite in which three partygoers, including the birthday girl became mummified in toilet paper!!  They worked in three teams and it was great fun with minimal, easy mess to clean up afterwards.

maisy 3Miss M had a great birthday and it was a lovely start to the year.  We have lots of change coming up this year, particularly with our new house which we can’t wait to share with you.  There’s been a number of complications which we are working on but I forsee a year full of DIY ahead as well as a great family home where we hope to share lots of baking and gardening projects throughout the year as well as other fun times.

Wishing you all a fantastic 2016!

 

Happy 5th Birthday Mister B

Ten days ago the handsome Mister B became a 5yr old!  It doesn’t seem possible, the years have whizzed by, but he is still as cute and cuddly as ever, although I’m sure that will change in future years!

His birthday fell on a school day, but he was more than happy with that as it meant he could choose something out of the present box and everyone would sing two songs to him.  He was also insistent on wearing a birthday badge to school as he was a little worried that the teacher wouldn’t know it was his birthday and he’d miss out on that much talked about birthday box.

WP_20151016_08_33_49_ProAfter school I picked up a very happy 5yr old, who couldn’t wait to tell me all about his day, but also eager to get home to see if he had any presents (he only got cards in the morning!).

Fortunately in the lounge lay await a bundle of presents which we opened whilst having his choice of birthday tea (pasta, ham, cut up cocktail sausages and grated cheese) followed by a star wars birthday cake.

WP_20151016_15_05_06_ProHe was a very happy boy with his newly aquired minions winter hat and gloves, along with minion top, minion goggles, minion balloon amongst other things.

InstagramCapture_d1d61cf0-2234-4dc6-9eb4-d085c0c3ab98We delayed his party by a week to allow for his cousins to come down for a few days so this weekend it’s been Mister B’s birthday all over again with a party at our local soft play centre.  He was a very lucky boy and received some really lovely presents from his school friends which we have had fun playing with over the last few days, a favourite being a tube of slime full of monsters – ewww!, a remote control car and a superheroes playdoh set!

InstagramCapture_988901c4-0bdf-4af9-9989-7194e28c363fIt’s been a fabulous week, enjoying watching my little 4yr old become 5.  He has made me so proud, doing really well in his first term at school and constantly being a little joker, he always makes everyone laugh with his silly dances, funny jokes and quick witted comments.

He dressed himself yesterday in his new birthday cap, t-shirt and socks which did make me smile when came downstairs – he’s such a cute little character full of energy and always with a cheeky grin on his face! (well.. most of the time)

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ijustloveit.co.uk Online Gift Store – Review

I Just Love It is a wonderful online gift store, with a wide variety of gifts, many of them personalised giving them added meaning to the recipient.  They also have things that are a little bit different from the high street, meaning you can find something unique and special for birthday’s, anniversaries and Christmas etc.

I chose a selection of gifts, all for me to try out and I have to say I haven’t been disappointed!

giftsI should save the best till last but I just have to show you this amazing personalised cake tin.  I absolutely adore it, both in style and quality and it will take pride of place in my kitchen.  It is a little pricey at £42.99, but when you see it with its personalisation and feel it’s strong sturdy quality, you’ll know it’s worth having!

gifts 4The metal is really thick and strong, this tin really is made to last.  It has a handle on top of the lid to aid in opening.  What makes this tin different to others I’ve seen is the airtight seal, meaning that your cakes will stay really fresh and biscuits will stay crisp.  I love the grey colour, neutral but stylish.  The personalisation really makes this tin special though, and makes it the perfect tin to keep on show as well as the perfect storage for all my lovely baked treats.  I can’t wait to serve visitors with a treat from my tin when they come round for tea!

gifts 3This Personalised My Family Keyring is so cute with a silver charm for each child that is engraved with their name and a heart for wording of your choice, of which I chose my name.  The charms are made from a zinc alloy making them sturdy and strong.  At £12.99 I think this would make a lovely gift, I certainly would be more than happy receiving this from my children at birthdays or Christmas (obviously with another adult helping them to buy and order it).  This will be home to my house keys from now and live in my handbag,  I’m very pleased with this item.

gifts 6A girl can never be without too many make up bags, you know what it’s like, some get a bit old and need replacing, you need one for make up, one for hair bits, one for other toiletries etc.. I really like the simple but elegant style of this Beauty Parlour Wash Bag and with its neutral colours and pvc coated cotton outer, it’s practical and also a good size.  This one does seem really well made and at £14.99 is a good price for the quality and has room to hold quite a few items.  It’s sitting proudly in my bathroom at the moment, full of little bits and bobs to make it look at bit tidier but I’m also looking forward to using it when I go away.

gifts 2A small but cute gift is this Grow Me Say It With Flowers Seed Kit and priced at £3.99 is a bargain.  I love roses and hope this successfully grows and is something I can plant in the garden.  An ideal stocking filler or smaller gift if you are doing a bag of presents, then this is the perfect extra.

gifts 5I’ve been really pleased with the selection of gifts from I Just Love It and would happily shop there again.  The items are certainly different from what you’d find elsewhere and the personalisation on the some of the items is unique and makes them stand out a bit.  If you are stuck for gift ideas, then I’d definitely give here a look, the range is vast and you’re sure to find something for person you are gifting.

All reviews are my own and my family’s opinions and we received the items in order to write the review.

Last week I turned 40!!

For the last few months I have been dreading turning 40.  It seems so old, a number I thought would take years to reach, yet I’m there, it’s happened.  Not that I feel that age at all, but it makes you realise how quickly life passes by and to make the most of each and every opportunity that comes along!

40My front room is now a shrine to all the cards, banners and balloons that were given to me over the past week, either on the day itself, or at surprise meals out, lunches with friends and the biggest surprise – a cocktail party at a swanky private lounge in town!

Unfortunately I don’t have many pictures to share, I tended to find a glass of bubbly in my hand for most part of the week rather than a camera.  It’s been fun, exciting, a little stressful but most importantly I feel great to be 40!

As readers of my blog will know I have spent the last couple of months trying to lose a bit of weight and get my skin and hair looking great in order to embrace looking 40.  I’m looking forward to the future, intend on making the most of life and really want to enjoy time with my little family.  My two children have been fantastic over the past week and as well as joining us on my surprise meal out, I also surprised them with a trip to see Octonauts, the stage show at Plymouth Pavillions which they thoroughly enjoyed.

I must mention the amazing cake my mum bought for my party – this is the best picture I’ve managed to locate but it really doesn’t do it justice.  It was HUGE!!!  It is all chocolate, three towering layers of chocolate sponge, layed with chocolate buttercream and encased in white chocolate icing!  It was simply magnificent and we must of had a good 50 large portions out of it, if not more!

40 xLet’s hope the future beholds lots of wonderful things and I look forward to sharing them with you!

Happy 7th Birthday Miss M and Frozen party game ideas

New Year’s Day is my daughter Miss M’s birthday so we always start the New Year with birthday celebrations.  This year we had a quiet, relaxed day, spending time with family for lunch, birthday cake and Miss M opening her presents.  I really can’t believe where the last seven years have gone!

Maisy 2She was insistent on having a Frozen themed birthday party this year, in particular she wanted to wear the Frozen dress up costume that we reviewed a couple of months ago.

partyWe played the usual party games, pass the parcel, musical statues etc but I wanted to find a few different games and after having a google, I came up with these variations on games to which I put a frozen twist.

Musical Icebergs – I cut the edges off of sheets of white paper to make them look a bit more geometrically shaped and these were the icebergs.  When the music played the children had to dance around.  When the music stopped each child had to stand on one of the icebergs.  Then remove an iceberg so that in the next round one child is out until you get down to just one child left who is the winner.

Ice Jewels – For this I had a toy princess ring for each child which I froze in heart shaped silicon cake moulds to create ice shaped hearts with treasure trapped inside.  To rescue the treasure, each child had to melt the ice with their hands until they found their ring.  This could be variated and I put a little Squinkie car in one for my son.

Dress up as Olaf – I put the children into two teams and each team have to turn one member into Olaf.  I bought some value toilet roll which they used to wrap one team member up in, and also add a woolly hat and scarf to them.  You could judge one team to be the winner but I decided to let this just be a bit of fun which they loved and then turned the room into a snowball fight afterwards!

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Dressing up as Olaf was great fun, there were lots of giggles and excitement throughout.  Mister B has now asked to play this game at his next party!

The ice jewels also proved very popular, I wasn’t sure everyone would want to sit melting ice between their hands but they loved it, and it kept them quiet and occupied for a while.  I gave them trays to melt the ice over and handed towels out so they could dry their hands during it.  They got quite competitive towards the end as their blocks got smaller seeing who could finish first.  I’d definitely use this game again.

party 3Overall the party was a great success and all the children seemed to enjoy themselves.  I think the small effort in trying some games that were a bit different kept the girls occupied and they were intrigued to find out what we were playing next.

Miss M had a fabulous birthday and party and now it’s all over until next year.  She has become so grown up over the last year, I’ve really noticed a difference in her behaviour and mannerisms.  She’s also had an amazing year at school.  I hope 2015 is another fabulous year for her and she succeeds in all she wants to do!

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Mister B’s 4th Birthday

A couple of weeks ago my dear Mister B celebrated his 4th birthday.  He was so excited, although had been quite specific in his requests for his special day.  He only wanted a few friends round at home, for dancing, pass the parcel and musical statues so that’s exactly what we did.

3After opening his presents early in the morning, we then walked big sister, Miss M to school.  Usually being a little shy and reluctant to talk to strangers, he had a new found courage now that he is 4 and told everyone we saw along the way that he is now 4! lol

In the afternoon Daddy took him to the aquarium while I prepped for the party, and he proudly told the receptionist that he was 4 meaning Daddy had to buy a membership card for him.  They then picked Miss M up from school and came home eagerly awaiting his friends to arrive.

Amazingly they all bought him Spiderman toys which he thought was hilarious, but incredibly pleased with them.  We played various games to music and then I suggested my favourite party game to calm them down, Sleeping Lions.  To my surprise they all cheered and told me how much they loved that game, and before I said anything more they were all laid down on the floor with their eyes shut… and their was silence!!

I then sat them down for some party food followed by singing Happy Birthday and blowing the candles on his Spiderman cake!  Mister B was thrilled with his cake (even though mummy cheated and bought the cake! Shhh!).

Blake 4For the next week Mister B has proudly told everyone, everywhere that he is 4, from the cashiers in the supermarkets, to teachers at the school, and anyone, anywhere that I happen to chat to!   On the Saturday, Nanny & Grandad kindly took us to Prezzo to celebrate his birthday where he enjoyed pizza followed by chocolate ice cream.  Then he opened his presents from them and as you can see in the above picture, his favourite present believe it or not was a Spiderman cushion!  He has been so cute and lays his head on this everynight.  Aw my baby boy is growing up, and whenever I’ve called him my little baby or little boy over the last two weeks, he turns round and says “I’m not your baby, I’m 4!!”

Miss M’s 6th Birthday!!

Six years ago today, I spent New Year’s Eve in labour to give birth to the first baby born in 2008 at our local hospital. Having rushed to hospital at 11.30ish pm after finally realising the twinges I had been feeling all evening were contractions, I eventually gave birth to my amazing daughter Miss M just after 1am.

To see her progression over the last six years is amazing, rewarding and incredibily challenging at times but what a delightful daughter she has turned out to be.

With a desire for ice skating we promised she could go a couple of days before her birthday, I have to say it wasn’t an experience I enjoyed with the water logged ice, and bunches of teenagers whizzing their way round in groups, but Miss M was at home on the ice gliding round without a care in the world!

B skatingThe next challenge was to make her a birthday cake.  She had requested a princess cake and after much decision making over the last few months I decided to  make her a doll cake.  I had planned on purchasing a poundshop doll to use but due to the horrific weather and lack of time I hadn’t been out so used my circa 30 year old Barbie doll as the centerpiece!!  Wrapping her in clingfilm and making sponges using 10 eggs, 500g each of sugar, flour and butter I finally created 4 round sponge cakes and 12 cupcakes.  I covered them in pink buttercream using my favourite nozzle to create rose like swirls and then sprayed the cake in with a silver spray to give it a fabulous glimmer in the light.

The cupcakes were used to hand out in party bags at Miss M’s party on New Year’s Eve and the main cake to be kept until New Year’s Day, Miss M’s official Birthday!!

B Barbie cakeThe lunchtime of New Year’s Eve was Miss M’s birthday party at a local soft play centre, the first time I haven’t had any direct involvement in the party and although it wasn’t my ideal venue, it was the easiest party I’ve ever held and it was Miss M’s choice of venue so she was happy.  It felt so good to walk away at the end and not have to clear up but have a happy little girl who had the party of her choice!

B Drakes DenHad you not noticed above, I just have to point out that Miss M is in a dress, and not just any old dress, a NEXT party dress.  Something that I never thought I would see, but something that she voluntarily chose and I bought, and she did not disappoint by wearing it on the day!

B smartIt was so lovely to see both my children dressed up, Mister B loves his tie and would wear it every day if he could but seeing Miss M in a dress is so nice, she’d normally rather be in shorts and tights!

For New Year’s Eve evening we went for dinner at Prezzo, a restaurant I like as it is perfect for children with it’s loud atmosphere and a menu they love especially with the bambinocino to finish the meal!  It also emptied out on a few tables behind us as we ate early, and Miss M and Mister B took to the floor to do a bit of Strictly Come Dancing which was really cute.

B PrezzoIt was back to Nan and Grandad’s house for some Wii games with Mister B and Cousin L  before taking a huge bubble jacuzzi bath then going to bed for the official birthday wake up!

On New Year’s Day Miss M was thrilled to received a dolls house tall enough to fit her Barbie dolls and my Sindy dolls that she plays with.

B HouseAll in all a lovely day enjoyed by all the family and a six year old daughter, Miss M!!

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Mister B is 3 and Dinosaur Birthday Cake!!

Yesterday was a very special day for my gorgeous little boy Mister B – he turned 3!!  We had a fairly normal day with daddy and I working, big sister Miss M at school and Mister B at nursery.  As I finish at 1pm on a Wednesday, I picked him up and we went home to enjoy the rest of the day and celebrate!!

Blakes 3rd birthday cakeUnfortunately mummy was a little tired the night before and didn’t get round to making his birthday cake, so once we got home from work/nursery, an eager to help little boy put on his apron and we set about making two chocolate sponge cakes.  While they were cooling we picked Miss M up from school then came home to open his cards and presents.  While they then played, I dashed into the kitchen to cook tea and assemble the cake – arghh!!  I wanted it to be ready for after dinner but time was against me and I didn’t have much of a plan of how to construct my cake.  I whizzed up some chocolate buttercream in the food processor, chopped the sponges into random shapes, slapped it all together in the hope it would become a recognisable creature.

chocolate dinosaur cakeWell Mister B was very happy with the finished result – a dinosaur cake, something he really wanted being a bit dinosaur mad at the moment.  A success!!

Dinosaur cake2A tired little 3 year old soon went up to bed to sleep off the excitement of the day, although he eagerly awaits for the weekend when his party takes place with all his friends.

A Week of Highs and Lows!

A week ago Saturday I was really excited to have my mum coming to visit and stay for a whole week.  With my family living 250 miles away, we don’t get many opportunities to see each other and when we do it’s usually only for a couple of days.  I picked her up off the train with Miss M and Mister B who were really excited to see their Nanny and greeted her little basket of flowers.

The next day being Mother’s day, we visited our local Prezzo restaurant for lunch – always a favourite with us, where Mum and I were given a complimentary glass of Prosecco on top of the bottle of wine we had just ordered – not that I’m complaining of course!!  We also managed a quick photo opportunity – the perfect shot for Mother’s day with three generations together.

Mother's DayMiss M couldn’t wait for dessert to get her bambinocino – the little teacup full of frothy milk, sprinkled with chocolate and Mister B couldn’t wait to get stuck into his chocolate ice cream.  We went for a short walk outside after but the wind became very bitter and icy that we soon headed home to relax.

Prezzo

The next day was my birthday and having taken the day off work, I got to spend a relaxing day with my mum, meeting a friend for lunch and then off home to spend the evening with my children.  My dear Miss M had sneaked to the shops with Nanny the day before and chosen me a gorgeous sparkly fairy birthday cake – bless her!!  And for my work colleagues I baked some chocolate cupcakes with some pink swirly icing, plus a few extra for us – yummy!

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That evening while sat on the sofa our cat Twinkle curled up beside us and as she rolled on her back we noticed a large opening on her stomach – almost like a large ulcerated patch which looked very sore and weepy.  The next morning I took her straight to the vets only to be given the dreaded news that she has a large tumour and required surgery the next day!!!  Arghh – my poor baby!!  I left her in the capable hands of the vets and waited patiently until the following day.

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The next day I found out the tumour was malignant and the cancer was worse than expected but they had removed as much as they could and we can only wait and see what the future holds.  At the same time we also took the opportunity to have her thyroid removed as she was currently on medication for this that we were finding hard to administer.  I went and visited Twinkle and she looked well considering although it was heartbreaking to see an enormous scar down the entire length of her stomach.  Due to a drain being attached to remove fluid she needed to be kept in a cage so we felt it best to leave her at the vets until the drain was removed especially with us being away from home at the weekend.

On Friday Miss M came home from school with the Head Teacher’s Award certificate for “Excellent reading and writing”.  We were so proud of her and she was so thrilled to be given it.  I’m sure all the phonics e-books we’ve been practising at home have helped!

On Sunday we had to travel the 250 mile trip back to my hometown for the sad event of my Nanna’s funeral.  Having lost all four grandparents in the last 3 and half years, it has been pretty tough going and with this being the last it really is the end of an era and I can see the dynamics of the wider family changing.  It’s poor Miss M’s 4th funeral and she only turned 5 in January although I have to say that both Miss M and Mister B were impeccably behaved during the service and Miss M even shed a few tears – bless her!!

NanOn returning home late Monday night having travelling straight from the wake, we were all very tired.  Poor Miss M woke in the night having been quite ill in her bed – poor thing.  I put it down to the constantly snacking throughout the journey and she seems ok since.

Tuesday morning I had just dropped Miss M at school when my mobile rang.  It was the vet, who explained that although he has removed the drain, poor Twinkle is still weeping a fair bit from her wound so it is best to leave her with them for a couple more days.

I hope to visit and bring Twinkle home again tomorrow, I’ve missed her and look forward to giving her lots of cuddles for the forseeable future. xx