Friday, 30 August 2013

Adventures in Baking

I'm not much of a baker.  What I mean by that is that I'm ok with savoury things and bread with the aid of a bread machine, but sweet things like cake and biscuits evade me somewhat.  I've had numerous baking disasters over the years, mainly since the arrival of children which makes my lack of skill in this area far more galling.  I'd love to be the sort of mother that can whip up a couple of dozen cookies with barely any effort at all, as an afternoon snack for the hordes to eat once they return from school, but I'm just not.

Ds2's yummy looking cake...

To illustrate, here is a picture of ds2's first birthday cake (an Annabel Karmel recipe no less).  Looks nice doesn't it?  Underneath all the icing lay a cake that was too terrible for words, dry and tasteless and not the sort of thing you asked for seconds of.  My family were speechless.

I thought then that I'd try to use my blog as a bit of encouragement for myself in this area.  Although largely I'm talking to myself at the moment, if its on the web for all to see then it will serve as an incentive for me to pull my socks up and get stuck in, won't it?

So, if anyone is actually reading this and thinks they have a cake or biscuit recipe that might be worth me trying then please send me a comment or email.  I'll give anything a try and will be sure to blog about it and include photographs for your entertainment!

Why We Love: Our Micro Scooters

Its nearly September and my thoughts are turning to the school run again.  A year ago I had four out of five of my children to ferry to the school gate and back daily which wasn't so much of a problem as the twins were quite happy to ride in their pushchair.  Now, a year later, they are too big for all that and so we have come up with a new way of getting about.  Our Micro Scooters.

The twins trying out their scooters for the first time

We've actually had the scooters for some time.  Ds2 originally owned the blue Mini Micro Scooter and when he was five we replaced it with one of their two wheeled models, the Sprite.  Dd1 also owns a Sprite and last year, when the twins were three, I bought a second Mini Micro for dd2.  We were also able to purchase a replacement brake for the blue Mini Micro as well as helmets, direct from their website.

The reason that I love our scooters so much is that they have become the perfect mode of transport for getting about where walking alone would leave or smaller children too tired.  Often in the morning on a school day we can be rushed and need to get to school quickly which is just not possible with one three year old in tow, let alone two. The scooters allow us to get there at normal walking pace, in fact, these days I am often left running behind everyone trying to catch up!  One of the most impressive things about the scooters is that the twins have really mastered using them quickly which gives me greater confidence when out and about with them both.  In addition to this they are really well made.  When the children use them, the scooters are silent, I mean, really really silent, which if you've ever owned any other sort of cheap scooter you'll know is much better when you've got a couple of scooters trundling along next to you, because the noise can be quite tiring!

We bought our Micro Scooters from their website here.  They also stock a massive range of other scooters and accessories.  I plan to buy some of the accessories as stocking fillers and birthday presents over the next few months.  Its worth signing up for their newsletter via the website for any offers or free delivery codes too.

This is not a sponsored post.  We bought the products mentioned ourselves and just want to share our love of them.

Wednesday, 28 August 2013

Room 101

I've read a few other blog posts recently in which the author has been tagged to write a Room 101 list as part of a meme.  I thought this looked quite fun so I'm adding mine.  Here are the things that I'd rather do without.

Head Lice

My allies in the war against nits

Seriously, what is the point of them?  Apart from to make mothers like me curse and swear as their little cherubs bring yet another infestation home.  I have spent a good deal of my time as a parent either checking for them or removing them.  If they weren't here just think of the things I could spend all that extra time on.  My husband would probably say "cleaning more", my 13 year old has just shouted "drinking wine"... the cheek!

Nigel Slater

Now, I quite like his books, they have some really good recipes and I do own a couple, but his television series I could quite happily lock away, never to be seen again.  I object mainly to the ingredients he has at his fingertips, as he casually opens his fridge to see what he can cook up.  A whole piece of pancetta?  A small sliver of some very obscure cheese that probably cost as much as our weekly food budget?  A loaf of Artisan bread?  Always, always wrapped up in brown paper and tied with string.  Which delicatessen does that?  None round here and definitely not in Morrissons.  He, or rather his producer at least, needs a reality check.  It is not aspirational, it is annoying.


My children are Lego mad, me not so much.  I always seem to be treading on it, vacuuming it up or trying to locate the most obscure piece of it in order for someone to complete a model.  I know it is a great toy and even educational to a certain extent but a house without Lego would be my dream.  Storing it is the worst thing.  No matter how many Ikea storage units you buy it will never be enough to contain it.  I am sure it breeds on its own, a bit like bacteria in a petri-dish.

I would like to thank Afra at Madmumof7 - Living it Large for the idea for this post.  You can read her list here.

Tuesday, 27 August 2013

Well, I suppose this is hello...

Up until a few months ago I had never even considered all this blogging stuff, after all, I really am a very busy woman.  I have five offspring to organise and a long suffering husband (or so my mother says) to cook, clean and iron for.  Recently, two things have happened.  One, I hit a milestone, in my eyes at least - my 39th birthday.  I am in my fortieth year and suddenly being in my thirties seems more important than ever.  I should have done so much more than raising children and mopping floors, yet the reality is that this is probably as good as it gets.  Its not that I'm unhappy with my lot, oh no, but more that it feels like a bit of an anti-climax to the many years of studying and plans that my husband and I both made as twenty-somethings.  The second thing that happened?  Well, since starting this post I have lost my train of thought completely, so not only sounding like my mother now but being as forgetful as her too.  I'm sure it was important, if I remember I'll come back to it.

So, what on earth am I going to blog about then?  I'm not sure I can pin it down to one or two particular things.  I suppose this will be a blog mainly about our family and the things we all get up to.  I will shortly have two children at secondary school.  Ds1 has been there a year already and is being joined this year by dd1, much to his complete disgust.  There will more than likely be some blogging opportunities right there as the move to secondary school is rarely a smooth one in my experience.  I also have ds2, aged 8, who would give Evel Knievel a run for his money at the best of times.  We've already had an emergency dentist trip this summer holiday and he constantly leaves me with nerves in tatters and reaching for the gin by the end of the day.  Speaking of reaching for the gin, did I mention that we also have three year old girl/boy twins?  They are both brilliant and terrifying at the same time.  Just when I thought I had this parenting thing licked they came along to destroy all that was normal about our family.  Would I be without them though?  Well, of course not.  They are starting pre-school daily this September and I really will miss them and the things we get up to, although I hope we'll still have time for some of it.

I'm hoping that if I can make just a handful of people smile and nod along as they read my posts then that will be great.  I'm sure this blog will also serve as a complete embarrassment for the teen and the pre-teen under our roof in years to come.  If you want to stick around and read about our triumphs and disasters then do, if not then I guess you will click on to the next blog...
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