30.5.13

Sprinkly Chocolate Slice {Recipe}

*Disclaimer: I am (now) aware that 'sprinkly' is not a word (thanks Helen). But it totally should be, and I like if the words 'sparkly' and 'spiky' exist then so should sprinkly.

I've already shared our Marshmallow Pops and now is the turn for these tasty beasts.

You will need:
Puff pastry. I used Jus' Rol Puff Pastry sheets.
Chocolate spread. I used Nutella.
A bar of chocolate for melting on top. I used a basic Sainsburys bar.
Sprinkles.
Egg wash

This is so simple.
Lay out your pastry sheet and divide into 6 pieces, or more if you want to make mini bitesize slices (great for a picnic I think).
Spread Nutella onto one half of each divided piece, then fold over and press the edges together. Mark around the edges with a fork. I probably used a tablespoon or two of Nutella for each slice.
Brush with egg wash.
Place onto a baking tray covered with greaseproof paper and place into a preheated oven at 200 degrees for around 20-25 minutes or until the pastry has started to brown.
Whilst these are cooking melt some chocolate.
Once the pastry slices are out of the oven and still hot drizzle chocolate over the top, then simply sprinkle your, erm, sprinkles on top.
Done!

You can either eat these hot/warm, although it is rather messy with the melted chocolate on top but uber yum! Or wait for them to cool, still quite messy but still uber yum.

Simple and effective. The boys absolutely loved them (as did my husband, and I) and will soon be trying them with different fillings, like jam for example.




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25.5.13

A Mummy and Son Afternoon Date

Since having Harry I very rarely get quality time with Charles. My husband works Saturday afternoons and then Sundays are our family days so there is no time really for us to do something. Just the two of us.
My mum works half days, every other Saturday, and this week I feel this overwhelming need to just be with Charles. Luckily it was her full day off so we planned for her to look after Harry whilst we did something special.
I had an idea for a photoshoot I'd like to do with him and that was our plan for today, except it was too windy to do what I wanted to do so we've postponed that for next week (hopefully).
We also planned to go to the cinema but it's quite expensive when you add up my ticket, his ticket and then a popcorn treat (I want him to have the full cinema experience) so I want to save that plan until there's something we really want to watch, rather than picking something at random that we might not like.

So, we instead went for a simple plan of taking him for a haircut and then going out for cake.
It was nice to be able to concentrate all of my attention on him at the Barbers, rather than having to stand holding onto Harry whilst I try and make sure Charles is looking straight/looking down/looking up etc.
We've never been for lunch or for a treat together in a cafe before so it was really lovely just to sit there, at a table, together and talk.
For most of it I just stared at him.

I was delighted to finally discover lots of bluebells and took the opportunity to take some photos of him sitting and standing near them. Although that was suddenly cut short due to the appearance of a bee.

There is a Maritime Museum in the park we visited and although I tend to avoid talk of bombs, and guns (Charles doesn't know what a gun is which I am very proud of) I did briefly talk to him about
the bombs and rockets we saw within the park.

Charles chose a massive slice of 'death by chocolate' cake, hot chocolate with cream and marshmallows and I went for Eton Mess and a Tradtional Lemonade.
I was shocked that he managed to eat all of the cake!

For being a good boy he was given 10p to put in the Postman Pat Charity Box. The box has been there since I was a little girl so it's very special.

After we left the cafe we had a little walk amoungst the bluebells and Charles spoke to Harry on the phone for the first time. It was a very cute moment.

We only had two hours together but it was really wonderful just spending time together. And I can't wait to do it again.

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18.5.13

Marshmallow Pops

Mmmmm mmmm mmmmmmmmmmmmm.
Ok, so we might not be throwing Charles a birthday party but we will have having his aunty and uncle over the Sunday before and then my mum the Saturday after, therefore I have a fantastic excuse to play with yummy nibbles.
I found these on the internet and thought they would look fab and taste rather lovely. Added to the fact they are easy and cheap to make.
They are too easy for me to need to tell you how to make them but I can at least give some tips to help you on your way.

Step one: Put the marshmallow on the end of a skewer.
Step two: Dip the marshmallow into some melted chocolate. My tip here is to dip and twist the marhmallow into the chocolate to guarantee more coverage. Obviously you can dip as much of the marshmallow as you like. I just wanted the top dipped on the majority of mine.
Step three: Dip the marshmallow + chocolate into the sprinkles. Again, dip and twist for maximum coverage. I tend to then leave the marshmallow in the bowl for around 5 minutes so it begins to set. This also means the chocolate is less likely to run and the sprinkles fall everywhere.
Step four: Transfer onto a plastic chopping board or into a plastic tub to set.
Step five: Place in a cup/vase/jar and serve

You can use any sprinkles you like. I also used chunks of apples too.
We will be making these with white chocolate for Charles' birthday celebrations too.




Tasty Tuesdays on HonestMum.com

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12.5.13

A Birthday with No Party

This year we are not having a birthday party for Charles.
*Sounds of gasps and tuts*
In fact last year he didn't have a party, alternatively he had a day out with two of his friends to the local Dinosaur Park (as well as various celebrations with family), but this year we won't be doing anything like that.

Although Charles now goes to preschool and has more friends than ever, and spending a couple of mornings at the school I can see that he is a popular boy, we have still made the decision to not have a party for him,
We considered, briefly, hiring out a local community centre, getting a bouncy castle in and getting some nibbles, but then who do and don't you invite?
Do I invite every single child at preschool? The ones he doesn't play with? The ones he doesn't really know or who don't know him? What if the friends he really wanted to come didn't turn up?

With him going to reception in September we know he will make more friends, and these friendships will be a lot more solid than the friendships he has now because he will be with these friends a lot more.
Anyway, I digress. So next year will be even more important for him to celebrate with his friends, so it makes it easier for us to accept that it's ok for him not to have a party this year.

There is also the fact that in June there is simple no time to really have a party!
Every weekend is full of plans and annoyingly the Sunday after his birthday, the day we would usually have his party, is Fathers Day, therefore everyone will be busy celebrating that.

The Sunday before his birthday we will be celebrating with his aunty and uncle, then on his birthday we will take him out for the day, the Saturday will be a celebration with my mum, then the Sunday we will do something for Fathers Day. The following weekend is BritMums Live and he will have 2 days in London for that, which we will also include as a birthday treat as he will be seeing my mother in law and celebrating with her.
The week after that we may have a day out at the Royal Norfolk Show and then the following weekend we are off to the theatre to see Chris and Pui.

AND THEN......
It will be Harry's 2nd birthday!

And then we will be having the mini celebrations with family for that. In a non-nasty way, Harry doesn't have any friends yet so a party isn't necessary for him anyway.
I am hoping to hire a bouncy castle for the boys one day in July, just for them to enjoy together.

Despite knowing Charles is going to have a fantastic birthday even though he isn't having a party I do feel the need to justify myself. I'm not sure why. I guess it's just something we, as parents, feel we need to do a lot when we feel that people are going to judge us based on certain decisions, and based on what people have said in the past.

Do you think children need to have a birthday party?
Am I depriving our children by not giving them a birthday party?

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2.5.13

Different Directions and Tangled Ribbons

Imagine inside your head there are shoe laces, no imagine ribbons, they are prettier, and softer.
Ok, imagine inside your head there are ribbons. An assortment of colours, lengths, thickness, all beautiful and lovely.
Each ribbon represents a thought, an idea, a problem, a plan. Of course, there are lots of ribbons. And I'm sure we'd love all of the ribbons to be in a neat order, straight lines. Each easy to identify, pick up and sort out of they get muddled and slightly tangled.

Lost, or still with me?

Anyway. Since the end of March I've started to feel like my ribbons are getting tangled, and in some cases a little knotted.
I'm not quite sure how to stop it, fix it and straighten everything out. 
It's ok for one or two tangles. But knots are not ok.

I have a lot of things going on. 
Charles' birthday NEXT MONTH!
BritMums Live! NEXT MONTH. I keep feeling as though I want to back out and just not go. Thankfully having a Sponsor is giving me the encouragement and push to go.
Harry's birthday in July.
A couple of commitments I could really do without which are causing me nothing but stress and worry, and I wish I could back out.
I'm annoyed at family members who I feel are letting our boys down and depriving them of relationships which should be easy to fulfil.
Charles is starting school in September and making arrangements for that is so overwhelming.

An opportunity came up for something I've wanted to do for a long time, and at first I was really excited, until I spotted a massive obstacle.
It's going back to the "I couldn't" and "I wouldn't" post I wrote as part of my A-Z Challenge.
I *could* do this, and face the obstacle head on, take a risk and everything end up ok.
But at the same time I *could* do this and face the obstacle head on and everything not end up ok. 
I have to think about myself, and what's right for me and at the moment I have to step back, back down and realise it's just not my time yet. 

Since the 1st of April I've been updating my blog everyday as part of the A-Z Challenge. I don't just want to be a "mummy blog". That's not all I am so why should my blog be the same.
I also realised, in the last 2 weeks, that my children aren't as remembered or noticeable as the majority of others and it really hurt and for that reason I decided to protect them a little more. 
What's the point in writing about something so forgettable? 
Especially when I'm really opening up and sharing a lot about my family. 
Especially when I'm writing about two people I love so dearly.
It's not a rant, just a personal observation, and proof to me that I need to think about what I want to do, where I want to go, because if the people reading about my children aren't the people I thought were reading about them, then who is?
I started it as somewhere for *me* to write about *me*. My thoughts, my life. Just little things to keep me company as a housewife.
I didn't know about this massive community when I started.
My blog name gives me plenty of room to write about anything. So, although I want to talk about the boys, of course I do, 
I also want to talk about other things too. And make it more about me, rather than just about us.
I just need to work out how to get it to where I want it to be.

I recently looked into BlogLovin properly and have fallen in love with it!
Before I was only following one blog as I didn't really get what BlogLovin was about. I kept up to date with my favourite blogs via the blogroll in my sidebar, but with quite a list of favourite blogs I couldn't exactly list them all!
Whilst looking on BlogLovin it suggested some "top blogs" to me and I was intrigued by one in particular.
Well, never before has an addiction to someones blog happened quicker than this! Not only is she a blogger but she's also a vlogger/youtubber.
Since following her I've also found two or three other bloggers/vloggers and am completely hooked by them!
It's given me the confidence to plough ahead and make this what I want it to be. Subtle changes and you probably won't notice them. Writing about the things I like, the things I enjoy, going back to being me and making me happy rather than other people.

So after that brain dump, and now a lighter head and a weight off my shoulders, I need to go out and enjoy the sunshine with my biggest boy whilst the smallest one has a much needed nap.

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