Thursday, 31 January 2013

What would revolutionise my 2013?

I've just spotted the blogger competition to help you revolutionise and de-stress your life in 2013, and you can win the gadget of your choice! Now, this is so simple for me, there has been a gadget I have wanted for ages and never had the funds to buy it.

I love to bake as most of my blog followers will already know from my recent cakes blog post. Baking with 3 children is pleasurable, exciting, satisfying but so... STRESSFUL. I try to plan, organise and delegate but things don't always go to plan!!! They LOVE baking but the usual conversation goes along the lines of:
 "I want to stand on that chair" "No! I was there first" "He's pushing me" "No he's pushing me" " Can I crack the eggs" "No he did it last time, I want to do it this time" "He's pushing me again" "I'm not" "Can I do the flour" "No I want to do the flour, you do you sugar" "Can I stir" "Can I use the hand blender" "It's my turn let me have a go" "I've only had it 2 minutes" OH I could go on but it's actually stressing me!

Most of you are probably thinking well why on earth do you do it. Well, past all the arguing and bickering they do enjoy it, and obviously its a great way of learning all different skills. And at the end the cakes taste delicious.

So what gadget would make my life less stressful? One of these beauties....

It will set you back a whooping £429 at Lakeland. But you will have stress free baking! An Artisan Kitchen aid mixer... ahhhh heaven.

Like I said my children love baking but sometimes get bored...

So sometimes I have to stop mixing and the meringue goes wrong and we end up with plain icing and a very messy kitchen!!

I started these cakes when my helpful children went to bed! Meaning starting at 7.30pm, they both had 16 eggs! Imagine the arm ache, not only that it takes forever, I tend to make them one night and ice them the next, if I had  a mixer I could get to work on the icing while the sponge is mixing, then I wouldn't have the stressful 'icing period' the next day rushing to get it finished before midnight.

I didn't actually finish the sewing machine cake until the afternoon of my dad's birthday... STRESSFUL!

If I had one of these I can imagine stress free baking with children, excitedly waiting to drop there chosen ingredients in to the bowl, willing to take turns and wait nicely. Sharing and laughing and enjoying. Who I am kidding, they will find something to bicker about!

But I can imagine, tucking them up in bed, hurrying down the stairs, and get to work on cakes quickly and efficiently, enjoying, tasting, smelling and listening just to the whir of the cake gadget at work. Bliss!

Tuesday, 29 January 2013

Lego, castles and sewing machine cakes

I love making cakes for all different occasions and people, i have never had any training I've just learnt tricks as I've gone along, I had some tweets and messages from people saying they liked my Wallace and Gromit cupcakes so I thought I would share some more with you.

This is the first cake I made and really got me going.I made it for my sister when she graduated.
This is the most recent one I made for Millie's 2nd birthday

I made this for my sister's engagement party, her fiancee proposed in New Zealand and the kiwi's are the New Zealand bird! Funny looking things aren't they!
I made these coffee cupcakes to go with them!
My eldest loved Lego around his 6th birthday and still does actually.
Sewing Machine cake!
This is definitely my most ambitious cake to date, it was so hard to balance the cake and the left hand side is held up by 1 skewer! Dad loved it (he is a sewing machine mechanic)
These were for my bug obsessed 3 year old's party.

 The very hungry Caterpillar
And this was his cake to go with it!

Although they take me hours (sewing machine being about 12 hours) I definately think homemade cakes are so much more personal to the person receiving them. I must have more pictures somewhere but can't seem to find them. It's my sister's birthday in March and I'm thinking of attempting a handbag cake.
Do you like making cakes?

Sunday, 27 January 2013

A day Trip to London

Part of my boys Christmas present was a day trip to London so yesterday was the day, we got up nice and early, dropped Millie off at my mum's and headed to that station and jumped on the 7.56am train.

We got into London at 10am there were some delays on the lines so it took us abit longer, the boys came up with what they wanted to see! Firstly we headed over to Buckingham palace, as we got there we realised that people were waiting around the the changing of the guard, we waited too, although it was so busy we didn't see much, the boys did as we had them on our shoulders, they loved every minute of it and took some great pictures.

Leon with my sister

Toby on his Dad's shoulders and Leon in front on mine.

Next was Big Ben, they have wanted to see Big Bin since they first watched Cars 2, along with the Eiffel Tower (which they have been to) and Tokyo Tower (which they probably won't see). Leon was so pleased he saw it and took quite alot of pictures on his camera. All they wanted to do was go inside it!

Leon the keen photographer

 We do have one in our town centre but they insisted!

We had a pre-booked flight on the London eye so after dinner in the good old McDonalds we boarded on! None of us had been on the eye before and it was such a clear day we could see for miles. It was much better than I expected it to be. The boys were fascinated with the whole thing. The Asians who we were on the flight with were more fascinated with Toby than what they could see out of the window, asking him for photos, he was in his element!

Next we jumped on the tube again and made our way to Piccadilly Circus they didn't really know what else they wanted to do so we suggested Ripley's Believe it or Not! Dave and I have been before and we new they would love it, we spent the rest of the time in here looking at the weird and wonderful things from around the World.

My sister with the World's tallest man!

We caught the 5pm train home, made it back for 6.40pm, picked up Millie got changed and we all headed out for a 30th birthday party! Today we are having a lazy Sunday!

Friday, 25 January 2013

My favourite shoes from Next

I LOVE shoes... i always have since i was small, I remember trying my Mum's on and squeezing my younger sisters on. I have never really grown out of loving shoes. When I saw the blog competition at A daisy chain dream I new I had to share my love of shoes with you.

I'm a sucker for shoes in the sale, in fact a have two pairs of shoes in my wardrobe I haven't worn yet but I love them!! I don't only like buying shoes for myself I have 2 boys and a girl so I get to dabble in all kinds of shoes! Even cake shoes:

 I made these last year

So whats my favourite pair of shoes? Hmmmm this is such I hard question! I have a favourite everyday pair, flats, boots, heels, wedge and flipflop!

So I will share these, these are my wedding shoes, I love them I will keep them forever, I might never wear them again I don't know, but when I look at them, I remember the happy day I wore them strolling along the Italian Lake Garda hand in hand with my new husband, with our children and family laughing along side us, the heat, the colours, the sun, the food and pure happiness.

After browsing the Next website for far too long (see the time this was posted!!) I've picked out some of my favourites. These are my favourite flats:

Being a beautician I wear flats all day for work, so I need the comfort and the style and these Davina Bow Ballerinas definitely seem to have both. I also have quite a wide foot so these would be perfect.

These black biker mid heel boots would but perfect for walks with the kids and keeping my feet warm, not to mention they are super stylish!

These just because anyone needs a bit of rock chic glamour in their life, no? YES! And they kind of look sensible enough for the school run, don't they?? Any way Lipsy stud wedge shoe boots are definitely on my wishlist. I love the fact that next do other brands.

Finally because its getting far to late and I need to be up with 3 children at 7am...

These... sensible, practical and darn right cool! Tan casual wedge boots I have to say I'm a fan, I have a pair like these in black and they are my favourite everyday shoe!

So these would be my replacements for my old shoes, what do you think? Do you have a shoe passion?

Wednesday, 23 January 2013

A makeover and a competition

I've given my blog a bit of a makeover and changed the name. I feel like my old title is just about competitions and as I want to blog about other things as well. I thought this was more fitting.

At number 18... basically its our house number!

In celebration of this I thought I would run a little giveaway. They are prizes I won last year and i'm not really a cat person! I'm giving away a culinary cats aprons and 3 tea towels. They are from Gifted options, so if you like cats and wine enter away...

Just fill in the rafflecopter form below:

• There is one prize as shown in picture
• Closing date for entries is 30th January 2013

• One entry per person
• The giveaway is open to UK only
You must follow my blog to make your entry valid

Sunday, 20 January 2013

Thank you Tate kids :)

When I saw Tate kids competition on Super Lucky's creative round-up for kids I knew I had to ask Leon if he wanted to do it. I told him there is a chance he could win an ipad mini and to my surprise he was up for it. He's not the most creative person ever - neither am I, so when these competitions come up I always try and do them to get all our creative juices flowing. Sometimes I don't enter the final pieces if its a prize we wouldn't particularly use. But this time I did!!

So, Tate kids asked you to  'invent your very own mission for the Night Zookeeper drawing torch app'. So after reading through the examples of current missions we had a feel of what was expected. Over Christmas Toby was in hospital, so the current theme in our house then was hospitals for just about everything (dressing up, drawing, pretend cannula's- you get my drift!!). So Leon wanted a doctor animal, originally he decided on a doctor elephant but then thought that would be too hard to draw, so came up with a monkey! (personally I think they are both quite hard to draw- but hey my opinion didn't count!). I pointed out to him that animals aren't seen by doctors but vets, so it quickly changed to a monkey vet. He really got into talking about the whole story and decided that a lion would be the poorly animal, which he thought was funny 'because usually i bet the lion would eat the monkey and know he wants the monkey to make him better' were his words! So here's his mission which is going to be included in the night zookeeper drawing torch app.

"The Lion is poorly and the vet is out, a monkey vet steps in to save the day. What would Monkey Vet look like?"

And this is what he came up with:

Isn't it great? This is the best drawing he has done to date it took him ages to do and i think I will probably keep it forever!!

He waited until i got home from work to open it even though he new what it was and it was addressed to him. Bless!

Soooooo excited :) 

Thank you Tate kids for running a brilliant competition and of course picking Leon as your winner.

Friday, 18 January 2013

Wallace and Gromit cupcakes

The plan today was to tackle the ironing pile, but after dropping Leon off at school and coming in cold and wet, I thought we would make some cupcakes instead. We have ran out of vanilla so we put a dollop of Nutella in the middle instead, that was Toby's job so some have a little and some have a lot!! We decided on Wallace and Gromit icing to cheer Leon up when he gets home because he was so disappointed 'school was on'.
So here's the finished results: 
What do you think?

Tuesday, 15 January 2013

Competitions for Bloggers

I'm really enjoying writing blog posts for competitions at the moment, not only do I love browsing the websites but it gives me a chance to blog about things I wouldn't usually blog about. Like the get fit, feel epic blog post and The White Company post.

I'm also 'practising' for looking for prizes I really want by searching twitter, facebook and google. So i've come across a few different competitions for bloggers. Seem as I can't enter them all I thought  I would share them here with you.

A Daisy chain dream is giving away £500 giftcard for Next when you blog about your favourite shoes from next (this is one of the first blogs I started reading and love it). This ends 25th January (maybe I will have time to enter this!!) You can find all the details here.

The next competition for bloggers is the get fit, feel epic competition, where you can win different gadgets to help you get fit. There seems to be a few blogs hosting the same competition with They end on the 31st January. Most of them are asking you to make new years resolutions to help you keep fit and healthy. Check out full details on yummymummyintrainingkeepinghealthygettingstylish and of course Mum reinvented which is the one I entered.

Here's the same competition but this one ends on the 27th January.Details on The black pearl blog.

And Fat girl Slim is hosting it. You have a little bit more time for this one, it closes on 7th February.

fitbit zip
And finally most of you bloggers have probably already seen this one, so here's a reminder - zulily are asking bloggers to create a blog post about how to take photos of you children sharing your best tips. The winner will receive a £100 voucher and 2 runners up will win a £25 voucher to spend at Zulily. Find all the details here and you will need to get your entries in by 31st January.

I am getting more and more visitors to my blog this year, which is great. Please feel free to follow :)

Good Luck if you enter any.

Saturday, 12 January 2013

The white company festive bedroom competition

Fresh Design Blog have teamed up with The White Company to give bloggers a chance to win £200 worth of bed linen. To enter all you need to do is create a blog post showing how you would style your bedroom over the festive period. If you fancy entering be quick, the competition closes TOMORROW. Check out all the details on Fresh Design Blog.

This year I'm planning to decorate my bedroom, so I've got some great ideas from the white company. It's actually really nice that the competition is how you would decorate over the festive period. It really got me thinking about Christmas, it passes in such a flash its nice to think back to all the festivities.

So I will start with the bedding seem as it the biggest. The Copenhagen bedspread caught my eye instantly, it looks so warm and wintery, get so crisp, clean and fresh. I would definately have to hang fairy lights over the headboard over Christmas I wouldn't be able to resist. not sure it would go down to well with the husband though :)

Over Christmas I would swap my usual vanilla diffuser for this pine cone diffuser. How Christmassy would that be waking up to the smell of pine.

I would add a couple of these Clarendon Cushions on the bed and a chair I have in the bedroom. They are made from silk and would add a super luxurious feel to the room. I like the shiny fabric which would contrast with the other cushions on the bed.

Sparkle glass tealight holders would not only be romantic but just gorgeous! 

The final touches to my festive bedroom would be these Mini pine cone wreaths I would have one hang one off the curtain rail, and hang one on the wall and maybe one on the knob of my drawers. So what do you think?

Good Luck if you decide to enter...

Thursday, 10 January 2013

Get Fit, Feel Epic competition from

Mum reinvented and are running a great competition where bloggers can win a set of FitBit Aria Wifi Smart Scales and a Fitbit Zip Activity Tracker-all you need to do is blog about your fitness plans or New Years Resolutions. Take a look at all the details on the mum reinvented blog, here.

fitbit aria

This year I have decided (again!!) that I need to loose weight. Ideally i would like to loose 2.5 stone and 2 stone by August (when I'm bridesmaid at my sisters wedding). My biggest problem in the past is that i have lost about 5lb in the first week and then because i have done so well I have slacked off abit. This time I would like to lose 2lb per week, which after doing some research is the best way to loose.

I like exercising and particularly running, instead of going every day for a week then getting bored I am going to run once a week to start with and also do exercise at home. Last year I won an exercise ball and mat so i will be putting that to use.

So I guess my fitness Resolutions would be:

  • Loose 2lb a week
  • Vary my exercise
  • Try a new type of exercise
  • Only have treats at the weekend

I feel much more determined this year so lets hope it works!

Good Luck if you decide to enter...

Tuesday, 8 January 2013

My 2013 wishlist

We are a week in to the new year and I've been really thinking about what i would like to win this year. I made a wishlist last year and ticked off a few things. My ultimate prize which I would love is the same as last year Mulberry handbag.

So here's my list:

  • DIY or garden vouchers
  • Food shopping vouchers
  • A weekend break
  • Children's clothes vouchers
  • A years supply of anything useful
  • A TV
  • A Hamper (I have won 3 hampers and find it so exciting pulling each thing out, it feels like you have won over and over in one go!)
  • A sofa
  • A new laptop
Good Luck with your comping this year and I will keep you updated in my wishlist!