Tuesday, 17 February 2015

The secrets of adding fresh flowers to cakes

The secrets of adding fresh flowers to cakes

Do you just love making your own cakes, especially during the school holidays with your kids? Well, whether you are baking a cake with the kids or for a wedding; the perfect addition to any stunning cake is a fresh flower. However, there are a few hidden secrets behind choosing the right fresh flower for your cake, so keep your ears open!

Whether you choose flowers from Serenata or you pick them from your garden there are a number of things that you need to take into consideration:

Know what you can eat

There are a number of blooms which are perfectly edible, so be sure that you know what those are! Roses, pansies and marigolds are popular choices for cakes; especially with kids due to their range of colours to choose from.
However, there are a number of flowers that are deadly if eaten such as; daffodils and calla lilies. Whilst the flowers on your cake do not need to be edible, you must ensure that you remove them before the cake is served – and keep your kids away from them in case of any minor mishaps.
You should also note that most fresh flowers will wilt when placed on the top of moist butter cream, so keep this in mind if you are preparing to serve your cake to guests.

Keep an eye on scent and taste

When choosing which bloom you would like to add to your cake, you should keep in mind the scent and taste of the flower to ensure it complements your cake. If the flower has a really strong scent, it will seep into the cake – and this may not necessarily be a good thing!

Be on trend

Believe it or not, the most ‘fashionable’ way to decorate your cakes with flowers in 2015 is to use just one flower to provide a huge visual impact. Orchids are thought to be great when used alone on the top or side of a cake.
Fresh flowers can be used in a number of different ways when it comes to cake making, from a delicate garnish to a huge flower arrangement on the top of the cake.
If you are making a tiered cake, flowers are also the perfect way to divide each tier for maximum impact and a fantastic modern design guaranteed to impress. 
With these small tips in mind, you are set to create the very best cake!






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Tuesday, 10 February 2015

Great Day Trips for Half Term

I can't quite believe it's almost half term already, Im still in my post Christmas haze. As much as I LOVE having the kids home and not having to rush around quite so much, it is quite a daunting prospect having to keep everyone entertained for a week, especially when as soon as schools finish soft play centres become rammed and everyone heads out to the same places making them a lot less fun than in term time. 

The cost of taking three children out for the day even if you take your own food and drink can be astronomical, so I'm always on the look out for money saving offers and deals so we can have a fun day out without completely breaking the bank.

Great day trips for half term

National Trust

National Trust sites are located across the country, are reasonably priced and often offer special events in school holidays such as den building or pond dipping. We love the huge outdoor space and lovely coffee shops.



Forestry Commission Parks

The Forestry Commission has has sites located countrywide and is a great fun day outdoors where you usually just pay a reasonable fee for parking. Our nearest is Alice Holt Forest in Farnham which has huge play areas and trails suitable for kids of all ages.

Take a trip to London

Even London doesn't have to be hugely expensive, book your train tickets early, and visit the FREE museums and parks. Our favourite is the Science Museum.



Theme Parks

Definitely one you need a voucher or special offer for, but there are usually lots around. Our favourite local-ish theme park is LEGOland.


Half term fun at home

We often find ourselves spending hours building LEGO, making indoor dens, baking cakes, playing games and just generally enjoying the calm time after the busy school term.




I do try and get us out somewhere every day though, even if it's just a trip to the park around the corner.

What's your favourite day out in the school holidays? Do you chill out at home or head out on an adventure?

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Friday, 30 January 2015

Chorizo, Look and Oregano Omelette

This omelette was super easy to make and tasted delicious.

Ingredients

1/2 a leek - finely chopped
5 eggs 
A small piece of butter
A sprinkling of Oregano
Sliced chorizo


Method

Melt the butter in the pan and add the whisked up eggs, sprinkle the leek and oregano and stir.

Heat for a couple of minutes and add the chorizo.

Once the egg starts to cook through fold in half and flip.

Leave on the heat until all the egg is cooked through.






Enjoy!

Happy Egg kindly sent us a voucher for some eggs for the purpose of this post.



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Thursday, 15 January 2015

On getting organised

I've been trying to organise my house for the last 6 months, but the mess seems to build up faster than I can clear it. The kitchen is a huge problem area as it tends to collect paperwork and kids craft supplies as well as the usual gadgets that never get used, lunch bags and never ending washing up.  In an effort to really sort it out we cleared out the whole room and painted it just before Christmas, but slowly the clutter has started to build up again, especially around the craft area.

I like to have craft supplies on hand for the kids to use whenever they want, but inevitably that does lead to a degree of mess and disorganisation.






I really want to keep our craft supplies accessible as my girls do love to 'make'. Just last weekend my 6 year old made herself some skis from a cardboard box, which I thought were genius and I'd really miss their little creations if they stopped making them.




Even my little boy gets involved, although his projects generally involve either a big stick or some kind of shooting device like this catapult.



My aim for the next few weeks is to sort out our craft supply area once and for all. There are some AMAZING ideas on Pinterest and I am totally in awe of the organisational skills some people have. I would LOVE the craft corner of my kitchen to look like one of these. I especially adore the one with the blackboard and the roll of paper.



Do you have a problem area in your house? What would your dream solution be? How do you organise your craft supplies?

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Saturday, 3 January 2015

How to make Story Stones

Story stones are great for inspiring imagination and helping children come up with ideas for stories. We made our own mini version by painting stones and drawing on them.

I used permanent pens so the pictures showed up brightly.

What do you think?



My girls spent ages making up stories together, although most did involve the duck eating the girl, so I think we need to add a few more.
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Wednesday, 31 December 2014

A Winter of Sports

Somehow we've ended up being one of those families that does too much, over scheduled kids, a messy house and stressed out parents. I never thought I'd be THAT parent, the one that comes across as pushy, with a child who seemingly does everything, but it just sort of happened. Two of my children train with the local gymnastics squad doing 5 and 3 hours a week each, all three do swimming lessons, and Z ( the over scheduled one ) also does after school hockey, badminton and rugby as well as learning the oboe. I didn't intend for him to do so much. Gymnastics and Swimming are the ones I feel are very important and he choses to do the rest. Until October this year it all seemed manageble as I'd purposly kept Sunday completely free for chilling out, catching up on homework or meeting friends, but then Z asked if he could start rugby, which is 3 hours on a Sunday morning. I just could't say no, but really struggle with our decision to let him do it, as it impacts our weekends so much. Saturday morning is completely taken up with swimming so we don't have a full day all together any more. My husband now coaches at rugby too, leaving me and the girls abandoned for the morning. We've been trying to make the most of the time, going to the park, skating, having crafty mornings, but it's not quite the same as all being together.



Weekends away like this trip to Cornwall have become a rarity because missing SEVEN different classes is expensive.




My husband also plays rugby on a Thursday evening and squash a couple of times a week in the evening, meaning I'm often left to my own devices, so end up working or watching rubbish on the TV. One of my aims for next year is to spend more time looking after myself, so this Pamper Parcel was the perfect Christmas gift to get me started, especially as I'll be on my own even more once tennis season starts.


I used the fancy popcorn and chocolate for my husbands Christmas stocking, but I know he'll be happy to share, and have already enjoyed a lovely relaxing bath with the bath bomb and can't wait to get an evening to myself to try out the AromaWorks candle.

The Pamper Parcel was a really lovely gift to receive, as I don't often get such luxurious treats for myself.

What resolutions and hopes do you have for next year?

Betfair kindly sent me the Pamper Parcel
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Tuesday, 23 December 2014

Easy Candy Cane Christmas Cards

What do you think of our easy candy cane Christmas cards?





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