What’s in the box?

Like most children, ours love to collect the little pocket money type toys. Going back a few years the boys collected GoGo’s, Moshi Monsters and although they don’t admit it they like Lego Minifigures still.

The girls love the Num Noms, Shopkins and Tsum Tsum’s but when there is something new on the scene we simply have to start collecting them too.

When the post man knocked at the door on Saturday with a mystery package for them they were intrigued and excited to find out what was inside.

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Messy Kitchen Day (Afternoon)

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I have been taunted by both Regan and Libby since the holidays began (actually since before they started) about having a Baking Day in the six weeks holiday.

I kept my plans for the day under wraps as, like most kids I am sure, the moment you mention what you are up too, the when, what for and whys start. That in turn stresses us out and then the whole thing becomes a chore not a pleasure, anyway…..

Whilst ripping out cupboards yesterday (trying to find my missing Birth Certificate) I came across a large amount of my recipes. It seemed therefore, that today was a good day to bake.

Shopping list written we headed off to Tesco.

The kids were over the moon when we stopped in the baking aisle. Inevitably, when I had added to the basket the content of my list the girls attention was drawn to the Cupcake Mix Sets. Personally, I love these little sets. They allow the girls to help without making too much mess, they enjoy it and it keeps them amused for a few hours (whilst making and playing cafes with the end product).

Once home, I set about clearing the mess that the lads had left behind them on the morning (seems they can find the clean plates but have no idea have to restack them in the dish washer once dirty).

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First up on the baking list was Penny with her “Finding Dory” Cupcake Kit. The two kits I bought today are made by Fiddes Payne.

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Penny had such concentration on her face while sorting the cupcake cases out in to the tray. Libby was keen to take over but the stubborn Little Madam wouldn’t let her anywhere near, completing the task herself, looking very proud about it too.

Mixture in bowl, egg cracked and butter in the bowl, we got the electric mixer out and she ran a mile. (She has an issue with loud noises, she doesn’t like the hoover, mixer, hand dryers…..if its loud she shys away).

Cake mixed, they went in to the oven.

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In the meantime we did the dishes and set about the Shopkins set that Libby had picked. I have to say I was really impressed with the contents of the kit for the price. We had the cake mix, pink icing mix, sprinkles, and lolly pop sticks with stickers to pop on them. Lots to keep her busy.

We mixed her cake mix, Libby cracking the egg (no shell thank goodness) and mixing herself.

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Once Penny’s cakes had come out Libbys went straight in.

In the meantime we made Penny’s Icing causing a flurry in the kitchen with Icing Sugar covering everything.  Libby insisted in applying the icing and Penny applied the characters.

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Libby’s cakes quickly followed and the pink icing got applied while I helped with the lolly sticks and stickers.

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Girls cakes done I set about making the list of cakes that I had made this morning. My mission was to make a Banana Cake as the lads decided they fancied some bananas and they have sat there uneaten for a week. Determined not to bin them a cake seemed like a sensible option. The other recipes just fell on too my list, well that is my story and I am sticking to it.

Sticky Confetti Cake

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Sensibly, I had some forward thinking. I knew once I started baking getting Penny to bed would be a nightmare so getting her cakes made meant that while I made this one she could have her tea, watch some Cbeebies and chill out before bed and when I took her to bed the other two could decorate it.

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(I have been told I have to point out the Red plate is Libby’s and the Green plate is Regan’s)

Such a simple, moist and yummy cake to make and Regan and Libby had great fun decorating it with Smarties, Frozen Sprinkles and Hundreds and Thousands. It kept them busy for a good 45 mins before keeping them quiet for 15 mins while they ate some.

Banana Cake

To say I am gutted about this cake is an understatement. Mum always used to make one and made it look simple and to be fair it was.

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I got it in the oven and it looked, smelt, and felt perfect. Took it out of the oven and it was perfectly cooked. I let it rest as instructed and loosened the edges, turned it out on to the tray and gave it a tweek and a tap……it ripped in half. It does however taste great and next time I will invest in some of the loaf parchment inserts for the tin.

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As you can see, the disaster didn’t stop the lads from tucking in to it…

Chocolate Malt Cake

No baking day is complete without me forgetting to get an ingredient. 400g of Plain Chocolate, turned in to 400g of Milk Chocolate as my corner shop didn’t have the plain.

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Still, it worked well. The recipe I used was from one the BBC Good Food magazine supplements and for the life of me I can not find it online but the one I have linked to is very similar.

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With chocolate and butter melting, egg and sugar frothing, Ovaltine mixing, and lots of folding, the cake was put in the oven and the timer was set.

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After the Banana Cake disaster I wasn’t holding out for a miracle but OMG what a delicious cake. Firmer than a brownie but still full of chocolate goodness like a brownie. Mmmmmmm…..

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Then last but not least I may have sneaked a Brownie Mix in the basket too….

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Overall I think the Baking Afternoon was a success….very messy but thank goodness for the dishwasher it takes so much stress out of MissionCleanUp at the end. A sweeping brush round the floor and all tidy…….

XXXXXX

 

Girly Day Shopping

I have so many posts in progress but none that I am happy with just yet.

Today it was time for a break and Libby, Penny and Myself went on an expedition to buy something arty and crafty for Libby to do. (Regan was off to his Dad’s for the day/night so a girly day seemed like a perfect idea)

Bit off the beaten track for us we ended up at the Metro Centre.

Now no trip out with the kids is complete without a trip to McDonald’s.

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There are days I wonder what I did to be blessed with such amazing children. They both sat good as gold and ate their happy meals, not that may not seem a big thing, and for Libby, no it is not, but to get Penny to sit still for more than five minutes is a hard task.

Next stop was The Range.

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I have only been in a few times myself but have noted on both occasions that Libby and Mum would love the Arts and Crafts section. We spent a good 45 mins looking around what they had to offer.

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If you have never been and like a reasonably priced place that sells a bit of everything then this is the place to be. I love a shop like this, one of those one stop shops, especially come Christmas, The Range will be perfect.

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So back to our treasures, Libby found a Princess set, at £1.99, you cant go wrong, she is loving colouring in at the minute and this is perfect. We also came home with two Finding Dory balls.

(Excuse the photo quality of the picture, will add one when we have built it up)

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Their pet range is also impressive (camera on phone decided not to work so pics of that) but the zoo got a treat each too.

Next stop ASDA.

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This month I was determined to get at least one the them al of their uniform sorted so that I did not have to rush around at the last minute looking for stuff in the right sizes. Its a nightmare that I am sure most of us have experienced at some point, if not most years.

Anyway, last year I bought the majority of stuff from ASDA and it has lasted Libby all year. So I thought I would see what they had to offer this year. I wasn’t disappointed.

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Twin Pack of Sweatshirt Cardigans £6.00

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Frozen Sweatshirt Cardigan with Elsa detail £5.00

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Twin Pack Polo Shirt £3.00

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Jersey Skirt £4.00

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Frozen Jersey Dress with Elsa Detail £7.00

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Jersey Pinafore Dress £6.00

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Pleated Skirt £4.50

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Boys Twin Pack Short Sleeved Shirts £5.00

Last year I purchased Libby’s blouses and polo shirts from ALDI, and for all people may avoid them they washed and washed and washed again. These also lasted her all year, so I bough her the pack of two blouses last week at a price of £1.99 for two.

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After leaving the Metro Centre we called in at Team Valley and visited the Hobbycraft store.

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Another first for Libby and she was completely taken aback by what they had to offer.

There are some good 3 for 2 deals on at the minute which offer things to keep the kiddiwinkles busy over the holidays. We however cam away with some felt tips (£2), crayons (£1) and some paper (£1), (3 for 2) and a Barbie Sticker book (£3).

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They had a range of activities on instore to keep the little ones busy but mine weren’t interested in anything other than spending money.

Last stop was Sainsbury’s, where we stopped and ended up going in to Argos and taking advantage of their 3 for 2 on all toys offer buying Lego and My Little Pony’s. (As well as some nibbles and wine for me 🙂 ).

Just a little one so I ould share my bargains…..again sorry for the picture quality as my camera fell out with me on the way home …..xxxxx