Friday, 29 April 2011

Cakes for William and Kate

Thirty years ago, as an eleven year old, I was totally transfixed by the wedding of Prince Charles to Lady Diana Spencer. Today I am just as excited enjoying the wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton. Daughter and I are watching the coverage on the BBC and oohing and aahing over the outfits, the Abbey and the horses, joining in the hymn singing and relishing this little bit of history being made.

Husband is jet washing the patio.

Of course, to celebrate the day I have made some special cupcakes:

The cakes are a mixture of raspberry, bluebery and vanilla sponge cakes (red, white and blue, get it?) and then patriotically decorated with Regal ice, vanilla buttercream, red, silver and blue glitter and plenty of union jacks.

I bet husband won't turn his nose up at them!

Congratulations William and Kate!

Sunday, 24 April 2011

Pony Party Take 2

Yesterday was daughter's 7th birthday party and she requested the same pony riding party that she had last year. ( Well, she would, wouldn't she?)

So eleven children mounted their ponies and set off for a little trek before enjoying a birthday tea.


No cooking or catering (except the cake), no entertaining to do, no clearing up and no washing up.

My kind of birthday party!

Unfortunately, I put husband in charge of photos this year and he hasn't yet grabbed the concept of digital photography, ie he spends ages trying to get the best shot and misses it, rather than taking 12 photos of the same thing thus ensuring that one of them is a really good one (my preferred method of photography!).

Anyway, here are a few good pictures he got of the birthday girl:
(I've blurred the other children's faces, it's not his bad photography!)

Hmmm, seem to have a bit of deja vu about this post........

(see Pony Riding Party Bliss)

Friday, 22 April 2011

Birthday Cake Take 2

Well, the Easter holiday is nearly over, it's been jam packed with walking, cycling, seeing friends and family and generally enjoying the unseasonably good weather but there's one more important event before we go back to school.....

............ tomorrow is daughter's 7th birthday party.

Her birthday is on Tuesday, but tomorrow was the only day anywhere near her birthday that I could book the pony riding party that she wanted, again.

So it's the same as last year, pony riding and then a birthday tea with the same cake as last year. (Have to get my use out of the tin since I bought it!). This year, instead of vanilla sponge and a pink and lilac colourway, we've gone for chocolate cake, chocolate buttercream and a brown and yellow combo.

So I've spent this lovely Good Friday locked in the kitchen for hours making the perfect cake for a seven year old pony mad girl.

I've finally finished it.

Ta dah!

Definitely going to put my feet up now.

Monday, 18 April 2011

Blue Moon

Well, I guess I have to eat my words since City managed to beat United on Saturday.

Husband has worn his City shirt constantly since.

Unfortunately this means that the whole "queueing up at 5.30am three times to get tickets, miss the coach tickets and have to drive to Wemberlee" thing starts all over again.

But, as he keeps telling me, "I've waited 30 years for this"!

You have to hand it to City fans, they are patient.

Friday, 15 April 2011


You have to pronounce it like that, apparently.

Yes, husband is off to Wem-ber-lee tomorrow to watch City get beaten by United.

He queued at the City of Manchester Stadium from 5.30am three times to get tickets for himself, his sister, niece and nephew and his brother-in-law.

(You can only buy tickets on certain days according to how many points you have and no, they don't bend the rules to let families sit together, so they are sitting separately)

He even got himself, me and daughter mentioned on Chris Evans' Breakfast Show one morning whilst queueing!

By the time he'd got all the tickets all the seats on the coaches had gone, so after all that hassle he then had to organise transport to Wem-ber-lee.

In the end he has decided to drive.

330 miles there and back.

Now, is it me, or is there something odd about the fact that this weekend Manchester City, Manchester United, Liverpool, Bolton and Stoke fans are all travelling 330 miles to London and back to watch their teams play?

Not to mention the congestion that will be caused by half the North West travelling down the M6, the pollution it causes and the cost to the fans.

Whose idea was this?

(I suspect it's the government's who are making 80p tax per litre on the petrol)

Thursday, 14 April 2011

Easter Holiday Stuff

It's the Easter Holiday! Yay!

I actually broke up last week, but due to pure exhaustion (see last post) I haven't blogged about it until now.

Having slept and regained some of my energy I've done a bit of gardening, walking, shopping and baking and I've finally finished making a Blurb book of our trip to Disney last Easter (only taken me a year!). I've also been for a bike ride on my new bike, even if it was only to the local cafe for breakfast; so much nicer when someone else makes it and no washing up!

Last night daughter had a friend over for her first ever sleepover. Was I mad? Two screaming six year olds too overexcited to sleep. Didn't help that husband had told daughter that they could have a midnight feast and they were determined to stay awake to have it at midnight! Luckily, clever mummy had removed the clocks from the room and managed to convince them it was midnight at 10pm. They had their feast, brushed their teeth and then went to sleep content that they'd had a midnight feast!

So, with another fortnight ahead of me I'm going to enjoy this holiday seeing friends, singing at the Bridgewater Hall and organising daughter's 7th birthday party. How did that come round so soon?

And the best bit of the Easter Holiday.......... only nine more days until I can eat chocolate again!

Sunday, 10 April 2011

Lipstick, Powder and Paint

Last night I was doing my face getting ready to go out with some friends and daughter was watching me, as I used to do with my mum.

"What's that?", she asked.

"That's eyeshadow", I replied.

"What's that stick for?" she asked.

"That's mascara for my eyelashes", I replied.

"And what's that grey stuff?" she asked.

"What grey stuff?"

"The grey stuff under your eyes"

"That's not make up. That's exhaustion."

Thursday, 7 April 2011

Why gambling never pays

This Saturday is the Grand National.

For as long as I can remember I've watched the National with great anticipation and excitement.

When I was little I would choose a horse from the list in the paper (usually something to do with what I'd dreamed about the night before) and Dad would go and put bets on for us.

It always seemed strange to me that my parents would encourage me to gamble, but now I'm doing the same with my daughter. It's the one horse race of the year in which whole families cheer on their favourite.

The whole of Britain seems to stop at 3pm and an eerie silence falls around apart from TVs and radios broadcasting the commentary.

I think the excitement comes from the fact that any horse could win.

This year one of the secretaries at school organised a sweepstake so I thought I'd give it a go, paid my £2 and waited to hear which horse I'd got.

Yesterday they made the draw.

I was first out of the hat and allocated "Madison du Berlais".

The problem?

"Madison du Berlais" isn't running in the National!

Am I the quickest ever loser of a sweepstake?

Sunday, 3 April 2011

Mother's Day Cupcakes

It worked.

Lowering my expectations, that is.

I had a quite nice day.

Breakfast in bed.
(No croissants or muffins, but a round of toast and marmelade and a cup of tea)

A homemade picture daughter had done at Rainbows, a bouquet of paper flowers she'd made at school and a Hotel Chocolat "All about Mum Collection" which husband had ordered on t'internet (I'd circled it in the Hotel Chocolat brochure just to make sure).

Of course, I spent the day hoovering, cleaning, ironing and standing in the rain at daughter's riding lesson, but inbetween I thought I would make some cakes for our weekly Sunday afternoon tea.

Now, it is traditional to make Simnel Cake on Mother's Day. In olden days, on Refreshment Sunday, maids were allowed to make a Simnel Cake in the kitchens and take it to their mothers, hence why Refreshment Sunday became Mothering Sunday. However, I didn't want a big heavy fruit cake, so I saw this recipe for Simnel Muffins and thought, "Perfect"!

What do you think?