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Happy Birthday ‘Princess’ Ava

It’s hard to believe that 4 years have passed since Andy and I became parents for the first time and how surreal those early days were with such a small baby. To look at Ava on her 4th birthday on Sunday, you would never have guessed how she started out in life. We are incredibly fortunate and even on days when she tests us to the limit (and there are many of these as we have a ‘spirited’ one!), we still know how very lucky we are.

Ava’s 4th birthday feels like an opportune moment just to remind you that part of my motivation for writing this blog is to raise money for BIBS (Babies in Buscot Support) so if you enjoy reading this blog, I would love it if you would consider a small donation to help other parents who are just starting their journey –


Ava at birth and on her 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th birthdays

For the last year I have been keeping a note of some of the classic one liners that have slipped out of Ava’s mouth so here are a few of the highlights. I think Peppa Pig has a lot to answer for!

  • Huddle.
  • Stop Daddy, I’m eating noodles.
  • Ben, you need your fruit and vegetables to grow big and strong.
  • I need to get my exercise.
  • I want to make a snowman and throw snowballs.
  • I want to go into space in a rocket.
  • I’m a princess.
  • I have brown poo, Ben has yellow poo. I eat food, Ben has milk.
  • What’s that noise? It’s me. (Ava’s popping!)
  • This much, moon and back. (What we say every night before bed.)
  • Ben’s a boy, I’m a girl. I have lady bits, Ben has a willy.
  • I want to plant a biscuit tree.
  • I can see Ben’s willy. It is small.
  • Mummy turn it down, I’m talking on the phone.
  • Are we nearly there yet?
  • I like pate on toast. It’s delicious.
  • I’m really bored.
  • It’s not fair.
  • I want a phone and a watch for my birthday. I need a phone to play with you and I need to know what the time is.
  • I did one and two poos. It looks like sausages!
  • When I’m a Mummy, I’m going to have Rosie and Robbie in my tummy. I want a boy and a girl.
  • I just talked to my tummy and it’s hungry.
  • Oh wow, I want to do that when I’m older! (talking about the Olympic diving!)
  • When we die, we are gone.
  • It hurts when the doctor takes a baby out of your tummy Mummy.
  • I don’t like dog sausages.
  • All aboard me parties.

Mrs P stars in her own version of The Great British Bake Off

With Ava’s 4th birthday now only 2 sleeps away, I have competed in my annual version of The Great British Bake Off. Ok so Mary Berry and Paul Hollywood are hardly likely to pay a visit to my kitchen but the pressure of having ‘the cake’ on show for the scrutiny of all my Mummy friends at Ava’s 4 th birthday party this Sunday is surely on par. For those of you attending said party, as I know quite a large proportion of my current readership will be there, I really don’t take cake making that seriously. As a Stay-at-home Mum, I personally don’t feel justified in buying a cake or paying for someone else to make one but I certainly don’t judge those that do. I’ll let you into a little secret though – I have bought the fairy cakes so I’ll let Ava loose on the decoration of these!

So here is the finished article and I think it’s my best one yet!

4th Birthday Cake

I must say a couple of thank yous for this effort…

1. Thank you to Andrea of Andrea’s Celebration Cakes for sending through the recipe for the Madeira cake. It was a little cheeky to ask for a recipe but a friend and I are doing a cake decorating course with Andrea in a few weeks time which I will no doubt report on here.

2. Thanks to my husband Andy for saving me from a cream and jam disaster. Benjamin’s 1st birthday cake lacked jam so I decided that I would spread jam over both halves, only to discover that I then couldn’t spread the cream! Jam scrapped off and a sliver taken off the end of the cake with a sharp knife rescued the situation.

3. Thank you to my mother-in-law Nadine for helping me to lay the royal icing on the cake and for suggesting the twisted trim around the bottom which I think really finishes off the cake nicely.

If you’re interested in the recipe for the cake and a few helpful hints for cake making that have been passed onto me, then please read on…

Madeira Sponge Cake (7inch square tin/8 inch round tin)
12 oz Self Raising Flour
10 oz Caster Sugar
10 oz Butter (I used Stork as recommended on my cupcake decorating class)
5 medium eggs
2 tbsp milk

Preheat oven to 150°C
Sift flour into bowl and add all other ingredients
Using a mixer, beat for 1 minute
Spoon mixture into a tin 3/4 full
Scoop some of the middle and place it round the edges

A couple of other useful hints I have picked up are:
Place a bowl of water at the bottom of the oven to make the cake more moist.
Add a 1/4 teaspoon of glycerine per egg, also to increase the moisture content.
Grease the baking tin before laying baking patchment in the tin.
Use a cocktail stick and dip in a small amount of paste to colour the royal icing. The more dips, the deeper the colour.

Baking time: 1hr 10mins

I filled the cake with strawberry jam and buttercream (4 oz butter and 8 oz icing sugar)

‘I Did It Mummy’ fundraising for BIBS –

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