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The ‘5’ club

When I was at school, I don’t remember there being such a thing as the ‘5 club’ but then again I was only turning 4 when everyone else was turning 5. I hasten to add, this was not because I was so intelligent that I was in the year above where I should have been; no, it was because my twin brother and I were a handful and getting us into school early was important to my mother!

Ava, being one of the oldest in her class, informed me that she is now a member of the ‘5 club’. It’s pretty exclusive at the moment. Soon I’ll be joining a ‘5’ club of my very own; funny how people of my age see no need to brag about this.

Five

Ava’s 5th birthday post wouldn’t be complete without a picture of her birthday ‘cake’. Making a birthday cake out of loads of cupcakes was so much simpler than my usual efforts. For a start. there is no need to cut a cake! I think I may well do it again next year.

5th birthday cake

When Ava was three, I kept a note of Ava’s cute one liners. This past year I have been keeping a list of the questions Ava has asked (and there have a been a lot of them!) that I have either been stumped by or have not known how to give an answer at an appropriate level. I had intended to use Google to help me out but if anyone would like to get me started, it would be much appreciated!

  • Why do tears come from your eyes?
  • Why do we have ear wax?
  • How do you get a rainbow?
  • Where does the sun go when it gets dark?
  • How does a baby get in/out of your tummy?
  • Why is blood red?
  • How can you see blood through your skin?
  • Why am I a girl?
  • Why does butter melt?
  • How do clouds stay up in the sky?
  • Why is the planet made of rocks?
  • How does my voice box let my voice out?
  • Why does water make your hands wrinkly?
  • Why is wee hot after you go swimming?

‘I Did It Mummy’ fundraising for BIBS – https://www.justgiving.com/IDidItMummy

‘Tis the season to get cooking

This year I wanted to put my mark on Christmas and make as many homemade things as I could think of with the able assistance of the little lady. I left out fudge and didn’t leave myself sufficient time to make a Christmas cake this year so I have something to post about next year!

My homemade Christmas started with chutney and where best to start the search for a recipe than Netmums

Chutney – this sweet chutney in my opinion was the perfect accompaniment to our first course pâté dish on Christmas Day. The husband did not agree as it contained raisins but more for the rest of us!

Gingerbread biscuits – I had intended to make reindeer Gingerbread biscuits as I had seen in a post on Wokingham Gossip Girls but I could not find a gingerbread man cutter (you turn a gingerbread man upside down for the desired effect) for love or money and so resorted to star and heart cutouts with decorative icing. We made the biscuits a couple of weeks in advance and froze them but had I known that they were quite so easy to make, I suspect they would have tasted better fresh.

Peppermint creams – again we made these in advance (no requirement for freezing, just to be left in a sealed bag) and given their simplicity, I would definitely only make them a day or two early in future.

Christmas cupcakes – these were made using a simple fairy cake recipe and the icing was simply buttercream mixed with red/green food colouring for that extra festive feel.

Pavlova & Trifle – I was determined that we, or more to the point I, was going to make a Christmas dessert or two from scratch so I turned to the most reliable source Delia Smith for my pavlova. The pavlova was absolutely scrumptious and surprisingly easy to make. The trifle looked good, however it completely lacked flavour so I have uploaded a piccie but have omitted the recipe for this one. I was quick to admit the blandness of the flavour so as to avoid any awkward and less than truthful exclamations of how ‘delicious’ it was!

If you have any festive recipes that I could try for next year, please feel free to post your recipe/link below!

‘I Did It Mummy’ fundraising for Babies in Buscot Support – https://www.justgiving.com/IDidItMummy

Pimp my cupcake

It seems to be an unwritten rule that every mother should be able to make a decent cupcake. I guess some have a natural flair for this activity whilst others need a little helping hand. I certainly fall into the latter category so when the opportunity to attend a cupcake making class came up, I jumped at it faster than Usain Bolt can run 100 metres.

Technically this was a cupcake making class with an ulterior motive as the host was a Pampered Chef consultant so as expected there were more than a fair sprinkle of product plugs and I was left wondering whether it was possible to make the perfect cupcake without spending £17.50 on the muffin pan with the extra deep holes and £13.95 on the cake scoop which promises that each cupcake will be exactly the same size. It turns out that Pampered Chef aren’t responsible for Stork, the magic ingredient that makes cupcakes taste extra nice. The decorating equipment was surprising easy to use and I had oodles of fun trying out various different nozzles with some great results:

Cupcakes

Cupcake decorations

Inspired by my cupcake class I offered to make cupcakes for a couple of joint birthday teas. The first set I made in my down time when the children were safely tucked in bed and the second set had the finesse that only a certain 3 year old can achieve. Having seen the difference in my cakes compared to the ones we made at the class, I think Pampered Chef may have made one sale out of me. The muffin pan with the extra deep holes probably would have prevented the volcano peaks in the middle of my cupcakes, although it turns out that like a well fitted wedding dress, buttercream icing really can hide a multitude of sins.

Homemade cupcakes

Ava's cupcakes

Ava’s cupcakes

‘I Did It Mummy’ fundraising for BIBS – https://www.justgiving.com/IDidItMummy

 

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