Now You Are One

Now you are one.

I started to write this on the eve of your birthday. I’m struggling to believe that you are going to be 1 in the morning. In all honesty I’m still struggling to believe you are ours!

We waited so long for our baby and you’ve come along and made our lives complete. You were what was missing in our lives. That little ray of sunshine.

I’ve worried at every step of the way. Most of the time too much but it’s only because I care so much and I want to protect you. It’s not stopped me from enjoying every second with you.

Waking up I know I’m going to see your smiling face. That cheeky look you give me. At the minute you wait at the bottom of the stairs for me. You don’t call my name but says who’s that, point and wait until I come down stairs. You love the time you and Daddy have in the mornings. You’ve always had that time together. I don’t know what you get up to most of the time. I bet it’s mischief. I know what you two are like. It was supposed to be me and you against Daddy but you two are just too cheeky together, like when you knock down my tower and laugh!

You’re still small enough to fit into my lap and I can still feed you when your all curled up. I’ve enjoyed feeding you and you enjoy it so much. I don’t think you’re ready to stop just yet. You need that comfort and I’m happy to be that comfort. Even if it does mean waking up lots of times in the night. You need to know that I’m here and I am. Every time you need me.

You’re starting to become so independent. I sometimes look at you and wonder how you can do these things. When you pick up a book and start looking through the pages. You look so grown up.

We spent your birthday doing things you love. We had pancakes for breakfast. Not Daddy’s ones you prefer shop bought. We won’t tell him though! We spent the day with family. First at soft play and then family came over for dinner. You love to play with your cousins even if you don’t like sharing your toys. Especially not the Twirlywoos. They are yours and nobody else.

Oh Edith. You amaze me everyday. You keep me on my toes. You keep me happy. You are always by my side. My little friend. My daughter. My baby.

Caramac, Crunchie and Marshmallow Slow Cooker Fudge

As the nights draw in and the weather gets colder there is nothing better than a cosy night in. And the best way to spend your night in? A movie night. Picking your favourite films, drinking hot chocolate and of course eating some delicious snacks.
Forget the cinema. Forget paying over the odds for a bag of boring sweets, make your own instead. Dig out your trusty slow cooker and make yourself some amazing fudge. Packed full of chocolate, honeycomb and caramel, perfect autumn flavours. It’s so simple and you can forget about it and come back to it later ready for your cosy night in.

Slow Cooker Fudge
2  (40g) Crunchie bars, roughly chopped
1 (30g) Caramac bar, roughly chopped
1 handful of mini marshmallows
400g milk chocolate
1 397g tin of condensed milk
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tbsp butter
– Set your slow cooker to high.
– Place all the ingredients other than the mini marshmallows, Crunchie and Caramac bars into the slow cooker. 
– Cook for 45 minutes stirring the mixture every 15 minutes until all the ingredients are melted.
– Cut up one Crunchie bar and stir through the fudge mixture.
– Pour the mixture into a square, lined tin. 
– Push the remaining Crunchie, Caramac and mini marshmallows on top of the fudge mixture.
– Leave to set for 4 hours of overnight.
– Cut into pieces and serve with your favourite movie.

Collaboration with CrockPot.

My Petit Canard
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Link up your recipe of the week

Weekly Meal Plan #13

budget weekly meal plan
Hello! I can’t believe it’s Monday again. These weeks are coming around so quickly. Can you believe it’s October? It’s officially Autumn in my books because yesterday I wore my boots. I’ll live in then now until it’s warm enough to break out sandals next year. I’m terrible. Anyone else just live in two types of footwear?
Anyway you’re wondering about food aren’t you. Well this week our bill was a little more expensive than usual. Okay. I lied. A lot more expensive because we combined our food shopping with a bit of clothes shopping. So I’m not going to count it as it has nothing to do with what we are eating this week? The damage was £87.93 but £51.56 of that was spent on clothes which left our total food shop at £36.37. Not bad. Over budget, although, I’m full of excuses today, we did have an extra meal to add onto that as we stayed in yesterday. Oooh I forgot to add we shopped at Tesco this week (I’m not the biggest Tesco fan, short dates and always more expensive!)
The very lovely Louise from Pink Pear Bear suggested on last weeks post that I linked all the recipes for you guys so you could steal them. So  what I have done is create a Pinterest board with them all on. So head over there and every Monday evening I’ll update the board with the recipes for the week.
Also two weeks without weeknight takeaway! Wahoo. Lets make it 3. This week my husband is off out for a meal with work colleagues which means that I get to have a baked potato (he doesn’t like them) so I’m making the most of his absence. 

Sunday
Slow Cooked Sticky Ribs with stirfry veg and noodles.
Monday
Feta & Bacon Salad with homemade croutons.
Tuesday
Chicken Fried Rice
Wednesday
Brococoli and Cheddar Twice Baked Potatoes
Thursday
Creamy Tuscan Garlic Chicken
Friday
Mushroom & Ricotta Tart
What do you like the sound of and what are you eating this week?

Pink Pear Bear
3 Little Buttons
Mummascribbles

Twirlywoos Birthday Cake

Twirlywoos kids babies 1st first birthday party cake drip
Twirlywoos kids babies 1st first birthday party cake drip
Edith’s love of the Twirlywoos started a good few months ago. For those of you not in the know, Twirlywoos is a kids TV programme featuring these characters. She laughs at them and dances when they do. It’s so cute. We bought her lots of Twirlywoo bits for her birthday and I knew that her  cake would have to feature them. 
I had always planned to make Edith’s cake but they got more and more elaborate. So in the end I decided to tone it down. A white chocolate drip cake with the Twirlywoo toys on top. It’s a win win. I don’t have to try and make them and she gets the toys to play with afterwards.
The toys fitted so well on top of the cake and Peekaboo, peaking out of the side. The cake just needed a few sprinkles and it was good to go. It was a labour of love. Taking 2 days in total but totally worth the reaction it got. Edith was so excited to see it.
Twirlywoos kids babies 1st first birthday party cake drip
Twirlywoos kids babies 1st first birthday party cake drip
Twirlywoo Drip Cake
– Serves 24 – 
400g softened unsalted butter
400g golden caster sugar
7 medium eggs
400g sifted self-raising flour
175g  sifted plain flour
grated zest and juice of 1 lemon
500g softened unsalted butter
1kg icing sugar, sifted
1tsp vanilla extract
1 tbsp whole milk
food colouring of your choice
100g white chocolate
50g double cream
sprinkles
– Grease and line five 20cm loose bottomed tins.
– Preheat the oven to 170°C (150°C fan oven) mark 3
-Cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. 
– Add the eggs one at a time and mix in. If the mixture looks as though it’s going to curdle, mix in 1tbsp flour. 
– Fold in the remaining flour with the lemon juice and zest. 
– Bake for 20 – 25 minutes until a skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean.
– Leave to cool completely.
– Once cool level the cakes with a cake leveler or sharp bread knife.
– To make the buttercream – add all the ingredients into a large bowl. Beat together with an electric mixer until the buttercream is smooth. Add in your desired colour. I went for blush pink.
– Assemble the cake taking one layer of sponge at a time. Spread an even layer of buttercream on top of each cake then add a sponge on top. Continue to do so until the cake is fully assembled.
– Crumb coat the cake but spreading a thin layer of buttercream on to the top and sides of the cake. 
– Place the cake into the fridge for 1 hour to set the buttercream.
– After the hour is up. Coat the cake in another layer of buttercream. This time make it thicker. Spread all over.
– Take a cake smoother and smooth the top and sides of the cake to give a neat finisher. I cannot recommend this enough. This is what will give your cake a professional finish.
– Place into the fridge to set.
– Make up the white chocolate ganache by heating the cream until it’t just before boiling. Pour over the chopped chocolate. Leave to thicken up.
– Once thick, carefully spoon the ganache onto the cake to create the drips.
– Place the Twirlywoos on top and any sprinkles you’d like.
– Place back in the fridge to set.
– Serve once set.
Cuddle Fairy
themumproject
Sparkly Mummy
Keep Calm and Carry On Linking Sunday

Wedding Planning Problems: Could A Theme Make It Easier?

A wedding is many things. It is, first and foremost, a chance for two people to cement their love officially. It is an opportunity for friends and family to be witness to the partnership. It is, of course, also a social occasion where people who may never have met have a chance to meet. People who have not been in contact for years, even decades, can strike up old friendships. In short, a wedding is a celebration.

All of the good things that a wedding is need to be in your mind when you plan one. At some point, probably many points, during the planning you will be frustrated. You will raise your eyes to the sky and wonder why you don’t just elope. Get it out of the way. It’s got to be better than going through this complicated, tiring string of battles, right? So why, in the name of all that is good, would people complicate it further by adding a theme to a wedding?

In Defence Of Themed Weddings

A lot of people are down on themed weddings, and it’s understandable that they are. You can hear the objections now. “You’re in love. That’s your theme!”. “You’re just making more work for yourself!”. “A Minion theme? What are you, nine years old?”. And to be fair, the last one at least may have a point.


However, the question you need to ask yourself is a simple one. Do you WANT a themed wedding? If you do, then that is really the only question that needs answering. If it is what you want, and you’re both agreed on it, then you should go ahead. Why? Well, above any other reason, your wedding should be about you. It should reflect you as a couple. And if a themed wedding is special to you, then that’s what it will do.

Maybe you’re both passionate about sport and want a wedding that has a touch of that sport. You can colour code it for your favourite teams, or hold it on a ski resort. Maybe you’re both keen on travel and want either a destination wedding or one that references your favourite country. Or maybe you both really like Minions. Yep, even then, go ahead and do what makes you both happy.

Is A Themed Wedding Harder To Plan?

There are so many things to get right about a wedding – any wedding. Unless you plan to elope then there is lots of planning needed. So people could reasonably say that you’re making it more complicated by adding a theme. But they may not have it the right way around. A theme is one more thing to consider – but does it make a lot of other things easier?


When you have your theme, it can make a lot of other things fall into place. With or without a theme, you have to think about outfits, venue, food and any number of other factors. With a theme, you at least have guidance and inspiration for those choices. Spanish-themed wedding? Well, that helps with the outfits for a start. You may have decisions to make on the venue – go to Spain or bring Spain to you? – but the food is sorted too.

There is no point in creating unreasonable expectations – it’s a wedding and there is still going to be planning to do. You don’t just download an entire wedding and install it on the day. But you can find that things take on their own direction very quickly if you get it right.

Will Your Theme Work For Everyone?

Of course, you may find that there are skeptics about the whole idea of a themed wedding. There will be others who are fine with the idea, but not your idea. It would be nicer if they’d give it their full approval and get involved with making it a perfect occasion.


Whether they do or not, though, your wishes are what’s most important. Look them in the eye, hand them the luxury wedding stationery and ask. “Are you going to keep finding fault, or are you going to help me with the invites?”

Now, none of this is to try and convince people who are against the idea of themed weddings to have one. If, indeed, the one theme of your wedding is that you love each other, that’s great too. That is the most important thing. But don’t be put off the idea because it seems like it would be complicated. You may find it surprising how simple it can be.

Collaborative Post

Wedding Countdown: What You Can Be Doing With 12 Months To Go

Destination_wedding.jpg

It’s so exciting when you finally get engaged. But some couples spend a few years engaged. You may have thought about the year you will get hitched, maybe even the season. But as it approaches twelve months to go what do you do now? This is why I thought I would put together a few hints and tips on what you can to do to get your plans in motion. I hope they start you on your wedding plan journey.

Decide on the date

One of the first things you need to do is consider what date you are having for your wedding. This may be something you decided well in advance. Whereas others just choose the time of year and leave the date as something you decide when planning begins. The date is important. It needs to be something you are both happy with, at a time of year you want to get wed. Bear in mind that high season weddings like Summer, tend to be a little more expensive. Some winter months are classed as out of season and therefore offer great deals. Don’t always think you have to stick with saturday. Some couples are now choosing to wed on sundays, fridays and even during the week to keep costs down.

Send out save the date cards

The next thing you need to consider doing is sending out save the date cards. This is especially important if you are getting married on a day that isn’t the weekend. It enables people to have plenty of notice incase they need to book the day off. Some people also book their holidays a year in advance, so it’s worth being organised here and getting those cards out once your date is finalised. They don’t need to have the venue or other details on there, so rest assured no other decision will have needed to be made.

Finalise your budget

It’s never nice to have the conversation about budget, but essential nonetheless. You need to know what amount of money you can spend, and also whether family are helping out with any costs. It’s worth looking at websites online or checking out bridal magazines. They have guidelines to help you see how much certain things will cost. It could help you determine what you budget might look like, or certainly help you see where you need to be making the most savings.

Consider the type of wedding you want

It’s also important to consider the type of wedding you want. Do you want something that is predominantly outside, or are you wanting something that makes a statement and has the wow factor. Are you planning on having a small gathering or something on a larger scale. Answering these questions will help you throughout your wedding planning journey. Enabling you to make more informed decisions on venues and food options, for example.

ordinateur-de-bureau-pc-1456070535WEH.jpg

Research venues and view them

Finally, make sure you do plenty of research on venues and book in some appointments. Popular locations get booked up very quickly, especially in the high season months. Make sure you make a note of what you want to ask before the appointment, it’s easy to become overwhelmed during the viewings.

I hope these tips help you on your way to begin your wedding planning journey.

Edith’s 1 Year Update

1 year update baby girl

Oh how am I writing this post already. I can not believe Edith is a year old. It seems like just yesterday she was born but at the same time I can’t imagine my life without her. She is just incredible and everyday she never fails to make me smile even on those really hard crappy days. Her dirty laugh and that cheeky grin is infectious. 

A lot has happened since last month, it’s crazy how much they change in just a month. I debate whether to stop her monthly updates and just do 3 month updates but so much changes I’m going to carry on until 18 months at least.
These photographs are from her cake smash photoshoot. Both cake and photographs were by me. It’s handy having a food blogger/photographer Mama sometimes. The healthier cake will be up on Chalk Kids, an amazing Mama blog I write for.
1 year update baby girl cake smash
Sleep
I don’t want to jinx things but I feel like we are starting to get somewhere. My husband now takes her to bed. I feed her and then have nothing to do with bedtime until she wakes later. It works. She takes herself off to sleep. We’ve just ordered her a single version of our mattress as he sleeps so well on it. We’re hoping that she’ll be happy on it, in her own room so we can claim our bed back. Co-sleeping is not all cuddly and love. It’s normally an elbow to the head or foot to the back.
1 year update baby girl cake smash
Feeding
At the start of the month Edith had a few off days where she didn’t really like much at all. Luckily she’s been much better since then. She loved mushroom risotto and still adore Ella’s Kitchen Puffs. As for milk she’d feeding less and less. I can’t tell you how proud I feel that I breastfed for a year. I’m going to carry on until I feel she doesn’t need it anymore. She’s the boss. 
1 year update baby girl cake smash
Size
Again Edith’s not been weighed for a while but I have no concerns at all. She’s in size 5 nappies and just going into 12-18 month clothes. 
1 year update baby girl cake smash
Milestones
Saying “Wasssssat” (What’s that?)
Crawling, she started off with an odd style and now has mastered it. She loves the freedom and is so much happier that she can get about. 
Shaking her body for no.
Making a “Brrrrrrm” noise with her toy car.
Cruising the furniture. It won’t long before she tries to take a step I don’t think.

1 year update baby girl cake smash

Edith Loves
Pulling a grumpy face at people she doesn’t know that well.
Twirlywoos & Teletubbies
Knocking down towers
Justin (Ergh, this Mama doesn’t!)
1 year update baby girl cake smash

Edith Hates

People she doesn’t know that well.
The Pontipines from In The Night Garden. She is scared of these tiny red things.
Happy 1st Birthday Beautiful Girl!

Mummascribbles
3 Little Buttons
Hot Pink Wellingtons
A Cornish Mum

My A/W Roundup

As you all know, I love autumn/winter fashion. The colder months means that you have to wear layers to stay warm, which is great because that means that you have to buy more items of clothing.
This year, I am quite excited about updating my wardrobe. I have already seen some fantastic going out tops that I am planning to snap up as soon as the budget allows. The underlying styles and trends mean that I really like much of what I have seen so far. Here is a roundup of some of my favourites.
A touch of glamour
Many of the tops I have seen are quite sophisticated and glamorous. They would look great worn under a light jacket for going out on an autumn day, but will also work well for a party. Most designers have included lace tops in their 2016 collection, and I have seen some nice shiny and beaded ones that will be great to wear to a festive bash, later in the year.
Flattering cuts
It is also nice to see longer tops being offered. These are warmer, and more comfortable to wear than the kind that is only waist length. There are several different cuts available, but I particularly like the tunic and cami tops that are available.
Shell tops
I am a big fan of shell tops. They are extremely versatile as well as pretty. You can wear them over any colour top, either short or long sleeved. They are a great way for you to get more use out of your t-shirts. 
Given the fact they are so lightweight, I was somewhat surprised to see them still available in the shops, and online. But, when I stopped and thought about it, there is no reason why they cannot form a part of your autumn wardrobe. After all, if it is a cold day all you need to do is to wear a thicker top underneath to stay warm.
A great choice of materials
It is also nice to see thinner materials on offer. You need warm, thicker tops, if you are going to spend a lot of time outside, but if you are inside something made from a lighter material is much more practical, and comfortable.
Classy jumpers
Many of the women’s jumpers I have seen this year are classics. It is good to see figure hugging cuts, like the Bardot, making a comeback.
If you are not a big fan of woolly jumpers, I would suggest looking at the linen and cotton mix versions that many designers have included in their collections. These are thinner and lighter, but still keep you warm. I also like the fact that this type of jumper is easier to wash, and that they dry faster.
I think that 2016 is going to be a great year for adding some timeless classics to your wardrobe. But, I suspect that some items will sell out fast, so it is well worth getting out there early, and taking a look around.
Collaborative post. 

Weekly Meal Plan #12

Weekly Meal Plan Under £30
I hope that you are proud of us. We did it. Survived the week without takeaway and we’re going to do the same again this week! Well that’s sort of lie, we had it on Saturday night but that was accounted for. But we stuck to the meal plan rigidly and it worked out really well.
This week is set to be a busy one. Edith turns 1 tomorrow! So we’ve got a little tea party going on, nothing too big as we had her party on Saturday. And then Thursday I’m working, photographing a wedding. Then Saturday, I’m photographing another wedding and it’s my sister-in-law’s party. So it’s going to be a little crazy. I think by Sunday we’ll be so exhausted we will hide away all day!!
This weeks meals are again simple ones that won’t take too much effort but meals we know Edith will enjoy. She’s been a bit fussy with her evening meals lately so we are adapting them to her tastes. She pretty much favours the same as my husband so it’s not too tricky to work out.
We shopped in Morrisons this week as it was on the way back from my photoshoot in the morning. The bill came to £28.76 which meant we were under budget. Wahooo! We did have a lot of things we needed in the freezer or store cupboard so we saved money by having ingredients we needed.
Monday
Hawaian pasta salad

Tuesday
Edith’s Party Tea (Homemade sausage rolls, wedges, salad and cake)
Wednesday
Chicken and mushroom hotpot

Thursday
Chicken, hummus and salad wraps
Friday
Cheats Swedish meatballs 
What are you eating this week? We need some new meals to add to our weeks so please let me know!
Pink Pear Bear
My Petit Canard

Weddings with Kids – When the Kids Are Yours

Once upon a time, getting married before you had kids was the done thing. Or at least, everyone pretended it was. But today, families come in all shapes and sizes, from parents who never marry to blended families and couples who stay childfree. Getting married when you already have children is much more common and more acceptable. However, planning a wedding when you have kids can be even more complicated than normal. With parenting duties to take care of, it’s difficult to find the time and energy to put into your wedding. To make sure you still get your big day, pay attention to these issues.

Managing Your Time

Finding the time to plan your wedding is difficult at the best of times. It’s even harder when you’re a parent. On top of work, there’s anything from changing nappies to doing the school run. Getting time to yourself isn’t something that happens often. However, you can still find ways to plan, even when you’re busy. One thing you can do is get your kids involved in the planning if they’re old enough. Then your time together can double up as wedding planning time. You may also benefit from creating a schedule, setting specific days for you to sit down and get some planning done.


Sticking to a Budget

Parents might also be a little more concerned about their budget than couples who don’t have kids. Not only do you have less disposable income, but your financial priorities could be different too. You might be reluctant to spend money on the wedding. It could go towards a family holiday or go into savings for your child instead. If you want to keep costs down, it’s easy to find ways to save. You can create a beautiful wedding without overspending. DIY wedding are all the rage. You can find resources ranging from free wedding invitation templates to table decoration designs.

Involving Your Kid(s) in the Wedding

Your children are important to you, so you might want them to play a part in your special day. Some people make their child ring-bearer or flower girl – or flower boy! It’s up to you how much of a role you want your child to play. You can make something up too. It doesn’t have to be an existing position in the ceremony. At the reception, you might like to have older kids make a small speech or do something else.

Making Your Wedding Child-friendly

You could choose to have a childfree wedding, but it might not make much sense. If your child or children will be there, it may seem a little hypocritical not to allow any kids. Plus, your child may not want to be the only one there under 20. If you’re having children at the wedding, think about making it entertaining for them. That might mean having some music they’ll love or doing something special. You could hire an entertainer or set up an arts and crafts corner.

Having kids might make planning your wedding a little more difficult, but it shouldn’t complicate things too much. Give yourself a little more time and don’t rush things too much.