The amazing crochet diet!

Sounds totally mental but bear with me, no eating of wool necessary!

I’ve always loved food way too much, the naughtier the better, if it is cream, butter, sugar or chocolate based, I want it. I eat to celebrate, a birthday; ooh cake! If I have had a rubbish day; to cheer me up, cake! If I’m tired; ok, you get the picture!

I was doing pretty well with exercise, I started running in January last year and managed to finish a half marathon in September, I’m not going to lie, I cried, then my legs gave way totally but it has now been a year ago but I’m still dining out on that victory far too often.

I have slightly lost my running mojo recently though, and am feeling pretty unhealthy, my main issue is snacking. I find myself constantly looking in the fridge and picking at bits all day. I have also started finishing my kid’s leftovers which I never used to do. Luckily they are not vegetarian so it’s only the odd veggie meal they have that I can polish off!

Also, my hubby has just taken a photo of me that is that photo, the one that makes you confront all the wobbly bits that you have been trying to block out, that makes you think, aha, that is the photo to go on the cupboard to make me think twice about raiding the biscuit tin. Or maybe in it, so no-one else sees it!!

I now need to loose some weight so that I can enjoy Christmas properly……by eating obviously!

So, something really has to change, and as it is rubbish weather, extra running is looking, if not impossible, a little unlikely, and a diet is no use because the minute I even type the word I want to eat everything in sight! *eats a biscuit*

I now have a whole new idea. Several years ago, I used knitting to give up smoking. The theory was that if I kept my hands busy and my mind occupied, I would be able to resist temptation, I also wouldn’t want my knitting smelling of smoke. Do you know what, it worked a treat, (a non sugary one obviously!). I got more addicted to completing another row, I stopped smoking, and I had a 10 foot long doctor who scarf to keep me warm….perfect for when I started again! (I know, not fail safe obviously, it would take me a few more attempts to give up for good, but it did last a good few months.)

I am now going to apply my theory to food. Evenings are my danger zone, the obligatory 9pm cuppa has been joined by ‘something sweet’, which varies from cake, chocolate or biscuits, depending on how long ago we’ve been to the supermarket. Having a shop two minutes walk which is open until 11pm has not helped either.

So I’m turning to crochet! It looks slightly quicker, (easier!!), and therefore more satisfying , then knitting. It should keep my mind busy and I will get to create some lovely things.

It really seems to be working so far. I’ve made some fabulous, (albeit a bit misshapen!) ,bits already and my snacking is down quite a bit.

My daughter has put in a request for a head to toe outfit for her doll so I do have a lot to keep me going and I have some luscious new wools that have been make being drool more than chocolate fudge cake!

I will keep you updated with how it is going and do please tell me your crafting stories, have you used a hobby to change something in your life? Did it work?

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My very first make. An incredibly dodgy pair of culotte 'leggings' for Mary, big girl's doll!!
My very first make. An incredibly dodgy pair of culotte ‘leggings’ for Mary, big girl’s doll!!
Next day's effort!
Next day’s effort!
My parents found me some gorgeous turmeric dyed natural wool on the market.
My parents found me some gorgeous turmeric dyed natural wool on the market.
My first attempt at a star didn't fare too well, looks like a monster with horns!!
My first attempt at a star didn’t fare too well, looks like a monster with horns!!
It’s official, I am in the grip of crochet fever, we went shopping today and this is the only thing I bought for myself!! Sooooo beautiful, can’t wait to start making bizarre misshapen items to delight my friends and family……!!

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My top tips for flying solo with children!

1. Don’t.😂

2. Visit the doctors in plenty of time to procure some Valium for your fear of flying, only a white lie, it is genuinely a fear, just a fear of flying with children.

3. Pack plentiful snacks. The boxes of raisins will be tipped between the seats upon opening and the one thing they have always liked will be deemed disgusting after two bites. If you are really unlucky, they will be completely unable to swallow the warm and super sticky contents of their mouths and you will not have any tissues.

4. Pack suitable entertainment. Surprisingly, the felt pens in the specific travel wallet were not suitable. We all wish you well in your new life as a high flyer pen lid. You were appropriately, (and dramatically!), mourned for an inappropriately long time.

5. When the trolley comes round, do not be lulled into a false sense of security by the peace and order a hot drink. This will be the precise moment that pen lid-gate will occur. You will choke it down whilst attempting to hold your tray flat as small people batter it from underneath in their search for the tiny and round roll-y item.  There will be a lot of exaggerated crying and standing on each other, making it extra difficult to drink through the gritted teeth you now have.

6. Instead order two wines on the special offer, you can chug these straight from the bottle with no tray needed and minimal spillage risk. They will also help the Valium that you managed to wangle take maximum effect.

7. When booking seats, ‘accidently’ book the children into a row at the back of the plane and yourself at the front. These online booking systems are so complicated aren’t they?! Especially if you do it when testing out the Valium/wine combination at home, for research purposes of course. 😉

It was almost worth the extra grey hairs I now have to get these amazing in flight shots. Perfect for my instagram, where I post an awful lot more photos of my life, come and say hi!  😊

Thanks so much for reading! I’d absolutely love to know what you think and what your number one tips are for flying with children. Proper ones will be much appreciated as well, we have to go back still!!

dragon    

  

Baking and Brewing Up for The Children’s Society

There is something very apt about sitting and typing this post in front of the Great British Bake Off!! Anyone else watch it? Made me blub! What a great final!!

I am quite a lot excited about being involved in this cause, I am raising money for The Children’s Society by doing something I LOVE, (baking cakes), with the ultimate pay off that I feel obliged to sell them, (apart, of course, from the quality control tester, test two, ok fine, test batch! 😉 ), to raise money for a brilliant cause.

I mean, I do moan about my children occasionally, ok frequently, fine, most days ok!!!! But I do love them to bits, and I genuinely believe that all children deserve to be safe, and warm, fed and loved, and if I can do a teeny weeny bit to help, that makes me happy.

The very name of this campaign is great isn’t it, the Bake and Brew. Basically, for 5 years, since I had my daughter, well, before I had my daughter really, I was a ‘I have a big mummy tummy, let’s eat all things yummy’ sort of pregnant lady, I really did feel I had a license to inhale cake, and then when she actually arrived, well, it was very hard to leave the sofa for quite a while with the whole ‘boobs out for months’ thing and pringles and cake were so handy, especially as my lovely friends kept bringing it to my side!

Then there were ‘The small baby years’ when it was pretty easy to go to a cafe and actually finish a drink, more boobs out, more cake in as you need to keep adequately fueled, and fast forward five years, now with two lovely children, it is more of a survival method and means of staying awake past 4pm! The boobs are finally away though! 😉

I also mainline tea from the moment I stumble into the kettle in the morning and so this challenge seemed made for me!!

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I completed my first bake last night, and my lovely friend who runs the wonderful Miniature Music, a music group for toddlers that we attend every week, is always one for supporting good causes and let me offer the cakes there!

I’m also thinking of tempting my school run mum friends somehow and taking orders. I also sold my children the cakes for their pudding tonight. They were more then happy to dip into their piggy banks for a good cause. And a vanilla and chocolate chip cupcake with nutella and chocolate chip icing of course!

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I am going to share my recipes with you as I go, but I need to make you aware that I am not brilliant at measuring and so I will liberally use terms such as ‘splash, few, glug’ and so if you are a someone who needs very precise directions, I may make you shudder! It has always mystified my lovely mum that she follows directions with cooking and planting seeds and I have always been more of a type to throw handfuls of seeds down at the wrong time of year or lob in a few extra ingredients when baking and they always seem to turn out ok!

The cakes

I used my fail safe 4,4,4,2 recipe which makes 12 fairy cakes, but as I wanted a little extra, so I did 6oz butter and 6 oz caster sugar creamed, add in 6oz of self raising flour and 3 eggs. I then added a ‘large splash of vanilla essence’ if pushed I’d guess a 2 teaspoons! Mix until pale & fluffy & then fold in about 3/4s of a bag of chocolate chips.

Put equal amounts in paper cases in a muffin tray & bake in a preheated oven. I do 170 degrees, (fan), for 15 minutes.

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Once cooled, put spoonfuls of Nutella on as icing and sprinkles of chocolate chips on.

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Done! Now consume!! With

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So far, that is all I’m coming up with so I would really love to hear your suggestions.

You can tweet me @pinkpearbear, find me on facebook, or comment on here!

I’d also be very grateful if you would tell your friends, more heads make great ideas….or something like that!

Dear neighbours.

Dear neighbour,

You’re new and we don’t know you all that well so I couldn’t pop round and explain but I really really want to reassure you that Friday evening truly isn’t our weekly ‘torture the daughter’ event. All the screaming, wailing, begging, splashing and thrashing around, it genuinely wasn’t me trying to drown her.

Truth be told, I am awful, and mean, and so so unfair. I’m ashamed to tell you, this is very difficult to say, I feel like a monster but here goes……I washed her hair. Oh, and conditioned it too.

There you have it, I understand that you might feel you need to look the other way when we pass in the street, maybe we won’t get an invite back for coffee, but please just know that I’m not a a bad person, just a little clumsy, see the main cause of the particularly traumatic noise making was *takes a deep breath* some water went near her ear. It was emotional!!

Not to worry though, I am doing my penance and taking my crime very seriously indeed.

I am writing this from the naughty step.

Yours sincerely,

The Shouty One from next door.

2d204-bestandworstlinky

Sunshine Blogger Award Post.

I was nominated twice for the sunshine blogger award, (I say recently but it was quite a while ago now, been so busy with summer hols that I’ve not had a moment!), I keep stopping and starting with this post, we have been off camping a lot in the newest addition to our family, Wilma, the VW T5 campervan conversion that lovely Mr PB is in the middle of perfecting for us and signal is not always brilliant on our adventures. I am now exhausted so this seemed like a nice post that wouldn’t overtax my tired mind! (I started writing this a while ago and am only just getting a chance to finish it now!!)

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The lovely Mr Pear Bear hard at work making Wilma beautiful!

The first lovely blogger who nominated me is the fabulous Claire at Art and Soul. These are her questions for me.

If you can’t have both, do you go for a starter or dessert?

Ooooh this is so tough!! I think it would have to depend on what was on the menu, if there was nothing I really fancied for desert, I would probably go for starter.

What advice would you give to your younger self?

I would tell myself to be myself no matter what anyone said about it. To have more confidence!

What celebrity would you like to meet and why?

Michael McIntyre. He makes me cry with laughter.

Tell us about a personal achievement you’re proud of.

Last September I completed a half marathon, I’d only been running for 10 months!

What was your favourite toy(s) when you were a child?

Spot! My stuffed toy dog. I loved him. Oh, and Gaby bear, you could put a cassette in him and he’d tell a story and his face would move. Until I took him in the sandpit and he got sand in his inner mechanisms and never worked again. Sob!

The other lovely blogger who nominated me is Miss Ky.

What is your middle name?

Pear 🙂

What is your favorite thing to do?

Sleep!! Only half joking 🙂 I also love to make things, sewing, painting etc.

If you could go anywhere in the world, where would it be?

Elephant Nature Park in Thailand, or maybe Ubud in Bali.

Would you rather live without Facebook or Instagram – why?

Instagram I think, as I’m pretty new to it and so haven’t really built up a following. (Since I wrote this, I have got massively into instagram, and now I would say facebook for sure!!)

What is your favorite memory?

I have so many that it is hard to pick but I think one of my most wonderous memories is our hotel lobby when we went to Disney World as it had real parrots flying around. It was just out of this world to a 9 year old!

Do you have any favorite makeup products?

I cannot live without mascara, glitter is a big must and I’ve just started getting into nail varnish again.

If you could re-name your blog, what would it be?

I don’t think I would rename it. I’m pretty new to it and so my name is all shiny and perfect. Ask me again in 5 years time!

What’s your favorite season?

This is so hard for me as there are things I love about all the seasons but if I had to pick, I’d say Autumn. New boots and colourful leaves and chunky knitwear. Bliss!!

What do you look for mostly in people? (ex: personality, smile, funny..)

Sounds really cheesy but kindness, it helps if they share my silly sense of humour too. Oh and I’m a sucker for a dog lover!

What’s a secret that you have kept? (can be either yours or someone else’s)

When I was at school, we regularly used to climb out of the window and escape over the roof. Plus my friend and I once had to run down the school corridor with lit cigarettes and ended up passing the headmaster! I was a bit naughty at school I think!

Your ideal date?

Hmmmm, pretty much anything child free is bliss at the moment, but one of our most fun dates was a hot air balloon flight. Sooo amazing.

The rules:

  • Thank the people/person who nominated you.
  • Write a post featuring the award button and answering the questions from your nominator(s). They will have nominated the same number of people as questions they answered.
  • Nominate the same number of bloggers the person who nominated you did and come up with the same number of new questions.
  • Let your nominees know you’ve nominated them.

Ok, so my questions.

  1. There is a national shortage of, erm, milk, and there can only be one for the rest of time, pick the ice-cream flavour that we will all have to live with forever.
  2. Which song do you absolutely have to dance to, no matter where you are (think the Full Monty post office queue scene!), even if you totally embarrass whoever you are with?
  3. You are about to be kidnapped, you’re at home, how do you escape?
  4. Who would you take on a really really long road trip?
  5. Zombies are coming, choose your weapon!!

I nominate the following bloggers, (if you would like to take part of course!), because I think you are all pretty fabulous and I really really want to hear your answers!

  1. Mudpie Fridays
  2. Silly Mummy
  3. Run, Jump, Scrap
  4. All the beautiful things
  5. Brummy mummy of 2

A day of firsts.

I had an exciting day yesterday with two new firsts. We were invited to the book launch of a children’s author who was celebrating publishing her 150th book. She had become a little disillusioned with the whole publishing process and this felt like her revival. She has never had a book launch and so decided she wanted to do something special to mark the occasion and to give herself a bit of a boost I think.

The children were so excited, they absolutely love books and to go to an event with a live reading was something that really appealed to them. When they arrived, they were offered a bag to get a lucky dip for a teddy with a number on the label. We went in and settled down on the rug. The children were even more buoyant when they realised there were biscuits and bowls of crisps everywhere, and usually they wouldn’t be allowed snacks so close to dinner time, but because we were out in public, they knew they could wear me down quicker with some extra energetic pleading, and so they got to snack, (in their minds), illicitly, which made it all the more pleasurable.

After a short while, the author, Sally Grindley was introduced and she began a very lively and energetic reading of one of her books, ‘Knock knock. Who’s there?’ involving lots of masks and jumping around. The children were totally enthralled and really enjoyed the story.

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I think you can see how much they enjoyed it from their transfixed little faces! There were even a few scary bits and there was a lot of audience participation required, and provided!

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I think these pictures show the range of emotions the children were experiencing, even the much older children seemed to be held in suspense, especially at the scary bits.

After the readings and a few short talks, there was an extra special presentation. A beautiful cake with one of the book characters sitting proudly on the top, all handcrafted by the very talented Heather from Cherry on The Top in Gloucester. They drew a number and one very lucky little girl matched it to her teddy tag and got to take the wonderful dragon home.

After everyone had had a chance to marvel at the fabulous detailing of the little figure, especially the perfect little cover on the book he was reading, the cake was taken away to cut up and distribute. I’m happy to report that I tried it, (all in the name of blogger duty of course!), and it was absolutely delicious. As a bit of a cake connoisseur, (I eat a lot!), I was very impressed.

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After that fun filled afternoon, it was time for a quick dinner, and then I left our overtired, sugar hyped children to poor Mr PB to put to bed, (sorry again about that love!), and went to pick up my friend because we had very exciting plans. We were off to, wait for it, a WI meeting! Did you laugh? You did didn’t you?? Mr PB did a lot too. Imagining a group of very elderly ladies making jam, (which I actually would have really enjoyed too, truth be known), he teased me a fair bit beforehand, but he couldn’t have been more wrong.

I had heard rumour that the WI had had a sort of revamp, and was now a really energetic, vibrant group with a real mix of women and some wonderful, varied speakers, and it’s all true! The group we went to were chosing topics for next year, and a few that really caught my eye and surprised me were forensic psychology, the life of a spy and Tudor medicines, all of which I would really like to hear, I was pleased to see they were all getting lots of votes as ‘newbies’ weren’t allowed to vote. There was also tea, a lot of cake and so many other fun things planned outside the meetings. And not a Calendar Girls style crochted nipple tassel in sight!!

There was a talk, demonstration and taste test with recipe to make sloe gin, I must admit to not being a big fan of the end result but I don’t like gin, so that is probably not a very good start!!! 😀 It was a bit like cough medicine, but seemed to go down very well with all the gin aficionados there.

The evening was rounded off with a talk and demonstration by a raw food chef, vegan, vegetarian cafe owner and general all round super healthy person, Jay Halford, who owns The Core in Cheltenham. He made some courgette and cucumber ‘spaghetti’ with a spiralizer, (never thought I’d say this but I need one of these gadgets in my life!), and a sort of vegan pesto. It was seriously delicious and super healthy. Not two things that usually go together in my mind. It made me realise that I need to act on the random thoughts about getting healthy that flit through my mind about once a week. It’s going to be very hard for this die hard cake addict to change her ways, but I’m determined to give it a go. Baby steps though, today was a bad start with two chocolate biscuits for breakfast, baguette for lunch and vegeburger and chips for dinner. Oh well, with a diet this bad, it must be easy to make improvements right?!

All in all, I thought the whole night was really really good fun, and I’m so pleased to see a massive revival of what is, quite literally, an institution, and I can’t wait to sign up!

With regards to my new lifestyle change ideas, I promise not to become a diet bore. Mainly because I’m not convinced there will be a diet, but also because I have just got involved with a very awesome cause, the Bake and Brew in support of The Children’s Society, so I will need to get my cake bake on, in the name of charity of course. Maybe I can combine the two somehow, and make some healthy versions of the different monthly themes. Hopefully I can better my first raw ‘brownies’ effort when I didn’t de-stone the dates and almost broke Mr PB’s tooth!! 😀

Watch this space for more details, oh and any healthy but sweet treat recipes would be very much appreciated! This month’s theme is traybakes!

This is me doing my very best, 'serious WI member, I'm a grown up too' face!! :D
This is me doing my very best, ‘serious WI member, I’m a grown up too, trying not to laugh’ face!! 😀

Things I have learnt about school so far.

1.The morning that you have everything laid out ready and perfectly prepared your children will wake up ridiculously early so you have far too many hours to fill whilst keeping the uniform spotless because changing routine to not get washed and into uniform the minute you get up will result in a total anarchy and confusion and resistance.

Then there will be tears.

Yours.

And you will be very nearly late.

2.The morning that you don’t set your alarm because your children are always up so early will be the morning they enjoy a lovely long lie in. This will also be the morning you discover that school child has taken her song book out to sing to her teddies, put her spelling book down ‘somewhere’ and has a whole list of places she thinks the bag itself may be, each place in a completely different part of the house to the one you are in.

You will end up very hot.

Will be near to tears.

And very nearly late.

3.If you are being ‘phased in’ as we are, you will suddenly find yourself with whole mornings to fill with a not too tiring activity that they will get really really into right before it’s nearly time to go and the then the ‘battle of the bottle greens’ commences. (Getting them into their uniform.)

You will end up being very stressed.

Probably near to tears

Oh, and very nearly late.

4.When you sit down, all peaceful and relaxed, maybe with a cup of tea for you and a snack for them to ask them what they did that day, they will have nothing to tell you. When you are on the phone to the tax man, whilst cooking dinner, with cbeebies blaring in the background, they will suddenly have lots and lots of information to volunteer. The other time they will want to talk in depth about what they have been up to is when you are trying to get them into their shoes and coat on the way out of the door.

You will end up very flustered.

Close to tears and…..

You guessed it, very nearly late!!

5.You will realise with a somewhat sinking feeling that this whole palaver is something you will have to repeat every single day. Oh, and discover that the old adage you’ve always heard really is true, the ones who live closest to the school really do end up being the latest!!

In conclusion, it has been a few weeks of tears, indoor and outdoor shouty mummy and some serious rushes through the school gates!

What I imagine we look like every single morning!

All (semi)-joking aside, it seems to be going very well once I get her there and she has learnt so much already. She looks so grown up rushing out of the doors when I pick her up.

That is hands down my favourite bit. When she is scanning the sea of parents anxiously and then the moment she spots me, the massive smile that lights her face up like sunshine and the way she runs into my arms, ponytail and book bag swinging totally melts my heart!

Here’s to many more sunshine smiles and hopefully a lot less tears in the coming weeks. I’m not sure I can bear to hear myself parrot repeat ‘You have to have your hair brushed’ one more time. It feels a bit like deja vu!! 😀

How is everyone else getting on with school? New starters settling in ok? School returners dealing with the routine again? I’d love to hear how much better it gets. (Crossing all my fingers and toes that it does!)

2d204-bestandworstlinky

How to throw a Superhero party. With only mild panic!

I have been sorely neglecting my blog for a very good reason, small boy turned 3! I just can’t believe our baby is growing up so fast!! He is superhero mad. Not sure how he got into it but I love it, being a bit of a superhero geek myself! (It drives me mad when small boy goes up and asks Mr PB the names of new heroes he discovers as he has never been into them and pretends he is, so small boy thinks he is cool. Pah! 😀 )

So a party theme seemed pretty straightfoward, I got myself onto Pinterest and had a lot of fun pinning things and deluding myself that I would actually have time to create all these amazing things!! What I did want to do was make something for the kids that they could decorate and take home, so I ordered a large amount of material and found an absolutely brilliant cape pattern, which you can find yourself here.

This is the pattern I used, so easy to print out too.
This is the pattern I used, so easy to print out too.

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It’s been a long while since I got a chance to do anything crafty and I had an epic fail the first pattern I tried to cut, what an idiot, I obviously missed the instruction, (and the clues on the pattern!!), and cut half a cape. Doh!

My first attempt. I did laugh at myself!
My first attempt. I did laugh at myself!

That was stupid but I soon realised my mistake and tried again. I think I was probably really tired that day because this happened…..

Seriously?! The instructions are so clear too, and even written on the pattern! I laughed a little more desperately at this one, then almost cried when I realised my idiocy has left me short on material!
Seriously?! The instructions are so clear too, and even written on the pattern! I laughed a little more desperately at this one, then almost cried when I realised my idiocy has left me short on material!

So I needed 11 capes and after my fails, I was short. Luckily I’d bought some extra material to do Frozen capes for big girl’s next party, (I know, I know, but when you have a good idea!!), and some bright pink to make her a Aurora cape for her birthday, (it’s a REALLY good pattern!!), so I made Small boy a special turquoise one with red lining and my super crafty friend took it away to make it ten times more amazing for his birthday pressie.

The special blue and read one for small boy, before it got some serious bling added to it, think sparkly red stars and lightning strikes!
The special blue and red one for small boy, before it got some serious bling added to it, think sparkly red stars and lightning strikes!

I made big girl a special, ‘it’s not actually my birthday but I am special too’ pink cape. I had initially been going to get the children to glue bits to them but when I started to think about it, I wanted them to have something that lasted a bit longer. (Don’t you just hate it when your ideas grow out of control!!) So I hemmed them all on my sewing machine, after a very unsuccessful, (and sticky!), try at hemming one with tape.

This pretty much sums up how I felt trying that one!

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I then bought a few metres of an amazing product called ‘Bondaweb’ from the haberdashery and ironed it onto felt squares. The backing paper is perfect for the children to draw their shapes onto before cutting out. I also bought some stick on velcro and once the children had made up their designs, we ironed them on and attached the velcro for the fastening.

Nb: I just stuck the velcro pieces on but this wouldn’t be any good long term as they were already coming off during the energetic play during the party. A couple of stitches are all that’s needed but I just couldn’t face it!! 😀

I also had a pack of foam sheets and decided to make masks, I found a mask template, (again through Pinterest), and used it to cut out lots of of masks from the foam, I then hole punched the edges for the elastic. Which I forgot to buy. Resulting in the dads improvising with masking tape! Another fail!! The cutting, glueing and sticking bit went down very well though!

Lots of late night scissoring! Looks like we're planning some serious burgling!! :D
Lots of late night scissoring! Looks like we’re planning some serious burgling!! 😀

So finally, and probably most importantly, food! I’d seen some babybel superheroes, (the little round cheeses in the wax wrappers), and thought they looked fun. My first attempt was, well, tell me if you can spot where I went wrong…

Oops!!
Oops!!

My other attempts fared a little better but honestly, they were so fiddly that I didn’t actually get a chance to make them for the party, I think I will just keep them for special lunches when there are only a few children!

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I also found the idea for a Captain America fruit/marshmallow shield and used strawberries, marshmallows and blueberries to recreate it.

This was actually pretty simple to do, and not as time consuming as you would think.
This was actually pretty simple to do, and not as time consuming as you would think.

We also made cheese and pineapple on sticks, (Thor’s hammers!), and had hot dogs as this is an easy party favourite. Every year we seem to go crazy with the food, spend a fortune and end up with a silly amount of waste, so this year I wanted to streamline it all a bit!

To tie in with the theme, I’d seen an amazing backdrop idea with a black skyscraper ‘skyline’ with lit up windows. I recreated it by cutting a piece of A1 black card, using a book to get the different size building effect, and sticking small cut out rectangles from yellow felt for the windows. This was really last minute and done very quickly but I was so pleased with how it turned out.

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Finally, the most important bit of all, the cake!! This was a bit of a rush job and probably the most stressful part involving a last minute dash to two different supermarkets to try and find the right sprinkles as I actually made it the morning of the party! Good job the kids get up so early really!

I made two square sponges and sandwiched them together with raspberry jam and bright blue buttercream icing, (I used the gel colours that I had left over from last year’s rainbow cake, they are the only way to get such bright colours in my experience), then I iced over the whole thing with a bright yellow buttercream.

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My lovely friend had made a ‘Pow!’ stencil for me from a cereal box, and I used it to ‘write’ on the cake with bright neon sugar. I then used the edge of the stencil to freehand a zigzag line around the words to give it more impact. Considering it was finished about half an hour before the party started, I was really happy with how it turned out, as you can see from my face below I think!!

Checking the ‘bounce back’ of the sponge. Oh and totally showing off my batman themed nails!!!
It really did taste good too, bit too good, everyone left with a lot extra as it really isn’t a good idea to have all that cake in the house when you have ‘cake resistance’ as low as mine!!
Can you spot him? The ever present labrador lurking in the hope of a fallen crumb!!
Getting artsy for my instagram! I’m pinkpearbear if you fancy seeing more piccies.
You will NEVER guess what we got him! 😉

It was an absolutely brilliant day. We had a bouncy castle and between that, the various crafts and the eating, the whole thing went very quickly and smoothly. I really did enjoy it and found it far less stressful then previous years, even if I was swearing just a tiny bit at the capes!! 😉 If you’re on Pinterest, do check out my boards, I’m a bit of a pinning addict and love looking at other people’s too. It really is heaven for me, although a big part of me wishes I was less of a diy mum and more of a buy it one! I just can’t resist, I love crafty stuff and see all these beautiful things that I want to make too, and then kick myself when it’s midnight and I’m sobbing into my pva glue! 😀

I’d love to hear about party themes and ideas you’ve had, what worked and what didn’t, some funny fails would make me feel so much better about my first two cape attempts too!!

The next party I’ve got coming up is a princess themed one, look out for my unrealistic and over enthusiastic princess party pinning that will soon be commencing……..!!

Keep scrolling down for a few larger pictures from the post, for some reason they post much bigger from my phone but I can’t work out how to do that from the laptop.


I knew I couldn’t let the backdrop go to waste, so I had a little fun with a Gotham City window display! We started these last Christmas and got such a good response from passers by on the school run that we’ve kept it up. Every few months we change it but I think this one might have to be my ultimate favourite!

 I also had a little fun trying to add the Batman symbol to my nails. My first attempt at nail art and I think I need some practice!! 😀

babybrain

Driving anywhere with kids.

This is every journey I go on with my two little cherubs. Regardless of length of journey, this will continue until we reach our destination, however far away it might be!

I’m going to do each child’s sentences in their favourite colours to make it easier for you to distinguish who is talking. Pink is 4yo daughter, (unsurprising really!), and green is 2yo son.

Please don’t assume that this played out line by line, if you can, try and imagine that both children are vying to be the loudest at all points in time, from the minute both are in their seats ready to go anywhere. Also, if we are going somewhere new, you can add in the sat nav for good measure!

Ready? Ok, then I’ll begin.

Deep breath everyone……

“Muuuuummy can you pass me my magazeeeeeeen? You said I could have it when we got in the car. Mummy? Muummy? Muuuuummmmmmy?’

“Mummy can you open my window please? More please. More. More”

“It doesn’t open any more then that sweetie, it’s a safety feature.”

“Why?”

“Mummmy muuuummy mmmmmmuuuuuummmmmmmmy, I dropped my magazine!”

“Haha I’ve still got mine”

“Muuummmy wah she still has hers and I dropped miiiiiiiine!”

“Want to look at mine?”

“Yes please.”

“Well you can’t! HA!”

“Waaaaaaaaah she’s being meeaaaan”

“Children please!” (Groping around in the back footwell frantically, trying to locate the magazine before the looming roundabout necessitates needing the vital arm for a gear change.)

“That way a bit, that way, that way!”

“Which way?!” I can’t look I’m driving, towards the door or away?”

“Just look in the mirror, I’m showing you.”

“I can’t look in the mirror, I’m driving”

“You can, just look,       look,         look,        look,        you’re not looking!”

“You can do it mummy!”

Magazine retrieved at last, peace reigns for, oooh, 10 seconds.

“My arm is cold, please close the window.”

“No, it’s my window and I want it open.”

“Closed”

“Open”

“Waaaaaaaah”

Half close the window, both in uproar at the grand unfairness of meeting halfway.

“I love this song it’s my favourite, turn it up mummy.”

“No, it’s too noisy.”

“Is not!”

“Is too”

“Is not”

“I’ve dropped my magazeeeeeen!!”

So it continues. It used to stop when they fell asleep but that is getting rarer and rarer. So if you see a mega stressed mum, frantically trying to drive safely whilst digging around in the archaeological dig of maps of farm parks, socks, coats for all seasons and a variety of damn magazines in the back footwells, spare a thought for her, because it may well be me!

I know for a fact I’m not alone here from chatting to friends so do feel free to share the horror of car journeys in your household!