• Hello blog my old friend

    Hello blog, my old friend
    I’ve come to talk with you again
    Because a vision softly creeping
    Left its seeds while I was sleeping
    And the vision that was planted in my brain
    Still remains
    Within the sound of typing.

    A year ago. I stopped tapping the keyboard on my blog. I turned my back to it as swiftly as I did to my crop top phase.

    There were many a reason why I left it behind for a break. I felt like I was carrying too many tabs open in my life. I felt all the work and words on my blog were merely being swiped away and a mere promise of “oh yes I will read that later” was often being broken.

    I get it. I do it to bloggers all the time. I see a post being advertised via Instagram and think “oh cool, will read that in a moment” and then I keep on swiping and forget. It is never personal.

    Except it felt a little personal.

    Why am I re opening my blog? well like a lot of the artists from the 90s, this is my comeback. I have dusted of my Khaki pants and dog collar and I am ready to word splurge again.

    These tiny little IG squares, though practical and great for sharing/learning/buying from, quite simply offer a word limit and I need space.

    Be prepared for some recipes, play ideas, reviews and general life sharing. I cannot promise you they will be great but they will be worth it. Think L’oreal but with less filters,

    Alex x



  • Lucky Go Happy

    Lucky Go Happy

    This new shop was a perfect find for me, clueless in most aspects of ethical and eco-friendly products but for sure starting to be a bit more aware of what I gave/dressed Phoebe in.

    Discovering Jaime and Lucky Go Happy was fantastic and eye opening. It was also perfectly Timed.

    Lucky Go Happy

    I had recently been worrying about how gross children’s toothpastes were. I never realised how much crap I was allowing my child to put into her mouth, all in the name of clean teeth.

    Jaime at Lucky Go Happy had a range of organic, natural, fluoride free, colour/sugar free toothpastes that come in a wide range of fruit flavours.

    Not only was Phoebe now brushing her teeth with something less harmful but she has become obsessed with the toothpaste because it smells and tastes rather yummy. A child that wants to brush her teeth. A winner to me.

    lucky go happy


    Why Lucky Go Happy was created

    I spoke to Jaime, a mum of two in Newquay about her new shop which was launched in April.

    She told me that when she moved from Essex to Newquay there was distinct lack of children’s clothes shops.

    Whilst at home she had also taken an interest and recently been trying to eradicate all products with chemicals and investing in more natural products, she saw a gap in the market.

    Lucky Go Happy was created so that people/parents looking to source clothes, body products for both them and children and gifts that were eco-friendly, ethical, organic could find them all under one “roof”.

    Brands such as Organic Zoo, Lennie & Co, Carlijnq, Jack n’ Jill and many more.

    My eyes have been opened

    Since discovering Lucky Go Happy, not only have I been super happy and impressed with the quality of the products that I have received but I have started making small changes.

    Baby steps mind you,

    If you are looking to invest in some environmentally friendly products for your child and a few for you, then I cannot recommend enough a visit to her online store.

    Be warned you will never look at toothpaste in the same way again.



    Jaime’s shop is www.luckygohappy.co.uk and she is also on Instagram as the same name.

  • Youtube Ban

    Youtube Ban

    Many an early morning I have relied on Youtube or Youtube for kids giving me an extra thirty minutes of peace. I have been able to shower and shave whilst my child entertains herself with my phone. It has indeed spared many a moments of me going insane whilst trying to multitask life and a toddler. And I was thankful.

    However, I then started to witness her spending twenty minutes jaw opened watching a child open 150 Shopkins toys. 150!! Why any company believes it is healthy for a small child to be showered with such a ridiculous quantity of toys was just mind blowing.

    How a parent could then film their child opening them was to be honest horrific. My small, precious sponge of a child was absorbing this into her teeny brain.

    Youtube Ban

    Bloody Eggs

    Eggs. How and why did that turn into a thing?

    Let me tell you about eggs. I hate them, they make my blood boil.

    2017 and forget about working on world peace, let’s watch eggs being opened. Let’s watch Asian people saying ‘Open Open SUPRISE’ on repeat. Let’s sit and let our neurons slide out of our eyeballs as children are filmed opening chocolate/plastic eggs.

    The worst part is children love and are obsessed with these Youtube videos.

    I remember the first time Phoebe saw a real “egg’ in a shop and her head almost combusted.

    EGGS!!!!! what are you teaching our children. I tell you what you are doing, You are stunting tiny minds. You are making parents feel stabby all over the world.

    I almost cancelled Easter in our house because of Youtube and their eggs.

    Youtube Ban

    Really. I mean Really!!

    I had to make it stop.

    The thing is, people are making Youtube clips turning innocent shows into aggressive, demeaning, offensive and often violent videos and we have no control over stopping them if we give free reign of our phones/tablets.

    I loved being able to cut her nails in peace, I could cry trying to iron with a toddler trying to help and waking up and having to chat whilst you are still in sleep mode is for sure hard work.

    But I feel million times better knowing she is not being subjected to zombie shows and influenced by greed. That she won’t get angry because she wants to watch more of  Chase and Skye having a bath in chocolate whilst an annoying American woman spurts word vomit.

    That though Groundhog Day it can sometimes feel, that time really is fast and the years are short and that maybe stories at 6.30am and old episodes of Meg and Mog won’t kill you.

    So Bye Youtube, I hope the trend of Eggs, Paw Patrol pissing on each other and 1095 play dough videos fades away quickly.

    Do not even get me started on playdough videos…

    Youtube Ban



  • Letters To Loved


    letter to loved


    I love to write, I love letters. I even try and set up pen pals through Instagram.

    I still have all my letters that I got from pen pals as a teen, letters discussing tears, pot noodles and dorm room frolics from my friends at university.

    Kept in a box with the scent of Snake Bite Black and first kisses. Those memories will remain for as long as I can keep them.

    Long live the pen and ink, May your words be forever posted through the slits of homes and opened by fingertips. I mean swiping beautiful words from friends/loved ones is just not the same is it.

    So when the fabulous mama and fellow letter lover Charlotte Peach created Letters To Loved my sentimental and quite retro heart jumped for joy.

    Total bonus that she is also a seriously badass illustrator too.

    I had a chat with Charlotte and she told me all about Letters To Loved and why she created it. She also kindly sent me some of her stationery and it is pretty exquisite in a totally going to use it and save it for my grandchildren kind of way.

    She also sent a picture she created of my first meeting with Phoebe (See a few images below). Did not shed a tear, nope. Not even a bit (totally blubbed)

    Part of Letters To Loved is contributions from other parents who write letters to their loved ones. I sent one too –  it felt quite emotional writing it and raw but somewhat therapeutic too.

    I mean, I share a gazillion words on social media about parenthood, writing a letter directly to the little lady in my life just felt so right.

    But first read about this wonderful lady and her brilliant idea.

    letters to loved

    Charlotte Peach – Letters To Loved

    Why I started Letters To Loved

    Letters To Loved started as a collection of letters to my daughter. When she was a baby I had all these things I wanted to say to her, things I kept making mental notes of to remember to tell her or teach her, things I wanted to make sure that she knew, and as remembering things was not one of my fortes as a sleep deprived first-time mum, I decided to write as much of it down as I could remember. I found it cathartic. It helped relieve a lot of horrible anxiety I had as a new mum, as well as being a good way to capture the intense feelings I had for her. Feelings I didnt want to forget and wanted her to know that I felt.

    It also lead me to read other people’s letters, throughout history through to modern day. I wanted to start a collection where they were all in one place and see if it inspired other people to enjoy writing letters to their children as much as it did me.

    letters to loved
    The Style

    I have a ‘thing’ for good stationery – I think it replaced my ‘thing’ with shoes! But I think some letter writing stationery, although incredibly beautiful, can make everything feel a bit formal and stuffy. So you end up with lots of stunning things to write with, great for when you want to rsvp to the queen, but until then are tucked away in a drawer somewhere. I wanted the Letters To Loved stationery to feel great in terms of quality and design, but also styled in a way that you want to pick it up and use it right away. And if you make mistakes so what? I’ve worked with Laxmi Hussain on a lot of the branding for the company and the collaborative process has been great.
    In terms of the artwork I produce, that’s another way of capturing memories and feelings in a similar way to a letter. Many of the styles are about stripping back the noise around images we have of loved ones so that all you see is the beauty in the simplicity of that moment. Simple lines with very little detail around them, helps you see the connections between for example a parent and child, the simple way someone is held and I think it helps you reconnect with how you felt in that moment.
    For example the picture of my daughter and I came from a photograph taken in the hospital shortly after she was born. The photo is quite clinical and grey, with a Sainsbury’s bag full of snacks in the background. With all that filtered out all you see is the line of my arm around my tiny little bundle that I can’t stop looking at – a moment of calm and pure love with my daughter.

    What’s coming next

    I’d love to keep Letters To Loved 2017 going throughout the year. Each month I’m collaborating with illustrators and designers to create themed, limited edition luxury letter writing sets. The designs of each theme will reflect a new motivation for sending the letter and all profits from these editions will go to a different charity http://letterstoloved.com/2017-a-year-of-letters/

    I’m also going to introduce lots of new products too, as well as more exciting collaborations with different artists and small brands


    My Letter To My Loved

    letters to loved


    To my Phoebe Cecily Violet

    A million words I could say to you.
    The beat to my heart.
    I hope you know this is all about you.
    I didn’t think we were meant to be.
    You proved me wrong.
    I didn’t think I needed you.
    You showed me I did.
    I thought I was okay before you.
    You made me realise I wasn’t.
    I was never very good at patience.
    Now I am bordering on being a saint.
    I didn’t know a child could make you feel like that.
    You make me feel everything.
    I didn’t know happiness felt like this.
    Now it is all I know.
    I thought I was always going to be alone.
    Now I will always have you.

    Thank you for picking me PC
    I am yours today, tomorrow and forever.
    Mama A x


    Head over to the Letters To Loved website for a peruse and also her instagram.

    So many pretty words and pictures. The stationery is pretty phenomenal too.


  • Letters To My Fanny – Book Review


    letters to my Fanny

    Book Review – Letters To My Fanny by Cherry Healey


    I always believed in Mallory Towers. Heck I wanted to go there so badly, I begged my mum to look up boarding schools for me.

    Obviously I assumed all played lacrosse and had girls named Mary-Lou and Gwendoline there just waiting for a midnight snack and a prank or two.

    As a young girl,  Enid Blyton captured my mind and transported me to a place I so badly wanted to be a part of.

    I think I, amongst others, read Are you there god, it’s me Margaret and immediately did the “I must, I must, I must increase my bust”. It did not work for many a year.

    A nation of girls wept with laughter, and cringed with embarrassment at Forever. Ralph staining the minds of teens for a very long long time.

    Judy Blume grasped that teenage angst concept and pelted it into reality. She shared the reality of teen problems and made us not feel alienated. And she did it so well.

    These books stayed with me, they came from school to college to university to flat, to house, through puberty, to adulthood. They reside on my shelf just waiting to be passed on to my daughter like a rite of passage.

    Here darling, let your mind be filled with words that will ease you through the waiting for your period stage. The why don’t boys like me? and the what to do next part.

    Then I became an adult and though my book obsession never eased, it was filled with Voltaire, Douglas Coupland, Hunter S Thompson and such.

    There was a void though. A hole that needed filling. Yes my knowledge was savvy. My book shelf ticked all the right hipster boxes. Hell I could recite Valley Of The Dolls to you and discuss A Confederacy Of Dunces with great emotion.

    Where was that book, that book that made going through all the creepy adulthood things seem so normal ?

    Yes I let a little wee out, when Frank Skinner wrote about his mouth toilet paper collection bit. However it was not enough, he was a man. He couldn’t understand really.

    Then Caitlin Moran opened up the floodgates. No not the sheet staining, stab me in my womb gates. She flooded pages upon pages about the trials and tribulations of being a woman. About growing up a woman. Her pages were virtually a giant pop up vagina shouting “SEE WHAT I HAVE HERE”. and it was appreciated. Truly.

    Then I did that thing, where I did a little whoopee and a baby was born. My whole life as I thought I knew it was transformed into something resembling Twin Peaks mating with the Gilmore Girls but they cried a whole lot more and instead of coffee it was always about wine. Always!

    The search was on again for some words. Words that understood. Words that were not there to vanilla up the body ruining, heart breaking my god my body has just died a death, but I love my tiny human. Real words.

    Cherry Healey – Letters To my Fanny. This was it. The book I needed.

    She understood why I prayed for pubes and then tied the two in a bow. She got why I kept sanitary pads waiting and waiting for my period then the disappointment ruining it all.

    She birthed two humans and her body was put through the rigours of pain, change, emotions, exhaustion, sadness.

    And she penned it so well. She wrote a book like she was having  the best conversation with Enid, Judy and Caitlin and it was in Mallory Towers and they just understood real life.

    The real nitty gritty life. The no filters, raw, it hurts, it is disgusting, hard, it is magical. A life that so many experience but do not dare to discuss or share or simply cannot find the words.

    So if you are a woman, you have a vagina, or you have delivered a child like Ripley releasing that Alien then I can not recommend this book enough.

    In a time where feminism is riding high but woman are still treated with such disregard in so many aspects of life, it should be treasured when a great book discovery is made and words have the potential to unite.

    I mean, we are women hear us roar. Or for those who have birthed, we are women hear us scream, howl, cry, tuck our Naff Naff style C section bumbag pouches in.

    Cherry Healey – Letters To My Fanny is available on Amazon to buy and the super mama herself is also on Instagram.







  • Valentine’s Day with Organix

    Valentine’s Day with Organix

    Yes, I may be currently spooning Chase from Paw Patrol but it does not mean I can’t spread the love. Especially via the stomach.

    Organix have provided me with some Valentine’s/Galentine’s Day recipes for you to do with your little ones. They are seriously cute, easy and a sure way to make your partner erm allow you to have a peaceful Lush bath.

    Or eat them all for your self. Hey am a massive believer in self love first.

    I have shared three recipes for you to peruse. Hope you enjoy them.

    Valentines day with organix

    Organix ‘Hearty’ Valentine’s Breakfast

    A tasty breakfast made with love for Valentine’s Day, why not get your little ones to help make this for a loved one.

    There are lots more tasty family recipes at www.organix.com

    Serves 2 little loved ones!

    Not suitable for freezing

    Suitable from 12mths+

    Prep time: 20-30mins


    • 2 eggs

    • 2 slices of wholemeal bread

    • A little unsalted butter to serve

    • 4 baby plum tomatoes

    • A couple of pieces of strong card

    • A few elastic bands

    • 2 wooden spoons or sturdy wooden skewers


    Egg hearts:

    * Hard boil the eggs in a saucepan covered with water for 10 minutes.

    * Run each egg under a cold tap quickly so they are just cool enough to handle, then carefully crack the shell and remove.

    * Whilst the eggs are still warm and flexible, place in the middle of a folded piece of card. Use the handle of a wooden spoon or a sturdy wooden skewer to very carefully create an indent along the long side of the egg, then carefully wrap elastic bands around each end of the cardboard to hold in place on the egg. This should create a heart shaped egg. Little ones can help with this if guided. Leave for 10 minutes to take shape.

    * Use a sharp knife to cut the heart shaped egg into slices 1cm deep, from the top of the heart to the bottom.

    Toast hearts:

    * Whilst the eggs are shaping, use a small heart shaped cutter to cut out the middle of your slices of bread. You can get creative and cut several hearts if you like. Then toast and butter your bread.

    Tomato hearts:

    * Cut the top third off a plum tomato on a sharp angle, then repeat on all 4 tomatoes. Pair the larger pieces up together to form two heart shaped tomatoes.

    * Cut each piece of tomato in half sideways to give a flat side, so that 2 heart shapes can be assembled from each pair of tomato pieces (rounded side up, cut side down).

    To assemble:

    Place a heart slice of egg in the heart shaped hole in the centre of the toast.

    Decorate with the heart tomatoes, heart shaped bread cut outs and remaining egg hearts around the plate.


    valentines day with organix

    Organix Secret Strawberry Heart Muffins

    These wholesome muffins are filled with a hidden strawberry heart centre. “The beauty is finding a surprise strawberry heart in the centre of these lovely muffins – they are filled with love! Try serving with dollop of yoghurt.” Organix recipe team. Organix tip “These muffins are a great wholesome snack. For a sweeter treat, you could use lighter-weight white flour and replace the oats with more flour.”

    Makes 12 muffins

    Suitable for freezing

    Suitable from 10 months

    Dry ingredients • 100g oats • 300g sprouted whole grain spelt flour (or standard whole wheat or plain white flour if you prefer) • 3 tsps baking powder (or use self raising flour instead) • 50g desiccated coconut Wet ingredients • 2 large eggs • 20 small strawberries, hulled • 1 ripe banana • Juice and zest of 1 orange • 60mls melted coconut oil, melted butter or vegetable oil (whichever you prefer) • 60mls maple syrup • 1 tsp vanilla extract Secret heart centre • 12 small whole strawberries, hulled • An extra sprinkle of desiccated coconut for each muffin


    1. Preheat the oven to 180°C / 160°C fan / Gas Mark 4 and line a 12-cup muffin tin with paper cases.

    2. Combine all dry ingredients together in a large bowl.

    3. Blitz together all the wet ingredients in a blender until smooth.

    4. Create a well in the centre of the dry ingredients and pour in the wet ingredient mixture. Mix together lightly with a fork to keep in as much air as possible. Chop the additional 20 strawberries and then lightly stir through the mixture.

    5. Place a spoonful of mixture into the bottom of each case, then place one of the 12 whole strawberries, point end up, into each case, then cover with more mixture so that the strawberry is covered. Finally sprinkle with a little desiccated coconut.

    6. Bake for approx. 30 minutes until golden and the base of the muffin sounds hollow when tapped.


    valentines day with organix

    Organix Love Heart Biscuits

    You and your little one will certainly win some hearts with these delicious valentine biscuits.

    Organix Top tip

    Cooking with your little one is a great way to help your baby to learn to love good food. Give your little one some of the biscuit dough and let them cook to their heart’s content. They will love to squeeze it and squash it, and most of all they will love to bake biscuits with you that they can share with you! There are lots more tasty family and baby recipes on the Organix website. www.organix.com

    Makes approx. 35 biscuits depending on the size of the cutter

    Suitable for freezing

    Suitable from 10 months


    • 300g ground almonds • 50g dried sour cherries • 100g coconut oil (or butter if you prefer and happy to include dairy) • 60mls maple syrup • 1 tsp vanilla extract


    1. Preheat oven to 180°C, 160°C fan, Gas Mark 6, then combine the ground almonds and sour cherries in a large bowl.

    2. Gently melt the coconut oil over a low heat in a pan. Remove from the heat and add the maple syrup and vanilla extract, stirring together. Then pour this liquid over the ground almonds and stir thoroughly to form a soft dough.

    3. Divide the dough into two balls. Place each ball onto a sheet of parchment paper, press down, then place a second piece of parchment over the top. Roll the dough out between the sheets of parchment to about 5mm thickness. Place onto a flat baking tray, then pop into the freezer for 10 minutes to firm up. (N.B. The parchment paper prevents the dough sticking to the rolling pin and makes this super easy. The freezer makes the dough firmer and easier to cut. Don’t miss these steps!)

    4. Remove from the freezer and use heart shaped cutters to cut out biscuits. Use a spatula to carefully lift the biscuits onto another lined baking sheet. Bake for 5-7 minutes until golden. Allow to cool for a couple of minutes on the tray, then transfer to a cooling rack.

    5. Roll up the left over dough and repeat the process, rolling out between sheets of parchment and freezing for 10 minutes before cutting out. Repeat until all the dough is used up.

    Biscuits can be tied with ribbon or placed in a beautiful tin to give to a loved one. Or little ones can simply give them out to their ‘bestest friends’. The dough can be frozen in a ball in a freezer bag, defrosted in a couple of hours and rolled out. Or the baked biscuits can be frozen in a tub, and defrosted in less than an hour. If dairy isn’t a problem butter can be used instead. If nuts are a problem you can replace the ground almonds with plain flour or gluten free flour. As flour is drier than almonds you may need a little extra oil to bring the dough together.


    Hope these recipes give you some inspiration for the special person or friend in your life. I will be baking with Phoebe and eating them all up. As I mentioned before. Love thy self!

    Head over to www.organix.com for more ideas and to see what’s in store.

  • A Retro Kids Christmas

    I’m dreaming of a Retro Kids Christmas. To be fair, I am always dreaming about Retro Kids and their goodies but since I pretty much kitted Phoebe’s nursery in stuff from there. I have had to allow my purse to breathe again and refuel.

    Which is why I have themed most of my Christmas asks around Retro Kids.

    Retro Kids

    Now that is a snow globe

    Who are Retro Kids?

    For those of you unfamiliar with Retro Kids. First of all, how? Retro Kids is an online shop run by Joanne a mum of two. Joanne created Retro Kids a store selling Retro, Kitsch and Kawaii stuff for kids and well big kids (adults).

    Selling products by brands such as Oli & Carol, Lapin & Me, Ingela P Arrhenius, Retro Fisher Price, A little lovely Company, Jimmy Cricket, Alba Baby and so many many more.

    With a great range of prices too, there is something to please most.

    Retro Kids

    Who remembers these?

    Retro Kids can not disappoint. They can make your purse weep, but all of the items are just so aesthetically pleasing and nostalgic. It is like going into the back of your wardrobe and instead of being in Narnia, you are at your nans wearing a Fido Dido t-shirt and bumbag and playing with your record train.

    Retro Kids

    What fun these used to be

    So dear Father Christmas, if I promise not to sit on your lap anymore. Please can you drop these goodies down my chimney? I will leave a Heston’s Mince pie, a glass of Whisky and a copy of Mrs Claus does Lapland out for you.

    *Sidenote: This pretty much is the list I have asked for Phoebe, I cannot recommend them enough*

    Retro kids

    How Russian dolls have changed.

    Joanne at Retro Kids is on Instagram too.


  • Organix Goodies Crispy Bars

    Organix Goodies

    Organix sent me some new crispy bars to try with Phoebe. It was like they knew I was on the search for some new things to feed my snack gobbling toddler.

    Two new types of snack bars arrived. Cocoa & Orange Crispy Bars and Berry Crispy Bars.

    Now Phoebe has entered the snack phase in her life where she pretty much wants everything I am eating, apart of course from healthy vegetables. Her interest in soft puffed hoop type snacks has diminished and she has started to ask for things that I am not always that willing to let her eat.

    She wants to eat like the big kids. I want to still feed her things less full of junk and more full of fruit and veg.

    These new Organix Goodie bars slot nicely into the grown up looking treat but without the nasties. This is pretty much perfect.

    The question is, did Phoebe fall for it?

    organix goodies

    There is no test like a toddler test

    A no junk promise, Always organic, nothing unnecessary. Organix have been feeding Phoebe since she began to wean. We have tried pretty much everything they have to offer.

    I have also seen Phoebe fling a lot of snacks I have offered her since becoming a toddler and her being very aware of what is on offer.

    So I showed her the boxes of Organix Goodies Crispy Bars. We opened them together and she chose which one she was going to try first. The cocoa and orange one.

    Well this story ends well because she loved it, the crispyness of it adding another dimension of new textures for her went well. She ate it all as I pretended to not watch her.

    Then when we went shopping and the “Mummmmmmmmm snack please’ question arose, I gave her the Berry one to try.

    Again she ate it all up. Result. She has also continued to eat them through out the week.

    This may just look like a snack bar, but to any parents out there who find meal times and snack attacks as often laborious as I do, you will understand why it is great when you find something that makes it just a little bit easier.

    Head on over to the Organix website for a full list of ingredients and to peruse what else is on offer.

    They are also on Instagram as organixfood



  • Halloween cake decorating

    Halloween cake decorating:

    I have always really enjoyed halloween baking, you can be silly, you can be a bit gross, you can be extremely childish.

    Though I have plenty of ideas and am not too shabby knocking up a cake, my buttercream skills are not the best. Working with a tremor too means I am often taking slightly different routes to ensure I am comfortable when doing something.

    I wanted to practice and develop my skills and with Halloween fast approaching, now felt like the perfect time.

    Halloween cake decorating


    Rebecca’s Cakes:

    I was fortunate enough to have Rebecca from http://www.rebeccas-cakes.co.uk come over to my house to teach me some tricks.

    Rebecca has been providing us with the most delicious cupcakes, biscuits etc for over ten years. She has provided goodies for most of the significant events/parties I have had. She is a cake wizard, a buttercream genius. Her goodies will leave your hips hating you but your hearts begging for more. Having her come to my house was the best Monday ever.

    Arriving with an array of spooky decorations, sprinkles, edible decorations, spiders, coloured fondant, liquorice and ghost mallows. Rebecca was well prepared for a Halloween explosion.

    Rebecca advised me that Tk Maxx are great for themed decorations as well as pound shops, eBay and local cake stores where she stocks up.

    halloween cake decorating



    I quickly learnt that one of the reasons why I struggle is that I am too careful and cautious when handling the cake and buttercream. As well as the fact that Rebecca’s buttercream knocked mine to pieces and was not fearful of being slathered and scraped. (Recipe below)

    Rebecca brought a practice cake, where I learnt about crumb coating, how to fill in the cracks (I think I could be a plasterer now) how to manipulate the cake using the right tools and to not worry. Crumb coats are basically like wearing Spanx pants, it keeps it all in and it does not matter how it looks as no one can see it anyway.

    We then had a play with piping. This will not be my thing. My hands are not a fan of it and after a while they hurt from the way you hold the bag.

    It was fun though to have a play with it and my skills were not the worst.

    After a crumb coat applying the outer layer of buttercream was a dream. Any mistakes could be scraped off and gently re applied.



    Halloween cake decorating


    Halloween drips:

    I love a drip cake, I love the way it looks, I love that is the perfect cover up for any “imperfections”.

    Drips can be made out of an assortment of things, salted caramel, icing sugar, candy melts, chocolate, ganache.

    As I was Halloween cake decorating, I wanted to work with ganache so to make the drips I used a sauce bottle to squeeze and drip. This was really easy and a lot less messier than when I had previously used a spoon.

    The drips depend on the consistency of the ganache. (Recipe below) I was not too fussed about them reaching the bottom.

    Halloween cake decorating


    Halloween cake decorating:

    Well this bit was fun, I called out for my inner child who quite frankly is never too far to be seen. We sprinkled, used the liquorice skulls, Marshmallow ghouls, fondant bats, spiders and lastly the sugar figures from Tkmaxx.

    The different ways I could have decorated were endless due to a  good stash of decorations.

    I think if you are looking to decorate a Halloween cake but on a budget then I really advise investing some time to head over to the places I mentioned above. Then it becomes so much more fun when you, and if you have any little helpers, can just have fun with it.

    I really picked  up some new techniques from the fabulous Rebecca and I learnt that though I have to respect the cake, it needs to know who the boss is.

    My tummy definitely appreciated it and I am really in the mood for some more spooky baking and practising my Halloween cake decorating.



    300g unsalted butter, 700g icing sugar, drop of vanilla or whatever flavour you fancy and a few tablespoons of water and mix in a mixer. Add more water if needing to soften more.

    Colouring as you wish, though be aware that Wilton colourings I think slightly alter the taste. I prefer Sugar Flair (which usually needs just a pin drop added)


    Equal amounts of double cream and dark or white chocolate. Whatever type of chocolate you fancy, need not be expensive as mixing with cream.

    Can be either melted in the microwave on short bursts and then whisked, or in a bowl over boiling water.


    Head over to http://www.rebeccas-cakes.co.uk if you are looking for cakes, goodies or catering.

    She is also on Instagram as http://www.instagram.com/cakerebecca


  • Halloween outfits


    It’s the most wonderful time of the year!!! Okay it is the second most wonderful time of the year!!!.

    Halloween is coming, the air is getting eerie, playlists are getting their spook on, the shops are adorned with fake cobwebs, costumes and teeth rattling goodies. For some it is a time they can stuff their faces with sweets and blame it on the trick or treaters. For me, a large part of it is the clothes!!! Finally I can channel the teenage goth in me and project it onto my “not quite old enough to dictate what she wants to wear toddler”.

    This was also a great opportunity for me to show support to some great parent run businesses I discovered through Instagram, to get creative and put together outfits on a budget and to get my needle and thread out (okay get my mum to do it).

    First of all I would like to share with you two shops I discovered through Instagram starting with Bloody Nora Pam:


    Bloody Nora Pam are husband and wife co-creators Emma and Adam. For so long it had been a dream of theirs to create beautiful apparel and after learning that life is short they realised very quickly that this adventure needed to begin. The name of their shop is inspired by the most beautiful and amazing person that they have ever known and tragically lost too soon. Adam’s brother Josh died suddenly aged 24 due to sepsis. His love, light and positivity inspired them to create clothing that spreads positive messages and lifts people’s spirits in the way he did. Money from every item that they sell is also donated to the UK Sepsis Trust in honour of Josh.

    Halloween outfits

    With a fantastic Halloween range of “support your local ghoul gang” merchandise out, including adults and kids t-shirts, patches and tote bags, you can show your spooky solidarity.

    If ghoul gang is not your thing, then they also have an “eliminate girl hate” range and a Bloody Nora Pam badge from which they give all profits to the UK Sepsis Trust.

    I love the fact that they took an important message and integrated Halloween into it, and I can slightly goth up my child but it is still childish and appropriate.

    The fact that what they are doing comes from great tragedy but they are turning it around and raising money for the Uk Sepsis Trust is fantastic.

    Head to www.bloodynorapam.co.uk to be part of the ghoul gang.


    Now onto Skeletots:

    halloween outfits

    I have had a long-standing relationship with Skeletots. Phoebe has been wearing their dresses since she was six months old. I have been obsessing over their awesome prints forever. I believe they may have been one of my first bought via Instagram shops.

    Claire created Skeletots as she wanted alternative baby wear to be more freely available. With a love of skulls, roses, cats, black, leopard print and bows, Claire has an Etsy shop that will please any parent looking for something well made but a little different.

    halloween outfits

    The cat dress from Skeletots Phoebe is wearing, is just the right amount of spooky for a toddler and the right amount of goth for me. Teamed up with some trusty boots, black clothes and cat ears, Phoebe is looking just Purrrrrfect.  Of course these beautiful clothes are not just for Halloween – no gimmicks, well made and cute enough for all year round

    Head on over to http://www.skeletots.co.uk



    halloween outfits

    DIY and Halloween on a budget:

    I like to think getting creative is one of my things, I live and breathe for the slightly different, the adventurous, the bold, the sweet. Give me a theme and I am a walking talking  Pinterestbot.

    Now I am also a single mum who has not yet returned to work so I need to mostly shop realistically and without making my purse weep ( of course sometimes my purse misbehaves and falls into the arms of a really nice but slightly pricey shop)

    The combination of the two means, I am often looking for ways of creating with bargains. It also means I can beg my mum who is the mistress of making, to sew up my thoughts into whimsical and wonderful outfits for Phoebe.

    halloween outfits


    As seen in the picture, Phoebe’s outfit is in homage to The Ghostbusters. Obviously the original, because the new one is quite frankly enough to make any ghost/human want to be sucked up and put in a box.

    I discovered oversized £2 jumpers in the back to school section of ASDA. Then I searched on Ebay for some cheap Ghostbusters patches and voila Phoebe’s Ghostbusters jumper which cost me £5.50

    The leggings were on sale from www.zulily.co.uk which sells a variety of American clothes at a fraction of the price. Ghosts and bats again fitting in with Ghostbusters and Halloween.



    halloween outfits

    I will often search on the internet for deals, buy from sales for the next year and customise or put an outfit together. I will usually go to pound shops to buy accessories as they are cheap but usually right on point with things like Halloween. The skeleton bag in the picture is from the local pound shop.  The cost of the items make it a little easier when they are met by a bulldog toddler who cares nothing about money.

    Though I usually avoid buying items from Asia on Ebay because well, we have all seen the pictures of their pictures versus their reality, but they do make good socks and tights so I do sometimes turn to them when I need those accessories. (The Frankenstein says Relax top is also from Zulily )

    Hope my ideas have given you some inspiration. Enabling me to exercise my inner goth comes to the fore at Halloween but of course I often channel this look at any time of year !! I’d love to hear any of your ideas and secret sources too.