30 October 2011

26 October 2011

American Candy - The memories!!

American Candy - I Heart It!

You know when you're having one of those days when nothing is going quite right? When you sit and look back at the past and dwell, 'Where has my life gone?!'
So you decide to go into the loft and drag out a box of memories:

And the postman cheers you up with a package:

You don't have days like those??!! Just me then, so let me explain.....

In August 1995 I was a happy, stress-free 18 year old setting off for a year living in the suburbs of Boston, MA in the great U S of A.

I lived with a wonderful family and looked after a gorgeous 10 month old and a rather bonkers West Highland White Terrier! It was one of the best years of my life and as well as working hard I was able to have some fun too.

I did the touristy things.

I tried to be American and pretended I understood their crazy sports!

And I fell in love!

With these....


Cinnamon candy = amaaaaaaaaazing!

But my love affair had to end when I boarded the plane at Boston's Logan airport. Back home I pined for the hot, zingy, cinnamon taste and it broke my heart when I could not find them anywhere. So I just had to forget about them and move on. Return to English sweets zzzzzzzz.
That is, until now. Through the power of Twitter I have discovered....

The lovely Linsey took pity on my cravings for hot cinnamon American Candy and sent me a fantastic surprise - remember the postman's package??

Inside was a collection of Cinnamon Delights

Necco's Cinnamon Hearts

Jelly Belly's Sizzling Cinnamon Jelly Beans

Red Vine Liquorice

Oh. My. Word.
I was in cinnamon heaven!
I am now slowly working my way through the box, my mouth is all warm and tingly and my day feels much better. Perfect timing!
If you have never tried cinnamon candy then give it a go. It is perfect autumnal candy to make you feel all warm and fuzzy!

The Candy Can Company offer a great home delivery service on a wide selection of American candy. So if cinnamon isn't your thing then check out their other ranges here:

Disclosure: The Candy Can Company sent me the above package at no cost to myself.

24 October 2011

Music Therapy

Hoorah! I have been tagged by the gorgeous MotherVenting and SAHDandproud to take part in the latest meme doing the rounds - Music Therapy. Well, I love music, and although never having been in therapy myself I do find music therapeutic.

The meme Music Therapy asks us to think of three, yes only three, songs that we can listen to over and over and over again, that move us, that bring back shudder inducing memories - I added that last one because I thought it sounds good and that's what music is all about right?

I found this bloomin' hard work as there are so many tracks I love for so many different reasons but I had to think about my children. Yes, they can drive me to tears without the need for musical accompaniment, but there are tracks that when I listen to them it takes me back to specific times.

Ok, firstly, please don't laugh - I really don't know if I should include this as it is going to blow any musical credibility I may have had way out of the water, oh sod it, here goes - Track 1, oh, I also want to say, I am not a huge fan of this group but this particular track was on my iPod when in hospital having my boy. I cannot listen to it now without thinking about him and I do believe that together me and him can Rule The World!!!! So this one's for Alban:

Take That - Rule The World

My second track gives me therapy in that it takes me back to my last summer before children...............

....and I'm back in the real world again! I just love this song as it always reminds of the summer of 2005 - my last summer of freeeeeeeeedom!

Coldplay - Fix You

Finally, you just know who I'm going to have to include don't you?

This last track reminds me of Edith watching the DVD and jumping around like a true fan in our front room. Me and the kiddies always had it on in the car driving down to summers in Cornwall to stay with the Grandparents - who have now moved to France so the associated memories are kind of sad.

So, it is; my favourite band, my favourite singer, my favourite drummer, my favourite song - particularly this version as Brandon is clearly talking about ME at 3:10

Any of you people ever loved somebody?
Sometimes it comes very quickly, very easily.
As easy as the way a beautiful English girl’s hair falls across her shoulder.
And sometimes it disappears just as quick.
You wake up one morning,
the butterflies stop fluttering,
but you want it back and you want to fight for it.
You wanna breathe that fire again.
So you call for it, you call out.
Ah, shudder!
Anyway, enjoy......

The Killers - For Reasons Unknown

I now tag the following to share their Music Therapy:


23 October 2011

21 October 2011

Strawberry White Chocolate Cookies - My Fabulous Baker Boy!

He's back! It's half term and My Fabulous Baker Boy has been baking yummy cookies with strawberry white chocolate. Very nice indeedy!
Here's what you need:

100g / 4oz Stork (or butter if you're posh!)
100g / 4oz caster sugar
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla essence
175g / 6oz plain flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
A couple of twists of salt
150-200g / 6-8oz strawberry white chocolate (ASDA does this)

Here's what you need to do:
First of all you find a willing helper with a rolling pin to bash the crap out of the bars of chocolate! Three year old boys are good for this.

Beat the Stork with the sugars, then add the egg and vanilla and mix well.

Mix the flour, baking powder and salt together in a separate bowl then stir into the cookie mix.

Blend well, add the smashed up chocolate and mix again.

Using a dessert spoon dollop the cookie mix onto baking trays lined with non-stick baking paper.
Spread the dollops out!
Bake in a pre-heated oven 170-180c (fan oven) for about 10 minutes.
Remove from oven even if you don't think they look done!!
Leave to set on the trays then transfer to cooling racks.
Repeat again - you should make 18-20 cookies with the above mix.

Make yourself a cuppa, stick the kids in front of a DVD and enjoy!!

For more scrummy baking recipes click here:


20 October 2011

When did Ant McPartlin become E's daddy??!!

E has recently revealed that she has been learning to sketch at school.
The other day she sketched a picture of her daddy.
I never realised that Ant - he of 'Ant & Dec' fame - was her daddy.


Legal Disclaimer: I have never met Ant McPartlin and in no way am I suggesting he fathered a child with me. Thank you x x

My Five Favourite Blogs!

This week one of the prompts on the Brit Mums Blog is to think about our 5 favourite blogs and explain why. This is soooooo difficult as there are so many fantastic blogs out there. But I have narrowed my list down to 5 and these cover all different areas that I like to read about.

So in no particular order here are my favourite 5 blogs:

Yellow Days
This is one of the first mummy blogs I came across when I first stumbled into this weird and wonderful world. I think it was the cupcakes at the top that first caught my eye! Cat has a great variety of posts including family, baking and debate! Go have a look!

Happy Homebird
I absolutely love sitting down with a cup of tea in front of the laptop and looking at the gorgeous pictures on this blog. Happy Homebird shows her house, garden and allotment and I have a secret desire to be as good a gardener as her one day!

Spoons 'n' Spades
Oh my, what a drool fest on this blog! Another blog with fantastic pictures and some amazing baking to try. If you need some inspiration for some great food - and also gardening - then head over and check it out. Yum!

Such a beautiful blog! I love looking at meanyjar's gorgeous creations and so want to sew like her! Again, another blog to enjoy with a cup of tea to gain some inspiration. One day I hope to post something that I have managed to create - and if it's half as beautiful as the things on this blog then I will be happy!

I couldn't have a top 5 without including the funniest daddy blogger I 'know'! SAHDandproud has lots of great posts to make you smile and if you ever need career advice cheering up then he's your man!

I really wish this was a top 20 list as there are so many blogs I want to include here but I am sticking to the rules. If you want to see what else floats my boat just have a look at my three, yes three, blog rolls that show my favourite Family Blogs, Yummy Foodie Blogs & Beautiful Blogs!

I hope you enjoy the blogs above as much as I do x x

19 October 2011

My daughter wants to Make the World a Better Place with Sigg Eco Bottles!

Last week E was selected to be her class representative for the school's Eco council and I was asked to become a 'SIGG mummy' and think about how we can Make the World a Better Place. I am very proud of my daughter and she is getting really involved with the recycling at home and helping her daddy take things to the recycling tip. We have been recycling for years but still I get soooo frustrated when my husband comes back from work with one of these....
Image rights

....then re-uses it once and throws it in the recycling bin. Yes, great, it is being recycled but then I also think about this:
Image rights
Around the world billions of pounds and dollars are spent on the bottled water industry. I see the convenience of buying bottles of water when out and about, but if you are drinking water every day - as we should - then surely a reusable, tough and Eco-friendly product is ideal. SIGG produce strong, durable, lightweight bottles designed to last for 20-30 years that are themselves 100% recyclable. I am more than happy to be involved with SIGG as their products are free from BPA and phthalates and are environmentally friendly.

SIGG have sent me two bottles to put to the test - well, looking at the designs I think they are intended for my children! E and A have previously had these two bottles, originally with handles, for the past 2-3 years and due to their aluminium strength, and take apart lids, they are lasting fantastically well:

They are, however, starting to be a bit too small in their content holding 0.3 litres of liquid. Perfect timing then as SIGG have sent us 0.4 litres bottles to test. Ideal for seeing E through a day at school and for A to rehydrate himself when running around all day.

E loves the Hello Kitty design and A was impressed with the T-Rex on his. Extra points for A's bottle were scored as not only does the lid glow in the dark but so does the picture!

These designs scored highly with my children and there are loads of other colours and designs to select from in the SIGG kids collection - click here to have a look. E has already put her new bottle to use and it is surviving being thrown around at school and bashed about with all the other bottles in the classroom tray. A has proudly shown everyone he has seen recently his new dinosaur bottle.

The 0.4 litre bottles, as seen above, retail at £15. That may sound expensive compared to other bottles on the market but these are built to last and as the lids come apart to allow thorough cleaning they are hygienic too.

My children love the funky designs on their bottles and by using them, instead of buying bottled water or ready made fruit drinks, they are doing their little bit to contribute to the environment and reducing their little carbon footprints!

So, E and A believe a good way in helping to Make the World a Better Place is to use an Eco-friendly drinks bottle and the SIGG ones get their thumbs up every time.

What do you and your family do to help Make the World a Better Place?

Disclosure: SIGG sent me the 0.4 litre bottles to review for free.

17 October 2011

Listography - Top 5 Keyword Searches on my Blog!

This week Kate's Listography has asked us to research our traffic source stats to find out what weird and wonderful keyword searches direct people to our blogs. Well, my blog is laidback, family friendly and fun. It is about parenting, children and cake. So, I was expecting keyword searches along the lines of Great mothering / Scrumdiddlyumptious cake / Surviving at being a SAHM but oh no, I found all sorts of strange ones.

Here goes then:

1. The Last Day
The last day of what exactly? The world? My blog? Being sane? I have no idea how a search engine linked this to my blog at all!

2. The macaroni then the mince
What? I don't think I have ever mentioned macaroni. I submitted a mince recipe to the Reluctant Housedad's Recipe Shed so maybe that's what it landed on.

And then it gets a bit kinky...
3. Birthday Spanking
I blogged about turning 35 on my birthday this year and how I felt I had hit midlife. Maybe, somewhere, somehow, someone in the land of the interweb thinks that I, sweet and innocent Melksham Mum, should be turning to a bit of spanking to get me through any midlife crisis I maybe having??!!??

And it continues...
4. Freckles Sex
Eh? What? Mmmmm? Moving on....

5. Kids Garden
Awwww, that's nicer. That's a little bit more about what my wholesome family blog is about. Lots of pretty pictures of my garden for the children. Phew, my faith in blogworld has been restored.

I was also quite proud to get the following landing on my blog:
Brandon Flowers boots
Ben Affleck without shirt
Russell Brand beard

So, have any strange searches come to land on your blog?
Go and link up and share!

16 October 2011

Wonderful Wiltshire - Stourhead

One of my favourite places to go to in Wiltshire is the National Trust gardens at Stourhead. I am now dragging my children round such places just as my parents did to me all those years ago as a child back in Norfolk. Fortunately my children love it at Stourhead as there are so many things to find and places to explore. 

Here are just some of the things we discovered.

Fish, frogs and kiwis


Houses & Hydrangeas


Caves & Grottos

A Cosy Cottage

Finally finding the Temple & the amazing views

Rescuing Ladybirds!

Happy Days!

A lovely Autumnal day all round in Wonderful Wiltshire! 

© 76 sunflowers

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