All week the Amelie was glued to the windows waiting for it to snow. But apart from a few wet flurries we didn’t see any of the white stuff. Living right on the Kent coast most of it fell as horrid cold driving sleet. We made up for it by ramping up the heating and pretty much hibernating for the week whilst eating cake.
I did some baking with Amelie and Harriet. Check out these grubby chops. They both love cooking but I find it fairly stressful with them both at the same time. If nothing more than the fact that they have to have separate cakes because of Harriet’s food intolerance’s and trying to keep Harriet out of Amelie’s bowl is an impossibility.Whilst we are continuing to work on our hallway project I commandeered Amelie into helping me with another DIY project. We are going to make a new height chart. Amelie has out grown the one my mum gave her when she was a baby. Here she is with her bit of MDF.
She was so pleased to be trusted with the paint. She very carefully followed my instructions for painting. Only up and down strokes no wishy washy side ways rubbish.
Harriet’s craziness continues to make me smile. Although she went to bed in disgrace for snatching my camera off my desk and running off with it. Just as I got within reaching distance of her she threw it the length of the kitchen. It all happened in some super sonic slow motion.
Today we have been sporting the goggles and helmet look with the boyance aid for the added touch.
I love it when they do these crazy things. I remember the sunglasses phase Amelie went through when she was about the same age. It’s so cute watching their little personalities develop.
Love is in the air………….. Valentines day is fast approaching. Normally I try and duck out of the whole valentines day thing. I put it off until the last minute and then end up grabbing some hideous card for poor Michael and subsequently feeling a little guilty about the whole thing. This year I have decided to embrace it and what is better than telling someone you love them than with cake.
A little while back we were asked by Betty Crocker if we would like to review some of their baking products. So armed and ready we set about baking some delicious valentines day treats for the special people in our lives.
Apart from her Grandparents and Uncle Jonathan Amelie wanted to make some for her little school friends and I wanted to make Michael a big fat chocolate cake. (Michael has the biggest sweet tooth of anyone I know – although the rule of a minute on the lips a life time on the hips doesn’t seem to apply to him).
Having two little people baking in the kitchen at the same time can be slightly stressful so I decided to make them with Amelie over a couple of evenings once Harriet pickle pants had gone to bed. However we did make up a little bag of treats for Harriet’s little friend Sam.
The first night we decided to make some White Chocolate Chunk Cookies. Amelie loves baking. She is always on my case about it and whilst I do enjoy baking with her sometimes the mess I know it will create is just enough for me to postpone it for another day. However in such instances having these Betty Crocker Cookie Mix’s in the cupboard might be just the ticket. I was so impressed that we didn’t need any ingredients other than water and Amelie could pretty much make these from scratch with very little help from me. However this first batch of cookies didn’t make it as far as the treat bags!!!!! They just had to be taste tested to ensure that they were okay. They didn’t look quite like the picture on the packet – I think that this may have had something to do with Amelie getting a bit ahead of herself and not adding the right amount of water. We are pleased to report it didn’t seem to affect the taste. Quite literally they disappeared before my eyes.
The next evening I found a valentines day recipe on the Betty Crocker website using a box of their Chocolate Brownie Fudge Mix which we decided to make. The looked delicious and we thought that they would be perfect for our treat bags.
Once again they were very easy to make. We just needed to add some oil, water and an egg, but rather than making them traditionally in a brownie tin we made these in a cupcake tray with cupcake cases. This was a bit tricky for Amelie as the batter was super sticky but hey it tasted good so it wasn’t a problem!
After waiting for them to cool down in the tray we then carefully peeled the cake cases off and upturned them and left them to cool completely. The Chocolate Chip Cookies came out much better this time. Amelie was very careful to make sure that she added the right amount of water. Despite the desperate pleas for the cakes I managed to keep the little fingers off.
Once they had cooled I cut a small heart shape out from a piece of paper we dusted the cakes with icing sugar, I think that they make very effective valentines day cakes, perfect for our treat bags.
I had ordered some cellophane treat bags from the internet and we carefully placed a Valentines cake and cookie in each ready for Amelie to give out to her friends the next day at school. She was so pleased with the end result.
Not forgetting Daddy, we made him a delicious Devils Food Cake covered with lashings of Chocolate Fudge Icing. What’s the saying? The way to a mans heart is through is stomach!!!! I am trying to watch my weight and what I am eating at the moment and this delicious looking cake is not doing much to help me. It keeps calling me!
Again the cake was so easy to make, and combined with the Chocolate Fudge Icing it is truly irresistible. Having made sure the icing was kept at room temperature prior to using it, it was so easy to ice the cake. I really struggled to stop myself just eating it by the spoonful straight from the pot.
These Betty Crocker kits are perfect to have in your cupboard for the occasions when you need to quickly make up some cakes or cookies or when little people like my girls want to bake and I want to retain a relatively clean and tidy kitchen . They need very few ingredients and short of a complete disaster you are pretty much guaranteed a delicious outcome.
We were sent these products to review. All views and opinions are ours alone. You can find out more about their products over at Betty Crocker.
One of the areas in our house that is in desperate need of some TLC is the hallway. We don’t have a porch so this is the area you first see on coming into our house.
Being open under the stairs it has just become a giant clutter collector. Buggies, coats, shoes, school bags, baby changing bags, swimming stuff, toys, wellies, baby buggies and tricycles; you can imagine the mess. It was starting to creep further and further out into the hallway.
In full view of visitors to the door and guests, I was starting to find it really depressing. If someone didn’t know where to put stuff it got dumped in the hallway. If one of the girls wanted something everything got pulled out. Not to mention I hate the colour – when the sun shines in through the upstairs window it looks really yellow.
Finally I had enough and I started a hallway ideas board on pinterest. I found load of really great ideas on how to utilise the space we have.
Then I realised that we could make it so much more than a cupboard. We could make a space that would have some meaning and a specific use.
I liked the idea of creating a secret desk space for me. The thought of having a specific area in which to work rather than being shoved at the back of the room. However I am a messy worker and I reminded myself that I would just be trading one lot of mess for another and still no where to put the original mess I was trying to sort.
I also liked the shelves filled with books and loveliness. Then I remembered I lived with small children and it wouldn’t stay lovely for long. The books would soon look a mess and be replaced with toys and other junk. When Mike didn’t know where to put something it would be dumped on the shelves.
I spent a while imaging myself curled up on my own secret sofa, surrounded by art and crafting books then I reality dawned on me.
Then I found this idea for a built in playhouse. How cool would this be? The girls would love it. It would be the perfect replacement for the cardboard playhouse we had in our old house which we no longer have room for and a great way of tidying away some of their toys.
After much planning we have finally settled on a design idea that we both like and have found the time to get started with our hallway make over.
We haven’t told the girls what we are making yet as we are going to leave it as a surprise but they have already started putting it to good use by opening up their own tea shop.