Why Brave the Shave?

I thought it would be good to share with you a little bit about as to why I am Braving the Shave…

Last year my close friend was dying and did die of cancer, our close family friend is also currently battling cancer, a family member is battling cancer again, numerous family members have battled cancer, we’ve lost people to cancer and every single day more people are diagnosed with this horrendous disease – IT’S JUST SHIT – it does not discriminate and there but for the grace of God go I, this has affected me a lot and I got into my head I wanted to use this anxiety productively and try and raise some money for charity.

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Let’s go hero…

A week or so back my Blue One turned four (I feel so emotional about this…) and he is a massive Ben Ten fan – knows the aliens, loves all the different series (when Ben is 10 or when he is 15) so it was only fitting that he should have an Omnitrix birthday cake!

So as usual with the help and support of my beloved and exceptionally talented sister (of Caking it fame) I went about making his birthday cake oooo and some cool biscuits he gave to his friends to celebrate his birthday, below are the photos showing the journey, I hope you enjoy!

Initial Sketch
Initial Sketch

I did this initial sketch to work out colours as there are numerous styles of Omnitrix (possibly with different names) so I amalgamated a few styles and varied the colours. I was actually pretty chuffed with this drawing! Easily pleased me!

Carving Cake
Carving Cake

My sister helped me immensely with direction of the best way to carve the initial shape of the cake.  Then I had to give each of the sponges a light crumb coat.

Iced and etched
Iced and etched

Prior to this, I coloured up the icing I needed, dark grey, light grey, green, black and some left white.  Didn’t have to be exact as could add shadows and colours in later with a little mixed up food colouring and a little airbrushing.
Added the first layer of fondant icing and etched in some of the Omnitrix pattern, and quite quickly the cake was taking shape.

Adding the strap
Adding the strap

As the Omnitrix is a watch, a big part of it is the strap, it’s amazing what a difference it makes adding details in like this.

A little bit of shading
A little bit of shading

It’s amazing what a huge difference adding a little bit of shading can do!!!
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Walking with the Pink One

A very short post tonight about my ‘exercise’ for Juneathon Day 7, need to crack on with some more OU studies, so today I did some short walks to take my daughter to a birthday party and back.  All in all, covering almost 4.5km, but adding all the time up, it over an hour – it’s quite funny comparing the speed of my walk back to collect her (average pace of 9:21mins/km) to length of time it took to walk back home again with the small Pink One in tow (average pace of 17.30mins/km) – but walking is walking and it was a beautiful day and lovely to be going along chatting and holding hands with my Pink One! I probably don’t do it often enough!

It's a beautiful day...
It’s a beautiful day…
There and Back Again!!!
There and Back Again!!!

In between walking to and fro for my daughter, I baked some Gluten and Dairy free banana loaves, which are now in the freezer, ready for my daughter’s school fete on Saturday! I did make three – but one of them was a complete disaster for no apparent reason so didn’t make the cut!!!  This did involve a considerable amount of standing up and mixing – so must contribute to my exercise somehow!?!

Gluten and Dairy Free Banana Loaves
Gluten and Dairy Free Banana Loaves

I also did seven toe touches, seven sit and reaches and seven sit ups/tummy crunches!

Hope everyone else had a good Juneathon Day 7 and a lovely weekend!

🙂 xxx

50 things that make me happy 

I thought the blog post by Love From Clueless Mum was very inspiring, so thanks to her (and her inspiration mr and mrs t plus three) here’s my list, in no particular order, of 50 things that make me happy…

1. My children when they play nicely together – the laughter is lovely to hear even if I’m thinking at the back of my mind “this is probably going to end in tears!”

Having Fun!
Having Fun!

2. Taking photos – my Nikon D60 was my first baby, it was bought the October the year before the Pink One was born – I love taking photos, I take far too many, and when I find time I like to put my favourite ones on Redbubble – you can find my images here and I’ve written a post on some of my photography which you can find here.

3. Singing – it is a great stress reliever, I am a member of a choir too.  You can hear some of my singing on YouTube if you wish and I have also sung on some of my audio blog posts

4. Studying with the Open University – it’s been one of the most challenging things I have done, but also very rewarding and opened up other opportunities I could never have foreseen

Studying
Studying

5. Beautiful blue skies on a cold crisp winter day

6. Running – as an anxiety sufferer this has been great for my mentality and the subject of my first ever blog post! It’s even more enjoyable when I go with friends – Helen and Kay have been marvellous at supporting and encouraging me.

Running
Running

7. Big family gatherings

8. Seeing a Robin redbreast – it just feels significant to me

9. Seeing my friends succeed – that in itself is inspiring

10. Seeing my Social Media presence grow

11. Blogging – when you finish a particularly good post (in your opinion) and it’s taken quite a lot of work, there’s nothing quite as satisfying as hitting publish

12. Reading someone else’s blog and thinking what a fab post (and realising it’s not just me! Lovely not to feel alone especially when it comes to this parenting malarkey!)

13. My 100 Days Style Challenge (especially painting my nails!!!) – which I will be writing a separate post on (at some point! So much going on – need more hours in the day!!!) – but I was inspired by Kat Henry (links to her Blog and Instagram) who in turn was inspired by Kathryn (links to her Blog and Instagram) – amazing women!

14. Nights out with my mummy friends that I have known since the birth of the Pink One

15. Writing down the funny things my children say or mispronunciation of words – these are currently on my phone, but I am gradually transferring them into a book which I am handwriting that they can have when they grow up! (think I have about 2 years worth to write up for both of them!!! haha!!!)

16. Sitting on the sofa with my hubby and watching some crap TV or a film

17. Actually managing to go on a date night or day with my hubby

18. As much as I love my kids nothing brings a smile to my face as to when they go for a sleepover at nanny and granddads!!!

19. Getting an assignment for the OU submitted

20. Getting the result of assignment back (when it’s a good one!)

21. Starting and finishing a creative project that I’ve seen on Pinterest, or come up with myself, even if it takes me a over a year!!! One example I blogged about you can find here!

See I am creative!
See I am creative!

22. Seeing my kids facing when they see the birthday cake I have made for them, regardless of the sleepless night and tears that have gone into it… I’ve posted blogs about the Pink Ones cake and the Blue Ones cake and the amazing Sister who helps me!

Yummy! Cake!!!
Yummy! Cake!!!

23. Christmas – we love this festive season as a family and we probably go overboard, but the expressions on the kids faces makes it all worth while

Yay! Christmas!
Yay! Christmas!

24. The fact my Blue One is out of nappies during the day!

25. Getting to have one-on-one time with each of my children

26. When you email a company and they are actually very helpful – in the latest instance Sistema, the makers of the water bottles we use, I let them know that even with careful cleaning the bottles lids smelt of stagnant water and they posted me some new lids with no fuss whatsoever

27. My self designed tattoo – a tribute to my kids, if you look in the wings you can see their first initials A and a J – this is on my left thigh and I love it! Again, I designed it and then waited a year before I had it done. It was actually a major stepping stone in my struggle with anxiety!  What really helped was my phenomenal tattoo artist! I had it done at Jesters Tattoos in New Eltham, and my artist was Manda!

My Tattoo!
My Tattoo!

28. Getting an unexpected compliment

29. When my husband takes holiday time off work – love us all being together as a family (and it means its not just me telling the kids off)

30. When the kids do something the first time I ask – I also think this would make me faint as it does not happen often (if at all)!!!

31. When Stephen Amell personally liked a Facebook message I posted to him!!!

32. The smell of clean washing

33. Warm sunny days where you can just be lazy

34. The ‘dates’ I have with my Blue One in the Morrisons café – used to do this with my Pink One as well before she started school.

35. Getting a good bargain – regardless of what it is I am buying – it could be cleaning products to some lovely new clothes – a bargain is a bargain!

36. Watching my children sleep (they can’t answer me back when they are asleep) they look so angelic

Ahhh, sleeping angels...
Ahhh, sleeping angels…

37. The look on my Pink One’s face when she got a note from the Tooth Fairy for her first lost baby tooth (you can see the tinyletter in the photo of them sleeping above)

38. My kids excitement when Father Christmas has been

39. Developing my logo/brand for Jog on Mum

40. Having a lie in

41. Getting breakfast in bed

42. Getting my hair cut and coloured – I love it so much and afterwards I feel like me again! I have the best hairdresser!

43. Hearing my children say “I love you mummy, you’re the best” – I may not actually be the best mummy but to them I am so that’s all that matters! *grumble* *moan*

44. My tummy not being bloated and uncomfy at the end of the day – blooming IBS, still not great and I have  been following a low FODMAP diet since February!!!

45. A long hot shower without my small people for company (also in that line, going to the loo on my own too!)

46. Snow days with the kids

47. Days out at Brighton with the family, walking on the pier, playing dolphin derby and eating hot doughnuts! My hubby proposed to me on Brighton pier so it’s extra sentimental to me!

48. A lovely hot cup of tea – not one that has been reheated in the microwave for the umpteenth time, or left in there, or half drunk in a rush in the morning, one that you can savour as you watch some TV, read a book or are reading a particularly good blog post – ahhhh, bliss! Sometimes it really is the little things in life – the thought of this is just making me smile!

A hot cup of tea - bliss!!!
A hot cup of tea – bliss!!!

49. Looking through all my photos and videos (particularly ones of the kids) I could lose hours if not days to doing this!!!

50. People reading my blog, liking it and getting comments!!! It’s definitely a good ego booster!!! 🙂

It’s been nice to write a positive improve your mood kind of post, and 50 is quite a large number, really makes you think and sometimes you’ll be surprised that it really is the little things in life that make you happiest – such as that hot cup of tea or the sound of your children laughing – what would be on your list?

Comment below and please share this post – it would be much appreciated!

🙂 xxx

Let them eat cake (including me)

On the 2nd of January I got woken up by my then 2 year old Blue One saying “I want a Spider-Man party for my birthday” and this is what he continued to say for the next few weeks.  So I planned and got everything ready, buying a Spider-Man party set from Amazon (table cloth, cups, plates and napkins).  Ordered red paper party bags which I was going to decorate Spider-Man style and literally the week before his birthday, which is the 11th of February, we got begging of “I want a Sporkus (Sportacus from LazyTown) party…” cue tearful sobbing.

So with limited time left, what’s a mother to do? I’d already ordered and received everything, so rather than completely give into his demands which I didn’t agree with I compromised and made it a multi-hero themed party – i.e. I made the party bags Superman, Spider-Man and Sportacus.

I then redesigned the cake so it included both Spider-Man and Sportacus, below is the photo story of the development of this cake.  I hope you enjoy it…

The theme of the cake was based on the Blue One’s Spider-Man trainers – and I took this and designed/drew my own Sportacus themed trainer.

Designing the Sportacus Trainer
Designing the Sportacus Trainer

The cakes were all dairy and wheat/gluten free as I am currently on a Low FODMAP diet and I can’t eat these things at the moment and after putting so much work into them – I wanted to be able to eat them!!!  The cake was dairy and wheat/gluten free chocolate cake (I made three sheets) – each sheet made with 150g Dove’s plain flour mixed with 1tsp Dr Oetker’s baking powder which is gluten free, 50g cocoa powder and 50g melted Kinnerton chocolate – which is diary, gluten and nut free – with a splash of Alpro Soya milk and 200g of eggs – weight of eggs is with shells removed (approx 4 medium eggs – but yes I did weigh them).

The filling and crumb coat frosting was 500g Pure Sunflower spread (this has the lowest amount of salt and tastes the closest to buttercream made with unsalted butter), 500g icing sugar and 2 bars of melted dairy free kinnerton chocolate – yummy even if I do say so myself.

I had help, as always from my cake guru sister Sarah of Caking it, for which I am eternally grateful.

Number 1

Number 2

Number 3

Number 4

Number 5

Number 6

Number 7

Number 8

Number 9

Number 10

Number 11

Number 13

DSC_0061

DSC_0062

DSC_0063

Thanks goes to the fotor.com website where I made my collages for free!

Any questions or comments gratefully received and thanks for looking!

🙂 xxx

All quiet on the blog front

It’s been all a bit quiet on the blogging due to the fact I have just started an Open University degree – it’s the first time I have studied with the OU, so just trying to get my head round everything and find out where everything is, know when my assignment dates are and all the rest of it. I have my first tutorial in London next Saturday, so all being well I can make that – definitely think it will be helpful.

Took the Blue One up to London Zoo where he’d been invited to do a photo shoot, in the Bug House, with Something Special magazine.  This was great fun, but rather tiring!

I’ve also visited my dietician at Guy’s hospital – I am now in the middle of the planning and prep to start a Low FODMAP diet (Fermentable Oligosaccharides, Disaccharides, Monosaccharides And Polyols) – really hoping this will help with my IBS symptoms, it’s tiring being in discomfort all the time and it doesn’t help with my running – if I ate better I feel I could run more!  Starting this diet is like doing a second OU course – so much to learn and figure out with regards to what I can and cannot eat for the next 4-8 weeks.  There is loads on the what you can eat section – but it’s just getting used to these being your staple diet!!! Thank God for my wonderful hubby who is so supportive and helping me with this!

Finally, ending on a happy note, went for a lovely meal with some of my fellow Janathoners – it was so nice to meet them in person! Was a highly pleasant afternoon – and I really enjoyed it before I have to become more selective with my food for the next two months which will make eating out extremely awkward!

Now to study – and it’s the Blue Ones birthday this upcoming week, can’t believe he’s going to be three! It’s cake making time!!!

🙂 xxx

…”No, I’m the other sister…!!!”

Just to set the scene – I am the baby of four children. I have two older brothers and one older sister – you note how I’m telling you now I am the youngest as my sister and I often get “which one of you is older?” – never good for my pride!!! 😛

I’m sure I’ll discuss my wonderful brothers in future blogs, but in this I would like to introduce my amazing sister Sarah King.

My Big Sister!
My Big Sister!

Between my sister and I, I am the organised one and the one who creates fabulous spreadsheets in Excel (so exciting, I know!). I have a pretty good ability for drawing but my sister’s drawing ability is exceptional and puts mine in the shade – and this is only the start of it!

My sister is one ridiculously talented cake maker – when I say this you can’t possibly understand how talented unless you go and visit her pages – www.cakingit.co.uk – www.facebook.com/cakingit

Below are a couple of her cakes that I love;

Sarah's CakesBut not only is she phenomenal at making cake – she also really good at imparting this knowledge to others to help them make their own cakes – including me! Below are the cakes I’ve made for my kids with the excellent guidance of my sister!

The Pink One's Cakes
The Pink One’s Cakes

Click this link if you want to see the Facebook photo album of the step-by-step process that went into making the Pink One’s 1st Birthday cake – it was my first solo venture!

The Pink One wants a Frozen themed cake for her 5th birthday this month – so watch this space…

So hopefully you have been watching this space and here it is my Elsa Cake, inspired by McGreevy Cakes, for my daughter’s 5th Birthday. Obviously help and guidance provided by my sister and the whole thing is supported on a Fabricaking it stand!

Left: McGreevy Cakes Right: Mine
Left: McGreevy Cakes Right: Mine

Hoping to do a Blog on this cake as I took photos every step of the way – so will share with you all soon!

The Blue One's Cakes
The Blue One’s Cakes

The Blue One’s Birthday isn’t until February but already considering a Superhero theme or possibly Scooby Doo – but we’ll see!

Enjoy viewing her cakes (and mine!) and if you need one made – please do contact her by the links to her sites. If you’re an amateur baker yourself Caking it has released Fabricaking it and they provide support structures for your cakes – Standard Kits, Multifunctional and Bespoke.

So, what’s with the title of this blog? Well when we’re at family parties and there are friends there, I have regularly been asked “Are you the sister who makes cakes?” and my response “…No, I’m the other sister!”

I’m exceptionally proud of my sister so I don’t mind being the other one! 🙂 xxx