Reasons to be cheerful #R2BC

Thursday, 31 May 2012

Walking into work this morning I suddenly remembered it was Thursday so time for my reasons to be cheerful again. I haven't had time to think of anything before now as we've been so busy out in the sun that blogging has not been high on my list of priorities this week. I haven't done much of anything this week so I'll have to write this quick as I've got a pile of ironing that's as tall as me which must be done tonight.

Anyway, please pop over to visit Mich at Mummy From The Heart who hosts this fab linky. Click on the pic to the left to visit her and read all the other lovely Reasons to be Cheerful. Here are mine...

1  //  We had a fabulous week enjoying the sun. Days in the park, on the playing field, in the garden and fun in the paddling pool, to name but a few things we got up to in the sun. The good weather gives me a sense of freedom... there are so many more things to do when the weather is fine, like going for a quick walk in the witching hour between tea and bedtime. We're so lucky to have some lovely playing fields with a playground right across the road from our house, and spent lots of time over there when it was sunny.

2  //  I'm really looking forward to the Jubilee celebrations this weekend. I'm going to put our union jack bunting up outside our house tomorrow and make my jubilee cupcakes this weekend. My mum and dad are having a barbecue to celebrate the occasion on Tuesday. It will be mayhem with a house filled with 4 children under 3 and all the adults too but it'll be brilliant. Hopefully the weather will be kind to us so we can enjoy it all in the garden.

3  //  I got my new Kindle Touch today and can't wait to have a proper play with it. I already have Kindle for Android on my mobile but I've got so many books stored on it that it's taking up too much memory space so I thought I'd buy myself the real thing. I've got loads of books downloaded already so will hopefully spend a bit of time reading over the weekend.

4  //  I tried pear cider for the first time this week and love it. I haven't drunk cider since I was 18 years old when I had a bad experience involving too much of the stuff resulting in me being very ill! I really fancied an alcoholic drink on the hot evenings this week so thought I'd give it a try as it looked really refreshing in a glass full of ice. I was right. It really is the perfect drink for hot summer evenings sat in the garden when the Darlings have gone to bed.

5  //  My cupcakes for work sold out in 13 minutes! I volunteered to make some for a cake sale at work to raise money for a few charities. I made some double chocolate cupcakes. The cake sale started at 10am and my colleague came to tell me they'd all been sold at 10.13am! And they made £9.00 towards the total raised.

6 //  My dad has got a few holiday brochures so we've started to plan our holiday next year. The whole family is going so there'll be 6 adults and 4 children. Hopefully we'll be booking something very soon.

7  //  I spent the morning helping out at Oliver's playgroup last Friday. It was lovely to see him there playing so nicely with his friends. His keyworker went through his file with me and it was lovely reading the notes and observations she's written about him. I was really surprised and impressed with some games that she did with him where he had to copy the letters on the page, he did them all perfectly.

So what have you got to smile about this week? If you want to see what other people are cheerful about, pop on over to Mummy from the Heart to read their stories or follow the linky below!

Sealife Centre Great Yarmouth

Wednesday, 30 May 2012

When we were on holiday in Great Yarmouth the other week we visited the Sealife Centre. It was a bit of a cold rainy day so we had a rethink of our plans to try and find somewhere indoors to visit. I thought the Darlings would enjoy looking at all the fish there but I didn't expect there to be Sharks, Crocodiles and Penguins too!

There really are lots of things to see and do. Oliver loved the interactive rock pool where he stroked a starfish! My favourites were the turtles... they all had a number painted on their back and you had to match them up to their names on the chart. The 1 million litre underwater tank full of sharks was amazing, walking through the tunnel surrounded by sharks was very cool. The penguins were so cute, they all had a different coloured 'bracelet' on so you could look on a chart to see what their name was. Lydia loved it all too and learned a new word "Ish" {fish}!

There's also a soft play centre and cafe so you can have lunch and a sit down while the little uns have a play.

Crocodiles

Turtles

Underwater shark tank

Sharks

Jellyfish

Penguins

Nemo! {aka a clownfish}

One tip I would give is to book online before you go. It's 30% cheaper if you do. Your tickets are valid all day so you get your hand stamped and can come and go as you please. We had a walk round the Sealife Centre, then went out for lunch and a walk round Great Yarmouth promenade, then went back in later in the afternoon when it was much quieter and we could have a longer look at everything.

Pay them a visit the next time you're in Great Yarmouth!

Fun in the sun

Tuesday, 29 May 2012

This time last week I was putting an extra duvet on Oliver's bed and a fleecy blanket on Lydia. What a difference a week makes! It's now a scorching 25 degrees with not a cloud in the sky. I really hate myself for saying this but its too hot for me. I don't cope well with the heat, I feel hot and bothered. Our house is like a sauna too! It faces south and is hit by the sun from 9am to 6pm. Which is fab for being out in the garden but our bedrooms get so hot. Which makes for some hot, sticky nights with me laid with the fan blowing coolish air on me. But I'd choose this weather over cold and rain any day! 

Anyway we've had a fabulous weekend and had lots and lots of fun in the sun.  

Friday 
We all went to the shop and I bought us a Cornetto each, then went to the park which is also across the road from us. It's lucky that we were all slathered in factor 50 as there was a lovely breeze which masked the fact that it was actually scorching. The Darlings loved just running round on the grass while I sat down snapping away.


Saturday 
Another beautiful day. We met my sister and my nieces for breakfast then went to my mum and dad's house. After lunch, swimsuits were donned and  the paddling pool was filled up. Oliver, Lydia and their cousin Amelia had a ball playing and splashing. After a while my dad brought out half a bottle of shower gel, which he squirted into the water causing an absolute mountain of bubbles! Needless to say the kids loved it. 




Sunday 
Hubby was working in the morning so I decided to make the most of another day of sunshine by going to our local park, Greenhead Park. In my humble opinion it is the best park in the world! But I might be a bit biased as I lived very close as a child and spent a lot of time there. So I have a special attachment to it and feel so happy to now be watching my children playing there and enjoying the park. It's recently undergone a huge restoration project and is beautiful {I feel an idea for a new post coming on all about Greenhead Park!}


So did you enjoy the beautiful weather? What did you get up to this weekend?

Silent Sunday

Reasons to be cheerful #R2BC

Thursday, 24 May 2012

I'm so happy to be taking part in this fab linky again. Last week was my first time and I had some lovely comments about my post and loved reading everyone else's reasons to be cheerful.

Well this week the sun has been shining on us and I'm sure it makes everyone more cheerful.  Even though it's a tiny bit too hot for me as I don't deal with this heat very well! Our house is boiling too which makes for some hot sticky nights where I don't sleep very well.


But I'm not complaining as I'd rather have sun and heat than the rain and cold! So here are my R2BC this week...

1  //  My biggest reason to be cheerful this week is that my Mum and Dad came home from their holiday on Tuesday. Oh how we missed them! They were away for two weeks but it felt like two months. 

2  //  I've only had to work two days this week. I don't work Mondays anyway but I had Tuesday off as my parents were still on holiday that day and hubby is on the early shift this week, so I had the day off to look after the Darlings. Then I've got Friday off as I've volunteered to help out at Oliver's playgroup. So a nice short week for me.

3  //  I went to Bingo last night. I love going to Bingo and try to go once a month with a couple of friends from work. We didn't win but it was still a great night out, catching up on all the work gossip and having a giggle.

4  // I found out that I can apply for my old job back. I took a step down after maternity leave so that I could work part time but have now been told I can do my old job as a job share. I still have to have an interview as it's part of the recruitment process so I'm keeping my fingers crossed that I do actually get it.

5  //  My blog has now got it's own domain name! It's now known as www.mydarlingsandme.com. I'm so proud!

So what have you got to smile about this week? If you want to see what other people are cheerful about, pop on over to Mummy from the Heart to read their stories or follow the linky below!

Strawberry Cheesecake Cupcakes

Wednesday, 23 May 2012

Firstly apologies for the lack of baking on my blog recently. Because we've been on holiday, I haven't baked for a couple of weeks. It felt weird as I've got into a little routine of baking a couple of times a week {once with Oliver and once on my own}. These cupcakes really are mega easy. I did it all by hand as my mixer is still broken and I didn't even break into a sweat!

I've been looking through my recipe books every day since we came home from our holiday. Like a kid in a sweetshop, trying to decide which one to try. It was a last minute decision to make these though, as we had some strawberries in the fridge that needed using up. I hate to see anything go to waste!

It was the first time I've made cream cheese frosting {only because I've never had any cream cheese in the fridge when I was making frosting until now}. I used good old Philadelphia, the full fat variety. To be honest I couldn't tell the difference between this and ordinary buttercream frosting. Mind you, I've got a cold so can't really taste anything *sob*.


Strawberry Cheesecake Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting

Makes 10
Preparation time 20 minutes
Baking time 20-25 minutes

Cupcakes
120g plain flour
140g caster sugar
1.5 teaspoons baking powder
40g butter, softened
120ml whole milk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 egg
12 strawberries, chopped into small pieces

Frosting
300g icing sugar
50g unsalted butter
125g cream cheese, cold
5 digestive biscuits

Preheat the oven to 170C (325F) Gas Mark 3. Line a 12 section bun tray with 10 paper cases {my recipe said makes 12 but I got 10 out of it}.

Put the flour, sugar, baking powder and butter in a bowl and beat with a hand-held electric whisk on a slow speed until you get a sandy consistency and everything is combined.

Pour in the milk and vanilla extract and beat on a medium speed until all the ingredients are well mixed {scrape any unmixed ingredients from the side of the bowl with a spatula}. Add the egg and beat well for a couple of minutes.

Divide the chopped strawberries between the paper cases, just so the bottom is covered. I used about 6-7 small pieces in each case. Spoon the cupcake mixture over the top of the strawberries until two thirds full. Pop them in the oven for 20-25 minutes or until light golden in colour and the cake bounces back when touched. If you insert a skewer into the middle of the cake it should come out clean. Leave the cupcakes to cook slightly in the tray before turning out onto  wire rack.

Make the frosting now. beat the icing sugar and butter in a bowl with a hand-held electric whisk on medium-slow setting until the mixture comes together and is well combined. Add the cream cheese in one go and beat it until it is completely incorporated. If you want to make the frosting pink, add a few drops of red food colouring. Turn the mixer up to medium-high speed and beat until the frosting is light and fluffy. Don't over beat as it can quickly become runny.

When the cupcakes are cold, spoon or pipe the frosting on top. Finish with a sprinkling of finely ground digestive biscuits or sprinkles of your choice {I used some pink shimmer sprinkles as I didn't have any biscuits!!}

Jubilee excitement!

Monday, 21 May 2012

I always get swept away by these events! I was excited for weeks before the Royal wedding last year and on the day I actually got myself and the Darlings dressed up in red, white and blue clothes for the day {did I actually just admit that?!} I love weddings and I love the royal family so it was a match made in heaven for me. I think I even shed a tiny tear when I first saw Prince William all dressed up in his red jacket!

                                                                        Source: google.co.uk via Debra on Pinterest


Anyway, I'm loving the build up to the Queen's Diamond Jubilee which is a couple of weeks away. My parents are holding a barbecue for all the family on the Jubilee day. I'm really looking forward to it but I love the weeks preceding the event too. Seeing all the Union Jack flags everywhere and hearing everyone's plans for the day. I love all the ad's on TV with the companies cashing in on the occasion and the over-use of the Union Jack.

Speaking of the Union Jack, I was in Sainsburys the other day and as I walked in, straight in front of me was a massive display of Union Jack merchandise. I just couldn't resist. I filled my trolley with loads all these things. {The magazine had free union Jack cupcakes cases and is full of Jubilee ideas}.


But I didn't stop there. My thoughts then turned to making some Jubilee cupcakes. I bought some themed cupcake cases from Sainsbury's but I wanted a few more decorations so off I popped to eBay and bought some red, white and blue sprinkles and some little flags!


Now I just have to plan what I'm going to wear on the day!

 So am I the only one who's excited about the Jubilee? What are your plans for the day? 

Silent Sunday

Reasons to be cheerful #R2BC

Friday, 18 May 2012


I've wanted to join in with this lovely linky for a while but never got round to it *hangs head in shame*.  It's such a fab idea to sit down and take a minute to think about all my reasons to be happy. I had a tough start to the week with Lydia covered from head to toe in chicken pox but it's improved loads.

Click on the badge above to visit the blog of the lovely Mich at Mummy from the Heart who hosts this Bloghop.


 Right here goes...

1  //  We had a fantastic holiday last week. Most importantly, the Darlings had a brilliant time... I think Lydia thought we were staying there permanently {she's only 17 months old} and every time we left the holiday park Oliver would ask "Are we still on holiday?" as if he was checking that we weren't on our way home.

2 //  I might be getting my old job back. When I went part time at work I had to change jobs {still in the same department} but there's an opportunity to go back to my old job {more money and responsibility} by the possibility of doing a job share with another girl. It's only an idea at the moment but my manager really wants me back in my old job. Fingers crossed.

3  //  Lydia is better. Her chicken pox are almost all scabbed over which means she's no longer contagious so we can come out of quarantine and mix with the real world again. Hmmm, I might take the Darlings out for lunch tomorrow!

4  //  I made some cupcakes last night and even though I forgot to put the egg in {don't ask!} they turned out alright!

5  //  It's only 5 sleeps until my parents return from their holiday. They totally deserve a holiday {after all they look after the Darlings every other week so that we don't have to pay for child care} but we miss them SO MUCH. We're so close to them and they give me so much support and help with the Darlings, it's just weird when they're not around. Anyway, only 5 sleeps till they are back!

So what have you got to smile about this week? If you want to see what other people are cheerful about, pop on over to Mummy from the Heart to read their stories or follow the linky below!




My little swimmer

Thursday, 17 May 2012

We don't go swimming very often, in fact we haven't been since our holiday last year *hangs head in shame*. I feel bad about it as it's one of those things we just don't get round to doing. I want the Darlings to be enjoy swimming, I want them to be good swimmers and confident in the water.

We finally got ourselves organised and went swimming the week before we went on holiday. We all had a fab time but Oliver was so scared. He was clinging to me or hubby and refused to let go and swim on his own. He's got one of those float vests so he won't sink but he just didn't have the confidence. Lydia, on the other hand, loved swimming and jumping in and splashing us all!

The swimming pool on holiday  (Source)
On holiday last week, we went swimming every day. Oliver loved it and we had a huge breakthrough as he finally found his water confidence. On our first day, he was clinging to me for a while until I distracted him and gently let go. After a few seconds he realised he was floating on his own, panicked a bit, then he was off! He just got more and more confident and was swimming the full width of the pool {well it was doggy paddle but he was moving!} We played at him pretending to rescue me and he even went down the slides with hubby. I was so happy to see him really enjoying himself. I wish I had some photos of the Darlings in the pool but I don't think cameras are allowed so these photos are of the pool on holiday.

The slides at the Haven holiday park at Caister on Sea (Source)

I can't leave out Lydia from this post! She just loved being in the water especially splashing us and going in the jacuzzi! I don't want to leave it so long until the next time we go swimming as I don't want her to end up being scared of the water. We're definitely going to go swimming more often {we've already been once since we got back from our hols} and I'm thinking of booking some proper lessons for Oliver.

Do your children like swimming?  Do they have lessons?


Oh we do like to be beside the seaside!

Wednesday, 16 May 2012

Well what a fantastic time we all had on our mini holiday.  I call it mini as we only went from Monday to Friday. Then we didn't went to come home!

It was a bit of a last minute holiday. Well we booked it 4 weeks ago, but that is last minute for me who usually books a year in advance! My parents booked their holiday for last week and this week, and as they look after the Darlings every other week, hubby and I would have had to book some time off work. So we thought why not go on holiday ourselves!

We went to a Haven caravan park last year and loved it so much that we wanted to go again but to somewhere a bit further afield. So we decided on the Haven holiday park at Caister On Sea near Great Yarmouth in Norfolk. I booked a 2 bedroom prestige caravan which is top of the range, almost brand new and has heating in all the bedrooms {woo!} It was gorgeous! Really modern, tasteful decor, very spacious and sparkling clean.


The Darlings were sharing a bedroom which they've never done before. I was a bit worried that they wouldn't sleep but I needn't have worried as they were so shattered at the end of each day they both slept brilliantly. I hired a bed guard for Lydia's bed instead of putting her in a travel cot. It was a bit weird seeing my baby in a proper bed!

Anyway, Haven is just brilliant! There is so much for children of all ages. A swimming pool with slides, adventure playground, crazy golf, outdoor sports courts, climbing wall with a zip wire, bike hire, soft play, kids clubs and an amusement arcade.  To be honest we hardly used any of the facilities as we went out visiting the local area most days. But if you wanted to stay in the park, there is plenty to do. We were literally a stones throw from the beach too. It was such a shame that the weather was rubbish so we only had a quick look at the beach.




The evening entertainment was superb too. There was a brand new ShowBar {which Oliver called the dancing room!} with a stage and dance floor. The shows kick off at 6.30pm which is great for families with young children who don't stay up late. We usually got there for this time and stayed till about 8pm. There is something different on every day... we saw DJ Ned's Mash Up, Party in the Dark and Music Mania! This was definitely the highlight of Oliver's holiday... when I asked him what was his favourite part of the holiday he said 'the dancing room'!



Party in the dark

When it got to Thursday we decided that we didn't want to go home! So I went to reception to ask if we could stay until Sunday. Unfortunately our caravan was booked so we would have had to move to a different caravan. It was also going to be really expensive... more than it cost for our 5 days there! It would have been too much hassle and expense so we decided to go home on the Friday {lucky we did as Lydia started with Chicken Pox that day!} 

So that was our holiday. What are your holidays plans for this year? Are you staying at home or going abroad?



The pox strikes again

Tuesday, 15 May 2012

Firstly apologies for the lack of posts recently. This post was supposed to be about our holiday last week but I haven't had time to write that yet! Well as the title says, we've been struck by chicken pox again. It's Lydia's turn this time and she's got it really bad, bless her. I noticed the first spot on Friday just as we were leaving to come home from our holiday. Now she's covered in big horrible blistered spots. They're everywhere...  Including in her hair, ears, eyelids, even one in her mouth and on her tongue. She's really uncomfortable and itchy. Not a happy girl at all.

Sunday was a particularly bad day for us all. She was really unhappy so just wanted to cuddle all day. I was feeling really emotional too, just seeing my beautiful baby with all those spots broke my heart. Hubby very kindly went out to the pub to watch football, leaving me glued to the sofa with Lydia whilst trying to prise her off so I could see to Oliver's demands plus cooking tea and doing four loads of washing. Needless to say I was so wound up by the time hubby got home he got a right mouthful.

I didn't get much sleep last night either. Hubby ended up downstairs on the sofa and Lydia in bed with me... Just to get a bit of sleep.

Anyway she seems a tiny bit better today so hopefully she's past the worst of it. We're still in quarantine as chicken pox is highly contagious but we sneaked out this afternoon for a drive to one of our favourite places as I knew we'd be there wouldn't be anyone else there. Don't even ask me what this place is called but its somewhere on the Yorkshire moors and its kind of a viewpoint with amazing views over the moors and a reservoir. There's a small carpark and usually an ice cream van {that's why the Darlings like going there}. It was just nice to stretch our legs and get out in the very fresh Yorkshire air!





My house has been totally neglected while Lydia's been ill so I've got a few jobs that need doing tonight try to finish my post about our holiday and catch up on reading all your blogs too!

Silent Sunday

My top baking tips

Thursday, 10 May 2012

Why are my cupcakes sinking? Why are they taking so long to bake? How do I know when my cupcakes are ready? Find the answers to all your questions here!

I've wanted to do this for a while. Put together a list of my top baking tips. Sometimes when I'm baking I think 'Ooh this would be handy to know!' So I've made a note of them and here they are...

  • Follow the recipe! It sounds simple but it's essential. If you're making cupcakes follow the sponge recipe exactly. If you mess with it something might go wrong! If you want to change anything, have a play with the icing by adding flavouring or colours.
  • Read the recipe carefully and don't rush anything. You might miss out a vital ingredient or part of the process which could mean disaster!
  • Get a decent set of digital weighing scales. It's really important that you get the weights of the ingredients spot on. Baking is a science so if you get any of the quantities wrong, it just won't work.
  • Make sure you take your butter out of the fridge in plenty of time to let it soften. It's impossible to use the butter if its still hard! If you forget, cut it into small pieces and put in the microwave for 10 seconds to soften it.
  • Don't use eggs straight from the fridge. Leave them at room temperature. It will help the mixture to come together evenly. By mixing cold items into your batter, you risk having a lumpy batter which might cause you to overmix it.
  • Don't overfill the cases or they will overflow. Don't fill them more than two thirds full.
  • To make sure your cupcakes are all the same size, use a scoop to fill the cases with the mixture {e.g. an ice cream scoop or a small measuring cup}
  • Preheat your oven. Turn it on when you start making the batter so it has plenty of time to heat up to the correct temperature.
  • Get an oven thermometer. My oven is quite old and it was always taking longer than the recommended time for baking in the recipe. So I got an oven thermometer {it only cost 72p from Amazon!} so that I could set my oven to exactly the right temperature.
  • Do not under any circumstances open your oven until the minimum cooking time has passed! Opening your oven will let heat out and could cause your cupcakes to sink.
  • Ovens vary greatly so use the baking time as a guide. I always set my timer for the minimum time in the recipe then check if the sponge is ready. If not I set my timer for another 2 minutes then check again. Keep checking every 2 minutes until done.
  • Check that your cupcakes are ready by inserting a skewer or toothpick into the centre. If it comes out clean the cake is done. Alternatively, gently touch the cake, if it springs back, it is ready.

Well I hope you find these tips helpful. Why don't you bake your favourite cupcakes now?  Enjoy one as soon as it's ready and then either share the rest with friends or freeze them for your future enjoyment!

Hazlenut and chocolate cupcakes

Tuesday, 8 May 2012

What's a Mummy to do when you're in quarantine with two bored toddlers and it's pouring down outside? Bake some cupcakes of course. Any excuse eh?! We made these last week when we were under quarantine with Oliver's chicken pox.

It was no mean feat either. My beloved electric hand-held whisk has gone to the kitchen in the sky. Yes its dead {well it might actually just need a new fuse but it's not working!} So I had to do this entire recipe by hand. My right arm now resembles that of Popeye!


Hazlenut and Chocolate Cupcakes

Makes 10
Preparation time 20 minutes
Baking time 20 minutes

Cupcakes
100g plain flour
2 1/2 tablespoons cocoa powder
140g caster sugar
 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
40g lightly salted butter, softened
120 ml whole milk
1 egg
120g Nutella

Frosting
250g icing sugar
80g butter, softened
2 tablespoons whole milk
3 tablespoons Nutella

Preheat oven to 170C (325F) Gas Mark 3. Line a 12 section bun tray with 10 paper cake cases {the recipe said makes 12 but I only got 10 out of it}

Put the flour, cocoa, sugar, baking powder, and butter in a bowl and beat with a hand-held electric whisk on a slow speed until you get a sandy consistency and everything is combined.

Slowly pour the milk into the flour mixture beating well until all the ingredients are will mixed. Add the egg and beat well {scrape any unmixed ingredients from the side of the bowl with a spatula}

Spoon into the paper cases until 2/3 full. Make sure your shelf is in the middle of the oven and pop them in for 20 minutes. Check them after 20 minutes and if they bounce back when touched or a skewer inserted in the middle comes out clean, they are done. If not leave for another 2 minutes and check again. Leave the cupcakes to cool slightly in the bun tray before transferring them to a wire rack to cool completely.

When the cupcakes are cold, hollow out a small hole in the centre of each one {I used an apple corer to make a neat hole!} Fill each one with a heaped teaspoon of Nutella.


Make the frosting. Beat the icing sugar and butter with a hand held  electric whisk on a medium speed until the mixture comes together and is well mixed. Add the milk to the icing mixture a little at a time. Once all the milk has been incorporated, turn the mixer up to high speed and beat for 2 minutes, until the mixture is light and fluffy.Stir in the Nutella by hand until evenly mixed into the frosting. When the cupcakes are cold, spread or pipe the frosting on top and finish with sprinkles of your choice. I used white chocolate stars!

A chocolate covered Lydia loved these cupcakes!

Recipe adapted from The Hummingbird Bakery Cupcakes and Muffins recipe book.

Three months of blogging!

Monday, 7 May 2012


Happy 3 months blogging anniversary to me!

Wow, what an amazing 3 months it has been! Thank you to my 35 wonderful followers for joining me at the beginning of my blogging journey. I am so grateful and flattered that you decided to follow my little blog! Although it's intended purely as a diary, it's lovely to know I've had almost 2500 views so someone is reading, whether you stumbled across this by accident or not, it's still nice to know I'm not typing into the abyss!

There's no doubt that blogging has taken over my life! I'm constantly thinking of ideas for new posts. My mobile phone has become my mobile office with all sort of apps for writing and to-do lists and ideas. I have a rule that I don't turn the laptop on until the Darlings are in bed but if I get the odd spare 10 minutes during the day (when Lydia is having a nap and Oliver is playing!) I'll work on a new post or look at other blogs on my mobile.

I've had a few days when its felt a bit overwhelming and that I can't keep up with it. I try to get ahead by having a couple of posts finished, to take the pressure off a bit. I have to tell myself it's not the end of the world if I don't do a new post for a couple of days! I sometimes have doubts and think that my writing is crap and I'm writing about boring things. I read other blogs where the writing is amazing but I have to remind myself they they've been blogging for years and I've only been at it for 3 months. My favourite things to blog about are our everyday life, like a trip to the farm or the funfair, where I can write about what we've been doing and add loads of photos.

Blogging has also ignited a passion for photography. I've always loved taking photos, but then I would always forget to take my camera out with me. I take photos of anything and everything now. Because I love to put photos on my blog! 

One of my Photo A Day pics
And then there's my beloved cupcakes! I started baking just for something to blog about but I've become totally addicted to it. I haven't baked in all my adult life but I honestly can't go more than a few days now without trying out a new recipe. And more than anything I love giving them to family and friends for them to enjoy them too!

My piping still needs some practice!
 I've never had a proper hobby before but now I've got three... blogging, photography and baking!!!

Maybe the strangest thing is that I haven't told anyone I know about my blog. It's not intentionally a secret but I don't feel ready to let it become public property yet! I know it is public as anyone can read it, I just don't want everyone I know reading it. I'm finding this hard to explain! Apart from Hubby, the only other person who knows is my sister {but only because she follows me on Twitter}. I'm fine with her knowing because she's supportive and says nice things about it. I think what I'm trying to say is, if I knew lots of people I know were reading it, I might not write with such honesty and openness. Give me a bit more time and I'm sure that one day I'll feel ready to go public!

Finally thank you to all those who take the time to blog. I now know how dedicated you all are. You inspire me every day.

Silent Sunday