Wednesday, 29 February 2012

The Party

The birthday was an overwhelming success; the entertainer was on form and had the children attentive and engaged.  Youngest was awarded a medal, a lollipop and a chocolate bunny for his prowess in magic and his friends all had the opportunity to help out too.  At the end the entertainer gave the children balloon creations to take home.  Each one something the children picked themselves.  My two had ornate King Arthur swords, but there were horses, racing cars and hats in abundance.  Not sure how pleased parents were taking their kids home equipped with stuffed party bags and an assortment of balloons tucked under each arm.


I know we took longer than normal to fill the car.  But I would definitely recommend an entertainer; it took the stress out of thinking of ways to keep the children occupied.  I also did not have to buy lots of prizes for those games, so if you discount the money I saved there it seems more affordable!


The Lion cake was a success, although had a funny moment when my friend who was helping me tried to light the spaghetti whiskers thinking they were also candles.  Luckily no one had to endure burnt pasta smell!


Although when I came to do the big clean today, was too exhausted yesterday I found out hubbie had managed to block our kitchen sink… I am not obsessive about cleaning by any measure but I was getting stressed about the giant pile of dishes that needed my immediate attention and no hope of unblocking the sink.  Fortunately my dad, bless him, came to the rescue.  With a combination of soda crystals, brute force, hopeful plunging and then taking apart everything and starting again, I once again had a functioning sink!  To my dad I salute you!!!  Whatever age we are we still very much need our parents.

Create-a-World Review

We were sent a fantastic set today to engage my boys in creative play.  It is like a giant fuzzy felt set, but so much better quality and without the fiddly tiny pieces that you seem to be picking up till the end of time.  I love it, as anything that keeps youngest amused long enough for me to do anything without hearing MUMMY every five seconds is miraculous in my mind.  Lately my pre-schooler is my new shadow!


There is a wide range of pieces in the pack so plenty to appeal to both boys and girls.  With a fiercesome lion, a pretty princess, tons of different vehicles and even a spider wearing shoes, there is plenty of scope for limitless adventures.  My two both came up with their own stories.

Eldest: “Dinosaur trying to eat the moon, but he couldn’t reach.  The moon flew up to the stars, after the dinosaur jumped on a fire engine he still couldn’t reach, so he jumped up the big tractor but he still couldn’t reach.  Then he jumped on to a carriage that was a pumpkin and still could not reach.  At the end of the day he went on the rocket, he made it to eat the moon, as the moon was made of cheese!”


Youngest: “Peaches was locked up in a castle, man can’t open it key gone missing, he has to punch the door, spider got shoes on help man punch it.  Dinosaur eat door, can’t eat door”

So you can see boys had a lot of fun and really embraced their imaginations (although not sure if I should be concerned about all the violence in the story by my youngest!).  This would also make a pleasant change to reading from a book before bed, you could make a story up with the characters, vehicles and animals and it could change every time.  So no need to ever get bored with this toy, also perfect for rainy days stuck indoors with rampaging pre-schoolers.  The only limit is their imagination!

Create-a-World normally costs £49.95 but you can receive 15% off by entering in the code SLEEP15, you lucky people!  This code also works for the ABC add ons set.  This would make a really lovely birthday or Christmas present.  As it is a set requiring no batteries or complex instructions, just an opportunity for lots of family fun, nice to have a present they can just open the box and get going with.  You will be less stressed then on those special occasions as you can leave them to play with this whilst you build the complex tricky toys.  Although you might find them so engaged in this, they may well not want for anything else.

You can read more about Whitestep here and find more of their inspirational products.

Tuesday, 28 February 2012

Turning 3

Youngest is three today, my loveable rogue, I have a feeling three is not the magic number for instant toddler taming, but some obvious benefits!  For one no more tantrums that he cannot have the chewable vitamin his brother has (every morning for about a year that has caused a meltdown!).  He can also join water confidence swimming classes and gym club, which will help develop his skills and poise.

Today we are having a lovely party to celebrate, I think it has nearly bankrupted us but it’s nice to splurge on them sometimes.  We have hired a balloon modeller/magician to entertain the guests.  My brother has lovingly crafted a Lion birthday cake for him, with much bribing, just hope it looks lion like, but given he is a chef by trade I hope so…

Youngest is much like me in the morning, very slow to get moving, so we do not have a picture of him all beaming smiles.  He looks a bit bemused and ruffled.  Eldest was all like “wow its your birthday, whoop whoop, YAY!” as he is much more with it in the morning.  Also you can see we utilised the left over Christmas wrapping paper, well we did need to make a saving somewhere but received no complaints.


Youngest loved all his presents.  The hex bugs have been keeping one of the cats thoroughly amused, which is perfect to give Brownie the hamster some peace and quiet.  So would recommend hex bugs for keeping cats out of mischief as well as being a great toy for children.  We did cheat and wrapped two fantastic toys we received from Fisher Price to review so he looked like he had more presents.  Naughty mummy haha.


Hubbie baked up a storm last night, have heaps of fairy cakes decorated with chocolate and vanilla butter icing, oodles of sprinkles and big chunks of rocky road bars for the adults who are all HUGE fans.  We also have jelly setting in the fridge in party cups ready to furnish with squirty cream and yet more sprinkles when we get there.  Party bags are filled and looking impressive, jungle themed with plenty of little treats.

Just need to cook up the sausage rolls and little sausages, and then pile it into the car ready for later.  Wish me luck!  Tonight hubbie and I will look forward to collapsing on the sofa when the boys go to bed.  But I love birthdays they are so exciting!!!

Monday, 27 February 2012

Mrs MacCready Book Review

We were sent the very funny Mrs MacCready was ever so greedy by Julie Fulton (Published in May 2011) to review.  ISBN: 978-1-84886-065-0

Despite the boys having stacks of books between them we had yet to read one published by Maverick Children’s Books, which is nothing short of a travesty as they are very colourful and entertaining reads.

The book is written in rhyme, which is great as a change from what we normally read.  It definitely sparked a lot of interest.  The story involves the likeable Mrs MacCready who cannot stop eating… and eventually explodes!  The dramatic end result got a burst of giggles from my two.


The story cleverly recommends eating in moderation and making sure you engage in exercise (“playing in the park”) in such a silly way, any child should enjoy this book, without realising they are learning valuable lessons.

Would definitely recommend adding to any child’s collection.  If you have not had some Maverick magic on your bookshelf now is your chance!  Keep checking back as we have three more reviews to follow from Maverick over the next few days.

Available from Amazon for a very reasonable £5.39 and from other good book shops.

You can see more about Maverick’s books here and get a taste for what else they have available to read.  On the strength of the books I was sent, I have just placed my first order for the book "Nice Bear, Naughty Bear: Book of Good Manners" - that should go some way to domesticating my two!

Blogging tips Part Deux

I have discussed some pointers already here, but I have one bugbear so thought I would do another little post.

1. Please get rid of word verification for comments.  It is a royal pain in the bum, as I tend to always get the combination wrong, I am not quite sure how, but each time the box screams epic fail until I get to the point I think sod the comment, enough is enough!!!

2. If you have a comment from someone who blogs, it is nice to go back to their blog and do the same.  I was not aware of this polite courtesy between bloggers when I started so just graciously accepted the comment with a smile on my face.  Now I have been around longer I understand more and am not so naïve and woolly round my ears (I hope anyway but I still miss the occasional person not on purpose but find it hard tallying a personal name with a blog name at times, so if I have missed anyone sorry!).

3. I have since found there is a Foodies100 for those food blogs out there, so if you combine parenting with lots of baking or maybe making your own baby food purées from scratch it might be worth a nosey.  Either way it’s another pretty badge for your side bar if you’re talented enough in the kitchen.  We are not particularly talented but if we have just added it to the blog, it will make us try harder, that’s the plan anyway!!!  Slow cooker plodded away yesterday cooking up a delicious smelling casserole for dinner, and bread maker is getting regular airings, there is hope for the Missing Sleep family after all…

4. When you host a competition, also advertise it, hop along to loquax and add your competition there it will help drive up entries, as nothing more embarrassing than a competition with no entrants… (Okay hugely hairy toes might be more embarrassing or a boil the size of a meteorite on the end of your nose but you get the idea!)




Sunday, 26 February 2012

Agent of Change

My mission is to hand out coupons and samples of Ecover to friends and family, thus making myself instantly popular at the school gate.  I never got my box home intact to take a lovely picture of the complete contents, the postman caught me on the way to a playdate and at said playdate the mummies like crazed vultures took them from me with remarkable speed and agility.  Usually those kinds of athletics are only deployed to get to the last piece of cake (or to the bar before closing time) so I tell you now these are lovely samples.


Everyone loves a free sample and one that is reassuringly free of harsh chemicals when you’re a parent of little fledglings is an extra bonus.  We want nice and gentle products for our precious bundles of joy and for our own hands.  With natural plant based ingredients your being kind to your hands, seeing as they do give away your age first, forget the fancy face cream and invest in some decent washing-up liquid, which is more suited for sensitive skin.

It is good to also help nature, seeing as our children are the future generations, I would like to think we are all doing our little bit for the environment and if my little bit smells this good then I think I can happily do it more often!

Reactions have been positive so far, happy about the size of the bottle of Pomegranate Washing-up liquid to take with them on a self-catering holiday or on a trip in a trailer tent.

You can learn more and sign up to be an agent of change http://www.the-splash.co.uk/my-ecover/spread-the-word

Magic Choc Review

We were sent a pack of this to review from find me a gift.co.uk, Magic Choc is one of the products I have been meaning to try for ages so we are very glad we have finally had a chance.  I did wonder if it would be a bit of a novelty but it was surprisingly good fun.


The pack contains an Antibacterial hand wipe to ensure good hygiene, after all children and some adults can be quite grotty at times and seeing as you plan on eating your creation its nice to know it does not come complete with a side order of germs!

There was plenty of chocolate in the pack for us all to have a try at modelling something.  Hubbie found it quite easy to mould but I found it trickier.  Youngest spent the entire time asking, “Can I eat it?” “Can I have it now?” “MUMMY can I eat it”… so I can see why they rate it 4+, to help save parents sanity!


Eldest was very proud helping daddy; he was good at rolling out little balls for the wheels etc.  So he seemed to manage handling the flexible chocolate.  I obviously need to up my spinach intake and beef up!  Pleasantly the chocolate does not melt all over your hands and into a sticky mess, it was all a nice and tidy process, which is always helpful when you live on the edge of chaos!

The chocolate tastes remarkably nice, the dark one especially.  I could happily eat a whole bar of that.  The white I was not so impressed by, but the boys wolfed all of their creations with no complaints.

The pack is currently on offer at £3.99 on find me a gift.co.uk, so I could not think of a better time to purchase one.  If like me you have been curious to give it a try, you definitely should your children will have lots of fun and you can serve it up for pudding afterwards!  It was the right enticement to get them both to eat tonight’s beef casserole…

Silent Sunday 26/02/2012



Silent Sunday

Tyrrells Crisps Review

At the food exhibition there was a Tyrrells stand and the kind representative gave me three BIG packets (Veg Crisps, Sea Salt & Cider Vinegar and Sweet Chilli & Red Pepper) to take home and savour.  I promised to give them a little mention on here…


Eldest loved all three flavours; youngest did not appreciate the Veg Crisps as highly, he did sample a few but turned his nose up and returned to the Sweet Chilli crisps.


Eldest did have a moment of alarm eating the Veg Crisps as he had a sandwich too and the beetroot had stained it a little and he was panicking his mouth was bleeding… nothing like a bit of drama during a tasting session (I wonder if Masterchef judges ever have moments of raw terror!)  Once I explained to him he calmed down and resumed his contented munching of crisps… I quite liked them as a change from normal crisps.  Nice to have a spot of variety in you’re snacking choices. 


The Sweet Chilli & Red Pepper was also not too hot, so we could all manage it, even me the spice lightweight!  I have always been a fan of the Sea Salt & Cider Vinegar crisps; they really are quite delicious, maybe too delicious as I could manage a whole pack on my own!

Great rustic crisps, fantastic flavours, you really cannot go wrong with them.  Raise your party host stakes bringing out these, much better than offering your guests those dreadful mini party mix selections you got as a child… YACK.  Although hubbie is now reminiscing back to his party mix days!  Shakes head in disgust…

Saturday, 25 February 2012

Saturday is Caption Day

Here is this weeks offering with a picture of my youngest. 

If you want to take part head over to Mammasaurus.




Friday, 24 February 2012

Izzyboo Review

I was sent a stunning red handbag from the ones available at Izzyboo.  I am so impressed with the quality and the style of the bag for a price of £29.  I would have thought it would be priced considerably higher.  At prices like that even the most sleep deprived, bleary eyed, baby vomit covered mum could be more glamorous.  A fancy bag on your arm and your confidence can increase by the bucket load.


I am not sure if I want to share my secret with my friends or keep letting them believe it’s a designer handbag!  They are all coveting one.  But being the kind of friend I am I think I will point them in the right direction and watch our playdates go up in the chic stakes.  It even came with a bag protector to keep it looking perfect, I have never had a bag that warranted its own bag protector but this beauty sure does!

It felt comfortable on my shoulder and it had lots of useful extra zipped pockets inside so you could separate your handbag contents out nicely.  I am usually hunting around on my door step for ages before I find my keys, now I will dive into my bag with poise and grace grab the keys and open the door remaining calm and collected at all times…

With mothers day around the corner (18/03/12) I would bookmark the Izzyboo page and hopefully your husband/partner will get a subtle hint and give you a bit of sophistication (and not just a haphazardly created piece of artwork by your children, as much as we love them, a bought present would be appreciated just as much, so please can we have both!).  I think you cannot go wrong ordering one for your own mum either, there is quite an extensive range of styles and colours so am sure you would find something they would adore.

If your based around Suffolk you can even have a Izzyboo party (http://www.izzybooaccessories.co.uk/party-plans.php) and get to see all the handbags for yourself before you pick a favourite (or more they really are nice!).  The party host even gets to keep a free accessory (which could include one of the amazing handbags how generous is that of Izzyboo).  I wish I lived in that area as it would be a welcome change from yet another Body Shop party, which is all we seem to have again and again here!  Handbags and you provide cocktails and you’re practically in an episode of Sex in the City!

Reasons to be Cheerful

I thought I would get involved with Mummy From The Heart blog hop as sometimes we can be all doom and gloom so its nice to recap on the lovely things going on in our lives.

Reasons to be Cheerful at Mummy from the Heart

I have sorted out a misunderstanding with a close group of friends, which had me going a little crazy.  But it has all been resolved, with much hugging and happiness!  Phew.  Back to being the girls out of Cougar town, with more tea than wine drinking though!

I went to an amazing food exhibition and chomped on an obscene amount of delicious cake with another good friend of mine.  We also managed to blag some freebies to take home and share with my family.  I also placed an order for an epic cheesecake for hubbie so he is in an exceptionally happy mood too


My boys have had a full week of no germs, quite a record I must add, so they have not missed any of their fun after school activities or playdates

Our hamster is less feral and turning into a wonderful pet, no more blood loss in ages

My husband has quit World of Warcraft raiding so I now have my evening companion back and am not talking to myself so much!!!

Halos N Horns Review

We were sent the Toothy Fruity toothpaste and the Baby Moisturising Lotion to review.


The toothpaste RRP: £2.34 proved very popular, because not only does it have a great taste and smell, it is bright red, which the boys thought was quite impressive.  Brushing their teeth with this toothpaste was a pleasant experience; youngest did not do his usual trick of running off and dodging my every attempt to encourage brushing.  I did not even have to come up with an elaborate tale to get him to open his mouth, usually a goblin is painting his teeth yellow and we have to brush them back to white and whisk the goblin out of there before he gets up to anymore mischief, so was nice just to brush and go for a change.

Great products like these really do make a difference to a tired parent who can only be so creative in their teeth brushing stories, so I am very grateful for Halos N Horns for easing my burden!  As a parent I am delighted the toothpaste now also includes fluoride so would be more than happy to purchase this product again, that and because youngest thinks it tastes like jelly, what child doesn’t love jelly!


The Baby Moisturising Lotion RRP: £4.07 was lovely, made the boys skin soft and smooth.  I generally do not moisture their skin after baths now they are older but I think they liked the extra pampering treatment.  Again this would be a perfect product for a baby shower I plan to host.  Halos N Horns avoid using harsh ingredients in their products, so everything is very gentle even for the most sensitive of skin (although Halos N Horns do recommend avoiding all skincare products for the first month of life of your new baby!). 

A perfect product to use for to do some baby massage, when my youngest was born the health visitor gave us an informative session about the benefits and using a little bit of this moisturiser would be perfect to compliment the process.  Supposedly baby massage helps your baby sleep more at night, what’s not to love about that!

Thursday, 23 February 2012

Why I love my Mum

My mum has always made sacrifices for me, like being extra careful with money to afford to send me to college.  I lived in digs and each weekend my mum (and dad) would drive and get me and bring me back so I could socialize with my friends and keep my weekend job.  There must have been times when she was tired and could have done without doing the drive but she never said.

My mum has always supported and encouraged me academically.  If I needed further help and she was unable to do it herself she would go out of her way to find someone who could.  My mum helps me achieve my potential by not letting me give in too easily.  When I find things hard she is there to offer a guiding hand but not an easy way out.  Thanks to my mum I never came straight home from Camp America or gave up on my week’s work experience in the army - even after being given worm stew to eat!!!

This post is for you Mum and I LOVE YOU!




Thank you to find me a gift.com for this prompt

There are some fab gifts for mum on their site and am sure everyone's mum deserves to be spoilt this mothers day!

Sea-Band Review and Competition

I was quite excited to review a pair for my eldest; he has started getting travelsick on the way to his weekly swimming lessons.  It would not be so bad but time is limited, so stopping for him to have fresh air or to get rid of some vomit on the way often means we are running late and bless him he probably arrives in the pool a bit shell shocked from the rush.

So on Wednesday we tried him wearing his new and dandy blue Sea-Band wrist bands.  His brother already sports the army variety, so this way they have their own unique look.  He travelled fine there and back without any complaint of sickness.  I am really pleased, no stopping, no panic just a pleasant car journey, arriving for his swimming lesson in plenty of time.  He says they look cool and he will not get sick now.  Not sure if its his new positive mental attitude or the power of pressure.  But either way it got the desired result for everyone, so we are very happy!


Sea-Bands retail at £8.15 and are suitable for children 3+.  I think this price is cheap considering how much travel sickness medicine costs.  These will pay for themselves quite quickly and also being drug free, means your not having to give your children medicine unnecessarily, which pleases me no end.  Plus they are so simple to use even I cannot get muddled up, just ensure that pressure is applied to the acupressure point on each wrist.


I bet these would also be prefect for morning sickness too.  I wish I had the pair they kindly sent me back when I was pregnant with my two, I suffered quite badly with morning sickness both times and had to be very careful about what I ate to limit the sickness, a set of these wrist bands might have put me out of my misery and saved me from chain eating ginger biscuits…

I do not travel too badly in a car lately, so have yet to give mine a proper airing but I would love to use them on my next boat journey as I still get exceptionally motion sick from travel by sea.  Many a holiday abroad has been spoiled by me hanging off the side of the boat giving the ocean the contents of my breakfast, lunch or dinner!

You can find out more about Sea-Band on their website including making online purchases.  Alternatively Sea Band are also available at your local chemist, that’s where I bought the set my youngest owns.

I have kindly been sent two sets (comprising of a child’s and an adults pack of wristbands each) to giveaway.  To enter please complete rafflecopter, this competition will close on the 10th of March.



a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday, 22 February 2012

Pillow Pets Review

Eldest excited telling youngest “I have seen this on telly, let me tell you how it works, you open it like this and then you can take it on a sleepover…” Both then Oooohh over it full of obvious respect

Pillow Pets are unbelievably soft; I could quite happily snug into the sweet Penguin and have a quick nap… wonder if the children will let me share him for long enough.  With an RRP of £19.99 I think they are certainly worth it, I have a feeling if you have trouble getting your toddler off to sleep you could bring out their special pillow and help ease some of those difficult moments when you know they need sleep but they just keep fighting it.  Youngest has been lying on it yawning away, so do not think it would take him long to drop off!


I think when we are next on an epic journey in the car to visit the boy’s grandparents the Pillow Pet will definitely be coming along too.  To settle youngest in his car seat, he can hopefully be much more comfortable and ideally my neck will be less strained not constantly turning round to check on his long list of complaints!  So we will all arrive less frazzled at our destination.


Penguin has been cuddled and sat on when he was closed and has little legs.  He seems a very popular toy already.  “I’m walking like a penguin…” youngest keeps saying as he carries him along!

There are eight Pillow Pets available exclusively from Mookie Toys and they can be purchased from Toys ‘R’ Us and Amazon. The range includes Billy Monkey, Playful Penguin (the one we were kindly sent to review), Comfy Panda, Snuggly Puppy, Magical Unicorn, Wiggly Pig, Ms Ladybug and Bumbly Bee! 

I am also pleased as to how easy they are to wash, the label says they are machine washable, which is perfect as when toys are dragged around by a toddler they do get a little grubby and often spoon fed random bits of real food during the day too!  So a quick cycle in the wash and they are good to go again.

Our new Playful Penguin is now tucked in bed sleeping huddled in the arms of my youngest.

Tuesday, 21 February 2012

Surviving Summer Camp

I have decided to take part in the final (week 4) link up at Typecast for the CLIC Sargent Do Something Yummy awareness raising campaign. For more information about CLIC Sargent, click here


I was 18 and was in the USA for eight weeks for Camp America as a young and doe eyed camp counsellor.  The camp was for adults for cerebral palsy.  I arrived jet lagged and overwhelmed.  We worked from 8am until 10pm everyday, there were tornado warnings some of the nights and we would have to get up and get all the campers, wheelchairs and all, underground as the wind howled around us.  Drained we would carry on pretty much as normal the next day.


To get to our bedroom we had to go through our bathroom not ideal when you share with two others!  The bathing water was often brown and sludge like… this story would be more interesting if it was one about me stuck on a desert island, making a hut with giant palm leaves and fishing for sharks for sustenance.  But still it was not quite the same as being at home.  To cheer me up I think I blew most of my wages in a British food store buying Cadburys at extortionate prices!!!


The natives were friendly but it was hard physical work lifting campers in and out of wheelchairs when you resemble Olive Oyl.  Washing and helping them go to the toilet were all new roles to me, I had to learn and quickly to get the hang of the camp routine.


I was homesick and wanted to go home… I blew the rest of my wages on phone cards to call my parents and my boyfriend at that time.  I was left with no money after chocolate and phone cards to travel afterwards! But some how or another I lasted the eight weeks had on the whole a great experience and am glad I managed it!  Although the mosquito bites did take ages to heal!  They definitely like British blood, as I was their favoured target…


I was quite content after my mini adventure had finished to return home tired and happy but with a great feeling of accomplishment having survived it!  And made at least one lifelong friend!

earth friendly baby Review

I was sent two products from this lovely organic range, the relaxing organic lavender body lotion RRP £4.99 and the relaxing organic lavender bubble bath RRP £4.99.  What is not to love about products that have the word relaxing on their packaging, I felt more chilled just reading the labels.




They do a mandarin variety too; I must admit I am a sucker for citrus children’s bath products.  But I realise that lavender is perfect for little ones before bedtime to help soothe them off to sleep.  The scent was quite refreshing and subtle not too overpowering.  You do not need to use much, so these size bottles should last you a decent amount of time, depending on how often you hog it for yourself of course!

Products like these are just the perfect addition for the baby shower I plan to host in a few months.  I think any new mum would be grateful to be introduced to a brand that will be gentle on their child’s skin.  Becoming a new mum can be quite a taunting process, so some lovely little treats like this are perfect for when their new bundle of joy arrives and for pampering themselves (well what new mum does not need to relax!).

And everyone can comment on how nice you smell and not just fuss over the new baby smell!  New mums need love too!

At present the Earth Friendly Baby range of products are available from selected Waitrose, John Lewis, Sainsbury's, Boots & leading independent baby stores, health stores and selected pharmacies.  Boots currently have a 3 for 2 mix and match on these products, not sure how long it lasts so be quick!

Monday, 20 February 2012

No plans to join Foodie 100 anytime soon…

Operation make fairy cakes with the delectable Rachel’s low fat vanilla yogurt was not quite as successful as I hoped.  I overfilled the cake cases and then had to hack off bits of cake to make it look pretty and then continue the salvage operation with lots of butter icing to disguise a magnitude of sins.

Note to anyone trying the recipe this picture illustrates cakes destined for disaster... put less mixture in!


I think it all started to go wrong as I did not do a fundamental baking essential, which was clear my work station before starting, cooking in chaos probably helped get me all in a panic!


But regardless of my botched job, these were exceptionally delicious cakes.  I would recommend following the recipe and introducing a little yoghurt to your baking.  They smelt lovely too; the vanilla aroma and taste made them very appetising and also gave the sponge a slightly different texture (well I think it was the yoghurt and not my unique approach to baking anyway!).

If you fancy making some of your own  Vanilla Cup Cakes for Easter.  Here is the recipe:

Ingredients                                                                 
220g butter or margarine, room temperature            
220g caster sugar                                                      
2 large eggs, beaten                                                  
220g self raising flour, sifted                                           
2 tbsp Rachel’s low fat vanilla yoghurt

Icing
80g unsalted butter, room temperature
250g icing sugar
25g Rachel’s low fat vanilla yoghurt

Serves: 12      
Preparation time: 15 minutes      
Cooking time: 20-25 minutes

Method
  1. Pre-heat the oven to 180°C/350°F/Gas Mark 5
  2. Line a cup cake or muffin tray with paper cases
  3. Beat together the butter and caster sugar until light and fluffy.  Add the eggs a little at a time.
  4. Add the yogurt
  5. Fold in the flour
  6. Spoon the mixture into the paper cases until half full
  7. Bake in the oven until golden brown and springy to touch or test using a skewer, if it comes away clean the cakes are ready.  Leave them to cool on a wire rack.
  8. Meanwhile prepare the icing.  Begin by beating the butter and icing sugar until pale and well mixed, ideally using an electric mixer.  Add the yogurt and continue to beat on medium to high speed until the icing is fluffy.  The longer you beat the lighter the icing.
  9. Spoon the icing into a piping bag fitted with a star piping nozzle.  In a circular motion swirl the icing around each cake.
(we didn't brave a piping bag and improvised with a back of a spoon!)



  1. Decorate with mini eggs
Cost per serving: £0.15

The end result!  Okay maybe one day I will aspire to be a Foodie 100!