The cheat’s birthday cake

Minecraft Cake

I am not a baker…but I do love cake!

I wish I could be one of those creatives mum’s that have the skills (and the energy) to start baking into the evening to produce a beautiful show piece to present the next morning for the school cake sale or the children’s birthday party – however I have accepted that this is never going to happen. The last time I baked a cake…a long time ago…it somehow exploded in the oven…really baking just isn’t my thing.

So for our last two birthday parties I found the perfect solution! There is a company called JN Cakes http://www.jncakes.com which I found on eBay. They make the most amazing edible cake toppers, producing all of the relevant characters that your child might be in to. From superheroes to video game characters. I have tried the Batman Movie figures and more lately the Minecraft figures.

Batman Cake with Batgirl, Robin, and Joker

If you are like me and actually are incapable of actually producing a normal sponge cake there is also a company that makes delicious sponge cakes that they will deliver for free the very next day. You can find their cakes at http://www.newcakes.co.uk. You can go for just a plain iced sponge, like I did, and add your toppers and really produce a creation at a proportion of the cost of a bespoke cake. And my kids loved them!!

Good luck with your cake making ūüėČ

X

Red Juice – addictive and so good for you

This is truly the most amazing juice, and can be adapted ever so slightly to appeal to different taste buds. Containing beetroot and ginger this juice benefits from high amounts of vitamin C, essential minerals, like potassium, and strong anti-inflammatory properties, amongst many other benefits.

To give it more of a zing add more ginger.

To give it more of an earthy taste, add more beetroot.

To lessen the sweetness try different apple varieties, and maybe use less pineapple.

I use a Heston Blumenthal Sage juicer, which I bought a couple of years ago, and seems to be still going strong with good use.

Add the following ingredients to your juicer:
1 uncooked beetroot

1 pineapple

6 apples

2 oranges

1 carrot

3-4 cm piece of ginger

1/2 lemon

Have a taste and decide whether you wish to add more ginger, beetroot or carrot. The great thing about juicing is that you can add each ingredient at any time, which gives you the opportunity to play around with your tastebuds a bit.

Try this and let me know what you think, and if you have any good juice recipes, I would love to hear them!!

x

 

 

Auntie Trish’s granola

Granola recipe
Auntie Trish’s Granola

I tried this super tasty recipe whilst on my travels in South Africa, and both myself and my 4 year old son are now addicted. Not only is this granola super tasty, it is also super healthy. These are just some of the benefits…and there are more…

Can improve¬†skin and hair, can help lower cholesterol, high in Antioxidants (Lignans), supports digestive health, can help maintain hormonal balance…

You can always add a bit more honey, which does make it a bit stickier, but can be very yummy too!

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 cups Rolled Oats
  • 1/4 cup Lineseed
  • 1/4 cup Sesame Seeds
  • 1/2 cup Pumpkin Seeds
  • 1/2 cup Sunflower Seeds
  • 1/2 Unsweetened Coconut
  • 1 cup Toasted Almonds (Optional)
  • 1/4 cup toasted wheat germ
  • 1/2 cup Raisins
  • 1/2 cup chopped dried fruit (Optional)
  • 1/4 cup flavourless oil (sunflower/vegetable)
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 1 tsp Vanilla essence (Optional)

METHOD

Preheat oven 160c (fan). Mix the oats and seeds, nuts (optional) and grains in a large bowl. Measure oil into the measuring cup and swirl it around before pouring it into the bowl. Then measure and pour the honey in the same used cup, the oil will stop the honey from sticking. Toss together, make sure ingredients are evening coated with the honey. Empty contents of bowl into a baking pan/tin. Bake for 20-30 minutes, stirring every 8-10 minutes. Remove from oven when the granola turns an even light gold colour.

Once cooked pour contents back into the mixing bowl and add the fruit, whilst hot. Keep stirring to prevent clumping.

All done! ENJOY.

I like to eat mine with Full Fat Greek Yoghurt, and like to add some fresh blackberries….how do you eat yours??

Xx

 

Langebaan – it’s so simple…just relax

 

Langebaan

Imagine long empty and very white sandy beaches, beautiful weather, amazing sunsets….welcome to Langebaan!!

As a child living in South Africa we used to spend our christmas’ here. Only 1 hour and 45 mins drive from Cape Town it is the perfect getaway, it’s amazing how different the landscape can be without really travelling very far at all.

If you are looking for a upbeat trendy resort to hang out in….then Langebaan is not your kind of place. The idea of a Nikki Beach type beach club, or any beach club for that matter, would destroy this idealic resort.

Pack your flip flops, cosie, shorts, t-shirts, and sun cream, keep it simple and you’re set (maybe bring a jumper for the windy evenings).

The beach is perfect for a morning run, or walk, depending on how many Dom Pedros you drink the night before, but none-the-less this beach will clear your head, particularly in the afternoons when the winds pick up…as you will see by the abundance of kite surfers who suddenly appear as the day unfolds.

Watching these kite surfers can be truly mesmerising, the splashes of colour across the ocean flying through the air just adds another depth to this wonderful place.

Kite surfers Langebaan Summer 2018

Did I mention the sunsets? Along with the rest of the Cape, Langebaan has the most amazing sunsets, just the perfect way to see the day off…

Langebaan sunsets

Along with all the above delights of Langebaan we found it to be a wonderful place to take the kids. The lagoon offers slightly warmer and calmer waters for swimming, although the waves do offer the perfect entertainment, let’s be honest how many of us actually swim in the sea, we all like to jump waves!! The rocks offer the perfect rock pools to explore and catch.

Sea anemones

We had two fantastic meals out. All the eateries are pretty relaxed, you won’t be frowned upon if you turn up in your flip flops, but might bring attention you yourself if you decide to wear your Laboutons!! We had dinner at ‘Pearlys’, a sea facing restaurant just off the beach. We dined out on oysters, sparkling, wine, fillet steak and Dom Pedros (it was Valentines Day!!) . It cost us about the equivalent of ¬£50, and the food was delicious!! The atmosphere was great, it was really busy with a wonderful vibe. There really didn’t seem that many restaurants….so book…just in case.

Another wonderful place was Die Strandloper, but there is so much to say about this amazing place, so I will leave this for my next blog.

If you ever get the chance to experience the delights of Langebaan….do it.

Missing it already….until the next time x

 

South Africa – a truly colourful nation

Image from http://www.sacee.org.za

I was born in South Africa, and left to move to the UK with my family when I was 11 years old. I was that age when my father passed away so, probably for that reason I feel a strong connection with this beautiful country.

I was born in Joburg and moved to Cape Town when I was five. Johannesburg has simply the best climate, we are here in their Summer, and the days are quite beautiful. You will come across a bit of rain in the Summer, which the locals are grateful for, but it can move on quite quickly. The winter is their drought season, when the days are lovely, sunny and warm and the evenings can be quite cold, sometimes almost 0 degrees.

It is Cape Town’s warmest and driest season.

Anyway over my three week trip with my family, I have experienced many amazing things, from glorious sceneries to wonderful food. Over the next few weeks and I am so looking forward to sharing all of my wonderful experiences with you!

I hope you enjoy my journey.

x

Have you tried SNS – Signature Nail System?

SNS the best nail system

SNS claims to leave you with wonderfully painted nails that last and make your nails healthier with every application. Applied as a powered without the need of UV light, and with special ingredients in the formula this treatent actually nourishes and strengthens your nails.

I was introduced to SNS about a year and a half ago. As soon as I had tried it I was totally addicted! My natural nails were pretty strong anyway, but I just never had the time to re-apply nail varnish, so spent one day with the lovely nails, the next with slightly chipped nails, the day after with vile nails, and by the third day it was removed, and possibly a week later the process started again…

After first being introduced to SNS, I became a loyal customer for at least a year and absolutely loved my nails. However, July last year we went to a family wedding in Swansea, Wales. I had chipped a nail just two days before leaving for Wales, but I just did not have time to visit the salon. I then, very stupidly decided to try and remove them with acetone on the evening before we left, like they do in the salon. This did not work. Instead the varnish became gloopy, and would not shift. I thought it would be best to Google a SNS salon in Swansea, and could not find ONE. I was forced to try and buff the tops of my nails, and apply my own colour…this just added to the mess…and need I say I spent the weekend hiding my hands. Anyway on my return from Wales I had one day in between flying out with the family to Spain, so I decided to visit my local salon to get them removed. To my horror, although they were long, they were paper thin, there was no way that they were going to last without the additional layers of the SNS. They didn’t..and I’m not sure that they ever recovered!!

But my hands did look so much better…and younger when my nails were painted. A week ago I decided to go back…knowing that I was committing myself to a planned nail routine well into the distant future!! SNS claim that they last at least 14 days. In my experience they last longer…really I get them re-done when the growth becomes too obvious.

So finally my verdict is yes I know that if I stopped the treatment my nails would be long, yet thin and brittle, but as I see it the polish lasts, my nails look great, I change my colour every 3 weeks, my nails are long enough for me to have shaped as I please…so it’s a yes from me …VANITY wins …as long as you’re in it for the long haul.

PROS:

Your nails grow –¬†They look great-¬†They last-¬†There is a large range of colours to choose from

CONS:

They need to be removed within a SNS salon- Not all salons offer the SNS system Рif you decide to stop your nails might become brittle Р+/- £30 per treatment.

www.snsnails.com

You decide. Let me know your experiences with SNS.

xxx