Musings of a tired mummy…zzz…

My very own website!!! Yikes!

What to do with blueberries…? Cakes!

Last year I bought some blueberry, blackcurrant and raspberry bushes as I love baking with fresh fruit. Finally they are producing and we have had a good harvest so far! The kids get involved and love picking them each day.

But then the panic of ‘what can I cook NOW’ as the numbers start to build up 🙂
Simple cakes with blueberries added and here is the recipe:

120g soft marge
120g caster sugar
2 eggs
120g SR flour (I used gluten free)
vanilla extract
splash of milk
1. Preheat the oven to GM5 and set out 16 cake cases (it helps if you have an assistant!)

2. Cream together the marge, sugar and eggs with an electric whisk for about 2 minutes
3. Fold in the flour and add some vanilla extract to taste and a splash of milk if required to loosen the mix
4. Either fold in the blueberries or put a few in each cake case
5. Bake for 15 minutes then allow to cool on a rack
6. Eat!

Please note: I mixed the blueberries in and then had complaints from Anya then she only had 1 in her cake while we all had 4 or 5. Now I know why my mum always very carefully allocated 7 chocolate chips per cake! Lesson learned, Mum!




Clippasafe Walking Harness and Reins

Whilst out on our day out on Saturday, we got the chance to let Zach loose using his reins for the first time. The reins I had for Matthew and Anya were broken so I had to search for a new set. I picked these from Amazon.

We got them out of the box the night before so that we had a chance to adjust them properly. Zach LOVED them! In fact, it was a bit of a battle to get him to take them off again before bath time…
Anyway, at Donnington Castle it became obvious we couldn’t get the buggy up the stony path so the reins were quickly and easily put on and Zach was off!

I know some people are critical of reins and the comparison with Ollie on his lead was obvious (Ollie is better behaved though!) But for me it has always been a safety issue. I can help him falling, stop him from walking into the road, teach him to be aware of his surroundings. Yet he still retains the element of freedom and can set his own pace.

The Clippasafe reins are suitable from age 6 months to 4 years, there is certainly a lot of room to grow. They are comfortable to wear and use. We used the reins in a loop but for older children you can unplug one clip and have the reins long, allowing more freedom whilst retaining the feeling of safety.
The eagle-eyed amongst you may have noticed I am wearing my dress from Aldi and my TU shoes!

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How do you cope?!

This was what the lollipop lady said to me yesterday. Her daughter has just had her first baby and is struggling a little bit. I remember those days well, the first baby is a shock to the system! My partner Chris thought that having Matthew and Anya would prepare him for fatherhood but I think the baby stage is a shocker.

I have written previously about the daft things I used to believe before I had kids and have done a vlog of advice for new mums. But today I thought I would look at how to cope with the new completely unreasonable person that catapults into your life…

  • The first days are awful. Yes, you have all the love and hormones. But you also have intense exhaustion. Childbirth, even when straightforward, is a major event in terms of your mental and physical health, you need to recover. Take it slowly, give yourself time, let others help.

  • The lack of sleep is like torture. I remember the first week after Zach was born when he wouldn’t sleep if I put him down. I was desperate for sleep but terrified of falling asleep while holding him. I cried and begged him to sleep but being only days old he ignored me!
    It passes. The world is a new and scary place for your child and you are the only comfort. Imagine you have been bombarded with lights and sounds, smells, people, animals, milk. It would be overwhelming and I think this is how a newborn feels.


  • Don’t let yourself be bullied and don’t feel like you have to justify yourself. I have written previously about my breastfeeding journey. I have weaned all three slightly early. I have used the crying down method of sleep training.
    Decisions aren’t easy, you have to do what is best for your baby but also for you and your family.
  • Lower your expectations. Let everything else take a backseat. Focus on the essentials. Easier said than done I know!
    Write lists so you don’t forget something in your exhausted state. Learn to do things one handed for when you are feeding: make a cuppa, wipe bums, etc!

  • Subsequent children are easier. You have the others to look after but siblings are amazing entertainment! You have the routine sorted that the newborn has to slot into. You have the confidence that you have already coped before!
I am not supermum. I am not the best mum. But I am Mum, the only one they’ll get, the one who’ll love them for eternity, the one who will always be there for them.

How do I cope? It isn’t a conscious effort. I just get on, trying to do the best I can for my family everyday

Donnington Castle, Uffington White Horse and a Mexicue!

This Saturday we decided to head out and about before we went to a friend’s party in Didcot. We joined English Heritage earlier this year so used their guide book to choose some suitable places on the way. We would also be taking Ollie the collie with us so it had to be places that would allow dogs on leads.
First we headed to Donnington Castle near Newbury, about 50 minutes from home. The scene was stunning, helped by the gorgeous weather!
Time to head back towards the car park, surrounded by lush countryside!
We then had to decide what to do for lunch. Chris had seen a country park on the map so we decided to head there with our picnic.

It was fab and a truly difficult decision whether to stay and explore the woods or carry on to somewhere else but we packed up and went to see the White Horse at Uffington, another 40 minute drive away.
We drove through beautiful countryside although Zach slept through it all!

The only negative part of our day was the car park. We are English Heritage members but the White Horse is managed by the National Trust and the car park instructions were ambiguous as it said that NT members get free parking but didn’t mention EH… We paid but I was a bit grumpy 🙁
You can’t get too close to the White Horse and the best view was actually from the road on the way there/back. However it was a lovely walk, if a little hot! The children were traumatised by all the poo and I was scared by the sheep! (remember I don’t like animals?)


The view from the top was stunning and then we meandered back towards the car, having an ice cream in the car park and a huge bowl of water for Ollie.
Time to party! This is the third year I have been invited to Chris’ friends’ Mexicue (a barbeque with a Mexican theme, obviously). The food is always amazing and these are the same friends who were so thoughtful at Zach’s birthday to bring vegetarian and wheat free puddings especially for me.

We all ate so much and had a wonderful time. The bottom of the garden had been turned into a haven for the children and they tried food they’d never had before.

So we got the kids into their PJs and bundled into the car. The journey home at dusk was lovely and on the horizon we could see hot air balloons which the kids loved.
We arrived home exhausted but happy after our fab day! 🙂

#MySundayPhoto Sunday 9th July

Yesterday we headed out to explore some English Heritage places on the way to a friend’s house.
First we visited Donnington Castle near Newbury.


And here we are watching the world go by in the Oxfordshire countryside near the Uffington White Horse.

The natural and the man-made, both magnificent. We had a lovely day exploring the countryside together as a family.