Posts filed under ‘home life’

easy peasy lemon cake

This is the easiest cake in the world to make and while I’ve blogged about it as a bundt ring cake here and a birthday cake here a few people have asked for details so I’m happy to re-share. I promise you’ll never need another cake recipe again. The 4 egg quantity shown below will make an 8 inch sponge sandwich or you could half the quantity if you want to just enjoy cake for one day and not 3! I used an 8 inch square sandwich tin with a 2 egg batter, cut the cake in half and stuck it together with butter frosting. It made about 6 chunky slices.

You will need:

  • 4 eggs
  • 250g each of unsalted butter, sugar and self-raising flour
  • 2 tbsp good quality lemon curd

Cream the butter, sugar and eggs and gradually mix in the flour. Add the spoonfuls of lemon curd. Spoon into 2 cake tins (or one if halving the recipe). Bake in a pre-heated oven at 180 degree C for approx 25-40 mins depending on how deep your cake tin is. I mostly guess the time but you’ll know it’s ready when a fork poked into the cake comes out clean. Turn your cake out onto a wire rack and while it cools mix up some butter spread and icing sugar for the filling. Mixing in some lemon juice or a teaspoon of lemon curd will make it lovely and zesty. Drizzle a little lemon icing on top and enjoy with your favourite cup of tea.

February 17, 2018 at 7:00 am 1 comment

a Dr Seuss birthday party

Our big boy turned 6 in January! I can hardly believe it really as it still only seems like a blink away that he finally made his wonderful entry into the world. We wanted to give E a party to celebrate this milestone birthday (each year feels epic but this one was accompanied by losing a his first baby tooth and gaining 3 molars!). He chose Dr Seuss as a theme following on from the standard set by his 3rd birthday and we returned to the same venue, our local community cafe Roots to celebrate our fab boy with family and friends. What a wonderful time we all had thanks to Steph and Tom from Limitless Kids coming to do some party games and E’s buddies embracing the request to dress up. Even making the party food was fun as G and I made our best efforts at Seussian names for the nibbles.


February 8, 2018 at 10:38 pm Leave a comment

2017 in pictures

I’d completely forgotten about this new year tradition until I saw Julie’s 2017 highlights post at Little Cotton Rabbits. I’ve been inspired by her lovely tradition of looking back over the year since 2011 and am grateful for the nudge to do so again for 2017. I feel so old saying it but… each year seems to fly past quicker than last. It’s so nice to flick back through my photos and reflect on the many lovely occasions we’ve had with our boys, most just pausing for a minute in ordinary every day moments. I still find it amazing that we get a second run at this parenting malarkey with Luca after the struggles we went through to have Euan. Hoo-bloomin-ray I say for another year watching these two grow into such beautiful, sweet natured human beings.
2017 in pictures collage
L to R Jan to Dec: E’s 5th birthday, my 42nd birthday, E winning ‘best costume’ for his BFG outfit on World Book Day, L’s first birthday, E climbing a tree with cousin Zac at a family wedding, annual holiday to the Isle of Wight, back on the allotment with E and Dave, visiting cousins Kim and Tom in Germany, weekend in Somerset with cousin Kian, attending the wedding of a dear friend, my photograph being chosen by photographer Rankin to feature in ”This is Britain” photobook, Euan building his first snowman.

As I find the passing of time measured by E’s hair so interesting indulge me for a moment if you will as I re-share the collages for 2016 and 2015 too!
photogrid_1483262148195.png
Collage - 2015 in pictures 4B
Previous years in pictures: 2014, 2013, 2012, 2011

January 4, 2018 at 9:29 am 1 comment

the passage of time

Euan annual photos 2014-2017…measured in joyful giggles, shy smiles and disappearing curls.

This boy fills my heart with joy every day.  He has the sweetest nature, pulls the funniest faces and is kind and helpful.

E’s started going to Beavers so we’ve been talking to him about the promise he will make to be kind and helpful when he’s invested.   I looked at the parent guide to Beavers and asked him if he wanted to make the promise to ‘‘love God” or to ”love the world”.   He said his best friend at school doesn’t believe in God and told E that he shouldn’t either. E said “I told him it’s my choice not his”.  We chatted about belief being a matter of the heart and that Daddy and I were fine with whatever choice he made as it was his promise to keep and not ours. He said “I just think nobody is right, not even me. My picture in my head of God might be different to someone else’s and that’s ok. I am ok with saying “love God” for my promise”. 

E in Beavers uniform Dec 2017.jpg
I find it both amusing and extraordinary to think of the conversations 5 year olds have at playtime. Already E and his friend are thinking deeply and curiously and aren’t afraid to ask questions. I think it’s wonderful even if it does catch me off guard sometimes. Thankfully I’m comfortable these days with not feeling I need to have all the answers and often E is quite accepting of a simple answer where I’d have previously fretted about the complexity of owning my response to a searching question. Such brilliant teachers these children of ours and there’s both conversation and wisdom to be found in a simple ”I don’t really know, what do you think?” response.

December 5, 2017 at 11:07 am 2 comments

The Kindness Elves excitement is brewing

Kindness Elves day 1 - help decorate the treeWith December fast approaching excitement is brewing for our 3rd annual visit from the Kindness Elves. They arrive on the 13th December and stay until Christmas Eve and each morning they suggest a small act of kindness to help bring some Christmas cheer to those around us.  Last year we were so busy having fun with the kindness elves we didn’t get round to sharing our adventures in a blog post.  So here are a few highlights for you which included taking some toys and books to the Children’s Hospital and making cards and biscuits for people:
Kindness Elves - decorate christmas treeKindness elves - toys to give away
One suggestion from the Kindness Elves was to ”thank the lunch ladies at school for doing a great job”.  After school our conversation went something like this
E – ”I did say Thank you for making dinner for us every day to one lady”.
Me – ”What did she say?”
E – ”She didn’t say anything, she didn’t hear me”.
Me – ”Oh well, it was lovely that you said thank you and perhaps another kid will have heard you and it will inspire them to say thanks”

(”Make a Christmas card for the postman”, ”read a story to someone”, ”Make some biscuits to give to a friend)


Another suggestion was simply ”Give someone a lovely compliment today”.  E thought for a minute then said ‘‘Daddy your shoes are so cool.  Mummy you do lots of nice things.   I will have a think about who has nice hair…”.

Our favourite activity was ”leave some coins by a fountain with a note that says ”make a wish”. We went to Gloucester Cathedral and left some coppers in an eggbox and sat on a bench nearby to see what happened.  E was thrilled to see children run up to the box, read the message and throw a coin into the water. This is definitely an activity we’ll repeat this year (while trying to stop L from diving into the water!)
Kindness Elves day - make a wish copy
The Kindness Elves were created by parent blogger Anna at The Imagination Tree.  Many families have now adopted this lovely tradition and share their kindness activities inspiration on-line (search #thekindnesselves on Instagram for a flurry of ideas).  We bought our kindness elves from The Imagination Tree shop, complete with a little house box and it’s been the best investment.  I can’t wait for their visit this year and remain hopeful that a 1.5 year old trying to get in on the action will enhance the experience for E.
(hmmm, note to self – plan a few solo activities for E minus baby brother).
12-Days-of-Christmas-Kindness-with-the-Kindness-Elves-680x548-1 copy

November 28, 2017 at 11:25 am Leave a comment

And so to bed (This is Britain photo book)


Stoked. Thrilled. Overjoyed. Amazed. Delighted. Chuffed.
Just a few words to describe how I feel seeing my boys immortalised in print.

My photo of Euan and Luca reading stories with their Lumie Bed Bug was chosen by photographer Rankin from over 11,000 entries for inclusion in the ”This is Britain” photo book. What’s more all proceeds from the sale of the book are going to BBC Children in Need. Stoked. Thrilled. Overjoyed. Amazed. Delighted. Chuffed.



I submitted two other photos in the ”waking up” and ”at play” categories – they’re not included in the book but I love them just the same.

November 20, 2017 at 2:29 pm Leave a comment

a first birthday (in pictures)

Having passed the 6 month anniversary of Luca’s first birthday last month (woops!) before sorting through the photos from his special day, here’s how we celebrated him.  Euan was off school with chicken pox and it was so lovely to have him home with us – it really wouldn’t have been the same without E there to “help” unwrap and play with L’s presents!  And it was lovely to have a birthday cake making helper.

November 17, 2017 at 9:53 pm 1 comment

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About Nip it in the bud


Welcome to my once-about-gardening-and-cooking blog that is now mostly about our life in Gloucester with a boy, a baby and 3 cats.

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"Mummy take a picture and put it on share.  It's my greatest Mixel yet, he's called Grey" - Euan aged 6. #gloucesterlife #nipitinthebudblog #welovelego The boys are asleep and I'm eagerly awaiting the return of @musicalgeorgemoorey to hear all about the latest #spacesgloucester recording.  His kit is all in the hallway but he is not.  Gone for food I expect, the cats are waiting to pounce on him as soon as he walks through the door (and yet I have fed them, they just love him that much)
#gloucesterlife I'm thinking it's about time I made these brie baked apples with hazelnut crust again.  For a no-added-sugar version you could poach them in fruit juice or herbal tea instead of syrup (recipe on my blog)  #nipitinthebudblog #gloucesterlife #bakedapples🍎 L's been pondering what he wants to be when he's older!  #photogridwowcam #gloucesterlife #nipitinthebudblog Billy scratching to be let out and annoy @musicalgeorgemoorey as he records a piano track downstairs for the next #spacesgloucester track.  Billy always wants to get in on the music making but it's especially appropriate this time as the song is based on a poem by 9th century irish monk about his cat Pangur Bahn!  #gloucesterlife #whitelonghairedcat Picnic lunch with our @oxouk measuring cups again.  It seems to make the whole thing about getting toddlers to eat a bit less overwhelming and takes away that adult thing of needing to clear your plate.  We just all have forks and dig in to what takes our fancy.  Yes I have no idea how much L has actually eaten when we do this but I'm learning to trust his little body.  I like the mantra "we choose what he eats, he chooses how much" so as long as I keep offering nourishing food it will all be ok :0). #nipitinthebudblog #gloucesterlife #fussytoddler #oxogoodgrips #picnicfood When the chocolate brownies that popped up in your feed are on your mind all morning but you're feeling inspired by your sugar free friend @darojolu you find yourself eating these for elevenses!  Banana and date squidgy oaties, an old recipe from the blog with a new sprinkling of unsweetened cocoa and @pulsinandbeond pea protein.  1 banana made 6 cookies and if we eat them all in one sitting there's absolutely no guilt! #nipitinthebudblog #gloucesterlife #sugarfreekids #sugarfreecooking #pulsinpeaprotein #newblog post - reflecting weekly  on the beauty in every day moments, reasons to be thankful and celebrating small successes with the #myheartylife linky.  More about staying at home with children, decluttering successes and beautiful music on the blog - link in profile.  If you're liking the good cheer of #myheartylife  check out @the_hearty_life who started it all and @mummytodex and @mymamamusings 
#nipitinthebudblog #gloucesterlife #mumbloggeruk #feelingthankful #stayathomemum Loves the park but loves dogs more so kept trying to get out the gate! #parklife #gloucesterlife

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