How to make an easy Paw Patrol Birthday Cake

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I have to admit that one of the things I love about small children’s birthdays, is the cake. Not just for eating (although this is a given, obvs), but I absolutely love the thought and possibilities that go into the design of them. I’m not the world’s best baker, but each year since both Freddie and Sasha were babies, I’ve loved planning and designing a cake for a particular theme, or in the last couple of years, fulfilling their requests. 

This year, Freddie really, really wanted a ‘Paw Patrol’ themed party, and this included the cake. I wanted something that looked impressive, but as with all my cakes, was relatively easy. Bright and colourful was also on the agenda, and who doesn’t love M&Ms?! There are also so many great Ebay stores now that sell brilliant cake toppers, and a quick scout of the site found me THESE (non-edible) Paw Patrol ones.

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So how did I go about making this? Well, I can tell you that it was done in only 9 easy steps:

You will need:

  • 1 homebaked or pre-bought chocolate sponge cake with chocolate ganache on the top and sides.
  • 3 large bags of M&Ms (or Smarties).
  • 1 pack of ready roll/mould marzipan.
  • Small paint brush and apricot jam (to help stick the M&Ms).
  • Paw Patrol cake toppers.
  • 16 x 2 finger Kit Kats.
  • Ribbon (for securing the Kit Kats).

Instructions:

  1. Buy or bake a round chocolate (or Victoria) sponge cake.
  2. Add chocolate ganache to the sides and top of the cake.
  3. Scoop out about a fifth of 1 side of the cake, leaving a gradient/slope for the M&Ms to eventually cascade down.
  4. Stick the Kit Kats fingers all the way around the outside, leaving out the newly scooped out bit.
  5. Tie the ribbon around the entire cake, to secure the Kit Kats.
  6. On the bit where you’ve scooped out the cake to leave a gap, get your Marzipan and mould it to form a slope leading from the cake onto your cake board. This is what you’re going to stick most of the M&Ms on to.
  7. Pour 1 bag of M&Ms onto the top of the cake. 
  8. Now, where the marzipan is, stick each M&M on individually until all the marzipan is covered. The marzipan should help them stick when they’re pressed into them, but I use a small paintbrush and apricot jam as ‘glue’ if any need extra stick. 
  9.  Once the M&Ms are in stuck firm all over the top of the cake and the slope, position your Paw Patrol birthday cake toppers as desired. I used ‘Rubble’ and his digger on the top to give the impression of him creating a building site with the M&M sweets! 

And there you have it- A VERY easy Paw Patrol Birthday Cake! 

 

Win! A Paperchase ‘Get things done’ Planner

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If you’re a regular reader to my blog, you’ll know that I’m quite ‘big’ on being organised, and living in a (fairly) organised home. This past month or so, I’ve been decluttering (you can see more of this here, and here), and generally spending January house-wise pottering about and deciding what can be done to keep our lives running smoothly. 

Don’t get me wrong, I love my home to be fun, filled with people and am happy for the kids to enjoy it and get messy. But when it comes to making sure the bills are paid, my work is done, emails are answered, and everyone has everything they need and is in the right place, then I need to be on the ball!

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I’ve always been a sucker for a pretty notebook to write my ‘to do’ lists in, and this brilliant ‘Get Things Done’ planner from Paperchase has really caught my eye! 

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With pages to write your priorities for the days ahead, daily hour-by-hour pages, and space to write your notes and general lists, this has definitely made the cut when it comes to keeping myself on top of all life throws at me. No mean feat, what with 2 young children, 2 jobs, an Etsy Store, a home to run and life in general to organise! 

To be in with a chance of winning one of these brilliant planners, simply fill in the Rafflecopter below, and enter using as many options as you’d like.

Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

Terms and Conditions: Competition closes at 12.00am (midnight)  GMT on Sunday 28th February 2016. Entries received after this time and date will not be valid. UK residents only. Entrants must be 18 and over. Winner will be selected at random via Rafflecopter after the closing date and will be notified within 5 days of competition end. Only entrants received via the Rafflecopter widget will be considered valid.The prize is a Paperchase ‘Get Things Done’ Planner- no cash alternatives to the stated prize will be offered.

Find more great giveaways at Super Lucky Di and The Prize Finder.

Freddie is 5!

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Yesterday our smart, funny, kind and sensitive boy turned 5- half a decade! A cliche is a cliche for a reason, and in true cliche fashion, I can safely say that I can’t believe how fast the time has gone, yet it also feels like Freddie has been around forever. We honestly can’t imagine a life before him (expect more sleep, maybe). 

Our little chap has definitely made me a better person, has made me a million times more driven to do well for him and his sister, and also teaches me patience, to find the joy in the little things and has given me more knowledge of the London transport system than I know what to do with! 

I love how he is flourishing at school, both academically and socially, and I hope we can continue to be good parents to him, to guide him when he needs it, and let him become the best person he can be. I love our conversations about all sorts of random stuff, I love his thirst for knowledge, and I love how caring he is towards the people he loves. 

We celebrated with a party for his school friends, a Paw Patrol birthday cake and a fish and chip supper!

Happy 5th Birthday ‘Double F’- we love you and can’t wait for another half decade of fun, love and adventures! 

(Cold!) Camden Calling

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On Saturday Adam was playing in a football match, so I decided to head up to my former home of Camden, along with my Mum, to have a mosy on around. The plan was to either stroll through the market and then catch a canal boat over to Little Venice and then home, or just to grab a bite to eat and then pootle through Primrose Hill and then on to the fab children’s playground near London Zoo. As it happens, we did neither, as the weather was just too bloody cold! It ended up being a whistle-stop tour, not ideal when we’d trekked from SE London, but the children had a nice day out all the same (anything involving the train, tube and bus is a big hit with Freddie whatever the outcome!). 

I absolutely love walking around the Stables Market, and there is so much to see usually, but totally misjudging the weather, it was far too nippy to hang about for too long. We grabbed some Malaysian noodles for us all to eat from one of the stalls, wolfed them down as fast as we could outside, before setting up camp in a little boho Moroccan cafe en-route back to Chalk Farm tube to warm up. AMAZING coffee followed, as did hot chocolate drunk with straws (I know this is probably not ideal on the manners-front, but the easiest option for a messy 3 and 4 year old!).

To be honest, the best time to visit Camden with children is on a weekday during term time, but this not really an option anymore now that F is at school. I must come back again on my own soon with my camera, and get snapping. I managed a few pics, but it’s hard to juggle small children and just how busy the place is on a weekend- I need an extra set of arms! The photo opps are amazing, and it’s a great chance to practice using your camera on manual setting if this is usually out of your comfort zone.

I have some great memories of living here for a couple of years, it was a pretty hectic time in my life pre-children, but I’m so glad I did. And the children will surely think I’m a cool Mum because of this when they’re older, right?! 😉 

Kitchen Trend Predictions for 2016

Colourful Cabinets

If there’s one room in the house that I get envy at when I go to other people’s homes, it’s the kitchen. You see, I love my kitchen space that we worked so hard to renovate, and it really is the heart of our home, but I’m always drawn to the way other people have done their’s. 

Whether it’s large, farmhouse-style kitchens, complete with agas and rustic wooden surfaces, or sleek, urban kitchens, with their swanky appliances and shiny granite work surfaces, I just love them all. The sign of a good kitchen to me is how the family adapts the kitchen to their space, and how they utilise that space, and also how social it is. I love kitchens were you can sit and chat over cooking food, eating food, and a glass of wine, either at a dining table or breakfast bar. 

Yup, you can tell I’m a big fan of a kitchen!

I’m always keen to know what the latest trends are when it comes to kitchens, and 2016 is no exception. When Kitchen worktop specialists Mayfair Granite got in touch with me, I was interested to see what their predictions for what will be big kitchen-wise over the coming months were…

Large-format Flooring and luxury vinyl

Kitchen flooring can have a dramatic effect on the overall look of a kitchen, and is often forgotten among decisions to be made over cabinets, appliances etc. Tiles have always been popular as they are hard-wearing and easy to clean, and Mayfair Granite predicts that this year will be no exception. Expect Large-Format tiles to take the forefront: larger tiles mean less grout to get dirty, and provide a cleaner, sleeker look.

Large Floor Tiles

Colourful Cabinets

As someone who LOVES to declutter, I am always on the hunt for clever storage solutions to hide away any extra ‘stuff’. A big trend that will be popular this year is contrasting cabinets, that combine bold, bright colour-schemes to make the kitchen space exciting. 

I also love open shelving, and Mayfair Granite predict this will also be big in 2016,. I’m looking forward to displaying all my nicer kitchenware by taking out two of our cupboards, and this will hopefully make the space bigger too.

Luxurious Worktops

Granite and Quartz worktops have always been a popular choice for the kitchen due to their durability and quality look, and 2016 is no exception. Advances in production and cutting techniques now mean that granite and quartz worktops are more affordable than ever, and they fit seamlessly into the kitchen. Darker colours are bang-on trend right now, and add real luxury to your home.

Mayfair Granite - Worktops

Bold Appliances

People rarely move beyond standard white, black or grey kitchen appliances, tending to play it safe. I like to think we’re ahead of our time here, what with our mint green SMEG fridge! We won’t be alone though for long, as even more people introduce colourful cabinets and sinks to their kitchens.

Colourful Appliances

What do you think will be a big kitchen trend this year?

 

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