We had a fantastic trip to Norway in the summer. I was lucky to review a hotel for the brilliant BAHighLife.com. Here it is:
Oslo: Thon Hotel Slottsparken
– Travel tips and inspiration – British Airways High Life Hotel Thon Slottsparken
Three years ago we bought our nest and refurbished the house. The garden was forgotten or unaccounted for. It’s a pretty bleak sight. Builder’s rubble abandoned in the corner, an old fireplace, gate, manky lawn ruined by the trampoline (now removed as boys’ used it as a wrestling rink). There’s no patio, the fence is half- dead and it’s just not very nice.
However it has potential! It’s south facing and has a quirky charm but definitely the potential for good times. The builders are coming next week to lay a new patio. The first phase of the transformation. I’ll document each stage – the planting will be the most exciting. As my husband and I are clearly not green fingered low maintenance is the goal!
Right I’m off to do some more clearing. We’ve three years of junk to move!
There’s nothing more satisfying than a surprising night out. I would have been happy to stay in watching Christmas tv and eating tangerines last night but found myself with other half at shepherd’s bush, in the mosh pit for Django Django. What a crazy, brilliant gig. Massive beats – think acid house meets rock meets sci fi. They’re totally out there!
So I urge you all to don your headphones, turn up the volume and take a break from festive planning to acquaint yourself with the musical force that is
Better late than never… Here’s the hilarious spider cakes we made for Halloween.
What a beauty! I had the good fortune to meet a young torch bearer in Wiltshire this week and had a chance to touch the iconic golden torch. It’s more beautiful than I imagined. Go team GB!
I adored baking as a child. I was always whipping up little cupcake creations in the kitchen after school, although I’ve never lived down my toothpaste decorated banana cake made aged six.
There’s always heaps of baking activity at my kids’ school. We have a lively Friday cake sale and all the PTFA activities tend to be fuelled by homemade cakes. So this year, inspired by the Great British Bake-Off I decided this year to host the first ever baking competition at my children’s summer school fair.
Once planned it was very easy to do. I divided it into three categories: nursery to year 2, year 3 to year 6 and grown-ups. The kids were judged by decoration only and the grown ups on decoration, taste and texture. They had to enter with a sponge or fairy cakes and the theme was London celebrations 2012.
I felt fair and serious judging was critical to the competition’s success and tracked down a representative from the West Ealing WI who agreed to come and judge the cakes. We were also very lucky to have Lucy Lovelly from Vanilla Frost Cakes on the panel too. I rustled together some fabulous prizes from http://www.dotcomgiftshop.com and was donated a voucher from the great Kids’ Cookery School in Acton – a must go place for budding little chefs. So with the high calibre judges and lovely prizes in place all that was needed was a large promotion campaign to get all the kids baking in time. I pinned a poster around the school, emailed all the class reps and added a note to the PTFA newsletter with the details. Then I just had to wait, somewhat nervously, and see what arrived on the day of the fair.
The fair opened at 12pm and the cakes started trickling in from 11am. The love and detail that went into decorating the cakes was staggering. We were all really impressed. The WI’s arrival caused a ripple of excitement and once they’d donned their sashes and set to work we knew the judges meant business.
There was an air of excitement around the tables too as the kids watched the judges and awaited the results! After a tense hour the winners were decided. I made my way to the mic to make the announcements. The winners were thrilled, the cakes were sold off in moments to hungry onlookers, raising lots of money for the school. The rainbow cake we sold for £1 a slice – not a colourful crumb was left by 2pm. The kids had the option to take their cakes home – some did (can’t blame them after all the hours they put into the decoration) and many were happy to donate. Take a look at the gallery of pictures of all the entries and the stunning winning cakes!
Thank you to Katie Bryson from Feeding Boys and a Firefighter and Emma Drew from My Vox Songs for the beautiful pictures. Katie whipped up the most delicious red velvet cake – my personal favourite. The icing was melt in the mouth delicious. I was too busy faffing about with my clipboard and talking to the excited entrants to take many pictures.
The little boats arriving
Heading up the Thames
1,000 boats paddled, steamed and sailed down the river for The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Thames PageantThames Pageant.