Tuesday, 28 January 2014

Spiderman birthday cake for my Princess

Princess, despite her name, and despite loving all things pink and sparkly, is a tomboy at heart. So when I asked her what birthday cake she wanted for her 4th birthday, she said she wanted spiderman. (Actually she did say pink spiderman but I couldn't find any of those, is that gender stereotyping?!) So here is is, her spiderman cake!

The recipe I used can be found here, I have an 8 inch square cake tin and have used this for the last few years, with great results every time. It's really easy.

340g self raising flour
280g caster sugar
280g butter
5 eggs
3 tablespoons milk

Pit all the ingredients in a bowl and mix with an electric mixer (although this is the first year I have actually had a mixer, it can be done by hand but, wow a mixer makes it easier!)

Pour into an 8 inch cake tin(greased and floured) and put in in the oven (150 degrees) for an hour and 15- 30 mins. Easy!

When it was cool I cut it in half and put jam and buttercream in the middle.

For the icing I used ready to roll royal icing, rolling it out until it was about half a centimetre thick. I'm no expert at this sort of thing, but it turned out ok, I just cut bits off and tucked bits in to make it fit and look neater.

Then for the exciting bit. I bought some Spiderman cake toppers off ebay, they were not expensive and they made producing a spiderman cake out of thin air a lot easier for a novice cake maker. I'm a big fan of cake toppers, I've used them for the last few birthday cakes I've made, and you can even get them with photo's on. I got one big spiderman face and lots of small ones, and I applied them with a bit of buttercream spread on the back.

And that's it! I'm sure that there are a lot fancier Spiderman cakes out there but Princess was pretty pleased with hers, especially as she helped make it!

Thursday, 23 January 2014


We had Princess's birthday party this weekend, and with birthday parties come party bags. In ours we had little bottles of touchable bubbles, which we have been having fun with this week. These were really cheap to buy (15 tiny bottles for about £1.30) and if you blow them upwards, they will set by the time they reach the ground.

This meant that the bubbles could be caught in the girls hands and that they land on the floor to be jumped on! Grapie and I had a great time playing with them while Princess was at preschool, she loved catching the bubbles in her hands and stamping on the bubbles when they landed on the ground.

I love the simple nature of playing these games, seeing the wonder in Grapie's eyes at catching a bubble in her hands and popping it. Catching bubbles is also excellent for developing hand eye coordination in toddlers. And at a time when I feel Princess is growing up so much, having just turned four, to see how excited she still gets by chasing bubbles around is just wonderful. These are the sort of childhood moments I cherish and will always remember.

Friday, 10 January 2014

word of the week- Calpol

We have had a week of illness this week. Everyone has had colds and coughs, and on top of that Princess has got an ear infection and Grapie is the proud owner of a new back tooth.

So our word of the week has definitely been Calpol. We went through a whole bottle in less than a week (which seemed drastic, but no one has been overdosing, not even mummy!) And Grapie has learned to say Calpol too, that's how much it's been used!

Roll on next week!

The Reading Residence

Thursday, 9 January 2014

Birthday Traditions

Princess turned 4 this week, and this year I was keen to start some birthday traditions that we will continue on the girls birthdays throughout their childhoods. I want their birthdays to be a special day when we celebrate them and not just an influx of toys (especially as Princess's birthday is 3 weeks after Christmas so she has just had an influx of toys!)

These are the things we did this year to make her day special, that we hope to continue each birthday:

  • One of her presents is a special outing, just her and mummy and daddy- this year it will be to the cinema and out for pizza, but for each birthday it will be a special treat that is just about the birthday girl

  • Cake for breakfast, served on a special birthday plate! - I made some breakfast muffins and decorated them (as 4 year olds are excited enough on their birthdays without being pumped with sugar at 7.30) so she could blow out her candles in the morning too! 

  • Gift wrap her lunch! Princess went to preschool on her birthday so to make sure she felt special all day I wrapped her lunch up in birthday wrapping paper! She loved this and was so surprised! (As were her teachers! Not sure what they made of it!)

  • Birthday bath- I love this idea from Growing a Jeweled Rose about turning bath time into a little party! Ours involved a banner and balloons and Princess chose a bath bomb to go in it
Do you have any birthday traditions in your family? Or ways to make your child feel extra special on their big day? I would love to hear about them.

Tuesday, 7 January 2014

Pyjama day and den building

Time is precious. And time goes so quickly. Princess goes back to preschool tomorrow, so I wanted her to have a nice last day of holidays (and she's got a little cold) so I let her have a pyjama day today. This is a real treat dor her as she hates getting changed with a passion and we have a daily battle over getting dressed. So when I said she could keep her pyjamas on today she was very impressed!

And she was allowed a biscuit before lunch (which never happens!)

This afternoon we did some den building with the sofa cushions and blankets, and Princess sat inside playing happily for ages, with her torch. She had her snacks in the den. Even the cat got involved!

Poor Grapie didn't quite get it! She didn't want to go in so played with her toys next to the den! And of course when she did decide to go in, Princess had claimed it for her own and didn't want to share. 

We had a lovely last day of the holidays, it feels like time is flying at the moment and P will be at big school before I know it, so I'm really trying to make an effort to make the most of having her at home when I can!

Sunday, 5 January 2014

Word of the week

The Reading Residence

The Reading Residence has a fab new linky called Word of the Week and I am linking up this week with my word of the week


For a few reasons, firstly, Grapie has learned to say happy this week (well, appeeee) and it's so cute! Secondly, as the new year has just started, we seemed to spend all week wishing everyone a happy new year (including an extra excuse to get G to say 'appeeee'!)

Lastly, it seems like a nice positive way to start the year, and hopefully we will continue to be happy throughout the year!