Gin & Tonic Lime Drizzle Cake

Gin is one of the most popular alcoholic drinks at the moment and as its popularity grows, more and more flavours and serving styles are being created. This has begun to include food and with this in mind I've created this very grown up bake, a Gin and Tonic Lime Drizzle Cake!

Look how yummy it looks!

A picture of the gin & tonic cake and a cup of tea

Do you want to give it a try? 

Here's what you'll need -

  • Sponge mix - 22p @ Asda
  • 1 egg - 89p a half dozen @ Asda
  • 1 lime - 30p @ Asda
  • Lime marmalade - 55p @ Asda
  • Icing sugar - 88p @ Asda
  • Gin and tonic flavouring - £1.00 @ Sainsburys
  • Water
  • Tablespoon
  • Bowl
  • Whisk
  • Greaseproof paper
  • Baking tin
  • Small saucepan 
  • Tablespoon
  • Wire rack or plate for cooling
A picture of the ingredients listed, egg, sponge mix, gin & tonic flavouring, lime, icing sugar and lime marmalade

First, I know that many of you will gasp in horror by the fact I have used a packet mix, and a cheap one at that, but as with most of the crafts, activities and bakes, I try to do them as cheaply as possible so anyone can try them, regardless of budget. Paying 22p for a packet mix is by far cheaper than buying the separate ingredients, so let's make a start!

Preheat your oven to 180c. Then, add the packet mix to the mixing bowl, adding the egg and water as required, along with around half of the flavouring.

A whisk mixing the ingredients

Whisk well, until there are no lumps. Line your baking tin with the greaseproof paper. I chose a loaf tin. 

A lined baking tin

Bake for 20-25 minutes until golden brown.

A baked cake, still in its tin

When cool enough transfer from the tin to a wire rack of plate to cool.

A cake cooling on a wire rack

When fully cooled, make up the icing and drizzle over the cake.

Icing made up in a bowl

Slice the lime and place on top of the cake. 

Chopped limes

Gin & tonic cake with drizzled icing and slices of lime

When it is close to setting melt two tablespoons of lime marmalade.  

Lime marmalade being melted in a pan

As it begins to cool and thicken drizzle it over the cake.

Gin & tonic cake drizzled with icing, marmalade and decorate with lime

Once the marmalade has set you have finished.

Sit down, put your feet up and relax with a cup of tea and a slice of you homemade Gin and Tonic Lime Drizzle Cake!

Gin & Tonic Lime Drizzle Cake with a cup of tea

Mummy Snowy Owl

My Random Musings
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Four Of The Most Useful Skills A Mum Can Teach Her Kids

I waited a long time to become a mother and it's hardwork, but it's an incredible joy and privilege too.

The journey starts when you see a tiny bundle of cells grow into a fully formed little human, and then as they navigate their way through the world and begin to have thoughts, feelings and opinions of their own. It’s a magical and bamboozling miracle that’s truly humbling when you stop to think about it. Of course, it’s also a great responsibility.

As parents, we are responsible not only for everything our children are but everything they will ever be. With this in mind we need to make sure that we send them out into the real world emotionally, physically and intellectually equipped to deal with the many challenges they’ll face on life’s journey.

We can prepare and equip our kids with all sorts of skills, some hard (like learning to read, write or long division), some are soft (like empathy, etiquette or listening skills). Here are some that, though different to each other, I feel are important, especially in the world our children seem likely to grow up in.

Money management
I worked from the age of 14 and as much as I didn't enjoy it at the time, it has certainly set me in good stead for preparing me for the working world and managing the money I received from it. With the future of the economy looks increasingly uncertain, one of the best gifts we can give our kids is the gift of financial responsibility. Who knows what the cost of buying a car, eating at a restaurant or renting an apartment or house will be in 25 years’ time. I'm sure that nobody wants to raise kids whose career and life opportunities are burdened with debt.
Kids are never too young to develop a respect for money. Use cash in their presence instead of cards or Apple Pay wherever possible to help them quantify the prospect of spending. Encourage them to save for what they want, and even match their savings. Don’t tell them they can’t spend their pocket money on toys and candy, but make sure that they realise the consequences if they do. My little boy is only 3 years old but he goes to the bank with me and is beginning to understand the concept of saving, and that the £1.90 in his wallet won't buy him the Lookout from Paw Patrol!

Ride a bike
It’s a skill they never forget, it’ll help to keep them fit, healthy and active and it’ll save them a fortune on car costs (even if cars end up being electric or hydrogen powered in the future!!). Plus, cycling is good for the soul and a great natural way to relieve stress, anxiety and depression. Again, kids should be encouraged to pick up this skill as young as possible. Balance bikes are a fun way for kids to learn to ride a bike. They’re nice and safe as well, which will give you peace of mind. Joseph tried it at Centerparcs and loved it!

Many people remember learning to ride a bike, so not only will it give them a skill, it will also give them a wonderful childhood memory! I still remember my big brother teaching me how to ride a bike and it is one of my fondest memories.

Listen, respect, respond
Growing up in the internet age is bound to have a distortive effect on the way future generations communicate with each other. Look at any post about a remotely contentious issue on social media and you’ll see grown adults behaving like 5 year olds in a playground. In this climate, children should be encouraged to listen to and respect the opinions of others and respond in an equally respectful manner. As long as there are more than two people in the world there are going to be disagreements, politics and controversies. Hopefully future generations will be able to deal with them far more productively than our own.

Nobody likes or wants to be taken for a fool and if it were to happen to our children, our parental instincts may kick in, filling us with anger at the thought of them being wronged in any way. Nonetheless, it’s important that we teach our kids the value of forgiveness in an increasingly vengeful society. The ability to forgive will enrich their relationships and their lives, helping them to stay positive rather than being bogged down by the weight of negative emotion. I personally know to well that holding a grudge only brings more upset and negativity and that's certainly not something I want for my little one.

What skills do you want to teach your little ones?

Mummy Snowy Owl

*This is a collaborative post
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Our Favourite Book - The Three Little Superpigs!

I love books and have created a little book worm in the shape of my 3 year old little boy. Our love of books was the inspiration behind the book of the week feature that has run on and off for over a year.

As I change things up a little with my blog I'm now going to be sharing our favourite book on a monthly basis and it will also have an accompanying vlog over on my YouTube channel!  

So, let's gets things started! Our current favourite book is.......The Three Little Superpigs!

The cover of the The Three Little Superpigs, featuring three pigs dressed as heroes

A follow on of the traditional Three Little Pigs tale, The Three Little Superpigs by Claire Evans, tells the story of what happened after they escaped the clutches of the Big Bad Wolf!

The Three Little Pigs have become celebrities in Fairytale Land. Everywhere they go they are asked for a photo or autograph but their happiness is short-lived when they receive news that the Big Bad Wolf has escaped!!!

One by one they are visited by the Big Bad Wolf!! Will they be able to escape him for a second time?? 

The Three Little Pigs is a great little book and it's ideal for boys and girls that love superheroes. Turning the pigs into heroes spikes an interest for those obsessed with Batman or the Avengers and offers brilliant illustrations.

Add it to your collection from £6.99 from Amazon. To see inside the book and for a further review take a look at the vlog here!

It's a 5 of of 5 from us!

Happy reading!

Mummy Snowy Owl

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My top 5 tips for planning a Disneyland Paris holiday!

Trips to Disneyland are full of magic, laughter and happiness but they can also be stressful, especially when you want to make the most of your trip. Planning your Disneyland trip well is the key to an easy and enjoyable holiday. It will also help you get the best value for money too!

Here's my top 5 tips for planning a Disneyland Paris holiday!

1. Budget!
This one if probably the most obvious as whenever you plan a holiday you always budget and price things up, right? Well, with Disney you have to budget that bit more and your spending money may need to go a bit further than expected. Budget for every little thing! Hotel, travel, transfers and tickets but make sure you include meals and souvenirs too. Meals are more expensive than in UK theme parks and, with most things Disney, so are the souvenirs!  For an idea of meal costs take a look at the Disneyland Paris website, where most menus can be found and downloaded.

2. Research, research and a bit more research!
Doing a bit of googling can go a long way when planning your Disney trip and there's plenty of resources out there. My person faves are the Trip Advisor forums, the Disneyland Paris website and app, along with The Dibb. A quick read could help you find the perfect character Meet and Greets or the perfect spot for Illuminations, so go and have a google!

3. Make your reservations!
Even in low season the most popular table service restaurants can get booked up, so call before you travel and reserve a table or if you're staying in a Disneyland hotel ask the concierge, who will be happy to help you make your booking.

4. Make your bucket list!
This is vital if you're going during a busy time like the school summer holidays! Queue times will be longer, restaurants will be busier! To make the most of your trip create your bucket list and aim to at least get those ticked off! It's a Small World is always on our list!

 5. Make the trip special!
Planning little treats or special things can help create amazing memories and give added pixie dust to your trip. Meet your favorite characters, wear matching outfits, try pin trading or buy special Mickey ears, so many little touches can add to the magic.

Planning well and being organised will give you more time to enjoy the magic and create the best memories!

I've vlogged about this too! Watch the video here

Mummy Snowy Owl
My Random Musings
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Festive Bird Feeders

Christmas is upon us. You've wrapped the gifts. Got the turkey out of the freezer. You've visited your family and friends. 

Maybe you want to do something a bit different. You'd like to make something with the kids. Maybe you need them distracted for a little while. Well, this little craft is ideal. Although, please be aware it can get a little messy!

To make these festive bird feeders you will need

  • Bird seed - £1 @ Wilko
  • Festive shaped cutters - £1 @ Home Bargains and Poundland
  • Gelatin - £1.19 @ Asda
  • Peanut Butter 99p @ Lidl
  • Chopping bowl
  • Mixing bowl
  • Mixing spoon
  • Jug
  • Hot water
  • Straws 
  • String
  • Scissors
The listed ingredients and equipment

To start you will need to establish how much bird feed you need. To do this I laid out the cutters on the chopping board and poured the seed into them and this gave the amount required.

Cookie cutters shaped like snowmen

The cutters full of seed

Next, make up the gelatin in the mixing bowl as per the directions.

Gelatin being poured into a bowl

Gelatin being made in a bowl

Add the bird seed and stir well. 

Gelatin and bird seed in a bowl

Gelatin and bird seed in a bowl

Spoon into the cutters.

Bird seed in the cookie cutters with straws in to make holes

Using the scissors, cut the straw and cut into short lengths. Place in the shape where you'd like the hole for the string to be.

Close up of the straws in the seed

Close up of the straws in the seed

Place in the fridge for a minimum of 2 hours but preferably overnight.

When removed from the fridge loosen the shapes from the board. Also, carefully push the straws all the way through the seed so it goes through the other side. Remove the cutters.

The festive bird seed shapes on a board and out of the cutters

Using the spoon, or a spatula if you have one, smear the peanut butter on to parts of the bird seed shapes.

The festive bird seed shapes on a board smeared with peanut butter

The festive bird seed shapes on a board smeared with peanut butter

I know from the feeders I have previously made that birds and squirrels love peanut butter!

Cut the string into the lengths you require for hanging the shapes. Inset the string through the hole and knot. 

The festive bird seed shapes on a board smeared with peanut butter with string through the holes

The festive bird seed shapes on a board smeared with peanut butter with string through the holes

Hang outside in a safe place and away from predators. Don't worry if you forget the holes or the shapes break up, simple place them on the tree.

The bird feeders hanging from a tree

The bird feeders hanging from a tree

The bird feeders hanging from a tree

That's it! You are done! You've made a festive dinner for the birds.

Happy crafting!

Mummy Snowy Owl
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Book of the week

This week's book of the week is another festive one but possibly our last book of the week for the year!

This book is the perfect Christmas book and is a must for Christmas Eve.

This week's book of the week is The Night Before Christmas by Clement C. Moore.

The Night Before Christmas book

Telling the story of the events of Christmas Eve, The Night Before Christmas, is a book that is available in various different forms. 

Ours is traditional style book with pop ups and intricate cutouts and windows. It mostly features black and white illustrations, with the odd shot of festive green or red. 

A child reading The Night Before Christmas

Niroot Puttapipat illustrations are also silhouette based but there is certainly no mistaking the shape of the characters and scenes, and especially of Father Christmas.

The Night Before Christmas tells the tale of a boy who is awoken by a clattering on the roof and witnesses St Nick visiting his home and delivering gifts. Told in a rhyming form it sparks and keeps a a child's interest, making them excited for the magic of Christmas.

A child reading The Night Before Christmas

As you can see, our 3 year old, Joseph is very enchanted by it. 

Over the Christmas period The Night Before Christmas is available in most book shops. You can find the version the same as ours here at Amazon. 

Ours was a gift from Granny to Joseph on his first Christmas and for that reason it will always be our favourite Christmas book. 

The Night Before Christmas book laid out with candy canes, a Christmas tree biscuit and milk

Merry Christmas and happy reading!

Mummy Snowy Owl

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Movie of the week - What is it?

Regular readers will know all about my weekly movie posts where I share our current favourite and most watched movies. 

Some of them are very new movies but they are mostly old and random choices! Because of this I get odd messages on social media asking 'why the random movies?' and 'why are these so out of date?'. 

So, I thought I'd do a little post about what caused the start of movie of the week and why it's so random!

Well, its so random, because lets be honest, children are random!

They see a dvd on the shelf and they NEED to watch it. 

They NEED to watch it every day for a week. 

Sometimes they NEED to watch it twice a day. 

Then for no apparent reason they change their minds and they can't possibly watch it ever again. 

They'll watch Easter films at Christmas and Christmas films in the summer.

They'll watch old Disney classics when you want to take them to see the latest Pixar.

Children are random.

(I watch my movies from a box)

Our 3 year old, Joseph, loves a good movie and just like I've mentioned above he picks some classics and some very random ones! 

Apart from this week. 

This week Joseph doesn't want to partake in movie of the week, and that's because he's bloody obsessed with Paw Patrol again.

I guess that's the reason I started the movie of the week posts. To share the randomness of children. 

Apart from this week. 

This week Paw Patrol are on a roll.

Mummy Snowy Owl
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Bauble Christmas Card

With Christmas just around the corner I thought I'd bring you another Christmas card craft. Just like the Fingerprint Christmas Lights Card it is super easy to do and is quite similar in its style and what you need.

You will need

  • A piece of white card - £1 @ Poundland for 30 sheets or 15p for 1 sheet @ Wilko
  • Cards and envelopes - £1 @ Poundland
  • Paints - £2.50 @ Wilko for a set of 4 or 50p for a mixed palette
  • Paint brush - £1 for a pack @ Wilko
  • Paint palette or a paper plate if needed
  • Pot of water for rinsing between colours
  • Black pen or felt-tip
  • Scissors
  • Glue stick - 50p @ Wilko
A selection of craft supplies including card, paint, paint brush and scissors

*If you're little artist is likely to get carried away make sure you protect your table, clothing etc!

Start by squirting some of the paint into the palette or container.

Paint in pots, a piece of card and a paint brush, with a child's hand ready to paint

Then give your little artist the paint brush and let them get creative. 

A child painting

A child painting

A child painting

Encourage them to rinse the brush between colours to avoid the brown mess that appears in a lot of children's paintings!

A child's painting

Leave to dry.

A childs painting

Next, using a black pen draw a wavy horizontal line along one of the cards. Also draw three or four straight vertical lines off it.

A card with a wavy lane across it and straight lines coming off it

Then using the scissors cut out a selection of bauble shapes. If you're not confident cutting freehand draw them out first. 

Childrens painting with scissors

Cut out shapes

Using the glue, stick your shapes to the card at the end of the  vertical lines.

Handmade card with bauble shapes glued to it

That is it you are done!

Hand made card with bauble shapes glued to it

Just like a lot of my other crafts, this card is very easy to do and is an easy way to showcase your little artists creativity and paintings.

Why not give it a try?

Hand made card with bauble shapes glued to it

Happy crafting!

Mummy Snowy Owl

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