A Strong Coffee

Tuesday, 26 July 2016

Lemon And Blueberry Cake

lemon and blueberry sponge

I made this lemon and blueberry cake for a rather belated celebration of my Mum's Birthday. The blueberries are a nice addition to the lemon sponge and make it look pretty too! This is only a small cake using a 4 inch pan, so if you want to make a bigger cake then I would just double the quantities.



4oz butter or margarine
4oz self rasing flour
2 eggs
4oz caster sugar
zest of a lemon
A handful of fresh blueberries

For the syrup:

Juice of a lemon
2tbsp caster sugar
1tbsp water

Lemon Butter icing:
1tbsp lemon curd
1oz butter
2oz icing sugar
a drop of water.

Pre heat oven to 180C

Mix all the cake ingredients together and divide into the two spring form pans which have been lined with greaseproof paper.

Cook until a skewer come out clean.

Leave in the tins to cool for 10 minutes before pouring over the lemon syrup. To make the syrup, heat the ingredients so that the sugar dissolves and boil for a few minutes.

Allow it to cool slightly before pouring over the sponge cakes.

To make the butter icing, mix all the ingredients together and spread in the middle and pipe a small amount on top of the cake. Top with a few fresh blueberries.

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Sunday, 24 July 2016

Bing Magazine Review

Bing is a favourite of little man. It is not often he gets to choose what to watch on TV. With two older brothers he is often subjected to Spongebob and TMNT. However, when we return from the school run, Bing is on and he enjoys watching this whilst I recharge on a cuppa.

He was therefore excited to find that there is a Bing magazine. Like most children he was excited to see that there were toys with it. As a parent, I was pleased as they are role play toys and not shooting things that break almost immediately.

The front cover doubles as an activity to make a habitat for the plastic frog. The rest of the magazine is smaller and can be pulled out.

There is a really nice selection of activities in the magazine. There are the usual colouring, writing and stickers. However, in addition there are pages designed to do vegetable printing, tear and sticking and a flower that you can make "grow" by folding it's stem.

veg patch activity

Little man and I made a short video to show you what we liked about the magazine.

If you have a Bing fan then I am sure they would like this magazine. As a parent it is nice to see a magazine with such a wide range of activities.

Who is your little one's favourite TV character?

This is a commissioned post.

Saturday, 23 July 2016

Who Tooted? Review And Giveaway

who tooted board game

When I was asked if I would like to review Who Tooted? my response was simple. "It sounds awful. Which probably means my boys will love it!" As it turns out I really like it now too and think its one of the best children's games we have played in a long time.

OK, I am not keen on the poo, farting or boogies idea in children's games as a rule, but my boys seem to find things like this funny. Looking at this photo you may think otherwise.

poker faces playing who tooted

That is because they are using their poker faces. Each player has their own whoopee cushion. One lights up and it is that person that get's to press the button on the cushion which then makes Dad "toot." The players then guess who it was by pointing their plastic nose at the person they think is responsible. The player that toots then moves forward the number of spaces of people that they have fooled.

who tooted set up

There were lots of smiles, especially from big man when he fooled everyone.

smiling at who tooted

I really have to eat my words about this game. It is not awful. It is lots of fun. It was nice to play a game that all the boys could get involved in. They were extremely happy when they fooled each other. The only downside is that it can quite a long time to go round the full board.

You can purchase Who Tooted? from Amazon and Smyths Toys.

I am also pleased to be able to offer a game to one of my readers. Just complete the Gleam entry below. Good Luck!

Who Tooted?

UK competitions at ThePrizeFinder - See more at: http://www.theprizefinder.com/content/who-tooted#sthash.JX31Ugio.dpuf

SuperLucky Blog Giveaway Linky

Thursday, 21 July 2016

Win Alpha And Omega Family Vacation On DVD

With the school summer holidays finally upon us, I always find it handy to have a couple of new DVD's for the boys to watch. Whether it is on a rainy day or to watch in the car on a long trip, they are just handy to have.

If your little ones are fans of  Alpha and Omega, then you will be pleased to know that there is a new film, Alpha and Omega Family Vacation that is out on DVD on Monday 25th July.

Kate, Humphrey and their mischievous pups are off on their first family vacation this summer holiday and they want you to join them, in ALPHA AND OMEGA: FAMILY VACATION. This brand new animated adventure is filled with the usual action, laughs and heart-warming moments as the wolves head off on their travels to Alfred Creek Falls. However, their dreams of a relaxing getaway are soon dashed when they discover that trappers are on their trail. Kate, Humphrey and the pups will need all the help they can get from their wild and wonderful group of animal friends in this unforgettable tail of family and friendship.

ALPHA AND OMEGA: FAMILY VACATION is released on DVD Monday 25th July from Lionsgate Home Entertainment UK and you can pre order your copy from Amazon.

I am also pleased to be able to offer one of my readers the chance to win a copy of the DVD! Just complete the rafflecopter entry below. Good Luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

ThePrizeFinder - See more at: http://www.theprizefinder.com/content/alpha-and-omega-family-vacation-dvd#sthash.acGcM8Y4.dpuf

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Tuesday, 19 July 2016

AquaPlane Review

aquaplane swimming aid

AquaPlane is a new swimming aid that I was keen to try out with the boys. With the summer holidays nearly upon us, we are looking forward to some family time and fun at the pool. The boys are coming on leaps and bounds with their swimming, but I don't feel that middle man and little man are strong enough swimmers yet to be left in the pool without any flotation. AquaPlane sent us one of their swimming aids to try out and I think it will be great for middle man. At 6 he is getting a bit big for armbands, so something like this would not only help him with his swimming, it looks pretty cool too.

There are two Velcro straps that go across the body. It can also be used as a float to improve strokes and stamina for more confident swimmers.

As middle man is still at school, I thought I would try AquaPlane out on little man. He is 4 and can swim around 5-10m by himself. I would say that he is on the smallest side for the float to fit. He is just over 1m and complained a few times that it was hitting his head. This was mainly due to the fact that he was trying to hold onto the side rather than swim. He also complained that it was harder than armbands. Personally, I think this is good as it will build his strength and position him correctly.

boy wearing aquaplane swimming aid

The warning message on the float is very important. It can be tempting to see the boys swimming nicely with an aid such as this but it is easy for things to go wrong. When we were in the pool the bottom strap came undone and little man immediately panicked. I think he must have caught it when he was getting in an out of the pool, but it is a reminder than you shouldn't solely rely on swimming aids.

I was pleased with how the AquaPlane positioned little man in the water and shall be taking it on holiday with us this August. So you should see more of it in my Instagram feed soon! You can purchase the Aqua plane in a variety of colours from Amazon.

Have you used the AquaPlane with your children? Did you find it useful?

Family Fever

Monday, 18 July 2016

Don't Play With Your Food....

Bugles spelling yum

Today I am eating my words just as quickly as I am eating these Walkers Bugles! It was only at lunch time that I was telling middle man not to play with his food. To use a knife and fork. "I'm only eating the gravy with my hands" was his reply. Urgh!

The trouble with the new Walkers Bugles is that their fun shape just makes you want to play with them. I defy you not to try and stick them on your fingers and make a claw and pretend you are an eagle or a witch.

bugles on fingers

There are three new flavours and they all taste good. You can choose from Cheese, Southern Style BBQ and Sour Cream and Black Pepper.

So if you are going to play with your food you might as well do it properly and turn it into a guessing game!

First up, there is something fishy about this one....

fish food art using bugles

This was roarfully easy to make....

Bugles dinoasaur food art

I hope you aren't too slow to guess this one!

snail food art

Have you tried Walkers Bugles yet? They really are delicious fun shaped crunchy cones that you can't keep your hands off! What would you do with your Bugles?

This is a commissioned post

Friday, 15 July 2016

Win Fishtales on DVD

There is a lovely new aquatic adventure from Lionsgate Home Entertainment UK that your water babies are sure to love. On Monday 18th July the animated adventure Fishtales is released on DVD.

When  their friend Ollie the octopus is chased by some mean sharks, Cleo the angler fish and Puffer the pufferfish enlist the help of the fun-loving, manta ray, Crash to find him. Their journey into the deep blue sea takes them to a coral reef, the open ocean and even freshwater lakes.

Set against the backdrop of real underwater footage, follow Cleo, Puffer and Crash as they encounter all sorts of fascinating underwater creatures including jellyfish, moray eels and sea turtles. Learn about each and every interesting creature they meet during the search for their friend Ollie in this fun underwater adventure.

Fishtales is now availiable on digital downloads and will be availibale on DVD from Monday 18th July.

You can purchase Fishtales from Amazon.

I am delighted to have a copy of the DVD to giveaway to one of my readers. Just complete the Gleam entry below. Good Luck! Fishtales DVD

ThePrizeFinder - See more at: http://www.theprizefinder.com/content/fishtales-dvd#sthash.F3ksp8qh.dpuf
SuperLucky Blog Giveaway Linky