Thursday, 28 April 2011

Holiday Time

SOrry for the lack of posts this week but my lovely family have all been off school and work due to Easter Break and the Royal Wedding. So I have taken the week off too. I promise to be back next week with some new craft ideas, recipes, FHE ideas and a Spiritual thought! Till then.....

Sunday, 24 April 2011

Friday, 22 April 2011

Friday Night Treat - Vanilla Cupcakes with Strawberry Frosting

Remember I said earlier this week that it was my little man's 4th Birthday? He wanted Strawberry cakes so I threw these together.

They were so delicious. So moist. Just lovely. My husband actually said they are the best cupcakes he had ever had. Whoop Whoop!! Here is the recipe. I hope you enjoy them as much as we do.

Vanilla Cake


1 Cup unsalted Butter, softened
2 Cups Sugar
4 Large Eggs, room temp
1 1/2 cups Self Rising Flour
1 1/4 Cup Plain Flour
1 Cup Milk
1 teaspoon Vanilla


Preheat oven to 350F

In a large bowl, on the medium speed of an electric mixer cream the butter until smooth

Add the sugar gradually and beat until fluffy, about 3 minutes

Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each

Combine the flours and add in four parts, altering with the milk and the vanillia extract, beating well after each addition.

Bake for 20 - 25 minutes or until cake tester insterted into center of cake comes out clean.

Let the cakes cool in the muffin pans for 10 minutes and then cool completely on a wire rack.

Strawberry Buttercream Icing:

1 cup unsalted butter, very soft
8 cups powder (icing, confectioners) sugar
1/2 cup milk
2 teas Strawberry Flavoring
Red Food Coloring


Place butter in a large mixing bowl

Add 4 cups of powder sugar and then the milk and flavor

Beat until smooth and creamy

Gradually add the remaining sugar, 1 cup at a time, until icing is the thickness you want.

Add the food coloring last and mix throughly.

Use and store icing at room tempas it will set if chilled, Can store in an airtight container for up to three days!

I sprinkled mine with edible glitter too! Just to add a little more pretty!


Wednesday, 20 April 2011

Easter Bunnies

This Sunday being Easter I am in a rush (as Always) to get something really cute (and simple) to give out to my Visiting Teaching Sisters. As well I've just been called back into the YW presidency in my ward and need something adorable to give to the YW. So I have decided on the Tried and Tested Washcloth Easter Bunny.

I posted this last year. But hey what the heck why not post something this cute twice? Right? So here it is again. So adorable and perfect for Easter. The only difference is this year I will try to find some White Wash Clothes rather than blue.


washcloth - a large baby washcloth is ideal
rubber band


Lay the washcloth on a table. Roll one corner, diagonally, into the middle. Roll the opposite corner in the same way, so that both rolls meet in the middle.

Fold the rolled washcloth in half.

Hold the two sides together and fold the two ends backwards, over the top. Fasten a rubber band around the front area to form the head. Fluff out the two ends to make bunny ears.

That is it really. If you wanted to you could decorate it with eyes and ribbon. But essentially that is all there is to it. If you have more questions let me know and I will do a tutorial with pictures! So easy, effective and cute!!

Tuesday, 19 April 2011

Birthday Party Idea - Luigi (Mario Bros)

This week my handsome prince turns 4. Its hard to believe my little 2 pound baby (he was born at 26 weeks) is going to be 4. When I asked him what kind of Party he wanted for his bday it came as no surprise to me that he wanted a Luigi Party. Not a Mario Party. He is totally a Luigi Fan. So I started to search the net for anything just Luigi. And came up with.... nothing. Most everything is Mario. So straight away I knew this was going to have to be a homemade party!

Step 1: Party Invitations.

This step was really easy and really fun. I love digital Scrapbooking so I knew I could do this no problem. Here is what I came up with:

Simple right! I literally found a picture and tweeked it a bit so that it would fit what I needed.

Step 2: Decorations.
Every Party needs cool decorations so here is what I came up with:

First a Party Banner,

Second Lables for the soda bottles:

Third Party Bags:

Fourth Cupcake Toppers:

(I ran out of time but I did create them just didnt get them on the cakes :( )

Lastly You cant have a party without Party Games.

My ever so creative hubby drew this Luigi for pin the mustache on Luigi:

We also had a pinata and played the British classic Pass the Parcel.

Everyone had a lovely time... or so I think. And when all his little friends let my little man came up to me and said "That was one fantastic Party!!"

Monday, 18 April 2011

Family Home Evening - Easter Story Cookies

This is an activity / lesson all in one. Enjoy!

I love this and it has become a tradition each Easter in our home. I feel it is a great way to teach little children the true meaning of Easter. Plus in the end they have a yummy cookie on Easter morning!

Easter Story Cookies

To be made the evening before Easter

1cup whole pecans
1tsp vinegar
3 egg whites
pinch salt
1 cup sugar
zipper baggie
wooden spoon

Preheat oven to 300 degrees (this is important, don't wait till you're half done with the recipe!)

Place pecans in zipper baggie and let children beat them with the wooden spoon to break into small pieces. Explain that after Jesus was arrested, He was Beaten by the Roman soldiers. Read John 19:1-3.

Let each child smell the vinegar. Put 1tsp vinegar into mixing bowl. Explain that when Jesus was thirsty on the cross, He was given vinegar to drink. Read John 19:28-30.

Add egg whites to vinegar. Eggs represent life. Explain that Jesus gave His life to give us life. Read John 10:10-11.

Sprinkle a little salt into each child's hand. Let them taste it and brush the rest into the bowl. Explain that this represents the salty tears shed by Jesus' followers, and the bitterness of our own sin. Read Luke 23:27.

So far, the ingredients are not very appetizing. Add 1 cup sugar.
Explain that the sweetest part of the story is that Jesus died because He loves us. He wants us to know and belong to Him. Read Psalm 34:8 and John 3:16.

Beat with a mixer on high speed for 12 to 15 minutes until stiff peaks are formed. Explain that the color white represents the purity in God's eyes of those whose sins have been cleansed by Jesus. Read Isaiah 1:18 and John 3:1-3.

Fold in broken nuts. Drop by teaspoons onto wax paper covered cookie sheet. Explain that each mound represents the rocky tomb where Jesus' body was laid. Read Matthew 27:57-60.

Put the cookie sheet in the oven, close the door and turn the oven OFF. Give each child a piece of tape and seal the oven door. Explain that Jesus' tomb was sealed. Read Matthew 27:65-66.

GO TO BED! Explain that they may feel sad to leave the cookies in the oven overnight. Jesus' followers were in despair when the tomb was sealed. Read John 16:20 and 22.

On Easter morning, open the oven and give everyone a cookie. Notice the cracked surface and take a bite. The cookies are hollow! On the first Easter, Jesus' followers were amazed to find the tomb open and empty. Read Matthew 28:1-9.


Sunday, 17 April 2011

Friday, 15 April 2011

Friday Night Treat - French Toast Cupcakes

One of my friends on Twitter made some French Toast Cupcakes earlier this week and straight away I looked up where I could find a recipe to do the same. They sounded Delish! Well I found loads of recipes, but here is the one that I decided to use. We loved it I hope that you enjoy it as much as we did.

French Toast Cupcakes

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp. salt
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
2 eggs, room temperature
1 tsp. maple extract
1/2 cup milk

1. Preheat your oven to 350° degrees. Line muffin tin with baking liners.

2. Combine flour, baking powder, cinnamon and salt in a mixing bowl.

3. In a large bowl, whisk together butter, sugar, and eggs until combined. Then add maple extract.

4. Alternate between whisking in flour mixture and milk into your liquid mixture. Make three additions of flour and two of milk. Beat until smooth.

5. Divide batter into prepared pan and bake 20-25 minutes until golden brown and tops spring back when lightly touched.

6. Cool cupcakes for 10 minutes, remove from pan and allow to cool completely before frosting.

Maple Buttercream Frosting
4 tablespoons butter or margarine (room temperature or softened)
1/4 cup maple syrup
3 cups powdered sugar

Cream butter until smooth, add maple syrup, and then gradually add powdered sugar. I think I used 2 and 1/2 cups of powdered sugar. I added small amounts of milk when I felt like it was too thick.

Wednesday, 13 April 2011

Simple Tips That Make You Look Smarter!

I saw this on Womens Day today and just had to share it. I seriously love some of these tips!!

Monday, 11 April 2011

Family Home Evening - Being an Example

Come Follow Me CS 114

Opening Prayer:

Lesson: Mommy

Start with reading the following Scriptures: John 8:12, Mathew 5:16 And discuss.

Read the Story, My Sister, My Example

Based on a true story

When I was about eight years old, I lived in Jamaica. Jamaica can be very hot. I was so excited one day when my aunt invited me to go with her and my cousin to the house of a friend who had a swimming pool. A cool pool on a sunny day sounded great.

My mother said I could go but that I couldn’t swim since she didn’t know who would be there to watch us. I told her I would just put my feet in the pool to get cool.

When I got to the house, my cousin immediately jumped in the pool. Some of our other friends came over and started to swim too. Everyone kept begging me to come in the pool, and finally I gave in. It was so hot outside, and I thought my mom wouldn’t know because my aunt said she wouldn’t tell her.

I knew my aunt was wrong to keep secrets from my mother, but I played with my friends for a while in the pool anyway. I was so scared the whole time about what would happen if my mother knew I had disobeyed her. When we got home, my hair was a little wet, even though I had tried to keep it out of the water. My mom asked me if I had gone swimming, and I lied. I told her no. I felt really bad about it for a really long time, but I didn’t want to get in trouble.

A few years later, when my sister, BriĆ©lan, was seven, she was invited to go to the beach with some friends and their parents. My mom told her the same thing she had told me: go and have fun, but don’t go swimming. When my sister got to the beach, her friends’ parents told her she could go ahead and swim. They wouldn’t tell her mother, so it would be OK.

Even though my sister thought my mom would never know, she told her friends’ parents that she would not go swimming because her mother had asked her not to, and she wanted to be obedient. The grown-ups tried to convince her it was OK, but she still said no because she knew she should do what was right, and they were trying to get her to do something wrong.

My sister’s day at the beach was just as hot as mine at the pool, and she wanted to swim just as badly as I did. But my little sister became my big example when she chose to honor our parents by obeying them.

When my mom told me this story about my sister, I told her how I had lied to her. She was thankful that I finally told her the truth. She was very proud of my little sister, who had chosen to obey her, and so was I.

Talk with your children about being a good example to others. Explain what the blessings can be when you do what is right.


Play the game "Drama or Draw".
To play: divide into two teams, sitting across from each other. Take turns drawing a word strip from the bad and read it silently. Option One~ DRAMA. Act out the activity. Option Two~ DRAW. Draw the activity. The first team to guess wins a point for their team. Play until the wordstrips run out.

Drama or Draw List
Go to church
Drive reckless
Read the scriptures
Rollerblade across your neighbors yard
Spend tithing money
Do the dishes
Eat healthy foods
Pay extra on parent’s fast offerings
Be nice to everyone
Share a candy bar
Shovel snow for your neighbor
Pay tithing
Share your testimony
Contribute to the missionary fund
Keep your room clean
Read to children
Borrow a pair of sunglasses and won’t return them
Be kind to others
Walk the dog
Do homework
Visit the sick
Watching a bad television show
Dress immodestly
Skip School
Study for a hard test
Dress modestly

Sunday, 10 April 2011

Twas a Sheep Not a Lamb

Twas a sheep not a lamb that strayed away
In the parable Jesus told,
A grown-up sheep that strayed away
From the ninety and nine in the fold.

And why for the sheep should we seek
And earnestly hope and pray?
Because there is danger when sheep go wrong;
They lead the lambs astray.

Lambs will follow the sheep, you know,
Wherever the sheep may stray.
When sheep go wrong, it won’t take long
Til the lambs are as wrong as they.

And so with the sheep we earnestly plead
For the sake of the lambs today,
For when sheep are lost, what a terrible cost
The lambs will have to pay!

-C. C. Miller

Friday, 8 April 2011

Friday Night Treat - Strawberry Pie

Strawberries are starting to come into season here and a lot of the stores are selling them for super cheap. So last week I decided to make a strawberry pie. I like to make my own pie crust as well because then I can make a BIG pie. Here is my recipe for the Pastry first and then the Strawberry Pie filling second! Enjoy!

Sweet Pie Crust

2 cup Plain Flour
1 cup Vegetable shortening (here it is cookene or Trex in the US it is called Shortening. When I googles it I foiund out that Copha there is the same thing)
1/4 teas salt
2 teas Sugar
1/2 cup ice water

In a mixing bowl, combine the flour, salt and sugar. Add the shortening and work it through with your hands until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Add the water, 1 tablespoon at a time, and work it in with your hands until you have a smooth ball of dough. (I used less than 1/2 cup sometimes. Just use what you need not nesicarrily all of it.) Wrap the dough in plastic and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes. Remove the dough from the refrigerator and place it on a lightly floured surface. This recipe will make two pie crusts.

Strawberry Pie Filling:

  • 1 quart fresh strawberries
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 3 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 3/4 cup water

  1. Arrange half of strawberries in baked pastry shell. Mash remaining berries and combine with sugar in a medium saucepan. Place saucepan over medium heat and bring to a boil, stirring frequently.
  2. In a small bowl, whisk together cornstarch and water. Gradually stir cornstarch mixture into boiling strawberry mixture. Reduce heat and simmer mixture until thickened, about 10 minutes, stirring constantly. Pour mixture over berries in pastry shell. Chill for several hours before serving.

Wednesday, 6 April 2011

Easter Swag With a Twist

Remember I said I was working on a few EASTER things? Well here is the first one I have to share with you. I love hanging swags on my Mantle for EVERY holiday. But this EASTER I decided to do something a little different. I have hung individual eggs instead. Here see what I mean?

These were so simple. I just bought two packs of already decorated Easter Eggs (yep I cheated) and I glued letters to them, vinyle letters are pretty much impossible to find here in the UK. Here are a few pictures:

(Whoops how did this cheeky Picture get on here of my angel baby? Oh Well :) Look how big she is getting! Almost 8 months old now!)

Here is what I used....

and Here is what I did. SO SIMPLE!!

I also decided to just tie a bow for inbetween the words. Just to break it up a little. So what do you think? Do you like this little twist or should I stick with the traditional swag? I kind of like this for a change!

Tuesday, 5 April 2011

Visiting Teaching Message - April 2011

This months Relief Society Visiting Teaching Message is fantastic, its called The Purpose of Relief Society. And since I could not decide on which quote to use, because they are both so wonderful, I decided to make both of them. I will then prayerfully decide which quote to take to each of my sisters. Also I have made these bigger this month so that they are easier to read. I hope that helps each of you. If you have any questions please let me know or if you need anything further. Thank you for your comments last month. I love getting comments. It makes the work worth while.

Monday, 4 April 2011

Family Home Evening - How Well Did You Listen

We decided to have a fun and informative Family Home Evening Tonight. We will be coming up with questions from the General Conference Sessions over the past few days and Play Snakes and Ladder with them. If the kids answer the question right then they get to roll the dice and move forward. If they dont get the question right then they dont get to roll the dice. We will also be throwing in simple gospel questions. Here is a Snakes and Ladders board you can print out and some sample General Gospel Questions you could use. Enjoy!

General Knowledge Questions:

How old are you when you get baptised?
Who is the prophet of the church?
How many articles of Faith are there?
Finish this title _____ Book of _______
Who is the Bishop of our ward?
What is the name of our ward?
What gift are you give from Heavenly Father when you are baptised?
Who was the first prophet of the church?
After Jesus died he lay in a tomb and after 3 days he came back to life. What is this called?
How many books of Scriptures are there?
Who was the first prophet to write in the Book of Mormon?
What does the first Article of Faith say?

Sunday, 3 April 2011

Spiritually Speaking - The Parable of the Bamboo Tree

"In everything you do in your family, keep in mind the miracle of the Chinese bamboo tree. After the seed for this amazing tree is planted, you see nothing, absolutely nothing, for four years except for a tiny shoot coming out of a bulb. During those four years, all the growth is underground in a massive, fibrous root structure that spreads deep and wide in the earth. But then in the the fifth year the Chinese bamboo tree grows up to eighty feet!

"Many things in family life are like the Chinese bamboo tree. You work and you invest time and effort, and you do everything you can possibly do to nurture growth, and sometimes you don't see anything for weeks, months, or even years. But if you're patient and keep working and nurturing, that "fifth year" will come, and you will be astonished at the growth and change you see taking place.

"Patience is faith in action. Patience is emotional diligence. It's the willingness to suffer inside so that others can grow. It reveals love. It gives birth to understanding."

From The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Families by Stephen R. Covey (pp. 22-23)

Friday, 1 April 2011

Friday Night Treat - Cookies and Cream Cupcakes

I was looking for something a little bit different to make the other day and came across a really easy and really nice recipe for Cookies and Cream Cupcakes. They were lovely. Super moist and Super Tasty.

I thought this would make the prefect treat night recipe to share with you all. I hope that you enjoy them as much as my family does!


1 Cup Butter
1 Cup Caster (Fine) Sugar
2 cups Self Rising Flour
1 tsp Baking Powder
4 eggs
1 tsp Vanilla Essence
10 Oreo Cookies Crushed

Preheat oven to 350°; place 18 baking cups in muffin pans.

Combine all the cupcake ingredients, except the cookies, in a big bowl; beat with an electric mixer until smooth and pale, about 2-3 minutes; stir in the cookies.

Spoon batter into cups; bake for 20 minutes; remove pans from oven and cool for 5 minutes; then remove cupcakes and cool on wire rack.

Make the icing: beat powdered sugar, butter, and salt using an electric mixer; spread icing onto cooled cupcakes.

Sprinkle the chopped cookies on top.