Just a little trip to London

As much as I use my blog to share my views and all array of recipes and crafting ideas, I also use it as a place to save memories. If we do anything meaningful or exciting it normally makes it’s way in to a blog post and this does fit in with the whole ‘mummy’ and ‘lifestyle’ blogger theme.

So yesterday Arabella and I made the 280 mile round trip up to London to visit one of my oldest and dearest friends @justalittlebuild or SJ as I know her.

We spoke on the phone a few weeks ago and given our diary’s and the diary’s of our four children the 21st December was the only date we could do. We decided that our ‘fun Christmas Holiday activity’ would be to make a completely homemade ‘from scratch’ gingerbread house with the kids, and then just generally have a really good catch up. In the last year following the massive build on her house SJ has become quite the instagrammer and blogger so it was a great opportunity for us to come together share tips, advice and generally have a good catch up.


So we set off at 8.15am (after waiting for the sun to rise enough to get the chickens out) and headed straight for starbucks. Purchased a latte, portion of fruit toast and a croissant (which never even got eaten) and joined the M5. Within 20 minutes the entire contents of the honey had been poured all over the passenger seat of my car which was interesting to clean up, but with a handy pack of wet wipes the situation was resolved (I honestly think all people should carry wet wipes not just mums with babies, they literally clean ANYTHING, not just bottoms)

After at least 45 repeats of ‘are we nearly there yet’ we were there, and we got cracking. Both very much doers in life there was no tea drinking until the recipe was started and the kids hands were suitably covered in dough.


for anyone interested below is the recipe we used:


In hindsight though we managed to pull this off it was hit or miss at a few stages. We should have left the gingerbread in for longer, it was just too soft and as soon as we added the smarties on the roof it started to bow under the pressure. We got round this by filling the whole house with giant marshmallows (which luckily no one would ever know as it’s windowless). The Mummies completely took over and the kids seemed happy enough just decorating the shapes we made with the left over dough so we basically did the whole gingerbread house without any help from the kids (which I think secretly we were both pretty happy about) the likelihood of the children creating something instagram worth is small.


The one thing I want to mention as someone who does a lot of baking is the genius idea from that recipe of using egg whites with icing rather than water. It made the consistency so much stickier to hold everything together, in all my years of baking I have never heard of this but will be something I definitely continue to do. Pure genius!

The rest of the day was just catching up, everyone having their photo taken in the F&M basket, sharing ideas about each of our channels and drinking tea. Arabella managed to completely cover one of her bunchies in icing so she had to have a bath before we left (SJ’s bath is deep and huge) so this was very exciting and of course warranted a photo. We tided up the remains of the icing, chocolates and gingerbread dough and SJ fed the kids and then we just had time for one last little cuppa before we left and hit the motorway for the trek home.


The drive home was the fun bit! Arabella if you watch any of my channels you will know is rather a dramatic character. Within 10 minutes of leaving she had convinced herself she was sick/ill/poorly. We ended up pulling over so I could try talk some sense in to her as it was clearly just being tired (given that five minutes previous she had said how hungry she was) I managed to resolve the situation (i’m not entirely sure how) and we got on our way. I used Christmas songs as a distraction which worked for about an hour (with one still to go) then she went in to complete meltdown about a rub she had on her foot adamant she needed to go to the doctors as soon as we got home (oh the joys of kids). We got home I transferred her from the car to bed and sat down with a cup of tea to start writing this. what a perfect day with perfect company.


Enjoy and thanks for reading.



Winter Mug Treats

For me (as terrible as this is to admit) with a warm drink comes some kind of sweet treat, whether it be a modist rich tea or a full blown slab of Victoria sponge I think the two go had in hand.

I was in M&S buying coffee the other day (This is a daily occurrence until Santa hopefully brings me a Tassimo) and they had these little gingerbread style men that hooked over the edge of your cup (for £1.85 I might add). In usual style I whipped my phone out and took a picture to look in to ways I could recreate it at home, and I came up with this.


  • 190g plain flour
  • 125g unsalted butter
  • 55g caster sugar

Measure out your butter and sugar and rub together with a large spoon.

 Add the flour and start mixing with the same spoon then move on to your fingers to form a dough.

 If it’s too dry ad a touch of milk or too wet add a little bit more flour.

 Roll out the dough to about 0.5cm in thickness and cut out your shapes (worth mentioning you will be cutting a fair bit out so make sure it’s a decent size cutter)

 Once you’ve cut all the shapes out take a small sharp knife and start removing cm wide strips from each shape.

Once they are all done pop them in the oven at 180 C until they start to brown.

Note: leave them to cool on the baking tray so they harden up, we lost  few because being warm they were still soft and broke in half.

Once cool get your icing ready, I don’t use a recipe for this I just pop some icing sugar in a bowl and add water until it’s the right consistency (If you are time savvy then shop bought tubes do a great job and there’s no judgement from me) then load up your piping bag and get decorating (however you want).

Once fully cool and with the icing set you’re ready to go. Make your favorite hot drink, leaving enough room at the top and pop your biscuit on.

This is a great little add on when you have guests (especially children) coming over.

 of for yourself because it’s Christmas 🙂

Thanks for reading


Nutella Cookies

No joke it’s 12.02 (which basically means it’s the 1st December) Ordinarily at this time of day I would be collapsed in a heap either on my keyboard or asleep with my laptop precariously balanced on me in bed. But no in sheer excitement I am up in the middle of the night baking for the day ahead.


Putting up the decorations is a tiring (but equally fantastic job) that requires a lot of energy, I had a recipe I really wanted to try out so when better a time to try it!

This recipe is one I always wondered about, much like getting jam in a donut so I thought I would give it a go (successfully I might add)

So Nutella Cookies (not for Santa for you, for spending hours un-tangling Christmas lights)


  • 110g Soft brown sugar

  • 125g Butter (softened)

  • 1 Egg

  • 230g Self raising flour

  • Nutella (or Nutoka if you shop in Aldi like me!)

  • 100g Chocolate chips (optional)


 Put your butter and sugar in a bowl and whisk until smooth

 Add your egg then whisk again until smooth

 Add your flour and start mixing with a spoon, moving on to your hands to form a good firm dough.


Break the dough down in to 12 pieces (s evenly as you can) then press them down until flat and place the 1/2 tsp of chocolate spread in the middle.

Fold over all the edges in the middle and reform the top them press down gently to create the cookie shape (repeat until all the dough is used)

Bake in a preheated oven at 180 C for 10-12 minutes or until they look golden and done.


Once done, leave them to cool on a wire rack an then you are good to eat (preferably with a hot chocolate covered in whipped cream and sprinkles) or tea if you’re boring!


Have you put up any decorations yet? who even cares, everyone deserves a treat after baking!

Thanks for reading