Diggerland Fun

When we were away in Somerset, we thought we’d take advantage of our location and pay a visit to Diggerland. I’d heard about them, and there are 4 in England, but they are all quite a long way from us here in Birmingham, so we’d not got round to going. Time to remedy that…

The first thing that Boo and Little Man ran off to when we got there was the big outdoor play area…

diggerland play area

diggerland play areas

And then 5 year old Boo took her 2 year old brother for a drive! They both enjoyed that, though the Husband and I found it a little disconcerting to see our daughter driving our son around at such a young age. It wasn’t on a track, so yes, she did get stuck off-roading it a couple of times. The man operating it was really good at helping them, and watching them as they went round.

diggerland driving

We then went off to explore the rest of what Diggerland has to offer. There were the diggers that you went on and operated yourself, or with an adult if you’re too small…

diggerland dippy ducks

diggerland diggers

There are several versions of these smaller digger rides for you to have a go at, so you can try hooking a duck, knocking down skittles and digging for treasure. It wasn’t too busy the day that we visited so you pretty much had an unlimited amount of time to spend having a go on each of these. I assume on busy days that is limited, but it’s nice to see that that can be adapted to suit, and as long as no-one is waiting, you can play for some time.

You can then go on a big digger and dig out huge piles of mud! Little Man, at 2, needed the Husband to accompany him on most rides, but Boo, at 5, could go on them and operate them all on her own.

diggerland giant digger

diggerland fun

Little Man absolutely loved that dumper truck ride there. I think he’d have just gone on that one all day long! It goes quite slowly and is driven around a winding dirt track.

Then there are the rides that you can sit back and have fun on. The barrels go off for quite a long ride around the land, so as I waved Boo off, I hadn’t realised she’d be disappearing from me for a while. She’s fine with things like that, but for younger or less confident children, parents can ride on the carriage.

diggerland barrels

Diggerland Spindizzy

diggerland dig-a-round

So plenty of digging and smiles!

It’s not that big a place, with just one cafe, along with an indoor soft play area, but this was enough when we visited. We were there in the school holidays, but I think some schools were yet to break up, so whether it gets lots busier and the cafe gets packed, I don’t know. It was good service when we were there anyway.The staff all around the park, manning the rides, the shop and the cafe were friendly and polite and ever mindful of what was happening and checking on the children playing, which was good to see.

At the end of the visit, as we left through the gift shop, we picked up our free certificates, certifying Little Man and Boo as genuine Junior Digger Drivers – oh, how Boo treasures that certificate! I really liked that little extra touch.

I’d say Diggerland is definitely for you if you have a digger-mad little one. They will get to have the amazing experience of being able to drive and operate their own diggers, even from quite a young age, and as you can see, there are plenty of them. It’s a really unique experience for them. We thoroughly enjoyed our day there.

There are Diggerland’s in Kent, Devon, Durham and Yorkshire, if you fancy paying them a visit and having a dig about!

What do you make of it?

Disclosure: We received entry FOC for the purposes of this post, though all words and opinions remain my own

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Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall

Word of the Week 17/4/15

Hello and welcome to Word of the Week. Thanks to those of you that linked up last week, and I look forward to reading all about your weeks this week. As you’ll know if you popped by last Friday my word last week was creative, so as a little update on that one, you’ll be able to now see some of the fruits of my labour in my posts over the past few days, such as Choc-Anana Fudge Cake, A Beginner’s Guide to Cake Pops, A Blogger’s Guide to Instagram and How to Make a Pocket Letter. I did tell you I’d been creating!

If you’re new here, Word of the Week is a nice and simple weekly linky, with everyone welcome to pop by and share. You reflect back on the past week and sum it up in one word. Then share your word with us in a blog post, with as little or as much explanation as you like. It’s a fun and friendly linky, so please do be lovely and visit as many of the other blogs as you can and share with them your thoughts on their words and weeks. I do comment on every entry to the linky, and if you add the Word of the Week badge to your post to help spread the ‘word’, I also tweet them out.

My word of the week this week is:

warm

Yes, we’ve had sunshine! I do love it when it becomes sunny enough to wear flip flops, always a happy time for me. With the change in the weather, I’ve also been out buying sandals for the children, stocking up on sun cream, and their sun hats have come out again. I always want salad in the sun, too, so I’ve been eating differently this week, as well as getting my summery skirts back out. I’ve been out in the garden weeding, mowing and sowing, and it’s been lovely to get washing drying out there again, too, now that it’s a little warmer. The children have loved spending more time out in the garden, with plenty of bug hunts taking place.

On another note, my girl hasn’t been well this week and has had to have the last couple of days off school. She’s been off her food and running a high temperature, so she’s been very warm, hot even, poor thing. Fortunately, she hasn’t been too ill to move, so she’s played with her brother, and we’ve had a few nice crafting and cuddling moments, but I would much rather she cooled down and was her normal energetic self, of course. I’m hoping she’s over the worst of it now and that the rest of us will escape whatever it is, fingers crossed.

What about you? What one word sums up your week best? Please grab the badge, link up and share.

The Reading Residence



Linky opens at 6.30am Friday, to midnight on Sunday.

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A Mouse Tale DVD Give-Away

The end of the week is now in sight, but I thought I’d give you a little extra lift this evening, by running a give-away. It’s one for the children, a story of a quest, filled with magic and rodents, which sounds fun to me! I have one copy of A Mouse Tale on DVD up for grabs….

a mouse tale

Starring the vocal talents of Carey Elwes (The Princess Bride), Jon Heder (Napoleon Dynamite) and Tom Arnold, A MOUSE’S TALE is a magical animation little pests will love!

In order to save their kingdom from evil rodents, Samantha and Sebastian are sent on a quest by the King of Rodencia and the wise Wizard Dalliwog to obtain a legendary magic crystal that has the power to defeat the rodents. With the help of two trustworthy knights, they venture deep into the forest and enter a forbidden world of giants in order to accomplish their mission and restore order to the kingdom.

It’s due to be released on 25th May, handily in time for some half term entertainment.

Here’s a preview..

And to be in with a chance of winning a copy, enter using the rafflecopter below, letting me know who your favourite rodent of all time is (we all have one, right?! The competition is open to UK entrants only, and closes at 12am 17th May 2015.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Good luck! 

The Reading Residence

Siblings April 2015

It’s time for me to pause for a moment, step away from the day to day busyness, and take a look at my children’s relationship with one another, as I like to do each month.

This month has been a good one for my two. With the Easter holidays, they’ve had two whole weeks of playing together, and we went away for a few days within that time, along with having some fabulous adventures, such as our Thomasland trip. We’ve all had fun, and I have loved watching Boo and Little Man.

They get on well together. They will play alongside each other contentedly, or with one another. When they play with each other, they invariably make up their own little worlds and games. They’ve been birds flying and laying eggs, bees buzzing and stinging each other, mummy and baby, teacher and pupil, trains, cars and traffic lights – the list is endless! Little Man’s latest ‘thing’ is Toy Story. He is loving the films, and even more-so the toys as he had some for Easter. Woody, Buzz and Jessie have been the centre of many a happy hour spent.

The holidays have been easier for me than just having Little Man at home as the two of them totally occupy one another and I’m just here to supply food and general care!

siblings april2

siblings april

siblings april 4

siblings april 1

siblings april 3

There’s not many shots of them clearly looking at the camera this month, but I chose these ones as I think they give an idea of their relationship, a kinship. And yes, they did randomly dress up in Santa costumes.

My sibling pair this month, with Little Man now 2 years and 7 months, and Boo 5 years and 6 months.

The Reading Residence

dear beautiful

How to Make a Pocket Letter

For today’s #BringBackPaper post I thought I’d show you how to make a pocket letter, the latest fun, crafty creation sweeping the happy mail world.

Have you heard of them? I hadn’t until I received one from one of my lovely pen pals, Sarah, and I then discovered this is becoming a big thing. Check out the #pocketletter hash tag on Instagram and you’ll find so many pretty pictures and ideas over there. I knew that I’d have to have a go myself, so I thought I’d share with you how I made a pocket letter, the kind of things you can include and how it all works…

how to make a pocket letter

The pocket sheet itself is a football trading cards pocket, and you’ll be able to get them from places such as Amazon and eBay. I do have a fair few supplies, such as paper, washi, pens, stickers, stamps and so on, so I sat down with my various snail mail bits and pieces and got ready to create..

pocket letter supplies

I started by filling each of the pockets with pretty backing paper. I have these lovely little craft paper squares from Eccentric Fox, which I thought would be prefect for this. Don’t worry if you’ve not got anything like this, though. I can also see that using things like wrapping paper, old cards, brown craft paper or magazines would all be very effective. You’ll need to cut them 9cm x 6.5cm.

pocket letter backing

Once that’s done you can get on with filling your pockets with anything you’d like. I’d recommend making one of them a letter or short note…

pocket letter note

And I think mail tags are always fun…

pocket letter mail tag

And then stickers, positive quotes, teabags, snacks, bookmarks, cut-outs, embellishments, twine, buttons, washi, tags, paperclips, anything goes!

pocket letter ideas

Play around with post-its to label, use washi, cut letters out, whatever you want to do. Then fold it up and pop it in an envelope to your lucky recipient, and be sure to pretty up that envelope, too.

It took longer than it would for me to write a normal letter, of course, as I did write a letter here along with all of the other bits and bobs. When I started I saw it as all a bit time consuming, but by the end I was thinking up ideas for my next ones, as I really go into it. I like the idea of using one of my gardening magazines to back it and doing a flowery themed pocket letter, so I think I’ll give that a whirl next. And then I can see something like a woodland theme looking great and colour themes, like pretty in pink or monochrome would be effective. I think once you have a go yourself, lots of ideas will come to you, too. I’m not all that creative normally, yet once I actually got going it was nice and easy to do.

What do you think of it? Are you tempted to have a go yourself?

Find out more about my #BringBackPaper campaign here, and do share any of your pocket letters and snail mail with me over on Instagram, just use the #BringBackPaper hash tag and we can all find you, or blog them and link up with my Papery Peep linky, the last Wednesday of every month. Open to any papery posts.

You may also enjoy browsing my Letter-Writing Love board over on Pinterest. Stacks of inspiration over there for you. Enjoy!

The Reading Residence

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A Blogger’s Guide to Instagram

OK, so if I’m not blogging or browsing Pinterest, you’ll probably find me over on Instagram. It’s just so pretty there, and inspiring, and funny, and easy to find like-minded people – need I go on?

I’d recommend being on there, whether you’re a blogger or not, as it is fun and friendly, very easy to sign up to and get going. Just download the app to your phone and start snapping away now. There are filters and editing options for your photos that you can play around with, and then start following people to enjoy their photos, too.

From a blogger’s perspective, it can be a great way of reaching a wider audience and further connecting with your readers and potential readers, so read on for my tips, along with a great selection from top bloggers who really know how to work their Instagram accounts….

a blogger's guide to Instagram

My top 5 tips are:

1. Take the time to complete your profile and bio. A photo of yourself rather than your blog logo seems to be more popular, share a little about you, your interests, and ensure you include your blog link. Do check in on it and re-write every once in a while, too, to keep it fresh and relevant.

2. Be sociable. It’s like any other social network in that way, so post regularly, like and comment on other images, follow people and chat. If you’re on Twitter, you wouldn’t just post infrequently, ignore other people and not follow anyone, would you? It’s a similar thing, but so much prettier!

3. This may be a personal one to me, but I’m not keen on loads of photos coming up from the same account in my feed one after the other in quick succession. It’s all fine if people are interested in the subject, but if not, it may switch people off. Similarly, post after post of blog promotion links will put me off. I want to see a bit of your life, not just your blog links.

4. Make a mental note of the images that do well for you, and gain you more attention. It may be the subject matter, the time you posted, the caption you ran with it, hash tags used, and once you figure out what works, do more of it! I think if you enjoy taking the pics, it comes across, so don’t over-cultivate, just have fun.

5. Use hash tags to find like-minded people, and if it’s relevant to your blog, create and use a hash tag, too. In this case, it needs to work well on Instagram to do it. For example, I run the Word of the Week linky but rarely use the #WotW hash tag on Instagram as it’s often just a word, rather than an image. Whereas I then run my #BringBackPaper campaign which works really well over there, as people share their books, snail mail, papery creations and so on and we have the photo a day challenge alongside it a few times each year. A nice way to find people with the same interests and get chatting, along with gaining new readers. Join in with hash tag projects to find and follow others and get yourself known, and look for hash tags relevant to your niche.

Top Instagram Bloggers Share:

I have also got in touch with a few fellow bloggers who adore their Instagram, and asked them to share their top tips with us. Here’s what the lovely folks had to say:

– Show yourself with all your imperfections on Instagram. I like seeing the ‘real’ people on Instagram. We have sugar-coated versions on our blogs. It is nice to get a more realistic picture from time to time. Mel at Le Coin De Mel

– I would recommend that you have a profile pic and don’t be private. This will help encourage more people to follow you back! Sian at Potty Mouthed Mummy

– If you are using Instagram to promote blog posts then be sure to include a good mix of promotion photos and personal photos. Directing people to (link in bio) will generate hits as well as carefully chosen hashtags. Kerri-Ann at Life as Our Little Family

– I’d suggest you link Instagram to your Facebook page & Twitter feed – it saves time and is more likely to get interaction than a typical Facebook/Twitter update. Donna at What the Redhead Said

– I think I would say photograph the real. Don’t use too many filters and effects to change your images. Instagram is supposed to show real life, the things that are happening to you right now, and what’s important to you. Share that, don’t change it. Kate at Family Fever

– I would recommend using hashtags and researching popular hashtags for different topics. The more variety of your hashtags the more new people you will reach. I also would recommend watching what time you post for the most likes. Jenny at Let’s Talk Mommy

– Try not to make ALL your photos staged and perfect. I like some photos to show the real side of family life. Moments you always want to remember and not necessarily just what you had for dinner! Emma at brummymummyof2

– Don’t spam your Instagram with blog related photos – with products / blog posts. People want to see pretty, interesting or funny photos. Colette at Going on an Adventure

– My top tip would be to edit pictures. IG’s filters and editing functions are so good and can really improve your photographs. I mostly lift the brightness and contrast a little, to make colours really pop. Emma at Life at the Little Wood

– Try to keep your photo consistent in editing, it creates a ‘brand’. A recognisable feel that people come to know and trust. Sarah at Taming Twins

– Don’t overdo the hashtags would be my top tip. I hate posts followed by loads and loads of irrelevant or follow4follow etc. Mary at Over 40 and a Mum to One

Ah yes, the hash tag has a huge weight over on Instagram. I tend to use a few here and there, which can be a great way for others to find you, as Jenny says. I’ve connected with some lovely people by doing this. But then as Mary points out, there are the pictures with a short description and then lines and lines of hash tags – quite off-putting! Somewhere in between, I think. And don’t over-do the blog links, or over complicate every shot you take, seems to be a running theme, too. A mix of pretty and real, and I’d say most of all, have fun with it.

I find Instagram to be the least complicated of all of the social media platforms. It feels a very friendly place to be, too, so if you’re yet to get going on there, I’d highly recommend that you do. And of course, you can start by following me!

What tips would you add?

If you liked this, you may also enjoy:
A Blogger’s Guide to Pinterest
My Top 20 Tips for Bloggers
How to Write a Brilliant About Me Page

The Reading Residence

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A Beginner’s Guide to Cake Pops

Yes, I have attempted cake pops, me, total novice baker that I am. And I actually managed to make them, too, so I thought I’d put together this beginner’s guide to making them so that others can learn from my mistakes and benefit from the extensive research that I did before launching into this new and exciting cake arena. Here I’m sharing with you the honest start-to-finish very first attempt at them. They will not look perfect Pinterest-worthy finished, but they are made and they were enjoyed, so that’s good enough for me, and I’m hoping will give you hope you can do it, too, if your skill-set is similar to mine.

I am not an accomplished baker. I can do fairy cakes, muffins, and my go-to never fails me banana loaf. So the idea of doing cake pops was a little bit daunting, as the more I read, the trickier they seemed to be. But never one to give up on an idea, I figured worst case scenario I’d be writing a blog post telling you how incredibly difficult they are and never to attempt them!

The time it takes to make them was the factor that alarmed me most (along with the thought that they’d slide off the stick, but do not fear, I’ll cover that later). From start to finish it’s around 2 hours. But, if you’re impatient like me, do not be put off, as there’s actually only 20 minutes prep time in there all together, you just need to allow for breaks to allow for baking, cooling and refrigerating. Now that I know this, I’ll plan in other tasks around this so it won’t seem as drawn out. I also found that lots of the posts I was reading used a premade cake mix to start with, whereas I wanted to bake from scratch, so I’ve ensured I’ve included a sponge cake recipe here for you, too.

a beginner's guide to cake pops

I got a few cake pops essentials ready..

cake pops kit

That stand there is a fold away cardboard one and I love it. It makes it so much easier to make the cake pops and then have them held upright like this, and it’s very pretty, too. The sticks you’ll need, of course, the mold is optional, and then you’ll need some melts to use as the dipping sauce and sprinkles are just added fun.

Baking the Cake:

So first up you need to make a sponge cake. Preheat your oven to 180C/Gas Mark 4, line or grease a loaf tin of 22cm x 11cm, and prepare the following ingredients:

Ingredients for the cake:
120g unsalted butter
150g sugar
1 tsp vanilla essence
2 eggs
180g self raising flour
4 tbsp milk

Cream the butter and sugar together until smooth. Add in the eggs and vanilla essence and stir. Sift in the flour and fold in, then add the milk and stir it all together.

Your cake mix is now ready for the tin and then the oven. Bake for 40 minutes.

Check that it’s ready by sticking a knife into it. If it comes out smooth and free of cake mixture then it’s done. Remove from the tin and allow to cool.

Making the Cake Pops Mixture

Now that you have a rather lovely looking cake, you need to destroy it. Yep, cut off all of the edges, and then put the rest of it in a bowl and crumble it all up with your fingers.

cake pops recipe

At this point you can either make some frosting/icing, or add some shop bought. For me, I found it easier to simply add in some chocolate icing here, but you can make your own if you’d prefer. I went for chocolate as that always goes down very well in this house, though you can use any you like, and you could add food colourings in, too. I added 2 tablespoons of chocolate icing and then mixed it all up until I had a play dough like consistency.

I have a cake pop mould so I then broke the big ball up and put roughly shaped balls into it and pressed it together so that it gave me several of a consistent size and shape. I then scooped off any excess. If you’ve not got one of these, simply roll them into same sized balls.

cake pops mold

When they’re all ready and pop-shaped, place them all onto a baking tray lined with greaseproof paper and place them into the fridge for an hour.

Decorating the Cake Pops

You can now get out those sprinkles and candy melts. To prepare the dipping sauce, put the melts in a microwaveable bowl that is deep enough to dip a cake pop in without it needing to touch the bottom. Then melt the candy melts in the microwave on medium for 1 minute. Remove from the microwave and stir quickly and thoroughly to ensure it’s all melted through.

Now’s the part that I was a bit worried about. I’d been reading reports of the pops not staying on the sticks, but do not worry as I also found a way to prevent this from happening. Before putting in your sticks, you need to dip the top of the stick into your dipping sauce and then insert it about half-way into your pop. By doing this, I didn’t have a single cake pop come loose or fall off into the sauce.

cake pops icing on sticks

Now that your pops are on sticks, dip them into the sauce and twirl them around in there to ensure even coverage. Add on some sprinkles if you fancy it, too, and voila, you have a cake pop!

Place them into your stand and allow to harden and set before eating.

Cake Pops I have conquered you!

OK, I did do them, but I also found I made a few mistakes, that I think are useful to share, to prevent you from making the same ones….

cake pop learns

– Don’t let the dipping sauce set. It sets really quickly, so I’d say get your pops, stand, sprinkles and sticks all ready before you put it in the microwave. As soon as it’s out and you’ve mixed it, get dipping those pops. My icing ending up being quite thick as it was already on it’s way to setting. I think this also makes it harder to then get a smooth finish.

– Once it’s on your cake pop, if you want sprinkles, get them on now! It’ll be setting straight away and if you delay even by a few seconds, it will struggle to stick well, as you can see in the two examples above. The better one was done no more than 10-15 seconds faster.

– Less is more. I was trying to cover my entire pop with sprinkles, maybe just a few on top would have been enough?

– Don’t try and use a spoon to smooth it out. You’ll just end up with a coarse, bobbly pop as in the bottom left photo there.

So there you have it, my first attempt, from start to finish, success and failures included. And the verdict? They are delicious. Will I make them again? Absolutely. Now that I actually know what I need to do at each stage, and the little niggles that can make it harder, I actually feel quite confident. Now, don’t get me wrong, I won’t be winning any baking contests with them, but they’re fun to do and so I can see us playing around with different flavours, colours and toppings.

What do you think? Fancy having a go yourself now?

Disclosure: With thanks to MeinCupcake who supplied me with my cake pops bakeware

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Doniford Bay Holiday Park

Last week we went on one of our Sun holiday bookings. I’ve written about them before, as we’ve been on quite a few now, and shared my top tips for booking the best breaks. Now that Boo is at school, these are proving to be invaluable as school holiday prices are high, yet these remain very well-priced. We booked in at Haven’s Doniford Bay Holiday Park, in Watchet, Somerset.

We’d not tried a Haven park before, despite having been on several caravan breaks, so I wasn’t too sure what to expect. As I always do before booking a Sun break, I researched it over on TripAdvisor and the reports looked favourable, so we booked in.

On arrival, I was impressed with the check in. I’ve booked into parks before and felt a bit like cattle, herded about with queues and little personal service. The lady that greeted me did make me feel welcome and gave me all the details that I needed, along with the welcome news that we’d been upgraded.

doniford bay caravans

We stayed in a Prestige caravan, and it was lovely. Bright and clean, with three bedrooms, a shower bathroom and a further toilet, TV with freeview and a DVD player, and a well-equipped kitchen including a microwave and fridge freezer. The real bonus was heating in every room, too, as the blustery weather would have made for a chilly stay, rather than the nice and toasty morning wake ups that we had.

The site itself is right on the coast, as it overlooks a pebbly beach and the sea. It’s a beautiful spot, though extremely windy when we were there!

doniford bay

There was plenty for the kids to do. At 5 and 2, they were delighted with the play areas and would have happily stayed in those all day every day. They were handy places to pop to in moments of downtime, such as trying to wear them out before bedtime! They also have a crazy golf course, sports centre, swimming pool and a programme of activities for children of all ages every day.

doniford bay play areas

Each evening there was a kids show with Haven characters making an appearance, photo opportunities with them, and a disco for little ones. This was all in a good-sized bar area, attached to a big games arcade and a restaurant.

We ate in the restaurant one evening. The portions were generous, and the food was good, though I’d say a little on the pricey side. You can see the live show through the restaurant glass, so the children were entertained whilst eating!

So with comfortable accommodation, plenty to do on site and friendly and helpful staff, we enjoyed our stay and first Haven experience. We’ve just had another Sun holiday booking pack come through the post, and if we decide to book another break, I’ll be looking at Haven sites again.

Have you had any experience of them?

The Reading Residence

Choc-Anana Fudge Cake

As I’ve been having a few bursts of creativity lately, I decided to have a go at making up my own cake recipe, and it actually turned out to be delicious! And even better than that, it was really easy to make.

I decided to adapt my popular banana loaf recipe and make it a chocolate fudge banana loaf. The Husband’s not overly keen on bananas, yet he loves chocolate and cake so it ticked that box. And I often find chocolate cake too dry for my taste, so I hoped the banana would add more moisture to the cake. I was also curious to see what happened if you put chocolate fudge icing in the cake prior to baking it, so it was an experiment on that front, too.

And so with that explanation and introduction, onto the recipe….

Choc-Anana Fudge Cake

To make Choc-Anana Fudge Cake

Ingredients

140g sugar
140g margarine
1 egg
1 level tsp baking powder
1/2 level tsp bicarbonate of soda
1 tsp vanilla essence
130g self-raising flour
40g cocoa powder
1 over ripe banana
1 can of chocolate fudge icing

Method

Pre-heat your oven to 180C and line a 22cm x 11cm loaf tin with greaseproof paper or grease it lightly.

Pour the sugar into a mixing bowl and add the margarine. Cream together until smooth.

Add in the egg and stir.

Next add the baking soda, bicarbonate of soda and vanilla essence and mix it all in together.

Sift in the flour and cocoa powder and fold into the mixture. Stir until a consistently smooth cake batter has formed.

Grab another bowl and mash up your banana with a fork. Keep on going until it’s almost a liquid, then add it into the cake mixture and stir thoroughly to ensure it’s evenly distributed.

Finally, add in 2 generous heaped tablespoons of the chocolate fudge icing. Mix it all in and spoon evenly into the loaf tin.

Bake in the oven for 35-40 minutes.

Remove from the oven and allow to cool on a wire rack

Spread the rest of the can of chocolate fudge icing with a knife over the top and sides of the cake.

The Verdict

This is so good, I impressed myself! The cake is lovely and moist. I was a bit concerned that the chocolate would totally overpower the banana, but it doesn’t. You can still taste the banana, but at just the right amount as to not offend the Husband and his banana-averse ways! It’s not a cake you can easily pick up and eat, you’d need to serve with a spoon, and I think custard would make a great addition. In fact, now I’ve thought of that, I’d best make another….

If you do try it, I’d love to know what you think.

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Word of the Week 10/4/15

Hello and welcome to Word of the Week. I hope you’ve all had a lovely Easter and break. It seems to have flown by here!

If you’re new here, Word of the Week is a nice and simple weekly linky, with everyone welcome to pop by and share. You reflect back on the past week and sum it up in one word. Then share your word with us in a blog post, with as little or as much explanation as you like. It’s a fun and friendly linky, so please do be lovely and visit as many of the other blogs as you can and share with them your thoughts on their words and weeks. I do comment on every entry to the linky, and if you add the Word of the Week badge to your post to help spread the ‘word’, I also tweet them out.

My word of the week this week is:

creative

I don’t know whether it’s the sunshine, being on holiday or just circumstance, but this week I’ve been feeling very creative. Not a usual state for me, and I am really enjoying it.

Whether it be photography, snail mailing, baking, gardening, interiors, in every way I’ve done things a little differently this week, a little more creatively, and I’m finding it fun. I have a new lease of life! I’ve even been more creative with the meal planning, shopping somewhere differently and sourcing a few menu ideas before I went, as I want to try some new things.

Of course, I’ve also had both children off with me all week, which has been fun. We’ve been creative ourselves, as both of my kids are artistic and love their crafting, so there’s been plenty of that. Then there’s also been trying out different types of play and coming up with stories and make believe worlds fuelled by our imaginations.

All of this has had a knock on effect for the blog, too. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed crafting some of my posts that you’ll start to see popping up next week, and they’ll give you more of an idea of what I’ve been up to, too. I’m full of fresh ideas for it, both on the actual writing of posts and also the promotion and social media side, too. I’m buzzing with creativity and all that I need now is an extra few hours each day!

What about you? What one word sums up your week best? Please grab the badge, link up and share.

The Reading Residence



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