Get Your Bake On: Old School Butterscotch Tart

One of my fondest memories of primary school was, believe it or not, the school dinners.

I’m not talking about the questionable ‘meat’ slices we had with our roast dinners (WTF was that stuff?! It’s probably best not to know) nor the pink gunge known as Blamange that we were often presented with. I’m talking about the holy grail of puddings that we got once in a Blue Moon, but when that day arrived, my word I was a happy little person;

Butterscotch Tart

Butterscotch Tart recipe

I can still remember the taste of it if I close my eyes.

The way the Butterscotch filling stuck to the back of my scratched spoon.

The way the pastry flew across my melamine plate if I wasn’t careful as I cut it.

The dollop of sweet, marshmallow like cream on the top of it.

Utter childhood bliss.

My two eldest boys are suckers for this pudding too so we spent some time yesterday making one. They sat there in the kitchen last night, savouring every mouthful and telling me, “this is the pudding of my dreams Mummy!”. Happiness personified.

I hear ya kiddos, I hear ya. Now, where’s my slice?

Here’s the recipe!

Butterscotch Tart recipe

Big Pink Link #71

Bonjourno Big Pink Linkers!

How the chuffing chuff has another week gone by?! I am getting the fear now. We are only 10 days away from our annual camping escapade to Wales so the Dad’s can sod off mountain biking whilst the mums look after the kids (yep, ask me again why we do it every year?!) and the weather is, for want of a better word, shit. It’s utter crap. Not camping/day out on a Welsh beach weather at all. I don’t believe in spiritual stuff, but I shall be outside in the garden chanting to the skies doing a sun dance for the coming week. Sorry neighbours, please don’t have me sectioned, times are desperate.

Thanks to everyone who joined in #bigpinklink last week – we hope to see you all and maybe some new faces again this week!

I am co-hosting with the lovely Lucy from This Mum’s Life this week – ‘ello there beautiful!

So, enough chitter chatter, who are our WOW’s this week? Let’s find out!

Pink Pear Bear

 The first wow chosen by Lucy from This Mum’s Life is this one by Be your own Example.

Lucy said; “I loved this from Be Your Own Example. It was a refreshing, honest, and brilliantly written account of fitting a new baby into family life!”.

The second wow chosen by Lucy is by the wonderful, and pant wettingly funny, R is for Hoppit.

Lou said; “This from Lucy at R Is For Hoppit was absolutely genius. A must read, brilliant account of shopping with children!“.

The first wow from me is this one by Shinners and the Broods.

I absolutely loved reading this frank, honest and bloody hilarious post about the things Sinead has learnt over the years as a mum to 3. I was nodding (and laughing) along to all of her points. And yes, I’m not sorry, but Gina Ford can kiss my cake enhanced butt with regards to her ‘advice’. Couldn’t agree more Shinners!

The second wow from me is this one by Pretty in Playdoh.

I was heartbroken to read how tough she has had it in recent years and was literally awestruck at how brave, headstrong, selfless and honest this post was. I want to wish her all the best for the coming year. I know she will get that 2:1 that she desires and deserves after all the heartache.x

Help yourselves to a featured post badge you super folks and take a bow!

And now onto this week’s link up!

Life Is Knutts

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“Excuse me Miss…” Why being short is a pain in the arse

All my life I have been little and when I say little, I mean, tiny. Sadly not width wise, but height wise.

Think Oompa Loompa, minus the fake tan and green hair…


When we were made to stand in height order for things at school or dance shows, I was always at the front or first smallest. The inevitable humiliation of everyone staring at me and then saying, “Oh! Look! You’re so short!” – Yeah, ya think? I hadn’t fucking well noticed mate, thanks for pointing that out.

As you can probably tell, it bothers me. A lot. I can pretty much guarantee that every week of my life, someone either mentions my height, asks how tall I am or asks me how old I am because of it. I can feel the bloody pressure rise in my body as someone’s brain ticks before my eyes, just as they’re open their mouth to inform me of my stifled height. If I wasn’t such a timid person, I would probably tell them to shut the fuck up.

Sorry, a lot of fucks there but I have many to give on this topic…

As a short person, 5ft on a good day when the wind is blowing in a North-north-westerly direction and it’s a full moon, I have had a number of ‘hilarious’ incidents occur. Don’t get me wrong, they were cringe makingly embarrassing at the time, but even I can look back now and laugh…sometimes.

Here I will share with you just a few of those incidents.

It’s not easy being me.

My headstone will probably read;

“Here lies Gemma Nuttall – Short, voice like a chipmunk on helium and looked quite like the pale british cousin of an Umpa Lumpa. May she rest in peace. Wasn’t she short though…”

 1) The Airport

Back in 2006, myself and my other half went on holiday to Portugal with my best friend and her hubby. We had an amazing time. A true pre-kids, happy, carefree, obscene amount of food and alcohol, sunbathing, book reading, holiday.

At Faro airport, on the way back to Blighty, we queued to go through security and, as with every time I go through one of these sodding things, the alarm went off despite me having nothing metallic on me…or so I thought.

I stopped, got pointed in the direction of a stern looking Portuguese lady and was told I was going to be frisked. Great. A pat down in front of everyone. She then hesitated, looked around puzzled and said to Chris, my husband, who was behind me, “Are you her father? Can we frisk her?” He, stifling a massive fit of the giggles in front of the angry Portuguese security officer said, “yes, of course you can! I don’t care what you do, I’m not her Dad!” and walked off so he could fall on the floor and die laughing along with my best mate and her other half. Oh the sodding shame of it all! My (then) boyfriend had been mistaken for my Dad and at the age of 22 I had been mistaken for someone under 16. Shit a brick.

After my pat down by the angry lady, I walked red faced over to my pals and Chris and wanted the ground to open up and swallow me down to Mordor.

Not only had I been mistaken for a child, but my boyfriend was mistaken for my bloody dad! I kept telling myself it’s his fault, not mine, because he looks really bloody old (time clearly hasn’t been kind to hubster…) but truth be told, I do look young for my age, and I am the size of a Hobbit.

2) The petrol station

I drive a massive bloody car because we have so many offspring. A Land Rover Discovery to be precise. “How do you drive that?! Can you even see over the steering wheel?! Can you touch the pedals?!” I get asked. Erm, well, seen as I’ve driven it here, yes, I imagine I can touch the fucking pedals and see over the wheel unless it’s driven itself like a car from Back to the Fucking Future…

Jebus, I really am angry about this aren’t I.

Sorry not sorry.

Anyhow, I digress…

I pull in to a petrol station to fill up and I walk into the station to pay. As I reach the desk, I inform the cashier of my pump number and they look at me, then at the pump, then at me, then at the pump. They frown, tilt their head to one side condescendingly and utter the words, “Are you old enough to fill that car up?”

Erm, yes chap, yes I am. I am in fact the registered owner, I passed my driving test 16 years ago and I can in fact fill this car up as well as drive it.

“Yes, that’s my car and yes I am old enough to fill it. Pump number 3 please…” douchebag.

Everyone behind me in the queue starts following suit, looking at me, looking at the car, looking at me, looking at the car. I want to go all Street Fighter on their asses and drive off into the sunset in my massive beast of a car but restrain, laugh it off and go on my (not so) merry way.

Yet another example of my height and apparent baby face causing me a cringe worthy experience in public.

3) The Supermarket

Back last year, I went into Asda with my little one, who was 2 at the time, to buy him the new Thomas the tank engine DVD. It’s full of violence, swearing and scenes of a sexual nature (I always knew Annie and Clarabell wanted a secret threesome with Thomas…). Of course I am joking, it contains ‘mild peril’ and is rated U. U for UNIVERSAL meaning ANYONE can watch it. ANYONE. You can see where this is going can’t you…

I pop the DVD through the self service checkout and no sooner than I do, the checkout light starts flashing red and the screen says, ‘Age approval required”. Are you fucking serious?! Age approval required for a U rated DVD?!

I wait for a staff member to come and sort the till out whilst I entertain a whinging toddler and once they arrive, they say, “Ah, the till is asking for me to see ID for proof of age for this DVD”.

You what love?! It needs ID approval for a U rated Thomas DVD?!

I laugh in her face.

“Are you serious?” I ask.

“Yes, I’m afraid so, the computer is asking me for it…” she replies.

Fuck the computer. Fuck the Thomas DVD I think in my head.

“Here you go, ID proof that I am over one day old” I sarcastically announce as I pass my Driving Licence over to her for approval.

“Yep, that’s fine, thank you” replies the jobsworth checkout assitant and she hands me my ID back.

What is this madness I find myself in?!


 So, as you can see, yes these situations are bloody funny but, truth be told, I do find it really embarrassing and I always have done.

I am now 32 and I still can’t go into a shop without breaking into a sweat if I have alcohol on the checkout, and for someone with a huge love for Gin, that is an actual nightmare.

Being short has it’s other daily trails and tribulations too.

I can’t reach most things on the top shelf at the supermarket. I have been known to put a set of kitchen tongs in my trolley, not to purchase them at the end, but just to use to assist me around the shop to retrieve high up items and then I put them back before I go to the checkout. Yes seriously I do that.

I can’t get trousers to fit me anywhere. Seriously, shops that say they stock ‘Petite’ trousers are lying. Even they are in need of a few inches being chopped off – I could make a snazzy pair of shorts out of the offcuts I suppose but I can’t even sew a button on, let alone fashion some shorts. A minor success I had was recently though was, I wanted a long black skirt, but couldn’t find one, so I tried on what should have been a mid-length one and it was just the job. Short arse win.

People say I should be grateful I look younger than I am, that it’s nice, but let me tell you, I find it a complete ball-ache.

I am just waiting for the day in the not so distant future that someone asks if my eldest is my boyfriend. It’ll happen people, I am just waiting for it in a few years time.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I am off to google homes for sale in Hobbiton so I can be with people of my own kind where I can reach the top shelf in the supermarket and find trousers that fit. Oh, and you’re allowed to have hairy toes and legs there. Also a win…


How has Broadband & the Internet changed our lives? #BroadbandAndMe

Despite the fact I was born in the 1980’s, when computers were still a fairly new thing (Amstrad, BBC Micro Computers with the black and orange keyboard, floppy disks, I’m looking at you here!) it’s hard to remember a time before it was normal to google absolutely every question that comes into our heads…

” Why are some farts noisy and some aren’t?” by Luke, aged 9.

A question I am sure we have all pondered the answer to at one point or another I’m sure you’ll agree.

Image from the website

In almost the blink of an eye, we have gone from waiting 30 minutes for a simple programme to load on a computer, to having super-speedy fibre internet in our homes meaning the entire world is it our fingertips, and it has certainly become our best friend. It’s almost impossible to envision ourselves yelling at family members to ascertain the whereabouts of the yellow pages so you can find the phone number of the local food delivery place isn’t it.

My kids will never know a time without the internet. On one hand, I think they’re really lucky to have a world of information and entertainment at their fingertips but, on the other hand, I am also a bit sad that they will never know a world where, if you wanted to see the latest film, you either went to the cinema (after going to Woolworths for pick and mix), waited for it to come out on VHS and went to your local video rental shop to rent it for the weekend or had to wait 4 years to see it on the TV at Christmas time. Could you imagine your kids waiting 4 years to see a film these days?! They would think you’re insane!

The world in 2017 is a very different place to what it was when I was born. Our main method of communication is email or Facebook, the fastest way to keep up to date with worldwide news, the latest music and the most popular recipes is to peek on social media or websites. Honestly, I’m not even sure what I did before Amazon Prime and Netflix! The internet also provides us with the easiest way to entertain our kids on quiet/rainy days (ah yes, like today when it’s piddling cats and dogs and it’s meant to be Summer), and just imagine physically having to go shopping with the kids in tow, in an actual shop! No thanks. Thank all that is holy for food delivery apps! We can do all of these things from the comfort and convenience of our sofa just with a click, a tap or a scroll – we can do just about anything from our fingertips.

*Goes off to google cheap sunny holidays to get away from the rather damp British Summertime*

1997 was the year the internet kind of ‘took off’ for the masses, until then, it wasn’t commonly used and it certainly wasn’t accessible worldwide. In the last couple of decades however, high speed broadband has become the norm, and most mobile devices are now able to access the Internet. Mobile phones and tablets have really changed everything and I am not ashamed to admit I rely on my phone in order to lead my life. Times have changed and I suppose, to a certain extent, we have to embrace technology and the changes it brings.

That said, I do love my bi-annual holidays to remoter places of our green and pleasant land where I am forced to partake in a digital detox due t limited internet and phone signal. It’s only for 7 days at a time, but I do love the fact I’m ‘unreachable’ and I can switch off from the chaos of the modern world for a while. Roll on Isle of Skye in October…

My husband works in the IT support industry so a digital detox for him twice a year is a real treat. He too loves the fact his phone won’t ring, his emails won’t keep pinging in and that we can ignore the news for a few days. In his work environment, everything he does is focussed around ensuring his customers are getting the best IT service possible and the pressures that can come with that these days are immense. Business can’t function without reliable IT infrastructure anymore and, because of that, good Broadband is key for any working environment. Business fibre, such as that provided by TalkTalk Business, is becoming increasingly essential for both consumers and sellers. Without superfast broadband, consumers will miss out. In such a cut-throat and fast-paced digital age, slack, inconsistent and limited broadband is just not an option for businesses anymore.

One of the biggest bonuses of having reliable internet and broadband for my husband from a personal point of view has to be the option he now has of working from home on occasion. This helps try to achieve the perfect work-life balance we all desperately crave, which hardly ever used to exist before the age of the world wide web. The flexibility working from home can offer is really important to us as a family and, although it doesn’t happen very often, knowing my husband can opt to work from home and help out with any childcare issues that may arise is really comforting.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I am off to do my Ocado shop and then buy some baking supplies off Amazon whilst the kids watch a film on the TV. Embrace the technology folks, embrace it!

Could you live without the internet?

What do you miss about the days before technology took over?

 Disclosure: This is a collaborative post.

A guide to visiting a loved one in Hospital with children – #HospitalHelpingHand

 Sadly, at one pint of another in our lives, we will all probably find ourselves having to visit a loved one in hospital. Whether it’s to pay a visit to somebody very sick, or to celebrate the birth of a newborn child, hospital visits are a part of everyday life. I have had to visit people in hospital on a couple of occasions with my eldest two boys and I felt ever so nervous taking them there – I was worried they wouldn’t behave, I was worried they would annoy the other patients, I wasn’t sure what the protocol for visiting was – yep, I am a bit of a stress head! 

Leading lawyers, Slater and Gordon, as part of their #HospitalHelpingHand campaign, want to make sure that visiting a loved one whilst they’re in hospital is as easy and stress-free as possible, and that you know exactly what you should do to prepare for it, depending on the individual patient. They have asked for me to share my ‘Top tips for visiting a loved one in hospital with Children’ so, without further ado, here they are.

1) Take a favourite cuddly toy as a familiar companion…but wash it first!

Hospitals can be daunting places for adults to visit, let alone children. Make the visit more child friendly by letting them take one of their favourite cuddly toys with them as a comforter/familiar companion. One tip of mine however, would be to wash said cuddly toy before you visit. I don’t know about yours, but my kids cuddly toys can often be a bit, how shall I put it, grimey?! Ok, filthy, that’s a better description. Seen as hospitals need to be as clean and sterile as possible, giving that much loved cuddly a wash beforehand would be a very good idea.

2) Decide how long you’re staying for

When you’ve got a friend, family member or loved one in hospital, all you want to do is stay by their side to offer support and make them feel better, but children can be fickle creatures with short attention spans – a bit like my husband. Setting a time limit on your visit, and informing the patient you’re visiting beforehand of your time frame, is a great idea. That way you’re not outstaying your welcome, trying to make excuses to leave or going to end up feeling guilty leaving after only 20 minutes. Most friends and relatives would love it if you could stay for the duration of their stay, I hated being left in hospital when I have been in and I cried when my husband had to go home to sleep when I had given birth to my boys, but realistically, 20-30 minutes visiting time with children is going to be a sensible limit. Check visiting times and constraints too, these usually vary from hospital to hospital and ward to ward so make sure you check with a member of staff before you set off.

3) Take an iPad/Tablet and some headphones. In this instance, technology is your friend!

I know people often frown upon the use of iPads and Tablets in public situations, but happy kids make happy parents so if that means giving them a film or TV show to watch whilst you chat and tend to your loved one in hospital, then so be it. Download a few favourite TV shows, put a game or two on there for them, whatever works. And remember the headphones! Nobody wants to hear Peppa Pig snorting away for half an hour (apart from your kids that is) so pop those headphones in your bag before you leave home.

4) Teach your children about good hygiene and why it is important before you go and make washing their hands fun.

Last but not least, don’t forget to de-germ everyone! Keeping your hands clean and washing them religiously is always important but it’s vital to kill germs when you’re entering a hospital environment. The same goes for when it’s time to head back home too because you don’t want to be taking any germs back with you – no gifts of that kind are welcome thank you very much! Carry a bottle of hand sanitiser in your bag and ensure you make use of the sanitising gels that will be dotted around the hospital to reduce the spread of germs. If your kids are anything like mine they will love pushing the dispensers and rubbing the foam/gel on themselves.

What are your top tips for visiting a loved one in hospital?

Disclosure: This is a collaborative post.