Tantrum Tag-team – Do not underestimate the power of the tantrum…

“Your total mega meltdown tantrum really helped me to understand what was upsetting you and see things from your point of view. Said no Mum, ever”.

Toddler hiding in cupboard having a tantrum

I said he couldn’t have Ice Cream for Breakfast at 6:30am. Apparently that’s out of order and the only response it warranted from the toddler was to try and hide himself in the kitchen cupboards whilst shouting at me…

Tantrums.

One of the shittest parts of parenting.

Nobody warns you quite how epic they can be, how long they can go on for, how there is often no preventing them (unless you give in to every ridiculous demand and whim your child comes up with, such as having to go to Legoland every Wednesday because they don’t like having to go to school that day) and you almost certainly aren’t going to get through them without the help of cake and alcohol. Just saying…

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Those aren’t his glasses. They’re his Nanny’s. He just wears them when he is pretending to be an evil mastermind…

My eldest had pretty epic tantrums until he was 3. I vividly remember, with him being my first so I wasn’t the hardened bitch-mum I am now, being at Mothercare near where my mum works and him having such a meltdown over not being allowed to have half the contents of the shop (he threw himself about everywhere, knocked things off shelves, ran into someone else’s child and bit me) that I had a bit of a mental breakdown in the car park and didn’t quite know what the feck had happened to my life. I decided to leave the shop with him kicking and screaming but, upon getting back to the car, I was unable to get him in the car seat. He had pulled his final trump card of ‘the plank’ just as I was about to try and restrain him in the car seat. Little arsehole. I shut him in the back of the car, unrestrained, and let him thrash about whilst I called my Mum for a sob and to ask her advice. Within 10 minutes, she had popped out of her office, driven to where I was and helped me get the miniature monster of mayhem in his car seat. I told you she is a legend.

No messing.

Bosh.

In he went.

Why couldn’t I get him to do that?! Why was my mum able to put him in his car seat without being mauled?!

Rule 1 of Tantrum Club: Always let a grown up try and apply logic to your tantrum, despite knowing there isn’t any. It’s hilarious to watch them suffer and think about it.

Zak with a sticker moustache

Something not quite right about this photo is there….very dodgy tash.

My middle one was quite an easy-going, happy baby and toddler. Lulled me into a false sense of security that one did… I was all smug, thought because he was my second I knew what I was doing and that I was totally Mumming the shit out of life.

Like a boss.

Was I testicles.

This ones tantrums started a bit later, at about 2.5/3 years old, you know, just in time for Pre-school.

Sodding wonderful.

Most days I would pick him up from pre-school and I would be presented with the dreaded ‘Clip Board of Shame’, a clip board used to hold the papers you’re required to sign when there has been an ‘incident’. Either your child has been hurt, or they have hurt someone else. For me, sadly, it was often the latter. The embarrassment of having a staff member walk over to you at pickup time in front of all the other waiting parents, only to be presented with the clip board of shame, was sometimes too much to bare. Eventually, after my 15th or so form (not all for him being on the dishing out end I hasten to add, he was bad but he wasn’t Norman Price…) I became a bit more used to it and would know who he had hurt before the form was even presented to me and signed. I’d often find myself apologising to the poor child’s parent despite never being told the name of whichever child it was, call it a mother’s instinct…

Rule 2 of Tantrum Club: Always let grown ups think they know what they’re doing, and then laugh at them manically as you pull a tantrum which is off the scale out the bag.

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My littlest one is a bit of an enigma (if you hadn’t guessed from my blog posts). He started his tantrums, I would say, before he was 1. What’s that classed as?! The Naughty Noughties?! He has a stubborn streak that I am nervous of for the coming years and I’m not sure if my shred of sanity that I have left will stand the tests of time with this one…

I’m holding onto the fact that, apparently, difficult to handle babies turn into easy to handle children. I’m not sure who said that, I might have said it to myself after four G&T’s when I think I’m insightful, when in actual fact, I’m just talking shite but, whatever, I’m clinging onto that glimmer of hope so, shhhhhh! Don’t crush it.

This, seemingly angelic, hair-bear has had the glorious opportunity to learn from not one, but two, older siblings, the ways of the Tantrum.

-Come little brother, let us teach you the power of the Tantrum...-

 Rule 3: Always ensure the knowledge of the power of the tantrum is passed down from sibling to sibling, cousin to cousin, and so on. This way, the grown ups will never defeat us and the power of the tantrum will live on, stronger, forever more!!!!!!!!! Mwahahahahahaha!!!!

Like the three musketeers, “All for one and one for all!” my boys set about hatching their tantrum plans each and every day.

After a quick huddle in the corner of a bedroom, where I’m sure they decide who is going to piss me off when, they then set about their master plan for the day.

Since it’s the summer holidays at the moment, these ‘tag-team tantrums’ have really become quite draining. And we are only a week in…

Gin help me.

all for one and one for all - brothers with their hands in a vow grip

Brothers. All for one and one for all!

 It starts off with one, normally my eldest, having a strop about something minor. Normally an ailment of some sort that has manifested itself overnight, like a sore toe, or a clicking finger. Major illnesses these folks. Major. I will then not give enough of a shit about these minor ailments (i.e: I will not give him a bandage or let him eat a pork pie for breakfast which apparently helps cure said mystery ailment) so a tantrum ensues. Despite the fact he is 8, he still has tantrums, but they are now more teenage angst type ones where he says, “I hate you, I wish I had never been born”, and, “I’m leaving home forever”, that sort of thing. Splendid. He’s not even a teenager yet and already the hormones are beginning to rear their ugly head. I told you all, cake and alcohol, cake and alcohol. He will then, probably, have a few more tantrums about nothing much between breakfast and lunch and then loose momentum, thus handing over the tantrum baton to his brother.

After my eldest has had a go and calmed down, it’s the turn of my middle one, who is prone to epic flip outs over the most inane things (sorry mums at school, you know what I am going on about). For instance, this week, we had a major meltdown over nail polish. Yes, you read that right. He wanted his nails painted because, well, why not?! He wanted them painted red (Liverpool colour) but silly, un-glam, mummy didn’t have any red nail polish, she only had a bottle of dried up black polish and a funky dark purple number, probably from circa 1995. Winning. After a tantrum involving feet stomping, toy throwing, hate shouting and sobbing that life is disastrous, he calmed down enough to accept defeat and eventually chose to go with the 1990’s purple. I, of course, acknowledged his choice of nail colour and duly put it on the bedside table until bedtime so that if he mis-behaved again, the polish would not be put upon his nails. Bribery, sorry, incentive given, he managed to not kick off again for the rest of the day and was allowed to have his pamper session, much to his Dad’s dismay… 😉

So where does the little one come into all this I hear you ask?

Well, he is on tantrum call, ALL. DAY.

When one of the older boys is having a lull, he will rev up and cause chaos enough for me too loose my shizzle, just in time for one of his older brothers to pick up the tantrum baton and start the new wave of misery for me, thus creating the perfect shit storm. He will remove a poo nappy and smear himself in it’s contents, he will smear himself in his food, he will turn the hosepipe on in the garden and hold it at the back doors to water the kitchen, he will undress himself as we are about to go out the door and he will come over to give me what I think is a hug, but in actual fact, he wants to headbutt me. Wondrous, eh?! The team work and planning is quite something to behold.

It’s not all bad, don’t get me wrong, but the school holidays sure are amplifying the tantrums each one of them has and, by the end of the day, when each of them has had their turn with the tantrum baton, it’s safe to say I am finished. Brain frazzled. Happiness dissipated. Delirium sets in…hence this blog post.

The photo of my boys hands inadvertently reminded my husband of an old Bon-Jovi album cover, Keep the Faith.

Quite fitting don’t you think?

I might just have to use that saying as my mantra over the next few weeks to get through these summer holidays. Along with Cake and Alcohol of course 😉

Keep the faith, parents.

Keep. The. Faith.

Mouse Moo and Me Too
You Baby Me Mummy



Cake = Happiness (Baker Days Letterbox Cake Review)

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When I was contacted recently to see if I would like to review a cake, what do you think my response was?

That’s right, I told them I hate cake and that I’ve never eaten any in my life.
Oh, who am I kidding?! Of course I said yes! I literally love cake, I can’t get enough of the stuff – unfortunately for my waistline and mum bum…
The company who asked me this most wonderful of questions was, Baker Days.
They’re an online company who are able to offer you hundreds of different cake designs, for any occasion imaginable.
Birthday cakes, thank you cakes, get well soon cakes, the list goes on.
The cakes come in a range of sizes and flavours but, the particular cake I was offered the chance to review was a letterbox cake.
As the name suggests, this is a cake which can fit through your letterbox so people don’t have to wait in for a delivery or anything if you’re sending it as a surprise.
First steps were to go onto their website and choose my design.
I didn’t have an occasion coming up for once, so (as much as I wanted to scoff a whole cake to myself) I decided to get a thank you cake for my mum to thank her for all she does for us. She is there to offer a helping hand whenever I need her to and myself and the boys love her to bits. We’d be lost without her. Well, maybe not lost, but I’d definitely have lost the last little shred of what’s left of my sanity without her about.
I chose a beautiful, colourful, design with flowers and birds on it that I thought my mum would like and I was then able to personalise it further with my own text. You can also add photos should you chose to do so, but I didn’t on this occasion. Had it been for one of the children, I am certain they would have loved the novelty of seeing their face on a cake!
I then moved on to choose the flavour sponge I would like to have. I knew mum would’ve loved a fruit cake, but I also knew she would want to share it with the kids (see, I told you she was lovely) so I went for a plain vanilla sponge. You can’t go wrong with a traditional sponge in my eyes.
I placed the order and then waited a few days for it to plop through my letterbox except, when it came, the letterbox cake was actually a little too large for my letterbox so the postman knocked to see if I was in so he could get it to me!
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The irony.
I wasn’t sure if our letterbox was a little on the small side, or if the box was just a little too large. Anyway, it did make me giggle and I think the postie was just being cautious as I tried posting it through myself out of curiosity and managed fine.
I waited for my mum to pop in after work that same day and when she arrived, me and the boys presented her with her thank you cake. She was really taken aback and loved how it was presented.
It comes in a lovely little tin, with the Bakers Days logo on it, along with some candles, balloons, a party hooter and a card you can write in should you wish to.
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It really is well packaged so it’s totally going to withstand a plop on the doormat from a height just fine.
Upon opening the box, we noted that the cake is quite small, and for obvious reasons very flat, but despite this, you still get enough for 4-6 people to accompany a tea break!
It was in perfect condition and the shove through the letterbox had done it no harm at all. The packaging is really well thought out and protects the cake as well as keeping it fresh.
The design and writing were just as I had ordered and my mum loved what I had chosen for her. It was bright, cheerful and not at all tacky in my opinion.
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We didn’t light the candles, but they have been stashed away ready for one of the kids birthday’s later in the year.
The kids did however, inflate all the balloons and had a whale of a time bashing them on each others heads and knocking them about the house.
My mum cut a little slither of cake for myself, the 3 boys and herself and there was still over half of it left so my dad and brother could try some when she got home. Aren’t we a restrained bunch?! Quite frankly, I’d have happily scoffed the entire cake in one go by myself. I do love a bit of cake!
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The texture of the cake was lovely. If I am being honest, I was expecting the cake to be a bit dry because it had been boxed and transported, but I was completely wrong! The cake was a perfect, light and fluffy texture, but still with some moisture in it. The icing was scrummy (always the best bit for me!) and we were all pleasantly surprised by it. If you’re sending one as a gift, you can rest assured that the recipient won’t be disappointed by the appearance, nor the taste and texture of the cake itself.
It’s a winner!
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The price of a Baker Day, 5 inch cake letterbox cake is £14.99 with a fee of £3.99 for 1st class postage.
I do have to be honest and say that this, in my view, is quite expensive for the size of cake you get, but if you have family dotted about the country, or you want to send a cake but with the reassurance of knowing it will be delivered hassle free through their letterbox, I really do feel like it is a lovely way to let them know you are thinking of them. The quality of the cake is also very good, as are the choice of designs.
If you require a larger cake, they can also supply these, but they obviously won’t be able to fit one of these through your letterbox!
I can safely say that if the quality of one of these larger cakes is the same as this smaller, letterbox one, the recipient won’t be disappointed!
It truly was scrumptious!
You can visit their easy to use website and design a cake here!
Thanks to Baker Days for letting us try one of your cakes! My mum absolutely loved her gift and it made her day.
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Disclosure: I was sent a Baker Days letterbox cake free of charge for the purpose of this review. All words and opinions are my own.



Get your Bake on: The Queen’s 90th Birthday Gin and Tonic Loaf Cake

“The only time I ever enjoyed ironing was the day I accidentally got gin in the steam iron” ― Phyllis Diller

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This recipe was mentioned in my blog post for World Gin Day.

I promised you all the recipe, and so here it is!

In homage to our dear Queenie, the warmer of the Throne, the Tonic to our Gin, on her 90th Birthday, I give you all my 2 main loves in life combined into a concoction of utter deliciousness…

Gin and Tonic Loaf cake.

I used Silent Pool Distillery, English Rose Gin in this cake. A Gin made specifically to celebrate the Queen’s 90th Birthday this year, which just so happens to fall on World Gin Day!

Tally ho chums! Here we go!


Ingredients

4 eggs, weighed whilst in their shells
Now measure an equal weight of:
Unsalted Butter – Room temperature
Caster sugar
Self-raising flour
1 Lemon
1 Lime
10 shots of your favourite gin
A Dash of Tonic water
150g granulated sugar

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 180C.
  2. Weigh your eggs whilst in their shells, and make a note of their exact weight.
  3. Weigh out this much butter and caster sugar, and then cream them together until they’re light, fluffy and pale.
  4. Crack the eggs into the bowl, and mix on a medium speed until combined.
  5. Sieve in the flour, mix again, then grate in the zest of both the Lemon and the Lime into the bowl.
  6. Stir through the juice of the Lemon and 5 shots of your chosen gin.
  7. Pour the mixture into a lined 1kg loaf tin.
  8. Bake in the centre of the oven for 45 minutes, or until the cake passes the knife test, where the knife comes out clean when inserted into the centre of the cake.
  9. Remove the cake from the oven and set aside while you make the Gin and Sugar Glaze.
  10. Combine the granulated sugar, the remaining 5 shots of gin, dash of tonic and the juice from your lime into a bowl.
  11. Prick the surface of the cake with a fork, then poor over the glaze.
  12. Leave to cool entirely

 So there we have it! A cake fit for a Queen!

Have a good one Queenie, and Happy World Gin Day to you all on 11th June!

Gems.x

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World Gin Day Event at Silent Pool Distillery & Parent Apparel Clothing Review

“It’s never too early for Gin O’Clock”

If you guys hadn’t realised yet, I love Gin. Have I ever mentioned it?!

Everyone needs a hobby, right?!

This year, World Gin Day is on Saturday 11th June and I was wracking my brain for the best way to do this most wonderful day justice in a blog post.

I decided to be brave and contact the absoloutely spiffing guys at Silent Pool Distillery in Surrey (they are in our beautiful neck of the woods) and the lovely ladies at Parent Apparel Clothing to see if they minded me doing a bit of a post about them. Not expecting to hear back, I got on with my day and later on I was over the moon to see a reply in my inbox from them saying that they would love me to do one. Fantastic!

So without further ado, here we go!


Silent Pool Gin and Distillery

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Silent Pool is a magical, and peaceful, place in Guildford, Surrey.

It is a spring-fed lake at the foot of the North Downs, within the privately owned Albury Estate, which itself has a wonderful vineyard. The outflow of water from Silent Pool runs into a second lake called, Sherbourne Pond. It was created in the mid-seventeenth century. The Distillery uses the water from this in it’s Gin.

The water in the pool itself is stunning, and crystal clear. Sadly it cannot be drunk from directly, nor swum in, due to an infestation of harmful weeds taking over the pool. Work is currently underway to prevent the spread of the weed and to maintain the pool in all it’s original glory.

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There are many walks near and around the pool itslef and it is a stunning place to visit with the family.

Silent Pool is considered by some to be a sacred, and haunted, site. It is linked to an old tale that says King John arrived at Silent Pool on his horse and attempted to abduct a woodcutter’s daughter. In her panic, she was forced into the deep water of the Pool and she drowned. According to the legend, the ghost of ‘The Maiden of the Pool’ can be seen there at midnight.

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The guys down at Silent Pool Distillery, which started life about 15 months ago, are hosting a super event on Saturday 11th June in honour of her Majesty’s 90th Birthday and also, World Gin Day.

How appropriate the two events fall on the same day this year! I’m sure her Majesty is over the moon with this coincidence as she is rumoured to drink a straight Gin just before lunch every day. What a superstar! She was already pretty high up in my estimations after her epic performance with 007 in the opening ceremony of the London 2012 Olympics, but that takes it to a whole new level.

Chin Chin Liz!

Distillery Event Open Day Information

You can help celebrate the Queen’s 90th Birthday & World Gin Day at the Silent Pool Distillery. They will be toasting the Queen’s 90th birthday on June 11th 2016 with a spirit specially created in her honour – English Rose Gin – which will be available to sample and buy. There will be Distillery tours, food and drink, as well as live music. The event will run from 11am – 6pm.

Entrance to the Open Day and distillery tour is free.

If you fancy it, get yourselves down there for a day of Gin, Food and Frivolity!

What better way to spend your weekend?!


Here is some more information on this event from the Distillery itself:

Visitors can taste and buy the new English Rose Gin plus the full range of Silent Pool international award winning spirits and enjoy free tours of the still house with its fabulous copper cauldron and swirling pipework. Craft beer from Little Beer Corporation, gin cocktails, ice creams from Purely Ice Cream and hot food from Coverwood Lakes, Farm, The Fillet & Bean & Surrey Hills Cow Parade HQ will be served in the distillery courtyard. There will be Silent Pool merchandise to buy and fun activities to help raise money for local Surrey charity Cherry Trees

There will also be music from the wonderful Rory Scott and flowers on the day courtesy of Little Stems

Come and blow the old steam whistle, which normally echoes across the Tillingbourne Valley in the traditional announcement that gin is being distilled, and guess the number of corks in the Silent Pool’s unique 9 litre gin bottle. Prizes include tickets for a 90 minute Gin Experience Tour plus £5 voucher to be used towards a purchase on the tour night.


In the evening, they will be holding an Outdoor Cinema Night where they will be showing the classic movie, High Society with Bing Crosby, Frank Sinatra and Grace Kelly. This is a ticketable event. Purchase tickets by emailing a contact name and telephone number to: tickets@silentpooldistillers.com or by clicking this link.


You can purchase the wonderful Silent Pool Gin here.


 

A review of Silent Pool, English Rose Gin.

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This Gin has been specially comissioned by the guys at the Silent Pool Distillery for the Queen’s 90th Birthday celebrations.

It’s a tipple I’m sure the queen herself would love.

Fragrant rose, subtle enough to not smell and taste like your Granny’s knicker drawer, and smooth, this Gin is one of my new favourites.

I tried it neat at the Distillery and found it quite potent, but not so bad that I felt like my throat was on fire! You get a definite Turkish Delight taste lingering in your mouth after you’ve swallowed it and it really is very pleasant. As I like to have tonic with my gin, I tried a few different ones out to see what partnered up best with it. My favourite one was Fever Tree Elderflower Tonic, followed closely by Fentimans Herbal Tonic water. Both tonics completely changed the way the gin tasted, but both were extremely good with it. I personally felt that the Elderflower Tonic, with it’s floral notes, complimented the rose gin very nicely and this is now my Friday night tipple of choice. The perfect summer Gin.

I would say it is best to have this gin neat, or just with a tonic. I feel it’s subtle rose notes would be lost slightly in a cocktail. Enjoy it in it’s purest, and most traditional, of forms.

If you’re looking for a slightly unusual Gin, or a special gift for someone over the summer months, look no further than Silent Pool’s English Rose Gin.

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 A cake fit for a Queen – using English Rose Gin

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I love to bake cakes. And I also love Gin. When the two combine, it’s a match made in Life is Knutts heaven to be quite honest.

I wonder if The Queen would agree…?

A fabulous friend of mine, Ashleigh, who blogs over at Hey Little Sweet Thing, sent me a message earlier in the week along with a recipe for a Gin and Tonic Loaf cake. It was love at first sight, she clearly knows me too well!

I had a look at the recipe, and a few others, and jiggled some things about in the recipes to come up with my own version that works for me, using one of my late nan’s basic cake recipes as a starting point. She would have loved to have seen The Queen turn 90. She was a real fan of the Royals, she also went as far to believe that she looked like The Queen and often told me that people told her as such too. Bless her, she will always be my Queen regardless.

It’s a basic cake recipe which uses 4 eggs which you weigh whilst still in their shells. You then use that exact same weight of the 4 eggs to measure out the other ingredients; butter, sugar and self raising flour. Pretty fool proof really. Even I can make it!

I used ‘normal’ Gin in the cake itself as I thought the English Rose Gin would get lost in the cake mix, but I did use the English Rose Gin for the Sugar Icing Glaze as it’s drizzled on neat and you can taste the Gin much better. If you wish to use it both in the cake and the icing, however, you can. Who am I to say otherwise?!

The full recipe for my, “Queen’s 90th Birthday Gin and Tonic loaf cake”, can be found here.

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 Thanks so much to the guys at Silent Pool Gin for letting me ramble about their wonderful Gin, and if you’re not too far away from Guildford on Saturday, be sure to visit them!

They’re super friendly and their copper pots and equipment in the barn at the Albury Estate are truly stunning.

All the best for the main event on Saturday guys!



Parent Apparel Clothing Review

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Seen as it is almost World Gin Day, I thought I would do a little review of a clothing brand I stumbled across on my blogging travels last week.

The company is called The Dandy Kid and they have a brillaint brand on their website called, Parent Apparel, by the wonderfully talented blogger, Mother Pukka.

They do some super funky, and sometimes slightly cheeky, clothing and merchandise for Parents. I think they’re bloomin’ brillaint!

From School Run slogans to ones about parenting, these t-shirts and jumpers are sure to get you noticed, and probably cause a wry/knowing smile from other parents whilst out and about.

I chose to get the ‘Gin & on it” jumper because…well, why do you think?! I really love Gin!!!!!!!

Because they are so lovely, they also sent me a little, “Gin & on it” badge, which I fully intend to pin on my handbag and I shall wear it with pride.

The jumper arrived and I ordered a small. It would fit a size 8-10 person perfectly and I was over the moon with the fit of it.

It’s quirky, it’s colourful without being too ‘in your face’, and I can’t help but giggle to myself when I have it on.

The material is super soft and after washing it, it’s retained it’s colour and shape really well.

If you’re looking for a unique gift for a new parent, a parent to be, or just want to buy yourself something because you bloody well deserve it, look no further than Parent Apparel’s clothing range!

With fathers day creeping up on us here in the UK soon too (Sunday 19th June people!), why not get one of these fabulous t-shirts as a gift for your other half?!

They’re ace and he’s sure to love them! If he’s not brave enough to wear one, get him a Snickers… 😉 (or maybe a cool Pin Badge to pop on his work bag?!)

Parent Apparel 'Breaking Dad' Navy Blue Tee

Parent Apparel 'DadAss' Navy Blue Tee

They also sell tote bags, perfect for popping to the shops or doing the school run!

You can buy their epic clothing and merch by clicking here!

Thanks so much for the super-duper jumper and badge! I am literally in love with them, as are a few of my readers!

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Many thanks to both Silent Pool Distillery and Parent Apparel for allowing me to write this post.

Have a completely amazing World Gin Day on Saturday everyone!

Gem.x




Britmums Daily Photo Challenge – Day 27: Cake

Today’s word for the photo challenge is: Cake.

Nom nom nom.

Get it in my belly.

I just loooooove the cake!

 

She also loves the cake…

I could have posted a photo of one of the sorry excuses for a birthday cake I’ve attempted to make my kids, I could have posted a photo of some lovely patisserie cakes I bought the other day but, instead, I’ve chosen this as my photo of the day.

I took it yesterday and it shows a Friend of Thomas the Tank Engine, called Luke, covered in cake and the remains of a yellow fondant fancy by Mr Kipling (who apparently makes exceedingly good cakes – or not, according to my toddler who would rather smash it to smithereens…)


#cakesmash

#chuffinghell