Talk About Cheesecake

Musings, meanderings and meditation for my mind.


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Awards! me me me

I’ve gotten behind on a lot recently, but top of the list on things I need to catch up on is picking out this award and saying thank you to Knowledge Knut for nominating me!

KK has a beautiful voice – take a look at her page and you will see what I mean. And it’s clearly not just me who thinks so, she has so many awards from appreciative bloggers. So, I get to pick one of her awards for myself . . . and I know which one I want.

My friends would expect me to choose the Dragon’s Loyalty Award. I love dragons – have done ever since I was old enough to watch Dungeons and Dragons.

I considered the Versatile Blogger Award, except I have received that once before. Twice would be greedy.

So – I’m picking The Super Sweet Blogging Award. It’s bright and colourful and it’s cake. What more could you want? I pick this one please KK!

super-sweet-blogging-award

 

The rules –

Display the award certificate on your website.
• Announce your win with a post and link to whoever presented your award.
•  Nominate a “Bakers Dozen” – 13 blogs
• Drop them a comment to tip them off after you’ve linked them in the post.
• Answer the 5 “Super Sweet” questions

1.  Cookies or cake?    Cookies – all the way

2.  Chocolate or Vanilla?   Chocolate! No, Vanilla. No, Chocolate. 

3.  What is your favorite sweet treat – cheesecake or frozen yogurt?   Erm – you need to ask? Cheesecake!

4.  When do you crave sweet things the most?  When I am awake. 

5.  If you had a sweet nickname, what would it be?  Something that rhymes with ‘Eats a lot of cheesecake’!

So – 13 blogs to nominate . . .

Lessons Learned from the Flock

Alisa Alering

Keeping it Real Mum

Emma Wolf

Ned Hicks

Belle Jar

At least we made it this far

Harper Faulkner

Bodysoluble

Geeky Book Snob

I know – that’s only 10. But seriously, it’s late and I’m tired.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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Why I can’t be Prime Minister

As any mum of school age girls knows, planning a party is a nightmare. The politics are horrendous. Worse still, when your child goes to a smaller village school.

Back in pre-school I only knew 3 of the mums. I only knew 3 of the kids. My sweet little toddler could barely vocalise the concept of friend. We sat in the garden with some party games and happy music, job done.

Even the first few school years were relatively straightforward. A party still involved games, a large open space and invites went to the whole class. With a class of 15, even I could cope with that.

But this year, oh my goodness. At seven years, MM1 decided she was far too old for babyish party games. She posited a disco, I countered with a party at home. She suggested the cinema, I reduced the headcount. We agreed on a sleepover, limited to 3 friends.

MM1 named 3 school friends she wanted to invite. For her, the matter ended there. That’s where my job began.

First of all, I had to explain to my friends why their kids weren’t invited. This included the neighbour who took MM1 swimming for her daughter’s party a month ago, another friend who’s child called MM1 her BFF and had her at her birthday sleepover just 1 week before.  Awkward, but manageable.

But then I had to face the parents at the school gate. As every parent knows, facing down the posse who run the gate crew can be a daunting task. There is always one group of tutting, clucking women who seem to dominate the playground. Of course, it had to be the daughter of Head Cackler that MM1 decided not to invite.

She had valid reasons and to be fair I completely agreed. Putting 4 young girls in a room together could be a recipe for tears and bitching, unless the dynamics work well. This particular child is like adding the extra hot peri peri sauce to the korma – a sure fire way to kick off an unplanned explosion. MM1 may only be seven, but she knows which of her friends are fun in groups and which are best kept to a one on one.

Explaining to Head Cackler why you don’t want their precious little darling to come rampaging through your home like a wrecking ball unleashed from it’s chain though, that’s another matter. I admit, I took a tactical approach. I handled the delicate situation with caution in a planned and strategic manoeuvre.

I avoided her.

For 2 weeks.

It’s awkward, it’s uncomfortable, and I am left feeling vaguely guilty for wanting my own precious little girl to have a happy, fight free birthday.

So, I am afraid I have reached the conclusion that I just can’t be Prime Minister. I realise this will be a shock to those of you who though I was in the running. It was on my ‘To Do’ list for next week – shopping, clean the toilet, change the bedding, become Prime Minister – but I don’t think I am cut out for facing down the leaders of other countries and explaining to them why I didn’t think their constituents were well-behaved enough to come and play nicely with mine.


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Birches Valley – Adventuring in the Woods

Considering that I live 10 minutes away from some beautiful forestry and countryside, it’s funny how I have only managed a handful of visits in 7 years.

Until the last 3 weeks that is – when I have taken the kids up there not once, not twice but three times.

I’m talking about a place called the Birches Valley Forestry Centre. It’s a lovely day out and there is just so much for the family to do. For a start, there is the adventure playground. Full of wooden climbing frames, saucer swings and an obstacle course, the kids can spend hours in there alone. And – this may sound a bit weird considering it’s outdoors and covered in mud, leaves and general woodsy type dirt – it’s clean. Yes, it is clean outdoors. 

I think I outdid myself with that one!

What I mean is, there is no litter. There’s no dog muck either, because dogs are not allowed in the playground. And for some reason, this is one of those places where the public actually obeys!

So we took a trip up to play in the great outdoors.

Birches Valley Adventure Playground
Birches Valley Adventure Playground

 

Of course, after that we had to go for a walk through the woods, which is filled with wonderful, bizarre and sometimes just plain odd statues and artwork. To name just a few, there are wooden animals, metal statues representing Mother Earth, the three bears chairs and one huge trainer.

Outside of the playground dogs are welcome. So we took the puppy with us on an adventure through Fairy Wood.

If you are quiet, and you are good, the fairies welcome you into their wood. 

After some looking about we found a fairy tree. Lots of little doors and windows open up into the tree itself, where we saw the fairies homes. There were even little washing lines hanging up, full of clothes.

Further on past the wood we saw the fairy queen’s throne and a mushroom fairy ring. Of course, my little elves had to go sit on the throne before dashing off to explore the picture maze behind it.

Peeking inside the fairy tree. Look out for the weird and wonderful artwork though.
Peeking inside the fairy tree. Look out for the weird and wonderful artwork though.

From there we went on to den building in the woods. Luckily, being slightly worn out by then, we found some nice handy big ones already made, so we all squeezed in to warm up around the fire – Granny and Bagel too.

PicMonkey Collage

Birches Valley has other things to offer too. Mr G and I went some years ago for a few hours tree climbing, swinging around amongst the branches and speeding along zip lines on the Go Ape course. We plan to go again soon.

Last week we took MM1 on her brand new birthday bike. Birches Valley has a number of difficult courses for the serious riders – we took the basic family path. MM1 did great, getting used to gears, brakes, hills and crossing streams with only a few tumbles. MM2 was serene, sitting in his chair on the back of my bike and waving happily at passers by.

In fact I think it was Mr G who had the worst time, since he was trying to stay upright whilst being pulled sideways by the puppy. Who, by the way, was ecstatic at a good run through the woods, if a little miffed at not being able to wander off willy nilly after every new smell. Beagles are not good at concentrating on one thing for long!

And every trip ends up the cafe, where they sell the most decadent creamy ice creams!

Definitely a great place for a family day out. It got us all up and moving without complaints, and as a generally indoor gadget focused family, I was pretty impressed with that!

 


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Where has that green coat gone?

I feel like I have been MIA recently, not having blogged as much as I would like. But MIA is a bit of a misnomer, because there has been a lot of action happening, just not here in my blog world.

A few weeks ago I took in some work for a new client. It was meant to be a temporary thing while they were snowed under, but their back log seems to be growing, which means the paper tsunami just keeps on flooding my way.

All this is great of course. Work = money. However work also takes time. In the last five weeks I have not been the gym, ironed any clothes or done any coursework.

The benefit of all this concentrated working is that suddenly I am having to develop someorganisational skills. If I don’t vacuum daily we would be knee deep in a new dog hair carpet. Not to mention, if I ignore the kitchen for more than 12 hours the dog and children start fighting over who gets to eat out of the last clean bowl. (Not Mr G, he knows as well as I do that eating straight from the saucepan is much more efficient! Pre-children we had a lot of experience in that.)

I also have to fit in the essentials like dog walks and school runs. This morning was a great example of my new found efficiency. I got up and dressed the kids whilst simultaneously sorting the washing into piles, vacuumed whilst feeding them breakfast and cleaned the kitchen whilst checking emails. Of course, now I have milk on my iPad, I may have emailed a query about this weeks school fair to my client and when I pick up the washing pile there will be a patch of hairy carpet where I went around it with the hoover, but at a glance the place looks under control.

Then I dropped MM1 at school, MM2 at the grandparents, went for a dose of torture (electrolysis – a whole other post), got home, power walked the usual hour long dog walk in 28 minutes, collected MM2, got home again, did the banking and . . .

However, in the last 5 weeks one thought does keep occurring . . . MM1 had a lovely and not too cheap green school coat. She definitely wore it on the last day of the Easter term. I’m fairly sure she would have come home in it, but we have not seen it since.

Every morning this week, since term started, I have thought about that green coat. I have added it to the list of ‘things I should find when I have 5 minutes’.  It must be in the house somewhere, which means if I get time to clean up properly I should find it, right?

What worries me now is, while that green coat is festering away somewhere, squashed sandwiches in one pocket and melted easter eggs solidifying in the other, when I eventually do come across it, what else I might find!


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A chocolate making experience

This weekend I had a great mummy/daughter day out. My mum and I had booked a truffle making lesson for a joint Christmas present – the first 2 attempts were cancelled thanks to the snow so it was with some trepidation we got up this Saturday, expecting to find another freak weather change had cancelled our weekend yet again.

Luckily, this time round the weather . . .

Carry on Reading


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To make up or not to make up?

Where has the time gone? My MM1 is seven years old in under two weeks.

Seven!

While I have been considering what to get her for her birthday, she has been to a friends house and played make up. Of course, now she wants her own. Hence the dilemma I have now.

Ever since my little girl was born I had tried to stop her growing up too fast – not so easy these days.  I decided early on not to let her have make up until she was a teenager – ditto with ear piercing, although luckily we don’t face that one yet.

There’s a few reasons for this – make up is bad for young girls skin, for one. I just don’t want her being a tween yet, for another.

However, I have found that yet again, some of the opinions and ideas I had of how I would be a parent are changing as my kids grow – after all, this is my first time as a parent of a 7 year old. I’m working it out as I go along.

And as a friend pointed out, making themselves look like Coco the Clown is all part of being a little girl.

So, I’m off to get some bright sparkly eye-shadow, lip gloss and body sparkle from Claire’s Accessories next week. Nothing major, expensive or too grown up.

We will have some rules too. No slapping it on your brother, for one. No leaving the house in it, for another.

Luckily though, she has also asked for a Moshi Monster cake, so I know she isn’t too grown up just yet.

 

What do you think? Do your little girls have make up, or do they have to wait until they are older?

 

Don’t forget, I’m on the move. Soon I will stop posting on here, so please do come check out the new home at www.talkaboutcheesecake.com – currently undergoing a make over and all suggestions welcome. 


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Project Optimism: It’s never too late

On Saturday night Mr G and I went for a rare, child free night out. We had a good evening with some friends,  I test drove a new flavour cocktail (can’t remember what it was and hopefully won’t be trying it again) and enjoyed some time examining the fashion of the youth of today. Call me old (really, don’t; it makes me very grumpy) but if I can see your piercing, your shorts are too tight!

The most chocolatey day of the year dawned. Rather earlier than intended for me in fact, since recently my hangovers seem to coincide with an amazing amount of stomach acid which wakes me up bright and painfully.

As I wandered bleary-eyed around the bathroom looking for some stomach settlers, there was a sudden bolt of light in my brain. Wincing, I shut the curtain again. And that’s when it hit me. Today was Easter Sunday. That fabulous day when the magical bunny breaks into our homes, presumably with the skill of a cat burglar, and deposits chocolatey goodness on the kids beds.

The kids beds.

Chocolatey goodness.

Easter Sunday.

Bugger. Panic.

I stumbled into the bedroom and rooted frantically through the cupboard until I found the kids eggs. Then I snuck into their room and in a synchronised movement performed with the skill and finesse of a martial arts expert, I launched an egg into position at the foot of MM1’s bed while diving below eye level to place one beside MM2’s bed – just as he opened his eyes.

Thus did I once again perform my duties are a mother and maintain the illusion of magic for the children.

And then, with all the love and care that a mother holds clear in my tone I growled, ‘Go back to sleep, it’s early,’ and took my hangover back to bed.

You see, as long as you try, it’s never too late!

This post was written for Project Optimism. Click on the elephant or take a look at my previous posts for more information. You too can join in – because it’s never too late. 

 

Don’t forget, I’m moving to a new home at www.talkaboutcheesecake.com. I hope you will come join me. 

 

Check out these related posts –

Project Optimism (AKA Project Overly Optimistic)

Attempting a brain makeover