3 things you're gonna love!

 Ahhhhh, Summer. My favourite time of the year, not only because of the lovely weather but also because we get to turn off the early alarm and avoid the dreaded school run...

There are lots of things I'm loving at the moment and this edition is packed full of cake, clothes and food so basically my top 3 favourite things ever.

I'd love to have a bit more time off over the Summer, and we're eagerly counting down to a week in Cornwall, but in the meantime it's work, work work for me and sheesh - have I had a busy few months! Many of you will know I work full time but I still make cakes from my home business and this is just a little taster of what has come out of my kitchen recently... (I think the Kinder egg is one of my faves!)


Falling in love with Ashbourne

A few weeks ago, I ran my first 5k... Donnnn't worry, this isn't another post about running but instead about the place I discovered on my travels.

I've never really explored much of Derbyshire, and this was the first time I've visited Ashbourne in particular. Ashbourne is a lovely little hilly town filled with retro looking storefronts and, on this occasion, also DRENCHED in swags of festive bunting.

I visited on the day of the annual Ashbourne Festival. The weather was kind to us so after our run, we ventured a little way into town and stumbled across a little cafe called the Artisan Cafe and Bottle Shop.


Running with the family

A few months ago, I started the Couch to 5K challenge in a bid to get myself off the couch and into a more healthier lifestyle. Starting to run seemed like an mammoth task, but I got there in the end and a few weeks ago I participated in my first 5K run! The feeling of pride as I crossed that finish line was absolutely amazing and I've really been bitten by the running bug now.

I'd like to be able to run more, but being a single Mum and having 2 kids to look after for most of the week, makes it a bit tricky for me. I've found a place where I can run laps and leave the boys to play (always within my sight) but taking them out on their bikes isn't very practical as we're often stopping every 2 mins to tie a shoelace, or look at a dog... so it's a non starter really. I'm starting to hear groans when I mention joining me for a run so I've started looking at a new way to involve the boys.


Glamping in Wales

Earlier this year, my partner and I decided to book a weekend away from it all. Living in the East Midlands gave us lots of options for places to visit and we eventually settled on Wales. I've never been adverse to camping or roughing it on holiday so we looked towards treehouses, yurts etc in a bid to find something a bit romantic, but with an outdoorsy feel.

We eventually came across a little place called The Sleepout in Meifod and we knew it'd be perfect. Well my partner did, but I needed a bit more convincing! The idea of a compost loo and no electricity did worry me at first but looking through the gallery and seeing a reading nook soon brought me round.


Review of Tortilla Nottingham

Mexican style food is one of my favourite cuisines - tacos, tortillas, quesadillas, burritos I love em all! And luckily for me Nottingham has seen a few new Mexican restaurants open up recently.

Me and the boys were recently invited to try out one of these new additions to the Nottingham food scene - Tortilla in Victoria Centre. Situated alongside Millies Cookies (c'mon we all know where they are right?!). Tortilla is a chain restaurant specialising in Californian burritos and tacos.

My eldest also shares my love of Mexican food but upon entering and seeing the vast choice of food, I wasn't sure what he'd think! Luckily, we were in excellent hands and the amazing staff guided us through the process.


Starting to run

As a non-driver, I spend a LOT of my time on public transport. I take the tram to work everyday and as long as I have my Spotify or a book to entertain me then I'm a happy traveller!

And when I'm not tramming it to town, I walk everywhere. My children despair of this but the cost of having a car is outweighed by the fact I live so close to EVERYTHING so I have no incentive to drive anytime soon. Anyway, me and my Tesco delivery driver are practically on first name terms so it'd be rude to ruin our blossoming friendship.

But now I'm taking things a step further and have decided to take up running (And wow, that's a sentence I never thought I'd type...)


Mini Egg Brownie Cookies

Creme Eggs get all the attention at Easter, but then who can resist those gooey centres when they're drizzled over a cheesecake or brownie? Not me anyway.

But I have a soft spot for Mini Eggs. When I could eat dairy, I could easily demolish an entire bag in one sitting and I don't think I'm alone in this confession...

I created these Brownie Cookies by accident one day when I was baking up some baked treats for my other half to take to work. I love the way the mini egg stands out against the dark chocolate cookie base but I'm not sure his work mates will have noticed my artistic intentions when they were busy tucking into these on the night shift!


Things you're gonna love - in Notts!

There are soooo many things I could include in this round up today, but I'm limiting myself to just 3 of my favourite things from recent weeks. So in no particular order...

Galentines Day - OK, so this has long past now but there's no reason everyday can't be Galentines Day! Created by Leslie Knope of Parks and Recreation, Galentines is all about celebrating your gal pals - this year was the first time I celebrated it and I already can't wait till next year! Myself and a few friends went along to an event hosted by Fan Club, held at Rough Trade in Nottingham and we had some fab cocktails, listened to some awesome music and had our faces plastered in glitter. All the signs of a fab night in my opinion!


Review of Thaikhun Nottingham

 A few weeks ago, the lovely people at Thaikhun in Nottingham invited myself and the kids along to try our their kids menu. Now I'll be honest, I'd eaten there before with a friend and I never knew they catered for kids, so this was a pleasant surprise!

As a lover of Thai food, I was really eager to take the kids along for their first Thai meal but I was concerned they wouldn't like the style of food. After a quick look at the kids menu I knew they'd be fine as it seemed quite kiddie friendly, if a little limited.

The new restaurant is situated in the Food Court at Victoria Centre in Nottingham. I'm loving all the new restaurants the new food court is bringing us - there really does appear to be something for everyone! Although I did take my eldest to Ed's Easy Diner last month and didn't rate our experience (it was so cold as it's an open plan restaurant!) but I knew Thaikhun was more welcoming and cosy so I was happy to take along the kids.


Chocolate Chip Cookie Sandwiches

I'm not a big sandwich eater, there's something about a mysterious filling that makes me nervous. Even when I make it myself, I still inspect every bite before consumption. I put it down to a long forgotten bad experience...

But these sandwiches are right up my alley! Chocolate Chip Cookies filled with creamy buttercream - what's not to love?

If you need a sugar filled hit then you need these in your life - and the flavour options are endless. I used a Chocolate Milkshake flavoured buttercream from Sugar & Crumbs which gave a lovely light chocolate flavour so as not to make the entire cookie too rich.


Hep C-ya!

Well this is a post I never thought I'd get the chance to write! Friends, relatives and regular readers of my blog will already know that my Mum passed away from Hepatitis C in 2003, and subsequently I was diagnosed with it in 2004. I've had it since birth but it lay undiagnosed until 2004.

In 2005, I underwent treatment to clear the disease - and unfortunately it failed. I've been extremely lucky to not suffer toooo many symptoms of the disease but my liver has been a bit battered (I have Cirrhosis and a few other medical complications). It's always been a dream of mine to one day be clear of it before things started to get worse...

Fast forward to 2014, and a flurry of activity in the research sector started to give me, and millions of others, hope. Hep C is often called the 'silent killer' as many people are unaware they have it but with millions of people around the world suffering, and some dying, a raft of new treatments suddenly became available.


2016 - Let's do this!

Goodbye 2015, and Hello 2016! Last year ended with a unexpected bump, but I can honestly admit that I'm utterly looking forward to 2016 and all the adventures it brings!

I have lots of exciting things already lined up for this year starting with a crocheting class at the Craft Studio in Nottingham. Now that might not sound exciting to you, but the idea of taking on a NEW non-cake related hobby sounds like bliss to me! They have lots of other fab looking courses so no doubt I'll be finding lots of new hobbies this year.

Between cake shows, Comic Cons, weekend city breaks and other social shenanigans; I really am starting to feel excited at the prospect of an action packed year. Throw in the usual bi-monthly Cake Club and my diary is already starting to look suitably cake filled!