• A young boy stood outside of the Swim!, Oldham building
    Mum Life

    Swimming Lessons – 3 Months at Swim!

    In August 2020, Bruce started swimming lessons at Swim! For a boy that’s usually quite shy, he oozed confidence as he bounced over to his swim teacher. The smile on his face stayed throughout that first trial and has remained ever since. The Swimming Journey So Far 3 months on and he has become the most confident that I have ever seen him in the water. We’ve been going swimming together for years but I’ve never quite managed to coach him to swim armband free. Swim!, on the other hand, managed to do just that after only 2 months of swimming lessons. I’m over the moon. Not only by the…

  • 3 fondant ghost cupcakes with 3 forks
    Baking

    Vanilla Cupcake Ghosts – A Simple and Fun Family Recipe

    I first tried the idea of cake ghosts last year and created them using a cake pop method. This year I thought I’d go for something a little simpler, ‘Vanilla Cupcake Ghosts’. This method means that you could either make all the elements from scratch or purchase them ready-made for ghost construction. When it comes to Halloween, my son is currently a huge fan. The earlier the celebrations start, the better (in his eyes). This recipe is one for the whole family. You could even decorate one each and individualise them. The ingredients are simple and can be picked up at local Supermarkets such as Asda, Tesco or Aldi. If…

  • a vanilla cupcake with vanilla buttercream and colourful sprinkles on it
    Baking

    12 Easy Vanilla Cupcakes

    A simple step by step guide to making 12 Cupcakes Vanilla cupcakes are something that I always fall back on when I’m not sure what to bake. This recipe for 12 easy vanilla cupcakes is definitely my go to. They can be decorated in so many different ways and the recipe can also be used to make a larger cake. You can colour vanilla cupcakes to make bright and vibrant cakes or simply leave plain. I’ve linked some ideas below that you might want to try out or simply take a look at my Instagram feed for inspiration and use the 12 easy Vanilla Cupcakes recipe. Recipe Inspo! Vanilla Ghost…

  • swirl+buttercream+cupcake
    Baking

    Easy Vanilla Buttercream for 12 cupcakes

    I use this easy vanilla buttercream method all of the time. It’s quick, easy and you can vary it multiple ways. Take a look at some of the creations below for inspiration on piping ideas or colours that pop. 3 Tier Chocolate Cake Red Nose Day Cupcakes Lucky Charm Cupcakes White Choc Chip Cupcakes Easy Vanilla buttercream is also essential when making cake pops or cakesicles as it holds the mixture together. Ingredients and Equipment All the ingredients in this recipe can be picked up from your local supermarket or local shop. You can find baking aisles in all major chains such as Asda, Morrisons and Tesco. The equipment that…

  • A picture of a boy holding a bag that says swim and sta nding in front of a white wall with brightly ooured spots on it
    Days Out

    Swimming Lessons – The Start of the Journey at Swim!

    Disclaimer: The swimming lessons discussed below were received on a gifted basis. All opinions are my own. Swimming Lessons and Parenting As a parent, I always want to try and teach my child as much as possible. Swimming lessons are something I’ve personally tried to do for years now and just never succeeded. It’s not that Bruce doesn’t like the water, quite the opposite. He loves it! I think it’s that when he says (as most kids do), “don’t let go Mummy”, I quite literally won’t. The result, we’re still working on Mummy becoming a half decent swimming instructor 8 years down the line. That’s were Swim! came in to…

  • a 3 layer mint choc chip cake
    Baking

    Mint Choc Chip Cake Recipe – A Fun Family Bake

    Mint choc chip is a classic ice cream combination and works just as well in cake form. It always reminds me of being a child as it was my favourite ice cream flavour (funnily enough, it’s also my son’s favourite now!) My mint choc chip cake recipe packs in lots of minty flavour with extra chocolate chips to decorate because, well, you can never have too many chocolate chips! I used dark chocolate chips as these give a real classic flavour to the cake but if you prefer milk chocolate, these can work just as well. All the ingredients can be picked up at local supermarkets such as Asda and…

  • A cartoon image of a film projector
    Mum Life

    The Top 10 Family Films of 2019 – A Round Up

    As a family of 3, we spend pretty much every Saturday evening watching family films. Movie night is one of our favourite nights of the week. A time when we all snuggle up on the couch with our ‘movie night snacks’ watching our latest choice of film. It then seemed only fitting that I start a yearly run through of our top 10 family films of 2019. These are in no particular order (mainly because I just couldn’t choose) and I’ve popped a link through to each film on IMDb so you can see a little more about them and read a few other people’s reviews too. The Lion King…

  • 7 pieces of shortbread toppoed with flaked almonds are on a wire tray next to a small bag of flaked almonds
    Baking

    Grandma’s Almond Shortbread – A Simple Recipe

    This year I’ve decided to get back to exploring some more of my Grandma’s recipe book. Now I’ve already had to hit google numerous times to try and work out what some ingredients are as the recipes are 60 years old, so I thought I’d start with a simple one. The humble shortbread (with an almond twist). Shortbread is an oldie but a goodie and one that takes a little time (to rest) but is super easy for all levels of home bakers (and newbie bakers). I’ve popped an easy print recipe below and if you want to try any of my Grandma’s other bakes after baking the Almond Shortbread,…

  • 4 toffee apples on a white plate next to an apple
    Baking

    Toffee Apples

    This year was the first time we’d ever made toffee apples and I have to say it was great fun (and sticky, very sticky!) We learnt the hard way that the secret to making good toffee apples is actually a thinner rather than thicker layer of toffee. I’ve popped what we used and how we made them below. But first, a few more tips. Tips If the toffee starts to harden and set, simply heat the bowl up in the microwave in 10 second bursts. The apples need to be at room temperature. We keep ours in the fridge and this caused the toffee to set almost instantly on our…

  • Mini ghost cakes
    Baking

    Mini Ghost Cakes

    Bruce is a huge fan of Halloween at the moment but I do have to admit that I’m just not all that into it. I mean, it is weird because horror is probably my favourite film genre so you’d think I’d be all up for decorating the house in spooky stuff. I think that’s just it though, I’d rather keep all the spooky stuff in the TV or on the cinema screen! Mini ghost cakes were my answer to a mum who likes creating cute little bakes and a 7 year boy who wants to make me jump at every given opportunity! They were actually made from a gluten free…