We reviewed KidloLand this week. The exciting app for toddlers and preschoolers. Our boys travel a lot, so it is…View Post
With love being in the air and Valentine’s day approaching, I recently made some Valentine’s biscuits with the kids.
They have no idea what Valentine’s is. However, they got into the spirit of things when they realised there were sweet treats to be made!
To start with I made a biscuit base, then let the kids decorate them with icing, jam and sprinkles. As you can imagine it went down a treat. The biscuit base I use is so simple, I thought I would share it on the blog.
What you need for valentine’s biscuits:
- 225g unsalted butter
- 85g icing sugar
- 320g plain flour
- Love heart cookie cutter
I let the kids help me measure the ingredients out. They love doing this although both were a little disappointed that there were no eggs in this recipe. There favourite baking thing is cracking eggs, even if it does go everywhere!
What to do:
- Stick the oven on at 160 degrees. Then line two baking tray.
- Cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. We used a mixer to help us out. The boys love baking but they are anything but patient!
- Once this is done, mix the flour in. I tend to do half in the mixer, then fold the rest in by hand. It should make a soft dough.
- Then on a floured surface, roll the dough out and use the cutters to make the love hearts.
- Put on a baking tray and put in the oven until golden brown. In our oven it only takes 15 minutes to be perfectly cooked.
- Put on a wire rack and leave to cool. Thankfully they our cookie cutters are quite small so the biscuits cooled pretty quickly.
mess fun begins.
The boys love decorating biscuits. They use the jam to sandwich two biscuits together, then decorated with icing and sprinkles. Some, however, didn’t make it that far.
The boys had a few cheeky biscuits to check they tasted ok!
So, it really is as easy as that.
I would love to know what valentines activities you are doing with the kids. Please leave me a message in the comments.
If you try these Valentine’s biscuits, let me know how it went.
Check out the blog next week to see our Valentine’s crafts.
Find us on Instagram here: www.instagram.com/doublethemonkeybusiness
#CAPTURINGTHEDAY – INSTAGRAM HASHTAG!
Unfortunately illness and sickness have plagued our house this week. L had the flu all week and has now kindly passed it onto me. I am sure that D will be not far behind!
Thankfully Daddy monkey has been an excellent nurse and been looking after me. All the while trying to redirect the children so they give me a little peace and quiet.
A big thanks to my lovely neighbour, who delivered chocolates to me mid-week after seeing my plight on Facebook, they have been very much appreciated.
So, on with the roundup this week. We are dangerously close to the 6k mark, which is so exciting. Keep taggin #capturingtheday to take part.
We have had more incredible photos this week. Here are my top pics.
I am loving the first picture on my selection this week, what a gorgeous little lady and a fantastic hairband! I think this photo is simply stunning.
Now, who can resist a baby picture, and this one by the lovely Meme and and Harri is just gorgeous!
Next one is a fantastic black and white picture by 6 Little Feet and 8 paws as they were out on an adventure.
Lastly this picture of this little guy is perfect! Such a fantastic close of a robin, I love it.
From top left (clockwise):
Pop over to Gemma’s blog to find out more about her week.
From top left (clockwise):
- Life Love and Dirty Dishes Blog & Instagram
- All Things Spliced: Blog & Instagram
- From Mama with Love: Blog & Instagram
- Five Little Doves: Blog & Instagram
LIFE IS KNUTTS – MY FAVOURITE
Please pop over to say hi to Gem this week. I love this picture that she put on Instagram this week, I am adding it to my list of places to visit when we move home.
For anyone that has missed it, check out Gemma’s new Friday series ‘Funky Knutts’, it promises to liven up your Friday and get you ready for the weekend with a new tune to listen to. Check it out here.
The beautiful barn conversion shop we went to at the weekend – @packhousefarnham If you’re in Surrey, do pay the place a visit. It’s an absolute treasure trove! I could’ve spent hours in there. Sadly the kids ‘don’t do shopping’ and I only got 45 minutes… 🙄 #capturethemoment #farnham #surrey #thepackhousefarnham #surreylife #shopping #barn #barnconversion #capturingtheday #blueskies #ourday #pinklinker #architecture #weekend #familytime #surreyshopping #historic #old #antiques
HOW TO JOIN IN WITH THIS INSTAGRAM HASHTAG:
If you are discovering this Instagram hashtag for the first time, it is easy to take part.
We want to see a selection of photos, regardless of the topic! So tag #capturingtheday – we want to see variety!
We didn’t want a hashtag that just represented one niche because we want to see them all! You don’t have to be a blogger to take part, everyone is welcome!
It is so easy to join, next time you post a photo tag us using: #capturingtheday.
Every Sunday we will do a blog post and every week we will feature our eight favourite photos – four each.
These featured images will also appear on our Instagram account with a tag back to your account.
So what are you waiting for? Join us as we are #capturingtheday.
Help us spread the word! We want everyone to join in with our Instagram Hashtag!
WANT TO FOLLOW US ON INSTAGRAM? FIND US HERE:
Last week the lovely Abbie at Mama Wilkos tagged me to take part in the bedtime tag. Thanks Abbie, here are my answers:
Describe your usual bedtime routine.
It usually starts with a cup of Chamomile tea. Then every night before I go to bed I go in and check on the boys. I tuck them and make sure they are ok. Then I do the usual, brush teeth etc. Then I usually read myself to sleep.
What are your Favourite pyjamas?
My Star Wars top with PJ bottoms. My sister-in-law recently bought me my star wars top, which I love so much. It is really comfy and I finally fit in with the rest of the family who are all Star Wars mad.
What is your current reading?
I love a good book and I am currently reading A Man Called Ove. I am loving it so far and a bit different to other books I have read recently. Before that I read I Let You Go and Elizabeth is Missing.
What would I find on your bedside table?
I have a lamp, Alarm Clock, bottle of water, hand cream and my ipad.
What scent makes you sleepy?
Not sure if any scent makes me sleepy? Therefore, I will probably have to go with the legendary lavender.
What is your usual bed time and wake up time?
I usually go to bed around 11. I keep thinking I will go to bed earlier but it rarely happens. We wake up when the kids wake up, which is usually 7am.
What are your top three products?
Face-wipes, face cream and interdental brushes.
What is your most common sleeping position?
I usually fall asleep on my side, but then move to sleeping on my back. At least I think I do.. Will need to ask hubby!
Do you have anything you like to take to bed with you?
I find it really hard to sleep if hubby is away! I hate an empty bed.
What is your worst habit?
I probably have two bad habits! Not always taking my makeup off, I am often guilty of that beauty sin. However, the one that my hubby hates is reading my ipad with the light off. He says it will hurt my eyes.
Thanks again for the tag Abbie. I really enjoyed taking part in The Bedtime Tag. So, without further ado, I nominate:
THE RULES OF THE BEDTIME TAG:
Step 1: Thank the person who nominated you, and link back to their blog.
Step 2: Display the Bedtime badge; which you can find at the top of this post. (save the picture)
Step 3: Answer the ten questions included above.
Step 5: Nominate between three and five fellow bloggers to take part, and set them the questions.
TEN QUESTIONS FOR MY NOMINEES TO ANSWER:
- Describe your usual bedtime routine.
- Describe your favourite pyjamas?
- What is your current bedtime reading?
- What would I find on your bedside table?
- Does any scent make you sleepy?
- What is your usual bedtime and wake up time?
- Name your top three bedtime products?
- What is your most common sleeping position?
- Do you have anything you like to take to bed with you?
- What is your worst bedtime habit?
“It always seems impossible until it is done.”
I really need to remember the above quote. Sometimes when I think about what I want to achieve with my blog, I wonder if it is possible. I doubt myself and question whether I am good enough.
What if I fail? I think to myself.
Then I say this to my hubby, who brings me back to earth. He constantly reminds me I need to give it my best shot to know if it is going to work out.
So here I am, putting it all out there. This is what I want to achieve in 2017.
Yeah, yeah I know I have went on and on about this but this is a huge goal for me this year. I don’t know my way around a camera at all and I am an habitual user of the auto setting!
However, I am part of the way through a photography course and I am slowly but surely getting to grips with Lightroom. So, watch this space.
For me keeping on top of my website is the steepest learning curve. I knew nothing about how to run the back end of a website until I moved self hosted last April. This is no exaggeration! I knew absolutely NOTHING!
However, now I can do very simple coding, I know what a DA is, I run broken link checks, I have recently went through the painful process of sorting my site speed and I am about to make the scary move into HTTPS. All of this needs to continue in 2017. I hope as I get used to it, maintaining my website will become quicker and less baffling!
Is anyone else baffled by Pinterest? I am and I need to focus on this in 2017. I know how to stick my stuff on there, I can do nice vertical images as is the Pinterest way, but I cannot get people to see my stuff – well apart from the bloggers who always see my stuff.
As for the rest, I feel like I am slowly getting better at running my Facebook page. I decided before Christmas to use this platform more and have started to add stuff other than just my blog posts. I have found it fun and I am getting into the habit of using it more and chatting to people that leave me comments.
I really would like to start getting more involved with those signed up to my blog and one of the ways I hope to do this in 2017 is to start a newsletter. Don’t ask me what the content of these newsletters are going to be, I haven’t got that far in my planning!
I have a couple of courses going on this year. I have already mentioned my photography course. When this finishes I will be moving straight into a course run by Aby at You Baby, Me Mummy; the blog accelerator course.
After that I have a few online courses which I have signed up to and waiting for me to complete, in areas like website creation and social media.
You Tube / Facebook Live
Ahh the world of vlogging, what an incredibly scary and frightening thought – or is that just me?
However, I understand the power of it. I know that it can add an extra dimension to a blog, and can really help when working with brands and PR.
So this is on my list, albeit on my goal for quarter 3 of this year. Far enough away for me to not have to think about it for a while.
This is the year people, I am going to go to at least one blogging conference. Which one(s) very much depends on when we move house but it is in my goals so it has to happen! I can’t wait to meet some of these lovely bloggers that I have been chatting to these last 12 months.
Planning and Productivity
I have said before that I am pretty good at flying by the seat of my pants, which is all very well and good until you start to feel overwhelmed and you spend more time fretting than actually putting things into action.
So I have started this year as I mean to go on. I have sorted my email inbox, set up email templates and keyboard shortcuts and I have sorted out my google calendar.
So, now I just need to keep it up!
The big thing I will have to face this year – in fact the whole family – will be to move house.
Unfortunately, for me this means leaving a job that I love, working as an Reporter / Sub Editor at a newspaper.
So, once we move what on earth am I going to do?
The answer is I really don’t know yet. I think here are my options..
- Get a full time job. Keep my blog as a hobby. Sort out after school club for the kids.
- Get a part time job. Get more involved in my blog and freelancing. Be around more for the kids.
- Freelance / work from home / blog full time. Always be home for the kids.
The way I see it I need to decide which one is the best fit for everyone. I am not sure I can do number 3, I like to interact with people and I wonder if I will find being at home alone every day too hard going. It is one thing being a stay at home mum and the kids being around (or having the odd morning to yourself), quite another to do this all the time!
Option one really doesn’t appeal to me. I love my blog and I would love to continue growing it and learning new things every day. Also I hate the idea of not seeing the kids every day after school. I love that I get to spend afternoons with them at the moment, and I would hate to go from that to seeing very little of them five days a week.
So I am thinking I should be trying for option two. Now all that leaves me with is trying to work out how to freelance. If anyone has any blog posts on these, I would love to read them.
Wish me luck
So, there we have it. I have lots of other little goals throughout the year but these are the main ones I need to tackle.
Any hints or tips on any of these areas would be gratefully received. Please leave a comment below or on social media.