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  1. Some of you may know I'm a cake lover and often like to try new recipes.  Not all of them come out of the oven looking like they should but when I've nailed it I'll be beaming from ear to ear for hours! 

    A few weeks back a good friend of mine got married and I offered to do the wedding cake as their present.  Lucky for me she wanted a cupcake tower with a top cake and if it's one thing I can do perfectly now it's a simple vanilla cupcake.  She showed me a picture and I knew the only part that I may find difficult would be the fondant roses.  I did a very quick sugar rose lesson with You Tube and then started making.  The first one took foreeeever but after 20 of them I was flipping petals together like a pro.  I really am very proud of myself and was so pleased that my friend loved it too.

    DM Abi Wedding cake

     

    A couple of weeks ago my son had his first school trip which was to be followed with a picnic and I couldn't resist making 50 odd mini lemon meringue cakes.  I used my old faithful cupcake mix of 125g of Self Raising Flour, Caster Sugar, Butter and 2 eggs and then topped them with a little dollop of lemon curd.  I made the little lemon meringue kisses the night before with the traditional egg white and caster sugar mix and then once baked I left them in the oven over night to dry out.  In the morning I put the little beauties on top of the lemon curd, the only problem I had was that one wasn't enough!

    DM lemon meringue cupcakes

    For 'Open Farm Sunday' we invited some friends to the Nature Reserve near Wareham and I wanted to make something fun for the boys when they'd finished their lunch.  I made chocolate cupcakes using a recipe from my Hummingbird Bakery book and it's never failed me.  It's a very easy 'throw it in the bowl' mix and I normally add a few chopped chocolate buttons too and they come out light as air and beautifully domed ready to be frosted.  I'd seen some fun animal cupcakes online and settled on trying to make sheep which I thought would be quite easy as you only had to put mini marshmallows on.  I was wrong!  They took hours but boy were they worth it!  (Especially when I made the boys baaa like a sheep to make the cake tin open).

    DM sheep cupcakes

     

    I tried making lemon and courgette cupcakes (again) tonight and thought I'd have a bash at just throwing it in to a normal cupcake mix.  It doesn't work!  They taste ok and I'm sure they'll be better when I put lemon icing on them tomorrow but they didn't rise very much sadly.

    My challenge for the near future is my darling son's birthday cake.  He changes his mind every day on what he would like but that's fine with me as I'll be doing it at the 11th hour anyway!  

    This was him last last year when he was presented with his digger cake.  It's gonna be tough to beat that face. :) 

    sam birthday cake (1)

     

    'Happy Baking!'

    Love

    Dorsetmum

    xxx

     

  2. I saw a Facebook Competition in May which Pixifoto in Poole were running for a free family photoshoot plus a free print and to my surprise I found out a couple of days later that I had won.  I spoke to a lovely lady at the Studio who asked a few questions about our hobbies and interests and we booked a date for a few weeks later, (they were great when I had to cancel an appointment due to my son’s constant snotty nose which I didn’t want in photo’s).

    Having seen the studio at the back of Mothercare in Branksome before I wasn’t a stranger to the location and firmly told my husband that we would be going in to quickly do the shoot and receive our free print and that we would try to avoid the sales pitch at the end haha.

    Now anyone with a 2 year old child will know that there is a very small window of cooperation and that bribery in any form can only be used a couple of times before it’s success wears off.  We had a lovely guy doing our shoot and he wasted no time at all getting us ready and within a couple of minutes he had the camera going.  We did our ‘Complimentary’ family picture first and then he went on to change backing screens and get toys out plus one’s we’d been asked to bring along.  Our boy managed about 20 minutes of smiles but it wasn’t long after that he got fed up and we tried chasing him back into the studio a few times before we cried ‘That’s a wrap’!

    We were asked to come back after 45 mins to have a look through our photo’s which was fine with us.  I was fully prepared to say thanks and walk away with the Complimentary photo on order but I was trapped by the first photo of myself and my son which instantly brought a tear to my eye.  (I’m sure I’m not the only Mum who normally has the camera on days out and therefore finds I’m hardly ever in any). 

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    We had a very quick look through the other shots and both loved a few of them.   Sadly our little Angel had turned into a little Devil and hunger and tiredness on his part meant we struggled to concentrate on the packages prices that we were being offered.  I’m not very good under pressure and in the end I had to ask if I could go away and have a think about it. 

    My husband did quite rightly tell me that we will never ever be able to capture the same photo’s that were taken and that although the amount of photo’s we wanted would mean a certain package price we both knew they were worth it.  So I rang back and visited them again whilst my monkey was at Pre School so I could have a good look through the pictures and we ended up buying a great package.  Having now received the prints I can say I am thoroughly pleased with Pixifoto.  The staff we dealt with were all very friendly and professional and I will definitely go back to them again.

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    Please visit the Pixifoto Website for details on special offers and package prices.

     

    Love Dorsetmum

    xxx