Let Them Eat Cake


Afternoon everyone, you all okay?

It’s been a busy old week here and I can honestly say I am pooped. As the title says it’s been a rather cakey-themed affair which has seen me bake and ice about a million cupcakes. For those of you who don’t know the week is ‘Cake A Difference‘ week in aid of the charity Bliss. Bliss is the charity for babies that are born too sick or too soon and is definitely something that is very close to my heart. I am a parent rep for the local support group and try to do what I can, which this week has been an awful lot of baking. I won’t go into it in great detail but you can check out my efforts here: “Mum’s Get Baking To Help Tiny Babies“. I know, I know, in the paper again. The thing I really wanted to tell you about was my big boy. Young Master Elijah came into our lives in the most dramatic of fashions in late December 2007, bum first and a whole 15 weeks early. He weighed just 1lb 15oz and went down to 1lb 10oz at his lowest, taking a whole 102 days to graduate from the neonatal unit and finally join us at home. He is a very very special, bright, talkative young man and we adore him. That tiny scrap of life with the huge blue eyes has changed my life immeasurably over the last four and a bit years, he is living proof that having a tiny premature baby (although not ideal) is certainly not always a bad thing, I have met some wonderful people and children and have made some fantastic friends.

Elijah at a day old

Mommy & Elijah Caking A Difference

So after all my other cakey endeavours of the week I decided to treat myself this morning and amble off to a few of my favourite places with the tiddler in tow. We had a mooch of my very very favourite little wool/craft/pretty much everything shop, I got some pretty ribbons and some very nice new pins that are for my new pin/cushion button box. I seem to have a bit of a habit lately for buying pretty containers and pots to put stuff in but more of that another day.  Then we had a mooch of the charity shop where I bought a really really cute green stoneware pot with a lid, it did have a very very unfortunately little accident though in the car as I had left the bag a little too close to small fingers. 😦 It now has a little chip on its lid but I guess that is just a war wound and a little bit of a marker of our little adventure.

These boots were made for walking! (And jumping in muddy puddles)



Last of all we popped into the Ruskin Glass Centre for a nosey and a spot of brunch (of course), young Noah did fab walking all day and we completely ditched the pram (Hoorah) which led to extra exploring, he especially liked going to see the frosty fountain.




















The boy is just far too cute for words and an utter ray of sunshine, if he’s not happy… you know there is something wrong. We took to Ruskin’s rather fab organic cafe for our little brunchy treat, somehow being in a creative place always gets me all warm and fuzzy inside and this is one of my faves. So we hit the cafe and placed our orders, the last few times I have visited they have had a fab John Ruskin quote up on their blackboard and today was no exception:

Now this may be quite a topical quote as I have quite a lot of friends who are teachers (oh and a husband… forgot about him 🙂 ), but I genuinely do believe this to be true. I am probably very guilty of being overly harsh with my boys when it comes to discipline (verbally of course, I never have or would lay a finger on my children) and would not tolerate the slightest step out of line, but the more I see and hear about the things children are allowed to, or are defended over in schools really does make me despair. I come from a background where we would have been frightened to have gone home and told our parents we were in trouble at school, where we were expected to do our very best and most of all were supported every single step of the way. I don’t really see that this is a bad way to be and it certainly never did me any harm, even if me and my little bro did turn out in varying degrees of odd. So my point is really, are we setting the children of today up for a fall, is being too lenient on their behaviour and is giving them endless lists of excuses really going to be their downfall? Who know’s? Just me pondering.

… And so onto something lighter… my breakfast! 🙂 Just thought I’d share with you there rather yummy looking photo’s we took:










Omm Nom Nom! So all in all it was a thoroughly lovely (and well deserved morning), I am motoring away with my top-secret project and one other at the moment but will tell you a bit more about that next time.

Big pat on the back to you if you got this far.

Smoochers xxx



Red and yellow and pink and green…


Do you know when a day just goes really well? When life just seems effortless and even the slightly rubbish things don’t get you down? Well today has been one of those days. 🙂 I’m trying to learn to see the beauty in the world, not to get bogged down in the detail and to pretty much sit back and enjoy it. Not really sure what’s changed in me over the last few months but suddenly life feels a lot less like hard work and there seems to have been more good than bad (I’ve said it now). Anyway, yesterday it was freezing, me and Mr. Chops had dropped Dibble at nursery and had had a wonder to the bakery (omm nom nom), on the way home I have to cross the train line (I live on the wrong side of the tracks you see) and it is a boggy mess at this time of year, my beautiful docs are usually the innocent victim of my journey. On the way down the alley, heading for home I noticed something utterly beautiful, a lovely early bit of colour bought on by our unusually mild winter… just thought I’d share it with you.

So I thought that was a rather lovely start to the day. Then I came home and cracked on with a few of the little jobs I had to sort… Boooo! Big un had a little friend coming round after nursery so I knew I wouldn’t have much time to get stuff done then. Was hoping to get a bit further on my new project but that wasn’t to be (darn), this one is super TOP SECRET but I will be giving away a few spoilers along the way.

I am currently sat on the sofa surrounded but balls of wool of various colours and shades. I have a little bit of a OCD obsession with wool really where when I start a nice fresh ball of wool I need to roll it into a proper round ball not just the loose hank it comes in. Don’t ask me why but I can’t help myself, maybe it came from watching too much Wallace and Gromit as a kid, I secretly desire to be Wendoline. Anyway my very pretty colours are giving me itchy fingers to crack on but I shall resist for the time being at least, I have a rather cheeky batch of millionaire’s shortbread setting in the fridge for when Mr. C comes back from work (shhhhhh don’t tell him!), which still needs its chocolate topping added. While super secret project is underway I thought of maybe doing a lot less secret one that everyone could see using the same colour combinations (I’m in love, can you tell?).

Apologies for the super blurry photo’s, camera on my phone really didn’t like focussing on balls of wool. My secondary project I was thinking of was Blooming Flower Cushion. It’s so utterly gorgeous but looks rather complicated. I shall endeavour to have a bash a bit later on but can’t make you any promises at this very early stage.

Righty ho, off to check out some cookery books for plenty of cakey ideas for next week. I have had the bright idea of hosting a coffee morning at Big Un’s nursery on Tuesday in aid of Bliss and Cake A Difference week. More about that to follow soon.

Smoochers xxx

Going around in circles


It’s been a busy few weeks in the Cottingham household and a few crafty projects have finally been finished and are now in use, awards have been won (you can read more about that here http://www.stourbridgenews.co.uk/news/9476447.Special_care_baby_support_group_scoops_award/), new jobs have been gained (well done Mr. C) and we’ve had a fair few adventures with the two monkey’s.

So back to the crafty projects… for Christmas we bought Mr/Daddy C a kindle. He had yet to get a case for it so I took it upon myself to make him one that was a bit more personal than your run of the mill black leather one. I’m very much getting in to the spirit of upcycling so I had a mooch around upstairs and found two rather cool t-shirts that had been our boys as babies. The red ‘rock n rolla’ one had belonged to Elijah and the black ‘Beatles’ one to Noah. I already had some felt (for a cosy inside), wadding and interfacing but needed a pretty button to add that finishing touch. So off for a morning out me and Chopsy go, first a lovely wool shop in Wolleston called Stepalong, this place sells just about everything you could ever imagine and I seriously think if you went in and said you’d be doing open heart surgery they’d have the right kit. After the rather fabulous matt black star button was obtained we managed to squeeze in a quick cuppa and a chocolate shortbread at The Ruskin Glass Centre http://ruskinglasscentre.co.uk/ where we saw this rather inspiring little quote:Image

Anyway, I digress… so the crafting took place yesterday afternoon and I must say (and I believe Mr. C too) am pretty happy with the result. I won’t bore you with the in’s and out’s of the making you can find that here. http://acraftymommy.blogspot.com/2012/01/tutorial-kindle-fire-case.html but here are a couple of photo’s I took along the way.



ImageImage      Just couldn’t resist rescuing this rather rock and roll little label out of Elijah’s t-shirtImageImage

So there you go, the finished article complete with cosy, snuggly kindle baby. Pretty chuffed with the way it turned out, may have to make myself one one day so my little kindle baby has a choice.

Other crafty project of the week was some crochet wristwarmers. I have a million and one tiny odd balls of wool (much to Mr. C’s dismay and Chopsy’s joy) so I thought this would be an awesome project to use a few up while also making myself something rainbow coloured and pretty to cheer up the gloomy winter mornings on the school run. I got the pattern from Ravelry which I love so much even if it does encourage me to start so many projects without actually finishing many off. You can find it here if you wanna take a look: Colourful Stripey Mitts Pattern. I finially finished them off this morning after sewing in what felt like an eternity of loose ends, it did give me a good chance to chase Dibble last night though with Mommy’s wormy gloves! 🙂 So here is my finished article complete with bargain 2 pairs for 50p primark stretchy gloves. I have the freakishly small hands of a child so the fact that you could tailor the pattern to yourself as you went along was perfect for me. Also please note that it is really really hard to take a photograph of your own hands so must of these efforts are taken using the timer function I discovered. 🙂

So there you go! Super well done to you if you managed to even get this far… I know I go on a bit!

Smoochers! xxx

A Rock And A Hard Place!


So much for blogging everyday eh! Ho hum, well at least I have made it here in some shape or form after the new year. So today, as the title states I find myself between a rock and a hard place… let me explain! I have always been a creative sort, I knit, sew, crochet, bead, make, decorate, up-cycle, scrapbook, bake and even managed to sneak in a degree along the way in Graphic Communication (graphic design but the posh sort… he he). I love playing around with things and seeing where I come out at the other end but over the last few years (probably due to a certain two small monkeys who shall remain nameless… Elijah and Noah) I have found myself in a bit of a design wasteland. I don’t really have any direction or anything to focus on so I sort of bounce around doing a bit of allsorts when I find the time and never really getting very far with anything, so why has this led me to sit here moaning at you I hear you cry?

A few days ago I had what I concider to be a fairly big birthday… I was 29. This year will be the last of my 20’s and I intend to do something productive in it (not that the last few years spent raising my two gremlins hasn’t been productive… they rock!) I have some wonderfully creative friends and am very very fortunate to live in an area with a lively craft and arts community, I make no secret to the ever suffering hubby that my utter dream in life would be to have my own studio somewhere, making pretty things with only a radio, kettle and electric heater for company (seasonal obviously!). So with all this in mind I have decided to go back to my roots and be creative once more. I’ve just signed up to an awesome website called pinterest which has sparked my creative juices… https://pinterest.com/mischiefbec/ please feel to have a look but there isn’t a lot there at present. The hubby joined up too (he’s a design and technology teacher) and found this little gem:

Spurred a little flurry of creativity in me yesterday

So with all of that wonderful advice in mind I have been out this morning and purchased myself a gorgeous new sketchbook and I’m sat here with an enormous cup of coffee. Let the creativity commence!

Day 2 and I’m still here!



Well I’ve managed another post today so things seem to be going well. Today has been a bit of a lazy day here and I managed to finish the book I was reading on my kindle, it was Jeanette Winterson’s “Oranges Are Not The Only Fruit” and I really enjoyed it. I’m on a bit of a crusade at the moment to read either classic or groundbreaking books and I guess this fitted into that category. It is semi-autobiographical and tells us of Winterson’s coming out in a 60’s working community with a very devote Christian family. I laughed and got stirred by this book and read it in just over a day which is always a good sign. I also had an amazing back massage this morning which I won in a competition and the hubby cooked tea so win, win, win for me.

So as promised I shall introduce you to my rather crazy yet wonderful family. I’ll start with the boys as most of my ramblings will probably be centered around them so here goes. First of all we have the rather gorgeous Elijah…

This is my awesome big boy! He has just gone 4 and is utterly wonderful. He’s a very special young man who was 15 weeks early weighing just 1lb 15oz. From the day he came into this world he has done nothing but surprise us and make us utterly proud of him. He’s a very bright, charming young man and very very cute. He’s also famously known as Lijah and Dibble.

Secondly there is Noah…

He’s the second child we never quite thought we’d get but are utterly chuffed we did. He is a happy little ball of fun (don’t be deceived by the picture) and is a joy to be around. Scares us as to how quickly he works things out and how clever he is, and could easily eat a grown man under the table. He’s my baby and I love him!

So that’s about it for today. Tomorrow I shall finally commit to my New Years resolutions and put them on here so I can’t hide from them in 2012.

Over and out!


So here we are…


And so to my very first blog post! I have decided that 2012 will be the year that I write a blog about my adventures and hopefully I can keep it up throughout the year. I’ve tried keeping diaries before but never really got anywhere so this time I have decided to make it one of my new years resolutions (of which I am making five but more about that later), in the hope that that will spur me on. I intend to document my dabblings, travels and family goings on, they are a crazy bunch so it should make for some hopefully interesting reading.

I’ve decided to start my blog a few days before the new year as so to give myself time to introduce us as a family and get into the swing of this blogging malarky, I read quite a few blogs regularly including a particularly wonderful one by a lovely lady called Kylie http://notevena.blogspot.com/ who is a fellow premmie parent and genuinely lovely lady, and they have inspired me to write my own. I’m hoping at least one person may find it interesting, if not maybe it will be catartic for me.

I’m off now to try and find you something interesting to write about. 🙂