This months Center Parcs challenge is all about chocolate and sweets, particularly as it’s Easter soon.
I’ve got my kids to work and together we’ve made some delicious Marshmallow bark and cut it out using Easter shaped cookie cutters. We had lots of messy fun as you will see.

First up, our recipe:

200g white chocolate
100g mini marshmallows, preferably in different colours
some sprinkles

First you need to melt the chocolate. This can be done in the microwave in short bursts, stirring in-between. I don’t own a microwave so I did mine in a bowl over a pan of hot water, stirring frequently.

melting the chocolate

When the chocolate is melted remove from the heat.
prepare a long tin, like a swiss roll tin, by covering it with greaseproof paper.
Add the marshmallows to the chocolate and stir through.
Put the mixture onto the tray and sprinkle over the sprinkles.
Work quickly because you don’t want the marshmallows to melt.

marshmallows in chocolate

Quickly put the tray in the freezer for 20 minutes.
Leave for about 5 minutes after taking out from the freezer then use cutters to cut out shapes. (or you can cut into squares)

marshmallow mess!

Here are my little sweeties having fun with the sweeties
Marshmallow fun

So you see, these are simple and so much fun to make.

Here are some of our finished Easter treats, and they tasted yummy!

Easter Marshmallow Bark

Why don’t you join in? Post up your yummy Easter treats and enter the competition over on Tots100 and you could win a family break at Center Parcs.

Good Luck!

WARNING: this blog post is shameless!

Last Thursday evening I was waiting for my lives to replenish on Candy Crush Saga when I decided to check my Twitter feed. That’s when I spotted the announcement that the Mad blog award finalists had been announced. I resisted the temptation to look, I’d really expected the announcement to be on Friday and wanted to dream for one more night. So I popped back to find a couple of friends had gifted me some extra lives on Candy Crush. Two crushing games later I popped back to Twitter. The congratulation tweets were coming in on my timeline, not for me, but for other fabulous bloggers who were on the list. I could resist no longer and went for a peak. I really couldn’t believe my eyes when I saw my name on the  list. I thought all the sweeties on Candy Crush were playing tricks on my eyes and giving me sweet treats on other sites! I really thought I’d be taken off again so I took a screen shot just to prove I had been there.

Then I recieved my first congratulatory tweet and soon it began to sink in that I was a finalist in the MAD Blog Awards, me and this little blog Raisie Bay.
Now, just in case you are new here let me tell you a little about Raisie Bay. Here I talk about family life with my five kids. Two are grown up, two are on the autistic spectrum. All five are gorgeous, but I know I’m biased. I’m in the School Days category because three of my children are at school, although the Little Man is only at pre-school. I’ve been standing in the same school playground for more than 20 years now, some of the mum’s there now were students alongside my older kids!! (there are a couple of parents there the same age as me picking up their grand kids, but the less said about that the better I feel!)

I also bake and decorate cakes over on my other blog, Mostly Cake. I’m still learning and having fun. But of course that does mean that I can bribe any prospective voters with cake 🙂 he he he

Ah, I’ve said it now! Yes, I need voters! I need you, my lovely readers to vote for me now.
Here is my little finalist button, just click and go vote! But don’t forget to check out all the other lovely blogs you can vote for too!

The MAD Blog Awards

Now just in case you wasn’t sure what this post was about I painted my fingers nails;

Vote for Me in orange sorbet and midnight plum!

Just to prove I really don’t have any shame and I really do need your votes, I’ve roped in the little ones to help.

So, please, please, please Vote for Raisie Bay and in return I promise*:

Cake for everyone
Never to embarrass my kids again
Blog about really brilliant things all the time
Give away lots of fab prizes
Tell you how to defeat Candy Crush Saga
Buy myself a new dress
Tell you my deepest darkest secrets
Vote for you

Before I go here is a little montage of the kids photo’s that didn’t quite go to plan

 *some promises may be broken (sorry, but it happens)

Mother’s Day has been a difficult time for me for a long time. I fell out with my mum for five years and Mother’s Day was always the worst. Then I decided to send her a card, I didn’t even know where she lived and had to ask my auntie to deliver it. A couple of days later I received a letter from her with her phone number. It took a while but we did become close again. She was around for the births of my two little girls which was lovely. Then she passed away on Christmas Day 2008 after being diagnosed with cancer just two weeks before. So Mother’s Day became miserable again. I visited the grave this year laden with flowers, because flowers are the only gift I can give, Mother’s Day, Birthday, Christmas. I miss her every day and always will.

This year I decided that despite missing my mum I would still be able to enjoy Mother’s Day. My little ones made me some lovely cards at school. The Little Man brought home a cupcake and a little plant. I’m surprised the cupcake lasted until we got home, he couldn’t wait to eat it! Star made me a necklace from beads she threaded herself. Boo and the Little Man made me some paper flowers at church this morning. It’s also customary at our church to receive a bunch of daffodils on Mother’s Day.

For my Mother-in-law I made a cake. It was her birthday earlier this week and I bought her loads of presents so I figured a card and home-made cake would be fine for Mother’s Day.

So today I’m feeling happy to be a Mother and incredibly blessed that I have my five wonderful children. 
Happy Mother’s Day xxx

The Little Man was extremely pleased with the Toddlebike I was sent to review. Since the day it has arrived it’s been his favourite mode of transport, and even when we ‘have’ to go in the buggy he likes to take the bike along too!
Here he is on his very first outing with sister Boo keeping an eye on him.

At first he was slow, but soon he really got the hang of it and now he gets all daredevil fast, especially downhill.

The Toddlebike is a pre balance bike for younger children eighteen months to three years old. The best feature is the weight, at just 0.8kg it’s so light that the Little Man can pick it up and carry it quite easily. Having older children one of my bugbears has been having to cart around heavy bikes and scooters, either to take them around the school for home time, or when they’ve had enough of riding them. With the Toddlebike, it’s so light you barely know you are carrying it, and no banging into your legs when you walk. In fact when the Little Man gets to a hill too steep, or just wants to walk for a while, he picks it up and carries it himself, he doesn’t even ask me!

So far the Toddlebike has been used in the house, the garden, on the trip to Grandma’s house, to pre-school, to the shops and to church. I’m sure it will have many more adventures before the Little Man outgrows it.

The Toddlebike is great for use around the house, ours lives under the dining room table when not in use. It takes up little room, and even when the Little Man is riding around the house on it he doesn’t get in the way. One of his favourite activities is keeping the wheels clean.

Here is the Little Man getting used to his Toddlebike on his very first outing with it.

The Toddlebike, despite its incredibly lightness, is also very durable and is able to withstand the boisterousness of a toddler. It doesn’t topple easy and it’s a great alternative to traditional ride-ons. It soon becomes a favourite toy. 
I love the Toddlebike because it makes getting out and about fun!

Linking up with Country Kids from Coombe Mill, come and visit all the fun we’ve been having this week

Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall

This year Boo decided she wanted to be the Gruffalo’s Child. It’s her favourite book at the moment and at Christmas time we went to see the play which she loved. I tried to figure out a way to make her a costume and became worried that it was above me and my limited skills and creativity. Then, I saw a competition to win a Gruffalo costume and entered, the very next day I heard that I’d won. Problem solved on one very happy Boo. Now because it was a Gruffalo costume and she wanted to be the Gruffalo’s Child I figured that what she needed was a stick man and we’d be sorted. I found the sticks I needed and tied them together, then painted on the eyes and mouth.

Star decided that she wanted to be Dorothy as we recently reviewed a really lovely book The Wonderful Wizard of Oz. It is the original story with some gorgeous illustrations and Star fell in love with it. I was thinking that a Dorothy costume would be fairly simple to make seeing as their school summer dresses are blue gingham and I had one I could adjust. However, because Boo had a lovely professional looking costume I thought it only fair that Star should have one too, so I bought her one from Ebay. The ruby slippers were more of a problem though and when I couldn’t find any I decided to  a pair of old shoes with glitter and sequins.

So although I didn’t make the costumes I did create a little something for each of them.

And here they are. the Little Man didn’t have to dress up but wanted to be in the picture so he popped on a pair of princess dressing up shoes. Boo is showing off her stick man but you can’t see it clearly. Star is holding a cuddly Toto which came in a basket but she didn’t like it.