Earlier this year we reviewed some cuddly toy making kids from Splodge Teddy Parties. The girls really loved them so I decided I would buy a pack for Boo’s Birthday party.

I let her choose which ones she wanted, she could have had unicorns, dragons, zoo animals, there is so much choice. Eventually she settled on Dogs. I decided to get the 8inch ones because that was the size we reviewed and they were perfect.

The box arrived with all the unstuffed dogs. Just before the party we put each dog in a bag along with the stuffing and a birth certificate. I kept back the little hearts to give to them at the right time.














When all the children had arrived at the party I gave them all a bag and they were thrilled with their dogs. We settled down to stuff the dogs, the girls found them easy, it was just the Little Man and his friend that needed a little help. When they were almost stuffed I gave them all a heart to kiss and wish on before placing inside their dogs. The animals are so easy to fasten, there is no sewing involved. the stuffing goes into an internal bag and that is closed with a pull tag. Then you close up the dog by the velcro strips. The stuffing won’t come out if the velcro is undone, it is safe inside the bag.












After the girls had stuffed their dogs they chose names for their dogs and then filled in the birth certificates. Then they coloured in their bags, we turned this into a competition with the best coloured bag winning a prize, which was also dog related.

Party Food

It was then time for the party food, we had cheese and ham baps, pizza slices, sausage rolls, crisps, party rings and chocolate fingers. There were also some little cupcakes that my girls had baked and decorated.

When the food was devoured, the girls had one final task. They each had a plain iced cupcake which they had to write on their dogs name with writing icing and then decorate and add a little candle.

Just before the end of the party we presented Boo with her birthday cake, a big chocolate dog, and sang happy birthday to her before she blew out her candles.















It was a lovely day and I think Boo was really happy with how it all went. The dogs were a big success and each child was able to take home their toy in their bags.














I just can’t believe that my little girl is ten years old already!!

I bought the dogs myself from Splodge Teddy Parties. I’ve not been asked to mention them in this blog post but I’m doing so because I think they are great!


Yesterday it was Boo’s 10th birthday, my little girl is growing up fast.

She watches loads of cake making videos and as her party involved making stuffed dogs she decided that she would like a dog cake. We looked at loads when we eventually agreed on one that she liked and I felt I could make.

Since I got sick I’ve not been able to make cakes like I used to. For one, I can’t stand in the kitchen for long periods of time. Also, my hands and eyes don’t work like they used to. It makes me sad, but I always like a challenge, so I challenged myself to make this cake for Boo.

chocolate dog cake

At Boo’s party we made the stuffed dogs which was fun, then the girls each had a plain cupcake to decorate in celebration of their dogs birthday. I also gave them a little candle for their cakes but they were a little rowdy so we decided not to light the candles.

dogs birthday cupcake

Star and the Little Man also wanted to help so they made some cupcakes and decorated them with buttercream and chocolate chips for the party.

So, this week has not only been all about Boo’s birthday, but about the cake!
What word sums up your week?

The Reading Residence

What could be nicer than a tea party? I love tea and cake and getting together with friends to share them.
On 23rd – 25th June it’s the Marie Curie Blooming Great Tea Party and just by throwing a party you can raise funds for this amazing charity. Pop along to the website and sign up now, register before 19th May to be in with a chance of winning a Ringtons Luxury Hamper.

Marie Curie nurses provide care and support for people living with terminal illness and their families. Given the choice, most of us would like to die peacefully at home with family. Marie Curie nurses make this possible.Their service is free for the people they care for and their families.

For your tea party you could have all sorts of cakes and biscuits, you can buy them if you wish but baking them yourself is half the fun, You can even get the kids to help. My kids love baking and are forever whipping up cupcakes and biscuits.

If you need some inspiration here is my recipe for a simple Lemon Drizzle Cake which is one of my favourites, and it goes down lovely with a cup of tea.

Lemon Drizzle Cake Recipe


200g soft butter
250g caster sugar
3 eggs
250g self raising flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
finely grated zest of 2 lemons
100ml milk at room temperature.
For the drizzle:
lemon juice from 2 lemons, leaving about 1 tsp for icing
2 tbs golden syrup
For the icing:
1 tsp lemon juice 
icing sugar


pre-heat oven to  180C/gas mark 4
grease and line a 1lb loaf tin or 20cm cake tin
Put all the cake ingredients into a large mixing bowl and mix with an electric food mixer or a wooden spoon until the batter is completely smooth.
Pour batter into cake/loaf tin and bake in middle of the oven for about 40 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean. You may wish to  cover the cake with greaseproof paper for last 10 minutes.
Just before cake has finished cooking put the lemon juice (reserving a tsp for icing) into a pan with the golden syrup and warm gently.
When you take the  cake out of the oven, prick it all over with a skewer then pour over the syrup mixture before taking it out of the tin.

When the cake has cooled remove it from tin and cover it with a drizzle of icing made with the lemon juice and as much icing sugar as it takes to make a runny icing.
Just in case you need some more inspiration, here is my nine year old daughter, Boo, showing you how easy it is to make a chocolate cake.

If I have inspired you to take part then please pop along the the Blooming Great Tea Party 2017 site and get your free fundraising pack. There are also lots of resources and recipes to make your tea party a big success. If you do hold a party I’d love to hear about it. 

You Baby Me Mummy
Twin Mummy and Daddy

Banana, honey and walnut tea loaf with a cup of tea

You know when you get some over ripe bananas left in your fruit bowl and you don’t want them to go to waste? They would be perfect for this recipe, the riper the bananas the better.

I love a nice tea loaf that is packed with flavour, but the added chopped walnuts also add nice crunch to this loaf, giving it that little bit extra.

Enjoy it on a Sunday evening with a nice cup of tea!

Banana, Honey and Walnut Tea Loaf

banana, honey and walnut tea loaf


  • 115g butter, softened
  • 115g soft brown sugar
  • 115g thick set honey
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 225g self-raising flour
  • 2 large bananas
  • squeeze of lemon juice
  • 60g crushed walnuts


  • Preheat oven to 180C/gas mark 4
  • Grease and line a 900g loaf tin
  • In a large bowl place the butter, sugar and honey and beat together until light and fluffy
  • Gradually beat in the eggs
  • fold in the flour
  • mash the bananas with the lemon juice
  • fold them into the batter along with the crushed walnuts
  • spoon mixture into tin and level the surface
  • Bake the loaf for 1 hour until risen, golden brown and firm to the touch. 
  • Serve warm or cold.

Pin for Later!
banana, honey and walnut tea loaf with a cup of tea

My Random Musings

We were asked if we wanted to try some cake decorations from Cake Angels and they couldn’t come at a better time. Boo had been nagging for ages to bake a cake and was so excited over the decorations she couldn’t wait to get started. Her stipulation was that she wanted to bake it all by herself with no help.

She knows the basic of sponge cake making where you have the same amount of ingredients, that’s same flour, butter, sugar and eggs. She also knows that you can mix it all together as one but that Mummy prefers the creaming and folding method for a nice springy sponge.

She decided that her cake would be chocolate and that she wanted to cover it with a basic buttercream before decorating.

I prepared the kitchen and got the ingredients ready for her to weigh and she was off, with very little intervention from me. I set up the camera to record her and we have two videos, one of her making the cake and the other decorating it. I do hope you will take a peek, they are not that long and she was keen to do them. It would be lovely if you would consider giving the videos a like on YouTube and maybe subscribing to our channel.

Here is the first video of the cake baking.

Boo’s Chocolate Valentines Cake


8oz self-raising flour
8oz unsalted butter
8oz caster sugar
4 eggs
1tbs cocoa powder


Preheat oven to 180C/gas mark 4
Put the butter and caster sugar in a bowl and mix until creamy
Add the eggs on at a time and beat into the mixture
Sift in the flour and cocoa powder and mix
Pour into an 8″ round tin which has been greased and lined with baking paper
Bake for 35-40 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean
Leave to cool and then decorate.

Here is the Second Video with Boo Decorating the cake


4oz of soft unsalted butter
8oz icing sugar
1tsp vanilla extract

A selection of decorations,
we used sugar sprinkles, icing roses and white flowers from Cake Angels


Put the unsalted butter in a bowl
Sift in the icing sugar
add the vanilla extract and mix

cover the cake and then decorate. I think Boo did really well, what do you think?

Boo's Valentines Cake

Boo holding her Valentines Cake

I hope you have enjoyed this post. Boo really enjoyed her baking and cake decorating sessions and will be back soon with something new, of that I’m sure. Do leave a comment if you wish and remember to follow our YouTube Channel for more videos.

Disclosure: we were sent some cake decorations from Cake Angels for our cake.

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