Sunday, June 28, 2015

The Old Head Of Kinsale | The Wild Atlantic Way ♥

 There is nothing like standing on the edge of a cliff, the wild ocean swirling below and gusts of wind almost blowing you over to make you feel alive.

The Old Head of Kinsale is a place I've wanted to visit once again ever since the summer began. I haven't been there since my son was a baby and it really is one of the most beautiful places in County Cork, being one of the stops along the Wild Atlantic Way. We actually drove the whole way around the Wild Atlantic Way today and the views are just beautiful - foaming blue ocean at every turn, wild flowers growing in the fields and sandy beaches which are a surfers paradise.

I sat amongst the large daisies for awhile, looking out at the cliffs and thought that I could just sit there for the day - if only I didn't have my very wriggly toddler with me - the view was amazing and to be honest, there's nothing I like more than being amongst wild flowers. It's amazing the lengths someone will go for a photography, even I, the most timid of people when it comes to anything the least bit dangerous, was crawling down the cliff face and standing right on the edge to get these shots, I even thought to myself - what if the edge just breaks off and I fall into the ocean - luckily that didn't happen!

The Old Head is beautiful, I love how tropical the ocean looks just under the cliffs with it's swirling mixtures of different shades of blue. The flowers and birds on the cliff sides mean that there's always something to look at. The only thing I wish is that you could walk to the very end of the Old Head, unfortunately a golf club is in the way and they only allow members or guests, it's awful that something like this is in the way of one of the most beautiful sights in all of Cork county.

If I could go back one day during the summer and just lie on the cliff side with my other half, like one couple was doing today (I wasn't jealous, promise...) then I would be in Heaven. 

Visiting this beautiful spot was the perfect way to spend a Sunday.


Monday, June 15, 2015

Heavenly Rainbow Cupcakes | Food Inspiration ♥

I've been wanting to contribute more to the 'Inspiration' side of this blog and I have some projects going on at the moment, which I shall be sharing in due course, but yesterday I made these Heavenly Rainbow Cupcakes and thought why not feature them as some baking inspiration?! 

These are a variation of the Unicorn & Mermaid Cupcakes I made back in May and featured on my other blog Dolly Dowsie. This time around though I only used two colours for the sponge - pastel pink and blue and I used my 'go-to' Betty Crocker Creamy Vanilla Icing and packed the cupcakes full of Rainbow Nerds and decorated the top with them too. I love the sour taste of the Rainbow Nerds mixed with the sweetness of the sponge and icing, so delicious! I was unsure on what to call these cupcakes and said so on my Instagram, so thank you to @toddler_activity for the name suggestion!

To make my Heavenly Rainbow Cupcakes you will need:

282g self raising flour
113g of softened butter
2 egg whites
2 eggs
1/2 tsp of salt
1/4 tsp baking soda
1 tsp vanilla extract
Rainbow Nerds
Betty Crocker Creamy Vanilla Icing
How to make these pastel swirled, sweet and sour slices of rainbow loveliness:
1. Preheat oven to 200 degrees and line cupcake tins with cases, this recipe makes 16 cupcakes.
2. Sieve the flour, baking soda and salt into a bowl.
3. Cream the butter and sugar together in another bowl, an electric mixer would have been so handy for this but as I don't have one I had to use my hands and then a spoon to mix it all together.
4. Add the vanilla extract to the butter and sugar mixture.
5. Add the egg whites to the butter, sugar and vanilla mixture one at a time, beating with a whisk.
6. Add in the eggs to this mixture one at a time, beat again.
7. Gradually add the flour mixture and buttermilk to the butter, sugar, egg and vanilla mixture, alternating the two as you add to get the best texture from your batter.
8. Divide your batter into two bowls (or however many bowls of colours you want).
9. Add in a tiny drop of each food colouring if you want a pastel look and a bit more if you want a more vivid look that I went for with the sponge.
10. Spoon your batter into the cupcake cases, adding each colour where you want it in the case. I put pink on the bottom and blue on the top and then used a toothpick to swirl the colours.
11. When fully baked (around 20 minutes later) leave your cupcakes to cool on a wire rack. Top tip: Cover with a tea-towel to keep your cupcakes moist.
12. When completely cool use a cupcake scooper (I have just invested in one of these!) and fill the hole with the Rainbow Nerds, or whatever other sweets you'd like. (Try to resist eating the Nerds, I couldn't!).
13. Use a piping bag to ice the top of the cupcakes.
14. Sprinkle generously with Rainbow Nerds. 

These were such a simple and quick treat to make on a Sunday afternoon and my family really enjoyed them, I think we're all just Nerd addicts to be honest! These are really fun cupcakes, especially for children as the rainbow colours are so eye-catching and a bit different to normal sponges and cupcake fillings. They were so good we even had them for breakfast - very naughty I know, but surely we can be forgiven when the food looks as colourful as this!


Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Fawning Over Him ♥

Do you ever look at your child and wonder how you created something so beautiful? I did this a lot yesterday, when older ladies at the soft play fawned over him and told me how beautiful he was and when I captured these pictures during our evening walk in the woods, looking back at them I thought, wow, my son really is a doll. Now I don't want to be one of those mothers who is constantly on about their children - as a blogger this can be quite difficult - but I really wanted to just take a step back and look at my child, really look at him and realise how lucky I really am to have him.

I'm not going to lie, the last couple of weeks with him have been hard. He's an absolute angel in our house but when we go out he can become a nightmare - like attacking me outside the shop last week, yes literally attacking me, he went for my face and was roaring like the anti-christ and hitting me again yesterday in the face when I took him to soft play. These events got me very down, I started wondering if I had done something wrong, why was he acting so negatively to me? I had a good think for myself and realised he's just like me, when he doesn't get his own way he acts out - now I don't go attacking people but I can sulk for Ireland, and as he's just learning how to speak properly now he doesn't know how to express himself in a reasonable manner. This is something I have to help him with, not chastise him for.

It can be so hard being a mother, especially when you're on your own for the majority of the time and would just do anything for a bit of help, but then when we go out, especially in the evenings and have some quality time, lots of kisses and cuddles and giggles, I realise just how lucky I am and with the good will always come the bad. My son is a person after all, not someone I can mould to fit into my ideals and boy am I lucky to have him.

I can't help fawning over him. He is my everything, even when he accidentally elbows me in the chin and makes me cry - it's happened, just this morning actually. Oh toddlers!


Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Our Travel Plans | 2015 ♥

 We're now halfway through 2015 and during this second half of the year I'd like to travel a lot more with my boys. So far this year Jacek and I have went for a mini-break in Dublin and Amsterdam and both of these trips have really bitten me by the travel bug! It's looking more and more likely that we won't be going on our annual family holiday abroad, something which has really saddened me but we'll take this opportunity to discover more of beautiful Jersey and the Channel Island and Ireland instead. Here are our travel plans for the rest of 2015...

On June 19th Jacek and I are traveling to London to attend BritMums Live for the first time. I am so excited to be going and hopefully I'll get to meet and chat with some of my fellow bloggers. I'm so grateful to my sponsors, My 1st Years, for sending me to London and letting me represent them at the event! We'll be in London for two days and are hoping to see some of the sights of the city by night. I know we're staying pretty close to the London Eye so a trip up on that would be great!

In July we will be going on holiday, we're going to Jersey in the Channel Islands for a week again to see my Dad and his girlfriend. This time we really want to visit another of the Channel Islands, Sark, a tiny island with no cars which is so beautiful and peaceful - another perfect place to photograph. We'll be taking the boat from Jersey to Sark which is an hour and forty minutes long but it will be so worth it. I can't wait to take Tyler Lee around the island on the back of a bike!

This would have been the month we would have taken our annual family holiday abroad but instead we're now going to discover the west coast of Ireland and head back to Jersey again. I've never been to Galway so that's top of my list to visit. We will be visiting the Cliffs of Moher and hopefully will get to visit Salthill too as I've heard it's beautiful there. I think we'll be staying overnight in Galway and then making our way to Clare where we will visit The Burren (another amazing place to photograph!) and the neolithic tomb there. I'd also love to pass by the house which my grandfather grew up in, it's such a peaceful area and I haven't been there since I was a little girl. Maybe on our second visit to Jersey we'll take the boat to France or to Guernsey, we'll have to see how our time and money goes while we're there.

We are currently trying to plan a trip to Cornwall in the UK but we'll have to see if this does materialise... To get there we'll have to travel to Dublin, which we're going to do by train as Tyler Lee is obsessed by trains at the moment, and then fly to Newquay. We'll spend a few days there and then make our way to Alton Towers to take Tyler Lee to Cbeebies Land, I know he'll just love it judging by his excitement from the pictures on the website.

October, November, December
We don't have any definite plans for these months yet but I would love to have another mini-break with Jacek. I would love to go to Iceland or to visit Amsterdam again. Jacek's mother is visiting us from South Africa in November so I think we'll have a lot of day trips while she's here.

Where are you traveling to this second half of 2015?
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