Posted in Diary

We’re Coming out of Lockdown!

I cannot believe it! We are finally going to be free from this dreadful lock down. The government has decided that we can meet up with friends and families again, and if we follow the stages laid out by them we should be back to normal by JUNE 2021.

I can’t say that I fully believe their pledge, but I am ready for the freedom to begin. It has been soo long since we last got to see my parents and grandparents, and I’m really feeling alone.

When we first went into lockdown anxiety bloomed and depression set in. We were alone. My support network were stripped from me. And because of the technicality of having a lodger in my house I wasn’t eligible to go and see my family as a bubble. My Nan who I saw every single week for lunch, no matter what, was suddenly removed from my weekly routine, and I could only speak to her on a video call when we got a chance. I miss our lunch dates we used to have. I miss my mum and I miss being able to get out of the house and having other people helping me with my very active toddler.

We are so excited to see our family, but more importantly I am excited to be able to get out of the house, and make memories with Isabelle that doesn’t involve the house. The first thing I want to do is to take her to the Zoo. She has been begging me for the last 2 months, so I think that is definitely the first thing we should be doing. (Don’t worry there will most definitely be a video and blog about it!). I can’t wait to see her face as she gets to go to these amazing places that we used to go to almost monthly.

She’s also super excited to be able to go swimming again, an activity she used to do on a Saturday morning with her Nanna. Indoor soft play, and just in general seeing all of her friends again.

You see us adults tend to forget just how hard the children have had it. I’m not on about the teenagers – I see hundreds of them every day at work in groups when they shouldn’t be and being a general nuisance – but the younger children. The ones who aren’t allowed to go out on their own, who don’t have a mobile phone to be able to contact their friends, the ones who can’t yet read or write, who are only just learning about the world. They had their friends stripped from them. Their weekly routines turned upside down. All with no understanding of why this is happening.

Yes we are excited that the pubs are opening back up, and that the shops will finally be opening their doors to us. Yes we are glad we can go out for a meal again in a restaurant, but our children have had it much harder. Being taught at home by your parents is no fun matter, for either party.

We are coming out of lockdown, but I honestly think the first couple of months should be a celebration for the children, BEFORE we celebrate in the pubs.

HEY let’s take the kids out and then have our friends over in the evening! Or let’s take the kids out with our friends. I know that’s what I will be doing. My best friend and I are already planning our first outing which is going to end in a girls night in, with the kiddies having a sleep over at one of our houses.

Let me know what you’re most looking forward to coming out of lockdown.

Do you have any plans already?

Much love

xoxoxox

Posted in food

Chocolate Heaven Cake

Who doesn’t like a chocolate cake?

While we are stuck in another lock down, we need a pick me up, and this cake has definitely been that for us. It is very light, and moist, and the flavour is intense and just delicious. With a dark chocolate and white chocolate ganache to fill and top the cake, this cake really does hit the spot when you are in need of that sweet treat.

I have always loved a chocolate cake, and the best part was always that I would help my mum in the kitchen to make one. The recipe that I have used today is actually from Mary Berry, as I have lost my mums recipe and am in need of replacing it as soon as possible. (I haven’t got the heart to tell her I’ve lost it). What I think makes anything you cook and bake taste even better is when you make it with your mum, (or daughter/son), and I definitely think this cake tastes better for me and Isabelle compared to everyone else who has tried it.

So here is my take on the Mary Berry recipe that I have adapted for us, and made the only way I know how. (I only used the ingredients she gives, I didn’t follow her instructions).

Ingredients

  • 250g Self Raising Flour
  • 250g Butter / Margarine
  • 250g Caster Sugar (I used Brown Sugar)
  • 4 Eggs
  • 2 tsp vanilla essence
  • 4 tsp cocoa powder (Isabelle did 6, I didn’t really mind, and it tasted great so she must know something)

For the Ganache’s

  • dark chocolate (we used the sharing bag of Bournville chocolate buttons)
  • White Chocolate (We used the sharing bag of dairy milk white chocolate buttons)
  • Single Cream (we were supposed to use double but single cream was all we had)
  • Icing sugar (I have no idea how much I just did it by eye)

When you cook and bake all the time, or a lot, measurements tend to go out the window. Usually I try to take a note of how much ingredients I am using but sometimes it is nearly impossible.

Method

  1. Line 2 cake tins with greased proof paper, and preheat the oven to 180 degrees
  2. Cream the sugar and butter together
  3. Add in flour and mix
  4. Next add the rest of the ingredients, leaving out the cocoa powder, and mix well. I use an electric whisk to do this to get as much air into the mixture as possible.
  5. Add in the cocoa powder and continue to mix until the batter is smooth and airy.
  6. split mixture into 2 and pour into lined cake tins.
  7. put into oven for 20-25 mins until cooked all the way through.

Tip: Don’t open the oven door until the cake is cooked as it will spoil the rise.

To Make the GANACHE

  1. Melt the chocolate (you are making 2 ganaches, one white chocolate and one dark chocolate so melt the chocolates separately)
  2. Mix in 2 tbsp of single cream. You are looking for a thick cream consistency, continue to add cream by tbsp until it reaches this consistency.
  3. Add in 2 tbsp of icing sugar.
  4. Mix well – this will cause the creamy texture to toughen a little.
  5. Decorate on cake. White chocolate in the centre of the sandwich and dark chocolate on the top.
  6. ENJOY!!

I hope you enjoyed this recipe, if you have any questions feel free to contact me and ask me anything. I am always happy to help.

Much Love

If you wish to see my car crash of a tutorial please see my video below.

Posted in Diary

We Forgot to Put the Bins Out!

Hello everyone, this post marks the beginning of my daily blogging of my everyday life, and as usual we are never short of a laugh or a little bit of drama. Hey! That’s families for you.

Well yesterday was bin day, and we are still trying to get rid of the rubbish we have accumulated over Christmas. It would appear that when you have Christmas at home you end up with a lot more rubbish than usual. We had finally got down to 1 more bag to be put in the bin and then we would be officially caught up. We have been using the bins as normal and then throwing in the Christmas rubbish as we put the bin out to be collected.

Well this week! This week has been a bit different, and our normal routine has been all over the place. Two staff members have been on holiday, which has meant we have been working on different days of the week, and with different staff members too. (Shouldn’t really happen due to the pandemic but it can’t be helped in this situation.) So we ended up not remembering what day it is, or what happens on those particular days due to the fact that our routines are completely wrong. Has anyone else had this before, or is it just me?

It’s Thursday morning 9am, and I wake up to the sound of a bin being emptied outside my house. (Isabelle was at her dads as I was working Wednesday Evening), I sit bolt upright, look out the window, and sure enough there is the bin truck collecting the bins. By the time I get downstairs and open my door to send my bin to the end of my drive in the hopes that it is collected, the truck has gone.

Turned out we had the wrong bin out at the end of our drive.

The Black bin. Why did we have the black bin at the end of the drive?

I literally just sat there and laughed.

“Oh well that’s another 2 weeks now before we can get rid of the recycling.” I say to myself (out loud) as I close the front door and creep back upstairs to get dressed and ready for the day ahead of me.

When I tell my house mate what has happened he laughs and takes me into the garden…… there down the side of the house is another 3 bags of recycling that need to be rid, plus the 2 large cardboard boxes we have been using as a recycling bin inside, and then everything we will accumulate over the next fortnight! Yup, we’re going to have recycling rubbish sat in our house for at least 2 months.

So now we have a garden we can’t really sort out because of the recycling, and a bin we cant fill up because it is already over full. Something tells me this year is going to be a year full of silly things like this. I THINK I’M LOSING MY MIND!!!

I honestly can’t wait for lock down to be over. I need to see my family, and I need to be able to get out of this house. I am going stir crazy. The only places I go at the moment (much like everyone else in the country) is work, the school gates and my house, and the occasional food shop in Aldi. I think it’s time for a long break, away from the house.

I hope you enjoyed my story.

Please let me know if you experience anything like this with your day to day jobs.

Much love

Emma xx