#ShareTheLove of baking this Christmas

I love to #ShareTheLove of baking at Christmas with friends and family. Sometimes this is with a simple baked cookie, or gingerbread. I have made jam and cakes and even my own mincemeat. This year I wanted to get the boy involved and #ShareTheLove of baking and decided that I would dig out our old family favourite Christmas cake recipe.

Our family recipe for Christmas cake is from our neighbour from when I was very small. Aunty Ursula was the lady in the road that all the kids used to go to for cake and sweet treats. My mum made friends with Ursula not long after we moved to Sussex, and was a source of much of my mum’s baking knowledge. A few years ago I was given the piece of paper with Ursula’s Xmas cake recipe. The paper almost as memorable as the cake itself and since then I have vowed to recreate the cake of my family Christmases.

#sharethelove

Ursula’s cake is a lighter fruit cake, which can be baked right up until before Christmas as there is no need to feed the cake, unless you wanted too! I have also slightly altered the ingredients as me and the family don’t like mixed peel so I like to add chopped stem ginger into the mix. The recipe is also in pounds and oz. This is no problem weighing ingredients with digital scales but makes it interesting when trying to buy my ingredients.

I love the boy helping me in the kitchen as I remember helping my Nan who was the real baker of the family. It’s great to #ShareTheLove at Christmas even if the most I can get the boy doing is weighing the ingredients and having a wishing stir. Ok so he also enjoyed licking the spoon and declared the mix a success.

Whitworths are encouraging family’s to #ShareTheLove with the best ingredients and a beautiful story book of family and the true meaning of Christmas. Visit the website  and download this sweet tale, and their cake recipe from the story. Sometimes its good to have time to spend making and baking gifts that you can share with family and friends. I love traditions and maybe one day the boy will #ShareTheLove with his family and have a slice of cake that will remind him of his childhood Christmases too.

Disclaimer we were sent a selection or Whitworths ingredients so that we could bake our cake and share our story with you.

The Book Of Everyone – Review

The Book Of Everyone is a fantastic personalised gift that is suitable for just about anyone and everyone. Available to order online from the book of everyone website. Prices from £7.95 for a digital copy up to £49.95 for the deluxe ribboned edition.

I was offered a hardback book to customize as a gift and decided Dragon Dad would be the perfect recipient. Dragon Dad can be tricky to buy for as he doesn’t really have any hobby’s. The Book Of Everyone has turned out to be the best gift for him. I started with the online book builder and decided to customize the book of Dad. There are plenty of other options including the Book of Everyone Christmas edition which looks fun.

everyone

The website was easy to use, once I had changed my region to the UK. You add in the recipient’s name and date of birth, choosing the ages to be displayed on the pages of the book. You can add in your details so the recipient knows who the book is from and the colours of the cover. Then comes the part that I enjoyed the most, customizing the pages.

The pages of the book of everyone include set pages with fun facts of the day the recipient was born. Other pages can be changed either with different pictures of colours. Some pages you can change the wording, add in your own jokes and quotes and things personal to the recipient. I took a while to complete the book of everyone as I wanted to add in a few personal quotes for Dad Dragon.

book-of-everyone-pages

There are a great mix of pages with retro pictures and a quirky feel. The book of everyone is packed with facts and it was hard not to want to read every page as I was putting the book together. Adding in a few personal family jokes in reference to his love of Jaffa cakes adds a personal touch to the book of everyone. Finally you place the order and sit back to wait for your book of everyone to be delivered.

I was very impressed with delivery too. The book of everyone arrived quickly and beautifully packaged. The quality of the book is great and the book has a lovely hardback cover with a matt and expensive feel to it. I love the lion on the cover and the contrast print. The pages are good quality and the print quality is great. I loved having a look through the finished book of everyone and cant wait to see what Dad Dragon thinks of this unique gift.

book-of-everyone-gift

Each book of everyone comes with a link for family and friends to have a look at your personalised book online so sharing the fun facts of the recipient. If you would like to win a personalised book of everyone then enter my giveaway below, or visit the website for a truly unique gift.

The Book Of Everyone

Terms & Conditions:

The giveaway is open to the UK only

  • It is mandatory to leave a comment in the post comment section answering the question specified. Other tasks completed will gain additional entries. The winner will be checked to make sure they have both left a comment and completed the task for the winning entry.
  • Winner will be drawn randomly after the competition closes at 23:59 on Wednesday 7th December 2016
  • The winner will be sent an  e-mail to the e-mail address left at time of entry. The winner will need to reply to the e-mail within 7 days of the notification. Every effort will be made to contact the winner, but if no response is made within the 7 days a new winner will be chosen.
  • The prize details are stated at the top of the giveaway, and may be subject to change if they become unavailable.
  • The prize will be posted by the promoter, unfortunately I cannot be held responsible or replace missing parcels. Please contact me if there is a problem.
  • Please allow 28 days from notification for your prize to be sent out.
  • This competition is listed at: Win competitions at ThePrizeFinder.com and SuperLucky
SuperLucky Blog Giveaway Linky

New Minecraft handbooks

There are two Minecraft handbooks, Combat and Construction, available now for RRP £7.99 from Egmont publishing. As soon as the boy spotted them in Waterstones last week, he didn’t stop talking about them. I was hoping to keep their arrival a surprize for our two weeks at home, but in the end I had to tell him. Each day waiting for the postman was like torture, and after a few problems the box finally arrived.

The boy couldn’t even wait to get the tape of the box he was so excited, and he wasn’t disappointed either. These Minecraft books just like the ones we reviewed earlier in the year, are a Minecraft fan’s dream. Despite the distraction of his favourite TV programme, he was soon nose buried in a copy of the Minecraft Construction book.

Minecraft handbooks

There are now four of these handy sized books, with The beginner’s handbook and redstone being the first two. The combat and construction books follow on from the first, and have a great mix of hints, tips, and visual information. Who am I kidding! I know very little about Minecraft, I know you build things, and I know the boy loves it like lots of other 8 year olds.

minecraft fun

Even I can appreciate that these books are detailed enough and simple enough for anyone to follow. The boy convinced me that we would have to have a go at building together, and if I could work out how to make the x-box do this it would have been a lovely way to spend an afternoon. However, it turned out that the boy would have to build on his own for now. Sparked by all the fantastic buildings from the contruction handbook, he enjoyed his afternoon of creations and made a fantastic castle. Not quite the mansions of the Minecraft construction book, but still pretty impressive.

reading about minecraft

We even found a Minecraft Dragon, and now I know all about what it takes to slay and Ender Dragon! Not that I will be doing anything like that to a fellow dragon. The boy says that these books are “Epic” and didn’t disappoint, despite the wait. Its just a shame he cant use them as part of the school reader scheme, but we will be studying them to use for his cubs readers badge instead.

minecraft construction
These new Minecraft books are a great gift, and one that I think we will be getting the boys cousin for his birthday later in the year. Minecraft handbooks are all available now for RRP £7.99 each, look out for offers, as our local Waterstones was doing buy one get one half price. There are also some great Minecraft days in Waterstone across the country so keep your eyes peeled at your local shop, or on the Egmont Facebook page for more information.

Disclaimer we were sent these books for review and the opinions remain our own.

Bizzy the Butterfly giveaway

Today I have a lovely giveaway for younger children, Bizzy the Butterfly is a charming book and CD with nature at the heart of the story.

Do you have a garden? Or do you live near a park? Have you ever seen a butterfly? If you have then there is just a chance that you may have seen Bizzy the Butterfly. Bizzy the Butterfly is quite small. She has white wings with tiny black dots on them, and she is always fluttering around the flowers. She likes all of the flowers, but she likes purple flowers the best.

Bizzy the Butterfly is the first book in a series from Emily Longmore and has been made specially for babies and toddlers. It is a beautiful mix of story and music and is an excellent way to encourage children to explore and learn using their imaginations. I love the bright clear illustrations in this book, and I know it would have been something the boy would have loved when he was smaller. I think all children have a fascination with nature and see all the small things we don’t have time as adults to stop and see. I know the boy loved ladybirds and all our books had to have a ladybird somewhere!

The book comes with a CD that has two versions of the story on it – the
first features the audiobook version with lots of music and the second version features the audiobook with games that correlate with the illustrations in the book during the musical interludes. The book is available to buy from the Bizzy Butterfly Website and Amazon and you can chat to Bizzy on Facebook and Twitter

I am so pleased that I have been given a special pack to giveaway, this includes Bizzy the Butterfly book and CD, recipe cards, colouring in, activity sheets and stickers. For your chance to win enter below:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Link up, Read, Enter and Enjoy!

Children's Book Week Badge

Disclaimer I have been offered a copy of this book to giveaway the opinions remain mine and have not been altered. Giveaway open to the UK only.