Where have I been?

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Hi it’s me : She Makes Moments.

6 months is a long time huh? So where have I been? If I said I’d been changing my life that would probably sound a bit sensationalist wouldn’t it?  But, it’s the truth.

In April, I found out I was being made redundant from my teaching job. This was the second time this had happened and for me the final straw between me and teaching so I decided after 14 years to retire my whiteboard pens and walk away from my career, the only work I had known.

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You see, I had already been training with @digtitalmums to become a Freelance Social Media Manager and although I may not have chosen to forge my new career path so soon it seemed that everything was pointing that way.

So, in September I set up Louise Upchurch Social and am now working as a Social Media Manager and Consultant. If you are in need of any help in these areas don’t hesitate to contact me!

Oh and the other life changing thing? A second pregnancy, bump is due in February and we recently discovered we are Team Pink.

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My aim to get my blog back up and running and re-connect. Turns out She Make Moments was a real indicator of things to come.

So how are you and what has been going on with you in the last 6 months?

She makes: The park and puddles #mywildones 

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One of my favourite things to do is visit our local park. There is nothing better than a vast expanse of nature for little man to run around in with wild abandon.

  
Parks are also the perfect place to play with sticks or lightsabers without causing an damage!

   
 Re-enacting Star Wars battles with  Daddy are an essential part of any park trip.

   
 But best of all are the puddles!

   
 Nothing beats the pure exhilaration of jumping in a puddle!

  

MyWildOnes

She makes: Gluten free orange and lemon cake

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Baking with little man is one of my favourite things to do. It is magic, messy and madness all at the same time.

My sister eats a  gluten free diet, fed up with watching her bring out her packet of gluten free brownies every time the rest of us eat a dessert, I decided to bake my own gluten free cake.

I did have my doubts especially as the recipe called for 250g of mashed potato but I decided to go with it. You can find the recipe I used here

This was a day that little man decided he only wanted to wear trousers hence the apron and the guns out!

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We tend to use an electric mixer as it is quicker and strangely mesmerising for a toddler.

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Butter and sugar added first. I allow a very ‘hands-on’ approach for this. Then, it’s time to take a deep breath and go for the eggs. This recipe call for 4 eggs. We had a pack of 6 which was lucky as one ended up on the table and one on the floor!

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Notice in the photo above little man’s hair has added flour. This is one of the messy moments I have come to expect along with the egg cracking!

 

The mixer provides a good distraction while prepping the rest of the ingredients.

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The recipe itself is very straight forward to follow, even with a toddler. He did argue with me for a while about putting mashed potato into the mixture “You don’t put mashed potato into cakes mummy!”

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Orange and Lemon rind and juice added to flavour the cake. The mixture ends up being very mousse like even after the mashed potato is added.

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I did have concerns at this point that the mixture was far too wet and would not resemble a cake once baked!

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I was pleasantly surprised once the cooking time was over. I did find when I checked it looked really soggy in the oven right up until the 45 minutes was done and then it suddenly seemed to come together right at the end.

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The end result which was enjoyed by everyone including those of us who are used to more traditional cake with added gluten! The mashed potato does help to bind the cake and give it more of a firm structure so it avoids the sometimes crumbly nature of other gluten free cakes.

I would definitely make it again, it had a really good flavour to it enhanced by adding lemon juice to the icing sugar for the icing.

Despite flour everywhere and a couple of cracked eggs to clear up I won’t be put off baking with little man. It is great to see the joy on his face as we create. He also asks lots of questions about the ingredients and processes and is learning how to bake which is a great skill for him to have as he grows up!

She makes: Garden fun #mywildones

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Now that the weather has decided cheer up and we are beginning to see more of that delightful yellow stuff called sunshine, we are once again utilising the garden.

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The great thing about patio doors leading straight form the kitchen to the garden is that we can make a cup of coffee and keep a close watch on the little man at the same time. It is also self contained, so no worries about having to run after him if he decided he is going to continue honing his sprinting skills!

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First on our list of activities was helping Daddy clean the windows, water of course being an instant win with any toddler.

Then, it was time for bubbles another holy grail in the toddler world.

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I loved the complete exhilaration on little man’s face as he dived into this activity with complete abandon.

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There was something quite wonderful about the sunshine, cool breeze and bubbles floating in the air.

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The garden is going to become one of our most frequented places whenever there is sunshine now.

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MyWildOnes

She makes: Messy play – shaving foam and paint #mywildones

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Messy play is exactly as it says. There is no such thing as clean messy play but it can be contained messy play and it is one of the reasons we bought a tuff tray. 

  
Today, I was feeling particularly brave and decided on shaving foam and paint. 

  
This is a definite hands on, all in activity. The apron was never really going to cut it.

   
It’s quite simple to set up – spray shaving foam into a tray and spread it so it covers it. 

  
   Then add different coloured paint. 

  
Mix together to give a marble effect. We used a chopstick.

   
Then add paper and you get a great marbled effect. 

However, you have to be prepared to go off plan and embrace the sensory experience of this…

   
Foamy footprints were a favoured choice.

  
Along with hands in and foamy handprints.

    
   
 After this, a free for all with foam and paint everywhere!

   
   
 

 This was a lot of fun with shrieks of joy and sheer excitement throughout. 

  
 Clean up was simple, toddler in the shower first and then the tuff tray.

  
Oh and we even ended up with some art work too. 

 

  
I would highly recommend this activity with a toddler it engages and provides a great opportunity for them to get messy and have a full on sensory experience. 

MyWildOnes