Mook’s Bicycle & Scooter Party

 

Mook's Bicycle & Scooter Party

Mook’s Bicycle & Scooter Party

Birthday Parties can be an expensive business. So this year, when Mook wanted (needed) a new bike, we talked about ways that we could scale back on a birthday party as she was having such an expensive present.

She was very gracious, possibly helped by the fact that we bought the new bike two weeks early, and we all sat down and talked about possible party ideas. Lulu hit on the great idea of having a ‘Bicycle and Scooter Party’ – which went down well with everyone, and so, this year Mook’s Party was a fantastic reminder that simple pleasures can be an absolute delight – and don’t need to cost the earth (literally!).

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Nanny Mook & Lulu’s Easter Afternoon Tea

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Nanny Mook & Lulu’s Easter Afternoon Tea

‘Ooh, I didn’t expect you to go to all this trouble!” said Nanny M&L, when she arrived for her Easter afternoon tea, but there is something special about showing how much someone is appreciated with homemade gifts.

Lulu helped make the cakes, and as she proudly presented her sticky gingerbread to Nanny (for once heeding the plea not to bound in), it was lovely to see that she also understood the joy of taking the time to make something yourself.

I love that my kids are now old enough to help in the kitchen. There have been several occasions where I’ve lost Mook and Lulu’s help in the kitchen once the cake mixture has been made, as they disappear off, spoons in hand, to ‘clean’ the mixing bowl.  Lulu and I enjoyed making our Easter cakes together, but I would advise using a sprinkling of patience, and a serious adjustment to your schedule – little hands and lots of questions do make the process last a little longer than usual!

We made Nanny….

Quick & Easy Easter Make for Kids – Carrot Garland

IMG_2067Easter is another great opportunity to try something new with the kids, and brighten things up with some Easter decorations – and this Carrot Garland certainly fits the bill.  It’s very quick and easy to make, and should keep the kids busy for an hour or so.

You will need:

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The Writing Process Blog Tour

My dear friend Becky recently contacted me to ask me to join the Writing Process Blog Tour. Becky’s blog http://pagetoplate.blogspot.co.uk reveals her exploration and recreation of food in literature.  Having been fortunate enough to sample some of Becky’s fabulous cooking, and being aware of her great knowledge of literature, I can think of no finer person to enlighten readers of the wonderful relationship between food and literature.  Do pop across and have a look at her blog.

As part of the Writing Process Blog Tour bloggers answer four questions about how they write, and then introduce fellow bloggers, who will continue the process.  Here are my thoughts about my writing process.

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Afternoon Tea for Granny Mook & Lulu for Mother’s Day

Afternoon Tea for Granny Mook & Lulu for Mother's Day

Afternoon Tea for Granny Mook & Lulu for Mother’s Day

When everyone is so busy it can be all to easy to pass ‘like ships’ post childcare arrangements, but today we’ve had a wonderful day spending time with Granny Mook & Lulu for Mother’s Day.

We started the day, bright and early, at The Big Cake Show in Westpoint, Exeter. There were some fabulous stands from local producers, and an event like this is a great way to meet small artisan producers of innovative and creative local food and drink. I came away with some fantastically priced vintage teacups, a jug and sugar bowl – all perfect for Granny M&L’s afternoon tea. I would also recommend a visit to The Big Cake Show for the competition cakes alone – themed for the South West. Amazing!

We then popped down the road to see the other creative half of Mookandlulusblog.com, Claire, at her friends farm.  Mook and Lulu could not have been happier to count eggs, stroke chickens, meet horses and whoop at puppies!  Thank you Cathy!

We rounded our lovely day off with afternoon tea at Mook & Lulu Towers (Granny helpfully took Mook & Lulu to the park while we set up).

Granny Mook & Lulu was treated to iced shoe-shaped cookies (Granny loves shoes!), lemon & blueberry cupcakes, finger sandwiches, cheese, bacon and sundried tomato scones (fresh from the oven), granny’s favourites – sugar almonds, and tea from a tea pot in one of the vintage teacups. Perfect!

Happy Mother’s Day Granny Mook & Lulu!

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Nanny Mook & Lulu’s turn next!

 

Iced cookies

Iced cookies

Cheese, Bacon & Sundried Tomato Scones

Cheese, Bacon & Sundried Tomato Scones

Afternoon Tea for Granny Mook & Lulu

Afternoon Tea for Granny Mook & Lulu

Mook & Lulu’s Lemon and Blueberry Cupcakes for Mother’s Day

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Looking for last-minute-inspiration for a baked treat for Mother’s Day?

Why not give these fruity Mook & Lulu Lemon & Blueberry Cupcakes a try?  There’s still time to nip out and pick up the ingredients and you can whip them up in no time at all.

You will need:

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World Book Day

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World Book Day – Mook Baggins and Lulu the Gruffalo

It may have escaped your notice, but today is World Book Day!

We love World Book Day at Mook and Lulu’s. It’s a really great way to remind old and young alike how wonderful books are.

Many schools sign up to organising book-themed events for the day and these activities can really go a long way to presenting books as a captivating resource, and reading as a fulfilling pastime.

Mook and Lulu’s schools have both arranged a ‘Dress Up as Your Favourite Book Character’ event, and throughout the day will be leading the children through a range of themed activities.

Mook and Lulu both went as their current favourite characters – Mook dressed up as Bilbo Baggins, from The Hobbit, and Lulu could not have been more excited to be going to school as the Gruffalo (She has been counting down the sleeps!).

Of course, dressing up is great fun for kids, but I do hope the day has a greater resonance with young readers. The excitement around World Book day also needs to be capitalised on by schools and parents.

I was talking with a teacher a couple of years ago, who said she was struggling to explain to the school’s literacy coordinator that there needed to be a review of reading book sets the school was using.  As a means of assessing a child’s reading level the books were useful, but the books themselves were not appealing to the children.  Mook and Lulu love books, but we know it can be a struggle to get them to read their school books.

This is not something new. I could find myself lost in the world of Narnia for days on end – and could be miserable for days after reading the complete set.  The only real joy I got from the set reading scheme books was to see how fast I could read them to get onto the next one – always with the hope that the next one would be better.  It rarely was.

With the easy attractions of gaming consoles, apps and computers, schools and parents need to look at ways of introducing children to absolute joy a good book can bring, particularly in relation to the prescribed assessment reading books.

I’m happy to say, that at a parent teacher meeting this week, a teacher told me the school had recently adopted a set of reading books called Project X.  These are books with an interactive online element and they are proving really popular with the school’s students.  Of course, the teacher and I quietly lamented the loss of appeal the children’s classics had for some children, but if ultimately an interactive book can fire up the imagination of young readers, who can then develop a love of books and reading, then I’m all for it.

Love and biscuits

Love and biscuits

Must be love… we iced cookies all day yesterday!

Valentine’s – Love and Biscuits x

Video short of our iced cookies

Cabin Fever? Try Valentine’s Day Crafting with the Kids

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Mook’s Valentine Card

So yesterday was the calm before the ‘next’ storm.  This year, that means we had glimpses of sunshine, in between heavy showers of rain and hail, with a little less wind than on previous days.  Needless to say, we’re all going a little stir crazy.

Thankfully, we have not had to contend with the tragic consequences some people are suffering after the recent storms. But, when the level of activity in the rabbit hutch suggests they are planning their next ‘great escape’, and the kids are being ever more inventive in their mischief, it’s time for a distraction…

Sadly, the rabbits will have to make do with extra helpings of carrots and cabbage, but today Mook and Lulu have been happily crafting for Valentine’s Day.

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Lulu’s Love Bug Card

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