Monday, 28 April 2014

Apple cake with cinnamon crust!

William and I have been baking this morning, and made ourselves a delicious treat!

We used a basic recipe from Mary Berrys website but baked it in a loaf tin instead of a cake tin. As I used a loaf tin I decided to do two layers of sliced apples, rather than one. I also added a cinnamon and sugar crust top. 

Here are the ingredients if you fancy having a go.

  • 225g self-raising flour
  • 1 level tsp baking powder
  • 225g caster sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • ½ tsp almond extract
  • 150g butter, melted
  • 250g cooking apples, peeled and cored
  • 25g flaked almonds

(I left out the flaked almonds and extract, simply because I didn't have any) 

Beat all the ingredients in a bowl and mix it well. In a greased tin, create layers with the mixture and the sliced apples. Sprinkle the almonds on the top, or use a cinnamon and sugar mixture to create a nice crunchy crust instead. 

Bake in the oven at 160o for about 1hr to 1hr 30m, this depends on ur oven. Mine took 1hr 15mins. Check it by putting a skewer through it, when it comes out fairly clean (there may be bits of Apple) it should be ready. 

It tasted lovely and was very easy to make. William enjoyed helping me... Not that you can tell from this picture, he looks a bit confused, perhaps fed up of me taking photos of him. Haha

It was fairly easy to get him involved, by stirring all the ingredients while I chopped the apples. It also meant getting him away from the TV, off the sofa and got him to eat some apple! 

Have a go yourself, and please let me know how you get on!

Saturday, 26 April 2014

JBR, Dubai

The weather in Dubai at the moment is gorgeous! It is pretty warm now, reaching around 36oc plus. It won't be too much longer until it is too hot during the day to go outside for long. So we took the opportunity to pop down to JBR (jumeirah beach residence). It has recently been renovated and had a lot of money spent on doing up the beach side area. It looks modern, fresh and clean. 

The beach here looked really nice. Unfortunately as William still has his cast on we couldn't go onto the sand, he is kinds stuck in his push chair when we go out at the moment. You could see the palm in the distance, with the Atlantis hotel taking centre stage. 

There were some awesome sand castles on display on hype beach. As it's the first time I have been I don't know if these ever get changed, but they were very impressive and we stood looking at the. For quite a while wondering how on earth someone managed to make them and keep them there!

Camel rides were on offer and there was plenty of room to sit and relax or play on the sand. There were great grassed areas too where you could pitch up, personally this area would suit me better as there would be no getting sandy and mucky! In the sea was an area fenced off for inflatables to play on. It looked really good fun, so when William is on his feet again and able to do it we will come back and check it out, along with the small children's water play ground. 

If you want to go along in the evening there are plenty of restaurants to eat at, and also an outdoor cinema! The screen is pretty big and the seating area looked really comfy with beanbags and sofas. I think it costs about 50 aed for a film, and 60 aed to watch a football match. 

We had a nice lunch at Burger fuel, William enjoyed his 'natural nuggets'. We sat there for quite a while, watching all the cars go by, discussing which ones we would like to have. I decided the porches were not flashy enough and I would rather have a Lamborghini. 

"If you are going to spend that much money, you might as well go for it!" I say. 

"We don't have that much money." Says hubby.

Monday, 21 April 2014

Baby turtle shell

I was recently asked to crochet a turtle shell pattern and matching hat for a photographer here in Dubai. They were looking for some props for their baby photo shoots so I have created this for them. 

I have seen some really cute photos online of others and hope this one will look good too on all the yummy babies they photograph! 

I used the pattern found here...  As a starting point. I ended up using trebles instead of half trebles as I had a different hook size. 

My next project for them is a hat and bootie set for handsome baby boys. 

Wednesday, 16 April 2014

Our Easter hols so far...

With William still in a cast, we are trying to find a few things to do with him to keep him entertained. So here is a little round up of what we have been up to...

Baking brownies... Will enjoyed stirring the ingredients and munching on the little off cuts. We are going to give some of the brownies to friends who have helped us out in one way or another over the past couple of weeks.

Lunch out at Shakespeare's and co, William enjoyed his English breakfast and taking photos with my phone!

Bath time with his duckies and farm animals

We also went to the dolphianairum at the Dubai creek park yesterday, which was good fun. We used our entertainer vouchers to get it half price, so it cost us 120 aed (£20 roughly). The dolphianairum is located in huge creek park which is a nice place to go in itself. There is plenty to do for the kids and some lovely grassy areas to relax or run around. We took William for a nice walk around the park and stopped for a drink. There is also a cable car that goes along the park, we weren't sue how William would be able to see anything when sat in his push chair so we will try this another time. 

The dolphianairum show began with a brilliant acrobatic performance, along with a voice over story about a mermaid. She was amazingly! She must be so strong and flexible to be able to do the moves she did! I took a few pictures but the lighting was not great. 

Then came some seals doing tricks...

And the bottle nose dolphins...

As you can see, William thoroughly enjoyed himself!

We have a few more days left of the Easter holidays here in Dubai and will hopefully get out to do a few more things. For now, William and I are going to cuddle up on the sofa, eat chocolate brownies and watch The Lion King!

Crafty Under water scene

William and I love doing crafty activities together. William especially loves painting (and making a mess). 

I decided as we live so near the sea and have visited lots of aquariums here in Dubai, we should do some activities based on an underwater sea theme. I spent quite a While perusing Pinterest for so e ideas and came up with all this lot!

First of all we sponge painted a large piece of cardboard. After moving we had some bits and bobs lying around so we tried to recycle some, some bubble wrap got painted brown and black to turn into some rocks, some cereal box cardboard got painted green and cut into sea weed shapes and we used an old paper bowl to turn into a crab by painting it red, adding pipe cleaner legs and googley eyes! We also used a toilet roll tube as an octopus. 

Another activity that always goes down well with William is hand printing! Probably because it gives him an excuse to get into a big mess! There are loads of ideas on Pinterest and Google for what you can turn your hand and foot prints into. So we used Williams prints as a lobster, hermit crab, sea horse and a jelly fish! 

Our star fish was simply an old cereal box cardboard. We painted it, added googley eyes and drew on a mouth. William also thoroughly enjoyed applying a lot of glitter to it!

We have a bit of a gap in the middle where we hope to do some more crafting once William can sit at he table. He is still in a big cast after breaking his leg but hopefully he will be out of it in a few weeks and we can carry on! 

So what do you think of our underwater sea theme? Pretty cool hey! Have a go yourself with your little ones and let me know how you get on! 

Thursday, 10 April 2014

April showers? More like pouring!

Well... Metaphorically pouring in our house hold this month...

The month began with my son William tripping over a cushion which resulted in him breaking his femur bone! Yep, tripping over a soft cushion. Rubbish story, not even rock and roll at all! Obviously he was in a lot of pain and after a visit to the a and e at city hospital in Dubai our orthopaedic consultant gave us the bad news. His x ray looked horrendous! I couldn't believe it! People kept telling me it was really hard to break your femur and he has probably just sprained it or at worst dislocated it. But no! 

He was promptly booked in to theatre for a manipulation to realign the bones and apply a hip spica cast. The cast was big, scary looking and damm hard to look after! As it was plaster it got damp when nappies leaked at night and sweaty and covered in chocolate milk and all sorts. The cast is meant to stay on for 4 to 6 weeks.  

The first 3 or 4 nights were not good. He would cry out in pain because he kept having muscle spasms on and off all night. We gradually started to get used to the situation and were finding ways of dealing with things. We made sure we took him out for a walk in his push chair each day to get out of the house. He came off the pain killers and was fairly happy during the day. 

You may have noticed I am using past tense there... 

Because yesterday morning we had an appointment for x ray and check up at the hospital. But unfortunately the x ray showed his bone had moved since being in plaster and was now completely wonky, about a 45o angle! We were obviously gutted! So this meant booking him in to theatre again for another general anaesthetic to take the cast off, realign the bone and fit a new cast! Baring in mind that William is only 2 years old, usually a very lovely child and loves his swimming and playing at the park. 

So we have had to start again which is really annoying! We feel like the last week has been an absolute waste of time! And that William has gone through it all and been in pain for nothing! So the 6 weeks starts again! We have an appointment on Sunday to check it again so we are not leaving it so long this time, just in case! 

Lots of watching despicable me and playin iPad games. We managed to find quite a few new games for him that involve puzzles and colour matching etc so it gives his brain a little work out. You can't help but feel guilty relying on these electronic devices but needs must! As soon as he gets better we will be back to our usual active activities! 

This cast seems more robust at the moment and although it covers more of him, hopefully it will be easier to look after. 

If anyone has experience of this sort of thing I would love to hear about it! Any tips on keeping the cast clean? Things we can do with him to entertain him and keep him happy while having to lie down all the time? 

So this month so far has definitely been April showers and more! I am really hoping that nothing else happens! Eek!