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Love

The secret of a long-lasting relationship finally revealed

Few weeks ago we were asked to be part of an online campaign for an international Company. At first we were not being revealed what Company was for. We were just been told that this Company was about to release a new innovative product on the market and that they were looking for real couples to be part of their online campaign.

Imagine my face when they told us the Company was ….Durex!!!

We flew down to London for a day and filmed in an amazing central location. It was a pretty good experience and the crew was incredibly helpful and lovely to make us feel relaxed in front of huge lights and million of cameras.

The campaign was released today… I’m not kidding you when I’m saying that my heart was pounding when I first watched it!

Here we go…

And because now we are ambassadors for this campaign, I guess the turn-off button must be used more often in our house 😉

 

All you need is Family love

On Sunday we are going to have a big celebration for my husband’s 40th birthday (eeeekk) and obviously we’ll have many cakes and sweet treats.

Because of this,  I thought I would bake a cake for Valentines’ day few days earlier.  This year I wanted to celebrate what I believe is the biggest love you can have: a family!

Valentine's family love

During the endless hours spent at night on Pinterest (I know I should be sleeping!), I often see these sweet little love birds on cakes and cupcakes so I got the idea to create a cute family of 4 birds which would represent us.

love cake

I first baked some cookies shaped like birds, decorated with royal icing and set them aside. With the rest of the dough I made mini cookie hearts and coloured them with royal icing too.

I then baked a super moist sponge cake, prepared a Nutella and ricotta filling and assemble it all together. I covered the cake in lilac fondant and placed the birds on top by using some toothpicks. At last I attached the cookie hearts all around like a garland.

Valentine's day cake

The result is not perfect but I literally did in less than a day while the kids were nappy or playing so I guess it’s not too bad (self pat-pat on my back :))

love birds cake

Whatever you do, however you celebrate,  I hope this Valentine’s day will bring you much love … and cake!

I am a lucky mamma

Today, especially today, I feel like the luckiest person ever.

I’ve been following this incredible brave mum and her blog for quite a while now. Two years ago today, she lost her 9 months old daughter to SIDS and I cannot help but be moved to tears every time I read her blog, every time I see her pics on Instagram, every time I feel her pain through her words…

As a mom. I just CAN-NOT imagine how hard it must be. I wish I could do something to alleviate her pain, her struggle to keep living and fighting for the sake of her other precious children. I just pray… every day Matilda and her family are in my prayers.

It’s crazy how you can feel so close to someone you don’t even know…I guess motherhood keeps us all in the same pod and if someone feels the pain then we share it all together. I’d hope that knowing how much love we all feel for her could do a teeny tiny fraction of good but I guess the pain is so immense that it’s almost impossible to bear it…

Today, particularly today, I feel lucky, I know I am lucky.

I’ve got two gorgeous cheeky children who I adore with all my heart and I don’t think my life would ever make sense without them. It’s moments like this when you stop, once more, and you reflect.. and you feel silly for the many times you got crossed over worthless matters and for a fraction you forgot the real joy of life: every day moments with your loved ones, simple acts that make your life worth living.

my life

Every morning my children leave the house with their dad to go to nursery. They kiss me goodbye until I see them again in the afternoon.

For a while now, I’ve been teaching Leonardo to give me a kiss before he leaves the house. I usually have to call him and say “Give a big kiss to mamma!” so he stops, turns back and gives me a kiss (most of the time wetting my whole face! lol). This morning while I was tying Bee’s shoes, I could see Leo going out the door then, without me saying anything, he stopped came towards me with his little feet and with a smile he stamped a kiss on my lips…

It was precious… it meant the world to me… It was one of those moments when you feel your heart exploding because there is so much love.

my loves

For this and for many other little-BIG moments of my life,  I am extremely grateful…

Today, once more, I feel lucky.

Celebrating family time in our kitchen

As a family we tend to spend most of our time together around the kitchen. A part from using the kitchen table to have our meals, colouring books, playing games, we all love eating good food therefore my children love watching mummy preparing nice meals and baking scrumptions cakes (and watching daddy eating them) so I can easily say that the heart of our home is our Kitchen.

Last Sunday for Father’s day, we decided to prepare something all together.  We opted for Chocolate and Vanilla Cupcakes covered with Nutella frosting! Bee was the first one to put her apron on and impatiently waited for mummy to give her tasks to do.

She’s usually in charge of breaking the eggs (somehow she loves it!LOL) and then adding the ingredients inside (quite a lot outside too) the mixer. She looks so concentrated when she bakes along with me, it’s actually quite funny to watch!

Making these Nutella cupcakes is dead easy. I used my usual Vanilla cupcake recipe and I added to tbsp of cocoa powder to that.

For the frosting I just went with what I thought would create a yummy frosting so I mixed together:

– 100gr of Nutella

– 100gr of sifted icing sugar

– 80 ml of heavy cream

and once I had a creamy smooth consistency, I  put it in the fridge and left it for an hour or so before piping it on the cupcakes.

Tip: make a little hole and take some of the cake off from each cupcake so that you get more frosting in it!

“Hey daddy, do we look good in pink?”

This time Leonardo gave it a go too. He was mainly attracted to the noise that the mixer was making so he wanted to come closer and have a better look at what was going on.

Leonardo little chef

I had a fraction of a second where I thought nobody was looking so I quickly licked the mixture off my fingers but.. daddy caught me!

Daddy usually is in charge of entertaining the kids while mummy carefully puts the cupcakes in the oven.

A little fight broke over who was going to play with the cakepop mould…

Yummy chocolate cupcakes are rising well!

Bee is the happiest kid when she spends time helping to bake in the kitchen and if her adorable father is next to her, then there is nothing better!

“Mummy look, daddy is all mine!” I know, I know…

I truly enjoy baking and cooking, it totally relaxes me. But then it comes the time to tidy all up and I swear I cannot be bothered to rinse it all and clean well all the dishes before loading them into my dishwasher (like my mum thought me to do – sorry mum!). I found that by using Fairy Platinum, I really don’t need to do any particular pre-wash in the sink because my dishes still come out clean and shiny so why not use that time in a better way, ie frosting the cupcakes with a delicious Nutella topping ?

Perfect! A fresh strawberry on the top and voila’

We are all happy now, we prepared lovely cupcakes for daddy’s day and we just cannot wait to taste them ( in fact Bee is smiling in this picture but she was kind of getting a bit impatient as she had already been asking to eat a cupcake for 10 minutes!)

 Leonardo is looking pretty eager to get his hands on that frosting too!

 “Mummy, stop taking pictures, can I eat it now?!?”

Love and sweets, what else do you need in your family?!?

And this is how we spend amazing family time in our kitchen, laughing, playing and making the most out of every daily celebration!

I caught all three of you! Happy days!

 

*This post is an entry for the “My Kitchen Story” Linky Challenge, in collaboration with Fairy Platinum

My Sweet Valentine dessert table

My husband and I have been together for 8 years and we have NEVER celebrated Valentine’s day. This year, inspired by some amazing pictures I found on Pinterest (yes again Pinterest!) I wanted to create a dessert table for Valentine’s day to inspire people who do celebrate it! The same dessert table could be created for your loved ones birthday too so no need to wait for Valentine’s day!

For the first time I attempted to make a ruffle cake using Swiss Meringue Buttercream which I love! Swiss meringue buttercream has a silk consistency, its texture is light and the taste is just amazing! You really need to give it a go. I have to admit, it’s not the easiest buttercream to make but I’m glad I found the perfect recipe plus some tips and trick to prepare it.

The cake itself is a simple vanilla sponge cut in two with a layer or swiss meringue buttercream in the middle.

I then made some square and round vanilla cookies filled with strawberry jam. To make the jam look less lumpy I first heated it with some water to get a smooth consistency. Please before filling the cookies, make sure you let the jam cool otherwise your biscuit will go all soggy.

I liked the idea to have a second cake on the side. This is a vanilla sponge filled with a layer of creme patissiere and rasperries coulis covered in vanilla fondant. The heart on the top is made out of red vanilla fondant.

As soon as I saw this chalk board on the shop shelf I fell in love with it!! I looked like the perfect background for my dessert table. Luckily I have a creative husband so I asked him to write the message on the board. I think it looks fab!

I’d like to explain the messy ruffles on the top of the cake (promise it’s not an excuse). Very rarely I’ve got free time to do things without my kids. On Sunday when I decided to create this ruffle cake I asked my husband to take both my kids away playing in another room as I had to concentrate on the ruffles. I did the sides well then when I was approching the ruffles on the top my daughter came into the kitchen…

“Mummy, what you doing?”

“Making a cake…”

“Oh  mummy it’s lovely! Why are you making a cake?”

“For my dessert table and then we can eat it all together”

“Why are you covering the top… ?!? Why are you using the red colour…?!? Why are your hands all red…??!!? Why…. (endless questions) ”

For every “why” my hand was taking speed so that’s why the ruffles look a bit rough!

I found these lovely free printables on the Thetomkatstudio website. I just adore their work and these simples Valentine’s cards gave a lovely touch to my desser table.

For this Valentine’s table I’m using again (yeah I know but I love them!) my milk bottles decorated with some heart straws and silk ribbon.

These Vanilla cupcakes are covered with cream cheese buttercrem and red chocolate hearts. I made the chocolate hearts by melting some red candy melt chocolate then I filled a mini piping bag made out of parchment paper and tried to pipe little heart shapes. They don’t look perfect and I like that.

Red tulips… love this flower.

Little vanilla heart cookies and small meringues.

When I had finished to take pictures and cleared the dessert table, I put all cookies and bits and pieces on this wooden board and made a picture of it, just because.. I loved it so much that despite not being part of the table I wanted to add it to this post.

 

You rock, Mint rocks!

 

I was struggling to find the perfect drink to fill the champagne flutes. I knew I wanted something sparkling but the colour was never right. To cut a long story short, I ended up buying some Pink Lucozade and adding  few drops of red food colouring lol!  In need of energy, this morning when I woke up I gulped the drink down… wondering if someone saw me drinking from a champagne flute at 7 o’clock in the morning!

Please note the glass cloche with a heart on the top, isn’t it cute?

 

Sweet Valentine’s day everyone!