Review: Conker Eyeball sensory tray | Nanny Anita

It’s time to conker! Every September my loads seem to catch every conker they see and we end up with baskets full. I managed to siphon some and use them in my conker eyeball sensory tray for part of our Halloween activities.

Be sure to follow my Halloween board on Pinterest for more details. Don’t forget to save the pin for later.

To make your own conker eyeball sensory tray, you will need:

  • Conkers
  • Acrylic paint
  • Paint brushes
  • Rice
  • Farfalle pasta
  • Tray
  • Spoons and containers

Start by preparing your rice and pasta. To dye the rice, simply put the rice in a container with the paint color of your choice, seal it tightly, and shake it until all the rice is evenly covered. Then place it on a tray to dry. I made three batches.

For the Farfalle pasta, I tried the same technique as the rice, but it didn’t work very well. In the end, I had to paint each of them individually. But it’s just me who’s a perfectionist.

Making conker eyeballs takes time. It’s perfect to do in the evening while watching TV. I was doing mine while trying to watch Korean period drama, not the best thing because I was missing the subtitles.

Give each conker a few base coats of white paint. Acrylic paint works best for this because it sticks better. Make sure to let each coat of paint dry completely before adding the next coat. Then paint your irises and pupils. On some of them, I added veins.

conker eyeball sensory tray

When the rice, pasta, and conkers are completely dry, add them to a large, deep tray with spoons and containers.

conker eyeball sensory tray

I added some wooden BB clamps to use.

I also added a black light because I made a batch of rice with a glow-in-the-dark paint.

conker eyeball sensory tray

BB absolutely loved searching the conker eyeball sensory tray with the black light torch. He found it fascinating that there were white dots on everything.

conker eyeball sensory tray

If you enjoyed this conker eyeball sensory board, be sure to check out my tasteless sensory board for babies and memory board game.

Pin for later:

Halloween conker eyeball sensory tray for children.

Nanny AnitaHalloween Activities

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Review: My Baba Measure: What’s Hot This Week

We’ve put together a list of locations in the UK where you and your little ones can pick your own pumpkin. Don’t forget to book your tickets in advance!

Owa Yukira was founded in London by Japanese mother-daughter duo Yuki and Yuriko Oshima.

This gorgeous jumpsuit is a unisex piece and made from quality Japanese denim. The jumpsuit offers a loose and loose fit, with a soft elastic waistband that sits comfortably on the body and an easy-access snap button opening at the front.

A comfortable and cool outfit for a fun winter day.

Oh! Look! A fox! is a unique children’s book that embraces neurodiversity, written from the perspective of children who are wired differently.

This highly anticipated and unique children’s book was launched during ADHD Awareness Month 2020, bringing fun and relief to children, families and teachers. Award-winning Welsh filmmaker and content producer Nathan Erasmus has collaborated with talented Polish illustrator Monika Dzikowicz, to release a new kind of children’s book that embraces neurodiversity, written from the perspective of children who are wired differently. The book was created with health professionals and offers a fresh and supportive alternative to parents and children with ADHD.

Bravado Designs has released a truly versatile bra set that will be a complete game-changer for breastfeeding and pumping moms. The Original Pumping & Nursing Bra allows moms to breastfeed comfortably, have their hands free when pumping, or do both at the same time!

Ergobaby customers can try everything CARiFiT has to offer for themselves for FREE, as they team up for the next three months. Each carrier or package purchased from Ergobaby will include full access and online membership to CARiFiT for six weeks.

Frankie Campbell passed lockdown creating and then launching a line of vegan soaps that are gentle on your hands and the environment. Each bar of soap is unique, and that’s because they are all handmade using traditional methods. The soaps are scented with the finest natural butters, essential oils, botanical infusions, and natural ingredients to ensure they are good for your skin and our precious environment. There are eight different soaps to choose from and seven of them are vegan!

Leading US brand Safe Sleep, HALO, just launched here in the UK and it’s sure to be ready to ruffle some feathers.

The SleepSack swaddle and sleeping bag are already available and the innovative BassiNest will be available from November 8. The HALO SleepSack swaddle is the only swaddle that allows you to swaddle in three ways: arms in, hands-to-face and arms out. The BassiNest is the only bedside cradle on the market that rotates 360 ° for safe, close sleep.

HALO was founded in 1991 by Bill Schmid who lost his firstborn from SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome). Schmid then made it his mission to ensure that another family did not have to experience the same tragedy.

The Bbhygme pregnancy pillow is now available in pretty watercolor prints, taking inspiration from different forms of water and all that it symbolizes. There are two new watercolor colors, watercolor blue (photo below) and watercolor beige.


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Luxury baby skincare brand Baby Kingdom offers beautiful baby products created with fresh, clean scents that leave babies feeling great – like babies. These products are gentle enough for use on sensitive skin to help relieve symptoms of eczema, psoriasis, and cradle and the products are 97% 99% natural and free from sulfates, parabens and other severe irritants.

Bond Touch is an ’emotional wearable’ that keeps loved ones connected through touch (feels great right now given the current climate!).

Each Bond Touch order comes with two wristbands – you wear one and your partner / family member / friend wears the other. With a simple touch, your loved one feels a vibrant “touch” letting them know it’s in your mind. You can even create your own secret codes to decipher what the keys mean, perfect for parents who are away from each other at night and don’t want to wake the baby up!

There is a dedicated app to accompany groups that creates a safe space for you and your loved one to send you messages, with end-to-end encryption and messages expiring after 72 hours.

We love Lexie Drew’s eco-friendly muslins. Made from 100% cotton, they are available in a range of beautiful prints.

The ecological brand for babies Fornessi is the ideal baby carrier for portage. All the fabrics in Fornessi products are specifically chosen for their softness, durability and, above all, their environmental sustainability.

You will hardly notice you have it because the fabrics are so light and breathable. Plus, you won’t have to worry about your baby overheating, especially in winter. This beautiful wrap around baby carrier is lightweight, durable and silky to the touch, enveloping your baby close to it. It creates a custom fit for you and your baby’s shape, size and body weight, while the wide shoulder straps provide even weight distribution reducing pressure on your back. One size (up to plus size).

Fully accredited by the International Hip Dysplasia Institute, it supports healthy hip development from birth and has been tested to the highest safety standards.

Play mat, the singing ant

The Singing Ant has launched a new line of handcrafted inspired play mats, and we love them. Play mats are made from rotating non-toxic EVA foam tiles that snap together easily, interlocking to become a contemporary play mat in an instant.

Featuring a soft, wipe-clean surface, these rugs will not only look completely gorgeous in any home, they are also perfect for babies and toddlers who need a soft and cozy space. safe to play. Ps – they are also great for protecting your knees!

For World Mental Health Day, Headspace announced a snack with Snap Inc with the release of two new meditations. Snapchat users will now have access to two new six-minute meditations, “Take on the School Year” and “Choose Kindness,” both guided by Headspace Director of Meditation Eve Lewis.

These are now available in Snapchat’s The Headspace Mini and are meant to help users cope with their increasing stress levels.

#ReadySetCheck, Breast Cancer Awareness Month

In support of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, #ReadySetCheck was launched to help busy moms find time to protect their health and put it first. In light of the pandemic, time seems increasingly long, and with the high-profile Covid-19 notification, it’s easy to overlook the importance of early diagnosis of breast cancer.

Yoopies, one of Europe’s leading childcare providers, wants to make sure moms take the time to be vetted with the peace of mind that childcare is covered. Whether it’s a mammogram appointment or seeing a GP after noticing an unusual change in their breasts, moms can claim two hours of babysitting thanks to Yoopies.

Please see their website for how to access free child care.

Toy of the week

To be one of the best Christmas toys, we bring you the new LOL Surprise! OMG Remix 4-in-1 airplane car, recording studio and mixing booth.

With over 50 surprises, this set will keep your little LOL fan entertained for hours, including working lights and sounds, beverage cart with plates and cups, suitcases, overhead compartments, travel blankets and more. Moreover!

Book of the week

Exploring the Elements is a comprehensive guide to the periodic table for ages 8-14. The book explains what the elements are, the purpose of the periodic table and the unique properties, secret chemistries and atomic diagrams of the 118 elements.

On the My Baba wishlist…


The Stokke Flexi Bath is a lightweight portable baby tub that folds flat when not in use, making it ideal for travel. The Flexi Bath has a non-slip base and a heat-sensitive cap for a safe bath time wherever you are.


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Review: Dealing with Baby Loss | Baby Loss Blog | Life After Baby Loss

From the outside looking in you would think I had everything a girl could want: a happy marriage, an amazing son, a beautiful home and a dog. Appearances can be deceiving, I do have it all, but what I don’t have is all my children at home.

From a young child I assumed I would have been married and starting a family by the age of 25, however that age passed rapidly. I was far too busy enjoying myself and hoping Mr Right would come along sooner rather than later. It’s seemed like forever…

The beginning…

Four years later than my child self had planned, Steve appeared, After a few weeks I decided he was the chosen one. We enjoyed being a couple and doing what couples did: pub, days trips, holidays and being spontaneous because we could. The subject of having a family was raised and highlighted on date three, I didn’t have time to waste. My biological clock ticking so I was reminded by my family on numerous occasions!

We’d been together for just over three years and decided we were ‘gonna go for it’ and see what happened! Well, it actually wasn’t too bad, lots of practice and six months on, I did a home test with our dog Belle as my accomplice. I couldn’t believe it, we were pregnant. I had begun to worry myself having previously being tested for endometriosis. Every emotion rushed through my head. It was real! How was I going cope? What about work…? I couldn’t wait to show Steve the test upon his arrival home! In summary: he was very proud of himself and himself!

Being pregnant

Being our first pregnancy we had no idea what to expect, the GP surgery booked us in for our first routine midwives appointment and the process was explained. We were low risk and everything seemed great. I was very proud to walk out with my pregnancy folder and the start of my notes.

Our scans went well, all routine tests returned clear at 20 weeks and confirmed we were having a girl – I was so pleased! We’re pretty top-heavy on girls in the family and I was pleased I too would contribute to the number.

As the weeks went by my pregnancy was perfect, a beautiful little bump, nice and neat. All was going as it should, the end was in sight and we were so excited to meet our baby girl. My placenta was at the front of my bump which resulted in limited feeling of her movements, but they grew stronger as she did and we were reassured at every midwife visit that all was well.

Forty weeks pregnant

At 40 weeks I had a stretch and sweep, and a few days later I had some fluid leak after I’d been bouncing on the ball for a while. Unsure and slightly un-nerved Steve and I visited the hospital the next morning. I was hooked up to the monitor and baby checked, we were sent on our way, all happy.

The onset of labour

Finally on the 6th October 2015, I woke early about 4am with soft pains. Feeling apprehensive but thrilled she was coming, I decided to run a bath and relax, in fact I think I had about five baths that morning. We checked in with the hospital to advise we were having contractions and would stay at home up until they increased, to the desired five contractions in five minutes. Then, my contractions became sporadic, so we decided to visit the hospital in the evening to get checked ‘just incase’.

To the hospital we went.

I provided a urine sample, and I was scanned to check the baby and that’s when our worst nightmare was revealed – there was no heartbeat. She had gone.

I have no recollection of the midwife’s name, it all seemed like a fast-forwarded blur. She held my hand tight as the emergency crew were alarmed and I was prepped for theatre. Additional midwives scanned again hoping it was just the placenta blocking her, but still no heartbeat was found.

She had gone, she was dead.

Tears flooded my eyes, I was in shock and disbelief. I felt guilty, heartbroken. I was unsure of how to feel. I was unable to absorb the word, ‘gone’. Steve was watching over me from the corner. I’d carried her all the way, 40 weeks and five days and she’d gone. The guilt of letting her down, and Steve.

How had I not known she’d died inside of me?

Delivering our daughter

We were moved from the general ward to a side room and waited for the on-call consultant to arrive who would confirm the findings of the midwives. They needed two scans to confirm. We were asked to return in the morning where I would be given a pill which would bring on labour to deliver our daughter. Steve was amazingly strong and held me and took the reins where I’d normally do so. I don’t even remember the drive home.

Later that evening our baby girl had no intension of waiting. My contractions continued into the early hours – I consider myself to have a high pain threshold but jeeze!

We returned a few hours later to deliver. After I was examined the midwife was delighted to tell me I was 9 centimetres dilated – explaining why my pain was so intense. I definitely have a great pain threshold.

Steve called our parents and my sister’s partner to inform them what was happening. My parents and sister arrived at the hospital and sat in the next room listening to my whale noises throughout the labour.

After eight hours of sleeping through the gaps in my contractions and with Steve by my side I delivered her, the air fell silent as our baby girl was placed on my chest. I was so proud, I’d done it! She was so perfectly formed, and ours!

It all seemed a blur, I don’t recall all of the events that took place, and I will occasionally get a flashback and question Steve who will fill in the blanks and tell me another story.


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Saying goodbye

We spent a few hours together in the ‘Snowdrop’ room  at our local Hospital. The bereavement midwife helped me bathe our baby and dress her, take the memory prints of her hands and feet and a lock of her hair.

She then informed us of what was to happen next and how we would say goodbye. There was so much information but again Steve took the lead where I couldn’t.

My body still dealing with the after effects of having a baby, the wobbly tummy which housed and protected my baby, the pain relief, the enlarged breasts, the milk coming through and the continuous bleeding. My body coped better than my emotions, my body supported me and did everything it could to be kind.

Time flew, and saying goodbye to her that evening was the most difficult part of the journey. We left the hospital as parents but without our daughter.

My world shattered, we visited her everyday until the day of her cremation.

On the 16th October 2015, just ten days after her birth she was cremated at our local crematorium.

I hated having to do the arrangements, registering her, getting a voucher to pay for her funeral, having to write a spiel about our daughter and our lost hopes and dreams we’d had and discussed.

Preparing to say our final goodbyes was something we had to do, I didn’t want to and found it to be a tick box exercise.

Having to actually tell family and friends she had arrived but didn’t survive was so difficult, I could see their sadness and sorrow for us.

There are things you’d never think of, packing her room away, the tiny beautiful pink clothes. Packed away until I can cope to know what’s best to do with them.

Light in the darkness

We had no intention to marry, however we decided to do so and took off to Birmingham Registry office on the 28th November 2015. Some light in our darkness, some happiness to overshadow the pain. She bought us together, to be husband and wife.

The reality of being on maternity leave but with no baby to care for was incredibly difficult. I thought at the time it would be a great idea to return to work, just four months after. I was an Account Manager, based from home. It was by far not the best decision in which left me unable to get through a whole day, let alone be productive and normal. The driving alone was the worst: dark thoughts, what ifs, stupid thoughts.

I struggled returning to my previous position and having to tell people. It was like ground hog day.  All I did was cry. Eventually I confessed to my employer and my role was adapted.

The only thing that kept me fighting was Steve and the thought of our future together.

Our rainbow

It just so happened that being at work was a means to an end because I was expecting our second child, otherwise known as our rainbow. I had six months to work before I was due to be on maternity leave again. This pregnancy, however, was most definitely over shadowed with anxiety and darkness. Since we lost our first all I had wanted to do was be pregnant and prove to myself I could bring baby home.

Every twitch made me a nervous wreck, over thinking each scenario. The health professionals were fantastic and helped reassure where they could with regular scans and midwife visits. The pregnancy was long, hard and so different, I had a huge bump. It was so different, because this time we were expecting a boy.

Small milestones and achievements

I took it week by week setting small milestones and achievements. This time we opted for a planned C-section, and on the 22nd September 2016 we welcomed our son safely into the world. He was a whopper at 9lb 13oz. I was so thankful he was safe. The emotion most definitely flooded the room, he was perfect and healthy. This time we got to bring our son home and enjoy being his parents. He is now very nearly three and every inch a boy. He is a trooper and rises to any challenge, making us smile and beam with pride daily.

Answering awkward questions and the reality of being honest

I took the full year of maternity to enjoy being a new parent, I signed up to tots classes to socialise and make sure Harrison didn’t miss out even though I found myself becoming socially awkward. All the firsts I did with Harrison, I missed out on with our daughter – this hit pretty hard. But I had to focus on Harrison and be the best mummy he deserves. Meeting new people made me so anxious, mainly about what they were going to ask, I was scared how to answer. For example –

“How many children do you have?” ‘Just Harrison…’ in my Head – ffs, why? My heart breaks as I say this! Why am I lying? Just say the truth – but then watch the ground swallow them up as I answer.

“Is he your first?” – “Yes”. Politely… In my head though – fuck no, I’ve carried and delivered two – she didn’t make the delivery! Note awkwardness.

People I’ve not seen since my first pregnancy – “I thought you were having a girl?” “I did, she sadly didn’t make it.” Again an awkward pause… And in my head – ffs, fuck off! That was two years ago, he’s one and a boy! Clearly something doesn’t add up, so why ask?!

“It didn’t go to plan. Better luck next time”. Smiles… – There is simply no need to respond at all – cheeky fucker!

Gym re-enrolment – Beefy guy asks cockily, “What gives you depression?” from GP referral… Like I’m taking the governments money and taking liberties. Completely unprepared for a counselling session I answer, “My daughter was still born.” Awkward! Cue more tears…

Dentist – I get free dental when pregnant and up to when my child is one year old… Shocked voice: “It must be difficult with two under two!” Me = frown, smile.

Work customer: “You’ve returned early!”… “She didn’t makes it.” Tears! #Missedtheannouncement.

Doctor’s visits – invited for some type of injection. Questions about baby. Why does no one read my notes? AGAIN, tears.. There are teardrops on my notes for a reason.

“Gonna try again for a girl?”  – “Yeah, maybe when the time’s right.” Slightly dismissive in my reply. My head – I’ve had my daughter! She’s super special and as long as my future children are healthy and happy that’s all I care about – they’re mine!

Another heartbreak

Harrison was 18 months in May 2017 when we discovered we were pregnant with our third child. Another emotional pregnancy but this time I so wanted it to be different – I wanted to be happy and enjoy being pregnant.

I’d had some spotting – not a lot, and not fresh blood. The doctors advised I hold out til my 12-week scan which was booked. Apprehensive, we attended the scan, I just needed to see baby and know everything was OK. But there was no heartbeat, baby had passed at eight weeks and four days… We were shattered once again.

Given the options on the what happens next, I opted for the extraction. A week later I was no longer pregnant. Attempting to work out what plan B was, what was I gonna do now? Unable to cope emotionally with another pregnancy I decided I would not return to my old employer, I walked away from a good job, company car and benefit package. I simply couldn’t face going backwards where everyone knew my story. I sought a new challenge elsewhere. Most definitely not what we had planned, but the universe clearly has different plans for us.

Reflecting back on our journey, I’m saddened by the pain and I wish it had never happened to us or continue to happen to anyone. The emotional rollercoaster: My husband didn’t blame me, he supported me and did everything to keep me fighting.

You never think it’s going to happen to you but it did and this is our journey, the one we took together, I’m lucky he’s a keeper and our journey as a family continues.

The future…

As I write this I’m 36 and a month away from returning to full time employment, a new chapter to embrace for a new year. I am anxious but I’m focused on succeeding and pushing myself to be the best me, mummy and wife I can be. 2019 is the year I’m fighting back…  I question myself all the time – would I parent differently if I hadn’t have lost her? I could be a better mum, more patient… but my love is not questionable for my son and husband, it’s unconditional.

My mental health has taken a battering, I am fortunate to be surrounded by loving family and friends but there are times I’ve felt so lonely and isolated. I should be so happy that I have my son, yet my heart is not complete. I opted and tried but failed ‘Cognitive Behaviour Therapy’, it wasn’t for me. I’m considering counselling to talk about the events and her passing but I’m undecided.

I take the steps I think I need to do so and think about those steps.

A reader story by Gemma.

If you’ve been affected by Gemma’s story and need further help and support, we recommend Tommy’s website and advice line: 0800 0147 800, Monday to Friday, 9-5pm and The Lullaby Trust’s Information and Advice Line on 0808 802 6869. If you are looking for support following the death of a baby or toddler, The Lullaby Trust can help. Please phone our Helpline to talk to an Adviser on 0808 802 6868.


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Review: Fisher-Price Toy Museum | Retro toys on Instagram

Fancy a trip to the past? Many of us are feeling nostalgic right now for obvious reasons, so what better time to start a retro toy museum? This is exactly what Fisher-Price did to celebrate its 90th birthday.

A one-of-a-kind experience will be uploaded to Fisher-Price’s official Instagram account where the legacy of over 90 toys will be fully on display. The Fisher-Price Toy Museum kicks off Oct. 16 on their official Instagram page and we couldn’t be more excited.

Remember the iconic toys at the Fisher-Price Toy Museum

The Toy Museum will showcase the company’s most iconic toys from the past 90 years in a fun, interactive display of images and videos on the popular social media platform Instagram.

Fisher-Price favorites will come to life like never before via an artistically curated digital gallery for adults and kids to enjoy on their smartphones.

A digital showcase of the past nine decades of Fisher-Price toys

Do you remember the iconic roller skates of the 80s? They will be presented in a miniature ice rink with wood-paneled floors and carpeted walls. The retro Chatter dial phone? Another star of the show.

Each toy has been cleverly styled to match the look and feel of the decade the toy first went on sale, andThe various exhibits will also be organized by decade, so you can easily locate vintage toys from your childhood.

American artist and designer Leila Fakouri

Each exhibit at the Fisher-Price Toy Museum has been lovingly designed by the famous American artist and designed Leila Fakouri, known for her design work with brands such as Chanel, Nike, Gap, and Levis.

Leila’s multimedia approach uses a unique combination of eclectic design, textural form, and vivid color palettes. It even used the dimensions and textures of a real museum to give you the most authentic experience, all from the comfort of your own device.

Leila Fakouri says: “These toys were designed and created in a variety of time periods spanning nearly a century. Each decade has its own style, colors, vibe and nostalgic memories. I have focused on bringing this to life by organizing a beautiful and intricate variety of installations that reflect the visual language of each time.

The Fisher-Price Toy Museum launches October 16 and will be hosted on the official Fisher-Price Instagram page at

Chuck Scothon, Senior Vice President of Fisher-Price, Global Head of Early Years and Kindergarten, Mattel, says, “At Fisher-Price, we are always looking for ways to create playful connections between children and adults in their life. As many families continue to seek virtual experiences to enjoy together, we are opening a new digital museum that will allow visitors to share memories of their favorite toys with their children.

Whether your Fisher-Price memory plays with the Chatter rotary dial phone as a toddler, stroll behind the bubble mower, or spark an undying love of music with the Music Box record player, the Fisher Toy Museum -Price is the place to relive it all “, adds Scoothan.

About Fisher-Price

Celebrating a 90-year milestone since its inception in June 1930. The pioneering US-based company, which has been a staple in millions of happy childhoods and has a rich history of innovation, was the first to use and call the phrase ‘Preschool Toys’ (1934), the first to create licensed toys and one of the first companies to make coding available to preschoolers with the introduction of code-A -Pillar (2016) award-winning.

In 2020, during the global COVID pandemic, Fisher-Price has released a special collection of collectible figures and Little People community champions called #ThankYouHeroes, where all net proceeds go to charities supporting COVID efforts. The company recently launched a new campaign to 360-degree multi-year marketing campaign titled: “Let’s Be Kids,” which celebrates seeing the world as children see it, with optimism and humor, while inviting adults to grow up and rediscover the joy of play.


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Review: How To Approach Sex Education | Sex education tips

Amy Forbes-Robertson is the co-founder of It Happens Education, the organization created to offer educational workshops on relationships and sex education.

They work with a range of ages and stages across the UK. Whether it’s puberty or porn, sexting or STIs, contraception or consent, festivals or the cool week you’re concerned about, It Happens Education is a great place to start. I listened to Amy at a sex and relationship seminar last year and immediately asked her to come on the podcast. She made the whole subject of sex education so easy and hassle-free and I read the cover of her book to cover the day it landed on my desk. It is a must-read book for any parent.

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Listen on Spotify

For the past 15 years, Amy Forbes-Robertson (BA, MPhil, PGCE, QTS) has worked in education. During this time, Amy interacted with young people and their parents, caregivers and teachers; as a volunteer, project manager, community outreach worker, youth work, school principal and secondary teacher (KS3 and KS4).

Amy is also responsible for managing the Beacons project at the Hay Literature Festival. In addition, Amy has worked as an accredited trainer for the Cambridge Assessment International Examinations, providing teacher training in the UK and abroad.

Working alongside Alex Fryer, (formerly, nurse and physician. They formed Alex and Amy deliver sweet, age-appropriate messages on Relationships, Sexuality Education & Health (RSHE). In addition, they provide friendly and accurate information answering the many questions young people have about the body, babies, birth, puberty, body image, privacy, masturbation, pornography, pleasure, sex. sexting, delaying sexual activity, healthy relationships, LGBTQ + consent issues, STIS, contraception, festivals, sabbaticals and college. They pride themselves on their honesty and a good sense of humor, and their “outspokenness” has been well received by over 200 schools. They now have 4 lecturers delivering their work to schools across the country. Amy is increasingly in demand to speak at educational conferences and the company’s teacher training component is booming as it approaches statutory CSR.


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It Happens Education LLP also worked closely with “ The Sex Education Forum ” on their 2019 “ Countdown to Statutory RSE Conference ”, and also contributed to ongoing research projects to gather student opinions on relationships and sex education. Most recently, Alex and Amy have been conducting television and media counseling and counseling to explore the history of sex education in society with Spelthorne Community TV. 3 of these programs; “ Let’s Talk About Sex, ” aired on Channel 4 in early 2019 and was very well received. Currently ‘It Happens’ is developing a strong link with some of the big names in UK events and festivals and using their platform to increase knowledge and insight into the party scene so young people are more informed and capable understand sex / substances. and conversation on “harm reduction”.

Through her years of experience, Amy has an intrinsic understanding of the lives of children and adolescents. She has been closely involved in pastoral and safeguarding issues and knows the challenges young people face as they experience their own identity, friendships and relationships.

Amy supports the idea that providing young people with good information is vital. She believes in honestly talking about bodies, relationships, sex and their recreational life. Only then can we enable young people to feel more confident, to make more informed and safer choices…

Show Notes:

Amy’s Recommended Reading List:


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Review: Christmas Advent Calendars | Best Advent Calendars For Kids

We’ve researched the best Advent Calendars for your family to count down to the big day. Whether you are a fan of traditional bay windows, those stuffed with toys and chocolates or even calendars that allow you to personalize each window with your own little gifts, here you will find inspiration for all.


Remember the ’80s and early’ 90s when Advent calendars weren’t superfluous but it was so exciting to see what picture was behind a new door each morning.

There is something very special about a traditional advent calendar.

Toys and accessories

There are so many different types of toy Advent calendars on offer, from LOL and Frozen to Toot Toot, LEGO and Marvel, whatever your child is, there is sure to be an Advent calendar to suit them.


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If you like the customization, we’ll leave it to you to purchase the gift. Here are some wonderful options:

Chocolate and sweets

If it’s all about chocolate at home or at home, you will have no trouble finding your favorite brand. Here are some of our favorites:


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Review: 10 Deliciously Wonderful Cake Recipes

For the most part, we consider ourselves very healthy at My Baba. We have no excuse not to be – with so many healthy bloggers and experts within our the team sharing their recipes and advice. But… every now and then we think it’s OK to indulge – everything in moderation, right!? Exactly. So I’ve spent the morning finding the most delicious looking cakes online. Some are old favourites of ours, and some a new ones that we’ll be trying. We hope you enjoy this round-up of deliciously wonderful cake recipes, do let us know if you attempt any and send us the pics so we can share!

Rainbow Layer Cake

Prep: 1 hours 30 minutes
Bake: 45 minutes
Serves: 16


  • 375g butter (unsalted)
  • 675g plain white flour
  • 450g unrefined golden caster sugar
  • 9 eggs
  • 3 tsp
  • 3/4 tsp
  • 3 tsp
  • 6 gel or paste colours of food colouring

For the buttercream:

  • 350g butter (unsalted)
  • 700g icing sugar
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract


  1. Preheat the oven to 180c (fan 160c, gas mark 4). Grease and base line 2 20cm/8 inch round sandwich tins
  2. To make the sponge layers you need to split the ingredients into three. Put 125g butter, 225g flour, 150g golden caster sugar, 3 eggs, 1tsp baking powder, 1/4tsp salt, 1tsp vanilla extract in a large mixing bowl and beat until smooth. Next you need to split this mixture evenly into 2. It’s best to do this on the scales so you know it’s evenly split.
  3. Put the 2 halves of batter into separate bowls then add your chosen colour and mix. Keep adding the colour until you are happy you have the right shade.
  4. Then pour the batter into the prepared tin and place in the oven for 12-15 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean.
  5. Remove from the oven and leave to cool for a while then turn out onto a wire rack to cool. If you leave the sponges to cool upside down they should flatten out into even layers.
  6. Then repeat from step two twice for the remaining four layers, using the remaining colours.
  7. To make the buttercream, beat together the butter and icing sugar until pale and fluffy then add the vanilla extract.
  8. To construct the cake take a cake stand or cake board and smear a little of the buttercream onto the sponge, and then carefully place the next layer centrally on top. Repeat this with the rest of the layers. We started with red, then orange, yellow, green, blue and finally purple.
  9. Spread a thin, even layer of buttercream onto the sponge and then carefully place the next layer centrally on top. Repeat this with the res of the layers. We started the red, then orange, yellow, green, blue and finally purple.
  10. Finally cover the top and sides of the cake with a thick layer of buttercream using a palette knife, being careful not to get any crumbs in the buttercream.
  11. Leave the cake to set for about 1 hour before presenting or serving.

Lorraine Pascale’s Crouching Tiger, Hidden Zebra Cake

Prep time: 25 minutes

Time baking in the oven: 35 minutes
Makes: 12 wedges

Equipment: 23cm springform sandwich tin, large baking sheet, large bowl, medium bowl, zester,wire rack


  • 250ml sunflower (or other flavourless) oil, plus extra for greasing
  • 250g caster sugar
  • 100ml semi-skimmed milk
  • 4 medium eggs (at room temperature)
  • A few drops of vanilla extract
  • 300g self-raising flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 25g cocoa powder
  • 1 orange


  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C, (fan 160°C), 350°F, Gas Mark 4. Grease the bottom of the sandwich tin with a little oil, line with baking parchment and oil again. Set aside on a large baking sheet.
  2. Put the oil, sugar, milk, eggs and vanilla extract in a large bowl and beat everything together well. It is best not to use an electric whisk as it will introduce too many bubbles, which are not needed for this cake.
  3. Pour out 400ml of this mixture (or 400g as it is the same in weight) into a medium bowl.
  4. Sift 175g of the self-raising flour into one bowl along with ½ teaspoon of the baking powder. Mix well and set aside. This is your vanilla mix.
  5. Sift the remaining 125g of self-raising flour and ½ teaspoon of baking powder into the other bowl along with the cocoa powder. Finely grate the orange zest in, mix everything together well and set aside. This is your chocolate mix.
  6. Now, put a tablespoon of the vanilla mix in the middle of the tin. Then, using a clean tablespoon, put a blob of the chocolate mix in the middle of the vanilla one. Keep doing this, alternating between vanilla and chocolate, so you form a type of ‘bull’s eye’ or ‘target board’ look. Each time you dollop a blob in, the whole mix will spread out on the base. By the time you have used up both of the cake mixes, they should have just reached the edge of the tin.
  7. Bake in the oven for 35 minutes.
  8. Check the cake is cooked by inserting a skewer into the centre. It should come out clean. If not, then return to the oven for another 5 minutes or so until cooked. Once cooked, remove from the oven and allow to cool for a few minutes in the tin. Then carefully remove from the tins and leave to cool completely on a wire rack (but it is also fine to eat it warm!).
  9. Cut the cake into six wedges to reveal its spongy gold. Arrange on a cake stand or platter and serve.


Martha Stewart’s Applesauce Cake


  • 3 cups all-purpose flour, spooned and leveled
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons ground cardamom
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 2 cups packed light-brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 cups Basic Applesauce, or store-bought chunky applesauce
  • Nonstick cooking spray
  • Confectioners’ sugar, optional


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and cardamom. Set aside.
  2. In another bowl, with an electric mixer, beat butter, brown sugar, and honey until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating until combined. With mixer on low speed, gradually add flour mixture; beat just until combined. Beat in applesauce.
  3. Generously coat a nonstick 9-inch tube pan with cooking spray. Spoon batter into pan; smooth top.
  4. Bake until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean (but slightly wet), 50 to 60 minutes.
  5. Cool on a wire rack 10 minutes. Turn out of pan onto a cutting board or baking sheet; invert cake onto rack, top side up. Cool completely. Dust with confectioners’ sugar before serving, if desired.


Swiss Roll Ice Cream Cake


Yield: 12-14 servings.

  • 2-4 Large Swiss cake rolls
  • 2 pints vanilla ice cream, softened
  • 3/4 cup hot fudge ice cream topping
  • 2 pints chocolate ice cream, softened


  1. Line a 2-qt. bowl with plastic wrap.
  2. Cut each cake roll into slices; place in prepared bowl, completely covering the bottom and sides.
  3. Cover and freeze for at least 20 minutes or until cake is firm.
  4. Spread vanilla ice cream over cake.
  5. Cover and freeze for at least 1 hour.
  6. Spread with fudge topping.
  7. Freeze for at least 1 hour.
  8. Spread with chocolate ice cream.
  9. Cover and freeze for up to 2 months.
  10. Just before serving, remove from the freezer and invert onto a serving plate.
  11. Remove bowl and plastic wrap.
  12. Cut into wedges.


Lorraine Pascale’s I Can’t Believe You Made That Cake


  • vegetable oil or oil spray
  • 200g/7oz butter, softened
  • 200g/7oz caster sugar
  • 4 free-range eggs
  • 140g/5oz plain flour
  • 60g/2½oz cocoa powder
  • pinch salt
  • 2 tsp baking powder

For the buttercream

  • 250g/9oz butter, softened
  • 500g/1lb 2oz icing sugar100g/3½oz good dark chocolate (at least 70 per cent cocoa solids), melted and slightly cooled

For the decoration

  • 3 packs of chocolate fingers
  • Fresh Strawberries and blueberries


  1. Preheat the oven to 180/C/350F/Gas 4 and line a 20cm/8in round deep cake tin with baking paper and brush or spray with oil.
  2. Cream together the butter and sugar in a large bowl until they begin to go pale.
  3. Add half of the eggs and half of the flour and mix well.
  4. Add the rest of the eggs, flour, cocoa powder, salt and baking powder and beat for a minute or two until the mixture is uniform.
  5. Dollop into the prepared tin and bake in the oven for about 30-40 minutes, or until a skewer inserted in the middle comes out clean. Leave to cool in the tin.
  6. Meanwhile, make the buttercream: put the butter and icing sugar in a bowl and whisk together until the mixture goes fluffy.
  7. Add the cooled, melted chocolate and whisk for a further two minutes.
  8. Once the cake is completely cool (I left mine a couple of hours), remove it from the tin.
  9. Carefully cut the top flat with a large serrated knife.
  10. Turn the cake upside down on a 20cm/8in cake board so that the bottom now becomes a nice flat top.
  11. Split the cake horizontally and sandwich the top and bottom together with a 1cm/½in layer of buttercream.
  12. Spread half of the remaining buttercream all over the top and sides of the cake, making it as smooth as possible.
  13. Put it in the fridge to set before doing another layer – this makes it much easier to get neat squared-off edges.
  14. Gently push the chocolate fingers vertically onto the sides of the cake, positioning them as straight as possible and making sure they touch the bottom. Cover the top with fresh fruit (or your choice of topping).



10 Delicious National Chocolate Day Recipes to Make Your Mouth Water

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Strawberry and Malted Layer Cake

Fresh strawberry and a hint of malted flavour make a great combination for a delicious treat.

Prep time: 30 minutes plus cooling

Cooking time: 25-35 minutes

Serves: 14-16


  • 345g plain flour
  • 3tsp (3 sachets) Dr. Oetker Baking Powder
  • 75g ground almonds
  • 225g unsalted butter, plus extra to grease
  • 260g (plus 3tbsp) golden caster sugar
  • 4 medium eggs
  • 1tsp (5ml) Dr. Oetker Natural Madagascan Vanilla Extract
  • 7tbsp malted drink powder
  • 225ml milk
  • 450g strawberries
  • 400ml double cream
  • Dr. Oetker Mini Wafer Flowers
  • A small bunch of thyme


  1. Heat the oven to 170C, 150C fan, gas 3. Grease 3 x 18cm cake tins and double line the bases sides with baking parchment. Mix the flour, baking powder and ground almonds in a bowl, leave aside.
  2. Beat the butter and 260g of the sugar until creamy and pale, gradually beat in the eggs then mix in the vanilla extract and 3tbsp of the malted drink powder. Fold in the flour mixture, followed by the milk. Divide between the tins, smoothing the tops. Bake in the oven (lower shelf) for 25-35 mins or until an inserted skewer comes out clean. Once cool enough to handle remove from the tins to a wire rack to cool completely.
  3. Meanwhile roughly chop and put 100g of the strawberries in a small saucepan along with the remaining sugar, roughly mash with a potato masher then set over a medium heat, bubble for a few mins until syrupy. Pass through a sieve discarding the pulp. Leave the syrup to cool then roughly chop 175g of the strawberries and mix in the syrup, halve the remaining strawberries and keep the smaller ones whole.
  4. Whisk the cream with the rest of the malt extract until holding its shape. Put one of the sponges on a serving plate, spread over a third of the cream and half the chopped strawberries and some of the syrup then top with another sponge, and add repeat the decoration. Set the last sponge on top then spread with the remaining cream and halved and whole strawberries, drizzle over a little more syrup. Add the thyme leaves and mini wafer flowers.

Recipe from Dr. Oetker

Deliciously Moist Chocolate Cake

Makes: 2 x 20cm/8” round cake tins, parchment lined

Free from soya and nuts

Suitable for vegetarians

Cooking time: 25-30 minutes

Equipment: 2 x 20cm/8? round cake tins, parchment lined and mixing bowl

Temperature: 180°C, Fan 160°C, 350°F, Gas 4



  • 200g butter
  • 200g caster sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 3 tbsp cocoa
  • 200g Self Raising White Flour
  • 3 tbsp milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • Filling
  • 100g unsalted butter
  • 150g icing sugar
  • 2 tbsp cocoa


  • 50g chocolate
  • 25g butter
  • 1 tbsp golden syrup



  1. Line 2 x 20cm/8” round cake tins with parchment and pre-heat the oven.
  2. Put the butter and caster sugar into a mixing bowl and beat together until light and fluffy.
  3. Beat in one egg followed by a spoon of cocoa.
  4. Beat in the second and third eggs, adding a spoon of cocoa after each one. Beat in the final egg.
  5. Sieve the flour into the bowl then stir it into the mixture.
  6. Add the milk and vanilla and stir to create a batter that just drops off a spoon.
  7. Divide the mixture between the two prepared tins and smooth the tops.
  8. Bake for 25–30 minutes.
  9. Leave the cakes to cool in the tins for 5 minutes before turning out onto a wire rack and leaving to cool completely.


  1. To make the filling, put the unsalted butter into a bowl and beat until it softens.
  2. Sift the icing sugar into the bowl and mix until it is combined.
  3. Sift the cocoa into the bowl and beat that in too.
  4. Spread the filling over one cold cake layer then place the other cake layer on top.


  1. Put the chocolate and unsalted butter into a bowl and gently melt them together.
  2. Stir, allowing the mixture to cool, then stir in the golden syrup.
  3. Slowly pour the icing over the top cake, allowing it to run down the sides a little

Recipes from Doves Farm

Ginger and Lime Galaxy Mirror Glaze Cake

Give your cake the ultimate look! Try this galaxy inspired mirror glaze decorated with Midnight Magic sprinkles

Prep time 45mins, plus setting

Cooking time 25mins

Serves 16


For the cake

  • 250g Unsalted butter, softened and cut into cubes
  • 100g Light muscovado (or light brown) sugar
  • 100g Caster sugar
  • 4 Medium eggs
  • 1tsp Dr. Oetker Madagascan Vanilla Natural Extract
  • 275g Plain flour
  • 2 tsp Dr. Oetker Baking Powder
  • 1 tsp Ground cinnamon
  • 1tsp Ground ginger
  • 90ml Whole milk
  • 2tbsp Blackberry, blueberry (or preferred) jam

For the buttercream

  • 250g Unsalted butter, softened and cut into cubes
  • 1-2 Limes (very finely zest 1 and squeeze to get 1 ½tbsp juice)
  • 250g Cream cheese
  • 650g Icing sugar

For the glaze

  • 150g Dr. Oetker Fine Cooks’ White Chocolate, finely chopped
  • 4 x Dr. Oetker Leaf Gelatine soaked in 100ml of cold water for a few mins to soften
  • 250g Caster sugar
  • A few drops of Dr. Oetker Food Colour Gel in Blue, Black and Violet)
  • 150ml Double cream

To decorate:

  • 1 x 110g Pack of Dr. Oetker Midnight Magic Sprinkles


  1. Heat the oven to 180C, 160C fan, gas 4. Grease and then line two 18cm tins with baking parchment. Beat 250g of the butter with the brown sugar and 100g of the caster sugar until creamy and pale. Gradually beat in the eggs, then mix in the Vanilla Extract. Mix the flour, Baking Powder, cinnamon and ginger then sieve into the bowl with the butter mixture, gently fold together. When almost combined add the milk and continue to fold until smooth. Divide between the tins, smoothing the tops, bake for 25mins or until an inserted skewer comes out clean.
  2. For the buttercream; beat the remaining butter and icing sugar until smooth and creamy. Add the lime zest, juice and cream cheese, gently whip until combined (don’t overmix or it may become runny). Set aside in the fridge.
  3. For the glaze; put the White Chocolate into a jug and set aside. Put the Gelatine in a small bowl and cover with cold water, leave to soften for 5mins. Put the remaining caster sugar in a small saucepan with 100ml of water, mix then put on a low heat to dissolve. Bring to the boil, then allow to bubble for 1min (it should be just over 100C). Take off the heat, squeeze the excess water from the Gelatine then stir into the sugar mixture, and then mix in the cream until smooth. Pour this over the White Chocolate then blend or carefully mix until very smooth. Strain through a sieve then divide between five bowls – making one with just over a third of the mixture and the rest even. Dye the larger portion with a few drops of the Black Food Gel; the others with varying amounts of the Blue or Purple Gels to make light and dark shades (though not too dark so they show against the black). Set aside to cool and firm up, stirring now and again (if it goes too solid just pop in the microwave for a few secs).
  4. Meanwhile, spread the jam over the top of one of the sponges, with a palette knife, spread a layer of buttercream then press the other sponge on top. Palette the remaining buttercream around the sides and top of the cake ensuring it is smooth. Set aside on a wire rack placed over a tray.
  5. Once the glaze is thick enough to pour, pour the black into the bowl with the darker blue or purple. Then dispense this over the cake and drizzle over the other colours, concentrating mostly on one side. Use a spatula to cover any bare patches. Gently swirl the colours together with the palette knife. Scatter the Midnight Magic sprinkles across one half of the top of the cake and down one side. Leave to set before transferring to a serving plate.

Recipe from Dr. Oetker

Lorraine Pascale’s Vanilla and White Chocolate Cake with Almond Flowers

Lorraine Pascale’s vanilla and white chocolate cake with almond flowers has to be the perfect cake for any birthday party. It looks utterly divine and I can’t wait to try my hand at baking it. You can also use blackberries for this cake and, of course, redcurrants, blueberries (maybe even sneak in some chocolate chips!)


  • 2 x 20cm sandwich tins
  • A food processor


For the sponge

  • Spray oil
  • 125g soft light brown sugar
  • 100g unsalted butter softened
  • 100g low-fat creme fraiche
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 250g self-raising flour
  • 1 egg white
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • Seeds of 1 vanilla pod or 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • Finely grated zest of 1 unwaxed lemon

For the icing

  • 75g white chocolate
  • 300g low-fat cream cheese, at room temperature
  • ?2 tbsp icing sugar, sifted
  • Seeds of 1 vanilla pod or 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • Sugar syrup
  • 2 tbsp caster sugar

For the decoration

  • 250g raspberries
  • About 50g baked almonds (unbroken flakes, preferably), toasted (you will need about 210 flakes in total)


  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C, (Fan 160°C), 350°F, Gas Mark 4 with the middle shelf at the ready.
  2. Grease two 20cm sandwich tins with spray oil, line the base of each with baking parchment and set aside on a baking sheet.
  3. To make the cake, beat the sugar, butter and creme fraiche in a large bowl until smooth and uniform. Then add two-thirds of the beaten egg and half of the flour and beat together again.
  4. Add the remaining egg and flour, the egg white (whisked until light and frothy), baking powder, vanilla seeds or extract and lemon zest and stir everything together well.
  5. Divide the mixture evenly between the two tins, levelling the tops with the back of a spoon. Bake in the oven for 20 minutes or until the cakes feels spongy to the touch and a skewer inserted in the centre comes out clean.
  6. Meanwhile, prepare the icing. Tip the chocolate into a small heatproof bowl. I like to melt chocolate in a microwave in 30-second blasts, stirring between each blast. Alternatively, melt the chocolate in a bowl that just sits on top of a medium pan with a little bit of boiling water. Just make sure the bowl doesn’t touch the water as this could make the chocolate grainy. Leave the chocolate to sit until it melts, then put aside to cool to room temperature but not set.
  7. Meanwhile, beat the cream cheese, icing sugar and vanilla seeds or extract in a large bowl until smooth. Add a little bit of the cream cheese mixture to the cool melted chocolate and stir together gently. Then fold this white chocolate mixture into the cream cheese mix. I do it this way so that the white chocolate mix does not seize or go all grainy. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use.
  8. Prepare the sugar syrup about 5 minutes before the cake is ready. Simply put the sugar into a mug, add 2 tablespoons of boiling water and stir until dissolved. As soon as the two halves of the cake are out of the oven, brush them liberally with the sugar syrup and then leave them to cool in the tin.?This will keep them nice and moist. Once cool, remove them from the tin and put one half on a serving plate.
  9. Dollop about a quarter of the filling on the cake half and spread the icing evenly over it. Pick out about 30 of the smallest raspberries and reserve them for the lower decorations. Then scatter the remaining raspberries over the icing and pop the other cake half on top. Spread the remaining icing all over the cake sides and top to give a smoothish finish. Spread it around so that the edges are kind of straight and flat.
  10. To decorate, put one of the reserved raspberries on the cake and place about seven baked almonds around it so that the cakes stick up and out like ‘petals’ (rather than sitting on the cake) and as if you have put an actual flower on the cake. Repeat this with the fruit and almonds to make flowers all over the cake, spaced apart on the top and sides. Then serve! Keep this in the fridge if not serving straight away.

For more Lorraine Pascale recipes, click here.

This recipe is taken from A Lighter Way To Bake. Click here to buy.


Rainbow Sprinkle Pinata Cake


For the recipe Rainbow Sprinkle Pinata Cake

For the sponge:

  • 330 g margarine
  • 330 g caster sugar
  • 6 medium eggs (beaten)
  • 15 ml Madagascan vanilla extract (1tbsp)
  • 330 g self-raising flour
  • Pink extra strong food colour gel (1/2 tsp)
  • Yellow extra strong food colour gel (1/2 tsp)
  • Green extra strong food colour gel (1/2 tsp)
  • Blue extra strong food colour gel (1/2 tsp)
  • Violet extra strong food colour gel (1/2 tsp)

For the buttercream:

  • 500 g unsalted butter
  • 1000 g icing sugar
  • 30 ml Madagascan vanilla extract (2 tbsp)
  • 60 ml whole milk (4 tbsp)
  • Pink extra strong food colour gel (1 1/2 tsp)
  • Yellow extra strong food colour gel (1 1/2 tsp)
  • Green extra strong food colour gel (1 1/2 tsp)
  • Blue extra strong food colour gel (1 1/2 tsp)
  • Violet extra strong food colour gel (1 1/2 tsp)

To decorate:

  • Unicorn confetti sprinkles (2 jars)


For the sponge

  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C/ 160°C fan oven/ Gas Mark 4. Grease and line 5 x 7” cake tins – if you do not have enough cake tins bake the sponges in batches.
  2. In a bowl cream together the margarine and sugar using a free standing or hand held mixer.
  3. Add the eggs and vanilla extract and mix until smooth – if the mixer begins to curdle add a spoonful of flour.
  4. Sieve the flour on top and fold into the mixture until all combined.
  5. Divide the mixture between 5 bowls and add a different colour gel to each bowl and mix until each colour is evenly mixed through the batter.
  6. Put a different coloured batter into each prepared cake tin and place in the oven. Bake the cakes for 20 -25 minutes until risen and a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. Once baked leave to cool in the tins for 10 minutes and then remove and place on a cooling rack to cool completely.

For the buttercream

  1. Whilst the cakes are cooling make the buttercream. Place the butter in a bowl and beat with a freestanding or hand held mixer until smooth and glossy. Add the icing sugar in four stages making sure the icing sugar is mixed into the butter before the next addition.
  2. Add the milk and whisk the buttercream until it is light and fluffy – you might not need to add all the milk add 1 tbsp at a time until the desired texture for the buttercream is achieved.
  3. Divide the buttercream into 6 bowls. Leave one bowl white and colour the other 5 bowls with a different coloured buttercream. Stir the colour through each bowl of buttercream until colour is evenly mixed through. – you want pastel shades of colour rather than bright colours.

To assemble the cake

  1. Level each layer of sponge, using a sharp knife to cut off any domes on top of the sponge.
  2. Using a round cutter about 8cm in diameter cut a hole in the centre of the blue, green and yellow sponge. – this is to create the piñata inside of the cake.
  3. Place a small blob of buttercream onto your cake board/ serving plate and place your purple sponge layer on top.
  4. Place a spoonful of white buttercream on top of the purple sponge and using a palette knife spread the buttercream evenly over the sponge.
  5. Place the blue sponge on top and cover with buttercream, repeat with the green and then yellow sponge.
  6. Pour the unicorn confetti sprinkles to fill the hole in the centre of the cake. Leave a few spare to sprinkle on top of the cake once you’ve finished decorating.
  7. Sandwich the pink sponge layer on top of the cake and crumb coat with the remaining white buttercream. Place the cake in the fridge to set for 30 minutes.
  8. Once your cake has chilled remove from the fridge. Starting with the purple buttercream palette a band of buttercream around the bottom of the cake – don worry about smoothing out the buttercream at this stage. Palette a band of blue buttercream above the purple, then green and yellow. Cover the top of the cake with pink buttercream and the remaining edge towards the top of the cake.
  9. Using a cake scraper smooth the sides of the cake so the buttercream colours merge together – not too much as you want the defined rainbow colours.
  10. Place the left over coloured buttercream into piping bags fitted with a star nozzles or no nozzle of you don’t have enough – you can cut the end of the piping bag and create buttercream kisses. Pipe buttercream swirls in alternating colours around the top of the cake.
  11. Finish the cake by scattering with unicorn confetti sprinkles and your ultimate rainbow cake is ready to enjoy!

Recipe from Dr. Oetker


10 Rainbow Recipes To Make With The Kids

Rhubarb and Raspberry Rainbow Meringue

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Review: 12 Incredibly Tempting Recipes To Celebrate National Chocolate Week

The 15-21st October marks the very important occasion that is National Chocolate Week. As huge sweet-toothed chocolate lovers we understand the importance of having the very best recipes to hand – so we’ve painstakingly searched the net to find the most delicious, the most luxurious, and the most naughty chocolate recipes to celebrate. You’re worth it.

Serves: 12


Chocolate Cake

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups sugar
  • ¾ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1½ teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon espresso powder
  • 1 cup milk
  • ½ cup vegetable oil
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 cup boiling water

Chocolate Buttercream Frosting Recipe


  • Preheat oven to 350º F. Prepare two 9-inch cake pans by spraying with baking spray or buttering and lightly flouring.
  • For the cake:
  • Add flour, sugar, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda, salt and espresso powder to a large bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer. Whisk through to combine or, using your paddle attachment, stir through flour mixture until combined well.
  • Add milk, vegetable oil, eggs, and vanilla to flour mixture and mix together on medium speed until well combined. Reduce speed and carefully add boiling water to the cake batter. Beat on high speed for about 1 minute to add air to the batter.
  • Distribute cake batter evenly between the two prepared cake pans. Bake for 30-35 minutes, until a toothpick or cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean.
  • Remove from the oven and allow to cool for about 10 minutes, remove from the pan and cool completely.
  • Frost cake with Chocolate Buttercream Frosting.


For the Cake:

  • 225 g Butter or Margarine (8oz)
  • 225 g Caster Sugar (8 oz)
  • Medium Eggs x 4
  • 175 g Self-Raising Flour (6 oz) Sieved
  • 50 g Cocoa Powder (2 oz)

For the Icing:

  • 75 g Unsalted Butter (3 oz)
  • 175 g Icing Sugar (6 oz) plus extra to dust
  • 45 g Cocoa Powder (3 tbsp)
  • about 10 ml Milk or warm water


  • Pre-heat oven to 180ºC/350ºF/Gas Mark 4. Grease and line two 20cm (8 inch) sandwich tins.
  • Cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Gradually beat in the eggs and if the mixture starts to curdle, add a little flour.
  • Fold in the remaining flour and the cocoa powder with a metal spoon.
  • Divide the mixture between the two tins and bake for approx. 25 minutes until golden brown and firm to the touch. Remove from oven and leave to cool before turning out onto a cooling rack.
  • To make the butter icing, place the butter in a bowl and beat until soft. Gradually sift and beat in the icing sugar and then add enough milk / water to make the icing fluffy and spreadable. Sift and beat the cocoa powder in to the icing and use it to sandwich the two sponges together.
  • Dust the top of the cake lightly with the sieved icing sugar.

Screen shot 2014-10-09 at 14.59.57

Honestly Healthy Gluten Free Chocolate Cake

Number of servings: 10


  •  100g (31/2 oz/generous3/4 cup) coconut flour
  • 50g (2oz/1/2cup)raw cacao powder, plus 1/2 tsp for dusting
  • 500ml (17fl oz/2 cups) hemp rice or almond milk
  • 120g (4oz/1/2cup) vegan butter, plus extra for greasing
  • 130g yacon/agave syrup
  • 2 tbsp almond butter
  • 4 eggs
  • 1tsp vanilla extract


  1. Pre-heat the oven to 150°C
  2. Sift the coconut flour and cacao powder into a bowl
  3. Place the milk, vegan butter, syrup, almond butter and vanilla extract into a blender and whizz for about 1 minute until well blended (the mixture may be a little frothy on top). Gently fold the wet ingredients into the flour mixture until combined. The mixture will have quite a thick consistency.
  4. Transfer the mixture into a lightly greased springform cake tin (use a large, shallow tin for a thin, torte-like cake or a smaller deeper tin for a thicker cake) and line the base with grease proof paper.
  5. Bake for 20-40 minutes, depending on the thickness. The thicker the cake, the longer it will need – check it after 20 minutes by inserting a skewer into the centre of the cake. If it comes out clean, then it is cooked. If you like something a little more gooey then hold your nerve and take it out when there is just a little residue on the skewer. It will continue to set as it cools.
  6. Leave it to cool in the tin for 30 minutes, then transfer to a serving plate. Serve warm or cold, lightly dusted with cacao powder and a dollop of ice cream or cashew cream (recipe on the site).



Gothic Black Velvet Halloween Cake


  • 1 3/4 cup flour
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 3/4 cup good cocoa powder
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup buttermilk, shaken
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 cup freshly brewed hot coffee


  • Preheat the oven to 350. Butter two 8 inch round cake pans (make sure cake pans are at least 2 inches tall). Line with parchment paper, then butter and flour the pans (if you need a visual on this step, here is a You Tube video that is helpful.
  • Sift the flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder and salt into the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment and mix on low speed until combined. In another bowl, combine the buttermilk, oil, eggs and vanilla. With the mixer on low speed, slowly add the wet ingredients to the dry. With the mixer still on low, add the coffee and stir just to combine, scraping the bottom of the bowl with a rubber spatula. Pour the batter into the prepared pans and bake for 35-40 minutes, until a cake tester comes out clean. Cool in the pans for 30 minutes, then turn them out onto a cooling rack and cool completely, removing parchment paper.
  • Place one layer, flat side up, on a plate. With a knife or offset spatula, spread the top with frosting. Place the second layer on top, rounded side up, and spread the frosting evenly on the top and sides of the cake.

Chocolate Frosting


  • 6 oz good semisweet or bittersweet chocolate
  • 1/2 pound [2 sticks] unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 egg yolk, at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 1/4 cups sifted powdered sugar


  • Chop the chocolate and place it in a heat-proof bowl set over a pan of simmering water. Stir until just melted and set aside until cooled to room temperature.
  • In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the butter on medium-high speed until light yellow and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add the egg yolk and vanilla and continue beating for 3 minutes. Turn the mixer to low, gradually add the powdered sugar, then beat at medium speed, scraping down the bowl as necessary, until smooth and creamy.
  • On low speed, add the chocolate to the butter mixture and mix until blended. Don’t whip! Spread immediately on the cooled cake.


  • 50g melted butter, for brushing
  • cocoa powder, for dusting
  • 200g good-quality dark chocolate, chopped into small pieces
  • 200g butter, in small pieces
  • 200g golden caster sugar
  • 4 eggs and 4 yolks
  • 200g plain flour
  • Caramel sauce (see ‘Goes well with’) and vanilla ice cream or orange sorbet, to serve


  1. First get your moulds ready. Using upward strokes, heavily brush melted butter (use 50g in total) all over the inside of the pudding mould. Place the mould in the fridge or freezer. Brush more melted butter over the chilled butter, then add a good spoonful of cocoa powder into the mould. Tip the mould so the powder completely coats the butter. Tap any excess cocoa back into the jar, then repeat with the next mould.
  2. Place a bowl over a pan of barely simmering water, then slowly melt 200g good-quality dark chocolate and 200g butter, both chopped into small pieces, together. Remove the bowl from the heat and stir until smooth. Leave to cool for about 10 mins.
  3. In a separate bowl whisk 4 eggs and 4 egg yolks together with 200g golden caster sugar until thick and pale and the whisk leaves a trail; use an electric whisk if you want. Sift 200g plain flour into the eggs, then beat together.
  4. Pour the melted chocolate into the egg mixture in thirds, beating well between each addition, until all the chocolate is added and the mixture is completely combined to a loose cake batter.
  5. Tip the fondant batter into a jug, then evenly divide between the moulds. The fondants can now be frozen for up to a month and cooked from frozen. Chill for at least 20 mins or up to the night before. To bake from frozen, simply carry on as stated, adding 5 mins more to the cooking time.
  6. Heat oven to 200C/fan 180C/gas 6. Place the fondants on a baking tray, then cook for 10-12 mins until the tops have formed a crust and they are starting to come away from the sides of their moulds. Remove from the oven, then leave to sit for 1 min before turning out.
  7. Loosen the fondants by moving the tops very gently so they come away from the sides, easing them out of the moulds. Tip each fondant slightly onto your hand so you know it has come away, then tip back into the mould ready to plate up.
  8. Starting from the middle of each plate, squeeze a spiral of caramel sauce – do all the plates you need before you go on to the next stage.
  9. Sit a fondant in the middle of each plate. Using a large spoon dipped in hot water, scoop a ‘quenelle’ of ice cream.
  10. Carefully place the ice cream on top of the fondant, then serve immediately. Repeat with the rest of the fondants.


  • full-fat soft cheese 200g
  • vanilla extract 1 tsp
  • eggs 2 large, separated
  • Nutella 125g
  • golden caster sugar 100g
  • whipping cream 300ml pot
  • hazelnuts 75g, roasted and roughly chopped
  • single cream to serve (optional)

Cheesecake Base

  1. bourbon biscuits 250g
  2. salted butter 75g, melted


  1. Line a 900g loaf tin with clingfilm (oiling the tin lightly first helps it to stick). Put the soft cheese, vanilla, egg yolks from the separated eggs, Nutella and 50g of the sugar in a mixing bowl and whisk using electric beaters until smooth. Clean the whisks and, in another bowl, beat the egg whites until stiff. Add the remaining 50g of sugar, beat until glossy and thick, and then fold into the soft-cheese mixture. Finally, whisk the whipping cream until thick, then fold this in, too.
  2. Tip the hazelnuts into the base of the tin and spread evenly. Scrape the cheesecake filling on top, spread to flatten the top, then freeze for 3 hours until almost solid.


  • 300 g white, milk or dark (70%) chocolate
  • optional: edible gold or silver leaves, spray or glitter dust , to decorate

Flavouring Ideas

  • pistachios & honey
  • dried cranberries and clementine zest
  • freeze-dried raspberries and black pepper
  • flaked sea salt
  • roasted peanuts and honeycomb
  • chilli and lime zest
  • stem ginger and clementine zest


  1. Quarter-fill a medium saucepan with water and place over a medium heat.
  2. Break the chocolate into a heatproof bowl and set it over the pan, making sure the bowl doesn’t touch the water. Stir constantly, until the chocolate has melted.
  3. Spoon the chocolate into a jug and pour a layer, about 3mm deep, into each hole of a cupcake tray.
  4. If using added flavours, finely chop and sprinkle them over the top.
  5. Pop the tin in the fridge for 4 hours for the chocolate to set.
  6. Remove the tray and bang the underside to let the coins fall out.
  7. Decorate with edible gold or silver leaves or spray with edible glitter dust or simply leave them as they are.


  • 200g plain chocolate 70%, melted
  • 200g unsalted butter , melted
  • 1 tsp vanilla bean paste
  • 150g golden caster sugar
  • 150g rice flour
  • 2 pinches sea salt
  • 3 large eggs , beaten
  • 100g dried figs , sliced
  • 50g pecan, halved


  1. Preheat the oven to 325°f, gas mark 3, 170°C.
  2. Line a 9 inch (24cm) square baking tin with baking parchment.
  3. In a medium sized saucepan, over a gentle heat melt the butter and chocolate together, when melted remove from the heat to cool.
  4. When the chocolate mixture is cooled add the vanilla bean paste, sugar, salt and rice flour.
  5. In a separate bowl lightly beat the effs, then add to the chocolate mixture.
  6. Mix well until combined.
  7. Scatter the pecans and dried figs amongst the base of the tin.
  8. Pour the mixture over the pecans and figs and bake in the centre of the oven for 20-25 minutes until the brownie has set.
  9. Leave to cool completely in the tin then cut into pieces and serve. Enjoy.


  • butter, for greasing
  • 4 eggs
  • 100g caster sugar
  • 100g plain flour
  • 25g (1oz) cocoa powder
  • 3 tbsp brandy or chocolate liqueur
  • chocolate vermicelli, to decorate

For the chocolate mousse filling

  • 300g (10oz) dark chocolate (about 60 per cent cocoa solids)
  • 2 gelatine leaves
  • 450ml (3/4pt) double cream
  • 100g (3 1/2oz) unsalted butter, softened and cut into cubes
  • 2 pasteurised egg whites, or 2 tbsp liquid egg white from the chiller cabinet


  1. Grease and line 2 x 18cm (7in) sandwich tins and 1 x 18cm (7in) deep springform cake tin with baking paper. Preheat the oven to gas 4, 180°C, fan 160°C.
  2. Next, prepare the mousse filling. Melt the chocolate in a heatbowl over a pan of gently simmering water. Meanwhile soak the gelatine leaves in a little cold water for 10 minutes.
  3. Heat 300ml (½pt) of the cream to just below boiling point. Remove the gelatine leaves from the water, squeeze them dry, then add to the hot cream, stirring in until dissolved. Whisk into the melted chocolate until smooth. Add the butter, a little at a time, and beat in until smooth. Leave to cool at room temperature while you make the sponges.
  4. Put the eggs and sugar in a large mixing bowl and whisk with an electric mixer until you have a thick, mousse-like consistency that holds a trail when the whisk is lifted.
  5. Sift the flour and cocoa powder over the egg mixture. Then fold gently with a large metal spoon, trying not to knock out the air. Divide between the sandwich tins and bake for 12-14 minutes, until just firm to the touch and a skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean. Leave to cool for 5 minutes, then turn the cakes onto a wire rack, peel off the baking paper and leave to cool completely.
  6. To make the chocolate cream pour 150ml (¼pt) of the mousse mixture into a bowl, add the remaining 150ml (¼pt) double cream, and whisk until it forms soft peaks. Chill in the fridge.
  7. Whisk the pasteurised egg whites to form stiff peaks, then fold into the remaining chocolate mousse. Chill for 20-30 minutes in the fridge, until thickened but not set.
  8. To assemble the cake, place one sponge into the springform tin. Drizzle with 1 tbsp brandy or liqueur. Whisk the egg-mousse mixture until thick then spread half over the sponge. Top with another sponge, drizzle 1 tbsp brandy or liqueur, spoon over the rest of the mousse and top with the last sponge, drizzling with the remaining brandy or liqueur. Chill in the fridge for at least 2 hours to set.
  9. Remove the cake tin and peel away the baking paper. Spread chocolate cream around the sides of the cake then press chocolate vermicelli around the base. Spread the remaining chocolate on top. Use some piping bag fitted with an open star nozzle to pipe rosettes, if you like.


  • 400g milk chocolate, finely chopped
  • 100g Tesco Finest Swiss 85% dark chocolate, finely chopped
  • 100g white chocolate, finely chopped


  1. Put each chocolate in a separate heatproof bowl. Place each over a pan of barely simmering water, making sure the water doesn’t touch the bowls, and heat until the chocolates are melted.
  2. Line 3-4 large trays with nonstick baking paper. Spoon 2 tsp milk chocolate onto one corner of a tray to create a ‘puddle’ shape about 5cm wide. Repeat to fill the tray. Using a teaspoon, drop a little dark chocolate then a little white chocolate onto the puddles. Use a skewer or the tip of a small knife to gently swirl the chocolates together so that they marble but don’t completely combine. Repeat with the remaining chocolate. Tap the trays very lightly on a work surface to dislodge any bubbles.
  3. Leave to set in a cool place (but not in the fridge as this will cause the chocolate to ‘bloom’) for 1-2 hrs. Once solid, store in airtight containers in a cool place (but not in the fridge) for up to 1 week.


  • 1 piece Milk Tray box
  • 1 piece Chocolate Cake Mix
  • 3 pieces eggs


  1. Measure chocolate cake ingredients
  2. Bake half the mix then top with Milk Tray chocs
  3. Pour in remaining mix, cover with foil and bake
  4. Slice and enjoy!


  • 100g butter, roughly chopped
  • 300g dark chocolate (such as Bournville), broken into squares
  • 3 tbsp golden syrup
  • 140g rich tea biscuit, roughly crushed
  • 12 pink marshmallows, quartered (use scissors)
  • 2 x 55g bars Turkish delight, halved and sliced (or use Maltesers, Milky Way or Crunchie bars)


  1. Gently melt the butter, chocolate and syrup in a pan over a low heat, stirring frequently until smooth, then cool for about 10 mins.
  2. Stir the biscuits and sweets into the pan until well mixed, then pour into a 17cm square tin lined with foil and spread the mixture to roughly level it. Chill until hard, then cut into fingers.


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Review: Newborn UTI | Newborn baby urinary tract infection

Urinary tract infections in babies

Urinary tract infections (UTIs) are the most common cause of bacterial infection in babies. Studies in the UK show that 2.1% of girls and 2.2% of boys will have had a urinary tract infection by the age of 2. They occur when bacteria enter the urethra into the bladder and kidneys. Sometimes abnormalities in the urinary tract (the organs in the body that filter blood to produce and release urine) can cause urinary tract infections.

What are the symptoms of a urinary tract infection in babies?

It is quite difficult to diagnose a urinary tract infection in a baby. Symptoms are often nonspecific and can include fever, vomiting, irritability and crying, poor diet, drowsiness, poor weight gain or weight loss, and a bloody or smelly diaper.

Should I see a doctor about this?

Yes, any baby with a fever should be seen by a doctor as soon as possible. Consult your GP or go to A&E outside of opening hours. The medical team will perform tests, which include testing your toddler’s urine.


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My baby has been diagnosed with a urinary tract infection – what happens next?

Urinary tract infections in babies can be serious and should be treated with antibiotics. If your baby is less than 3 months old, he will most likely be admitted to the hospital and receive antibiotics, which are often given intravenously. This means that the antibiotics will be injected into your little one’s veins directly into the bloodstream. Babies cannot metabolize antibiotics, which are swallowed, as adults can, so they often need to be given intravenously. Babies over 3 months old can sometimes be treated with oral antibiotics.

Once the infection has subsided, the medical team caring for your little one may suggest further tests. This is for two reasons: First, they will want to make sure that your baby’s kidneys are recovering properly from the infection. Second, urinary tract abnormalities can often be the cause of infections. It is important to look for these abnormalities because there is an increased risk of recurrent infections, if they are not treated.

Your specialists will recommend one or all of the following exams:

Kidney and bladder ultrasound

This is an easy, painless exam where your doctor will examine the size of the kidneys and look for any abnormalities, such as urinary blockages, scarring, or asymmetric kidney growth.

Voiding cystourethrogram (MCUG)

This is a special type of x-ray and looks for vesicoureteric reflux, which is if urine passes from the bladder to the kidneys while your baby pees. The contrast dye is inserted into your little one’s bladder with a very thin catheter. The x-ray then shows what happens to the dye when your baby urinates. In some babies, the dye does not only leak from the bladder outside the body, but also out of the kidneys, putting these children at a higher risk for urinary tract infections. Most babies will come out of this condition, but will need to be covered with a small dose of antibiotics for a longer period.

A DMSA (dimercaptosuccinic acid) scan

This is a test that uses a chemical (DMSA) to look for parts of your baby’s kidneys that are not working or not working at all. This can happen when the kidneys are scarred by previous infections or when a kidney has not worked from birth due to an innate problem. DMSA emits gamma rays, a source of radiation, which is picked up by a special camera. The image will then show the colored parts of your toddler’s kidney that are functioning well and the scarred or defective parts without color pickup.

You can find more information about these tests at

Can I prevent urinary tract infections in my baby?

Unfortunately, these infections cannot be avoided unless a diagnosis of urinary tract abnormality has been made before the first infection. Before your little one is born, his kidneys will be checked during your ultrasound exams. Urinary tract abnormalities can sometimes be detected during these exams. This is not always the case, so a normal ultrasound before birth does not necessarily rule out infection later.

It is important that you see your doctor if your baby is unwell or has a fever. It’s the best way to help your little one. Having to go to the hospital can be stressful and frightening. Knowing that this is a fairly common condition can help, and the medical staff will be sure to help you and your little one through these difficult times.

Article by Sophie Niedermaier Patramani, pediatrician and doctor of Little Tummy


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