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Kawaii Box July 2015

RikumaThe Cutest Monthly Kawaii Subscription Box

– Yeah it is ❀(*´◡`*)❀

Like everybody else we’re obsessed with subscription boxes at the minute.  The postman has become the most popular person in our world and this week he went and brought the cutest darn box yet.

Kawaii Box is a selection of super cute hand-picked items from Japan and Korea.  Some stationery, some accessories, some sweets, lots of cute.

Kawaii Box

Now I lived in Tokyo for nearly 10 years so my cute threshold is quite high but opening the kawaii box was a trip down memory lane.  Item after item of familiar characters (Rilakkuma) and happy faces.  Some have already been earmarked for the dotes as Back to School treats but some are definitely staying with me.

MineThis month’s absolute favourite was the Alpaca keyring, closely followed by the toast coaster.  (I’m a sucker for food with faces)

Best yet, we’re signed up for another two months. Yatta!

The only drawback I can see is the wait. From shipping notification to arrival it took just over two weeks in our case. ⇒All the way from Singapore.

In terms of value, 3 months cost about £35, with free delivery.  Well worth it we say.

It certainly cutened up our day 🌞

The Wee Dotes Top 5 in August

{The Game}

Some people call them Cootie Catchers – we’ve always called them fortune tellers. In either case they’ve had a mini-revival in our house this summer.  It started out as a study tool but has turned into a much-loved game for both Lil D and Lil GN. So much so that a giant fortune teller was commissioned (and constructed). Multiple operators required!Giant Fortune Teller

{The Song}

I cannot hear anything but “The party’s underwear” now. (And howls of wee dotes laughter)

{The Book}

Everything is awesome

Emmet’s Guide to Being Awesome.  Lil GN has been following Emmet’s guide step by step. His morning routine is as Emmet starts his. Minus this bit ⇓

Ooopsie

{The Movie}

Paddington – A surprising success in our house.  It drew all three dotes in and had them recounting it to their parents.  Not too girlie for Lil GN (Dr Who was in it) not too boyish for the girls.  The story of another animal skin craving villain with the lovely Lord Grantham and a marmalade loving bear. {4 🍮}

{The Moment}

When Lil D squeezed me tightly on being presented with a big pile of magnetic letters, flashcards and a white board to practice spelling.  “You didn’t have to do that”, she said, earnestly.  Does she not know by now we’d do anything to make life easier for her? *Heart swell*

Not bad, August, not bad (^-^)

August Book Club

Ever after highEver After High – Once Upon a Time

Author: Shannon Hale

This is a collection of short stories introducing the characters of Ever After High. Some are simply the first chapter in the already published books in the series, and some are brand new.  Having never read the books these short introductions have really piqued my interest in the full length stories.

Ever After High is a boarding school for the children of fairy tale characters.  These kids are not only expected to follow in the footsteps of their famed parent, they have to agree to take their parent’s exact spot in the fairy tale.  Harsh for the likes of Ashlynn Ella, who in order to take her mother’ s place in the story, will have to lose Cinderella, gain a Wicked Stepmother and some Ugly Sisters.  And difficult for Dexter Charming, who is set to inherit one of many roles given to Prince Charming, despite not really being all that heroic or Charming, unlike his impressively large family.

The humour and the twists on both fairy tales and modern-day life (MirrorPad remind you of anything) make these really enjoyable little adventures.  Clearly, the story doesn’t end for the characters on the last page, and you are being encouraged to read the full books, but they have enough in them to spark a fairytale friendly imagination.

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Delicious Doughnuts

Bake Off is back.  Yay says 8.9 million people. Time to get inspired!

Except it started with madeira cake and biscuits… Don’t they know that I’m watching so I can learn how to make something new?! Bah.

Ah well, in that case, I’ll finally get round to trying some doughnuts.

For the last year or so, I have been saying how much I want to try doughnuts, but for reasons unknown, I just haven’t tried.  (Really it maybe a fear of deep frying, and discovering that home made doughnuts are amazing, so will have to be made every week).

Then this week, Bear bought me a gift.  A doughnut tin.  A not so subtle hint that it was time to get going on the doughnut plan.

A search for a baked doughnut recipe came up with this from Ina Garten, the Barefoot Contessa. Having watched many an episode on Food Network, I trusted Ina to know how to make a classic doughnut, and I was right!  She may not have the most lively style, but ask her for an American (or French) classic and she knows what she’s talking about.

DoughnutsThe result were these mini doughnuts, drowned in sugar and cinnamon, delicious straight from the oven, and even successful with work colleagues the day after.  Disclaimer: they are super sugary and  tests show that eating 3 in a row may produce queasy side effects!

What’s more the easy batter and bake method is so satisfying that I doubt I’ll ever try all that messy deep frying.  I will however, be experimenting with the range of flavours and glazes I can create for these mini morsels.  Yum.

It’s always Tea Time @ Galgorm Resort & Spa

Tea and cake. Such a lovely way to spend the afternoon.

To celebrate the 1st anniversary of their Conservatory, the Galgorm Resort and Spa added Alice to their afternoon tea menu.  For one week only.  Irresistible to a life long Alice fan like Lil GN &C’s Mommy.

We squealed with excitement as we entered the conservatory.  Met by an impressive Mad Hatters cake by Madame Cocoa our expectations for the day were met and then some.

The attention to detail thrilled us.  Hats and playing cards decorated the room.  Drink me bottles of pink lemonade were poured as we sat down at the best table in the house.  Even our napkin ring held a curious riddle.  Happily we perused the menu.

Caterpillar soup, chess board sandwiches, rosewater scones, the white rabbit carrot cake.  Oh so many wonders.  Colourful and playfully named.  Someone in the kitchen had a lot of fun with this.

Our highlight may have been the Caterpillar soup.  The Pocket Watch shortbread an unassuming favourite.  The splendor of an afternoon tea can sometimes lead to disappointments when the treats look better than they taste but all in all we found fun flavours to be sampled in everything. The scones in particular were full of surprising flavours ~ two came home to be shared with Papa, our resident scone connoisseur.  He’ll be playing the taste test game later to try to guess the flavours (^-^)

Truly it’s hard to come away from an afternoon tea dissatisfied.  It’s a treat and an experience rolled into one.  Theme it and you’re onto a winner in our book.  Mommy B wants an Alice birthday for herself and Lil C now. I, on the other hand, can barely type as my sugar crash sets in. A nice nap would be lovely right now.  Purrrrr. 🐱