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Pick-me-up Nutella Cupcakes

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I think this week has just been one of “those weeks”. Benedict and I have been ill with a cold/fluey thing, which has made B pretty hard to deal with at times, and Eoin has had to work really late each night this week. So after a day of quite a lot of tantrums, it was really nice to lose myself in a bit of baking. They were so good too… I might have had two in one sitting… crazy!

It’s the hummingbird bakery recipe, and then I added a cheeky spoon of Nutella to each one.

Chocolate Cupcake Recipe

100g plain flour

20g cocoa powder

140g caster sugar

1½tsp baking powder

a pinch of salt

40g unsalted butter, at room temperature

120ml whole milk

1 egg

¼ tsp vanilla extract

Method

Preheat the oven to 170°C (325°F) Gas 3.

Put the flour, cocoa powder, sugar, baking powder, salt and butter in a freestanding electric mixer with a paddle attachment (or use a handheld electric whisk) and beat on slow speed until you get a sandy consistency and everything is combined.

Whisk the milk, egg and vanilla extract together in a jug, then slowly pour about half into the flour mixture, beat to combine and turn the mixer up to high speed to get rid of any lumps.

Turn the mixer down to a slower speed and slowly pour in the remaining milk mixture (scrape any unmixed ingredients from the side of the bowl with a rubber spatula). Continue mixing for a couple more minutes until the mixture is smooth. Do not overmix.

Spoon the mixture into the paper cases until two-thirds full and bake in the preheated oven for 20-25 minutes, or until the sponge bounces back when touched. A skewer inserted in the centre should come out clean. Leave the cupcakes to cool slightly in the tray before turning out onto a wire cooling rack to cool completely. Frost as desired.

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“Bye Bye Jesus”

Adoration for children

I was at Mass with B last week, and it was a rare quiet occasion where I could stay for a bit of Adoration afterwards. Benedict joined in happily singing “O sacrament most holy” and then carried on walking up and down the pew (I’ve started to take his shoes off in Mass because he enjoys the loud noise his shoes make on the wooden floor far too much!).

After a while, B was increasingly getting louder and more adventurous, so I thought it was probably time to go. I went to pick him up and as we were leaving the pew, he said so clearly and out of the blue: “bye bye Jesus”! My heart just melted. I realised at that point that Benedict already has his own relationship with Jesus, and that the Mass isn’t just something for me that I bring Benedict to, but the Mass is something just as much for him too!  I also realised just how precious Benedict is in God’s eyes and how much He longs for Benedict too.

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Our first home holiday

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Eoin took a week off work last Easter week. Normally when Eoin’s off we’ll visit family/friends or just go away for a few days, so we have never just spent a good amount of time in Tonbridge investigating nice places to visit. But this time we decided to do a bit of both; we came back from my parents on Tuesday, and then spent the rest of the week doing some nice things with the three of us. It was a lot of fun and I had a real sense of creating our own family memories.

Our first stop was Hop Farm – Benedict was like a child in a sweet shop when we saw all the animals; he didn’t know which pen to go to first. He would run to one and exclaim “ooh woow!” and then he’d quickly notice something else and run over to that one, it was so funny to watch.

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I think B thought he was a goat and wanted to join them…

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Kent’s famous oast houses:

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On Friday we drove to Hever Castle which was the childhood home of Anne Boleyn. It’s such a beautiful place and we were really blessed with the weather too. With B alongside us, we decided it would be better if we avoided the antiques of the castle and just stuck to the gardens! But there’s so much to do outside, we really didn’t miss out; there’s mazes, boat rides, adventure playgrounds, gardens, Lindt bunny hunts for Easter etc. It was great fun.

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Making a break for freedom…!

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An Eventful Easter

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Eoin, B and I spent Easter this year with my parents which was really special. We saw Good Friday through to Easter Sunday at their parish where dad deacons, and the Triduum was really beautiful there; it could never get old or tiresome!!

We had just come out of the Easter Vigil and Eoin whispered to me that his sister Maria had just gone into labour – her due date was 10 days after Easter! We were so surprised and excited – what better time in the whole year than to give birth at Easter! Baby Francis Joseph was born rather quickly in the early hours on Easter Sunday.

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We went to visit them on Wednesday and wow is he absolutely TINY!! Benedict is definitely no baby now! It’s so easy to forget how small and fragile new borns are; compared to Benedict, holding Francis was like holding air!

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It wouldn’t be a real baby visit if Eoin hadn’t put something on Francis’ head

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Such a beautiful new family!