Thursday, 12 January 2012

Cooking with Mini Divas: Chocolate and peanut butter flapjacks

This morning I had two little ones at home, my lovely Thursday morning with them.

Mia is a little under the weather, so rather than going out to play we stayed home and cooked.
I rifled through the cupboard and made up as we went along; we needed something, quick, easy and fun. At this age (two and a half), there is around 20 minutes of mixing time as the limit before fighting ensues....

S,o this is what we did:

Divas choc and peanut butter flapjacks

2 cups of porridge oats
1 cup of cocoa (we used finely grated choc left over from Auntie Emily's hot choc at Xmas)
1 teaspoon bicarb of soda
250g butter
2 tablespoons of peanut butter
1 cup raisins
1 cup sugar

Ok, so this isn't healthy but it's fun  - mix together the oats, cocoa, bicarb and raisins. Melt the butter and peanut butter together, pour over the oats and stir in.
Lick spoons.

Press into a greased tin and bake for 20 mins at 160 degrees.

Eat and smear onto faces. Wipe off. Repeat.

Wednesday, 11 January 2012

Smile! It's passport time

We have the very good fortune of a short trip to France at the end of February for some snowboarding/skiing.

I have never boarded before but Papa Diva has for years and loves it, so we are going for his birthday.

Getting the girls' passports sorted has ben one of those things that seemed much harder than it needed to be. We were trying to take their pictures ourselves (2 toddlers won't sit nicely in a photobooth, noooooo), to no avail.

Eventually we gave up and did what we should have done in the first place - take them to a photographer. Photographers are used to taking pictures of toddlers for passports that meet the criteria, and it was done so quickly too.

Take our advice -  if you are trying to get your little one papped for a passport, just go and get it done properly. Eeeeeasy. At £24 for the 2 of them it is worth your sanity. Eva loved it, as you can tell. Mia not so sure.

Aaaaaand - here they are.

Tuesday, 10 January 2012

Nursery design for the Mini Divas

The Mini Diva pit is due for a bit of a mini make-over.

We have lived in our current house for 6 months; Papa Diva and his brother own it ,and its had been let out to tenant for the last few years, so it's a lovely place but all very magnolia and neutral.

We have no idea how long we will be here for, but while we are we want to make it a) more homely for us without spending a fortune and b) more sellable.

The first room to get a sort out will be the nursery. The girls share a room, and it's quite large space.
They still currently have cots, although Mia know nows she can get out of hers whenever she it may be time also to consider their very first grown up (ish) beds.

I have been pinning away on Pinterest some ideas for the nursery. I love colour, illustration, typography and books (well, I am a designer), and it would be great to make the Mini Diva's room full of colour, texture, shapes and cool stuff.

I really love looking at images for inspiration, although I really believe a nursery ( and home) should be lived in, enjoyed and fun. No pristine untouched order, please...

Here is the Pinterest board I have been working on, and some screen grabs from it below.

From what I have seen so far I am starting to formulate a bit of a wish list:

✿ Making a feature of the girl's artwork and images of them, framing some artwork and their paintings

✿ A wall decal, (sticker) possibly worked as part of a bookshelf, possibly designed by Papa Diva and I.

✿ Letters, and letterpress prints - I would love to make a feature of the alphabet, and possibly the girls names. We can easily cut these out of wood or MDF (Papa Diva designs playgrounds and knows the deal).

✿ Lovely fabrics and a mixture of prints for cushions, curtains and throws

✿ To make the room more of a playroom for the girls and somewhere they enjoy being to read, play and sleep.

Watch this space as we design and decorate it!

Saturday, 7 January 2012

Sudocrem and Mummy Matters week 2012

We are Sudocrem peeps in the Mini Diva household; it's a great tool for nappy rash of course, but also sore and chapped hands, burns and spots, should the teenager in you occasionally break out! 

Sudcocrem are launching Mummy Matters week with a host of experts answering questions online.

Here is the info:

Between Monday 9th & Friday 13th January 2012, a team of the UK’s leading lifestyle experts will be sharing need to know advice on a range of subjects as well as answering direct questions from the Sudocrem Facebook community.

Each day will host a different expert (as outlined below), who will share around 20 key pieces of advice and answering questions on their subject throughout their allotted day.

Sudocrem would love for all Mums to join the Sudocrem Facebook community ( and get involved by asking questions directly to the experts.
  • Monday 9th January 2012 - Jennifer Liston-Smith (Executive & Maternity Coach)
  • Tuesday 10th January 2012 - Claire Wylde (Dietician)
  • Wednesday 11th January 2012 - Jo Barnard (Careers Advisor)
  • Thursday 12th January 2012 - Wendy Powell (Pre & Post Natal Fitness Expert)
  • Friday 13th January 2012 - Beth Goodrham (Personal Stylist)

Friday, 6 January 2012

Getting married


Last Autumn the girls and I were bridemaids for our lovely Jamie and Lauren, my brother in-law and sister-in law down in Devon.

Not being church-goers, it was their first time in church and they loved seeing everyone dressed up.
Now, their only frame of reference for a church is that everyone gets married in one, and they talk about it whenever we pass one.

Here they are last week in St.Albans abbey discussing getting married.

Thursday, 5 January 2012

New year new you - some tips from Dex Diva

I am not one for resolutions at new Years, I do tend to create self development goals for myself all year so it's a constant cycle.
However, January is a grey and drizzly month after a festive periods of sugary boozy excess and it's often nice to consider a clean start at the top of a year.

Here are my tips for giving January 2012 a kick in the balls and starting this year feeling tip top, healthy, creative and diva-like.

Wednesday, 4 January 2012

The pre- and post Christmas Mayhem – the hope to return to normality! Guest post by Multiple Mummy

As I said yesterday, it can be a relief to get back to normality following the festive fun.
I have twins, which makes things manic enough, but fellow blogger and mum of 3 (including twins and a 3 year old) Kerry gets my award for staying sane over Xmas.
Here on Mini Divas we are all about telling it how it is, so I am thrilled to introduce you to Multiple Mummy, who admits to a meltdown. I love women who openly admit to having a crisis from time to time. Make sure you check out Multiple Mummy's blog and you can follow her on Twitter @multiplemummy.

Over to you  Kerry...

I am writing this post in the play room as I have not moved the computer back to it’s original spot following the pre-Christmas furniture move in order to have enough space to host for 16 people in total. You would think that having 2-year-old twins and a 3-year-old little boy that I would have enough to cope with, but no, in my wisdom I opt to invite the whole family for Christmas.

Tuesday, 3 January 2012

Justin's house- Justin gets it right

My children are absolutely HOOKED on Justin's House, the latest offering from Justin Fletcher of CBeebies infamy.

I don't know how he does it, but all of Justin's portfolio of irritating but somehow compelling shows have captured the girls' attention incredibly.

The formula of slapstick-meets- musical and larger than life characters is a winning combination in the Gifford/O'Carroll house and is a sure fire way to get half an hour to have a shower.

What works for your chidlren? Are they Justin fans too?

My fork 'n knife!


Now I am sorry, but when a 2 year old start yelling repeatedly for "my fork'n knife, MY FORK'N KNIFE!!" it's a little hard not to giggle just a bit. It also has to be filmed, and posted on a blog to make the child in question laugh later in life.

Take it away, Mia...

Back to routine and a rainy January day

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What do you mean, we need a break from the old routine?

Now I don't know how you have fared over the Christmas holidays, but I for one am happy to get back to routine today. I have loved having Papa Diva and the girls with me for 2 weeks, it has been so special. BUT, and I almost hate to type this....I am glad to be back at work today.

The Mini Divas are out of routine and playing up (mentioning no names *cough* Mia), not sleeping well (Mia), and generally behaving like Divas. Well, ok it's mainly Mia but the cumulative effect of two toddlers griping, my Zoladex induced hot flushes and 2 weeks of disturbed sleep is a recipe for grumpy parents, grumpy children and January blues.

As I herded the girls to nursery this morning after several fights over what to wear, chasing them around the house dragging my eye bags with me I am sure I am not the only parent returning to my desk with a large coffee and a grateful sigh.

I will of course look forward to picking them up at 3; I will have missed them dearly and it will be lovely to squish them, stick on some aprons and make a mess doing dinner but for now?

It's just me, myself and I.

How did you get on today? Are you pleased January is here?

A very happy new year from the Mini Divas and I.

Images by Miles O'Carroll/Papa Diva

Monday, 2 January 2012

Feist on Sesame Street - a Mini Diva favourite

This little ditty is a favourite in our house.
Papa Diva and I love Feist, and I am also a huge fan of Sesame Street (the best retro kids programme out there), so a combination of the two is a winner.
The Mini Divas demand the "chickens at the door" song and never get tired of it, and to be fair - that's fine by me. Check it out, and apologies for the ear worm....

Do your small people have a favourite You Tube earworm? Let us know, and maybe I can have a change from the chickens...

Sunday, 1 January 2012

Festive photobook Divas

This year was pretty much a Diva-fest in terms of gifts.
We gave photos with messages on, Diva brew own-brand coffee and we made some photo albums with CeWe photobook - have a look at our one and a half to two and a half book here: