Happy Mothering Sunday! Do you know the origins of today? Here's how it all came to be, including a traditional recipe for Simnel cake. Drink a cup of tea, and find out more about this 'family day'.
If you're looking for something easy to make for Mothering Sunday, that Dad can do, older kids could do on their own, or you can do for the grannies, then look no further. This Meringue recipe is so easy, my three year old can - and did - do it. Okay, she helped. I had to redo the eggs after she broke the yolks, but still she had fun. For ingredients you need 2 egg whites, 100g castor sugar, and your choice of food colouring. In a subsequent batch I've also added half a teaspoon of vanilla essence, just to give it a little more flavour.
- Heat the oven to 110C
- Separate the eggs (I save the egg yolks for fabulous home made mayonnaise) If you get yolk in the white, the eggs wont stiffen up.
- Beat the egg whites till they are frothy and stand at peaks.
- When they are firm, add the castor sugar a tablespoon at a time, beating all the time. Add the vanilla essence.
- If you want white meringues, scoop out spoon fulls onto a greased tray.
- In the mixing bowl we added a drop of yellow, a drop of blue and a drop of red food colouring in three different areas and lightly mixed them gently in those areas. Then my toddler scooped from each area, onto the tray, sometimes getting a mix of colours and sometimes just a mix of white and blue or white and pink.
- She scooped them onto the tray and we left them just like that.
- Put in the oven for 40 minutes
- If you want them chewy on the inside, you can take them out of the oven after about five minutes and leave them to cool. If you prefer them crunchy leave them in the still warm oven until it and they are cool.
- Discount: 15%
- Promotional code: HS1MAR15
- Expires: 6th March 2013
To use this H Samuel complimentary voucher code enter it in the box on the Shopping Basket page, and it will be applied automatically to your order. I did try it out on a sale items, but the Shopping Basket let me know the code was valid for full priced items only.
There's some excellent discounts on the site at the moment, particularly for Mother's Day gifts. But not for everything so if there's something you want, and it isn't already in the sale, then this will give you a discount anyway.
Standard delivery on the site is £2.95, but free if you spend more than £50.
Thanks to Poppyj1 at HUDK!
Griffin Technology have a great range of cases and other accessories for iPhones, iPads and other devices. They have now teamed up with Crayola to make some rather nifty looking accessories aimed at younger users. Although to be honest, I think that they'll have a lot of attraction for older users too!
We received the Crayola Case Creator, and the Crayola My Phones earbuds, for the iPhone 4. You can read on to find out a) what these are exactly, and b) whether they were any good.
- Discount: 20%
- Applies to: make up
- Promotional code: JXZMNUPD
- Expires: unknown
To use this code, you'll need to go through the checkout. If you're not already registered with the site, do so, or log in. When you get to the final screen in the process - the Confirm page - enter the code in the Gift Cards & Promotional Codes box.
It is possible you will need to join Amazon Family to make use of this code. However, there are reports of people who have been able to use it just fine without having joined Amazon Family. I wouldn't discount the possibility that they've joined at some time in the past, perhaps for a special offer, and totally forgotten.
The sign up page for Amazon Family is here.
Thanks to shadow1 at HUKD!
Use this Joules promotional code to get 20% off your bill when you buy item from the womenswear and Mother's Day gift sections. It is Mother's Day on the 10th of March - just in case you weren't already aware!
- Discount: 20%
- Applies to: womenswear and Mother's Day gifts
- Promotional code: AF20W
- Expires: 25th February 2013
To use this code, go to the Shopping Bag page and it will be applied to your order automatically.
The clothes are well made, and lovely, but not exactly cheap. Still with this discount it makes them more affordable, and there's a school of thought that thinks it is cheaper overall to buy just a few, expensive but quality items than it is to bulk buy from Primark. I think there's room for a little bit of both.
Particularly, I don't mind spending a bit more money on good quality, wearable items like pullovers, coats, and jackets. And the gift's section has a lot of really lovely items too. Buy something here that the mum in your life really wants, and probably wouldn't splurge out on herself.
Thanks to Syzable at HUKD!
Heads up here folks. It is Mother's Day, or as it is more properly known, Mothering Sunday, on the 10th of March. I'll just pause a moment while you all put this in your diaries/set alerts on your phone's calendar app (whatever is appropriate for you).
Right, are you sorted now? OK let's get started. Here's the thing. You don't need to spend a lot of money for a mother's day gift for your children's mother (or grandmother) to get that wow factor. Home made is always best, and that doesn't mean it has to be difficult, or involve a lot of messy paint.
The internet, and our trusty PlayPennies parents, are here to save the day! Just read on to find out about some of the fabulous gifts you can give, which not only won't cost the earth but many of which can be done the last minute. Yes, that's right, at five to six on Mother's day morning instead of shushing the kids, slipping into the car, and getting a bunch of flowers from the nearest open service station, you could do one of these instead.
And it'll go over as well as a pair of diamond earrings. But, just for the record, the earrings are good too.Click here to read more...
Now Valentine's day is come and gone, the next big
money maker sentimental celebratory day to look forward to is Mothering Sunday on the 10th of March. At least with some planning you don't have to break the bank here. Yellow Moon has a clearance on some Mother's Day craft ideas. There's not masses to choose from, but then you just need one or two, don't you?
Some good ideas for crafty decorations are the £1.99 Heart Decoration Sewing Kits, where you get 3 hearts, pre-cut felt shapes, felt pieces, sequins, plastic needle, yarn, stuffing, ribbon for hanging and instructions for hanging designs.
If the mother in your life doesn't like flowers that die, the kids can give her everlasting flowers with the Decorative Flower Vase Craft Kits which is £1.99 and has enough in it for two vases.
There are foam hearts and frames, keyrings, tealight holders, paper chains and more to choose from, so at least the little people can do something hand made, while you - Daddy, DP or otherwise other half - are making breakfast in bed!
Mothering Sunday is on the 18th of March. That's THIS Sunday. The one that is coming up next. Six days from now. Yes that's right. If you're the partner of a mum you have six days to come up with something special, and don't forget your own mum.
I know what I like more than anything for Mother's Day. Something home-made like a card, and a lie in. Breakfast in bed goes down well too, even if it is toast as made by a six year old (either over done or under done, and soggy with jam). Especially if it is toast made by a six year old.
Yes, I think home-made cards are the key, if you've got the time. As well as being cheaper (although this depends on if you've got materials to hand already) they're just that little bit more personal. But you know dads and partners, if you can't get the time to do something home made, then it doesn't take too much to personalise the shop brought card. Get the kids to write it out, or if too young, stick their hand on it and draw around it. The important thing is to show that a) you've thought about it and b) you remembered to get a card!
The internet seems to be truly inspiring these days. Here's a few of the most innovative, unique, and possible to do by someone with no artistic abilities, ideas that I could find!
Find Me A Gift, the online gift shop, has 25% off gifts over £25 for Mother's Day, which is this coming Sunday.
- Promotional Code: FMAG25
- Expires: Unknown
- Minimum spend: £25
Find Me A Gift have a huge range of gifts with something for pretty much every mum, from Mother's Day flowers to personalised presents. You can treat Mum to extra special pamper gifts, Mother's Day cards for those mums who don't want gifts or jewellery if you really want to go all out.
For example, you could take Mum (or wife, partner or sister, for that matter!) for a champagne lunch for £36.75 minus 25%, or £9.19, making it £30.51 plus postage.
You can order online and while postage will cost between £1.95 and £3.95, orders over £100 come with free delivery. However, as Mother's Day is just around the corner now, you might want to specify next day delivery at £5.95.
If you wont be seeing your mum on Mother's Day, you can post her gifts or card directly to her, wrapped and all. Nothing's for nothing though, and wrapping will add £3.95, or £4.95 if it's a big one, to your order.
It is Mothering Sunday, increasingly referred to as Mother's Day, on the 3rd of April in the UK. Which is roughly just over three weeks away. So you've got plenty of time to get prepared. But if you're wanting to snap up any bargain gifts, now is the time to go shopping.
Here I've drawn on the collective expertise of the PlayPennies' parents to gather together some fabulous ideas for Mother's Day gifts, priced at a fiver or less.
This is really cute. I love it. The Mother's Day Ask Your Dad Door Hanger Card is a Mother's Day card and a gift all in one. And a gift you can use all year round. On the outside it tells the kids to go find Dad (I am paraphrasing just a tad) and on the inside it says 'have a relaxing day'.
The Ask your dad door hanger card is sold by Marks & Spencer and can be bought for the princely sum of £2.25.
Over at the PaperChase, they have the perfect get-out-of-buying-a-present-altogether card. It's the No Gift Card. But it is better than it sounds. The card actually says 'No Gift To My Mother Can Equal The Gift She Gave Me'. Awww how sweet is that?
Thornton's chocolates. Delicious. This little package of I Love Mum Cups simply says I Love Mum. They're milk chocolate truffle cups. The pack contains five chocolates. It costs £2.99.
Something simple, sweet and unfussy. Try this chocolate bar from John Lewis. It is the Ambassadors of London 'Happy Mother's Day' Chocolate bar for £4.
Or you could add that personal touch. At Not On The High Street they're selling personalised Best Mum chocolate bars. You can choose from milk or dark chocolate, and add a message to the back of the bar. The site also sells Yummy Mummy chocolate bars (£4.45) and Thanks So Much bars (£4.95).
In my book it is hard to go wrong with something that smells lovely. Bubbles, salts, soaps. Anything for the bath is good. One of my favourite brands, Lush, sells this lovely A Ring Of Roses soap, which sells for £3.45 per 100g.
According to the website "A Ring of Roses smells of sweet oranges and lemons, as well as genuine Turkish rose absolute. This skin softening, soothing body soap has the same fragrance as Amandopondo, but surrounded in an infusion of larkspur, honeysuckle, marigold and cornflowers, it smells completely different. Use it when you need calm for your skin and your mind."
When I looked on The Body Shop website, I was surprised not to find any specific Mother's Day items. Maybe it is too early? But regardless, there's this little gift set, which is cheaper and more practical than buying actual roses. The Moroccan Rose Small Gift Box (£5) contains a Moroccan Rose Bath & Shower Gel (60 ml), a Moroccan Rose Body Butter (50 ml) and a Bath Lily.
Here's something a little more unusual. Whittard, the tea people, sell Fleur Bathtub Tea (£3.50). This is not actually tea you drink though. It is a soothing and calming infusion for your bath, which you soak in.
According to the Whittard website "four jumbo teabags filled with a calming blend of herbal teas and blossoms, scented with lemon balm and lavender. Sit back and relax with the calming scent of lavender."
4 Practical But Different
You really have to know your recipient before buying something like this. But I think it would be PERFECT for my mother in law. She's the type of person who can pull a mini-screwdriver set out of her handbag at a moment's notice.
I think she'd love this. Actually, so would I. It is really gorgeous. The Kirstie Allsop, she of Location Location Location fame, Mini Measuring Tape, available at Marks & Spencer, is £4. It has a floral design, or vintage chic as it says on the website. The Kirstie Allsop Mini Measuring Tape has a button to hold and release the tape. The site doesn't say how long the tape measure is, which is a bit of an oversight I think. But one of the reviewers on the website said it was quite long. Another said that it was really handy for measuring about the house.
5. Photo Gifts
There's two advantages of photo gifts over other types of presents for mum. First, they're personal. You can make them about you and the family, and that's always a good thing. Second, you can get creative and make the gifts together.
The Kodak Gallery has 20% off all photo books at the moment, but sadly that doesn't put any of them at the sub £5 mark. And at Photobox you get £5 off when you spend £20. Which, although it involves a fiver doesn't technically fit the specfications of this feature.
Photobox do photo fridge magnets for £4.10. I'm not sure exactly what you get for that price though. On the website it says that you can "go for a 6”x4” print presented in a magnetic photo frame, or two mini frames each holding a 3”x2” photo of the same image." But to look into it further you have to upload photos and so forth, so I didn't investigate. Would be well worth checking out though. You could do a fridge magnet for each member of the family.
A month away from Mothering Sunday is a good time to start looking for gifts that mum will like, rather than taking the last of whatever off the supermarket shelf the night before.
Most mums pretty much have all the smellies they want, not enough frames for all the photos and no need of yet another scarf or gloves. What most mums want from grown children is a bit more of our time, and from little children, i.e. Dad, a bit of time out.
Lastminute.com have something for everyone. There's 2 for 1 on spa days at Viva Beauty, lunch at Rivenhall Hotel from £13.00, afternoon tea for 2 the Ritz from £90, or for a bit more than just food, there's the Vineyard tour tasting & lunch that's also 2 for 1.
And for the more adventurous, there's the Lastminute.com exclusive Do something voucher for two - your choice of over 30 gift experiences, including ice climbing, tandem bungee jumping, chocolate, go-karting and more.
Take some time, and treat Mum to something nice this Mother's Day.
Hopefully mums around the country will get treated to a lovely meal this Mothering Sunday (increasingly getting known as Mother's Day). While I love the idea of getting a meal out, getting a table for lunch on Mother's day is a bit like getting a table for dinner on Valentine's Day. Another option is to have a family meal that, ideally, mum doesn't have to cook.
There's also the traditional breakfast in bed, and a few other special treats you might like to consider for the mum in your life - your own, your mother in law, or your partner.
If you're letting the kids do the breakfast themselves, then you might want to limit things to toast. As a way of dressing it up a little you could use a toast stamp. I'm a new convert to these having only just used one for the first time when reviewing some Valentine's Day products. I have to say I didn't really think it would work! This one looks fab, it's a Best Mum stamp for £2.49. Although you can find lots of different toast stamps online for mum.
Can you go wrong with pancakes? Personally I think not. I love mine lathered in maple syrup. It doesn't matter whether you buy the mix ready made, or make it yourself (really it is just milk, eggs, sugar and flour). The important thing is that you find out in advance what mum's favourite topping is!
For a bit of a difference, you could have a go at making a banana pancake. I'd love it if I got one of these - I found this recipe on the fruit and veggie guru website.
Breakfast pizza anyone? Researching this article is the first time I'd heard of this. No doubt it is something everyone else has been eating for years. It is simply a pizza base with bacon, eggs, cheese, maybe some onions and herbs on top. I'm linking to this recipe here to show you an example as it includes the dough. But really for simplicity, you could just buy a pizza base.
If you've the time and the ability then try out the BBC Good Food Guide's Spoilt rotten Mother's Day menu. Now this would be a real treat. Chive bread with smoked salmon. With a pot of fresh coffee. And the Sunday papers. With the kids bouncing around the bed. The perfect morning.
Personally I'm a big fan of chocolate cake for breakfast. Anyone else of an age where they read books about teenage delinquents instead of vampires? You'll know what I mean then if you've read the book or seen the 80s brat pack movie The Outsiders. SE Hinton could teach Katherine Meyer a thing or two about tortured teens I reckon! But I'm going off topic now.
Cake is always good for any occasion, and this is something you can get the kids involved in. Some cupcakes made for mum, and iced. You can have a great deal of fun with this. Or make some cookies and use writing icing so the kids can write messages on there. We did this last year for Father's Day and my husband was thrilled to bits. The only downside is that it makes eating the cookie very difficult.
Asda sells its Writing Icing for £1.74. There's three types - the glitter one could be a lot of fun. Other supermarkets will sell something similar too. I've used these types of products before, and they are a great way to add some fun to icing cakes and cookies. However, I have found they are always quite stiff. You might find it easier if sit them in a cup of very hot water for a while before using.
For something a bit different you could try getting a photo printed onto edible paper, using edible inks. I remember when these first started to appear on the market, and it cost an arm and a leg to get a cake made with photo icing. Now, it seems, you don't even need to get a specialist printer.
Home printers can be used. It would seem that you can get edible ink cartridges for the Canon iP4700, for example. Now, I have to warn you I've never actually tried this myself. But in theory I can't see why it wouldn't work. I would probably keep the printer just for printing edible inks myself.
Edible ink cartridges, like ordinary ink cartridges, cost almost as much as the printer itself. You can buy them online from websites, like AnyCake.com. Then you'll need something to print on. Rice paper, or sugar paper, or specialist icing sheets are good. A pack of 24 A4 sized sheets on the same website cost £23. Don't limit yourself to cakes, photos can be printed for cupcakes and cookies. Now that would make a fabulous take home gift for a party, if you are having a smallish one (I'm not sure I'd want to try and print out individual photos and put them on cookies for a party of 20 to 30 kids!).
If you just want to do this for a one off, you can order a photo icing sheet online. Typically prices for this seem to be around the £7 mark. You'll need to make sure you do this in good time for Mother's Day though. All you have to do is email them the photo, and they will send you the icing sheet with photo printed on it.