Review: Baker Days Letterbox Cake

It’s been a tricky few weeks with one thing and another, so when Baker Days contacted me on Twitter to ask if I would like to review their Letterbox Gift Cake, I couldn’t say yes fast enough! You know what they say: When the going gets tough, the tough eat cake. They do say that… Right? Anyway, I popped them a quick email with a few details on Friday and by Monday morning I had a confirmation email in my inbox.

 

I expected delivery to take a few days, so imagine my thorough delight when my cake turned up the very next day! O took delivery of it from the postman and jumped up and down next to me – “Can we eat it? Can we eat it? Canweeatitnowmummy?!?!?!” – while I opened it and was very disappointed when I told him he would have to wait a couple of days until I had some time to write a blog.

 

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After the kids had both had their tea tonight, I opened up the cute little cake tin and very carefully unwrapped my lovely cake. The Letterbox Cake is a wee little 5 inch cake, which the baker days website says will provide 3-4 portions, but I’m pretty sure we’ll be able to get a few more out of it since I don’t want the boys bouncing off the walls anymore than usual in the final week of the summer holidays! There are loads of cakes to choose from – you can even order cupcakes -, but this particular cake is priced at £14.99 and comes with the added convenience of being able to fit through the letterbox so you don’t even need to be at home to take delivery of it. The cakes come well packaged in a box and tin, and you even get some candles, balloons and a party horn.

 

I cut O a slice while he jigged about with excitement next me, then he rushed off and started stuffing his face before I even had chance to grab my phone and get a photo. I did manage to get a picture of him mid-bite and he assured me after he was done scoffing, “I liked it. It was a very good cake.” Nothing quite like the endorsement of a child when it comes to cake, right?

 

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Next it was my turn:

 

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I didn’t really eat the rest of the cake. Not yet anyway. But both of the kids are in bed now, so it’s probably only a matter of time…

 

I don’t know about you, but I really like cake. Cake is the answer to most of life’s problems, I’ve discovered. And this was really nice cake. The great thing about a cake this size is that you can only really have a small slice, and that’s not necessarily a bad thing. I found that the cake was nice and light and the frosting was sweet and filling, so I didn’t feel like I was missing out by only having a small cake.

 

I think the size of these cakes makes them a really handy way of letting someone know you’re thinking of them, because you can pick a theme or have a full photo cake like I did – the possibilities are pretty much endless!

 

Baker Days deliver six days a week and, if you order before 2pm, your cake can be with you the very next day. So, if you’re anything like me and you end up forgetting birthdays and anniversaries pretty much every year, you’re covered!

 

If you fancy ordering a cake for yourself – or someone else if you like anyone enough to give away cake – pop over to the Baker Days website and have a look around. You can also find Baker Days on Facebook and Twitter.

 

AND if you’d like to be in with a chance of winning* a Letterbox Cake, head over to the Motherhood IRL Twitter, follow me and retweet the pinned tweet at the top of my profile. I’ll be running the giveaway until next Friday when I will pick a winner at random.

 

*The giveaway is open to UK and Northern Ireland residents only and  you will need to be comfortable with DM-ing me your email address for me to forward onto Baker Days.

 

DISCLAIMER: I received this Letterbox Gift Cake in exchange for a review on my blog and hosting a giveaway. The above review is a true and honest reflection of my opinion (and O’s)  on and experience of the product provided by Baker Days.

Come September

Dear O,

I don’t write about you as much as I should, but the truth is that you’ve never given me a whole lot of trouble. You were a textbook baby and now you’re a wilful, determined and joyful four-year-old. Sometimes I wonder if your tantrums and your pickiness about food are normal or if I’m actually a really terrible mother, but most of the time I know that you’re doing okay.

Only… now you’re starting school. And I’ve watched the kids from up the street heading off to school with their parents and siblings a thousand times from our kitchen window, but I never really thought about the day when you would join them.

When we moved here, you were less than two months old. I scrubbed and painted this house with you growing and kicking inside me. Those children seemed lightyears away from the tiny baby I rocked and bathed and tickled and loved in our little cocoon. That you should be on the cusp of becoming one of them is unfathomable to me.

Sometimes I look at you and I watch you playing and I listen to the stories you make up as you play and I think… How did we get here? How do you know those words? Where did that wild imagination come from? And when did you get to be so big?

People tell you that the years go fast, but they don’t tell you how fast. They don’t tell you that one day you’ll be grimacing your way through another poonami and the next you’ll be saying goodbye at the school gates for the first time. They don’t tell you that your children will be a tiny bit different every single day and you won’t even notice until you look back at the old photos and videos.

They also didn’t tell me how choked up I would get when I think about you starting school. Because I want so much for you to grow and learn and discover new things and have wonderful adventures, but my heart feels just a little bit too full sometimes when I picture the boy you already are and the man you will one day become.

I remember your first proper day at playgroup and how hard I found it to leave you that morning. You were only two and looked so tiny compared to the other children. You found a tractor and sat yourself at a table with it, holding it out to show me. My heart felt strangled by the confused look on your face when I told you it was time for me to go and that I would see you at lunchtime. In fact, just thinking about that moment makes me tearful. As I walked out to the gate with your daddy, I turned to him and said “I can’t believe I left him” with tears streaming down my face. I’d never trusted anyone except family to look after you, and I knew you didn’t understand why I wasn’t staying with you. It broke my heart, but it was a moment that all parents have to go through as they help their children to navigate the world.

I wish I could tell you that I won’t cry when I leave you at your classroom for the first time in September. You won’t know, of course, whether or not I do because I will not let you see. I will not let you see how hard it is sometimes to know that you are growing up. That you are not mine anymore in the same way that you used to be. That you have only ever been on loan to me, when all is said and done.

I hope that you will love your school. I hope that you will find good friends and delight in learning new things. I hope that you will come home and tell me breathless, emphatic stories about your day.

I love you, O. More than I could ever tell you. Enough to stand aside and allow you grow up. Enough to let you go.

If I can just have you back for the odd cuddle every now and again, of course.

Mummy

X

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From baby to big boy, I don’t know how we got here.

Keep Calm and Carry On Linking Sunday

“Romantic” city break

Over the last four years, N and I have been a bit hit and miss about spending time together as a couple. It’s not that we don’t want to, it’s just that having kids makes it difficult. But, when I saw that my favourite author was holding a book signing and Q&A in Manchester, N suggested that we book tickets and make a romantic break of it.

You know how this is going to go, don’t you? Because this is me, and this blog is basically just a comprehensive list of my failures and/or disasters.

So, the first thing was that N was just getting over a rotten cold and I was just starting with it. Which led to me driving up the M62 with a raging fever, a runny nose and a horrible sore throat. N slept for some of the journey, so I was also fucking bored and kept incrementally turning the volume up on the car stereo to try and wake him up.

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In 7 years, he has never stayed awake for a whole car journey

Then we got into the city centre and the GPS confidently directed me to a dingy back-alley, whereupon it jubilantly announced, “you have reached your destination on the left”. Unless I’m sleeping in a Biffa bin for the next two nights, you’ve lost your fucking mind. Obviously this was wrong, so N calmly loaded up Google Maps and we were redirected to our actual destination, a car park where we could dump The Smurf for the next two days without having to worry about it.

Of course, now we are those people navigating an unfamiliar city with a phone giving us directions. We are those people having an argument about the fact that the Google Maps app keeps crashing and why the fuck didn’t we just bring an actual map. We are those people arriving crossly at our hotel with sore feet and the dire need for five minutes of peace from each other. Which is difficult when you have to share one room.

Anyway. We checked into the hotel – “your room number is 237, dial 0 for reception, etc, etc” – and headed for the lifts. As we got into the lift I didn’t really think much of our room number. I expected that there would probably be about 50 rooms on each floor. Then we got to the second floor and we got out of the lift and there was a sign on the wall. “Rooms 203 to 237” with an arrow pointing around the corner. And I got that kind of creeping sense of dread that you sometimes get when you realise that your room is the last one at the end of the corridor. Like the cleaners might finish the penultimate room, turn to room 237 and think nah, fuck it and not bother changing the sheets. We trudged up the corridor, and as we trudged we dropped off the wifi. It was like entering the Dark Zone.

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The long walk to our room in the hotel sticks

The bathroom in the room was less of a bathroom and more of a sanitation capsule. The shower didn’t connect properly to the wall, so water sprayed out of the botched plumbing in all directions. There was only the memory of a nightstand on my side of the bed, which is to say that there were still screw holes in the wall where it had once been. And the bed. My God, THE BED. The bed was a rock hard contraption made not even the least bit softer by a rock hard mattress topper. The pillows may actually have been stuffed with gravel. How we laughed, and how I died a little inside at the thought of how little sleep I might actually get.

I let N book the hotel because he likes doing that kind of thing and I find it unbearably boring. I vaguely recall him offering me the choice between a four star hotel with a spa and a two star hotel without one and that was kind of the whole conversation we had about it. Back in 2009, we went to Sheffield for a weekend break and stayed in a hotel with a spa, which we only actually used in the end because we felt like we should. So this time I vetoed the spa hotel. I mean, it was also a whole lot more expensive than where we ended up, but I’m fairly certain there was probably a middle ground Premier Inn option.

At about 5am the next morning, after a turbulent night trying to find a comfortable position on the rock hard mattress topper, I was woken from one of my brief periods of sleep by a lot of noise from somewhere near the door. My knackered and befuddled brain eventually managed to organise itself enough to understand that this was the sound of water hitting carpet, at which point I muttered “you have got to be fucking kidding me” and got out of bed(rock) to investigate. I found wet carpet and prayed that I wasn’t being dripped on by waste water from a flushed toilet, then went back to bed to half-heartedly search Late Rooms for a viable alternative to Chinese water torture.

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This “Flu Buster” got me through the morning

It’s worth pointing out here that I was still sick – and getting sicker – with the awful cold, which was quickly turning into a chest infection, so on Monday morning I was GRUMPY. N and I went separate ways in Primark so we could shop without annoying each other, but I hate shopping. Really hate it. I just can’t be bothered with it at all. So I bought a few t-shirts for myself and spent a whole lot more on the boys and then I tried to call N. But he was on the basement floor and had no signal, so I then spent a whole hour looking for him. And he eventually rocked up like, “Why do you look so pissed off?” Seriously.

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Watching the rain from Primark

We took a nap later before the book signing and then it was a monumental effort to get back up and drag N up and walk the ten minutes to the library. But it was worth it, because this particular author is my hero and it was a really unique experience. Of course, N really didn’t want to hang around for the signing afterwards – having spent the best part of an hour and a half surrounded by women, most of them more than a decade younger than us -, so he headed off to the pub while I chatted with a lovely girl, Ellie, who I met on Instagram before the signing. We exchanged numbers after the signing, so I hope we’ll keep in touch for book discussions in the future.

Meeting Maggie Steifvater

Talking Gansey with Maggie Steifvater

So, I should probably mention this whole aspect of a “romantic city break”, which is the pressure to have sex. I’ve already posted about sex between N and I, so I don’t really need to go into any unnecessary detail here, but the thing about being away is that none of the usual restrictions apply. There aren’t likely to be any disruptions (unless the beleaguered air con unit fell off the wall right in the middle of things) and being tired usually wouldn’t be the same kind of issue. Except that it was, because I was fucking exhausted and really, really sick. So N kind of hopefully mentioned sex on Monday morning and I coughed a lot and it pretty much wasn’t brought up again after that.

I mean, this all sounds like a total nightmare of a romantic break, but what I came away from it with is this: N is still my best friend. He’s still the person I most enjoy spending my time with. And, on top of that, I realised how lucky we really are. We have a good marriage and we have two beautiful children and we are so, so fortunate.

I also really missed the kids and was super happy to see them when we got home, even though F was mad at me for leaving him and didn’t want anything at all to do with me for a good hour after he got up from his nap. Sometimes it’s easy to forget how wonderful my boys are when they’re wearing me out and driving me crazy. But they are wonderful, and they fill my heart right up.

I’m happy.

Thanks for another great adventure, hubs. We fucked it up in our own specific way and I had a lot of fun.

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