Magic Moments // Hot Wax and Wet Wipes

Bouyed by my recent makey-doo experiences with Harry, I jumped at the offer from a friend to take our children to the Cheshire Candle Factory.  We thought we would spend a good part of the day there and paid for the package which consisted of making a candle, decorating a candle holder, making a sand ornament, and painting a clay figure.   The first place we headed off to was the candle making section – the bit I’d been excited about the most.  On came the plastic aprons, up went the sleeves, out came the wet wipes, and we were off.

Within two seconds, glitter, paint and glue were everywhere!  I immediately regretted wearing a white top and sticking Harry in his new sweatshirt.  I clearly hadn’t thought this through.  But worse was to come.  Once the candle holder was complete and set aside for drying it was time to make the candle to go in it.  Now let’s just think about this shall we.  HOT WAX and a TODDLER…my inquisitive toddler, the one who can’t listen to instructions, the one who can’t concentrate for too long, the one who can’t sit still for two minutes……..I couldn’t believe my stupidity but I couldn’t back out now.  As we dipped the wick in to the hot wax I was as nervy as a long tail cat in a rocking chair factory.  Our turn at the hot wax counter couldn’t finish soon enough.  Considering that I had done most of it – and at break neck speed so that we could move on – the result was still good enough to give to Granny as a belated birthday present.

Chehire Candle FactoryFrom there we headed upstairs to paint a clay figure – he went for the crocodile.  He actually spent longer than five minutes on this activity and the result was quite impressive, if you like sludgy coloured crocodiles. Because he is by far the sludgiest coloured crocodile you have ever seen.  Another lovingly handmade gift for a lucky grandparent.

Cheshire Candle Factory

By the time he had finished his friend was only half way through hers, so he did what any typical boy would do to pass the time – run up and down.  As he ran the objects on the shelves would rattle due to the floorboards bouncing.  Rattling shelves = broken stuff.  Cue Mummy trying to grab small child to prevent paying for any breakables.  But chasing after him only encouraged him to run faster, and my movements made the whole building shake never mind the shelves rattle!

To distract him I herded him towards the section where you pour coloured sand in to an object to make an ornament.  He selected a dinosaur – yep another bloody dinosaur for the collection – and set about completing that task with the same enthusiasm as the others.

Cheshire Candle Factory

Due to the speed that Harry completed his activities, it ended up being a whirlwind visit and not the leisurely half day out we were looking forward to – just short of 2 hours and that included stopping for lunch!  Harry tried to bite in to the candle (he thought it was a lollipop), ate his body weight in coloured sand and had more glitter in his hair than a 70’s rock star.  If the snores in the back seat on the way home were anything to go by then he loved it.   We will be going back.  Just in a year or two from now, in older clothes and with a much bigger pack of wet wipes.


Harry’s Honest Mummy

Magic Moments // First Bake Off

I’ve been meaning to do a bit more “makey-do” stuff with Harry so when I was out shopping and spotted The Good Dinosaur Cake Packet Mix, it was a complete no-brainer what our next mum and son activity was going to be. The Good Dinosaur was the first film that we took Harry to see and we all loved it. He has books, plastic figures and the DVD of it. I knew that our first cake making experience was going to be a winner.  The only question was “how much mess were we going to make?”.

Making Cup Cakes

He spotted the box before going up to bed and so I made a promise to him that we would bake them the next day.  When morning came his first words to me were “we make Arlo cakes now Mummy”.  He clearly hadn’t forgotten. So by 7am the oven was warming up, I had cleared us a safe space in the kitchen, and I had ripped open the top of the box. A promise is a promise.

My Paul Hollywood

He proved to be a very helpful bakers assistant. He helped me every step along the way; instructing me to stir things a bit more when needed, he put out the cases and told me how much mixture to put in them. He was very enthusiastic about cleaning up afterwards albeit that consisted of licking the spoons clean. He was the perfect Paul Hollywood to my Mary Berry.

Two Spoons

Trying to explain the different stages to him proved quite a challenge.  H could not understand that you had to wait for the oven to heat up, they then had to be cooked, they then had to cool down, and then you had to wait for the icing to set. And only then were they ready to be eaten!  For a little boy who had waited 12 hours to sample his own cakes he did really well not to throw a complete wobbler.

Good Dinosaur Cakes

For someone who last cooked destroyed a packet mix cake nearly 30 years ago in Home Economics they didn’t turn out too bad.  Harry announced that he was “humby” and so I let him have one. When he showed me his belly and declared it was still empty I let him have one more. When Daddy came downstairs later that morning I was proudly showing him the cakes when I realised that the numbers in front of me didn’t stack up. We made 10, he had eaten 2 and there were 6 left……

Arlo Cake Testing

Harry’s cheeky little smile – and swift exit – told me all I needed to know!


Harry’s Honest Mummy