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Author, Avid Tweeter & Blogger, Lover of books, Teacher of Maths & Swimming, Mother, Speaks Spanish, Friend to many...

Wednesday, 27 March 2013

Easter Fun with children... Homework for parents

As any of you parents out there know, school life imposes certain "chores" on parents... Schools run a lot of competitions to enable the children to create things at home for either project work or seasonal fun.

I have always believed that if the children should be making something, it should be their work.  A lot of times I have despaired when you see a children bring a wooden model to school (when they are only 6!) or a cake that looks like it belongs in a shop... Now, I'm not saying parents should not get involved with what their kids do... encouragement is essential. My son is not very creative, and he needs some ideas at times. BUT, then I expect him to go on and do it himself.

Today is the closing date for a Literary competition I am running at the primary school, I am intrigued to see the submissions. This is the first time I have done this, it'll be interesting to see what I get. If I have enough entries I am planning to publish them as a collection to raise money for the school - should be fun (maybe?)

Anyway...

My daughter (who is a regular feature on this blog) decided to make a simnel cake for her Easter Competition Entry. She got the recipe from a Mary Berry Cook book and followed it... (I did have to put the cake in the oven again since she insisted it was ready even though it needed an extra 40 mins... oh well!)

I was very proud of the fact she got all the ingredients together, measured them out & basically made it herself! The she made some decorations modelling the marzipan, and painted them using food colouring... a job well done! (I even learnt something - the 11 marzipan balls represent the 11 apostles)

My son needed an idea... I suggested he should do something that matched his sense of humour (he is a joker!) - So, I suggested he make an Easter Garden (that still had not arrived due to the cold weather).  He found the characters, make captions for them, stuck them on to card and cut them out... then he planted the bulbs that have yet to flower, and job done! I think the captions are quite funny!

Anyway, today I have to make an Easter bonnet for my youngest (it never stops) and bake more cakes for her Easter party tomorrow.

Am I the only parent that thinks... STOP, enough? Ha ha

Okay... since I wrote this post I have made the Easter Bonnet with my daughter (her pointing at me saying there mummy, there... oh, and add this!)

I also facepainted a LOT of children at the Easter fun Day at the pre-school, bought lots of cakes & won a few prizes in the raffle... hooray!

Joanne was searching everywhere for eggs during the egg hunt... even though I tried to "stage" a few discoveries the other kids were hot on her heals! It's a bun fight for the eggs!

Talking of buns... I managed to get my mums "Easter Bread" recipe and helped my eldest make it yesterday. It is the first time I have tried it and I have to say it looked just as good as "me mums"

RECIPE

325g margarine
4 eggs
125g sugar (I used caster)
The rind of 1 lemon & 2 large oranges (& the juice from the oranges)
I teaspoon vanilla essence or aniseed flavouring (I used the vanilla)
Approx. 350g Self Raising flour

I mixed the Margarine, eggs, sugar & flour together.  Then added the rind & juice & flavouring.  The dought needs to be "bread like" so add more flour until it is a good consistency, i.e. not sticking to your hands.

Divide into four portions, shape into buns, then criss cross and bake for approx 25 mins until golden brown (like mine...)

Once cooled, slice thinly and spread with butter, jam, etc as you would with scones or eat on its own! I wrap them in tea towels to keep them fresh.

Enjoy, let me know if you try them and what the results were like!

HAPPY EASTER EVERYONE

(I am planning to eat cake, chocolates, and spend time with family... can't wait!)

Speak soon,
Vanessa :) xx

Tuesday, 19 March 2013

Warning pictures of CAKE... WARNING... LOL

It was my daughters Birthday this weekend and she decided she wanted a multicolour cake... soooo

This is what we did...

We made three layers - the outside ones slightly bigger... and used food colouring to make the cakes look different (you can also use cocoa powder - 25g)!

Recipe for outer layers:

3 eggs
125g caster sugar
125g margerine or butter
Vanilla essence & food colouring
175g flour

Recipe for inner layer:

2 eggs
100g caster sugar
100g margerine or butter
Vanilla essence & food colouring
125g flour

 Jam on the first layer...

Butter icing on the next layer...

Then covered it in Marzipan, buttercream & decorations!



The end result...

Enjoy,

Vanessa :) xx

Wednesday, 13 March 2013

Writer's Kaboodle

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I was approached by Sezoni Whitfield www.twitter.com/sezoni and asked if I would like to be interviewed live on Twitter!  Fool me, I said yes... eek! I have no idea what I am letting myself in for but please come and join in - should be fun!

MY INTERVIEW IS TOMORROW (THURSDAY 14TH MARCH):

Follow my interview with SEZONI WHITFIELD on Twitter from about 9am US time - 1pm UK time.
Use the hashtag #WritersKaboodle to join the conversation. Learn more about me on Twitter @vanessa_wester

A bit about Sezoni...

http://writerskaboodle.blogspot.co.uk/2013/02/calendar-of-events.html

She conducts online author interviews every Thursday from 10:00 AM EST until 2:00 PM EST, and from 6:00 PM EST until 9:00 PM EST. The interview can be as short as 15 minutes or as long as one hour, depending upon participation. The interview is simply conducted.She will ask questions about your book, current projects, and anything else you want to share and promote your website, blog, and tweets.  And share your book on Facebook.

To participate, just use our hashtag #WritersKaboodle with all your replies while the interview is in session. That way, everyone who participates in the chat can see your tweets and reply directly to you. Your tweets are always in the discussion forum for others to dip in and out for any useful writing tips you may offer.

If you're interested in an online interview, please send an e-mail to readnwrite241@gmail.com

AND ANOTHER AUTHOR INTERVIEW…

I was also interviewed by Jason Bourne www.twitter.com/Jason_Bournesm

Please check out the interview here…

http://jbournesblog.wordpress.com/2013/03/11/authors-roundtable-vanessa-wester/

Vanessa :) xx

Saturday, 2 March 2013

Read an eBook Week: 3-9 March - download my books for FREE

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This week is read an eBook Week… so I have decided to jump on board and give away all of my titles listed on Smashwords for FREE

That’s right – you can get the first two novels of THE EVOLUTION TRILOGY for FREE via Smashwords.

To find out about the event please go to the official site http://www.ebookweek.com/ and read an interview by Make Coker back in 2010 http://www.huffingtonpost.com/mark-coker/the-story-behind-read-an_b_487343.html

You can download a purchase from smashwords onto a Kindle, however to make it easier for those who like to buy via Amazon I am listing all of my ebooks for the minimum price possible of £0.77 or $0.99 (Amazon do not allow me to set the price as FREE unless I am enrolled in their KDP scheme... I don't want to do this, sorry!)

We are also running a FREE promotion for the Charity Collections in Friday and Saturday through Amazon.

EB_RAEBW_LOGO_v1AThank you for your interest… let’s celebrate the advent of the eBook by downloading as many books as possible,

Vanessa Wester :) xx

From the 3-9 March you can download my books for FREE (offer only available through smashwords)

FREE BOOKS VIA SMASHWORDS

HYBRID (The Evolution Trilogy) https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/145641

COMPLICATIONS (The Evolution Trilogy) https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/248786

REDUCED PRICE VIA AMAZON (ONLY 77p - it's still cheap! xx)

HYBRID Amazon UK  Amazon US

COMPLICATIONS Amazon UK  Amazon US

FREE SHORT STORIES VIA SMASHWORDS

First Date https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/276002

Black Warning https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/282075

The Engagement Party https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/282077

Careless Cupid https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/282078

FREE CHARITY COLLECTIONS via AMAZON (FRIDAY 8TH & SATURDAY 9TH ONLY)

Out of Darkness Amazon UK Amazon US

A Festive Feast Amazon UK Amazon US

Love is in the Air Amazon UK  Amazon US