Wednesday, 6 March 2013

How to solve a problem like...Mother's Day

Now we love our Mum's very much here at HQ. Quite frankly What's your tale, Nightingale? couldn't go on without them.
However, present buying for them is like tempting a badger into a dress, near impossible! They either have everything, want for nothing or want you to guess an elaborate list in they have made in their wonderful heads and with Mother's Day approaching (10th March, THIS Sunday) we know from experience, things can sometimes get desperate.

Don't fret, though we can feel you panicking from here. You don't need reach for the family size chocolate box, a bubble bath set she already has 10 of or even bankrupt yourself, we have it covered. We have compiled for you, because we love you so much, a list of 5 presents you can get your spectacular mum for her special day this year and still be her favorite.

First off, before you think about getting her anything else, get her a card. Now we can hear you muttering about wasting paper and card company's profits but they really are a perfect way of letting your mum know just how fabulous you think she is. Everyone loves a handwritten note and even more so when it's telling them they brighten up your day, you are who you are because of them or even just saying you love the way she iron your pants. So get writing! And don't think you have to buy a card, making ones half the fun, have a look here for some ideas

Now if your dead set on getting her a present, get her something fabulous, get her a vintage scarf. You scoff, but just hear us out. We aren't sure we can put into words how brilliant a vintage scarf is. Not only do they look fabulous around ones neck, topping off an outfit or warming you up, they look brilliant tidied on the edges of bags for a hint of colour, great for hiding your hair when it's not behaving, to sit on when things look a bit grubby and they are perfect for keeping your sandwiches stylish in your bag! How have you survived without one for so long! And where can you pick up these wonder accessories? Our store of course, just follow the link

Scarf not for you or want something else to go with it? Why not make some scrummy Chocolate and Orange Cupcakes.
You will need:

For the cupcakes
  • 120g/4oz plain flour
  • 140g/5oz caster sugar
  • 1 tsp baking power
  • 40g/1½oz unsalted butter
  • 50g/2oz dark chocolate, melted
  • 1 free-range egg
  • 125ml/4fl oz milk
  • orange, juice only
  • 3 tbsp granulated sugar
For the white chocolate and orange buttercream
  • 125g/4½oz unsalted butter, softened
  • 250g/9oz icing sugar
  • 2-3 tbsp milk
  • 50g/1¾oz white chocolate, melted
  • orange, zest only
  • 100g/3½oz orange chocolate

Preparation method

  1. Preheat the oven to 170C/325F/Gas 3. Line a 12-hole muffin tin with paper cases.
  2. Mix the flour, sugar and baking powder together in a food processor. Add the butter and pulse until combined.
  3. Whisk the melted chocolate, egg and milk together in a jug.
  4. Stir the chocolate mixture into the flour mixture until just combined.
  5. Spoon the mixture into the cases and bake for 15-20 minutes, or until risen and golden-brown and a skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool for 10 minutes.
  6. Meanwhile, mix the orange juice and granulated sugar together in a bowl. Carefully pour the orange juice mixture over the warm cakes and set aside to cool completely.
  7. For the white chocolate and orange buttercream, beat the butter in a bowl until light and fluffy. Carefully stir in the icing sugar and continue to beat for five minutes. Beat in the milk, melted chocolate and orange zest.
  8. Decorate the cupcakes with the buttercream

And wrap them up in some cute tissue paper in a lovely box with a ribbon, simples.
(Stolen from the fantastic The Great British Bake Off book)

Mum on a diet or you make her the cupcakes and ate them all yourself? (We recommend making two batches to counter act this problem) Then why not go for the traditional and safe, flowers. This is not giving you a free reign to wander into your local garage and pick her any old bunch, find out what she likes and take the time to find them, a local florist will be glad to help. You could also follow this link to find out what each type means so you can give her something with a little more depth. 

If you'd like to her a bit more of a permanent bloomage, why not take inspiration from the pic and paint up some tin cans (we used tester pots and several coats) and plant something lovely inside such as herbs or flowers, then it's a gift that keeps on giving!

If the last idea wet your crafty appetite, why not go sewing crazy and make your lovely mum a homemade oven mitt? It's nice and easy and you can colour co-ordinate with her kitchen scheme! Follow this link for a tutorial on how to and then just drop lots about baking some of the cakes from above :D

We hope this little list has helped with the Mother's day conundrum, it certainly gave us food for thought compiling it. We'd love to see your pictures of what you made/bought for your mum, tweet them to us at @WYTNightingale or email them to

Now with our lovely Mums sorted, where is that badger?

This blog falls into our Do Your Bit series which is all about lending your hand to the little things to make the big things happen. Find out more about this series and our others at on our Overview blog or find more in the same series by pressing the "Do Your Bit" tab at the top of the page.