Sunday, 29 May 2011

Farewell to My iCandy and Advice on Tandems please!

This is ridiculous I know but I'm sad about saying good bye to one of my trusty servants - my iCandy Cherry! It was my favourite purchase when Isla was on the way and I've loved using it and really do believe in it as a brilliant travel system. Sadly, it has to go to fund the new tandem buggy we intend to buy and tonight it was bought on Ebay by it's new owner, who hopefully will love it as much as I have................

And, so now I have to put my mind to the decision of what tandem buggy to buy! Advice and experience wanted, so please leave your comments below.....I swear by word of mouth recommendations!

Saturday, 28 May 2011

Young's Seafood Cooking Event

A few weeks back I was lucky enough to be invited to a cooking event hosted by Young's Seafood. It was taking place at a fantastic cookery school location 'L'atelier des Chefs' in London, only down the road from where I work. I've really enjoyed the food events I've been to recently so I was really looking forward to this one because I love fish but am stuck in a rutt with the kinds of things I do with it - my two staples are salmon fillet with an asian kind of marinade and the other one is just plain old boring smoked haddock on its own cooked in butter. And in terms of Isla's fish consumption, this is limited to the odd fish finger and I was keen to find out if these are considered nutritious!

On the day I met some other lovely mummy bloggers and we all got stuck in to the eating of Chef Serge Nollent's creations and at the end split into two teams to see if we could easily follow the two recipes he had made. We also had the fantastic Seafood specialist, Duncan Lucas on hand to show us how to skin, fillet and de bone fish.

Before we got started watching the demos we were treated to a little platter of some of the products that Young's sell, and they really were delicious:

Chip Shop Mackeral, King Prawn, Mango & Pomegranate salad, Whole Scampi & breaded Cod
Next up Young's Nutrition director Clare Leonard told us some good reasons why we should include fish in ours and our children's diets:

  • It's good for heart health! Omega 3 keeps your blood cholesterol in check. Omega 3 isn't easily made by our bodies, so fish is a good source.
  • Omega 3 is also good for children's brain development - studies show that children who eat more fish have improved concentration, spelling and reading are better and they supposedly behave better! Gotta be worth a try....
  • Fish is quick and easy to cook and therefore a great choice for time poor mums! It is also much healthier than the other quick meals us mums resort to like sausages, pizza, chicken dippers. Fish fingers are in fact a great healthy option
  • Good source of protein - so helps the body to heal
  • Good source of Vitamin D - a vitamin that people in this country do not get enough of as typically people get it from sunlight
  • We should all eat fish at least twice a week - but for us pregnant ladies we should make sure we don't eat fish that are associated with heavy metals like Swordfish and Marlin.
So that's the end of the fishy facts, now lets get to the part that was really delicious... Serge cooked us 3 different dishes:

- Salmon Fillet, with garlic and herb butter, wilted spinach and saffron cous cous

- Smoked haddock, Cheese and Tomato bake - on the Young's website

and my favourite of the day was:
- Roast Cod with Cider Braised Leeks, Peas and Pancetta - separate post for this recipe coming soon - my attempt at home left the plates clean, so I can only assume the OH loved it!

They were all so quick and easy to make and prior to each dish, Duncan prepared the fish for Serge to cook. They were a great duo and had an excellent working relationship. The eating was the best bit and all were divine!

At the end we were split into two teams, Team Cod making the cod dish and Team Haddock making guess what.... the haddock dish! We both got stuck in and quickly saw that there is no excuse not to cook more fish at home - it really is so fast to knock up something tasty.

Team Haddock

Team Cod
The session was rounded off nicely with a big goody bag full of Young's Fish and also a hefty big piece of fresh cod that Ducan had sliced up that day. It was a very fun, informative and mouth watering session and really made me see that there is so much that can be done with fish and you don't need to be master chef to do it - Serge made it look so easy!

If you want to look up the recipes I've mentioned or check out any of the many other fish recipes Young's have on their site, then check them out - Fish Recipes

Thanks to all at Young's for inviting me and to Serge, Duncan and Clare for making it a great session!

Thursday, 26 May 2011

Pregnancy Yoga

I Love Wednesday's, I spend the day with my darling daughter and then at 6.30pm I hand over the reigns to my OH and get my yoga gear on! Since I was 22 weeks pregnant I've been doing a weekly Pregnancy Yoga class and I absolutely love it! I skip (like a Hippo) out the door, jump in the car and really can't wait to take off the weeks troubles, stresses and forget my pregnancy related aches and pains!

The session is 75 minutes and it is PURE me time, and also special time for me to think about my baby boy and channel my energies into him for a change. The thing with 2nd pregnancies is that the baby growing inside you doesn't get nearly as much thought as the first one did. There is no poring over Pregnancy books, no mooning over baby products you want to buy as you have most of it already and no lazing around watching the Discovery Health Channel all weekend for birth programmes (I did a lot of that last time!). My attentions are usually spent on the Toddler, work, looking after the house and my new love of blogging.

There are about 7-8 of us in our class and we're all due within a 3 month period of each other. We start off by talking about our week/ sharing how we're feeling physically (most say knackered!) and mentally. Our teacher is brilliant, so down to earth and her use of affirmations is really empowering. We practice along to music and it's real mixture of uplifting and relaxing sounds. We start by warming up, and 'shaking' off our day, we're always encouraged to take our eye gaze up, this is a really positive thing to do. All the movements are gentle and Jayne says we should always work to 80% of our usual effort, which is good to keep in mind to stop from causing any injury.

I won't try and describe any of the sequences we do as I know I won't be able to do them justice but some of the moves we do feel like we're 'taking off our day' and letting go of everything. We also do perineum squeezes to help with our pelvic floors - I'm useless at remembering to do these so at least I know I'm doing them once a week! I'm sure I'm setting myself up for trouble in years to come - I'll be looking for Tena Lady to sponsor me for Cybermummy 2012! 

After the various moves we do, we practice focussing on breath work, we do this seated on a chair and last week it was so relaxing that I nearly fell sideways off the chair - luckily all the other ladies had their eyes closed and only Jayne saw! The breathing work we do is designed to help us cope with the contractions and also to maximise oxygen intake for me and Baby boy. The out breath should be longer than the in breath and we often use the word Relax, separated into 2 syllables with 're' being shorter than 'laaaax'.

Right at the end comes my favourite bit - deep relaxation, where we lay down, get comfy and warm and focus on relaxing each and every bit of our bodies. Jayne uses visualisation and I love it when she mentions our babies all curled up inside us, safe and protected and smiling! I'm usually nearly asleep by the end of that and wishing I didn't have to get up and drive home but I don't really fancy spending the night in the Quaker Hall really... So I rouse myself and do some final exercises, one of which is where we're encouraged to think of a word and send that out as a vibration into our week ahead, quite often I think of being calmer and other times I think of energy (seriously lacking that now!).

I love the classes for how they make me feel on the night and for the following days and I really hope that I can remember the techniques I've learnt when it comes to B-day, and not go into panic mode! Hopefully being prepared and using the breathing and visualisation I've learnt will give me confidence in my body and what it can do on its own. If you've read my first birth story you'll know that it wasn't a smooth ride and I'm hoping my yoga will be part of the toolbox that will allow me to cope better second time round.

My pregnancy yoga class is taught by Jayne Micallef, details of her classes can be found here:
Jayne Micallef Yoga

This is not a sponsored post - I've written this as it is something that I think has been truly beneficial to me during my pregnancy, I have not been offered anything in exchange for my views.

Tuesday, 24 May 2011

Lollibop Update and Ticket Giveaway!

I've blogged previously about how we've been given the opportunity to be an Official Lollibop family for this years Lollibop Festival in Regent's Park - a festival aimed at the under 10's. We're so excited and can't wait for Isla to have a fun day with all the attractions that will be there.

Recent additions to the line up include Peppa Pig and Ben and Holly's Little Kingdom - both of these will get Isla extremely excited as these are her two favourite TV programmes!

Rastamouse is also on the programme and I know that there are a lot of parents who like that let alone the kids! I'm particularly looking forward to 'Minimission' - an Ibizan style club for kids with music from Baby does Disco - where there will be a beach, tea, treatments and mini makeovers! There's also a Bubble Zone and Face Painting - both things that Isla has enjoyed in the past. The best thing about all this is that once in the festival all these things are free (apart from the food/ drinks and I think we'll probably take a picnic to get over that!) and so no need to put your hand in your pocket.

So after reading all that, what are you waiting for? At the moment there is an exclusive promo code that enables people to purchase LolliBop tickets at the (now ceased) Early Bird rate of £19 per ticket – rather than the current price of £23.

The promo code is LOLLIBLOG (case sensitive) and is only available through Ticketmaster -
But bigger news than this is that the fantastic Lollibop people have given my blog readers the chance to win a ticket for a family of 4 to gain free entrance on any day over the weekend, 5th - 7th August - you choose! This is such a great prize and would usually set you back £80 as an advance online purchase or £108 on the gate!

So for your chance to win, compulsory entry is to please visit the official Lollibop site and come back and leave a comment below telling me what you and your children would most like to see at this years Lollibop festival - there is so much to choose from, so I don't mind if it's a long list!

For a second extra entry please 'Like' the Lollibop Facebook page here:
and I Heart Motherhood Facebook Page here: and leave a separate comment to say you have done both of these - if you already 'Like' then please let me know.

For a final extra opportunity to win Tweet to say you have entered this competition including the Twitter ID @iheartmuthahood and @lollibopuk and again leave another comment saying you have done this.

For all entries please leave either your email address or twitter ID as a method of contacting you should you win.

This competition is open until 30th June, so good luck!

Monday, 23 May 2011

The MAD Blog Awards - Best Pregnancy Blog 2011 Finalist

MAD Blog Awards 2011

So I've got through to the last 5 finalists for Best Pregnancy Blog in the MAD Blog awards. I'm really happy about this as my blog is so young - I only started it in November - but it has followed me on my 2nd pregnancy journey and has given me so much pleasure. I've done things I never thought I would do - like standing in a maternity bra at The Baby Show for Bras4mums, I've taken Isla on some fun excursions and I've also made some great mummy contacts as a result!

Just being a finalist is truly exciting but naturally I would like to have a taste of what it's like to be a winner (I'm a winner already just by having a fantastic husband, daughter and wonderful friends and family) and I'm hoping that you'll continue to support me and vote for me again. If you do I'll stop banging on about it.....

Click through to vote on this link: The MAD Blog Awards

thanks all!

Sharon x

Sunday, 22 May 2011

Mamas and Papas Maternity Wear

Today was a bit of a rainy/ sunny day (Peppa Pig song - didn't see any rainbows though). So I decided to wear this Mamas and Papas top as it's summery but has the nice cardigan detail that kept my arms warm.

Still not had the right weather for my maxi dress, but I'm sure there will be an opportunity in my last 6 weeks before due date! If you're looking for some summer Maternity wear then look towards Mamas and Papas.

Mamas and Papas supplied me with some gorgeous maternity clothes to trial from their new summer range on the understanding that I write about them, I feel lucky to have the opportunity and do honestly love the clothes!

Bump Watch...Week 34

Feeling Really Massive this week! 2 more weeks till maternity leave and 6 weeks to go till due date!!

Thursday, 19 May 2011

I ♥ I Love Gorgeous

I got some direct mail through my letterbox this week and usually it goes straight in the recycling bin, however this one booklet caught my eye as the image of the little girl on the front was captivating and it made me open up the polythene and flick through. It was from 'I Love Gorgeous' and the dresses in there were breathtaking and I liked the vibe of the photo shoots used in the catalogue - all wild flower meadows and hippy chic. I've never heard of I Love Gorgeous before but I took a look on their site and I love the dress I've posted here. Isla would seriously look fantastic in it, could be perfect for her 2nd birthday coming up in July! Take a look at them, the designs would be perfect for weddings and parties for your little girls!

Wednesday, 18 May 2011

Pregnancy Pampering

Last week I did a couple of lovely things just for me! I was feeling really really pregnant - I feel like I've got a beach ball full of wet sand permanently attached to my front! So firstly after I'd finished at Blog Camp on Thursday I took a stroll up to John Lewis and had myself a fantastic manicure at Nails Inc.

I don't know about you but since I've had children my hands have gone to the dogs, they're rough as sand paper, my nails are all jagged and all different lengths, it's embarrassing. Anyhow after 30 minutes of pampering my nails looked fantastic, and BRIGHT PINK! I felt really girly although I have to say I did feel a bit guilty spending money on myself. But then I think the guilt disappeared and.....

Next up was a bit of eye brow threading. I've been a fan of this for a couple of years now and I really enjoy having it done. I know that there are cheaper places to go but I always go to Blink as after the threading they give a lovely little massage around the forehead and temples and I find it so relaxing. I love how my eyebrows look afterwards (they were like bushes before - but my new fringe helps to cover them a bit!) and I don't really notice the slight pain throughout.

My pampering didn't end that day as I decided on Friday I'd take some time out over lunchtime during work to go and have a pregnancy massage at Spa NK on Westbourne Grove. And oh my gosh, it was bloody fantastic! I opted for an hour long massage that was £75 (I know, spending more money on myself! - but that all stops when Baby Boy arrives!) and it was worth every penny.

On arrival at Spa NK I was taken to the changing room and given the key to my locker where I found a robe and slippers. I got changed and then went to the relaxing waiting area and waited for my therapist to take me to the treatment room. Once there I hopped (read as galumphed) up on to the massage table with a convenient hole for my bump to fit into. I was asked to breath in some oils and then the therapist got to work on my back. It was fantastic, I hadn't felt so relaxed in weeks. The oils used were gorgeous smelling and the soundtrack to the massage was sleep inducing. Half way through I turned over and she set to work on my feet, legs, arms, neck and shoulders. What I wasn't expecting though was my bump getting a bit of treatment too - very gentle stroking massage. I had my fingers crossed that Baby Boy wouldn't start making his usual jabs and kicks and he was very well behaved, the massage must have worked wonders on him too and he was asleep. I enjoyed it so much and really didn't want it to finish, but all good things must end and I still had to get back to work.

So that was my week where I did a few things just to focus on Moi! It's not something I do very often but I figured in the coming months things will again to cease to be about me and they'll be all about this little person that I'm carrying around and I think he'll do a lot better if he comes into the world with a relaxed mummy at his beck and call.

Monday, 16 May 2011

Poppy Cat On Nick Jnr

You may or may not have seen that a couple of weeks ago on Nick Jnr a new pre-school animated series started called 'Poppy Cat'. We love Nick Jnr, Isla loves Peppa Pig, Ben & Holly's Little Kingdom and Humf, so it was inevitable that we would catch this new programme at some point and to be honest for me it's nice to have a break from her usual favourites!

Once you start to watch it you realise that the main character Poppy Cat has a very recognisable voice and it is none other than Joanna Page, the actress who plays Stacey in 'Gavin and Stacey'! This is her first go at playing an animated character and she clearly loves it.

Poppy Cat is based on the award winning books by Lara Jones, which have sold over 2.5 million copies worldwide. The stories take preschollers on fantastical adventures and excite their imaginations. The series features 26 x 10 minute episodes. The show revolves around Lara a young girl who invents stories for her beloved cat Poppy. Once she starts reading a story, children are transported to a world of adventures where animals walk upright and talk. They go on adventures in Hot Air Balloons, Submarines and Pirate Ships and travel to magical destinations including the Trumpet Tree Forest and Marshmallow Mines. The show is so colourful and bright and the main theme running throughout is friendship, Poppy Cat is the glue that holds her little gang together.

Isla and I have now watched a few episodes of Poppy Cat together and she has really enjoyed it! When we received the press pack for the show we hadn't yet seen the programme, so when it came on the screen she immediately recognised it and went and retrieved the gorgeous pop up book that we received. She loves animals and knows what all the characters are and can follow the stories. We interact during the show, as I talk to her about what's going on throughout and ask her questions.   

I would say that Poppy Cat could really be a great catalyst for young children's imaginative play, as it actively encourages them to think about places other than every day life. As a character Poppy Cat definitely has qualities that I'd love my daughter to have and Joanna Page sums her up pretty well:

"I also love Poppy Cat because she’s strong, she’s determined, she’s not scared of anything, she’s very brave, she’s lovely and kind, she’s not selfish, she looks after her friends and she doesn’t back down from anything"  (Joanna Page)

Poppy Cat is on Nick Jnr (Sky 615, Virgin 715 and Talk Talk 318) every day throughout May - TUNE IN!

Saturday, 14 May 2011

Bump Watch...Week 32

Bump Watch...Week 32

Philly Local Heroes - Delicious Recipes using Philadelphia

I recently got invited to a ‘Cook-Along’ with TV Chef Ed Baines in conjunction with Philadelphia. The cook along was to launch the new Advertising campaign running at the moment with the 'Philly Local Heroes' - 10 cooking enthusiasts who were lucky enough to have their delicious recipes selected to be part of the campaign for Philadelphia. All the recipes were to include Philadelphia in some way.

Ed was very charming and filled us in on his chef roots. He started his career at The Dorchester and from there went on to work at The River Café and was also head chef at Daphne’s for 3 years. He regaled us with stories ladies who lunch (some who carry washing up liquid in their handbags specifically for the purpose of ruining the remainder of their lunch so they can’t consume too much!) and how one of the restaurants he worked in their only water supply was mineral water – no London tap water was to be used in the making of any food! Ed is now fronting this campaign for Philadelphia.

Getting Stuck into the cooking
While we were chatting we also got down to the business of cooking our lunch and we started by making Philly Leek Rissotto, a recipe submitted by Natalie Kelly from London. I got chatting to Natalie before the session started and it was really interesting because she is a Doula and so a lot of her receipes are given to the mums to be/ new mums that she looks after. Everyone played a part in preparing the meal, and Ed showed us all how to finely chop an onion (leaving the root intact is the key!) and how to butterfly a chicken breast.

The Risotto was to be our starter, there were another 2 delicious recipes to make! We all then went on to make our own Philly Herb Chicken - we each had our own chicken breast that we sliced down the side and added Light Philadelphia with Spring Onion & Black Pepper to the middle, we folded it back over to seal it back up. On some foil we placed mange tout, baby corn and baby carrots and the placed the chicken on top, seasoned with some olive oil, salt, pepper and parsley and then wrapped the chicken up in a parcel.

In the time it took for the chicken to cook (200C for 25 mins) we sat down to scoff the Rissotto - it was delicious! The Philadelphia gave it such a lovely smooth and creamy flavour. Next we moved on to eating the chicken and it was again really tasty! Both recipes showed how versatile a product Philadelphia is - before trying these recipes my use of Philadelphia was limited to spreading it on toast - I'd never considered other ways it could be used. Check out all the recipes on the Philly website to see other yummy ways to use it. I agree with Ed when he says 'it can transform everyday ingredients into mouth-watering dishes the whole family will love' - I'm always looking to find quick fixes to make good tasting food and I think these recipes fit the bill!

For dessert we had Philly Meringues and they were as delicious as they looked!

On the day I got to meet some other lovely bloggers (Jo from Given to Distracting Others) and Tina from one of my favourite parenting websites Loved by Parents - we're both expecting a baby around the same time this summer, here we are with our bumps...with Ed Baines

We all had a great experience on the day and I for one learnt a few tips and tricks and hope that the recipes I've been given as part of the Philly Local Heroes campaign become family favourites in our house.

I'll be posting my attempt at the Philly recipes soon.....

Wednesday, 11 May 2011

Mamas and Papas Maternity Wear - Lucky Me!

I've been lucky enough to be able to sample some of the new summer range of Mamas & Papas maternity wear recently and over the next couple of weeks I plan to show you some of the lovely things that the people at M&P sent me to try out!

It is so hard when you're pregnant to look nice and when I got pregnant for the second time I looked at the clothes I wore last time around and wanted to cry!! It's a real catch 22 situation as you don't want to spend too much on new clothes as your body shape isn't going to stay like Mr Greedy for long (or so you hope!) but at the same time none of your normal clothes fit. Before I was sent the clothing I'd already made a couple of purchases from Mamas &  Papas as they had a brilliant sale on their maternity jeans, I got these jeans:

Then a couple of weeks later I found these fantastic combat trousers in the sale - so comfy but can also look stylish with the right top/ footwear:

This week I've worn this outfit:

Me Rocking My Bump In Hyde Park!
I've felt really summery and not at all frumpy. The cropped jeans (£28) are under the bump and have been perfect in this warm spring weather. The top (£32) is really pretty and Mamas and Papas also do a maxi dress in the same material.

Over the next few weeks I plan to wear more of my Mamas and Papas clothes and show you just how good the range is, I'm most looking forward to 'showcasing' (love that word!) the maxi dress, it's gorgeous!

Check out Mamas and Papas maternity clothing range online

Sunday, 8 May 2011

Saturday, 7 May 2011

How to Make an Easter Bonnet

Recently we were lucky enough to visit Maggie & Rose family members club in Kensington for a baby event and Isla and I had a fab time, she got her face painted and made some cookies and generally had a lovely time. We don't have anything like that in our area and it was really fun, so when I was contacted by the people at Walker Books about a new Maggie and Rose Eco Friendly Activity Book for Isla and I to try out at home I accepted immediately.  We were sent the 'This Book is Totally Rubbish' Activity Book which is bursting with brilliant ideas for games and things to make and do - all based around the subject of art and recycling

Just before Easter I found the perfect opportunity to use the book when Isla and I got stuck into making an Easter Bonnet for her Nursery Tea Party. Since having a little girl I've always felt like I can't wait till we can do craft type activities together and this was our first go at a bit of messy creativity at home. I decided that we would make her Easter Bonnet using the instructions on how to do Paper Mache from the book - a great way to use up old newspapers. See below all the photos from our creative journey making an Easter Bonnet that eventually earned Isla an Easter Egg prize from the nursery for best Bonnet (not blowing my own trumpet at all......!!)

As you can see she loved the finished result and I'm really looking forward to making more things using this book - Eco Moulding Clay is our next project I think.

So following on from our fun using this book I have one copy of 'This Book is Totally Rubbish' to give away to one lucky person to have fun with! All you need to do to enter is:

Compulsory entry: comment below telling me your child's favourite craft activity or if too young something you look forward to doing with your child when they're old enough

Extra entry: Tweet the URL of this Giveaway post including twitter IDs @iheartmuthahood & @WalkerBooksUK and leave a separate comment below that you have done this.

UK Entrants only
Good luck and the competition closes midnight, Friday 20th May!

Friday, 6 May 2011

PhotoBox Photo Book Review

I was recently contacted by the people at PhotoBox asking me to check out their products and give my honest opinion. I have to say that this opportunity couldn’t have come at a better time as since Isla was born I’ve meant to make a photo book of her and 21 months later I still hadn’t done it! All photos of her were either still on my digital camera or in an array of folders on my laptop! Seeing as baby boy is coming in July I felt that it was high time we put together a record of Isla’s first years before he arrives.

PhotoBox is a great site offering their customers with beautiful and innovative ways of making the most of their family and kids snaps. PhotoBox supplied my account with £30 credit and invited me to use it to either order a Canvas print, make a photo mug or photo book. Photobook was my choice and so I set to work making it!

Firstly I had to wade through almost 2 years of photo’s! Obviously this is my fault and I’m sure some of you are far more organised than me and have them properly catalogued! This took me an entire evening but what I was left with was 130 photos to then whittle down to my favourites to put in the book. Although it took a while, I really enjoyed looking back over the old photo’s and seeing how Isla has changed from a newborn into a toddler. Her character shines through in recent photo’s and I felt like I couldn’t wait for this to transfer to our very own book.

I uploaded the photos to the site, this took no time at all and then I selected the option to make a photobook. I chose to make a A4 Personalised Photobook I opted to use the 'Instant' way of making the book where the photos get taken from your album and the book is automatically created for you. This is genius as it can save you a lot of time fiddling around manually creating the book. I don't have a great design eye, so this helped me a lot. I could see that my 130 photos made a book that would cost in the region of £50, slightly more than I had in mind. So from that point onwards I went through the book deleting photos that I felt didn't make the final cut, moving photos around and whittled the book down to 36 pages, a more reasonable £39.49, plus postage and packaging of £3.99. At this point I found a discount code that entitled me to £5 off when I spent £20, so I used this and my book was then £34.49, plus p&p. I find that there are always discount codes for these types of products and they can really make your item more affordable.

The process of making it was so enjoyable as although I created it instantly I also then manually rearranged photos and made some more of a feature than they were when they were automatically put in. It also helped to show me which photos I could really do without in the book - I will just get these as prints I think.

Here is the finished article:

I absolutely love it! I love the whole idea of Isla starring in her own book and I love how it documents her growth from birth to now. The memories that it evokes every time I flick through it (which I have done at least 50 times now since it came in the post!) are amazing. I now can't wait to show it to people. It's also made me realise I've been a real slacker and need to get my 4 year old wedding photos in order too, so that will be my next project!

So in summary, big thumbs up from I Heart Motherhood for Photobox, I'll definitely be using them again for Photobooks!

Thursday, 5 May 2011

Bump Watch...Week 31

Baby Bump, Week 31 - after lots of baguette and easter Eggs in France!

Tuesday, 3 May 2011

I ♥ Pogofandango

I've just discovered Pogofandango through the website Not on The High Street. I absolutely love greetings cards and there is nothing I like better than taking my time to select appropriate cards for all occasions for my close family and friends. I think sometimes the card can be more thoughtful than the gift itself. In the last year I've really loved the laser cut designs that I've seen in the shops and the one above particularly appeals because obviously we're due a new baby in July and this card is gorgeous!

The cards are made by a mother and daughter from Cornwall and they don't just do baby cards, they cater for all manner of occasions, check out their website for laser cut cards!

Monday, 2 May 2011

Chicken Soup for the Soul (and to make you feel better when poorly...)!

A few weeks ago when I was feeling a bit under the weather I knew that what I needed most was Chicken Soup! Luckily we'd only had roast chicken the day before and I'd got the carcass in the fridge and so I stuck it in a pot, covered with water, chucked in half an onion, half a carrot, peppercorns and a bouquet garni and made some stock. Strictly speaking I don't know how long you should simmer the chicken carcass for but I usually just use my own judgement and it probably ends up being at least an hour and a half. The house ends up smelling a bit 'chickeny' but it gets your taste buds going!

Once the stock is made I drain it carefully ensuring there are no bones left lurking in the soup. Then I strip the meat from the bones. Next I get the food processor out and grate a couple of potatoes, a couple of carrots and an onion and then bung them in the chicken stock along with the meat. I season with salt and pepper (I like white pepper for soups - nicer flavour) and then let it cook for about half an hour until the veg is cooked and voila you have your chicken soup. Best eaten with big hunks of crusty white bread (and extra white pepper)!

I definitely felt so much better after eating a bowl of this and it also makes me feel better to know that I've made something wholesome and used up all the leftover chicken!