Saturday, 31 December 2011

Where Did That Year Go?

Is it just me or has this year flown by?

I can hardly believe I'm saying this but.......

Happy 1st Birthday Sophie!!!!

I hope you will forgive me a trip down memory lane!


We love you very much xxxx

Another Happy Birthday going out to the lovely, creative and beautiful Sandy over at Sandy's Show'n'Tell.  Wishing you a lovely day and a very happy new year xxx

Happy New Year to all my friends in blogland, may 2012 bring you all everything you wish for!

Lots of Love xxxx 

Wednesday, 7 December 2011

God Jul! (That's Swedish for Merry Christmas!)

 I love these glass tree ornaments available from Ikea!
They go perfectly with my 'Christmas look!' (check out my 'Christmas house' here and here)

I'm so excited at the prospect of decorating this year.  Not only is it Sophie's first Christmas but I never got my beautiful decorations out last year due to being so heavily pregnant!
From the reaction we got when we decorated for Halloween this year I think Sophie is going to love Christmas as much as Mummy!

Lots of Love xxxx

Monday, 5 December 2011

The Good Life!

I'm loving these fab shopping bags available from 'The Good Bag Co.' not only because they are fair trade, environmentally friendly and really reasonably priced but because they are available in absolutely tonnes of fun designs!

I was really struggling finding unusual Christmas gifts for Sophie's Nursery Nurses.  They have been fantastic and I wanted to get a thoughtful present to show how much we appreciate them.

Imagine my delight when I spyed these!

I also wanted to get a collective present for the staff but didn't want to buy the normal box of biscuits.
This bag filled with Christmas tea, coffee, hot chocolate, marshmallows, and a few other goodies should make a perfect gift for them to enjoy in the weeks running up to Christmas!

I hope they like them!!!

Lots of Love

Friday, 2 December 2011

Who's Your Poppy?

'Come To Poppy' one of OPI's new colours.........

Even if the weather is dull and cold, my toes remind me of summer!

Have a lovely weekend!

Lots of Love

Thursday, 1 December 2011

It's a Wrap!

I am very excited about Cath Kidston's new Christmas card and wrap range, so much so that on a recent visit to Bluewater shopping centre I couldn't help but find a few items placed lovingly into my basket!

Loving these retro cards, reserved for 'special' people that will fully appreciate their gorgeousness!

I've decided that this year's theme will be brown paper wrapping with colourful ribbons, tags and stickers Cath style!

 I cant wait to get wrapping!

What are you doing this year?

Lots of Love


Tuesday, 29 November 2011

A Balanced Diet.....

Is a cookie in each hand!

As well as Blogging, I have decided to use some of my baby free time to indulge in a bit of baking.  I have several lovely baking books that I haven't so much as looked at let alone actually tried any of the recipes!
First on my list was the 'Tate's Bake Shop Cookbook'.

I had a quick look though and found lots of things I want to try but settled on the 'Nutella Shortbread Sandwich Cookies'  I always seem to bake cupcakes or make large celebration cakes and wanted to try something different.  They were really easy and only use a few ingredients, one of which is Nutella, Bonus!
Here is the recipe if you want to try them for yourself!

1/2 cup hazelnuts
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 c. cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
Pinch of salt
1/2 jar Nutella

Preheat oven to 180C . Grease two sheet pans or line with parchment (or Silpat).
Toast and skin the hazelnuts. In a food processor, pulse the hazelnuts with the sugar until they are finely ground. Add the flour and pulse again. Add the butter pieces, and process it until the mixture comes together. Turn out onto a work surface.

Roll out dough to approximately 1/8-in. thickness (this is quite delicate and tore easily so make sure you are well floured!). With any shape cookie cutter, cut out cookies and transfer the cookies to the prepared sheet pans.

Bake the cookies for 12-15 minutes, depending on their size and thickness. Cool the cookies on the sheet pans. (these are really easy to overbake, they are ready when slightly golden at the edges, I overbaked mine!)

Once cooled: spread the Nutella on one cookie and make a sandwich by topping the Nutella with another cookie.

Lets just say they didnt last long and I'll be making them again!
I even made a special super cookie for James!

Lots of Love

Monday, 28 November 2011

King of the Jungle

I don't normally make a point of watching 'I'm a Celebrity, Get Me Out of Here' but after catching the first show and seeing fellow Essex dweller Mark Wright enter the jungle I have to admit to a sneaky series link on the old Sky Plus!

Any TOWIE viewers will know Mr Wright hasn't always been portrayed in the best light but as far as I have seen he has conducted himself really well!

Oh and he is very good looking!

Vote Mark!!!

Lots of Love

Saturday, 26 November 2011

Hi Ho, Hi Ho........

It's back to work I go!

Well its been about a month, and we seem to be getting settled into what would pass as a routine, or as close to one as we can get with us both working shifts!
Its been horrible leaving Sophie, but she is genuinely loving nursery now and is really benefiting from being with the other children.  We love that we can get things done in half the time and when we pick her up we can devote our attention and time to her without worrying about the pile of washing or errands that we need to run!
For me its been a bit more difficult, there is lots of new equipment I need to be trained on, permits and licenses to renew and generally brushing up on my duties (not an easy prospect when the most brain taxing thing I've done for the past year is watch Micky Mouse Clubhouse!)

On a positive, though, it means I get a little 'Me time' that I plan to use to get my blogging head on again.  I have missed keeping up to date with what's going on in blogsville and can't wait to have a good read!

Lots of Love

Friday, 2 September 2011

Keeping In Touch......

Where has the time gone?
Sophie is 8 months old now and doing really well!
I have finally come to accept that while I am home looking after her I am just not going to find the time to blog and comment as much as I would like!
I also accept I have very little to blog about when sometimes the highlight of my day is a particularly comical nappy and when we do something blog worthy (which of course we do!) there is no time to tell you about it or its so long after the event it feels pointless!

All that is to change soon though..................I have to go back to work! 

While I'm devastated at the thought of leaving my precious little girl at nursery while I head of to work I know that for now, that is what I'm going to have to do.  My head tells me she will enjoy the time with other children and my shift work means we will still get to spent lots of time together but my heart is screaming that she is too little and I'll never get this time back.
I guess I'm just not ready for the next stage!
With that in mind I decided to take the opportunity to complete a few 'keeping in touch days' at work. 
KIT days seemed a good Idea to enable me to put a few things in motion for my return and get to grips with leaving Sophie for a few hours without having a nervous breakdown!

I hate leaving the house in the morning, knowing I'm not going to be there when she wakes up and miss her all day but I have surprised myself at how productive I feel when I don't have a small person around!
I'm not quite as scared about returning to work as I was before and the smiles I get when I get home make it all worth it!!!

Lots of Love

Thursday, 26 May 2011

Baking Nut (peanut that is!)

Yesterday I got a rare chance to do a spot of baking!
A work friend of my Mum's is getting married this Saturday and her colleagues wanted to give her a little party on her last day at work as a single girl!  They decided that they would all bring in something they had baked and have a little surprise tea party for her!  Apparently everyone made a valiant effort!  Even the one guy, Peter, who impressed everyone with his Cornflake Cakes and Mexican Wedding Cookies!
Mum asked me to make something if I had time so I took the opportunity to knock up a batch of Peanut Butter Crinkles (with an added kiss!)  These are super yummy and take about 20 minutes to make and bake so even I had time to make some!!!

I thought I'd share the recipe so you can try them for yourself!

(makes 20-25 cookies)

6 tbsp peanut butter
4oz butter
1/2 tsp vanilla essence
2oz caster sugar
2oz soft brown sugar
6oz plain flour
1 tsp baking powder

Preheat oven to 180 deg C/gas 4.
Place butter, peanut butter, sugars and vanilla in a bowl and cream together.  Add flour and baking powder and mix to form a firm dough.
Roll heaped teaspoon of dough into balls with floured hands.  Place on lined baking sheet and flatten slightly with a fork.  
Bake 14-15 mins to deep golden brown and allow to cool on sheet for 2-3 mins.  Press a chocolate kiss or giant chocolate button into center of hot cookies and transfer to cooling rack to cool properly.

 And there was even enough for a treat for James for looking after Sophie while I cooked!

He loved them (and he doesn't even like peanut butter!)
I didn't have any though, still being very good on Weight Watchers!!

Lots of Love

Wednesday, 25 May 2011

Happy Birthday..........

David is 30!!

 My parner in crime! Work wouldn't be any fun without you (even if we do get in trouble for enjoying ourselves too much!)
And Sophie loves her Uncle D!

Have the best day ever!

Lots of Love

Tuesday, 24 May 2011

Surf's Up!

I haven't ever made a secret of my MAC obsession, I must own thousands of pounds worth of this yummy make up brand! 
Here is a small selection of my collection used on my wedding day!

I feel about MAC as some people do about shoes and bags, My MAC has never let me down!  My clothes might not always look how I want them to but I can look however I want with the stroke of a brush!  


On a recent shopping trip with Sophie and Mum I decided to stop by the MAC concession in House Of Fraser 'just to see if they had anything new'.  I haven't bought any new MAC since I found out I was pregnant and, after spending lots of money on clothes for Sophie, decided I might treat myself!

And I did!  
Surf Baby lipstick in Hibiscus, Lipglass in Strange Potion, Suntints Lip Balm in Pink Tinge and Silksheen Bronzer Stick in Tan-Tint

Perfect for the summer!!!

Do you have a fave cosmetic or brand?

Lots of Love

Monday, 23 May 2011

Grubs Up!

I know I posted about Sophie's food already but, as I spent the best part of Sunday cooking, I thought I'd share the fruits of my labour with you!

I already have a good stash of vegetable purees and had been giving the odd jar but haven't been impressed they just don't smell like actual food!
So I chopped, steamed, poached, whisked and blended my way through a mountain of ingredients and ta daa!!

 Tomato sauce (courtesy of my Aunt)
Cheese sauce
Chicken with leeks, sweet potatoes and carrots
Braised beef and sweet potatoes
Beef casserole and fish in a cheese and vegetable sauce!!

Now I just have to get James to stop eating it!!!

Lots of Love

Thursday, 19 May 2011

A Little Taster.......

 Just as I am changing my own eating habits, Sophie is having a change as well!  My baby is ready for more than just milk.  I had been thinking about weaning for a while and as Sophie's bottles got bigger and bigger and she began to demand feeding more often I began to worry as I had no idea what I was supposed to do!

I was lucky enough to get some great information from Victoria Plum about baby led weaning but wasn't sure Sophie would make it to 6 months on milk alone!  The health visitors promote the 'no food till 6 months' policy so I have become part of an underground baby feeding gang of renegade mums!
Well nearly!  At 18 weeks Sophie had her first few spoonfuls of baby rice, she loved it so much I had to make her more!  After a few days I consulted Anabelle Karmel made her some baby purees to try some different tastes.

So far she likes everything except parsnip.  Her favourite food, though, Is anything Daddy is eating!  Yesterday I found them sitting on the floor sharing a banana!

I'll be spending the weekend cooking!

Lots of Love

Monday, 16 May 2011

Time To Make A Change....

Yes folks It's that time, the time that comes in all new Mums lives.  It's time I really have to think about shifting some of the extra weight I'm carrying around with me!
I'd love to call it baby weight but its not, Its me!  I lost the 2 and a half stones I put on with Sophie within the first 4 weeks but, more and more, meeting up with friends involved lunches out, cake (or both) and lots of lattes!

I have always struggled with my weight, dieting, starving, binging, loosing weight, putting it on I'm actually bored of it!  
I was following one such stupid diet (begins with an A) and had lived off cottage cheese and cucumber the week before we discovered I was pregnant!   I was so disappointed that my weight meant I was classed as a high risk pregnancy and felt so guilty when I developed gestational diabetes that I swore I would deal with my weight once and for all after our baby was born. (injecting yourself with insulin and stabbing your fingers 5 times a day is a horrible experience!)

So here I am, Sophie is nearly 20 weeks old, I am healed and she is more often than not sleeping through so I feel human again.  Well enough to fulfill my promise to myself (and my family!) with a little help from an old friend!

I was going to go it alone following the old point system but then decided it would be a good Idea to have a fresh start, new plan, new me, forget the past and just go for it! 
Thursday saw me join Weight Watchers Online so I'm 4 days in and getting my head round the new point values and exploring the site!
My friend, Mummy of twins and cake eating partner in crime Liz has started the plan today too!

I hope you don't mind if  I share my journey with updates now and again?

Dieting tips appreciated!!!!
Lots of Love

Friday, 13 May 2011

Have a lovely weekend......

From Sophie and her bear buddies!!!

Lots of Love

Thursday, 12 May 2011

Cath Kidston Is a Genius......

Ok I know I have already done a CK post this week but I love this!

A completely disposable picnic set!  Ok so Its not that eco friendly but its really pretty!
No more washing up, or dealing with the inevitable mess when you can't be bothered forget to wash your containers untill the next day!
At £15 it's not something I would use every day though... what do you think?
Lots of Love

Wednesday, 11 May 2011

Virgin Fizz....

On a recent visit to Lakeside James and I had lunch at Las Iguanas.  The food was lovely but we were both loving the 'Virgin Fizz' non alcoholic cocktail! 
I am a bit of an amateur mixologist (and pre baby have been known to partake of a few of my creations!) so decided I must be able to recreate this yummy drink for us to enjoy during the royal wedding!

Pop some ice cubes, a slice of lime, lemonade and a squeeze of lemon in a tall glass and then drizzle in some 'Bottle Green' elderflower and pomegranate cordial.


I reckon it would be even better spiked with a shot of vodka!
Lots of Love

Tuesday, 10 May 2011

Off To Visit the Queane....

We are taking our little Sophie to our special place for lunch tomorrow but as its a bit of a trek for us we are staying in a nearby hotel tonight!  Our first night away from home!  Wish us luck!!

Lots of Love