Saturday, 15 March 2014


I think these little French cakes are so elegant. They're perfect if you want to quickly knock something up for guests, or if you're just craving something sweet. They're ideal for parents on the go, and they're simple enough to put together that kids could join in too!

Fun fact: the reason they have one side shaped like a shell is because they're originally from Brittany in France, which is famous for its seafood. 

2 eggs
100g sugar
100g all purpose flour
100g butter (melted)
3/4 tsp baking powder
1tsp lemon juice OR vanilla extract

- Pre-heat oven to 200C/400F/gas 6
- Brush melted butter on your madeleine pan, and dust with flour. Tap off excess
- Whisk together eggs and sugar until frothy
- Mix in flour and baking powder, followed by the melted butter and vanilla extract/lemon juice. 
- If you have time, leave the mixture to rest for 20 mins, but not absolutely essential
- Bake in oven for 10 mins
- Cool (and dust with icing sugar if you want)

Friday, 14 March 2014


Making your own home-made baby food is so cheap and easy, and you know exactly what's in it! This is a recipe for babies who have just begun mashed food - around six months! 

- Peel/chop potatoes, and boil until soft. You can throw a peeled garlic clove into the water with the potatoes for more flavor. 
- Chop the little fronds off the head of the broccoli: 
- Boil the broccoli bits for just a couple of minutes and drain (if you prefer, you can leave the tiny broccoli pieces raw for extra texture/nutrition).
- Mix together with the mash. 

It's great to make batches of baby food. I store it in individual microwave-safe containers, and put them in the freezer. So when it's time for her to eat, I just defrost and reheat one of them.

Thursday, 13 March 2014


10 months old. A time of frustration. My daughter seemed desperate to access the world in a way she wasn't able to yet. Her mind was running slightly ahead of the body - she wanted to move more quickly and go places but she couldn't, and she still wasn't able to really concentrate on one thing for more than 10 minutes. 

It was difficult to keep her entertained and think of new and creative things to do; mostly for her sake but partly for my own sanity too. I was in a rut as well as her. There are only so many nursery rhymes you can sing and baby toys you can play with without going stir crazy. 

One of my obstacles was the fact that there aren't many planned baby groups where I live, so I had to utilize what I had access to. Most things seem simple, but it was just having a plan for each day - just one new thing that we would do - that turned this time into something enjoyable.

My 7 day challenge:

Animals. Go to a nearby farm, petting zoo, proper zoo or even a pet shop with fish tanks. Animals are so funny to babies at this age, and they can watch everything from their buggy or sit on your lap to stroke the animals.

Gardening. You have to be prepared to let them get their hands muddy though! I grew lots of vegetables last summer and had sugar snaps, strawberries and tomatoes which were all baby-height and she just gorged herself on them (make sure they're completely organic). Just giving them a patch of earth and a bucket and spade is pretty entertaining too. And if you don't have a garden, you could make a floating garden, take them to a garden centre, or plant some indoor flowers/kitchen herbs on the windowsill and watch them getting bigger each week. 

Go to a museum. One piece of advice I'd definitely give is not to hold back on activities which are ahead of their age range. Museums are designed to be stimulating, and they normally have a kids area (not to mention your baby will probably get in free). You can enjoy the museum whilst your baby gazes on everything in wonder! 

Visiting friends or family. They'll be interested in the new environment and you'll have an extra pair of hands to help out too. We went to a friend's house for a BBQ and she got to taste freshly caught salmon from the river. 

Swimming. Take your baby to an indoor swimming pool or, if it's summertime, pick up a little paddling pool for the garden. We're lucky enough to have great lakes and rivers to swim in, so she loved doing that in the summer. I felt that swimming in the wild felt much cleaner than being in a pool full of chlorine too. If you live in the UK, you can find local 'wild swimming' spots here:

The park. Even though they seem small at this age, and probably can't walk around yet, the park is still a great place. You can take them on the swings and help them down the slide - they love it and there are lots of other children around which is always super interesting for a baby! 

Invite another baby/toddler over to play. Pick up some blowing-bubbles in the local toy shop, they'll both love it! They'll enjoy each other's company and you can enjoy a tea and a chat. 

Skip forward 5 months and it's a whole new world. They begin to walk and look around them and understand the world in a way that is more satisfying - and that settles them down a lot. Even now she is a 19 month old toddler, the activities I listed above are still keeping her entertained, and probably will keep doing so for years to come! 

Wednesday, 12 March 2014


I LOVE food! Tasting and cooking new and different things is one of my favorite things, so having a fussy eating child would be a bit of a nightmare for me! 

From the word go, I've been determined to try and encourage my daughter to enjoy lots of different foods. And so far it's working! People are amazed - she'll eat absolutely anything! 

The first solid food that she had was mashed avocado. You can mash it on its own, or mix it in with the baby rice. She went through phases of liking it and not liking it, but as she got older I would squeeze a bit of lime on the avocado pieces or mix in a passion fruit, just to brighten up the flavor! It's also great with a boiled egg for breakfast. She still loves it, and it's great for me because it's such a quick and easy snack or breakfast food. 

As well as starting them off early, I think the key to having a food-loving baby is expressing your own love of food to them (not ever saying 'yuck'), giving them home cooked sugar/salt free food (you don't want them getting a taste for synthetic, processed flavors), but also not being afraid of exposing them to spices, herbs and food that tastes strong naturally, like oily fish.

Monday, 1 July 2013


No one will ever know the strength of my love for you. After all, you're the only one who knows what my heart sounds like from the inside


As a new Mum, or even a not-so-new mum, looking tired is a common problem. Makeup isn't going to solve it, but I found that just putting aside 5 minutes (actually Lyra loves playing with the little boxes) to make an effort just helps you to feel a lot better! 

And if you're not a regular make-up wearer, then this video is helpful even if you just use it for special occasions. 

This tutorial is pretty much exactly what I do, when I actually wear makeup. She uses really great products too. As a new mum, it's worth investing in a few new things (assuming you already have the essentials of foundation, mascara, eyeshadow & lipstick). These are my picks: 

Concealer for under the eyes ~  Yves Saint Laurent's Touche Éclat:

Illuminator serum ~ Lancome's Éclat Miracle:

Blush ~ Mac's Powder Blush in Desert Rose:

A light eyeliner for the lower water-line ~ Dior's Crayon Khôl in white (although the girl in the video makes a point that a nude shade would be less harsh if you're not wearing much else on the eyes):

And here's a less-is-more makeup tutorial which will have you looking like you've had a full 8 hours sleep, even if you've been up all night with a baby!

Hope you like it!

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