Kitchen Confidential

I got a new kitchen!

What a bloody saga it was too..I like to always have a saga in my life. I’d only just got over Lara’s Swimming Costume Saga when Lara’s Kitchen Saga began.

The saga is basically that it took 8 days longer than it was meant to..which now feels nothingy and pathetic..during those 8 days though I probably cried hourly, shouted, threatened, ate terrible convenience food, cried some more. I even cried on the phone to Wickes. I also went to Ikea for lunch just to get out of the house.

I mean it’s always fun to go to Ikea…but I waxed 35 quid on baby cushions that look like clouds.

(They’re super cute though)
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Anyways..Wickes bunged up the orders and then the workmen were held up and then the workman got a toothache…

Blah blah, it’s the same thing that happens to anyone who ever has work done..I do get that I’m not unique here..

Even so, I felt was that Wickes were the enemy and the workmen were the poor victims…I think I had Stockholm syndrome…

But now it’s basically all done and I LOVE IT.

There are just a few more touches but it’s basically done..now all I need to do is wangle a massive refund from Wickes.

I thought I’d share some before and after shots of our downstairs…

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I think you’ll agree I’ve transformed it with my natural flair for paying other people to do DIY for me.

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I made muesli!

That’s right, I DID make some muesli.

I really like the bircher muesli bowl from pret but it’s mega expensivo and also I don’t ever go to pret anymore cos of maternity leave yo!

So I decided to make it.
I love it!
But I swear whoever started the lie that porridge/oats keep you full till lunch should be shot.

Here’s a photo guide to my delish new breakfast fave…

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Soak the oats in apple juice..I’ve done it by soaking overnight and by soaking for 15 minutes and I preferred the 15 minute version.

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And there you have it!

I also tried out with a pinch of salt and that made it even more delish!

For Goodness Cake!

It was Dan’s birthday last week so I made him a six layer rainbow cake…it all seemed to simple..just make the cakes, shove them in the oven, whip up some icing and hey presto!

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But it actually took 5 hours of solid work and two people..and it looked like it would never come together until the final 5 minutes….I came very close to tears I’ll be honest. I think I know what it feels like to be on the Great British Bake Off now.

The whole thing was a surprise for Dan and I made it at our friend Lisa’s house..she’d made it before for her daughter Evie’s first birthday so she had all the tins and colours etc..plus we could tag team look after the babies and whisk egg whites.

The cake took a whopping sixteen egg whites and I’m sorry to say we threw all the yolks in the bin. If I was more of a domestic goddess I would have taken them home and made a giant carbonara for all my friends but I don’t have a kitchen right now so in the bin they go!!

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The actual cake making and colour mixing went well but took two hours due to general dawdling..It was the icing that was the bugger..Swiss meringue butter icing! It involved whisking, egg whites, melting, whisking.

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After 2 hours trying to make the first batch, while Lisa ran out to pick up get other daughter from school, I whipped up another batch and pulled the whole cake together with five minutes to spare before I had to leave to pick Dan up…

I hid it in a giant nappy box and took it out to the car. Then I dropped it.

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ARGH FOR DUCKS SAKE.

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I fixed it but the car journey didn’t do it any favours…and now me and Dan have this enormous cake we have to get through together..

It was worth it though, he was so touched…
I was going to give the recipe ibn my own words but to be honest I can’t really remember how I did any of it so I’m not sure my own words would be any help.

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Here’s a link though…

Bye!

Holiday Style! The Italian Edition

Thought I’d share some key outfits from my little trip to Italy.
I was obsessed with looking CHIC.

Poolside Chic

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To hang out by the pool and sunbathe I wore this watermelon swimming cossie from Sainsbury’s and this tie dye kaftan thing I got from Primark! I loved it and wore it basically every day.

Casual Evening Chic

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For wedding party drinks the night before the wedding, I wore this red Zara playsuit which I love. To breastfeed I had to actually undo the back and take the strap down. I got quite a few stares but look mate, I’m feeding my baby I won’t be made to feel ashamed!
I wore it with these flat gold sandals also from Primark that I picked up on a whim to take in my handbag to the wedding for dancing. They actually just became my holiday sandals but as to be expected from crappy Primark quality, they only lasted the four days and then they went straight in the bin.

Wedding Chic

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For the actual wedding I wore a navy asos dress. I love it so much. It was comfy, flattering, thin material to keep me cool, and a good colour on me. I just wore the gold Primark sandals all day due to the Malcesine cobbles, climb up the castle and boat ride. I accessorised with orange lipstick, white raybans, a hand held fan and a baby!

Final Night Chic

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For the final night out I wore this green Zara skirt which was a wedding outfit contender..with a black cami..I’m glad I didn’t wear it to the wedding a the waist band was making me hotter..I love this skirt though…

And there you have it…chic enough for you?

Judith Chalmers Eat Your Heart Out

So Dan, Fredrik and I just got back from an Italian adventure!
We packed our bags and flew to the land of Limoncello, pasta and mopeds for four days to celebrate the wedding of our good friends Darren and Gemma.

All of our closest friends were there and it really was a lovely four days.
The wedding was in Malcesine (pronounced Malchesiney) , a small town on the shores of Lake Garda and oh my god it’s the most beautiful place I’ve ever seen. And I’ve been places, my friend!

The wedding was in a castle, with a boat ride after and a five course feast to follow. The bride was stunning in lace and as she’s a successful shoe designer, the whole thing was a pretty stylish affair.

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But the reason I’m writing this blog post is to give new mums to be some essential travel tips when flying or traveling with a baby.

So here we go:

1. I found these handy calpol sachets which I bought in case Freddie started cutting a tooth on hols..they can be packed into hand luggage so made me feel a bit calmer about the flight.

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2. I bought this travel pillow from Primark..a friend had recommended taking a best feeding pillow but I don’t have one..This was 4 quid and I just tucked it around Freddie when I fed him to sleep on the plane. Meant I didn’t get a sore arm and kept him safe when I nodded off myself

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3. If you’re going to a hot country, don’t pack loads of cute baby outfits..they won’t get touched..I packed an entire large suitcase for Fred and Dan and I shared one..all Fred wrote were short sleeved or sleeveless vests..it was way too hot for anything else.

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4. Muslins Muslins Muslins..pack millions. Well, I packed about 15 and I don’t regret a thing. I had them in every bag.

5. For the flight, I put wet wipes, a clean nappy, muslin and a small toy in each hand luggage so when on the plane or the airport I didn’t have to worry about which bag was nearest. Both flights were full so the little handy suitcase I packed with all Fred’s clothes, change mat etc was so far away!

6. Weaning! Don’t be afraid to ask waiters for food for your baby..they were so accommodating every where we went, bringing out boiled veg, fruit and in one place a tomato and mozzarella salad! We were really vigilant about picking everything up off the floor though.

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7. We bought this sun visor to attach to our light weight holiday push chair. A lot of these fold up pushchairs have quite small sun visors but this Mothercare one fits any pushchair and folds out to create amazing shade. It also unzips to become a rain cover!

8. Create a facial spritz! A few years ago I filled an empty pump spray bottle with water during a heat wave to keep myself cool..it became a festival essential, especially when I did Glastonbury pregnant…This year it was what I used to keep Fred cool..especially when he was in the pushchair as it can get so hot in there..it’s essentially a little sauna.

9. Don’t go on holiday for four days..The hassle of preparing, packing and traveling requires a longer break in between!

And now here’s a video of me finishing my holiday segment for ITV.

7 Things I’ve Learned in my First Month of Baby Led Weaning

Hi!
BABY LED WEANING!

I say baby led weaning a lot now.

Do you know what it is?
It means basically waiting until your baby wants to start feeding himself solid food and then giving him real bits of food.
There’s no spoon feeding or pureeing of food..you basically give the baby food from your plate. The book says, if you’ll eat it, the baby can eat it. Although you can’t give them a lot of salt or anything processed or sugary.

I love it.
Fred showed me he was really ready for solids when he was 5 months and he’s eaten broccoli, avocado, cucumber, chicken, meatballs, strawberries, banana and loads more!

So here we go..

1. I’m actually able to do something properly with no cheats for the first time in my life.

I read the book on BLW and I have really followed it. I’ve never tried to get Fred to eat more than he wants or put food in his mouth. I’m totally chill. I’m a bit like a cult follower..I’ve read the ethos and I’m living it, man. I think some people worry that the baby isn’t getting enough food on blw but that’s ok..if you’re still breastfeeding them or giving them formula, that’s all the nutrients they need and the food is extra. Most of what I give Fred goes on the floor or in his lap so you do need to be quite chilled out about it all. But I’m sort of manically hyper chilled. Like if my mum tells him good boy you ate some food I’m like…DON’T TELL HIM HE’S GOOD OR HE’LL ASSOCIATE PRAISE WITH FOOD AND HAVE AN EATING DISORDER.
It’s still me after all..I’m very highly strung.

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2. The best way to approach the mealtime mess is to strip the boy to his nappy, put a bin bag (cut open) on the floor under the high chair and keep the kitchen sink clean and empty.

This all came from my friend Tash..it’s brilliant..most of the food drops onto the bin bag which means you can pick stuff up and give it back to the baby..and at the end you shake the baby off over the bag (then wrap up and put straight in the bin) and then put him on the sink and rinse. This’ll work a lot better when we get our new Belfast sink though! Our bathroom is upstairs and I’ve taken him up for a pre run bath or rinse but it’s so far you drop a lot of broccoli bits on the way.

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3. It really is possible to spend 3 hours a day, preparing meals, watching them get chucked on the floor and then clearing them all up.

It’s a constant cycle. BLW is meant to be mega easy cos you give the baby what you eat..no need to prepare extra food! But in the beginning when the baby’s getting used to stuff, all he really eats is softy stuff and you can’t add salt..so what I would normally eat isn’t really appropriate..I do need to make extra special stuff with added salt on mine…it takes time man!

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4. I’m addicted to salt.

It turns out that’s where the flavour is. I made some saltless hummus and it tasted like shit. I also didn’t realise that putting a stock cube in was my go to flavour method. I’m having to find some ingenious ways to flavour food and I’ll be honest it mainly involves lemons.

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5. Planning planning planning is required!

This isn’t really my forte but it’s important. I haven’t cracked it yet but normally we give Fred some fruit at breakfast and I’ll make give him last night’s leftovers for lunch. This means making baby suitable dinners. You have to really think ahead to make this work and not end up just giving him a bit of banana every day. Like I said, I haven’t cracked it but I’m getting there! I need to up my game cos he’s eating more and more and wanting several meals a day. You basically can’t eat in front of him, he wants some.

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5. Homemade pesto is delicious!

Why have I never made this before?
It takes 5 seconds to make, it doesn’t have any salt in it (it’s got parmasan..CHEESE CHEAT!). I’ve made it twice now cos there’s a recipe in the baby led weaning cookbook. I haven’t given any to the baby yet cos it’s no nice we keep eating it all and not saving him any.

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7. I’m a bit of a dick

I keep explaining blw to people really patronisingly and boringly..people don’t really care about the ethos and most people who don’t have kids don’t know what “weaning” is. I’ve learned that I need to shut up. I haven’t actually learned to shut up but I know I should and that’s the first step to recovery.

Ciao! I’m off to Italy!

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