Ootd: Beach cool

Last week there was a 3 day heat wave so naturally I bought two new dresses and an extra fan for the house in that time.

I worked for each of those days and both the commute and the office were a terrible nightmare for my 5 months pregnant self. All office attire went out of the window and I wore summer dresses and flat sandals each day. I also carried my facial spritz with me everywhere. 

At night I got into bed without drying myself after a cold shower..letting the fan do it’s magic. 

You’ve just got to know how to cope that’s all! 

Anyways, one dress I bought was from Zara of course! It’s perfect for maternity..floaty and cool. I wore it at the weekend for a blustery beach trip but I also wore it during the heat wave for work with a white cami underneath. And long shorts to protect my thighs (preggo chub rub is the WORST). 


This photo is of me with my travel fan that also spritzes water.

And here’s one of Fred at the beach…

Bye! 

Advertisements

Crafty as a fox who graduated with a first in craftiness. 

So there are about 5 million home improvement jobs on my list and half of them involve painting existing furniture. We painted our fireplace white when we moved in (it was a horrible shiny pine) and we painted an old tv table. Both were relatively simple (I did one while on mat leave and it took me 3 weeks to work myself around to it and I did the other one over 3 days when Freddie was a baby). So then I thought wow I’ll paint ALL our furniture!

In my sights are a Hemnes chest of drawers..some Ikea shelves, a blanket box, 6 dining chairs and a dining table. And a stool. And a step stool. 

I can’t even be bothered to wash my own face yet I’ll be doing this much painting over the next 5 months. 

Anyway I read about this magical paint called Annie Sloan chalk paint..you don’t need to sand and prime…you just paint right on! Magic! 

So I bought a tester pot (which they recommend will cover a small dresser) and the corresponding finishing wax and painted an Ikea step stool. 

And look! I love it!

I painted it Barcelona Orange cos I noticed I had a lot of accents of red and orange in my kitchen.

The paint is a bit funny..it took a while to get used to it…it’s very thick and I was putting too much on..plus it dries super fast so don’t pour loads into the paint tray..

With the wax too it’s a lovely affect. And so easy. The small pot just about covered this small stool though and I only did one coat..it was 6 quid and a proper big pot is 20 quid! So I think all my other furniture can wait.

OOTD: The Flora and the Fauna

A few weeks back we had a picnic in Crystal Palace park with all our friends to celebrate Janey’s bday. Gemma (cool shoe designer) turned up in a gorgeous floral dress from Warehouse that was the talk of the town. I basically went straight home and bought it online. 

It has a roomy waist which works well with my bump..but a slit up the front threatens to flash my knickers at any given moment. And the first time I wore it, as I was getting out of the car, the already risque slit, slit even further. Oops. 

I thought about sending it back but I figured the strain from my bump was what had done it. So I bought some fabric and black lace and my mum created a modesty panel! I think it looks a bit like I’m wearing a slip underneath and I’m really happy with it! 

I probably should have just bought a size bigger but hey. Hindsight is a wonderful thing. 

Home made facial! 

So I have hormonal pregnancy skin plus I’ve always had a problem with excessive sebum.. That’s blackheads to you. I mostly have OK skin, but just around my jawline I get little blackheads and they’re the BANE OF MY LIFE. 

I spend most of my time wishing I could just get a facial my life would be perfect. But I think ooo 50 quid for a facial.. I’ll wait till next month. Then I wax 30 quid in boots on nothing and another 20 in H&M on “loungewear”. But my budgeting issues are for another day. 

Anyway.. I’ve been googling home blackhead remedies. I tried a milk and cinnamon scrub..an egg white mask..and last week I bought some bentonite clay from Amazon so I could make a clay mask!

The clay I bought is branded as having magical aztek healing powers. It comes as a powder and cost about a tenner.. Bit less. I cleansed my face, exfoliated with this dermalogica knock off of a powder exfoliator..Then put on the mask. You mix the powder with apple cider vinegar to make a paste and then just smear all over your face. The vinegar stung my eyes a little so I gave the eye area a wide birth. 

It said to leave on for 10 minutes for sensitive skin and 20 minutes for normal so I waited 10.. It dried SO TIGHT I couldn’t move my face…washed it off with warm water and a flannel and then lathered my face in coconut oil. 

I was going to do it a few times before I did a post about it.. But this was two days ago and I can already see a difference!! I’m amazed! It really does have magical aztec healing powers! 

Bye! 

Guest Post: Roast Chicken Curry 

I have a real treat in store for you guys.. A guest post from my friend Tash..mother of two girls, LK Bennett addict, play date host extraordinaire and Aka the Kurry Kween.. Here’s a photo of her to set the scene..

Right.. Over to her

Ok so I really flipping LOVE chicken curry but I really hate being stuck to the stove for hours while it cooks (I always cook meat for at least three hours to achieve super tenderness) And I only ever buy a whole free-range chicken (because I watched a Hugh Fernley-Whittenstall programme a while ago and it scarred me) and if you only ever cook a whole bird on the stove you always have to butcher it first so it can all fit in the pot. Faff! So I decided to cut out the butchery and the stuck-to-the-stove-ness and just chuck a whole bird marinated in curry flavours and slow roast in the oven. Yay freedom! Here’s the recipe. I hope you like it! 

Roasted Chicken Curry

1 whole free range chicken

Cumin seeds

Coriander seeds

Garlic 

Ginger

Lemon 

Fresh coriander 

Rapeseed oil 

Onion

Tomatoes

1 tsp turmeric

1 tsp paprika

1 tsp garam masala 

Coconut cream 

Chickpeas

Kala chana 

Ok first make the marinade for the chicken. Dry roast the cumin and coriander seeds and then bash up in a pestle and mortar. Add this to finely grated garlic, ginger and lemon zest. Add the juice of one lemon, finely chopped coriander stalks and season. Mix with rapeseed oil to loosen and then rub all over the chicken in a high sided roasting dish. Cut onion into big chunks and throw this in too. (Make sure some of the marinade goes on the onion too otherwise they’ll burn). Put half a lemon into the cavity and then roast uncovered on MAX for 30mins.

After half and hour remove from the oven, baste a little and then add your fresh tomatoes. No need to chop – just add them whole. Cover entirely with foil and return to oven at 180 for at least 3hours. 

After a minimum of three hours remove from the oven, scoop out the tomatoes and de-skin. Then smoosh and add your dry spices (the turmeric, paprika and garam masala). Mix this tomatoey masala with the juices in the dish and add about a cupful of boiling water to loosen. Cover with foil again and return to the oven for another hour.

After an hour remove from the oven, take the chicken out of the dish, de-skin and shred the meat off the carcass. (Because it’s been in the oven for AGES the meat will pretty much fall off the bone at this point). Add the coconut cream to the juices in the roasting dish, mix the shredded chicken back in and then add the chickpeas. Then return to the oven for at least 30mins to soften the chickpeas.

When you are ready to serve just scatter over freshly chopped coriander. DE-FLIPPING-LISH

Thanks Tash!

It really is delicious and easy to do.. Plus a whole free range chicken from Aldi is only 6 quid!! 

Bye!! 

An ode to Betty

I’m a bit obsessed with Betty Crocker cake mix.. If you’re unfamiliar, it’s basically pre packaged cake mix that you mix with eggs, water and oil and bake! Saves on weighing, buying up specific ingredients etc,  saves on time making the thing and you CANNOT GET IT WRONG. Every time anyone has had a birthday since Fred was born I’ve made one. All different flavours, different icing and toppings and I’ve  settled on  a favourite…any sponge, with jam and fresh whipped cream in the middle..and then fresh fruit and whipped cream on top. It’s such a show stopper!

In past weeks I’ve done chocolate sponge with raspberry jam, whipped cream and fresh blackberries…Vanilla sponge with whipped cream, raspberry jam and a lemon drizzle top… and yesterday for Fred’s half birthday I did zesty lemon sponge with whipped cream, blueberry jam and fresh raspberries!

Once I even made a vanilla sponge.. Split it into 3 cakes.. Dyed each one a different pink and iced buttercream roses all over! I could spend the time on the icing rather than the cake making. 

I don’t know what it is about it.. But you just can’t get it wrong. It turns out moist and fluffy every time. If I make my own cake, it normally is dry. MAGIC. 

I should point out this IS NOT a sponsored post. It might be there are other reliable brands to try but I’m too afraid. I’m hooked! 

Here’s Fred with his cake…