Monday, 9 May 2016

Limbo & Biscuits

Finding ways to keep myself occupied whilst in the limbo of the first weeks of maternity leave. Following on from my last post, we’ve managed to update spare oom with some wonderfully 70s pieces and a lick of paint on the fence. Ornamental grasses and echinacea sit in wait of being planted due to my ever-inflating sausage fingers. 

We’ve spent the weekend trying to walk this little guy out. Some women walk ten minutes and can’t hold their little bundles in. Me? I go 5 miles through steep urban hills, park lands and markets without a tingle! Upping the raspberry leaf tea, pineapple and Mexican intake. We’ve made a 9 month pact that we’d get to meet little man on Wednesday, lets stick to that pact. Yeah? Yeah.












This morning I had an intense craving to bake something from home. So I stepped back into the kitchen for a turn at fluffy buttermilk biscuits (guided by this recipe).  

2c all purpose flour
1tbsp baking powder
1tsp salt
1/4tsp baking soda
6 tbsp butter
1c buttermilk*

In a large mixing bowl sift together your flour, baking powder, salt and baking soda. Use your hands to crumble in the butter until the mixture is fine and pebbley. Use a wooden spoon to mix in the buttermilk until everything is well combined.

Dump the dough out onto a floured surface and pat into a rectangular shape approximately 1inch thick. Cut into eight small squares.

Place the squares onto a greased baking tray and pop into a preheated oven at 180C for approximately 10-12 minutes - when they are a deliciously golden brown colour.


*I made my own buttermilk by heating up 1tbsp butter in the microwave. I then placed the melted butter into a measuring cup, filled to level with soya milk, and mixed.

I’m not sure if it was the biscuits, or the fact that Otis Redding has popped onto spotify, but little man is happily dancing in my belly now…please dance out of my belly now. 

Tuesday, 26 April 2016

Spare Oom Dreamin



It’s nearly time to spend endless hours among the plants, birds and critters in spare oom. Soon the blanket will be out permanently with books ready to read, picnics ready to be eaten, and a little squirmy buddy to introduce to the outside world. 

The list of improvements to our spare room are ongoing, but here are a few things I’ve been dreaming of recently:

Paint it black - our little shed would look amazing with a darkened touch

Curling up with little buddy in an extra large, cozy egg chair

Hanging a little flora or fauna amongst recycled bottles and ceramics

Stringing up lights for those warm nights


Tuesday, 19 April 2016

A little party for little buddy

A couple weeks ago we threw a little shindig in anticipation of little buddy’s arrival. Far from the traditional baby shower, I really wanted T to be there - after all, he played a big hand in making this little family of ours grow. And why stop there? We extended invites to those people who make us feel most loved and have held our hands throughout this journey. Who needs a ‘girl-only’ crowd when you can have a crowd full of love?

The table was set with fresh florals, recycled and vintage glass jars & pottery, and homemade pom poms (which I made for little man’s gender reveal). While visiting my family in Iowa, I adored these flags that mama used to decorate my niece and nephew’s room with. Even though T & I didn’t know we’d successfully make an Iowa baby (!), I decided to buy some for our little buddy. A few months down the line (and a huge belly later) they played a key leading role in the look of our party.

On the menu:

- vanilla cake with chocolate fudge icing. decorated with fresh flowers, woodland creatures, and handmade 'oh boy' cake topper (baked and decorated by me!)
- my signature sugar cookies: daisies, rosebuds, ‘Oh Boy’ & ‘B’ scripted cookies
- popcorn bar & candy filling station (subtly chosen in boyish colours)
- T’s savoury pork meatballs with pasta & a mini sandwich selection (bless that boy!)
- freshly cut veggies
- tea and coffee station

Friends and family also loaded us with finger sandwiches, scrumptious baked goods (have you heard of fifteens?!), cheese twists, potato salad, etc - there was enough food to entertain for days!

As a keepsake from the day, we left out a book for loved ones to fill out their guesses on:

- baby names (favourite guessed include: Buddy, Elvis, Tiny)
- birth date & weight (14lbs & 2 weeks late wasn’t a nice answer!)
- who & what little buddy will look like (Jarvis Cocker? What have I been up to??)

The day was laid back/emotional/fuelled by food/filled with love. 
All of the above. 

A special thanks to all who made our day wonderful (whether near or far). You know who you are. We love ya'll so much.Xx











Wednesday, 16 March 2016

This, That, and Vegan Pancakes



A warming sun has made his big debut over the last couple of weeks, bringing happiness and light to this home of ours. It’s wonderfully calming on those days I’ve spent achey-hipped, indoors. Sash windows cracked open airing out and waking up this winter-tired house. Hello lovely spring. We’ve been waiting for you.

My mind is a little bit of everywhere at the moment. Flitting from baby, to wedding, to garden, to home diy (mainly painting, which I’ve been advised not to do), then back to baby. An endless circle of to dos. Big to dos. Exciting to dos. Wish I could do to dos. 

But! I stumbled upon a wonderful recipe for the perfect fluffy american pancake. (yayyy comfort food!) Rather than baking a batch of cookies and eating them all to myself (although the fatty in me wants it!), I thought I’d treat myself and little man to something a little better for our ever expanding body. Topped with bananas, honey, blueberries and pistachios one day. And bananas, honey and almond flakes the next. The batter makes 6 pancakes. Go ahead and give them a try:

1 1/4c Self Raising Flour
2tbsp Sugar
1/2tsp Salt
1 1/4c Water
1tbsp Sunflower Oil

Mix the ingredients well in a bowl. Spoon the batter onto a heated skillet. When tiny bubbles appear all over your cake and the edges look solid, flip that bad boy. Heat the other side until browned.


Add toppings and enjoy.

Saturday, 27 February 2016

Wednesday, 24 February 2016

Turning it all around

Iron deficiency has been a silent beast lurking around inside me for years. Admittedly, it’s something I’ve always shrugged my shoulders at and carried on without thinking of until we started trying for a little buddy. With a wake up call from the midwife yesterday I know that I need to shift things up another gear. (Not to worry, little man isn’t affected - he’s draining me of all my irony goods, including the supplements I've been taking. I just need to top them up for my own benefit or else I'll be in the dreaded 'high risk' category of pregnancy. A very scary thought.) 

With two bulky grocery bags and a waddle home, today is the day I turn things around. Here’s a little list of ingredients to help you form your own iron army:



- Legumes: chickpeas, kidney beans, lentils
- Nuts: cashews and pistachios top my list
- Leafy greens: spinach and kale - soooo happy that I have the taste for greens again!
- Red Meat: beef and lamb (muscles, scallops and liver pack the biggest punch). Being a recovering vegetarian and living in a ‘no red meat’ zone, this is the last category to step into my diet. I’ll be balancing my chicken with a bit of steak from now on.
- Organic Dark Chocolate: Montezuma’s is a favourite! Sorry creme eggs, I’ll be shelving you for a while.

Try to remember not to eat these ingredients alongside dairy & breads, as the iron will be swallowed up and lost forever...this is a rule that I've only just learned and need to live by. (Obviously don't cut those ingredients from your diet, just eat them at separate times.)

Fingers crossed to healthier blood.

Tuesday, 16 February 2016

The Day I Ate Two Brunches (or thoughts on the last day of my second trimester)





It’s half-term which means my other half has the week off, so we’re filling it up with a bit of life admin and ‘us’ time.

We spent the day wandering Camden, Primrose, Regents Park, Soho & Highgate. An all together nine mile walk - something we’ve grown accustomed to on our Sundays together over the last three months. The day was fuelled by brunch from our local Hilly Kitchen. Strong black americano with scrambled eggs, smoked salmon and toast for him. Decaf cappuccino and fresh orange juice with poached eggs, french toast with lashings of maple syrup, blueberries, bananas, and strawberries for me.

Upon mopping up the maple syrup remnants with my last bite of french toast, T’s eyes shifted towards my empty plate and he asked “Is that going to fill you up? Would you like another one?” To which I sheepishly responded “Yes please.” I mopped up that plate too.

Two brunches. Two.

Admittedly, this is the second time this week that I have had two back to back breakfasts. Two days ago it was a heaping bowl of bran and dried fruits, quickly followed by an omelette of egg, cheddar, and fresh juicy tomatoes. 

Is this what will become of me over the next three months? At least it beats the first three and a half months of eating nothing but beige: Plain pasta. Cream Crackers. Cheddar. Jackie P’s (no toppings). Oranges. Shreddies. On repeat. But oddly, never rice. Get behind me satan!

All in all, the second trimester has been good to me. Here are a few points of note from weeks 14 to 27:

- An appetite to be proud of. Hello wonderful world of colour. I missed you.

- After two miscarriages (the first at 12 weeks. the second at 5 weeks.), it is okay to still think your pregnancy is not viable even after that life changing 13 week scan. It’s okay to be cautious. But try to be positive too. It’s a fine line, but it can be a good line. (Lazing around in the Kefalonian sun during that 12th week works wonders for the nerves too)

- At your 20 week scan, if you don’t want to know the gender, you probably don’t want to see the scan. Our boy is definitely all boy. He showed us from the get go. ;)

- I have become a human pin cushion. Blood tests, flu jabs, acupuncture. Oh my!

- Once your belly swells, people will freely tell you their pregnancy stories without sugar coating them. And ohhhhh the advice they give. Be prepared to hear things you cannot unhear and try to disregard all the crazy comments. Although, apparently boys are better than girls, according to the Muswell Hill mum massive. I’ll take that.

- “You’re blooming!” roughly translates to “wow, you’re HUGE!” Or so I think?

- Hello hip pain. Hello free acupuncture. (Definitely take advantage of all the free treatments & classes the hospital has to offer. God bless the NHS.)

- I no longer have a belly button. Not even an outtie. My stomach is a vast heaping plain.

- My boobs are stuck between needing a new home, and not being large enough for the next cup size. To think I used to be happy flinging my bra off at the end of the day to free those puppies. Now I need to fling it off just to breathe!

- Hello tiny lung capacity. Look what’s happening to me!! 

- Little buddy loves a bit of 3am exercise. Right hooks to the ribs and a game of “Mama! here’s my foot!” (It’s okay to be a little freaked out by the alien-esque movement of your belly)

-It’s absolutely adorable watching your partner try on baby carriers because you’re too big to model them yourself.

The list goes on and on. 


Here’s to the home stretch (and double brunches).