Is it just me or is the world going mad? Or advent calendar makers to be precise. I couldn’t help but furnish BB with her first chocolate advent calendar this year – it seemed cruel not to – and she loves Thomas the Tank Engine, for which there isn’t a non-chocolate picture alternative available. Or it seemed cruel until my eyes fell on the boast ‘chunkier chocolate for the final five days’ (pictured), when it was already opened and too late to take back.
Chunkier chocolate for the final five days??!! I am outraged. Why oh why? So the child can gradually expand their stomach in time for the day itself, ready to gorge on even more confectionary? And since when did advent calendars have 25, as opposed to 24, chocolates? No wonder this country has an obesity problem. Continue reading
I can hardly believe it but I’m about to enter my third month of project No Nasties (alcohol, caffeine and dairy) in a bid to wave goodbye to not-so-new mum frazzle and fatigue and rediscover pre-pregnancy levels of health and wellbeing. I say no nasties: I must admit to falling off the wagon once or twice wine-wise, and the odd diet coke may have passed my lips, but overall I’ve had a pretty good stab at it.
While I’m at it I’ve decided to embrace the whole free-from revolution and opt for gluten-free and whatever-else-I-can-get-my-hands-on-free at the same time. Why not? In for a penny, in for a pound. And you can now get peanut butter without the peanuts. Or any other sort of nut. And it actually tastes – and looks - like peanut butter (pictured). Continue reading
With Misery Guts following the no-gluten Paleo diet and me doing my best to clean up my own act I’ve opted for a gluten-free Christmas cake this year (pictured). Finding a decent recipe was harder than I thought, yet making it was surprisingly easy, so here’s the recipe for anyone looking for a free-from option.
I simply took ever-dependable Delia Smith’s classic Christmas cake recipe and substituted the flour for ground almonds and a teeny weeny bit of gluten-free plain flour. She also uses chopped almonds, so fearing almond overload I opted for chopped pistachios instead. Here’s how I did it:
This weekend is the last before advent which means only one thing: this Sunday is Stir-up Sunday and time to make the Christmas pudding. Except I won’t be making a pudding because my brother usually arrives armed with a posh one from one London food hall or another, so I’m making the cake instead.
Which poses the question: how to decorate it this year? This is last year’s effort (pictured), which paid homage to a year in which we celebrated the Olympics, the diamond jubilee and the pitter patter of tiny royal feet. (I was rather pleased with the feet – I sprayed pink footprints I had left over from a christening cake with edible gold spray). Continue reading
There are just 36 sleeps until Christmas and I am beside myself with anticipation. Not for the event itself, but for the festive gift guides that will land on my mat between now and then.
These are the supplements I seek out first when the weekend papers arrive, greedily scanning the covers and putting them somewhere ‘safe’ until I can sit down with a cup of tea (or wine) and a pen, or curl up in bed, and start leafing. So far we have had offerings from companies one never hears of for 11 months of the year, with titles like ‘Museum Selection’ and ‘Heritage Home’. Where do they trade for the rest of the year? And who thinks up their inventions? Continue reading
I’ve got a new secret weapon in my make-up bag: Clean Slate cleanser by Mama Mio. I haven’t been asked to review it or sent the product free of charge: I paid £22.50 of my hard earned cash for it, which may sound on the pricey side for a face wash, but Oh. My. Goodness. This stuff is amazing. So I’m writing about it because I thought you might like to know too.
I have never, ever, come across a skincare product that has actually delivered visible results instantly, but this one did. Here’s a picture of my clear (un make-upped) blemish free skin, two weeks in, to prove it.
I’m not quite sure how they’ve done it: it contains a mix of high protein organic aloe leaf juice with probiotics and essential oils and omegas, and my skin felt more alive after the very first use. Even Misery Guts, who normally wouldn’t notice if I wore a paper bag over my head, commented on how good my skin looked just a day after I first used it. Continue reading
It didn’t even occur to me to kit BB out with ear defenders ahead of our annual fireworks display this weekend, and this is the result (pictured). She spent almost the entire 25 minutes with her head buried in Misery Guts’ chest, peeping out every now and again only to shut her eyes even more tightly and bury herself even more deeply.
I’m not sure why I didn’t consider that a toddler, safely encompassed in ear defenders, might enjoy a visual show more than a popping and banging one, but I didn’t. Continue reading