Mummy Laura’s Kitchen

Fresh out of the kitchen…I’ve been baking again. It’s been a busy week in Mummy Laura’s kitchen with the assistance of my little bambino (she sat in her high chair eating breadsticks and hummus).

So, I was visiting my old workplace on Wednesday and thought I’d take the ladies a treat and I thought I’d try my hand at Millionaire’s shortbread. I used the lovely Mary Berry’s recipe and this made tons! I think I got a bit ahead of myself though and tried to do the marbled chocolate effect on the top using white and milk chocolate, this was not at all successful but it didn’t affect the taste and that’s all that matters right?

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Today saw the biggest batch of cookies I’ve ever made, again a nice Mary Berry recipe (thanks Mum for buying me this book, it’s coming in very handy). These were not such a success, not as soft and cookie-like as I would have hoped, slightly over done on the base but they were edible, especially when dunked in a lovely cup of tea so I can’t complain.

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Not sure what I will bake next, will wait until this mountain of cookies have been eaten up!

xx

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Picnics, bluebells, goslings and walking

This weekend has been one full of fresh air, sunshine and walking and there is still 1 day left, oh how I love a bank holiday.

We have spent time in the garden, finally got the baby’s sunflower planted so need to nurture that now, I’m hoping for a nice tall one but we will see.

After a day of just chilling in the garden we felt a walk was in order so we took a stroll to the Clockhouse Gardens to the duck pond, the baby looks at the ducks but there is no excitement yet, if I’m honest the geese scare me a little but we did see some gorgeous little goslings.

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Today we set off on a bluebell hunt, I have been determined to find a bluebell wood and to get some lovely photos of Lottie amongst them. The first hunt took us to Hornchurch Country Park and Durrants Wood. We sat and had the baby’s first ever picnic, she thought this was great, eating whilst not in a high chair meant she could pounce on anything that looked interesting, mainly the tin foil and bottle of squash but we had a feast of sandwiches, crisps and blueberries!

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Whilst we discovered a lovely little brook and saw lots of dogs there were no bluebells to be found so we headed to the Langdon Nature Reserve. Strangely, although it was only a few miles down the road it was warmer and less windy here plus free parking and a lovely place to walk which was a bonus. Lots of bumpy paths (not too buggy friendly as it was VERY hilly) but some lovely views across the Essex countryside. We were just ready to give up and turn around and lo and behold, we found the bluebells – hoorah!

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We’ve had a lovely couple of days, so much walking and fresh air, roll on Bank Holiday Monday! I hope you have all had an exciting weekend too?

xx

Dessert, yes please

Who can resist a pudding! Certainly not me, I will purposely leave some of my main course so I have room for a dessert.

My attempt to become a baking queen has deviated from cakes to desserts! We had the bread and butter pudding and this weekend saw the first attempt at a Lemon Meringue Pie.

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I used a recipe from the lovely Mary Berry and rather than the traditional pastry case it had a digestive biscuit bottom which I set in the fridge, the lemony layer was condensed milk based and the top, traditional meringue.

It looked ok and tasted nice, I think it was a tad watery but it’s not all about looks when it comes to pudding!

xx

10 months and counting…

My beautiful baby girl is almost 11 months old, where has the time gone? I can’t believe she is almost 1, when I left work last May to go on maternity leave the year ahead seemed so long and I felt like I had all the time in the World.

My gorgeous girl is full of personality now, so cheeky with a smile that reaches right up to her eyes, she is so strong-willed and determined. The newborn that would never sit still is just the same now, desperate to get walking now that she has mastered the art of crawling, she has picked up quite a pace as the poor cat has discovered, he is forever getting backed into corners as tail and ear pulling is top of her list of priorities!

The first words came a while ago but she has perfected the mamamamamama, it’s on repeat all day every day which is just lovely (although I do feel a little guilty that she isn’t saying dadadadada).

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She is becoming more adventurous, no longer scared of swings but grass is still an obstacle to be overcome, she just likes to know what is going on everywhere. When we go out she will fight to stay awake, desperate to absorb every little detail about her surroundings. I’m assured that this is a sign of intelligence which is great (sometimes however, I just wish she would give in to the land of nod and catch some zzzzz’s).

She amazes me every day, whether it be with what she eats or the problems she overcomes. She will eat raw spring onion, chases a ball around the floor knocking it with a bat and has figured out which buttons on the tv bring up the pretty icons – amazing!

I love being with my baby everyday and look forward to what she surprises me with tomorrow.

xx

Spring has sprung…

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So it looks like Spring has finally sprung…the sun has been shining, the daffodils are blooming and the smell of summer is in the air…I love the smell of freshly cut grass, there is something really refreshing about it. It gives me the inspiration to get my green fingers out but I think I might need more than inspiration this year, my garden is a mess. My vegetable patch has the remains of last years runner beans and tomatoes lingering but the strawberry plants all look like they might be sprouting up again which is a bonus!

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The flower beds are overrun with weeds and the plant that I dig up every couple of months is still insisting on growing back, the only success is the magnolia which is clinging to the tree and looks beautiful when in bloom.

The man of the house mowed the lawn last weekend so we’re looking tidier but there is still a lot of work to be done and I’m not sure how it will get done with a 10 month old crawling all over the place, if only I could explain to her that she needs to stay in one place we’d be sorted 😉

xx

Our stay at Premier Inn

You’ve just got to love a Premier Inn
We stayed in one this weekend and it has surprised me, I always think of budget hotel chains as being just that, budget! It always brings to mind tacky pictures, slightly worn out carpet, flat pillows and far too thin duvets but not the Premier Inn. The pillows are plump, the room is spacious and the bed is actually comfier than my own at home!

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This is the first time we’ve brought the baby to a hotel and I was slightly concerned about the cot situation, so much so that I forced my other half to pack the travel cot but the cot we were supplied was lovely. It’s a travel cot made by Redkite and is just as good as our own, clean, strong and doesn’t look as though another child has been gnawing on it.
We also had breakfast at the attached Brewers Fayre and that was delicious, an abundance of toast, cereal, hot buffet and yogurt. I would have liked slightly more fruit for the little one to choose from but I can’t complain, she had a yummy omelette made to order.
All in all I was pleasantly surprised by our stay, I would definitely stay at Premier Inn again.

xx

My Breastfed Baby and Reflux

My breast fed baby has reflux, I would be lying if I said it was easy, it’s been a challenge. The response I had from the HV and midwives was, ‘oh, that’s unusual for a breastfed baby but she’s gaining weight so she’s ok’. There was no input or suggestion of how to reduce the amount of vomit so I took it upon myself to look it all up.

They were right, I did not need to be concerned about her weight gain, she was obviously having more than enough milk to cover the amount that she was inevitably spitting back up after every feed but it was such a pain! Yes, the selfish reason for me hating the reflux was that I smelt like sick, all the time, morning, noon and night my perfume of choice was eau de vomit. My carpet smelt of it, my sofa smelt of it and my bed smelt of it – bleurgh!

I was told that by the time she was 1 year old the reflux would have gone, 12 months! That’s a long time when your baby is only 1 month old – I even have it on camera, taking a picture of her in a beautiful Baby Gap outfit and she puked at the exact moment I took the photo, every gorgeous outfit I put her in was usually dirtied in around 30 minutes, I became adept at draping 2 muslin clothes across myself and around her as well as a bib to try and capture it all.

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I read up and tried so many things to ease it, I have to say I tried cutting out dairy – that was tough. Milk was replaced with coconut milk (actually really nice), butter and cheese was eliminated and chocolate become my forbidden fruit. I thought it was helping but it lasted all of a day and she was back to normal so it was more of a fluke. I tried interval feeding, small feed, wind, small feed, wind but that didn’t help, I sat her up for 20 minutes after each feed, I winded her continually, I let her sleep in her swinging chair but all that did was contain the sick until she woke and I picked her up and then she vomited. Nothing seemed to help until I started weaning her at 6 months. The solids seem to help her keep the milk down so milk feeds are regularly followed by a tiny snack these days.

My baby is now 10 months old and the reflux has probably become normal levels of sick now, she isn’t sick after every milk feed anymore and I can feed her in public without the worry of having to scrabble around on my hands and knees mopping up regurgitated milk anymore.

So…the moral of the story is that it does get better! You just have to bide your time and warn everyone who wants a baby cuddle that they will probably be sicked on 🙂

xx