Over to ANOTHER new blog… but this ones definitely worth it!!

I recently re-organised all my photos in Photobucket but didn’t realise that this would affect the photos in my blog! This has resulted in them all disapearing. As i really didn’t warm to this blog, as in i couldn’t quite work out my niche, this little mis-hap has given me a great oppurtunity to start a new blog that is more ‘me’… so please let me introduce you to amy loves food!!

http://www.amylovesfood.wordpress.com

I already feel connected to this blog and i only started it this evening! Please follow the link and tell me what you think… i will be blogging from there from now on,

Amy x

Lets Give this Blogging a go AGAIN!!!

OK, so i thought i was going to be blogging a lot more frequently than this but here i am having not blogged for 2 whole months!! I’ll be very surprised if anyone even reads this anymore!

So now my baby is sleeping more at night and i am no longer a walking zombie i have decided to try and blog regularly again. It’s also time for me to lose a bit of weight and get fit/healthier (if you follow me on twitter you will know someone asked me last week if i am pregnant again – oh the shame!!!), so i have set myself a mini challenge;

Lose 1 stone (14 lb) by the Queens Jubilee weekend (June 12)

I have 57 days to try and lose a stone – this is quite a lot of weight i know but i am going to get as close to that amount as i possibly can by eating healthy and working out – no quick fixes or radical diets!!

For some unknown reason i started watching what i was eating on Thursday, i always start on a Monday and the temptation gets too much by a weekend so thought i would try a different tactic and start on a different day! Now it is Saturday and i am happy to report that i have stuck within my allocated calories that Myfitness Pal recommended for me, I’ve also managed a to do a workout – i am going to do the Turbo Jam routine to kick this weight loss off! I’ve only owned the DVD for about 3 years and have only taken it out of the wrapper this week… Below is an example of what i have been eating;

Breakfast, scrambled egg on lightly buttered toast and a cup of tea, if i have been really hungry i have had 2 eggs or 2 slices of toast.

Lunch, delicious salads! Not all containing lettuce either, below was my favourite! King Prawns, Beetroot, Cucumber, Celery, Olives! Yum!

Dinner; homemade cottage pie – made with Quorn Mince, onion, gravy, seasoning and potato, so low fat due to the quorn! I had 1/4 of the pie and a loads of veggies.

The hardest part about starting to eat healthy the week before Easter is all the chocolate that we have been given, just look at this plate of temptation that the mother-in-law made for us, I’m begging the husband to eat it all so i don’t get weak!

Yes that’s Rocky Road and chocolate Easter muffins! Oh help me!!

The good thing about working out is i got to finally wear the workout gear someone bought me from the US earlier this year;

I’m off to Falmouth in Cornwall next weekend for our first family holiday with baby Rowan (i plan to healthy eat throughout the week but am going to treat myself to a Cornish pasty and fish & chips at some point!) , the only problem is i don’t think i get internet for my laptop, so i may try and blog from my mobile or just tweet a hell of a lot!!

Right it’s Easter Sunday tomorrow… can i resist the Easter eggs that are in the house??? To be continued…

Birthday Cake Success!!!

Before i present to you my 2nd attempt at my moms birthday cake, i thought you would like this photo of Rowan…

I don’t wanna be a kangeroo!”

It has been so cold i have been wrapping the little man in this adorable outfit from mothercare, plus a gazillion blankets on our daily walks – he has since grown to love the outfit!

So after my first failed attempt at my moms birthday cake (i forgot to put the butter in the mixture –doh!!!), the 2nd attempt i am happy to say was a success! It took me ages to put together as had to be done in stages because of seeing & feeding Rowan, so here it is…

My mom is a fantastic knitter so that was the theme, it also had an edible tape measure going around the bottom – my mom loved it!

Talking of feeding Rowan, i am still exclusively breastfeeding – i love it & hate expressing, however it has took me a while to go out and about on my own in case i need to feed him. I’m fine if out with other people as i can suggest going for a coffee but don’t fancy doing this on my own. So last week when i ventured into Exeter to get my moms birthday present (this gorgeous Thomas Sabo charm…

I work for an airline & still fly as cabin crew although i’m on maternity leave – hence the aeroplane charm!) I ventured in on my own & was so happy to discover Mothercare had feeding/changing facilities, as soon as Rowan started making his ‘I’m hungry!’ noises i headed straight there.

Excuse Rowan’s stripy blanket, he likes to be wrapped up when feeding!

The facilities were clean, tidy and comfortable – it was so nice to feed and change Rowan whilst out and about on my own.

Another thing i am trying this week… making an effort on myself! It’s so time consuming having a baby that a new mommy can sometimes forget about themselves… i try to do my hair and wear a little bit of make up now when i know i am going out – it’s amazing how human this can make you feel!

Did you spot the cutie in the back ground?

Right, i have just got Rowan off to bed so it’s time for me to read a few pages of my book ‘One Day’ by David Nicholls, then i must visit dream land too! Night all!

The ‘Never Meant to be Cake!’

My lovely mom turns the big 6-0 this coming weekend and we are going up to Birmingham to help celebrate this fabulous birthday with her…

I will hopefully be getting her this Thomas Sabo charm for her bracelet that my dad bought her at xmas tomorrow when i go shopping with the little man…

I really hope the jewellers have them in stock! I am also going to attempt to make her a birthday cake, i am no experienced baker but i do like to give myself a challenge – i have only made one birthday cake prior to this and that was in September for Ollie’s birthday…

If you couldn’t guess, the theme was cricket! I really enjoyed making it but i was heavily pregnant and on maternity leave so had a lot of time to put it together. I need to make my mom’s cake in the next few days with a demanding 3 month old wanting my attention for the majority of the day… how times have changed!

Anyhow, tonight i thought i would make a start on the sponge. I followed a recipe that a friend from antenatal gave me, she makes the most amazing cakes so was glad when she shared some of her baking wisdom with me.

The ingredients for my sponge cake was simple;

  • 170g self raising flour
  • 170g very soft butter
  • 170g castor sugar
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 3 eggs

My friends fail safe pearls of wisdom went like this;

  1. never tap the side of the bowl when making a sponge as this releases a lot of air in the mixture
  2. make sure all doors are shut??? she believes that this can draw air from the cake (who am i to argue she makes amazing cakes!)
  3. Never open the oven door during the baking process & finally
  4. sift the flour & baking powder 3 times from quite a height.

With all this in mind i was ready to go and started sifting my flour thrice…

Sift one…

sift two…

sift three…

The next bit was easy, add all the rest of the ingredients and mix with an electric whisk for 2 mins, my determination for the ultimate cake did not fail me and i actually stop-watched myself mixing for 2 whole minutes!

After the 2 minutes were up i had a little taste, i love cake batter but this tasted a bit funky! Not sure what it was so i added a drop of vanilla essence and mixed for a further minute…

I divided the mixture between two silicone cake moulds and was just about to place it in the oven when…

whoops!

In my haste to get the cake done before Rowan’s next feed i forgot a crucial bit of the ingredients… the bloomin butter! So out i scraped the batter from the moulds…

and in went the soft butter…

off i went again to whisk the batter for 2 minutes, secretly knowing my dreams of a fluffy victoria sponge was fading fast!

The mixture was once again divided between the two moulds and then put in the oven for 20 minutes (170c pre heated).

Like my friend said i did not open the oven door until the buzzer went off so not to disturb the cake, in fact i was no where near the oven as Rowan needed feeding. When the 20 minutes were up, the house smelt lovely – thank goodness after my little mistake earlier the cake smelled good. The husband took the cakes out of the oven and placed them on top of the counter for me and returned to doing his paper work in the back room.

After Rowan had fed i went to inspect my cakes… all i can so is ‘oh dear!’…

It was so tragic it was laughable!

No way was i going to make a cake for my mom with THAT! So instead Ollie & I covered it with Jam and ate it!

It tasted lovely it was just a little on the misshapen side, i guess the adding of the butter after was too traumatic for my poor little sponge!

Never mind, i will attempt cake no 2 tomorrow evening, i still have time before the weekend, just about! My only saving grace is there is a massive ASDA right by my parents and they sell a beautiful array of birthday cakes, fingers crossed that won’t be necessary. Part 2 of the of the birthday cake attempt will be blogged about tomorrow…

Does anyone have any more hints and tips for making the ultimate sponge cake? *as you can see i need all the help i can get*

Big Bumbo Boy!

Just when i thought Rowan couldn’t get any cuter he goes and sits in a Bumbo!

I only sat him in it for a couple of minutes as his neck is still not that strong but he looked so pleased with himself sitting all by himself like a big boy – i can not believe he is 14 weeks old already!

We have been doing a lot of socialising this week;

Monday was baby massage and Ro also got to flirt with the nurses at the hospital during his hip scan!

Tuesday we met up with my 3 friends from work, we all gave birth within 2 weeks of each other… and we all had boys!!

**i miss my bump so much!**

I love that i have so many friends around me with babies, we all have the same worries and concerns, which is reassuring at times. This weeks topic of conversation was about whether our babies are getting enough stimulus from their toys for their age… I concluded no as a lot of the toys that Rowan has been given will benefit him more when he is older, so last night i went straight on ebay and purchased some developmental toys made by Lamaze

Lamaze Gardenbug Wrist Rattles and Foot Finders  Toy

These cute garden rattles will attach to Rowan’s wrists and feet – how stimulating! I also want to get him a contrast toy, i like the look of ‘Sir Prance-A-lot!’…

Lamaze P&G Sir Prance-a-lot Toy

Wednesday (today) we have been socialising with antenatal friends. First we popped to Joshua’s Harvest Store for a quick hot chocolate en route – i love this place you can pick up lots of healthy foods and gorgeous gifts all under one roof.

Joshua\'s harvest store

I purchased an Oozy Orange Cake to take to my friends house to have with tea, it was delightful!

I’m not sure about Rowan, but this week has tired me out so far, tomorrow i plan to have a duvet day and watch this with the little man…

It’s time to catch some zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz’s

Busy, busy day!

Yesterday was such a busy day, i didn’t get to post this last night – Rowan is also having his 3 months growth spurt so wants to breastfeed ALOT!

We started the day bright and early for baby massage, i realised the other day that i hardly put any photos on of myself, so here i am…

I am one of the luckiest mommy’s in the world as i get to look at this every single morning…

We got up, got fed and got ready to leave the house, it was icy cold again yesterday morning so i wrapped up Rowan with so many layers he could hardly move! Can you see my 2 breakfast cookies on Ro, i munched them on the way to the class! (just realised how wrong the cookies look on him!!!)

It was lovely and warm at baby massage, this week we worked on the babies tummies – Ro really enjoys this class…

Baby massage had the desired effect on Ro, he didn’t make it to the end of class again!

We got home after class and had to go straight off to the hospital as Rowan had a hip scan. At our post natal check the dr couldn’t manipulate his hip very well so was concerned, i only had about 5 mins so i packed a very quick lunch of Ryvita and cream cheese;

and the most colourless, unappetising salad of iceberg lettuce, cucumber, apple and cheddar (i was in a mega rush!!) Ollie came home from work to join us for the appointment so i got to sit in the back and had a car picnic!

It also meant i had a little time by myself to get organised, time to myself is not something i have much of these days!

We had to wake Rowan up for the ultrasound scan, he was as good as gold – we got to see his hip sockets on the screen, which fortunately turned out to be perfect – phew!! It was better to be safe than sorry though.

The rest of the evening was spent cluster feeding Rowan, Ollie made sausage, mash & beans, lovely comfort food, just what i needed after our busy day!

Ro & I are off to see friends today – blog you later!

Now before you do anything you need to head over to Laura’s blog Keeping Healthy Getting Stylish where she has a fantastic GIVEAWAY to celebrate her blogs 2nd birthday – it’s open internationally too!

I HATE Swimming!!!!

Today was a big day in little Rowan’s life – he’s first time swimming!! We decided to head over to Exmouth swimming pool as they have a smaller pool for infants, i decided not to go in just in case he did not like it. What was great about Exmouth was they had family changing rooms so i could help get Rowan suited & booted for the pool! I decided to ‘double bag’ him as i was nervous he was going to have an accident, so on went the disposable AND reusable swimming nappies!

Rowan was all smiles before going in the pool with daddy!

… unfortunately, Rowan HATED the pool!! I could hear him screaming through the spectators glass wall, Ollie tried putting his little feet in the water but he was inconsolable :o( I didn’t get a chance to take a photo of him in the pool as i was acting like the worried mommy i have become and raced back to the changing rooms to rescue him! I think Rowan got freaked out by the lights/smells/noises of the pool or the fact i was there one minute changing him and the next minute i had disappeared… we decided next time i will go in the pool also to reassure him that he is safe. Once i calmed the little man down, wiped his tears and listened to his sobs, i took him into the spectators area whilst Ollie swan a few lengths – after a lot of mommy cuddles Rowan fell asleep – the trauma was over! He forgave daddy quickly for taking him into the pool and had a cuddle with him too…

We ventured to the supermarket after swimming (how exciting!) as we have found a love for Lidl, we can buy a weeks worth of shopping quite easily with our £50 budget, today we spent £35 so have change for the rest of the week!

After a dinner of leftovers (bean enchiladas & chocolate cake), i had the urge to do a bit of baking, i came across breakfast cookies on Chocolate Covered Katie but put my own twist on them and made Cranberry and Almond Breakfast Cookies..

Ingredients;

  • half ripe banana, mashed
  • tbsp peanut butter
  • 1/2 cup oats
  • 1/4 cup almonds, chopped
  • 1/4 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/2 tbsp soft light brown sugar
  • 1/4 tsp almond essence

These cookies are so simple, all you need to do is mash the ripe banana and peanut butter together;

Add the oats, i like these;

and add the rest of the ingredients… mix, mix, mix until well combined;

Make into 10 small cookie balls and bake on 180 for 20 minutes (I’m loving my silicone baking sheet, no need to grease and non-stick!);

Of course i had to try one whilst they were still warm, D.E.L.I.C.I.O.U.S! These are ideal as when i have a hectic day with Rowan i need food i can just grab with no preparation required – these little cookies should just give me the energy hit i need.

Whilst in Lidl, i noticed they had a number of fitness DVDs for just £3.99! I love a bargain so purchased Clubland – Work It Out – I’ll let you know what it is like once i have chance to have a go at it.

January Budget Challenge

The budget challenge is still going very well, i have managed to stick within all budgets and have even gone under my personal budget, so i can treat myself when i see something i really want!

Right i am off to bed, Rowan and I have a busy day tomorrow, baby massage in the morning and then we’re off to the hospital as Ro needs to have his hip scanned to check that it is in the correct place – fingers crossed it will all be ok.