Pesto Pasta

As your family grows dishes that are quick and yummy are important to make your life easy but the ones that you ALL enjoy eating well… they are priceless! Pesto Pasta is one of those dishes for my family. I serve it with some green salad and garlic bread.

You will need (serves 4):

Pasta

Pesto I use the classic green pesto, small jar

Peppers any colour diced (you can use any other veg you like)

Philadelphia cheese 200g (cream cheese)

Garlic

 

Heat olive oil in a pan (I use a spoon to lift the extra oil from the top if the pesto jar), Add Italian herbs and garlic.
Stir fry your choice of veg (I used peppers)
Add the jar of pesto, ( if you have more time you could make your own pesto)
Cook through and then add Philadelphia cheese, stir through thoroughly.
Add salt and paper to taste, if you want some spice you can add chilli flakes. Add the cooked pasta and serve!

This pasta also tastes great cold. So we also make when we go on a picnic or a side for at a BBQ.

 

Pesto Pasta

Make it with a twist:

  • Use it as a salad, add some leaves once the pasta cools down. 
  • Use it as a side and serve with some grilled chicken.
  • Add some flaked fish to the Pasta.

 

XxX

TwitterEmailFacebookPinterestFlipboardWhatsAppBlogger PostShare

Back to work blues (part 2)

So over the last week we have been trying to implement things that we think will help Little Lady behave, as she has been playing up and we were putting it down to me returning to work.

Making time for our Little Lady really helped, I would say this was the most fun way to get her back to her bubbly self. On the days that I was not working I would make an extra effort in the morning as this is the time that she enjoys the most. From just a chat, to getting ready and leaving the housework and going out!

I also told her if she was good the whole day while I was at work, when I got home from work she may get a present! I made the effort to pick something up and I only gave it to her when I was told she was good (in her presence). Positive reinforcement!

This week we only made realistic suggestions of punishment and followed through quickly. Over the past few weeks I was making unrealistic punishments and I think she had realised that I was not going to be able to follow through. Over the last week when she misbehaved, (I took a deep breath) I tried to only think of a realistic punishments. The first few, I had to follow through, and the difference within the hours that followed was profound!

I am a fan of super nanny! So naturally we also bought back the naughty step.

All in all she is a fantastic little girl (I would say that, I am her mother), over the last week I have fallen in-love with her even more.

If you are a parent returning to work I hope this helps. I think that all children just miss us, so need an extra dose of LOVE to help them with back to work blues.

XxX

Can’t live without my chopper

I love kitchen gadgets, especially ones that cut down my food preparation time.

I can’t live without my chopper. I use it almost every day! I have the Kenwood chopper, which is still going strong considering I got it almost 6years ago!

I use it to chop/mince (if you hold the button down for longer):

  • Ginger
  • Garlic
  • Chillies
  • Onion
  • Tomatoes

I also add a few ingredients in together to make:

  • Marinades
  • Pesto
  • Dips
  • I even chop Little Man’s food in it!

Things I make (I chop the ingredients and add them to oil as I go):

  • Pasta sauce
  • Indian curries
  • Marinade for my Halloumi
  • Garlic for my chilli oil 

…..The possibilities are endless.


 

RAVE

It is so reasonable in price.

It has lasted well, with no little maintenance, I have sharpened the blades in my knife sharper a few times.

It is super easy to clean.

RANT

It does not puree, I don’t really need it to do that as I use something else when I need to puree.

The container is small so I sometimes have to… load, blitz, empty, repeat! I guess that is why they call it a ‘mini’ chopper.

SO..

I love it, I would re-purchace it if mine ever gave up!

An alternative I have heard is also good is the Cuisinart chopper, it has two speeds so you might want to check it out if you need more speed control.

Hope you enjoyed this gadget review. Let me know if there are any gadgets you can’t live without!

XxX

Back to work blues (part 1)

 

Hope you have all had a wonderful Mother’s Day! Here is a topic that is close to my heart at the moment.

Back to work and noticing the change in your children and how to tackle that.

“If you think you get the blues when you go back to work, that’s nothing compared to what your child goes through”, said my Mummy…This statement got me thinking.

I recently went back to work and I felt it, leaving my children behind, waking them up early, upsetting their ‘normal’ routine so I could go to work. Once I got to work I would miss them and by then end of the day I would be watching the clock. Waiting to get back to my Baba’s. But what about how they feel?

Little Man has been ok, he has not really played up. He gets clingy when I get home and moans a little, but after about an hour he is fine.

Little Lady….. OH MY!!!  She is fine when I get home but over the last couple of weeks since I have returned to work, we have noticed that she actively plays up to get more attention. Everything has become a battle.

She has begun to answer back and play one parent off against the other amongst other things. She is normally a  fantastic child, the only diffrence since this recent behaviour change has been me returning to work.

When I get home from work I have so many things to do, so when Little Lady plays up I am not as thorough as I normally would be. As well as not following through every time, I find myself less patient, raising my voice more than I would normally.

What to do?

Talk to your partner, sometimes you are so involved in the situation that you can’t see the wood from the trees. Others around you will have better perspective.

Try and make some extra time for you children, who must miss being with you all day.

When you are together plan activities together so they still get your attention.

We have decided to make a plan that involves following through every time she misbehaves. I am hoping having a refocussed patient approach will help get though to her, I am going to try and explain the reasons to my logic instead of expecting her to just follow my lead. These are specific to our Little Lady. We hope this will help her.

I think once you return back to work time is even more stretched so perhaps greater patience would help you too. However, as we know all children are so different so think of what would work best for you little person. You know them best so follow your gut when thinking of what to do. Whatever you plan make sure all primary carers are aware so your child has continuity.

Would love to hear about your experiences and what you learnt along the way.

Enjoy your week

XxX

Next week in part 2, I will let you know what I have learnt and what has helped us best.

 

Smoothies

Smoothies, there are so many different types of smoothies with lots of different combinations!

As a family we all love fruit Smoothies, I have only recently started making them and still have a few recipes up my sleeve that I want to try. We typically drink them in the morning. They are super healthy and super fast.

Here is one of the recipes we like and a few of the tips I learnt along the way.

  • Three large strawberries
  • One large handful of blueberries
  • One banana
  • One fresh orange
  • A little bit of orange juice (you can use any type of juice you have in the house)

Take all of the fruit and blitz in your chosen blender. Nom Nom Nom!!!!

It is a nifty way to use up fruit and vegetables that you have in the house. We have used almost any combination of fruits. It really depends on what you like.

Add some flax seeds or chia seeds. Makes it even more healthy with a extra dose of omega 3.

Copy combinations that you have seen or tried when you have been out. 

Smoothies are filling so they are a good way to start the day.

Add juice rather than water, it really make a difference to the consistency without effecting the flavour.

smoothie

Enjoy

XxX

 

Mothers Day

Mothers Day!

It is less than one week away. In the UK it will be celebrated next Sunday… 15th March.

You always know how much your mum does for you.
You always know that you couldn’t be ‘you’ without her.
But, I don’t think until you are a mother yourself you fully appreciate the sentiment!!!

So it’s that day! The day that YOU can show YOUR MUMMY how much she means to you. While some people argue ‘it is a commercial day, you should show her everyday’ blah blah blah. The truth is we get so busy and caught up with our own lives that we just don’t. So make the most of this ‘commercial day’ and show her. It doesn’t even have to be a huge overblown gesture, just a phone call would be enough..just a hug would be enough… But, if you want to do something a little extra…

Whether you are a mum or celebrating for your mum here are a few of my ideas;

£0-£20
A card and a home cooked meal, the classic breakfast in bed!
Pamper her at home, you could give her a massage or paint her nails.
£20-£50
Bunch of flowers and home cooked meal.
Pamper her at home, run a hot bath.
£50-£100
Personalised gift, I love the ideas from photobox.com, and a meal out.
£100+
Spa treatment, a meal at a swanky restaurant. The classic breakfast in bed! (you can’t ever go wrong with that one).
Experience gift e.g A red letter day.

Whatever it is you choose to do I hope your Mum loves it!

If you are a Dad planning a day for your children here are some ideas for you…

You have babies – 3 year olds: I know they are celebrating because of the little baba but I am sure they would love a few hours away! Just for them. A long shower, Spa treatment, some quite time, or just a long lie in! Remember those?? Being a new Mum or a Mum who has very young demanding children would enjoy some ‘me time’.

Your babas are 3 years – 10 years: Plan a fun day out where the children have fun too. We all know when the children are happy we are happy! Why not go to a local zoo? If the weather is good. A film or a pub lunch if the weather is not on your side.

Your babies are 10 years+ ( yes they will always be your baby!):  a relaxing day, followed by dinner at a restaurant that she loves! Being together making memories and making sure the lady that does everything for you knows how much she means to you all!

Outside the box, think of something she liked to do before her life became her children. Ask your children what they think she would like. I think you will be shocked at the great ideas that they come up with.

If you choose to do nothing at all…The best gift…. Would be a huge hug and kiss, and maybe a few heart-felt words in a card!! I know snuggles are my personal favourite!

Happy Mother’s Day

XxX

Salamoley

Salamoley is my guacamole inspired salad.

It is quick, easy and yummy. It is nice on its own for lunch or great as a side to accompany any Mexican dish.

You will need;

  • Red onion – diced
  • Cucumber – diced
  • Lettuce – finely sliced
  • Tomatoes – diced
  • Avocado – diced

For the dressing

  • Lime juice (I love using a fresh lime for this)
  • garlic – very finely minced
  • salt
  • pepper
  • coriander – finely chopped
  • chopped chillies if you want

Mix together all of the salad ingredients and mix all the dressing ingredients together, pour the dressing over the salad and mix…… You will have you salamoley! Add the dressing just before serving as the salt in the dressing will make it wilt.

salamoley

Enjoy

XxX

Back to work

Going back to work can be incredibley difficult no matter how soon after the arrival of your Baba you are planning to return.

Leaving your little one behind and working is a difficult transition, especially the first few weeks!

I have just returned to work after the birth of Little Man. I returned after a year. The first day I went back, I found leaving them both behind really hard. Little Lady missed me very much, and she is very vocal about it now. Little Man realised I had vanished for the day – he wined when he saw me again.

Here’s a few of my thoughts about easing the transition back to work for Baba and you…

As soon as possible think about childcare. Some places have a long wait list. Visit the places that are on your short list, so you cant tell if it is the right fit for your little one. There is no substitute for a visit. Consider your childcare questions;

  1. Who will be looking after them?
  2. What days/times can they keep them?
  3. Make sure you are happy with the child:carer ratio.

Here are a few tips to help your transition.

  1. Try and stay up to speed with your professional working role so you don’t start at the deep end.
  2. Stay in touch with friends from your work place.
  3. A few months before the return date ask your employer how they plan to integrate you back into the work place. Some places have ‘back to work days’.
  4. Read up on your rights – so many returning parents don’t know them. The UK government website has tips as well as Citizens advice. This is free! I am sure other countries have equivalents.

Things to help baba

  1. Leave them with the sitter a few times before your first day back.
  2. Take along a few things that comfort them from home e.g a blanket or favourite toy.
  3. Write down tips to help the sitter with baba; include their basic routine and emergency numbers.

Things to help you

  1. Get everything that you will need ready the night before.
  2. Read up on any new developments in your field before your first day back.
  3. Keep some food ready for when you get home as you will be exhausted and the children will want all your attention.

The link below is something I could really relate to.

Letter from one working mum to non working mum

Whatever you decide to do. The decision is tough. Children are a lot hardier than we give them credit for, so follow your instincts. All the best.

Good Luck Parents.

XxX

foodie update

Food.. the thought that occupies most of my time.

This is a blog just to let you know what will be happening on Fridays..A foodie update.

I really enjoy ‘Foodie Fridays‘ but I also want to mix it up a little.

In future blogs will include the following subjects;

  • Reviewing items I can’t live without in the kitchen.
  • Foods that I love.
  • Gadgets I use all the time.
  • Places we love eating at.
  • Reviews of new places we eat at.
  • New recipes I have made (the normal Friday blog I do).

Let me know if there is anything else you want me to blog about in addition to the above subjects… They have to be food related.

XxX

Bath time

My children love bath time; the bubbles, toys and splashing! Lots of children go through patches of hating bath time… for those parents this is a time of screaming while washing a tiny person that makes the whole room wet.

Bath time, heaven or hell?… here are a few things that help us when it is bath time for my baba’s!

Keep everything ready and in the bathroom. You never want to leave them unattended to get things that they will need.

  • Get the water ready, test the temperature.
  • Bath soap, shampoo, conditioner all ready to go.
  • Oilatium in the water, if you like it.
  • Bath seat/tub.
  • Towel (within arms reach)
  • I also get their clothes and lotions ready in their room for when they get out.

My Loves

Johnson baby bed time bath soap.

Bath seat which is amazing especially for new borns. I use mine until they grow out of it! It supports baba so he/she is safe and secure in the bath while you wash them. It also saves your back a lot of pain as you don’t have to lean in awkward positions while washing baba.

Baby towel, I love this one as it keeps me dry as well! Its also so easy to use and I wear it before I put my baby in the bath so we are ready to go.

My Likes

Bath Tub, it saves water and time.

Olmatium stops babies skin from drying out. Half a cap makes a lot of difference.

Top tips

When you are washing young babies hair let some water go on their face. This stops them screaming as they get older when it happens.

You don’t have to bath a baby everyday. Just washing them down with a towel is good enough.

What do you love at bath time?

Happy bath time!