A sneak peek of Abeille’s cellular blankets

We are delighted to share a sneak peek of Abeille’s cellular blankets. Daisy & our official Abeille photographer Alan Wright worked really hard this week on a location photoshoot at the gorgeous pure white lines in Horsham. We can’t wait to share the finished result… along with our new website, exciting times!!!

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www.alanwrightphotography.co.uk
Abeille Cellular blankets are not the basic, bland, crispy pieces of material that you are told to buy on your baby list. Abeille Cellular blankets are Simple – YES… Beautiful – YES… Essential – YES.
We have taken a simple, essential blanket and transformed it by using a beautiful colour pallet, increased the size to make it bigger, increased the weight to make it bouncy and soft on your babies skin. The first blanket you use for your newborn is treasured forever, the ABEILLE mummies have created the perfect layer & we know you will love them just as much as we do…. Michelle X

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Chocolate Pavlova

Chocolate Pavlova: This Nigella Lawson recipe for Chocolate pavlova has to be one of my all time favourites & is often requested by my girlfriends if they are coming for dinner, it’s truly is divine! Although I advise you to make a few small meringues out of the mixture so you can nibble on them as the smell is intoxicating when baked & it’s SO hard not to eat…
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Chocolate meringue base
6 large egg whites
300 grams caster sugar
3 tablespoons cocoa powder (sieved)
1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar (or red wine vinegar)
50 grams dark chocolate (finely chopped)

The topping
500 ml double cream
500 grams raspberries or strawberries
3 tablespoons dark chocolate, coarsely grated (I use dairy free)
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Method
Preheat the oven to 180°C/gas mark 4/350ºF & line a baking tray with baking parchment
Beat the egg whites until satiny peaks form & then beat in the sugar a spoonful at a time until the meringue is stiff & shiny
Sprinkle over the cocoa & vinegar, & the chopped chocolate
Then gently fold everything until the cocoa is thoroughly mixed in
Mound on to a baking sheet on top of parchment paper in a fat circle approximately 23cm / 9 inches in diameter, smoothing the sides & top (I use a plate to stencil the circle on the underside of parchment paper)
Place in the oven, then immediately turn the temperature down to 150°C/gas mark 2/300ºF & cook for about one to one & a quarter hours
When it’s ready it should look crisp around the edges & on the sides & be dry on top, but when you prod the centre you should feel the promise of squidginess beneath your fingers
Turn off the oven & open the door slightly, & let the chocolate meringue disc cool completely

When you’re ready to serve, invert on to a big, flat-bottomed plate
Whisk the cream till thick but still soft & pile it on top of the meringue, then scatter over the berries Coarsely grate the chocolate so that you get curls rather than rubble, as you don’t want the berries’ luscious colour & form to be obscured, & sprinkle haphazardly over the top, letting some fall, as it will, on the plate’s rim.

Tip: If your strawberries are out of season prepare them in advance by sprinkling with a teaspoon of sugar & cover in cling film. When you go to use them your strawberries will be juicy & delicious

For the dairy free option I make a few small mini meringues (borrowed from the recipe amount) which I pop on the shelf under the large one & have them just with room temperature berries, no cream & I slightly reduce the cooking time by circa 15 minutes. Enjoy! Michelle X

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Baby ballet in the summer time

Baby ballet in the summer time

Florence is really enjoying her ballet classes which she has been doing for a year now. She is just about to get moved up to the next group in September now that she has turned 3 years old.
Over the summer Miss Kelly is doing pop up classes around Brighton and Hove to take advantage of the days that are gorgeous Sunshine and last week it was just gorgeous.
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The girls all dressed up in their ballet gear headed down to Hove lawns for the first pop up session and when the music started they pirouetted around on the grass.
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Miss Kelly encourages the Mummies to get involved so that the toddlers don’t get shy and in our group this is not a problem….
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Miss Kelly has a dancing background and is a wonderful teacher for the girls, in any environment she manages to keep their interest which as all mummies know is a hard task with a toddler.
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It was only a few weeks ago that I was told that you can hire Miss Kelly for private parties! Wish I had known for Florences Birthday so I will keep it in mind for next year.
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We are really looking forward to the next class which is going to be held in St. Anns wells gardens Hove. 10.30am if anyone wants to come along. Contact – Brighton – Miss Kelly – 07799 603263
Check out this link to find out more.

Enjoy the sun everyone,

Daisy x

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Flossie has a friend to stay

Flossie has a friend to stay

My friend Charlotte and I were both on our own for the night with no available babysitters so decided to combine our situation and have a girls night in at my house. It can get realy hard (when you are trying to keep to a routine with your little ones) emotionally, especially if your partner works away or does evening shifts. It can be lonely and before you know it you are in bed at 9pm… as Jon always says “Kids don’t change your life!” haha!
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We went to the Dyke pub and kitchen for dinner and then walked them back to get them worn out. They sang the whole way which also resulted in squeals of laughter. Sometimes I get so overwhelmed with love for Florence and her close friends you just want to burst, a passer-by stopped me and said how absolutely gorgeous they were.
When we got home I ran them a bath which for the first time that week Florence got in without me having to persuade/bribe/argue with her. Kids love having joint baths!
Then at 7.30 we put them to bed and they were fast asleep by 8pm! I am going to put this down to a one-off because if they are anything like me and Charlotte when we were little we stayed up for hours chatting!
Charlotte and I cracked open the fizz and had time to have a good catch up which was so lovely, the girls each woke up once but settled straight back to sleep. I highly recommend this for all mummies. Beats long nights alone any day!
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The girls were very excited when they got up together, I made them both some breakfast and they cuddled up together on the sofa – so sweet.

Sleepovers are the way forward girls!!!

Daisy x

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Celebrating our 11th wedding anniversary at South Lodge

Celebrating our 11th wedding anniversary at South Lodge: Our anniversary breakfast may have been coffee & toast watching Disney Cars at 8.00am but after dropping the children off to auntie Lisa & uncle Michael we celebrated our 11th wedding anniversary (18 years together) with lunch at the beautiful South Lodge hotel.
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Upon arrival Ben ordered two ice cold glasses of Perrier Jouet Champage which we enjoyed looking out at the beautiful views from the terrace whilst reading the menu. We decided to try The Camellia restaurant, The Sunday lunch menu is £29.50 & even as a dairy free diner I really was given a lovely choice of dishes, which to be honest doesn’t happen in many places.
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Our meal was faultlessly delicious, beautifully presented & made even more special when the head chef Steven Edwards (who had recently won MasterChef: The Professional 2013), popped out to say happy anniversary & serve us our main course. The staff were very lovely, attentive & also very accommodating when we wanted to take our coffees on to the lawn & soak up the sun rays on the deck chairs, we really had the perfect day!
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I don’t often get much time alone with my hubby during the day as we are so busy with the children, but I have to say it really was fabulous to have some special time for us. A special thank you to my sister & Michael for looking after the Children & to our gorgeous friends Will & Cherry who bought me a South Lodge voucher for my birthday, we had a wonderful time! Michelle X
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Mastitis, ouch!

Mastitis, ouch! The good news is that Charlotte is finally sleeping through again (Thank you Lucie for the pep talk), the bad news is that I became very engorged when Charlotte didn’t wake up for a feed & didn’t express & ended up getting mastitis, ouch!

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I first noticed a hard lump in my breast which I assumed was because of the engorgement but it became more & more painful as the days went by. I eventually popped to the doctors & a quick examination confirmed that I did have mastitis. The doctor prescribed a breastfeeding friendly antibiotic & advised me to continue feeding through the pain, which has luckily helped. I must admit I didn’t expect to get mastitis 9 months into breast feeding but apparently it’s quite common if your baby starts suddenly sleeping through.

I have found hot & cold compresses really soothing & someone recommended sleeping in Savoy cabbage leaves but I’ve been quite exhausted & haven’t quite made it to the shops to get one yet. It’s always advisable to see your doctor if you suspect you have mastitis or notice any lumps in your breast. I found some great information on the baby centre about mastitis which is well worth reading.

What is mastitis?
Mastitis is an inflammation in your breast tissues. The inflammation may quickly become an infection, which means that bacteria grow in the inflamed tissues. You may notice that areas of your breasts are:
red
hard
sore
hot
swollen

You may also feel a lump, called a blocked duct, though it isn’t caused by an actual blockage. It’s the build-up of milk in your breast that causes the tissue to become inflamed.

If you have a blocked duct, the hard area on your breast will probably feel wedge-shaped because the duct, and its nearby ductules and alveoli, will have become inflamed.

You may also have flu-like symptoms, such as:
chills
a headache
a temperature of more than 38.5 degrees C
exhaustion

About one in 10 breastfeeding mums get mastitis, and some bottle-feeding mums do, too.

Having mastitis can be a miserable experience, but with the right approach, it can be cleared up quickly. It’s usually only in one breast, but it’s possible to have it in both breasts at the same time. Unfortunately, you can get mastitis more than once.

To read more about mastitis click this link: The baby centre

If you have any tips you would like to share I’d love to hear them! Thank you in advance, Michelle X

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Energy balls addict

Energy balls addict

I LOVE energy balls. If you have a sweet tooth and are trying to curb the sweet counter in your local supermarket then make yourself a batch of these!
I have made a few varieties and these ones were delicious. I basically got out all the dried fruit and nuts that I had in my cupboard and whizzed them together, coated half in cocoa and half in desiccated coconut.
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I chopped up:-
A small bag of dates
hanful of apricots
A small bag of cranberries
A small bag of brazil nuts
Then added:-
1 tbsp tahini
1 tbsp honey
1 tbsp coconut oil

I put all of the ingredients into the blender and whizzed until all of the nuts and berries were coated. The ingredients should be like a fudge. Using a teaspoon I dived in, one scoop makes the perfect size for your ball. I then rolled it using my hands, covered it in cocoa and put it on the plate. I used half coconut half cocoa but you can use anything you like, even more nuts!
Once I had used up all of my mixture and all the balls were made and covered I placed them in the fridge to set.
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Florence absolutely adores them and recently I replaced the tahini for peanut butter and they were a real winner! She even likes making them with me which is a really fun activity for a toddler.
They are perfect for out and about and will impress your friends and family. They are so easy to make yet taste amazing!
Use literally any nuts or dried fruit and see what you end up with.
Enjoy!
Daisy x

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A wedding!

A wedding!

It is that time of year that at my age there is nearly a wedding every month, sometimes consecutive weekends. The bride and groom have been planning their special day for a year or possibly two (In Sophie’s case probably since she was a little girl) to ensure that they throw a wedding to remember. We got a message the previous evening to warn us that there might be traffic so to leave early, which we did…. 7am early!! Luckily we had a pretty smooth sailing journey which got us up to the venue in good time so we got a few hours to admire the beautiful Hengrave Hall.
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We got shown to our room and whilst we got ourselves unpacked I propped Florence up on the very beautiful bed to watch a bit of Disney’s FROZEN. The ipad comes everywhere with us these days, I swore I would never become one of those parents that bring it out in a pub or over dinner but I have succumbed to the 21st century lifestyle (and we get 20 minutes of uninterupted peace).
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When we were called from our room we made our way down to the most beautiful church. Sophie and Neil most definately did not scrimp on the flower arrangements which were eye catching to say the least. We saw a message on the Order of service which asked for no pictures to be taken in the church…… so obviously this prompted me and my crazy family to do a quick selfie!!
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On the hottest day of the year that we have had in England I was very thankful that they had not gone for a full mass wedding like my own (2 hours!!) and when got out we threw home made confetti over the new Mr & Mrs Spencer.
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After drinks on the lawn we made our way through to the hall for lunch, only then did I realise I had not fed Florence for nearly 6 hours…. thats why she was getting grumpy! Next wedding I will remeber a packed lunch for her.
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I think this was during the best mans speech!
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And again, had to get a flower picture because they were so spectacular!
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Now I have not used a pushchair for Florence for about a year now… but we thought it might be useful on this occasion. She slept for an hour at lunch time and then jumped back in it for a rest a bit later. Well worth remembering for toddlers when you have a long day ahead. It also gave me an extra hour of photo booth/dancing and catching up with the family before we had to retire (with a few drinks for the room).
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Sophie had thought of everything and even supplied flip flops for when the shoes had to come off!
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Congratulations Mr & Mrs Spencer… see you next weekend for another wedding!
Daisy x

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Healthy breakfast

Healthy breakfast

Breakfast is apparently the most important meal of the day. I have never been a fan and usually opted for a slice of toast out of ease. Florence LOVES toast but I definately should be having a healthier option!

I have to admit I love throwing things together adding a bit of this and a bit of that, it is how I cook in general. I layered fat free greek yoghurt with a flaxseed mix, blueberries, nectarine chopped up, sunflower seeds, a squirt of honey then a sprinkle of raw Acai powder!
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It was so nice I have had it every day since! Creamy, crunchy and juicy all in one. Everyone usually has some sort of nuts or seeds that need using in their cupbard!
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Ditch the bread and give this a go…. it will give you a great energy boost to your day!

Daisy x

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Keeping cool in the summer

Keeping cool in the summer: I just adore this hot weather, sunshine all day & we can spend so much time out doors but let’s be honest the children can get grumpy if they get too hot.
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Plenty of sun cream & ditch the clothes: In this weather I think clothes can be too hot so I tend to slather on the factor 50 suncream & let the children enjoy the cool breeze.
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Sun hat is a must: you can’t beat a good sun hat to protect precious little faces, I bought this one from my favourite shop – Jojo maman bebe
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Good nights sleep: Keeping the children’s bedrooms cool is key, so early afternoon I close the blinds & shutters upstairs in preparation for bedtime & if its really hot I pop a bowl of iced water in front of a fan & shut the door (it works like air conditioning).

Alfresco bath: I’ve starting using my small inflatable bath again in the evenings & wanted to re-share my post as a reminder of a fun & easy way to bath the children & keep them entertained – Alfresco bath

Keeping cool at bedtime: Daisy also shared a great post with tips for keeping cool at bedtime – Keeping cool at bedtime

Now the summer holidays have arrived I will share lots of fun free activities to do with children in this beautiful hot weather, so stay tuned for some fresh ideas… Michelle X

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