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!!! 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 palette, by increasing the size to make it bigger and by increasing the weight to make it bouncy and soft on your baby's 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
ABEILLE | Cellular Blankets | The Perfect Layer
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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...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) 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
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. 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. 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! 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
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! 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
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. 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. 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 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