Meal plan w/c 21st April 2014

We were up with the bear last night who is rather unwell at the moment.  Lack of sleep and tiredness from our trip to France took over and we ordered a take-away.  Back to home-cooked fare this week.

  • Tuesday – chicken fajita
  • Wednesday – thai massaman cod curry, chinese cabbage stir-fry, omelette
  • Thursday – pasta with mushrooms and courgettes
  • Friday -  thai veggie burgers
  • Saturday - grilled chicken, sweet & regular potatoes, green beans

Baby goes to the beach

We spent an extended Easter weekend in France and took the bear to her first trip to the beach at Le Touquet.  We were there in August last year but felt she was too young then for the beach.

It was a sunny day, albeit breezy at times.    We found a little cafe called Les Pirates on the beach, with very comfy chairs, ordered some drinks and let the bear loose.  I had bought her a new bucket and spade from Zulily recently and she had a blast testing them out.



Papa gave the bear a hand initially.


We brought along her pink sippy cup in case she got thirsty, and she decided to dunk it into the sand!


She got the hang of it soon enough.


Playing in the sand was a whole new sensory experience for the bear.


The bear made sand angels.


All that digging made the bear rather tired, so she stopped for a little rest.


It was a lovely afternoon spent at the beach and the bear thoroughly enjoyed herself.


Chicken in Madeira wine

For a recent Sunday lunch, I made Pierre Koffmann’s Coq au Madiran.  It was a simple, one pot dish which suited our rather busy household.   I did modify the recipe by omitting the liver and bacon, and added some red wine as well.  The result was tasty, succulent chicken which I served with roast potatoes and sautéed green vegetables.


Baby update – 16 months

Dear baby girl, you turned 16 months old a few weeks ago but Mama didn’t get a chance to post your update earlier.

It’s been a month since you started walking and you take confident strides.



You are wary of steps and take your time contemplating your move.


  • Sleep – 7pm to 7am on a good night, except when you’re teething or sick
  • Food – you have a healthy appetite and are happy to feed yourself with either a fork or spoon.  Mama no longer feeds you your Weetabix.  You do it all by yourself and refuse to be spoon fed
  • Pearly whites – 6
  • Milk – you have 3 to 6 oz in school (over 2 feeds), 5 oz before bedtime and 4oz for breakfast
  • Temperament – you are very sensitive, wary of new faces, still cry when we laugh (!), and cry to get your own way :-) .  IMG_5951
  • You have started to become affectionate, giving us hugs when we put our arms out to you
  • Words – just one, ‘up’, but you now say it when you want to be carried or lifted out of your highchair

Little bear, you spend a full day at nursery, five days a week.  You do lots of activities – singing, dancing, arts and crafts and sometimes even baking.   You run into nursery when Papa drops you off, and your eyes light up when Mama comes to pick you up in the evenings.  Now that the evenings are longer, we have been spending plenty of time playing in the garden, especially after nursery.  You are our budding gardener.


You’ve had your lovely little friends comes over for play dates, which also involve fun and food for both kiddies and parents alike.  Mama sometimes wonders who has more fun at play dates?



Little bear, you enjoy reading books.  You favourite current reads are the Mr Men series.  You still love your stacking cups and lego bricks, but have very little interest in cuddly toys.


Remember that we love you, baby girl.  You bring lots of joy to both Mama and Papa.

Happy sweet 16 months, Sydney Bear.  Lots of love, Mama xxx


Meal plan w/c 31 March 2014

We’re back to meal planning again now that work is no longer chaotic.


  • Meatless Monday – oven roasted vegetable medley with pesto: Sweet potatoes, courgettes, mushrooms and bulghur wheat
  • Tuesday – salmon, puy lentils
  • Wednesday – chicken fajita
  • Thursday – cod and broccoli: ginger stir-fry
  • Friday – leftovers


Mother’s Day

Happy Mother’s Day!

It has been a very busy month, and I was glad when the last of the deadlines were met at work on Friday.  I left work earlier than usual as I was invited to a tea party at the bear’s nursery.   I didn’t take any photos, but the bear and her friend had worked hard all morning and we were served lovely cheese, tomato and nursery-grown watercress sandwiches,  nursery-made scones with butter and jam and strawberries dipped in chocolate.  The delicious food was washed down with iced-lemon tea.

Having spent very little time together in the past 1o days or so, we decided to make this weekend a family one.  On Saturday morning, the bear got us out of bed bright and early. It was a gorgeous day outside, and we decided to head to Primrose Hill via St Johns Wood.    Upon parking the car in SJW, we went in search of coffee.   We spotted a Carluccio’s nearby, not my favourite establishment, but went in against my better judgement.

IMG_5891We ordered a coffee and some toasted Italian bread, wolfed everything down in a blink (which was easy to do as portions are meagre!) as the bear had a meltdown and left just as one of the waiters started tut-tutting.

We walked towards SJW high street and spotted a Pret, which had completely slipped our minds.   Normally on a weekday, I’d snub Pret ( I can’t survive 7 hours on a sambo), but  we fancied a bit more to eat.  Hubby and the bear scored a table al fresco, and I queued up for a sandwich.   We split the sandwich whilst the bear had a tub of yoghurt from home.


Feeling  energised after some grub and the bear much calmer after her earlier meltdown, we went for a stroll.

The bear is rather fond of her spoons, so we let her carry it to prevent further meltdowns.   She is also very petite, therefore getting great mileage out of the Baby Bjorn Miracle carrier.  I bought her hat from Wimbledon last year and it fits perfectly now.

IMG_5904The bear is loving her new-found independence which comes with walking.   She is getting stronger and more confident on her feet.   Think she’s going to do well in future egg-and-spoon races!


A quick cuddle with Mama, and we decide that we’re all too wrecked for Primrose Hill.   We have a lovely garden, so why not head home and chill out there.


After a good night’s rest on Saturday, the bear and Hubby woke up early on Sunday and let Mama have a well-deserved rest.   Except Mama got ready soon after for mass.  It was a lovely service for Mothering Sunday at our local church.   We decided against going out for a meal for Mother’s Day.  It was a nice idea, but with the bear, we tend to eat and run rather than linger.  I decided to cook us seafood paella for lunch, and served the bear a simple vegetable medley.



It was another fine day and we set up our bistro table and chairs on the deck and sipped some wine whilst the bear enjoyed chopped strawberries…


…followed by some horsey-ing around in the garden.


Thank you Hubby and little bear for a wonderful Mother’s Day (and weekend).   We went out in search of fun, but it took us only a little while to figure out that the best fun was to be had at home.