Monthly Archives: February 2014

STK London Review

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STK – yet another steakhouse recommended by a good friend at work who knows I LOVE steak as much as I love my husband. The last time we went to Hawksmoor – we were sorely disappointed (and paid far too much money!) and so I was a bit skeptical on going with another so called ‘best steak in London’ punt.  Nevertheless, the lure of ‘if you don’t like it I’ll pay for your meal (no drinks included in this deal) was tempting enough. If he was bold enough to offer that, I figured it couldn’t be THAT bad, could it?

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And so, last Friday, my last day at work, off we trotted down The Strand to STK, an American chain steakhouse that serves USDA Prime beef – The highest in quality and intramuscular fat, with limited supply. Currently, about 2.9% of carcasses grade as Prime, so really, this was the dogs bollocks of beef.  I LOVE Argentinian beef, so it was going to be a tough act to follow, the better half is not as fussy as I am and he has had some really good US beef (or so he tells me) so he was interested to see what this restaurant was like.  The interior reminded me a little of Gaucho – dark, moody and sexy. Tick. And no cowhide to sit on (those seats at Gaucho always make my legs itch!) Tick two.

Price wise – its not much different to a night out at Gaucho – I would say it was almost the same so these lot had to pull something special out of their hat for me to change allegiances.

We were there at 5.15pm – pretty early but I ended work at 4.30pm and didn’t fancy waiting around, plus now I’m the size of a mini bus, I get tired pretty quickly, so eating early sat fine with me.  The staff were all really nice when we came in (maybe they were afraid I would throw a pregnancy-related tantrum or worse, sit on them!) and within minutes we were met by Alex, a really lovely french waiter.  He was (surprise surprise) an ex-Gaucho waiter and so knew what we were talking about when we mentioned how we liked our meat.  Straight off the bat, he said their fillet (my favourite) was not as good at Gaucho (said was not as soft and tender) – one point for honesty! but their Ribeye did a lot better – I actually liked that more (on this occasion!)

our bread starter

our bread starter

We were first served with a starter of Brioche Bread with a blue cheese spread, accompanied by a lovely garlic dip, and while this was nice, it was nowhere as nice as the famous cheese bread starter you get at Gaucho, but then again, nothing comes close to that anyway.

my fillet with a Bearnaise sauce

my fillet with a Bearnaise sauce

Alex didn’t lie – my fillet was not the best I’ve had but the Ribeye was lovely – comparable to the one served at Gaucho. You get a complimentary sauce (I don’t normally order one as I like tasting the meat) and we ordered two sides – a spinach (which was really really good) and a rather odd choice of Brussels Sprouts with Bacon (not a big Brussels fan but I could stomach this thanks to the smoked flavor of the bacon coming out and influencing my taste buds)

Ribeye with a pepper sauce - YUM

Ribeye with a pepper sauce – YUM

All in all – it wasn’t bad – not by a long-shot.  Being a fillet girl myself, I would be inclined to go back to Gaucho as it’s better there (for me of course).  Its always good to try new places though and I’m glad we went. And no, I didn’t ask for the money we paid from my money-back-guarantee deal from my mate. If you are a ribeye fan – this is definitely the place for you.  Also, on the weekends, after 8pm, the place converts into a mini club with a DJ which sounds like fun! If i wasn’t a mini whale – we would have definitely come later and stayed one! (no one wants to see a mini whale bustin’ a move on the dance floor – for God’s sake, people want to eat!!)

Happy eating!

Toodles,

KimmyX

Coffee Cake

1st day of maternity leave – feels a little odd to be honest knowing I won’t be back at my desk for a year at least. And I keep asking myself what will I do with myself for a whole year?! I am then reminded that this is not something I won through a raffle – no, I’ll have a baby to look after! *reality check 1,2,3* .  Anyway, we had two really good friends come over last night and I decided to bake a cake and so out came my Mary Berry website and I settled on her Cappuccino Coffee Cake. Now, I don’t drink coffee (except Starbucks Toffee Nut Latte which they bring out at Christmas time) so this cake was really predominantly for the guests and the other half (who is a mini coffee addict)

This Coffee Cake is really easy to make and very light to eat – I reduced the sugar (healthy eating and all that) upped the coffee taste (did I mention one of us is a coffee addict?!) and out popped a beautifully crafted, light, moist, not-too-sickly-sweet cake.  Even I ate a slice! This is perfect with a cup of tea, or coffee if you prefer and takes about 1.5 hours to make.  The only difficult thing i found with this cake is cutting the cake into 4 slices – but alas, I got the better half to do that, he’s way better at stuff like that than me.

What you’ll need;

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  • 225g (8oz) very soft butter, plus more for the tins
  • 225g (8oz) light muscovado sugar or caster sugar
  • 225g (8oz) self-raising flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 4 large eggs
  • 5 level tsp instant coffee, dissolved in 1 tbsp boiling water

For the Icing

  • 175g (6oz) soft butter
  • 300g (12oz) icing sugar
  • 5 level tsp instant coffee, dissolved in 1 tbsp boiling water

Here’s how you do it;

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Preheat the oven to 180C/160C fan/350F/315F fan/Gas 4. Butter and line the base of two deep 20cm (8in) sandwich cake tins.

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Measure all the cake ingredients, except the coffee, into a large mixing bowl and beat together until smooth.

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Stir in the dissolved coffee until thoroughly blended.

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Should look like this when it’s creamed together.

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Divide the mixture evenly between the two prepared tins and level the tops.

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Bake in the preheated oven for about 25–30 minutes until golden brown, shrinking away from the sides of the tin and the sponge springs back when lightly pressed.

Now for the icing;

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To make the icing, mix the butter and sugar together in a mixing bowl and beat together until smooth.

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Should look something like this after you cream the whole lot together.

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Beat in the dissolved coffee and divide into four.

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When creamed together with the coffee, should look like this. Do a taste test and add more icing sugar if you like, or a tiny bit more coffee if you prefer a stronger coffee taste.

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When they are cold, slice each cake horizontally in half, giving four layers of cake.

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Slice away – careful with your fingers!

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Sit one base on a cake stand and spread with a quarter of the mixture.

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Stack em’ up like jenga! Continue layering up with cake and icing so you finish with icing on top and swirl to give an attractive finish.

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I even iced the sides of the cake as I had icing left – decorate as you please – I stole 3 coffee beans from the better half’s coffee machine.

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Ta-daa! One coffee cake ready to eat!

The cake can be made and iced up to two days ahead, kept covered in the fridge. Iced or un-iced, it freezes well.

Happy baking!

Toodles,

KimmyX

Baked fish with white sauce

Baked fish with white sauce

Baked fish with white sauce

One of the best things about this baked fish with white sauce recipe is how bloody quick it is to make. From oven to gob in about half an hour. And it tastes so clean too. What’s more, you can cook up as many (or keep it plain and simple without any but the Dr might have something to say about that, five a day and all that!!) types of vegetables to go with this meal.  We had boiled potatoes, steamed spinach and runner beans. You can use any white fish you want – we used halibut loin. So, get your timers out people – half hour dinner coming up!

What you need for the white sauce:

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  • Olive Oil
  • Double cream
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 or 2 cloves of garlic (depending on how garlic-ky you like your food)
  • Some lemon juice (more lemon can be used if you like pulling sour faces)

Method:

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Chop fish into two (or however many pieces if you have a bigger fish) and place on aluminum foil in glass dish. Remember to adjust the quantity of the white sauce if you’re increasing the fish portions. 🙂

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Drizzle olive oil on the fish – rub into fish and flip over and do the same to the other side.

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Season generously with black pepper and salt.

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Wrap up like a shiny christmas present and put in the oven at 180deg for 13 minutes. In the meantime, whip up the white sauce.

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Slice up garlic – 1 or 2 depending on how many you fancy. We used 2.

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Separate egg yolk from the egg white.

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Measure out 60ml of olive oil and place in a tumbler.

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Add chopped garlic to the olive oil.

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Squeeze a dash of lemon juice to the concoction – not too much though (unless you like pulling sour faces)

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Add a dash of double cream.

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We used a bamix to whizz the whole lot up until a creamy white sauce emerges.

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Ding – there goes the oven! Yes – 13 minutes is all it took! Remove the fish from the foil. (by this time, you should have had some vegetables on the boil by the way!)

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Pour gorgeous white sauce on the fish and serve hot! Season how you like it with salt and pepper. Enjoy! 🙂

Ta-daa! Happy cooking!

Toodles,

KimmyX

Lemon Meringue Pie

Lemon Meringue Pie

Lemon Meringue Pie

So its Valentine’s Weekend – I must admit I’m not feeling particularly romantic – what in my like feeble whale-like state. I mean, how any man can find someone who has to pee 5 times an hour and needs help being pushed up the stairs (probably to get to the toilet to pee!) is beyond me. We decided that instead of going out and being charged 10 times more for the same meal, that we would cook together instead. Well – the other half would cook and I would bake a cake for dessert. He’s a big lemon fan (don’t know why but I hate lemon cakes!!) and so I decided to try my hand at Lemon Meringue Pie – with a little help from Mary Berry of course. Its one of the harder cakes I’ve made and took a while longer than I expected, but well worth the effort when he tucked into a slice big enough to feed a small village.  That man can eat!

What you need

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For the pastry

For the lemon filling

For the meringue topping

Method

Pre-heat the oven to 180C/350F/Gas 4.

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First make the pastry. Measure the flour and butter into a food processor and blend together until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs.

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Add the icing sugar, egg and one tablespoon of water and whizz again until combined to a ball. Our pastry was quiet ‘sticky’ so we had to add a little more plain flour until it managed to roll out.

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Tip the pastry onto a work surface and roll out to a 3mm thickness.

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Use the rolling pin to lift the pastry up and transfer it to line a 23cm/9in loose-bottomed flan tin. Be careful not to stretch the pastry as you tuck it into the corners. We didn’t have a loose bottom flan tin and so had to use a 23cm silicon based baking tray – not the best idea as the meringue cracked when we took it out of the oven after it was done – get the real deal here people, I know I will be the next time I make this!

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Cover in cling film and place in the refrigerator to chill for 30 minutes.Take the pastry-lined tin out of the fridge and trim the excess pastry. Press the top edge of the pastry so that it stands slightly higher than the top of the tin.

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Line the pastry case with parchment and fill with baking beans – an alternative is rice.  What I did was lightly butter the shiny part of aluminum foil and place the buttered side onto the pastry – then weigh down with some uncooked rice – this is called ‘blind baking‘.  Bake for about 15 minutes then remove the beans and parchment and return to the oven for a further five minutes.  Remove from the oven and reduce the temperature to 170C/340F/Gas 3½.

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Zest the 6 lemons – be careful not to zest your fingers in the process!

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After you zest the lemons – juice them (or in my case as the better half to do it as he is way stronger than I am – of course I blame this on me being pregnant, otherwise i would totally CRUSH him)

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Mix the lemon zest and juice with the cornflour and stir to form a smooth paste.

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Measure 450ml/16fl oz of water into a pan and bring to the boil.

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Add the lemon cornflour mixture to the hot water and stir over the heat until the mixture has thickened, then remove from the heat.

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In a bowl mix together the sugar and egg yolks.

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Carefully whisk into the lemon mixture in the pan.

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Stir over a medium heat until thickened.

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Set aside for a few minutes and then pour into the baked pastry case.

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For the meringue, whisk the egg whites in a free-standing mixer until soft peaks form when the whisk is remove – this should look like fluffy white clouds and takes about 8-10 minutes depending on how strong your electric mixer is.

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Add the caster sugar a little at a time, still whisking until the meringue is stiff and glossy. Add the cornflour and whisk again.

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Look at how shiny that is – L’Oreal hair Experts – eat your heart out!

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Spoon on top of the filled pastry case and spread the meringue to completely cover the lemon filling.

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Then create a swirl on the top of the meringue.

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Bake in the oven for about 15 minutes until the filling is completely set and the meringue is lightly golden and crisp. For us – it took about 20 minutes to get any sort of brown on the top. Can be served warm or cold.

I was not too happy about the meringue cracking when we took it out of the oven, but that was because we didn’t have a flan tin. Overall, this is one of the harder recipes Ive made, but it did taste quite nice (even if you don’t like lemon desserts!) Just be sure not to overdo with piling in the lemon mix into the pastry as I personally felt there was too much lemon to the pastry (the better half said you could never have too much lemon)

Here’s the full recipe from the BBC website: Mary’s Lemon Meringue Pie

Happy Valentine’s weekend everyone and happy baking!

Toodles,

KimmyX

Shepherds Pie

On Tuesday afternoon I had a midwife appointment in the afternoon  – and I usually look forward to these – after all, there is no feeling like the feeling you get when the midwife says ‘yes, all’s ok, both of you are perfect blah blah blah’.  BUT, of course seeing as how its me under the magnifying glass, it didn’t go to plan and we ended up being in the hospital for a little over 3 hours.  Still, better than the last time I guess (more than 5 hours). Apparently bambi’s heartbeat was way too fast – over 170 beats per minute and that was not normal, I mean, what was he/she doing – running for a bus?! And so because the midwife was concerned, I was concerned, and because I was concerned, a more senior midwife had to be called in to check me over, and because the senior midwife was concerned, I had to be hooked up to a ctg machine to monitor the baby’s heartbeat. Great. Don’t get me wrong – I did want to make sure everything was ok, it’s just very uncomfortable when you’re getting these ‘fake contractions’ called Braxton Hicks and then you’re hooked up to this machine for however long they deem it necessary.  And of course, as soon as I was hooked up to the machine the baby’s decided to have a normal heart rate, so no cause for concern. This baby will give me a heart attack I swear!

We got home at about 6-ish and the dogs were grumpy with us as they hadn’t been fed and were checking their paw-watches from 5.15pm, so we fed them and thought about what we were going to eat for dinner. I really really really wasn’t in the mood to cook as I was so bloody tired, grumpy and the constant urge to pee every 10 minutes was really putting me off (you try having a little being rest on your bladder ALL THE TIME!)  And so, the burden of the cooking once again fell on the trusted shoulders of the better half (my mother would be so proud of me. NOT) and he said he was going to bake a pie. A shepherd’s pie he said – with lamb mince. Now, my family make shepherds pie – but we use beef mince and (apparently) that is just a no-no.  I asked him if he had a recipe and he said no – he was going to make it up as he went along. Gri-yet! So, here is the recipe for the other halfs ‘made up shepherds pie’. 🙂

And so, I went for a short nap (yeah right lies! – almost 2 hours!!) and ta-daa! – was awoken to the dulcet tones of ‘dinners ready’! I love being pregnant (sometimes)! magical things like dinner gets made, washing gets done, tea’s surprisingly appear etc etc. Teeheehee. 🙂  The pie came out beautifully – much to BOTH our surprise, considering he chucked whatever he wanted in there and made it up as he went along – great success!  Here is the recipe if you want to try it out – I promise its really good and really easy to make! (I just had some for lunch) 🙂

What you need:

  • Potatoes
  • Lamb Mince
  • Mushrooms
  • 1 Onion
  • 2 Peppers
  • Handful of Bay Leaves
  • Fresh Chili
  • Dash of HP Brown Sauce
  • Dash of Lea and Perrins
  • Squirt of Tomato Puree
  • Beef Stock
  • Carrots
  • Small knob of butter (for mixing with potato)
  • Double cream or full-fat milk (for making potato nice and creamy)

P/S: You will notice I didn’t put measurements on some of the ingredients like the potatoes, the mince etc, that’s because you have to see how big your pie is going to be – we used quite a big Pyrex dish for ours so we adjusted levels based on that.  Also, if you preferred say more mushrooms or more chilli (for that extra kick!) go right ahead (though your tummy might not thank you for that later!)

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First, chop mushrooms, onions, peppers and chili into smaller bits.

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Place the chopped ingredients into a pan – fry with a little oil.

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Add lamb mince to the pan (don’t forget to give some raw mince to doggies to make up for earlier lateness of their dinner) Fry Fry Fry!

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Don’t forget to add the chili too.

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Add a handful of bay leaves to the mixture. Fry Fry Fry!

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In the meantime, dice potatoes and bring to boil – leave skins on for extra fibre!

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Add beef stock – close pan and let the food simmer for a while (5-10 minutes) so the flavours infuse.

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Add a dash of Lea and Perrin’s and Brown Sauce.

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Add a squirt of Tomato Puree (to taste according to how tomato-ey you like it), then let it simmer for while (10-15 minutes)

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Mash potatoes with butter and cream (or milk)

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Transfer ingredients from pan to pyrex

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Layer on potato and draw crazy line patterns on top with fork. Bake at 160deg for 30 minutes (or longer if you want top to be crispy)

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Serve hot (or tastes really good cold too!!).

There you go – shepherds pie for the soul.  🙂 Happy cooking!

Toodles!

KimmyX 

Easy Brownie Recipe

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This has got to be the easiest, tastiest brownies I have ever made/tasted. So soft in the middle and goes from ingredients to oven to gob in about 1 hours – 1.5 hours if you are pregnant and the size of  mini-whale like me. Perfect with some strawberries and a big dollop of vanilla-ice cream – eat and be guilt free my friends!

What you need:

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  • 185g unsalted butter
  • 200g dark chocolate
  • 85g plain flour
  • 50g cocoa powder
  • 50g white chocolate
  • 50g milk chocolate
  • 3 large eggs
  • 275g golden caster sugar

How you make it:

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Cut 185g unsalted butter into small cubes and tip into a medium bowl. Break 185g dark chocolate into small pieces and drop into the bowl.

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Fill a small saucepan about a quarter full with hot water, then sit the bowl on top so it rests on the rim of the pan, not touching the water. Put over a low heat until the butter and chocolate have melted, stirring occasionally to mix them.

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Now remove the bowl from the pan. Alternatively, cover the bowl loosely with cling film and put in the microwave for 2 minutes on High. Leave the melted mixture to cool to room temperature.

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While you wait for the chocolate to cool, position a shelf in the middle of your oven and turn the oven on to fan 160C/conventional 180C/gas 4 (most ovens take 10-15 minutes to heat up). Using a shallow 20cm square tin, cut out a square of non-stick baking parchment to line the base. Now tip 85g plain flour and 50g cocoa powder into a sieve held over a medium bowl, and tap and shake the sieve so they run through together and you get rid of any lumps.

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With a large sharp knife, chop 50g white chocolate and 50g milk chocolate into chunks on a board. The slabs of chocolate will be quite hard, so the safest way to do this is to hold the knife over the chocolate and press the tip down on the board, then bring the rest of the blade down across the chocolate. Keep on doing this, moving the knife across the chocolate to chop it into pieces, then turn the board round 90 degrees and again work across the chocolate so you end up with rough squares – i just roughly chopped the whole lot.

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Break 3 large eggs into a large bowl and tip in 275g golden caster sugar.

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With an electric mixer on maximum speed, whisk the eggs and sugar until they look thick and creamy, like a milk shake. This can take 3-8 minutes, depending on how powerful your mixer is, so don’t lose heart. You’ll know it’s ready when the mixture becomes really pale and about double its original volume. Another check is to turn off the mixer, lift out the beaters and wiggle them from side to side. If the mixture that runs off the beaters leaves a trail on the surface of the mixture in the bowl for a second or two, you’re there.

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Pour the cooled chocolate mixture over the eggy mousse.

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Gently fold together with a rubber spatula. Plunge the spatula in at one side, take it underneath and bring it up the opposite side and in again at the middle. Continue going under and over in a figure of eight, moving the bowl round after each folding so you can get at it from all sides, until the two mixtures are one and the colour is a mottled dark brown. The idea is to marry them without knocking out the air, so be as gentle and slow as you like.

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Hold the sieve over the bowl of eggy chocolate mixture and resift the cocoa and flour mixture, shaking the sieve from side to side, to cover the top evenly. Gently fold in this powder using the same figure of eight action as before. The mixture will look dry and dusty at first, and a bit unpromising, but if you keep going very gently and patiently, it will end up looking gungy and fudgy.

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Stop just before you feel you should, as you don’t want to overdo this mixing.

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Finally, stir in the white and milk chocolate chunks until they’re dotted throughout. Now your mixing is done and the oven can take over.

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Pour the mixture into the prepared tin, scraping every bit out of the bowl with the spatula. Gently ease the mixture into the corners of the tin and paddle the spatula from side to side across the top to level it. Put in the oven and set your timer for 25 minutes. When the buzzer goes, open the oven, pull the shelf out a bit and gently shake the tin. If the brownie wobbles in the middle, it’s not quite done, so slide it back in and bake for another 5 minutes until the top has a shiny, papery crust and the sides are just beginning to come away from the tin. Take out of the oven.

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It should look like this when taken out. Leave the whole thing in the tin until completely cold, then, if you’re using the brownie tin, lift up the protruding rim slightly and slide the uncut brownie out on its base. If you’re using a normal tin, lift out the brownie with the foil. Cut into quarters, then cut each quarter into four squares and finally into triangles. These brownies are so addictive you’ll want to make a second batch before the first is finished, but if you want to make some to hide away for a special occasion, it’s useful to know that they’ll keep in an airtight container for a good two weeks and in the freezer for up to a month. Happy baking!

Toodles,

KimmyX

Bambi’s room

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before – nice and boring 🙂

A few weekends ago, we (more like me really)  decided that instead of painting the baby’s room, we would wallpaper it instead, because it *seemed* easier. I mean, what’s hard about putting some glue on the back of a sheet and sticking it up on the wall right? Probably be done in a couple of hours. WRONG.

We asked a very good friend to help  – you didn’t think me being a mini-whale was going to help the other half do it did you?! And so, on a Sunday, she came over in the afternoon to help.  The wallpaper I bought was from John Lewis and granted – was not cheap, but I loved it. Its called ‘what a hoot’ and its got owls (surprise surprise) and a few other birds on there too. We bought a gender neutral one as we still don’t know what we’re having – girl, boy or alien.

This was when the fun really started. Apparently the wallpaper comes in strips – I don’t know why for the life of me, I thought it would be one huge piece (can you tell I’ve never wallpapered anything in my life before?!) So that meant that we (they) had to match the owls and birds to the next sheet. Then there was the glue application. Apply too much and it slid off the wall and squirted out onto the sides (hello gluey fingers), too little glue and it would barely stick. Following that headache, we (again, they) had to make sure that they didn’t stick the wrong birds butt next to a wrong birds face when lining up the strips.  Then came the smoothing out of the bubbles after the wallpaper was put up – miss a bubble and the whole piece would stick out like a sore thumb with lumpy bits – not a good look. Don’t get me started on corners and wallpapering behind the radiators.  It took a grand total of 3 days to wallpaper the whole room (bearing in mind this is a tiny tiny room). I say it again people, 3 whole days. Read it and weep. 🙂

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Ta-daa! What a hoot!

After surveying said wallpapered room, our friend remarked ‘I hope your baby likes birds and owls or we will be in trouble!’  Hahaha, it would be ironic if the baby developed a phobia of birds and owls, but we will deal with that when the issue arises. Plenty of good owl psychiatrists out there.

Here is the link to the wallpaper if you fancy it too:

John Lewis What a Hoot Wallpaper

So that’s the room done. I think we have everything we need – well, we have the essentials really. I mean, how much does a baby really need? All it does is drink boob milk, pee, poo, cry – right? Everything else we can buy.  As the better half always says when we leave the country – all we need is passports and money, anything else we forget we can always buy when we get there! (though I’m pretty sure you can’t get a sombrero in Antarctica if we were going there!) Ole!

Tomorrow I plan to try and bake some brownies, just because I feel like eating them. When your hauling a bun in the oven, you get to say things like that and get away with it, no one will judge you and you can eat stuff without feeling bad about it – result!  Look out for that post!

Toodles!

KimmyX

Thinking of packing my hospital bag

Note the title says *thinking* – I’m actually sat here on my fat arse not really doing it. Its a blooming minefield this whole labour-maternity-hospital bag malarchy! Ok, given I’m not the most organised person in the world, but the list is endless! Bendy straws?! who on earth would have thought you needed those??! I joined a baby centre group a while back – its a great forum, basically a place where loads of mums to be join and ask for advice, bitch about pregnancy niggles and have a moan about general things in life. I love going on there for a read – it really is entertaining and the ladies on there are so very helpful with many questions that you wouldn’t think about asking. Its like desperate housewives without the glitz and glamour. Most of the mums on there have already packed their bag and then some! Either I’m too laid back or I’m incredibly naive to think I can do it when I become a full blown whale at 38 weeks. *cue experienced mums shaking their head and fingers at my naivety* 🙂

So, here is what I *MUST* pack in my bag.

  • Dressing gown
  • Slippers
  • Warm socks
  • Massage oil (I’m hoping there is a masseuse on hand in the hospital?!)
  • Lipbalm
  • Hairband
  • Pillow
  • Bendy straws (?!?!)
  • Swimwear (I’m hoping to pop the baby in a pool)
  • Camera
  • Toiletries
  • Make-up bag (don’t know how awful ill look after popping so a bit of blush wouldn’t go amiss!)
  • Laptop (in case I have one of those long drawn out labours – pregnancy fairy this is not in anyway a challenge, I would like a 15 minute labour if possible)
  • Boob pads
  • Huge knickers
  • Food (steak anyone?!)

Those are just the ‘essentials’. We haven’t even scratched the surface of the other stuff. I feel tired just thinking of the other stuff I have to pack. Plus I have no idea where my bag is. Urghh. I have to navigate my way though the minefield that we call our attic and look for it. Like i said – I’m merely thinking of packing it. Hehehehe.

Right, I am off to do what I have become very good at doing now – having a lie down.  All this thinking is making my head hurt and my heartburn worse. Tomorrow I’m going to do a post about Bambi’s room (yes, we have named the baby after a deer). Hopefully on the weekend I might find the strength to bake something in my whale-like state.

Toodles,KimmyX

Pregnancy is fun – having a whale of a time!

Well Well Well. Happy 2014! OK, I am 36 days overdue with the wishing, but I’m the size of a mini whale and having to pee every 15 minutes, so you will forgive me. It feels (and is) ages since I last wrote a post, and that’s down to me still not being well. I’ve only just started going back into the office and apart from working from home, have not done much else. Pregnancy is FUN.

I never really thought about what it would be like if I got pregnant (too late now Kim), but I certainly thought it would be easier. Ok, not all roses and chocolates, but the roses at least! I’ve just got thorns at the moment!  Throughout the years I’ve been alive, I’ve known a fair few friends who have had babies and none of them moaned or was quite as sick as me – different bodies I hear you say. Yes, by now I know this (I’m not a total idiot), however, it does not make it any easier to go through. I also think the mere thought that the baby is going to burst out of my stomach in true alien fashion (brilliant film by the way) scares the shit out of me. It doesn’t help that the other half thinks (and says this to me) as well, all while he has a goofy smile on (what a goon).

Loads of people have asked me my cravings as apparently you tend to develop a fair few – I have none. Yet another thing that makes me wonder if I am normal at all. I have no back pain (this is not a wish of mine so Gods of pregnancy back pain, that is NOT a request, merely a statement) so I am grateful for that. I tell you what’s really improved – my skin. Yes, the bane of my life, the thing I’m trying to constantly improve on, has suddenly decided to behave herself. I haven’t washed my face with anything but water and (shock horror) have rarely broken out (God of good skin, please take that as a compliment and not as a taunt).  That’s about all that’s gone right in this pregnancy.

Here’s what they don’t tell you in pregnancy:

  • Morning sickness can also be known as anytime-it-likes sickness. It knows no time and feels no pity for your throat. When the Dr tells you that its most likely to last only up to week 12, take it with a pinch of salt – I’m 30 weeks and still throwing up. Fun times.
  • You might not enjoy being pregnant. I still don’t. Why? Because I’ve been horribly sick, been to hospital on drips, poked, prodded and pricked by countless needles. Its ok to feel like this – not everyone enjoys it. It’s hard to see other pregnant women share their joys, their scan pictures, their shiny new breast pumps with other soon-to-be mums, but when all you see is the toilet and midwifes and Dr’s, its ok to feel you just want to punch someone (just please don’t do it- you can imagine it).
  • Weeing up to 20 times a day is normal. Yes – believe it or not – if I’m not in the toilet throwing up, I’m in there for a wee. All. The. Time.
  • Taking bloods while anaemic like I am can cause severe blackouts and result in you falling over and hitting your head on the floor. Yes – this happened to me last week.  Again, fun fun fun times!
  • You will feel so tired that for a long time, you won’t be able to do much and feel like a lazy cow. I still don’t do much and feel terrible for it. Yes – my Christmas decorations are still in a box in the living room waiting to be brought up to the attic (I am contemplating if I should leave it there for ease of putting up for this year?!)
  • Babies cost a shit load of money and there is so much advice on which monitor, which bum wipes, cotton vs muslin towels, manual vs electric breast pumps, that you will one day just shout ‘arghh I give up, baby can come home in a Tesco reusable bag and everything else will fall into place’. Don’t fret, you will calm down and buy some stuff in the end (cue overbuying).

Don’t get me wrong – I am happy to be having a little baby – I’m just not as excited as so many others. Don’t feel bad about this either, if you’ve been as sick as me, no one will judge you (well they will but in their heads!) Its nerve-wrecking to be honest. I’ve just watched a video on a lady who has packed her maternity bag and don’t know whether I’m going to laugh or cry – she even had a file with laminated birth plans for easy access! We are so unprepared (another word for screwed). Someone asked me if I had a nursery prepared – I laughed, why? because if I told her we had nothing prepared I would have looked like an absolute goon. I replied ‘we have a cot and stuff’. I love the word stuff – it’s so dubious that no one really knows what it means.  I’m sure we’ll get there in the end, we always do.  Well, we kind of have to. 🙂

P/S: Please don’t think this is going to be a baby blog just because the last few posts have been on babies, I plan to go back to my usual writing soon I promise. I have BIG plans for this blog (bigger than my whale-stomach) 2014 is going to prove to be a very interesting year.  And yes, I will still be making cakes and jotting my recipes down – it’s just I haven’t really been in the kitchen much over these 6 months. Something about being sick all the time has put me off food for a while!

PP/S: As I finish writing this post, I feel a slight twinge in my back. Why oh why do I constantly open my big mouth and put my (now swollen) feet in it??!!

Love always,

KimmyX