Thursday, 29 May 2014

Baby Bundle Giveway from Argos

Are you pregnant or do you know someone that is?  I've just come across a great giveaway from Argos where one lucky person stands the chance of winning a great bundle containing the following 7 must have baby items:
  • BabyDan Danchair Natural Wooden Highchair
  • Apramo Gaia Group 0+ Car Seat Infant Carrier
  • Angelcare AC1100 Digital Video, Movement and Sound Monitor
  • Onaroo Ok To Wake! Portable Owl Nightlight and Sleep Trainer 
  • Tommee Tippee Closer to Nature Newborn Starter Kit
  • BabyBj√∂rn babysitter Balance Bouncer
  • Mamas and Papas Apple Bobbin 4 Piece Nursery Bedding Set 
  • Clair de Lune Waffle Moses Basket with Pine Stand
  • Baby bath time support from Angelcare

Click here to enter.  The closing date is 3 June 2014.

Good luck!

Ally x

Sunday, 4 May 2014

Chocolate Hot Cross Bun Pudding

I actually meant to post this last week but got distracted with an attempted nesting clean of my lounge.  I did actually succeed to a degree.  If you saw it this week you may not agree...

Before said spring clean I found three packets of hot cross buns in my cupboard.  I had bought too many after a trip to the shops where they were clearly pumping their hot and spicy scent through the air vents, rendering poor pregnant women helpless but to buy them.

As I didn't want the buns to go to waste and I felt like have pudding after my dinner, I decided to make them into my version of bread and butter pudding, layered with Nutella and spices.  I had to make a rather large custard mix to coat the buns as best as I could.  It wasn't full to the brim but about 2/3 of the way but the buns still soaked it all up beautifully.

The finished product was absolutely delicious especially with the generous lashings of custard and general sounds of quiet and contentedness from hubby and daughter.  So, here is the recipe.  One to save for next Easter!

  • Butter for greasing (plus about 25g extra if you want to use butter on the buns)
  • 50g Nutella (use more if you want it be more chocolaty)
  • 8 hot cross buns (I used 10 which was just too many)
  • 2 tsp cinnamon powder
  • 700 ml/12fl oz whole milk
  • 100 ml/2fl oz double cream
  • 4 free-range eggs
  • 50 g/1oz granulated sugar
  • nutmeg, grated, to taste

Preheat the oven to 180C/355F/Gas 4.

Preparation method
  1. Grease a 1 litre/2 pint pie dish with butter.
  2. Cut the hot cross buns in half lengthways.  Spread each slice with a generous helping of Nutella on one side.  Add a layer of butter first if feeling extra decadent!  Cut into triangles if you need slices to fit into any of the four corners of the dish.
  3. Arrange a layer of buns, chocolate-side up, in the bottom of the dish. Sprinkle with a little cinnamon, then repeat the layers of buns and cinnamon until all the buns are used.
  4. Gently warm the milk and cream in a pan over a low heat to scalding point being careful to not let it boil.
  5. Crack the eggs into a bowl, add three quarters of the sugar and lightly whisk until pale.
  6. Add the warm milk and cream mixture to the eggs and stir well, then strain the custard into a bowl.
  7. Pour the custard evenly over the prepared bun layers and sprinkle with a dusting of nutmeg and the remaining sugar and leave to stand for 30 minutes. 

Place the dish into the oven and bake for 25-35 minutes, or until the custard has set and the top is golden-brown.  My oven cooks quite quickly so ovens may vary.

Eat warm and enjoy!

Ally x

Saturday, 3 May 2014

Blissful Pregnancy Massage with Helen Brown

After I had my daughter in 2010 I swore blind that if I had any aches or pains, SPD or sciatica in my next pregnancy that I would get them seen to instead of suffering in relative silence.

In this pregnancy I'd put on quite a bit of weight in a short space of time and I was still running a few times a week up until about four and a half months.  The combination of these two had sent my lower back into mini spasms which desperately needed to be seen to by someone who knew exactly how pregnant women should be massaged during their pregnancy.

I had my first treatment session with Helen Brown of Helen Brown Pregnancy Massage Therapy when I was five months pregnant and believe you me, it couldn't have been at a better time.  Helen, an ITEC Holistic Massage Therapist who works from the comfort of her home in St Albans, Hertfordshire, is specially trained and qualified in Pregnancy Massage Therapy and a member of the Federation of Holistic Therapists (FHT). 

Helen's treatment room is was blissful.   It was warm and comforting with calming music in the background which made me feel completely at ease.  After an initial consultation and brief medical history I was given time to set myself up on the massage table, propping myself up with the necessary pillows under head and between knees, covering up with soft, fluffy towels.  The bed was warm from a heated blanket (it was cold and wintery then) and if I had closed my eyes for too long I could very well have had a long nap!

The treatment focused not only on the problem areas around my lower back but on my back as a whole as well as arms, legs, feet and face giving me the relief that I so desperately needed as well as some longed for relaxation and pampering time.

My subsequent sessions take place at four week intervals and focus on maintenance of the problem areas but also giving me an hour to myself where I was able to stop and take a break from my normal routine; a must for all mums to be I feel.  I may even increase this in the final month or so as I have an incredibly active baby who tends to

Treatments last for either a half hour or hour, dependant on personal needs.

Contact Helen for further information on prices and availability.

Ally x

Further details on Helen Brown ITEC, MFHT

tel: 07908 517 522

Note: My first session was complementary but all subsequent sessions have been fully paid for, and very happily at that!

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