A mum and a wife and sometimes just me

Friday, 20 January 2012

The Friday Song Choice

It's been one of those weeks...it's come to an end but I'm just going back to more on Monday! The nonni are here and I am thankful for the support but the late nights and spending so little time with my son just does not make me feel good. So I guess I need some extra help to find that Friday feeling and focus on family this weekend....

Sunday, 15 January 2012

A sunday walk


Ok so the big yellow sun did not shine as promised by the BBC and temperatures were below zero so it was technically freezing but we still managed to have a lovely walk by Loch Venachar near the small town of Callander. So much so that we celebrated with....CAKE!
(Photo credit to Hubby!)

Saturday, 14 January 2012

The perfect balance

So we went on a wee holiday. I guess it wasn't really a real holiday in the sense that we only went away for one  night at the Crieff Hydro Hotel to accompany hubby who was attending a conference there. It was a change of scenery and lots of things to do during that time though to class it as a holiday. A holiday in fact which offers the perfect balance between adult comforts and child friendly. I guess this time I was mainly interested in the child friendly side of things and did not take the opportunity to enjoy the adult comforts but it was nice to know that you could if you really wanted to do.

We had two days of great weather, nice walks, an afternoon dip in the pool and even a short stint in the ball pool. If this were a review of the Hotel and it's staff and it's facilities well it would definitely be 5 stars. The staff could not be more accommodating, there are so many activities included and well it's just a beautiful part of the country and you don't even need to leave the estate to enjoy the scenery! 

Views from our morning walk around the Estate

There are lots of ponies and horses

The Hotel

Mr Duck

I'm happy

At the top of the Knock

Macrosty Park

I'm still happy

I was happy, hubby was happy and well my son was happy....PERFECT!

Wednesday, 11 January 2012

Sto crescendo un vitello!

Why write the title in Italian? Well because it sounds better in Italian. Translation: I am raising a small calf. Okay I know they talk about growth spurts at different points in a baby's life but I have seriously never noticed one for my son as yet. He has always been difficult to feed from birth and it is the one thing that I really struggled with and found hard to let go. No matter how hard they told me not to worry, that he would take what he needed, that babies don't tend to starve themselves, I worried. I tried not worry too much about when it came to weaning but to be honest I always got a little bit more stressed when it came time to breakfast time or lunch time or dinner time. Did he eat it all? That was the question. 

Now though for the past two weeks it's like I can't get enough into my son. I've admittedly gotten a bit lazy and been offering a lot of food from jars and suddenly the smaller 7 months plus jars are not enough. He not only guzzles down now the whole 10 month plus jar but he is looking for a dessert of the same portion and then can manage a biscuit. If he sees us eating he crawls over in a flash looking for some. The fight for him to drink milk at night has stopped and he can't guzzle it down quick enough to the point where I have actually increased the amount. 

Sto crescendo un vitello! I am raising a small calf! He is a cutie though (I'm his mum...so I'm allowed to be biased)!

Sunday, 8 January 2012

Where's the plantain?

My hubby asked me yesterday how we were going to cook a Jamaican meal for friends this afternoon if we did not have any plantain? With the best laid plans the intention was to try and get some this morning but we got a bit behind schedule and cleaning the flat became a higher priority. Ah well we just had to make do. I'm a bit nervous actually blogging about my Jamaican cooking...

  1. Because really it's not that authentic as a lot of it comes out of tins and
  2. Well I don't know how good I am at it and
  3. WE DID NOT HAVE ANY PLANTAIN, which I might add is the simplest and usually most mouth watering part of the whole meal!
Anyway I nervously forge ahead. 

First on the menu is rice and peas probably the most authentic part of the meal and the bit that can go very wrong. I religiously follow my Dad's recipe which I have saved written down in an old diary and is the only reason why the diary has never been lost or thrown away.

I have found that the real trick is to make sure to get your measurements right. That simply means it's the same cup measurement for the rice, kidney beans and coconut milk. Also no rice in this country takes 40 minutes to cook! Then once it's cooked leave it to dry out for a bit as the grains will separate. It was not a bad effort even if I did not have any scotch bonnet (yes that's another thing...I managed to cook this meal without scotch bonnet!) It appeared to go down a treat with the guests and my son had some and he liked it.

Callaloo is easy. It comes out of a tin so you just need to spice it up with some onions and pepper.

Johnny Cakes are nice and simple. You just need self raising flower, some salt (I'm afraid that I don't measure it), some butter (again it's go for broke, this time I actually added too much) and slowly enough cold water until it forms a soft dough. Then I deep fat fry them. I get the oil really hot then actually turn it down before putting the johnny cakes in so that they don't cook too quick as once I found that the outside cooked well before the inside.

For the Ackee and Salt fish, the only detail really is preparing the salted cod. You simply soak it for at least 30 minutes then boil it so that you can flake the fish off the bone. Then its just a matter of frying some onions, scotch bonnet and spring onions,  until the onions soften. There are some who add bacon at this point but I don't usually. Add the salt fish, then add a fresh tomato with the ackee and fry for another five minutes stirring gently. I usually season with a bit of thyme.

and of course the ackee comes out of a tin...

The Jerk Chicken is another forgery really. Simply season the chicken over night with some jerk seasoning which you can now easily get from your local supermarket. The only recommendation I would make is to use the wet seasoning and not the dry for this. I then fry them for a bit and finish the cooking in the oven just to get a bit juicier.

So that's it. I have now bravely shared my version of a Jamaican meal when living abroad in the United Kingdom. It's really great these days because you can get so much here now to help you out and usually from your local supermarket. Other favourites include spiced bun, Ting, Plantain chips, rum and of course fried plantain.

Thursday, 5 January 2012

One teeth, two teeth, three teeth, ok mummy's tired.

Look at me rocking my teeth

Ok so there is only another 33 more to go. Why does something so natural have to be so painful? LOL I just wrote that and then thought about childbirth...back to the point...

Every parent does it right? Blame everything on teething? My son did not get his first tooth until he was 9 months but according to his mummy he was teething since he was about 5 months. Most parents know the drill...baby changes...baby suddenly starts crying more often, not sleeping at night, chewing on any and everything, dribbling everywhere, not eating or drinking as much as it should...."My baby's teething!" we exclaim. 

The problem is my son has been through so much changes when it comes to eating, sleeping and being just plain miserable, I'm not quite sure whether he has suffered any pain to teething or not. I mean my son suffered from  "baby flu"  for months before his first tooth came in...so what the heck...it MUST have been due to teething....or at least maybe a little bit of it.

What I do know is that...whatever it is...we now have 3 teeth and ok mummy's tired!

Wednesday, 4 January 2012


I don't do New Years resolutions. Just as well as I could probably make so many this year and know that I would probably not keep many of them. Getting and keeping a good work life balance would have been one. Then as I stopped to buy more jars of food for my son instead of cooking for him in the evening as I want to I know that battle is lost. We are thinking ahead for the holidays this year as there is stiff competition in my office and I thought finally getting back in the gym to look half decent in my swim suit is another good one. Now if I am too tired to cook for my son, can I really justify spending time in the gym. I get a lot of exercise running after my son anyway right? 

I'm really not sure what 2012 will bring and I think the only safe resolution to make is maybe not to worry too much about it. Okay that is probably not a good one either as I am only one day back at work and am already pulling my hair out with so much to do and too little time. 

Happy 2012...here we go..........
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