Love


This time of year brings with it the promise of warmer weather, days spent outside, family lunches and pretty spring flowers. Just the thought of it fills me with hope and positivity. By March I am usually well and truly over the cold weather and dark days.

Easter marks the start of my favourite time of year, when we get to be outside, enjoying our beautiful English countryside and our lovely garden.

We have a few traditions that we like to do as a family on Easter Sunday to celebrate together.

Our Sunday always starts with Easter breakfast in bed together as a family of four. We’ve a lovely super king bed which fits us all in perfectly for morning snuggles, chats and breakfast time. Breakfast in bed is a treat we always do on special occasions, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, Birthdays and Easter Sunday. We also like to have the occasional lazy Sunday if the little people in our lives are not demanding we go downstairs!

Sometimes our breakfast in bed is just tea and toast, sometimes pastries and coffee. I do always try and make Easter Breakfast a little bit special though.

A few little touches when dressing the tray can elevate a normal breakfast to a thing of beauty! Think butlers tray, gorgeous kitchen accessories, a pretty cup and saucer, flowers… and I personally LOVE the touch these jute placemats bring. For Easter you can find some gorgeous egg cups and the prettiest eggs in pastel shades to add.

Now on to the food! One of my favourite quick and easy but divine breakfast recipes is for Smoked Salmon & Scrambled Egg Breakfast Pastries. Made with smoked salmon, scrambled eggs, a dash of creme fraiche, puff pastry and a good amount of black pepper they are a quick and easy recipe to follow but make an absolute delicious Easter Breakfast treat.

Smoked Salmon & Scrambled Egg Breakfast Pastries

You will need:

  • Pre rolled puff pastry cut in to equal squares of about 15cms (Determine how many squares you need on the number of people eating. They are quite filling and I don’t think you’d manage more than 2 per person!)
  • Smoked salmon slices
  • Eggs (to make up scrambled egg)
  • Creme fraiche or milk to add to scrambled eggs
  • Butter (optional for scrambled egg)
  • Black pepper and salt to season

To make your pastries:

  • Combine your eggs, milk, butter and salt and pepper together to make scrambled eggs. The amount will differ depending on how many pastries you are making but usually one egg = one pastry. Don’t worry about the scrambled egg being totally cooked as it will cook some more in the oven later too.
  • Lay out your pastry squares on a baking tray (with greaseproof paper underneath so they don’t stick) and fill the centre with scrambled egg. Add two small slices of smoked salmon and parcel up, making sure the points overlap and are stuck together in the centre.
  • You can brush the top with a glaze of egg if you’d like to but it isn’t necessary.
  • Cook until pastry is golden brown.
  • Serve with a helping of black pepper and enjoy!

Why not add your own twist?

If you wanted to add a twist to the recipe you could add some spinach too, or go for good old fashioned bacon, egg and mushrooms.

I will be making these on Easter Sunday as well as some mini easter bunny pain au chocolates for my girls! (using pre bought croissant dough, a rabbit cookie cutter and dark chocolate drops for the centre).

We will be off to church after our Easter breakfast and joining the rest of the clan for a big Easter lunch and egg hunt around the garden later in the day. I’m really hoping that snow they’ve warned us about decides to give us a break and we get some well deserved sunshine! What about you? How will you be spending your Easter Sunday? Do you have any traditions you like to do every year?

Disclaimer: I was sent some beautiful kitchen accessories by The White Company in order to create this post. Thank you to The White Company for supporting Lish Concept, we are big fans!

I woke up one morning last year and had this crazy idea that it was time I went back to work full time. As many of you will know I’m mum to two little girls and one rather large clumsy Labrador who goes by the name of Buddy.

I’m not going to sugar coat it, being a full-time working mum of small children (and big dogs) is hard work.

Life is one giant to do list.

For life to run smoothly, military precision is required. Despite my best drill sergeant attempts, I have the distinct feeling my tiny army (captain silly, cadet chaos and deputy dog) are mocking me.

100mph lives

A snapshot of our morning would reveal one naked toddler (Chaos Cadet) streaking through the hallway refusing to wear anything but a hat. Her sister (Captain Silly) is chasing after her whooping with loud, crazy laughter. I’m hollering at them to brush their teeth while frantically trying to break the Guinness world record for fast (yet neat) eyeliner application. Dad is on sandwich duty downstairs (a lucky escape from the madness if you ask me) while Buddy (deputy dog) plays a hilarious comedy soundtrack (think Benny Hill theme tune) with his paws on the giant piano which is stretched out across the hallway.

Welcome to our 100mph lives. We don’t do slow, or calm very well but we’ve got messy and crazy down to a tee. There is always a job or ten that needs to be done, somewhere we need to be (10 minutes ago), a little person shouting for “more BAPES (grapes)” or a dog barking to go outside and chase a pigeon. It’s noisy, fast paced, full and fun and well, it’s just us.

Despite this, the health and wellbeing of our family (whether they have 2 feet or 4 paws) is always number one. A balanced diet and good hygiene are never compromised even when we are racing against the clock. Everyone needs to have had a healthy breakfast and brushed their teeth properly before the day can start.

Keeping our dog’s teeth healthy with Dentastix

This includes our family Labrador Buddy. His bowl gets filled every morning as we dish out our breakfast. And although we don’t brush his teeth every morning (I wouldn’t even dare to attempt it!) we do use Pedigree Dentastix as part of Buddy’s daily dog dental care.

Luckily Buddy sees these very much as a treat so never has a problem with brushing his teeth unlike our youngest who is a nightmare.

Look at the excitement on his little face!

 

Packed with yummy meaty flavours the DentaStixs are cleverly designed to be chewed for long enough to be effective, with a gently abrasive texture and active ingredients that help to reduce the build-up of plaque and tartar and  lower the risk of gum disease.

Just as we brush our teeth every day, our dogs should be chomping Dentastix daily to help maintain healthy teeth and gums which is absolutely essential for them. Many dogs over the age of 3 years suffer from gum disease, which can actually slow them down and even lead to costly treatment at the vets.

With two little people and one furry baby to keep healthy and happy, a list of chores as long as my arm, work projects and social engagements to juggle, anything, ANYTHING that can make my life a little easier is a big win with me.

I’m just waiting for them to invent dentastix for kids!

This post is in collaboration with Pedigree, but all thoughts are my own. For additional dental care information you can read the following Pedigree Reviews article for tips and advice.

As a child growing up in London I wasn’t much of a cyclist. In fact I remember my cousins (who lived up North) laughing at me trying to ride a bike (with my silly posh accent) and falling into a bush age 9.

No, my love of cycling developed later in life, when at the grand old age of 21, I moved to The Netherlands. Those that have visited The Netherlands will know the Dutch like to cycle, a lot! It was pretty much bike or die and I took a crash course (yes literally) in advanced cycling that first year. I’ll tell you a story of how I managed to get a key shaped bruise on my bottom if you ask nicely!

In no time I was a pro cyclist, joining the Dutch in cycling rain or shine, with shopping bags attached to my handle bars and an umbrella in my hand. It was no surprise then when Littlelish was born, that she was on a bike as soon as she could sit up. We cycled everywhere together, there was something very soothing about just grabbing the bike and heading on out of town for a cycle in the countryside. It was a little window of peace in my mummy days and I loved it.

Fast forward 7 years and we are now living in the UK. Cycling is a slightly different affair here, we have hills for a start! With a lack of bike lanes, I find myself not grabbing the bike as often as I would like. But we do like to head out to the park or beautiful Rutland water for a spot of family cycling. Littlelish has been cycling since she was about 5 and is really quite a natural, it must be those Dutch roots. We all agree that getting out on the bike is a great family activity which brings us a lot of happiness.

So when Wee ride got in touch asking if we’d like to try out one of their specially designed bike seats, The Kangaroo, for Babylish, we agreed it was time for her to join us on our family cycling adventures.

To trial the seat, we waited for a lovely warm day (which we’ve had a few of lately – lucky us!) and headed to the local park for a cycle by the river and an ice-cream treat in the park cafe at the end. It was so lovely to be out together on the bikes that we made a pact that it would be a regular weekend activity now we had the perfect seat for Babylish.

The Kangaroo is suitable for children from the age of 1 (it’s actually even possible for 6 month olds to use if they can sit up but officially it’s from 1 year old) up to 4 years old. The really unique thing about the Kangaroo is that although it looks like it is front mounted it is actually, centre mounted on the cross bar. This makes all the difference in both stability and safety with front mounted seats putting all the child’s weight on the handlebars making steering more difficult. Front mounted seats can mean your child gets thrown around, and most importantly, they can be unsafe if you need to stop quickly.

With the kangaroo I never once had the feeling I was unbalanced or unstable. Babylish was seated comfortably within my arms as we rode. Rather than just seeing a very close up view of my back, we could cycle together and enjoy the scenery. She was thrilled with her position in front of the family parade, pointing out things (like 473 dogs – she loves dogs!) having a little snuggle with my arm and occasionally putting her head down on the headrest for a little rest.

Assembly

The seat will attach to a ladies or mens bike and pretty much every model. We attached the bar to my bike and it took us (well my very lovely helper) around 20 minutes. The instructions were very thorough and we had all the parts and tools we needed in the box to compete the job. The bar fit securely onto the bike and the seat attaches on to it, this means the seat can be removed instantly if you want to ride your bike alone. You can also buy an extra bar to attach to another bike to change the seat over between bikes / parents if needed.

Safety features

I felt very secure fastening Babylish in the seat. The belt is a 5 point safety strap which requires you to push and hold in two places to undo. There is also an extra loop joining the belts at the top so little Houdinis like mine can’t wriggle their arms free. There are adjustable footrests which hold the Childs feet in place whilst you are cycling (unbelievably she didn’t complain at this so it must have felt comfortable).

Comfort for baby

Soft plush velvety cushioned fabric covers the seat which feels so comfortable. It’s like a mini cycling throne! At the front of the seat there is a little headrest for the child if they are feeling tired or sleepy.

Comfort for mum

Honestly this seat is fabulous when you are cycling. There is no strange weight where it shouldn’t be making you feel unstable or wobbly. I also didn’t need to adjust my cycling position at all to accommodate the seat or Babylish which was perfect.

Kangaroo vs rear bike seat

For me there are several advantages to cycling with a baby bike seat on the front of your bike, firstly its easier to get on the bike, you can just swing your leg round the back. It also means I can see her and touch her if I need to when cycling, this make me feel more secure and I’m guessing it’s the same for her too. I also find it easier to put her into the seat and hold the bike still with the weight being in the centre of the bike.

Both Babylish and I are thrilled with the Kangaroo, despite her looking a bit grumpy for the camera – she isn’t a fan of the paparazzi poor kid! It really is the ultimate baby bike seat and I can see why it is the number one best seller in the UK and USA. We hope to venture out on lots of adventures and are heading to Rutland water this weekend for some more family cycling fun.

Thank you to the fab team at WeeRide, firstly for making such an awesome seat and secondly for collaborating with Lish Concepts. We received the Kangaroo seat free of charge but can honestly put our hands on our hearts and say it is fabulous!

 

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