1 December 2016

Lily's 8 Month Update

I've seen loads of people do these monthly updates on their pregnancy/baby/child/etc and I actually intended to do this back when I was pregnant with Lily but I generally suck and so here I am over a year later actually doing it. 
Technically Lily is 8 and a half months old but I'm already late on the bandwagon so I'm not going to let that bother me. 

Weight - 16lbs 4oz
Clothes size - 3-6 months although the feet on her sleepsuits are too small now 

Milk - she's still having a few breast feeds throughout the day and whenever she wakes at night. She has also started to "ask" to be nursed by cruising over to me and pulling at my top. 
Food - we have just progressed onto finger foods! Not a lot is going in the mouth quite yet but she's doing well and coping with the new textures. She has a preference for Organix baby crisps, I think because she finds them easier to hold more than anything. Her favourite food though is definitely yoghurt followed by banana as a close second. 
Teeth - we still have only 2 teeth although I have a suspicion that her top ones are on their way. 

Sleep - Hahahahahahahaha! What's that?! The past month has been THE WORST in terms of sleep. She will have a few naps during the day on average then she will wake about 5930603059 times during the night. Sleep wise this month has been the most challenging by far and it doesn't show signs of improvement any time soon! 
Milestones - Lily has been pretty early with everything so far and she started cruising at 7 months but the last months she's really started to be more confident and will swap from the sofa to the coffee table. She will occasionally have a little panic midway and need one of us to help her down but all in all she's doing amazingly! Although he does look incredibly small to be doing these things already! She is a confident crawler now and has also started to clap and respond to her name. She is "talking" more! She says dada, gaga, baba and aaaaaaaaahhhhhhh (at the top of her lungs might I add) 
Likes - she likes everything that isn't a toy. More specifically my crochet hook, iPhone, Snapchat filters, remote controls, paper (she ate most of a hospital letter the other week), various Tupperware, bottle lids and the light on the front of the Youview box.

Artwork 2016 #1

I've loved art for as long as I remember. Being an artist was my first passion right back to 4 year old me answering the question children always get asked - "what do you want to be when you grow up?" My first favourite artist was Vincent Van Gogh who remains so 21 years later along with Salvador Dali, Audrey Kawasaki and Georgia O'Keefe. 
I have briefly studied Art and Design but found it quite constricting so went off and did my own thing. I've also previously worked on commissions but my own perfectionism led me to stop because I quite simply didn't think I was good enough. 

 I've always been very meticulous when it comes to my own work and very rarely am I happy with my finished pieces and more often than not they get tucked away in my sketchbook for years because I wasn't happy with them. But then it occurred to me, art isn't perfect and there will always be something you can add or something you could change. Art is an extension of your personality and just as so, not everybody will like it. And that's okay. So here is a small collection of my newer pieces, some finished, some not. 

Lemon and Blueberry Drizzle Cake

After watching the first in the new The Great British Bake Off this week I decided that I would challenge myself to bake one of the challenges features each week (haha, rather too ambitious for me I know). I chose a drizzle cake purely because it looked the easiest and I have wanted to have a shot at one for a while and seeing as I had planned on taking a cake with me when I visit my Grandma this weekend it seemed like a good idea. 
After waiting an agonising 40 minutes for it to cook, it came out looking like a cake, I didn't mess up the sugar syrup and generally it turned out alright as apposed to the complete and utter disaster I anticipated. I was struggling to breathe though as my lungs were approximately 89% icing sugar by this point. 
Cake -
180g Self Raising Flour 
1tbsp Self Raising Flour

3 eggs 
Zest of 2 Lemons 
100g Blueberries  
130g butter
130g Caster Sugar 
Syrup -
50g Caster Sugar
4tbsp Lemon Juice 
Icing - 
120g Icing Sugar
50g Blueberries
Vanilla Extract 

  • Mix the cake ingredients together and toss the blueberries in a tbsp of flour and then fold into the whisked mixture. 
  • Pour into a lined, 2lb loaf tin and cook covered at 150 degrees for 35 minutes the. For 5 minutes uncovered until a knife comes out clean. 
  • Heat the sugar and lemon juice at a high heat and boil for a few minutes, stirring constantly. 
  • Poke holes with a cocktail stick over the entire cake and pour the syrup over whilst the cake is still hot. 
  • Leave to cool completely then removed from the tin. 
  • Cook 50g of blueberries with a splash of lemon juice and vanilla in a pan until soft.
  • Strain the blueberries through a sieve and leave the liquid to cool. 
  • Measure out the icing sugar and pour over the blueberry purée. 
  • Mix as much as you can and then add drops of water until the consistency is that of melted chocolate. 
  • Pour over the cake and allow to run down the edges. 
Even my Grandma said it was good and she is the Queen of cakes! 

Raspberry and Apple Pie

I've wanted to make a pie for ages but after misplacing the pie dish I stole from my Mum 2 years ago (along with a couple of knives, a plate and a chopping board, sorry Mum! Haha) I finally bought one of my own! 
I was originally going to make a standard boring topped pie but then I decided to go all out last minute and ended up having to make my own pastry for the base. I'm not going to include a recipe for pastry because it's super easy and I didn't measure anything but basically chuck flour and butter into a bowl, rub the butter into the flour until it resembles breadcrumbs then keep adding bits of water until it forms a nice dough. Try to handle the pastry as little as possible, the colder your hands the better. I vaguely remember being told, probably by my Grandma that cold hands make better pastry. 

200g Raspberries 
4 Bramley Apples
640g (or 2 shop bought packs) of Shortcrust Pastry 
Caster Sugar or Light Brown Sugar  (to taste and sprinkle over the top) 

This is super simple to make with minimal effort and you can make it with just about any type of fruit. 
  • Peel and chop the apples and put in a pan with the raspberries and a few tbsps of water. Place on the job and leave to soften whilst you Wait for the oven to heat up (180 degrees). 
  • Roll out the pastry and cut around the dish. (Only do this if you are wanting a standard topped pie, if you're wanting to make roses or do something fancy then skip this step. 
  • Place the pastry over the dish and press down. 
  • Cut around the dish and put the excess pastry to the side for decoration. 
  • Add sugar to the fruits mixture to taste and add to the pie dish. (Light brown sugar will make it more caramely as opposed to the caster sugar)
  • Decorate the top however you like, sprinkle with sugar and put in the over until the pastry is golden (about 20minutes)
TIP: mix a bit of lemon juice to the chopped apples are this will stop them going brown.