Flourless Coconut Chocolate Cookies



As soon as I saw these on Tracy's gorgeous blog I knew I had to make them.  And boy am I glad I did.  They are SUPER yummy.  And soft and chewy and chocolatey and just so yummy.  Did I mention they were yummy?

An easy gift for your gluten free friends or just for you with a cup of tea to get you through the day.

Check out the recipe here.

Now go and bake them.  It took me 10 minutes to make the mixture and 15 minutes in the oven.
What excuse do you have?

Enjoy ♥

Now & Then

I found this fun idea on one of my new favourite blogs, Aileen Allen's At Home in Love.  I thought it was such a wonderful way to take a trip down memory lane, especially as this year I will have finished school 10 years ago.

Where has 10 years gone?  It feels like yesterday I was attending school everyday, in my blue uniform, playing hockey in the afternoons and going to the movies on the weekend with my friends.  Those were the days.  Of course I miss the good ol' days but those are what made me the person I am today.  And today I am a happy wife and mother who is incredibly grateful for everything in my life right now.

So lets see how things have changed shall we?

CRUSHING ON

Now // Channing Tatum, Jospeh Gordon Levitt, Mani (my gorgeous husband)
Then // Adam Brody, Ryan Gosling and my high school crush

WATCHING

Now // The Following, Dexter, Breaking Bad, Modern Family
Then // The OC, Friends, CSI, Desperate Housewives

LISTENING TO

Now // Mumford & Sons, Biffy Clyro
Then // James, Westlife (yes and I am not ashamed to admit it!), The Atari and many more

READING

Now // Parenting books!
Then // Toni Parsons, Lisa Jewel, Marian Keyes

STYLE

Now // I love jeans, tops, cardigans and my converse.
Then // Jeans, hoodies, quite sporty.

HAIR

Now // Straightened, either up but mostly down
Then // Short, below my ears - I hated my hair back then.

LEISURE

Now // Baking, blogging, reading
Then // Going to the movies, hanging out at friends houses

DREAMS

Now // To make my blog a success, extend our house and or even move back to South Africa.
Then // Travel around the world and meet someone I can settle down with (success!!)

LIFE PLAN

Now // Get a good job, have more kids, be happy and take life as it comes.
Then // Travel, get a degree, get a job, get married, have kids.

Only if you fancy playing along,  Lazy Daisy Jones, Dusty and Nikki - why not share your Now & Then too?



The Nursery continued...





So a couple of weeks ago I wrote about the nursery and how it all came together.  I thought it would be fun to show it in use now that the blind is up along with sharing One Kings Lane's "Creating a comfortable nursery" guide which I found quite useful.

This guide made me realise that the nursery will forever be changing to the needs of me and little Jack - as he grows older we will start using it as his playroom and also for naps too in the cotbed.  For now, I use the nursery to change him, feed him and just to sit with him on the rocker and spend quality time.  It all feels complete now, with the blind up - why not check out Emma's fabric studio for some beautiful fabrics, just perfect for your little one's room?

I love Jack's room - it is calming, cosy and warm but fresh and clean too.  I think the white walls with the wood accents really work and then having the splashes of bright colours really bring it all together.  What the room needs now is definitely a plush rug for playtime when he is older. Plus I found these awesome toys, a cosy throw and a vintage map of Africa to inspire me from One Kings Lane too.



Happy decorating! ♥

I love links on a Friday

Quite a few bloggers share links from around the net nowadays and I am jumping on the bandwagon.  I love posts like these, you can share other bloggers talent/projects, funny videos and stories, awesome pictures and ideas and anything else really that you think is worth sharing.

So here are some of my favourites from this week.

Love Breaking Bad and the facebook video craze?  Then check this out.

Ummm - a totally amazing giveaway for you.

A heartwarming ad from Coca Cola.

Wow, I love how Elise never ceases to inspire me.

OK, I am going to have to get a doughnut pan now.

I have been experimenting with banana bread this week and I found another one I can try.

Crushing on this quilt, big time!

I wish I had the time, enthusiasm and the money to scrapbook like this.

Kinda funny and true.

Forgot it was Valentine's Day? Not to worry - download this free printable.

Happy Friday friends - make it count.

Mama Tea



Mama Tea.  Don't you love the name?  Such fun and the innovative Anna Simpson, a mumpreneur started this brilliant business when she found there was not a lot of choice or information out there for pregnant and breastfeeding mamas when it came to herbal teas.  She started her venture from her living room whilst looking after her two kids. What an inspiration, something I only dream of doing.

I stumbled across this tea when I received my bounty pack when I found out I was pregnant.  I love herbal tea and immediately brewed a cup.  I was pleasantly surprised - delicious flavours, easy to drink and of course healthy for you and your bump/baby. 




All Mama teas are 100% natural and caffeine free - her newly designed website is easy to use and informative too.  Why not go have a look and if you fancy, try her taster pack which contains the following Mama Tea blends:

Morning Mama - Ginger and Chamomile Herbal Tea
Glowing Mama - Rooibos and Elderflower Herbal Tea
Cool Mama - Spearmint and Chamomile Herbal Tea
Ready Mama - Raspberry Leaf and Rose Petal Herbal Tea
New Mama - Fennel and Liquorice Herbal Tea

I love supporting local and independent businesses and I think Anna is an inspiration to all us Moms out there.

Happy tea-drinking ♥

Experimenting with Banana Bread

I loathe food waste, and when it comes to over-ripe bananas I have to bake with them (I only like to eat really fresh/green bananas).  But sometimes banana bread can be a little boring - don't get me wrong, I love my Great Gran's banana bread but today I felt like something more "chocolatey" so I thought I would try making a chocolate-banana-bread-brownie type bake.  And it worked out quite well if you ask me.  Plus I added chocolate icing.  Yum.




So I just used my recipe for banana bread, added 80g of cocoa and then used this easy no-fail recipe for the chocolate fudge type icing.

Perfect for sticking in Mani's lunch box or for me when I fancy a treat with a cup of tea.

Chocolate Icing 

Melt one tablespoon of butter in four tablespoons of boiling water.
Stir in 1 cup of sieved icing sugar and 2 tablespoons of cocoa.
Mix well and spread over your baked goodies.

What I love about this icing is that it hardens ever so slightly on the top, so if you wrap it up in foil/paper for a lunchbox treat, the icing doesn't come off.  Same goes for if you are wrapping up a traybake for a friend.

Happy baking ♥

Jack: 1 month old




Jack my boy, you are 1 month old already.  You are gorgeous and we cannot believe how much love we have for you little one.  You are growing everyday - your little chubby cheeks and thighs are the cutest and you are making new little sounds and gurgling too.  You are focusing more and really look like you are listening when me or your Dad talk to you.

You are an easy, chilled baby (you take after your Dad) and you love to just sit in the boppy cushion or in your crib and just stare out and listen.  You are an independent little soul but you love a cuddle too.  You are getting so strong, and can lift your head when we put you on your tummy.  We have finished using size 1 nappies and you don't feel like a newborn anymore, you are more chunky and love feeding.  You make the cutest noises when you feed and tend to stay wide awake for longer periods of time too.

Your hiccups seem to be subsiding, you used to get them after every feed.  They are the most adorable sound but they do make mom a bit anxious!  You don't mind bathing, as long as you are in the right mood and you go to sleep very easily as long as you have no wind and a full tummy!

Happy 1 month - next thing you know, we will be saying Happy 1st Birthday.
We are treasuring each moment with you and cannot image life without you.

The first of the family visits




Last weekend, my Dad and stepmom, Christine came over to the UK from Dublin to meet little Jack. It was such a special time and the first of many visits of my family.  Throughout pregnancy and when Jack arrived, it was quite difficult at times not to have any family close by, so these visits are really treasured and we had a lovely, relaxing weekend.

Dad and Christine doted over Jack and couldn't take their eyes off of him - it was so special to see and Jack was quite spoilt with lots of cuddles and kisses.  It was my 27th (eek!!) birthday while they were here so we popped into Burford and had a delicious lunch at my favourite cafe, Huffkins and also enjoyed an indulgent chocolate sundae.  It's the little things.

A big thank you to Dad and Christine for coming over - they left my little brother in Ireland so they could dedicate all their time and attention to us, they made suppers, cleaned up and helped so much for the couple of days they were here and treated us to a lovely birthday lunch too.  I know it was hard coming over without Conor - thank you both ♥

Next visit is from my Mom and Gran all the way from South Africa in a couple of weeks, then my sister and her boyfriend in April.  So much to look forward too!

Around here

My first week of just me and Jack has nearly come to an end and it has gone quickly.  Tuesday was Mani's first day back at work after three weeks and it was a tough day.  I was exhausted by the time 17:30 came around and hadn't achieved anything apart from feeding, changing and cuddling Jack.  I managed to stuff two pieces of toast down my throat to make sure I didn't pass out from hunger and had a quick shower but kept sticking my head out the curtain to check Jack was still alright (I know that will get easier!).

Day 4 and I am slowly getting into a routine, if we have had a good night I won't go back to sleep after his early morning feed but if I am feeling rough I have an extra hour or two while he sleeps.  The days seem to come and go really quickly and sometimes (like today) it feels like I have been feeding him for hours, changing nappies and trying to get him off to sleep.  It is nearly 4pm and this is the first moment I have had to myself.

But this is what having a baby is all about, its not about me anymore or what I want to do with my time.  It's about nurturing, cuddling and doting after my baby boy and making sure that he is fed, clean and comforted.  He is only teeny weeny still and a routine will come eventually.

What I have managed to do this week is write a few blog posts, do some baking (loving these granola bars again for a quick and healthy snack), give Lucy (our cat) some cuddles, do loads of laundry, order thank you cards, change our bedsheets and take lots of photos.  Everyday I try to accomplish a few things and look after myself.  I feel so much better once I shower, dry my hair and make myself feel good - it makes all the difference. 









I also think it is so important to take lots of pictures as Jack grows, he really is getting chubby and is getting little creases on his thighs and has a double chin too.  I am so glad he is feeding well and growing into a little butter ball.  He is a happy, healthy and contented baba and that is all you want for them.

Now, I am going to enjoy my cup of coffee. ♥

On being a new Mom

Becoming a parent is something I have always wanted and knew would happen when the time was right.  You imagine life with a baby and how it will be, how you will cope and what it will be like.  You prepare by reading books, internet sites, listening to the tonnes of advice offered by friends and family and even strangers and think to yourself "I got this - it's going to be fun!".

Well, yes of course it is fun, amazing, wonderful, life-changing and just the most miraculous experience I have had so far but what lots of people don't tell you is that it is hard too.  Having a baby and looking after this little squirming bundle of sweet smelling, soft-skinned human being, who has no concept of day or night - only if they are hungry, need burping, changing or cuddling is no mean feat.  It is exhausting and I am happy to admit that.  I think it is the sleep deprivation that caught me and Mani out.  For 27 years I have been used to at least 7 or 8 hours sleep most nights, and going from that one day to maybe 2 or 3 hours at a time the next day is brutal.

But you do it - you would do anything for this little precious being you have created and you love every single minute of it.  Even at 3am in the morning after you have done everything conceivable to try and settle him, yet he still won't fall asleep.  It is these moments that make it real and make me realise how blessed we are to have little Jack in our lives.

His little faces that he pulls, his cries, funny noises and gurgles and the way he opens one eye slightly when he is feeding to see if you are still watching him.  His little toes wriggle when we brush his feet with our fingers, in awe of how velvety soft his skin is.  His perfect button nose and full tummy after a feed and his bed head after a sleep.  And the way he gets hiccups - oh so cute.






He is getting big - we cannot believe that after 3 weeks he is noticeable growing - he is a very good feeder and has put one well over the average amount of weight that newborns should.  He is out of his newborn clothes already and in 0-3 months.  I have had to pack his newborn gear into the back of the wardrobe and am finding myself feeling nostalgic for those first few days of when he was brand new.

Becoming a parent is the best thing that has happened to our little family and we love our little bug to bits.  We have been so lucky that Mani had 3 weeks off and this time has been invaluable - we have gotten to bond as a family unit and Mani has been the most supportive and understanding husband who has cooked, cleaned, changed what seems like hundreds of nappies, made me endless cups of tea and helped in the middle of the night when it all becomes a bit overwhelming.

Jack, you are 3 weeks old tomorrow and we love you more and more everyday.
You are our greatest adventure.


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