Friday, 26 March 2010

Totally Tofu

If you're looking to increase your protein intake, boost your heart health, and cut your food budget, try tofu! Tofu is soymilk curd, pressed and packed into a spongy food that's bursting with protein, heart-healthy fiber, and unsaturated fat, as well as vitamins and minerals. And tofu is affordable, especially compared with animal proteins like beef, chicken, and fish. Tofu is so versatile, it's a cinch to incorporate it into your diet! Substitute firm tofu for chicken, fish, or meat in your favorite stir-fry recipes; because tofu has little taste on its own but is very absorbent, it soaks up the flavors of all the foods and spices it's cooked with, leading to a delicious, savory dish! Try blending soft or silken tofu in smoothies, dressings, dips, or desserts like mousse. You can even scramble it for egg-free "scrambled eggs." You can also buy preseasoned or marinated tofu at the supermarket — it's great with rice and veggies for a balanced, healthy, and delicious meal!
If you haven't tried tofu yet, challenge yourself to switch one of your animal-protein meals in the week ahead to tofu. You might be surprised by how much you enjoy it!
A heads-up about soy products in general: Because of the oestrogenlike properties of soy, the jury is still out on whether soy products are safe for women who have a high risk of breast cancer to consume in large amounts. If you are at increased risk for breast cancer because of your personal or family history, choose soy products only in moderation, avoid soy supplements, and speak with your health care provider for specific recommendations.

The greatest tofu dish of all in my opinion is tofu in garlic sauce with Chinese vegetable on crispy noodles.  Pompey vegetarians take note:  get yourself to the Hong Kong Tea Bar on Lake Road, the cafe is basic, but the food is gastronomical, so authentic, it reminds me of being back in Sarawak!  Great value and thoroughly delicious.  This isn't on the menu, you will have to ask for it.  In fact ask for any combination of their dishes, try the ho fun noodles which are flat rice noodles if you do not fancy fried noodles.  These dishes are a little more expensive at £6.50, but you get free tea, Chinese tea or coffee and it's a good substantial amount.  Let me know how you get on.

Thursday, 25 March 2010

Bear Grylls Survival Wear

Some great bargains to be had here if you're the outdoorsy type.

Breastfeeding Baby T-shirt, Mummy Milk Is Awesome

Baby wearing t-shirt

Another one of my designs to promote baby wearing!

Only £14.95 available in different colour writing - just ask!

Click here to buy

Saturday, 20 March 2010

Mummy Milk Is Awesome Romper, The Perfect Breastfeeding Baby Gift!

Breast feeding is awesome. But it's not always seen as the cool thing to do.  It's not just for the hippy types and conscientious among us though, every mother should do it for their baby's sake if they can.  Particularly in Portsmouth, there's a very low rate of breast feeders compared to babies.  So what better way to show your support than with these gorgeous super soft 100% cotton sleep suits I've created, for sale exclusively on my website?  Available in size 0-6 months and 6-12 months.  Super funky in black, but they also come in pink, green, blue or red.  I've kept the price as low as possible (only £19.50) and the shipping is free!  Please spread the word, I'm sure they will be a hit.

Eugenics and Darwinism

As the epic novel I've been working on for the last two years (what a megalomaniac I am!) is based around the benefits of hetrozygosity, I have been researching a lot of info on eugenics as I sit breastfeeding the baby every evening.  One of my characters is basically a devout old British racist who was involved in a secret mission with the Nazis to help implement eugenics.  I am trying to incorporate the same character to be involved in the US  "sterilisation of the idiots"  programme.  But all the information I thought I knew on Darwin himself seems to be flawed in that he was not looking to erase whole groups of people and his reflections were simply observations and were always presented as hypothesis and not any definites.

I am wrong, because I thought that Darwin began that very programme in the US but it would seem that programme was only based on his ideas.  Poor old Darwin though, he is also being blamed for the holocaust and for refuting the Old Testament as God could not possible have created the World in 7 days.  My father was a missionary and both my parents are devoted Christians, highly involved in the church in Yorkshire.  My Father is also a scientific man, he like most modern day Christians is happy to accept both the words of the bible and Darwin's discoveries.  At the same time though, God could have created the World in 7 days and then evolution could have done the rest afterwards, surely?  It is very hard to convince an atheist that anything God does is anything short of magic.  Because really there is no explanation is there?

So in turn, as I write my novel I could simply explain everything away in a Dr Who stylee, "Oh, no, we're all going to die!  But wait, it's okay - I can save the day with my magic sonic screw driver...!"  With no true resolvement in any of the situations presented.

That would be too easy of course, and I would like to give credence to my tale, so the laboured research continues.  Slowly but surely. And I have to say that I am on the "Darwin was a good guy" camp.

Thursday, 18 March 2010

Breton Stripes

Breton stripes.  They're blooming everywhere on the high street.  The Mango Collection is all about stripes and so are Warehouse, while good old Toppers are still featuring a large amount of stripes in their collection.

I have been trying to dress down lately but it's difficult to appease my typically ambivelant nature.  Stripy jumper - a gift from my friend, blue t-shirt underneath from Banardo's Marmion Road, destroyed Topshop skinny jeans and Fitflop Inuk boots.

So, posting the clothes I'm wearing is rather narcissistic to say the least, but that is the ambivalent world in which I live in. My parents being such opposites - Headhunter versus Western man, Green parent versus shallow fashionista, that's me and rather than battle with all, I have chosen to embrace both lifestyles.  I neither fit into the jungle camp nor the patriotic camp.  I flit back and forth between them both like a social caterpillar  munching up my beliefs and ethics as best I can along the way!  This outfit is practical but I hate dressing this way.  It doesn't look bad but I prefer more ladylike clothes, I'm a bit of a 1940s throw back.  The 13 year old says I dress like an old lady.  I thought she was merely trying to insult me, but on standing next to an old lady in Waitrose the other day, I realised that we were mirroring each other.  Fitted wool coat, check, sensible boots, check, thick tights, check, cloche hat, check.  The only difference was the 40 year age gap.   Oh well, there's nothing wrong with wearing your Sunday best every day I say.

Shop for Topman's Stripy Offerings:

Wednesday, 17 March 2010

Veggie Boy

I'm so pleased my whole family are now vegetarian. Well, the 11 year old is lacto-ovo vegetarian in that he has decided to still eat fish. But of course I never cook or prepare fish any more so he is largely vegetarian. It makes meal times so much easier.

At one point a few years ago, I was vegan, my husband was vegetarian and the older children were still meat eaters so I was cooking three different meals at once. But last lent, my eldest decided to become vegetarian too and has stuck to it ever since. I am so pleased that the 11 year old has joined the ranks. He has kept it up for two weeks and he doesn't seem to mind or miss meat. His Asperger's tendencies leave him asking for crab everytime I ask what we should have for dinner which is a but tedious to say the least.

Eating treats has become a bit of a nightmare in this house now that we are all vegetarian.  The thirteen year old and I are currently giving up chocolate for lent and we are avid boycotters of Nestle.  Anyway, this evening we had toffee flap jacks as a treat, so cheap and easy to make with cupboard ingredients, but I added Bonne Mamman confiture de caramel. Naughty but nice.


Brown Sugar

Toffee Sauce
As much as you dare!

Golden Syrup
2 tablespoons

1. Melt the butter and the Margarine in a deep saucepan over a low heat
2. add the brown sugar and 2 tablespoons of syrup and stir in until you have a brown paste
3. add in the oats, if you find it easier add them in gradually stirring and covering the oats with the paste
4. add a pinch of salt
5. Add the toffee sauce and stir this in until you are happy that all the oats are covered
6. spread the mixture over a non stick baking tray (or a greased baking tray). Smooth over with a knife making sure the mixture is even
7. Place the baking tray onto the middle shelf in a preheated oven (gas mark 5, 220 C) and bake for 15 minutes, checking the progress regularly. Take out when the mixture starts turning a golden brown.
8. Stand for a minute or two, then score the mixture with a knife into you portions
9. Cover the tray with something light such as a few pieces of kitchen roll and leave for up to 6 hours

Preparation Time: 15 Mins
Cooking Time: 15 Mins

Tip: The toffee sauce will make the flapjack chewy, if you want to make it a bit more crunchy then add a few minutes on to the cooking time

What shall I buy my girlfriend for her birthday?

Well, it's here maybe for the first time or the first time since last year anyway and you've had all that time to go out and buy something for her but alas, you've left it to the last minute again.

Don't panic. The best thing you can do is take a deep breath and realise that everything is going to be ok because there is a sale on at La Senza and they deliver for free and your lady will love the fact that you have been so thoughtful and so classy my friends!

If you've afraid of buying underwear, do not worry, they have a fabulous collection of cosy and romantic nightwear. Every girl loves to be spoilt with jim jams, you just have to decide whether she wants some warm ones for spending lazy Sundays in or some cute silky ones for wearing to bed.

So, that's free shipping a big sale and guess what they provide a luxury gift wrap service as well! What are you waiting for?

Tuesday, 16 March 2010

Veggie Bubba, vegetarian babies

Bringing up baby to be vegetarian can seem daunting but it really needn't be. Our little one is far from little. I was vegan when he was conceived and only staryed eating dairy again when I was about 14 weeks pregnant. I'm 5 foot nothing and had quite a neat bump compared to when I was carrying bubba 1 and bubba 2. I gained 4 stone with each of their pregnancies and only 28 pounds with the latest babe. So he should have been a little dot, but alas no. He was a whopping 9 pounds 2 ozs and on time. He was exclusively breastfed my vegetarian milk for 6 months and has remained a whopper ever since.

So what do you feed baby once he is passed the fruit and veggie early tasters? It's still important to make sure they are having some protein, but the best diet for babies is high fat and low fibre for some reason, the opposite to us. I give our baby plenty of yoghurt and I mix cheese in with his veggies sometimes. Beans and lentils are great for protein, but one of the best sources is quinoa flakes. It's so easy to add to baby food. Just soak in hot water then add to normal cooking. It's like a grain but high in protein, wonderful stuff and if you stick to the flakes, much more blendable for those early purees.

Be mindful when you are cooking the family dinner, don't add extra salt to your veggies and make extra so that you can blend them up for baby. Courgettes, sweet potato, broccoli and butternut squash whizz up a treat. When baby is older he will really enjoy the family bolognese made with Quorn mince mixed with the spaghetti pasta. Our 7 month old is over 20 pounds, bigger than many one year olds. He is also strong as an ox and has chosen the more difficult army style crawl to regular crawling. He's going to have arms like Wolverine and will probably be taller than me by the time he starts Infant School at this rate!.

Friday, 12 March 2010

Beautiful bargain shoes alert!

I used to sell discount Irregular Choice shoes, but my supplier has become too expensive so I can no longer see those quirky little pieces of leathery objets d'art daily. I miss them so much. If you're looking for a bargain though a great place is to start here:

Click Here For The cheapest designer shoes on eBay!!

My favourite pair?  The Abigail Iced Gem of course, absolutely amazing to look at statement shoes.  Quite what you'll be saying I'm not sure though!


Tuesday, 9 March 2010

Badger Sleep Balm, an insomniac's dream

Night-night Balm. Bought from Waitrose £4.79 promises a good nights sleep for baby. But does it do what it says on the retro kitsch tin?

Smells lovely and looks like a little tin of vaseline. My baby wasn't sleeping too well, as he had a cold and was waking up regularly so I bought this and then realised it wasn't going to be much good if he couldn't breathe properly. It certainly soothed him though when he was feeling better and I give it a little smear on my pulse points and under my nose when I want to relax after the baby and I have our evening bath. It's hard to unwind as a mother of three - there's always something to think and worry about. But the best thing that one can do is actually get some sleep and rest whenever you can. Easier said than done in my case.

It is a pretty little object for the dressing table and it smells nice and soothing. Combine it with a drop of oil and give baby a woderfully calming massage to help him through the night.

After a few days without any sleep I became so tired that the only comforting thought that came into my head was "cake," the word popped into my head like a sweet fluffy, iced, cherry topped light bulb, flashing luringly till I went to the shop and obliged.

Tuesday, 2 March 2010

March 2010, whatever happened to 2009?

My goodness it's 2010. 2010! I haven't blogged for two years. Two years!

So much has happened. I'm not vegan anymore - but still strictly vegetarian. I also have a new child. He's 7 months old now and absolutely gorgeous.
I'm not selling on eBay at the moment and the website has taken a maternity leave dive. I'm currently writing a new novel which is going very slowly. Life is good though.

Today involved nothing more than meeting other Mums for a stroll along the seafront, coffee in Old Portsmouth and then meeting Zoe (she's 13 now!) after school. We stopped at the Chinese supermarket on Elm Grove to buy mock pork gluten, then I showed her how to cook it spicy garlic salt style. Mail me for this delicious vegan recipe.

This weekend, "Holistic Parenting Fayre" at St Swithun's Church Southsea. Inspiration, information & support for families. Check back for information about just what will be on offer...and invite your friends. Free entry & freebies if you bring a non-plastic reusable shopping bag.

Saturday, March 6, 2010
12:00pm - 5:00pm
St Swithuns Church Hall, Southsea

My oh my times have changed for me. you there ;)