• My Filtered Life

  • NEW Annabel Karmel’s : Chicken Nasi Goreng

  • Party like an Ogre with Sky Movies

  • “That Mum”

My Filtered Life

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It was brought to my attention recently that a friend of a friend unfollowed me on Instagram as I was “too aspirational”. I still don’t know if this is a joke, because my life is more about perspiration than aspiration, but a bit of ‘Valencia’ and a square profile changes all of that and somehow equates to “your life is fucking awesome”. I cannot blame the pal, I too am guilty of such activity. My Instagram feed consists of mainly relaxed, hip mothers who ‘seem’ to find time to work like a #BOSS, get a professional blow dry, craft with their toddlers in large white kitchens, wear red lipstick and still find time to pose in-front of brick walls for blogs that people actually read. So why do we do this to ourselves?

It isn’t just Instagram of course, it’s the entire world wide web and all its various and popular ways of socially sharing your existence and experiences. Just as we get frustrated with magazines and their ‘size zero models’ and ‘photoshop extremes’, we are starting to get frustrated with the ‘real people’ that we choose to follow too in the hope that they share their ‘real life’, not hide it.

Of course, no one wants to share an image of an un-smashed avocado, an ugly selfie or a cracked nipple, but it is ‘real life’ so why hide the bad bits and only share the good bits? Is it a numbers game? Do the ‘likes’ and the ‘follows’ matter? Or is it, quite simply, harder to document the tricky, more ‘real’ bits?

If you watch my vlogs, you will know that I am ‘honest’, I don’t sugar coat the tantrums, the fussy eating and I can often be found sitting on the stairs having a cry and filming it, but I won’t also think ‘Oh, what this situation needs is a selfie” and there lies the problem. About 20 mins later, I will be out of the eye of the toddler storm and baking cookies, having a giggle and sharing the experience, but by sharing that part of the picture – I am not telling YOU the whole story. Does this matter?

In real life, when we have a conversation with someone’s real life face the same happens almost every day. If someone asks “how are you?”, we all say “good, OK” and quickly move the attention away from ourselves by throwing it right back. In my experience, people often seem genuinely shocked when I say I am struggling or need advice. I am always surprised by their surprise and it isn’t because I am ‘aspirational’ or there are 2 versions of me (internet me and real me), it’s simply because they asked and so I answer with no filter, but they are dealing with their own struggles, their own life and they were just using their polite filter. It is so subtle. It gets me every time.

Don’t get me wrong, there are some folk that you have on speed dial when the boat hits an iceberg and they will talk you off burning bridges and cure you of disease, but most people and especially mothers… are busy. Busy bringing up humans in a world of filters and confusion. They are the same mothers who are dealing with it, whilst also trying to craft in white kitchens, wear red lipstick and pose in-front of brick walls. So give them a break and always be polite.

NEW Annabel Karmel’s : Chicken Nasi Goreng

IMG_8548 IMG_8555 IMG_8567 IMG_8571 IMG_8574Annabel Karmel has updated her original ‘Complete baby and toddler meal planner’ book and brought out a new deluxe illustrated version with 200 super quick and easy recipes for weaning your little ones.

Annabel Karmel has helped me every step of the way when it has come to weaning Max from breastfeeding to baby rice to solid food. I also found the advice about fussy eating to be life saving, I was losing my marbles when Max would only eat beige food and there was an Ella’s Kitchen pouch addiction to also break. It still blows my mind when we sit down at dinner time and we are all eating the same meal.

The new book is easy, informative and best of all, you probably have most of the ingredients in your cupboard. As soon as the book arrived I flicked through with Max and he chose Nasi Goreng as our dish for that night. I have found that involving him in the cooking process has really cured his fussy eating, he loves to help and I love that he is part of the journey from kitchen and oven to dining room table.

Considering this was the first time he has had Nasi Goreng, I was so surprised how fast he got stuck in, with not so much as a wince or a ‘no’. Thanks Annabel – you have done it again!

Mothers – I have an extra book for one of my lovely readers, simply leave a comment below and a name will be picked at random using randompicker .

Party like an Ogre with Sky Movies

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With the help of Sky Movies, we just put on the best Shrek themed party ever! We invited everyone we knew over to watch Shrek, eat popcorn and take a selfie with the giant Shrek cardboard cut out, complete with Shrek and Donkey ears. I think everyone is still coming down from their sugar high, days after our big Sky Movies event.

Sky were very kind and gifted us an enormous ‘party pack’ that was filled with everything we could possibly need to throw an awesome party for our friends and they have been very generous and offered one of my readers the chance to win a FREE NOW TV box and a 3 Month Sky Movies Pass! Woop, woop!

All you have to do to enter the competition is click HERE and Good luck.

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This post was sponsored by Sky Movies.

 

“That Mum”

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This past week has been pretty awesome, my best pal came all the way over to Brighton from Singapore to eat chocolate, chat toddler tantrums and visit my hood. Now, Tanya has always been ‘that mum’ for me since Max arrived via sunroof in 2013. You know, ‘that mum’ that gets you?, that instantly makes you feel relaxed, who cheers you on even when you are crying about the weird lump in your neck that you think is cancer, and/ or especially when all your hair falls out after pregnancy.

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Tanya was a constant in my life for 1 whole year and then we “selfishly” moved back to the UK and we kept in touch via the odd email and Facebook, but Tanya doesn’t understand instagram so I never know what she is eating on a daily basis, which upsets me (as you can imagine), but this week she and her two beautiful mini humans came to stay at Casa Bailie and as if by magic, it was as if I saw her last week. I had a moment when she left, where I realised just that and it blew my tiny brain. I feel so lucky to call that broad my pal and her friendship is and has always been unwavering. If you can find a person who makes you laugh, makes your kid happy, give great advice and be your biggest cheerleader – then treasure them. They are a rare breed and mighty fine humans.

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Having an English tourist stay with you can be tricky…especially when you promise sunshine in August. Who knew? Tanya was determined to see Brighton pier and after being cooped up all morning due to the hurricane outside our window, we ventured out into the abyss. I was super happy about it as you can see…

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As we approached Brighton Pier, against the wind and with the threat of either a donut or seagull slapping us in the face due to gale force winds, Tanya, in horror said to me “Imagine this being your holiday…”, which I then had to remind her “err…it is your holiday love”. I stuck her on the carousel and I have never seen anyone happier to gallop in the pouring rain.

IMG_4381Strangely, you’d think we would all be sick of Asian cuisine after living in Singapore, but actually we constantly crave it so we headed straight to Wagamama to warm up with some delicious Cha-Han. Max constantly flicks between adult chopsticks and a kids spoon. You can take the kid out of Asia, but you can’t take the Asian out of the kid.

PicMonkey CollageTanya, if you’re reading this….please COME BACK!

Party Planning

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Party planning can be stressful; logistics, RSVPs, food, entertainment and if you add children to the mix, well then your party becomes THE EVENT on the social calendar. Luckily when Sky Movies asked me to join forces with them and throw a Shrek party, they also set me up with everything I would need for such an occasion.

We have had all our répondez s’il vous plaît and now there is food to be ordered and cakes to be baked. Thankfully the entertainment is sorted and if you wanted to throw your own party then Sky Movies will help you too – Sky are giving one of my readers a FREE NOW TV box and a 3 month movie pass subscription, all you have to do is enter the competition HERE.

Good luck,

NB x

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This post is sponsored by Sky Movies

 

Cooking with Kids & La Redoute

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Ratatouille is a famous Provencal vegetable stew and a staple in our home when Autumn leaves start falling and yes, I know it is August, but it is currently pouring with rain outside and I cannot think of anything better than a comforting stew to warm the family up on this otherwise cold August day. Did I mention it is August?

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Max is 2 and a half years old and the half really matters…he is chatting and apparently he knows what he likes and what he wants, especially when it comes to food. Max has always been a ‘fussy eater’, his favourite dishes have always involved beige food, basically food that is void of any colour and or nutrients. Until very recently, when I started involving him in the cooking process, he likes to sit on the counter top when I prepare our meals and now he eats almost everything that I put in-front of him, but veggies…of course. He is a toddler.

Ratatouille is a great dish to hide lots of vegetables in that are filled with goodness for growing humans and it counts towards 4 of their 5 a day. Ratatouille is easy to prepare, easy to cook when you have a toddler to entertain and if you add some homemade chicken goujons then you have a delicious meal for all the family that also feels like a treat. It is the perfect ying and yang supper.

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My Ratatouille Recipe:

  • 1 x Aubergine
  • 1 x Medium Onion
  • 1 x Red Pepper
  • 2 x Courgette
  • Large handful of fresh Basil
  • Salt & Pepper to taste
  • 2 x Garlic Cloves
  • 1 x Tinned Chopped Tomatoes
  • 3 x Fresh Tomatoes (ours were from Grandad’s garden)
  • Olive Oil
  • A pinch of sugar

My Ratatouille Method:

  • Heat up your oil in a large dish
  • Add your chopped onion and garlic and fry for 5-7 mins until soft, but not brown
  • Add chopped tomatoes
  • Add a pinch of sugar
  • Add some fresh chopped tomatoes
  • Add half the basil (torn)
  • Cook for 5 mins
  • Chop your red pepper, courgette and aubergine into 1 cm cubes and add in small batches
  • Simmer for 20-30 mins

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My Chicken Goujons Recipe:

  • 1 x Chicken Breast per person (I did 4-fyi)
  • 125 g Fine Breadcrumbs
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 50 g Corn Flour
  • 3 x Free Range Beaten Eggs
  • 2 tbsp Olive Oil

My Chicken Goujons Method:

  • Pre-heat oven to 190C/375F/Gas5
  • Oil 2 x baking trays
  • Cut chicken into strips
  • Mix breadcrumbs with salt and pepper in a shallow bowl
  • Dip the chicken pieces into the corn flour
  • Dip the chicken pieces into the beaten egg
  • Coat your chicken in breadcrumbs, shake off any excess and lay the goujons onto the oiled baking trays
  • Drizzle some oil on top of your chicken goujons before placing them in the oven
  • Bake for 30-35 minutes, turning once half way
  • Remove your chicken from the oven when your pieces are golden brown and cooked through

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Serve your chicken goujons with your ratatouille and add the other half of your fresh basil for decoration. The adults will love the extra effort you have made with your meal’s presentation and your toddler will be confused, but amused by the “tree” in his or her’s dinner.

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This Blog Post was sponsored by La Redoute

Check out my recipe HERE

All clothing was supplied by La Redoute

Win a NOW TV Box & a 3 Month Sky Movies Pass!

SHREK

Sky Movies are helping me to host the best party ever for fellow swamp dwellers (aka houses that have been turned into Legoland/digger world and a miniature train station). We are really lucky and our theme is SHREK, which is Max’s absolute favourite film and one of the only movies I can honestly say I have actually watched 100 times, but I will happily sit through it again just to see him laugh at Donkey and tell me how dragons breathe fire.

So we are frantically preparing for our big green party, the invites have been sent, the bunting is on order and to be honest, it is so much fun planning a party for no good reason, except…well, why not!

Best of all you guys and gals can benefit too, Sky Movies are giving me a NOW TV Box and a 3 Month Sky Movies Pass to give away to one of MY readers. Woop, woop!

All you have to do is click on the link below, follow @skymovies on Twitter and tweet them the answer to this question “Tell us what film you’d like to watch at your party” and remember to use the hashtag #movieparty

Enter the competition HERE
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 Click HERE to enter the giveaway

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Brighton

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Living in Brighton, in the summer, in the UK is one of the best things. Days like this one, make me pinch myself about how lucky we are to live here and how cool it is that Max will grow up here. I only ever feel like this when we are at the beach – our own private oasis and calm. Yes, we share it with hundreds and thousands of tourists, but you do get the occasional day where the London types get no farther than the Brighton Laines.

Oh and don’t be fooled – Brighton is hardly the Maldives, just sitting here amongst the pebbles we witnessed folk dipping their little toes in and screaming as the cold channel smacked their ankles with full force. Think of your shower turning from hot to cold in seconds and you have the right idea. Brrr! They never learn and it was a giggle for us.

Max actually requests “beach” when we leave the house now and looks genuinely gutted when I offer the park, so this Sundays outing was long overdue. Also, Ian aka ‘dadda’ had been out of the country on business all week and then he had a stag do, complete with jet lag and Tuaca shots. Max and I were lucky he was still standing as the weekend drew to a close, but we closed it together and we managed to salvage some family time watching the waves crash. It was bliss. A perfect Sunday.

What did you get up to?

Eat Naked : 3 Day Juice Cleanse & Detox Package Review

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Firstly, YES Brighton is finally giving London a run for its money. We now have cold pressed juice bars, The Breakfast Club and rumour has it we are getting a Soho House. Basically I shall plant my feet in the sand because there ain’t no where else to go. Also I really want to see how this i360 turns out.

Secondly, I love to do juice cleanses. FYI.

I have managed an Honestly Healthy 6 day cleanse, but it did nearly break me so I have been doing regular 3 day juice cleanses with both 42 Juice (Brighton) and more recently with Eat Naked.

Eat Naked is run by Stacie Stewart who was a Masterchef finalist, is a DJ, author, columnist, TV presenter and an innovative cook who makes healthy eating easy and owns Eat Naked. Eat Naked is a clean eating deli tucked into Brighton’s South Lanes and they offer everything from protein balls, to superfood salads, nut milks, cold pressed juices and raw desserts which are healthy and tastier than any Mars bar.

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What is included in an Eat Naked full detox package?

The juice:

15 juices, 5 juices a day. A couple of lemons to have with warm water.

The detox package includes:

  • A Body Shop body brush
  • A coffee scrub body treatment
  • A tea strainer
  • Loose leaf green tea

The Review:

The first day tends to be full of optimism and motivation and by the evening you can already notice a difference in cellulite and I had a flat stomach at bedtime, which was motivation enough to keep going. I also had a really good sleep.

I awoke on the second day and started the dry brushing regime, Stacie had given me some print out instructions, but also a personal demo, which was needed. I have a toddler – I don’t have time to shower, let alone ‘dry brush my body’, but I made sure that it was the first thing I did, before putting my clothes on. I found it to be really relaxing and luxurious. I then had my green tea before any juice, which tasted like a holiday in a cup. The second day was slightly tougher because I have a fussy eating toddler so I was trying to convince him to eat pasta whilst “mama had her juice”. Everyone was confused and hungry, but as soon as 3pm hit I kept reminding myself that I was already half way through. I then showered in the evening and covered myself in the coffee scrub, which was heaven. I was off the caffeine whilst on the cleanse and the coffee scrub was as good as getting my fix. It was so exfoliating and left my skin feeling nourished. I actually felt spoilt.

Third day arrived, I dry brushed my body, I had my green tea and I noticed that I was in a rhythm, a good routine and it was already over! My skin was glowing, my tummy flat and not inflamed, cellulite was gone and I had a lovely coffee scrub shower to look forward to before bed, where I slept like a toddler. (Because my baby did not sleep – stupid saying).

I love the 3 day cleanse! It fits around my routine, I never feel hungry as it is packed with protein, it curbs my cravings and makes me look as close to a Victoria Secrets model as I will ever get. Better yet, I am never irritable or tired – as a mother this is so important. Lots of other cleanses advise you to stay home and rest. Chance would be a fine thing!

Why do I juice?

I suffer with IBS. I can easily go from feeling trim and healthy to looking 9 months pregnant and writhing in pain. I try and juice regularly to combat any upset and give my guts a break. The Eat Naked juices are packed with superfoods, nutrients and they are gut friendly. They really help with any bloating, gas (tmi) or inflammation that I often experience with IBS. Stacie also suffers with IBS and even documents her symptoms on her instagram, which is how I found her. I have also mentioned a billion times, so forgive me for bringing it up again… but my skin has never been the same since I birthed a human, diet is key to my skin troubles and if my skin is bad – it effects my mood and confidence. Once I finish a cleanse my skin, hair and nails are healthier, noticeably stronger and I feel restored and motivated to continue a healthier lifestyle.

How much weight do you lose on an Eat Naked 3 day juice cleanse?

I honestly do not do these cleanses to lose weight. I love that I have a flat stomach (especially since birthing a human & suffering with IBS) and no cellulite (miracle), but the weight loss is a bonus. I have to add that just by eating solid food the day after the cleanse your weight will most likely go back to your elbows. I have done the cleanse a few times now and each time I have lost 5 lbs, but I am not a stone lighter if that makes sense? (3 x 5). Eat Naked state that their typical weight loss from clients can range from 4 – 8 lbs in 3 days! Juicing is an effective weight loss aid, but it is not something that is recommended to do 24/7. Stacie has a tonne of knowledge and advice about nutrition, she is the person to ask if you want guidance on how to maintain a healthier lifestyle.

Would you do an Eat Naked cleanse again?

Yes, yes, yes! I am fully invested in Stacie and Ryan – I love their philosophy and Stacie puts her heart and northern soul into everything she makes, bakes and creates and it is inspiring. From the coffee scrub, which is made by Stacie, to the personal dry brushing demo, you can tell that Stacie really cares and she knows her stuff. She always makes time for her customers and the love and attention that goes into all her recipes is clear, like my skin. Haha. I cannot recommend Eat Naked enough for lunch, coffee or a cleanse.

If you have any questions about the Eat Naked cleanse, please feel free to leave me a comment below or contact me via Twitter, instagram or Facebook. Links in the side bar. I have left lots of links to various companies and cleanses in this post to help you and guide you to find the right cleanse for you. I have tried most of them and Eat Naked is my favourite, but let me know if you have a favourite and I will check it out.

Do you juice? Thinking about juicing? If you have any questions about juicing, leave me a comment below and I will endeavour to get back to you asap.

Happy Sipping!

Healthy Eats and Chocolate Treats

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spiraliser salmon collageNow I have to be honest…I don’t have a cook book for a reason, I am a lazy chef. I will start to read a recipe with full optimism and then I zone out at 3 and a something quarter cups of a grain or type of sugar that I don’t have in my cupboard. Why do all the cook book writers want me to feel so inadequate? Why do they hate me?

So my rules are simple: It has to be a handful of ingredients, it has to happen quickly and make me forget that I am not eating a burger with a side of salty fries. Easy. Right?

We are in the midst of wedding season and we just booked our holiday so healthy eating is on the priority list, so I have been having this delicious salmon and spiralized cucumber dish a LOT. I lost you at spiralized didn’t I? My name is Natasha and I bought a spiralizer a year ago and never used it again, after consuming too much ‘Courgetti’. Now the sun is out I am enjoying lighter and more refreshing meals, think salads, sushi and pimms, but living in Brighton when the sun is shining is torture. Every f**c*er is having a BBQ and the air is thick with the smell of sausages, burgers and there is a shortage of ketchup! So…every window and door is currently shut.

I digress, this dish is REALLY good and I am going to give you the recipe that I probably started reading somewhere and then eventually improvised. I am like the Tina Fey of chefs and best of all, you probably have most of the ingredients at the bottom of your fridge.

recipe

 

  • 1 Portion of Salmon (I cooked a small fillet, but you could substitute for any meat or veg or fish)
  • 1 Cucumber
  • Handful of Rocket Leaves
  • Half a Lemon (save the other half for a gin later…)
  • Black Pepper & Sea Salt
  • A knob of Ginger
  • Chilli Flakes
  • Olive Oil

method

 

  1. Mix a tablespoon of olive oil with some black pepper, sea salt and chilli flakes
  2. Spread your mix over the salmon and place in oven at 180 degrees for roughly 20-25 mins (depending on size of fillet)
  3. Spiralize 1 Cucumber into noodles and place in a bowl (One cucumber per person – FYI)
  4. Drizzle some olive oil over your cucumber noodles and the juice of half a lemon
  5. Sprinkle on some extra chilli flakes, if you enjoy a kick to your dishes like me!
  6. Grate a knob of ginger and add to your cucumber noodles
  7. MIX with your hands
  8. Throw some rocket at the situation and mix into your dish. Can sub rocket for any leafy alternative that you desire.
  9. Once salmon is cooked, simply sit on top of noodles and EAT.

Now not only is this dish very tasty, but it fills you up too, so you forget the outside world and their stupid BBQs. They are all probably getting stung by wasps anyway. Who needs that?

Although if like me, you need a little taste of the good life after lunch or dinner, but don’t want to wipe out all your hard work – then I have got you a superfood chocolate smoothie that will curb your sweet tooth and keep your thoughts clean.

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recipe

  • 1 X Banana
  • Almond Milk (upto MAX line in NutriBullet)
  • Cacoa Powder (tbsp)
  • Cacoa Nibs (tbsp)
  • Lucuma Powder (tbsp)
  • 1 X Medjool Date
  • A handful of Walnut Halves

method

Great news – You don’t have to lift a finger (you have done enough already), let the NutriBullet take over and whizz for 50 seconds. Add kitsch paper straw, instagram and enjoy your superfood treat that tastes like a chocolate milkshake! Take that world.

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Let me know if you try either of these recipes and tell me what you think. Did it curb your Mars bar problem? Did you replace salmon with steak or 12 rashers of bacon?

Did you like this style of post? Let me know and leave a comment below.