Friday, 30 August 2013

Friday's Kitchen: Change One Thing - 'Flourless Chocolate and Raspberry Cake'

Well, here we are.  My final recipe in my 'Change One Thing' theme that has been running throughout August.  I can't tell you how much I've enjoyed really challenging myself in the kitchen with these ideas, learning to think differently about food has been quite radical for me and the way I cook and I hope it has inspired you too!  I'm sure I shall be re-visiting these recipes and more themes in my cooking in the future.

So for my final recipe in this month's theme - I've gone for a real baking challenge (for me).  The classic Flourless Chocolate Cake.  Great for those on a gluten-free diet - this chocolate cake boasts all the rich taste of a chocolate torte but without the density.  For this recipe, I found a few easy pointers and added a simple, tangy, raspberry coulis to offset the richness of the cake.  All in all, a perfect dessert cake and a must for the chocoholics out there!


For the Cake:
120g Butter
120g Dark Chocolate
3 Eggs
1 tsp Vanilla Extract
70g Cocoa Powder
160g Golden Caster Sugar

For the Coulis:
50g Fresh Raspberries
50g Caster Sugar
1-2tsp Fresh Squeezed Orange Juice

Preheat your oven to 150C and grease a round cake tin (approx 20cm).

Over a pan of boiling water, melt the chocolate and butter together, stirring all the time.  Once melted and combined, remove from heat and leave to cool for 5 minutes.

In a jug, beat the eggs with the vanilla extract until thoroughly combined.  In a mixing bowl, mix the caster sugar and cocoa powder and add the egg mixture when ready.

Add to this your melted chocolate mixture and stir until all is combined together.  The mixture will look sticky and smooth.

Pour the mixture into your prepared tin and bake for 25-30mins.  Leave to cool on a rack until ready to serve.

Whilst the cake is baking - whizz up your coulis ingredients together with a blender until combined and thick (HINT: if mixture seems runny, add a little extra caster sugar).  Pour into a bowl and leave to chill until you are ready to serve your cake.  Pour over each slice individually.  Serve and enjoy!

This cake would be fantastic as a double layer cake with a tangy frosting filling - why not try adding different fruits, such as blueberries to the mix to spice this recipe up!

Tried it? Loved it?  I would LOVE to hear your thoughts!!!

Wednesday, 28 August 2013

Peachy Review: What Maisie Knew

It isn't often I get incredibly excited about a film, but when I do, my God I do!  So imagine my excitement when 'What Maisie Knew' was FINALLY released in cinemas last Friday!

Having watched the trailer for this film about 75 times over the last six months, I was extremely excited to see this stylish, modern-day remake of the Henry James novel of the same name.  A tale of parental woe, with hints of Robert Benton's Kramer vs Kramer; the film's main protagonist is a 7 year old girl whose exposure to her parents' relationship implosion, not to mention the messy aftermath, is both compelling and heartbreaking.

Newcomer Onata Aprile plays the part of Maisie to absolute perfection, her communication is somewhat stilted and monosyllabic as she learns to exist around her parents' self-involved natures.  But like a timeless professional, Onata portrays so much more with her eyes and mannerisms as she is swept along with her parent's self-obsessive compulsions.  Steve Coogan plays the part of Maisie's father with a distracted and aloof air, flitting between countries and barely thinking twice about the welfare of his little one.  Whilst Julianne Moore, as ever, is outstanding as Maisie's rock star Mother, playing an issue-ridden, narcissistic woman on the edge; who appears more 'put-upon' by her daughter than would seemingly be the case.  We learn about Maisie's world through Maisie herself (who appears in each and every scene), we feel her pain as she is shoved from pillar to post in a hideous custody battle and we rejoice through her as she begins to develop more stable relations with her parents' new partners.

What is perhaps most endearing in What Maisie Knew, is how Maisie finds an inseparable bond with her mother's new partner, Lincoln, played by the ever-dreamy Alexander Skarsgard.  A lost character himself, Lincoln is a bartender who has dreams of making it as a musician.  No sooner has he appeared on the scene, a near enough stranger, to carry out Moore's chores and pick Maisie up from school, the two embark on a journey of discovery together, both characters growing in themselves and in their abilities to shape the world around them.  It is only with her extended family, that we see Maisie really begin to open up and allow herself to be happy.  A climactic part of the film, for me, was Maisie whispering to her Nanny-cum-Stepmother Margo (a fantastic, pivotal performance by Joanna Vanderham), 'I love him', when asked if she really liked Lincoln.  Don't we all Maisie, don't we all!

Skarsgard plays the part of Lincoln without fault, portraying a softer, less assured character than what he is typically known for.  The man never ceases to amaze me with his versatile acting ability and nothing pulled at the heartstrings, more than watching his stooping 6"4 frame carry a sick Maisie back to bed.  

I would recommend anyone to go and watch What Maisie Knew.  It failed to disappoint on any level, the plot was sensitive, the acting was fantastically understated and the film itself was stylish, each shot crisp and beautiful; from park scenes to lavish apartments.  Not often enough do we see films that allow you, as an audience member, to be enveloped in pure characterisation and a juicy, thought-provoking plot.  But that's my bag, and if it's yours, drop what you're doing and go and catch a viewing of this fantastic film!

Monday, 26 August 2013

Let Me Introduce: Vicky Davison

I'm forever in awe of some of the lovely designers and small business owners that I come across on Twitter.  Today's handbag designer is no exception.  Ladies and Gentlemen, allow me to introduce, Vicky Davison!

Graduating from Northumbria University in 2003 in Fashion, specialising in Textiles, it wasn't until Vicky became a full-time mum to twins a few years later, that she decided to pick up her needles again and start creating. Since 2008, Vicky has been slowly building up her collections and customer base, whilst juggling Motherhood and a part-time job.  Vicky Davison's creations are now in full swing and open for business!

By sticking with her fail-safe bag and purse designs, Vicky takes great care to create interesting new designs using gorgeous fabrics and often upcycled clothing.
You might find a trouser pocket on your bag or another quirky embellishment; either way, your bag from Vicky will be one of a kind!  And whilst she enjoys shopping around for gorgeous fabrics to use, Vicky works on each design individually to find the best use for each fabric.  She cites inspiration from almost anywhere, pretty much anything she comes into contact with on a day to day basis - from interior designs to art!  Just looking at some of her work, I love the slouchy totes and her use of layered fabrics is really exquisite!  Prices start at around £48 for a bag and around £33 for a purse or cosmetic bag - I've personally got my eye on her beautiful butterfly cosmetics bag for anyone who might be interested!

Of course, life as a Mother can be inspiration in itself, and Vicky's new cross-body bags were designed from her own findings as a mum of two, body bags always equal free hands - a must for any mum to young children. 
This design is something she is particularly proud of and she has worked hard to create simple but beneficial embellishments - inside zipped pockets and a magnetic clasp make this design safe and easy to use, for a mum in a hurry!

You can purchase Vicky's lovely designs from her FOLKSY shop.  Why not check out Vicky's work HERE

And don't forget to give her a follow on TWITTER


Friday, 23 August 2013

Friday's Kitchen: 'Change One Thing' - Repost Pizzas!

So I ummed and ahhhed and thought about what recipe I could possibly try for this Friday's Change One Thing.  It's been an incredible week - but a very busy one and I've needed to have quick dinners on standby, as Little D has been struggling with teeth and, therefore, sleeping!

So it dawned on me, that one of my very early recipe posts has become something of a delicious staple in the Peachy household.  So I've decided to re-post this gorgeous recipe for Payday Pizzas!

Now...why repost this recipe?  And how does it fall into the Change One Thing theme for this month?  Well, everybody loves a pizza - and we are no exception.  But since finding this recipe for a lovely, light pizza dough (which is also dairy-free), courtesy of Baking Mad; I've really enjoyed putting my own pizzas together, gaining more control over the calorie content and even putting toppings together that reflect what's in season over in the veg world (I've developed an interest in sustainable living - more to come on Life is Peachy soon)!

I suppose this post, less reflects changing ingredients and is more reflective of changing our food lifestyle and how we view treats, takeaways and how we can; with the right ingredients, create even more delicious homemade food - without the takeaway price tag or the calorie guilt!

I hope you enjoy this week's repost and, as ever, I love hearing feedback!


Next week is the last of my 'Change One Thing' recipe themes so I'm going to make it nice and challenging!  If you would like to link up with Change One Thing - please email me your links and I will link them up with next week's big finale post!

Have a wonderful weekend!

Wednesday, 21 August 2013

Let Me Introduce: Love Lammie

Issy Weekend Bag - Love Lammie

Fashion - we all love it, we all have our favourite eras.  I really resonate with the women's fashion of the 1940s - elegant, classic and figure-hugging.  And for many different reasons, today's featured business has taken a lot of inspiration from the same era.  Ladies and Gentlemen - allow me to introduce, Love Lammie.

Working as a designer for many high street stores, Love Lammie was the brainchild of owner Victoria, whose dream became a reality just before the birth of her first child.  Inspired by the use of oilcloth shopping bags in the 1940s and 1950s, plus the ecological benefits of oilcloth as a reusable material; Love Lammie began to produce lines of beautiful bags for everyday use.  What's more?  These gorgeous bags are produced right here, in the UK.

Love Lammie Bibs

Since its conception, Love Lammie has gone from strength to strength, from humble beginnings of Victoria designing, making and then selling at artisan fairs and markets; through to being stocked by several independent retailers.  Shortly after exhibiting at a few trade shows, Victoria realised that she could no longer keep up with the supply and demand of her bags, so they are now manufactured here in the UK, as the companie's success continues to grow.

Victoria cites her most popular products as her weekend bags, Signature Handbags (Love Lammie is launching a new design at the end of this month) and cosmetic bags - great for gifts.  What is so inspiring about Love Lammie, aside from the success Victoria has gained from her initial ideas, is that she approaches each aspect of Love Lammie with a positive attitude, accepting the good and bad of running a small business, with her designing skills just the tip of the iceberg of what needs to be done to run Love Lammie successfully.   If asked for advice about running a business?  Victoria says 'be prepared to learn and listen to all of your customers, but most of all, be open-minded'.

Love Lammie Large Cosmetic Bags
At the moment, Victoria is working hard on stamping her place as a popular lifestyle brand in the UK, though she does have longterm goals of taking Love Lammie worldwide.  She is very keen to continue working with her principles of promoting UK manufacturing and works tirelessly to design new products and ideas.  And when she's not too busy, Victoria loves nothing more than scouring antiques fairs and markets for new inspiration!

Why not take a look at Love Lammie's beautiful products HERE

Love Lammie is also on TWITTER - give her a follow to be kept up to date with the latest Love Lammie news!

EXCLUSIVE OFFER TO LIFE IS PEACHY READERS! Love Lammie is offering a wonderful 20% discount to all my lovely readers! Simply like Love Lammie's FACEBOOK page and tweet Love Lammie to let them know.  You will then be sent your code!  Definitely worth a like for some discount on these beautiful things! 

Monday, 19 August 2013

The Snoob Revolution

There is nothing like featuring a business that's pretty much hot off the press!  I love to use Life is Peachy as a platform for new small businesses that I feel my readers would be interested in.  And what could be hotter than a business launched just this May!  Welcome to the Snoob revolution!

Launched in May 2013 Snoob's founders, Becky and Angelique, had begun planning Snoob's launch over a year before when they both decided they wanted to focus on something new that would slot easily around their children's busy lives.  Both had children and Becky's youngest had just started school. Angelique's Snoob brainwave came along after brainstorming various ideas and, after a period of design and research, the 100% Jersey Cotton Snoob was born!

A cotton circular feeding scarf, the Snoob allows the wearer to breastfeed in a discreet manner, does not need to be removed when switching to breast number two and works comfortably for tandem twin feeding!
Based on a one-size fits all design, the versatile Snoob can double up as a blanket, can be thrown in the washing machine and, perhaps the best thing of all, cannot be pulled off by babies.

Since their mid-May launch, Snoob have received a number of stockist enquiries and have run a number of competitions in collaboration with other baby-related products.  In short, Snoob have really honed their marketing and promotions of Snoob, and the hard work is really starting to pay off.  Feedback from customers has been incredibly positive, customers swear by the Snoob and the discreet way in which they can breastfeed, whilst others say they will wear theirs long after breastfeeding finishes!

Whilst Snoob goes from strength to strength now, the ladies see its future development as organic and remain both excited
and open-minded about where Snoob will take them.  It is important to Becky and Angelique that Snoob continues to be manufactured in the UK and that they can maintain a hands-on approach to the product and retain control over the brand and its development.  For now, they are happy with the strength of their product and look forward to a bright future with the Snoob revolution!

Becky and Angelique with their children!

Check out Snoob's designs and grab one for yourself HERE

And dont forget to give Snoob a follow on TWITTER for all the latest news and events!

Thursday, 15 August 2013

Friday's Kitchen: 'Change One Thing' - Sweet Potato Brownies

Are you thinking, 'huh'? Right now?  I don't blame you - it's only over the past year or so that I've started to take a real interest in weird and wonderful food combinations; partly down to my love of the food provided by my good friend Beth Marriott-Howell at her fantastic Sherwood deli, Kiosk. 

So this week, for Change One Thing, I thought I would tinker around with a classic chocolatey treat and try and make it a tiny bit healthier!  So here is my recipe for Sweet Potato Brownies.

The benefits of sweet potatoes are really something to read up on and we should all being trying to make room for them in our diets.  They are a great source of both Vitamins B6, C and D - which are critical for the immune system as well as aids in fighting degenerative diseases; plus they are a great source of iron and magnesium, which are great immunity boosters AND stress busters. 

So why replace some of the sugar and flour levels in a brownie, for sweet potato?  Well, the answer is simple; we want to reduce the sugar and fat contents in our treats without sacrificing the gooey, sludgy goodness we all know and love about brownies.  The starch in sweet potatoes help to create that gorgeous gooey texture as it both binds the mix and moistens it.  The only trouble is, after hunting the internet for recipe inspirations, I found most had a million substitute ingredients, including sweetener.  I'm a 'clean living' kind of girl to an extent and I wanted a relatively simple recipe with no substitute sweeteners!  So, with a bit of research and a bit of playing about in the kitchen, I came up with this...

150g Baked Sweet Potato flesh (scooped from skins once baked for about 45 mins, skins can be discarded)
200g Dark Chocolate (try not to go for anything too bitter)
100g Unsalted Butter
125g Soft Brown Sugar
2 Medium Eggs
100g Plain Flour
1/2 Tsp Baking Powder
2 Tsps Vanilla Extract
100g Chopped Pecans
OPTIONAL: 3 Tsps Maple Syrup

Preheat an oven to 170 C (160 C Fan) and line a square baking tin with greaseproof paper.

Once you have baked your potato, scoop the flesh into a mixing bowl with the brown sugar and beat with a whisk until the mixture is combined and fairly smooth.

In a saucepan, melt your butter and add 125-150g of your chocolate (chopped) and stir until melted. 
Add this mixture to your potato mix and beat together until a gooey consistency starts to form.  Add your eggs and splash vanilla extract and combine together with a wooden spoon (If adding maple syrup, add the syrup at this stage).

Finally add your flour and baking powder and mix until evenly distributed.  Throw in your chopped pecans and the remaining chocolate and mix.  Pour the mixture into the prepared tin and bake for approx 20 mins until browned but still soft on the inside.

Once cooked, leave to cool on a wire rack and cut into desired-sized pieces!  Serve with a pot of tea and DAZZLE your friends when you tell them the secret ingredient!

These Sweet Potato Brownies were made as part of  my 'Change One Thing' month on Life is Peachy.  If you would like your recipes to be linked to my Friday's Kitchen throughout August - please email your links to  

Wednesday, 14 August 2013

The Handmade Home - 'A Tour of Our Nursery'

You may be aware, that as well as writing my blog, I am also a writer for the family section of PVB Daily - a really great website promoting small businesses.  I've recently written a few articles about some of the upcycling and handmade projects I undertook when I was making Daisy's nursery; so I thought I would write a post 'tour of the nursery' as I'm really proud of what we have achieved.  Some of it is still a work in progress, but I think the overall look really reflects my love of all things handmade and I hope little D loves sleeping in there!

Upcycled Welsh Dresser - You can read about our upcycling of this welsh dresser HERE; it was met with some criticism,
but I think it will go on to be a staple and useful piece of furniture for D's room as she grows older.  As you can see, she already has toys in abundance - most of the top shelf were mine from various ages (there is a photo of me as a toddler, with this Panda).  Typically we have Jemima and Peter smattered about across the nursery - including the little money box, which was bought on a 'Babymoon' trip to Wales in February.  In keeping with the 'rabbit' theme and I have to shout out my lovely friend Naomi Smith, who drew this gorgeous rabbit picture and framed it in a vintage frame and Jodie, who handknitted the little pink rabbit on the top shelf.  My Beatrix bookends were also an eBay bargain - I often find new baby items being sold for very cheap on eBay, simply because people can be a bit overrun with presents!

Painted Vintage Chest of Drawers - Donated by a friend, this gorgeous 1940s chest of drawers was sanded, primed and painted white and the original dresser mirror removed.  This type of traditional oak furniture often seeps slightly during restoration - but I like the antique
look of the drawers.  I also placed pink polkadot paper to line each drawer and help protect Daisy's clothes.  The wide top doubles up as a great space for changing if necessary. 

Cot - Purchased from Ikea, I love the traditional design and, as with all Ikea furniture, it was easy to assemble (for my OH!) and the mattresse is really comfortable for Little D.  I've found some perfect fabric for the cot bumper, though I've not yet got around to making it yet - I've heard hundreds of conflicting opinions on cot bumpers, their use and how safe they are - which has somewhat put me off!  The blanket is also a homemade sensory blanket - I blogged about this and my love of knitting HERE

Cot Mobile - Another handmade item, you can read the tutorial HERE.  I have found most cot mobiles on the market to be expensive and also quite bulky, so in fitting with the theme of the nursery, I made a little mobile of
Jemima and her ducklings, the overall cost of the materials came to under £10 and I made it in just a few hours.  For me, yellow is a colour that young babies really respond to - Daisy loves to watch the ducklings chasing around when she is falling asleep.

Beatrix Potter Framed Pictures - I love mismatched frames and am currently planning a collage display for our front room.  Each of these frames were purchased from local charity shops and we found a pack of vintage Beatrix Potter pictures on eBay.  The trouble was, deciding which characters were going to take pride of place in the nursery!

Selection of antique toys and ornaments - I'm already really pleased with some of the lovely toys we have been given for Daisy, the abacus will be perfect for early stages of learning and Daisy already loves Humpty, though he's almost as big as her!  The Peter Rabbit and  a selection of Postman Pat ornaments that were mine as a baby, so it's lovely to pass these down through the family. 

I love experimenting and trying new crafts - follow my blog for more craft ideas, bargain hunting and tutorials as I continue to make my Handmade Home!

Monday, 12 August 2013

Meme: My Ultimate Driving Playlist!

Tagged by the lovely Vicki over at EllieBearBabi BLOG - and whilst I am at it, why not have a read of my review of her lovely nursing scarf HERE  - I have been challenged to put together my Ultimate Summer Driving Playlist!  

So I set myself this challenge, I've chosen ten songs that I absolutely love listening to on a roadtrip - be warned though readers, my taste in music is leftfield to say the least.  Funnily enough I was just having a conversation with my friend the other day about the importance of music.  I see music as a powerful sense, that can evoke emotions and memories.  I have so many artists who have really shaped the soundtrack to my life - but that's for another time and there are far too many to go in this list!  So here is just a snippet of my musical tastes, I hope you enjoy!  

10. Dead Sons -Gasoline

Dead Sons are undoubtedly one of my favourite bands around at the moment.  I've followed their career since they reformed from the ashes of The Backhanded Compliments in 2010 and I was lucky enough to see them a few times when I lived in London.  They have since evolved into
ultimate dirty rock 'n' rollers and their latest single, 'Gasoline' is just one in a long line of brilliant offerings.  They're unsigned right now, but if they ever make it big, you heard it here first!

9. Duran Duran - Hold Back The Rain

I am GEEK GIRL CRAZY about Duran Duran and this song, the original B Side to Save a Prayer, is one of my absolute favourites.  Whenever I hear Hold Back The Rain, it reminds me of dancing around with my Mum when I was little and of reliving those childhood moments when we went to see Duran Duran on their reunion tour in 2005.  Nothing quite beats the rumbling drum beats and typical 80s crescendo!

8. Kasabian - Take Aim

It is near enough impossible to choose my favourite Kasabian song as I'm obsessed with everything these guys do!  West Ryder Pauper Lunatic Asylum is one of my favourite albums.  I love the concept and 'stories' behind each song and Take Aim has always been a stand out track when watching them live.  There is something truly sinister and beautiful about this song, Serge's vocals are absolutely spot on and the accompaniment is really atmospheric.

7. Robyn - Indestructible

Robyn's sound is somewhat unique to much of my music collection, but I love her style and her album, 'Bodytalk' has swiftly become one of the CDs I like to dance around to with Little D. 
Indestructible is a fast, euro-pop, stand-out track from the album - euphoric club sounds and heartfelt lyrics all rolled into one!

6. Marilyn Manson - Lunchbox

Confession time! I'm a HUGE Marilyn Manson fan (don't worry - not in front of the baby)!  I worshipped him when I was a 16 year old goth and his music really reminds me of some of the happiest times in my young life!  This is from his very first album, Portrait of an American Family, it's really raw and under-produced, the lyrics just sum up what he's about and I find it really empowering! (Warning: Explicit Content)

5. Lana Del Rey - Summertime Sadness

Lana is one of my top acts from the last year.  Her voice seemed to calm Little D when I was pregnant and I had her album on near enough repeat throughout my final trimester.  I find her voice and retro influence really haunting and beautiful. 
Picking out a song was hard, but Summertime Sadness is such an atmospheric track and really shows off Lana's vocal talent

4. Stevie Wonder - I Was Made To Love Her

I was lucky enough to see Stevie Wonder in concert in 2008 and I think he truly is one of the most iconic singers of the last century.  I love most of his music, but some of his earlier songs, like this one, are really uplifting and upbeat.  His vocal talent remains unmatched and his unwavering enthusiasm for what he does is truly inspiring.  Stevie would just have to make an appearance in my driving playlist.

3. Fleetwood Mac - The Chain

And no, not just because it's the F1 music!  Mr Peachy and I LOVE Fleetwood Mac, particularly the very early stuff.  I actually love the first section of The Chain, the slower singing section, which then builds to a crescendo topped off with THAT familiar bassline.  Fleetwood Mac's music is so emotive, amidst the personal issues within the band that seem so relevant to their sound, this is such a great sing-a-long (and air-bass-a-long) on a roadtrip!

2. Ash - Goldfinger

Ash were probably the first 'indie' band I got into, when a friend of mine recorded a selection of music from her 'Now' album (I'm thinking probably Now 30).  Thus started a lifelong love of rock and roll and particularly of Ash.  A typical 90s sing-a-long number, I would happily choose two or three Ash albums to listen to on a roadtrip, but I'll go with my ultimate favourite of their back catalogue!

1. Guns N Roses - Sweet Child Of Mine 

This song hardly needs an introduction!  I can't tell you the nights out I've had where I've connected with people over those first few notes from Slash.  An iconic and gorgeous rock song which evokes the need to wear headbands and snake our hips a la Axl Rose.  My absolute number one song for driving! 

Hope you enjoyed - what would you choose as your ultimate driving playlist?

Friday, 9 August 2013

Friday's Kitchen: 'Change One Thing' - 'Vegetable Balti Curry with Wheat-Free Onion Bhajis'

I have a slight confession to make - I'm no vegetarian but I absolutely LOVE vegetarian cuisine and, in a former single life, mostly lived off vegetarian concoctions.  The reasons?  Well there seems to be argument after argument that meat is not good for the human body and, whilst I like to eat meat in moderation, I always feel much 'healthier' after period of vegetarian living.  Plus you have the media meat-scares (horse, anyone?) and the fact that meat, or at least good quality cuts of meat, are forever rising in price.

So, for this week's Change One Thing recipe on Friday's Kitchen, I thought I would share a Vegetable Balti recipe that I have been tinkering with for a while.  A delicious, fragrant curry with a yellow lentil base, complete with wheat-free bhajis; makes for a gorgeous curry without the calorie count or the bloated tummy!  The key with Indian-style wheat-free is to cook with GRAM FLOUR (A flour that is made from chickpeas), which does not contain wheat, but still helps to produce the same sort of density in a curry or side dish.  I do hope you enjoy AND if you would like to join in with Change One Thing this month - please submit your recipes to me and I'll link them up on HERE each Friday!

Ingredients (Serves 4 medium portions)
For the Curry
250g Yellow Lentils
1 Large Onion, chopped
1 Courgette, diced
1 Yellow Pepper, chopped
1 tsp Garam Masala
1 tin of Chopped Tomatoes
Half a Jar (Approx) Balti Sauce (I used a Tesco Balti Sauce here)
1 tsp gram flour (flour made with chickpeas)
2 tsp Natural Yoghurt

For the Wheat-Free Bhajis (to make 4 small)
2 Large Onions (shredded)
1 tsp Garam Masala
2-3 tsps Mango Chutney
1 pinch Chilli Powder
2-3 tsps Gram Flour

Firstly, place your lentils in a pan of water and bring to the boil.  Once boiling, leave to simmer for 30-40 minutes until soft.

For the Bhajis:
In a frying pan, fry your two chopped onions for the bhajis in a little bit of oil for a few minutes, until brown and sweet.  Remove from the heat and leave to cool down.  

Once cooled a little, pour the onions into a large mixing bowl and add your gram flour, chilli, garam masala and chutney.  Mix the onion mixture together until sticky, you may need to add extra chutney if the mixture is too dry.  

Carefully separate the mixture into 4 and pat together into circles.  Leave until your curry is ready. Once the curry is cooked - heat some oil in a frying pan over a hot hob and add each bhaji, cooking for 2-3 minutes.  Serve (and enjoy) with the curry.

For the Curry:
In a separate pan, fry your curry onion in a little oil until brown but not too tender, add your courgette and yellow pepper and continue to cook over a medium heat.

Once the veg is starting to soften, add your tinned tomatoes and a touch of salt and pepper and continue to cook for a further 4-5 minutes.  Once the mixture is lightly bubbling, add the garam masala and mix in.

By this point, your lentils should be soft enough to add to the mixture, drain first through a sieve and add to the curry mixture, along with the half-jar of balti sauce.  Allow the curry to cook, whilst continually stirring over a medium heat, for 5-10 minutes until the flavours are all combined.  

Serve with bhajis and a side of Basmati rice!  Guaranteed to satisfy even the most carnivorous of eaters!


                 Next week: Sweet Potato Brownies??? You best believe it!

Wednesday, 7 August 2013

Peachy Review: EllieBearBabi Nursing Scarf

If you have read my blog, you will know how much I LOVE to review new things - I have already had the pleasure of reviewing wonderful music from Bad Bad Me and The Barnum Meserve, I've also used Life is Peachy as a platform to promote some fantastic small and handmade businesses that I have discovered in my Twitter roaming!  So I was absolutely ecstatic when I was asked by the lovely Vicki, from EllieBearBabi, to review one of her handmade nursing scarves.

EllieBearBabi, or Vicki, is a relatively new handmade business set up in Vicki's hometown of Belfast, Northern Ireland; after she discovered that the family crafting gift had been passed down to her when she made some lovely blankets and bibs for her little one (now 7 months old).  After her transformation from self-described 'Jack-of-all-trades' to Stay At Home Mum, Vicki decided to make more of her lovely handmade goods and, in July, her Etsy shop for EllieBearBabi (named rather beautifully after her Mum's lovely old sheepdog) went live!  You can view, browse and perhaps shop to your heart's content at Vicki's Etsy shop HERE

I was sent this very on-trend aztec print to try out, Vicki does two sizes in her nursing scarves and I went for the Medium size, as I am sitting at about a curvy size 12, right now.  I must also publicly thank Vicki for the little bib she added in too - it's a hit with Little D!  

Nursing/feeding, has been somewhat of a blessing and a nightmare for me.  I think it's a perfectly natural thing to do (and what choice do you have when you are feeding 'on demand') yet there is still a
stigma attached to breastfeeding in public and I, for one, still find it an uncomfortable experience under the watchful eye of the public.  Cue EllieBearBabi's nursing scarf!  Taking the scarf out with me on my usual trip to the local park what I noticed, first and foremost, was just how light and wearable the jersey/lycra mix was to wear - I'm certainly not one for layering up in the heat, but this felt really comfortable around my neck.  

When it came to feeding, it was so lovely not to have to faff around with resting a blanket corner on the shoulder, Daisy just sat perfectly in the scarf loop and settled well into a feed, I think I relaxed almost immediately without having to deal with the usual problems of checking nothing was on show, or constantly readjusting for mine or Daisy's comfort.  The material felt dense enough for you to feel 'safe' in that you're not showing too much off and soft enough for baby's comfort too! 

In short, EllieBearBabi's Nursing Scarf was something of a saviour in, what can be, a trying situation for any nursing Mum.  Her designs are simple and stylish - simple in that they work without the need of a degree in Rocket Science to work them out, stylish in that this one will almost certainly find a way into my post-nursing wardrobe.
  In the pictures, I teamed the print with an old favourite, the breton top, as the print had such vibrant colours and looked great against the stripes.  This particular design would add a great pop of colour to a winter wardrobe!

EllieBearBabi's designs are beautifully made, the materials are of a really high quality and each item is labelled with handmade love too!  Her bibs retail at just £3.00, an absolute bargain, whilst nursing scarves are a real investment at just £15.00 - I advise every woman who has ever struggled with public feeding to stock up, it may just change your life!

And I could hardly leave out a picture of Daisy in her new bib either!

Want to keep up to date with EllieBearBabi?  Why not give her a follow on Twitter @EllieBearBabi.

Vicki is also a newbie blogger over at EllieBearBabi, check her out!

Monday, 5 August 2013

Nurturing Mums: For All Your Post-Natal Needs!

As a new mum, your life is suddenly filled with excitement, fun and breathing life and soul into a new little human being.  It can be the most exciting and challenging of times, but it can also be the most anxious and fearful of times.  

One of my earlier posts talked about the anxiety brought on by the media, regarding dangers in cosmetics and household products for pregnant women, which you can read HERE .  But it isn't just pregnant women who are bombarded with scare-mongering articles; long after your bundle of joy is born, you are still battling with your conscience over what is best for you and your baby, not to mention whether you are raising your child in 'the right way'.

Everywhere you look, there seems to be confusing advice and information; health visitors and midwives from different sectors of the same city often have conflicting opinions and the last thing you really feel you can trust, is your own instinct.

Ladies and Gentlemen, allow me to introduce Nurturing Mums.
Set up by two lovely ladies, Gemma and Elise, who have 5 children under 9 years old between them; Nurturing Mums was created to bridge the gap between ante-natal support (yoga) and post-natal leaflets (too much paperwork) for women who desire more information/help post-natally with aspects of bringing up their babies. And no, not just with abs toning and weaning information!

As a new Mum myself, I was really interested in what Nurturing Mums had to offer, particularly as both Gemma and Elise had set up this company based on difficult first births themselves.  They had struggled with feeding, had felt judged for bottle-feeding and one had even suffered the trauma of the dreaded Emergency Caesarean.  The lack of consistent advice and help left them wondering if there was a gap in the market for women who, like themselves, had found aspects of new motherhood challenging. 

Based in North London, Nurturing Mums encourages the 'social' aspect of new Motherhood and offers post-natal courses offering practical advice and the chance to, of course, make new friends and learn together.  Their range of courses cover a huge range of troublesome problems such as getting babies to sleep,to baby stimulation right through to dealing with changing relationships after birth.
 All of this is offered in a consistent and non-judgmental environment, just the right sort of atmosphere for women who have just been through the biggest changes in their lives!  Since their launch, the ladies have had some fantastic feedback from their courses and many of their clients have formed strong bonds with each other and have continued to meet up on a social basis.  Why not read some of their testimonials HERE, to see why and how other mums have used their innovative services?  The reaction to Nurturing Mums has been a huge success so far, and for people like me, who dwell in other parts of the UK, there is even more good news; the ladies are rolling out courses both across London and the UK in the coming months!

With new courses and information being added all the time, why not pop over to the website Nurturing Mums and check out more specific course information - the lovely ladies are waiting to hear from you.

You can read about other Mums experiences on the websites 'Nurturing Mum of the Month' too HERE