Celebrating The Small Things:Week Thirty

This week on ‘celebrating the small things’ this week as me thinking back on lavender field photoshoots, special allergy treats and Pimms in the sun.

Lavender Field Photoshoot – For someone who at the begining of the year always shied away from the camera terribly, I feel that although I’m certainly not confident in front of the camera but have started to fear it a lot less!

I had been chatting to the lovely Rachel Thornhill for a while now and whence asked me if I would like a photoshoot in the beautiful Mayfield Lavender fields I jumped at the chance.

Not only did I get some fabulous images of the day but I got to meet the lady inside my phone and was pleasantly surprised that she was as lovely as I had invisidged.

Treats For My Allergy Boy – Life with Frankie’s allergies can be a real mental challenge sometimes as the ability to give him what he wants is completely taken out of my hands and the ‘mum guilt’ is immense!

Recently we were out to eat pretty late and the selection of food was pretty limited. The others were all grabbing tasty treat whilst Frankie looked on. After nearly exhausting every option we stumbled across a place that served fries covered in vegan cheese. His face lit up and my heart my full over something so simple.

It’s Pimms O’Clock – This is probably one of the silliest small things I’ve written about but I can honestly say that being out in the sunshine, watching the kids play and having a Pimms in my hand is certainly one of my guilty pleasures…it also helps when the playful children start to argue!

Celebrating The Small Things:Week Twenty Three

‘Celebrating The Small Things’ this week is taking us back to half term and finding small moments to be grateful for in a pretty amazing week!

Location, Location, Location – It will be no surprise to many of you that I have always had a strong want to live by the sea. The outdoorsy life, laid back feel and plenty for the children to do has always appealed to me, but no so much to my husband.
During half term I actually realised we are really lucky to live exactly where we do. We had a pretty hectic week of commuting into town as well as a trip to Brighton that for so many just wouldn’t be doable. So with this in mind I’m incredibly grateful we can be by the sea and central London in under an hour and have plentiful countryside right on our doorstep, so no more moaning from me…well for a while anyway!

Understanding Food Allergies – Allergies are not something that feature to much on here but are certainly something that affect us on a daily basis. Frankie is allergic to a whole host of foods and although it is something he is slowly learning to deal with there are always those occasions where its pretty hard going for him.
We attended the Num Noms Launch Party at the Good Housekeeping Institute where there was going to be pizza making going on and I had already pre warned him that he might not be able to take part in this section of the day. He was disheartened but still very much wanting to go along.
Looking at the ingredients when we arrived I could sence the disappointment that was going to set in until a lovely lady came over and asked what she could find that would make the pizzas suitable for him.
His face lit up and I was so grateful that he wouldn’t have to miss out as he doses on so many other occasions.

Keeping Friendships Alive – A while ago now my husband’s best friend and his family emigrated to New Zelend. This was a huge wrench for him as they had been good friends since school and we all had grown close as we got married and started families.
It was amazing to have them over and spend quality time together. It felt like yesterday as soon as we saw them and through the help of social media we have all been able to watch everyones adventures over the past few years, but there is nothing like actually getting together and spending precious time with special people.

Celebrating The Small Things:Week Five

Last week was a pretty hectic one full of all sorts of highs and lows that saw us here there and everywhere. I can safely say that we are looking forward to a break in routine and some fun and games during half term next week.

Here are the small things we have been celebrating:

Egg Challenge Success: Last week saw us taking a trip to St Thomas’s for Frankie to have his baked egg challenge. Frankie’s allergies aren’t something that apper heavily on my blog, I think this is because by the time I had started writing, the trials and tribulations that come with raising a child with allergies had settled and we had learnt to deal with the problems.
Since starting school though the problems and differences in his day to day life have come to light again and for him it is now impacting him in a more emotional way due to the fact he feel different to his peers.
School lunches are limited, baking at school and friends parties all see him singled out which can be upsetting for me as well as him.
We were over the moon that the baked egg challenge was a success and there has been another food to his list of things he can eat.

Much Needed Girly Time: Trips out are somewhat of a rarity for me and time alone with my Mum and sister is almost nonexistent. One of us is always working or there is a child in tow, so it was lovely to have the opportunity to have an afternoon out to the theatre to watch Cirque Du Soliel.
Aside from being a fabulous show having time to simply chat and giggle uninterruptedly was an absolute treat.

Watching My Husband Thrive: I really don’t praise my husband enough… he would completely agree with this but this weekend made me a very proud wife.
His absolute passion is fighting, so much so it has been lucky enough to forge a career out of this and his gym is going from strength to strength.
This weekend he took a team of his young fighters to a tournament and the success of all his students showed how much love, time and dedication he has shown each and everyone of them.

Super Yummy Banana Cake

Who doesn’t have those few browning bananas left in the fruit bowl that nobody really wants but it is always such a shame to throw away.

What better way to use them up than to make a super yummy banana cake that the whole family will enjoy.

I came across this recipe on Cerea’s Kitchen blog  and jiggled it around a little so it was also perfect for my little allergy boy too.

Banana Cake

  • 5 bananas
  • 50ml maple syrup
  • 130g rolled oats 
  • 150g wheat free flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 75g coconut sugar
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 60ml melted coconut oil
  1. Preheat the oven to 360F or 180C and lightly grease a square baking tin with coconut oil.
  2. In a large bowl mash the bananas and add the coconut oil, sugar, vanilla extract, vinegar, cinnamon, salt and baking powder.   
  3. Next mix in the oats, flour and baking soda.
  4. Finally add the mixture to the tin and cake for around 35-40mins.   

  

   
  

  

Allergy Free Cottage Pie

  
With the colder weather and darker nights drawing in a firm family favourite has appeared back on our menu…cottage pie goes down well with all of the children and this recipe makes it safe for number four too.

Allergy Free Cottage Pie

  • 1kg Minced Beef
  • 2 Chopped Onions
  • 3 Sliced Carrots
  • 2 Cloves Chopped Garlic
  • 3 tbsp Wheat Free Flour
  • 1 tbsp Tomato Puree
  • 850ml Wheat Free Beef Stock
  • Sprigs Of Thyme
  • 1 1/2kg Chopped Potatoes
  • 220ml Oat Milk
  • 25g Dairy Free Margarine


  1. Heat a little oil in a large pan and brown the mince.  Next add the vegetables and cook for around twenty minutes.  Add the puree, flour and garlic and cook for another few minutes.  Add the stock and herbs and cook uncovered for about 45 minutes.
  2. Place the potatoes into a pan of boiling water and cook until soft. Once ready drain and mash together with the milk and margarine.
  3. Lastly spoon the meat into a large ovenproof dish and spoon the mash potato into the top. Score all over with a fork and cook for 30 minutes in the oven at Gas Mark 7, 220C/200 Fan.
  4. Once bubbling and golden it will be ready to serve.

There is always a big debate in this house as to how it is served.  My favourite is fresh green vegetables and the the others favour baked beans.  What is your favourite accompaniment?
  

A Reminder Not To Get Complacent With AllergiesĀ 

As a few of you will know number four has suffered from multiple allergies since he was a few months old.  Apart from some recipes I have not yet spoken a lot on my blog about this.

He was formally diagnosed with an allergy to nuts, sesame, soya, dairy, eggs and wheat at around 6 months.  And now carries an Epi Pen.  

We went through a really rough time of cutting all of this from my diet as I was breastfeeding, trying to keep his servere excezma under control and the long slog of finding a varied diet to introduce to him one he started weaning.

A couple of years on and his excezma is completly under control and the only problem will still have is his overly sensitive tummy that still causes problems.

That was until last night!  Whilst preparing dinner he was complaining of itchy eyes, to which I told him he must just be tired and did not pay to much attention to.  A few minutes later he was on the floor sobbing.  As I looked at him, his eyes were nearly closed over and were massively red and puffy.

I got some Piriton into him and phoned my husband who came home and rushed us to the hospital.  He was given some steroids and we were kept under observation for four hours.

It was a real wake up call to how things can change when you have a child with allergies, and you should never take things for granted.  We still don’t know what caused last nights attack.  He could of got hold of an allergin that he is known to have or it could be something completely new.

Life with my little allergy boy can be hard work and at times very scary.  Last nights little shock had definalty been a reminder that we need to be continually aware of him and his surroundings at all times.