Alfie and Mel-A Day In The Life

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Alfie on one of our many walks in the park

I’m always interested in how other mums or dads spend their day if they are alone with their baby, and if they find it as much as a struggle as me. From speaking to mums at the fitness class I attend at Frame Kings Cross, it seems that everyone else is having a pretty easy time of it compared to me. Perhaps this is true, or maybe some feel that they must appear in control? I’m definitely not one of those-I’ve stopped pretending that I am in control with a perfect life and have started telling others how hard I am finding it. It makes me feel a bit better to let it all out!

When my husband is away, I do find it tiring and suffer a lot of anxiety when looking after Alfie. Definitely something I need to work on!

A typical day would go like this (warning-this is a LONG post as it’s a long day):

0500 Alfie wakes up-I think because he is lonely. Manage to pat and shush him back to sleep. I go back to bed.

0600 Alfie wakes up again. Manage to get him back to sleep. I go back to bed.

0645 Alfie wakes up. I try to get him back to sleep so that he can get up closer to 7am, to no avail. I get him up and give him his bottle.

0745 I make a tea which goes cold as I have to get his breakfast of baby porridge ready.

0800 Feed Alfie porridge which he manages to get in my hair by flicking the spoon out his mouth. He is then sick in my hair whilst burping him.

0830  Quickly make smoothie for myself and gulp it down so that I can shower. Have to wash my sick hair which I rush as Alfie is crying at me from his chair in need of a nap.

0900 Manage to leave the flat with still-wet hair hoping that Alfie will nap in his buggy on way to my fitness class. He only manages ten minutes which makes him grumpy throughout the class. I’m freezing on the way there because of my wet hair! Get a takeaway coffee from Caravan in Granary Square. Would have loved to sit down but Alfie gets angry when we sit still.

1000 Start class at Frame. Put Alfie on the mat and he continuously (and impressively!) rolls across the floor. Repeatedly I put him back on the mat; repeatedly he rolls away, narrowly missing other mums. I only manage to do a few squats before I decide to put him in his buggy.

1030 Alfie starts crying. I sit down and feed him his next bottle. After burping him, he is sick down his and my trousers. I wipe it up, try to do some sit ups with him on my tummy, but I have just missed this section of the class.

1045 Do a few planks, but Alfie needs to be sat up in case he is sick again, so I leave and feed him his sweet potato in the reception area.

1140 After feeding, burping and changing Alfie, we rush outside but miss the bus. I walk/jog home with him in the buggy as he is getting whiny as needs his next nap. Get back home at 12pm and put him in cot. After a quick shower, I’m starving but also knackered, so quickly eat some toast and spinach out of the bag then go to bed.

1300 Alfie wakes up before I have fallen asleep. He won’t go back to sleep, so I get him up and do tummy time. He’s grumpy as he’s tired. I make another cup of tea but it goes cold again as I need to sit with Alfie to stop him from getting more irritable, and don’t want to scald him with it.

1400 I feed Alfie his bottle, burp, then we go for a walk. It’s raining, but I need some air and a change of scenery. After half an hour, he starts moaning so I take him home and put him in cot. He goes to sleep, so I try to study some Anatomy and Physiology for Yoga. Manage to have a cup of tea-yay!

1500 Alfie wakes up. He is in a playful mood so we do a bit of dancing to Amazing Radio. He then sits in his highchair at the table playing with his toys until he gets bored so I dance with him some more. I’m completely knackered at this point. He does a massive poo which goes up his top and on my arms. I change him, then have to have a quick shower to get rid of the poo whilst he sits in his chair. Third shower of the day.

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Calorie laden pancakes from Sunday-delish!

1600 I’m getting cabin fever again and running out of ways to entertain Alfie, so we go for another walk to look at the trees in the park. He is quite happy staring at them. We then get a coffee from Sunday, one of my favourite cafes if the friendly staff are working. Sometimes I’m unlucky and get the moody girl, but not today. I get some cake as am hungry, and eat as we walk back home.

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In the lift on the way for another walk….

1700 Alfie is moody but it is too close to bed time for his nap so I feed him his pureed mango and then wash and change him into his pjs. I practice saying ‘Mama’ with him, but he is more interested in blowing raspberries, which makes me laugh. He then keeps trying to grab and eat my feet, so I let him as he seems to be enjoying it! Tickles though.

1800 Feed Alfie his last bottle, read him a bedtime story. I feel something land on my foot and hope it is not what I think it is. It is. I look down to see a sloppy poo on my right foot. Luckily I have got my socks on, although I can feel it seeping through. I’m amazed that it’s missed my legs, seeing that Alfie is sitting on my lap. I wash and change him, then put him in his cot whilst I clean the carpet. I notice that there is indeed some poo on my arms which means another shower. I say goodnight to Alfie, turn out the lights and wait for him to fall asleep.

1920 Fourth shower today.

2000 Am really hungry but too tired to cook much so I have a random meal of oven chips, avocado and some pre-cooked chicken. I then have a look online to see how to get 6 month olds to nap more.

2130 Go to bed. Worry about why Alfie doesn’t like napping.

2300 Finally fall asleep.

Sleep is such a luxury…

I love Alfie so much and reading this through again, I do see that he is just a normal sociable baby! However, lack of sleep can make things feel ten times worse, which is something nobody could have prepared me for. Still, little Alfie is a legend.

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Yummy date and banana raw cheesecake

Over the Christmas period (yes, I am talking about Christmas) my husband’s brother made this yummy raw cheesecake for us all as his wife is wheat and dairy intolerant. It was ridiculously delicious, so I begged him for the recipe. I actually made it quite a while ago, but have had a craving for it recently, so am going to share it with you.

You will need:

Base:
1 cup oats
1 cup medjool dates, pitted
Cheesecake:
1/4 cup coconut oil
2 cups cashews
1 teaspoon vanilla extract1 1/2 cups dates
2 bananas
1/4 cup agave nectar, although this does make it very sweet!
Water, as needed
1/4 cup cacao powder
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The method is so easy which is why I love it so much!
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For the base, you just put the oats and pitted dates into a food processor and process until smooth.
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Transfer the mixture into a cake tin, pressing firmly so that it covers the base. Leave to harden in the fridge.
Meanwhile, put all the cheesecake ingredients into the processor and blend. Transfer this mixture into the cake tin and leave in the freezer overnight to set.
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See, so easy!

Best brunch ever?

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Eton Mess

Birthday surprise!

My lovely husband surprised me with a brunch at the iconic Landmark Hotel on  Marylebone Road. I’d heard about the famous Champagne Sunday Brunch and as my favourite meal of any day is breakfast (with eggs, sausages, bacon-basically as much food as possible) I’d mentioned last year that I’d like to go. Held in the hotel’s Winter Garden which is a huge atrium filled with natural light thanks to the glass panelled ceiling, the brunch runs from 1230pm until 3pm and costs £90 per person. This includes unlimited champagne, soft drinks and tea and coffee, as well as a hot breakfast, pancakes, salad, soup, a Sunday roast and a wealth of desserts-phew! I’m sure I’ve missed something out as there was so much choice when we went last weekend.

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Sunday Roast

The place was pretty much full and it turned out that lots of us were celebrating our birthday, owing to the fact that the staff brought out Happy Birthday cupcakes for us at the end of our meal which was a nice touch! I was way too full to eat it though.

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Food was constantly replenished and tasted so fresh. My favourites were the poached eggs, roast beef and chicken, and finally the bread and butter pudding with custard, of which I had two helpings followed by a delicious Eton Mess!

 

 

 

My husband loved the sausages as well as his roast potatoes, sushi and mini creme brulées-quite a mixture.

 

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Just one part of the dessert station

 

Although pricey, the quality of the food was perfect-every single thing I ate was the best of it’s kind I’d eaten. Staff were attentive if a little stand-offish, but this didn’t detract from the superb food and atmosphere. There was a nice mixture of customers. Although we were some of the youngest there, there were young families, tourists, and a few couples in their early thirties. This meant that it wasn’t too stuffy, which I had expected owing to the central location and price of the brunch.I would definitely recommend this lovely brunch for a special occasion.

Eating Out in London

I’m constantly taking photos of my food wherever I eat (yes, I’m one of those annoying people) so thought I’d share my favourite and not so favourite cafés and restaurants in London.

North London

Oak and Pastor, Islington

My husband and I absolutely LOVE this pub/restaurant. We try and get here whenever we are craving a Sunday roast. Apart from my mum’s roast, it really is the best I have ever had. This is homely renovated 19th century building with a nice fireplace and little beer garden. The staff are super friendly and the atmosphere is unpretentious. It’s busy on big match days thanks to it’s big screen, but we have never had trouble getting a table, although you can book in advance.

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They have an extensive menu, and the chicken wing starter is particularly good, but we love their roasts the best, at around £15 per person.

Nearest tube Tufnell Park.

 

The Breakfast Club, Angel Islington

I was really excited to go here as I’d seen people queuing outside on weekends. I ordered scrambled eggs on toast with a sausage on the side which came to £10. They do fresh juices as well-I had a carrot, lime and ginger for £4.

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Although the food was nice, it wasn’t amazing, and wouldn’t have taken much effort to make at home. The thing that really got me though was how dirty the restaurant was. The floor looked as if it hadn’t been cleaned; the toilet was filthy. What’s more is that two of the staff who had colds were sneezing into their hands and wiping their noses onto their hands without using tissues. This really put me off my food and is the reason I would not go back.

Nearest tube, Angel.

 

Bintang, Kentish Town

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Filipino dish Leche Flan at Bintang

Wow how I love this little restaurant. Pan asian cuisine with a changing menu consisting of dishes influenced from The Philippines, Vietnam and Japan to name a few. The atmosphere is cosy yet buzzing with a few tables upstairs and more in the basement. The downside is that the service is always slow and I usually find that I have to prompt staff to take my drinks, main and dessert orders. Not very proactive but the food is so nice, I don’t really care. My favourite dish is the very hot chicken Ulek curry made with scotch bonnets at £8.50-not for the faint-hearted.

Nearest tube Kentish Town.

Central London

Kopapa, Covent Garden

This is one of the most friendly and delicious places to eat in central London and they do a tasty brunch. It gets busy on Saturdays and Sundays for brunch but if you haven’t booked, you can sit on the bar.

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Spiced banana french toast

Staff are friendly. My favourite dish is spiced banana french toast for £10 or any egg on toast dish for around £7.

Nearest tube Covent Garden.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Granger & Co, Kings Cross

I originally went for brunch at their cafe in Notting Hill, and although I loved it, decided that it was too far from my flat to return to. How happy I was to find that Granger & Co have now also opened in Kings Cross! There’s a lot more seating than the West London branch.

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Ricotta hotcakes, Granger & Co

Favourite dishes include Ricotta Hotcakes at £11.80 (very calorific and sweet but so addictive) and cauliflower and pecorino spaghetti, £12.50. Although pricy, the food is great and staff are attentive and friendly, so great for a special occasion.

Nearest tube, Kings Cross.

 

 

 

 

Dishoom, Kings Cross

Here is another place that has opened their latest outpost in Kings Cross. I originally went for dinner at the restaurant in Covent Garden, then Shoreditch, and am happy to say that one of my favourite restaurants is now in my local area. The industrial style décor and architecture of the large space is impressive, and the staff, like all other Dishoom locations, are friendly and hard-working. Sometimes you have to queue, especially on weekend evenings; Dishoom only take reservations for parties of over 6 people after 545pm, so you may have a bit of a wait, but it’s worth it! Favourite dishes include Okra Fries £4.20 and Keema Pau £5.50, a spiced minced lamb bun. Also recommended for an alternative and spicy breakfast.

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Avoid the Virgin Mary at Dishoom

 

The only thing that I have tried and disliked at Dishoom is their Virgin Mary-I think that in trying to be a little quirky, they ended up making the cocktail taste like spaghetti bolognese. I found it inedible so did’t drink it, but still had to pay.

Nearest tube Kings Cross.

 

 

 

South London

Milk, Balham

I want to move to Balham! A young crowd, yummy food and unpretentious atmosphere that isn’t in Shoreditch! At the time of writing their website is pretty pants with no clue to what they’re about, but Milk, who do have a blog, are a popular restaurant close to Balham station.

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Poached eggs at Milk

I have only sampled their brunch menu (there’s a theme occurring here) so can’t comment on the ret of their food, but judging by the busy tables, it must be good. I had poached eggs with a creamy hollandaise sauce on toast with deliciously crispy bacon. The service was so friendly (the friendliest I’ve experienced in a while) and the prices reasonable, with a meal of eggs benedict and two flat whites coming to £14.

Nearest tube, Balham

 

East London

Arepa and Co, Dalston

This place was such a find! My husband and I stumbled upon it by accident when walking along the Regent’s Canal towards Dalston. A friendly Venezuelan serving authentic cuisine served by Venezuelans in a light and airy restaurant overlooking the canal. I have only visited during the week but apparently this place gets busy on weekends. Arepas are cornbread pockets served with a range of fillings; cachapas are corn pancakes served with toppings (from £6-£8. Both are delicious. The cassava fingers are ridiculously good (£4.50). I haven’t ever had enough room for dessert, but the cakes on display always look so enticing. Unfortunately I don’t have any photos, but I’m sure it won’t be long until I go back to take some.

Nearest station, Haggerston Overground.

 

 

 

 

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