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La Belle Assiette

Having kids kind of makes popping out for dinner pretty difficult, well for us anyway. With Scotts family living in New Zealand, we’re dependant on my full time working parents which can be pretty tricky.

I was contacted by La Belle Assiette, a simple but wonderful concept of choosing your menu online, and they’ll hook you up with a chef who will come and fine dine you in the comfort of your own home. To be totally honest, I jumped at the chance. I love staying at home, but equally adore fine food, so I was so excited to see how amazing, chef cooked food would be made in my home!

After I confirmed the booking, I was contacted by Taher, our chef for the evening. We talked about my guests, any dietary requirements and I told him about what kind of food we like (we’re all mums, we’re happy for a cooked meal!)

The day of our dinner party arrived a few days later and Taher had confirmed he would be arriving at 5pm to get prepared. I informed him that the kids would probably be running riot/having various meltdowns regarding dinner time…always a stressful time in our household. He reassured me that he had children of his own, and he would just work away in the background. I was a little apprehensive letting someone into my kitchen to cook, what would he think of my pans, my knifes, my setup?! I needn’t have worried in the slightest, Taher was just a joy to have in my home. He bought everything he would need, all of the food, serving dishes and his wonderful persona, which we all adored.

Before we knew it, the kids were in bed, my house smelt sensational and my guests had arrived. We had been sent our menu earlier that day, which just sounded amazing :

APPETISER

Creme Dubarry (Cream of Cauliflower soup)
STARTER

Trio of ceviche (Salmon, smoked haddock and cod with lime, coriander and chilli)
MAIN COURSE

Slow roast belly of pork, sage butter, caramelised ginger apple.
DESSERT

Chocolate, banana & salted caramel
COFFEE

Italian biscotti with fudge

We had a photographer arrive before the meal was served, so I must thank La Belle Assitette for passing on the wonderful images from the night.

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Creme Dubbary, a delicious bowl of warm cauliflower soup that none of us wanted to end!

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My favourite course of all, a trio of ceviche. Utterly sensational. One of my guests is not really a fish person, but she was totally won over by this wonderful, modern dish.

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And for our main course, slow roast pork belly which was just spectacular.

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Finally, when we felt like we could not go on, Taher presented this mouthwatering desert which he described to me before hand as “Chocolate, banana and salted caramel”… and my response was just “Yes, yes, YES!”.

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We had the most fabulous evening, trying foods we had never eaten before, all the while being free to enjoy our wonderful meal in the comfort of my home. Taher is one of the nicest guys, so professional but made me feel totally at ease through the whole process. He even left the kitchen spotless. The evening was such a pleasure and we would book Taher again in a flash. If you’d like to read more about Taher, you can read this lovely write up on him here.

Thank you to La Belle Assiette for arranging the evening. I’m now left wanting more, an experience I will not forget.

Francesco Group Bournemouth – Review

It has been a very long time coming but I finally dragged my tired, straggly, thinning hair to the hairdressers! When an email popped into my blog-box asking if I wanted to review the newly rebranded Francesco Salon in Bournemouth, I jumped at the chance.

You see, what they don’t tell you (along with many other things, mainly boob-related) about what happens after pregnancy, is that your hair will most probably fall out at some point after having your baby. Just as you’re starting to feel a little more human, one day you’ll be enjoying a nice shower while your little baby is playing happily in the Jumparoo and you’ll notice your luscious, thick, pregnancy hair falling out in clumps, literally. So this salon visit was needed! The balayage which I’d had done nearly 6 months ago had gone all yellow and grown out way too much (think dip-die), and my hair was generally in a very bad, dry state!

This was until I met Kinga, at Francesco.

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The Bournemouth Francesco salon is located right in the town centre just along from New Look and La Tasca (I parked in Richmond Gardens for just over 3 hours for £2.50). The small entrance is very deceiving considering the tardis inside. The System Professional products line the reception and you meet lovely Lucy. Lucy was so helpful in making my appointment, and extremely accommodating considering my lack of organisation in the childcare department! I had already popped in a few days before for a patch test as I had booked in for colour (this is required by law so make sure you do this before your appointment).

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Once I’d checked in, I made my way up to the beautiful salon upstairs. (Side note – I feel they’d already won my heart as I sneaked a Werther’s Original from the reception desk on my way up, total fave) I really couldn’t believe the size of the place. The salon is so bright and airy and somewhere I felt completely relaxed straight away (hairdressers can often be a nice little anxiety trigger for me!).

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Then I met my stylist, Kinga. We chatted about my hair “issues” and what I wanted to achieve and before I knew it, I was sipping a latte and Kinga got to work on colouring my locks.

After the colour had developed, Kinga applied a toner to blend in the new blonde balayage and then a hydrating mask to replenish the dryness. She spoke to me about Nioxin, a specialist treatment for hair that is damaged and dry, especially good for women who are loosing hair due to pregnancy.

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Kinga then gave my hair a trim and added some long layers and the most beautiful bouncy blow-dry I have ever seen!

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The entire experience at Francesco Group was so relaxing and professional, and I could highly recommend Kinga for both colour and cut. I absolutely love the colour, it is just perfect – not too warm and not too white blonde. Kinga kindly gave me a few samples of the products she used so that I could try them out myself, but if the smell is anything to go by, I think I’ll be stocking up very soon!

Now lets see how long I can dodge the flying food from Seb and teething slober from Theo as I want this blow-dry to last forever…

 

Sebastian, 8 Months Old

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I’m not sure how we’ve got here, but Seb is now 8 months old!

First things first, Seb has nailed the whole “sleeping through the night” thing and I don’t think I’ve ever felt so ALIVE in all my life. I am also back at work 2 days a week and Seb is in nursery, which he seems to be loving. I’ve had the recent guilt struggles, not so much of leaving him, but not feeling too guilty about it. I love working, I always intended to go back and I love feeling like me again. I know that he will be having a great time at nursery but the horrible mind games of guilt for mum’s putting their babies in nursery, urgh it’s horrible! But as time has gone by (I’ve been back almost a month), it’s now much easier and my mind is much more rested during the day.

Food

Seb absolutely loves his food. We’ve been Baby Led Weaning (more on that soon) and I could not recommend it enough. It is so easy, and to see Seb loving his food is just so amazing. His favourite foods are mangos (literally, we go through about 5 a week), bananas, fruit in general and sausages. He has 3 meals a day and snacks in between.

On the move!

Seb has been commando crawling for around a month now and I genuinely do not think he will crawl properly before he walks! This week Seb used his walker on his own for the first time, with a huge grin on his face! He loves to make his way walking around the furniture too and is just loving his new found independence! We’ve not really “baby proofed” the house to be honest. There is a stair gate up stairs which was absolutely crucial but we seem to be getting away with just that for now. We’re in the loosing battle of trying to teach Seb the word NO. It’s not going too well, but he is certainly understanding now when he is doing something he shouldn’t (i.e. obsessed with climbing onto the fireplace…)

Breastfeeding

I am still breastfeeding! Although this week I made big progress and finally stopped the day feeds. Its been a little while coming, he has refused milk at nursery for around a month and didn’t seem interested in feeding during the day. I’m not too sure how I feel about it. Part of me feels so sad that we don’t have those lovely bonding moments during the day, but part of me also feels so free. I can be out for the whole day and I won’t have to worry about expressing or rushing back to feed. We’re only a few days in, but I’m loving my new found freedom already!

So there is it, my little baby is 8 months old! Don’t forget to follow along with us on my Instagram and the hashtag #LittleSoutherner!