LMD Yummy Moist Egg Free Banana Bread (Lactose Free option also)

LMD Yummy Moist Egg Free Banana Bread (Lactose Free option also)

Do you ever sometime just feel like baking but don’t always have all the ingredients?!

This happened to me a while back when I wanted to make my Banana Cake!

I had no eggs. ūüė¶

So I decided to make Egg Free Banana Bread.

I make this recipe all the time now and it has changed over this time to its current version below. It is really simple and most importantly VERY yummy. Once you make it a few times you will be able to modify it to make it your own. I use general quantities below as I have been making it by sight and feel for so long I don’t use exact measurements¬†any more. If you follow this recipe to the letter though, you will get a very yummy Banana Bread at the end – but don’t stress about being exact as it will be just as yummy!

Ingredients

Ingredients

3 to 4 very ripe bananas (the riper the better – lots of yummy natural sweetness)

1/2 cup butter melted (you can use dairy free margarine or even vegetable oil for lactose free version)

1/2 cup milk (can be cows, soy or lactose free milk for lactose free version)

2-3 teaspoons Vanilla Extract (depending on how much you like vanilla)

3/4 cup brown sugar

1/2  Р1 teaspoon cinnamon powder

1 teaspoon bi-carb soda

1 1/2 cups plain flour (sifted)

 VARIATIONS:

Add walnuts or nuts of choice for a bit of crunch

Add chocolate chips for a bit of extra sweetness

Method

1. Pre-heat oven to 180 (degrees Celsius) and spray a suitable loaf tin with spray oil then line with baking paper and spray again. Set aside.

Line the tin

2. Mash the bananas with a fork onto a plate. You will see from the first photo that my bananas were REALLY ripe and the skin was black and that made them just perfect for this!

Mash the banana

3. Melt the butter and put it in a mixing bowl and combine in the mashed bananas.

Milk & Bananas

4. Add in milk and vanilla and mix lightly.

5. Add in sugar, bicarb soda and mix.

Photo 8-05-13 3 01 17 PM

Mixed in ready for flour

6. Add sifted flour and mix with a wooden spoon until just combined.

Add in the flour

Mixing in flour

All mixed and ready

7. Pour mixture into the loaf tin.

Pour mixture into tin

8. Bake for 1 hour or more (depending on your oven) until a wooden pick comes out clean. I use a thin wooden skewer to do this.

9. Allow to cool before removing from the pan. Remove by lifting it up and out by the baking paper and then peel it off.

I say ‘allow to cool’ – as that is what you are supposed to do.

In practice – I don’t let it cool. I am WAY to keen to eat it so I get it out straight away and cut it and eat it ūüôā It is more difficult to cut when it is hot as it is moist and¬†crumbly¬†– but it tastes SO SO SO good straight out of the oven! ūüôā

Fresh out of the oven

10. Cut and enjoy on its own or with a cuppa. Store in an airtight container and eat within a few days.

Out of the tin and ready to cut

You can also be a little wicked and add some butter or even golden syrup to spread on it. I also recommend popping your slices in the microwave for about 20 seconds to heat up before eating Рit goes super soft and moist again.

Egg Free Banana Bread

So please give this recipe a go as it is easy, uses up those overripe bananas and you don’t need any eggs! We seriously love the taste of this one and it always gets eaten quickly.

Enjoy!

Keep smiling
Michka

How to Plan and Implement a Child’s Birthday Party in only TWO DAYS!!

How to Plan and Implement a Child’s Birthday Party in only TWO DAYS!!

What a time we have had the last week or so here! Lately I have been sewing most of the day and into the night until 3am in the morning. Yes I am exhausted. Yes I am having a ball! ūüôā

With the volume of orders for my Lilli May designs creations growing by the day, I feel so¬†wondrously fortunate to have so many people wanting my creations for themselves and for their loved ones. With this increase in orders comes the need to increase the time I spend creating. Late at night and weekends are a time when I usually get a lot of creating done however last weekend I knew there would be no time for sewing.¬†¬†Why I hear you ask? Because our daughter turned TWO and we had her birthday party on Saturday and then a very close friends son’s first birthday on Sunday.

So each night, as my darling Lilli May and my sweet Husbando slept soundly and warm in their beds, I worked away in my Cougar Cave kept company by my iPod on shuffle. With less than 48hours until the party, by Thursday, I just knew I had to stop sewing and focus on our daughters special day. Because at that point I had done NOTHING party related!! And there comes a time when family just must come first! Wouldnt you agree?!

The theme we had chosen for her party was BALLERINA & SUPERBOY!

We did a quick trip up to the shops on Thursday morning (which for us involves a lot of walking and two trains – so as ‘quick’ as that allows) to grab some special icing and a ballerina shape cutter then it was back home to sew all afternoon to get those last items out in the post by 5pm. Once Lilli May went to bed at about 9.45pm on Thursday night I was able to hop online and do the grocery shopping for the party for it to be delivered the next day (Friday).

Starting The Preparations

So then at 10.38pm I finally decided on what I wanted to do with regards to her birthday cake that I was making and began to bake it. I also rolled and cut out the icing decorations that were going to go on the cake.

Cake Cutouts

Then it was time to start creating some of the 8  tutus whilst that was in the oven. Once it was cooked and some of the tutus done, it was into bed at about 3am.

Up at 9.30am and it was time to cook another part of the cake. Then it was out the back to clean down the swings and do the washing whilst the Husbando took Lilli May out for a couple of hours. After a rushed lunch and getting Lilli May settled for her nap it was time to do the housework of tidying up each room and a good vacuum. Then it was time to bake the third part of cake and pack all the shopping away.

My mum and Aunty then arrived and as they went out to grab some takeaway dinner with the Husbando and Lilli May, I got a spray tan done at home. A little treat for mummy ūüôā = it was after all the two-year anniversary of surviving my 43 hours of excruciating labour pain! LOL

After scoffing down some dinner I went and locked myself in the Cougar Cave and created 6 superhero capes and even a pink one for Lilli May!

My mum and Aunt helped me make some chocolate crackles and coconut ice. Then we sat at the table and evenly counted out lollies for the goodie bags…because some kids do count and compare!

My Aunt also made the CUTEST little tea cups from lollies and biscuits! I just love them!

IMG_5216

Then it was back to the Cave to make myself a tutu out of leftover tulle. I went to bed at about 1.30am (early mark!!). Suddenly¬†it started to pour with rain and I lay awake until about 3.30am ¬†tossing and turning thinking about how to change the party plans now that we¬†couldn’t¬†have it outside due to the cold and rain.

It felt like I had only just got to sleep when the alarm went off at 7am. Up we got, had a coffee then rearranged the kitchen so that the party table could now be inside. Nervously I iced the cake and made a tutu for the cake stand.

I was so very happy with the result!

Table 2

Tutu's

From the moment Lilli May woke up the rest of the day just seemed a blur of fun and happiness!

The Birthday Girl is awake!

We all got dressed and then the party began!

Lilli Just Dressed

Checking out her party ptable

How cute do the kids look in their tutus and superhero capes and with their faces painted?!

Group 1

We are SO proud of our little Ruffian and love that we are now in the TERRIFIC TWOs!!!

We are also so proud of how fairly she plays with others too. Such a good girl!!

Blow candles Cubby 3 Guest 1 Lilli Cake eating

The Birthday Cake

Lilli Cake

Lilli May and I also made the best of the rain and enjoyed what it creates by stripping off our tutus and playing in the puddle and mud! By the end of it she was covered in mud from face to feet and had SO much fun….. then a nice hot bubble bath! ūüôā

Mud Fun

So there you go! It IS possible to organise and implement a successful toddlers birthday party in less than 48 hours!!

Even though it poured with rain and it meant that we¬†couldn’t¬†have it outside so that we could have the automatic bubble blower game,¬†the playdough table games, the chalk drawing on the path competition, the balloon game or play on the swings and sandpit that we had planned – we still had the best day!!

A special thank you to all our family and friends that shared this special day with us and a huge HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO OUR GORGEOUS LILLI MAY. We love you and are so proud of you!

Keep smiling

Michka

There is ALWAYS time for a swing!

There is ALWAYS time for a swing!

It has been a little while since I have made the time to write a post! It is so surprising how fast this year is really going!

Between enjoying time with our daughter Lilli May and the Husbando there are always lots of Lilli May designs orders to sew! I love the variety and I love how we manage to fit everything in for our little family!

The other day, I needed to go up to the shops to take some photos of a new Lilli May designs item Рthe LMD Deluxe Shopping Trolley Cover/Clothing Protector. The Husbando was kind enough to drive us up there and amuse Lilli May so that I could quickly take the photos and get it in the mail.

LMD Shopping Car/Trolley Cover

Now the entire time I was taking the photo all I could here was screams and giggles!! The Husbando was playing with Lilli May on the swings behind me.

Photo 2-04-13 5 52 36 PM Photo 2-04-13 5 52 59 PM Photo 2-04-13 5 53 05 PM Photo 2-04-13 5 53 13 PM Photo 2-04-13 5 53 41 PM Lilli Swinging 1

(Lilli May is wearing a LMD Lilli Dress in Vintage Holly Hobbie fabric Рdetails here)

So as with every time we go out to our backyard or up to the shops, she always makes me realise, that no matter how busy and hectic things get Р there is ALWAYS time for a swing!

So I joined her! She did, after all, point and show me where the swing next to her was! ūüôā

When was the last time you had a swing?

Keep smiling

Michka

LMD 2000 Liker Giveaway – Final Week

LMD 2000 Liker Giveaway – Final Week

Welcome to Week 3 and the FINAL WEEK of three big weeks of giveaway’s here at Lilli May designs – so you can all help me celebrate reaching over 2000 likers on my¬†facebook page!

Week 1 and 2 were a huge success with two very happy winners!! Congratulations to Jessie and Dani! Read about their stories here and here.

So what is this weeks prize I hear you ask?

The Week 3 prize is a stunning LMD NINA VEST in the winners choice of fabric (from a selected range) and custom made to the winners size!! The NINA VEST is a Lilli May designs original design and is one of my most popular lady’s styles available.

Week 3 Prize - LMD Nina Vest

This giveaway is open worldwide. Postage is included for postage WITHIN AUSTRALIA only.

If the winner resides outside of Australia, then the international postage must be paid by the winner.

To enter our giveaway please follow the instructions in the Rafflecopter Application. Click on the link for the Rafflecopter Application on the top of the Lilli May designs Facebook page or on the link at the bottom of this post to go through it easily and quickly!

Make sure you follow the first two steps as they are mandatory for a valid entry and YOUR COMMENT ON THIS BLOG POST forms part of the judging and selection process. REMEMBER YOU MUST ANSWER THE QUESTION AS YOUR BLOG POST COMMENT:)

You can ‘share’ our giveaway with your friends and family. This is NOT mandatory but it will give you an extra 2 entries into the giveaway and you can do this as little or as much as you like (you can do this daily for the duration of the giveaway and receive 2 entries per day). Please follow the instructions in the Rafflecopter Application to confirm you have completed each step.

The giveaway commences now with last entries to be received by Thursday 14 March at 2pm Sydney time.

The winner, once notified via email, will have 48 hours to claim the prize otherwise a new winner may be selected.

All terms and conditions are available at the bottom of the Rafflecopter Application. Any questions please let me know!
Good luck!

 Click here to enter via Rafflecopter

Keep smiling!

Michka

LMD Giveaway – Week 2 – WINNER – May The Force Be With You!!

LMD Giveaway – Week 2 – WINNER – May The Force Be With You!!

Thank you to all of you who entered the Week 2 Giveaway to win one pair of custom made LMD CAI SHORTS! (in a choice of fabrics as pictured) in a range of sizes (from 6mths to size 8)!!

For those of you that did enter but did not win, you can still order your pair of LMD CAI SHORTS in the fabric of your choice AND if you place a new order before Friday 8th March 2013 you will receive a 10% DISCOUNT (excluding other items and postage)! Please email lillimaydesigns@gmail.com to place your order!

Please note that this offer is only available to people who entered the Week 2 Giveaway. The fabrics are strictly limited and may sell out so please be quick to avoid disappointment!

LMD Cai Shorts

With over 100 entries there were lots of people in with a chance! So without further ado the winner of the Week 2 Giveaway is Dani and she has chosen the rare vintage Empire Strikes Back fabric for a pair of shorts for her little man Jacob!

Here is an absolutely stunning photo of Jacob with his dad Pete!!

Winner Week 2

Now ONE of the really wonderful things about Jacob is his birthday date….it is May 4th! So he is destined to wear a pair of Star Wars shorts when you can say May the 4th (…may the force) is his birthday. ūüôā

Dani said that Jacob’s¬†dad grew up with Star Wars as his older brothers were right into it. Jacob was due on the 30th April but arrived late and they realised his date was May the 4th be with you!

So please put your hands together and give three cheers for Dani, Pete and Jacob!!

Now don’t forget, we have one more Giveaway to go over at Lilli May designs. It is a LMD item for the ladies and will kick off on Friday 08/03!

Until then……MAY THE FORCE BE WITH YOU! ūüėÄ

Keep smiling

Michka

LMD 2000 Liker Giveaway – Week 2

LMD 2000 Liker Giveaway – Week 2

Welcome to WEEK 2 of three big weeks of giveaway’s here at Lilli May designs – so you can all help me celebrate reaching over 2000 likers on my facebook page!

So week 1 was a huge success with over 200 entries and a very deserving winner. Read all about them here.

So what is this weeks prize I hear you ask?

The Week 2 prize is one pair of LMD CAI SHORTS as pictured (in the winners choice of any of the vintage/retro fabrics in the photo), in their choice of size (from 6mths to size 8)!

LMD Cai Shorts

This giveaway is open worldwide. Postage is included for postage WITHIN AUSTRALIA only.

If the winner resides outside of Australia, then the international postage must be paid by the winner.

To enter our giveaway please follow the instructions in the Rafflecopter Application. Click on the link for the Rafflecopter Application on the top of the Lilli May designs Facebook page or on the link at the bottom of this post to go through it easily and quickly!

Make sure you follow the first two steps as they are mandatory for a valid entry and your comment forms part of the judging and selection process. REMEMBER YOU MUST ANSWER THE QUESTION AS YOUR BLOG POST COMMENT:)

You can ‘share’ our giveaway with your friends and family. This is NOT mandatory but it will give you an extra 2 entries into the giveaway and you can do this as little or as much as you like (you can do this daily for the duration of the giveaway and receive 2 entries per day). Please follow the instructions in the Rafflecopter Application to confirm you have completed each step.

The giveaway commences now with last entries to be received by Monday 4 March at 2pm Sydney time.

The winner, once notified via email, will have 48 hours to claim the prize otherwise a new winner may be selected.

The new Giveaway will then start for the third and final week!

All terms and conditions are available at the bottom of the Rafflecopter Application. Any questions please let me know!
Good luck!

 Click here to enter via Rafflecopter

Keep smiling!

Michka

LMD Cookbook Club # 3 – Pear Tarte Tatin

LMD Cookbook Club # 3 – Pear Tarte Tatin

I made this recipe last week and have only now had a chance to share it!

What a couple of weeks it has been! I know I have been slow in getting the next installment of my LMD Cookbook Club but I have been flat out with family visiting, everyday life and of course orders for my facebook page.

This weeks choice was made by the husbando and to be honest, I did sit on it for a week..because I was too nervous. It is something that I have always wanted to make, but have been too chicken to try. So I procrastinated! Then I tried it! Here is the photo from the book:

Book Cover

Recipe : Pear Tarte Tatin

Book : COOK with JAMIE – My Guide to Making You a Better Cook Author : Jamie Oliver Estimated

Prep Time vs Actual : none given/10 mins

Cook Time : 30 mins approx

Level : Moderate

Ingredients : Mostly pantry items. I omitted the thyme, as I didn’t have thyme to buy it LOL

Appliance/s require : Stove/Oven

Real Life vs Photo :  2.5 out of 5. 

Ingredients

Result/Taste : 4.5 out of 5

Ok so I was super nervous as I did this. Only a few simple ingredients but so much room for error! I decided to make it easier and use store bought frozen pastry. ūüôā Other than the pastry, my other ingredients are all lactose free including the butter and the ice cream.

So after chopping up the pears I realised that we don’t have a heavy bottomed fry pan that can go in the oven! *gasp* what type of chef am I?!

Prep

So I decided to use my heavy bottomed cake tin and it worked an absolute treat!! Winning!

Thus began the making of the syrup. Stressful? VERY!!!

Syrup

I was so terrified that I was going to burn it or ruin it…and thought that I had after I added the pears – as it went a bit toffee like and in a bit of a lump – but once I put it back on the heat it re-melted and was fine!!

Then I added the other ingredients – I didn’t toast the almonds, and it still tasted fine. Although I know the toasting would be yummier.

All in the pot

Then place the pastry on top.

Pastry on top

Bake it. Looking good!

Crispy Peary Goodness

Ta daaaaaa

Photo 18-02-13 9 43 40 PM

Now it may not look exactly like the photo in the book – I think this is because my pears were ripe and thus they had more juice and were softer – BUT it tastes SOOOOOOOOO yummy!! I can not believe how yummy this stuff is!!!

It says ‘serves 4’.

4 what?

Ants?

The husbando and I demolished this together that night!! LOL Even then I was reluctant to give him any!!

So if you are making it for others to share, perhaps make two so there will be enough for everyone.

So again, I like Jamie’s tone as he explains the recipe etc but for the inexperienced cook, you are going to want more details in relation to each step. Dont let that stop you though – as the result is¬†phenomenally yummy and worth any guess work you have to undertake!

Anyway, I am looking forward to this weeks new recipe as it looks very yummy too, but I must go now as I HAVE to go and make this Pear Tarte Tatin again!

Keep smiling!

Michka

LMD 2000 Liker Giveaway – Week 1

LMD 2000 Liker Giveaway – Week 1

There are now over 2000 Likers of my facebook page!

Thank you to each and every one of you! Also, an especially big and heartfelt thank you to my customers and those of you that have taken the time to comment, ‘like’ and/or shown me such amazing support!! I am humbled by your kindness and I love getting to know each of you more and more every day. I hope to always exceed your¬†expectations¬†and continue to find those unique fabrics that will inspire me to create even more wonderful handmade items!

So with over 2000 Likers do you know what that means?!

It means its time to kick off THREE BIG WEEKS OF GIVEAWAYS!

So what is this weeks prize I hear you ask?

The Week 1 prize is a LMD Retro Bianca in rare Vintage My Little Pony fabric (similar to the one in the photo) in their choice of size (from 3mths to size 8)!!

LMD Vintage MLP

This giveaway is open worldwide. Postage is included for postage WITHIN AUSTRALIA only.

If the winner resides outside of Australia, then the international postage must be paid by the winner.

To enter our giveaway please follow the instructions in the Rafflecopter Application. Click on the link for the Rafflecopter Application on the top of the Lilli May designs Facebook page or on the link at the bottom of this post to go through it easily and quickly!

Make sure you follow the first two steps as they are mandatory for a valid entry.

You can ‘share’ our giveaway with your friends and family. This is NOT mandatory but it will give you an extra 2 entries into the giveaway and you can do this as little or as much as you like (you can do this daily for the duration of the giveaway and receive 2 entries per day). ¬†Please follow the instructions in the Rafflecopter Application to confirm you have completed each step.
The giveaway commences now with last entries to be received by Tuesday 26 February 2013 at 1pm Sydney time.
The winner, once notified via email, will have 48 hours to claim the prize otherwise a new winner may be selected.
The new Giveaway will then start for Week 2 and then, once this one is complete, the Giveaway for the final Week 3 will begin!
All terms and conditions are available at the bottom of the Rafflecopter Application. Any questions please let me know!

Good luck!

Keep smiling!

Michka

Click Here to Enter Via Rafflecopter

Lilli May’s Creamy Cheesy Lactose Free Potato Bake

Lilli May’s Creamy Cheesy Lactose Free Potato Bake

A couple of weeks ago I mentioned on my Facebook page that I had my yummy Creamy Cheesy Lactose Free Potato Bake in the oven and lots of people commented that they would like the recipe. So I agreed to post it for them.

As it was something that I had been making for years (ever since I realised I had problems with lactose), I had no idea of the quantities that I use. I am used to making it based on look, feel and taste. So I had to wait until I made it again so that I could take note of some quantities (and take photos of each step) to help those that need them. I have also included some information about why I use the products that I do Рas over the years I have tried LOTS of lactose free foods and some of them are terrible and some are fantastic!

So here it is! Obviously you can make this NON dairy free and just use normal cream and normal cheese. ūüôā

The Ingredients

Ingredients

4 large potatoes

1 medium onion – brown or white

3-4 rashers of bacon diced roughly (optional)

1-2 teaspoons garlic (crushed)

1 egg

250ml – 350ml pouring cream (lactose free)

250g (approx.) cheese – grated (lactose free) if you like it cheesy add more

salt and pepper to taste

spray oil or lactose free margarine

VARIATIONS:

Omit bacon or replace with veggie rashers for vegetarian version.

Omit egg and replace with half a packet of powdered French Onion Soup and increase cream added – adds a real onion bite to it and a runny/creamy consistency once cooked.

Method

1. Preheat oven to 180 (degrees Celsius) and spray a suitable baking dish with the spray oil. Any dish will do depending on the number of people you are making this for.

Grease the dish

2. Slice potatoes to about 3mm thickness. But don’t stress if it is more or less – just try to keep it consistent so that they all take the same cooking time.

Slice the potato

3. Place a layer of the potato slices on the base of the dish

First Layer

4. Sprinkle over some of the onion, bacon and cheese

Add other items to the layer

5. In a separate bowl/jug add the garlic to the egg

Egg and Garlic

6. Lightly whisk with a fork and add all the cream – amount will differ depending on how ‘runny’ you want the creaminess to be after cooking

Add cream

7. Pour a smallish amount of this over the layers currently in the dish

Add cream mix to dish

8. Repeat this until all the potatoes are used and layered with the other ingredients and finish with the last of the cream mixture and cover the top in cheese. Sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste.

All layers done

9. Bake in the oven until potato is to taste/tender – approximately 45-60 minutes – please check it after 30 mins as ovens do vary – ours is terribly slow so yours may cook faster .

If your oven is fierce and tends to be really hot, then you can cover it with foil whilst cooking for the first part and remove it towards the end to brown the top.

Baked and ready to eat!

10. You will see I like the cream mixture to end up firm as it is easier and less messy for toddlers to eat!

11. Eat.

Goes with anything be it salad, meat, seafood etc or a great meal on its own. Also nice to eat cold the next day.

Inside!

Products used:

The two main lactose free products that make this dish are Mini-Chol Cheese and Lactose Free Cream.

MINI-CHOL CHEESE

Mini Chol Cheese

I have been eating lactose free/dairy free cheeses for years and years and years. During this time it has been a mission to find and discover one that doesn’t taste horrid or at the very least have SOME taste. A few years ago I discovered Mini Chol and have NOT looked back!

This cheese is, I think, fantastic and the ONLY cheese that I now eat. If I can’t get it, I go without cheese, although this is occurring less and less as some supermarkets are starting to stock this. You do need to look for it though. It may be at the deli counter or stuffed in amongst the ‘international’ cheeses or even in the ‘vegetarian’ section of the chilled foods. Also don’t just expect the supermarket to be cheaper – sometimes it is, but at my local, it is not, the local deli is.

IMPORTANT NOTE: this cheese is VERY expensive – it can be anywhere between $22-$30 per kg. Yikes! The plus side though is, if you can’t eat normal cheese, then YOU MUST try this, one as no other one that I have found, tastes as palatable as this one. It IS a mild cheese (don’t expect a big tasty cheese punch) and it is creamy tasting. I find it tastes even more like real cheese when it is cooked – so PERFECT for homemade pizza, toasted cheese & tomato sandwiches or just as yummy melted cheese under the grill¬†on some bread that has had a bit of garlic rubbed over it! YUMMO! It is also yummy diced up in a salad.

LACTOSE FREE CREAM

The Liddells brand is the best on the market that I have found that is EASY to find to replace anywhere that pouring cream is required. It is lovely on its own, eg chilled, in a bowl of fresh passionfruit sprinkled with sugar or in savoury dishes like my above recipe. It is easy to find in most of the major supermarkets but can be a little tricky to find. Sometimes it is in the packet dessert’s section, the health food/allergen food section or near the long life milk section.

Lactose Free Cream

The only downside is it doesn’t thicken upon beating – so not good if you are looking for lactose free thickened cream – yes I know it says that on the packet, but it is runny exactly like pouring cream. Liddells also has a fantastic Lactose Free milk which tastes like normal milk – great for those that don’t like the taste of soy/almond/rice etc milk and can’t have lactose.

I hope you like this recipe and enjoy trying these products, if you¬†haven’t¬†already, and are looking for lactose free alternatives. Also just because you may not be able to have lactose, doesn’t mean you need to miss out on yummy, normally dairy¬†laden items. I have discovered the yummiest lactose free ice creams of all flavours, desserts, hazelnut spread (like Nutella – which you can use in my Chocolate Filled Croissants¬†), chocolate rum¬†balls, biscuits (including Tim Tam like ones – did a dance when I found these little babies), whipped (spray can) cream, chocolate brownie mix, chocolates etc etc. It has taken me YEARS to find these and as the years pass, they are becoming more readily available and certainly better tasting! Enjoy your quest!

Any questions, please let me know.

Keep smiling

Michka

Facing My Fear

Facing My Fear

What a morning!! Back in August (oh my gawd¬†I can’t believe it was THAT long ago) I met a lovely mum online¬†via a local online mum’s group. She invited¬†Lilli May and I¬†to come to the Playgroup she attends in a suburb near us. I was so thankful and amazed at her kindness to extend such an invitation to me.

As we had moved here¬†in May,¬†and thus away from my original Mum’s Group, I knew it would be a great way to meet new¬†people in the local area with kids (that weren’t already close friends). I KNEW IT! But this in no way helped me to get over my nerves and shyness and actually GO!

So there always seemed to be something ‘to do’ on a Tuesday morning from 9.30am which I talked myself into doing instead of facing my fear and taking Lilli May to the Playgroup. Finally, after yet another attempt by this amazingly friendly mum to get me to go, I agreed. It was going to be on the first Tuesday back for the Playgroup for the year so I felt a bit better and less like ‘a kid starting a new school mid-term where everyone already knew everyone’ and I would be like an ‘intruder’ on Big Brother… arriving late!

So with little sleep last night, and the alarm going off at 7.45am to wake me, I got out of bed and got ready for our FIRST DAY AT PLAYGROUP! Now I was tired as, as Lilli May normally sleeps until around 9am and I was awake until 2am last night Рnot sewing Рbut stressing about this! So being tired I thought, bingo perfect excuse not to go Рbut said NO you MUST go, do it for Lilli May! I thought about all the lovely comments and words of encouragement from the wonderful likers of my facebook page Рand knew I had to give this a go!

I packed our little bag with some snacks and a drink, had three outfit changes Рwhat do I wear as a first impression??!! Do I wear something I have made (like I normally would), do I make it smart casual or just casual, do I wear a skirt, jeans, trackies, etc etc. Another perfect excuse not to go Рbut NO, I must go and do it for Lilli May!

So with the outfits decided on Рme in my usual clothes, in jeans, casual long-sleeved stretch tee and one of my LMD Nina Vests and Lilli May in a LMD Louise dress and leggings we were ready to go! A quick visit to the bathroom to be physically sick (yes, I am like that whenever I am really nervous), then we were out the door.

I looked up to the sky and see huge grey clouds! Yippee – another perfect excuse not to go…but NO you MUST go for Lilli May. Besides, I love walking in the rain!

Is it going to rain?

So in the pram we walked to the train station for a short wait till our train arrived.

Where's the train?

We arrive at our destination station – hop off the train and with an overwhelming feeling of nerves I stop off and grab a water and¬†a coffee. My mouth was so dry from the nerves and my hands were shaking so I¬† figured if nothing¬†else, I will have something to hold on to and look like I am ‘doing something’ if¬†Lilli is just playing there and no¬†one is talking to me.

Armed and ready!

We cross the road and I see a few kids playing behind the safety fence and some mums inside the door so I take a deep breath and push the pram through the gate (apparently I lose the ability to navigate my pram when nervous and nearly stacked it into the gate Рembarrassment!!).

As soon as I walked through the door I was greeted by some VERY friendly mums as I mumbled who I was and our names and the name of the mum that had invited me (worrying that maybe I had the wrong group!) and guess what?!!

IT WAS FINE!!!¬†Yes I felt sick and was nervous as hell and SO hoping my neck wasn’t going too red (as it does when I am nervous), but to¬†see¬†Lilli May instantly run off and play with some of the kids was PRICELESS! The mums there are all simply lovely.¬†Some of the toys there were so awesome and¬†Lilli May had fun with¬†all of them!!

Be it putting the baby to bed

Bed time

Dress ups (go for the shoes – that’s my girl)

Shoes!

To playing with ‘boy’ work bench and tools

Tools!

To playing with the pretend kitchen/domestic goddess items etc.

Domestic Goddess Time

On this, I have taught Lilli May to go nowhere near my iron – HOT – and then when she saw the pretend one she was like “hot, very hot, don’t touch Lilli”. I wasn’t sure what to do. So we didn’t play¬†with¬†it. As I can’t teach her don’t touch one¬†iron but not another – I guess this will be easier when she is¬†older ūüôā Thoughts?

Cars!

There was indoor play and then outdoor play and she tried almost everything!

Ready Steady GO!

Before I knew it the two hours were up and I was SO happy with how the morning went. So¬†we said our goodbyes and our¬†see¬†you next week’s, ¬†and as I easily maneuvered the pram out through the gate I breathed a huge sigh. I was not only¬†extremely happy that I had faced my fear and BEAT IT, I was overwhelmingly proud of Lilli May. She played so well with the other kids, lots of smiles, no tears and played fairly too.

With sips from my now cold¬†UNTOUCHED¬†coffee (just the way I like my hot drinks – cold – as I have mentioned here before ūüėČ ) we got the train back home and had a quick lunch and¬†some milk and Lilli May¬†fell asleep on the couch. It’s tiring having so much fun!

So to put it simply. I love Playgroup. I love this Playgroup. I look forward to getting to know these beautiful Mums (and dads and grandparents) and watching Lilli May grow her friendships with their gorgeous children.

So if you are sick with nerves and shy and too scared to go like I was, please please give it a go. Just once. Your child with thank you for it and I am sure you will get something out of it too!

Now I cant wait till next Tuesday at 9.30am!

Keep smiling!

Michka